Dog Rice Is Darned Nice

…dogs will eat it more than twice.

The Doclopedia #14

Knives That Do More Than Cut: The Blade That Controls

Just under the deadline, here is the final knife!

Type of knife: Double Edged Dagger
Magic level: Very High
Intelligence: Genius

The last blade that we’ll look at is, in fact, the last enchanted knife that the Wendayles ever made. The entire process to make it took a year and a half and the cost was astronomical, but the person who ordered it paid for everything and included a very substantial profit.

Unlike the many other magical creations of the Wendayles, for which copious notes were kept and reprinted over the intervening years, very little is known of this knife. All notes on the creation of it were destroyed by Aloris Wendayle.

What we do know comes from a short letter written by an apprentice mage. In it, he tells his sister about the knife, saying the following tantalizing tidbits.

It is beautiful, all silver with gold inlay in the handle. The blade is 9 inches long and wicked sharp.

Such a dagger has been mentioned in several texts as being used in unspeakable rituals in many of the Known Lands.

I think it may be indestructible.

After the destruction of the foul Temple of Desh, in the summer of 1190, the dagger was to be destroyed, but resisted all attempts. It later vanished from safekeeping.

Another apprentice told me that Aloris has bound an entity to the blade, but not just a demon or a soul, but one of the Unspoken Ones. This in terribly dangerous, but it’s what the buyer wants.

If an Unspoken One was bound to the knife, only the most powerful of minds could control it. Anyone not up to the task would soon be under the daggers control.

And finally…

The buyer came today and took the knife. As soon as he left, Aloris transported the entire staff of the manor house and all of us apprentices, to the city of Salburgh along with a large amount of gold. I do not know what became of the Wendayles, but I shall miss them.

Vague rumors put the Wendayle in the Hawan Empire shortly after this. Nothing more is known of their fate.

It must also be noted that on about the same date as the letter, a rash of horrible murders took place in Blue Bay city. Most of the bodies were killed in ways that suggest some sort of ritual.

This author believes that the Unspoken One inside the dagger wants out and is trying to find the human sacrifice ritual that will do it. It seems likely that the knife can control the minds of many cultists and uses them to do its bidding. Proceed with caution, relic hunters.

Flaming Watermelon Death

…from above!

The 6.2 mile walk went pretty quickly, then I got home and turned into a thirsty & sweaty semi-invalid with a top speed of about .005 miles an hour.

But now, I’m rested, refreshed & up to maybe .5 miles an hour:)

It matters not, though, for my next set of errands shall be done by car.

More bloggage, primarily about The Blade That Controls, later.

Spider & The California Kid Go To Washington

…Washington state, that is. On business, late at night.

The Doclopedia #13

Our penultimate knife could put Bags of Holding out of business.

Knives That Do More Than Cut: The Blade That Steals

Type of knife: Folding Pocket Knife
Magic level: High
Intelligence: High

One night, many decades ago, a thief crept through the window of a fourth story apartment with the express intent of stealing as much valuable merchandise as he could carry. You can imagine his surprise when the lights suddenly ignited and he found himself face to face with a very angry sorcerer. In a heartbeat, the thief was pinned against the wall by a spell. The sorcerer then began telling him how he would deal with a miscreant with the temerity to invade his home. Mostly, this was going to involve transferring the thief’s soul into a nearby statue, where it would remain, helpless for five thousand years.

The spell casting began, and was nearly completed, when the thief’s young apprentice leaped through the window and tackled the sorcerer just as he was getting ready to touch the statue and transfer the soul.

Falling backwards in a tangle, the two men crashed into a workbench and the sorcerer’s hand touched a common pocket knife. Instantly, the entire body of the thief vanished and the knife glowed white hot. Screaming and badly burned, the sorcerer flung it away. His momentary distraction was all the apprentice thief needed and he broke the man’s neck.

As he caught his breath, the young man heard his master calling to him. He looked around, unable to see him anywhere, until he realized that the voice was coming from an old pocket knife. Picking it up, he found himself being verbally berated in the harshest manner. It would seem that his master, now trapped body & soul inside the knife, was upset that he had killed the only person who might undo the spell. A very good reason to be angry, I’m sure you will agree.

When they heard the frantic knocking of the sorcerer’s servants on the door, both man and knife agreed it was time to get out…after looting the body and grabbing a few small items. In less than two minutes, they were out the window and gone.

Within the next few days they discovered several things about the older thief’s predicament.

1: He could transfer items from the real world into his world (a small cubical pocket universe about 250 feet on a side) and out again if the blade were touched to the item to be taken in or the spot to receive an item.

2: It works on living things, too.

3: There are size and weight restrictions, so nothing larger than a 5X5X5 cube or weighing more than about 400 pounds may be taken in.

4: Magical objects cannot be transferred in, but the knife can identify such items easily from up to 10 feet away.

5: The thief can do a total of 20 transfers a day.

