Issue #3: Intruders in Intruvus
Featuring adorable Squibs by Raven Evermoor
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Intruders in Intruvus
Lately it’s been coming up quite a bit what specific genres and styles I like most, and my answer is some form of the following: Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror, coupled with Weird, and mixed together in some fashion.
So I enjoy getting science fiction stuck in my weird fantasy, having mounds of crawling darkness show up inside abandoned castles and abandoned space stations, and having content available that can plug easily for use into Fantasy, SF, and horror.
So lets take a look at Intruvus. City. Planet. Whatever.
Intruvus is either a lost colony world or maybe an abandoned alien city; could be something alien showing up in your classic fantasy campaign too, if you’re interested in weirding things up. It is distinct for its massive, hundreds of meters tall walls not just encasing its exterior with their slick, silvery skin, but for how they divide up the interior of the city as well into various districts, cut off from one another by labyrinthine turns.
The air within Intruvus generally smells of raspberries, although there is no direct source for this scent. Some interesting plant life grows in cracks of the structures found here, but for the most part, Intruvus appears devoid of life. There are shops and houses and bars and taverns and all of them are empty of items and people, but here or there a razor shrub grows through a table, or stranglevine hangs from a terrace.
You Are Not Alone Here…
Of course Intruvus isn’t really empty, just the life that inhabits this city is completely hidden, and careful to avoid intruders…mostly. There are two factions here: the Squibbed and the Lost Kids.
First you need to know about the squibs to understand the big part of the story that led to Intruvus’ demise. Seeded with life by a mysterious comet passing through the system, tiny leech-like creatures fell to the planet’s surface. Most of them burned up in the fall through the atmosphere but some survived, specifically those that found their way inside the walls of the city of Intruvus. These little creatures moves slowly, lurching their way about on the ground and able to suction to walls and climb up buildings. They were weird, alien, and — to the locals — somewhat adorable.
In their docile state, they enjoy being pet and form puppy like bonds with youngsters.
Around adults, they are deadly, although they generally wait until they are sleeping before they attack.
Not a pretty sight by any means; the squibbed are zombified people who used to inhabit Intruvus. Sadly the adorable little creatures are nightmarish things that attach to the heads of adult organisms, drill into their skulls, and liquify parts of their brains to insert egg sacs into. The body’s motor skills come entirely under the control of the squib, and the adult organism does everything it can to protect its skull-nest and the squib attached to it.
Assume increased strength and resistance to any mental attacks like psionics or Charm Person or Sleep or whatever.
THE LOST KIDS
Like “The Lost Boys” of J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan”, there exist in Intruvus a clan (gang?) of teenage-and-younger children who do not age who do their best to survive in spite of the wandering, random encounters with the squibbed. Their age is stunted by consumption of eggs collected from the skull-nests of adults, putting them in a difficult spot of having to attack the people who used to be their parents. Possibly.
Lost Kids themselves have a decent relationship with the squib creatures, who ignore them because of their youth and remain playful around them.
There are several possibilities available here:
Decades, maybe centuries have passed. The kids are immortal and forever young, and the adults are dwindling. Anyone who enters Intruvus may find themselves feeling sorry for the kids they encounter, thinking they are helpless. They are not likely to realize that the kids will lay traps to capture new adults to grow more squibbed, so as to have fresh sources for eggs.
The city only recently came under squib decimation, and there is a chance to rescue the surviving children before they ever turn into the Lord of the Flies kids in the previous scenario.
Clever/Devious players who discover the eggs of the squibs are keeping the children youthful may want to take advantage of this fact for their own personal, nefarious needs…
Burning the city — and everyone inside — to the ground may be the safest bet.
Seriously though, breaking the kids of their addiction to/reliance on the eggs of the squibs so they can start growing up again and live normal lives may be the best outcome. That probably means destroying all the adult squibbed and the squibs themselves.
This is intended to be a challenging scenario that introduces an a-typical antagonist: children. They aren’t evil or malicious but they are likely motivated to see the player characters squibified. Chances are there are some kids who are against this course of action, but some who lean heavily into it as the only means for their survival.
Tune in next week…
Well that’s all I’ve got for you this week, my fine folks! Next week we’ll explore another bizarre corner of my mind, and I’ll have more art to share. Comments are welcome on this post, click below if you have some thoughts to post:
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