London’s Crawling

…it just sort of “woke up” one day

The Doclopedia #1,135

Monsters Of The Circle Sea: Kul Kuru

Listen, matey, ‘cos I’m gonna tell ye about Kul Kuru, the great beast of the Torangiri Swamps. Them swamps must cover thousands of square miles, with plenty of rivers an’ streams fer large ships an’ small boats to sail up, if’n they be looking for privacy. Plenty of game an’ fruit, too. Good place to take on stores, so long as Kul Kuru don’t get ye.

Now, ol’ Kul Kuru is some sort of huge lizard-man thing. Stands maybe 10 feet tall, has a big mouth full o’ teeth and a tail maybe 7 feet long. That tail can hit like a whip an’ it’ll break a man’s leg for sure. He’s got 4 inch long claws on his hands an’ them’s razor sharp. Slice you up like a roast, they will.

Fer bein’ as big as he is, ol’ Kul Kuru can move real quite like. Most poor bastards don’t even know he’s near ’til he comes tearin’ outta the jungle, an’ by then it’s too late fer ’em. He killed 30 of the 45 men crewin’ the Green Dove in less that 5 minutes. Prob’ly ate most of ’em.

So you listen to me an’ steer clear of them swamps, matey! Now, if you’ll buy me another mug of ale, I’ll tell you about Miri Matol, the sportin’ lady who could breath through her ears.”

A Male Snail With A Pail Of Ale Was In Jail

…and thereby hangs our tale

The Doclopedia #1,134

Monsters Of The Circle Sea: The Great Turtle

Far out to sea, where the waters are deeper than deep, lives the Great Turtle, the largest “monster” on the planet. He (or is it she?) is a full mile long and almost that wide, with a sawtooth looking ridge running the length of the shell. The Great Turtle is a medium green all over and has huge yellow eyes.

While some worship the Great Turtle as a god, most people fear it due to it’s sheer size. The tsunamis it generates just coming to the surface too quickly can reach 10 feet in height. The ones created by it’s wake while swimming along can reach five feet or more.

The Great Turtle does not seem to be sentient, but nobody knows for sure. There are reports of it coming to the aid of ships that have been damaged badly or becalmed. In such cases, any rational sailors will later make a very generous offering by dumping valuables into the sea.

The Cupcake Elves Fight Evil!

…with cream filled cupcakes

The Doclopedia #1,133

Monsters Of The Circle Sea: Sea Tigers

You might think that these creatures are just given their name because they are striped or have some other tiger-like quality, but you’d be wrong. They are real tigers that can swim quite well in the shallow waters of Sasora Bay. They usually eat seals or otters or fish, but they will not pass up some nice fresh man meat if they spot a small boat paddling along. Many sailors and fisherman have been taken by these tigers.

Sea tigers are about 50% larger than ordinary tigers and do spend about half the day out at sea. They are even deadlier on land and anyone going ashore at Sasora Bay had best keep a sharp lookout.

No Say Drugs Just To

…I am SOOOO stoned

Yes, Gentle Readers, I’m starting another “500 Doclopedia Entries in 365 Days” death march. Tune in daily for new high strangeness.

The Doclopedia #1,132

Monsters Of The Circle Sea: The Eye Beast

Nobody knows where the Eye Beast came from, but it has been haunting the Circle Sea

in the area of Albrison Island and the Wargan Fjords for at least the last thousand years. Only the bravest or most insane mariners will sail those waters, which they do to trade with the Wargan barbarians. Those barbarians value steel and will pay handsomely for it. There is money to be made, IF the Eye Beast doesn’t come after you.

The Eye Beast is huge, perhaps 200 feet across and 50 feet tall. It looks like a cloud of foam floating on the ocean surface, but tough foam covered in thousands of eyes. Some of these eyes are three yards across, while others are no bigger than a human eye. Many of them can project rays of heat or madness or other bad things. When the Eye Beast gazes upon your ship, nothing good can come of it.

The eye beast can also extrude tentacles that can grab you and pull you into it’s foamy interior. These tentacles can stretch 100 feet or more with amazing speed. Weapons have no affect on them or any other part of the Eye Beast.

