The Summerland Dragons, Part III – Quercic and Corylic

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Here are two more of the magical Summerland Dragons – the mighty Quercic, and the mysterious Corylic.

See the first post in this series to learn more about these unique creatures.

Quercic Dragon

Number Appearing: 1
Size: Large (35’ long)
Alignment: Neutral
Morale: High
Intelligence: 16
Move: Walk 1.5 x human speed
Fly 4 x human speed
Armor Class: 10 better than unarmored (+ bonus of magical armor when in Human or Elf form. See below.)
Hit Dice: 10
Attacks & Damage (Dragon form):
Bite 3d8, or Fascinating Breath
Gore 3d6
Claw 1d8
Claw 1d8
Attacks & Damage (Human or Elf form):
Weapon (By weapon type, + magical bonus from weapon. See below.)
Special:
* Fascinating Breath (3 x per day): All within a 30’ x 30’ cloud in front of the Dragon must Save versus Breath Weapon or become unable to do anything but stand in awe of the Dragon for 2d4 minutes.
* Can assume the form of a Human, Elf, Eagle, Deer, or Oak Tree.
* Speaks and reads all languages.
* Regenerates 1 hp per Round when in contact with soil or water.
* Immune to Dragon Breath of all kinds.
* Can travel to and from the Summerland in 10 minutes.
* Casts Spells as a 10h Level Druid.
Saves: As Cleric 10
Treasure: Art objects, gems, crystals, and rare plants worth approximately 30,000gp, plus 1 Magic Weapon, 1 Magical Armor, and 1d2 additional Magic Items.
Challenge: Four 10th Level Characters

The natural form of a Quercic Dragon is a regal being with scales that resemble the tips of oak leaves. In the spring and summer the scales are green, but turn brilliant hues of red, orange, and yellow in autumn. In either case, the underbelly is reddish-brown – and in the winter the Quercic Dragon turns that color completely. The creature has human-like eyes that can be brown, blue, green, or gray. The branched horns atop their stag-like heads are glittering ivory, as are their claws. Unlike other types of Summerland Dragons, the sharp tips of the horns point forward. Two long fangs also extend downwards from the creature’s mouth when it is closed. Under its chin is a beard of golden hair. The Dragon’s ears are long and pointed. In all seasons, the creature’s wings are spotted with metallic gold. The Dragon’s legs are stag-like, and always a lighter shade than the body. Quercic Dragons also take the forms of armor-clad Humans and Elves, wearing red cloaks, and crowned with oak leaves and acorns. Their two other usual forms are that of a golden eagle, or a majestic stag (or doe).

Quercic Dragons are generally honest and direct in their speech. They expect to be treated with due respect, but will return courtesy with courtesy. Above all, they will not abide lies and deception. Their natural homes are the deep forests of the Summerland, but they sometimes come to Panzoasia to protect the balance of Nature, and those aligned with the forces of harmonious Neutrality. The thus freely associate with Druids, those sylvan creatures descended from the Fairies of the Summerland, and all manner of natural beasts. They will tolerate the company of any Panzoasian Dragon that does not despoil their environment, but have antipathy for the deliberately deceptive Corylic Dragons of the Summerland.

In the Summerland, Quercic Dragons nest in bowers formed from enormous trees whose trunks have been trained to grow together into vaulted canopies. In Panzoasia, however, they will lair and keep their treasure in castles, where they spend most of their time in Human or Elven form. Such castles will always be built to blend harmoniously with the landscape. Their hoard always include a magical weapon, and some kind of magical armor – both of which they will wear and employ. The Dragons grow rare and valuable medical plants in their castle gardens, which they use to heal local animals, and Neutrally-aligned people living in harmony with the forest. Note that Quercic Dragons are Neutral, not Good – they care only about the welfare of Nature, and those devoted to Nature. Quercic Dragons do not consider themselves bound to help starving urban children, for example. Nor will they stop a predator from killing what they need to eat.

Fighting the Quercic Dragon
Quercic Dragons only attack first if they see someone despoiling Nature, or engaged in unwarranted aggression towards a Neutrally-aligned being. They prefer to fight in a shape appropriate to their opponents – Human or Elf form for humanoid foes, stag or eagle form if they must cull a mad beast, or full draconic form when they are forced to fight a monster. As previously noted, in Human or Elf form they will always use a magical weapon of some kind, and wear Magical Armor. When they dressed in such protection, their Armor Class is improved only by the “plus” rating of the item. For example, a Quercic Dragon fighting in Chainmail +3 has an Armor Class 13 points better than Unarmored, rather than 10.

Corylic Dragon

Number Appearing: 1
Size: Large (30’ long)
Alignment: Neutral
Morale: High
Intelligence: 17
Move: Walk 1.5 x human speed
Fly 4 x human speed
Armor Class: 9 better than unarmored.
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks & Damage (in front):
Bite 3d8, or Oneiric Breath
Claw 1d8
Claw 1d8
Attacks & Damage (sides and behind):
Tail Whip 1d6
Special:
* Oneiric Breath (3 x per day): All within a 30’ x 30’ cloud in front of the Dragon must Save versus Breath Weapon or mentally re-experience a previous night’s dream, becoming unable to effectively deal with the real world for 2d4 minutes.
* Can assume the form of a Human, Elf, Nightingale, Toad, or Hazel Tree at will.
* Speaks and reads all languages.
* Regenerates 1 hp per Round when in contact with soil or water.
* Immune to Dragon Breath of all kinds.
* Can travel to and from the Summerland in 10 minutes.
* Casts Spells as a 9h Level Magic User.
Saves: As Magic User 9
Treasure: Coins, art objects, books, and jewels worth approximately 30,000gp, plus 1d6 potions and 1 Magic Wand.
Challenge: Four 11th Level Characters

Corylic Dragons in their natural form are sinewy creatures about 30 feet long, with scales that resemble the leaves of a hazel tree. Their snouts are distinctly wedge-like, coming to a sharp point. Their extremely flexible tails are long, thin, and often contorted into odd corkscrew shapes. Their wings have peculiar, feathery edges that resemble the husk around a hazelnut. Like hazel foliage, Corylic Dragons are usually green, but their scales turn yellow in autumnal environments. Some have dark purple scales instead – but all Corylic Dragons turn brown in winter. The eyes of a Corylic Dragon change colors in the light, alternating from green to brown. The creature’s forked horns are pale, glittery yellow, as are its claws. In addition to their natural form, Corylic Dragons often assume the shape of black-robed Humans and Elves, crowned with Corylic leaves and catkins. Their other possible forms include nightingales, toads, and hazel trees.

Corylic Dragons delight in mystification. They will never directly state what they can instead imply, and fill their speech with poetic allusions. They are collectors of secrets, and are willing to pay to learn some bit of otherwise unknown information. Those who try to learn secrets from a Corylic Dragon, however, must be prepared to piece together the truth from numerous hints, insinuations, and metaphors.

Corylic Dragons naturally live in the forests of the Summerland, but sometimes visit Panzoasia in search of new secrets. There they will freely associate with witches, sorcerers, and Druids of dark inclination. They actually get along well with the Green Dragons native to Panzoasia. They do not like the blunt honestly of the Summerland’s Quercic Dragons, however.

Corylic Dragons love silver, and stones which are opalescent or mottled in color. They will usually have a library in their lair, filled with strange and obscure works. Additionally, a Corylic Dragon always possesses a magic wand of some kind, which they are fond of using. They keep their treasures in underground vaults, the entrances to which are often disguised by cottages of the type that might be inhabited by rural hedge witches.

Fighting the Corylic Dragon
A Corylic Dragon will always begin a fight with either a magic spell, or the effect from its wand. Secondarily, they will use the yellow fumes of their Oneiric Breath to incapacitate attackers. Physical attacks are used only when necessary. Corylic Dragons are almost never wantonly destructive, but they show aggressors no mercy.

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The Summerland Dragons, Part II – Lotosic and Orchidic

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Presenting two more examples of the Summerland Dragons. These time we feature rival breeds that both prefer the warmer climes of Panzoasia‘s Ultimate South and East.

See the first post in this series to learn more about these unique creatures.

Lotosic Dragon

Number Appearing: 1
Size: Large (40’ long)
Alignment: Neutral
Morale: Average
Intelligence: 18
Move: Walk 1.5 x human speed
Fly 3.5 x human speed
Swim 1.5 x human speed
Armor Class: 8 better than unarmored.
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks & Damage:
Bite 3d6, or Soporific Breath
Claw 1d6
Claw 1d6
Special:
* Soporific Breath (3 x per day): All within a 30’ x 30’ cloud in front of the Dragon must Save versus Breath Weapon or fall asleep for 2d4 minutes.
* Can assume the form of a Human, Elf, Frog, Dragonfly, or Lotus Plant.
* Breath Water or Air.
* Speaks and reads all languages.
* Regenerate 1 hp per Round when in contact with soil or water.
* Immune to Dragon Breath of all kinds.
* Can travel to and from the Summerland in 10 minutes.
* Casts Spells as an 8h Level Cleric.
Saves: As Cleric 8
Treasure: Art objects, rare books, gems, crystals, and exotic plants worth approximately 20,000gp, plus 1d6 Magic Scrolls and 1d4 other Magic Items (1 of which will be intended for Clerical use).
Challenge: Four 10th Level Characters

A Lotosic Dragon’s natural form is a thin, serpentine creature about 40 feet long, with a body covered in purple-edged pink scales that resemble the petals of a lotus flower. The legs, however, are bluish-green. Their wings are dark purple, resemble the fins of a betta fish, and are also used for swimming. Several drooping, tendril-like whiskers hang from their catfish-like face, and their eyes resemble sapphires. Their antler-like horns resemble green brass, as do their claws and teeth. They also take the shape of white-haired Humans or Elves, dressed in pink robes, and crowned with lotus flowers. They can disguise themselves as frogs and dragonflies as well.

