Author Topic: Books From Totenwald  (Read 5773 times)

Offline GoldBoxFan

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Books From Totenwald
« on: March 09, 2012, 10:00:24 AM »
As I am about to start making lots of Totenwald/Totenwelt/Glum World designs I'd thought I'd share some of the books I wrote for NWN1 to give background for the players. I don't think UA has enough room for the text, even if all dungeons are grown. I might use them like journal entries, putting them in a design as a text file.

FAMOUS AUTHORS
by Dekus Dewie

Anonymous wrote The One and Future King.

Armantine Paladinus wrote Dispense, The Band of the Blind, The Domain of Glum, The Hand of Wodin, The Last Happy Thought, The Palindrome, The Pendulum and The Unjustly Accused.

Assorted Parents wrote Short Tales and Other Fables.

Carticus Geox drew Geography of our World, The Continent of Four and The World Below the Sea (all with foreword by Dekus Dewie).

Chapley Pansear wrote Worst Meals in Haven.

Deadener Scribe wrote Famous Bards, Troubadours and Fools.

Dekus Dewie wrote Carticus Geox, Famous Authors, Gods of Totenwelt, Mirauter, Seas of Totenwelt, The Black Sea, The Calm Sea, The Frozen Sea, The Holy Sea, The Merchant League, The Pirate Sea, The Sea of Death and The Sea of Junk.

Edeldore Apothecary wrote Unforgivable Crimes in Haven and Werekind.

Erdigard Thentwhistle wrote Death Belongs, The Elves of Highhome, The Eye of the Ice, The Ice Matron and The Sea Men.

Erikob the Flamboyant wrote Travels with the Hammer.

Flamon Daricun wrote Famous Dragon Disasters, The Book of Cemeteries and The Hungry Library.

Gertrude the Humble wrote Collectors Of Lost Sheep, Hack the Slash, The Armless Pumpkin Collector, The Gnarly Man, The Kibble Hag, The Lonely Troll, The Rearranging House, The Town Crier, The Unhappy Statue, The Water Pump and The World Below.

Hamfast Stoughtheart wrote Tales from the Small Side, The Gnarly Forest, The Haunted Mountain and The Very Crooked Trail.

Herceluean Scrub wrote Blazing Sand, Creatures of the Sand, Hamak the Radiant Oval, Martok the Fearless, Mr. Sandy, The Bone Snake, The Lost Valley, The Talking Flyer, The Unprophet and Valley of the Dying.

Meldihof Argentum wrote Emperor's Corral, Jinn, Meeting the Chann, Natok, Ninn and Timtul.

Qualifer Fast wrote Ice Fish and Other Creatures, and Norks.

Salick Bonefingers wrote Dwarves of Crypthome, The Army Of Beasts, The Crypt, The Genie's Tent, The Portal In The Spindle, The Rock of Ages and The Spindle Mountains.

Thoedoric Arcanus wrote Mythilogical Beings, Gertrude the Humble, Gnomir, Rosch the Foolhardy, Sheep in Wolf's Clothing, The Dream Whisperer, The Gathering of Shades, The Glum, The Great Kingdom, The Haunted Castle, The Horn Blower, The Inquisition, The Midnight Man, The One Tree, The Open Grave, The Pirates of Pennair, The Queen of the Dance, The Shadow Man, The Tepid Woman, The Walking Wizard, The Wandering Witch, The Water King, The Wayward Chef, Totenwelt and Wizard's Enclave.

Tom Foolery wrote Glacials, Kalantra, Nature's Last, Tentacles of the Sea, The Barren Land, The Breaks, The Blowholes, The Cracks, The Deep Drop, The Edge of the World, The Frost Garden, The Great Blow, The Ice Cathedral, The Ice Patch, The Mouth That Devours, The Rime of the World, The Spears and The Tip Of The Rime.

various Ice Wraiths wrote The Great Wraith Migration and The Moving Ice.

various Monks, Paladins and Clerics wrote Mythical Places.

Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 10:03:14 AM »
BLAZING DESERT
by Herceluean Scrub

The Blazing Desert is know to the locals as the Hamak desert. Once a thriving country, climate change and war has turned half of it into ruins. An itinerant river splits it into civilized and barbarized sections. The north is still known as Hamak, and still has four major cities that survive through magic and irrigation. The southern half is destitute and overrun with giant insects. Vicious fighting occurs around its lone oasis.

Other than ruins that scatter across the landscape, often buried by sands, there are several pyramids and a large dark tower. It is rumored that a secret valley hides the wealth of all the former kings of Hamak, though it is said to be well guarded. There is another rumor of a hidden valley full of giant reptiles and hairy humans.

There are only two exits from the mountain-surrounded desert, and both are in the savaged area. Needless to say not much caravan traffic tries the two passes.
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HAMAK THE RADIANT OVAL
by Herceluean Scrub

The once great Kingdom of Hamak prided itself on building outlandish monuments to its rulers with the help of friendly volunteers from neighboring countries. It had well-tended fields, a river filled with fat hippopotami, royals carried around on pallets, an an unending succession of magical beasts fond of eating villagers or telling tales.

It also built large crowded cities without drainage, held an annual giant mosquito hunt, hosted a variety of dragonfly races and played a variety of lethal games with its neighbors. It also held large get-togethers for deceased rulers, with anyone falling asleep getting locked in with the deceased forever.

It was this large number of deceased rulers that caused Hamak such problems. They ran out of suitable materials for giant monuments and were forced to resort to carving into the sandstone cliffs. Eventually they resorted to cremation, which was quite the wake up call for anyone falling asleep during the good-bye party. When the climate became dusty even that fell off. Sandstorms would blow out the funeral pyres.
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THE LOST VALLEY
by Herceluean Scrub

Somewhere along the edge of the Blazing Desert is a crack in the wall that leads to a world of giant flora and fauna found nowhere else on Totenwelt. These mostly timid beasts provide great joy for the kids as long as certain precautions are undertaken. One should never wear a costume that looks like a leaf, play hide and seek in a giant footprint, cause a stampede when on the ground, or signal any flying creature bigger than yourself.

There may also be a problem with the local fur-wearing population of bipeds. These grunting humanoids like to use giant bone sticks to play music on skulls. Sometimes they get over-enthusiastic and try to play music on yours. This can usually be avoided by giving them some dried meat, a shiny object or a smooth stone. They become so entranced they get stepped on by the giant fauna.

The valley is also said to have one water source that comes out of a carving that is part of a temple or city. No one has actually checked it out as the trail has collapsed and a species of bird-like reptiles nests in the area.
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VALLEY OF THE DYING
by Herceluean Scrub

It is said that when the Hartuk Dynasty ran out of stone for their monuments that they turned to the Living Cliff as a place to bury their royal dead. A wound in the cliff was used to create tombs which healed up after they were filled. Magic was used to sooth the cliff so as not to kill the workers.

This valley gets its name from what happens to those who steal into the crypts or sleep on the valley floor. The Living Cliff absorbs them as a food substance. The by-product of this digestion seems to be strange rocks. These rocks are much wanted by stone collectors.

Despite the defenses of the tombs, most of which I haven't spoken, many have been raided successfully. These are thought to have been the last tombs made, as last development went into their defenses and upkeep than the first tombs.
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THE UNPROPHET
by Herceluean Scrub

Sometimes confused with The Sand Dealer, the Unprophet was a human who wandered the Blazing Desert, unharmed by all creatures, while calling out claims of things that wouldn't happen. It is said that when he died he continued walking onward as a ghost.

It is rumored he was a citizen of Timorik, who went around making his unpredictions to the amusement of all. Unfortunately for him, he predicted that the Phage wouldn't win a particularly wholesome woman. She broke off their relationship upon the news. The Phage responded by banishing the citizen to the Blazing Desert.

It is not known if finding the citizen's body and bringing it back to the ruins of Timorik will put the Unprophet to rest. It is known that people who don't want to do a particular bit of business come to the desert in the hopes the Unprophet will tell them it is a bad idea. A whole industry around faking a visit to see the Unprophet has arisen for those who wish to get out of something but don't want to die in the process.
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MARTOK THE FEARLESS
by Herceluean Scrub

Martok the Fearless was the greatest ruler of Hamak the Radiant Oval. A master of worldy and other-wordly magic. He is said to have conquered all his neighbors, and started to move to their neighbors as well, before his unanticipated demise.

It is not know how Martok died, only that he was placed in one of the great tombs named after him. These great pyramids, statues and obelisks all had great traps and magical protections. None have known to be looted.

Some surmise Martok was actually divided into pieces and placed in all of his tombs to prevent his unnatural rise to become ruler again. The horrible tempests that sometimes wrack Hamak are said to be Martok trying to reform his body.
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THE TALKING FLYER
by Herceluean Scrub

There is one aged creature which likes to visit Hamak from time to time and speak with the local rulers. This creature is known to enjoy comfort to the point that it doesn't notice hints that it is no longer welcome. It like to tell tales of future rulers, much to the embarassment of the current one. It also give much unwanted advice on how to rule more effectively.

Though no one knows where the creature comes from, the shiny horn on its head does cause much amazement. More than once someone has tried to cut it off for a quick sale. So the creature does not shop in the bazaars as often as it used to.

The rulers are afraid to dispose of the unwanted guest as it glows with righteousness whenever approached with bad thoughts. It doesn't seem to mind bad thoughts around it as long as it gets a daily massage and a bag of seasoned and cooked oats.
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THE BONE SNAKE
by Herceluean Scrub

There is said to be at least one snake, that lives in the caves that surround the Blazing Desert, that has a skull for a head. Whether this is a guardian, a cursed individual, or a natural creature of the land is a source of debate. Much of that debate revolves around whether it actually exists, or whether the unboiled river water is causing hallucinations.

It is not sure if there is more than one such snake, if they can talk, cast magic, or burn you with their eyes. Everying who sees one flees screaming. It doesn't seem to purse.

It is known that they have been mentioned for hundreds of years as far back as cave paintings. That actually sounds older than it is. There are still creatures who make cave paitnings to this day.
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CREATURES OF THE SAND
by Herceluean Scrub

There is only one truly desert area of Totenwelt, the desert of Hamak. This sand-blasted furnace is the home to many types of snakes, scorpions, ants, termites, beetles, opinicus herds, owls, hawks, vultures, hares, sandrunners, aerial servants and dust devils. Many of these creatures were enlarged during a brutal civil war, still causing havoc to the unwarry.

Many creatures from story-books have flocked to the land to escape necessary persecution for their talents. Sphinxes love the place, as do chimera and manticores. Red dragons find that sand gets in their scales, even when they are in caves.

There is also a small desert island in the Pirate Sea. It has a few of the less vicious creatures and a species of intelligent insect.
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MR. SANDY
by Herceluean Scrub

Mr. Sandy is a new bogeyman story told to children before bedtime in Hamak. Likely the corruption of some tale of an itinerant dirty traveler who ate whatever he could find while crossing the Blazing Desert. In reality it is meant to scare children from swimming across the Hamak River to the deadly side after the heir to the sedan was eaten by a hippopotamus.

In any event, Mr. Sandy (aka The Sand King or The Sand Dealer) wanders the Blazing Desert looking for victims. When he finds someone he raises his hands and speaks arcane words until the sand beneath their feet gets soft and they disappear into the earth.

Some hypothesize he is just a desert prophet who waits until someone is standing on quicksand to make it appear he is doing magic. How a living being could survivie the dangers of the Blazing Sand is not explained.

Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012, 10:08:57 AM »
DISPENSE
by Armantine Paladinus

Once upon a time the Land of Foggy Hilltops and Swampy Boglands acquired a new king. This king dispensed with all the baileys and their swamp selling schemes, renaming the country Dispense as an afterthought. Part of the great empire once, the hills had been used for the burials of royalty. Now they were being used to herd sheep and farm swamp vegetables and mushrooms. The sparsely populated country was no match for the might of Glomen, and became the first kingdom lost to the belligerent country.

Dispense is often referred to as the land of the blind. This is because every part of it likes to create mist, fog or colored gas. Seeing is a real difficulty. Which is why the Band of the Blind was used to conquer it. Of course, there was actually no resistance. Conquerors can't see what their vassals are doing, so their vassals do what ever they want.

It is believed that the citizens of Dispense are getting ready to dispense with their occupiers.

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SHEEP IN WOLF'S CLOTHING
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Perhaps one of the oddest creatures to wander Vorak is what appears to be a sheep by day and a wolf by night. It is really hard to explain if this creature is natural to the world or if it was created through magical experimentation. Maybe as an attempt to raise sheep that won't be killed while a shepherd is sleeping.

If so, the attempt was a failure. The sheep, feeling it is only being fattened up for the slaughter, tends to kill itsa owner in wolf form. Sheep-herders try to determine if they have such a sheep in their flock by staying up all night. This is useless as the creature can change shape at will in daylight or nightlight.

It is believed that if you can convince the sheep you only want its fleece and not its meat, that it will live with you in harmony.

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THE UNHAPPY STATUE
by Gertrude the Humble

In the great park of Dispense stands a lonely alabaster statue of a king on his throne. Birds of all kinds loved the statue. And the king hated that they defaced it. So the king had the statue animated to protect itself. Whenever a bird landed on it the statue would crush it. Then it would go take a bath in the fountain. Unfortunately, it didn't look where it was going when it did this. Many people were seriously injured.

