Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Two thoughts...

Well, EVERYTHING I usually do on this computer is updating or reinstalling this evening, and that fits in well with my plan to makes posts more often than monthly.

Two things that have sprung to mind;

1. THIS.  Dwarf, Vampire, Dinosaur. The natural world is far more amazing than anything we can imagine, and this is definitely a cute little, vampiritic beast that shall be a real pain in some isolated areas.
My version will be slightly larger than the fossil version - about large dog size, some 60 cm (2 ft) high at the shoulder, mostly walking on all fours. It's covered liberally in spines - long, flexible but sharp and penetrating spines, and it has large, slicing canines for eating plants, carrion and any small animals it can catch. Larger targets are gently bitten, and a reasonable amount of blood is sucked out through the bottom hollow teeth. They are nocturnal.

Not aggressive, unless you're wounded and there's a lot of them, but they are curious and a sleeping human body is a prime target for a little drinking. And even if they only get into the party's food supply, who's going to throw out an excited toothed porcupine-like thing?

Stat them like slightly weaker wolves, but remember the spines, the stealth, the bloodsucking and the general creepiness of these beasts. Waking up to something like that standing next to your bed, with your blood staining it's jaw...

2. For Hernshire, I'm working on the towns. I've worked out the towns on the western side of the river are vaguely English, or at least more normal medieval fantasy like. They are likely the settled descendants of an invading force a millennia or so ago. On the eastern side, a more Celtic-French-Nordic flavour, with a bit more variety and strange (to outsiders) customs, and a lot more inter-family feuding, cattle rustling and general nuisance making.

The smaller eastern city has a Prince. No one quite remembers what he (or she, on occasion) is actually Prince of, as there is a Board of Guildmasters who make financial and relationship decisions, and none of the surrounding lands recognise the Prince as their ruler. They are considered important for some ceremonial reason, but no-one is really sure exactly what it is. Most likely a remnant of a time when a strong ruler was needed, for as long as anyone living can remember, the line of Princes have lived in an ornate, but somewhat draughty and run-down stone villa near the main park, and they are given a small stipend so that they can live and employ a small staff to maintain them. Each successive Prince has seemed slightly blander than the one before, and they have long sunk from public regard, though of more as a kindly but senile old gentleman than anything else

Interestingly, the other main city maintains the Prince's Summer Palace, a slightly smaller but brighter stone building in much the same condition as their other home. It is maintained by a married couple who are paid (little) by the City's treasury, so they commonly sublet rooms or run some business from the premises. Should the Prince ever decide to visit (an event occurring on average, once a decade), a troop of guards will escort him southward, the Palace will be cleaned and unauthorised uses and inhabitants evicted, and the Prince will mooch around a different city before deciding to head back.

No real reason for this, but a Prince of little public importance and most probably a big, important secret one seems appropriate.

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