Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Town of Blue in the Desert

This town was built around a prosperous market on a busy trade route, but the sand has swallowed the roads and most of the town too. The houses are half filled with drifts of orange sand, preserving carved wood furniture and brightly colored frescoes. Bright blue lizards sun themselves on cracked rooftops during the day, then fill houses with warm sand to sleep in at night.

The lizards are very intelligent, but reluctant to speak to visitors. They can be tempted into conversation with gifts of rare meats and liqueurs, and when drunk will wax philosophical about the cycles of life and history. They keep many secrets, buried in the sand, and cannot be persuaded to part with them, but their eyesight is poor and their hearing worse. If you can present them from smelling you, records of ancient empires, strange and beautiful artwork, and books with no other copies might be dug free.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Psionic Lich

A being with incredible willpower, perfect focus, and endless patience, can make their way through the ordeals necessary to become a psionic lich. The only way to kill one will is by destroying its mummified corpse, without which its mind will dissipate in the astral.

What it wants: Inscrutable. Many liches act in ways that seem random: observing unimportant doings, making seemingly inconsequential adjustments to the world, or simply wandering, gazing implacably at whatever they encounter. Others pursue obsessive tasks, building labyrinths, shifting rivers, experimenting with animals. A few have understandable goals, such as protecting nations or eradicating certain monsters.

What it needs: Nothing.

Where it comes from: Potential psychics must practice meditation. If they have the talent, diligence can uncover it. Once their talent emerges, they must continue their meditation to refine their power. To become a lich, they must gain perfect self-knowledge. When they believe they have have succeeded, they must prepare their body. They will drink nothing but a special tea, containing toxins that polymerize the body, shutting down a preserving organs one by one. When this process is complete they will be paralyzed, and must be sealed in clay and buried in an unmarked hole. If their self-knowledge is truly perfect, their psychic power will allow them to survive the death of their body. They will be trapped in their mummy, but their mind will persist. After centuries of constant meditation, they will learn to create an avatar of pure willpower, with which they can interact with the world.

What it will fight for: The avatar of a psionic lich will engage in combat only if it doing so is interesting to it. Otherwise, they will leave. The exception is if its body is threatened, in which case the lich will not retreat and continually escalate the fight, tearing apart the area with psionic force.

What happens if you eat it: The flesh was toxic when buried and its time beneath the earth has not improved it. Also, this would be cannibalism.

What can be crafted out of it: Mummy leather blocks psychic influence, making it useful for shields, armor, and wallpaper. The dirt surrounding the mummy is often suffused with psionic energy and is prized by psions as a stimulant.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Millisnake

Millisnakes are snakes with hundreds of tiny, gecko-like legs along their bodies, as well as oversized, viper-like vampire fangs. Their legs allow them to cling to any surface. They hang from branches or ceilings, then drop on to the backs of passing animals, biting down and sucking as much blood as they can before the animal manages to dislodge it. Excess iron is suffused into their scales, giving them a rust-red color.

Wants: When one has eaten enough, it will attempt to find a mate. Millisnakes hide their eggs by attaching them to the undersides of objects, and both parents will protect them until they hatch. Once hatched, the male usually leaves, while the female stays with her young as long as possible, feeding them regurgitated blood.

Needs: Blood. Millisnakes are hemovores, gaining almost all of their necessary nutrition from blood, occasionally supplemented with small insects.

Morale: Millisnakes are ambush predators. If their ambush fails, they will attempt to flee. If they mange to cling to you and bite down, however, they will not release until injured or full.

What happens if you eat this monster: They taste like metallic snake-meat. They are not poisonous, but eating too many of them can lead to toxic levels of iron in your blood.

What can be crafted out of this monster's body: Millisnake hide is an excellent material for belts. Millisnake meat, cooked in a stew, is a traditional remedy for bloodloss.