Sunday, April 15, 2018

Mana-Wyrms

A Mana-wyrm alone is no visible danger. A little silver slug-like thing, glimmering by lamplight and sliding along like water over a stone. Its danger is invisible, and quite potent indeed, for its food source is the arcane. 

Wyrms upon the ground are an unfocuses psychic nightmare, rending the space and minds of those around it with reckless abandon. When a magic user comes close, though, the wild thrashing is replaced by a cold focus. It sees your mind and the bounty it holds. The wild strikes narrow to methodical precision. Disable food, disable the threats protecting it. If the Wyrm succeeds, it feeds.

The eye goes first, sucked clean and expelled. Then the Wyrm burrows. A horrible hermitage in bone and blood. It makes itself comfortable, then makes itself hidden. Few things down here rely on their eyes; smoothing over the host's mind is simple enough. The wyrm gorges itself for days to come, while its host finds fresh meals. More erratic as the days pass, less like the real being they once were, as wyrm-larvae eat away the grey matter. The skull bulges and, at last, splits; a new generation crawls out, wreathed in a screen of mind-tearing screams like TV static over your thoughts. The cycle begins anew. 

In order, Mana-wyrms will target magic-users with innate control (if existent), magic-users, thieves, and fighters. Holy men will never be targeted, as divine powers are anathema to the beasts.

Sunkeepers of the Dead City

Beneath the earth, the sun is a forgotten concept. No sunlight filters through caverns, towers, and endless, crushing stone. Light is precious, flickering to life and burning out bright.

The Sunkeepers did not forget. They learned and perfected.

The Glass Sun hangs far above the Dead City's streets. Fist-sized from below, massive up close. Radium glow in filigree at "night", blazing blue in "day". Atomic energies bound by wards and lead alone. Surges and fades by the Keepers' whims, blinding by intensity and absence alike.

The Sunkeepers are a part of and apart from the world. Suits wrought from enchanted iron and lead hold the Sun's vital essence, joined to the body and trapped within. They burn to animate cinders that propel their ponderous gait undeterred. Without the suit, they are dissolute, barely-shaped gases of overwhelming heat.  Burn bright in the heart of the Glass Sun, dim to a low, piercing glow when its hunger grows greater. Its emissaries prowl at the ebb of their own furnaces. They render their fuel from any source necessary.

Never speak nor write, but they understand. They trade with the City, but never for material; always for slaves. The Sun blesses the living. The Sun gives its blessing, accepted or not. So the Glass Sun grows.

An Introduction and 1d6 Caves

I'm reactivating this blog for OSR content, rather than the GURPS content I originally posted. I don't plan on often posting statlines, however, so it's still system-neutral. Feel free to stick around.


  1. A pitch-black cave, rough-floored but smooth-walled. Ridges and crests of stone like swelling waves. In lamplight, reflectively incandescent in orange; like an evening sunset glinting off billowing clouds. Billow-stone breaks under weight, not worth climbing, but the overhangs offer shade. About forty feet long, twenty feet wide and high, ovoid. No monsters will come here.
  2. Stone-hewn cottage built into one wall of a shadowy fungal field, expanding past lamplight. Glossy black and smoothed. Inhabitants are Dvalinn seeking simpler lifestyle than in the city. Small family and cave cow for burdens. Lava tube, capped by debris on both ends; 300 feet long, 35 feet wide, 20 feet high; cottage 1/3 of the way from end.
  3. High pit cave surrounding a central waterfall, sprinkling glassy beads below. Water is highly acidic; harmful to drink or even to touch. Chalky white stone, pitted and staining; soft. Narrow handholds and platforms carved into the sides, as well as texts and stories- the higher, the newer. Gradually becomes intelligible Common, relating a tale of ascent by generations. 1300 feet high, 25 foot circle, platforms 5 feet wide at max. Branching man-made tunnels connect to nearby caves.
  4. Pit cave; 15 foot wide, irregular opening in the ceiling. Vague crimson glow far below. Functionally bottomless; 90% chance dropped or thrown lights fall out of view. 10% land atop rocks seemingly floating in midair. Actually network of heavy chain, stone, and precious rare wood forming suspended marketplace. Lit by burning lamps and torches, crimson throughout. Deals with devils here; a point metaphysically close to the Nine Hells. Neutral grounds for either side. Bottomless. Irregularly shaped, beanlike; 80 feet across farthest point.
  5. Reflecting pool lit by a single lamp. Bismuth crystal structure wraps round and within, jigsaw of shimmering colors. Bound lightning illuminates; grounded to the pool by thick gauge wire. Arcs and snaps. Bones of dead cave fish on the shore. Nets by the coast side. Like a winding sideways mushroom, pool in the fungal cap; dead end. 35 feet wide and 15 feet deep in the cap, 10 foot wide stem. 10 to 20 feet high.
  6. Green-wreathed limestone, like ivy-tainted paths. Long stretch of bulb-caves along stem. Stream runs down the middle, low but strong. Bioluminescent life in alien forms tucked into damp crevices, blue-green casts over stone. Edible but disgusting. Sound distorted; everything seems to be in your own ear. 60 feet long, 10 feet wide and high. Exits up and down the streams' course; just enough room on either side to lay bedroll. Disturbance may cause you to fall in.