CAS

CAS

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Inspiring Illustrations - Darkness be The Burier of the Dead


37). Darkness be The Burier of the Dead

NOTE: These are adventure seeds and setting work for my own Hyperborea campaign inspired by the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerors of Hyperborea Gazetteer

"Must we start our fight
Groaning over corpses?
Come what may
Let us enter the ford
To meet death before the hosts
With bloody spear-blade
Or the savage sword
If our time has come."
Cuchulainn - from "The Tain"

With the destruction of Galla chaos spread among the Galla Hills and among all the Keltic people as the struggle for who would become Over-King now that Srubdaire the ruler of Galla was dead. Four men contend to sit beneath the blessed tree where the ruler would be enthroned and crowned with leaves of oak. Scathach and Uathach and Aif and the man called Son of Daman.

Many times in the past had the division between Kelt and Kelt brought misery to the people and enemies down upon the Keltic lands as they fought between each other. The holy druids had united from clan to clan, tribe to tribe and the law of oak and stone prevailed over the foolishness of chiefs and kings.

The fight for the Crown of Leaves, as the title of Over-King is called among the Kelts, is now formalized and the combatants meet with only a small company of bodyguards and followers to engage in combat at sacred fords where the waters will wash away the blood spilled by Kelt fighting Kelt. Pugnacious and always ready for a fight every village headman and chieftain of a minor tribe set forth to do battle much to the dismay of the druids and wise men among the clans.

It was on Bealltainn night that the witch-fire was firsts seen. The Druids had set the holy fire at Ur-Uisneach, the blessed hill, and as the fire was lit an unholy blaze was seen far up the slopes of the mountains to the east. A chill wind was felt and a howl like the cry of lost souls was heard. An inauspicious omen, but one that proved itself too readily while the Keltic lands reeled and their leaders struggled for power.

Like a swarm of beasts the Picts fell upon the eastern valleys. What power, what cursed magic they had used, none can say, but from the far north-west of Hyperborea they have come to raid and plunder the Keltic people. The Son of Daman has set aside his quest for the Crown of Leaves and struggles alone with only his own followers against the Picts. His horsemen have left a bloody furrow across their advancing line of raiders but he alone cannot stop them.

Here is a quest for heroes to stand perhaps beside the Son of Daman or, at the urging of the Druids, find the source of the Witch-Fire among the eastern mountains and cut off the tide of Picts who now press against the disunited defenders of Galla.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Black Monolith


The Black Monolith

On the foothills of the Kimmerian Steppes near Lake Novagrad, where the people of the Rus have settled, there is a darkness which haunts their land. Legends speak of a ship of fire which created the great lake, and of the Norse God Ullr creating the Chain of Nod with his skis as he fled from some unnamed horror, the streams of the Chain which feed the lake from the tall mountains, but the fear that is whispered among the settlers within the hills and valleys is of a Stone Monolith that sits upon the last hill before the coming of the mountains near to a cavern of immense size and evil repute. This is the Black Monolith which is older than the settlement of the Rus, older than the Kimmerians, if such stories can be believed. Any of the old race of Hyperboreans will avow no knowledge of this stone, but neither will they journey nearer than the southern edge of Lake Novagrad and even then none will stay longer than it takes to complete what business they may have before moving on.

The village of Stregoicavar sits on a small promontory at the south of the lake. It is here that the people cower within their shuttered houses at night, here where the fear of the Stone Monolith and here where the adventure begins...


Anyone interested in a play-by-post adventure using the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerors of Hyperborea setting should reply to this post and we can begin the adventure. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Weird Tales Index of Titles and Authors - v1#1 - v1#4


Weird Tales Index V1#1 -V1#4


Index of Titles

A).

A Photographic Phantasm - by Crumpler, Paul
v1#2
A Square of Canvas - by Rud, Anthony M.
v1#2
The Accusing Voice - by Davis, Meredith
v1#1
The Affair of the Man in Scarlet - by Kilman, Julian
v1#2
An Eye for an Eye - by Crane, G. W.
v1#3
The Ape-Man - by Clark, James B.
v1#1

B).

