Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Divine Wight Part 6 - Jungle Tables 2 and 3: Landmarks and Hints

The tables below continue the random encounter structure for Jungle travel - they represent Landmarks and Non-Combat/Indirect encounters with jungle inhabitants.  With encounter checks three times a day, and the expected length of the party's time in the jungle 6-10 days the point of these encounters is to both provide relief from more dangerous combat encounters and to make each day of travel more interesting.  Landmarks serve the additional function of providing milestones for travel and a place to retreat to if the party becomes lost.  The general goal of these tables and those that follow is descriptive - to make wilderness travel more then a chain of monster encounters.  Some of the landmarks might themselves make for small adventure locations if a GM felt enterprising or a party was less goal directed and wanted to search the dangerous jungle rather then head for the ruins or fallen god.

Landmarks
Landmarks and areas of interest are often found in the Jungle of Midnight, and are useful as they provide points that a lost party can often find their way back to.

D10
Table 2 - Landmarks in the Jungle of Midnight
1
Abandoned Village - The sense tragedy fills this clearing, and above hangs the unraveled crumbled ruins of an Autochthon village.  A search will reveal a dread emblem of corrupt magics and/or a midden of cracked fire roasted human bones.
2
Marble Ruins - Graceful arches, fluted columns and decoratively carved blocks crumbled and scattered by time.  Often these ruins are blanketed with flowers.
3
Waterfall - From a high plummeting cataract to a series of small drops and turbulent rapids, waterfalls in either jungle streams or the great river make a cacophony of falling water can be heard for miles, making them excellent spots for an ambush.
4
Legion Post/Grave - Ancient forts and cenotaphs of sorcerously sculpted stone mark the Jungles of Midnight as a former march of the Imperial Legions.  These near imperishable vestiges slowly sink beneath the riotous life of the jungle.
5
Improbable Growth - Groves of tall bare trees with roots that erupt in lavender foliage, meadows of tree sized orchids and twisted paths wending through man-high succulents.
6
War Machine - Trapped in vines and entangled by jungle trees, the twisted remnants of an ancient Imperial Colossus towering above the canopy, the crushed crumbled stones of a floating Vheissuian fire temple blanketed in pink coral like growth or the moss colored stone bones of a dire wyrm are a monument to ancient wars.
7
Autochthon Village - Like mussels clinging to a rock, the people of the Jungle build their homes from wicker and black clay, stuck fast in the branches of the greatest of forest giants.  Among the foliage and fruits the Autochthons can go about their domestic tasks protected from many of the Jungle’s predators.
8
Stone Face - Colossal and timeless, carved boulders or entire sheer cliffs marked by vanished carvers with a variety of faces: human, beasts or god.
9
Monolith - A marker of forgotten deeds, antediluvian or simply ancient.  The history of the great stele and rain channeled statues is lost, but they still stand in the jungle.
10
Bone Yard - A stinking hole in the jungle, like a cancerous growth, where the bones of unlikely beasts and slaughtered sentients rot in great, piles of spongy yellow on brittle bleached white.
11
Dead Water - Glassy clear to the depths of the river, where the pristine wreck of an ancient war machine rests, tangles of wire and struts of bonewhite gleaming among polished river stones this area of river is devoid of life.  The water here is a polluted sink of deadly magics.  Drinking it or swimming here requires a save vs. poison (every round for a swimmer) or it results in a convulsive, corrosive death.
12
Bridge - A thin span of near translucent marble, ancient beyond reckoning, a tumble of fallen logs, tangled artfully with vines, or a brutal manipulation of bedrock into a low arch that marks the Successor Empire’s poor grasp of military geomancy.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Divine Wight Part 5 - Jungle Encounter Table 1: Monsters.



BEAST OF THE JUNGLE

D10
Dangers of the Jungle of Midnight
1
Autochthons (3D6) - A band of Autochthon hunters or gatherers, peaceably finding their sustenance.  They may be fishing for glassy eels from a bark canoe on the river, checking fish traps in a jungle rill, digging purple bulbs from the undergrowth or stalking birds, many armed monkeys and fat slate lizards.  They are usually suspicious, unfriendly and ready to flee.
2
Brutes (2D6) - From deep in the jungle, hulking, slope skulled, dulled eyed and decked in bones, these massive warped humans hunt and kill, and their favorite prey is their fellow man.  Brutes travel in bands and are usually hostile unless they have recently eaten.
3
Owlbears (2D6) - Usually arcanovore scavengers, the jay feathered ‘growlyhoots’ of the Midnight jungle have grown more predatory in an environment where all life is infused with magic.  They are lean pack hunters, tracking, circling, and distracting their prey with quizzical hooting and then rushing in from the rear to drag it down beaks snapping.  
4
Hunting Glass (1)  - Filaments of spun blue glass drape the trees and form mystical sigils that can stun a warp the mind.  Above its trap of symbols, hangs a colony of hunting glass, it will subsume and devour prey that becomes hopeless under the effect of its symbols.
5
Blue Monks (2D6) - blue monks roam from the city on a mission from their “god”, they are unlikely to talk but also unlikely to attack, preferring to return immediately to the city a inform their fellows before organizing a hunt for trespassers to sacrifice.
6
Azure Apes (1D6) - Monstrous, four armed horrors are cavorting in a clearing, gorging on fruit, hooting at each other, smashing termite mounds or travelling in a line.  They can rarely resist the distraction of crushing smaller ape-like creatures.
7
Revenant Legion (4D20) - Only the geases of the ancient empire and perverse professionalism keep this company of ghoulish soldiers endlessly marching.  They plod slowly, noisily through the forest in rusted armor, with broken weapons in warped, lichen splotched hands. The legion has no mission beyond the ceaseless march and sating their undead cannibal hunger.
8
Cockatrice (1) - small and solitary, the blue cockatrice is one of the jungle’s greatest predators.  It will hunch silently (often in a stolen nest over crystallized eggs) and then burst into its beautiful and and deadly song, leaving prey a fragile petrified statue of blue crystal.
9
Razor Birds (1D6/2) - A quarrelsome and deadly flock of tall birds, somewhat akin to giant cassowary’s except with long wispy feathers of gentle purples and black over scaled skin that gleams like quicksilver.  They are territorial, sadistic and fond of trapping prey in covered pits.  
10
Colossal Serpent (1) - over 60’ long this leviathan of the forest has grown almost immortal from devouring godflesh, and is far more intelligent and malicious than any mere animal. It coils in a great pool below a waterfall, whose bottom is blanketed with bones.  The snake considers anything the enters the pool a sacrifice to its divinity but will not attack those who offer proper sacrifice.
11
Divine Crocodiles (1d6+1) - A pack of crocodiles polluted by the Beaked God’s presence, they are blue and each has a huge third eye, capable of emitting a beam (BV 3 at range, single melee target) that turns all who fail a save vs. paralyzation into glass. The strange creatures guard sunken ruins and are never far from some piece of ancient carved marble.
12
River Draugr (1D6/2 ) - The bodies of drowned explorers, slither from their river den and float to the surface, waiting for ‘rescue’.  The Dragur will demand help in blubbering watery voices, with bloated faces weeping bloody tears.  If offered a line they either try drag rescuers to the river bottom or sit sullen faced in the rescuers’ boat, obviously dead, and waiting for a chance to stave in the boat’s bottom or seize the helm and dash it against rock.