On Western Venatia – Part Eight

A few more glimpses into the wilds of Western Venatia.

On a side note, the Mystery Men! voting is underway. A few of the races are looking to be slaughters, while a couple are neck and neck. I can’t wait to see which heroes make the final cut for illustration.

1246. On moonless nights (beginning or end of a Nodian month), this hex becomes inundated with hundreds of jellyfish, from tiny creatures barely the size of a gold piece to monstrously large entities. They float near the surface, swaying in time to an unheard tune and converging on anything foolish enough to wander into the midst of their reverie. Assume encounters here with 2d10 monstrous jellyfish.

| Monstrous Jellyfish: HD 2d6; AC 8 [11]; Atk 1 sting (2d6); Move 3; Save 16; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Paralysis.

1314. Amid the rugged splendor of the moors there are the charred remains of an ancient abbey. Little remains but the burnt out shell of the cloister and the weed-ridden medicinal gardens, which are home to several violet fungi who let out their terrifying screams whenever they detect creatures moving toward the abbey. The abbey’s courtyard has a well grown slimy with the passage of years. At the bottom of the well sleep the so-called “Beast of Bracken Abbey”, a troll-like creature covered in bubbling pustules of slime. The beast has large, yellow eyes and iron-hard talons, and can expel a killer slime from its mouth every 1d4 rounds. The color of killer slime* is rolled randomly:

1-2 Purple
3-4 Red
5-6 Yellow

Treasure: Covered in non-toxic encrustations of slime you find 2,300 sp, 980 gp and two soapstone busts worth 100 gp each, one bust depicts Apollo Helios, the other Diana. When both busts are displayed in the same room at an equal height they create a Bless effect through the entire room.

| Beast of Bracken Abbey: HD 10; AC 2 [17]; Atk 2 claws (1d4) and bite (1d6); Move 12; Save 5; CL/XP 11/1700; Special: Belch slime.

1333. Lonely Castle Carnifex stands brooding by the river, its black willows sipping at the lazy waters and its grey spires, showing no light or warmth, staring out over the endless woodlands. The castle is the home of a band of huntsprites, the executioners of the fairy court. The sprites look like slim humanoids with black butterfly wings and wearing simple white shifts. They arm themselves with longbows and short swords that give out a shrill ring when drawn from their scabbards. The sprites do not brook intrusion into their sanctum, and truthfully the place is so bleak and unwelcoming that few would want to spend more than a few minutes exploring its empty hall and the corridors and chambers that surround it. Each sprite’s sword is +1 in the hands of an elf, dwarf or gnome, but -1 in the hands of folk without fey blood in their veins.

| Huntsprite (3): HD 8 (39, 35, 26 hp); AC 1 [18]; Atk 2 +1 sword (1d6+1) or 2 +3 longbow (1d8+3); Move 15 (Fly 30); Save 8; CL/XP 13/2300; Special: Perfect shot, spells, magic resistance 45%.

1410. Blackmere Lake is known for its sudden, violent storms. One hundred years ago the wedding barge of the daughter of Argrave, Lord Mayor of Blackpoort, went down in such a storm with its passengers, crew and treasures. The barge still rests at the bottom of the lake, haunted by a wedding party that dances, sings and feasts on the living for all eternity.

The party guests and crew are now a collection of thirty wraiths. The guests and their servants appear as ghostly men and women dressed in medieval finery (long shoes tipped with bells, long turbans, doublets, etc.). When living creatures are spotted, the guests call out to them to join the party. Servants seat them before a ghostly feast and pour luminescent wine in golden goblets. It is then, when they are surrounded, that the wraiths turn on their guests and devour their life force. Unlike most wraiths, their depredations do not create spawn.

Should one manage to destroy or disable all of the wraiths, they will find that the barge holds a great treasure of wedding presents.

Treasure: 1,390 sp, 6,450 gp, a bronze statue of a satyr worth 20 gp, a silver statuette of Juno worth 125 gp, an amber brooch worth 100 gp, a brass waist chain worth 300 gp, a piece of polished coral worth 145 gp, a pearl worth 400 gp, an olivine worth 900 gp, a sapphire worth 4,000 gp and a silver decanter of endless water and a potion of extra healing.

* The killer slime is a monster that will appear in November in PARS FORTUNA. Of course, it will also appear in the free download of NOD #6 in December.

On Western Venatia – Part Seven

A few more encounters for Western Venatia. You’ll have to use the tags at the bottom to navigate to the other Venatia entries because, frankly, I’m pooped!

1206. A massive carcharadon patrols these waters, always watchful for a foundering cog or lazy galley slung low in the water.

| Carcharadon: HD 8 (40 hp); AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 bite (1d8+4); Move (Swim 24); Save 8; CL/XP 8/800; Special: Feeding frenzy.

1209. On a lonely hill overlooking a quiet meadow of purple cone flowers and alyssum there are the remains of a villa. The villa belonged to Calyn, a well-respected soldier of Nomo, adopted human son of a noble elf family. All that remains of the villa is a cobbled court-yard and a single stone wall. The wall carries the faded remains of a fine mosaic showing children at play and stately men and women watching them and drinking from black, horn-shaped cups. In the center of the courtyard there is a fountain carved from rugged limestone with fittings of green copper. Should one sit on the side of the fountain and ask a question, the fountain will respond by singing an ancient legend (per the spell Legend Lore) in a fine tenor.

1219. An old chimae lives in a cave overlooking a boulder-stewn plain. The chimae has the body of a giant goat, the head of a lion and a serpent tail and answers to the name Chalos. Chalos often comes to the river to hunt.

Treasure: 1,890 sp, 1,500 gp, brass collar worth 300 gp and hepatizon and turquoise pendant worth 1,000 gp.

| Lion Chimae: HD 9 (34 hp); AC 3 [17]; Atk 1 bite (1d10) and 1 stinger (1d6); Move 12 (Climb 9); Save 6; CL/XP 10/1400; Special: Poison sting causes paralysis.

1222. By the side of the imperial road you spot a fawn sitting next to a gnarled, old stump. From the way its swaying, the fawn looks as though its been injured. A close inspection reveals that the creature is, in fact, a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing, a sort of wilderness mimic.

| Wolf-in-Sheep’s Clothing: HD 9 (35 hp); AC 2 [17]; Atk 3 tentacles (1d4); Move 1; Save 6; CL/XP 10/1400; Special: Grab, surprise on 1-4 on d6.

1239. One might stumble across the body of a wolf, freshly killed, it seems, with a hand axe that still sticks in the creature’s side. If the axe is removed, the wolf’s skin leaps from the body and glides into the woods. For one week thereafter, the adventurer’s hear the howls and footfalls of a wolf pack, but encounter no random monsters in the woods.

On Western Venatia – Part Seven

Quick note – I am finishing up NOD #5 and should have it available by next week. Contents will include a couple dozen vampires drawn from world folklore, Mines & Minerals, the Illusionist class and his spells, Ibis – City of Sorcerers, level 2 of Izrigul’s Palace (continued from last issue) and another chapter or two of Phantastes. Cover image to the right.

