Cazhaak Draal

Prophesised by dragons...tempered by magic...forged in war...
The Book-House: Find Eberron products.
User avatar
enderxenocide0
Stone Giant
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:44 am
Gender: male

Cazhaak Draal

Post by enderxenocide0 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:15 pm

My players will soon find themselves in Cazhaak Draal and I'm looking to flesh out the city with locations, NPCs, and history. The fact that it was once a Dhakaani city, but is now run by Medusas would likely inform the urban (re)planning and I imagine that the culture in the city would be fascinating.

I encourage reading the Medusas of Droaam dragonshard article for some useful information.

Here are a couple things I think are apparent:

1. Medusas would not cover their eyes. This means that there must be some relatively good way to avoid accidental eye contact. Everyone could look at the ground as they walk or off to the side, but this seems like a recipe for physical collisions.

A medusa's petrifying gaze only works within 30 feet, so it's only in close quarters that design needs to be reconsidered. At longer distances, others see the medusae coming and can avert their eyes appropriately. In housing blocks or narrow alleyways, the main question comes down to corners. You almost can't turn a corner without looking where you're going. So what do you do? Install parabolic mirrors at corners. The medusae know not to look at the mirror (thanks to the well-known tale of the hobgoblin warrior with the polished shield during the Daelkyr Wars), but everyone else can check the mirror to see if a medusa is coming and, thusly, avoid eye contact.

An alternative to this might be to have long, open paths that only medusae can tread safely. Perhaps these are raised bridges where the medusae only need to watch for each other and that serve the dual purpose of indicating their higher social class (of which I'm certain medusae would be). Perhaps medusae also commonly wear bangles or other jewelry that makes small amounts of noise so as to announce their approach.

2. Any medusae architecture would likely be in conflict with Dhakaani architecture. The city was taken from the Dhakaani. I imagine it was damaged during the Daelkyr War and likely rebuilt by the medusae occupants, later adding to it with newer architecture of different design and composition. Naturally, I have a tendency to picture medusae architecture as distinctly Hellenistic (utilizing marble over concrete) whereas I view the Dhakaani ways as being reminiscent of Roman engineering.

Here are a few things I want / am considering:

1. Cazhaak Draal was the center of a strange disagreement between Orlassk and Belashyrra. In a previous thread, Keith brought up the notion that medusae would be Orlassk's creations, using his tool of stone to punish those using Belashyrra's tool of eyes. I'd like the city to reflect this disagreement or bear non-physical scars of this. No, I don't know exactly what I mean by this. Perhaps there are two differing origin beliefs among the medusae: one that believes they are children of Orlassk and one that believes they are children of Belashyrra and they have differing political agendas because of this?

2. I'm moving the Ossuary from the Great Crag to Chazaak Draal. In my campaign, it is a massive, ever-changing sentient stone labyrinth that's actually the remaining essence of Orlassk. It is used as a form of punishment, as well as the origin of the Six Stones game. The idea is that someone could request a trial by Six Stones (like trial by combat), where seven potentially guilty people were put in the Ossuary. If one found the Heart of Stone, they would be considered innocent and free to leave. The others all end up petrified.

3. Stoneworking and earth-related things should probably be prominent. I may reflavor the Black Earth Cult from Princes of the Apocalypse and place it in Cazhaak Draal. The new Stone Sorcery bloodline from the recent Unearthed Arcana would be interesting, as well. A lot of the cultists are humans... which doesn't really fit the area, so I might use goliaths as a more prominent race, with a handful of Earth Genasi as much rarer, and one or two medusae in the mix for good measure. What other races would make sense for Cazhaak Draal?

Any other thoughts or ideas?

NelsonNelsor
Orc
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:04 pm
Gender: male

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by NelsonNelsor » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:35 pm

"Medusas would not cover their eyes." I haven't done the research you have but will assume there is a cannon source supporting this circumstance.
Does that mean they would not screen their eyes? Specifically, by moving their snakes in front of their eyes, not so much as to blind themselves, but enough to screen bystanders from their gaze without handicapping their ability to use it whenever they want by, 'flairing their hair'.

