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An Array of Specimens Tagged as Encounters

The Yellow City


YELLOW QUEEN

Equal parts mystic folklore and flesh, ruler of the Yellow City, smooth-limbed and whisper-voiced, a creamy advanced jaundice complexion and a face hidden behind a brocaded veil to be disposed of on her next wedding night.

Summoned by sects and cults to offer her a new groom that they might hear her rattled whispers of fortune and future.

She does so love them, her collection of suitors, though none have endured the consummation of their union unspoiled.

YELLOW CITY

A hazy metropolis the pale yellow-green colour of powdered bile. The features of the inhabitants seem extended somehow, their skin spongy, and they taste of soap.

Being half dream-scape, obtaining directions in the Yellow City is a hopeless task. To make your way you’ll need to focus on whatever it is that you desire to find.

For every attempt to find a place/thing/service, the player who rolls highest on a d20 must make an INT check, but if the player who rolled lowest fails a WIS check, roll on the Hindrances in the Yellow City table before you get there.

If the INT check itself is failed, roll on the Lost in the Yellow City table.

Much like a dream, anything encountered on those tables will become your new focus until they’re resolved or someone rolls a 1 or 20 in the process, in which case you may choose to move on (or re-attempt a failed INT check).

However, anyone that has been wronged without some manner of closure will likely intrude on you later.

Alternatively, guides can be employed, though their services are not free.

THE CHIMING CHAPEL

The immense palace bristling with bell towers where the Yellow Queen wanders her chambers amongst smouldering piles of incense, forever veiled and awaiting her next suitor.

BLACK EMPRESS

Smiling under a chittering black mass of beetles (or so it seems in the dark), the jealous false-sister of the Yellow Queen who wishes for marital celebrations to end and the mourning night to wake.

She can tell the past but there is always a price.

Her sarcastically sulky, smarmy, oil-tongued people live and travel through the shadows of the Yellow City, waiting for the night, calling out their Yellow neighbours.

LIGHT

Within the Yellow City time doesn’t abide by normal schedules, turning a corner might as easily turn morning into moonless night.

Lamplighters are therefore one of the most important and most harried occupations in the city, tasked with ensuring that the smoking lamps of streets and houses never go out, because we can’t have the shadow people moving out of their dank corners can we?

The position of the lamps are however untouchable, immutable, and while you may think you’re doing a good thing by moving a lamp closer to eliminate the shadow people’s lurking space, the people of the Yellow City will shriek in terror and beat you with fish until the lamp is returned.

Torches, lanterns, and candles are considered obscene and you’ll be drenched in buckets of spoiled condiments and pâté on sight.

THE FLORISTS AND THE BAKERS GUILD

The seething rivalry between the Florists and the Bakers Guild is as old as the city, though more recently the Bakers Guild have come to accuse the Florists of scheming in league with the Black Empress. After all, funerals require flowers, not frothy cakes, and the Necroflorists in particular are ever so shadowy aren’t they?

Both sides remain ever eager to conscript others into their elaborate sabotages, offering rewards of secrets and their more covetable creations.

REMOVING OBJECTS FROM THE YELLOW CITY

When leaving the Yellow City, if you have stolen, requested more than your fair share of a reward, or purchased an outlandish item (so buying a sword is fine, but not so much if you focussed on finding the Returned Ironmonger, who forges blades in the image and essence of his near-death terror), you’ll need to make a WIS check for each instance. Unless you fail the check, you’re unable to ignore the unreality of the item and it decomposes/melts/fades/floats away as a cloud of thin-legged moths/otherwise disappears as dreams so often do.

If this happens to 5 or more items at once they’ll amalgamate into a mocking representation of your greed, separate from the Yellow Queen and free from her influence, with HD equal to the number of items. It will escape cackling wildly into the night if it can; only to keep coming back to upset your plans when most inconvenient/embarrassing, or simply to keep ruining a good night’s sleep.

d10Hindrances in the Yellow City
1d6 Chaplains
Furtive moist-eyed old men with sagging lilac skin and silken purple robes, their mouths held open in a surprised drooping sigh beneath the slanting golden spires of the circlets closed around their craniums. Terribly interested in your relationships and the customs of the outside world.
They show cringing supplication to Matrons and Ladies in Waiting, fawning moist-palmed pity to Suitors, exasperated fear to the Florists and Bakers Guild, and lord themselves over lowly Celebrants.
2Necroflorist
Bright purple eyes peering from their damp black form; skin, lank hair and clothes like a black hole. Offering you a violet daisy and wondering if you've come across any bodies from which it might cultivate a new bloom, or if by chance you'd care to donate your own.
3d4 Matrons
Warm-smiled women of immense girth and soft powdered makeup, with little superfluous arms that emerge from the folds of their dresses to fuss about.
They're ever so sure that there's something you should be getting ready for or doing, the wedding is so close.
4Suitor
Drifting melancholy turning to ravenous horror, the Yellow Queen's former husbands still wander the Yellow City.
Roll on Suitor Transformation table if you upset them.
5d6 Ladies in Waiting
Frothy dresses and misshapen pearls draped over impeccable manners, painted pliable masks concealing scathing wit and needle-filled sucking chasm mouths.
6Wandering Pack of 4d4 Celebrants
Desperately seeking knowledge of the next wedding to take place, will become maniacally despondent if you cannot convincingly assure them of some small details.
7Obscene Baker
Fancy-swaggering through the street carrying a monstrous swaying soufflé the height of a child, morbidly proud, spewing offers of having a taste like they were threats whilst trying to both get away from you and parade the fruit of their labour.
8Flower Crabs
Scuttling things with nervous curling unfurling manipulator arms and the fat little faces of terribly ugly little girls, shedding wilted flowers from their carapace wherever they go.
9Yellow Queen's Chamber Guard x d4
Slightly addle-minded cheerful fellows in dainty puffy slashed sleeves and little pantaloons over slim stocking-covered legs, wearing enclosed eyeless bucket helmets to preserve the Queen's privacy, finding their way by the sounds echoing through the helmet's mounded swirls, defending the Queen's honour by way of brittle-bladed halberds and the heavy ledgers hanging from their waists. Everything in varying shades of yellow and gold.
Charisma check to avoid a spell cast from a Chamber Guard's ledger.
10Somnambulant Dreaming Cultist
The people of the city turn stiff and alert and their eyes dart away while talking to you, watching the cultist drift along the street while their neighbours take dainty nibbling bites of the dream flesh like cleaning fish.
If you cause the cultist to gain consciousness they will be enraged at your carelessness before waking life pulls them back from the Yellow City.


d10Lost in the Yellow City
1You find yourself in the Raining Hall, a rich cream-walled room with a vaulted ceiling dripping globules of itself down towards the erratic cleaning staff darting about the room. Whenever a drip actually hits someone's skin, the entire ceiling falls in a slopping crash, with another already dripping in its place.
The current cleaning staff have been working for several days and the room is starting to fill.
2An enormous crawling toad with a mounded hill of a back, where a collection of Unmarried sit snugly inside fleshy holes crooning to each other of their nuptial desires.
Earnestly warns you to stay clear of the Owl (entry 10) and its perverse corruptions, offering sanctuary and transport on and in its back if you should so need it.
3You realise that you've wandered into the middle of a long hall filled with guttering lamps and a single, frantic lamplighter running back and forth refilling and relighting lamps as they splutter out at random. Slick trails of spilt oil surround the enormous golden cistern and the lamplighter's pantaloons are drenched with sweat. Groups of sulkily impatient shadow people gather in the darkness, muttering sweetly that it is high time for the night's activites to begin, and more and more lamps are being left unlit at the outer edges.
4You stop in a close-walled street packed with a rambling queue of people waiting for their turn to sit in a shallow corner of a hexagonal public bath. A wedge of people have already lined up behind you and murmurs of dissent rumble along the line.
5Your footsteps echo into the Dream Pool. Slick blacks walls and tiles surrounding a wide pool in a drip-echoing circular chamber, filled with a liquid like thin custard where beautiful men wade about softly.
If you submerge your head you can drink the dreams of another to learn a secret or desire.
Roll a d20 for each character that plans to drink and record the number.
Every time they attempt to drink a dream they must make a Constitution save. If they fail, the amount by which they missed builds up, they can feel the pool's fluid flowing through their tissues, and when it matches the result of the d20, the beautiful men will come to pull them into the pool and drink them.