1124. The drab moors give way here to a colorful garden of pistachio trees, maples and, in the springtime, brilliant tulips and lilies. A meandering path of crushed stone takes one from the front gates to the little castle within, a tower keep that looks as though it were carved from ivory. The garden is worked by thirty children dressed in tattered clothing, all of them wiry and underfed. The children work in a kitchen garden of over sized cabbages, radishes and eggplants. Secreted in the trees are a six ettercaps, all servants of the mistress of the ivory tower, an annis hag called Urmelia. Urmelia and her minions stage raids on the Emperor’s Way, bringing back slaves who are, using the hag’s special recipe, changed into mere children. Should the hag’s formula be used on a human or halfling, they find themselves reduced in age to 8 or 9 years, their strength score cut in half and their dexterity dropped by 2 points. The hag usually has a dozen doses of the potent potion on hand. In the tower’s donjon Urmelia keeps her sister Yordis, polymorphed into a small child and bound with silver chains that disrupt her ability to use magic.

Treasure: 3,800 ep, 1,090 sp, 820 gp, 10 lb of cocoa worth 100 gp/lb, 7 lb of saffron worth 15 gp/lb.

| Urmelia, Annis Hag: HD 8 (37 hp); AC 1 [18]; Atk 2 claws (2d8), bite (1d8); Move 12; Save 8; CL/XP 10/1400; Special: Hug and rend, polymorph, call mists.

| Ettercaps: HD 5 (31, 27, 23, 19, 16, 14 hp); AC 6 [13]; Atk 2 claws (1d3), bite (1d8 + poison); Move 12; Save 12; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Poison bite.

1131. The woods here hold a forgotten cemetery, overgrown with black willows crowded with white butterflies and pale vines that produce a grape from which one can brew the “wine of ages”. Here, aged ghouls come to lie in the cool grass and dream their dark, lazy dreams. A marble cupola in the center of the graveyard served as a shrine once, but is now the lair of three unpleasant gravebirds, who have used their ability to speak with the dead to learn many secrets, secrets they will divulge for the price of a squealing babe or blushing maiden.

| Gravebirds: HD 2 (15, 13, 7 hp); AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 bite (1d4 + disease) or 2 claws (1d3 + disease); Move 4 (Fly 16); Save 16; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Disease (per mummy rot), speak with dead.

1137. A cave flecked with serpentine snakes its way into the earth, first becoming chilly as one leaves the embrace of the sun, but then becoming hotter and drier with every step until the spelunker emerges into a great vault intersected by streams and rivers of magma that are spanned by natural bridges of basalt. On three of these bridges there are trapezoidal shrines made of serpentine and pierced by a single dark, open entrance. The shrines are approximately 30-ft to a side. The interiors are clad in polished obsidian and hold idols of the ancient ophidians.

The shrine of Yibolokendh, goddess of hunters, who appears as a tall ophidian female wearing armor and trophies of the hunt (primate skulls). The shrine is guarded by six inphidian warriors and overseen by an ophidian seer who speaks of the beginnings of things.

The shrine of Ichasha-Yath, goddess of the deadly chill that terrifies all reptilians. The goddess appears as tall ophidian with icy eyes and chocolate brown scales and carrying a silver dart. It is guarded by six inphidian warriors and overseen by an ophidian seer who speaks of th ends of things. The seer of Ichasha-Yath can summon snowstorms once per day.

The shrine of Labos, god of medicine, who appears as a stately male ophidian, graceful and adorned with long, white hair and purple eyes who carries a map of the ophidian anatomy. It is guarded by six inphidian warriors and overseen by an ophidian seer who speaks of the secrets and lies who can heal the sick and bring the dead back to life – for the right price.

| Ophidian Seer: HD 3; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 iron staff (1d8), bite (0); Move 12; Save 14; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Reproductive bite, cast magic-user and cleric spells (3rd).

| Inphidian: HD 4; AC 2 [17]; Atk 2 bites (1d4); Move 15; Save 13; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Blinding spray, poison.

1141. On a crystal clear bay there is a large village of swarthy men and women, a sort of lost colony of ancient Nabu called Kademand. The Kademandi mostly deal in the timber trade, shipping wood from the Nybling Hills to Antigoon and Ophir. The village buildings are constructed or marble quarried nearby, with even the most common hovel looking far above its station. The village is surrounded by a 15-ft tall wall of marble, 10-ft thick and studded with 25-ft tall towers. The village is ruled by a nomen (lord) called Thorothi the Sagacious, a learned man of astronomy and ancient history who keeps a small library of scrolls and well worn tomes.

The bay on which the town sits is inhabited by a herd of selkies (fey seal people), and in fact is called Selkie Bay. Thorothi was married to the most beautiful of the selkies, Brece, after using helping the selkies drive away the giant octopus [1149] that once lived just outside the bay, harassing selkies and humans alike. Brece now spends half the year in human form attending her husband, and half the year in seal or selkie form playing in the sea. Both of them are satisfied with this arrangement, and their marriage keeps their people at peace, though it has not yet resulted in an heir for Thorothi.

1149. A giant octopus, called Death’s Gauntlet by the people of the region, dwells here in a vast, undersea cave, brooding at his recent defeat by Thorothi of Kademand [1141]. In his cave he keeps an obsidian shield, too heavy for a human and too small for anything else, worth 200 gp.

| Death’s Gauntlet: HD 10 (50 hp); AC 7 [12]; Atk 8 tentacles (1d4); Move 2 (Swim 10); Save 9; CL/XP 13/2300; Special: Constriction and pinioning.

On Western Venatia – Part Six

And another six to whet the appetite.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five

1006. Luinel is a mid-sized village of about 40 thatched huts surrounded by a picket of pointy sticks and a tangled thicket. The villagers mostly work as woodsmen, but they also keep a few goats, sheep and swine. They are best known, though, for their oxen – powerful beasts with red coats and horns that stretch 4-ft from one tip to the other. These colossal beasts are capable of hauling twice that of normal oxen. The village is governed by a mayor elected by a council of elders and important men and women.

Of particular note is a tall, conical structure in the center of the village. This particular hut is surrounded by a low wall of bright red bricks, with a single opening that is always guarded by an armored man with a masked helm and a stout spear. Inside the hut there is a strange statue, abstract and wretched and hurtful to the eye and soul. The villagers do not allow people to enter the central hut, and when questioned they say only “It is the heart of the village. Can you not hear it beating?” with wide eyes and a look of eerie calm.

While adventurers are welcomed into the village, there is no inn, so they will have to sleep with different families. If they show too much interest in the idol and are of a lawful bent, the families will murder them in their sleep and drag their corpses to the hut, where they will have disappeared by the next morning. The villagers have the abilities of 3rd level assassins when given a mission by their idol. It is said that when a body is given over to “the heart”, that a new red ox appears in the communal pen.

1025. A small family of four hill giants scrapes out a living in the surrounding hills by hunting big game. The cavern holds a towering kiln that the giants use as a hearth for roasting meat. Tucked into the ashes of the kiln there is a sinister magic dagger called the Tooth of Vexus. The Tooth of Vexus is a +2 dagger. Vexus was a potent wizard in these hills some 300 years ago, but not many folks now remember him, primarily because he died in the process of creating a powerful spell to wipe away memories. C’est la vie! Once per day, the holder of the dagger can cast a spell that automatically nullifies saving throws against it.

| Hill Giants: HD 8+2 (42, 40, 36, 30 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 weapon (2d8); Move 12; Save 8; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Throw boulders.

1032. There is a bell tower here constructed of dingy, yellow-brown stone. The tower is set on a grassy sward grazed by wild ponies and appears to be abandoned. Careful observers might note that the floor of the bell tower is a spiral of narrow stones. The bell has no rope, but if one manages to ring it, they will cause the spiral floor to turn into a winding spiral stair that leads down to a hexagonal room. Three walls of the room hold a mirror and are painted in a primary color (red, blue or yellow), as opposed to the other walls which are painted black. The mirrors appear to be normal, but if touched prove to have no substance to them. They are, naturally, portals. Each one has a frame of gold set with gems – one with topaz, one with aquamarine and the third with tiger’s eye. Should any of the mirrors be touched, a magic mouth will appear on one wall and say “I shouldn’t do that until you have heard the riddle” in a somber, throaty bass.

At this, a second mouth appears on a different wall and, in a crisp, clear soprano, says, “Choose the picture fair, of fire and light, always bright, small as a snail but containing all there is to see.”

If one answers “The Eye”, a third mouth appears and says, in a soft, quiet voice, “Then what are you waiting for, the master awaits!”

Naturally, the tiger’s eye mirror leads to the under-ground stronghold of Mikelroy the Irregulous, a wizened old sorcerer who specializes in spells of transportation. The aquamarine mirror is one way, and leads to the Land of the Dead. The topaz mirror is also one way, and leads to an alley in Antigoon.

Mikelroy the Irregulous’ home is a round chamber 500-ft in diameter divided by dozens of arches hung with thick, white curtains. Within are living chambers, a library of invisible books (seven volumes, mostly concerning the magic of teleportation, but also a few travelogues of the dimensions) and a laboratory. Several rooms hold bizarre, alien animals in cages – mostly avians of many kinds, including a fairly enraged mi-go in temporal stasis.

Mikelroy has one apprentice, a bestial young woman with a flat nose and flared nostrils, a beetling brow, large, brown eyes, floppy, pointed ears and vestigial horns. Mikelroy will introduce her as Pencella, whom he rescued from a labyrinth.

Mikelroy is a pleasant sort, but distant and overly flashy. He is especially interested in finding a way into the dungeon in [1339].

| Mikelroy, Magic-User Lvl 12: HP 29; AC 9 [10]; Save 5 (3 vs. spells); CL/XP 14/2600; Special: Spells (6th). Silver dagger. Old man with sharp, blue eyes and long, silky hair of grey. He is graceful in build and manner, and wears a flowing white robe that trails several feet behind him and is held aloft by three brass, mechanical crabs.

| Pencella, Beastman Magic-User Lvl 2: HP 2; AC 8 [11]; Save 15 (13 vs. spells); CL/XP 2/30; Special: Spells (1st). Dagger.

1041. A pleasant shoal of white sand stretches almost a mile into the sea here. Though often submerged, at low tide it can be traversed, and one might spot a gleaming statue at its furthest point. The statue is studded with glistening white shells, and appears to be a woman, her arms thrown back, her shoulders forward, her eyes fixed on the horizon. The statue was constructed at some point in time by sea folk, and is an idol of Calypso, a nereid and minor goddess of death. By night, the waters around the idol are thick with enticing asrai.

1105. A wily old kelp dragon, the remains of the honorable Yostifrix, haunts these waters, always on the prowl for a wayward barge of revelers to be overturned and devoured. The dragon’s bed contains three large, rusty chests containing 2,470 sp, 1,200 gp and a large, jagged sard worth 10,000 gp.

| Yostifrix: HD 10 (42 hp); AC 1 [18]; Atk 1 bite (2d6); Move 12; Save 5; CL/XP 14/2600; Special: Breath weapon, level drain, squeeze.

1118. The orc warlord Gorthruk has established a permanent camp here. The camp is built atop a tall, flat hill and consists of a wooden palisade and two tall, wooden watch towers. Gorthruk has worked for the hobgoblins of the Klarkash Mountains in the past, but now has set his sights on conquering Blackpoort. Gorthruk controls 700 orcs and has sent emissaries to the orcs of the central hills to secure an alliance. His warbands patrol the area around this hex constantly, and are encountered on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6.

Treasure: 900 gp, a platinum music box encrusted with gems (5,000 gp, mechanism needs repair) and a gold medallion (1,000 gp).

| Gorthruk: HD 8 (40 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 battle axe (1d8); Move 9; Save 8; CL/XP 8/800; Special: None. Chainmail hauberk, battle axe, dagger, the Eye of Balor. The Eye of Balor is a pendant worn around Gorthruk’s neck. It allows him to bestow a curse once per day as a 10th level magic-user.

Illustration by Edmund Dulac, via Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

On Western Venatia – Part Five

Six more wilderness encounters for you to enjoy. Also – if you’ll peruse the Sept 30 news at Frog God Games, you will see that yours truly has been tasked with writing some hexcrawl modules. The modules are not set in Nod, and are meant to be usable in just about any fantasy campaign. The first module is written, and is now in the process of illumination and editing.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

0603. Here lies the head of Raldo. Raldo’s head measures 8 feet in diameter. It lies in a gully thick with ferns and rotting vegetation and itself is in a state of advanced decay. Despite the presence of dozens of giant centipedes consuming the head and crawling through it, Raldo thinks and speaks and can be consulted as though a sage. Raldo does seem to feel pain, but it doesn’t appear to consume him.

0620. A pack of four dragonnes roams these valleys, preying on the pale, gibbering things that scurry from boulder to boulder and cave to cave. Encounters with them occur on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6.

0628. A terrible image is carved into a mountain here. It depicts a squatting, vaguely humanoid shape. The thing’s head is a mass of tentacles that spread out over the mountain side and its stunted arms end in taloned hands. From beneath the squatting horror, which is at least 100-ft in height, a stream of water rushes out of the side of the mountain to fall into a deep, dark pool. The water has an oily sheen, and smells foul, but is otherwise safe enough to drink. The ground around the pool is often visited, and at night, random encounters with hags occur on a roll of 1-3.

0638. On a pleasant hill overlooking the river valley the gnomes of the hills have constructed a small, stone chapel dedicated to the goddess Minerva in her aspect as the goddess of crafts. The chapel is overseen by a lone priestess, a woman named Kothilda. Kothilda is a woman deformed by disease and abandoned as a child on the coast. Discovered by gnomes, she was raised among them and showed an astounding capacity at their crafts. As she grew to womanhood, they constructed this chapel and dedicated it to the human goddess they believed had blessed the child with her skill at woodworking. She now lives here along, often entertaining the good folk of the forest. The chapel has a single room furnished with an ornate kneeling bench and idol of Minerva that were carved by Kothilda’s own hands, and a simple wooden bowl for donations (she prefers items rather than coins, and people who leave items they have crafted themselves are Blessed by Minerva for 24 hours. Behind the chapel is a gnome-style burrow built on a human scale. This is where Kothilda lives her simple life. It is equipped with a hearth, woven rugs, comfortable chairs and has a small bedroom and a root cellar.

| Kothilda, Cleric Lvl 10: HP 47; AC 9 [10]; Save 6 (4 vs. paralysis and poison); CL/XP 13/2300; Special: Cleric spells (5th), turn undead.