I don't think this contradicts any rules for how their gaze works and going this route allows Medusae complete freedom of the city; bolstering their authority by reminding everyone else with whom the city's authority lies. You may prefer the flavor of Medusae-reserved sections/paths within the city, but I would suggest adaptations that portray people's fear of a medusae going off, rather than accommodations that isolate medusae.

For example, folks might not use glass windows anywhere they fear a stray medusa gaze, using wood lattice or slatted blinds instead.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 25239
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by Big Mac » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:25 pm

enderxenocide0 wrote:Any other thoughts or ideas?
Couldn't the medusas wear some sort of veil that suppresses their petrification powers, but still allows them to see?

If anyone tried to attack them, they could quickly reach up and yank off the veil and use their powers against their attackers. :twisted:
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum (and administrator). My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
enderxenocide0
Stone Giant
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:44 am
Gender: male

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by enderxenocide0 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:37 pm

In the dragonshard article I linked to at the beginning, it has the following to say:
The gaze of a medusa can petrify even an ally, and as a result, a medusa does not meet the gaze of a person with whom it is conversing. Where she directs her eyes indicates her esteem for the person. She drops her eyes toward the ground to show respect, or looks up and over the person if she wishes to indicate disdain; when speaking to an equal, she glances to the left or right. If she wishes to show trust, she directs her gaze to the person, but closes her eyes.

While this may seem inconvenient to a human, it has little impact on a medusa. If a medusa concentrates, she can receive limited visual impressions from the serpents that make up her hair; as a result, though she seems to look elsewhere, she's actually looking through the eyes of her serpents. She can even use her serpents to see when she is blindfolded or has her eyes closed. However, she can still "see" in only one direction in this way; her serpents may look all around her, but she can't process the information from all of them at once.
In addition, in Keith's novel The Queen of Stone, the medusa warlord Sheshka was adamant about not being blindfolded in the Great Crag. While they could screen their eyes with their serpent hair, I make the assumption that the ruling class of the city would not do so, forcing the other races to find ways around this obstacle, hence the parabolic mirror suggestion. While the reserved paths have a certain appeal to metaphors of pride or arrogance, I think they are the least likely of the solutions from a practical standpoint. It might be as simple as the medusae do screen their eyes with their hair, but only in the moments leading up to rounding a corner and, once there is no more need for caution, they pull the hair back. That's certainly a safe thing to do, but doesn't solve the problem of a medusa that just doesn't care.

User avatar
AvonRekaes
Troll
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:46 am
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by AvonRekaes » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:22 pm

For other creatures to populate the city with, I think gargoyles would be a shoe-in. In 3.5 they were monstrous humanoids, not sure what they're like in 5e though. But they're pretty in-keeping with the living stone angle
Avon Rekaes - Planes Wanderer
The Wayfinder Foundation of Khorvaire: 5th Edition and Pathfinder Eberron conversions.

User avatar
enderxenocide0
Stone Giant
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:44 am
Gender: male

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by enderxenocide0 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:26 pm

AvonRekaes wrote:For other creatures to populate the city with, I think gargoyles would be a shoe-in. In 3.5 they were monstrous humanoids, not sure what they're like in 5e though. But they're pretty in-keeping with the living stone angle
Ooh, yeah, good call. And they're probably immune to petrification, too.

User avatar
HellcowKeith
Gnoll
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:19 pm
Gender: male
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by HellcowKeith » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:34 pm

All this is interesting - I don't have time to contribute at the moment, but I'm happy to see what you all come up with.

Regarding Medusa's gaze, the point is that we need to think of things from the Medusa point of view as opposed to the Human point of view. Our eyes are our primary engine of sight and eye contact is an important social cue. Because a medusa can perceive her surroundings with her serpent mane, her eyes are weapons. In medusa culture you NEVER directly meet the gaze of another medusa, and that's not strange or insulting; that's simple safety protocols. The eyes of a medusa are like a sword in the hand of a human. Requiring a medusa to covers its eyes is like peace-bonding someone's sword: it emasculates the victim and implies a lack of trust or confidence in the ability of the victim to safely handle their weapon.

