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  • Writer's pictureMac Boyle

The College of Grotesque Arts -- Week One

So, first off, I’ve decided to embrace the ethos of “weird old D&D stuff is Fine, Actually” by using Appendix A of the AD&D Dungeon Masters [sic] Guide to generate the layout. (I think I might have mentioned that in the intro post, but I’m reiterating.) I am, however, making some sanity-check changes, to wit:

  • I’m ignoring the “passage width” table, because it kind of blurs the line between “passage” and “room”. I started out with it, and then the first passage generated was 50ft wide by 60ft long (leading to a single 30x30 chamber), which is absurd, so I decided to just make them all 10ft wide. The passages generated are confusing enough without also making them huge.

  • When I get the “zero exits but check for secret doors every 10ft” option for a room, I will generate exactly one secret door. The method this check points to has a 25% chance of a secret door, so that gets kind of excessive for large rooms.

  • I reserve the right to place fewer exits than the table suggests if it makes the map excessively complicated.

  • Once I get seven rooms in the week’s section, all outstanding passages are either removed or connected to something nearby.

  • Any stairs generated only go to the level directly below.

  • Very small chambers with a lot of exits may not be keyed because I’ve decided they’re not so much an individual room as a somewhat wide intersection.

  • No stuff in the passages, because I don’t want to key them. Instead I’ll have a random encounter table for PCs in the passages. The table will be different for each level of the dungeon and I’ll post it at the end of the month. 10% chance of random encounter every time the PCs enter a new passage or go around a turn.

  • I’m using the “room contents” table, but taking everything strictly as a suggestion; if it doesn’t fit what I decide goes in the room, I ignore it.

  • General discretion as suggested in the appendix itself — passages that lead off the map are pruned off, if something overlaps with a previous item I either adjust the dimensions or reroll, &c.

This still generates a ridiculous labyrinthine construction, so I’ve decided that’s intentional on the designers’ part. The whole thing was carved out with magic, so they didn’t need to worry about the expense or labor of carving pointless passages. They’re wizards, so they’ve got a certain affinity for eccentricity & obscurity in the design of their lairs. They were paranoid that someone from outside might come in and shut them down, so making the place hard for outsiders to navigate was intentional. Also, they had all those weird critters down there, and the labyrinth approach makes it harder for them to find their way out if they escape their cages. All of this is, I’ve decided, why the big spiral staircase from the surface stops at level one. You’d think it would make sense for it to connect all the levels together there, but the wizards who did the architecture didn’t want the place to be easy to enter or exit, so instead the staircases to lower levels are just kind of scattered around, and only go down one floor at a time. Also, you may recall from the previous post, the wizards themselves had those limited-teleportation keyrings so they could go straight from their tower to their laboratory — the place being difficult to navigate doesn’t inconvenience them as much as it does everyone else.

Also, a note on room numbering: I’m starting over the numbering on each level so that the room for the day is always the same number as the day of the month. So each room will be numbered something like “1.23”, i.e., “first level, room 23”. Basically they’re all marked with the date rather than being numbered 1-365.

Final note: I’ve put a basic scale and compass on this one; those apply to all future maps in this project.

That being said, let’s get started.

Also, for some reason my scanner, even when set on “color”, insists on reading these as black and white, which results in not only washing out the paper color, but also making the pencil almost illegible since it’s not dark enough. So I’m using a cell phone photo, which doesn’t look quite as clean, but is honestly the better option in my opinion. If I polish this stuff up after the year is done, I’ll do a clean version on the computer.

Room 1.1: f.13r

(Starting on folio 13r because the pages before that were the calendar where I got the wizard images for the previous post.)

This page has a lot going on, and we’re not going to try and incorporate everything. That’ll be a general theme — I’ll pick a couple things off each page to actually put in the room. This one is particularly busy, though: we’ve got King David with a harp, Mary breastfeeding Jesus, a woman with fancy hair, someone holding what appears to be a bagpipe with a face, a monkey scolding an owl, a cat eating a mouse, a grotesque doing the “he scream at own ass” pose, an unfinished doodle of an animal face, another monkey looking angrily at the edge of the page, a squirrel-like critter with a distressed expression and a tail that looks vaguely like a very long oak leaf, and a stag curled up licking his feet. Again, if you want to see all this for yourself, the digitized Luttrell Psalter can be found here. I’ll just be using excerpts of the marginalia I’ve decided to include, so as to avoid drowning everyone in giant images.

