Another minipost collection.
Commedia del Arte del Donjoniers
The stock characters of traveling commedia plays. (CosmicOrrery told me to do this.)
- The Fighter - The typical lead. Oblivious-to-danger and overly showy do-gooder.
- The Thief - Best friend and confidant of the Fighter. Greedy, lustful, and eternally in debt.
- The Cleric - A wandering preacher. Holier-than-thou attitude undercut by constant gluttony and lust played for laughs (They never catch the irony).
- The Wizard - Pompous, inept, egomaniacal, always tries to solve the problem first (but makes it worse)
- The Barbarian - The foreigner, constantly misunderstanding words and customs; framed as comedy relief, is actually the level-headed one (that no one listens to until the end.)
- The Elf - The preening noble who only gets involved because they are cast out from their family. Lightens up considerably when drunk,
- The Dwarf - A habitual drunk, stubborn and garrulous. Hopelessly in love with the Elf, hates this state of affairs.
- The Halfling - The country bumpkin who gets dragged along in the plot and is always trying and failing to escape.
More Lost Media
It's a dusty VHS tape. No label. Generic box. Someone wrote on it in permanent marker but the handwriting is indiscernible.
Put it in the VCR, watch the static band cascade down a black screen before an image appears.
There is a car traveling down an empty stretch of desert highway. The sun has set, but the light has not yet left the sky - a faint wash of pink-orange against sinks into the background, silhouetting wind turbines and wind-sculpted bluffs. The edges are deepening blue. Muted music, piano with a back-beat, pours out of the speakers. The dim green glow of dashboard lights light up the lines of the driver's face. The four other women are all asleep, crowded together among fast food bags, the scattered remnants of a first aid kit and duffels with guns poking out from the zippers. Ammo cartridges are stuffed into cupholders.
Driver's Seat: Black. Deep blue eyes. Red hair, shorn down to fuzz. Arms are sleeved with tattoos of sigil circles.
Passenger's Seat: Enormous. Thick black dreadlocks. Shirtless: chest is covered in bandages, medical tape, gauze pads, smears of antiseptic ointment. Tattoo of a snarling demon face on her stomach.
Rear Driver: Poofy brown hair. Thin rectangular glasses with bottom-half frames. Chainmail; white tabard with a vertical red stripe. A circular seal written in theban on the left. Mace sits upright in the crook of her arm.
Rear Passenger: Lanky. Long, tangled, dirty blonde hair. Torn jeans. Black t-shirt with circular red symbol (Save point from Silent Hill 3 - ed.) Rubber rottweiler mask in her lap.Rear Middle: Short. Glasses. Red hijab. Sweatshirt with out of context hentai panels printed on it.
"Hey," the driver says. She's keeping her eyes on the road, but you know she's talking to you. "Little bird told me you needed some help. Glad you reached out. You're not alone out there. I know it doesn't feel like it, and it's hard to believe, but it's true. Just hang in there."
She pauses, and there is only the music and the engine for a moment.
"There's a foreclosed house right next to the lot where the Perkins used to be. The storm cellar is locked but your key will fit. Hang tight in there until someone comes to get you. Help yourself to whatever is in the pantry. Don't open up for anyone unless they call you by your middle name, especially if they say that they know us. We'll try to meet up with you soon as we can."
The camera shifts back to outside the car, stationary this time, and its tail-lights and song fade off into the distance as the screen dissolves into static.
*Sumerian narrative following the plot beats of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, now featuring the copper merchant Ea-Nasir who is visited by the mušḫuššu, the lamassu, and finally the demon Asag, who attempt to encourage the merchant to give up his wicked and avaricious ways, and so avoid terrible punishment by the gods both in life and in the underworld. In noted divergence from the source text, Ea-Nasir learns absolutely nothing about the meaning of Christmas, kicks the spirits out of his house, and ends the narrative by revealing his collected hoard of complaint tablets from dissatisfied customers.
US War Crime Trials Tapes 134-146 - 12 corroded VHS tapes containing footage of war crimes trails held against members of the George H.W. Bush and Obama administrations at The Hague, as well as multiple members of United States congress in office between 2002-2011. Tape 146 cuts off just as former vice president Dick Cheney is taking the stand, which likely explains why the tape was labeled as "fucking blueballs".
Later than they were before because I accidentally deleted the draft.
Hell + Artifact
Hell is a state of being trapped inside one's head. The senses cannot extend past the skull, and the imprisoned is beset by constant fears and phantasms drawn up from the subconscious. Hell-bound are considered a variety of zoanthrope - the body acts according to its animal instincts, severed from the rational mind.
