Wednesday, May 15, 2024

D20x5 Staristocrats of the Faufreluchean Future

Inspired by Solomon VK's Faufreluche posts.

Click the button below to generate your staristocrat:

Special thanks to Spwack for the generator generator here:

D20 This staristocrat's badge of office 
1 is a golden diadem which projects a hologram of Old Sol from its highest tine, as well as the rest of Man's Cradle-System orbiting about it.
2 is a hideous diamondoid mask made in the image of an alien demi-god from whom their esteemed house claims descent.
3 is an auroran magneto-cloth cape which flares with the oscillations of subtle fields.
4 is a porous meteoric amulet that echoes with the music of the spheres.
5 is a blade of enchained magnetic monopoles channeling ouroboric tangles of plasma - ever-glowing, their patterned glows expressing the cyclical yet self-degrading nature of the cosmos, able to cut through all but the most unnaturally enforced materials.
6 is a scepter containing a degenerate micro-verse within its topping globe.
7 is a battered helmet pulled from the suit of one of the first humans to reach outer space.
8 is a battle standard bearing the heraldry of their family, and topped with the head of a lion, preserved and animated to roaring unlife by cybernetic tubes woven through its flesh and bone.
9 is a halo of abstract mathematics, written directly on the fabric of space-time rather than mere matter.
10 is a pauldron of fused silicon, the remains of an artificial intelligence which almost overcame humanity.
11 is a dilating-lens lantern of an indestructible, orange-green alloy - fully unleashed, its actinic brilliance can guide in a ship from high orbit.
12 is a vial of their own, genetically-perfected blood, crystallized into a ruby-like gem.
13 is a crown of golden rings hovering about each other, each engraved with the zodiac of a different solar system.
14 is a famous artifact of Earth preserved within a temporal stasis-orb.
15 is a set of infrasonic pan pipes that can manipulate the minds of men and machine alike.
16 is a holy book written by the first settler of their world, in an eclectic script unreadable by anyone yet living.
17 is a shield with a brazen, hypercubic boss and a rippling purplish forcefield about.
18 is a labrys bearing edges honed to subatomic sharpness with whetstones hewn from the preternaturally dense heart of a collapsed star.
19 is a bowl holding a fractal bonzai grafted with branches of every fruit-bearing tree of humanity's homeworld.
20 is the head-sized smaragdine egg of some voidborne beast, the inevitable hatching of which is said to herald the end of the universe.
D20 This staristocrat's holdings 
1 lie under a dimming sun, weakened by its fusion-harvest which forms the foundation of the staristocrat's wealth.
2 contain no life-bearing worlds, its population sustained only by technocratic hydro-pneumatic despotism.
3 bear the glassy-green sheen and asymmetrical mutations left by ancient nuclear war.
4 are mineral-rich but poor in organics and water, expending most of their export-wealth on life-giving imports just to survive.
5 produce a unique and inimitable spice, and are thus coveted by an extra-solar rival.
6 are either watery or gaseous, with dry, solid ground an unimaginable luxury - the populace living on great rafts or aerostats.
7 have recently absorbed a mass of refugees fleeing a black swan xeno-threat.
8 were enclosed from the common space of comet-cowboys, who plague it with their raids to this day.
9 are nestled among the ruins of an extinct alien civilization, probed only gently for fear of waking their automatic guardians.
10 are slowly but surely having their life-giving atmospheres stripped away by the rapacious solar wind of their red gigantism-suffering sun.
11 are deliberately kept ignorant of the wider galactic community to reduce their capacity to revolt, and so that the ruling class can portray themselves as deific through their technological capabilities.
12 are undergoing a long and delicate process of terraforming which structures cultural and religious cycles around these artificial seasons and critical thresholds.
13 are overgrown with a police state only nominally under the staristocrat's authority, and the computational bureaucracy that's arisen to process all their surveillance.
14 are infamous for their permissiveness, and abound in every sort of vice.
15 are torn apart on a planetary scale for the sake of resource-harvest and industry, and what unruptured ground exists is blanketed in choking smog outside sealed habitats.
16 were recently seized from a treasonous vassal and bestowed upon this staristocrat - the old holder's sympathizers still lurk within the population, evading the claws of inquisition.
17 exist mostly fictitiously, as moving shell-games of companies and titles.
18 are centered on an ecumenopolis with some roads paved with stones hewn before humanity's ancestors came down from the trees - its corners hide occultic dens of our darkest imaginings.
19 are generally scorching, deserts or liquid hells, their structures mirrored and extending tubes of heat exchanges and radiators like a seraphim wings.
20 are verdant in all forms of life - none go hungry, yet many are eaten, and a clan of masked physicians go about the populace to rebuke the tides of plague.
D20 This staristocrat is attended by 
1 a harem of genetically-engineered Willendorfian Venuses, bearing a continuous stream of heirs who will duel over the matter of their inheritance in the arena of their crèche.
2 artful historians hunchbent over data-tablets, preserving every moment and detail of the staristocrat's life in imperishable crystalline records.
3 nigh-invisible bodyguards swaddled in light-bending metamaterial cloaks, heat haze auras ready to strike down any offense against their master.
4 clanking cyborg-knights - behind their cuirasses are tanks preserving the most loyal and chivalrous parts of their mortal brains.
5 slaves bearing explosive collars - the tribute of many conquered worlds.
