First off, I have to give a huge shout out to The Prince of Nothing this guy has been knocking it out of the park constantly with quality content, whether spot on reviews and straight bad ass content with his Age of Dusk material. Skraegh-Hannoreth was born reading that blog, as well as all his abilities, along with the Children of Autumn and the Wolves of Final Night, all his creations. in fact, you should stop reading this garbage and go right over there and read something good. While you’re there, you should go and buy The Red Prophet Rises from Drivethrurpg. Trust me, you won’t regret it. Now, on with the show, an adventure for the Godbound game by the marvelous Kevin Crawford, set in the Howlers.
Black Hymn- a southeastern collection of tribes situated near the Oasis States. The Black Hymn tribes are one of the most warlike in the area, routinely practicing cannibalism and death worship. Currently locked in conflict with the Jade Sonnet tribe, the Black Hymn have been receiving supplies, weapons, training and other assistance from a Sand Prince of the Oasis States. A mercenary for one of the great city pyramids, the Sand Prince plans to keep the southern tribes of the Howlers warring with each other in order to keep raiders away from several ruins he has discovered, allowing him and him alone to reap the benefits of these lost treasures. Unbeknownst to the Sand Prince and the other tribes in the area, a group of Black Hymn shamans have been worshiping a dark god in secret and are preparing for a great working upon several champions of their tribes, infusing them with a terrible supernatural power. Should that happen, the situation in the south will change quite drastically
The Black Hymn Tribe– Power:3 Action Die: 1d10 Cohesion: 3 Trouble: 2 population: 30,000 tribesmen in the main camps, with another 8,000 out on raids
- the Black Hymn boasts some of the most vicious and hardened warriors in the Howlers
- The Peace Chiefs have learned to brew strange hallucinogenic potions that send the warriors into a frenzy and dull their sense of pain
- Regular supply runs from the Sand Princes in the Oasis States have addressed food shortages in the main camps
- The warriors are growing battle mad and falling into rages, fighting amongst each other when there is no battle to be had. 1 point
- The despoiling ways of the Harrow King leave for little else besides war, causing supply shortages in the outer regions. 1 point
Skraegh-Hannoreth; The Witness at Midnight, the Harrow King– upon the Red Dust Plains many tribes have wandered, their footsteps echoing into eternity yet quickly erased by the storms of red sand that blow upon them from the southern Oasis States. Long have these tribes been at war with each other, or merely left to wander in the broken land that was once a mighty empire. Some though still dream of what was once, and maybe what could be again. Yet there also those who dream of a return to older ways. The ways of war and brutality like those not seen in ages long past, where kings would litter the sands with the bones of their foes at the slightest hint of opposition. Sometimes these dreams become so powerful and so vivid that they take on a life of their own, becoming infinitely more than what they were. Perhaps that is what whispers in the ears of the poets and shamans of the Black Hymn tribes. A witness that saw the Empire at its dusk, still watches for the dawn of a new day, and now stands at the crossroads of midnight. A king of the old ways, the wicked ways, the ways of horror and bloodshed that would make the hardest of men weep like babes. What it whispers are dark mysteries and darker thoughts, driving those who hear it half mad, yet filling them with terrible resolve. In this purpose, men and women of various tribes came together in blackest night, resolving to follow the teachings of this bloody messiah half remembered in a dream, the dream of domination that he had laid out before them. Conquering and uniting the various tribes of the south east portion of the Howlers underneath one Black Hymn, the newly minted priests named their god Skraegh-Hannoreth, the Witness at Midnight, and in his name would spread a reign of terror and destruction that would not be forgotten for a thousand generations. Cities would become charnel houses and armies would be butchered, all in the name of the Harrow King. The atrocities committed would have no like in this age or any other. As the war cries and death chants of the Black Hymn spread across the barren Red Dust Plains, when the moon is dark and the wind is still, a rictus grin spreads wide and laughter like the screams of a thousand tortured souls echoes across the wastes.
Skraegh-Hannoreth is a parasite god drawn from the old ways of blood and conquest. Utilizing a cult that feeds the god with conflict and death, he has grown fat upon the spoils of war. Standing 10 feet tall in a suit of black plate armor, covered in ridges and spikes, his boots and gauntlets are perpetually covered in gore and entrails, while it wears the flayed skin of an enemy’s face over its own. His cloak is formed of the finger bones of his foes, and upon his brow rests a crown of iron nails. Skraegh-Hannoreth is one of the Harrow-Kings, an ancient group that was not so much conquerors as despoilers that unleashed a reign of terror over Arcem. Thought destroyed by their own infighting centuries ago, it appears at least one of them has returned in divinity. For the good of the world, pray more do not arise. If one would destroy this returned monstrosity, not only would they have to fight through the death cultists dedicated to his worship, but also his personal guard who await the ritual that will change them into Wolves of Final Night, eldritch horrors in human form. Furthermore, the Witness at Midnight has forgotten more of battle than a legion might know in a lifetime of campaigning, laying about with his spiked gauntlets and iron boots, and knows the various incantations of the foulest sorceries. Woe betide any who stand before him. As a Parasite God, he cannot leave the lands of the Black Hymn, else he will wither and die, but every bit of territory they take expands his domain further
- Skraegh-Hannoreth- AC: 2 Move: 60’ stalk Hit Dice: 30 Save: 6+ Attack: +15 x2 Damage: 1d12 bloodied gauntlet straight Morale: 11 Effort: 10 Bound to the Words of Command and War, can act three times per round, and has the following gifts.
1d6 for tactics
- The Proclamation of Majestic Clemency: Commit Effort to cause all foes that target Skraegh-Hannoreth with a strength or dexterity based -melee or -ranged attack to have their dominant hands rot away, causing them to automatically miss and take 1d12 straight damage if they dare to raise arms against the Harrow King. Worthy foes can resist this with a hardiness save
- The Declaration of Regal Disrelish: Commit Effort to cause one target within earshot to be struck deaf, blind, dumb, and sterile with worthy foes getting a spirit save to resist. Blind foes have a -4 penalty to hit in melee and ranged attacks automatically miss, barring any supernatural senses that do not rely on sound. This effect last for as long as effort is committed on worthy foes, but is permanent on lesser foes
- The Fifteen Decrees of Resplendent Chastisement: Commit Effort for the day to issue a set of decrees that form a weaving incantation of sorcerous energy. The air becomes a slow poison that causes the very fabric of creation to recoil in horror. A 50 foot by 50 foot area becomes infected with magical pestilence, dealing 5d8 damage to anyone in the area and forcing strange mutations. Roll 1d6, with 1 for strength, 2 for dexterity, 3 for constitution, 4 for intelligence, 5 for wisdom, and 6 for charisma. 1d6 damage is dealt to that ability score with a hardiness save for half damage and resists the mutation. The ability damage and the pestilence lasts till the end of the scene
- The Edict of Magnificent Discipline: Commit Effort for the scene and Skraegh-Hannoreth makes a melee attack on one target that automatically hits and deals 2d12 straight damage.
- Use a command miracle to force all foes within earshot to immediately fall to their knees and begin begging for their life. Spirit save to resist, and each subsequent round until successful
- Lay about with its fists and iron nailed boots in a flurry of martial prowess, attacking the closest available target with single minded ferocity
At any one time, Skraegh-Hannoreth is guarded by a small mob of supplicants of the Harrow King, along with the Moon Chief, who hangs off his every word. He can also summon a vast mob of 2 HD veteran warriors by committing 1 effort, with a fresh mob arriving each round, up to 10 mobs, unless he can somehow be caught outside of the main camp.
