Thursday, August 14, 2014

The City Within The Song

Despite apocryphal assertions, it is widely accepted among the best-educated wizards of the Wampus Country that there are, in fact, only three Cities of Secrets.  These three cities, we are told, hold within them deep, great truths about the nature of reality and the place we call home.  Many scholars and historical treatises agree that the Cities of Secrets are numbered three, however different traditions name varied places as those mystical places.

In contemporary sorcerous circles, it is commonly accepted that the three locations consist of the City Behind The Moon, the City Under Everything, and the City Within The Song [1].  Of these, the City Behind The Moon is best-known; a faerie outpost which occasionally exists just outside the atmosphere of our world, it is a place to which we can easily travel if we but know the way, and its denizens occasionally lower themselves to visit the Wampus Country.  The second conurbation, about which less is known, is the City Under Everything.  A realm of twilight and secrets, this place is, the wizards would have us believe, quite literally under everything - under that lake, under the deepest caves, and under your child's bed; one can only imagine what its denizens best resemble when squinted at in the sickly half-light of its cobblebone streets.

Neither of these storied places, however, are the subject of today's discussion; instead we turn to one of the once-popular candidates for the third mystical node, the City Within The Song.  Much of what is supposed regarding this place comes to us from the memoir-tome Strange Futures Wrought By My Own Foolishness, scrawled in mirror-writing by a time-traveling lich under the obvious nom de plume of Endsworth.  Mr. Endsworth claims in the book to not only have survived til the end of the universe - thanks in part to his undead condition - but also to have inadvertently caused the whole sordid collapse, as alluded to in the title [2].  Regardless, our concern for the work is singular: the lich Endsworth provides a lengthy diversion regarding the City Within The Song during one of the middle chapters, and it is from this source that we know something of the place.

The City Within The Song, called Ghya-Ma-Hau by its inhabitants, exists simultaneously in several places [3].  The city exists, in some physical sense, on several other demi-planes at once, including those known as "Narcosa" and "Thrice-Cursed Ffu" [4].  Endsworth suggests to us that the City does not exist in the same form in each realm, instead one city dreams the next in a cascade: the Ghya-Ma-Hau we can reach from Wampus Country may be a projection of the dream-selves of the residents of Ghya-Ma-Hau in Narcosa, who themselves are the sweaty nightmares of their own analogs in Ffu.  If the lich is to be believed, the citizens of Ghya-Ma-Hau are, generally speaking, aware that they are someone else's dream, and act accordingly - which is to say, with considerable abandon and disregard for their own safety, should the whim strike.

Reaching the City Within The Song from the Wampus Country is not easy to do purposefully, but quite simple to accomplish accidentally.  All wizards of our time are familiar with the bazoul, that psychemotive energy field which binds the living creatures of the Wampus Country and even permeates the land itself, like cheap rum poured over a sponge cake.  The bazoul is the weave of lives and minds, the unspoken communication between the myriad singularities that populate our world.  Every form of communication requires a medium, a language; thus, if the bazoul is the air, there is a song which floats through it, resonating with each mind it passes like a voice against an eardrum.  But this is first-year sorcery, and I do not mean to bore you [5].  Suffice it to say that if the bazoul has a song, and that song has a rhythm, then translating said rhythm into physicality would yield Ghya-Ma-Hau: the City Within The Song, and the right altered state of consciousness will provide physical access [6].  Dreamers sometimes go to Ghya-Ma-Hau, and drug addicts, and those in the depths of depression, and those at the pinnacle of joy; when you find yourself so full of sensation or emotion that this world can no longer parse your existence, your mind and body are shunted to the City Within the Song as a safety measure.

