“There’s living dead, even in the wilderness… Well, damn.”
“The job is clear. You shall escort my caravan through the brutal and harsh beast lands, then aid me in distributing these medicinal creations to the people of my tribe. The latter is easy, the former is likely to kill you if you lack the knowledge. As it is, some buffoon who followed me around nearly died, but I taught him some of my ways. But, he’s not important. Are you up for this task? If not, stand aside. And please, direct questions for my caravan’s scout. He is knowledgeable on almost all travel matters. Also, don’t mind the living dead.” – Moonlotus Fadingdusk, a human witch from the Seeking Mind tribe… Or so she says.
There’s a handful of beastly creatures out there in the weird western frontier. A few varmints aren’t overly harmful, while others are truly malicious. The vast wilderness requires one on their toes at all times, lest they get torn apart by the seems, some quick snack for a cunning predator. It’s this reason why rangers and trailblazers join caravans, to minimize casualties outside of civilization.
Author’s Note: More weird critters, yeah! I decided a few obligatory folk tales were a necessary add-on, because fur bearing trout and jackalope are truly fun stories. While it was supposed to be in another post on native inspired folk beasts, I added the accursed wendigo here. Warning, this one is quite strong!
“Howdy, friend. You also crawl out of Hell?”
“Lemme tell you ’bout this really freaky gent, just lingered outside of town for a bit. He got this big ol’ rictus grin, like someone who died clenching their teeth. He asked me about my evening. ‘Course, it was lovely. One of the men of the inn helped me relax real well upstairs a bit, hehehe. Anyway, the mad smilin’ man vanished after I told him off. Damn ghosts. I need some rest, so I don’t cleave off someone’s face…” – Booker L. Wyatt, Human Barber, owner of Wispy Cliffs Barbershop
Dark spirits gather in these parts. Maybe they love the sorrow and struggle that comes with developing frontiers; the lawlessness, the adverse environment, the lonesome people. All sorts of negative traits and qualities seem to lure all sorts of vicious monsters to prey on the miserable locals. Many of the monsters themselves were once the very same miserable locals, in some cases brought back from the grave to terrorize anyone who dares to live life well. Some are just manifestations of pure evil, formed upon this world to destroy.
Author’s Note: You can’t have most weird west tales without a degree of horror. So, let’s dive into some particularly nasty creatures. Some of them are homages and conversions of beloved and infamous monsters from various games; such as Darkwatch: Curse of the West and Deadlands: The Weird West. You could say, I like both… a lot. Also, good lord, are the Hangin’ Judges SOOOOOO 1990’s! I love them, but they are a trope of their era.
Why hello-li-lo-li-lo! The name is Jermaine! Funny name for a guy like me, I know, but I’m the one and only! I know what you’re about to say… What am I? Don’t worry, I am not offended, not in the very least! I love to talk about myself! I am of the Arcane and I am here to serve you. These robes I wear, they are ceremonial, for the high holy act of commerce and trade; a sacred practice among my people. My people have scoured wild space, the planes, the multiverse, you name it; we have visited it! Many like me collect all sorts of oddities for my “bizarre bazaar”.
Unlike that barmy star berk, I assure you that my wares are much safer… and much fairer of a price. My associates procure a wide variety of simply marvelous items from all over all known realities, the price you pay matches the story and the piece! Now, what is my specialty? Why, I collect and craft technological crafts empowered by The Art… That’s “magic” for the clueless out there. I’ve rambled far too long… So my lovely observers, do you see anything you like? Hmmm? … Oh, and one more thing! No refunds, a merchant has to make a handful of jink somehow. Ya hear me, baby?
Author’s Note: I’m back with another contribution to the RPG Blog Carnival! This month’s theme is gonzo cross-genre gaming, hosted by Cross-Planes! Find out more HERE. Also, stay tuned for my theme post next month!
If there is one thing I love, it’s magitech! Sure, most of my planar items count as this already, but I wanted to try something new. In fact, I made a new shopkeeper narrator for the occasion as well! (Don’t worry, Zam’dul isn’t going anywhere, Jermaine promises this!) Here’s a sampling of technomagical devices for your games! And yes, Scaramouche from the Samurai Jack miniseries inspired Jermaine the Arcane. I also went a little crazy on these, so they might be a tad unstable.