Monday, September 28, 2020

Faiths and Avatars: Incabulos

 From: Immaculate Image [immaculateimage@HOTMAIL.COM] 

Sent: Monday, October 12, 1998 1:18 PM 


Subject: [GREYTALK] Trick or Treat: F&A lncabulos

I think I posted this earlier in the summer, but here it is again expanded slightly and cleaned up for those who want it or missed it.

Once again, I'd like to thank G. Gygax, J. Ward, C. Sergeant, R. Taylor, and W. McPherson for their previous write-ups making my life easier. Any of you who have Word Perfect 6.0 or better and would like a .wpd copy send me a private e-mail. Later, y'all


Greater Power of Hades

Portfolio: Evil, Plagues, Sickness, Famine, Drought, Disasters, Nightmares

Aliases: Sevelkhar the Waster (Bakluni)

Domain Name: The Grey Waste/Gholgorahk, The Socket of Woe Superior: None

Allies: Nerull

Foes: Geshtai, Pelor, Phyton, Rao, Sotillion, St. Cuthbert, Zodal Symbol: Eye of Possession

Wor. Align.: LE, NE, CE

lncabulos (in-CAB-you-los)is the power of evil sendings, feared by good and evil folk alike. The black cloaked rider of nightmare steeds delights in woe and wickedness, and enjoys being feared as much as being revered. lncabulos has few worshipers in the Flanaess, but many seek to propitiate him with offerings. This is especially true in lands ravaged by famine, where disease has spread from unburied bodies on battlefields, and where fear grips the common folk. Despicable folk of all  sorts venerate lncabulos, respecting his power and malignancy. 

Religious depictions of lncabulos only begin to approach the true hideousness of his horrible visage, deformed body, and skeletal hands. lncabulos despises Rao and Pelor, and maintains a loose alliance with Nerull for the purposes of opposing these two Greater Powers. The other deities he considers foes are of little consequence to him. It should be noted that lncabulos is known to the Bakluni as Sevelkhar the Waster, Master of Famine and Drought, the Poisoner of Wells. In the Bakluni culture, Sevelkhar is the eternal opponent of Geshtai, and both are viewed as subservient to lstus, Our Lady of Fate. This is contrary to actuality of course, as lncabulos is one of the few Greater Powers of the Flanaess, an equal of lstus, and vastly more powerful than Geshtai, a Lesser Power.

lncabulos' Avatar (Priest 33, Thief 20, Wizard 28)

lncabulos appears as a horrible looking man of indeterminate age with skin tinged a diseased blue. He has a twisted, nightmarish visage, deformed body , and skeletal appendages.  His pupil-less eyes of dull yellow cast a harrowing gaze upon all he views, and the smell of death and decay linger in the air wherever lncabulos goes. Clad in filthy, ragged robes of dead black lined with cloth of sickly orange and trimmed in nauseating moss green, he roams the Astral, Ethereal, and Prime Material Plane, the latter during darkness only. He often rides a huge nightmare of maximum hit points when it pleases him to do so, and he is accompanied by six of the strongest night hags so mounted. lncabulos may cast spells from all schools and all spheres lncabulos detests the presence of bright light, and will not use any spells which create light as their primary effect (e.g. continual light) and is loath to use spell which create intense light as a side effect (e.g. fireball and lightning bolt)

AC -9; MV 15 Fl 45 HP 393  THAC0 -1  #AT 2 DMG: 1d6+6 or 2d4+6

MR: 95%    SZ M (7 feet)

STR: 18  DEX: 25  CON: 21  INT: 20  WIS: 20   CHA:-3 (24 on the Grey


Spells P: 11/11/10/10/6/4/2 W: 5/5/5/5/5/3/3/2/1 Saves: PPDM 2 , RSW 6 , PP 5 , BW 8 , Sp 7

Special Alt/Def: Although lncabulos rarely enters combat directly (perhaps considering it trivial and a waste of time), he is quite capable of handling himself. Seeming to delight in causing fear and misery, he amuses himself with those foolish enough to challenge him. He may often toy with mortals,  imparting a lesson in wisdom that such lesser beings most often end up taking with them into the afterlife. lncabulos may only be affected  by +4 or greater weapons and he regenerates 2 hp per round. lncabulos has several other specialized  attack forms in addition to his considerable spell capabilities. Once per day he may cast an improved sleep (W1) spell that affects twice as many HD/levels of creatures  as the wizard spell, and may also affect up to 8HD/8th level creatures. Once per day he may also  cast permanent sleep spell upon any creature he touches ( a successful save vs. Spells negates,  mind affecting bonuses apply). Only an exorcism, limited wish, wish or similar magic will awaken  the creature so affected.

If forced into melee, lncabulos is more than capable of making his opponent's existence miserable, being the equivalent of a master in the staff and bastard sword. His favorite weapon is his staff of wounding, said to be made of a petrified piece of Yggdrasil itself and covered with screaming faces of tortured souls. Combining the powers of a staff of withering and a reversed staff of curing, this staff has no fewer than 60 charges, and only lncabulos may recharge it. This staff is extremely powerful, affecting any creature be it animal, plant, or extraplanar in nature. It is not known if another being may wield it, for there is no recorded instance of anyone or anything doing so. 

lncabulos may also brandish a great bastard sword in battle if necessary  or advantageous. Known as Evil Edge, this odd looking blade of enchanted flint from Hades is equivalent to a bastard sword of wounding +4; any creature struck by it must save vs. Poison at -4 or die within 1 round from an insidious and horrible wasting disease.

Should lncabulos deign his opponents not worth the effort, or in the extremely rare cases he is being overwhelmed, he may gate in 2-8 night hags or 5-20 hordlings once per day (but not both, or any combination of the two). These creatures serve willingly.

Other Manifestations

Manifestations of lncabulos are much more commonly seen than his avatar, especially since lncabulos will not send his avatar to a Prime Material Plane world during daylight hours. This is not to say that his manifestations are that common, though lncabulos will not hesitate to remind his priests of the price of failure, afflicting them with horrible nightmares, or rarely a disease of some sort. (An interesting side note to this is that any priest of lncabulos who has renounced  their worship of him has died within one year of a horrible wasting disease. Such priests are said by others of the faith to have "Evil Edge hanging over their head"). lncabulos will also manifest as a bronze Eye of Possession, through which he may speak or cast spells. Lastly, it is said lncabulos has made his will known on more than one occasion through the actions of hags and werecreatures, who are sometime allies of members of the faith, if not worshipers themselves.

The Church

Clergy: Clerics (35%), Shamans (5%), Specialty Priests (60%) Alignment: LE, NE, CE

Turn Undead: C: No Sha: No SP: No Cmnd Undead: C: Yes Sha: Yes SP: Yes

All clergy of lncabulos receive the Religion proficiency for free.

Those who worship this power are intensely secretive; many clergy members are paranoid to the point of insanity. Fear and threats are used to maintain secrecy and obedience of juniors. Priests of lncabulos revel in suffering, slow torture, and inflicting disease and misfortune (the grander the scale, the better). Many priests also become afflicted with lycanthrope on purpose, considering it advantageous. Worship of lncabulos is certainly not common, though one might be surprised at the number of people who plea and propitiate him to avoid the attention of the Master of Disasters. Temples dedicated to lncabulos , be they in enlightened or forsaken lands, are always subterranean affairs, and usually in desolate areas. It is the opinion of most members of the faith that" out of sight is out of mind", as even other evil priesthoods (notably Nerull's, who occupy a similar niche in the food chain, so to speak) revile their existence. Clergy members are known as lncabulites, both within the faith and to outsiders. 

Clergy are as often to work alone as they are to work in a group, and a group of clergy in a given area are  collectively known as a coven. Another similarity between lncabulites and hags is the ability of higher level clergy members to create eyes of possession; these items are similar in power to hag eyes, and given to agents of the priesthood. Such items are not bestowed casually, and great care is taken to ensure that the bearer cannot reveal the source of such an item, through means both magical and mundane. Members of all sexes and races are welcome to join the faith.

Humans obviously dominate the clergy, and comprise almost all of the specialty priests (who are known as Pathogens) and mystics who venerate the Lord of Evil Sendings. Clerics are also primarily human, though there is the occasional half-ore, half-ogre, ore, or hobgoblin. Specialty priests are addressed as Ambassador by peers and by the title "Your Malignancy" by juniors. Clerics are addressed as Emissary by peers and by the title "Your Virulence" by juniors. Within a coven, senior members address initiates as Larvae, with higher ranking clergy members usually awarding themselves the titles (in ascending rank); Acolyte, Deacon, Vicar, and finally Bishop. Heads of covens are referred to as Patriarchs or Matriarchs, regardless of level. Such titles may be expanded with self-important add-ons, and therefore one might hear a high ranking cleric referred  to as "His Most Dreaded Virulence,  Patriarch of Pestilence and Famine, Bishop So-And-So.." Many of  these titles are not official bestowals by the faith as a whole, and recognition of status by other clergy members can lead to deadly internecine strife.