6 a squadron of musclebound eunuch-janissaries raised from childhood with size- and strength-stimulating hormones and non-stop brainwashing.
7 clones of themself educated according to various traditions as diverse yet biologically-partial advisors.
8 the cryogenically-preserved heads of their forefathers, which sometimes dispense shivering, crackling counsel.
9 hovering laser-turrets fitted with targeting algorithms able to anticipate their master's desire to kill before it's consciously felt.
10 an enormous parrot with impeccable skill at mimicry, whose mind has been overwritten with every song recorded by humanity up until the time of its creation.
11 a pair of titanic wolfdogs, with metallic teeth that could rend apart a tank and hides that have turned aside artillery-shells.
12 the plush animatronic companion of their childhood, its digital personality updated to be a competent advisor.
13 a caste of butlers who've served their family for generations, bred like pedigreed dogs.
14 a choir singing their praises, the choir's lungs replaced with cybernetic jet-intakes slatted between ribs, so that they might sing unceasing.
15 a former whipping boy, their oldest friend, bearing the delicate scars of tremendously sophisticated tortures.
16 tumbling jesters dressed in patchworks of impossible colours captured from the coronas of half-real suns.
17 technotheologic angels dancing through the air on wings of incandescent blazons.
18 abductees from primitive worlds fitted with neural implants which make them believe they are simply in an extended dream.
19 a team of chefs who can prepare the delicacies of a dozen worlds, never repeating the same twice in their master's lifetime.
20 grey masters of anagathic science, whisper-arguing over the injections and ointments that will quicken them a while longer.
D20 This staristocrat's court 
1 is entertained by a vapourous alien intelligence which takes possession of lesser courtiers through a fanciful hookah.
2 has its lesser members partially memory-wiped when they attend it - able to recall their skills, yet unable to remember much of their own identities, and so how to apply those skills for personal benefit.
3 is deliberately, performatively humble, held in barns and suchlike.
4 is overlooked by a cine-dome showing stars, moons, and constellations in fortuitous alignments.
5 is addicted to novelty, and constantly seeks new performances and grotesques.
6 is made up nepotistically of their siblings who did not win the contest to inherit the throne.
7 are waited on hand and foot by fragile ceramic robots imprinted with the tightly-enchained engrams of political criminals.
8 takes place entirely remotely - members are provided radio-devices with frequencies that trigger voice-like vibrations in great bells this staristocrat is in the constant presence of.
9 were at first ironically and now legitimately entranced by a bloody cult of sacrifice and agonies.
10 has been forced to accept elected representatives from among the populace by a revolt - to the grumblings of those who attained their positions through inheritance.
11 is wracked by a scandal involving mistresses overspending from public coffers.
12 is perpetually-wrapped in augmented-reality projections of mythic mimesis.
13 is burrowed among the roots of the biggest mountain of their throne-world, so that it could survive all but the most devastating attacks.
14 are all accompanied by a member of an order of courtesan-assassins implanted with acid-glands in case their charge shows overt disloyalty.
15 solve disputes among themselves with duels, and drill daily with various weapons and fighting styles.
16 is held within a hollow pyramid, with this staristocrat at the top point and many stairs and levels filtering petitioners between them and the entrance at the base.
17 is largely taken over by a conspiracy to poison this staristocrat, and even the uninvolved have begun to circle like vultures.
18 is a ring of stone thrones built to scale with the renown of the one who sits upon them - this staristocrat themself sits like a small child on a throne fit for giants - their seneschal on a stool.
19 is held around a colosseum, where gladiators and vicious alien beasts fight for their amusement and haruspexies.
20 is itinerant, a grand airship which hovers above the realms of hosting vavasours.
D20 This staristocrat's noble flaw
1 is hubris - they believe they can become like God by funding breakneck scientific process.
2 is bravery - they will fight to the last in the face of overwhelming odds, even if better options present themselves.
3 is honour - their thinking is rigid and totally un-utilitarian.
4 is generousity - they give without thinking, disrupting economies and fostering dependence with their largesse.
5 is parental love - they spoil their children on a terrible, cosmic scale.
6 is a thirst for justice - a continent has burned due to their need for a punishment fitting a truly awful crime.
7 is filial piety - their increasingly-senile dowager-mother has them tied around her bony finger.
8 is tolerance - they've cultivated cosmopolitan communities, yet failed to confront division and rising extremism.
9 is an aesthetic sense that is souring into decadence.
10 is persistence - they are a dogged obsessive.
11 is realpolitik - they've alienated possible allies with ruthlessness.
12 is faith - they lean often into outright zealotry.
13 is cautiousness - they often dive into outright paranoia.
14 is competitiveness - they're innovative, but often only in the tortures applied to defeated rivals.
15 is cleanliness - they have advanced to a purgative germaphobia.
16 is contentment - they have come to peace with all things, even if others demand their action.
17 is honesty - they will never lie, even if it benefits them and their people.
18 is is humility - they are overly-convinced of their own incapacity.
19 is romantic love - their spouse manipulates them to their knowledge yet total acquiescence.
20 is imagination - their fancies often end up unproductive or outright destructive.

