Saturday, March 30, 2013

1.2: Evil Emerges First- Always

Evil emerged from the shadows of Rivermoon’s bowels, a strange sentience in robes that flattered no one and did not seem to care. Ankle deep in muck it stood up and decided that, yes, bipedal would best serve him. The unknown beckoned and knowing the unknown caused so many to flourish towards him. Lifting his collar, evil surveyed the stalls and waste about him, glancing his eyes upward toward the rivers of streets, up to the city’s mount, a tavern. Evil found it funny, increasingly that this lavish port city on a decaying continent would have a tavern as its central ornament.

It made these new insides feel good, though the idea of good did disturb him. That at least felt good. 

This manifestation of Evil could feel the tendrils pulling at him, delicate seductive appendages toward that gleaming white Tavern filled with scrawl. In the meantime it allowed itself to relish, a plump rich fruit, like the ones decaying under the stalls, this city, this reality that summoned him. 

The streets of Rivermoon improved slowly as Evil made the ascent toward that summoning place. The city built centuries before as a buffer to the Southern Isles, so full of dangers on land and sea that no one ever lived long enough to name them, now prospered feeding on the decay of the dead N’tari Empire’s remains. Slums turned to wards, wards turned quarters, and finally quarters to districts. Always the eyes avoided him, and the ones that did not, the ones with axe or shield in hand, quickly saw that death would be best spent elsewhere. 

"Tis not errday," the armored Warven grunted, loosening his axe in an act of ease. Nor did that race, the progenitor of the Dwarves, move from their path easily. 

"But we will, surely," Evil recoiled not from fear of the Warven but from the sound of its own voice echoing in the tight districts closer to the Milkmoon. Deep, expectant, and ending in a sarcastic question. It dared not look in the waters of the streets. Not even the Pit want to know what Evil looks. 

The Milkmoon Tavern, a stucco building with dark blue scales, perhaps tiles perhaps real scales dominated his vision. About him the characters, always characters, argued and sought their plans for glory. All of it shiny dust to him, Evil. Yes, this was the place that had to filled, had to be known, a blank spot in his complete contentment. 

Crouching slightly under the doorway, the bustle about retreating, bugs in the presence of light. Admiring the view of the countless maps, countless lists, countless campaigns that riddled the walls. Evil enjoyed all that had been done in its name. For even the most prized Paladin does its work when there is greed and lust for more. 
Pulled to that unknowable, his trimming increasing with every step, Evil took on the trophies of warlocks and sorcerers. The typical class of character unable to survive an extraction but with deep pockets to hire the proper equipment. Yes, for the purpose of a campaign, individuals were only equipment, everyone else merely players. 

The seat, made more comfortable by the luxurious robes tunic, and leggings that evolved around him; felt strangely like a throne of deity. And over the crown of his still solidifying skull, upon the wall- was a halo of emptiness. 

To Episode 1.3 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

1.1 No One for The NoName

Unlike the thousands that came before it, scrawled and drawn, argued and menaced about in taverns throughout the southern region of the Prytanian contient; this dungeon simply had no name. Never graced with a title, “The Temple of Disgrace”, “The Tomb of Guidar-Ro”, or “The Ruins of the Beholden Undead”, the sunken rooms under the Brioran Forest existed unmapped and unnamed. 

For that reason it had disturbed adventurers for centuries. For a dungeon with no name, no title, no one knew how to prepare for such an endeavor. Is there undead? Are there traps? Who, or worse, what was buried therein? Did the sight have guards? The fact that no one had come back to Rivermoon or the Oaken District bragging about conquering the no name dungeon did not help its reputation. 

In the Baronny of Rivermoon, constantly under the watchful eye of the Notars, the Milkmoon Tavern enjoyed the reputation of catering to adventurers. While once its walls gleamed a pristine white in those first years of construction, when the city was an infant, now over the centuries those walls were scrawled with thousands of maps, plans, inventories, lists, and protocols for the countless sights that existed underground, at times called the underrealms. But among those glyphs, those plans, those scratched out hpes, not one showed a glimmer of a map or a comment on that sight- called simply, in common N’tari, The NoName.

