This bottled beverage is noted for its glittery green glass. Barry's Brew comes shipped in straw-padded boxes. When broken, the glass fractures along even square lines, leaving few sharp edges, and nothing in a would-be brawler's hands except fragments. Go to Comment
This decaf blend is specially formulated (chemically or alchemically depending on the setting) to break down alcohol within the body faster. This is frequently purchased at the end of a night of revelry to make the trip home easier & safer. Unfortunately, Anti-brew Coffee can do nothing to stop the effects of a hang-over. In fact, it brings it on full-force as the alcohol burns out of your system.
This was intended to be a longer-lasting dartboard, one that wouldn't be chopped to bits after a few years of playing. They tried, but failed. It has many small holes pre-drilled into the very hard wood to catch & hold the darts. As the darts themselves didn't need to be sharp enough to stab the board, they were blunted, in theory making them much safer. The end result is a dartboard that deflects shots, either into an unwanted area, or bouncing off of the board completely. After years of such banging about, the darts are subtly bent, and do not throw very true. These factors combine to make for a very frustrating game. The more the shots fail, the harder the players throw them, and the angrier everyone becomes. Between loud curses shouted at the board, wild shots bounced into the crowd, and the general high frustration level, fights frequently break out. In some taverns, "Let's go play darts" has become a subtle substitute for, "Let's go outside (to fight)." Go to Comment
In games set in The Time Before Toilet Paper, refrigeration is lacking. This makes storage & transportation of beverages problematic, and skunky beer a common issue. As ales do not last as long as beer without cold storage, these problems are even worse for those drinks. To solve this, we have Evelyn's Ever-kept Cask. Through some strange science or magic, Evelyn designed a metal-wrapped cask that can preserve any beverage fresh & cold for an indefinite time--at least until it's tapped. The casks are refillable, but only Evelyn's brewery knows how to store drink within while keeping fresh. The casks--even if not the methods of creation & storing--have been sold for use by other breweries, making Evelyn's a more successful bottler than brewmaster. Go to Comment
This is a fair pool cue. It's far from tournament quality, but is okay for a friendly game in a pub. However, this stick is rarely--if ever--used for anything friendly. The Cue Stick of Beat-down is dark & very heavy. The colour is darkest near the tip, and unevenly gets lighter towards the base. This isn't by design; this is due to it being smacked upside many heads, with grease, sweat, blood, and hair-care products smeared on the wood as a result. The wood is snakewood (Piratinera guianensis), and brass inlays decorate the handle. By this point in its existence, the Cue Stick of Beat-down is not easily screwed or unscrewed for easy assembly or disassembly, but that just means the owner has an excuse not to mess around with it, and can start swinging it at someone as soon as he walks into the bar. Go to Comment
Thunk big. Thunk strong. Thunk heavy. Lady all love Thunk best. Thunk made of glass.
Thunk is the name of a particular large, heavy, glass mug. It is as tall as a man's forearm is long, and weighs nearly two kilograms. For some reason, some beneficial quirk of construction, the glass does not break--or even chip--even when great force is applied. From years of being slammed down on the bar, to falling to the floor as someone passes out while holding it, Thunk has survived intact. Thunk's current bar-of-residence has a special offer. Anyone who can down Thunk in one pass is allowed to use Thunk for the evening, with refills for the price of a regular draft. He or she is also allowed to refer to themselves as Thunk, and speak as indicated in the above paragraph. Go to Comment
The converse is also possible. A society that outlaws slavery, but allows for necromantic labour, may find an unscrupulous individual or seven that would try and pass slaves off as zombies. It may be much easier & cheaper to bring in living slaves, even with cosmetics to add a "dead" look & possibly an odour of decay (but this may not be needed if the slaves are treated deplorably), than to bear the cost of reanimation. Slavers are also cheaper than necromancers, and easier to get rid of, should you no longer desire their services. Assuming that a living person--however poorly treated--will be more intelligent alive than dead, these imitation zombies can be given tasks that would be impossible for a zombie; assembly-line work comes to mind. If zombie labour is allowed, a slavemaster can abuse his or her slaves beyond even the vile extent of the US south, the Romans, or the Etruscans. After all, they're just "zombies..." Go to Comment
The trouble with this is in starting it. Once you have an Undead economy for a few generations, then people grow up not thinking of skeletal servants as being wrong. However, the initial reluctance to start this may be an overwhelming obstacle.
For most people, this is just "icky," if they are not accustomed to the idea from an early age. Also, one must remember that the Undead was once a living person. Even if only criminals and the very poor are used, people aren't going to be thrilled about having reanimated murderers & theives roaming about. And knowing that the masked zombie might be the beggar that you refused last week is an unsettling thought.
I have considered this issue with my game world, as reanimation of dead flesh is possible, under certain circumstances--reanimation must begin within a short time after death, and the flesh must be mostly intact for full zombies, other rituals have other requirements. In Midian, the bodily requirements, length of the involved ritual, and duration of the magic (before the body breaks down too far) limit the practicality of an Undead based economy.
Additionally, zombies are just stupid. Watching someone perform menial tasks is even more mind-numbing than the work itself. Finding enough capable overseers may be very difficult. Not only do you need someone who knows the job well, and can handle a supervisory role, but someone able and willing to work with the Undead.
There are also religious aspects to consider. Some faiths profess belief in life-after-death, and the concept of mass-reanimation may be disturbing to them on religious grounds. Some faiths feel that all corpses should not be molested in any way, even if that belief system does not have resurection or lasting-soul elements. Finally, there are religions--or cultural elements--where bodies are disposed of as a matter of course in ways not friendly to reanimation. Go to Comment
There is a great deal of potential with this idea for some really abominable & unholy constructs. Elements of necromancy, "standard" golem-type animation, steampunk, & Victorian pseudo-science can all be combined into these monstrosities.
If a limiting factor is applied, such as a mana-to-weight cost, there are ways around this, with more graphically satisfying results. A flexible material can be animated only to act as a motive force, replacing the muscles, senses, and intelligence, with the rest of the body being inanimate materials. For example, a threadjack (no relation) can be wound around a skeletal frame & encased in armour. Coil enough of the animated thread into the braincase to act as a center of higher thought, with tendrils extending into the optic cavities for sight. Part of the thread can be bound together & given an easy port out of the armour, to be useful as a tendril or tail. Just imagine the horror of encountering a platoon of skull faces grinning from suits of armour, with tentacles twitching all around them in anticipation of the slaughter...
Composite -jacks are another possibility. Here's one creepy example that would make a great assassin: Worms are bound into muscle groups, tied together & enchanted to follow the commands of the rubberjack. A wooden framework is erected for the skeleton, and engraved with explosive runes, should the construct ever be captured or destroyed. A rubberjack is animated and coloured whatever would fit the complexions of the people it is to imitate. The rubberjack can flex its surface to imitate the appearance of a person, or just to rapidly alter itself to hide in a crowd, et al. The disembodied brain of a skilled swordsman is placed inside (not necessarily the head) to add ready-made combat expertise. This latter component is pseudo-science, rather than necromantic, as the brain is dead, but chemically preserved so that the old pathways still function when a current is driven through them. The brain would no longer be able to think or learn, but the motive responses of wielding a weapon could still be utilised. Go to Comment
Hielo People Lifeforms (Intelligent Species)
Or maybe the Arctic & Antarctic varieties hate each other intensely, but the intervening warm waters prevents bloodshed except during ice ages, and the Hielo People hold grudges for a very long time...
This is certainly a unique submission. I would definitely play this one for its horror value. There is so much wrongness to the Heilo, and their physical similarities to humans moves their description from odd to creepy. Go to Comment
I'm envisioning it still attached to the jacket, but unable to move anything other than the threads that make up the embroidered symbol. That is, the sleeves & such just hang limp or flap in the breeze. Go to Comment
The toys aren't coming to life; they are stealing it instead. The missing puppets & toys steal the souls of the children while they sleep. Their little bodies still animated in a crude parody of life--the chemistry of life continues, but without the 'spark'. The formerly inanimate bodies are then animated by the children's souls, and taken by a third party when they come to life & confusedly begin to explore their new existence. It's simple for the thief: wait until after dark (which could be a limitation on the enchantment) & scoop up any toys that are wandering the streets.
It's what one plans to do with either the children's captured souls--or the still-living husks of their bodies--that is the true terror... Go to Comment
New Year's Day: The first day of the year. This day is typically spent hung-over from the previous night. Syadus 1st
Detestation Day: to remember those that you dislike. In most countries (the Elves being a notable exception), this is also a day to remember the departed. By focusing on the negative about those that have passed, it is easier to overcome grief and get on with living. Zarathus 14th
Hysteria: Day of jokes, practical and otherwise. Mojus 1st
A holiday for dressing up and partying. This is a celebration for the new spring. There are often death-themes to the costumes and decorations but this celebrates birth and renewal. It is typical to give up bad habits following this holiday. Gulik 10th to 20th
Day of Bliss: The final day of F'te enjoyed by some while heavily sedated.
Sea Day: The day when ships are typically put to sea. Eldus 30th
Foundation Day(Kingdom of Formour only): Day commemorating the establishment & the unification of the Kingdom. Mandalus 7th
Day of the Dead (Ghouls, Goths, & Hobgoblins only): According to myth, the dead are able to walk about on this day. This is originally a Ghoulish holiday about the legendary first Ghoul-vampire who was able to withstand sunlight on this day. The cultures that practice this holiday spend it with family visiting the gravesites of dead loved ones (just in case). Chaosphe 30th
Day of Joy (Dwarves) / Day of Wrath (Hobgoblins): Two very different holidays commemorating the same event from different cultural perspectives. This day marks the defeat of the Olde Empire. To the Dwarves, this is a day celebrating freedom; to the Hobgoblins, this is a day of grim remembrance. Cabbus 2nd
Emperor's Birthday (Byzant Empire only): Celebrates the current Emperor's birthday. Ignotius 23rd
Halloween: A day for dressing up, partying, and remembrance of the dead. This is also a festival for the final harvest and preparing for the upcoming winter. Erisus 30th
Commercialmas: A mid-winter holiday for gift-giving and spending time with family. Malclypse 25th
New Year's Eve: The last day of the year. The evening is typically spent in a drunken stupor. Malclypse 30th
Additional player-added holidays:
New Hope: (Former Vridtown) Celebrating the regrowth over adversity and our new hope for prosperity following the city's reclamation from an Undead horde. Malclypse 22nd
Dead Man Dance: For the foundation of the United Darkmouth Emirates & the overthrow of Archmagus Vrid Krege. Chaosphe 4-5 Go to Comment
Commercialmas is the Midian gift-giving holiday. Some in central Formour decorate with branches of plants that stay green throughout the winter, to remind that winter is half over & life continues ever on. However, as these brances will inevitably wither & die after they are removed from the original plant--especially in dry smoky air indoors--the dying serves to remind people instead of death & that winter is only half-way over. Outside of central Formour, this custom is seen as strange & creepy.
Feasts are had by all, as it is preferable to slaughter and eat part of the herd than to let all (including and especially the sentients) die from starvation. As one large animal will provide more meat than what a small family can eat, this feast is often a big communal celebration. In small villages in the countryside, the entire community gathers for one large feast. In urban areas, Commercialmas is still enjoyed by large gatherings of family & friends.
Gifts are exchanged at this time, and many merchants offer competing discounts for items. However, typically only one gift is given--rather than a plenitude--and personalised &/or hand-made items are preferred. For Commercialmas, a well-thought gift that you make yourself is preferable to a large total purchase cost. As gifts are often personally made, and far fewer of them are exchanged, this holiday is not marked by scrambling at stores, short tempers, insipid jingles, or crashing one's mule cart into someone else's for the last parking spot in the bazaar... Go to Comment
35. In the Temple of the Light, they pray not with hands clasped, but with their hands on their shoulders & arms crossed. If reading from the Book of the Cannon, it is permissible to hold the book with one hand while the other rests on the shoulder. This practice derives from the passage, "and lay your hands on your shoulders in reverence." Mixed metaphors and bad translations can be blamed for this. It is a combination of the concept "love thy neighbour as thyself" with a metaphor from Olde Anglan for "put your hand on your brother's shoulder" meaning to help, comfort, support, etc. It is uncertain whether the error was originally the Prophet's or due to mistranslations after the fact. Go to Comment
In a city where the justice system features judicial dueling, plaintiffs and defendants are permitted to request a champion to take their place in the duel: Someone chosen by lot from among the foreigners in the city. When anyone first arrives, they are given an enchanted ceramic pendant that marks them as a candidate for "court duty".
Wealthy folk entering the city are often escorted by burly guards, paid to carry pendants on their behalf: They elude court duty in that way.
Adventurers may seek work as a rich man's proxy or may find themselves magically summoned to serve as a champion.