Friday, July 18, 2014

Tribal Confederations of Khorlhossa

a Drynnthi warrior woman demonstates
her skills.
There are numerous thriving tribes roaming the wastes of Khorlhossa, most of them keeping to the vast, lichen-thick plains that were once the beds of ancient seas and to the redstone ruins that surround these long-dead seas.  Each of these tribes is composed of hundreds of individuals led by a single warlord, baron, duke, tsar, bogatyr, hierophant or other self-styled ruler and their entourage.  Each of these warlords and their followers pays fealty to a greater warlord and is bound by ties of blood and culture to other vassals of these greater warlords, forming three great tribal confederations, each consisting of tens of thousands of warriors that span the wastes.

The most wide-ranging are the tribes of the Qemji (pronounced "khem-gee") Confederation.  Skilled riders and talented breeders of sammeks and tzagunds, these nomads live in the saddle, sometimes traveling dozens of miles a day following the herds of rylback or patrolling isolated territory claimed by the Confederation.  Among the non-Qemji, it's a common belief that the Qemji have a supernatural bond to their mounts; how else can one explain why their sammeks never rebel, never try to kill and eat their riders? It's positively uncanny how well-behaved the Qemji riding lizards are.

Less-mobile but no less reliable in a fight are the warriors of the Drynnthi (drin-thee) tribes.  While archery and bowyery are widely-known on Khorlhossa, the Drynnthi have elevated the act of placing an arrow in a target to an art form, one bordering, for the Drynnthi, on being a religious act.  Drynnthi are trained nearly from birth to draw back a bow, and their warriors closely guard the secret of the construction of the Drynnthi longbow -- an incredibly powerful recurved bow, as tall as a man, capable of burying a yard-long arrow to the fletching in a target 200 paces away.  Only the Drynnthi know how to craft these powerful weapons, and only the Drynnthi have the training to use these bows effectively.

Most frightening and brutal are the Togaro (to-gah-row) tribesmen.  While all Khorlhossans practice endo-cannibalism and consume the flesh of their honored dead and fallen loved ones, only the Togaro feast on their slain enemies, as well as collecting grisly trophies from every kill to hang from their jorongos.  Any given Togaro warrior is festooned with severed and decaying hands, necklaces of ears or genitals, or elaborately painted and carved human bones.  The Togaro carve their masks to leave an opening around their mouths, allowing them to bite at their foes with filed teeth without exposing their whole face to counterattack.  The Togaro welcome Calibans among their breed, and are far more inclined overall to turn from the worship of the Grey and Silent Lord to the savage, carnal rites of Demon-worship.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Domesticated Animals of Khorlhossa

Among the tribes of Khorlhossa a handful of animals (creatures neither Monster nor Demon, and appearing as non-unique entities) have been at least semi-domesticated for human use.  The most common of these are the rylback, the sammek, and the tzagund.

The rylback is an elephantine, herbivorous reptomammal that lives in herds of between 15 and 45 individuals.  Covered in warty, leathery skin with a thin, bony ridge of scales down their spine, rylbacks are about 12 feet long (with a tail approximately the same length), bulky and muscular with thick, column-like limbs ending in blunt, hoof-like toes.  They average two to two-and-a-half tons in weight.  While resembling a giant lizard, rylbacks give birth to live young in litters of 2-5 at a time, which they suckle for the first year of their lives.  They are near-sighted, irritable, flatulent creatures prone to attacking anything that makes a sudden movement in their peripheral vision, even their own young.  Their thick, bony skulls and powerful, muscular tails can shatter a man's body if he's not careful.

Rylbacks are hunted for their iron-rich, slightly-spicy meat as well as their leathery hides and dense bones.  They're the primary source of leather and bone for weapons and armor for most tribes, and a tribe's yurts (temporary, collapsible dwellings used when transversing plains or other areas without ruins to shelter in) are typically constructed from a rylback's ribcage and stretched stomach lining.

Sammeks are light-weight, primarily-bipedal reptomammals, balanced atop long agile legs ending in wide, splayed toes. Capable of running at top speed for extended periods of time, sammeks are used as mounts and light pack animals by the tribesmen of Khorlhossa.  Additionally, the milk of the sammek is fermented to create an alcohol beverage called molay, drunk liberally by all Khorlhossans in their travels.

