I wrote this article once, and accidentally deleted it at midnight right before bed. It was definitely better the first time. I’m sorry for that. I need a better workflow, or at least I need to figure out why sometimes pressing CTRL-Z erases the entire Blogger text window with no recourse. I wish it’d save iterations or something. I dunno. Anyway. If you’re into posts full of nothing particularly useful, then you’re in luck! Here’s a long and meandering appreciation of the d30.
Things You Can See Through The Mad Wizard’s New-Fangled Lookyscope
The Red Spring – Cursed pond with water perpetually the color of blood, said to be where a tyrannical old king killed his wives when he grew tired of them.
A great and unnatural disc of stone, at least the size of a castle’s grounds, slowly orbiting a mountain peak.
A sea of indigo grass, thirty feet tall if it’s a foot, sways in the gentle breeze.
The Silver Forest – An ancient elven wood so very fey that those mortals foolish enough to enter return centuries later without having aged a day, quite mad, and very different.
Fom, the Giant King – Hugest and dimmest among the trolls, he sits on his snowy mountain crag each day, tossing down boulders just to watch the avalanches it creates.
A convoy of over two-hundred carriages winding their way to the westward reaches on a seasonal religious pilgrimage.
The Devilish Fen – Boggy and inconvenient, this fen is said to be littered with lost caravans abandoned by merchants due to floods. At low tide, from this high up, it’s obviously true.
Godface Mountain – A mountain in the distance said to bear the visage of God. There’s certainly a face there, that’s for sure. And, sure, the whole mountain floats in the sky…
A procession of the scarred ones, heretics deemed unfit for society and marked accordingly.
A herd of massive triceratops dinosaurs slowly grazing across a calm plain.
In the middle of a clearing in the woods, an eerie white obelisk with the glitter of gold erupting from the top like a fountain.
The Six Standing Stones – Erected in ages past by six human kings who united to stop the war between the elves and the dwarves. They ring and hum even now.
A castle of black stone. On its ramparts, peasants writhe in agony, pierced through by pikes.
Smokesign Cleft – A roost for wyrmlings, those petulant, conceited, domineering cousins of dragons who terrorize farmers and burn villages.
An army on the march, raising their red-eyed banners high.
Salventarion, the Tortoise – The father of all turtles, so great that his footsteps shake the world and a house has been erected on his back by an unknown weirdo.
The Valley of the Blight – A deep divide in the land where tremendous lavender-colored mushroom forests hide the fungal zombies that lurk in the dim undergrowth.
Goblet of Kings – A mountain, the top of which was long ago inverted through sorcery. Instead of a peak, it holds instead the clearest, cleanest, coldest lake in the world.
A pod of eight-finned megawhales leaping in and out of the languid waters of the southern seas.
The shadow of a huge roc sweeping across the sky in lazy circles.
The Fern – A titanic fern from eons past. It dwarfs all nearby flora and its curly fronds open and close with the dawn and dusk. It is considered an ill omen when it does not.
A windmill in field of wildflowers, where flights of butterflies delight on comfortable breezes.
River of the Damned – A rapid, deep river that winds and bends. Only the foolhardy and the extremely expert dare try to ride it, but it is the fastest way to reach the southern seas.
A gnarled bramble patch at least one day’s travel wide in all directions in the middle of a barren, deserted flatland.
Temple of the Fat Prince – An opulent religious site on the top of a rather idyllic hill. Locals are entreated quite forcefully to tithe heavily for the Prince’s cosmic favor.
Xalaloc, the Serpent – In the western waters, the head and tail of Xalaloc rhythmically ply the waters she calls her domain. Locals fear her wrath and worship her as a petty god.
A beautiful waterfall splashing down on brilliant purple and orange stones the size of manor houses.
A stream which defies logic, flowing backwards in loops inexplicably.
A town on fire, set alight by pig-faced malefactors. It sparkles red and yellow because of the handfuls of “sorcerous” salts they toss about, dug out of the pits they call home.
The colossal skeleton of Shum, the former king of the giants.
Cults and Religious Orders
The Hands of Baal – Dedicated to proselytizing the good word of Baal, the Desecrator, who promises defilement to adherents and worse to opponents.
