Long, long ago, in the red cycles of my youth (said Charnadis), I was like all young demons, and was prone to use the agility of my wings in fantastic flights; to hover and poise like a gier-eagle above Tartarus and the pits of Python; or to lift the broad blackness of my vans on the orbit of stars. I have followed the moon from evening twilight to morning twilight; and I have gazed on the secrets of that Medusean face which she averts eternally from the earth. I have read through filming ice the ithyphallic runes on columns yet extant in her deserts; and I know the hieroglyphs which solve forgotten riddles, or hint eonian histories, on the walls of her cities taken by ineluctable snow. I have flown through the triple ring of Saturn, and have mated with lovely basilisks, on isles towering league-high from stupendous oceans where each wave is like the rise and fall of Himalayas. I have dared the clouds of Jupiter, and the black and freezing abysses of Neptune, which are crowned with eternal starlight; and I have sailed beyond to incommensurable suns, compared with which the sun that thou knowest is a corpse-candle in a stinted vault. There, in tremendous planets, I have furled my flight on the terraced mountains, large as fallen asteroids, where, with a thousand names and a thousand images, undreamt-of Evil is served and worshipt in unsurmisable ways. Or, perched in the flesh-colored lips of columnar blossoms, whose perfume was an ecstasy of incommunicable dreams, I have mocked the wiving monsters, and have lured their females, that sang and fawned at the base of my hiding-place.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Slim Charles, Pope Leo, and Balian don't screw around in town. They lead hirelings Darric, Guy, Colwin, Gilgrim, and Narton directly to Stonehell.
The party finds a room with a giant stone gaming wheel, but they're too shy to give it a spin. Leaving the wheel, they find and (for some reason) burn a storeroom. But the party grows careless with pyromaniacal giddiness. Running from the choking smoke of the fire, long-time hireling Guy falls down a pit trap, breaking his neck.
Undeterred by that setback, the remainder of the party executes their plan to head into the lair of a giant reptile of unknown species. After a pitched battle, the bloodied adventurers find a small but valuable treasure, including a beautiful gold circlet. They beat it back to Halesnug.
With well over a thousand gold pieces in treasure, this delve is the most successful in many weeks, despite the hireling fatality.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
New fighting-man Balian of Ibelin joins Slim Charles and Pope Leo. Accompanying them are the hirelings Darric, Guy, Colwin, Gilgrim, and Narton. In town, Slim Charles commissions the manufacture of a tarred intestine hose, and purchases two dogs (Donner and Blitzen). Soon after entering the dungeon, the party runs into a band of orcs. Slim Charles finishes the last one with a very lucky dagger throw, but not before an orc plucks out Derric's left eye and Narton loses a finger. Zero treasure.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Player characters Slim Charles, MacDonald, and Pope Leo return to Stonehell. Accompanying them are the hirelings Darric, Guy, Colwin, Gilgrim, and Narton. Before leaving Halesnug, they visit the blacksmith to collect Slim Charles' new harpoon hand and a large ear-shaped listening horn. In the bowels of Stonehell, MacDonald the fighting-man decides he'll see what happens when he opens a mysterious valve, and is surprised when a cloud of green poison gas fills the room. His throat swells, his face turns blue, his inflated black tongue protruds from the green foam frothing copiously from his mouth, and MacDonald joins his brother MacDougal in the afterworld. Another session with no loot.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Player characters Slim Charles and MacDonald return to Stonehell, along with the new party member Pope Leo IV, a cleric. Accompanying them are the hirelings Darric, Guy, Colwin, Gilgrim, and Narton. Before leaving the town of Halesnug, however, they visit the blacksmith to commission a door listening horn and a harpoon hand for Slim Charles' stump. In Stonehell, the party finds little except green slime and some battered decorative shields. No gold, but for the first time no deaths.
Monday, January 23, 2012
I haven't been keeping up with my Stonehell campaign reports. I know not everybody likes reading other people's play reports, but they are a useful reference for the referee and players. So, this week I'll summarize the sessions from the last couple of months.
I already documented session 1.
Session 2: player characters Slim Charles (m-u), MacDonald (f-m), and Brother Archibald (c) return to Stonehell. They're joined this session (guest player) by Faroah the elf, adventuring as a magic-user. Accompanying them are the hirelings Darric, Guy, Colwin, Gilgrim, and Narton. Darric's admiration for Slim Charles grows, and the magic-user agrees to consider taking the boy on as his apprentice someday. The walleyed Friar Tuck, Brother Archibald, is savagely gnawed limb from limb by giant rats. The others finish off the rats, but not before Slim Charles' hand is bitten from his wrist. They cauterize the stump with a torch.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
SOPA and PIPA are a really bad deal for the net.
Please take a minute today, and let your legislators know where you stand.
