Monday, June 11, 2018

The Two Castles, The Cup, and The Lost Princesses of the Moriad

There is a smaller lake at the center of the city, which is already all a lake. The water here is clear and shallow, the tiles of the square can be seen under the water, though the rain that falls into the water clouds the surface. On one side of the lake is the queen's castle, which is made of glass. The rain streams down the walls, it falls in sheets from its arches and bridges, the rain makes it so the interior is warped and darkened. Only dim shapes can be seen moving inside. On the other side of the lake is the king's castle, which is made of the same stone the city is made of. The water from the roof is diverted into chutes, and what is not brought into the cistern is moved outward and falls out the mouths of statuary women into the smaller lake, the king and queen's plaza.

You can stand on a boat at the center of the square, where there is a fountain, and see the king and queen's castles on each side, and on the south side, the house where they keep the cup. There used to be a red boat shaped like a swan that would pass through the plaza lake carrying a word of formal greetings, and news from each castle, written by the king or queen him or herself. This has ended.

The cup still looks like it used to. It is a chalice of darkened gold. When the light flowed from it the cup was displayed and you could touch the light, but now it is covered with a cloth, and set inside a box of engraved wood, and the wood box covered also with a heavy veil. If you enter the house, you can see the stiff white cloth at the far end of the chamber, and you can approach to the cloth separators that keep visitors away, and inspect the embroidery of the veil, and speak to the priest who tends it, but you cannot look at the cup. There is no point anymore, and they fear that the gaze of visitors may harm it further. They do not know what caused the light to stop, but perhaps there is something worse that could occur.

Anyone can tell you that the rain started when the cup changed. Many will describe the sight of the city under sunlight, the painted paving stones and walls, and the animals and people that walked the streets. All travel by boat now, and the paint has run. It is harder for them to talk about the sense that the city was blessed, and now is not. There is a private fear that the city is cursed. Certainly, the rain has not stopped for twenty years, and the lower stories of every building are lost in water. The water is rising. Some buildings are weakening and have fallen into the water, others are abandoned. Most were built so powerfully at the height of the Moriad's power that they will not fall. But some people say there is another city under the water, and that out of side of the reflected and reversed city are other people, and that when sun shines on the water (it does not) you can pass through to it.

My sisters, the other six princesses of the Moriad, have gone away too. They are on private journeys like my own. If you meet them, wish them well, and tell them I miss them and wish them well. I remember when we were young together. I hope I see them again. Though if I die during my quest that will be alright, so long as the Skoros Orb is brought back to my city. It will be the balm we need.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Here's Some Maps I Used and a Few Pictures

This is the starting town in my new home game, set in Vomic Leth "The Forest of Cats"  It's pretty safe and the guards are lenient, plenty of room to pick-pocket and date around.

The journey they're on in my online game, start is the prison at top-left, destination is the labyrinth at bottom-right. Basically each section of this map I zoomed in and made my own map with encounters and landmarks, but they're using this one as a general guide. By time it's not a very long journey but it's really dense and dangerous. Right now they're in the Nameless City, an abandoned and ancient and haunted place.

Map I used for the Thrice Cursed Prison of Dendric Vast. They were here for about a year. Generated from

This is the boss room, it's a cube and they could walk on the walls and one wall lead to open sky 10,000 feet over the Cathedral of Change

I forgot I made this, first diagram and ideas about the prison.

This was Lady Bath, the sorceress summoned to Beldr Tuum to buy the Medusa's eyes. She could mind control instantaneously with her gaze, she traveled in a carriage made of an elephant skull, when she died her body was revealed to be only a puppet. Who is she really...?

Picture used to illustrate the scale of the Temple of a Forgotten God in the Nameless City.  Thomson: "So, that speck down in the bottom left, that's, a person...?" Me: "Yeah"  From a distance it was regular sized, but the closer they got the bigger it became, and now they're trapped by the influence of its vile god. All paths return to the St. Peter's Square style plaza at its base, where a long fish swims counter-clockwise in a fountain of stagnant water.

"Okay, the Nameless City looks sort of like this"  It's all Beksinski themed.

The skull of Urizen, Demon Lord of Change, whose body blights the landscape west of the Red Lake. It's as large as a mountain. 

That's all I got for now. 

Oops (Revised)

Here's an updated critical miss table. The idea behind it is that fighting should always have a chance of something going catastrophically wrong. I used to play where rolling a 1 just always meant you lost your next turn, eventually this got dull. My last table was a little too wonky -- some results were too fortuitous, and some results didn't really make much sense.


The attack misses, your turn ends, and…

1 Roll on disaster table below
2 Weapon (or prepared spell) breaks in some minor way (i.e. string snaps, chain breaks, the formula gets criss-crossed in your head), can’t use until you get a chance to fix it (a short rest suffices).
3 Your armor breaks in some minor way, disadvantage to physical checks while worn and doesn’t provide protection until you get a chance to fix it (a short rest suffices; if you're not wearing armor, then it's your clothes)
4 Throw held item 1d10x10' straight ahead
5 Trip and fall prone
6 Hit yourself with the attack
7 Lose next turn also
8 Sprain ankle, speed is halved and dex checks (or anything else involving that ankle) are at disadvantage, recovery is d4 days or until Medicine check DC 12 or a level 1 heal spell
9 Sprain wrist, all attacks and strength based checks at disadvantage, recovery is d4 days or until Medicine check DC 12 or a level 1 heal spell
10 Nothing -- you got off lucky


1 Your miss is so shameful you're now blighted from sight of the gods, no divine magic functions on you and all animals attack you on sight, this can be fixed by performing a ritual obeisance costing at least 1d6x100gp (Under 5th level) / 1000gp (5th level or more)
2 Your armor simply falls apart, it can only be repaired by an armorsmith or similarly skilled person for a fee equal to its original cost.
3 Weapon shatters and sprays shrapnel, you and everyone within 10' takes d6 dmg (if you're under 5th level) / d20 dmg (5th level or more); ditto for spells, and that prepared spell cannot be cast until a long rest.
4 You nick an artery, take d6/d20 dmg at the start of each round and die in 1 minute unless magically healed by a 3rd level spell or higher, or a Medicine check DC 15
5 A random encounter immediately joins the fray
6 Your backpack breaks and your entire inventory falls onto the floor and any fragile items have a 25% chance of shattering
7A level 10 thief backstabs you for d20 + 5d6 dmg, where’d he come from???
8 You critical hit yourself
9 Earthquake! It goes for 1d6 rounds. Everyone has to make a Dexterity save DC 14 immediately or fall down and can't get up until it's over, even if they succeed they can only move at half speed.  Within 50 miles buildings collapse, avalanches occur, roads are wiped out, bridges crumble. If you’re underground, then every round you take d20 damage from the ceiling falling. Walls and hallways collapse. 50% chance of tsunami if by the ocean.
10 A raven caws, a shadow passes over you. You may continue your turn, but next time you reach 0 hitpoints, instead of normal 5e death rules, roll on the death and dismemberment table. If you were already going to roll on it, instead roll with disadvantage.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Belphegor, Beastmen, Fleshcult, Goatreich

Belphegor was dissatisfied with earth's animals and tore them apart and remade them better. The Goatreich spanned the earth for millennia. They were refined in their own ways but held contempt for both men and animals, being superior to both, and kept them in slavery. Inclining naturally towards worship of demons, their cathedrals to Urizen and Belphegor were fortresses of terror, their floors paved with glassinated gore, children poured into pits for the cygor, fires fed with fat from human bishops, and natural beasts cut into shapes the beastmen preferred; while the demon lords returned the favor by infesting human civilization with witches and the birth of beastchildren to women. Even today common man fears the coming of the goatchrist, whose birth heralds the subjugation of whatever kingdom he inhabits. Among cities annihilated by the goatchrist are Beryali and Cormra, whose population were eaten entirely.

An alliance between people, elves, and dwarves led to a long war with the Goatreich. The King Of All Horns and the King Of Hunger were slain on their thrones and the last beastmen driven into the wilderness, where they multiplied and filled the forests and wastes. The Fleshcults of Belphegor continue to spread through civilization and sometimes gain prominence and worship also Fenrath the Wolf and Izorides the Witch, and capture human clerics of these religions to be tied to the skulls of screaming one-eyed she-goats the size of houses and forced to perform miracles, and wardings against the spells of other gods.

The beastmen labor to end human civilization and hasten an end to speciation. In their opinion, all humans must die, and each animal should be unique unto itself. They labor in the wilderness creating new life, and their warlords battle each other for control of the wastes, and their armies seek human virgins to impregnate, so to hasten the birth of their new kings. One will be known by the span of his horns, as wide as the full moon, and one will be known by the depth of his throat, as deep as stars are far. Some say they have been born already in civilization, and need only be found by the beastmen and brought together to create the Goatreich anew.

Friday, February 16, 2018

It Is History Time

"Nate, it would be nice if we knew a little history." They asked for history they will get history.

PRESENT DAY (within the past year)

Decline of most nation-states, particularly BELMRIC, the MORIAD, OROSTRANTHY, the MERELUNDS, and VELENHEIM. Civilized power is at an ALL TIME LOW
Expansion of the GOBLIN WASTES. Expansion of the SWAMP OF MONSTERS. Expansion of the DEEP FOG of the MERELUNDS. Colonization of ABAZIDUN by the dwarven KING OF DIAMONDS. Destruction of the SEAT OF WORMS and the WHITESKALD WOODS by skeletons. Disappearance of the SEVEN PRINCESSES OF THE MORIAD. Rumors that the TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL has been reinhabited. Goblins, beast-men, demon cults, vampires, slaad, and other monstrous forces make deeper incursions into what remains of civilization.


Almost complete dissolution of the kingdom of OROSTRANTHY, now commonly called THE GOBLIN WASTES, due to constant marauding by goblins, beastmen, and the forces of Urizen
War between BELMRIC and VELENHEIM related to disputes regarding the southern border of Velenheim ends in a LOSS for the white elves. Establishment of various border castles, among them THE SEAT OF WORMS.
The wizard ILLITH VARN leads an army of beastmen against SOLEMN CRY, capital of OROSTRANTHY. His subsequent defeat, retreat into the CANYONS OF MISERY AND DESPAIR, and beheading. His head, his body, and the SKOROS ORB, the source of his power, is lost in the labyrinths.
QUALLMAR of the SWAMP OF MONSTERS defeats the TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL. Utter rout of the cultists within. Pope Xarcander X publicly beheaded in Quallmar.


Resurrection of ORCUS in a shrine on the eastern coastline. Subsequent war between the forces of OROSTRANTHY and forces of ORCUS leads to his defeat and burial in RAPPAN ATHUK, THE DUNGEON OF GRAVES.
The CHURCH OF ELEMENTAL EVIL once again reinhabits their TEMPLE in the SWAMP OF MONSTERS.
The DOOM OF KIZAAD, once capital city of the MERELUNDS. The city is abandoned.
DEIRREGEX the BLACK DRAGON arrives from the north. The frost giants of the HATEMOUNTAIN are forced to retreat to the arctic KRAAL. War between Deirregex and the white elves of VELENHEIM leads to the decline of the white elf empire. A subsequent reliance on necromancy to bolster their ranks.
XAL-ZAX THRUUL THE BLIGHTED MALICE, also known as THE RED DRAGON, arrives from the west. His spawn multiply and inhabit what comes to be known as the SWAMP OF MONSTERS.
AZHARDHUL the BLACK DRAKE is slain by the martyred maiden SAINT COREME. His amassed wealth leads to a golden age for OROSTRANTHY. Subsequent building of the SILK WALL to protect Orostranthy from the forces of Urizen.

LAST 1000 YEARS (More or less all occurring simultaneously and in no particular order,)

A golden age for BELMRIC leads to period of extremely silly clothing, still mocked today.
Arrival of AZHARDHUL the BLACK DRAKE from the north. Enslavement of all mortals south of Olomoc and east of the Moriad under his reign. Forced worship. Mass murder.
Founding of the MORIAD by KING BLOOD I
The GREAT BEASTMAN WARS between the GOATREICH and human civilization. The GOATREICH is annihilated, their cities burned and fields salted. Beastmen are forced into wilderness.
The VAMPIRE KINGS of the MERELUNDS begin their SLOW WAR. Only KIZAAD stands apart.
The ascendance of the UNDYING KINGS of VELENHEIM. Their alliance with the frost giants leads to a golden age for the white elves.
Birth of ABJECTA, QUEEN OF MAGGOTS in BELMRIC, subsequent burial in the BLACK PIT. Nevertheless, the DIPTERIC ORDER is established.
The DARK ELVES establish a surface kingdom, are briefly unstoppable, before abandoning for reasons unknown.
The TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL, a force of terror in the swamps south of the Merelunds, is routed for the first time.
Reign of the SKY WITCH in the MOUNTAINS OF HUNGER. Ends in revolution, she declares her subjects ungrateful and disappears along with her flying fortress.
Secret war between SLAAD and CHASME breaks out into open battles between frog and fly. Period of plague.
UILLEATH THE FATHOM WYRM destroys LOTH ARMANEA for the second time.


Continent-spanning empire "ULDRU" linking what is now KIZAAD to BELMRIC to OROSTRANTHY declines due to internecine warfare, rumors of demonic influence. Remaining nation states vie for power.
A golden age for LOTH ARMANEA through alliance with the BLUE ELVES.
Long cross-ocean war between ULDRU and the PHARAOHS of the PSYCHODESERT eventually leads to victory for Uldru.


The goblins build HAVITH ORR.
UILLEATH THE FATHOM WYRM emerges from the depths and destroys LOTH ARMANEA for the first time.
FENRATH THE WOLF and IZORIDES THE WITCH marry, subsequent devouring of her children, divorce and separation into own realms.
Period where owning demons was extremely fashionable, leads to sudden mass slaughter and the second GREAT DEMON WAR. A Pyrrhic victory for humanity.
Founding of BELMRIC by BELM, his leaving.
That time when the SUN PRINCE decided to establish an earthly empire, burns great swath of the earth in holocaust.
EGG MOON hatches, thence LAMDRU, who promptly sequesters self in the mountains west of ULDRU.
Establishment of ULDRU on the backs of various broken nation states.
Building of the TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL by Pope Ultralith I.
Founding of OLOMOC

10,000ish YEARS AGO

Ascendance of the various gods: BELM, IZORIDES, FENRATH, FNORN, NITO, and others. Retreat of the DRAGONS into wilderness.  A golden age for the gods and the mortals who serve them.


An AGE OF DEMONS lasts for years unnumbered. All mortal civilization is subjugated under the great DEMON LORDS. The DRAGONS roam uncontested. The earth grows old.


Whence the great demon lords? They say that the first spell was the creation of earth, cast by the demons at the beginning of time. But some say they arrived from somewhere else and that the earth was already old when they came, that there were times when elves ruled over the earth, and more ancient human civilizations, and an Age of Water, a Reptile Age, and others. But according to the gods, their arrival marks the beginning of time, and to ponder times before that is heresy. Anyway the truth is gone, and only strange people search for it.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Here's the room list for the THRICE CURSED PRISON OF DENDRIC VAST

Unfound secrets redacted or simply omitted. They've been pretty much everywhere and have a serviceable map so it seems like the right time to post this. This is basically exactly as I wrote it when I first wrote the dungeon. I'll post the map if they ever complete it.