The Eye Beast can move at speeds up to 10 knots, even while going against the wind. Few ships have ever successfully outrun it.

Doc Tempest: The Wall Of Voodoo

…from the May, 1999 issue

 

The Doclopedia #1,131

Monsters Of The Circle Sea: Giant Sea Snakes

If you were to sail 200 miles due south of Black Pig Island, you would find the low and swampy island cluster known as the Snake Islands. It is here that the Giant Sea Snakes come to mate, rear their young and then leave those young to mature. Aside from Fishing Bats, no mammals live on these islands, nor do any ground nesting birds or reptiles. Between the inhospitable nature of the islands and the sea snakes, things will probably stay that way.

A newly hatched Giant Sea Snake is three feet long and about as thick as a broomstick. They grow quickly, fed on small fish and large insects while guarded by both their parents. When, at the age of two months, they reach a length of about seven feet, the parents leave them to fend for themselves.

It takes around a year for the young snakes to reach a length of twenty feet. Only then do they leave the island and go out into open water. They will take another two years to reach their full adult size of fifty feet long and four feet thick.

Giant Sea Snakes are not poisonous, but do have a large mouth full of razor sharp teeth. They are fast and aggressive hunters who will eat nearly anything they can swallow whole, including humanoids. It is not unknown for a Giant Sea Snake to attack a small boat in hopes of knocking a couple of crewmen overboard. Needless to say, most sailors give a wide berth to any snakes they might see.

Giant Sea Snakes live for at least 30 years and are reckoned to be as intelligent as dogs.

Creepy Lemurs Bullied My Voles

…and now my voles are crying

WOOHOO! Doclopedia entries!

The Doclopedia #1,102

The Alphabet: L is for…

Labrador Deceivers…

…are a very special breed of dog found on Earth 3. They are not used for hunting waterfowl or retrieving anything from the water. Instead, these large and very powerful dogs are used to hunt sasquatch, which on Earth 3 are deadly predatory ape men that can be found all over North America and parts of Siberia.

Playing upon the fact that a sasquatch will not hesitate to eat a dead or dying animal, these dogs lure them to their death at the hands of hunters by pretending to be dying a loud and horrible death.

When the Labrador Deceiver gets the scent of a sasquatch, it falls to the ground and begins to thrash about in what looks like agony. It howls and cries and screams, which draws the curious ape men near. As soon as a sasquatch gets close enough, the dog goes for it’s inner thigh or even genitals. In this moment of pain and surprise, the hunter can usually get off a good clean shot.

Labrador Deceivers average 125 pounds for males and 100 pounds for bitches. They can be any color or combination of colors. They have long hair and loose skin and the longest canine teeth of any breed. On the whole, they are very gentle and loving companions with children and other animals. They can live up to 20 years.

Luzornia…

…is a democratic republic, one of only 4, on the Earth of the Circle Sea. It is populated by not only the native Luzornians, but a large number of Destilons and Tevrini, both of whom are refugees from their warring countries. Luzornia is noted for producing fine wines and cheeses, but most of all it is known for controlling the Straits of Luzor and welcoming pirates into the port city of Hanj. Because of this attitude towards them, no pirate will ever attack a Luzornian ship and they have often come to their aid. Many other countries are not happy about this, but as long as Luzornia controls the straits, they have to just suck it up.

The Straits of Luzor are three miles wide and can be closed off by an ancient magical device that the Luzornians keep well hidden. When closure is activated, the straits are dotted with huge whirlpools and sharp rocks, through which no ship can ever pass. Fortunately, the straits have not been closed for nearly a century. Ships passing through the straits are charged a fee dependent upon the value of their cargo and/or number of passengers. Pirate ships, whose crews spend far more time and money in port, are charged only a very small fee.

Luzornia is a land of rolling hills and light forests. Half of it lies on the northern side of the straits and the other half lies on the southern side. For those who are interested, we suggest a room temperature creamy Kukala cheese and a slightly chilled bottle of Arzkillia Double Red wine.

This Blog Contains Zero Trans Fats

…and no high fructose corn syrup, either!

