Spells corrected as per Ian's suggestions (from Scarred Lands forum). Attached
Ian's comments at the end of this article.
Spells; Random Evil Spell and [even] More Evil Spells
author: Ian Turner (Soltares)
We need more random evil spells, I always say...
Feast of Ashes
Turns a pinch of sand into a deadly weapon.
Who but a foul servant of Gaurak would have crafted such a spell? Still, the name of this spells creator is long lost, and while some sorcerers of Belsameth may know of its power, it has not been used in living memory.
The caster transforms a tiny pinch of fine sand into a deadly assassins weapon, capable of killing even the strongest man if ingested. The dusts created absorb water and nutrients within a living victim, so that he appears to dehydrate and starve all in a moments time, while the sand in his belly swells to bloated stones, fattened off of the nourishment and fluids they have stolen from his dying body.
The lethal properties of the sand last for only 1 hour, and only a single dose is created. Anyone who ingests this dose must make a Fortitude saving throw or be reduced to -1 hit points (Dying) immediately, and must begin stabilization checks to avoid losing a hit point every round thereafter. Instead of binding an obvious bleeding wound, a healer that succeeds in arresting the deterioration has instead managed to get the victim to swallow a small quantity of food and drink without choking, allowing him momentary relief from the deterioration.
Unlike a poison, these dusts have no secondary effect. If the target make the initial Fortitude save, he is both ravenous and thirsty, suffering 4d6 points of subdual damage (3d6 from thirst, 1d6 from hunger) and being treated as Fatigued until this damage is fully healed. Subdual damage from hunger or thirst can only be recovered if the victim is given a suitable amount of food and water (generally at least one meal worth of food and one days ration worth of water initially, although a survivor of this spell may consume more food and water for a few days while his system recuperates). The sands will swell in this case no larger than small pearls from this repast, and will pass from the victims' body with no difficulty, perhaps even unnoticed.
The toxic dust must be ingested, it is harmless to the touch, or if injected or inhaled, as it cannot draw nutrients from the blood, skin or breath. The sand mixes with food and liquids outside of a living host with no hostile reaction, it is only within the stomach of a living victim that it begins to gorge itself. During the hour of its lethal enchantment, the sand will detect as magical.
A victim of this spell appears gaunt and wrinkled from lack of nourishment, with the distended belly common to those who have died of starvation. The corpse will seem oddly heavy, and if cut open, instead of the trapped gases one would expect, his belly will be filled with greasy fist-sized gray stones that sweat a noxious black oil, but smell sickeningly sweet and prove to be edible…
Material Components: A pinch of the fine black sand made from a mixture of ground pumice and obsidian.
Always eager to spread wickedness, here's a few spells that I've used for adventure seeds.
Animates many man-sized skeletons into one larger one.
Created in a collaborative effort by a cabal of necromancers, this spell was crafted to combat the severe shortage of gargantuan and larger skeletons for animation. The leader of the project, an unhealthy fellow known as Kadeth, proposed carrying the experiment to its logical conclusion by attempting to craft gargantuan zombies. His fellows voted against that idea, and he quietly vanished one night, along with his personal libraries and servants.
After a full night incanting over sixteen pristine humanoid skeletons of medium size, the bones slither and fuse together into a towering colossus of bone under the casters direct command. This macabre creation is treated in all respects as a gargantuan skeleton (core rulebook III, p. 165) and counts as 16 hit dice against the total amount of undead the caster can have controlled by such animation magic at one time (per the description under the animate dead spell in core rulebook I, p. 174).
The creation remains active until destroyed, and can be commanded by spoken commands from its creator or certain emphatic gestures (go, come, halt).
At 16th level, the caster may choose to perform this rite over 32 such skeletons (with the commensurate increase in blood sacrifice) to create a colossal skeleton. Such a creation will count as a 32 hit die undead for the purposes of control.
Material Components: In addition to sixteen intact humanoid skeletons, sixteen living creatures must be slain during the ritual and their blood made into a bath in which the bones to be animated must steep during the casting. These creatures must be of medium size, but need not be humanoid (and in fact must not be intelligent). Dogs, associated with mindless obedience by many, are generally preferred for this unhappy role.
Animates several humanoid corpses into one giant zombie.
A necromancer named Kadeth found himself forced to continue his studies in a more secluded setting when even his fellow necromancers found his researches to be excessive. His research has reached its inevitable conclusion, and he now seeks out twenty-three appropriate bodies, which he means to awaken into unlife as a rotting colossus with himself as the guiding intellect...
After gathering eleven suitable humanoid corpses, none dead more than three days, the caster draws out a suitable chopping tool and many yards of sturdy cat-gut. After eight hours of butchery and crude stitching, and one dark sacrifice, the caster has assembled a fearsome creation in the form of a gargantuan humanoid from the many smaller components.
This creation draws a spark of unlife from these dark deeds, being treated in all respects as a gargantuan zombie (core rulebook, pages 191-192) of particularly gruesome aspect, and counting as 24 hit dice against the total amount of undead the caster can have under his control at any one time (per the description under animate dead, core rulebook I, p. 174).
The creation remains active until destroyed, although it can only be directed by the spoken command of its creator, or certain emphatic gestures (go, come, halt).
While this spell could theoretically be increased, using 24 bodies to craft a 48 HD colossal zombie, no arcanist has been reported to create and control such a monstrosity. Some propose that the caster would have to be the equivalent of a 24th level spellcaster to initiate the ritual, others suggest the catalyzing death has to be more powerful (or more numerous?), perhaps of a larger creature, a magical beast or even a spellcaster. Experimentation, with all the horror that implies, continues...
Material Components: Eleven intact and fresh humanoid corpses, many yards of catgut, a strong needle of bone and a sharp cutting tool are required for the initial assembly process. To awaken the beast into unlife, a twelfth living humanoid must be sewn into the very center of the assembled construct (an excruciating process that only the strongest subject will survive), making up the "heart" of the finished zombie. The bone needle used for assembly, still attached to the single long strand of catgut that holds the mass together, is pushed through this living victims heart and the spell traps the force of his death and channels it out through the needle and catgut into the creature, shocking it into an unholy semblance of life. It should go without saying that the casting of this spell is an evil act that goes beyond the pale of most "Evil" spells.
A valid thought. I tend to think that 16 people are going to be harder to acquire than a 50 gp gem, particularly in a world with Paladin and Vigilants and the like running around paying attention to massive raids and such things, but yeah, perhaps a purely monetary cost as well would be called for.
I'll have to think about it, but some sort of alchemical mixture with a cost / doses based on the size of skeleton / zombie it is making would make sense. A bone-softening ointment for the first spell and perhaps a preservative / limbering salve for the zombie version. The substance would therefore be highly specific, and the cost could be tweaked so that it would be relevant even if the spellcaster made it himself to save money. 10 gp / HD sounds like a decent cost to create, so 30 gp / HD as a final cost if the spellcaster has to purchase it instead of making it himself. With the average bigass skeleton or zombie ending up 16+ HD, it will end up significantly more expensive than the 50 gp that it would cost to use Animate Dead on a pre-existing corpse of that size.