So first of all: There's nothing unusual about a medusa averting its gaze or for that matter walking around with its eyes closed. It's unnerving to other creatures because nothing's stopping the medusa from opening its eyes or lowering its gaze, and because we don't THINK about the serpent mane as a sensory tool, so we EXPECT it to meet our eyes. But that's like saying that a fighter shouldn't be able to walk around with a sword, because he might possibly stab someone.

Beyond that: there's nothing wrong with the idea of a casual veil; it's simply that as medusas have learned since childhood how to manage their gaze responsibly, it generally shouldn't be necessary. Essentially, any medusa you meet has literally decades of practice avoiding unwanted eye contact, and because of its serpent mane this isn't as inconvenient as it would be for a human.

And agreed, I'd definitely have gargoyles in Cazhaak Draal.
Keith Baker, designer of Eberron and Gloom
Check out http://keith-baker.com/ for updates on my current project and Eberron Q&As!

User avatar
AvonRekaes
Troll
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:46 am
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by AvonRekaes » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:42 pm

So I just checked dndbeyond and gargoyles are now elementals. I don't think it'd break the game to say they're monstrosities instead, which would put them in the same category as medusas.

Funnilly enough, upon checking the 5e medusa's gaze attack, the medusa CAN make a creature that sees its eyes turn to stone. It doesn't have to. So, at least in the new edition, you can have a very disconcerting social encounter with a medusa while looking it right in the eye, knowing it can choose to try to turn you to stone at any instant with no warning. Apparently they only turn to stone from seeing their own reflection because of a racial curse. They can even look at other medusas fine. So the only target they have no choice to hit with their petrifying gaze is themselves.
Avon Rekaes - Planes Wanderer
The Wayfinder Foundation of Khorvaire: 5th Edition and Pathfinder Eberron conversions.

User avatar
HellcowKeith
Gnoll
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:19 pm
Gender: male
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by HellcowKeith » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:35 am

AvonRekaes wrote:Funnilly enough, upon checking the 5e medusa's gaze attack, the medusa CAN make a creature that sees its eyes turn to stone. It doesn't have to. So, at least in the new edition, you can have a very disconcerting social encounter with a medusa while looking it right in the eye, knowing it can choose to try to turn you to stone at any instant with no warning.
*shrug* In my opinion, making the "power" of the gaze optional robs it of much of its flavor. In the situation as we presented in in 3.5, the EFFECT was the same. A medusa could look at you with no risk of turning you to stone... by closing its eyes and observing you through its serpents. There is no mechanical PENALTY to the medusa not using its gaze. But there is still the power of the concept that the medusa's gaze - if it opens its eyes - is automatic. Having it be an entirely optional effect effectively makes them all sorcerers with the power to cast flesh to stone.

So in MY campaign, I'll ignore that change in 5E.

This isn't the first time edition changes have impacted flavor. Far more dramatically, the Lycanthropic Purge was based off the fact that in 3E afflicted lycanthropes could pass the affliction, making a "zombie apocalypse" scenario plausible. While Eberron was in development, 3.5 made it so only natural lycanthropes could pass the affliction, making the Purge seem cruel as opposed to an effort to stamp out an extremely virulent threat. Needless to say, fictionally we've said that at the time of the Purge it was that virulent, and the current situation is a change... but this sort of MM flavor isn't done with a setting in mind. So in MY Cazhaak Draal, the gaze of the medusa will always be a threat.
Keith Baker, designer of Eberron and Gloom
Check out http://keith-baker.com/ for updates on my current project and Eberron Q&As!

User avatar
AvonRekaes
Troll
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:46 am
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by AvonRekaes » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:48 am

Oh sure, I'm all for preserving setting flavor. Like for instance, I don't have an issue with changing gargoyles from being elemental back to monstrous living flesh.

Actually, you know, I would give medusas double proficiency in perception checks. Makes sense to me if they can see all around them with their hair.

..although as I type that, I'm vaguely recalling a write up of medusa ecology that said their eyesight when just using their snake eyes was pretty weak, so they didn't have the All-Around Vision trait in 3.5.

Wait, wasn't that you that wrote that, Keith?
Avon Rekaes - Planes Wanderer
The Wayfinder Foundation of Khorvaire: 5th Edition and Pathfinder Eberron conversions.

