Saints Come in All Sizes

Well, I finally missed a weekend post. In my defense, though … I thought I had remembered to post. Not much a defense, really, but what the heck!

Among other things I’m working on, NOD 36 is going to have a hexcrawl somewhat dominated by a country of halflings. These halflings have a faith modeled loosely on Medieval Christianity (very loosely), and thus they honor numerous saints as well as a supreme goddess. Here’s a sneak preview on this halfling faith:

Mother Goddess

Nertha is the mother goddess of the halflings. She is believed to be the creator, teacher, and nourisher of the people. In this capacity, she is worshiped as a supreme deity by her cult. The cult is made up of an aristocratic priesthood who holds a great deal of secular power in the valley of the Yore. This is due to the relationships between the priesthood, which is drawn from the younger sons and daughters of the aristocracy, and the landed gentry of Yore, as well as from the vast land holdings of the cult.
The Yorrish liken the universe to a steaming vat of soup, stirred and tended by Nertha in her kitchen, aided by her kitchen saints. The other saints protect her kitchen, and the cosmic soup, from demons who wish to sample (and taint) the soup, or even spill it, destroying the universe and putting out Nertha’s eternal hearth, plunging all creation into blackness.

Saint Amalthy
Patron Saint of Learning and Childbirth

St. Amalthy was a teacher of the Lady who lived 200 years ago in the Southlands. Her cult is based in the Midlands, specifically at St. Amalthy’s Cathedral in Mook.
St. Amalthy was a midwife and strict disciplinarian who tend-ed her flock for fifty-eight summers. She was credited with several miracles associated with healings and divinations about children, and thus became a patron saint of childbirth and medicine. A learned woman, she wrote the much-copied Yorrish Herbal, the standard reference for Yorrish healers.

St. Amalthy’s feast day is Wind Month the 4th. It is observed with much singing and merriment, followed by a week spent in quiet devotion at her shrines. The faithful burn candles and leave newly harvested fruits, which are then dispersed to the hungry. Her followers are called Amalthyeans.

Saint Anka
Patron Saint of Resolve

St. Anka’s life is the source of an oft performed morality play. It is the story of a young girl, dedicated to the Lady, whose father was both a heretic and blasphemer. Although a respected farmer, he refused the Lady and continued in the worship of forest spirits. When he attempted to arrange a marriage between his daughter and an elf of the woodlands, Anka calmly refused. The elf carried her away, but she would neither consummate the marriage nor take food while so imprisoned. She kept the elf’s house and cooked his meals, but would in no way consent to his wooing. He tried music, fine foods, and delicate ballads, but nothing could change the girl’s mind. Eventually, the elf, who was much smitten by her beauty and dignity, pleaded with her father to convert to Mother Church and annul her marriage.

Wracked with guilt, Anka’s father consented. He rode straight away to the elf’s home in the woods, but was greeted with no sign of Anka. Instead, they discovered her bloodied garments, and the foot prints of a pack of wolves. Anka was canonized by Mother Church for her resolve and is considered a patron saint of resolve, especially against the temptations of sin.

The true story of Anka bears only a superficial resemblance to the passion plays and church teachings.

Anka was a beautiful and headstrong girl of the Northlands. Her father was a successful farmer, a country gentleman, who desired that his daughter take a husband. A terrible flirt, Anka had on many occasions consented to the pleadings of the country lads who formed her ever-present entourage.

Anka was taken with wooing and gift-giving, so she had no intention of taking a husband. Many candidates came forward, and always she refused their proposals, but accepted their gifts. One gift in particular, the giver she could never remember, was a silver chain into which were set a multitude of black gems. They seemed to swallow the light and at the same time shimmer gloriously. Anka would spend many hours lying in the meadows about her home, studying the strange (and cursed!) necklace in the sunlight and moonlight.

Eventually, a candidate for her hand came forward from the woodlands. An elf lord of great wit and wealth sought her hand in marriage. The marriage ceremony took place amidst much celebration, but Anka refused her husband’s wedding cake (the exchange of fairy-cakes is integral to the Yorrish wedding ceremony) on well-known religious grounds, and so began a hunger strike in his home in the woods.

