Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Hellbog Part 1 - A horrorscape of mud and despair




The Hellbog - A horrorscape of mud and despair
This is another part of my hell travelogue which is set at a higher danger level than many of my tables here in accordance to my earlier episodes on hell.

Plague lands 1 and 2
Infernal lands 1 and 2
Underworld lands 1 and 2

Also my Exile Island Setting has a Hellbog. It is alive and evil and some kind of land divinity that survived since the dawn age. Druids have battled it and used as initiation for high levels for thousands of years. A great black dragon that lives in the swamp and is the most active dragon in the Shadelport. It is worshiped by monsters who all feel the will of the swamp. Every diseased insect to every parasite filled wild boar or troll or dragon are part of the swamp. Every moss covered tree, every drowned corpse every gnarled root and sucking tar pit. Demons occasionally visit the swamp but they fear the power of the bog god and feel it drinking their will.

So for this project I will cover swamps in general like my former dungeon zones for lower levels and detail hell bog like my earlier hell project. In my hellbog dungeon zone the hellish Mire lands will overlap aplenty. As I have many sentient dungeons the swamp as a mega dungeon works quite well.

The other hells are obvious and visceral places of metaphorical punishment. The hellmarsh is a primitive subconscious evil. A place of lurking fear and pointless meandering. Beneath the surface horrors and death awaits.

Many hazards are natural such as toxic and 
diseased water. Technically fresh the water in some areas are tainted by salt. Beneath the surface of the water the murky waters are haunted and dreamlike. Things may reach from the deep to attack, but other attacks are more psychological and spiritual. Besides swamp creatures, humanoids and beastfolk the undead is rich in the living dead. Souls trapped in drowned and slain corpses, many from soldiers captured, murdered and cast into the swamp and damning them forever. Dinosaurs and other more ancient creatures wallow in the muck and filth.

Treasure and other goals are probably uncommon. The swamp is a place to escape and a physical ordeal. It is a place to hunt foul evils best left forgotten. Fragments of elder lore can be grasped from occasional monoliths and semi sunken pre human ruins.

In the swamp lands of hell they are a place where damned wander in despair, lost and too unimportant for devils to bother tormenting. When damned escape other torments they often find the swamp is a sanctuary but one which they never find a way out of. The forces of the swamp represent unconscious primitive urges rather than the deliberate torment. Damned killed respawn eternally from the muck then wander and die miserably again and again. Living visitors find it easier to escape unless they die there. Most damned are in form of zombies and can take more punishment than mortals. Their will has been sapped from centuries of dispair, Newer ones are naked humans still unaware of their fate. Some even find a shack and settle down oblivious to their fate. Others eventually are incorporeal phantoms  once they no longer react to being killed and are eternally trapped by despair. Some might still be able to talk but a speak with dead spell will help. Devils avoid the place but some devils are sent here for punishment. They prefer to send demon bounty hunters or mercenaries instead


Dragon magazine 54 had a piece of fiction that struck me as a kid as probably the best ever and was of help in creating this. I liked the marsh lands in LOTR movie.

Here is a link (pg49): http://annarchive.com/files/Drmg054.pdf

These worth a look
http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/swamp
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SwampsAreEvil

d10 or d12 Quick Swamp Terrain
1 Trees and leaf covered ground
2 Trees and boggy foot deep mud and shrubs
3 Boggy soil, reeds and shrubs 
4 Shallow foot deep water with trees and reed covered mounds
5 Shallows with trees and reeds with deeper flowing water between
6 Waist deep waters with patches of reeds and trees breaking surface
7 Waist deep waters with some reeds, surface covered in lillypads and floating plants
8 Thick masses of thorn bushes and scraggly trees in shallow stinking water and mud
9 Fog shrouded fern trees and bushes with boggy soil
10 Shallow foot to waist deep waters with tall maze like forest of reeds
11 Shallow clear waters with preserved corpses of murdered men from long ago wars
12 Knee to waist deep stinking mud with trees stumps and corpse fragments

The last two are more hellish but could be fore the core of a evil marsh.
Even in WW1 thousands of Russians captured were marched into swamps to die

As usual dressing table for descriptive stuff possibly leading to encounter or just for when nothing hapening. Wonders are amazing sights that might lead to adventure. Part 2 will have more

d100 Hellbog Dressing
01 Forests of waist high reeds
02 Thick thorn trees and bushes
03 Tall trees hanging with thick ropy moss
04 Dead tree stumps caked in mud
05 Shallow lake covered in lillypads
06 Mass of broken logs jammed into a mass
07 Thick shrubs growing on boggy soil
08 Fallen moss covered tree bridging a body of water
09 Masses of tangled roots
10 Trees hanging with vines