Lotosic Dragons are philosophical and learned creatures, possessing Wisdom Scores of 18 in Human terms. Lotosic Dragons collect philosophies as much as any other treasure. A visitor willing to debate the Dragon will earn their respect – one who can actually win a philosophical debate will be treated as an honored guest in the Dragon’s lair from then on. Lotosic Dragons often leave their homes in the swamps and waterways of the Summerland, and travel to the warmer areas of Panzoasia in search of new perspectives on reality. There they freely associate with Nagas, Mystics, sages, scholars, and open-minded Clerics willing to freely exchange ideas. While Lotosic Dragons enjoy the company of Panzoasian Gold Dragons, they have antipathy for the hedonistic Orchidic Dragons of their homeland.

Lotosic Dragons love to swim and spend time underwater, but they always maintain dry, temple-like lairs for their treasures. They love statues, especially ones depicting creature of the water. They will always have a store of scrolls – some inscribed with exotic philosophical treatises, and others with magic spells. Every Lotosic Dragon also owns some kind of magic item of a Clerical nature, such as a Snake Staff, which they will employ in their own defense.

Fighting the Lotosic Dragon
A Lotosic Dragon does not like to fight, and will always seek to end hostilities if possible. If forced into combat, however, it will first try to use the pink vapors of its Soporific Breath. If its would-be opponents have all been put to sleep, the Dragon will change into human form and bind the aggressors. Combatants so bound will be treated to a thorough lecture on the absurdity of pointless violence, and imprisoned for a month in the Dragon’s lair – every day of which they must listen to another extremely long monologue on the value of living in harmony with one’s fellow creatures. Combatants who foil the Dragon’s plan for their enlightenment will be subjected primarily to magical attacks, unless the creature is forced into close quarters where it must bite and claw.

Orchidic Dragon

Number Appearing: 1 (In Panzoasia , an Orchidic Dragon has a 75% chance of being accompanied by 2d6 enthralled people and humanoids, and a 50% chance of being served by 6d6 Lizard Man worshipers.)
Size: Large (30’ long)
Alignment: Neutral
Morale: Average
Intelligence: 17
Move: Walk 1.5 x human speed
Fly 3.5 x human speed
Armor Class: 8 better than unarmored.
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks & Damage:
Bite 3d6, or Intoxicating Breath
Claw 1d6
Claw 1d6
Special:
* Intoxicating Breath (3 x per day): All within a 30’ x 30’ cloud in front of the Dragon must Save versus Breath Weapon or become so overcome with the intoxicating smell that they are unable to attack, defend, or otherwise think clearly for 2d4 minutes.
* Can assume the form of a Human, Elf, Cobra, Butterfly, or Orchid.
* Speaks and reads all languages.
* Regenerates 1 hp per Round when in contact with soil or water.
* Immune to Dragon Breath of all kinds.
* Can travel to and from the Summerland in 10 minutes.
* Cast Spells as a 9th Level Magic User.
Saves: As Magic User 9
Treasure: Art objects, gems, crystals, and rare plants worth approximately 30,000gp, plus 1d6 Magic Items.
Challenge: Four 11th Level Characters

An Orchidic Dragon in its natural form is strikingly beautiful, and emits a wonderful perfume that can be detected from 300 feet away. The scales on its serpentine body resemble the petals of a jungle orchid, darkest purple shading to almost pink at the edges. The underbelly is intense blue-green. The wings seem to flow out of the body, and are mottled purple and white. Intricate, petal-like frills frame the face. The thin, turquoise horns resemble curling tendrils, and glitter in the light. The Dragon’s eyes are emerald green. The inside of its mouth is magenta, and the creature’s bright pink tongue is long and serpent-like. A soft dorsal fin of purplish-red runs along the back, from the creature’s head, to midway along the tail. The tail itself flattens into similar purple-red fins, oriented laterally. Flower-like fins of dark purple project from the Dragon’s legs and forearms. In addition to its draconic form, the creature can appear as a Human or Elf dressed in purple, and crowned with orchids. It can also assume the shape of a cobra, or large and colorful butterfly.

Orchidic Dragons are selfishly hedonistic beings, who conceive of no higher goal than their own pleasure. They will preach their philosophy of pure self-indulgence to all who will listen – and those who don’t are apt to be dosed with the creature’s Intoxicating Breath! They inhabit the colorful jungles of the Summerland, but often come to Panzoasia ins search of new experiences. There they tend to attract small cults of people (and humanoids) addicted to the effects of the Dragon’s breath. Such cultists are also magically Charmed as a safeguard to maintain their compliance. Often, Orchidic Dragons are also served by tribes of Lizard Men, who voluntarily worship the creature as a god. It is possible for the same Orchidic Dragon to both have addicted cultists, and Lizard Man worshipers, living as a joined community. Of course, Orchidic Dragons give not a single thought to questions of Good, Evil, Law, Chaos, or anything besides their own amusement. They are far too selfish to tolerate the company of any other Dragon type, and especially despise the philosophical Lotosic Dragons.

In the Summerland, Orchidic Dragons store their treasure in glittering caverns, but in Panzoasia they prefer to make their lairs in abandoned jungle ruins. They love art of all kinds – especially if it depicts themselves! They have a particular fascination with sculptures carved from large gemstones. They also collect rare plants, especially those which have intoxicating qualities. Additionally, every Orchidic Dragon hoard will include at least one magic item, that the creature always carries when in human form.

Fighting the Orchidic Dragon
An Orchidic Dragon’s first attack is always its Intoxicating Breath, since the creature enjoys watching the effect the purple fumes have on other beings. Next, it usually attempt to magically Charm would-be combatants, so it may add them to its cult of attendants. Cultists and Lizard Man worshipers already in the Dragon’s thrall will then be sent to fight any remaining belligerents. Only if attackers make their way through its followers will the Orchidic Dragon itself physically attack – but once it does so, it luxuriates in the sight and taste of its enemies’ blood. The Dragon will eat its fill of any slain, and thereafter give the remaining meat to its surviving cult members to consume.

Orchidic Dragon Cults
Roll 2d6 times on the following table to find the composition of the Dragon’s cult. Note that the cult can be composed of species normally hostile to each other – a fact that the Dragon will cynically point to as evidence that it alone can bring true peace and harmony to the world!

d20 This cultist is a
1 – 5 Human
6 – 9 Elf
10 Gnome
11 Dwarf
12 – 13 Halfling
14 Goblin
15 Kobold
16 Hobgoblin
17 Orc
18 Gnoll
19 Ogre
20 Troll

Any Lizard Man worshipers of an Orchidic Dragon will themselves be of the brilliantly colored variety– it does not accept the service of those who are simply drab green or brown.

The Summerland Dragons, Part I – Trefolic and Urtician

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Like all Dragons inhabiting Panzoasia and the Corners of the Earth (besides the primordial Fire-Breathing and Serpentine breeds), those of the Summerland are descended from the uplifted Dragon of the Terrestrial Paradise. In the case of the Summerland Dragons, their ancestors were female Fairies who mated with the Dragon after its expulsion from Paradise. Their offspring were permitted to dwell in the Summerland by the Lord and Lady of Life, who bore no ill-will towards the Dragon for having been the agent of the First Person’s division into the Five Peoples.

The Summerland Dragon notably share characteristics with certain plants and trees. Although they are often smaller than other kinds of Dragon, they are powerfully magical beings. Each can speak, read, and write every language in existence, and every one is an accomplished spellcaster of some kind. All have several alternate forms that they can assume at will. As natives of the Summerland, they are all true Neutral in Alignment, but while some embody Nature’s harmony, others tend to evidence its darker side of violence and predation.

Summerland Dragons do not pass through all the age categories of other dragons. They are effectively immortal unless killed, and each is born a fully formed adult. Like all Dragons they are sequentially hermaphroditic (passing through alternately male and female phases), but they don’t ordinarily reproduce in the expected way. If one is slain through misadventure, a plant of the appropriate type will spring up overnight on the site where the dragon died. Over the course of a week the plant will transform into a new adult Dragon of the same type. The new Dragon will not remember anything of its previous life, however. The total population of Summerland Dragon thus remains constant. Summerland Dragons who mate with other beings, however, (which they often do when in their alternate forms) can either father, or become pregnant with, half-draconic offspring (according to the Dragon’s current gender).

