Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Town Stones, First and Final Refuge of the HELLWALKERS




Stones is the starting town in Hellwalkers. These are my own notes for it; I think they're legible enough to share.

The Town Stones

Stones is built in overgrown brutalist ruins, an old concrete city. They protect themselves by building deep in its twisting streets. The city as a whole is mostly empty. They send traders up the river to Bones. The city has no proper leader; it’s small and the people are united in defending each other from demons.

The militia is run by Abigail and Thaddeus. The soldiers are equipped primarily with shields and spears or bows, but there are a few soldiers with chain armor or crossbows, and fewer still with pistols or rifles. Abigail and Thaddeus organize patrols through the outskirts of the city and keep in contact with the farmers in the surrounding hexes. They also handle training and equipment distribution. They are significantly hindered by the fact that they are constantly pining for each other.


Bartender - Francisco: The inn is called the Bastion. It is built in a ruined concrete structure several stories tall, with large holes in every floor filled in with wood. It is strung with fairy lights. Everyone in town hangs out here; it’s the place to go if you need someone to do a job for you. Francisco is a blood elf, and the house special is a cocktail with a shot of his blood. He’s kinda short and stocky. He was born on Asphodel but he is an expert and finding reincarnated souls and explaining their new situation to them. Every shopkeep owes him their second life; they’re all good friends. He is a novice woodcarver and carpenter; he carves statues of animals to relieve stress and does maintenance on the Bastion. 

Like this but there's 400 of them and they're pretending to be a human woman (Source)

Equipment Trader - Martha: The shop is new construction with an old bunker for a basement, neatly painted planks on top of overgrown concrete. Martha is Many Rats in a trenchcoat pretending to be a human woman. Nobody believes her lie in the slightest but they humor her. She has a shotgun that she carries at all times, poorly hidden within her writhing mass of rats. She is constantly ready to fight. She doesn’t understand pricing at all but that’s fine because Francisco helps her to set them. She has a voice like an opera singer and loves to sing when nobody is listening—no lyrics, just beautiful melodies. She collects bones, skulls, and skeletons.

Blacksmith - Edith: The forge is in a half-ruined building, with two walls and part of a roof opening into a patio. Edith is a giant, and 12 feet tall. She died of old age on a medieval moon and she’s just enjoying her time reincarnated here, doing good and good work. She’s heard tell of a legendary Demon Forge Hammer in C02 and dreams of someday seeing it, though she cannot make the journey herself. Secretly, she wants to use it to forge magic armor and weapons, but will do her best not to give that away (she’s a bad liar). If it’s given to her, she will be able to forge sapient magic items for the players and be good friends with the Hammer itself. As a hobby, she paints; mostly portraits of the overgrown concrete ruins, but occasionally faces. She accepts requests.  

(by Irene Strychalski)

Shepherd - Bones: The stables are in a stadium with one half gone, spreading out into a larger field littered with concrete chunks. Animals of all shapes and sizes graze. Bones is a Vine Skeleton and does not speak. Despite that, they give off cheerful vibes and love their animals dearly. It is unclear where they came from but they’re here to stay. They get along especially well with Two-Finger Tom, who likes to pet the dogs and cats.

Priest - Abigail: The chapel is an entirely new construction of high quality wood and stone brick foundations—no concrete to be found. Most of the townsfolk, especially Pilgrims, worship here. It is part of the Church of the Immovable Saint, imported by the First Hellwalker Theo soon after the invasion. Abigail is a human, kind of small. She wears piecemeal post-apocalyptic bandit armor from her home world. She joined the Church after reincarnating on Asphodel and is now a second-Level Immovable Cleric—she has mastered the Immovable Stance, Stun Punch, Silence, and Suspension. She has a deep crush on Three-Finger Thaddeus and helps him run the militia.

Cyberneticist - Three-Finger Thaddeus: The workshop is built in a warehouse with patched-up electronics and heavy machinery. Thaddeus is a human. His right arm is entirely cybernetic and his left has two mechanical fingers, leaving his palm and middle, ring, and pinky fingers organic. His left eye is a holographic projector (2’ cube). His movements are precise, even with his robotic parts. He was born on Asphodel and apprenticed to Two-Finger Tom after losing several extremities to a demon shark. He can make basic cybernetics, but nothing with special abilities. For that, you’ll need to rescue Tom from Hex M06, where he went looking for rumored cybernetic salvage. He misses him dearly. He has a deep crush on Abigail and helps her run the militia.


Cyberneticist - Two-Finger Tom: He is a human. His right arm is entirely cybernetic and his left has 3 mechanical fingers, leaving his palm, thumb, and middle finger organic. He has a hydraulic jaw, a sonar eye, and a secret abdominal compartment filled with fine wine. His beard explodes wildly out from his face but his expression is cool and analytical. He was reincarnated on Asphodel after dying in a corporate raid on the resistance on a dystopian cyberpunk moon. He’s glad not to be in hell-proper, but has no intention of abandoning his resistant ways. He trained Thaddeus and has a close friendship with Bones, who lets him pet the dogs. He tells stories of his days on his home world to children. He’s currently in Hex M06, where he found a cyborg skeleton, hiding in a cave from a demon shark who hungers for cyberneticist flesh and metal, the same one who took Thaddeus’s hand/fingers. If rescued, he’ll give the players credit for one free cybernetic part.

Magic Tattoo Artist - Lily: The tattoo parlor is built of wood on a concrete cliff overlooking the ocean. Lily is a human. She has an athletic build, a bear skull tattoo on her right arm, and flame tattoos on her body and left arm, detailing the story of how she was struck by lightning and then had to escape the forest as it began burning, earning the activation of her fire control. She is an islander born on Asphodel and shipwrecked in Stones. She decided to stay and help. For challenges to activate the tattoos, she recommends:
Air - Climb to the top of a mountain peak
Earth - Descend deep into the Gash
Fire - Survive a desert brushfire
Water - Dive to the bottom of the lake at the source of the river Styx
[I'm going to need to flesh out these quests later. Magic Tattoo mechanics will be their own short post.]

d20 Common Sights

There aren’t any real encounters because this isn’t an adventuring location, but here are some common things you might see entering or hanging around the town of Stones.

  1. 1d4+1 Townies on their way to get a drink at the Bastion.
  2. A squad of 6 militia soldiers, cornering and killing a pair of Charcoalers (a small demon). 
  3. Abigail and Thaddeus marching 2 squads of 6 militia soldiers each as part of a drill. They are both very red in the face.
  4. Abigail and Thaddeus sparring with spears. They giggle and laugh as they duel but when they’re done they go back to shy, awkward conversation.
  5. Francisco sharing a drink with another Random Townie and looking at the overgrown concrete ruins.
  6. Francisco carving a wooden duck (or squirrel, or frog, or another critter). His brow is furrowed initially but relaxes as the animal takes shape.
  7. Martha skittering along the ground carrying several squirrels’ skulls (or ducks, or snakes, or another critter). She’s made several good finds today.
  8. Martha singing a beautiful, wordless tune. She doesn’t think anybody is nearby.
  9. Edith painting an old concrete building.
  10. Edith thrusting a spear at a straw dummy to test its balance.
  11. Bones grazing a herd of sheep, horses, and pigs in a grassy area.
  12. Bones and Tom petting and cuddling with a large pack of dogs.
  13. Abigail floating midair in the Immovable Stance with 4 concrete chunks suspended midair around her. If you talk to her, she waves hello, breaking her stance and concentration and sending everything tumbling to the ground.
  14. Abigail eviscerating a straw dummy with a spear. She is intently focused on her training and won’t hear the first few greetings.
  15. Thaddeus daydreaming about Abigail. Her face flickers in and out in front of him, projected unconsciously by his holographic eye. He absentmindedly swaps the mechanical fingers on his organic palm around.
  16. Thaddeus swapping out his mechanical arm to test several others. He has a web shooter arm, a concealed pistol arm, and a magnetic shield arm.
  17. Tom asleep in the sunlight or starlight (or moonlight or planet shine).
  18. Tom telling the tale of his death in a corporate raid on his home world to a crowd of children.
  19. Lily practicing her fire control. It’s a mix of combat training and dance.
  20. Lily discussing tattoo ideas with another Random Townie.

d8 Townies

  1. Francisco the Blood Elf Bartender
  2. Martha the Pile-of-Rats General Store Owner
  3. Edith the Giant Blacksmith
  4. Bones the Vine Skeleton Shepherd
  5. Abigail the Immovable Cleric
  6. Three-Finger Thaddeus the Cyberneticist
  7. Two-Finger Tom the Cyberneticist
  8. Lily the Magic Tattoo Artist

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