(Peace Chief) Moon Chief Irzog– the High Priestess of the Harrow King, Irzog was one of the first to hear his dark message, and is the most fervently devoted. The whispers first came to her as a young shepherd and she immediately knew this was to be her calling. Listening intently and hanging off every dark word, Irzog quickly rose through the ranks within her tribe, all other arguments being no match for the sibilant whispers the Witness at Midnight spoke into her ear. Quickly attaining the rank of peace chief, Irzog brought her tribe into a coven of others the Harrow-King had given his blessing to, eventually emerging as the collective spiritual leader and setting the tribes on a path to darkness and depravity beneath the Harrow-King’s watchful eye. It was through her communion with Skraegh-Hannoreth that the notion to infuse champions of the Harrow-King with fell power would be the necessary component in the war machine of the Black Hymn. Persuading the war chiefs of the various tribes to take part in a ritual that would transform them into ideal battle forms to serve the Harrow-King, such that from dusk to dawn they would prowl the earth as the Wolves of Final Night to do their bidding of their master. The Moon Chief, as the High Priestess named herself, moves quickly to make preparations for the ritual, eager to please her dark master. Irzog is a very lean middle aged woman with thinning hair and wild eyes, covered in various fetishes and charms made of skin, bone, and feathers from all manner of creatures and people.
- Moon Chief Irzog (lesser eldritch with the words of sorcery and night)- AC: 5 Move: 30’ run Hit Dice: 16 Save: 9+ Attack: +10 x 2 attacks Damage: 1d10 magic straight Morale: 10 Effort: 6. Can act twice per turn.
- Ranks of Pale Bone
- The Excision of Days
- Open the Night Road
Supplicants of The Harrow-King, they who would be the Wolves of Final Night– champions of the tribes to be changed into supernatural monstrosities. When the cult of the Harrow-King subverted the many tribes towards the worship of the Witness at Midnight, the War Chiefs became some of the most fanatic converts, willing to commit atrocities at the slightest indication it would be please their despoiling god. Recognizing the advantage in creating champions for his bloody conquest, Skraegh-Hannoreth revealed a ritual to his priests, one that would transform the greatest and most devout of his warriors into unstoppable killing machines of supernatural might. Prepared to give up their very humanity as a sacrifice to the Harrow-King, the supplicants engage in ritual slaughter of innocents and bathe in the blood so as to better prepare their bodies to be the containers of eldritch abominations. As the Wolves of Final Night, they will replace their own souls with creatures of the uncreated night, so that from dusk to dawn they would be unrelenting reavers, cutting a bloody swath across the land. The ritual must take place on the next lunar eclipse, when only the dark of the moon shows, and the Harrow-King can give his blessing as the supplicants commit a series of ritual atrocities, each more gruesome than the last in order to fully forsake their humanity, allowing for the darkest of demons take hold of their souls and transform them. (Should the ritual happen and succeed, 20 wolves of final night will stand ready to serve the Harrow-King; the rest of the supplicants were taken and devoured by the Uncreated Night)
- Supplicants of the Harrow-King (Small mob of 5- HD elite soldiers) AC: 5 Move: 30’ run Hit Dice: 20 Save: 11+ Attack: +6 Damage: 1d6+2+ hardiness save or 1d8 poison Arrow Mollusks Morale: 11 Effort: 2 Overwhelm: 2d8 damage vs. 1 target and deny with hardness save
- The Wolves of Final Night (for one) AC: 4 (can only be harmed by magical weapons) Move: 60’ lope Hit Dice: 8 Save: 10+ Attack: +10×2 Damage: 1d6 bite straight Morale: 12 Effort:
- Soul Drinker– Any foe reduced to 0 hit points or hit dice by a Wolf of Final Night is instantly slain and cannot be resurrected. Godbound can still use Divine Fury to avoid this instant death.
- Devour the Day– If a Wolf of Final Night is directly targeted by a Word’s gift or miracle, it can Commit Effort for the scene to negate it as if it were dispelled by a successful defensive miracle.
- Shadow on the Moon– Wolves of Final Night can commit effort on turn to make themselves insubstantial, allowing them to pass through rock and stone as though it were not there.
- Finally, the Wolves of Final Night can be defeated and discorporated, but can never be truly slain. If reduced to 0 hit dice, they will reform the next night. They will be banished back to the Uncreated Night if the sorcerer that bound them can be killed. Only death can break the spell.
War Chief Kormal Black Hymn– when Irzog brought the words of the Harrow King to her tribe, Kormal saw an opportunity. Long did he covet the lands of his neighbors, staring at them with greedy eyes. When the tribe was whipped into a frenzy, eager to taste the blood of their foes, Kormal was at the forefront, eager to lead his warriors to battle in the name of the new Dark God. However, his enthusiasm soon dimmed as he saw the fruits of their labors. The Harrow King was quicker to burn and despoil rather than simply conquer. Immediate results were discarded in favor of brutality when bringing a new tribe to heel. Kormal has become increasingly troubled by this, as he feels that the tribe could actually grow if some leniency were to be shown, but he dare not say anything. He has seen the tortures inflicted upon traitors and he knows exactly what waits for him. Instead, he continues to watch and wait, tempering some of the excesses when he can in order to return with more plunder, but fears grows within him. He trusts his men, but he knows if they wanted to depose of him, what would stop them from bringing this information to the Moon Chief? These questions keep him awake at night. Perhaps if he could be turned, or saw a power great enough to stand against the Harrow King, then he may throw his lot in with them, bringing his own not inconsiderable skill and detailed knowledge of the Black Hymn to whomever wins his loyalty.
- War Chief Kormal AC: 3 Move: 50’ run Hit Dice: 8 Save: 11+ Attack: +10 x2 Damage: 1d8+5 bare hands Morale: 10 Effort: 4 Can act twice per round. Kormal is a Master of the Lesser Strife of the Hunting Beast and knows The God That Prowls, Mask of Grasses, and The Taste of Blood techniques from the Strife of the Hunting Beast
Sand Prince Khalid Al-Khufu– the perils of the Red Desert of the Oasis States are many, from the scorching heat of the desert to the vicious predators that prowl the deserts, few would dare to tread there. Here is where the bandit kings known as the Sand Princes make their homes. Many of them would boast that they are the most dangerous thing upon the deserts, and often times this is true. However, some of these Sand Princes want for something more than blood and plunder. Such is the case for Khalid Al-Khufu. Ostensibly, Khalid is of noble birth, though cast out of his home by bitter rivals who exiled him to the desert, where he should have fed the carrion birds with his bones. Instead, he survived and was taken in by the aged Sand Prince Khufu, a true terror of the dunes. Learning at the warlord’s feet, Khalid proved to be an able student, eager to take vengeance at those who had cast him out. After several years, Khalid eventually took over the position as Sand Prince through a combination of natural charisma, sharp cunning, and vicious cruelty. Disposing of any rivals quickly and efficiently, Khalid set his sights upon the untamed land to the north. Through the use of several well trained scouts and some gratuitous torture, the Sand Prince learned of a possible asset to be seized within the Howler lands. Located within the Black Hymn territory is a ruin of a city, one of the last remnants of old Carpathia, and for some reason the corrupting influence that has affected the rest of the written word in this land has left this ruin untouched. Still considered a forbidden zone by the Black Hymn, Khalid offered his services to the rapacious tribe in return for a base of operations nearby, nominally to launch raids on caravans but in reality to send some of his most trusted men in to plunder and rob the ruin of anything of value. Due to the corrupting nature of the Howler lands, Khalid cannot risk copying down the recorded knowledge for fear of contaminating it, and as such, he is slowly and quietly attempting to rob the place blind. Khalid and his men stay away from the camp, near the desert, and have no idea of the dark presence there in. if he had any idea, he and his men would turn tail and run, never looking back. While he offers to show the warriors of the Black Hymn the secret ways through the desert, as well as gifting them with plundered food and man power from his own camps, as soon as he feels he has stolen enough knowledge, Al-Khufu plans to leave the Black Hymn out to dry while he returns to the Pyramids with a vast fortune of stolen knowledge, believing he can simply buy back his former title. That would most certainly be the case, except for one crucial detail, not even known to the Sand Prince himself. The Sand Prince Khalid Al-Khufu is not actually an exiled noble, or even a normal human being. The man who was Khalid Al-Khufu was of noble birth, but events were manipulated against him so as to force him into exile, where the man who was Khalid Al-Khufu was brutally executed and an impostor put in his place. An-Kama-Tet, a sorcerer and royal adviser of prodigious skill and personal power, had the boy bred and grown for the purpose of impersonating Khalid Al-Khufu. The head of an anti-royalist cabal, An-Kama-Tet planned to place sleeper agents within as many organizations as he could, all bred in the necessary skills that would take them far towards greatness, while also being in position to have an excuse to take power, whether an heir that could be replaced, an exiled noble, or a distant cousin. In addition, each agent would be mentally conditioned to have no memory of their upbringing, believing instead that they were the actual person they had been sent to impersonate. As a precaution though, each agent could be brought to heel with a command word uttered by An-Kama-Tet, ensuring that the Cabal could place seditious agents among the populace that would foment rebellion, and that they could control them when the time came to establish power. As one such agent, Khalid Al-Khufu was implanted with one simple mental command. To gain power and influence through any means necessary. When Al-Khufu returns with a wealth of plundered knowledge from the former empire of Carpathia, An-Kama-Tet will use his network of spies and conspirators to have the Sand Prince placed into a position of power before turning all of it over to the Cabal. Unless, of course, the pantheon has anything to say about it.
- Khalid Al-Khufu AC: 5 Move: 30’ run Hit Dice: 6 Save: 12+ Attack: +8 x2 Damage: 1d8+2 khopesh Morale: 9 Effort: 4 Gifts: Know the Path (Journeying; but only in the desert), Liar’s Flawless Grace (Deception)
- Arrow mollusks- these strange snail-like creatures grow in the brackish pools of underground caves in the shadows and sewers of the ruined cities of the former empire, mutated and changed by the sorcerously charged run off. The tribesman of Black Hymn have found that is they cut a small hole in their arm and allow the creatures to feast on their own lifeblood, attaching the shell to their forearm. With this, the tribesman can now use the shell as a shield and stimulate the Arrow Mollusk to fire off a venom filled harpoon of chitin form the creature. These function a low magic items that deal 1d6 damage on a hit, and in addition, any creature not immune to poison that is struck by this attack must make a hardiness save or take an additional 1d8 points of damage. For any creature less powerful than a Godbound, these creatures add a +1 to attack and damage
- Elk-Hares- AC: 5 Hit Dice: 1 Attack: +1 Damage: 1d6 kick Move 50’ hop Save: 15+ Morale: 8 Effort: 1. Overwhelm: 1d8 vs. Evasion save. Elk-Hares are the favored mounts of the southern tribes of the Howlers. These rabbits are the size of a horse with antlers coming out of their heads. While not particularly intelligent, they can be trained and are known for their bursts of speed. An Elk-Hare can commit effort for the scene to double its speed for 1 round.
