Friday, March 2, 2012

Gremlins of Nood

My explination of where all those traps come from in the Nether Regions of Nood. For some reason, this took forever to write:

There is a popuar Gnome legend called ‘The Door’. In it, a young boy named Slemiel set out reach the bottom of the gorge known as Yawning Bowel. After a series of adventures, the legend tells that the boy reaches the bottom to find only a small door, locked from the inside. The young boy opens the door and that is where the legend ends.

For centuries, Gnome scholars have pondered the tale. Some see it as a metaphor for the mystery of death, others translated it as a koan; a riddle without an answer, while others still have argued that the last page is missing. But the larger mystery of the take that puzzles the learned sages this very day, is why in the Gnomish tongue the name Slemiel has become synonymous with word, idiot.

Coincidentally or not, at approximately the same time as the Deep Door was written comes the first accounts of a strange new race, known as Gremlins, who slowly pushed their way up from the deepest depths and began a centuries long war with the Gnomes. It was not a war in the traditional sense; no armies were dispatched and no great battles fought, though the Gnomes still speak with great reverence of the #4 Kickback Shaft and the Well-Timed Collapse of the Hanging Chasm. Instead it was a war of trapsmith vs engineer, tinker vs gizmoteer as the two races trapped, snared and ambushed each other tunnel by tunnel, room by room, up from the unimaginable depths.

It was a war the Gnomes lost. Pushed ever upwards, they entered the Downlow and were forced into conflict with the Deep Dwarves and the White Elves. Already stretched to the limits, they were forced to the surface and began the nomadic existence they live to this day. The Gremlins meanwhile, suddenly and mysteriously, disappeared.

Soon after the Great Absurdity, the Gremlins appeared again, this time en masse near the ruins of Lost Lucile. They quickly drove out the survivors and used the ruins to build the giant, rotating structure that has come to be known as Tick-Tock Castle.

Gremlins can still be found in greatest numbers around Tick-Tock Castle, but they have quickly spread out a across all of the Nether Regions. They quickly crossed north through the Burning Troll Mountains and into the Elvish Empire and can now be found scattered across the continent of Arthurland. Their preferred habitat is underground, but they have been known to infest abandoned castles, thick woods and city cellars.

Humanoid, Gremlins range in height from about a foot, to four feet tall and are covered in thick skin than ranges in colour from red to blue-green. Their heads are large in comparison with their bodies and they have large, yellow, cat-like eyes and large ears. Red, white or black hair is common, and some are outright furry, though most are hairless. Their mouths are wide and filled with needle sharp teeth. They dislike bright lights and direct sunlight can cause severe burns.

Their bodies, ranging from almost round to rail thin, are possessed of strength equal to that of a full grown man. Large feet with long toes make then agile climbers and their hands are large, with long fingers topped by thick nails.

Not natural tool makers, they will happily steal them, along with anything else not nailed down. They are also particularly fond of clothing and armour. In the wild, most gremlins go around naked, but almost all Gremlins found near civilization will be wearing something, from a simple scarf or codpiece to elaborate costumes or eclectic outfits made up of colourful scraps.

It is their natural ability to built things that sets them apart from other demi-humanoids. Gremlins delight in construction and will quickly take over any abandoned space. Unfortunately, gremlins are primarily sadistic and cruel and most enjoy building elaborate traps. If a space is not abandoned, they will booby trap common items for maximum carnage.

This knack for building can be focused for a limited time and gremlins are sometimes recruited by sorcerers, wizards and alchemists looking for a cheap, disposable labour. But to do this they must enter Tick-Tock Castle and appeal to the semi-mythical figure called the Gremlin Queen.

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