Sunday, February 27, 2011

The City of the Amazons

This city stands on the fringes of a desert. It is a terrible location, and indeed some say that it was chosen as a characteristic test of strength by these most Spartan women, whose role in their society is akin to the traditional role of men.

There are many myths about the Amazons. The belief that they charge into battle naked, for example, is based on work which is now considered unreliable: the tome Seriously You Guys, You Could Totally See Their Boobs.

Other false beliefs may be true tales of other, more obscure groups:
  • That they have no men, growing like fruit from trees.
  • That all their men are born cripples, or that male children's legs are broken at birth, or that healthy boy-children are left for the wolves and only the crippled kept.
  • That they can bear no male children, and so must steal them (which is said to account for their warlike nature).
  • That they are not women, but have no gender; like insects, the queen is the only true woman, and the mother of them all.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two-Fisted Tweets

I've just put out an ebook, called Two-Fisted Tweets. You can buy it for 99c here. It has 30 mostly humorous stories, including fantasy, science-fiction and horror. Each story is less than 140 characters long (the length of a Twitter tweet).

BookFetish has just done a review. They gave it four and a half stars, and say that "Not since Scott Huot and GW Brazier’s Not Proud: A Smorgasbord of Shame and Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith’s Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure, has so few words, said so much...Though short in length, Two-Fisted Tweets is long on creative wit and humor that will have you laughing well after the final line has been read." The full review is here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Celestial Realm

The Celestial Realm is the Telelelene term for all places beyond the sky, excluding the Moon and other planets.

It should be noted that the world is not a spherical planet, but rather is a flat 'sheet'. It is not known what lies at its edges (if any), or below the underworld. All other planets, so far as is known, are the spherical shape familiar to us.

Inhabitants of the Celestial Realm include Perverse Space Brains and Silicate Spiders, as well as space-craft crewed by pirates, traders, and explorers. Although most of their number are species unknown in Teleleli, there are some planets whose inhabitants are human or related kindred.

Dwarvish craft usually resemble a huge, heavily-armoured helmet. An 'arm' holding a hammer often extends from the top of the craft. It is operated by ropes, reminding one of church bell-ringers.

The dragonfly-like craft of the elves rely on speed and maneuverability.

Craft built (or built and grown, since they are partly organic) to halfling design resemble a hill, with houses set inside in the manner of halfling villages. They defend themselves by exuding intoxicating smoke, which resembles a stronger version of Pipe-Weed, through the chimneys.

Celestial craft built by gnomes resemble a gigantic statue, diving suit, or suit of armour, and rely on speed and their thick hulls.

Craft built by humans have varied designs, but often resemble ships or castles.

The Celestial Realm is a wild and lawless place, but some protection is provided by the Rocket Rangers of the Galaxy. This group, whose formal name is the Rocket Corps Mega-Patrol, may be recognised by their distinctive red tunics and wide-brimmed hats. They patrol on rocket-horses, righting wrongs and apprehending evil-doers. Their spacesuits require less heating than those of other beings, due to the extreme cold of their home planet.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cedar Mountain, or See-the-Mountain

One morning the people of the city which stands on this mountain woke with an unspoken unity of purpose. They closed the city gates, and no one has travelled in or out since. There are now no gates at all, just a solid wall.

Foreigners visiting the city on that night apparently shared the decision, and residents of the city who were away on the night claimed to be as baffled by it as everyone else.

The only time the people of the city are seen (if indeed they are still people) is on certain nights when figures may be dimly seen walking the walls. They are clearly not guards. A dozen might walk on one section of the wall, and none on another. And what could a person on such a high wall see at night in any case?

The people of the city communicated, in a sense, with the outside world for exactly one week after sealing themselves in. In response to any and all enquiries, they would respond that the dead would now bury themselves.

Some former citizens, who were elsewhere on the fateful night, have made a village on the side of the mountain. The traveller who wishes to investigate may find help and information here.

Monday, February 21, 2011


This far city is shrouded in mystery. An ancient proverb says of it
"Let us not go there; for it is a silly place."

The king of the place is said to be guarded and worshipped by Hollow Mockeries.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


As I have noted, scientific knowledge in Teleleli and surrounding lands is mostly the property of individuals, and dies with them.

The ancient city of Atnos declared a bold rebellion against this practice. They decreed that all knowledge should be written on the city walls, to be freely used by all. Even magic was to be freely shared, under the doctrine of open sorcery.

Alas, the city fell. It is not known why. Some say they uncovered knowledge that no one could have discovered by themselves, which drove them mad. Others say that, on the contrary, they were destroyed by wizards or priests who feared their monopoly would end. Of course, their fall may have had nothing to do with their policy.

Those who live near the ruined city certainly believe that knowledge was to blame. They now worship ignorance, in the form of a blind idiot god who lives in the ground. Were it not for their fear, they would certainly have obliterated all writing on the walls of Atnos.

They believe that knowledge is spiritually dangerous, so that only priests can safely face it. Some very pious people blind themselves, lest they accidentally learn from observing the world.

They do not welcome travellers, who bring knowledge of the world, and are suspected (usually rightly) of wanting to view the walls of Atnos.

If one avoids the people, most of the city itself is ruled by talking wild dogs. They are divided into two packs, whose alphas are Snoop Manny Man and Will Feral.

There is also rumoured to be a colony of zeru, or albinos, living in the city. They are said to have braved the many dangers of this place to escape persecution. In some places the ignorant will kill or exile them, believing them to be cursed and 'carriers' of bad luck. Sorcerers also hunt them, prizing their body parts as ingredients in magic. Their bad reputation may come from a confusion with underground-dwelling humans, or with the various albino animals that live in sewers.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Astral Plane

The astral plane (or luminiferous ether) is a world which exists near our world (the material plane) but separated from it in an arcane and unknowable direction. Normally, beings in our world have no ability to see or influence the astral plane. However at least some creatures in the astral plane are either dimly visible from the material world, or can interact with the material world at will, or both.

Alas, astral creatures, at least those who interact with the material world, are very often malevolent. Or perhaps they perceive material creatures as a horrifying threat. In either case, the result is the same.

Some astral creatures have the ability to move unliving things, but not to directly influence living creatures. For example, they might be able to cause stones to fly at a person. Their strength, if we may call it that, varies widely. Some may do little more than cause a book to fall off a bookshelf, or a door to close. Others have superhuman strength.

Other astral creatures have the ability to influence living things directly. Some will punch a person across the face, or cause scratches to appear. Others will seem to stroke their hands across a person's heart, causing all but the bravest to be overcome with fear.

If a person stands in a position such that they are occupying the same space, as it were, as any astral creature, it has the same effect on the heart, even if the creature cannot cause this effect at will. Astral creatures themselves never seek to cause this effect, and indeed will actively avoid it. Perhaps it has a similar effect on themselves.

There are some such creatures who seem not to perceive material creatures, and so pose no danger unless a person gets in their way.

There does not seem to be a similar variation in the quality of material creatures. If an astral creature can see any material creature, it will be able to see all. If it can stroke the heart of one creature, it will be able to stroke the heart of all. Whereas there are visible and invisible astral creatures, there do not seem to be visible and invisible material creatures. It may be that what we call by the one name of astral creatures, may be several kinds of creature.

The superstitious are known to mutter that astral creatures are unquiet spirits of the dead. There is some evidence that these creatures favour places of death. It is speculated that the presence of death in the material plane may provide life in the astral plane. Perhaps our battlefield or slaughterhouse becomes a pleasant garden or abundant forest in the astral plane. More horribly, perhaps a pair of lovers who stroll through a sun-filled park appear in the astral plane as dim figures in the thick smoke of a crematorium. However, the wise are not taken with stories of spirits, and know that astral creatures are nothing more frightening than eldritch extra-dimensional entities who may wish to destroy all life.

Certain weapons have the virtue of existing in both worlds at the same time, and thus are effective against astral beings. There are also rituals which will render an area safe against such entities. Whether they forbid them from entering, or merely render them invisible and intangible, is unknown. Such rituals are far more difficult, if not impossible, if such entities are already present; just as a bargain not made may with ease never be made, yet once made, what a labour it may be to unmake.

The smoke from wood sprinkled with certain of the Noble Spices is said to reveal some otherwise invisible spirits. It does not appear to harm them.

Astral cats are bred for the fact that they live in the material world and the astral plane, at the same time. This means they can sense, and interact with, creatures of the astral plane. Astral creatures, unused to any threat, will often flee in terror from them (or at least, it is assumed that they feel terror). However astral cats are no more fearsome in combat than any other domestic cat.

Friday, February 18, 2011


After being banished from the City of Dust, the legendary ape-man scientist Count Apeula made his base here. He uses the island as a laboratory for his experiments in creating hybrid forms of life, in order to show those fools at the Academy. The most successful form is the robo-ninja, who now make up his personal guard. However he is said to believe that a combination of a ninja and a dinosaur would be more awesome still.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Isle of Wrecks

The Hobgoblins of Little Mind are dull-witted, goblin-like creatures, that stand about 2 feet tall.

Frankly, there's nothing big or clever about them.

