Svinifrilijihirim, Gnome City built around an arcane university

Svinifrilijihirim, Gnome City built around an arcane university

This morning I saw the following video:

And if you like that video, he has a patreon worth checking out.

Inspired, I jumped onto Affinity Designer and got started with the word GNOME, all jumbled up.

The letters to the word, Gnome, jumbled up so I can make a city as detailed in the video above.

I had an old blog post about Underground Cities and always liked the Gnome city built around a university, Svinifrilijihirim.

The spaces between the jumbled letters above are colored in. It almost looks like a city. Almost.

Time to name the districts.

Walls and towers are around the city. The districts are named: 5 Towers University, Chalk District, Wizardtown, Prrenticetown, The 3 Hells, Little Anvil.

It is beginning to take shape. 5 Towers is an homage to a wizard-ruled city I had in a high fantasy game I attempted to run with Ars Magica as an undergrad.

Walls and towers are around the city. The districts are named: 5 Towers University, Chalk District, Wizardtown, Prrenticetown, The 3 Hells, Little Anvil.

TEXT: Svinifrilijihirim /Deeptown Svinifrilijihirim is a gnomish city founded so deep under the ground that planar travel is often necessary to find it.  It is sometimes called Deeptown and is governed by a powerful council of wizards. Svinifrilijihirim is perfect for doing research, finding tutoring or gaining formal wizard training. It does boast the underdeep's only Bard College, attached to the wizard's university that is home to one of the finest libraries in the underdeep, rivaled only by Kitji-Naal and Endë-Osto.

Exports: Wizards-for-hire, Bards-for-hire, magic items, alien gems, gates to other worlds, spell components, gnomish inventions

I wanted to flesh out the districts.

