Friday, January 31, 2014

Inspiring Illustrations - Fantasy Art - 7

7). The Body in the Road

The forest path is still; even the rustling of the trees has fallen silent. The light is cut into patterns as it shines down between leaf and leaf, and shadows hide behind the tall boles. Ahead, where the path turns, a dull shape in greens and browns is stretched, long and still, in the dirt.

A man, recently dead, but without sign of wound or blood. An archer, woodsman, perhaps outlaw, or ranger. His bow is nowhere to be found, but a quiver of gray fletched arrows is on his back and a short sword drawn beneath him, though there is no sheath upon his belt. His clothes are died green, his belt and long-laced soft-soled boots are brown.

He bears no pouch or purse. Has no coin or pack. He wears a green leather helm. Beneath his hair is black as is his beard, his eyes blue.

Here is a mystery, a death. Here also is trouble without a doubt.

Inspiring Illustrations - Fantasy Art - 6

6). The Death of Haladin Man-Slayer

Haladin Man-Slayer is carried through the halls of the great mountain fortress of Daradim to be laid to rest in the tomb of his ancestors deep beneath the earth.

In recent years of the Mid-World's history nothing has proven as grim and costly as the wars between man and dwarf. Perhaps it was the expansion of the Empire into the mountains and valleys of the north-east or maybe it was the dwarven lust for gold and the slaughter of the human miners at Ten-River Gorge, the depredations and atrocities were many, but however it began seven years of grueling and merciless combat soon came to an end with the death of Haladin Man-Slayer, greatest of dwarven heroes in this age of the world.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

D&D Next new marketing director and playtesters.

Inspiring Illustrations - Fantasy Art - 5

5). The Smiling Dead

John Fustyvant was a hedge wizard all his life but a devotee of the duplicitous Fox God during his last few months. While most other half-amateur practioners in the mystical arts were often as dangerous as they were ineffectual, Fustyvant became a master of the dental craft. His own teeth were his pride and joy.

During his life he collected lore on herbs and potions that would fight tooth decay, alleviate pain, and leave breath minty and fresh. His extractions were truly painless and his animated wooden dentures never left splinters, bit the user's tongue or seized control of the wearer's body for nefarious purposes.

As the years passed he became renowned, sought after and exceedingly wealthy, but he could not protect himself from the wear and diminishment of time, nor could he master the greatest of dental magic and regrow teeth, not even his own. He turned, in the end, to the toothy grin of the Fox God, and as with all pacts made with the eternal trickster, his own desires became his undoing.

Each day he sacrificed and each day his teeth became a little fuller, a bit more white and shiny. Unfortunately they just wouldn't stop. He begged the Fox God, made greater and greater sacrifices but each day now he gnawed and gnawed to wear down his teeth, took to the file and in the end extracted them with his own hands, only to find the process of regrowth begin again. In pain and torment and shame he took his own life.

John Fustyvant's teeth are now forever strong and sharp. In undeath he gnaws at the living, infecting all those he slays with his toothy curse. His ghoulish progeny can be recognized by their perfect teeth which shine with a pearly light in the dark of tomb, catacomb or grave.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Inspiring Illustrations - Fantasy Art - 4

4). The Black Pyramid of Skalesh

Legionnaire Avar Toth tracks a band of Kazpek goblins through the forest beyond the eastern border of the Empire.

Skalesh is the God-Priest if the Kazpek goblins. He rules from his throne chamber deep within his tomb, a vast pyramid of black rock carved from a mountain. His worshippers are a strangely civilized breed of goblin, unusually strong and squat of build. It is rumored that they have interbred with the remnants of a conquered dwarven kingdom and the the mountain, now Skalesh's pyramid, was once a vast fortress lost so long ago that even the memory of its name has been forgotten.

