Thursday 4 July 2024

[MODULE/ZINE] Khosura: King of the Wastelands, Drifting Lands, Echoes From Fomalhaut #12 (NOW AVAILABLE!)

A Triumvirate of Adventure

I am pleased to announce the publication of three new release, including a hardcover sandbox supplement with city, dungeon and wilderness adventures; a players’ setting gazetteer, and the newest volume of my zine. That’s a handful!

Khosura: King of
the Wastelands
“Those risen against me, I pillaged their kingdoms, and placed my foot on their proud necks before the coming of the end...” Overking Srabmar, He Who Buys and Sells, is no more, and the twelve cities he has left in rubble are mere heaps of stone in a destroyed land. Yet many years later, the City-State of the Four Mysteries still stands on the shores of a salt lake, dreaming of past and future glories, from its gilded palaces to the depths of its Undercity. This is Khosura, King of the Wastelands! Visit a sword & sorcery city-state of ancient customs, dark sorceries, and secretive mystery religions – built on a wasteland wrecked by ancient wars, divine retribution, and successive cycles of harsh, tyrannical kings. Descend into an extensive Undercity, go up against treacherous mirages and cruel plans, and plunder the treasures of a land where might makes right, life is harsh, and the glory of heroes is earned at the cost of spilled blood.”

First and foremost, I am really pleased to announce the much-delayed release of Khosura: King of the Wastelands. Based on multiple campaigns in weird desert lands, this is a rather large, 164-page hardcover describing Khosura, a city-state in the world of Fomalhaut, its extensive Undercity, and the surrounding wastelands. Designed for characters of level 3–8, and compatible with OSRIC rules, the supplement offers a wide, deep playing environment (a sandbox with lots of sand in it) to set your own adventures. It includes the following materials:

  • An adventure-friendly description of the city-state of Khosura, with its customs, factions, rumours, rumour and encounter charts, and 28 keyed areas, from teeming markets to the palaces of the high and mighty!
  • An interconnected, vast Undercity divided among 8 levels and several sub-levels to a total of 176 keyed areas, including tomb-complexes, hidden holy sites, magical enigmas, and the remnants of ancient times!
  • A wilderness section describing the Desert of Regulator, a place of deadly mirages and antique ruins, in a hex-crawl format. 45 keyed hexes can serve as springboards for further adventures to crumbling ziggurats, warlike enclaves, grandiose monuments, and  places haunted by deadly dreams. Complex wilderness encounter tables are included to handle travel across the points of interest.
  • A grab-bag of supplemental materials: Stone Gullet, a wasteland outpost (and true keep on the borderland); a selection of caravans and NPCs to meet on the road; and three smaller adventures leading deep into wasteland mirages.
  • An appendix of new monsters and magic items.
  • A separate map pack of four foldout map sheets with GM and player cartography.

Khosura: King of the Wastelands is illustrated by Peter Mullen (who did the cover and various interiors), Cameron Hawkey, Graphite Prime, Vincentas Saladis, Sean Stone, as well as the Dead Victorians, the Antique Alumni, and the Robot Overlords. The cartography was done by Robert S. Conley (city and dungeon maps), Sean Stone (who did the excellent bird’s eye players’ map of the city), and myself (wilderness hex map).

Drifting Lands
“In a barbaric age where old certainties are gone, everything is possible. This booklet describes lands in turmoil. Old powers have fallen, civilisation has retreated to a few refugia, and barbarism is on the move. On the Isle of Erillion, a successful island kingdom has secured coastal footholds, but has made few inroads in the isle’s old forests and high mountains. The Twelve Kingdoms, a collection of small feudal realms, have descended into civil war and mutual destruction while an arctic empire dreams of conquest. And in the Kassadian Empire, the long decline of a high civilisation has created a landscape of rival city-states, militaristic frontier-towns, and barbarous hinterlands – against the shadows of an Empire that bitterly clings to its life. Here are lands ripe for adventure, plunder, and conquest. Here are thrones to win, dark fates to avert, and frontiers to tame – here is a world to be reshaped by the able and shrewd! And here is your opportunity!”

I am also pleased to announce Drifting Lands, a players’ gazetteer to my (more or less) vanilla fantasy setting, which has previously been released in bits and pieces over multiple zine issues as our campaigns progressed therein. This is a 52-bage booklet that expands on and consolidates these materials into a player-friendly guidebook. It includes the following materials:

  • A bird’s eye big-picture description of the setting and its known regions, from the Isle of Erillion to the Empire of Pand.
  • 34 gods and heresies, from fleet-footed Apelles, God of Messengers; and Galerius Demarcator, God of Boundaries and milestones, one of the three imperial cults; to the extinct (?) cult of the Purchased God and everyone’s favourite, the frog-god Tsathoggus. Notes are also offered on the Omnipotent Index, the Kassadian Empire’s monstrously outdated and utterly unjust legal code to classify approved and heretical religions.
  • More detailed guides to three regions, focusing on customs, places of interest, and conflicts that call for adventurers to resolve.
  • A separate map pack with six fold-out hex map sheets: players’ and GM’s cartogrtaphy for Erillion, the Twelve Kingdoms (two sheets), Kassadia (two sheets), and the blank slate Savage Peninsula.

Drifting Lands features a cover image by an unknown alumnus (culled from an ancient US college yearbook, it is a striking piece that makes quite an impression), and interior illustrations by Cameron Hawkey, Vincentas Saladis, the Dead Victorians, and the Antique Alumni.

