Days of High Adventure
Dungeon World: Welcome to the Dark Side

Chris Brackett | 17 Jun 2010 21:00
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The Cult of Phleebx Today

Today, the Cult of Phleebx exists - for the most part - as little more than a scary tale told to frighten youngsters. Of its many shrines in the Thornberg region, only ruins remain. (Although some claim that the Cult lurks in dark passages and chambers hidden beneath these ruins. This has yet to be proven true.) In Thornberg, the night of Harvest Even is said to be a night when angry spirits are free to walk the earth, and the once-beloved holiday is now usually celebrated by locking the doors and windows and spending a somber night in fearful vigilance.

No one claims openly to be a member of the Cult.

Malf Sertic - the Prophet of Phleebx - was never captured, and is said to still wander the region. It's also rumored that the cult thrives in the shadows, and has spread to every corner of the World. Many refute these rumors as baseless speculation, but every now and then a wizard is found dead in his abode, or a demi-human is found murdered in a back alley - often with a farmer's sickle still lodged in their bodies. Even more often, adventurers find that one or more of their magic items has gone missing - only to be found later, inexplicably drained of their dweomer.

Using the Cult in Your Game

Dungeon Masters should use the Cult as an enigmatic, lurking entity that poses a threat to a party's wizards and demi-humans, as well as their magic items. "Attacks" by the Cult should be executed by only a single member, and in a place most advantageous for an ambush. If a Cult member is unlikely to be able to dispatch a party member, he or she may opt instead to pilfer one of the character's magic items, which will be taken to a Blessed One (see below) awaiting at some secret location nearby so that the item may be drained of its magic.

On the exceedingly rare occasion that a Cult cell is encountered, they should be elusive and mysterious; the Cult has survived many years because its members have learned how to cloak themselves in secrecy. Should a party of adventurers encounter a temple (usually a location that bears no significant markings as such) they may run into a high priest, or - if they're very unlucky - a Blessed One of Phleebx:

Blessed One of Phleebx

Armor Class:4Morale:12
No. Appearing:1 (1)Attacks:claw/claw/bite
Hit Dice:5***Treasure Type:None
Save As:Fighter 5Damage:1-4/1-4/2-8 + spec
Move:30' (Floating - see below)Alignment:Chaotic

A Cult member "chosen" by Phleebx, the Blessed One is an abomination. It appears as a mutilated human, floating about two feet above the ground, its lower half missing - innards and the remainder of its spine dangle beneath torn flesh. It moans incessantly as its flesh appears to melt from its body, dripping to the earth below, where it puddles and quickly evaporates. Despite this constant melting of flesh, its skin never seems to completely dissolve away. A character encountering a Blessed One must Save vs. Spells or suffer as if afflicted by a Cause Fear spell.

If a Blessed One successfully attacks a magic using or demi-human character, the character must Save vs. Spells or suffer a level drain (exactly the same as the attack of a wight). If a Blessed One's attack misses, it still has a 30% chance of hitting one of the character's magic items (if he or she has any). If an item is struck, it automatically loses one magical property (or one "+") chosen by the DM.

The Blessed One is immune to all forms of magic (except a wish-type spell) and an attacker may count no magical bonuses or properties when attacking it with a magical weapon.

This bit of Dungeon World lore can be downloaded in .PDF form here.

Chris Brackett is a web monkey by trade, but in real life he's a veteran gamer and author of several tabletop miniatures games. He spends far too much of his time working on his RPG-focused game blog, A Rust Monster Ate My Sword.

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