Thursday, October 19, 2017

Castle Zyrd Treasures: The Jeweled Thief

One of the most unusual treasures rumored to be have once resided (and perhaps does still) in the Castle of Zyrd is the remains of the once-famed thief, Kathulos, who specialized in the theft of valuable jewels. The archmage Zryd (so the story goes) for a time dabbled in the creation of miniature worlds within large, semiprecious stones. He would populate these worlds with animalcules and homuncules and watch their lives play out with in.

A cabal of sorcerers of Carsulth, rightly fearful of the archmage, but also covetous of his knowledge and art, hired Kathulos to infiltrate Zyrd's Tower of Magic and bring one of the world stones back for their study. The thief was supplied with certain charms to aid his trespass--minor ones lest Zyrd be alerted by arcane means the cabal all agreed he must possess--and given a substantial advance against the sum of his final remuneration to be paid upon delivery.

The existence of the jeweled statue of Kathulos argues persuasively that the initial phase of his mission was successful, but latter portions less so. The prevailing belief is that Zyrd transmuted the substance of Kahtulos's living body to ruby or something very like it it. Some legends say the thief still lives in this state, after a fashion.

It goes without saying that a human-sized statue made of gemstone would be quite valuable--an emperor's ransom--but of course the not-insignificant difficulties in carting it away are likely smaller than the attendant difficulty of finding a suitable and trustworthy buyer. The world stones that Kathulos sought are a far more reasonable prize, though the jeweled thief remains a singular cautionary tale against their pursuit.


Anonymous said...

Fun read.

However, I foresee this conversation:

"We can't take the jewel thief, he's too heavy."

"I bet I can break off an arm."

Anne said...

First of all, "Gryfalcon" is a great name for a setting that is almost, but not quite "Greyhawk."

Second, this post has really got me wanting to play in this campaign! It's easy to forget that the original D&D campaigns weren't really Tolkeinesque vanilla high-fantasy. Their feel was something much closer to the action in the 1980s Saturday morning (toy commercial) cartoons, which is much weirder and more light-hearted.

Trey said...

@seaofstarsrpg - That is the inevitable conclusion, yes. :)

@Anne - Thanks. Exactly! The goal here is very much a pastiche of those early days in a lot of ways. What things were like before the rough edges were smoothed off.

Anne said...

Seems like mission-accomplished so far, at least.

Semper Initiativus Unum's series of posts on the OD&D random-encounter-by-terrain tables really helped to create a sense of that old weirdness for me.