Thursday, October 31, 2019


Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1933), colourized
Like the fairy tale so often softens the fairy, clowns too are a human invention that makes light of something darker and deadlier: the cloyne.

Whenever someone comes to believe that their life is a cosmic joke, that they suffer and die for the amusement of a sadistic world, a cloyne is born. A gaudy giggling demon sustained by schadenfreude. The world is their stage and they perform only for their own entertainment, pushing mortals to pratfall straight to hell.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Another New New Crobuzon: Thaw

Not so long ago, less than the span of a generation, a great heathen army was raised in the north. A force like none living had seen, gathered by the promise of loot and glory to last until the end of the world. They set sail, set their many gods against one, and they were destroyed without ever setting foot on shore.

The humiliation resounded through their culture. Raiders became traders. Gilded swords were melted down for coinage, ships were gutted to fit more goods in their holds. What once was taken violently would now be won cunningly, or else another defeat would end them.

The seat of their power, the city called Thaw, opened its doors for business. Attractions were built, halls in imitation of their warrior-heaven on earth where mead flowed in waterfalls, saunas and bathhouses altered to southern tastes. Money came in, fortune raised some and tossed down others, resentment and contempt spread like a fresh bruise beneath the friendly shopfronts. Disgraced killers turn to poison and magics before thought unmanly, gods that forsook their charges in their time of need are called on with whips and curses in place of offerings.

Change came to Thaw, and change comes again, tasting like death all the while.

Three Minorities

Frost Giants: Steadfast allies of the northmen since time immemorial, whose ships of leviathan-bone went to their doom with the great heathen army. The giants took the defeat even harder. To them, it's the start of the world's dusk, a terrible and terminal cosmic decline. The majority retreated to glacial fastnesses in the uttermost reaches, there to remain in preparation for their role in the final battle, or sleep away in sea-caves to dream and sing with the whales. A few lost faith, lost themselves in drinking, gambling, whoring, and a few had their faith hardened, their blood and their hatred turned to ice. These latter giants seek new allies, once old enemies: the Sun-Eater Wolf, the Stitch-Lipped Liar, the Serpent Who Strangles Mountains, the Calming Lightning.

Locathah: Cold-blooded and glassy-eyed people of the seas around Thaw, long considered by the northmen to be their natural thralls. In the wake of the great heathen army's destruction, Thaw began to fear uprising by the locathah, as they lost much of the strength needed to keep the fish-folk in line. To preempt violent rebellion the locathah were decreed universally free, at least in theory, though in practice prejudice and disenfranchisement has caused them to remain third-class citizens, below even human and giant thralls, subsisting in the desperate margins of an otherwise increasingly prosperous society. Like the northmen the locathah too have slipped from many of their old ways and their old gods. These things have come to be understood as subservient to their new god, their liberator, who succeeded when all miracles before had failed

Valkyries: Thaw's heroes have died, and by turning away from the warrior's path Thaw has ensured that never again will more rise to the standards of the valkyries. They're out of a job. The consensus among their kind has been that if they cannot collect heroes, they will themselves become heroes. Of Thaw's sailors the valkyries sail the furthest. Of its hunters they hunt the direst prey. Of its conspirators who whisper of cutting down the merchant-princes and scourging the seas once more, they push the hardest in making this a reality. Beside this drive, a shared dread unites them. Their master is silent, the bridges to his realm burned, perhaps both consumed by the fleet-melting fire that rained on the day that Thaw was broken.

Three Monstrosities

Wendigos: The northmen may have softened, but the north itself remains as merciless as ever. People still go hungry, and the will to survive so often overpowers the taboo of eating one's own kin. Temptation festers, humanity withers away, and another wendigo screams with the wind. When they can be caught, they're put with others of their kind in the underground asylum called the Hungry Quarter, fed by the dumped offal of sacrifices and the few who still practice senicide. The wendigos of Thaw are not hated, nor pitied. All who've been truly hungry understand the choice they made, and all this far north have been truly hungry.

Salamanders: The city and the fields that feed it are kept unseasonably, inhabitably warm by an elaborate system of qanats and pipes, supplied by the hot springs of the nearby mountains. These hot springs in turn are fueled by the salamanders that swim in their depths. Their slithering young are the bane of many a bathhouse, and the adults play a key role in the folk magic tradition of the region. Take something you dearly love and burn it, they say, spread the ashes in the boiling waters, and the salamanders will come like fish to chum. They'll offer up some inhuman wisdom or treasure in return. It's whispered that the great heathen army itself was gathered by their prophecy.

Draugr: The drowned dead of the great heathen army don't rest peacefully on the ocean floor. They spit out silt, shake the crabs from their bones, and they wander. Some walk to the far shore they hoped to invade in life, a plague to seaside villages and monasteries. Many returned home. They're the unspoken danger of Thaw's harbour bay, a symbol to revanchists and an embarrassment to the merchant-princes. The draugr hold court among scuttled warships, snatch fishermen who don't keep to the old ways, drag foreign priests squealing beneath the waves, and watch old friends from beyond the edge of the lamp-light.


The OG:

Anne's challenge and Crobuzon:

Other Crobuzons:

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Monster Blender Part II: Monster Stats

Part I here:

Generator automator here:

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Monster Blender Part I: Monster Names

The idea behind the monster blender is: take a bunch of monsters, break them down to the building blocks of their names, appearances, lore, abilities, behaviour, etc., then combine all those pieces with a random generator into an entirely new monster.
I’ve had a couple larger generators stall recently because of how much time I had to sink into them before they came together into something lastingly fun & useful, so I’ll be breaking up the monster blender into parts and then putting them together when they’re all out.

At ~529,407,870 possible combinations this may already be my biggest generator yet.

Generator automator here:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

D100+ Supervillains

Generator automator here:

Saturday, October 12, 2019

D100+ Superhero Names

Generator automator here:

Friday, October 11, 2019

D50 Necromantic Nasties & Goofy Golems

Generator automator here:

D50Necromantic Nasties
1Mr. Greedyguts: An extensive grafted network of reanimated intestines, sphincters, and lungs used to rapidly transport small packages and creations.
2Coat’a’Bones: A suit of armour crafted from several skeletons and a layer of zombified muscles. Able to move on its own or with a captured hostage inside, and be worn to enhance a necromancer’s physique.
3Armaneunsis: A mummified arm with an equally mummified ear stuck on the back of its hand, often mounted on a steady stand. A speech-to-text dictation device for the discerning necromancer. May have some fingers converted to pens with ink reservoirs inside hollowed finger bones.
4Rotrider: A more advanced and reusable alternative to the classic zombie. Resembles a tangle of nerves and tendons that can burrow into and puppeteer a corpse, then abandon it and find a new one when that corpse is too damaged.
5Comfurter: A mass of skin, fat, and hair that can flop around and massage someone laying on it. Very comfortable, but hard to keep fresh enough that it doesn’t stink.
6Brainmate: A bundle of skulls with dangling, braided spines. Within the skulls are carefully pruned and brined brains. Plug the spines into the base of your skull to augment your memory and processing ability, or have your mind overridden by an insane undead gestalt if you didn’t prune carefully enough.
7Modular Dullahan: A decapitated death-knight equipped with a set of severed heads from sundry beasts, each with its own speciality.
8Scratchipede: A myriapodal creation made from stitched-together fingers. Adept climbers. When it claws a living thing, their nails will break off and dig in further.
9Urnguard: Cremated ashes imbued with amorphous unlife. Shine with ghastly sparks. Often kept in urns to prevent them from dispersing in strong winds or rain. Caution to the adventurer who smashes urns looking for treasure in the lair of a necromancer.
10Macabre Dancers: Beautiful bodies with modified joints and muscles. Can move with grace and precision unmatched by mortals.
11Unliving Oubliette: A punishment-transformation inflicted on a necromancer’s worst enemies (or just whoever if they’re petty enough). The victim’s soul is trapped in their enchantment-reinforced corpse after death, there to remain without any ability to move or communicate, tasting and feeling only their own decomposition, until the last of their bones has crumbled to dust. Maybe even after that.
12Gallowsworm: Must be made from the hanged body of an innocent while they still dangle from the noose. The body droops and the neck elongates, longer than the spine should be. After a few meters the body drops off completely. The resulting serpent-like zombie can sense guilt, and if left to its own devices will hunt and eat the guilty until its throat-stomach splits open.
13Stonedead: Made from someone killed by petrification.
14Clotsman: Undead blood pool that can shift parts of itself between hardened, sharpened scabs and liquid form.
15Boomwisp: Cloud of animated corpse-gas. Pretty much only good for self-igniting, exploding, and smelling awful.
16Chimeral Ghoul: Sometimes one non-identical twin will absorb another while still in the womb. The absorbing twin will then exhibit some physiological traits of the absorbed twin. A necromancer can draw out the lost potential of the absorbed twin, creating a subtle undead servitor who shares a body with a living person. This chimeral ghoul can then at will shift between the forms of the living and the undead twin.
17Trap Feast: Necromantic creation which resembles a delicious roast pig or similar meal. When consumed, it will dissolve/rend/explode its victims from their tender insides.
18Shipwreck Of Theseus: The transition to an undead state can be a sudden, scary thing for a necromancer. Lichdom and vampirism are not for everyone. For these more squeamish sorts there’s a gradual method available. Replace a foot or kidney with a sturdier reanimated replacement here, swap out the pineal gland for a mummified version there, and before you know it the whole body’s undead, with no clear death in between. That’s a Shipwreck of Theseus.
19Crossroads Child: Made from the spent sperm of an impotent man and the menstrual sheddings of a barren woman. The Child will grow normally, appear normal, except that it will have the power to seize control of others’ necromancy and consume the souls of the dead to increase its own power and lifespan.
20Goregrinder: An almost mechanical-looking undead contraption built from the teeth, jaws, and gullets of many victims of starvation. Gnashes bodies into a fine paste, which then reanimates into its own undead slime-monster. Never satiated, becomes increasingly hard to control over time.
21Failed Spawn: The dregs of the mating season, a swarm of undead larvae and tadpoles and other unsuccessful children of the wild.
22Shriekwind: Crafted from a strangled scream, a shriekwind is a specialized minion, lacking a corporeal form but able to produce and dampen sound near itself. Sounds produced by a shriekwind are all invariably unpleasant.
23Saproot: A severed root from a tree that survived a forest fire, a parasitic infestation, and a lightning strike. It twitches when held. When planted in the ground, it will drain the fertility from the soil for kilometres around.
24Cemetery Cocktail: A mixture of spoiled beer fermented with grave mold and other unsavoury ingredients. When drunk to inebriation (a trying feat for anyone with an intact sense of taste) the drinker gains an uncanny ability to find and walk paths to and from the underworld.
25Harvest’s Revenge: Hybrid necromantic work combining the dying scraps of the green seasons with the rotting waste of the harvest. Looks like a shambling mound of compost and dry leaves with a rotting gourd (or other large fruit/vegetable) for a head. Withers things with its touch.
26Terminal Observer: A pickled eye and optic nerve. When plugged into a corpse’s eye socket it projects images of the last thing that corpse saw before it died.
27Gembone: A chunk of fossil with a cracked jewel stuck in one end. The jewel will project a degraded, incomplete ghost of the creature the fossil came from.
28False Huldra: A cheap, simple servant shaped from flensed skin and stripped bark into a rough, hollow, humanoid form.
29Scarboy: Diminutive homunculus sculpted from callouses and keloids. Its touch awakens long-healed wounds, prompting scars to split and once-broken bones to splinter again.
30Necrotic Fasciitis: Flesh-eating zombie bacteria. Immune to conventional antibiotics and bacteriophages. Difficult to reanimate in significant numbers.
31Tumbledown Castle: A roving ruined fortress, always in the midst of collapsing and falling back up a little ways away.
32Spectral Weapon: A broken sword, a headless axe, a spear with its point rusted to bluntness, or the like, restored to phantasmal wholeness and imbued with silent bloodthirst. The part of the weapon restored by necromancy will be invisible and pass through everything but living flesh. Wounds it deals will surely fester.
33Fleshminted Coinage: Coins pressed from metal a mortal was melted down in the forge with. One side of the coin will bear an image of the melted person’s anguished face, regardless of what it was printed with. These coins can never be refused by the dead if offered as payment for grave goods and services.
34Jericho Seed: A piece taken from a razed wall, twisted into unmaking mockery of its former purpose. Once implanted in an intact structure, a Jericho Seed will spread its stony hyphae and subvert the thing. Passages will open for the infiltration of burglars, locks will warp to refuse familiar keys, and so on. When the hyphae spread fully, after weeks or months or years, they’ll tear the structure apart.
35What Rough Beast: The ghost of a war. Possesses generals, politics, and the like to respark the conflict it was when it still raged among the living.
36Inkpyre: A fluttering, vaguely bat-shaped mass of charred pages and dripping ink. It eats knowledge and shits ignorance. Crafted from the cinders of a book-burning.
37Iconoclastic Flow: A flood of smashed idols and statues driven to crush all graven images in its path, though it often confuses anything that resembles a graven image with one.
38Deadlight: Made from a burned-down candle, or in more advanced times, a burnt-out lightbulb. Its unclean radiance can only be seen by the one holding it, and reveals the spectral.
39House of Null: An abandoned temple, cathedral, or other holy site imbued with a necromantic working. It will call to those who’ve lost their faith in their dreams, demanding their devotion and giving nothing in return, leaving a death-cult of nihilistic husks.
40Alghoul Bloom: The reanimated die-off of a bloom of toxic phytoplankton. Those that touch some of the stinking mass will themselves eventually be converted into more alghoul bloom. Fortunately for the world this transmutation loses potency with each “generation” removed from the original bloom it gets.
41Reaniminder: Some say you die twice, once with your body, and again when the last living person forgets you. What about when you forget yourself? Necromancy can bring back this forgotten self in the vessel of the one who forgot it. Often used to restore someone whose mind’s been lost to dementia.
42Revolving Revolution: A revolution’s fading embers, whether it failed or succeeded in its goals, collected and given new energy by a necromancer. Infects mobs of people with aimless violence.
43Devil-Rain: A cloud that pours ectoplasmic rain on the region below. Molded from the dreams of a land dying from drought. Anything nourished by devil-rain grows brittle and twisted.
44Gloamling: The shambling corpse of a freshly finished day . Only one can be created per day, so the race to be the first to claim today’s is a popular contest among necromancers. Shines weakly but widely, attracts serpents and wolves, undead in its light can’t be turned.
45Erot: A reanimated romantic relationship. Goes through the motions with none of the emotions.
46Seven-Years Doom: A broken mirror restored by necromancy. Anyone who looks into it will be confronted with the worst in themselves until they’re driven to self-mutilation or suicide.
47Jabbertalky: Languages are a lot like living things: they spread, they mature, 1they mutate, and they die. If a necromancer attempts resurrection of a dead language, a jabbertalky is the result. A bit like contagious Tourette’s that decays your teeth and tongue.
48Quantum Banshee: A ghost pulled from a person’s possible future death. It is compelled to lead its past self to the doom that will create it.
49Throbbing Pumpstack: An apparatus made of hearts and lungs which processes healthy air into clouds of miasma.
50Necrocosm: Some say that this world is but one in a series of them, born from the death of the last in a flood, or a rupturing earthquake, or an onslaught of star-demons. The as-yet theoretical nercocosm would be an undead being created from one of these destroyed prior worlds. Perhaps its creation will be this world’s end.