Beautiful Men x half of d20 result
6You find yourself wandering about in a lost corner of the gift room of the Chiming Chapel. Intricately wrapped boxes piled high around tables holding caged creatures and servants, dangling makeshift chandeliers of linked golden gifts, mounds of cake and pastries in varying states of decay and deliciousness.
7A huge figure in relief; torso, elongated arms, head craning from its neck, bulges out of a wall spouting poetry with wafting gesticulations to a crowd while adoring admirers rub their hands over its prodigious jangling belly.
In the dim lamplit sitting rooms behind his wall the nobles of the Yellow City exhange streaming gossip in languid repose, information drifting about like smoke. Rumour has it, that in the half-light of the rooms they even traffic with their shadow counterparts.
Entrance can only be gained in pieces through his mouth. Your body will mend once passed through the other side (though equipment won't), but if you try to make him swallow you in anything more than thigh-sized chunks he will blush with a, "Oh no I couldn't possibly, far too large for my little mouth.."
8You wander into the Spinster's Wheel, the courtyard meeting point of six streets, where the Unmarried of the city converge nightly to feast on the Florists' unused arrangements, carted in by wary apprentices.
9You find yourself in a dining square full of round wooden slat tables holding morbidly obese human forms apparently made of pudding, surrounded by seated people digging wobbling yellow chunks from them with pitted iron spoons.
When the puddings notice you they all call out at once trying to coerce you into sitting at their table, indicating how delicious their spoon wounds look and the satisfied faces of their diners.
10An enormous owl with human arms emerging from the slick feathers at the sides of its breast, surrounded by a harem of the Unmarried, inquisitive as to opportunities to add to its collection, attempts to entice an exchange by offering objects from the depths of its feathers.
Will entertain the idea of a short-term addition as it is in competition with the Toad (entry 2) leading up to tonight's Bouquet Banquet (entry 8) where one will be decided as Lord of the Unmarried.


d6The Cost of a Guide in the Yellow City
1A poem.
2Accompany them to the home of their intended lover and successfully petition their desires on behalf of your guide.
If you fail, both your guide and their intended lover:
1. Fall upon you with ridicule and knives.
2. Thrash you with wilted bouquets of roses.
3. Transfer their obsessive affection to you.
4. Fall apart into slithering piles of luminescent slugs.
3A hand, it doesn't matter whose.
4Your most treasured possession.
5Carry their burden while they guide you.
They may not take it back and the baskets tend to contain things that get rather upset when dropped.
6Obtain a slice of delicious cake from a member of The Baker's Guild without being seen.


d6Suitor Transformation
(HD equal to the number by which your Charisma check failed when you upset him)
1His torso peels apart to expose dusty, pulsating mounds like fleshy compost piles covered in tiny shivering mouths, and 10+d20 bloodworm red phalluses snake from his groin, writhing across the floor in their immense length, seeping sticky, adhesive precum from the tips of their swollen heads.
When wilfully touched they retreat in flaccid repulsion back to the mounds, along with anything stuck to them.
2A thick long-bodied fish with shimmering pale blue silver scales and dead eyes, gnashing its translucent teeth and writhing its way towards you. Six clones of the suitor sit fused along the sides of the fish, feverishly masturbating and ejaculating in steady streams like a grotesque fountain, causing the ground to become ever more slippery and suitable for the eel-like body of the fish.
Fish starts with no AB/AC.
Increase fish's AB/AC and decrease player's AB/AC by 1 per Round, while all of the clones live this continues indefinitely.
If any of them are killed, while the fish's AB/AC is higher than the number of clones left, increase the player's AB/AC and decrease the fish's AB/AC by 1 per Round until it matches the number of clones left.
3Like a giant stocky soldier crab if its insides were made of icecream bulging through a shell made of rotting lingerie sewn together several sizes too small, melting as it gets more and more excitable.
4Conjoined twin giants, fused by ribcage and thigh, one demure and fair, one overbearing and grotesque. Red roses fall from the grotesque's split belly, a cloud of bees from his brother's, and yellow honey flows over their chins.
5His torso extends and tears up its center, broken ribs rolling around like the dying legs of a centipede, his arms and sighing head loll backwards as he stumbles around trying to support the weight of his still-expanding body, in the midst of which you can see his pale child-clones budding and growing from the pink and purple mass to reach out and slash at you with fine silver knives.
6A maiden-faced wasp tears itself from his back, dropping the body like shed paper skin, wet new wings lifting it into the air to curl its abdomen forward, presenting its throbbing cock stinger engorged and red.
The stinger lays something inside when it wounds you, something soft-faced that chews and burrows with stroking fingers beneath your stretching skin.

6 comments



Close Encounters with Humankind


If it’s not clear yet, I’ve been raiding some unfinished tables (and by ‘tables’ I mean the giant spreadsheets I start putting together like “oh I should make a wilderness travel table… okay so I’ll need a table of human encounters and a table of creature encounters and a table for the scenery and a table for interesting plants and then I’ll need to do the same thing for swamps and mountains and…”).


SO HERE’S SOME PEOPLE YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER IN YOUR TRAVELS!


d20Along the Road You Meet..
1d4 Travellers.
22d4 Bandits, led by:
1. Insane prophet wearing the skins of beasts.
2. Wizard who knows 5 random spells.
3. Musically-voiced troubadour who swaggers the fuck around.
4. Conjoined-twin priestess of filth and fire, arms coated in poisonous pitch.
5. A pretty little pale-faced girl.
6. A naked man wielding a greathammer, staunchly silent from within his gorgeously painted wooden demon tribal mask.
3An envoy:
1. Replete with standard bearer, courtesan assassin, two arquebusiers in fabulous silk breeches, a towering eunuch wielding mace and dagger, and a superbly eloquent emissary with sharp, tapering nails.
2. Five serpent-tongued albinos in deep-hooded velvet robes that smell strongly of mice.
3. Comprised of a sole emissary of enormously morbid girth, dripping as much jewellery as sweat.
4. Three arbalesters wearing black-stained sallet and bevor, following a pair of porcelain-armoured knights, their helmets shaped like fat smiling faces, holding a great banner between them on pikes. The glyph-surrounded face in the banner speaks as the fabric ruffles and rolls.
Travelling:
1. On foot.
2. On domesticated Powder Deer, the leader/leaders riding Husbands.
3. On palanquin carried on the backs of blind monks.
4. By the charity of strangers.
4A game hunter house, the whole extended family bedecked in fine armour and filigreed weapons, accompanied by nervous Pets driving the carriages or running alongside wielding nets and spears and chains.
Some creatures will be killed for the thrill of the hunt, others captured for the arenas.
5d6 Merchants.
6A solitary warrior wandering the land.
72d6 Mercenaries, currently:
1. On their way home from a successful employment.
2. Infested with something awful from exploring where they shouldn't.
3. Looking for employment.
4. Dragging themselves away from catastrophe.
8An absurdly enthusiastic botanist and his long-suffering companion.
9A displaced hermit.
10A small cadre of intellectuals (d4+2) on their way to study/explore/harvest the nearest suitable thing.
Accompanied by:
1. d6 Mercenaries.
2. Bickering Maleficar siblings.
3. Two nervous students per intellectual, armed with braces of wheellock pistols, spears, and packs overflowing with notebooks and specimen jars.
4. A lithe, rough-faced duellist with flowing red hair, her body tattooed with the names of every person she's ever killed, a poison-throwing beauty, a scarred and disgraced ex-general, armed with crossbow pike and sorrow, and a kindly old traveller they picked up along the way; a member of the Endless Dark Murder Cult who will ensure they never make it back from the wilderness.
11An army on the march.
12A hunting party, five men armed with spears, bows, ropes and traps, accompanied by a favoured daughter and a lazy son.
13A priest on a holy mission.
14A travelling poet and assassin.
15d6 Merchant caravans + d6 Mercenaries per caravan.
16The ragged survivors of some terrible catastrophe:
1. A crazed marauder raid.
2. A sudden epidemic of beautiful floral infection.
3. Excavations that an unearthed and awoke an ancient slime.
4. The downfall of a would-be sorcerer who stole a Wizard’s tome and started reading.
17A feverish migration of the faithful to the site of some obscure religious celebration.
18d8 mould-covered fungus-controlled wretches making their way back to civilised lands to fruit. They're filthy but rather cheerful, eager to make friends.
19A maniacally self-assured and self-appointed duke looking for conscripts into his glorious army. So far he has a pock-faced teenage boy wearing absurdly good armour, a particularly angry swan, and an old man who looks to be at death's door who never talks. He rides on the shoulders of a naked farmhand with the proportions and mental capacity of a troll, drooling around the golden gag bridle between his teeth.
202d6+4 trappers and a silk-draped procurer who is more capable than he looks, seated next to his current flame, leading a caravan of wheeled cages looking to capture beasts for exhibition and sale.
Despised by the great game hunter houses.
d6If It's Not Clear How They're Travelling..
1On foot.
2On nearly-dead horses.
3On warpigs.
4In a crude carriage pulled by somnambulant humans in a permanent drug-induced sleep.
5In stag-drawn chariots.
6In a caravan train powered by a truly stupendous amount of rats running in the oversized wheels of the fore-carriage.

