Saturday 14 September 2013

The Karubi Islands

Evidence of an ancient culture, which collapsed more than 500 years ago, is scattered throughout the jungle. Several ruins of pyramids and other religious buildings with depictions of frog-like beings, double-headed snakes and krakens have been discovered.

nitz oxib tsaq

About 100 years ago, elves migrated to Nitz Oxib Tsaq and started to populate the island. The elven population is organized into city states. Three major city states are currently fighting for political dominance.

Nitz Oxib Tsaq is mostly deforested by now, ancient temples have been razed and the indigenous human population has been driven away, enslaved or killed.

matzatit binel ja

Not much is known about Matzatit Binel Ja ("pineapple beck"). There are rumours of large green creatures lurking in the jungle, deadly hunters and servants of old nameless gods.

wazimu and dox dox

Six hundred years ago, a large elven fleet was lost in the Atlantic Ocean on its way to India. The survivors of this expedition have recently been found on Wazimu and Dox Dox. They have been cut off from civilization for too long. Savage and hostile, they worship primitive gods and have formed alliances with the horrible creatures native to the Karubi Islands.

In the north-east of Dox Dox, several Orc and Goblin tribes are said to have their territory. It's not known if these tribes are allies or enemies. It is known however, that they are at war with the elves.

If you go to the Karubi Islands, which is not recommended, take a surfboard, try to avoid Elves and Orcs and don't get lost in the jungle.

Friday 6 September 2013

Hamilax Eshmunazar Abimilki's Labyrinth

In May Krüger and I met several times in an Italian street restaurant, drank white wine and wrote a simple Gurps adventure for Sven, Bettina and Andi. Most of us hadn't played roleplaying games in a long time. For Bettina it was even the first time.

The adventure took place on the Greek island Kalimera, in the land house of the rich merchant Hamilax Eshmunazar Abimilki and in his labyrinth. Sven played the part of Stavros, a tough greek hoplite, veteran of the Persian wars. Andi's character was Sephalos, a runaway slave, claiming to be a tough Greek hoplite. Bettina was Viviane, an Amazon warrior, equipped with knife and bow.

So here it goes: They are led into the house by Ploriax, a dwarf wearing a bull's mask. They meet Abimilki. He  shows them around, talking incessantly. He stops in front of a large empty cage. Abimilki wants them to go to another island, see a merchant, buy a very valuable, rare item and bring it back undamaged. He offers a lot of gold if they succeed. The three adventurers agree. Abimilki wants to test them first. Stavros protest but gives in.

They are led into the garden by the dwarf, to the entrance of a labyrinth. He takes off his mask and tells them that Abimilki is an obsessive collector of strange creatures. Stavros, Sephalos and Viviane enter the labyrinth. A heavy door closes behind them. The walls of the labyrinth are about 3 meters high. They start to move forward. At different places there are numbers written on the walls, numerical series like 2 / 4 / 7 / 11 / 16 or 3 / 7 / 2 / 8 / 1 or 2 / 9 / 30 / 93 / 282.

From now on, I'm going to give some options the players had, instead of writing a session report.


1: Above their heads, they see a net with 3 large spiders. They are poisonous but will try to run away when attacked.

2: More spiders.

3: A room, 3m x 3m. A little green body lies on the floor, half eaten and already starting to rot. It's covered by cloth. Something is moving underneath it. A classical D&D monster. A Carrion Crawler.

4: The adventurers are attacked by a goblin with a morning star. He is going berserk and probably ends up hurting himself before he reaches anybody. He might even knock himself unconscious. A couple of meters behind him, more goblins with long ears and sharp teeth are hiding behind a large shield. They shout something in broken Greek. "Please don't attack! He is drugged."  If attacked, the goblins throw sticks.  In close combat they fight with large knives and bite. If the adventurers want to talk, a goblin with an oversized helmet steps forward, the goblin king. He gives orders to grab the fanatic with the morning star and bind him. Then he tells the adventurers how his group was captured by elven slavers from Nitz Oxib Tzaq, sold to Abimilki and put in the labyrinth. In great detail he describes the beautiful Karubi Islands where they are from and how sad their life is now. He is very clever and tries to barter a couple of useless marbles for some of the equipment the adventurers carry. He is especially interested in shiny weapons. It is likely that the adventurers will give in. Before wishing them good luck, the goblin king talks about mushrooms which can be found in the labyrinth, red mushrooms that make the eater go berserk, blue mushrooms that cause deafness.

5: A room, 3m x 3m. A long-nosed monkey sits on the floor in the middle of a colony of red mushrooms, eating. He attacks immediately.

6-9: The provisional home of the goblin tribe. A couple of chests which serve as tables, chairs, closets and beds. The floor is covered with straw and bones of rats and other small animals.

10: A room with a well in the middle. Lilies cover the dark water. The air is damp. After a while a nymph appears. She is chained to the bottom of the well. She will talk to the adventurers, try to seduce them, negotiate, giving pieces of information about the other inhabitants of the labyrinth and its construction. She can't be entirely trusted. She is bright and charming. She might be helpful. The only thing she really wants is to be freed from the chain. If attacked she will withdraw to the water, taking somebody with her if she can. (Not that she needs company. She likes the taste of human flesh.) 

11: The adventurers meet a large friendly creature, a brain golem. The golem was created to invent numerical series. The creator of the golem got bored and sold him to Abimilki. Unfortunately Abimilki has no interest in numbers. Now the golem is looking for a new master. If the adventurers show enough interest, they gain a very helpful servant.

12: The brain golem's room. There are numbers written all over the walls: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97 ...

13: Now this is strange. The air is filled with smoke. Chests are piled up next to the walls. Rats are squeaking from within. Green and pink liquids are boiling in kettles. It's some kind of lab. A goblin lies on the table, surrounded by 3 man-sized tentacles. They try to transform him into a tentacle which is probably as difficult as turning a stone into gold. The goblin is still alive and can be rescued.

14: Two hyenas. On their way through the labyrinth the adventurers have probably already heard them giggling eerily several times. If the adventurers had gotten into a fight with the goblins, the hyenas might have appeared to fetch some corpses.

15: Another 3m x 3m room. Blue mushrooms grow on the floor. If you eat some, you turn deaf temporarily, if you eat a lot, forever. The golem, the nymph or the rescued goblin might advice to eat the mushrooms as an antidote to sonic attacks.

16: A 5m x 5m room with a large hole in the middle, 3 m wide and at least 10 m deep. Looking around, the adventurers notice that little channels lead to the hole from other parts of the labyrinth. They are filled with the blood of the creatures that were slain by them. A large demon crawls out of the hole, a mixture between an octopus and a cock. You can see pictures of it here. The more blood the adventurers have shed before, the stronger he is. He attacks with tentacles, claws and a long beak. Every ten seconds he lets out a horrible scream which causes the adventurers to attack each other, unless they have a strong will or are deaf.