Fiendish Friday: The City of Chun

The Scarlet City is named thrice – for the molten godblood that flows through its core, for the crimson hue of the rock from which it is carved and from the stains of blood that run across every part of the city – a mark of the excesses of the Crimson Lord. The City fell into ruin 5000 years ago when its stone buildings were shattered by angry gods. While the rest of the old human empire was drowned in Ash, Churn was drowned in the waste of its own excesses in vengeance for its ruler’s hubris. The city is the source of the fetid Stink River* and lies at the heart of the foetid swamplands.

The infamous city of Chun is home of the Crimson Lord himself. Dotted with bubbling smoking caldera whose lava pools – known as godblood by the people of Chun – are said to contain the pathways to the Gods themselves. Twisting tunnels, intricate caves and malevolent minarets have been painstakingly carved from outcrops of volcanic rock creating a partially hidden labyrinth of narrow thoroughfares, open spiral-pathed pits and fantastical bridges and towers that eerily emerges from the swamp and mist.

Within this demonic architecture live the surviving people of Chun, feral cannibalistic savages who are grouped into small clans whose every existence is to serve the Crimson Lord himself with tribute of flesh and blood. The people of Chun worship the Crimson Lord and who in return for this love, and their blood, protects them from the ravages of the wider world. His risen armies, drawn by blood sacrifice from the godblood pools, feel no pain or fear and when one fall, another rises from the pool.

The god blood pools are tended by the Godspeakers of Chun, one of the few remaining sects of foul unspeakable cultists who once terrorised the surrounding lands in the name of the Crimson Lord.

*The Stink River is in the Ash Plains and is mentioned in UK S01 Blood of the Dragon.

The above is from an upcoming C&T module, and was written by Neil Gow author of Duty & Honour.

Fiendish Friday: A Sky of Bones

So I missed a week, but we are back with this special weather event to cheer up even the most humdrum journey across the wastes of Zarth.

“I’ve experienced it four times in my life. It always starts the same. The sky darkens as if a storm is brewing. Indeed there is a rumbling of sorts but if you listen carefully you’ll hear it’s more of a grinding sound. Then suddenly the sky goes blood red, with clouds swirling around an angry red spot, which suddenly opens up and vomits out a blanket of human bones that covers the sky, blots out the sun and even the Locust Star. If you are not already locked up tight in shelter, now is the time to run as fast as ye can, because next comes a rain of the dead armed hideous for war comes screaming down ready to harm the living”
Hongra the Horny, Scout of the Ash Plains.

This is a magical disaster that can affect an area of up to five miles square.

It starts out as typical storm, before the sky turning red round a single vertex of bloody horror, which is actually a gate to a Hellish Other World, were all the armies of the Empire that was under the Ash Plain were taken by the vengeful Old Gods in punishment for their civilisations hubris.  The Sky of Bones vomits out from that Other World gate, and if you look closely enough it is an writhing mass of undead warriors held in the sky by some invisible force.

The storm lasts for d20 minutes, and each minute roll on the following table to see what drops from the Sky of Bones near the adventurers.

Roll d8

  1. 2d6 Skeletons
  2. 1d3 Ghouls
  3. 1 Wight
  4. 1d3 Red Zombie
  5. 1d4 Zombie
  6. 1 Mist Maid
  7. 1d3 Wind Wraith
  8. Roll again and double the number encountered.

Once the storm is over, any remaining undead are sucked back into the gate which then closes, leaving only clear peaceful skies in its wake.

It occurs mainly in the Ash Plains, probably due to its origins, but has been reported in other places in the Continent of Terror.

Blood of the Dragon reviewed over at Ten Foot Pole blog

Here’s me thinking the whole OSR Blogsphere has gone quiet, especially on the reviews front, when up pops this review over at Ten Foot Pole.  I’m very happy about his review. The reviewer Bryce really gets what I was trying to do with it.   Here’s a snippet.

The setting material is brief: about three pages. Half of that is a timeline and the other half a gazetteer from Hongra the Horny. A) That’s a cool name. b) That’s some tight ass writing to get an entire region in to three pages. C) It’s fucking awesome. Did you read those names in the intro? Tyanos the Black? Black Joop? Nigus the Headless? The Mother of Hydra??! A land where the sky is piercer by rocky spires and the plains a wasteland covered by ash? Come on, that’s some pretty cool stuff right there! The descriptions are ridiculously evocative and leave the mysteries open. This makes your mind race. What is it? Who did that? Was caused that? Your mind then races to fill in the details and that builds on itself. This is EXACTLY the sort of thing I want when looking at this sort of material. I don’t want your entire shitty world explained to me. I want you to leave things open. I want to gaze in wonder at the mysteries. Explaining things kills the mystery.