Monday, April 5, 2010

The Skull of Xectopax

Late last night I was deleting files from my hard drive, and found something I had forgotten I had downloaded.  I was about to delete it, but decided to see what it could do.  It's a little Windows application called Ruins Generate, and it's really not that spectacular.  Here's a screenshot of one I did last night.

Well, what can I do with this?  Hhhmmm? A Partially Operational giant skull? In a Crevice? Guarded by Lycanthropes? Whaaaaat?  Hhhhmmmm... whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Okay, I can work with this. First things first... it's in a desert region, in a crevice, which would have to be a big crevice, because it's a giant skull. Now about that skull, hhmmmm... why is it Partially Operational? Oh yeah! It's a magical artifact! Plus, it's not just a giant skull, it's a GIANT SKULL. The skull belonged to a member of a race of super-giants that are long since extinct. It's the Skull of Xectopax, and even though it's only Partially Operational, it's still cool.

A Bit of History and Information About the Skull of Xectopax

Untold ages ago, a Mad Wizard found the Skull of Xectopax, and created an Artifact. Using magic long since forgotten, the Mad Wizard created a magical contrivance for flying through the air. No wimpy flying carpet for the Mad Wizard! This was the Skull of Xectopax! The skull was so enormous that the Mad Wizard constructed a chamber inside the cranial cavity for a pilot, and a passenger, with plenty of room left over for cargo.

The entrance is a circular hatch on the top of the skull, and is made of metal. The Skull of Xectopax requires a special key to open and operate, and only one exists. Once open, there's a ladder that allows easy access to the inner chamber.

The controls to operate the Skull of Xectopax look very technological, with levers, switches, and glowing crystals, etc, and when a character enters with the key, a hazy magical screen appears showing the view in front of the skull. ( You don't see out of the eyes. ) Inside and outside of the skull, there are many small "gadgets" and crystals that are attached to the skull, and probably have something to do with it's various functions. Most of which are now, non-operational. However, a magic-user with the right spells and knowledge, MIGHT be able to repair the skull. There are also glyphs and runes of various types carved on the outside, and some of these are also made of metal. The skull also appears to have been repaired many times, with patches, bars, and strips of metal.   There may even be an arrow or two stuck in the skull.  The eye sockets are covered in a clear crystal, and if activated from the control panel will glow with a bright light.

The only power that remains operational is flight, that is, aside from the glowing eyes, and eerie green glow, but that's more for effect than anything else.  Nothing hurts an army's morale worse than a flying green skull breathing fire!

Fortunately, ( or unfortunately ), the key is in the possession of one of the lycanthropes. A werebear who leads the Guardians of the Skull of Xectopax. ( Well, they don't actually know it's the Skull of Xectopax, but it does sound good... ) The lycanthropic guardians are of all types, and have banded together and formed a religion based on the skull.  Yes, there are conficts and in-fighting, but for the most part they work together.

The skull is in a large crevice that is in the side of a mountain. The lycanthropes have built a crude stone wall with a stout wooden door, to guard the entry way, but access can be found by climbing up the mountain, and then down inside the crevice, but they would still need the key.  Or the characters could fight their way to the skull, and hopefully find the key.

Once the characters gain the skull they can fly it over the wall.

Okay, that was fun.  I think I'm going to make this into a module.  There's much more I want to add, and it needs some work.  This was a quick first draft, and it's kind of disjointed, but I like the concept, and to think it was inspired by a little Window's application.  Ruins Generate indeed!  I almost deleted it!  Now it's a keeper.

Here's another one, it appears to favor Partially Operational Skulls guarded by lycanthropes.

And finally, one so bizzare, that it might take me a bit to come up with something for this!
Okay, enough fun for now.  Remember keep rolling those dice! And keep clear of those Dangerously Operational animated entertainments!


  1. I love that little program. Sometime I just roll stuff randomly on it to give the old creative juices a boost.

  2. It is a cool little snippet.

    I don't know if there is a preferred place to snag it, but I found it archived here.

  3. "Dangerously operational animated entertainment..."

    Hmmm... reminds me of an installment of Azpiri's "Lorna" (IIRC) I read in Heavy Metal many moons ago. Oh, what a horrible, horrible way for a man to die.

  4. Thanks Vincent, I couldn't find it.