Many of the Summerland Dragons change colors with the seasons. Notably, most of the Isles of the Summerland experience a single perpetual season (which is generally – but not always – summer), and thus the Dragons who live there remain a single hue. However, certain breeds who choose to live in Panzoasia (particularly the Quercic and Corylic Dragons) will show different colors throughout the year.

The Breath Weapons of Summerland Dragons are also unique. Rather than damage their victims, each incapacitates them in some way instead. Whether an affected person should consider this a blessing, or an especially cruel curse, however, varies from breed to breed. Significantly, Summerland Dragons are immune both to each other’s Breath Weapons, and those of Panzoasian Dragons – who are in turn cannot be incapacitated by a Summerland Dragon.

All Summerland Dragon know how to travel the secret Fairy Paths. They can walk, fly, or swim back to the Summerland from Panzoasia, or any Corner of the Earth (Shadowland, the Chthon, etc.), in 10 minutes. Likewise, from the Summerland they can reach any other Corner of the Earth by traveling for 10 minutes. Travel within Panozaosia (or a a Corner of the Earth) is accomplished normally – unless the Dragon chooses to travel back to the Summerland, and from there to someplace else.

Like other Dragons, Summerland Dragons can consume anything organic, but can also live on dirt or mud if need be. Their connection with the world of growing things allows them to regenerate 1 hp per Round when in contact with soil or water.

Trefolic Dragon

Number Appearing: 1
Size: Large (15’ long)
Alignment: Neutral
Morale: Low
Intelligence: 12
Move: Walk 1.5 x human speed
Fly 3 x human speed
Armor Class: 6 better than unarmored.
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks & Damage:
Bite 3d4, or Indolent Breath
Claw 1d4
Claw 1d4
Special:
* Indolent Breath (3 x per day): All within a 30’ x 30’ cloud in front of the Dragon must Save versus Breath Weapon or completely lose interest in attacking, defending, or pursuing any useful activity for 2d4 minutes.
* Can assume the form of a Human, Elf, Bee, Rabbit, or a 10’ x 10’ Clover Patch at will.
* Speaks and reads all languages.
* Regenerates 1 hp per Round when in contact with soil or water.
* Immune to Dragon Breath of all kinds.
* Can travel to and from the Summerland in 10 minutes.
* Casts Spells as a 6th Level Cleric.
Saves: As Cleric 6
Treasure: Rare minerals, nuggets of precious metal, uncut gems, crystals, wood-carvings, and finely-crafted toys worth approximately 8,000gp, plus 1d6 potions, and 1 random Magic Item.
Challenge: Four 7th Level Characters

In their natural forms, Trefolic Dragons are small, pot-bellied dragons about 15 feet long, with scales that are similar to leaves of green clover. The snouts of their dog-like heads are rounded, and relatively short for Dragons. Their large eyes are milky white, and there are arcs of white coloration in the webbing of their wings. Their short, bud-like horns are glittery white. In the winter, a Trefolic Dragon’s scales turn brown. These creatures are also fond of appearing as Human or Elven children, dressed in green clothes, and crowned with blooming clover. In addition, they can assume the shapes of bees, rabbits, or even clover patches!

Trefolic Dragons are the most playful and good-natured of the Summerland Dragons, but greatly resent any attempt to draw them away from their frolicking. Their natural habitats are the rolling fields of the Summerland Isles, but they are known to make their way to Panzoasia from time to time, for no purpose beyond the sheer enjoyment of travel. Besides Fairy Folk, they love the company of Fool Hares, humorous Gnomes, and the various animals of the open meadow. They do not get along, however, with the Urtician Dragons of the Summerland.

Trefolic Dragons are especial collectors of toys, and visitors who bring the creatures new, interesting, or especially well-crafted toys will earn their favor. They otherwise prefer natural, uncut gems and minerals, as well as rustic carvings of rare woods. They keep their treasures well-hidden in natural caves and burrows.

Fighting the Trefolic Dragon
Trefolic Dragons fight to kill only when attacked first. Their first defense is always to release the fumes of their Indolent Breath, a 30 foot cloud of green vapors. If all the targets become stupefied, the Trefolic Dragon will usually try to flee the scene. Those who annoy the Dragon by interrupting its playtime will be treated similarly. If cornered or otherwise forced to engage in combat, the Dragon will rely on its magic first, resorting to bite and claw attacks only as a last resort. Generally, the Trefolic Dragon avoids killing and violence whenever possible, and will ask attackers to “please stop”. However, it has no qualms about eating the bodies of those who persisted – and lost!

Urtician Dragon

Number Appearing: 1
Size: Large (15’ long)
Alignment: Neutral
Morale: High
Intelligence: 12
Move: Walk 1.5 x human speed
Fly 3 x human speed
Armor Class: 7 better than unarmored.
Hit Dice: 7
Attacks & Damage (front):
Bite 3d4, or Agonizing Breath
Claw 1d4
Claw 1d4
Attacks & Damage (back and sides):
Wing slash (on right) 1d4
Wing slash (on left) 1d4
Tail Slap 1d4 (+ Save versus Dexterity, or suffer effects of Stinging Spines. See below.)
Special:
* Agonizing Breath (3 x per day): All within a 30’ x 30’ cloud in front of the Dragon must Save versus Breath Weapon or experience a burning pain that fully incapacitates them for 2d4 minutes.
* Stinging Spines: Unarmed attacks on the Dragon cause the attacker to Save versus Paralysis or suffer 1d4 points of temporary Dexterity damage, which heals back the next morning.
* Can assume the form of a Human, Elf, Wasp, Viper, or Nettle Plant at will.
* Speaks and reads all languages.
* Regenerates 1 hp per Round when in contact with soil or water.
* Immune to Dragon Breath of all kinds.
* Can travel to and from the Summerland in 10 minutes.
* Casts Spells as a 7th Level Magic User.
Saves: As Magic User 7
Treasure: Rare minerals, torture instruments, nuggets of precious metal, uncut gems, and crystals worth approximately 12,000gp, plus 1d4 potions, and 1 magical weapon.
Challenge: Four 9th Level Characters

The natural form of the Urtician Dragon is slender and sharp-featured. The creature’s scales resemble the leaves of a stinging nettle, and are covered with similar spiny hairs. The creature’s eyes are red. Its horns are straight and spine-like, as are its teeth. A saw-like ridge runs down the Dragon’s back, to the tip of its spiny tail. The “fingers” of the creature’s wings end in long, sharp points, and the webbing between them is purple. In winter, the Dragon’s hide turns completely gray. The inside of its mouth is always dark purple, however, as is its tongue.

Urtician Dragons are louts that see themselves as the embodiments of Nature’s callousnesss – and act appropriately. They are fond of insulting and provoking other beings, just to see what will happen. While their behavior thus tends towards malevolence, they also see their own actions in terms of a harmonious totality of being that includes the counterbalance of mercy – just, not from themselves. They have even been known to remind people being eaten alive that “its nothing personal”! When in Panzoasia, they freely associate with bandits, outlaws, assassins, and most other draconic beings. However, they despise the happy-go-lucky Trefolic Dragons from their Summerland home.

Whether in the Summerland or Panzoasia, Urtician Dragons fill their lairs with traps and snares. They prefer to dwell in ruins, especially those that were destroyed by fire. They collect instruments of torture, particularly if such have been artistically wrought. Their hoards also always include at least one magical weapon – kept as a curiosity, since they prefer to attack in in their natural draconic form.

Fighting the Urtician Dragon
Urtician Dragons attack mercilessly, and often without provocation. They will begin combats by breathing out the green fumes of their Agonizing Breath. Next they will savage their opponents with every physical attack they have. If the fight turns against them, then they will seek to retreat and use magic spells (such as Lightning Bolt) from a distance.

Picturing the Bogeymen of Panzoasia

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Here are some illustrations of various “humanoid” species in my Panzoasia fantasy campaign. My Orcs are boar-headed, my Kobolds are Old-School dog-lizard-rat things, and my Ogres are dumb brutes with a distant kinship to Orcs. I conceive of the Goblinoids as nightmarish creatures with distinctly bat-like features. As for the Trolls, I portray them as somewhat more human-like than the standard in classic Old-School rpgs. In the Ultimate West of Panzoasia, all these beings are encompassed by the term “Bogeymen”.

 

Travel Times for Old-School Hex-Crawling

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Here’s the handy-dandy chart I’m using to calculate travel times for “province-level” hex-crawls in my Panzoasia Campaign. It’s keyed for a scale of “1 Hex = 1 League”, which I prefer because it corresponds to both the rate an unburdened person can travel in one hour, and the distance to the visible horizon on a plain.

Movement rates are given for various Old-School rules variations; “Classic” (including B/X, BECMI, the RC, and their corresponding retro-clones), “Advanced” 1st Edition and 2nd Edition rules, post 3rd Edition rules, and Ghastly Affair.

Time to Travel 1 League (3 Miles), by Movement Rate and Terrain

Time to Travel 1 League (3 Miles), by Movement Rate and Terrain

Click/tap image to make larger. Unfortunately, I needed to make this a PNG because of difficulties with properly formatting the table in the blog editor.

NOTES

Wet, muddy, or snowy conditions shift effective movement rate one column to the right (harder). Forested Mountains, Badlands, or already Icy areas without roads will become completely impassable.

Generally, a road shifts the effective movement rate 1 column to the left (easier)

Travel through a Mountain Pass is at the same rate as for Open Hills.

A horse can be ridden at its normal movement rate for 5 hours total, before it must rest for the remainder of the day. For each hour of forced movement past 5, the horse loses 20% of its hit points (rounded up).

A horse can be ridden at a gallop (triple normal speed) for a total of 10 minutes in one day, covering a total of 1 league on a plain or road. Once 10 total minutes of galloping is reached, the horse cannot be ridden, or otherwise burdened, for at least an hour. A horse can only safely travel for a total of 4 hours in a day when it has been ridden at a gallop.

The total number of hours a person can march per day without harm is equal to their Constitution score. This includes the 10-minute rests indicated in the chart above. A forced march past that point inflicts damage equal to 20% of the marcher’s hit points (rounded up) per hour.

The Fool Hare and Perdurable Snail

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Medieval scholars have long puzzled over the significance of the strange marginalia illustrations of axe-wielding rabbits and giant snails common in medieval illuminated manuscripts. The answer, of course, is that they are simply illustrations of two creatures frequently encountered in Panzoasia! Here they are, in a cross-compatible format for use with most Old-School adventure role-playing games.

Note: For the “Morale” entry, the number in parenthesis is for use with the 2nd Edition Advanced rules. For the “Move” entry, the first value in the parenthesis is for use with 1st or 2nd Edition Advanced rules, and the second number for use with post 3rd Edition rules.

Fool Hare

Number Appearing: 1 or 2
Size: Small (3’ high)
Alignment: Summer and Winter: Neutral, Autumn: Lawful (good), Spring: Chaotic
Morale: Summer and Winter: 3 (or 4), Autumn: 9 (or 12), Spring: 11 (or 17)
Intelligence: 6
Move: Walking: 90′ (or 9”, or 20 ft.), Hopping: 180’ (or 18”, or 40 ft)
Armor Class: 6 (or 13)
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks & Damage:
1 punch (1d3) or weapon (by weapon type), 1 bite (1d2)
Special:
* Natural Camouflage: 60% undetectable in natural environments.
* Always Surprises if undetected.
* Leap: 20’ horizontally, or 15’ vertically.
* Mad Gaze: Anyone meeting the gaze of a Fool Hare in Spring must Save versus Wands, or temporarily have their Wisdom reduced by 1d6 points for the remainder of the day. Victims cannot be affected again for the remainder of the day.
Saves: As Thief 1
Challenge: Four 1st Level Characters

Fool Hares are 3-foot tall, bipedal leporids that live throughout the temperate lands of Panzoasia. They are sentient, albeit dim-witted by human standards. They are incapable of actually speaking, but can comprehend the basic vocabulary of whatever intelligent creatures they live near. They can dwell in any environment that supports ordinary hares. Fool Hares usually make nests of leaves or grass on the ground in overgrown fields, but prefer an abandoned shack or shed when they can find one. They are adept are hiding in natural environments, being visually undetectable 60% of the time. An undetected Fool Hare always acts with surprise – although they will only attack during their springtime madness.

Fool Hares are best known for their changeable dispositions and colors, both of which vary by the season. In Summer, the Fool Hare is Neutral in Alignment, brown in color, and avoids contact with people. In Autumn, however, the creature’s pelt turns Gray, and they become Lawful. At this time the Fool hare is sociable and friendly, and those who live near human farmers may even try to make themselves useful! Of course, since the creatures are infamously hare-brained, their attempts to be helpful are often quite comical. In Winter the Fool Hare turns white, and once again avoids people. In Spring, however, the Fool Hare turns Chaotic, which is reflecting in its variegated white, gray, and brown fur. At that time the creature is actually feared, because it becomes quite erratic, and often aggressive. Fool Hares afflicted by their springtime madness have been known to steal weapons and attack travelers, or commit acts of random vandalism. Some are even seen riding Perdurable Snails!

In the Spring, Fool Hares become potentially dangerous in another way – those who meet their Mad Gaze are known to lose all self-control for the remainder of the day, represented by the temporary loss of 1d6 points of Wisdom (to a minimum score of 3). Luckily, a person can only fall victim once per day. Affected people might confess repressed affections, reveal secrets, compulsively steal small items, or even start fights over trifles. Panzoasians embarrassed by their own impetuous springtime behavior will often say they “met a Fool Hare”. Importantly, Fool Hares are not immune to their own Mad Gaze – a fact that probably accounts for much of the strange behavior they exhibit during the Spring.

Because they are intelligent (however dimly), wantonly kill Fool Hares is generally considered immoral, and actually eating them is completely verboten. The evil Humanoids have no such compunctions, of course, and Bugbears and Ogres are particularly fond of roast (or raw) Fool Hare. It is also not unknown for unscrupulous furriers to trade in Fool Hare pelts, which can be nearly impossible to tell from those of ordinary hares, once sewn into a garment.

Note that certain Fairies (particularly the mischievous Pucas) are known to assume the form of Fool Hares, which also contributes to most people’s reluctance to harm them. Most Fool Hares nonetheless come to bad ends at the hands of their numerous predators. Those that don’t, can live up to 12 years.

Perdurable Snail

Number Appearing: 1 (10% chance for a protective companion under the influence of the snail’s Dart venom. Roll on the Wandering Monster table, ignoring creatures with HD greater than 6).
Size: Small (1 – 3 HD), Medium (4 – 6 HD), or Large (7 – 9 HD)
Alignment: Neutral
Morale: 11 (or 17)
Intelligence: 1
Move: Slithering: 30′ (or 3”, or 10 ft.)
Armor Class: Body: 9 (or 10); Shell: 3 (or 16) (50% chance an attacker is faced with either per Round)
Hit Dice: 1 – 9
Attacks & Damage: 1 rasping “tongue”, by creature Size:
Small: (1d4)
Medium: (1d6)
Large: (1d8)
+ possible Dart
Special:
* Shoot Dart: The Snail makes a normal to hit, as an melee attack. Dart inflicts 1d4 points of damage. Victim must Save versus Poison, or be compelled to defend and care for the snail for the remainder of the day. Usable once per day.
* Immune to Disease.
* Burned by Salt: 1d6 points of damage per pint.
Saves: As Fighter 1 -10 (as per Hit Dice)
Challenge: Four Characters of the Same Level as the Snail’s Hit Dice.

Perdurable Snails are dangerous creatures found throughout Panzoasia, only not eradicated because their bodies are valuable resources – and the horrible things will not breed in captivity. They can be found in the same environment inhabited by other land snails, and hibernate in their shells during the winter. In form they exactly resemble enormous garden snails, except their slimy bodies are usually shades of blue and purple. Like other snails, they leave a glistening track of slime wherever they go.

Perdurable Snails are worrisome for two main reasons. For one, they are aggressive omnivores that are known to attack sleeping or restrained livestock. Secondly, they are effectively immortal, unless killed by violence, poison, or salt. A juvenile Perdurable Snail has a body almost 3 feet in length, and is about 20 inches high. They add a foot of length (and a Hit Die) each year, eventually growing up to 12 feet long, and 7 feet high at the top of their spiral shells. Luckily, they are not fast animals, and it is possible to keep most of them from reaching such a frightening size.

Those unlucky enough to come into contact with a Perduable Snail with be attacked by the rasping, tongue-like radula that shoots out of its mouth. Furthermore, the Perdurable Snail can shoot a dart into the body of anyone within melee range. The dart is coated with a psychoactive venom that causes victims to regard the Snail with affection – breaking off any attacks, and even going so far as to bring the monster food! For its part, the Snail will not attack a creature under the influence of its Dart venom, and will allow the envenomed creature to accompany it, until the effect wears off. Luckily, the creature can only carry one dart at a time, and it takes a whole day for it to form another. The effect of the venom is automatically broken once the Snail dies.

The flesh of a Perdurable Snail is delicious when properly prepared – and the larger the snail, the better the taste. It is particularly valued as a delicacy in Corthis, Ydez, Agidea, and Xidu. The creature’s slime is a reagent for Potions of Elasticity, Fortitude, Growth, Healing, and Longevity. The liquid from its dart is harvested, and often put into the cup of wine shared by newly married couples. Finally, the whorled shells of Perdurable Snails can be cut into highly decorative (but quite functional) shields (which are particularly favored in the Ultimate South of Panzoasia). The soft body of a Perdurable Snail is worth 75gp per HD (but only a quarter of that if the slime has been ruined by salting). The shell is worth another 50gp per HD.