8 comments



Take Me To Your Leader


Following on from Use Protection, who the hell is in charge here?

TownCityd20 Government
1_A self-interested baron more concerned with baking than matters of state.
_1A beautiful queen breeding moderately intelligent crustaceans in the waterlogged rooms of her castle.
22An enigmatic priest and his frantically charismatic cultists.
3_A raving one-eyed fat woman with a shockingly strong grip and uncanny spitting aim. It's easier just to let her be in charge.
_3A hall of conversing paintings.
44A sketchy shaman type who lives out in the woods. Constant envoys are sent to obtain and carry his verdicts/edicts.
5_A war council of marauders who decided they'd rather live in the town than sack it. They're surprisingly effective rulers.
_5A beloved penitent beggar queen who becomes a beast at night and hunts through the streets.
66A stern mother and her five golden-haired boys.
7_A rabid black-garbed man with a ponderously protruding posterior and a spittle-soaked hatred for the mundane.
87A cabal of wizards, possibly amalgamated into a single mass.
_8The orphaned 9-year-old end of an illustrious heritage, in a beautiful delicate pink bouffant lace dress.
99A cheerfully portly ruddy-cheeked burgomeister wearing the most impressive Jacobean ruff, accompanied by two stern-faced puffy lapdogs (who are also wearing ruffs).
10_An immense pimple-faced man in fine ill-fitting clothes of beautiful colours. He's been known to eat flies. Is actually a whole bunch of frogs in a man suit.
_10A fragile blue-skinned woman with a failing voice who holds council with a menagerie of beasts around her column-arched circular chambers. Drifting ice crystals form in your breath within her presence.
1111A beautiful effete man with eyelashes as long as fingers, blood blister red lips and a hairless cranium. He has a penchant for jellied exotic birds and likes his men scarred.
12_A retired thief queen, settling into small-town life with a harem of fawning rogue boys.
_12Three crones and dancing oracle twins in a gazebo-topped tower. The twins' eyes roll about their heads in a drug-addled blissful delirium and their skin has the hue of pearls without the shine; off-white with a surface illusion of translucency.
1313A sweet-tongued woman wearing jewellery made from the bones of her unfaithful lovers.
It's hard to be faithful when she’s addicted to jealousy and can drive you sweating into the arms of another with a careful turn of phrase.
1414A twin who fears the return of their sibling.
15_The sister founders of the town, now fused together in a fungal mass contained within a guarded stone cellar.
_15An androgynous youth in a pale ruby throne, marionette strings tied all about their body leading to silver bells hanging about the chamber, a warning to everyone should they ever move.
1616A moist-eyed girl with a musical voice kept in an elaborately carved enclosed wooden palanquin. The shadows obscure everything but her face.
17_Old Jenny Finger-Biter, drifting cheek-deep in a green-brick pool in the centre of town. Sure she gnaws off people's fingers in their sleep, but she's so wise.
_17A particularly large pale barrel-bodied Regent Fish, carried around by sopping wet courtiers, it can only speak while gasping in the open air.
1818A five-sibling council; two of them incestuous, one of them nervous and strange, one of them seductively generous, and one of them studious and aloof. All are scheming against the others, none realise all the others are faerie changelings that long ago replaced the originals.
19_The Marble Fawn, a melancholic anthropomorphic albino deer, probably cursed.
If asked about it his body shakes and he softly says with eyes closed, “witches”.
2019A blind man taking council in his shit-drenched bird room.
_20A dramatic turquoise baboon with a golden seed of intelligence planted within its skull growing golden shoots and leaves from its nose and ears.

No comments yet, tell me what you really think



Use Protection


It doesn’t pay to be defenseless out here, so who comes out to play when this town/city is under siege?

(Alternatively, throw them into armies for a bit of fun.)

 

TownCityd20 Special Protection
11Trained beasts with amazing outfits.
_2Alchemical horrors released from orb-like receptacles suspended along the streets.
23World-weary Watch that become crazed murder party animals when they drink from their special flasks. Then they have the most fun, everything else is just a come-down.
3_Rag-tag militia that smear faeces on their terrible weapons and hurl horrified-looking frogs who've had their orifices sealed shut, bloated with hallucinogenic gas.
_4Ceramic suits of armour full of yellow slime animated by the will of quadriplegic telepaths on stalking animal-limbed ceramic thrones.
45A stolen unit of lobotomised harvest soldiers, bearing lanterns full of Mondmilch.
5_A lusty troupe from a particularly violent burlesque school.
_6Gaily dressed ribald arquebusiers, accompanied by nervous squires carrying beautifully obscene painted pavise shields to protect them during their nonchalant mode of jocular assault.
67Wax soldiers animated by the black wicks burning from the backs of their heads.
7_Elderly shapeshifters trading protection for having someone to talk to.
88A Flesh Crafter sect and their creations abominable and beautiful.
_9Swarms of little girls with sharp knives who climb like spiders, with powdered white faces and brilliant pink painted lips spreading like a rash over their chins.
910Discrete poison-throwers that look just like everybody else.
10_A lone sorceress who lives in a towering mud-brick spire covered in drooping, determined flowers.
_11Fat, reconstituting giant mud spiders powered by clockwork orbs at their hearts, crawling out from beneath lifting pavement stones.
1112Beautiful sombre women in robes like a procession of Mother Marys, swinging rosary-like strings of censer balls full of smouldering narcotics.
12_Red beehives goaded into a frenzied madness by their keepers, stung to death in the process.
_13Purposely-stunted dwarfish entertainers riding on the backs of crazed beasts heavily pregnant with parasitic jellies. Wagers are taken on the outcome and chaos.
1314A Plague Priest colony swinging and swaying their bodies to ring the crusty bells hanging from their rotting wrappings.
1415Noxious green gases expelled from towering grotesque corals doused in water, sapping the fluid from anyone who didn't recently swallow a tiny squid.
15_Really unsettling malnourished figures wearing fly masks, slowly shifting their feet in incongruously marshy patches of land around the perimeter of the town, constantly wreathed in grey fog.
_16A rain of exploding, dividing frogs launched from bulbous pitted mortars. They reform from the chunks, getting smaller and smaller, getting into all your cracks.
When it's over they're cleaned up by ravenous herons with surgically-implanted copper bellies full of green stomach acid bubbling behind foggy glass viewing portals.
1617Ever-so-vaguely humanoid flesh-warped pink pigs wearing dented plates of armour and wielding shoddy halberds and hammers, squealing in fear and challenge.
17_Rumour holds that if a particular old man is injured, the town cats will metamorphose into vengeance-bound yellow-eyed black slavering beasts the size of cows.
They always get him drunk and push him to the front line.
_18The walls of the city are hollow, stone wall and walkways wrapped around a ceramic shell exposed on the exterior side. Expansive black puddings and violet jellies kept alive by food shoved through hatches slide and squeeze through them, released when necessary by watchman that bring heavy hammers crashing down on the ceramic exterior wall.
1819Twelve crows with golden nails driven into their chests by five cursed old women. Each crow drags d20 mindless spirits with them, eaten from corpses.
If a crow is killed its spirits dissolve - if the nail is removed while it still lives the spirits roam uncontrolled and vengeful - if an old woman is killed so are three crows.
The final old woman is a failsafe lest the others are all killed, in which case the twelve golden nails break free and plunge into her eyes, and she becomes a giant golden-feathered crow beast with glorious wings sweeping over four ragged arms and a headstone crown, crawling with restless spirits like lice.
19_The people are all infested by some manner of fungus, thin-stemmed fruiting bodies sprouting out from around their eyes.
It doesn't bother them much apart from imbuing them with a tremendous sense of community spirit, but when murdered they tend to explode in a cloud of invasive spores.
2020Grenadiers riding in chariots drawn by packs of armoured hairless baboons painted in the colours of the particular Grenadier House, each with their own alchemical recipe.
Turning base metal to gold still escapes them, but they're getting pretty close to that universal solvent.

