Posts Tagged ‘ place of power ’

Kisima’s Tomb

Heavy loads stone slung over shoulders, workers climb up the logs leading to the low-ceilinged cave leading to Kisima’s tomb. It’s not an easy climb, but the only other point of ingress, a stone shaft rising more than 70 feet to the surface, doesn’t leave a better option.

At the shaft’s bottom, supervisors from the Imperial Cartographical Society loiter around the shallow pond at the bottom of the stone shaft. Other workers carry jugs of water from the lower caves, emptying the containers into the pond, which drains away in trickles and traces some distance away from the wooden ladder.

In the lower caves, workers labor with picks, shovels, and ropes to break up and haul away stones. Much of the work has already been done, and the ornate carvings stand out boldly in the flickering torchlight. Serpents intertwine intricately. High up on the wall, a lizardman king stares down, his stance imperious. He holds a human skull in his left hand and a spear in his right. The stones that remain block a descending flight of stairs.

The Imperial Cartographical Society believes those stairs lead to the tomb of Kisima, the last of the kings who ruled in Salmagunderland before lizardman civilization fell into its current state of barbarity. It’s only a matter of time before a sufficient quantity of stone is shifted out of the way and the stairs stand unblocked.

At least that’s what the foremen hope. The workers murmur about curses, and yesterday’s accident, several large rocks that fell, crushing three men, hasn’t helped the mood. The tension and fear are palpable, made worse by the drums echoing through the jungle each night.

Dangers

The Imperial Cartographical Society (Cabal)
Impulse: To expand frontiers

Grim Portents
* The ICS oversees the excavation of the tomb.
* The stairs are cleared and the lower chambers revealed.
* The lower chambers are explored and the sealed door found.
* The seal is broken.
Impending Doom: Pestilence

Lizardman Tribe (Horde)
Impulse: To drive out intruders

Grim Portents
* The drums’ noise draws nearer.
* Venomous serpents become more common.
* Lizardmen skirmishers attack the camp.
Impending Doom: Destruction

Description & Cast
Kisima’s tomb rests undisturbed, sealed centuries ago. Kisima died of a terrible plague that has not died off since the lizardman king’s corpse was interred. Rather, the pestilence has grown, becoming a virulent biomass. The local lizardman tribe learned that intruders were violating taboo territory, and they are gearing up to massacre the foreign trespassers if they do not take heed of the warning drums.
* Renata Cottee, Ranking ICS Official
* Sessih Besmil, Lizardman Scale-Talker
* Dridsa, Influential Laborer

Custom Move
When exposed the wasting pestilence in Kisima’s tomb, roll+CON. *On a 10+, choose 3. *On a 7-9, choose 1.

* You do not suffer the weak debility.
* You do not suffer the sick debility.
* You do not suffer the shaky debility.
* You do not become highly contagious.

Stakes
Can the pestilence be cured? If so, how?

July 3rd, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

Jabalitika

The windswept, arid heights of Mlima-Wa-Moto support little life. The plants that grow there are small and tough. An aggressive, burrowing species of large wingless wasp crawls around, its mottled hair-like covering allowing it blend in with the terrain, providing camoflauge against the shaggy-furred rock badgers that feed almost exclusively on the insects. As for the wasps themselves, they survive on sticky umande, the jabalitika’s dewy excretion.

The jabalitika grows lichen-like on rocks. This strange plant has a rapid growth cycle. Spores take root in a rock’s tiny fissures and quickly mature, spreading over several square feet in just a few days. A mature jabalitika has a thickness of about one-quarter inch (or 0.635 centimeters). Via enzymes, the jabalitika converts minute quanities of the rock’s surface into a micro-stew of minerals and water that the plant uses to survive. Of course, being a plant, the jabalitika also engages in photosynthesis. The aforementioned dew-like excretion, or umande, is a waste product of the jabalitika.

Umande is highly nutritious but slightly punguent. A half-pint (about a quarter of a liter) provides sufficient nutrition for an adult human for a full day. Umande also increases the efficiency of respiratory systems in animals, making it easier to breathe Mlima-Wa-Moto’s thin, high-altitude air. A square foot (a bit more than 900 square centimeters) of jabalitika produces about a half-pint of umande under optimal conditions.

The rugged mountain people of Mlima-Wa-Moto cultivate jabalitika to harvest umande. They domestic rock badgers to help keep their jabalitika fields as free of wingless wasps as possible. While those insects are not especially dangerous, their stings are extremely painful, capable of incapacitating a grown man for several minutes.

June 24th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

Agmundr

The giant stone swords of Agmundr stand on a rocky outcropping along Sverdsfjord, one of the southernmost bays in that rugged, northland known locally as Izotz. Centuries ago, two kings vied for control of Izotz. Ecgberht and Hildebrand waged war against each other, and the conflict grew increasingly bitter and lawless as both kings sought the advantage over the other. Villages were burned, and their citizens put to the sword. Sacred places were defiled. The blood of innocents cried out for justice, but ambition and malice deafened both Ecgberht and Hildebrand. Into this chaos from out of the ice-locked north strode Guđbrandr.

Haunted by visions of those innocents caught in the conflict between the two kings, Guđbrandr swept into the borderlands between the kingdoms. The opposing armies broke against Guđbrandr’s righteous fury. Others, war-weary, flocked to Guđbrandr’s banner. Before long, Ecgberht and Hildebrand found themselves on the defensive. When winter came and the polar bears arrived to support Guđbrandr, the warring kings decided that perhaps peace was a better option.

In the dead of winter, Guđbrandr met with Ecgberht and Hildebrand at Agmundr by the frozen Sverdsfjord. Guđbrandr took the kings’ swords and thrust them into the rocks. Then he took his own blade and did the same with it. The two kings knelt and swore fealty to Guđbrandr and amity between themselves. The witnesses to this agreement stood awed as the three swords turned to stone and grew to enormous size. The largest sword belonged to the victorious Guđbrandr, and the two smaller swords to the defeated kings Ecgberht and Hildebrand.

Since that day, those northern lands are ruled by a triumvirate of kings descended from Guđbrandr, Ecgberht, and Hildebrand. Each king’s coronation takes place at Agmundr, and the ancient oaths of fealty and amity are repeated in that god-touched place.

Anyone who dedicates himself to a cause or quest may journey to Agmundr and swear an oath on the power of those stone swords.

Barbarians of Lemuria

Upon swearing an oath on the power of Agmundr to accomplish some task, a hero gains 1d6 Fate Points. The hero can use these Fate Points to grant himself a one-off boon, just as if he were a priest.

Dungeon World

When you bolster yourself prior to swearing an oath on the power of Agmundr, you gain preparation as normal, plus you gain hold equal to preparation+2. If you violate your oath, the power of Agmundr will make its displeasure known. As long as you act to fulfill your oath, you may spend hold, 1 for 1, to choose an option:

• Defy danger as if you rolled a 10+ instead of rolling the dice.
• Heal damage equal to half your max HP.
• Inflict maximum damage with an attack.
• Use an advanced move appropriate to your class one time as if you were one level higher.

Swords & Wizardry

A character who swears an oath on the power Agmundr to accomplish some task gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls and saving throws until that task is fulfilled. If the character does not diligently work at performing the task, a deadly weakness sets in (50% reduction in Strength), and an attempt to entirely abandon the quest incurs a curse.

June 19th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

Matundu Waits

Cursed Matundu gapes in the southern wilderness of Salmagunderland like a rocky gullet that swallowed a few hundred acres of jungle. Matundu’s opening covers roughly one-half a square mile (which is a bit more than a square kilometer), and it drops nearly 600 feet to a deep pool of foul water littered with boulders and detritus, the latter washed into the pit by frequent rains.

Generations ago, this dark pit did not exist. Instead, a village stood on the site, ruled by dwarfish witchdoctor called Matundu. Chilling evil twisted Matundu’s heart, and he ruled his people through fear and poison until a heroine rose up to put an end to Matundu’s wicked reign. This heroine, Shujaa, led several adventurers in a rebellion against Matundu. After days of conflict that raged throughout the jungle around the village, Shujaa and her companions eventually gained the upper hand.

Matundu retreated to his stone huts, guarded by his most elite and fanatical warriors. In this sanctuary, Matundu proved impossible to reach, and so Shujaa called upon the powers of the heavens. Angelic creatures answered her prayers, roaring around Matundu’s stone huts like a tornado until their walls buckled and their roofs collapsed.

Still, Matundu did not die. Trapped beneath the rubble of his sanctuary, the witchdoctor bound his foul soul to his ruined body with terrible necromantic spells. When the angelic creatures pronounced their final judgement, Matundu should’ve been sent screaming into the underworld, but only the wicked dead can suffer such a fate. And, so, the very land itself retreated from the heavens, collapsing into the massive pit that now bears the name of that evil witchdoctor.

Undead Matundu seethes in darkness, trapped in twisted tunnels and caves accessible through the pit. Matundu’s will, however, is not as confined as his body. It reaches out, slithering through those tunnels and caves, and even up the walls of the pit to the surrounding jungle. By means of his will, Matundu seeks to lure those with more courage than sense into the pit. Sooner or later, someone is bound to free Matundu.

Impulse: To draw in the weak-willed

Grim Portents
* Tuur Wöllem of Imperial Cartographical Society receives a vision of Matundu’s location.
* Wöllem hires adventurers to help find Matundu.
* Adventurers descend into the pit.
* Matundu is freed.

Impending Doom: Matundu, undead and vengeful, escapes from his prison.

Description & Cast
* Tuur Wöllem and his hired adventurers
* Navkdol, orc shaman
* Cirkad, cursed wanderer

Custom Moves

When you stand at the edge of Matundu for the first time, roll+WIS: *On a 10+, you recognize the dangerous nature of Matundu’s attractions. Take +1 forward when acting upon this recognition. *On a 7-9, choose 1.

* Matundu reveals to you a safe way down to the bottom of the pit.
* Matundu grants you a vision of a desirable treasure’s location within the pit’s caverns.
* Matundu warns you of a monster or monsters lairing within the pit’s caverns.

May 28th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »

Mbweha Blade

Salmagunderland presents an inhospitable mixture of dark canyons, rushing rivers, and rugged highlands covered in all but impenetrable rainforest. The hazards are legion. Biting insects carry horrible tropical diseases. Venomous lizards that grow as long as man’s leg wait in ambush. Degenerate dwarfs hunt for the heads of their enemies, eager to feast on the flesh of their conquests in order to gain supernatural power. Lost cities, demon-haunted and choked by vegetation, still hold the treasures of long-vanished peoples. Volcanoes spew up rivers of molten rock that burn their way through the jungle before plunging in fiery falls into the canyons, giving rise to thick clouds of steam that cling beneath the canopy.

Rarely, mbweha crystals are mined from the basalt shores of these lava rivers. In the hands a skilled weaponsmith who knows the necessary runes, these crystals can be fashioned into magical weapons. Unfortunately, few mbweha crystals are large enough to be fashioned into even a dagger. Mbweha blades channel their wielders’ force of personality, making them powerful weapons in the right hands.

When creating a mbweha blade as a treasure or reward for your players, choose one from each of these categories:

Base Description: Axe, Dagger, Spear, Sword. (Nota Bene: All but the dagger are base weight 2. The dagger is base weight 1.)
Range: Hand, Close, Reach
Enhancements: Perfectly Weighted (add precise), Serrated Edges (+1 damage), Sharp (+2 piercing), Versatile (choose an additional range)

When used for hack and slash, on a 10+, you may treat the result of 7-9, inflicting CHA+1d6 damage but also exposing yourself to your enemy’s attack.

When you channel your personality through your mbweha blade, roll+CHA. *On 10+, hold 3. *On 7-9, hold 1. As long as you wield the mbweha blade, you may spend hold, 1 for 1, to choose an option:

* Force a target to make a move.
* Awe or frighten a target, granting you a +1 forward against that target.
* Encourage an ally, granting that ally a +1 on their roll as if you aided the target.
* Discourage an ally, causing that ally to take a -2 on their roll as if you interfered with him.

May 14th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »