Friday, March 14, 2014

Monster/Adventure: The Alkonost and The Village That Forgot Itself

HD 1+2
AC 7 [12]
Atk 2 claws (1d2)
Move 12 (fly 12)
Save 17
AL Neutrality
CL/XP 2/30
Special: Song of amnesia.

Alkonost have the head of a human and the body of a large bird. They have shimmering iridescent plumage. The song of an alkonast is hauntingly beautiful, but dangerous: anyone hearing an alkonost must make a successful saving throw or forget the events of the past hour. The save repeats every round, so a character that repeatedly fails their saves and listens for a turn forgets the past ten hours. Fortunately, alkonost rarely land, preferring instead to drift endlessly on the winds, so victims are rarely within earshot of an alkonost for more than a few moments.

Despite their human head, alkonost have only the simplest of minds, and cannot converse.

The Village That Forgot Itself

Something is strange in the village of Little Hiur. Buried in a deep valley in the Orphian Mountains and off any significant trade routes, the village wouldn’t even be a dot on the map if not for the presence of a small shrine and a nearby dungeon. The scarcity of visitors doesn’t explain the strange welcome the villagers give new arrivals, however. They repeatedly question visitors as to what day it is and about recent events. A large slab of slate sits in the town square with a date chalked on it, though the date is two days old. If visitors confirm a more recent date, the villagers will quickly erase the old date and chalk in the correct one.

What no one realizes is that Brother Cutland, the monk at the Shrine of Saint Yne, has captured an alkonost. Brother Cutland was always petty, vindictive, and small-minded, but he’s also clever and well-read. He noticed and recognized the alkonost almost two weeks ago, and after plugging his ears with wax and wool, was able to catch it in a net. He now keeps it in a locked room near the monastery’s waterfall-powered mill, which drowns out its constant singing.

Brother Cutland has so far only done relatively minor mischief with his alkonost. The creature is docile, so he gags it and pulls it around town in a small cart (it’s too big to carry and can’t walk well), saying whatever he likes to anyone that displeases him. He then plugs his own ears and ungags the alkonost, causing his victim to promptly forget that they’d been insulted. He is also pilfering from the local merchant, taking small goods and ungagging the alkonost to avoid paying the bill.

The real danger, however, is that Cutland has begun taking long walks around town with the alkonost at night. The tight confines of Little Hiur mean that everyone except the monk has had repeated exposures of an hour or more, and many have now lost several weeks from their memory. They often find they’ve lost large portions of the day, can’t agree on the date, and believe they have been put under some kind of curse. They are desperate for a solution…and hope someone can remember the problem long enough to solve it.

No comments:

Post a Comment