Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tor Linnorm

Okay, don’t be fooled.  The “tor” in “tor linnorm” is only accurate if you realize that particular tor is perched on the lip of a lava-spewing volcano.  That’s like calling a blue dragon a shocker lizard—it’s kinda true in the very strictest sense, but try pointing that out to the survivors.  (They should be called caldera linnorms or tephra linnorms instead.)

Tor linnorms are the most powerful of the non-unique linnorms, outmatching even tarn linnorms.  As always with linnorms, be ready for the multistage breath weapon, the poison bite, and of course, the death curse—boiling blood in this case.  If there’s one saving grace, it’s that tor linnorms are so hungry for adoration (or at least displays of fear) that you can actually keep it from killing you if you talk well enough…for a little while at least.

The tradition of hurling virgins into volcanoes had its genesis with certain tor linnorms, who liked to keep the maidens as servants and worshippers until they died of fright or succumbed to the heat.  A brijidine has made ending virgin sacrifice her bailiwick, and she seeks mortals who will slay a tor linnorm that has come out of hibernation and resumed the ancient practice.

The Annals of the Antler Champions have been stolen!  The theft is part of a pattern: Someone has been robbing libraries and abducting bards in the shadow of the Smoking Peaks.  The culprit is a slag giant matron.  Long ago she became the thrall of a tor linnorm, and now it is her whole village’s job to keep the beast entertained.  Her tribesmen etch the tales she recovers on sheets of burnished brash, which she then reads to the voracious (in more ways than one) dragon.

The conversion of Eisland to the faith of the Dove has the priests of the Northern Host up in arms.  But as both sides argue around the hearth and aboard their longships, an older faith sees the opportunity to take back the icy island.  Dark druids ally with moulder dwarves to rouse the tor linnorm Scyldrak, spurring him to attack the Althing in the hopes of wiping out Eisland’s leadership in one fell swoop, pantheists and monotheists alike.

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 185

Dark Ages/medieval Iceland is crazy interesting, and its late conversion to Christianity means we have a lot of records from that time, as well as great surviving sagas.  Njal’s Saga was assigned in my ninth grade history class, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in a Norse-style campaign, even if the first part does read like Viking stereo instructions.  If you’re the least bit patient, it’s so worth it. (And it’s a Penguin Classic!)

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