The Basket - by Mangham, Herbert J.
v1#1
Beyond the Door - by Suter, J. Paul
v1#2
The Blade of Vengeance - by Lewis, George Warburton
v1#4
The Bodymaster - by Ward, Harold
v1#2

C).

Case No. 27 - by Ellis, Mollie Frank
v1#3
The Chain - by Craigie, Hamilton
v1#1
The Chair - by Mereness, Dr. Harry E.
v1#4
The Closed Cabinet - (1915) - by Anonymous
v1#3
The Closing Hand - by Wright, Farnsworth
v1#1
The Conquering Will - by Olson, Ted
v1#2

D).

The Dead Man's Tale - by Hawkins, Willard
v1#1
The Death Cell - by Moss, F. K.
V1#3
Desert Madness - by Miners, Harold Freeman
v1#4
The Devil Plant - by Holden, Lyle Wilson
V1#3

E).

The Escape - by Henze, Helen Rowe
v1#4
The Evening Wolves (Part 1 of 2) - by Triem, Paul Ellsworth
v1#4
The Extraordinary Experiment of Dr. Calgroni - by Faus, Joseph and Wooding, James Bennett
v1#1

F).

Fear - by Solomon, David R.
v1#1
Feline - by Grant, Bruce
v1#3
The Finale - by Merrit, William
v1#3
The Floor Above - by Humphreys, M.
v1#3
The Forty Jars - by McGillivray, Ray
v1#2

G).

The Gallows - by Peters, I. W. D.
v1#1
The Ghost Guard - by Irvine, Bryan
v1#1
The Ghoul and the Corpse - by Wells, G. A.
v1#1
The Golden Caverns - by Kilman, Julian
v1#3
Golden Glow - by Shumway, Harry Irving
v1#2
The Grave - by Emerson, Orville R.
v1#1
The Gray Death - by Sugarman, Loual B.
v1#4

H).

The Hall of the Dead - by Grierson, Francis D.
v1#2
Hark! The Rattle! - by Rogers, Joel Townsley
v1#1
The Haunted and the Haunters; or, The House and the Brain - (1859) - Bulwer-Lytton, Edward
V1#3
The Hideous Face - by Johns, Victor
v1#2
Hootch - by Sanford, William
v1#3
The House of Death - by Stroup, F. Georgia
v1#1

I).

The Incubus - by Craigie, Hamilton
v1#2
The Invisible Terror - by Thomason, Hugh
v1#4

J).

Jack O' Mystery - by McLaren, Edwin
v1#4
The Jailer of Souls - by Craigie, Hamilton
v1#4
Jungle Beasts - by Barron, William P.
v1#3
Jungle Death - by Calloway, Artemus
v1#2

K).

L).

The Living Nightmare - by Oliver, Anton M.
v1#2

M).

The Madman - by Hipwell, Herbert
v1#4
The Man the Law Forgot - by Burns, Walter Noble
v1#4
Midnight Black - by Craigie, Hamilton
v1#3
The Mystery of Black Jean - by Kilman, Julian
v1#1
The Moon Terror (Part 1 of 2) - by Birch, A. G.
v1#3
The Moon Terror (Part 2 of 2) - by Birch, A. G.
v1#4
The Murders in the Rue Morgue - by Poe, Edgar Allan
v1#4

N).

Nimba, the Cave Girl - by Scott, R. T. M.
v1#1

O).

Ooze - by Rud, Anthony M.
v1#1
Osiris - by Shirk, Adam Hull
v1#4

P).

The Parlor Cemetery - by Howard, C. E.
v1#2
Penelope - by Starrett, Vincent
v1#3
The Phantom Wolfhound - by Kline, Otis Adelbert
v1#4
The Place of Madness - by Taylor, Merlin Moore
v1#1
The Purple Heart - by Sisk, Herman
v1#3

Q).

R).

The Return of Paul Slavsky - by Lewis, George Warburton
v1#1

S).

