Altar of Vazzaz
An ancient shrine of a mischievous goddess. The proper offering will give you her blessing, but 'ware you don't feed her wrong!
Lost and long forgotten deep within a cave lies an ancient shrine. Who made it and for what purpose is lost to history, but those who come across it may make use of its powers.
The altar appears to be molded out of stone itself, as through it grew from the rock naturally; no chisel marks or signs of man-labour is apparent. The base of it is a shallow well, the inside of which is stained with a long-dried crimson liquid. Behind and above this well is a disrobed female torso stretching out from the rock; although the body appears warped and spindly. Too-long fingers are wrapped around the sides of the well, and the head is a cruel, monstrous amalgamation of human and mosquito. Its large proboscis reaches from her face to rest at the base of the well, and her insectoid eyes gleam as though alive. On the exterior of the well are scrawlings and runes written in a long-dead dialect.
Moving near the altar, one will begin to hear the buzzing and droning of a thousand mosquitoes; the sound growing in intensity until it is nearly maddening the closer one gets.
Deciphering the scrawlings on the outside of the well reveal this little poem:
'So dry, I thirst, and here you come along; do you have some nectar, so sweet and strong?
A taste of myne nectar so sweet and strong, 'tis all I desire in this hole in which I've dwelled so long.
Share your nectar, so sweet and strong, and I'll share my vigor that you may dance and laugh and last in lust, and sing the night-time's song.
Feed me only nectar, so sweet and strong! Or i will repay you with myne poison, if you feed me wrong.'
Those with religious knowledge of the area may know that the deity represented is that of Vazzaz, the Mosquito-headed god of the Sen-Rab people. Her domain is consumption, wine and revelry - she is the goddess attributed to wild behavior and celebration, but also the folly of the drunk: bad choices, drunken violence and wanton destruction.
The shrine asks for an offering. Any liquid placed in the bowl will cause the stone figure to move, greedily wrapping its hands around the bowl and consuming the offering.
If the proper offering is made, the altar will grant all those in the general area with Vazzaz's blessing: a boost to dexterity and immunity to poisons until next they rest. This will also remove any current poisons from one's body. The blessing can only be granted once per day. The correct offering is, of course, Wine.
If the wrong liquid is used (such as blood, the obvious choice for a mosquito goddess), a curse is placed on all those in the area! They must roll a d6 to determine their infliction:
6: No ill-effect. The shrine cannot be used again.
5-4: Severe Intoxication. The person becomes blind drunk for the remainder of the day and must take the penalties associated with this ailment.
3-2: Mosquitoes erupt from one's very skin, causing vicious open wounds and pockmarks and dealing 1d6 damage and carrying a risk of diseasing the player (constitution roll to save) The mosquitoes themselves are harmless once out of the skin.
1: A permanent -1 penalty to constitution (or equivalent).
I like the idea of a mosquito drunk on fermented fruit. I'd suggest that you put the poem in quotes. I almost read the next line into the poem, which was silly of me.
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? Responses (9)
Editing and writing submissions on a phone is hard! I'll tidy this up when i get home - i know there is a couple dodgy bits in it at the moment :)
Uhm.. I'm not sure if I should have put my other statement there or here, though I stand on expedient fermented fruit.
I like the fact that blood is not the correct offering. I can imagine an all female clergy of Vazzaz operating as blood letters or barber surgeons under the guise of the goddess.
Lol, blood is wrong! Genius!
A neat location, though I'd add addition restrictions on preventing continual use.
Perhaps the liquid she desires is a moving target, based on a schedule known only to her clergy and other devote followers.
Not an altar to mess with.
A permanent penalty to constitution?! Boy, that's the last time Zelas helps make offerings to weird mosquito goddesses. As for the sub; Obviously it's very short. Dunno if there's much more for you to add though. Will check in later if there's reason to re-evaluate.
It's a scenario with a nice twist. Blood is not what she wants! These type of scenarios usually stick with players long after they end. 'Remember that time we doused and slathered that mosquito-queen altar with blood? Oh boy!'
Just love it.