Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Lord Of All Fragments

Vhalkana, his hammer, and his... arm-spikes?

Vhalkana, The Smith-God

Vhalkana was manufactured by the previous smith-god, Cobannos, in an attempt to correct what that deity perceived to be his own weaknesses. Cobannos used all of the best parts of himself as ingredients and died as a result. He omitted various flawed qualities from the new god. Stuff like empathy for mortals, interest in non-smith-related activities, et ceteras. The result is a very hands-on deity.

Vhalkana likes dragooning random mortals to fetch raw materials for him, and not just his worshippers. He sees mortals as a naturally occurring resource much like a lode of mineral ore or a stand of trees. If he needs something they can provide, he will take it.

A typical interaction with Vhalkana might involve him dropping a four-faced angel into the players' vicinity, followed by the angel imperiously ordering the party to retrieve an unusual crafting material from their proximity. Or else. The angel will wait.

Stuff Vhalkana Wants

Things Vhalkana might plausibly demand players fetch:

The Devoted

A priest of the smith-god is known as a "pyraethi", which means fire-keeper. They must be devoid of birth defects, proficient in metalworking, and ideally are descended from another pyraethi. Supposedly, most pyraethi are descended from Vhalkana or Cobannos. After death, they can expect to have their soul collected by their deity, converted to soulsteel or another substance (the better a craftsman the pyraethi was in life, the more rarified a material his soul becomes in death), and incorporated into Vhalkana's next project. For a pyraethi, there can be no greater reward.

The smith-god grants prayers relating to the creation of objects (magical or otherwise), the manipulation and refinement of materials, and protection from destruction or calamity.

Every shrine to the smith-god houses a sacred kiln that contains fire from one of Vhalkana's forges. If it doesn't have a sacred kiln, it isn't a shrine. The fire is continually fed and maintained. Many such fires have burned continuously for hundreds of years or more.

Summoning a wall of shields always helps.

Prayers Of Metal And Making

Create Facsimile (1st-level)

You fabricate a copy of a single common magical item touched. The item is identical in all ways except that it vanishes at the end of the day. You cannot copy the same item more than once on any given day, regardless of how many times you memorize this spell, nor can you copy expendable or charge-based items. [1]

Recharge (1st-level)

This spell attempts to recharge a rod, staff, or wand that has at least 1 charge left. It requires 50 gold in semi-precious stones and rare earth powders. Roll 1d6+1. If you roll a natural 1, your working is flawed and you destroy the object in question. Otherwise you restore the that amount in charges to the item (though not above its inherent maximum, if applicable).

Wall Of Swords (2nd-level)

You conjure a 5x1 wall of spinning blades within short range. The wall blocks line of sight. Each turn, the wall inflicts 1d8 damage to creatures that start their turn within it or enter at least one space of its area. It will not inflict this damage to a given creature more than once, per turn. This wall counts as a friendly creature for the purposes of determining flanking, both for players and enemies.

Wall Of Shields (2nd-level)

You conjure a wall of hovering shields into a 4x4 area within medium range. The zone blocks line of sight to creatures within or past it, imparts +1 AC and AOE resist (half damage) to creatures within it, and counts as a creature for the purposes of determining flanking for both you and your enemies.

Greater Facsimile (3rd-level)

As create facsimile, but for a single uncommon magical item touched. You cannot cast this spell more than once, per day. [2]

Sacred Holocaust (3rd-level)

With a touch, you envelop a foe in agonizing flames. A target touched suffers 4d6 fire damage, Fort half. This is a fire and pain-based effect. On a failed save, they are weak (inflict half damage) until the end of their next turn. On a successful save, this spell is not expended from your memory.

Glassteel (4th-level)

Obviously, the pyraethi can cast glassteel. For them it's probably a 4th-level level spell. I don't know why anybody would think it should be 8th level.

[1] I think the price point for a common item should probably be about 1500gp or less. In Pathfinder, anyways. Basically, the spell should let you clone a +1 weapon or armor.
[2] 4000gp or less.

Notable Pyraethi

Pyraethi Faerzin is the most highly regarded of his order, essentially acting as high priest. He has a dozen four-faced angels working for him and occasionally borrows Vhalkana's forge hammer for personal projects.

Per the direct orders of her deity, Pyraethi Xenia has infiltrated the Yellowcake-Priests. They possess sacred scientific knowledge that mankind is not yet ready to use and are obsessed with destroying the world. Since the world is Vhalkana's -or rather Cobannos'- greatest creation, Xenia is commanded to destroy them. She has forged a marvelous helmet that allows her to eavesdrop on their communications with the star that they serve, permitting her to pretend to be one of their number and to infiltrate their ridiculous floating pyramid. She feels like she is operating on borrowed time and will escape as soon as conveniently possible.

Though not the most powerful of spellcasters, Pyraethi Jasparo has bred a sacred goose that lays eggs of the purest iron ore. He guards it like one in the throes of a deeply insane paranoia. Unbeknownst to Jasparo, the goose also exhales fumes of concentrated mercury.

Several pyraethi cooperate at Yesh Barit, the sacred foundry. All manner of projects are carried out here under the direct supervision of Vhalkana's angels. Their chief task is refining orichalcum, used for divine armaments such as thunderbolts, and panchaloha, a chameleonic idol-metal sometimes used by the gods in the manufacture of living creatures.

The Fire Caravan

Now that is a cool-ass mineral. It's moldavite, found exclusively at meteor impact sites.
The Fire Caravan is a troupe of ten or so pyraethi that wander the world in search of thokcha, also known as meteoric iron. They pay top-dollar for documentation of recent meteor activity or stories about meteor fields. They eventually turn all of their findings over to Vhalkana, but will also perform their own experiments prior to that. They probably have all manner of void-kissed substances.

Stuff like:

  • Armaments glazed with void-rust scrapings. They are forbidden from using the void-kissed meteoric iron, itself, but surely the forge-god will not begrudge his followers a little bit of rust. The priests are getting quite clever at working with it.
  • Spun objects of ultra-frozen primum frigidum that will never melt. Useful for, uh, well. Maybe they're unbreakable? I could see laminating some sort of ice-themed armor with it, or alloying it with an igneous mineral to make some sort of fire/ice super sword.
  • Superconductive wands (superconductive to electricity, magic, or emotion, depending).
  • Metals that convert into dangerous organic matter when contacted with water. They could probably use this to grow you a new limb or organ. Assuming you didn't mind it being hideous and unrecognizably alien.
  • A portal stone that permits instantaneous travel between worlds. The sender is waiting for somebody to activate it so they can come through. This would probably lead to undesirable outcomes.
  • An Eye of the Star-thing. Whatever it is, it grew uncountable millions of extra eyes, attached each to a stone capable of surviving atmospheric entry, and hurled them at an unfathomable number of worlds. This is probably one of those "when you gaze into the darkness, it gazes also into you" situations, so I wouldn't get too cozy with the eye. Maybe it could give you a bonus when casting contact other plane.
  • More moldavite than you can shake a fist at. I'm sure it possesses amazing properties for magic or spellcraft. Maybe allow it to reduce the price of crafting plausible magic items?
This is basically what I think an Eye Of The Star-Thing should look like.