While all the major tribes of Khorlhossa utilize sammeks, it is among the Qemji tribes that sammek-riding has been elevated to an art form.  Among the Qemji, tribe members are raised almost from birth in the high-backed saddles, each individual bonded early to a particular sammek that they will ride until they or their mount dies.  Skill with a riding-lance is likewise impressed into the Qemji at an early age, and the rite of adulthood among their tribes is to spear a crymbat on the wing from sammek-back.

Tzagunds are the hunting hounds of Khorlhossa.  Squat, muscular reptomammals with bulging,
independently-mobile eyes and wide, needle-fanged mouth, tzagunds can digest any organic matter within their powerful innards and their thick, clawed legs can propel them across the icy sands at a clip nearly as fast as a sammek for short periods of time.

Tzagunds are bred for their ferocity and single-minded determination in pursuing prey.  Once set upon a target, a tzagund will pursue it for weeks if need be, refusing to rest or give up the chase until it has either cornered its target or dropped dead of exhaustion.

Most tribes have a pack of 2d6+4 tzagunds accompanying them in their travels.  Some particularly wealthy individuals keep a personal pack for sport and hunting.  The Togaro tribes keep the most vicious tzagund packs, regularly beating and starving their beasts to keep them mean and aggressive, and among the Togaro, tzagund bites are worn as badges of honor.

Undead in Khorlhossa

I've started to think about the undead and their place in Khorlhossa.  I don't want the standard issue skeletons/zombies/ghouls/wights/mummies/vampires/liches; I don't feel like they have a place, overall, in this sort of setting.  So here's a couple ideas for undead more appropriate for Khorlhossa:

The Dark Hosts

When the dead of Khorlhossa aren't disposed of properly and swiftly (i.e., by being eaten by their loved ones), the corpse is likely to become the host to a form of incorporeal, free-roaming Demon known as an Infestor.  These Demons, in their natural state, resemble an oily greenish cloud with a vague intimation of a sardonic face in their billowing coils of vapor.  Upon entering the body of a dead human, the Infestor animates it into a ghastly parody of life known as a Dark Host.  The body's teeth and nails extend into razor-sharp fangs and talons, their flesh draws tight over their bones, and they seek to avoid the light of the sun - for the cleansing light of the sun will drive an Infestor from the body it commands.

Dark Hosts are typically 4HD monsters (though may be much higher, depending on the HD of the human possessed) with two claw attacks (dealing 1d6+1 apiece) and a bite attack (1d6 plus 3 points Constitution drain, no save).  They can burrow at a rate of 1/3 their normal ground speed, are immune to cold, take minimum damage from piercing weapons, and need to save vs. spells each round they are exposed to sunlight or be destroyed as the Infestor is driven from their body.

The Devil-Bought

Calibans and Magic-Users occasionally work to ensure their bodies are not consumed upon death.  They will erect hidden tombs and vaults for themselves, complete with doors that can only be opened from within, and seal themselves inside.  Arranging themselves upon an obsidian slab, they commit suicide, rising as Devil-Bought, blasphemous undead creatures.  Appearing much as they did in life but with drawn, skeletal faces and burning eyes, the Devil-Bought can plot and scheme for centuries, building their power from the shadows and manipulating men and monsters alike to achieve greater and greater goals of unbridled power.

Devil-Bought are invariably high-level Magic-Users or Calibans (at least 7th-8th level).  They are immune to cold and cannot be harmed by wooden or bone weapons, take half-damage from stone or obsidian weapons, and full damage from metal weapons.  Their lairs are typically guarded by an assortment of summoned and bound Demons, and many of them become the focal points of cults or covens, surrounding themselves with lesser spellcasters - more as a form of ablative armor then as apprentices.  Some Devil-Bought have a touch attack that drains 5 points of Intelligence from their victims, no save.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

20 Quick Questions for Khorlhossa

I'm a world-builder, first and foremost.  I have tons of settings I've developed that I doubt I'll ever actually run a game in.  The world of halfling wolfriders, animist clerics and elves that transform into treants as they age? Likely never gonna run a campaign in that world.  Steampunk Post-Apocalyptic Arabian Nights world? Maybe, but more likely I'll harvest ideas from that setting for future settings that may or may not have campaigns run in them.  I do that a lot as well; elements I really like will reappear from setting to setting as appropriate; every magocratic campaign setting I've ever developed has had, in one city or another, the Ninefold-Nine Towers of Wizardry as the grandest arcane academy in the land, for example.  Whenever I develop a new campaign, however, one of the first things I do is go over Jeff's 20 Quick Questions for your Campaign.  Let's do that now, shall we?

1.) What's the deal with my cleric's religion?

Your cleric worships the Grey and Silent Lord, a stern and demanding figure that hates all weakness and cowardice and rewards those who exemplify the tenet that "Might Makes Right."  Grab the biggest weapon you can and go smite some weaklings in the Lord's name.

2.) Where can we go to buy standard equipment?

The good news is you belong to a semi-nomadic tribe, and pretty much everyone in your tribe (yourself included) knows how to make most everything your culture uses on a regular basis! Find yourself some leather, some rawhide, a bone needle, maybe some wood or bone and some free time and you (or your friends, or your extended family) can make anything you can think of!

I don't know if this guy's in the market for a suit
of armor, but you can try offering.
3.) Where can I go to get platemail custom fitted to this monster I just befriended?

"Platemail"? No such thing in Khorlhossa.  If you had enough metal, you could presumably craft a metal-scale jorongo for a humanoid creature you've befriended, but good luck getting it (or your use of such valuable material) past your tribe.

4.) Who is the mightiest wizard in all the land?

Many wizards and warlocks are secretive about their power, jealously guarding their spells and abilities to avoid attracting the attention of would-be usurpers.  However, it is well-known that the Chieftain Naschar, a brutal Caliban of the Togaro tribal confederation, is a frequent summoner of Demons, calling them forth from the Unforgiving Dark for consultation and unspeakable congress.  It is said that two-thirds of the offspring of his tribe each breeding cycle are Calibans, sired by his summoned fiends.

5.) Who is the greatest warrior in all the land?

It is said that Karrtos of the Drynnthi can pierce the nose of a rylback with an arrow at 600 paces, and do so so neatly that not a drop of blood is spilled on the ice, while there are those who claim that Darten of the Qemji can so deftly handle a lance while mounted atop a sprinting Sammek that he can pluck a suckling rylback from its mother's teat without the mother noticing.

6.) Who is the richest person in all the land?

A difficult question.  All the warlords who lead confederations of tribes (for example, there are numerous tribes under the Qemji banner, all of whose chieftains report to a singular Qemji warlord) are ostentatiously decked out in armor and weapons of metal, as are their retinues of bodyguards and advisors, but it is said that Warlord Mardek of the Qemji owns so much metal that even his wives and offspring are dressed entirely in steel.

7.) Where can we go to get magical healing?

Talk to your local priest of the Grey and Silent Lord, but be prepared to prove that your wounds were gained in glorious battle, not while fleeing an enemy.

8.) Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?

Lycanthropy won't be a problem in Khorlhossa, for most of the rest see your local priest or warlock.

9.) Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?

Guild? Not as such, no, but most Magic-Users, at one point or another in their careers, tend to join a cult or coven for a time to petition the Demon for new spells.  It's not uncommon for Magic-Users to use the Summon spell to find unnatural tutors for themselves in the Unforgiving Dark.

10.) Where can I find an alchemist, sage, or other expert NPC?

Beyond your tribal elders? The oldest of the old in Khorlhossan society leave their tribes to lighten the burden, undertaking a pilgrimage to the far north where it's said a colony of sages, the wisest minds on Khorlhossa, exist in meditative contemplation of the universe and the inevitable death of the world.  Closer to home? Many elders don't make it all the way north, settling down as hermits in obscure corners of the ruins, at least until eaten by something larger then them that doesn't care about the accumulated wisdom of the years.

11.) Where can I hire mercenaries?

In addition to the tribal groups working their way around the dead seas of Khorlhossa, numerous bands of unaligned warriors, known collectively as the Tribeless, travel the wastes, selling their swords to the highest bidder in tribal conflicts.  Most of these are members of tribes that have been so severely decimated that their existence as a tribe has been compromised.

12.) Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law?

The wastelands of Khorlhossa are a lawless land.  Even in the presence of a king, adventurers may draw their swords in anger with little fear of consequences.

13.) Which way to the nearest tavern?

Most tribes, on the move, ferment their own alcohol from the milk of their Sammeks.  It's only during the annual or biannual gathering of clans at the stronghold of their tribal confederation that alcohol is offered for sale.

14.) What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?

Many and varied are the monsters that haunt the ruined cities of Khorlhossa.  Of those that have truly gained legendary status, none are more renowned and feared then the Ferroweta, a colossal arachnid beast covered in shifting metal plates, propelled across the icy sands by a dozen powerful, piston-like legs.  It is said that its five soulless black eyes suck the strength from a warrior's limbs, and that it can travel through shadows.

