Sunday, December 14, 2014

Kel Bethor, the City of Necromancers

Kel Bethor is the walking city of the necromancers.  All of the buildings have some form of mobility, so that the city can move to the site of the next cosmic megafauna impact.  In Kel Bethor, this usually takes the form of skeletal feet, attached to the bottoms of houses.

This post will help you roll up a necromancer of Kel Bethor.  There are four sections: necromancer, their agenda, their mansion, and their mansion's adornment.


  1. Vacklegrim, his body swollen with fat, oils, and stolen humors.  His second chin contains a malevolent intelligence of his own.
  2. Torpo the Cannibal.  Yells about "man bacon".  Bleeds ectoplasm.  Terrified of obelisks and other phallic symbols, convinced that he will one day be buried under one.
  3. Scaber pan Kilrevel.  Merely a severed head, carried around on a silver platter by a zombie butler.  Loves earrings, and has had several new ears grafted on to accommodate his growing collection.
  4. Sto Leck, Who Lives in Velvet.  Soul has been split up and fed to dozens of black cats.  When he wants to speak, each cat will speak a word at a time.  When he lounges on a sofa, the cats will cover it in a vaguely anthropoid shape.  Dinner table in house is not used (since the cats eat from bowls) and atop the dinner table is Sto Leck's original corpse, the bones all gouged by countless cat teeth.  d6 cats gnawing on it at any given time.
  5. Dirigner, Who is Tallest.  Has a sacrificial dagger jammed into his brain.  Touching it causes him intense pain and removal is impossible, so he has attached a glass jar to his skull to protect it.
  6. Duveng the Archmage.  Missing both eyes.  Hunchbacked.  Fearful and of middling talent (his mansion was inherited).  Has a bad infestation of sinus spiders.
  7. Venebrous Skarb.  Boneless.  Slithers around on the ground like a blanket stuffed full of snakes.  Very polite.  Lascivious.
  8. Consumate Yarb.  Possessed with an intense agoraphobia.  Lives inside the walls of his house, and will stick his head out from behind portraits and onto bookshelves to address guests of his house.  Powerful sorcerer, but if he is ever pulled from the wall (his body is pale and deformed) he will suffer a powerful psychotic break.
  9. Scalamandray.  She sees the world through purple-tinged glasses that reveals the truth about the world (true seeing) but since the truth about the world is that it is filthy, petty, and dying, she is powerfully cynical and depressed.  (And so would anyone else, if they wore the glasses.)  Pockets filled with snakes.
  10. Pyutin the Puffin.  Necro-bard.  She's beautiful and kindly, but has more skeletons in her closet than anyone else.  
  11. Vorla the Vegetarian. Rogue botanomancer.  Got her house via usurpation.  Killed the previous necromancer-owner by feeding him an acorn, and then getting the tree to explosively grow to adulthood.  His bones are still in the great hall, along with the oak.  Is usually carried around by undead willow-treants, cradled in their arms.  Also, shrunken mandrake heads.  Also, corpse flowers.  Also, skeletons studded with poisonous saprophytes.
  12. Deathbreath.  Surprisingly, he is not undead, but is an air elemental.  He possesses people by invading their lungs, and leaves them with their final exhalations.  He is currently possessing a master swordswoman from Shirrak.

  1. A bigger house.
  2. The enslave one of the cosmic megafauna.
  3. To unite the city of Kel Bethor under his/her banner.
  4. Lichdom.
  5. To recruit a worthy outsider to inherit their household, as they are dying.  (And eventually, function as a receptacle for their spirit.)
  6. To undermine a rival in the nearby city of Yog.
  7. To steal a certain object from a rival house.  This item will allow them to resurrect their ancestors.  They will then throw the ancestors a party to honor them, and then consume them.
  8. To perform a ceremony inside a rival's house that will lay one of their powerful spirits to rest (and thereby deprive that house of power).
  9. To steal one of the mounts of Kel Dravonis.
  10. Is actually a cannibal outsider (see result #12) and is seeking wizard brains to devour.  After eating 2 more, will set out on a vision quest to build a temple inside a hallucination.  This will require many slaves consuming large amounts of narcotics in order to build the hallucination-temple inside their brains, brick by brick.  (It's a bit like Minecraft, really.)
  11. To create a plague of flesh that will undermine the normally-skeletal armies of Kel Bethor, sabotaging their own city.  They are an agent of Kel Dravonis, after all.
  12. Collection of blood from anyone and everyone.  This will be used to make red-boned clones who only live for a few days before dissolving into screaming jelly.

  1. Undead elephant.  50% chance to be painted garishly, like it was going to a mardi gras party.
  2. Treehouse crawling around on undead roots.
  3. Round tower rolling around on its side, gravity and momentum magically stabilized inside.
  4. Flying leather tents (also undead) accompanied by swarms of tooth-edged leather kites.
  5. Cluster of crumbling mausoleums, carried atop several layers of centipedes.
  6. Wooden huts carried by crawling skeletons.
  7. Hunting lodge carried by pheasant wings and skeletal deer legs.
  8. Circular lodge of bones, knitted together by dried tendons.  Carried by multitude of skeletal legs.  A few smaller legs (childrens' or hobbit's?) don't reach the ground, and are carried around by the others.
  9. Carried like a beer keg on the shoulders of a rotting giant, who treats it extremely delicately.  Rotting giant also keeps the rain off.  Prisoners are kept in a hanging cage nestled in his beard. 50% chance the giant is decrepit, and instead crawls around with the house on his back.
  10. Series of covered howdah-like tents on top of the back of an enormous, skeletal serpent.  It slithers backwards, and its tail terminates in a wooden entryhouse, with warm light spilling from a couple of windows.  (Its skeletal head is on the other end, and is not used except in self-defense.  If at rest, you may see servants re-applying poison to its fangs.)
  11. Atop a limb from from the cosmic megafauna.  A giant crawling hand
  12. Unsteady tower atop the legs of undead giant.  Other parts of giant are also incorporated into the tower.  Skull = door, arms = catapults, etc, ribs = crenellations, etc.  Try not to let your players make too many Monty Python jokes.

  1. Wind chimes made from bones.
  2. Taxidermied animal heads adorning the walls (inside and out).  Will announce new arrivals, take your coat, and tell jokes.  If you get them all laughing at the same time, the doors will unlock.  However, very difficult to sneak around.
  3. Cosmetic haunting.  Symmetrical lines carved in sand.  Mournful howls synchronize and harmonize.  Walls bleed in attractive patterns.
  4. Followed by funereal mourners, or a reasonable facsimile.
  5. Covered in paper scrolls that constantly produce text via conscripted ghost power.  Nature of text depends on d4: 1 local events, 2 blasphemies, 3 world news, 4 unmitigated madness.
  6. Has a garden, towed behind the main house.  Either an undead garden or a garden brimming with life and vitality.  (50% chance of each.)
  7. Water runs along surface.  Black water leaks from moulding.
  8. Black chickens everywhere.  Even their flesh and bones are black.
  9. Looking at the building makes your bones ache.  Approaching it makes them grind in their sockets.
  10. Crucifixes on the roof.  50% chance that the crucifixes are occupied by d4: 1 paladins, 2 bards, 3 animals, 4 surprisingly strong skeletal guards who swing their crucifixes like mauls.
  11. Constantly vomiting fog from all apertures.  Skeletons also vomit fog.  Fog may also vomit skeletons.
  12. Masquerade in process.  House is full of skeletons whose heads have been replaced with taxidermied animal heads, especially birds, especially ibises.
So I made some random tables for some death knights and their steeds and +Jeff Russell was like, "I wish there were more fucked up steeds." and I was like, "me too".

d20 More Fucked Up Steed Modifications

  1. Breath attack: cone of teeth.  Those hit must also save vs disease or get a nasty tooth infestation (which will then grow from their skin, making their clothing and armor impossible to wear.)  Horse also has a bad case of teeth infestation.
  2. Doubles in size every day.  When this becomes unsustainable (which takes surprisingly long), it bursts, birthing a shiny new steed.
  3. Steed is actually the death knight and vice versa.  50% chance that this is secret.
  4. Capable of flight.  Not a majestic flight, but a tortuous, twisting, erratic flight.  It screams and bleeds the whole time.  While it flies, its feet crack and bleed.  Sort of like a fucked-up wendigo.
  5. It's hooves have been replaced with oversized human hands.
  6. Turns back into a pumpkin every midnight for 3 hours.  Except I was kidding about the pumpkin, since it actually turns into . . . d4: 1 pile of corpses, 2 pool of blood, 3 single grave, 4 perfectly normal horse.
  7. Is paralyzed but telekinetic.  It's eyes are glassed over with freakish knowledge.  It has seen more than any horse should ever have seen.
  8. Can launch poisonous harpoon from throat, then reel it it.
  9. Has seams, zippers.  Seems to be something, or a group of somethings, wearing a horse suit.  Opening the horse suit is a very bad idea.
  10. Is also the death knight's wife, legally and practically.
  11. Has had a limb of a cosmic megafauna grafted on.  It is vastly oversized for the steed's body.  It might be a huge head that that the steed has to push around like a wheelbarrow.  Or, it might be a giant limb, 5x larger than the rest of the steed, that drags the steed behind it, sort of grinding it into dust.
  12. Constantly eating dirt.
  13. Belly is home to a nest of tortured ghosts, swirling through its intestines like larva.  Piercing it will release them, and they'll start doing psychic attacks vs random people.
  14. Mind flayer head.
  15. Bio-mechanical.  Head is actually a giant hypodermic needle containing a plague of your choice.
  16. Muscular centaur with exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics.  Lobotomized, and only babbles about green fields and strange fruit.
  17. Semi-imaginary.
  18. Has a wand grafted to it, making it wand-unicorn.  (Suggested wands: wand of disintegration, wand of necrotizing fasciitis, wand of baleful pregnancy).  Great care has been taken to make it look beautiful.  Rainbow colored ribbons in its mane.  It's flanks have been painted with the holy symbols of good-aligned gods.
  19. Has d6 heads (as a hydra), long necks, mouths like sharks.
  20. Feeds by absorbing meat-slaves into its flanks.  On its sides are 1d6-1 meat-slaves, their heads absorbed into its body, each wielding a weapon (1d6 dmg) but attacking at -2 to hit.  Exhaust ports near the anus vent hot, atomized blood.  Blood is a potion of cause light wounds.  Eyes flicker like strobe lights when aroused.


  1. Was Bravest Warriors your inspiration for #7 of those mounts?

    1. Heck yes! Bravest Warriors is the juice fantastic!

  2. This is brilliant! I love Sto Leck, Who Lives in Velvet. The speaking cats and the lounging shape is so evocative and so creepy. So many inspired ideas.