Magic Monday – Physical magic – A need for speed

Zhoghaikhan Hahd

The Zhoghaikhan Hahd is the most famous technique used by the elite bodyguards of the Fells to protect the throne. Like the Bakihandu Hahd, it requires a round spent focusing and gathering energy. At the start of the next round, the practitioner often seems to vanish: they have gained inhuman speed, and can act unopposed for as long as they maintain their focus – although there can be a terrible price to pay if they push their bodies too far.

The most famous use of this spell, which led to many attempts to steal it from the Fells, was when the lone guard Pen’namwalyansh sacrificed his life to kill a squad of twenty assassins before they had even finished entering the king’s bedchambers.

This technique has a base difficulty of d8, increased by two steps if invoked as a single action. It inflicts one point of strain to invoke, and when released it inflicts one point of fatigue for each extra action take while it was in effect. In the round following the technique’s activation, the practitioner automatically wins initiative (and if this is all they use it for, then the difficulty is reduced one step and there are no ill effects beyond the single point of strain). During this one round, the character may take any number of actions they choose. If two or more practitioners invoke the Hahd at the same time, they resolve initiative normally among themselves and take alternating turns until one releases the technique. When all practitioners using the technique have released it, anyone else present and able to act may take their turns as normal.

During the spell’s duration, the practitioner’s motion is such that the human eye can barely follow it. Unless they are also invoking this technique or a similar effect, others find it very difficult to take action against the practitioner: contested rolls are penalized by double the practitioner’s Dex modifier. There is a price for this supernatural speed, though. After the accelerated action ends, the practitioner temporarily loses a point of either Health or Strength for each action beyond their normal allowance. (Thus, the maximum number of accelerated actions possible is the sum of those scores.) The secret version of the spell taught only to members of the royal family costs one attribute point per round’s worth of actions beyond the normal allowance. If either of these scores is reduced to zero, the practitioner dies shortly after the technique is released.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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