0707. This hex is notable for its large, rolling meadow of tender grass and fragrant blooms. A large fairy circle is evident on the meadow, and it is visited on each full moon by a gaggle (4d6) dancing, fiddling grigs and other fey creatures. In the daytime, it is thick with game and the occasional hunting party of centaurs.

0809. A retired trader from Pfeife has repaired and rebuilt an old stone fort here and turned it into a coaching inn. The inn has a 15-ft tall curtain wall surrounding an oval courtyard with a well. Blending into the wall is a three-story tall round tower topped with crenelations and a tall, conical bell tower. The trader, Androse, lives with his wife and three children on the top floor, beneath the belfry. The second level is a common room for sleeping and the ground floor is a taproom in the day and common room at night. The taproom has two curtained booths which turn into semi-private sleeping berths at night. Androse and his goodwife put out a bountiful spread for their customers, with steaming trays of spiced meats (mutton and game mostly), crocks of soft cheese, wheels of sharp cheddar, round loaves of black bread and fruit cake and leather mugs of pale, sweet ale. Expensive wines are available on request. All of the food is stored in the cellar, which used to hold instruments of torture but now has cages full of wine casks and barrels of flour.

Illustration by Sidney Sime

On Western Venatia – Part Four

Six more encounters from Western Venatia.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

0432. The river here meets strong, ancient rocks and divides into hundreds of little waterfalls, playful streams and pleasant pools before re-combining into the river that flows into [0333]. Ample evidence around these pools suggests that the area was once visited often by the ancient elves and gnomes – wooden gazebos so delicately carved that they could only have come from a fey hand, discarded goblets, tattered scarves of spider silk, etc. The area is now infested by giant water wasps, who perhaps caused the olden folk to quit the area in the first place. Encounters with water wasps occur with groups of 1d6 insects on a roll of 1-4 on 1d6.

| Giant Wasp: HD 4; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 sting (1d4 + poison), bite (1d6); Move 1 (Swim 12, Fly 20); Save 13; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Paralyzing poison, larvae.

0433. Seaxel is a small farming village on the banks of the river. Its sister village and rival, Nimroth, is on the other bank in [0434]. The Seaxels and Nimroths are descended from the serfs who served the elven families of the same names, families that despised one another and competed in all things for the attention of the Emperor Finrix. Whether hunting, racing, poetry or war, the Seaxels and Nimroths were always out to best one another. The lords of the manors, who only took residence in them when the Emperor was summering in Amvianda, accompanied Finrix to his war in the west and were never heard from again. With the emperor gone and the great families gradually dispossessed, the serfs eventually came to rule them-selves, putting decisions to a vote or following the wise counsel of one or another elder. But even though they were rid of their masters, the old enmity has gone on unabated. The Seaxels raise gourds, grapes and fields of barley. The 15 soldiers of the village dress in old-fashioned mail hauberks and carry the tall, Norman-style shields of the old elven legions. They arm themselves with spears and thick daggers.

0439. Nimroth is a small village of woodsmen, lusty rascals with a mean streak when gold and silver are up for grabs. They loath the people of Seaxel (see 0433 above). Nimroth’s warriors wear leather armor and carry long bows and battle axes. They have the services of a healing woman called Hallya, a freckled woman of thirty-three summers.

0502. A misplaced foot might send a character (1 in 6 chance) through a 20-ft deep hole into ancient elfen catacombs. The catacombs are crudely fashioned, and in fact any dwarf will declare them to be the work of goblins, the usage by elfs coming sometime after they were first dug. Within the maze-like catacombs are dozens of bricked up alcoves containing the remains of elf and human legionnaires from Nomo. While three of the alcoves contain but a single elf corpse, the others are stacked high with human skulls. Apparently, the catacombs were a goblin redoubt taken with much loss of life. The three elf burials are as follows:

Walgirth, an elf baronet interred with his family armor (mail hauberk, winged nasal helm, Norman-style shield) and his long sword (+1 weapon, growls in the presence of goblins and forces the owner to pass a saving throw in the presence of goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears or attack until he or the goblins all lie dead). Walgirth’s alcove is trapped with a flurry of darts (2d6 damage, save for half).

Inidubrid, a warrior-maiden (possibly a paladin) interred in her gleaming plate armor (un-rusted) and her crescent shield bearing intertwined doves. Her spear is a +2 weapon and is lodged through her rib cage and can only be drawn from the stone by a chivalrous character. The spear is haunted by her spirit, and will scold the bearer of the spear with electrical shocks (1d6 damage) when they behave un-chivalrously. Despoilers of this tomb will be marked for destruction by servants of Law until they make penance at the temple of a high priest of Law.

Galaddus, captain of archers. Galaddus was a drinking man in life, and in death he still holds court with a dozen shades of his former comrades. Galaddus’ mouldering corpse, still wearing the remains of his ring armor, his yew longbow close at hand, sits atop a barrel of spirits, shadows flitting about him, their umbral goblets raised to receive a splash of “the wine of ages” from a dusty bottle. Visitors are invited to have a drink, or chased away if troublesome.

0531. The burnt remnants of a stockade lie here, about one mile east of the river. Broken hobgoblin arrows are plentiful, but not a single body remains in the place. The walls of the stockade are in good enough shape that, if the gate is repaired, it can provide a fairly safe camp.

0539. A tiny cave overlooking the river serves as the sepulcher of a small gnome child, perhaps a prince. The cave is natural save for a single circle on one wall that has been ground smooth and painted with loving portrait of the large-eyed child. A small, soapstone altar rests beneath this portrait, covered by the stubs of candles and dried flowers. There is no treasure here, and the body is well buried, but the sepulcher remains a holy spot and a refuge from evil. Characters of a wicked bent find themselves unwilling to enter into the place without first throwing themselves to their knees and shedding a tear of remorse.

On Western Venatia – Part Three

Six more encounters from Western Venatia.

Part One | Part Two

0303. A clan of fourteen ubue dwell here herding ill-tempered sheep with onyx horns. The ubue dwell in a large, dry cavern, trapping the entrance with falling stones (save or 3d6 damage). The ubue sleep with their sheep in the main cavern, with a smaller, higher cavern serving as the lair of their chief, a robust figure of abject savagery called Kin-Toka-Rok. The ubue have visited the Gallery of Bones in [0308], losing two of their number there and re-sealing the cave.

Treasure: 1,600 sp, 1,350 gp, a brass locket worth 100 gp (hold a rolled up piece of paper with the word “ZAMAX” written in elven) and 2 casks of olive oil (12 gal., 100 lb each, worth 60 gp each).

| Ubue: HD 3; AC 6 [13]; Atk 3 slams (1d6); Move 9; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Argue.

| Kin-Toka-Rok: HD 5; AC 5 [14]; Atk 3 slams (1d8); Move 9; Save 12; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Argue.