Resolved to his fate and seeing the many profitable possibilities it offered, the thief and his apprentice decided to make the best of it. Within a year, they were very wealthy and living in high style. The trapped thief had workmen brought in to his little universe and had them build a 50′ by 50 ‘ four story home in the center. He then had them build a large storage building and assorted sheds. Next came gardens, poultry, a couple of goats and a dog and cat. The house if furnished in an expensive, yet totally comfortable style. Live in servants were hired to care for things. Eventually, the thief fell in love with a woman who came in to help him decorate for a party. They married and had children. Life was good.

Fifty years later, the thief was in his late 80’s and his apprentice, now High Lord of a massive Thieves Guild, was past 60. The older thief was a widower and his children were grown up and gone. One day, while sitting in his garden, he died quietly.

And was reborn in minutes as a young man of 20, healthy and strong. He also saw that there was, once again, nothing but himself and some grassy land with a spring in one corner near the barrier hedge. Obviously, he was getting a new start, so he had his apprentice give the knife to a young up and coming thief, then send that thief off to a far away city to start a new Guild.

And so it goes today, the one thief calling the shots, the other carrying them out and both living like kings.

This knife has a truename, but now that the original apprentice is dead, only the thief in the knife knows it. The knife itself is unremarkable looking, with a battered ironwood handle housing the five inch blade. If sold, it might fetch fifty cents.

Tomorrow: The Blade That Controls
Next Theme: Pulp Era Dogs & Cats

Despite Appearences, There Is No Subject Line Available Today

…we expect a fresh shipment tomorrow

The Doclopedia #12

Knives That Do More Than Cut: The Blade That Weakens

This knife wants a piece of you.

Type of knife: Fancy Dress Dagger
Magic level: High
Intelligence: Low

The High Wizard Bendrado Carvenza is one of the most beloved and respected men in all of Trevendi. Counselor to kings and merchant princes, staunch defender of the country, noted philanthropist…he is all these things and more. Why then, would any man not allow him the indulgence of those rare and potentially dangerous potions that have extended his life to his present age of 260 years old?

Except, of course, that he does not use potions to extend his life. Such potions are expensive, unreliable and, as often as not, deadly. No, Bendrado has found a much better method of cheating death: he steals life from those who would squander it. The young idle rich of Trevendi are his prey and the dagger is his weapon.

Bendrado first created the dagger (truename: Ploito) 180 years ago, when old age was upon him. It took the better part of 6 months and nearly all of his wealth, but when he was done, he had a unique magical item. Then, using several layers of middlemen, he guided it into the hands of one of most exclusive jewelers in the city. In less than a day, it was sold to a young duke.

The young man wore the dagger often, since he was a fixture at the neverending series of balls and masquerades that the wealthy loved so much. But over the next few years, the man grew weaker and more prone to sickness. Rich food, plentiful drink and late hours seemed to be taking their toll upon his health. He consulted many doctors (at great expense) and all of them told him he needed rest and quiet. Eventually, low on funds and very weak, the young duke took their advice and moved to a small home way out in one of the provinces. To afford this, he sold many possessions, including the dagger.

And so it goes. The dagger passes from owner to owner, weakening some just a little and others nearly to death. Every decade or so, Bendrado manages to handle Ploito, usually by praising it’s beauty to the fop wearing it at the time. During these brief moments, the dagger transfers the stored life energy to him. In this way, the wizard maintains an apparent age of about 60 and the vigor of a man of 30.

Ploito is 14 inches long with a beautifully etched blade and a one piece guard & handle made of gold that has been set with rubies, emeralds and diamonds. The scabbard is gold and silver and is also elaborately decorated with gems.

The Rare And Beautiful Butterfly Winged Skunk Of Potawango Island

…their spray smells like fresh baked peach pie

The Doclopedia #11

Our blade today is very protective.

Knives That Do More Than Cut: The Blade That Protects

Type of knife: Large Bowie Type
Magic level: Medium
Intelligence: Average

Another creation of Aloris and Haric Wendayle, this large knife (truename: Bilaindro) was designed to protect the wielder from a variety of dangers. If it is just in it’s scabbard on a person’s belt, it will give good protection from the elements. If being used in any sort of combat, it also protects against against attacks by any bladed weapon.

Depending upon the profession of the user, the knife can give other protections. For warriors, it protects against blunt weapons, too. A mage would get protection from spells that do direct physical damage, while a cleric would be protected from attacks by the undead. It is believed that a thief would get protection from sneak attacks.

Even non-adventuring professions can get specific protections. Joom Jilar, a baker in Hendhar City, was protected against burns. An unknown potionmaker in Akarris was immune to poisoning.

Unlike many enchanted objects, the knife does not demand anything for granting these protections. It does, however, enjoy being taken out for nights on the town, especially if consorting with prostitutes is part of the plan. Bilaindro is undeniably male

Physically, the knife is 16 inches long, with 11 inches being the heavy steel blade. The handle is carved from a piece of Stone Giant bone and the guard is made of the rare White Metal found only in certain remote areas far to the north. There are no engravings of any sort on the knife.

Fried Gruntfish

…Yum Yum

The Doclopedia #10

This is a beastly knife.

Knives That Do More Than Cut: The Blade That Transforms

Type of knife: Primitive stone knife
Magic level: High
Intelligence: Low
Almost nothing is known about this knife other than it is several millenia old and may have come from the Dendulaa Plains area of Tulargishtan, where primitive folk live to this day. It does not, however, resemble any knife used by any tribe now living in that area.