Dogma: Clergy of this power are taught to spread as much evil as possible in the world, and be vigilant in opposing those who seek to do good.  Priests are also instructed to prey upon the weaknesses of body and mind of other beings, and utilize these weaknesses to their advantage. Clergy of lncabulos derive great satisfaction in especially fomenting fear and hale, and making others commit evils for them. Members of the faith are told to always seek to "put a dark shroud", as ii were, over the true cause of great natural disasters, to ensure that lncabulos receives his due tribute.

Day-to-Day  Activities: Most priests spend much of their time increasing their personal power, influence, and material wealth coupled to acts of evil in the name of lncabulos. Such acts include kidnaping, slave-running, arms-dealing, and undead-brokering. Priests of this power also love manipulating people for their own use, using threats as well as magically interfering with the integrity of people who might be of use to them. Many priests also devote much lime to researching diseases; what causes them, how they can make them more effective, and how they can best be delivered to large populations. To this end, such priests often work with insects and animals, such as pigeons, bats, and of course, rats. More inventive priests may work with exotic vectors such as slimes, oozes, and even non-sentient undead. Clergy   of this power are always plotting schemes to cause misery among the masses, and are quick to capitalize on any  natural disasters of the region, spreading rumors and encouraging placation to the Lord of Evils.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Services to honor lncabulos have weird humming and droning chants in the background. Multiple evils are celebrated by the faithful, while flickering black candles dimly light the altar areas, sending a continuous thick and wretched smelling smoke into the air. All vessels  used in these ceremonies are of old bronze, bloodstone, or carnelian. There are no set times for daily or weekly worship, as lncabulos encourages his worshipers to commit acts of evil with as high of a frequency as possible. Many devotees keep their faith secret, and such secrecy is encouraged by high level clergy members. Therefore, holy days and ceremonies celebrated by the faith as a whole are few and far between.  Of course, like many evil faiths in the Flanaess, lncabulites celebrate the Festival of the Blood Moon, which occurs on the 11th of Coldeven. lncabulites usually make a point of spreading their particular brand of evil, while worshiping in long ceremonies involving sacrifice and the like. An interesting addend to this is that lncabulites also take particular pleasure in engendering  the hate felt by other faiths during this time; II is generally held by members of the faith that one may receive the blessing of lncabulos by taking the life of worshipers of another faith who actively oppose what lncabulos stands for, be they good or evil. 

The Feast of Famine also occurs during the winter months in some isolated regions of the Flanaess. Clergy members go without food on this day, and certain ascetics may fast for a week. During this time, when surplus food is low, even the poorest farmer is wise to set aside an offering of food to please lncabulos. If not, clergy members in the area may receive a vision, commanding them to  visit those villages not paying proper respect; such visits often entail burning granaries and killing livestock, along with the symbol of lncabulos painted on some buildings, a sober reminder to the  greedy and foolish. Another important holy week in the faith of lncabulos only occurs once every decade, and is known  the Eye Convene. Here all the higher level priests of lncabulos meet in several areas throughout the Flanaess to contemplate in the presence of a manifestation (or rarely an avatar) of lncabulos. The purpose of this is to coordinate region-wide plots and schemes, to result in a disaster of some type on a grand  scale, be it a plague, famine, or drought.

Major Centers of Worship: The priesthood of lncabulos is scattered throughout the Flanaess, with no major recognized hierarchy. Major centers of worship only remain so for as long as their exists opportunity to sway the hearts and minds of common folk in places of despair.

Affiliated Orders: There are no knightly or military orders dedicated to lncabulos. There does exist, however, a group known as the Bronze Cabal, who work with  and communicate with clergy and representatives of lncabulos. Consisting of some sages, as well as  some mages who have interests in areas of necromancy and disease, members work more towards the  knowledge of disease and the causes behind catastrophes such as famine and drought. The use of such  knowledge, however, is up to the one possessing it. In addition, many hags work with agents of lncabulos in spreading mayhem, and the odd werecreature may also work with a priest  or priests of lncabulos.

Priestly Vestments: All clergy wear vestments of dull black embroidered with the Eye of Possession in verdigrised bronze, repealed in dull orange on the robes of higher level clergy. Name level specialty priests have orange trimming, whereas name level clerics have greentrimming. All priests possess special robes known as soulshrouds awarded by a superior. Once a priest has been given one, he or she will keep it until death (and possibly beyond!), unless lost or destroyed. Many priests often wear ritual masks  with horrid visages as well.

Adventuring Garb: lncabulites, being practical and cautious to the point of paranoia, are masters of disguise and try to blend in with the culture of the area they live in. To this extent they wear simple  clothing, never trying to draw attention to themselves if possible. Some priests do have a penchant for acquiring jewelry and art objects which are made of  bronze or feature carnelian or bloodstone. Priests of lncabulos don't possess the greatest hygiene and are generally a dirty and unkempt lot.  Although lncabulites are not inclined to be drawn into open combat, they are careful to wear armor and take any other protective measures necessary.

Specialty Priests (Pathogens)

Requirements: Constitution 13, Wisdom 11 Prime Req.: Wisdom

Alignment: NE

Weapons: Staff, Bastard Sword, Dagger, Sap, Garrote Armor: Any nonmetal armor

Major Spheres: All, Animal, Astral, Guardian, Healing, Necromantic, Summoning, Thought, Weather

Minor Spheres: Charm, Divination, Protection Magical Items: As Priest

Req. Prof: None

Bonus Prof: None

*     Pathogens may be of any race, though most are human

*     Beginning at 1st level, all Pathogens are immune to natural diseases, including those caused by creatures such as green slimes, etc. Magical diseases still afflict these priests as normal, though these priests receive a +4 to any save they have to make against disease. In addition, any disease cast by a Pathogen may not automatically be healed by the use of a cure disease spell. Rather, an opposed check similar to that described under dispel magic must be performed. If the attempt to cure the disease is not successful, that particular healer may not attempt to cure the disease until he or she attains a new level. (Of course, that may be too late for the victim.)

*     At 4th level, Pathogens may cast cloak of fear (P4) upon themselves once per day.

*     At 5th level, Pathogens may cast hypnotism (W1) 1x/day.

*    At 7th level, Pathogens may cast contagion (W4) 1x/day

*     At 8th level, Pathogens may cast wierding sleeptouch 1x/day.

*    At 10th level, any disease inflicted by a Pathogen becomes even more potent; if an attempt to magically cure the disease is made, and the caster fails, then he or she not only may not attempt again until gaining  a level, but he or she also contracts the disease, and may not cure himself or herself of that affliction! (This can be absolutely lethal to small isolated communities with only one low level cleric or priest.)

*     At 13th level, Pathogens may cast mummy rot (W5) 1x/day.

•       At 18th level, Pathogens may cast uncontrolled weather (W9) 1x/week.

*     At 20th level, any disease inflicted by a Pathogen may not be  cured by any means short of a limited wish, wish or a heal spell cast by a priest of at least 2oth level.

Spells of the Faith

It should be noted that, in addition to the following spells, lncabulos  also grants transmute water to dust (P6}, earthquake (P7), and tsunami (P7) to all of his clergy, regardless of sphere restrictions.

Plague (Alteration)

Sphere: Healing         Level: 4

Range: 10 yds           Components: S, M Duration: 6 turns        Casting Time: 7

Area of Effect: Special Saving Throw: Special

This spell allows the priest to inflict a virulent, infectious disease on a single target. If the target makes a save vs. spells, there is no effect. If the save fails, the target immediately suffers an  infection, becoming feverish and disoriented with illness for six turns. During this time the victim loses 10% of his original hit points, loses one point of Strength and Constitution, and suffers a -2 to saving throws and "to hit" rolls, and is +2 to be hit. All creatures and characters coming within 10 feet of the victim must pass a Constitution check or contract the plague themselves. Creatures currently suffering from the plague cannot contract multiple cases, and creatures within range of more than one victim need check only once. When the plague duration expires, a victim must make a successful Constitution check against his lowered score or die. If the victim makes a successful check, the penalties end, but lost hit points and ability scores take 1d6 days to return. The material components of this spell are the priests holy symbol and a small ball of rat hair, which is thrown in the direction of the victim at the time of casting.

Wierding Sleeptouch (Enchantment/Charm)

Sphere: Thought Range: Touch

Level: 5 Components: V, S

Duration: Permanent

Area of Effect: 1 creature

Casting Time: 1 Saving Throw: Neg.

By means of a simple gesture and a word or two, this spell enables the priest to touch the intended victim with devastating effect.  If the victim fails a save vs. spells at -3 , he or she immediately goes unconscious, and enters a deep sl<Jep. This sleep is permanent until magically dispelled, and creatures do age normally, and may even waste away while under this spells effect. Such passing is far from peaceful though, as the victim undergoes horrible nightmares and visions of the worst sort; this is readily observable to others as the victim rolls around, perspires, and even talks in their sleep. This spell also ignores armor, and therefore only magical protections and Dexterity bonuses to Armor Class apply.

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