Many bogeymen exist and persist because they
illustrate a certain theme or fear. The
wolf from “Little Red Riding Hood,” for instance, is a symbol of Stranger
Danger to the young, and a smooth-talking stealer of virginity for the
not-so-young. He looms large because
he’s a potential villain in our lives
as well as Little Red’s.
For a long time, one of the main things
vampires represented was the fear of being buried alive (and/or the fear of
accidentally burying a loved one too early).
It’s all there in the early folktales: the grave dirt under the claw-like
nails; the gaunt, hungry features; the thirst for blood, particularly the blood
of those the victim knew in life; and so on.
But as vampire legends became codified and
romanticized around the Dracula and Lestat models, they’ve become symbols of
other things: fear of death, the lure of immortality, the horror of sexually
transmitted diseases (attention, post-AZT kids: AIDS was a nightmare and you
need to learn your queerstory), eternal love, and so on. In the process, dirty fears of the grave fell
away. When your pop culture portrays
every vampire having Spike’s looks and Christian Grey’s bank account, the fear
of having to smash open your casket and then dig through six feet of earth just
doesn’t compute. Meanwhile, other
candidates for the theme are also too burdened with cultural weight of their
own: Zombies stand for pandemics and the breakdown of the system, while ghouls
are much more about fears of grave robbing and cannibalism.
All of which is a very long-winded way of saying that we needed an undead to fill the
thematic void left by vampires—and the gravebound is a perfect candidate. Not only is it obsessed with its own unfair
death, but it’s got some nasty mechanics to inflict that death on others. It can make a pit appear under a victim as a
standard action, and then fill the pit up with grave dirt the following round
as a full-round action. Even if a
gravebound’s victim escape its clutches on the initial encounter, he could well
contract a disease that sends him into a coma almost indistinguishable from
death…dooming him to an unfair live burial despite his best efforts.
Whoever created this monster also gets points
for a nice bit of flavor as well: the gravebound’s dirt body has a shovel
sticking out of its back. Not only does
this detail feel very true to folklore—I can especially envision such a detail
appearing in a Japanese ghost story—but it gives PCs who vanquish the
gravebound some in-the-nick-of-time assistance in recovering their buried
comrades. All in all, this is an
excellent monster and a great example of how to make a new creature feel as
authentic as one from folklore with just a little attention to detail.
After losing his gold to a
devious country parson, a leprechaun became consumed with hatred for
humanity. Most leprechauns who give in
to such feelings murder the objects of their ire and become redcaps, but this particular
fey went unrevenged when the parson died unexpectedly. The leprechaun still lurks in the graveyard by
the parsonage—he has knocked over the cleric’s headstone so often the burial
society has stopped resituating it—so he was first on the scene when a
premature burial caused a gravebound to rise from the earth. The leprechaun now has a new revenge plan:
lure as many people as he can to the graveyard and then aid the gravebound in
sending them to an untimely rest.
A doge protected the location of his treasure vault in the most efficient way possible: He buried alive everyone who
worked on it. When the workers arose as
gravebound spirits, the callous doge was unconcerned, as he could dimension door into the next chamber
past the atrocity. His son, however,
does not have such magical talents.
Having taken his father’s place, he hires adventurers to open the vault
so that he can claims his legacy. (Of
course he pleads ignorance when the gravebound manifest.) He also fails to tell them—because he does
not know—that his father survived the assassination attempt and secretly plans
to retaliate against his son and all his allies.
A kami asks a party of adventurers for aid. A gravebound has arisen in
his ward, and he lacks the power to dispatch the creature by himself. If they aid the kami and slay the gravebound,
he rewards them with an old prayer scroll that hides a secret on its reverse
side. However, doing so complicates
their social lives and possibly their honor.
First, a rival of theirs spots them with the gravebound’s shovel and
spreads rumors that they are doing menial labor below their station; second,
the kami’s ward is devoted to the Turtle God, whose worship is despised by the
I’m pretty sure that being so harsh towards Nami is incredibely hard for Sanji. He doesn’t even say a word to her, always speaking towards Luffy (which is probably super painful already) and after beating him up and Nami slaps him with tears in her eyes, he won’t even look at her. I don’t think he could’ve, he’s never been in such an emotionally exhausting situation before…
Also that slap was a very painful scene, I find the impact of that part interesting considering all the fighting in this chapter. Let’s wait and see how these three keep going, I’m excited about character development and dynamics between them, I’ve always felt this trio is very special.
(Continuing on the Iron Crown character sheets/sketches, etc…)
As the arch-demon of war, destruction, and change, it’s an open secret that Shard gets pulled out as a living weapon every ~200yrs by the powers-that-be to intimidate political enemies and/or wipe them out. (The latter doesn’t happen as much these days since he’s a touch too good at it. The last time was called the Annihilation .. yeah.)
Currently possessing the body of an unfortunate (deceased) Chanderan soldier. (demons work slightly different in IC given they gotta have a host
body without a soul to inhabit it. He’s a bit unique in that he’s bound by a magic dagger called Binder as well.)
Loathes the Judges who were the religious order that had the foresight to bind him in the first place, long ago. He’s on board with anything that could spite them, which includes your usual demonic activity of carnage and mayhem, tempting mortals, backstabbing unwary masters, more carnage, and generally being a colossal troll. Despite being the most smarmy thing ever on the surface, he’s actually deeply emotional and fluctuates between nihilistic apathy and widely varying mood swings (constant existential crisis over being a living weapon, etc). Also has a few er a LOT screws loose after the Butcher left him to rot in the cellars for the last lifetime, which doesn’t help …
Diane and him end up bailing each other out of a sticky situation - but from the sheer amount of arguments that they bicker about, aka everything under the sun, you’d think they’ve forgotten it. (They haven’t.) Since she’s on her own revenge spree against the Judges, he’s smug as a cat being her right hand and is more or less on his best behavior.
@naevari requested: Hi, it’s me again :) I just wondered if you could do a photo spam of yoongi smiling and being all cute and adorable :)) it’s ok if you don’t have time for it!! Thank you anyways! :) Your blog is amazing, I honestly love it so much and you’re awesome!
In running a Hogwarts campaign, the DM decided to use the random magical effect table for when spells go wrong. While practicing a first-level color-swapping spell, my character accidentally momentarily cast Fly on another character, who started to fly up and away at max speed for a few seconds before the spell was dropped. Needless to say, we almost had our first case of accidental manslaughter among eleven-year-olds at Hogwarts.