Monday, September 14, 2020

OSR: Sirens, Harpies and the Merciful Ones


                                                              author unknown

A Story from the Court of Heaven:

Lord Anuman, God of Law, Kings, Art, Music and Magic abd current ruler of the Law Gods, is getting old and slowly losing his mind.  This is a secret known widely among the Law Gods and by a few others.  Otherwise it is highly uncommon.  This is the real reason why mortals are told not to pray to him directly, but to direct their prayers through one of the other Law Gods.

However, one of the creatures who is aware of this fact is Unta, the God of Lies, Traitors, Desserts, Slaves, Prostitutes and Sailors.  Unta is also Anuman's slave, but he loathes his master.  So Unta came up with a plan to humiliate his master.  He waited until their was a party in the Palace and got his master to drink more sun's blood than usual.  Then he disguised himself as a beautiful spirit and seduced Lord Anuman, who was too intoxicated to notice that the spirit had very similar mana to his slave.  Then, once they finished coupling, he stole some of Anuman's seed and spirited it away to the planet's surface.

From there, Unta used his power to seduce a mortal woman and then impregnated her with Anuman's seed.  The next morning, when Anuman woke, Unta came and told him that when his master was unaware of his action, he took a mortal woman and impregnated her.  Anuman, who was married, was deeply ashamed of this.  So he told Unta to do whatever it took to take care of the problem.  Unta went and did as he was told, spiriting the woman away where she could give birth safely.  He concealed her, but not so well that she could not be discovered.  Then, he spread rumors that a new demigod was going to be born.  He was overjoyed when the woman gave birth to triplets, three beautiful half-divine baby girls. 

However, Unta's gossiping had done its work, and soon the news of the birth of a demigod reached the ears of Lord Anuman's Wife, the Goddess Iel, Mistress of Pregnancy, Merchants, Shepherds, Motherhood and Dogs.  Iel was absolutely furious that her husband had been unfaithful to her.  However, she could not take revenge on her husband, so she took revenge upon the three demi-goddesses. 

The first she cursed with children that would be a plague on Mothers, devouring their sons and leading men astray into folly and death.  This demi-goddess gave birth to the first Sirens.

The second she cursed with children that would be a plague on merchants and all decent folk, making them thieves motivated by vanity and hubris.  This demi-goddess gave birth to the first Harpies, 

Then, for the last demigoddess, she cursed her with children that would torment the guilty.  This demi-goddess gave birth to the Yagras.

However, the Yagras did not torment their mother nor their grandmother, proving that they were not guilty of the crime Lady Iel thought.  Lady Iel was perplexed by this and investigated the matter.  When she found out the source of the rumors she had heard and discovered it originally came from Unta, she seized him and forced him to confess.  Unta gave up the truth then, telling her how Anuman had not been unfaithful to her and she had punished the innocent.

Lady Iel then went to her Lord Husband and told him what she had done.  Lord Anuman was enraged that she had cursed his children, but he was even more angry with Unta.  For the latter, he sentenced him to be devoured by a Dragon every day for a year, each day being torn to shreds, digested, then emerging from the Dragon's dung to do it all over again the next day. 

Then, as a further method of restitution, Lord Anuman surveyed his new grandchildren.  The Sirens and Harpies were too wretched for him to even look upon, but some of the Yagras still possessed a spark of virtue and nobility.  So he elevated them and charged them with punishing those who are burdened with guilt while they are still alive, to ensure that those who commit sins and crimes but are not seen by the law will still be punished.  And because they were not Gods and thus incapable of the lengths of vengeance such immortals were capable of, he named them "The Merciful Ones" for they would always be more generous than he and the Gods would be. 

                                                           by Xel-Lotath

                  (This is what a Siren could look like while using her "Alluring Appearance" ability)


Sirens are horrible creatures with the power to seduce with their voices.  Unlike in many of the songs, a Siren's seduction is not primarily sexual, but instead appeals to the listener's deepest desires.  It feeds the strongest of their passions, whether that be their pride, lust, rage or something else.  If you must desire revenge, a Siren's song may sound like an enemy taunting you. 

A Siren's song also conjures hallucinations that alter your perception of reality.  By blocking off your ability to hear, you will not be affected by the Siren's song.

But while the most famous of a Siren's abilities, they also possess other magical powers.  Sirens can also create clouds of poisonous gas around them.  The gas varies depending on the strength of the Siren- the older or more powerful ones produce clouds of gas that slay without a sound, while the lesser ones produce gases that only blind or induce other effects.

Additionally, all Sirens have the ability to transform the waters around them into bubbling acid.  No matter the Siren, this acid is always dangerous- able to dissolve everything but stone, plastic, superhard materials or magical items. 