They are surprisingly resourceful in luring ships onto the rocks that surround most of their island. Helped by the thick fogs that prevail in the area, they use lamps to mimic lighthouses, giving false signals. Some have suggested that this shows a guiding intelligence ruling or aiding them, though for what purpose is unknown.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Isle of Wives

The men of this island each take many wives. Every five years they hold a cull of the boys, hunting them to reduce their numbers.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Isle of Sloth

On this island is a city, which lies in ruins. Or rather, not so much ruins, as the foundations of a city that was never built. It is said that the nobles of this city were so lazy and useless that not only did they never do any work, their presence actually undid the work of others. In the end their libraries were un-written, their city un-built, and at last their citizens un-born.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

from The Golden Bough

In this sacred grove there grew a certain tree round which at any time of the day, and probably far into the night, a grim figure might be seen to prowl. In his hand he carried a drawn sword, and he kept peering warily about him as if at every instant he expected to be set upon by an enemy. He was a priest and a murderer; and the man for whom he looked was sooner or later to murder him and hold the priesthood in his stead. Such was the rule of the sanctuary. A candidate for the priesthood could only succeed to office by slaying the priest, and having slain him, he retained office till he was himself slain by a stronger or a craftier.

James Frazer.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Isle of the Poison God

This island is filled with animals and fruit, yet no one hunts or gathers food there. This is because it is the home of a silver god, whose touch is death.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Isle of the Patriarchs

Since most powerful men on this island have many wives, there are more single men than women. This is particularly true of young men and women, since the powerful men prefer younger wives.

The religion of the island forbids the institution of a 'third sex'. They have not taken the grim solution practiced on the Isle of Wives.

Instead they have developed the practice of exiling boys and young men for the most minor infractions.

Many girls and young women have fled, either with their loves or away from their husbands.

Many of these exiles have found their way to Teleleli, where they burn with dreams of vengeful return.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Isle of Mouths

It is generally believed that this island is named for the caves in its interior, which resemble mouths.

But, the old priest smirkingly tells certain visitors, it is not so.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Isle of Mists

This island is uninhabited. A family who settled here are said to have been strangled by a mist that came out of the ground.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Isle of Leeches

The people of this island had been isolated for many generations, due to the treacherous reefs in the area. When they were rediscovered they wanted little of the ways of the 'ancestors' (as they called foreigners), with one exception. The concept of blackmail incited a terrible fascination in them. Being peaceful and innocent tribal folk they had little to hide, and indeed little to give. But they saw that outsiders had untold wealth, and untold things that they wanted hidden from the world. Like barnacles, it seemed that every ship that passed by the island picked up at least one of these folk, whose fare was only their silence. They harmed none directly, yet their mild and forthright voices were as dreaded as the sirens' song, robbing some of all they had, and others of their very lives. After a few of them were murdered they learned again, and now come only in the night, and only guarded by miserable foreigners, whose loyalty is held with chains of fear and shame, bound by secrets held in secret places.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Isle of the Iguanas

This island is inhabited by talking iguanas.

Like their mute cousins talking iguanas have a tiny third eye, the 'parietal eye'. Talking iguanas use it to see the spirit world, and to communicate with one another (they are entirely unable to speak). Naturally it is not known whether normal iguanas can do either. This eye has no ability to see the normal world.

Like halflings they are masters of camouflage, almost invisible in the forest.

Because they communicate using their third eye, and their facial expression does not change with their emotions, they seem emotionless to humans (and vice-versa).

The high priest of the island, and its king (for he is always male), takes the name Father. He is encouraged to engage in all manner of debaucheries, to show his power over sin. He also mortifies his flesh, to show his contempt for the body and his spiritual nature. An excess of self-torture is an essential characteristic for an iguana who would attain senior rank in the priesthood. This means that the senior priests tend to be fanatical and unbalanced.

The island is a place of fear at night since the Father is given the power to turn into a cheetah, in which form he roams, with a "heart full of fire", searching to destroy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Isle of Hail

This island is surrounded by high cliffs. The inhabitants of the place want nothing to do with outsiders, and stand on the cliffs hurling stones at any ships who come near. They promise less talk, more rock.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Isle of the Half-Demons

In ancient times, it is said, demons walked the world openly, and even ruled cities. Some had affairs with mortals, and the illegitimate children were exiled here. The inhabitants of this island have a red tinge to their skin, and red pupils. Both men and women have horns that are like those of rams or bulls. From their appearance, it appears that their demon forebears were demons of touch.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Rackets of Unwanted Return

These artifacts resemble tennis rackets. They may be used to intercept missiles, or even spells. If the user is very skilled, they can be hurled back at the attacker.

The rackets are more useful the rounder the missile. They are more effective against sling stones than against javelins, for example.

There are said to be two Rackets: the Royal Racket of Unwanted Return and the Lawn Racket of Unwanted Return. Some say that the first is hidden within a royal palace, and the second is hidden in the overgrown grounds of the same palace. Others say that the names derive from the fact that the Royal Racket is only useful indoors, and the Lawn Racket is only useful outdoors.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...