Anka refused all food offered her, for how could she tell anyone that under her curse her only sustenance could be the fresh blood and flesh of humanoids; all other foodstuffs made her violently ill. She was visited by monks and nuns to lend her moral support, but the young men and women of her village knew of her dark side. Anka would lead them into the woods for wild reveries, initiating many of them into her intimacy and confidence. In truth, many of the monks and nuns who visited her were also initiated. It was on midsummer night that Anka, now a dedicated servant of evil, led her band into the forest for a final reverie in which a young and amorous halfling boy was sacrificed, his head kept as a shrunken token of his devotion.

Anka’s followers waited for her husband to arrive home from his hunting in the mountains. He was waylaid and sacrificed as well. Weeks later, Anka’s father also disappeared after a bloody struggle in his own home. Most people blamed brig-ands or wolves for the atrocities committed.

Anka and her band still lurk in the northern woods, where they lead black rites for the many monks and nuns who have fallen under her sway. Some clerics in the south are aware of the truth of Anka’s story and seek out her followers without rest, hoping to rid Mother Church of its most shameful secret.

Saint Benn
Patron Saint of Travel, Water and Bravery

St. Benn went to “sea” (the River Og) to convert the heathens that lived outside of Yore’s borders. Needless to say, it didn’t go well for a mouthy, preachy halfling with a habit of wagging his finger under people’s noses. Benn was martyred and has become a patron saint of travel, water and bravery.

Some sages believe that Benn is merely the Yorrish name for the River Og, and that rather than being a missionary he was really the presiding spirit of the river.
Bennites are known for their beautiful waterborne funerals, favored by southern merchants, and for their hospices, which cater to sailors and their families.

Saint Droppo
Patron Saint of Nervous Fidgeting

Droppo is the patron saint of nervous fidgeting, for it is said that whenever a false knave was in his presence he was unable to sit or stand still. The folk of his village attributed this to an inborn celestial character that made deceit anathema to him. He was duly sainted, a cathedral being built in the town of Skalagord where he lived and died. In religious iconography he is depicted in rough clothing and sandals holding a feather. His feast day is on the seventh day of Hay Month.

Church officials have since learned that Droppo was really a clod, often in on the schemes of charlatans who thought him a perfect stooge until he began accidentally giving away their schemes. They have chosen to believe he did this on purpose, and thus allow him to remain a recognized saint.

Saint Dunstan
Patron Saint of Goldsmiths

St. Dunstan is the patron saint of goldsmiths, he himself being a noted goldsmith in life. He is represented in clerical robes carrying a pair of pincers in his right hand. The robes refer to his office as Bishop of Nunc, and the pincers to the legend of his holding the Devil by the nose until he promised never to tempt him again.

Dunstan was a painter, jeweler and smith. Expelled from the royal court, he built a cell near Umpleby church, and there he worked at his handicrafts. It was in his cell that tradition says the Devil gossiped with the saint through the lattice window. Dunstan calmly talked until his tongs were red hot, when he turned round suddenly and caught the Devil by the nose.

Saint Dymphna
Patron Saint of the Stricken

St. Dymphna is the saint of those who are stricken in spirit. She was a native of the Midlands and a woman of high rank. It is said that she was murdered at Zeletor in the south by bandits because she resisted their advanced. Zeletor has long been a famous colony for the insane.

Saint Gabbar
Patron Saint of Tailors
Founder of the Gabbardine Order

St. Gabbar is revered in Yore for his defeat of a bevy of ogres that plagued the country long ago. While there is no doubt that he was a tailor, his race, whether a halfling from Yore or a half-elf from Mab, is disputed. Mother Church claims he was a halfling and will hear nothing more about it. The symbol of the Gabbardine Order is a needle and bobbin, and the monks engage in the garment trade. It has made the order wealthy, for they are the official tailors of the Mother Church, producing all official religious trappings therein. They are also noted as the preeminent giant killers of Yore.

