Monday, November 30, 2009

Chapter 10, Part 2: "The Long, Hard Walk of Shame"

Dickie Dee - Bone Man Intoxicant Addict and Sorcerer
Rodan the Scrounger - Zermish Man Scavenger and Fighting-Man
Thragg the Skyman - Zermish Man Ornithopter Passenger and Fighting-Man
Xarnagan Vrokk - Haasht Man Fighting-Sage

Two Nguamodons - Pack Lizards

Part I Here.

The quartet of miserable survivors huddle with the grunting, spooked nguamodons in a makeshift camp, engulfed by the moldy, white, thick, cold fog of the Forbidden Mist Valley. They somberly confer over sparse rations before cautiously retracing their steps up out of the mist to the multi-colored pastel chalk cliff where so many of their companions died the previous day.

The ledge with the tunnels bears the signs of battle, pools of dried blood, scattered weaponry, but no bodies aside from the cactus carcass of Kalervo the cactoid. Thragg the Skyman shows previously unseen initiative and seizes the magic two-handed sword of the Shunned Ones (possessing three valience shells!) and Vrroomish's sleek silvery needler pistol while the others examine Kalervo's body.

Rodan the Scrounger uses his rare treasure, the Eye of Restoring Life, and Kalvervo suddenly comes to, restored to life with all his injuries fully healed, and staggers to his stumpy feet, forever drained a measure of his vitality from his experience in the realms of Thantos. The party gathers the remaining weapons, Rodan disappointed by the lack of a certain gleaming bronze battle axe, and they scurry a short distance up the trail leading higher into the mountains.

They have a desperate council of war. Although Dickie Dee the Bone Man Sorcerer has prepared multiple somnolent incantations, Thragg and Rodan are sorely wounded by the misadventures of the previous day. Although they presume that the remaining bird-things lurking in the tunnels took the remains of their deceased companions into their lair, and that if they could find even scraps of the slaughtered adventurers they could use the Eye of Restoring Life to bring them back to life, fully healed, they have no idea how many bird-thing lurk within the tunnels. Thrag repeatedly proposes that the tunnels lead to a city of the bird-things and votes that they immediately leave.

The party, for the most part regretfully, heads up the trail into the Bornite Mountains, and make for Jakay, staggering with wounds and low on food.

In the afternoon of the fifth day afterward they stagger out of the sweltering red oxide dust of the Rust Desert into Jakay, Rodan and Thragg clad in filthy, festering bandages, the entire party gaunt, exhausted and thirsty, the two pack lizards dragging their tails and mournfully grunting.

The Sorcerer and the Sage confer with the local Sorcerer, purchase some stimulants (Golden Ocher Lotus Nectar Tea) and spell enhancers (rounded, dull lead-gray pills of Sorcerers Silver), and rejoin their remaining companions at the Bronze Engine, where Rodan is drowning his guilt in gin while a multicolored band of Algol Man bohemians play cold, funky alien krautrock-analgoue.

Planet Algol Race/Class - The Lilim


Intelligence 10, Dexterity 10, Charisma 15, female gender, must be of non-lawful alignment.

The Lilim are a synthetic race created as pleasure-slaves by an extinct race of Ancients. As they were sorcerously engineered to stimulate the jaded appetites of a advanced, decadent race, some have very striking appearances. Lilim have the entire range of coloration and texture of their bodily features available to the Human race, both Earth Men and Algol Man. One Lilim could appear to be an ordinary Earth Woman; another could be hairless, with with garishly patterned scaled skin and bushy silver hair.

The Lilim have the abilities of the Houri class (see White Dwarf issue #13), although Lilim with a Strength of 15 may be multiclass Fighting-Women/Houri and Houri with a Dexterity of 15 may be Thief/Houri multiclass. One important difference from the Houri as originally presented is that they are not limited to the dagger, although they may not use their Houri abilities in any armor.

Lilim reproduce parthenogenically, by means of laying a large egg. The appearance of the egg varies wildly, dependent upon the coloration and so forth of the young Lilim it contains. It takes several years for a Lilim egg to hatch, and the eggs are tough and fairly temperature resistant. When it egg hatches it disgorges a tiny version of a full-grown Lilim. The smaller form of the Lilim are called Ymplins; they grow and mature at a far more rapid rate than Humans.

Chapter 10, Part 1: "Carnage of the Pastel Cliff"

Buzz Brazelhatch - Australian Womanizer and Fighting-Man
Corporal "Radar" O'Reiley - Earth Man Rocketship Soldier
Dickie Dee - Bone Man Intoxicant Addict and Sorcerer
Kal-Mor the White Jackal - Hyperborean Bigot and Assassin
Kalervo - Cactoid Fighter
Monster Monagin - Earth Man Sailor and Bully
Rodan the Scrounger - Zermish Man Scavenger and Fighting-Man
Thragg the Skyman - Zermish Man Ornithopter Passenger and Fighting-Man
Xarnagan Vrokk - Haasht Man Fighting-Sage

Hobab - Lhoyg (piebald) Mountain Man and Guide
Vrroomish - Tikalg Man Dandy and Adventurer
Two Nguamodons - Pack Lizards

Part II Here.

It is night in a range of sleek iridescent mountains with a river of dense white mist running through them. To the west the skies are afire with throbbing ribbons of nauseating green and violet light and in the sky are two moons, one a large cratered silvery disc and the other a smaller greyish-golden hazy mass.

There is a rude camp one one of the less severe slopes of one mountain's flank, a short distance above the massive river of cold white fog. Two stand watch over the handful of men and the two snorting, twitching pack lizards, one a green-skinned wastelander with a ruthless, practical air and the other a teenage earthling with wire-rimmed glasses and a silver prosthetic nose who appears apprehensive and jittery. Rodan the Scrounger and Corporal 'Radar" O'Reily, the latter formerly of the Scout Rocket Alpha.

First the blazing Fire Demon lights ups the eastern mountains and the sleeping men stir, aside for two, Kal-Mor the White Jackal and the Australian Buzz Brazelhatch, the latter of which has a pillow clenched over his head.

While the others rouse the nguamodons, brew tea, eat a meager meal of trail fare, examine their weaponry and harness, the two continue to slumber until all three suns are above the peaks of the eastern mountains.

Hobab the piebald, hairless grizzled mountain guide's head is swathed in an a turban of rude, bloody bandages which provokes snickering from a certain Australian when he awakens.

There is a brief heated debate, as one or two madmen propose exploring the Vaults of Eternity while in it's vicinity, but the saner members of the party bring up the pitiable state of the party's supply of provender as well as the barren nature of the terrain and the unappetizing nature of it's inhabitants. At that point Kalervo the Cactoid and Rodan the Scrounger regret leaving behind the bodies of the feathered and scaled hawkoids that attacked the party yesterday instead of harvesting their meat.

The party determines to continue their journey for Jakay and harass Hobab regarding maintaining a due southeast heading across the Forbidden Mist Valley below as they set forth. It takes two days to descend into the valley and ascend the mountains across it's far shore, the party takes their heading from the suns and stars and determine that they are located directly north of their destination, Jakay, and there is much fellowship and good cheer.

