Working on a thing for the Planarch Codex: a set of jobs that you can insert piecemeal into the ones available for your crew, to form essentially a Front going on in the background of Dis that you can choose to engage with or not, but that continues to develop until you get draw into it.
Short version: it’s about dragons being a disease vector.
THAT ANCIENT SERPENT
Nobody’s seen a real dragon in several centuries. However, there are a few families that keep practicing the dragon-slaying arts, teaching them to their children in case the wyrms ever return. But the siege weapons that were once used to bring down the great flying beast are all ancient and rusty. And with only 20+ people who know how to man them, half of them ancient themselves, and no officials manning their posts who know how to conduct a real quarantine after a dragon has been slain, nobody is ready for what’s about to happen.
Gravediggers and treasure seekers uncover part of a mummified dragon corpse deep beneath the sands of a distant desert plane, with the insides still fleshy and warm. Soon they are infected, turning into monstrous beast-men with mouths full of fangs and a hunger for flesh. Many of them flee into Dis and are slain in grisly street battles. Entire parishes are put to the torch and the sword, attempting to stop the spread, but it is too late. A few of the infected escape into the city’s alleyways and sewers, where their skin molts off and their true form emerges.
The dragon-slaying families go to work, their rusty skills now the only chance of halting the disease. But they are hampered at every turn by parish councilors and the Road Wardens, who are charged with preserving freedom of movement at all costs. When a dragon attacks the palace and is finally brought down, no quarantine is declared, even though its blood is everywhere. Soon the city is teeming with monsters.
Somebody’s going to have to put an end to this, and nobody but the old slayer families and a few enlisted allies can do it. But that will mean enforcing the quarantine on their own, including some of their brothers, sisters, and kinsmen who become infected over the course of their messy job. Hoo-rah.
(Cover image by the renowned dinosaur illustrator Jaime A. Headden, thought my layout is just a draft. I wanted a dragon based on actual pterosaur paleobiology and the result is, I hope you’ll agree, AMAZING.)
15 thoughts on “Working on a thing for the Planarch Codex: a set of jobs that you can insert piecemeal into the ones available for…”
Cool. Also, I want to snuggle that monster! He’s so cute.
I want this so hard. Where do I send the lucre and sucre?
Just because it is cute and has fur doesn’t mean it won’t hunt you across hundreds of miles and eat your face! See also: polar bears.
Speaking of Dis, what’s the word on the madness supplement?
I will never fear my widdle fuzzy wuzzy! You can’t make me.
I’ve been playing too much Monster Hunter lately, because I look at that and all I can see is a bird version of a Barioth.
Furry pterodactyl? I’m in.
Looks cool. I’m assuming the true forms are the dragons?
I have no particular speciation of ever playing this setting, but I am very happy that it exists.
Sean Dunstan rare flying bird wyvern.
Manual of Madness is still part of the plan. Just been delayed by real life. A lot of folks have written really cool stuff for it already and I need to start asking them for permission to use it.
The artist did mention he played some Monster Hunter, actually.
John Harper I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him and love him and call him George!
I’ve already started a quick campaign in this setting, but I think it will be too short for using this seed. I like it a lot though.
Whooa! Nikitas Thlimmenos
Man! I remember being really enchanted by the work you did on this theme… jeez, was it a few years ago already? As an Apocalypse World hack? I’m really looking forward to this.
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