Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Duke" Brassclaw

I've been looking for inspiring images of Goblins and Kobolds for the Blackmash work I'm doing, but the side effect is that I wind up finding more pics that make me think of +Erik Jensen's Wampus CountrySo now this image won't get out of my head. So here I present to you the villan, Duke Brassclaw. I used the Wampus Country Striga Generator to give me an idea of what I wanted to know about it / him. So here's a story about the "Duke" Brassclaw...

Name: "Duke" Brassclaw
Once there was a Duke and Duchess back West, in Granddad's Country. They joined the wrong Magikcal Social Organization. The price they paid was loss of social capital and since they were mostly broke anyway they had to sell their titles and lands and head East in to Wampus Country. This was some time ago, and since they came out here they say they ain't never been heard from since. You and me, we know different though, don't we?

Origin: foul pact, foolish bargain
Being sorcerers of some skill, the two thought they knew the score. Just move West, make some ritual bargains, get rich. More's the pity, they only realized too late that Wampus Spirits can be fouler, and blacker than any old demon.

Hates: newborn infants
Now you know that "Brassclaw" was once two people. Because they bargained away their domestic union, and their future heirs, babies and their cries only serve to remind 'em of their bitter loss.

Modus Operandi: harries travelers on "her road"
Away out in Wampus someplace, there's a road that leads to an ancient place. This is where the Duke and Duchess went to make their dark pact. It was the place they'd hoped to call their own. Now, their minions patrol the land around that road, and demand "taxes" of any who dare venture there.

Features: frightening primitive mask
There was a mask, once. A big, ol' owl-headed thing with a long nose on it and little owl legs made of bright brass just a-pokin' out the front next to some ivory tusks! It was the symbol of the pact for riches and glory between the couple and the ancient spirit in that old, old place. The thing is...they had pledged to display the mask in their great hall, ugly thing that it was, and never never were they to put that thing on. Of course, they knew the mask was the face of that ol' spirit. It was plain to them as the nose on your face is to me...they jest knew that they could cross that spirit, and make it work for them if they put that mask they did.

Dress: shift woven of spider-webs
Well, I don't have to tell you that the ancient spirit not only tricked them, but cussed them good for breaking that bargain to boot! It didn't welch on the deal the two of them do have a title and lands. Though not the way they might have thought. They've got a crown, and a cape too. But the cape is made of cobwebs, and the crown is made of feathers.

Supernatural Quirks: she can remove any curse with a kiss - any curse but her own, that is
Oh, and they're still powerful, my dears, yes they are! They can break the foulest of curses with but a kiss from their long nose.

Vulnerability: mundane plant (holly-berry, potato) Obviously, baby's breath!
I heard from a Cupcake Man I met on the road once that ol' Brassclaw can be kept away by wearing a crown of Baby's Breath in your hair, and that in the Springtime they ain't seen in the meadows nor the glades.

Conveyance: chariot/coach drawn by (black steeds, skinless hounds, blinded orphans)
But sometimes in the dark of night, you can hear Brassclaw's royal-purple coach a rumblin' down a lonesome road. If you do, be sure to be clear off the road before those poor, blind, orphans pulling that thing can smell you! 'Cause if you ain't, and they ketch'll have to pull that coach in their place my dears! Yes, and they'll get to go home to your folks just as reg'lar as anything, and won't nobody notice it. Only folks who'll remember will be the two of you, and of course, won't be no helpin' it 'lessen you can trick Brassclaw into kissin' you!

Implement: skull, corpse, or body-part (cat’s skull, mummified infant, fox-tail)
The Cupcake Man told me that sometimes the Feyan out in the wild get a little meanness in them and try to scare folks on the road at night by conjuring up a vision of Brassclaw and that purple carriage. I tricked him into tellin' me how to know the difference between the haint they use and the real Brassclaw too! The only way to know you're stuck in the dread presence of the real Brassclaw is the bright red Foxtail Brasclaw carries as a wand...

Minion: superior-to-the-norm specimen (lesser undead, goblinoid)
...and the whippity-clever Goblin footman wearing giant hip-boots and a wig who carries the Foxtail wand and is never far from its master.

There! Now I can get to thinking of something else! Whew! Also, if you want stats...I don't know...use Owlbear stats and have the thing cast as a 4th level Magic-User or something. "Warning DIY D&D product...never use as directed."