Made of the rare yellowglass stones found only near Mount Dendrogaa, the knife measures 10 inches long. Six inches of that is the razor sharp blade. The remainder is the rawhide wrapped handle. If this blade has a truename, it has yet to be revealed.

According to legend, this knife allows the user to change form into a predatory beast. The type of beast is left up to the user, but once chosen, the beast form stays the same. While some may consider this a useful ability, it should be remembered that the tales tell us that the user eventually goes insane due to recurring nightmares that involve some ancient Beast God. In the end, they always change into their beast form and go on a terrible rampage. This always leads to an angry populace hunting them down and killing them.

Radar Chickens From Outer Space

…but the G-Men will stop them

Note: This post did not make it up on Thursday due to my late schedule and a wanky internet connection. Expect the Friday entry to go up later today.

The Doclopedia #9

Knives That Do More Than Cut: The Blade That Curses

 

This knife is cooking up trouble.

 

Type of knife: 12 inch chef’s knife
Magic level: High
Intelligence: High

To the casual observer, this knife looks very much like any chef’s knife you might find anywhere. Only two things give it away: it has a stain on the handle that looks like a tiny handprint and the blade never needs to be sharpened.

If someone recognizes the knife, or if they seem worthy in the knife’s opinion, it will reveal itself to them. The truename of this blade is unknown and it simply calls itself “Knife”. Going by things it has mentioned to those who have used it, we know the knife is around 400 years old and most likely came from the great city of D’Lin, which is located on the great Eastern Continent.

Once the blade has “gotten to know you”, it will ask who you wish to curse and how you wish to curse them. Note that the blade will only curse humanoids and dragons. Within that restriction, the choice of curses it can place upon the victim is nearly limitless.

The knife tells the person using it to prepare a sumptuous meal for the intended victim. This may require a good deal of advance planning. Cooking skill is not needed, since the knife knows what to do and instructs the user. As the meal cooks, both the knife and the user recite a complex chant in an unknown language. When the meal is done and eaten by the victim, the curse takes immediate effect.

A few hours after the curse goes into effect, the user of the knife gets the sudden urge to cut themselves with it, usually across the palm of the hand. They then drop a few teaspoons of blood on the knife blade. The next thing they know, they are waking up hours later, their hand is healed fully and the knife is gone

One Fish, Two Fish, Girl Fish Blew Fish

…if Dr. Seuss rises from the dead and carries me to Hell, you’ll know why.

The Doclopedia #8

Knives That Do More Than Cut: The Blade That Heals

 

Our first knife does the opposite of what most knives do.

Type of knife: Single edged dagger
Magic level: Medium
Intelligence: Low

Of the seven knives we shall take a look at, three were designed by the team of Aloris Wendayle, the famous sorceress of the late Draconic Age and her husband Haric Wendayle, perhaps the most notable weaponsmith of the last 5 centuries.

The Blade That Heals (truename: Cisserni) is a single edged dagger of obvious superior quality. The blade is quite sharp, a full 8 inches long and very lightly etched with a series of runes. Nobody now living can decipher them, although some scholars believe them to be High Elvish.

The handle and guard are one piece and were cast from some rare blue tinged metal that is always warm to the touch, regardless of the temperature of the air or the blade. The handle has no adornments, but it does seem to fit very comfortably in the hand of all who hold it.

This knife is enchanted with a healing spell that can, given enough time, heal a person or creature back from even the brink of death. This is done by cutting the flesh around the injury, or in the case of internal injuries, by cutting the flesh over the injured area. To counteract the effects of poison, the palms of the hands or soles of the feet must be cut.

All of these cuts draw no blood and cause no pain. The wounds heal within a minute or two and the same areas can be cut up to three times per hour.

The one bad aspect of The Blade That Heals is that is may only be used once per week on any given person. Still, a bit of healing is better than none.

Regarding truenames as they apply to weapons: Calling a weapon by it’s truename bonds it to the wielder for a full year. It can never be lost, will always function at highest effectiveness and can communicate telepathically with wielder, although this may be a very simple conversation in the case of low intelligence weapons like Cisserni. After a year has passed, the wielder can again say the name and seal the bond, but if they are late by even a day, they may find out they have lost the weapon, which will seek out a new user.

Mr. Porkwaffle Rides In An Aeroplane

…which, unfortunately, crashed into a zeppelin

Mad Gaming/Writing Thoughts

So, as if the daily 365 thing wasn’t enough, I’m thinking of doing some short bit of writing on here ever so often…like, once or twice a week. I’ve got a few ideas, but here’s the rub: Each entry would be no longer that 100 words. Even if, in the case of fiction, that meant stopping in the middle of a sentence.

I could write fiction, or maybe create a fantasy village or a super team or some other stuff. Any suggestions?

A Purple Worm, A Minotaur And A Xorn Walk Into A Bar

…and kill everyone in it before destroying the place

The Doclopedia #7

We finish off the first week with a bit of toonishness.

