Wherein your humble scribe presents a couple of monsters and an artifact (in Barbarians of Lemuria format) that he whipped up for his nascent Lovecraftian Fantasy setting, Nogoloth, as he continues to dither on which system to use for such things.
The pampered academics at the Great University in Khaarm espouse countless theories about the nature, history, and ultimate destination of the Iron Line. The earthier scholars of Canton-on-Imisk have different opinions; some have even followed the Line deep into the windswept mountains of the north in search of hard, scientific truth. But even the hardiest investigators have been forced to turn back well before reaching the Line’s terminus. It seems that each of the several expeditions sent to identify the source of the Line has been driven back – smaller than it was when it embarked, as is grimly expected by the professors and administrators – due to some singular concatenation of events and circumstances or another, all of which seem natural and plausible enough to the casual observer. But that nineteen souls have perished in the pursuit of something as simple as what lies at the other end of a 3′ wide ribbon of iron that is sunken so throughly within the bones of the earth – extending no less than 10 feet deep, even in the hardest of bedrock – has brought something of a sense of doom to the Iron Line and its mystery.
The course of the Iron Line, which has been mapped thoroughly within the areas settled by man, runs from the edge of the cliff that rises above the port of Pnikigystros in the south and winds its way across much of the civilized regions of Nogoloth – passing as it does within no less than 1/2 mile of each of the other major cities, and sometimes through them – before taking its turn into the northern mountains. At any given moment the Iron Line may feel incredibly warm or icy cold to the touch, often radiating significantly different levels of heat a mere handspan apart. Some dedicated observers of the Iron Line report that under certain conditions (time of year, weather, and other factors contribute) the Line seems to sing (very softly) a complex, undulating melody that stirs melancholy and dread within the audience. That some people appear utterly unable to hear this song even as those next to them are able to describe what they are hearing with exquisite detail only furthers the mystery of this Nogolothian oddity.
Resembling a hideous and eldritch amalgam of insect, ape and lizard, Q’agpthah live in the caves that dot the high passes of the northern mountains. These beasts possess a cunning, if rudimentary, intelligence and have displayed an aggressive nature that makes them a significant threat to any who seek to travel through the mountains – whether attempting to follow the Iron Line or pursuing other business. Those who have risked their lives to observe these beings’ society – such as it is – report that the Q’agpthah appear to worship regularly at a hieroglyphic-covered altar deep within their mountain caves that clearly could not have been produced by their limited culture. According to the hastily written notes in the field journal of a researcher who has since taken his own life, the Q’agpthah also possess several similarly-inscribed tablets from which they appear to read, though this is doubtless a case of the creatures imitating human behavior rather than observing a true liturgy.
Attack with Two Claws +1 each; d6+2 damage each
Protection: d3 (thick fur, chitin, and scales)
The Tablets of L’thuggothaaa
Within the dark and twisting caves of the Q’agpthah there lies a large chamber – clearly hewn from the rock by some intelligent hand – which serves as the creatures’ Cathedral. An iron altar – stamped and etched with hieroglyphs of a language unrecognizable even to scholars steeped in the deepest mysteries of Nogolothian lore. Atop this altar rest the Tablets of L’thuggothaaa, a pair of ancient stone tablets inscribed with blasphemies so mind-shattering that they have destroyed the minds of all who have read them – including the entire race of alien beings now called “Q’agpthah” by the men of Nogoloth. These tablets, unlike the altar upon which they rest, are written in a language similar to the Star Tongue of the Elds and may potentially be deciphered by any who have studied that damnable tongue.
Game Information: A person who acquires and deciphers the Tablets of L’thuggothaaa – neither of these is an easy task – will immediately be granted the Power of the Void and Magic of the Sorcerer Kings boons. The unfortunate soul who read these words will also be burdened with terrible knowledge that will manifest itself in the form of the Unsettling and Morgazzon’s Curse flaws. As is always the case with Morgazzon’s Curse, the exact nature of the flaw is left to the GM.
Small, grey-furred cat-like beasts that inhabit the caves deep within the northern mountains of Nogoloth, Ilthoth-eg are set apart from the “normal” wildcats of the region by their abundance of eyes. A typical Ilthoth-eg possesses somewhere between 7 and 11 eyes arrayed across their bodies. Though not truly intelligent, these animals chitter and whisper their previous victims’ words as they stalk their prey through the darkness of the caves.
Attack with Bite +4; d6-1
Protection: d3-1 (light fur)