Cosmology Addendum 1: The Gods

There were 8 gods in the last age; one for each humour of the body, and one for each humour of the mind.

The Red God; named Azathoth.
It lies underneath the Crimson Cathedral of Holy Vesturia.
A thin red figure, one central limp and trailing leg, with many, many fractal arms that constantly move and shift between geometries. Its chest beats like a drum, pulsing red, caged in by bony protrusions like famine-bones. It has a head, but no face.

The Yellow God; named Hastur.
It lies underneath the city of Glorious Babylon.
A figure swathed in yellow robes like feathers, or maybe they are feathers like robes. It is tall, imperious, impervious. Robe-feather wings crest up four ways behind it, and its face is an ever shifting and roiling mask of pale wax.

The Green God; named Tsathoggua.
It lies underneath the First Tree of the Oldest Forest.
It has two legs like tree trunks, and arms to match, only they are fused to its body as if in a straight-jacket. Its face and back are lost in an explosion of limbs of all shapes and forms, ever reaching up towards the sun, a forest of supplication.

The Black God; Shub Niggurath.
It lies underneath the ground, and Station 4 has been built upon it by the Foundation.
Something like a man, its arms trail on the ground next to its feet, and its mouth hang low, dragging down its face into a tear drop shape. Its flesh is lump and misshapen, at the same time appearing like black and oily ooze, and dark, dark sand. Its face and head are studded with many, many eyes.

The White God; Ithaqua.
It forms the deep, deep bones of Cyng Dun, king of all mountains.
A curled, barely-formed foetus shape of pale milky flesh, born aloft on a peacock-spray of spine tentacles which erupt from the nape of its neck. Some tread the ground, some reach round and ahead like arms.

The Blue God; Father Dagon.
It lies at the most precipitous depths of Nevuah.
Its head is like a fleshy skull without eye sockets, with a huge distended jaw like an angler fish, full of needle teeth. Its long, serpent-body is run along with frills of tentacles, endlessly churning the waters around it. Out of the oceans of Nevuah, it merely swims through the air as if it had never left the seas.

The Grey God; Yog-Sothoth.
It is the Ever-Eclipsing Moon of the Lifeless Realms of the Grimm.
It looks like a shade shrouded in a great billowing cloak, hanging straight down over a deathly-thin frame, only there are no bones, no flesh; within the cape is only darkness, and a deep and endless grey fog spills from beneath the bottom of the robes.

The Brass God; Nyarlathoptep.
It lies underneath Mechanus, the great city of the Djinn.
It is a vast, vast computer; endless cogs and capacitors, spindles and spokes, racks of circuits and spider-meshes of wires, endless chaos bound within a brass frame-work of order and logic.

Should the Druids succeed in their goals, the four gods whose bodies lie on earth would be awakened by the blood-sacrifice of cities. Once the first is restored, it would hunt down the others and awaken them too. The chaos would be unimaginable. This would only be the beginning. The gods would continue only as four; the effort to retrieve any of the other four would be considered too costly. They would destroy the world as far as we care, devouring all the blood and souls they can, and then set off for the sun, to see if it was all worth it.
As of yet, I am undecided if it would be.

A Legendarium, a Cosmology

Few mythologies beyond the Abrahamic religions (as far as I really know) have stories about the creation of the world ex nihil, from nothing. This is fine and good, as it allows me to begin the hidden history of my world thusly:

Once there was nothing, then the gods made a pocket of something, and called it the Universe, the one-song.

This was the First Age, the Age of Beginnings, and the first life of the Sun.

First, the gods bled, and from the burning hot fluids they birthed the sun, great furnace of creation, linchpin of reality. Without it, there could be no being, so the gods guarded it jealously.
Secondly, the firmament was forged to keep out unbeing from the Universe, and the burning stars of angels were set in it to guard what is, from what is not. Thus the precious Sun was safeguarded from the cold and hungry nothing of the void beyond.
Then, there was wild experimentation with what was possible, discovery of the limits of being, the first little splinters forming in the fabric of reality, and their careful study and exploitation. Great chunks of rock were pieced together, and set in the firmament, worlds and planes on which to create anything the Gods desired.
Finally, the Gods became aware of the undeniable power of the void beyond what they had made; Entropy. They saw it in the dying heat and light of the sun they had given of themselves to birth.
They tried eveything. They created beings on the worlds they had made to offer blood and souls to the sun to keep it burning.
It worked, for a time; but the wheels of entropy turn forever, and only crash round faster and faster.
Eventually, nothing the Gods could do was enough, and they knew it.
They held much conclave, and talked long and deep of what they would do.
They reached consensus. They gathered all blood and soul and worship as they could from their worlds, grew fat and strong on it, and cut their throats upon the furnace of the sun as it it died, and glutted their life upon the embers of the Sun.

Thus died the first Sun, and so was born the Second.
This was the Second Age, the Age of Birds, and the second life of the Sun.
The Gods awoke again, but to the confusion of the Reborn Sun, they were not who they were before.
The new Gods, for their part, knew a few things; for life and light to continue, they would need to grow fat and strong on the blood and worship of the living things that again now crawled forth from the rocks that hung improbably in space. They knew the angels that burned a great light on the firmament protected them during their duty. And finally, they knew that when the Sun guttered and died, they would need to feed the solar-embers their life-blood to relight it, and allow existence to continue to be.
All was well, and all was well, and the many folks of the birds opened the skies, as was provisioned for.
One day however, a wicked being calling itself Jaguar, who dwelt behind the mirrors, seduced one of the folk of the city of Xanadu, and a great breach was opened, which was forbidden. To seal it, the sun gave of its flame to weld the mirrors shut again, imprisoning Jaguar.
Thus, before its proper time, the Sun died, and the Gods killed themselves upon it to light the flame again.

Thus died the second Sun, and so was born the Third.
This was the Third Age, the Age of the River, and the third life of the Sun.
Again, the song began as before in the Second Age.
All was well, and all was well, and it was an age of spiritual enlightment and transcendence, lead at the city of Shambalha of the River-Font.
This time, the song ran its full course, and at the Ordained time, the Sun withered and died, and so the Gods again gave of themselves to relight the flame again.

Thus died the third Sun, and so was born the Fourth.
This was the Fourth Age, the Age of the Many, and the fourth life of the Sun.
All was well, and all was well, and it was an age in which were born a great multitude of creatures and peoples, the remnants of which still wander the earth to this day. This was the first Age in which Saints were born of the flecked remnants of gods of older ages.
One day however, the second through fifth of the Saints; The Minotaur, The Monkey King, The Ibis Sage, and the Lion Grandmaster, fought at the city of Daikuzu, and the crash of their battle wounded the world, and even the sun itself. It was after this day that the worlds began to drift apart, such that now to transverse the worlds is difficult and hazardous.
In their pride, the Four Divine Beasts were destroyed by the gods, though their names and titles survived them.
Thus, before its proper time, the Sun died, and the Gods killed themselves upon it to light the flame again.

Thus died the fourth Sun, and so was born the Fifth.
This was the Fifth Age, the Age of Horses, and the fifth life of the Sun.
All was well, and all was well, and it was an age of great exploration and rediscovery, for the ravages of the war of the first saints in the previous age had caused the world to crumple and reknit itself, as it would at the end of each further age. This was the first age in which mankind would arise ascendent, and conquer all the world. Their lords were the Great Khans, and they ruled from mighty Karakorum.
With the world united under one banner, the gods prospered, but when the empire fractured, and the world fell into chaos, the Gods panicked. In the cataclysms that followed, much was lost, and the Sun nearly died and withered beyond repair.
Thus, past the appointed hour, the Sun died, and the Gods killed themselves upon it to light the flame again, though it sputtered and sparked with fear for its light.

Thus died the fifth Sun, and so was born the Sixth.
This was the Sixth Age, the Age of Sands, and the sixth life of the Sun.
All was not well, for this sun was born hot and red, a result of the Chaotic end of the previous age. It was a harsh age, where rather than light and life, death was worshipped, and the mighty Monuments of Keshmet housed dead far outnumbering the living.
Thus it was, as the world was close to withering away entirely, the Sun called forth the newest generation of gods, and called upon them to slay it and begin again, before the damage was irreversible.
Thus, before the appointed hour, the Sun was slain, and the Gods killed themselves upon it to light the flame again.

Thus died the sixth sun, and so was born the Seventh.
This was the Seventh Age, the Age of Saints, and the seventh life of the Sun.
All was well, and all was well, and again mankind united all the world in one empire, whose great capital was Byzantium of the Pantheon, for many Saints were born in this age. This was an age of the great march of progress married with purpose, and the Gods rejoiced.
A wicked seed was planted however, whose bitter fruit would be tasted only when it was too late.
Thus, at the appointed hour, the Sun died, and the Gods killed themselves upon it to light the flame again.
It was at this late hour that the Traitor-Saint, who by the will of the Sun would have their teeth crushed and their name blotted from all the world, betrayed their fellows in a misguided attempt at justice, and slaughtered them in the now desecrated pantheon. Glutted on stolen divinity, the Traitor-Saint approached the dying and bleeding gods, whose pooling blood dripped onto the coals of the sun. With his wicked blade, he tore at the still and bleeding forms of the gods, and wounded them utterly, to a final death. As the dying sun screamed in rage and fear, the Traitor-Saint realised what he had wrought, and fled from all knowledge.