Saint Grumm
Patron Saint of Warfare and Protection

St. Grumm is a popular Yorrish saint credited with the defense of the faithful in the Midlands against incursions of monsters and barbarian hordes. In Ikrod’s Lives of the Saints he is identified with Grumm Steadylegs, a warrior-monk who led a company of riders in the Wars of Redemption, in which Mother Church gradually converted the Midlands and Northlands. Grumm was a sedate and somber halfling, but given to passionate defenses of Nertha and her religious law.

Heretical halfling scholars claim that Grumm was an ancient deity of boundaries. He was consort to Nertha in some legends, and her son in others. Grumm was worshipped at the borders between holdings and between civilization and the wild.
Monasteries dedicated to St. Grumm are concentrated on the frontiers. They are outwardly militant. Monks especially dedi-cated to St. Grumm wear black robes with pointed hoods over their armor. They carry flanged maces in combat and are usually trained riders. They are called Grumblers. St Grumm’s churches have stout, stone walls and heavy doors. They are designed as places of refuge for the halflings in times of war. Almost all halfling hobbles have a small statue of St. Grumm near the door where he can guard against intruders.

St. Grumm’s feast day is Wild Month the 21st, celebrated as “Pie Week” amongst the Yorrish. During Pie Week, one day is set aside for St. Grumm and called Boys’ Day. All halfling boys and men are honored on Boys’ Day with gifts (usually martial in quality like slings and knives) and a parade.

The Boys’ Day parade concludes with a mock Battle against the Big Folk, wherein the parade leader must fight a duel with his enemy, the Big Man. The Big Man is represented in pantomime by two halflings, one sitting atop the other’s shoulders. The Big Man first runs into the street, disrupting the parade and scattering all the participants. He then steals a pie, knocks down a mock-hobble, and attempts to carry off a sheep. The parade leader chases the Big Man around the village square, sometimes losing his spear in the process. Finally, he either strikes the Big Man down with his spear or runs the Big Man out of town with the help of the militia by throwing pies at him. Once the Big Man is dead or driven off, the Battle ends and the halflings triumphantly carry the parade leader around the village on a shield or large platter, ending up at the Feast. Then they eat until they keel over.

Halfling clerics of St. Grumm are almost always Lawful. They always carry a buckler with St. Grumm’s badger symbol on the boss. The lay members of St. Grumm’s cult include gamekeepers, herdsman, militiaman, road wardens, soldiers, watch-men, and woodsmen.

The Order of St. Grumm is a branch of knighthood open to all free men and boys who can pass their tests with sling and bow. The Order’s membership boasts some of the greatest living halflings of Yore. The society is martial in name only, being more a hunting fraternity than anything else.

Saint Mathurin
Patron Saint of Fools

The patron saint of fools, St. Mathurin was in life a pedagogue who labored the whole of his life to preach to chil-dren, adults and even the animals. Yorrish legend says that it is St. Mathurin who first taught animals to speak, thus they are referred to as “Mathurin’s pupils”.

Saint Mommo
Patron Saint of Dance, Music and Poetry

St. Mommo is a very ancient halfling recollection of Tut, the kabir of natural rhythms, and thus of dance, music and poetry. The followers of St. Mommo are distinguished by their brightly colored clothes and their masks. They are portrayers of religious plays and singers of religious ballads. They are, essentially, the entertainers of Mother Church. They exist in their own troupes, and rarely mix with the uninitiated.

Saint Swithun
Patron Saint of Builders

The chroniclers say St. Swithun was a diligent builder of churches in places where there were none, and a repairer of churches destroyed or ruined. He also built a bridge on the east side of the city of Yorld. During the work, he made a practice of sitting there to watch the workmen so that his presence might stimulate their industry. One of his most edifying miracles is said to have been performed at this bridge when he restored an old woman’s basket of eggs which the workmen had maliciously broken.

