Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Old Islands Three: another version of the map.

Not set on names yet, and this is sloppy, so I'll likely do another version on hex paper. Larger version: here.

Tomorrow: area descriptions and critters (maybe).

The Old Islands 2- or watch as I continue to pull a setting out of my ass

The Old Isle:
Books in use: Labyrinth Lord; Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque; Realms of Crawling Chaos; LL Advanced Edition Companion

Some influences: Moby Dick, by Herman Melville; The Crucible by Arthur Miller; HPL fiction; Solomon Kane Stories by REH; The Monk by Mathew Lewis; Castle of Ontoranto by Harold Walpole; Dracula by Bram Stoker; Frankenstein by Mary Shelly; Gotham by Gaslight and Hellboy by Mike Mignolia; The Crooked Man by Mike Mignolia and Richard Corben; Corben horror comics;  Gangs of New York;  Sleepy Hollow;  the scientific revolutions of the 19th century; the demise of the geocentric model of cosmology; the Torah;  the rise of the Creationist movement and the implied logic behind it.

Character Generation:  Select a race from RoCC; a class from the AEC; roll a background and a dark secret from Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque

Myth (?): Long ago, annoyed by the chatter of his worshipers, the Entropic Lord destroyed the world with a great deluge. The peoples of today’s world are descendent sof the flood’s survivors.

Recorded History:

Although, with exception of a few human settlements, the Old Isles were largely uninhabited when first discovered some 600 years ago, evidence of a former occupation remained. Ancient tumbledown ruins lay inland, sunken structures were and still are, seen along the coasts and even upon the floor the open ocean.

Settlers from the Urveon Continent arrived en mass roughly 50 years after the island was discovered, bringing their religion, (the Humble Church of the Hidden Way) and semi-industrial technology with them. The islands’ human inhabitants either fled into the woodlands, or assimilated with the new masters of the islands. The latter process turned out to be surprisingly seamless, perhaps due to the church’s perspective that all mortal beings are equally despicable in the eyes of the Entropic Lord and must be brought into the fold if his attention is to continue to be averted.

200 years have past since the last contact with Urveon. No ships sent in that direction return.

Industrialization has taken off in the last 50 years.

The year is now 4880 AD [After Deluge].

Population: the total population of the islands is ~1 million, a full 80% of the population lives in the industrial city/port of Stoker on the North Island (place holder name).  

Races (in order of population size): White apes; Sea Blood; Humans; Sub Humans (not an actual species, but the victims of a communicable curse).

Technology: early industrial, steam cars, trains, (sporadic) telegraph; clipper and steam ships. Cottage industry still in competition with industrial production from household and craft goods, but losing ground.

The First Commandment: Thou shalt not make thouself known to the Entropic Lord.

The Humble Church of the Hidden Way does not worship the Entropic Lord. Instead it teaches the doctrine of spiritual stealth. The ultimate goal is to keep the Entropic Lord from paying attention to the world and its inhabitants, lest he bring about another flood or a like disaster. Clerics of the order actually cast spells in an effort to deplete the world of magical energy. Magic Users however violate the laws of space-time by bringing additional magic into creation when they cast spells and are thus despised as witches and the enemies of life.

Prayer is the ultimate blasphemy, as it is an attempt to engage in direct dialogue with the Entropic Lord; and the true name of the entropic lord is the Church’s greatest secret. Only the most depraved individuals would whisper it.

True believers spend at least two hours a day engaged in a meditative process known as purging in which they attempt to blank out their thoughts and suppress their personality in an effort to keep the world quiet and once again, avoid the attention of the Entropic Lord.

Apostasy is however on the rise as “reason” and science attempt to define the world in non supernatural terms within educated urban circles and secret pagan religions based upon faith and worship fester along the backstreets and in the countryside.

The outward manifestation of all this is almost identical to hard core Puritanism. Everybody wears black all the time too.

Society is a mix of Victorian Style formality (upper class);  early Industrial Revolution, urban despair/debauchery and decay; and rough and tumble frontier rusticism.

Weather: The Old Isle lie deep in the southern hemisphere, but are warmed by a jet stream type wind. The great ocean known as God’s Gulf is extremely turbulent and stormy. 

Next (before I go to bed even, a map)

The Old Islands: sometimes things get out of control

Earlier today I posted a slightly edited version of this on the RPG site:

I'm sitting here looking at Jack Shear'a [I]Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque[/I] and the LL supplement [I] Realms of Crawling Chaos[/I], trying to resit the urge to make a new setting that incorporates material from the two, but is chiefly inspired by the process of scientific advancement which took place during the 19th century in regards to archaeology, geology, paleontology and biology, coupled with a the dreary, ubiquitous and oppressive presence of a very dour and puritanical, but somehow well meaning, religion.

I want to start with a chain of islands, with one or two moderate sized ports and a scattering of small coastal and inland settlements, scattered across a cold northern sea, far away from the old country, but long settled.

Although I'd set aside this break for Metal Earth work (some of which I've already done). I couldn't leave this alone and I've wanted to throw together a setting for pick up games for quite some time. So I started this map...

Anyway it occurs to me that it might be kind of fun to chronicle the development of this thing over the next couple of days.  If i get the time, I'll post another version of the map and some particulars later tonight.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Xolox, Level one, Beneath the Maiden [MAP]

A spiral stair found within the structure known as the Maiden, leads down into the darkness, and into what was once the true abode of the space vampires. They lived, fed, worshiped their obscene martian gods and exercised their unholy science within these tunnels, leading some scholars to believe that the architecture of Under Xolos is a physical reflection of the aggression, paranoia, isolation and lust that are said to lie at the core of every vampire.

Once the vampires ruled Satan's Spine, but the waxing of the sun brought them down. Here though, at Xolos, isolated from even the wasteland by the lethal vapors of the Blacksmoke sea, one must wonder: what secrets, what treasures, what power might linger?

Larger version HERE.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Humans as a class, the Endless- reskinning the B/X elf

The Endless

Requirements: INT 9
Prime Requisite: STR and INTa
Hit Dice: 1d6
XP to second level: 4300

Before their empires crumbled, humans perfected the science of life extension. Although there are (or may be) a few remaining breeder populations, a major subset of the extant human population consists of ancient survivors of the forgotten past. And that past is truly forgotten, because, as it turns out, it is very difficult for humans to retain memories for more than a couple of hundred years. As a result, the Endless periodically enter a period known as the fugue, where they forget themselves and must begin anew. 