Thus died the seventh sun, and so was born the Eighth.
This was the Eighth Age, the Age of Godless Chaos, and the Eighth life of the Sun.
All is not well. The Gods are dead, they were not renewed with the rebirth of the sun. Their bodies lie broken and scattered.
The angels, unfed with blood, are waning at their posts, and among their number are seen traitors, who have taken the title of Devils and stolen a world called Hell for their own, devious devices. Further, the ever empty void has crept into the eyes of some angels, and driven them mad. The first Demons.
Without the guidance of gods, man has again united the world under a single empire (nearly), ruled by his Dread Majesty from the Holy City of Babylon. They are without protection from those wicked things which, without the powers of Gods to hold them in check, become only more and more bold and numerous as the reluctance of man to accept them rises to meet it. Thus, man has turned to lesser powers to guide them.
The Church of the Heavenly Host, inspired in the hearts of man by the desperate Angels, offers them worship and blood, as the Angels believe themselves the most worthy and needful of it, sentinels of the Firmament as they are. They are deluded and wrong. Without Gods; they will one day fail and let the void flooding into the universe; or the Sun will die one final time, and they will fail regardless.
The Church of the Saints, which is man's creation alone, rallies the spiritual defence of man behind the Saints born of the floating shreds of Divinity left behind by ancient and dead gods. None in the Empire of All Humanity recognise the existence of gods. They just, know somehow, that the gods are either dead, long since left, or maybe never even existed at all.
There remains one psuedo-god. At the dawn of the Age, the new pantheon was born, but the old gods were dead and cold, and so they could not come into their glory. One among them had the strength and will to live, and so it devoured all it could. It ate its brother and sister gods, but that was not enough. It ate itself, but that was not enough. It ate everything, until not even its name remained, and finally it was satisfied; and now it is the Red God, the Cannibal-God-who-is-no-God.
The sun knows little of its past lives, but it knows this, there are no gods to save it this time, and the appointed hour of its death is coming. It knows it is that it is hungry, and it is panicking. For these reasons, it reached out to many worlds, a Bright and Burning Deity, to demand blood, and souls. Thus it fuels itself, and delays the end.
But the march of Entropy is irresistible. In the end, the Sun cannot escape its fate. Blood satisfies, but not forever. Souls satisfy more, but they are consumed utterly, and so the cycle becomes vicious, the more souls it consumes, the less blood will be produced. It was enough to start, but now it isn't. In the end, nothing will be.
The world fears for the plight of the sun, and so it reaches out to man, and those it touches who accept its words become the druids. The oldest and most feral, who understand the most of the Earth's designs, seek the corpses of the Gods, and seek offerings (willingly given or not) to revive them, and hope that their desperate strength will be enough when the Appointed Hour comes.

And so it is, in this Choatic and Godless Age; where the dregs of ancient, better ages succumb to desperation and apathy; where the order of the world decays under its own bloated weight; where the earth betrays itself out of desperate hope that another, better age might be born of the ashes of this one; so it is that the PC's become adventurers.

20 Questions for the Old Frontier

Look, we all know Jeff, let's get on with it.

Brief Introduction: The Old Frontier
The Dread Emperor rules, has ruled, will always rule from the Mightiest of Cities, Babylon, seat of the Throne, and from his Basalt Throne he stretched his hand across all the Empire and beneath his benevolent gaze, mankind flourishes.
In theory at least.
In reality, the Duchy of Brockenwold is far, far from the vital beating heart of civilisation. The frontier has stood here for centuries, ebbing and surging back and forth, cities and towns blooming and wilting in turn, no-one even knows anymore if the ruined cities in the mountains are the corpses of Imperial cities or the ailing remnants of even older ages. This is just as far as humanity can go, there is nothing worth having beyond the Brockenmoors or the Saurmachts. Some things are certain though.
Something isn't right about the Duchy.
There are (utterly spurious of course) claims that monsters roam the moors, and beasts and creatures of legend, things that cannot and should not be, roam the Eldenwode, and there are even whispers of Gods.
Someone needs to sort these out, and put the old tales to rest.

1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion?
There are two religions in the Empire, the Church of the Angels, and the Faiths of the Saints. There are most certainly, no Gods. This fact is not contested within the Empire, people just sort of... know it. Feel it in their bones, there are no celestial benefactors of divine will and power. Mankind is nearly alone.
This is where the Angels and the Saints come in. Angels protect man from the goodness of their hearts, in exchange for reverence. Saints are the creation of men, self-made heroes to keep the darkness of the world at bay, and defend the bright but feeble hearts of men from devils and demons.
Think of them something like the Catholic and Protestant Churches, roughly. They do the same thing, in theory, and they tolerate each other, barely.
There are Saints of many, many things. I have about 30 or so of them, one day I will do a post about them.
The Angels are a pretty uniform bunch. Very aloof, very imperious.
Some particularly degenerate (noble's words, not mine) foreigners (even in the Empire of All Humanity there are still, somehow, foreigners) supposedly worship gods, bright burning gods. But they are of course, delusional. Gods don't exist. At least, not any more.

2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
Many towns and some villages will have your basic blacksmiths who can repair and maybe even make basic weapons and arms. You'll have to go to the bigger towns and even cities to find the more competent blacksmiths to forge proper adventuring equipment. The blacksmiths of the biggest cities (which are beyond the borders of the Duchy) can make you arms and armour of the greatest art and magnitude.

3. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended?
You can't. Monsters don't exists.
For people of... differing proportions however, you will need custom fitted armour, and so you'll probably want to go to the more proficient blacksmiths of the larger towns. Brygge and Regensburg (the duchy capital) are your best bets.

4. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
Wizards are a quiet bunch, its hard to tell. Most certainly the Cardinal (who dwells near the Cathedral of Silburn) is well versed in esoteric lore, and some of Duke Hatori's men are supposedly quite proficient in the Subtle Arts, but who can tell?
In the darker corners, by those who profess the trade of Hedge-Magics, the name of Nakvisa is whispered in hushed tones. Nakvisa has yet to announce themselves to the world, however.

5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
There are several contenders for this title. Cazimir, the Dogskin knight has supposedly never lost a fight, though this is more than likely the fact that he never fights fair when he can help it.
Most would point at the highest ranked soldier, and left hand of the Duke, Capitan Grace, as certainly the finest traditional swordsman to enjoy prominence and a name, but whether he is the best? Uncertain.
On some of the wilder fringes, there is a new name rising, Vermont, called 'Swiftblade', but there will have to be more of this name to determine the truth of it.

6. Who is the richest person in the land?
Certainly the Duke, Don Hatori. His taxes are legendary, his coffers, more so. No one else even comes close.

7. Where can we go to get some magical healing?
Magical healing is vanishingly rare, granted only by certain Saints and particularly soft-hearted Angels. Seek out the Shrines and Temples, there are at least one in every village, multiples in towns and cities, perhaps you find some there.
The Cardinal has been known to perform healing miracles from time to time, but good luck getting an appointment with him in his lifetime.

8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
Pffft... most people don't even know those things exist. Still probably the Cardinal. Mundane curses can be broken by Witch-Finders though. They are your best bet on curses for sure.
You could go to an Alchemist or a Physician for poisons or diseases if you're brave. Very brave.

9. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
No, Wizards don't even officially exist. If you want to learn wizardry, you need to find a Wizard to learn from. Or a Witch, they're a little more unsavoury though.
Hedge Magic you can learn from anyone who already knows it though.

10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
Some villages will have one. Many towns will have one, or even more. Cities are your best bet, they'll possibly even have multiple of what you're looking for.

11. Where can I hire mercenaries?
It'll probably have to be Regensburg, the Duchy Capital. There won't be bands of them, just individuals and small groups. Politics are quiet here on the very edge of civilisation.

12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?
There's nothing silly like that, but security is tightest in the Towns and most of all in the cities. Regensburg is positively authoritarian, if the Duke is a street over you'd best hide from the Town Watch.
Out in the countryside however, there are other concerns. The Witch-Finders are always on the prowl, and without the close oversight of their Urban task masters, more zealous hunters might just dish out a little discretionary justice if they think you smell off.
Notably, Johnny Law is rather heavy handed in Brygge. Baron Nathair is somewhat cautious at the moment for some reason.

13. Which way to the nearest tavern?
Most villages will have at least one. The ones that don't are sad villages indeed.

14. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
Oh, there are lots of stories; The Beast of the Brockenmoor; Nakati, Black Goat of the Woods; the Whisperer in the Web; Tash, the Breath-Taker; the Grotlyn and her broods; the list goes on. Of course, none of them actually exist, as any proper folk could tell you. Bringing back proof would certainly spread your name far and wide.

15. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
Nah, the world is too old and tired for that. Maybe when his Dread Majesty finally dies a succession war might tear apart the empire. We can all hope I suppose.

16. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
Rare, but certainly Don Hatori is a big fan of Gladiatorial Battles. So, Regensberg then.

17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
Well of course there are, but they're secret.
There's something called the Foundation, but no-one knows what it is. Don Hatori supposedly has a sect of Secret Police, but there's no proof obviously.
There are many cults throughout the world. Lady Dusts is a fairly prominent name in that regard. Many foolish people who think they have found a god, when in reality it is anything but. They only ever find out the truth when it is too late.

18. What is there to eat around here?
Pffft. Bread? Meat if you're lucky/pay well for it. Its better out in the cities though. Apparently places out on the coast of Eidolmeer have a rather good line in sea food.

19. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
Loads, the Three Swords of the Ancient Kings, the Five Links of the Sorcerer, the Cursed Pearl Blades, loads. Thing is, they're all legends.

20. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?
Well, apart from there not being any such thing as a monster...
Supposedly, deep, deep in the Sauermacht peaks, there is a Dragon...

Brygge: Town of The Serpent Baron

I warn you in advance, this thing knows no bounds in terms of disorganisation...
A town, ruled by a Tyrant, with an invisible serpent around his neck that whispers magic in his ears. If he can just crush the Resistance, and erase the last traces of subversion, he could become a god...


1 - The Serpent Baron, Nathair Illiad - The cruel and imposing ruler of the town, blessed by a powerful serpent spirit who has developed a symbiotic dependency to the Baron. Dreams of ascension to Anti-Sainthood, though he doesn't see it that way, and of usurping the Duchy from Don Hatori.
2 - The Slithering Priest, Donovon Lascal - Has three acolytes, and they pretend to be adherents of a Saint of Guile and Wit. They are merely sycophants of the Baron and his Parasite-Spirit, and have been granted powers by the spirit.
3 - The Three Lieutenants - Granted minor powers by the Baron, they are his right hand, and main agents in the town.
4 - The Baron's Fangs - Assassins of the highest calibre, most of the town aren't even aware they exist.
5 - The Basilisk - Dwelling beneath the castle, most of the town believe it to merely be a legend.
6 - The Whispering Deceiver - The Serpent Spirit who has attached itself to the Baron. Incredibly selfish, self-serving, and sycophantic. Final goal is to become strong enough to challenge Yig for patronage of the Serpent-men, though for now, the Baron has shackled its will to his.


1 - The Baron's Castle - Has traits like the Corrupt Lord's. Serpent themeing is kept pretty subtle for the most part. Has entrances to the True Temple, and a tunnel to the Secret Dungeons underneath Wooden Street.
2 - The Temple of the Scaled Saint - A front for worship of the Deceiver, where the Slithering Priest dwells and spreads the whispers of the Serpent.
3 - The Secret Dungeons - Where the political prisoners of the town are thrown. 2 in particular are kept in padded cells, and are pumped full of all manners of poisons, and enchanted so that they will not die from the corruption coursing through them. Every so often, the Baron sends loyal cultists to extract some of the poison running through their veins...
4 - The Seven Stars Tavern - A hub of dissenters against the Baron's rule, the Resistance. Secret as of yet. Connections to a secret underground hideout beneath the Shrine of Saint Thomas.
5 - The Drowning Posts - Where executions take place, people are tied to posts and left to sink down into muck and suffocate. Officially only used for murder, arson, and treason. Many political prisoners end up here unannounced.
6 - The True Temple - Down beneath the town, where worship of the Serpent and the Baron is conducted openly and nakedly.


1 - The Baron's Spear - Master-work spear, the blade appears to erupt from the gaping mouth of a serpent; enchanted to transform into a serpent when the fangs of the serpent head taste blood.
2 - The Minx's Eyes - Twin gemstones named for a Minx-shaped spirit who gifted them to humanity as a ward against poisons.
3 - Many Potent Poisons - He breeds them within a pair of desperately wretched prisoners in the secret dungeons.
4 - Rod of Fangs - Wielded by the Serpent Priest, partially transforms into a serpent, and is a catalyst for spells.
5 - The Baron's Treasury - Full to bursting with years and years of harsh taxes and fines.
6 - The Snake-Skin Bracers - Allow you to see through your sense of smell, even if otherwise blinded.

The Serpent Baron

He found the Whispering Deceiver out in the forest one day, wrapped around the neck of a beautiful woman, compelling her to catch and swallow mice whole for it. He took both for his own, and broke their spirits, they now both serve him.
He will break the whole world, if he can.
He is normally quite charming, and a dab-handed liar. You'd never suspect he leads an insidious cabal.
Knows three spells; Hypnotic Gaze, Snake Swarm, and Scale Skin.
Aside from his spear, he wields a great Butcher's Blade, which can be wielded one handed only if you have 15 or higher strength. It has a series of groves which allow it to hold twice as much liquid as a normal sword might be able to (poison in every case for the Baron).
Once per day, he can exude a poison breath, which deals 1 damage for each point which the victim's saving throw fails by. If the save result is a 1, they are instantly on 1 hit point if they wouldn't be lower.
Every other round, can replace one of his normal attacks with a special grapple, which if successful, can then consume another attack, to throw the grappled creature as a ranged weapon dealing bludgeoning weapon as a javelin, and knocking both targets prone on a hit.
If he is ever reduced to 0 hit points and not killed outright, he will consume the Deceiver's spirit, and become a Serpent Demon as a last ditch effort to survive.

The Serpent Baron's Appearance

1 - Green Slitted Eyes
2 - Huge Frame - At least a head taller than the tallest party member (usually at least)
3 - Slightly too large Incisors
4 - Ermine Cape - He really freaking hates ferrets and such animals
5 - Serpent Theme - Seems merely fuedal at first...
6 - Surprisingly thin Cheeks

The Serpent Baron's Equipment

1 - The Serpent Headed Spear - When it deals maximum damage on an attack, it transforms into a 3HD serpent to fight for the Baron. If killed, the serpent reverts back to spear form; the haft will be broken, but it is the spear-blade and its setting that are actually magical.
2 - Butcher's Blade - Detailed above.
3 - Serpent Scale Armour - AC as Half-Plate, with no other penalties.
4 - Twin Fang Ring - Can hold enough venom for one dose, which can be delivered almost undetectably with a touch by two, needle sharp fangs.
5 - Blessings of the Serpent - The Spells and Poison Breath detailed above.
6 - A Small Pouch of Poison Vials - Mostly hidden by his clothes and cloak, it contains holders for three vials of particularly virulent poisons, though these must be administered as usual.

The Baron's Ascension

Should the Baron's plans advance far enough, or he is driven to out of desperation, the Baron can begin his ascension on the Night of the Full Moon. At the end of a lengthy ritual, which takes the whole day beforehand, and is very vulnerable to interruption, and culminates at the stroke of Sun-Down, the Baron will then be suddenly encased within a great egg. During this time, he must be bathed in the light of the full-moon as much as possible. Cloud is not enough to disrupt it, unless it is supernaturally thick, but if he is out of the light for a full 10 minutes, the ritual fails, and he will hatch still human. The egg is otherwise invincible, except to high-level magic, for the duration of the Night.  During this time, if the Resistance is still active and knows of the Ritual, they will attempt to interrupt it and will be successful on a 4 in 6 chance. If the ritual succeeds however, he emerges a great, Serpent-Man hybrid with the strength of a god, or close to one. If it fails, he is human, and human forever. Therefore, he will only voluntarily undergo the ritual if he is certain he is entirely safe, since it is so delicate, and there is little margin for error.

Notable NPCs in the Town

1 - Mazdan Hobburn, the Master Blacksmith - one of the most skilled smiths this side of the capital, he forged the Baron's weapons and armour. Has no stake in the politics of the town, but obeys the call of money faithfully and discretely, if offered enough. His premises are in the Town Square.
2 - Urguyle the Wise - A wizard of some small power, he lives on Beech Street, between two empty lots, as the houses that used to stand there burnt down mysteriously. Not powerful enough to resist the Baron alone, and as of yet has incurred no bad blood between them. This cannot last forever. Has a decent magical library.
3 - Barkeeper Yuvio - A key member of the Resistance, and Proprietor of the Seven Stars Tavern, the cellars of which are used to co-ordinate the Resistance's efforts. Brave and steadfast, will cover the other Resistance members' escape to the Shrine of Saint Thomas through the secret cellar tunnels, a ploy which has so far seen them elude suspicion.
4 - Father Remmel - Head priest of the Shrine of Saint Thomas. Has an assistant, Harren, but they are desperately underfunded due to the taxes of the Baron. Sympathetic to the Resistance, but as of now, they are unwilling to commit to openly opposing the Baron.
5 - Notary - Celebrity - Scion of an Old Bloodline: Lord Elias Sturngart - Distantly related to the old ruling family of the county. They haven't ruled in decades, and he is disinterested in the responsibility, but he has the strongest claim to the title after the Serpent Baron. Lives in the Sturngart Manor on Rose Alley.
6 - Dweller - Shaman - Purge the Guilty: Ruffick (Words-in-Stones) - Seeks to destroy those who have debased their souls (The Baron and the Priests) and the Spirit who has lead them astray. As of yet does not know who it is the town, does not yet suspect the Baron. Lives in the woods just outside the city.
7 - Agent - Secret Police - Break the Local Faith: Office Nathan Shultz - An Agent of the Corrupt Lord, and a member of the Foundation. While the CL is not yet aware of the Baron's disloyalty, Nathan is on a mission to break the faith of the locals, as part of the CL's wider initiative, and will soon come across evidence of the liberties the Baron has been taking. Staying at the Haberdashers on Ash Street.
8 - Foreigner - Brass Bastard - Take Revenge on Someone: Silas Am'Thrick - Seeks revenge on the Slithering Priest, they have bad blood between them. Silas sought his metal as part of an old downward spiral because of what the Priest did to him. Hiding in the Town Sewers, plotting.
9 - Dweller - War Veteran - The Siege of Ulm: Ered Thuringen - A veteran of the coup that crowned the Corrupt Lord, he is a stalwart support of the CL, and won't stand to see him so openly disregarded by the Serpent Baron. Living on Oak Street.
10 - Foreigner - Angel - Bury the Dead: Raphael - Seeks to release the souls of those executed at the Drowning Posts, their preserved organs won't release them. Will help only so long as their task is done. Once its finished, they are gone.
11 - Undesirable - Changling - Secure a Life of Luxury: Scrilk - Did not wish to be what it is, but it won't let that stop it from using its gifts to take what it wants. Hasn't considered replacing the Baron, thinks its too risky to do alone, currently has its sights set on Lord Sturngart, thinking that he is rich, but out of the way. Currently has replaced on the Sturngart's servants.
12 - Agent - Bounty Hunter - Inflitrate the Circle of Meira the Heretic: Hogen Grent - Meira is one of the Slithering Priest's acolytes, and leads a sub-cult in her own time. The Serpent Baron set the Bounty Hunter on them without knowing that they are one and the same, wanting all worship within his own cult. Staying at the Severn Stars Tavern.

