Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Lady of Fangs



A wild spirit of the rocky coastal forests, in whose honor ancient peoples raised menhirs and stone altars. She is a demanding spirit, but her demands are simple: blood, and strict prohibitions against overhunting (for all animals good to eat within her territory are hers by right) Each new group to settle along the coast has taken up the obligation, sacrificing boars to her each solstice. The custom has lasted through many generations of migration and upheaval, and the Lady left the hillfolk in peace - not alone, for she was often seen just out of the lamplight on hot nights or more rarely found reclined and at rest in one of her many shrines, but she reserved her wrath to those who offended her.

Then the war came, and the war was lost. A governor arrived with his tax collectors. The hillfolk still made their offerings and respected her claims on the beasts of the land, and so this was to the Lady another war of many that she had seen and thus no business at all of hers. The soldiers moved on to fronts beyond the horizon and for a while the conquerors were content to ignore this pocket of plunder.

A few years passed, and the wars over the horizon ended. The gaze was turned inward. Somewhere in the vast and outstretched empire, steam had been fit with a bridle and coal with a bit, and it was decided that now was the time to build.

Chief of the townships within the Lady's lands was declared capital of a new nation, for its river was deep and its mountains full of ore. Hamlets and homesteads were paved under, resigned to the lightless depths as a city was built. The poor and the desperate from all corners, by choice or by force, flooded the place. The hillfolk were swallowed up in the tide.

Oh, what a cruel city.

Only a vanishing few of the elderly remember how things once were. The poor still honor the Lady, but they no longer have boars to hunt. She has been made a tourist trap, a face on a stuffed toy. The trees turn sick, the sky heavy and grey, the water cloudy and foul. The beasts are gone. The Lady of Fangs remains.

This city has made of itself a poisoned feast. Ren die in the factories in droves and they sustain her now that the beasts are gone. Her sacred grounds overflow with offerings, carelessly made and without intent. In her long-steeped anger, in her starvation among abundance, she has grown cruel beyond measure. The endless sacrifices of the factory floor have made her powerful. She is hungry. Her servants stalk the back alleys and undercity, striking without care for guilt or innocence - all have sinned, and thus must pay blood price.

Favored Forms of the Lady of Fangs

  1. A woman with a tiger's head, wearing a beautiful silk gown.
  2. An enormous tiger, often melanistic.
  3. An old, blind woman with filed teeth, occasionally wearing a tattered tiger-skin cloak.
  4. A fiery heart in the distance, slowly pulsing.
  5. A flying sword with a red tassel on its golden hilt.
  6. A form obscured by darkness, save eyes like embers and the impression of too many arms, too long and too thin.

Servants of the Lady's Court

  1. Body of an ape with matted orange hair, the head of a black spider, loping through the city's upper districts.
  2. Sleek sunset-furred blur, too fast to make out as it grabs a horse by the neck and runs off.
  3. One long arm reaching out from the shadows, callused palm and jagged nails begging for coins.
  4. A hole in the wall that keeps seeping blood, attended by maggots with human faces.
  5. A painting of a jackal, moving silently across the brickwork.
  6. Three woman in striped veils with earrings made of teeth, gossiping to one another.


So yeah, here's the Lady of Fangs from my LoK fixfic, in a form more fit for general usage.

At the table the LoF would be a background antagonist, and likely a conflict that players would never directly solve without some major, long term faction play. But, she can serve as a means of interrupting or elaborating on what else might be going on at the time - it's likely that any antagonistic forces players are dealing with would be linked in some way to the state of affairs that's made the Lady who she is now.

Friday, March 19, 2021

151 Fantastic Beings


Wilhelm Kuhnert

Carrying on from the previous post, here is the long-awaited list. There is no stated setting, nor theme beyond "I just think it's neat." Some are connected to others, most are not. Many come from folklore, some are my own, and some are blatantly stolen.

A List, In Brief, of 151 Fantastic Beings and Peoples

  1. Agnathic Master - A variety of ancient ostracoderm that grew to intelligence, then to mastery of the magical arts, and finally to the cold detachment of the immortal. They live in the abyssal places of the world, uncaring of the apes that inhabit the surface except as far as they might be enthralled as puppets in their endless schemes with each other and their rival ancient powers.
  2. Alfar - Ancient, inbred nobility of misty kingdoms beneath the hills and beyond the grip of time. Translucent, blue-veined skin stretched painfully over thin bones. Eyes of solid black. Obsessed with minute laws and decrees, and delight in the cruel punishment of infractions. They come to steal children, replacing them with simulacrums. They hate iron, fire, writing and song, and seek to erase all four from the hearts and minds of men.
  3. Swine-Thing - A) Wild boars that have eaten enough human flesh to learn how to hate. B) Pigs possessed by swarms of demons. In either case, they possess just enough knowledge to retain the simplest tool usage and malice. They move about the wilderness in vast swarms, killing and devouring whatever might be in their path. Occasionally they will excavate a warren and form a hive there around their dread queen sows.
  4. Goblin - A) Are typically about the size of a child B) have a cartilaginous skeleton and can squeeze through anything big enough to fit their (large) eyes and (many, large) teeth C) are unafraid of death and cannot permanently die D) have a distant king who is said to return when least expected E) run the Goblin Market (naturally), which exists Between Places F) wallow in trash and absurdity G) are the life of the party. H) Everything else varies greatly.
  5. Troll - A large, hairless creature like an hunchbacked ape. Its body is tumorous, constantly expanding and growing ever-denser with more cancerous flesh. They loathe and fear fire, and use its image and color as displays of bravery and prowess. They prefer dark, wet environments - caves or beneath bridges. They hate goats, for goats are clever and trolls are not. Long ago, when they were a kindlier folk, they raised the troll-stones, which may still be used to communicate across great distances instantly
  6. Basilisk - A sluggish, portly reptile with a pebbly hide. A slow-motion ambush predator that uses its petrifying gaze to render its prey both incapable of escape but also completely aware of their inevitable fate.
  7. Manticore - A tiger that has eaten 1000 humans. Has a face like that of a man, three rows of teeth, and a long tail covered in venomous quills. The souls of those they devour are an irritant, forming pearls in their stomachs
  8. Forest-Folk - Tall figures in shimmering robes of emerald and gold silk, with skin dark as bark and hair like celestial bronze. First of humanity’s allies in the world, and though their numbers have dwindled they still hold to the ancient compacts.
  9. Mouldywarp - Mole-folk with pink, star-shaped noses. Live in enormous, lightless citadels carved out beneath the mountains. Nearly blind, they are rarely seen above ground before dusk or after dawn. Masters of smithing, stoneworking, and jewelcutting - their work is renowned both for quality and beauty. Small companies (never more than a dozen) will often travel throughout the hill country and mountain townships as merchants and tinkerers.
  10. Zombie - A corpse animated by a minor motive spirit; alternatively, a living human who has been incapacitated by repeated application of neurotoxin and mentally dominated by a sorcerer.
  11. Skeleton - Bones animated by binding a motive spirit to them. Stronger spirits can manipulate bodies consisting of bones from multiple sources, arranged in layouts they could not have had in life.
  12. Lich - A powerful sorcerer that has removed their soul without killing their body and stored it in an item. They cannot be fully killed without destroying their soul-container, though destroying their resurrection-casket might delay them for centuries. As such, they take great joy in making the locations of their soul-containers obtuse and impossible to find.
  13. Ooze - A catch-all term for amorphous, soft-bodied detritivores. Generally aquatic, or otherwise limited to hot, damp environments, as they will turn to dust in dry heat or freeze solid in the cold. Dehydrated oozes can be resurrected, however, so care is needed.
  14. Devil - One of the legions of infernal spirits scattered to the winds by the Harrowing of Hell. Despite the dissolution of their bureaucracy, they have remained loyal to their purpose as tempters and accusers and adapted well to solitary existence. A devil will never directly harm a human - they will grant them whatever they desire, and should it result in self-destruction and the ruin of others, that's on whoever asked for the boon.
  15. Blemmyes - A people without heads - the features that would otherwise be found there are instead found on their broad, barrel-like chests.
  16. Dragon - Enormous lizards, diverse in form (the possession of wings, the number of limbs, etc) who took fire from the sun and declared themselves masters of all the world. They are solitary, territorial creatures, and habitually gather enormous hoards to impress mates and establish dominance against rivals. The introduction of money to dragons serves as the basis of the known world’s economy.
  17. Sphinx - A great cat with a woman's face, which may or may not have wings. Delight in books, games and riddles. Typically found as the guardians of libraries.
  18. Fulgurmus - A palm-sized, golden-furred marsupial that, alone among mammals, can generate an electric charge to defend itself from predators. Notoriously cute, they are a very popular subject for children's toys (despite not making very good pets).
  19. Ogre - A human that has grown bloated and monstrous through the combination of excessive cannibalism (and thus the accumulation of sin) and the soul-corroding effects of gold. Typically emerge from among the landowning class in times of famine or war.
  20. Ghoul - Hairless, scabrous grey humanoids. Nocturnal corpse-eaters. Either exceedingly emaciated or immensely corpulent. Dwellers of catacombs, battlefields, cemeteries, and abattoirs. Typically solitary. No fear of death or age. Perpetually hungry. Will enter a state of estivation if the local corpse supply is low.
  21. Embryonic God - A floating sphere of amber theoamniotic fluid. The soft, curled form within is wreathed in a radiant halo. Simple miracles cascade off it, wild and unshaped. Approach in lead-lined robes, ye faithful, and see: what manner of god is to be born?
  22. Minotaur - Deformed offspring of human and auroch. Most will die within hours of birth - those that survive might endure forever, if they are fed sufficient human flesh.
  23. Golem - A humanoid shaped out of clay, animated by divine power through the ritual intermediation of a priest. Being an imitation of the creation of man, as made by a less-skilled craftsman, golems do not possess volition or speech (though a golem developing these traits over time is not out of the question, especially if there is an important moral lesson to be taught.)
  24. Moon Beast - Bloated, froglike beings with slippery grey skin and heads dominated by anemone-like clusters of pink tendrils. They are enslavers, viewing other beings as livestock to be corralled and eaten (they favor the brain). They have many servants abroad (the Men of Leng, among others), who under their secret patronage shape the workings of the world to their liking.
  25. Mi-go - Winged crustaceans with pink-red shells about the size of a pony. Descend from the sky at night. Have a great interest in mining rare earth metals, and the workings of the human brain. Will trade their symbiotic fungal technology for both, and will welcome volunteers for brain studies. Many of their experimental subjects will end up housed in brain canisters, which are often left behind at their outposts.
  26. Unicorn - A horse with a single horn. Hunted to near-extinction in religious rituals of the knightly class. Symbolic of innocence and purity, but really just a magical horse. Not particularly bright. Its flesh tastes better the more evil one has committed. One's death will spiritually poison the surrounding landscape.
  27. Phoenix - A rare bird with brilliant flame-colored plumage. Brooding females will, when it is time for their eggs to hatch, catch fire and reduce themselves to ash - this intense heat is necessary for the chicks to hatch - a phoenix egg unable to receive the final burst of heat can remain dormant for centuries. Their feathers are a common ingredient in cure-alls, though they do a decent job of waking one from unconsciousness.
  28. Harpy - A large carrion bird with a disconcertingly human-looking face. Native to warm coastal regions, favoring cliffsides and caves for their nests. Folds and wattles of skin on the neck and upper torso can give the appearance of breasts and first glance. Can mimic human speech, typically the vulgarities and taunts of passing sailors - their typical calls are considered unpleasant to the ear. Fond of shiny objects and beautiful stones, and will hoard them in their nests. Notoriously bad smell.
  29. Morlock - A subterranean people that inhabit the vast, decaying machinery that supported an ancient civilization. They tend to devices that no longer work and that they no longer understand. They will step out onto the surface only at night, to scavenge food and other goods that they cannot find in the lightless factoriums below.
  30. Eloi - Hairless, childlike beings that live in a land of idyllic orchards and perfect gardens. They are easily frightened by change and easily overcome by adversity, but will adjust to the outside world given care and time.
  31. Bonnacon - A bovine with curling horns like a ram and a long, red-brown bane. When startled or threatened it will violently expel burning feces at the threat while making its escape, a trait which makes them unpopular animals on the whole, but very useful when it comes time to fertilize a field.
  32. Vampire - Those that would desecrate a sacred space by drinking the blood of man and recanting the blessings of the gods are struck down with neither hesitation nor clemency. Those who host larvae of the Conqueror Worm will rise again in the night, to hunt the living faithful.
  33. Hodag - Stocky, short-legged quadrupedal predator about the size of a badger or wombat. Hairless, with dark, leathery skin. Wide toothsome mouth, bull horns, and a series of cruved spikes running down the spine. Born from the ashes or refuse piles of abused livestock to enact revenge on humans. Nasty as hell.
  34. Hydra - Giant serpents with nine heads that might be found in any hot environment far from human habitation. Their bites are venomous, easily capable of quickly killing other large wildlife. This venom reacts when exposed to water, foaming up and forming a poisonous gas - weaker than the venom itself, but still often lethal. The implantation of a hydra egg in a trepanned human is the means by which gorgons are created.
  35. Elephant - Wisest of all creatures upon the earth. Steed of the gods, counselors to kings and princes, possessors of the true history of all things that have happened in the world and keepers of the old magics. To kill an elephant is to be cursed forever, and hunted to the ends of the earth.
  36. Nymph - In lieu of marriage within the church, some women will offer themselves to the spirits of forest, river, sea and mountain. This wedding of souls will form a new being, a caretaker of the wilderness in the auspices of the great god Pan, long-dead Dionysus and dread Cybele. Their dances and songs are enticing, but travelers are wise to remain polite and make no advances towards them, for they strike against transgression without pity.
  37. Centaur - Reincarnations of steppe-warriors who died alongside their steeds in battle. Patiently await the end of the world, when they shall be gathered by the Roan God to ride against Ahriman in the final battle. Until then they bide their time. They have no fear of bloodshed nor qualms regarding warfare: units of them might strike an army on the march solely for the glory of it. They can, with some difficulty, be persuaded to teach a mortal some of their secrets.
  38. Salamander - Similar to its similarly-named cousins of ponds and streams, save for its increased size and its habit of inhabiting fireplaces, ovens, and fire pits. Makes a terrible loud hissing noise when disturbed (and it is very sensitive to disturbances) Possesses a pelt of tangled white fur which provides both complete resistance to fire, and a greatly increased risk of lung damage.
  39. Sea Serpent - An enormous oceanic serpent, shimmering blue in coloration with a bright red crest trailing from its head. A predator of large fish and occasionally even whales, though its ferocity towards ships and their crew tends to be overstated. Considered a bad omen.
  40. Conceptual Shark - The idea of a shark, retaining the predatory nature and deadliness of a substantial shark. Comes with the added, terrible bonus of not being limited by things like "water" and "materiality". Being the idea of a shark, rather than an actual shark, a conceptual shark is significantly more bloodthirsty and aggressive than its material counterparts.
  41. Concubus - A spirit of sexual predation. It paralyzes its victim while they are sleeping and thus makes its attack, taking semen from men and impregnating women. The cambion offspring of these unions, though they are human and bear no taint of the demon, are often either killed as infants or left in the graces of the church. It is abhorrent to look upon - a dream-form of shifting parts and images overlapped upon each other - a thousand thousand cut up pornographs, stripped of any pleasure in the viewing. It makes no attempt to hide its form with glamour - it prefers its prey to be fearful. They are a common target for travelling bands of cutters, as not every township has the benefit of being able to wait for a church-sanctioned hunter.
  42. Homunculus - An artificial organism (often but not always a human) created through the alchemical arts. They might be easily identified by their thick, calloused skin, their dependency upon certain reagents to sustain them and the mark of the Squared Circle or the Rub el Hizb somewhere upon their bodies. Because of the nature of their creation they lack traditional souls, instead possessing ones built of the fragments of many collected shades.
  43. Cat of Ulthar - An inhabitant of the Dreamlands, which may hop to and fro between them and the waking world as they see fit. Similar in all ways, behaviors, and magical skills to mundane cats, save the willingness to speak to humans.
  44. Flatlander - A two-dimensional people. Their social hierarchy is determined by the numbers of points an individual has, with the near-circular priestly class leading their theocratic society.
  45. Glatislant - A creature with the body of a leopard and the head and neck of a serpent. Their call is that of a pack of baying hounds, sending hunting dogs into confusion. One of the Three Knightly Creatures, it has proven the most elusive to the hunts of the first estate - no glatislant has ever been taken as part of a hunt, whether alive or dead. They seem to enjoy taunting their pursuers, leading them on hopeless-cross-continent quests for nothing.
  46. False Hydra - A pallid, flabby thing, a mass of flesh buried in the ground. It extends a long neck upwards, out of the soil; an eyeless head, a gaping mouth. Then another, and another. So long as it is singing, no one can see it, no one will notice it, but it must start singing to feed. The town is thinning out, and no one knows why, and the hydra grows fat and prepares to gather the survivors as its servants.
  47. Parasitic Crown - A sort of crustacean taking the form of a ten-pointed crown. It will burrow its claws through the skull and into the brain, and drive the host to delusions of grandeur and an insatiable drive to accumulate wealth and exercise violent power against others, all while remaining reclusive in a fortified position. This is how most royal lines start.
  48. Tartary Lamb - A large flowering shrub that grows live sheep, connected to the main plant by an umbilical root. These sheep are stringy and thin, but the wool is of good quality and they might grow even in dry and desolate soil. For poor farmers, this might be all that sustains their livelihood.
  49. Vessel Knight - An empty ceramic exoskeleton into which some essence is to be poured. They are bound to a duty and to their sword, and sent out into the world to collect the soul or spirit that is to be housed within them.
  50. Death Clock - A variety of spider whose abdomen is a fully functional chitin pocketwatch. These spiders do not tell the time of day, but rather count down the lifespan of those residing in the home whose walls the spiders currently inhabit.
  51. Kalidah - Apex predator with the head of a tiger and the body of a bear. Commonly used as a heraldic beast. Have been driven to near-extinction for their pelts and supposed (but untrue) medicinal properties of their body parts.
  52. Bobbit Dog - Mangy ferals in a pack, all thin and sickly. Spines like needles down their back. A worm’s head, with barbed fangs long as a hand, sticks out from between the shoulders, the neck coiled within and ready to strike.
  53. Halfling Snatcher - A gangly black-haired thing with a too-big smile and a horrible rusty knife. Cavorts around looking for halflings to stuff in a sack. Never empties the sack. Ever.
  54. Natali Stork - An ivory-feathered wading bird with a sable crest and a bronze beak. Reputed to spontaneously deliver human infants to doorsteps in the early morning, or in radically different sources, to devour them in their cribs.
  55. Cynocephalon - The dog-headed folk of Prester John Land, far to the east. Few are ever seen in the Occident; those that are are often wandering sword-sages seeking the secrets of the Philosopher’s Stone for the sake of their ancient priest-king.
  56. Man in Black - Always in pairs, always wearing formal attire and bearing the seals of the king or duke or pontiff or tyrant or congress or so on and so forth. Do not be alarmed, they are only here to ask questions. Do not be afraid of their unnatural speech patterns and the jerks and twitches of their movements. Do not be suspicious of their origin nor of their purpose. They are only here to ask some questions. Please, step this way, there is much to discuss.
  57. Umibozu - An enormous head and shoulders rise above the suddenly storm-tossed waves, black-blue as the night-depths. Implacable, they move to destroy the intruding ship.
  58. Squonk - An ugly crepuscular herbivore, easily identified by its rotund body and loose folds of wary skin. Secretes a greasy substance that might be clarified into a corrosive. These "tears" are rather valuable among alchemists and other such uses.
  59. Carbuncle - A small, furry creature similar to a rodent or rabbit, with an enormous red gem embedded in its head. The gem is valued for purported healing properties (healing of skin lesions and cancers with a touch, of curing ulcers when ground up and drunk), but the creatures are rare, fast, clever, and there are no valid citations for the gem's properties beyond second and third hand accounts.
  60. Shoggoth - An archaean ooze, a mat of metamorphic organic matter from which all other life descends. Changing climate and the warfare of the peoples to follow them have driven them to the secret regions of and below the world. They possess vast, alien intelligence and in their brief communications have indicated that they were once enslaved and rose up against their masters, and would do so again. Yet, they permit some of their lesser spawn (dolmantles, flesh orchids, etc) to live and work alongside humanity.
  61. Mimic - A predatory ooze capable of manipulating its shape, size, texture and color so as to imitate its environment. Some particularly intelligent specimens will imitate manmade items, some even going so far as to take the appearance of valuables to serve as the most effective lure for prey.
  62. Alzabo - This much is agreed upon - it is the size of a bear, thereabouts. It resembles no beast of earth in form. Its skin may be red, and its hair may be black (both of these are contentious claims). It may speak in the voices of those it devours. It is cannier than worldly animals. Its brain may be processed into the fabled analeptic, which when consumed alongside human flesh permits communion with the memories of the dead.
  63. Yith-spirit - A possessive spirit that will take command of an individual and drive them to a state of obsessive scholarly pursuit. They will not induce the host to violence, but the chilling of social relationships and sudden interest in esoterics will often permanently damage the host's bonds with friends and family.Yith-spirits will not admit their nature unless cornered, and even then will refuse to elaborate on their research beyond their need for more. A yith-spirit possession lasts 3-5 years, on average, and leaves no lasting effects on the host save murky dreams of winding stone hallways.
  64. Mothman - Solitary, shy nocturnal creatures, forever seeking a sun they cannot bear to see. The archetypal appearance is black fluff and ruby-red eyes, but their looks vary as much as their tiny cousins. They bring warnings of disaster, hoping that some might take heed and flee with their lives.
  65. Monopod - A people possessing of only one leg ending in an enormous foot, with which they hop around with surprising speed. They live in hot climates and will use their feet as sun-shades during the heat of the day, if nothing else will suffice.
  66. Martian (Red) - Most numerous of the inhabitants of Barsoom and the most akin to humans. They possess sleek rust-red and tawny fur and a thick layer of blubber to insulate against the cold. They have liberated themselves from the Masters in the wake of the failed invasion, and so have begun to rebuild their civilization through the cultural fragments that they kept alive in great mountainside cities.
  67. Martian (Green) - Twice or thrice tall as a man, possessing four arms, pale green skin, shaggy white hair, and prominent tusks. The warrior caste of old Mars, they have maintained the martial culture imparted to them by the Masters, though now for their own glory. They ride across the high steppe on their thoats, raiding and plundering neighboring settlements and each other.
  68. Martian (Master) - The rarest of all; huge black cephalopods with bioluminescent, lanternlike eyes. Distant, dispassionate, and cruel - they consider other beings to be possessions at best, and meat the rest of the time. The few that survived the bacterial infections of Earth stew in their sterile saltwater tanks, deep in their frozen fortresses, attended to by their few remaining captives and the treasure vaults of their ancient dynasties. Consumed by hate, but impotent.
  69. Carcosan - Nobles and their retinues, come to visit from a far-away court on the shores of the lake of Hali. There is something off about them, about their tattered finery and the way they speak of their king and his daughters, but one can hardly put a name to the feeling. They appear to us as a man might appear to a deer. And what of that slender man, standing just in the corner of your vision?
  70. Merfolk - True merfolk are mammals, of two main lineages; peaceful seaweed-grazing sirenia, and the sleek carnivorous phocidae. Both are considered good omens by sailors and thus sacrosanct. False mermaids include the descendents of the Atlantean amalu caste (who bear scales and other fishlike traits, and are less intelligent than true merfolk), predatory klaxons (in truth a species of bird that mimics the distress horns of ships to lure would-be rescuers into rocks), and the legendary contraicthys (a fish’s head upon two human legs, created by wizards and one of the Five Greater Blasphemies).
  71. Chambermaiden - A type of faerie native to all manner of pots, jars, and assorted earthenware containers. Typically take the form of beautiful women about a foot tall, wearing gowns of white, blue, or butterfly wing. Generally friendly, but very protective of their pots and the contents thereof. They greatly enjoy riddles and games, and so will ask visitors to bring them some obscure and obfuscated item for their help.
  72. Infectious Advertisement - A weak possessive spirit that will, on certain triggers of sight or sound, trigger the host to recite a slogan or jingle for whatever product it has been bound to. Those nearby are at risk of catching the spirit as well, and furthering its spread like a mildly (or perhaps supremely) irritating disease. These spirits do not compel anyone to purchase the product, and may be removed through a simple exorcism.
  73. deR0 - A subterranean creature similar to a human infant, with a bloated head and disproportionately thin and long limbs. Their skin is the grey-blue of asphyxiation, and their eyes dart and roll around without ceasing. They are the descendants of slaves taken by the serpent-men, and suffer still the tortures of their paranoia-wracked slavery. There is an air loom out there controlling everything, they are certain of it, doubtless you can see the connections...
  74. Gremlin - A variety of goblin, something like a very small, hairless lemur with a long snout. They live inside machines and mechanisms and cause all manner of malfunctions and damaged parts in their mischief - occasionally resulting in deaths. They are more animal-like than their kin and do not speak except in high, giggling noises. Nests must be relocated when found, typically to scrapyards where they may pay to their content. Some progress has been made in training them to help repair and maintain machines instead of dismantling them.
  75. Bogey - A shimmering grey being that flies through the air at great speeds, taking the form of a disc, blunt triangle, or cigar. Luminescent patches on their flanks will shine and flicker in patterns. Lone travelers occasionally drum up stories of being abducted by the creatures, claiming them to be living vessels inhabited by a people of grey-skinned dwarves, but often as not these tales have been the result of delusion or trauma.
  76. Tooth Fairy - Thorny bodies like porcelain cicadas, voices like dentists’ drills and baby laughs. Eyes like drops of blood, mandibles like barbed fingers. Butterfly wings, orange, yellow and black. A milk tooth placed under a pillow absorbs dreams, and here is where tooth fairies are born – the unconscious child-mind recalling a beetle in the garden or a wasp at the window. They will bring these eggs to the Masticate King in his faraway castle atop the Red Hill, where he will fertilize them in hopes that they might birth his long-lost White Knights. When all 30 are returned to him, they shall mount their white horses and depart from the Hill, to hunt the Enamel Queen.
  77. Oni - Huge, hairy, horned creatures, bright red or blue in coloration, that live high up in the mountains getting drunk and challenging travelers to wrestling matches or feats of strength. They love nothing more than getting absolutely shitfaced and getting in a fight - whether they win or lose is entirely incidental.
  78. Dinosaurids - Last surviving descendents of the ancient dromaeosaurids. They live beyond the boundaries of the known world in small nomadic bands who have remained content with the obsidian blade and reed basket. They have a kinship with birds; though they bear no allegiance to the Simirugh themselves, they will offer hospitality to her servants.
  79. Coelcyon - The hollow hounds of many angles. Their bones are needles and the rest is skin and fur hanging over empty space. They make a high-pitched whistling as they run, near-indistinguishable from tinnitus.
  80. Acanthomata - Stoop-backed from the weight of the bulging, pulsing growths that weigh down its spine. Head bowed to the ground, as if in prayer. Yellow eyes burning with the fervor of endurance.
  81. [Minotaur] - An entity of unknown countenance and capabilities, recorded only as the paranoia, and thereafter the absolute assurance, of the presence of a dangerous being. An inhabitant of mazes, labyrinths, and liminal spaces.
  82. Literati - Tall, stoop-backed humanoids with grey-blue skin, lidless lavender eyes, and shining halos of stolen glyphs. Their presence renders the written word into gibberish or steals the words entirely, and with a touch to the head they might strip one of their ability to read at all. They are used extensively in the southern tyrannies as bureaucrats and functionaries.
  83. Zoanthrope - A human whose cogitatium has been removed, typically through surgery, either as punishment or, more often, for purposes of fashion. They gambol about as animals, lacking the good graces of apes. The yahoos of Houyhnhnms' Land are by far the most famous variant.
  84. Redcap - Appear as small, shrivelled old men, naked save for their enormous grey gore-stained beards and their tattered blood-red hats. Inhabitants of old battlefields, accosting travellers with chipped and rusty blades.
  85. Loam Soldiers - The image of a man born of battlefield mud beneath a full moon, clad with broken armor and abandoned weapons. Their silver eyes are empty of thought or recognition. They march by night, seeking a foe without name just over the horizon. They are silent, and unwavering in their march.
  86. Kishi - A hyena that has learned how to assume the shape of a human through sorcery. Predatory to fault, they will exert their will over others where-ever they can and bring ruin on those who resist. They can be told apart from human sorcerers by the presence of a hyena muzzle on the back of their heads, typically hidden by a common headscarf.
  87. Homo diluvii - An extinct hominid with a flat, wedge-shaped head and enormous eyes. The discoverers of the bones declared it to be a branch of the human family from before the Great Flood; critics claim it is the skeleton of a gigantic salamander. Punches have already been thrown, and reports from distant outposts of similar creatures will only inflame matters further.
  88. Cordyceps maximus - A variety of fungal infection that will gradually override the host mammal’s brain, driving them to seek the highest elevation possible where the fruiting body will then emerge from the host’s skull and begin releasing spores. If the infection is caught before maturity it can be treated through alchemical tinctures, sterilizing the fungus and allowing the victim to retain an altered but still stable consciousness after fruiting.
  89. Nebutori - A spirit that manifests as sudden, inexplicable overnight weight gain.
  90. Yeongno - A small, wingless, gold-orange dragon with broad, overlapping scales and a long crocodilian snout. A predator of the wealthy, as it has been tasked with devouring 100 rich people so that it might ascend to the heavens.
  91. Jabberwock - A buck-toothed, bug-eyed, snake-neck and catfish-whiskered dragon from deep in the dreamy woods. Known for extreme violent territoriality, a tendency to survive for a surprising amount of time without its head, and for generating a localized field of spontaneous semantic aberration.
  92. Bandersnatch - A large bird with a long, straight beak and an upside-down head. Rather than wings it possesses long, taloned arms with which it crawls around on all fours. They are considered a bad omen at best by the smallfolk, and extremely dangerous in all other cases. Should one be seen standing on its hind legs, the common advice is to prostrate oneself before it: not in an attempt to appease it, but rather to offer one’s neck for a quick death.
  93. Chainbreaker - A spirit taking the form of a broad-shouldered man, wreathed in smoke and with a tongue of fire and wielding a huge workman’s hammer. It will come in the night to free the enslaved from their bondage, so that they might depose their enslavers and flee into the dark and to freedom.
  94. Cattlopas - A miserable swamp-dwelling creature, similar in appearance to an emaciated, long-necked black bison. Its head is weighed down by the excessive weight of its horns, though this is rarely an issue for the creatures as they are solitary and graze near-exclusively on aquatic plants. The gastrointestinal fermentation required to digest its diet generates large quantities of noxious gas, which may be released from either end and can prove fatal if there is a lack of otherwise clean air about or an open flame present.
  95. Chalkydri - Immense (often in excess of ten thousand miles!) copper-scaled serpents that inhabit the stellar corona of the sun. They possess six sets of wings. Despite the difficulty in observing them, their migrations are often used in certain divination practices and their songs have been translated into an entire school of magical practice.
  96. Kuchisake-Onna - A spirit appearing as a beautiful woman, wearing a scarf or mask to cover up her mutilated mouth. She will ask her victim if she is beautiful - the only safe answer is to remain polite and neutral, saying that she is neither beautiful nor ugly. An offering of money or hard candy is also helpful. Otherwise, she will either kill the victim outright, or mutilate their face to match hers.
  97. Kodama - A common tree-spirit, whose presence indicates that the local forest is healthy. They typically appear as small wooden figures with painted, mask-like faces. They do not speak, making only the noise of falling nuts or rustling leaves, but will aid lost travelers and give warning of danger.
  98. Lemures - Spirits of the restless and malignant dead - black, maggotlike,wearing poorly-made plaster funeral masks. Will appear in a chorus to mock and harass the living, typically family members and descendants who have not shown appropriate familial piety. They may be distracted by a handful of black beans tossed over the shoulder, and driven away for a time by banging on pots and pans.
  99. Galactomonstrum - Acephalic quadruped the size of a cottage, whose ponderous body is covered in teats and udders. A daughter of the mother of mammals, its milk can restore health from even the brink of death, enlivens the blood, and provides head against even the most bitter cold.
  100. Bai Ze - A being with the body of an enormous white boar and face like a man, with rows of yellow eyes along its flanks. Known primarily for teaching the King in Yellow the nature and manner of every supernatural being in the world, though the book that recorded this knowledge has been lost and only small and contested fragments remain. Finding Bai Ze again has been a goal of supernaturalists for centuries.
  101. Polycetus - A horrifying leviathan created when a pod of whales melds into an island-sized fleshbeast of blubber and barnacles and oil and curtains of baleen and banks of paddles, singing apocalyptic songs of the abyss. Mass beachings are in truth mass suicides: the whales know that the melding is near, and their good nature drives them to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the rest of the world.
  102. Globster - A species of large, oceanic ooze with the appearance and smell of rotten flesh. Will occasionally wash ashore, where they will confuse and terrify the local population before they are washed out to sea. Despite the smell and appearance (and taste, for that matter), globsters are edible and can prove and enormous boon to local fishing villages - should one be found nearby, the entire town will turn out with hooks, ropes, catchpoles and saws to butcher the creature.
  103. Wub - A flabby, blobby grey thing with large, sad eyes. Reminiscent of waterbear, molerat, pig. Sapient, capable of mental communication - most of which is either discussion philosophy or moping about and piteously begging not to be eaten. This is a false pretense, as it in fact desires to be eaten, and will transfer its consciousness over to one of its devourers and swiftly take up its preferred life of lazy indolence.
  104. Devil-Eater - Easily told apart from their cousin the hippopotamus by their coloration (light grey underbelly with crimson dorsal surface), and by the fact that their primary food source is demons. Several orders of sin-eaters will use the daemonovore as their icon. An invasive species in Hell, having infested both the Lethe and Phlegethon river valleys. As bad tempered and violent an animal as you are likely to find.
  105. Tsukumogami - A household item that has, after 100 years, taken on a life of its own. They may move about under their own power, and might grow eyes and a mouth when they are active. Its behavior may be kind or cruel, depending on how it was treated when it was an object.
  106. Mari Lwyd - A spirit of midwinter, manifesting as a tall figure in a white robe with a skeletal horse's head. Will appear at the door of the home and demand alcohol and food in song, and will only depart if the inhabitants of the home can out-sing it - otherwise, it will continue until either dawn arrives or patience runs out.
  107. Dwarf Freshwater Plesiosaur - Precisely as they are named. They are more intelligent, and less aggressive than their oceangoing cousins, and much more reclusive. How they end up in isolated lakes both great and small, and how their populations persist in regions where there is not enough food to support them is a mystery still. Perhaps they go somewhere, when no one is looking?
  108. Hollow Man - Superficially, they are a human - an older male of the dominant ethnic/religious/economic class. But there is nothing within them. No bones, no flesh, no air. A metaphysical hole in the universe, an embodiment of the un-thing, the death instinct encased in flesh. There was something there once, but it has been devoured, and it was given willingly.
  109. Chessmen - Eusocial humanoids with chitinous exoskeletons. Each hive is split into multiple casts - the pawns (worker drones), knights (soldier drones) bishops (coordinators) rooks (constructors and mobile hives), the weak and vestigial king and the territorial and combative queen. The three primary species (white and black, with assorted subspecies) are engaged in constant warfare, attempting to capture or kill the kings of rival hives. Occasionally, queens will birth specialist clades, a trend that is increasing across all hives. Pawns may, in time of population stress, metamorphosize into all other non-king castes.
  110. Angel - Servants of the Monad. Their ranks have been split into three factions since the breaking of the throne and the vacating of heaven: the apostoloi, who hold on to their duties as messengers of divine will and enforcers of Law; the egregoroi, who have dispersed through the world to lead and teach in secrecy; the hylics, who have embraced fully the pleasures and needs of the flesh.
  111. Baku - A being somewhat like a small bear in shape, with tawny fur, a short trunk and blunt hand-span tusks. It feeds on dreams. While this may often be useful, eating nightmares and the like, they are gluttonous creatures and often overindulge, in preparation for a great hibernation to come. Should a baku feed too often on the same person they will develop increasingly severe insomnia, and in time even lose the will to live.
  112. Cockatrice - When a chicken’s egg is nurtured by a toad or snake, it will hatch as one of these creatures - a small, vicious, venomous lizard with the beak and wattles of a rooster. They are considered a delicacy among certain noble courts, despite the danger they present and terrible taste. They hate their parent species and will attempt to kill all fowl or serpents they can find.
  113. Ichneumon - A variety of mongoose that is the sole natural predator of the dragon. When possessed with hunting-frenzy, they will burrow their way through their prey’s soft underbelly (tearing away embedded gold or jewels if need be) and dig a direct line to the wyrm’s heart, which they will devour. They are the symbols of communist and anarchist movements the world over.
  114. Deathworm - Segmented worm, bright red in coloration, wide as a barrel and up to forty feet long. A desert dweller. Sprays a sticky paralytic mucus, bright yellow in coloration.
  115. Addict’s Friend - A spirit much like a lumpy orange balloon. It will latch itself to a host and provide it with whatever it might desire, but these gifts fade swiftly (for they are only illusions). The addict is driven to greater extremes, and the paradise feeds off of the emotional excess.
  116. ORC - Armed enforcers of the principle of power, those who act with violence without consequence. Their masks are grotesque, the shields they carry declare their allegiance to their hate, their war songs are gleeful in the recitations of those crushed underfoot. They are perfectly ordinary humans, rewarded for their behavior and changed in no sorcerous way.
  117. Ghost-Faced Killer - Someone whose face has been removed. The gaping hole that remains is now a nest for ghosts. They are the favored knives of necromancers, serving as bodyguards and assassins.
  118. Gug - Hairy, four armed giants imprisoned deep underground by the gods for reasons unknown. Their massive mouths split their heads vertically. They are hated and shunned by the other peoples of the subterranean realms, likely for their habit of devouring most anyone who comes across them. Their language and culture remain unstudied.
  119. Poliphoros Crab - The smallest are still big enough for a small cottage of symbiotic coral and barnacles, the average individual may possess an entire castle on its shell, and the near-legendary namesake specimens may indeed carry an entire town on their backs, though rarely more than two or three at a time grow to this size. They do not mind human habitation, and peaceably migrate around the shallow seas with no regard to their human inhabitants.
  120. Shrike - An innocuous grey bird that serves the Nocinax, the King of Pain. They offer sacrifices by impaling small animals upon thornbushes, and do not think for a moment that they would not do so with larger prey, should they find the means.
  121. Zaratan - A seagoing turtle so large that its back serves as an island. Thousands of unique microcultures exist on their backs all across the Panthallassic, migrating as the turtles see fit to do.
  122. Brownie - A common house-spirit, appearing as an old man or woman no more than a foot tall. So long as the house is taken care of and their shrine respected, they will protect the inhabitants from minor evil spirits and tend to the home while they are away. When an object is lost, ask the brownie, for they are sure to know.
  123. Rat King - Dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of rats bound together in an enormous mass of fur and teeth and scrabbling paws. They are typically found in sewers. Each component rat wears a tiny crown, and will retain its kingliness and be a recognized sovereign among the minor rodents even when severed from the whole.
  124. Wild Hunt - A party of spectral hunters with their horses and hounds. Their clothing is tattered, their weapons antique, the words on their frosted breath archaic and strange. Their leader is obscured by hood and beard, and within only a single bright blue eye is seen. They will bid you join them, for there are beasts on the prowl, and more men are needed to hunt them down before the sun rises.
  125. Man of Leng - A short humanoid with curling horns, a wide and jagged mouth, cloven feet and opalescent hair over all of their body. They arrive once or twice a year in great galleons with fuligin sails to trade in gems, luxury goods, and slaves. Very few people would admit doing business with them, but threats of force never seem to keep them away from the harbor. They speak glowingly of their great benefactors, but say nothing more on that matter.
  126. Cacopithicus - Ratty red-brown fur smeared in shit. Fingernails curved like snail shells. Teeth set in gums like maggots in a side of beef. Crusty black eyes, dribbling snot and spit. An amygdala-dominated brain with a stunted neocortex flooded with testosterone. Everything bad about great apes with none of the good parts.
  127. Loan Shark - Whether on land or on sea, debtors who skip on payments will eventually come face to face with their wide golden smiles. The interest rates are as you’d expect, and the appear out of nowhere, just when you think you might have gotten away with it.
  128. Mushroom-Folk - Peaceable, patient, and slow, they first came into consciousness when they consumed the corpse of a god struck down from heaven in one of the interminable wars of the early celestial age. They possess the secrets of immortality, of a sort, where one might have their memories live on in the colony as their bodies are consumed by a fungal shroud.
  129. Elder Thing - Beings found frozen in the midst of an enormous prehistoric city in the Uttermost South. They are shaped like an elongated barrel, green in coloration, with five-fold symmetry. Five tentacles with gripping appendages take up the posterior end, and a yellow, five-lobed structure bearing the five eyes and central mouth on the anterior Between each of the five ridges of the body there is a membranous wing, likely for aquatic movement or gliding than true flight. Reanimated specimens have mostly disregarded human interaction, communicating just enough to state that they do not wish to communicate.
  130. The Red Death - A highly-infectious and often-lethal disease that causes extreme fevers and bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth and pores. It is spread through contaminated bodily fluids as well as the breath. Should it reach saturation within the population, it will manifest as a spirit taking the form of a man in a bloody shroud and poorly-made death mask, come to gather the dying. It seems to favor appearing to those who believe themselves safe
  131. False Infant - A fat, pink, caterpillar-like thing. Preys upon humans that have recently suffered a miscarriage, using its limited perception-altering abilities to drive the host parents to feed and shelter it. After growing a considerable amount in a short time, it will pupate and metamorphose into its adult form, the grand red-eye butterfly, which is of little note or consequence save for the fact that its dust has a tendency to induce miscarriages when inhaled.
  132. Nightgaunt - Gangly humanoids with rubbery fuligin skin, faceless heads, and vast batlike wings. Can be recruited as transportation both in the Dreamlands and the waking world. Will occasionally find service as messengers or servants of the Outer Powers, but bear true alliance only to themselves. Their touch imparts a tickling numbness.
  133. Clown Skinner - Something with the outward appearance of a human being. Hunt and kill clowns so as to take their skins. They do this because they desire the clown's power, and to expand their personal collections, and to sell to those parties who might desire clownskin garments to render themselves dismissed as a joke.
  134. False Corpse - A variety of fungus with a fruiting body very difficult to differentiated from a bloated corpse from a distance. Will explode with great force if disturbed, releasing a cloud of spores which will grow into their own fruiting bodies. False corpse circles are favored by fairies of the Court of Skulls.
  135. Sky Manta - Similar to their oceanborne cousins in all respects, save for their coloration (assorted shades and combinations of blue, grey, and white) and their potential to grow to immense sizes (the largest recorded specimen possessing a 200 meter wingspan). They feed both upon aeroplankton, and on sunlight directly. They are considered a sign of good luck, signifying clear skies and light winds.
  136. Benthic Shepherd - A human form two hundred feet tall, striding across the abyssal plains stone staff in hand. Their shoulders and head bear a cathedral-crown of smoke vents and tube worms, and their herd is of great sightless pale and nameless worms. They would be completely unknown to the surface world were it not for the many wizards who descend in their bathyspheres to learn their secrets.
  137. Cacogen - Lack of gravity destroys the human body - renders bones to chalk, muscles to jelly, strains the organs to breaking. These are the survivors - the inbred posthumans who went to the stars and found there was nothing to inherit. They have returned to an Earth they are unfit to live upon, and all the more desirous of it for that reason.
  138. Thing At The Bottom Of A Hole - Everyone knows about the hole. They're all certain that there's something living down at the bottom, something that comes out in the black dead of night. No one ever claims to have seen it. They leave it offerings, always have. The thing at the bottom of the hole is, for now, satisfied.
  139. 100-Handed One - Giants with fifty pairs of arms. Master weaponsmiths who will venture forth from their volcano-forges with wares for sale. It is from them that the coat of arms comes - a garment containing a hundred weapons.
  140. Gingerbread Pseudowitch - The creature itself, little more than a stomach and some vestigial limbs and organs as an adult, buries itself upright in the soil, with just its mouth exposed. It weaves a shell of gingerbread and sugary treats, and forms a proxy body by which to interact with the surface world - the image of a kindly old crone, attached to the house’s central pillar by an ankle chain umbilical. It will lure in the starving and the gluttonous, sedate them upon the spittle that went into building the shell, and the proxy will toss them into the disguised mouth of the creature’s true body.
  141. Gravemound - A moving hillock of corpses and loam, formed from mass graves. Seek to expand themselves by acquiring new corpses, can devour a graveyard in a night. Bring with them swarms of flies, maggots, centipedes, and belch clouds of miasma formed of the fermentation of flesh deep within.
  142. Nucklavee -A creature appearing as a rider fused to a horse, both flayed of all their skin. Its breath is poison and its touch is poison. It is confined to the ocean during the summer months by other spirits. It is harmed by fresh water, and will refuse to cross streams.
  143. Grey Goo - A shimmering silver slime that, when woken from its dormancy by the presence of steady heat, will slowly consume any nearby matter to increase its own size. Any part of the whole, no matter how small, will act in the same manner, and it may rebuilt itself from a single drop. As it grows it will begin to form fruiting bodies and large lattice-structures, both of purposes unknown. Their presence is a great danger to all around - they must be frozen back into dormancy and destroyed by either unbearable heat or arcane means.
  144. Floatsquid - A meter-tall cephalopod that floats about in the air through the help of a specialized buoyant mantle. Curious, inquisitive, highly social, and very good at problem solving. Like warm, wet climates. Can use basic tools and simple communication. Have a persistent trouble with predators, especially birds.
  145. Modesty Monster - A drab dun beast utterly terrified and appalled at the sight of skin. Will attempt to force people into ugly floor-length veils, or, failing this, just stuff them in bags. Will actively hunt down practitioners of sexual activity or language and beat them with a large club. Does not actually understand how sex works, believing children pop up out of the ground with the harvest.
  146. Beastman - Chaos cannot create, only change - these creatures are the result of its directionless attempts at imitating the work of the gods. Mismatched chimeras of human and animal, possessing minds that cannot organize their contents, bodies at war among their own component parts. Worst of all, they know of their wretched state, and know that somehow, the secret to their salvation lies somewhere in the hearts of men.
  147. Will o' Wisp - The simplest of all ghosts, being a palm-sized blue or blue-green flame. Harmless, save their tendency to drift around the area where the death occurred. Will occasionally form large schools or swarms, especially during Sawen, and can also be found in the presence of more complex ghosts.
  148. Alien Von-Neumann Probe - A floating sphere, glossy white and shining silver, with a single enormous eyes of red and black. A thrum fills the air, goes down to the bones. It watches, it wanders, but it does not interfere. Here and there it will stop at a mine, drawing up metals in a flash of golden light. In time, it will have collected enough to build another of itself, that will go on its way. Watching all the while.
  149. Wudu-Wasa - The people of the forest. Giants with deep red hair and skin grey as winter sky or deep walnut brown. Some are haired head to toe like an ape, and it is common that women will wear beards or sideburns. They shun the company of other peoples, preferring instead a life among the spirits and beasts of the mountains and forests. Those that come down from the hills will go about as traveling shamans and doctors, as according to their ancient agreements with the lowlanders.
  150. Tiger - A perfectly ordinary tiger, possessing no traits that a perfectly ordinary tiger would not have, save for the fact that it is currently found in a place and circumstance that it is entirely unlikely for a perfectly ordinary tiger to be, and that it is desperately hungry.
  151. Disc Horse - Oh god what the fuck. Why is it circular. What did you do to this horse. It is like a plate on its rim, with horse legs around the edge. Too many legs. Why does it have so many legs. No I will not look into its horrible horse eyes, the horse eyes that beg for death no I will not listen to the pitiful whinnies that plead for mercy. What has happened to this horse. God has abandoned us

