Monday, March 20, 2023

Weird Revisited: Professor Crowe and his Ugly Bird

 This Weird Adventures post first appeared in August of 2010. I recalled it due to this cool post.

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.

1 comment:

Dick McGee said...

"Ugly Bird" inevitably evokes the Manly Wade Wellman story. I imagine your version wouldn't enjoy getting smacked in the face with a silver-strung guitar much better than his did. :)