Monday, October 31, 2022

5 Further Monsters


Five Monsters

Five Monsters in the Style of Throne of Salt

Five Monsters Inspired by Old-Timey Halloween Costumes

Five Non-Threatening Cosmic Monsters

Why always sets of five monsters? Why not.

The Hind of Lamarand

There once was a king in the land of Lamarand who lived to hunt, and he was quite proficient at it. Before his first tooth had fallen out he had slain his first boar, and on the eve of his coronation his first lion. By the time he could grow a full beard these prey to him seemed paltry.

After that, the only hunt that could lift the king's ennui was the hunt of his fellow men. He enacted brutal taxation to push his people into poaching and other crimes as a pretense for this hunt and terrible execution. He had the royal woods re-modeled to make them inescapable mazes for intelligent prey.

Eventually the gods themselves took notice of the king's cruelty and corruption, and cursed him with a beastly form to match his soul. Furthermore, it's said they promised a great blessing to whoever took the accursed king's head.

But this is a vicious and toothsome lie. There was no curse, no sudden comeuppance for a lifetime of wickedness. The king demanded this transformation from his chief sorcerer himself, tired of the affairs of court and family. He intends to stalk and kill and gorge joyously until the end of days, the rumour of divine reward for his slaying a lure for the righteous and the foolish.

As the Hind the former king resembles a huge six-legged stag, fur shaggy and grey. From his lower jaw to the bottom of his sternum a fang-filled maw gapes. His eyes are still human, piercing-blue and full of predatory malice. He brings his hunting ground with him. For three miles around him a dense forest sprouts - and any corpses buried in the earth are lifted up with the sprouting trees, impaled upon their branches - and this forest crumbles behind him into rich rot as he prowls.

HD: 10 + Heart of the Forest
As chain, reflects spells 3-in-6
Twice as fast as a horse
1d6 stomp/1d6 stomp/1d12 bite + swallow

Heart of the Forest: Whichever hex the Hind is in becomes a forest. If the Hind is killed within this forest, he will be reborn at the next full moon. Killing him outside the forest, or destroying enough of the forest before, after, or during killing him, prevents this.
Swallow: Targets hit by the Hind's bite attack must save or be dragged into its gullet. After that, they take an automatic 1d6 damage per round. They may cut their way out by dealing 10 damage to the Hind, but can only use light weapons.


A toddler-sized beastie with a face like a stepped-on rat and hooked, crooked claws at the tips of its gangly aye-aye fingers. Its fur is a patchy pale pink, and mucusy-slick like it's been sneezed on all over.

The first encountered stokey-pokeys were a breeding pair brought back from an expedition to the far west by the famed explorer Cosdenada, who claimed they were a gift given to him by the emperor of a golden land of the ever-young. As these creatures possessed a wondrous ability to aid one's power of recollection, they became an immediate fad among the elderly, scholarly, and occult. That sole breeding pair's children were carted off to many distant courts, and then those children were forced to breed to fulfill the clamouring demand for more stokey-pokeys, and so on and so on until the entire species' stock was horrifically inbred, and more likely to lobotomize you than help you remember something.

The fad for stokey-pokeys shortly thereafter died out, their original form and function surviving only in marginalia doodles. Feral populations, descendants of escaped and discarded specimens, survive in the overlooked places of the world, as the pets of addle-brained wizards and as especially-loathed pests.

HD: 1
As chain (quick & tricksy)
As monkey
1d4 + Brainpluck

Brainpluck: The stokey-pokey reaches its long, clawed finger way up your nose and yanks out a piece of your brain. This does equal damage to your HP and to your Intelligence stat. If you've forgotten or overlooked something important (a clue, a secret door, etc.) then the damage to both is doubled, and the stokey-pokey retrieves a "remembrance pearl" - a hard, gristly wad of your own grey matter - and runs off with it. Eating the remembrance pearl will remind you of whatever it is you forgot. Covering your face completely prevents a stokey-pokey from brainplucking you. If a stokey-pokey misses with its brainpluck, it still gets its finger up your nose, but instead of picking its way into your brain it instead snags a booger so big you're astounded you could've missed it up there.

Commonplace Croach

Named not for its commonality but for the peculiar effect it has on the human mind - though it appears quite monstrous indeed, it can mislead people into thinking it is an ordinary person who has been with them all along.

Without the veil of its deception, a croach can be seen to be a fleshy, conical body, like a human's head and armless torso with a sheet of skin stretched over it, terminating in a chaotic mass of legs branching off from its hips and each other.

Studying into the origin of the croach carries a similar effect. Researches conclude that croaches must be their second cousins, or neighbours they politely ignore.

HD: 3
As leather
As horse
1d8 Kick + save vs. strength or be knocked back 10 ft. & prone, or grapple and carry off with strength 15

Commonplace Encroachment: A commonplace croach ambushes on a 5-in-6. If this ambush is successful, the croach insinuates itself into the party. The DM shouldn't outright say that there is a new member of the party, but imply so and reveal it if the party does a headcount or somesuch. For its part the croach will wait for or create an opportunity that allows it to isolate another member of the party and then brutalize them. Having a dog in the party reduces this chance to a 3-in-6. Having a bird or cat in the party nullifies the chance entirely.

