Friday, 12 February 2021

Dungeon Poem Challenge: Ice Troll Moon Abbey

Patrick Stuart issued a Dungeon Poem Challenge this week, and how could I not participate? I've been fascinated by the idea of dungeon-key-as-poetry in the past, as well as the idea of reusing a simple dungeon map.

My dungeon poem is:

Ice Troll Moon Abbey

Click the title above for a PDF version. 

I rotated the map and arranged everything into one page, just like the excellent entry from Coins & Scrolls. I am hoping to use this dungeon for a game with a group of friends who have only played a couple times before. They're not much for combat, and much more for social interactions and looking at weird stuff. So hopefully a giant talking panther and some moon iconography is weird enough for them. 

I am greatly looking forward to reading all the other Dungeon Poems. I haven't looked at any of them except for the Coins & Scrolls one, since I wanted to have the map be fresh and unspoiled in my mind. I might come edit this post linking to my favourites. 

Thursday, 4 February 2021

A Bestiary for Penrod

The Principality of Penrod is pleasant state, ruled by Prince Pepin the Young, surrounded by jolly allies and good-natured rivals. Chief exports include timber, flax, tin, literary culture, and temperate fruits. A brutal king many many generations ago hated all the minority cultures of Penrod and so did his darndest to eradicate them by forcing the dominant language on the populace (on pain of death), thus solidifying the Penrodite culture as we know today: literate and unified. 

The Penrod of today is full of chipper flax farmers, timely tin miners, and flouncy quill-bearing fops in the capital, safe from the frigid foothills of the southern reaches, thick forest to the north, and sinister mountain peaks at the eastern border. And so—there are beasts abound. At these borderlands lurk creepies and crawlies, and in the liminal spaces of all human life (underground, beneath floorboards, in the walls, between specks of civilized light) dwell the horrors that shall consume us all. 

A Bestiary

1. Flaxenvaccim

When refuse from the flax harvest is piled at the edges and corners of the fields, and these fields lay adjacent to drained cranberry bogs and the hopeless cranberry pulp laid aside after being pushed through juicers and strainers, the rotting flax and cranberry mix and mingle, slowly birthing a Flaxenvaccim. 

This slim creature is fragile and wet—its bones are flax fibres and its flesh is cranberry jelly. Slop sloughs off as it walks, and it often has to stop to scoop bits of jelly back onto itself, or to affix a fallen flaxen fibula back onto its knee joint. When first born, they're usually the size of a small child, but proportioned like a human adult: two legs, two arms, a torso, and a lopsided head with no eyes or mouth. 

As they grow by feeding on god knows what, they solidify and gain strength and stiffness. Eventually they mature at about waist height, but never really gain full strength. They love to hide in fields and steal cats.