Sunday, 14 July 2019

1d10 Sacred Lakes

Been busy with various projects. One of them is a small game that uses a d10 for pretty much every roll, including random tables for the GM's use.

This following table is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Eventually the whole game text will be, but it's still very much a work in progress.

  1. Floating glass tektites are scattered around this desert oasis. A crater lake, with thirsty animals lapping at its rim, and a gleaming shard of impervious midnight-blue metal at its epicentre. The shard emits a low droning sound, those who sleep within earshot dream of true events occurring far away.
  2. The last of the bison live in the taiga around this frozen rift lake, which lies hidden from greedy foreigners by forbidding mountains. The water is home to giant diatoms, whose spiny, porous shells bodies hold an opalescent glimmer. The locals say the changing colours are a glacial language, and if you are patient, you may learn the diatoms' ancient secrets.
  3. A limestone cenote filled with clear, still water, yet the bottom cannot be seen. Shelves protruding into the sinkhole are home to multicoloured freshwater snails, each feeding off detritus that falls from the shelves above.
  4. A steaming lake of blood-red caustic water. Flamingos are the only animals in sight, laying eggs on mudflat isles safe from predators. The nearby city mummifies their dead kings with these alkali waters and build hidden tombs for them in a nearby valley. Waxed boats ferried by burn-scarred hands retrieve the calcified bodies of birds who die in the waters, to inter as immortal guardians.
  5. A stepwell of concentric pentagons sits in these arid hills, supplying water to the surrounding villages. It is part of a temple complex dedicated to the Five Winds. If you commit any violent act here, the four surviving winds will forsake you. You will never feel their cool caress, and any ship you embark will find itself becalmed. Monks ritually cleanse themselves in the waters, each hoping to be the one who gives birth to the fifth wind's next incarnation.
  6. This river meanders, throwing off oxbow lakes. Giant water lilies cover the lakes' surface, sheltering juvenile fish awaiting the next flood. When the moon is a sliver in the sky, these lakes swell with power. Nomadic crones pluck fish out with bare hands to read their entrails, and sew fishskin cloaks to turn aside the church's knives.
  7. Halfway up this frigid mountain is a ravine full of low rolling fog. At the end: hot springs and a hidden elfin forest. Stunted trees, ferns and mosses cling to life in the poor soil, while snow monkeys descend the ravine to warm themselves in the water. Tiny wooden shrines placate the eel gods, whose flicking tails cause the mountain to quake.
  8. A huge salt crust under open sky, dotted with hundreds of tiny pink pools. Ants, lizards hiding under the crust and clumps of salt-fruited shrubs are the main wildlife. This ephemeral lake floods when monsoons fall just right far to the north. An explosion of fish and plantlife brings legions of pelicans, sandpipers and gulls, until the lake dries up again.
  9. The base of this waterfall, carved out by the scouring waters, is where the hero god slew the winged snakes. The reeds growing here make the lightest and strongest of spears. You should make a pilgrimage here when weapons are needed against the greatest of foes.
  10. The waters of this lake are a cunning illusion — boats will float, thirst will be seemingly sated, but the remains of foolhardy explorers dot the surrounding forest. The locals know not to drink, but to instead float offerings in tiny rafts. The offerings make their way to a palatial museum under the false lakebed, whose mysterious Curator releases tailored phage viruses to protect the locals from plagues.