Thursday, 11 October 2012
The Appeal to the Seven Worthy Elders
On casting this spell, disembodied luminous heads appear in the air before the caster, bearing portions of the intellect and personality of seven deceased sages and solons from long-forgotten kingdoms. A question may be put to them, which they will endeavor to answer. Alas! their knowledge is as dusty as their original tombs. Each of the seven Elders answers in turn. Roll a d12 if the question concerns the natural world, matters more than a thousand years old, or the secrets of the cosmos; a d20 if it concerns matters gone by between a thousand and a hundred years ago; and d100 if you trouble the Elders with the trivia of the past hundred years. If you ask them for a secret that has been known to fewer than ten people, their only true answer will be a profession of ignorance.
1-2: The Elder will give an accurate and mostly true answer.
3-4: The Elder will give a partly true answer, possibly veiled in a second meaning.
5-6: The Elder will give a completely wrong answer, which however will be the same as the wrong answers advanced by other Elders on a roll of 5-6.
7-8: The Elder will give a completely wrong answer different from any other Elder.
9-10: The Elder admits ignorance of the matter.
11: The Elder takes exception with the immediately preceding Elder's opinion, giving the true answer if the other's answer was false, or a false answer (as on a roll of 5-6) if the other Elder's answer was true. If this is rolled for the first Elder, he or she will admit ignorance.
12-100: The Elder spouts gibberish or irrelevancy.
Moreover, on an odd roll the answer of the Elder will be delivered with confidence and certitude, while on an even roll, hedging and doubts will surround it.
A great variety of personalities will reply to the call of this spell, which often creates a lively contrast of styles.Below are some of the more frequently encountered characters.
Ignoramus the Know-Nothing (self-effacing)
The Unheeded Prophetess of Yort (manic/depressive)
Elmo the Eclectic (wildly speculative)
Bonobius the Cynic of Cynics (sneering)
Abdul Alhazred (sinister)
The Violet Bard (rhyming)
Balsamo the Brazen (blustery)
Sophronia the Conqueror (stern)
Vingax, the Enlightened Gnome (obsequious)
Aratron Chobasion (jovially cryptic)
Grug Big-Head (words of one syllable)
The Dust Lich Vorbogue (wistful)
Yi Piao the Hundred-Mother (scolding)
Xig of Fomalhaut (ineptly colloquial)
Mahalogonnis (skeptical to a fault)
NULLITY, The Philosopher Formerly Known as Baranerges (resigned, despairing)