1 Three men chained together. Some prisoners standing around in chains (d6). A couple guards directing them. Every once in a while a prisoner comes in from a random door and the guards go about kicking another one out. If you’re kind, the guards will warn you against the judge, though they regard it as a sort of hazing.
A 12 wasted prisoners chained together, eating gruel. Many pigeons.
2 In a stone vat the size of a kid’s tub (but deeper) is a pink jelly, suspended in there are electric eels. 
4 Many prisoners! They are in a complex queue from door to door which forms a maze. Movement in this room is difficult because there are so many people.
5 A lion. HD 8, AC 14, claw/claw/bite 1d8+2/1d8+2/1d10+3 +6, if it gets both claw attacks it gets another 2 claw attacks for free. On the floor beside it on a scrap of paper is a bad map of REDACTED. Prisoners form up at the door and run through every few minutes, the lion only kills 1/day.
6 10ish prisoners waiting, singing an illegal shanty. No guards here, but every 10 minutes 2 dark-guards appear to force one through the lion room, and take another into room 17. On door: WARNING LION
7 The queue passes straight through. On the west wall is a painting of REDACTED an abstract color field with a bird going through it but REDACTED. REDACTED.
8 On a high podium is HIS HONOR JUDGE WORRAL BLUNT. When anyone comes in he assigns them a random crime. Guards know better than to come it here because the crime is binding. CRIMES: REDACTED. When you’re assigned a crime you’re magically compelled (WIS DC 15) to move into the next room.
9 9 jurors in high seats sentence you to life in prison, WIS DC 15. If the sentence takes, you’re then unable to leave the prison until you die. All guards now regard you as a prisoner regardless of your former status. REDACTED.
10 A pool of stagnant water fills the room. Leeches.
11 A RED KNIGHT. HD 10, HP 80, AC 20, SHIELD AND SPIKED MACE. MACE: 2 attacks, +8, 1d10+4, Special move: Stunning blow, successful hit has a 50% chance of stunning enemy for next turn (Con DC 12). Bonus action: makes a siren sound and red lights come shooting out of its helmet, makes talking over the noise impossible. Immune to anything red. Kills prisoners and guards on sight, ignores all others. Pile of dead bodies, in there is a hiding cat, an alive guard pretending to be dead, 100gold, and a magic ring shaped like a friendly little serpent that allows SPEAK TO SNAKES at will. No one can account for the red knight, they prefer to pretend it doesnt exist. He doesn’t leave the room.
12 Guards are putting prisoners into metal boxes are pushing them into the next room. On the ceiling is giant tarantula, HP 30, AC 12, Grab And Bite +6 1d6+1, Poison deals 2d6 damage (Con DC 16), also its bristles are covered in alluring aroma. Each time you’re poisoned, make an increasing Wisdom check DC 8+damage taken to avoid pushing your face deep into its wonderful cushiony bristels. It only attacks if you look at it.
13 The walls are lined with boxes. d6 guards loading them in. An esoteric sorting and labeling system. The boxes all have holes and slots. The prisoners are ok with this.
14. In a 10’ circle on the floor is inscribed a hideous sigil bleeding chaos energy. It hurts to look at and makes you nauseas. If you cross it REDACTED.
15 Red stone, white mosaic of a forest. In the middle of the room is a big hot bath of steaming water. Lounging in it is a naked old guy GRECKLE BLARN, a 10th level wizard whose soul is chained to the bath water. If the water is let out he screams and dies. A guard comes in every day to refill the water. REDACTED REDACTED.
17 This entire area is DARKENED. Not magically, there’s just no lights, and lights are illegal. The darkknights in this area see in unknown colors related to the meteorite’s rot—if inspected, their eyes are all oozing, but they can see just fine in complete dark. In this room the floor is criss-crossed with bottle-neck oubliettes—narrow holes that go down 25’ feet and open into a bottle-shaped chamber. Each one has a prisoner. Praying, crying. 4 DARKKNIGHTS: HD 8, AC 18, swords are also REDACTED. One of the prisoners is REDACTED.
18. Here’s an imprisoned monster that just looks like a giant head with stubby feet. He’s got a huge mouth with big flat molars. HD 12, AC 12, 3 Bites +10 3d12 damage. He attacks the most illegal person (highest thief level), otherwise is interested in swapping poetry, would like a little light. All doors into/out are locked DC 15. 
21 A flowing fountain coming out of a peeing cherub REDACTED. A ring in the fountain: shaped like a friendly little fish, 1/day user can shape a 10’ cube of water into whatever shape they want.
22 A feast in darkness! A really good banquet, big pillows, hot prisoners, guards eating and having fun, music, drugs, the works. 3d20 prisoners, d100 guards. If you hang out and eat the banquet, REDACTED. If you do the drugs HORSEHEAD, you’re able to see in the dark for 2d6 hours, but also d20 glowing radioactive skeletons have a 50% chance to replace any random encounter for duration. HP 5, AC 11, claw+5 1d4+1, also 1d6 damage per round to all within 15’, after damage taken=max HP then gain random mutation.



The guards their eyes are all leaking all over the table, they’re drinking and chatting, everyone’s hanging out and having a nice time.

The kitchen is in a weird metal shelter to the south! here is the chef ORACHAI KORDUL and his 3 cooks, ceaselessly making food. Foods of all varieties are here. Some special notes:

Among the rare spices is a jar of RONDING MALICK. This is worth 600 gold to a chef. If tasted, REDACTED
Tanks of lobsters, crabs, jellyfish, fish, giant isopods, songbirds. A tank with a great dane. A tank with a beetleman 
A very tall and extremely succulent looking cake is in the works! It will be served the next day. It is REDACTED REDACTED
24 Gallows in this room. d4+3 are hanging here. d6 dark guards going through their belongings.
25 On a DARKLY RADIANT THRONE is the DARKLY RADIANT DARK-KING MORNLING DROC. Silver eyes, dark skin, silver hair, elven in appearance, cruelly beautiful. He wears a coiled crown. Ostensibly his boss is Dendric Vast, but he is in love with Malareth. He goes to visit her 1/week and they have coffee and talk.

He blocks passage into Malareth’s chambers. 


He pretends to be her prison guard but of course is her protector. Ways to gain his trust: bring him the head of any cultists of urizen or show that you’re committed to undoing their works; slaying the demon of change; get a memento from the dwarves at the inn; etc.

People who know the truth: the darkknights, the witches. regular prison guards arent in on it


Also here: d4+3 knights, d6+1 guards, 2d20 slaves



The walls of the room are lined with weapons: flails, halberds, axes, clubs, swords, etc. REDACTED.

The door to Malareth’s room is all chained up and there’s a big padlock. He has the key.

Treasure is in a big gleaming titanium chest with a big beaked gargoyle face. The key is REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED. Inside is 3000 gold.

3 DAYS LOAN: 1500 gold

26 announcing room. a fancy rug has really over the top texture. cages lining the walls contain prisoners. 2 really beefy prison guards are here in charge of bouncing guests. HP REDACTED REDACTED.

27 well lit by glowing grubs in glass orbs. blue drapes. white marble floor. contorted prisoners turn to stone are used as furniture.
28. copper birdbath has fresh water. 12 songbirds are attached by chains to their legs to little hooks on the birdbath. a painting of a sun shines real sunlight here, allows 4 tangled bushes to grow. each one has an object at its center: severed head of a petrified prisoner. there’s twisty grass growing in planters too, this is food for the grubs.
29 Malareth’s room. Gold cloth on all surfaces. The stone is worked into benches, chairs, a heart-shaped bed. Malareth is a handsome older woman who wears a cloth mask, she is tired but patient and biding her time. Pallid Gross is a nuisance who tried to befriend her when she first moved in but she turned down his advances and he started trying to kill her, now they’re waging a war for control. She wants to be free but:


30 Here’s where the assassin ladies live. Soft cots, REDACTED.
31 Here’s where the cockatrices live. There are 8 of them, they each have a little bed. There’s a little music box in the shape of a hen that plays tinkling little music for a couple hours at a time, REDACTED REDACTED.

A. This broken staircase is not connected to anything. REDACTED REDACTED
B. There is a small keyhole in the middle of this stone slab. Anyone will tell you that is the secret treasure of CORONA VEST, REDACTED REDACTED.
C. A filthy merchant GRILDA YERT sells wares through a window. For sale: 12 Feral cats (24g for the whole pack), coal, a bad map of one-quarter of the prison (100g), a slave girl 600g (VERA TASIC), a potion of regenerate 300g (as the spell), a full window pane that magically fits into any opening less than 15 square feet and seals itself (500g). 
D. No clear way to get up here. 2d6 BIG BLACK BEETLES with no clear heads, they lift their wings and extrude a black, dripping skull and human-like hands. HP 20 AC 15 bite+4 3d6, they try to PUSH you off the edge while they eat another. A skeleton has a halberd that sheds ultralight in darkness (ultralight lets everyone see in bright purple hues while shedding no real light).

E. Exit to room 11. REDACTED.
F. Exit to room 33. A regular sized door.
G. Exit to room 36. Prison guards saying “I WONDER IF DENDRIC VAST WILL EVER DIE”
H. A makeshift art gallery. Terrible paintings, just black squares. A little art show is going on. One painting is actually a secret tunnel to room 45.
I. Exit to room 37. 
33 Blood stains all over the floor. Pressure plate on the floor someone automatically trips after walking through (choose randomly), then long 8 blades shoot out of the walls  at 4’ intervals. DEX save DC 16 or 8d8 damage. Perception 12 to notice. South wall is a REAL WHALE except it looks sort of fake—lacquered, painted, plastic-y. Its mouth sticks out of the wall. It can speak whale, it ate a prince or orostranthy while on a sailing expedition. It is evil. If it opens its mouth you can go to the next room.
34 A child being held by a statue of a gorilla. It is GORJA RUX, a serial killer from Belmric whose brain was transplanted into this child. He will lie and say he is Prince Llolg, made immortal by the prison’s magic, and the reason for the dragon curse, if he is freed the curse will be broken. Charisma 20, Lie+10, Persuade+10, he can automatically make one lie a day. Also in the room is a BEAUTIFUL PINE MARTEN the size of a horse. It is a construct and attacks anyone who attempts to free GORJA RUX with bizarre ferocity. AC 16 2 attacks +10 d20/d20, if both attacks hit it gets a bite attack at +10 for d30. 
35 A teapot. Inside there is a shining light—if you look through you can see out the top of a corresponding teapot in the keep. The opening is the size of two fingers forming an OK sign.
36 Tons of Chains dangle from the ceiling. A tall room (100’) but no stairs. It is an easy climb but you have to swing to get to the doors. NORTHEAST DOOR: 15’. NORTHWEST DOOR: 80’. SOUTHWEST DOOR: 60’.
37 Inverted pyramid set in the ground. At bottom is REDACTED REDACTED
38 Bored guards eating food. In this room REDACTED.
39 A pool of rusty water is filled to the brim with chains. No other way through.
40 A big wooden wickerman with a prisoner trapped in the chest. BRANKLE UNCE. There are 18 big torches all over the room and a burning chandelier poised over the wickerman, as well as complicated stakes and tensed wires strung all over the room. If you pass through the room carefully (take 10 full minutes), make a DC 10 Dex check to avoid triggering the wires and causing all the fires to fall on the Wickerman. Any faster and its DC 20. 
41 The southern door is blocked by a supernaturally fat and gigantic guard. He’s as big as a bull and he’s just sitting there. There’s a huge stack of magical custards that are endlessly brought to him by messengers from the excellent chef in room 22. REDACTED. As long as he eats custards, he is immovable, and invincible to normal weapons. REDACTED.
42 Empty room. Feels really peaceful. REDACTED.
43 Feelings of intense dread. 8 St. Andrew’s crosses have prisoners tied to them, each is being licked by a skeletal dog with a long fleshy tongue. They are HP 12 AC 14 Bite +6 2d6+2, If they lick you (also +6 versus a dexterity check) a random limb goes numb and turns against you for d10 rounds. 
44 This room is unlocked and open. Sitting at the center of a painted mandala is BOLTON REX, level REDACTED thief. The mandala is 20’ wide, and time moves exponentially faster the closer you get to the center. Just at the edge of the mandala time moves twice as fast, if you go all the way to the center 1 day will pass for every round. To outside observers they appear to just be moving sloooower and sloooooooower. BOLTON REX, a beefy lad with a sad face, is completely still, but if you happen to go all the way to him you can have a good conversation. He is honest, tells you he tried to steal a jewel from Queen Ang’s crown but got caught, tells you the jewel is worth 10,000 gold (far more than the crown), also tells you that REDACTED. He is bound to sit in the mandala forever, but to him it’s only been three or four hours. 
45 Another piranesi room. This one is completely frozen over—even walking through this room forces a Con save DC 15 every 5 minutes or you take d20 damage. The chains are all made of ice. 

A A COLUMN OF ICE. Inside can barely be seen a massive monster the size of a truck and its vast eye is pressed close to the surface. There are two other free-floating eyes in there. This is the ICE-AGE EYE and its KHOLDSTARE FRIENDS. It cannot speak. While imprisoned it can’t do much except create an endless winter, although once/day it can manifest a CHAIN OF ICE around a target of any size—STRENGTH SAVE 20 or be PERMANENTLY RESTRAINED. The column can only be melted by REDACTED.

KHOLDSTARE: Two great eyes of all white. HP 100, AC 18, 2 attacks per round: ice lasers +10, 4d8 cold damage. It can slice and dice with these (if it uses a full round action it targets d6 adjacent targets), and it can leave patches of icy ground (difficult terrain). Fly 40’.
B ICE SCULPTURE. A REDACTED brain can be seen frozen at the center. REDACTED REDACTED.
C HEATED GUARDS TOWER. A burning stove constantly being stoked with coal. Guards surveying the room. KORMLETH WUNT, captain of the cold guards, wears a THICK FUR COAT, he wears a FASCINATING WATCH that resembles the GOLDEN COMPASS. it is able to predict a random encounter 10 minutes before it occurs. There is a small safe, inside is 3d100 gold, one balloon of whale lard, 16 candles, and a glass jar with a SALAMANDER named “BRICK” inside.
D This lamp creates a BLUE LIGHT. When within 25’ feet of this light, one feels cheerful and glee, despite the horrible cold. It is inexplicable, but the guards feed it whale lard every 8 hours. If the light goes out, everyone in the cold chamber will become DEPRESSED and IRASCIBLE.
E. At the top of the ICE COLUMN can be glimpsed a WONDERFUL ITEMS under the ice. It is a SMOKING JACKET—REDACTED.
F Exit to 38. Gotta climb up to this bridge.
G Exit to 37
H Exit to 47
I Exit to 50
J Deadend landing. slippery. stairs up to A.
K Exit to 46
46 Roaring furnace. Extremely muscular smithy. BRANCO FORTUNE. He is forging chains. He is a far better smith than anyone in the overworld and proud of it. He is not reaching his full potential, and he is ashamed! He would like to make the finest armors and weapons in the world. As it is, for 1000g he is able to UPGRADE a weapon: A) Deal a QUADRUPLE CRITICAL once a session B) Increase its damage die by 1 step C) Downgrade a armor or weapon type while maintaining normal stats
47 This room is a glacier. A looooooooong ice cliff fall. The ice is melting and makes a roaring waterfall. Halfway down, embedded in the ice behind the waterfall, is a coffin. Inside the coffin is HORTREX UMBERT, a vampire, who was eating prisoners until he got frozen in.
48 Oh my god. A giant wooden wheel, an amazing feast takes place on it. If there is a food, it exists. The walls are adorned with 12 incredible paintings of sexual women REDACTED REDACTED. On the wheel are 4d20 guards partaking in an amazing feast. The food was all prepared in the dark rooms by the chef ORACHAI KORDUL. Guardmaster PLOTRY MUNDLE keeps the key to room 49, he is never drunk and carries 3 poisons: 1 forces the drinker to honestly answer all questions asked for 8 hours DC 20, 2 simply causes the drinker to Save v Death DC 20, success means you take 40 damage, 3 causes paralytic sleep for 8 hours, success means you black out for 3d6 minutes, DC 20. He can deploy these poisons with Sleight of Hand +8.
49 This room is locked and trapped. Lock DC 20 is kept by PLOTRY MUNDLE. REDACTED. Inside is a luxuriously appointed one-bedroom studio staffed by 6 muscled guards with black leather gloves. Here is kept Dendric Vast’s mother, URWETH VAST, imprisoned by Dendric Vast for her repeated attempts to end his life. She loves him and wants him to die, because he is an abomination she gave birth to. Old, handsome, in lovely dresses, tressed of golden hair, heavily made-up. Here are some things she knows:
Dendric Vast’s greatest insecurity is that he died as a child (he drowned in a puddle but URWETH saved him) and never returned to life, and has been actually dead ever since
What hurts him the most: his prison is in chaos, and can’t effectively contain anything.
The people he cares about: his brother RICHARN VAST (an insurance bureaucrat in Solemn Cry), his sister VERONICA VAST (an cobbler in Belmric), his dead lover YOREVA MOLN, buried on a lonely hill to the west.
She wants a message brought to TALTRALTH YRBICORN: “AT NIGHT A LEOPARD CRIES AT THE PORT DOOR.” If Yrbicorn hears this he will begin to weep, say he understands, and dedicate himself to killing Dendric Vast. These were the words his daughter said before she was wrongly executed. 
She offers gifts! If she trusts the PCs, she will gift them food, a sculpture of an elephant worth 300gold, and a book containing a 3-person one-act play which is a ritual to cast the spell Teleport. The costumes and set design costs 1000gold and it must be witnessed by at least 25 people to worth. Takes 45 minutes and works automatically. The play is about the transfiguration of Saint Forpet, who was turned into the sky.

