Tuesday, August 9, 2016

World of the Lost, Sessions 11 & 12: The Lancing of the Boil

After numerous delays (on my part, to write these up) we continue onward towards the Temple with this two-in-one report. We begin the instant where we left off, with the Adventurers exiting the chamber of Burns-All-Hands in the Aerie.
From Here.
They were now in the company of a milder sort of flying man, who spoke with them once they were a distance away. “So, you believe in peace?” he asked. They said they did.

He spoke of how Burns-All-Hands, and others like her, were fanatics to the cause of war and domination. They had the might to be rulers, but they were not the entirety.
His name was Scrapes-Bones-Slowly, because that is what he did. He was one who sharpened bones into sharp points to be used as weapons. He once had a life outside the plateau, though he had trouble remembering it now. This was because they were forbidden from counting the days and keeping time as they did before, their old lives were dead, a lost dream, according the beliefs of Burns-All-Hands and her kind.

All knew that there was no escape from the plateau, and that there was a wall in the sky. Burns-All-Hands said there was only the endless struggle of this true life, followed by the endless struggle of the great devouring, the infinite war beyond death.
Edith questioned him, why not resist the rule of these warlike people?

They had strength, and passion. It would not be simple to overthrow them. And beyond that they offered at least a kind of life, and safety high up the Aerie. Whether or not one believed in all they did one could certainly go along with them, he reasoned.

And besides, the Exiles warred with them too. The Exiles, the vain and proud humans in a city to the East, called the flying men filthy monsters, and said they were tainted by the red mist. Some attacked on sight, and would not listen to reason even were it offered to them.

Of course there were exiles who believed in peace too, and by mutual conspiring they had devised a system to signal their presence to each other  in the wild. Exiles who meant no harm would bare their teeth by pulling their cheeks wide open, and flying men who intended no harm would always wear human teeth the lowest on their gathered jewellry.

They were lucky to have never seen any plasmics, he said. They were mindless beasts that spewed fire and frost, and spoke only lies.

Upon reaching their destination, an open cliff face shelter, he gave his final advice to them: they ought never fly low, for violent Exiles might kill them with arrows and spears. Fly high and descend quickly.

They reassembled a rough net and carefully departed, Gerald and Edoni carrying both Nasr and Edith.

They had said they wished to meet the Druid, a mysterious figure said to live in the top of the remarkably large red-iron tower to the south. Scrapes-Bones-Slowly warned them not to approach the top, as many other flying men died doing this, and wished them luck as they glided off  into the low clouds.

The tower rose in the distance, almost one thousand feet high. As they came closer to it they felt a strange sensation overcome them; the sun's rays changing from a hot burning to a feeling like a nourishing, soothing balm and their hunger dissipated.

They say a small speck appear on the side of the tower as they descended to its’ base, and it descended quite rapidly as well. Soon after they landed a human figure had touched down upon the dirt as well. A silver haired woman, in a simple smock or tunic and her face worn with a mysterious concern. The Druid was silent for quite some time before speaking.

“Are you here to steal this metal? What brings you? I have never seen humans and flying men walk as one.”
They said they had come to investigate the temple, and then she spoke of the temple. How the Outsiders, who came from above the sky, were what created it. How they taught man to make cities, and to bring them silver, and how they abandoned the temple and how it remained poisoned the land.

The red mist was poison it created, and the druid wished to destroy it so the poison might cease. The barrier was a product of the temple, and this held in the poison of the red mist. The boil must be lanced so the poison could flow out, and then the earth could heal. The temple must be destroyed.

She was at war with all others on the plateau, for none would ally with her. Someday the flying men would be sure to win their war against all, as the poison would forever increase and eventually consume the whole plateau in corruption.

The druid had lived many lives here, practicing the arts that the earth had taught her, creating what defenses she could. The earth spoke to her, she said, it could speak to all if only they would listen.
So: would they serve the earth and destroy the temple? They could take its silver for themselves, if they wanted. She could also cure them of their affliction, if they wished to serve the earth. She gestured to Gerald and Edoni when she said this. They were quite clearly afflicted. She slid back up the high tower, and several minutes later returned. She had two small cups of nectar in her hands, small bulbs of petals. Edoni and Gerald drank this down, and it was overwhelmingly bitter. Doubled over, they retched and vomited out a red sort of slime or pudding as Edith and Nasr saw they reptilian features dissolve away and be gone.