The original contents of this room are unclear: there are a couple piles of rotten wood that might have been furniture of some sort. There must have previously been cabinets or something built into the walls, because there are sizable recesses around the upper part of the room. The door on the far wall is stone and largely intact; one of the bottom corners is broken off, leaving a gap that, say, a monkey or a squirrel could fit through. There may or may not have ever been a door in the right-hand wall — it’s just an open passage now, anyway. The whole place is filthy, because beaſts live here and do not use chamberpots. Actually, screw that, because that’s going to be the case everywhere since this dungeon is full of beaſts, and I don’t think a cabal of wizards would have wanted to put up with that. There is very little waste here, as if someone or something periodically cleans the place. (Inquiries using speak with animals or similar get vague references to “the caretakers”. Ditto if anyone asks how the animals are getting food.)

This room does contain a monkey (yes, I recognize that this drawing doesn’t have a tail; the other one does, and I’ve decided to make it a monkey rather than a chimp because they’re smaller) hanging out in the recesses that used to be cabinets: the wizards kept them as experimental subjects, and they’ve established a self-sustaining population in the dungeon in the centuries since. They’re bad-tempered and seem like they might be a little smarter than one would expect. This one in particular has an ongoing project of training the owls who roost in the stairwell. (I’ve Decided there are owls in the stairwell. They are able to enter and leave through a hole in the roof of the building that blocks off the stairs.) If the PCs try to mess with the monkey, it will scream and summon 2d4 angry owls. Anyone who communicates with the monkey will get very surly responses. If they manage to befriend it, they instead will get Owl Facts. The monkey is uninterested in the goings-on deeper in the dungeon.

Hidden behind a loose stone in one of those cabinet recesses is the monkey’s greatest treasure: the Bagpipe of Soothing the Savage Beaſt. This appears much like a regular bagpipe, except it has a realistic figure of a crowned head at the intersection between the bag and the pipe. Once per day, when played, it produces an effect similar to hypnotism, but longer-lasting — 2d4 minutes instead of 2d4 rounds. The suggestibility of hypnotized creatures is also increased. This effect does not function on anything with Int 10 or higher. The bagpipe originated as an experiment of Januaria’s intended to help train the various beaſts and make them easier to control — it kind of works, which is why the monkey is using it to train owls.

A pile of rotting wood in the northeast corner is inhabited by a family of oak squirrels. These are one of the grotesques created by the wizards that have escaped the dungeon and bred true outside of it, so the PCs may recognize them if they have sufficient ranks in Knowledge(nature). Oak squirrels are skittish rodents that are, yes, a cross between a squirrel and an oak tree. They are part plant and can photosynthesize through their long, flat, oak-leaf-esque tails. These haven’t managed to get out of the dungeon. Oak squirrels qualify as both an Animal and a Plant; speak with animals and speak with plants both work on them. (I know I should probably dub these Magical Beasts or Aberrations, but I feel like they don’t really have any inherent magic and aren’t weird enough to be aberrations. They’re just plant/animals that happen to be magical in origin.) They have a 50% chance to resist any spell that targets just animals or just plants, though they can voluntarily choose to be affected by them. Otherwise, they have the same stats as a normal squirrel.

How do the oak squirrels photosynthesize underground? Glad you asked. Because of the sheer number of plant/animal hybrid grotesques in this manuscript, and plant imagery in general, indicating that this will keep coming up, I am Declaring that all the rooms down here have a permanent daylight effect built into the ceiling that waxes and wanes with the actual day/night cycle, unless otherwise noted. (Just the rooms, not the passages — specifically, there’s a block of stone in the center of each room’s ceiling with a permanent daylight effect cast on it.) It was more expensive than the traditional everburning torches, but invaluable when you need to care for plants underground in a world where you can’t just go out and buy a grow light at the Home Depot.

Dammit, this is getting long again. Gotta keep a handle on that.

Room 1.2: f.13v

This room has a high ceiling (let’s say 50ft; it is hereby Declared that the stairs you came down were at least 60ft) and smells strongly of compost.

In the center of the room is what appears to be an actual oak tree, if one somewhat constrained by the dimensions of the room. (It is also hereby Declared that there is 50ft of space between floors so these roots have somewhere to go.) This is the Squirrel Oak, origin of the oak squirrels, an experimental plant/animal hybrid lifecycle. (Acorns from the squirrel oak hatch like eggs into oak squirrels. The squirrels, in turn, lay eggs that grow like acorns. Yes, squirrels that lay eggs, hush.) Since oak squirrels are now known outside the dungeon, there are also other squirrel oaks out there now, and it’s possible that PCs with Knowledge(nature) are aware of them. (Or maybe not; maybe nobody has figured out the lifecycle.) Anyway, there are more oak squirrels around here. There may also be a number of squirrel bones, though, because:

Nesting in the branches of the squirrel oak, one may find a toy wyvern. (That’s “toy” as in “toy poodle”.) This is a regular wyvern, but smaller — the adults are roughly the size of a bat — and of roughly animal intelligence. It also comes in a variety of vivid colors. These creatures have also escaped into the wild, and have kind of an “exotic pet” status. A captive one is valuable. They’re aggressive, though — most owners have them de-stingered, a practice that has caused some ethical debates. If the PCs hang around, get too close, or make a lot of noise, it might attack. This one still has its stinger.

I got stuck trying to figure out what to do with this next thing, because I like how pathetic it looks, but ended up drawing a blank. I’m also hesitant to include too many grotesques with human features in this, since that gets a bit dark in implication. So it’s appearing only in this image:

Room 1.3: f.14r

This room has a secret door hidden on the north wall; it opens if you press the right stone and leads to Room 1.4. A heap of rotten wood and animal bones lies against the western wall. This is the lair of a goldgaiter, which is the arbitrary name I’m assigning to this critter:

Appendix A thinks this room should have “a monster” in it, so I have decided the goldgaiter is a Dangerous Beaſt and liable to attack intruders. I’ll go ahead and give it some Pathfinder 1e stats, but you should feel free to adjust them to an appropriate challenge for your party. Or just add more of them to the room until it’s challenging enough.

Goldgaiter: CR 3, XP 800; N Small Magical Beast; Init +3; Senses Low-Light Vision, Scent, Darkvision 60ft, Perception +0.

DEFENSE: AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +4 natural); hp 38 (5d10+10); Saves Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +1.

OFFENSE: Speed 20 ft.; Melee bite +7 (1d6+1 plus 1d3 bleed); Special Attacks Attach (bite), Blood Drain (1d2 Con), Bleed (1d3).

STATISTICS: Str 12, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 10; Base Atk +5; CMB +5 (grapple +7); CMD 18 (20 against grappling) Feats Improved Grapple, Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack (bite); Skills Acrobatics +11; Special Qualities Magical Beast Traits


Attach (Ex): When a Goldgaiter hits with its Bite attack, it automatically initiates a grapple. The Goldgaiter is considered grappling, but the target is not. The target can attack or grapple the creature as normal, or break the attach with a successful grapple or Escape Artist check.

Blood Drain (Ex): A Goldgaiter drains blood at the end of its turn if it grapples a foe, inflicting 1d2 constitution damage.

Bleed (Ex): When a Goldgaiter hits a target with its bite attack(s), it causes wounds that continue to bleed, dealing 1d3 damage each round at the start of the affected creature's turn. This bleeding can be stopped by a successful DC 15 Heal skill check or through the application of any magical healing.

[Side note: I swear to Cthulhu that there used to be a common “abbreviated stat block” format in 3e that was, like, a paragraph instead of a whole page long. But I cannot for the life of me find this format by Googling. Any of y’all know anything? Point me to it?]

The goldgaiter has not made its way outside the dungeon, so PCs will be unfamiliar with it. It is equipped with a leech-like mouth and a tongue covered in small but sharp teeth. In combat, its approach is to attach to its opponents with this mouth and begin draining their blood (with the aid of some anticoagulant saliva). It uses its long, bifurcated tail to twist around its target and make it difficult to escape this treatment. Its name comes from the color pattern on its scales, which are blue on its head, red on its body (fading to pink on its photosynthetic tail), and gold on its legs.

Goldgaiters, which are going on the random encounter table for this level, have a habit of burrowing into whatever burrow-able material is available, leaving only their tail exposed to photosynthesize. This one (or these, if you put more than one in this room) has gradually constructed a heap of rotten wood and the bones of its prey for this purpose. Elsewhere in the dungeon, they may be found crammed behind missing bits of wall or floor.

