I like this, with the added aspect, particularly the touch about it being a place involving the God of Travel. I could easily see such a place; wandering at the whim of the divine, showing up to offer the road-worn wanderers a place to shelter from the elements for a night, with a good hot meal and some good drink to fortify them from the journey's resumption. And then, they wake, bellies full, from a night's slumber they do not recall, to resume their journey with the god's blessing strong upon them. Go to Comment
It would help explain why being responsible for a death bothers them so terribly much, since the rest of it paints them as rather blank happy-go-lucky creatures.
Question: Do they need to breathe, so that the assassin needs to put airholes in the jar, and thus make it a possible danger that if the glass isn't strong enough his 'bomb' might kill him? And what do they have for internal organs? Is it a kind of distributed neural network, so that there isn't a 'brain', per se? Go to Comment
The 'compelled mating' thing feels a little absurd, personally. I'd also like to know what happens if the assassin doesn't clean himself from spilling juice onto the victim before releasing the critter. Does it instead go after him? If you don't try to swat it, will it peacefully drink/scrape up the juice and then fly off in search of more? Go to Comment
I like this. It has the kind of feel that makes villages something others than Place-To-Barter-Loot. The underground lake, in particular, is a good thing, with the eyeless frogs and their madness-inducing secretions. It does have a vaguely Lovecraftian feel, in that it has echoes of things Man Was Never Meant To Know - in this case, the fate of the god Awan.
Random things that occur to me...
Perhaps the actual physical remnants of Awan, beyond the frogs, lie in the depths of the lake. Possibly this is even the true source of the seemingly endless water in the lake, and why the frogs prefer to simply hop around it and pay homage to Awan.
Or perhaps the site is of a sunken temple to Awan, in the depths of the water there might be the sole surviving (or ruined-but-semi-intact) temple or shrine of Awan, possibly with quasi-functional holy relics, or maybe even a way to revive Awan from his fate and restore him to power. It could be that someone else, finding this out, is trying to revive Awan right underneath the villagers who bear his name.
Or maybe the subtle changes being wrought by the frogs go beyond madness, and children begin developing a more amphibious appearance. bulging eyes, damp, clammy skin, webbed extremities, and the like begin to appear among the newborns as the villagers begin to further resemble the frogs and the god from whom they come... (Shadows of the Deep Ones!) Go to Comment
I like it. I could see a few 'cults' spun off the ones in the larger lakes, or possibly a trickster magician with some good illusions setting himself up as a high priest to a "squid god". Which, if one of the squid really are intelligent and happens to be in the lake the magician chooses, might have... Unfortunate results for the magician. Go to Comment
The arctic aspect was one of the key points. A lot of things in arctic conditions shy away from unnaturally hot things, the heat generated by the chemicals in the sap allow it to keep growing even during the coldest part of winter without freezing or getting stopped by frozen soil, and anything foolish enough to graze on it will, at the least, get a nasty burn inside the mouth, and more likely through the entire stomach and throat region.
Although I can picture a native of the region, angry at a visitor from the warmer lands, carefully cutting a leaf from one of the plants and saying something like "Here, chew this, it'll warm you up." Go to Comment
I'd considered the idea of a creature adapted to eating Fireleaf, but I'm not sure how it'd work out yet. Maybe some kind of insect that drains the chemical pockets and mixes them internally to keep warm during the cold months, the same way the plant does... Go to Comment
Only if they damage the pockets holding the chemicals; the stalks themselves only have a small amount of the compound in the sap to keep them from freezing. Admittedly, a lot of armies are rather careless, but unless the leaf pockets are ETREMELY frail, it'd only work once - and then you'll eventually end up with burnbees. Go to Comment
Unlikely. The individual pockets each contain only one part of an exothermic compound. It would be more likely to harvest the individual chemicals and use them to fill a breakable jar that's divided to keep them apart, then use that as a grenade-like splash weapon; the substances doesn't actually burn or explode, it just gets really, really hot. This is the 'warefare' use noted in the entry, as the reaction tends to run out quickly enough to not harm the plant after browsers burn themselves on it. Used in steady moderation, it makes a pleasant, smokeless heat source, but never quite makes it to the boiling point of water. Go to Comment
The mental damage persists only as long as the headband itself is on. When the wearer removes it, it clears away like a mental fog lifting, usually to the great embarassment of the wearer. Go to Comment
Talislanta is quite a unique setting. ;) I find that I dearly love the rule system, and particularly the way they handle magic. No more "I should've memorized (spell)!" as long as a reasonably reative person is playing the mage. Go to Comment
No Elves, indeed. Alas, it currently happens to be languishing horribly in the hands of the current company, suffering horribly from poor proof-reading and an utter lack of communication with fans. While I love the copy of the Big Blue Book that I own, I am sorely disappointed by the fifth edition of the game.
That said, the system itself is well-designed, and the setting is wonderfully unique. It's just a shame that the current producer is having difficulties with it. Go to Comment
Goblin suicide bombers, indeed. And more, if a tribe was known for explosive tendencies (and, no doubt, breeding like rabbits) when cut, the sightof one holding a dagger to his own throat would likely be enough to set off panic attacks in any locals. Go to Comment
Honestly, long after making this, my guess would be that the key component is the mixture of oxidized goblin blood and stomach acid; the other stuff is merely superstition on the part of the goblin witch doctor and alchemists. Mind you, this stuff can /only/ exist like this in a high fantasy world with a fair tolerance of absurdity.
People argue about the true form of the beasts known as "Bloodtouches", since they seem to take dozens of forms. Unfortunately, their bite's effect isn't in doubt. Anyone bitten by the bright crimson beasts rapidly loses all hair; their skin color shifts to bloody red. Many people fear those under this curse; villages of blood-skinned outcasts huddle in the wilds.