Monday, May 13, 2024

D6x6 Fanciful Forms of Faster-Than-Light Travel

Click the button below to generate your very own form of faster-than-light travel:

Special thanks to Spwack for the generator generator here:

D6This form of faster-than-light travel
1shunts vessels between this universe and an alternate, bizarre one where distances are much shorter.
2opens a stable wormhole between two points in space.
3can only transfer information, and not matter as such.
4warps the laws of physics around a vessel, effectively increasing the speed of light for it.
5attaches a vessel like a remora to the bodies of higher-dimensional entities capable of moving in ways that defy the expectations of our lower-dimensional science.
6instantly teleports a vessel to its destination.
D6This form of faster-than-light travel is dependent on
1enormous, fantastically-expensive relay structures.
2the worship and appeasement of beings outside the normal flow of time, who will annihilate any egregious violations of causality.
3extensively-trained operators dosed up on rare, difficult to synthesize nootropics.
4correctly measuring and waiting for certain cosmic alignments which open the way for it.
5the discovery and charting of pre-existing "corridors" - a risky business.
6bespoke engines that have to be custom-made to exacting specifications for each and every vessel.
D6A side-effect of this form of faster-than-light travel is
1that conscious minds and sufficiently-advanced active computer systems exposed to it experience it as narcotic & highly addictive.
2that its use weakens the membrane of reality, risking anomalous entities slipping through.
3that it disables vessels that use it for a while after arriving at their destination, leaving them vulnerable.
4that vessels using it (and the people on those vessels) subjectively experience as many years in transit as lightyears they traveled - most people need to be kept in stasis during the journey, or they'll go mad from understimulation.
5that it exposes vessels and people to deviant radiation that's neither particle nor wave, inducing inhuman mutations & mentalities.
6that sometimes vessels and people using it end up where they're really not supposed to - fused together, in a parallel universe, showing up 1,000 years after they were supposed to arrive, etc.
D6This form of faster-than-light travel was discovered
1by an alien species, and then shared partially with humanity in an attempt to make us their client species.
2disastrously, in an accident which destroyed Earth's moon.
3simultaneously by a couple countries, in a time when global tensions were funneled into scientific and cultural competition.
4in ancient alien ruins on Saturn's moon Titan.
5under circumstances that have since become mythic - many polities and ideologies now claim credit for it.
6accidentally, in an attempt to create a new form of computation after the gains from quantum computing plateaued.
D6A limit of this form of faster-than-light travel
1is its range - you have to make a number of smaller "hops" with it rather than one large "leap" to get just about anywhere.
2is that its use is disrupted by gravity wells - in Earth's solar system you'd have to fly out to about the orbit of Pluto to use it.
3is volume - vessels using it must be small, and ration space exactingly.
4is that consecutive uses within a certain span of time cause damage to build up in vessels and people, often lethally.
5is that its energy usage is very intensive - antimatter-matter reaction cores are often necessary.
6is its imprecision - you can aim for the ballpark of your destination, but anything closer than that is up to luck.
D6Besides traveling faster-than-light, the technology of this form of faster-than-light travel can be used for
1weapons that bypass conventional defenses.
2artificial gravity, and anti-gravity.
3projecting forcefields.
4manufacturing materials with exotic properties.
5creating pocket dimensions, and spaces that are larger on the inside than the outside.
6a process of ascension to a god-like (at least relative to baseline humans) state, though this is not easy by any means, and can quite quickly lead to fates worse than death.

Friday, May 10, 2024

D6x6 Alien Warrior Species

In real life the concept of a "warrior race" is Bad, False, and Racist. Do not, under any circumstances, kidnap Samoans, Russians, Russo-Samoans, etc., and force them to breed in your secret island enclave, teaching them martial arts and culling the weak. Do not do this for many generations. It would be problematic. You would NOT become the greatest eugenicist-warlord since Yakub.

No, this generator is not about creating a race of Russo-Samoan warrior babies. It is an homage to klingons and krogans and suchlike. Please forward any and all complaints to my sensitivity reader.

