More on the Erdgeist

I've had a request for more information on the Erdgeist. I find this a bit strange as, while they are essentially gnomes, they are meant to be horrible monsters. They are not the same as the other races, hardly even related to the Hulder. With that in mind, I attempted to make them different not just in fluff, but in mechanics, in an effort to show how alien they are. They're basically a forced combination of race and class - they were after all only suppose to be GM controlled creatures (specifically Mooks for Huldra), but you monsters drove me to dignify their existence.

The Erdgeist

Your first lullaby was the scratching of digging claws from passing creatures. Your mother's milk was the water you suckled straight from the roots of a plant. Your first memories are those formed when you first took conscienceness within the mud womb, and decided it was time to be born. Your "brothers" and "sisters" are those that also crawled from their holes in the ground around the same time you did. Your "parent" was the first Erdgeist that found and collected you, giving you tasks to perform.

You are an entity unto yourself. No family you have, as the mortal races would see it. From a moist hole in the ground you crawled, and to a moist hole in ground you hope to return once your body is weak and broken. Every fiber of your being urging you to serve Huldufolk. Through service you find neither oppression nor freedom, but rather meaning. As long as your hands stay busy, and your mind full, you hold off the Boredening - your fall into Goblinhood. This is critical, for once it starts, there is no undoing the process.

Unfinished Work is as a piercing, ear splitting siren to you. Tasks are meant to be completed, crafts are meant to be smithed. As such, in this new world, Human settlements, specifically the cities, are cacophonies of torturous bedlam, unlike the idealic symphonies of Huldra settlements attune with the workings of your ilk. Because of this there have been reports of human villages being swarmed at night by Erdgeist; clattering, ratterling, plucking and picking, cleaning and scouring all that needs it, leaving yarn spun, shoes cobbled and kitchens cleaned in their wake - albeit with causalities sustained to pets and sleeping children. Materials were needed after all.

To your ears, dwarrow settlements are a low hum, and the woodwose produce no sound at all.

Most beautiful to your ears, however, are the Words of the Hulder. For their most addictive of voices, you would do anything they command, no matter how dangerous or insane.  Though, their voice is not the only that you know. Through no conscience effort of your own, when in proximity of a native speaker of a language, that language is known to you. This service extends even unto the animals of the air and wilds. Fish, obviously, have no language.

As a creature of Productivity, an undeniable hatred for Urisks pumps through your veins. While Mortals often confuse your two kinds (As you do with humans and those tree dwelling creatures...what are they?...oh, "birds".) there is a very real and striking difference. The Urisk take to Lounging at streams and waterfalls, and offer no domestic help, but often steal or beg for their food. Disgusting things.

Further, as a creature of Productivity, crafting comes natural to you. While not as consistent as the dwarrows, you are able to produce items of stunning quality, with even the slightest of training. In Otherworld, these items were permanent. However, in this new reality, such items do not survive long after your death.

Speaking of your death, traditionally when your body was weak and broken from a life time well spent in service, you would find a nice hole in the ground and crawl in for your reward. Now though, in this strange new world of violence and sleep, when you fall, if left alone, your body will decay and strange mushrooms will crop up in a ring. The commoners have taken to superstitiously burn these rings, for fear of what will grow.

Also of note is your ilk, like the Huldra, sleep standing up, as sleeping while laying down invites death.

The Stats

  • Unable to resist Commands (per spell) given by any Hulder, even through magics.
  • In times of boredom, or idleness, must make a Personality Save vs Boredom. Failure results in a cumulative -1 to Personality score. Upon reaching Personality 4, the Goblinization process begins. 
  • Being a resident of Otherworld, your mind is built differently and, due to which, enchantments do not affect you. 
  • Any Erdgeist with <= Strength 7 gain Levitate Object level times per day. Just because you can't lift a thing, doesn't mean you ignore the order to retrieve it. 
  • When within (level * 10)feet of a natural speaker of a language, you too can speak that language. Should they move out of range, you lose the ability to speak the language. You retain no knowledge of the language. Within the company of other Erdgeist, your native language is a combination of clicks and whistles. 
  • When joining an adventuring group, you must designate one other member as your Master. You should then seek to serve them and fulfill their wishes. To willfully deny a direct order, carries the penalty of a cumulative -1 to your Personality score. To willfully refuse to take a Master carries the same penalty, but applied per day.   
  • You do not benefit from Mooks. You are the Mook. 
Level 1
  • Master Craftsman - Choose a crafting skill. You now gain a rank per level in that skill. Further more, once per level you may generate a masterwork item in the skill. Should you perish through age or violence, the object begins to degrade quickly. Weaves unravel, beer curdles, iron works dull and rust; all becoming unusable. Any spell targeting the item affects the Erdgeist as well. 
  • Gerry Rig - Given at least some time and vaguely the correct tools, you can repair a thing to working condition for Personality Bonus days. If the bonus is zero or negative, the time becomes fraction of a day. After the time passes, or first usage, the item breaks once more and needs to be repaired properly. 
Level 2
  •  Torchbearer - With a moment of concentration (standard action, if this is a factor), you may summon Swiftness number of floating orbs of light. They give off the dim glow of a standard torch and may be directed anywhere within 50 ft of you. They last roughly an hour. 
  • Strong Back - You gain level number inventory slots, as long as the items carried within are your Master's. 
Level 3
  • Transmutation - Given the proper focus (say, a spinning wheel) you may change one mundane substance (say, hay) into another (say, gold thread). This transformation, however, only lasts until the sun crosses the horizon. 
  • Helping Hands - To better assist in their tasks, the Erdgeist may create smallmen (think tiny homunculus) from rocks, sticks, children skulls, radishes, or anything else on hand. They won't fight, but have two inventory slots. Any damage they take, you take, and you can only make Vigor bonus number of them. They remain animated for one day, before the magic consumes the component parts. 
Level 4
  • Treasure Keeper - To better watch over your Master's treasure, you may place it into a nice sturdy vessel, like a pot. This vessel then acts like a Bag of Holding, but specifically for coin. You may only have one at a time. 
  • Chthonic Sympathies - With concentration you may detect the presence of valuable stones within 50 ft of you, Intelligence bonus times per day. 
Level 5
  • Immaterial Made Manifest - To better serve your Master, you may play host to entities on the Ethereal plane, potentially gleaning some of their knowledge. 
  • Hinzelmann's Homing - Should your Master ever misplace or lose an object of their ownership, you, the good servant, can take a few moments of concentration to know instinctively the direction and distance of the object. While arrows and items sold don't count, items stolen and daggers stabbed into the hide of a rare beast do. Tracking. I'm suggesting if you do it right, you can track a creature. Almost perfectly, without regard for terrain.  

So, yes, there it is. Clarification on how classes work will soon follow. Probably.

Enjoy being a Mook. 


No comments:

Post a Comment