Treasures of
the Necropolis
Also furthermore, I am pleased to announce the publication of the twelfth issue of my fanzine, Echoes From Fomalhaut. As usual, this is a 56-page zine dedicated to adventures and GM-friendly campaign materials for OSRIC and other old-school systems. It is the most lavishly illustrated issue yet, with cover art by Peter Mullen, and interior illustrations by Cameron Hawkey, Vincentas Saladis, Graphite Prime, Ferenc Fabian, the Dead Victorians, and the Antique Alumni. This issue features a varied assortment of scenarios, three of which have been tested in both campaign and convention play. The following materials are included:

  • Urmalk the Boundless (levels 3–5, 24+24 keyed areas), an open-ended, site-based adventure describing a weird necropolis next to a large city. A place of burial since primordial eras, this is a site of crumbling (and sometimes repurposed) mausoleums, catacomb passages, and more oddities. Beyond its campaign origins, the module saw extensive playtesting at Cauldron Con 2023, Society of Adventurers Con XI, and beyond. It makes for a tournament-style scenario, a side-adventure, or a permanent campaign ficture.
  • Catacombs of the Pariahs (levels 3–7, 50 keyed areas), one of the subterranean complexes beneath the City of Vultures. Located under the crooked streets of the Beggars’ District (also described), this is a section of the undercity that goes from reasonably simple to remarkably deadly. From the Court of the Pariah-King to the Domain of Virotán and the Ceramic Space, it just gets stranger and more vicious.
  • Castle of the Rose Knight (levels 5–7, 30 keyed areas), an enchanted castle found in the Twelve Kingdoms, easily glimpsed from afar, but unreachable by all but a few, this is a place to test a questing knight’s mettle! All is not what seems, and the Knight of Roses, the visitors’ mysterious host, is not someone to be trifled with.
  • Tower of the Thief (levels 3–5, 15 keyed areas): what it says on the tin – the tower of a retired thief, also located in the Beggars’ District. Sort of a small adventure site.

Two foldout map sheets with player and GM maps. While supplies last, a third sheet will also be included in orders (I accidentally sent off a wrong map file to the printer, so this became an extra).

* * *

The print versions of the modules and the zine are available from my Bigcartel store; the PDF edition will be published through DriveThruRPG with a few months’ delay. As always, customers who buy the print edition will receive the PDF version free of charge.

9 comments:

  1. And so I have a book recommendation again, to all those interested in the City-State of Khoshura (proper transliteration), the Empires of Pand and Kassadia in the Drifting Lands, or for your general reading pleasure. But first, let's tease the potential reader with an excrept:

    And all the time the head never disappeared from before his eyes and its lips never closed. Presently it went on again.
    "Listen, Ali ! Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin ! The hand which guided thee in the performance of thy mighty deeds is also bringing thine actions to an end, and thou shalt no longer be a hero whom the world admires, but a robber whom it curses. Those whom thou lovedest will bless the day of thy death, but thine enemies will weep over thee. Moreover, God hath ordained that thou shalt be the ruin of thine own nation."

    * * *

    The Lion of Janina aka The Last Days of The Janissaries is yet another jewel by the late and great author Mór Jókai, a novel of Adventure, Powermongering, and History (with a pinch of the Occult and Esoteric), about a major phase of decay within the Ottoman Empire.

    A free and legal copy in English can be found here, containing an informative preface, fascinating footnotes, and a glossary of foreign words, courtesy of the official Hungarian E-Library:
    https://mek.oszk.hu/07100/07146/

    Even in Polish!
    https://mek.oszk.hu/19600/19662/

    And in the finely crafted and glorious original Hungarian:
    https://mek.oszk.hu/00700/00779/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I really liked "Told by the Death's Head", what a wonderful author to discover.

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  2. Are Khosura and the City of Vultures both in the world of Fomalhaut?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are! Not very close geographically, however. See the map here: https://64.media.tumblr.com/fd724e4f96a88f0a9769401e5158b99e/b3c776e91151a425-c6/s2048x3072/96f0d5f32b0d295eb7be1f163e91ec359a01cb60.pnj
      The book covers roughly the area surrounded by Famful, the Mountains of Monoculus, Ookant, and the Land of the People of the Worm.

      Delete
  3. Slightly off topic, but what are the Deston abilities mentioned the city of vultures supplements? Are they some form of psionics? Are they once per day? What does ΨΨΨΨ mean?

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    Replies
    1. They are a form of psionics, although we don't use formalised psionic rules. These are thus special abilities, used at will. Here is what the ranks mean, with effects being cumulative:

      ΨΨΨΨΨ General members: deflect detection and charm spells of all types
      ΨΨΨΨ Cell leaders: bypass any force limiting mobility (e.g. as a ring of free action)
      ΨΨΨ The Masters of Deston: bypass or destroy barriers, including magically locked portals and force walls
      ΨΨ The Inner Conspiracy: travel by gate to any
      location within, and under the City
      Ψ Mirvander Khan: alter reality at will

      Basically, it goes from "slightly ninjaish" to "fucking with the fabric of dreams and reality".

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  4. Just ordered them all. I consider yours to be the most consistently excellent "OSR" products, and happily purchase everything you release. Looking forward to adding these to my collection.

    ReplyDelete