The Town Watch

All three Officers have the following gifts of the Serpent: Darkvision (based on scent), slitted eyes, forked tongues, and subtle scales on their chests (minimum AC is 2 more than normal), as well as those in their description.
1 - Captain Drummond - Leads the larger unit of footmen, and overall commander of the town watch. Cruel in a cold, detached sort of way. Unshakable. Keeps his left arm tucked inside his cloak at all times, since it is infact a serpent attached to his shoulder. Wields a duelist's rapier.
Has quarters on Oak Street.
2 - Captain Caid - Leader of the "Green Rain" archer unit. Disinterested in the whole cult deal, very much interested in the power it brings, so is willing to play along. Can spit caustic venom up to 20 feet.
Has quarters on Ash Street, which he shares with a girlfriend, who is in hiding from her vengeful husband.
3 - Lieutenant Farron - Leads the smaller unit of footmen, zealous and righteous. Wields a two-handed battle axe. Can hypnotise with his gaze over a minute at any time, or with a glance once per day.
Has quarters on Cedar street.
4 - The Footmen - Consisting of 2 Units, 1 of 15 men lead by the Captain Drummond, one of 9 lead by the lieutenant. All mere spearmen with swords too, almost all (80%) inductees of the Serpent Cult.
5 - The Green Rain - A unit of 12 archers lead by Captain Caid, who use poisoned arrows.
6 - Yara, the Honest Watchmen - One of the most stalwartly anti-cult members of the watch. Pretends to be merely indifferent to avoid suspicion and probable execution. Diligently gathers information about the cult, hoping to bring it down from the edges.

The Twin Fangs

Taken from the streets, extensive brainwashing has rendered them incapable of doing anything except what the Serpent Baron orders. They are his secret assassins, not even the Slithering Priest knows about them. They are brutally efficient, and have a perfect record (so far). They have extensive training and equipment, including snake-sticks, a smoke grenade, a flash grenade, paralysing poison which they apply to their weapons, and caltrops coated with a numbing chemical.
When they are not "on duty", they live in spartan quarters in the Secret Dungeons.

The Slithering Priests

Sycophants of the Baron deluded enough to worship him and his loathsome spirit. Donovon pretends allegience to a Saint by the name of Darian, though there is no such saint, and he instead venerates the Deceiver. Wields the Rod of Fangs, and knows four spells: Scaleskin, Fog Cloud, Snake Swarm, Paralysis. He can ritually sacrifice one of his acolytes to regain a spent spell, which triggers a morale check from the other two.
The three Acolytes are Meira, Jaimie, and Peiter, and they each know one of Donovon's spells, in the order given above. Meira has taken matters into her own hands in regards to furthering their faith, and has started a sub-cult of her own in secret. If it grows enough, she might be a force to be reckoned with.
The Acolytes live in quarters in the False-Shrine of Darian, in the Town Square, but Donovon has private quarters in the Baron's Castle.

Other Locations of the Town

1 - The Watch Barracks - Set near the eastern gate, on Oak Street, which leads back towards civilisation. One of the officers of the watch is always on duty here. Another is on patrol, and the third is off-duty, or attending court with the Baron.
2 - The Town Square - Set before the castle, the Serpent Baron adjudicates court cases in front of the people here, and makes announcements every so often. Well patrolled by the watch.
3 - Rattle Street Market - Though there are some stalls that are open all week, on the first two days of the week, the nearby farms will bring out whatever produce they do have. On those days, the streets nearby are congested beyond belief. The town watch doesn't go there on those days.
4 - The Cellars on Wooden Street - Owned almost completely by the Baron and rented to poor serfs who can't afford the rent and are thus utterly trapped. The cellars themselves are used to store all kinds of slightly illegal material. The serfs can't complain. The ones that try, disappear. Most Cult activity takes place here, and it contains an entrance to the True Temple, and is the main entrance to the Secret Dungeons.
5 - Rodrigo's Haberdashery - A front for the Secret Police in Brygge, the Serpent Baron does not suspect, but if he did, it would not take long for him to discover the deception. On Ash Street.
6 - The Town Sewers - Not particularly extensive, but a culvert on the western walls does run through both the Sturngart estate, and the western-most watch tower of the Baron's castle.
7 - Dice House: The Smiling Siren - The premier arena of luck outside Regensburg as the owner would say, the Smiling Siren has attracted a rather large clientel of both those who hold the Baron's favour, and those who have earned his ire and have large 'debts to the state' to pay off. Run by a weaselly fellow by the name of Hacken, he isn't particularly threatening, but his three thugs are. Lieutenant Farron has a bit of a habit here, and has racked up a bit of a debt, which the house has as of yet been understandably unwilling to attempt to collect. Hogen the Bounty Hunter has been frequenting this place too, asking around subtlety for information on his mark. On Cedar Street.
8 - Brothel: Madame Salaciea's - Not quite so seedy as others, but not great. The main selling point is the great discretion the Madame offers for guests of... unsavory appetites. Captain Caid frequents the place. Elias Sturngart makes the occasional incognito visit here. On Rattle Street.
9 - Fair: Saint Thomas' Feast - A week-long feast that began just yesterday in fact, a long table is laid for a meal in front of Saint Thomas' Shrine, and food is brought out for any and all to enjoy just before sun-down. So far this act of good will has gone unopposed. The Resistance, among others, will use it as a meeting point, and the Baron will grow suspicious of it.
10 - A Beautiful Shrine: Shrine of Saint Thomas - One of the last remaining establishments not touched by the Baron's Cult, will offer sanctuary and aid to any and all that need it, especially those not well-liked by the Baron. On Willow Street.
11 - A Statue of an Old Hero: Statue of Lucian the Dragon-Crusher - The founder of the town who supposedly wrestled control of the area from a fearsome dragon. In the Town Square.
12 - A Beautiful Garden: The Snowdrop's Waltz - A Spiral path through many pale flowers. A private meeting point for the Resistance. Just off the Town Square.

Miera the Heretic

She is still loyal to the Serpent Baron, she just has... divergent thoughts about this whole serpent thing. She still offers praise and worship to the Whispering Deceiver, as is right and proper, but she offers veneration to the other Reptile Spirits of the world, secretly, and with a few other followers she has gathered in secret all by herself. She follows the commands of the Baron and the Slithering Priest, but she would be deeply disturbed to know that the Baron has unknowingly set a bounty hunter on her.
Her cult currently has 3d4 members.

Table of Town Events

Roll once per week, or after the PCs are the cause (whether its public knowledge or not) of some disturbance in town.
1 - The Resistance is Revealed - The first time this is rolled, the Baron discovers that there is a Resistance movement at all, and posters for information about them will be posted. This won't result in anything by itself, but it will mean the PCs cannot approach the Resistance anymore, though the Resistance can and will still approach them. The second time it is rolled, the Resistance is discovered, and all members will be taken straight to the Secret Dungeons, except Yuvio, who goes straight to the Drowning Posts. The Resistance is done. Subsequent rolls are treated as "An NPC disappears".
2 - The Resistance is Revealed - As Above.
3 - An NPC Disappears - So Below.
4 - Meira's Cult Advances - The Sub-Cult doubles in size. If the Sub-Cult reaches a size of 30 or more, she attempts to seize control of the Cult from Donovon. She will succeed. The Serpent Baron will be amused by her usurpation with a 4 in 6 chance.
Little would change if Meira does usurp Donovon, she would assume his stats, and begin serving the Serpent Baron herself. If this is rolled again after she has usurped Donovon, the Baron discovers her heresy, and destroys her.
Once the whole business is resolved one way or the other, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
5 - Yara's Plans Advance - The first time this result is rolled, Yara gains sufficient information to be useful to the PCs. On the second roll, she will approach the PCs about a plan she has thought up. With each subsequent roll, she uncovers something further that makes the plan more likely to succeed.
6 - The Changling's Course Advances - The first time this is rolled, the Changeling replaces a Butler in the Sturngart household. The second time this is rolled, they replace Elias' personal butler. The third time, they replace Elias themselves. Each time they advance, it becomes harder to convince them of any path other than replacing Elias.
Once the Changeling has either replaced Elias, or has reached some other resolution, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
7 - An Auspicious Omen - The Statue of Lucian undergoes a small, but notable transformation. The Dragon is replaced with a Serpent. The statue will be removed for "renovation" within a day, but word will get around. The next "The Resistance is Revealed" result is treated as a "The Resistance's Aims Advance on a 3 in 6 chance, or is instead ignored.
Once the whole business is resolved one way or the other, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
8 - An NPC disappears - Roll on the Disloyal PC table (see below). That NPC has run afoul of the Baron, and has gone. 1 in 6 chance of going straight to the Drowning Posts. Otherwise, they end up in the Secret Dungeons.
9 - Someone is left out to Die on the Drowning Posts - Randomly choose someone locked up in the Secret Dungeons, they are left out overnight to die on the Drowning Posts. At this point, the Baron knows everything they knew, and they are worth nothing more to him. If no-one is in the Secret Dungeons, treat this as a "An NPC disappears" result. 
10 - The Secret Police Uncover the Truth - The first time this is rolled, the Secret Police discover all they need to order the Baron's murder, and they begin plotting. The second time this is rolled, there is a 1 in 6 chance the attempt succeeds, a 3 in 6 chance it merely fails, and the final 2 in 6 chance that the Baron discovers the attempts, and is forced to declare war on Don Hatori, expelling or killing the Secret Police in Brygge in the process.
Once the whole business is resolved one way or the other, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
11 - The Serpent Baron Uncovers the Secret Police - The first time this is rolled, the Baron discovers that the Corrupt Lord's Secret Police are investigating him. The second time this is rolled, the Baron completely destroys the Secret Police's efforts in Brygge, killing all of them except Officer Nathan, who is imprisoned in the Secret Dungeons.
Once the whole business is resolved one way or the other, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
12 - Hacken tries to collect - He has finally tired of Farron's habits of not paying up, and he has sent his goons after him. There is a 2 in 6 chance that the attempt is successful, and Farron dies in the ensuing struggle, no blame can be traced back to Hacken. Otherwise, Farron kills his assailants, and the Smiling Siren burns to the ground the following night, Hacken disappearing down into the Secret Dungeons.
Once the whole business is resolved one way or the other, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
13 - Urguyle and the Baron have a Spat - The first time this is rolled, bad blood begins to foster between Urguyle and the Baron, and Urguyle is suddenly a lot more sympathetic to the rebellious elements of the town. The second time this is rolled, Urguyle and the Baron have a confrontation, and Urguyle always loses. There is a 3 in 6 chance he dies in the fight, which will level much of Beech Street, otherwise, he is sent to the Secret Dungeons.
Once the whole business is resolved one way or the other, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
14 - Ered Thuringen Surges Forth! - When this result is rolled, Ered joins forces with a party aligned against the Baron (randomly chosen from; The Resistance, The Secret Police, and Ruffick the Shaman). If this result is rolled again while he is free, they make an attempt on the Baron's life. They always fail, and Ered (along with other named characters) is thrown into the Secret Dungeon. If this result is rolled while Ered is in a Watch Cell (see below) he daringly escapes!
Once the whole business is resolved one way or the other, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
15 - Ered Thuringen is Arrested - His speaking out against the Baron can be ignored no longer, and he is thrown into a cell in the Watch Barracks. If this result is rolled again while Ered is in the Cell, he is then sent to the Secret Dungeons.
Once the whole business is resolved one way or the other, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
16 - Silas Am'Thrick confronts Donovon - In the Town Square, there is a rather explosive confrontation between Donovon and Silas. There is a 3 in 6 chance that Silas kills Donovon, who is succeeded by Meira as if she had usurped him. There is only a 1 in 6 chance that Donovon kills Silas. If Silas wins, or just isn't killed, he has to then roll a dice below what he previously scored to escape. Otherwise the town watch catch him, and he is thrown into the Secret Dungeon for the Baron's curiousity, he has never seen a Brass Bastard before...
Once the whole business is resolved one way or the other, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
17 - Caid and Elias cross paths - When this is rolled, Caid discovers Elias' more... improper tastes in women, and blackmails him for money. The second time this is rolled, it happens again, and Caid and his mistress have enough wealth to skip town, never to be seen again.
Once the whole business is resolved one way or the other, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
18 - The Bounty Hunter tracks down Meira - Meira's treachery and heresy is discovered by the Bounty Hunter. There is a 5 in 6 chance that Meira can bribe Hogen to be quiet. Each time afterwards, Hogen wants more money for his silence, and the roll must be made again, with a cumulative -2 modifier. When the roll is finally failed, Meira is sent to the Drowning Posts, and Hogen leaves town with a rather fat purse.
Once the whole business is resolved one way or the other, treat this as an "An NPC disappears" instead.
19 - The Resistance's Aims Advance - So Below.
20 - The Resistance's Aims Advance - The first time this is rolled, the Resistance covers one of their Requirements (see later). Each subsequent roll, there is a 2 in 6 chance that the Resistance makes their move. If they do, roll a d10. If they roll under the number of needs they have covered, they overthrow the Serpent Baron, and free Brygge from the Serpent Cult. If they fail, they will all be thrown into the Secret Dungeons. If they don't make their move, they cover a new need instead.

Disloyal NPCs

If you roll a NPC who has already been taken, use the next result down. If all NPCs down are taken, go upwards instead.
If all Disloyal NPCs "disappear", then there will be no-one left to stop the Baron, who will Apotheosise into a Mighty Serpent-Demon on the next New Moon (see the Baron's entry above).

1 - Barkeeper Yuvio
2 - Father Remmel
3 - Harren, Remmel's Aprentic
4 - Elias Sturngart
5 - Ruffick
6 - Silas Am'Thrick
7 - Ered Thuringen
8 - Raphael
9 - Yara, the Honest Watchman
10 - Officer Nathan Shultz
11 - Hacken
12 - Meira the Heretic

Disloyal NPCs can be rescued from the Secret Dungeons, though after the first time someone/a group escapes, security increases so much that it is almost impossible to break out anyone else without defeating the Baron in full.

The Resistance

They are a few desperate people who can see that the tyranny of the Serpent Baron will end nowhere well, and they plan and plot and hope, so that one day they might live free of his scaled clutches, or else die trying to snap off the fingers that strangle them.
The Resistance has 10 basic needs to overcome the Baron:
1 - Weapons
2 - The Castle's Plans
3 - Information on the Baron
4 - Spiritual Aid
5 - Magic
6 - Armour
7 - Money
8 - Knowledge about the Serpent Cult
9 - Martial Training
10 - Luck (this can never actually be attained, outside of some stroke of myth)
They can cover these needs through the Event table, or through the actions of the PCs. For many of these needs, the party will probably need the assistance of another NPC, though they can supply some by their own expertise, or by the DM's discretion.
For the long-term prosperity of the town, the Resistance will also need a plan to replace the Serpent Baron, or things will get out of hand very quickly. They will neglect this for too long without help.

The Serpent Cult

The band of foolish sycophants and deluded worshippers makes up fully half the town in some capacity, though only a small percentage of that actively participates in cult activities. For the most part they are quite secretive, but a few flap their gums under certain pressures:
Pressures to spill the beans:
1 - Booze
2 - Some other drug
3 - Gold
4 - Love
5 - Violence
6 - Promises of Power
If you try to bully the wrong person, you might end up on the wrong end of the Town Watch. More than a few businesses have been torn out by the Watch because of jealous cultist competitors.
They meet sometimes in the Cellars underneath Wooden Street, and perform strange, undulating rituals. For the most part its quite harmless stuff, but with each ritual performed, the Baron's power grows.


When gathering rumours, there is a 2 in 6 chance that you'll just get useless nonsense. Other wise, you get a roll on the following chance, with a 1 in 6 chance (on the same roll) of getting either a double roll, or some elaboration. If the same result is rolled again, further elaboration is given.
1 - People keep gathering at Rodrigo's for some reason.
2 - People keep gathering at the Snowdrops' Waltz Garden for some reason.
3 - I swear, someone was killed at the Drowning Posts last night.
4 - There's an underground movement against the Baron somewhere in town.
5 - People keep gathering at the Seven Stars tavern for some reason, they don't come out though.
6 - People keep leaving Saint Thomas' Shrine, they don't go in though.
7 - Something is up with Father Remmel, I tell ya.
8 - Something is up with Yuvio, the barman at the Seven Stars, I tell ya.
9 - I've heard that Elias Sturngart's family used to rule the city.
10 - I've heard that the whole damn Town Watch are in some sort of Cabal or something.
11 - There's a strange old man hiding out in the woods, he's hiding something I'm sure.
12 - People enter some of the houses on Wooden Street late at night, sometimes less come out.
13 - You go to the Rattle Street market on a farm day, you won't see a watchman for a mile.
14 - Heard there was some guy going around telling people he's an angel or some such.
15 - Thought I saw some guy in weird armour running around the sewer system once.
16 - I think that guy living in Lonely House on Beech street might be a wizard you know!
17 - The same people keep taking the same seats at Saint Thomas' feast. Its weird. 
18 - Some war vet keeps yapping on about how evil the Baron is. Come on, right?
19 - Captain Drummond has a gammy arm, childhood illness I heard.
20 - Buddy o' mine works for Lord Sturngart, they're acting all weird all of a sudden. 
21 - Lieutenant Farron's eyes aren't right, let me tell you.
22 - I've heard weird noises coming from under the Baron's castle, let me tell you.
23 - Mazdan's the best damn blacksmith you'll ever meet!
24 - The Corrupt Lord has sent his Secret Police here for some reason.
25 - The Baron has hired a bounty hunter for some reason, you see him at the dice house.
26 - Meira is running some sort of secret society.
27 - Lieutenant Farron has a mistress with a rather violent husband.
28 - Lieutenant Farron has a bit of a gambling problem.
29 - Captain Caid sometimes goes to Madame Salaceia's brothel.
30 - Elias Sturngart sometimes goes to Madame Salaceia's brothel.

Grave-City of the King-Priest

Image result for fantasy egyptian necropolis
Choose wisely.

Somewhere out on the frontiers, in another age, in another time there was a desert, ruled by kings who were gods. The tombs they built to preserve their earthly souls after death survived the world they knew, and now this one stands still, just. A few individuals and defences still hang on too, destroying those who would defile the holy corpse of the King-Priest.


1 - Sand-Sealed Soldiers: Trapped in sealed chambers, stood in their ranks, the sand poured in an eternal vigil. Opening certain doors will release them.
2 - The Scorpion Sisters: Spirits of the desert bound to the tombs by an ill-considered deal. Like a centaur only the horse parts are giant scorpions. Guard the Promenade of Heroes.
3 - Desert Hunger Spirits: They remain clinging to the edge of the tomb-complex, held at bay by the sun disk. Their prey end up husks, withered and dry.
4 - Curse-Seals: Hold fast the great stone doors of the tombs. If broken by intruders, they release the curses that are stored inside.
5 - Guardians of the Royal Souls: Canopic-Statue-Guardians, holding the sacred organs within their chests. Imbued with divine purpose.
6 - The Many-Lords of Rot: A rival power to the King-Priest, a hive mind of worms, locusts, beetles. They would feast on the royal souls.


1 - The King's Riches: Much gold, animated servile statuary, gems, jewels, scepters, oh my!
2 - The Sun Disk: Blazes with golden light, the power of the sun. Blasts of incandescent flame blast and repel spirits and the inhuman, at least those without the seal of the King.
3 - The Moon Blade: Blazes with a cold blue flame, the power of the moon. Harms and subdues ghosts and other such otherwise immune undead.
4 - Preserved Remains: Alchemically potent through the weight of passing centuries, academic types would pay through the nose for them.
5 - Historical Information: Requires some serious translation work, but the context it would provide historians is invaluable.
6 - Salt: Just like loads of salt. Loads of it. It was valuable back then! Still worth something now.


1 - Defeated Defilers: Blackened and twisted and contorted, held in place forever. The ghosts of some rage nearby. Some still clutch treasure in dried and oily hands.
2 - Small Shrines: Here there are ancient and crooked priests who can cleanse you of your sins, if you bring a proper offering.
3 - The Promenade of Heroes: Many columns depicting and retelling the tales and legends of ancient adventurers and heroes. Offer clues about the contents of minor tombs and the grand pyramid.
4 - Scarab-People Scavengers: They too seek the treasures and wonders of the city, travellers from the roving tent-city of their people. They have trinkets for sale, and would perhaps buy ones you find.
5 - Houses of the Dead: Here the corpses of the worthy underwent their journey to eternity. Now they are cold and empty of all but the many jars and urns of salt.
6 - Titan of the King's Judgement: The Doom of Sinners, but blind to the unblemished. The weak point is at the base of the skull; it is unguarded, but hard to access.

Ancilliary Tables

The Holy Souls of the King-Priest
First is the Soul, then the organ that it inhabited, then the head of the Guardian, and finally the power of the Guardian.
1 - The Name - The Teeth and Tongue - Jackal - Taunting and disorienting cackles and whispers.
2 - The Shadow - The Liver - Crow - A paralysing shadow, which animates and grapples you.
3 - The Soul - The Stomach - Hippo - A bite attack which grapples on a hit.
4 - The Mind - The Eyes - Ibis - Fights with a bow which fires feather arrows.
5 - The Breath - The Lungs - Hawk - Flight on great skeletal wings.
6 - The Body - The Spine - Crocodile - Armour, which it can partially shed to regenerate.
7 - The Blood - The Heath - Bull - Flaming Aspect, which intensifies as it bleeds.

Curse-Seal Effects
1 - Swarms of Locusts pour forth from the shattered seal.
2 - The one that broke the seal magically ages a year each day.
3 - Each week, one of the family of the one who broke the seal is compelled to commit suicide.
4 - Creeping Petrifciation spreads from the limbs that broke the seal.
5 - Water turns into Sand in the mouth of the one that broke the seal.
6 - The one that broke the seal is always on the verge of heat-stroke, even in the snow.
7 - The eyes of the one that broke the seal turn to scarabs which will live in the sockets.
8 - The Black Jackal of Doom follows the one who broke the seal, it hounds them.
9 - A Creeping Flame sets in the air, spilling like mist from the broken seal.
10 - Water won't stop pouring from the broken seal.
11 - The Guardians of the Royal Souls always score critical hits on the one who broke the seal.
12 - The one who broke the seal becomes deathly vulnerable to sunlight.

Sin and the Titan
The titan is a vengeful guardian of the Great Pyramid. Its empty eyes see only the sins of trespassers, and the blameless are invisible to it. Every other round it makes an attack against a sinner, determined randomly, though it has double chances to target the most sinful individual it can see and reach. It rolls to hit with only a d20, modified by the amount of sin the target has accumulated.
Each sin is counted up individually, and each sin must be atoned for individually. For each category that you have 3 or more sins of, the titan gains +1 on to hit rolls against you. If you have 10+ sins in total, the Titan hits you automatically.
1 - Breaking a Curse-Seal
2 - Destroying one of the Guardians of the Royal Souls
3 - Stealing Funerary Gifts
4 - Trespassing in Sacred Spaces (i.e. the burial/treasure chambers of minor tombs, and any chamber on the third and fourth levels of the Great Pyramid)

Minor Shrines
First is the name of the Shrine, then the price that must be paid for atonement, finally the benefit it provides.
Each shrine only occurs once in the Tomb-City, further rolls of previously discovered shrines indicate another entrance to it.
1 - House of Names: A Tooth - Atones for all sins gained from destroying guardians of the royal souls.
2 - Pit of Unburdening: Only the pain of being thrown into the Pit (20 feet deep), and remaining there for 1 hour - Atones for all of one random type of sin.
3 - Table of the Feast: Salt for further meat, at least a pound - Merely a safe haven, laden with food.
4 - Shrine of Red Release: 1 constitution point's worth of Blood - Atones for all sins gained from breaking Curse-Seals
5 - Cells of Contemplation: A Day's worth of fasting and meditating - Reduces each count of each sin you have down to 2.
6 - Pools of Cleansing: A deep and jagged cut, dealing 1 point of damage for each hit die you have - Breaks a curse that affects your character.
7 - Temple of Judgement: 10% of all gold carried on your person - Atones for all sins gained from stealing Funerary Gifts.
8 - House of Confession: A penalty of 1 to all d20 rolls you make for the rest of the day - Atones for all sins gained from Trespassing in Sacred Spaces.

Defeated and Cursed Defilers
They are all black and shrivelled by age, their skin slightly sticky and greasy, and they are frozen in their current poses. Trying to rearrange any part of them will snap off the part in question.
Each has a 3 in 6 chance of manifesting its ghost, and a further 3 in 6 chance to have its treasure somewhere on its person. Ghosts can't stray out of sight of their body. If a defiler has both a treasure and a ghost, the treasure is almost certainly the cause of their suffering.
Each Defiler can be encountered multiple times, until it is encountered with either its ghost or treasure. It cannot be encountered again after that.
1 - Frozen in a convulsion of pain - ghost only wishes for mercy - treasure is a ruby carved like a fire
2 - Pinned to a wall - ghost fights to the bitter, bitter end - treasure is a masterwork spear-head, needs re-hafting.
3 - Face-down in the sand - ghost is a cruel thief - treasure is a pouch full of old gold coins.
4 - Curled up, feotal, wracked with fear - ghost cowers in the corner and waves a knife desperately at any who draw near - treasure is a golden ring, set with a tiny rat skull.
5 - Decapitated and dropped - ghost is headless, and swings a blade around wildly - treasure is a canopic jar with a preserved organ inside (roll on the Holy Remains to see which organ it is, though it is never the kings actual organs of course).
6 - Torn in half and discarded - ghost desperately tries to scoop its organs back inside its ruined form - treasure is a golden plate bearing mystical rites for burials.
7 - Bloated and disfigured by a scorpion sting - ghost spews poison and miasmas, it can't help itself - treasure is a cursed, lapis lazuli scorpion.
8 - Aged to a thin and broken nothing - ghost is an ancient old man, wracked with age-pains - treasure is a map of the (supposed) afterlife.
9 - Shrivelled and curled by the sun - ghost desperately seeks water - treasure is a beautifully adorned urn full of salt
10 - Nibbled and Chewed by Locusts - ghost is merely a mad swarm of ethereal insects - treasure is a scepter with the end carved in the likeness of a flying insect
11 - On hands and knees, as if desperately crawling away - ghost crawls, throwing up clouds of sand, fights more like a wolf than a man - treasure is an amulet depicting a prowling jackal.
12 - Knelt, sobbing, forever - ghost merely weeps - never any treasure.

Minor Tombs

Each tomb has a 1 in 6 chance of already having been looted floor to ceiling by Scarab People. They will be selling any of the treasure that would have been inside on a small mat just outside the entrance of the tomb.

