May your backhair be shaved by an angry otter

Monday, December 22, 2014

Petty Gods: 8 Translated Chants to the Jale God

8 Translated Chants to the Jale God

Desolation, love, death:
Rough, dead gulls above a storm.

Remember the old ways!
Do not wander a garden path;
All flowers are faceless, dusty doors.

Evil and flying in the sea,
Humming witches within the mist
battle angry ghouls about the shadows.
Alas, alack! The devil continues,
Angry beyond the dreamscape.
The day is green among the bullshit;
Be watchful. A broken promise
Remembers old times.

Black monsoon drums;
the herd, the bones!

She hears each his lies
His false shadow, painted skin

Slender beams of light enter
This darkened chamber,
Always lost, always lost,
Always frozen here,

Forms wrought in panes of glass loom
As dust dances in air,
Searing a secret skin.

A rock gnome's face
Rails against
An impassive truth.

We each cut feasts
Even through absence;
Beauty is but a lie:
Black impairs him not.

The erosion of everything alabaster:
Clutter of green leaves,
Cirrus of nebulae,
Jets of gas aflame,
Flower petals—
Formless scud feathers formless sky.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Petty Gods: The Putrefaction of the Jale God

The Putrefaction of the Jale God

Among the rude folk of the mountainous regions, the festival of the Putrefaction of the Jale God is the primary celebration of the summer months. In some villages, the festival takes place near the summer solstice, in others on the last new moon of the season, and in others still on the first full moon. On the eve of the festival, a stout young rowan tree is cut down, adorned with trinkets and garlands, and set into the earth. On the first morning of the festival, childless women place a garment under the tree or on its branches and eat of the tree's fruit; on the second morning, if they find blood on their garments they know they will remain childless for another year. The sick, aged, and dying go to the tree in the morning on the second day, place their hands on the tree and circle around it four times while singing "You will soon die but we will live" and then eat of the leaves. If they are still alive on the third morning, they know they will live another year. But the main rite occurs on the third morning: young men go to the tree and spill their seed on the ground at its base. One man, called the Watcher, dressed from top to bottom in rancid rags and the untanned hides of animals sacrificed during the festival, throws handfuls of dirt at the other young men, so they remember they will soon return to the earth. Then the Watcher takes seven iron nails which have been laying in the milk of a pregnant cow for seven days and seven nights and hammers three of them into the rowan; the other four he hammers through his feet and into the earth. The men of the village then pull the nails from the rowan and bury them in an unmarked grave, covering them with dirt collected from the ground around the tree. Then the Watcher removes the nails from his feet and slaughters a young goat; he places the nails inside its belly, lashes it to the rowan, and sets both aflame. Finally, the men of the village beat the Watcher with stones and branches, driving him out of the village; he must sleep with the beasts in the field for two evenings before returning to his home. In this way the villagers amuse the Jale God and avoid his gaze for another year.

Petty Gods: d30 Table of Cacophonies Composed by the Jale God's Pipe

d30 Table of Cacophonies Composed by the Jale God's Pipe

  1. All the Staircases
  2. At the Cliffs of Solitude
  3. Bane of the Boon
  4. Burn the Goat
  5. Busty Samantha
  6. Colorful Nothingness
  7. Cult of the Carnival Grave
  8. Dirty Mother
  9. Dread Without Cease
  10. Embrace the Agile Azimuth
  11. Guiltmonger
  12. Here Once Pale Hastur Slept
  13. Industrious Pariah
  14. Jewels of the Crimson Mother
  15. Love Song of the Yellow King
  16. Malevolence of Power
  17. Martyr of Impurity
  18. Negative Tendons
  19. Obstreperous Pariah
  20. On the Streets of Fair Yhtill
  21. Passion for the Autumnal
  22. Passive Cadavers in My Dreams
  23. Persevering Excrement
  24. Reality Molester
  25. Riding the Alchemy Horse
  26. Sea of Brutal Bleakness
  27. Suicide Campaign
  28. The Echoing Hag
  29. The Spurning Knife
  30. Who Wears the Pallid Mask

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Petty Gods: d30 Table of Jale God Feast Days

Petty Gods: d30 Table of Jale God Feast Days
  1. The Aphoristic Defilement
  2. The Arcane Obscenity of Ryal'a
  3. The Blasphemy of Malice
  4. The Breaking of the Princess
  5. The Campaign of Bloody Daggers
  6. The Carnal Rendition
  7. The Crimson Anathema
  8. The Cruel Violation
  9. The Dagger Wars Remembrance
  10. The Dark Moon Festival
  11. The Day of Gimlinch's Defilement
  12. The Day of Putrefaction
  13. The Dedication of the Heavens
  14. The Demonic Ruin
  15. The Dismal Night
  16. The Dusk of Unspooling Blades
  17. The Fall of the Kindred Wyrm
  18. The Feast of Veils
  19. The Festival of Allegiance
  20. The Great Unyawning
  21. The Gruesome Desecration
  22. The Hoisting of the Giblets
  23. The Invocation of Yegish
  24. The Nightfall of Welcoming
  25. The Obscenity of Wounds
  26. The Siege of Blackswamp Stronghold
  27. The Sunless Malediction
  28. The Tournament of Curses
  29. The Treacherous Obscenity
  30. The Woeful Ritual of Clapatrus

Petty Gods: The Jale God's Dream

The Jale God's Dream

And so the Jale God slept, and in his sleeping he dreamt of an angry prophet standing before him. The small, dirty man stared at him in silence for an eternity, and then he said, "Wretched God! You do not know you will be lost to time. Your followers will fall away, your temples will run to ruin, your dominion will shrink to nothingness! And in your weakening you will wither to a pale shade, an empty husk. Flee, flee, if you must but know that in ages to come you will be not!" The prophet stood before him, shaking in rage, his staff raised as if to strike, and then the Jale God awoke.

The Jale God was filled with a dread he had never known before. He rose from his sleeping place and roamed the ways of the earth, searching for this prophet until at last he was weary again and sank to the ground, and found relief from his troubles in deep sleep.

And again the Jale God dreamed of the man standing before him, his fist raised in defiance. "Woe be to you, Unmaker, Defiler!" he proclaimed. In his sleep, the Jale God twitched his finger. The man was surrounded by unholy fire and was swallowed in flame.

The Jale God snored and rolled over and dreamed no more.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Petty Gods: 3 Tales of the Jale God

Three Tales of the Jale God

The Jale God sat on his chklor throne, watching the universe inch by.

"Tell me," he said to his doddering scrivener, "why do mortals remember and regret?"

The doddering scrivener consulted his record book. He turned several pages, scanning the lines therein with his arthritic finger. He finally looked up at the Jale God and shrugged.

"Exactly!" the Jale God laughed, "So true!"

When the days of putrefaction were ended according to the unbreakable laws of the Elder Way, the Jale God appeared at the court of the Cerisian Empire, taking the form of a minor noble of small renown. He swiftly seduced the queen and her daughters, positioned himself as an advisor to the king, and disrupted the flow of trade to fill his coffers. Then he set about building a temple to further the worship of his name.

When it came time to anoint the first priest of the new temple, the Jale God called two close advisors before him. Now, one of these men was loyal and devout, a true confidant to the Jale God's human avatar; the other was a vile and loathsome man untrusted by even the cook's apprentice.

The Jale God handed each man a ritual knife and bade them slay one another. The righteous man refused, and while he was refusing, stabbed the evil man in the heart. The Jale God struck the loyal man dead.

The Jale God pulled the knife from the vile man's heart and laughed: "Your ordination is tonight!"

Once, the Jale God deigned to walk among mortals and took the form of a wandering bard. First he visited a hamlet where he cured a pig of hoof rot and taught a stableboy to play the lute. Then he prowled the alleys of a fair-sized city, haggling with prostitutes, trading lays for laughter and good company. Then he performed at court, plucking out ballads to soothe the mood of an arrogant duke. And finally he sat by the side of a dying witch and sang her a song while she faded to her reward.

"Tell me," he asked Gnil'bmag and Tra, two of his trusted vassals, "which of these experiences taught me the most about men?"

Gnil'bmag and Tra considered the question. They asked for a week to ponder the answer.

A week passed. The Jale God was at his favorite dicing den when Gnil'bmag and Tra approached. Gnil'bmag spoke first.

"You learned more from teaching the stable boy music," he said. "Teaching imparts more wisdom than learning."

"No," said Tra. "You learned more from the dying witch. A noble death is a rare thing for a servant of the darker arts."

"Fools!" said the Jale God. "Did you not understand the question?"

 Iä! Jaash im raa! Iä! Jaash im raa! Iä! Jaash im raa!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Petty Gods: Doddering Scrivener, minion of the Petty Gods

Richard emailed me this request:

Doddering Scrivener
minions of the petty gods

No. Encountered: 1 (1d10)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 10
Hit Dice: 1d6+2
Attacks: 0
Damage: None
Save: M2
Morale: 4
Hoard Class: XVII
XP: 25

Outfitted in bright orange hooded cowls and scapulas, Doddering Scriveners are a race of gnome-like creatures with over-sized ears whose sole purpose is to record the decrees of the petty gods for posterity and serve as notary witnesses to all divine petty contracts. Whenever a petty god deigns to enter a contract, grant a boon, or send a foolhardy adventurer on an arduous quest, a Doddering Scrivener mysteriously appears to record the particulars and collect signatures.

Although not much is known about their biology beyond their appearance and ability to teleport at will, their society is extremely hierarchical, divided into 20 classes, each divided into 20 divisions, and each division divided into 20 sections. Each section is further divided into different ranks of innumerable individual Scriveners responsible for recording, archiving, and cataloging all decrees and contracts within a specific sphere of divine influence.

Doddering Scriveners follow a strict ethical code and are sworn to a life of pacifism. They carry no weapons and wear no armor. If attacked, they will attempt to avoid combat by fleeing but they will not defend themselves beyond fisticuffs; their attempts at such are weak and ineffectual.

A Doddering Scrivener has instantaneous recall of any deed that he himself has recorded and, if given up to half-an-hour, can find any other contract in the Deed archives (it is, of course, efficiently organized for such use). The classification system used by Doddering Scriveners is a carefully guarded secret and even the gods themselves do not understand it. The quills, ink pots, and parchments used by Doddering Scriveners fetch high prices on the black market, as they are rumored to be able to create undetectable forgeries if used in combination.

Doddering Scriveners follow no deity themselves but remain decidedly neutral in all affairs. They never offer an opinion (even if pressed) on any topic, and carry out their duties with an air of resigned indifference.  They utterly lack individual personalities and prefer to remain unnoticed.

It is said that eating the brain of a Doddering Scrivener imparts the ability to read and write in all languages; this might be true, but one definite side effect is the loss of the ability to blink. Victims of this side effect gradually stop producing tears and their eyes eventually shrivel and rot; there is no known cure for this malady.