The Man with no name was exhausted. All day long he had explored the ruins in the scorching heat of the desert. He had found nothing but pottery fragments, arrowheads, and useless objects that once belonged to the people who once inhabit the plains. That and snakes! There were snakes everywhere and he feared dying with a lethal sting...
Had this place really was the birthplace of the tribe who made contact with the K'na-yanni? The snakes were a good sign, since venomous reptiles were part of the myths of that people. On the other hand, it was an inhospitable desert and snakes should live in that kind of barren land.
He wondered if he was not on a meaningless quest.
The sun was setting, resigned by the lack of luck, he leaned against a boulder, where he intended to set up camp. He closed his eyes to rest, knowing that the fire would be of little use in the desert after the sun had sunk into the horizon.
The men of the tribe had taken everything from him. They had banished him. They considered him unclean since he consort with things that live beyond the firmament. Things men should not know. They took even his name.
Suddenly a harsh hiss came from the rock formation. The sorcerer turned instinctively, holding the bone handle of his sharp knife.
But then, he heard words forming in his mind:
"I am the Father of the Serpents.
I'm very old
I am the lord of this desert
I'm Yig "
Beyond the circle of fire lit on the ground something moved. For a second he perceived a dark form in the dim light ... a profane combination of serpent and man, enormous, with a face wise, but cruel.
It has yellow eyes, like a snake.
The man without name released the weapon and slowly raised his hands: "Greetings, Great Father Yig, I come with respect and submission, have mercy on my life and I will follow you forever."
The thing covered with scales approached and the sorcerer turned his face in fear. A long, forked tongue danced on his dusty face and he tried to control his dread. The Old One's hand then touched his face gently:
"We'll see ..." said the voice, as he plunged into the darkness of unconsciousness.
The Man without a name woke up next morning, with the warm rays of the sun rising beyond the mountains. Confused, he guessed that the meeting was just a dream. Then something caught his attention: a purse made of snakeskin. Inside were manuscripts that he unrolled and read. They were written in the lost Aklo language and by some miracle, he was able to understand the sinuous symbols, as if he himself had written. The symbols spoke of Yig and of rituals dedicated to the Father of the Serpents.
The sorcerer made a silent prayer of thanks, and promised to keep his part in the bargain.
Leaving the old abandoned village, he noticed a great venomous serpent staring in his direction. The man without name offered the reptile the provisions he had: grasshoppers, scorpions, and a skinny rodent it had captured earlier that morning. He would go hungry and have a long way back to the tribe that drove him away. But he knew that he would reach his destination supported by the word of Yig, the Father of the Serpents.
So, he start walking.
Some spells involving the Snake Father:
COILS OF THE SNAKE
"The knife slid quickly and the blade pierce the sorcerer's skin. It should be enough to put him out of combat ... should!" The wizard simply smiled triumphantly and showed confidently where the knife should have penetrated. Instead of a wound and dripping blood, it was possible to see scales of a grennish-gray color that covered the area in an efficient way. "The Father takes care of His servants", hissed the cultist.
Effect: This spell provides protection against physical attacks that are repelled by snake-like scales that arise where a wound should be produced. The sacrifice of mystical energy during the realization creates a very resistant scaly armor. This protection stays active for 24 hours. The scales that provide the protection occupy a space below the epidermis, making it coarse and full of bumps. It is possible to disguise that appearance under clothing or with makeup, but careful observation reveals that something is wrong. Once the skin is broken, it is possible to perceive below it reptilian scales. This horrible detail has a cost of 0/1d3 sanity points.
Preparation: The ritualist must make preparations before casting the spell. He must wash his body ritualistically, removing all hair. Then he spreads on it a special preparation made of snake oil. Finally, he begs for the blessing of the Father of Snakes so that he will grant you the benefits of his scales. If he has performed the steps correctly, the scales appear beneath his skin causing a agonizing pain.
Rule: The cost to activate the spell is 8 magic points that are sacrificed during the invocation. The spell creates an effective 4-point armor against physical damage from attacks, including firearms and piercing weapons. The amount of protection points is reduced in the damage suffered that can be completely nullified. Critical attacks (Impale) cause normal damage according to the Armor rule. Casting the spell has a cost of 1d3 Sanity points.
HISSING LANGUAGE OF REPTILES
"The old man crouched down and whispered some unintelligible words, immediately out of the casket stood a venomous serpent which, impelled by a clearly supernatural force, advanced towards the people who were watching."
Effect: Allows the caster to communicate with reptiles, especially snakes. The sorcerer verbally addresses one or more animals through a series of gestures and guttural sounds. The animal immediately understands what it intends to convey and feels compelled to obey a direct order. The order must be simple and short, and its realization depends on it being feasible. For example, ordering a serpent to fly will not work, while ordering it to "attack" a person, will. The spell allows the caster to talk to the animal, ask questions and get answers. The effects stay active as long as it maintains its concentration. The spell can also be used to understand texts written in the Aklo Language.
Preparation: The caster needs to focus and repeat a prayer dedicated to Yig. The third time he repeats the words, if the ritual works he will utter the words in the language of the serpents.
Rule: Activating the spell costs 3 magic points and 1 sanity.
BLOOD OF YIG
"May the blood that flows in my veins become the poison that will seal your destiny," said the cultist. Then he produced a deep cut on his wrist with a knife. One of his helpers ran to collect the viscous liquid that was flowing in profusion in a metal bowl. And even from a distance, the acid stench that exhaled was powerful enough to irritate my eyes. "
Effect: Transforms the blood in the veins of the caster into a powerful poison. The venom is similar in appearance and toxicity to snake venom. The sorcerer is immune to the effects of this substance that runs in his veins, but any other person subject to its direct contact, orally or inoculated in the bloodstream suffers the same effects of poisoning. The poison can be used to soak blades which in turn transfer the substance while causing an injury. It can also be diluted in liquids (like water or wine) causing the same effects of toxicity. Some cultists use this extremely dangerous substance to create potions and drinks used for ritual purposes - to cause hallucinations and induce visions. Blood remains poisonous for an hour in the director's veins, but if an amount is collected and carefully protected it can remain active indefinitely.
