Monday, August 5, 2013

The Wild Hunt

You saw something you shouldn't have...

When your fever breaks, you find you've no job, barely any money - just weapons, gear, an address for the huntmaster's meeting, a pass sign for the meeting, a bit of food and this mask.

Choose a class (Fighter, Magic-User, Cleric, Thief) (or really, just be a Fighter or Magic-User), roll for mask, how you get to the meeting called by the huntmaster and then join the hunt.

The Masks (d12)
1.The Cock
Immune to sleep and charm.
2. The Crow
Eat the dead for sustenance and health.
3. The Fox
Flee pursuit; can hide in a 2' cube.
4. The Hound
Tireless pursuit of fleeing foes.
5. The Hippo
Swallow something your size whole.
6. The Hare
Burrow deep.
7. The Badger
Defend your allies long after others would have died.
8. The Owl
Never surprised.
9. The Owlbear
Deadly embrace.
10. The Wolf
You've got a vorpal knife.
11. The Heron
Handily navigate rough terrain.
12. The Bat
Can see in the dark.

How to get to the meeting? (d8)
1. Tavern under a bridge, blue lights, only ghosts come here anymore.
2. Room full of corpses, most of which looks just like the party. Close your eyes, whisper a childhood prayer and open one of several doors to get there.
3. Long-abandoned shrine. Offer a blooded sacrifice.
4. String up the outline of the door in the entrails of an innocent, a bully, a liar, a thief, a vagrant or a magic-user, and then step through.
5. Light a branch of a hazel tree and use it to burn a sprig of holly and a sprig of mint. Breath deep.
6. Eat the flesh of the plague-slain.
7. Douse your mask in arterial blood of a sentient creature.
8. Consume unclean meat.

The Huntmaster
Waits for you at the meeting; is someone you've never seen before but once you've met them you'll see them all the time, rummaging through garbage, dead in a gutter, arguing in a coffee shop, on a wanted poster, as a barkeep, as distant relative of the Empress.

In ceremonial garb, when leading a hunt or celebrating a glorious kill, the huntmaster appears differently:

A man or woman well-muscled, tattooed, nude but for the trophy heads it wears about its neck, wrists, shoulders and waist.

In the Spring, the heads are all alive and each knows a great secret (the name of the rock, where the last of the first dragon's slumbers, how to unwind time, etc, etc); the huntmaster's head is the head of an elk and it speaks thunderously, telepathically. It walks upon the ground barefoot and each footfall leaves behind cinnamon-scented ferns of curative potency.

In the Summer, the heads are dead and rotting. The huntmaster's head is that of an eyeless stag. The huntmaster rides a rotten, limping boar, wears a coat of feathers and hangs from its antlers the tongues and fingers of each sort of people in the race of man. Its touch brings pestilence, its mere presence sours food but it may also consume any disease, decay or rot, if it so desires.

In the Fall, the heads are mummified and the huntmaster's antlers are hung with glistening glass shards. The huntmaster's head will be a skeletal stag's head. The huntmaster will ride upon an enormous elk and be attended by two deaf mutes, each of which will bear a legendary weapon or armour on a silken pillow.

In the Winter, the huntmaster appears to be an emaciated human wearing a stag mask. It wears a cloak of quills and will speak as if human. It is born on a palanquin to its court by the Grugach and his son and two daughters. On the palanquin lays more wealth than any can imagine.

The Hunt is called to (d10)
1. Kill all of the royal line, their children, their bastards, their most distant relatives. Their power, secrets and treasure are yours.
2. Ruin the wealthy and raise up the poor, including yourself.
3. Empty the area of all human life so that something stranger can grow there. What takes root will call you an ally for long after your death.
4. Find a lost relic of the hunt (The huntmaster has lost its shield, the effaced Shield of Galahad, and its dagger, Carnwennan. Should the Shield be found and returned to the huntmaster, the wild creatures of the wood will rise up on two legs, speak as man and overthrow all his works. Should the dagger by found and returned, a great, tangled highway will appear and run through each city and town; the highway will lead back to the fairy court and other, even worse domains and hell will empty its outhouses, lounges and barracks onto the earth.)
5. Find and kill the last huntmaster
6. Destroy a city but leave its buildings intact, for a dungeon to soon take root. The wealth of the city is yours for the plundering.
7. Wage a war in fairy country with lances made from holly trees. Castles and lands to the survivors.
8-10. The huntmaster simply wants you to hunt and consecrate each kill to it.

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