Although personal memories are often reduced to images or short, difficult to interpret mnemonic flashes, not everything is lost; in fact, some things are never wholly forgotten.  Endless never forget the basics of combat and magic use. They can wield any weapon and wear any armor, in addition to casting spells as a sorcerer. For the Endless, the process of level progression is more of a process of recollection than one of new skill acquisition.
Endless advance in combat as Adventurers and may select one advantage from the Adventurer list every three levels (beginning with level 3). [Adventurers will be covered in an upcoming post].

An Endless must have at least 13 in both prime requisites in order to get the +5% to experience. They must also have an INT of 16 and a STR of 13 to get the +10% bonus.
Endless have darkvision of 60 feet, and have keen eyes that allow them, when actively searching, to detect hidden and secret doors with a roll of 1-2 on 1d6. Because of their altered physiques, endless are completely unaffected by the paralysis ghouls and other undead can inflict.

Pretty sure I pinched at least a line or two directly from Labyrinth Lord's Elf class.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Districts of Skull: The North Gallery and the Kennel

Map of Skull
The North Gallery:
This neighborhood occupies the north central area of the city, north of the Canal of the Moon and roughly bounded by the Lesser Ziggurat in the east and the Kennel in the west. Streets and tenements in this area tend to have poetic names, which sometimes seem ironic given their generally dilapidated state; the vegetation in the North Gallery, while kept from completely overwhelming the avenues, is otherwise largely allowed to grow unchecked. Creepers crawl up the sides of nearly every building and weeds of every variety trust up through cracks in the ancient pavement.
This Gallery is the most densely populated section of the city, with most of its residents crammed into over-crowded multi story tenements., or, as is the case with the slaves, kept below ground in the green shaft.  Despite the ubiquity of coster mongers selling various kinds of food (mostly a dubious sort of sausage served on algae bread) the majority of the population subsists for the most part on pap and water. There is a little money here though, as the Kennel employs grooms from amongst the laborer caste and skilled workers from the artisan class. With the exception of the lanes and streets surrounding the Kennel and the Lesser Ziggurat, nymphs are in abundance, although, unlike their counterparts in forecourt the nymphs are named and attached to families. Priest tend to move through this neighborhood in force. 

The Kennel
This is large long building belongs to the Dogmen and their charges the Nuerohounds.  The Dogmen are males of the mixed humanoid type generally known as the blend, although there are a few other types in the corps as well.
Priests, regardless of their ministry, stay away as the predilection of the neurohounds to snatch and kill nymphs without warning or provocation has resulted in the deaths of many of their number. Of course unaffiliated and family nymphs do not approach the Kennel or its immediate vicinity.
The taverns frequented by the Dogmen and their servitors are among the most relaxed places in the city. Regular citizens and visitors must be wary, however, as more than the occasional visit to these places will attract the interest of the Ministry of Control. This interest is more than just bureaucratic interference however, as this section of the city conceals the heart of the city’s underworld/black market.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Metal Earth contains several elements that might be considered anachronistic.

Rock Bands: Several 20th- 21st century style rock bands continuously tour Satan’s Spine.  Often they engage in blood feud with one another.

Cigarettes: Mass market pre-rolled cigarettes are commonly available throughout Satan’s spine. Tobacco is produced primarily at S’zan, although a small amount is exported from  Rax-Ur as well.

Movies:  Accompanying caravans or moving about on their own, independent projectionists travel from settlement to settlement with old style movie projectors and their precious collections of films, mostly westerns, mostly sub-titled in half a dozen forgotten languages, which they display for the edification and entertainment of the latter day masses. Usually projectionists, or their assistants, will stand beside the screen and recite a narrative poem which explains the events in the film. Most of these poems are thousands of years old and passed down through time by the Projectionists Guild. 

I'll add to this list as time goes on. 

What kind of anachronisms do you have in your game?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Statblocks for dungeon rooms:


An example

8. Office of the Chef
Illumination: None
Smell: A hint of corruption.
Hazards: Quiet ones, see paragraphs 1 and 2; pan rack, see paragraph 3

As the PCs enter this room, four Quiet Ones shamble towards them out of the darkness- unless they have already attacked during the fight with the feathered serpent in area 7.
A large writing desk dominates the southern wall. 

Quiet Ones
AC 5[14] HD:1 Move: 8, Attack: Spiked limbs 1d6, Special:  quiet ones project a 10’ sphere of silence
Countless spikes (each identical to the one found in on the floor of area 1) pierce the desiccated, rotting corpses of these shambling undead sasquatch. The shimmering remnants of their defiled souls flicker and flash over their patchy rotten pelts like unholy lightning.

A rack of gold and silver pots and pans lines the entire length of the eastern wall. It is rickety.  If any one attempts to remove a single pot or pan the entire rack will fall across the entire room, inflicting everyone 2d6 damage on everyone within; ST for ½ damage.

The benefit is the presentation of the salient aspects of the room in an ‘at a glance’ format, which can help to limit missed and/or forgotten details.

Other stats could be added, such as an arbitrary danger scale, or treasure. Furthermore, not all rooms will require the same statblock, each can be tailored for the individual room, presenting only what is deemed necessary by the DM.

Skull: The Lesser Ziggurat

Map to the left, third from the top.

The Lesser Ziggurat:
A step pyramid built of starstone, the Lesser Ziggurat houses the ancient oracular god-creature known as the Mollusk and his devotees, the Mollusk Maidens. Travelers come from all over the Spine, and perhaps beyond (if such places exist outside the tales of children) come to Skull in order to receive the Mollusk’s wisdom.
The Mollusk is served by the Mollusk Maidens, a diverse cadre of a dozen women with reputably formidable sorcerous and martial abilities.
Coil’s relationship with the Mollusk is poorly understood, and is a subject of great deal of debate amongst scholars.  The current theory, constructed from half remembered accounts of the Fugue, is that the origins of Coil, The Mollusk and the great skull are linked in some way.
The price of the oracle is usually a powerful magic/technological item and 100,000 pieces of gold. However, it has been known to go for far more, and occasionally seemingly nothing at all. 

I've made some changes  to the layout of the blog and switched out the header. There are maps linked to the left and some of my art to the right. Hopefully, it's not all too much of an eyesore.

Skull: The Canals, the Nursery and the most wonderful day of the year!

Map of Skull

Three posts in three days- can you dig it?