Islands of Adventure: Foogle Bird Island

When it comes to the subject of Foogle Birds, everyone in the Tooniverse knows a few facts.

1: Every single Foogle Bird in the world is the only one of it’s kind.
2: There are about a zillion kinds.
3: All of them are delicious.
4: All of them taste different.
5: Because of the above 4 things, Foogle Birds are worth big bucks.
6: Catching a Foogle Bird is the hardest thing in the world to do.

While Foogles do pop up almost anywhere, the only place you can be sure of finding them is Foogle Bird Island. This large island is located in the Sea of Key near the Strait of Arrow about 100 miles off the coast of Dark, But Not Darkest, More Like Just Before The Sun Sets Africa.

The island has every conceivable, and a couple of inconceivable, type of terrain. There are great jungles, wide valleys, deserts, arctic wastes, high mountains, great swamps and mighty pine forests. And canyons, lakes, rivers, bluffs, hills, brushy slopes, waterfalls, moors, caves, river deltas, prairies, volcanoes, cliffs, a floating island and one place where everything changes about every 3 minutes.

While many animal species share the island with the Foogles, no intelligent toons live here full time. Still, at any time you can find roughly 951 would be Foogle Bird catchers there, trying to either get rich or get a tasty tasty meal.

Some of the Foogles one might encounter include…

The Long Legged Blue Foogle Bird: 9 feet tall, 8 feet of which are legs. Very fast. Rumored to taste like a baked potato with butter, sour cream and chives.

The Google Eyed Foogle Bird: About the size of a turkey, these Foogles have great big eyes that seldom look in the same direction. Despite this, they get around just fine. They are flightless, but can teleport up to 30 feet. Rumored to taste like lemon drops.

The Tiny Green Winged Foogle Bird: Hummingbird sized and way fast, these Foogles Birds seldom sit still. Said to taste exactly like a medium rare porterhouse steak.

The Duck Billed Diving Foogle Bird: One of the many aquatic Foogles, this 80 pound bird loves to dive off high cliffs or waterfalls. They eat water plants and snails. Thought to taste like your mother’s meatloaf.

The Purple Crowned Night Foogle Bird: These desert dwelling Foogle Birds only come out at night to hunt for Moonsnakes, which they eat with relish, or, if relish is not available, chutney. It is said that these Foogle Birds taste like peach cobbler with whipped cream.

It should be noted that Foogle Bird Island is littered with unsprung Foogle Bird traps of all sorts. No Foogle Bird has ever been caught in one, but the number of Foogle Bird hunters who get trapped, shot, electrocuted, pelted with pies, shot high into the stratosphere, konked by all sorts of heavy objects and otherwise messed up physically are way up in the thousands.

I Fought The Law And The Law Kicked My Ass

…so later, I burned his house down

The Doclopedia #6

Islands of Adventure: Sarvinia & Molkos

The twin islands of Sarvinia and Molkos are located in the western portion of the Sea of Beasts, about 300 miles north of the Bodo Peninsula. Both islands are 48 miles long and 21 miles wide. They are separated by a strait that is a mere 4 miles wide and only 100 feet deep at the very center. Molkos is very hilly, with a small central mountain range running most of the length of the island. Sarvinia is much less hilly and has a very gently sloping western shore that is heavily farmed. Molkos has a thriving timber trade and some mining. Both countries are very busy ports of call for trading ships.

The islands were originally settled by two Master Traders, Mr. Sarvin and Mr. Molkori. They brought their extended families, their servants and a goodly number of people looking to get in on the founding of a couple of new kingdoms. Both groups prospered and now, 200 years later, Sarvinia and Molkos are major trade centers. The islands are peaceful and the people get together several times a year for great celebrations. In most respects, the two countries function as one.

But what is life without some sort of conflict? Where is the fun in being peaceful and prosperous and not having to worry about your neighbors spying on you or making you look foolish?

To inject a bit of spice into things, the Royal Families of both islands engage in all manner of oneupmanship. Molkos might acquire some rare magical item for the Royal Museum, so Sarvinia will commission the building of a skyship unlike anyone has ever seen. Then there are the Island Games that take place every 5 years, during which the people of both islands compete in dozens of events ranging from long distance running to chess to dancing. Finally, there are the exploratory missions that find both families sending adventuring parties to distant land just to see who gets there and back first with a good tale of daring do and hairbreadth escapes.

Since the Royal Families pay very well for both adventuring parties and rare items both magical & mundane, the islands are very popular with adventuring folk. In fact, there is even an Adventuring Guild that helps the royalty and the treasure seekers work out deals. Of course, both islands also have businesses that are ready and willing to sell the tools of the trade, be it a 10 foot pole or a well made sword.

Tomorrow: The final island…Foogle Bird Island!
Next Theme: Knives That Do More Than Cut

Girls Gone Wilde

…I’m not sure if Oscar would be amused or confused

The Doclopedia #5

Today, the newest island on Earth.

Islands of Adventure: New Atlantis

In the waning years of the 20th Century, humankind got several wake up calls telling them that global warming was coming and coming fast. A few mega hurricanes, a few years of killing summer heat, an ice sheet breakaway half the size of California…unlike our Earth, the people of this Earth got a clue and started to work on the problem.