The Scar - by Rasmus, Carl
v1#2
The Scarlet Night - by Sanford, William
v1#1
The Secret Fear - by Whipple, Kenneth Duane
v1#3
The Sequel - by Story, Walter Scott
v1#1
The Siren - by Collier, Tarleton
v1#4
Six Feet of Willow Green -  by Michener, Carroll
v1#2
The Skull - by Ward, Harold
v1#1
The Snake Fiend - by Wright, Farnsworth
v1#2

T).

The Thing of a Thousand Shapes (Part 1 of 2) - by Kline, Otis Adelbert
v1#1
The Thing of a Thousand Shapes (Part 2 of 2) - by Kline, Otis Adelbert
v1#2
The Thunder Voice - by Wilson, F. Walter
v1#3
The Tortoise Shell Comb - by Markham, Roylston
v1#2
Two Hours of Death - by Emmons, E. Thayles
v1#3

U).

The Unknown Beast - by Davis, Howard Ellis
v1#1

V).

Vials of Insects - by Triem, Paul Ellsworth
v1#3
The Voice in the Fog - by Leverage, Henry
v1#4

W).

The Weaving Shadows - by Holmes, W. H.
v1#1
The Well - by Kilman, Julian
v1#4
The Whispering Thing (Part 1 of 2) - by McClintock, Laurie and Chunn, Culpeper
v1#2
The Whispering Thing (Part 2 of 2) - McClintock, Laurie and Chunn, Culpeper
v1#3
The Wish - by Gaylord, Myrtle Levy
v1#2

X).

Y).

The Young Man Who Wanted to Die - by Anonymous
v1#1

Z).

Index of Authors

A).

Anonymous
The Young Man Who Wanted to Die
v1#1
The Closed Cabinet - (1915)
v1#3

B).

Barron, William P.
Jungle Beasts
v1#3

Birch, A. G.
The Moon Terror (Part 1 of 2)
v1#3
The Moon Terror (Part 2 of 2)
v1#4

Bulwer-Lytton, Edward
The Haunted and the Haunters; or, The House and the Brain - (1859) -
V1#3

Burns, Walter Noble
The Man the Law Forgot
v1#4

C).

Calloway, Artemus
Jungle Death
v1#2

Chunn, Culpeper and  McClintock, Laurie
The Whispering Thing (Part 1 of 2)
v1#2
The Whispering Thing (Part 2 of 2)
v1#3

Clark, James B.
The Ape-Man
v1#1

Collier, Tarleton
The Siren
v1#4

Craigie, Hamilton
The Chain
v1#1
The Incubus
v1#2
Midnight Black
v1#3
The Jailer of Souls
v1#4

Crane, G. W.
An Eye for an Eye
v1#3

Crumpler, Paul
A Photographic Phantasm
v1#2

D).

Davis, Howard Ellis
The Unknown Beast
v1#1

Davis, Meredith
The Accusing Voice
v1#1

E).

Ellis, Mollie Frank
Case No. 27
v1#3

Emerson, Orville R.
The Grave
v1#1

Emmons, E. Thayles
Two Hours of Death
v1#3

F).

Faus, Joseph and Wooding, James Bennett
The Extraordinary Experiment of Dr. Calgroni
v1#1

G).

Gaylord, Myrtle Levy
The Wish
v1#2

Grant, Bruce
Feline
v1#3

Grierson, Francis D.
The Hall of the Dead
v1#2

H).

Hawkins, Willard
The Dead Man's Tale
v1#1

Henze, Helen Rowe
The Escape
v1#4

Hipwell, Herbert
The Madman
v1#4

Holden, Lyle Wilson
The Devil Plant
V1#3

Holmes, W. H.
The Weaving Shadows
v1#1

Howard, C. E.
The Parlor Cemetery
v1#2

Humphreys, M.
The Floor Above
v1#3

I).

Irvine, Bryan
The Ghost Guard
v1#1

J).

Johns, Victor
The Hideous Face
v1#2

K).

