Monday, March 19, 2018

The Wild Weirdness of D3 City of the Gods by Dave L. Arneson and David J. Ritchie For Old School Campaign Construction

The PCs journey 4,000 years into the past to the land of Blackmoor! The party of adventurers are sent to the City of the Gods by the leaders of Blackmoor to acquire divine magic, either by bargaining or by stealing it!

So over the weekend I looking over D3 City of the Gods by Dave L. Arneson and David J. Ritchie & thinking about the Egg of Coot (again).
 D3 has always been a bit of mixed bag for me as a dungeon master. More of a source book then an adventure after having played through the adventure as a player & having multiple PC's dying rather than making it through the adventure back in '88. If the Egg was powerful enough to bring down a star ship as powerful as the Beagle. Then it comes as no surprise that it could easily be operating in different eras & even alternative prime material planes or dimensions!
City of the Gods is more interesting by what's not stated in the adventure then what is. The fact that time travel or is it simply gating into an alternative world ala Rick & Morty. Well for me its actually the PC's gating into an alternative world time line. St.Steven of the Froggies has been doing something similar for centuries at the behest of his own lord & master the Great Old One's Tsathoggua whose aggressive worshipers spread his horror across time & space.
I've written about the continuing horrors of the influence of St.Stephen himself on the blog not more then a week ago.

The Froggies & the Egg of Coot have had an on again off again war of chess across space & time. Blackmoor & Greyhawk are merely part of the fronts of this war.

What does all of this have to do with the Thirty Year War or Dark Albion? Well the fact is that the Great Toad God seems to love to collect worlds & has a very viciously ironic sense of alien humor. He's been using the various forces of humanity notably the Catholics & Prodostants to destabilize Europe from within.
The Great Old One & his Froggies cults  have been doing this through human toad hybrids for centuries ala Clark Ashton Smith's Mother of Toads.
"PIERRE AWOKE in the ashy dawn, when the tall black tapers had dwindled down and had melted limply in their sockets. Sick and confused, he sought vainly to remember where he was or what he had done. Then, turning a little, he saw beside him on the couch a thing that was like some impossible monster of ill dreams; a toadlike form, large as a fat woman. Its limbs were somehow like a woman's arms and legs. Its pale, warty body pressed and bulged against him, and he felt the rounded softness of something that resembled a breast.
Nausea rose within him as memory of that delirious night returned; Most foully he had been beguiled by the witch, and had succumbed to her evil enchantments.
It seemed that an incubus smothered him, weighing upon all his limbs and body. He shut his eyes, that he might no longer behold the loathsome thing that was Mere Antoinette in her true semblance. Slowly, with prodigious effort, he drew himself away from the crushing nightmare shape. It did not stir or appear to waken; and he slid quickly from the couch.
Again, compelled by a noisome fascination, he peered at the thing on the couch — and saw only the gross form of Mere Antoinette. Perhaps his impression of a great toad beside him had been but an illusion, a half-dream that lingered after slumber. He lost something of his nightmarish horror; but his gorge still rose in a sick disgust, remembering the lewdness to which he had yielded.
Fearing that the witch might awaken at any moment and seek to detain him, he stole noiselessly from the hut. It was broad daylight, but a cold, hueless mist lay everywhere, shrouding the reedy marshes, and hanging like a ghostly curtain on the path he must follow to Les Hiboux. Moving and seething always, the mist seemed to reach toward him with intercepting fingers as he started homeward. He shivered at its touch, he bowed his head and drew his cloak closer around him."

The Arthurian deserts of Zothique are end result of the slow & abiding corruption of the toad god's influence this can be seen in Dark Albion's swamps of Paris & in the slow slide of many of the Arthurian wastelands.
The moral degeneration that we seen in the more decadent parts of Albion is similar to the same sort of decay that we see in the dungeons of Blackmoor indicating the presence of the Froggies.

 Ultimately this sort of chaos & slow from within corruption is seen during the Thirty Year War has to be stopped in its tracks as the monstrous forces of Fairyland & the weird outside influences of the gods have to be stopped!
Man in essence is the ultimate monster & as we've seen in the Lion & Dragon rpg retroclone, only the few heroic families can stand up to this sort of chaos & corruption with the help of adventurers.
"Lancelot or Lancelin may instead have been the hero of an independent folk-tale which had contact with and was ultimately absorbed into the Arthurian tradition." These royal families are also active during the terrible events of the Thirty Years War. The

Lancelin line is related directly through blood to King Ban, Elaine of Benoic, Lady of the Lake, & Hector de Maris.

Ultimately it would be Galahad who leads Europe out of turmoil & from the hands of chaos itself. This is a similar path to King Uther and his line.
"Sir Galahad, described as "the most noblest [sic] knight in the world".[3] Moreover, King Pelles claims that Galahad will lead a "foreign country...out of danger" and "achieve...the Holy Grail".[4] The source of King Pelles' knowledge is undisclosed."
The knowledge comes directly from the visions of the Holy Grail itself an artifact beyond time & space.
This is exactly the same sort of power seen in the gating of the PC's back four thousand years in D3 City of the Gods.

"How at the Castle of Corbin a maiden bare
in the Sangreal and foretold the achievements of Galahad" by Arthur Rackham (1917)

Across time & space the struggle against chaos & its depravities continues! More to come!

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