1. True Shem is a meter wide strip of land between Near Shem and Far Shem.
The people of Far Shem believe their nation owns the True Shem. The people of Near Shem believe the people of Far Shem to be heretics, as all Near Shemites know that True Shem is ruled by Near Shem.
Neither Far Shemites nor Near Shemites may pass through True Shem without the proper prayers and petitions and performing the intricate, sacred ritual of Ear Purging. Because of the demands of this ritual, Near Shemites and Far Shemites do not trade with one another. Thus have Korsh-Emish and Near Stygia profited by encouraging both Shems to pursue their claims against one another on the field of battle.
2. Each of the Baracha Isles worships a different aspect of Barach, Petty God of Sacrificial Goats. One island worships The Black Goat, one The White Bleat, one The Mottled Liver, one The Marbled Eye, etc.
On the high holy feast day of Barach, islanders from every island gather in a great flotilla in an isolated bay. of the largest island. Each island's representatives slaughter 100 goats, the sea turning red with froth. The high priestess of each isle drinks a tanked of the bloodied sea and prostitutes herself to the crews of other islands' ships. Any children of these matings are pledged to Barach's service.
In this way, peace between the isles has been maintained for over a thousand years.
3. King Conan's harem is said to be filled with at least two women from each of the nations of Hyboria, but he prefers one of those who come from the wild tundra, as she reminds him of the first woman he ever laid with in his youth.
4. The Vilayet Sea was not always a sea. Vilayet was once a lush and fertile valley, a vast nation-state nestled between the Hyraknian Mountains and the Turanian Highlands. Vilayet was known throughout the world for its exotic fruits, fine-woven tapestries, and a particular breed of horse called the "fire mare," said to be able to speed across the lands faster than wildfire. Alas, a volcanic eruption in the northern part of Vilayet triggered a series of earthquakes that unleashed a previously unknown underground freshwater sea, and the waters rose to fill the vast nation-state's valley in a matter of days. It is said that the great treasure-house of Faroun El-D'hab, last emperor of Vilayet, still rests beneath the waves in one of his palaces in the capitol city.
5. The mothers of Bossonia wean their children with radishes, so that they may get used to the bitter taste of war.
7. Every Prince of Corinth'a who wishes to be king must convince a coterie of nobles of his worthiness by undergoing various feats of strength. The nobles are drawn from states allied with Corinth'a and the nobles themselves design the challenges. It is said the current king stole an item from a petty goddess's boudoir to win his current position.
8. Zaporoska refuses to allow ships of other nations to dock in its ports. Any ship not flying Zaporoskian colors is immediately impounded and its crew sold into slavery--usually to slavers bound for Vendhya.
9. Vendhya has the busiest slave market in all of Hyboria.
10. Keshan's annual calendar begins at harvest time. Each harvest moon, the priests of Keshan burn a great effigy of the current Queen in an elaborate ceremony, during which the Queen cuts the throat of her current consort. A new consort is chosen from among the gathered priesthood by casting dice on the bloody hide of a recently flayed leopard. The elected is then stripped bare, scourged with whips dipped in the venom of the jubjub vine, and then wrapped in a blanket woven of nettles. The queen and consort publicly consummate the beginning of the new year on an altar in the capitol city's square constructed for this purpose each year. They then rule together for the following year. At the end of the year, the consort is clothed in finery and stuffed alive into the Queen's effigy to become the sacrifice for the coming year.
11. The Border Kingdom is not an actual kingdom. It is a representative republic, and the vote is given only to those who can afford to pay an annual tithe to the Temple of the Undying Sun. Only exiled nobles from other lands who pay an annual tithe to the Temple of the Undying Sun may run for office. It is said that the Goddess of Light is pleased with the current state of affairs, but may be persuaded to support another system of rulership for the right price--which is rumored to be the death of her rival Goddess, The Lamentatress of All Flesh.
12. In the Black Kingdoms, there exists a ziggurat built upon an ancient temple built upon an ancient holy site built upon the remains of a giant tree. To the surface of the giant tree clings a phosphorescent colony of sentient, psionic bacteria, organized as a hive-mind. This creature controls the local population for a three-mile radius around the temple. The only humanoids immune to the bacteria's psionic control are goblins, who have been waging a slow-simmering, unsuccessful effort to destroy the temple for millennia.
13. Zarkheba is a matriarchy ruled by women warrior-priests. The ruling council openly welcomes and shelters pirates, buccaneers, & privateers along its treacherous Southern Scurvy Coast.
14. Kuthchemes is a rugged, mountainous jungle terrain. In the deep reaches of a distant mountain valley, it is said the most beautiful bird in the world makes it home. The bird is said to be larger than a man and it is reported to be flightless, living in burrows it digs beneath the rich jungle loam with its powerful talons. No one has ever brought back so much as a feather from its plumage, as the bird is rumored to be poisonous to the touch and possesses the ability to saw a man in half with one chomp of its massive beak.
15. In Zamona, every rug merchant is also a member of the Assassin's Guild.
EDIT 2: Well this idea went over like a lead balloon. That's fine. I'll just have to write this up myself--which is probably what I should have done in the first place. I'll see if I can flesh this out in the coming days/weeks.
EDIT 1: Hey, all you looky-loos from YDIS--put your monkey where your mouth is and fill out a location. What's the matter? Afraid that someone will make a silly 'toon out of your entry? Awww....it's okay. You can still hide behind your anonymity so no one will know you're using your mom's computer while she's making you a sammich. It sure is fun to make fun of other people on the internet, isn't it? It sure makes you feel pretty powerful, like when you let your Decepticons win all the fights against Voltron and the Thundercats. Mmmmmm.....Thundercats.
On some planets, when the gods die, their bodies fall to earth, wreaking weird and horrible havoc to the land as they decay. A god's digestive system creates nightmarish landscapes of Boschian heights as divine digestive juices seep into the ground and break the bonds between the planes, creating rifts in time and space.
click to embiggen
Pick a location and describe the horrors within that await any fools stupid enough to tread through the bowels of a fallen god.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I teach a creative writing course and a digital narratives course at a community college. On my birthday, I tossed the regularly scheduled programming and had my students write classfieds and dungeon slang. Here is the third and final post presenting their creations. I've edited them a bit in terms of place names to make them fit with the setting I've developed over the course of the classifieds. All typos are my errors and I will correct if found.
Dumblesnort. Deep, obnoxious laugh, usu. coming from a large, hairy man.
Dumbsel. A stupid, in-bred royal princess, esp. one whose rescue is the subject of a quest.
Frogsicle. Frozen frog on a stick; favorite summertime treat of many ogres in thrall to ice wizards.
Gratch. A homely girl from the grasslands, esp. one whose rescue is the subject of a quest.
Gleer (-ed, -ing). To smile in an intimidating or horryfing fashion; most notably seen on goblins and trolls before devouring a victim, i.e. "Did you see that!?! The bloody bastard gleered before he bit Hav's ankle! Hand me my bow!"
Gricker. An ogre that sculpts with or crafts weapons from bones; a bone-smith. Ex.: "Talk to Glark. He's a great gricker! He made me this shield and these bookends from nothing more than an owlbear ribcage!"
Harving. To collect items by slaying monsters.
Krelby. A meat and grain stew made with makeshift ingredients and served when it's "good enough." Ex.: "We hunkered down with a bowl of krelby made of blind cave fish, shoe leather, and bonemeal. It wasn't much, but it put something in our bellies."
Juicey. A wife or husband married while under the affects of a love potion.
Juicer. Administer of a love potion with pretense of marriage.
Jackster. People devoted to looking for magic beets.
Jayber. Person placed under a curse to start every sentence with the same letter.
Merril. A shady male psychic; i.e. "Avoid the merril at the gypsy tent; he can't shuffle a tarot deck to save his life."
Morgret. Any land or area hidden with magic used for secret trysts; i.e. "Nice work, Wally! It looks like your spell revealed Von Vorgut's mistress's mogret! Can you believe that contraption over there?"
Onwooree: Sound of someone falling down a slope, cave, mine shaft or cliff directly towards your location. Hearing this sound usu. means you should move or become someone's soft landing.
-Ryan S., Madi H. Nikki D., Noah M., Michael B., Evan L., Stephanie W.