HD 1d4+1 + [1d6+2 Armor]
Armor Scales
Atk Claws (1d4) or Acid Splash (see below)
Mor 11
Saves (7+HD) or less
Immune to Acid and Poison

Charming Song: Anyone who can hear a Siren's song must save.  On a failure, the creatures takes 1d6 COG damage and feels the urge to move towards the Siren or the source of the Siren's voice.  If this COG damage reduces the creature's COG to 0, the creature will pursue the source of the Siren's voice or the Siren itself until he dies or falls unconscious.  He will not be able to stop even if he can no longer hear the sound.  If he is unable to hear the song for 1 hour or more, he will regain 1 COG and no longer be compelled to pursue it.  Lost COG then regenerates at 1 point per hour.

Alluring Appearance: Sirens are actually quite ugly and dreadful in their true forms, but can cover themselves in an illusion that makes themselves look beautiful as a free action. 

Aquatic Mobility: Sirens are actually very slow when not on land, but when in water, they can levitate above the surface of the water.  While doing so, they gain a fly speed of 30' per round.  They are also powerful swimmers, able to swim as fast as a dolphin.  Sirens can breath underwater as well.

Gas Cloud: If a Siren is above water, she can create a cloud of gas that fills the air for X*10 around her, where X is her power.  To see what her Gas Cloud does, roll on the table labeled "What Gas does this Siren produce?"

Acid Transmutation: If she is in the water or has touched it within the last round, a Siren can transform the water around her for X*10' into dangerous acid.  Her acid does 2d6 damage on contact if you touch it.  If immersed in it, it does 2d6 damage a round.  Sirens will also try to splash it on people who get too close to them, if they are near water.

- Charm people with your song, lure them into the range of your cloud of poison gas
- Then eat them
- If your Charm and Gas doesn't work, ambush them by hiding under the water and transforming the water around them into acid
- Pull them into your acid if they won't be charmed              

                                               by davesrightmind            

                                         (This is what Sirens look like normally)

How strong is this Siren?

1- X = 3
2- X = 4
3- X = 5
4- X = 6

What Gas does this Siren produce?

1- Gas that kills almost immediately.  Any creature who enters the radius of the Siren's Gas Cloud must save or die each round he breathes it in*.  Resistance to poison grants advantage on the save.
2- Gas that kills slowly.  Any creature who enters the radius of the Siren's Gas Cloud takes 1d6 CON damage each round he breathes it in.  If this CON damage reduces a creature's CON to 0, it dies. 
3- Gas that paralyzes.  Any creature who enters the radius of the Siren's Gas Cloud takes 1d6 DEX damage each round he breathes it in.  If this DEX damage reduces a creature's DEX to 0, that creature cannot move.
4- Gas that erodes sanity.  Any creature who enters the radius of the Siren's Gas Cloud takes 1d6 COG damage each round he breathes it in.  If this COG damage reduces a creature's COG to 0, that creature goes temporarily insane and acts as per the Confusion spell.
5- Gas that petrifies.  Any creature who enters the radius of the Siren's Gas Cloud takes 1d6 STR damage each round he breathes it in.  If this STR damage reduces a creature's STR to 0, that creature's skin is turned to stone**. 
6- Gas that causes sleepiness.  Any creature who enters the radius of the Siren's Gas Cloud takes 1d6 CHA damage each round he breathes it in.  If this CHA damage reduces a creature's CHA to 0, he falls asleep as soon as their is no immediately obvious danger.  If the Siren is slithering toward him, that counts, but if there is no one around, he will not be able to resist the urge to nod off.

Any ability score damage done by the Siren's Gas is restored at a rate of 1 point per minute after you leave the Gas Cloud.

*Make sure you warn your players about this.  

**Underneath they are still fleshy, but cracking the stone to get to the creamy center would be also flaying the person, so without powerful healing magic they would soon die.  The Siren exploits this fact by trapping someone in stone, then cracking open his shell and eating him while he is still alive.

                                                     source unknown


Harpies are cruel creatures, the plagues of merchants and cities alike.  They are known to attack anyone in their territory who looks vulnerable, feeding on such individuals or capturing them to torture and mock.  They like to play with their food. 
However, Harpies are not sadistic like other monsters.  They are egotistical, believing themselves to be beautiful, charming and talented.  What they most desire from their guests is validation- if you flatter a Harpy enough she may let you go.  May, of course, being the operative word.  She might just kill and eat you when you have massaged her ego.  

Harpies also possess the same magical songs as the Sirens.  However, due to their narcissism, they never bother to practice.  As such, they love to sing but they are terrible at it.  This makes their songs not magically charming, but hideous and painful.  All Harpies know a song that causes those who hear it to have wounds open on their bodies, as if they are being attacked by phantom opponents. 

Harpies, being proud, do not acknowledge the danger and destruction their songs cause/present, unless they wish to.  They are also usually tone-deaf, so their off-key singing is not something they acknowledge or recognize.  Anyone who criticizes their music is punished severely, usually with more singing.

HD 1d4 + [1d6 Armor]
Armor (Whatever they could scavenge, roll on the table below)
Atk Claws (1d6/1d6) or Javelin (1d8)
Mor 13
Saves 9 or less

Flyer: Flyer: Harpies can fly. They add +4 to their Initiative rolls and Armor if they are flying.  Harpies cannot fly if they are wearing Medium or Heavy armor.

Painful Songs: All Harpies know the Song of Violence and one other.  To see what other song the Harpy knows, roll on the "Harpy Songs" Table below.  While she is singing any of her Songs, she can still move but cannot take any other action as long as she keeps singing, the singing consuming each of her actions a round. 

Song of Violence: As an action, a Harpy can begin singing the Song of Violence.  All who hear the Song of Violence besides the Harpy and X creatures, where X is the Harpy's HD, take 1d6 damage each round they can hear the Song.  The damage from the Song of Violence appears as wounds from invisible weapons, cuts from knives, puncture wounds from arrows, impalement by spears, etc.

- Fly around the enemies, stay out of melee unless they are very weak
- Sing your Songs to annoy and harass
- If threatened, sing the Song of Violence

                                                          by Mark Bulahao

What Armor is the Harpy wearing?

1- She has a moss-covered shield.
2- She is wearing strips of a metal cuirass.
3- She has half a shattered breastplate on.
4- She has coated her body in thick mud.  This also grants her [12 Armor] exclusively against fire damage. 

Harpy Songs

1- Song of Discord.  Anyone who can hear this song must save.  On a failed save, he will begin quarreling with whoever is near him.  These quarrels are likely to escalate into fights, but not necessarily.  The Harpy will never be the source of these quarrels.  Additionally, those under the effects of this Song will not be able to hear this song and will pretend not to hear it.
2- Song of Ruin.  Any buildings or structures exposed to this song take damage as per the Song of Violence.  If reduced to 0 HP, they collapse.
3- Song of Misfortune.  Anyone who can hear this song takes 1d6 CHA damage and receives a -1 penalty to attacks.  This repeats each round a creature hears this song.  Additionally, anyone who rolls a 1 or below on a 1d20 while he can hear this song suffers a critical failure. 
4- Song of Sleeplessness.  Anyone who can hear this song cannot sleep, no matter how hard he tries.  Additionally, any corpses in range of this song rise as unbound undead (2 HD) and begin raging at the living for their sleep being disturbed.
5- Song of Mutation.  Anyone who can hear this song must save or be mutated.
6- Song of Nightmares.  Anyone who can hear this song who is awake must save.  On a failed save, they fall asleep.  If they are asleep, they instead suffer horrible nightmares and gain no benefit from the long rest they took.  If everyone in the party falls asleep or is already asleep, just have them start fighting monsters with no explanation and later have them wake up to find out they were only dreaming.     

                                                         by FunSoo


Not all the third demi-goddess' children were deemed saveable.  Many of them were corrupted by Unta's allies and became the Yagra, vicious bird spirits that preyed upon the weak and vulnerable for their own sick amusement.  The Yagra are despoilers and destroyers.  They have no ability to sense evil, but they know that the wounds they leave with their claws only heal on the righteous.  And since such people are rare, they use this as a pretext to justify tormenting random people. 

HD 4
Armor none
Atk Claws (1d6/1d6)
Mor 13
Saves 11 or less

Flyer: Yagra can fly.  They add +4 to their Initiative rolls and Armor if they are flying.

Cursed Claws: To all but the truly heroic, Yagra claws cause terrible pain and leave wounds that do not heal unless the wounded creature is looked upon favorably by the Gods or is righteous.  If you are not looked upon favorably, making a sacrifice to the Gods that is accepted will enable these wounds to heal. 

- Fly down and scratch someone
- Pick them up and carry them up, then drop them
- Prey on the weak
- Retreat if faced with significant resistance               

                                                        by GENZOMAN

The Merciful Ones

The Merciful Ones are the few Yagra that Anuman thought righteous and good enough to redeem.  He saved them and made them his enforcers of divine judgement.  Whenever he needs to punish a mortal but does not wish to intervene directly, as their are rules for that sort of thing, he simply sicks the Merciful Ones on the target. 

Mortals can also petition to the Merciful Ones directly through prayer and ritual, but they rarely choose to respond to such requests. 