This goldgaiter in particular (or these) is suffering from a magical disease endemic to this dungeon. It doesn’t really have a proper name, so let’s call it Bonus Face Syndrome. Apparently a magical effect gone rogue, originating as an effort to easily produce multi-headed creatures, BFS causes an extra face to gradually develop on the sufferer’s flesh at a random location. Any PC who comes into physical contact with the goldgaiter (or other creature suffering BFS) runs the risk of contracting it.

Bonus Face Syndrome: disease, contact; Save Fort DC 13; Onset 1d4 days; Frequency 1d4 days; Effect 1 Con damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves. Special: After 3 failed saves, the bonus face develops the capacity for speech and jabbers nonsense syllables at random intervals. This makes it impossible for the sufferer to sleep through the night, and hinders any attempts at stealth. If the sufferer is doing anything that requires silence, roll a d12. On a 1, the face starts talking gibberish at an inconvenient volume. The failure range increases by 1 with each failed save after the face develops speech — e.g., after an additional 3 failed saves, the face speaks on a 1-4.

Room 1.4: f.14v

This room is much tidier than the others you’ve seen, set up to be a simple but comfortable dwelling space. There appear to have formerly been six pillars in this room, but two have broken. Bits of the stone pillars have been cleared over to a pile in the southwest corner, except for one that appears to have been smoothed out somehow to serve as a simple seat. It sits next to the base of another broken pillar that has likewise been smoothed out on top, just tall enough to serve as a small writing desk. The “desk” is occupied by a stack of parchment, a quill pen, and a bottle of ink. Nearby is what appears to be a “bed” made of oak leaves. The floor in the northeast corner has been dug up somehow and has a pair of squirrel oak saplings growing in it.

This is the home of the hermit Orm, member of an obscure order of druids who make their homes in ruins. Several years ago, he came down here with a large supply of parchment, ink, and pens, in order to meditate and write his manifesto. (Yes, he paid the Gatekeepers’ toll and even bought some supplies from them, though that cleaned out the majority of his cash.) Orm is almost certainly present when the PCs enter — he rarely leaves this room. He lives primarily on sustenance created by his druidic magic, occasionally supplemented by acorns from the squirrel oak. A few oak squirrels may be present in his room — he kind of likes them — but the only animal guaranteed to be with him is the monkey Hawise, Orm’s animal companion. (Hawise is another descendant of the lab monkeys from back in the day.)

Orm is a low-to-mid-level druid, and doesn’t appreciate having his solitude interrupted. He will not immediately resort to violence, but will strongly encourage the PCs to leave. If the PCs are able to make decent diplomatic inroads without offending him too much (hard to do, since Orm was already kind of a misanthrope before he spent several years isolating himself and forgetting how to deal with people), he may offer to share some knowledge of the dungeon with them if they’ll leave him alone. He hasn’t mapped the place or anything, but he goes on a walkabout every few months and does some limited exploration. Conscious of the danger throughout this complex, and more interested in his meditation than the precise layout of the dungeon, he hasn’t made any real effort to explore the whole thing, and hasn’t been to the lowest levels.

The first information he’ll volunteer is the existence of the unicorn in Room 1.5 — he feels bad about it being trapped there, but isn’t sure how to free it. Although, in his words, “unicorns are all self-righteous jerks anyway”, so maybe he didn’t try that hard.

The passage leading north from this room leads to an apparent dead end. Obviously there’s a secret door here, because why would you build a passage that goes nowhere and not put a secret door in? Orm also figured that one out, found the hidden catch that makes the wall at the end of the passage slide away, and has stored his earthly possessions in the little 10x10 chamber at the end of the passage as an extra security precaution. (He also carefully restored the original trap, which had rusted to uselessness when he found it — put in a blade-based trap of appropriate difficulty for your PCs --- because f*ck you for trying to steal from him, that’s why.) Stored in here is a large quantity of parchment, ink, and spare pens; some dungeoneering equipment purchased from the Gatekeepers; a bag of various coins totalling roughly 50gp; and several parchment scraps found elsewhere in the dungeon that detail experiment logs.

