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Never die owing someone money--especially not an avatar of the Merchant
Cost: varies. 3 Significant charges at base, half cost for Merchant avatars. Subtract an additional significant charge if clothing used is something the debtor died or was buried in.
The name is somewhat misleading--what is created here is not something alive, but rather a prison for a spirit. It is a prison that enables a demon to perform very limited tasks for its master. Here's how it works:
First, the ritualist must gather together clothing from someone who died owing them some significant favor (a loan works for this, as does having saved the person's life). It's important that the deceased acknowledged the debt in life, otherwise the ritual will not work. Ingrates are completely immune to the effects of this ritual, which is yet another reason for enterprising occultists to be irritated by them.
The ritual works more effectively the more clothing is present and works especially well if using the clothes the debtor was buried or died in. The ritualist then sews the clothing together using animal sinew and stuffs it in such a way to make a reasonably human-shaped dummy. Clothing must be assembled in a way that is logical and it must remain whole throughout the ritual--gloves go at the end of shirt or coat sleeves, socks and shoes at the end of pant legs, etc. Although hands, feet, head, and stuffing can be other materials, the majority of the shell of the dummy must be made with the debtor's clothing. Winter clothing, with its hoods and long sleeves, obviously creates a more convincing simularica but tends to stand out in summertime. After the clothing is assembled, but before the dummy is stuffed, the ritualist must attach a 1" medallion of lead inscribed with a particular sigil on the inside of a shirt or coat over where the dummy's heart would be. Successfully casting this ritual turns the dummy into a rough duplicate of the person who died owing the ritualist--only the simularica is mute and has a lost, forelorn expression on its face.
What does a Living Scarecrow do? Well, must of the time it stands there--looking more or less like a loiterer. Sure, it shifts around on its feet and maybe leans against a wall, but as long as no one approaches too closely, that's all it does. It stays there, bound to a specific location and guarding it with its pitiful half-life. Animals are irrationally afraid of a living scarecrow and will not approach within 30' of one. Humans that approach within 15' recieve quite a shock as the 'loiterer' suddenly rushes at them with great aggression. The living scarecrow will not pursue anyone, which is probably a good thing as its combat skills are truly pathetic. It simply returns to its post after the intruder leaves. A living scarecrow lasts indefinately, guarding a specific location from intrusion. It cannot be moved from one location to another, although its creator can dismiss it at will and is, of course, the one person the scarecrow will not attempt to frighten off.
A person who sets out to actually fight one is in for a bit of a surprise: firearms only do hand-to-hand damage--punching big holes into the scarecrow but doing little else. Only by physically seperating the pieces of clothing from each other or utterly destroying them can one destroy a living scarecrow--but as few people have all-Kevlar outfits, this means that a LS is relatively fragile as well. Fire works surprisingly well, as stuffing is often straw, paper, or cotten batting--all of which make excellent tinder. Being attacked and 'killing' an animate pile of clothing is a Rank-5 Unnatural challenge.
The Living Scarecrow, dead debtor enslaved.
BODY: 25 (old rags and cotton batting)
SPEED: 60 (quick as thought)
spot hidden 30%
pass for a homeless person 30%
Basilisk | profile | Jun 16, 06 | 2:33 pm
Note to self : don't owe anyone anything.