0308. The Gallery of Bones is a large, low-ceilinged cavern sealed by massive boulders. Centuries ago, when the legions of Nomo were marching into the Rooky Wood, they encountered a plague that there physics and priests could not counter. As company after company of men succumbed, their commander, Valbestos, made a decision. He gathered the afflicted in this cavern and sealed it with a landslide as he listened to the dying men screaming for mercy. The cavern is now filled with bones, old military equipment (shorts swords, darts, spears, shields, chainmail and leather armor) and four allips, the tormented, undead souls of the lead legionnaires.

| Allip: HD 4 (20, 20, 18, 16 hp); AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 strike (no damage, 1d4 points of wisdom lost); Move Fly 6; Save 13; CL/XP 7/600; Special: Drains wisdom, hypnosis.

0313. Ystam is a tiny village of trappers constructed atop a granite dun at the intersection of two rushing streams flanked by wolfberry bushes. The trappers have carved a rugged little stair from their village to the canyons below. The village is surrounded by a little stone wall patrolled by a garrison of elves from the tower of Elbernulph [0113]. The garrison numbers 20 elf warriors in chainmail and armed with claymores. The village is ruled by Elbernulph’s reeve Cirioch. The villagers are supported by a blue eyed armorer named Arthaa. Cirioch dwells in a short, stone tower attached to a more traditional wattle-and-daub, two-story cottage. His house is protected by ten skeletons that he controls using a gold medallion. The villagers live in little huts and are often visited by a druid called Talotam, who leads them in secret worship of Diana. The Chimereans demand the worship of Vulcanus of the Mailed Fist, the patron deity of Galardis. A work gang of Azer are presently constructing a fortified chapel of Vulcanus. The villagers resent the elves and the arrival of their “foreign” deity.

| Cirioch, Elf Lvl 2: HP 12/7; AC 4 [15]; Save 13/14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Elven chainmail, two-handed sword, dagger, spellbook, medallion allows him to command undead.

0326. A carcolh dwells in a lofty cave in this hex, sending its tendrils far into the countryside in search of prey. The carcohl is described in more detail in NOD #4 or on the Land of Nod blog. Treasure is pushed to the fringes of the cave, the refuse of past meals.

Treasure: 310 ep, 430 gp, a little limestone idol of the arch-demon Furfur worth 165 gp, a brass urn worth 1,000 gp and dust of sneezing and choking in a leather pouch.

| Carcolh: HD 9 (49 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 or more tentacles (1d4 + grapple) or 1 bite (2d6); Move 9; Save 6; CL/XP 11/1700; Special: Tentacles, swallow whole.

0335. A waterfall of reddish water pours from a cliff into a wide, shallow pool. The pool is inhabited by a fossergrim, the spirit of the waterfall. Behind the waterfall is a large, conical cave that leads into a damp, slimy tunnel (saving throw to avoid falling and sliding down the tunnel). This tunnel empties into a muddy cave with two exits. The left-hand exit leads upward to a series of caverns that eventually open to the top of the cliff above, and show signs of having once been well traveled by animal caravans. The right-hand exit leads to a winding tunnel and the cavern of Harzh, a youngish green dragon just beginning to build her horde and roosting on three large, beryl eggs. Harzh can neither speak or cast spells.

Treasure: 2,820 gp, a large rock crystal worth 900 gp and 3 pounds of zedoary in a wooden box (worth 320 gp per pound).

| Harzh: HD 8 (32 hp); AC 2 [17]; Atk 2 claws (1d6), bite (2d10); Move 9 (Fly 24); Save 8; CL/XP 10/1400; Special: Breathes poison.

0346. A cove here holds a pool of water. A rusty iron door blocks access to another cavern holding the remains of Grindir, a pirate lord from Tremayne who passed away almost 80 years ago. The door is trapped but not locked, and is cold to the touch. If opened, three spears in a triangular formation springing up from the ground to skewer thieves. The skeleton of a thief lies before the door. The actual tomb holds the body of Grindir in a black, silk coat and still adorned with jewelry. The corpse and most of the cavern are covered in yellow mold. A moonstone worth 35 gp is lodged in the corpse’s eye socket.

Treasure: 2,000 sp, 640 ep, 640 gp and a turquoise worth 155 gp.

| Yellow Mold: HD n/a; AC n/a; Atk 1d6 damage + spore cloud; Move 0; Save n/a; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Poisonous spore cloud, killed by fire.

On Western Venatia – Part Two

Here are six encounters for Western Venatia – hot off the presses – and the accompanying map.

0110. A crooked little stream flows from a high cave, forming a noisy little waterfall. The banks of the stream are bare of life because the stream is quite poisonous. The stream flows from a grotto, the walls and ceilings of which drip with poison. Well worn steps in the living stone protected by a large cave eel lead from the grotto to a little cavern, wherein dwells Eiois. Eiois is a bitter elven woman with eyes that stare like death and a once-pretty mouth whose corners have become down-turned. Eiois is a priestess of Eris, goddess of discord. Eiois worships at a jade altar that holds a crystal ball, through which she randomly curses powerful men in the region. She recently became infatuated with Fortunato, the Prince of Antigoon, and her fascination has caused her to plot against his enemies. She is now in a rage since the ball was stolen by a sneak thief (now deceased), who dropped his treasure in [0122].

Treasure: 2,000 sp, 230 gp, banded agate worth 900 gp and jasper worth 800 gp.

| Eiois, Cleric Lvl 6. HP 21; AC 9 [10]; Save 10 (8); CL/XP 8/800; Special: Spells (4th), rebuke undead. Threadbare silk gown, silver dagger, crooked wand that poisons with a touch. Eiois has an aquiline nose and noble bearing, deepy bitter.

0138. Vhalla is a small village of common farmers living in wattle & daub cottages surrounded by a bulwark of packed earth. Four wooden watch towers overlook the fields as far as the woods. The farmers are thickset, with nut-brown skin and aquiline noses. The men of Vhalla keep nimble forest cattle and grow cabbages and chanterelle mushrooms. They are an athletic people, holding games each summer to honor the gods, and are fine archers. Vhalla is ruled by the Lady Reana, who traces her line back to the elfs of old. Vhalla has the services of Ancho the Bowyer. The villages militia are armed with farm implements, and Reana employs four ogres from the mountains as her personal guard. In their off hours, the ogres challenge all comers to fights in a deep, brick pit near the village square and in sight of the gallows.
| Reana: HD 5 (19 hp); AC 3 [16] armored; Atk 1 sword (1d8); Move 12; Save 12; CL/XP 5/240. Elven chainmail, shield, longsword. Sharp featured but less so due to her girth, pallid skin, black hair and amber eyes. Precise mind, but a tad eccentric. Fancies herself a natural philosopher.

0147. A herd of 20 hippocampi graze the seaweed here. The leader of the herd is a stallion that once served as a paladin’s steed. Though his master is dead, the stallion still serves the cause of chivalry.

0233. One might find an ancient plaza here, now overgrown with saplings and ferns. In the center if the plaza is a large, malachite fountain decorated with tarnished brass hinds. The fountain is cracked and dry, and all that remains of the ruined town surrounding the fountain and plaza are crumbling foundations, a few shards of pottery and rusted utensils and tools. Should someone polish the brass sculptures and whisper a prayer to Diana, the fountain will come alive and a large falcon will soon appear in the sky, spiraling down until it lands on the edge of the fountain. This wise bird will answer a three questions (per Contact Other Plane) for the person who prayed.