Tuberous Trenchmaul

A plague upon the Rivenlands, that lush territory where human expansion is limited by the unearthed ordinances of a thousand years of war. Perhaps the trenchmaul is one of those ordinances, or perhaps it's just a natural creature that adapted to the deadly front.

The trenchmaul is a beast with several bodies. The most important of these is its feeding body - a man-sized lump that resembles a meaty sweet potato with a four-lobed mouth on its side, most often buried 10 feet or so underground. Its other bodies - its hunting bodies - are dog-sized things between a lobster and a cricket, with broad and shovel-like claws. These are connected to the feeding body by tough intestinal/neural tubes.

Hunting bodies will attack moving animals, and assume motionless animals are dead and drag them underground to the feeding body. An encountered trenchmaul with have 2d4 hunting bodies.

Feeding Body
AC: As unarmoured
Move: Nil
Attack: Bite 1d8
Morale: 10

Hunting Body
AC: As leather, connective tube has AC as plate and 1 HP, if severed then hunting body dies a round later.
Move: As walking man while digging, as running man above ground
Attack: 1d6 snip or Drag Down
Morale: 6, 10 in defense of feeding body

Drag Down: If attacking a target from below, a trenchmaul will attempt to partially drag it down into the dirt. Win opposed strength test vs. strength 12 or be dragged into the dirt down to your knees. After that you're immobilized until you spend a full round making another opposed strength test vs. strength 12 or your pals help pull you out.


A fey gentleman with perfectly-coifed red-and-white hair and goatee, dressed in a green cape with brooches fixed with feathers and fur.

He fancies himself the justice for those outside the law: for the penned and hunted beasts and birds on which humanity feasts. When encountered he'll observe from a distance or question the party to suss out their eating habits. Vegetarians get his respect. 

Those who've killed animals are made to stand trial and suffer the hunt from the preys' perspective. If they can argue that they showed respect to their prey they'll receive similar consideration - a head start or somesuch.

If bested, the todlowery will owe a boon, such as posing the same test to a rival party or revealing the location of treasure hidden in the forest.

HD: 4, or as animal form
As leather, or as animal form
As man, or as animal form
As weapon (typically a rapier or woodsman's axe) or as animal form, or Predatory Polymorph

Predatory Polymorph: The todlowery's preferred method of attack is to transform his targets into prey animals, and himself into their predator. When targeting a group, only the target with the highest save makes a roll - if they pass then so does the whole group, if not then they're all transformed. The todlowery must transform with them. The transformation lasts until sunset or sunrise, or until he's defeated or soundly escaped from.

Some example predator/prey pairings are as follows:

1. Fox & chickens

2. Weasel & rats

3. Dog & hares

4. Cat & sparrows

5. Eagle & monkeys

6. Bear & deer

Saturday, October 29, 2022

D6x6 Toddling Tortles

Click the button below to generate your very own tortle:

Special thanks to Spwack for his generator generator here:

D6 This tortle looks
1 smooth and damp, like a softshell turtle.
2 snake-like because of their elongated neck.
3 adorned with a fleshy crest and beard, like a mata mata turtle.
4 spiny and craggly, like an alligator snapping turtle.
5 rubbery and ridged like a leatherback turtle.
6 colourfully striped and spotted like a painted turtle.
D6 This tortle has
1 a cosmological diagram carved into their shell. The diagram depicts a disk-shaped world held on the back of a turtle.
2 a dangling coat of algae clinging to them.
3 rings made from coins lost in shipwrecks pierced through their nose and neck-flaps.
4 little wooden hatches bolted to its shell that close up when it retracts its head or limbs.
5 an amulet crafted from broken eggshell. The memento of a child of theirs.
6 a set of dentures modelled on human teeth, with which they love to smile. They think humans find this comforting.
D6 This tortle is currently
1 meditating on a barren shore.
2 helping a village make the best fortifications possible for it given its manpower and budget.
3 building a perfectly-customized mansion for themself alone, stone by stone.
4 guiding co-religionists on a pilgrimage with all the zeal of a recent convert.
5 attempting to breed the cutest lapdog for the royal court.
6 fishing and sipping beer by a creek.
D6 This tortle is old enough
1 to have collected knickknacks and doodads from several cultures now lost to time, which they keep tucked away in their shell and would be willing to trade.
2 to remember when all noble families were mere upstarts, and so treats everyone the same regardless of social rank.
3 to have started to fossilize while they're still alive. Micro-gems sparkle in their blood and the wetness of their eyes.
4 to have learned the slow language of rivers and stones, and thereby learn many of their secrets.
5 to recall when the shorelines were different, and where to find sunken ruins nobody else has been able to locate.
6 to have mastered a fighting style that lets it outmaneuver even much faster opponents.
D6 Time has made this tortle
1 bowed with grief, too sad to do much of anything most days.
2 a snooty aesthete with incomparable knowledge of artistic traditions.
3 addicted to nostalgia, willing to pay through the nose for artifacts that remind them of their past.
4 resentful, full of grudges they were never able to fulfill before entropy took its toll.
5 cautious and gentle, aware of how the smallest actions can ripple out over eons.
6 aloof, unwilling to become emotionally entangled with the mayfly lives of others.
D6 This tortle is acquainted with
1 the ghosts of emperors, and consults with them on dire occasions.
2 a demon whose corruptive ambitions operate on such a long timescale that scholars believe it's just another tutelary spirit.
3 leviathans of the deepest ocean, their patterns of hunting and hibernation.
4 a few liches, having been consulted by them for arcane endeavours.
5 many up-and-coming princelings, having been hired to tutour them.
6 a pirate-queen whose fleet preys on many seas.


Friday, October 28, 2022

GLOGtober '22: Challenge 5: Demiplanes + Random Generator (It's A Random Generator for Demiplanes)

GLOGtober '22

This challenge is courtesy of me, semiurge, and is the last of seven such challenges, meaning that I, semiurge, have won GLOGtober '22.

Click the button below to automatically generate a result from the tables, also below:

Special thanks to Spwack for the generator automator here:

This demiplane can be entered... (D6)

1. By riding upon or being swallowed up by monsters linked to it

2. By being swept up in unnatural weather that occurs somewhere in the prime plane

3. Through a specific portal, under a trilithon or at the back of a wardrobe or wherever else it may be

4. With the aid of an artifact or set of artifacts, such as a puzzle-box that must be solved or a bottle that must be uncorked

5. By performing a particular ritual at a particular time

6. Only by particular people, or those accompanying them - for example paths that can only be found by a family linked to it, or one who literally or figuratively possesses their blood, or mini-Charons empowered to ferry people there

This demiplane's size... (D6)

1. Is puny, as these things go, comparable to an amphitheater

2. Could contain a sprawling manor

3. Is sufficient to hold a village and its surrounding fields

4. Is comparable to a metropolis

5. Is sufficient to hold a whole region

6. Is big enough to hold an entire country or small continent

This demiplane appears... (D)

1. To be entirely made from human body parts: rivers of blood, boulders of bone, waving fields of hair, and so on

2. As an enormous clockwork mechanism with uncertain inputs and outputs

3. As a 3-dimensional fractal stone maze

4. Covered in mirrors and tricks of the light. Within it, optical illusions are physical reality

5. As a baroque and overgrowing garden displaying plants and pollinators not seen in reality

6. As a house not built for proper human habitation - the doorways are too large, some furniture is on the ceiling, windows open to nowhere, and so on

7. As a spherical jungle centered around a miniature orange sun, trees growing on each other and secured together by vines and epiphytes

8. As an expanse of level sand, swirling in the wind into monuments and cyclopean structures before returning to formlessness

9. As a cavern lit by bioluminescent flora and fauna

10. As a bountiful tropical island enjoying perpetual sunshine

11. As a single gigantic tree growing out of a bank of mist

12. As intersections of great, glittering crystals surrounded by clouds of glowing neon gas, all shot through with lasers

13. As a cluster of icy spires carved from the top of a glacier by constant winds

14. As a junkyard of debris and detritus from everywhere and everywhen

15. As city streets perpetually at night in the middle of some festival - paper lanterns are the only dependable lighting, and stars of odd shapes and hues dance in the sky above

16. As an archipelago of flying islands linked by huge chains

17. To be entirely folded from origami, though the paper mimics the physical properties of what it resembles

18. As a trackless moor spotted with fog, tumuluses, and circles of standing stones

19. As a model solar system of tiny planets and stars

20. As a self-constructing and -consuming foundry where slag rains from the sky, is refined and worked into machine components, and then melted back for no discernible reason

The boundary of this demiplane... (D8)

1. Is an impenetrable wall

2. Is an endless fall into the void

3. Is a permeable membrane that drops those who push through back into the prime plane

4. Is the gradually-decreasing "resolution" of its reality - objects and physics reducing in complexity until it's a featureless grey expanse

5. Is itself - go far enough out and it loops back around in a mind-bending fashion

6. Is an environmental hazard, swarm of monsters, or similar danger that will eventually destroy anything that goes too far out

7. Is an invisible forcefield

8. Is the incomprehensible and primordial Sea of Chaos

This demiplane was created... (D)

1. By a lich / as a receptacle for their soul / from an afterlife emptied of the dead and dragged back to the mortal coil

2. By a night hag / as a bolthole beyond the reach of pursuing enemies / from a morass of captured dreams

3. By an archmage / as the magnum opus of their magic / from the ashes of a world destroyed during its own eschaton

4. By ancient elves / as a sanctuary from the entropy of the fallen universe / from a genetically-altered seed of the world-tree

5. By a demi-god / as a divine realm to house their nascent pantheon / from the corpse of a cosmic titan

6. By a cabal of sorcerer-scientists / as a vault to escape the universe's cycles of creation and destruction / from a bag of holding that grew in internal complexity as it aged

7. By an elder elemental / as a peerless work of art / from proto-matter dredged up from the deep ethereal

8. By a rogue angel / to experiment with the viability of different universal parameters / from the heart of an alien vampire that lurked in the void between planes, draining their vital essence