In response, the people of Dispense chased the statue out of the park and into the nearby woods. The sad statue tried many times to come back to its chair, but was always chased away with racks and vials of acid. It is said to have left the area, looking for a new home. But some swear they have seen it poke its head through the brush, checking if the coast were clear.

With the knight now dead, it is unsure whether the statue would be destroyed or not if found.
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TIMTUL
by Meldihof Argentum

Named for the locals need for accurate cart service, Timtul is a land where public service is an honor, and public service includes taking people for free cart rides from one place of importance to another. Usually this means work. Timtul is half mountain, half seaside resort. This works out well for the people, as ceremonies at the nearby Temple Island can cause massive wave surges which flood their crops with holy water. The villagers have a good system of fleeing in their carts to the mountains for these days.

The crops of the timtul are strange indeed. Often fed by holy salt water, the crops don't need to be seasoned and are happy to be eaten. They sometimes also have smiles on their non-existant faces, and grow in strange shapes. Often they appear to be sleeping. Many new varieties of plants can be found from time to time. Often these plants cure the sick or calm harsh feelings. Whenever people in timtul get into a heated debate they are given fresh vegetables.

Timtul is generally a poor farming country with a limited bureaucracy.

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TIME IN TIMTUL
by Deadener Scribe

The mountains of Timtul are mainly used for temples. The monks spend most of their time fasting and chanting. This is mostly because they grow no food, and no one grows it for them. They rely on various nesting birds which use berries and other produce to make nests from. The monks steal these while the birds aren't looking.

A few yetis also live in the mountains. Many attempts have been made to bring yeti to the mountains for cultural purposes. But the yeti prefer the warmer cold regions of the middle south. Less snow and ice gets matted into their hair. The few yeti who remain have a rather mischievous nature. They like annoying the monks during ceremonies by throwing snow and whatever else they can find. By streaking through camps at night. (By nature they are always streaking.) Or building abominable snowmen. They often winter in Jinn to the discomforture of the Jann.

The plains flood each year from the annual typhoons. It is said that cloud giants make these typhoons but not why. Whether it is punishment, a lark, or an attempt at extortion no one knows. It is known that the villagers see the storms coming and flee in their carts up the mountainsides to fast with the monks. This is mainly because the monks have no food.

Dead monks are brought to the Tower of Flesh, which doubles as a lighthouse. Unfortunately at 100 leagues inland it is a very bad lighthouse causing many an unnecessary wreck to the fulfillment of the local villagers. The tower is used to place the dead on top, where a giant bird comes to feed on the flesh. Rumor has it the bird then flies back to a tiny island which is being made from rocks brought there by other birds. It is said to use pieces of ship to build its nest.

The villagers are extremely superstitious. So much so that most house kami have fled the country in exasperation. Hardly a tick of the sun goes by without some superstitious ritual. Many people visit Timtul just to watch this unchoreographed opera. Those dead that stay behind give up trying to contact the living days later. Foreigners sometimes see groups of these dead having living anonymous meetings.

The plains do have a problem with feral dogs. Dogs that get loose or are abandoned during the typhoon runs find themselves eating what has been killed by the typhoons and gaining a taste for human flesh. If not fed scraps they break into homes at night to find fresh meat. They don't look in the pantry.

Other than the farmers of the plains there are the goat herders of the mountains. There are a few lion herders, but the mountain lions don't like this and don't produce enough meat in any case.

The monks believe in reincarnation. They just don't believe in reincarnating in Timtul.

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2012, 10:11:05 AM »
EMPEROR'S CORRAL
Meldihof Argentum

The Emperor of the Ninn is a rather strange individual. To deal with complaints about invasions from the Chann he built a giant horse corral of wood around his entire country. Horses ran on the walls, horses ran on the ground, horse ran over feet.

The towns and villages had to build walls of their own to keep the horses out. Farming has become a chore of great frustration. Crops are frequently churned up by horse prints. And when soldiers head out for war they are usually defeated before they reach the enemy.

The wall itself has been set on fire many times by the Chann. But they fare no better inside than the Ninn do.
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MEETING THE CHANN
by Meldihof Argentum

The Chann are the largest of the three peoples who live below the Spindle Mountains. A very industrous and inventive people, their land is filled with machines and household marvels known nowhere else.

Short and dark-haired, they grow abundant crops of rice and bamboo. Have paved roads everywhere. And live among the strangest creatures on the continent. They are wealthy in land.

Their neighbors are the Hatok Horsemen and the Ninn. The Hatoks are nomads who show up to trade their booty from raids. The Ninn are a warrior class with a rigid government structure.

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JINN
by Meldihof Argentum

This region is known as the ring of fire or the ring of fire and ice. It is inhabited to people who are descended from spirits of fire, air, water, earth or time. these descendants are mortal, for the most part. They live among the active volcanoes of the region, one of which is always spouting magma and poisonous dust. The jinn are immune to both. There is one rather odd volcano called Rettik the Confused volcano. Rettik spouts ice lava and frozen water droplets. The jinn claim this is because the genie of the tent lost a bet.

The jinn live in ornately carved cities with domes and casbahs and minarets. They keep their oil lamps incredibly clean, constantly check their laundry baskets for lost clothing, and wear cloth across their face to keep out the dust. Many homes have indoor shallow pools, an olive or date tree and separate his and her living quarters. Black and white are their favorite colors. Everyone seems to be a merchant or a beggar.

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NINN
by Meldihof Argentum

This country was founded by seven sword-wielding lunatics with a penchant for beheading and living in houses made of paper. The land they founded was inhabited by many spirit people, ghosts and figments of the imagination. This suited them just fine. Each warrior founded a village which became a town named after themself. The villagers sole purpose was to please their lord and master. Each village was surrounded by farms to feed their master.

Now that the great seven are dead, the seven towns of Ninn are busy creating art and goods for sale to other countries. They are ruled by an ancient emperor who worships a court of silly gods. With names like pig and monkey and random animal to be named later. The spirits stay in their hills and woods and get to keep their heads. Shrines and temples are built all over the land. The noise of the shrines is meant to keep spirits away.

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NATOK
by Meldihof Argentum

Also known as the horse plains, natok is named after the great horse-riding warrior as large as a giant, as foul-breathing as a dragon, as smelly as a troll with gas, and as ugly as a reflection from the Mirror of Hatred. These arid scrubby plains grow a hardy grass found in clumps, which are fed upon by an even hardier pony. The land has little in the way of water, having much in common with the desert to the west. But is does rain here several times a year, and the flower blossoms are incredible to behold, smell, eat, drink or smoke.

The plains border the Spindle Mountains to the south, the ring of fire to the north, the rural farms of the Chann to the east, and the burning desert to the west. It has a variety of animals from wild dogs, birds, foxes, hares, and a few creatures that have escaped from hamak, the spindle or the ring. The nomads live in yurts and won't abide trespassers to their land. Luckily they stay inside during inclement weather making it easy to pass them by.

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2012, 10:12:15 AM »
TRAVELS WITH THE HAMMER
by Erikob the Flamboyant

One of seven adventurers who travelled from Wodin's Eye to Haven, Martuk the Hammer came from the Ghost Mountain clan of dwarves. He fought against the Glum when they attempted to take over the western wilderness. And joined the Wizards' Enclave after the rebellion failed.

When Andoric Arcanus led his followers across a continent to safety, Martuk scouted the way. Through dark forests, boiling deserts and strange countries. Until reaching the Feyr Pass in the Spindle Mountains.

Having travelled across a continent, Martuk the Hammer choose to join the dwarves of Crypthome. It was an eventful life, but a dangerous. He chased the bugbears, goblins and orcs south before the great door closed.

Handwritten in brown ink: An eagle's missive told us the following - after being crushed by a giant's rock, Martuk was cooked and eaten by the ogre Gronk.
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GERTRUDE THE HUMBLE
by Theodoric Arcanus

Gertrude had risen high in the ranks of Wodin's Paladins before leaving Wodin's Eye on her quest with the wizard Anthraxus. Many a tribe did see bring to follow Wodin's might in their lengthy journey. She was the most just of the seven and judged all arguments among them. It was her unfortunate duty to pass sentence on the one who stole from her master.

It is said that Gertrude was so humble before her god that she kneeled to her enemies before starting battle. Unfortunately, the lich Cantathras set his ice python upon her while she was so communing. Her pulverized bones and artifacts were buried in a small jewelry box.

She is sometimes referred to as Gertrude the Unlucky or Gertrude Paladinson.

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ROSCH THE FOOLHARDY
by Theodoric Arcanus

Never has more ambition been struck in such an unthoughtful wizard. Rosch had been the great one's apprentice through Wizard Enclave's great defense and slaughter. Using the opportunity to learn all he could from the greatest wizard of his time, he seduced the great thief into stealing an item of power so the apprentice could become the master. The death of his lover forced him into hiding until he could raise an army of beasts to do his bidding.

In the War of the Lamb, Rosch challenged the great wizard in battle between their two armies. Using the stolen staff he struck the first blow. It never reached its target. The return attack left Rosch a small pile of ash, which blew away on the windy day. To this day, if a person finds grit in their teeth, they say "I've found a bit of Rosch."

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HACK THE SLASH
by Gertrude Paladinson

Book tells how Slash the Hacker was so prone to slicing things that several
species of creature ceased to exist including one kind of particularly an-
noying faerie. Faeries have a shrine to their loss. No wimps near town as
a result.

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2012, 10:17:14 AM »
TALES FROM THE SMALL SIDE
by Hamfast Stoughtheart

Tales of dwarves, gnomes and halflings as explained from the small point of view. Including such classics as the dwarven tale The Magic Pick, the gnome tale The Incredible Machine, and the halfling tale The Thrice Tied Purse.

These tales involve a great deal of stomach head-butting, tendon cutting, crawling between legs, and many hilarious and blood-curdling taunts. Including The Broken Helmet, The Deadly Butter-Knife and The War of Friends.

All is not fighting though. There are tales about the greatest snorers, the best liquid refreshment, and making the dour laugh. Such as Kiddle and the Laugh, The Snore that Woke up the World and The Fest of Empty Kegs.
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SHORT TALES AND OTHER FABLES
by Assorted Parents

These are the much read tales of the Boy Who Got Eaten By A Bear, The Girl Who Fell Off A Cliff, The Boy Who Drowned In A Puddle, The Girl Run Over By A Cart and other classics. The theme of these stories seems to be to do what your parents say or something horrible will happen to you. This theme is helped by the fact that most of these stories actually occur in real life.

The book also has the nickname of "The Great Spider Killer". As children grow up they begin to realize what's going on here and take out their frustration by using the book to kill harmless spiders. Books have been know to be found hanging in webs, as if the spiders had tried to drain them of life.
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FAMOUS BARDS, TROUBADOURS and FOOLS
by Deadener Scribe

Many a fool has played the choking gag to get a laugh, but Bertram of the Choke did so to a finality. Having a history of choking whenever a particular speech got too boring, Bertram would often pass out from drink in mid-performance. This amusing ending was found not so by the indentured servants cleaning up after a rather frolicksome festival. Bretram was buried in a tub of mead that had gone as sour as he had.

No song has ever brought more sighs than the "Ballad of Mel and Jell" sung by Wendi the Winnisome. This ballad of two manure-crossed lovers, was the favorite of rural communities in many kingdoms. When Winnisome died in harp-falling accident, she was buried under the kingdom's largest pile of manure. People all over the realm came to plant flowers and produce on the mound. It is a very colorful tourist attraction. If not the smelliest.

Dellico the Hard-Hearing was famous for his fancy costumes and inability to carry a tune. Dressed up in the finest garments of the day, Dellico would often sing before pig-calling contests, to get the pigs in the appropriate mood. How he afforded his garments has never been attested. It is said he made a deal for his body, which he wouldn't need after death anyway.

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WEREKIND
by Edeldore Apothecary

Weres were unknown to Haven when settlers first arrived. But in the 5th year, during the harvest moon, a pack attacked the village of Quintius Minimus.

Hamfast the Stoughtheart was the only one of the wizards' seven adventurers to be around at the time.

Though several lives were lost, Hamfast held of the pack until Andoric blasted the creatures from his tower. They fled, though not before Hamfast was bitten.

The villagers wished to burn Hamfast at the stake, but Andoric convinced the to let him live. Every full moon the wizard imprisoned him. When Hamfast's sanity failed, he was locked up until his death.

The Festival of the Harvest Moon is celebrated each year to commemorate the event, everyone staying inside locked doors and shutters.

Handwritten in green ink: The uses for hair of a were are too numerous to catalog.
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FAMOUS DRAGON DISASTERS
by Flamon Daricun

There have been many fool-hardy attempts to communicate with hungry dragons during feeding time. Very few end well for anyone but the dragon.

Most adventurers have some sort of plan of defense when searching out a dragon's lair. Gerond of the Swamp covered himself with smelly vegetation. This did put off two dragons, but his third attempt ended in his viny strangulation.

Bertok the Strong covered himself in heavy fire-proof armor from head to foot. A dragon sat on him until he suffocated.

But Erikob the Flamboyant wore such brightly reflective armor, that he caused accidents to all around him. In an attempt to be rid of the adventurer, he was sent to clear a cave of an ogre, only to find Adolphus the cranky dragon.

Adolphus saw his reflection in the armor and immediately breathed flame in challenge. There was very little of Erikob left to bury under his giant statue. From then on he was known as Erikob the Burnt.
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UNFORGIVABLE CRIMES IN HAVEN
by Edeldore Apothecary

Many bad crimes have been committed in Haven since its inception. The looting of the Princess' Armada by rum Pirates. The burning of the Mortend Library for a barbecue. The sinking of the HS Wizardbolt for possession of a single contraband liquid purchased an hour earlier from the very same gnomes who sank it.

The most unforgivable crime involved the thief Seladriel Swifteye. And it is unforgivable because she was one of the seven. And because what she stole would have doomed all us were she not captured.

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WORST MEALS IN HAVEN
by Chapley Pansear

It is said that Ponselbar Whitnin's 23 course meal, after the victory against the snail people, gave the most gas (probably because he cooked all the snail people).  That Danciful Penlor made the rancidest feast with his foray into recently fed cooked dragon inards. And that Enical Fendius' 77 course meal of individual chick peas made people the most angry.

But the worst meal in Haven had to be when Albin the Light-Hearted was swallowed by the troll king, and cut himself out with a burning dagger. The troll's last words translated wildly to "That's the worst heartburn I've ever had." Though Albin died soon after in agony, he was Knighted Albin the Regurgitated on his death cot. He was buried in a casket of acid to make sure nothing came back from his grave.

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THE BOOK OF CEMETERIES
by Flamon Daricun

The most famous cemetery in Totenwelt is the Shadowless Cemetery. Not only do shadows not cast upon its grounds, but it has such wonders as the Howling Mound, the Creaking Crypt and the Leaning Tomb. It also has a fascinating collection of grave stones made in odd shapes with odd runes carved into them.

Other odd cemeteries include The Frozen Cemetery, The Volcanic Cemetery, The Plain of Odd Stones, The Levitating Cemetery and The Underwater Cemetery.

But the oddest cemetery of all is the Unseen Cemetery. Not only is the cemetery hard to find, but the dirt pulled out of the ground is invisible too. As is anything that enters the cemetery. Needless to say it is hard going during a funeral. Some just leave their deceased on top of the ground as no one can see them anyway. This causes quite a lot of tripping.
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THE HUNGRY LIBRARY
by Flamon Daricun

It is said that a wizard was so ravenous for the written word that she created a library to house all the knowledge in the land. Scrolls, books, tomes, papyrus, stellas, pictoglyphs, and needlework. Anything that spoke of the world's knowledge. Sometimes even blind story-tellers.

Upon the wizards death this appetite seems to have moved over to the library which eats those who don't bring books, try to leave, or stay too long. Only those who bring really rare books are allowed to leave with limbs intact.

It is said that the library walks around searching for new works to devour. Or that it takes the form of a giant book. Or that it appears as a smokeless gingerbread mansion in a tropical forest. Some of the books inside are said to be one of a kinds worth a fortune.

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THE TOWN CRIER
by Gertrude the Humble

Once upon a time there was a boy who cried and cried and cried. No matter where you went, there he was crying. Sometimes several places in the same day. The nearest village got so fed up with him that they cracked a bee-hive over his head, blew dandelion snuff all over his sticky body, and put him in stocks inside the village pig-pen. It was thought that if he sneezed, coughed and retched, he would quit crying.

Unfortunately, he was allergic to bee stings and died. Now his ghost is said to stand outside windows at dinnertime and interrupt these family conversations with tearful gibberings punctuated by long drawn-out nose-blowings into imaginary handkerchiefs.

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THE GNARLY MAN
by Gertrude the Humble

The Gnarly Man, or Old Man Gnarly, is an ancient grizzled old man with albino skin and long slender limbs. He wanders the extremely dangerous Gnarled Forest in Vorak, claiming it as his fiefdom. This forest takes up most of the country's bulk, yet no one denies his claim. All who enter the forest pay him homage in thought or gift. Those who do not are never seen again.

Old Man Gnarly often appears to those who take the one road through the forest. He warns travelers not to leave the road if they value their life, as the creatures of the forest may cross the road, follow those on the road, or rest on the road, but anything that attacks on the road will meet their doom at his hands. Once you leave the road you leave his protection. Even to get firewood. Sleep on the road if you must sleep.

Scholars believe the Gnarly man is older than the forest. Some say he is thousands of years old. Others say he planted every tree in the forest himself. Some of the trees are a thoudsand years old or older.

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2012, 10:17:50 AM »
COLLECTORS OF LOST SHEEP
by Gertrude the Humble

The finders of lost sheep are said to work for the dream whisperer. These mortal creatures spend their days returning sheep to their flocks in the hopes that counting the sheep will place the owners in the dream whisperer's control. Though this idea seems absurd, returned sheep have a habit of jumping over rails that seems to infect the rest of the flock. This jumping can transfix those who watch, making them drowsy.

It is said the finders of lost sheep were once shepherd who fell asleep while counting their sheep and are now cursed for their lack of duty. It is also said that if a finder of lost sheep were to catch a black sheep they would be freed from their curse. The dream whisperer is rumored to hunt down and kill black sheep, leaving their bodies on door steps.

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THE ARMLESS PUMPKIN COLLECTOR
by Gertrude the Humble

It is well known, that during the vine festival of Vorak, the king or queen sends out collectors to take the finest pumpkins back to the great hall of eating in Vorak Castle. The pumpkins sit on the long table made from one piece of wood of the tallest and oldest tree in the land (cut down specifically to make the table - much to its owner's lament).

One such collector, while crossing a bridge during the night, had a freak accident involving a cart, a noose, two dozen acorns and a harvesting scythe. Suffice it to say he was one-armed and dead at the end of it. Being in great fear of punishment should he not return, his ghost picked up the spirit of the pumpkin and continued to the castle to the delight of all.

Every vine festival crowds line the roads in hopes of catching a glimpse of the armless pumpkin collector as he turns in another ghostly pumpkin to the country's ruler. Children often follow behind, singing nursery rhymes. Sometimes an old woman faints. When the pumpkin is delivered the collector disappears.

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THE LONEY TROLL
by Gertrude the Humble

There once was a troll who lived in a swamp. This troll was puny and smelled funny and was laughed at by all the other trolls. It fled to the faerie part of the swamp to play with the dancing lights and to pull the wings off faeries. One day the troll caught an adventurer, and not feeling like adventurer stew, decided to talk to it instead.

The troll talked to the adventurer for many years, until a bursting pustule on its face sprayed the adventurer and made her ill. The troll prayed to Ignobant the Always Hungry for the adventurer to get well. But Ignobant always thinks with his stomach. She died and was eaten the next day. The troll was so despondant he wasted away to a single cell and became a lichen.

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THE GENIE'S TENT
by Salick Bonefingers

In the land of the jinn lies the ring of fire, a series of volcanoes that shoot out magma and poisonous dust, and one that shoots out hail and freezing cold brown water. Among these people of the elements there lies a lone tent, that no jinn would ever come within sight of. Inside this tent is a being of pure fire, or sometimes pure cold. It is a very tall and scary being.

This creature says it will give the visiter whatever it wants for a fee. It will even sign a contract made of the same magically resistant hide as the tent itself. This contract can not be harmed by any element, magical or not. It is not good to ask what the ink is made out of. The visiter may ask for one, two or three wishes, but never four. Payment increases greatly per wish.

It is known that the creature is very tricky and tries to use words in a way that the visiter has not thought of, that you must read the fine print on the contract carefully, and the payment will never be in the way you think it will be. There aren't a lot of happy customers to get details from.

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THE ROCK OF AGES
by Salick Bonefingers

Tall upon a hill in the Unholy WIlds is a hilltop with an ancient rock sitting on top. The hill itself is made up entirely of dirt and grass. There is no trail made up it where a heavy boulder may have been dragged. No monsters attack those who journey to it or climb it (though this may be  because they are extremely powerful wizards). The rock is not elemental, alive or possessed of magic. It is, however, covered in ancient runes that predate magic.

The wizards of the west call this stone the rock of ages, for its age, and the age of those who go to see it. A dying wizard touches and reads the runes as they await their own ending, pondering the meaning of this dead language. It is known that at least one king of beasts has been laid to rest on the hilltop and burned in a pyre. The remains of this burning lasted for several years.

It is said that whenever a wizard chooses to die they climb the hill and sit next to the great rock.

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THE ONE TREE
by Thoedoric Arcanus

In the uncontested lands is a gigantic tree, gnarled but healthy. It is believed that it is the first tree ever to have grown on Totenwelt. It is scarred by many axes, lightning strikes and scorches. But it still lives. The bark is so tough that axes dull or break when they hit it. Fire goes out after a short time, even magic fire doesn't spread. Poison has no affect on it.

It is said that those sleeping under the tree may have slow meandering dreams that seem like conversations. Or slow meandering nightmares if they damaged the tree in any way. It is also said that invisible creatures protect the tree, harming those who try to kill it. The unburied dead dissolve within a month. The tree is generally alive with the sounds of small animals.

It is generally agreed that if the tree is sentient that it is very slow-witted. But this agreement is made far away from the uncontested lands.

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THE OPEN GRAVE
by Thoedoric Arcanus

It is said that there is a creature whose maw looks like it is an evenly dug hole in the ground, and that it hides near the surface of the earth in cemeteries. It swallows the dead thrown into it, and sometimes workers who fall into it or think to make the hole bigger. It then sinks into the ground and escapes.

Certain cemeteries have taken to throwing articles of meat into their graves to make sure they are real. Strangely enough, the creature never eats those already buried, even those recently buried.

It is said that the owner of a small cemetery made a deal with the creature to keep it fed. There is a rumor that the owner doesn't just take the legally dead, but helps dispose of those bodies some people don't want found. No one knows how to kill the creature.

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THE REARRANGING HOUSE
by Gertrude the Humble

There was a woman who loved her house, but hated having to shop for new furniture every few years. So she hired a group of wizards to solve the problem, by enchanting her house. Whenever she wished, she could order a room to change what it looked like. And it did so with great success. Unfortunately the warranty ran out and she choose not to renew. She was crushed by a folding bed.

There are those who say they have found a house where the rooms change whenever you leave them, and that it doesn't want to let you leave. They have even found skeletons in closets, sometimes with ropes around their necks. These brave few have escaped the house, sometimes leaving parts of themselves behind in the process.

When they return the house isn't there, apparently having sense enough to fear fire and retribution.

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THE WALKING WIZARD
by Thoedoric Arcanus

The Wizard Enclave was made up by a group of independant mages who just wanted to be left alone in their towers. the most aloof of all these wizards was Zabesh the Unsteady. When war came between the enclave and Glomen, Zabesh refused to join with the other wizards. He also refused to surrender to the Gnomen. So they attacked him first.

Zabesh called upon the water in the ground to form mists, and the mists to form shapes, and the shapes to kill those attacking his tower. Zabesh became so focused on controlling the creatures that he himself turned into mist, losing his magical abilities. Now Zabesh wanders the enclave, alive but formless, hoping not to be pulled into a rain cloud.

The Princes of the Elements claim they can do nothing.

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THE WANDERING WITCH
by Thoedoric Arcanus

It is never good to kill a witch in the forest of Mirauter. The gnarly wood has ancient powers, and the fey are busy-bodies. When a fell had stole the trained pets of a wandering circus caravan, the angry ring-master set eyes on a witch who just happened to be eating a roasted boar. The circus had plenty of rope on hand and the forest plenty of trees.

The fey took her body to a faerie ring and had her spirit take form. The disappointed witch alked the forest for a few centuries before taking it upon herself to see the rest of the world. She can now be found wandering anywhere, and sometimes sits down at a campfire and listens to the wood crackling. She can talk to slow degree, but asking her to leave can cause her to revert to her true form, and age the asker significantly.

It is not known how to free the witch from her cursed life. Finding the real animal thief didn't do it.

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THE WORLD BELOW
by Gertrude the Humble

Almost as long as it has been known that a titan crossed the great glacier, it is believed there is an underworld. This world is where the water that flows off the edge of the upperworld goes. There is much conjecture as to what this world looks like, what lives there, or even if it exists. Since a titan has only been seen once in upperworld, EVER, it is believed they live in the world below. Some believe the titans are rulers of this world, others that they are slaves. Some say they are all males and that the wandering titan was looking for a mate and got frustrated when he couldn't find one.

Some believe the world below is made up entirely of water and that they keep trying to pump the liquid upstairs to see what might be under it. Others say it is a world made up of various liquids. And others still think it is a very large cavern with holes in the ceiling.

The creatures thought to exist their are more fantastical than even the gods could imagine, a fact which makes the gods petty and retributive to those who think them up.

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THE WATER PUMP
by Gertrude the Humble

Ever since a titan was seen crossing the moving glacier it has been believed that they are the ones responsible for the never-ending flow of water that meanders over the edge of the world. It is believed that titans man a huge pump in a column holding up the world, with pipes inside the column made by dwarven miners. This, of course, means there is a world below the world above, and that our world is nothing more than the top of a fountain the down-worlders made so they could have pretty waterfalls and their pretty rainbows.

This belief has lead many a dwarf to go searching for these marvelous water tunnels as a means of entering the under world the next time the water pump is turned off for servicing. They imagine the underworld to grow gems from flowers and the ground itself made of golden pebbles. And they have the lifespan to wait.

Others claim that there is no water pump, but that it is gravity from the underworld that makes the water flow back into upperworld.

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012, 10:22:09 AM »
CARTICUS GEOX
by Dekus Dewie

Carticus Geox is known to be Totenwelt's greatest Cartographer. Unfortunately, no one ever taught him to spell or count. As a result, many a map has the name written incorrectly, in the wrong place, or just plain wrong. But such is the reality of a map scribed on an ancient beast's skin, that the owner believed they had the name wrong all this time and that the real name was on the map.