The City itself is a massive iridescent - in some manifestations it stands on the surface of the earth, in others it floats in the sky.  This immense sphere is populated both on the outer surface, and on the inner, and passing between the two is a simple act of will accompanied by a physical push, as passing gently through a soap bubble.  And perhaps a soap bubble is the most appropriate description, as rainbow fractals dance over every surface, seemingly alive, and the entire city is possessed of this unspoken feeling of an impending 'pop' - perhaps yielded by the ephemeral nature of the dreams which form the atoms of Ghya-Ma-Hau.  The population of the City may vary by manifestation and time, but it is certainly immense, with the city's footprint covering many square miles of visible land and goodness-knows how many more microplanar spider-holes and transfolded buildings [7].  Things in the distance are transparent in their nonexistence; as you approach, they coalesce out of nothing in a swirl of melted crayon to become real, so long as they are being observed.  Once you pass, the shops and sculptures and people may be forgotten and unwatched, and thus dissapate and seep away into invisible drains in the walls of reality.  Within the City, thousands go about their dream-business, much of which might be inexplicable to passersby, seeming the actions of mimes and madmen.  The streets and walls and buildings shift and morph in reaction to the unspoken needs and fears of the citizenry, making Ghya-Ma-Hau both a playground and a nightmare.  Few would travel there intentionally, for there is no safety in wandering the collective unconscious - not only are most humans wracked with constant fears and inadequacies, but many of them are quite stupid, to boot, and all these traits manifest in the City Within the Song.

How many dreamers and mushroom-fiends lose themselves amongst the labyrinthine alleyways of Ghya-Ma-Hau?  We cannot know.  Nor can we posit whether their visit to the City Within the Song is temporary, or in some way permanent; the place is so permeated with dream-stuff that possibly tonight you will dream your way there, only to then replace your earthly self with a dream of you, slightly altered.  The next time your companions note you are not acting like yourself, consider the possibility that you are not, in fact, yourself - you are but a dream-painting of the real you, who is now passed out in an alley in Ghya-Ma-Hau, the City Within the Song.





[1] The poetic among you will notice the "Behind", "Under", "Within" pattern; I do not recommend placing too much symbolic stock in these words, as the wizards of both today and the Long Long Ago had an inordinate fondness for prepositions.

[2] If the signposts of apocalypse described by Mr. Endsworth in Chapters Two through Four of his work are interpreted somewhat liberally, then the not-yet-undead Mr. Endsworth is likely alive today, as a young sorcerer.

[3] "Ghya-Ma-Hau" comes to us from the tongue of the aboriginals of the city, a race of portly toddlers lacking both hair and visible gender.  This native race was long ago subjugated, then enslaved, then fashionably modified to be housepets by vivimancers, then rearranged into semisentient furnishings and accessories.  Few natives still survive; during his stay in the City, Endsworth rented a native who had been shaped into a small box, in whom he placed his snuff to protect it from Ghya-Ma-Hau's legendary rains.

[4] I use here the designations given by the Psychlopedia Teratica, as they are in common use by planar scholars even if I personally prefer the hexadecimal system introduced by the learned Ul-Phremion of the Several Matrices, in which the demi-planes are 7A91 and 76CC, respectively.

[5] If your own university did not cover isoplanar parapsionic metaphysics until third year, you have no one  to blame but your parents, who sent you to a sub-par school.

[6] To review: an encrypted pattern hidden within a psychic song-field, which is also an actual city when you look at it sideways.  Wizards who cannot wrap their thinkmeat around such concepts best return to brewing "love potions" for rubes.

[7] Endsworth himself does not describe the size of the City beyond conveying its enormity, but in one dialogue, he quotes a drinking-companion (one Zebulon the Cruel) as noting Ghya-Ma-Hau to be "at least as big as either the City of Oaks or Chicago, and twice as dangerous as the two combined".  Sadly we lack context for this boast.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Asparagus Factor

I know what I like, and I know what doesn't appeal to me.  On a good day, I understand the 'why' behind those things.

This might be a good day.

Over at Rotten Pulp, the learned Mr. Mack has posted about those adventures he calls Negadungeons; those encounters, typified by the much-vaunted "Raggian screwjob", which leave the delvers inevitably worse off, insane, accursed, and wondering why they ever set foot in this place (and sometimes crumples up the campaign world and tosses it in the bin as a by-product).  I have no issue saying that I do not typically like this kind of adventure - and this criticism applies to a number of Call of Cthulhu classics, I'm sorry to say - and do not typically use them except perhaps for occasional inspiration and cannibalization.

Mr. Mack thoughtfully explores the nature of the "negadungeon" - you should read his post if you haven't already - and explains that rather than being "hahaha screw you, players" exercises in GM onanism, the negadungeon is instead its own animal.  For whatever reason, reading that over tonight, the whole thing clicked.  These kinds of adventures are not adventures at all - in the literary sense - but an attempt to do a horror story in rpg form.  Yes, this should be obvious, as I mentioned Call of Cthulhu scenarios, but for some reason even though I've always understood the connection, it took tonight to have the epiphany that the reason I don't like many of these scenarios is because they're trying to be horror stories rather than adventure stories.

You'd think that would be self-evident.  It wasn't.  Perhaps you can see how, measuring these kinds of "adventures" against, y'know, actual adventure stories, they would not measure up in my mind.  I don't much care for horror stories or movies, either.  Is there something about that negative catharsis whatever-you-call-it (no doubt Professor Shear can supply a very fine Greek word) that just plain does not appeal to me?  That might be it.  I don't mind occasionally watching or reading something about a protagonist who descends into darkness and madness and bad choices and whatever; but it would rarely be my first choice for entertainment (for what it's worth, I'm working my way through Breaking Bad now, and enjoying it), and the chances of it becoming my favorite ahead of innumerable comedies and real adventure yarns is effectively nil.  There's a place within adventure, within fairy tales, within pulp, for the frightening, the uncanny, and the gross-out, but to me, their best position is within the framework of the adventure genre.  An ingredient rather than a meal.



So I get it now, even if I still don't like them.  Much in the same way I will not eat asparagus, yet can appreciate my wife's enjoyment of the fetid stalk, or coo appreciatively as the wizards on Chopped unveil a glorious bundle of white asparagus (which, one assumes, grants urine the aroma of fine Madagascar vanilla), I think I can appreciate the craft and cleverness in a "negadungeon" or horror scenario.  But they just don't do it for me, I guess.  Nothing wrong with that, although there may be some rabid dogs out there who would gladly foam at the thought of a plebian misunderstanding obvious genius; but let us not pay much attention to rabid dogs.

If, by the way, your mind went directly into the gutter with the above sentence about my wife enjoying a fetid stalk now and then, that's completely fine; I like double entendre, wordplay, and "naughtiness" of Benny Hill levels.  I just don't much like horror, it seems.

If a pull-quote is necessary, let it be "Raggi-style adventures make my whiz smell bad."  Jim would like that.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A World of Heroes: Part Two (Abject Villainy!)

Part Two recounting characters and concepts for a superhero-verse created by an eight-year-old...

The Awesome Ones - from the previous post - are opposed on a global scale by an organization so evil, it can only be called --

THE LEAGUE OF SUPER-EVIL

Formed years ago as a foil for the Awesome Ones, the League of Super-Evil represents the ultimate villain team-up.  Although its roster has varied across the years, its central objective has not: to destroy the Awesome Ones (and take over the world and stuff).  A partial listing of their historic membership follows.

DEMON JOHN
The devil of the crossroads, promoted from tempting blues musicians, he now torments super-heroes.  Naturally he is a rival of Saint Dozen.  Demon John appears to be the big mystical baddie of this superverse.

MEXICO LEADER
Once a drug cartel enforcer, he manifested the ability to control minds and quickly rose in the ranks.  He runs both the cartels and (secretly) the government of Mexico using a secret identity.

PURE GORILLA
An albino gorilla (I can't make this stuff up), Pure Gorilla wishes to destroy everything he considers impure.  Which, of course, varies from day to day.  Obsessive, super-strong, and very dangerous.

PURPLE TIGER
Some sort of martial artist/assassin type.

MISTER UNIVERSE
He fell from the sky in a meteor-ship!  He has somewhat-vast cosmic powers!  He shoots star-energy from his fingertips!

