We return, from yet another time gap, to exploring the strange terrors in and around the Bloodied Wyvern Peaks… and the multiverse of the Bloodied Wyvern Peaks. After breaking away from “Purple World” as the team calls it, everyone lounges at a royal lodge… Nothing suspicious at all! It all feels like a dream.
It has been a bit of a hiatus, but we’re back! Hooray! The lands beyond Qvosfeir await, as our team etches closer through the rugged terrain of the bloodied wyvern peaks. And by lands beyond, I mean quite beyond! As always, things are about to get even weirder!
At long last, the players are ready to embark into the mountains ahead, unsure of what strange things await them within the jagged lands beyond. What dangers will they face? Will their ranks thin? Will some go mad? Will they awaken new horrors upon the land? Only time will tell!
Author’s Note: Due to a handful of things, part 2 was cut very short. As such, I decided to merge the recap with part 3. Stay tuned for more after the jump!
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.
“Corpses. Lumbering, rotting cadavers. What contrivance could have wrought this… this abomination!? Diseased science…? Blasphemous occult rituals? How can something so… so dead, be so alive?” – Maximilian Roivas, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
The Ancients are awakening, as they gather forces to fight in their onslaught on the grounds below. And what better army than the countless dead, reconstructed to work as puppets for more death. And once more are slain, they too are recruited to the shuffling mindless masses. This doesn’t even take into account other vile things, far detached from our own realities. Whether born of brutality, the esoteric or the absolutely mad; these zombies exist in agony and awareness that cosmic forces use them as toys. Worse yet, they often have no capacity to do anything about it. Many of these undead puppets are merely just that, puppets. They have no control over their actions beyond the necromancer-like orders that the old ones give. For the most part, they are told to attack the living as well as defeat any old one creature with a rival alignment.
While more numerous than the eldritch horrors conjured from the realms of the ancients, the undead are terrifying for a different reason… they were once us! They are but mere corpses reanimated and altered to serve their respective aligned ancient. They are often spawned where the lines between our world and the realm of the ancients tend to be weaker and where rifts can be more easily established. This is often the resting place of dark powers, sites of deranged rituals or former homes of those terrorized by ancient horrors.
Author’s Note: Eternal Darkness is one of my favorite games of all time. Some of the madness effects still give me chills. So, why not bring even more monsters from the game to D&D 5E? Here’s a handful of the variant zombies you encounter throughout the game.
“When we thought that our very bodies and minds were sanctuary against foul things, there are horrid puppet masters that would seek to dig into our very essence and manipulate us. These skeletal looking beings always dig at the neck and claw their way into the victim’s spinal column, where they hijack all function. In no time, the victim is a mere toy of this awful beast. And worst of all, they’re capable of sampling the old mind’s memories to blend in, as one of us! They can infiltrate OUR lands without us knowing. Only when their new skin is damaged or useless, do they shed it like old clothing! These grotesque nightmares will try to control US ALL!” – Maxwell, an Archivist driven mad by dark revelation.
Behold, the Bonethief. This almost skeletal beast is nothing to make light of. As it skulks dark corners, waiting for prey, one can hear its demonic cackles. It strikes by leaping towards the spine of its victim, digging in before taking absolute control. It even has the unsettling ability to mimic its host in their prior environment. Thus, many who encounter these atrocities quickly succumb to paranoia. While not extremely violent, this parasitic race will subdue anyone who intends on thwarting their sick plans by any means necessary. When not acting like a normal living being, they will hide within corpses and masquerade as a dead body before causing the remains to leap up and attack. When you discover that at least one is present, you know you will never be safe from them again!
Author’s Note: Before, I did a monster inspired by Eternal Darkness, sampling their take on the vampire a little bit. This time, I wanted to convert one of my favorite creatures from the game, The Bone Thief. This was one of the most terrifying enemies in the game, if only for the reason that you didn’t know who had this parasitic creature controlling them.
“Our knowledge of the universe is but an insignificant dot upon the bleak and endless canvas that is true reality. That said, outside knowledge of realms beyond the veil of knowledge leak into our own mythology. What we rationalize as ‘vampires’ is rooted in an ancient creature, far more insidious than anything we could ever comprehend. Entities from beyond the stars that drain their victims into soulless husks have existed for unfathomable aeons before any of us could have existed. In fact, you’ve all been an excellent audience for them. They’re all yours, my eldritch friends!” – A Dread Cultist, posing as an Astronomer at a summit.
COSMIC LIFE DRAINING HORRORS
No one for certain knows what psychic vampires truly are. Many theorize they’re the progenitors of the vampires we have grown accustomed to on the material plane. Perhaps they’re created from a separate evolution of vampirism, changing drastically as it infects the cosmos beyond. While these fiends are true undead creatures, their features and means of action are far too alien to relate to anything we know of. However, their basic needs match much of what we know of the material plane vampire; they are parasitic horrors that leech off our life force to survive. Whether through using their innate psychic talents to lure creatures into their grasp or using brute force to bend victims to their will, these creatures find ways to restrain a victim before draining them of all of their life. Sometimes, victims are lucky enough to break free from the creature’s control before they are able to drain their victim to death. However, these unfortunate souls are so badly scarred by mental trauma, they typically go insane. Those unlucky enough to be slain by their power return as spawn under their control, exhibiting similar arrays of dark power.
LIFELESS THINGS THAT SHOULD NOT BE
Describing the psychic vampire is not an easy feat, as their shape is only barely humanoid in nature. Its proportions are as ghastly as they are impossible, adding to the mystery of this strange beast. However, it seems that a long tongue from its mouth analogue lashes against foes in an effort to hold them in place while their fangs channel draining powers. Its gangly limbs suggest its capable of brisk sprints in order to track down and catch its foes with minimal effort. However, several survivor accounts seem to suggest this creature is also highly intelligent, capable of crafting elaborate hunting strategies to weaken and eventually overpower its prey. Creatures turned into psychic vampires look much like they did in life, save for a more pale and pallid skin tone and the slight crackling of psionic potential throughout their bodies. In a sense, they look similar to the traditional vampire.
Author’s Note: Here’s yet another contribution to my planar theme, this one blending lore from Lovecraft’s Star/Fire Vampires, Eternal Darkness Sanity’s Requiem, Doctor Who (Vampires of Venice, Curse of Fenric), Psychic Vampires and a handful of other influences to create a terrifying beasty. With that, here’s a variant of my Vampyr I made back in October. Enjoy!