Famous mistakes include Mirauter (marauder), Hammock (Hamak), Distance (Dispense), Glomen (gnomen), Gawmp (Gomm), Timtul (timetable) and Ninn (nine). It should be noted that Glomen was accidentally named after part of a time piece, Mirauter was named for bandits, Timtul was named for the people's need for an accurate cart system, and the Jinn were the people who lived in the Ring of Fire (which should have been labelled Ring of Fire). Some of the mistakes were later corrected, others stuck.

Carticus Geox was accidentally killed when he walked into an area marked DRAGON MATING AREA. He saw the line through the dragon and thought it meant no dragons would be found there.

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SEAS OF TOTENWELT
by Dekus Dewie

Totenwelt is made up of several seas that fall over the edge of the world. The largest sea are in the north, south and east. The northern is the Frozen Sea that borders the moving glacier and the Lone Glacier, which is an iceberg that floats just of of sight of the glacier. This sea is made of frigid cold water, chunks of ice, and sometimes pieces of glacier that fall off.

To the south is the Calm Sea, sea so calm it reflects what moves through it and ships have no wake. Many think it is a plate of liquid glass they are moving through, though none has jumped in to find out for sure. To the east is the Sea of Junk, a sea full of junk. Apparently everything that is ever thrown away is collected here and floats in the water. Some blame the Wizard Enclave.

There are four minor seas as well. Surrounding Mystery Island is the Black Sea, a sea so dark in color that it actually slows ships down to a snails pace. Around the Invisible Isle is the Sea of Death, so named after those coming to seek the isle without an invitation. Around Temple Island is the Holy Sea, a sea where blasphemous words are spoken but not heard, wounds slowly heal by themselves, diseases go into remission, and serenity finds those without contentment. And the last sea is the Pirate Sea, which follows the pirate fleet around, and will cease to exist when they do.

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GEOGRAPHY OF OUR WORLD
by Carticus Geox with foreword by Dekus Dewie

The world of Totenwelt is made up of one continent and seventeen islands. These are the ten islands of Gnomir, Lone Glacier, Temple Island, Mystery Island, Invisible Isle, Jungle Island, Pirate Isle and Merchant Isle. The continent is called the Grand Continent and includes a large glacier, a large desert, multiple mountain ranges, a ring of active volcanoes, a scrubby plain, several large forests, a rocky wasteland and lots of good farm land.

The grand continent has ten acknowledged countries, the great glacier, the lands of the giants, the unruly wilds, the ring of fire, the uncontested lands, haven and the wizard enclave. The countries are Glomen, Dispense, Vorak, Mirauter, Gomm, Hamak, Natok, Chann, Ninn and Timtul. There is also the sea kingdom and the unaffiliated sea keeps. Five islands are individual dukedoms, the Merchant Isle consists of four city-states.

The Great Ocean surrounds the grand continent and all the isles, flowing off the edge of the world in all directions. This ocean is connected to the frozen sea, holy sea, sea of junk, pirate sea, calm sea, sea of death and the black sea.

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THE CONTINENT OF FOUR
by Carticus Geox with foreword by Dekus Dewie

The continent of four is actual the Merchant Isle. The people of the island call it a continent because it has four small countries on it. In actuality these are four city-states that use to fight each other for terrain until a merchant fleet showed up asking if they had anything to sell. The northwest city-state is Afus, mainly known for fruit orchards. The northeast city state is Zyblia, whose mines provide a multitude of gems. The southeast city-state is Sill, whose farm lands produce milled flours and silk. The southwest city-state is Jeck, whose tar pits provide oils and pitch.

These city-states joined the league of merchants and have quit fighting ever since. They now spend much of their time trying to keep the Glomen fleet from conquering them, while still trading with it.

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GNOMIR
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Gnomir is the gnome nation in the south of Totenwelt in the Pirate Sea. It is made up of 10 islands and 2 cities, with a variety of terrain and animals. These islands include desert terrain, a glacier, a misty marsh, a dark forest and farm land. The city of Gnaselmir is the capital of Gnomir and sits on Portal Island. The city of Ethomir is the largest and most accessible of the islands, and is named Ghost Island.

Other islands include Burial Island, Lillypad Island, Desert Island, Ice Island, Rock Island, Animal Island, Dog Island and the Island of Death. Burial Island is where the important dead are interred. Animal Island is a wilderness preserve kept by a druid. Dog Island is known for its bark not its lack of dogs. The Island of Death has many strange varieties of homicidal plants and the creatures that eat them.

Somewhere to the east is Pirate Isle, a series of docks, floating through the sea, where the pirates rest between raids. The docks are towed away every few days for safety.

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THE WORLD BELOW THE SEA
by Carticus Geox with foreword by Dekus Dewie

The great ocean may cover all the waters of the world, but most creatures of the sea live under the calm sea, the frozen sea or the junk sea. In the area of the calm sea between haven and the wizard enclave is a dense area of humanoids, sea hags and sharks of unaffiliated sea keeps made of coral. South of the wizard enclave is the sea kingdom of the fishy humanoids with two and four arms. It includes a large underground city made of stone, with an area for air breathers.

Under the frozen sea live fish, sea monsters and large mammals. No humanoids can survive under the frozen sea. Under the sea of junk are a strange collection of creatures who dwell under the sea or on land but work in the sea of junk. Many of them collect items from the junk to build their homes out of. Some of them actually eat the junk. Sometimes river dragons can be found looking for mates in the sea. Giant turtles and dragon turtles also float through the sea.

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THE BLACK SEA
by Dekus Dewie

The black sea surrounds Mystery Island as a by-product of the magical experiments going on at the island. This sea is a black syrupy substance that sticks to ships and slows them down unless covered in oils or butter. Small ships may be slowed down so much that they go backwards. The sea does have a current, though slow as molasses.

Sailing through the sea can also have magical side-affects. Hallucinations can be vivid, and come mostly from the fears of those who have them. But sometimes they are other peoples fears, rollicking great stories, or what you are seeing is real. Dragons sometimes use these hallucinations to attack people who think they are just seeing the dragon and that it isn't really real.

Too long exposure to the sea can cause permanent mind damage, so it is best to head straight for the island and then back.

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THE CALM SEA
by Dekus Dewie

This glass-like sea is the smoothest sea in Totenwelt, and is sometimes called the glass sea. There are many reasons to believe it is glass, like the fact water from the sea of death, the pirate sea and the sea of junk can be seen lapping under the edge of the glass, certain sea creatures lay on top of the glass to sleep, and the truly intense reflective ability which seems to add a dimension to vision. But ships expecting to crack the glass when moving forward, or break it while dropping anchor, are disappointed. The glass moves apart in front of them and rejoins behind them. The only other odd thing is that ships create no wake.

It was once thought the liquid glass went all the way to the sea bottom until it was found a whole civilization of underwater creatures lived near the shore. The sea itself ends 100 staff-ends from land, allowing a surf to exist. Flotsam moves up against the sea and stops. One wizard says he got off his ship and walked across the sea. He probably was wearing a magic item he forgot about.

Scholars believe that the sea is actually a glassine sea creature that subsists on sunlight, or a piece of magic long forgotten.

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THE FROZEN SEA
by Dekus Dewie

The frozen sea is north of the moving glacier and includes the glacier island known as the lone glacier. This sea is made of frigid cold water, chunks of ice, and sometimes pieces of glacier that fall off the lone glacier. Nothing falls off the moving ice. It is also made up of creatures that pretend to look like chunks of ice so they can lull you into their stomachs. Other chunks of ice have doors on them and long pointy poles to push away unwelcome ships. These chunks are the ice gnomes' homes. They often live on lone glacier, but the proximity of the dwarves has encouraged many to move farther north.

The water here is so cold it sometimes ices up during the night. Only a gnome or dwarf could fall into it and not freeze to death. Even the creatures of the sea prefer to stay deep under the water where the heat of the earth warms it some. Only near the coast do they dare surface. And then only to eat. Even the blubberous triken shiver while passing through the sea. the tentacles of the deep stick one pod into the cold and pull it back quickly.

Getting hit by ice and sinking here would be a bad idea.

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THE HOLY SEA
by Dekus Dewie

The sea surrounding Temple Island has become infected with the holyness of the ceremonies performed there. This holy leaking has caused the waters to have puritanical affects on those who enter them. The disconsolate become consolate, the injured become healed, the ill become less ill, and the holy weep with undisguised joy. The water can have a bad affect on those who embrace dislike. Their minds can go insane, their tempers become more frayed, their hair tends to be pulled out, and they weep with indisguised contempt.

Anchored signs do warn sailors about the waters: "Welcome to the Holy See. If you believe in miracles you've come to the wrong place. The waters affects are usually temporary unless you have a nick. Enjoy the harmony. Bishop out." Major diseases and symptoms such as elephant nostrils or bad breath, can only be held off for the duration stayed in the water. Dunking in the water gives no better benefits as the magic is in the air and the water both. Staying in the sea for long periods starts to lose its affects on the truly sick. Pirates sometimes come and visit, looking for rich tourists.

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THE PIRATE SEA
by Dekus Dewie

The pirate sea is the only sea that moves. Whenever a fleet is sent out to destroy the pirate base the sea shows up 300 leagues away in a different direction. Some say that that means the sea isn't a sea at all, and that the famed cartographer Carticus Geox just wrote the word PIRATES above the word SEA where the CALM SEA was written. But old habits die hard, and old sayings don't want to change: "Don't go sailing through the Pirate Sea if you know what's good for you."

The pirate sea involves the pirate base at dock island and moves outward for 50 leagues in all directions. So if the base is ever found and sunk the sea will cease to exist. For the base is made up of docks and piers that floated out to sea during storms, as well as other odds and ends recovered from the junk sea. Though the base is anchored, storms sometimes tear it loose to wander aimlessly, and other times it is towed to a new location.

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THE SEA OF DEATH
by Dekus Dewie

This sea is thought to surround the invisible isle of the mad wizard Ichonk the Unwieldy. Ichonk doesn't like visiters, especially not fleets of soldiers sailing with empty treasure galleons. He has enchanted the waters around his enchanted home to sap the life out of those who enter it. A rival wizard almost got the better of Ichonk when he animated the corpses of a fleet which crashed up against the shore outside his tower. Ichonk now has sea monsters swallow the ships and crew so this doesn't happen. And he created an anti-death zone on the shore of his island.

The sea itself looks like a normal sea except you feel ill just looking at it. There also seems to be a circular line drawn about it both on and off of maps. It's a line made out of water, but noticeable all the same. Then there are the anchored signs: "You are now entering the sea of death, make your piece with your gods." (Yes, piece not peace.) There used to be lots of floating dead and wreckage. Now there is the occasional tentacle that slips above the surface in eager anticipation.

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THE SEA OF JUNK
by Dekus Dewie

It is said that every piece of flotsam, jitsam and utsam, finds it way to the sea of junk. Once thought to be named after the type of ship that plies its waters, it is now known that the sea is actually full of junk. Every kind of junk imaginable. And some you couldn't. It seems to be a waste area for those with magical disposal. But it isn't all just from waste services. Much of it comes from the large stormy waves that batter the eastern seaboard and pull it into the great ocean. Sometimes houses can be seen floating in it.

Though it is generally agreed that searching the junk is a waste of time, pirates can often be found in the sea of junk shopping for supplies. And barges from Chann and Ninn sometimes come here. Chann crushes the junk down to mix with animal waste for fire consumption. Ninn uses some of the junk for naturalistic art work. Mostly as peace offerings to the spirits who covet the gaudy items.

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2012, 10:24:12 AM »
WIZARD'S ENCLAVE
by Theodoric Arcanus

South of Wodin's Eye is a large parcel of swamp land purchased by Rugrid the Rudimentary. Rugrid convinced his fellow wizards that the terrain was perfect to build towers that would be left alone. Within no time the majority of the land's wizards had taken over the area. This made the Grand High Inquisitioner very worried, as all were outside the control of the Glum.

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THE GLUM
by Theodoric Arcanus

Once elected to office, Maribold Voracus pronounced himself Grand High Inquisitioner for life and appointed the Glum as his enforcers. These humanoids were highly motivated to get results, not all of which would pass a truth test. Vicious in temperament, and loyal to money, they have a hate relationship with the true enforces of Wodin's Eye, the Hand of Wodin.

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THE HAND OF WODIN
by Armantine Paladinus

Founders of Wodin's Eye, these paladins set up a temple and training facility where they believed Wodin's eye fell to the ground. Unconcerned with the politics surrounding their neighborhood, the Hand of Wodin none-the-less stands up to the Glum whenever the two meet. Often in bloody battle. The Hand are helped by their ability to raise the fallen. The Glum can also be raised but not in the same manner.

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THE PALINDROME
by Armantine Paladinus

The headquarters for the Hand of Wodin, this facility was built on what was believed to be the Eye fo Wodin. This holy relic is guarded to the death, both by flesh and by cunning device. The number of Paladins in the facility is debatable, but their devotion is not. Several sieges have been waged against the Palindrome by the Glum. All have been failures.

