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Humpday Hazard: Ghoul Vomit

ghoul“The door was thick—made of stone, I think—but I could still hear it. Damn my soul, I could still bloody hear it.”

The priest sat in silence, casting a long frown over the ninth bowl of oatmeal the warrior had ignored this week.

“When it first touched my ears, it sounded like a barrel of rancid meat was being dumped on a cellar floor all at once. I could hear chunks of wet skin sliding on the ground, settling in cracks between the masonry.” He stopped, licked his teeth, and loosed a hoarse cough. The priest offered a bowl of water to the man, but he refused…

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Humpday Hazard: Barrenblight

succubusThe taking of mortal lovers by succubi is a legend that many dwellers of the Material Plane are familiar with. Fleeting paramours by nature, succubi are fabled to seduce men and women only to achieve petty, shortsighted ends.

However, it is less known that some succubi take a single partner for extended periods. Those chosen for these ill-fated entanglements are typically important members of the community the succubus wishes to disrupt and often include faithful spouses, devoted parents, skilled artisans, and prominent nobles…

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Humpday Hazard: Steel of Spell Refraction

iron smeltingDiscovered by noted man of science Dr. Belmont Breslin of Yornica, steel of spell refraction is an alloy formed from a naturally occurring ore with unusual properties. While it is an excellent conductor of vibration and sound—hence its use in superior musical instruments—steel of spell refraction is nonmagnetic and distorts arcane energy that washes over its surface.

Most commonly, steel of spell refraction is used to reinforce masonry walls since it is lightweight, durable, and tends to absorb vibrations that would otherwise crack and sunder stone. However, it is not uncommon to see the material smelted into other forms, such as plates. Armor and shields might also be forged from the material; unfortunately, the process is much too lengthy and costly to see regular use…

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Hump Day Hazard: Vestige of Apathy

corpsesThe life of an adventurer is one of unrelenting struggle and limitless sacrifice. To carry sword and symbol, without hesitation, into darkened labyrinths and abysmal grottoes betrays a resolve uncommon for mortals. Vicious monsters, lethal traps, insurmountable hazards—an adventurer must not waver in the face of such peril.

And yet, many do. Like the soldier who marches to campaign, honor and victory are tempered—if not occluded—by risk, fatigue, disease, hopelessness, and death. Those that succumb to despair often flee back to the safety of civilization, their arms and implements relegated to mere wall decoration…

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Hump Day Hazard: Famine Mist

fogI remember the last season my family ever farmed.

That cloud—dirty crimson in color, like dried blooddrifted down the foothills like dust blown from the cover of an old book. Every crop it touched withered. The maize hardened and peeled, the berries soured, and the potatoes rotted before we could pull them from the dirt.

The livestock in our shed perished soon after. The mist seemed so thorough in its ravages that I found a halo of dead flies around each of the bloated heifers and chickens…

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