Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ooze Cyborgs

Ooze slime is a translucent yellow-green substance with the consistency of honey. It is a complex material, capable of regulating virtually any organic chemical reaction, as well as acting like a muscle. When young, oozes are simple scavengers, slowly squirming their way through tunnels and caves, eating whatever they find.

As they grow, they get smarter. Sooner or later, a young ooze's dreamlike sentience will direct their body to preserve, rather than dissolve, useful organs.

Most common are bones. Incorporating the skeletons of animals it has eaten allows an ooze to sustain a discrete shape, with useful features like limbs. Ooze skeletons are always unique, created by mixing and matching bones from many creatures. If an ooze is lucky enough to find a set of plate armor, it will wear it like an exoskeleton.

Oozes are also fond of glands. The powerful stomach of an owlbear might be re-purposed as an acid spray, the venomous sting of a wyvern might be implanted at the end of an "arm", and the flame glands of dragon hatchlings have obvious uses.

Oozes are translucent enough that incorporated organs can be seen from the outside. Those familiar with oozes, and with the interiors of local monsters can guess at the capabilities of a mature ooze.

Friday, March 9, 2018

12 Rewards for Quests that are not Gold

1. The local priest will say prayers in your name.

2. A puppy, ready to be trained.

3. Your name will be entered into the annals of the city as a hero.

4. Past crimes will be forgiven.

5. A local hedge wizard will cast a spell of good luck on you.

6. Access to the Lord's library.

7. A mule, old but healthy.

8. A portrait by a visiting artist.

9. A reserved seat at the local pub.

10. A letter of introduction to the local Lord.

11. A charm that will ward off illness.

12. The whole community made donations, and the reward is a dozen eggs, 2 chickens, half of a bushel of barley, a basket of apples, a newly forged knife, a keg of ale, and a fine new hat.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Oxpeckers feed on blood, suckling at wounds and staining their yellow beaks red. They pull out soft, half-dead flesh for their chicks to swallow, then tear at healthy muscle for themselves. They can smell blood on the wind from miles away, and will converge on even the smallest cut. Where they range, no open injury is allowed to heal but is pecked and torn and pulled apart until the animal dies from infection, weeks later.

Friday, February 23, 2018


From spring until the first frost, the wetlands of Canada swarm with blackflies. Some feed on nectar, others feed on blood. Most lay their eggs in water, some lay their eggs in flesh. Most of those that lay their eggs in flesh prefer dead flesh, but there is one species that prefers the flesh of the living.

The flies are small, so small that their ovipositors cannot pierce skin. They therefore lay there eggs in whatever soft tissue they can access: open wounds, open mouths, your sinuses, your lungs, your stomach. Throughout summer moose and deer wander the wilderness, snorting blood and larvae.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Fields of the Sky

Go south. As you pass the equator, you enter the fields of the sky.

Birds rule here. Terrorbirds hunt down flocks of Ostriches and Gamebirds through the grass. The only non-avians are the snakes, which swarm the rivers, and feral cats, introduced by travelers.

The people here carve citadel-manors out of the great pillars of red stone, and surround them with tall white dovecotes. The women keep themselves meticulously hairless, the men take pride in never shaving and being as hairy as apes. The people do not craft metal, but trade honey and eggs to passing merchants in exchange for metal tools and weapons. Their weapons are therefore of a great variety, each of a different type and from a different culture.

I have not seen this land, but this is what I have heard.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Wee Folk

Two millimeters tall, wee folk are easy prey for predatory insects. They therefore seek out virtuous people to keep them safe in decorative glass terrariums. They are masters of sand-grain masonry and moss gardening, and will quickly shape their new home to suit their needs. They resent being kept in captivity,but it is better than life in the wild.

Sometimes their keepers are cruel, and put spiders in the terrarium to watch the tiny people fight. If their need is great, the wee folk will risk an expedition, undertaking a great journey from their home, down the table, across the floor, climb the bed, crawl up their keeper's nose, and set off tiny mining charges. The keeper will awaken to a strange tickling sensation, shortly before dying of internal bleeding.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Monastery

The path is almost as wide as a man's outstretched arm. Even where it snakes far up the canyon walls it roughly carved and uneven. Prospective new monks extend the path, then carve their cell into the side of the cliff. The openings are sealed with clay, into which is carved a name and a date

Every so often a cell lies open, broken out of from the inside. Sometimes a monk will choose sculpture as their method of meditation, turning their cell into an immaculate bas-relief; gardens or shrines or scenes from the Testament. These cells are kept open, for viewing.

The monk is bound in tight wrappings coarse brown fabric. The visitor is bound in pure white linen, on top of which is layered a tunic, a vest, and a turban, all of bright colors and with elaborate embroidery. They do not travel far up the cliff, but stop in front of one of the older, still sealed cells.

The monk gestured to the door, "Solomon of Babylon, withdrew 10th year", and steps back. The visitor stabs an iron bar into the ancient clay, pulling out chunks and throwing to the canyon floor.

There was no cell beyond. There was a tunnel, barely large enough to crawl through, leading deep into the earth.