Living Rune
Living%20Rune%2001.png
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Nature: Creature
Type: Aberration
Subtype: Dragonmarked

Alignment: Neutral Evil
Size: Medium
CR: 13

First Encountered: 23.1 "Mightier Than the Sword"

Description: "This pulsatin glyph animates into a quickly flowing script that changes form as it rewrites itself, before finally assembling into an arcane symbol that flares with untold magical power."

A living rune only exists in 2 dimensions (width & length, having no depth or height), which gives it some qualities in common with "ghostly" (incorporeal) creatures, such as not having the ability to bodily exert physical force on its surroundings. It doesn't have any weight, and so doesn't set off traps that are triggered by pressure.

It can't move in 3 dimensions (so no jumping or flying), and can only navigate along solid surfaces like floors, ceilings, and walls. A living rune can crawl on to solid surfaces that can then them selves be moved (f.ex. with telekinesis). It can only attack victims 'sliding' over to their position and touching them directly.

It can't speak or make sounds (except as a side-effect of the magical effects it can produce), but it can still communicate: It can sculpt its form into complicated scripts and pictographs that can be understood by any creature with literacy. It can also understand any written or spoken language (even secret ones).

Information: Mysterious and enigmatic, the living rune is literally that: a piece of magical writing that is somehow alive and sentient, able to think and react and move around. Its origins and age are hard to guess at, but it seems to be some sort of manifestation of the Draconic Prophecy, just like the Dragonmarks themselves are physical manifestations of that phenomenon, though in a diferent "format".

As an expression of magical writing itself, the living rune has the remarkable ability to reform itself into a large number of magical glyphs and in order to produce the same effects as those symbols normally have. For instance, by reshaping itself into a "Sepia Snake Sigil", it can create the same effect as the spell of that name.

Even more worrisome, as it's possibly some sort of "avatar" or "representation" of the draconic prophecy in written form, the living rune also has some measure of influence over the dragonmarks of others, and especially a great mastery over the Mark of Scribing (logically enough). For instance, it had the frightening ability to animate a victim's dragonmark against their will, causing the mark to "leap" off the person's skin and temporarily become a living creature-like being controlled by the living rune.

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