Chimeric Snails:
The magical nature of Perdurable Snails causes 1 in 10 to be Chimeric. A Chimeric Snail has the same abilities as any other of their species, but their head exactly resembles that of some other creature. Commonly seen variations includes snails with the heads of horses, bulls, dogs, goats, and snakes – or even dragons, and people! Note that a Chimeric Snail attacks with a bite, rather than the rasping tongue of a “normal” Perdurable Snail, but the damage inflicted is the same.

The Creation of the Worlds Beyond Panzoasia, Told Five Different Ways

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Europe a Prophecy, copy D, object 1 (Bentley 1, Erdman i, Keynes i) British Museum

There are five Bibles in Panzoasia: The Gospels of Light, the Aphorisms of Chance, the Classic of Destiny, the Book of Darkness, and the Epic of All Life. Each one gives a different version of the creation of the Supernal, Infernal, and Sublunary worlds – from the Good, Chaotic, Lawful, Evil, and Neutral perspectives receptively. Although all accounts broadly agree on the order of events, each disagrees with the others on the exact details.

Which story is correct? Perhaps all of them, and none of them. Some sages speculate that the Divine Powers do not exist in a single timeline of past, present, and future, like mortal beings. Instead, they have minds that embrace several alternate pasts and futures simultaneously. Therefore, the ongoing conflict between Alignments is actually the struggle to make one of the stories the “true” one among the mortals of the Sublunary World. The war is not just for control of Space, but also Time and History.

The essential points of the Panzoasian creation story are these:

  1. In the beginning there was an Ultimate God, who became divided into separate Divine Powers.
  2. In the Emptiness that was once filled by the body of the Ultimate God, the Divine Powers created the worlds, and Spirits to inhabit them.
  3. A Terrestrial Paradise was made on Earth, containing every kind of plant and animal.
  4. The Divine Powers created a First Person, who was double-gendered like the Ultimate God.
  5. The Dragon was uplifted from among the beasts, in order to be the guardian and instructor of the First Person.
  6. The First Person was split into the male and female ancestors of the Five Peoples, by means of a magical fruit offered by the Dragon.
  7. There was a war in the Supernal Worlds.
  8. Spirits took inhabitants of the Terrestrial Paradise as mates, and bred monstrous children who were then cast out.
  9. The remaining Five Peoples of the Terrestrial Paradise created something in the middle of it which could be used as a conduit to all the worlds.
  10. The Five Peoples had to leave the Terrestrial Paradise, and come to Panzoasia.

(The story is, of course, a twist on the more-or-less familiar one from the Book of Genesis.)

What follows is how each Bible of Panzoasia interprets that story, point-by-point.

The Creation of the Worlds and Five Peoples, According to THE GOSPELS OF LIGHT:

  1. The Ultimate God contracted into the Empyrean, and emanated Our Lord of Light. He made four other Powers: the Lord of Darkness, the Lady of Chance, the Lord of Destiny, and the Lady of Life. The Lord of Light did this because he wished to eventually create Worlds to which he could be benevolent.
  2. Our Lord of Light alone created Supernal, Infernal, and Sublunary Worlds. Originally, all the spirits were Angels of Heaven. Because he was the original leader of all the Powers and Angels, the Lord of Light is also called the Lord of Hosts. The other Powers (who at that point were simply the mightiest of the Angels) were directed to administer the physical elements, planets, stars, plants, and animals, under the direction of the Lord of Light.
  3. Our Lord Light directed the Lady of Life to plant the Terrestrial Paradise.
  4. Our Lord of Light created the First Person, male and female, in the image of the Ultimate God.
  5. The Lord of Darkness suggested that the Dragon be uplifted and made into the First Person’s instructor, because he secretly wanted to corrupt the beast into his service.
  6. The Lord of Darkness told the Dragon to give the First Person the Apple of Malice, eating which caused the Person to fall asleep, and wake up as ten People. As punishment, the Dragon and its descendants were cast out from the Terrestrial Paradise by the Lord of Light.
  7. Out of pride, the Lord of Darkness started a rebellion to seize control of Heaven. The Lady of Chance took the opportunity to desert, and seized control of the Whirl of Limbo. Those Angels that followed her became the Daimons. The Lord of Destiny seized control of the Celestial Spheres, and his followers became the Archons. The Lady of Life refused to take any side, and fled to the Corner of the Sublunary World she called the Summerland. The Angels that followed her became the Fairies. Finally, the Lord of Darkness was defeated. His exiled army of fallen Angels seized control of a portion of Limbo that they called Hell, and became the Devils.
  8. Our Lord of Light found a sinless virgin, who was the most virtuous of People, and crowned her as Queen of Heaven and the Angels. The Lady of Chance took the first lawbreaker as her husband, and made him King of Limbo and the Daimons. The Lord of Destiny took the first Astrologer as his wife, and crowned her as Queen of the Celestial Spheres and Archons. The Lady of Life found the man who best understood the plants and animals of Nature, took him as her husband, and crowned him the horned King of the Summerland and Fairies. The Lord of Darkness found the first sorceress and poisoner, the most wicked of all People, and made her Queen of Hell and the Devils. Before she descended into Hell, the Lady of Darkness gave birth to the Demons and Monsters that were eventually expelled from the Terrestrial Paradise by Angels.
  9. The Lord and Lady of Darkness tricked the People of the Terrestrial Paradise into building the Tower of Perplexity, tall and deep enough to link Heaven and Hell. Our Lord of Light ruled that the People must leave the Terrestrial Paradise, because they had creating a means by which the forces of Darkness could invade the refuge of Light.
  10. Angelic warriors were sent to protect the Terrestrial Paradise and Tower of Perplexity, and The Five Peoples were shepherded by their Guardian Angels to the Ends of the Earth.

The Creation of the Worlds and Five Peoples, According to THE APHORISMS OF CHANCE:

  1. The Ultimate God was bored, so it became the Twins of Chaos – both of whom are simultaneously Lord and Lady of Chance. They gave birth to the Lords and Ladies of Light, Darkness, Destiny, and Life. Among them, the Lord and Lady of Destiny were definitely the dullest and least talented. To avoid further boredom, Our Lord and Lady of Chance told each of their children that they were they first and best, which caused entertaining discord. The Twins of Chaos found it particularly enjoyable to see the idiotic Lord and Lady of Destiny proclaiming their own importance and power. What remained of the Ultimate God became the Empyrean.
  2. The Twins of Chaos reserved a portion of Emptiness for themselves, and let their children play in the remainder. Soon the lesser Powers of Light, Darkness, Destiny and Life had created Heaven, Hell, the Celestial Spheres, and the Sublunary World. The Twins of Chaos then decided that it would be fun to make Daimons who would help them spread mischief, catastrophe, and strife. As a joke, the Twins of Chaos told each of their children that their World was the best one – better even than the Whirl of Limbo their parents had created!
  3. The Lord and Lady of Life proposed to their siblings that they should all cooperate to create the Terrestrial Paradise, in order to impress their parents, the Twins of Chaos.
  4. The Divine Powers all tried and failed to create a First Person in the image of the Ultimate God. Finally, the Person was secretly created by Chance. The Twins of Chaos decided to tell the Lord and Lady of Light that they were the ones who had actually succeeded. The Twins also did the same with all their other children. Our Lord and Lady of Chance greatly enjoyed the squabbling that resulted.
  5. The Lord and Lady of Darkness persuaded the other Powers to uplift the Dragon, because they wanted it to become their servant, who would convince the First Person to be their ally in Evil.
  6. The Twins of Chaos thought that Darkness’ plan was boring, so Our Lady secretly gave the Dragon the Apple of Discord, and told it to give to the First Person. After eating the Apple, the First Person split into a Human male and female. Darkness’ scheme was ruined, the Dragon was blamed for it all, and Our Lord and Lady of Chance had a great laugh!
  7. After much goading and intrigue, Our Lord and Lady of Chance succeeded in their plan to provoke War throughout the spiritual Worlds. They did this in the hope that something truly surprising would occur. It did, when the combined armies of of Darkness and Destiny decided to attack the Whirl of Limbo simultaneously. Daimonic freedom fighters succeeded in expelling the Archons (whose strategies were completely predictable), but the forces of Darkness occupy their stolen lands (called Hell) to this day. Those former Daimons who were trapped in Hell are now called Demons, and exist only to destroy. Even through Our Lord and Lady essentially lost the War, they do not regret how interesting it was.
  8. Some Daimons went to the Terrestrial Paradise, took mates, and bred offspring who were the most strange and wonderful Monsters. Refugee Angels took mortal spouses, and bred the Giants. Some Fallen Angels of Darkness took mortal spouses, and bred the various humanoid Monsters. The Fairy Folk took mortal spouses, and their children became the Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, and Gnomes. To the dismay of the Lord and Lady of Chance, the People of the Terrestrial Paradise cast out all the most interesting children, except for the Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, and Gnomes.
  9. Our Lord and Lady of Chance inspired the remaining Five Peoples to build the Tower of Perplexity that would link all the Worlds together. For some reason, this angered the unimaginative Lord and Lady of Destiny, who hurled lightning bolts at the Tower and Terrestrial Paradise.
  10. The Five Peoples fled the Terrestrial Paradise, and were led by the Daimons to the more interesting, Monster-filled Ends of the Earth.