The Merciful Ones hunt the wicked like dogs, lashing them with whips and carving them with claws and talons.  They do not always kill their targets, that is a fate only for the most depraved.  For the less wretched they simply torture and scar, as a permanent reminder of their "mercy".

Merciful One
HD 5
Armor none
Atk Agonizing Whips (1d8 + Agony/1d8 + Agony) or Claw (1d6/1d6)
Mor 15

Flyer: Merciful Ones can fly. They add +4 to their Initiative rolls and Armor if they are flying. 

Sin Sense: Merciful Ones can sense the guilt of their targets.  They will always target the person must deserving of suffering, unless they are being attacked. 

Protection against the Wicked: Merciful Ones cannot be harmed by the truly vile.  The most wicked of individuals find their flesh to be iron-hard and their spells ricochet off the Merciful Ones like water off a greased fur.  Individuals still full of vice can harm them, but they take -4 damage from such individuals.  Morally lukewarm individuals do -2 damage to them.  Good men do -1 damage to them, for even they possess some evil in their hearts.  The truly heroic take no penalty to their damage against the Merciful Ones.  Referee's Discretion applies on what a creature is, morally speaking.

Agony: The Whips of the Merciful Ones cause more pain the more corrupt an individual is.  The truly depraved, upon being hit, take 1d6 COG damage.  The less corrupt take 1d4, the lukewarm 1d2, the good 1 and the heroic none at all.  Those who have their COG reduced to 0 will be seized by animal fear and must spend every action running or hiding from the Merciful Ones.  Referee's Discretion applies on what a creature is, morally speaking.   

- Pursue your target
- Whip them within an inch of their life then kill them
- Ignore all others unless they interfere  


                                                       by yuchenghong          

The Throneguard 

The Throneguard are the elite of the Merciful Ones, those who serve the Gods directly in the Court of Heaven.  They are blessed with eternal lives and charged with the sacred duty of defending the Throne of Law and the one who sits upon it, as well as restraining Unta, the Imp of Suffering.  They guard him and keep him from escaping, and if he does escape, they pursue and capture him again.

They are well suited to this task as, like the other Merciful Ones, they are protected by the power of Anuman against evil creatures.  As such, Unta cannot use his powers to harm them, nor does his divine strength avail him against them.  And since they can sense his noxious evil, the only option he has is to run. 

They always catch him eventually, it's just a matter of time.   

Throneguard Yagra
HD 7
Armor none
Atk Weapon from Heaven's forges (see below) or Hooked Polearm (1d8+2 sharp + grapple)
Mor 16
Saves 14 or less

Flyer: Throneguard Yagra can fly. They add +4 to their Initiative rolls and Armor if they are flying. 

Sin Sense: Throneguard Yagra can sense the guilt of their targets.  They can track an evil creature using this ability and sense it, even if it is hiding. 

Protection against the Wicked: Throneguard Yagra cannot be harmed by the truly vile.  The most wicked of individuals find their flesh to be iron-hard and their spells ricochet off them like water off a greased fur.  Individuals still full of vice can harm them, but they take -4 damage from such individuals.  Morally lukewarm individuals do -2 damage to them.  Good men do -1 damage to them, for even they possess some evil in their hearts.  The truly heroic take no penalty to their damage against the Throneguard Yagra.  Referee's Discretion applies on what a creature is, morally speaking.

Specific Death Condition: Throneguard Yagra Can only be killed if slain by a righteous individual.  Otherwise, they cannot be killed, and will regenerate at a rate of 1 HP per hour until restored to full.

- Pursue the source of evil
- Seize it
- Ignore anything unless it gets in your way

Weapons from Heaven's Forges:


1- Brimstone Trident.  Does 1d8 sharp + 1d6 fire.  Can also transform into a burning chain and back.
2- Lightning Javelin.  Does 1d8 sharp damage.  1/Day it can also be thrown, where upon it transforms into a 4d6 lightning bolt and strikes one target for that much lightning damage, save for half
3- Wrath Jar.  Throw it down and every poor sap within 50' must save or be possessed by a spirit of rage, which if they fail their save will take their body on a joyride of destruction until the person dies, passes out or is exorcised.  A consumable.
4- Fury Jar.  Throw it down and everyone within 30' takes 3d6 fire damage as it explodes, save for half.  A consumable.
5- Net of Light.  Sears the skin of evil creatures, doing 1d6 radiant damage a round.  Undead take 2d6.  Also, anyone hit by this is automatically restrained.    
6- Wraith Bow.  A bow that fires arrows made of the prayers of the just.  Does 1d8+COG psychic damage and ignores non-magical armor.  If an arrow from this bow is fired into someone's shadow, that person cannot move until the arrow is pulled out.

                                                         by Scott Purdy

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