Inspiring Illustrations - Fantasy Art - 3

3). Some Dare Call Them Ood or How Young Mind Flayer's Party

Illitchzcratch, Illetchesketch, Illkibibble, Illconsidered and their dates play spin the disembodied brain during a solstice retreat on the shores of the Sundless Sea in the underoerth. Later they will partake of svirfneblin cooked on sticks over a fire and attempt to infiltrate each other's nightmares by telling scary stories while holding lightstones beneath their chins.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Inspiring Illustrations - Fantasy Art - 2

2). The Temple of Elemental Evil Wants You!

Tired of growing cabbages? Does waiting on an endless line of drunks and faceless travelers leave you unfulfilled? Are you weary of shoeing horses or cleaning stables?

Try us here at the Temple of Elemental Evil!

Do to a recent inadvertent downsizing the Temple, or ToEE as our happy workers like to call it, is now recruiting for all levels of employment from neophyte to high priest. Come join us in our quest to release the dark powers upon the Oerth. Competitive benefits, Vacation travelling to the Elemental Nodes, Free robes and Healing performed on premises.

Applicants please contact:

Lareth the Beautiful
Lower Level
Old Ruined Moathouse

Swamp outside of Hommlet, Verbobonc, O4-98

Inspiring Illustrations - Fantasy Art 1

Inspiring Illustrations - Fantasy Art

1). The Weapon Rack

a). The Helm of X-Ray Vision

Allows the wearer to see through clothing, but when removed the wearer finds that all of his own clothing has been rendered invisible for 1d6 hours and a dark ink like marks have formed around his eyes that will fade only after vigorous scrubbing.

b). The Bardiche of the Rubber Blade.

Though seemingly of razor sharpness this bardiche will not draw blood or do damage to flesh and bone though it is effective against inorganic substances and acts as a +3 weapon against all inorganic golems or animated constructs.  

c). The Flanged Mace of Ethereal Combat.

This mace allows +2 against ethereal creatures but becomes ethereal itself when used against any material creature of object.

d). The Battle Axe of Tooth Sensitivity

This powerful weapon acts as a +3 battle-axe to hit, but each successful strike causes 1d4 damage to the user and the extremely painful dental pain that lasts 1d4 minutes and a 10% chance for the fracture of a random tooth.

e). The Zweihander of Babble.

This two-handed sword is +2/+4 against all those who do not speak common, but a successful strikes renders the user to speak only in gibberish for the next 24 hours from the last strike.

f). The Spear of the Spastic Colon.

A rather disgusting weapon that will strike creature even those requiring magical or blessed weapons to hit, but renders both user and opponent incontinent for 2d12 hours after striking or being struck.

 g). The Short Sword of Hair Removal

This magic weapon is +2/+4 against hairless creatures. Warning - prolonged use causes baldness.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Blood, Lace, Steel, Honor and the Outer Dark - Musketeers 3

Etienne L'Fleche examines the clock in the great hall of Castle Bois De Coeur.

The Clock in the Hall

Soon after the disappearance of Lady Adele the clock in the great hall began running backwards, as did several maids and pages who tried to touch the hands of the ancient timepiece. Lord Anglais, the husband of Lady Adele, sealed off the hall and summoned the musketeers immediately.

An investigation of the clock found the workings to be carved from bone and woven braids of hair. Within the body of the clock an entrance to a foul tunnel was found; A circular passage that twisted down into the bedrock below the castle itself.

The musketeer Etienne sent word to his partner Leon, a theologian, alchemist and master of white magic and back to the chapter house in the provincial capital.

As with the pit beneath the floor of the castle's cellar, a foul and musty odor issued forth from the winding tunnel. Using great caution and a number of peasants bearing torches, Etienne and Leon wormed their way down into the dank whole. At the bottom the found a wide chamber littered with rounded stones and a black stream that disappeared in either direction through a water-carved passage of stone.

When the pair approached the sluggish and viscid liquid the sound of stone rubbing against stone erupted all around them.

" Vipera Seoanei," moaned Leon."It would have to be Vipera Seoanei."

"Looks like snakes to me," said one of the peasants before Etienne slapped him in the head.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blood, Lace, Steel, Honor and the Outer Dark - Musketeers 2

The Hole in the Floor

A maid of Lady Adele D... and the Musketeer Etienne discover a hidden chamber beneath the cellar floor.

The Lady Adele D... of Bois De Coeur disappeared in the middle of a Fete during Midsummer's day and has not been seen since. Unbeknownst to any in the castle, except for the chief groom, Lady Adele was a worshiper of the Old Ones from beyond space. Every dozen years during the summer solstice the Lady sacrifices to the One Who Speaks With Fire allowing her access to powerful magicks of a particularly destructive nature. She intended to lead her fellow worshipers in the start of the ceremony, a great bonfire at the center of an ancient grove.

The chief groom of Bois De Coeur had other plans. While he had no objection to the terrible fate of the young village maiden who was to be the central figure in the horrific summer rite lead by Lady Adele, he, as a worshiper of the Horse Goddess, could not allow the burning and transformation of the young stallion the cult was also preparing to sacrifice to their fiery deity.

With the subtle preparation of the grove, a dilution of several essential elements in the ritual and the help of a particular noxious green stone revealed to him by his equine goddess, he managed to change the focus of Lady Adele's sacrifice onto herself and her followers.

Now the Musketeers and their theological brethren have been called in to investigate. Divination has pointed to the local forest and the bowels of Castle Bois De Coeur.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blood, Lace, Steel, Honor and the Outer Dark - Musketeers 1

Blood, Lace, Steel, Honor and the Outer Dark - Musketeers 1

In the province of A... the enemies of the Gaelic nation are more than just swordsmen or soldiers, for in that deeply forested realm the merely mortal evils of the world are outmatched by the ancient, the unearthly and the infernal.  As always it falls upon the musketeers, protectors of Gael, to rout out all that threatens their blessed realm with steel blade, lead shot, or stone talisman.

Here can be seen a young musketeer and his theologian companion struggling with a corrupted swordsmen, once of the imperial guard, but now in the service of warlock (being throttled by the learned hands of the theologian). The warlock's servants are many and few are human, though the former guardsman was the most visible of those that guarded his body. The musketeer and theologian have caught them along the forest road linking the provincial capital with the port of N...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Noise That Seemed Afraid Of Silence

A Noise That Seemed Afraid Of Silence

Beyond the coasts of Sange is an island in the Sea of Twilight. The sea itself is a place of beauty and terror, but the island, which has no name, is a place of ending. When the people of Sange weary of all things they seek this island for there is no true ending in Sange only life followed by life.

The Sea of Twilight can only be sailed by Death and finding the dead in Sange is a hard thing. To kill a man or a woman, an animal or thing that is not quite any or none is possible but death lasts only an instant and the spirit of those of Sange flys free like a gleam of silver moonlight before it is gone to find life again.

The spirit of the dead must be caught in a cage of mirrors baited with a dream; A dream of power of love, anger, tears, betrayal, revenge or remorse. The cage is capped with the frozen eye of a mage and the breath of despair. Then the body of the dead will be at the command of the holder of the cage and the journey to the island can begin.

There is a fear that has come to Sange. Dreams have become nightmares and the land, though always hard and often cruel, has lost the wonder, pleasure and enchantment that made unending life a joy instead of a wearisome burden or horrific punishment. The soothsayers, the oracles and the prophets speak of the island on the Sea of Twilight and say that only there can the answer to this curse be found.

Someone or some group of someones must make this journey, find Death to sail the ship, cross the Sea of Twilight and walk upon the island from which no one has returned. Great dreamers are called to this quest from all of Sange, dreamers brave and strong, of the mind and arm, heart and spirit before the darkness which has settled upon the land has ended every song, silenced every voice, broken the spirits of those who have lived a thousand lives and made Sange into a prison of nightmare and torment.