Preparation: No special preparation is necessary, although the sorcerers who use this power do so with much caution since it charges the caster heavily (see rules). It is necessary to repeat a long litany in honor of Yig with words of power uttered in Aklo. At the end of the invocation, he feels the venom burning in his veins, a sign that the spell worked as expected.
Rules: The spell has a cost of 5 magic points and a loss of 1d4 Sanity points. The individual's blood counts as a Strong Venom (similar to Rattlesnake poison for comparison purposes). If inoculated into a person bloodtream, the venom forces a extreme CON teste. A failure deals 2d10 points of damage, a success reduces that amount of damage by half. The venom is less potent if ingested, in which case it asks for a similar test, the damage of 1d10 and half with a success. A person who has direct contact with blood, even if accidental (for example biting the sorcerer) risks poisoning himself.
TERROR OF THE VIPER
"Fear! Deep fear! He could not speak, he could not run, he could not even scream for help. The terror made him so stunned that it was impossible to control his own bladder! Crying, desperate and terrified ... and all that, caused by a harmless little snake."
Effect: Invoking the name of Yig, the sorcerer casts a curse on a particular target causing him to take on a deep terror of snakes. This condition manifests itself as a severe Herpetophobia, the pathological fear of snakes. The subject develops such a dread that he can not stay in the presence, approach or even talk about snakes without feeling great discomfort. If forced to face such a situation, the he is subject to paralysis, nausea and emotional stress. The Terror is a supernatural curse, but it is not permanent. The victim is at the mercy of the effects for 48 hours after the completion of the ritual, but this can be renewed indefinitely.
Preparation: The Ritual is performed only by Great Priests of Yig. Preparation involves repeating words in the Aklo language and channeling negative energies against the victim who wishes to inflict the curse. It is necessary to have a target focus - hair, nails, blood or any other element collected. These are sewn into a snake skin by the caster and then burned on a fire. When it sets on fire, the curse is activated. It can be renewed indefinitely by repeating words every 48 hours.
Rules: The curse has a cost of 8 magic points and a loss of 1d6 sanity points. After the preparations are completed, the time to cast the spell is at least two hours spent in chants. For the spell take effect an opposing POWER test must be done between the caster and the target. If the target wins the contest the curse has no effect.
If the caster wins the contest, the effect is immediately apparent. The target suffers from severe phobia effects by snakes. For purposes of play, he will be subject to episodes of insanity if confronted with the presence of reptiles. Their dread before these beings is pathological and can not be controlled. He will try to escape, but if prevented, will not have power of reaction, being totally submissive by the terror.
"At first there came the sound of countless hisses, and then the hideous crawl of hundreds of snakes of all sizes, colors and shapes." They moved like a compact mass, sliding and moving relentlessly, like a wave, overwhelming and willing to drag what was on its way, under a flurry of scales."
Effect: A powerful spell invokes hundreds of snakes and submits them to the caster's command. The magic tends to be reserved only against declared enemies or individuals who have seriously offended Yig worship. The snakes are summoned mystically and are compelled to travel to the place where the spell was cast. If there is a population of snakes these will appear more quickly, but if there are no such animals the invocation will simply fail. Knowing this, sorcerers tend to keep specimens nearby or cast the spell only in places known to be inhabited by venomous reptiles. Snakes form a compact mass that obey the commands of the sorcerer as if they were a single creature. They can attack people or break into an area causing chaos, destruction, and death. This horror is described with a real carpet of reptiles that advances like a living wave. Creeping Death remains active for 6 hours, or until dawn (whichever comes first). After this time, the snakes begin to disperse.
Preparation: The Spell depends on certain conditions to succeed. The caster needs to invoke secret names in the Aklo language and repeat a mantra in Yig worship. There is an inherent danger to those who attempt to perform this magic, since it is reserved only to the Priest of the Snake Father. Any other person who invokes the Creeping Death and is not a devotee of Yig has the risk of being the first victim of them in the imminence of success in the invocation. It is necessary to have launched the Spell of the Hissing Language of the Reptiles to establish the communication with the creatures, otherwise they will not obey any order.
Rules: The Spell consumes 5 Power Points from the caster and has to be powered by 10 magic points that can be donated by cultists. Participating in the magic entails the loss of 1d6 sanity points.
As explained, Creeping Death is a huge mass of snakes that move and act as if they were a single creature. They are not intelligent, acting strictly and following the caster orders. These orders can not be complex or dubious. An order of "Kill all within that house" can be understood, but "Kill only one particular person and ignore all others" may not work.
Creeping Death is treated to all intents and purposes as a single creature:
CREEPING DEATH, the children of Yig
STR 90 CON 60 SIZ 140
DEX 95 INT 15 POW 50
Damage Bonus: + 1d6
Attacks per round: 1
Creeping Death attacks by advancing on the enemy and "trampling" it in such a way that it is knocked over and overrun by its mass. Continuously, the "wave" of snakes that make up his body bites as they pass through him.
Fight 50% (25/10), damage 2d4 + bonus bonus + poison
Poison: The toxicity of snake venom is increased by the number of simultaneous bites. The victim must do an Extreme CON check to resist the poison effect. Failure results in all 2d10 points of damage and possibly an agonizing death. A success results in a moderate effect and half the normal damage.
Armor: 4 points
Sanity: 0/1d4 sanity points for seeing Creeping Death