Lore24📓 The Scathelands AND BEYOND!

ENTRY 32

RINGS OF THE KING (cult ritual)

Within the cult of the Red Royals, wealthy manipulative cultists, there are many rituals. When two members of equal standing within the cult have a disagreement that can’t be settled by other means, there is a special ritualistic duel that must take place.
Overseen by a Red Elder and witnessed by other cultists.
A heavy case of polished bone containing a matching pair of bone rings each set with a rough ruby.
After donning a bracelet, each duelist announces which of the four acceptable weapons (blade,crown,staff, or chain) they will wield. Once stated aloud the rings emit a crackling red bolt which takes the form of the desired weapon in the hand of each duelist.

After the mortal blow is struck the losing duelist’s soul is ripped from their body and drawn into the box held by the Red Elder.
From that point the loser is an undead servant of the winner.

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ENTRY 33

STAR BIRD (creature)

A massive jet black owl with pinpoint spots on its feathers and speckled pale white eyes. When it swoops down to grab its prey the pattern keeps it hidden against a star filled night sky, its eyes even resembling two large full moons.

Prone to silently picking off sentries from castle ramparts or watchtowers.

During the day the 10’ owls roost in ruined wizards tower. Hatched from large eggs that begin black, and lighten each night as the moon in the sky wanes until crumbling apart on the moonless night of the next new moon.

A handful of worn stone pyramids exist across the Scathelands, marked with carvings of these birds and usually topped with a tangled mass of briars and brush, remnants of a Star Bird nest.

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ENTRY 34

INKBLOT FAMILIAR (slime pet)

The Inkblot is a tiny magically created semi sentient slime that feeds on arcane ink found on spell scrolls or grimoires.

Often easily transported within a glass inkwell which can then be uncorked and let loose to roam.

Like a tiny snuffling pig looking for acorns the Inkblot crawls along the floor towards the nearest source of arcane ink.
Climbing into a rivals bag and sliding into their spellbook provides a buffet for the Inkblot.
It will eat an entire spell every hour, doubling in size after each meal.
After devouring enough arcane ink the Blot will rapidly form a hard shell, eventually emerging as a intensely colorful and shimmering Blotterfly, with shifting and suggestive inkblot like patterns on its wings.
These creatures return to their owner at this point and are able to channel any of the spells they’ve fed upon to cast at random when prompted by their master.

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ENTRY 35

THUMP RATS (vermin)

A large, aggressive rodent with two stout horns at the end of its nose.

Most often an infestation is discovered when the intermittent clunking of their horns against walls or in hiding places becomes audible.

When discovered , the nest is fiercely defended and a few dog sized rats are more than capable of ramming a single target to the ground and overwhelming them with infectious bites and bone breaking horn blows.

Thump Rats use their horns to punch through wood and even weakened stone, to gain access to shelter and food sources.

Commonly found plaguing poorly built storehouses or ancient cellars.

Patchy lavender fur covers these beasts while their exposed feet and faces display their pale yellow skin and beady red eyes.

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ENTRY 36

LIRIUM DEN (location)

In the sweltering alleys of Cragswatch you may discover small silvery markings on the dark cobblestones. Follow these to their end and you will find yourself in a dim subterranean tavern of sorts.
After being greeted by a softspoken elderly gnome, you will be ushered into a softly lit communal room.
Several pieces of comfortable furniture litter the room - some with patrons laying on them, all illuminated by dim candlelight.

Glowing bluish white liquid in small bottles are present on bedside tables and slipping from the hands of delirious consumers.

A cloudy eyed halfling stares at you unblinking, the glowing liquid caught amongst his mustache.

Some large creature rolls back and forth fitfully, muttering and chuckling, then tossing a dagger up and catching it by the blade.

A young elven woman dressed in very fine blue silks recites poetry from some unfinished play while leaping gleefully from chair to chair on an imagined stage.

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ENTRY 37

EZRAS MAGIC BEAN (spell)

By hurling a specially prepared wad of resin and uttering the proper incantation, a thunderous blast of blistering wax can be created.

The dull red wax will cause severe burns to those it contacts before rapidly evaporating, but more interestingly will adhere strongly to anything it touches that is being concealed with illusory magic.

If this wax is then removed, the true form is revealed and any illusory effect ended.

The infamous transmuter, Ezra Zolt, developed the method for preparing the resin, but his notes are nearly illegible due to being written while heavily intoxicated. As are the majority of the spell scrolls found in his tower after his death. Having seemingly accidentally transformed himself into a large block of solid gold…

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ENTRY 38

THE CRACKED CUP (dwarven tavern)

The Tradition
At the entrance to the tavern stands an 8” tall marble cup, covered in uncountable crisscrossing lines of gold.
The namesake of the tavern.
Each year a contest is held to brew the best ale, the winner gets their name on a banner in the tavern as well as the honor of smashing the statue to bits with a ceremonial hammer.
Throughout the following year the breweries that lost reconstruct the statue piece by piece.
Each brewery in the Brewmaster’s Guild holds a small replica of the Cracked Cup which is always full of the previous years winning brew.

Common Room
A warm and well lit drinking hall, tapestries hang from the rafters, bearing names of award winning brews and the taverns that made them.
Weapons, armor, and trinkets of fallen dwarves adorn every inch of wall.

The bartender is a buxom female dwarf sporting a silky blonde beard named Grendalyn Goldchin,
A small kitchen is staffed solely by a large sleepy grey skinned dwarf named Moh.

The current brew on tap is “Copper for your thoughts”. This batch was brewed with hundreds of copper coins found in a sunken shipwreck, Grendalyn claims this lends salty and tangy notes.

Private Room
To the side of the bar stands a suit of spiked armor, the leathery remains of troll still skewered on it in places. A singular spike atop the helm can be pulled to open a hidden staircase.
The stairs lead up to a cozy dimly lit room. The bar here is much smaller and holds the strong stuff, oddly shaped bottles of liquid cast weird otherwordly glows, the product of Brewmaster Fimmel’s experiments with underground fungi.

A stout piano against the wall is home to some small tentacled creature Fimmel brought back from the dark tunnels. It will play the piano from the inside if fed, if angered it is prone to squirting a jet of stinking ink at the source of its annoyance. Making the small room unbearably noxious, Fimmel doesn’t seem bothered.

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ENTRY 39

BREWMASTER FIMMEL (dwarven spelunker)

A friendly and eccentric dwarf who often traverses the lightless tunnels under Crownspeak mountain seeking exotic ingredients to flavor his ales with.
Several months ago Fimmel got caught up in a catastrophic rockslide and found himself pinned under a slab of stone for weeks, after exhausting what rations he could and growing increasingly desperate he used his shovel to free his arm from the rock and march as far back to the tunnel entrance as he could. He nearly made it all the way back to the cavern opening he had entered into, before dropping dead in a pool of bluish glowing fungi and rainwater…
Fimmel’s forrays into the tunnels were common, and it wasn’t until 3 weeks had passed that a search party found him, and when they did they rushed him back to Zino Monastery.
Fimmel was not dead, and in fact had both arms when he was found. The dried blood on his clothing held a faint blue glow as did his eyes.
The spores of the blue fungus had integrated with his body while he lay dead in the pool, regrowing the arm of its new host and melding with his consciousness.
Fimmel returned to his work with a newfound ability to “call out” to the underground flora and travel much greater distances to find them.

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ENTRY 40

SCARABI (extinct beetlefolk faction)

It is rumored that atop the Exalted Mesa amidst the blistering sun and sand there was once a thriving race of glossy shelled beetlefolk called The Scarabi (scare-ah-bee).
They dwelled in pyramidal sandstone structures which only exist now as portions of arching and twisting rock, worn smooth by by Time.
Not all their pyramids were above ground however, their communal vault was built underground and expertly hidden. The knowledge of where this vault IS was forever lost with the mysterious collapse of their society.
Some ettercap sages in the Silksong Forest claim distant lineage from the Scarabi and rumors of the location of the vault as well as the cause of the collapse are closely guarded…

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ENTRY 41

PHAROAH SPIDER (legendary beast)

The downfall of the Scarabi was the unfortunate introduction of a strange egg that fell from the sky.
Comets would often come to rest in the sands of the Mesa, the Scarabi would collect these and work the material into many items.
One strange comet contained an otherwordly larvae inside it.
The comet was hauled into the underground vault like all the rest, but this only caused the creature to rapidly evolve and gorge itself on the Scarabi.
The creature grew into a massive arachnid, coated in starmetals.
It covered the vault with devilishly sharp strands of metallic web, and after sucking the life from a Scarabi it became an undead husk doomed to wander the vault.
The survivors made one last desperate attempt at ousting the large invader, but those who rushed into the vault were never seen again.
Leaving only the whistling of wind and empty dwellings behind…

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Love it and your drawing is awesome!

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ENTRY 42

SCARABI SKELETONS (undead insectoids)

The brittle exoskeletons of the ancient Scarabi still walk the sands of the Exalted Mesa.
Bleached white by the sun and the decades, travelers can suddenly find themselves amidst a swarm of these lumbering skeletons, drawn to life driven by some unknown force.
The swift strike of a mace is more than enough to shatter the desiccated bodies of these creatures, but there are several more that will rise up from the sand to take their place, wielding their formidable claws and crumbling Starsteel weapons.
Magical light that lands on a Scarabi Skeleton causes it to glow pale blue for hours afterwards.

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ENTRY 43

SAND GOBLINS (creature)

Similar to Field Goblins, the desert variety has even larger ears and thinner limbs. They sneak silently across the Exalted Mesa at night listening for prey, and skitter through their sandy tunnels during the day.
Sand Goblins dig warrens into the ground and into sandstone cliffs. They are fiercely territorial as they are often fending off Manticores, Gargoyles, and the numerous Scarabi Skeletons they encounter while hunting the Mesa for fallen comets.
The Scarabi had the ability to work this material into Starsteel, leaving behind many trinkets and items made of the stuff.
The Sand Goblins however have no skill or means to craft anything useful from the comets, yet they fight to the death over the right to drag them back to their warrens knowing their scarcity and strangeness must be valuable to somebody.
Entire goblin tribes have fought each other to the death over a single comet.
Apart from their prized comets, they have a fondness for oozes. Using them as a food source and corralling them into pits to defend their warrens.
Sand Goblins are relatively weak creatures and fearful of being picked off by one of the larger predators of the Mesa so they have extremely limited interaction with the majority of the factions within the Scathelands.

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ENTRY 44

THE PRIESTESSES OF FATE
(shadow creatures)

Stealing treasure from a Shrine of Hope will earn the ire of its God. After such a theft, She will release her Priestesses to visit the thief.
The Priestesses are vengeful spirits pulled from shadow. They tirelessly slide over the landscape, pursuing their target.
As the Priestesses draw near, the stolen object transforms to a sinister obsidian and the owner is dragged back down to be a Well Dweller forever more.

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ENTRY 45

STOHN’S THROE (Daybreak Plains village)

A small hunting camp turned scrappy village after the Scathe ripped open and swallowed up the nearest town of Stohn.
Survivors of the catastrophe traveled here to rebuild and the population exploded.
Relying on the hunting skills of several tribesman, they survived and stabilized.
A mournful but resolute elder woman named Brinkka lost her family and has vowed to protect the people of this village until her final breath. At the time Stohn fell into the ground Brinkka was leading 3 young nobles back to the camp, their wealthy parents had paid for them all to gain some hunting skills. Their parents were members of the Red Royal cult and perished in the Scathe, Brinkka raised the children as her own since then, hoping to keep them away from the insidious cult.

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:headstone:

Was hoping to get at least to entry 50 before running out of steam so might do a few more here and there, but for now consider me one of those statistics, that started out fast and burned out haha.
Had fun getting more in the habit of writing regularly, but without actively playing in my homebrew setting it became tougher and tougher to prioritize the time to do it.

Open to suggestions for a new micro writing “challenge” though, any thoughts?

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I hear ya! I’ve working on getting my mechanical frameworks down so, while I’ve been putting in the work, it hasn’t really been lore, per se. I hope to be back to it by the end of the month.

Oh man, I’m sure we can collectively think of something! Maybe just a month long challenge of some sort? The Hexes of March? :laughing:

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A month long challenge(or several) seems much more attainable than some of the yearly things

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