Monday, 28 April 2014

Isle of the Unknown part I


What with the bruhaha over Isle of the Unknown recently (thanks to The RPGPundit), I thougth I would flip through the book randomly to see if I could find a use for the book in The City in Darkness. I bought the book in order to serve as some weird fantasy inspiration and although I haven't looked at it since my original readthrough, I think it did the trick.
Will the book actually provide me with some practical ideas though? Translating from an island setting to a city could be problematic, especially with all the animals presented in the book. Let's see how it goes!

Hex 0114: In a humble cottage of unhewn stone lives a pious 4th level cleric who keeps but does not wer a red surcoat with a white cross. His broad sword and mace hang in easy reach upon the wall. Seven years ago, the cleric first experienced the miracle of bi-location. While still in his dwlling, he foun himself also in the Land of Water and Copper far over the Western Ocean. The people of this land were beardless and had straight black hair and red skin. Though nearly naked, these people were crowned with gaudily bright feathers of great length and intricacy. Most fabulous of all, even their lowliest ranks wore golden jewlery. In this far land, gold is so common that it is used as a mere decoration. Even small children, naked save for their golden jewlery, walk wheresoever they will be unafraid and unmolested. The stone cities of these people stand amidst jungles beneath the shadows of vast, stepped pyramids. The cleric will show to trusted visitors a curiously-carved golden torc (worth 200 g.p.) given to him by this exotic people. If the cleric is slain, he has a 15% chance of still being alive because he was in two places at the time of his "death". – Isle of the Unknown p. 8.

Jackpot! What a cool idea. This one will be a cinch to translate. 

Deep in the Lurming Pit, a cleric lives alone in a room. Amongst the horrendous filth and poverty, he walks in a daze, seemingly obvlivious to it all. When questioned, he will regale anyone who will listen with tales of the bright land. The cleric, Anders, talks of walking in two world at once. One dark and depressing, the other bright and wonderful. While in this world, the sun never rises, in the other, it never sets. The bronze skinned dwelers of Andaluvia walk naked, save for the strings of pearls and gold that hang around their necks. In Andaluvia there is no hunger as the home hearths are all powerful, people give freely of their crops, produce and wares. If small children listen to his stories long enough, he will distribute strange, tiny gold coins with odd symbold on them.

Hex 0713: The delicate influence of the Enchantress of Petals, a 6th level magic-user, keeps winter and autumn at bay in this secluded mountain vale. Garbed in dresses made of flower petals, her fresh and tender beauty makes it impossible to attack her unless a saving throw is made at -3. She can entice flowers of any sort to grow to maturity within minutes, and she can make animated rose bushes with long thorns to both defend and attack. – Isle of the Unknown p. 31

More difficult, but light is important to the people in the city, especially for the poor who almost never see natural light. Light and vegetation and the one who brings them would be venerated indeed.

The nave of the chuch of the verdant lady is a small chamber filled with natural light and vegetation. Honoured people are sometimes invited there to meet the lady herself, a delicate nyph like woman who tends to her glade with care. She can cause the plants around her to bloom on command. Access to her is strictly regulated by her church, but the petitioners around the front doors always number in the hundreds. The 'disciples' of the lady have a dark secret however, the lady is a dryad, kidnapped from her forest home. Despite the distance from her home glade, she still feels an innate connection to that place. The disciples use this fact to their advantage, holding her hostage against threat of harm to her trees. Unless she greets her visitors with a warm smile, and performs her green magic, the disciples will cut down one of her trees. 

So far so good, Isle of the Unknown is providing me with ample inspiration from the first two random entries I flipped to. More to come, hopefully I encounter one of the cool statues, and hopefully not an electric blue dog that shoots poisonous frogs from it's mouth.

You can buy Isle of the Unknown from LotFP

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Guild of Spelunkers

The guild of spelunkers is a small group of researchers, daredevils and eccentrics that are interested in the void surrounding the rock. Although the guild has no real political or economic power, it does have some very wealthy individuals in its ranks. The guild has two offices in the city, a 'club' at the very top of the Anchor with a domed glass lounge. The other office is more practical in purpose, with a cable room allowing a platform to be lowered far below the rock. The current record for the farthest lowered person is over a mile by Aelfric Thaumage.