15.) Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?

There are near-constant border skirmishes among the ruins between rival tribes as each seeks to expand the amount of territory within the ruins that each tribe can claim as theirs.

16.) How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?

Absolutely! Gladiatorial combat is the chief form of entertainment in Khorlhossa, and annual tribal gatherings always sport truly incredible arena events.  As far as fabulous cash prizes? No, not as such, but winners are often gifted with high quality, elaborately carved and inlaid, occasionally enchanted weapons and armor.

17.) Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?

You bet your ass there are! Every tribal group is likely to have multiple conspiracies going on within it, ranging from plotters of regicide to insidious Demon-fornicating cults.

18.) What is there to eat around here?

Smoked meat (most commonly rylback, occasionally sammek, even monster flesh is eaten if its available) is the dietary mainstay of the Khorlhossans, washed down with fermented sammek milk and occasionally supplemented with the tough, woody flesh of the fethel-nut when they're in season.  Additionally, most tribes practice endocannibalism - the honored dead of a tribe are dressed, smoked and divided up among the surviving members of the tribe.  In a harsh environment like Khorlhossa, waste not want not.  Additionally, the Togaro tribes practice exocannibalism - given the opportunity, they will feast on their fallen enemies, savoring, it is said, the hearts and brains especially -- not because they believe doing so will grant them the courage and wisdom of their enemies, but because those parts taste best.

19.) Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?

To the west lies the Saltmire, the brackish, reptile-haunted remains of the last sea on Khorlhossa.  A day's travel to the north is the ruined remnants of a once-great city, remembered in legends as Quarn.  In the pits of Quarn's undercity, it is rumored that a great king and his entire army were buried, clad in gold-plated armor and bearing great silver swords.  Many have sought the treasure of the King Under Quarn, but none have returned with more then scars and tales of terrifying Demons enslaved to guard the pits forever.

20.) Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure?

Dragons? No, not in the traditional sense.  There are certainly plenty of reptilian monsters, and no end to the horrors that float shrieking across the night sky.  But European (or even Asian) dragons? None.  As far as Monsters that represent a tremendous haul of wealth, you could always try your luck against the Ferroweta and its steel-plated exoskeleton.  The team of adventurers that brought this creature down would be able to outfit their entire tribe in metal masks and metal-scale jorongos, and have enough left over to forge a falcata for every man, woman and child.  Or you might search out the former center of a now-extinct cult such as the Eaters of Pestilence or the Brotherhood of Atrocity -- cults such as these maintained multiple headquarters, each with an ample treasury guarded by summoned nightmares from the Unforgiving Dark.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Calibans: An Abhuman Race for Khorlhossa

While I'd initially decided I did not want any demi-human races in Khorlhossa, in thinking about reskinning elves into something more appropriate for the setting, I kept coming around to the idea of the changeling; human infants replaced by something alien, something Other, that looks human but is decidedly not.  And somewhere between lunch and my second coffee break, the following took root in my brain:

No one in Khorlhossa knows who their parents were, or who their children are.  While outwardly human, the Men of Khorlhossa are not the same as the Men of Earth.  Khorlhossans are viviparous; they're born from shiny white eggs, laid in the spring and sequestered in communal incubators with the other eggs of their tribe.  When they hatch, the newborns are likewise raised communally, each one being claimed by a woman of the tribe and reared until the age of 6, at which point they are tested by the tribe's priests and sorcerers, then segregated according to role they will play in the tribe.  From that point on, they are trained to provide for the common good of their tribe.

Sometimes, children are born that aren't quite like the others.  No one knows for sure what causes them; one egg in ten might hatch one of these children, or one egg in a million might.  Some claim that it is the result of Demonic taint in the bloodline of the mother; others, that a confluence of arcane and celestial energies cause these children to be born.

They are called Calibans, and they are the Children of Chaos.  Almost indistinguishable from other humans on sight, the sole visible difference is that Calibans' eyes shine red-green in darkness, in which they can see perfectly.  After reaching the age of 30, Calibans cease to physically age, though how long they can live no man can say; no Caliban has ever been known to die of natural causes.

They have an inborn talent for sorcery, a legacy of Demonic heritage; like their unnatural sires, they cannot abide by the touch of iron or steel, growing sick and weak upon contact with the metal; some are burned by the touch of iron, as if it were a burning brand.

Their place in the world varies according to the tribe they're born into; among the cannibal Togaro tribes, many chieftains and warlords are Calibans, seen as physical proof of their right to dominate the landscape.  Among the Drynnthi tribes, every child born has an iron coin touched to their forehead; those burned by the touch are left out to die of exposure.

Mechanically, Calibans are identical to LotFP's Elves, with the following changes:

  • Calibans cannot cast spells and take a -2 penalty to saves while touching iron or steel.  
  • Calibans have Infravision with a range of 30'.  

I'm not sure if I'm ripping off Barsoom too much by making the Khorlhossans egg-layers.  Thoughts?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Character Generation Notes for the Khorlhossa Setting

Character Creation in Khorlhossa

Roll 3d6 six times.  Arrange to taste.

Berserker: As per LotFP rules for Dwarves, but replace bonus to Architecture with a Rage ability, identical to the Specialist’s Sneak Attack ability but eligible for use after the Berserker has been injured, rather than when attacking from surprise. 
Cleric: As per LotFP rules for Clerics.
Fighter: As per LotFP rules for Fighters.
Magic-User: As per LotFP rules for Magic-Users.
Scout: As per LotFP rules for Halflings, but without losing the ability to use medium or large weapons.
Specialist: As per LotFP rules for Specialists.

Hit Points and Starting Wealth:
Due to the harshness of Khorlhossa, adventurers begin play at 3rd level.  Roll three of the appropriate-sized dice to determine hit points.  Started “wealth” is 3d6x30, giving a range between 90 and 540 “silver pieces.”  Modern Khorlhossan society does not have coinage or the concept of abstract monetary units; they operate on the barter system, but for the purposes of character creation we’re simplifying for the moment. 

Armor and Weapons:
Khorlhossans do not wear traditional European fantasy style armor.  No chain shirts, no breastplates, no helmets, no shields.  Instead, they wear a fur-lined, armored poncho called a Jorongo as defense against both cold and attackers.  The most common and basic form of jorongo is essentially a large leather bag worn over the head and covering down to the wearer's knees, with an opening for the wearer's face (complete with drawstrings, allowing it to be drawn snugly around the wearer's face) and two long slits for the wearer to stick their arms through as necessary.  More elaborate versions have hundreds of small wooden or bone plaques stitched to the leather in an overlapping pattern of scales.  Khorlhossa is a very metal-poor world, and as such, metal armor and weapons are extremely rare and expensive. 

Jorongo, Leather

Jorongo, Wood-Scale
increases chance of being surprised by 1
Jorongo, Bone-Scale
increases chance of being surprised by 1
Jorongo, Metal-Scale
181000increases chance of being surprised by 1; decreases chance of surprising enemies by 1

While shields are unknown in Khorlhossa, the natives do on occasion wear armored masks.  Evolved from simple snow-visors carved from the ivory of the Hvalross, Khorlhossan masks have become intricately carved and painted affairs that declare the wearer's social standing and tribal affiliations while also protecting them from being stabbed in the face.

Mask, Wood/Bone
+1 to saving throws versus gaze attacks or blindness
Mask, Metal
+1 to saving throws versus gaze attacks or blindness

Weapons are as per the LotFP core rules, though the rapier and crossbow do not exist in this setting (firearms are right out).  However, due to the metal shortage on Khorlhossa, weapons are frequently made of other materials, as per the following chart. 

Damage Modifier
Hit Probability

So a wooden two-handed weapon costs only the equivalent of 5sp, but deals 1d10-2 damage (to a minimum of 1 point of damage) and the wielder takes a -3 (combined with any other modifiers, such as a Fighter’s attack bonus) modifier to their attack roll.  That same weapon, made of bone, would cost 17sp (30% of 50sp, rounded up), deal 1d10-1 damage, and hit with a -1 penalty. 

Weapon Breakage

Unfortunately, weapons of wood, stone/obsidian and bone are not as sturdy as metal weapons, and are prone to breaking.  Any time a weapon made of one of these materials rolls maximum damage (for example, a bone battleaxe rolling an 8 on 1d8) there is a 1-in-20 chance the weapon breaks and becomes useless.  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Khorlhossa: A Few More Details

Posting the precis for Khorlhossa this morning got me thinking more about the setting and what I wanted to do with it.

A few in brief:

No demi-human races, whether as player characters or as opponents.  No Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Gnomes, Orcs, Hobgoblins, Goblins, Etc.  Humans are the sole extant hominid species in Khorlhossa, and that's the way it's going to be.  Monsters are going to be weird and alien and horrifying.

Dwarf and Halfling options as player-characters will be refluffed into Berserker and Scout classes, respectively.  I'm still figuring out how to reflavor the LotFP Elf class into something better then "fighter-mage."

All Monsters (recall that Monsters are those creatures with at least something of a terrestrial origin, while Demons are extra-dimensional in nature) will be generated using the Random Esoteric Creature Generator or the Spawn of Shub-Niggurath charts from the Carcosa book.  All Demons will be generated using the LotFP Summon spell charts.  No two identical creatures will ever be fielded, unless as part of a swarm of small creatures, and even then, that one swarm will be the only time those creatures are ever encountered.

Dungeoncrawling will be very three-dimensional; "dungeons" will be ruins extending both above and below
ground and covering fairly large areas, though perhaps not as large as might be expected of a "megadungeon."  The primary inspiration for these dungeons would be the "pits" under every city in Burroughs' Barsoom novels.  Not a lot in the way of hallways, per se, just lots and lots of adjacent rooms and narrow staircases.

No minted coinage in the present day of Khorlhossa; Khorlhossans are on the barter system.  Ancient coins may be found in the ruins, but don't have a value as currency, simply their value as metal.  Much of the "treasure" the PCs will be hauling home will be in the form of Monster parts for use in making weapons, armor, cold-weather gear, food, etc.

Rather than the standard armor and shields of the LotFP players handbook, adventurers will be equipped with armor from the Shrouds and Cowls list over at Aeons & Augauries.

In addition to resource management (how many torches do you have? Do you have rope? etc.), Khorlhossa has the climate of Chicago in January.  As such, weather issues will be something to be concerned with.

I'm not sure how I want to handle different weapon materials, but I'm open to suggestions.

Gladiatorial combat will be the primary form of entertainment among the tribes, as well as a means of resolving political disputes within the tribe.

Khorlhossa, a Post-Apocalyptic Science-Fantasy Setting

While I'm currently running an alt-history campaign and mostly run Call of Cthulhu, I've been rolling this idea around in my head for a while now and want to get it out on paper (so to speak) and maybe eventually run something weird and sandboxy with it.

Khorlhossa is a wintry, wind-swept desert land, peppered with the redstone ruins of a previous advanced civilization; the most intact of these ruins are occupied seasonally by semi-nomadic human tribesmen led by warlords and bandit kings as they circle the great dead seas, following the herds of rylbacks.  These tribes support themselves, in addition to hunting rylback, by raiding other tribes and delving into the ruins that aren't regularly occupied.

Khorlhossa being an extremely metal-poor world, most armor is composed of leather, wood, ceramic or bone, while weapons are largely made from wood, bone, obsidian, or the chitin of insect-like monsters.  Weapons and armor of steel are extraordinarily rare and prized things, treated as if they were magic in their own right.

Most inhabitants of Khorlhossa belong to the Church of the Grey and Silent Lord, a grim figure that punishes cowardice and rewards those who exemplify the adage that "Might Makes Right." However, many pay only lip service to the Lord, secretly serving in cults venerating various demons that seduce with promises of easier living and great wealth.

There are few creatures on Khorlhossa that would be considered "ordinary" animals; among these the rylbacks (bloated, herbivorous reptomammals that graze on the thick, spongy moss of the former sea beds, hunted for meat, fur, leather and bones) and skrane (long-legged bipedal reptomammals used as mounts) are the most common.

Most of the biosphere of Khorlhossa is composed of Monsters and Demons, the difference being whether they are born of the world or beyond it.

Monsters are frequently the misbegotten spawn of ancient sorceries, pent up since time immemorial in ruined
citadels, or are cursed into existence by the Grey and Silent Lord to punish the weak, or are bred by Demons in the wombs of their depraved worshippers.

Demons are drawn to Khorlhossa from the Unforgiving Dark, summoned by sorcerers and warlocks seeking temporal power through pacts and arrangements with the powers beyond.  While many Monsters have only animalistic intelligence, Demons are invariably intelligent, scheming, venal creatures, making them far more dangerous.

Some Monsters are vulnerable to weapons composed of certain materials such as wood, glass, bone, etc.  All Demons are vulnerable only to weapons of steel.

Khorlhossa as a setting draws inspiration from Geoffrey McKinney's Carcosa setting, Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom, Tekumel, the Dark Sun setting for AD&D 2nd Edition, and Robert E. Howard's Hyborian tales.  When and if I run anything in this setting, it'll likely be with the Lamentations of the Flame Princess ruleset.