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Old 01-21-2014, 02:15 PM   #10
Icelander's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: Treasure from the Sheikh of the Grinning Skull Oasis

Originally Posted by zorg View Post
What you absolutely need:

a) A tarnished bronze lamp.

b) An iron bottle, covered in runes, with a stopper bound in gold wire.

Putting a djinn inside might be a tad obvious, but tempting abilities with drawbacks, or just plain weird, spooky or dark powers might be appropriate.
Djinn might be rather over-played, yes, but what about a prince of the Ifrit, dark and terrible, all shadow and flame? Bound by a mighty sorcerer of a small Rauric successor state and even Abu Jafar had the good sense to leave him in his prison...

Originally Posted by zorg View Post
The bottle might contain a sandstorm, which can be released and then banished again by putting the stopper back. It might contain the hot desert wind which dries up any water, causing watering holes and wells to dry up. It might hold swarms of locusts. It might even contain the black miasma which brings plague, though that should be pretty obvious from the runes, or else it would be a bit mean on the PCs.
The hot desert wind makes for a nice image, especially since a large part of why the PCs sought out and killed Sheikh Jarir is that one of his nicknames is 'The Desert Wind'. This infuriated Rasul Khamsin Mubtasim, The Smiling Desert Wind, who feels that the only raider of the desert who has a claim to that name is his own self. The fact that he has been believed deceased for a century is no excuse for stealing his cognomen.

Originally Posted by zorg View Post
The lamp could bring light, in that it causes the sun to stay up (with little control over how long this effect works - not too pleasant in the desert). Its light could cast shadows which foretell the future, or which show past or present things. It might be that by its light, you can see buried bodies, or maybe the souls of the dead, or into the Beyond. The lamp, when lighted, could attract demonic desert-beings, intent on taking the lamp to their master/home plane/office building.
Foretelling the future is good. Demonic desert-beings are also good.

Originally Posted by zorg View Post
Indeed, the setup looks like a perfect excuse to go all baroque on your players!
If any baroque is to be brought, I have a strong suspicion that the PCs have already brung it.

One PC is a former desert raider, freedom fighter and devil-may-care bandit legend; Rasul Khamsin Mubtasim, the Smiling Desert Wind, Al-Andalib al-Asmar (The Dark Nightingale), Al-Tawil (The Tall One), Sayf al-Murghom (The Sword of Murghom) and Abu Dhubab (Father of Flies).

He has other nicknames, but we will not speak them here, as they are in the languages of devils, from the hellish plains of Gehenna and the eternal battlefields of Avernus, whence he was dragged a century ago, after making a pact with a fiend to gain the power he needed to take his vengeance on the Empire of Mulhorand. As those who deal with devils inevitably learn, their promises are double-edged, and payment came due before Rasul had freed his people or brought down the powerful Empire.

Now his servitude is up and he has come back to his desert homeland to wreak his vengeance on Mulhorand, the suzerains over his fatherland of Murghom. To effect that vengeance, he has placed his sword at the feet of a descendant of his own House, now a powerful Viceroy fighting for a foreign Merchant House and mercenary group in Free Unther, the last remnants of the latest realm to taste the imperalistic fervour of Mulhorand.

The Smiling Desert Wind is supernaturally tough and fast, skilled as only a warrior who has fought in the greatest war of all existence for more than a century can be and can call upon some of his old infernal allies in a pinch. In fact, last session the player decided to call upon a demonic invasion to direct against an important border fort in northern Mulhorand, using Super-Effort, even knowing that the Backlash stands an excellent chance of killing him and that the thousands of devils that might answer the summons will roam freely and kill innocents as well as his enemies.

Ah, Obsession! Thy name is a PC.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!
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