- Raptor Dogs- AC: 7 Hit Dice: 1 Attack: +2 Damage: 1d6+1 bite Move 40’ lope Save: 15+ Morale: 8 Effort: 1. Overwhelm: 1d10 vs. Hardiness save. Bred by the Black Hymn as hunting dogs, these disgusting creature look like emaciated dogs with the heads and claws of a vulture. Kept for their phenomenal senses, a Raptor dog can see in complete darkness, track by scent, and can only be surprised by someone with gifts from the Deception Word
Jade Sonnet– a large central southern tribe, the Jade Sonnet have been engaged in open combat with the various tribes of the Black Hymn, and despite their smaller numbers, are actually holding their own if not pushing the enemy back in some places. While naturally skilled in guerilla warfare, the Jade Sonnet is led by a champion of their people who has elevated their natural martial prowess to new heights. Their champion, known as the Unbreakable Container of Gods, Her Lady of Furies, She of the Resplendent Truth is a Godbound who has become the tribe’s patron Goddess of war and truth. A powerful warrior and masterful general, she is deeply troubled by the support the Black Hymn has received and what it means for her people, and is looking for any allies that might support her battle against the Black Hymn interlopers. The tribe has made a pact with the local nature spirits they worship as gods, with She of the Resplendent Truth putting her own body up as collateral. If the tribe is unable to keep the spirits contented with sacrifice and veneration, they will consume Her Lady of Furies, leaving the tribe without a leader and easy prey for the encroaching Black Hymn raiders
The Jade Sonnet Tribe– Power:2 Action Die: 1d8 Cohesion: 2 Trouble: 5 population: 10,000 tribesmen scattered in guerilla cells and war bands
- the Jade Sonnet warriors have benefited from the tactical genius of She of the Resplendent Truth and become masterful guerilla fighters
- The Children of Autumn have come out in force, one of them matching a whole enemy war band
- The warriors are few, attempting to protect the old, the sick, and the wounded. 2 points
- The Jade Sonnet has been cut off from many of their food sources and supplies are scraping the bottom of the barrel. 2 points
- The Children of Autumn have only a limited time remaining in their bargain. When they leave, the Jade Sonnet will have lost their greatest allies. 1 point
She of the Resplendent Truth– “Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”- The great sage Heraclitus. Often times a person can find themselves in dire straits, desperation forcing them to compromise their beliefs and deeply held principles for the sake of survival, excuses and concessions made in exchange for a few more hours of life. Often times this can push someone to the brink of despair, but others see this as an opportunity for greatness and refuse to compromise, digging deep inside themselves to push on no matter the cost, becoming far more than what they were. So it was for a young woman of the Jade Sonnet, a large but scattered tribe facing the combined wrath of the tribes of the Black Hymn. Forced into constant retreat from the depredations of the Black Hymn, she and her family were finally cornered by a raiding party. Dark eyed and vicious, the raiders casually toyed with the exhausted survivors, committing various atrocities, till only the young woman remained. However, as they advanced upon her, a fire lit within her. “No,” the young woman said, her voice ringing out like purest silver. “No more.” As she spoke, the flame grew inside her and the young woman heard the voices of not only her family, but hundreds of others crying out for justice, and as the raiders backed away she fell upon them with a righteous fury and smote them so naught but ashes remained. In the silence that came after, she wept. She wept for those whose lives she could not save, and for those lives she would be unable to save, for in her moment of exaltation, she had seen the Truth. A great darkness was rising in the east, a darkness of blood, screams, and despair that would devour the sun and everything beneath if it was not stopped. Wiping away her tears, she swore that she would fight to her last breath, and even if she could not defeat this enemy, she would at least slow it down. Gathering whatever arms she could and giving one last prayer to her lost family, the young woman headed north to the largest settlement of her tribe, cutting a bloody swath through Black Hymn raiders along the way. Arriving to the grand meeting place of the Jade Sonnet, the young woman, now known as the Lady of Furies by the Black Hymn, prepared to gather the warriors of the Jade Sonnet and lead them against their invaders. However, she found the tribe’s leaders in an endless state of debate over whether there actually was an enemy to face, and not simply rumors or lies to cover up desertion or cowardice. Livid, the young woman leapt up, shouting down any arguments from other leaders with a voice like bright silver and white hot flame. With her words, she showed them the Truth, that great and terrible thing, and the leaders fell to their knees and wept. With a nod, She of the Resplendent Truths turned and began to prepare her tribe for war. Natural warriors, the Jade Sonnet took to her lessons with gusto, and quickly became a formidable fighting force despite their smaller numbers, counterattacking the invading Black Hymn with brutal force before melting back into the plains.
