Thursday, October 19, 2017

1d20 Hordes of Monstrous Humanoids

From Blood Bowl 2

  1. The last homo diluvii striking out in desperate, futile raids against the dominance of homo sapiens. They cannot fully comprehend what is happening to them.
  2. Creatures born of battlefield mud under a full moon, wearing tattered armor and wielding rusted blades. Marching songs like dirges on the riverbanks.
  3. Wild pigs that gained a taste for man’s flesh, and with it, a taste of man’s power. They have learned cruelty for its own sake.
  4. Eugenic eunuchs, educated by the finest imperial tutors and refined by years of courtly training. Their legions keep impeccable records of the dead and tallies of the maimed, to be discussed over immaculate tea ceremonies.
  5. An ancient army of men reduced to pallid corpse-eaters. They were cursed to wage their war forever by the wizard they cast down from his keep.
  6. Fleshy-faced hirsutes from the deep jungles. They do not wish to shed blood, but they know they must; if they did not, their gods would lack the vital essence required to fight off the serpents from beyond the stars that seek to devour all the world.
  7. Television heads, filled with static and shriveled and seizing black worms.
  8. Humans with a variant strain of toxoplasmosis guiding their sword-hands. They worship cats, and sacrifice their fellow man in exchange for feline favor. The cats know this, and approve of it.
  9. Men changed utterly under the open sky of the tundra. They have carved out chunks of their own frontal lobes; Only by returning to apes, they believe, may we save the world from the decadence of civilization.
  10. Red chitin armor, jaws that split into a dozen toothy fingers, black eyes the size of fists, weapons that shoot streams of fire. Anachronistic and illogical, the result of someone in the future changing the past.
  11. Skin like a raw bruise, great vents spitting steam, misshapen limbs out of alignment. Born psychically from anger and hate.
  12. Demons like harlequins, or the other way around. Herds cavort across the savanna alongside their elephantine brood-mothers.
  13. Obsidian bodies, bladelike and ever-fracturing. Mute beyond a distant thrum. They just want to give you a hug and tell you everything is going to be okay. They will not be dissuaded.
  14. Disenfranchised youth, radicalized salarymen, sportsball hooligans.
  15. Iron-masked men descending from floating castles. Can only seem to communicate through grunts and screams. Wear fine gold and blue silks and wield silver swords.
  16. Wasteland mutants, radioactive oozes leaking from deformed bodies. They are willing to trade for resources, but they won’t take no to an answer. Survival trumps diplomacy.
  17. Yellow-green skin pulled too tight over their bones, moving in reverse time: running backwards at you at full speed, coming from a destination they must reach with all haste.
  18. Biological war machine, the castaway of an interstellar war. Builders long dead, keeps building soldiers, can’t turn itself off.
  19. Giant, tusked hermaphrodites with pangolin shells. March under white flags. Will not fight, will just stamp in and take what they want.
  20. Bull-footed, eagle-winged, lion-maned, man-faced. Fire-wreathed soldiers sent to cull the sinful. Gods are confused, no one asked for this.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dungeon Hobo Slang

 
From the Hobo Museum of Britt, Iowa

Anderson – A paladin

Angel – A soft bed, a warm meal, or a hot bath

Beaky – A doctor

Chrit – A crippling injury

Devil gold – Bad money or a bad deal; treasure not worth the cost of getting it

Dice, the – Fate, luck, odds of success

Dinnercan – A suit of armor or a kettle made of such; a knight (derogatory)

Dungeon Pie – Pancakes consisting of acorn or corn flour, filled with meat (usually monster) and whatever spices can be gathered

Faffer and Connie – Nicknames for people from afar; barbarians, people from outside of civilization.

Freshwater – A new hobo

Funhouse – A wizard’s abode; a high-chaos, high-magic dungeon

Gary / Dave – Old, successful hobo. Wise, respected by his peers. A made man. (Alt: Gale / Dani)

Gob – A gag, a pun, a joke; an ugly or foolish person (affectionate)

Golden Rosie – The kind of prostitute you boil up for (alt: Golden Roy)

Gone to see Gary – To retire in wealth; to die, euphemistically 

Gran-Gran – A witch or headwoman

Grog – Old, experienced hobo. A grumbler, a traditionalist, often hidebound. Often used in jest.

Hack – The solution to a problem; sharing or crafting equipment

Handyman – A cleric

Hatjob – A wizard; a task involving or requiring magic

Hidenbite – A mimic

Ick – An ooze or slime

Lankh, the – A city, civilization (alt: the Ankh)

Lily-White Boys – Elves (Singular: Green-ears)

Lions and Hearts – A deck of cards or other game set (usually chess)

Meatbox – A notoriously deadly dungeon.

Meshi / Meshy – The communal mulligan pot. Monster stew. (alt: mess, mesh)

Molefool – A greedy hobo who delved too deep

Mousehole – A crawlspace

Mouser – A thief

Old Goose – A dragon

Post, the – A listing of services a hobo can offer. Usually symbol-based. Often painted on shields, printed in promotional pamphlets, or sewn into clothing. 

Razortip – A hobo gone bad; a murderer, thief, cheat, rapist, etc.

Red Hat / White Hat – The two classical dungeon hobo trades. Red Hats are more exploratory and combat-oriented, while White Hats are more about and offer more specialized skillsets. Well-off hobos will often carry their tools in a wooden box of the appropriate color, as further advertisement.

Red Stamp – A sign indicating that the hobo is permitted by local authority to certain jobs that will kill men.

Roughers – Cannibals, mutants, etc.

Scarlinik – Serpentman

Scrap Trick – An unorthodox solution to a problem; a moment of genius or madness

SkinnerbookA lawyer, someone who follows someone else’s rules

Spook – A minor undead, of the sort often commanded by Spooky Sam

Spooky Sam – A necromancer, lich, or other powerful monster

Stickerpig – A trap.

Strong Paul – A dwarf

Tatertop – A halfling

Tenner – A ten foot pole

Won the fiddle – Made out with a fortune, usually against a crooked patron, by cunning and guile

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

50 Dungeon Hobo Signs

Click for full size
I threw in some real hobo signs to go along with the dungeon-specific ones, since the basic needs of an itinerant worker are pretty stable across the board.

In-game, I'd say that any previously-delved dungeon will have some of these carved or drawn on the walls. Some might be misleading, some might be no longer accurate, but they should be true enough that they can be an aid to players' navigation and help them in making choices. Compare "there are passages to the north and west" to "north passage is marked 'ooze territory / safe campsite'. west is marked 'disabled trap / monsters can be reasoned with / don't look behind you'".

They're pretty helpful on the DM side too if you need quick ideas for rooms.

Monday, October 9, 2017

It's October 9th

Someone had to.
Festivities
  1. Tag-team axe-juggling
  2. Speed sideburn-braiding
  3. Horniest helmet competition
  4. Miss Chainmail shieldmaiden pageant
  5. Rocket ski-jumping
  6. The mead flows
  7. Catch-the-greased-and-angry-wild-boar
  8. 300-meter boat-carry
  9. Troll-kissing booth
  10. Flyting tournament
  11. Whale-wrestling
  12. Oh shit, it’s Grendel
Who Killed Whose Brother, Again?
  1. Skorri the Big killed Skeggi Half-Hand over a pretty girl.
  2. Gizurr Ice-Breaker killed Hrafn Horse-Lord while deep in his cups.
  3. Gunnlaug Fire-Braid killed Flosi Nose-Picker by accident.
  4. Thengirr the Bear killed Vulbrandr the Puke over an insult.
  5. Blue Vigfuss killed Ari Arm-Breaker over a stolen goat.
  6. Hallthora Never-Kissed killed Jolly Thorgils over a theological dispute regarding the relation between the Old Gods and the New.
How Much Mead has Everyone Drunk?
  1. Lots of mead
  2. Copious quantities of mead
  3. Gods, that's a lot of mead
Is Loki Screwing Around?
  1. Yes
  2. Absolutely
How is Loki Screwing Around?
  1. Turned into a goat, farts loudly during important conversations.
  2. Stole all the lutefisk from the shrine of the Lutefisk God.
  3. Released the ice giants. Again.
  4. Annoying everyone with offers of timeshares in "Green Land".
  5. Slipped the ravens a speedball
  6. Cheating at hnefatafl.
  7. Potentially angered a volcano.
  8. Peeking in the women's hot spring.
  9. Decided to hold the Rainbow Bridge Pride Parade on the exact same day despite everyone agreeing eight months ago that it was going to be the next weekend.
  10. Now there are two of him.
from Vinland Saga

Friday, October 6, 2017

The HAUL Reviews: Hubris




Mike Evan’s Hubris is a book about horrible people living in a horrible world. It’s bloody, grody, dark, deadly, brimming with grimy effluvia, patently absurd, and a terrific piece of RPG writing.

(I recommend queuing up the LISA: The Painful / Joyful soundtrack at this point. I think it fits quite nicely.)

First, the setting: It’s a blast. A crashing chaos that manages to form a coherence of its own terms by finding an image / voice / theme, knotting everything up, and running with it. A strong current of black humor (wet and American, rather than dry and British) maintains a thematic throughline throughout the book. Things are horrible in Hubris, and the land is filled with horrible people, but it revels in its horribleness rather than trying to persuade the reader that it is Incredibly Serious Stuff.

There’s a giant robotic dog with a city on its back. Every single location sounds like the name of a high concept metal album (ex: Slavering Maw of the Heathen Below, Metallic Fortress of End Times, etc.) The most pleasant god to deal with is literally called the Stillborn Unwanted Child. The magical item table can come up with things like “Dehydrated Bugle of the Lamentable Baboon”. There’s a spell that turns people into furniture. On and on it goes: there’s nothing boring in this book, nothing wasted. I know exactly as much about Hubris as I need to know, and everything I learn is something I can use.

I’d like to propose a sibling to “keep it simple, stupid”, and that is “make it usable, dingus”. Hubris embodies both with flying colors. Everyone else (read: people outside the DIY-sphere) should take note: I have spent FAR too much money on RPGs that buried all their good ideas beneath a godawful puzzlebox of wonky mechanics and overwrought lore.

This segues into the second part of the review, which is the design beneath the setting: the book is useful. It’s possibly even too useful. It works as a single work, but twice as brilliant is the ability to open to a random page and instantly find some way to use what you find there. Pull out a spell, a god, a location, a monster., a class, a background, a race, whatever. The random tables are potent and fast and have the same punch as the rest of the book.

My favorite piece of all is the addition of “Lay of the Land” tables. A simple enough concept (“here is what is in that hex, as an alternative to a direct encounter”), but beautiful in its simplicity and effectiveness. Anything the characters run into on the Lay of the Land table could be turned into an encounter, a quest hook, or even just a memorable image-moment. It’s all about what you see, rather than what you have to stab, and so wading through hex after hex of intractable swamp doesn’t have to be boring. You can just admire the scenery as the disease-carrying mosquitoes eat you alive.

It’s a hell of a ride, and for my part I say that the Ennie was well deserved.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Magical Sewers

The Crossness pumping station
 
O Cloacina, Goddess of this place,
Look on thy suppliants with a smiling face
Soft, yet cohesive let their offerings flow
Not rashly swift nor insolently slow.

People out in the countryside have a privy out back, with last year’s almanac nailed to the wall. A distant king might be proud of the hot water running through the lead pipes of his palace. Bears shit in the woods.

They are barbarians and fools, the lot of them. Civilization – real, honest-to-gods civilization – is built upon the porcelain back of the Merde Grande.

The Building of a Merde Grande

The creation of a modern magical sewer is a work-intensive process, but the methods of Dr. P. T. Krappier have remained generally unchanged since their introduction over a century ago.

First, a live donjon must be acquired. Most cities of healthy size (and many of unhealthy size) have at least one spare keep going unused. If the city donjon has died, it is possible (though often prohibitively expensive) to transplant one from the wilderness, though those structures have an even higher chance of being long dead or having gone to rot.

Second, the donjon is refurbished (for they are often ruined even if still alive) and consecrated to Cloacina. This change of metaphysical nature will shift the donjon’s root system into something viable for the movement and processing of waste. This was, and in many ways still is, a revolutionary technique; wizards that are willing to dabble in the affairs and powers of the gods of man are few in number, and gods that are willing to put up with wizards are just as rare.

Third, surveyors and excavators will disperse throughout the city, planting markers that will attract the donjon’s roots. Once the major points have been set up, citizens can purchase minor markers for their own dwellings for relatively low cost.

Fourth, the combined workforce of priests and wizards will populate the sewer-donjon with the necessary enchantments, constructs, and beings for it to function: animated water, enchanted pumps, domesticated oozes, wards against gas buildup and clogging, waste-eating beasts, bacteria cultures. After the floodgates are opened their duties will be overseeing and maintaining the Grande.