The five towers were the first buildings erected when this city was founded by five ambitious wizards long before the Elvish Civil War. They built the university and the city around that. The founding wizard's tombs were built in caverns, mushroom forests and waterfalls all around the city.
Today the university is known for educating the finest wizards and bards. The wizards go on to erect their own towers in the farthest reaches of the worlds, counsel governments, invent spells and gathering the most famous heroes to their adventuring fellowships. The bards go on to become the most adept spies, wise tutors and dynamic entertainers.
But the university can be an institution without pity. The streets of Deeptown have their share of lost former students, for whom a structured education in the Gnomish arcane tradition does not resonate.
5 Towers is almost a city within the city, with its own guard, laws and judicial system.
The five wizards, known as Tower Mages or Pentadi, set the tone for their college. There are traditional schools of magic but as new Pentadi take over, the university's philosophy of magical categorization can change over time as our understanding about how arcane laws change.
3 Hells is named for the 3 clans of Devil-folk, among the first refugees to find safety in Deeptown within the first century of its founding. Now 3 Hells' three largest populations are a noble-house-in-exile of Starless Elves, humans from a broken world and Forged-folk who left a world that did not consider them sapient beings. The tennement houses that folk who live in this district (often called Hellers or Trins) call home are a diverse mix of cultures and customs.
The neighborhood is very proud of its first Pentadi taking up residence in one of the university's five towers. Grishnali the Summoner grew up among the neighborhood's feuding Devil-folk and earned a coveted spot as a student in 5 Towers University. She is known for giving back to the community and is a major force behind the current peace between the 3 founding clans of Devil-folk who have been feuding since the neighborhood's founding.
Little Anvil is a one fortified castle with every aspect of Dwarven Society within its walls. There is a craft guild, a bank, a mercenary company and several mining operations. As agreed when the castle's foundation was first laid, almost fifty years ago, the guilds and companies hire from all over the city. This policy was enacted in hopes that Dwarven crafts would spread throughout the city's districts but that has not quite been the result.
The craft guild is an umbrella guild representing gem-cutting, masons and smiths. The bank is the most stable financial institution in Deeptown with investments and loans all over the city. The mercenary company is carefully regulated, never having more than three dozen armed soldiers in the city at any one time and with a percentage of any money earned going into the city's coffers; the company is known for its adept warmages. Critics say Deeptown profits from conflict and political instability elsewhere in the underdeeps.
As a neighborhood it is more walled off and isolated than the self-important university or affluent Wizardtown but pieces of Little Anvil's cultural touchstones make their way into the rest of the city - from finely carved gargoyles to seemingly bottomless pots of goat stew at many inns and pubs.
The Chalk district is where university students and wizards' apprentices live in ramshackle affordable housing. Cafe tables and some pub walls are made of a locally quarried slate so that students with chalk can jot down arcane equations and proofs.
Most residents of this district don't stay long, either graduating to Prenticetown or leaving Deeptown all together once their desired level of education and training is achieved. As a result, the only long term residents are bartenders, baristas, building superintendents and tutors.
This district ebbs and flows with the university's academic calendar. During tests and exams, tensions can reach a fever pitch. During university breaks, the district can seem like a ghost-town. When new learning periods begin, the streets are like a carnival as the students exude their hope and excitement.
When university students make the decision to continue their studies and become wizards with their own tome and wand, they inevitably end up in Prenticetown. Once a mercantile district full of warehouses, the buildings have become repurposed into housing with arcane laboratories. Due to the apprentice's more independent learning, they are less tied to any academic calendar. This district has a flourishing cadre of artists who are highly educated and often radically angry.
There is a new class of arcane practitioner growing in Prenticetown, a user of magic who don't find success in the university system and are creating their own networks of support and education. It is only a matter of time before Prenticetown creates its own institution of learning, a kind of revolutionary reaction to 5 Towers.
Wizardtown is an affluent series of cottages, towers and manors inhabited by well-to-do arcane practitioners and magic-users. There is a main avenue ,Staff and Tome Street, cuts a jagged line across the district; it is cobblestoned in a series of beautiful mosiacs depicting history's finest arcane discoveries.
The City Guard stay clear of the affluent district, allow the wizards' personal security forces and powerful wards to keep the peace. Some of the most powerful wizards in existence have homes here, so they have somewhere to stay when they are doing research in the university's amazing libraries.
Honey Fungus Street was not ony any map, named for a mushroom beloved by one of the city's first architects and city planners. When a fire started by a rambunctious student cleared away the buildings from this series of side-alleys, the rebuilding was delayed again and again due to a disagreement between the city and university governments about who was to pay for what. In that time, the Honey Fungus Street Market took hold and the rebuilding never occurred.
Now the market is a labyrinth of stalls and hastily erected tents where one can find any number of mundane foodstuff, arcane ingredients needed for potions and alchemy alongside virtuoso buskers and street performers. The market is the one place where everyone in the city rubs shoulders, where the arch-mage and the cutthroat and the tomb robber might listen to a fey-blooded violinist play a heart-breaking ballad on the edge of a gurgling city fountain.
Deeptown is nestled in a cyclopean cavern in the underdeeps. Keeping the city safe are not only wards but walls erected by mighty earth elementals.
Building a tower is serious business in a city governed by wizards. Only in Wizardtown, and even then only rarely, has the city's government issued the permits necessary to build a tower. The last such permit was issued almost a thousand years ago. Even purchasing a tower or living within one comes with close governmental scrutiny.
1 Mage's Gate
2 Merchant's Gate
3 Hammer's Gate
4 Axe's Gate
5 Exodus Gate
6 Scholar's Gate
7 Arch-Mage's Gate

I’d want to write up some questions about the setting.

What civil strife occurs when revolutionaries in Prenticetown put up their own tower?

When will the Little Anvil mercs attempt to take over the city?

Who in Wizardtown is going to get the next permit to erect their tower?

What will break the peace between the Devil-folk clans?

That is a fun bunch of color but I’m not sure I have the tools to play just yet. If I was going to run a game in this setting, I’d make a few d6 tables so I could roll 3d6 and make a quick 3 word inspiration tables for a quick student, quick apprentice, quick wizard, quick locals, quick refugees, quick Devil-folk. I’d write up the Pentadi and think about what they are studying.

But considering I watched a video about making a fast city on Sunday morning, this is a fine, fast way to flesh out a city that has been rattling around in my head for years.

Kill Acererak 5: Afterglow Spending, Building and Partying

Kill Acererak 5: Afterglow Spending, Building and Partying

In which the Sigil 6 spend a dragon’s hoard in Greyhawk, Faerun and Sigil.

The Sigil 6 have just KILLED ACERERAK.

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Shepherd what have they been up to?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

We discussed the party breaking out in the Free City of Greyhawk.

“How do people know?”

“The gods tell their priests and the priests tell the people. ‘For the next 6 days let us celebrate the end of the archlich, Acererak.'”

We didn’t play the party as much as discussed it. Rival opera houses, someone sticking their phallus in the chocolate fountain, Lord Silverfox’s manor burning to the ground.

The group decided they’d find and fund a Greyhawk 7, an adventuring party to carry on the Sigil 6 tradition in this world. Maybe we’ll play a game with these characters when someone can’t make it.

In Port Nyenzaru they founded a bank with half of their dragon’s hoard, headed by Tefnek’s sister, a capable assassin turned Merchant Prince. We’re going to read over old Dungeonomics articles and again, a fun adventure possibility if not everyone can attend – playing bad-asses defending their bank that is investing in Chult.

It felt like we were putting the epilogue in Book 1 and we’re heading into the final book. I’d like to get more into some in-the-character’s-boots playing and creative problem solving.

Quarace, the team’s handler, went ahead to the Radiant Citadel before them. I’ll write up a letter from her about the different worlds orbiting the citadel and we’ll jump in next game.

Next Game: The Sigil 6 will arrive at the Radiant Citadel

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

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Githyanki/Red Dragon Lore

Githyanki/Red Dragon Lore

This bit of obscure bit of lore concerning the pact between the Red Dragons and the Githyanki dates back to Tiamat’s Red Dragon consort and the Gith’s original rebellion against the Illithid.

TEXT (glowing blueish): Githyanki/Red Dragon Lore

PIC: Lava on the background and silver sword under the text.

After serving a term with the Lich Queen’s Righteous Air Cavalry, a Red Dragon can request the service of a Legion of Githyanki soldiers. In order to make this request, the Red Dragon must either come to Vlakkith’s court on the city of Tu’Narath or give a trusted servant their proxy and send them to the Githyanki city, floating in the Astral Plane on the corpse of a dead god.

The length of the Legion’s service depends on how valorously the dragon served during their time with the Githyanki armed forces. Some simply request the Legion guards them during one of their long slumbers. Others want to use the Legion to destroy an enemy or conquer a continent. It is not unknown for the visiting Legion to take careful intelligence on the world in the Prime Material while they serve the Red Dragon and return later to conquer it with gates set up in spots perfect for military conquest.

The infamous Igneous Trinity, served together in the Righteous Air Cavalry and coordinated their times being served by Legions to take over their world, which they still rule from an impregnable fortress built between 3 volcanoes in the middle of a boiling ocean. Another request from an adult Red, the Scarlet Lady, did not bring a Legion to their world at all but obtained centuries of training for their kobold servants, who are now a feared fighting force on their world, taking whatever treasure their Lady fancies.

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Kill Acererak 4: Dragonslayers & Lich-destroyers

Kill Acererak 4: Dragonslayers & Lich-destroyers

In which the Sigil 6 slay a Black Dragon and dissolve Acererak’s Soul Jar in the dragon’s acidic drool.

PIC: The Free City of Greyhawk's heraldry surrounded by vines.

TEXT: The Sigil 6 are in a nameless bog just east of the Free City of Greyhawk. They have made this journey to... KILL ACERERAK.

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Shepherd what have they been up to?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

When the Sigil 6 gathered in Sigil to share a magical meal created by Shepherd, their Cleric, they had no way of knowing that this last merry meal would offer a magical effect, making them immune to fear effects, would make what could have been a difficult battle much easier.

They had no reason to know that Acererak had arranged to have Āeksio hen lōz Tegun (the King of the Swamp in Old Valyrian) lair in the archlich’s tomb so that any who came here to attempt to destroy its Soul Jar would have to contend with a dragon and its kobolds.

Aeksio hen lōz Tegun lasted 1.5 rounds. The Sigil 6 was on point. Crits were rolled, good decisions were made and the dragon’s kobold guards did not make it in time. Bugwump stuck the final blow, though he was reticent to take on any fancy titles like dragonslayer or the King of the Swamp.

Orune, their wizard friend from the Free City of Greyhawk, died in the battle. Shepherd raised dead, using a diamond from the dragon’s hoard. I asked Shepherd’s player to describe the hour-long ritual and he did so, offering vivid details. He described the diamond, placed on the wizard’s brow disappearing.

I said, “You can see a pale, ashen angel of death with black bone wings taking the diamond and putting it in a satchel, filled with such diamonds. From the satchel on its other hip, it took out Orune’s soul and put it back in his body. ‘We have watched you and your friends face down death time and time again. Know that from here on out your enemies will grow far more dangerous…’

“In-game, that totally happens. Out of game, I’m going to make an effort to make the combat encounters a bit more difficult. I’m not going to be a jerk about it but I’m going to try to raise up the challenge level a touch.”