The Canals:
Linked at the Nursery, The Canal of the Sun and the Canal of the Moon provide a convenient way to move goods and people through the city. Although there are only two permanent bridges  (as pictured on the map) one for each canal, temporary wooden bridges are often in service. Coil, however, has a tendency to smash them every now and again- for reasons no one really understands. 

The Nursery:
This huge artificial pool serves as a public bath, a juncture between the Skull’s two major canal systems and as an egg bed for Coil. On any given day dozens of gondolas (private and for hire), hundreds of swimmers and countless nymphs frolic and cavort in the clear water at the surface, seemingly oblivious to the thousands and thousands of fist sized translucent eggs clustered  in twisted pulsating lumps, like some unwholesome coral reef, along the uneven floor of the pool.

Every spring the Nursery hosts a ritual bloody enough to rival any in the Earth’s history; the eggs hatch and countless nymph-hatchlings swarm into the water of the Nursery. Thousands of slaves are forced into the pool to feed the ravenous hatchlings, earning the ritual its sobriquet, the Blood Bath. When the feeding frenzy is done, nothing remains of the sacrificed slaves but a greasy slick on the churning surface of the pool.  Once the hatchlings are sated, they become torpid and sluggish. At this time Coil descends from its place atop the grand Ziggurat and rampages through the Grove eating or just killing anyone unwise (or unlucky) enough to cross its path. Upon arriving at the Nursery, Coil plunges into water and eats the vast majority of the nymphs in a second and even more violent orgy of consumption. Crowds of loyal citizens watch the entire spectacle whilst picnicking in the square to the East of the Nursery. The nymphs that survive the ritual become part of the city's population.

The end of all things...
As of now, this blog is entering its final year. I have given myself twelve months to finish up here and then I'm going to move on. I have decided to focus my creativity in another direction.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Districts of Skull: the Dunes and the Blind

Map of Skull

The Dunes
A small settlement of shanties, inns and warehouses, known as the Dunes, lies in the shadow of Skull. By the consent of Coil, three insector hive-brothers govern there. Merchants unwilling to enter Skull (there are many), deep desert nomads, salvage prospectors and drifters account for much of the town’s transient population; however the Ministry of Control and the Dogmen both maintain a visible presence and act as a constant reminder of Coil's power. There are several taverns and rooming houses- kept separate, as per the Insector custom. The Dunes is notorious for its population of lawlessness rapacious vermin. More than one unwary traveler has fallen asleep in the Dunes and awoken to find herself covered in sand leaches or linked to a slave chain bound for Skull.

The Blind:
Due to the angle at which the god-skull rests on the desert surface, the lower orbit of the right eye socket is situated but three chains from ground level. An ancient stair, carved into the eyesocket leads from the desert floor up into Skull proper and the Ministry of Control's (MoC) fortified checkpoint. The MoC must vet all visitors to the city. Only those who can prove they have business in the city, or wish to become citizens are allowed beyond this point and into the Forecourt. Merchants are directed to the Exchange and prospective citizens are led off to the Tower of Control for processing. Nymphs, free and bonded, are everywhere here, scurrying and watching as they always do.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Deep Desert Gazetteer Part I

This is a first pass. No doubt, it will mutate and expand before we get started with the game.


12. Located at the northeastern base of the Hellhole, 12 is a Scorn settlement cluster, consisting of several large dome habitats and a number of underground complexes. The aliens represent the strongest military presence within the Black Smoke Sea, but they cannot be said to truly control the region. The Airlords trade with the Scorn, but neither the Herd nor the Trund do so.

Battlefield Reach:  The trackless, monster infested, radioactive wasteland known as Battlefield Reach sprawls across the ruins of what was once a great super-technological metropolis. Ranging from scrap metal to ancient coins to wondrous items of every possible description, the treasure yielded up by these ruins draws a steady stream of scavengers from across the length and breadth of Satan’s Spine.  Most of the scavenger bands meet up in and operate out of Great Stone Ship.

The Black Smoke Sea:  Comprised primarily of cursed noxious vapors, toxic volcanic gas and malignant spectral plasm, the Black Smoke Sea occupies a great basin situated between the Western Mountains and the Cracked Land. Hazards abound, above, within and beneath the sea’s deadly black clouds. In addition to the unwholesome atmosphere, mysterious tribes and savage, twisted monstrosities evolved to survive in the poisonous environment inhabit and hunt the basin’s floor; violent seismic activity is frequent; and angry spirits filter and prowl through the gaseous murk, jealous of the living and eager to feast upon them.

The Bleak Mountains: High Windy and cold, the Bleak Mountains, present a marked contrast to the heat and aridity of the desert lowlands, but represent an environment as harsh and hostile to life as any in the region.  During the first decades of their lives, before they depart for the stars, many rocs make their nests on some of the higher peaks.

The remoteness and inaccessibility of the chain makes it an ideal refuge. The Dark Mark (an assassins’ guild) the Cult of Gllorr’r (a vile religion centered around an ancient Martian fertility deity) and countless dark wizards are said to have strongholds, hidden away within the mountain fastness. The White Apes have a city, Krag, halfway up the slope of the Thorn, the highest peak in the chain. 

The Cracked Land:  Boulder fields, volcanic vents and uneven, fissured plains of obsidian make up most of the Cracked Land. Magma elementals live and war amongst themselves in the deeper fissures. Loosely knit Sasquatch motorcycle gangs compete with a savage confederation of Minotaur road warrior tribes for control of the area. Each group lives a nomadic lifestyle, growing food in special oversized trucks and drawing on geothermal heat to power their vehicles.  There are no known permanent settlements.

Demon’s Beach: Once the floor of a long forgotten sea, Demon’s Beach is now a vast and flat expanse of crusted salt. The sun pummels the plain with savage, unrelenting intensity. Little lives above ground. However, a vast network of linked natural and artificial caverns, known as the Etros, lies buried deep beneath most of the salt flat. Many dangerous creatures live here. In most of the rest of Satan’s Spine it is commonly believed that Etros is where the souls of the dead reside. Little is known about the nameless domes in the northeastern expanse of Deamon’s Beach.

Great Stone Ship: A titanic sea-going vessel of unknown origin and purpose, Great Stone Ship lies on the desert floor, marking out the northeast boundary of Battlefield Reach. At the base of the ship, in the shade on its northern side, crouches a lowdown settlement of scavengers and prospectors. It is here that the narcotic telouze is manufactured, distilled from a viscous black ooze that rises up from lesions in the earth, found in secret caverns either beneath or nearby the ship.  As with most aspects of life at Great Stone Ship, the Telouze trade is tightly controlled by the local chapter of the Rogue’s Knot.