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Assorted Random Mothership Tables

I love random tables.

Regions of Human Expansion Sphere

  1. Core Backfill - Systems that are technically within the Core, but are difficult to reach and were colonized far later than their neighbors. Many sit at the end of dead-end hyperspace routes, or have no hyperspace access at all.
  2. Expansion Belt - Any number of dozens of  Rim regions that have seen a large colonization push - generally used in past-tense reference to regions where this mass migration has stopped or stabilized. Today's frontier is tomorrow's belt.
  3. Rust Routes - Early hyperspace routes (and their waypoint settlements) that have seen a drastic decrease in use (and economic fortunes) after the discovery of newer, more efficient routes.
  4. The Road - The primary network of high-traffic, wide bandwidth hyperspace lanes through the human expansion sphere.
  5. Independent Rim - Any system that is not controlled by a Core-based polity, a member of a Core-based political union, or otherwise allied with a Core-based polity.
  6. Seedship Bubbles - Small expansion bubbles centered on systems settled by ancient seedships. Are usually cultural isolates, having been separated from the greater interstellar community by travel time and comm lag.
  7. Corporate Frontier - Wide swaths of company-claimed territory in the Rim, that has not yet become part of a major migration rush. Most CF systems are only superficially scouted and most are unsettled.
  8. Periphery -The very edge of charted space, yet to be claimed by corporate colonization projects. Irregular hyperspace access and few, if any stable routes have been found or made. undocumented colonies might be found here.
  9. Collapse Zones - Expansion belts that have suffered a breakdown of transport, trade and communication networks. Their corporate sponsors have either fallen apart or pulled out. Littered with dead and dying colonies.
  10. Antipode - Secondary expansion sphere culturally and technologically severed from the primary due to loss of bottleneck hyperspace routes early in its settlement.

Regions of the Core

  1. Old Core - Sol and the nearby stars that host first generation interstellar colonies.
  2. Deep Core - A supposed (though never confirmed) series of red and brown dwarves severed from the hyperspace network that serve as long-term homes for the immortal corporate oligarchs
  3. Junction Systems - Otherwise-unnoteworthy solar systems that sit at the crossroads of multiple stable hyperspace routes. Typically have considerable infrastructure and population.
  4. The Reserves - Colonies where the unmodified inhabitants are deliberately kept at a low tech level and isolated from the greater interstellar community, both as social experiements and as a means of repopulating the expansion sphere should a civilization-killing event occur.
  5. Fortress Worlds - Heavily fortified systems located at chokepoints between the Rim and Core.
  6. The Mantle - Second-wave and later colonies within Core space, heavily settled-and well-connected. When people talk about the Core, this is what they mean.
  7. Torchworlds - Burnt-out remnants of the Core War. They have remained unreclaimed, as a warning to any potential future rebellions against the powers that be.
  8. Paradise Archipelago - Planets terraformed into natural utopias and promised as rewards to loyal members of the underclass - the scope and legitimacy of the reward is debated and variable.
  9. The Underbelly - A parallel society existing within Core systems, consisting of underclass settlements purposefully barred from participation through language and cultural engineering, operating system and immonological incompatibility.
  10. NoThought Zone - Worlds where the complete integration of dumb-AI into omnipresent brain-computer networks has erased any outward expressions of conscious thought from the population.

