Friday, February 25, 2011

Rogue Elephant

To adventurers in the City, the question, “have you see the elephant?” has a different meaning than elsewhere. Some have encountered an infamous, wandering hotel in the shape of an elephant, now the residence of a dangerous (and possibly insane) sorcerer.

The Mastodon Colossus, or Hotel Elephantine, was built as a tourist attraction on Lapin Isle in the City’s barony of Rook End. The (admittedly eccentric) architect Jamis Maguffin constructed it through consultation of certain codices of the Ancients--and some magical materials probably dating to Meropis dredged from the City’s harbor. The elephant was twelve stories tall and had stout legs 60 feet in diameter. It had 31 guest rooms, a gallery, tobacconist's shop, and an observation deck shaped like a gigantic howdah.

Most spectacularly, the whole thing was planned to move. Maguffin promised that when all of the thaumaturgic glyphs and enhancements were complete, the elephant would be able to ambulate without any seeming change to the rooms on its interior. These enhancements, unfortunately, would take some time.

Eleven years later, when the thaumaturgical working was (supposedly) nearly complete, the elephant walked away one night with a compliment of guests. Most have turned up dead in various locales, all over the world and beyond, in the four decades since.

The theft and the murders were laid at the feet of Hieronymus Gaunt, lich and (self-styled) wicked sorcerer. He and a band of miscreants entered the elephant and completed the rituals to give in motion. Since that time they've travelled the world in decadent style, taking their seemingly unending orgy of dark thaumaturgy, baroque perversity, and deadly amusements where they may. Sometimes, when it amuses Gaunt, they take others aboard and survivors have reported stores of plunder, both mundane and magical.

I may do a post on the real elephant-shaped buildings of our world in the next week. Until then, read more about them at your local library.

10 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

That's a good tale and a bleeding impressive elephant type structure.

Risus Monkey said...

That is just so wonderfully out there. I love it!

Sean Robson said...

they've travelled the world in decadent style, taking their seemingly unending orgy of dark thaumaturgy, baroque perversity, and deadly amusements where they may.

Good advice for all of us, I think.

Great post, Trey! I love the wandering elephant hotel; you are a true master of the weird.

Trey said...

Thanks guys. The building provided good inspiration.

@Sean- Ha! I think that may be one of the best compliments I received since starting this blog. :D

Tim Shorts said...

Again Trey, fantastic stuff. Can't wait!

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Do you think they do interdimensional contracting? I'd like to have them work on that one building shaped like a dinosaur...

Erich said...

Amazing photo (?) of the elephant, where did you find the drawing you used for Gaunt?

The thing I love about this blog is how you have reimagined the various photographs and dagerrotypes you have discovered.

Trey said...

Thanks, Tim.

@C'norr-That would be sweet indeed.

@Erich - Thanks! I spend a lot of time scouring the internet for good pics. The Gaunt stand-in was eady though. It's a panel of Emperor Zombie from Mike Mignola's comic The Amazing Screw-on Head.

Brandon said...

I have to echo the comment of Sean above, that was my favorite line as well!

Trey said...

Thanks Brandon!