I’ve asked some strategic minded friends to join a small FB group to help me brainstorm about these kinds of fighty encounters. I’m not frustrated the the players won. I wonder if I could have made some of these fight encounters a more fun challenge.

How are we counting up the dragon hoard? Like this:

Text:
	The coins you swept off the blood-stained floor coated with acid, pryed from the scales of the dragon's corpse and dragged out of the swamp are not only coins. They are a catalogue of civilizations destroyed by the dragon’s greed. Spending this kind of ancient coinage attracts attention. Your dreams have been strange since acquiring it, as if the dragon's arcane blood has seeped into the gold.
	When you spend money from the the Dragon's Hoard, tell the DM what you want to buy and in what marketplace you are trying to purchase this item. The DM will set a DC if it is possible to find such a thing in the marketplace. If not, the DM will let you know who the merchants' gossip networks say might have such an item or a map to a tomb where such an item could be found. If the item is common, the DM might just ask you to check off a gold coin or two (maybe three if it is really opulent) without a roll.
	When you roll, mark a gold piece off of the fortune below. You may add +1 for every gold piece you mark off of the fortune.
	If you succeed, you purchase the item without a problem.
	If you fail the roll the player may choose to take on the Dragon Greed:
•	Spending from a dragon's hoard puts one in touch with terrible greed. The character becomes obsessed with whatever they purchase.
Or the DM will choose one more more:
•	you draw attention from a dangerous faction
•	purchase an item/service that has a complication attached to it
•	the merchant demands an exchange of services, wanting the skills that adventurers are known to possess.
	1 Gold Coin = 1 month room & board in most cities for 6 adventurers.
	
Dragon Rampant and 10 rows of 4 gold coins to check off.

Next Game: The Sigil 6 will party, from the Free City of Greyhawk to Sigil and deal with some of the fallout of their amazing actions.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

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What is the Dragon up to? a mini-Hex Flower

What is the Dragon up to? a mini-Hex Flower

Playing a bit with this Hex Flower idea. Here’s a thing in case you need to keep track of what a dragon is up to and want the dice to add a bit of chaos spice. Maybe add +1 to the die rolls as the years and decades roll on if you want to get complicated.

Here’s a blank pdf and a blank png in case you’d like to make your own. If you find use for any of it, I’d love to hear how it shakes out at your table.

Have I overthought this a bit and possibly made it needlessly complicated? Maybe. To be honest, the designs I’m futzing with that use full-sized Hex Flowers are less complex with where the results lead from one hex to another. I am trying to figure out how to best present them. A video? A blog post with text and let them stand on their own? A blog post with a video? We’ll see.

Below is my response from Mastodon when I was asked how to use this thing:

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Kill Acererak 3: Just South of the Cairn Hills

Kill Acererak 3: Just South of the Cairn Hills

In which the Sigil 6 get to the Free city of Greyhawk and purchase a flying carpet to head to the swamps south of the Cairn Hills.

PIC: The Free City of Greyhawk's heraldry surrounded by vines.

TEXT: The Sigil 6 are in a nameless bog just east of the Free City of Greyhawk. They have made this journey to... KILL ACERERAK.

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Shepherd what have they been up to?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

They made solid rolls in getting out of the negacano, avoiding the 48 Days Later Frost Giants and the grasping undead hands. Gord the Rogue took them to a portal under a bridge that led to the Free City of Greyhawk. All they know is that in a swamp east of Greyhawk City is Acererak’s tomb – this is where they can destroy the lich’s Soul Jar.

Gord told them a bit about the Free City of Greyhawk…

The Free City of Greyhawk's heraldry surrounded by vines.

“Do you have any pterodactyls? Flying zebra? War Ravens? What is going on with this place?”

The Sigil 6 were not interested in hoofing it. They checked the harbor for flying ships and when they saw none they sought out other flying options.

They bought a flying carpet from a smug wizard from the Society of Magi for a small fortune from their Ravenloft Fortune. As they were leaving an earnest wizard who had had a run-in with a vampire wanted to know about the coin they used to purchase the carpet. Orune the young wizard hitched a ride with them. Everyone is trying to figure out, is Orune a Red Shirt or is he the survivor who shares the Sigil 6’s story with the world.

The Free City of Greyhawk's heraldry surrounded by vines.

A Roc came out of the clouds, grabbed a Froghemoth from the nearby swamp and fly northward to drop the creature against the hard rocks and eat the remains. They circled the skull hill within which was the Tomb of Horrors. One of the entrances was collapsed with adventurers’ corpses. There were discussions of using Rock to Mud to get into the tomb, digging until they hit a room. We had a few missing party members, so we decided to end there and start at the entrance to the tomb next week.

The Free City of Greyhawk's heraldry surrounded by vines.

Next Game: The Sigil 6 will enter the Tomb of Horrors.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

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Kill Acererak 2: The Knife, the Jar and the Eye

Kill Acererak 2: The Knife, the Jar and the Eye

In which the Sigil 6 find Acererak’s Soul Jar, hidden near the Eye of Vecna – also Lord Soth gains power and a gaggle of necromancers gain the resources they need to make wealth management plans so they can start thinking about saving for their retirement.

TEXT: Traversing the Shadowfell's coldest mountains, the Sigil 6 are attempting to KILL ACERERAK.

PIC: Black and White negative volcano

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Shepherd what have they been up to?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

With them help of Kuru’s abilities as an Arcane Trickster Rogue and Trundle’s abilities as a Ranger with levels as a Cleric of a God of Portals, the Sigil 6 made their way past the vicious Frost Giant clans whose mountain fortresses surround the archlich’s sanctum, a volcano in the Shadowfell that spews negative energy rather than lava.

Sword crossed with key subject divider

There were two gates, big enough to welcome a Frost Giant host in the side of the negacano. Shepherd communed with the Raven Queen to know that the doorway with the green limestone eyes was the true door and the doorway with thousands of green gems representing Acererak’s eyes as depicted on the gate’s carvings was the deathtrap. But even the true door had a Wraith Lord within it.

Jusko stepped up, with a dagger given to him from Lord Soth, as a way for the Knight of the Black Rose to find the fallen knight of House Hajek should he perish. Jusko invoked his noble background and addressed the wraith as a still-living king. “The Knight of the Black Rose is seeking you and your host.” I had him roll a Persuasion. It worked.

Why did this work? I’m thrilled you asked.

Sword crossed with key subject divider

Before the game, while eating dinner I grabbed an empty Hex Flower sheet I made ages ago. I set it up with 3 circles, with different resources the factions within Acererak’s mountain might fight to claim once they realized their Lich Lord was dead.

More on the Hex Flower tool here.

I rolled twice to see where each faction was – one roll for each day. Acererak’s wraiths, the Wyrmghasts, were on the verge of exodus, of deserting their posts just a day ago. The Wraith Lord was holding them in place by a slim margin and they still had the apprentices and ghouls to deal with. This was a powerful leader looking for a way out. The Hex Flower told me so. In walks this fallen knight with a token of The Death Knight in his hands and a promise of a way out.

I need a word for this, for those moments where the players gain something and then use it in ways you had never anticipated. Reincorporation, maybe? I don’t know. It is a thing and is always a source of delight.

Sword crossed with key subject divider

Hellewynne sniffed out the Soul Jar, having smelled the odd mix of alchemical agents and necromantic ritual items before. It was in an isolated crypt that none of the factions had attempted to go near. The door read, “My Greatest Rival.” They carefully dispelled the Power Word Kill trap and found a gauntlet holding the Eye of Vecna. A few spells let them know that the gauntlet was the Soul Jar, hidden next to a legendary and powerful necromantic artifact.

The group unloaded and ditched the vampire accountants they had been holding a portal hole since Gloomwrought and Mage Handed the items into said portable hole.

Sword crossed with key subject divider

Next Game: The Sigil 6 will try to get the Soul Jar to a swamp just outside of Greyhawk City – in a backwater Prime.

Meanwhile, Lord Soth just gained a host of wraithguards and the necromancer apprentices who followed Acererak will start thinking about investment opportunities.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

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Kill Acererak 1: Plans & Deals

Kill Acererak 1: Plans & Deals

In which the Sigil 6 decide to venture into the Shadowfell once more, this time in order to destroy Acererak forever.

TEXT: Traversing the Shadowfell's coldest mountains, the Sigil 6 are attempting to KILL ACERERAK.

PIC: Black and White negative volcano

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Shepherd what have they been up to?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

There was an hour of discussing what to do. They decided to use the 8 Lich’s Soul Jars as leverage to cut a deal with the Lich Congress, getting the Tomb That Walks off their trail and then doing their damnedest to get to where Acererak keeps his Soul Jar before he can come back.

The Lady of Pain brokered a meeting with Kaasary, the Herald of Orcus (thank goodness for the Fantasy Name Generator’s Lich Names) on a magic-dead area in the Maze. They agreed that they get the Tomb That Walks off their trail and the specific way to destroy Acererak’s Soul Jar. The Herals also agreed to notify them if they should learn that Acererak has reincorporated.

Sword crossed with key subject divider

Acererak’s Soul Jar is in a heavily trapped volcano in the Winterfell, a mountain that spews negative energy, not lava. The volcano is surrounded by tribes of oathbreaker Frost Giants who owe Acererak some ancient debt. Once they have the archlich’s Soul Jar, they’ll have to take it back to his home, a small Prime Material world. They were given a map to a swamp a few days journey from a city called Greyhawk.

The players are talking about using this item they received from a Gnomish Deity after a previous adventure.

Sword crossed with key subject divider

The Lady of Pain gave Trundle a blue-white rose with vicious thorns that was a key that opened a gate to a nearby mountain in the Shadowfell. Trundle wrapped it around his shield. Jusko buried a piece of broken amber from the golem they destroyed in Demi-Plane of Dread’s Amber Temple.

Sword crossed with key subject divider

Next Game: The long slog to Mount Acererak, a volcano spewing negative energy. They haven’t rested, not knowing when Acererak will reincorporate.

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

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The Tomb of Annihilation’s Revenge 6: Beheading Acererak

The Tomb of Annihilation’s Revenge 6: Beheading Acererak

In which the Sigil 6 used a Wish to avoid Death and then beheaded Acererak.

TEXT: Tomb of Annihilation's Revenge

PIC: Acererak's green-gem eyes looking down on the Lost City of Omu

Who are the Sigil 6 – Trundle, Helewynn, Bugwump, Kuru, Jusko and Shepherd what have they been up to?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

Acererak had a strong start. The group was bloodied. Bugwump had died from a Power Word Kill and the only thing that saved him was the ability to re-roll a Counterspell. I described the Pale Frog-Kin, an avatar of death from Bugwump’s homeland. “Are you Bugwump, of the Sigil 6?”

Bugwump signed and then flipped the avatar of death off as he went back to life to get another chance.

Then Jusko closed with the archlich. Trundle had closed with Acererak but hadn’t been able to land a shot.

Acererak attempted to use a paralysis touch ability but did not roll well enough to get by Jusko’s 24 AC. And Jusko rolled a nat 20 with a vorpal sword.

Acererak’s green gem eyes started to lose their glow but before they turned to dust they managed to say, “Well done. I will reform soon. We will see if you are so lucky next time.”

Sword crossed with key subject divider

The group looked into some nooks and crannies of the dungeon, found the library and did some research.

Shepherd cast Legend Lore to try and find Acererak’s Soul Jars and/or Lair. I’m thinking that ancient Omuan legendary warriors, folk who were far away from their home when Omu fell to Acererak tried to kill him and never returned.

Sword crossed with key subject divider

Next Game: You know where Acererak’s Lair is…now what?

Sigil 6 Subject Divider

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Why I think liches are assholes.

Why I think liches are assholes.

I don’t think liches are bad people because they have cheated death and subverted some kind of “natural order” of things or because Negative Energy has evil cooties. Eff all that.

Liches are shitty people because, to my mind and in the lore I have in my head, they have to destroy everything and everyone that they have ever loved in order to ritually gain immortality. They are the ultimate show of selfishness. They exemplify, my great work is more important than anyone. Liches believe that their minds and will can make the world better than every other person and so, after a while, they want only their minds and will to reign over a dead and decaying world.

A friend of mine said, “Maybe people who want all orcs to be evil just want to…ya know…punch Nazis.” How is the above post about liches different from All Orcs are Evil? I’ll tell ya. It is about nouns and verbs.

If people are evil because of what they are, because of a noun – you aren’t looking to punch fictional Nazis. You are looking to punch fictional Jews.*

*I don’t think the nouns and verbs idea is something I thought of. If I stole this line of thinking form you, please let me know and I’m sorry. Was it Mendez who said it? When I find it, I’ll cite it.

Liches aren’t assholes because their bones are showing or because their eyes shine with the lights of twin dead stars. Liches are evil because of verbs – because of the the things they do. The ritual to become a lich is filled with evil, selfish murderous acts. Verbs.

But it makes them great arcane villains. I love daring my friends to punch a lich right in their selfish, evil face.

Bird skulls on either side and a skull with plants in the middle

Art by Perplexing Ruins
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