This demiplane is currently... (D)

1. Used precisely as its creator intended

2. Used by a successor of its creator who believes wholeheartedly in their mission yet has corrupted it unintentionally

3. A conflict-ridden march halfway between two planes

4. A trading hub of the multi-verse

5. An ultra-secure prison for planar dissidents

6. A cove used by inter-planar smugglers

7. A testing ground for things to risky to keep in reality proper

8. A haven for outcasts and pariahs

9. The clubhouse of an urchin gang, who are the only ones who remember how to access it

10. Being feuded over by a collection of cults, each of which wishes to secure the place as a sacred site for their patron

11. Inhabited by a feral tribe, the descendants of refugees from a fallen civilization who believe they are the last people left anywhere

12. Being used as a base camp by a band of cosmic explorers

13. The top-secret hideout of an insurgent group

14. An exotic destination for wealthy and esoterically-inclined tourists

15. The nesting ground of an eldritch species which migrates between dimensions

16. Being studied by a team of reality-archaeologists

17. Being picked over by scavengers

18. Being used as a dead-drop location by inter-planar spies, unbeknownst to them monitored by secret police agents

19. An uninhabited wasteland

20. The fief of a petty tyrant

A quirk of this demiplane is... (D)

1. That at its core is an orb that sustains the whole place - destroy the orb, and the demiplane will collapse soon after

2. That time flows at a different rate within it relative to the wider universe

3. That its current ruler is tied into it like the Fisher King. If they're injured their injury will be reflected on the demiplane, and while the demiplane thrives so will they. The ruler can be usurped and replaced by some esoteric means.

4. That generations of creatures born within it are rapidly adapted to its environment

5. That if anyone within its bounds dies, they are soon after reborn from a gelatinous egg ensconced within it

6. That it's populated by semi-solid holograms programmed to enact archetypal roles - the fool, the good king, the treacherous vizier, and so on. Getting them to break their programming has an equal chance of making them fizzle out, go violently mad, or awakening them to true sapience

7. That it possesses its own genius locus, its own animating intelligence

8. That its geography is non-Euclidean - its twists and turns seem impossible without understanding this

9. That recordings of it beyond plain memory swiftly fade away - ink on pages runs, carvings in stone wear away in record time

10. That all who sleep within it share the same dream

11. That all visitors to it have its sigil marked on their body, and may randomly find a door they open leads right back to it

12. That those within it choose the direction its gravity drags them in

13. That its matter is infused with the power of its creation, and can be harvested as components in potions and magic items

14. That if you spend too much time inside it, it becomes addictive

15. That magic is more stable within, and miscasts are impossible

16. That its unique microfauna cause all first-time visitors to become sick until their immune systems acclimate

17. That its size and boundaries are unstable, and shift irregularly

18. That once entered, one must pass a trial within it before being able to leave

19. That it's cut off from the wider web of fate - destinies, dooms, and prophecies won't follow you here

20. It's in the slow process of colliding with another demiplane. Roll up another one and combine haphazardly.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

GLOGtober '22: Challenge 6: What's In The City of Mounds?

GLOGtober '22

This challenge is courtesy of Archon's Court (no relation).

So: What's In The City of Mounds?

Well there's the mounds of course - spherical piles of grey, grisodate-rich clay scooped up from the banks of the River Sable which flows down from the sheer flanks of the Snapspines and through the reeking Pissmire. The mounds have a great variety to them. There are ones no higher than a man's calf, encircled only by a single ring of limp mushrooms, and there is one as high as any cathedral's steeple, surrounded by oath-carved menhirs and miniature groves of fungi, and there are a good many between these in size and the complexity of their enclosures.

Inside the mounds too there is a great variety in their contents. In one there is a fox-bone stiletto that grants its wielder a great facility with lies and disguises, as well as an insatiable hunger for the tongues of children. In another mound there is a homunculus of distilled hate and bile which contaminates the very air with a berserker-compulsion. In yet another still there is the score for a waltz that forces its dancers to spin and spin until their flesh flies off and they're left as twirling skeletons.

That is the purpose of these mounds of hard-packed and sun-baked clay: they hold curses, and accursed things, things too dangerous to leave out in the world and too risky to destroy.

The City Above

Few are brave enough to walk the winding ways between the mounds. Mounds can crack, mounds can leak, and there is always the fear that sappers have undermined a mound's containment from below.

Therefore the City of Mounds is built on stilts well above the mounds, out of woven reeds, folded leaves, duck feathers and cobwebs. Only the main walkways and government buildings can comfortably hold people of human size, for the City of Mounds is a city of the fey, entrusted with its binding duty by old and unbreakable compact.

Hybsils, satyrs, and blink dogs caper along the City's paths - grigs and sprites flit above them. Of its highest class are the nixies who gather mound-clay from the River Sable beside it.

Visitors are welcomed but never for long, unless they've built a working relationship with the fey for collecting and neutralizing curses. To bring shovels, hammers, or picks within City limits is a horrendous crime, punishable by glitter-sprinkling (a torture almost unimaginably worse than its name might suggest). The only mortals who reside permanently in the City of Mounds are monks of the Maledictum Flagrumi, who remove their left lung to make a cage in their ribs into which they can inhale and imprison evil.

