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Ritual Life: Stone Communion

Ritual Life: Stone Communion

caveDwarves are not all hammers, shields, and axes. They possess a strong—some would say almost divine—connection to earth and stone. Wielders of ancient magic, dwarf spellcasters manipulate stone as if it were clay, and their rituals reflect this. Chasm to the Abyss and Seal the Ways protect the halls from beasts and creatures crawling up out of the dark. Earth Glide is known only to a few dwarf wizards and druids, thanks to understanding the true nature of stone in a way only those close to the earth ever could. Speak with Ancestors allows dwarf clerics, druids, and wizards to evoke the spirits of the dead. Volund’s Steed is a gift from the dwarven god of smiths and horses, so his people could move more speedily under the earth.

Chasm to the Abyss

The ground before you parts with a rumble. A fissure opens, stretching from cave wall to cave wall. Tonight at least, you will sleep soundly, knowing anything emerging from the dark will first have to cross the gap…

Level 16
Component Cost 1,800
Category Exploration
Market Price 4,300 gp
Time 10 minutes
Key Skill Arcana or Nature
Duration Special

When you cast this ritual, you open a fissure in the ground. Your Arcana or Nature check determines the width, depth and length of the opening, and the ritual’s duration.

Check ResultWidth/Depth/Length (squares)Duration (hours)
19 or lower—2/2/10—1
40 or higher—8/8/80—16

The chasm begins in a square adjacent to you and extends in straight lines of equal length in both directions from the origin square. The opening halts if it encounters a vertical surface such as a cave wall. You can not cause the chasm to open beneath a structure.

You may end the ritual as a minor action. A creature in the opening when it closes takes 5d10 damage and is pushed out to the nearest unoccupied square.

Earth Glide

This ritual allows you to move through solid earth as if it were air. That’s weird enough, but what’s really strange, you can also breathe rock.

Level 16
Component Cost 1,800 gp
Category Exploration
Market Price 4,500 gp
Time 30 minutes
Key Skill Arcana or Nature
Duration Special

This ritual allows you to move your speed through solid rock, stone, or dirt.

Your Arcana or Nature check determines the ritual’s duration.

Check ResultDuration (hours)
19 or lower—1
40 or higher—8

While the ritual is in effect you gain the earth walk ability. (See Terrain Walk in the Monster Manual.)

You do not leave a tunnel or hole while moving through the ground, nor do you create ripples or other signs of your presence.

If you are in rock when the ritual ends, you take 5d10 damage and are shunted to the nearest open space.

Seal the Ways

Derro used tunnels to enter your halls and attack your people. Instead of just collapsing the entrance, you called upon eldritch knowledge to permanently close the tunnel. Now several feet of rock block the passage as if it had never been there.

Level 10
Component Cost 400
Category Exploration
Market Price 1,200 gp
Time 30 minutes
Key Skill Arcana or Nature
Duration Permanent

You fill an empty space with rock. The new material bonds with the surrounding medium so it is as if the empty space never existed. Your Arcana or Nature check determines the volume you fill.

Check ResultVolume
9 or lower—burst 1
10-19—burst 3
20-29—burst 5
30-39—burst 8
40 or higher—burst 12

You may choose to fill a lesser volume than indicated by your check. This new rock is permanent.

Speak with Ancestors

A translucent figure of a dwarf emerges from the dark corridor. He is dressed in the old style, fetish items weaved in his beard to ward off curse-magic of the giants who once terrorized your people. In a voice hollow and deep with time, he asks what you seek.

Level 8
Component Cost 300 gp, plus focus worth 25 gp
Category Divination
Market Price 680 gp
Time 10 minutes
Key Skill Arcana or Religion
Duration Special

You call upon the spirit ancestors of your ancestors. They answer general questions about topics known to dwarves. Your Arcana or Religion check determines how many questions you can ask before the ritual ends.

Check ResultNumber of Questions
19 or lower—one
40 or higher—four

After each question, make an Arcana, History, or Religion check with a +5 bonus. The result is the information your ancestor spirit imparts to you about a bit of lore or information regarding topics normally revealed with the particular check.

Information not commonly known to dwarves cannot be revealed using this ritual. For example, this ritual will not allow you to learn the location of a lost aboleth city or a dragon’s true name.

The ritual ends after the final answer is given or when 10 minutes have passed, whichever comes first.

This ritual does not work if cast by non-dwarves.

Focus A skein of high quality ale or wine as an offering to the ancestors.

Volund’s Stone Steed

The rock swells and surges, bulging upward into a mass that takes on the shape a four-legged beast. The creature’s legs remain fused to the stone, but it moves with the speed of a horse, unhampered by chasms, sheer walls or stalagmite-strewn caves.

Level 6
Component Cost 150 gp
Category Exploration
Market Price 360 gp
Time 10 minutes
Key Skill Arcana or Religion
Duration Special

With this ritual, you conjure up to eight horse-like creatures of Large size that can be ridden by any character you designate when you first perform the ritual. The mounts emerge from stone or natural earth, so the ritual must be cast on land or underground.

Your Arcana or Religion check determines how long the steed exists, its speed, and any special movement it possesses.

Check ResultSpeedSpecial MovementDuration (hours)
19 or lower—8—earth walk—4
20-29—10—squeeze 1 size without penalty—8
30-39—12—ascend vertical surfaces without slowing—12
40 or higher—16—cross cavern ceilings as if on level ground—24

The steeds possess all special movement capabilities determined by your check as well as all lower results.

A rider experiences all special movement as if the steed moved upright on level ground. He may take any action allowed a mounted rider without incurring additional penalties.

The steeds can do nothing but serve as mounts. Each steed has 10 hp. If attacked, the steed uses its rider’s defenses (or yours if it has no rider). A stone steed is immune to any effect other than damage.

A rider on a steed when the ritual ends or the steed is destroyed lands on his feet in the steed’s space if the steed is on a horizontal surface. Otherwise, the rider falls to the nearest horizontal surface, landing safely at the start of his next turn.

5 thoughts on “Ritual Life: Stone Communion”

  1. I think _Seal the Ways_ needs a shunting clause– otherwise it makes a very cruel way to destroy prisoners.

    “You’re leaving us in this cell? To starve?”

    “No,” giggled the Derro. “A priestess will fill this hole with rock in about 40 minutes. Too bad you didn’t talk.”

  2. Good stuff!

    Volund’s Stone Steed was my favorite – the spider climb aspects really grabbed me.

    Ben, if derro have you captive in a cell, Seal the Ways sounds like about the most pleasant option available. :)

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