Thursday, 3 January 2019

The Campground of the Faceless Giants


I've always got a stack of scrap paper that I like to doodle maps and sketches on. Sometimes I have grand ideas of turning those into a fully fledged adventure. These seem to chew up my mind for a while and I never seem to finish them. Often, I waste a lot of time thinking them and grousing that I haven't finished them/aren't working on them. Here is one of those things, something I don't think I can finish because other things keep distracting me. I just want to post what I have to clear my mindpalette of it (much like I did with the unfinished "The White Isle"). It's just a couple of hexes, maps and sketches.  Enjoy! 

Faceless Giant: Lumbering mass of vivified stone. Wrapped in a makeshift robe of animal skins. There is a dark space where the face in the cowl should be. 

Hex crawl:

1.  A stench of guts and rotted bone wafts across a sandy and blood soaked plain. Man high black mounds dot the landscape. Moving closer to these reveals them to be fly covered slag heaps of skinned carcasses. The flesh mounds are surrounded by enormous and crude stone skinning tools. 

Four great fire pits, like shallow valleys of flame, are spread out across the hex. Surrounding these pits the land is carpeted in drying animal skins, held in place with boulders and stones. Whole trees are used to fuel the ever-burning pits.

There is a 1 in 6 chance a Faceless Giant will be present, either tending the flames or gathering the skins and trudging forth with them, enroute to Hex 9. 

2. A pockmarked and barren plain, bereft of vegetation. Crumbling and loamy holes are strewn everywhere. These holes are places where trees once stood but have now been plucked from the earth.

Sparsely dotting the plain are 6 sentinel poles, several trees high, hewn together roughly from the branches and trunks felled from the now bare land. Scraps of rawhide hang tattered from these poles, dismal flags. d6 Faceless Giants stalk between the sentinel poles. A low frequency hum sonorously emits from them. This hum will cause distress if listened to for more than a few minutes (all tests by non Faceless Giants rolled with Disadvantage when in audible range).     

Arranged around these sentinel poles are several effigy piles of rock, arranged crudely in the shape of a man. Coming close to any of these effigies will cause any Faceless Giants in the hex charge towards the interlopers and attempt to drive them away. Between the rocks and cracks of the effigies grows a quartzpudding like material, shimmering, thin and clear. Over the course of several days this material will form into a skin around the effigy, giving it the appearance of malformed man of rock and quartz. 

3. Six crude geodesic tents are spread across an empty plain. They are covered in sheets of poor quality rawhide, hammered with stone nails into near splintered wood. Leaning and crooked flagpoles of raw wood erupt from the centre of each, topped with a rotted, fluttering animal skin.

The sandy plain is suspiciously empty, patches of dead grass and ill coloured soil are the only noticeable features. The landscape appears to have been drained of all stone or vegetation, all up ended and moved elsewhere. Drag marks and gouges hint at this exodus. Observant travellers may notice the d12 Faceless Giants laying completely flat and motionless across the hex (most often nearby to the tents).

The tents are sized to accommodate a single Faceless Giant. Inside each is d20 boulders, hollowed out to be used as makeshift cauldrons (worth 50 GP when emptied). Inside each boulder cauldron is a bubbling and steaming milky grey mixture. In the mixture floats untold men and animals, slowing melting away, their flesh thickening the mixture. The milky grey concoction instantly kills and then slowly melts flesh-based beings. Upon any one entering a tent the nearby Faceless Giants will rise, wait until the interlopers exit the tent, then attempt to place them into a boulder cauldron.

4. A plain of pulverised stone and pebbles. Outcroppings of larger smashed and cracked stone pepper the landscape. A zesty, soapy miasma of white gas lingers across the land - it burns the tongue and nostrils.

In a central valley stones and boulders have been heaped together to form four lumpy columns 10 meters tall. These are arranged around a lake of a bubbling and steaming milky grey mixture. The miasma emanates from here. Dead animals can just barely be seen floating in the swirling goop. The milky grey concoction instantly kills and then slowly melts flesh-based beings.

The miasma is thickest at the shore of the lake. Glints, sparkles and reflections of light twinkle occasionally from the miasma. All those that come in contact with the thick miasma there must test CON. If the test fails they begin to choke and cough as their lungs are somewhat melted (d10 damage and lose d4 permanently to CON). d20 boulders, hollowed out to be used as makeshift cauldrons litter the shore. They are empty and are worth 50gp each. Additionally, d6 geode boulders, also hallowed out to be formed into cauldrons, lay at the lake bank. The inside of these are coated with iridescent and reflective crystals. These are the source of the twinkling in the miasma, they are worth 500 gp each. All the boulder cauldrons are huge and heavy.

5. A plain of intersecting, empty and water dry canals. The three meter deep canals have been dug without precision, often crumbling in on themselves. The canals are approximately 2 meters wide. The land above the canals has been drained of large vegetation and all stone. Some patches of dead white grass exist. The canals concentrically swirl around a central point marked by a towering man shaped effigy of stone 12 meters high.

In the pits of the canals a tiny finger width trickle of pure white ooze flows. Dead insects and small field animals can be seen floating along its miniature current. Touching the white ooze does d6 damage to the toucher. It only affects those of the flesh, mineral beings and items are unaffected. Following the slow flowing ooze will lead back to the central effigy where it drips from the stone structure into the canals. The canals connect into a great circle around the hex at its outermost periphery.

The central effigy sits atop an island of un-canalled land, having a diameter of 20 meters. The sandy ground is bleached white. It stinks strongly of chlorine here. The effigy is composed of rough stones and boulders held together with the same white ooze trickling through the canals. The ooze leaks from the effigy and runs over the edge of the island into the many canals surrounding it. The many streams running from the effigy all cause d6 damage if touched by an organic being. A soft moaning can be heard emitting from the effigy, it also moves imperceptibly slowly, a figure writhing in pain at a glacial pace. Any flesh based being that comes within 10 meters of the effigy will feel their mind begin to fog and their vision become cloudy. Test WIS, if they fail they lose all memory of the last d6 days. Standing close to the effigy for extended periods of time will lead to total amnesia.

6. A tangle of dead trees and leafless shrubs, bleached white. The stench of chlorine is everywhere and stings the nostrils. The air hurts to breath and all tests are rolled at Disadvantage in this hex. The ground is a groaning, roiling mess – rock smashed and cracked. The vegetation often emerges rudely from fissures in the ground. The ground is very clearly moving, as if something is swimming beneath it.

The dead white vegetation appears oily and glistens iridescent in sunlight. Bulbous white growths are dotted over most trees, clusters about the size of a human head. If prodded they will explode with burning milk ooze (d6 damage). The dead trees and shrubs also drip slowly with this ooze, sucking it from some reservoir beneath the disturbed ground. The carcasses of copulating birds and insects are affixed to the trees. They are in various states of decay.

Several four meter deep pits dot the hex. The location of these shift with the roiling, rolling landscape. While these are incredibly obvious to see, the ever shifting ground may cause those too close to lose their footing and plummet in. Falling into the pit will cause d4 damage from the fall. Each pit holds a meter deep pool of white ooze. Coming into contact with this ooze causes d6 damage a round. There is a 5% chance that the pit will close in around a being that has fallen into it, pulling them down into the earth itself never to be seen again.

7. A plain of waist high grass, dead and bleached white. The ground beneath is soft and sandy. Giant foot prints have disturbed the high grass and ground, footprints leading from and to a huge single tent of rawhide.

Hex 9 :


Sketches: