Sunday, September 23, 2012

Secret Santacore Teaser Trailer

I'm off to the races on the Secret Santacore project!

Not going to put the whole thing up yet, since a bunch of it is still on paper, but here's a teaser:

I was going to do d12 sets, a la Dungeon Dozen, but then I figured, hey 8 d8 random tables is like 160-million-odd combinations.  That will have to do.

The House
Is a huge, squat keep, built in an ancient style, now crumbling and enveloped by ivy.  It is filled with empty rooms, rotting furniture and dusty wall hangings.  If examined closely, the tapestries depict ancient crimes – murders, rapes and much worse – all the perpetrators and victims appear to be members of the same family.

Is a timber hunting lodge filled with stuffed, skinned and mounted trophies of animals and monsters, hanging alongside weapons, rusty traps and paintings of prized hounds and horses.  Everywhere you go within the hall, dozens of glittering eyes seem to track you from the mounted heads that cover every wall.  Occasionally, the faint sounds of a baying pack of hounds seem to echo through the rooms.

Is a shining pleasure-palace, with high white walls, turreted towers and carefully landscaped ponds and gardens.  Its placid tranquility and languid calm are restful, but the gardens are full of unnaturally vital blood-red roses, the ponds are bottomless and are bitterly cold, and the high, ornate windows seem to glare menacingly when seen out of the corner of the eye.

Is a tall manor on a point overlooking an isolated cove.  Built of the local white chalk, it has patios and stairwells that extend down the cliffs below it.  Seen from the day, it is an attractive structure, but the light of the moon bleaches the white walls to the color of unburied bone, and cause the building to shine with unnatural brightness.  The cove below constantly washes up old bones and the corpses of the drowned.

Is a square, multi-floored brick house with a central courtyard that can be accessed by 4 arched entrances, one in each wall.  Walkways lined by arched windows face the interior courtyard on all floors.  At the center of the courtyard is a deep well with a rusted iron cover and a stout, new padlock.  When the wind blows through the house (which it frequently does) the arches of the courtyard seem to howl with unearthly voices, and the doors fly open and slam closed unpredictably.

Is a fortified manor house with a solid gate, paved courtyard and solidly-build hall.  The courtyard is dominated by a stone statue of a seated man leaning on a great sword.  Time has eroded away most of his features, but the carved eyes remain intact, and glare down fiercely at anyone entering the yard.  The base of the statue is ringed by disturbing engravings in an unknown language.

Is an old trading stockade that has been converted into a makeshift manor.  The log palisade is rotting, and weeds grow around the neglected stables and storage sheds.  Half-feral dogs wander about and the surrounding forest presses ominously close.  The place smells of mildew, dogshit and fear – all door are barred and lights doused as soon as night falls.

Is a tall, moated round-house set on the edge of a deep swamp.  The interior of the keep is a deep shaft with a circular stair that goes all the way to the roof.  The place is infested with frogs, toad, newt and other, less pleasant things.  At night, the strange lights in the swamp are mirrored in the black water at the base of the central shaft, and the odd piping of the swamp inhabitants almost seems to form chittering voices.

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