Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bujilli: Episode 108

Hedrard has 'altered' six hunters from a band of degenerates, Morons that have been living in a mostly abandoned section of the Gormenstille. She intends to make the Morons a deal they cannot refuse. She wants to go home and they will assist her in this matter. She's through playing around...

"So now we have a way up." Leeja watched as more pigeons descended from above to alight upon various shoots, twigs and branches of the rapidly curling and sprawling Red Weeds growing up all over the place. Already a dim violet glow suffused everything underneath the gurgly, blood-colored vegetation.

"Yes. We do. Shall we get going before one or another of the old leaders' rivals decides to start making speeches?" Hedrard wasn't smiling. She wasn't joking. There was a harsh, raw edge to her now. She was a hag. This was a side of her they knew they should have expected, but it shocked them both just the same.

Bujilli did not respond. He was busy examining the mosaic-covered panels of the dome overhead. Hundreds of precisely formed and elegantly crafted panels supported by a vast network of golden threads, wires, bristles cilia (?) were slowly, continually sliding over and around one another in an almost hypnotic dance of celestial figures. Astronomy and astrology were combined into a highly developed aesthetic and realized by a mastery of the mechanical arts he'd never witnessed before. It was beautiful. Obviously the work of vast, coll and unsympathetic intellects; it was an implacable work of practicality completely devoid of sentimentality. As lovely as the individual pieces may be, this was a working mechanism, it was a machine with a purpose. He just had to be clever enough to spot it, to discern it in the details, to deduct it from the clues he could his Uncle had taught him with the liberal use of a stiff cane along his backside if he showed signs of dithering or second-guessing himself.

The he saw it.

Mars. It had to be the planet Mars. He carefully examined the panels surrounding the red planet, traced the delicate filaments suspended within the dome from major points of interest to other locations...and it had to be Mars. Not the least for all the golden filaments linking across the empty space to another planet on another panel. The third planet out from the great old sun.

Yes. He knew the fundamentals of applied astrology from reading his Agrippa and other treatises and manuscripts that his Uncle had pointedly denied him access. He stole them and read them to spite the old bastard...which now he knew had been the old sorcerer's plan all along. The entire dome was a sort of observatory, one that continually updated itself with the current positions of the known planetary and other bodies kept track of by astronomers or sailors and mythologized by astrologers and poets. And it was still working. This was precisely the kind of place where someone could slowly and surely, calmly and methodically plot out grand designs and solar-system-scale schemes.


There along the edges of timeless Yellow Metal, picked-out in gold and lapis lazuli, mauve gems and flesh-colored stones were the sculpted forms of Mucoids capering, squiggling about in front of a border design made up of overlapping tripods.

The distinct green smoke given off by their machines sizzled and shimmered just barely visible at the very bottom edge of the whole dome assembly--some sort of ventilation carried it out and away from the chamber. The central shaft overhead. The shaft overhead would be suffused with the Green Smoke.

"Bujilli?" Leeja placed her hand on his shoulder. Her voice carried a heavy load of concern. She feared mind control and related things for very good--or very bad--reasons, depending on your opinion regarding her background growing up in Aman Utal.

"This place was built by Mucoids..."

"No. It was built For them by their servants. These people.Their ancestors, actually." Hedrard raised her left hand and called forth:

"Ulla! Ulla! ULLA!"

Like sheep they all looked up from what they were doing and stared at Hedrard. There was a strange expectation radiating from them. A hunger occupied their eyes in a way no sane, no rational human being could conceive. They were free and wild and beyond good and evil., they had long ago thrown away laws and morals, they lived in a perpetually reactive mob-mentality and would gleefully shout and kill and revel in joy like ecstatic maenads completely devoid of conscience or guilt or troubling questions. Bujilli had been raised in a rude sorcerer's yurt surrounded by demons, shades, geists and other foul things, but these people frightened him.

Four women approached Hedrard with expressions of blood-thirsty adoration on their faces. Their fingernails were long and tapered to razor-sharp points and glossy red with the same kind of enamel that they also used on their teeth, which were filed into very sharp points. Each one of the women carried a knotted string of ornately-carved bones and twisted bundles of sinew and rough chunks of glass and metal painstakingly hacked out of old machines. They grovelled at Hedrard's feet until granted permission to rise with a simple grunt. One after the other they placed the clicking, clacking strings of grisly and grimy trinkets over her head to rest on her shoulders like wreaths or the gold-chains of a rich merchant of Drun-Garlo. Once they had placed their garlands upon the hag, each woman withdrew back into the whispering, sussurrent mob eagerly awaiting her divine proclamation.

