Not really my thing, but this is very well done. The quality of the write-up almost demands that it be used somewhere. I would guess that swamp residents are somewhat familiar with the flower and its effects (unless the flower is an invading species or other unnatural occurrence). They probably would have an antidote or some cautionary advice to give to the PCs. Then it's fair game to use against them. Go to Comment
This was very clever -- it artfully showcased another author's work, while expanding it in a creative and useful way. I hadn't read Scras' Gems of the Underworld yet, and I may never have found it without this piece, so thank you! The only minor suggestion I will make is to preserve the order of gemstones that Scras laid out in his piece, for easy reference. Here you have Xerle and Faridat come after Pirozeh, which was kind of confusing. I'd also put the inks last (or first). Well done! Go to Comment
Do the plants disappear after they are harvested, or only before they are picked? Aside from that tiny missing detail, I can see a bunch of places to go with this. Barring any sinister plans, my bet is that the plants are tied to some sort of cosmic event that occurs only every dozen years or so. Perhaps they need a certain kind of cosmic ray or energy to grow. Go to Comment
Not sure they're given a choice to join, Cheka. It sounds like Black Bess, at least, had a whole other life that she was taken away from. Maybe that's where her anger comes from. This is a really nifty concept, and it's refreshing to see some more "classic fantasy" stuff from you, Scras. I especially liked how you were careful to fit this into the dwarves' established value systems and make it work. Go to Comment
Physical Description: Something like a blue, 5-tailed squirrel with suckers on its toes instead of claws.
Grilins are docile, friendly and extremely sociable little critters. The perfect starter pet for many young children. They don't have claws, can barely bite, and like to snuggle. The only catch is their speed and extreme climbing ability -- these things can go straight up a sheer wall (thanks to those tiny suckers) and often escape their owners if they don't have their Pet Cube handy. For this reason, wild populations of Grilins are becoming established in metropolises around the galaxy. They may become as ubiquitous as the old-Earth pigeon, in time. Go to Comment
Physical Description: Warm-blooded feline-esque creatures the size of large dogs, with snake-skin scales instead of fur.
The perfect choice for a person with fur allergies, the scalecat's original name is unpronounceable to most humans (hence, the monicker). Scalecats are loyal, fierce guardians who have a problematic territorial streak. They don't like lots of physical activity, however, and can most commonly be found lounging on its owner's bed or couch, with a watchful eye on the door. Firm training is a must, due to their size. De-clawing is recommended for owners without natural armor. Go to Comment
Pretty much, yeah. Any tiny to medium sized critter, at least. Pet Cubes have to be locked down before they are sold, to prevent exactly that kind of abuse (If you can't tell, I'm shamelessly stealing the idea of a PokeBall, and seeing what it would look like in a more serious setting). Go to Comment
Physical Description: A glowing, fish-like creature about the size of a human fingernail.
A popular choice due to its considerable intelligence and weak psychic abilities, bitti-flecks are kept in a clear, anaerobic, viscous fluid composed of organic and silicate matter. They do best in contained systems and require only occasional fluid-cycling, so bitti-fleck jewelry and other accessories are coming into vogue. Bitti-flecks project a soothing aura that many species find desirable. If kept in a tank with other bitti-flecks, they will put on fantastic pulsing light shows that often mimic symbols, logos or even words that they have recently seen (especially those on passing neon signs). Go to Comment
Physical Description: Palm-length organisms that somewhat resemble a fuzzy cucumber, covered with hundreds of short, sticky tentacles.
Lammaaaars are most often found in spaceports or other locations with low gravity, conditions that are hard on many other pets. Their nickname arises from their tendency to . . . stick. To everything. They readily adhere to skin, walls, luggage, equipment and especially to other stickies. They are fairly easy to remove, but can be an annoyance to owners with fur or long hair. Stickies love vibration, and will emit a pleasant purring sound if jostled gently. Go to Comment
Physical Description: A pale, foot-long worm-like creature.
Often prescribed as therapy for people with terminal depression or other mental issues, the "paradise parasite" provides constant, life-long companionship. Once embedded in the owner's body, it will attach itself to the spinal column and begin reading the host's thoughts and feelings. After a few weeks, it will have learned enough of its host's language that it will begin striking up mental conversations with him/her. Paradicites are curious, gentle, compassionate and genuinely concerned with the welfare of their hosts. Besides providing a lonely owner with someone to talk to, they can help regulate hormone flow throughout the host's body, often bringing a level of emotional stability that the owner has never experienced. Go to Comment
A man is arrested for mass murder and found to be insane. Piles of corpses were found on his property, neatly stacked torsos with the skin peeled off and the limbs removed. The man readily admits the work is his, though he claims he was only chopping down trees, removing their branches, debarking them, and then stacking them to season.
The man may have swung the axe but it was a Druid who caused the delusion. This Druid is still on the loose and likely to repeat the crime. In time he may get more creative in his "punishments."