 

The Doclopedia #942

Islands Of The Circle Sea: Firzogny Island

Far up the Balgorz river, where it widens into Lake Firzogny, you’ll find Firzogny Island, a mountainous place with thick pine forests, rushing streams and only one small town. It’s a peaceful and relaxing place far away from the problems of civilization. Quite far, actually, since the nearest town of any size is 200 miles away and the nearest true city is over 300 miles past that. Truth to tell, there are many other places closer to home for most people to go relax and get back to nature.

So why come all the way to Firzogny Island? Fishing. You see, the many streams, rivers, ponds and lakes on the island are home to some of the rarest, most tasty and most challenging to catch fish on the planet. Fishermen have been known to travel 2,000 miles and spend big money to come here to fish for king trout, skarfish, hazoo and the rarest of all, the white alvod. The guides from the village lead parties of fisherman high into the mountains to pristine lakes or the best spots on streams. Some parties will travel the length of the island over a two week period.

On the island, all differences and animosities from the outside world are forgotten. Nobody is a king or wealthy merchant or admiral or pirate. Everybody is just a fisherman out to catch the big one.

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The Doclopedia #943

Islands Of The Circle Sea: The Mox Islands

Four islands make up this group and all of them are dormant volcanoes. The largest island, Mox Veku, is 9 miles across. The smallest is, Mox Dolu, is 2 miles across and barely pokes up 170 feet above the waves. All four of the islands are within 2 miles of each other. Forests of short balbo trees cover all of the islands and no mammals or reptiles live here. Aside from the hundreds of species of birds that live here full or part time, the only other land species are sea frogs, who are found in huge numbers.

The main distinction of the Mox Islands is that they are the most remote islands on the planet, lying 1,700 miles from any other island and 2,500 miles from the mainland. Few ships have ever been there and nobody lives on any of the islands.

Not In This Issue: Richard Nixon, Steam Powered Bicycles or Zebra Finches

…we agonized over cutting the zebra finch article

 

The Doclopedia #940

Islands Of The Circle Sea: Black Dragon Island

Despite being located a mere 200 miles off the coast of the Corcoro Empire, this island is not claimed by the Corcorites or any other government. Nor will any ship not crewed by madmen get within 20 miles of it. As the old sailors say, “if ye can see Black Dragon Island, yer too damned close”.

The black dragon that rules the island is Tuwalunga and she is just the latest in her line, which stretches back well over 900 years. Like all black dragons, she is huge (300 feet from nose to tail tip), dangerous (she can breath both fire and a deadly poison gas) and not interested in meeting any creature unless it is to eat them. Any ship that comes too close to the island will be destroyed and the crew eaten. The only other dragons that get close to the place are the few males that come there during a rare breeding season. Most of them never get out alive.

The island itself is about twelve miles ling and five miles wide. It is mostly made up of high craggy volcanoes and narrow strips of beach. Many animals and birds live there, but none are larger than a housecat. Anything larger gets eaten.

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The Doclopedia #941

Islands Of The Circle Sea: The Alandooro Archipelago

If there were ever a group of islands tailor made for pirates, it would be the 1,687 islands that make up the Alandooro Archipelago. Ranging in size from less that 100 yards across to 140 miles long by 78 miles wide, the islands also cover a range of climate zones from temperate to tropical due to the archipelago stretching over 1,800 miles from end to end. Many of these islands are quite close and the larger ones have easily navigable rivers. Such features give pirates many places to hide, which they do in large numbers at all times of the year.

The pirates are also aided in their hiding by the three kingdoms that make up the island group. To the north is Parland, home to fishermen, farmers and brewers extraordinaire. Parlanders are big friendly folks who don’t think much of the large empires and kingdoms. They do like pirates, whom they trade with and often marry their sons & daughters to. Most of the 400 islands that make up Parland are of the larger sort and they are typified by gentle rolling hills and a few forested mountains. This is at the temperate end of the archipelago.

The 682 islands that make up the middle of the archipelago form the nation of Shang. These islands are seldom larger than 50 miles and many are much smaller. About a third of them are mountainous while the rest are hilly or flat. Wildlife abounds on these islands and in the waters around them.

