Cultural Pillars pt2: Hunting - Labor

People trading Status and Goods in the Grooming Place of Food and Flower.


  • It is widely believed that this world was once a heavenly paradise for hunters and predators, and that the gods influenced it as so.
  • Dragon Wives are seen as the most saintly and skilled hunters, as they hunt Armageddon itself in the form of dragons.
  • The gods have created hunting zones inside the city. Huge city squares are miniature forests filled with preserved and strange creatures. These are called Flower Graves, as the flower is a symbol of war, death, and the hunt.
  • During certain seasons and months, different "Lodges of Men" are allowed to hunt.
  • Many hunt to relieve stress or to forget that they are living in the end of the world. Others do so because they believe it is their sacred duty.
  • Those who hunt the most effectively and bring back the greatest game are rewarded with social status, currency, and audiences with the gods.
  • Everything that is hunted is eaten and used. The scraps of their souls are drawn back to the Flower Forest where the creatures are reborn, and the hunts begin again.
  • Sometimes, men are hunted in the Flower Graves. Criminals are thrown into their, unarmed and naked, and Execution-Hunters track them and slaughter them. Criminal hearts are offered to the Gods to empower them.
  • Every Flower Grave is different. There is the Garden of Bells, filled with birds whose flights disturb the countless obsidian bells; there is the Fathomless Lake, which digs deep into the world where any manner of aquatic creature can be hunted; there are even forests far bigger on the inside than on the outside where the trees are bamboo and where tigers hunt you.
  • Flower Graves contain old treasures in them. They are created from taking pieces of the Heaven that were not destroyed and importing them into the city. Some may adventure into Flower Graves and come out richer then they could have imagined.


  • All souls must work to keep the city alive. This is the first law of the City, and the most important one too.
  • There are many professions, but they all fall under categories: Farmers, Maintainers, Gatherers, Artists, Priesthood, and Hunters.
  • Farmers are, naturally, the most ubiquitous. They farm on floating chinampas, or crop beds that float on the great lake that surrounds and flows under the City of the Dragon Wives. Seasons are strange now, and the Gods dictate when to plant and when to harvest.
  • There are two groups of Maintainers. One group are Engineers who ensure the Gate Walls are secured and the city is not falling to pieces. The other group watches over and keeps control over the crops and other supplies needed to fuel the city.
  • Gatherers are, as mentioned in other sections, those who travel out into the Heaven Bless'd & Burned and return with treasures and supplies.
  • Artists, as mentioned above, are the communicators, the scribes, and half-priests of the City.
  • The Priesthood includes sacrificing one's self to become a Handless Priest, assisting the Dragon Wives, or giving one's self to the gods to serve as their servants. It is very respected, but also tragic, as religious life is filled with bloodletting and agony.
  • Hunters are two fold. You are either a Dragon Wife, or you create the weapons, armors, and other pieces of equipment needed for both their hunts into Heaven and the people's hunts into  Flower Graves. 
  • There is no real currency here. One is rewarded either in object (nice hunting equipment, large amounts of supplies) or in social status. Social status is measured by feathers. The more feathers you have (up to 40), the bigger an "allowance" you have for food, weapons, clothing, luxury goods, etc.
  • The average worker never grows above 10-15 feathers. The rich have 35+.
  • There are markets across the city that offer different goods. A market is known simply as "the Grooming Place," is reference to the feathers worn. Different Grooming Places have slightly different names, such as "the Red-Feathered Grooming Place," (red light district) or "the Grooming Place of Loose Skin & Hurt Bones" (medicine & apothecaries).

Tiamat is an Irradiated God-Queen That Embodies Armageddon

Before the Heavens Bless'd became the Heavens Bless'd & Burned, there was a God-King and a God-Queen whose symbols were passed down generation after generation. Dire-wolves and sane dragons tore down the God-King's symbols and devoured them, and the God-Queen's own were irradiated and fused into the flesh of a Burned Widow. Thus Tiamat was born.

Her Face of Worship
She is the One. The Widow of God & Wyrm, Goddess of Armageddon, Bringer of Fertility & Rebirth, Her Radiance Poisoned. All dragons serve her, as do all things through which the brilliant blood of Radiance flows. It is under the shadow of her six wings that Heaven exists, and thus it is hers in all ways to do with as she sees fit. Her will is the obliteration of mannish gods, the devouring of their culture, and the utter consumption of their secrets and ways. From the ashes of the Old Heaven will be born a newer, brighter one, and the great wyrm nesting in the yoke of the world will hatch free and guide all dragonkind to a million new afterlives. So speakth the Radiant Saints and the Bless'd Consorts.