One comment



GOBBOS


Goblins all have an abnormal capacity for regeneration. Not enough to notice on the spot; they’re not going to stand in front of you swinging their intestines around until their stomach seals shut, but given a little time they can bounce back from most anything.

They don’t always heal right though. They’re like walking talking cancers. They reproduce by budding.

Sometimes before a wound closes up completely, a bulbous growth sprouts and keeps expanding and forming bits until a half-grown lumpy goblin drops off within a week, full-grown within a month.

 

It’s why they’re so fucking joyous about violence, it’s sex for them.

A goblin wearing armour is like someone wearing a condom: most of the fun while avoiding the reproductive consequences.

 

Some goblins are just a little too fertile, once they start budding they don’t stop, they swell up over time into an awful bloated self-important goblin mountain of flesh, forever sprouting crops of new goblins.

Goblin colonies un/lucky enough to get a Broodmother usually find themselves all wearing armour, either through enthusiasm for the Broodmother or from constant nagging and berating.

Sometimes goblins go sterile, their regenerating flesh out of control, sped up, growing into big warped crooked hulking things. Then they’re called trolls. Now you’ll notice their regeneration on the spot: about d8hp per Round’s worth of reconstituting viscera.

Mild brain damage tends to make them a bit deranged, not as smart as goblins, but if anything they lose some of their unbridled lust for violence: it’s not sex anymore.

Fire will wound them permanently, or at least until they can scrape out the seared flesh. If you kill them but don’t burn them they’ll regenerate in body but not in mind, with all of the strength and none of the capacity for reason, just a frenzied regenerating meat wagon with a desire to tear things in half.

 

Goblins learn fast but not well; when a goblin gets interested in magic it’s the worst.

They kind of know how to make armour. They kind of know how to make weapons. Everything is just super shitty looking. It’d be pretty funny if they weren’t stabbing you to death.

 

Most of them have a lifespan of about a year, Broodmothers are practically immortal until a frustrated goblin stabs them in the back, but trolls will only last a month or two before their bodies eat themselves.

If you could somehow isolate a colony without a Broodmother, with nothing to fight, it would die out within the year. They tend not to hurt themselves, it’s like public masturbation, frowned upon.

 

 

So fighting is goblin sex, a war is like an orgy, a lot of the time they probably don’t even have any ill-feeling towards you, this is all just really fun for them.

Combined with their short lifespans, it also tends to make them fairly impressively reckless.

It’s not uncommon to see:

  • Trolls wearing baskets full of spike-armoured goblins on their backs, shooting them out of misshapen hand-held iron cannons coughing black smoke.
  • Goblins sliding around inside herded slimes, eventually trying to squelch their way out before their bodies dissolve completely.
    Whether it’s because of their regeneration or just the way they taste, they can last at least an hour inside slimes and puddings before being wholly digested.
  • Rickety wooden spiked deathwheels and murderballs full of dizzy bruised driver teams plowing towards you, ready to be thrown everywhere amongst the shrapnel when they crash.
  • Half-grown goblins armed with knives and tiny flails strapped to the end of pikes, charged around by teams of goblin pikemen.
  • Goblins riding on makeshift platforms attached to armoured braindead rampaging trolls, trying not to get plucked off and eaten.
  • Piles of goblins launched through the air by cracking bending catapults.
  • Goblins holding onto half-wild pigs by fistfuls of hair and skin, trying to direct them by food dangling from the ends of their spears.
  • Cage flails full of spiders or burning pitch swung around by goblins that can barely handle the whirling weight.
  • Pig-drawn chariots with spring-loaded floors rigged to launch the charioteers forward if the wheels stop turning.
  • Goblin alchemists running around jangling with clicking ticking grenades full of altered expanding trollflesh and god knows what else.
  • Trolls leading knife-wielding goblins by chains attached to cages around their heads or torsos, swinging them around like gobbo flails.

 

If they worship anything it’s probably something they call Nurgleskop, a thing of pale orange and pink flesh like a misshapen warped monolith rising out of of a bulbous mound still clinging to its sides. It lies in a cavern open to the sky within the Marrowmorne Mountains, people don’t go there, there are rumours:

  1. The black woods around it are full of witches sick of the taste and feel of goblin flesh, they yearn for something new.
  2. Beneath the Nurgleskop is a sleeping boy who fell into the cavern and dreamt the goblins into existence.
  3. The abandoned villages dotted around it weren’t sacked by the goblins, the people living there went into the woods to become the goblins.
  4. The earth is so saturated by goblin filth that if you return home with a clump of dirt clinging to your boots, it will sprout a goblin overnight to knife you in your sleep.
  5. You can only find your way to the Nurgleskop if a goblin leads you. If you’ve made it there without one you can be sure one of your companions is a goblin/goblins in disguise.
  6. The bellies of the fat, uneasy birds of the Marrowmorne woods are full of gold coins, stamped with the face of an ancient king.
  7. The Nurgleskop is an egg fallen from the stars.
  8. Licking the sweaty dew from the Nurgleskop is the fountain of youth.
  9. An entire race of people laid down to die in the Marrowmorne Mountains, shifting themselves beneath the earth, and the Nurgleskop is nothing more than the fruiting body of a mycelium mass that has been feeding and growing on their remains over the centuries.
  10. The black river flowing out of the Marrowmorne stems from a great wound split in the mountainside, tainted lifeblood spilling from its ruby heart.
  11. When the moon is full over the Marrowmorne the goblins become beautiful young girls who run out into the night to tempt the unwary back into the woods.
  12. There is a black church hidden in the woods inhabited by an old man who will not die. Forbidden tomes and terrible artefacts are locked in the vaults below, protected from the world.

 

On the other hand some goblins practically worship filth, wallowing around in the worst shit they can find because it makes them heal completely wrong and they think it’s funny, twitching humps and extra arms and exploding stomachs and fingers that are far too long. Expelling toxic gas from various orifices and melding themselves to trolls and budding goblins that are little more than balls with tails and teeth.

While they’re around you should be playing this album on repeat.

 

Goblins goblins goblins.


2 comments



PETTY GODS // MASTURBATING GOATS


The revised and expanded edition of Petty Gods is now available, so here are a few of the entries I wrote for it back before this site even existed.

(I mainly just want to show off bigger versions of Rose’s illustrations because they’re excellent. Everything but the goat is hers.)

 

 

 

The Divine Worm, Mother of the Stillborn

 

 

Symbol: An x-ray style depiction of an earthworm holding multiple foetuses along the length of its body.

Talisman: A gold piece stamped with a newborn’s face, eroded by tears.

Alignment: Neutral

Movement: N/A

Armor Class: 9

Hit Points (Hit Dice): Randomly determined (Roll d20 HD)

Attacks: Special

Damage: Special

Save: As Fighter of level equal to HD rolled.

Morale: 12

Hoard Class: 8,888gp, d% will melt the moment they’re taken into sunlight.

XP: 2x amount of stillborns spilt from the Divine Worm’s amniotic sac.

 

The Divine Worm, patron Mother of Miscarried and Stillborn Children, invoked by grieving families, worshipped by others for reasons that are their own.

A coin is cast bearing an image of the child and melted in a boiling pot in offering to the Divine Worm, beseeching her to carry the child in the beyond.

 

Manifestations of the Divine Worm are sometimes found in fragrant caverns below sites of plague or infanticide.

In form the Worm’s body is like that of a giant hairless and eyeless mole, lined with damp axolotl legs and a toadlike mouth. Pendulous breasts appear almost at random on its flanks and legs and a swollen amniotic sac sprouts over its lower back and hindquarters, within the sac you can see neither flesh nor bone, it sinks forever. Floating calmly amidst the rotten amber fluid are more infants and foetuses than you can count.

The Worm sits atop a gleaming pile of gold coins, swaying lichen and moss hangs from the cavern roof above it.

 

The Worm never attacks, never defends itself. It sits there with its mouth open, hundreds of infantile heads emerging and weeping in chorus even as you hack into its flesh, the sound is almost soothing. Every round save vs. Poison or suckle from one of its breasts. The sac squelches and heaves as you drink its amber nectar. You age d6 years of life unlived.

 

If the worm is killed its sac will burst, spilling 253 stillborns per HD about your feet, there are so many more than you imagined.

 

 

 

The Lady of Tasks Forgotten

 

Symbol: A bottle filled with the faces of dying ants and locusts pressed against the glass.

Talisman: N/A. Most of the time her adherents aren’t even aware they’re adhering.

Alignment: Chaotic

Movement: 120′ (40′)

Armor Class: 9

Hit Points (Hit Dice): 16hp (2 HD)

Attacks: Special

Damage: Special

Save: M20

Morale: 12

Hoard Class: See final paragraph.

XP: 1,000. 546,000 if you’re the one to kill her.

 

You settle in and try to block out the din of the tavern, contemplating your next step, weighing the options.

A tankard slides beneath your nose, the frothing ale spills slightly onto your hand.

There’s nothing extraordinary about the waifish woman who put it there, she’s pale and without a curve, or is she terribly obese under that dress? You’re too preoccupied to really notice.

She smiles pleasantly but emptily, “You look worried about something, burdened, why don’t you tell me what’s bothering you so much.”

And you do.

You tell her everything, every twist every turn, you tell her everything there is to know about what you’re trying to achieve. And you do feel better for it. You feel fantastic, purged and light, and someone has left a full tankard of ale here on the table for you. Wait, what is this place?

 

The Lady of Tasks Forgotten can be called on by those who have lost their way, those that feel there was something important they were meant to do but can no longer recall. The elixir they prepare probably shouldn’t be consumed under normal circumstances, distilled liquor and locusts flavoured with datura, poured into a flask with live winter ants, already kept in the flask for days and belly-deep in secreted poison.

If they survive drinking this concoction they will remember the task without fail, but it is rarely their own, and they will never understand that it never was. The Lady has many tasks to remember.

 

You could likely kill the Lady quite easily if you desired, but how would you know her?

If you find a way to summon and bind her, her flesh softly broils and churns, melting in places while expanding in others, forming impossible beauty then rotting like a bed sore. She looks on you with such sympathy, you have so many troubles.

Every round that you are near her in this state you will forget something, save vs. Magic for it to be something unimportant.

Use the table below for important things or pick something the character will really miss.

 

I'm sure I'm forgetting something..
2d6
2You forget why you're here, who you are, you don't know who these people are, or this thing floating in front of you, you want to go home, you don't know where it is. You'll only find out if you kill her.
3-5Correct use of your weapon eludes you, -4 to hit with melee/ranged weapons depending on what you were using from now on.
6-8You lose all memory of a random companion. Everyone else seems to know them, she must have done something to their minds, you should kill this imposter before they can do any harm.
9-11You can no longer speak in a common tongue, you understand it when others speak it, but you're oblivious to the fact that you're replying to them in another language entirely.
12You lose all memory of the flora and fauna of the world you live in, everything is strange or terrifying. The first time you see a swamp will be interesting.

She has no gold to steal, no relics, and whoever kills her will absorb every task she still held, convinced beyond question that the tasks are their own, crippled by overwhelming responsibility.

 

 

 

The Turquoise Idol of Communion

 

 

Name: Turquoise Idol of Communion

Symbol: Imagine the purest light and assurance, it looks like that.

Talisman: A rough stone cylindrical idol, carved with intricate scrolling symbols.

Alignment: Lawful

Movement: 180′ (60′)

Armor Class: 9

Hit Points (Hit Dice): 10hp (1 HD +1 per being absorbed)

Attacks: Special

Damage: Special

Save: As Fighter of level equal to HD, immune to all Magic.

Morale: 12

Hoard Class: 500 river-polished pebbles of turquoise inside its belly per HD.

XP: 4,000 per HD at the moment of its untimely demise.

 

They hand you a piece of broken stone, the outside is timeworn and dark, graven with symbols, while the alluring turquoise surface within glistens like an adhesive.

They speak of four joining pieces that were lost, they say that if you reconstruct the idol it is told to strengthen your mortal shell, to unite you with a greater power.

 

The inner surface of the idol is dry to your touch but when you join it with another piece you find yourself unable to force them apart. Every piece amplifies the stench of the swamp wafting from it.

You find and join the final piece and place it before you, ready to receive its power. A wet blue skin seeps from the fine cracks on its surface, smothering it and expanding as a toad in the shape of a man, with five hanging arms protruding from its body. Its skin glistens and it wishes to join with you.

 

The only attack it will make is a wrestling check, either by leaping at you or with its 10′ tongue. The moment it takes hold you can feel your skin incorporating into its body, sucking you in. Take a -2 penalty to your rolls every round, taking damage equal to your penalty if you manage to escape, and incorporating into the toad completely if you haven’t escaped after 3 rounds. With its increased mass the toad gains a HD, sprouts another arm and a further bonus to wrestling checks, and its tongue grows another 5′.

If you hit the toad in melee your weapon sticks in its flesh, make a Strength check next round to get it back. The toad will try to grab anyone that comes near enough, or with its tongue if no one is already in its mouth, but won’t move until it has finished incorporating those already joined to it.

 

You will never completely remove its flesh from anything it touched.

 

 

 

The Moss-Worn Goat

 

Name: The Moss-Worn Goat, bearer of Sterility

Symbol: The head of a goat crying tears of sperm.

Talisman: A carven wood phallus, left to grow moss and fungus.

Alignment: Neutral

Movement: 120′ (40′)

Armor Class: 5

Hit Points (Hit Dice): 46hp (7 HD)

Attacks: N/A

Damage: N/A

Save: M22

Morale: 8

Hoard Class: That depends on how long you keep him around.

XP: 4,000

 

The Moss-Worn Goat can be called upon to dry up the seed of men seeking it or those whom they wish to inflict it upon.

Offerings of gold are left in the damp parts of the woods with a phallus carved from a discarded branch, hidden by rotting hollow logs. Some desire temporary affliction, but unless they save vs. Magic they are permanently sterilised.

 

The Goat himself will be found in a dark hovel of a cavern, sweating amidst lichen and mounded monoliths of dirt, sprawled on the floor, moaning mournfully in a reverberating howl.

Below the huge malformed head and horns of a goat his body is human, and the whole time you watch him he never stops masturbating, shuddering intermittently with spasms that force enormous single golden sperm to spurt from his cock onto an already squirming pile, creaking like bending metal.

 

If you attack him he doesn’t know how to defend himself, he doesn’t understand, and he doesn’t stop masturbating. Eventually he will try to flee, leaving a golden trail of creaking sperm as his crooked body stumbles away.

 

 

 

Deiphagous Maggot

 

Name: Deiphagous Maggot

Alignment: As the god it currently serves. It’s nothing if not helpful.

Movement: 120′ (40′)

Armor Class: 9

Hit Points (Hit Dice): 24hp (4 HD)

Attacks: Wrap, d4 needle patches

Damage: 3d4, d4 each

Save: M23

Morale: 8

Hoard: Find a wondrous item table and roll on it.

XP: 1,200

 

The bloated body of the maggot squirms through the air, contracting and expanding towards you, several feet from the ground in deliberate, hypnotic movements.

It draws itself up like a snake, a patch of glistening needles extend from beneath the rear of its body, supporting it before you.

Mouths cover the underside of its body, one speaks for every emotion, there are many mouths. Eyes filled with broiling red fog are held within them, winking out and opening elsewhere as each begins to speak.

It is not the nature of the maggot to harm the god it serves, but when it dies the maggot will swim amongst its flesh, supping on the decay of divinity. Of course the maggot hungers, but the longer a god lives, the more fervently it is worshipped, the sweeter its flesh. You see its conundrum.

It feels you’re here to spoil the meal it is cultivating.

 

Static physical barriers mean nothing to the maggot, it slides in and out of them like reality, be careful not to fall into a hole that isn’t there. Sharp swinging metal is harder to account for.

In combat the maggot will try to wrap itself around you with gnawing mouths and squirm away in one fluid motion, leaving you like a ringbarked tree.

If caught or cornered its skin bursts with patches of bristling needles.

 

The maggot’s digestion is slow, if it is killed there is a 50% chance of its ruptured belly releasing the power of a god it has fed on. Have you killed a god lately? That one. Otherwise roll or flip to a random godling in this book and inflict their wrath.

 

 

 

Shed Godling Skin Suit

 

Some godlings grow as their following does, sloughing off their old skin to make way for a glorious new facade.

The translucent leather stitched into this full-body suit still responds to praise and worship, either of its wearer or of the godling who shed it.

The skin will allow one use of an ability of the godling it came from within a period of time equal to hours you spend in ritual worship beforehand.

Pick a god, roll or flip to one randomly in this book, or use whatever horrible thing these abilities came from. Roll randomly or worship twice as long if you want to pick.

1. Swollen pustular mounds swell from the neck of the suit, allowing you to expel boiling black bile as a 6′ ranged attach or a 90° spray within 3′, bypassing armour and dealing 2d6 damage. If you can bite someone you may vomit directly into their bloodstream. Save or Die.

2. If someone makes a successful melee attack against you, you can allow their weapon and arm to pass through your body, trapping them. The arm will need to be cut away, but whatever is left on the suit will be absorbed soon enough.

3. You leech the life out of anything organic within 6′, regaining d6hp. Roll under Constitution or secrete it back out in noisome streams.

4. You regurgitate d4 phlegm-coloured tiny men. Lose 1hp for each tiny man and roll for their loyalty. Every round you want them to do something roll loyalty, you may need to think of incentives. The only way you can regain those hit points is by swallowing the tiny men.

The skin’s AC 8 improves by 1 for every person that worships the wearer like a disciple, as the skin flushes with life and moves in a distracting, unnatural way.

If you gain 14 followers you will fuse with the skin, becoming a malformed bastard demigod. You will not like it.


6 comments



PETTY GODS // DELVERS OF THE GOLDEN VEINS


So Petty Gods is being re-revived, and here’s one of my awful entries.

 

Text from a year or so ago, art from a few days ago.

 

//

 

Hidden away in the mountains, living in whitewashed caves, away from the prying eyes of those who would call themselves holy.

Their god is a walking mountain of flesh, all-consuming, ever enduring.

 

When the stars are deemed right, worshipping before an idol carved into stone wall, when their ululations reach fever pitch one of their number is blessed with transformation, alchemy of the soul and body. Their limbs atrophy and their back bends, their torso expands to the floor like a dropped sack, skin grows dark and pocked, their flesh is doughy and pliable, it is forbidden to touch during the transformation. Their head rots and retreats into the body, new pink-flecked quivering orifices open on their belly and across their sides, dissolving anything placed before them into atoms and breathing in the spore cloud.

 

Holy manifestation of their god, the Atmungsgebirgshund is carefully moved to a dais, carved from a crop of stalagmites, fed and adored. As it feeds, the Atmungsgebirgshund’s body becomes ever more stone-like, fracturing, forming peaks.

When the stars again proclaim the time right, crowning spires of light grow from the pinnacle of the Atmungsgebirgshund’s spine hill, and the Delvers fall upon it with pick and hands. They drink deeply of the golden blood that flows as they break away the shards of its flesh, and they are once more blessed to live long in worship amongst the mountains.

 

Their god does not exist. Their god is communal. Their god is them.

If they were destroyed, so would their god be.

 

Their number never exceeds 40, breeding is only permitted when another member has been lost, either by violent death or ascension.

Memories of persecution have rooted deep over the ages, and any intrusion into their caves will be seen as an attack. The Delvers are non-violent, their god is not. Some will delay the intruders, throwing their bodies upon the blades, others will fall against the Atmungsgebirgshund in supplication to be consumed.

 

Cracking shards of primordial blue light extend from the Atmungsgebirgshund’s belly, roots worthy of a mountain god, the orifices penetrating its side expand and howl like rushing wind, every Delver sacrificed on its body increases its HD.

 

You will see a mountain walk, you will see your flesh drawn across the room like pollen on the wind.

 

Name: Atmungsgebirgshund
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 120′ (40′)
Armor Class: 0
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 8 (1 HD + 1 per self-sacrificed Delver)
Attacks: Special
Damage: Special
Save: M23
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: The Delver’s art may be worth something to the right person
XP: 2000 x HD at time of death

 

Once the first Delver has been sacrificed on its side, the Atmungsgebirgshund is able to digest the flesh of one creature within 4′ at the rate of 1hp per round. Every additional sacrifice increases the range by 4′ and allows another creature to by consumed simultaneously.

Every round there is a 10% chance of fragmented spikes of blue light bursting from the earth, impaling the unlucky creature above, consuming them from within in floating blue sparks that rise as the spikes retreat. Save or Die.

 

If anyone other than a Delver attempts to drink the golden blood of the Atmungsgebirgshund roll below.

 

d6Effect of the Blood of the Atmungsgebirgshund
1Your torso turns to stone, brittle internal walls crack and break, you're alive as your body splits in half and stone organs spill across the floor.
2An atomising black hole forms in your belly, consuming you from the inside, lasting another hour after you have disappeared, affecting anything that comes within 10'.
3Roots of molten stone seep from your feet and embed deep into the earth, your legs petrify up to the knees. Better find a hammer.
4For the next 4 days you gain no nutrition from anything you eat, you grow weak, but a solid gold nugget is forming in your belly, worth 2000gp if you can pass it.
5You can hear the Breathing Mountain, you weep at its glory, you remain in the caves to rebuild its family and live forever. Slay any who would stand in your way.
6The blood of the earth fills your veins, you will never age, decrease your Dexterity by 1 every year that you do not drink the golden blood of the Atmungsgebirgshund as you slowly turn to living stone.

4 comments



Why Yes I Do Own A Publishing House, What Of It?


So remember that cave map I donated to Matt Jackson, and subsequently all the wonderful things that happened to my players when they went inside it?

Well it’s now a little adventure pdf that you can take home to meet the parents.

 

It’s Pay What You Want, so if you’ve ever wanted to give me money for some reason here’s your chance, or alternatively you can take it for free and digitally spit in my eye, I’m fine with it either way as long as you enjoy it.

 

Click below to make all of your wildest dreams come true.

 

Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine Town Crier


6 comments



A Tale of Sixteen Piglets


Here’s the other request I fulfilled for His Abysmal Jolliness, Secret Santicore.

 

 

The Request:

 

A random encounter which includes an ogre, a maiden, and a standing stone.

 

 

The next time you’re in a town near some woods, or in a town near a town near some woods, you start hearing things.

The main thing to take away from all this talk is that High-Father Flagellus, a priest of your chosen important religion, is missing his daughter. He claims she was taken from her room during the night a week ago, and the weak-minded fools of the town will do nothing to help. He has reason to believe she was taken to the woods, but when he tried to go there himself was turned back not only by the animals dwelling there but by the very woods themselves.

In payment for returning his daughter he will pay a handsome sum siphoned from the tithing box, as well as a massive IOU from the church.

 

 

The Talk About Town
1d10
1I do a bit of bird watching in my spare time, relaxes the soul you see. But this last week I swear they've been flying from all directions in a steady line straight into those woods, it's the damndest thing I ever saw.
2That crazy old woman that lives up by the woods keeps complaining she can hear screams echoing out at night. I told her that's just age catching up with her and she just tuts and shoos me away from the house. I love winding her up!
3Old Otis Bronte swore he'd dealt with his rat problem but three days ago a swarm of the furry brutes poured out of his grain silo. They let the other farms alone and ran into the woods though so no harm done I guess. Strange thing though, every now and then you'll see little packs of vermin coming in from the countryside, straight towards the woods..
4There's a grave in them woods with no name. Y'see years ago a woodcutter's wife carried on with a merchant that used to pass through, and every time he came he'd bring her a new trinket. Golden necklaces that would serve as well as a breastplate, rings cut from solid ruby, earrings made of the bones of saints! Well one day the woodcutter finds these treasures hidden beneath the stair, and he knows he's been dishonoured, and he spits and he waits. He waits until the next time the merchant passes through, who comes to meet the wife as usual, in the woods when the moon is full, and when their lips meet the trees themselves shake and all the trinkets rain down from the branches above their heads. Well the wife looks back up in time to see the woodcutter step out of the dark and bury his axe sternum-deep through her lover's head, and when she tries to run finds herself caught up in a snare with a slit throat. The woodcutter he buries them right there with all their pretties, and marks the spot with a bit o' half-buried sawn-off log.
Folks say they never did see him again, and to the best o' my knowledge he'd still be in them woods, still full o' bloodlust after all these years; only reason I haven't sought out the grave meself y'see.
5Don't tell anyone I told you but Marcy over at the dairy? Well butter ain't the only thing she gets paid to churn if you know what I mean.
6Virgil's sow had a litter of 16 piglets, the biggest litter we've ever seen. Well he was proud as punch as you might expect but a few nights back someone done stole them. Questions have been made about town of course but everyone's come up squeaky clean.
7High-Father Flagellus claims his daughter Meredith was taken from her room during the night one week ago, he claims he heard noises trailing off towards the woods and he couldn't catch up with them. No one has helped him thus far because it's more likely Meredith ran away to get out from under that calloused thumb of his. Silly old sod made a big song and dance of going into the woods himself though and came out screaming that the woods were possessed, says the animals forced him out!
8There's little men what live in the woods, guardians of it they are! You just mind not to scare them off if you go traipsing about in there.
9I heard the Father's daughter ran away with a farm boy to live a life of sin, but not into no woods that's for certain! Old Flagellus just can't handle the fact his precious little girl's turned harlot.
10I was once chased out of those woods by a giant stag of smouldering coal, with burning yellow eyes and the bodies of children hanging from its antlers. Mark my words High-Father Flagellus isn't crazy, there's evil in those woods, and I wouldn't face it again for the world.

 

Once the players decide to enter the woods, finding the clearing at the centre won’t prove too hard if they follow the rat packs and other animals running purposely through them, or keep track of birds flying overhead.

The woods are pretty big though.

 

 

Random Encounters in the Woods
1d10
1A rope trap that yanks you feet-first up between the branches of a tree, bumping into a hornet's nest as you go.
2A veritable plague of rats swarms around your feet in the same direction, uninterested in you for now but if they're attacked or stepped on that will soon change.
3A soft ethereal singing floats through the woods, it sounds like all that is pure and good.
4A huge female bear rears up and roars behind the players, showering them in spittle. Blood is on her claws but she actually just wants the players to get out of the way and if they do so quickly enough she'll pass by without attacking, followed by three adorable cubs of decreasing sizes.
5A small group of rats run straight over a patch of brown leaves that is actually a pit trap full of hallucinogenic puffball mushrooms. Any player that falls in spends the next d10 Turns believing they're a mole with a furious need to dig.
6A one-eyed owl hoots mournfully from an overhead branch and flies off in the direction everything else has been going. Expect a Gnoblin ambush in the form of disembodied insults, thrown stones, and fresh defecation lying along your path.
7You momentarily see a strange furry little face off to your right, but whatever it was quickly scatters off through the undergrowth.
8You find a piece of half-buried sawn-off log. That crazy townie was right! Well, maybe:
1. You dig into a large chamber of a jumping bull ant colony.
2. There's just bones here. Child bones.
3. You find strange looking charms and totems, real voodoo shit, as well as a note in a bottle pronouncing a curse upon the black heart of you who would seek to disturb the dead.
4. He was totally right.
9A line trap that triggers drawn-back bramble bushes to slap everyone square in the face, giving you lots of nasty little cuts.
10Branches break nearby and you see a deranged looking woodsman with a twig-strewn beard and wild eyes wielding an axe. He isn't the murderous woodcutter from the story though just a poor man that lives near the woods. Unfortunately, he can't speak very well and has an extremely nervous disposition that is likely to be mistaken for aggression.

 

CIRCLE OF PROTECTION

 

Just outside the clearing the players will be faced with a ring of vermin and woodland creatures 10′ deep blocking their path. How they get past this is a matter for themselves.

For their part the animals will start trying to scare the players away once they get within 30′, becoming violent if necessary, but will not pursue the players if they make it into the clearing.

 

The Ring of Woodland Critters

 

Within immediate reach of the players there will be:

d100/2 rats

d20 Bunnies

d20 Squirrels

d10 Foxes

d8 Owls

d6 Deer + 1 Stag

d4 Badgers

 

As well as various finches, sparrows, and other birds and tiny animals that are really cute. Voles and shit.

 

THE CLEARING

 

In the centre of the clearing is a ring of four standing stones surrounding a boulder, all faintly inscribed with what appears to be an obscure, ancient, and absurd language. Imagine symbols carved by a dyslexic bird with its beak; like that.

But before any of that, what the players will notice is the ogre.

Misshapen and grotesque, its teeth are large and overly-numerous, crowding each other out from its jaw. Its gnarled limbs look as if it matured while confined to a box; joints veer off at awful angles and horrendous knots bulge from its muscles, a stunted degenerate third hand protrudes from its humped shoulder and the hands it does have are marred by stiff, useless extra digits near to its wrists.

Oh and it’s suspended over the boulder, its arms and legs tied to the standing stones as if it were about to be drawn and quartered. Infected-looking welts and gashes criss-cross its stained yellow skin and streaks through the dirt around its eyes make it look as if it has been weeping.

 

THE CAST

 

The Ogre

Has no name because it has never had need of one. It has learnt rudimentary language from overheard conversations around campfires and the pleading of wayward travellers before it eats them. It will weep and sob and beg the players to free it, all it knows is that it was tricked and trapped by the nasty furry goblins and dragged here, where the lady brings it pain every night.

 

Meredith, the Maiden

Meredith has tired of the strict life she is forced to lead under her father’s roof, she wants something more. Goddess of the woods would do for now, and after that we’ll see about the rest of this wretched land. Meredith plans to raise the ancient Boar God of the Wood when the celestial alignment is right, using the ogre as womb and being the first living being present, for the Great Boar to imprint on as mother.

Of course she won’t tell the players this, thank heavens they’re here! She’ll tell them she was kidnapped by this terrible ogre and she only just escaped thanks to the help of these friendly little forest folk, who then tied the ogre up to prevent it from harming anyone further. She would very much appreciate it if the players could go find some men to deal with the ogre, she’ll wait here until they return to make sure it doesn’t escape.

If the players leave she’ll send a group of Gnoblins to kill them before they reach town, if pressed to leave with them she will assent but set a Gnoblin ambush, and if they try to kill the ogre then and there it is on, she needs that thing.

 

The Gnoblins

Funny furry little man-things of the woods, no higher than your knee, mystical beings somewhere between a Gnome and a Goblin. They live in burrows beneath the clearing, accessible by openings between the roots of a mighty oak at its perimeter.

The Gnoblins first set eyes on Meredith on one of her walks by the woods, one of the few liberties allowed by her father. They took her seeming innocence and fondness for the woods as a sign that she was to be the mother of the Great Boar, due so soon to be reborn. Of course when they appeared to her and spoke of all this the fair Meredith managed to convince them of a “better” way.
The players probably won’t even realise the Gnoblins can speak; Meredith warned them not to talk to any strangers and for the most part they’ll just sit around and stare, unless Meredith tells them to do something or the players try to free the ogre. If Meredith isn’t around though and you’re really funny the Gnoblins will tell you everything you could ever want to know about the Boar God.

The Gnoblins aren’t evil, they just want to see the Great Boar reborn so that the woods can live on, and Meredith is ever so convincing.

Of course, when you make them angry is when the teeth come out.

 

THE BIRTH

 

Every day when the sun begins to dip Meredith takes out her bramble whip and sings softly as she begins to flay the ogre with it, invariably building up in ferocity until the moon reaches its peak and she screams at it, “Squeal! Squeal like a stuck pig!”.

In a small cavern directly beneath the standing stones the Gnoblins have piled the still-squeaking sixteen stolen piglets. When the celestial alignment is right and the ogre lets out its thunderous squeal into the night, the lifeforce of the piglets will be drawn up through the glowing standing stones and into its belly which will swell and tear and release the fully-grown majesty of the Great Boar once more into the woods.

 

What Time Is It?

  • From midnight to morning Meredith sleeps in the burrows with the Gnoblins, with only a few sleepy looking Gnoblins on watch.
  • In the middle of the day she’s probably off picking berries and other wholesome activities.
  • In the afternoon she sometimes likes to dance around the sobbing ogre with the Gnoblins. They form a ring and wear flowers in their hair.
  • In the evening she cuts a fresh bramble whip for the night’s torture training.
  • When the players arrive the celestial alignment is due to occur that night, what are the odds?

 

The Consequences of Your Actions

  • If the Great Boar imprints on Meredith as its mother she will use its divine power and influence to extend the woods and, in time, lead an army of murderous woodland creatures across the countryside.
  • If the Great Boar is reborn but Meredith is not around, all will be well. The Gnoblins will rejoice at the return of their king and the woods will remain at peace with the surrounding settlements. Although they’ll probably still be pretty mad if you killed Meredith.
  • If the Great Boar is not reborn at all the forest will wither and die at an alarming rate, followed by streams of feral starving animals pouring into the surrounding towns.
  • If nothing else, Virgil would be really happy if you brought his piglets back alive.

 

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I’ll Have Yer Finest


We’ve been visiting brewhouses an awful lot.

 

 

d20BrewhouseWhat's on Tap?
1The Blind MonkMilk of the Rat
2The Pink-Gilled SwineHarlot's Spit
3The Crow With Two NecksBlack Fever
4The Inverted PathThree Goats Pale
5Crooked HouseChymist's Old Familiar
6The Fruiting BoarGrikksmarc's Fucken Porter
7The Golden HartRotworm Imperial Stout
8The Old Severed HeadPiss of the Living Saint
9Strangler's PalmMolden Ale
10The Black HiveAlbumuth's Back Sweat
11The Sunken DepthsThe Black Goat of the Woods
12The Hanging HarbingerBog Witch Kiss
13House of the Purple HazeHair of the Fog
14The Soft White UnderbellyMidwife's Regret
15That Red BitchAngry Squall
16The Jaundiced EyeHeaven's Gate
17House of Saints and MadmenThe Turning Worm
18Rue MorgueNag's Head
19Black BaltimoreLost Coppers
20The Fading LightMaidenhead Pale

 

 

d20Top Shelf
1Drowning Locust
2A bitter spirit called Regret
3Blue Blood Worm
(There's more worm than alcohol in your glass.
Look, just drink it.)
4Rite of Passage
5The Stag's Own Seed
6Opal Smoke
(An opal, a glass of salt water, clouds of smoke filling your glass when they meet.)
7Blood of the Nightshade
8Red Spiced Rum
9Fresh from the Fish
(It swims around the jar in blues and violets, staring at you from its bulbous protruding black eyes when they scoop it out and force it to vomit into your glass.)
10Hog Fat
11Scarlet Wine
12Song of a Dead Dreamer
13Black Egg Yolk
14Toad Skin Gin
15Paraplectic Slug
(Huge and porous, steeped in alcoholic dregs, fermented within its body, hold it to your lips and suck.)
16Primordium
17The Hairy Lime
(Fungally infested, internally liquefied, best to swallow it whole.)
18Somnificus Lac Morte
19The Sour Death
20The Thing in a Bottle
(It sits in the bottle, too large now to fit through the neck, its urine swirls about at chest height, it blinks at you and doesn't seem to mind, things would seem different if it was on the other side of the glass. The urine is green and luminescent, vaguely viscous like an oil, it is sweet and stronger than the finest distilled spirits. The hard part is getting it into the bottle in the first place.)

 

 

d12Brewhouse Encounters
1Drunk local steps back into you during an enthused story and takes offence. FIGHT!
2Angus Blackhand (left hand is a blackened claw), Thief lvl 1, Sleight of Hand 3 in 6, bumps into you and tries to lift some shinies from your person.
3Olga Applebottom, whore overdue for retirement, has taken an aggressive shine to you. She's somewhat of a fixture here, don't insult the locals.
4Smoke with us!
5Drunken ridicule.
6Free drink! Roll 2d6:
2-5. Have you ever been rohypnolled by a swan?
6-8. That's not beer, that's urine.
9-12. Hey that's not bad.
7Mistaken for someone else. Reaction roll.
8Cryptic warning from a stranger.
9You step on a cat's tail. The cat belongs to a gnarly old sword-whore. They don't look pleased.
10Invited to join a game.
11Pretty thing asks you to buy them a drink.
12Overhear rumour.

 

 

Yeah I know rolling dice is hard, click the link below for automated results, drag it to your bookmark bar and keep it for later, do whatever.

 

INSTANT BREWHOUSE


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