Runequest Thursday #141 - Creatures of the White Moon!

Clint Staples

On returning from Stormwalk Mountain, and guarding the portal to the Storm Realm for a band of Heroquesters, the Brightwater Company has decided to go to the aid of the White Moon Goddess, once the goddess of the Blue Moon, who is embroiled in a war against Blue Moon Loyalists upon the surface of the contested celestial body.

The Blue Moon Loyalists, abetted by their Lunar Imperial allies as well as some stubborn trollish insurgents and clans of Artmali who have lived on the Blue Moon for centuries, have control over many of the Smoking Mirrors, transportation portals that dot the Moon. Having conquered or intimidated some of the savage tribes of the lowlands, they appear about to transform the White Goddess back to her more tractable Blue form.

Annihila, the goddess in question, has an army of her own situated in the Lowlands, cut off from the High Plateau strongholds of the High Folk who rule there by the enemy tribes as well as the approach of the Blue Moon forces. Annihila's army cannot advance without opening itself to being attacked from the front and the rear. The Goddess herself has been struck by some supernatural wasting disease that she cannot dispel.

But her Moonwolf advisors have found the source of her malaise - the Smoking Mirrors themselves, which are as much a part of the White Goddess as blood and bone are to mortal men. Annihilator Circles have been dispatched to clean out the infestation, Mirror by Mirror, but there are not enough cult heroes to do what is necessary before the battle begins.

That is the situation on the contested Moon on the arrival of the Brightwater Company. Here are a few of the peoples and creatures involved.

Moonwolves: These creatures are sacred to Annihila, having lived on the Blue Moon and now championing the White. They are powerful shapechangers, who are wolfen humanoids so long as they are bathed in the light of the White Moon. Otherwise they return to a human form, retaining all of their faculties and skills, but becoming far less physically imposing. Moonwolves have served as Annihilators and Priests of the Goddess for centuries, and some are accomplished sorcerers. There is a small sect of them who have not accepted the transition to the White Moon. Whether they fight for the Blue Moon army or remain aloof from the struggle, is not known. (see attachment for the Moonwolf Datafile).

Human Annihilators and Priests can sacrifice for rune magic allowing them to transform into a moonwolf like form:

Moonwolf Form: Duration 15, Rank Aspirant, Self [Priestess – Touch]

This spell transforms the caster and all his personal belongings into a humanoid wolf hybrid – the Moonwolf, sacred to the White Moon. The caster retains his INT, CHA and POW scores but gains a bonus to his STR, DEX, CON, SIZ and Armor Points of 1 per point of Magnitude. He also gains the natural abilities of the creature:

  • Traits: Night Sight, Scent Tracking [Adds +30% to Tracking]
  • Move 12
  • Claw attack 1d8 + DB, Bite 1d10+ Damage Bonus, both beginning at 50%, but improvable with experience.

 

High Folk: Tall, with angular features, High Folk have dominated the High Plateau of the Moon since the beginning of time. There origins are a mystery even to the White Goddess, but they have been masters of the Smoking Mirrors for all of their history. The present High Folk are a degenerate people clustered in a few unassailable settlements, engaging in wars of sorcery with each other, or of enslavement of anything worthwhile that will allow it. High Folk organize their society by way of various sorcerous Covens, who control all facets of life in a settlement , each Coven continually seeking to expand its power over other covens, and generally. The only nod toward real governance is the Coven Council. Originally devised to keep the covens from destroying one another, it is now an expression of the magical oligarchy that spawned it, ruling when the covens cannot agree on a course of action. (see attachment for High Folk Coven of the Black Bolt Datafile)

 

Kelastan: Kelastan came to the Blue Moon at the same time as the High Folk - as their slaves. In the centuries since, their descendants have mostly turned feral or rebelled against their former masters. Of late, a few have been seen as High Folk mounts in the Blue Moon Army, where they fight with abandon, perhaps driven on by judicious use of the sorcery spell Command. Kelastan are as large as a warhorse, and capable of wielding weapons, preferring melee weapons to ranged. They commonly trust to their heavy chiton, and charge into contact as soon as possible, slashing about with swords and talons and wreaking terrible havok. Though powerful and aggressive, Kelastan are reasoning creatures, and the potential for peace with them exists, if their ravenous appetite can be sated. (see attachment for Kelastan).

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