In fact, a sort of Climate Change “Space Race” got underway, with various countries and groups of countries vying for the title of Savior of the Climate. Over the next The United States pioneered many new renewable energy technologies…China found ways to reverse desertification and planted several billion trees worldwide…Russia put a couple of multi mile long reflectors in space that lowered the temperature first at the poles, then over selected spots in the oceans…The European Union began massive efforts to create more energy efficient buildings and factories…and almost every country changed their agricultural practices. Incredibly, by the year 2030, global warming had been stopped and was, in fact, being reversed somewhat.

The benefits of all of this scientific research and application were enormous. Huge leaps were made in everything from aquaculture to genetics to nanotechnology. Robotics alone advanced so much that by 2050, robots were preparing the Moon and Mars for human settlement. And then somebody got the idea to create a new continent…out of garbage…and manure…and industrial waste. Thanks to nanotechnology, robotics, genetics and about a thousand other technologies, they pulled it off by 2090.

New Atlantis is really large. Perfectly round, the island is 200 miles across. The highest point is Mount Neptune, which is located dead center on the island and stands 5,500 feet high. The island has four major ranges of hills that radiate out from Mount Neptune towards the coast at the compass points. There are valleys and rivers and forests and wetlands and everything you would expect to find on a large island, but almost no signs of human habitation.

That’s because all of the 4.5 million people who live on New Atlantis actually live inside it. The mountains and hills are all man made under their top layer of soil. In fact, New Atlantis extends down into the sea nearly 1,000 feet in some areas. In the 12 districts of the megacity are homes, businesses, industries, research laboratories, entertainment complexes…everything you would find in any other city, but these often have windows that look out into the sea.

Now, the inhabitants of New Atlantis are not a bunch of pasty white troglodytes, despite living in an artificial environment. They regularly go to the surface, especially since a fair number of them are farmers of one sort or another. The municipal transit system has hundreds of surface level stops and even the folks who work in Deep Bottom can get up topside for some fun & sun within about an hour. And the same goes for the 24 million tourists that visit the island every year.

The surface of New Atlantis is home to thousands of species of animals and plants, most of them formerly threatened, endangered or even extinct. This is, so far, the only spot on the planet where you can see dodos or Tasmanian tigers.

New Atlantis does not stay in one place. The island moves in a slow and meandering route across the ocean between South America and Africa, always staying fairly near the equator. It is, by decree of the United Nations, a sovereign country.

New Atlantis has proven so successful that a similar, but larger project has been started in the Pacific. No name has been given to it yet, but rumor has it that the science geeks behind it are lobbying for Middle Earth.

My Other Dog Is A Hyenadon

…and he ain’t laughing

The Doclopedia #4

Life on this island is not what you might expect.

Islands Of Adventure: Orc Island

Roughly 200 years ago, shortly after the Purification Wars started winding down, thirty five thousand Orcs found themselves on the run from the great human empires of the west. Driven beyond the Mountains of the Sun and into the Black & White Desert, it was believed by the humans that the last of the Orcs would perish as had the goblins, trolls, elves, dwarves and other humanoids. To be honest, that was pretty much what the Orcs believed, too. For days they moved on, ever eastward into unexplored lands. They died by the thousands from the heat, the thirst and starvation. In the end, only about fifteen thousand came out the other side of the desert into the lush grasslands of Utrel.

Utrel was paradise after what they had endured. Water and game were plentiful, walking was easier and the weather was a great deal cooler. Over the next few months, they moved at an easy pace towards a distant mountain range. They thought they might settle there, but before that could happen, they came to the Great Inland Sea.

This sea was in fact a huge freshwater lake nearly 50 miles across and over 250 miles long. A wide variety of civilizations lived around it, none of them human and all of them peaceful towards each other. This was quite an alien concept to the Orcs, who were not exactly rocket scientists. Still, as long as nobody was attempting genocide upon them, they were friendly.

The Orcs lived in the kingdom of Palasurus (whose main race were a sort of humanoid armadillo) for nearly 2 years, mostly working as laborers or hunters. They learned to trust the Palasurians and the 9 other races that lived around the Great Inland Sea. Life was good…but then it got way better.

At the southern end of the sea was an island that the Ten Races had tried to colonize several dozen times, only to fail each time. See, something about this island made smart folks dumb. It took a few years, but eventually really bright races like the Ovoodlians or the Dar-Wegs or the N’bozi would become slow and dull witted…sort of like the Orcs. If removed from the island, people would eventually get smarter, though never as smart as they were originally. After awhile, the Ten Races gave up on the island. That is, until the day somebody thought that maybe…just maybe…the island might work in reverse upon less intelligent races.

It was easy to talk the Orcs into settling the island. Having their very own homeland again was something they had dreamed about ever since the humans of the west had nearly wiped them out. The fact that the Ten Races would be giving them everything they needed to set up shop was the icing on the cake. In short order, every one of the Orcs was on the island and busy establishing villages, farms and a home for King Rukk and his wife.

Within 6 months, the Orcs were noticeably smarter than they had been before coming to the island. By the time they had been there a year, they were building schools and libraries. At the three year mark, they were as smart or smarter than any of the other races. Twenty five years later, the children of the original Orcs were officially made part of the Eleven Races. They also just happened to have discovered the art & science of magic. Today, they are the primary makers and sellers of magical objects in the entire eastern half of the continent.

Oh, and that part about losing your smarts if you left the island? Well, that didn’t apply to the Orcs who were BORN there, which is why the Orcan Kingdom has lands extending 100 miles south along the River Aaloom that runs south out of the Great Inland Sea.

Orc Island is 22 miles wide and very mountainous at the northern end, but quickly drops down to lushly wooded rolling hills, then great meadows and finally wetlands at the southern tip. 50 miles long, Orc Island averages 10-12 miles wide for most of it’s length. There are two good sized cities, another 4 towns and about a dozen villages. One of the cities and two of the towns are also ports where much trading takes place. The Orcan College of Magic is located in the northern mountains near the royal palace. There are four satellite campuses on the mainland.

There are few dangerous creatures on Orc Island. The two most dangerous are the Hill Dogs (who are damned hard to kill due to their ability to teleport) and the Giant Orcan Eagle (which is the national symbol and therefore protected even if they do eat a good number of livestock every year). Every once in a while, a magical spell will go awry and an elemental will raise hell for a day or two, but otherwise, the island is safe.

Unless you are a human from the west. The Orcs have not forgotten.

Big Pigs Dance Jigs

…and quite well, I’m told

The Doclopedia #3

Islands Of Adventure: The Island Of Dr. Bogenbroom

 

Of all the many villains that Doc Tempest has faced, Dr. Thaddeus Bogenbroom is one of the most deranged and dangerous. Long before the rest of the world ever dreamed of recombinant DNA research, he had discovered how to do it and was terrorizing the world with his monstrous creations.

First appearing on the scene in 1967 (as recounted in “Doc Tempest and The Monster Factory”), Bogenbroom had his laboratory in a warehouse in a rundown portion of Chicago. He moved it from city to city over the next decade, but in 1978 he settled into his island lair and began stocking it with terrifying creatures. So far, the islands exact location has remained a secret.

The island itself is a near perfect ring shape that measures 5 miles across with a half mile wide freshwater lake in the center. The central portion of the island is 800 feet above sea level and the outer portion ranges from gently sloping ground (windward side) to fairly steep hillsides (leeward side). The bulk of the island is tropical forests. There are many streams, a few large ponds and the southwestern area is mostly mangrove swamp.

Bogenbroom’s laboratory and home are on the northern side if the lake in a very secure compound. Besides thick concrete walls and a deadly electric fence, there are security cameras and remote controlled machine gun turrets. Should the need arise, 50 heavily armed guards can be ready to fight in minutes. Roughly 200 of the doctor’s devoted followers live there with him and fulfill a variety of functions, from the above mentioned guards to lab assistants and servants.

Most of the above security is pretty unnecessary though, because Dr. Bogenbroom has turned loose hundreds of monsters on his island. Ranging in size from the 3 inch long Scorpion Mice to the 20 foot tall Hellephant, they have completely replaced the islands original mammalian & reptilian ecology. The mangrove swamp is particularly deadly due to the Gliding Spiders, Weaselsnakes and SwampCats. All told, there are over 300 different species of Bogenbroom’s creatures on the island, most of them breeding true every generation. The ones that don’t breed true often give birth to one off mutations that are even more bizarre than the parents.

The islands lake is home to Bogenbroom’s various fish and amphibian mutations, including the Eel Shark, Giant Octopus Clam, Death Salamander and Piranha Trout. Add to this the fact that the lake is also a prime watering hole and you can see why it is a place to be avoided.

When he first set up shop on the island, Bogenbroom released 100 of the Beast People he had created in a failed attempt to take over a small Latin American country. He fully expected them to die out in the new ecology he was creating, and that is what appeared to happen. In reality, however, the Beast Men not only survived, but are prospering.

Luck was with the first Beast Men when they found a series of caves that had been dug out by the Japanese during WWII. It also helped that, as the obedience drugs that Dr. Bogenbroom had given them wore off, their human level intelligence returned. Soon, they had a nice secure home in the caves and were venturing out at night to hunt and gather food. Children were born and now, 30+ years later, their population stands at 280. They hate Bogenbroom, but also fear him. They would not harm anybody who came to attack him.

One last thing about the island: the shallow waters surrounding it are constantly patrolled by Bogenbroom’s only ocean dwelling creations, the insanely dangerous Gojirasaurs. These 100 foot long quasi-dinosaurs cannot breed or get more than a couple of miles from the beach due to implants in their brains, thus making them superb guardians.

The 11 Things You Should Know About Jackalopes

…#5: they are all left handed

The Doclopedia #2

Islands Of Adventure: Isla de los Muertos

 

On an alternate Earth, it is the late 19th Century. Europe is divided up between England, Germany and Spain. The United States stretches from the Arctic Circle to South America. China includes Korea, Japan & part of Russia. Africa, India, South America and the rest of the world are all either independent or part of the great empires. Technologically, it is the Age of Steam and great mechanical wonders abound. War looms on all fronts as the Great Powers build ever more powerful weaponry.