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THE PENDULUM
by Armantine Paladinus

The despicable tower of the Glum, this wretched place of villainy has the most modern torture devices available. And highly trained inquisiters to do the asking. The most avoided building in Wodin's Eye, it has been sacked twice by the Hand of Wodin. Both times after paladins were captured. The Glum keep rebuilding it.
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THE UNJUSTLY ACCUSED
by Armantine Paladinus

In the war of justice between the Hand of Wodin and the Glum of Glomen, there are many casualties. And many prisoners. Those of the Hand who are captured by the Glum are often questioned vigourously. The Glum wish to make their brethren look more like the God they follow, so some cosmetic help is given in the form of a red hot poker. The prisoner is then released as a message to others.

The released paladin becomes an elite member of the Unjustly Accused, a group of paladins not angry at wearing an eye-patch in the name of their lord, but angry because the eyepatch is over the wrong eye.

The Unjustly guard the Palindrome against all attacks.
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THE LAST HAPPY THOUGHT
by Armantine Paladinus

The people who live in Glomen, or elsewhere under the Inquisition or threat of the Glum, believe that it is the last happy thought of their people which keeps their world from falling into the domain of hopelessness. Others believe it already has. The Glum believe that this thought is held in the Palindrome under the guard of the Hand of Wodin.

Whether this is true or not I will not say. And whether it gets smaller whenever another land is conquered shall also not be spoken. But that the Palindrome is not to be attacked by the faint of heart is a fact. It is said that should the final chamber be breached that the Valkyrie collecting the dead will join in the fight against the attackers.

We do not acknowledge the existance of Valkyrie.

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THE DOMAIN OF GLUM
by Armantine Paladinus

It is believed there is a demi-plane devouted to the dour of being. This plane of Glum is where those without hope reside. A plane where it doesn't matter what you do, nothing will be accomplished by it. Others call it the plane of hopelessness.

It is said that dwellers of this plane make up The Glum, and that they want all others to be forced to live in the world they grew up with. This is of course hadron poo. We grew up with many of the glum and know them by name.

Our god Wodin says taht no such plane exists or will exist as long as he is believed in.

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THE BAND OF THE BLIND
by Armantine Paladinus

A military unit formed in Glomen from the followers of Wodin who twice upset the high inquisitor, these twin eyepatch-wearing soldiers are a very noisy bunch, as they constantly yell out to each other so as not to attack the wrong person. This didn't help their instructors one bit, as they would swing anyway. The band was formed to fight in the unvisible land of Dispense. And they did this with success, avoiding all combat, but taking the major habitations. And a couple of ruins they mistook for habitations.

There next job was to fight in the dark recesses of the gnarly forest in Mirauter. It was thought they wouldn't flee if they couldn't see what they were fighting was a fierce smelly beast that could rip their arms off. The villagers of Mirauter lead them into the deep woods making a lot of racket, then fled soundlessly (they had lots of practice doing that). The creatures of the forest didn't bother following the tricky seeing prey, when blind prey was at hand. The band was never seen again. The Hand of Wodin freed those who were being set up to replace them.

Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2012, 10:27:33 AM »
THE GREAT KINGDOM
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Once upon a time the land up to the Blazing Desert and south of the Moving Ice was all part of the Great Kingdom. This wonderful land of damsels in distress, dragons that burned down castles, and knights that danced on tables, was ruled by a great king. And then another great king. And for a long time by a great queen. Then it had a bad one.

This evil queen was so bad she was cursed to walk the earth and commit more bad. She became known as the Queen of the Dance. Needless to say, the kingdom broke apart under her reign, into the kingdoms of today.

Some great buildings and monuments of the great kingdom are still used, except the haunted Castle that marks the border of the four kingdoms.
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THE INQUISITION
by Thoedoric Arcanus

A new bureau of law created at the End of Great Times. It has been called a bureau of questioning or the office of personal development. With pointy sticks and well-heated implements. As well as healthy stretching devices and nice cleansing baths and saunas. And new-found conversation techniques. It wasn't a very popular agency.

The agents of this bureau were called Inquisitors because of their highly inquisitive nature. They would go to great lengths to fulfill their inquisitiveness. And others would go to great lengths to avoid it. Their bosses were the High Inquisitors who held holy communion in great towers. Their boss was the Grand High Inquisitor.

The Inquisition now only resides in Glomen and the lands it controls.
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THE QUEEN OF THE DANCE
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Queen Azzelpop of the Black Dresses was the fourth ruler of the Kingdom of Light Kisses, aka the Great Kingdom. She instituted the law office of the Inquisition which is still used in Glomen. As well as a process of evil unknown at that time. Wagging tongues called her rule the Kingdom of Hard Slaps. That was before their tongues adorned a wall in the dungeon.

It took many years until the people realized they had had enough, and many more until they realized they had really had enough, and a few more before enough is enough and they just couldn't take it anymore. Luckily the High Inquisitor decided to inquisite Queen Azzelpop with all his favorite tools.

When the Fleeing Wizards came back they curse Azzelpop. Cries of "Dance, Azzel, dance," now had new meaning. The queen was forced to dance the castle in her rags for the remainder of her life. The castle had to be abandoned as a result of her unending curses as she danced by. Some think she is dancing there still.
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THE HAUNTED CASTLE
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Once the Great Castle of the Great Kingdom, the Haunted Castle sits on the borders of Dispense, Vorak, Mirauter and Glomen. Two great kings and one great queen ruled from this castle (The Blue King, The Green King and The White Queen).  Great feasts, great trials, great clog-dancing and great speeches made this a happy place to spend the day.

Long halls, long ball rooms, long dinner tables, long kitchen tables and long lines of guests were a common feature of the castle and it grounds. With beautiful gardens, hard to navigate hedges, and annoying garden gnomes, the outside of the castle was as great as the inside.

Then along came the forth and final ruler, the Queen of Black Dresses. The second queen turned the castle into something less than great. For this she was cursed to forever dance the halls in cowhide boots.

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THE MERCHANT LEAGUE
by Dekus Dewie

The merchant league is made up of a collection of 16 islands that have banded together to form a protective fleet and convoys against pirates. These islands include Temple Island, the Lone Glacier, Mystery Island, Invisible Isle, Jungle Island, Merchant Isle and the 10 Gnome Isles. Merchant Isle is made up of four small city-states.

The islands are all ruled by royalty, who hold an annual Princess Regata and the annual Prince of Salt Games, each held at a different island every year. The regata is a thinly veiled shopping event, with thin veils being the cloth of the day. the salt games are a series of events to keep the Princes in fine physical condition, should they ever have to do anything with their lives.

The league is very big on exporting without tariffs and importing with tariffs. The Wizard Enclave was exmpt from this policy. As is the Glomen Protectorate now. The league once took over Haven and used it as a military base.

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THE PIRATES OF PENNAIR
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Before the Great Kingdom arose the land called Haven was renamed Pennair. The baileys of the newly named kingdom of Dispense were cast out of the country on a sinking ship without sails or oars. A storm slid them across the calm sea to the shores of haven. Here they fixed the ship and built a light tower. They began helping overweight ships be relieving them of their heaviest cargo. Then they began taking the ships as well. in time they formed a fleet.

The pirates did well until the great kingdom was established. The great king sent a great fleet to deal with the less than great former baileys. Their ships were burned, their towers knocked down and their stolen goods returned. Those that could were forced into servitude as baileys again. A few escaped and built pirate isle. The pirates are said to have a habit of burying treasure an abandoned isles. It is generally agreed it isn't worth checking the gnome isles as they tend to sink anything they see, and they are really good at finding things on their lands.

The pirates held Pennair for a scant 50 years.
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MIRAUTER
by Dekus Dewie

The country of Mirauter is the only country on the Grand Continent that has no capitol or leader. This has a lot to do with the fact it is made up almost entirely by the Gnarly Forest. The creatures of the forest are so feared by neighboring countries that the kings and queens got together and decided to send all their unwanted criminals to build villages outside the forest and be the brunt of any fell creature's attention. Parts of their own kingdoms were given away to create a buffer zone, as the forest used to be the border of three countries. Any criminal returning home was summarily executed. The Vorak built a gallows on the border to explain this.

Mirauter is actually a term used for the desert nomads who used to raid the fledgling country. The raids were very disappointing, as the villagers had less than the raiders. Many raiders felt obliged to give away some of their treasures so that the next time they raided the villagers would have something to steal. The actual country doesn't include the gnarly forest at all.

It is believed that the famed cartographer Carticus Geox wrote the word Mirauter on the edge of the Gnarly Forest to represent marauders from the great desert. Up to this time the land outside the gnarly forest was referred to as The Gnarly Land in Dispense, The Land of Gnarls in Vorak, and The Dead Settlers in Glomen.

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THE HAUNTED MOUNTAIN
Flamon Daricun

In the middle of the Gnarly Forest lies a deformed mountain, reachable only by a very crooked trail. near the top of the mountain is said to be a mansion, a keep or a series of caves. Details are sketchy because no one has ever been known to come back down and live. Only one party of youths went up and came back, but no longer young where they then. They were gone only a month, but aged in fear at what they saw. The mountain was haunted, they said. And then they died.

Many adventuring parties have gone up to exorcise the mountain, or to loot it. But no party has returned again. Not even aged. But light can sometimes be seen flashing among the clouds. Some say it is just lightning. Others aren't so sure.

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THE VERY CROOKED TRAIL
Flamon Daricun

From the center of the Gnarly Forest rises a very long crooked trail that resembles a very long, twisted, pretzle. The trail sometimes goes through the mountain and goes under or over the trail before it. It is also prone to rock slides, mudslides, thunderstorms and hail storms, all in the same day. Remarkably, the trail is never eroded, collapsed or covered from any of these slides. Though it can become slick with rain or ice. And you can fall off it.

To make matters worse, the old gnarled trees at the trail start are angry to be disturbed. And they aren't alone. The center of the forest is controlled by the fey, who don't like their territory being entered. They won't take a step onto the trail, or attack anything on it.

The trail itself passes by many occupied caves. The fey make sure these caves never lack for an owner. And none of them are friendly.

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THE GNARLY FOREST
Flamon Daricun

The land of Mirauter is a very dark and dangerous place. The majority of the land is made up of a dark, gnarled forest, that keeps anyone from wanting to invade. This ancient wood is made up of many types of hardy trees, and the fell creatures which like the darkness and solitude. As well as hunters, campers and loggers. Seldom a day goes by when someone doesn't disappear into the forest and never come back.

The denizens include nasty hairy things that hunt in packs, bright lights that lead you deeper into the woods and away from life, old bony things that smell of rot and decay, and fuzzy bunnies that make up everything else's main diet. The center of the forest holds a nasty mountain in land controlled by the fey.

The forest is also said to be ruled by the Gnarly Man, a man as gnarled as a tree, but not a tree. Even the fey kneel to him.

Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2012, 10:33:54 AM »
TOTENWELT
by Theodoric Arcanus

Totenwelt is a flat sphere that floats in the material ooze of the god-fluid known as the ick. Our world is made up of one large continent, one smaller continent and a variety of islands surrounded by water. Any craft that gets too close to the edge falls off or is devoured by fearsome monsters that wait there. Though the entire coastline of all large land masses have been mapped, the interior of the continents have many areas of wild creatures too dangerous to come near.

The exact meaning of Totenwelt is unknown. It has been found on numerous tombs and shrines throughout the world.

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GODS OF TOTENWELT
by Dekus Dewie

It is said that the gods of Totenwelt like a good joke. Is is also said there are no gods of Totenwelt because the dead don't need to worry about what's going to happen to them after they die. In this sense they are right. The dead worship nothing, but marvel at everything. Much respect is given to the elemental spirits that dwell upon the world, and respect is returned.

But there are gods, in fact, worshipped in Totenwelt. Many a newcomer has brought their god through the Spindle Portal, as they arrived. And a few new gods came into being after a particular revelrous festival, and once a very bad bet. So it can be said that there were once no gods in Totenwelt, but now they come only grudgingly.

There is, for instance, Wodin the Eye-Loser, Elidrian Eyebow the Propagator, Norg the Squirrel Tamer, Rib the Rat King, Og of the Broken Teeth, Tamerin the Tree-Puller, Faber of the Vivid Rash, Hadl the Eviscerater, Ignobant the Always Hungry, and Lonki the Dream Stealer. To name a few.

There are now also He-Who-Gobbles-The-Earth-One-Foot-At-A-Time-While-We-Lie-Sleeping, The Lazy Creator, Baargh - the god of nude joggers who run up mountains to light bonfires in the winter, and a god for every festival humans can come up with. The Lonely God came into being at a Have One Partner ball.

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THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
by Tom Foolery

The world as we know it is rectangular in shape with water cascading endlessly over the edge. This we know from the ships foolish enough to sail to it and go over. Of course, most beings aware of the existance of the falls have not returned to talk about it. Only those few lucky enough to be caught accidentally by giant eagles during the annual Cispon run have told the tale.

This revelation has brought forth many unanswered questions: Where does all the water go? How come there's never a giant eagle when you need one? Where do the Cispon come from and how do they swim up the falls? Is the world held up by a giant pillar like the trunk of a tree, with a larger world below it? And most importantly: How the heck does that much water flow over the edge every day without the water level dropping during the dry season?

These questions have confounded scholar and idiot alike for centuries until Biddener the Boundly eposited that the Edge of the World was really a grand illusion perpetrated by a cabal of wizards who didn't want us sticking our noses into their business. So respected was Biddener's scholarly wisdom that several nations sent their entire fleets to the four corners of the world to prove his thoery correct. The King of the giant eagles gave them a message: "Thanks for all the Cispon."

Though the fleets never returned, Biddener continued to be the favorite. His conclusion to their apparent demise: "Well, if you went to all that trouble to create an illusion of the world ending, you weren't really going to let people come and go when they please." Each year another ship is sent to the Edge with a note asking for the release of the fleets in return for ransom. As yet no answer has been returned.

As a sidenote, Biddener believes the Cispon mate before sacrificing themselves to the giant eagles so as not to die a wasteful death.

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MYTHILOGICAL BEINGS
by Thoedoric Arcanus

There is nothing logical about creating a mythilogical being. Most, if not all of them, are created to explain natural occurences. Strange encounters with unique creatures can also give a creature divine status. This can have harmful affects if a living being is behind the occurences being explained. Usually the word The is added in front of a name to differentiate it from a normal being who does the same thing.

A case in point is Davil Picket. A master thief who could steal anything, anywhere, without being caught, his exploits caused the tale of Mr. Sticky Fingers (aka the Sticky Man) to begin. Mr. Sticky for short. Imagine his suprise on dying in his bed to find himself walking the world, as a shade, stealing things.

Many of these made up names you will know: The Jigsaw Man, The Unprophet, The Water King, The Pet Stealer, The Horn Blower, The Wayward Chef, The Midnight Man, The Shadow Man, Mr. Sandy, The Dream Whisperer and The Tepid Woman to name a few.
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THE KIBBLE HAG
by Gertrude the Unlucky

The Kibble Hag (aka The Pet Stealer) is supposedly an old woman who lives in the woods in an Angel Food House. She leaves a trail of kibbles and bits for pets to follow into her lightly toasted lair.

What she does with the pets in a cause of great speculation. The majority opinion is she breeds them, in an attempt to create an unnatural guard dog, so no one will eat pieces of her house while she sleeps.

She is usually seen by children walking their pets, holding their pets, or being chased by their pets. She questions these children on breeding, behavior and diet. She usually escorts them out of her forest while doing so.
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THE WATER KING
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Many theologians, philosophers and logicians have suggested there must be a mythical being which keeps producing water, or Totenwelt would have no seas. The being is called the Water King, the Water Nurse or the Water Fountain. In the latter case it is really just a magical fountains the gods left for us.

Many of the creatures who rule the oceans have been called the Water King over time: King Lopsin of the Merpeople, King Bloody Claw of the sahaugin, King Ellipsid of the giants. But no creature or fountain has ever been found to explain the water supply. Though philosophers have a theory on that.

It is said that the Water King lives in an underwater cave surrounded by giant hungry sea creatures that can eat even a Sea Man's ship.
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THE HORN BLOWER
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Another scary mythical creature, the horn blower is said to arrive before a catastrophic event and blow his horn loudly for several minutes before walking through town and demanding a nice cold one for the warning. Generally everyone flees at the warning leaving the blower to get his own nice cold one. But sometimes they are too stunned and give him two or three nice cold ones, followed by him staggering out of town and falling in a heap in a hay pile. The blower is never there in the morning, though he sometimes leaves his horn behind.

This tale is another one which has made much money for the deceitful. And horn makers. Drunks use this method of getting free drinks on the horn circuit, which usually ends badly when they make a second try at the same town. Groups of thieves also use the horn trick to empty a town for easy pickings. One such group made the mistake of trying this after Bladderfest. The local police slept through the horn blowing and were in a bad mood when they woke up. One less rogue troop.

There is a historical precedent for this being. When the west was all part of the Great Kingdom the king's wizards watched the future for cataclysmic events. The king would send horn blowers, key-squeezers and bag-stranglers to warn the appropriate populations of bad events. The key-squeezers and bag-stranglers have no mythical creatures.
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THE WAYWARD CHEF
by Thoedoric Arcanus

The Wayward Chef is said to be a person who sets up a stall in or near a forest, selling food made from the roots and fruits found in said forest. At dawn the chef would appear. And at dusk the chef would disappear. Never would the chef appear two days in a row. The chef could be male in one place and female in another.

It is really hard to understand why this tale began, unless it is wishful thinking for a better source of food to eat. Most agree the reason the chef appears one day only is that they got arrested for trespassing and stealing.

One theory is that the spirit of a dead chef takes over the body for a day until it arrested and moves on to another body. This thoery is usually used by the one arrested.
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THE MIDNIGHT MAN
by Thoedoric Arcanus

The Midnight Man appears only at the stroke of midnight and can only stay for one sand-drop less than an hour. He appears before lone travelers or groups of tourists with a well-thought out story meant to engage them for an hour. This can happen outside or inside depending on the season.

It is said that if a person listens intently for a whole hour that that person will change places with the Midnight Man and he will be freed from his curse to live a normal life. It is also said that if he fails to engage he magics a glamour on one of the people so their looks change. Anyone thought to look differently after a tale is often tied to a tree and left in their undergarments.

This is yet another scam used by packs of thieves.
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THE TEPID WOMAN
by Thoedoric Arcanus

The Tepid Woman is a spirit who discourages other woman from having social interaction with men. It is thought that she is the spirit of a woman who killed herself after being spurned by a man, and wants revenge on all men.

Woman say this isn't so. That they spurn men because they are uncouth louts with bad dietary habits and a lack of understanding about social fragrance.

Men say, that's what the Tepid Woman told them to say.
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THE DREAM WHISPERER
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Perhaps the most feared of mythical creatures, the dream whisperer is responsible for new ideas and night walks. Anyone who wakes up and says they have a new idea is said to had their ears whispered to by the dream witch. In many places this is reason for stoning or burning as the Dream Whisperer is often thought to be the spirit of an executed witch or an evil demon trying to corrupt the innocent villagers. As the dream witch is said to only talk to those who have bad thoughts.

The other side of the whisperer is the night walks. People who get up and wander around at night, sometimes digging holes in the yard, sometimes hitting their spouse with a shovel, sometimes going out to the meat shed for a snack. These people are considered possessed in a frightening way. They are often hung by a rope made from the tail-hairs of a backward walking mule.

No one is sure if there ever really was an executed witch responsible. The list of likely suspects is lengthy.
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THE SHADOW MAN
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Accidentally created when a would-be necromancer recited a book of poetry during the Night of Dead Walkers in a large cemetery, the shadow man isn't a man at all. Nor does it take the form of a man. It is made up of all the shadows in the cemetery and some of the left-over thoughts of the newly deceased. Needless to say, the book reader was some surprirsed.

The Shadow Man is made up entirely of night shadows, so it doesn't appear in daylight. It is known to wander the land at night, and seems to have some ability to understand. But what it wants, if anything, is unknown. It does return to the cemetery where it was created every Night of Dead Walkers. The cemetery is now known as the Cemetery Without Shadows.

The cemetery in question no longer has neither day or night shadows. This has brought forth speculation that the day shadows created a Shadow Woman who walks the day searching for the Shadow Man and that the two sometimes meet at dawn and dusk, but always meet during the Night of Dawn Walkers. No Shadow Woman has ever been spotted.
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THE GATHERING OF SHADES
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Once a year there is an event in Vorak that has its own day on the calendar. This is the Day of Shades. All day long shades journey to a certain point in the forest that stays clear of underbrush. Mostly no one notices, except in the shade of the forest, for shades have no trace in sunlight. As night arrives, hundreds, if not thousands, of shades, seem to dance around the point in a soundless ballet.

The Vorak Guard tried charging the shades one Shade Day, to no equitable effect. Some horses took fright, a few soldiers were dragged, a saddle landed in the middle of the clearing without notice, and the knight in charge flew head first into a tree, denting his helmet. And the tree. Others years they tried rattling chains, letting loose a bag of cats, setting the woods on fire, and dancing with them. They seemed oblivious.

Some surmise that the shades are actually gathering to meet the Shadow Woman, who being made of daylight shadows, is invisible at night. Most surmise their is no such being, and that the shades are gathering around a focal point of magic. Like people around a fire in winter.

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THE ONE AND FUTURE KING
by Anonymous

It is rumored that the One King, ruler of all of the eastern continent for almost 100 years, lies buried deep in the earth awaiting a mystical to awaken once again.

This tomb supposedly has four magical portals which allow one-way travel to pertinent areas nearby.

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MYTHICAL PLACES
by various Monks, Paladins and Clerics

The fabled city of Sen Hosi is said to appear out of the mist during certain cosmic events, but is otherwise lost to time.

Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2012, 10:41:20 AM »
THE MOVING ICE
Collected stories by various Ice Wraiths

The moving ice is a glacier in the north that is slowly growing. The dwarves say the land was once green and warm and in the southern part of the continent, but one day they woke up and it was in the north. And it started to freeze over. The dwarves have waited hundreds of years to be moved back. This tale may be the origin of the Jigsaw Man, a mythical creature that moves shapes around on ground, changing the contours of the continent.

The dwarves and the ice wraiths are the two main inhabitants of the region, though nomadic huntsman come through during the mating season. The wraiths think the glacier is a being known as Kalantra. Two islands offshore are known as Kalantra's Eyes and the edge of the glacier on land as Kalantra's Maw. Most call this The Maw or the Ice Maw, but the dwarves call it the Nork's Pistle. A tower built by dwarves is called Kalanta's Nose by the wraiths. The dwarves call it The Eye of the Ice.

Along the ice can be found the ice cathedral, the frost garden, the blowholes, the spears, nature's last, the great blow, the cracks, the breaks and the deep drop. Also a town of sorts called Death Belongs, where the wraiths sometimes live.

Below the cracks is an underground land of ice and rock. This is known as the Rime of the World. At least one ice lake has been found. It is said that the Ice Matron lives below here. It is also said that The Mouth That Devours come to the Great Blow for sacrifices. The dwarves also live mostly below.

The Norks are a strange amphibian that makes a long trek from the tip of the Breaks to Nature's Last to lay their eggs and then abandon them. The wraiths then watch over them until they hatch and shepherd them back to the sea.

The blowholes are a series of natural holes that allow the giant trikens the swim other the ice flow while catching milms. The trikens have three blow-holes each; one on top and one on each side of the head. Their only natural enemies are the Tentacles of the Sea near the edge of the world. Old trikens try to make a run for the falls to end their life, so the tentacles wait for them.

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THE GREAT WRAITH MIGRATION
Collected stories by various Ice Wraiths

Though it is difficult to get a wraith to speak in a way we understand, we have determined with great difficulty that they are nomads. Every 500 years or so they move from their home to a new place and build a new city. Strangely enough, wherever they move Kalantra moves also. So landmarks change their names over time.

This move is of great hazard to the wraiths and takes several years to complete. The hazard being that wraiths survive entirely upon the cold, and may have to cross deserts or jungles. Without the cold wraiths become weak and are susceptible to disease and death. Since no wraith child has been born since humanoids found Totenwelt, the wraith population decreases every migration.

The dwarves believe the continents shift every 500 years, forcing temeperature changes to the wraith's former homeland. The wraith way of thinking can not comprehened questions of this belief.

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THE SEA MEN
by Erdigard Thentwhistle

Odd are the people of the sea who live on huge unsailable ships. These floating battering rams go wherever they may; crashing into shorelines, teetering over the edge of the world, or damaging the huge defenseless sea monsters who get in their way.

The only glimpses of these sea people come when they row to the Moving Ice during the semi-annual Nork hunt. They bother no one, and are in return not bothered.

There are legends that the north was once populated but took exception with the sea men trespassing. No evidence of such a civilization has ever been found. The dwarves say we are looking in the wrong place.

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THE ICE PATCH
by Tom Foolery

Travelers swear that there is a large patch of ice that changes location across the glacier. This patch is almost glass-like in texture, yet can't be seen through. It is marked on many maps of the glacier, all in different locations. It has even been found in the barrens or in ice caves.

Though some believe this is an life form, others think it is just the result of the sun. The sun melts the ice until it is shiny. Ice brine from the sea blows onto the patch and covers it, making it rough again. Some ice wraiths say it is Kalantra's blanket. Kalantra apparently sleeps somewhere new every night.

It is known that there have never been two ice patches seen at the same time.

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GLACIALS
by Tom Foolery

When traveling the Moving Ice one may see teeth-like mounds similar to Kalantra's Maw or the spears. These irregularly shaped mounds are made of hard ice that has never seen sunlight. Anyone returning to the same place is likely to find it barren or be convinced the shapes have moved. No one has actually seen either.

It is surmised by many that the glacials are the lone life form in the barrens, and they are therefore incredibly shy of strangers. Others surmise they are part of a giant chess set being played by titans. Even others believe that the glacier itself is moving around, causing people to become confused.

The only thing known for sure is that the ice wraiths never enter the barrens.

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THE BARREN LAND
by Tom Foolery

The northernmost point of the moving glacier, the barrens are said to be devoid of any natural life. Being bordered by the breaks might have something to do with this, but the lack of any food sources is another possible culprit. The ice here is always overcast and has longer night cycles than elsewhere. It is said the sun has never touched it. The ice is hard, lumpy and solid.

Norks cross the barrens on their way to their egg-laying site, while the Sea Men come here to hunt Norks. Other creatures stop by once in awhile for the fish. Giant eagles sometime perch on glacials that can be found here.

The winter is so cold and windy and dark that nothing at all can live there then.

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KALANTRA
by Tom Foolery

The ice wraiths consider the moving glacier of the north to be the embodiment of the winter spirit Kalantra. This spirit is accorded great respect by the wraiths, despite the fact they don't worship her or fear her. Kalantra's powers are cold-based and heal the wraiths of injuries. This unintentional side affect of her powers has made her quite popular with the species.

Some scholars believe that the journey of injured wraiths to find her, and get healed by her violent powers, has demoralized the great spirit and caused her to go into hiding from them. It is also thought that the areas the wraiths name after Kalantra may be places where she can be summoned.

Only one thing is certain. The wraiths are convinced she exists.

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THE BLOWHOLES
by Tom Foolery

Spread across the northern half of the moving glacier are holes cut into the ice where water pokes through. These holes never freeze over, though fishing lines won't break the surface of the water. Trikens surface in the holes to breath while hunting spawning milms. The milms are attracted to the light from the holes, but are water-breathers, and never come to the surface.

Trikens sometimes sleep in the blowholes, enticing hunters to throw spears at them. These spears bounce back without making contact, or waking the trikens. Though it is believed that only air can pass through the blowhole threshold, blowdarts and balls of magic air make no contact either.

Other creatures think the holes can be used to capture prey from the land. These kraken, tentacles of the sea, and sometimes the mouth that devours, find their appendages will break through the surface, but slide off anything nearby without grasping. This doesn't stop them from trying, once the triken leave the area.

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THE TIP OF THE RIME
by Tom Foolery

The moving glacier is a place of many tunnels, caves, caverns and ice spectacles. Natural cracks and crevasses are used as a staring point to bore into the ice and make lairs for homes, or tunnels to the rime of the world. These lairs may have elaborately sculpted objects of art, furniture and ceilings. Or they may be oval heat-shaped burrows. Some creatures thin the ice above or below to make dangerous falling traps. Others like cave-ins. All-in-all it is a dangerous place.

There are several passages through the tip carved by and guarded by species which live in the rime of the world. Mainly the lost dwarves. These tunnels are covered with wall carvings, and protected by cunning traps. They are expanded as need be. A person couldn't travel through the tunnels without passing some dwarf working one some part of it.

It is said that an ice matron rules the tip of the rime and won't allow passage to the rime of the world without some form of payment. The dwarves contest that belief. But the existence of the ice matron is not doubted.

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THE RIME OF THE WORLD
by Tom Foolery

Under the moving ice of the north is a frost-rimed series of tunnels and natural caverns dug into the frozen earth. These tunnels are connected to tunnels and caverns carved out of the glacier above them. Those ice tunnels are known as the tip of the rime. The movement of the glacier can cause the entrances to the tunnels to shift, requiring new ones be made every so often.

The rime is a vibrant world of creatures, most of whom have never seen the surface. Others have seen the surface and decided to come back down. Cold dripping water feeds into huge underground reservoirs, varieties of fungus and spores provide light and sustenance, blind creatures shuffle about in the dark, and more deadly things as well.

A small group of dwarves live in the rime, but refuse to call their collection of huts and hovels a town. When asked where they live, dwarves reply "below ground." So outsiders call their group of homes Below Ground.

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DEATH BELONGS
by Erdigard Thentwhistle

This is what passes for the only city on the moving glacier of the north. It is inhabited entirely by ice wraiths; when they can be bothered to show up, usually during the warm months. The city is really just a collection of ice huts made to keep the cold stay inside. So the wraiths tend not to be too welcoming in summer.

Wraiths can sometimes be seen floating around their city, apparently doing nothing. These wraiths can be conversed with. Wraiths at work are so intent on what they are doing that they don't even notice the living. Which has caused a few serious accidents. The wraiths craft items of ice as art, pottery, furniture, or even weapons. these items are greatly desired until they melt.

The wraiths have no name for their city. When asked about it, one said "It s where death belongs." Cartographers needed something to work with, so the name stuck.

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THE EYE OF THE ICE
by Erdigard Thentwhistle

Once the lost dwarves found a home to live in after their apparent transport to a cold continent, they decided they needed to have a look around on the surface. So they used rock dug from their mines, poked a hole through the rime of the world, and built a tall tower in the ice.

This tower can be seen from practically anywhere on the moving ice, and vice versa. It has no opening on the surface, befuddling many who come upon it. The only entrance lies in the center of the dwarven kingdom. Because of this it is heavily trapped should a dragon or fell beast knock it over and create an entrance.

The tower allows the dwarves to see all that goes on in their icy world. The ice wraiths think it is the nose of Kalantra.

Offline GoldBoxFan

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2012, 10:47:53 AM »
THE ICE MATRON
by Erdigard Thentwhistle

The ice matron is sometimes confused with Kalantra, the ice spirit. In point of fact, all but the ice wraiths believe they are one and the same. The ice matron rules the glacier under the surface to where it touches solid ground. She uses cold magic against those who defy her. She demands tribute from all those she meets. She can become as invisible as melted ice. She is a fearsome opponent.

Scholars believe the ice matron is a cursed wizard who needs to live in the cold to survive. No one believes she is a spirit. Since tales of Kalantra predate the ice matron, it is surmised that the matron took on the persona of Kalantra after hearing tales about her. No one knows her true identity or what she truly wants.

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NORKS
by Qualifer Fast

The Norks are a strange amphibian that makes a long trek from the tip of the Breaks to Nature's Last to lay their eggs and then abandon them. The wraiths then watch over them until they hatch and shepherd them back to the sea. This journey brings the sea men to land for a seasonal hunt. The Norks are incredibly agile against weapons, making for a long and eventful hunting season.

Great sea beasts wait near the breaks to catch the Norks when they arrive and when they leave. They are as agile in the water as they are on land. Conservationists attempting to follow them never get past the sea beasts.

No one has seen a Nork at sea, so nothing is known about what they eat, where they go, or their social life.

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NATURE'S LAST
by Tom Foolery

An out cropping of rock that sticks above the ice of the great glacier, this is the breeding ground of the Norks. Once a year or two the Norks cross the moving ice from the breaks to nature's rest. Once there they lay their eggs and leave. The ice wraiths then take care of the hatched babies, leading them back to water.

But nature's last is also the home of nesting sea birds and an invisible ice creature that blends in so well, it isn't noticed until after it is gone. The sea birds try to break into the Nork eggs and each other's eggs, but mostly the Nork eggs as they are left untended. This takes quite an effort, even without wraiths shooing the birds away, as the shells are hard-boiled on creation.

Most of the year nature's last is a snowblown empty landscape of half-covered rocks.

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TENTACLES OF THE SEA
by Tom Foolery

These nasty creatures are sometimes confused with krakens. But these creatures are shaped like a sphere, with tentacles poking out in every direction. They like to wander about the great oceans looking for small ships to rip apart, but will hang around various areas where creatures congregate to mate. They like Norks, and seem to have a special desire to peel back a sea nomad ship and see what is inside.

Though the tentacles are mostly seen near the moving ice and the edge of the sea, they are sometimes found wandering aimlessly in the junk sea, suggesting this is their mating site. They at times spend a year traversing the whole circumference of the main continent of Totenwelt. It is thought these tentacles are old and saying goodbye to the world before they die.

Only one tentacle of the sea has ever washed ashore. The fishermen who found it thought it so ugly they filled it with rocks, dragged it out to sea, and dropped it into the deep ocean.

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THE BREAKS
by Tom Foolery

In the northern sweep of the moving glacier are some jagged rocks and a crashing surf that are called the breaks. There name is explained by the flotsam floating about the rocks, and the wood frozen into the glacier. The glacier is at the lowest here for a long distance. This makes it one of the few points it can be entered by sea. Many a sailor has misjudged the waters and crashed into the breaks.

The breaks are also the place where the Norks start their journey to Nature's Rest, then return after laying their eggs. Sea monsters wait offshore here at this time, making the nearby waters dangerous to those who don't know any better, increasing the flotsam by the breaks.

Once a sea nomad ship got stuck against the breaks for two months, until a sea monster grabbed it and tried to devour it. The sea monster died.

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THE CRACKS
by Tom Foolery

It is not uncommon for glaciers to break off at the edge, forming a crack before the fall. Though the moving glacier has not yet lost such a piece. It is not even uncommon for cracks to form in the ice, creating great crevasses. But what is uncommon, is when a titan walks the ice, hits the ice with his fist, and causes cracks to form as a result. Such an event ocurred on the western half of the moving glacier. Though why has never been determined.

The crossing of a titan may have caused the cracks, before wandering back into the sea, but their importance to ice creatures can not be over-emphasized. The coldness of the western ice is so brutal that no ice creature could survive outside for prolonged periods. And with no crevasse in the west, the cracks are the only place creatures can dig safe burrows.

Unlike a crevasse, the cracks can be one to ten feet wide, and no more than thirty feet deep at the V. Great for predators, bad for explorers.

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THE DEEP DROP
by Tom Foolery

Under the moving ice is a shelf of land many fathoms below. But under the great blow the shelf falls so deep that no line has taken its measure. No swimmer has gotten close without being crushed. No magic could read through the dark water to what is beyond. The only thing known about the deep drop is that it is the home of the mouth that devours, a sea creature beyond compare.

A great deal of speculation about what is below has been a boon to storytellers. It is said that there is a ship graveyard below, which the mouth destroyed before the ice froze above it. Or that the mouth is the guardian of a vast underwater empire. Or that it is a black empty cavern where nothing can live.

All that is known is that the mouth that devours has been living there a long long time.

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THE FROST GARDEN
by Tom Foolery

The part of the moving glacier that gets the most snow and icefall, the frost garden is where lumps of snow and ice are carved by the ice wraiths into works of art. Some beautiful, some frightening, and some just bizarre. Some ice clumps are carved into smaller ice clumps. But in the summer months they all melt away, only to be renewed the next storm.

It seems that carving the frost garden is the ice wraith's main preoccupation. Only when there is nothing left to carve, or when the Norker's leave there eggs, is the garden abandoned. Not even storms keep the wraiths away. You are more likely to find a wraith here than at Death Belongs.

A word to the wise: the ice wraiths take little notice of the living, unless their artwork is disturbed. Touch nothing if you don't want the whole wraith nation turning you into an ice scultpure in red.

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THE GREAT BLOW
by Tom Foolery

A giant hole in the center of the moving ice flow, the water beside it is dark on even the brightest day. This hole above the ocean is nothing more than the largest of the blowholes. Unlike the other blowholes, however, this one has no protective abilities to those around it or in it. It does stay open year round though.

Trikens often come here with their young for long stays. They are almost never hunted here because of the proximity to the mouth that devours. The one time the sea nomads hunted them was a slaughter for all involved. The mouth that devours was awoken by the ruckus and killed most of the nomads, leaving the surviving trikens alone. The wraiths claim the water healed the wounded triken, though the dead stayed dead. The mouth never came for the dead bodies. Neither did the nomads. The wraiths had to spend months removing them.

All forms of fish live in the waters of the great blow year round, making it a great place to ice fish if you've lost your mind. Those who catch a fish usually run for their life as soon as they pull it out.

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THE ICE CATHEDRAL
by Tom Foolery

This can best be described as a cave built on top of the ice. This is considered to be the ice wraiths' greatest achievement, though they consider that to be the frost garden. It was made by taking water from a blowhole and holding it until it solidified. The magical nature of the water probably helped with this. The wraiths then carved off the rough edges until they had a stunningly beautiful giant amphitheater with great acoustics. Nothing can harm the cathedral, not storm or beast or sword. This seems to also be a product of using magical water, though it causes confusion as to how it could be carved if so protected.

The wraiths don't say much about the cathedral, though they can sometimes be seen gathering there. It was originally thought to be a place of worship before it was learned the wraith don't worship. Others say it is a form of census, where all the wraiths gather to see how many are still left. And others think they are waiting for the one who will return and become their king again. Those who watch say the wraiths just stand around for a while, then they leave.

Only one thing was learned for sure when asking the wraith about the cathedral: it was created by the three tribes of the ice. No evidence of the other two tribes has ever been found.

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THE MOUTH THAT DEVOURS
by Tom Foolery

Depending on who you talk to, the mouth that devours is a spirit, a monster, or a god. It lives under the moving ice, deep in the sea. It appears infrequently, usually months or years between visits. Mostly it appears at the great blow, but once it caught a ship that could cut through the ice. It is said to have a mouth the size of a small city, with thousands of sharp teeth in several rows. It is also said to have hundreds of tentacles, though this is thought to be an exageration. Its appearances are always remembered.

The mouth is the only creature known to devour ice wraiths, possibly because it attacks everything within range when it enters the great blow. This encourages the belief that it is blind, though others assume it can only see in the dark and finds the surface light blinding. Usually the wraiths are spit back out in a state of bad repair, though sometimes they are fully devoured or spit out totally deceased.

Since the blow is along the path of the Nork's journey to nature's last, it is most likely for the mouth to appear while the Norks are going by, cutting down their numbers. Usually this takes place after they have laid there eggs. One time it ocurred before, almost decimating the Nork population. The wraiths then began a policy of catching sea creatures, leaving them by the great blow, summoning the mouth, then fleeing as fast as uncaring undead are wont to. This act of conservationism helped the Norks regrow their population, and made the mouth's feeding cycle more steady.

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THE SPEARS
by Tom Foolery

Where the edge of the ice flow meets solid land are a series of jagged monoliths made naturally from collisions between the two. The ice wraiths call this Kalanta's Maw and the dwarves the Nork's Pistle. The dwarves say this is because the Nork's got confused in a blizzard and left nature's last heading south instead of north. They jumped off the ice flow onto solid earth and tried to swim away. The ice wraiths found them and saved most of them in time. Often a spear can be found with a rope still tied to it from someone who entered the glacier from the south.

There are other ice monoliths scattered throughout the moving ice, though usually they can only be found singly. It is said these are created when the mouth that devours smashes into the underside of the ice, trying to force its way through. They do look less like teeth than the maw, and aren't usually as tall. Sometimes they are confused with glacials.

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ICE FISH AND OTHER CREATURES
by Qualifer Fast

The most common fish of the cold ocean are the milms. They can grow to about two hand-lengths from nose to tail, and come to the ice only to mate. They have two eyes in front and two eyes on their tail, which is why they mate under the blowholes. They also have four fins on their right side and two on their left. When attacked by larger creatures they swim in tight circles. While mating they feed on the finger-long shrill.

The shrill have ten legs on top and ten legs on bottom. They are often found walking upside down on the underside of an ice flow. They use their tail to chip away ice until they create a sort of ice cave to crawl into. They also eat the ice chippings which contain frozen toplan. Many creatures feed exclusively on shrill.

The toplan are the most common sea creature of the ice. These tiny creatures look like small floating balls with furry spikes. They have no head, tail or fins. They seem to feed entirely on sunlight that comes through the blowholes, making the holes the icy equivalent of reefs.

Other gigantic creatures may pass through the ice, including the trikens, tentacles of the sea, kraken and the mouth that devours.

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Re: Books From Totenwald
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2012, 10:52:39 AM »
THE CRYPT
by Salick Bonefingers

Deep in the Spindle Mountains, below the dwarven Crypthome, is a continuing series of crypts of the dead. This appears, in itself, to be a city, as the dead often walk around Totenwelt. These dead seem to be angry at the intrusion to their sleep. And the dead can sleep for really long periods of time. After several battles, the dwarves made some peace with the dwellers of The Crypt.

From what can be gathered during the peace talks, the Undead have been waiting for The One King to return and kick out the living. When he does the dwarves will be sorry. Until then they just want to be left alone. They never explained the ancient civilization or where they came from.

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SPINDLE MOUNTAINS
by Salick Bonefingers

The Spindle Mountains go mostly horizontally from the Blazing Desert to the Sea of Junk, creating the north or south borders for the plateau of Haven, the Natok and the Chann. These tall, windy mountains are deadly to flying creatures, even ripping the wings of dragons. Other creatures lose their wings entirely.

The mountains are home to a variety of nasty creatures, as well as one tribe of dwarves and a tribe of elves. But mostly any creature that likes to live in a cave. It therefore has the greatest concentration of dragons found in Totenwelt. As well as a large variety of over-sized humanoids.

Few have tried to climb to the tops of the mountains as they are truly spindles in shape. But at least no creatures can get near mountain climbers due to the wind.

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DWARVES OF CRYPTHOME
by Salick Bonefingers

Dwarves have mined the Spindle mountains before elven memory, stealing the occasional tree from the elves when they ran out of their own. It took the elves quite some time to realize there were dwarves in the vicinity. But the dwarves have only lived in Totenwelt for less than a thousand years.

The dwarven mines got so deep they ran into the burial chambers of an even older civilization deep in the mountain. The Crypt gave the dwarves the new name for their collection of tunnels they called home. It also gave them a short war and another language to learn.

The dwarves of Crypthome and the elves of Highhome don't like each other, but they refuse to have a lethal fight when they have differences.

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DWARVES OF CRYPTHOME
by Salick Bonefingers

Dwarves have mined the Spindle mountains from before elven memory. Unless they needed wood, their presence would not even be noticed. The dwarves lived so long in Crypthome that their burial chambers ran into an even older civilization much deeper in the mountain. Dwarven archaeologists dug a tunnel from the other end for easier access.

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THE ELVES OF HIGHHOME
by Erdigard Thentwhistle

Elves have often lived in the forests of the Spindle Mountains. Wild and free, they lived outside among the trees. But arrivals to the south forced dangerous creatures out of their natural habitat and into the woods. The elves moved into the rocks and built Highhome with the help of their Hippogriff mounts. They are not a very sociable people.

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THE ELVES OF HIGHHOME
by Erdigard Thentwhistle

Elves have often lived in the forests of the Spindle Mountains. Wild and free, they lived outside among the trees between the mountains. And happily so, despite dwarven neighbors, until a group of humanoids crossed their territory to the Haven plateau. Treehome became a dangerous place to live when displaced monsters from Haven headed into the only nearby exit.

The elves moved into the rocks above and built Highhome with the help of their hippogriff mounts. Living in the rock has made them a less than sociable people. They also don't like anyone who comes from Haven.

On a minor note, a hunting party from Highhome was lost to Haven when the pass between the two was permanently closed.

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THE PORTAL IN THE SPINDLE
Salick Bonefingers

The spindle mountains are a place for creatures not native to Totenwelt. These creatures enter the plane through a portal hidden near the peaks of the mountains under a permanent scintillating fog caused by the flashing one-way gateway. Knowledge of this gateway is a closely guarded secret. Dragons and other powerful beasts stay near the portal for the free meals it offers from time to time.

It is said that the gate once went both ways, but a wizard turned it off from this side. It is also said another wizard can turn it back on. The majority of the creatures in the area are descendants of the army of beasts that crossed the threshold. It is said that plane on the other side is a gray barren hell that no one could survive for more than a few moments.

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THE ARMY OF BEASTS
Salick Bonefingers

There was once a great thief who stole a mighty wand from the lord of the beasts. The lord was so angry that he gathered his entire army to chase after the man. For weeks the one chased the other, through strange lands, portal after portals worth. Then one day the army came upon a land so violent that the gigantic army was almost totally destroyed before a few could make the portal to Totenwelt.

Though their leader was dead, the minotaurs, ogres, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds and giants that survived populated the area. So the Spindle Mountains became a dangerous place. These monsters have stayed near the portal they entered by in the hopes of one day returning home to a safer world.

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Re: Books From Totenwelt
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2012, 09:21:46 PM »
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VISIONS OF VORAK
by Entumbus Shaft

The country of Vorak has mists of its own, but is more closely akin to Mirauter than Dispense. Mountain and hill country, full of wooded valleys and rural peasants. Sheep, goats and pigs are the main form of livestock. The country once had a dangerous creature problem until it chased them all into Mirauter. This is not to say it is safe, the legends of the villagers fill up volumes, and they are slow to change their beliefs. Many a traveler has found this out to their sorrow.

Ruins of castles line the mountaintops. On less cloudy days, for every day in Vorak is cloudy, some of them can actually be seen from the villages below. This makes Vorak a wonderful tourist attraction. Tourists are warned that when visiting the ruins not to remove any stakes from elongated crates, or unsew the mouths of any heads stuck on pikes. And don't mind the bats.

The graveyards of Vorak also have many scenic headstones and crypts, some rumored to have deep catacombs beneath them. Tours often end the night at the obligatory abandoned crone's cottage, with eery sounds to keep even the soundest sleeper awake.

Despite the lack of monsters, Vorak does have a nighttime curfew. This is mainly the result of all the spirits that wander around at night from forgotten graves.
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TALES FROM VORAK
by Flamon Daricun

Many is the tale from Vorak, and each tale is told differently from village to village. Tales of bats which turn into a variety of objects from sheep to grapefruit. Tales of cottages which have conversations with those who wish to enter. Tales of fearsome hairy beasts looking for a shave or a rubbed belly. Even tales of clergy who come in to make converts.

The most fearsome tales include The Peasant Who Walked on His Own Grave, The Pit And The Pentacost, The Beast With No Fur and The Day The Sheep Didn't Baa.
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THE MOVING ISLAND
by Gertrude the Humble

A tale started by various desert and coastal people is that of the island that changes places day by day. This is not to be confused with Pirate Island which is just a bunch of connected docks. Or Lone Island which appears to move away from or closer to the Moving Glacier (the glacier changes size depending on weather).

Various versions of the tale say it is a giant sleeping turtle which has become inhabited with plants and animals, a floating nest made by a giant bird, a magical sea castle which rose from the sea, or the bound refuse of a tsunami.

All that is known for certain is that reliable witnesses have claimed to see it, or several different its. Sailors low on food pray they will find the mystical island. Captains loaded with cargo pray they don't.
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DISPENSORY
by Diletant Keek

Upon the least foggy hilltop in Dispense is the lone city of the country, the capitol and throne. The city of many levels, it is often half in and half out of fog. Which half depends on the day. It is because of this that the city is made up of sun worshippers.

The city is like many others, made up of shops, residences and government buildings, as well as the great park and the crystal cathedral. Fog Wardens patrol the city, or what they can see of it.

The city is ruled by the Sun King. When there is sunlight. And the Sunless King when there isn't. Both are the same king. The mask just changes. Though the kingdom spans outward, the king only truly rules the city and the farms below it.
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THE CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL
by Armantine Paladinus

Actually made of hand-blown glass held together with lead and arsenic-tinged metal fasteners, the cathedral is built to glory in the sun, with everything from benches to podium made of glass. This gives stained-glass a whole new concept. It also makes baking food on the glass during a sunny day a dangerous proposition.

The priests of the church have irregular hours, being open during sunlight and closed at all other times. The sun moving in and out of clouds can cause all sorts of commotion as the open/closed sign is flipped back and forth, and worshippers are hustled out or in. Church calendars are also inconclusive, as holidays are shown over several days as 'sometime around here'. Church services are the first sunny day four days or more after the last service. Holidays may or may not be celebrated each year.

The priests of the cathedral wear short-sleeved togas and sandals. The cathedral faces the great park.
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GOMM
by Gerrity Hiccup

A land of rural farmlands, much like Glomen, Gomm has patches of nasty woodlands, a few hills, a gorge separating it from the giant lands and a lot of towers. Much of the uncontested lands were also part of the kingdom at one time.

In the center of the kingdom is Gommstad. The Queen rules from Gommstad Schloss. Unfortunately the queen's son has gone missing and the kingdom is in a state of confusion.

Gomm is preparing for an invasion from Glomen once Dispense is dispensed with and Vorak is violenced.
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THE UNRULY LANDS
by Thoedoric Arcanus

The lands west of the Great Kingdom were used to bury the lords and ladies of the land. These forested hills already had great barrows of skeletal dwellers resting in them when the first tomb was being dug. The denizens, rather than start a war, agreed to let new barrows be used in return for being left alone.

The denizens taught the knowledge of constructs to the newlings for protection. As yet no tomb has been looted. And none have been created since the fall of the great kingdom. Even Glomen fears to enter the unruly lands.

In addition to wooded barrows and stone monoliths, the lands hold ancient creatures of a nasty disposition, most lulled to sleep by the bone whistlers of Agramach. These creatures are often one of a kind horrors that are the stuff of legends and worship. The forests are also full of normal animals and are visited by druids on pilgrimage.
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THE BONE WHISTLERS
by Thoedoric Arcanus

The bone whistlers of Agramach are famed among the original inhabitants of Totenwelt for their ability to lull even the most wakeful to sleep. It is said that those who wish to rest until the final days call for the whistlers. This sleep is so deep that even robbery may not cause wakefulness.

The whistlers are often called forth to lull those creatures of destruction that sometimes come through from other worlds. But they can also do the opposite in times of trouble, wake the dead.

The whistlers are thought to have gone to their final rest somewhere in the unruly lands.
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THE UNRULY DEAD
by Thoedoric Arcanus

There are those creatures who become dead by choice, and not by birth, that can resist the sleep of the dead. These creatures are unwelcome in Totenwelt and are avoided by those born of the old world as long as they keep away from the underworld.

Twice wars have been waged to defeat powerful beings who wished to assert their control on the world. But most end up in the Spindle Mountains, Mirauter or the Uncontested Lands.

A very few have been allowed barrows in the unruly lands.
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THE UNDERWORLD
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Many of the original occupants of Totenwelt have gone underground for the deep sleep. These deep catacombs are often guarded by traps and other nasty creatures as to not wake the dead. Other creatures have escaped into these catacombs to keep from being annihilated. These creatures are very nasty indeed.

Below the catacombs is said to be a grand cavern with an ocean and a waterfall, where the world spills out into infinity. Dwarves and gnomes who have found the catacombs claim to have seen it. The dwarves left a monument. The gnomes sailed to the edge and went over. Both learned not to touch anything shiny they found.

It is said that there is even a stairway that goes down so far that no one has explored it fully. Perhaps the creature that lives in it may be why.
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THE GRAND CAVERN
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Not far below the underworld is the grand cavern, a giant lake with a waterfall at its end. The lake itself has a narrow lake front view, most of it sided by cavern walls. There are runes carved by the entrance in dwarvish, and wreckage from the gnome ship that went over the edge. It is believed by many that the waterfall comes into the cavern instead of leaving it. And that a tunnel in the cavern allows the water up above.

There are no islands in the lake, though many sharp rocks stick up to crack boat or rib. And the cavern has no light except near the waterfall. No one has explored the water yet, though the gnomes are making a machine to breath under it for this purpose. It is assumed many strange and gigantic blind creatures live in the water. All that has ever been caught are albino fish up to an arms-length in size.
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THE CREATURE OF THE STAIR
by Thoedoric Arcanus

Far below the underworld is said to be an infinite staircase guarded by a hungry monster. Though several have tried to explore the stairway, most never come back. The few that have either didn't go very far, or left most of their companions behind.

Tales of what they saw are a many-legged beast, a giant blob with hundreds of teeth, a very small man with pointy ears, and a many-eyed creature.

No one knows if there is one creature, many creatures or a shape-changing creature involved.
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