The Shangasi people are small, seldom standing more than 5 feet tall. Their skin is a light green and their eyes are large and almost always yellow. Both sexes wear their hail long and dress in togas of various shades of green, blue and brown.

The Shangasi are a race of mystics, scholars and storytellers who live very lightly on the land. They enjoy hearing pirate stories and telling pirates stories they have heard. Pirates who visit Shang are very respectful of the Shangasi rules and beliefs.

The final country in the Alandooro Archipelago is Lakama and it is by far the favorite among pirates looking to relax and revel. This is made very easy by the Lakaman people, who lead a laid back life punctuated by festivals, food, strong drink and sex.

The Lakamans are a tall and slender folk, brown skinned and almost universally good looking. Their mostly tropical islands are small, but very close together due to the narrowness of the southern end of the archipelago. Indeed, many islands are actually linking together thanks to very shallow seas and fast growing mangroves, boolee vines and irongrass..

Throughout these mostly flat to moderately hilly islands, the Lakamans make a living by fishing, farming and trading, all of which they do in a very relaxed manner. Festivals and parties break out at a moments notice and the islands all run on “island time”, which means things get done when they need doing, then you take a break.

Lakamans love pirates for their hard living ways and the interesting goods they bring. There are hundreds of places to hide ships and the Lakamans have made an art of doing so. Many old pirates retire to these islands.

The Rare And Beautiful Six Legged Running Turkey Of Potawango Island

…tasty, but creepy looking and fast

 

The Doclopedia #939

Islands Of The Circle Sea: Skyrise Isle

Despite it being a totally ordinary looking island, Skyrise Isle is the most unique bit of real estate on the entire planet of Eltera. Every morning at dawn, this three mile wide island rises 1,000 feet into the air and stays there all day until the sun goes down. The various streams on the island rain down as waterfalls and the shadow cast by the island is greatly feared by all mariners. Nobody knows what magicks caused the island to float in the air, but it is known that it started around 275 years ago.

Aside from becoming airborne during the day, the island is a fine place to relax, gather up food and take on fresh water. Still, few ships aside from pirate vessels will do this due to fear of the tsunami the island is believed (falsely) to create as it rises & sets.

Possums In The Flower Pots

…kind of cute, in an ugly way

 

The Doclopedia #937

Islands Of The Circle Sea: The Poadan Islands

Located in the Great Southern Bay, the eight Poadan Islands are a delightful rest stop for any mariner. From the smallest (Tornofu, 1.5 miles across) to the largest (Aralonfu, 26 miles long, 5 miles wide) you’ll find friendly people, lovely weather, great food & drink and peaceful relaxation. This last is strictly enforced by the Yarotodan Giants, a group of 10 foot tall humanoids who act as a police force and will not be gentle when arresting violators, who will spend three days in jail before being allowed to pay stiff fines.

The Poadan Islands are also noted as one of the very few places where one can legally buy Haakaanese Ship Charms. Outlawed by most of the Greater Civilizations, these charms allow ships to employ several useful magicks, depending upon the type of charm. Popular charms allow swift travel, a cloaking fog, iron hard hulls and the ability to sail against the wind without deploying sails. Most charms have 6-10 usages before falling apart.

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The Doclopedia #938

Islands Of The Circle Sea: The Island of Etradio

In the cold reaches of the Coldwaste Fjord lies a great rock of an island that is nearly devoid of life. On this island lies the stronghold of Etradio the Lost, perhaps the greatest scholar of the past few centuries. If there is an obscure fact about anything, Etradio almost certainly knows it. If he doesn’t know it, he can look it up quickly in his library of many hundreds of thousands of books and scrolls, some of which date back to the Great War. For a price…usually a very high one…Etradio will answer any question.

While getting to the island, and then to Etradio himself, is extremely difficult, it is even more dangerous to find yourself caught on the island after dark. You see, in exchange for his vast knowledge and a very long life, Etradio made a bargain with the Mad God. This bargain causes him to transform into a huge creature of terrible power and hunger every night. This is why very few living things call the island home and why visitors need to be out to sea by nightfall. Until the dawn, Etradio prowls the island seeking flesh, blood & bone to sate his terrible appetite.

Etradio is not called “the Lost” because he lives in such a remote location.