But why were they not hungry? “You are like me now, and like that too”, she said. In the distance lumbered an ambulatory plant the size of a house, with a form like a massive pitcher. “We take our nourishment from the sun.” This would also protect them from her other children, as they would recognize them as kin.

They were invited to rest at the base of the tower, and so they did. The druid slid up and away, and as the day passed they felt themselves weaken in the darkness, and return to strength as the sun rose.

They departed towards the temple.

A vast field of needle toothed plants spread out before them, these continuously feasted on a roving cloud of oversized flies and locusts which buzzed through the air. Though they did not bite the vast clouds of insects were still an irritation as they trudged onward, mercifully ignored by the carnivorous plants.
These plants died out to reveal a clearing, with a single tree in the midst of all this. A bitter red foot grew from a single withered branch. This was eaten by Gerald, invisibly bringing him great fortune. The seeds were saved, to be given to the Druid later.

They came then to a sudden vast emptiness, above which the clouds refused to pass, and buzzing flies and soaring birds turned away in fear. This created a partially defined but very clear circle of clear sky above this rolling surface of pale metal that stretched beyond them, outward towards the horizon. A field of grey metal that became a rippling color like iridescent pearls when stepped upon.

Near the perimeter lay two blackened corpses, still smoldering from an unknown flame. A third lay there two, its head detached cleanly by an unknown implement that left the edges of fatal wound burnt closed.

A sort of levitating centipede revealed itself over a nearby hillside, and it chanted out strange verse in an unnatural voice, as it belched out flames from its front-facing pincers.

R̡ED..̢.ro͠seş! ͞R̶ow̴.̀.͘.͝s̷áy͘s? ͞

RED! ̛
R͟OŚES̀ RE̛Ḑ.͠.̛.͡ro̡s͏e̴s!͟
It observed them all inscrutably, then wandered onward across the featureless plain.

Upon investigating the remains of the headless body Nasr discovered a small polished mirror, a dagger, and vial filled with a fragrant juice of some kind. This vial was labeled “Scent of Scents”, and he drank it down. It was delicious, with a flavor like the most delectable of fruits.

As it settled in his belly he noticed a strange phenomenon, new wisps and vapors appearing over those around him. The particularly murky ones above the charred corpses revealed to him that he had a new sense; he was now able to visualize the odors around him.

Nasr saw clouds of what looked like the smell of blood, and heat, and fear. When they approached this they witnessed a flying man, with broken wings. He was flinging javelins at a metallic being of some kind, and this being blasted at him with beams of pure light. The javelins proved useless against the levitating foe, and he soon fell dead.

It was demolished with a hail of pistol fire, and given cursory examination by Nasr before they continued onward. From the corpse of the flying man they retrieved rope, a small sword, and document detailing a harness of some kind which might allow one to ride a great winged beast as one might ride a great horse.

They came to a sprawling field of white sand, strewn with countless bones of countless creatures. They rattled and scratched together beneath their feet as they marched onward.

In the periphery of their vision they saw flickering images of the dead. There was Dietrich, his two halves stacked atop each other as the remaining blood and organs dribbled down and out, Baldwin with his head so grotesquely perforated. Whenever they looked the spectres vanished, but one could tell that they were all smiling just before they did.

After several miles they came to a sudden circle of darkness, a hole 30 feet wide. Around it was a lip of metal, and they stuck the short sword they had recovered into the ground against it, and onto this they tied several lengths of rope and descended down a shaft of grey metal to what surely lie below: the Temple of Ages That Are Not.

A soft humming noise warbling up from the ground below, and a sound like clicking echoes in the air. An even light suffuses all and casts no shadows. All surfaces of wall, floor, and ceiling a metal with an oily sheen. Inside a space with the dimensions of a great cube.

In the center of this room another cube, of pale metal. Atop this another cube, of what seems like glass. A shining thing crawls around the base of this at a high speed, one similar in form to those seen previously.

Gerald gazed upon the walls, which were inscribed with odd markings. Loops, lines, and circles unlike any language he had ever seen. After some pondering he thought they conveyed a poetic sense of certain ideas. “CONTAIN, HOLD, SHIELD, HALT”, These notions came into his mind.

In each corner of this chamber a small circle protrudes from the floor: one of red, one green, one blue, and one white.

In turn the adventurers pressed each of them.

Upon pressing the blue Nasr saw an otherwise featureless patch of the wall up above him slide back and away, and out floated another metallic creature which then patrolled the edges of the ceiling.

Edith found herself surrounded by a soft glow in the shape of a large egg upon pressing down the red one, and through this nothing could pass. Not her hand, not the hand of one outside it, and not even one breath of air. She began to panic, and pressed it once again. A soft glow in the shape of a larger egg now surrounded the first one.

The green button was pressed, and the great pale metal cube lowered itself into the ground, vanishing somehow and leaving the glass one undisturbed. Edith continued to choke.
The blue was depressed once again, and her barriers vanished as she gasped for air.

Edoni stepped onto the white button, the subtle edges of the glass cube were no more. A yellow-purple haze filled the area surrounding the cube for but a moment before a whooshing noise pulled this strange gas up into a series of holes in the ceiling. There was a clattering sound as the silvery object within hit the floor.

Nasr approached it carefully, avoiding the clattering thing that still patrolled the edges of where the cube once stood. A silver box, nearly two feet wide and one foot high and long. It was covered with countless small cylinders of varying sizes, with a tangle of metallic and silver tubes dangling from the bottom.

He reached out to touch it, and a extraordinary redness filled the vision of all for a moment, expanded outward through the room from the point where Nasr touched the object and radiating outward through the walls.

The humming and clicking had ceased, and Nasr detached the object from the tubing and looked it over. He thought it might be worth six thousand silver, give or take. It was quite a remarkable curio.

In the center of the walls to the east and west were openings that went from floor to ceiling, and provided passage to another region of the temple.

They went to the west.

A massive disc in the floor, and above it a sphere floating, its appearance like a smoke filled marble and  its size 50 feet across. A great silver cylinder levitating above this sphere, and in each corner a dark metallic cone.
There was a great and terrible noise, like the cataclysm of all cataclysms. Felt more than heard, but painful to the ears and disturbing to the soul itself, there was a flash of white light throughout the chamber.

“Smidge? What the fuck is this? This ain’t filled with salvage! Where the fuck are we”
“Whoa, holy shit!”

Four filthy people stood now before them, bedecked in dark leather and wearing strange assemblages of torn metal and chain. They carried what appeared to be sorts of arquebus or pistol, but rusted and made primarily of tubes and strips of shiny black. Some carried canisters of some kind around the waist.

Nasr flung an explosive device at them, and one of these strange people was grievously wounded upon its detonation. Another responded by flinging a canister towards Nasr, and this cracked open upon the ground and spilled out a sizzling liquid.

Gerald then unleashed the spell taught to him by the Clerics of the Edo faith, through his dead companion Gerald, called The Holy Hammer. This magic tore up and rewove the recent past, and so in fact Nasr never threw his explosive device at anyone.

Attempts at conversation were made with these people, but they seemed to understand nothing. They seemed incredulous when told about the ocean, and spoke of “Arroyo Flats” and other words which meant very little to the others.

They said they would go into another room instead, and leave the adventurers be. Nasr gave them the silver box they had found as an expression of goodwill, and they were on their way.

Now without distractions, Edoni approached one of the dark cones. There was a hissing sound, and a pinkish smoke filled the air above it. This billowed towards him and rushed into his nostrils.
Edoni then found himself along the bank of a jungle river, the air silent and humid. He was alone.

Alone except for the great hippo across the river. It saw him, a glint reflecting off the necklace about its massive tusk. It began to plow through the waters, towards him with its mouth gaping and a screaming gurgle roaring from its throat. Edoni turned face and ran, only to collide with a tree.

The rest saw him gasp in terror, then turn around and sprint into the wall.
Edith inhaled the pink mist too, once it emerged from the cone she approached and engulfed her too.
She was in the marketplace now, and the sun was hot and unrelenting. It was all but empty, save for a great tent that had been erected in the center. The tent was opulent, beautful. In its entrance stood the emblem of all that was most loathsome to her, and she despised it.
Ah yes hello! How good to see you!”

She cried out, “No!” to the vile Slug.

“I wish to present you with a most unique and wondrous opportunity, a chance to become a sales representativ-”

“Never!” she screamed, and she ran.

“It is an open offer!” it gurgled, loathsomely.