In one clear spot at The Milkmoon, a sphere of emptiness repelled all other drawings on the walls. Clearly spelled by an unknown, was NONAME, the space reserved for one day someone filling in a map of the place. It was the goal of every honest (and otherwise) adventurer to map the NoName. Like the vaults of a mad-king, no one knew if that empty space on the Tavern’s walls helped the promise a kingdom’s ransom, guarded by an impossible foe; or simply the dust and debt-notes of a insane ruler. That unknown kept the space of the NoName intact, without anyone or anything approaching it. Its presence on the walls pushed all other drawings tightly away. Some drunkards, spending far too much time drinking more than extracting treasures, swore the space of the NoName expanded every time. But who could no for sure?

The posts that held up the Milkmoon Tavern, there at the highest point of the Baronny of Rivermoon (and thus the ale spilled on its floors eventually ran through the entire city), served as a scheduling or planning posts for parties, adventurers, and campaigns. But nothing mentioned the NoName, and no space was given on the posts, for who would want to plan for something that had no name? 

The space for the NoName became so obvious, so disturbing, that eventually a table and four chairs appeared under it. The patrons knew all to well that whomever sat there chose, even swore, to explore the NoName. Years passed without even a drop of mead touching that table and those chairs. Pristine as the day they were built by Horus Constantu, the master carpenter; they stood, empty and happily alone. 

The silence that enveloped the MilkMoon, growing like an orb of power, came from the lone figure sitting enjoying a tankard at that table. Worse was, it looked like he was waiting for others to join. 

On to Episode 1.2: Evil Emerges First 


   The Dungeon crawl still calls. I still judge people by STRENGTH, INTELLIGENCE, WISDOM, DEXTERITY, CONSTITUTION, and (the attribute that everyone always neglected, and got friend by a charm spell) CHARISMA. My characters, my imagination is shaped by the sheets and games of my teenage life in the 80's.
   Ye Gods I miss it.
 Sometimes you just felt it, felt the cravings. In times of stress, when classes are too much or things are just getting to me. I crave it, I need to dive. I do not need to literally play an action hero (the line is clearly drawn just before the rather terrifying LARPing) but to generate a character, roll for attributes, pick skills, buy equipment, and jump into a dungeon.
   A torch in hand, a sword, a staff, an adventurer’s kit and hordes of evil defending fabulous treasure. The image of the AD&D book, warriors wondering if the fat demon statue can be robbed of its treasure, dwells constantly in my mind. There is something and secure, nostalgic of my teen-age years in a dungeon invested with unearthed arcana?
   To this day all of my journals are graph paper. I find bliss, caress, sacred coziness in those perpendicular times, they take me back to the days that we played D&D in the back of chemistry lab-during a dissection (for nothing inspires a dungeon crawl like a split open frog on a black pan in front of you.         
   Yes we got so desperate we made dice out of the pencils and left-over aluminum foil from lunch.
   Yes, I crave it. I have looked through bookstores and online playing facilities looking for the perfect game, the perfect story, and nothing has enjoyed my fantasy, or captured my hope. While I do crave it, there is just something inherently scary about people over 30 or 40 playing a game you loved as a teenager. Something is just out of whack, something is not right there.
   Thus the dilemma (and I know I am getting tired of writing when the paragraphs become shorter and shorter) to write the story, write the book dare I say, that I want to read. To write the game that I would like to play. And yes throughout the journey I just may, perhaps there will be dice involved, mostly 6 sides lovelies to assist me in this journey. I will use just about every random thing I can think of, from dice to darts to cards and even omens. A definite divination dungeon and that is what it is going to be.
   So for anyone that has had a dungeon craving, here we go. It should be bliss on a monstrous and grand scale.
On to Episode 1.1