BROWN LANTERN
(This could have gone way worse than it did)
"He's like Green Lantern, only he's brown.  And he summons dragons."
"Does he have Green Lantern's powers, but brown?"
"No, he has an old magic ring that's brown, which summons dragons."
"So he's nothing like Green Lantern at all."
"Well, his name is."

PERU MAN
Peru Man is from Peru (naturally); he can fly and shoot beams from his eyes and things.  That's about it.  Personally I imagine he has a mystic/ancient-alien origin and has Nazca lines all over his body like circuitry-tattoos or something, but that's all me, not the Boy.  And, full disclosure - when we play superheroes lately, I am typically assigned to be Peru Man.  Serious bias on my part.

IDAHO GHOST
"Idaho Ghost was a guy in Idaho who died but now he's a ghost and can walk through walls and levitate things with his mind but he's super angry about something so he does bad stuff."

SAINT ZERO
Saint Zero is the opposite number of Saint Dozen - a man who had all the potential for goodness sucked out of him.  Other than being unkillable, he has no superpowers, but commits many crimes and hurts people.  (The Boy is not familiar with the term "serial killer" but that's totally the vibe I get here).

KILLER SUNFLOWER
I don't have any details on this villain, but he/she/it sounds pretty horrifying.

FLUSHABLE BOY
A teenage lad who, via his remarkable ability to shapeshift into human waste and swim rapidly through water pipes, has made an underworld living as an assassin.  Think about that for a second.  Dude's an assassin who can come up through your toilet.  Ass-assin, I guess.

Next time: the wild card teams!  The nefarious New Land Gang, and the second-tier heroes of X-Encounter.

Friday, May 23, 2014

A World of Heroes: Part One

Not much going on in Wampus lately, so let's talk about spandex.

For the past several weeks, each day the Boy has come up with one or more superheroes or villains, which he insists we write down for him, each added properly to one of the hero- or villain-teams he has invented.  As weird as it all is - you can imagine the powers and names a nearly-nine-year-old might come up with, and I have so say I feel blessed only one character has fart-related powers - it's been intriguing watching him come up with things that are somewhat consistent, self-referential, etc.  He builds on what has come before, and things have their own sense of logic.

At first I was going to take some of his more outlandish heroes and villains and give them a fatherly "touch-up", as we sometimes do for Wampus content, but I think this time maybe the Boy's creations should stand on their own.  Thus, the beginning of this multi-post series covering his world of heroes.  We start with the greatest hero-team of all, the Awesome Ones; but soon enough we'll hit the villains and cover the Boy's first attempts to play Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP).  I have no idea if anyone but us will get any use out of these concepts, but it's certainly a walk through a kid's brain.

THE LEAGUE OF THE AWESOME ONES
The Awesome Ones are the world's premier superheroes, with a deep bench and a global reach.  They have secret bases all over the world, and travel between them using high-tech rocket-planes.  Below are listed a mixture of their current and original lineup.

SAINT DOZEN
The legendary Saint Dozen is perhaps the best-known and greatest-beloved superhero in the world.  In addition to being a skilled athlete, martial artist, and detective, he has been gifted the special abilities of twelve different saints, which he may use one at a time.  Saint Dozen can conjure flame, talk to animals, disappear and reappear [1], and heal others.  When Saint Dozen is around, other heroes defer to his experience and leadership.

DOCTOR EMERGENCY
Dr. Emergency's arrival at the scene of a crisis is a welcome sight; she possesses the heightened and combined abilities of a medical doctor, paramedic, police officer, and firefighter.

RAY COWBOY
Once a sheriff in the wild west, Ray Cowboy was abducted by aliens who experimented on him and left him in stasis in a desert cave.  When he awoke in the 21st-century, he had not aged, and had crazy robot eyes that gave him new senses and the ability to shoot death-rays from his eyes.  Now he fights crime in the modern day and tries to solve the mystery of the aliens and why they altered him.

SOCCER BOY
Formerly a professional Ukrainian soccer player, Soccer Boy has the ability to conjure and shoot powerful soccer balls from his mouth.

