Thomas Novosel

blog for art, writing, and games

Category: RPG Creature

Monsterary: Sun’s Flame Knight

An illustrated PDF of this creature entry can be found on my Patreon and is accessible to Patrons 🙂

A low hanging cloth with singed edges barely billows, despite the never-ending smoke that pours out of the pores across the glowing chainmail that wraps the figure. These chains bend under the heat and pressure of tightly fastened plates curved in a human form. The symbols smeared across the burned armor, appear by inhuman hands, no prints or flesh scratched these symbols.

The Sun’s Flame Knight burns in its armor tall and thin, a tightly bound furnace that pours out smoke and flames. Lights inside give an angelic look when observed in delirious thought. But at the edge of a horizon apart a viewer may see the whipping flames of a hell that has been condensed and weaponized. With only a purpose to wield the glowing blade of the First Stolen Sun in order to punish and uphold the Master Whisperer’s law.

Fear the warrior whose gaze burns long and without falter. Who moves with practiced grace that provides a speed that turns traditional swordplay into a barrage of swings that cuts the air as fast as a hummingbird beats its wings. Only pausing between furies to evaluate how best to eviscerate the enemy, then burn the evidence until it is blacker that space and indistinguishable in texture from the soil.

May the allure of a warm flame and a beacon on the horizon trick your heart into thinking the end to a tortured life is in sight. For even on the rivers of hell a warm flame dances at the final rest stop to the eternal destination.

Statistics

Type: high planar, angelic.

HD: 5

Armor: as Plate

Move: 35 feet

Intelligence: 16/20

  • Precise
  • 2/day: can make an additional action before any character at any time.
  • The sun’s flame knight is made of fire and speaks only in the sounds of whooshing wind and crackling logs. They can unite to a council meeting of other flames using a single finger as if it is wood burning. Burning the prime words (words that translate to all phrase and depths within their first language) into any surface.

Alignment: the sun is the lord, the flame the commander an ally. Any and all allies of The Nightlanders is a foe.

Tactics: methodical, careful with intent and thought. Fights enemies, retreat over death unless under specific orders or dire stakes.

Attacks:

  • 2 attacks per round.
  • Sunblade: 1d10+2; or heavy sword+2. Damage ignores armor as the blades searing light pierces all surfaces.
  • Crackling Frenzy: 4/day, Take 3 main actions on next turn. Damage on all effects is halved for these actions. Sparks fly from a gauntlets flourish, the speed gained through practiced movements comes at the cost of distinguishable tactics being clearly signaled.
  • Overflowing Flaming Tongue: 3/day, Spewing flames from the grates in the scorched helmet, target takes 1d8 damage per round for 3 rounds.

Defense:

  • Deflect: blade attacks against the knight that miss leave an opening, the knight does a basic attack at this moment, rolling twice and using the worst of the two to determine effect.
  • Burning Glare: A strong glint sparks off the shield, a reflection of the sun honed to a daggers point to pierce foes eyes. In sacrifice of a move action, a targets next action has disadvantage.

Special:

  • Can only be destroyed forever using the Sea King Mary’s tears.
  • The Knight glows orange like the embers of a fire in a shadowy forest. This light pierces holes from another dimension, from an age of fire, into the world we traverse. Over the soldier’s entire body, these portals are visible but send eyes and minds reeling into a white haze when stared into.
  • Just like the shining lights of hell at the end of the rivers of shackled flesh, the knight burns as a spiritual signal. A tower in the living world, a world unknown to them, with the trait of mortality which is alien in form and habit. Within 6 miles of the knight’s presence, but only at night, 1d100 dead turn to undead. Roll 1d100 for cities, and roll 1d10 for the countryside (unless reason for bodies to be plentiful is present).

Affiliations

There are some that the Sun’s Flame Knight is connected to, as they are a knight of their own realm and had to spend time in court. Fiddling and navigating the politics of those above and in command or against their own commander.

Flame Commander:

The commander is a solid flame that does not flicker but holds a curved shape with sharp edges. Its commands are issued as sternly as laws of nature and are expected to be upheld in a rigid fashion to how gravity brings apples to fall. A consistency is expected and if not met, punished by extinguishing a soldier. Squishing its heat until it is only coals, wiping away memories and thoughts before kindling the flame back to a young roar. Bringing executed soldiers back to life so that they can forget, cease to exist, and their own physical properties can be reused for another.

The Flame Commander does not care for the individual personalities of their soldiers. The only way that control is maintained is by puppeteering and threats of recycling.

The flame that heats each flame knight or soldier is linked to the flame commander, the commander holds absolutely still in their person in order to make its movements and silent commands known through manipulating the waves and flashes of light of those being controlled. At any point the flame commander can starve an individual linked to the larger flame of air and its energy that is shared. Making them so weak as to collapse under even the weight of their armor.

Unless this link is broken, and sufficient fuel is provided to maintain the energy needed to live, every soldier under the Flame Commander is chained to the army of Hell for all time.

Prime Tree Wood Chunk: the prime tree was the first tree from which all others sprouted. It has long since become lost to the soil, but some of the excess tree clippings that were not used to start the world’s forests were coveted and stowed away by Primordial Collectors. These individuals hide and catalog in personal collections away from prying eyes original progenitors of the world’s materials. They hold in hiding the original seeds which when planted create spiraling and widespread veins of gold.

First Stolen Sun:

Far back in time, before people were ever born or even could think of a name for the blazing beauties that stand ever present in the summer sky. With their gaze coming down and embracing every creature that would ever live. Before we knew the love of warmth and a breezy summer at a swimming hole. Where friends could jump into the water and not be cold, but refreshed so long that the memories of childhood could be a warm blanket in old age.

Before all of this, the Flame Commander was young and brash, there was no king and rulers in the planes of existence just warring bands of elements and essence. The war band of the young spark found the first sun and captured it in a net of stars. This is where the first stolen sun changed into its second form, that of a horse of fire, with the sun changed into a conquerable form the war band cast a spell of chains onto the horse. And it was lead to where the future throne for the Flame Commander would be erected, buried in a hole deep into the stone with only a small piercing faucet cutting through its flesh on one end.

With this turned on, the Flame Commanders weapon smiths can harness star fire to create sunblades. Swords that whip flames and make spotted the eyes of any enemy.

One day, someone may rescue the First Stolen Sun. But only a siege on the black citadel of fire in the volcano Matdrick could make such events occur. It is tempting though? To save a sun? The one that sparked so many others. Certainly the reward for such a task from the Council of Orion would be grand.

Sunblade: burning, blade, damage of a great sword +2 fire dmg. To wield this blade without damage or penalty requires an insulated stone gauntlet which only elemental weapon smiths can forge. If the wielder is made not of flesh, then the blade can be held if they can withstand the temperature (d4 damage per turn held). Spend a main action and choose 1 effect:

  • Next attacks damage ignores armor.
  • The targets next action has disadvantage. They roll twice and take the worst.
  • Fire breath: attack as normal, if you succeed instead of doing the damage of the sword, target will take d6 fire damage per turn for d4 turns.

Master Whisperer:

Lurking in the shadows of dreams and stones, the master whisperer speaks over and over again the laws unwritten. Slay for me, the cold voice groans. Every so often the fingers move like snakes in sand. Darkness clings to the pale skin as the void attempts to pull back the escapee.

My words are unwritten, they speak truths which will bury themselves deep into your being. Act for me. These are the rules the Master Whisperer lays.

Rules from the Master Whisperer creep in only when an individual has fought in 10,000 skirmishes, brawls, and melees. The bloodlust of those without blood but who only see it tempts the Master Whisperer who drinks what comes filtered through the earth and that was wrought of violence “in the name of”.

To some the Master Whisperer will make bargains… But to others, those of elements and essences only commands are uttered.

Heed the Call: At a stone after a long fight a murmur is heard. You are resting and blood pools into the dirt. A leathery voice speaks softly to you “Skin the hundred headed serpent Poison Fang, and give the skin to the Warlord Adam Kraith. Do this and I will allow you to speak once across time and space through the shadows”. If this quest is completed, the Master Whisperer will offer this favor once, for each other completed another is granted. The ability to speak a phrase through the shadows to anyone anywhere in the world awake or dreaming.

The Master Whisperer does this, because the harm will always outweigh the benefit, words from shadows are fearsome beasts of horror not advisors of good fortunes.

RPG Creature: The Black Ocean

This is a creature for fantasy and horror scenarios.

Note to reader: I am currently over halfway finished reading The Fisherman by John Langan. It is very incredible and seems to me to be like a weird-fantasy or Cthulhu-esque horror scenario with what is going on in the book. I won’t spoil it, but something that is talked about as just a very minor thing at the moment, not even being the big monster or the grand antagonist is a black ocean. The ocean seems incredibly terrifying especially to me, as it can be a vast entity of terror that fills any shape that can dare to hold it. This monster write up is partially inspired by the black ocean where the fisherman casts his lines in Langan’s book.

