Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Apep

15th in the encounter series for Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Apep, Egyptian titan of darkness, serpents, & apocalypse.

1. Serpent in the grass. All who pass through an area of tall grass ahead have a 1 in 4 chance of being bitten by a snake (1 in 2 if followers of Ra) for 1d3 damage and must also save vs. poison or take 4d6 additional damage.

2. The sky darkens, almost as if some fell, enormous, serpent is passing above. Not only is it harder to see (for diurnal types) for the next 1d6 hours, but all followers of Apep (and similar divinities) gain a +2 to all rolls during this time.

3. Serpent under one’s loincloth. For the next 24 hours, a random male member of the party will have his own member (roll 1d3): [1] become quite large and unwieldy, [2] become an actual snake (like that of Humbaba), [3] appear to become a snake but is really an illusion- likely caused by vampire tricks. In any case, if the member lies with a woman during this time, he will most certainly father a snake man child!

4. A great offspring of Apep slithers forth! It is a (roll 1d4): [1-2] giant python, [3] giant rattler, [4] wingless, legless wyvern. The party is free to negotiate with it, though it will only bite them in return.

5. Serpent in the party. A random member is compelled to do ill against another member, though their alignment will dictate its extent: Lawful- punish them for one of their crimes, Neutral- weaken them, Chaotic- attack them. In all cases, a save vs. spell negates, though Chaotic members might not need much coaxing.

6. Apep is never worshipped? Ha! Some reveal themselves now to prove all the wise men wrong (by trying to kill those present). They are (roll 1d6): [1] 1d3 clerics of Apep, [2] 1d2 priests of Apep, [3] 1d2 mystics of Apep, [4] 1d4+2 cultists of Apep, [5] 1d4 snake men, [6] reroll twice.

7. Serpent on the road. The party encounters a seemingly friendly individual who is in fact a vile worshipper of Apep! The individual appears as a (roll 1d4): [1] wanderer, [2] merchant, [3] innocent child, [4] local fellow. In any case, the individual will happily murder the first party member he or she can get alone in a manner pleasing to Apep (per Divine Test results #5-9).

8. Snaky thoughts infect the entire party, making them suspect that there is a serpent amongst them (per result #5 above). Each must make an INT or WIS check, otherwise they will believe another party member is about to betray them! Their suspicions last for at least the next hour, though the party might not.

9. Serpent in the blood. Whether through venom or other malady, an unlucky party member becomes poisoned, taking 2d4 CON damage. He or she may save to resist it, though there’s only a base 50% chance of determining its cause.

10. Like a snake shedding its skin, a related aspect of Apep is worshipped here, though it will likely bring as much darkness and doom as its Egyptian variety. Roll 1d4: [1] Python, the serpentine foe of Apollo that favors screaming sacrifices being consumed by huge snakes, [2] C’ps, the venomous cult of child-snatching that is done to ‘rescue’ them from their parents, [3] an unnamed, heretical cult of Skadi that enjoys dripping venom on victims like she once did to Loki, [4] Shield Ghul, the medical cult who has a Ghul Serpent as its symbol, a far cry from that of Asclepius- see Wyrd Ways of Walstock.

11. Serpent upon the page. The party comes across a Book of Overwhelming Apep. Not only does it grant its readers excellent advice on defeating Apep and its worshippers- via defiling, smiting, spitting, etc. on wax models and drawings of that serpentine titan - but it will also work against followers of similar cults, granting a +2 bonus to all rolls for the rest of the day to those who perform its 1d3 turn rituals first. Unfortunately, the book does not currently contain pictures of a god to keep Apep in check, so there is also a base 35% chance of the picture of Apep animating to bite anyone reading it for 3d10 damage! Followers of Ra will of course be well aware of such perils, as well as any confusion arising from the book’s title.

12. The next tunnel the party enters turns out to be the inside of an enormous serpent! Though the fanglike stalactites and stalagmites of its entrance have only a base 5% chance of giving it away, the crushing and acid coming from its weird walls, floor, and ceiling for 4d6 damage each round increases those chances greatly (to 100%).

Sample 13th Level Cleric of Apep
Align: C
MV: 40’
AC: 3
HD: 13
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d3+1 (bite, plus save vs. poison and paralysis), 1d4+2 (+2 whip) or 1d6+1 (+1 short sword)
SP: Apep turn ability, mysteries, Snake Head, Paralytic Bite (divine tests), 50% chance of being confused for an obvious monster
Spells prepared:
1st level: (6+2) Command, Cure Light Wounds (reverse), Light (reverse), Remove Fear (reverse), Charm Person* (x2), Sleep* (x2)
2nd level: (5+2) Bless (reverse), Hold Person (x2), Snake Charm, EntangleD, Detect Invisible*, Magic Mouth*
3rd level: (4+1) Animal Growth (serpents), Remove Curse (reverse), Striking, Infravision*, Suggestion*
4th Level: (4) Cure Serious Wounds, Cure Serious Wounds (reverse), Detect Lie, Polymorph Self (serpent forms)
5th level: (3) Commune, Cloudkill, Transmute Rock to Mud
6th level: (2) Blade Barrier, Heal (reverse)
SV: C13
Mor: 7
Possessions: +3 Scale mail, +2 whip, +1 short sword, 499 gold pieces, 3 random magic items, plans for sacrificing a nearby town, three 1st level Apep cleric disciples, six Apep cultists.

Next week: cleric encounters, Dagon!