Monday, November 18, 2013

Entries for Gorgonmilk's D30 Unnatural Resources

Here we go again!

Here are my entries for this table so far; I'll update this if I come up with more entries.

3. Pickled Goblin
In some parts of the underworld, highly acidic minerals have leeched into goblin burial cairns, effectively pickling the goblin corpses. These rare specimens are highly sought after, as they make excellent light sources when burned. The unique minerals somehow preserve and transform the goblin corpse into a wax-like substance that can burn brighter than the light of six torches for hours on end. It is said a single pickled goblin finger was used to map the entire five levels of Solomon's Cave, including the underground reservoir.

An entire pickled goblin once went for over 1,500gp at auction at Haversham Sons Auctioneers in Taverntoss. However, most dungeoneers consider it bad luck to remove a pickled goblin from its final resting place and settle for breaking off just enough to meet their needs.

5. Driftstone
Found in rare caches within the underdark, usually near underground rivers which flood their banks in storm season and move massive amounts of rock. Driftstone is considered prime ammunition for slings and slingshots due to its nearly perfect spherical shape and aerodynamic properties. Shaped in the tumbling torrents of the underdark waterways, driftstone is heavier than normal shot but flies at twice or sometimes triple the speed and goes thrice the distance with the same effort expended. Driftstone is shatterproof; the stones will not break or crumble under even the most excessive force.

The strange properties of these rocks has been the subject of many treatises at alchemical colleges. It is said that driftstone is formed from the remains of a fabled magical mountain that was destroyed by an Elder God long ago, before the Cataclysm that shaped this world; others believe that it was the magical waters of the River Fey which enhanced the stone. Whatever the true origin may be, driftstone is highly sought after by expert slingers, who will pay top gold for even a small handful of the stones.

10. Fizzy Pebbles
Naturally occurring pea-size gravel composed mostly of calcium carbonate. When wet with wine or vinegar, they will bubble and fizz and melt away, letting off a slight noxious odor that grants a +1 to WIS for 1d4 hours per 5 pebbles--but this requires a special hookah-like instrument in order to get the full effect. Highly sought after by apprentice mages cramming for exams.

11. Ambersilk
The fossilized remains of giant spider webs, usu. found in underground petrified forests. Pale yellow in natural light, they glow with green iridescence by torch light. Extremely rare and highly sought after for their curative power; when ground and inhaled, these grant 1d24 HP recovery per day. An even rarer find is ambersilk with fossilized prey trapped inside. It is said that one lucky adventurer once found a trove of ambersilk with the corpses of nine long-lost princes of the Corwinian bloodline trapped inside and received a handsome reward from the then-ruling king.

12. Hag’s Curtain
Officially known as watermoss by most herbologists in the realms, this grey, stringy moss gets its nickname from its resemblance to a witches’ pubic hair. It grows chiefly near underground waterfalls close to volcanic fissures, and thus is fairly rare in the upper levels of the underdark. Hag’s curtain is primarily used as an ingredient in Mummy Tea and other potions used to ward off the greater undead. A poultice of hag’s curtain, fizzy pebbles, and red wine is widely known to halt the spread of gangrene, and in some cases may cure it altogether.

13. Chicken Salamander
Often found in underground lakes and streams, the chicken salamander resembles a small, slimy, plucked chicken with a long, prehensile tail; they are about the size of a human hand. They use their tails to propel themselves through the water in search of blind fish, cave frogs, and other food sources, which they then grasp and strangle with their tails and swallow whole.

The chicken salamander poses no known risks to adventurers. More than one adventurer in need has dined on a satisfying dinner of chicken salamander--mixed with pickles and a diced hard boiled egg, it is said to make an excellent impromptu meal. Oddly, chicken salamander is considered a delicacy at several royal courts throughout the realm; for example, Prince Albert in Haverford has a standing bounty of 5gp per live chicken salamander. Unfortunately, they tend to die rather quickly when exposed to sunlight, as their slimy covering reacts poorly to ultraviolet light.

14. Hohboy
Every summer and winter solstice, billions upon billions of these tiny, hermaphroditic, hardshelled insects gather for annual mating rituals deep in the bowels of the underdark. Although they only live for a maximum of three years, they make their way back to their spawning ground each solstice to partake in this most ancient of insect rituals. There are roughly twenty known hohboy mating sites, but given the ubiquitous nature of the hohboy in every clime and terrain, it is obvious that hundreds if not thousands of these sites must exist throughout the known world.

Normally resembling dull grey pillbugs with housefly wings, hohboys turn a sparkling, iridescent blue in mating season. This blue only lasts until the hohboy has mated six times during a solstice gathering. When they gather in such great numbers, their mating appears as wave after wave after wave of churning ocean trapped upon the surfaces of the cavern.

Hohboys are a crucial ingredient in the formulae for blue dyes used by wizards and alchemists to color their potions. Live hohboys in rut are fed a special concoction to enhance and sharpen their natural iridescence, then are boiled alive to separate their carcass from their shells. The shells are then ground to a fine powder and mixed with other stabilizing ingredients to create a rich, blue dye that imparts a sweet tang to any potion.

Wizards will pay top gold for live rutting hohboy: 5gp per bushel.

15. Bitch’s Brew
A thin, runny, milk-like substance seeping from some pervy elves (see dungeon slang entries here) in the lower levels of the underdark. Drinking six mouthfuls of this fluid grants the drinker the ability to see in the dark in the complete absence of light for 1d6 days, but renders them blind in the presence of a light source. Often bottled and sold by unscrupulous rock gnomes to unwary adventurers as “Infra Vision Potion,” bitch’s brew is best imbibed fresh from the source. No one knows how it got its name.

16. Chalk Gum
A strange, white, tar-like substance that leaks from some underground chalk deposits, chalk gum is prized for its ability to seal burns and bleeding wounds with only a slight amount of discomfort. Chalk gum itself is not a curative, but only a long-lasting, skin-like bandage. It is also edible (yet flavorless), and is often used in small amounts to settle sour stomachs. While not rare nor in high demand on the open market, chalk gum is nonetheless recognized as a useful tool in any healer’s arsenal and demands a reasonable price of 10gp per pint bottle.

19. Stirge Guano
In some areas of the underdark, especially in areas near a relatively stable troglodyte population, stirges can be found in numerous numbers--and where there is a stirge roost, there is a thick supply of stirge guano. In some caves, deposits up to 75 yards deep have been reported.

Stirge guano is a crucial ingredient in many magical powders and explosive charges, as it is rich in nitrates, ammmonia, phosphates, and magnesium, and is also slightly magnetic due to the iron-rich stirge diet. Fresh guano is slightly less desirable than dried guano; fresh guano sells for 5gp a bushel, while dried guano goes for up to 9gp per bushel.

Elves are highly allergic to stirge guano; any elf even breathing in a slight bit of dust from such a deposit suffers –5 to CON and -3 to STR for 1d4 days. Drow usually construct warning sigils at the entrance to known stirge roosts.

20. Hell Snot
Found only near volcanic rifts deep in the underdark and by all appearances to be small, thin stalactites, hell snot it actually a large colony of thick, mucus-like, highly acidic bacteria. These organisms are chemosynthetic, feeding on the volcanic gas and whatever water vapor drips down from upper cavern levels, and emit a highly toxic acid as a waste by-product, which then serves to protect the growing colony.

Hell snot is highly corrosive to all metals save mithril; even enchanted weapons are not immune to its effect. Anyone touching hell snot must Save vs. Poison or suffer 1d6 acid damage. Sentient weapons which come in contact with hell snot must also make an appropriate save or suffer psionic damage (the specifics of which are left to the DM’s whims).

Hell snot is known to be one of the only substances toxic to rust monsters.

Due to its hazardous nature, hell snot is sought by many alchemists and necromancers, who will pay up to 50gp for a mere beaker of the stuff.

21. Fireclay
A geological formation usually found immediately beneath a coal bed in some caverns. It is heat resistant, easily processable, and provides protection against all forms of magical fire. It is in high demand for making fire bricks for chimneys, forges, ovens, wizard towers, etc. However, due to its weight and wetness, it is difficult to transport by hand; mining operations are most prepared to deal with fire clay as a profitable sideline. A tonne of unprocessed fireclay normal sells for roughly 50–75gp, depending on the quality of the deposit.

22. Wetcoal
A dense,semi-consolidated deposit of carbonized organic matter (plant material, spores, algae, ancient animal life, etc.) found in stagnant or standing bodies of underdark water. It shares similarities to both peat and semi-bituminous coal, as it is a damp, brittle semi-coal with a high fuel ratio and burns without smoke. Wetcoal is extremely rare, and only a few known deposits have been uncovered by rock gnomes and dwarven miners.

Wetcoal burns with an intense green flame. This flame is anathema to the undead, turning all lesser and greater undead as if a 15th level cleric. Additionally, being exposed to burning wetcoal dampens the ability to use infra-vision for 1d6 hours.

26. Spoor of Rhan-Tegoth
Deep in the bowels of the elemental earth reside the wastings of Rhan-Tegoth, the Great Old One. Deposited by the sphincter located in each of Rhan-Tegoth’s tentacles, the spoor are perfect oval of dense, nonluate* matter. Preserved by the dry air of such deep caverns, the spoor nodules are often as fresh as the aeon they were shat.

The spoor nodules are often found only one or two at a time, and rarely in more than groups of three, spread about the deepest of the deepest of the deep. A large cache of spoor was once found in a sprawling underground temple of Rhan-Tegoth in the frozen wastes of the Northland, but that cache is said to be no longer accessible due to a minor cataclysm, according to the records left by its supposed discoverer, Roger of Orobona.

Spoor of Rhan-Tegoth is highly prized by psionics and soothsayers, as it provides the ability to see all the infinite outcomes of an event 1d4 days in advance; the soothsayer must concentrate on a specific action while ingesting a spoor nodule or inhaling its dried remains. Only a highly talented prophet can select the correct strand of events (99% chance of failure) without divine guidance. The spoor is known to cause incurable madness in those not gifted with psionics or the gift of prophecy; Save vs. Insanity or be forever, incurably insane. The last known spoor nodule sold for over 7500gp.



*nonluate: like jale, ulfire, and dolm, nonluate is a color out of space and time that defies normal descriptions. It is said to be “so outside the spectrum we are meant to perceive, the best the human eye can manage is to temporarily perceive a more familiar color” (Guest Giantbat, first rank adventurer, who once glimpsed a Carcosian rainbow and survived madness to write about it). In that regard, nonluate is described as a painful chalky white tinge of silver that is lush, bountiful, and fertile.