Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Always Weirder Pastures

What Really Happened at Roswell? - HISTORY

“So, what you’re trying to tell me is that you’re not an elf?”

-“No, sir.”

“And this isn’t the North Pole?”

-“It could be!”

“So… Sargent, have you been trying to mess with my goddamn mind this whole time?”

*”I’m in the fog as much as you are, Major!  This ain’t Earth, it’s aliens.  Roswell and all!  Aliens!”

“Get a grip of yourself.  This, err, non-elf can help us.  Now, isn’t that right?”

Author’s Note: Two instances of New Jersey in the multiverse.  Why?  Because it ain’t as bad as everyone likes to say!  Also, it’s a little smaller this time.  Look out for next time, it’s a big one!

Continue reading “Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Always Weirder Pastures”

Conspiracies and Terrors of Wildspace and More

I realize that my lesson started and shifted a but abruptly.  But, you seek the worst and weirdest that arcane space has to offer.  Why would I slouch on a golden opportunity to explain all that is delightfully dooming in the stars beyond?  Ah, yes.  Do stop me at any moment.  As much as I relish spreading nightmares, it could be bad for the tutoring contract.  So, young one, let us talk particular subjects involving space today.  After all, fear not when being taught by the famous Jermaine the Arcane.  I always provide means of rescue advice.

Author’s Note: Spelljammer, at last!  All the same, October kinda of usurped a bit of that.  And so with that, have some RavenJammer!  Likewise, conspiracies and mysteries within the setting too.  Also, the largest heresy to the alternate cosmologies, they’re just Crystal Spheres with Planar elements…  Don’t be mad at me!  Plus hey, I love a good conspiracy angle, the retcon fits the Great Wheel and its many mysteries to some extent.  Primers be damned!  (But, mostly Clueless.)

Continue reading “Conspiracies and Terrors of Wildspace and More”

Planar Explorations, by [REDACTED] or “The Narrator”

“I hate this Ramon DeLeon, barmy liar has brought many to their dooms!  My brothers feel it’s in best interest to visit the bard, as well as his monastery friends in due time.  I lack the muscle of some compatriots, but I can only hope my word craft and reason is enough to get this menace to stand down.  And if he doesn’t, may his long ears be ripped off his head!  Now, where’s my wine?” – Gerard Claude Dupois, Renardois-folk Lupin of Petite Renardie

Where’s a primer to go to learn all there is upon the planes?  Why, to Sigil of course!  And where from there?  Well, competition has floundered in the claws of a beast named Ramon!  His biased words paint a different story of the planes, bringing glory to some and chastisement to others.  But, be assured there are far stranger truths than those cooked up by some hairball hacking mutant with a knack for storytelling.  And within such stories, many things are best left alone.  Because of his foolish idealism, a racial war begins to boil… not unlike that of the gith.  But, enough tearing of one’s fake character.  It’s time to explore the planes with a tighter focus and sense of scrutiny.  Dare you discover what truly happens within realities beyond?  Of course you do, that’s why you’re here!

Now, who might I be?  Why, the Narrator, of course!  Do you think I’m like the Editor?  Because you shouldn’t!  I’m far more charming and more elaborate.  No cryptic absurdity here, only the upfront truth and the deepest of dark you can muster.  Besides, he seems to have given the city the laugh for a while.  Good for him, I say.  You work hard, you eventually catch a break.  So, why can’t you see me?  Well, disclosing such information is dangerous.  Surely, you can understand this.  So, let us not waste too much time.  Turbulence and conflict bubble and ooze around the cage, especially in these trying times.  Methinks another age of upheaval is upon us.  But, whose to say?  I surely can’t, I’ve moved onto other business after ages of merc blood-work.  But, onto other matters then.

Author’s Note: Yup, split post.  Unrest still hovers over the greatest city in the multiverse.  And as one can assume, not all like the traveling bard.  Some think he’s a foul swindler even!  But, what other stories can be told of the planes?  Plenty, I can tell you!  Also, I wanted to explore an even darker look at the fey.  I don’t care for Disney takes on Faeries, give me gothic style aliens any day!  And yes, it overtook the post.  And once again, The Evil Dead inspired something for me to work with.  In addition, we have strange elementals, trade war, a sentient astral pocket and a drifting piece of New Jersey!  Also, as the name might imply, one of my greatest inspirations for Planescape content is the Grimjack/Mundens/Cynosure universe.  Science-fantasy hodgepodge, multiversal antics, a grim mercenary tone often used, lots of it already felt Planescape, even if it predates the setting by around a decade.

Continue reading “Planar Explorations, by [REDACTED] or “The Narrator””

The Gathering of Unholy Fire – A Confrontation in The Mists

Ravenloft: Prisoners of the Mist - About the World

The Mists choke figuratively and literally, standing as an ever oppressive and overbearing force.  But, what are they?  This is a mystery that will continue for all time.  What is known are the more tangible entities that haunt the endless realms of this demiplane space.  Many of these are tragic figures who fell from grace, while others are condemned for absolute wickedness.  As I have already uncovered, many places in the Prime Material have either fallen victim or been alleviated of their worst…  This depends on your perspective. What is certain is that those removed have become the things of myth and legend in their home world.  But here, they are forever trapped.  The few who have escaped are anomalies, truly lucTalon Dunning - Deathky.  Of course, this could be just weavings of The Mists.  After all, tales tell of Vecna’s paradoxical victory and failure.  But, what could foil a demigod?As for me?  Not certain.  Beyond some vague words and promises, it would seem that I should seek out Darkon.  However, it would appear that The Mists have other places to “distract” me with.  Or at the very least, slow me down.  Either way, I continue through the clouding vapors, until I see sites anew.  I still mull over the fact that I wasn’t taken this time by some trap of the Powers.  No, instead of going back to Gloomwrought, I found myself a prisoner of Azalin’s very contemplations.  But, again, why would his own minions be found in the Prime or even the Planes beyond?  It baffles the mind.  What has stuck with me is the tarot card given to me prior to the ritual.  It is a symbol of Death.  But, why is that significant?  I have heard of the pocket realm caused by Azalin known as “Necropolis”.  Is “Death” somehow involved too?  So many mysteries, so many questions.  In time, I hope I will find some answer or be consumed trying to understand.  Let us hope for the former, shall we?  And with that, we venture onwards.

Author’s Note:  One more trek into the demiplane of dread, at least for Halloween.  Also, I wanted to think of a possible outcome for yet another mad plan of Azalin…  Or rather, a plot made by outside help.  In addition to a look at more core domains, I made two cluster contributions originating from Mystara (including the Hollow World).  Plus, even a tribute to Planescape makes its way here.  There is an homage to the “Set Wands to Warpdrive” game I played in, back before this blog made it over to WordPress.  A heavily abridged version of that is noted in the darklord story, but that might appear in a future post instead.  Also, enjoy a reveal that pays homage to the Gazetteer series.  Of course, I might say that.  Also, I realize the picture I used for Darkon is from Night of the Walking Dead.  I couldn’t find proper art… oh well.

Continue reading “The Gathering of Unholy Fire – A Confrontation in The Mists”

Ramon’s Guide to the Inner Planes

The inner planes | Fantasy map making, Sigil, Astral plane
Details on more comes later!

Circling the prime are realms where natural life is abundant, even the opposite is present too! This is the circle of the Inner Planes. Looping forms of elements dancing endlessly, the fabric of natural matter locked in a glorious display. So, why not explore them? A novel idea, and what better host for such an adventure? If I do say so, myself. Follow my mad scribblings and even madder musings as we quest to see the workings of the Inner Planes, uncovering many secrets and hidden goodies along the way.

A word of warning, many of the inner planes are truly primal. You feared the forces of the Outer Planes, but many of these are broken into base primordial essences. And no, I don’t mean like Primordium; such a strange place is still rather dangerous in its own right. I talk of the place that gave the inspiration to build Primordium in the first place! It’s amazing how something so simple can be so awe inducing. To me, those are the Elemental Planes. Let us not dally.  Admittedly, my venture to the Upper Planes lasted quite a while, the better part of many primer yearly calendars. So, do stay close and protect yourself against the correct force, one of many elemental vortexes are just a jump away!

Author’s Note: Before we continue, because I don’t say it enough, a big thanks to Todd Stewart for being a huge inspiration.  His work in pathfinder’s planar content gets a nod from me partially because of it!  While I doubt I’ll ever really jump back to Paizo, I can appreciate the work the some of the people over there are doing.  Besides, I’m more so feeling Cyberpunk 2020 or one of many other seemingly relevant dystopian games for this day and age…  Anyway, jokes and other topics aside, the Inner Planes always felt like they needed more to them.  The Inner Planes book itself jokes about this while giving some neat suggestions, but I want to add my own touch.  Hell, it calls out the people who aren’t imaginative enough to make those planes work.  I’ve seen too many silly complaints about the Inner Planes too, in part because it puts your mind in a challenge…  Anyway, here are the results of my own elemental plane challenge.  Well, part of them.  I have much more where this came from!

Continue reading “Ramon’s Guide to the Inner Planes”

Ramon’s Guide to Gothic Terra

Masque

“I came to, a willingness to survive kicked in.  When I swam above the waterline, I wasn’t greeted by Lamordia, by a mist-cloaked land anew.  Surely, this was but a trick of The Dark Powers, once more?” – Ramon DeLeon, wandering bard and planes traveler

Planet Terra.  It has been referenced in many planar logs.  Many worlds tell of a mythic world of great humans who fled the oppressive horrors of their old world of many names.  LaTerre, Uerth, Gothic Earth.  These names and more have been given to this world by many a scholar of Wildspace and The Planes.  Despite its mythic past, much of its fantastical glory days are over, with only dark shadows looming over the present.  The present, according to the widely used calendar of its people, is 2012.  The common people either mistranslate old calendars as prophecy or completely brush off any fear.  The reality of the matter is so much worse…

Author’s Note: Credit where credit is due!  A big thanks to Rucht Lilavivat of the Fraternity of Shadows community for his creation of Gothic Earth Eternal, a pathfinder mod that brings Masque of the Red Death into the Modern Age.  In my case, this is my means of highlighting a variety of chilling tales.  In the world of Gothic Earth, they’re most likely true!  Also, this is not the Earth you are used to, but one more akin to the gothic settings of the World of Darkness roleplaying game.  Life is deadlier, the aesthetics are grimmer and the world in general is far more sinister. Plus, I have an excuse to tie in Alternity Dark*Matter RPG’s Hoffman Institute and the forces of Shadow from D20 Urban Arcana, which are both canon in D&D.  I know Masque of the Red Death doesn’t traditionally have standard Domains, but this concept takes place over 100 years after the main campaign.  Anything can happen, right?

Also, this gives me the chance to showcase some disturbing stories through a supernatural lens!  The fate of the SS. Morro Castle, Jane and the Starving Period of Jamestown, fell curses in the Payton Randolph house, the murder of George Wythe, tavern tales of devil pacts and their supposed results, government conspiracies, southwestern ghost towns, real life camp killers and the infamous murder hotel.  Now, save for a tavern tale or two; the majority of the topics mentioned in this are real or are based on real events.  I don’t mean any offense or disrespect when adapting these events to horror fiction.  If anything, reality is far scarier than any fictional tale we could come up with.  None the less, I realize this one will be rather controversial.

Continue reading “Ramon’s Guide to Gothic Terra”

We Aren’t Alone – Horrific Alien Entities

Image result for alien abduction painting

The stars carry their own ill omens.  Sometimes, they are not always distant sleeping beings, but terrestrial creatures of a different sort.  This doesn’t stop them from being completely alien in other ways.  Sometimes, these things are from our own world and remain just as frightening as things from beyond the stars.  The borders between dimensions falter, as a dark matter begins to traverse into our own realm.  All means of xenoforms manifest as a result, with us ill prepared for what is to come.

Author’s Note:  War of the Worlds, Alien’s Xenomorph, Classic Conspiracy Theories.  Those are the subjects of this post.  Also, remember when I said I was done butchering German?  Well, I guess I lied…  Also, I wanted to fit a few references to the Alternity RPG’s Dark*Matter setting.  Also, please don’t hate me for poking fun at the recent Aliens universe…

Continue reading “We Aren’t Alone – Horrific Alien Entities”

The Mechanical Bits of Alza’um

Image result for victorian factory machine

While Alza’um secludes itself in secrecy, the land is still quite populous.  While the population is predominantly made of humans, gnomes, dwarves and even ratfolk; it’s still bristling with its own unique vibrancy and charm.  Much like the machines that operate on clockwork, so do the denizens.  Life is a chaotic schedule balanced under the facade of order.  This insular technical revolution is made under the assumption that the outside world isn’t ready, but they’re more than enlightened.  Whether this is truth or unaware foolishness hasn’t been determined yet.  Either way, strange adventures and even stranger locals await those granted the proper access.

Author’s Note:  It’s a pun!  But seriously, I felt like I was leaving out a lot of goodies.  At some point, I’ll want to flesh this out for say an OGL product or something, once I can get help with maps, layout and artists eventually.  In the meantime, here are some underground dwellers of this outlandish city of high magical technologies.  Of course, many can be repurposed for more steampunk oriented games.

Continue reading “The Mechanical Bits of Alza’um”

Alza’um, Land of High Artifice Part 2. Alza’um City

File:London Bridge Underground tunnel (33466504566).jpg
Welcome. Please, step into the elevator chamber at the end of the hallway.

Alza’um, the true city beneath the smoke and mirrors. Life is far more controlled than in the port city of mysteries and merchants. However, that doesn’t make life any easier. Only the lucky and the blessed get their way in, without tricky maneuvering. Stowaways and thieves don’t make out too well. For those who make it? It’s a long way down the ladder and back up. Life in the city is a climb towards excellence. Of course, too many refuse to let others into their station.

In the beginning, a large caravan of outcasts, tinkerers, mages and artificers came together with a common goal.  They wished to craft and hone their abilities in peace, trading and sharing knowledge within their enclave.  For a while, it was a place of common ground and unity.  Racial differences of these sages and inventors mattered little, but rather their devotion to their creations and the quality of their work.  An ideal lead to a city, which fled underground after conflict with the outside world.  This racial harmony ideal lasted… until the denizens of the darkness below found themselves in inevitable conflict with the city dwellers.

Author’s Note: Part 2 continues with the namesake city! In addition, I might make some extra crunch bits soon too. Needless to say, I’m having tons of fun with this.

Continue reading “Alza’um, Land of High Artifice Part 2. Alza’um City”

Alza’um, Land of High Artifice Part 1. Bashar

scifi desert landscape by Bawarner
Just a normal colony, nothing to see here…

 

Bashar.  It’s a city of splendors!  A glowing beacon amidst sloshing sea and dead desert.  Beyond it?  A wasteland riddled with pillaged tombs, booby traps and a rare village or two.  Those who do make the voyage are treated to a gathering place of delights and fancies.  The bazaar attracts and sells some of the finest wares in the world, as well as domestic items beyond words.  It is here that new forms of magic have been unveiled as well as incredible forms of technology dubbed “magitech”.

However, life in this metropolitan hub is not what it seems.  While a paradise for the discerning buyer or the exotic seller, a sinister shadow is caste upon those who live within the dusty streets and winding alleyways beyond the market.  Few care or look out for each other.  While backstabbing is rarely literal, there isn’t much trust between neighbors.  Help is looked upon with a sense of dishonor and ascension up the social ladder is rife with self-sacrifice or betrayal.

Your ship is closing in fast to the docks ahead.  Greetings traveler, welcome to the Bazaars of Bashar!

Author’s Note: I’m back at trying my hand at world building once more!  And like always, I bend things away from typical pseudo-euro high fantasy and towards other genres and ideas.  I’ve always been fascinated with massive urban hubs, even in fantasy fiction.  One of the earlier cases of this was the setting of many Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories, which provided a level of inspiration.  Beyond Lankhmar, Planescape’s Sigil, Conan the Barbarian, Arabian Nights and Magic the Gather’s Ravnica have proved to be fair resources for ideas.  Anyway, this is what I have so far!  Enjoy!

 

Continue reading “Alza’um, Land of High Artifice Part 1. Bashar”