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I thought I might have a go at really developing the Toadlings of Platea, so i've started a new thread.
Toadlings, the Ahr-Rhbbykby Hyrieus
Toadlings have existed in Davinia for millennia, known to themselves as Rhbbyk and by half a hundred other names to the various other sophonts of the continent, they have clung firmly to their own place in the histories of Mystara without being conspicuous empire builders (at least in knowledge of those they deem the latecoming races). Famous for their toadstones, and famed amongst alchemists and herb-healers alike for their efficacy in curing poison, they are remarkably close lipped (even for batrachians) about the notoriety of their kin the Ahr-Rhbbyk.
The tale of Ilsundals leading of the elves away from the shame of the Rain is well known, but not all who followed him were so keen to abandon their long hoarded curses. Some tarried along Ilsundals Path and continued to tinker with technic devices with the belief of We'll Get It Right This Time. The result was blasted sands stretching for hundreds of leagues, bold outhrusts of rock which kicked with the beat of a heart when touched, green pools of toxins, glowing with unaethyreal light and belching luminous miasma to burn the eyes and twist the mind. The Spawning Pools of Mshrhlygg had manifested.
The native Rhybbyk, untangling themselves from Knots and walking from their toadholes, inhaled the poison air and felt new sensations running across their Gulgph (the toadstones which allowed toadlings to produce venom and its antidote), the radience had slain most others that flew or crawled upon the land and warped Gulgph into Wulgph. Glarsh coursed through the sky, and the power of Glursh was within their skins. They were Ahr-Rhbyyk.
Essentially the detonation of a Vulcanian device (or prehaps it was the attempted rewiring of a Blackmoorian one) had created one of those incidents the Woodrakes refer to as a Lesser Rain of Fire, or if they are feeling particularly contemptuous towards mortals, a Drizzle. The toadlings survived the subsequent environmental devastation through the prophylactic powers of their toadstones (Gulgph) but these were mutated by the technonuclear radience (Glarsh) into toadcrystals (Wulgph), from now on they would be Ahr-Rhybbk (warped toadlings) and their fate would be tied to the Pools. These green lakes of poison, at the heart of an expanded area of desert, would continue to cast out strange radiances over hundreds of miles (the Glarsh) which only the Ahr-Rhybbks' toadcrystals would permit them to survive under for long periods and even then not even to close proximity of the Pools themselves.
The radiance would also transform all female toadlings, they would grow into massive matriarchs, soaking the energies of the Glarsh fluid into their toadcrystals, this would have to be expended either in the spawning of new eggs or in the expending of the new powers. At the centre of an location inimical to most other forms of life they would develop their own society, ringed by leagues of their male offspring whose own Wulgph would eventually overload when exposed too closely to the emissions of The Spawning Pools of Mshrhlygg.
1) Where would you place Mshrhlygg on the map?
2) How long ago do you suppose it formed? I'm assuming that it could have been around the time of any of the elven migrations during that period. BC 2800, BC 2500, or even sometime after BC 2400 (and the destruction of Vulcania).
Thanks for the compliments as to the two questions, i'm not really sure. Since it's part of Platea i'm leaving it kind of fuzzy so the Ahr-Rhybbyk can be worked around other peoples ideas. Any of the times are appropriate so far, I don't envisage their culture moving too much in the millennia. Location wise the Pools are somewhere in the south-eastern desert. There should be a region of around a hundred mile radius, within this region the radiences of the Pools flow easily enough that toadcrystals are easily recharged. The toadlings themselves don't venture too close to Mshrhlygg for fear of overload (Plughk), essentially their realm is a zone not too near and not too far from the source of Glarsh. The Matriarchs themselves inhabit the Pools with a variety of males whose Wulgph are flawed (in Ahr-Rhybbyk eyes) so that the convert Glarsh to Glursh at a much slower rate, they are known as Hlr-Rhybbyk.
To quickly outline the relationships, the toadlings are essentially bipedal toads (a bit like the Grippli, Slaad and Mr Toad) around 4'6'' on average with 2+2 HD at Normal Monster level, the Hlr-Rhybbyk are regular toad shaped, regular toad intelligence, growing however at 1'/HD a year until they reach a size of 20', 20HD when they explode (Plughk or indeed PLUGHK). The matriarchs are also non bipedal, quickly reach around 5' and grow to 15' over the years. They are malevolent and intelligent but not in a tool using way. Their immediate environment is supremely toxic and are surrounded by many miles of toadlings who worship them as progenitors.
I'd love to hear your ideas on Y'ruth, Seer. Is it a being or a place? I'm envisaging the Ahr-Rhybbyk as essentially Neutral, guided by a Shaman class. Meanwhile the Matriarchs are evil Chaotics, whose interests do not extend beyond the Spawning Pools. I'm also picturing at least one city of basalt towers, inhabited by even more bizarrely warped toadlings in the desert somewhere as well.
Soz, I'd rather give the origin of the Drizzle which produced the Warp-toads as not being related to elven settlement. I'd kind of envisioned a sort of The Road situation (ala Cormac McCarthy), the elves were just dragging some sort of massive reactor like some sort of totem. If you look at the history of the Blacklore elves they'd kind of forgotten how to interact with their technology properly, so when they did decide to follow Ilsundal, mistakes were liable to be made.
Hence the nightmare of the Spawning Pools of Mshrhlygg.
Soz if i've let this thread go dry, but the process of Rhlorsh which prevents each Ahr-Rhybbyk from overload still has me thinking.
The Ahr-Rhbbyk contain the Emanations of the Pools within their toadcrystals, (Wulgph) these can be envisioned as Radiance points or Rp (Glursh).
A toadling can safely hold as many Rp equal to 1/4 of their Hp, above this they have to make a constitution check daily , if they fail they accumulate Rp at twice their usual rate, until they hit 1/2of their Hp (full hit point total, wounds don't count with Rp). After they hit 1/2 of Hp total,they must suceed a daily Constitution check or Rp accumulate at 3 times the base rate, until Rp equal full Hp, from then on they must save against Constitution daily, failure results in an explosion fatal to the toadling that deals damage in a 20' radius equal to their retained Rp.
Toadlings can lose Rp by Rhlorshing, Rhlorshis a form of poisonous spittle, it does 1d6 damage per HD of the toadling and uses 1 Rp, all Ahr-Rhbbyk can Rhlorsh once per day automatically, and can spit again if they make a Constitution check. They can keep spitting for that day until they fail a check, after which they can Rhlorsh no more for that day. The range is up to 30'.
Rhlorsh in addition to being poisonous can be mixed with sand to form a fast setting variety of concrete (this is how toadlings build housing), mixed with certain mushrooms which grow close to the Pools of Mshrhlygg it makes a potion intoxicating to the toadlings and is utilised by Crystal Sorcerers.
Within 4 miles of a Pool (essentially within the same hex) Rp is gained at a rate of 4 a day. Within 4-12 miles Rp is gained at 2 a day. From 12-72 Rp rate is 1 a day. Beyond this range they must pass a constitution check each day to gain Rp at a -1 penalty for each 24 miles thay are from a Pool.
It is believed that they may be able to gain Rp by licking technological items, each charge granting 1d4 Rp.
At 0 Rp a toadling falls into hibernation until they gather Glursh again, at 0 hp another constitution check must be passed or they again explode dealing damage equal to their Rp in a 20' radius.
all toadlings are immune to the damage effects of Rhlorsh
I hope all this isn't too confusing, I'll try and come up for rules for toadling PC's and Crystal Sorcery. Obviously if you play a toadling a lot of attention needs to be paid to your Rp, but hey thats the price you pay for having a magical reactor in your forehead.