Special thanks to friends of the blog Phlox & deus ex parabola for help brainstorming this post, and to Spwack for making the generator generator here:

Click the button below to generate your alien warrior species:

Of the same tableated sci-fi universe as these generators:

D20x5 Space Marines

D6x6 Xeno-Swarms

D6x6 Rebellious Robots

D6x6 Alien Parasites

D6 This alien species resembles
1 perpetually-collapsing tensegrity sculptures of twirling black blades bound together by spool-wound white sinews.
2 wrinkly tardigrade-hydras, circular and toothsome throats peeking from armoured hoods.
3 mineral-streaked boulders carried by lumbering claws, irregular eyes peeking through cracks.
4 a ribcage made up of scaly fingers tipped with martini-glasses of tendrils.
5 articulated chess pieces or crenellated towers, rings of muscle within tall segments of colourful shell topped by marvellous crests - they've got a single wide, muscular foot at their base they can slide around on, or produce a cushion of air beneath like a hovercraft to "sprint".
6 blimps bound and squeezed into a hexapodal form, covered in gasping pores - their muscular and circulatory systems are pneumatic - a hardened undercarriage houses their more vital organs.
D6 This alien species is often thought of as warriors 
1 because they co-evolved with a predator species of aggressive mimics - as a result their in-group/out-group reactions are amped up compared to humans, and they maintain a plethora of shibboleths and other social tests and react poorly, often violently to those who try to win them over improperly.
2 because they are the descendants of a group of gladiators who fell in love with each other and fought their way off of a precursor colosseum-planet Band of Thebes-style, stealing biotechnology on their way out to create hybrid children with each other.
3 because their first, second, and third contacts with other aliens species went poorly for them due to them being overly-trusting, so they default to a more cynical, aggressive approach nowadays.
4 because due to the vagaries of evolution they are on average much bigger and stronger than other species they've encountered, though this is not much of an advantage on technologically-advanced battlefields.
5 because, in their pre-contact days, they anticipated a galaxy under a dark forest scenario, and so modified themselves en masse to be more capable of and inclined to violence.
6 because many of them adhere to a religion that praises conversion by the sword.
D6 This alien species' signature weapon
1 is a complex megaphone which amplifies and phases-up the sound of their poetic insults to lethal levels.
2 is a combined miniature chemical plant and pneumatic launcher, which can rapidly whip up and output pellets of explosives, incendiaries, potent corrosives, nerve agents, and suchlike.
3 is something like a sword, though with more angles and edges than is really practical. Most often used symbolically.
4 is a gun which fires a stream of magnetically-guided nano-particles which denature proteins on contact, reducing living things to slop.
5 is an array of lasers that coordinate to cut their enemies into neat cubes or other fun shapes.
6 is a sort of telescoping exo-frame that exponentially magnifies the force they can output.
D6 This alien species' greatest victory recorded in general history 
1 was against their very gods in the distant past, so they claim, though other species say this was merely a delegation sent to uplift them.
2 was a Pyrrhic one, a fleet engagement with a far more advanced enemy around an unstable star, which they managed to drag out long enough for the star to explode and wipe out both sides.
3 was when a conquering warlord at last united them after a century of strife.
4 was when they were able to repel a paradoxical monster back into the darkness of intergalactic space, after all others had fled.
5 was a daring raid deep into territory controlled by an enemy empire, which assaulted that empire's throne-world and decapitated their leadership in an instant.
6 was of a commando unit getting trapped on an enemy planet, and essentially re-inventing an industrial base to take over that planet.
D6 Others might say of this alien species: "Perhaps some of us could learn from these so-called barbarians" because
1 they abhor lying and the breaking of oaths - both capital offences in their society.
2 they avoid decadence - drugs, luxuries, indolence, and suchlike.
3 many of them are willing to die in defense of the weak, and give their lives in service to the poor.
4 their delicious cuisine is broadly appealing to many species.
5 they're dedicated environmentalists, and take pains to preserve wilderness and animal lives on planets they've invaded.
6 they take aesthetics seriously, and can express beauty even in violence.
D6 This alien species practices the funeral ritual 
1 if the dead has been killed by another of making their remains into weapons with which a blood feud will be pursued.
2 of exchanging the remains of their dead with other families to be consumed and so cement bonds, performing a similar function to marriage.
3 of freeze-drying the dead, crumbling them to dust, then incorporating this dust into the foundations of buildings.
4 of interring their mummified dead in grand barges in orbit around their homeworld's sun - when a barge's catacombs are filled it spreads its solar sails and descends into the sun to be immolated.
5 of a process like plastination, only using metal to preserve the dead as sculptures.
6 of public dissection and making art out of the causes of death.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Slush Pile 10

Previously, on slush piles:

Slush Pile 1

Slush Pile 2

Slush Pile 3

Slush Pile 4

Slush Pile 5

Slush Pile 6

Slush Pile 7

Slush Pile 8 

Slush Pile 9

"The silver cord is the electronic shadow of the umbilical cord" (neat phrase, but in context was about a man massaging mothers' feet to get their toddler to stop tantruming)

-Species of hermit crab that nibbles the heads off corpses, settling in the stump of their neck and puppeting them around
-Army ants are able to form their own bodies into structures - bridges to cross gaps, rafts to cross rivers - species of army ant that picks skeletons clean then forms themselves into "muscles" on the bones to ambulate
-Animal that lives in snowy area - instinctually rolls up snowballs into structures and traps - not like dung beetles though, too obvious
-White apes are not domesticated, not even tamed, simply kept amicably drunk - their hangover-induced rages should their supply taper off are the stuff of nightmares
-Like Warhammer lashworms - monster that nests in crevices & cracks with extendable body that can strike out at a distance, can only be struck in return by long weapons, or by flooding crack with oil and setting it alight, or somesuch
-For a darker dryad: the Bellflower Maiden from Ao Oni: The Animation (Movie) - a parasitic plant with blue flowers - makes men hallucinate that it's a beautiful woman, uses them like bees to infect actual women with its seeds, the women become possessed by the plant and eventually eaten from the inside out to spawn a new one, the man's penis is eaten by a flower and then he mutates into a big blue ogre to defend it
-From Godzilla: Kaijuu Wakusei - giant monster emerges on planet, wipes out native life, replaces biosphere with organisms derived from itself
-Like sand hunter, monster with small hivemind in packs - attacks with limited self-sacrifice, grappling & exploding & suchlike - hard to train initially but very valuable once they are - can retain training for many generations
-Ice toads are sapient & can talk... noted to struggle building tools/shelter because of their lack of thumbs... perhaps toad-city painstakingly licked out of the ice like Audhumla... lava tubes dug out and the lava flash-frozen into objects of complex obsidian shape
-Loonatics, driven mad by the waterfowls' call, dive endlessly beneath the waves chasing drowned moonbeams - the abundant foam around their mouths is enough to filter the water to breathability - they eat lugworms and swallow mussels whole, and seek to enslave sane surface-dwellers to serve their bizarre & futile quest
-Ghouls who reach a certain maturity - or putrescence - will devour their own eyes, lips, and limbs, and wriggle down into the bowels of the earth as great pallid worms
-Monster bound to particular location - like undead guarding a tomb - which can bring one person back to a sort of half-like and mark them - it releases them from its territory, making them believe they survived a brush with death, while acting as a tether that allows the monster to leave the place it's bound to to hunt fresh prey
-Warlord Bromeliads: Desert plants that grow a single fruit of tremendous size - animals eat warrens into its yellowy flesh and have their brains altered by the enzymes (or whatever chemical) within - they come to see their host-plant with tremendous loyalty, and can be marshaled by it to march against its rivals
-Giants with names & life-cycles like stars?
-A radio or sonic signal which liquefies internal organs of people exposed to it for long enough into hungry slimes, which puppeteer the corpse they're in for a while with varying ability before fully consuming them and merging into a living sea beneath the source of the signal - perhaps devices can be found which produce a counter-signal able to cause this sea to congeal and disgorge new servitor-forms
-Bad pun... poplar opposite... a doppelganger spawned from a clonal colony of poplar trees, all sap and supple wood under the skin that looks so much like yours...
-Modern horror hag: crazy cat lady & her chowder of cats linked telepathically and deranged by mutant toxoplasmosis - seek to kidnap infant compatible with the strain as new prime host
-Guys with anthills in their gums instead of teeth

Gun made with the springlike core muscle of the haun,
Apron more like the chestpiece and gorget of a bomb disposal suit, for smithing rowdy elementals into shape,
Thoqqlock muskets, made with the red-hot horntip of a thoqqua,
Communication device utilizing the connection between bodies of xantravars
Spit-snakes fitted into grooved tubes by a fireside, turning roasting meat at an appreciable rate as they find a more comfortable temperature - often the snake whose venom felled the beast which the meat came from is given the honour of turning it
Birch trees grown in the winter dead - their bark unwound like a spool of tape, but still attached! - and burned projects visions of the luminous threshold

Spellbooks as like those mostly-tedious creepypastas with names like The Candlestick Game that are long lists of instructions with intimations of terrible fates if you stray... wiggle your fingers just so for a fireball... but beware not to twist your tongue on the Eleven Syllables... or you will be gotten by the Blue Entity...

Sound can affect gene expression - extrapolated setting: jazz gene-hackers in 1920s New York operating under the nose of Rockefeller Foundation eugenicists, rubbing shoulders with bootlegging mafiosos
-re: planetary ambient noise note from 7th slush pile, and its absence causing anxiety in astronauts - the morphogenetic field is a sonic phenomenon, music expressed through the medium of biology, a world- and species-uniting teleology with a coda as its end

There's precursor-species in the Abyss & Hell - the obyrith & old ba'atorians - supplanted by demons & devils with the influx of human souls - what predates angels in the heavens, the pre-human Good?

