Mythos Society Guide to New England: Bonus Monster - Wodenlithi Draug!

Clint Staples

In Norse Mythology and folktales, Draugr are undead beings of great power, similar to vampires, though  more monstrous, and if they drink blood it is out of preference rather than necessity. They are often quite bloated, or gigantic, occasionally blue or black skinned from corruption and generally covered in grave earth or mold. They have at least an imperfect recollection of their mortal lives, and often hope to pick up where they left off when death took them. Many are skilled sorcerers.

But draug are not found only in Norse mythology, or at least, they need not be. What if there was an ancient kingdom of proto-vikings, possibly ruled by an incarnation of the Father of the Slain himself, Woden, or Odin as we know him today from comics, books, and films. I refer to the Empire of Woden-Lithi, as detailed in my book The Mythos Society Guide to New England. The creation of Barry Fell, a self-taught archeologist, Woden-Lithi supposedly led people from the old world to the new in prehistory, discovering vast copper mines around the Great Lakes. You can find out more in tMSGtNE, but that should be enough to give you a context for this little fella.

 

            The Draug of Woden-lithi were once mortals as well, who followed their master, the god-king Woden-lithi on the whale road, from their home, skirting islands and lands, crossing the endless sea, seeking riches and power in a new world. They found it, in witchbronze, a metal that is like bronze but no alloy of copper and tin. Witchbronze gave them the power to face other races who were powers on the elder earth, the Serpent Folk, the Deep Ones, and others.

            In that time, Nodens was beset by attacks from the minions of Nyarlathotep and the Great Old Ones. When Woden-lithi attracted the ire of the Haunter of the Dark, Nodens lent them aid, and for a time the two powers turned back the darkness.

            The Draugr of Woden-lithi are his priests, preserved as powerful undead things through spellcraft and indomitable will. They await the return of their King, or, some would argue, seek to fulfill a service owed to Nodens. Their purposes in the modern age could be nearly anything, but they will always seek to thwart their ancient foes. Thus it may have been that one thought it good to teach Goodie Hallet a thing or two about magic.

 

STR 28

CON 25

SIZ 16 [for bloated/ gigantic, add +4d6]

INT 17

POW 27

DEX 15

APP 2

HP 21 [for bloated/ gigantic, add half of the rolled 4d6 for greater SIZ]

Move 7

Damage Bonus: +2d6 ot +3d6 depending on SIZ.

Weapons: Witchbronze Blessed Keening Blade [Enchanted with Enchant Cane] 90%, 1d10+1 Damage + damage bonus.

Armor Points - Dead Flesh 3 AP + 1d10 – Skin Charm.

Skills: Astronomy 80%, Cthulhu Mythos 51%, Hide 55%. Antideluvian History, 50%, Mining 80%, Bronzesmithing 90%, Occult 84%, Sneak 69%;

Spells – Augur, Black Binding, Bless Blade, Cause/ Cure Blindness, Call Nightgaunt, Contact Nodens, Death Spell, Evil Eye, Dominate, Keening Blade, Skin Charm.

Sanity Loss: Lose 1d3/1d8 Sanity Points to see a Wodenlithi Draug or its magick.

Items: In addition to his enchanted Witchbronze Blade [which will generally have 3d6+6 POW stored within it], somewhere nearby or onl its person, the Draug will have its scrap of ensorcelled hide for the Skin Charm. If it has underlings, it will also possess theirs, to use as talismans to work its sorcery upon in case of betrayal.

 

New Spells:

Keening Blade – Lost to grimoires of the present age, this spell was of great use in times when the sword was the pinnacle of the fighting arts. In truth, any edged weapon can be used in the spell. The blood sacrifice of a dangerous predator, animal, human, or best of all, inhuman, was conducted via the blade to be enchanted, the soul and essence of the sacrifice infusing the blade at the point of death. When the Keening Blade is drawn, its issues a single drawn out, wail of terror. Although this noise is not magical or terrifying of itself, those who know its significance are often fearful because they know what the sound portends. For each 5 POW possessed by the sacrifice, the Keening blade ignores 2 AP.

Note: on the turn that the Keening Blade is drawn, any attempt at stealth by the wielder is automatically failed.

 

Skin Charm – This spell requires a piece of the hide of the creature to be warded, which is pickled in a briny brew, boiled in a cauldron with diverse horrible ingredients, until it is a tough scaly scrap. So long as the scrap is intact, the charm protects the original owner of the bit of hide from wounds, even critical hits. One protected by the Skin Charm gains 1d10 points of Armor, rolled each time the affected creature is struck. This armor stacks with any other protection the affected creature might already possess. In addition, the affected creature may turn a critical hit against it into a normal hit, with a successful POW x3 Check.

The Skin Charm also leaves a terrible scar somewhere on the body, where the piece of hide was cut out. If the charmed scrap of hide is destroyed, the Charm instantly ceases to function. In addition, if the affected creature is struck with a 01% on an attacking die, the attack has struck the scar, which is not protected by the magic of the Charm.

Note: The fact that the Witch Goodie Hallet also possesses this little known spell begs the question of where, or from whom, she received it. Is it possible that Goodie Hallet is the puppet of the Draugr of Wodenlithi. 

 

Witchbronze – In addition to being a nod to Runequest, one of my favorite games ever, and an old alumnus of Call of Cthulhu, Witchbronze is intended as a possible resource for the investigators, possibly even at the direction of the draug, depending on how it comes into contact with them. Witchbronze appears like bronze, but is much harder, and capable of taking great enchantments easily. One could see it as 'orichalcum', the ancient metal of the Antidelivian World, brought back by Wodenlithi himself from the New World at great risk. It was especially useful against the elder races and was one of the great weapons of Wodenlithi’s Empire. Witchbronze is considered an elemental metal for the purposes of Bless Blade and similar spells.