The Creation of the Worlds and Five Peoples, According to THE CLASSIC OF DESTINY:

  1. The Ultimate God retracted its being into the Empyrean, in order to begin the process of ordering the Cosmos. The mind of the Ultimate God then resolved itself into Our Lord of Destiny, also known as The Demiurge. Our Lord separated the female from the male within himself, and made Our Lady of Destiny. Together they create the Powers of Light and Darkness. To balance the Light and Dark, Our Lord and Lady created the Powers of Life. In the Emptiness where the Ultimate God once was, the Lord and Lady of Chance (also known as the Abominations of Chaos) coalesced from the leftover detritus of Creation.
  2. Our Lord and Lady of Destiny turned to the Emptiness, and began ordering the spaces within it. First, they made the Perfection of the Celestial Spheres as a home for themselves, and created the Archons. From the beginning, Our Lord and Lady had the plan to eventually create the Five Peoples, so they made Heaven as a reward for the lawful, and set the Powers of Light to be its King and Queen. They made Hell as a punishment for the lawless, and set the Powers of Darkness to be its King and Queen. They made the Sublunary World to be home of living bodies, and commanded the Powers of Life to fill it with plants and animals, following the dictates of Natural Law. The Powers of Light, Darkness, and Life were also given Archons as servants. While Our Lord and Lady were busy ordering the Cosmos, however, the Abominations of Chaos invaded Hell, and corrupted a portion of it into the Whirl of Limbo. They infested Limbo with their spawn, which they called Daimons.
  3. Our Lord and Lady of Destiny created the Terrestrial Paradise to be the perfect garden where every plant and animal existed in its proper relationship to each other. It was guarded by Archons with flaming swords, to protect it from the Powers of Chance.
  4. The First Person was created and placed in the Terrestrial Paradise by Our Lord and Lady of Destiny. The First Person was made double-gendered to reflect the Ultimate God, but Our Lord and Lady always planned the eventually division into male and female.
  5. Our Lord and Lady of Destiny were alone responsible for uplifting the Dragon, and charging it to be the instructor and guardian of the First Person. The Dragon was told to prevent the First Person from eating the Apple of Division, before the proper time had come.
  6. One day the Powers of Chance lured the Dragon out of the Terrestrial Paradise. They convinced it to fly back, and give the Apple of Division to the First Person. The Dragon did so, and after eating the fruit, the First Person was split into ten People. The separation of the First Person into many People thus occurred long before its destined time.
  7. The Abominations of Chaos fomented rebellion against Our Lord and Lady of Destiny. The Lord and Lady of Light seized Heaven, and their Archons became Angels. The Lord and Lady of Darkness seized Hell, and their Achons became Devils. The Powers of Life entrenched themselves in the Corner of the Sublunary World they called the Summerland, and their Archons became the Fairies. Towards the end of the war the Daimons of Limbo invaded Hell, and when their armies were repulsed, many were left behind in the retreat. Those Daimons became the Demons of destruction.
  8. Many of the rebel Archons deserted their armies and took mortal mates. They bred the various Monsters which were had to be cast out from the Terrestrial paradise by Our Lord and Lady of Destiny.
  9. The Abominations of Chaos inspired the Five Peoples to build the Tower of Perplexity, in the vain hope that People would be able to raid the records of the Celestial Bureaucracy, and write their own fates.
  10. As punishment for their lawlessness, the Five Peoples were cast out of the Terrestrial Paradise and into the Ends of the Earth, now infested with Monsters.

The Creation of the Worlds and Five Peoples, According to THE BOOK OF DARKNESS:

  1. The Ultimate God spat out the Lord of Light, as one spits out a bit of phlegm. Then, Our Lord of Darkness was drawn forth from the Body of the Ultimate God by the self-important Lord of Light. The Lord of Light did this so Our Lord would carry him, and make himself even brighter by contrast. It is for this reason that Our Lord is also called “Light-Bearer”. The Lord of Light then insisted he wanted to create Worlds upon which he could shine, in order to glorify himself. Our Lord pointed out to the Lord of Light that if they must create Worlds, they would need other Powers. Therefore they cut the Lord of Destiny, the Lady of Chance, and the Lady of Life from the body of the Ultimate God. Our Lord, however, did most of the actual work.
  2. Our Lord of Darkness and the Lord of Light collaborated to made Heaven and the Angels, but once again, Our Lord did the bulk of the labor. The Lord of Light then told Our Lord to oversee the other Powers as they made the Celestial Spheres, Whirl of Limbo, and the Sublunary World. Finally, Our Lord made himself a beautiful palace in Hell, far more lovely than anything in Heaven. Naturally, the Lord of Light was envious of Our Lord’s strength and talent.
  3. The Lord of Light decided to claim a portion of the Earth the Lady of Life had made, filled it with examples of all the plants and animals she had created, and displayed it to the other Powers as an example of his own ingenuity and magnificence.
  4. The Lord of Light compounded a poor imitation of the Ultimate God out of animal parts, dung, and earth, and called it the First Person He then gathered together all the Powers and Angels, and made them fall down in front of his flawed creation, in order to humiliate them. Our Lord of Darkness, however, refused to bow down to the obviously imperfect First Person, which greatly angered the egotistical Lord of Light.
  5. The Lord of Light wanted the First Person to be his exclusive slave. To that end, he decided to uplift the Dragon, and make it powerful enough prevent the the other Powers from educating the First Person about the Lord of Light’s true nature.
  6. Our Lord of Darkness was outraged at the way the Powers had been disregarded and humiliated, so he told the truth about things to the Dragon, and showed him why he shouldn’t blindly obey the Lord of Light’s orders. The Dragon agreed. Our Lord gave the Apple of Knowledge to the Dragon, for the First Person to eat. When the First Person consumed the magical fruit, it realized it was simply a bundle of dirt, dung, and meat, and broke itself into ten different People. The angry Lord of Light then sent Angels to exile the Dragon from the Terrestrial Paradise, and chop it up into many different, lesser Dragons.
  7. The Lord of Light flew into a rage, and demanded that every Angel and Power swear a oath to obey him without question. Finally, our Lord of Darkness, allied with the Lord of Destiny and the Lady of Chance, led a Rebellion. The cowardly Lady of Life, however, refused to take sides, and fled to the Sublunary World. Her Angels became the Fairies. The Lord of Destiny and Lady of Chance proved to be unreliable allies, since they were as interested in defeating each other as much as fighting the Lord of Light. The Lord of Destiny retreated to the Celestial Spheres, and his Angels became the Archons. The Lady of Chance retreated to the Whirl of Limbo, and her Angels became the Daimons. Betrayed by his allies, Our Lord and his Devils were defeated and forced back to Hell, whose beauty was vandalized and ruined by the victorious Angels. Dissatisfied with the craven capitulation of Chance to Heaven, and vowing to destroy all the works of the tyrannical Lord of Light, many Daimons fled Limbo and settled in Hell as Demons.
  8. While visiting Earth to find and punish those Devils who had deserted in the battle for Heaven, Our Lord of Darkness found the wisest of all women, took her as his Queen, and made her Our Lady. Before returning to Hell, they had children who were the ancestors of the humanoid nations now unfairly despised by the Five Peoples. Also on the Earth were Angels who had been abandoned by their armies. They took mortals as spouses, and bred the Giants. The Lord of Destiny made the first Astrologer his Lady of Destiny, and took her up to the Celestial Spheres. The Lady of Chance similarly made the first bandit her Lord, and brought him to Limbo. Those Daimons who had fled to the Earth during the War in Heaven bred monstrous children from various animals, before they too returned to Limbo. The Lady of Life found the man who was most knowledgeable in the lore of Nature, and made him the Lord of Life. When the Lord of Light saw the Humanoids, Giants, and other Monsters, he sent Angels to chase them (and all the spirits) from the Terrestrial Paradise.
  9. As a final attempt to free the Five Peoples who remained in the Terrestrial Paradise, Our Lord and Lady of Darkness inspired them to build the Tower of Perplexity, which would link the worlds and enable them to travel as they willed. When the Lord of Light realized what was occurring, he sent Angels blast the Tower and kill the workmen.
  10. The Lord of Light expelled the Five Peoples from the Terrestrial Paradise, and sent them to to live in the Ends of the Earth. – where he had already exiled the Monsters. The People acquiesced to this demand, and so Our Lord and Lady of Darkness came to finally realize that the mass of them were worthless and weak, with only a few exceptions who were fit to be co-inheritors of the Worlds.

The Creation of the Worlds and Five Peoples, According to THE EPIC OF ALL LIFE:

  1. The Ultimate God was alone, and so sought to no longer be lonely. First the the God concentrated into the Empyrean, and separated itself into the opposites of Chaos and Law, Good, and Evil. Then those powers separated themselves into the Lords and Ladies of Chance, Destiny, Light, and Darkness. After the other Powers had left it, the remaining Power of the Ultimate God separated into Our Lord and Lady of Life.

  2. Where the Ultimate God once was, there was an Emptiness, in which the Lords and Ladies made spaces for themselves. The Lord and Lady of Chance made Limbo, and there created raging Fire, howling Air, rushing Water, and the Daimons. The Lord and Lady of Light made Heaven, and there created Day and the Angels. The Lord and Lady of Darkness made Hell, and there created Night and the Devils. The Lord and Lady of Destiny made the Celestial Spheres, and there created the Planets, Stars, and Archons. Our Lord and Lady of Life made the Sublunary World, and created all of Nature, as well as the Fairies to enjoy it. Originally, every kind of spirit could come and go freely in every World.

  3. The Ten Divine powers looked upon the worlds they had made, and agreed to make a center to decorate Creation. They planted a Garden in the Earth, and called it the Terrestrial Paradise. They gathered into it every variety of living thing that Our Lord and Lady of Life had made.

  4. The Divine Powers agreed to make a Person in the image of the Ultimate God they had once been. The Ladies of Chance, Destiny, Light, Darkness, and Life all gave birth to the First Person simultaneously – all five were the Mother. Like the Ultimate God had been, the First Person was both male and female.

  5. Each of the Divine Powers sent their spirits to speak to the First Person, who in turn taught the superiority of Chaos, Law, Goodness, and Evil. The Person became confused, not knowing what to believe. The Lord and Lady of Life then proposed to the other Divine Powers that the Person should have only one educator, who would teach a balanced doctrine. Since it was already the most wise and powerful beast in Paradise, the Divine Powers selected the serpent called Dragon to be the Instructor of the First Person. Each pair of Divine Powers gifted the Dragon with extraordinary abilities.
  6. The Lord and Lady of Darkness became suspicious that the Lord and Lady of Light were planning on turning both the First Person and Dragon against them. They spoke to the Dragon, and said that because it was obviously wiser and more powerful than the First Person, it should be the Ruler and Possessor of the Terrestrial Paradise. The Lady of Darkness then gave the Dragon an Apple of Malice that would cause the First Person to become many People, divided against each other. So divided, they would no longer be a threat. The Dragon then gave the trusting First Person the Apple. After falling asleep, the First Person woke up as ten people! In the forest of the Terrestrial Paradise a male and female Elf awakened. In a cave of the mountains there was now a male and female Dwarf. In a planted field awakened a male and female Halfling. In the rolling hills was a male and female Gnome. And in the bed where the First Person had first fallen asleep, a male and female Human opened their eyes.

  7. The Lord and Lady of Light demanded that Lord and Lady of Darkness explain what they had done. Instead, the Lord and Lady of Darkness immediately attacked Heaven with their army of Devils. The Powers of Chance and Destiny then accused the other of harboring secret plots, and began fighting. Our Lord and Lady of Life tried as best they could to stop the war, but the other Powers wouldn’t listen.

  8. The War devastated the spiritual worlds, and in the end resulted only in every Power retreating to their own World. However, during the fighting many spirits deserted their armies, and came to Earth. There they took mortal mates, and had monstrous children. The Angels and their spouses gave rise to the Giants. The Devils and their spouses created the various humanoids – Orcs, Goblins, Kobolds, etc. The Daimons took both people and animals as their mates, and thereby created many strange and bestial Monsters. The Lord and Lady of Destiny, incensed that there were now Monsters who not part of their original plan of Fate, sent armies of Archons to drive the creatures out of the Terrestrial Paradise. More People were accidentally killed as a result of the Archons’ battles, than from the attacks of the Monsters.

  9. As a last effort towards restoring harmony, Our Lord and Lady of Life gave the People the seed of the World Tree. The tree grew so large that its roots extended to Limbo and Hell, its trunk twisted through all the Ends and Corners of the Earth, and its branches lay in the Celestial Spheres and Heaven. But the Angels, Devils, Archons, and Daimons turned the World Tree into just a convenient means to raid each others’ worlds.

  10. Because it was no longer safe for them there, Our Lord and Lady of Life showed the Five Peoples the way out of the Terrestrial Paradise, and into the Ends of the Earth..

Note: The Epic of All Life doesn’t actually account for how the blindly destructive Demons of evil Chaos came to exist, other than insinuating that they a disease afflicting Reality.

A Brief Overview of the Worlds Beyond of Panzoasia

  1. The three Supernal Worlds are conceptually “above” the Sublunary World They consist of:
    • The Empyrean, a boundless expanse of pure light and flame generally considered to be the last echo of the Ultimate God.
    • Heaven, where the Blessed Souls of the Good reside. There are Seven Gardens of Heaven tended by the Angels.
    • The Celestial Spheres, where the Justified Souls of the Lawful reside. There are Eight Celestial Spheres administered by the Archons.
  1. The Supernal Worlds are accessible through the starry gulfs of the Astral Plane, in which float countless small Dream Worlds.
  2. The Sublunary World lies at the conceptually “center” of the Cosmos, “under” the Lunar Celestial Sphere. It consists of our Earth and material Universe, but with additional hidden dimensions called the Four Ends and Eight Corners.
  3. The Four Ends of the Earth are actually another way of referring to the Ultimate West, East, North, and South of Panzoasia.
  4. The Eight Corners of the Earth are:
    • The Vault of Air, including the cloud Kingdom of the Sylphs (and other Air Elementals).
    • The Underworld, or Chthon, including the subterranean Commonwealth of the Saganic Gnomes (and other Earth Elementals).
    • The Eternal Sea, including the underwater Commonwealth of the Undines (and other Water Elementals).
    • Fiery Purgatory, including the volcanic Kingdom of the Salamanders (and other Fire Elementals). Purgatory is also the point in the Sublunary World where the Supernal and Infernal Worlds meet, and so functions as both a way station, and place of purification, for souls and spirits on their way to other places.
    • The Pillars of the Earth, a chain of mountains so vast they pierce the sky.
    • Shadowland, including the gloomy cities of the Shadow People.
    • The Antipodes, inhabited by the upside-down Antipodeans who express sorrow with laughter, and happiness with tears.
    • The Summerland, a beautiful Otherworld of isles inhabited by both the Fairy Folk, and the souls of the Honored Ancestors who embraced harmonious Neutrality.
  1. The misty Ethereal Plane is coterminous with the Sublunary World. Becoming Ethereal enables rapid travel between the Ends and Corners of the Earth.
  2. The three Infernal Worlds are conceptually “below” the Sublunary World. They consist of:
    • Limbo, where the Lost Souls of the Chaotic reside. Limbo has an infinite number of Dwellings inhabited by the Daimons.

    • Hell, where the Damned Souls of the Evil reside. There are Seven Pits of Hell which imprison the Devils.

    • The Emptiness, an endless void once filled by the body of the Ultimate God. It is inhabited now only by incomprehensible things long exiled from the Cosmos, and expunged by the records of history.

  1. Like the Supernal Worlds, the Infernal Worlds are accessible through the Astral Plane.

(The few of you who are long term readers of this blog may recognize material adapted and altered from the “Fantasy Cosmology” series I did a few years back, as well as the “Spirits of Heaven and Hell” ebook available in the Downloads section).

Hex Maps of the Ultimate West, at Three Different Scales

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Here are three hex maps from my current “Panzoasia” campaign world for Old-School adventure role-playing*. I’m sharing them as examples for newer DMs and GMs, who may be curious about how to properly create and scale such maps. I created these maps from scratch using InkScape, but there are many useful hex mapping programs that can potentially make the job a lot easier for you.


The first map is the “Ultimate West” region of Panzoasia, broken down into 432-mile hexes. The positioning of the green hexes might seem off, but it is a deliberate attempt to make each one enclose as as rich an area for adventuring as possible.


This next map shows Hex # 9 from the 432-mile scale map above, broken down into 36-mile hexes. Remember, the scale is the distance between the centers of two adjacent hexes.


This last map shows Hex #97 from the 36-mile scale map above, broken down into 3-mile hexes. This is the area around the town of Osterm, and where the PCs from my new Campaign have begun their adventures. Notice that while the terrain type shown in the 36-mile hex is predominant among the 3-mile hexes, there are actually several other environments also present. I chose a 3-mile scale for the hexes (rather than the the more common 6-mile one) because three miles (or, one league) represents the distance a healthy person can travel over level ground on foot in one hour. Also, three miles is the approximate distance to the horizon for a person of average height standing on a plain. This means that travelers in the center of a 3-mile hex can usually see to at least the center of every surrounding hex, provided the view is not obscured – by trees, for instance.

You will notice that I have not named every village directly on this map, but simply keyed them with a single or double-letter code – for example, (A), or (AA). That’s because even in a sparsely-populated frontier land such as this there are so many small farming villages that indicating all their names would create an illegibly busy effect.

*Note: I’m currently using the 1991 D&D Rules Cyclopedia as my core rules set for adventures in the “Ultimate West” of Panzoasia, but the setting is meant to be compatible with the broad range of Old-School retro-clones, and related OSR games.