She found herself now in a sort of wide plaza, and there were children running about her. A group of four, they screamed and laughed as they played. Great birds flew about above her, a small cloud of twittering birds. This is was a nice place, far from the Slug.

There was a lovely fountain before her, and she approached it. She reached towards the cool water inside it.

Outside of her hallucinatory experiences, Edith was in fact within the chamber that lie beyond the one she had inhaled the gas in. On the ceiling above a six-legged creature scuttled and spewed freezing liquids on the panicked scavengers below, the ones who had emerged moments ago from the great flash of light. In the center of this room stood a cylinder, with Edith before it.

Edith was reaching into this transparent cylinder, formed out of a membrane of shimmering light. Its icy coldness stung her fingers, and as her hand passed through it a great ball of flame erupted into the air across the room. These flames charred Smidge, the female leader of the scavengers, to a crisp. She fell to the ground, and Edith ran to her now freed of the hallucination. Smidge was dead.

The two remaining scavengers were firing their rifles at the thing on the ceiling, to little effect. Nasr then stepped into the chamber and aimed his rifle, and after his shot landed true the scavengers followed up with shots of their own, and the beast soon fell from the ceiling with a resounding clang.

Edoni felt the Hippos breath upon him, as it began to cackle and scream in a human voice. He rose and ran, ran like he never had before. In reality he ran himself across the room, and once again into the unyielding metal walls. He fell to the ground now finally freed of his illusion.

Gerald, meanwhile, had felt his body become unresponsive after inhaling a different fume which escape from a different cone. Upon recovering from this his vision was suddenly overcome by the same horrifying crash and brightness he had witnessed some moments before.

“My god, the foul magic of this place has drawn us back! The doppelgangers! They are here! We’ll never escape again!”

This was all shouted in Gerald's voice, from what appeared to be Gerald. This Gerald stood before Gerald, with what seemed to be Nasr, Edith, and Edoni next to him. They looked different though, subtly. Slightly older, and Gerald was covered in sores as well. They were unhappy to be here, it seemed.

This other Nasr threw down some sort of explosive, startling Gerald. Gerald drew his pistol in response, and shot him. This other Edoni then did something most dissimilar to the one familiar to Gerald, and uttered an arcane incantation.
As he finished speaking these words the thing he called forth was Summoned, and erupted into this world.
An unbearable stench filled the room, after which a monumental column of compacted feces rose up from the floor until it reached the ceiling, with a circumference like a windmill. It’s surface radiated a blue web of electricity, and an unearthly grumble of discontent gurgled forth from it. This was a vast and terrible thing far greater than what this other Edoni had intended, and he gasped in terror before his eyes rolled back into his skull as he raised his hands and wrapped them around this other Edith's throat, strangling her as he screamed in rage, enslaved by a heap of shit.

Edoni rose from the floor and withdrew the Wand of Atrocity, not used since long before they had entered the plateau. He directed it towards the other Nasr, and in an instant the edges of skin around his gunshot wound peeled open wider, pulling back and around him as his contents were pulled out in with wet ripping sound and the cracking of all his bones. He erupted into a cloud of meaty specks and bone fragments, splattering the area in a fine coating of body fluids.

The Scavengers screamed and began firing their rifles into the fecal column, each shot splattering into the side of it without causing much visible damage. A great bolt of lightning leapt from the side of the column onto one of the scavengers, and in an instant all hair was singed from his body and his heart singed inside of his chest and fell silent.

The other Gerald took in these horrors and proceeded to sprint towards the great sphere of smoke in the center of the room. “My god, the portal still exists!”, he exclaimed while he threw himself into it, falling into it like it were an open doorway.

Gerald followed after, then Edoni. In the other chamber Nasr scrambled out and towards it, dragging Edith along with him. They all ran across the great disc towards the sphere, with strange gases pouring out from the cones and the vast column of filth about to turn its ill intentions towards them as well.

The four of them then tumbled through a smoke filled void that was at first scentless and cold, but became warm and heady. Without warning they found themselves suddenly oriented upwards, standing in bowl of a vast valley. The ground was a dusty pinkish color, with silvery leaves. The sky was a pale green, and in the distance what looked like a great forest of colossal mushrooms could be seen.
Edoni and Gerald recalled this place vividly.

They approached the ruined tower, still freezing in the green slime pit. They carefully avoided the ruinous violet, and retrieved several unknown orbs from the safer pits. They examined the caves, and found nothing living in them. It seems that their previous rampage had denuded the place of all life.