The next morning Vrroomish the downy, gray Tikalg dandy brews some strong, spicy tea and fortifies it with dollops of brandy in celebration of their successful crossing. Glad to be on their way out of the horrid mountains the party sets forth southwards up and down and across the winding ridges and ledges and canyons and passes and valleys of the mountains and as they come around a curve on a ledge at the end of their days journey they see the Forbidden Mist Valley lying below and before them.

The is much cursing and abuse hurled at Hobab as the angry companions make camp on a wide ledge. Hobab angrily pleads ignorance of the trails of this region of the mountains and argues that someone else should than lead the way tomorrow. Buzz happily takes the offer and the next day the party backtracks a short distance before heading southwards up and down narrow trails through steep gullies and over piles of boulders and as Buzz crests a ridge at the end of the days journey, the rest of the party trailing behind, he sees the Forbidden Mist Valley lying before and below him.

As his foot comes down on the crest, it dislodges a small coppery-purple rock which begins bounding down the slope below him, which is composed of multi-hued pastel toned pale, soft stone like chalk. The shiny pebble continues to bound and skip down onto a ledge in the steeply sloping chalk cliffside. In the setting triple sunslight Buzz believes he sees several tunnels or caves in the cliffside ledge and calls up Xarnagan Vrokk, the fighting-sage, whom, with his keen eye for geographic features, determines that they look unnatural.

The party decides to forgo berating Buzz in lieu of descending to the tunnels and making a brief inspection regarding their suitability as a cozy, secure campsite. When they are a short distance from the ledge Kal-Mor glances up at the ridge they descended from, a habitual assassin's trait, and sees two vague pink, blobby forms, indistinct due to their distance and the poor light of the dying rays of the setting suns, but hushed cries of "Vat-Men!" pass through the party as they crouch under the sparse cover of the pastel chalk slope and rush for the trail descending down to the ledge below.

The two nguamodons are secured after they descend to the ledge and the party makes a secure formation before heading forward to examine the tunnels carved into the pale pink, sea-foam green, baby blue, lilac, and other tones of the chalk cliffside. Xarnagan Vrokk notices fluffy white matter on ground, white feathers dusted with the pastel dust of the cliff, before the five or six tunnels disgorge a small horde of a dozen or so bipedal, albino, bird-men with horrid talons for hands and colored in clashing war-paint of pastel colored chalk.

Hobab is quickly torn asunder by the bird-man claws as they shriek and caw cries that sound like chantings of "Doom!" and assail all flanks of the party. Weapons lash forth and adventurers are repeatedly wounded by cruel talons as a fierce battle rages. Dickie Dee the transparent-fleshed Bone Man Sorcerer crouches in the center of the mass of battling defenders as he chants an incantation before one flank of the avianoid attackers falls asleep. The party makes short work of the remaining bird-things while Vrroomish and Buzz slaughter their unconscious brethren, and soon they are bandaging wounds and discussing further plans.

They return to their pack lizards in order to refresh themselves and look up the trail to see two forgotten blobby pink forms, most definitely brothers of the Vat-Man beneath the Serpent Man ruins, a short distance away.

The two nguamosdons are abandoned as the party scrambles down the ledge in a confused rush. The pack lizards briefly distract the two blubbery, infant-like vat-men, one of which bears a corroded ancient sword, the other a fancy glimmering bronze axe. However the reptiles manage to rush away bearing slight injuries and the vat-men continue to advance.

Kal-Mor the White Jackal ducks into one of the tunnels, presses against the wall and begins to quietly slink into it's depths. Others grab the halter's of the nguamodons and make for a descending trail at the far end of the ledge. The remainder attempt to form a battle line, but Monster Monagin is separated and engaged by one as the chaos of melee erupts, many of the combatants staggering and faint from the bloody wounds inflicted by the bird-men.

Kalervo the Cactoid swings Gan-ron's silver needle sword as he takes the shimmering bronze battle axe to his face and falls, spasming and drumming his stumpy heels as sap oozes out of his shattered wooden cranium.

The party rains steel, missiles and laserfire upon the two vat-men, but their wounds continue to close up as they press their idiotic, bumbling assault and the one with the sword breaks off the tip off it in Monster Monagin's shoulder as he retreats only to be gutted by the axebearer, which has just staved in the face of the teenaged Radar O' Reiley.

Horrid cawings of "Doom! Doom!" erupt from the tunnels along with the high pitched shrieking of Kal-Mor, who sounds like he is being torn apart. This infernal cacophony only lasts briefly, but serves as suitable accompaniment to the sight of Buzz Brazelhatch, his hair aflame from a stray laser blast, fumbling with blood-slicked hands for a magic sword lying amidst the carnage, being soundly decapitated by the gleaming axe of a vat-man.

Vrroomish, who had been staying back and firing swarms of needler darts at the synthetic monstrosities, draws his slender, basket-hilted sword and strikes a defensive posture as he shouts for the remainder of the party to flee.

As the survivors rush down the chalk trail into the cold white fog of the Forbidden Mist Valley, some look back and see Vrroomish gallantly battle before he is run through. The Tikalg Man writhes on the blade before the other vat-man smashes his head into a wet mess with one mighty blow before the damp, moldy white fog begins to obscure the survivors' vision.

The party, exhausted and, for the most part, sorely wounded, makes camp after fleeing for a prudent period. As they make preparations for the night the silence of the thick, cold mist is broken by echoing cries from above, the sounds of idiotic, infantile bellowing and cries of "Doom! Doom!" The bellowing quickly become agonized moans before both sounds cease.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Additional Commentary Regarding "Total Freaking Bloodbath"

Although it was a completely unplanned piece of random sandbox happenstance, the (American) Thanksgiving Weekend Planet Algol Campaign Session saw implications that the carcasses of dead player characters were being feasted upon by avians...

The Android Vaults

Manufactured by a lost race of the Ancients, there are said to be several Android Vaults buried in the crust of Planet Algol.

The Android Vaults are technological havens of shining glassteel, slick white plasticrete, tasteful ornamental fountains and foliage, smoothly gliding slidewalks and escalators, balconies, mezzanines, malls, galleries, arcades, crystal monoliths, abstract sculptures, light art, and attractive disembodied voices making proclamations from hidden speakers.

The inhabitants, the Vault Androids, look like slender, attractive, tanned yet fair-complexioned Earth Man caucasians of a distinctly "seventies" appearance with feathered hair and silver jumpsuits or vaguely athletic wear. They are manufactured, inorganic robots who appear to human unless injury reveals their metal innards.

The Android Vaults are sparsely populated by the Vault Androids, who engage in scientific research, artistic pursuits, reconnasince of the outside world, as well as frequent military training and patrols to protect the Android Vaults and to keep the vault's locations secret.

There is also a minority population of true humans, the Vault Men, who are identical in appearance to the Vault Androids. However as opposed to the Vault Androids, they live a life of pampered leisure, blunting the ennuni of their pointless existance with nonprocreative sex, synthetic intoxicants, all varieities of games, extravagent fashions, and artistic pursuits which seem clumsy and childish compared to the solemn majesty of the Vault Android art.

These Vault Men are the wards of the Vault Androids. When the civilization responsible for the Android Vaults fell some of the survivors fled to the vaults. In the high tech haven of the vaults the survivors were pampered by the facilities while the android wardens did all of the "heavy lifting," over the eons the Vault Men degenerated into the equivalent of an exhibit in a Earth museum or zoo.

Today's Session: Total Freaking Bloodbath

Hobab the NPC Scapegoat/Guide Lhoyg Man - Clawed to death by albino bird-men.

Kal-Mor the White Jackal, Hyperborean Assassin - Retreated in the darkness of a cave to escape the vat-men, was torn apart in the pitch black by albino bird-men.

Kalervo the Cactoid - Had his head split by the magic axe of a vat-man, was resurrected by the Eye of Restoring Life.

Monster Monagin Earth Man Fightin' Sailor - slain by a vat-man.

Corporal Radar O'Reiley Earth Man Rocket Soldier - cut down by vat-men, bled to death.

Buzz Brazelhach Australian Adventurer and Captain of the Party - Hewn down by vat-men after having his hair burned off by a stray laser blast.

Vrroomish the NPC Dandy Adventurer Tikalg Man - Run through by a vat-man before another stove in his head with a magic axe while making a gallant last stand so the party could escape.
The remaining party members are now hunkered down in the safety of Jakay, looking for more muscle and plotting the recovery of their dead companions remains, wealth and magic items from tunnels dug into a cliff of pastel chalk in the Bornite Mountains...

Great Classes From Older White Dwarfs

I managed to access a bunch of old issues of White Dwarf, and I found them chock full of great D&D content: monsters from science fiction; AD&D space travel rules; and some truly inspired character classes based on pulp fantasy archetypes.

The Houri (issue #13) and the Black Priest (issue #22) are both straight out of the pages of REH/CAS. The Houri is a subclass of the magic-user with powers of seduction and supernatural manipulation (especially males), as well as a grab bag of assorted appropriate powers such as impotence curses.

The Black Priest is an evil cleric subclass without the plate mail and holiness. They have the abilities to move silently, hide in shadows, garrote unsuspecting victims. They can use any one-handed melee weapon, but have penalties with swords and bonuses with daggers. They have penalties with any ranged attack aside from the one throwing knife they carry. They can call on their supernatural patrons and summon monsters, the effectiveness dependent upon their history of tithes/sacrifices to the evil powers they serve.

I find both classes exceptional attempts at genre emulation, and will be using both in my Planet Algol campaign. I am especially motivated to use the Houri as a PC class due to the Wilderlands Houri race and the Doxy of Encounter Critical, never mind the hilarity of a male player using a supernatural hoochie-mama character.

Planet Algol Music - Skullflower

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Silver Suited SIrens of the Nuclear Wasteland

File Under Others Saying It Better Than I Ever Could...

Courtesy of James at Grognardia:

"...I have several possibilities in my mind -- that's the job of a good referee, after all -- but I don't favor one over the others and, even if I did, the X factors of player choice and the randomness of dice militate against my being able to ensure that any one possibility happens "as it should."

All of this is a long-winded way of agreeing with Rich Marshall's comment that "The advocates of pre-scripted storylines believe that without predetermined ends, overarching stories are impossible. They believe that if you allow the players' actions to create the story, chaos will ensue instead and no story will be possible." I am not in the slightest opposed to the idea that even old school RPGs include "story." Rather, I believe old school gaming generates stories -- many stories -- through play rather than through explicit referee planning beforehand. I can pretty much guarantee that, if I had a different group of players, the campaign would currently be quite different, if only because their dice rolls would have led to different outcomes and thus different decisions in response to them. That imaginary alternate campaign would likely have different stories and, to my mind, that's as it should be...."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Jackal vs Big Baby, Two Excellent Random Tables and Some Great Monsters

Kal-Mor Meets The Vat-Man

"...a deformed head like an unwholesome parody of a human baby, the features tiny and clustered around the center of the vast idiot face..."

Illustration by Lester/B. Portly

Vat-Man stats available Here courtesy of the Dungeon Master of the World of Athanor. However, I believe they originated in Thool.


Random Pulpy Planetary Romance Plot Generation Tables courtesy of Athanor.


Random Sword & Sorcery Drug Generation Tables courtesy of Yoon-Suin.

Both of the above were cut & pasted into my own supplemental referee manual.

Weird Fantasy Monsters and Martian Monsters from Beyond the Black Gate, the Grey Gulper and the Grook are my favorites.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chapter 9, Part 4: "Knives With Wings..."

Part I Here, Part II Here, Part III Here.

The party recovers from Xarnagan Vrokk's disgusting exposition regarding the Vat-Man lurking in the chamber below and resolve to destroy it. With blades and sidearms drawn the party rushes down the spiraling sloped corridor and attacks the lumbering, idiotic, visaged synthetic abomination which has recovered it's jagged metal club.

Halberds and swords slash at it's flesh while Vrroomish repeatedly fires bursts of tiny needles (which produces a soft whirring sound) that continue to miss the Vat-Man; one volley glancing off the Cactoid Kalervo's new splint mail harness. However the thing's wounds continue to close up entirely.

With quick shouts the party resolves to make one more round of attacks before fleeing, however the being dissolves into a mass of reeking overripe pink jelly, watery sticky plasma, and rubbery bones after the next volley of strikes.

Wounds are tended and the companions cautiously explore the chamber, aiming for the source of the nauseating pulsating pink glow that permeates the subterranean vault. Approximately halfway through the mass of bizarre alien machinery an ancient, slumped metal shelf filled with mouldering tomes is spotted.

Xarnagan rushes forth only to have the grimoires fall apart into dust at his touch. Among the piles of dust four objects are found, all bearing spidery glyphs: a green stone tablet, a silvery disk, a tiny black monolith, and an amber globe with sigils floating in it's depths. The sage and Dickie Dee the Bone Man Sorcerer examine the artifacts and determine that a simple glyph deciphering incantation would determine their properties. The two resolve to prepare and use the appropriate magicks at the first safe opportunity.

The party proceeds to the far end of the chamber and discovers the source of the unsettling lurid illumination: a pool of seething glowing pink flesh, writhing with the suggestions of monstrous malformed foetal forms. Several conduits and pipes of coppery metal run along the wall and the floor, many going to the varied sorcerous mechanisms in the vault.

The party is mostly unenthused by this discovery and many are visibly ill at the sight. They leave the chamber, travel up the spiraling tunnel, leave the black basalt Serpent Man ruins, and head off down the iridescent purple, green and coppery mountainside southeast towards the Forbidden Mist Valley.

Several hours of hard trudgery later a horrid cawing is heard and several of the companions are slashed by the sudden appearance of vicious hooked beaks and talons attached to gray and red feathered hawk-like avians with yellow scaled bellies and heads. There are less of the hawk-things than party members and the raptorians seem relentless in their attacks upon their initial targets.

Buzz Brazelhatch is spared the avian harassment and takes in the situation. He begins guffawing with cruel amusement at the sight of the battered black-and-white bald head of the mountain guide Hobab streaked with blood from the talons in his scalp. As the scaled hawkoid shrieks and flaps it's wings it continues to yank at Hobab's scalp with it's embedded claws while striking at his head with it's knife-like beak. Buzz Brazelhatch swings his sword at it halfheartedly, hoping to strike Hobab instead, but is repeatedly dissapointed.

Soon the flying predators are slain, although many of the adventurers bear fresh bloody gashes, and the party staggers battered and exhausted down the steep cold slope of the Bornite Mountains.

What adventure or misfortune awaits them next?

Chapter 9, Part 3: "The Subterranean Vault..."

Part I Here, Part II Here, Part IV Here.

Xarnagan Vrokk, the purple-scaled Haasht Man Fighting-Sage has just finished explaining Buzz Brazelhatch's nightmare regarding Serpent Men, mass human sacrifice and the gigantic primeval cyclopean structure, the ruins of which the party made camp within the previous eve.

Kal-Mor the White Jackal, Hyperborean Assassin and Algol Man Supremist, finds Xarnagan's explanation of the origin of humanity as created spell components of the Elder Race of Serpent Men story both offensive and preposterous and loudly exclaims so before stalking off in a huff to again climb the ruined walls and view their surroundings.

Unrolling a sheet map made of thin, tough, flexible metal he alternates between examining it and scanning the panorama of iridescent mountains and fog-choked valleys. With the aid of the map in his hands and shouted communications with the rest of the party, it is determined that they are near the peak of a ridge of the Bornite Mountains that lies between two sections of the Forbidden Mist Valley. To the northwest the western arm of the Forbidden Mist Valley terminates at the location of the Vaults of Eternity, a complex of crypts reputed to contain miles of tunnels, gates to other worlds, and a Primordial-One Lich and several other undead and inhuman sorcerers who wage war upon each other in the depths.

To the southeast lies the main body of the Forbidden Mist Valley. If they were to cross it, climb the Bornite Mountains, and then head southwards they could make it to the civilized safety and comforts of Jakay. Hearing this, Buzz Brazelhatch is agitated due to an overabundance of masculine humours and proposes that they make for Jakay posthaste. Others want to explore the vast black basalt ruins and soon the party is cautiously wandering through canyons of tumbled, broken hexagonal blocks and pillars interspersed with better preserved sections less mauled by the talons of the eons.

At one such area Xarnagan Vrokk notices something familiar about a towering basalt wall's architechture. Examination reveals a smoothly pivoting secret door, of huge proportions, and a large tunnel of smooth fused stone spiraling down at a modest grade.

The green phosphorecent glow of chemical illuminants reflect off the slick walls of the large tunnel as the party cautiously explores. Although the tunnel is featureless, after several turns a faint pulsating pink glow is espied further down the passageway.

Kal-Mor offers to scout and stealthily descends. The throbbing pink illumination increases and the Hyperborean Assasin soon finds it nauseating, his vision blurring and distorting at a distance.

The tunnel soon opens up into a massive subterranean chamber. Although the disgusting throbbing pink light makes the dimensions of the vast cavity ambiguous, it seems to be circular, with a concave ceiling, and the light's orgin is located at the floor level of the far end of the chamber.

Kal-Mor is unable to discern what the light source is, as the floor of the chamber is littered with various structures, ranging from large to titanic in scale, mostly composed of smooth coppery tubing weaved in vaguely organic branches. Sprouting out of the tops and sides of diverse tanks of the same metal are irregularly shaped organs or fruits, interspersed with huge crystal rods or prisms, blocks and monoliths encrusted with glyphs, and other mechanisms of a sinister and sorcerous alien bent.

At the nearest such structure Kal-Mor spies a malformed lumpy and blubbery manlike form, currently looking in the opposite direction. The Hyperborean smoothly glides forward and sinks his swordknife into the approximate location of the being's kidney. He finds the lumpy, rubbery skin resistant to being pierced but manages to drive the blade deep.

With an arm-jerking wrench he withdraws the blade only to see the wound heal before his eyes as the thing turns around revealing a deformed head like an unwholesome parody of a human baby, the features tiny and clustered around the center of the vast idiot face. It brings up a rude club of splintered metal and swings it at Kal-Mor, but the strike is clumsy, easily dodged and the crude bludgeon slips out of the being's hand before it loses balance, totters and falls on the ground.

Kal-Mor takes advantage of the opportunity as the manlike lump struggles to it's trunk-like legs and dashes out the chamber and up the sloping spiral tunnel to rejoin the party.

After the breathless asassin heaves out a description of the creature. Xarnagan exclaims that it must be a Vat-Man, a synthetic being created by necromancers in subterranean laboratories from flesh-vats. Kal-Mor considers the implied implications within the context of the Haasht Man Sage's explanation of Buzz's nightmare and is unsettled.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Get Lizard To Ride!"

"The unwholesome freak was neither ape, nor goat, nor lizard, but a blasphemous, giant, one-eyed, hybrid of all three."

- B. Portly Esq.

A revised cactoid featuring the correct number of digits by Robin Ruddock and Fat Cotton

The deceased Texan adventurer Dude Earthman, by Fat Cotton. Good to see that 3.5 character sheet being useful...

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Expeditionary Journal of Xarnagan Vrokk: The Man Who Fell from the Sky and Other Important Events

This day finds us in nary a better place than the last. This misty valley is starting to wear on us. Our faith in Hobab has been stifled and shuttered out, as near as our spirits will allow. I scribe this as he and Vroomish argue relentlessly over the most viable option of securing proper positioning for the night. I care not where we rest our hapless heads as long as it is a dry place! Kalervo the cactoid, sensing Vroomish's plans to be the most practical, stomps past me now, his sodden and swollen limbs thudding through the moss claiming he can smell the nearest dryness. In fact, I do believe he has....

Ah yes. Now, a fire I do find in front of me, and a soggy bottom behind. As the night darkens around us, I am now making out the curious and ominous glow of that invidious Stain there in the sky above. Well, at least we now know what direction we are facing. My goodness, a spent sage am I. To the ground I pledge my body for to slumber, to the stars I send my mind to ramble!


I have bird blood on my hands. I do believe I have stained this page now with more than memory. The following events have proven mildly fortuitous, and most effectually stimulating for the faculties. Oh, the remarkable and peculiar events I have observed!

Nowhere better to put your foot than first ahead, followed by the other.

We begin as we last found us, by the fire, only this time morning, our heads smelling of cinder and our eyes feeling like cooked coal. In a moment of inspiration to raise our spirits Vroomish offered us all some of his special spiced Brandy, which was most appealing. This fore-suredly allowed our souls to rise to yet another sun, and another day of Hobab claiming he could find this, as of yet unclaimed, rocket-ship full of riches. Oh, the energy weapons he claims we could all possess! I know I am not a particularly violent man, but I can respectfully say I would not turn down the chance to use an energy weapon in order to warm myself by a Hobab-shaped fire come this next eve.

Gathering ourselves together we set off for higher ground in hopes of a better view of our situation. We find after some time we are indeed ascending, something. Not long after, the mist clears, and we see we are definitely climbing a goodly foothill of the Bornites. It was then that a most curious humming and thrumming was heard from above. A large bird-shaped Ornithopter screamed over our heads and disappeared higher up the hill. With a resounding explosion, and a rather brilliant blast of orange, the machine dug its grave in the hillside. Scrambling as we could toward the craft, we began to see it contained the forms of two beings. Upon further inspection one was indeed alive. Tangled in the frontice-piece of the brass-bird vehicle, slumped amongst the mesh, was a Zermish man with a rather conical helmet. Being bruised and battered as he was, Vroomish ran up to him with a brimming cup of brandy only to be knocked away by the bone-man Dickie Dee. The Dee, clacking his oddly prominent jaw, insisted that the fallen one be tended to first, then have his vitals restored by brandy. Once roused by such means the man identified himself as Thragg, the Sky Man. A confused look seemed to permeate the man's demeanor (most likely a knock on the head jostled his interior files. I reckon he will return to his full faculties in a few days and be able to recall how abouts he landed in such a fashion here on this now haunted hillside), and he continually clutched to his spear. Fiercely.

Not long after this we are rewarded to see that we are up the side of a mountain proper. That unforgettable shifting and shimmering luster of bornite greeted us once again. With this clear, mistless view Hobab now claimed he could see markings in the distance that alerted him to the fact that we were most likely but ten miles away from the fabled rocket ship of scientific systems and potent paraphernalia. In our best interest, we camp here several nights, regaining our strength. During this time I witnessed a rarity among civilized men, I spied the Cactoid Man removing his spines. Yes, realizing the unmentionable monstrosities we could face in returning to this Mist Valley, Kalervo took out his dagger and scraped each and every spine off of his central trunk. It seemed the Cactoid had come to realize, as painful a procedure as it is, perchance it might be a wiser thing to don the armored metal of other men. The nights passed like sylvan nymph glands melting in a crucible: dark, slow, and uncomfortably poignant. On our final dawn on the mountainside we drew up our packs and noted a strange look in Hobab's eyes. Gritting our teeth we had not much choice but to follow the piebald mountain man; our eyes the sharpest things besides our daggers.

We descended quickly and made our way back into the valley. Hours past as we trudged through the familiar damp. However, we spotted a structure in the distance. Excitedly, I ran toward it, all the while the beckoning howl of Buzz Brazelhatch berating my back. Apparently I must ask permission before making my leave of the other men? Pah! I am a steward of my own substantive self, my dearest. My haste was pleasurably rewarded. The structure was large, black, sturdy, and yet age had it crumbling. Hexagonal structures erupted from the nucleus of the black beast. I studied the stones and laughed out loud, startling a beetle perched on a nearby branch. Yes, this was most likely a construct of an Elder Race!

With great excitement, I and the party entered the stronghold. For many an hour we passed through a long tunnel, the only way we saw possible to go in this now known entrance to the Elder stronghold. After we began to question our whereabouts, we were soon rewarded by the glint of sunlight... and a roar to shake the guts of the stoutest dwarf! We exited the tunnel and found our persons in the presence of a psychic, and most likely mutant, Psyclops! Yes, we had left the uncertain darkness of the tunnel and found ourselves out in the open and face to face with a creature of unspeakable power. It shrieked as it leapt from the shadows and jerkily lurched toward us. As it crossed the open air atrium before us we gasped in horror as it fixed its remarkable eye on Hobab!

Screaming in unearthly tones the Hobab clutched at his face while blood spurted from his multiple cranial orifices. Tssk. Rotten luck, that Hobab. Seeing this grotesque sight stirred the rest of the members to a quick skirmish of the beast. In an arcing style, rounding several collapsed pillars, the party engaged the one-eyed terror. Hobab at this time stumbled back into the tunnel and clutched at his Nguamodon. Seeing a possibility, I decided to try my chances of running the Nguamodon through the sea of battle and perchance leap from the beast to strike at the Psyclops. Only, I had not counted on the finicky squirmishness of these reptilian steeds. As I leapt upon its pack-laden back, it lurched and hissed, turning in circles. Doing my best to reign in the beast, it fought my every command and immediately started running down the tunnel; away from the battle did it take me, the light growing dim behind. I was told later, once I returned, tame beast in tow, that it was the mighty deed of Monster Monagin and Buzz that brought the psionic cyclops to its knees. In respectful remembrance, they took its eye one and its horn the other. How they intend to wash the blood of that being out of their traveling clothes I do wonder!

We decided to camp. I excitedly waited until morn to further peruse these structures. It was then I heard Buzz telling Vroomish of a night vision of snake men. It was then I happily declared to the party that we had discovered a fortress of the Once Great Serpent Men of Old!

It was at this time that Kal-mor, the Hyperborean, was seen up the wall, looking out over the ley of land. We all came to realize that most likely we are ourselves presently on the path towards a quite powerful crypt of the undead. Complete with Wizards, both living and re-animate. Unphased, and with this news fresh in his ears and blood freshly wiped from his eyes, Hobab tied up the giant pack lizards to a column and we continued on through the fortress, this time taking the right hand path and paying no heed to tales of the undead. Another hallway seemed to open up along the far side of this open air atrium and we did indeed take it. It was along this path that I spied something curious. There was indeed, there in the wall a hidden door! I do say, however, how could these Elders have thought such an obvious portal to remain in the unknow'n? There are days I'm not sure how advanced they really were. Fascinating in every sense!

A downward tunnel did greet us as we ventured further through this forbidden foyer. After several whiles had passed did we see a pink glow in the distance. Our eyes failed to register that they were seeing a thing of truth before them. We stepped out of our tunnel and into a large and liberally stocked laboratory. Pools of glowing substance were pitted about the place, tubes and technological devices of all sorts spanned from ceiling to floor. After our eyes adjusted, Vroomish spotted a creature bow legged and bent at one of the wondrous works. It was then that Kal-Mor decided to sneak away and try and harm the thing.

Coming upon its back he thrust his knife in, only to see the thing dumbly lurch around and fumbling, attack at him with a metal club. Seeing this small-faced, drooling, pig of a creature he ran back to us, the pig-skinned-thing stumbling on its own drool and falling face toward metal floor. The party decided to attack this pig creature (whom after inspection, did reveal to me to be most likely some sort of necromantic construct of this place, a "Vat Man" if you will), and I allowed myself the time to wander and peruse the contents of this vast laboratory. Such strange machinery, such engineering that is beyond my present scope! I took this time to make a few sketches in my notes here. Perhaps someday I can bring this back to Agog for a proper schematic session.

It was during this time of wandering that two fortuitous events happened. Buzz gallantly chopped off the Vat Man's head, and I found a shelf full of splendid things! Yes, my nostrils are attuned to the titillating tang of tomes, my friends! For, I spied across the room a large shelf full of books. I hurriedly scampered towards them; once again the cacophonous call of the Brazelhatch alerting me to danger. Of what? A papercut? A villainous book-worm, awaiting for some wanderer to attempt to peruse it's palace of pages only to infect them with untold terror-sprays? Pah! and Bah! Doubled.

I was however mildly miffed when my outstretched hand did caress that first cover and in a puff see it crumble to powder before my eyes. Elder Tomes. To be expected. It was when the dust settled however that to my delighted surprise I surveyed several other objects, of much lasting substance, upon the dust spotted shelves. I will describe them here briefly, as I cannot at present clearly read the inscriptions laid upon them: One, a green tablet of magic writing (certainly!); another a tiny black monolith with strange and interesting script; thirdly a silver disk with strange inscription, and finally an amber crystal orb with well placed glyphs and runes. I dare say, by Thoggyu, these hidden gems are certainly that!

Seeing no other means of exploring the area it is decided to head back. Up and out we went, leaving this ancient fortress of the Elder Serpent Men behind for perhaps another time. Indeed. It was glorious to see. As we once again forayed into the Valley, Hobab tried to persuade us towards the "fallen ship" once more. Now with sober heads, Hobab was silenced and it was agreed that the only thing we should proceed towards is the snugness and safety of an Inn in Jakay!

Our journey then was most pleasurable. For the most part. There, just before we seemed to be crossing into a pass along the mountainside, a curious flutter was heard above. Raptors! Yes, hawks with scale covered heads descended upon us. We each reacted in kind. All of us began madly striking the sky with our weapons, attempting to slay these sudden air-borne enemies. The terrifying squawks and screams rattled in our ears. Then, their corpses began to litter the ground. As I parried and struck above us, slaying a few of the creatures, my hands became rather soiled with their foul thick blood. The battle was ended with a final flourish, Vroomish brought down the last of the creatures with a hiss of his pistol. It was at this moment that Dickie Dee snickered as he watched me wiping my bloodied hands in the scrub grass.

To not much avail I must say, these pages are looking rather the same tone as that piggish Vat Man. Now, to perhaps find a puddle to wash in and get that green tablet read...

Chapter 9, Part 2: "The Psyclops..."

Our Entertainment:

Buzz Brazelhatch
- Australian Womanizer and Fighting-Man
Corporal "Radar" O'Reiley - Earth Man Rocketship Soldier
Dickie Dee - Bone Man Intoxicant Addict and Sorcerer
Kal-Mor the White Jackal - Hyperborean Bigot and Assassin
Kalervo - Cactoid Fighter
Monster Monagin - Earth Man Sailor and Bully
Rodan the Scrounger - Zermish Man Scavenger and Fighting-Man
Thragg the Skyman - Zermish Man Ornithopter Passenger and Fighting-Man
Xarnagan Vrokk - Haasht Man Fighting-Sage

Hobab - Lhoyg (piebald) Mountain Man and Guide
Vrroomish - Tikalg Man Dandy and Adventurer
Two Nguamodons - Pack Lizards

Part I Here, Part III Here, Part IV Here.

The party rests in their mountainside campsite, taking full advantage of the opportunity to dry the cold moldy damp of the Forbidden Mist Valley out of the clothing and gear and for some of the fighting-men to recover from their injuries.

The party's guide, Hobab, is visibly troubled and makes several pathetic attempts to ingratiate himself with the party, but his overtures are mostly met with cold, if not subtly hostile, rebuffs. Buzz Brazelhatch runs out of rations and the flamboyant dandy Vrroomish gives him spicy sugared wafers of seeds and grubs from his own supplies before sharing the last of his liquor with the party.

As the party enjoys the spiced brandy and a companionable air settles over the camp, Hobab stands up and makes a stammering speech that claims that with the orientation available at their campsite he could plot a course that would lead the party to the crashed alien sky-vessel, with several apologies for the inconvenience accrued in the previous fruitless forays into The Forbidden Mist Valley.

Perhaps it is the warm glow of the liquor in the companions veins, or perhaps the visions of cutting down foes with the molecule-destroying beams of alien energy weapons, that lends the party to find the proposal worthwhile and they decide to make another foray down into the valley for the flying saucer tomorrow.

As the party settles in for the night a clipping sound is heard. Sitting on a rock is the Cactoid Kalervo, with a suit of scavenged splint mail from the party's baggage lying on the ground, carefully cutting off his spines in order to wear the fighting-harness.

The next morning the band marches down into the cold, wet, disorientating Forbidden Mist Valley. At approximately midday the black basalt fragments of a crumbled ruin are spotted atop a hill, the party investigates and finds the remains of an inconceivably ancient fortress, with a large tunnel of smooth, fused stone descending downwards in the direction the party was heading. The companions decide to investigate and agitate two glow-fluid lanterns before traveling onwards and downwards.

Soon the tunnel levels, and several hours later it ascends in a steep slope. The rugose texture of the tunnel floor somewhat ameliorates the steep angle of the passage. After traveling for what seems like forever in the tunnel sunlight is spotted ahead. The party cautiously proceeds and they find the tunnel exiting in the midst of a massive complex of black basalt ruins; the iridescent copper, green and purple peaks of the Bornite Mountains rising beyond the cyclopean crumbling walls.

As their eyes adjust to the sunlight and they take in the ruins, a bestial howling is heard before a gigantic deformed, hoofed, and horned humanoid with a single massive eye visibly oscillating with preternatural energy, emerges from the ruins.

As several party members break for the ruins to the left and others lurk behind in the tunnel with the pack reptiles the giant thing casts it's malevolent gaze on Hobab, who's nose immediately begins bleeding as he howls in pain. The black-and-white mountain guide attempts to retreat into the tunnel, but Buzz Brazelhatch is behind and shoves Hobab forward.

Meanwhile Xarnagan the Fighting-Sage mounts one of the Nguamodons and attempts to ride it forward into battle. The dim-witted herbivorous reptile panics instead and runs back down the tunnel with the scaled Hassht Man clinging to it's back.

The monster continues to gaze at Hobab who begins to bleed from his ears are well while Buzz grabs Hobab's shoulders and holds him in the beast's gaze.

From the ruins to the left a crossbow twangs but the bolt bounces off the thick, warty hide of the beast. Several party members scurry through and climb the ruins, weapons in their grips. From a niche in a tumbled pile of stone blocks Dickie Dee attempts an incantation upon their giant foe but it is ineffective.

Hobab howls in agony as his eyes begin bleeding before he tears himself out of the Australian's grip and runs back down into the tunnel. A volley of missile fire, including laser beams from the party members lurking in the ruins, rains upon the monster which is injured as a pair of stout fighters rush forth and engage it. Vrroomish lurks beside Dickie Dee, aiming a silvery needle-barreled pistol as he attempts to line up a good shot. The creature gazes upon one of the combatants who feels terrible psychic forces assaulting his brain, but manages to resist.

Meanwhile Xaranagan manages to calm the pack lizard and cajoles it into turning around and advancing.

Several blue and violet coruscating beams lance out of Rodan the Scrounger's laser pistol and into the flesh of the malformed titan as others rain attacks upon it. It attempts to use evil eye upon another but once again the psychic attack is resisted before it falls from it's injuries.

After binding their wounds the party examines the creature and an decision is made to gut it in search of treasure. In it's bowels are found corroded lumps consisting of several thousand copper and silver coins and a handful of crystals of moderate value.

As the triple suns of Algol set the part decides to make camp in the cyclopean black ruins and explore in the morrow. Although nothing disturbs the party's rest during the night in the morning screams are heard emanating from the thrashing form of Buzz Brazelhach, who appears to be in the throes of a terrible nightmare. Vrroomish dashes forward and takes Buzz's head into his lap as he rubs Buzz's brow with a brandy-moistened handkerchief while making soothing noises.

Buzz gasps and awakens, immediately writhing out of Vrroomish's ministrations and lurching to his feet to tell of terrible nocturnal visions: Of a sprawling, massive fortress of black basalt, the ruins the party are currently exploring, in past splendor of primeval times. He told how he saw it inhabited by hordes of mottled serpent men sorcerers who performed mass tortures, rituals, experiments and sacrifices upon thousands of humans, naked and chained. All this culminating in a terrible rite performed by an army of reptilian warlocks upon a colossal pile of sacrificial victims all in order to bring forth a thing too horrible to remember, and of a scale to dwarf the fortress...

Once Buzz concludes his tale, the Hassht Man Sage, Xarnagan Vrokk, calmly confirms that the ruins that the party are currently located within are indeed most likely that of the Elder Race of Serpent Men who bred proto-humans in order to use them as components in their sorcery.

Chapter 9, Part 1: "The Lurker in the Ornithopter..."

The Cast:

Buzz Brazelhatch - Australian Womanizer and Fighting-Man
Corporal "Radar: O'Reiley - Earth Man Rocketship Soldier
Dickie Dee - Bone Man Intoxicant Addict and Sorcerer
Kal-Mor the White Jackal - Hyperborean Bigot and Assassin
Kalervo - Cactoid Fighter
Monster Monagin - Earth Man Sailor and Bully
Rodan the Scrounger - Zermish Man Scavenger and Fighting-Man
Xarnagan Vrokk - Haasht Man Fighting-Sage

Hobab - Lhoyg (piebald) Mountain Man and Guide
Vrroomish - Tikalg Man Dandy and Adventurer
Two Nguamodons - Pack Lizards



Part II Here, Part III Here, Part IV Here.

The party is lost in the Forbidden Mist Valley, with a couple of the fighters sorely injured by an unfortunate encounter with an aggressive giant fungal polyp. The steeply-rolling hills of lush green moss and the thick, cold, white mist conspire to thoroughly confuse the party regarding their orientation, and they have made several failed attempts to find the crashed flying saucer in the Forbidden Mist Valley that their guide, Hobab, told them of and attempted to lead them to. Their current dire straits being the results of their latest effort to loot the crashed space vessel of its energy weapons.

During the night, as horrid hooting and piping echo through the hills, they are able to determine approximate direction by the ghastly displays of green and violet light playing out in the mist miles above, the radiance of the nocturnal radioactive energy storms in the skies above the Glow Stain. The next morning they decide to abandon their mission and cut across the valley, climb and cross the Bornite Mountains, and make southwards for Jakay.

The downy gray Tikalg Man, splendid in his striking outfit of tight leather pants, billowing purple synthsilk shirt and a martial half-cape, complemented by his own yellow eyes and crest of long, curling white feathers, makes the grandiose gesture of sharing a bottle of fiery brandy, that he was saving for their celebrations upon looting energy weapons from the crashed flying saucer the party was seeking, with the party in order to "burn the damp chill of the Forbidden Mist Valley out of our bones," even offering one of the elegant tiny ceramic cups of liquor to the scapegoat Hobab.

They stumble through the cold, wet, obscuring fog and the steep mossy hills for most of the day before coming to a steep upwards slope. As they slog upwards they hear a loud thrumming sound approaching from above and behind. The startled adventurers freeze as a huge flapping form passes high through the fog above them disappearing from sight ahead before they hear a loud crashing sound.

Cautiously, with weapons drawn, the party scrambles up the mossy slope and espies a crumpled, broken, form of bronze, ceramic and copper with articulated wings, resembling the trashed remains of an Art Noveau dragonfly-helicopter hybrid. A rare flying technological marvel of the Ancients, an ornithopter. Two bodies lie motionless within the twin wire mesh globes located where the eyes would be. Strapped in the flight couch of one is the lifeless form of yellow Gresh Man in grey coveralls, a jagged shard of bronze running through his vitals. In the other is an unconscious Zermish Man clad in heavy ribbed armor and a conical helm, with the weapons of a fighting-man with his baggage.

Aid is applied and the Green Man awakens. Although he remembers his name, Thragg, and his trade, that of the warrior, the blow to his head in the ornithopter crash, which left a deep dent in his tall bronze helm, has left him unable to remember anything regarding the ornithopter or why he was in it. The Zermish fighting-man appears to be a capable and companionable sort, and the companions decide to let him travel with them, dubbing him Thragg "The Skyman."

After hours of tiresome climbing the mist begins to thin and the moss end revealing the iridescent copper, green and purple stone of the Bornite Mountains. The party proceeds upwards and finds a decent campsite with an excellent view of the Forbidden Mist Valley below and the mountains beyond.

Thragg the Skyman

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Revised Mind Wizard Class

Viewable at

Planet Algol Player Artwork

A Cactoid, pencils by Robin Ruddock and inked by Wesley/Fat Cotton.

Thragg the Skyman by new Planet Algol Campaign participant Lester/B. Portly.

Hopefully Wesley and Douglas will soon provide digital copies of their wonderful character portraiture for display on this blog!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Character Class - The Mind Wizard

EDIT: The revised version of the Mind Wizard class is viewable here.

(magic-user subclass)

Armor: none (may not use disciplines while wearing armor)
Shield: none
Weapons: any (dagger or staff in standard D&D)
Oil: Yes
Poison: Yes
Starting Gold: 2d4 x 10 gold pieces
Weapon Proficiencies: as Magic-User
Starting Age: 24 + 2d8 years
Attack Matrix:: Magic-User
Saving Throw Matrix: Magic-User
Requirements: Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma 15, the other two ability scores must be 12 or higher. The highest of the three abilities must be 17 to use 6th level disciplines and 18 or higher to use 7th level disciplines.
Prime Requisite: Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma (+10% to earned experience if all are 15 or higher)

Mind Wizards develop their psychic abilities are able to use Disciplines, which are similar to spells but do not require verbal, somatic or material components. Disciplines are subject to casting times and interruption as ordinary spells. A Mind Wizard can use any Discipline they know without having to memorize them. They use the illusionist table to determine how many Disciplines they can use their day. A Mind Wizard knows one Discipline of the appropriate level for every Discipline they can use per day. A Mind Wizard with sufficiently high enough ability scores can use bonus Disciplines, cross-reference the lowest of their Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma score with the Wisdom table to determine this.

Mind Wizards are otherwise identical to magic-users. They use the Paladin table to determine experience points required per level. While they do not gain any bonus to armor class due to dexterity score, however they have the same armor class as a Monk of the same level.


1st Level

1 Animal Friendship **

2 Change Self ****

3 Command *

4 Comprehend Languages ***

5 Detect Evil *

6 Detect Illusions ****

7 Detect Invisibility ****

8 Detect Magic ***

9 Hypnotism ****

10 Identify ***

11 Invisibility to Animals **

12 Magic Missile

13 Phantasmal Force ****

14 Predict Weather **

15 Resist Cold *

16 Spider Climb ***

17 Unseen Servant ***

2nd Level

1 Augury *

2 Blindness ****

3 Charm Person or Mammal **

4 Deafness ****

5 Detect Charm *

6 ESP ***

7 Forget ***

8 Heat Metal **

9 Hold Person *

10 Imp. Phantasmal Force ****

11 Invisibility ***

12 Know Alignment *

13 Levitate ***

14 Locate Object ***

15 Misdirection ****

16 Resist Fear *

17 Scare ***

18 Slow Poison *

19 Speak With Animal *

3rd Level

1 Blink ***

2 Clairaudience ***

3 Clairvoyance ***

4 Cure Blindness *

5 Cure Disease *

6 Fear ****

7 Feign Death ***

8 Fly ***

9 Hold Animal **

10 Infravision ***

11 Neutralize Poison **

12 Non-detection ****

13 Paralyzation ****

14 Protection From Fire **

15 Speak With Dead *

16 Spectral Force ****

17 Suggestion ***

18 Tongues ***

4th Level

1 Charm Monster ***

2 Confusion ***

3 Control Temp. 10' Radius **

4 Detect Lie *

5 Dispel Exhaustion ****

6 Divination *

7 Emotion ****

8 Exorcise *

9 Fumble ***

10 Hold Plants **

11 Phantasmal Killer ****

12 Produce Fire **

13 Protection From Lightning **

14 Shadow Monsters ****

15 Speak With Plants *

16 Wizard Eye ***

5th Level

1 Chaos ****

2 Contact Other Plane *

3 Control Winds **

4 Demi-shadow Monsters ****

5 Feeblemind ***

6 Hold Monsters ***

7 Plane Shift *

8 Telekinesis ***

9 Teleport ***

10 True Seeing *

6th Level

1 Animate Object *

2 Anti-animal Shell **

3 Control Weather ***

4 Death Spell ***

5 Mass Suggestion ****

6 Project Image ***

7 Repulsion ***

8 Find the Path *

9 Heal *

10 Shadow ****

11 Stone Tell *

12 Veil ****

13 Weather Summoning **

7th Level

1 Alter Reality ****

2 Animate Rock **

3 Astral Spell *

4 Charm Plants ***

5 Earthquake *

6 Finger of Death **

7 Fire Storm **

8 Grasping Hand ***

9 Mass Invisibility ***

10 Phase Door ***

11Power Word, Stun ***

12 Regeneration *

13 Restoration *

14 Reverse Gravity ***

15 Statue ***

16 Vanish ***

17 Vision ****

* as Cleric spell of same level

** as Druid spell of same level

*** as Magic-user spell of same level

**** as Illusionist spell of same level

The Expeditionary Journal of Xarnagan Vrokk: Sage and Scholar of Societies, Structures, and Stars

Here I sit in the dampening mist, scrawling on a bit of back paper. I have traveled here, into this Forbidden Mist Valley, knowing full well of its hidden and hideous dangers that lurk and loiter in the thick shadow of the Bornite Mountains. In order for my sovereign to have landed in such a place I will let you know that I have followed this band of mercenary ruffians led by a dandy-ish Tikalg man and the lack-bearded, cloud-minded Hobab of the Lhoyg.

The gentleman Hobab, whose interesting story is truly what led me here, has been leading us in circles for what would seem a parsec to a gas giant but an eternity for any sane Agogite who can remember which way to buckle his boots in the morning. What interesting story pray'd he? Well, that of a fallen ship. Yes, the at first seeming earnest Hobab had seen a ship enter this valley, take samples and then fly away only to become somehow compromised and fall from the sky into this aptly named Forbidden Mist Valley. And now it seems Hobab's memory has become compromised as well! Nonetheless, we have had some very interesting encounters so far. On our way here through the Prismatic Wastes, I spied quite a large quantity of Prismatic Ore. I aptly noted its location immediately. This small fortune will definitely add to the fund of my future manse, library, and Cosmotorium. Other than this thrilling find, our journey through the Prismatic Wastes proved rather uneventfull. We were however, detoured toward the Melted City.

It seems the party had a fallen member amongst the debris of some Gargoyle warren and found it integral to retrieve said man. Hobab and Vroomish, the Tikalg man, were rather in a huff over this, but the party's bargaining skills won out in the end. After a short while of trekking we came to the lair amongst the glass shards and multi-coloured melted monoliths where the Gargoyles were said to reside. At once the party was set upon by the stone-skinned beasts. Nary a moment after much sword flashing and claw ripping that Rodan the Scrounger fired a few laser pistol rounds and was taken down by a mighty blow. At that moment Kalervo withdrew a curious object from his person. In his hand he held what appeared to be a bronze sphere, he fingered a depression within the object and in an instant a field of impenetrable force seemed to surround the cactoid Kalervo, Buzz Brazelhatch, the halberd swinging Nightbreaker and others. The party then took to crumbling the Gargoyles one by one.

All in the meantime Dickie Dee the bone-man sorcerer and the metal-nosed child soldier Radar O'Reilly snuck off into the lair. It was there that they found their fallen comrade Monster Monagin and brought him back to life with yet another Eye of the Ancients. Awakened and within his magical armor, Monster Monagin and companions tore the lair apart in search of any meaningful object. Brutes. I would have taken the time to carefully catalog the whereabouts and placement of each item in such a strange place. Knowledge, my friends, is the silent, sturdy companion of life's many journeys.

Their ransacking proved fruitful, however. They came trotting out of the lair happily holding three new items of some substance. One, a copper scroll endowed with the power to protect those wielding it from the undead, the second treasure was that of a spired crown of green jewels, and the third, the most wondrous of all, a glowing sword with the ancient tongue spelling out "Sorcerer Slayer" down its blade. The crown and sword were put into a common bag for later dispersal; I took the scroll for safe keeping.

We then began our journey in earnest. The Bornite mountains loomed ahead in the distance. We traveled safely through several hillock and across many a mountain foot. All the while the sounds in the distance continued getting slightly stranger. It wasn't until we trekked through a tight spot in the Bornites that we found ourselves here in this Forbidden Mist Valley full of fungus! Yes, all with two ears had better hear that there are strange species of fungi in these damp places.

It was but our first few steps in that I and the party spotted the strange beings known as the Mulg; infamous among the moving fungi as beings whose sensory motives are direct and immediate, but lacking in true wit. I communicated this information and Nigel Nightbreaker took it into his mind to shoot an arrow off and away into the mist. The tentacle-headed lumbering fungi immediately began shuffling toward the spent arrow and we casually passed by. I took the moment to make a few quick sketches of them in my notes here, the chiaroscuro in these parts is akin to priceless elixir and must be savored, evr'y drop!

Our adventures passed as time did like-wise. Once we saw quite a large crystalline cube slide along the moss and through the mist; Oh the magic of the Wilds! Then, in the most recent of memory, we came across quite a large fungal creature; beget to us by the generous wanderings of Hobab. The striking thing took quite a toll on some of the party members, but they fought bravely and genuinely. Even Hobab put up a brave battle before he got wollaped by a thick tentacle and lost his cup-full of gumption. The bruises and bleedings were many, the spoils though, are quite wonderful indeed; yes, three purple and iridescent sporous puffballs were seen in the mass of fungal pulp left post-ravage. I have taken the time to identify two as such so far, using up the last of my precious incense and herbs: One seems to be endowed with the ability to shrink a being, the Other seems to possess the power to control animals and beasts. When my strength is regained from slumber, and I am able to meditate and draw upon the power of the dark moon Thoggyu (Greatest of Moons, Sultan of Satellites), I will then try and identify the Third of the sporous, and now seeming perhaps naturally sorcerous, puffballs. Most likely I will have to put patience to the test and wait until I can manifest sufficient efflorescent greenery for said identification work.

Oh, where will Thoggyu find me now?