Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Legends of Law: Von Hoff

 Wampus Country has had its share of heroes, both in antiquity and in the modern era, but perhaps none is held up as the flower of knighthood quite as much as the crusading paladin known as Von Hoff.

During the last days of the Peacock Throne, as that great empire and its rivals all crumbled into smaller, warring kingdoms, Von Hoff made his name as a swordsman and scion of Law.  It is said he began his career as a healer and hospitaller but soon took to errant deeds, plunging himself into those lawless border regions and taking on subhumans, trolls, criminal syndicates, and the like with equal glee.  His famous steed was an immense black tiger, gifted to him by the Lost Gods of the Sixty-Sixth Path (who were less Lost in those days, we imagine).  This red-eyed beast, more intelligent than most men, served as Von Hoff's battle-companion for many years; they say the tiger could leap incredible distances.

At some point, Von Hoff departed from the blasted Painlands and resettled in what is today Trident Bay.  There he built a watchtower and recruited a retinue of crimson-cloaked heroes to watch over the bay.  Again, an entire region was kept safe due to Von Hoff's vigilance.  Von Hoff and his Watch staved off more than one incursion of hostile fish-men and crab-men; the paladin himself was awarded an enchanted trident by some deity of the sea.  Legend tells us that this legendary trident - today known to sorcerers as Tempest-tide- holds within it a fragment of Von Hoff's mind, and perhaps his musical talent as well.  The weapon is held, alongside others of similar puissance, within Old Man Hut-Tep's lethal museum deep underneath the mountain peak called Smokestack Lightning.

Von Hoff's resting-place is unknown; some have suggested it is deep within an eerie tower - perhaps his original watchtower - which rises from the sea every seven years, off the coast in Trident Bay.  Local tales offer the possibility that, should the fish-men once again rise to attack the dry lands, Von Hoff himself will climb out of his tomb to repel them.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Cosmic Connections

 My fellow wizards, adventuring-frontiersmen, and priests of suitable repute - we have gathered here today in this dubious saloon to cogitate.  To place together our mighty brains, and come up with a solution, a path, a strategy to confront that which is ailing our beloved Wampus Country.

As you all well know, for several years now, fell things have been on the rise.

Nine years past, the deviltry of Hell and its cruel representatives here - that nefarious association known as the Web - attempted to secure the so-called Egg of the Phoenix.  Thankfully, they were foiled. [1]

Eight years ago, the archdevil Fyvee invaded our realm with his retinue of fashionably evil spawn.  Praise the petty gods, he was mostly repulsed. [2]

Since that time, we have not been so lucky.  The unearthing of the Eye of the Leviathan has brought woe to the land.  Evil stirs.  Dark shadows grow long - and bold.  Chaotic creatures not seen since cave paintings gallop across the land.  [3]

In Snollygoster Swamp, the pig-men beat war drums and sing the songs of their god, Porcus.  They have been so bold as to murder and kidnap some of the elders of the frog folk.  [4] There are rumors that even now, they capture and tame snollygosters as beasts of war, awaiting a signal from beyond.

North, in the Snowdeeps, civil war continues among the giant tribes.  That ongoing conflict has occasionally spilled into our own green lands, with destruction in its wake. [5]

Our sources in the east report an army, gathered across the desert, has marched nearly to the edge of the Badlands, and may soon be upon us in Thistlemarch and River-Town, if it so wishes.  At the head of this army, they say, stands a mysterious dark magician. [6]

And now, the seers and augurists paint a bleak picture.  Many of them see the same sorts of images - a war in the heavens, a black blade, a feathered serpent.  We do not yet know what it means.  But we must presume we are on the brink of a very dark age here in Wampus Country.

A very dark age indeed.

This kind of thing is going on constantly.


1.  It's true, in 2013 the Rat-House Bastards and some allies played through an adaptation of the module Egg of the Phoenix.  The artifact itself was given to witches for disposal.  Where it now sits...no PCs know.

2. It's true!  In 2014 an archdevil and his warbands pierced the Midnight Sea and arrived in Wampus Country.  Thankfully only a handful of tieflings survived the incursion and subsequent battles.

3. Also true.  The Company of the Black Pearl marched around Wampus Country with an artifact that increased and attracted Evil Stuff for several years.  Lots of goat-men on the rise, and chaotic minotaurs to boot.  Rumblings about a dark Hoofed God.

4. Super true.  Happened during a Wampus Country session run at Hoffcon; luckily the PCs managed to rescue the frogfolk priestess Big Mama Mumu from the clutches of the porcs.

5. Certainly true.  The Critter Gitters in 2021 dealt with some of the fallout of a giant power struggle caused by something the Rat-House Bastards did in 2012.

6. Truly true.  The Critter Gitters watched the beginnings of this army form over a year ago but did not intercede at the time.