Krag:  Halfway up the slopes of the mountain called Thorn, the White ape city of Krag resides at roughly 350 chains (23,000 feet/7010 meters) above sea level. Although considered somewhat reclusive, the yeti trade with both the Airlords and the Nuphal; however such is not the case regarding the Trund with whom the residents of Krag have an age long enmity. The city’s defenses are considered to be invulnerable, and the Snow Guard, Krag’s army, second to none; however, it is not military prowess for which the city is known, but for sorcery.  While the white apes remain aloof, and officially neutral in regards to politics, individual brothers of Thorn’s Shadow (the city’s fraternal order of sorcerers) are employed as viziers in nearly every court across the breadth of Satan’s Spine.

Port: What is left of the ancient city of Port can be found near the summit of a low mountain rising up from the bone white plain of Demon’s Beach. This lonely mountain was once a small island, but the land lifted and the sea receded, leaving the city marooned far inland.

Due to its altitude, Port has a milder climate than the desert below.  Life flourishes there. The city has two functioning ag-caverns and access to clean water.  Seeing a chance for sustained survival, if not endless wealth, several factions vie for control of the ancient ruins. The rat folk are probably the strongest group, but several individual monsters rival them in power. Port is one of the few places with easily found access to the Etros.

Rrouz: Famed for its smithies and their wares, Rrouz is also the home to many artisans, artificers and craftsmen of all sorts. The city is nominally under Shae control, but taxes are used to pay tribute to Skull and in reality the ruling council is little more than a puppet government; it is Coil who actually controls Rrouz.  Despite this affiliation, the city is far less oppressive than Skull itself. Many expatriates live in a small neighborhood called Skull-town. Everyone trades at R’Rouz.

Skull: Located deep within the Anvil of Sun and ruled over by the devious and gleefully malignant centipede creature known as Coil, Skull is a city built inside the final remaining relic of a long dead god. Despite Skull’s location at the center of the waste, cool air flows through its neighborhoods and lush tropical growth looms over its sparkling canals; further, the city boasts some of the most productive agricultural caverns (green shafts) on the continent.  This fecundity can be attributed in part to vast subterranean sea located far below Skull’s bustling streets, and on which the plants and people of Skull depend upon more than any other resource for their survival. It is perhaps the largest source of untainted water on the continent, maybe the world. Another contributing factor is the vast god skull itself; its osseus dome is semi translucent, blocking the worst effects of the sun, yet allowing sufficient light through to nourish the gardens below.

The Skrag:  A generally flat, but somewhat rolling expanse of sage steppe, the Skrag supports a surprising array of life forms. Beneficiaries of rainfall and runoff patterns, scrub and cactus grow in abundance sufficient to support large herbivores and their attendant predators. During lean times, hunters from all over the deep desert will cross over to the Skrag to look for game. This is a dangerous practice, however; the native predators are clever and bloodthirsty opportunists, who wont hesitate to turn a competitor into a meal.

For now, just an inked version of the picture from my last post. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Deep Desert Map, a few words about space vampires and another pencil sketch

Here is the most recent version of the campaign area. The most significant change from the last map is the replacement of the (Athas like) Sea of Soot with the Black Smoke Sea, which is basically a basin full of toxic/cursed/radioactive gas.

Larger Version:HERE
Below is a sketch of Xolox, an island thrust above the Black Smoke Sea, which once housed the Drinkers of Truth, the order of torturers employed by the Leach Lords* during the vanished, long ago epoch of their dominion. The site has been abandon since the early days of the Flare, the coming of which broke the power of the Leach Lords seemingly forever.

This will be the site of the first adventure, and i think I will open the campaign with the characters looking upon just this view from the gondola of an out of control hot air balloon.

Larger Version: HERE

I have field work starting tomorrow so posting will be even more sporadic than usual. Mainly, though, I wanted to mention that beginning now and in the near future posts will address things that are of immediate importance to the campaign. To begin with that's going to be Xolox. I'll get back to Skull when the characters start in that direction.

*Space Vampires that held dominion over much of the Earth for several thousand years before the onset of increased of solar output which initiated the current epoch (the Flare) approximately 1000 years ago.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

[Map] Skull and the North Central region of the Anvil of the Sun AKA the intial campaign area

Another map! How exciting, shocking and original.

This is a regional map; the map for the entirety of Satan's Spine can be found to the left.

This is the area with which we're going to begin. I think a clear hex is about 15 miles, or a day's walk. The game will start in the Sea of Soot, which according to my notes is a very deep deposit of extremely light and fine dust, which cannot be crossed on foot and must be crossed in special vehicles or flown over.

I believe Xolox is some kind of island ruin in the middle of all that. I also think the Scorn will be involved as I'm pretty sure they have a settlement somewhere on Hell Gate.

Anyway, this was done in pencil ( although it is likely not complete) and I fooled with the image in iphoto for a minute. I may or may not ink it, as I rather like the way it looks now and I'm sure to add stuff as I go.

Larger version:  HERE.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Last of the Icons drawings preview of drawings for Skull

We wrapped up our 2 year old ICONS game on Saturday whilst recovering from the show we all attended the prior evening. Here is the very last drawing I did for the game, it is one of the PCs after he has been given a cosmic upgrade.

And with that, the focus here will turn back to Skull, The Anvil of the Sun, Satan's Spine and the Metal Earth in general.

Here's a preview of an un-inked drawing  of a street scene...

Special Thanks to Jeff Rients for suggesting the skull shaped bowl for the pipe.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rocket with digital colors

Last night some kind anonymous soul at 4chan took it upon themselves to digitally recolor this one.  I still have hard  time believing it is mine.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More color art for ICONS, followed by a rant.

In other news, despite the handful of excellent insightful posters who still reside there, I think I've had my fill of The Rpg Site for a while.  I'll be brutally honest for a change here and tell you that if you hate some game or game company enough to spend literally thousands of hours on the internet bitching about it; think being grumpy to younger people is okay because they haven't seen the shit you have, man;  or that your choice of rpg makes you better than anyone else for any reason- I don't think we can be friends.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two color drawings for ICONS

My ICONS game is winding down and I'm gearing up for the final showdown, so I'm putting Skull on hold for about a week. Expect to see a lot of this crap.

This is where we left off last week (Sept. 1950)  hurtling into earth orbit bound for a  a secret space station. Things are about to go Cosmic!

This is the Circuit Serpent. I'm not really sure where he fits in, but I'll work it out. 
For those who want to know- Tools: sharpie, .1 sable brush and cheap ass color pencils.

P.S. I drew all this while listing to The Sword "Gods of the Earth" and I can still hear it every time i look at the space pic. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Beneath Skull: The Facility


The Facility:
A vast Ziggurat of pipe work and concrete, the Facility dominates the region of the True Sea directly beneath Skull. The true nature of the monolithic structure is unknown. Delvers of the underworld and sailors of the True Sea have reported sightings of man shapes upon the walls of the great edifice, but no one has spoken to its inhabitants or is aware of their strange purpose. 
It is thought that the Facility exists to purify the water of the True Sea, but the veracity of the claim is unknown. What is true, however, is that the Facility’s pumps carry the water on which Skull depends for its survival from the sea and up to the city.  No one knows how long the pumps have been going or, for that matter, when they might stop.

Built by a human organization known as the Agency, the Facility dates from a short time before the arrival of the Welt. It is combination storage and research facility, curating weapons and other technology as well as hosting a range of laboratories designed to facilitate many different avenues of research.

Although the marks of deep time are easily seen in the ancient, cracked and crumbling concrete, the rusted pipes and omnipresent fungal infestation of the place, the Facility is not derelict.  Gene engineered monsters patrol the endless network of corridors and rooms and a variety of semi sentient humanoid drones maintain the machines. However, aside from the group’s ubiquitous symbol, little remains of the Agency or the culture that spawned it, but for the powerful and insane Dr. Warp. Unquestioned overlord of the Facility and its denizens, the doctor rules it all and as a descendent of the founders, represents the place’s last vestige of humanity, but in truth, he hasn’t been properly human for a very, very long time.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Skull: Some factions

 Another preview.

Skull is alive with conflict and strife. Arrayed beneath Coil, a myriad of organizations, institutions and societal estates struggle against one another, competing for resources, power and, ultimately, survival. These struggles manifest as a pervasive network of striving discord; this bitter and brittle lattice binds the city together; and friction between its components, as they twist and trespass against one another, provides the fuel that runs the engine of Skull’s society.  To understand Skull, one must understand these entities. The following section will look at the most important of Skull’s social constructs, but only in a cursory fashion. It shall, of course, be taken as read that each is, in reality, a universe in and unto itself, possessed of nuances both varied and numerous, the detailed examination of which lie beyond the scope of this inquiry.

Several outside groups exert influence in Skull.

Arrogant and xenophobic, the airlords represent the largest independent shae population of Satan’s Spine. No clear indicator exists of the number of either the airlords or the ships in their fleet. What is known, however, is that the airlords are possessed of an advanced and refined airship technology, which they very much do not wish to share. Not only do the airlords wish to maintain sole proprietorship of their airship technology, they, as a matter of policy look upon any independent effort to gain access to the skies with a more than mild disfavor. Traditionally, the airlords have shown they will do whatever necessary to retard or obliterate the progress of any such projects and murder all those involved, as discretely as possible, of course. They currently maintain an embassy in the Forecourt, the main purpose of which is, at least superficially, to further the interest of the lively luxury/sumptuary goods trade, which they engage in with Coil’s priests. As to their feelings regarding Coil’s nascent airship program, none among the embassy contingent has seen fit to offer an opinion official, or otherwise.

The Herd:
Nuphal are large sentient pachyderms that, operating as a collective of clans, known as the Herd, control overland trade throughout the southern half of Satan’s Spine. If it is a staple of life and cannot be produced within Skull, it comes to the city via nuphal caravan. Famed for delivering goods intact and in a timely manner, the nuphal clan caravans boast an excellent reputation. Notably, the Herd represents a key link in the flesh trade. In fact, many worthies in Skull and beyond consider the nuphal caravans the only sensible way to transport slaves, an onerous enterprise at best, but of which the nuphal are the undisputed masters.

Each clan runs a caravan. Currently, twelve clans, each linked to the others through a weak form of ritualized telepathy, are thought to be in existence; each caravan follows the same route, known as the Golden Road, at evenly spaced intervals; excepting the duration of the Season of Storms, a new caravan arrives in Skull every month, usually before or within days of the departure of the most recent previous caravan. Individual nuphal act as caravan organizers, porters and guards. Additionally, the clans employ humanoid agents to further their ends within settlements and mercenaries to help guard their expeditions. Despite the Herd’s use of sell swords, nuphal warriors know few rivals in their capacity for destruction, and, although rare, there are powerful sorcerers among the ranks of the clans.

Currently the Herd is in a dispute with the Brotherhood of Blood regarding pay rates and labor conditions. Their relationship with the Slavers is currently without strife, but trouble may be brewing.

As with the Airlords, the Nuphal are less than enthused in regards to the Worm’s airship program, fearing that it might lead to a compromise of their near monopoly on trade with the city.

Brotherhood of Blood
The Brotherhood* of Blood is a mercenary guild. Skull is their power base as they have a special relationship with the Ministry of Control to whom they supply a large number of warriors. At any given time, the MoC employs roughly two thousand Brothers to act as bodyguards, fill positions in the watch and the city’s small standing army/expeditionary force, the Worm Guard.
Most of the mercenaries within the city are supplied with the necessary unguent and given lodging with their assignments. However, the Brotherhood provides lodging and other services for its members in the Forecourt, at their large compound: Murder House; administrative offices and training facilities are also located therein.

Currently the Brotherhood is at odds with the Herd regarding contractual rates and obligations. Business between the Herd and Brotherhood, however proceeds, for the most part as normal.

The regional presence of the Brotherhood of Blood is under the command of Field Marshal Krogg, a venerable Sasquatch, veteran of 100 battles; a seeming incorruptible individual, who apparently wishes for nothing more than to maintain the status quo and lose as few of her sell-swords as possible in the process.

(*misnomer as the “Brotherhood” consists of  both males and females as well as many individuals of several other less common variations).

The Rogues’ Knot
The Rouges’ Knot, or ‘the crew’ as it’s sometimes called is a criminal organization elements of which can be found virtually in every civilized corner of Satan’s Spine.  However, what ever power the crew wields elsewhere, in Skull, the great organization is represented by a loosely knit band of barely competent operatives and semi-independent perpetrators, who, at best, manage to stay just one step ahead of the Worm’s Watch.

The Knot’s strongest beachhead within the city is within the back market community centered in the neighborhoods surrounding the Kennel.  Conflict between the black market vendors, the cutpurses and the blackguards serve to keep the group focused on internal concerns and almost a non-factor in city politics.

However, the leaders of the Knot in other cities watch and wait for a chance to move into Skull and establish a new power base.

The Slavers:
The Slavers have a large presence in Skull. Most of the slaves come from their pits on the island of Chain in the Stained Sea, as products of either their breeding or raiding programs. Many of the slaves are brought from lands far beyond Satan’s Spine and cannot speak the nameless ancient language of the region, and never seem to learn more than the rudiments of the tongue no matter how many years they spend in service. 

The Envoy of Eyes is the official title given to the Slavers’ chief representative in Skull. Elegant and cruel, the Lady Brand, a peerless huntress and an assassin of legendary skill, is the current bearer of this honor; thus, she wears the Crown of Eyes, a circlet of metal set with ten evenly spaced, living eyes, giving her a 360º field of vision.  It is said that Lady Brand owes her skill to a Slaver breeding program gone terribly wrong. The truth of this claim is unknown. As with all other slavers, Lady brand dresses in furs at all time, even during the hottest weather, never showing her face. Whatever the case, whatever her secrets, Brand is a being of immense power.

The Slavers keep close relationships with the Brotherhood of Blood and the Nuphal. In many cities Slavers have a close relationship with the Rogues’ Knot, but in skull the thieves guild is not worthy of such an association.

As with the Brothers of Blood, it is in the best interest of the Slavers if the status quo remains unchanged. They are quite willing to spill blood to further this end, but will not put themselves at too great of a risk, preferring to ride out change rather than risk over much.

 On a personal note, I spent the last week plus walking across the desert. It sucks and I need to write some rules to mirror that. For one thing, consuming a gallon of water a day would still leave you dehydrated.The good news is you hardly ever have to stop for a piss.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Maps of Skull

From the Side
In Color
From above:

The more I work on this thing the weirder and longer it gets.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Art for the Metal Earth, from the Dungeon of Signs

Gibbering Mother at The Dungeon of Signs has done a drawing of the city of Skull for me as part of art trade. It's awesome! Check it out Here. Go now!

In other news I'm running behind on the big project I'm doing, and it will take me at least another two weeks. It will be a complete write up of Skull with art, maps drawing, critters, NPCs and some tables.

Located deep within the Anvil of Sun and ruled over by the devious and gleefully malignant centipede creature known as Coil, Skull is a city built inside the final remaining relic of a long dead god. Despite Skull’s location at the center of the waste, cool air flows through its neighborhoods and lush tropical growth looms over its sparkling canals; further, the city boasts some of the most productive agricultural caverns (green shafts) on the continent.  This fecundity can be attributed in part to vast subterranean sea located far below Skull’s bustling streets, and on which the plants and people of Skull depend upon more than any other resource for their survival. It is perhaps the largest source of untainted water on the continent, maybe the world. Another contributing factor is the vast god skull itself; its osseus dome is semi translucent, blocking the worst effects of the sun, yet allowing sufficient light through to nourish the gardens below.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Satan's Spine In color

I'm working on a huge post right now. I've set a deadline of Tuesday for myself, and I have a shit ton done already, but we'll see, I suppose. Anyway in the meantime, cheap ass colored pencils!

Monday, June 25, 2012

[Satan's spine] Three Features of Acid Lake


The Cracked Land: The landmass at the lake’s center is broken into thousands of pieces by fissures that run from the surface down deep into the bedrock. The island also seems to be undergoing a continuous bout of seismic activity, manifested as a steady earthquake and frequently erupting acid geysers. Areas of the island rise above and sink below the surface of the lake all the time without warning.

The Library:
Legend places a vast library known as the Hall of Humanity upon the Cracked Land. Although there are many myths, stories and works of art based upon the library, no reliable accounts of the place exist.  Currently, scholars argue that if the library ever did exist, it has long since been destroyed.
The Monastery of the Broken Oath: 
Of the many ruins that lay strewn along the lakeshore, the remnants of what was once a large monastery, located on the southeast shore of the lake near where the Acid Lake cedes to the northern Glurrg, are among the most significant.  The monks who once resided there were unwise enough to renege upon a compact made with the vile space god, Karad Narg, the Eater of Hope. The entity laid a curse upon the monks condemning them and their offspring to forever live within the acid of the lake, forever burning, but never wholly consumed, thus were born the burning men.

The upper works of the monastery are still largely intact, due to the enchanted stone of which the place was constructed. It is said if one visits the ruins on a night with two full moons and performs the proper ritual, it is possible that contact with the Karad Narg and perhaps seek his favor.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

LL/BX Metal Earth Necromancer and some character class musings

First, I'd like to thank Dan Procter for putting LL together, because I haven't done that, and I should. 
I'll put the sorcerer up tomorrow (it's done).
None of these are play tested, but they will be soon.
The final line up of classes will be as follows- The Adventurer, The Monk, The Necromancer, and the Endless (Human as a class- which is nothing more or less than a reskinned B/X elf).
I guess I could make a .pdf of all this stuff, but that might require some effort, and I think we all know how I feel about that.

Note there are a couple of new spells in here I need to write up, and I need to go back and fix the names so they tie back to one version of the game, but you'll get the idea I'm sure. 

The Necromancer

Necromancers wield magic they draw from the necrosphere, the ancient Earth’s spirit world, which is infused with the ghostly energy of eons of the dead.

Race: Living beings
Save: as cleric
Combat: As cleric
AC= 10+1/3 lvl+ dex mod. (round down)
Weapons and armor:  Any

In order to work their magic Necromancer must have a focus made from the remains of a dead creature. Such object may include a skull, or a staff made of bones, soft tissue foci are rare but not unknown; however, such foci must be shielded from decay by embalming, mummification or some other method.

Blood Magic:  Once a day, a Necromancer may inflict a minor wound upon himself in order to gain an additional spell of one level below the highest level spell they can cast. This maybe done a maximum of three days in a row.

Turn undead as cleric

Potions: Necromancers of 6th level and above may brew potions.

XP to gain second level  1500.