Spirits bound in hellstates can be A) freed, providing (horrifically traumatized) ghosts B) interrogated C) used to focus magic or D) used to run simulations. Three of these four are absolutely monstrous.
Swirling Rainbow Vortice + Quirky Magic Item
A washing machine whose depthless drum is a resplendent maelstrom of color. Clothing placed within will by dyed and granted a magical effect (ordinary clothing only, one piece per user)
- Red - Observers believe you to be covered in blood.
- Orange - You smell very, very strongly of citrus.
- Yellow - You give off a very soft light.
- Green - You track dirt everywhere, moss grows on you, you can speak with plants.
- Blue - You can breathe in water, but lose all ability to swim or float.
- Indigo - You gain nightvision, but also "horrible-ghost-vision".
- Violet - Observers believe you are royalty, for good and for ill.
Goblins + Table
- Sphinx cat
- Weird bat
- Felt puppet
- Bog Tribe
- Crypt Tribe
- Victorian Urchin Tribe
- Market Tribe
- Volcano Tribe
- Food Truck Tribe
(I wrote this for a friend some years ago, found it in my drafts)
Dwarves are born of the earth, of the Molten Womb deep below the mountains. Their bones are of stone, their hearts of magma. They are older than gods, older than beasts, older than the first proteins to emerge from the acidic muck, as old as the cooling crust of the world itself.
The typical dwarf operates on geological time-scales. The simple act of greeting one another might take millennia. This makes it exceptionally difficult for a dwarf and anyone of any other species to have any sort of meaningful contact, barring magical interference. Those dwarfs that do interact with other races on a regular basis are, by necessity, “sped up” - at lower temperatures, their silicon-crystal nervous systems conduct electricity more efficiently. At magical temperatures approaching absolute zero, they can live at speeds roughly equivalent to human beings.
The source of these enchantments is fuzzy. Some blame gods, some blame wizards with nothing better to do, some say it is an offshoot of the dwarves themselves.
Dwarves do not die. They erode. Wind and water and time do their toil, but the stuff of their bodies remains and might be reshaped. The dwarvish sense of self reflects this – what it is now is their what it was before, or what it will be.
A Note on Appearance
Dwarves as they are generally known are stocky humanoids between 3 and 5 feet tall, on average. They are neither male nor female, and appear to be roughly carved from their parent rock. Their featureless heads are wreathed in halos of frozen crystal – mostly water, but close to the surface it is a latticed film of metalicized oxygen and nitrogen.
But this is only a minority population of dwarves – the majority are often quite larger, are rarely humanoid, and are often confused for nearby buttes.
A Note on Etymology
“Dwarf” is a clumsy and ill fitting term for these beings, being a Westron misconstruction of the Ghaztlani “Dorof” (“one who lives inside a mountain”), but as they have no name for themselves, it shall be used.
Three Varieties of Dwarves
Igneous dwarves are young and still cooling. Their insides are a molten mass, their shells are rough and ragged. By dwarf standards, they are quick and volatile. Eventually, their hearts will cool, and after a few more millennia they will fall asleep.
Sedimentary dwarves are formed at incredible pressures under the ocean, from the ground-down bodies of igneous dwarves. These are the common mountain dwarves (as they have emerged from the mountains that used to be sea floors). Sedimentary dwarves are ancient and fastidious, and set dwarf standards.
Metamorphic dwarves were once dwarves of other varieties, but changed under immense heat and pressure. They are the rarest of dwarves, and each is unique, often forged for a specific purpose. In time they might be ground down to sedimentary form again, when their glory has passed.
(TheLawfulNeutral was behind this one)
Metastatic Scions of the Red Law
- Pointed, sharklike head
- Large, drooping ears
- Teeth are jagged, uneven, and ill-fitting.
- Leprous skin - boils, legions, warts, teratomas. Burt to crispy leather by the sun.
- Hair black and stringy, patches and clumps
- Cartilaginous skeleton, can squeeze through anything bigger than their eyeballs if given time.
- Can regenerate basically any damage. Old ones will have odd sets of limbs and sense organs
- Incredibly dense
- Infected individuals will develop troll-cancer.
- Lucky ones can catch it early through treatment and kill it
- Somewhat lucky ones can have it removed
- The rest are consumed by it. The cancer will kill them long before the troll's "gestation" is complete - incineration is recommended.
- Do not let it spread.