Sunday, January 9, 2011

In Deep, Crimson Shadows


Check out the great art above from Chris Hűth for the upcoming (I promise!) Weird Adventures setting. This is, of course, the Red Dwarf--the malign genius loci of Motorton in the Steel League.

Since the days when the site of Motorton was a plague-pit for Old Fort Narrows, the area has been the home of the dwarf. He’s a harbinger of calamity; doom in a dapper, red suit.

Rumor says that those unlucky enough to have an audience with the dwarf are brought to a Room with Red Velvet Curtains (sometimes just “The Red Room”). Visitors--survivors--describe the room as located in the basement of a ritzy old hotel, but no one has been able to relocated the building or provide directions to it later.

What comes from a meeting with the dwarf can’t be predicted. Sometimes, he’ll tell his visitor’s future. Other times, he’ll ask them for a favor, or tell them how they can get their heart’s desire. However it starts, it always plays out badly.

It’s worth noting that the infernal criminal organization known as the Hell Syndicate stays out of Motorton.  It’s the dwarf’s city.

Characters may have heard other rumors about the dwarf:
  1. He can’t be hurt by anything but a magical weapons.
  2. The tea he sometimes offers visitors can bring strange visions, and cause madness
  3. He carries a pocket watch whose hands only move when someone dies--or maybe when someone particular dies.
  4. Bones excavated from the old, mass plague graves can be used to ward against him.
  5. He’s only dangerous because Motorton’s sick. If the city could be healed, the dwarf would be benevolent.
  6. The dwarf is only a midget human sorcerer cashing in on an old legend. It’s all smoke and mirrors.
  7. There’s a red leather journal of a young girl, who died in an asylum, that contains, in its ramblings, the red dwarf’s true name, and the ritual to bind him to service.
  8. The dwarf is always accompanied by the same gang--a black-haired moll in a red dress with a silky voice, and twin bruisers with the same first name.
  9. The Red Room is actually the lowest level of Hell. The dwarf is actually Morningstar in disguise.
  10. The dwarf isn’t a real entity at all, just the physical representation of the death curse of a Native shaman on the Ealderdish invaders. Treating it like a real being only increases its power.

13 comments:

Jim Pacek said...

Fantastic!!! Thanks for this. Your posts are always inspiring!

James said...

Great stuff, as always. I'm really looking forward to Weird Adventures. :)

Tim Shorts said...

This is the one gaming product I looking forward most to this year. And its not even hardcore fantasy. Do you have an details of what is going to be included?

Trey said...

Hey guys. As always, thanks for the kind words.

@Tim - I do. It's essentially 4 sections--one is a basic broad-strokes gazetteer of the Strange New World continent, one an overview of the neighborhoods and interesting locales of the City, one is a section on new monsters, and the final is some brief adventure seeds. Much of this has been presented here, but a lot is brand new, and most the old stuff is expanded. Oh, and there should be couple of maps, too.

Lagomorph Rex said...

Is this inspired by Twin Peaks by any chance?

Trey said...

Somewhat. Take a smidge of Twin Peaks, a dollop of Nain Rouge, and pulpify to taste.

satyre said...

Excellent - as usual! Really pleased about the news on Weird Adventures too.

ze bulette said...

Great stuff Trey - "The twin bruisers with the same name" is a hoot. Can I get a Bloody Mary over here? ;)

Trey said...

@Satyre - Thanks!

@Ze Bulette - Comin' right up. ;)

Barking Alien said...

That is damn cool. Damn Cool! I want this book bad.

Trey said...

Thanks, BA. I'm working to bring it to you as fast as day job and blogging will allow--but I want it done right.

Risus Monkey said...

As one who hails from the vicinity of Old Fort Narrows, I heartily approve. Fantastic art, by the way. It's a supremely evocative piece.

Re: the rumors...

* 5: Motorton is indeed sick. A slow burning fever that has yet to explode into visible boils and postules. But it's coming and the Dwarf is but one sign.

* I think it would be a hoot if 6 were true, especially if everything else led the PCs to believe otherwise.

* 7: RUMPELSTILTSKIN!

Trey said...

Ha! I dig you take on the rumors.

It really is nice art isn't it? Chris Huth always turns out great stuff. I hope he doesn't mind me tinting it red for the purposes of the post.