Figurines are very small golems that might easily be mistaken for figurines of wondrous power by the average adventurer. They are less powerful than larger golems, but each type has unique powers that can make them deadly foes. All known figurines come from the domain of Sri Raji and consequently reflect that land in the sorts of creatures they depict and the materials from which they are made.
Animated by the spirits of the Demiplane of Dread, they are tied to the land as are all other Ravenloft golems. Like their larger kin, they are unable to exist in any realm outside the demiplane of dread. If carried beyond the misty borders of Ravenloft, they lose their powers and become nothing more than common statuary.
Background: The origin of figurines lies with the craftsmen and scholars of Sri Raji. The potters, ivory carvers and gem cutters of Pakat, Muladi. and Tvashsti (the three cities of that domain) have long practiced the arts of carving and sculpting, creating intricate miniature figurines. Depicting tigers, monkeys, insects, and other denizens of Sri Raji’s ubiquitous jungle, these small works of art are used as statuettes, decorations, and jewelry. They are generally associated with good luck, strength, wisdom, or some desired happening. Families occasionally commission such decorations as gifts to the various temples of Sri Raji in an effort to show their devotion to the gods.
It is generally believed that the first of these statues were created by a scholar known as Jawahar Zhosh, who taught at the Great University of Tvashsti. Working with local artisans, he created several types of free-standing figurines and attempted to invest them with great powers. He was successful, but in the casting of his spells he called upon magic that was forbidden to the race of man. Within a week, he had been slain by the objects to which he had given life.
In time, word of Zhosh’s experiments spread to others of his ilk. Attempts to duplicate his efforts followed, leading to the creation of several kinds of figurines. Though their findings were meticulously recorded and given a place among the scrolls of the university, the scholars who brought these small golems to life are deceased, all having been slain by their creations.
Common Characteristics: There are five known varieties of figurines: ceramic, crystal, ivory, obsidian, and porcelain. Each has unique abilities, but all have certain characteristics in common.
The enchantments that imbue figurines with life make them difficult to damage or destroy. As such, they can be struck in combat only by +1 or better weapons.
As nonliving creatures, they cannot be harmed by poisons of any sort. Similarly, they are immune to all types of disease, paralysis, and the like.
Figurines are immune to all manner of mind- or life-affecting magic such as charm, sleep, hold, or finger of death spells. All figurines are vulnerable to the effects of a dispel magic. If the caster of the spell is equal to the level of the figurine’s creator, the figurine must make a saving throw vs. death magic or collapse. The creature will appear dead and will not radiate magic if a detection spell is cast upon it. However, the figurine will reanimate after a number of turns equal to the caster’s level. Should the caster of the dispel magic be of higher level than the figurine’s creator, the small golem must make a saving throw vs. death magic or be instantly slain.
Creating Figurines: Each figurine must be created with loving care and special magical spells used to bring it to life. The exact materials and spells required vary for each type and are detailed on the pages that follow.
Though figurines are smaller and less powerful than traditional golems, their creation is no less meticulous and exhausting. The process requires weeks of careful study, diligent preparation, and delicate craftsmanship. Each figurine is not only a magical item, but also a work of art that must be fashioned with the greatest care and attention in order to properly house the animating spirit. Because of the obsessive nature of the work involved, each month of labor requires the creator to make a powers check with a 5% chance of failure.
Those seeking to create figurines must possess the proper secondary skills or nonweapon proficiencies (potter, gem cutter, ivory carver, etc.) to craft the item and some means of spellcasting by which to enchant it. It is possible to employ proxies for either or both of these phases, but such individuals must be carefully watched and directed to prevent mistakes or misunderstandings. Crafting a figurine takes one month of devoted labor.
Once that is complete, the rituals to animate the body require a full month. If this process is interrupted in any way, the entire procedure must be started anew. Spells used in the creation of the figurine may come from any source, including scrolls and devices. The exact spells required for the fashioning of each type of figurine are listed under their individual entries.
Controlling Figurines: Controlling Figurines: Like traditional golems, figurines have a great hatred for all living things and are kept in check only by the will of their creator. Should they escape their creator’s domination, figurines will always try to kill their master and become free-willed creatures. The chance of a figurine slipping the bonds of obedience is 10% per month. The death of the creator will instantly free the figurine from control (even if he is later restored to life) as will his escape from Ravenloft.
The wily creature may not immediately indicate that it is now free, lulling its creator into complacence and striking when least expected. Free-willed figurines sometimes allow themselves to be claimed by other people, and willingly serve these new masters for a time, but eventually turn against them as well.
Manuals of Figurines: Manuals of Figurines: Detailed instructions for each type of figurine’s creation can be found in special tomes known as Manuals of Figurines. The most learned sages in Sri Raji claim that but one copy of each manual exists and that these dark tomes have been locked away at the Great University of Tvashsti. Still, stories are told of additional copies of these books that have surfaced in other domains from time to time. Some have even speculated that the original manuals were stolen long ages past and that those guarded by the Great University are frauds.
Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 11:56:46 GMT
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