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Old 01-03-2019, 10:54 AM   #31
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [MH] Vile Vortices and Supernatural Threats

So cold spirits infusing humanoid but otherwise inert matter.

I imagine heart analogues should probably be similar in size. That would likely limit the use of very precious gems, unless wealth is no object for the baddies.

The obvious gems to use, IMO, evoking cold would be anything that resembles ice like carved transparent or white crystal, quartz, gypsum, etc.

Certain gems like diamonds feel cold to the touch due to very low specific heat.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:59 AM   #32
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Default Re: Cold Ones

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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
...
Try this idea, The Cold Ones are non-material beings that can inhabit the bodies of the dead and give dead flesh a new inhuman life.

Any good for you?
That fits some myths of the wechuge. They're monstrous former people infused with "too strong" of spirits and hearts of ice. Melting the heart with literal heat or in a few myths with the love of a relation would end their existence or sometimes turn them human again.

One could easily make part of that a mistake of folklore. They merely resemble formerly living people with wish fulfillment adding the happy ending myths.
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:46 PM   #33
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Default Re: Cold Ones

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
So cold spirits infusing humanoid but otherwise inert matter.

I imagine heart analogues should probably be similar in size. That would likely limit the use of very precious gems, unless wealth is no object for the baddies.

The obvious gems to use, IMO, evoking cold would be anything that resembles ice like carved transparent or white crystal, quartz, gypsum, etc.

Certain gems like diamonds feel cold to the touch due to very low specific heat.
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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
That fits some myths of the wechuge. They're monstrous former people infused with "too strong" of spirits and hearts of ice. Melting the heart with literal heat or in a few myths with the love of a relation would end their existence or sometimes turn them human again.

One could easily make part of that a mistake of folklore. They merely resemble formerly living people with wish fulfillment adding the happy ending myths.
The PCs discovered the hearts to be high-quality quartz, very transparent, looking almost like clear ice. Breaking them worked, using repeated shotgun blasts to the chest cavity from point blank range, though no one thought to try to thaw them.

Having in the previous session only faced the mud people*/blood golems/servitors of the Cold Ones when they were within a Threshold in the process of expelling them, the PCs were unpleasantly surprised to note that without a Threshold to weaken them, the muddy bodies were no longer dripping and unformed, but solid, like frozen mud. This meant a DR and higher ST and HP, not to mention a bonus to strikes.

Within a Bad Place (that was also a literal Haunted Mansion, with paid tours) where a tear in reality connected them with some place which drained light, energy and warmth from the area, the Cold One servitors also seemed to gain in power, which, among other things, manifested in them growing razor-sharp icy tendrils that served as talons and them moving faster and with more purpose.

Of course, that was still much less terrifying than the Girl with the Kaleidoscope Eyes, a pretty Hispanic woman in her late twenties or so, who was waving around a sacrificial knife and magic dust that looked like crystallized ice, while she instantly snuffed out all light sources, sound and made it freezing cold. No one could see anything, no one could hear, and even when the PCs screamed in terror, they couldn't hear themselves screaming.

Shame, really, that while she was gathering energy for some magnificent ritual, a PC threw a bunch of salt in her face, causing her to lose control of the gathered energy and open up a tear in reality, located inside herself. Her skin started bluing and patterns of frost roses started forming from her face downward as tendrils of white frost covered her, but she didn't seem to be dying, just in an unbelievable amount of pain.

And her eyes, which previously had been described as kaleidoscope eyes because they seemed a different colour in different light, now seemed to draw into themselves all light while emitting its antithesis, a sort of illumination without light, simultaneously all colours and none.

I suppose the thrown lantern to her face was a mercy, really. Though it might not have been thrown if the PC had been aware that while it was not emitting any light or heat he could feel, it was, in fact, still lit and when it impacted, splashed burning oil over her face and hair. The brief flash of light and warmth nearly instantly vanished, but the oil somehow kept burning her flesh while bubbling with a dark flame that emitted no heat that could be felt even at a couple of feet away.

In the end, she was knocked down and knocked out with a couple of solid thwacks from a sturdy staff. 'Nonc' Morel didn't really take any useful combat charms with him to spend Christmas at his sister's place, but he's never without his staff. And he's found that few things are immune to being knocked over the head, and if he pulls the blow enough, they even tend to survive.**

*No, that's probably not going to be what the call them.
**It helps that he's quite gifted at natural remedies, though even with the blow pulled to barely a love tap, the Girl With the Kaleidoscope Eyes still has a broken skull, a major concussion and is only alive because she made her two death checks for being reduced down to -18 HP.
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Last edited by Icelander; 01-03-2019 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:17 PM   #34
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Default Re: [MH] Vile Vortices and Supernatural Threats

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By the source material of Ivan T. Sanderson, it clearly is the Bermuda Lozenge. On the other hand, the center and widest point of the lozenge would have to lie somewhere between Miami and Puerto Rico, at least if I want to fit Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean into it as well.

I had thought that the additional triangle which makes it a lozenge should probably have its southern, narrow end somewhere just off the coast of one of the Central American countries. Well, maybe even cover some of the coasts, no sense in skimping.

For example, look at the absolutely huge area covered by the lozenge of the 'Bermuda Triangle' in this map of the Vile Vortices. Granted, this doesn't seem to reach far enough north for Roanoke shenanigans, but maybe that was a ley line anomaly or something. Alternatively, look at the extended darkened area in the first map here. Play around with that and get it into a lozenge shape and it ought to get me a Bermuda Lozenge which covers everything I like from South Carolina to Aruba.
It almost reaches the Yucatan. Could the second most extreme mass extinction event in Earth's past, the one that wiped out all the non-avian dinosaurs 65 million years ago due to an asteroid impact in the Yucatan peninsula, be the result of this vortex? Of course, an extra-dimensional asteroid could have materialized well within the vortex at high altitude, and then traveled on its ballistic trajectory outside of the Bermuda triangle to impact with the Yucatan.

Interestingly, some paleontologists and geologists think that the end Cretaceous extinction was a synergy between the long term climate ravaging effects of the Deccan traps flood basalt eruptions and the sudden knock-out punch of the Yucatan asteroid. And lo and behold, there is a vortex lying right over India, too!

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Old 01-03-2019, 11:19 PM   #35
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Default Re: Cold Ones

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What mythological or legendary threats do forumites first think of when they hear something described as the 'Cold Ones'?
The ice giants of Norse mythology, ready to rise up and complete Ragnarok, even if some details need to be modified for the changing times.

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Old 01-03-2019, 11:51 PM   #36
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The ice giants of Norse mythology, ready to rise up and complete Ragnarok, even if some details need to be modified for the changing times.

Luke
I suppose one could say that the Lords of the Last Waste are a sort of agnostic, astrophysicist cosmic horror version of Norse Ice Giants.

Vast, cool, unsympathetic intelligences whose esoteric forms float endlessly through the void of a universe at the end state of entropy, where they dwell in the final blackness at the end of time, the last surviving remnants of the war of all-against-all over the universe’s final stocks of extropy, long after the passing of baryonic matter and the death throes of the most ancient black holes. Savage, autocannibalistic beings, stretching their remaining existence across aeons-long slowthoughts powered by the rare quantum fluctuations of the nothingness, these wretched dead gods know nothing but despair, hunger, and envy for those who inhabit worlds and eras rich in energy differentials, information, and ordered states, and would – if they could – feast on any unwary enough to fall into their clutches.

Their universe is but one of an infinite number, perhaps, but as all universes are doomed to end as their did, might their multispheric realm grows ever more central to the multiverse, as the last dregs of their miserable non-existence are drawn out in an eternity of almost complete deprivation?

The mysterious Grand Masters of the Keepers of the Last Flicker claim that in some worlds, icy tendrils extend through the void, draining life, light and the very concept of hope from the worlds. One speaks of a great tree, reaching all worlds, sick with decay and weakness, where swirling patterns of frost roses rime the strong trunk and gossamer strings of absolute coldness stretch from the roots into infinity. Like a freezing fungus, spores of white void cover everything, ending strife, discord, individuality and inequality as all potentiality is forever drained to extend the slowthoughts of the Lords of the Last Waste for a few fleeting aeons.

But their struggle is as meaningless as the struggle of all life. Only the end matters. In the end, there are only endings.
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Last edited by Icelander; 01-04-2019 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:57 AM   #37
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Default Re: [MH] Vile Vortices and Supernatural Threats

From the map, those lozenges seem to cover 15-degree squares of lat/long. They're lozenge-shaped because of the funky map projection.

Puerto Rico to Roanoke is 18 degrees of latitude, so it's not that far off. It would easily fit in a lozenge not aligned with lat/long lines if you rotated it. But if it also has to include the Yucatan, it gets harder, mostly because of the east-west distance. (Bermuda 32.3 N 67.8 W; Yucatan 18.8 N 89 W; Roanoke 35.9 N 75.7 W)

It would be a bizarre coincidence for the Vortices to happen to coincide with pentaphilic round numbers in an arbitrary coordinate system. So clearly that's not arbitrary. The Babylonians were on to something fundamental with their base 60 math, and equally it is not just an arbitrary or self-interested choice of Greenwich by overweening Englishmen that that longitude is the zero point. (It runs through Algeria and Mali, for instance; Timbuktu is 3 W. But then, scientists that have forgotten the real purpose of the lines have moved them a bit from their original placement.)
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Old 01-04-2019, 06:32 AM   #38
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Default Re: [MH] Vile Vortices and Supernatural Threats

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But then, scientists that have forgotten the real purpose of the lines have moved them a bit from their original placement.)
Or the lines are stationary and the continents have moved since the Vortices were charted. Which throws a few more insinuations into the mix.
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Old 01-04-2019, 06:40 AM   #39
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Default Re: [MH] Vile Vortices and Supernatural Threats

Another form of the Cold One could be the Pishtaco a Latin American bogeyman that is a sort of body fat vampire. Clearly, a metaphor for wasting disease but these pale greedy hungry monsters would fit nicely in this setting. The constant greed of the Pishtaco could be about gaining money to buy diamonds. Since the Cold Ones need diamonds. An undead monster obsessed with stealing flesh (to make more shells/bodies) and money (to buy diamonds) fits the narrative.

Any use to you?
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:49 AM   #40
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Default Re: [MH] Vile Vortices and Supernatural Threats

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Another form of the Cold One could be the Pishtaco a Latin American bogeyman that is a sort of body fat vampire. Clearly, a metaphor for wasting disease but these pale greedy hungry monsters would fit nicely in this setting. The constant greed of the Pishtaco could be about gaining money to buy diamonds. Since the Cold Ones need diamonds. An undead monster obsessed with stealing flesh (to make more shells/bodies) and money (to buy diamonds) fits the narrative.

Any use to you?
Yes, excellent.

The Girl With the Kaleidoscope Eyes is Chilean, rather than from the Andes, but it's possible that South America, being a huge continent, will furnish other recruits, or, that for some other reason, there is a connection.

I'll see if something occurs to me or if someone suggests something.
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