DEFENSE PATRIOT
Defense Patriot was injured in Afghanistan and medically discharged from the Marine Corps, but became an FBI agent.  While on an investigation, she witnessed the earthfall of the strange meteroid-ship which contained Mister Universe [2].  Bathed in the unearthly radiation and pollution of the meteroid gave Defense Patriot her armored skin and uncanny agility.

CAPTAIN AFRICA
Captain Africa is super-strong and can shoot strawberries from his eyes.  Little else is known of this mysterious hero.

S-MAN
The "S" stands for "stretch".  Every universe needs a stretchy guy.

BRITISH JAM
A bounty hunter, British Jam's ability to fly [3] has assisted him in tracking down many a criminal.

BURLINGTON
A young girl who knows many things and can think like a supercomputer.  There was some sort of weird accident and the entire population of Burlington, Vermont was vaporized, but their memories and part of their brainpower were transferred to this girl who was at the epicenter of the event.  Burlington speaks of herself in the third person plural, which is nice and creepy for a twelve-year-old.

KEY BOY
Born with the mystical ability to transform himself into a key which matches any door he touches.

Next Time:  we meet the world-beating, villainous membership of the League of Super-Evil!
---

[1] I am reliably informed that this power is not invisibility.  It sounds more like a delayed teleportation the way the kid describes it.

[2] A rather nasty villain.  We'll get to him in Part Two.

[3] Flight powers are waaay underrepresented in this universe relative to your bog-standard comic assumptions.  So far, anyway.  For all I know, tomorrow he'll come up with eight dudes who can fly.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Four Familiars

Lately a short work, On the Conjuration of Unique and Fashionable Familiars, has appeared in certain River-Town bookshops frequented by sorcerous types.  The author is listed as one Elsie Dodge, who my sources tell me is a wizardess of middling repute.  Miss Dodge's thaumaturgical researches, as detailed in the pamphlet, have yielded a few interesting twists to the summoning of familiars.  By following her instructions - which involve a convex mirrored surface and a peculiar arrangement of chess-pieces - while casting the standard 'Find Familar' conjuration, the creature that appears may be one of those described below (a d4 is acceptable).


BOROGOVE BIRD
A tall, stick-like bird which, in its stiller moments, might be taken for a mop due to its wild shock of dreadlock-like feathers, typically a bluish-grey; they also have notably large beaks.  The borogove is not suited for combat, or riding, or really much of anything, a flaw of which it is keenly aware, making it continually miserable and just awful to be around as it sighs deeply for attention.
Familiar Bonus: The miasma of depression and self-loathing which surrounds the borogove bird has a tendency to disrupt emotion-bending magic nearby; any sentient within ten feet of the borogove receives a +2 to all saves versus fear or emotional manipulation.  Also, should you ever need a sympathetic link to a dimension of para-elemental angst, the borogove is it.


TOVE
An early, lizard-like mammal from the dawn of time, the tove feeds by boring holes in cheese using its corkscrew-like proboscis; in some fancy extraplanar restaurants, toves are employed to make Swiss cheese.  Despite a fondness for time-pieces, the tove's chief attribute is its penchant for nimble activity, coupled with a naturally slimy, mucus-covered hide which makes it deucedly difficult to grab as it gimbles to and fro.
Familiar Bonus: The sorceror bonded to a tove receives a +2 on any rolls to escape grapples, wriggle out of manacles or rope, or anything else sufficiently Houdini-esque.


RATH
These small green piglets make a horrible wheezing, whistling, chuffing, screaming, whining sound basically all the time, and never seem to sleep.  Successfully owning a rath involves either deafness - itself an impediment for a wizard - or the cleverness required to figure out exactly what sort of inanimate object your particular rath wants to suck on as a pacifier; typically a certain kind of rock, a salad fork, left shoe, or other seemingly mundane thing.  The rath will happily suckle its chosen object in perpetuity, cuddling up in a near-fetal state, and not actually needing to be fed.  When the pacifier is removed, the rath will immediately resume its ridiculous cacophany.
Familiar Bonus: When the rath is outgrabing, sonic effects within thirty feet are partially countered, either giving targets +4 to resist (for save-able issues) or sometimes actually nullifying the spell entirely (an audible glamer, for example).


