Monday, August 21, 2017


Bruce Gordon was wanted to watch a solar eclipse in Africa, but the locale sorcerer Mophir tended like his intrusion and cut him with a mystic black diamond. When the eclipse occurred, Gordon was replaced with Eclipso, a shaded faced Hyde to his Jekyll. This all went down in House of Secrets #61 (1963). Eclipso has stayed around as a DC Comics villain ever since, despite the fact you'd think the rarity of eclipses would limit his power.

This would make an interesting lycanthropy-like curse in D&D, as well. Under dim lighting (say twilight, maybe, or a facsimile thereof) an infected demihuman becomes its evil/chaotic counterpart: elves become drow, dwarves duergar, halflings black hobbits, etc. with associate abilities. Humans would become orcs, maybe? I don't know.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hydra House Ads

The Azurth Adventures Digest (and hopefully more products to follow where appropriate) will have some house ads in the style of those you might see in comics books of the Bronze and Silver Age. Here are the preliminary versions of some of those that will be in the digest:

Artwork here by Jeff Call and Luka Rejec.

Art you may recognize from Weird Adventures by Adam Moore, newly colorized.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Weird Revisited: The Stalker

This post is originally from late August 2011. I don't think this monster made it into Weird Adventures or into one of my games, but conceptually it's one of my favorite Fiend Folio re-imaginings.

If you should find yourself in the City on a lonely railway platform in the wee hours or taking a night train across the dark countryside, you may happen to get the sensation you’re being watched. That may mean you have reason to be afraid.

Travelers in similar situations have looked to see the vague shape of what might be a fellow traveler clinging to the shadows of the platform, or have seen a gaunt figure receding in the distance as the train passes, its eyes glowing like signal lights.

The rail stalker appears to select his prey at random, but once he has done so he always lets the hapless traveler glimpse him at least once. The next time the victim sees the creature’s pale, naked, and emaciated form may be when he strikes.

The creature (it is unclear if there is more than one) attacks by opening his mouth absurdly wide in a caricature of a scream and emitting a sound or vibration. Things directly in its path may be damage as if thousands of years of erosion took place in a single moment, concentrated in a narrow area. Those nearby but not directly in the path describe a sudden wave of fear and a mind numbing hum. The stalker prefers to kill by embracing his victim and deilvering a kiss—a kiss that sends his deadly vibration through the victim’s body, turning bone to powder and liquifying organs.

Some thaumaturgists believe the sound made by the rail stalker is a sound from the end of the material universe, the wail of of inevitable armageddon that the rail stalker somehow carries in his withered frame. And aches to share with others.

[The rail stalker is, of course, a modern/near-modern horror riff on Fiend Folio’s Dune Stalker and resembles that creature in game particulars.  'Cause a naked, clawed dude trying to kiss you in a subway station is scarier than one in a desert, maybe.]

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Something Rises from the Prismatic Hole

Layout continues on the Azurth Adventures Digest. It's looking like it's going to shape up to 28 pages.

Anyway, here's another excerpt. The stats of the frogacuda from the Prismatic Hole:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday Comics: Storm: The Seven of Aromater

My exploration of the long-running euro-comic Storm, continues with his adventures in the world of Pandarve. Earlier installments can be found here.

Storm: The Seven of Aromater (1984) 
(Dutch: De Zeven van Aromater) (part 6)
Art by Don Lawrence; script by Martin Lodewijk

Fearing the worst, Ember is elated when she hears Storm call her name. Storm remembers nothing of what happened. After Ember explains, Storm hypothesizes that perhaps the fact they are not of Pandarve somehow made her power affect them differently.

Now that they've changed back to human, the noxious atmosphere begins to take its toll. They move as quickly as possible through the yellow fog. Choking, they stumble back to the stairs where they left Nomad and the Eternal Prince. When they relate the story to the two of them, the Prince can't accept he can't have the brain coral. He runs into the poison fog.

The other three leave to find a way off the Tear.

They find the frog-things gathered outside!

They can't go back the way they came and they can't go back into the temple. Luckily, Storm spots a crack in the cliff face. They stumble onto an ice slipway and go sliding down with the creatures falling after them.

They finally land in a place where the gravity is less, perhaps near the equator. With the creatures on their heels, they run toward a forest that looks like its made of giant dandelions. They notice the winds are blowing the massive florets a way and see a possible way out.

Climbing a tree with the creatures behind them, they grab hold to one of the seedlings. The wind carries them out into the atmosphere around Pandarve--and in the path of a ship.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Fiendish Implications

Yesterday, our Land of Azurth 5e campaign continued last night with the usual uuspects: Kully the Bard, Shade the Ranger, Dagmar the Cleric, Kairon the Sorcerer, Waylon the Thief, and Erekose the Fighter.

Still in the village of Lumberton, the party sets out for the Pine Sawmill to get to the bottom of the rampaging automatons. They figure during the day time that the mill will be mostly deserted as the Iron Woodsmen would be out lumberjacking. They taking the river to the mill is the safest route (considering what happened last time they were on the trail through the forest). They hope they will find the Snarts the wizard Gargam tells them are being imprisoned there and end this mess.

They go into the mill stealthly, with Waylon the Frogling taking point. Waylon spies one Woodsman at work on the second level. Before he consult with the others he also encounters a little blue man (a Snart he presumes) who pulls a megaphone from somewhere and alerts the Woodsman to his presence before running away.

The rest of the party runs to help, but the Woodsman has reinforcements as well, and the battle is joined. Thanks to some strategic spell work from the magic-users, Kully and Kairon, the most serious damage from the Woodsmen comes from the explosions when they are killed. Ultimately, they kill defeat the six in the mill, though Erekose takes heavy damage.

In the battle, Waylon shoots the Snart that caused this mess and he briefly plays dead, but reveals he wasn't injured at all. Dagmar talks to it before it leaves, and it reveals that the Snarts aren't responsible for the Woodsmen going berserk and nor are they being held captive. He hints someone with horns is responsible before he disappears.

A search of the workshop on the highest floor of the mill reveals tracks from some sort of small creature that isn't a Snart. On a hunch, Dagmar turns fiends--and an angry little devil becomes visible with a flurry of curses!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Azurth Adventures Digest Update & A Sample Page

The Azurth Adventures Digest volume one is in layout now. Barring any unforseen snags, it will be out the middle of next month. Contents include: a brief overview of the piratical Motley Isles and random and random tables for generating quirky pirates and pirate captains, details on three NPCs and a monster, thumbnails of some exotic places in the Boundless Sea and a random table of weird encounters, and finally, a short writeup of  Candy Isle adventuring locale.

All of this is enlivened by art by Jeff Call and Jason Sholtis. Anyway, here's a sample page with art by both of them: