Sunday, April 17, 2011

Black Gold, Crude Death

Eight years ago, rural life in eastern Freedonia changed forever with the coming of an oil boom. The discovery of a large oil field at previously unreachable depths, has caused rigs to sprout like weeds, and drawn drillers, wildcatters, and speculators in droves.

Oil drilling is a risky proposition in a number of ways, not the least of which are the paraelementals that dwell in the oil. The exact mixing of the primal elements that leads to the creation of the petroleum or crude oil elementals is unknown, but it seems to occur only under intense heat and pressure, and in the presence of the numerous fossilized remains of algae and other microscopic sea life. Having there origins in mass death, may play a role in the petroleum elementals hostile disposition--they’re infused with malign, anti-life energies from the Negative Energy Plane.

When roused petroleum elementals can break drills, or destroy rigging, and sometimes rise from the wells to kill. Some large oil company operations hire thaumaturgists to protect their wells and hopefully prevent such events. Smaller operations rely on the dubious accumulated wisdom of roughneck superstition--simple charms, crude sigils, and unthinking ritual--for what protection they can give.

Some thaumaturgical scholars worry about the sheer amount of negative energy present in oil. The undead hatred of life from so many organisms, no matter how lowly, has power. Will there be a price to pay one day for drawing it from the depths, and releasing it into the air?


PETROLEUM ELEMENTAL
Number: 1
AC: 3
Move: 6”
HD: 8, 12, or 16
Attacks: 2d8 (constriction)
Special: +1 or better needed to hit, flammable

17 comments:

Tim Shorts said...

Ha, what a great picture. Always entertaining.

limpey said...

Has 'Black Gold Fever' struck Freedonia yet? I understand that this is a diesease cased by oil itself --- otherwise rational farmers, cobblers and school teachers (and practioners of other diverse trades) suddenly become obcessed with prospecting for oil. Some suspect that certain malevolent petroelementals have the talent of inspiring this obcession over a distance... and these evil entities may actually inspire this 'drilling mania' in order to allow themselves access tot he surface where mahem can ensue.
There is also a lesser form of the diesease where the sufferer becomes obscessed with tracking the per gallon price of petroleum

Zombiecowboy said...

Another Great idea Trey!

Trey said...

Thanks guys!

@Limpey - Ha! Nice. Yes, unfortunately the poison mental influence of the twisted elementals has begun to work on the people of Freedonia even at this stage.

ze bulette said...

Drill, baby, drill! ;)

seaofstarsrpg said...

The Mobile-Union Petroleum Consortium (Symbol an armored red pegasus) maintains a strike force to eliminate crude oil elemental as quickly as possible while their lawyers swoop in and try to buy the well it came from for pennies. The strike force is always recruiting.

Also, using fire against a crude oil elemental is dangerous, though usually effective, sometimes it causes them to transform into black smoke or poison inferno elemental.

At least one rouge alchemist has developed a way to deliberately transform crude oil elementals into black smoke and trap the later in glass spheres for use as weapons.

Trey said...

@ze_bulette - Indeed. ;)

@seaofstarsrpg - Good one! Perhaps they term them into smoke paraelementals?

Needles said...

The speculation over the connection between certain types of salamanders & these oil elementals isn't known. However there is at least one famous incident where a rogue oil elemental attacked a well known wizard's tower. An already present salamander merged with the oil elemental. The resulting creature destroyed at least 22 acres of farmland & poisoned the surrounding wells for generations. The wizard Val'deez hasn't been seen for generations now but rumors say that he in fact merged with the creature as well resulting in the now infamous Val'deez incident in Freedonia.

Trey said...

Interesting! Thanks, Needles.

The Angry Lurker said...

Bp must have been behind in their payments.

Trey said...

Yep. Should have had more sorcerer's in there ranks.

Seth said...

I am shocked that it never occurred to me to treat petroleum as undead material! That's ingenious!

One imagines unfortunate consequences when oil is used to fuel great, smoke-belching constructs, or perhaps "Trackless Trains" capable of transporting the wealthy through the wastes in style and comfort.

Jeselvis said...

Wow -- I love your world-building! So friggin awesome.

Keep on keepin' on.

Trey said...

@Seth - Thanks. Good ideas! I think that's the beauty of making a good connection--it suggests all sorts of ways to riff off it.

@Jeselvis - Thanks man! I will endeavor to do so. :)

Justin S. Davis said...

Given their origins, all my petroleum elementals would appear in dinosaur forms.

And maybe the less-aged "tar" versions look like prehistoric mammals...? Black, drippy mammoths and sabretoothed tigers are right up my alley.

Justin S. Davis said...

Oh, and I just noticed last week's Mad Gasser entry (I left a comment there). I'm glad someone else has heard of him, too--he gave me the jibblies as a wee one.

Trey said...

@ Justin - Sounds great! Reminds me of the Soundgarden lyric "burning diesel, burning dinosaur bones."

Yeah, the Mad Gasser is one of those things I picked up in a youth furnished with Forteana.