  • To be worshipped.
  • To give birth to more dragons.
  • To be pleased by her consorts.
  • To devour the gods and take their symbols to make new gods.
  • To make a new heaven.
  • To awaken her greatest child, That Which Has Yet to Be Born, from the core of the world.
  • To forget about her old life.
  • To conquer all other heavens.
Does Not Want
  • For Ereshteteo to annhilate her.
  • To keep remembering who she once was.
  • For her children to be hurt.
  • For her consorts to be destroyed.
  • For the old gods to continue their false rule.
  • For all other heavens to continue their false lives.
  • For her radiance to disappear.


Six Bless'd Wings: The wings that shroud her loins represent rebirth and the guarded nature of dragon eggs. Should they ever unfurl, she will at once give birth to an armageddon of dragons whose breath will melt the world, freeing That Which Has Yet to Be Born. The wings that stretch along her arms cast deep shadows. They are the flight of dragons, and all that they rule. The wings that spread from behind her neck and enshroud her face are the wings of change. They wrap around her face, and birth her many masks.

The Number 6: The first 6 dragons to break free of the Radiant Moon were the six dragons that gave birth to armageddon. Tiamat has six wings, each one containing the Radiance of the First Six. There are never more than Six Radiant Saints at a time, and never more than 666 Bless'd Consorts either. The human calendar knows only 4 moments, but the wyrm calendar knows 6, and at the 6th moment of every day, dragons awake and consume all. The 6th month was once Tiamat's.

Radiance, Cancer, and Enfeeblement: Radiance is Tiamat's blood, her saliva, and her sexual juices. To drink from it or to bathe in it is to ascend to a level of existence that no human form can take. The dreams that come from it are the thoughts of Tiamat herself. Cancers that spawn from it are her kisses. Sickness is experienced by all things at birth, and through suffering it, one becomes strong. All Radiance leads back to Tiamat, and comes from her as well.

Divorce & Widowing: To leave one's lover is a sacred act in the eyes of Tiamat. Doing so by murder is the holiest thing one can do. To do so means that one is ready to take on the role of both male and female, father and mother, king and queen, and thus can give birth and rebirth to all things that exist. To shatter the bonds of heretical ways is to accept the freedom that comes from draconic truth.

Opal, Teeth, and Feathers: All mountains in this world are made of opal, teeth, and feathers. Tiamat willed it so when she gave birth to herself, and thus it was done. Molten opal pours from the wounds of Bless'd Consorts and encapuslates their bodies when they die. Teeth are needed to eat, for to eat is to be able to give birth, and thus one must keep them sharp, grooved, and filed. Feathers represent conquest over all. All birds will be destroyed, for their ability to fly is an afront to Tiamat, and one must wear these trophies to put fear into their hearts.


When coming across Bless'd Consorts, sane dragons, drakes under a Radiance Aurora, or Radiant Saints, roll on the Tiamat Ritual table to see what they are doing.

  1. Sticking opal needles through their genitals. The freed blood glows with radiance, and once consumed, will increase their power.
  2. Sitting in meditation and having comrades set them aflame. Their blackened corpses will be slothed off and their souls irradiated, allowing Tiamat to give birth to them once again.
  3. Smoking a hookah that uses feathers instead of leaves. Meant to curse birds of all kinds.
  4. Worshipping a shrine of Tiamat made out of teeth and ash. After the prayers have ended, all participants kiss each wing and then slit their wrists, offering blood to their goddess.
  5. Slathering each other in Radiant mud. Once the mud is done being slathered, all participants will fight to the death. The winner cannibalizes the rest, and becomes more powerful for it.
  6. Grooving and filing one's teeth. Once done, they will painfully consume one of their own limbs, which will regrow as something vicious and irradiated.
  7. Splitting into divisions of 6. Once in these groups, they will commit mass suicide. Radiance will flow from their corpses and form a new, sane dragon.
  8. Staring at the cloven sun and whispering curses. These curses will become real and rain down upon the City of the Dragon Wives.
  9. 6 victims are having their lungs ripped out through their backs, to look as if they have wings. These flesh wings will be fully functional, and the creature will live in bless'd agony.
  10. Drinking molten opal. It will seal their mouths shut and give them various cancers that will, after 6 days, give them an assortment of Draconic Mutations.


There are 6 blessings Tiamat may bestow. Doing any of the below rituals has a 1-in-6 chance of producing a blessing. They are as follows:
  • Kill your divorcee and devour their flesh. In 6 days, their flesh will reform as scales along your body, a bladed tail, and wings from your back. All are fully functional.
  • Fly one's limb and encase the flesh in a cast of Radiance mud. In 6 days, the mud will break away and the limb will be capable of manipulating Radiance.
  • Pluck out one's eyes and replace them with opals. Then, stare at the half-sun for 6 days. At the end of those 6 days your vision will return, and you will be able to see the past lives of others.
  • Take six opal rods and adorn them with feathers. Then, stick them into your skull. After 6 days, they will metamorphose into horns, giving one the ability to command drakes.
  • Rip one your tongue and vocal chords and drink molten opal. In 6 days, the opal will melt again, revealing a healed mouth and throat. You will be able to speak the language of dragons, and to perform all breath weapons once per day.
  • Become sick or cancered from Radiance. After dying, rise from your ashes 6 days later with the power to perform one of the 6 Draconic Miracles.


There are 6 miracles Tiamat can perform. They are as follows: 
  • Tiamat can reform a soul from ash, and give them irradiated life.
  • Tiamat can make a woman pregnant with a glance, as well as make a man hyper-fertile.
  • Tiamat can turn water and blood into Radiance.
  • Tiamat can turn stone and wood into teeth, opal, and feathers with a kiss.
  • Tiamat can hatch the eggs of dragons, and ensure they are always dragons.
  • Tiamat can duplicate anything into 6 of itself.


Tiamat has 6 faces. They are created by the wings behind her neck, and remold her features freely. The six faces and their meanings are as follows:
  • The Face of Worship. It is stoic and calm. It recieves the blessings and prayers of all who praise her name.
  • The Face of Strength. It is a face half-draconic, and is used to remind wyrms who is their master.
  • The Face of Birth. It is a face wracked in the pain of birth, and worn when consorts are created.
  • The Face of War. It is the face she wears when meeting those who do not worship her. It is a face twisted in pleasure.
  • The Face of Fornication. The face of a mortal in sex. It is worn when her consorts offer her blood, semen, and radiance to please her.
  • The Face of Tragedy. It is a face worn when she senses her children have been murdered. Her tears are pure radiance, and her weeping song drives souls mad.


To see Tiamat is a horrible thing. For every glance you steal of her, your Radiance increases by +1. For every word you hear from her, your Radiance increases by +1. For every minute you stand around her, your Radiance increases by +1. The air around her is hot enough to set flax clothing aflame. The heretical will feel nauseous and vertigo will force them to their knees. You will puke blood and have diarrhea and your skin will sloth off and, should she deem you shall turn to ash and be reborn. Only the symbols of another god can protect you.


When Tiamat decides to move somewhere, she moves with all the weight of an angry god. The sky fills with Radiant Auroras. Underneath the shadow of her wings, Radiant Rivers will form. Ash will keep up into a mighty storm, and she will be the eye. Dragons will dive from the heavens and reign breath upon everything they see. Mountains of rock will form, and then be baptized, transforming into opal, tooth, and feather.

Tiamat will only take flight for 1 of 2 reasons.
  1. To seek out and battle Ereshteteo, Goddess of Annihilation. So far they have exchanged blows 54 times with no victor.
  2. To destroy the City of the Dragon Wives once its gods are scattered.


Tiamat cannot die unless her symbols are annhilated. Only Ereshteteo can do so, and so Tiamat seeks to kill her. Her powers are kept in check by the 4 remaining gods of the City of the Dragon Wives. Though she controls vast territory, she cannot move on them, for to do so is certain suicide. Neither can they move on her, for beyond their City they are in her domain. In combat, Tiamat takes on the form of an First Dragon with 6 heads and all breath weapons. She can have any mutation she desires. Many dragon wives have happened upon her, and all are now dead.

Demi-Dragons are the Results of Radiation-Baptized DNA

The atmosphere not only sent the invading dragons into a rage, it burned their DNA and made their radiance into a self-targeting poison. Unable to control themselves, dragons committed incest, used their breath weapons on their eggs, and rotted from the inside out. From these twisted wyrms come demi-dragons--or drakes, as they are more commonly known.

When a dragon lays a clutch of eggs, there is a 90% chance that each egg will hatch into some form of demi-dragon. The parent wyrm will usually devour or destroy most of these drakes, but with so many clutches being laid, it is no wonder why the Heavens Bless'd & Burned are so overrun.

Gatherers are trained in the art of hunting and killing demi-dragons. These creatures can be butchered and prepared in such a way as to baptize them of their radiance, making them edible. Drakes can be farmed and their eggs harvested, and they are used as popular sport for city-hunts inside the City of the Dragon Wives, where they are bred weaker and stupider than their feral cousins.

Below is a comprehensive list of demi-dragons. If the demi-dragon is found inside the City of the Dragon Wives, reduce its hit points by half, remove its to hit bonus, and reduce its damage down to 2d4.

Drake's are fucking monstrous

Demi-Dragon Species


The bevar asp is a long, serpentine demi-dragon with scales the color of ember, jade, and charcoal. Found feral, their bodies are roughly a meter in diameter and12 meters in length. A bevar asp has neither limbs nor wings, and most are blind or flatout eyeless. Despite this, there is always a functional eye inside their mouth, found on a stalk that replaces its tongue. This eye stalk is not the reason the bevar asp's mouth is so horrifying. No less than 27 rows of poisoned fangs snap out when it lunges forward for a strike. Bevar asp poison is a hallucinogenic that makes lust, fear, or envy blossom in its victims mind. It has no breath weapon, and its roar sounds like a bed of snakes hissing and a crying baby trapped with them.

Typical Bevar Asp
HD 3 (24) SPEED As human x2
ARMOR As Studded Leather (unnaturally tough skin)
MORALE 6 normally 

  • Bite: +7 to hit for d12 damage.

  • Victims of the bevar asp bite must Save vs Poison or become possessed by intense lust, fear, or envy for the next person they see. This poison lasts for 24 hours or until antivenom is administered.
  • The bevar asp can use its action to force a Save vs Paralyze. On a failure, the target creature is paralyzed and takes d6 damage at the start of both its turn and the bevar asp's own.


Few predators are as relentless as the Bless'd Komodo. This demi-dragon is roughly 7 meters in length and weighs upwards of 1,400 lb. It moves slowly on four limbs, and its scales are a dull grey. The Bless'd Komodo follows a tactic when it hunts. First, it delivers a savage bite to its victim, sometimes multiple if it can't get purchase. Then, it flees. The Bless'd Komodo's mouth drips with radiance and bacteria, which infects the target and kills them over a period of seven days. If the target receives no help, they will either die or be weakened enough for the Bless'd Komodo, who has been stalking this entire time, to saunter in and devour its screaming victim. The Bless'd Komodo's roar is that of air escaping a cadaver's open wounds.

Typical Bless'd Komodo
HD 4 (32) SPEED As half-human
ARMOR As Half-Plate + Shield

  • Bite: +7 to hit for d10 damage.
  • Tail Savage: +7 for d8 damage.
  • Victims of the Bless'd Komodo's bite must make a Save vs Poison. They must roll twice, and take the lowest result. On a failure, the victim's draconic radiance increases by +2 for 7 days, and they lose d6 hp at the start of every day. HP lost in this way lowers the target's maximum hit points.
  • The Bless'd Komodo has a 3-in-6 chance to hide.


The Ghul Drake is a creature of nightmare and legend. Gatherers and Dragon Wives both are specifically trained to spot and avoid them in the wild. A Ghul Drake's scales are the same color as the Ashpit's dunes, and they hide underneath them and lie so still that they appear dead. Some Ghul Drakes even cover themselves in the corpses of direwolves or hyenas to improve their disguise. Rare is it they hunt alone. A graveyard of ghul drakes has been the end of many expeditions, and is said to have brought gods and men alike to their deaths. A ghul drake's roar is the sound of hundreds of bones breaking.

Typical Ghul Drake
HD 4 (32) SPEED As human
ARMOR As Half-Plate

  • Bite/Bite/Bite: +7 for each hit, dealing d10 damage with each bite.
  • Ghul Drakes have a 5-in-6 chance to hide, increasing to 6-in-6 if they use another creature's corpse.
  • Ghul Drakes have breath flesh-eating bacteria. Save vs Breath Weapon or take 1 point of damage. Every 24 hours afterwards, lose d4 hit points and reduce your maximum hit points by the number rolled. Damage caused by this cannot be healed through any non-divine or radiance means.


Wyverns are the most common demi-dragon, on account of their ability to fly and thus ignore many of the Heaven Bless'd & Burned's dangers. They are the size of mustangs, with 10 meter wingspans and long, barbed tails that look eerily like those of a scorpion's own. Wyverns are solitary creatures, though on occasion they may gather with others during mating moons. Some wyverns have been domesticated in the past and used as steeds, though Dragon Wives kill them when they find out. All wyverns are aggressive--their flight makes them arrogant. A wyvern's roar is the sound of thousands of scorpions flexing their claws.

Typical Wyvern
HD 3 (24) SPEED As human, as human x3 when flying
ARMOR As Studded Leather (unnaturally tough skin)

  • Bite: +7 to hit for d6 damage.
  • Stinger: +7 to hit for d10 damage.
  • Bite/Stinger: +7 to hit for each, dealing d6 with each hit.

  • Victims of the wyvern's stinger must Save vs Poison or suffer 2d8 damage.

Random Encounters + Bestiary Table

The bestiary table for the Heavens Bless'd & Burned.

Monster Name Short Description
Bevar Asp A deformed child of dragons, 40 feet long, a giant anaconda whose bites inspire lust, fear, or envy.

Bless'd Blood Worms Irradiated worms that feast on dragon's blood and can infect men.

