Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Finding-Chicken of Sullah-Saloo

There is little more terrifying than a giant chicken.


The Finding-Chicken of Sullah-Saloo

“You have a chicken on your head so all your hair falls out.  The chicken is green and brown and magic.  He helps you find things that are lost.”  --The Boy

This metal-and-leather helm is constructed in the shape of a nesting hen.  Once placed upon the head, it cannot be removed short of death or a remove curse spell or similar.  The helm itself is made of a copper alloy (much of which is tarnished green), bronze, and a chocolate-colored stiffened leather which forms the chicken’s wings.  The beady little eyes are small opals.  The underside of the chicken is lined with pink silk, and the silly thing is obviously a hat.  Wearing the strange helm has the following effects:

1)  The Finding-Chicken serves admirably as a functional helm; it adds +1 to all the wearer’s saving throws (much like a ring of protection) once it is attuned to the wearer (see below).

2) Within 24 hours, the helm creates a complete depilatory effect; all of the wearer’s hair (head and body) falls out or disappears.  Any hair regrown, naturally or magically, whilst wearing the finding-chicken will similarly disappear quickly.

3) For the first 12+d12 hours wearing the Finding-Chicken, the helm will animate at random intervals, clucking rather loudly and and waving its wings.  The beak moves stiffly along with the clucking, like an automaton.  This is the Finding-Chicken attuning itself to the wearer’s psychic pattern; subtle half-formed desires in the mind of the wearer trigger the Chicken’s squawking.

4) Once the Finding-Chicken is attuned to the wearer, it will begin finding things more predictably.  When the wearer expresses or feels a strong desire for something, the Chicken will lead him to it as best it can, with a series of clucks of varying pitch and frequency to indicate distance (and possibly amount if appropriate).  The Chicken will grant this boon up to once per day, and at first the wearer may not understand what is happening, especially since the Finding-Chicken can only cluck for about 10 minutes a day.  Treat as Locate Object and/or any appropriate spell or spell-like effect dealing with finding things (Detect Gems, Detect Undead, Detect Dragons, etc).  At the DM’s discretion, this may be a very vague and powerful storybook effect, allowing the Finding-Chicken to locate odd things like “my one true love”, “the person who needs us most right now”, “a virtuous prince”, “the best path”, etc.  Some experimentation may be necessary before the wearer (or his companions) understand the nature of the Finding-Chicken.  The clucking is a hot/cold beacon, not language - no spell or ability allows actual communication with the Finding-Chicken.

5) If the Finding-Chicken is worn for more than two weeks, it will begin to attempt to guide its partner (the wearer) off into the wilderness - withholding its Locate Object ability if necessary, or co-opting it (perhaps by leading to a more distant, yet still applicable, target; the cache of gold seven miles away rather than the one in the basement).  At this point the Finding-Chicken is attempting to lead its friend to the lost valley of Sullah-Saloo - its point of origin.  

THE VALLEY OF SULLAH-SALOO
Unfortunately, a guide is not enough to get a party to Sullah-Saloo - the way is dangerous, the terrain unstable, and the countryside swarming with voracious beasts.  If, however, the Finding-Chicken makes its way back to the Half-A-City within Sullah-Saloo - so named because the city exists half in our world, and half in another, stranger world with pink skies and twin suns - then the residents of Half-A-City, themselves enormous green chickens (and wizards to boot), will likely be able to liberate the soul of their long-missing princess from the helm and should heap considerable reward on the party.  However, the Finding-Chicken has been trying to get home for over a century, and it may not complete its quest any time soon; which is unfortunate for the residents of Sullah-Saloo, as the lost princess possesses important intelligence regarding the hens’ ongoing war with a race of extradimensional teleporting weasels.  Average residents of Sullah-Saloo are giant (horse-sized or a little larger) chickens with the spellcasting powers of a 1st-3rd level magic-user; the Matriarch is a 9th-level wizard.  The majority of the chickens have small reddish-brown spider-monkeys as familiars, although white-furred, blue-bottomed baboons are in fashion this year as well.; invariably the chickens summon familiars with opposable thumbs.  A short visit to Half-A-City is the perfect opportunity for a magic-user to develop some real style by learning a few rare egg-themed spells.

RANDOM EVENTS WHILE STAYING IN HALF-A-CITY, SULLAH-SALOO
1 - A brash young giant rooster feigns insult and challenges a member of the party to a duel.
2 - An adolescent chicken comes of age nearby, automatically casting find familiar and ensorcelling a party henchman as their new familiar.
3 - Giant blink weasels (2d4) teleport in on an egg raid.
4 - A beleaguered helper-monkey carrying sacks of shed feathers takes a tumble - feathers go everywhere and visibility is reduced to zero momentarily.

3 comments:

  1. You sir, are a master of the awesome.

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  2. @Norman - thanks!

    @richard - me, too - I need a face-to-face group badly. Should have a webcam pretty soon, so there may be Constantcon action in Wampus Country before too long.

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