Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mummified Creature

Most mummies are relatively simple guardians, driven to crush intruders and spread their vile rot.  Mummified creatures, on the other hand, retain the spark of free will and the abilities they possessed in life.  For most, this is so they can be better servants to their masters in the afterlife.  For others, it is a surer and safer method of achieving something close to lichdom.  Why the mummy was created (and how fulfilling it finds its undead existence) tends to color its attitude toward adventurers.  Inevitably though, the long dusty centuries have a way of leaching out the vitality and humanity of these creatures, and nearly all mummified creatures will have turned to evil long before they meet any PCs.

Mating is a humiliating process for the average gynosphinx, given the lengths she must go to rouse a pompous and remote androsphinx’s interest.  In Shekara’s case that humiliation was compounded with betrayal and eternal slavery.  As soon as their cub was born, Shekara’s mate asked her to attend a meeting with a pharaoh in his stead so that he might continue his studies uninterrupted.  In reality, he had traded her to the pharaoh in exchange for an exceedingly rare book.  Before she knew what was happening, Shekara was captured, ritually slain, mummified, and entombed to protect the pharaoh’s grave in the afterlife.  Bound by a series of wards and a wall of fire to boot, she longs to escape her tomb and visit vengeance upon her mate if he is still alive, or make his afterlife hell if he is dead.  In the meantime, she takes out her ire on grave robbers and fortune seekers, but she might spare a group that offers her a plausible chance of escape.

When the Upheaval tore the continent of Elend up out of the water, the Sunwyrm Sea became a sunbaked prairie—and the kraken known as Thousand Cries of Anguish found itself roasting like calamari under a pitiless sky.  In desperation, the kraken covered itself in sand and carved a glyph into its own forehead, mummifying itself before desiccation took it.  Borrowing into the sand, Anguish now rules a series of lonely caverns.  It longs to return to the sea, but fears that it lacks the magical might to do so.  Even if Anguish does return home, the glyph in its forehead that saved it from the baking sun leaves the kraken vulnerable to the cold of the deep.

Mummified fey are exceedingly rare, but they do occur, particularly among those fey who frequent peat bogs and swamps.  In swan maiden Niamh Whiteheart’s case, someone mummified her to send a message.  Inscribed into her brain are not only the glyphs that power her reanimation, but also a secret message in an ancient form of Sylvan nearly lost to this world.  Niamh herself is ignorant of the message; she does not even know who revived her (and, she suspects, slew her).  In the meantime, undeath has curdled her once kind soul, and instead of a swan her supernatural cloak turns her into a disease-ridden heron with black and grey feathers that hang like bandages off her body.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 196–197

I have found an excellent lounge on the ship for writing these entries.  Other passengers have seen whales, but I have not been lucky enough to spot any yet.  No luck on linnorms either, but we’re sailing through a fjord so hope remains high. 

Obviously, much, much more on mummies and mummified creatures can be found in the Mummy’s Mask Adventure Path.

Edit: Still no whales or linnorms, but I did see lots of seals though!

No comments:

Post a Comment