Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Burrowing Conquerers

The Burrowing Conquerers, or Helleautaurides as they call themselves, are creatures of the underworld.

A fully-grown Helleautauride looks like a human child on the left side of its body, a zebra on the right (children of this species look like a human fetus on the left side and a zebra fetus on the right).

They walk on all fours, but sit human-style, allowing them to manipulate objects using their left hand (and to a lesser extent their left foot).

Their nickname comes from their habit of digging a hole in the ground and then burying themselves in order to sleep. They are most comfortable doing so in areas shaded by trees, implying that they may have originated on the surface.

The 'conquerer' in their name may be a sarcastic reference to their small size and awkward frame. The name may refer to their mercantile skill, which has meant that they are spread throughout the underworld (they are particularly fond of trading clocks). It may also refer to their domination of the Bright Peacocks. They are most reluctant to risk their lives, but may be dangerous if cornered - especially since a blow from their fists may cause a wizard to forget spells, or rob magic items of their virtues.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bright Peacocks

The Bright Peacocks, or Uneoblepases, are robots built to resemble giant bats, and painted all over with bright colours, somewhat like tropical birds. They stand about seven feet high. They serve the Burrowing Conquerers as guards.

The creature is easily commanded by one who masters the right tone of voice, and it is theorised that they were built by an unknown race, and simply 'adopted' by the Conquerers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bashar Hob

There is a certain river, slow and winding, without rapids or even many deep places, which nonetheless oft runs red with blood.

It is rumoured that there is a creature, one Bashar Hob, who is responsible for all these deaths. It is said to be a crocodile, impossibly large, intelligent and ancient.

Whether Bashar Hob exists, and if it exists whether it be a natural or magical creature, is not known.

Though it is forbidden, there are rumours that Bashar Hob may be placated with certain rituals.

Some say that those who perform these rituals have turned to human sacrifice, that if Bashar Hob ever existed it has long departed, and thus that those who pretend to stand against the tide of broken boats and corpses are in truth its authors.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


These beings are embodiments of the attitudes of a particular civilisation. Whether they are cause or effect is unknown.

They sometimes survive the death of their people. This only happens when the important places of their civilisation are not occupied by a new group.. In this case they do not leave the location of their former civilisation, but can influence passers-by. Thus a traveller may find themselves moved to sadness by the sight of a particular ruin, as if remembering it in its days of glory, and longing to see them again.

In extreme cases the traveller may have dreams in which they find themselves in a past they never knew, and yet feel themselves to have returned home. They may even gain hints as to where particular treasures, particularly technology and important religious artifacts, may be found. For this last reason, some adventurers will tolerate or even encourage the presence of these spirits.

Some say that Age-Spirits are invisible. Others say that they can choose to appear as an idealised representation of their civilisation. Thus the Age-Spirit of America, for example, might appear as the late Mr Lincoln, an eagle, or as Liberty; while that of England might appear as a lion, or King Arthur.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Lions Awakened

The Lions Awakened are a group of bandits who live in the forest and attack those who destroy nature. They are led by a druid priestess, Inconvenient Ruth.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"They told Isaac..."

They told Isaac that they remembered when the lot was the site of an old wooden house that had become abandoned and filled with rats. They remembered the house being demolished and partially buried—the basement was still there, they said. They pointed to the ground, saying that the old home was still beneath it, still rat-infested.

Robert Sullivan.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Dandy Highwaymen

There is a far land called the Wild Frontier, brutal and wretchedly poor.

In addition, the place is plagued by this group of bandits, in spite of the fact that the few posessions anyone has are more easily gained by hunting or farming.

One might ask what is the use of robbery, when nothing is worth taking? The answer is that the Dandy Highwaymen have not chosen to become bandits. Instead, it is a symptom of their madness.

In addition to its other misfortunes, the Wild Frontier has many outcrops of the magic metal adamantium. This substance, which flashes in the sun and grabs the attention of passers-by, drives those who touch it mad.

The victim is filled with a compulsion to become a bandit. In addition, on the few occasions when a Dandy Highwayman does get some small measure of wealth, their madness will drive them to spend it on clothes, from the few peddlers who travel through the Frontier.