Spell List

First Level Necromancer Spells

Detect Chaos/law
Detect Magci
Cure Minor wound
Protection from Chaos
Puridfy food and drink
Animal companion
Remove fear

Second Level Necromancer Spells
Bless curse
Hold person
Cure major wound
phantasmal force
Ghost Spear

Third level Necromancer spells
Cure/cause disease
Locate object
Remove curse
Wizard’s eye
Effigy of agony

Fourth level Necromancer spells
Protection form Law chaos 10’ radius
Sticks to snakes wall of fire and Ice (Ghost Wall)
Create water

Fifth level Necromancer spells
Animate Dead Commune
Contact other plain control weather the wailing dread dispel chaos/law
Insect plague
Raise dead

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Satan's Spine: Anvil of the Sun

Map on the left.
Anvil of the Sun:
A vast expanse of broken, sun-blasted earth and black sand, the Anvil of the Sun girds the center of Satan’s Spine, creating a nearly impassable barrier between the northern and southern extremes of the landmass.  The desert is home to a host of strange and often hostile life forms, each caught up in the desperate, savage struggle to survive.
Food is scarce, and water even more so. In addition to the searing heat, frequent high-energy sandstorms, each of which is believed by the residents of the desert to be a separate manifestation of the one true eternal sandstorm, which they call the Groove, rip across the barren landscape; the sand laden wind of the Groove moves with such force that it can scour flesh from the bone, and turn the bone into dust all in the space of two or three heartbeats. 

Nomadic gangs of scavengers, brigands and outcasts prowl the interior, searching for artifacts and valuable mineral deposits and warring amongst themselves.

Known universally as The Squandering, the story of the Anvil’s formation is told several versions, the minor details of which vary from region to region; the most prevalent version of the tale states that at some indefinite period in the past, what is now the Anvil of the Sun was the last pure place in Satan’s Spine. Green fields stretched form horizon to horizon; all people lived in harmony and in peace with the beasts of the land. The water, the food and the air were all clean and mutation was unknown.  The gods, it is said, stored their most valuable treasures here in the last pure place- among them, the pool of eternity: a body of shimmering water, which, if bathed in, would grant any mortal eternal life. 
Attracted by tales of the beauty of the Pureland and rumors of the Pool, the humans came; in their avarice and despite the best efforts of the gods and their faithful servants, the humans brought about the destruction of the Pureland. The gods endeavored to spirit away the Pool of Eternity, but were destroyed; somehow, the Pool was lost in the resultant confusion. Its ultimate fate and location remain unknown until this very day. In the end, the last whisper of purity in the world was ravaged the gods were killed, and the humans were, as is usually the case in such stories, responsible. 

Although there is no concrete evidence to support or contradict the existence of the Pool of Eternity, it is obvious that at some time during the deep past two gigantic forces clashed across what is now the Anvil.  The ruins of many settlements are known to nestled beneath the black sand, thus proving that at one time what is now desert was perhaps something else. As to weather or not humans were responsible- or even involved, as they are completely absent throughout the Spine today, who can say?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Satan's Spine: The Trund

The Trund are a nomadic humanoid people, who make their living as traveling tinkers and traders, forever moving across the Anvil of the Sun. They are organized into bands. Comprised of 30-50 individuals, each band lives and travels in a large power driven wagon known as a trundle. It is not known for certain how many bands there are.
The Trund are, as a rule, extremely proficient at making repairs to ancient technology and they can easily mend and fabricate far more mundane items. Although they all carry revolvers and are rumored to have access to weapons even more potent, the Trund will not make or repair weapons for outsiders.

It is said the Trund wander the desert in a perpetual round, always searching for some treasure they claim to have lost long ago but cannot name or describe. Although, they travel in small groups and are never aggressive, all agree that it is unwise to attack the Trund. It is difficult to tell the exact nature of the trund as all of them wear outlandishly psychedelic protection suits with full headgear at all times.

Outside of trade and work for hire, the Trund have minimal interaction with other folk of the Anvil. They rarely enter the relative comfort of Godskull or other settlements, preferring it seems, to remain in the desert with their vehicles to the near exclusion of all else.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Satan's Spine: Acid Lake in brief

Acid Lake:
A mix of sulfuric acid and hydrogen chloride comprises the body of the lake. Taken together, the lake and the mesa land to its west, known as the Taint, represent some of the Spine’s most hostile and unforgiving country. An alternating combination of jagged cliffs and beaches of jagged glass surround the lake. Fumaroles, stinking of sulfur, roll over the burbling surface, poisoning the air and limiting visibility.

The lake is nothing less than a wound in the world. The acid is produced  as waste by a group of earth elementals that have latched on the land surface that now forms the lake’s bottom and are feeding on the planet’s dwindling tectonic energy. This has been going on for over ten thousand years. In appearance, the acid elementals resemble giant leaches made of pitted and stained stone.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Satan's Spine: a horrible place, poorly mapped

Well, I'm a bit daunted by the sheer number of unfinished projects that I've got going on this blog. So in effort to dig myself a hole all the way to the Pellucidar, here's the start of another new project*.  What we have here is a first look at Satan's Spine, the campaign area for my upcoming Metal Earth game. I'll be happy to answer any question regarding the map or really anything else relating to the blog in the comments.
Larger version here

*it's probably best to view this blog as kind of like pizza place run by a spastic and poorly trained hobo. Sometimes the pizza is cooked, other times all you get is some sauce, a few toppings of dubious provenience and a mumbled, Thunderbird-soaked "fuck you" for your trouble.

Alex Schroeder Does the Impossible!

He made one of my posts useful. Here is a link to the stats he's written up for all the critters in The Forgotten Depths. His interpretations are very imaginative. I'm especially fond of  his version of Vampire Grass.
Thanks Alex.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Province of Forgetten Empire: Gazetter... and fitness question.

I was supposed to post something substantial yesterday, but I forgot and... whatever.  Anyway, I'm thinking about writing a bit about fitness here, anyone interested in that at all? The gym dude told me I need to eat 4000 calories a day this morning (urgh!) so it's on my mind. 

Here's the gazetter thing, extra typos added free of charge.

The Map is here


 Province of the Forgotten Empire

The region known lies just north of the Sunburst Sea. Once, long ago, Sansool existed as province of the Forgotten Empire, but in the present, the region is contested territory with many groups fighting for control and survival.  Locals look back on the ill-remembered imperial past as a sort of golden age, but it has little bearing on the day-to-day lives of most.  This is not the case, however, for every one; adventurers spend their lives delving into the imperial ruins seeking glory, riches, or perhaps the power granted by forgotten relics of the imperial age.