Kilman, Julian
The Mystery of Black Jean
v1#1
The Affair of the Man in Scarlet
v1#2
The Golden Caverns
v1#3
The Well
v1#4

Kline, Otis Adelbert
The Thing of a Thousand Shapes (Part 1 of 2)
v1#1
The Thing of a Thousand Shapes (Part 2 of 2)
v1#2
The Phantom Wolfhound
v1#4

L).

Leverage, Henry
The Voice in the Fog
v1#4

Lewis, George Warburton
The Return of Paul Slavsky
v1#1
The Blade of Vengeance
v1#4

M).

Mangham, Herbert J.
The Basket
v1#1

Markham, Roylston
The Tortoise Shell Comb
v1#2

McLaren, Edwin
Jack O' Mystery
v1#4

McClintock, Laurie and Chunn, Culpeper
The Whispering Thing (Part 1 of 2)
v1#2
The Whispering Thing (Part 2 of 2)
v1#3

McGillivray, Ray
The Forty Jars
v1#2

Mereness, Dr. Harry E.
The Chair
v1#4

Merrit, William
The Finale
v1#3

Michener, Carroll
Six Feet of Willow Green
v1#1

Miners, Harold Freeman
Desert Madness
v1#4

Moss, F. K.
The Death Cell
V1#3

N).

O).

Oliver, Anton M.
The Living Nightmare - by
v1#2

Olson, Ted
The Conquering Will
v1#2

P).

Peters, I. W. D.
The Gallows
v1#1

Poe, Edgar Allan
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
v1#4

Q).

R).

Rasmus, Carl
The Scar
v1#2

Rogers, Joel Townsley
Hark! The Rattle!
v1#1

Rud, Anthony M.
A Square of Canvas
v1#2
Ooze
v1#1

S).

Sanford, William
The Scarlet Night
v1#1
Hootch
v1#3

Scott, R. T. M.
Nimba, the Cave Girl
v1#1

Shirk, Adam Hull
Osiris
v1#4

Shumway, Harry Irving
Golden Glow
v1#2

Sisk, Herman
The Purple Heart
v1#3

Solomon, David R.
Fear
v1#1

Starrett, Vincent
Penelope
v1#3

Story, Walter Scott
The Sequel
v1#1

Stroup, F. Georgia
The House of Death
v1#1

Sugarman, Loual B.
The Gray Death
v1#4

Suter, J. Paul
Beyond the Door
v1#2

T).

Taylor, Merlin Moore
The Place of Madness
v1#1

Thomason, Hugh
The Invisible Terror
v1#4

Triem, Paul Ellsworth
Vials of Insects
v1#3
The Evening Wolves (Part 1 of 2)
v1#4

U)

V)

W).

Ward, Harold
The Skull
v1#1
The Bodymaster
v1#2

Wells, G. A.
The Ghoul and the Corpse
v1#1

Whipple, Kenneth Duane
The Secret Fear
v1#3

Wilson, F. Walter
The Thunder Voice
v1#3

Wooding, James Bennett and Faus, Joseph
The Extraordinary Experiment of Dr. Calgroni
v1#1

Wright, Farnsworth
The Closing Hand
v1#1
The Snake Fiend
v1#2

X).

Y).


Z).

Friday, August 9, 2013

Inspiring Illustrations - This Earthly Prison of Their Bones


36). This Earthly Prison of Their Bones

NOTE: These are adventure seeds and setting work for my own Hyperborea campaign inspired by the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerors of Hyperborea Gazetteer

The merchant caravan of Pamphilos, a Hellene from Khromarium, left the Kelt city of Galla early one late spring morning heading north for the Galla Hills and the myriad towns and villages nestled throughout its small valleys. His was a medium sized caravan of wagons and mules and guardsmen riding ahead and behind and alongside. They were no more than half a day's journey beyond Galla's north gate when a howling band of Krimmerian brigands set upon them. The fight was quick and now quarter was given by either side. In the end the brigands lay dead, surprised by fine and deadly crossbows of the teamsters and the armored veteran guardsman who fought them sword to sword, horse to horse till the ground was red with blood and the screams of wounded men and mounts was all that could be heard.