The City Below

The City's mounds are in fact spherical, extending as far below the earth as they do above. This demands protection from burrowing foes. Such is the purpose of the City Below.

It is a network of trapped tunnels between dark and sunken halls. Here reside the unseemly fey, the boggles, spoorns, redcaps, tints, mormos, shellycoats, wirry-cowes, chittifaces, caddies, gringes, tantarrabobs, and all their ilk, entertaining themselves with mean pranks and wild rumpuses.

These fey are often the best hunters of curses the City has. Their ears are naturally pricked by misfortune, and they tend to be suited to handling all manner of nastiness, though as grateful as the mortals rescued by them may be, their help never comes painlessly, or free.

The Order of the Sharpest Cheddar is the premier knightly order of the City of Mounds, headquartered in a warren at its buried heart. Its membership is composed mostly of jermlaines, snyads, mites, gremlins, and their trained rodents. The Order is tasked with spying on the human polities around the City and ensuring that those foolish mortals do not scheme to steal the City's cursed charges. In recent years its leadership has expanded their mission beyond this mandate, deciding that they will not simply address these plots as they arise, but also sabotage their neighbours' capabilities to even attempt to enact them. This has agitated their neighbours to move against the City more than any desire for the power of its contained curses ever did. The Order's coat-of-arms is an orange wheel of cheese with a slice taken out of it atop a cerulean backdrop.

The City Within

With nowhere else to go, the magic of the mounds' cursed contents pools, and becomes ingrown. Things which ought not to begin to dream.

The City Within is made up of these curses' dreams, knit together by the mycorrhizal web of the fungi that surround them. These dreams are far more often than not nightmares, surreal reflections and distortions of their victims, history, and nature.

Inhabitants of the City Within - whether they're sleepers who've linked their souls to the web or ethereal beings able to enter it as we physical creatures might pass through a doorway - are tasked with navigating, manipulating, and harvesting these nightmares. Their imagery and events can be analyzed to reveal secrets of the curses that dream them up. By changing a nightmare's script it can be possible to diffuse the power of or even cleanse a curse entirely - though this is never simple or easy. Finally, a skilled dreamwright can pluck pieces out of a nightmare and make them manifest in reality. These anomalous goods and creatures make up a significant export of the City of Mounds.

The Three Regents

The City of Mounds was founded and ruled for over a century by a queen among the fey, who was wiser than a room full of philosophers and more terrible than a crocodile mid-death roll. The city's largest mound is where she's kept now, and no suitable replacement has yet been found.

Until such a time as one is, the City is ruled by a council of regents. Each handles the day-to-day affairs of their own part of the City independently, and decide on matters that affect the whole place by way of a majority vote. The three regents are:

  • Toutatis, regent of the City Above, a clurichaun entrusted with being the City's public face and ambassador to the world beyond. While he is outwardly happy-go-lucky, he's sharp as a tack and stressed near to death by his role, and is seeking a worthy successor.
  • Dame Carrotcake, regent of the City Below, a calygraunt and grand master of the Order of the Sharpest Cheddar. She is an absolute fey chauvinist, yet at the same time a truly chivalrous knight.
  • The May-I Mother, regent of the City Within, an annis hag of tremendous age and potency. Several of the items buried in the City's mounds are of her own making. She is pragmatic and cruel, though never excessively so, and she values unraveling the mysteries of the world above all else.

D20x5 Evil High Priests

Click the button below for an evil high priest of your very own:

Special thanks to Spwack for his generator generator here:

