The first thing Christie knew of his imminent demise was a cold, damp sensation in his hand. He opened his eyes and looked down the length of his arm. There was—unlikely as it seemed—a severed hand in his hand. More unlikely still, the two hands were exchanging a grip of greeting, like old friends. He stood up, making an incoherent noise of disgust in his throat and trying to dislodge the thing he was unwillingly grasping by shaking his arm like a man with gum on his fingers.
His mind spun with questions. Had he picked up this object without knowing it? If so, where, and in God’s name whose was it? More distressing yet, how was it possible that a thing so unquestionably dead could be holding on to his hand as if it intended never to be parted from him?
-Clive Barker, The Body Politic
Scholars of the occult suggest that the Wallmaster is the severed hand of a dead ancient god. While christened for its ability to travel through walls and ceiling, this is actually a misnomer; it actually lives slightly out of phase with this dimensions and skims through its fringe, reaching through the curtain at will. It is a knobbed, discolored hand, three times as large as person, the fingernails are broken and crusted. The huge hand never rises up through the ground; as it considers coming up through surfaces mortals tread upon to be below its status.
This creature is also known as the Lord of Severed Hands, a title for which it is aptly named, as to brings to life and grants awareness to hands severed from human bodies. In addition to life, the Wallmaster grants its new follower the time and ability to finish off whatever unconscious desires the former owner communicated at the time of the severing. Often it’s something benign, like writing a letter or completing a painting. Other times it can involve the terrorizing and murder of those who had plagued the previous owner’s thoughts at the time of severance.
The Wallmaster doesn’t always just wait for followers to join him. Sometimes he seeks them out. The mark starts as just a small, dark dot near or on one of the feet, like a round spog of dirt. Then during the day it begins to grow, disappearing into your shadow. Towards dusk, when the shadowed person is next alone, the dot begins to grow exponentially. It’s suddenly much shadier than before. Within seconds, it becomes much darker—a column darkness over your entire body, going where you go, moving as you move. There’s no escape.
By the time you look up or behind, it’s too late. The huge, creased palm descends, thumping you to the floor and gripping you up. Its grip smells like formaldehyde and leather. The skin that squeezes your bare flesh feels like old dough, rough and flaking. The giant fingers keep your arms and legs pinned to your body with a pressure just shy of crushing. You feel the sensation of being lifted up and up as everything goes black.
The victim wakes to find themselves among deserted structures—abandoned hospitals and underground ruins are some favorites playgrounds. The person never gets more than 100 meters away from the starting point, no matter what direction they travel; the hand catches and deposits them right back to where they first woke. It happens again and again, hundreds of iterations. Items like belts, ropes, knives, and saws are found placed all around, along with partially rotten food and bowls of water. The items change location each throughout each rotation, positioned by the master’s minions. Attacking the Wallmaster earns physical punishment.
Eventually (typically when a person loses sanity) he or she understands what the Wallmaster desires: the Lord of Severed Hands has taken a fancy to one of your extremities, and he wants you to release it for him. Most individuals are willing to give a hand right away. A few misguided souls repeat escape attempts until their hope is depleted entirely.
For your benefit, should ever find yourself in this situation, here are basic instructions on how to amputate your own forearm, just behind the wrist.
A cutting instrument
Step 1: Find the appropriate materials. While abandoned, the area where the Wallmaster dropped you should be able to scavenge a bare minimum of tools, most provided by the hands.
Another optional item: anesthetic. If you’ve gone mad enough, it’s likely you won’t need it. Alcohol works as both that and a disinfectant. One must be careful, as the sense of perception slips away in a proportional amount to pain numbing.
Step 2: Attempt to break the bone. Unless you’re lucky and find a power tool or an extremely sharp sword, the bone will prove the most stubborn part. This can be aided by cracking the bone in twain before the severing begins.
Step 3. Tie a tourniquet tightly a few inches above the wrist. Belts work great for this.
Step 4. Begin sawing through your skin and muscles. Try to avoid the major arteries until last. The tendons will be a hard part to cut through. If you found pliers, you can use them to twist and snap the tendons.
Note* You should now be experiencing an excruciating burning sensation
Step 5. Cut through the nerves. The last cutting part for total separation, and a billion times the most painful. Also the part where you are most likely to faint. Stay alert.
Step 6. Undo the tourniquet and wrap up the bloody, jagged stump.
You will now be able to escape, no longer shadowed by the Wallmaster. Leave the severed hand alone where it is—it will get up on its own and leave soon enough. If you reach civilization alive, visit a hospital as soon as possible. Don’t tell anyone what really happened…after all that trouble to achieve your freedom, you don’t want to end up locked up in an asylum!
There’s always the chance the Wallmaster will still foil your next attempt to leave, despite what you just went through. This means it favored one hand over the other, and you chose the wrong one. The procedure must be repeated for the remaining hand. Good luck to you.
The Wallmaster, Lord of Severed Hands
Mov 15, 30 Flying, Dimension Phased 500
Damage Bonus: +4D6
Weapons: Claw 80%, Punch 80%, Slam 90%,
Armor: 1 from callouses and crust
Spells: Dimensional Phase, Summon Followers (hands), Flight
Skills: Grapple 90%, Sleight of hand 50%
Sentient Severed Hand
Mov 8, Dimension Phased 500
Damage Bonus: +0
Weapons: Claw 60%, Punch 60%,
Spells: Dimensional Phase, Spiderclimb
*Any skills of former owner used with hands