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Do you remember my old post about the Polymar race? I hardly believe you do, but for those of you who're still interested, this post is its proper sequel (the first one about the Polymars' history can be found on my site). It details the Red Hurricane, the Polymars' most hated and oldest nemesis, and his incredible secret..
The Red Hurricaneby Marco Dalmonte
As long as evil will threaten Mystara, justice will bear my name...
- - Hurricane Polymar's battlecry.
The Red Hurricane has always battled the Polymars, the Invisible People as he calls them, since his birth. Tarin Oregar was the first and most successful Red Hurricane so far, but others followed and have always tried to use the powers of the Polymer Helm to fight evil and treachery and to unmask the polymars' hidden plots. The polymars themselves don't know who or what the Red Hurricane really is, only Novar does and he's not telling them the whole truth. He has only ordered the Group to dispose of this devil by crushing his head or by reducing him to ashes, so that the helm will be destroyed without anybody knowing what it really was. The Polymer Helm is an old Blackmoor relic, a technological device that alters the molecular structure of the wearer making him very similar to polymars, only tougher and swifter. The helm also contains a small but powerful micro-computer which stores a large database where the information gathered so far by all the Red Hurricanes have been accumulated. The wearer need simply to concentrate on the desired information to retrieve it and exploit it. It is a veritable repository of arcane lore, as well as an incredible fighting machine. Furthermore, all its effects are not magical in nature, but physical, and so they are not dispellable. However, due to Mystara's strange physical properties, the Helm has been loosing many of its original powers and today it is a much less depowered version even though it still inspires fear in the hearts of the polymars. Loosing one power each century, it will be completely useless in about a millennium, unless it is taken away from Mystara earlier.
The Polymer Helm appears as a red rounded motorcycle helm with the lower frontal part enclosing and protecting the wearer's chin. It is always shiny and perfectly polished and the material used to make it is a strange kind of metal alloy unknown to any Mystaran smith. It is able to adapt itself to the size of the wearer provided he is no taller than 2 meters (6'10") and no smaller than 1 meter (3'). By using one of its powers, the wearer is also able to change the Helm's appearance while it is donned, although once removed it immediately regains its normal shape. When one of the powers is activated, a transparent blue glass-like (plexiglass) viewer slides down to cover the eyes; when the power is deactivated, it slides back inside the upper part of the helm.
Any being no taller than 2 meters can wear the Helm and become the Red Hurricane. Immediately after it is donned, the Helm establishes a telepathic link with its owner and gives him the basic information about its creation and goals. It also gives the wearer access to the secret passwords to call upon the powers left in the Helm. To use one of the powers the wearer must simply concentrate and utter the command word: this is considered like casting a spell (it takes one full round to operate, during which the wearer can only dodge or move). All the powers can be used simultaneously. These are the powers left in the helm with the Polymer Points needed to activate them (see below for Polymer Points):
Power Name Polymer Points Polymar Vision 1 Polymar Scouter 2 Polymar Change 3 Polymar Illusion 4 Polymar Mole 5 Polymar Torpedo 6 Polymar Sparrowhawk 7 Polymar Skin 8 Polymar Strength 9 Polymar Speed 10 Hurricane 20
* Polymar Vision: the wearer gains a thermal infrared vision that allows him to see quite clearly even in darkness (just like the elves' Infravision). The power requires 1 PP each 3 turns it is activated (consumed immediately after activation and every 3 turns thereafter).
* Polymar Scouter: the wearer is able to view through the viewer the true form and physical stats of everyone in a 18 meters (60') radius. The wearer has 90% -1% per creature's HD to view its true form, and can evaluate its Strength, Hit Points and Hit Dices (note: HD, not Levels). The power requires 2 PP each turn it is activated (consumed immediately after activation and with each subsequent turn).
* Polymar Change: this power functions just like the first level wizard's spell Alter Self. The wearer can assume the form of another humanoid being, changing his clothes and physical appearance. He can grow up to 30 cms (1') more or shrink up to 1' less than his normal height, increasing or decreasing his bodily weight of up to 30 kilos. He can also alter his apparent age (no restrictions) and his clothes, concealing his objects as well, although they will always remain the same. This is only an illusion, and even though it cannot be dispelled, it can be discovered by touch and by the use of Trueseeing. The power requires 3 PP each turn it is activated (consumed immediately after activation and with each subsequent turn).
* Polymar Illusion: using this power, the wearer creates illusory duplicates of himself that move and act mirroring the original character but which can be distinguished from him only by touch (exactly the same of the wizard's Mirror Image spell). The images remain in a 5 meters (15') radius from the wearer and each image disappears if touched. The wearer can create 1d4 images for each 4 Polymer Points spent, and they last only 1 turn (or until touched). There maximum number of images that can be created simultaneously is 20.
* Polymar Mole: the wearer's body (with his whole equipment) turns into a mechanical excavator of the same size and can dig his way into the earth at the movement rate of 36 (12) mts/yds per round (the encumbrance rate is the normal one but it does not affect the speed). Until he is in this form, the character cannot use his equipment nor speak, but he senses everything normally (can hear and see with infravision and normal vision) and has all his stats. Since the change is physical and not magical, it cannot be dispelled. This power requires 5 PP to be activated and lasts 1 turn (every other turn another 5 PP must be spent to maintain the power).
* Polymar Torpedo: the wearer's body (with his whole equipment) turns into a mechanical submarine of the same size and can swim on and under-water with the movement rate of 36 (12) mts/yds per round (the encumbrance rate is the normal one but it does not affect the speed). Until he is in this form, the character cannot use his equipment nor speak, but he senses everything normally (can hear and see with infravision and normal vision), can breathe underwater and has all his stats. Since the change is physical and not magical, it cannot be dispelled. This power requires 6 PP to be activated and lasts 1 turn (every other turn another 6 PP must be spent to maintain the power).
* Polymar Sparrowhawk: the wearer's body (with his whole equipment) turns into a mechanical aeroplane of the same size and can fly at the rate of 36 (12) mts/yds per round (the encumbrance rate is the normal one but it does not affect the speed). Until he is in this form, the character cannot use his equipment nor speak, but he senses everything normally (can hear and see with infravision and normal vision), and has all his stats. Since the change is physical and not magical, it cannot be dispelled. This power requires 7 PP to be activated and lasts 1 turn (every other turn another 7 PP must be spent to maintain the power).
* Polymar Skin: the wearer's skin becomes tougher and more resilient, giving him a base AC of 3. The skin however assumes a strange reddish hue, as if the character was wearing a crimson body suit. This power requires 8 PP to be activated and lasts 1 turn (every other turn another 8 PP must be spent to maintain the power).
* Polymar Strength: the helm stimulates the muscles of the wearer's body to increase their volume and power, adding 5 points to the character's Strength (even exceeding the maximum stats for his race). The power is not cumulative (the character cannot activate it twice to double the bonus) but can be combined with other powers and spells. This power requires 9 PP to be activated and lasts 1 turn (every other turn another 9 PP must be spent to maintain the power).
* Polymar Speed: the helm stimulates the wearer's polymers, nerves and brain making him more reactive and fast in his actions. The character acts as if he was hastened and gains a bonus of +2 to his Initiative roll and -2 to his Armour Class. The power is not cumulative (the character cannot activate it twice to double the bonuses) but can be combined with other powers and spells. This power requires 10 PP to be activated and lasts 1 turn (every other turn another 10 PP must be spent to maintain the power).
* Hurricane: the most awesome power of the Polymer Helm, this allows the wearer to perform an incredible physical deed in a short time. The wearer of the helm has his Strength and Dexterity boosted to 18 (or 19 if they already are 18), his movement doubled (he can also jump at his normal movement rate), his THAC0 reduced by 1 point and he also gains 1 level, with all the bonuses and advantages that come with it. This power is not cumulative but can be combined with others or with other spells. While it is activated, a glowing yellow symbol appears in the middle of the torso and on the back of the character's hands: it is the symbol of the Polymar Helm, a strange mix between the letter "P" and a bird. It requires 20 PP to be activated and lasts for 6 rounds, after which the character must rest for another 6 rounds. During this period he is considered "stunned", but this doesn't prevent him from activating other powers of the helm (save the Hurricane).
The Polymer Helm is considered like a +5 magical armour in order to understand what kind of weapons or monsters can damage it. It is totally immune to normal or magical cold based attacks and automatically takes half damage from fire and acid based attacks (another ST vs Fire/Magical Fire or Acid is allowed to reduce the damage to 1/4). Electricity damages it normally. It has 100 Hit Points (encumbrance: 20 coins), and for every point of damage taken there is a cumulative 1% of chances that its powers misfunction (roll each time a power is activated). If reduced to 0 Hp, the helm is destroyed utterly.
The Helm can heal itself only if it is donned by somebody, drawing upon his stamina. As long as a living character is wearing the helm, the damage taken by the helm can be repaired at the cost of 1 Hp per Hit Point of the subject through a very special non-magical blending. The process takes 1 turn for every Hp to be repaired, and the wounds produced on the wearer are real, but can be cured both in the normal and magical way. Beware however, that this process is not controllable: once the Helm is being damaged, it automatically enters the repairing mode and starts leaking away the wearer's Hit Points to preserve itself. The only possible way to stop it before it kills the wearer is to remove it from one's head. However, if it is still damaged once it is donned again, it immediately restarts the procedure until it is completely repaired.
The Helm works stimulating the polymers of the human body according to the programmed patterns inscribed in the helm's micro-computer. The power source used to cause the alteration of the polymers is a miniaturised auto recharging nuclear battery that also draws upon the mental strength and stamina of the helm wearer to operate. Every time the Helm is used, the battery loses part of its energy, until it runs out. The battery however recharges itself automatically so that it always becomes fully recharged after 24 hours.
The Polymer Points (PP) of the Helm are calculated adding the wearer's psycho-physical characteristics to the Base Value as follows: Base PP (50) + Intelligence + Constitution = Total PP.
The Polymer Points are regained at the rate of 1 per turn (6/hour) when the helm is not worn and 1 every 2 turns (3/hour) if it is worn and used. Since the process is not magical it cannot be blocked or magically slowed in any way.