There are two types of Dandy Highwayman. Whether they derive from two types of adamantium is unknown. The first, the 'Ant People', are almost all sterile in the manner of insects. The 'Sex People', by contrast, are able to reproduce normally. The two types appear identical to normal humans, but they are able to tell themselves apart, and a given group will be of one type.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Bright Company

This group of murderers is rightly feared for their habit of preying on travellers. They present themselves as going on the same journey, and ask to travel together for protection - a common and wise practice, unlikely to be refused.

They may be compared to the tugees of Hindoostan, with the difference that they have no known religious basis, nor do they rob their victims. The Bright Company carry knives, but are happy to use any means at hand, in contrast to the tugee's invariable strangulation by means of a sacred silk cord.

It is said that they recruit new members by always leaving one victim alive, and forcing them to eat human flesh, so that they are ashamed to associate with anyone other than the Company. Yet members who have been captured seem not to resent the group. They also display a horrible lack of remorse, even to downright jollity. One that I interrogated rejected the idea that he had been forced into the Company by ceremonies of degradation. He denied even being threatened, claiming that once the members had murdered his family they simply talked to him, and made him see the benefits of such a life. He spoke as one who had been engaged in some mild foolishness, and had been brought to his senses by well-meaning friends.

Stories differ as to what happens to corpses of their victims. Some say that they extract their victims' fat, using it for cosmetics for fine ladies. Others say that the eyes, lips and tongues are sold to merchants to be placed in the foundations of new shops; the eyes to help customers see the new business, and the lips and tongues to spread word of its existence. Yet others say that the heart and lungs are 'harvested' and given to entities unknown. Some of these stories may be misapplied tales of the practices of the Court of Miracles or other criminal gangs.

Some say that members of the Company travel continuously. Others say that they live settled lives for part of the year (in some accounts, losing their memory of their murderous activities). There are tales of hidden villages with no roads where they dwell. Others say that they bribe the rulers of certain kingdoms, and are provided with positions in royal courts.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Invisible Hand

This spirit is said to haunt a particular market in Teleleli. It steals money from some people, and gives it to others. In almost every case those from whom it steals are already poor, and those to whom it gives already wealthy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Foulness in the Night

This creature collects the liquid that pools in the bottom of piles of garbage. It puts this substance into a device like an eye-dropper. Sneaking into people's houses, it drips the liquid into the mouths of people who sleep with their mouth open. This explains why such people often wake up with a horrible taste in their mouth.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The True Mummer's Standard Advanced

It is said that in ancient times a great director came to loathe what he saw as the theatre's emphasis on artificial style over emotion. He set up a secret theatre in an unknown location. He then began kidnapping ordinary people, and forcing them to learn the lines of his plays. Just before they gave their forced performance, he informed them falsely that their entire family had been killed, in order to inspire the correct depth of feeling. Though the director is dead, this organisation is said to continue his work.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Seventh-Day Inventists

This unpopular group fills the heads of the young and vulnerable with obscure drivel about 'experiments' and 'rational explanations'. For example they insist that the tides are caused by invisible rays of force that emanate from the moon, rather than being the sea god Numen Mari breathing. They are the enemies of all gods (other than the god of low self-confidence, who does not believe in himself).

Their members have, however, gained some respect in the adventuring field, since their fanatical beliefs allow them to use ancient technology with less danger, to resist sorcery (unfortunately this includes useful magics as well as harmful ones), and to shake the self-confidence of demons and evil spirits; they have been known to convince ghosts that they do not exist.

It is rumoured that the Inventists posess a suit of clothing with the power to destroy magic. Its parts are said to include the Suspenders of Disbelief, and the Selfish Jeans.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Pony Express

This guild of gnomes has catapults and giant nets carefully arranged in Teleleli, and various other cities. Specially trained horses and riders are flung by the catapults, to land in the nets at their destination. They carry parcels and letters, which is how the guild makes its money.

Every so often a horse will arrive on time, but without its rider or parcels. It is said that those hired to investigate have found nothing, or have disappeared themselves. One theory is that some villainous personage is firing a magnetic ray to cause the ponies to fly off course.

These losses have led to a rise in popularity of the carrier parrot. This system is more expensive, but has the advantage that a well-trained parrot will not speak its message unless it arrives at its proper destination. Thus no third party can learn the message by intercepting the bird.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Insurance Companies

Those who are undertaking a journey outside of Teleleli may wish to begin by visiting the offices of an insurance company. In most cases this will not be to take out insurance, but to find work.