D50Goofy Golems
1Mecha Of Babel: Once there was a tower tall enough to reach heaven. The gods struck it down, and cursed its builders. Some say that its builders survive still and wish to build a new tower to match the old. This time it will have fists to strike back with.
2Heroic Eidolon: A bronze statue of a hero, statesman, or other prominent figure now, probably long dead. It’s programmed with writings about and by that figure to mimic their personality, skills, and knowledge as closely as possible in order to advise and otherwise assist the living in the dead’s stead.
3Walking Forge: Behemoth of belching bellows and steel trunk-legs. Swallows up scrap and internally smiths it into golem parts. Can’t do the final enchanting on its own. Once used in the rearguard of a vast army of automatons.
4Drillungeon: Underground stone complex that slowly shifts and digs through the earth. Its cousin is the Cavernous Worm, a cave system with animating glyphs painted on every surface.
5Wiry Coyote: Looks like a silver coyote statuette until it stretches itself into animated wire. Good at constricting, tying up, slithering where most things can’t. Cast as a coyote for uncertain reasons, but the tradition is deeply entrenched.
6Hydraulic Soldier: Clanking humanoid of filigreed brass and pipes. The brass container is not the golem. The golem is the water inside, shifting around to move the brass with hydraulic force.
7Autoknapper: A noisy stack of flints which constantly sharpens itself against itself as it rolls around. Short-lived, eventually just inanimate flakes too small to cut a mouse.
8Noosekite: A flying construct of cloth, frame, and dangling ropes. Used for transportation, or to lift enemies to their death.
9Alembic Bug: Lead-and-glass insectoid which distills potions and poisons within its own body then injects them into targets.
10Stormstrider: Looks like a giraffe made of copper spikes and coils, with a head that just keeps tapering upwards. Loosed during storms to collect lightning, which is stored in an internal capacitor until it’s needed to blast enemies or power contraptions.
11Paper Tiger: An origami beast, not as tough as it might appear, but able to slip through the slightest crack, fly with a breeze, and sever limbs with its keen edges.
12Mercurial: Flopping puddle of mercury. Poisonous just to be around, let alone touch.
13Cyclonian: Construct of self-sustaining vortices that can move through just about any medium, twisting matter in spirals as it goes.
14Incensate: Spindly-legged mock-priest made of aromatic woods and sticks of incense. Releases calming, even soporific fumes. Accompanies visits to gods and spirits to encourage peaceful cooperation.
15Slaveless Barge: It’s a boat that rows itself. Not much else to say. Might have a magic chainsaw for a figurehead to ram awesomely.
16Needlenose: Made of ferromagnetic needles. Shoots ferromagnetic needles, ferromagnetically.
17Sublimative Assassin: Icicle-armed frozen murder machine that can shift into and from a chilling mist at will.
18Guided Avalanche: Barely animate pile of snow which tumbles down slopes towards foes, then slowly climbs its way back up to a vantage points.
19Coprostratos: Lumpy warrior shaped from shit. Riddled with diseases.
20Partisan Crusher: Made from papier-mâchéd political literature. Seeks out and destroys those ideologically opposes to its compositors writings.
21Scapedough: Made of sin-eater’s bread, then soaked with a community’s guilt and shame, then driven into the wilds. There it slowly molders and turns bitterly cruel.
22Boozehound: A quadrupedal keg with splinters for teeth in its wide maw. Devours strange ingredients (gemstones, wool, human flesh, etc.) to ferment into stranger drinks in its belly. Said to be the invention of fairy-brewers.
23Hellsmith: Humanoid hill of lava that extrudes weapons and armour of its own cooled substance.
24Faultliner: A golem made from absences, from cracks that travel along rigid matter and shatter it at their passing.
25No-Touch-Um: Made from rolled lead curse tablets. Striking one (or even just brushing against one really) inflicts a random curse on the striker.
