RPG Adventures and design guides for tabletop gamers

Magic of the Celestial Sea IV – The Living Stars

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Pleiades by s58yEach morning, Midgard’s deific sun emerges from the horizon and begins its swift journey across the sky, sparks of flaming godstuff cascading in its wake. While most of these divine motes simply diffuse into the firmament, a rare few find purchase in the heavenly ether and begin to mature into something truly magnificent. Growing in awareness as well as radiance, these are the living stars. Each speck of light in Midgard’s night sky is a living being, possessed of miraculous powers and a wild diversity of wants and desires.

When shining in the sky, the stars’ corporeal forms are enveloped in blazing auras of enormous size. These auras are the radiance visible in the night sky, and render them all but inaccessible and invulnerable; only the youngest stars fear the great void dragons and dark primordial proto-gods that hunt the Celestial Sea. Many stars shine for the entire duration of their long lives, contemplating existence in celestial solitude. Some may dim their lights only briefly, to allow rare visitors entrance to their strange realms. Others are so struck with wanderlust and curiosity that they will periodically depart the heavens entirely, seeking adventure, knowledge, or companionship on Midgard and elsewhere.

Living stars increase dramatically in power as they age, and the very oldest are demipowers known simply as the star lords. Although star worship is far more common on other worlds, many small and scattered star cults can be found across Midgard. The two star lords that follow, Nuhake and Diobohn, both have modest (albeit very different) followings in the city of Zobeck. Star lord worshipers may take advantage of their patrons’ obedience and boons by taking the Star Obedience feat, which works identically to Celestial Obedience.

Nuhake
CG male star lord of circuses, carnivals, and magical entertainments
Cult
Holy Symbol circus tent
Temples carnival midways and circus tents after closing
Worshipers bards, illusionists, stage and street performers, honest proprietors of gaming establishments
Minions hundunDR, pixies
Obedience Paint your face in Nuhake’s colors and entertain a crowd for an hour. While your face remains at least half painted, you gain a +4 bonus to Performance, Acrobatics, or Handle Animal checks.

DR = Dark Roads and Golden Hells

Boons

1: Dazzle (Sp) silent image (3/day), hypnotic pattern (2/day), or major image (1/day)

2: Gamer’s Luck (Su) Once per day, you may elect to make two d20 rolls and take the better of the two. You must choose to use this ability before any dice are rolled.

3: Firework (Sp) Once per day, you may cast prismatic spray as a standard action.

Before living stars can leave their perches in the heavens and travel to the worlds of mortals without great effort, they can simply watch. Virtually all living stars have spent centuries, even millennia, observing the worlds below them. Only able to view their chosen worlds at nighttime, they are often comically misinformed or ignorant about many aspects of mortal life, while developing intense interests in others. For Nuhake, the amusements that lit up the night after the sun went down were clearly the crowning achievement of mortal existence. Death-defying stunts, savage animals, games of luck and skill—all these were testaments to humanity’s amazing capacities for invention and joy.

Nuhake’s realm is a sprawling maze of tents and midways, bustling with slack-jawed visitors who took a wrong turn in a gambling hall or got lost under the bleachers of a traveling magic show. The staff are among the most talented of Nuhake’s faithful—on any given night, a visitor might be entertained by a deafening gearforged one-man-band, a pair of wind-dancing sylph sisters from Temperos, or the Golden Golem Juggling Golden Golems of Tiomoutiri. Nuhake himself can often be found mixing with the crowds and cheering the performers—he appears to be a rail-thin elf gentleman standing 9 ft. tall and is dressed like the most dashing jester to ever exist.

Diobohn
NE female star lord of destruction by fire
Cult
Holy Symbol human skull in a teardrop of flame
Temples ruins of burned buildings, forest fires, heretic and book burnings
Worshipers arsonists, executioners
Minions fire elementals
Obedience Start a fire that takes a life or destroys a home, business, or place of worship. Gain a +4 profane bonus on saving throws against fire-based effects.

Boons

1: Firestarter (Sp) burning hands 3/day, fire breath 2/day, or fireball 1/day

2: Flamewalker (Ex) You gain resist fire 30.

3: Become Inferno (Sp) Once per day, as a swift action, you may transform into a huge fire elemental as per elemental body IV. Duration is 1 minute per character level.

As a much younger star, Diobohn watched a wooden vessel sail so close to her aura that it simply burst into flames. She was enthralled not only by the sight of it, but by the anguished screams of the ship’s doomed crew; flame became her mistress that day, and she in turn has become a patron to those similarly inclined.

Diobohn sometimes appears on Midgard as a hag caked in ash and soot, wandering the aftermath of forest fires or the wreckage of burned buildings, admiring the destruction and chuckling quietly to herself at the sorrow of survivors and mourners.

Observed at the right moment, Diobohn’s realm is completely confounding—a picturesque hamlet nestled next to a small woodland grove. But nighttime brings the first spark, and soon enough the idyllic scene is bathed in a ravenous inferno. By morning not a single living or crafted thing remains, and it all begins again.

(This post is Product Identity.)

    1 Comment

  1. Nuhake’s symbol. Viewed from above a circus tent could easily look like the symbol for the Umbrella Corporation. A great way to get some tiny screams from players (and teach them not to meta-game). With Diobohn’s obedience, I’m not so sure that would take as little time as an hour (destroying a building anyway) and I’m certain it’d be difficult to pull off daily. Then again those ARE nasty boons.

    Adventuring living stars are begging to be a player race.

    Doomedpaladin

    September 18, 2013

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