Woundpriests – Flagellants whose activities maddened them into experiencing a hallucinatory enlightenment.
Synod of the Holy Rib – They found a rib. It was a particularly large rib. Surely it was God’s rib?
Father’s Fingers – Overzealous and belligerent preachers of the word of The Father, who is, of course, a many-eyed godwyrm from the vast reaches of “space,” where the stars live.
Helenoctinites – Believers in The Tablets of Helenoctinus, who professed to have chiseled the wisdom of the gods as they spoke it to him in the hills. He was illiterate.
The Red Womb – Those who adhere to the belief that all followers who perish in battle are sent to a cosmic womb to be reborn into the world. Stage regular traveling ritualized gladiatorial combats.
The Order of the Lizard – Descendants of an archaeologist who discovered an ancient race of lizardmen he claims predated man and lived in harmony with the gods.
Blue Monks – A group of silent monks in flowing robes. They practice goodwill towards others, usually by converting them to the cause of silence.
Watchers of St. Zux – St. Zux is said to rise from the grave to bring word from the depths of hell when the hour is right, so they carry his mummified corpse everywhere.
Zagam’s Sons – They seek to taint all wines and ales brewed by living hands to induce babbling idiocy in those who would imbibe it, in his name.
Guardians of the Second Sun – Believers that the sun’s brilliance hides a second, dimmer sun from view, and that is where the gods live.
The Eligoic Order – The believers of this faith insist that by praying to this great demon on his throne of skulls, their spouses and sons who do battle will be carried safely through.
The Legion of the Green Sight – Fervent meditation has caused them to grow a third eye. They keep it closed most of the time because it shines blinding green light when open.
The Worm Sect – Beneath the world a great worm lays slumbering. When she wakes, she will eat the world and the sun and the stars. Those who worship her now will be taken to her dreams before she wakes.
Sisters of Ash – Virgins who worship a demon who lives in a volcano and accept tithes to sate the demon and prevent earthquakes and eruptions. Each is disfigured by identical burns on half of their body. The left half, always.
Organseekers – Seeking to revive a dead god, they cast auguries and prophesies to locate the individuals who contain each of his organs.
Bloodletters – These zealots walk naked through the wilds and seek to drain the blood from all fair-haired persons so that the world can rise to heaven.
The Church of Forneus – They hold all fish as sacred to appease their god, a sea monster from the court of hell, who will one day wash the world clean.
The Walkers in Red – These hooded adherents claim to know who holds heresy in their hearts. They seek to cleanse the world of demons. Most of the demons they see sure look like people to everyone else, though.
Rockwatchers – Somebody (no one remembers who) once saw this big rock outside of town glow bright blue. Now, someone must be watching it at all times.
Rocksaviors – Somebody (no one remembers who) figured out this big rock outside of town will only glow bright blue. Now, no one can look at it.
The Order of the Paw – This group believes all hounds are divine, and seeks to release them from the servitude of man at any cost. Usually pretty nice about it. Sometimes very not.
The Zifaanists – A sect dedicated to preaching the goodness of poverty and meditation. Most are emaciated. Many die of starvation. None are deterred. This is the plan.
The Red Eyes – These pseudo-priests seek enlightenment in clouds of narcotic smoke in great halls. Those who perish from the toxic smoke are said to have learned too much of reality from the spirits who speak.
Ronodites – Followers of Ronodus, a prophet claiming to know the plan of the Returning Gods, who ruled once, and will rule again. They brook no disagreement.
The Wives of Shax – An all-female congregation that espouses the rightful restoration of Shax, cast out of heaven, to the holy throne of the usurper.
The Tragerites – These zealots believe their founder, who some claim to be both blind and quite mad, did in fact see a race of great, furred men in the woods.
The Pink Tabernacle – A quartz tablet the size of a house and covered in thousands of lines of text is dragged by beasts of burden as zealots scream themselves hoarse alongside it, preaching the doom of all non-believers.
The Choir – Those who have sworn an oath to sing all things (the Book of All Things being their holy tome, and the home of the only phrases they can still utter).
Those Who Blame – There are those faiths which urge a path of non-judgment. This is not one of those faiths. All who adhere to this are tattooed with their sins by those they have wronged.