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.
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.
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.
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.
|d10||Hindrances in the Yellow City|
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.
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.
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.
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.
|5||d6 Ladies in Waiting
Frothy dresses and misshapen pearls draped over impeccable manners, painted pliable masks concealing scathing wit and needle-filled sucking chasm mouths.
|6||Wandering 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.
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.
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.
|9||Yellow 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.
|10||Somnambulant 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.
|d10||Lost in the Yellow City|
|1||You 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.
|2||An 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.
|3||You 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.|
|4||You 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.|
|5||Your 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
|6||You 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.|
|7||A 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.."
|8||You 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.|
|9||You 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.
|10||An 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.
|d6||The Cost of a Guide in the Yellow City|
|2||Accompany 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.
|3||A hand, it doesn't matter whose.|
|4||Your most treasured possession.|
|5||Carry 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.
|6||Obtain a slice of delicious cake from a member of The Baker's Guild without being seen.|
(HD equal to the number by which your Charisma check failed when you upset him)
|1||His 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.
|2||A 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.
|3||Like 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.|
|4||Conjoined 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.|
|5||His 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.|
|6||A 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.