0301. Cavemen of the lion clan live here in a large complex of caves. The 70 cavemen and their families are exceedingly primitive, arming themselves with clubs. Their lair contains a crude idol of a cave lion adorned with a cave lion pelt worth 150 gp. The cavemen are led by a boisterous man called Yok and his four brothers, Pudo, Kord, Gontor and Joro.

| Yok, Barbarian Lvl 5: HP 30; AC 7 [12]; Save 11; CL/XP 5/240; Wears a gold ring worth 1,000 gp given to him by Cadfani to seal a pact of friendship.

| Yok’s Brothers: HD 3 (17, 12, 8, 5); AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 club (1d6); Move 12; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60.

0339. A pack of 10 blink dogs hunts these woods. They detect the presence of intruders into their territory on a roll of 1-4 on 1d6, and will track intruders to make sure they mean no harm.

On Western Venatia – Part One

I’m juggling four projects right now, but I finally finished the intro to Western Venatia, the sandbox slated for NOD #6 in December.

I. Overview
Venatia is a region of woodlands and hills nestled between the Klarkash Mountains in the west and the Great Yamas in the east. Once dominated by the Nomo Empire, it is now home to several competing city-states, the largest being Lyonesse of the Gleaming Towers, heir apparent to Nomo. Other city-states in the region include Antigoon, heart of a mercantile network that stretches across NOD, and Blackpoort, a city of ne’er-do-wells on the shores of Blackmere.

Pandiluvian Age
During the Pandiluvian Age, Blackmere was connected to the Tepid Sea via a narrow, rocky channel. The Klarkash Mountains constituted the major landmass of the region and supported dozens of ophidian citadels, while the remainder of Western Venatia consisted of swampy, mosquito-ridden islands. The elder races constructed cities beneath the Tepid Sea while one tribe of aboleth constructed a maze-like fortress in the depths of Blackmere.

When the waters receded from the landscape, Western Venatia took on its modern appearance. The aboleth were trapped in Blackmere and very few still survive, while the heights of many a submerged city in the Tepid Sea were exposed. Lizard men moved into the swampy valleys and canyons and constructed cliff cities and magnificent ziggurats to Tiamat, the Mother of Monsters. Unlike the eastern lizard men, who formed the kingdom of Karzak, the western lizard men maintained small, feudal towns that warred incessantly. The ophidians were forced to seek shelter deep beneath the earth near volcanic vents as the Klarkash Mountains cooled.

Golden Age
As in Eastern Venatia (see NOD #4), the human slaves of the lizard men rose up and destroyed their masters, founding a number of farming and fishing villages. Where the lizard men preferred the valleys, the humans constructed their lairs on hilltops and worshiped the sky (i.e. Jove) rather than the sea. Many humans lived in the woodlands as hunter-gatherers, and persist to this day as wild men of the woods.

The human villages never amounted to much, and thus dozens of humanoid tribes (orcs, gnolls, goblins and hobgoblins) were able to establish themselves in Western Venatia.

Modern Age
The Modern Age was initiated with the coming of the legions of Nomo. Legion XXXI descended into the Rooky Wood from Chimeria in the Klarkash Mountains and established the forts that would become Morrow and Pfeife. Legion XXXI became bogged down fighting the goblins and spiders of the woods, and went no further. In the meantime, Legion XIV arrived from the south (after securing Brigandy’s tribute via a marriage between the son of Corundus, legion commander and the niece of Queen Gloriana, who reigns to this day), constructing the old fort at Antigoon and then moving up the Swiven River. Legion XIV would found Blackpoort and Lyonesse on their way to carving out what become known as the Westerling Empire, subservient to Nomo but always threatening revolt.

With the fall of Nomo, the city-states of Western Venatia enjoy independence. Tristram, the king of Lyonesse, fancies himself a contender for the imperial crown, and would very much like his agents to find the lost relic that he may claim the title. Antigoon and Blackpoort, meanwhile, arm themselves for the eventual struggle with Lyonesse, for they wish to remain independent.

II. Regions

Blackmere
Blackmere is a large, fresh water lake that empties into the Tepid Sea via the Swiven River. Blackmere is a shallow lake with crystal clear water; passing ships have no trouble spotting the ruins that lie beneath the water, though the predators of the lake have adapted camouflage in the form of black skin or scales. The eastern shore of Blackmere is treeless and interrupted by rocky gullies the pour in frothing, freezing water that originates in the Klarkash Mountains and rushes through the wooded canyons of the Rooky Wood. The western shore is choked with massive, black oaks and willows. The bottom of the lake is covered in smooth, black stones and large forests of bright, green kelp that hide the stone houses of the lake goblins.

Dreadful Forest
The Dreadful Forest is thick and dark, consisting mostly of evergreens (spruce, pine) and brambles. More information on the Dreadful Forest can be found in NOD #4.

Forest Perilous
The Forest Perilous is an ancient woodland of oaks, hawthorns, and willows. The trees here are gnarled and twisted and prove very difficult to traverse. Many small, quick streams flow through the woodland. Forest paths are almost always twisted and useless; most end in traps set by ogres or pixies. Light in the woodland is never better than twilight.

The Forest Perlous surrounds the city-state of Lyonesse. Some suggest that only the devotion of the Lyones to Ceres keeps the forest monsters at bay.

Gaestly Hills
The Gaestly Hills are an expanse of rough highlands studded with ancient barrows and burial chambers. Most of these burial sites were cleared by adventurers over the last 100 years, their treasures plundered and their secrets revealed, but a few remain untouched. The Gaestly Hills are rich with iron and silver deposits. They also support a good deal of game, and make adequate pasture for sheep and goats.

The hills are dominated (if anything can be said to dominate the bleak, mossy landscape) by the city-state of Blackpoort. Blackpoort is the main southern port on Blackmere, and handles goods coming from exotic Mu-Pan by the Jade Road via the Venatian League in the north.

Grete Myre
The Grete Myre is a thick, wooded swamp stalked by reptilian savages. A few bold human renegades dwell in the swamp, often hiding from the authorities of Antigoon. These “myrefolk” supply the alchemists of Antigoon with rare herbs and animal specimens.

The myre is bordered to the north by the Gaestly Hills, to the east by the Dreadful Forest, to the west by the Nybling Hills and the the south by Biscotti Bay, an arm of the Tepid Sea. The principal settlement of the Grete Myre is Antigoon, which dominated the moors that rise on the border between the myre and the hills.

Klarkash Mountains
Ancient and wicked, the Klarkash Mountains separate Venatia from Umbriago, the cradle of Nomo. The mountains are tall and have molded by the wind into great lumps of limestone divided by deep, lightless canyons. These canyons are home to fungal horrors and depraved fairy folk, as well as a few rugged clans of wild men and several hordes of hobgoblins.

The western mountains that border Venatia are a bit less severe than the eastern reaches, and even support stands of silvery beeches and coppery grass on their ledges.

