Another Skeleton 'encounter'. This (or these, perhaps) are might not be very adventuresome, but it is (they are) colourful. And there is the potential for the PCs to get tangled up in a heap of trouble (when isn't there?), particularly if they meet this travelling showman more than once.
A Travelling Show
Osteus Arcanus is the stage name of a petty Necromancer. Lacking the, ahem, backbone, for the deeper secrets of death magic, he has put his talents to use as a showman. His carriage is made from painted black wood, polished brass, and carved bone. It is pulled by two black shire horses wearing bull skulls as ostentatious champrons. Osteus maintains a sinister appearance, using theatrical make-up to give himself a deathly pallor and darken his sunken eyes. He wears a brass skull cap and the (tattered) funeral wear of the nobility. All this is a mistake; as often as he puts on a successful show, he leaves a village or town just ahead of the pitchfork and torch.
OSTEUS = MU (Necromancer from Theorems & Thaumaturgy): 3, AC: 7, HP: 7, MV: 120’/40’, ATT: 1 dagger, DAM: 1d4, SV: MU3, MR: 6, AL: C, XP: 100
Osteus’ spellbook – an overwritten volume of the Hagensburg Register of Deaths – contains the Level 1 spells Exterminate (T&T p12), Read Magic, Scare (AEC p75), Skeletal Servitor (T&T p15), and the Level 2 spell Ray of Pain (T&T p14). He also has a collection of books on obscure funereal rites (worth 200gp to a suitable buyer), and a beautifully illustrated copy of Delvecchio’s Classical Clowning (200gp). A locked chest contains 50gp and 500sp. He also has four human skeletons, bones linked by wire, hooks drilled into their skulls. These hang on a rack in his carriage when not dressed in cheap costumes and animated using Skeletal Servitor for his act – a compendium of famous tragic, historical, and comedic scenes. Each casting of Skeletal Servitor allows him to animate a Skeleton for 9 turns.
There are many ways in which the PCs may (repeatedly) encounter Osteus, but here are three:
1 – At the edge of town, Osteus sobs over a charred skeleton. It is dressed in what remains of a ‘princess’ costume. 'She' was burned by angry, confused villagers. Distraught, Osteus will initially say little other than, ‘They burned her!’
2 – A clown picks berries from a roadside hedge. If approached, it will become clear that it is a Skeleton. Osteus is brewing a kettle of tea a few hundred yards away.
3 – Osteus enters a village with great pomp, with two Skeletons dressed a noble guards marching ahead of his carriage, from which he announces himself as a great dramatist. On behalf of the villagers, roll for reaction…
[This should (it does!) fit onto a 6"x4" index card. Maybe I'll have to put together a PDF at some point for easy archiving. As well as referencing Labyrinth Lord, spells have been drawn from Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion, and Theorems &Thaumaturgy - a free(!!) pdf from Gavin Norman of City of Iron.]
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