While resting in the darkness of those caves to recover from their myriad injuries they all realized that their new semi-vegetal forms could draw no sustenance from the strange light of this land, and they had best leave or risk starvation. Gerald recalled that he still carried mushrooms gathered here, and devoured them in an attempt to nourish himself.

His consciousness dissolved into wild visions for a time, and he then felt his body start to lose its vitality as it filled with an unnatural strength. His skin became greyish, mottled, and dotted with what resembled small fungus. Every several hours he hallucinated feverishly, and his condition worsened. Regardless, they all knew they had best flee back to somewhere else as soon as they were able. Though he and Edoni were able to keep this strange illness from reaching a fatal point through use of the spell of Palliation they discovered so long ago at the Temple restored by the warrior Qian, but Geralds’ fate seemed destined to be a bad one.

The Tower of Bones that once transported them back to Khirima still stood, and they walked through it once again. The bones whispered sad tales of men who trusted outsiders, which is leading to the ruination of their whole society, of families and children crushed under tumbling boats, and wayward Germans torn in half by crocodiles.

They stepped through, and tumbled through smoke and haze once again to step out into that familiar plaza.
They were now the first human beings in all of history to have entered the plateau and then exited it miraculously alive, although they had no silver or other treasures to show for it.

Unsure of the current attitudes regarding outsiders, they went to the marketplace concealed under cowls and hoods. They had decided they must return to the plateau and the temple, as they spoken of destroying the Temple with the Druid.

Then there was a great commotion in the marketplace, all attention was drawn towards the skies.

A great winged beast glided high above, through the air. A beast of the plateau, though only a few understood that.

Nasr looked towards the high ridges of the plateau, and saw great wafting clouds of odor drifting outwards from there, where they had been held once before.

The barrier was no more.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Myrmex Explorers

From somewhere on Tumblr.
The Myrmex are tremendous ants, the size of men, with androgynous human faces. They speak in a sing-sing voice with a flat affect, and speak all the languages of men (Myrmex seen in France speak French, those found in Mongolia speak Mongolian, and so on). If asked how or why they know these languages they will seem irritated, as it is simply their language that they are speaking. How is it that you speak the language of the Myrmex? They will ask.

They have emerged from the earth in search of resources, as a great subterranean disaster has devastated their source of food. They are an omnivorous species, but preferentially mostly carnivores. They had kept humans like cattle, a much differently developed kind of human at least, very similar to how some ants keep aphids as livestock. Surface humans are like wild horses to the Myrmex, or feral cattle to be precise.

From here.
Myrmex explorers will never reveal their true feelings towards humans, as they have dealt with humans of a sort for many thousands of years already. They know humans are clever and suspicious creatures, and must be manipulated with guile and subtlety. The Myrmex are not represented in any human folklore, as the event which has brought these few to the surface has never occurred before (or at least for many eons).

The Myrmex ones might encounter are brave explorers, fearless travelers to a new world on a desperate quest to survive great disaster. They are seeking out a densely populated area, so that they might feed their starving citizens and royalty, and acquire new breeding stock. An army of Myrmex lie hidden in wait near the mouth of a gaping tunnel deep into the earth, but only an isolated few scouts have been sent forth to explore, while the rest of the starving horde defend this one entrance to the kingdom. The advance scouts will notify this army when the time is right for them to emerge en masse.

The Myrmex communicate on a deeper and more complex level than human language can ever hope to achieve through the use of  pheromones, which they secrete from glands all over their bodies. These pheromones are detectable by the human nose as unusual odors, but their meaning will only be understood through careful observation.

The Myrmex guide and influence each other with these scents, transmitting a complex melange of attitudes and ideas through odor alone. Situational moods and expectations, even complex biases and stances on moral issues can be delivered this way.

They have a communal yet individualistic personality. The first lone Myrmex might seem dull and simple, or even stupid. It could be easily ambushed or tricked, and easily duped or misled. The next might be the same, or be a bit sharper, and any next even more so. They adapt to their environment as a group, by sending information through the air. Eventually they all behave in the way which is most effective.

A Myrmex might say it simply seeks human to trade with, and behave as if it is simply normal in this area to make commerce with enormous ants. It might say it simply seeks to study humans from afar, and requires protection and scouts to assist it. It might even claim it wishes to begin diplomatic relations with the humans, and so must be brought to the largest city possible.

A stupider Myrmex might simply behave as if it were a harmless oddity. One that is very well travelled, and having learned from the scents of many others, might claim to be a human who has been changed by terrible magic and must be brought to a nearby city to seek restoration. The first lone Myrmex might greet any Adventurers it sees enthusiastically, so it might manipulate them. It might have knowledge of some nearby underground realm filled with glittering baubles, it might carry lumps of silver in a satchel on it’s back, it might ask for their help. It might offer to use its great strength to carry a heavy load for the Adventurers, in exchange for their help and guidance.

If it identifies them as helpful it will mark them with a scent, and this scent will call forth an additional Myrmex (with a 1 in 6 chance of success, increasing by 1 each day). This additional Myrmex will arrive in a day or so, typically seen standing in camp once morning arrives. Each Myrmex will emit the same scent, but not all will be successful at calling forth a companion. Eventually there might be a small crowd of Myrmex following along with the adventurers, or perhaps hanging back in hiding.

It will have a very similar personality to the other Myrmex, almost like a twin. The personality they all develop will be whichever one appeals to the humans they are interacting with most. If this is mirthful, or morose, or mysterious all depends upon the reactions of the humans. The reasons for additional Myrmex appearing will reflect this as well.

Another refugee has found us!  Praise fortune!
A fellow scholar has joined us friends.
Lo, you are a great friend to us and so fortune smiles upon you by bringing up another fellow traveler!
Hello! New friend here!

One Myrmex might be encountered along the road and left to be as it goes along its way. Then another might be encountered, and it will be communicative in a way that directly appeals to the adventurers. The first one might be met again later, and now have the appealing personality of the first.

If the first Myrmex is killed a different scent will be released, and several more will be called. They might ambush the adventurers and try to subdue them, leaving only a survivor or two to threaten, torment, and extract information from. They might be understanding, or simply ignore that one of their own was killed. Their ultimate goal supersedes any individual quibbles or issues with what occurs before them.

Once they are brought relatively close to a densely populated area they will work in unison to emit a great summoning stench, and convoke the waiting horde. When this horde arrives there will be a most hideous bloodbath, with a great many humans devoured and many others dragged away screaming to the underground world of the Myrmex. Most all structures will be torn apart and destroyed, and the Myrmex will leave no witnesses as best they can. After this they will vanish forever, or at least a few millennia until some great disaster brings them forth again.

From somewhere here.

  • Their front two legs have tiny claws, which give them very rudimentary “hands”, and their teeth are surprisingly very sharp. In addition to this they are very, very strong. In combat they prefer to subdue an opponent using Wrestle, and then gnaw them to death.
  • Myrmex attempting to bribe or hire human guides might carry a pouch with small treasures, perhaps silver ore or gemstones. Some might try to hunt them using this method, and the Myrmex might provide victims so that these Myrmex hunters could lead them as a whole back to civilization.

  • If their antenna are lopped off they become incredibly disoriented (as if affected by Confusion). Clever use of the eviscerated remains of another can have a similar effect.
  • Myrmex can always “follow the trail” of another Myrmex, and might also be confused by false trails created with bits of another.
  • All Myrmex in the same general area (less than an entire hex, but within more or less visual distance of each other) are essentially “psychic” and of one mind, due to the information shared via pheromones.

  • A Myrmex that attacks will emit a certain scent, and a friendly one will emit a different scent than that. Careful scrutiny of the miasma surrounding a myrmex might reveal their hidden intentions, or provide some kind of warning or clue.
  • It would take a remarkable amount of stench to cover up any scents emitted by a Myrmex, but it is possible. Great heaps of flowers, or noxious fires of waste, or great vats of boiling manure are all possibilities.

  • Once the Myrmex are brought to densely populated area they will spend most of the day in a stupor emitting the Beacon Scent. They are sluggish and almost defenseless while they do this, but if attacked will “awaken” and defend themselves viciously. They will have many novel excuses for this behavior if interrogated.
  • For each Myrmex that emits the Beacon Scent there is a 1 in 10 chance the Horde will detect it, reducing by one each day. They will wait until there is a 0 in 10 chance before trying again, as it is quite taxing for them to create this odor. The horde will arrive in as many days as it took the Myrmex to travel there once it encountered the Adventurers (minus detours), + 1d10 days.