The Planetary Abodes Above Panzoasia

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And now, a little “blacklight poster” inspired, space fantasy. Because Panzoasia is meant to be an an easily-approached, all-ages setting, I’ve tried to strike a balance here between the wondrous and the inaccessibly weird. There are naturally nods to some classic tropes of pulp sci-fi.

In the present of Panzoasia, no race of the solar system knows how to build large rockets, and only the light beings of the Sun can travel from planet to planet without magic. Three hundred years into the future, however…

The Planetary Abodes at a Glance

  1. A visitor from Earth observing the sky above Panzoasia would see what appears to be the same Sun, Moon, stars, and planets as in the northern hemisphere of the world they know. Although they seem to be identical, and occupy the same positions, the Planetary Abodes of Panzoasia are more fantastical than their mundane counterparts.
  2. The Sun of Panzoasia is inhabited by super-intelligent beings of living light who dwell in palaces made of solid force, and who can freely ride sunbeams to and from their home. They communicate with each other by altering their brightness, temperature, and color.
  3. The Moon of Panzoasia is dotted with jeweled cities, and gardens of mineral flowers, made by an insectoid race of living crystal.
  4. The Red Planet (mundane Mars) is a harsh world where deserts alternate with areas of hardy vegetation that is red in color, rather than green. The Red Planet is dominated by a hermaphroditic race of short, reptilian humanoids with extremely large eyes.
  5. The Opaline Planet (mundane Mercury) has a thick atmosphere of swirling, multicolored clouds wherein float inhabited islands of fluorescent rock. Its four-armed and four-eyed people possess strikingly-colored wings with which they fly from island to island.
  6. The Blue Planet (mundane Jupiter) is an ocean world with no continents, only scattered islands. Luminescent jellyfish with strange mental powers are the dominant race.
  7. The Green Planet (mundane Venus) is covered by fragrant jungles filled with plants that are both beautiful and carnivorous. Three main races dwell there: the colorful bird-folk who live atop the trees, the flower-headed plant people who live on the ground, and the three-eyed walking serpents who inhabit subterranean cities.
  8.  The Adumbral Planet (mundane Saturn) is so cold that its surface is inhabited only by terrible, semi-organic abominations. Below the surface is a network of tunnels filled with steam-powered machinery built by hairy dwarfs with twisted and evil minds.
  9.  Each Planetary Abode is also a conduit for energy flowing from one of the Perfect Celestial Spheres ruled by the Lord and Lady of Destiny. The positions of the celestial bodies are therefore studied by astrologers hoping to discern the intended fates of mortal beings.
  10. A Tezacan astronomer has recently invented a magical lens that can transform travelers into light, and project them to and from the Planetary Abodes. The lens is mounted within a 30 foot long tube mounted atop a pyramid in the city of Huizalatl. Wizards in Corthis and Hian are experimenting with similar devices.

The Kung Fu Fighter for GROOVY Ghastly Affair

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Combining Gothic Horror and Kung Fu action might sound like a very strange mix indeed. Of course, that’s precisely what Hammer Studios did when they made “The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires” in conjunction with Shaw Brothers! And, of course, there’s also a certain later-era slayer of vampires known to regularly use kick-boxing against the undead… Accordingly, I give you the Kung Fu Fighter for GROOVY Ghastly Affair. Some Presenters may want to exclude it from their more “serious” Sagas, so this Class (along with the Empowered Person) will probably be presented as an Appendix in the eventual GROOVY Ghastly Affair Book. I thought about calling the Class by the more generic name of “Martial Artist”, but I think “Kung Fu Fighter” is simply Groovier!

Now, everybody get ready for some chop-socky terror!

KUNG FU FIGHTER

Through your devotion to the ancient martial arts of Asia, you have honed your body into a weapon. Relentless mental and physical discipline has unlocked the subtle energy of your body, known as Chi. Whether battling funky Werewolves on the mean streets of the Bronx, or Hopping Vampires in an isolated Chinese village, a Kung Fu Fighter like you is a match for any creature of the night!

Ability Adjustment: +1 Dex, +1 Wisdom
HD: d10

Kung Fu Fighter Special Abilities

DEADLY STRIKES: The punches and kicks of a Kung Fu Fighter inflict a full 1d6 points of damage (plus their Damage Bonus).

  • A Kung Fu Fighter can choose to inflict either Lethal or Nonlethal damage with their unarmed strikes.
  • At 5th Level, a Kung Fu Fighter can focus their Chi into their hand and feet. Thus they can even harm Spirits, and other creatures otherwise immune to normal weapons.
  • A Kung Fu Fighter above 5th Level can even kill a Vampyre with their bare hands, by ripping out the heart.

ARMOR CLASS BONUS: A Kung Fu Fighter that is awake and alert has an effective AC equal to their Level. This reflects their ability to dodge (or deflect) attacks from any source, including guns.

FIGHT MULTIPLE OPPONENTS: The Kung Fu Fighter can decide whether to concentrate on a single opponent in a Round, or attack multiple adversaries instead.

  • The Kung Fu Fighter can only use their Special Ability to Fight Multiple Opponents when fighting unarmed, or with a Kung Fu Weapon*.
  • The number of opponents a Kung Fu Fighter can potentially attack per Round is equal to their Level plus 1, but no single opponent can be attacked more than once.
  • If all their opponents for that Round are lower Level than the Kung Fu Fighter, the Kung Fu Fighter automatically gains Initiative.
  • The Kung Fu Fighter does not apply their Damage Bonus when they Fight Multiple Opponents.

FLYING KICK (OR PUNCH): If the Kung Fu Fighter has at least 10 feet of free space to run, they can attempt a Flying Kick (or Punch).

  • The Kung Fu Fighter must first make a Dexterity Check (with a +1 Bonus), and then a normal Attack Check.
  • If successful, the Kung Fu Fighter inflicts double damage (1d6 + Damage Bonus, times 2).
  • Whether or not the Flying Kick (or Punch) is successful, the Kung Fu Fighter cannot attack the next Round (but can move or Dodge).
  • If attempted, setting up and executing a Flying Kick (or Punch) is the only action a Kung Fu Fighter can take that Round.

ACROBATICS (+1): A Kung Fu Fighter receives a +1 Bonus on all Ability Checks involving balancing, jumping, tumbling, and running. Their Speed is effectively 10 when engaged in a Chase.

Kung Fu Fighter Weaknesses

CODE OF HONOR: The Player should make a list of eight rules that their Kung Fu Fighter lives by.

  • Every time the character violates a tenant from their Code of Honor, they temporarily lose a random Special Ability. This loss endures until the violation can be rectified.
  • For example, if the Kung Fu Fighter must be brave, but showed cowardice, they must thereafter display exceptional courage in a life-threatening situation. If they must be charitable, but failed to help the unfortunate, they must find a way to thereafter aid the poor. If they must obey their Teacher, but defied them in some way, then the Kung Fu Fighter must complete whatever quest the Teacher decides is appropriate.

DISDAINS MODERN WEAPONS: A Kung Fu fighter only gets their Damage Bonus when fighting unarmed, or with Kung Fu Weapons*. A Kung Fu Fighter could use a revolver if needed, but will it only inflict the base damage of 1d6.

Kung Fu Fighter Advancement Table

Experience Points

Level

Hit Dice

Damage Bonus

0

1

1d10

+1

10

2

2d10

+2

14

3

3d10

+3

18

4

4d10

+4

22

5

5d10

+5

26

6

6d10

+6

30

7

7d10

+7

34

8

8d10

+8

38

9

9d10

+9

42

10

10d10

+10

The Player of a Kung Fu Fighter can specify an real-world martial art for their character to practice, but doesn’t really need to. Although the Class is called “Kung Fu Fighter”, the character might actually fight using Karate, Tae Kwon Do, or another style that is not technically “Kung Fu”. In any event, the Kung Fu Fighter uses the kind of martial arts seen in movies (and TV shows) of the 1960s and 70s. If the Presenter can play “whooshing” “cracking”, and “screaming” sound effects (like those in classic Hong Kong martial arts films) when Kung Fu Fighters are in combat, so much the better. It’s probably taking things too far, however, to portray Kung Fu Fighters speaking out of sync with their lips!

A Typical Code of Honor for a Kung Fu Fighter

  1. Obey my Teacher.
  2. Honor the name of the Buddha.
  3. Defeat the ancestral enemies of my Teacher and lineage.
  4. Always fight face-to-face with honor, and never attack an unsuspecting enemy.
  5. Be charitable to the poor.
  6. Always tell the truth.
  7. Use my Kung Fu to defend the weak.
  8. Do not teach the secrets of Kung Fu to an evildoer.

* Kung Fu Weapons

The term “Kung Fu Weapons” includes the Chinese Sword, Katana, Spear, Guandao, Hatchet, Staff, Chain Whip, Ji, Meteor Hammer, Three-Section Staff, Deer Horn Knives, Emei Daggers, Hook Swords, Butterfly Sword, Wind and Fire Wheels, Nunchaku, Tonfa, Sai, Kama, Kunai, Shuriken, and all similar weapons associated with Asian martial arts styles.