Gygaxian Democracy: Black Rahl, the Mercenary Warlord

Here’s a blast from the past, of sorts – last year I withdrew from the wide world of RPGs to focus on a big job change and a lot of anxiety, but just before I did, I posted up a Gygaxian Democracy image over on Twitter. It got filled out, but it was never collected and posted! It’s been a year, so it’s possible some accounts or tweets have been deleted and forgotten, consigned to the half-sentient sands of time, but I hope this is a mostly-whole capture of that April 2019 snapshot of friends and nerds and Twitter creativity that I so adore.



  • 1 – Deadsight Lantern – @NomadGalacticThese are commonly carried by titanspawn shamans. Made of bronze and as tall as an adult human male, they contain the skull of a triclops, blue flames blazing. It allows the bearer to see the shades of the dead as if they were one of the triclops.
  • 1b –  Flameskull Lantern – @john_errwin – It’s a flameskull who was subdued by Rahl, and encased in a lantern. It will shed light as it pleases and will laugh maniacally at every dumb decision it witnesses. Don’t break the glass. Don’t. 
  • 2 – Steelheart Ring – @TrebuchetOps –  this worked iron ring carries the face of a roaring ashlion, made of iron mixed with it’s bone Ash and cooled in it’s blood. While worn the bearer always feels an icy rage deep in their chest, a calculated violence just within reach. That icy anger fuels the wearer, giving them preternatural awareness and initiative. Once per day they can heat that rage, doubling their physical abilities for 1d4 moments, but collapsing in utter exhaustion for 1d4 days.
  • 2b – Ring of the Lion – @minionhunter ordinary looking ring that does not radiate magic. Wearer will not be attacked by male lions and will be tended to by female lions. If the wearer is a Rakshasa, then the effect is dominance over other Rakshasa while in the wearer’s presence. 
  • 3 – Blurb – @coilingoracle – A Piscine Compatriot and Object of Value. Originally purchased as a decadent meal for Rahl, Blurb rapidly became the only trusted member of Rahl’s inner circle and is positively bursting at the gills with his thwarted hopes, dashed ambitions and secret fears. Breaking the glass causes all present to be overwhelmed with empathy for Rahl and self-loathing.
  • 3b – Phyllix, the Undying – @greerrrr This intelligent goldfish has died and been reborn countless times. Wizards, conquerors and liches have collected her time and time again, granting her witness to countless moments of history she is pleased to recount.
  • 4 – Carrot of Consuming Wrath – @HypatiasAngst – Once steamed it gains sentience and must consume everything. Steam the carrot, doom the world
  • 4b – Shoutgrub – @AcrozatarimBlithers random garble from the manuscripts it has eaten. If fed texts or tomes, absorbs all the info within, and although it doesn’t understand the contents it can quickly answer questions about them put to it. Eventually chrysalises into a butterflibrarian. (Black Rahl wasn’t literate but understood the value of knowledge. The shoutgrub serves as his personal library, eating books so he can ask it for any relevant information from within. Also much more portable than carrying stacks of books around).
  • 5 – Wicked Churchwarden – @TrebuchetOpsThis long, delicately carved pipe can burn any substance placed in it into a delicious smoke. If the substance placed in the pipe is a precious metal, the secondhand smoke compels folks to give the smoker money. If the material is industrial – oak, iron, bronze, etc – it compels the secondhanders to be amenable to accepting a job from the smoker. If the material is food or drink, the smoke compels secondhanders to offer lodging, food, and drink to the smoker without charge.
  • 5 – Merlund’s Pipe – @Minionhunter – Stays lit when wet, but not completely submerged.
  • 6 – The Tankard of Ichabod – @GibletBlizzard The Tankard wielded by Ichabod the Ribald, my only Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay character some 25 years gone. Said tankard was hurled at an escaping villain as they did the larry up the alley, and Sconed him on the Noggin, forsooth! Also very good at holding a fine beer.
  • 6b – Arborist’s Tankard – @greerrrr – Your spit flowers into miniature trees, blooming, falling and withering away in 2d6 turns.
  • 6c – Bjornson’s Tankard – @ClayNotestine –  The redheaded dwarf who carried this had a thing for elderberry ale. Now, whatever fills this tankard becomes that ale. Even blood. 
  • 7 – Triclops Amulet – @NomadGalactic – The third eye is removed from a triclops skull and shaped into an amulet, with a keyhole carved into the pupil. The triclops is then made to wear it, so that their jailer can lock or unlock at will their ability to see into the realm of the dead.
  • 7b – Oracle’s Eye – @riseupcomusWhen he began his career, Rahl sought a path to glory from a troglodyte oracle. She prophesied his death, so he slew her and pickled her hour-glass pupiled eye (the source of her power) as a keepsake. When he gazes into it, he sees his corpse reflected back. 
  • 8 – Scabbard of Echoing Screams – @NomadGalactic – A blade, blood still dripping, must be sheathed in it. The memories of the slain will soak into the scabbard, and the next time the sword is drawn it will echo the last sound made by the slain. It is said to be one of three commissioned by Mussop of Snoegnud. Old tales tell of a scabbard that grants the wielder visions of the victim’s last instants and one that reproduces the stench of their death.
  • 8b – Auctoritas, the Sword which is No Sword@MorganHay – A warlord must be a mighty warrior to lead their hosts; at the same time for them to fight personally indicates shameful failure. This sabre was forged from watered steel and honed to an invisibly sharp edge. It has never been drawn.
  • 9 – Legseeker Javelin – @ktreyGift from a besotted Nereid, flies true toward the legs of any creature born on land if bathed in sea water for a full moon-cycle. This is more likely to impede movement, rather than be fatal. Smells faintly of seaweed & nacre. On the pennant is a love poem.
  • 9b – Encoded Arrow – @SakerTarsos In her childhood, the chimney sweep Black Rahl stole an arrow from a passing dignitary on a whim. It had been encoded with a message of peace, and this tiny act of theft caused the great war that would turn her life around. She kept it as a prized memento, but perhaps the message encoded on this arrow yet lives, politically potent, waiting for someone to decode it and heal a world shattered by neverending war. 
  • 10 – Ramhorn Shield – @dicepencilpaper –  If the wielder swipes this shield at his immediate opponents, they will be pushed back as if slammed by a charging ram. The wielder doesn’t need to make physical contact with the shield for this to happen. This can be used a limited number of times per day.
  • 10b – Desecrated Emblem of the Ram Titan –  @john_errwin – Can be easily mistaken as a shield, but it is in fact a shoulder pad of a Titan Emissary Guard . A reminder to the Titan’s followers not to mess with the Warlord
  • 11 – Writ of Reaping – @TheRedneckDMWrit of privilege to reap souls in a 2 mile radius surrounding the Graven Pillar. Upon inspection it specifically excludes permission to harvest souls of a long extinct variety of sentient parasites known as the spotted lycan tick.
  • 11b – Ravenous Screed – @greerrrr – When opened, strength save or become smothered by it’s snapping inky jaws. The reverse shows a snarling ghoul, and you are compelled to devour the nearest flesh until the scroll is removed or a full meal is consumed.
  • 11c – Sealed Death Receipt – @ChrisperrywolfDeath keeps very careful records but this one got misplaced. Could be traded for a return if one found a forger skilled enough to alter it. 

It was weird to collect these after so long and still kinda be able to picture the notifications popping up when I posted it back then! This was a lively one, with a lot of interaction and duplicate entries, which I hope means I did my job as sacrificial artist well enough. It’s easy to see the creative minds of these wonderful Twitter D&D nerds have done fantastic work! Cheers to everyone who let me collect their suggestions (and edit them for format) and here’s hoping any readers out there not yet part of the brilliant D&D chat over on Twitter join me, @DungeonsPossums, and the rest of these awesome people! Thanks for indulging my historical bent this time around!

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