Wounded himself in the fighting, Pamphilos gathered what loot the bandits possessed, their weapons, horses and whatnot they had upon them. Gathered his guardsmen and drivers, the wounded and the dead, abandoned a wagon overturned and shattered during the fighting, abandoned with care, and hidden cunningly, the largest, heaviest and least valuable of his goods, and turned back to the city of Galla to heal wounds, hire more men and buy another wagon or two before setting out again for his yearly swing through the Galla Hills; always a profitable a venture.

The caravan moved at the pace of a wounded horse and they had not made it halfway back to the city before they were forced to camp for the night. It was a cold comfortless camp, one of the wounded died before the dawn sun rose, but as Pamphilos attended the simple rites given to the dying man so that his spirit might finds its way back to old Earth, where it is said that only the dead reside, the body twitched and pushed back the hands of the shaman who accompanied Pamphilos on all his journeys. With a terrible groan the mouth of the corpse opened and the groan summoned from the deepest recesses of the departed soul escaped soon followed by a blackness like the greasy cloud of smoke that rises from the body of a burning man. The guardsman's body seemed no more than a dry withered husk which was buried with haste that spurred the dismantling of the small camp and the beginning of a weary day on the return path to the city of Galla.

They made good time. The desire to distance themselves from brigands and unwholesome dead helped by a night's rest to heal wounds and ease strained and sore muscles sent the horses forward at a trot and the lessoned body of guardsman galloping back and forth to both scout ahead and watch for any who might be approaching the caravan from behind. Still, it was past the noon of the day before they came in site of Galla; a small hill and from its heights the cleared plain before the city.

Pamphilos approached his scouts who sat their horses in stillness at the crest of the hill and what he saw froze his heart. The green and fertile land that ringed the city was withered and bare except for the stripped and stick-like boles of trees stripped of bark and branch with limbs reaching out like the arms of a dying man begging for release. The sky was filled with birds. An army of crows pecked across the barren ground, sat in the branches and covered a small hill that had appeared before the gate of the city in a carpet of wings.

Leaving his wagons and most of his men behind, Pamphilos approached the city of Galla with a handful of his bravest and most loyal guards. The silence of the land was broken only by the mournful cry of the black winged scavengers that scattered from their approach. For this Pamphilos was greatful. The crows were large and had an aspect that struck the merchant as unnatural and downright evil. In a dark cloud of a thousand wings the crows lifted from the hill before the city while Pamhpilos and his men gave a cry of dismay.

A hill skulls greeted them. White bone, empty eyes, grinning fleshless mouths; hundreds, thousands of skulls. Beyond lay the city. The walls were shattered in many places, the great northern gate thrown down and the towers and buildings broken, many were the spires missing from their place above the walls and others were no more than raw-ended columns of grey stone, jagged as the edge of a saw, and old, very old.

The city of Galla, the empty ruined city of Galla was old. Long had the walls stood, long had the sun baked the roofs now collapsed inward, the rubble where tavern and shop once stood, the fragments of towers spilled across streets or amid the ruins of smaller buildings buried in their fall.


No bodies have been found in Galla, no bones litter the city, only the small hill of skulls which no one has dared to touch remain of the people who once filled the bustling streets. In no more than a night and a day the city was laid waste and the lands surrounding it stripped bare and withered brown, and yet seeing the yellowed skulls of the dead, the empty shell of the city, a hundred year might have passed since any living soul had dwelled within.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Inspiring Illustrations - The Minions of the Moon


35). The Minions of the Moon

NOTE: These are adventure seeds and setting work for my own Hyperborea campaign inspired by the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerors of Hyperborea Gazetteer

(Note: In My AS&SH campaign I have only the single moon which we all know and love, rather than the two moons Selene and Phobos, at least so far...)

