Annie The Spy: A Steampunk Romance Adventure

…with airships!

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The Doclopedia #2,001
Dangerous Inventions: Doctor Fenlie’s Jetpack

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Doctor Olias Fenlie invented his first, and sadly last, jetpack in 1886. Sleek and made from a steel alloy of his own creation, the jetpack attached to the body via a leather suit. Hand controls would allow the wearer to control the small wings for turning and changing altitude. A clear glass helmet would allow breathing even at higher altitudes, while also giving an excellent field of vision.

The first few tests of the jetpack worked well, but were only done at an altitude of 300 feet at 25% power. For his high altitude speed run, to be done at 2,500 feet and a speed of 150 miles an hour, Fenlie made some adjustments to both his controls and his secret fuel mixture, both of which proved to be a fatal error.

After slowly ascending to 500 feet above a crowd of over 5,000 people, Doctor Fenlie pressed the accelerator button and almost instantly went to full power. His fuel, which not only burned hotter, but was accidentally pressurized to 4 times normal, burned out in 30 seconds, pushing him to a speed near 500 miles an hour and taking him miles into the stratosphere. The force caused him to lose consciousness.

When he hit the peak of his flight and the jetpack shut off, the unconscious Fenlie fell back to Earth 6o miles from where he had started, crashing into a densely forested area. His body was not found for 3 months.

The remains of his jetpack are now on display at the Oregon Museum of Technology & Science.

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The Doclopedia # 2,002

Dangerous Inventions: Professor Chandra’s Tank

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The modern military tank as we know it first appeared in 1903. However, 12 years earlier, in 1891, Professor Chandra of the University of Delhi, invented a most marvelous tank.

Roughly the size of a modern delivery truck, but half again as wide, the tank was steam powered and clad in “Chandranite” armor, which was light and extraordinarily strong. Traveling on metal treads, it could reach speeds of 25 miles an hour. It boasted two cannons front and rear and three on each side. It was also capable of firing flamethrowers from the sides and rear.

But most amazing of all was the fact that the tank did not need a human drew. Using the latest difference engine and metal discs instead of punch cards, the tank could be programmed to go into enemy territory, fire away from all sides, then, when out of ammunition or when a preset series of maneuvers were done, return the way it came.

The first test of the tank was scheduled to take place in a large open area 5 miles outside of Delhi. Scientists and military men from around the world were on hand to watch the tank destroy a mock up of a village.

Everything went well until the tank was nearly finished. Then, it hit a large crater caused by it’s cannon fire and broke part if it’s suspension. The shock of hitting the crater caused the metal disc reader to reset, so the tank took off again, but this time it was pointed toward the city. It had started from 3 miles in the city, so it drove, at full speed, 8 miles back in. Then it began firing it’s weaponry. The death and destruction were horrible/

Then, the tank repeated it’s programming. And repeated again. Finally, our of ammunition and stuck on rubble, it stopped. Thedeath toll was in the thousands and about a quarter of the town was destroyed by fire.

Professor Chandra quietly disappeared and was never seen again.

The Journal Of The Royal Roleplaying Society

…approved by a queen

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Holy Socks! I made it to my 2,000th Doclopedia entry! Pretty darned epic, if you ask me. Mind you, there are still 4 more months left in my self imposed “366 days of double entries”. After that, there are surprises coming! Onward!

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The Doclopedia #2,000

The 2,000th Entry!: Saving The Queen Of Dogland

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So, this one time in that other world, the Knights of the Toybox got a message that the Queen of Dogland needed help. There were big ugly Booger Trolls and Poopheads attacking her subjects, who were all dogs and really nice, but the stood up like people do.

The Knights of the Toybox told Sir Teddy Bear about it, then they all got on their flying bunnies and went off to help Dogland. They flew for about 19 hours, but then stopped off at the Food Forest to eat tacos and drink juice from the Juicy Tree. Then they flew for 7 more hours and landed in Dogland.

The Queen, who was one of those skinny dogs with long pretty hair, told them that the Trolls and Poopheads were over near the Hilly Hills, but coming toward the castle. Sir Teddy Bear told here not to worry, so she gave him a magic peach that would make whoever ate it be really nice.

The Knights went off and were fighting the Booger Trolls and Poopheads when a Porkalips showed up. The Porkalips was about the size of 22 houses and very mean and dangerous, so Sir Teddy Bear threw the magic peach in it’s mouth and made it nice. Then he told it to chase off the Booger Trolls and Poopheads, so it did. It chased them so far they had to swim out in the ocean and then sharks chased them all the way toSleepy Island, where they all took a nap.

The Queen of Dogland was so happy! She gave all of the Knights of the Toybox medals and pet mice that could sing and dance. She gave Sir Teddy Bear a Kiss, so then they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Then everyone ate pizza, except the mice, who ate cheese. The End.

No Sanity Beyond This Point

…just messing with you, because there was never sanity here

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The Doclopedia #1,997

The 5 Room Dungeon Of…: Dread House

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Dread House sits just a few miles outside the city. It has been abandoned for near on 30 years, after the master of the house went insane and killed all of his family, three friends and 5 servants. After that, he was never seen again. It has been haunted ever since. Or is it? You get to finally find out the truth.

The Entrance: The entry room is roughly 15 feet on a side with a 10 foot ceiling. There are two pictures here, both of wolves. After the third person walks through the front door, the wolves jump off the picture and attack.

The Puzzle: Assuming the wolves don’t get you, the next, larger room has doors in the left, right and center walls. One is warm to the touch, one is cool and one is damp. Only the cool one leads out. The warm one lets scorching hot winds blow into the room and the damp one unleashes a mighty torrent.

 

The Setback: After opening the cool door, you descend down 13 steps into a very large basement. There are many mirrors here and spectral duplicates of you (one each) will step out of them and attack you. I hope you brought magic weapons.