And remember how they voted when they're next up for election.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I've been working on carousing rules for my game. I looked at the Orgies, Inc. article in Dragon and Arenson's implementation in First Fantasy Campaign, went through a few iterations, and came back to something that looks very much like Jeff Rient's carousing rules. I think the carousing write-up he did for his Wessex campaign shows them off to best effect.
In richard's comment to Jeff's Wessex carousing post, I learned the word "saltbox". Excellent! I'm not sure if this is a recently coined term or if it's been around for ages, but I'd never heard it before.
Coincidentally, richard posted a new Sea of O'sr island today.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Beejallyla's Creature Splice
Magic-User Spell Level 4
Beejallyla's Creature Splice combines any two different types of creatures with total hit dice equal to or less than the caster's hit dice. The referee determines the result of the splice—the monster's intelligence, temperament, abilities, fusion of physical traits, etc.
The new creature has a 3 in 6 chance to survive the combination. Creatures that do not survive have a 1 in 6 chance to rise as undead on the next moonless night.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
While culling my bookshelves (a painful and endless endeavor), I discovered that Monte Cook and John Tynes' d20 Call of Cthulhu book includes quite a good bibliography. I select from among the listed works those I never read, read but forgot, or feel it's high time to read again:
- Ambrose Bierce's "The Damned Thing", "The Suitable Surroundings", "The Moonlit Road", "Haita the Sheperd", and "An Inhabitant of Carcosa"
- Algernon Blackwood's "The Willows", "The Wendigo", "Ancient Lights", and "Entrance & Exit"
- Robert Bloch's "The Shambler from the Stars", "The Shadow from the Steeple", and "Fane of the Black Pharaoh"
- Jorge Luis Borges' (read him!) "The Book of Sand", "The Zahir", "The Circular Room", "The House of Asterion", "The Aleph", and "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius"
- extra points for including Johnathan Carroll's not explicitly Lovecraftian but excellent Land of Laughs
- Robert W. Chambers' "The Yellow Sign"
- All of Lord Dunsany's stories, but especially:
- "The Deeds of Mung"
- "A Shop in Go-by Street"
- "Alhireth-Hotep the Prophet"
- "The King That Was Not"
- "The Highwayman"
- "The Ghosts"
- "The Fortress Unvanquishable Save for Sacnoth"
- "Where the Tides Ebb and Flow"
- "The Hashish Man "
- "Poor Old Bill"
- "The Field"
- "The Hoard of the Gibbelins"
- "How Nuth Would Have Practiced His Art Upon the Gnoles"
- "Ghu-bu and Sheemish"
- "The City on Mallington Moor"
- "The Bureau d'Echange de Maux"
- "A Narrow Escape"
- "Taking Up Piccadilly"
- "The Sphinx in Thebes (Massachusetts)"
- "The Trouble in Leafy Green Street"
- "Lobster Salad"
- "How the Office of Postman Fell Vacant in Otford-under-the-Wold"
- "The Sac of Emeralds"
- "The Return" (presumably they mean "The Return of the Exiles")
- A Night at an Inn (a stage play)
- William Hope Hodgson's "The Hog", "The Whistling Room", "The Voice in the Night", "The Derelict", and The Boats of the Glen Carrig
- Henry James' "Count Magnus" and "The Jolly Corner"
- Henry Kuttner's "The Salem Horror", "Hydra", "The Eater of Souls", "The Invaders", and "Bells of Horror"
- Frank Belknap Long's "The Hounds of Tindalos" and "The Horror from the Hills"
- Fritz Leiber's "To Arkham and the Stars" and "Terror from the Depths"
- Thomas Ligotti's "The Sect of the Idiot", "The Last Feast of Harlequin", and "The Dark Beauty of Unheard Horrors"
- Arthur Machen's "The Novel of the White Powder", "The Novel of the Black Seal", "The White People", "The Inmost Light", and "The Shining Pyramid"
- A. Merrit's Dwellers in the Mirage and The Moon Pool
- All of Clark Ashton Smith stories (many of which I've lately read), but especially:
- "Genius Loci"
- "The Double Shadow"
- "The Return of the Sorcerer"
- "The Tale of Satampra Zeiros"
- "The Door to Saturn"
- "The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis"
- "The Plutonian Drug"
- "The Empire of Necromancers"
- "The Charnel God"
- "The Maze of Maal Dweb"
- "The Nemesis of the Unfinished"
- "The Holiness of Azedarac"
- "The Beast of Averoigne"
- "The Enchantress of Sylaire"
- "The Mandrakes"
- "The Maker of Gargoyles"
- "The Colossus of Ylourgne"
- "The Disinterment of Venus"
- "The Seven Geases"
- The Dead will Cuckold You (a stage play)
- W.B. Yeats' "Rosa Alchemica", "The Tables of the Law", and "The Adoration of the Magi"