Bless'd Komodo Massive drakes whose bites ensure certain death if not treated within 10 days. They stalk their prey after biting.

Burned Widow Dragon Wives who have been corrupted by radiation and grief.

Cipactli A massive reptilian creature with fanged mouths for joints.

Consort A soul reincarnated by Tiamat to serve her needs.

Direwolf Irradiated wolves that are hyper intelligent and hyper aggressive.

Dragon Winged aliens that hatched from the moon and irradiated the world.

Ghul Drake A smaller drake that pretends to be dead in order to ambush prey.

Hyena Ka A hyena given human form by Tiamat and sent to the City to sabotage it.

Hyena, Spotted Irradiated hyenas that have the intelligence of man.

Ifriti A spirit of fire that grants wishes to the dead and dying.

Irradiated Soul The spirit of a human who died from radiance, left sorrowful and in pain.

Kobold Draconic humanoids born from a dragon's corpse.

Old Dragon Slayer Wanderers who seek to kill dragons and dragon wives in their own ways.

Old Opal King Flaming spirits of ancient kings that once served the gods.

Old Opal Wraith Flaming spirits of heroes that once served their kings.

Pilgrim Men possessed by flaming spirits who wander the Ashpits looking to give their possessors a proper burial.

Radiant Saint Powerful consorts who have greatly influenced armageddon.

Soot Shadow The lonely souls of those turned to ash by dragonfire.

Tzitzimilti  Irradiated souls who drank starlight and now hunger for human flesh.

Wyvern A type of drake who does not breathe fire, can fly, and has a poison stinger.

And some random encounters. Roll d20 if you just need a day encounter. Reroll anything over 65 if you just need a night encounter.

  1. 1d4 Ghul Drakes
  2. A lone direwolf
  3. d12 Irradiated Souls, unmoving and weeping
  4. Collapsed building covered in d20 Soot Shadows
  5. D6 gatherers. 5-in-6 chance one of them is infected with Bless’d Blood Worms.
  6. 50% chance of Gatherer vs Direwolf. Either is chased by d4 Bless’d Komodos
  7. Old Dragon Slayer, roll d6 for Order
  8. Helioscribe burning picture of dead dragon
  9. D4 Tzitzimitli
  10. Lone traveler. 3-in-6 chance of being a Hyena Ka
  11. Burned Widow
  12. D4 Bevar Asps, led by a Burned Widow
  13. 2d12 Kobolds
  14. Cipactli, accompanied by d4 Bevar Asps
  15. D4 Wyverns
  16. Pack of 4d20 Spotted Hyena
  17. Dragon Wife
  18. Radiant Saint, accompanied by d20 Consorts, d20 Ghul Drakes, and d20 Bless’d Komodo
  19. Dead Dragon being pulled back to the City by 40 laborers
  20. Live dragon. Roll for age.

21-25: Make an Environ Action

26-30: Make an Environ Move + Roll a Creature

31-36: Environ Specific Creature

37-40: Player's exert selves while traveling, drink/eat or lose 2 hp every hour

41-45: Roll 2d20, keep numbers separate - creatures are in confrontation, roll on confrontation table

46-50: Radiance River, Aurora, Lake, or Waterfall - Save vs Poison or increase radiance by 1

51-65 only happen at night, no encounters otherwise

  1. Pack of 2d8 direwolves, led by God Drinker
  2. Pack of 4d100 Hyena, led by Moon Riser
  3. 6 Radiant Saints meeting in secret
  4. D4 sleeping Dragon Wives
  5. 2d10 Ghul Drakes
  6. 2d12 Tzitzimitli, led by Itzpapalotl
  7. An Ifriti leading a train of 2d20 Pilgrims
  8. A lone, half-dead traveler. 2-in-6 chance of being a Foreigner, a Hyena Ka, or a Pilgrim
  9. A bonfire with a 5-in-6 chance of summoning an 2d4 Old Opal Wraiths
  10. A dragon wife pyre with a 3-in-6 chance of summoning an Old Opal King
  11. A bonfire summoning random ghosts, and 2d4 Gatherers asking them questions
  12. Cipactli, asleep
  13. An Oracle Lich performing bloodletting on themselves
  14. Half-buried library covered in 5d100 soot shadows
  15. A torch, lantern, candle, or bonfire goes out and cannot be relit

66-70 for sleeping player's, no encounter otherwise

  1. D12 blood worms attempt to infest a player at random.
  2. D8 Hyena will wait sneak into camp, steal food, and then ambush party when they awake
  3. D6 Consorts begin tracking the party; will kidnap a random character in the night as they sleep
  4. Random player will be possessed and need to make Save vs Magic or become a pilgrim
  5. Party is sleeping ontop of a sleeping, buried dragon

71-75 are for when the player's enter into an uncharted territory
  1. Dead Dragon Wife, killed via sacrificial heart removal
  2. Blood and soot stained altar for sacrfiice
  3. Clutch of dragon eggs
  4. Remains of a destroyed Gatherer camp. Various artefacts and supplies scattered around
  5. Shattered moon fragment. Signs of life cover one half of it.

76-99: No encounter

00. Ereshteteo, Goddess of Annihilation

Dragon Wife City Culture pt. 1: Art

The City of the Dragon Wives boasts a culture that is a frankenstein-meld of hundreds of different pre-armageddon traditions. Wedded to it are the blossomed ideals and values of a world stuck in an unending apocalypse. When survival is the only thing that matters, the human mind changes, compartmentalizes, and exaggerates. Despite this, it finds a way all the same.

There are four cultural pillars for these people. They are, in order described:

  • ART, their method of communication, recording history, and catharsis.
  • HUNTING, the foundation of both their religion, their method of survival, and more catharsis.
  • LABOR, farming the floating gardens, maintaining the hunt-blocks, and filtering the lake.
  • WORSHIP, for there is no medicine as strong as religion to make the terrible bearable.
These four pillars are one of the only reasons the city-state has not descended into absolute anarchy, and serve as the big targets for the Hyena Ka conspiracies. Below, each pillar is given a number of points to help understand the world. The author encourages you to alter the points, throw some out, or add more as you want--they are guidelines in every definition.


  • Art is the city's primary method of communication. Words are pictures. Pictures are made through heliography.
  • Heliography is the art of using glass and mirrors to burn stone with sunlight. See above for a heliograph.
  • The deepness of the burn, its width, and the symbols themselves all construct a nuanced sentence. One mural can be as little as a poem stanza or as much as an essay.
  • All children learn to read heliography, but the child itself must pursue it with their own fervor. They are taught by Spears of Heliographers (their term of venery) on one of their Sunburnt Workshops.
  • Sunburnt Workshops are the names for the rock outcroppings that rise out of the lake water that surrounds the proper city. Spears of Heliographers live there, building different contraptions of glass and mirrors to improve their art and their words.
  • Heliographers take commissions to burn messages and murals into personal tablets, the sides of bridges, and the sides of buildings.
  • Each w orkshop has a different culture. Gold Bloods use symbols of sun-bleached bones while Blind Eyes believe that seeing the art ruins it. See Appendix __ for more.
  • Not all who learn this art have to join a workshop. Many learn it for personal reasons, for forms of labor, or just to experiment with it. Skillful heliographs outside the workshops are sought after to write and transport hidden messages.
  • There are other forms of art. Artisans who create clothing will reward gatherers or those who do something grand for the city with homespun cottons dyed in rich, rarely seen colors, such as purple or jade.
  • Other artisans scrimshaw bones. Sacrifices and the natural dead have their flesh boiled off beforehand. The inscribed bones are believed to help the spirit find guidance, and decorate pyramid-temples and underwater catacombs. These areas are known as Hero Wombs.
  • Another set of artisans focus on construction. They plan out city expansion and reduction, they craft weapons and tools, they cast jewelry and help gatherers sort their tomb-stolen treasures. They are widely considered to be heroes in the city for the services their art provides.
  • Those who make art just for fun are stereotyped as being escapists and as dreamers. This stereotype is half true.
  • Those who make art-in-service are stereotyped as almost being noble or mentally elevated. This stereotype, too, is half true.

Environs as Stat Blocks

When you enter into a new environ, use one of the following stat blocks. GMs can make turns as they want, and the environ always goes first or last. The GM can always elect to not take a turn, or can roll a d20. On a 10 or lower, the GM does not take a turn.

The Abyss are the countless caves that dot the Heavens Bless'd & Burned. Be them in the sides of opal mountains, underneath pyre cities, or dotting the desert wastes, they all lead down, into some blackness--a blackness aware of all that stare into it.

HD  1d12 SPEED N/A
ARMOR As full plate + shield
  • Cave In: This represents the Abyss suddenly collapsing. Save vs Breath Weapon. Failure indicates 2d20 damage and grappled, and a save is d12. 
  • Possess: This represents the fear that possesses those who traverse places of utter darkness. Save vs Magic or be possessed by complete fear. Can only use your action to run, and if you encounter anything, you must attack it and keep running. Other creatures have a 3-in-6 chance of shaking you out of your fear.
  • Snuff Out: This represents all lights suddenly going out in the depths of caves. Save vs Magic or all candles, lamps, and other light sources go out. Infra or darkvision stops working.
  • Trip: This is the possibility of tripping and falling inside the cave proper. Save vs Breath weapon or fall to the ground and drop anything you are holding.
  • These hit points represent exploring the Abyss. Every hit point is 1 hour of exploration. At 0 hit points, the cave terminates in a dragon's lair, an underground aqueduct, a pyre city, or a way back into the ashpits. 
  • A successful Bushcraft roll will allow all saves vs the Abyss to be rolled a second time, take the higher number.
  • For every hit point deducted, there is a 3-in-6 chance of a random encounter.
  • The Abyss's AC represents destroying cave walls to escape by going straight up. Damage can increase the Abyss's hit points if it is instead going to the side or going straight down.

It rains acid and ash, never just water. Vast fields of grey. Burned, crumbling ruins--stones with soot-silhouettes of heretics and forgotten lovers. Dunes hundreds of feet tall. Pieces of churches, palaces, ziggurats, cemeteries, homes, all buried under them. Vast, black ashstorms angrily race across the horizon, filled with Draconic Radiance (once dragon sickness, now renamed). Flashes of lightning and peals of thunder prelude them, follow them. This is the speech of  dragons who set storms loose upon us. Long trains of burning ghosts travel with pilgrims seeking lost holy symbols and behind them the Gatherers, following their lead.

HD d100 SPEED n/a
ARMOR Lowest possible
  • Radiance Rain: This represents a radiance-infused rainstorms. A successful Bushcraft roll or clever thinking will find shelter. If no shelter is found, Save vs Breath Weapon every minute for 1d100 minutes or increase your Radiance score by 2 points.
  • Ashstorm: This represents a massive sandstorm of ash bearing down on the players. A successful Bushcraft roll or clever thinking will find shelter. If no shelter is found, Save vs Breath Weapon every minute for 10d100 minutes or suffer d12 damage. Ranged weapons do not work in an ashstorm.
  • Draconic Smite: This represents a distant dragon attacking something from dozens, if not hundreds of miles away. Save vs Magic or be struck by a lightning bolt, fireball, or breath weapon, suffering 1d20 damage.
  • Ifrit & Pilgrim Train: This represents Old Opal Wraiths, pilgrims, and ifriti trains traveling from one pyre city to another. If they see you, Save vs Magic or combust into flames for 2d10 damage. If this kills you, become an Old Opal Wraith and join the train.
  • Radiant Aurora: This represents an aurora of Radiance appearing in the sky. Last for d4 Ashpit hitpoints. Save vs Poison for every Ashpit hitpoint lost or increase draconic radiance by 2. 
  • These hitpoints represent miles of travel. At 0 hit points, reach another environ, or a different stretch of Ashpit.
  • The ashpit is immune to damage from any source.
  • A successful Bushcraft roll or clever thinking allows for a reroll on any saves made.
  • For every 50 hitpoints the Ashpit loses, the players must Save vs Poison or gain 1 point of Radiance.
  • For every 10 hitpoints the ashpit loses, there is a 4-in-6 chance for a random encounter.
  • For every 10 hitpoints the ashpit loses, there is a 1-in-6 chance of seeing a radiance river.

Ash-slush. Blood everywhere, sometimes brown, sometimes black, sometimes crimson. Deep enough to drown in at points, rarely dry land. Trees and vines and grasses are the tombstones of dragons and wives. All is red save the wood, which is slate grey. Odd sounds; things get distorted inside of the Blood Bog; howling, hisses, sounds of great animals fucking, screams as phantom people are eaten. Dragon bones tilt, ancient monoliths, broken and chipped, for when a dragon of poison dies this is what is born. Anywhere from 6-36 miles in size, only multiples of six. Travelers always watched by 1d6 kobolds.

HD 6d6 SPEED n/a
ARMOR As studded leather
  • Black Lotus Grove: This represents a grove of black lotus. Save vs Poison or hallucinate dragons fucking women and old men all around you for 1d10 minutes before falling asleep for another 1d100 minutes. A successful Bushcraft roll allows you to harvest these 1d6 doses of poison with the above effects.
  • Bloody Quicksane: This represents a hidden pit of quicksand made wet by draconic blood. A successful Bushcraft roll or clever thinking will reveal it. If not revealed, Save vs Poison or sink 1d6 feet and be grappled. There is a 3-in-6 chance of being pulled out that decreases every round. At 0, take 2d20 damage from suffocation every turn and increase your draconic radiance by 2.
  • Kobold Bone Trap: This represents a kobold bone trap lying in wait. A successful Bushcraft roll or clever thinking will reveal it. If not revealed, Save vs Poison or fall into a 4 foot deep pit filled with spikes, taking 2d8 damage and 1d4 damage from poison for 1d4 minutes.
  • These hitpoints represent how many miles there are in the blood bog to be traveled.
  • Blood bogs are immune to all forms of damage except that from dragon breath. Dragon breath damage reduces the blood bog's size immediately by destroying it.
  • A successful Bushcraft roll or clever thinking allows for a reroll on any saves made.
  • Blood bog blood can be consumed as if water. For every gallon, increase draconic radiance by 1.
  • A successful Bushcraft roll will find a blood bog herb.
  • For every 6 hit points lost, 5-in-6 chance to roll a random encounter.

Radiance has murdered every forest in the Heaven Bless'd & Burned. Bark is now stone or bone, branches are spikes from which hang the dead or their wraiths. Roots dig in deep to the world, and in their gloom is radiance, where it grows like fungus in the underground. Dead leaves cover the ash. The leaves have the same texture as skin, are veined, and when eaten they taste like dragon flesh.

Related image

HD 100d100 SPEED n/a
ARMOR As unarmored
  • Branch Lance: This represents the angry, possessed branches of the murdered trees. +7 to hit for d8 damage. If killed, soul is pulled out, set aflame, and hangs from the branch that impaled you.
  • Root Grab: This represents the roots rising up and pull you into the radiance-fungus graves underground. Save vs Poison or be pulled d20 feet underground and increase your draconic radiance by 5.
  • Murdered Forest hit points represent how many trees are left in the forest. Damage dealt destroys only 1 tree, regardless of how much damage is dealt, unless it would effect multiple targets at once.
  • A successful Bushcraft roll or clever thinking allows for a reroll on any saves made.
  • When entering the Murdered Forest, there is a 1-in-6 chance for a random encounter.

Graves of the Old Opal Kings. Hundreds of cities, burned down. Half-buried in ash pits. Sobbing echoes off the stone and lures one in further. Grain stored, weapons hidden, artefacts locked up and the keys melted to slag. Tall towers knocked down. Palaces with rooftops caved in. Stairs that lead nowhere. Throne rooms filled with opal and bones. Dark places underground, half-filled with blood, half-filled with bleeding things. Signs of life--footprints, hymns, laughter, festival sounds, but no one to make them. Soot-silhouettes on virtually every wall, and some have so many that the wall is jet black and eats light.

HD 4d20 SPEED n/a
ARMOR As full plate + shield
  • Collapse: This represents a building or part of the ruin collapsing. Save vs Breath Weapon or take 2d20 damage from being crushed.
  • Ember Haunted: This represents a building that is haunted by old opal wraiths. Save vs Magic when entering or take 1d8 damage and have all objects worn combust into flames. If killed, soul joins the haunting spirits.
  • Soot Soul Sacrifice: This represents walls covered entirely in soot. Touching one prompts a Save vs Breath Weapon, or be restrained against the wall by vantablack hands. In 1d4 rounds, an old opal wraith appears to sacrifice you via ripping the heart out with an obsidian knife. 3-in-6 chance to break free every round before then.
  • Trapped Ruin: This represents a trap set, either in times of antiquity or more recently. See the traps section.
  • Pyre City hitpoints represent how many unexplored buildings there are in the pyre city.
  • Lighting a bonfire will summon forth an old opal wraith that will answer d4 questions. There is a 1-in-6 question that an ifrit is summoned instead, who will promptly fuck your shit up.
  • For every 10 buildings entered, there is a 4-in-6 chance of a random encounter.
  • When a pyre city is entered, there is a 1-in-6 chance that it is a dragon's lair.

Jagged mountains. Broken peaks litter slopes like shards of glass. Black grass, black snow, grey ash--all three blanket everything. Stone is all solid opal. Dirt is irradiated soil from which the black grass grows. Deep, yawning caves. Rivers of stark white water. Thunder of dragons booms throughout the valleys. Thousands of miles of opal mountain, which soon becomes normal mountain, where the Draconic Radiance is weak and trees, grass, and snow leopards live normal lives. Sudden avalanches of bone and angry drake. Temples, forgotten, built into cliffsides. Some hidden away, filled with monk-bones, where long scrolls of copper hold the secrets of reincarnation. 

HD n/a SPEED n/a
ARMOR As +3 magical plate and +3 magical shield
  • Ash Avalanche: This represents an avalanche of ash and soot being triggered. See avalanche.
  • Dying Mountain Mirage: This represents the dying dreams that these mountains have. Save vs Magic or see a strange mirage off in the distance. Walk to the mirage, ignoring all other events. The mirage is always further away. Allies have a 4-in-6 chance of pulling you from the mirage's hold every round.
  • Shattered Crowns are immune to all forms of damage.
  • Dying on the shattered crowns has the mountain consume the corpse, freezing it in opal just beneath the surface.
  • Every 12 hours that pass, there is a 1-in-6 chance for a random encounter.
  • Every day that passes, there is a 3-in-6 chance for a draconic encounter.