 

The Boss Fight: In the final room, you find the insane murderer! But now he’s a very powerful ghost with a hell hound pet. Fight’s on, baby!

The Reward: If you destroy the ghost, you’ll have a very short time to grab loot from a large chest before the house starts to shudder, burst into flame and be swallowed down into Hell.

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The Doclopedia #1,998

The 5 Room Dungeon Of…: The Lost Farm

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The legends say there is an old farm way out in the boondocks that holds a mighty magic. Nobody has ever returned from it.

The Entrance: The front yard is full of chickens, ducks, geese and a couple of big turkeys. They look pretty normal, until the last one of you steps through the front gate. At that point, their eyes start glowing red and the attack you. They’re not very tough (except the geese and turkeys), but there are a lot of them and they do not know fear.

The Puzzle: Inside the farmhouse, you find the skeletons of two teenagers and a woman. The woman had time to scrawl “Seal the portal” before she died. Her hand points toward the next room, which is littered with all sorts of things. A very thorough search will let you find a 5 inch long rod of cold iron on a short chain.

 

The Setback: Holy crap! When you leave the house, 5 goats and two milk cows burst out of the milking shed. They have red eyes, the cows can breathe fire and the goats not only have horns, they are carnivorous!

 

The Boss Fight: A horse that is immune to magical attacks, a big bull with wicked long horns and very tough hide and an 800 pound hog that drips acid. Destroy them and you can insert the iron rod into a pedestal in the barn and close a gateway to Hell.

 

The Reward: Not much loot, but you do find an Unholy Book and what looks like a Map of Hell.

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The Doclopedia #1,999

The 5 Room Dungeon Of…: The Mystery Ship

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The galleon just drifted into the docks under it’s own power just after dawn. It’s noon, now and the city fathers will pay you quite well to go on board and find out what the hell is up.

The Entrance: Once you are all on deck (the gangway is near the aft end of the ship), the deck proves to be rotten and you all fall through to the deck beneath it. You take minor damage, but it’s dark down here and smells of death and decay. Especially nimble characters MIGHT avoid the fall, in which case they can either jump down or use the stairs.

The Puzzle: Oh, look, there’s an insane crewman down here pointing a rod of lightning at you. His name is Murf and if you try to attack him, he will blast the lot of you. However, he is babbling about the “Mistress” and how he’s hungry and how once night falls “She will rise!” If you speak calmly to him and offer him food, he will take the food and lay down the rod. THEN you can rush him, but he won’t put up a fight.

 

The Setback: Murf tells you the Mistress is up forward, just trough that door. Well, not that door exactly. When you open that one, several fast and brain hungry zombies attack you.

 

The Boss Fight: So after killing the zombies and still keeping your brains, you go through the next door, most likely expecting a vampire. WRONG! She’s a powerful mummy with two lesser mummy servants. Bonus: They are quite damp and will be very hard to burn.

 

The Reward: Fat loot here, kids! Lots of freshly raided tomb decorations, most of it made of gold and encrusted with jewels.

Just Tap The Button, Kid

…but only once

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A bit of explanation about the next five entries.

The 5 room dungeon is a method for building a quick dungeon crawl, although you could easily use it in above ground ruins, a house or even a small abandoned village. The formula is…

The Entrance: that typically has a guardian or trap of some kind.

The Puzzle: or roleplaying challenge.

The Setback: often a trick of some sort that impedes the heroes.

The Boss Fight: the big fight that provides a climax to the delve.

The Reward: that provides some loot or information that ties the story together.

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The Doclopedia #1,995

The 5 Room “Dungeon” Of…: Ruined Tarsa

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Tarsa was a holy place, long ago. A large compound for a forgotten church, it is now home to something much more dangerous.

The Entrance: An ornate entryway, a gatehouse large enough for a mighty procession to pass through. The only way into the ruins due to lingering ancient magic, it is guarded by both a troll and two hidden archers who fire arrows through slits in the ceiling

The Puzzle: A legendary healing fountain is ready for use…IF you can figure out the proper order to press the seven polished stones. Bad guesses will get the attempting person a hefty electrical shock.

The Setback: A narrow passage between ruined buildings swarming with kobolds. The little bastards are armed with short bows, spears and slings. Before you can get to the Temple area, you’ll need to get past these guys.

The Boss Fight: Uh oh! Turns out those kobolds are/were working with 5 orcs, one of whom is a pretty high level wizard. The other 4 are just badass fighters.

The Reward: The Orcs & Kobolds have been here for a couple of months and have found quite a pile of loot. Lucky you!

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The Doclopedia #1,996

The 5 Room Dungeon Of…: Lakeside Village

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Lakeside Village is a very small fishing village, maybe 10 buildings, on the north shore of Long Lake. Nobody has heard from them in months. It’s your job to find out what’s up. You arrive by boat.

The Entrance: The first building is the boathouse. Upon entering it, a very large crocodile attacks you. Assuming you kill it, you’ll notice a key ring with 3 keys on it hanging on a wall.

The Puzzle: The next building has been destroyed, literally torn apart. What could have done this? And was this whole town always this covered in ivy?

The Setback: Holy crap! You are attacked in the general store by some sort of zombies that seem to be covered in moss. There are 6-9 of them.

The Boss Fight: In the meeting hall, you encounter two crazed druids. They’re fairly tough and they are making all that ivy attack you! Some of those vines are 2 inches thick.

The Reward: There is very little loot to be found, but one of the druids has a map showing the location of the High Druid, deep in a forest.

This Space Not Left Blank On Purpose

…just to confuse you

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The Doclopedia #1,993

By The Numbers: 738

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It was 738 twenty sided dice that got rolled at the “Deadliest Dungeon In The Universe” game at GenCon 75 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The roll was to see how much damage the city of Darvendel (and everyone in it) took when 13 ancient dragons all exploded at the same time due to a hasty and ill conceived Wish spell by the rogue in the PC’s party.

