Fund of Secrets

"Its soul...I flavor it! I flavor it!"

Legend speaks of large ravens that hate all life. They disdain the world, and their nests are between the stars—they never sleep when they are in this dimension.

They look like regular large ravens, with an 18 inch body and a 4 foot wingspan.

·        Upon closer inspection, their eyes are pure white, yellowing around the edges, the precise shade of aging bone.

·        Their iridescent black wings are finely printed with blasphemous runic patterns in the shimmer of darkness, resembling more advanced runes in the same family as runic necromancy.

·        Their beaks and talons resemble bone, and what at first appear to be scratches seem to form patterns; maps between stars? The etchings on the Gates of the Dead? Spells in a dead language? No one knows.

Collectively, these ravens are called the Fund of Secrets. Individually, each is a deposit. The only living things they choose to consort with are the necromantic dwarves bound through sorcery and blood to the Empty Rune, which is possibly a depiction of their home.

Deposits have a number of special traits.

·        AC: 6. HD: 2 hit points. Move: 9’ (3’), fly, 150’ (40’). 1 attack for 0-1 hit point. Save as Halfling 1. Morale 10. Treasure: Nil. Alignment: Chaotic.

·        Clever. They have the equivalent of a 10 Intelligence.

·        Whispering. They can whisper a croaking corruption of dwarven, heavily accented but understandable to those who speak dwarven.

·        Whisper to the Dead. They are able to speak to the recently dead as though they had the lesser rune “Question the Dead.”

·        Whisper Hideous Secrets. If a sentient foe is hovering between life and death, deposits take great pleasure in whispering to them so only they can hear. After 1d4 rounds, the victim contorts, horror and madness twisting its features, and dies painfully with broken sanity as something looms up in death and claims the victim. The deposit then perches on the corpse, very self-satisfied, and plucks out the corpse’s eyes as though they had some unique and pleasing flavor. (These corpses cannot be resurrected, but can be used as undead.)

When a necrodwarf is undertaking a task important to the God of Death, often a deposit will arrive to assist. Also, a deposit is a sign of favor from the God of Death, adding prestige among the necrodwarves. If a lucky necrodwarf gains a deposit as a long-term ally, that deposit counts as 1 hit die undead against the necrodwarf’s undead retainer total (even though it is not itself undead.)

More than just a symbol, the deposit is helpful. It is eager to assist in the corrupting of the world, and to that end it will eavesdrop, whisper unhelpful secrets in the dark to those desperate to hear them, question corpses, carry messages, intimidate the weak-minded, and anything else that the deposit and the necrodwarf can agree will be useful.

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