An incorruptible corpse with hair that never stopped growing, woven by its worshipers into shroud-armour
-perhaps in setting with reincarnation or fated births or somesuch - pre-saints - beniformed fetus softly shuddering on a velvet pillow within a golden monstrance, taken from the womb which once held it to be an object of veneration, to grow into a person of great power and virtue when the appointed hour arrives

The kings of this kingdom bend a living tree into their throne - the patience and skill to do so a sign of their aptitude for leadership - the court is a grove housing the thrones of kings past

Programmable bacteriophages - the technocratic solution to the end of penicillin and so on - are the origin of GenoDie - haplogroup-targeted virus

"At the lowest layers of Arborea is a bleak desert littered with the bones of gargantuan creatures, and ruins belonging to no known civilization, holding secret words that can destroy gods" - "no gods no masters" as practical principle and hidden weapon of chaotic good, uncomfortable overlap with nihilism of the Grey Waste

A lich whose phylactery is the spell which bears their name
-A lich who minted their phylactery into currency, and cannot be killed so long as this currency's in circulation
-A lich whose phylactery is a sub-culture - more fitting for modern, humourous games - their soul possessing in part all goths or hippies or somesuch
-A lich whose phylactery is an altered lycanthropic curse, infecting people so that they become the lich when the moon shines full
-A lich who made the fountain of youth or philosopher's stone or somesuch their phylactery - destroying it will make powerful enemies

"There is a network of caverns that still resounds with the primordial frequency of the world's birth screams" - from World of Darkness: Mysterious Places - great line

Bug lepers which is like leprosy but instead of your nose falling off your body is slowly turning into bugs
-Mourners with red-painted faces, singing songs of grief and otherworld-sending from the moment their relative passed within their house to sundown
-Sea called Sacred Blue...
-There's sleepy catfish hibernating in the riverbed that are fished by hoarse-voiced old people who stick their heads underwater and scream to wake them up - it's a dying art

Worship of evil god of strength and so on ironically leading to halfway-decent society - many stronger than one, healthy stronger than sick, cooperation stronger than division, etc. - aqueducts and ritual public execution of criminals

Dungeon decorated with giant stone heads - depictions of gods or archetypal masks used by inhuman benefactors - trickster-head indicates puzzle or hidden feature, warrior-head indicates guardian-beast ahead, etc. - can also squash things with them

An order of wizards who, instead of taking toads or crows or somesuch as familiars, instead themselves become the familiars of beings as much above humans as we are above toads or crows or suchlike

Words that would make good names for monsters: druse, druxy, draggle, dracontine, gangrel, humectant, emollient, rinky-dink, floccose, manciple, syzygy, adumbral, baetylus, tiddleywinks, iatrogen, leucist, cotillion, kibosh, curvet, poltroon, phalanstery, ganch, thiol, stulm, craniopagus, welch, ossein, congener, azeotrope, speleothem

Passage in dungeon - big statue of crocodile with open mouth, gullet leads to other room full of treasure (grave goods) - mural on wall depicts mummified dead being slid into its mouth - statue will allow those wrapped up like mummy through, but chomp up anything else

Practically-applied psychophysical harmony - exotic & extreme emotional states applied to people to make their bodies & brains into molecular assemblers for novel, useful chemicals, labs of phenomenologists & affective neuroscientists drafting up theoretical qualia, their environmental and so on inducers, the valuable products which might be extracted from those experiencing them - simultaneous knowledge that this industry is based on the reality of God and flagrant defiance of Him

Fantasy biome - farmfields of inscrutable crops, cultivated by fallen civilization, should be tasty nutritious fare but nobody remembers how to safely harvest or process the crops, and the scarecrow-equivalents are very deadly

Leysers - weaponized ley lines, menhirs shooting earth-shaking beams, druids in ablative stone spaceships launched into orbit for astrological schemes

Post-nuclear apocalypse - radical anti-radiation biotechnology - like butterflies retain memories of their caterpillar-lives, humans liquefied into massively-redundant neural soup, contained in insectoid chrysalis-exoskeletons - perhaps need to occasionally scan or even consume baseline humans to correct for errors that creep into their soup-selves, or against The Science they start metamorphosizing into something inhuman & terrible

The weapons wielded by a hobgoblin army are all wives in the harem of their warlord - the corpses sired by them are the legitimate children of the warlord and their wives - for a warlord's soldiers to use weapons of their own on campaign would be considered something like cuckoldry

Alien artifact - bio-slurry of millions of distinct structurally-unusual proteins akin to prions - don't fold each other, but when in contact with biomass odds are at least one of the proteins will be able to interact & catalyze transformation of the biomass into that of the aliens who created the artifact, complete with genetically-programmed memory - kind of like bit harder sci-fi version of the black sludge from Prometheus

A.I. emulation of the dead - there was a Black Mirror episode about this - variant: A.I. emulation of the living - elder-care robots in near-future of increasingly-geriatric populations, built in emulation of children and grandchildren for the comfort & reassurance of their charges - because said charges are probably in some level of cognitive decline the emulation wouldn't even need to be that good - could make for good Capgras syndrome-esque horror story from perspective of senile protagonist

In large enough crowd, humans behave like fluids - not sure if this is actually true, but it sounds true - many ways you could build off that - human solutions, human acids, vapourization of people to colonize the clouds, etc.

Pounce: Fine powder often made from powdered cuttlefish bone or sandarac resin, used to dry ink and make rough writing surfaces smooth enough for writing. Kept in a pouncet-box.
-perhaps  more exotic powders are required for pounce used for scrolls & suchlike
- a pouncet-box made out of a gawp-mouthed taxidermied imp - in real-world, the exploding fruit of the sandbox tree was used for pouncet-boxes, hard to improve on that

A humpty-dumpty man with a parasite living in his skull - when it needs to feed it bursts out, and when it wishes to return to its host it pieces his head back together around it and re-animates him
-skin like just-now-creamsplashed coffee

Certain electromagnetic frequencies can actually repair tissues - perhaps the "negative energy" which animates the undead is a misunderstanding of these frequencies when they are powerful enough to return dead tissue to life
-necromantic rites use the negative quasi-elements (salt, ash, dust, and void) to leash the anti-engine of negative energy to dead flesh - e.g. open the ribs of a corpse, remove its heart, and place a hot coal in the place where its heart lay with your bare hand - bite a blister that grows because of this and let the fluid dribble into the corpse's mouth - the corpse will rise and dance as you order, but must be regularly slaked with fine wine, or the pain in its chest will drive it insane

Man with pygmy marmoset, or something with similar frantic monkey energy, tethered to his wrist, screeching and scrambling about - the tether links their veins together, pumping pure frenetic little guy adrenaline into the man's bloodstream

A sort of lime which can only be slaked by blood - makes the finest whitewash and mortar, fit for the homes of kings

Snuff societies jealously protect the recipes of their mixes and the iconography of their trays and snort-tubes - each claims the bones of a different animal for their exclusive use, and the spirits of these animals are their liasion to the wider cosmos

Blemmyes, lacking heads, also lack conventional brains - their autonomic nerves take up the burden of cognition - this distributed consciousness tends to lead to blemmyes having a less discrete & singular idea of personhood, and also their leg might wriggle around on its own for a bit after you chop it off

A far-future Earth, tunneled through down to its core (mined-out) and saved from its exploding sun out of sentiment - 100+ billion years in the future - an unimaginably-long age of wonders before the death of the stars, now post-human super-intelligences only reside in Dyson spheres around artificial black holes, leaving planets like Earth to the more human-like, low-energy life to reclaim, surrounded by the power-hungry wreckage of the past

Flea-men - or big intelligent fleas - evolved on the bodies of hairy hill giants, learned to turn giants and smaller men into obedient mounts by tapping out some of their cerebrospinal fluid

A pandemic disease similar to Alzheimer's, which weakens the ability of those infected by it to distinguish between memories of dreams and reality
-OR in wake of Satanic ritual abuse panic, false memory creation/recovery becomes super-science, applied en masse to make people remember a new history

Desert nomad raids to unearth and destroy the orgone cloudbusters creating an artificial rainshadow

Modern horror seeds:
-"Why don't coal miners just learn to code?" + biotechnology - treatment is developed to return childhood-like neuroplasticity to the brain for easier retraining of reserve labour, however this treatment can also cause tissues to become undifferentiated tissue and redevelop into new appendages, organs, etc. - This is accepted by the corporate overlords as an acceptable side effect, even beneficial when your new team of coders becomes adapted to work around the clock in cramped and deprived conditions, but soon enough people who've received the treatment begin to adapt to unplanned for ends - becoming able to live off scavenged trash, survive without shelter, become predators of pacified and sedentary populations, and so on and so on. - perhaps endgame of most people reduced to interlinked substrate, their consciousnesses reduced to producing a utopian dream-simulation for the virtualized rich
-You remember those dolls that could eat and poop (odd toys) - ok they’re that but in fact shells for alien/genetically engineered/shadow biosphere whatever that got snuck into the product to further their life cycle while hiding from prying eyes, and I don’t know they brainwash kids into murdering their families or something - crack a plastic/porcelain doll open and it’s some metamorphosing caterpillar soup inside
-Lowest performing programmers at some corporation receive ultimatum - become test subjects for eye drops meant to improve focus and prevent eye strain when spending long hours staring at screens or get fired - key ingredient in eye drops is some parasite in supposedly “docile” form - “more realistic” life cycle - test subjects become prone to internet radicalization and random violence, thus exposing more people to the parasites through their fluids - Or have the parasites let them see ghosts/ghoulies/demons/home dimension of the ultraterrestrial parasites or whatever - Or: first sign of trouble, test subject start committing suicide at statistically improbable rate - corporation gets concerned because the test subjects had some promising projects going on - turns out parasite ramps up pattern recognition to irrational levels, test subjects think they’ve invented brain uploading, have put together useless nightmare machine that spits out random outputs the parasite hosts interpret as the souls of the dead - suicides think they’ve joined the machine - whole office turned into booby trapped maze due to their paranoia
-Celebrity architect fascinated by "Sick Building Syndrome" sets out to create the sickest possible building - makes real "haunted" mansion that can drive people in it insane, which becomes pilgrimage site - and often final resting place of - urban explorers and youtube content hounds
-People figure out a way to get high by sticking their head in a microwave with a few modifications but it makes you dangerous crazy and it's on the internet - maybe it's like that thing where a magnet on your head can give you religious experiences and now there's an evangelical microwave cult grabbing people and cooking their brains and oh no they've stolen a police truck with an anti-riot microwave weapon on the back and now things are getting very serious very quickly
-Rods and cones are sentient now and in a civil war in everyone's eyes and the rods are making people watch black and white movies and the cones are doing Jackson Pollock splatters out of anything colourful within reach and it's going very badly for everyone (Stephen King pastiche)

