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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Winter is Coming II: The Mystery of the Ice Dragon

Winter is a time of mystery and fear. Snow obscures view and keeps things covered that should perhaps remain so. Winter is a blessing and a boon, for the spring-time is what should be feared. The uncovering of these unseelie secrets by nature herself...

Or at least that is one opinion of winter. The Japanese are renowned for many things, including anime, tentacle... stuff, and their rich folk lore and ghost stories. Personally, I only care about the latter. One particular tale that I first read and then watched in Akira Kurasawa's Dreams involved a winter demon trying to coax a lone man into her arms to die due to exposure. The line she kept saying over and over again was that "The snow is hot, the ice is warm." Say that out loud and let that sink in for a moment. No seriously, read it again. I can wait. Creepy, no? To say that Kurasawa's Dreams and my subsequent reading of Japanese folk lore has colored my opinion of winter would be accurate, transforming it from a wonderland to a nightmare.

Now while today's post doesn't involve Japanese demons (though, in retrospect, it really should,) it does involve a secluded mountain community under the protection of a great white dragon known in the local mythos as Notuj. (For you mythology nerds, Notuj is Jotun backwards with the vowels switched. The Jotun are the ice giants of Norse mythology.) Today's entry for the Winter is Coming II blog carnival is a miniature adventure that contains two parts: and investigate and a battle with a great white ice dragon. 

A blurb about the mini-adventure for today's post:

The women of the Frost Ridges have lived without the touch of men for centuries. Under the protection of the great ice dragon Notuj, the women lived a life without care and worry. Notuj fought off raiders and armies and the myth of the dragon’s legend spread far and wide. None had ventured into the Frost Ridges for years out of fear of the ice dragon Notuj.

Yet somehow the community of the Frost Ridges remained without the influence of man. No one was quite certain how, but children were born every year and the mountain community flourished throughout the perpetual winter of the Frost Ridges.

Recently an envoy of the fire god Vulstus made his way to the Frost Ridges out of concern for the lives of those who lived there. He had heard rumors of a settlement and wanted to make contact with the community lest it need anything, be it supplies or the word of Vulstus. The Red Priest of Vulstus has disappeared and no one has heard from him in weeks. The people of the Prometh Valley, located in the shadows of the Frost Ridges, have grown concerned about the Red Priest and have posted a request throughout the kingdom for able bodied adventurers to climb the Frost Ridges and discover the fate of Vulstus’ envoy. 

If you just came for the monster, adventure be damned, here it is to satiate your hunger:

As always, click to ENLARGE!!!
The adventure itself can be found here, and in the upper left corner of the blog under the heading entitled "Legend4ry Downloads." I hope you enjoy it, as always critiques and commentary are always welcome!

Be sure to check out the other participants in the Winter is Coming II blog carnival for some fun winter-themed gaming!

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A quick NaGaDeMon update about my previously decided d6 pulpy science-fantasy game. I've finally decided on a name for the game system, and have worked out a few of the kinks. Currently I have character creation on lock, as well as the associated success and failure mechanics. Next up is the rough mechanics for adventure and enemy creation, which I feel will be easy and intuitive. 

Oh, and since you are probably wondering about the name, my game is entitled: Elves in Spaaaace!!!

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Until next time,

You can follow me on Twitter @Sorcerer_Blob or via the hash-tag #legend4ry. You can also find my blog and others at the Fourthcore Hub and at the RPG Blog Alliance.

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