User avatar
HellcowKeith
Gnoll
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:19 pm
Gender: male
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by HellcowKeith » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:02 am

AvonRekaes wrote:..although as I type that, I'm vaguely recalling a write up of medusa ecology that said their eyesight when just using their snake eyes was pretty weak, so they didn't have the All-Around Vision trait in 3.5. Wait, wasn't that you that wrote that, Keith?
Indeed. When I wrote the article, my goal was to explain the mechanical abilities of the Medusa while maintaining the flavor of the uncontrollably deadly gaze. Per the 3.5 SRD, ALL gaze attacks are optional: Unless specified otherwise, a creature with a gaze attack can control its gaze attack and “turn it off ” when so desired. So it was always the case that MECHANICALLY, the medusa could see normally without its gaze being a threat. Rather than making it a magical light switch, I justified this by saying that a medusa could close its eyes and get sensory input from its serpent mane. However, giving it All Around Vision would have been a mechanical change that made medusas more powerful, which wasn't my goal. So what I wrote is that a medusa always receives general sensory input from its serpents, but has to concentrate and focus in a particular direction to use it instead of standard vision - so it has normal vision regardless of whether its primary eyes are open or closed. Essentially, left to their own the snakes look everywhere and the input is too scattered to be useful; if the medusa thinks about it, they all look in one direction, providing secondary vision.

I could certainly see a feat that granted a specific medusa All-Around Vision, explaining that its honed its ability to use that broad input. But ultimately what I was doing was providing a cosmetic justification for the medusa's SRD-defined ability to turn its gaze on and off that felt logical within the world - without changing its abilities.
Keith Baker, designer of Eberron and Gloom
Check out http://keith-baker.com/ for updates on my current project and Eberron Q&As!

User avatar
AvonRekaes
Troll
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:46 am
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by AvonRekaes » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:12 am

Ahah! I knew it! lol

Where was that write up again, do you remember? I'd be interested in refreshing myself on it (and I suspect Ender could probably use it to flesh out his medusas in Cazhaak Draal).

Also, I never realized gaze attacks in 3.5 were optional by default. Huh. I'm usually good about that kind of thing.
Avon Rekaes - Planes Wanderer
The Wayfinder Foundation of Khorvaire: 5th Edition and Pathfinder Eberron conversions.

User avatar
enderxenocide0
Stone Giant
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:44 am
Gender: male

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by enderxenocide0 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:10 am

AvonRekaes wrote:Ahah! I knew it! lol

Where was that write up again, do you remember? I'd be interested in refreshing myself on it (and I suspect Ender could probably use it to flesh out his medusas in Cazhaak Draal).

Also, I never realized gaze attacks in 3.5 were optional by default. Huh. I'm usually good about that kind of thing.
That was in the Medusas of Droaam dragonshard article I linked to up top.

User avatar
AvonRekaes
Troll
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:46 am
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by AvonRekaes » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:15 am

Derp. I should pay more attention. :oops:
Avon Rekaes - Planes Wanderer
The Wayfinder Foundation of Khorvaire: 5th Edition and Pathfinder Eberron conversions.

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3475
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:22 am

enderxenocide0 wrote: What other races would make sense for Cazhaak Draal?
Gorgons
Cockatrices
Grimlocks
Destrachans
Yrthaks

User avatar
ThePurple
Hobgoblin
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:51 pm
Gender: prefer not to say

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by ThePurple » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:48 pm

ripvanwormer wrote: Gorgons
Cockatrices
Grimlocks
Destrachans
Yrthaks
Gorgons and cockatrices are of animal intelligence so it doesn't really make sense to qualify them as "races" in this context. At best, they would be domesticated beasts (the 3.X description of Gorgons specifically mentions that they can't be domesticated) but, even then, since they pose as much of a threat to medusae as they do to everything else (since medusae are not immune to petrification themselves) and it's not like the medusae would need them for any special purpose (since they come equipped with a perfectly functional and much more controllable form of petrification naturally), I highly doubt they would keep a lot of them around. The medusae did use basilisks when they emerged from Khyber to take the city and Queen of Stone does say that Sheshka domesticates and trains cockatrices and basilisks, but there's no mention of gorgons, probably for good reason (their inability to be tamed).