- Her Lady of Furies, She of the Resplendent Truth– AC: 3 Intrinsic Move: 30’ run Hit Dice: 16 Save: 9+ Attack: +10 x 2 attacks Damage: 1d8+1 magical sword straight Morale: 12 Effort: 10. Can act twice per turn. Bound to the Words of Sun, Sword, and War. Should She of the Resplendent Truth knowingly speaks a falsehood, she will lose all her abilities, reverting to a 1 HD mortal for an amount of time based on the severity of the lie. Anything mostly true will cause her to lose her powers for a day, while anything mostly false will cause her to lose her powers for a week, and if she tells a complete falsehood, she will lose her powers for a year and a day, during which she must seek atonement and spiritually purify herself.
Peace Chief Jana of the Jade Sonnet– when her Lady of Furies spoke to the Council of the Jade Sonnet, the first to come to her side was Peace Chief Jana. A wise woman and shaman, she had read the bones and seen the portents, knowing doom was coming, but the others had refused to listen to her. So when She of the Resplendent Truth arrived, Jana knew that she was a gift sent from the Gods, and that this young woman would lead the drive into deliverance. However, to her horror, she listened as the young woman counseled resistance rather than fleeing. Nevertheless, the Peace Chief pushed herself to help where she could, though still counseling fleeing this terrible foe. Her Lady of Furies remained resolute, but when the young woman came to seek the council of the Peace Chief, Jana knew of only the spirits of the land, and if they would help, they would demand a terrible price. Sure in her decision that this would finally dissuade the young woman, the Shaman was again shocked when She of the Resplendent Truth returned with allies. Despite this change in affairs, Jana remains fearful, looking out at the horizon as she tends to the wounded. Her fear has begun to spread like a cancer, and some warriors are beginning to question the decisions of their leader, despite her victories. Something will have to be done about this, before this growing fear spreads out of control.
The Children of Autumn– despite the skill of the Jade Sonnet warriors, the numbers and cruelty of the Black Hymn raiders were still too much to handle. Pursuing allies, She of the Resplendent Truth turned to the spirits of the earth and plains, hoping to gain their aid. The spirits, however, were proud and wild, and refused to follow an upstart godling, especially one alone. Still, they were willing to listen when she came before them. Knowing she could not bend all the spirits to her will, Her Lady of Furies offered them a deal. If they would lend their aid to her cause, she would offer up her own body as collateral in a year and a day. In return, all of the spirits would turn all of their considerable might upon the raiding Black Hymn. With the influence of the spirits and Her Lady of Furies’ leadership, the conflict has been brought to a standstill. However, She of the Resplendent Truth knows that her time is running out, and now searches desperately for any allies to take up her cause.
- The Children of Autumn are creatures of the trees and buzzing insects, and function as major elemental spirits with either the Word of Insects or Fertility bound. AC: 4 (can only be harmed by magical weapons) Hit Dice: 15 Attack: +10×2 Damage: 1d12 stone or branch Move 40’ stomp Save: 8+ Morale: 10 Effort: 8. Can act twice per round. Bound to either the word of Insects or the Word of Fertility
The Bramble Lord– the closest that can be said to be a leader among the Children of Autumn, the Bramble Lord is a titanic thing formed of rock, chitin, and plant matter. Fossilized branches and thorns form a crown upon its rocky brow, but the rest of its body constantly shifts and changes, like a fossilized insect of made of rock emerging and disappearing under thick plant cover. It desires Her Lady of Furies but fights for her to the best of its ability through sheer pride and stony resolve. The Bramble King does not fear the influence of the Black Hymn, considering it and its brethren merely a part of the earth. If it could be convinced that the depredations of the Harrow-King and his followers were a threat to the Children as well, then it may release She of the Resplendent Truths from her pact and take the field itself.
- The Bramble Lord– AC: 3 (can only be harmed by magical weapons) Hit Dice: 30 Attack: Two Auto-Hits Damage: 1d8 stone spear straight Move 60’ stomp Save: 5+ Morale: 11 Effort: 12. Can act twice per round. Bound to the Words of Earth and Fertility
- Elk-Hares- AC: 5 Hit Dice: 1 Attack: +2 Damage: 1d6 kick Move 50’ hop Save: 15+ Morale: 8 Effort: 1. Overwhelm: 1d8 vs. Evasion save. Elk-Hares are the favored mounts of the southern tribes of the Howlers. These rabbits are the size of a horse with antlers coming out of their heads. While not particularly intelligent, they can be trained and are known for their bursts of speed. An Elk-Hare can commit effort for the scene to double its speed for 1 round.
- 4-armed pack monkeys- these primates are about 2 feet tall, but each of their legs and top pair of arms extend to twice their height. Another set of shorter but much stronger arms extend midway out of their torsos. Warriors of the Jade Sonnet train these monkeys to grip the warriors about their chest with the shorter arms while the longer and inhumanly strong limbs are used for traversing sheer obstacles. While wearing a 4-armed pack monkey, the wearer is able to traverse a vertical surface at their full movement speed as long as it has some kind of hand holds and is treated as having a positive fact when it deals with avoiding falling down, balancing, or climbing. These creatures are treated as having AC 6 and 1 hit dice for the purposes of killing them, causing anyone utilizing them to climb to make an Evasion save or fall.
- Razorbark trees- small silvery-grey trees that occasionally grow in the scrubs and ruins of the Red Dust Plains, these trees are almost impossible to chop down, but the bark that drops off the trees is as strong and as sharp as steel, with all the weight of wood. Given time, anyone with knowledge of how to shape the bark can forge weapons of them, usually razor sharp wooden macahuitls. Unless the wielder is a Godbound, these weapons grant a +1 to attack and damage when using them.
Should the pantheon take part in this war and ultimately crush the Harrow King, there are 4 Celestial Shards located within his body, the things that powered his divine form. The Black Hymn will be broken, unable to sustain themselves with the death of their War God. however, there lies an opportunity if some forward thinking member of the pantheon wishes to gather some new followers. Enough cultists remain that a Power 2 cult could be formed with the remnants of the defeated Black Hymn, and enough of the Jade Sonnet tribesmen could be convinced to follow these new Gods as well, forming a power 1 cult. Her Lady of Furies will be ultimately grateful, becoming a staunch and loyal ally unless her deal with the Children of Autumn has not been nullified. If not, she will eventually have to surrender her body to the Spirits of the Plains, her body their vessel for the rest of her days.
If the pantheon instead chooses to ally with the Harrow King, then the Jade Sonnet stand little chance. if the Bramble Lord is slain, his fossilized insect body can be harvested for 2 Celestial Shards and the rest of the Children of Autumn will flee in terror, their ranks broken. While She of the Resplendent Truth fights to the last, she too may fall, allowing whoever slays her to claim the Celestial Shard within her body. With the death of their champion, the rest of the Jade Sonnet surrenders and every man, woman, and child is brutally tortured and executed, their tribe not even a memory. The Black Hymn will continue their conquest, attempting to conquer the remainder of the Howlers before setting their sights on their neighbors. Lomite Anti-Priest Special forces teams, genetically altered Oasis States Temple Guards, and a Bright Republic PERG (Prime Enemy Response Group) will all be deployed to ascertain the nature of this new threat and respond accordingly. The war machine of the Harrow King will move ever forward, driven by the will of their dark master.