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At the dock was the black cog of the captain we had found and kept from summary justice.  It was sixty feet long by about twenty feet wide, with castles and covered with a black, pitch-like substance.  The face of the bow-sprite was a demon, with moon-stone eyes and ivory tusks.  It had an uncanny resemblance to the galleys of the men of Leng.

The fool of a captain thought he could manage an ambush with the crew he had left behind, but they folded at a glance from those with us.  They had no courage without moonbeasts to strengthen them.  In the hold were casks of moonstones and rubies, the ill-gotten tools by which they bought slaves.  Many casks of wine were there as well.

With us went Kar-Anan, a brave knight from Ilek-Vad, a servant of King Carter; Kofe the Hunter, seeking vengeance for his lost son, stolen by the man in the moon, Insuriad, a Summarian Sorceress, clad in silver chains and moonbeams, and Free Jake, a dreamer, long lost in these lands.  All were anxious to join us on our quest.

We had to sail to the edge of the world, and then beyond, to reach the moon.  We had many encounters.  Sea Elephants, like giant sea lions, with sharp tusks and an anger that seemed unmatched.  Only after we had beaten them off did our captain tell us that the demon face had ivory tusks from that clan.  We also were pursued by cloudbeasts, but out ran them.  The Gnorri/Merfolk cross seduced Free Jake and ate him, his cries brought attention and after that all watches were doubled.  Though we could not save him, we did avenge him.  

The dolphins we met were aloof, they hate the men of leng.

Finally we reached the pillars at the end of the world, in the west.  As we sailed over the edge of the world, the ship reached into space as the water fell out beneath us.  All about were the larvae of the outer gods, glowing and dark, tentacled and pinchered, carapraced or slimy, shaped or mutable.  Our captain drove them off by the virtue of the name of Azathoth.  We passed black galleys and cogs in the distance, but did not hail them and they did not hail us.

We spotted the lost ship of Kar-Anon, and boarded it, recovering his shield that protects the holder with Seraph's Glory.  Nought else was worth salvaging, and Kar-Anon bid the ship farewell by leaving it burning, so that it might be freed rather than drift alone. It was a sad end, but it gave him closure to know what had happened to it.

Finally we spotted the great castle of the man in the moon.  Our captain would have rather guided us to the city of the moon beasts, but his ex-crew mates told us clearly and truthfully the safer path, if going to that castle could be called safe.  Still, Vrendi Vorastor d'Dorastor sub Gbadji, the man in the moon had been a patron of his.   Had he known how well we could read his thoughts he might have not been so gleeful.  

We sailed into the dock.  There were none awaiting us there, and it was empty, though as we walked up the steps, Vrendni was there, waiting for us at the top, with his knights and his sorceress-bride and backed by the undead Vesh of stories.  One could feel the tension in him as he was torn between all out assault and treachery.  Suddenly he felt his mind being read and the battle was on.

Vrendi is a giant, seven foot tall and with obvious inhuman blood, the same as many worshippers of Gbaji (Treat him as a hill giant troll who fights as a 13th level monk).  Lucinda, his bride, is frozen in mein as an eight-year-old child, but with hundreds of years of blood lust and foul sorcery (treat her as a vampire-wizard/12th level magic user).  Vesh has skin like wood (treat him as a clay golem, with special abilities like a ghoul).  His knights, who were in ambush, were armed with sword and shield (double hit dice zombies, with plate mail and shields, broadswords that are +2 to hit and damage when used by the undead)./

They had the upper steps against us, and advanced, but we were able to set against their charge and Michael's light protected us against the life draining powers they had.

We found our missing dreamer's key there, hanging around Jan's neck, the river god's treasure and many prisoners.  Who knows how things could have gone, only that they went as they did.  Had we not recovered the shield, we would have lost Kar-Anan along with Kofe who perished, avenging Insuriad who had given way to rage and closed with Vrendi.  Lucinda had been her daughter, and Vrendi sacrificed her in the combat.  It was brutal, but even worse was the knowledge that the anchor was drawing close to completion.  We had to flee or be over run shortly.  We took pitch from the stores in the castle and the freed slaves coated our ship and we were off, quickly lest worse befall us.

Our goal was simple, we would sail the ship directly to our entry place, so we could pull the anchor through and deliver it to those who could neutralize it.  While we did not have the power to sail to the moon, each of us could fly or glide well enough to survive while the cog crashed into the dream world (or not, we would be jumping overboard before it reached that point).

We almost made our plan, but the magic in the pitch gave out and we came to rest at the port of Dylanth-Leen.  There we entrusted the gemstones to brokers (giving the larger share to those we had rescued or who had gone with us), bought mounts and spent some time in the library.  Just as we left the city a flotilla of black galleys arrived, blockading the port.  Our escape had been swift, but the trail was not obscured to our enemies, who pursued us.  By fleeing before them we saved the city from assault and distracted vengeance from those who were with us.

Up river we fled, reaching the river god's temple as our enemies were almost upon us.  With the return of his treasure, the river rose, sweeping the foul pursuers from its banks, drowning some and washing the rest out to sea.  Finally we reached the forest where we had freed the zoogs.

Where we also met goblins, well known for their taste for human flesh and their love of lies.  Michael's raven unmasked them with the truth, which pleased them not at all.  They were no match for us, bloodied and travelled as we were, and they could not hold us until others could come to help them.

Which led us back to the waking world, with the anchor, and ready to destroy it, though not certain what to do, except Parakyle was waiting for us, with kinsman, and a forge, and the tools needed.  They began to destroy the anchor and then Dyaus-Pitar was in the midst with us.

The Lightwalker was obviously blocking him/it.  Dyaus-Pitar brought no priests, no attendants, no army, no hrythgar, no servitors, but even so, it was fearsome. Jan fainted right away, the snow dwarves quailed, but did not cease their magic or their hammers as they struck at the anchor, and it was left to us to lead off in battle, one last time.  The undying god was pitching all of its fortunes on one gamble, and we joined in the fray, rolling dice with it, though each of us unleashed a rune from the library at Dylanth-Leen first, weakening the undead god-king.

The battle story is for another day, but we triumphed, blood and horror and life.  That broke the invasion and the Seelie King led the wild hunt, moving and establishing the borders of fairie once again.  I suspect that the hunt would have swept us up too, except the Lightwalker arrived where we were as the King did.  Somehow he gained the control of the hunt that he seemed to have cast aside in an eyeblink and the sword of severance went, slowly, back in the sheath, the Ruk floating down from the sky, where she had been hidden in the glare of the sun.

Then we returned to our homes and I had a true honeymoon, the story of which I will share even less.

Sometimes a bit of privacy is well earned.
Some notes here.

Summarian, a language similar to the one used by Indigo, has some dictionaries.  The truth about them is here, at this link.  It is useful for understanding why Indigo's native tongue is considered so hard to read.

From my old D&D approach, there is a location in The City of the Revenaunt known as The Tower of Pits which "goes up to go down" and links between the Plane of Earth and other places, one of which is a node of Earth in the City of the Revenaunt.

The tower looks like a tower from the outside, but when you enter into it, from the inside it looks like a great crevasse with pits in the walls.  The pits in the walls lead to various places, going one way you go into Earth, going the other way you go into the Prime Material. It is hard to get back into the Tower once you have gone either way from a pit inside of it.

In my non standard D&D world The Tower of the Pits is a tower that contains elemental nodes, mostly earth nodes, reaching from the world of the Shattered Norns into various branes and partial planes and places related to elemental earth.

I n a D&D or AD&D world, I never did settle on where the tower part was or where the crevasse was. I think that the best place for the tower is in the City of the Revenaunt, on the edge between the mists and the random City [a very dangerous place] and that the crevasse [the inside] is best placed as a part of the border between the Plane of Earth and the Interplane area between Earth and the Prime Material plane.

Think of the Tower as a master gateway, perhaps, but more like looking at an interchange from outside. A place where hundreds of nodes (and scores of ones large enough to use) connect. If you are using a node, the Tower is at most a vague presence (i.e. you are in Earth and you come across a pit that connects to the Prime Material, or you are deep in the depths beneath and come to a pit that connects to the Plane of Earth, as you travel through the gateway/node, you have the sense of scores of other nodes and a great brooding tower that reaches up into a downward crevasse).

However, from the Tower, the nodes that pass through it are present and can be reached. Many of the pits in the crevasse are marked with runes or metal symbols or other markers left by those who have found their way in and hoped to find the same places again.

Many of the places in Earth are interplane areas, though not all, some go all the way in.  Some reach the moon, though we could not find those.

More creatures for those who are interested.
Creatures found in dream
Sea Elephant Merfolk, Gnorri Dream Gray Scale Dolphins
Rare in Dream Seas: 2d3 Very Rare in Dream Seas: 2d6 to 4d10 Uncommon in Dream Seas d20
Armor Class 7 Armor Class 6 scales Armor Class 8
Move  12" swimming, 3" on land Move 4" land, 18" swimming Move 24"
Hit dice  8d10+2 Hit Dice 4d8+4 Hit Dice 9d6+9
%lair 20 %lair 35 %lair 5
Treasure Type varies Treasure Type: varies Treasure Type as wraiths
Attack 1d12+2d6 per tusk, two tusks,
or strangle with trunk, 7d6
Attack Triton for d10+1+STR
Illusion (suggestion) or bite 2d3
Attack  butt for d8+STR
or spells as illusionist level 12+d6
Intelligence: animal to low  Intelligence: low to medium   Intelligence: medium  
Alignment :  neutral Alignment: neutral evil Alignment:  chaotic  good 
Size: large and larger (usually larger) Size: humanoid Size: humanoid
50% chance of 140+d20 Psionic points.
Iron Will and Psychic Crush.  Hate for
any who use or possess ivory.
Can appear at CHA 18+d3 (actually -2)
STR is 17+d3
All suggestion effects are CHA based.
Immune psionic attacks, charm/hold, suggestion
Sense invisible, vs. cold blooded project fear 4"
Ranger skills of level 9.

Seas in the dream worlds team with life, on the surface and far below.  Much of it is hostile or hungry, much of it is friendly to man, though an enemy to those who are filled with evil.

Many of the encounters we had were hostile to us only because we sailed in a ship of Leng.



Copyright 2006 Stephen R. Marsh and Heather N. Marsh
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