Thursday, 9 August 2018

What's hidden in the permafrost?

The characters should be careful when they go poking around with their sticks and torches in ancient frozen dungeons.
Because when the permafrost starts melting away, strange things may be found in the ice...

1. You, but dressed and equipped as one would have one thousand years ago. You, the other you of course, is not dead. He is (you are?) just slumbering in an endless sleep that can be interrupted only by powerful lost magic. Or, if you, the actual you, die. In that case the other you will awake from his quasi-eternal sleep to take your place. The new you may be of any class (but this must be chosen in advance when first seeing yourself in the ice or before) but you will be of the same race and have the same abilities of the deceased you. You will have no memories of the deceased you, but you may have memories of your life in the past (at Referee's discretion). Who's you of all the characters in the party is left at Referee's discretion.

2. A black box, smooth to the touch, with a dark mirror embedded one side. If you turn the wheel next to it the mirror will show, in full motion and bleak colors, people dressed in strange ways talking and laughing in places eerily resembling houses, but too cluttered and too polished to be real. You will see known and unknown animals mating, fighting, preying on each other both on land and under the sea and on air. You will see rigid bird-like vehicles, man manned, dropping balls from the sky that will explode like volcano eruptions. You will see a sphere, floating in a black void, shining green, brown, white and, above all, a startling blue.

3. An Ice Jellyfish, but as soon as you start recognizing its shape in the ice, it has already started melting. If you manage to stop the melting of the Ice Jellyfish, freeing it from the permafrost, it will revive and will show itself friendly and grateful (in its jellyfishy way) to be free. It knows the caves/dungeon where you found it, and will reveal 1d4 facts about it. Unfortunately the change in climate and atmosphere of the planet occurred in the millenia since the Ice Jellyfishes roamed the Earth will make the party's new friend eventually die and melt in 10 minutes.

4. Food, seemingly perfectly preserved and fresh, of a bygone age. It is enough for five people for one week. Whoever eats it must Save vs Poison or be infected by a nasty disease. During the next week thousands of worms will start to grow in the characters' stomachs, and will be expelled by the means of vomit and feces, always partially digested. The characters will not be in need of food for this week, but they will suffer from stomach pain, nausea, vomit, diarrhea and will risk to infect others spreading the disease (save vs Poison if getting in contact with the fluids). Every day of the infection one must save vs Poison or be incapacitated for the next 2d4 hours by the symptoms.

5. A tall statue of dull grey stone, perfectly carved, representing an anthropomorphic creature. It has four eyes, a gaping mouth with no teeth, and a body resembling a big ape half covered in fur, half in snake scales. His four fingered hands and feet have long talons made by actual steel, his groin is covered by a thick fur. The scars that cross the body of the statue are so realistic that you would expect them to spill blood. The statue has a belt made of steel, covered in intricate runes, that softly buzzes if touched. There is a dagger stabbing the statue's hearth, protruding from it. It is a real dagger, the blade finely decorated with carved runes. The leather covering the handle has disappeared ages ago, revealing runes carved also in the metal once hidden by it. Nothing is magic.

6. The corpse of a god. It is the god of the most religious character, and will be immediately recognized as such. The god cannot be revived, not even with magic because, unlike mortals, once a god dies it is absolutely forever. Also, there is no way to communicate to it, for example by the means of Speak with the Dead spells and alike. If not deconsecrated the corpse will stay fresh forever, as if recently killed. This is not a trick, a test for the pious, or a fake. It is the actual corpse of the actual god, frozen in the ice millenia ago. The character most devoted to it will know it. Other characters (be them PCs or NPCs) will not share the same insight, and may think differently.

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I'd say next time they better use lamps instead.

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