More recent Lovecraftian stuff leans more away from it "driving you insane" and more towards extreme stress reactions - but maybe this "Lovecraftian madness" is a real (within the setting) phenomenon distinct from mental illness - like four-dimensional pressure waves caused by entities moving through higher dimensions are what cause it, similar and potentially treatable lesions & ruptures & so forth - maybe certain exposure can even warp the brain and nerves into higher dimensions, and that's how you get sorcerers

Beholders and Eyes of Fear & Flame both stem from the Intraocular Heresy - eyes which learned to emit their own illicit spectra, rather than submit to the orthodox light of the stars

Superheroic 5eish D&D taken to natural conclusion - only one person of each class, each a PC or important NPC, there are not barbarians but THE BARBARIAN, CHAMPION OF RAGING RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!, or THE ASTOUNDING SORCERER!!! - these superheroes/villains are the only people with character class levels in the world, that is their superpower - perhaps similar for monsters - THE BEHOLDER, MASTERMIND OF THE OCULAR ARTS!!! - and they all fight/do crime in THE METROPOLIS OF WATERDEEP or what have you
-for general superhero stuff: Sideways Street, a settlement in a frozen moment of time, a whole little society in the slice of a fraction of a sub-segment of a second, a sort of temporal Sargasso Sea populated by speedsters and time travelers who swung too close to a snag in the speed of light to easily escape it

Hexcrawl feature: giant whirlpool & the hulk-flotilla, mermaid sargassum-town, dead zaratan pirate hideout, etc. around it - each day or watch or what have you the hexes swing around the whirlpool clockwise, takes twice as long or more to travel against the current

Ok so depressant drugs slow down the heart, and stimulants speed it up... how about like a tele-drug that averages/distributes the hearts of those on it... and users would be pressed to get more people hooked on it because otherwise they risk dying...
-from World of Darkness's Orpheus: a drug that causes those who overdose on it to become a special kind of ghost/undead --perhaps the aforementioned heartlink drug also connects those who die on it to the "community", and they know that unless they can get more living people hooked they'll be damned to an especially bad hell - perhaps the drug itself is distilled from their ectoplasm, and their choices are damnation or dissolution into the collective through intoxication

Irish-Rwandan-Anatolian syncretic cattle raid epic-based game
-I ching-Ifa fusion prophetic digital system

Return of the hero cult in the form of networks of parasocial cells used for identity formation => strategy of tension / stochastic violence - kendrick IS obama IS the ghost of kiev IS captain america, so go out and crack the skulls of some drake-putin fleshbot trolls
-similar idea, but tricking wiccan granola witchy types to make chemical weapons by convincing them they're magic potions

Science-as-the-new-religion but done seriously, couples matched based on statistical compatibility, exchange injections of atlantic puffin oxytocin instead of vows, country carved out into experimental cantons where new technocratic policies can be imposed and tested, studies which contradict The Science covered up or not funded in the first place, brains scanned and heads frozen in anticipation of future technological resurrection, everyone who disagrees diagnosed as mentally ill, rocket-pilgrimages to the furthest corners of space that mankind has reached, etc.

Sci-fi setting wherein the only FTL travel is mental/psychic, possessing local life on arrival, panspermia rockets fire off into the cosmos - ethical tensions where the best local life to possess is sapient - maybe the travel is more two-way than people are led to believe, travelers picking up strange instincts or subconscious ghosts

Tales of Telguuth/A Fire Upon The Deep-esque - the Great Wheel is the physical wheel of a spiral galaxy, and the further you get from the stabilizing influence of the core, the more the laws of physics become mere suggestions - gods and demons reign at the edge of the intergalactic void - magic requires opening a conduit to these outer reaches, with shards of meteor-matter which fell from there, or certain celestial alignments, or what have you

Fantasy world that replaces standard fantasy race elf/dwarf/orc trinity with UFO lore reptilians/greys/nordics

Mind flayer-made livestock-people - elongated, many-lobed skulls, parallel-processing/redundant-storage brain nodes that can be plucked when ripe without killing the person - perhaps psychic antennae, broadcasting the powers of their secret farmers while thinking the powers their own, and themselves natural lords over short-skulled peoples