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Lich Convention!

Holy chrome!

It’s a lich convention!

I knew of this book from a posting earlier this year, but some of these photos are new to me.  These warm my Clark Ashton Smith-loving heart.

“Are you interested in seeing a dilapidated old church in the forest with a skeleton standing there covered in jewels and holding a cup of blood in his left hand like he’s offering you a toast?”

None for me thanks, I’m driving.

Against all reason and common sense, I would definitely go see a church filled with these amazing relics.  I guess I am an adventurer at heart.  Hope I have enough hit points.

“In other cases, leads—which he gathered through traveler’s accounts, parish archives and even Protestant writings about the Catholic “necromancers”—did pan out. He found one skeleton in the back of a parking-garage storage unit in Switzerland. Another had been wrapped in cloth and stuck in a box in a German church, likely untouched for 200 years.”

I am definitely in the wrong line of work.

“Accomplishing that was no small task. Nearly all the skeletons he visited and uncovered were still in their original 400-year-old glass tombs.”

Which explains why all Europe isn’t a necropolis.

“When he returned to that original German village several years later, for example, he found that a salvage company had torn down the forest church. Beyond that, none of the villagers could tell him what had happened to its contents, or to the body.”

The hand of the Bavarian Illuminati is clearly seen here.

There are so many ways to use this for role playing games.

1) Several of the most powerful liches in the world gathered together for a great ritual.  Unbeknownst to them it was a trap set by the unlikely alliance of Loki and Balder.  They were all imprisoned in crystal coffins and hidden away, but now shadowy forces are trying to release them.

2) The Thule Society backed by the SS are collecting these relics from forgotten corners of Germany.  The OSS isn’t sure what their plan is, but three psychics have gone mad since the first reports came in.  The allies are sending in a commando squad to find out what is going on and stop it.

3) To celebrate 50 years of peace the royalty of the 12 Kingdoms came together for a great banquet.  An evil witch cast a terrible spell, trapping their souls and corrupting their lands.  The kingdoms will remain haunted lands until the Divine Right of Rulership is released from the corpses imprisoned in their glass chambers.

4) The first expedition to Regulus VI has found something unusual, a crypt filled with jeweled skeletons.  The ruins above bear no resemblance to Earth architecture, but these venerated relics are disturbingly human in form.

5) The year is 1968.  In an attempt to improve relations with the west, the East German government has allowed a fantastic exhibition of these Catholic relics to visit Paris, London, and Washington DC.  Western agents uncover a plot to sabotage the exhibit, but are surprised to find KGB agents behind the plot.

6) The end times are drawing near and demons are slipping into our world, sowing chaos and pain in their wake.  After rescuing the skeleton of an ancient martyr an archeologist finds herself granted with divine grace, power enough to fight back.  Now she is in a race to rescue more of the martyr’s skeletons as well as others worthy to bear their holy gifts.

How would you use these macabre marvels?

for-smithsonian0004

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Cool Stuff, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction

 

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Favorite Dragon and Favorite Monster

It was a busy weekend so I’ll play catch-up today.

Catching up with the 30 Day D&D Challenge!

Question 21:

What is your Favorite Dragon Type?

This is another tough one, but I’ve got to go with the classic, a fire-breathing red dragon.  From Smaug to the dragon who slew Beowulf, the fire-breathing dragon is the classic breed.  Burned cities and fields are the signs of their passing and forests of ash herald their lair.  I like all the evil dragon types, the blue in particular appeals to me with its lightning breath, but the red reigns supreme.

Question 22:

What is your Favorite Monster Overall?

My favorite monster overall is going to be the undead in general.  The undead are flexible, menacing, and iconic.  You can have an army of skeletons lead by a mummy, a vampire stalking a town, or a lich menacing an entire kingdom.  If you want to build a world with only one flavor of menace, the undead would be a great choice.  And as mentioned in my earlier post, the lich is my favorite undead.

 

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Gaming

 

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Favorite Undead

We have hit the half-way point for the 30 Day D&D Challenge!

Today’s question:

15. What is your Favorite Undead?

The undead make some of the best monsters.  They touch on primal fears about death and the afterlife and remind us of our own mortality.  There’s a wide variety of undead, perfect for finding just the right horror to touch on your particular fear.  From skeletons to vampires, ghosts to wraiths, the undead are vomited up from the darkest parts of our psyches.  Perhaps the most horrific aspect of the undead is that they were once as we are now, that perhaps the only escape from mouldering in our graves is the cursed existence they represent.

There are a lot of great undead.  For low level nightmarish legions I have always preferred skeletons over zombies, no doubt due to the influence of Ray Harryhausen.  For sheer grotesque horror I have a great affection for the Penanggalan taken from southeast Asian folklore and first detailed in the Fiend Folio.  But ultimately there is one undead that reigns supreme, standing skull and shoulders over the rest.

The Lich!

The Lich!

The lich!  The most powerful of magic users who seek to gain immortality through blasphemous rites that transform them into sorcerers nightmares.  The lich is one of the apex predators of Dungeons & Dragons, able to wreak havoc on entire kingdoms.  Often they are the architects of the dungeons our delvers venture into, filling them with traps and monsters that defy rational sense.  With dark reality-shaping powers at their commands the adventurers can never know what to expect and the players know that everything they encounter is just a warm up for the undead master itself, lurking somewhere below.

The lich represents power and evil in a way few other creatures can match.  You can base entire campaigns on battles with these master-villains.

MetLich

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Gaming

 

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