World Building For OD&D: Urith

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 11:48am
Just a spot to drop additional notes, resources and things on The World of Urith my Old School D&D setting.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 11:49am
I Praise My Nativity
Oh, evil the day that I was born, like a tale that a witch has told;
I came to birth on a bitter morn, when the sky was dim and cold.
The god that girds the loins of Fate and sends the nighttime rain,
He diced my game on an iron plate with dice carved out of pain.
"This for the shadow of hope," laughed he, as the numbers glinted up,
"This for a spell and this for hell, and this for the bitter cup."

A Shadow came out of the gloom of night and covered me with his cowl
That carried the curse of The Truer Sight and the blindness of the owl.
Oh, evil the day that I was born, triply I curse the day,
And I would to God I had died that morn and passed like the ocean spray.
~Robert E. Howard~
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 12:26pm
Before there was Conan there was Kull,
Before the Age of Hyborea there was the Age of Thuria.
The unkonwn and forgotten Elder Gods ruled,
The Elder Races strange roamed the world.
Mu, Atlanitis, Lemuria, Kaa-u, Pictia and Thuria lay not under the waves.
The Seven Empires ruled,
Commoria, Grondor, Kamelia, Thule, Thurania, Farsun, and Valusia.
Across the Camoonian Desert was the Kingdom of Zarfhaana.
The Day of Cataclysm laid low barbarian and civilizied man, 
Swept away under the waves and thrown down into dust,
were the cities of man and elder races.
The Sea and Earth opened, the Mountains topelled, Stars fell and the Land broke.
Fire and Ice ruled and thus ended the Age of Thuria.

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 12:33pm

Far and behind the Eastern wind

Beyond the hinterlands

Where strange shores lift and strange stars drift

Zukala’s tower stands.

Zukala’s sendings go abroad

Beyond all worlds’ ends,

But no man knows Zukala’s foes

And no man knows his friends.

For far and strange and wide the range

Zukala’s mystic power;

He slays each year with a ghostly spear

In the dim of the midnight hour.

He sits alone on a moon-pale throne

In clouds and stars arrayed;

He sits a-dream and his strange eyes gleam

Like sapphires set in jade.

Each ghostly night from wan starlight

The dim dew falls a-shower,

And the restless ghosts of by-gone hosts,

They throng Zukala’s tower.

Silent they come when the twilight goes

And the drifting shadows fall;

Their pale lights flare on the unlit stair

And gleam in the dusky hall.

Lost years are there, and vanished dreams,

And every by-gone hour;

The dead days creep where the shadows sleep

In chamber and hall and bower.

The phantoms glide through the twilight tide,

They slip through the wan star-light;

The eery shine of the Phantom Nine

Gleams through the whispering night.

Wandering shades of the long gone past

With their haunting, luminous eyes,

They glide and lurk in the shadowed murk

As the shuddering night-wind sighs.

Through the dusty halls of Zukala’s tower

Dim specters haunt the dusk,

And the strange night-wind that sometimes blows

Carries the ages’ musk.

When the midnight brings her gliding fears

To fright the wailing loon,

Zukala’s tower starkly rears

Against a blood-red moon.

The yellow stars, like eyes of cats,

Gaze through the weird hour,

And silently the spectre bats

Flit round Zukala’s tower.

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 12:35pm

High in his dim, ghost-haunted tower

Zukala sits alone;

Like a spider spinning his webs of power

Upon his moon-pale throne.

All through the long, star-spectral night

The tower knows no tread

Save for, sometimes, the eery, light

Swift footfalls of the dead.

He does not sleep and his eyes are deep

As the Seas of Falgarai;

And he moves his sceptre but to sweep

The dim stars out of the sky.

And when the wind is out of the east

And the silver moon’s agleam

That pales the stars and dims the least,

Zukala sits a-dream.

But when the wind is out of the north

And the grey light lifts for morn,

Zukala harries his sendings forth

To know if a child be born.

And the babe that is born in that ghostly hour

In the time of the paling light

Is cursed with the gift of Zukala’s power—

The gift of second sight.

For an unseen web from the ghostly shores

Upon his soul is thrown

And though his brothers may number scores

That babe must walk alone.

He shall walk in lands that are dim and grey,

But never shall he take fright,

Though ghosts shall whisper to him by day

And walk at his side by night.

His brothers may sing to the echoing sky,

Proud lords of the Universe,

But he shall see with an unveiled eye,

For that is Zukala’s Curse.

He shall see that the world is fog and dust,

That Fate is all that rules;

The gold that he gains shall be as rust

And his brothers empty fools.

Ambition shall be but a broken goad;

Mirthless shall be his mirth.

The trails of ghosts shall be his road

And the wastelands of the earth.

Empty shall be the cheers of hosts

Though he win to heights of power,

For he is destined to walk with ghosts

That is born in Zukala’s Hour.

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 12:36pm

The gods brought a Soul before Zukala,

A Soul that had been wandering in Space;

“A babe is to be born at the coming of the morn,

“And this Soul is chosen for the place.”

Down from his throne looked Zukala

With his strange eyes a-glitter from his face.

“The babe shall be a girl,” said Zukala,

“With every tooth a pearl,” said Zukala;

“A woman strangely fair with wondrous golden hair

“Men’s souls shall she ensnare,” said Zukala.

“She shall raise mankind to wrath,” said Zukala;

“Blighted love shall haunt her path,” said Zukala;

“Men for her their souls will sell for her destiny is fell,

“And her feet are set toward Hell,” said Zukala.

Then spake the Soul to Zukala,

To Zukala on his throne of gleaming jade:

“Nay, my lord, but is it just, dooming to a life of lust,

“That you just fashioned from the dust, lord Zukala?

“Thus my destined trail is laid ere I am in flesh arrayed,

“Then shall men my sins upbraid, not Zukala.”

From his throne of gleaming jade spake Zukala:

“Human forms were made to fade,” said Zukala;

“But the soul must stand the test

“And the gods must have their jest

“Else Creation held no zest,” laughed Zukala.

Long and loud from his throne laughed Zukala.

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 12:40pm

Along the sky my chariot ran,

And the star-things ran before.

I raced the breeze over star-lit seas

Till the very wind gave o’er;

But my soul grew lone, and my heart grew sad,

Sad as the sighing sea,

For there was never a girl or lad

To laugh in the skies with me.

I hid my wings in a scarlet cloak,

I lowered my burning eyes,

And I went on foot with a lilting lute,

A beggar from the skies.

I tuned my lute to a song of love,

I edged my song with mirth,

And my feet drank deep of the waving grove

And deep of the dust of earth.

And maidens flung me silver coins,

And women praised my voice,

And when dawn was past, I found at last

The rose-white girl of my choice.

She flung me a rose when I sang to her,

And its roots sank in my breast;

But oh, she flung me a deathly rose

When she put my love to jest.

I sang her songs like a dew drop’s fall

And songs like a bugle peal;

But her heart was cold, and the world grew old,

And the heart of me turned to steel.

I rent to shreds my scarlet cloak,

I raised my terrible eyes,

I spread my wings till they hid the sun,

And mounted again to the skies.

I left my scarlet cloak to lie

Like a rift of blood on the sward,

But I did not break the lute I bore,

For that was the soul of a bard.

Then from the blue empirean deeps

Where Nothing conquers All,

I raised a hand to the tiny world

As a giant grasps a ball;

And I seized the woman that I loved,

She screamed in my embrace;

And I brought her to me, white and still

From the fear of that rush through space.

She lay in the hollow of my hand

And shrieked to hear the truth:

That I who laughed to see her writhe

Was one with the beggar youth.

Then into the bowl I flung her soul,

And the stars in glittering dress

Laughed, crowding in with their cosmic sin,

To jeer at her nakedness;

For the golden plates that hid her breasts

And the silk that covered her loins

I rent and flung to the trailing mist

As a drunkard scatters coins.

Blue and dim on the topaz rim

Where the silence drinks the night,

Forgotten moons like crazy loons

Hovered into her sight;

And out of the deep where shadows sleep

That never knew the sun,

Strange eyes aflame, the dark stars came,

Whispering, one by one.

And with burning eyes that hid her thighs

As fire-flies cover a tree,

They kissed her face in a hot embrace,

And she whimpered upon her knee.

Then I swept the band with a jade-nailed hand,

And the slim of her waist I gripped,

And the stars fell out of her hair like moths

And through my fingers slipped.

High on a lone sapphirean throne

I sat me down with a laugh,

And in wild alarm she clung to my arm,

In fear she clutched at my staff.

A million miles beneath her seat

Rippled the topaz seas,

And there were stars below her feet

And moons between her knees.

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 2:19pm

Age of Thuria notes on Gods


 Was recognized almost universally in the Age of Thuria as the primary deity. Refered to "god of the sea and the land"  and "Almighty Valka" and "Man is Valka's mightiest creation". In addition even the high priests of The Black Shadow will aknowledge Valka is "god of all gods". god of fertility and growth

The Black Shadow/The Unnamable One

His priests feel the "real gods," "dark and bloody," and The Unnamable One symbolized by The Black Shadow

"The real gods are dark and bloody! Remember my words when soon you lie on an ebon altar behind which broods a black shadow forever. Before you die you shall know the real gods, the powerful, the terrible gods, who came from forgotten worlds and lost realms of blackness. Who had their birth on frozen stars, and black suns brooding beyond the light of any stars. You shall know the brain-shattering truth of that Unnameable One, to whose reality no earthly likeness may be given, but whose symbol is -- The Black Shadow!"

the Strange God, the god which is Unknown.

The Great Scorpion:

"God of the crawling darkness", "A forgotten god, a deity remembered only by children and women",  "is granted a shrine only because of the memory of his former greatness; who is accorded reverence only by simple people and foolish women"

A crystal image of a scorpion upon a golden altar, beneath a lapis lazuli ceiling upheld by marble walls. 

The Serpent God: 

The serpent men, after their defeat by the men, introduced the worship of the serpent god to a gullible mankind, and serve as its priests. Highly secretive, they are a subtle and immensely powerful cabal, often using their ability to transform themselves into the likenesses of men.

Hotath/Hota/Hotah: the god of war. (Nath-Horthath HPL)

Moon-Woman and her sisters (referred to as the Star Maidens)





Hell and Paradise exist, thus afterlife concept exists in the belief system.

"at the bidding and ruling of -- of whom? The gods? The Women who wove the webs of Fate?" 

Xultha: However the first god worshipped appears to be Xultha the ape-man.


Zukala (Zo-Kalar HPL):  the disposer of souls, fate setter of souls, (reincarnation?), rebirth

Merama: Valusian/Thurian goddess of hearth, home and marriage (since those attributes tend to go together across cultures)

star-things/sentient stars (appear in Zukala poem and HPL works)

"He cursed them by Hotath and Helgor, by Ra and Ka and Valka.

He cursed all men living and dead, and all the generations unborn for a million centuries to come, naming Vramma and Jaggta-noga and Kamma and Kulthas. He cursed humanity by the fane of the Black Gods, the tracks of the Serpent Ones, the talons of the Ape Lords and the iron bound books of Shuma Gorath.

He cursed goodness and virtue and light, speaking the names of gods forgotten even by the priests of Lemuria. He invoked the dark monstrous shadows of the older worlds, and of those black suns which lurk forever behind the stars."

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 2:37pm
D&D B4 The Lost City
I like this old module as it reminds my of several old movies and fits nicely into the setting and can be easily expanded on.

"Centuries ago, Cynidicea was the capital of a rich and fertile kingdom. Its people reclaimed much land from the desert, especially during the reign of King Alexander—the last and greatest king of Cynidicea."

Zargon was roughly humanoid in shape, though larger than most humans. In place of arms and legs it had twelve tentacles. Its head was that of a giant lizard, with a large black horn in the middle of its forehead.

In time, a strange cult arose that worshipped the monster as a god. The cult viewed the monster's victims as religious sacrifices. The worship of the ancient gods of Cynidicea—Gorm, Usamigaras, and Madarua—was forsaken in favor of the worship of the monster Zargon. Finally, most of the citizens of Cynidicea worshipped it.

The worshippers of Zargon began to look for strange pleasures. They sought oblivion in rare wines and bizarre drugs. Workers no longer repaired the irrigation ditches. Rich land turned into desert. The army lost its discipline. People outside the city rebelled, or moved away as chaos spread outward from Cynidicea. 

Later, barbarian warriors stormed over the walls and destroyed the city. The only people of Cynidicea who survived its destruction were those who had fled underground to the vast catacombs* under the city. There, led by Priests of Zargon, the Cynidiceans tried to rebuild the city. 


The surviving people based their new life around a huge under- ground lake fed by channels cut through solid rock. Built in the reign of King Alexander, the lake had been the original city's water supply. On its shores, the people grew mushrooms and other edible fungi. They built houses using stones from the ruins above. The new underground city was much smaller than the ancient capital, but it was safer because it was hidden beneath the desert sands. Above, drifting sands covered the original city, and Cynidi- cea was lost in the vastness of the desert. 

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 3:10pm

Cynidicean Humans

They are now a distinct race of humans:

Generation after generation of Cynidiceans have lived out their lives underground. Though still human, their skin has become very pale and their hair is bone-white. The Cynidiceans have developed infravision and, like goblins, attack with a penalty of -1 to hit when fighting in full daylight.


 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 5:57pm
Note on Humans and Ape-men...

In reading both Conan/Kull stories by REH and some works of ERB such as Tarzan it appears Apes can evolve into Ape-men which can become Human but Humans can regress back into Ape-men... sort of an interesting thing this back and forth mutation.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Tchklinxa's picture
May 28, 2017 - 9:39pm
Thog: A god with a Toad like face and shadowy body and tenetacles that eats people in the ancient green city of Xuthal in a desert. AoH
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."