Into the Odd Resources for the Rainy City: Rainy City Starter Package Table | Rainy City Arcanum Table (coming soon)
Earlier this week, as I am wont to do when creating RPG stuff for the Rainy City, I was trolling through words looking for inspiration. This takes the form of seeing an interesting word or image and then following the rabbit hole through Wordhippo.com or Wiktionary.org looking for patterns or tracing etymologies. Once something catches my eye, I start probing associated jargon, distressing the word, and generally massaging it until a broader idea forms. Welcome to the origins of almost every wizard I have ever added to the Rainy City.
Anyway, so earlier this week, I stumbled upon the word “osteolith,” which in a medical sense means a mass of bone or bone-like tissue. Hmmm, I thought, there’s a wizard here. And then an even grosser idea formed, and a section of the Great Cuttle megadungeon was born.
So, a little background on the Wrap, so named because it wraps around one of the Great Cuttle’s arm tentacles that are woven throughout the mass of wreckage that is the Wake Fields and Midden zones of the megadungeon.
There was once a Wizard of the Tower Cliffs names Ostreo the Sporogenous, who was infamous for two things: 1) his too exuberant predilection for working with bone and bone-like substances; and 2) he showed a creation he dubbed the “Master Mantis” at Colloquium one year that totally disrupted the whole event (Hyperion the Hated had to burn the Master Mantis alive to keep it from attempting to conquer the whole Rainy City, and boy, does that jerk never let anyone forget it).
Unusually chastened by his poor reputation, Ostreo kept to himself, and was largely forgotten in the city proper. Who lives in that skull-shaped tower near the edge of Silver Falls? No one who matters.
And then came the Great Cuttle to the Rainy City. Upon hearing of the Cuttle’s existence and quite enamored by all that cuttlebone, Ostreo decamped from the Tower Cliffs and journeyed to his new home.
He began constructing his new tower within the upper wreckage of the Cuttle and set about securing new material for his experiments. Often this took the form of snatching locals (fin folk, burrowers, and the occasional sea hag) and extracting their bones. This, of course, did not make him a popular neighbor. Among those who knew Ostreo, the rumor was he searched for the means to craft an amphibious golem able to explore the very deep sea ruins around the Rainy City.
And then, one day, he snatched the wrong local. What he thought was just one of the fin folk turned out to be something more dangerous, the daemon warlock Riqshalkor the Eminent, and, thunder and rain, the daemon was not happy about it!
Riqshalkor turned the tables on the bone-obsessed wizard and brought him low with a vile curse. He turned the vain wizard into a mindless, living mass of oyster shell and bone bound forever to his crumbling tower, endlessly thirsting for the bone he craved in life but never satisfied with what he claims.
The Wrap (Zone: The Wake Fields; Dungeon Level: 1)
- Past Room 1.2, the area flotsam is stuffed w/ shells and bones and aragonite, all stuck together by osteocolla glue (glue made from bones) and magic
- Ground in 1.4-1.6 all covered in loose shells and bones as well
- A large mass of sea shells, bone, and aragonite chunks that shambles about with a vague upper torso of a human – all bones + shells in contact with the ostreogolem are a part of the golem
- STR 18, DEX 10, WIL 7, HP 14
- Driven to add more bones to itself
- Strikes out with bone tendrils (d6), either from its main form or anywhere else bone and shell are linked to it. Anyone taking Critical Damage is subsumed by a wave of bone and shell that tears the flesh from their bones every turn (d8) until they are pulled out or succeed on a STR save. It can rend up to 3 targets at a time.
- When inert, is hard to spot as an animate creature. Largely mindless and instinctual.
1.1 – The Crevasse
- Floor remnants of a ship’s deck, waterlogged and damaged (vigorous activity can cause one to fall through, Dex save or d8 dam & fall to 1.2 (more likely where water pools 30ft below)
- Stream of water flows across deck + cascades down to 1.2
- Flag of the Admiralty ship Ravage hangs from the debris above
1.2 – The Guzzling Serpent
- → Head of massive, fossilized sea serpent, mouth agape, water flowing down its throat, which has been carved out with handholds, leads down to ______
- Room tilts slightly toward the serpent head
- Water not deep enough to jump in without getting hurt
- ↓ Purple mushrooms, if eaten, restore 1 pt of ability damage/day (5 doses to exhaust)
1.3 – The Fork
- ← Left fork slopes down and around, eventually leading to _____
- Center point of fork elevated, all paths slope down from here
- → Passageway, leads to 1.4, sloping down
1.4 – The Resin Hall
- ↓ Passage to 1.3
- ↑ Passage to 1.5
- 3 stalagmite sculptures(?) of 2 fin folk and 1 seeming human refugee – once alive, now art
- → 4th stalagmite has a pirate of Rickety; in the Unseen, ghost is here, happy to talk
- Jumpin Jay Jimmietown “Sorta like being honored on Skipton Plank” – will trade info if PCs take his body back to Rickety
1.5 – The Laboratory
- Summoning circle, to trained eye, is clearly damaged and won’t seal
- → Large globe, showing landforms + locations of flooded lands around the Rainy City
- ↑ Cabinet, locked, contains so many bones, will cause the ostreogolem to rampage in here from 1.6, hungry for bones
- → Rotted chair, reading stand, desk, and locked chest under desk, chest contents rotted but there’s a spellbook (1 spell) + 1 Arcanum that can be salvaged
1.6 – The Ossuary
- Large concentration of bone + shell here, anyone who enters will awaken the ostreogolem (see Bestiary)
- Beneath main mound is physical remains of the wizard Ostreo the Sporogenous w/ 1 Arcanum (Calcification Rod: DEX save or caught in bony growth; while caught, attacks Impaired and cannot move)
1.7 – The Turn
- Passage turns abruptly and slopes down for more than 150ft around the Cuttle arm tentacle, leading to ______
- No more shell/bone fill in the wreckage after here
Next week (this week?), I’ll be tackling the other remaining area of Level 1, the Sunken Maze.