Thursday, May 6, 2021

In the Land of Nod

It’s said that death and time are siblings, sired into this world by the first murder, grandchildren of the first murderer. Their mother the Garden bled out in their birth, and where her blood spilled the world turned to wasteland: Nod.

What fills the sky of Nod today? (D12)

1. Flame flickering across from the furthest west like an aurora. Uriel has drawn their blade.
2. Shrieking, treacherous winds.
3. Dull charcoal clouds that filter the light into gloom.
4. Acrid rain that bleaches colour from cloth.
5. Echoes of the echoes of hymns.
6. A blinding storm of salt and ash and stranger particles, riven through with lightning.
7. Noxious yellow mists, a stench like old almonds. Here and there it touches down like the legs of some great centipede. Avoid these, or die drowning in your own blood.
8. Carrion birds wheeling in the wind. A behemoth is dead or dying nearby.
9. Nothing. It’s blessed clear, big and blue.
10. A dreadful darkness, a starless night that swallows the sun.
11. A reddish tint, shuddering, moaning. The world remembers.
12. Meaty cookfire smoke and shouts like thunder. You approach the camp of the Great King Cain.

What is the terrain in this part of Nod? (D12)

1. A carpet of ash over a bed of cinders. Keep moving and the heat won’t burn. Don’t stop. Never rest.
2. A stinking bog rife with lurking things and toxic frogs.
3. Sand that rasps in the slightest breeze, dunes twitching like dreaming dogs.
4. Brittle yellow grassland and sparse, sulphurous ponds.
5. Sodden, slug-infested moors swept by cold grey fog.
6. Salt flats and broad briny pools where stinging flies and urchins breed.
7. Brambles strung like barbed wire across the cracked and thirsty earth.
8. Bones trampled to splinters, unstable ossuary-hills. Pale roaches and marrow-eating termites teem underfoot.
9. A vast ruin, decadent in its architectural inhumanity, where Enoch, the sire of cities once stood.
10. Seemingly-infinite steppe that plays tricks on the mind. Distance and direction lose meaning here.
11. A forest flash-fossilized, animals not seen since brother took blade against brother frozen forever in stone.
12. A sea of dust so fine you could drown in it, with compacted islands and causeways apparent to the cautious eye.

What is the landmark in this part of Nod? (D12)

1. A wheel as wide as a mountain, embedded up to its hub. Holes mar its rim where judging eyes were gouged out, spokes hang like broken spines.
2. Black and spike-bristled pillars, engraved with the same words in a hundred thousand languages: “This place is not a place of honour...”, “...what is here is dangerous and repulsive...”. Little remains that has not been worn to illegibility by rain and wind and sand.
3. A gigantic tree clinging impossibly to the edge of life. It bears bitter though nourishing fruit.
4. A cairn piled taller than the tallest tower, with stones a giant would struggle to haul. Cruel whispers can be heard through the cracks.
5. A commune of peaceful nudists attempting a return to prelapsarian innocence, struggling to survive.
6. A temple to a bitter exile-god of this land, or to a war chief exalted to godhood, its only persistent population a handful of insular priests. 2-in-6 chance a band of 3d6 nomads are visiting to pray and pay tribute.
7. A dusty, crumbling fort, the remnant of a failed attempt to tame this place. Little more than rusted arms and skeletons lie within. 2-in-6 chance the skeletons will take up those arms to defend the place against intruders.
8. A statue of Adam and Eve intertwined, sculpted from memory of a primal scene.
9. A segment of a gigantic skeleton, primordial in its anatomy. Bonesmiths labour in its shadow. A dead behemoth, or possibly the mate of Leviathan.
10. A shard of something indescribable, incomprehensible: Qlippoth erupted.
11. A ziggurat, stripped of all valuables and all reliefs within defaced. Relic of the nephilim who once ruled this land.
12. A palace of corpses, an inverted catacomb. A monument to some great and terrible victory, to dissuade any further challengers.

What might be encountered at this moment in Nod? (D12)

1. A procession of the weary dead, to the place where the sun sets. Could you carry a message back to their relatives? Could you return a stolen good to their grave? And oh, oh, oh what they wouldn’t give for just a taste of living blood.
2. A herd of 3d6 emaciated and untrusting horses.
3. A hallucination that tempts you to give up, give in.
4. A babbling hermit. 50% chance they’ve lost touch with reality, 50% chance they’ve lost touch with reality and have some mystic insight into what your future holds.
5. A pack of 2d6 worgs.
6. A weeping chimera.
7. A demon and its retinue of unrepentant sinners, revelling beyond the sight of God.
8. A crestfallen paladin, failed killer of the King of All Killers.
9. A clan of nomads, merciless but not cruel.
10. A fallen angel, by turns cursing God and His creations and scheming to win their way back into His graces.
11. A band of lost and now-cannibalistic pilgrims.
12. A bloated, venom-breathing serpent.


  1. Suitably evocative old testament-esque imagery. Congrats on squeezing the zit!

  2. Oh this is very great and terrible.

  3. Oh, nice. Did anything in particular inspire this? I'm really digging the imagery.

    1. The Bible, & apocrypha thereof - general idea from me (semiurge) of where a shitty place to live would be