  • In case of hopeless siege defense, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of them. They arrive in a wave of 1d4d20, then 2d100 each hour after that. The total population that will invade is 1d10d100+1d100, if you want to be exact.

  • If one watches for the odd smells it is actually quite difficult for a Myrmex to hide, or ambush.
  • Due to the strength of personality that all Adventurers possess, their arrival could cause a group of Myrmex to radically change in personality.
  • Scents will “stick” to adventurers for 1d3 day, unless they make a very concerted effort to remove them. If they do this the next Myrmex to encounter them will perhaps try a new personality, or be somewhat “flat” until it figures them out.
  • Once the army is summoned they are a screaming, cackling horse of vicious monsters, and the pretense of personality is abandoned.
  • If invading a particularly large city, they might gather in a group of 100 or so before becoming hostile.
  • Much of their scent marking is left in the ground, so barriers of chalk and other sorts of markings might be able to confuse them.

Armor 15, 3 Hit Dice, Movement 150’ Ground, 1 Attack.
May bite for 1d6, or Wrestle. +2 to Wrestling (in addition to Hit Die Bonus, so +5 total). If Wrestling is successful the victim will be Immobilized, then will receive an automatic Bite on the next turn and each turn after.

Morale 9.
Roll Morale at first injury and at half health.
Depending on the emergent personality of the Myrmex it may do a variety of things on a failed Morale roll, such as beg for mercy, fight to the death, flee in terror, take a live hostage, or even commit suicide by throwing itself off a cliff. A Scent is automatically released in this situation.

Scents: A Myrmex will release a noticeable and distinct odor in a variety of situations. A scent will call forth 1 Myrmex, 1d6+1 Myrmex, or be the Beacon Scent which calls forth them all. All odors except the Beacon Scent call up nearby scouts, who arrive in 1d4 days. Use the following table to determine the components of this odor. A lone Myrmex might do the Beacon Scent alone, but it would much prefer to have assistance.

Myrmex Miasma
Roll 1d8 for each column.
Brown sugar
Maple syrup
Fresh Rain
Foul Breath

Hostility: Ethanol, Cloves, & Vinegar. Smelt when a Myrmex lies in ambush, or is about to attack despite friendly appearances.
Friendliness: Ammonia, Brown Sugar, & Fresh Rain. Smelt when Myrmex mean no harm to the Adventurers, or are genuinely trying to be helpful. Calls up another Myrmex in 1d4 days.
The Beacon Scent:  Chlorine, Brown Sugar, & Soap. The scent that lingers over the area the Myrmex intend to call their army to.
Fear:  Sulfur, Cinnamon, & Soap. The scent of a Myrmex that realizes the adventurers are a true threat.
Battle: Gasoline, Maple Syrup, & Sawdust: the smell of the approaching Myrmex army.
Alarm: Chlorine, Almonds, & Blood. If a Myrmex is captured and wishes to bring in reinforcements. These will arrive in 1d4 days, and attempt to ambush.


Nothing, or some rough minerals or gems and raw silver worth 1d6 x 100SP. Possibly other items, scavenged from other humans.

Possible Encounters
  • The Adventurers arrive in a town where they find a most bizarre sight: a trio of tremendous ants with the faces of men, who hold court in the village square telling bawdy jokes dispensing odd witticisms. There is a strange smell in the air.
  • The Adventurers encounter a lone Myrmex several days after they depart from a moderately sized township. It tries to persuade them to lead it to this place.

  • The Adventurers have been experimenting with Alchemy, and now there is rumor of tremendous ants seen in the countryside after a great cloud of stinking gas was created.

  • Deep within some tunnels or pits the Adventurers encounter a lone Myrmex, who promises them a much greater treasure should they choose to help it.

  • The Adventurers arrive in the city only to be surprised to find that it is being devoured by man-sized ants. Most unfortunate!
  • There are rumors of tremendous ants seen far off in the countryside. If one were killed and brought back there is a handsome reward. What if it were brought back alive?

  • A wounded Myrmex, telling a false tale of woe and misery of it and its’ human friends who were killed by bandits who have fled.

  • Wandering in a strange land, the Adventurers encounter this most unusual creature. They kill it, but then see another a few days later.

These might be a lot more fun for your players if you let them act on information they have that their characters "wouldn't know" about ants and ant behavior.