50 This room is bounded by curtains of woven iron. Each one weighs 500lbs, they take a Strength check DC 15 to move aside. Wrapped in cold iron filaments is a white elf ORLEN SINDWE, a diplomat from Velenheim sent to Solemn Cry to murder a human spy from Belmric who carried secrets from Velenheim. He was successful but the secret in question (the location of the Phylacteries of the Undying Kings), which was hidden inside a stuffed cat, was given to the child of another diplomat and is being carried to Belmric. Orlen Sindwe is desperate to stop it but cannot. In 1 minute the assassins from room 51 enter and try to kill him.
51 9 white elf vikings sent to kill Orlen Sindwe for failing in his mission. They are 20hp each, AC 15 (elven chainmail), have black eyes and jagged yellow teeth, attack with bone longswords +7 d8+3. 1 is a necromancer, fly into a fury when dealt damage (advantage with attacks and strength, 1/2 damage from weaponry, +4 damage on all hits). HP 14, Whenever his fellows die he can cast RAISE on them as a reaction: they come to life as a 10HP AC 11 STR 20 zombie which is immune to normal weapons. 2 incredibly strong claws +9 d20/d20 and grab. Other wizard spells deal 1dmg/level to him. WIZARD is named CORECH ULIEL, Special treasure: POWER ZOMBIE (3rd level) must be cast as a 8 hour ritual on the participant, and afterwards can be cast as a reaction to instantly raise someone who dies as this super-powerful zombie. 500gold
52 A lost guard RUNLEY VORD carries a message from the confessor for PALLID GROSS (60). He is trying to reach Malareth but became hopelessly lost. He will tell the PCs he is trying to reach the Dark-King Mornling Droc.. The message says: “Handsome Malareth, the next stage of his plan draws near. It will occur at the third changing of the guards. His control of the north will soon be total if nothing is done. Send someone to meet me inside Bolton Rex’s cell at the next change of the guards and I’ll tell you everything. DUND. PS: I heard him say the Lord of Change was smuggled in through a teapot. Could this help? PPS: The blood cakes were delicious. Your shipment of silver will arrive soon.” The message is hidden in his shoe.
53 d20+10 guards dancing. Their weaponry is put aside and they wear flowers. Two guards SIMON OLGRED and BURNARD HUEY are getting SECRETLY MARRIED. REDACTED REDACTED. There’s a normal guard at each door who asks identity and lies about how the room is closed because of flooding. You can hear music beyond. As soon as the PCs try to enter, the two guards will get married in 10 minutes, and then there will be a big dance party.
54 A prisoner wears a sign.
55 A prison knight. The room is streaked with gore. If anyone who is not a prison guard comes in here, the prison knight automatically attacks. REDACTED REDACTED.
56 THE INN. The proprietor is NORMROD ECKSTROM, who once worked in the prison but managed to start this inn and bar for the guards. Stairs to bedrooms upstairs. A rowdy group of 13 dwarves found their way up into the prison from REDACTED. Their group is called the CHANCE-MAKERS and they are traveling back to the Augur of the Sun. They have found a complicated stone puzzle box which contains REDACTED—if you hang out with them and drink enough they’ll bring it out and start talking about it, and if no one stops them they’ll start to try to open it. It takes three intelligence 20 checks to open (first layer is a complicated cube with runes promising secrets, second layer is a complicated pyramid covered in runes denoting travel, third layer is a complicated sphere covered in flames, and if successful REDACTED REDACTED.

57 An eerie room with an intense feeling of unreality. Hazy brown darkness. The stone here is much older than the other rooms. REDACTED. 

60 CONFESSOR’S ROOM. A big elaborate confessional booth. The confessor DUND is a prisoner inside. REDACTED. When someone tells him something he puts it in a bat. The ceiling is LINED with bats, the floor is covered in bat dung. REDACTED REDACTED.

One-use 60’ hole in a potion. Lasts 10 rounds, then just elevators upwards and seals over. Leads to a smooth black place.


An elaborate black metal cage floats in the middle of the room. Pallid Gross is inside. He is a thin, wretched man with a long nose and crude face, he clutches the bars and whines, he is old. Also in this room is a big t-rex head that guards him—the head of SAINT LORGO, a dinosaur saint of urizen, who was fossilized and dug up and reanimated.


63 Low 6’ ceilings. Black marble mirrored floors and ceiling. Far below can be dimly seen a man wrapped in chains. This is REDACTED. There is a brass plaque in the floor in the middle of the room: “HERE IS GORGON WRECK. CRIMES: CANNIBALISM, INFANTICIDE.” On the underside of the plaque is a MAGICAL WORD: VITHEREDV. REDACTED

MIRROR with a SILVER CASE. When exposed to moonlight the glass disappears and allows you to walk through to the other side of the dungeon, except REDACTED.
64 Red flowers in 4 tall vases. Hidden in a secret compartment at the base of one vase is a bag with 3d100 gold, a potion of RECALL 1d4 SPELLS, and an ivory SEEKING ARROW (+10 attack). (hidden and forgotten). On the floor is a thick hardcover novel. “THE GROWN KING.” It’s about an unlikely king who was grown from a worm found in a child’s stomach and his adventures. The adventures become increasingly cruel and bloody and end with the king growing into a tumorous mass without personality or agency, but beloved by all. 
65 A truly escheresque room. A tangle of staircases, railings, landings, arches, that meet in the middle and run along all surfaces. It can be safely assumed that the floor, north wall, and east wall can be traversed more or less fully, and while the other surfaces don’t have flat surfaces to walk there are enough sideways landings and staircases that they can be climbed with some difficulty (DC 15). 

Guarding this room are 3 beast headed DEMONS OF CHANGE. Heads of beasts, bodies of hairy men, largely endowed, they are pierced, and they are the guardians of Pallid Gross’ chambers. If anyone enters, the demons ask “Who do you serve?” The correct answer is “Dead Urizen, Who Changes Me.” Wrong answer means the demons tell you to leave.

HD 10, HP 80, AC 15, 2 bites +9 2d8+4, Immune to Normal Weapons, Reflect Transmutation 50%, They each have different Bonus Powers 1/round: (Crocodile head) Two Targets In Sight Switch Place (No Save), (Swan head) Polymorph Non-Magical Object Into Similar Sized Thing (No Save), (Bat head) Target’s Gravity Alters 90 Degrees (No Save).

Spells (Each, 1/day): Livid Moonbeam (3d10 radiation damage, blisters appear), Weird Invisibility (Target is unable to see living creatures), Mutant Healing (Willing target regains 70 hit points and a random mutation), Alter Flesh (Unwilling and restrained target’s body is messed with, stretched, twisted, written in, etc, retains full functionality except as implied), Vomit Sleep (vomits a line of white slime that travels in a straight line for 60’, deals 8d6 damage and you sleep for 1 minute unless take damage or an action to shake awake, Dex save for half damage and no sleep)

Their strange possessions:

One has a strange charred ring, hot to the touch, with a keyhole in the top. One has a necklace with a twisted piece of metal, the other has a necklace with a corresponding twisted piece of metal. If fitted together it forms a small key that goes into the ring. Its hard to turn but when it does, REDACTED REDACTED.