Room 1.5: f.15r

Had some difficulty with this one. I can’t just ignore that there’s a unicorn at the bottom of the page, but this isn’t a space where a unicorn could really make its home. It wouldn’t be here voluntarily, so the wizards must have put it here. I debated having a dead unicorn here, but checking around, it looks like D&D unicorns live for up to 1,000 years, and presumably it’s being fed the same way everything else is, so there’s no reason it would have died of natural causes, so I’d have to figure out what killed it, and that would be a bit depressing, right? It’s not that far from the stairs up, so why would it not have left? It’s not like the Gatekeepers could feasibly stop it, and if they did, it would be because they were interested in selling the horn rather than keeping it contained. Orm probably would have done something about it, even. (I added a short paragraph to his entry for that reason.) So… I had to come up with something.

This oval-shaped room is built around a 10ft-by-20ft magical stasis field with four tarnished, rune-covered metal pillars at the corners. Inside the stasis field is a unicorn; this is Gray Cloud. The pillars are magically reinforced, and would take some serious work to break, but this would disrupt the stasis enough for Gray Cloud to escape. There’s also something built into the west wall: a collection of rusted & broken metal levers, dozens of stones with runic carvings that can be depressed into the wall like buttons, and a crystal ball set in the center. This was formerly the control system, but it’s long since broken down. As a safety precaution, it was built with a failsafe — when the control system ceased working, it didn’t dissipate the stasis field, but rather made it impossible to deactivate the stasis field. Someone with extensive knowledge of magical devices might be able to repair it enough to get the stasis field to drop; someone with extremely extensive knowledge and the ability to make replacement parts might be able to get it fully functional again. This was once a device that allowed Januaria to summon extraplanar creatures and lock them in stasis for study.

If released, Gray Cloud is actually pretty unpleasant to deal with. As you might expect from a creature that has a built-in virginity detector, unicorns are extremely judgmental towards anyone who doesn’t meet their high standards of moral purity. The fact that he’s apparently lost a few centuries while locked in stasis does not put him in a better mood. He’ll insist on the PCs trying to repair the control device and send him back to his home plane. Failing that, he will demand they escort him out of the dungeon. If they push matters, he may deign to admit he owes them a favor, and maybe figure out a way they could contact him to call it in. (Unicorns are dicks.)

Room 1.6: f.15v

This large square room has a heavy iron door on the north wall. The door has no handle or lock. It automatically opens with the touch of a Caretaker, and otherwise refuses to open under any circumstances. The east wall is occupied by an elaborate trellis for a strange, bluish vine; the south wall features a large bin of what appears to be scrap metal. (Searching the bin will reveal a number of rusted bits of armor & weaponry, some miscellaneous coinage, and a random magical weapon if you’re feeling generous — the original contents of the bin have long since run out, and the current contents are scavenged from elsewhere in the dungeon, including from the bodies of past explorers.) If the PCs enter this room during the day, Caretaker One is present, standing still in the middle of the room; at night, it is wandering through the dungeon performing its duties.

Most of the marginalia on this page is human or human-ish, and as previously mentioned, I’m trying to minimize the number of part-human hybrids in this dungeon. So I’ve decided this is one of the Caretakers, constructs that were built to feed the animals, clean up their waste, and water the plants, because the wizards didn’t want to bother with that sort of thing and it gets a bit dangerous for human staff. (Not that the wizards were hugely concerned about the value of human life — they just figured out early on that replacing staff was a pain.) We’ll see how many of these I end up actually including, but I’m going to go with the general idea that they’re all slightly different because the wizards kept experimenting with new designs.

The Caretakers are mindless, golem-like creatures. They have a sort of function that allows them to understand the needs of the critters and plants under their charge — they “know” any information that could be gained by using speak with animals and speak with plants, though they never actually speak. They don’t really bother to protect the critters from threats (like adventurers) because that wasn’t built into them — otherwise they’d now be constantly trying to stop the beasts of the dungeon from preying on each other. They make daily rounds of the floors on which they are situated, cleaning things up, providing all the animals with food and water, and caring for any plants. (The waste from the animals is composted and used to feed the plants.) They’re not meant to be aggressive, but if the PCs interfere with them excessively or get in the way of their duties, they may attack. (So I’m going to provide stats for this one.)

If I go back and polish this thing up after it’s done, there will have to be a note on each room detailing the (small) chance that the PCs encounter a Caretaker and what it’s doing there. Plus a note that if the PCs spend the night in the dungeon, a Caretaker will inevitably pass through their camp during the night. (I’ve decided they’re nocturnal because the wizards would want the Caretakers to be active while the wizards slept, so the constructs won’t get in the way of the experiments.)