The Black Spire is a massive and fortified tower, built of black basalt.  One of only a few intact imperial era fortifications in the region, the original purpose of the Black spire is unknown; although it is thought that it may have been a temple to chaotic god. Currently it is controlled by Rictus, the self styled Witch King. A huge encampment of gnoll warriors surrounds its base.

Blyx is situated at the eastern edge of Olde Dragon Swamp. Populated by men and dwarves for the most part Blyx conducts trade with everyone from the lizard men of the swamp to the white apes of the Crags. A council of Wizards known as the Silent Society runs Blyx. The city’s trade is prosperous and the Silent Society uses the wealth generated thus to influence affairs far and wide. Blyxian spies are sad to infest every city, church and court throughout the land.

The Crags, a broken, rocky badland, represent the sad remains of an ancient mountains chain, worn away by time, and shattered by earthly upheaval. Although oases hide among the rocks in some few places, the major part of the Crags is barren and merciless. Outlaws and Savage bands of white apes fight over what little there is.

Glistendome. Built long ago by the imperials, Castle Glistendome resides on the Green Isle in The Witch’s Water and is a mighty fortress city.  The city has been held by the elves for well over a thousand years. When they took ownership of the city form the imperials, the elves assumed stewardship of the Golden Peacock, the wood wall and the Wyrd tree. Like many imperial constructions the castle and the city below are riddled with secret passages and hidden chambers. The Old Road, an ancient imperial thoroughfare, runs west from Castle Glistendome to the shattered gates of ruined Moon Keep.

The Gloomy Mountains: Ancient basaltic mountain range. The average peak is about 12,000’ feet high at the summit. The extent of the range is unknown and no records exist of anyone visiting the western slope. In the southern expanse of the range some of the deeper valleys contain microclimatic pockets of jungle. Major settlements in the mountains include Urux and the Black Spire.

The Witch Wood: Ancient home of the elves, the wood continues to the north and east of what is shown on the map. All manner of beasts inhabit the forest. Although there are many elves living at Castle Glistendome, many more live throughout the forest. The elves trade the products of their magical orchards, and handmade treasures of many sorts, with the men of Urux and Blyx and the Dwarves of Kurg.

Jungle of Nar:  situated at sea level the Jungle of Nar has a much warmer wetter climate than most of the province. Gargantuan, ancient creatures found nowhere else in the province reside in this storybook rain forest. Mysterious ruins of unknown but obviously ancient origin, perhaps predating even the Forgotten Empire, are strewn through out the depths of the forest. The city of Kurg, a dwarfish whaling town resides at the edge of the primeval forest, along the southern coast of the province.

Kurg:  1000 years ago, at the close of the Second Summer, the dwarves who fled the horror unleashed at Urux (then called Bal-Rindurr) settled far to the south of the catastrophe and took up the hunting of whales and other giant beasts of the sea. Since this initial settlement, the folk of Kurg have prospered, but the settlement has changed but a little. Following long tradition the city minds its own affairs, taking its living from the jungle and the sea.

The Lurch: As a name, “The Lurch” refers both to the large dormant volcano just south of the Screeching Stones and the stunted malformed woodland that surrounds its swollen eminance.  The Serpent People made a city here once, deep in pre-imperial times. Over the epochs, successive volcanic events buried and sealed away several iterations of the great city. Each time the volcano erupted the serpent people would return and create another layer. These cities exist now, one piled atop the other, all entombed beneath the flank of the great mountain.

The strange and twisted woodland, which surrounds the volcano, is famous for its carrion stench and populations of giant insects.

The Moon Hills: Fog shrouded, lycanthrope infested and wizard haunted highland region. There are many minor imperial ruins in this region. Warring clans of Halflings reside in cold, ramshackle castles seprated from one another by leagues, brought together by hatred and blood feud.

Moon Keep: Ruined imperial site. An intact funerary complex is situated beneath the remains of main structure.

Stargleam’s Wall: Perhaps the signature relic of the Second Summer. The elvish king Stargleam had this wall built in order to hold back the forces of the first Witch-King, Skorn, but something went very wrong. Stargleam’s chief advisor and Wizard, Althon betrayed him by secretly defiling the Wall with forbidden rituals. As a result a presence entered the spaces between the walls within the great wall. Things fell apart. At first, the wall crumbled and resisted repair. Later, over the course of a single night remembered now as the Grief the soldiers manning the great wall went insane and slew one another- down to the last.  Mores elves died in that one night then during the entirety of the Summer War up until that point. The elves were effectively undone, the few who remained fled to Camirill. With the elves defeated, the Summer War entered its final phase. Althon raised the thousands of dead soliders along the wall as mindless revenants of savage aspect. He set them upon the forces of Skorn. In the end the land was torn asunder and all who vied for conquest were humbled by it. The Second Summer had come to a close and the Long Fall had begun.
Old Dragon Swamp:  roughly 100 years after the Grief, a dragon came down upon the elvish countries. His wrath devastated the land and transformed it. where once there had been a lake now there was a stinking smoking fen. Although, he is rarely seen these days, it is commonly believed that Igor still resides in the swamp. Igor is the most powerful single entity in the province. Many worship him as a god. His agents move in every walk of life, throughout the province.

Urux: At the end of the second summer, the dwarves and Ur-men, who worked and lived at Bal- Rindurr had advanced the arts of mining and metallurgy to new heights. Prosperity was at an all time high, but greed and avaricious pride ruled the minds of the folk and they wanted more and more. Eventually, due to the desire to progress in some quarters and the desire to profit in others, the dwarfish overlords yielded to popular demand and made use of chaos magic to further the city’s mining efforts. The exact details are known to few today, but there was a terrible catastrophe; a hole was rent in the earth’s crust at the root of the mountain, and Bal-Rindurr itself was sundered and its subterranean towers toppled. In the months that followed, the dwarfish survivors fled the city.

The Witch Wood: ancient haunted forest, long believed to be cursed. The elvish court and people were driven to the witch wood after Igor destroyed Camarill. In exchange for a place within the wood, the forest god Mogu, made the elves bind themselves to the forest through a magical ritual. The ritual made the elves the stewards of the forest. Mogu has remained silent since the time of the great ritual, but it is rumored that he will return if he grows dissatisfied with his chosen stewards.

The Witch Water is a haunted lake which contains Glistendome and the island upon which it was built. At night, shimmering spectral shapes slide to and fro beneath the waves and when the moon is full the ghostly ruins of cities long forgotten can be seen aglow upon the lake floor.