An unending rage

There are times when the adventuring party will go out to sea or to any body of water and will find a rocky section. This is not the black ocean. The fiercest hurricane’s waves are nothing compared to the depthless rage that is contained in this oceans waters.

How you can tell you have are at the black ocean:

  • Crashing waves that quake across the coast and over the water. Although there is no sign of bad weather or winds as there is a clear sky.
  • Peering into the waters you sense endless depth. Like looking into absolute darkness, you can sense the endlessness of it but cannot see past its walls.
  • On the edges of the water, off the coasts on the rocks lining its edges will be bone dust and shredded flesh. Any fish that is in this water has high chances that it will be shredded apart by its waves until it is entirely unrecognizable. Just bits of rotten fish flesh on whiter than any sands coasts.

Interacting with the water

No vessel can go over the black ocean, any that even attempted to would be likely destroyed or crushed within its grip. But, rumor has it that sacrifices to the ship of the dead may bring forth a vessel that will carry you to its opposite shore. Travelling on this ship is also rumored to take from you, because if the sacrifice is not large enough then the ship will crash itself on a pile of stones in its center. The water’s waves wiping whatever doesn’t starve off the rock in a single day, no blood even appearing in its dark waves.

When a creature not of the black ocean treads even a step into the waves. The waves will lick and grasp at the individual dragging them from an inch of water into the ground. Breaking bones with every wave’s crash, pounding their form into the rocks underneath the yellow foam coming from each pillar where waves meet. It appears like the sea is foaming at its mouth when someone touches it and is consumed. The body will very shortly, after screams and drowned words, be visible as the water retreats. All blood and liquids within the form have been removed entirely, a dried and desiccated corpse remains. Then a final wave will splash along the shore, dragging what remains into the depths below.

If anyone goes under the waves, it is absolute darkness. It is impossible to see through even using magical means. Anyone trapped under the waters will be spun and disoriented by the undercurrents. Unable to sense until the hands latch on, the murmurs of the dead bodies that have sunk below ring true as they reach up to latch onto those who find themselves with their head submerged. These bodies are lifeless, but the black ocean’s currents manipulate their forms so that they twist and snap to take perform its actions. Treat this as you would a very difficult grapple.

Learning about the ocean

The black ocean is only mentioned in the most obscure texts, and even then only mentioned in passing in reference to when the world was born. An ocean that was primordial and later enraged as it sunk below the world into a land filled with darkness, bare forests, and beaches that hold its edges in.

When the black ocean is discovered or comes up in play, here are some questions that could be worth answering or finding answers to:

  • What beast is rumored to live trapped beneath the black ocean’s waves?
  • Who has forged a path to the black ocean in the past?
  • What warnings are found carved into the stones at the black ocean’s shores?
  • What happened when a sample of water was taken from the black ocean?

Black Ocean – Stats

Type: cosmic force,

HD: endless.

Armor: why even ask? This is an ocean.

Intelligence: Unable to be determined. Any sign is incomprehensible as it is a force of energy beyond our scale. It has a sense of scale like looking and gazing at a night sky full of stars.

Align(ment): all are destroyed in the black ocean except for the Sea King Mary and the Ship of the Dead.

Attacks:

  • 1+(1 per character in the ocean) attacks / round
  • Crashing Wave (1/round per character caught): any characters in the black oceans water will lose 25% of their HP for every round in its grasp. No roll is made, attacks always land. A prepared defense will halve the damage dealt.
  • Dragging Maw (2/round): any characters in the water will be pulled 3x their movement speed further from the shore or any safety.
  • Truth Trance (1/round): target will hear disturbing truths and secrets about their lives. Secrets only the dead or themselves may know, these are dark enchanted words spoken in a speech that resembles the sound people make when they are drowning. Coughs and gurgles. This trance makes it so a character cannot move on their turn or act, the trance is broken when the target is touched or shook.

Defenses:

  • Attacks against have no effect.
  • Any items that touch the water have a 90% chance of being pulled in with unmatched strength, characters who hold these items will find letting go in time before being pulled a medium difficulty check. Items cannot be pulled from the water and have a 65% chance of being completely destroyed.

Special Qualities:

  • Entities that are aligned with the black sea have 6x their normal speed when moving under its waves.
  • Characters caught in the water cannot defend any attacks made against them. Any defense made will double damage done by the black ocean against them.
  • Character caught in the water cannot escape it without assistance from an outside force. Even that task would be treated as incredibly difficult, and any success would come at grievous costs.

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