Stained glass shows a cacophony of flickering images that make no sense. REDACTED. 2d6 cultists of urizen are here in their weird robes and they’re chanting backwards different praises for the gods (its heresy). The guy at the front sort of looks like a person from a distance but up close can clearly be perceived to be made from a mottled slime that barely coheres, REDACTED REDACTED. He has one of the keys to the vault.

SECRETS HERE: there are obvious doors to the east and west. Behind the altar is a secret door to the nursery—you get there by twisting the vulture statue. You can hear BABIES CRYING from beyond the altar there. 

LITTLE EAST ALCOVES: Each of these has a SMALL METAL RELIQUARY, one shaped like a wolf and one shaped like a boar. In the wolf (left) in a glass amulet is REDACTED. In the right one is a shriveled eye of St. Gruilleath, who REDACTED. If the eye of St. Gruilleath is put in your eye-socket, you become able to see REDACTED fear REDACTED REDACTED. REDACTED.

THE PLANT IS SPIKY AND ALIVE: if you get close, it’ll extrude a bunch of serpent head flowers. 4 attacks +6 1d6+5 and poisoned for 10 minutes. It has 10hp, AC 9.

67. A huge blue vault door LOCKED with an extremely fancy lock. REDACTED.
68 Hmmmm. Something pretty safe. Just an empty vaulted room. A deep 60’ oubliette in the middle with a wine bottle open. The top is only 3’ wide but it widens to 5’. At the bottom are 13 skeletons, HP 5 AC 11 1 attack +3 1d6, and a dead skeleton with a bottle of wine and a key that fits into the next door its used on and a crumpled page: “the witch who brought me showed the mirror a pale shard that glowed like the moon and bade me walk through but she remained on the other side and put it away and i could not pass back and i tried to get the gold from the blue door but the blue man came out and put me here, pray for my soul
69 A nursery with a bunch of oversized balls which weight like 50 pounds each and stuffed ripped up toys and 4 CAMBIONS. They’re crying and 3 hot nurses in rubber outfits are feeding them ground prisoners and big oversized bottles of blood and REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED.


70 Okay here’s a giant stone altar piled with living mutant gore and tumors and chained to it are 8 screaming hot chicks being whipped and bled by prison guards and cultists and sometimes prisoners are brought in here and thrown onto the LUMP and absorbed into it and sometimes the cultists cut parts off the lump to feed to the cambions. 


The OFFSPRING has a 30% chance of being here

An offspring of the lump is a flesh amoeba as large as a car, in a clear fluid filled bubble through milky fluid can be glimpsed a statue of a DWARF. OFFSPRING: HP 50, AC 19 (thick fat, bone crusts, vulnerable organs are deep inside, it is like carving off dead meat), Grasping hairs x3 range 15’ Grapple +14, after another failed grapple it can pull you inside, where you are restrained and take d20 damage per round; it can also spray digestive fluid in a line 80’ long for 8d6 damage (Dex 15 half) 3/day; PSYCHIC DWARF: HP 30 AC 23 Immune to piercing and slashing, 1/2 bludgeoning. PSYCHIC POWERS: MARTYR POWER - You must make eye-contact with a target within 10’. They will take 2x the damage or healing that you receive for 3d4 rounds (Will save).; AMNESIA: Everyone within 10’ forgets the last 1 minute and are stunned for 1 action (Will save); TELEKINESIS (as spell); Everyone in fifteen foot sphere is pushed away 5d4 feet, wall and ceiling crushed away in perfect sphere, you get a nosebleed. If someone is crushed against a wall or object they take 8d6 damage (Con save for half).  TREASURE: crushed and smashed inside the offspring is 400 + d100 gold, and a length of cold iron chain 20’ long, when bound to elves, fey, and goblins the chain causes tormenting pain and halves their strength score

the dwarf is ROUVU TARK, who meditated by a crystal skull for 1 year and 1 day, and awoke with psychic powers. aware of his mortality he turned himself to stone. a demon offered him protection and he accepted and worked in urizen’s army until they offered him the offspring. 



72 On the ceiling is a huge stone satan face with a gaping black mouth. REDACTED.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Half Dragons

I always start with the image. So, you're in a hallway, there's arched ceilings, there are torch sconces. The dust lies deep on the royal carpets, there's dust on the sconces, there's dust on the painted reliefs. They look like Final Fantasy concept art, the paintings, lemme find a pic.

Like this. It's the history of Orostranthy I suppose. The inside of Solemn Cry has a Final Fantasy flavor to it. Really high ceilings, polished marble, views of the city from high up. Guards in stone armor. Yellow light through open windows that look out on the cracked landscape of the wastes, in all directions a canyoned land, copses of poisoned trees, thin clouds blow in a whistling wind.

So you're in here. And what comes down the hallway at you--this is really as far as I've gotten--is the half-dragon. I have a few ideas for what it looks like but I'm imagining it's extremely traditional, like one of these:


Except it's cut clean in half, only half of it is coming at you. There's just a polished smooth surface on the flat side, hard as stone, and the live side is alive and reptilian.

I imagine it has half the stats of a full-grown dragon. So 1/2 the HP, 1/2 the attacks (except same damage and bonus), 1/2 the breath-weapon damage in half a cone, fuck maybe even 1/2 the AC. They only tell half-truths.

I bet the flat side is immune to magic and damage. Maybe it can fall over and crush you with it.

They are the children of Azhardhul The Black Drake, who was turned to stone by martyred Saint Coreme after oppressing the kingdom of Orostranthy for generations. The stone was quarried from his corpse and used to make a city at the mouth of the desert valley of Izorides. His genetic material remained in the stone and sprouted new dragons, and they were carved off and put to use as guards for princes and princesses. But the princes and princesses are dead now, and the dragons like all dragons collect treasure. They collect whole, undamaged treasure and virgins, and keep them and admire them for a while, and in fits of mania half them, and when they come to their senses, discard.

There are three or four, all different. I'm sure they tried to combine at one point but it didn't work out.