Sunday, 28 August 2016

Olympiodorus the Younger, With Ornithomimisaurians in the Memories of Ruin

When Abu Yaqub al-Sijistani came to the memory world of the crocodile he traveled far and wide before eventually settling in the crocodile's memories of the chaotic aftermath of the catastrophe which put an end to what men now call 'dinosaurs'. There, he began to impose an imperfect order, truth, and peace of a kind - bringing to that troubled world an understanding that, through union with God, life can reach a higher state.

But Abu-Yaqub al-Sijistani brought his own memories, memories of dreams, and dreams of memories. with him to that place. And in the strange alchemy of the crocodile's mind, elements and fragments of those memories seeped out and became 'real' - or as 'real' as anything can be inside the thoughts of an impossibly ancient reptile.

One of those memory fragments appears in the form of Olympiodorus the Younger, who al-Sijistani heard of in his youth: the last pagan philosopher priest in old Alexandria. As a student al-Sijistani imagined Olympiodorus as venerable, obstinate, mournful and wicked - a King Canute of the Alexandrian School, stubbornly clinging to power in the face of the monotheistic Christians and Jews. Above all, a Theurge, devoted in his religious life not to the peace that comes from one-ness with God, but rather harnessing the power of his many pagan deities in order to invoke it in the real world. An animator of statues, maker of rain, and discoverer of mysteries.

Since this is how al-Sijistani imagined him, that is how Olympiodorus the Younger now appears in the crocodile's memory world. An old, sad, and evil sophist who grieves for his lost way of life yet insists on the magical power of his theurgical rituals. Perhaps because of this, he is accompanied everywhere by six memories of therapod dinosaurs - bipedal, ostrich-like, feathered ornithomimisaurians which survived the catastrophe and like him are a mixture of grief for what is lost and blind faith in their own ferocity and strength.

Where Olympiodorus the Younger makes his home, he carves simplistic statues into the rock and animates them into crude life. These things serve his needs: building, gathering food and water, and, if necessary, fighting. They are engaged in a project to carve a more advanced human-sized marble statue of a woman to serve Olympiodorus as a wife. She is nearly-completed and will soon be ready for animation. In the future, Olympiodorus plans to have his servants carve for him a small host of such statutes, that he may pass his knowledge onto them before he dies.

Olympiodorus the Younger

9th level magic-user. 27 hp, AC 14, AB +2.
*Summons spirits to cast 'spells' - can cast any spell available to a 9th level magic-user.
*Can summon rain-storms once per week through a 10 minute ritual. These storms last for 1d6 hours, affect everything within a 1-mile radius, reduce visibility to 10' and have a 1 in 6 chance of causing a landslide every 10 minutes. Landslides do 3d6 hp damage (half on a successful save).

Ornithomimisaurians

Bipedal, fast, feathered and ferocious. They are up to 8 metres in length from nose to tail tip, and extremely strong. If necessary, Olympiodorus will ride one. They are strongly drawn to the wicked and sorrowful old man, and are beginning to understand some of his teachings.

6+6 HD, AC 16, AB +7, ATT 1d6+3 bite, 1d3x2 claw scratch, 1d6 tail.
*Can cast a single randomly-determined 1st level spell, thanks to their education in theurgy.

Statues

Slow and brutish, but possessing a certain crude minimalistic grace. There are 16 of them.

1+1 HD, AC 18, AB +1, ATT 1d6.

Wife Statue

The wife statue stands almost completed, although the legs are still stuck in a chunk of marble, the feet not yet carved. The marble used for her is impossibly valuable, but she weighs well over a ton. In extremis, Olmypiodorus will animate her. The ritual for this takes one hour; when animated she will be able to attack anything in range with her arms (AB +4, doing 2d6 damage).

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