It took 35 minutes to roll and add up the dice. The result was 8,487 points of combined fire, acid, cold, electrical, poison and sonic damage. The PCs, half of the city’s inhabitants and much of the city itself were destroyed.

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The Doclopedia #1,994

By The Numbers: 100,000,000

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Is the number of Sacrificial Yibs that must be thrown into the Great Chasm of Vimindo by the Most Select Blind Monks of Q’oo. Sadly, due to the sacrifice of 5.3 million Sacrificial Yibs already, the species is down to 400 individuals. Breeding programs are underway, but this species of Yib is slow to breed and seldom has more that 3 offspring.

The Monks, hoping that perhaps the Common Field Yib, a fast breeding pest, might be substituted, consulted the Most Holy Text of Uwub the Prophet.

Nope, it has to be Sacrificial Yibs or none at all. Finding themselves nearly 95 million Yibs short, the Monks are now preparing to sacrifice themselves in the hope that Vimindo will not rise and destroy the world.

Hobo With A Fork

…he’s not forking around

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The Doclopedia #1,991

By The Numbers: 133

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It was episode #133 of the American television series Starfleet, a science fiction series, that contained the world’s first televised gay kiss. The episode occurred halfway through the fifth season, when the series, like everything else on the MBC network that week, was being shown live and free of commercial interruptions. The kiss lasted 5 seconds and was between Lt. Kimura and Lt. Walters. The fact that the actors were Asian and African American was icing on the cake.

The entire cast and crew knew what was coming, as did at least one person in the control booth who disconnected both the 5 second delay and the emergency cutoff. As you might guess, when the kiss took place, the shit hit the fan.

This all happened on Valentine’s Day, 1969, at 8:42 PM.

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The Doclopedia #1,992

By The Numbers: 6,000

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That was how many gold pieces Sister Bomia, Warrior Priestess of the Mother Goddess, donated to various Church approved charities after she and her adventuring party destroyed both the Demon Harxagul and the Temple Of Evil Elementals.

You can see statues of the good Sister and her associates at the village of Grommlet.

The Rare And Beautiful Exploding Kumquats Of Potawango Island

…don’t try to eat them

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The Doclopedia #1,989

By The Numbers: 1,486

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1,486 is how fast Revolutionary Hero #1 and The Devil Dragon were going when they slammed into the newly completed Three Gorges Dam in China. The fact that they were both enveloped in the Devil Dragon’s plasma attack helped them penetrate more than halfway through the dam, into the hydroelectric generator area. The cold water hitting them caused and explosion and ruptured the dam.

Both Revolutionary Hero #1 and the Devil Dragon were killed. So were over 50 million other people in the worst flood in world history.

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The Doclopedia #1,990

By The Numbers: 200

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A man known only as “Jazir”, at a shop in Tobruk, Libya, paid a mere 200 American dollars for an ancient scroll that supposedly had the recipe for a potion that would grant long life and great power to whomever drank it.

Seven months later, in a well to do Zifta, Egypt, suburb, a huge beast described as part crocodile, part man, burst out of a house that was almost immediately engulfed in flames. The 12 foot tall creature rampaged it’s way through the city to the Damietta branch of the Nile, where it entered the water and swam toward the main river.

Since then, the quite probably insane and always hungry creature has surfaced several times along the Nile. It causes great destruction and death, then escapes into the river again. All attempts to capture or kill it have failed.

Happy Food Dreams

…of happy food

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The Doclopedia #1,987

By The Numbers: 4

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When the late Tom “The Jersey Romeo” Felzer was found dead in an alley after being shot 19 times, all 4 of his known girlfriends had ironclad alibis. So did is 4 ex-wives.

Police ruled it suicide.

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The Doclopedia #1,988

By The Numbers: 73

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That was the number of mutant children born in Japan after the first big kaiju battle in 1954. Their mutations included cat ears and tails, larger than average eyes, smaller than average mouths, hair colors nor previously found on any mammal, dwarfism, a propensity toward wild emotional outbursts, tall & thin physiques and varied obsessions.

Uncle Doc Talks To You About Sandwiches

…so, you want to try a tuna melt

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The Doclopedia #1,985

By The Numbers: 62

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There are 62 known “Martian Eggs” on the red planet in the Earth C-3 reality. Each og these metallic “eggs” measures 17 feet tall from top to bottom and about 12 feet around at the middle. So far, they have resisted all attempts to scan them to see what is inside. They also seem impenetrable by any known tool, including mining lasers.

The eggs are a dull gray and very smooth. They give off no warmth. Scientists agree that they did not originate on Mars, but beyond that, they are clueless.

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The Doclopedia #1,986

By The Numbers: 573

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573 A.D. Was the year of the “Mankiller Plague” on Earth 33-O. Starting somewhere in what would later become Russia, it swept through Europe, Asia and Africa, killing 80% of all males over the age of 14. Among surviving males, most over about 25 years old had compromised immune systems and only live another 5-8 years.

With men gone, women had to either assume power in their cultures or share it with the surviving men until those men died out. Within a dozen years or so, women pretty much ruled everywhere and men became pampered breeding studs. Few of the men ever complained.

Gerbil Gyrations

…they just love to dance

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The Doclopedia #1,983

By The Numbers: 10

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10 was the number of adventurers that went into the Dungeon of Certain Death. 3 Fighters, 1 Paladin, 2 Clerics, 2 Wizards, 1 Sorcerer and 1 Rogue. They were fearless, well equipped and experienced.

None of them ever came out.

By the gods, people, it’s right there in the name! Dungeon of CERTAIN DEATH!

