Welcome to the Flaming Faggot

Callovia is called "the boundless empire" yet you have managed to find its northern border - a notorious roadhouse deep within the Madrasan Marches on the edge of the wilds of Llanvirnesse. The sign above the door reads "Flaming Faggot," which would suggest a cozy, homey inn with fresh biscuits served at teatime if not for the severed troll heads mounted on pikes at the gate.

As you cross the threshold the raucous din quiets momentarily as all eyes dart to the door and calloused hands drop instinctively to well-worn sword hilts. The threat, instantly assessed, is dismissed and roadhouse patrons go about their business hardly missing a beat.

Grim, hard-eyed men huddle around tables in close conversation thick with conspiracy; caravan guards gamble away their earnings; Caemric rangers sit close to the fireplace cooking the damp of the Black Annis from their clothes as they warm their innards with Red Dragon Ale; minstrels play and buxom wenches dance for the pleasure of men who pay them little attention - until they need a companion to warm their bed.

As you approach the bar, a huge, bald barman with a greatsword slung across his back slides a mug of freshly-pulled ale towards you, its frothy head dripping over the rim.

"Pull up a seat, lad," he says, "and let me tell you a tale of high adventure."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Creature Feature: Hand Maidens of Dagon

Like twisted parodies of Valkyries, Dagon's Hand Maidens usher sailors into the watery abyss.  Riding bizarre sea horses, they serve as agents of Father Dagon's inscrutable desires and often aid land-borne cultists in their sinister machinations.

Games Workshop's Seekers of Slaanesh

The Hand Maidens appear to be humanoid females, with either sea green hair that undulates like seaweed in the tide, or spines that resemble the dorsal fins of fish.  Instead of hands they have crustacean-like forelimbs that can impale or eviscerate a foe with deadly efficiency.

Their steeds are bipedal creatures with both reptilian and ichthyan features.  When on land they stalk their prey by 'tasting' its scent with their long, fleshy tongues, then transfix it with their soporific gaze; anyone looking into the limpid pools of their eyes become lost in their depth, unable to act.

Hand Maidens of Dagon              No. Encountered: 1-6

Armour Class: 4                             Special: spell-like abilities
Hit Dice: 5                                         Move: 12" (9" swimming)
Attacks: by appendage type     HDE/XP: 6/400
Morale: 11

The Hand Maiden's appendages resemble either lobster claws or long chitinous blades.  Those with claw appendages deal 1d6 damage, and if they have two such claws they may attack with both, making a single attack at +1 bonus to hit.  Those with a long chitinous blade appendage may make a single attack that deals 2d6 for damage,  choosing the highest single die roll.

Hand Maidens  are the beloved of Dagon and are sheltered by his aegis.  They are permanently under the influence of Protection from Law, and once per day they may Summon the Drowned, which functions exactly as an Animate Dead spell, calling forth 1d6 zombies - the remains of sailors that the Maidens dragged to the depths and who now serve them in unlife.

Dagonic Steeds             No. Encountered 1-6

Armour Class: 7                  Special: Tracking, Soporific Gaze
Hit Dice: 3                             Move: 18" (18" swimming)
Attacks: Claw                      HDE/XP: 4/120
Morale: 10

The Dagonic Steeds are equally swift on land and in the sea.  They can taste the scent of their prey, and so track it.  Anyone caught in the gaze of a sea horse must make a Charisma save or lose their action for the turn.  They may make a save every turn to attempt to break out of their stupor.  Anyone making a successful save can no longer be affected by Soporific Gaze for the rest of the encounter.

New Spell: Summon Hand Maiden
Spell Level: C3
Range: Referee's discretion
Duration: Until service is completed

This spell is granted to favoured priests of Dagon, allowing them to summon the aid of his Hand Maidens.  The Hand Maiden will appear the round after the summoning is complete and will serve the caster in any way that furthers the interests of Father Dagon.


Omlet said...

New Seekers are really disgusting, but fiends are OK.

bliss_infinte said...

Awesome, especially since Dagon is a chaotic god in my campaign. I will be using these, thank you very much!

Sean Robson said...

Every campaign needs a little Dagon! He's one of the chaos gods in my own campaign as well.

I came upon the idea while painting the Seekers of Slaanesh for the GW store's display case, and was trying to find a novel paint scheme. The spines and crustacean-like appendages immediately suggested an aquatic theme and thus the Handmaidens were born.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

Warhammer has some fabulous figures. I particularly like the chaos minis.

Their sculpts get better all the time, I used to hate them but they have become more realistic (at least in body proportions) of late.

Sean Robson said...

Their sculpts are getting better and better all the time; the quality of the plastic models in particular have improved drastically over the last couple of years.

I never used to find GW miniatures appropriate for role playing because they often looked too goofy or 'Warhammery,' but a lot of their newer releases fit right in with my campaign world, depicting creatures very close to the way I'd imagined them.

The new Island of Blood boxed set is amazing and quite inexpensive for what you get. It is an order of magnitude better than the previous Skull Pass set.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

That's the one with the skaven and high elves, no?

A couple of those figures are amazing (the griffon, for one)

Sean Robson said...

Yep, that's the one. Yes, the griffin is incredible. That rat-ogres are very nice, too.

migellito said...

Best new monsters I've seen in a long time! Also, excellent creative use of miniatures.

Sean Robson said...

Thanks for the kind words, migelito!