The helpful necromancer in Bandar Karahc


There's a tavern located in the oldest parts of Bandar Karahc that houses a man by the name of Musahhar abd al-Baith. He keeps to himself in "his" corner of the establishment with his bottles and decoctions; potions he sells to weary travelers. He's always polite and friendly if approached.

He used to be called "the trickster" some 400 years ago, a nickname now forgotten but still relevant.

Musahhar has in his possession the dagger Ahya. Its blade, when sunken into a dead body, acts like a portal that lets an unholy spirit slip into the flesh and possess it for an unseen future. Striking a living creature with the dagger will exorcise the life essence and turn it into a restless, vengeful spirit; the body will start decaying as normal but cannot be used for possession (spirits call these bodies for "tainted vessels").

If a person asks him for help, but cannot afford any of his potions, Musahhar will gladly offer healing for free. Slowly whispering the word sudad over and over again into their ear, any life threatening injuries will heal up, all traces of poison will vanish, and all weariness will disappear.
    As life returns to the poor person, all hope will quickly disappear as he or she realizes that the helpful necromancer just placed them under a spell. As Musahhar hands over the conceiled dagger (wrapped in leather), the cursed person immediately knows what has to be done: within a week, he or she must stab a corpse with the weapon, and bring a spirit into this world.

If the spell is not fulfilled, Musahhar will get up and start searching for Ahya; for him, the dagger shines like a bright beacon, and this helpful necromancer has all the time in the world to go searching for his blade.

(Original drawing found at Telecanter's. Poorly photomanipulated by yours truly.)

The contagious healer

There's a involuntary hermit hiding in the mountain range, silently creeping and crawling the crags. Through his eyes and hands leaks the power of healing; a simple touch or gaze or phrase makes the pain go away, though he cannot restore the loss of something once cut off - a lesson learned when they took his tongue (later sold as the relic Unsung).

The sand lung in Bandar Karahc

In the outskirts of Bandar Karahc you may find a building resembling a bowl turned upside down. It's covered with rusty plates, like a quilt, and it got exactly one entrance in the form of a small hole in the side, big enough for an adult to enter.

Anyone entering will find themselves following a winding, dark tunnel, sloping downward. At the end of the tunnel is a vast shaft, conical and seemingly bottomless.

Every ten minutes, the void fills with sand from the bottom up. It takes around two minutes to completely fill the space, after which the sand slowly descends again into the darkness.

This strange building is in fact the left lung of an interstellar, humanoid machine race.

These robotic creatures travels through the empty space looking for things to do. Although immortal, old age and the occasional plunge into planets' oceans makes their joints rust, leading to the inevitable and complete dismantling of themselves.
When this happens, their body parts spread across the universe, still functional; an arm may go into orbit around a planet, the head ends up in a sun, while the beating heart with its strong pulses may attract thousands of winged creatures from the reddish deep space.

Bandar Karahc got a lung. There are worst parts to get.

Mawmag



Mawmag, Satan's spies. Save vs. Poison or catch compulsive staring for 1d4 days. Cuddly as hell.

Some spells

Trigger
You force the target to release a memorized spell immediately, equal to half your level (rounded up).
If the target doesn't have any spells of that level memorized, step down one level (and so on).
To determine which spell to release, look at the first letter of your character's name (e.g. if your character's name is "Göstaheim", find the spell that starts with the letter g).
If there's no match, continue with the next letter (and so on).
If the spell needs a target, roll 1d6: even numbers is you, odd is the caster himself.


Glue
Same procedure as above, only the randomly determined spell is glued to the next spell the targeted wizard casts (e.g. it will be cast at the same time).
Lasts an hour.


Embodiment
The next spell the targeted wizard cast will manifest itself as a naked humanoid, armed with a weapon (see table below). It's possible to fight this form (or even outrun it). If it manage to hug its target, the spell's effect takes place as usual. The humanoid have initiative and should be treated as a NPC, but it will only live to touch its target.

Type of  weapon is based on the spell's level:

  1. Club
  2. Broken dagger
  3. Rusty sword
  4. Whip
  5. A crude woodcutter's axe
  6. Spiked shield
  7. A scythe, blade broken
  8. Spike club, black
  9. Nothing
The humanoid form is affected in some ways by the spell it represents: engulfed in flames when dealing with harmful spells; healing spells turn the body into an aquarium; druid spells make the humanoid move slower and heavier, and so on.




The Djinnbusters of Bandar Karahc

The desert town of Bandar Karahc is home to many strange things, one of them being the so called djinnbusters - ghost hunters of the dunes.

They're not organized.
It's not a cult.
They're not even particular good at what they do. They just happen to own an oil lamp that can catch nasty djinns.

A djinnbuster's oil lamp is his most important tool, but it's far from the only one. You see, catching a ghost is pretty simple: point the nozzle at the djinn and rub the lamp's body until the ghost is sucked inside.

Of course, first you'll need to find the bloody thing (I dare you to find an invisible djinn in the vast al-Musahhar desert).

Then, you'll need to prepare it. Preparing a ghost is what weakens it, and as all good djinnbusters know (e.g. all four of them), you can only catch a weakened ghost.
Some things known to weaken ghosts are:

  1. Burning incense
  2. Reciting poetry, telling jokes but leaving out the pun, crying
  3. Dancing, clapping hands, spinning around
  4. The sheer sight of wealth (and plenty of it)
  5. Anointing, smearing it with fat mixtures
  6. Chewing on your beard
Note: one djinn's weakness is another one's strength. The late djinnbuster Hadar abd al-Makul used to smear his body with almond oil to weaken ghosts (most djinns are allergic to nuts for some reason). That is, until he met the marid Halaba, who swallowed him whole thanks to the lubricant.

Learning the weaknesses of a ghost is what makes a good djinnbuster, and takes time, especially if you need to recite a special piece of poetry that the djinn hates, or burn a particular type of flower in its presence.
Or, you could gamble, and just throw a handful of dates at it and hope for the best.

After you weakened the ghost, rub your lamp and stay close to the ghost. If all goes well, the ghost is captured inside the lamp, immediately turned into fuel.

It's not the size of the oil lamp that determines how much fuel (e.g. captured ghosts) it can hold, but its quality in terms of material (clay, stone, bronze, gold, etc.), embellishment (carvings, gemstones) and sentimental value.

The most standard, lowest quality djinnbustin' oil lamp can hold roughly 4 units of fuel (+1d4 units/decoration that raises its quality).

The amount of fuel a djinnbuster can get out of a captured ghost is likewise determined by the quality of the djinn. Start with a base value of 1d4, and then add accordingly:
  • Size:
    • Capturing anything smaller than the size of an human adult is like pouring flour in your fuel chamber; it will just turn to a thick dough and you'll have to throw away the lamp.
    • Other than that, add 1 unit of fuel per wow-factor regarding its size
  •  Abilities (flying, shape shifting, invisibility, etc.):
    • Add 1 unit of fuel per ability
  • Age:
    • Juvenile: these ghosts are more trouble than they're worth (no extra fuel)
    • Old djinns: for every wow-factor regarding their age, divide the total amount of fuel by two. This is because their ectoplasm is going stale
    • Other than that: 1 unit of fuel

If a djinnbuster captures a ghost whose total amount of fuel exceeds the capacity of the oil lamp, one of several things may happen:
  1. The djinnbuster is possessed a number of days equal to the excess (e.g. capturing a 5 fuel djinn in a lamp with only room for 2 more units causes the djinnbuster to become possessed for 3 days)
  2. (If the lamp isn't empty) Fuel equal to the ghost's value is sucked out of the lamp, creating another djinn of equal strength on the spot
  3. The excess is stored in the djinnbuster's body: during the next couple of days (equal to the excess value), a new minor mutation occurs
  4. Lamp explodes, spreading fuel everywhere. Stained objects become animated

To empty the lamp, the djinnbuster must burn the fuel during the night time (1 unit of fuel/hour). You may also do like the legendary Fatima al-Sabiha and drink the contents; to this day, people still claim to see her drifting across the sky.