11 Patches of moss grass and carnivorous plants growing in bog
12 Thorn bushes growing in shallow mire 

13 Thick hedges growing  between bog patches
14 Fallen trees coated in lichen, vines and moss
15 Mesh of thin tree trunks like bars growing in black muck
16 Bog with short plants growing
17 Dead trees covered in razor sharp shellfish
18 Pools thick with rafts of algae 
19 Thousand of black mud covered toots erupting like spikes from mud
20 Stinging poisonous bushes in patches
21 Huge pool of mud
22 Concealed quicksand
23 Bubbling tar pit
24 Flowing river
25 Calm looking green pool 
26 Gurgling rapid flowing stream
27 Waterfall
28 Deep clear pool of water
29 Pool with whirlpool into sinkhole
30 Churning rapid flowing muddy water filled with broken branches
31 Fog clouds roll over area
32 Light rain shower
33 Strong winds buffet trees and water
34 Torrential rain pours down
35 Storm breaks out with wind, rain and lightning
36 Humidity raises, everything wet and damp
37 Slow constant trickle of rain
38 Clouds of stinking possibly flammable swamp gas gas bubbles up from marsh
39 Pockets of unbreathable inert gas bubbles up from marsh
40 Acidic rain stings and wears equipment
41 Chirping cicadas drown out every noise
42 Snakes crawling everywhere
43 Huge constrictor hanging in tree
44 Crawling bugs and centipedes everywhere
45 Clouds of mosquitoes swarming everywhere
46 Webs everywhere with huge spiders
47 Filthy rats swimming and climbing everywhere
48 Horrible eels squirming and crawling everywhere
49 Crocodiles or giant lizards basking on shoreline
50 Thousands of croaking frogs
51 Clouds of bats swarm over area
52 Behemoth dinosaur wallowing and eating giant fern trees
53 Duck billed dinosaurs munching on pond weed
54 Vultures follow explorers
55 Giant insect grazing
56 Giant centipede fighting a crocodile
57 Dimetradons wallowing in mud
58 Swarm of ants moving like carpet over ground
59 Gigantic slimy dripping fungi with sleepy giant toad
60 Floating raft of giant maggots eating chunk of meat
61 Piles of human bones with skulls crawling with vermin
62 Floating rotting corpses
63 Hacked up body parts
64 Shrunken heads hanging in trees
65 Skulls hanging in trees with glowing eye sockets
66 Rotten corpses in trees eaten by ravens
67 Submerged cage with slime encrusted skeleton half submerged in pool
68 Tortured corpse nailed to tree
69 Bloated diseased corpse crawling with parasites
70 Half eaten corpse in trap being eaten by bugs
71 Distant screams
72 See distant trees or reeds part from something large moving
73 Sounds of cracking vegetation
74 Hear lash shlop sound of something entering water
75 Something large swimming underwater
76 Haunting distant strange noises
77 Glowing lights dancing in distance
78 Distant bells sounds but cannot tell direction
79 Bleating animal crying in distance
80 Child calling for help
81 Huge moss covered stone monolith
82 Horrid slime encrusted idol
83 Ancient cult altar remnants of sacrifice
84 Cobwebbed cave entrance
85 Statue of fish or lizard or snake man
86 Hole in ground where something long buried arose
87 Giant pile of rotting compost and scraps
88 Cubes of peat have been removed and spades left behind
89 Caged pits wirh remains of animals and people inside
90 Crumbling vine covered manour house
91 Trapdoor on a mound into old basement or cave
92 Semi sunken graveyard with fence or wall
93 Wrecked raft,  canoe or dingy
94 Dilapidated swamp shack
95 Strange looking cottage with lights on
96 Half submerged ruined village
97 Creepy moss covered stone or wooden church
98 Shanty town of fisherman shacks possibly inhabited
99  Large wrecked ship hulk wrecked long ago
100 Half sunken old pre human race stone building




d100 Hellbog Wonders
01 Twisted trees have evil sleeping faces
02 Huge carnivorous plants
03 Gigantic skeleton suspended from trees in vines
04 Huge rotting dinosaur corpse with giant flies buzzing about
05 A building seemingly made of living vegetation
06 Giant log with somethings lair inside
07 Trees with tiny lit windows and doors
08 Clouds of mist with eyeballs drift by
09 Hundreds of hung corpses dangling from trees
10 Hundreds of dolls hanging in foliage

11 Moss covered sunken step pyramid
12 Ancient cryp

13 Stone sarcophagi
14 Giant half sunk stone head
15 Dozens of stone statues covered in lichen and moss
16 Giant tree with treehouse and lit windows
17 Giant mushroom grove
18 Colossal sitting toad bigger than a barn, ignores unless  you get near mouth
19 Colossal turtle bigger than a barn, quite friendly and wise
20 Giant stone skull overgrown with tree roots with mouth entry
21 Sunken stone arena now a pool
22 Remains of damaged clock tower
23 Dozens of wrecked boats lashed together into a island
24 Huge complex of woven reed houses and walkways
25 Colossal snail with inhabitants in shell
26 Petrified tree trunk forest
27 Foundations of sunken castle with waterlogged tunnel entrance
28 Scaffolding around a huge flesh colossus abandoned by necromancers
29 Gigantic swamp creature with shack built on top
30 Mushroom village 
31 Root encrusted sunken temple ruins
32 Strange leaning prehuman tower of basalt, lower levels sunken
33 Mounds of giant creature carcasses
34 Shallow waters with thousands of drowned dead left from a ancient war
35 Peat bog soil with exposed semi bog mummies from ancient sacrifices 
36 Sinkholes into mossy cavern complex covering area
37 Colossal giant flesh eating caterpillar chasing a dinosaur
38 Cage of living eels keeping a beautiful naked woman captive
39 Slumbering titanic fishman asleep with robed worshipers chanting to it
40 Crumbling aqueduct section
41 Wide stone road for hundreds of metres with terraces and drainage
42 Huge stone sphere
43 Crumbling statue of octopus headed god that causes odd dreams
44 Huge tar pit with remains of prehistoric megafauna semi exposed
45 Remains of semi sunken stone wall
46 Gigantic eggs bigger than hhumans
47 Hundreds of overgrown demonic idols and shrines
48 Huge stone cobra statue
49 Huge panther statue with sealed door in chest
50 Stone terraces with drainage with ruined houses on top
51 Remains of complex wooden walkways through swamp, some go up to tree level
52 Creepy stilt house with glowing skulls on porch
53 Crumbling fortified watch tower overgrown with moss
54 Giant crab shell converted into home
55 Giant termite mounds
56 A thousand or so easily offended frogmen in huge spawning pit
57 A pyramid of moss covered skulls
58 Duckmen guarding a pillar of unbreakable metal 
59 Huge wooden wall with gates with tower to tie sacrifices too
60 Dozens of human size vegetable pod
61 Village of haunted turf houses
62 Gigantic sweatshop of wooden scaffolding and wheels staffed by slave newt folk
63 Huge work shed where coloured zombies die cloth for necromancer foreman 
64 Bubbling geothermal mud pools
65 Spectacular calcium formations
66 Giant voodoo priestess making human sized voodoodolls
67 Dancing tree folk performing important fertility rite
68 Salt bog with huge salt crystals and long preserved corpses
69 A huge stone circle half sunk
70 A stone skull shaped building where secret wizard cult meet to plot conquests
71 A huge barrow with stone lined tunnels and chambers within
72 A hill fort raised above water with remains of houses, trees and graveyard
73 A hellmouth in form of a dragon face with devil guards
74 Hundreds of gibbets hanging in trees
75 A titanic kaiju corpse that goblins are using as a dungeon
76 A village of kappa where they grow cucumbers and keep huts of slave women
77 A village of mutant ogres built on top of ancient ruins
78 A huge pit of filth and corpses where formarians wallow and snack and fornicate
79 Hundreds of damned phantoms wandering in circles moaning
80 Dozens of trolls eating zombies in a pit with hundreds trapped inside
81 Neo-Otyughs swimming in a river of effluent gleefully eating turds
82 A slime mold filled crater where ropers debate philosophy and eat travellers
83 A sinking tower where outcast miserable devils await their banishment to end 
84 A great lake of evil black sludge where hundreds of damned squirm to escape
85 A great face manifests in water, sky, rocks or tree canopies grins then fades
86 Hundreds of snakes pour out of holes and logs and swarm into living temple
87 Thousands of spiders have spun names of damned souls in their webs
88 Thousands of spiders have constructed a treetop system of walkways
89 Titanic evil swamp whale sleeps with its mouth open and locals have built a tavern inside
90 Huge turtle shell has been converted into fort by savage frog men91 Basalt column filled overgrown plaza built by serpent men now home of a allasaurus
92 Stone monolith if somehow opened has a crystal control panel for weather
93 Stone monolith if somehow opened has a crystal control panel to open planar gates
94 Stone monolith if somehow opened has a crystal control panel to open time gates
95 Meet earlier or later versions of selves displaced from time
96 Building size organic structure, a dungeon full of horrid creatures and living treasure
97 A titanic moth resting can be boarded to be carried far away (or even the moon)
98 A bath house operated by spirit beings easily offended by crude mortals
99 A gathering of water elementals of varied sizes for a ritual gathering
100 A clan of moss covered stone giants in a deep sleep, irritable if awoken


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