Friday, August 27, 2010

Professor Crowe & His Ugly Bird

Art by Daniel Kopalek
Professor Enoch Crowe and his familiar/partner-in-crime are wanted for the sell of unlicensed alchemicals, and fraud related to such, in the City and smaller municipalities in the Smaragdines and the South. The Professor (this title is an affectation--he holds no known degree) sells dubious nostrums from the back of his truck which he drives on a circuitous route mostly through rural areas, but sometimes visiting poorer neighborhoods of cities.

Crowe will typically have the following “cures” for sale, but will only be specifically hawking one at a time:
  • Priapic Vigor - said to increase male sexual performance (allegedly made from extract of satyr musk, and other natural ingredients).
  • Hirsutific Unction - said to cure baldness cure (from "essential oils" of de-odorized skunk-ape hide)
  • Triodia’s Specific - An unguent (sometimes tonic) to cure venereal disease. (from alchemical purification of a species of lilly that grows in secret Ealerdish grottoes where nymphs are known to bathe).
  • Panaceatic Lens Treatment - The patient sits under a head-sized dome of purplish crystal (actually colored glass) which he or she is told will “re-align their mental energies and vital forces to be in greater harmony with the universe.” Mostly, it does nothing, but Crowe can use it to given a suggestion (as per spell) to the patient.
Crowe can also produce some genuine minor magical potions, but only sells these to high-dollar costumers, and may just as like substitute a minor cursed potion, if he thinks he can get away with it, and might lose a sale otherwise.

Crowe’s partner or servant, is called by him “Dearest” or perhaps just “Bird,” but is known to everyone else as “Ugly Bird.” Ugly Bird is an harpy of a particular spiteful disposition--and this is in comparison to others of her kind who aren't paragons of compassion. She won’t generally be seen when Crowe is about his business of sales, but she is always watching, and never far from his side.

Prof. Enoch Crowe: MU4, HP12, spells commiserate with his level, and 1d10 real potions in his truck, besides his charlatan’s wears.

Ugly Bird: AC 7 [12], HP 17, 2 talons 1d4 each, Special: flight, unlike often presented, harpies in the world of the City have no “siren’s song” power.

7 comments:

Scott said...

Have you ever read the Manly Wade Wellman story with the Ugly Bird? It's a Silver John story, probably called "The Ugly Bird." That thing was frigging creepy.

Trey said...

"O,Ugly Bird" is the story. Yeah, its great. It was certainly part of the inspiration here.

ancientvaults said...

Creepy post all around, which is to say, excellent. I can see Chalk and the others trying to sell some of those snake oil items to unsuspecting dupes.

Trey said...

That is exactly yhe sort of thing Chalk would get up to. Glad you liked the post.

Dungeonmum said...

Great post, very creepy stuff. I wonder about the real-world inspirations behind the 'cures'

NetherWerks said...

What no phrenology? What's snake-oil and patent medicine without the hokum and baloney? Even the Nazis got into Phrenology. Oh well. Very cool, very creepy post. This guy Enoch Crowe and his ugly bird are the sort of well-mannered and civic-minded sorts I'd expect to meet along the less reputable alleys off of the low canals...

Trey said...

@Dungeonmum - Thanks. "Triodia's Specific" was inspired by an old patent medicine ad I saw online. The other three drugs where inspired by infomercials I'm always turning the channel to avoid.

@NetherWerks - Your right, of course, phrenology is an omission. Maybe its too respectable for Crowe, though? Yeah, I'm sfrom your descriptions that characters like this would feel right at home on those less reputable allerys.