Nybling Hills
The Nyblings are wooded hills that extend from the Tepid Sea to the Klarkash Mts. They have a pleasant climate and are mostly covered with oak trees. The local “barbarians” include gnomes, kobolds, svarts and bugbears. The northern portion of the hills is settled by Antigooners and has many trails connecting manors and strongholds. The remainder of the woodland is quite wild, with the southern reaches dominated by trolls.

The hills were once the hunting preserve of the Nomo’s Emperor and his clan. He constructed his summer palace, Amvianda, in the hills and each year hosted a glorious bardic college. Amvianda is now a lonely beacon of civilization in the midst of the wilds. Patrols of rangers do their best to keep the town safe and maintain communication with the outside world, but they are hard pressed. Since the fall of the Emperor, the chamberlain of the palace has been the defacto ruler of Amvianda, and he has proven to be less than capable in the role.

Rooky Wood
The Rooky Wood was the last portion of Venatia brought under (loose) control by the legions of Nomo. It consists of a number of narrow, winding canyons shot through by fast, icy streams that empty into Blackmere. The badlands support hardy, evergreen trees and brambles and are haunted by arachnids and goblins. The forest was once home to demon worshipers, who summoned many fiends in the days of old. Shrines to demon princes can be found in the woods, and often they bear signs of recent use.

Tepid SeaThe Tepid Sea is thoroughly described in NOD #1. We will note here that it is a shallow, blue-green sea and home to mermaids, sahuagin, tritons and undines. A good deal of commerce goes through the Tepid Sea to Mother Ocean, much of it to or from the city-state of Antigoon. The two other major ports on the Tepid Sea are Tremayne and Ophir (which appears in NOD #2).

III. Random EncountersRandom encounters should be diced for twice each day, once in the daytime and once at night, with dangerous encounters occurring on the roll of 1 on 1d6 and traveler encounters on the roll of a 6 (see below).

Travelers
1-2 Men-at-Arms (6d6)
3 Pilgrims (3d6)
4 Refugees (9d6)
5-6 Traders (2d6)

Blackmere
1 Aquatic Hobgoblins (6d6)
2 Aboleth Thralls (6d6)
3 Nixie (6d6)
4 Privateer (6d6)
5 Raven, Giant (3d6)
6 Kelpie (2d6)
7 Cathbad (1d8)
8 Scrag (1d8)
9 Ghost (1d4)
10 Afanc (1)

Dreadful Forest
1 Carnivorous Flying Squirrel (6d6)
2 Wild Man (6d6)
3 Lizardman (5d6)
4 Giant Lizard (4d6)
5 Black Bear (3d6)
6 Noroob (3d6)
7 Ogre (3d6)
8 Baccae (2d6)
9 Firedrake (2d6)
10 Pseudo-Dragon (2d6)
11 Woodwose (1d8)
12 Hill Giant (1d6)

Forest Perilous
1 Brownie (6d6)
2 Elf (6d6)
3 Wolf (5d6)
4 Ogre (3d6)
5 Dryad (2d6) or Nymph (2d6)
6 Satyr (2d6)
7 Wraith (2d6)
8 Actaeon (1d8)
9 Treant – 7 HD (1d8)
10 Dragon – Green, Adult, 7 HD (1d6)
11 Leopard (1d6, attack with surprise)
12 Unicorn (1d6)

Gaestly Hills
1 Bandit (6d6)
2 Orc (6d6)
3 Wolf (5d6)
4 Ghoul (4d6) or Ghast (2d6) or Ghost (1d6)
5 Falcon, Giant (3d6)
6 Lycanthrope – Were-rat (3d6)
7 Ogre (3d6)
8 Vierd (3d6) or Wight (2d6)
9 Bat, Giant (2d6)
10 Owlbear (2d6)
11 Cockatrice (1d8)
12 Hill Giant (1d6)

Grete Myre
1 Giant Leech (5d6)
2 Lizardman (5d6)
3 Thugtoad (5d6)
4 Crocodile (4d6)
5 Zombie, Leper (4d6)
6 Giant Frog – Large (3d6)
7 Harpy (3d6)
8 Noroob (3d6)
9 Giant Dragonfly (1d6)
10 Hydra (1d4; roll heads randomly for each)
11 Shambling Mound – 9 HD (1d3)
12 Froghemoth (1)

Nybling Hills
1 Badger – Giant (4d6)
2 Black Bear (3d6)
3 Bugbear (4d6)
4 Bulette (1d4)
5 Giant Owl (2d6)
6 Giant Weasel (2d6) or Wereweasel (2d6)
7 Gnome (6d6)
8 Highwayman (3d6)
9 Kill-Bunny (5d6)
10 Kobold (6d6)
11 Troll (1d8)
12 Wolf (5d6)

Rooky Wood
1 Aranea (1d8)
2 Bugbear (4d6)
3 Cave Bear (1d8)
4 Drider (1d6)
5 Ettercap (2d6)
6 Forlarren (2d6)
7 Forester’s Bane (2d6)
8 Giant Spider – 4 ft (2d6) or Phase Spider (2d6)
9 Goblin (6d6)
10 Hobgoblin (6d6)
11 Imp (1d8) or Quasit (1d8)
12 Quickling (1d8)

Tepid Sea
1 Locathah (6d6)
2 Pirate (6d6)
3 Mermaid (3d6)
4 Scrag (2d6)
5 Harpy (1d6)
6 Sea Serpent – Gilded (1d6)
7 Shark, Large (1d6)
8 Sea Serpent – Fanged (1d4)
9 Giant Octopus (1d3)
10 Roc (1d3)
11 Sea Serpent – Briny (1d3) or Spitting (1d3)
12 Aspidochelone (1)

On the Gods of the Golden Sea

The native deities of the Golden Sea region are based on the mythologies of the Eastern Mediterranean, especially the Phrygians, Dacians and Thracians. Almost everything that is known of these entities comes to us from the Greeks and later Romans, and is viewed through their lens. Most of these gods and goddesses were adopted by the Greeks into their own pantheon, usually in positions that were no doubt inferior to the positions they held in the estimation of their native worshipers. Because there were many gaps in the knowledge of these divinities, I did my best to fill them in a suitably pulp-fantasy style.

Besides the deities listed here, several of the deities of the Motherlander pantheon (to be published in the near future) originated in this pantheon, including Bacchus (Dionysus), Hecate and possibly Proserpina (Persephone).

Note: The spells below, and only the spells, are designated Open Game Content.

Kubeleya (Cybele)
Also called Great Mother, Mountain Mother
Deity of Nature, Mountains, Caverns
Wields a staff
Served by earth elementals, fairies of a grim humor
Symbolized by the lion, bees
Aligned with Neutrality
Druids can cast Victory Chant (see below)

Kubeleya, also called Cybele and Rhea, is the grim goddess of the mountains and mother of the gods. She appears as a stately woman with a dour expression. She wears a long, belted dress, a high, cylindrical headdress called a polos, and a veil covering her entire body. One of her hands rests on an attendant lion while the other holds an instrument that resembles the tambourine. She is often pictured in a lion throne or a lion-drawn chariot.

Kubeleya’s consort is the demigod Attis. Attis has a bizarre origin. The demon Agdistos was a creature that was half man and half woman. It so terrified the gods that they killed it in a suitably bloody manner, and from its castrated male organ grew and almond tree. The remainder of Agdistos became Kubeleya.