Name of the Hero buried there
Each of these tombs can only be encountered once, further rolls of previously discovered tombs indicate another entrance to it.
1 - Ash-Kin-Pal: Master of the Armoury
2 - Sen-Wos-Ret: Conqueror of the Mishaninites
3 - Ren-Qo-Tet: Chosen of the Sun
4 - Fos-Mah-Ning: Breaker of Men
5 - Sir'ik-Toh-Pah: Beloved of Gods
6 - Xer-Man-Yung: Tamer of Crocodiles
7 - Sehk-Met-Hol: 100 Man Slayer
8 - Bah-Sing-Kir: Master of the Walls
9 - Far'aq-Mal-Dur: He who crossed the Desert and Returned
10 - Ihm-Ho-Tesh: Chief Priest of the Little Temples
11 - Seer-Et-Josh: Who died too Young.
12 - Anu-Bish-Shal: Keeper of the Moon-Blade (His Tomb also has the Moon-Blade as its treasure)

The Tomb's Defences
Each tomb will have d4+1 defences.
1 - Hidden Pits with spiked bottoms.
2 - A Curse-Sealed Door.
3 - A Maddening Labyrinth.
4 - An Animated Guardian Statue, each has a measure of power over either Fire, Sand, or Light. 
5 - Sand-Preserved Soldiers, each turn an exploding d4, with a +1 modifier for each turn the chamber has been open, number of soldiers crawl forth from the sand before rising to attack. More emerge each turn until all 40 have been slain.
6 - A Great Mummified Beast, thrice the size of a Man, and has either immense strength, paralysing venom, or a hypnotic gaze.
7 - Acidic Mists in precariously Balanced Jars.
8 - Spring loaded blades and Spears hidden in the walls.
9 - Trapped Monsters, kept alive by ancient magics, use your favourite random monster table, or one of flaming desert wolves, fog-breathing vultures, or a crocodile-dragon
10 - A Door locked by a Perplexing Riddle.
11 - A Huge Serpent whose scales are miniature sarcophagi for mummified snakes. d4 are released and animate each time the Serpent is hit by an attack.
12 - A Spirit of the Sands, takes the shape of a desert jackal. Contact with it withers you for 1 hit point per level/hit die you have. Is willing to talk, will permit the pious to pass, if they can prove it.

Treasures of the Tombs
(Besides your usual compliment of gold and art objects)
These are the special contents of the final chamber, alongside the sarcophagus and remains of the tomb's owner.
Roll only a d6 to begin with, but cross out each treasure you roll except 'Much More Gold', effectively pushing each lower result one number higher. If you roll higher than you have results for, use the highest available.
1 - Much more Gold
2 - A Magical Blade, it can harm spirits and glows in their presence.
3 - A Sacred Spear, once per day it can be called upon to release light like the sun.
4 - A Statue of a Horse, it obeys the one who wears its amulet, and is in all regards, a stone, tireless, perfectly obedient horse.
5 - An Amulet of a Scarab, it is a brilliant blue. The next time the wearer is targeted by a curse, the amulet takes it on instead, and becomes a dull black, and the curse is nullified. Useless once this happens.
6 - A Pouch of Sand, when a handful is thrown, it creates a great gust of hot, dry wind. Enough for 2d4 such handfuls.
7 - A strangely curved Knife, it can cut apart water like clay; where the knife has sliced, the water cannot fly back, unless encouraged by a hand like reconnecting dough.
8 - A Mummified Crocodile, if ground up and snorted, you experience unsettling visions of the crocodile stalking and eventually killing helpless prey,
9 - A Scroll depicting many old and lost Gods. Worth much to the discerning collector.
10 - Scraps of ancient wisdom on the Arts of Alchemy.
11 - A Golden Crown, those who see you in it are filled with a minor admiration, until you perform an act that would go against their faint respect for you.
12 - A Jar of Ointment. Wounds washed in it will never go septic and heal in the hour. Corpses covered in it will never rot. Enough ointment for 100 wounds, or 10 corpses.

Rooms and Guardians of the Grand Pyramid

The Courtyard of the Titan is the outer entrance of the Pyramid. Rooms 2 - 5 are on the first level of the Pyramid. Rooms 6 - 8 are on level 2, rooms 9 - 11 are on level 3, and room 12 is on level 4. Each level is Curse-Sealed, and has a number of Defences (from the minor tombs) equal its level in the corridors connecting each room.
The Sun Disk crests the very peak of the Pyramid.
First, the name of the Room, then a description, finally, any noteworthy contents.
1 - The Courtyard of the Titan: Wide and open, surrounded by pillars - The Titan of the King's Judgement keeps a careful watch for sinners.
2 - Hall of History: A long hall, many murals and depictions of the King-Priest's glorious deeds - a withered old priest who will explain it all to you, at great length.
3 - The Champion's Chamber: A circular chamber, ringed with chest-high braziers, still burning, the floor is covered in sand - The King-Priest's Champion, a master swords man whose blade commands the sands.
4 - The False-Door: A great door-way, only it is no door at all, and is merely solid rock - the False Door is flanked by Animated Guardian Statues.
5 - The Corrupted Chamber: Walls are covered in rot and putrefaction, leaking from a cage in the centre of the room - in the cage is a Many-Lord of Rot, bound in place with mystic sigils.
6 - Shrine of Contemplation: A small altar, bearing a replica of the Sun-Disk, and ringed with incense burners, still full - no other contents, it is a sin to trespass in this sacred space without leaving an offering, or if you make any sound beyond your footsteps.
7 - The Pristine Pools: 5 pools, one inside a ring of the other four, cleanses curses from those who bathe in them - a white-scaled Water Spirit in the shape of a serpent desires fine music and proper respect to allow entry to the pools.
8 - The Cult Chamber: At the centre of the room is a huge statue of the King-Priest, a place to worship his departed divinity - an Invisible Sand Spirit attacks those who do not show proper respect to the shrine and leave suitable offerings.
9 - The Model Chamber: A grand table sits at the centre of the room - on the table rests a miniature model of the city, any change made to the model is physically reflected in the real city over the next hour, as if an army of invisible servants carve it away or build it up (which is in fact, exactly what is happening).
10 - The Treasure Chamber: Vast piles of wealth, stacked as high as a man - as soon as even one coin is removed from its pile, 3 Sand-Sealed Soldier chambers open.
11 - The Queen's Tomb: Plainer than you might expect, a reasonably sized sarcophagus lies in the centre of the room - the Ghost of the Old Queen dwells in this chamber, she is quite friendly, and is not angered by tomb-robbing, just very, very disapproving of it. She knows all about the Grave-City, as she helped design it. Can (and indeed, is eager to) tell you any secret about it if you stay on her good side. A bot touchy about being dead.
12 - The Burial Chamber of the King-Priest: Huge, and high roofed, many opulent murals - the King-Priest's Sarcophagus, and the 7 Guardians of the Royal Souls. Should all the Guardians be destroyed, and the King's Corpse revealed, there will be One More Complication. 
The King's Corpse bears: a Royal Scepter, 6 Holy Rings, A Might Amulet, and its left hand is clad in gold and heals at a touch of the fore-finger.

One More Complication
1 - A Many Lord of Rot emerges from the shadows. It has followed you for some time now, and it demands the holy organs and flesh of the King-Priest, as revenge for an ancient wrong.
2 - The Tomb has started to collapse! There's only time to grab one thing each if you don't wish to risk death.
3 - The Corpse of the King rises, ready to interact with the party.
4 - Each individual member of the party is inflicted with a Curse as if they had broken a Curse-Seal. Curses that would pour out of a broken Curse-Seal, instead tear holes in the palms of the PC's hands, and pour forth from that with a great deal of pain.
5 -  The Desert Shadows, an order of Mystic-Knights devoted to the old line of King-Priests will not rest until the Party have atoned for their trespasses and returned any the stolen Royal Souls, or been butchered to a man.
6 - A section of each of the four walls drops away, revealing a chamber each of Sand-Preserved Soldiers. They will fight until totally destroyed.

Random Encounters in the Tomb-City (2d6)

Roll every 10 minutes of searching. Do not roll at any other time, even night. The city is utterly dead.
2 - Scarab-People Scavengers (roll reaction with advantage), they seek to plunder one of the minor tombs
3 - A Friendly(ish) band of high-born "Archaeologists", hopelessly inexperienced and under-equipped. They will probably die if they remain without help.
4 - A Wandering Ghost, of either an old priest, a tired soldier, or a murderous defiler.
5 - A Minor Shrine (there are up to 8 of these, rolling a duplicate shrine indicates you have stubbled across another entrance)
6 - 3d4 Bone-thin Wolves (1d4 less each time it is encountered, when no d4 are left, it is only a single, dead wolf)
7 - A Defiler
8 - An Animated Guardian Statue, each has a measure of power over either Fire, Sand, or Light. There are 12 wandering the Tomb-City, further rolls indicate only a pile of rubble.
9 - A Minor Tomb (there are up to 12 of these, rolling a duplicate tomb indicates you have stubbled across another entrance)
10 - A Rival Band of Adventurers, experienced, equipped well, and armed to the teeth. There are as many as 2 in the Tomb-City at any one time. They can change over time.
11 - A Spirit of the Sands, taking either the shape of a Sphinx, A Great Serpent, or a Giant Skeleton.
12 - A Many-Lord of Rot (roll reaction with disadvantage)

Magic Swords

Magic Swords are not forged by wizards, or built by sword-smiths, they are made slowly, over many battles, each deed accomplished with it sewn into its history, each foe slain with it forging an indelible bond with its wielder.

