This handsome but burly drinking glass was made in honor of a famed local hero of times past, one Dieter Neunhauser of Landshut, a commoner who distinguished himself in the brutal War of Cantons by discovering he held the hidden talent of battle rage like the savage berserkers of old. After the war Dieter was presented with a valuable glass stein by the town brew master for saving his two sons, the sides emblazoned with the family crest, a rampant bear protecting the town walls. Unfortunately, Dieter's berserker rage also manifested when he drank heavily, and for a war hero the drinks came fast and free. One night a particularly grim bar fight broke out and Dieter shattered it on a brawny patron's head, much to his disgrace the following morning. A traveling wizard took pity on Dieter's plight and mended the broken stein with a spell, thereafter making it glassteel so it could not be shattered again. Years went by and Dieter finally passed from this life, remembered fondly by giving his stein an honored place on a shelf behind the bar. Occasionally the glass is taken down and given to honor heroes of the day and others who have distinguished themselves.
Unfortunately, what the kind wizard who mended the stein did not know was that some of Dieter's blood remained on the stein shards, sealed forever in unbreakable glass, and together with the sympathetic hero worship associated with this lauded vessel, Dieter's restless spirit has found a way to return.
Should anyone be holding Neunhauser's Stein and be inebriated or a fight break out - or any other cause for insult or fighting should come to pass - they must resist being possessed by a mild anger which will shortly turn to berserker rage should any cause whatsoever be given for a fight. Any attacks made with Neunhauser's Stein are at no penalty, the vessel doing damage as a mace. Go to Comment
Very nice. It's always interesting to see that even now after the invention of aircraft and wheeled vehicles, that there are some portions of land that still retain strategic significance in a given area, and this seems like one of them. I'd also suggest something akin to hyenas and other daring predators attracted to movement in the valley. Anyway, excellent submission. Go to Comment
Game Cliches Articles (Humor/ Editorial)
(Gaming - In General)
“A fortnight ago, I rode across Kitemoor via the verdant dam above the village of Etua, like so many springs before - each time not knowing what it was I truly tread upon. On my return I was stunned, for where the dam once stood was now but a murky channel, and of the quaint town, only shattered walls remained amongst a flooded stinking field of flotsam. As I stared in disbelief, my horse cantered nervously, and I turned to face what had erased the humble town – the jagged, spine-crowned head of a sinuous beast arising from the channel. Its coils glittered like emeralds and chalcedony, the belly an unwholesome yellow lined with thick, barbed scales. As the copious thing slid forward, burning sallow orbs in a spear-shaped head fixed me in a grip of terror. It opened its noxious steaming maw and struck at me, and if not for my bolting mount, surely I would have perished.”
Ysal of Lhyllifel, herald
River drakes dwell within reedy marshes and estuaries, although larger ocean specimens have been confirmed, these often called sea serpents by sailors and fishermen. River drakes have spear shaped heads like an adder, crowned by a crest of dark green spines. They have piercing yellow eyes and serpentine bodies with green scales that glitter like gems when wet, their toothsome maws often reeking of caustic venom and past victims. They are excellent swimmers, aided by planes of hard barbed belly scales to turn and dart with lighting speed. These barbed scale ridges afford river drakes great climbing skill, used to hook into wood or stone to ascend cliffs, tall trees and ships like a snake, albeit with far more speed and tenacity.
River drakes have keen senses and show an amazing and cruel cunning, lashing out to constrict prey and drown them in water or laying snares of coils under similar cover until prey present an opening for them to strike. They purposefully spook animals, trip and disarm foes, use (or even build) deadfalls and terrain to their advantage, and they may hide or cast away dropped weapons. If a river drake faces particularly dangerous foes, it will breathe a cone of corrosive steam which burns flesh and pits metal and wood.
River drakes dwell in coves, mangroves and caves along reedy coasts, often the top predator in their territory. Beside the occasional unlucky fisherman or missing livestock, adult river drakes are not often witnessed by humans unless such persons stray into their territory. However, in the rainy spring months they birth live young approximating 4-7’ in length, which immediately strike out on their own. The strength and aggression of these young drakes is alarming, and they often infest common fishing waters, irrigation canals, rice farms, wells and boats in search of food and shelter. These young have no breath weapon but can bite and strangle with deadly efficiency. Old river drakes tend to hibernate by covering overhangs and watery clefts with mud, rocks, and branches. In time, an overgrown hillock forms and blends into the landscape, where the beasts can slumber for decades or more. When they awaken they are sluggish and mottled, but soon shed and become ravenous, devastating an area before moving to new territory.
Undir tales speak of evil River Drakes who gather treasure in watery caves and cast spells or consort with witches, hags and other malicious beings, spreading great havoc while acting as hidden masters. Their teeth and shed skin can be fashioned into enchanted items. Go to Comment
Very cool thread, just added to it. Swamps and marshes are one of my favorite terrains (lived near them all my life.) Drive through, or better, walk through or near a swamp or marsh and observe the wildlife and nearby waterways, and I guarantee you'll see more critters than ever and be overcome by gaming ideas galore. Go to Comment
Excellent idea, really like the fact that the markings say something and no one can make teh beastie sit fast long enough to read it. I can see various scholars and sages wildly speculating - and hotly debating - what it all means. Great adventure starter! Go to Comment
Another good sub. I'd say that Sweeper was a good drug to use for meditation and initiations, particularly psionic users, who may get some benefit from being detached from the body. Burst Berries also might prove useful in this vein, especially combined with a master who is using telepathy or some kind of group dream, tutoring his pupil (or pupils) in this lucid state. I've read somewhere that Sufi masters used to group lucid dream with their pupils, that these students learned twice as fast as in the waking world. Anyway, very good sub with lots of possibilities. :) Go to Comment
Very interesting. Nice unseemly element mixed with the supernatural/religious. It would be cool at times to leave out the oracle (such as times when there just isn't one present, say from one dying and not yet having been replaced.)
This lets an aspiring querant have to crawl through a slimy passageway (or some other unwholesome path), going through hardships, perhaps a loss of status, to get to the creature - but then there should be more upright alternatives, this last option kept as a last resort, especially if the toad's hallucinatory visions are known to be more accurate, if at first puzzling.
This way, the player goes through the whole sordid ordeal, and the GM gets to play with them a bit. Just a suggestion. Go to Comment
"Yn these landes, theye do ryde upone greate flowtinge beastes alike as those thate ye fyshermen do calle nawtilus; Ande these beastes, callede 'pyky-pyky' because of ye noises thate the beastes make, are troubelsome ande beastlye mountes, withe fowle temperes." -Telliamed ap Ynris, "Ye Westerne Landes".
(A levitating giant nautilus that makes a noise like "piki-piki" and is thus called a Great Piki-piki.)