Tuesday, May 9, 2017

'The Devils of The Black Circle' An NPC Lovecraftian Enemy Faction For Your Old School Campaigns

 'They have names whispered in Hell & the devil's hooves dance across the midnight hour as their black souls howl for blood & violence! The souls of the old gods, the jealous gods can never have enough of either!'
John Wright 1904
Echoes At Midnight

Among the Pict tribes there are legends of  'The Devils of The Black Circle' a group of twisted devil orcs lead by  four demon pigs from the underworld. They were let loose by an ancient curse. Among the Picts there are legends of a group of starving Pict warriors who feasted on the body of a Keltic bard. For their murderous & roiling hunger the four lead warriors were cursed with the spirits of swine from the bowels of the underworld. These nameless warriors went on to spawn a bevy of twisted orc progeny who serve the depraved needs of their tribe. There are between 1d10 to 1d20 of the devil orc warriors at the beck & call of their tribal leaders/parents. The cycle of violence of 'the Devils of the Black Circle' is always the same.
There will be a series of lightning raids by these horrid warriors for 1d6 weeks during the sacred cycle of Shub-Niggurath . The goddess will be in her Magna Mater ("Great Mother") riguise within the woodlands of Hyprborea. The black circle orcs will strike & offers to the Great Mother begin.

Shub-Niggurath, along with her "Thousand Young"
Dominique Signoret

These demon swine have an incredible appetite for human flesh which they consume with relish.  They always create ruses to aqquire more flesh.
They do this by posing as Pictish tribal elders who have a connection with the Devils. They may negotiate a peace between the orc warriors & those being victimized for the price of a feast.  In reality, they are setting up an murderous raid using their charm ability to size up the tribal defenses & gain the confidence of their victims.They do this for a final murderous rite of carnage. They then use a rather hellish sacrament with the corpses of their victims to turn all present into a pack of huge boars & pigs who fleeing into the woodlands to start the cycle over again. This is usually done with another tribe of Picts, Kelts, or even Norsemen. The 'Devils'  sometimes masquerade as Pictish traders from the Pictlands of lower Hyperborea to continue the cycle of death, murder, & madness.  These monsters often visit Greyhawk or alternative shadows of Blackmoor to continue the blood bath.

The second way in which 'The devils of the black circle' elders  will operate is to infiltrate a Pict tribe via their charm ability & corrupt the tribe from within.This is done via divine favors or glory in inter tribal warfare. This often works with tribes whose honor has been compromised from the onset often in matters of war or hunting for food. These affairs might often been engineered by the devil orc warriors giving the elders the opportunity to move in for a bit of tribal manipulation. Often means setting up the normal Pict leaders for a fall from grace in the eyes of the tribal members. These affairs always end with the new tribal leaders becoming the demon swine themselves followed by their orc warriors moving in as their  violent muscle. This tactic is often used when the 'devils of the black circle' need to replenish their ranks. The Black Circle will lay low for a year or more. Locals often suffer under the yoke of these tyrants.

Because of the 'devils of the black circle' connections to Shub-Niggurath & a particularly nasty aspect of  Nyarlathotep they black circle thrive on madness and violence.
Nyarlathotep the mad faceless god, who howls blindly to the piping of two amorphous idiot flute-players within grinning caverns of Hyperborea's center listens to their rites with glee. The orc warriors have several characteristics that mark them as slightly different then many other orcs found within "The Referee's Guide for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea." First their warriors  display the cloven hoofs of the blessed of their loathsome god & goddess. They may once every new moon enter a berserk state & gain a +3 to damage with melee weapons, & these bastards in these states are immune to most pain from mundane weapons. Every three days these orc warriors may polymorph into the form of a mundane boar or pig. Once per week three or more devil orcs may summon a giant boar to add them. This animal will be of a particularly dangerous, bloody thirsty & violent aspect. They often use these abilities to scout out new areas  or villages for raids or marked as sacrifices.

'The devils of the black circle' are actively hunted by a dedicated group of Pict knights & paladins charged with bringing an end to the dishonor that these being's existence poses to all. These knights  were formed more then ten years ago. They have faced down ten to twenty warriors of the black circle. The black circle as a whole seems to allude these knights. They seem to slip through the armored fingers of the knights time and again.

Helen Rickard Man Kills Mosaic Boar
 The Devils of the Black Circle are a bane on the face of existence & it is whispered by right thinking people that they are a curse sent by the gods to test the folly of men. These bastards seem to show up as the winds of chaos & the whims of their dreaded gods dictate. Their very nature seems to demand violence, chaos, & sheer depravity in the extreme. This is something that these mad bastards revel in.

1d6 Random Targets That The 'The Devils of The Black Circle'
Seeks This Week Table 
  1. Sacrifices for the alter stones to show the old gods that our commitment to them hasn't wavered! Blood & souls for the ancient ones! 
  2. Men & women to renew the breeding stock of the tribe! We require vitality & fertility to continue to grow strong! 
  3. Food and more food especially the blood and flesh of humans! The very best for our tables & our gods! 
  4. Gold and spoils of murder because one never have enough gold or blood for our black table! 
  5. The head of a shaman for the 'mother goddess' demands it! 
  6. We seek the heart of a brave warrior for stomachs his bravery & strength will make us stronger as a whole we have seen it!

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