"I am now She Who Must Be Obeyed. These people will do as I command. What would you have me tell them?"

"Can they really help us to get out of this place? If they do know how to get out...why are they still here?" Leeja was skeptical of the value of dallying any longer than absolutely necessary among these feral degenerates. She clearly did not trust them.

"This is where they live. Where their ancestors lived. They know of nowhere else."

"There is a lot that we just simply do not know..."

"Exactly. That is how life works dear. So what would you like for the un-nice people to do for us now?"

Bujilli opened his mouth. Closed it. He had far too many questions, but once he started asking them, they'd never get going and he had a definite dread of spending any longer than necessary in this place, among these people who looked like simple sheep but were really more akin to ravening beasts all red in tooth and claw.

"Let's see if they know of a relatively safe route to the roof-tops. If they can help us reach the roof-line, we can test the Synchronocitor and see if it will take us home...or if we have to take the long way back..."

Hedrard smirked slightly at Bujilli's reference to 'home.' She had been right about him.

"Yux-galla Omon dilig vilik kov!"

Shouting and babbling the Morons scampered and stalked all around their nest that was now more some sort of bower at the center of a massive growth of Red Weeds. They took-up handfuls of slender javelins, slathered some sort of ceremonial red paste across themselves in a frenzy of ritualistic preparation then practically stampeded up the ramp farthest across the nest-area from where Hedrard, Bujilli and Leeja stood watching.

The four women took up positions before the six hunters who served as Hedrard's honor-guard. The women clucked and scolded and gesticulated towards the direction everyone else was going.

They followed.

What else was there to do?

Bujilli wished he could examine the sliding panels of the observatory in more detail, but it would take weeks, months of his time to do it justice. These people would never allow that. He marveled at how someone could manage to build something as intricate and as wonderfully durable as this installation without the use of wheels of any kind or sort.

He stopped. Looked back at the damaged orrery dangling from an asterisk of intersecting beams. Cables. Rods. Gears? But Mucoids did not use such things as gears.

He looked more closely. There were signs of intense heat-damage. Whoever had set-up the orrery, they had come into this place after it was already built and in operation. He could just see where the beams had been forced into place as a crude after-thought, a sort of metallic tumor, one that someone else had excised incompletely with Mucoid-style weaponry. Heat rays.

"What is it?" Leeja had her hand-axe and stiletto both out.

"We need to get moving before--"

Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam

Bodies really did explode when subjected to intense heat. Especially those far enough back from the ones instantly vaporized into ash that the heat was somewhat dissipated.

The masters had returned. Three Mucoids astride tripodal chariot-constructs strode down the ramp-way leading off to their left. They were burning down the Red Weeds, the Morons and anything else that got in their way. They very clearly intended to kill the intruders who had subverted their herd.

What should Bujilli, Leeja and Hedrard do next?

You Decide!

Now What?
First we roll for Initiative (LL, p. 50); 1d6 each for Bujilli, Leeja, the Morons and the Mucoids. Bujilli gains a bonus of +2 because he already suspected something was up with the Mucoids. Hedrard begins the next episode with the highest initiative because she was deliberately provoking the Mucoids and intended to start a fight with them for some reason.

Then we need a Morale Check for the Morons (LL, p. 56), rolling 2d6 to see how the Morons react to their former masters mowing them down with heat rays like vengeful elder gods.

We'll need at least one Saving Throw (LL, p. 54-55) for Bujilli, Leeja and Hedrard, using a D20.

A few (6 or 7 ought to do) random D20 rolls would come in handy for determining who hits whom and how well, or how badly they miss.

Then we need to decide whether the group is going to flee the scene (and in which direction), or whether they intend to stand their ground, or go on the offensive and if so, what attacks will they use (particular spells, specific weapons, pointed words of displeasure?).

There are four ramps leading out of the nest-area. The first one leads off to the place the morons were leading Hedrard. The second one is a mystery. The third one is the one Bujilli and his group entered this place. The fourth one is the one where the Mucoids came in with heat rays a blazin'. We can refer to them as 1,2,3,and 4 respectively.

As always, if you have any questions or want to vote for a particular course of action or specific thing to do next please let us know in the comments, or via email.

What happens next is up to you, the readers.

You Decide!

Previous                            Next

Series Indexes
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

About Bujilli (What is This?) | Who is Bujilli? | How to Play

Bujilli's Spells | Little Brown Journals | Loot Tally | House Rules

Episode Guides
Series One (Episodes 1-19)
Series Two (Episode 20-36)
Series Three (Episodes 37-49)
Series Four (Episodes 50-68)
Series Five (Episodes 69-99)
Series Six(Episodes 100-ongoing)

Labyrinth Lord   |   Advanced Edition Companion

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Torchbearer (Tactical Automaton)

My life has been so short that I really know nothing whatever. I was only made day before yesterday. What happened in the world before that time is all unknown to me...

Torchbearer (Fackelträger)
No. Enc.: 1d4
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40'0
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: 4d6 (burst of flame)
Save: F6
Morale: 12

Torchbearers are a type of Straw Trooper, packed with dry straw and coated with pitch, tar or creosote scraped from chimneys or any other flammable substances right at hand. These soft-automatons are held together by old belts, knotted cords and bits of twine or cast-off bits of rope. They resemble Stretcher-Bearers, Stick-Men and Scarecrows but are far less sturdy and intended to be destroyed in the course of carrying out their suicidal incendiary attack upon designated targets.

Originally raised in desperation, they are equipped with hooded lanterns, miner lamps or long-hafted torches -- whatever is readily available -- and sent in the direction of the enemy forces to set fire to their stores, baggage trains and ammunition depots. Cheap and effective, they have been used to break sieges, burn down recalcitrant villages, to spoil croplands behind retreating armies and a multitude of atrocities both large and small.

They hear nothing and have no true intelligence. Once their torch is lit, they run at full speed in a straight line toward whatever they are pointed at and do their best to set fire to everything they come into contact with along the way. They can 'see' clearly up to 300' in most conditions, having no difficulty moving through Black Smoke or clouds of fighting gas. In addition they are unaffected by Hold, Charm, Sleep, ESP, most forms of glamer or illusion and Fear effects. Only clerics focused on combating machines, constructs and automata can attempt to Turn these things but do so as though they were 6 HD monsters.

A typical Torchbearer remains viable for 1d4 Turns per HD and cannot be healed, repaired or recovered. When their time is up, or they reach their intended target, they burst into flames causing 4d6 damage in a 10' radius.

Commandant Zulmer of the the Wall Guard has come under intense criticism for allegedly approving a plan to bolster the units along the Inner Ramparts with an unverified number of Strohtruppen and salvaged Fyters. Some of the most scathing condemnation has come from the ultra-conservative Black Rose Coalition who control nearly a third of the Security Council. Representatives of the Black Rose demand that instead of resorting to such inhuman things as Straw Troopers to reinforce the ranks of the seriously depleted Wall Guard units, that they instead return to the time-honored practice of utilizing undead soldiers...

Source of Inspiration: Torchbearers are pretty much a version of the Scarecrow from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as seen through the distorting lens of Arthur Machen: " is my belief that an awful lore is not yet dead." They are the product of an awful lore taught primarily to the Umheimlich Korps and a select few other special units of the Imperial Pruztian Army during the time of the First Pruztian Occupation of Wermspittle, when it was still considered a state secret. After the withdrawal of Pruztian forces, prior to the Second Occupation, a number of training manuals detailing the Pruztian methods of crafting these, and several similar soft-automata, were seized upon by freedom fighters and agents of the Academy effectively ending the Pruztian monopoly on such things.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Low-End Loot: Table VI

Low-End Loot, Table VI

  1. A ball of grotty yarn dripping with saliva. It used to belong to a very big cat.
  2. The hardened steel at the middle section of this crow-bar has been turned to lead. No refunds.
  3. Three screw-drivers in a heavy oil-stained canvas roll-up case. All of the tips are chipped, twisted and bent.
  4. Airship goggles; the left lens is cracked, the right one is missing, otherwise in fine condition.
  5. One very ugly scarf knitted in uneven stripes over thirty feet long when stretched out. It might hold as much as four hundred pounds, for a little while, before splitting apart.
  6. Jeweler's loupe packed full of reeking black mold. The mold is fairly harmless, though it is incredibly flammable.
  7. A single boot, completely waterproof and with a very good bit of tread, but no laces.
  8. This letter opener was hand-carved from Boreal Sea Beast ivory and glows a subtle shade of pink when it is exposed to most poisons. In desperation it can be used to inflict 1-2 points of damage with a base 60% chance to break and ruin the piece, if you insist.
  9. The scratched-up and tarnished frame of an antique hand-mirror. The mirror itself was removed long ago. There is dried blood on the handle.
  10. It's a unicorn horn...made from papier mache filled with 36 dried orange beetles. The beetles release a fragrant smoke when burned that has the tendency to made those exposed ravenously hungry.
  11. Spackle Knife; +1 to hit and damage versus all Gobbling Grouts. Takes on a dim green glow whenever an Attack Spackle is within 100'.
  12. Six small tar-stained burlap sacks that spontaneously unravel into a tangled mess of fibers when exposed to water, creating a nasty, sticky plug.
  13. A case of 142 medium-sized corks. One corner of the case shows signs of having been chewed by rats who quickly lost interest.
  14. Four blue-tinted wigs packed inside a partially-crushed hat box. Very much out of fashion.
  15. Zinn-plated canteen that fumes and foams over with a putrid ochre slop that reeks of rotten peaches for half an hour every time water is poured into it.
  16. A wooden bucket that holds twelve gallons of water as though it were only one.
  17. Elegant black mask. Anyone donning it must Save at -2 or be burned horribly by acid across their face. Requires a combined STR of 22 to remove the thing. For every round it remains in place, the victim must Save at -1 or lose 1 point of CHAR. Anyone losing 3+ points of CHAR to the mask becomes permanently scarred.
  18. Six pair of rubberized Line-Man's gauntlets, still bundled together by a rubber band. Grant wearer +2 to all Saves vs. Electrical/Galvanic effects.
  19. Glass-cutting tool, well-worn and inscribed with the initial P. Q. T.
  20. Top hat containing three doves, two rabbits and a deck of blood-soaked playing cards. The animals are all dead and the cards all stick together and are ruined. Examining the hat-band reveals three small yellow-green gems that might not be paste.
  21. Femur-bone flute that grants the bearer a +4 bonus to all reaction rolls with Winged Monkeys, so long as they never actually play the thing. If the proper tune is performed using this item, the flute casts Charm Winged Monkey (at 8th level) once per day, however at the expiration of the spell they incur a -4 penalty to all reaction rolls with Winged Monkeys for the next week.
  22. Beetle-Ward stamped in cheap tin on a thin red cord. Continually repels all Beetles within 30' radius. Each beetle repelled by the thing costs 1 charge, it currently has 3d10 charges.
  23. Morlock Cod-Piece. Wearer ignores first 6 points of damage from hostile spells every two hours.
  24. Black Lamp. When lit, the lamp creates a 12' diameter globe of Darkness for as long as it remains lit.
  25. Pitch-fork, +2 versus all Soft Automata, but has a cumulative 5% chance to break each time it is used in combat.
  26. (1d4) Green Pearls in a pouch crafted from translucent fish-hide. Each Pearl will remove all poison effects if it is pulverized into a fine powder and mixed with beer--never wine. Mixing the pearl dust with wine will make it into a virulent toxin that will reduce the victim to green sludge within 4 rounds.
  27. Four tiny mole-harnesses. Each one has a little brass bell attached.
  28. Small rectangular wooden case covered with brittle black velvet. Inside the case is an oblong lens of some sort of unnatural crystal that allows anyone holding it to see into walls to a depth of 2d6 inches. The visibility shifts every two minutes. It only works on walls and similar architectural structures, not on people or beasts.
  29. Brass horn. The jaunty blue tassels are worth a fair bit to a collector of militaria. Even if it is a replica; very few of these survived the demise of the Great Kapitain Thaliss and his failed attempt to take over the Privy Council nearly three hundred years ago.
  30. Ivory-inlaid planchette from a missing talking board. Anyone touching this thing is compelled to lie for so long as they remain in contact with it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Index: Low-End Loot

Low-End Loot: An Index to the Series

Scavengers and Foragers dare the dangers of the Burned Over District, sifting through wreckage and crawling about in ruins in search of forgotten or buried stockpiles of food or medicines, caches of useful things left-over from before the last war...but those sorts of finds are increasingly more difficult to uncover or discover. A lot of what they find tends to be so much Trinkets and Trash or Low-End Loot...