It is these bonds forged with its wielders that create the magic that live within the blade. Eventually, they build up so strong that they manifest strange and wondrous powers. Many are the tales told of magical blades, that could throw lighting, pass through armour like morning mist, or heal the dead with the blood it has drunk.

The more personalised the blade, the quicker these bonds emerge. It is the bond between blade and bearer that creates magic, it is best of all then, that the bearer makes the blade himself.

For these purposes, there are four components of a sword; the Pommel, the Hilt, the Hand-Guard, and the Blade itself.

Special materials fashioned into components at the wielders request bear the greatest potency, even more so if the bearer crafts them themselves. 

For example;
The Pommel could be made of:
- A great jewel
- The Reliquary of a Saint's (usually finger)bone 
- A Cameo of someone held dear
- A setting for a tiny piece of Art
- A written Dedication
- A Sculpture or Symbol

The Hilt could be:
- Wrapped in Parchment, bearing Scripture
- Leather from a beast slain personally
- Spell-scrolls (if you are particularly brave or desperate)
- Monster Bone
- Wood from your home
- Human skin (for the particularly depraved) 

The Hand Guard could be:
- A depiction of a scene of Legend
- Fashioned into a Rune of Protection
- A Sculpture of an Animal Guardian
- Inscribed with prayers
- Bearing many Jewels
- Carved and Filigreed Monster Bone

The Blade might be:
- Inscribed with Runes or a Name
- Quenched is special liquids (particularly blood)
- Depicting a great beast or scene of legend
- Scarred by a similarly legendary weapon
- Forged of an Unearthly Weapon
- Fashioned to create a strange sound when swung

In the end, it must be the wielder's choice, and it will only make the process quicker. Eventually, any weapon could be made legendary over centuries of slaughter. It makes no difference if the weapon eventually is made up of none of its original components. The spirit of the blade remains, as long as it is not forgotten. (Side Note: The spirit of magical blades take longer to fade away than those of still-mundane blades, even when forgotten) 

To begin with, keep track of the number of critical hits made with the weapon. When a particularly note-worthy foe is slain, or wound is dealt, or other deed is achieved using the weapon, roll a d20. If the result is less than or equal to the number of critical hits dealt by it, adding the number of customised components to the total, then the blade awakens, and its magic begins to bloom. The first effect to manifest is always a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls, with additional effects manifesting as further such great deeds are accomplished with the weapon. Each effect will mirror in some way, the deed achieved with it.

In the case of using a magical weapon wielded by another (such as when a character is gifted their father's sword, perhaps) then before any magic can be built up within it, the character must first build a bond with the blade equal to or greater than the bond it had with its previous wielder. Until that point, only a fraction of the blade's power can be used. Mechanically, the weapon will have a +1 bonus for to hit and damage rolls as normal, and up to one powers can be accessed automatically. To release the remaining powers, an awakening roll (as described above) must be made for each remaining power. 

Example Power List:
1 - A further +2 bonus against specific foes (i.e. giants, dragons, humans, etc.)
2 - Wreathing the blade in spectral flame.
3 - The ability to hurl a lighting bolt from the blade once per day.
4 - The ability to fly back to its owners hand on command.
5 - It glows in the presence of enemies.
6 - Its bearer takes no damage from cutting edges (but not from the force of the blow as well)
7 - The bearer has rough tremor senses while wielding the blade.
8 - The blade can move somewhat by itself to deflect ranged attacks.
9 - The blade can shatter almost any solid material if the point is touched against it for enough time.
10 - Water can be directed with the tip of the blade, even into the air.
11 - The tip of the blade can unlock mundane locks.
12 - The wielder of the blade is seen as trustworthy and inspirational when holding the blade aloft.
13 - The blade is supernaturally good at tripping up and disarming foes.
14 - Shields don't seem to offer all that much defence against it.
15 - The blade can heal one wound (read; a single instance of damage) with a touch, once per day.
16 - The blade creates a deep sense of dread in those it is pointed at.
17 - The blade howls like a pack of wolves when swung, quite unnerving.
18 - Plant growth is dramatically accelerated around it when plunged into the ground.
19 - The blade spews forth mist as it is swung, which is wielder alone can see through clearly.
20 - Wounds caused by the blade will only heal if the wielder allows them to.
21 - The blade glows brightly at will, and as bright as sunlight once per day.
22 - The wielder of the blade will never lose their footing whilst wielding the sword.
23 - The wielder has an intuitive danger sense for physical harm.
24 - The wind can be directed by the movements of this sword.
25 - With a solid swing, even stone can be cut by this blade.
26 - Blood spilled by this blade flows up its length to heal its wielder.
27 - Those struck by the blade cannot cast magic while it remains unsheathed.
28 - The blade can freeze water with a touch.
29 - Once planted in the earth, no force can move it save its wielder's hand.
30 - When thrown, the weapon transforms into an animal loyal to its wielder, until the wielder takes it in their hands again.

Sometimes, weapons become cursed by wicked deeds or foul magics. These curses take incredible efforts to cleanse from blades, if it can ever be accomplished at all.

Example Curse List:
1 - Once drawn, the blade must take a life before it can be put down or sheathed.
2 - When drawn, the blade grows hotter and hotter until the wielder can bear it no longer.
3 - Those slain by the sword, are cursed to follow its wielder as mindless undead.
4 - The wielders wounds will not stop bleeding until an equal amount of blood is spilt in return.
5 - Small living things (such as grass and rats) die while the blade is unsheathed nearby.
6 - Wounds dealt by the blade are never fatal, they merely fester and rot forever.
7 - The wielder enters a berserker fury when drawing the blade, and can't tell friend from foe.
8 - Whilst wielding the blade, it saps its wielder's life force to power its magic.
9 - When wielding the blade, even the simplest wound can turn mortal.
10 -  Poor weather perpetually follows the wielder of the blade.
11 - Animals of all kinds despise the wielder of the blade.
12 - A demon dwells within the blade, slowly corrupting the wielder.

Monsters of the Old Frontier: Tash, the Breath-Taker

Out there on the frontier, there are villages that house mute people. They were not born that way, no magic or wound took their voice, it was the strings of Tash.

He is built something like a human, only made up of parts like a bird. His flesh is feathered, his feet are hooked like a crows, and his face is crested with a great raven-beak. He has four arms, two set above the others, which are smaller and frailer, while the first are strong and more jointed. It wears crude clothes, of a sort.

His greatest power, and the one for which he is named, is his power to steal the breath from a person. At a distance, he can gesture with his smaller hands, and draw forth a near invisible thread from someone's throat, and from then on, they will be unable to speak, while Tash quickly bottles and stoppers it, tucking it away to keep. The breath, and the voice can only be restored by breaking the bottle.

If he gets closer to you, and you cannot stop him, he can take your breath more fully, and lethally.

He takes breathes because he has none of his own, he needs them to stoke the fires of life in his chest.

His smaller arms have two other powers. Firstly, at a gentle touch across the lips he can sew your mouth shut. Not permanently thankfully, the sutures can easily be cut if you're careful. The second power is his 'Curse of Strings', which binds you all up in near-invisible strings, with which Tash puppet-masters your movements, leaving you an unwilling marionette. Again, like the lip-sutures, the strings can be cut, and the curse also consumes much of Tash's (not inconsiderable) attention.

In darkness, Tash's sable feathers blend in almost perfectly. This is merely mundane, if extraordinarily effective, camouflage.

His deadliest weapon, even beyond the knives he carries in his greater arms, is his beak, which more than once has been seen to punch straight through plate armour, pulling out a gorey and gooey heart impaled upon it.

Tash has a second reason to steal voices as well. It is his first and greatest weakness, the human voice (and the human voice only) harms and repels him. Normal talking seems to cause merely discomfort, but louder than that, and feathers have sloughed from him, and blood burst its way from its bare skin. So far, no one has been able to discover how much harm a full scream can cause. Tash is usually cunning enough that most voices are silenced before he is revealed.

His second weakness is his dependence on the breaths he steals. He has none of his own, without breaths to drink, he would die. Probably. Hopefully.

He has in his thrall a small number of Crow-Imp creatures. They are totally wretched, nearly worthless things, their only merit that they share Tash's breath-taking power, though they must work as pairs to bottle up the stolen breathes, lest they escape, as they are too small and feeble to accomplish this single-handedly. They are also disgustingly, disappointingly cowardly. No doubt they would cravenly swear fealty immediately to anyone who did manage to slay their master.

In a clash, Tash fights dirty. Preferably from stealth, he will steal as many breaths as he can, before striking decisively from the dark. He is quite capable of fighting many targets at once at no disadvantage, his greater arms parrying and striking while his smaller ones steal the remaining breaths, sewing shut lips, and marionetting problematic targets if needs be. Above all though, Tash is not a brave warrior. If the fight turns against him, he will readily quit the field with as many bottled breaths as he can get away with, throwing some down to slow pursuit if he thinks it would benefit him.

Tash's lair is a honey-comb maze of dark and poorly lit caves in the earth, the better for him to stalk his foes unseen. Some chambers deeper down contain crude shelves, filled up with stocks of bottled breaths for lean times. Others have cages of stolen victims, regularly visited to fill up bottles. Other caves are chock full of bottles. Where they came from, no one knows.

You will know the path of Tash by these signs; bird shit, sticky brown spittle, shiny black threads, suffocated corpses.

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