Monday, December 5, 2011

Obelisks II (Scenario Seeds)

Obelisks II

A band of nomadic sphinxes have taken up residence in a burrowed-out nest beneath the Partially Unburied Slab. They didn't originally dig out these tunnels, but have driven off the small clutch of troglodytes who they found here when they first arrived. Little do the sphinxes realize, those troglodytes weren't the ones who dug the tunnels either. If one goes far enough back into the depths of these tunnels, there are ghouls lurking in the shadows, waiting for a chance to strike out at those who would intrude upon their domains...

Driven from their home, a small clutch of troglodytes have been wandering lost and thirsty through these dry, mold-tainted lands dominated by ancient obelisks. Then they come across a Fallen Obelisk. In the shade of this broken monument they find a curiously carved ruby set into a ring of hammered platinum. One of the children carelessly places the ring upon their finger before anyone can stop bickering over who should get the shiny bauble. Before them a Tenebrous Scarlet Triangle slowly rotates into view, offering the way to somewhere gives off an enticingly tangy scent...

Valg the Wormhunter slumped down beside a cracked and pitted obelisk, one of several arranged before a larger one by some unknown, long perished people whom the desert had swallowed up even more thoroughly than Valg's long lost tribe. The square formed by the smaller obelisks shimmered just a little bit differently than the surrounding desert air. Wounded and weary, with only three wrigglers in his pouch to show for all his day's efforts, Valg stared at the shimmering, subtle disturbance before him. Something about the phenomena nagged at him. He had been warned about something out here amidst the Obelisks, some Damned Thing that he should be on his guard against. But he was tired. The worm-venom was making him slightly dizzy. The wine was all gone. A soft rain came over the area from out of nowhere -- the skies had been clear and brutally hot only a second before, then thousands of small, white frog-like things fell out of the increasingly heavy rainstorm. Within minutes it was over as suddenly as it had begun, leaving piles of the writhing little pseudo-batrachians mounded across the sand to dry-out beneath the cruel sun. They curdled and crumbled into dust quickly, with tiny moist popping noises, leaving a residue of bitter white ashes. Valg knew that those ashes were unhealthy, probably even toxic, like most of the things that were encountered in this place. But the ashes were everywhere, on everything, and he had nothing to wash them off of his skin with...

Woodrum was a simple merchant. He traded in stirges. Not the feral, stupid kind that any yutz could gather from some fetid and dismal swamp, but real stirges. Trained stirges. But stirges are not well-suited to the desert and they were in danger of dying from the heat and the lack of moisture. The stirges were getting listless and torpid in the unbearable heat. Why, oh why had he ever listened to that liar of a thief back in Zallakand? Even if she had been a Bluescale with the violet eyes of a Vhonj-born serpentine. Oh but Woodrum had a weakness for scaled females. He was somewhat notorious for it. Now he would probably die for it. Lost amidst a never-ending array of cryptic Obelisks. Or perhaps not? For was that not a group of four camels coming this way? Perhaps there was hope after all...

Bajaam dozed in the saddle of his stolen camel as it placidly walked on and on across this dreary wasteland dominated by Obelisks and still more Obelisks. He hated obelisks and looked forward to reaching the coast and booking passage on a sea going vessel. The four camels he had liberated from that idiot of a cultist back in the box canyon carried an impressive collection of loot ransacked from a small, forgotten tomb. The cultist had been right about the tomb. Bajaam was duly thankful for that. So he had cut the man's throat while he was still asleep. It was a sort of kindness. The kindness of a half-ogre from Bakush.

Galb adjusted his grip on the trident. It was the only weapon he had been able to hold onto through the terrible sand storm that had separated him from his fellow slaves. He smirked grotesquely. That old skinflint of a slave-master had tried to cross the desert without maintaining his chains any better than he cared for the gladiators-in-training he was supposed to deliver to what was essentially one of the least spectacular destinations along the entire murder circuit. Ha. They'd probably crucify the croaking old toad when he came stumbling back into the port-town. Good. Galb would have liked to have seen that. But it wasn't important. No sense taking any of what had happened to him personally, not lately. what hadn't been bad luck was just business. No he had to get down to the business of survival. Facing-off against monsters of mutants in the arena was one thing he was damn good at. Facing tough odds and unfair conditions was just part of the way it all worked. Now Galb was set against the hot Sun above and the wide, smoldering expanse of the desert. He spotted some sort of obelisk in the distance, through the heat shimmer. Even if it was just a mirage, it was a direction and one way was about as good as any other, so he started walking...


  1. Those are more than just hooks, more like literature. Three tickles my fancy most of all for the downright weirdness. I like the way you weave the NetherVerse through your posts too. There's a lot of excellent material out there now.

  2. @Porky: Uh...this was scheduled for August 6th...that way we could place the other links into it. Instead it posted today, July 29...but has August 6th as the date on it. Weird. Do you hear Twilight Zone theme music? I sure do...

  3. ... or maybe The Outer Limits - "We are controlling transmission."

  4. @Porky: Good call. We just yanked the post and re-posted it so that it didn't bollix-up the feed or anything, as several people have remarked that that sort of thing can happen. So far the queue is going relatively smooth...aside from the bit of time travel for this particular post...


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