D20 This evil high priest wears
1 a purple veil sewn with a monstrous, roaring face.
2 only a loincloth, exposing the scars and suppurating sores of their self-flagellation.
3 a great many scarves tipped with fangs and talons like tassels.
4 ash-dulled chains and manacles symbolizing their divine bondage.
5 a black cloak with a face-concealing hood, embroidered with sigils in crimson thread.
6 a harness fitted with vials and syringes that provide them with a steady drip of entheogenic concoctions.
7 a profusion of torcs, necklaces, and amulets which pull their neck and shoulders down into a painful-looking slouch.
8 a brazen crown of entangled antlers or horns.
9 the exoskeleton of some enormous, iridescent scarab as a suit of armour.
10 a rough-edged mantle stitched together from the hides of spotted beasts.
11 wavy blades pierced through their flesh.
12 steel bracers and greaves molded to resemble inhumanly distended hands grasping their limbs.
13 their hair braided into nooses, with small animals hanged with those nooses.
14 a mask of rippling mercury.
15 a belt of shrunken heads.
16 grills that give them bejeweled tusks.
17 a prosthetic nose resembling a vampire bat's or some fucked-up mole's, carved from a pale fungus that weeps scarlet ichor.
18 barbed iron gauntlets with needle-tipped fingers.
19 a leaden diadem ringed with living, bloodshot eyes.
20 a gaudy ring set with a dark blue gem as large as their proximal phalange. The bound and howling souls of sinners against their faith can be seen banging against the inner side of the gem.
D20 This evil high priest's religion
1 is a complete personal invention of theirs, built from the ground up to flatter their ego and line their pockets.
2 worships the fell sire of a sprawling lineage of ghouls, an ancient carrion-lord that instructs its spawn and acolytes in the art of eating life for power.
3 preaches the surgical, eugenic, and magical mutilation of humanity into a new ideal form.
4 has as its central idol a comet that heralds apocalyptic disaster when its orbit carries it close to the world once every age.
5 worships nameless chthonic deities that demand constant, extravagant blood sacrifice in exchange for not rising up to devour the surface world.
6 venerates a three-headed hag who weaves dooms and nightmares on her wretched loom in the grey wastes at the edge of reality.
7 teaches an absolute nihilism, the ultimate unreality of all things.
8 worships the imprisoned losers of a titanic war in eons past between the gods and their progenitors.
9 is ethnically chauvinist, seeing the EHP's people as the only ones deserving of salvation, while all others are destined to be their slaves in this life and the next.
10 is an elaborate rationalization of the death of a beloved sibling they witnessed in their youth, resulting in Molochian child sacrifice to a brass idol.
11 teaches that the causal relationship between objects and their shadows is in fact the inverse of what is commonly believed, and that we are all truly puppets of darkness.
12 worships an occulted constellation of terrible stars that radiate beams of malice towards the world.
13 is impersonal and deistic, seeking to attain a mathematical cosmic perfection without room for humanity.
14 teaches that the ultimate creator of the world is a simple beast, and that the best way to pay homage to this creator is by indulging our base desires as beasts do.
15 venerates an invisible jellyfish-god whose curse-bearing tentacles they preach surround all things, opening a path free of suffering only for those who follow its will.
16 worships an entire parliament of devils, each with their own baroque titles, powers, and symbols.
17 sees the world as irredeemably sinful, with only the parasitic intervention of their mosquito-god being able to drain people to a level of purity and moral worth.
18 is a death-cult which preaches that the supreme creator of the universe was killed by their treacherous children, and now desires only for all their creations to join them in destruction.
19 teaches that humans are incomplete and inferior creatures, and that only by inviting in a possessing demon can people become whole.
20 worships a cruel trickster god whose schadenfreudenous pranks bring utter ruin to their victims.
D20 This evil high priest's manner
1 is wolfish. They eat constantly and messily, and seek strength in overwhelming numbers.
2 is shark-like. As soon as they detect weakness or injury they seek to exploit it robotically.
3 is bullish. They're intractable and aggressive, keen to butt heads.
4 is eel-like. They are slippery, slimy, and act indirectly when possible.
5 is like that of a cowardly snail, retreating into the protective shell of their dogma whenever challenged.
6 is ant-like. They're a conformity-loving busybody.