But on an island far out in the Atlantic, the Spanish government may have stumbled on the weapon that even the great steam powered tanks of Germany can’t destroy…the living dead.

Isla de los Muertos measures 18 miles long by 8 miles wide and has been the site of a Spanish fortress and ship supply port for 300 years. At it’s height, it was home to 7,000 people, from soldiers to farmers to fishermen. That was 3 years ago. Now it is home to just over 3,500 flesh hungry zombies.

According to the few records that government agents could gather before they had to get back on board their boat and haul ass, things started going bad when a small meteor crashed on the island. A local priest, Father Emiliano, who had a great interest in geology, went out to locate the meteorite fragments. He took two young monks and four village boys with him. When they returned that afternoon, all of them were feverish and very weak. Within hours, they were all dead. Less than a day later, they all arose and began attacking the living, hungry for flesh, particularly brains. Those living folks who did not get killed, but merely bitten or scratched, soon died and arose. By the time the Navy cruiser “Tiburon” arrived a week later, half the population was gone and the other half were wandering the island looking for humans to eat.

Not surprisingly, the Spanish government hushed the whole thing up (especially from the Catholic Church) and sent scientists to study this new phenomenon. Inside heavy steam powered “exploramobiles”, the scientist were safe as they learned several interesting facts.

1: Sea water will dissolve a zombie like acid destroys living flesh. Ordinary salt water won’t, but it does scare them, then piss them off.

2: Blowing a zombies head off takes it out permanently.

3: Oddly, zombies are quite fire resistant. Ditto acid and electricity.

4: Cold temperatures down to -10 Celsius do not have much effect on the living dead, but at colder temperatures, they slow down and go into a suspended state. Once warmed up again, they are good as new.

5: Zombies do rot, but slowly. If they eat fresh human flesh, the effects of rotting are reduced.

6: Zombies only eat people.

And finally…

7: There are three types of zombies. Type 1 is slow moving, rather weak, pretty much mindless and not much concerned with eating brains. Type 2 are quite a bit faster, strong as the average man, about as smart as a dog and very hungry for brains. They can also speak, though only a few words. Type 3 zombies are very fast, very strong, about as smart as a young child and very cunning. They can hunt in packs and use simple weapons. They can speak in short sentences. They are always ravenously hungry.

For now, the living dead are contained on the island, but there are those in the government who see these creatures as potential weapons to use against old enemies like the English and Germans, or maybe as a way to slow the rapid growth of those upstarts in North America. Teams of scientists are attempting to figure out how zombies might be trained and weaponized without getting out of control.

While nobody outside of a few dozen high ranking Spanish government officials know the truth about Isla de los Muertos, there are rumors floating around about the distant island that Spain has cordoned off with a good sized fleet. It is possible that recon teams might be dispatched to check it out. Odds are, they won’t all come back.

Gerbil Wars

…squeak, squeak!

The Doclopedia #1

Islands Of Adventure: Duck Island

 

One hundred and seventy five years ago, a group of 500 members of the Church of the Living God climbed aboard four ships and set out for a new life in what their leaders told them was an island paradise free from sin and far away from any regular shipping lanes.

Five years later, every last one of them was dead from a rare disease that had most likely come to the island with a crewman of one of the ships

Duck Island is so named because the only survivors of the original settlements are ducks, which then bred to very large numbers. All of the humans and mammals that came to the island died. Although chickens, turkeys, geese and a few other domesticated fowl also survived, they did not breed as fast as the ducks. There are now upwards of 100,000 ducks on the island.

The island is roughly L shaped, with the shorter part being about 15 miles long and the longer portion about 27 miles long. On average, the island is about 6 miles wide. It has no mountains and the tallest hill is only 300 feet above sea level. Being in a subtropical zone, most of Duck Island is lushly forested. There are several creeks and one small river.

Fast forward 120 years, to when the Pirate Captain Black Angus Dundee rediscovered the remote island and decided that it would make a great headquarters for pirates from far and near. Sure enough, he was right and within a couple of years, the first town, Duckport ( Captain Dundee had a good sense of humor) was established. Over the next 50 years, Duckport grew and prospered into a wicked & sinful city that housed the greatest collection of rogues and scalawags on the planet. Anything goes, as long as you abide by two important rules: Follow The Pirate Code and Never Ever Harm A Duck. That last one will get you shot without hesitation.

Besides Duckport, the island is home to the smaller towns of Rum Bay, Cutlass Cove, Riverbend and Hilltop. Several small villages dot the islands interior, as do the manor houses of the Seven Pirate Lords & Ladies. There are quite a number of farms as well, raising everything from vegetables to cattle.

Even with all of the rather extensive settlement of the island, more than half of it is wild and unexplored. Although no large predatory mammals live on the island (aside from the pirates), there are plenty of reptiles (especially saltwater crocodiles and pythons), insects (scorpions, fire ants, spiders) and even birds ( modern cousins of the prehistoric “terror birds”) that can injure or even kill a human. There are also more than a few insane people running around the forests, most of them armed with knives, spears and clubs. Of course, you stand about a 10 times better chance of dying in Duckport or one of the other towns than you do in the wild. 20 times better if you turn out to be a spy for one of the many kingdoms that want to eradicate piracy.

Big Jimmy And The Woman In The Purple Car

…she took him for several kinds of ride

 

Well, I got my LJ mojo back, then didn’t write anything for 5 days:)

My request for Theme Week ideas for the upcoming Doclopedia got a few responses, roughly 2/3 of which were usable. You can, of course, make new suggestions any time.

As to when this whole thing begins, I’m thinking tomorrow, Wednesday, August 18th.

And what will our first Theme Week be? Let me reach into the Big Jar O’ Theme Week Ideas and pick one…

…and our winner is: “Islands Of Adventure”, which was contributed by the ever swell avylou. Thanks, Avy!

Now, the time for doing household chores is here. More bloggage later.

Edit From 2 Hours Later: I have outlined 13 Theme Weeks so far, so that when I pull then outta the jar, I’ll have that much less thinking to do, which in my case is always a good thing. Thinking make Mongo head hurt:)

The Creepy Eyed Children Are Watching You From The Trees

…with rusty knives in their hands

Now What?

So, I’ve got my writing mojo back, but what to do with it? I’ve got an idea or two. Here is the first one…

Those of you who have stuck with reading this blog for the last several years (and by the way, thank you ever so much) remember that in 2006 I started a project called “365 Days, 365 Characters”. Later, that mutated to include Settings and Items and I managed to get to Day #121 before I blew the daily aspect of it.

So my main idea here is to restart it as the “Doclopedia”. I might redo a few of the previously created characters, but 99% of what I’ll do will be new.

(Note From 2012: I actually redid or just re-posted quite a few of them. )

Now, what I need from y’all are Weekly Themes, so I can do each weeks entries in a nice little subject related package. To give you an idea of what I mean, here are some of the themes I used back then…

First Characters
Over The Edge
Pulp Era Women
Pirates!
AD&D Monsters As Characters
Wild Cards
Cats & Dogs Living Together
Average Joes
Spies
Guardians
People With Swords
Tiny Folk
Undead
Aliens
Lawmen (and women)
Pulp Era Locations
Islands

You get the idea, so tell me in your comments what themes you’d like to see me tackle.

Boogie Like Your Butt Is On Fire

…unless, of course, your butt does catch fire

DogCon 3: The Trip Home, The End

We are home. Naps were taken, imaginary stuff was put away, Sharon left for home, The Girls napped some more, Flash is sleeping in his imaginary cat tree, Abby is imaginarily browsing on the shrubbery on the yard and Joe and the Magic Bus are both back in the secret underground Doc Cave.

For those of you that stuck all of this out to the end, thank you. I am flatly amazed that I’ve spent nearly a month doing these reports. I think we can all safely assume that my writing gas tank is full again and I shall resume regular posting.

I think we can also agree that Uncle Doc REEEAAALLLYYY needs a vacation. At least a 2 week driving vacation. Hopefully to GenCon next August.

We shall see.

The Lady In The Car Was Loaded In Every Sense Of The Word

…and so was her gun

DogCon 3, The Trip Home, Part 2

We are stopped for dinner (cooked on the bus) in Seligman, Arizona. By midnight, we should be in Barstow, where Joe says we have to stop for some sort of calibrations. We’ll be there an hour, then we’ll head for Bakersfield and then north on I-5 and home. We should walk in the door of stately Cross Manor around 8:45 am.

There are a whole lot of Route 66 fans here in Seligman tonight, as there often are in the summer months. They are heading east in classic 1950’s era cars and have been doing this since 1976. Classic Rock fills the air and so does the smell of BBQ.

More bloggage later.

Junior Muskrat Goes To The Post Office

…to mail off a box of musk

DogCon 3, The Trip Home

This morning, we had a big breakfast at the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, then continued our homeward trek. We did stop for a few minutes to admire The House Of Glass, which is made of many tons of broken glass that has been heat fused together into walls, floors, etc. It is open to the public, but closed on Mondays, darn it.

Right now, I’m driving, Grace and Sharon are watching a movie and the critters are playing World Of Warcraft. Every so often, I hear cat/dog/goat sounds of triumph and derision.

We will be in Albuquerque (where, as we all know, one must be very careful of which way one turns) for a bit of leg stretching and dog walking. There might also be ice cream buying.

More bloggage later.

My Life In The Land Of Crazy Ladies

…many of whom I am related to

DogCon 3: Epilogue

For the third year in a row, I attempted suicide by pie at the “Post Con Cool Down Party”. I think I came closer than ever this year. Grace, Sharon & the critters also overdosed on pie and are, even as I type this, fast asleep.

We are 4 hours out of Wilted Springs and headed west. The autopilot, Data, is driving and will stop in Amarillo, where we will sleep until it’s time for breakfast at the Big Texan Steak Ranch. After that, I will drive during the day and Data will take over at night. It won’t quite be non stop, but I still estimate us being home in under 40 hours.

And now, I’m off to bed.