Saturday, July 10, 2010

On Venatia - Part Four

Six more sights to entice and delight (at least, that's the plan).

4240 Sea Serpent: A briny sea serpent hunts along the coast in this hex. Wrecked ships along the bottom contain 10,000 cp, 5,000 ep, 1,000 gp, 100 pp, a silver stud worth 1,050 gp and a porcelain bowl from the Imperial potter of the court of the Jade Empress of Mu-Pan worth 1,250 gp.

• Briny Sea Serpent: HD 8; AC 2 [17]; Atk 1 bite (3d6 + poison); Move 15; Save 8; CL/XP 11/1700; Special: Acid breath, poison.

4246 Kelp Forest: A forest of long, thick strands of kelp covers the floor of this hex and those surrounding it. Living among the seaweed are dryad-like kelpies, playful and beautiful, but ultimately luring people to their doom. Hidden by the strands of kelp is a massive stone head depicting Okeanus, the titanic ruler of the sea. The head radiates powerful magic, but does not seem to actually do anything. If any remotely hostile act is perpetrated on the head, however, it rises from the ground on the body of a stone golem. Inside the stone head is a fist-sized ruby worth 20,000 gp.

• Kelpie: HD 5; AC 2 [17]; Atk 1 grapple; Move 9 (Swim 12); Save 12; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Charm, drown.

• Stone Golem: HD 15 (60hp); AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 fist (3d8); Move 6; Save 3; CL/XP 16/3200; Special: +1 or better magic weapon to hit, immune to most magic.

4250 City of Oozes: A large city that looks like a maze of excavated canyons lies on the bottom of the sea. This city, its name now lost in the mists of time, was once home to a large colony of elder things. It is now home to 10,000 (more or less, they keep merging and splitting) oozes of every imaginable description – gelatinous cubes, black puddings, jellies of every unappetizing color known to man, slithering trackers and protoplasms as yet undiscovered.

The maze-like canyons of the city are lit by softly glowing irradium globes (treat as continual light spells). Hundreds of complexes, small and large, are cut into the walls of the canyons. Some of these complexes contain air pockets, but most do not. The outermost complexes mostly contain simple, though strange, domestic items and tools. Closer to the center of the city there are libraries, laboratories and a few crypts and command posts of the elder things. At the center of the city there is the large citadel now turned into a massive temple of The Faceless Lord tended by a “priesthood” of gibbering mouthers and an elder black pudding, the city’s “king”.

• Elder Black Pudding: HD 20 (103 hp); AC 8 [11]; Atk 3 pseudopods (4d8); Move 6; Save 3; CL/XP 21/4700; Special: Acidic surface, immune to cold, divides when hit by lightning.

4333 Hawktoad Acres: Five hawktoads lair in the treetops in this hex, streaking down from above to attack travelers and snatch any shiny objects (especially holy symbols) and then flee into the woods. If their wattle-and-daub nest can be found (a tricky task indeed), it contains a 135 gp pearl, 3 gp rock crystal, 155 gp rose quartz, a bronze statue of a dancing satyr worth 500 gp and five silver holy symbols worth 30 gp each.

• Hawktoad: HD 2 (9, 7, 7, 6, 4 hp); AC 7 [12]; Atk 2 claws (1d2), tongue (strangles); Move 3 (Fly 12); Save 16; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Strangling tongue (constitution check or fall unconscious).

4336 Magnar: Magnar is a farming village of 500 lanky peasants living in houses thatched from pine branches and needles. The village is surrounded by an earthen rampart set with wooden spikes and has three wooden guard towers. The villagers get their water from a number of quick-flowing streams around the village. The men of Magnar have light, peach skin and hair that ranges from red to blond. The women of Magnar are known for the complex knot patterns they weave into their hair and their large, brown eyes – referred to poetically as “cow eyes”. They have fairly plain faces with button noses. The peasants dress in tunics and hose of white, yellow and green, and they wear green skullcaps made from felt. The 25 men-at-arms of the village wear ring armor and carry long bows and spears. Their two sergeants, Gaela and Svana, wear chainmail hauberks and are similarly armed.

The village is ruled by the Baroness Tatya, a pudgy, friendly woman with a club foot. Tatya is protective of her people and kind to them, but is nevertheless strict about maintaining the feudal hierarchy. Her husband is a lanky wastrel named Fynedo who can pluck a fine tune on the harp but is otherwise useless. She has three children, the eldest being an easy-going young man named Olinus who dresses in blue and has gray-blue eyes and a disarming smile. The middle child is a dumpy little princess named Madie. The youngest, only five, is thin, meek girl called Tariel.

Magnar is a calm, pleasant village on the surface, but most visitors feel a certain unease with the villagers and the ruling family. They seem a bit too calm and detached from the world, as though they are only going through the motions. In late autumn, the villagers hang blue lanterns in the trees and light blue candles in their windows to welcome the spirits of their ancestors, who visit the village on that night in the form of forest animals. These animals are invited into homes and treated as honored guests.

4344 Shark Hunting Ground: Five great white sharks hunt in this hex. They shadow ships moving through in hopes of someone walking the plank.

• Large Shark (8HD): HD 8 (38, 37, 34, 32, 30 hp); AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 bite (1d8+4); Move 0 (swim 24); Save 8; CL/XP 8/800; Special: Feeding frenzy.

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