The end of all this is threefold:
  • A complex maze of layered, tangled additions and recursive expansions exists beneath the feet of thousands of people who ignore the fact that it’s there.
  • An incredibly important, powerful, and wealthy faction that can potentially bring a city to its knees is always sitting there behind the scenes.
  • Easy access to hot running water and toilet paper.
Hellboy on the left, Pokemon Sage on the right

Cloacina, the Cleanser

Cloacina is the doer of dirty deeds (not always dirt cheap). Her image and variants thereof, in icon and idol, are common throughout the world. In places where her sewers have not reached, she tends towards her classic patronage of cleanliness, aqueducts and the sexual act in marriage.

She is immensely popular. An approachable, down-to-earth personality does a great deal, but more important is that Cloacina doesn’t take anyone’s shit. She doesn’t put up with shit. Cloacina deals with shit. Cloacina gets shit done.

Most importantly, Cloacina has the skill, know-how, and immaculate, infinite patience to deal with your shit.

Yes, even that.

When the toilet is clogged, you don’t call on thunder gods. When there’s intestinal distress, you don’t go asking for the god of war. When you hit up the wrong curry stand and have lived to regret it, it is Cloacina that you seek.

She’s a practical goddess, for practical problems.

Nightsoil Priests and Shitwizards

The clergy of Cloacina are difficult to distinguish from academic wizards, and the opposite remains true. The two factions have been forced to work together for so long that they have more or less merged to the point of interchangeability.

They are integral to society, and they know it. Unlike the overwhelming majority of wizards, they demonstrate little desire to lord it over other people – they’re important by default, there’s nothing to prove. Everyone knows it already.

Plus, it’s difficult to be full of shit when you’re dealing with everyone else’s.

Nightsoil priests and shitwizards are easily discernible by their garb, as follows.
  • White jumpsuit marked with sigils of protection against poison and disease.
  • Images or samples of Outhouse Mrytle, a plant sacred to Cloacina
  • Heavy rubberized gloves and boots, the latter of which are often part of overalls or hip waders.
  • A hood (in the case of priests) or a pointed hat with brim (in the case of wizards), with attached mask and goggles in the case of poisonous fumes.

They also instinctively know how to navigate the sewers without getting lost, no matter the city.

The actual Cloaca Maxima

Random Encounters in the Sewers

Sewers, like all donjon-derived environments, tend to develop their own niche ecosystems. Each city’s sewer will be different, but certain creatures can be found nearly everywhere.

  1. Rat-faced Bastards A non-indicative name, as they are actually rats with the face of men. They are disgusting creatures, can grow up to the size of a dog, and breed excessively. It’s a common prank for drunkards to give one of their friends a sword and send him down collecting rat tails.
  2. Alkahest Ooze The strongest of the varieties of janitorial slimes employed in the sewers. They are called in to clean out clogs, undo blockages, and have a tendency to dissolve almost anything in their path. Hedge alchemists will pay a shipload for samples, as the creation of alkahest is guild property.
  3. Methane-Eater Little gasbag creatures that glow with a faint phosphorescence. They are harmless, but a good indicator that the air in a region might be dangerous to breathe.
  4. Cloagator There are, in fact, alligators that live in the sewers, feeding on blind fish and wayward adventurers. Scraggle-feathered birds with hooked beaks pick shitshrimp out of their teeth. The lack of decent food has made them astoundingly patient, and terribly emaciated.
  5. Merde-morloc – It’s very easy to get lost in the Grande, and these unfortunates have made the best of it. Sure, it’s best not to ask what they eat or how they entertain themselves, but just because they’re pallid inbreds doesn’t mean that they’re evil. Often cannibalistic, but then again, who isn’t sometimes?
  6. Cleaner Crabs Colonies of these hardened crustaceans feed on the slime molds and bacterial mats that coat the walls of older sections of the Grande.
  7. Maintenance Zombies Nothing much to see here, just the boys from the 509 Local. Sometimes accompanied by a priest or wizard on their rounds.
  8. Digesticative MawIt has to go somewhere, doesn't it? Processed waste is excreted on the surface.
  9. Fatberg An ambulatory mass of hair, grease, feces, used condoms, and the occasional corpse. Tend to weigh dozens to hundreds of tons. Always hungry for more.
  10. Sewer-stalker Stiltlike legs and claws like carving knives, eyes bugging out of their sockets as if ready to bursting and a crook-hooked beak. Runs too fast, for something that never seems able to take a steady step. A distant figure at the end of the tunnel, a moment in the light, then it runs.
  11. Someone who isn’t supposed to be thereThe sewers are a good place for bad people.
  12. THE BULLWORM It fills the entire tunnel with its bulk. Coming out of nowhere, going into nothing, an ouroboros with no destination but the endless crawl through the dark.

Traveling in the Merde Grande

When using the Grande as a means of transit between surface locations, treat it as a wilderness environment instead of a dungeon. Random encounters happen, people can get lost, but you don’t need the room-by room breakdown.

If the players do get lost, there is a 1-in-6 chance of discovering an exit. This will, of course, be in a completely different district of the city, but it will be an exit.

It is entirely possible for the roots of the Merde Grande to go too deep. Feel free to break out the Veins of the Earth here.

A pool at Hearst Castle

Shitwizard Spells

Honey Pot
R: 30’ T: Area D: Indefinite
Cleans the area of blood, feces, ooze, slime, grime, gristle, gunk, rust, dust, detritus and effluvia, storing it in an enchanted jar or other sealed container. This container can store [dice] uses of this spell before it can be used no further. The jar can be thrown as a grenade, doing [dice]d6 damage and spraying its contents everywhere.

Cleaning House
R: Sight T: [dice] persons D: Instant
The target is cured of disease, but must succeed on a CON or Poison save. On failure they will be cured by violent expulsion and take a -2 penalty to all checks until the next morning.

Unblock the Path
R: Touch T: Material D: 1 hour ÷ [sum]
A material obstruction is removed from a path, passage, or doorway. This takes 1 hour ÷ [sum] and dispersing the matter makes significant noise.

Fertilize
R: 10’ square T: Plants within AOE D: Indefinite
Plants within the effected area grow at an unnatural rate. Crops mature in minutes, trees grow gigantic, plant-based creatures gain [dice] HD.

Gasmask
R: Touch T: Piece of cloth D: [dice] hours
When held over the mouth, the affected material provides immunity to airborne toxins.

Rites of Cleansing
R: Touch T: Person D: [dice] charges
Target gains advantage on saves against poison, possession, and disease.

Drain Snake
R: N/A T: Rope D: [dice] x5 minutes
Conjures an animated rope of [sum] x10 feet. 50% chance of being a tapeworm.

Dowsing
R: ½ mile T: Self D: 1 hour
Target can find a lost item within the sewers with [dice]-in-6 odds. Requires another item owned by the same person to work.


(The poem up top is traditionally credited to Lord Byron, though there's no hard evidence for that.)



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Orca

By Aaron Blaise

Queen of the Black Waves and White Whales. Lady Leviathan. Mistress of the Deep Places. Orca collects titles like barnacles. Her reign is unquestioned and unchallenged by god or man, and has been as long as the stones can remember. Smart men fear her, wise men respect her, and fools come to learn why.

Orca is like an old queen cat: Her house, her rules. Follow the rules, and she doesn’t much care. Bring a petition forward and she might listen, but she probably won’t. Break the rules and she will suddenly care a whole lot.

The first rule of her house: dead of the northern seas are hers by right.

Sailors in the north pay their souls to Orca in advance: a measure each of blood, oil, and ambergris before each season begins. With the payment made, a man might ply the queen’s territory in her good graces until his heart is content and his purse is full. When he dies (and each of them shall die – the good graces of the Queen will protect them only from her anger, not her apathy), he shall be taken down beneath the waters to the Queen’s cold, black domain and join her legions of dead. If a sworn man dies upon land, his body must be returned to the sea by the night after next to uphold his part.

It’s a fair enough trade as anyone can tell you; A man can provide a comfortable living for his family on a whaler’s income, and Orca’s shade of undeath is not particularly dreadful in comparison to others.

Those who forgo paying the cost of their souls up-front pay with their lives later. Either Orca’s servants will hunt them down, or they will be killed and offered up to her by more sensible people. Orca is not above sending an entire nor’easter to claim a single man, so a little human sacrifice is not too great of a moral conundrum for those in the hard-bitten north.

Someone foolish enough to cross Orca must have a death wish, after all.

While other oceans have a great many rulers, any competition Orca may have had was long gone by the time man settled in the north. Since no power has stepped forth to claim they were exiled, it is safe to presume death.

by Nonparanoid

The Illhveli

Orca has four children, the illhveli. Unlike their mother, the hell-whales are not so apathetic towards mankind, and act with gleeful cruelty towards ships in their path. Orca provides no protection to her sworn men, but likewise she provides nothing for her wayward sons if some inspiring men wish to hunt them down. So far, none have succeeded, and many have been driven mad in the attempt.

The illhveli are:

Keel-Breaker Oldest and wisest. White like snow. Shark-tooth necklace. Stone-cold killer. Willing to attack the shoreline.

Squid-MasherLonesome and bleak. Dives deep, returns with trophies. Wears a mantle upon his head like a bishop’s miter, tentacles tied under his chin. Believes himself to be mother’s favorite.

Scar-Bearer – Old wounds like a net of knotted ropes. Teeth broken on rudders, a crown of shattered harpoons. Wildest of the four.

Biter Youngest by far. Vicious and condescending when alone, cowardly and submissive when in the presence of his brothers.

from Darkest Dungeon

The Dread and Dead Servants of Orca

Worms – The body of a hagfish, the head of a man. This is the punishment for not paying the proper respect. They will eat fish shit forever.

Dregs – The souls of those who have reneged on their oath and were not given to the sea by night after next. Shattered bones, bodies half-buried in silt. Movement is possible, but only with incredible pain. Their graying guts are bloated with burrowing Worms.

Draugr – A sworn man of Orca. Pale hair floating in a ghostly halo. Flesh gone white and doughy, but strong as stone. Barnacle armor. Those who die aboard ship are marked with a tarred club and a sailcloth robe: those who drown are tinged a royal blue and carry stones.

Beyond the dead of the northern seas, Orca is served by a motley array of other beings: leopard-selkies, darkwater nymphs, rusalka, bergmen, frilled serpents, great albatrosses.

by davesrightmind

The Black Amazons

Orca’s cult is maintained by the black amazons of the far north. Few other humans will worship her, in the same way that the sight of a man with a sword is rarely a reason to light incense and chant litanies.

The black amazons are still human, despite the vast differences in appearance: they stand around eight or nine feet tall, with a broad build and protective layer of blubber. Their skin is jet black and hairless, with white upon the abdomen and flanks. Their noses are smoothed down and protrude only a little. To the unskilled eye it is difficult to determine that they are female at all.

The black amazons raid settlements across the north by both land and sea, seeking honor, tribute, and wives. Their souls are given over to Orca from their conception, and as part of her blessing they are returned in the form of ambergris eggs, ready to be incubated and reincarnated. With no fear of death so long as their mistress lives, the amazons throw themselves into combat with songs of black humor.

Men are rare among the black amazons – animic leftovers that occasionally resurface in the eggs, with a slightly higher but still slight chance when hatched by another amazon. Those that are born are sickly albinos rarely surviving birth or the years to follow. Those that do manage to survive are made eunuch-priests, who handle interactions with the dead and Orca’s other servants. Every need and desire of theirs is met, but they are not permitted outside of their people’s strongholds. Many live from birth to death within the same temple chambers, never stepping outside.

Captives taken in raids are treated relatively well (by enslavement standards – we’re still talking about “don’t damage your property” as opposed to “people who aren’t us have the right to not be enslaved by us”), but the tradition paints them as a threat to all but a few neighbors.

However, the amazonian concept of battle-cost acts in the favor of those who are victim to their wars: with the loss of life a temporary setback, wars are fought for material goods, and may be ended when one side pays the other a mutually-agreed-upon amount. This is a lopsided trade when fighting against non-amazons (as you will still be down however many men are killed), but a spirited defense might see captives released and supply stores returned. Things get complicated when the amazon tribe in question has already paid a town’s booty to another tribe before a second round of combat. (The tale of Utte Hamvardr is a good illustrative point here, as he had to fight his way through five amazonian tribes to recover his wife)

Outside of war, the black amazons are known for fermented fish snacks, elaborately-woven carpets, comedic bardic traditions, bear-boxing, and a sleek breed of landwhale called the shumaoo.

The black amazons name themselves the dhorch’maeh, the empire of Darvatius named them the orcinae, and in much of the world now they are called by a twice-removed mispronunciation: orcs.

A final note

Drunken whalers in Tin Jacob’s Town claim that she was once married to Mundo the Seal. Mundo says it's true, but he's a lying bastard. He's also always honest. Asking Orca about it is considered a bad idea.