Friday, February 26, 2021

The Face Melting Trap


The Face Melting Trap.

This is a nasty little trap with a bit of set up. A very attractive, and much sought after, young lady in a town has been taken by a vindictive sorcerer who she 'insulted' by turned his advances down. He then tells her family that she has been deposited in an abandoned keep a few miles out in the wilderness. Where she will sleep for eternity until the breath of a hero awakens her.

This he has done, she is at the keep, sealed in a room. Her body is kept in a magical stasis so she doesn't awaken, starve or age. Of course the keep is infested with the usual mess of nasty creatures so any adventurers will have to fight their way to her. 

Thing is he doesn't intend for her to be saved at all. Not only that he also hopes to take out one of those 'adventurer types' that she seemed to be attracted to at the same time. Her body and the bed she is on is wrapped in several different spells so any detection will be set off no matter what. Which shouldn't be a surprise. 

Of course, by what the sorcerer said, the breath of a hero implies a kiss. Here is where the full trap kicks in. When a character leans down near enough the stasis spell will end and the girl will wake up just in time for another spell to active. One that turns flesh to liquid with the faces of both her, and her would be rescuer, within it's radius of effect causing an extreme level of pain at the same time. As their face melt into each other and their screams fill the room they will both likely die of shock and trauma in very short order.

Not to mention the rest of the party having to watch them die in this horrible way. But also now shouldered with the responsibility of carrying their fallen mate and the girl out of the dungeon and informing her family what has happened. While presenting them with the slimy skull faced remains.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Question of Faith: The Gallows

This is a short story a long time coming. I began writing it as part of the 'Question of Faith' game I was writing several years ago. It was a game of dark fantasy where the characters are all cleric, priest and paladin types fighting demons and saving the souls of the people. The setting wasn't nice, it wasn't apologetic, and was going to be gritty. This particular story I was working on was about those found guilty in a trial being hung at a gallows where they have just one more chance at salvation. 

I stopped writing this when a friend of mine took his own life by hanging himself. Hindsight, like always, was 20/20. Shortly before it happened I had been talking with him online, he was frustrated, having trouble finding work, in debt and getting self destructive. But I didn't notice the severity until I looked back once it was to late. Needless to say writing about people being hung at a gallows was suddenly the very last thing I wanted to write about. 

Now looking back on unfinished work and projects I decided to finish the story. Maybe even try to finish the game as well. Just remember to keep an eye on those close to you, and even those who aren't. Never be afraid to reach out and offer help. 


The Gallows

“The next group is ready Brother. Shall we begin?” Joseph sighed as he heard the recruit behind him. Closing the holy book and locking its clasp in place he rose from his knees. Groaning slightly as the wounds on his back ached, pausing once he was upright to let the dull pain subside. Without a word he walked past the recruit and out of the tent.

Sister Mary was waiting for him outside. Her right eye bruised and swollen slightly, robe still stained with the blood of those they vanquished earlier in the week. There was no smile on her anymore, today's dealings were grim and weighed on even the most devout souls. Raising his hand he made a slow fist over his heart as a sigh of strength, she followed suit with the same gesture and then took up her walk behind him to the gallows.

Constructed as he had ordered, four places for those sentenced to be hanged, the ropes dyed black. They were built low as well with no weights for the feet of the condemned so there was a chance of a slow death by strangulation instead of the neck breaking. All so those who had gathered before it could watch.... and hopefully remember well. The townspeople were clustered around its front, well over a hundred, some cheering on today’s deeds like fools, others begging for the lives of their loved ones like those who had lost hope and some praying for redemption, the ones who were secure in their faith.

Pausing for a moment he stared at the two carts for the dead, between them there were fifteen bodies there waiting for the flame. Some family members knelt beside them crying, praying and cursing. He glanced back to Mary at his back, “How many more after this group.”

“Only one thankfully.” her voice somewhat distant as she answered, “I pray more of these seek redemption and gain it. This day is pressing heavy on the townspeople.”