As for the other 3, since they're blind, I don't think the medusae would like having them around since that blindness renders them immune to the medusae's greatest weapon: their gaze. It doesn't help that yrthaks and destrachans, while intelligent, are both non-communicative so it doubtful they're going to be particularly social, and, due to having weaponized sonic attacks (which deal full damage to objects), excel at destroying stone and other hard materials so it's doubtful that the medusae would want to keep many around their giant stone metropolis/ruin.

It is mentioned that Sheshka has bought the loyalty of a contingent of Znir Pact gnolls to guard the approaches to the city, so that's another potential segment of the population. Overall, I expect it would just be a similar population cross-section as the rest of Droaam (gnolls, goblins, orcs, minotaurs) with a disproportionate number of gargoyles and medusae taking up the #1 and #2 population spots (whichever one you think it liable to be more common is #1; I view the medusae as kind of a "ruling elite" so I don't see them being #1, personally).

User avatar
enderxenocide0
Stone Giant
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:44 am
Gender: male

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by enderxenocide0 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:07 pm

I like the idea of placing Cazhaak Draal on an island in a large lake. I'd have a lengthy stone bridge extending from the island to the shore that can be lowered into the water with earth magic to prevent a land incursion. Does that sound a bit too silly?

User avatar
Beoric
Ogre
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:51 pm
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by Beoric » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:23 am

Not at all. Except that it should be carved in the shape of a serpent, and instead of sinking into the lake, it animates, withdraws into the lake, and acts to defend the city.

It could even be an actual serpent, petrified by the medusae, but restored by the medusa's kiss when necessary.

User avatar
enderxenocide0
Stone Giant
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:44 am
Gender: male

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by enderxenocide0 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:32 am

Beoric wrote:Not at all. Except that it should be carved in the shape of a serpent, and instead of sinking into the lake, it animates, withdraws into the lake, and acts to defend the city.

It could even be an actual serpent, petrified by the medusae, but restored by the medusa's kiss when necessary.
God yes.

User avatar
enderxenocide0
Stone Giant
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:44 am
Gender: male

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by enderxenocide0 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:56 am

Another idea:

The Masked Beggar - A man in simple robes walks the streets of Cazhaak Draal alone. He sits on the city steps, a wooden bowl in his hands, his head hung low. He does not speak. He does not look up. No one knows what his face looks like, as he wears a plain, white porcelain mask. Legend has it that he has been in Cazhaak Draal since the medusae took over, though others say he was around long before. It is well-known that Sheshka has made a bargain with the man, though the exact nature of it is unclear. She met with him early in her reign and he met her without fear. Even the medusae that rule the city stand aside in deference of the man when he passes. Most avoided the Masked Beggar out of respect at first, but it turned to fear after an incident some years ago. Three thieves from outside the city came to the Masked Beggar one night and accosted him, beating him bloody and stealing his coin. He made not a sound through it all and simply sat back up, remaining on the steps. When Sheshka quickly learned of this, she ordered the city guard to find those responsible and bring them to her for justice. When the guards located the thieves in the morning, however, they found a gruesome sight. During the night, witnesses claim they saw the thieves' revelry turn ghastly. They cut out their own tongues and gouged out their eyes, living through the traumatic experience. Sheshka could not petrify them with her gaze now that they lacked eyes, so she brought them to the Masked Beggar, who had remained in his spot the entire time. Still wordless, he stood up, walked over to the thieves, and placed his wooden bowl before them as a gift before walking away. Onlookers say he did not need to speak to tell everyone watching that he was responsible for the justice the thieves received.

Originally, I was thinking about making a temple known as the House of Masks, where a man in a white porcelain mask lived and prayed. I saw him as a doppelganger and part of the Cabinet of Faces, but as I started writing this, I liked the thought of him as a beggar and then this story came to mind. It doesn't necessarily fit Cazhaak Draal or any other place specifically, but I could easily see it there.

User avatar
AvonRekaes
Troll
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:46 am
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by AvonRekaes » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:56 pm

That's a pretty cool character. Any ideas how he can be used as an adventure hook for PCs? Maybe add a few sample rumors as to his true identity. Like a long lost prince or something.
Avon Rekaes - Planes Wanderer
The Wayfinder Foundation of Khorvaire: 5th Edition and Pathfinder Eberron conversions.