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The Doclopedia #1,984

By The Numbers: 104

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That was the number of pickled fleems eaten by Joth Wurgi at the Great Pickled Fleem Eating Challenge of 2963. Joth, a plucky little Varitalan, downed those fleems in the 3 minutes allotted by the contest rules. He won a prize of 5,000 GalCred and a lifetime supply of Uncle Yingo’s Pickled Fleems.

Chapter 17: In Which Our Young Hero Insults A Duke, Steals A Horse And Manages To Save The Day

…the horse was named Cyril

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The Doclopedia #1,981

Unusual Murder Weapons: Bag Of Dice

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Damn, Sarge, what do you think made a head wound like that? Some sort of club?”

“I’ll be damned if I know, Yeung. I guess we’ll have to wait for the M.E. And then…”

“It was a bag of metal dice. A good sized one, too. Probably made of leather.”

“Who the hell are you? How did you get past the tape and the officers back there?”

“Me? Oh, I’m the Doctor. I just walked in while they weren’t looking. Anyway, as you can see there and there, the wounds correspond roughly to a four sided die and a 20 sided die. The wounds here and here are regular 6 siders.”

Get the hell out of here before I…”

“Wait, Sarge, he might be onto something. My nephew is over at GenCon right now and they play D&D with dice like this. Maybe some gamer did kill this guy.”

“Hmm, okay, suppose I buy this all, Doctor…?”

“Just Doctor. Well then, you’d want to know that whoever killed this man did it with a bag full of metal dice about the size of a large grapefruit. They were shorter than him and left handed. No doubt the dice bag took a bit of damage and now has blood stains on it. Hmm, look there. Those tennis shoe prints show somebody running south out of the alley. And there is some long hair. Blonde, I’d say. You’re looking for a man or woman about 5′ 6” tall, new sneakers, long blonde hair and a messed up dice bag. And the victim was killed in the last 2 hours.”

“You sound like Sherlock Holmes.”

“He would be amused to hear you say that. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my bus and tend to personal business.”

“The hell you will! You’re a person of interest. Yeung, keep him here while I go see what’s keeping the M.E.”

“You look like you have a question, officer.”

“Yeah…um, aren’t you supposed to be British?”

“Ah, a secret geek! No, not me. Born and raised in California. Now, you really do need to excuse me.”

“I can’t let you go.”

“I know, so if you’ll just look at this.”

Is that a neuralizer?”

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The Doclopedia #1,982

Unusual Murder Weapons: Melted Butter

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Expense account item twelve: Five dollars to the grocery delivery boy I say leaving Philippe Arrigas’ house. I asked the kid if he’d seen anything strange up there and he gave me an earful. Seems he’d just made his third trip to the house with 20 pounds of butter. Seems Arrigas had taken a commission to do a butter sculpture of something for a big dairy show somewhere. Quite a change from marble and clay, but I guess alimony to three ex-wives and hush money to somebody I hadn’t identified yet will change a man’s priorities.

Anyway, the kid said the whole house smelled like they were getting ready to pop popcorn and Arrigas was in a hurry to get more butter. I asked if anyone was else was up there and he said he’d heard a woman’s voice, but didn’t see her.

I was just thanking him when the black sports car I’d seen outside the museum the night before came flying out of the driveway and roared off up Bay Street. I handed the kid the fiver, told him to go call the cops and started running up to the house.

When I got there, I called for Arrigas, but got no answer. With a bad feeling starting in my gut I ran to the studio in back. I almost slipped and fell when I got there because of the greasy floor. What I saw was both chilling and maybe the strangest thing I’ll ever see.

There was Philippe Arrigas, submerged upside down in a large cauldron of melted butter, dead as a lobster.”

Mrs Wangdoodle Goes Surfing

…she’s a hot dogger

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The Doclopedia #1,979

Unusual Murder Weapons: Robotic Leg

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My God, Mulder, whatever General Braggman was hit with pretty much tore his head off and shattered it to pulp. It had to be very large and swung at a high rate of speed, just like whatever knocked Karyn Curtis all the way across the lab and into the far wall.”

“You mean like that. I might be wrong, but a 5 fool long, 400 pound robot leg covered in blood and brain tissue looks like a murder weapon to me.”

“Well, that’s definitely it, but nobody could pick that up and swing it hard enough to do this much damage.”

“Nobody human, Scully.”

“Are you saying a robot did this?”

“This is where they were assembling and programming huge advanced robots. That programming station over there seats a 12 foot tall humanoid robot. Maybe one of them didn’t like the fact that General Braggman and Karyn Curtis had recently decided to move from construction robots to weaponized military robots.”

“Oh, come on, Mulder, you can’t be serious.”

“Until you can show me something human that could pulp a man’s head with that 400 pound leg, yes, I am serious.”

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The Doclopedia #1,980

Unusual Murder Weapons: Weed Whacker

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Golly, Sheriff, I’ve never seen so much blood!”

Calm down, Jodie. You go over and take a minute to catch your breath while I go talk to Doc Miggins.”

“Okay, Sheriff.”

“So, Doc, what the blue eyed hell happened here?”

“Pretty cut and dried, Lon. The corpse is Old Man Taylor. Can’t tell from the face, but nobody else in town has a tattoo of Hitler getting punched by Superman. Over there, behind that bush is Cal Balden’s gas weed whacker, covered in blood and skin. I guess their 50 year feud finally boiled over. My guess is you’ll find Cal in the house, either praying or drinking.”

“Well, that ends our hope of Willowdale going 20 years without a murder. I guess I’ll go inside and…”

BANG!

“…and take you with me to look at another body.”

Attack Of The Giant Dwarves

…they pretty much looked like regular guys.

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The Doclopedia #1,977

Unusual Murder Weapons: Frozen Cheese Sandwich

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Ya know, Bill, if you wrote this one up for some episode of a tv cop show, they’d laugh in your face. One scientist gets pissed off at another, freezes a goddamn cheese sandwich in liquid nitrogen and then stabs the other in the neck with it, killing him either from blood loss or hypothermia to the brain, I haven’t gotten that far yet.”