26Loosed Poppet: A voodoo doll turned into a golem. It’s set after a target, and then seeks to collect samples of that target’s blood and hair to harm them by harming itself.
27Unmarred One: Carved from pure white marble, gilded with gold. It is immune to any attack which would visibly disfigure its surface, unless that attack deals enough damage to destroy it at once.
28Terrorcrow: Straw-stuffed clothing with sickles for fingers. Used to guard fields and orchards of great, likely magical, value. Most of its animating power is contained in its wide-brimmed hat.
29Crawling Mound: Dried mud golem with symbiotic termite nest that repairs and expands it.
30Belldame: A tin debutante with a massive bell for a skirt. Its ringing strikes fear in the hearts of the lawless.
31Brambleknight: Woven from a laquered rosebush in full bloom, used as elegant watchmen for elite estates.
32Mobile Palisade: Wall of logs with wood-stake legs, a fortification that repositions itself as needed.
33Parian Safekeeper: Surprisingly strong animated doll, built as a plaything and bodyguard for the children of the grotesquely rich.
34Clockwork Orange: Named for its appearance in its dormant form, an orange-sized lump of independently animated gears and mechanisms. On command it will assume a variety of forms and functions, such as a small humanoid butler, or a key-fingered lockpicking hand.
35Allshawl: Waterproofed leather cloak enchanted to move on its own to protect its wearer and give great back rubs.
36Henchsprout Bean: A magic bean which when planted swiftly grows into a lanky, loyal vine-golem. The henchsprout will wither just as quickly after a day or so.
37Chirugeon’s Obsolescence: A white bed with many stainless steel arms tipped with tools around its rim. Programmed with the cutting edge in surgical procedures. Must be calibrated for each patient, or else fatal errors are risked.
38Shellmaiden: Smooth, pearlescent, faceless servitors grown inside giant oysters. At their core is a mote of platonic irritation.
39Bombirdier: A metal bird with a flint beak, packed to the brim with explosives. When it reaches a preset target it will strike its beak together and explode.
40Nymical: Some say that matter and energy are illusions, that physicality is just the semblance we perceive of a deeper reality of symbols, logic, and mathematics. The nymical is an experiment in proving this claim. It’s a golem made from its own name, compressing and expanding in a riot of noise, shapes, colours, and gestures. It’s very confusing to be around.
41Paladin-Reliquary: A bejeweled and beatific cherub statue containing and protecting the remains of a saint.
42Prayercycle: Like a prayer wheel, but bigger, and there’s a few attached together, and they roll around on their own to squash infidels. May be ridden by bloodthirsty priests.
43Artificial Simurgh: Crafted from the feathers of at least a thousand different birds. Commands the winds that blow through its wings. Holds religious significance.
44Unfolding Road: A roll of animated bricks that spreads itself out over unlaced terrain to ease travel. Bricks in the back are swapped over to the front as it moves.
45Octoprison: Has a cage for a body, chain-and-manacle tentacles, and an extendable mancatcher-proboscis. A favourite of well-to-do slavers.
46Grue-Drudger: Made from congealed darkness, corroded by direct exposure to light. Used as an enforcer and burglar by certain cults and guilds.
47Mold Mimic: A normally shapeless wax golem used for infiltration and assassination. It will wrap itself around a target, smother them, then pour a part of itself into the imprint left by the smothered victim to create a drone in their image.
48Hunting Husk: A crude effigy of chaff and glue, used to kill vermin in places with a superstitious loathing of cats.
49Vanity’s Folly: A wig that is also an assassin of the bald, chokes its wearer with its luxurious locks.
50Numortal: A golem created with all the steps laid out in the story of humanity’s own creation: flesh of clay, blood of saltwater, breath of wind, and so on. Yet after all that it’s nothing more than another golem. What went wrong?