Six Headless and Heedless Things

Whatever you do, don't lose your head...especially not here...

 Graffiti in Irving's Alley

The Guillotine never caught-on in Wermspittle, even after hanging was banned in response to the proliferation of Alraunes and Mandrakes and worse things spawned from the spilled seed of executed criminals. But even so, there are plenty of people and other things who have lost their heads, or more...

  1. Bruno. Nine feet tall at the shoulders, perhaps slightly less on the left with the slight curvature of the spine he gained through lingering overlong in the Low-Lands as a child. Bruno was always an unlucky child. Not finding much in the way of prospects and failing his Entrance Exams, he ran with some Gutter Urchins and Feral Children for a time before he ran afoul of Lucius Pennyroyal. The serum did wonders for the boy's physique, but the brain damage had been extreme, so Lucius removed his head and replaced it with a globe of reinforced Plattnerized greenglass that was originally intended to only hold the boy's soul in place in order to keep his body alive and useful...but the glass globe has turned out to be a much more powerful Geist-Trap than Lucius expected and now poor Bruno shares the globe--and control over the hulking monstrosity of a body--with other spirits and poor Bruno is having a hard time coping...

    Host-Body (unique) [Huge, Possessed Headless Hulk; AL C, MV 180' (60'), AC 5/14, HD 12, #AT 2, DG 2d6/2d6 (fists), SV F12, ML (2d6: randomly determined every time he takes damage), Special: The Greenglass Globe containing Bruno's geist, as well as 1d4 random minor spirits, tends to shift out of phase until the host-body sustains over 50% damage. The host-body is immune to all mind-influencing, Charm, hypnosis and related effects while under control by the spirits in the Globe.]

    Geist-Globe (unique) [Modified Magic Jar receptacle; AC 3/16, HD 6, SV MU 8. Special: If destroyed, the geists trapped inside this globe will be set loose for good or ill, but Bruno's spirit will remain bound to his drastically altered body unless suitably exorcized. Shards of the globe can be used as +1 weapons against geists and spirits, or to form a geist-trap, if one knows how to craft such things.

    Bruno's Geist (unique) [Bound spirit; AC 0/19 (requires special weapon to hit), HD 4, #AT 1, DG 2d4 (Vitality-drain), SV T4, ML (2d6: randomly determined each time host-body takes damage, upon failing Morale check, another spirit takes over for 1d6 Turns. Special: Since Pennyroyal's incarceration in the Gormenstille, only Bruno knows where the bad doktor's last remaining samples of his serum can be found... ]

  2. Lirg. They took his skull and left his geist trapped in an old lantern that they clamped into place within his rib cage. Try as he might, he cannot recall who did this to him or why. The Chapel Guard discharged him as unfit for duty, otherwise he's pretty much a typical reanimated with a lantern holding a blue flame where his heart used to be...

    Lirg (unique) [Skeleton; AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 4/15, HD 6, #AT 1, DG 1d6 (short sword), SV F6, ML 12 (fearless), Special: Lirg can perceive everything within a 20' radius as though using a True Seeing spell. He can only communicate with Mediums, Geist-talkers or spirit-touched. He desperately wants to know who did this to him and why... ]

  3. Tazger Yalg. Accursed and bereft of all flesh, Tazger must endure the humiliation of only being able to occupy hollow squash, gourds or pumpkins as part of his punishment at the hands of a vengeful Midwife. Always a conniver and a barracks lawyer during his brief stint in the Sewer Militia, he was able to convince, cajole and con some of his former comrades to turn over a Pruztian Sturmgraben Construct damaged during the brief period in-between Occupations. So now Tazger has a body, of sorts, but no matter what he tries, he can't seem to keep his pumpkin-head attached to it...

