“When Qassim pushed the metal vase over, shards of glittering black glass spilled out onto the floor. Qassim dipped his hand into the vase to see if old man Kassam had hidden his gold beneath shards. Just as Qassim started screaming, old Kassam pulled a pistol and shot himself in the head. He knew what was coming.”
Nyarlathotep has long had the reputation of being the Outer God with the closest contact with humanity, operating in many ways like a Cosmic monkey’s paw, granting its worshippers’ deepest wishes in the most horrible destructive ways. Sometimes this has taken the form of passing along knowledge that only leads to the further destruction and corruption of mankind, particularly new technology. Nyarlathotep, in his form as the Dark Demon, is said to have whispered the secrets of atomic fission into the ears of men working on the Manhattan project. And of course there is the influence of the Tick Tock Man on all machinery and electronics. However, mankind was not always ready for these gifts. It would not entertain the Outer Gods to pass along the secrets of the silicon chip to men who had only just discovered fire. That’s where the Father of War comes in.
The Father of War showed early man how to quarry and chip obsidian from lava flows into the sharpest arrowheads, spear tips, axe-blades and daggers the Stone Age was able to produce. Each chip and flake of obsidian struck away to create this new “super-weapons” held a grain of the Father’s consciousness. Once enough chips accumulated, they moved with their own volition appearing as a whirlwind made out of thumbnail sized chips of razor sharp obsidian. In the distance the Father’s approach might look like a cloud of insects, moving over the ground and through the air. Of course, it’s not easy to see black obsidian at night. Night is the only time when the Father has power.
Cult: Once the Father of War rises, he consumes his creators unless they choose to bow before him and offer sacrifices. The most acceptable sacrifices are those captured while making war on their neighbors. War makes the Father’s children strong and they spread his message of strength before them. The Cult of the Father of War has not existed for tens of thousands of years. Other avatars of Nyarlathotep have emerged over the millennia to assist humans in their eternal quest to exterminate every other tribe but their own. But the Father was the first. Although the cult is extinct, there is no reason why the Father could not be unearthed by paleontologists and anthropologists examining man’s earliest societies.
Spells exist to Contact the Father of War, but once called he is unwilling to leave. If worshippers cannot be gathered to spill blood for his glory, then the Father himself will spill it. Before being skinned alive, one thumbnail-sized sliver of skin at time, he will offer his victims the choice to serve the Father or die. The Father can communicate by shaping his body into images or written words in any language.
There are rumors that in ancient times a bronze amphora was created to seal the Father away indefinitely. Such rumors may be the basis for the story of Pandora’s box. Such rumors are likely wishful thinking.
Other Characteristics: The Father’s greatest handicap is that he cannot operate under sunlight. So long as the light of the sun in shinning on the Father’s obsidian flakes, they will appear normal and inanimate. But once the sun goes down and full dark arises, he may move with terrible power and claim the blood he is owed. Moon light, since it is reflected sunlight, also slows him down. A full moon is the most weakening. A lunar eclipse, or anytime the moon is below the horizon, or indoors and underground, the Father is at full strength.
Damage Bonus: None, each piece is too small
Weapons: Engulf and skin victim alive 90%. Once the chips are on the victim they continue to take damage each round until dead, or they beg the Father for mercy. Damage per round varies depending on the moonlight.
1d6 per rd. 1d4 per rd. 1d2 per rd.
Players may still Dodge the attacks.
Solid objects which would be unaffected by scalpel-sharp obsidian chips are impervious to this attack. That includes everything from solid stone, steel or even window glass.
But of course that’s what spells like Fist of Yog-Sothoth are for, aren’t they?
Move: Up to 8 when moving across surfaces like a carpet of insects.
Up to 30 when whirling through the air like a tornado.
Armor: Since the Father of War is made up of tiny slivers of obsidian; the only way he can be destroyed would be through total conversion of matter to energy. And even if the players had a nuclear weapon, that’s no guarantee that every sliver would be destroyed. Physical weapons are therefore useless. Destructive spells could have an effect (if the players overcome the Father’s POW and Magic Points). Elder Signs can bar his progress. The Eye of Light and Darkness will keep him at bay, as will Create Barrier of Naach-Tith, although the Barrier can also be used to trap him.
Spells: Any and all.
Sanity Loss: Seeing the Father of War move as an animate wave of obsidian chips costs 1/1d6 SAN. To see individuals skinned alive in a whirl of tiny blades costs 1d3/1d10 SAN. To see the Father communicate by forming words or pictures costs 1d2/1d6 SAN.