Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sharpened Hooks: Fun with Wilderlands of High Fantasy

So, back in 1977, Judges Guild released a book called Wilderlands of High Fantasy (presumably as part of the campaign setting of the same name).  It is primarily a collection of world-building tables, with some examples relating to the aforementioned campaign setting.

Today, I messed with it a little.  Here are some things that developed.

Professor Mandrill's Refreshed Scholar Tonic
This attractive glass bottle still contains a measure of its blue, gelatinous contents.  When consumed, this allows the imbiber to assimilate information much more quickly, allowing learning to take place in short periods and possibly allowing leaps of logic like Sherlock Holmes.  This bottle is buried, along with the remains of its previous owner, beneath the rubble of a rockslide.  Unfortunately, clearing the rubble can trigger another rockslide.  In an even more unfortunate twist of fate, a hairline crack in the bottle has rendered the contents partially inert; any given dose from the bottle only has a 50% chance of functioning correctly.

The Ruby Window
This art object is a translucent pane constructed from ruby and surrounded by a frame of gold.  The frame bears arcane inscriptions from a lost civilization, and is further decorated with small gemstones (the inscriptions reveal that this object has no magical properties, but was constructed for a monarch through the use of magic).  It is badly scratched from years of poor storage and misuse, though it would still likely fetch good money on the open market.  Presently, it is hidden in a silt lake by a giant who thinks it looks pretty.  He occasionally takes it out of the dust to look at it and examine objects through it, claiming that it "brings out their sparkle."

The Monkey God
This figurine is partially collapsed, but is still vaguely recognizable as a humanoid figure dressed in serving clothes.  Originally crafted by a magus, it was a small serving golem that bows and says a few phrases, but mostly helps keep house — it cooks, cleans, and other such things.  It is possible that it could be fixed, but as it is, the delicate components that comprise the figure are almost certainly worth something.  Presently, it hardly does much of anything at all; it will occasionally twitch or speak a few words of dialogue, but that is all.  It is presently being held by a community of monkeys who appear to regard it as some sort of oracle or entertainment; the monkeys will fight anyone who attempts to take it, although they will not fight to the death.

The Vermin Ruins
Away from the roads of civilization lies a burned plain, bearing the refuse of a forest fire.  Amongst the charred tree trunks lies the remains of a scorched building, and if the pile of partially-burned wood is cleared, one can find the stone foundation of this building — its inscriptions remain, but are badly marred and impossible to read.  In addition to the fact that the plain is currently uninhabitable, the ruins are infested with insects of all types, and these creatures seem to attack intruders with a single-minded determination.  Nobody has yet excavated to find the stone foundation and what clues it might give about these ruins, but some visitors to this accursed place have theorized that this was a shrine to some minor insect god.  Others suggest that the placement and viciousness of insects seems to suggest magical influence, almost as if they were left behind to guard something.  Those in the latter camp suggest that a series of tunnels or a tomb complex may lie under these ruins.

By the way, Judges Guild is still around and they're still producing stuff in tandem with Necromancer Games.  If you're intrigued by the Wilderlands campaign setting, a lot of their classic material has been re-released under the OGL.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Print Friendly