Wealthy folk often seek insurance for long journeys; for example, a monarch sending a child to another kingdom to be married. The company stands to make a great fortune on such a policy, but they may lose a greater one if they have to pay out. Since these journeys are very rare, there is little data on exactly how dangerous these journeys are. Thus it is difficult for the company to know what conditions to offer.

To remedy this, companies will often hire groups of adventurers to make a particular journey, to see how many survive. They may have to make the journey under particular conditions, in order that their chances of survival more closely match those of potential clients. For example, the company may supply a wagon which appears to be laden with silks, or a child whose finery suggests they have great value in ransom.

The adventurers should be sure to negotiate their contract carefully, especially if they venture into an area where there are jackals or wolves. Insurance companies generally do not cover acts of dog.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The League of Snide, Aristocratically-Accented Villains

This criminal organisation specialises in elaborate schemes on a grand scale. Ideally a plan should allow them to take over at least part of the world, or gain a fortune by threatening the destruction of a city or kingdom. They disdain ordinary crime, with the exception of burglary of art and precious jewels.

My investigations suggest that their base is either an abandoned funfair, or what sounds like a gigantic zeppelin, so high in the sky that it cannot be seen. My informant suggested that they travel from zeppelin to city and back at night. She also claimed that the zeppelin has a device which fires sharks at anyone who attacks the base. Presumably the sharks are equipped with hang-gliders, and modified diving-suits allowing them to breathe.

It is whispered that some of their members, convicted of their crimes, have chosen to be executed by catapult and, once launched into the heavens, have been rescued by cleverly-placed hot air balloons.

Their most respected member is the Count Nom DePlume, a figure of great mystery. Some have suggested that this is not even his real name.

They have vast wealth, dedication and genius. However they are let down by their poor social skills, with members trying to become leader rather than co-operating. Indeed it is rumoured that one of their number, Baron von Rickman, has started a rival organisation, after a dispute with the Count over a favourite monocle.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Proper Behaviour During an Expedition

It is wise to bear in mind the near-universal taboo against failing to properly bury bodies. This is not only out of respect for the person, but fear of being haunted. This belief also applies to beasts. Hunters will perform a token funeral rite for their prey, burying a single bone.

This taboo includes taking posessions off a corpse. Even one who confronts a thief in their house and kills them will fear to recover their shells.

This state applies only to the recently dead. There is no fear in robbing the tomb of one dead for at least a century or so. Though woe to he who 'picks unripe fruit'.

It happened that the noted cat-burglar Edwina Tibbletibtub, when caught in the bell-tower of the Temple of the Crone, held on to the ancient and priceless bell as she died. Thus the relic was removed and buried with her in a secret place, until generations later when the temple was able to dig it back up and reinstall it (the event celebrated as the Return of the Bell).

Thus hirelings who are prepared to loot dead enemies, or tolerate others doing so, are rare. And they will always be desperate, unable to find other work, and will be wounded in body or mind. Yet they will still expect higher pay than normal hirelings. An aged cripple values their only life no less than a stout swordsman.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Engaging Hands for An Expedition

The guild members that the traveller will have most traffic with are, naturally, those who take part in expeditions to the wilderness, sea, or underworld. Some examples include
  • Porters who carry equipment or treasure, or those who handle pack-animals.
  • Guides and interpreters (two skills most valuable in a land where travel and maps are so rare).
  • Those who hunt food (and usually also serve as cooks).
  • Those with a specialised knowledge of plants. Depending on the prevailing flora they may be able to gather food, prepare poisons, or give some limited medical assistance.
  • Sailors. This single word covers a variety of trades: navigators, helmsmen or -women, dressers (who maintain diving suits and assist in their use), rowers and so on.
  • Caddies. Some creatures are resistant to particular weapons. Thus many travellers will have several weapons, and will engage an assistant to carry them and present the most appropriate one as needed.
One may be tempted to pay less than the going rate. I have heard that, with patience, one may as much as halve one's expense. Of course those who are hired at such rates will be more likely to desert in times of danger. They are also more likely to be incompetent, quarrelsome, or prone to theft. Paying higher than the going rate will not necessarily result in better applicants, but they will at least be more loyal.

Typically contracts involve a promise to pay the assistant's heirs if they die, and to make all efforts to bring their body back. One can of course break these promises. However this will result in difficulties hiring others. Further these contracts, like all others, involve a supplication to the gods to curse anyone who breaks their part, and it cannot be said with certainty that the gods never listen.

Contracts usually specify a minimum amount that must be paid, as well as a percentage of treasure, with the higher amount applying.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Guildless

The traveller should expect to be feared or pitied by many for having neither guild nor clan nor temple. The adventurer, despite that he may have great wealth, is still cousin to the vagabond and the bandit (the word 'askaris', literally meaning 'swarming locusts', can be applied to mercenaries, groups of bandits, or any other band of armed outsiders). Indeed despite their curiosity about our world, I was almost never asked about it, for all assumed that I must have a great shame or great sorrow to have travelled so far alone. This feeling is more intense outside of the big cities, where rootless wanderers are less common.

The hemianthropoi are unique in that a few of them will freely choose to leave their homes to wander the world; albeit to the bewilderment and mortification of their more sedentary fellows. All other lone wanderers will not have chosen their life, but been driven to it by circumstance (I say lone wanderers, since those nomadic folk who travel in family groups are an entirely different class of person). Through lengthy enquiry, made difficult by the tenderness of the subject, I have identified several common reasons, here appended.
  • Fleeing an unwanted arranged marriage.
  • Chosen for human sacrifice.
  • Rejected in love and set out to prove themselves a hero, to find forgetfulness, or to die.
  • Exiled for a crime, or facing execution, slavery or imprisonment, or an escaped prisoner (whether innocent or guilty). Given the nature of society in much of the world, the law may be the custom and opinion of local people rather than a formal judicial body.
  • Life made intolerable by an oppressive fuedal lord, or a slave-owner.
  • Escaping an unpayable debt, whether of money, goods, labour, or honour.
  • Deserted from an army.
  • Life is forfeit due to their participation in a war (usually a failed rebellion or civil war, since these are the mostly likely cases where the defeated side will be persecuted after surrender).
  • In the case of barbarians, became dependent on some aspect of civilised life and so unable to return to their own. Commonly the barbarian grows to need liquor, reading and the academic life, or the ownership of slaves.
  • In the case of zeru, or albinos, fleeing the persecution that this condition often brings.
  • Starvation, war, madness, disease, or some malevolent entity has destroyed their community.
  • In the case of the wealthy, guilt about the source of the family's wealth has driven them forth. Commonly related to slavery, crime, war, a political objection to inequality of wealth, or a religious objection to luxury.
  • Some cause or cult fired their passion and, having lost their faith, they are unable to return.
  • Life or freedom is forfeit due to the actions of a relative, such as criminal or political activity.

Friday, November 12, 2010


In ancient days a dwarf is said to have stolen fire from the gods, upon which the gods decreed that they could keep the fire, but lose the gods. This is said to explain their habit of ancestor-worship, and skill in metal-working.

My enquiries into the truth of this story, and others, has borne little fruit. However I remain convinced that the dwarves' body shape indicates that they were designed, or evolved, for a higher gravity than exists on Teleleli or Earth.

It might be thought that the dwarves, being prodigious minders and builders of underground cities, would be constantly tunneling into the underworld. The reason why they have not been driven extinct in this fashion is the mineral they call 'Giant's Blood'. It appears in dark veins through certain rocks. Where it appears, it alerts the dwarves that danger lies on the other side. And in any case, it renders the rock almost impossible to break.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Nature and Structure of Guilds

Most professions in the city have an organisation, called a guild. In terms of our world they are, at least in theory, part trade union or cooperative, part secret society or lodge, part charity, and part social club.

At one extreme, some guilds ensure that all members receive the same income for their efforts, and the Masters are masters only of their craft, not of younger members. Others will simply ensure that minimum standards of work are met in the trade. At their worst, guilds are a means for Masters to exploit Apprentices, or to practice discrimination against particular folk.

If a profession has more than one guild, they are usually divided by philosophy and bitter rivals. For example there are three guilds of mahoots, or elephant-handlers. Each has their own method of training elephants, which their members also follow in their daily lives. One advocates Kindness; another Violence; and a third Trickery.

Guilds usually have three ranks: Apprentice, Journeyman (or Journeywoman), and Master (or Mistress).

These ranks are associated with the three times of a woman's life: maiden, mother, and crone. A carpenter explained to me that an apprentice does not produce work, but is instructed in what they will need to do so; a journeyman produces work; and a Master no longer brings forth work, but instructs apprentices, and supports and advises journeymen. Thus, he said, the works of a craftsman are like the children borne by a mother.

In some guilds female members will be called Maiden, Mother and Crone rather than the usual titles of rank. In others they will be called Journeyman and Master rather than Journeywoman and Mistress. In many guilds all members will temporarily take on "the titles of motherhood" in ceremonies.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Court of Miracles

The Court of Miracles is the name both of a rumoured criminal gang, and of its headquarters. The name is said to have been bestowed because criminals often pretend to be blind, crippled, wounded in war etc. In the gang's headquarters they drop their pretence, and thus one may see 'miracles' such as the dying brought to full health and cripples walking.

The Masters of the group, collectively known as "The Four-Face Ghoul" are said to be as follows:
  • The Middleman, or Half-hanged Smith.
  • The Glove Woman. or the Fox-Eyed Woman (some speak of these as two people, and Sir Archy and the Grand Master as one).
  • Sir Archy.
  • The Grand Master, a man called Bill, or the King.
The gang's headquarters is said to be in the sewers beneath the city.

Their main income is said to come from drugging the unwary and stealing their kidneys. To whom they are sold is unknown, but some say that these 'clients' have become the true masters of the gang.

The Court is also said to sell the scalps of their victims to wig- and rope-makers, the fat for soap and candles, and various other items to sorcerers and alchemists.

I have been told that one way in which the gang finds victims is as follows:

A messenger turns up at the house of a known thief, unscrupulous merchant, or similar person. The messenger bears a letter, and says,
"I don't know who it's for, I was just told to deliver this to anyone in the house".

The house might be in Market Street, but the message is marked 'to the master of the house, Margate Street', or a similar plausible mistake.

The message might say, for example,
"all is in readiness my dear friend. You have but to turn up under pier 'D' at the docks, at exactly midnight this Friday. The man there won't know you - but simply ask him for a tinder-box as a password. This man will guide you outside the city, where the 10,000 shells are hidden. I will stay in the inn until you come to deliver my share."

The victim decides to cunningly take advantage of this mistake. They turn up at the pier at the appointed time. Naturally they tell noone, and make sure that no one sees them. The man is there and recognises the password, and guides them outside the city, where other members of the gang wait to overpower them.

The Court of Miracles is said to include a group of assassins called the Good Guests, so-called because they bring their own 'cutlery' and 'spices' (weapons and poison).

There are a number of other criminal gangs in the city, and tales told about one may truly belong to another. They include the Picaroons, the Dead Rabbits, the Roach Guards, the Second-Storey Women, and the Shirt Tails.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Copse

This city guard is so named because of the large number of Tree-Folk recruited to join it.

Although they do fight crime, they have an evil reputation. They are accused of 'rescuing' orphaned children, or the children of criminals, and while proclaiming that they are being given a better life, using them as slave labour, mercenaries or unwilling settlers in far lands.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Warhammer of the Scarab-Rabbit

This weapon is said to have belonged to the trickster-hero Scarab-Rabbit.

Anyone hit on the head with this hammer will lose their memory. But if the victim is hit on the head again, they will regain it.

It also has the virtue that it will fit into any backpack, or even into a pocket, although the hammer might seem too large.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Scarab-Rabbit is a trickster-hero, worshipped especially by talking rabbits.

'Scarab' has associations with persistence, and with gold. The latter is because the sun is believed by some to be a dung ball pushed across the sky by a scarab or dung beetle (some have concluded that, since there are so many stars and so many insects, the creator of the universe must love them best. Thus they conclude that the Sun-Scarab must be the creator of the universe, and the stars must be the same as the sun).

Because of its association with the sun, the scarab can also symbolise one who 'rises again' from seeming defeat.

The name 'Scarab-Rabbit' thus indicates his character as one who is clever, and who never gives up. In most stories he is seemingly defeated. only to come up with a clever plan to triumph in the end.

Scarab-Rabbit has 'absorbed' many of the stories of similar gods and heroes from other people. Perhaps his nature as a sly trickster makes it easy to accept that The Goblin Who Said He Could Eat the Moon, or the Dingo Spirit of the Downunderworld, was really Scarab-Rabbit in disguise. And, indeed, in many stories he disguises himself to confound his enemies.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Queen of Welcome

This goddess of love, friendship, children and good fortune appears as a dancing child with the head of a cat.

Her priests, the 'Mouthess Ones', never speak in public, but advertise their faith by covering everything they own with representations of the goddess, and the short prayer 'Hail, O Kitty'.

Friday, November 5, 2010


The followers of this lion-headed god recruit the poor and desperate from the streets of Teleleli, inviting them back to their temple, or 'barracks', where they are fed.

This noble work has not dismissed their ill reputation. This is partly because of rumours that they pressure people into undergoing rituals of initiation which can involve beatings and even death.

Nara's followers are also said to steal the idols of other gods (and some say they even kidnap the gods themselves). They bring them to the Grand Barracks, which lies many miles from Teleleli, where Nara stands before an eternal pyre. The offerings are burnt at his feet, so that he is ever wrapped in the rising smoke of idols, stupified in ecstatic dreams of evil.

Every so often, it is said, the High Priest is also thrown into the flames. This is called the doctrine of papal inflammability.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Dry-Corpse is a servant of the God of Unnatural Death.

He was once a man so evil that the earth would not rot his flesh and demons would not take his soul. He wanders "the unseen spaces within the earth". It is disputed whether this means the underworld, the astral plane, or simply out-of-the-way places.

He is said to be cursed with an unholy appetite for lost children (or, some say, for pregnant women and their unborn babies) "unquenchable like the craving for salt-water".

Dry-Corpse has the appearance of a great snake, scintillant and seductive.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beautiful Lady Sebastienne

Beautiful Lady Sebastienne is the consort of the God of Unnatural Death.

She may be offered sacrifices (or 'bribes') such as spices, silks or shells. She is said to love human hearts best of all, which her worshippers call 'fruit of the machete' or 'fruit of the spear'.

These offerings may be buried in graveyards, places of execution, the sites of suicides and similar places. Newly-harvested fields are also associated with the Beautiful Lady. The cutting and gathering of the crop is said to remind her of the gathering of souls into death. This may be one reason why the machete is said to be used by her followers (although it may also be that the machete, as a common tool, may not arouse the same suspicions as a spear or sword).

Beautiful Lady Sebastienne is, in some places, the god of lepers and like outcasts, and of those whose crimes are so grave that no other god will hear their prayers. She is said to refuse no worshippers, since death takes all. Thus she is given such titles as Mother of the Pedarests, and The Bokers' Mistress. It is said that she even accepted the sacrifice of the unclean hyena, from one too simple to realise his blasphemy, though it made her sick.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The God of Unnatural Death

This god's skin is stretched so tight across his face that it looks more like a skull - and indeed, he has no eyes and nose, but only holes like a skull. He has a fine mustache, large and glossy.

Vain and arrogant, he wears fine clothes. His horse, which looks starved and maddened, has the most expensive bridle and saddle.

He wears a bandana around his neck, tied with a knot in the front, whose two ends are usually depicted as flowing outwards like his mustache. Some say this is no coincidence; that once there was a man whose mustache was better than his, and the god cut his skin off, mustache and all, to make the bandana.

He carries a flag, on which are printed words which would drive any who read them to despair. This is usually represented with a skull and crossbones, or depicted so as to be hidden from the viewer. Despite his horse's appearance, none can outride it.

The God of Unnatural Death is, naturally, the patron of assassins and other murderers, and he may not be worshipped openly in most places. However, many will seek to placate him that he may spare one who has fallen pray to poison, accident or kidnapping. This is usually done by appealing to his consort, Beautiful Lady Sebastienne.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Great Isle of the Tattooed

In days past a witch-priest of the God of Unnatural Death was captured and sentenced to death. The warlock demanded that his bones be buried with respect, lest he curse the royal line. The queen of the place refused, and on the contrary caused his bones to be disposed of in three places, and all records of the places destroyed, so that no one could ever perform proper burial.

The curse followed soon after. The queen died of confusion after becoming addicted to cold turkey.

Her daughter now sat on the steel throne, but after some years went entirely insane, and stopped living in a fantasy world.

The second queen having no children, a noble of the place was acclaimed king. He had no wish for the throne, but once on it he became frightened of plots against him. Almost all implements were forbidden, for fear of assassination. And so the peasants dig in the earth with their bare hands. They curse his name, the king is said to go disguised among his people at night and kill any who recognise him, and the snickering of Hollow Mockeries has been heard in the land.
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