    Tazger's Body (unique) [Sturmgraben War-Construct; AL N, MV 180' (60'), AC 6/13, HD 3, #AT 1, DG 1d4+2 (Militia-Issue dagger), SV F6, ML 12 (fearless), Special: Until he discovers a reliable way to attach his head to this body, it must carry the pumpkin-head in one of its arms. Sturmgraben are manufactured from wood, canvas, discarded ammunition cannisters, and similar battle-field debris and as such they are very flammable, taking double damage from all fire attacks. As an Unliving Construct, the body takes only half damage from normal melee attacks or bullets. Tazger can attempt to repair damage to the body when out of combat with a 40% chance of regaining 1d4 hit points if there is suitable debris at hand.]

    Tazger's Head (unique) [bound spirit; AL C, MV 0 (must be carried), AC 9/10, HD 6, #AT 1, DG 1d4 + Confusion, SV F6, ML 6. Special: The pumpkin used as Tazger's head is very susceptible to rotting, decay, or corruption effects taking double damage from all such effects or attacks. Once the head is reduced to zero hit points, Tazger must devote all his attention and efforts to acquiring another organic vessel for his spirit. If he fails to do so within 3 hours, he collapses into a foul-smelling blue flame that completely consumes whatever host-body he was using and once the flame goes out he is lost forever. Unless the Midwife who cursed him chooses to relent...which she might do if he has anything interesting to barter...]

  4. Subject 3. The victim of Headtaker Beetles, this decapitated corpse was discovered by a team of Foragers who notified the Red Watch. Since the body was never adequately identified, they eventually surrendered the corpse to the municipal morgue, as per standard procedure. An enterprising intern on the night shift sold the unidentified cadaver to an unlicensed reanimator who quickly lost control over the thing. It wanders the alleys now, randomly, mindlessly attacking anyone or anything it runs into...

    Subject 3 (unique) [Huge Headless Reanimant; AL C, MV 90' (30'), AC 9/10, HD 8, #AT 2 (fists), DG 2d8/2d8, SV F8, ML 12 (fearless), Special: Electrical effects Slow this creature. All normal healing spells instead inflict damage. It recovers 1 hit point for every 10 it inflicts.Upon being reduced to zero hit points, this thing goes dormant for 1d4 Turns after which it rises again at half its normal hit points. If again reduced to zero hp, it goes dormant for 1d4 weeks. It can only be completely destroyed by acid, according to Pennyroyal's confiscated notes. SPECIAL: The Street Patrol offers a substantial reward for the capture of this thing, while the Red Watch has posted a reward for its verified destruction.]

  5. Old Wobbly Kraz. A heavy metal statue of some former champion of the oppressed and hero of several important yet forgotten battles lost its head during the aerial bombardments. Now it lurches along the old parade route waving a tattered flag, its hollow interior sloshing with a bizarre mixture of liquor and other substances dumped through the gaping hole in its neck by revelers, drunkards, petitioners and others. Some say it brings good luck, others claim it might shorten the next winter; no one knows if it does anything more than add to the noxious fluids gurgling away inside this mindless automaton. Street Urchins, Feral Children and others often dare one another to sample the strange brew that slops and spills from Old Wobbly Kraz...the effects can be extreme but more often they are merely loathsome...

    Old Wobbly Kraz (unique) [Huge, Hollow Bronze Memorial-Golem; AL N, MV 30' (10'), AC 3/16, HD 18, #AT 1, DG 2d4 (trample), SV F18, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Kraz rarely deviates from its route and stops for 1d100 minutes every 30 feet. The only people who've ever been harmed by Kraz were those who stole liquor from his hollow interior, or those that were immobilized and stranded in the path of his clomping feet. The fluids sloshing about inside old Kraz might be something found in the Weird Drafts pdf found at Gorgonmilk's blog, or perhaps we'll put together a special random table for this down the road... ]

  6. Meowlik. Large black cats who've lost their heads...but they'll gladly take yours...

    Meowliks (1d4) [Large, Abdead Alley-Cats; AL C, MV 210' (70'), AC 46/13, HD 4, #AT 2, DG 1d4/1d4 (claws), SV F2, ML 5, Special: Can be Turned as 6 HD monsters. Immune to all visual-stimuli-style effects. Anyone killed by these feline terrors has their head taken and used by the Meowlik as their own, making it impossible to resurrect the victim. The Meowlik that gains a head in this fashion progresses as a Magic User from that point onward, gaining the ability to cast spells, learn languages, and use whatever magical implements they can manipulate with their paws.]

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Our singer is called Josephine. Anyone who has not heard her does not know the power of song. There is no one but is carried away by her singing, a tribute all the greater as we are not in general a music-loving race. Tranquil peace is the music we love best; our life is hard, we are no longer able, even on occasions when we have tried to shake off the cares of daily life, to rise to anything so high and remote from our usual routine as music. But we do not much lament that; we do not get even so far; a certain practical cunning, which admittedly we stand greatly in need of, we hold to be our greatest distinction, and with a smile born of such cunning we are wont to console ourselves for all shortcomings, even supposing—only it does not happen that we were to yearn once in a way for the kind of bliss which music may provide. Josephine is the sole exception; she has a love for music and knows too how to transmit it; she is the only one; when she dies, music—who knows for how long—will vanish from our lives...

Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk
Franz Kafka

Mousefolk (Singers)
No. Enc.: 2d10 (6d10)
Alignment: Any
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 6/13
Hit Dice: 1 (Can advance in a Class)
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d4 (bite), or weapon
Save: as zero-level human
Morale: 4

When the Neomorphs tore down the walls of their prison and burned down the House of Pain to escape into the night, only the Mousefolk remained behind. They had no desire to go out into the wild places only to be eaten by their fellows. since their so-called 'liberation' they have taken-up residence within the walls of any tumbledown manor or tenement that hasn't already been claimed by rats, Voormis, Thumblings or Todtenhilzig.

They have beautiful singing voices and have often been able to sing for their supper during the kinder seasons. It is commonly believed that they possess the ability to Charm or cloud men's minds with their cunning songs and clever chants, but being a humble people, they make no such claims. To this day they remain the only Neomorphs that have not taken up arms against humanity, a fact that has led many Low-Land Farm Enclaves to adopt small communities of Mousefolk who then educate the children, entertain the aged and attend to the moribund and deformed over the dreary, dark winters.

A few find themselves unsuited to care-giving and entertaining, so they return to Wermspittle in search of adventure with the hopes of making their fortunes as discrete couriers, spies or small agents. Most of them wind up as mercenaries fighting in dirty little wars within the walls of houses, homes and manors deep within the Burned Over District.

Source of Inspiration: Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk by Franz Kafka, with a bit of The Island of  Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man...

No. Enc.: 1d4 (3d6)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 180' (60')
Armor Class: 6/13
Hit Dice: 2 (d10)
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 (claw), 1d4 (bite), or by weapon
Save: F3
Morale: 6

The majority of their ancestors served as cargo-handlers, stevedores and longshoremen for the Airships from Muniz, Valstoy and Brez; all the places where Orangs were summarily banned after the uprising that had left half the Septigoorean Archipelago in flames and bloody ruin. Most of the rest were domestic servants in the manors of displaced nobles from Gravia, Beldonde or Xemion--all tropical dominions where no one thought it especially exotic to employ an ape about the house, especially when they already dealt regularly with Monikin money-lenders and merchants.

The Pruztians sent several captive specimens to their hunting lodges and laboratories over the course of the First Occupation. Those that survived their time in Pruztian scientific custody returned to Wermspittle far more aggressive, angry and violent than those that had remained behind. They had learned military discipline and nursed a grudge against their 'Masters' that they intended to indulge in at the first opportunity. Some of the most heinous atrocities committed during the withdrawal of the Pruztian occupation forces were not the doing of the Pruztians, but instead were the work of a hard core of Uberschimpanze conspirators who became notorious for their use of the garrotte and their penchant for collecting the heads of their former oppressors.

Monikins distrust Uberschimpanze for their lack of suitable tails, Orangs resent having been displaced by them in their traditional jobs on airships, and Marmosets fear them greatly, though no one knows quite why.

Inspiration: An Ape About the House by Arthur C. Clarke, which can be found in Of Time and Stars:The Worlds of Arthur C. Clarke, with a slight nod to E. A. Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue