Friday, September 30, 2016

The Brass Bull (OSR Monster)

Although The Brass Bull is written with a 1950’s B-Movie setting, it can easily be transported to other times and settings such as Victorian pulp, 1920’s weird horror, modern, and fantasy.

The Brass Bull
The brass bull, also known as the brazen bull or the bronze bull, was a torture and execution device devised by the ancient Greeks.. The first brass bull was constructed by Perillos of Athens for the tyrant-king Phalaris of Akragas, in modern Sicily. Perillos cast hollow, life-size bronze statue of a bull, with a door in its side. Those to suffer the fate of the brass bull were locked into the device and a fire was set beneath the bull. The metal was slowly heated until it became white-hot, suffocating and roasting the condemned to death in the bull’s brass belly. To add a gruesome, yet artistic touch, a series of elaborate tubes in the brass bull’s head converted the victim’s screams into the semblance of a bull’s bellowing.

The Bull still contains the bones of the executed, sealed inside of the bronze device. The trapped spirit of the victim, a thief and traitor, has gone mad from the agonizing horror of his death and the millennia spent trapped in the bull. In its tormented and confused state, it animates the brass bull and goes on a rampage goring and stomping any in its path.

When the bull is animated ghostly wisps of smoke waft from the rolling brass eyes, from the mouth and nose holes. The sound of hollow bellowing mixed with a faint whispering in Ancient Greek emanate from the bulls mouth and nose.

The Brass Bull
AC:  14
HD:  6
ATTACKS: Gore (1d8) and Kick/Stomp (1d6)
SAVE: 12
SPECIAL: Charge, Fire Breath, Regeneration and Immunities.
MOVE: 15

The Bull attacks twice per round goring with it's horns and stomping and kicking with its hooves.

If the Bull has at least 60' to charge can make one charge attack and if successful does triple gore damage if it hits (3d8.)

Fire Breath
Three times per day the Bull can breathe fire in a stream 50' long in a 30' arc. Any caught in the stream take 6d6 damage. A Save (vs Breath Weapon) drops the damage by 1/2. IF the Save is made by 5 or more over the target number the victim takes 0 damage.

Regeneration and Immunities
The Bull regenerates 2 hp per round as the brass pulls itself back together with a scraping metallic noise.
It takes minimum damage from normal weapons. Electricity and cold does only half damage. It is immune to fire.
It only takes full damage from magic and bronze weapons.

The Bull is immune to charm, hold, and sleep spells. 

Laying the Ghost to Rest
The ghost can only be put to rest if the bones are removed from the bull and soaked in the blood of a bull sacrificed to the god Dionysus. When the bones are completely submerged the Bull de-animates as the restless spirit moves on.

A B-Movie Adventure Seed
Here is all I had written so far. At some point I hope to fully flesh it out.

Plainsville, USA
Late October, 1955
Friday night.

A perfectly intact brass bull was found six months ago at an archaeological dig funded by the small state college in Plainsville, USA. The expedition, led by Professor Charles Wingate, head of the Plainsville archaeological program and curator of the local museum, discovered the bull while digging in the remains of a small Greek settlement on a small island off of the Greek coast. 

The brass bull they discovered is the only known bull to still contain its victims remains still sealed inside of the device. The university and museum, after several months of legal red-tape, have secured it for display in the small town with the hope that the attraction will bring more government grants and scholarly interest for both institutes. The museum has been keeping the true nature of the exhibit a secret, building media attention with the mystery of what was discovered. The mystery angle has been a smash hit, garnering the academic and media attention the board of directors, and especially Professor Wingate, greatly desired.

Everything was going just dandy, until last night, the night before the grand opening, when Professor Wingate, after drinking a bit much brandy, decided to open the hatch in the side of the brass bull to study the remains of the victim first hand. Unfortunately, opening the brass bull awakened the trapped spirit of the victim inside and the maddened spirit animated the brass bull and stomped and gored Professor Wingate to death. It then proceeded to do the same to the two museum guards who ran to the Professor’s aide after hearing his screams, the bellowing of the bull, and the destruction of the Greek room during the spirit’s rampage.

Now, the exhibit has been sealed from prying eyes, the big opening cancelled, and the reason for the deaths has been as mysterious as the new exhibit.

Crime Scene:
(Hoof marks - far heavier than any normal animal and tearing up the flooring, brass tip broken off into body, etc.)…. Try to mislead PC’s into thinking it was a Minotaur stature also in museum.

PC’S Involvement
Students/ Friends of the Professor

Rooms in the Museum
Storage (massive)
Gift Shop

Museum grounds
Museum neighborhood

Suggested Events
Entering the museum
Avoiding guards
The next murders

Basic Timeline
April, 1955
An intact brass bull, discovered in a Greek settlement by the Plainsville State College archeological dig led by Prof. Charles Wingate, is discovered. 

Early October, 
After six months of red tape the museum is allowed to take the brass bull home for exhibition.
The museum begins work on the top secret exhibit. Speculation is rampant in Plainsville over what the exhibition will be.

Late October
The night before the exhibit is to open, the Professor and two guards are found, murdered.
The exhibition is shut down for investigation.

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