Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Divine Wight Part 6 - Jungle Tables 2 and 3: Landmarks and Hints

The tables below continue the random encounter structure for Jungle travel - they represent Landmarks and Non-Combat/Indirect encounters with jungle inhabitants.  With encounter checks three times a day, and the expected length of the party's time in the jungle 6-10 days the point of these encounters is to both provide relief from more dangerous combat encounters and to make each day of travel more interesting.  Landmarks serve the additional function of providing milestones for travel and a place to retreat to if the party becomes lost.  The general goal of these tables and those that follow is descriptive - to make wilderness travel more then a chain of monster encounters.  Some of the landmarks might themselves make for small adventure locations if a GM felt enterprising or a party was less goal directed and wanted to search the dangerous jungle rather then head for the ruins or fallen god.

Landmarks
Landmarks and areas of interest are often found in the Jungle of Midnight, and are useful as they provide points that a lost party can often find their way back to.

D10
Table 2 - Landmarks in the Jungle of Midnight
1
Abandoned Village - The sense tragedy fills this clearing, and above hangs the unraveled crumbled ruins of an Autochthon village.  A search will reveal a dread emblem of corrupt magics and/or a midden of cracked fire roasted human bones.
2
Marble Ruins - Graceful arches, fluted columns and decoratively carved blocks crumbled and scattered by time.  Often these ruins are blanketed with flowers.
3
Waterfall - From a high plummeting cataract to a series of small drops and turbulent rapids, waterfalls in either jungle streams or the great river make a cacophony of falling water can be heard for miles, making them excellent spots for an ambush.
4
Legion Post/Grave - Ancient forts and cenotaphs of sorcerously sculpted stone mark the Jungles of Midnight as a former march of the Imperial Legions.  These near imperishable vestiges slowly sink beneath the riotous life of the jungle.
5
Improbable Growth - Groves of tall bare trees with roots that erupt in lavender foliage, meadows of tree sized orchids and twisted paths wending through man-high succulents.
6
War Machine - Trapped in vines and entangled by jungle trees, the twisted remnants of an ancient Imperial Colossus towering above the canopy, the crushed crumbled stones of a floating Vheissuian fire temple blanketed in pink coral like growth or the moss colored stone bones of a dire wyrm are a monument to ancient wars.
7
Autochthon Village - Like mussels clinging to a rock, the people of the Jungle build their homes from wicker and black clay, stuck fast in the branches of the greatest of forest giants.  Among the foliage and fruits the Autochthons can go about their domestic tasks protected from many of the Jungle’s predators.
8
Stone Face - Colossal and timeless, carved boulders or entire sheer cliffs marked by vanished carvers with a variety of faces: human, beasts or god.
9
Monolith - A marker of forgotten deeds, antediluvian or simply ancient.  The history of the great stele and rain channeled statues is lost, but they still stand in the jungle.
10
Bone Yard - A stinking hole in the jungle, like a cancerous growth, where the bones of unlikely beasts and slaughtered sentients rot in great, piles of spongy yellow on brittle bleached white.
11
Dead Water - Glassy clear to the depths of the river, where the pristine wreck of an ancient war machine rests, tangles of wire and struts of bonewhite gleaming among polished river stones this area of river is devoid of life.  The water here is a polluted sink of deadly magics.  Drinking it or swimming here requires a save vs. poison (every round for a swimmer) or it results in a convulsive, corrosive death.
12
Bridge - A thin span of near translucent marble, ancient beyond reckoning, a tumble of fallen logs, tangled artfully with vines, or a brutal manipulation of bedrock into a low arch that marks the Successor Empire’s poor grasp of military geomancy.

Signs and Hints
The Creatures of the Jungle leave behind signs of their passing and ways that themselves represent encounters, and are sometimes just as dangerous as the encountering their creator.

D10
Table 2 - Signs and Inklings in the Jungle of Midnight
1
Autochthon Traders - A group of 1D6 Autochthons carrying a few trappings of ‘civilized’ Ib - steel spearheads, and bright cloth wraps instead of feather capes.  These traders know both Ib and the jungle well but are distrusted by their own people.  If friendly they may be willing to guide the party in exchange for trade goods or coin.
2
Drums! - In the distance a throb of drums, booming and reverberating, they are soon answered from all around, incessant the drumming continues surrounding the party.  All encounters with Autochthons and Brutes will be hostile for the next day.
3
Markings - Pug marks from huge claws, scratches, bones and tufts of blue black feathers and fur caught on the bark of bent and broken trees.  The marks of a numerous pack of owlbears.
4
Spectral Reverberations - The past is never fully dead in the Jungle of Midnight and eerily ghostly reverberations of what once was (or might have been) slide into the present.  Illusory palaces of fantastic marble fields of amaranth, barley and pomegranate worked by spectral laborers and the graded stone block roads for the  chariots of gem clad nobility.
5
Stele - Stele made from ancient stone, more recently reworked and raised, all depict a fierce raptor god, it's hungry gaze staring out into the jungle. Preserved food and other small offering are left at the feet of many stele and the blue monks collect them regularly.
6
Crude Arts - Monumental carvings and paintings on cliffside and fallen trees, these are crude work, depicting menacing fanged simian faces and the repeated motif of a round white moon. Any encounter in the next day will be with Azure Apes defending this territory.
7
Path of Destruction - a trampled path moves through the jungle, broken boots, hobnail sandals and the bare feet of many men have trampled a path straight across the landscape.  Closer inspection will find bloody feathers, scraps of skin, butterfly wings, tiny cracked bones and other gruesome scraps of local fauna.  If the path is followed it will lead to a company of ghoulish legionaries (Table 1).
8
Crystal Statues - 1D6/2 statues of exquisitely carved crystal ranging from pale whitish blue to deep violet.  The subject matter is strange however: confused or frightened jungle animals, rarely an autochthon with a look of perplexed disgust or even a blue monk.  The statues are too fragile to move, but manageable chunks (especially heads/busts) can be worth as much as 200 GP each if carefully transported.
9
Traps - Likely discovered only by springing them, crude traps of vine, stone and log are set along this trail, river narrow, or clearing. 1D6+2 pits, deadfalls, snares or hidden log spikes capable of ripping out a boat’s keel have been lovingly set here.  There are not hard to discover with caution, but without it will require a 4D6 check vs. Wisdom to spot or 5D6 vs. Dexterity to avoid once sprung.
10
Shed Skins - A pile of shed skin, hanks and shreds, long rolls of strange scales or piles of crystalline feathers.  Beasts are more common here, both coming to molt and travelling to devour the skins shed by others.  Searching or investigating more than a turn will result in an encounter (Table 1)
11
Blazing Water - The river here eddies and collects magical esters that when disturbed release the stored arcane waste in flashes of azure brilliance.  The water glows, sparks and suddenly blazes as the boat cuts through it.  Those who stare too long may be blinded (Save vs. Spells) for the remainder of the day.
12
Wrecked Boat - The wreck of another flat-bottomed river boat out of Ib, it’s stove timbers slimy with black weed and its rotten cargo of trade goods and jungle commodities still strapped down to its decks.

3 comments:

  1. Dig it! Running a Chult-inspired DCC game currently, so these are a Godsend. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you like it - I will try to keep it up, much smaller jungle though.

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  2. Wow - this is top notch stuff. I have recently discovered your blog and I think you have a powerful imagination. Your writing is vivid, macabre, and darkly lyrical. Inspiring work.

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