7 is like an owl - observant, rarely blinking, silent and surgical when they choose to strike.
8 is monkeyish. They're curious, clingy, and kleptomaniacal.
9 is lionish - prideful and lazy.
10 is cobra-like. They're venomous in speech, flexible in thought and ethics.
11 is distant and mad as the moon.
12 is hubristic and yappy like an ill-mannered chihuahua.
13 is like a cockroach - quick, tough, and totally unsqueamish.
14 is like an orchid mantis - luring people in with a pretty, polite exterior then exploiting or killing them with insectile callousness.
15 is like a fly - flighty, cautious, and irritating.
16 is like a dragon, greedy and imperious.
17 is like a blobfish, dour and flabby.
18 is goat-like, lecherous and filthy.
19 is like a villainous Woody Allen character - shy, self-deprecating, and utterly narcissistic.
20 is like a playful and sadistic cat.
D20 This evil high priest's castle
1 was stolen from a legitimate and well-liked noble family, who the EHP and their entourage are currently impersonating.
2 is in the hollow leg of an immense colossus, the rest of its body shattered and strewn about the landscape.
3 is carved throughout a butte, its winding passages and hidden halls revealing unsettling fossils reaching from the stone.
4 is the desecrated temple of another religion, fortified with barricades of dismantled furniture.
5 is a ziggurat with gore-soaked steps. Fat vultures flap about it and accost visitors, attempting to trip them down its stairs to a broken neck.
6 is in fact a walled-off aboveground graveyard full of mausoleums that they've repurposed, exhuming the interred bodies to use their bones for amusing decorations.
7 sits on an eroding isle in the middle of a river, the sunken stones of its curtain wall used as a makeshift harbour.
8 is a cluster of towers, only one of which has an entrance at ground level - the rest connected by bridges high above. Vicious bald apes nest among the towers' eaves and clamber across vines on their sides.
9 is full of statues and topiary to which they have added their own grotesque modifications.
10 is a slumping construction of drystacked stones halfway molten by exposure to some unimaginable heat in forgotten history.
11 is in fact the hydroelectric dam of a more technologically-advanced fallen civilization.
12 is nestled between the fingers of two gigantic hands stretching out of the earth.
13 sits on a promontory, the rocky beaches of which are littered with the reeking bodies of dead fish and seabirds.
14 sits in a mist-shrouded vale haunted by will-o'-wisps and life-hungry ghosts.
15 is constantly remodelled according to their passing whims by enslaved chain gangs.
16 was once a walled-in leprosarium and attached monastery, but the EHP slaughtered the lepers and the monks who cared for them.
17 is dome-shaped and built into a crater. It is made of oddly-buoyant, greasy stone and wrought meteoric iron.
18 has flayed skins nailed to its gates and flying from its parapets.
19 is an old and long-abandoned place undergoing repairs by a family of inbred giants sworn to the service of the EHP.
20 is centered around an amphitheater where the EHP subjects their followers and captives to daily rants.
D20 This evil high priest's finger of death
1 causes one's eyes and brain to liquefy from forcible eldritch revelation.
2 causes stigmata to open on its victims which bleed an unnatural volume of blood.
3 causes every bone in its victims' bodies to be snapped and crumpled.
4 immolates its victims with an unwholesome green flame.
5 causes victims to pop out of reality with a sucking howl.
6 causes victims to disintegrate into a cloud of pink mist.
7 freezes victims at the point of expiration, leaving them a shrieking, rigor mortis-wracked half-corpse.
8 causes victims to feel such intense fear that their hair goes white and their hearts stop.
9 rapidly ages its victims until they're nothing but dust.
10 lashes out as a bolt of black lightning with a thunderclap that sounds like an agonized scream.
11 cuts its victims to pieces as if with a hundred invisible knives.
12 kills in a manner indistinguishable from acute radiation poisoning.
13 will rebound back on them if they use it on a true innocent.
14 warps victims into mewling, asymmetric, and blessedly short-lived lumps of flesh.
15 reduces victims to a pile of steaming bones.
16 causes mouths to appear out of empty space and devour its victims in a matter of seconds.
17 causes victims to be swiftly overgrown and consumed by stinking fungi.
18 reduces its victims to a moldy silhouette on the ground or wall behind where they stood.
19 causes victims to immediately manifest buboes and necrotic rashes and other such symptoms of terminal disease.
20 causes the bodies of those it slays to dissolve into a pool of poisonous vermin.