This one looks like a brass statue from the waist up, draped with a reddish garment that it’s apparently managed to maintain and keep intact these past centuries, and a snake carved from some sort of strange bluish wood from the waist down. There’s a heavy golden ring embedded in the wood for some reason. Large leaves sprout from its wooden “tail”; like many of the hybrid creatures around here, it is able to collect additional energy from photosynthesis. There are no obvious joints; it moves fluidly. It has a number of spells it can cast in order to aid in its duties. It’s not supposed to be aggressive, but will react badly if the PCs try and hinder it from performing its duties or interfere with it excessively. For this reason, I’m going to go ahead and give it stats too. It doesn’t really have a name, so we’ll just call it Caretaker One.

Caretaker One: CR 9, XP 6400; N Medium Construct; Init +6; Senses Low-Light Vision, Darkvision 60ft, Perception +0

DEFENSE: AC 30, touch 16, flat-footed 24 (+6 Dex, +14 natural); hp 86 (12d10+20); Saves Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +4 Special DR 5/-

OFFENSE: Speed 60 ft.; Melee 2 fists +18 (3d6+6 plus Paralysis), tail lash +13 (1d6+6)

Spell-Like Abilities (Save DC 10+spell level); At Will: Mending, Prestidigitation, Create Water, Daze Monster, Deep Slumber, Create Food & Water, Minor Creation; 3/day: Hold Monster, Fabricate, Telekinesis; Special Attacks Paralysis (1d8 rounds, DC 12), Constrict (3d6+6).

STATISTICS: Str 22, Dex 23, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1; Base Atk +12; CMB +18; CMD 34; Special Qualities Construct Traits


Paralyze (Su): When Caretaker One hits a target with its attack(s), the victim is rendered immobile for 1d8 rounds. The target is allowed a DC 12 fortitude save to negate the paralysis effect. Paralyzed creatures cannot move, speak, or take any physical actions. The creature is rooted to the spot, frozen and helpless.

Constrict (Ex): Caretaker One can crush an opponent, dealing 3d6+6 bludgeoning damage, when it makes a successful grapple check (in addition to any other effects caused by a successful check, including additional damage).

In combat, Caretaker One defaults to using abilities that help control unruly beasts: daze monster, deep slumber, and hold monster. If these are ineffectual, it will start using its fists, which carry a paralysis effect. It attempts to use nonlethal damage — this is supposed to be a way to subdue an escaped monster — but switches to lethal damage if reduced below half health. When below half health, it also begins employing its tail to try and constrict opponents. It may, in addition, choose to use telekinesis as a combat maneuver at this point to keep its opponents off-balance. If, at any point, all of its opponents are unconscious, paralyzed, or otherwise helpless, it uses its telekinesis (or just drags them, if its telekinesis has been used up for the day) to Room 1.4. (Since there’s already a humanoid there, this is the Humanoid Room by its logic, so that’s where other humanoids go when they’ve been subdued.) It’s not actually interested in combat, just in self-defense and removing any obstacle to performing its duties, so if the PCs retreat, it won’t follow, and will “forget” about them as soon as they’re out of sight.

Room 1.7: f.16r

This room has a large basin set in the floor that takes up the east half of the room and goes down some 20ft. The northwest corner contains a large bin that seems to be full of irregular golden rings. The rings are roughly the weight of a gold piece, and carry the same value. There are 1d12 x 100 currently present — previous adventurers have found this room and taken the ones there, but the bin is gradually refilled over time.

The basin turns out to be an aquarium of sorts. It contains a school of gold-ringed fish. These fish are blue, about eight inches in length, and have been magically engineered to have an inherent alchemical ability. If fed base metal with the rest of their food, they will gradually convert that metal into (fairly impure) gold, forming the rings along their length, which are eventually shed. This was an experiment in establishing an extra revenue stream that was never properly brought to fruition — it takes too long to be an efficient way of making money. It was still kept hidden here just in case the wizards figured out how to make it work.

And… that’s Week One! That was fun, but I’ve got to get my verbose tendencies under control because these are too long and it’s going to take over too much of my time if I keep this up. If only I could accidentally generate this much extra text when I’m working on my dissertation, right?

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