The Kitchen Saints
Patron Saints of Home and Hearth

As any visitor to Yore knows, the kitchen is the center of halfling life and halfling worship. Three minor saints who enjoy considerable good will and devotion throughout Yore are Praseeda, Landrani and Bertha. Collectively, they are referred to as the Kitchen Saints. They lived long ago and are portrayed as ancient healers associated with both herbal healing and cookery. Heretical sages claim that they are remnants of the pre-Mother Church beliefs of Yore, which was based around a loose pantheon of nature divinities.

Each Kitchen Saint has her own feast day. St. Landrani, the patron saint of beer and cider, is feted on Wood Month the 5th. St. Praseeda, Our Lady of Herbs & Spices, is feted on Hay Month the 3rd. St. Bertha, patron saint of deserts, is celebrated on Pasture Month the 12th.

Mendicant halfling friars dedicate themselves to the Kitchen Saints. These wandering friars are renowned for their jollity and common sense preaching. They are like kindly gaffers and gammers, from whom the youth seek advice. More reserved members of the priesthood fault them for their inattention to canon law and church taboo, but really they resent them for being so much more popular than they.

St Landrani is immensely proud of the plethora of alcoholic beverages she has created for the halflings, and is always busy in the cellar creating (and extensively testing) her latest brew. She is always happy and usually a bit tipsy. St. Praseeda works with her on occasion to create spiced ciders. St. Landrani is depicted as a plump halfling woman with a wide grin and short blonde hair, holding a tankard and bottle of cider. Her symbol is a tankard.

St. Praseeda is the most rugged of her sisters, and spends hours hunting for rare herbs and mushrooms. As busy as this keeps her, she still finds time to potter around in the kitchen, helping her sisters spice up their creations. St. Praseeda is quiet, reserved and friendly. She is depicted as a slender halfling woman with long, tussled blonde hair, a green hood, and a sling bag. Her symbol is the sling-bag of herbs.

Have you ever wondered how halfling children can fall out of trees and walk away with only a little bruise, or why halfling relationships are nearly trouble free? St. Bertha is the answer.

St. Bertha is the most ‘homey’ of the Kitchen Saints, soothing hurt feelings and looking after halfing children while they play. In her spare time, she works in the kitchen with Nertha, cooking up the sweet treats of which halflings are so fond. St. Bertha is depicted as a plump halfling woman with curly blonde hair, freckled skin, and a concerned expression. She carries a spoon and lollipop, and her symbol is the lollipop.

The Kitchen Saints really are the last remnants of the halfling’s old religion. The three sisters remain the matrons of halfling druids – the aforementioned friars. These friars are few and far between, but they can be found wandering the countryside as teachers and guides. The friars are more colorful than most halfling priests, weaving flowers in their hair and wearing green robes. They gather in fields on nights of the full moon to worship the Kitchen Saints and Nertha. There, they throw seeds into the wind, watching them scatter and divining portents from the patterns they make.

Other than the friars, the Kitchen Saints have no official cults. Their worship is carried out by druids, brewers, cooks, nan-nies and peasants. While small shrines to the three sisters are maintained in most churches, most of their worship is con-ducted on small stone altars found in fields, kitchens, brewer-ies, and nurseries. Some of these altars are very ancient. At harvest time, first fruits are offered to the three sisters. Their followers are called either Kitcheners or Pantryeans.

It’s a Nice Day for a White Wizard

Yeah, I should probably be shot for that title.

So, a couple days ago I posted a spell list for “black magicians” that was based on the supposed powers that the demons in De Plancy’s Infernal Dictionary could bestow upon a conjurer. In ACTION X, these magic-users, officially called black magicians or conjurers, are Charisma-based spellcasters, meaning they will make a charisma-based task check to cast spells.

The flip side of these folks are the white magicians, or theurgists, who are Wisdom-based. Same rules for spellcasting, but a different key ability and a different spell list. For the white magicians, I decided to delve primarily into reputed miracles, both from the Old and New Testaments in the Bible, and from what I could glean from the lives of the saints and a few notions tucked in from the druids. If you were running a campaign with somewhat Biblical clerics, you might find this list useful. I think it’s a pretty fun mix of God’s mercy and God’s wrath, and isn’t completely foreign to what is expected from a fantasy cleric.

1. Aid
2. Bless
3. Comprehend Languages
4. Control Light
5. Cure Light Wounds
6. Multiply Food and Water
7. Protection from Evil
8. Summon Nature’s Ally I
9. Sustenance
10. Turn Undead

1. Augury
2. Buoyancy
3. Calm Emotions
4. Consecrate
5. Cure Moderate Wounds
6. Detect Thoughts (ESP)
7. Gentle Repose
8. Levitate
9. Remove Paralysis
10. Speak with Animals
11. Summon Nature’s Ally II
12. Summon Swarm

1. Cause Disease
2. Create Food and Water
3. Cure Blindness/Deafness
4. Cure Disease
5. Cure Serious Wounds
6. Fly
7. Hold Person
8. Remove Curse
9. Summon Nature’s Ally III
10. Tongues
11. Water Walk

1. Blight
2. Charm Monster
3. Control Water
4. Cure Critical Wounds
5. Divination
6. Flame Strike
7. Holy Smite
8. Restoration
9. Sticks to Snakes

1. Awaken
2. Bilocation
3. Commune
4. Contact Other Plane
5. Healing Circle
6. Hold Monster
7. Insect Plague
8. Raise Dead

1. Banishment
2. Geas
3. Move Earth
4. Wind Walk

1. Control Weather
2. Create Golem
3. Transmute Matter

1. Earthquake
2. Holy Aura

1. Astral Projection


Bilocation – A trick of the saints and apparently noted in psychic phenomena, this is the ability to be in two places at once. I aim to make this a non-combat spell – the point would be to allow the magician to simultaneously accomplish two tasks.

Buoyancy – There is a tale of a miracle that involved making a metal object dropped into a river float to the surface.

Create Golem – A clay golem, to be precise.

Multiply Food & Water – This is based, obviously, on the loaves and fishes episode.

Sustenance – This would allow the magician to go without food and drink (and maybe sleep) without suffering any negative consequences.

Transmute Matter – In the Black Magic post, I mentioned Transmute Metal and Transmute Liquid. Since spells in ACTION X are not prepared ahead of time, creating scarcity and thus more challenging game play by multiplying the number of spells, it seems to me I might as well combine those spells into a Transmute Matter spell.

Turn Undead – Yes, in ACTION X it’s a spell.

Now, if we have charismatic Conjurers and wise Theurgists, who uses intelligence? Well, besides the non-magical brainiacs and hackers, it’s the psions of course. I’ll post the psion power list in a couple days.

On Venatia – Saint Arachne

Six more sites for the Southeast map – two more installments to go before I begin on the Northeast map.

4348 Fish Men: A community of 112 locathah dwell in a submerged castle. They ride giant eels into battle and carry barbed spears or heavy crossbows or tridents and nets. The locathah are known for their paralyzing poisons, which they harvest from the sea urchins that cover their castle. They are led by Lord Kigl’lot and his bodyguard of twelve elite warriors. The castle is further protected by 11 cave eels and a giant jellyfish. The cave eels live in the catacombs that run underneath the castle and hold Kigl’lot’s vault of treasure. The vault contains 6,100 gp and 110 pp.

• Kigl’lot, Locathah Fighting-Fish Lvl 4: HP 24; AC 4 [15]; Save 13; Shagreen armor, poisoned trident, shield.

• Elites, Fighting-Fish Lvl 3: HD 3d6+6; AC 5 [14]; Save 14; Shagreen armor, poisoned trident, shield.

• Locathah: HD 2; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8); Move 12; Save 16; CL/XP 2/30; Special: None.

4431 Abbey of St. Arachne: This abbey is dedicated to Arachne, a mortal weaver possessing such magnificent skill at her art that she challenged the goddess Minerva and was eventually punished for her hubris. Nevertheless, she has become a patron saint of weavers and dyers and a minor figure in the cult of Minerva. The hillsides surrounding the abbey are grazed on by sheep with especially fine, strong wool. The nuns of the abbey use this wool to produce spectacular tapestries which are valued throughout the Motherlands and a variety of magical vestments.

The abbey itself is situated on a rocky hill overlooking a valley of rolling hills. The abbey is a shell keep, two stories tall, containing workshops, storage areas (mostly bundles of wool (5 tons, worth 20 gp per ton) and dyes of many colors (100 lb each of yellow, red, blue and green, worth about 5 sp per pound), combs, spindles, etc) living quarters for the nuns and their officers, an armory, and vaults carved into the granite hill where the true treasure of the monastery, dozens of enchanted spiders who do the real weaving of the abbey, are kept.

At the foot of the abbey hill there is a village of 30 thatched longhouses surrounded by a stone wall with a moat and three towers. The village is built against the abbey hill, with the town hall constructed right against the wall and offering access through a secret door to the tunnels and vaults carved into the hill. One can also access the abbey from the village by a system of stairs, some wooden and some carved into the living rock. The villager is defended by five men-at-arms in embroidered +1 tunics carrying shields, spears and light crossbows.

Abbey and village are ruled by Xanah, a small, radiant woman who wears sepia robes covered in magnificent embroidery depicting scenes from the life of St. Arachne (worth 200 gp). Xanah has guileless green eyes and fine, white hair in an elegant chignon. Her order is sworn to a vow of silence, and she will not break this vow. She is assisted by ten nuns. Hidden in the vaults beneath the abbey is her former lover, Brear, who has been turned into a drider and now stalks the dark corridor struck with madness. While Xarah has forsworn her love for him, she still does her best to hide and protect him, despite his occasional attacks on the villagers.

The abbey’s treasure consists of 10,000 cp and 4,100 gp and is kept behind a locked door in the subterranean vaults.

• Xanah, Cleric Level 9: HP 30; AC 1 [18]; Save 6 (5 with cloak); Special: Spells (4th); Platemail, shield, mace, cloak of resistance (+1 to saving throws), holy symbol.

• Brear, Drider: HD 7 (30 hp); AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8); Move 18; Save 9; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Spells, magical abilities.

4433 Ancient Donjon: An ancient, crumbling donjon stands atop a hill, overgrown with pine trees that are gradually tearing the place down. An obscured trap door allows access into the dungeon, which currently houses two hungry ghosts.

• Hungry Ghost: HD 1+1; AC 9 [10]; Atk 1 claw (1d4); Move 12; Save 17; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Phantasmal force, invisibility, suffer double damage from cold and fire.

4436 Ancient Computer: An ancient analog computer has been tucked into a small niche in the rocks and hidden by a few pine boughs, now dry as kindling. The computer looks like a large, wooden chest filled with gears and covered with dials on the outside and a crystal sphere on which is etched a map of the world. By turning the dials to match astronomical observations, the sphere turns to show one their location on NOD. Alas, the map is a bit inaccurate, ignoring the existence of the antipodes and misjudging by 1,000 miles the western extent of Antilia. Operating the device requires a check against intelligence, with magic-users modifying their roll by 1 and scientists by 2.

4450 Whirlpool: This hex is almost filled by an enormous whirlpool that will almost certainly drag ships down to be dashed against the rocks. The whirlpool is caused by a glowing sword piercing the sea floor. The short sword, constructed in the ancient Greek style, was placed there by Neptunus for any hero brave and cunning enough to claim it. The sword is a +2 weapon that allows its wielder to breath underwater and swim as swiftly as a dolphin (Move 24). In addition, sea creatures must pass a saving throw to threaten or attack the wielder (unless he attacks first).

4531 Ancient Road: An elevated stone road goes from this hex to [6026], following the curve of the evergreen belt. In hexes [5434] and [5534] is follows along the banks of the lake. The road is of Nomo construction, and was meant to move troops swiftly into the Golden Coast region for an invasion that never took place. Every six miles (i.e. in each hex) there is a statue of Mercurius consisting of a 5-ft tall pillar of porphyry topped by a sculpture of the deity’s head. Where the road is near settlements, it is lined with cenotaphs, tombs and crypts.