Friday, October 21, 2022

D20x5 Elven Forest Retreats

You know I wasn’t too sold on the steam release of dwarf fortress when I first heard about it but it looks pretty good

Click the button below for your very own elven forest retreat:

D20This forest retreat
1has been grown from the living trees themselves, shaped from first sprout into buildings and furniture.
2is suspended in sections from ropes. With the untangling of a single devilish knot, entire boroughs could be plunged to the ground.
3lies just beneath a lake, supplied air and buoyancy by puckishly woven hollow reeds that dimple its surface.
4is built in the huge, cave-like knotholes of equally huge trees.
5occupies human ruins overgrown by wilderness.
6is centred around a grove of hellroots, foreboding trees which descend into the underworld to tap the waters of the Lethe and Styx.
7has had every animal and plant within it preserved within a thin encasement of amber.
8is hewn into a flash-fossilized stump the size of a hill.
9exists in a hallucinatory realm accessible only to those who imbibe the nectar of the forest’s otherworldly blossoms.
10has grafted animal to plant, and plant to animal. Trees grow fruit composed of meat, and elk duel with antlers of twisting branches.
11has homes hung like hammocks from weeping willows, swaying with their branches in the wind.
12is a tower of translucent crystal that spirals up, around, and through a tremendous waterfall. While beautiful, the unwary can easily get caught in spots where the falling water blends into the crystal and get dragged into a fatal plummet.
13is ensconced within an optical illusion, and so can only be entered and exited from the right angles, the proper perspectives.
14is located in the eye of a perpetual storm.
15is a grand ossuary of the bones of all the beasts and men its elves have ever hunted, secured together with living vines.
16is built from yurts made from autumn leaves.
17resembles a human village, except that everything from furniture to to layout is built from an alien perspective.
18is woven together from elongated pine needles.
19is a fractal mud-brick ziggurat built around the roots of a mangrove swamp.
20is magically shrunken, so that a single lily-blossom can hold a household.
D20The elves of this forest retreat
1perform unseemly dances in the moonlight, when the blood they spill shines black.
2take their name from the most impressive thing they’ve hunted and slain. Beware the one called The World Before’s Sun.
3must perform one cruel deed for every kindness they do.
4take panthers as concubines.
5consider the whole, raw eggs of songbirds to be a delicacy.
6can swap shadows with each other, and thus become aware of the actions of the elf whose shadow they possess by its silhouette.
7are confused and fascinated by dreams because they have none of their own.
8grow out the nails on their hands and feet to file them into talons.
9allow wasps to nest within their ears and nostrils.
10refuse to precisely quantify anything.
11scorn archery, and practice a brutal style of wrestling. They believe that the closer you get to kill something, the more you honour the life you take.
12have one silver iris, and another that’s golden. In their mythology the sun and moon exist in a series of complex and often contradictory relationships.
13hang poachers and trespassers with nooses made from their own magically extended and woven hair.
14can communicate with whistles that mimic the sounds of the wind.
15will never lie, but can still get very creative about not telling the truth.
16have trees sprout instantly from their dead bodies.
17have a superstitious fear of hats.
18reject any mechanism more complicated than the wheel.
19consider anything that doesn't last forever to be worthless.
20play ball games with the skulls of their ancestors encased in resin.
D20Besides elves, this forest retreat is home to
1badger-folk, who are to soil as dwarves are to stone, and can work roots and worms into subtle yet potent magics.
2philosopher-blossoms, sapient flowers. They live but a few days, but in that scarce time they can intuit the laws of nature from first principles and authour works that shake the learned sorts of the world for another year. Their ruminations on mortality in the last minutes of their life are poignant enough to be lethal.
3mad hermits who preach the virtue of natural living to anyone who’ll listen, and many who’d rather not.
4burning ghosts of the forest itself, remnants of its many deaths and rebirths by fire.
5a great sleeping serpent. The forest is slowly dying from the venom it drips while it dreams, but the elves are too afraid of the thing to face it themselves.
6a colony of spiders that follow the commands they receive from their web, which has become so complex that it’s developed a burgeoning sentience.
7blind ascetic moth-monks who hold light and truth to be illusions, and warmth to be a sinister temptation.
8wisp-men, ethereal beings of living, glowing gas.
9an oak treant whose head was split by lightning. It knows half of all that’s happened under the open sky, but its personality is as split as its head and neither side will help an ally of the other.
10fungal pilgrims quarantined by the elves, who wish only to ascend to the top of the forest so that they might infest new hosts closer to their destination.
11a clan of fauns who worship their horned god through debauchery.
12a circle of druids attempting to radicalize the elves against civilization.
13a cult that wishes to cultivate a new and improved universe with a seed of the world-tree.
14a hunting lodge where less morally-inclined nobles come to mingle and cavort.
15a bestial demon who admires the redness of nature’s teeth and claws, and wishes to mimic such horrors as parasitic oviposition in their hellish domain.
16a coven of cannibalistic dryads seeking to usurp the woods from their less peckish sisters.
17an exiled emperor who bribed the elves to enchant them so that they would believe they still ruled.
18a community of humans who’ve fled the confines and extortions of civilization for the disorder of the forest.
19a crew of ancient lumber-processing golems cutting a swathe through the forest, slowed by the depredations of time and the deceptions of the elves.
20a lost city and its undead inhabitants, cursed to relive (redie?) the day of its destruction for all time.
D20This forest retreat has annoyed its neighbours
1by eating the bodies of their dead (given willingly, the elves claim, by being defeated in battle).
2by kidnapping babies to one day deepen their shallow gene pool.
3by blighting their truffle-sniffing pigs.
4by spreading a plague of rust across their iron implements.
5by letting its tamed wolf packs “graze” on their herds.
6by leading their sleeping children off into the night with fey music.
7by impersonating their nobility at masquerades to cultivate scandals.
8by cursing interlopers with animal heads.
9by correcting their pronunciation of their own languages, based on far older antecedents.
10by dealing nasty forest drugs.
11by introducing individualistic values to the peasantry.
12by elongating the tax collectors that came to them into noodley abominations.
13by providing fickle support in wars to weaken them all.
14by stitching a bunch of people together into a living quilt.
15by throwing raucous bacchanals that keep everyone up at night.
16by playing human rivals off each other for their own benefit.
17by contaminating their wells with deliriants.
18by undermining the historical narratives that legitimize their states.
19by releasing a pest that eats their crops.
20by robbing merchants then leaving their luxury goods to rot.
D20Despite the annoyance, you might come to this forest retreat
1to barter for one of their cigar-golems, paper-wrapped effigies animated by the esoteric herbs smouldering within them.
2to rob the elves’ mummies, worth as much for the amber they’re preserved in as the grave goods they’re entombed with.
3to purchase sweet resins, spices, and incense.
4to learn philosophy, history, and the natural sciences with those elves who studied at the feet of long-dead masters.
5to get magic seeds that can grow into whole plants in moments.
6to acquire a changeling to replace someone you can’t subvert by other means.
7to be instructed in elven sword-arts that mimic the flickering of flames and the swipes of bears.
8for the impossibly fine brushes they make from the fur of newborn squirrels, prized by painters beyond all others.
9to purchase the birds that they’ve taught to spy and speak.
10to be taught their spear-arts, which let you harry your opponents as an all-encompassing wreath of thorns.
11because they know the art of twisting curses into blessings and blessings into curses.
12because there’s been a heavy bounty put out on elf ears.
13because they're the only ones who remember the very specific method to kill an otherwise-immortal creature.
14because they're the only ones who might have the first-hand knowledge to settle a doctrinal dispute that threatens to split a church in half.
15to win allies able to fight against an enemy that is equally infuriatingly fey.
16to acquire maps of this land as it was when it was still young.
17to identify a curse so subtle that shorter-lived beings might not even perceive it.
18because only they know how to tame cool animals you might want for mounts, like giant lemurs or whatever.
19because it's hidden from the eyes of the gods, even (especially) the evil ones that might want to smite you.
20because they remember the names of demons unrecorded in any grimoire.