Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Dolmenwood by the Dozen: Grey Sally

Grey Sally
AC 9 [11], HD 2 (9hp), Att 1 × knife (1d4), THAC0 19 [+1 to Hit], MV 60’ (20’), SV D13 W14 P13 B16 S15 (M1), ML 6, AL CN, XP 45, NA Unique. 
  • Mistress of Moppets: Grey Sally can control any raggamuffin moppets she can see, infusing them with an extra +1d4 HP and increasing their damage by one dice degree. Moppets outside her view are considerably weaker. 
  • Hand of Pentacles: Grey Sally would prefer to read a person's tarot than fight them.
  • Enemy of Clewdites: Grey Sally is considered to have Morale 10 when fighting against Clewdites and their plots.
Raggamuffin Moppet
AC 6 [14], HD 2 (7hp), Att 1 × slash (1d4), THAC0 18 [+2 to Hit], MV 60’ (20’), SV D12 W14 P14 B15 S16 (F1), ML N/A, AL C, XP 30, NA 1d3.
  • Surprise: Hides as discarded strands of cloth and fabric, surprise on a 1-4 when not expected.
  • Immunities: As animated fabric, moppets are immune to psychic damage, poison, and most forms of enchantment which boggles the minds of victims. 
  • Flammable: Fire damage does double damage.
  • Lightweight: Raggamuffin moppets can levitate and move double when caught in a breeze. They are easily blown away by gusts of wind.
Sally of the Old Wold wasn’t always so grey, she was a pretty thing once; she walked the path of many colours and experienced the glens and fells of the Dolmenwood in the ways that only a wanderer and friend to the Elflands can. She was a prismatic soul, and any bit of good fortune that shined upon her would be reflected in beautiful fortune upon all those who witnessed her. She had a dance in her step and a laugh to her voice which would remind a young man of why he must live and an old man of why life was worth living.

This was before she made herself an enemy of the Clewdites. The incident was stricken from the records as anything more than just some “woodfolk knave” the wizards encountered on the road. She cannot speak of it, but those who can see magic note the sight of many a baleful polymorph upon her person; scars on her back almost look like the screaming faces of frogs. No one cared about what these wicked men did; they held true power in the arcane and the ear of the Bishop of Brackenwold; they were of power. She was not.

Her friends in the Elflands, who once watched her dance and sing and sway through the woods, offered her a means of revenge in exchange for the last vestiges of her lingering joy of who she was once. The elfs stole away her colors, her skin, her hair, her eyes; all that she wears, all that she eats; a somber ashen shade of grey. Her voice now monotone, unfit to sing; no laughter to be had, only a small smile and a wicked glint to her eye when she plays with the boon she gained in exchange. She dresses in drab black, with ribbons of grey around her neck and in her hair. She seems drained and tired, angry and drowned in a distant violence.

Grey Sally wields the Hand of Pentacles, a gift the faeries pilfered from the Clewdites; a suit of cards from a tarot deck. When she displays the cards aflot in the air, they are struck by wicked powers from the beyond. She’s thus far used these cards to shift the fates of rogues and agents she sends to abuse the Clewdites. In exchange for threads and hairs from the Clewdites, she’ll change your fortunes too. The Pentacles do strange things to the Future, by revealing something wicked in the past and forcing a strangeness in the present.

Those who know themselves a proper tarot will notice she does not ever draw the Knave of Pentacles, the card itself kept bound in cord made from the stolen threads. She uses it with a whisper of words, “Such colors,” she says; and any latent clothing in her environs springs to life as a raggamuffin moppet.

She can be found anywhere in the wood, often upon the road in her derelict and half-destroyed wagon.

To have a player receive a reading from Grey Sally, roll a d12, three times and assemble the notes below. The words in bold, if she speaks with emphasis, causes a change to the character’s past, force motion to the character’s present, and change the character’s future; if so desired. Fortune telling is a fickle practice after all.

The Past Card [d12]
1. The Ace of Pentacles. “You come from a place of plenty, but of ignorance, innocence. You hurt someone, and not someone you realized you were hurting. You denied them a chance of the plenty by your ignorant wicked ways.”
2.  The Two of Pentacles. “You have long struggled under the shadow of another in your life, they have prevented you from being your true self. You are still under their sway, whether you’re willing to admit it or not.”
3. The Three of Pentacles. “You have a talent, a skill, a reason to be respected. But you are undone by a moment of assumed banality, you know this moment was misread. But it lingers, it weighs upon you.”
4. The Four of Pentacles. “In a moment of dragon-sickness, of greed; you put yourself above another. They know you did this, and they do not forgive you. No matter what it is they’ve said, they still hold a hatred in their hearts.”
5. The Five of Pentacles. “Oh, no. I’m sorry. Your life has been grim and hard fought. Your indecision, however, has caused further harm. You prolonged the suffering you’ve been in, to your own pain and that of another…”
6. The Six of Pentacles. “You had a period of great need and stress, and few were kind during it. You know who your true friends are, at believe this to be true.”
7. The Seven of Pentacles. “You’ve made poor commitments, and the damages of which still haunt you. I cannot say what it is you should do, but I am sorry for your burdens.”
8. The Eight of Pentacles. “You have long worked upon a skill, upon a craft of sorts… Patience however, rewarded you nothing. Just more toil. Things will change, in time.”
9. The Nine of Pentacles. “My how comfortable you have come to be. But your old fear, it knows you. It is waiting. It has not engaged with you yet, it wants you to suffer truly for having thought it a distant memory.”
10. The Ten of Pentacles. “The affluent, the wealthy, the powerful. You have long suffered by the hand of the rich. They know you revile them, even if you might desire to stand among them. They are planning something….something wicked.”
11. The Knight of Pentacles. “Through stubbornness or being set in your ways, you have courted disaster. The current travails you face are born from this sense of self, which is entirely misplaced.”
12. The King of Pentacles. “ You indulged too heavily in earthly delights, and now you have many an enemy who saw your actions and wish to put you to ground as a result. Such is the price of any pleasure in this world, yes?”

The Present Card [d12]
1. The Ace of Pentacles. “You find yourself in a place of flowers, of wealth, of glory and pride. You will hurt someone by gaining such treasures. What matters from now, is if you’ll care?”
2.  The Two of Pentacles. “You have learned how to balance the many issues in life, or at least how important it is to do such a thing. Others will disrupt your balance, unless you can find a way to make them live in your shadow.”
3. The Three of Pentacles. “You are skilled in your workings, but another views you as a worthless degradation on the craft. They challenge you, even if only to your back. None will take you seriously with this issue in play…”
4. The Four of Pentacles. “Huh. Curious. The Pentacles say there is great fortune on your horizon, material wealth that will test your morality and your mental acumen. We will see what such wealth does to you…”
5. The Five of Pentacles. “I sorry. Your love, your faith in another, will be tested and likely lost. You will lose your security, and your purpose. But in doing so, perhaps you will find your true purpose yes? Let us draw another card…”
6. The Six of Pentacles. “You’re finding your balance, this is good. Many are imbalanced. But you will be tested. Desire will challenge your vigilance, and you must determine that which you will be bound to forever more…”
7. The Seven of Pentacles. “Your commitments are misplaced but you are young enough on the road to take the forest for the trees. Be careful how you invest your emotions and your energy, lest it be misspent.”
8. The Eight of Pentacles. “Hmm…. You will be granted a chance of work, work that will really show you to be what you are. But it may also spell your death, or worse; your infamy, if not properly handled….”
9. The Nine of Pentacles. “ Fatal proximity to danger is fast awaiting you, and you are ignorant. You must be wise and sophisticated quickly, lest you fall to an uncertain and wretched doom.”
10. The Ten of Pentacles. “Family, however that is defined by you, is at the root of this card. Family will distract you from proper gain, but in denying family you may lose them. Is family worth more than riches to you?”
11. The Knight of Pentacles. “You have a chance to grapple with radical truth. You will be confronted by those who deny such truths to you, and you must ask yourself if truth is worth the violence it takes to attain, yes?”
12. The King of Pentacles. “You have a potential for great wealth, for a crown, for all your joys on the horizon.  You will encounter great misery before you attain any of this. Will it be worth it?”

The Future Card [d12]
1. The Ace of Pentacles. “You will be forced to make a terrible sacrifice, losing much of what you hold dear. Others will be richer for it, healthier for it; alive for it. You however, will be forever broken, to save them. I could invert this, if you wish. Others will suffer, your friends will suffer, for your wealth and health.
2.  The Two of Pentacles. “You will find self-actualization and care for the self, but you will break the wills of others and make them serve you. I could invert this, but then you would be lost to ignorance so others might have a sense of self.”
3. The Three of Pentacles. “You will be a master yourself, if you make this your only focus in life. However, I could change this for you… If you abandon your crafts to live a life of indignity, many new masters will rise to fill your place. One or the many.
4. The Four of Pentacles. “You will be awash in wealth, but if you spend it you will fall. You would have to be cautious, but if you were of a wiser sort I could invert this. You would have little in coin, but the friendship of many would easily come to you.”
5. The Five of Pentacles. “You will find the end of your quest, and the long journey you’ve faced will end. But you will be destitute and troubled forever more once this task is completed. I’m sorry. I could change this. If you abandon hope now, you may find joy in other places in your life.”
6. The Six of Pentacles. “You shall have joy, bountiful joy! can so easily be taken away, and in knowing this, your joy will ring hollow. I can change this of course, a swoop of the card my friend, don’t worry. But then all you will have is security against your rials and unending envy for this joy denied.”
7. The Seven of Pentacles. “You shall have your desires, but you must flee! Flee and leave this life behind! Your new life shall be better, yes? If not, I can change this. I can defy fate for you. You will remain in your comfortable place, but be scorned by your desires. A terrible fate, but man can adapt yes?”
8. The Eight of Pentacles. “You will have the trophies you so desire, deep in your heart. But lo, such vanity will see you suffer. I can change this. You will know only the void of failed ambition, but find comfort in cunning and skill you’ve yet to let flourish.”
9. The Nine of Pentacles. “You will choose not to act upon your power at a critical moment. Perhaps you are a coward, or perhaps you will find yourself so easily seduced to comfort. With a twist of this card, I can change your fate. You will act upon your power, but the future will be then uncertain and filled with rivals.”
10. The Ten of Pentacles. “As I draw this card, you will have wealth but no love. I can change this, perhaps you will find value in having love without wealth. The choice is yours, friend. An empty heart or an empty purse.”
11. The Knight of Pentacles. “The Knight demands action. You will carry on in a vicious cycle, perpetuating it and not questioning why. This can be shifted, but in your questioning and denial of the cycle, you will find yourself riddled with mysteries.”
12. The King of Pentacles. “I beg your pardon, but your ego will lead you into misery and hedonism. You will care for status over the self. I can change this, I can save you; but in doing so you will deny yourself joy, for the betterment of others and for lackings of the self.”

What about the Queen of Pentacles? Grey Sally has to keep it close to her heart so as to stave off the numbness which has so depleted further joy from her life. It demands further vengeance on the Clewdites, and it makes her feel content in her unnatural pallor.

Regarding Vagabonds & Clewdites
To wizards who are of an organized look (i.e. they don’t look like weirdos proper), she’ll be terse and cold. If they make it known they’re Clewdites, she’ll sic her beautiful raggamuffins moppets upon them when she has the upper hand. She cannot stand the Clewdites, and really anyone from Castle Brackenwold is deserving of pain as far as she’s concerned.

Helping Grey Sally
Grey Sally, if given time in the company of women who are kind, wizards (or Clewdites) who are genuinely empathetic and helpful, and the presence of Vagabond men who attempt to reconcile her distance from the culture; Sally will come to realize she’s poisoned herself with vengeance. She is still rightfully hateful of the cruelties she has suffered, but she will realize she has allowed such wicked men to continue tormenting her by making her a crueler person. If Grey Sally is given a token from the Duke of Yellow, her color will return and she will again become a happy person. She will give gladly, the full Hand of Pentacles, Knave and Queen included, to whoever can arrange this situation.

If Grey Sally is helped and the Hand of Pentacles taken, she will return to a life of isolation and enjoyment of the wilderness. If the party ever asks for her, she will bring her wagon to them as quickly as she can, with fresh and pungent mushroom-curry stew brewing for the enjoyment of her friends.

Killing Grey Sally
If killed, none will take real notice or care. If killed with the Clewdites aware their viciousness has been noted, they will seek to reward and corrupt the party into their debt, so as to never speak again of their abuses of magic upon a young woman in the woods.

Next Up: Brian got a full time gig, so things are a bit backed up, I have many more cats mostly finished, as well as a Vagabond class for Dolmenwood, and an adventure scenario for ratlings.

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