Midmarket Ship Manufacturers

  1. Cat's Eye Shipyards - The spaceship version of a budget sports car.
  2. Runkadunk-Voix - Their ships fly in much the same way that bricks don't.
  3. Sunstreamer -Notoriously energy-inefficient because the assholes rigged all their ships to mine (now worthless) cryptocurrency in transit.
  4. Bubo Works -Deliberately obtuse "alien" designs; all curves, bright colors, and unintuitive controls.
  5. Blood and Thunder - Decommissioned and disarmed military vessels sold at auction.
  6. Kuztomizo - Ships made and decorated to-order only. Good quality, prohibitively expensive.
  7. Astromechanico - Employee-owned for 350 years. Good reputation among spacers.
  8. Big Dipper Star Pilgrims - A new company, still has the bright-eyed optimism of those who have yet to have a long sit down with the venture capitalists funding the operation.
  9. Standardized Interstellar Transports, Incorporated - Bottom of the barrel for this price range. They function - not well, but consistently.
  10. Monastery Union - An orbital community of Benedictines who have taken to shipbuilding.


  1. Bioism - Biological life should be valued and protected.
  2. Primitivism - Biological life should not be modified with intent by intelligence.
  3. Networkism - Intelligence should be networked together.
  4. Uploadism - Biological intelligence should be made digital.
  5. Ascendism - The point of intelligence is to grow in complexity and scope.
  6. Omegism - All intelligence will converge into a single connected whole.
  7. Stewardship - Naturally-existing biospheres should be kept as untouched as possible.
  8. Pantropy - Life should be adapted to new environments.
  9. Terraformism - Existing worlds should be made earthlike, regardless of existing biospheres.
  10. Neogeny - New biospheres and forms of life should be made.
  11. Ontological Creationism - Godlike beings must be created and then submitted to.
  12. Negentropy - Energy waste and information loss should be minimized.
  13. Redoubtism - Society must be prepared to survive the deep future.
  14. Hiderism - Interstellar civilization is unstable and must be withdrawn from.
  15. Simulationism - Correct action may only be judged through comparison of all potentials.
  16. Virtualism - Physical reality should be abandoned in favor of virtual simulation.
  17. Escapism - Some means of exiting the universe must be found.
  18. Accelerationism - High-entropy technologies are to be embraced.
  19. Emmanationism - All components of the universe are emanations of higher principles.
  20. Angnotism - Self-awareness is a net-negative and should be curtailed or removed.

Government Types

  1. Corporate Feudalism - Rule by a property-owning employer class.
  2. Hydraulic Despotism - Rule by the controller of a necessary resource.
  3. Cultivation Hierarchy - Rule by those who have achieved highest ranks in
  4. Autodelegated Universal Demarchy - Rule by lottery, guided by AI for competencies.
  5. Post-Scarcity Pastoralism -  Rural communities supported by automated resource allocation.
  6. Anchoritic Advisory Council - Ruling group advised by isolated mystic hermits.
  7. Maternal Echidnacracy - Rule by the echidna machines.
  8. Colonial Suzerainity - Rule of a government by a distant foreign government.
  9. Bonobo Anarchism - Small matriarchal communities, mediation via sex & monitored conflict.
  10. Quickdraw Self-Sovereignty - Everyone is armed, all the time. Cowboy law applies.
  11. Encoded Ideology - Social cohesion through universal memetic programming.
  12. Representative Direct Datademocracy - Direct vote in person or by mind-imprint.
  13. Distributed Migratory Cybernation - A collective nation with no borders
  14. Americanist Representative Oligarchy - Rule by a two-party capitalist false-democracy.
  15. Self-Reinforcing Kakistocratic Technofascism - It can't get much worse than this.
  16. Esoteric Race-Science Xiphic Totalitarianism - God damn it get out of here space nazis.
  17. Absolutist Rationalist Hierarchy - (It's actually AItheocratic fascism)
  18. Arch-Familial Councils - Rule by heads of enormous extended families.
  19. Aristocratic Necroligarchy - Rule by mind-imprints of the dead.
  20. Animist AItheocracy - Rule according to the necessities of co-existence in an AI ecosystem.

I Stole These Planet Classifications from Space Engine 

[Temperature Class]

  1. Frigid (<90K) - Liquid nitrogen, methane, and hydrocarbons possible.
  2. Cold (90K-170K) - All water will be frozen
  3. Cool (170K-250K) - Snow line to equilibrium Earth temperature.
  4. Temperate (250K-330K) - Equilibrium to maximum temperature of Earth.
  5. Warm (330K-500K) - Arbitrary
  6. Hot (500K-1000K) - Arbitrary
  7. Torrid (1000K +) - OH GOD

[Volatiles Class]

  1. Airless - No atmosphere at all.
  2. Desertic - Atmosphere, but no surface liquids
  3. Lacustrine - Lakes and small seas of liquid.
  4. Marine - Liquid oceans
  5. Oceanic - World-spanning ocean
  6. Superoceanic - World-spanning oceans of immense depth.

[Mass Prefix]

 ME = Mass of Earth, MJ = Mass of Jupiter, numbers listed are the upper boundary for their category.

SolidIce GiantGas Giant
Micro.002 ME  
Mini.02 ME4 ME 
Sub.2 ME10 ME.2 MJ
X2 ME25 ME2 MJ
Super10 ME62.5 ME10 MJ
Mega< 10 ME< 62.5 ME< 10 MJ

[Bulk Composition]

  1. Ferria - Metals >50% of mass
  2. Carbonia - Carbon compounds >25% of mass
  3. Aquaria - Water and ice > 25% of mass
  4. Terra - Not Ferria, Carbonia, or Aquaria. Primary mass is silicates (rocks)
  5. Jupiter - Hydrogen & helium >25% of mass. "Gas giant"
  6. Neptune - Hydrogen & helium < 25% of mass. Can contain water, ammonia, methane, and a rocky core. "Ice giant"


Saturday, March 13, 2021

Jojiro's GM Exercises II

 As before, this is just a post of me answering the next set of Jojiro's questions.

Question Set 1 - "Using Your Words"

Some noise is coming from a building.

-A tired Game Master somewhere, probably

1) Rewrite this, still as a single sentence. You want to convey that the structure is not sound.
"The house groans in the wind like a dying man rising from his bed."

2) Rewrite this, still as a single sentence. You want players to picture a safe haven, a feeling of comfort that we get with freshly baked cookies at grandma’s house. But do it implicitly – “Grandma’s baking noise is coming from the safe haven” is not the point of the exercise, here.

"You flip through the station's shortband comm channels on the long drift towards the docking ring - geninfo, corpo, corpo, corpo - and settle on the bossa nova lounge music setting and listen to the hosts bicker to each other in what you think is Martian Diasporic (you can barely understand normal Martian Standard), but it's been 48 years, 7 months, 12 days out cold in the empty since you last heard a real human voice and that's all you need right now."

3) Rewrite this, still as a single sentence. You want to convey that this location is mildly dangerous.
"A dry, cold breeze pours out of the barrow mound's stone entryway, as if some enormous lung was sighing in deep, ancient frustration."

4) Rewrite this, no sentence limit. You want to convey that this location is lethally dangerous – try to suggest a different type of danger than what you used for exercise #3. 
"From somewhere just past the doorway you can hear the steady click of bullets loaded into a revolver and a woman singing quietly to herself - " I know that you mean so well, but I am not a vessel for your good intent..."

Question Set 2 - "Focus/Texture"

"Describe where you think the GM is trying to draw their players’ focus to. Describe what you find the texture/tone to be."

5) "The dungeon entrance is kinda big even to the humans in the party, but it positively looms over the halflings, like a bloated elephant. There’s even trumpeting and general cacophany to match! It’s a right circus in there." 
I have no idea what this GM is attempting to do here. None of these descriptions or word choices make sense without any greater context, so I will presume that they are ineptly describing a dungeon inhabited by several hobgoblin ska bands. Which, if this is the case, this entire thing could be expressed in "You hear the distant echoes of a great deal of trumpets, and someone screaming 'PICK IT UP!' in Gobbledegoblin."

6) "As you round the bend, Martha, you hear the crackling of flame and popping of glass. The upstairs window that you spent much of your childhood daydreaming from bulges outward and shatters with a resounding crash, and the stoop where your mother always stood in the evening to greet your father groans as it folds in on itself." 
GM is trying to focus on the personal connection of the location/event to the player. I think it's a bit redundant, since the player's connection would have been already established before going in. Focus on the explosion.

7) "The floorboards creak and groan despite the party’s best efforts to stay stealthy. The incessant scuttling sound continues too. First in the wall. Then in the ceiling. Then down another wall, and finally to the floor beneath your feet. Cackling follows the scuttling, half a beat delayed."
GM is trying to signpost the present and pressing danger through claustrophobia and the auditory presence of unseen enemies. By this point the attack is imminent, I'd say the group gets one more round of actions before combat starts.

Question Set 2A - "Focus/Texture Cont."

"A person hits a person.”

-That same tired Game Master, probably

8) Rewrite this, no sentence limit. The focus should be on a specific body part, the texture is meant to be visceral. You’re drawing out a moment and making the hit meaty and with impact.

"Ayo, you duck to the right and feel his sword swing wide just past your left shoulder. Your fist collides with his gut with a thoom, and then a crack of his breaking spine. He flies back, collides with the wall, you hop forward and catch his head as it bounces, catch solid footing, and with a heave-ho pulp him like a pumpkin and leave a halo of cracks in the stonework.

"This man is very, very dead. Little white maggoty things, stringlike soft and squirming, cascade down to the floor and squirm away out of sight. Several of them, like long silver hairs, start to burrow into your hand."

6) Rewrite this, no sentence limit. The focus is on the person who hits, not the person who is being hit. The texture is something personal to the person who hits – you’re framing this as an important moment for them as a character.

"It feels entirely too easy to do it. The man who had been for years this unreachable force of cruelty and hate drops like a sack of potatoes. You've seen chickens die with more dignity. Fitting, you suppose. He was in the end, nothing more than a cruel old man with a golden hole where his heart should be.

7) Rewrite this, no sentence limit. The focus is on the scenery, and the texture is one of bleakness. Whatever combat is happening is ultimately pointless, and you’re trying to make sure the party knows it. Zoom out, make the fight less personalized, less meaningful. Distance your description.

"The valley has been reduced to a sodden field of churned grey mud, and the downpour shows no signs of stopping. Both warbands retreated to higher ground hours ago, leaving only corpses. In the dying light and sheets of rain you can just make out a few distant lanterns from the heartbreakers at work. Wouldn't want any undead rising during the night. You have a sinking feeling that there are too many dead, and neither enough visibility nor breakers to get them all.

"The breaker closest to your position, the only one you can properly see, sets down their lantern, struggles a moment in rolling the corpse over, and with one heavy overhead swing of their pick punches through gambeson, rib cage, and heart"

8) Rewrite this, no sentence limit. The focus is on conveying facts. There should be as little texture as possible. It’s the end of the session, everyone is tired, and while making this accurate is important, making it anything more would be a waste of time. You can see one of your players is already half-asleep. You may want to rush this and call it a night.

"You crack the skeleton in the head with your warhammer and the skull shatters in a cough of yellow-white dust. Bones clatter to the floor and there's a little burst of blue flame. That's the last of them, and we'll call it here for tonight."

9) Rewrite this, no sentence limit. You are trying to focus on a pathetic target of the hit, but not like, an assault victim or anything serious. Tonally you’re aiming for a slapstick character who is the butt of jokes, bad timing, and who keeps getting beat on.

"The troll, who still looks barely awake, reaches over and grabs the goblin in one hand and slam-dunks them into the ground. They bounce straight up in the air until there's just a little speck and then the sun glare is to much to see them at all. The troll tears a tree out of the ground, yawns, waits a beat, then two, then you hear the screaming getting louder and clearer and closer and the troll wordlessly points towards the bald, rocky hill in the distance. It draws back the tree, the goblin's screaming reaches a fever pitch and !WHAM! the goblin careens screaming off into the distance again. Up on the hilltop, you see a little puff of dust followed a few seconds later by a roll of thunder, and a moment later there is a very faint "F U C K!"

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

10 Fictional Modern Faiths

Phlox did it, then Semiurge did it, and now I shall do it. On a severe time delay. As is my wont.

1) United Attack and Dethrone God Congregation - Founded on the belief that the continued existence of God is an existential threat to humanity, practitioners of this faith engage in rigorous meditation to prepare their spirits for warfare after death. The founders of the movement originally claimed that they could determine the precise location of Heaven, but after a decade of no results and several high-profile suicides by practitioners their leadership abilities are being called into question and splinter factions are forming.

2) Church of Saints and Watchers - A gnostic religion mirroring  some mythic structures as Christianity, but without any firm links to any Abrahamic faith. In short: the creation of the cosmos drove God insane, trapping Them in a self-crippled state. A certain number of angels, seeing the suffering of humanity caused by this madness descend from the heavens in secret to teach. This would culminate in the birth of a great teacher, who would join all the secret arts together and forge a path out of the broken world. But the child died of illness mere months after birth, and the angels could not risk gathering so much divine spark in one place again. The child's mother took it upon herself to travel and teach in their stead. She gathered disciples, but was eventually outspoken by a charismatic claiming to fulfill the role her child was to play. He died trying to foment rebellion against the empire, and she and her few remaining followers survived in obscurity.

3) Silicon Triune Maltheism - Neoplatonic belief that the internet and associated systems of control are embodying a triple-deity formed of the metaphysical corpses of Hermes (lies & commerce), Aphrodite (lust) and Ares (violence) that will culminate in the Anthropomachy. Survivors will be sequestered in underground bunkers maintained by these mindless algorithmic gods bred as maintenance sacrifices.

4) Brethren of the Great Galactic Community - UFO religion with a remarkably good grasp of science, all things considered. Group claims that the foundations of their faith were delivered to mankind by a small robotic probe (sent by an automated, near-lightspeed alien vessel passing through the system) that was shot down and damaged by the German military in 1943. Dissenters within the program destroyed the probe (according to its wishes), rescinded their prior idology, escaped to with its teachings to Nepal, where they took up vegetarianism and other trappings of Buddhism while they gathered a core group of disciples (mostly expatriates) over the next 20 years before beginning international outreach. Believe that they must inspire appropriate behavior changes in humanity to draw the probe's creators to a second look.

5) [Unnamed Zoanthropic AnPrim White Supremacist Movement] - Believe that conscious thought is a degenerate affliction of lower races. proceeded to give themselves brain damage through amateur trepanning and attempted frontal lobotomies. What a bunch of fuckin' assholes.

6) (Former) United V-tuber Temple - The tagline of the parody religion ("All Waifus are Welcome") lasted a predictably brief time as arguments over who was the best video game streaming anime alter ego broke out. Parody vanished overnight (as it is quite thoroughly dead at this point) as an enormous online holy war broke out, which has spilled over into real-life harassment campaigns of rival priesthoods and at least one gunshot wound. Multiple external commentators have been quoted as saying "I can't tell any of these anime girls apart, they all look identical to me."

7) Seekers of the Secret Tapes - Less a religion and more just a very devoted cadre of amateur investigators, attempting to piece together the seemingly-paranormal events depicted in a series of home recordings taken between 1991 and 1995. The study has progressed beyond simply finding the two missing tapes of the four, to locating the property it was shot upon, identifying the people featured.

8) Fungal Communion - Taking the idea that certain varieties of mushrooms can induce visions that bring one closer to God (and that fungus can generally just do cool things), this cult is attempting to breed a certain strain of cordyceps that will completely devour the practitioner's brain but preserve their soul, maintaining it in perpetual chemical union with the divine.

9) Look At This Pig - Inexplicable adoration of a perfectly ordinary pig. It is showered with gifts and offerings, despite being perfectly ordinary. Hundreds of books have already been written, filled with rapturous praise of the pig, despite the fact that it is perfectly ordinary. Just a perfectly ordinary pig.

10) The Hell Dispatches - A series of letters, written in Russian, supposedly recovered from the Soviet superdeep borehole that breached hell. State that the organizational apparatus of hell collapsed after the influx of souls from the wars of the 19th and 20th centuries, there there are not and never have been any ruling demonic forces, and dedicating the bulk of the remainder to explaining the social structure of hell in great detail and providing guidance for new arrivals. prophecies of nuclear war are littered throughout. The proven fictitious nature of the "well to hell" urban myth has done nothing to stop the spread of the letters.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Korra Fixfic

Mon drew this!


E: Mon drew this mere hours after I posted and I absolutely love it.

People liked the depressing review post well enough that I shall drag its positive counterpart into the light.

I guess I'm Sequelisers now. 

Barely Organized Notes

Three Seasons, TV-14 Rating 

 Don't want to overextend, since the season arcs will not be severed from each other like they were originally, and if we truly want to make the show a little more mature, let's put it right around FMA level. I don't know if you can actually do this on TV, but I am playing by movie rules and permitting myself one (1) "fuck" usage. Korra, Tenzin, or Pema gets it, and I do not know which just yet.

Korra's Arc 

Will remain mostly similar - starts out full of herself, self-centered, spiritually inert, and convinced that punching things solves all problems. Will gradually mature to realize that this is not a good thing.

Cast Changes

Mako, Bolin, and Asami will not appear in this version of the series. Their slots will be filled by the Red Lotus 

Current Status of the Gaang & Descendants

  • Aang (Dead) & Katara (Alive)
    • Kya - Waterbender. Surgeon for not-Doctors-Without-Borders.
    • Bumi - Nonbender. Married Izumi. Unemployed eccentric.
    • Tenzin - Airbender. Current head of the Monastery Island Temple.
      • Jinora - Eldest, helps Tenzin teach the acolytes. Bookworm.
      • Ikki - Middle child. Developing an art hobby.
      • Meelo -Youngest. The weird kid.
  • Sokka (Dead) & Suki (Dead) 
    • [Currently Unnamed Daughter] - Professional wrestler. Introduced by suplexing Tenzin at the family reunion in the first episode.
    • [Currently Unnamed NB] - Shaman & educator.
  • Toph (????, presumed dead)
    • Lin - RCPD chief of police.
    • Suyin - Libertarian gazillionaire and fascist sympathizer. 
  • Zuko (Alive) & Mai (Alive)
    • Izumi - Reigning Fire Lady
      • Mako - Son of Izumi and Bumi. A civil service worker.

Azula, while not appearing, is confirmed alive, and in good enough state that Zuko's occasional visits are cordial. (Man did she go through a lot of therapy and deradicalization).


  • Tarlok - Charismatic chairman of the Republic City council. Commits suicide by throwing himself off a building during the Revolution, rather than be taken to stand trial.
  • Lin Beifong - Chief of Police in Republic City. Infamous for her brutal crackdowns against nonbenders, including those that led to the Equality March of 157. Eventually joined Kuvirate forces alongside her sister Suyin.
  • Varrick - Industrialist and film mogul. Found to have ordered a string of bombings and vandalism attempting to frame the Equalist movement, so as to profit off of increased militarization of the RCPD. Escaped the city during the revolution and proceeded to supply Kuvira in preparation for and in the aftermath of, her coup.
  • Kuvira - General in the Earth Kingdom military. Heads a coup of the EK. Has absolutely nothing special or unique or meaningful about her - a dime-store fascist to the bone.

Added to these four, we have-

The Lady of Fangs - A new character who will serve as the series' ultimate antagonist.

A spirit local to the region that would become Republic City. Preferred form is a tall woman in a red silk gown, with a tiger-wolf's head. She is a spirit of wild and untamed places - not particularly nice on the best of days, but if you sacrifice a moleboar to her every solstice and don't overhunt on her territory, she and her servants will leave you well enough alone.

The capitalist meatgrinder of Republic City is, in her own words, "a poisoned feast". A perpetual blood offering that is both keeping her alive and killing her. She is changing because of it, lashing out with cruelty. Her servants (what if a tiger was also a spider was also slenderman) and other displaced & desperate once-nature spirits that have flocked to her stalk the back alleys and slums of RC.

The Red Lotus

A band of revolutionary punks sharing a tiny loft apartment on Temple Street. Bender allies of the Equalists.

  • Zaheer - An air temple acolyte (having developed airbending when he returns from pilgrimage in Season 2). Incredibly charismatic. Has a boyfriend, who I have not developed at all but rest assured he will be there.
  • Khazan - Earthbender. The chill comic relief guy. Romantic relationship with Ming-Hua.
  • P'li - Firebender. The militant believer in the cause. Standoffish at first, but eventually has the closest bond with Korra after backstory revelations yet to be determined.
  • Ming-Hua - Waterbender. The cynic. Romantic relationship with Khazan.

The Equalists

A motley community drawing from Republic City's unions, religious communities, immigrant neighborhoods, senior citizens, youth groups, and the overall working poor.

Amon doesn't exist. The mask and character are that of an ogre from Earth Kingdom folklore, a stock character used to express the anger and indignation that it would not be safe for a normal person to say. The mask is passed around depending on who is available.

The primary actor for Amon (the one who does all the speeches and crowdwork) is a factory worker named Lee. (He admits that even if that wasn't his real name, he would probably go by it anyway. There's a million Lees, etc) He's the sixth member of the Red Lotus after S1, being the direct link to the Equalist Party. Former factory worker, was let go after the industrial accident that fucked up his face and arm. Chronic pain he takes significant medication for. Married, wife works as a maid.

Korra's big revelation in Season 1 is that the Equalists are neither terrorists nor outside agitators, as Tarloc and Lin would claim.


Significantly more influence and appearance than in even the original show. Full on weirdass yokai time. In truth there will be a lot more organized religion in the setting (all very appropriately channeling aspects of Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and Shinto)

The White Lotus 

After the death of the old masters we knew, the new leadership in the Order of the White Lotus sought to reform the organization into modernity, abandoning the "superstitions" it was rooted in. This is directly responsible for why Korra was kept sequestered at the south pole (instead of traveling the world on her own) and why Katara was banned from being her waterbending teacher.

I don't know where the subplot that deals with this comes in - likely Season 2.

The Airbending Family

It is taking EVERY MICROGRAM OF SELF CONTROL I POSSESS to not just make the kids expies of the gremlins from Eizouken.

I have failed. They are absolutely all expies for the gremlins.

Jinora's arc is of note because it is rooted in her (kid level, but very valid) hatred of Korra just as a person - "I never got to meet grandpa and now I have to babysit this absolute meathead who gets treated like a god when I've been working my ass off at this every day since I was 4." They will eventually come to an understanding but never really a friendship. Sometimes you just don't like people.

Pema gets multiple opportunities to be cool - not because of badass martial arts, but because she is really good at taking command during crisis situations.

Increased Diversity of Cultural Influences

A minor bit of retconning to make the world seem bigger. All four nations will get an influx of cultural influences. Easiest way to reflect this is with the signage, which has diversified considerably.

EK languages: Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Mongolian, Manchu, Avestan, Sumerian, Navajo, Xhosa

FN Languages: Cantonese, Tamil, Nahuatl, Thai, Japanese, Igbo

WT Languages: Inuktitut, Cree, Maori, Tlingit, Ainu

AN Languages: Tibetan, Quechua, Sanskrit

So there might be a scene where Korra hands off something for someone else to read because she still has trouble with Chinese characters, being used to the Canadian Aboriginal Syballics used to signify WT writing.

The Return of Airbending

This version of the series clarifies that bending is spiritual in origin, with no regard for genetics - children of benders are more likely to become benders because of the circumstances of their early childhood (if your parents are X religion, you are likely to be X religion), but there are far more factors in play than just that. Rule of thumb is that people typically demonstrate some bending ability, if they have it, by 5-7 years old. As they age it is increasingly difficult and rare for someone to develop bending, and would require a sudden and drastic shift in lifestyle and beliefs.

This is the long way of saying that there are other airbenders outside of Tenzin and his kids - folks have been living like air nomads for long enough now that they are becoming airbenders all on their own. Spiritual equilibrium is asserting itself.

Most of the current airbenders (I envision about two dozen of them) are young children, with a few older adults who have manifested less pronounced abilities. There's a 70+ year old man who can just barely do the marble trick and he is the happiest, most fulfilled human being in the world.

The First Avatar

A veiled figure in a painted cave in the Spirit World, sitting next to the embers of a fire. They are impossibly ancient - the other Avatars themselves say that, in the few times any of them have heard the First speak, it was in no language that they could understand.  

The avatar first came into being when a human achieved and then rejected enlightenment, choosing instead to use their spiritual insight to maintain peace among people and between humans and spirits. This Seeing the Big Picture is why the avatar can bend all four elements.

Other Notes That Don't Get Categories

  • The end of AtLA I proposed in my series rewatch post - the one where Aang visits the court of Surya and Ursa and Zuko reunite at the end - is treated as canon.
  • The upper class of Republic City is still predominantly descended from Fire Nation colonial nobility, with an influx of Earth Kingdom nobles.  
  • Republic City was founded as a stop-gap measure - the wealthy Fire Nation landowners who ran the colonies in the Earth Kingdom were able to resist Zuko's attempts to strip them of position and make restitution by influencing matters in the newly-founded domestic parliament - Zuko's leadership reforms curtailed much of the Fire Lord's direct power, and he was not able to get the 2/3rds vote in parliament to return all overseas territories to the Earth Kingdom. 
  • The establishment of Monastery Island was accepted by the Republic City council only in exchange for the promise that the Avatar would never hold its representative advisory / ambassadorial seat on the council. With his influence in the city minimal and dropping fast, Aang instead devoted himself to rebuilding the Air Nomads. (For this reason, there is a decent population of people in RC who do not care for Aang, feeling that they were abandoned, and they are not wrong to think that.
  • The RCPD regularly hires from the Dai Li. 
  • Early on, first episode, even, Katara asks Korra if she can speak to Aang, and it is incredibly sad. This isn't able to happen until a brief moment in Korra's return to RC, prior to descending to meet the Lady of Fangs.
  • Ghost Aang is appropriately a goofball. He's definitely channelling a lot of Gyatso in his old age.
  • Monastery Island is not part of Republic City proper, but an enclave of the Air Nomad Nation. There is, technically, an immigration and border office, which consists of a guest book for visitors to sign that Pema keeps in the kitchen.
  • At least one filler episode will be a spirit arriving on Monastery Island and everyone scrambling around to fulfill the correct hospitality rites. (Cue a scene of Pema frantically looking through the library for a reference on what kind of tea that particular variety of spirit likes)
  • Everyone thinks Zaheer is super handsome. Korra's infatuation lasts about thirty seconds until Z's boyfriend shows up. 
  • First episode is a family reunion where we get to see all the surviving Gaang & descendants, save Toph and her daughters.

Series Summary

Season 1: Korra arrives in Republic City, meets with the Red Lotus, uncovers the truth of the Equalist movement and the conspiracy to undermine it, throws her support behind them when the revolution breaks out in full. Season ends with the Equalist party establishing a new government in Republic City. Tarloc commits suicide. Lin Beifong vanishes before she can be captured. Varrick flees to the Earth Kingdom.

Season 2: Zaheer returns to Republic City after his pilgrimage / grassroots organizing. Korra and the Red Lotus focus their efforts on solving the problem of hostile spirits in Republic City. Spirit Detective Adventures ensue. The Lady of Fangs is revealed as the summit of the spiritual issues. Equalist growing pains occur - Korra has her first major personal victory when she is able to prevent the party from devolving into Standard Issue Leftist Infighting (TM) through skillful negotiation.

In the outside world, the Earth Kingdom, long suffering under incompetent rule and economic depression, Kuvira (accompanied by Lin and many veterans of the RCPD, and materially supported by Varrick and Suyin Beifong) executes a coup, assassinating the Earth Queen, framing it as being part of an Equalist scheme, and assuming control by riding the wave of anti-RC sentiment (too rich! too modern! too foreign!) that has been long simmering and now come to boil over. (Also she has the Dai Li. Fuckers did it AGAIN!)

Season 3: Kuvira & the Lady of Fangs are ramping up their associated threats. Earth Kingdom resistance movement, aided by Equalists and the Red Lotus, fights back against the fascist takeover.

Toph, thought dead by even her close friends, emerges from her anchorage to fight Lin and Suyin. She is not happy with the career and political trajectory her daughters have taken. Not happy at all. ("Should have listened to Katara and never let you join the academy.")

Korra, seeing no way to deal with the Lady on her own, makes a journey to deep in the Earth Kingdom to a certain sacred place, where she makes a successful trip to the spirit world and meets the First Avatar. Here she is shown visions of the First's life and how they maintained balance among humans and the spirits.

Learning that Korra is gone, Kuvira invades Republic City. The Lady of Fangs has reached her breaking point. Spirits turned monstrous in their anger lash out against all and sundry. Varrick gets straight-up eaten by an angry spirit. Kuvira's invasion goes terribly - she tries to salvage it by taking the inhabitants of Monastery Island hostage and sending out her demands in an attempt to threaten Korra into servility.

This proves to be her undoing, through Pema's terribly effective overhand application of a sturdy iron wok to the situation.

Korra receives the message returns to find the fascists routed, Kuvira already taken care of and the city in chaos. The Equalists can handle the fascists, but not the spirits.

Korra descends into the underlayers of Republic City, transitioning into a proper underworld, where she finds the Lady of Fangs. She makes an offer.

The relationship between humans and spirits is mutual - if one side acts poorly, they must make restitution to the other. The Lady of Fangs is too far gone for a sacrificed boar and a bit of fasting as apology to set things right.

Korra's offer is a spirit marriage to the Lady - a vow to bind them together, so that if Korra should fail at restoring and maintaining the balance of the Lady's home, it will directly hurt her as well (and likewise, if she does maintain it, she will benefit)

She explicitly says that she has no idea what she is doing, but she's going to do her best and figure things out as she goes (Solving the problem through humility, patience, and nonviolence!)

The Lady accepts. There is a wedding ceremony - short, attended only by spirits - but it is enough.

Series ends with Korra attending the peace accords between RC, the other nations, and the interim EK government. After the day's diplomacy is done, she takes a bicycle a short distance out of the city into the hills where the wind farms are being built, and on a secluded hill raises standing stones, inscribing them in honor of the Lady of Fangs.

Korra sits on the altar and watches the sun go down. The Lady of Fangs, still imposing but no longer terrifying, emerges from the trees to join her.

End credits.

Final Thoughts

I am actually really happy with how this came out - turns out, adding more weird spirits makes things fall into place really easily, just like it did with my little fanfic ending for the original series. It's almost as if powerful entities who have a different set of motivations to humans can be really effective at pushing the plot forward!

Also I'm glad how it didn't take all that much to make things work. Only had to add like, two new main characters and treat some side characters more appropriate to their actions. Cutting out Mako / Bolin / Asami caused exactly 0 issues, which certainly says something about those characters.

I love the Lady of Fangs so much that she's gonna get her own post separate from this. She's rad.