The greater vruul has tough, leathery hide, as black as midnight. Bat-like wings sprout from its back, but they do not look large or strong enough to support its weight in flight. The vruul's claws are long, sharp and appear to be stained with the blood of many victims. Its eyes are eerie, solid green orbs that seem to glow with an inner power.
The greater vruul build up without degenerating in the chapel and summoning chamber of the Sheruvian monastery. They are behind the locked doors. There is no efficient way to get around these doors without disarming the traps. It is normal to enter these rooms and encounter a swarm of dozens of greater vruul simultaneously because there are rarely hunters. Their very low AS is offset by extreme FoF pushdown on DS as a result.
Vruul are immune to heat and non-magical weapons. They absorb minor elemental spells. Elemental Wave (410) should work if it is not directed at any vruul. Their Interference (212) has a -30 TD pushdown and imposes a -15 TD penalty. Implosion (720) / Elemental Dispel (417) cycles are ineffective. With a sorcerer it is more practical to kill the swarm with Grasp of the Grave (709), simultaneous open Energy Maelstrom (710) and Implosion (720), and Searing Light (135). Keeping Wall of Force (140) active is sufficient at like level to be safe while surrounded by over 30 greater vruul.
The summoning chamber has a number of obscure mechanics that unfortunately have not worked for many years. Contrary to the implication of "summoning", the vruul are not demonic. They are not extra-planar creatures. The vruul are undead constructs, similar to soul golems. They are unholy and partially anti-magical. The greater vruul are actually fairly weak for Level 75, and their buff spells will have long since decayed. However, they will take a lot of damage before being killed, something like 1,000 hit points. Their TD does not drop from Mana Disruption (702) waver. Pain (711) only inflicts 84 damage maximum. Animate Dead (730) works with creatures from these rooms, but they do not want to follow where others would.
When no one has gone into the Chapel or Summoning Chamber in a very long time, the rooms will become filled with three dozen greater vruul. Most recently the ones in the Chapel provide experience when killed, while those in the Summoning Chamber (unless now fixed) provided no experience for the same character, in spite of apparently being the same level. It is unclear if the latter would have provided favor or necrotic energy. The summoning chamber vruul seem to give experience if it is looted outside of that room, suggesting experience gains are specifically turned off in that room.
The Summoning Chamber is actually a summoning chamber for the purposes of Minor Summoning (725). It is now the only node in the Broken Lands itself, and no longer a magical workshop in spite of messaging calling it a workshop. Lesser and greater vruul both produce skins called "a vruul skin", where the greater ones do not seem to be more valuable, and they bundle together. Planar Shift (740) does not work in the Broken Lands. The trap on the summoning chamber doors rotates, with trap difficulties roughly between -150 and -300. The lock difficulty is -675, and the chapel's is -750.
The Summoning Chamber has very old mechanics which are turned off. Sheruvian warlocks (or monks) might appear and call for special harbinger guards. The Chapel will fill up to a similar severity. Ordinary Sheruvian harbingers and nightmare steeds can spawn, but these are locked rooms.
[Monastery, Summoning Chamber] Wisps of smoke waft up from a black vaalin censer mounted on one richly panelled wall, filling the room with a sweet, sulfurous scent. The walls are hung with ancient tapestries depicting the magical arts, and low cabinets along the walls hold a variety of phials, bottles, and leather tomes behind securely latched glaes panels. A single incandescent globe is suspended from the ceiling, illuminating the room with its eerie glow. You also see a pair of bloated arms, a fiery tempest, a black void, a greater vruul, a greater vruul that is lying down, a greater vruul, a greater vruul that appears dead, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, a greater vruul, some carved haon double doors, an ancient hand-woven tapestry and a long vaalin worktable with a mist-shrouded krodera orb on it. Obvious exits: none
When freshly generated they might appear three at a time and have buff spells. However, this generation is quite infrequent, they are impractical to hunt. Sheruvian warlocks or monks will seldomly spawn alongside harbingers (or several monks) in the Chapel and Summoning Chamber.
One of the tapestries flares brightly! A brisk wind begins to blow through the room, carrying the strong scent of brimstone. There is a sudden flash of light, and when the light returns to normal, a greater vruul towers in the center of the room! A greater vruul growls an arcane phrase. A greater vruul growls an arcane phrase. A greater vruul growls an arcane phrase.
- Calm Breaking
Vruul will break the calms cast on other vruul.
A greater vruul rouses its fellow greater vruul!
A greater vruul growls an arcane phrase. A low evil growl builds deep in the greater vruul's throat. A greater vruul looks around with a baleful glare. A greater vruul sniffs at the air. A greater vruul gestures mystically! (defensive spell cast)
Behind the Scenes
These larger versions of the vruul have the same appearance as the lesser vruul, including the eyes as "solid green orbs", which is related to the obsolete gods lore. In the I.C.E. Age and original post-I.C.E. documentation Marlu's appearance closely resembled the vruul: "A hideous demonlike creature, he is the master of the vruul. He has black skin, leathery wings, large luminous green eyes and large, red claws." In the more modern lore of Elanthia his relationship to the vruul is implicit in his crypt delving. There were also "decaying vruul" invasion creatures on Mount Aenatumgana when the Drake's Shrine was opened, which if consistent with the original lore, likely implies they were very ancient vruul long outside their urns. The Vvrael invaded through a void in the Sheruvian summoning chamber at one point. The greater vruul were supposed to be able to move around through the web of hidden monoliths and tapestries, so in the past it was possible for them to appear in the Dark Shrine with the lesser vruul.
The inscription on the Dark Shrine is a complex play on words. The phrase "Marlu lyxatis kort" contains several layers of meaning, involving different language rules of Iruaric. "-is" as a verb modifier makes the meaning into "one who is the act of causing dread", while "-is" as a noun modification means dread as a place, which would be the malevolent presence that is experienced in the shrine. The language allows for glottalized vowels and pronunciation variations, which means "lyxatis" would also mean "lyxarulis" or "dread seers." In this context it means: "Marlu, Vruul Master" or "Master of the Vruul."
The vruul were originally artificial constructs, called gogor, designed as the dark host of the Empress Kadaena. Andraax wrote a poem in "The Book of Dark Tales" from 1782 Second Era addressing her constructs: The Kaeden, Gogor, and Shards. They all slept through the Interregnum of the Shadow World timeline, awakened by dark powers in later ages. This poem ends with "And watch for the Winds of Fate" which fits possibly coincidentally with the ceiling poem in the crypt of The Graveyard. (There was also the "Visions of Andraax" which established early on an obscure premise of the Lords of Essaence being able to witness the future which helps explain the inscription on the Dark Shrine, which refers to conditions and language forms that would not exist until long after it was written. The poem being a couplet of sleeping death and rebirth, with double meanings in impossibly distant cults, alludes also to "The Call of Cthulhu".) In the source material the "typical" gogor cannot carry off a grown human, but the "lead" gogor are able to do so with effort. They also had poisonous tails. Neither of the vruul have these properties. They had very sensitive smell, which is part of their messaging.
The presence of a "Summoning Chamber" in the Sheruvian monastery gives a misleading impression in the context of GemStone that the vruul should be demonic. This was a cross-realms teleportation hub many years ago. While the gogor are specific to the Shadow World setting where it is not explicitly defined, in the Rolemaster context they would be simulacra grown in urns with a foul fluid and brought to "life" using sacrificed life essence stored in jars. This is the ritual depicted in the Dark Shrine's rooms and tapestries, and corresponds to the Evil Alchemist or Adept base lists which include power draining spells. They might also be more properly classified as "abominations" which are unnatural combinations, analogous to flesh composite things such as dybbuks, or the unnatural hybrid races of Foggy Valley.
|Near-level creatures - edit|