HUMPMONCULUS
This vaguely humanoid impling better resembles a chicken's egg in both shape and size; it bears a humanoid face, often sporting a wide grin or, alternately, a sour expression.
Familiar Bonus:  The wizard who is bonded with a humpmonculus may consult with it on matters of history or linguistics, providing a +2 to any rolls to that effect.  The GM should, however, roll a d20 each time the humpmonculus eggman is consulted; on a 1, the advice is completely rotten.

Painfully obvious, perhaps, what I'm currently reading to the Boy at bedtime.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tales from the Book of Aqueducts

Recently the Boy has been inventing countries...as longtime readers know, when the Boy is productive, his efforts are quickly transcribed, given a veneer of Daddy-dream, and added to the Wampus canon in some fashion or another.

THE BOOK OF AQUEDUCTS

The Book of Aqueducts is an ancient codex from the Long Ago which scholars believe predates the rise of Koz and perhaps dates back into shrouded antiquity.  Its actual age is difficult to pinpoint, for it has chief amongst its curious enchanted qualities the inconvenient yet amazing habit of rejiggering all of its illustrations to portray the characters as of the same species as the reader.  Thus, the Book of Aqueducts itself could perhaps come down to us from the Simian Era, or even the legendary Time of Owls - we may never know.  Historians and some wizards often read copies of the Book; the original is kept under lock and key, as a wondrous object and historical treasure.

The tome itself is oversized by today's standards, bound in the purple hide of an unknown extinct creature.  The cover bears no title; it is known as the Book of Aqueducts due to the small, geometric marginalia designs which feature on many pages, which resemble pipes or waterways not unlike those used during the time of the Peacock Throne, yet far more complex - more like tiny labyrinths.  Some scholars who have studied the original Book say the marginalia have a hypnotic quality in person, and may be some sort of living code or interplanar map, indecipherable to modern eyes attached to smaller brains.  Although several relatively faithful copies of the Book exist, only the original has "proper" enchanted illustrations every few pages which animate to tell the story and sometimes even change or add meaning to the written narrative which may vary depending on the reader.

"...discussing with dear Professor Plinst our favorite tales from the Book of Aqueducts, and of course I mentioned the Travails of Poom, specifically that wonderful illumination in which the beleaguered boy knight Poom draws a whistling-sabre and decapitates the Three-Eyed Baron.  Plinst recalled it differently, insisting that when he had read the same tale in the original codex, Poom was depicted strangling his foe and spitting upon the corpse.  Wishing to settle it as a bet of honor, I sent a letter to a mutual acquaintance who lived near the city where the Book was on tour that summer, instructing him to go and read that specific story and make note of the illustrations, but not alerting him to what Plinst and I expected to see.  Well, you can, no doubt, imagine what happened.  A month later I had a letter from my friend, describing the very satisfying animation of Poom defeating the Baron in a lengthy quarterstaff duel, while noting that the text itself merely says 'killed'.  There was no doubt then that the question was settled."  -- Harcourt Runcible

The frontispiece of the Book of Aqueducts depicts a continent unknown to man, and the endpapers yet another continent.  Both feature prominently in the tales within the book, and much scholarship has been spent analyzing whether the strange lands in the stories are intended to be representative or satirical of ancient city-states, to no consensus.  Some of the countries are obvious fairy-tale sorts of destinations which exist for a narrative purpose, or are merely a humorous mention within the flow of a story; others seem like plausible stand-ins for contemporary political rivals or a historical lesson valued by the authors.  Perhaps strangely, the maps do not change, as the other illustrations do.

Below, some notable places from the Book of Aqueducts:

The land of Norbread is ruled by a clever young Prince-Regent who defends his land against the rapacious Grand Duke of Hambonia in The Tale of Two Dead Brothers.  Norbread itself seems rather vanilla compared to some of the nations in the Book; it is primarily a long valley dotted with farms, known for its apple cider.

