Strange Things in Bloodied Wyvern Peaks Adventure Report: Part 1

The Orvaldt Sanctuary Sanitarium

Greetings and well met!  Welcome to the realm of Qvosfeir, a land of frigid tundra and hardy folk.  Under normal circumstances, the Kingdom of Orvaldt would be a thriving hub of trade and travel, overseen by King Orvaldt; proud head of the clan as well as ruler.  A thriving internal economy of mining helped to establish the kingdom’s presence far before modernizing into the city of today.  Forged by an ancestor of Orvaldt, as well as House Emberbeard, the small mining town grew until it had earned its place as a proud and powerful land.  The nearby land proved lush and fertile, as the rocky crags and fields gave way to refreshing springs and favorable hunting grounds.

That was, until the “strange things” began to occur.  A general term, the strange things marked a series of events over the course of a year; people vanished, the soil turned bad and crops withered, plague began to emerge from no where, strange poisons leaked into the water, reports of horrible monsters overwhelmed locals and travelers alike… especially the miners.  The far most odd were two incidents witnessed by residents.  The first being tendril-covered ball creatures attacked a nearby homestead, dissolving what prey they could find and absorbing it into their mass.  Upon being slain, attempts to study them only brought confusion as they had no discernible anatomy from quick glance and they melted and vaporized not long after death.  The other incident was an airship jumping out of a planar portal over the mountain, before a pillar of incredible light shot up from one of the peaks and destroyed the vessel, as it crashed somewhere in the mountains below.

Attempts to discover the cause or end it outright have been failures, with the remainder of each exploration group returning insane or deathly sick.  Those who didn’t die were sent to a converted sector of the Physician’s Ward of the city that was converted into an asylum.  Meanwhile, much of the populace has been evacuated with the help of much of the kingdom’s army, as bandits and other opportunistic folk have seized the chance at picking at the desperate kingdom.  Attempts to gather heroes from the inside and outside have been mostly fruitless.  Those who survived the raiders and bandits have managed to push into the city, in hopes of an audience with the king.

Hello again!  For a slight change of pace, I wanted to chronicle my expanded take on the D&D adventure I wrote a little ways back.  Don’t worry, more homebrew is on the horizon.  In fact, I have a prospective DM’s Guild project that’s almost done as well.  While I’ve had fun running modules over the years, even running organized play events, I wanted to jump back into creating my own campaigns.  I hope you enjoy reading this as I did running the campaign!  In addition, I hope to have some uploaded audio logs of the campaign as well, for your entertainment.  I’ll probably post an announcement on that, but in the meantime, the FlumphCast YouTube channel is where the videos will be found.

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Monsters in Space! The Sequel: Star Dragons (and Dragon Variants)

“How could such an environment lead to this?  Is this a dragon?  It barely seems to qualify.  Unlike others, it shoots a strange, destructive light from its mouth…  It baffles the mind.”- From the journal of a traveling scholar.

Star Dragons, born from the deep cosmos, are a rare draconic breed.  Some think they are crossbred between a true dragon from another realm and something truly alien.  Others believe that they are another reality’s manifestation of dragon.  They could very well be an evolution of primordial energy from the distant depths, gaining awareness as it gained form.  None the less, such a creature is capable of unleashing a fearsome power that is true to their kind.  Unlike any element, they can release a matter consuming light.  Few are sure if it is a kind of radiation, a laser beam or something else entirely.  On top of that, it is said that they hold the ability to phase through reality and travel among the stars themselves.

Those who have encountered them have either contended with a brutal foe or an incredible ally.  Indifferent to plights, powers and people; the star dragons prefer to distance themselves from conflict.  But, if one is convinced to aid, they will become an invaluable source as long as there’s something in it for them.  In fact, they’re more likely to remain away from plane jumpers and ships alike.  Those who interact with such travelers always have a personal agenda in mind.  Despite this, they are not typically egoistic, as they often have a communal aspect to them.  They travel the stars in pods, similar to whales in the sea, doing all they can to prevent anyone from falling behind in the galactic reaches.  Protection of clan and extended family is an important virtue for such creatures.

Author’s Note: I wanted to do a little bit more with my list of classic D&D monsters ported over into the realms of science fiction…  Well… science-fantasy.  Will these manifest in something else at one point?  Most likely, yes!  Anyway, here’s my take on a cosmic dragon that was scrapped from last week’s post due to time.  Also, I’m going to be taking a little break from planar/science-fantasy.

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Monsters IN SPACE – Sci-Fi twists on Classic Monsters

Vampire by Saindoo

Even vampirism has evolved alongside growing technologies…

“Magick…” he grumbles in a hoarse whisper to himself, “the force we all thought would hamper progress.  And here we are, traveling the stars with it.”  Letting out a sigh, he pushes his hovering seat away from a messy desk.  “If we were truly destined to separate ourselves from magick, the horrible monsters would have been vanquished long ago… not terraforming entire planets.”  The man slightly grips his teeth as he rises from the floating chair, joints popping from ache and wear.  The spacefaring man gazes into a mirror before continuing to shuffle.  The marks of fatigue and age on his face contrast the shining gleam of his badges, reflecting light from the ‘glow panels’ dotting the ceilings and hallways throughout the vessel.  Over towards a huge glass pane, the elder military man observes systems of stars with planets seemingly nestled in perfect viewing spots by ancient giants or celestial creatures.  “And this ship, it has served more of a home for me than it deserves.  But, through the mad crusades and bloody combat, it has served me well.”  The tranquility of an empty space fades as ships pull into view, built with alien geometries and operating through impossible physics, they charge weaponry for an epic battle.  The man cracks a faint grin as similar weaponry opens fire on the enemy crafts.

The worlds of magic and monsters don’t need to end when civilizations have advanced themselves into new eras; feudal worlds give way to industrial, which give way to information, which give way to hypothetical new technologies that Earth can only speculate about.  Even a world of fantasy can and should advance and change with the flow of time.  All too often do these worlds stagnate in the endless mush of quasi-medieval high fantasy.  Now, this isn’t to say that such a thing can’t be good and doesn’t still have a place.  It’s just that for many fans of the genre, such things have grown stale and resistance to change.

In a fantasy future, adventurers will continue to carry on their business.  Perhaps new sanctions are in effect and new regulations are in place.  However, there are still dens filled with malicious monsters and strange sights to behold.  There are gnoll raiders who operate miniguns instead of wield war-axes, elementals from a plane composed of radiation, beholders who bolster their psychic power through cybernetic enhancements, orcish biker gangs terrorizing the streets through their “hover hogs” and much more.  Granted, most of these will not be appearing in the article below.  However, they are ideas on how someone can twist a classic monster for a more Modern/Sci-Fi inspired setting.

Author’s Note: I figured this is a great way to close out the theme, a look at some classic monsters transferred to a new genre.  And by this, I mean transferring classic D&D monsters into classic (as well as some less standard) science fiction.  Also, please don’t mind the cheesy space-opera-meets-D&D blurb from up above.  I’m not quite what I’d call a writer, but I figured it would be a fun change of pace.

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Bizarre Bazaar Returns from the Planes! – More Planar Items

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The hustle and bustle of the market gives way to something you’ve seen before.  Ahead lies a familiar tent and sitting underneath is a figure wearing spacefaring gear over robes.  Their head tilts in your direction, acknowledging your presence and expecting reaction.  Upon getting closer, the creature straightens its back as it lifts from the ground with seemingly little effort.  Facing you, they extend a cloth covered arm in greeting, it is Zam’dul the Plane Traveler.  The thick breathing from a chamber in his mask lightens up as you can hear sounds like a throat being cleared.

“Hail, friend!  It has been a while, has it not?  Please, do not shy away.  Since your last visit, I have procured many new items from the distant cosmos and beyond.  I open my collection for you, if you can handle a potentially steep price.”

The dusty, wrinkled merchant shuffles over as an arm extends to highlight various wares.  Much like before, you bare witness to a wide variety of truly odd looking crafts and artifacts.  Some resemble items you’ve seen in your travels, others are far too alien for you to fully comprehend.  Zam’dul surveys the crowd while ringing a strangely shaped bell, hoping to garner interest.

Author’s Note: We’re slowly closing out our planar theme for the time being.  However, I figured it would be fun to return to another installment of Bizarre Bazaars!  This time, I’m going back to my roots and doing another planar theme, including the truly bizarre and perhaps even horrifying aspects of the planes.  But, if you wanted normal items, you wouldn’t have come here.  As a bonus, I’ve converted over some items from Planescape Torment.  No matter, take it away, Zam’dul.

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Bloodlines of the Planes! – More Planetouched PCs!

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Planar-based parties are weird.

Planetouched.  Such a term can be used to describe humanoids that have an ancestry shared with an extraplanar creature.  The blood of fiends runs through a Tiefling, the blood of celestials in a Aasimar and the blood of elementals in Genasi.  But, these are but a handful of creatures gifted by strange sources lurking in the known multiverse.

Among their ranks are other creatures, either blessed or cursed by their strange bloodlines.

  • The Changeling is the result of a union between a mundane humanoid and an ancient magical creature empowered by corrupting sorcery, a hag or a bodach.
  • Dream-Touched are born from the powers of two fallen archfey; one of pleasant dreams and one from nightmares.
  • The Eldritch-Touched is an unfortunate creation of mad cultists, victims of dark gods and overly curious lunatics.
  • Fey Dog Barkers are the result of Fey Dogs who wandered too far into the Maddening Winds of Pandemonium… those who didn’t go insane were changed, perhaps for the better.
  • Finally, the Vitalborn are a race of creatures much like the Genasi.  Their elemental nature, however, comes from the Positive and Negative planes.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Not 1, but 5 new races!  (Well, 3 new races, a sub race and a remake)  I wanted to continue my planar/weird fantasy theme with some more player options.  Most of this started with a player wanting a hag-blooded tiefling in an early 5e game… which didn’t quite feel thematically right to me.  Though, it ended with the loss of famous meme “Gabe the Dog”… otherwise, the sub-race wouldn’t exist.  Granted, Fey Dog was a meme-based joke creation to begin with.

All in all, I got carried away with a whole assortment of planar themed racial options at your disposal!  While they need some playtesting (and some more than others), I’m still happy I managed to get all of this done.  Enjoy.

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