Nodding in agreement the march continued as they made their way. The executioner, clothed in gray and masked, climbs the steps first and takes his position behind the first person in line. They all stood there, nooses around their necks and arms bound tightly behind them. Making their way up Joseph and Mary stand in front and face the crowd. She holds her hand open and Joseph places the coin in her palm which she then holds up before the crowd and speaks.

“These four have been tried and found guilty of crimes against the Church. They are sentenced to be hung before the people they betrayed. However the Lord is merciful to even these who have turned their backs on Him. They will be given one chance for salvation and tested to insure faith is truly in their hearts.”

Turning to the first in line, an overweight man in once fine clothes, one of the town leaders. He looks at her as if he has been slapped. Holding up the coin before him he takes a deep breath before opening his mouth. After it is placed on the tongue he begins to recite the Lords Prayer for his allegiance. Half way through he begins to gag and wince and the coin falls from his mouth. Jacob moves forward and grabs his face forcing the mouth open, seeing the burn mark he motions to the executioner. With a pull of the lever the man drops suddenly stopping with a cracking noise as his weight snaps the neck.

The crowd roars. Jacob wonders just how disliked the man must have been. Mary retrieves the coin, cleanses it with a wave of her hand then moves to the next person and the crowd goes suddenly silent. The old woman stared straight forward unflinching. “My faith wavered I have honestly and opening admitted. I am ready for my test Sister.”

Mary smiled as if she already knew the outcome. Placing the coin in the woman's mouth she watched as she recited the prayer without error or hesitation. A good portion of the crowd roared in approval as the coin was taken from her mouth. The executioner cut the ropes freeing her hands and she immediately placed them on the arms of Joseph and Mary. “Thank you for the chance of salvation, I shall never stray from the light again.”

“Go old mother, we see you facing the light once again, be strong and He will guide you.” Mary says as the woman is helped down the steps by a recruit.

Third in line is a young lanky boy, not even of age to be married. He stood absolutely terrified and visibly shaking with tears running down his cheeks. Mary holds up the coin before him and he opens his mouth and tries to keep from sobbing. Behind them in the crowd is somebody telling the boy to be strong. Once in his mouth he begins the Lords Prayer. Stammering and stuttering his way though out of sheer panic. But he completes the task and stands shaking as Mary holds out her hand for him to open his mouth and removes the coin.

The crowd applauds softly mixed with the sobbing of joy from his family. Once his ties are cut Joseph steps forward and holds him tightly. “You were led astray by those you trusted, by those whom you were taught to obey. It's not your fault son.”.

Nodding in understanding he wipes away his tears before heading for the platform steps. Turning before walking down to speak, “Thank you Chevaliers, thank you for showing me back to the path.”

Then came the fourth waiting in line. She just stood there, a young woman in the robes of a kitchen girl for the keep. Her brown hair unkempt since the trial and blowing slightly in the wind. Mary walked before her and held up the coin. The girl smiled slightly and tilted her head a bit. “Funny little piece of metal that you all trust. Put some pictures on it and say some words. But you all are drowning in your own righteousness.”

“Please,” came a voice from the crowd, a woman who also worked in the kitchen, “We told you, she's touched in the head. She's been like this ever since we found her many years ago.”

“Open you mouth and recite the Lords Prayer.” Joseph with a sternness in his voice stepped forward a bit. But the young lady didn't even look at him just smiled.

“Oh I'm sorry but I don't want that dirty thing on my tongue. So please go ahead and pull that lever and make me dangle for your amusements. I mean that's all you really want. To see me dead like the rest.”

Mary frowned and returned the coin to its pouch. Then looked over at the executioner and gave him a nod. The lever is pulled, the bottom dropped, people screamed and the young woman dangled. Then she opened her eyes and smiled, completely unaffected by the rope around her neck.

“Well I hope you got your enjoyment from that.” She said flatly and then began to laugh in a high pitched voice. The crowd drew away, some ran and a few dropped to their knees in prayer. Joseph stepped back and pulled his sword while Mary waved for recruits to come up onto the platform.

Then the dangling woman burst into fire, completely turning her to ash in moments, setting the gallows platform and black rope on fire at the same time. Retreating back to the ground nothing could be done but watch it burn to the ground complete with the body of big man still hanging.

“Well that's not a good sign at all is it?” Mary asked of Joseph as she stood by his side.

“Sister Mary, I've never seen anything like that so I am not entirely sure.”

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Six Pack: Modern Day Mage Spells


Six spells for Modern Day Urban Mages. Living in the big city doesn't mean a mage can't thrive. Here are six spells specifically tailored for those who live in the concrete jungle. 

  1. Musical Accompaniment. This is a memorized song that is played whenever the spell is cast. It sounds like it is coming from a source a few feet above you. The better of a mage you are the more songs you may have memorized into your 'song list' to change up what you can play when you want.

  2. City Vision. This spell grants the caster to see various invisible or unseen things common in most cities. Things like security beams, infrared lasers, electrical currents, even the pipes and wiring running through a wall or the sewers below a street.

  3. Camera Sight. When cast the mage can see through the lenses of nearby security and closed circuit television cameras. They also can 'flip' from one camera to another trying to get the view they want.

  4. Money on the street. The caster will find or acquire a sum of money by sheer luck within a few seconds after casting. The amount can vary depending on system requirements withing your game system, more magic points spent/level of the caster/etc equals more money. Examples: Find a wallet on the street with no identification but a few bills still folded inside, cause a ball at the roulette table hit the number that you are betting on.

  5. Electrical discharge. Much like the common lightening bolt except it draws power from nearby electrical sources. Such as streetlights, local buildings, even car batteries. This is also very flashy due as large sources will arc the electricity to you and most lights will burst and so will several other objects when drawn from. Of course, the more sources to draw from within the immediate vicinity the more powerful it will be.

  6. Start Up. This triggers things like car ignitions, machine on buttons and anything else that has an electrical operation system. It can also be used to flip electrical car and door locks.   

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Saturday, February 20, 2021

Six Pack: Six Magical Bells


It's been over a month since I've posted anything on my blog so I figure why not do another Six Pack of magic items. This time I've wrote up six different magical bells that mostly fit into fantasy games, although some may work in other genres as well. Hope you enjoy. 

  1. The Terror Bell. This is a large four foot tall wide based bell covered in ruins. Made by a death cult over a hundred years ago it is now hauled around on a wagon by those who possess it now. Striking the bell creates a thunderous sound that causes pain so intense that they can't do anything but drop their weapons and cover their ears. Unless they have drawn the ruins from the bell onto their chest in their own blood.

  2. Mind Splinter. This is a small silver bell held on a six foot long rod. The knocker is hooked by a small chain hanging from the inside of the bell. Whenever it is struck any magic user within hearing range gets a sudden headache and they forget all the spells they have memorized at the moment.

  3. Bandaging Bell. An old metal bell about a foot tall with a worn dark wooden frame holding it up. When struck anyone within hearing distance who is severely wounded will suddenly stop feeling pain and fall into a sleep that lasts for eight hours. Their wounds will clot and stop bleeding and they will begin healing at an alarmingly fast rate.

  4. Cleansing Chime. A silver hand held bell that has a red tint going through it and a wooden handle that has gone black. This bell is used on a person who has been possessed by a demon. The user walks around the individual (usually a good idea if they are tied down) and rings the bell as twice as they go in that circle. It creates intense pain both for the demon possessing the person and the victim. The stronger the demon the longer it takes before they leave. Afterwards it may take the victim weeks to recover, sometimes it can even result in death.

  5. The Pipers Call. This appears to be a standard sized church bell designed to go into a steeple. The only difference is the engraving of rats running around its base. When it is rung, and it rings loud and far, any vermin such as rodents are driven from the area. They will not return for at least twenty four hours afterwards.

  6. Torturers Tool. A rather small bell that is very ornate in craftsmanship. The entire thing looks like it is made from overlaid runes and occult symbols. When it is held over a restrained persons body and rang gently it causes that persons old wounds to reopen and start to bleed again. This process can take up to an hour before it is done. If it is rang a second time over that persons head it stops the process but the wounds stay and must heal up normally.

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