Wow - it's been almost a week since last I posted. What have I been up to? Well, aside from work, a little economics-oriented freelance stuff, and doing the family thang, I've been working on NOD 22 and the Tome of Monsters. So - time for a preview post!
[Oh - and the physical version of NOD 22 is now up for sale at Lulu!]
NOD 23 - The Ende Hexcrawl
Foreigners have called the plateau of Ende the land of monsters, and rightly so. In ancient days past, the elves dominated the west and the dragons the lands of Mu-Pan, but the rest of the planet was given over to monsters, especially the colossal mountains called the Great Yamas.
In the primordial days, the Kabir did battle on this plateau where the ancient river Ende runs down from the mountain glaciers. They clashed with the demons and other outsiders who sought to colonize Nod, leaving behind small pockets of these monsters and their servants, and a great fortress-temple called Aornus, wherein was hidden a mighty artifact of the kind they had used to defeat the demons and push them into the underworld beneath the Great Yamas.
Before the receding of the waters of Mother Ocean and the South Seas, Ende was a hilly peninsula jutting from the Yamas and dominated by two tribes, the Rakshasa and the Naga. The Rakshasa dominated the goblins and ogres, while the Naga dominated tribes of lizard-men and ophidians. Between them, the Rakshasa and Naga constructed the fortresses that would become the four great city-states of the plateau.
Eventually, the waters did recede and revealed the vast lowlands that would become the plains of Gondar and the tangled jungles of Djangala. These virgin territories attracted human, demi-human and humanoid tribes, who came under the sway of the monstrous tribes of the plateau for a time, before asserting their independence.
Due to the presence of the fortress Aornus and the mythical engine of destruction concealed within, the plateau has been visited by many armies over the centuries, including diving armies of demons and angels. As a result, the plateau is home to many more aasimar (called aasura in Ende) and tieflings (called teivas in Ende) than can be found throughout most of Nod.
Ende today is much as it has been for centuries, a land of adventure, danger and potential wealth. After many millennia of settlement, the land is rife with ruins hiding treasures beyond belief. The cities of the plateau, constructed over a thousand years ago, sit atop ancient iterations of them-selves, one city atop another, forming vast dungeons clogged with treasure and the non-human tribes that originated the cities before humans settled on the plateau.
TOME OF MONSTERS
This is shaping up pretty nicely. Art is being commissioned and is flowing in - below is a sample page as the layout now stands. Looks like this one will feature 145 new entries (some with multiple monsters per entry).