“I hear ya, Lou. The nut that did it, Doctor David Shenesky, told us from the moment he decided to kill Doctor Hillman to the moment he did it was probably less than 3 minutes. What kind of person cooks up and pulls off a crime of passion like that so fast?”

“A crazy genius in a lab full of liquid nitrogen and his cheese sandwich lunch. I’m tellin’ ya, retirement in 6 months is going to be sweet. I’ve been a medical examiner for about 30 years too long.”

“Lucky you. I got another 4 years. Thanks, Lou. When you get off work, join me and Peters down at Lefty O’Doule’s for a couple of beers.”

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The Doclopedia #1,978

Unusual Murder Weapons: Cat

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What do you make of these wounds, Watson?”

“Why, cat scratches, obviously. Large cat, I’d say. Perhaps one of those big alley cats one sees. In a fit of rage, too, judging by the depth and number of scratches.”

“Indeed, old friend. But were they alone the cause of death?”

“No, most definitely not. This man died of some sort of poisoning, most likely delivered through the scratches. What a fiendish way to kill a person.”

“Fiendish and genius, Watson. If you will notice the bag behind that chair, you’ll see that it is custom made so that the end can be opened with a flick of the clasp. Be careful picking it up!”

“Good God, Holmes, the bottom of the bag is soaked in some liquid. It smells of the sea.”

“I suspect it comes from a species of stonefish found on the Indian Ocean. Another piece of this puzzle falls into place. You’ll remember that Lord Brathwaite mentioned his ship returning from that area last month.”

“By Jove, that’s right, Holmes. Didn’t he say his nephew was on that ship?”

“He did indeed, Watson. Now look here. See how things were knocked over in a line straight from the bathroom door to this open window? That was the cat’s escape route. The murderer crept into the room with the cat in the case. When he heard Mr. Wenders get out of the bath, he waited just a bit, opened the door and released the cat into the bathroom, whereupon the angry and no doubt terrified beast attacked Wenders. After a minute or so, the murderer, who had taken time to open the window, opened the door and released the cat. Once the cat was out the window and gone into the night, the murderer left. Diabolically clever!”

Ham Milkshake

…made with real ham ice cream

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The Doclopedia #1,975

Creative Staffing: Staff Of Healing

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Length: 5′    Toughness: Medium
Charges: 50    Recharge Cost: Low
Price: 300 gold

Although it is but a simple staff of pine with a few runes carved into it, this is our most popular staff. Any mage that has been adventuring for any length of time owns one.

Using the staff is simplicity itself. Merely touch it to the injured person and then expend from 1 (light wound) to 5 (near death) charges to affect instant healing.

The staff can be fully recharged in a day by any mage.

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The Doclopedia #1,976

Creative Staffing: Staff Of 1,000 Spells

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Length: 5′ 8”    Toughness: Indestructible
Charges: 1,000    Recharge Cost: N/A
Price: 250,000 gold or more

This is it, mages, the most powerful staff ever created. It holds 1,000 spells from all of the 12 Circles of Magic and can cast each one at it’s highest level using but a single charge.

Heal your entire group from the brink of death in an instant! Summon an ancient dragon to do your bidding! Cause mass insanity among your foes! Teleport halfway around the planet! Smite down even the most powerful undead! Do all that and so much more!

The creation of this staff has taken 10 long years and the talents of no less than 15 top mages, including Risana the Miraculous, Theandro the Dark and Fulwa Zung. It is a thing of incomparable beauty and truly enormous power. Best of all, it is indestructible and will only function for it’s true owner.

And when the final, 1,000th spell is cast, it turns into ordinary sand.

We here at Creative Staffing are very proud to offer this staff at auction 30 days from now. Bidding will start at 250,000 gold and go up from there. Only gold coins are accepted and will be checked for authenticity.

King Kong Goes To Paris

…he’s gotta climb that Eiffel Tower

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The Doclopedia #1,973

Creative Staffing: Staff Of Animal Control

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Length: 6′ 4” Toughness: High
Charges: 50 Recharge Cost: High
Price: 2,000 gold

Made of very stout oak, this staff will let you control whatever animal or animals you choose. Your control lasts 5 minutes and during that time the creature will obey simple spoken commands, such as “Run away”, “Attack”, “Roar”, Lie down”, etc.

The number of animals you can control depends upon their size and their intelligence. You can control one large bear fairly easily. A large pig, which is a much more intelligent creature, may not be as easy. Likewise, a group of monkeys or apes may require two or even three charges to control. A group of say, a dozen squirrels, will be completely controllable with one charge.

Recharging this staff costs at least 600 gold. This is because it takes both a mage (3rd Circle, at least) and a druid (of a medium to high ranking). Recharging generally takes 3 days.

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The Doclopedia #1,974

Creative Staffing: Staff of Storms

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Length: 6′ 6” Toughness: Very High
Charges: 20 Recharge Cost: Very High
Price: 10,000 gold


Although quite expensive, you get what you pay for with this staff. Slam the bottom end to the ground, spend a point and in seconds you’ll have a hard rain, stiff breezes and lots of thunder. Spend 5 points and you’ll have a strong hurricane with constant lightning.

The area of effect is impressive, about 3 miles across. The storm will last up to 30 minutes, but you can dispel it at any time. You and any friends within 10 feet of you will not be affected by the storm.

We advise extreme caution when using this staff while on a ship at sea. Mages have been known to overturn the ship they were on.

Recharging costs at least 4,000 gold and require a 10th Circle mage. Recharging takes 10 to 15 days.

Falling Headfirst Into A Pudding

…I won’t do that a third time

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The Doclopedia #1,970

Creative Staffing: Staff Of Illusion

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Length: 5′ 10”   Toughness: Medium
Charges: 50   Recharge Cost: High
Price: 2,000 gold

This staff can be used to create visual, auditory or olfactory illusions that can affect everyone in a 15 foot circle. Each type of illusion requires 1 point of power, so a roaring smelly ogre illusion would take 3 points. More complex illusions require more power. When the mage Artoro Fandini created the illusion of being in the Black Pit of the Demon Yash, it required 18 points, but was so realistic that fear alone killed 2 of the 4 gnolls affected by it.

The staff is made of zemma wood, which is light, but quite strong and flexible. It can come in any of 4 colors. Recharging it requires a mage of the 5th Circle or higher and costs around 1,500 gold.

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The Doclopedia #1,971

Creative Staffing: Staff Of Fireballs

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Length: 6′ 2”   Toughness: High
Charges: 20    Recharge Cost: High
Price: 3,000 gold

The only reason this staff does not cost more is that it is so popular, used ones are easily found. Most used Fireball Staves are in less than great shape, but can be repaired for a few hundred gold. Recharging does run about 2,500 god for 20 charges, but as any adventurer can tell you, nothing quite takes out foes like a fireball or two.

These staves are always made of dragonwood and are covered in runes. Rarely, a Fireball Staff will have a demon attached. Such staves hold 50 charges, but cannot be recharged and the final fireball releases the demon. This can be very dangerous. Such powerful staves seldom sell for less than 10,000 gold.

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The Doclopedia #1,972

Creative Staffing: Staff Of Perfect Striking

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Length: 6′   Toughness: Very High
Charges: 100   Recharge Cost: High
Price: 6,000 gold

This staff does not cast spells, but it is a thing of powerful magic. Simply put, you strike an enemy with it and it hits with the perfect way to do great damage to that foe. Blades, spikes, fire, cold, silver, acid and more are some of the possibilities. It is truly devestating in combat

Made from steel decorated with gold inlay, this staff is very tough. Recharging runs 500 gold or so and can take a week. Only a mage of 9th Circle or higher will be able to recharge it.

My Years As A Pin Up Boy

…not pretty, my friends.

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The Doclopedia #1,967

Creative Staffing: Staff Of Light
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Length: 6′ 6”Toughness: Medium
Charges: 100Recharge Cost: Low
Price: 50 gold

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One of our most popular entry level staves, the Staff of Light is topped by a Lumari Crystal that upon activation can light an area 30 feet across as bright as daylight. A dimmer, more early twilight radiance extends another 15 feet out.

If needed, and you are willing to expend 10 charges, you may light an area 90 feet across with a blinding light. This light lasts 10 seconds, but will blind even creatures in daylight for a full minute.

The staff can be fully charged by at least 8 hours exposure to bright sunlight, or in about 30 minutes by any mage of the 3rd Circle or higher.

As an added bonus, the entire staff glows faintly in the dark for ease of location in a hurry.

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The Doclopedia #1,968

Creative Staffing: Staff Of Fire

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Length: 6′   Toughness: High
Charges: 50   Recharge Cost: Medium
Price: 350 gold

This staff is one of our personal favorites due to it bursting into flame when activated. The effect is quite impressive and may well cause some foes to run away at the very sight of it.

Activated, the entire staff becomes engulfed in fire and radiates heat in the 500 degree range. The wielder and all he is wearing are protected, of course, but you should have your friends stand back, especially if they have fur or considerable body hair.

Each strike from this staff delivers moderate damage, but that damage increases and persists if they are wearing anything that can burn.

The cost of recharging this staff usually runs around 200 gold and requires a mage of at least the 5th Circle. Recharging takes 24-36 hours.

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The Doclopedia #1,969

Creative Staffing: Staff Of Seeking

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Length: 5′ 8”   Toughness: Medium High
Charges: 10   Recharge Cost: Very High
Price: 5,000 gold

A beautiful, expensive and intelligent staff, this is the one you want when questing for a specific object, or type of object. It was a staff such as this that let the Noble Heart Adventuring Company find the Crown of Ancient Kings in the ruins of Pol Arkia.

Containing the bound spirit of a Master Sage, the staff will tell you what you need to know to get to the item you seek. Each question uses a charge, so be careful what you ask.

Be aware that the staff can be quite chatty and may ask you to allow it to observe and inspect things. We suggest you do this or it may start sulking.

Recharging the staff takes most of a month and costs no less that 5,000 gold. Often, it will cost double that. Only a mage of the 9th Circle or higher can recharge it.

Outlaw Cats

…bad bad kitties

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The Doclopedia #1,965

State Secrets: Wisconsin – Superb Cheese
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Another short one, this time VERY frustrating.

At various times, a cheese shop called Superb Cheese will appear for an entire day, from sun up to sun down, along a well traveled Wisconsin highway.

The staff is friendly, the cheese is incredible and the prices are great. But buy your cheese in a large quantity, should you go there, because it sometimes goes 10 years without reappearing and it never appears in the same place twice.

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The Doclopedia #1,966

State Secrets: Wyoming – Out Of Time

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A final short entry to close out State Secrets.

There is a very well guarded spot hidden somewhere in Wyoming that has a time portal attached to it. The portal open at random times and connects to a random period of time up to 100 million years ago. It stays open from 2 minutes to an hour.

The portal is a one way affair, from the past to now. Many things have come through it, either blown by the wind or under their own power. This includes a group of humans from around 9,000 years ago, a pack of wolves and about 8 different dinosaurs. The SXU has them all in a top secret underground facility.

The Incredible Adventures Of Doctor Tempest Under The North Pole

…from the August 1890 issue.

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The Doclopedia #1,963

State Secrets: Washington – Party House

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Another benevolent, or at least not evil, bit of strangeness can be found in Washington, generally in the Seattle area, but really, in any decent sized town. It’s a party house.

The house is any high school or college students party dream. It has a huge living room, a huge den, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a very large backyard with a pool and fire pit. The kitchen is full of food and booze. The sound system is great.

The house is always located on the edge of town, or at least a good bit away from other houses. The party usually starts on a Saturday night around 8 and goes on until just before sunrise. The cops never show up. There are never any fights or other bad events. Nobody ever gets hurt or pregnant. It is, in short, the perfect big loud teenage party.

People who attend the party, and that can number up to 200, always wake up at home with no hangover and no real memory of how they got home. If anybody goes back to the house, the either find no house or a completely different one. Oddly, very few people do this and they all forget about in after an hour or two.

So far, the SXU and the Washington State Police have only learned that people get invited to the house by folks their age that they have never met, usually on the day of the party. Descriptions of the inviters run the gamut of racial and sexual lines.

Note: Never once has anyone ever complained about a wild loud party matching this one and nobody has ever seen a party at whatever location it happened at.

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The Doclopedia #1,964

State Secrets: West Virginia – Hill Billie

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A short one here. There is a very pretty girl, apparent age 16 or so, who wanders the very rural areas of West Virginia. If asked, she will give her name as “Billie”. If a man or men should try anything untoward with her, she beats them to a pulp, leaving them paralyzed and unable to ever again harm a woman.

 

Billie has been doing this since before the Civil War.

Fishing In My Stream Of Consciousness

…using live bait

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The Doclopedia #1,961

State Secrets: Vermont – The Maple Syrup Man

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People in Vermont sometimes meet a little old man walking along a road miles from any town. He is always carrying a half gallon jug of maple syrup. He will attempt to hitch a ride. If he does, he will thank the driver and say his name is Tom and that he does not have far to go. He then falls quiet.

At some point a few minutes later, the driver realizes that Tom has disappeared, but that half gallon of maple syrup is still there. If they aren’t too spooked to try it when they get home, they will find it is the best they’ve ever had.

The SXU classifies Tom as a Class 2B Phantom Hitchhiker. Class 2 means he leaves something behind when he vanishes. The “B” indicates it is a good thing, not anything gory or frightening.

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The Doclopedia #1,962

State Secrets: Virginia – The Backroad Boys

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No state is free of teenaged idiots driving around dangerously fast on back roads, but in most cases, those teens aren’t dead and they don’t try to kill you.

The Backroad Boys are, or were, the Falker twins, Larry & Mace, and their buddies, Earl Kinson and Don Huckins. Back in the mid 1950s, they used to drive like hell all over the state, often running other cars off the road. Then, one night, somebody ran them off the road. They went 400 feet down a mountainside and hit a big tree. All four of them were killed.

Two years later, the first report of them being back came from a coal miner on his way home from work. Over the decades, they have killed 28 people and caused over 300 wrecks.

The SXU has assembled a new group of drivers and exorcists to team up and patrol the lonely roads. Sooner or later, they’ll find and banish those punks.

Sorcerers Of The Mystical Magicness

…they’re spelleriffic!

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The Doclopedia #1,959
S
tate Secrets: Texas – Extraño

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Out in the west and southwest of Texas, where towns are few and the ass end of nowhere is all around, travelers have been known to come upon the small town of Extraño. It appears to be a town like many other tiny Texas towns: gas station, store, a couple of other buildings and a few houses. Pretty ordinary looking, really.

But Extraño means “strange” in English and this town is that.

Nobody who stops in the town stays for too long because they start getting a creepy vibe. First of all, nothing in the town is modern. From the cars to the products/prices in the store, everything looks like it might have 50 or 60 years ago.

Then there are the people. If you’re lucky, you might see a dozen total. They will be predominantly Hispanic, but they be a few dusty old white folks. Everyone smiles constantly and they don’t say very much. In fact, the whole town is eerily quiet. You won’t see any children or animals, either. Nobody is under 40.

Then there’s what happens in the store. You’ll feel compelled to buy more than you want to, maybe a lot more. Then, when you get a few miles away from town, you’ll find everything is old and dried up. If you bought food, it has pretty much turned to dust.

As you might expect, you can’t turn around and find Extraño again. But then, you probably left in a hurry and don’t want to.

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The Doclopedia #1,960

State Secrets: Utah – Mormons In The Moonlight
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This is a short one, folks. There are 22 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints who are werewolves. The SXU has no idea who they are, but they gather together once a month in the Utah mountains to transform and run as a pack when the full moon rises.

They have apparently not attacked and humans, but have attacked cattle, sheep, deer and elk. They also appear to have rampant sex in wolf form.

The SXU continues it’s investigation.

Flink Poyd

…what? WHAT?

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The Doclopedia #1,957

State Secrets: South Dakota – Big Bird Of The

Badlands

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In one of the SXU’s greatest disinformation campaigns has been to convince people that a 3,000 acre ranch in South Dakota is growing experimental food crops when actually most of it surrounds the 300 acre territory of a bioengeneered prehistoric bird.

 

The bird in question is a member of the genus Titanus and used to roam the Americas up until 2 million years ago. This one, whose name is Tim, stands just about 9 feet tall and weighs 370 pounds. He’s carnivorous and dines on anything he can catch, which in his case is mostly wild hogs. Tim can run for up to 15 minutes at 40 miles an hour and hit 50 for up to 3 minutes. He is also a skilled ambush hunter.

During the cold winter months, Tim lives inside a very large heated barn. He is 5 years old and in the summer of 2020 is due to get a mate.

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The Doclopedia #1,958

State Secrets: Tennessee – The Tennessee Studfinder

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This is one of the newest State Secrets and is near the top of the SXU “Must Solve” list.

There is a young man frequenting various gay gathering spots in Tennessee. His exact appearance seems to vary, but every man that has encountered him agrees that he is around 21 years old and very good looking. He has a very fit looking physique. He is also the greatest sexual partner and of his victims has ever had.

But there is a big catch to sexing it up with him.

Within 12 hours of having sex with him, all of his victims start to suffer sexual dysfunction. Impotence, premature ejaculation, lack of orgasm and other symptoms have been reported. These last for anywhere from 1 to 3 years. Often, they lead to depression and other problems. On top of all that, even after they recover fully, sex with other partners is never as good as it was with him.

The “Studfinder” got his nickname because he seeks out the most well known and egotistical men in the area to visit his attentions on. Word is getting around about him, which is making gay men in Tennessee more than a bit paranoid.

Handsome Joe Goes Grocery Shopping

…and then he got a new leash & collar.

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The Doclopedia #1,955

State Secrets: Rhode Island – The Red Kitty

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In our smallest state, there is a roughly 25 pound red American Shorthair cat that kills and eats most of a human being every 5 years.

The cat is very fast and a lot stronger than it looks. It may have a venomous bite, if the three living witnesses are to be believed. Whatever it is, it’s not a normal cat.

The “Red Kitty” has been around for a long time, at least since 1750. For a long time, it was just thought to be a feral cat that had found a dead body. Then, In 1875, a woman saw it leap from a tree and bite a man, who then went into spasms and fell to the ground. The woman rushed toward him to offer aid, but then backed off when the cat began growling. By the time she got back to town and got some people to come help the man, his body and the cat were gone. There was plenty of blood, but the body had been dragged away. It was found three days later, over two miles away. About half of the flesh and several internal organs were missing.

Two more witnesses, in 1925 and 2005, saw the cat kill, but again, it drug the body away.

The Red Kitty eats just one human, usually male, every 5 years. The SXU has no reports of it being sighted in between feeding years..

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The Doclopedia #1,956

State Secrets: South Carolina – Children At Play

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There is an urban legend about Black Eyed Children, strange evil creatures that try to get into your house or car to do you harm. These children are very similar to that, except they look totally normal and just want to steal from you.

Now, there are children like that in pretty much every big city in the world, but those kids don’t steal things and then vanish. Actually, these playful kids don’t vanish either. They just run away really fast. How fast? Fast like on the Flash television series.

We know this because they were once accidentally filmed by an experimental high speed camera. Estimates are that they ran away at about 500 miles an hour, but created no wind or kicked up any dust. Nobody can explain this.

The children, who can number from 5 to 12 and all appear to be around 8 or 9 years old, are a mixed ethnicity bunch. They can be any proportion of male or female. Sometimes, they even have a dog or two with them. The dogs move just as fast as they do.

The children have appeared all over South Carolina and the government of the state keeps a tight lid on things. The SXU is active in the state trying to find these children.

It’s All Fun And Games Until Somebody Summons A Demogorgon

…no fun!

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The Doclopedia #1,953

State Secrets: Oregon – Our Big Beaver

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This one is short and sweet, folks. There is a 1,200 pound beaver living in Oregon. Considering that normal beavers weigh around 55-70 pounds, you can imagine how big this one is.

The Big Beaver does not seem to behave like beavers are supposed to. It doesn’t build dams and it has been seen miles away from the nearest body of water. It does seem to eat the bark of trees, leaves, etc, but it has also been known to eat bales of hay and, sometimes, fish.

Despite being as big as it is, it stays well hidden and few people have actually seen it.

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The Doclopedia #1,954

State Secrets: Pennsylvania – The Philly Phantom

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Another short entry here folks, because on the Weird Shit Scale, this rates very high.

The Philly Phantom is NOT the ghost of a person or animal. It’s probably not a ghost at all. The FBI Special X Unit has no idea what the hell it really is, but they know what it looks and smells like.

It’s an extra large Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.

No, we are not lying. It appears as a big, hot, delicious smelling sandwich. Only one person at a time ever sees or smells it and they cannot resist going after it. Doesn’t matter if they’ve just eaten or are doing something important, they at the very least stop and stare at it. But when they go to pick it up, it’s gone.

It only appears in Philadelphia, but can appear at any hour.

Fun Fact: Every person who actually reported encountering it was kept from being hurt or killed in some way by the delay heading for the sandwich caused.

Malcom Was The God Of Pastry Chefs

…his temple was made of cream puffs

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The Doclopedia #1,951

State Secrets: Ohio – The Night Dog

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Interstate 71 runs across Ohio from Cleveland to Columbus to Cincinnati. It’s a major roadway. It’s also where the Night Dog lives.

The Night Dog has been roaming up and down I-71 since at least the early 1980s. He or she, because the sex changes, is always a large breed dog, often looking like a German Shepherd or Labrador mix

When something bad happens at night along the freeway, the Night Dog often shows up to help until the authorities or other help arrive. It has helped accident victims, lost children, kidnap victims and even cops on the losing end of a gun battle.

The Night Dog has never been seen running from place to place, bit it travels fast somehow. It was once sighted right near Cleveland at a multi car accident, then less than an hour later was south of Columbus causing a crazed husband to run off the road into a mud hole, allowing his wife to flee in the car he was following.

The SXU finds the Night Dog frustrating to study, since it cannot be photographed or tracked in any way.

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The Doclopedia #1,952

State Secrets: Oklahoma – Oil Be Back

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The oil industry in Oklahoma (and many other states) has been fucking over Native People since the 19th century. They paid them pennies for the drilling rights on their land, when they paid at all. They left land polluted and ruined. Some Native People died from this. One decided to come back and get some revenge.

The State of Oklahoma, the Federal Government and the oil industry all cover up the fact that a human figure covered in crude oil sludge kills an average of 4 oil industry workers a year. All attempts to destroy or capture the creature have failed. The “Oil Creature” has even appeared in the parking garage of a large oil drilling company where it killed an executive.

This creature is on the SXU Top Ten List for capture or destruction.