Notable members of the guild:

  1. Aelfric Thaumage, elf - A young and impetuous elf brought up by humans. Considered something of a maverick amongst the other members, he claims to have glimpsed 'paradise' through a telescope on one of his spelunking expeditions. The night was incredibly clear of its usual smog and Thaumage tells graphic stories of a lit, verdant island with long necked, furry quadrupeds frolicking in a small stream. Of course, no one else has spotted this wonderland, but he remains convinced that he saw it.
  2.  Estaar Froeid is an orcish ex-captain who lost her ship and most of her crew almost 20 years ago. Too proud to  accept help from her clan, she became a land trader until she could make enough money to return to the seas. Having made that money in the city however, she developed a new goal, to navigate the void surrounding the city.  Froeid constructed a new ship atop her tower in the city, one day it might take flight, if only she can figure out how. 
  3. Darnegaast is an actual mage, a rare sight in the city, although he pretends otherwise. Most of the time he successfully passes himself off as a trader of rare books, but there are rumors he was seen flying high above the city. This feat has earned him a firm membership in the spelunkers, and despite his protestations, has even been talked into attending a meeting or two. 
  4. Aelfard Tornissien proclaims his proud membership of the guild, but secretly works to thwart the others plans of leaving the rock. Aelfard knew of the portals for many years before the first halflings discovered it. He used it as a storehouse, but was forced to move everything to another rock , a few miles distant. Tornissien is able to sneak off to his storehouse without anyone noticing but he lives in fear of one of the other splunkers discovering his hideyhole so he keeps a close eye on them.
  5. Grumma Daar is obsessed with the void, it concerns her every waking moment. Luckily, she inherited a vast fortune from her engineering guild parents and invested wisely. With no need to work to make a living, and the social obligations of her family handled by her little brother Laarn, she can spend all her time dreaming and planning her next delve into the void. Currently she is experimenting with rare, imported bamboo for its flexibility and strength.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Street of Sadness


A street in the city has recently been renamed the street of sadness. 

Most people walking down the street report feeling depressed, as if all the happiness has been sucked out of the area. People have been moving out of the surrounding homes and for a brief time, produced a rare sight in the city, abandoned buildings. Kobolds appear to be unaffected by the sadness so quickly moved into the homes left vacant by the departed.

 

A Kobold blood cult smuggled a minor demon from the swamps and are feeding it stray animals and whatever waste they can find. The demon Oidoon is responsible for the sadness pervading the area. Oidoon made an effort to reward those who feed him, they do not suffer from the sad malaise infecting the area, but instead fills the kobolds with mad exuberance. Unfortunately Oidoon cannot distinguish between the members of his cult and normal kobolds. Normally sober and somber Kobolds are suddenly getting the urge to run through the streets whooping, howling and causing quite a ruckus. There have already been injuries due to wild Kobolds and deaths may soon follow.     

 

Random Kobolds:

 

  1. A naked kobold runs down the street, knocking over an old woman, the kobold cackles with glee and gives a rude gesture.
  2. Three kobolds dance around a broken, burning lantern. The doors of an adjacent stable are open and the stables are full of flammable hay.
  3. A large group of
  4. kobolds are having an orgy in a marketplace, the more frenzied they get, the more non-kobolds are supernaturally tempted to join in.
  5. Tomorrow is the day of silence for Lurgh, the cities deity of contemplation. The high priest is a kobold though and she can't stop laughing. She has been begging for help for a week but no one seems to be able to help.
  6. A massive pile of rats is discovered in a small square, each of them missing its tail. Kobolds have been seen wearing rat tail necklaces but none of them will admit where they got it.

     
Effects of sadness:
  1. "All the happiness has been sucked out of the world and no one will ever be happy again."
  2. "I can't stop crying, why can't I stop crying?"
  3. "No one loves me, what's the point of even living"
  4. "I can't seem to get up in the morning, I just lie there and stare at the ceiling."
  5. "Pain is the only sensation strong enough now to make me feel."