A Grand Duchy with a large standing army, Hambonia is the aggressor in more than one story, with stock phrases describing the waves of green-clad Hambonian soldiers pouring through breaches in city walls.  The people of Hambonia prostrate themselves before idols of a deity called the Celestial Pig, and their soldiers carry destructive man-powered firearms called blunderpipes, which are halfway between a blunderbuss and bagpipes.

Outsiders know the deserts of Bejje as a white sand waste where people live in very tall houses that stick up out of the sands like spikes.  As the desert is constantly shifting and rising like a tide, they must add more levels to their house every few years, and of course the lower levels are all buried by sand.

In the valley of Boggdoggle, nobody can stand a straight line, so everything is built and crafted in curves and circles and the people live in spherical houses.  The standard of beauty is such that it is quite advantageous to be very fat and as spherical as possible, a cultural feature which factors heavily into the plot of The Princess Who Was Cursed To Eat Only Butter.

The rocky badlands of Eepgato are populated by near-naked savages who ride great cats as steeds and drive humongous scarabs before them in battle; they are ruled by the cruel, immortal Pharaoh Kwaytunkhamun.  The Pharaoh beseeched his sorcerors and scientists to make him deathless, and they succeeded - but also drove him mad.  A distant cousin and legitimate heir to the crown, the Princess With Blue Hair, hides in exile amongst the barbarians of the dunes, biding her time to regain the throne.

The many baronies of Pleplackia are now united as a single republic, having previously been one kingdom, and before that, squabbling city-states.  The beneficent guidance of King Moofus II - now Prime Minister Moofus - has been a stabilizing influence on an area once riven by sectarian conflict, as told in The Story of Six Wandering Knights and alluded to in Poor Little Ashen-Tongue.

The city of Naupiqistan is said to be invisible unless you're inside its walls, but surely that is where any curious traveler would wish to be.  At the center of Naupiquistan's red-cobbled streets lies the Unknown Library, which contains a thousand mysterious books which seem blank unless read by moonlight, in a mirror.  Each page of one of these books contains a secret which no-one knows; and once you read the page, it disappears, for now someone knows the secret.  Sadly one cannot then learn a second secret, for all the books of the Unknown Library will be blank to your eyes forevermore.

There are a great many other nations mentioned in the Book of Aqueducts, from the mountaintop abbeys of Eeglopolis, populated by balloon-people, to the floating casino-island of Lobster City.  No doubt debate as to whether these lands are real or imagined will continue long into the future.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Super-Exciting News - On the Way to the Printer!

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that the adventure I've been working on these past few months is headed to the printer right this very minute!  We all wanted the first published bit of Wampus Country to be something really special, and this surely is it.

Fetid Curse of Baron Fuckula is a 32-page old-school super-lethal adults-only adventure dealing with the return to (un)life of the most nefarious sodomy-vampire ever to walk the worlds.  This is a no-holds-barred, heavy death sludge-metal, absolutely gonzo, ridiculously twisted adventure sure to make your players convulse with some strange admixture of joy and revulsion.  Once your PCs are in the dastardly, moist clutches of Baron Fuckula and his transgressively-shaped minions, your campaign will never be the same.  Only the most adult and metallic metal-adults will survive the grisly revelations of the Viscous Looking-Glass!  The adventure includes a small hexcrawl map detailing the Throbbing Hills, as well as a fold-out, full color map of the ruins of the Flaccid Tower, and an envelope so that you can send me your character sheets when instructed to do so by this groundbreaking adventure.  As soon as I have a proof in hand, you'll have pictures of the interior, which features some amazing art that's chock full of semi-naked people doing horrible things to one another which may or may not have anything to do with the adventure itself.  Have no fear, the whole shebang is dual-statted for LotFP and FATAL.  Look out, ENnies, here we come!

Remember, I'm not a writer, I'm a 'creative'.