Venatia – Saint Stimula

You can find Part One here – oh, and I screwed up the numbering on the map last time around, so it has been fixed. If you downloaded it before, you’ll want to download it again.

May plan is to present six encounters, every other day, until I hit 60 encounters. Then I’ll post the NW map and begin the process all over.


3926 Ancient Highway: Remnants of an ancient highway run through this hex. The highway was constructed along a tall ridge, and was in fact constructed by excavating and flattening a portion of the ridge. At one point, several clay drainage pipes penetrate ridge beneath the highway’s surface, allowing water to pass through and form a pleasant stream that continues down the slope before meeting a larger stream. The drainage pipes can be crawled through (or walked through if one is a halfling or gnome), being 200 yards long and eventually ending in a large, pond that fed by a dozen little streams. The pond is lined with tall trees and reeds and home to a menagerie of frogs and fish. In the midst of the stream, surrounded by water lilies, is the battered and toppled statue of a humanoid. Closer inspection reveals it to be a fairy queen. The queen is guarded by a gwurrum (or green fairy mist) that appears at night as a greenish, glowing mist on the surface of the pond. It soon moves through the pipes and into the hills beyond in search of creatures to torment and hurt. If the statue is righted and cleaned, and decorated with garlands of flowers, the statue’s mouth will open, revealing a small, flint arrowhead on the tongue. The arrowhead can be used as an arrow of slaying against fey creatures.

3928 Runic Relic: A 10 ft tall runestone carved from a greenish stone flecked with silver stands atop a grassy knoll. While the base of the hill is clogged with gnarled pine trees, the hill is completely devoid of anything but reddish-green grass. The runestone recounts the deeds of an ancient chieftain of the wose in simple (and often graphic) pictograms reminiscent of the ones used by the ancient lizard kings. The stone is erected atop the chieftain’s burial mound, the crypt chamber lying 15 feet beneath the soil. The crypt can be reached by a low tunnel composed of large stones leaning against one another and buried under the soil. The stone “walls” of the passage and crypt are covered in swirls and stylized skulls. The chieftain’s partially mummified remains lie atop a stone slab made reddish-brown from the spilling of blood (probably sacrifices). Around the slab lie the chieftain’s treasures, mostly obsidian axes and flint spear and arrow heads, but also some simple copper and electrum jewelry (25 gp worth) and a soapstone carving of what appears to be a bear standing on its hind legs (worth 10 gp).

3929 Poisonous Hollow: The landscape here turns into a deep hollow choked with maples, sycamores and ferns and traversed by a deep, moderately fast running rivulet. At many places, the rivulet becomes quite shallow and is easily forded. Many large rocks, some that bear signs of having been shaped into irregular blocks, dot the rivulet. In the center of the hex, the rivulet becomes the lair of a clutch of eight giant, green frogs that are scaled in the fashion of a dragon and that belch plumes of poisonous vapor from their wide mouths almost at random. The largest of the bunch is an actual green dragon that was polymorphed into its present form by a vengeful wizard.

• Draconic Giant Frog: HD 3; AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 bite (1d8); Move 3 (or 100 ft leap); Save 14; CL/XP 4/120; Special: Leap, swallow whole, immune to sleep, breath weapon (3/day, cloud of poisonous gas 30-ft in diameter, 12 damage).

3936 Abbey of St. Stimula: Atop a rocky promontory, the base of which is forested with sycamores and maples, is a large, fortified abbey. The abbey is dedicated to St. Stimula, patron saint of wine and part of the cult of Bacchus.