User avatar
enderxenocide0
Stone Giant
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:44 am
Gender: male

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by enderxenocide0 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:12 pm

AvonRekaes wrote:That's a pretty cool character. Any ideas how he can be used as an adventure hook for PCs? Maybe add a few sample rumors as to his true identity. Like a long lost prince or something.
Assuming he's a doppelganger of the Cabinet of Faces, he probably knows secrets about Sheshka and the other warlords of Droaam. Or if he does have a temple to the Traveler, then he might see the players as an opportunity to instigate change. Maybe he's a powerful psion and knows techniques to withstand Daelkyr mental attacks. He could be a monk of the Flayed Hand and wears a mask to conceal ritual injuries to his face. Heck, maybe he doesn't have a tongue or eyes, either. Perhaps the mask is a cursed artifact that he's learned to live with.

User avatar
ThePurple
Hobgoblin
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:51 pm
Gender: prefer not to say

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by ThePurple » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:50 pm

enderxenocide0 wrote:
AvonRekaes wrote:Heck, maybe he doesn't have a tongue or eyes, either. Perhaps the mask is a cursed artifact that he's learned to live with.
My original suspicion when reading that story was that he was some kind of fey or other supernatural creature and that happens to be their reproductive process (either that or the method of passing on the curse so that they can die and be freed from it).

User avatar
Beoric
Ogre
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:51 pm
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by Beoric » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:59 am

I think the story is so gorgeous you can only spoil it by explaining it.

Here is a thought off-topic: how about a medusa apothecary who treats injury and illness using live snakes. The cure is worse than the disease if you don't have poison resistance.

Or a medusa alchemist who breeds exotic snakes and feeds them a special diet of rare herbs and alchemical reagents. As long as they continue their diet, they can bite a certain number of times per day and administer a potion along with their venom. Each snake is keyed to a particular potion.

Or an abstract sculptor who uses Stone Shape to modify petrified victims. He is so skilled that the mutilated victims survive if restored to flesh. Most other medusae find him distasteful, but he is tolerated because of his great skill at repairing the serpent bridge when it is worn down by traffic.

Or a pet food vendor who has the knack for choosing what type of stone she can turn her victims into. She sells small petrified animals in a variety of "flavours" as snacks for your pet basilisk.

Or stonework created by pouring a gibbering mouther into a mold and petrifying it. It is a very useful building technique; consequently gibbering mouther farms are common in and around the city.

Private ossuaries are not unknown, and the occasional medusa tries to profit from them. Desperate people bring their terminally ill relatives to the city, and for a fee some medusae will petrify them and store them until a cure is discovered in the (likely distant) future. Most medusae believe it cheapens their gift to use it for profit in this way, and the medusa who provide this service tend to be unsavoury types, who often neglect their charges and allow them to become worn or damged.

User avatar
HellcowKeith
Gnoll
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:19 pm
Gender: male
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Re: Cazhaak Draal

Post by HellcowKeith » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:14 pm

Beoric wrote:IPrivate ossuaries are not unknown, and the occasional medusa tries to profit from them. Desperate people bring their terminally ill relatives to the city, and for a fee some medusae will petrify them and store them until a cure is discovered in the (likely distant) future.
To this I'd add the thought that most families have their own stone gardens. When respected members of the family reach a certain age or develop an uncurable illness, they are petrified in the garden. In part, they remain as a memorial; but also, should the need arise, they can be restored to use what little time they have left to aid their descendants. Notably, Sheshka has a stone cabinet including both previous rulers and skilled champions that she can restore should she need advice of their particular skill set. This is common practice, and as she advances in years Sheshka would eventually choose her successor and join the cabinet. It's similar in some ways to the Undying Court - simply that the ancestors only return when truly needed.

And lest it go without saying, great ideas Beoric!
Last edited by HellcowKeith on Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Keith Baker, designer of Eberron and Gloom
Check out http://keith-baker.com/ for updates on my current project and Eberron Q&As!

Post Reply

Return to “Eberron”