One day, Nana, the daughter of the river god Sangarius, picked an almond and laid it on her breast, where it promptly disappeared and impregnated her. Nana abandoned the infant, who was raised by a he-goat in the hills and later adopted by human parents. As an adult, his beauty was godlike and attracted the attention of Kubeleya. Unfortunately, Attis had already been promised to the daughter of the local king. As the wedding songs were being sung, the jilted Kubeleya appeared in all her transcendent power, causing the wedding-goers, including Attis, to go mad and castrate themselves. Attis died, apparently of blood loss, but Kubeleya relented and resurrected him as a pine tree. This occurred on March 25, and is celebrated in the Hilaria festival, an orgiastic ceremony of wild music, drumming, dancing and drinking.

Kubeleya’s priests are called korybantes. They are male eunuchs (self-castrated, like Attis) who worship the Great Goddess in full armor with rhythmic stomping and the clashing of spear on shield.

VICTORY CHANT (Druid Level 2): The druid, by chanting and stomping, gives his allies a +1 bonus to hit and damage for as long as he keeps it up.

Adrasteia (Nemesis, Invidia, Erinys)
Also called Implacable, One from whom there is no escape
Deity of Protection and Righteousness
Wields a long sword and scourge
Served by inevitables (see NOD #3)
Symbolized by a scourge
Aligned with Law
Clerics can cast Unerring Huntress (see below)

Adrasteia is the goddess of the cosmic sea, dispenser of justice to the wicked and protector of the righteous. In some myths, she is the nursemaid to the infant Jupiter, who grants him a golden ball containing the universe as a toy. In others, she is Nemesis or Invidia, the goddess from which escape is impossible. She appears to her worshipers as a winged maiden with a face unmarred by pity. She might carry the scales of justice, or simply a sword and scourge. Adrasteia is a patron of magistrates and judges, soldiers and gladiators.

UNERRING HUNTRESS (Cleric Level 3): This spell allows the cleric to follow the path of a wanted criminal or blasphemer unerringly for a number of days equal to her level. During this time, she has no need of sleep and feels no hunger. If she has not captured or killed her quarry by the time the spell ends, she collapses into a deep slumber for a full day and cannot be roused.

Kotys (Cottyto, Cottytus)
Deity of the Moon, Caves, Darkness, Lust, Hunting
Wields a spear
Served by bacchae, demons, satyrs
Symbolized by the full moon
Aligned with Chaos
Clerics can cast Benighted Revelry (see below)

Kotys is a lunar goddess of hunting and wild revels. All of her sacred rituals are conducted at night, preferably by the light of the moon. These rites include raucous midnight orgies accompanied by shrill piping, the clashing of brass cymbals and the thunderous roll of drums, and nighttime relay torch-races on horseback.

Kotys appears as a woman wearing a foxskin cap and short chiton, wrapped in a leopard skin and holding a spear in one hand and a torch in the other. She has a hooded mantle on her shoulders fastened with a brooch and high, leather boots.

Kotys’ priests are called baptai due to the purification ritual they undergo to join the priesthood. They are not unlike the baccae who worship Dionysus / Bacchus.

BENIGHTED REVELRY (Cleric Level 3): This spell affects all sentient creatures within sight of the cleric who fail a saving throw. For the duration of the spell (1d6 rounds per person) they will act in one of three ways:


1 – The person enters a drunken stupor, falling over themselves and finding it impossible to do anything.


2 – The person becomes a raving lunatic, attacking whomever the cleric desires with their teeth and claws. The lunatic attacks twice per round but suffers a 2 point penalty to their Armor Class.


3 – The person acts like a love-starved satyr, attempting to grapple the nearest creature they find even remotely attractive and, well, what they do if successful depends on what kind of game you run.

Men (Lunus)
Also called The Lunar Bull
Deity of the Moon
Wields an axe
Served by nocturnal fey
Symbolized by the crescent moon or an ox skull
Aligned with Neutrality
Druids can rebuke/command lycanthropes as a cleric two levels lower than their druid level

Men is the so-called Lunar Bull, a deity presiding over time and the changing seasons. He appears as a rugged man with crescent horns, like those of a bull, atop his head, and sometimes with the head of a bull in the manner of the minotaur. He wears a Phrygian cap and a belted tunic, and is accompanied by white bulls and white lions.

Sabazios (Karabazmos)
Also called Great God, the Horseman
Deity of Health, Vitality, Abundance, the Underworld
Wields a staff or spear
Served by barghests, demons, wraiths
Symbolized by Hand
Aligned with Chaos
Clerics can cast Ghastly Steed (see below)

Sabazios appears as a black-skinned rider on a white horse. He wears a himation and is depicted carrying a staff of power or a spear. Sabazios is the conqueror of the Lunar Bull and the Solar Dragon, and represents male vitality. Games are held in his honor every five years. Sabazios is believed to by the father of Dionysus. Motherlanders associate him with Pluto.

Sabazios rules the Land of the Dead, emerging with a party of cthonic fey and wraiths to conduct hunts on the nights of the new moon. On these nights, villagers stow away their animals and keep indoors, for all night they hear the baying the barghests and the blowing of spectral horns.

Sabazios’ is the patron of horsemen and his priests are all skilled at riding and mounted combat. They blacken their armor and conduct ritual sacrifices of white bulls and ritual hunts of great beasts like chimeras and manticores. Sabazios is also a psycho-pomp, and thus represents the transmigration of the soul after death. This makes him a patron of magic and magic-users. Such scholarly followers honor sabazios by tattooing their right hands with so many sigils and designs that they are nearly black.

GHASTLY STEED (Cleric Level 2): This spell summons a ghostly white steed with the stats of a warhorse with maximum hit points. The steed is tireless, and serves for a number of hours equal to the cleric’s level divided by three. The cleric can exchange one hour of the spell’s duration for one minute of etherealness, but only while mounted on the steed.

Zalmoxis
Deity of Thunder, Strength, War, Incantation
Wields an axe
Served by berserkers, demons
Symbolized by his axe
Aligned with Chaos
Clerics can cast Thunderstruck (see below)

Zalmoxis appears as a handsome man, unclothed, wielding an axe or lightning bolt. He is a sky father and a deity of masculine power, a god of uncontrollable passions that are often unleashed as violence.

Zalmoxis’ most fervent worshipers believe he is the one true god who accepts their souls after death. Because they do not believe they can ever truly die, they fight as berserkers, gaining two attacks per round and suffering a 2 point penalty to their Armor Class. Zalmoxis is also skilled in the arts of incantation and singing, and thus is worshiped by bards.

Zalmoxis’ clerics wear no armor and only a small amount of clothing. They cultivate a wild, feral appearance and are permitted to wield axes and chopping blades in battle. Because they do not use armor, their Hit Dice are increased to 1d6+2 and +3 hp/level after 9th level.

THUNDERSTRUCK (Cleric Level 2): This enchantment is placed on the cleric’s weapon. The next time it hits in battle, it unleashes a terrific peal of thunder. The victim of the hit must pass a saving throw or be stunned for 1 round. Everyone within 20 feet, including the victim of the hit but excluding the cleric, must pass a saving throw or be deafened for 1d6 minutes.