North of the Hellenic City-State of Ptolemides, beyond the forest of the Crowned Beast (but known to most as the Foxwoman's Domain), lies a pool of liquid silver metal that is death to touch. Around this pool can be found white-clad devotees of a new cult that has followers in both Khromarium and Ptolemides and seems to be spreading like fire among dry leaves to every city and large town in all of disparate Hyperborea. These are "The Minions of the Moon" and they worship both the Moon as a divinity and the silver pool as the Moon's avatar upon the earth.

It is rumored that at both the waxing and waning of the moon human sacrifices are performed which the cultists call 'The Silver Death' and the victims are submerged in the liquid metal pool. The bodies are said to be held by chains and drawn back from their fatal bath now withered and hardened like iron. Their spirits are then purposed to walk the environs of the people serving the will of this new lunar divinity. The reality is much more deadly.

These sacrifices have become servants of the silver metal pool, which is a living entity fallen to earth millennia ago. It is an animal creature without need of sustenance and without language. It can rise into a wave and move, sometimes at great speed, but will always return to the basin where it now resides connected by a cord of liquid metal to a crystal-like object buried deep within the earth below. These servants act as automaton akin to those of Iron but with several differences (See New Monster).

The truth behind the cult is the discovery of the crystal by a notorious thief from Rusland, Mikhaliov Fydrovich, who , fleeing from a monstrous guardian of a Ptolemides merchant's treasure, came across the pool of liquid metal and the fragment of crystal which lay almost within the pool itself. The body of a dying manticore had come in contact with the pool and with the crystal Mikhaliov was able to summon it to his defense and defeat the guardian Daemon which pursued him. Much to his disappointment the silvered form of the manticore fell to dust within a few weeks time.

Mikhaliov was not one to let a good thing go and his quick mind immediately formed the idea of the cult and "The Minions of the Moon". Originally all the members were thieves or the like, but the cult has taken on a life of its own and only the original core (and some select recruits) now know that the cult is false.

Worshippers of Lunaqqua are the dire enemies of the cult and minor war of assassination and retribution is being waged between the two.

New Monster

Automaton, Silver Metal [MON]
No. Encountered: 1-6
Alignment: Neutral
Size: Varied, most common size is M
Movement: 40
Dexterity: 16
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4+2
No. Attacks: varied most commonly 2 (Pummel) (see Notes)
Damage: 2d6/2d6
Saving Throw: 14
Morale: NA
Experience Points: 750

Silver Metal Automatons are formerly living creatures (most notably human but to a much lesser extent any creature existing in Hyperborea  and even some that do not) whose flesh and bone has been consumed and replaced by the creature that is the pool of liquid metal. They have only an animal intelligence regardless of their former intelligence as a living creature and a life span of under two months. At the fullness of the moon above Hyperborea they must return to the liquid metal pool where they merge with the creature or harden into a solid piece of dull grey metal and fragment into a powder that will eventually sift away to nothingness.

These Automatons can be controlled by a fragment of crystal that is now set within a small medallion (and worn by the Master of the Minions of the Moon. They will obey basic commands when within a 60foot radius but otherwise act as an extension of the pool of liquid metal with a completely alien set of reactions and desires. (They my stand still and let themselves be hacked to bits, walk into a fire, off a cliff, attack wildly, etc... )

NOTE: Silver Metal Automatons that are formed from monstrous creatures retain and physical type of attacks including number and damage of attacks of the formerly living creature with a +2 damage per attack. All other stats remain as per the basic listing (AC, Dex, Etc.. ) for any form the Silver Metal Automaton may take regardless of previous HD or abilities.

NOTE: These Automatons are not constructs and are much quicker, moving with a high grace and dexterity, than magically created Automatons. Part of their AC comes from a bonus for high dexterity.

NOTE: Sacrifices to the pool of liquid metal can only be done at the waning and waxing of the moon. At other times anything entering the pool is simply absorbed into the liquid metal. Even at these time there is a 75% chance that anyone or thing of flesh placed into the pool will simply be absorbed.

NOTE: These Automaton's can regain full HP by resubmerging themselves within the pool, but will also regenerate 50% of their total HP every night when the moon rises (up to their original HP total). If reduced to 0 HP they turn into a grey metal and fall to dust.