Feign Fire
–Thursday Thaumaturgy

The tingling became an itch.

The old woman said: “You’ve heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There’s an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind.”

The itch became the faintest burning. “Why are you doing this?” he demanded.

“To determine if you’re human. Be silent.”

Paul clenched his left hand into a fist as the burning sensation increased in the other hand. It mounted slowly: heat upon heat upon heat…upon heat. He felt the fingernails of his free hand biting the palm. He tried to flex the fingers of the burning hand, but couldn’t move them.

“It burns,” he whispered.


Pain throbbed up his arm. Sweat stood out on his forehead. Every fiber cried out to withdraw the hand from that burning pit…but…the gom jabbar. Without turning his head, he tried to move his eyes to see that terrible needle poised beside his neck. He sensed that he was breathing in gasps, tried to slow his breaths and couldn’t.


His world emptied of everything except that hand immersed in agony, the ancient face inches away staring at him.

His lips were so dry he had difficulty separating them.

The burning! The burning!

He thought he could feel skin curling black on that agonized hand, the flesh crisping and dropping away until only charred bones remained.

It stopped!

As though a switch had been turned off, the pain stopped.

Paul felt his right arm trembling, felt sweat bathing his body.

–from DUNE by Frank Herbert

Feign Fire

Spell Level: I2
Range: 30′
Duration: 1 round per caster level

The caster causes illusionary heat and fire to affect one target (item or individual), causing 1d6 of illusionary damage per round. A save vs. spells can negate the illusionary damage each round, but the pain continues to feel real and attacks by those affected are at -4 to-hit for the duration of the spell. Illusionary damage is restored the round after the spell expires.

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3 Responses to Feign Fire
–Thursday Thaumaturgy

  1. Timeshadows says:

    Very interesting. 🙂

  2. Heck yes. Gotta love a Dune reference. Go, LK!

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