The abbey is built of gray stone and has gleaming white shutters on the windows. The shutters are engraved with vines and frolicking nymphs and satyrs. The buildings of the abbey have peaked roofs of green copper. The abbey is composed of a large, round tower that houses an armory, hospital and living quarters for abbey officials. It is connected to a two-story L-shaped building that houses the sisters, their winery and a shrine to St. Stimula and Bacchus. A tall wall encloses a courtyard with an iron portcullis. The courtyard houses a medicinal garden, a few young vines, a tall pomegranate tree and a very deep well. Hidden among the surrounding wooded hills are a dozens of vineyards. The vinyards are protected by a band of 12 satyrs that join the sisters in their revels each night.

Mother Isleiza is a 70-year old woman who hails from Lyonesse. Her fifteen sisters hail from the local villages as well as Lyonesse, so there is a mix of olive-skinned and dark-haired women with the long noses and narrow faces common to the coast and the rounder faced, lighter-skinned women of Lyonesse. All wear grey frocks embroidered with round badges that look like a woman’s face that is composed of grape leaves and vines. Isleiza is an ugly woman with a rude, grating personality. Of course, her looks and demeanor soften each night when the satyrs arrive and the drunken revelries begin, but in the daylight hours she is quite formidable. Mother Isleiza, despite her advanced age and seemingly tough exterior, has fallen deeply in love with Baron Torod of [4336]. The Baron and a contingent of villagers visit the abbey every year or so to pay their respects and make sacrifices, as well as to purchase the sister’s excellent wine.

The abbey treasure includes four leopard skins (15 gp each), 20,000 cp, 1,000 ep, 5,000 gp, 100 pp, a large, polished obsidian sphere (worth 95 gp) and an olivine (worth 125 gp). In a vault beneath the tower, accessible only through a secret door with a lock that appears to have a poisoned needle, but in fact channels 4 dice of lightning damage through any metallic object that enters it, is kept a powerful relic, The Hand of Sabazios.

The Hand of Sabazios is cast in bronze and is slightly larger than a human hand. When held above the head, it amplified the holder’s voice and gives his every word the power of a command (per the spell). The bearer of the hand is immune to fear and lightning and can, once per day, summon a celestial charger (treat as a benevolent version of the nightmare) that serves loyally for 1 hour.

• Mother Isleiza, Level 12 Druid: HP 44; AC 7 [12]; Save 4; Special: Druid spells (6th), change into leopard, cobra or bull; Leather armor, gnarled club (does 1d6 damage), leopard skin (45 gp).

• Satyr: HD 5; AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8); Move 18; Save 12; CL/XP 6/400; Special: 50% magic resistance, pipes, concealment.

• Sister of St. Stimula, Level 2 Druid: HD 2d6+2; AC 7 [12]; Save 13; Special: Druid spells (1st); Leather armor, club, sling.

3942 Wild Herd: A wild, unruly herd of nine hippocampi dwells on a submerged plateau. The creatures are wrangled by a trio of young storm giants on behalf of the nereid in [4041]. The storm giants, Eksen, Hraga and Tyrnach, are members of the family that dwells in [XXX] in the mountains way to the north. The storm giants live in a large cave that overlooks the fields grazed by the hippocampi. They enjoy tests of skill and strength, and will gladly challenge adventurers to compete in games. The storm giants possess 21,000 sp, 2,200 gp, 100 pp, a silver toe ring (large enough to be used as an armband, worth 1,000 gp) and a ceramic aquamanile (worth 230 gp, a memento of home). The hippocampi are all colored bluish-grey, with white manes and silvery scales.

• Young Storm Giant: HD 8+3; AC 2 [17]; Atk 1 weapon (3d6); Move 15; Save 8; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Throw boulders, control weather (4 in 6 chance of success).

3948 Turtle Shark: These waters, and those nearby, are the hunting ground of a massive turtle shark – possibly the largest specimen of its kind on Nod. The creature is large enough that it can batter the hulls of ships and send them to the bottom.

• Turtle-Shark: HD 9+1; AC 1 [18]; Atk 1 bite (4d6) or 1 slam (3d6); Move 9 (Swim 15); Save 11; CL/XP 11/1700; Special: Shell, capsize, swallow.

Art: Women of Amphiss (1877) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema