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Locus: Outbuildings - Part I

The outbuildings of any large farm or manor carry a sense of mystery. In addition to the main house and largest barn, these estates may have dozens of buildings of specialized purpose. Isolated from the common life, outbuildings gather strange tools, distinct smells, and their own lore. Many sit at the edge of the lands as the last gesture of civilization before the wilds.

Outbuildings are excellent places to hide or forget things. They (or their ruins) can give clues as to the region’s history - why does the old gatehouse face the woods?

Brotherhood of Saint Toad

Thaia-thaan'ag has decided the world must end. The Brotherhood of Saint Toad has decided the world must believe in its own end. A never-ending, wrenching, half-growth aside half-decay, propagating itself in terror. No cycle, no spiral - a bottomless fall whose origin never dims and whose nadir sucks and gnaws.

Members of the Brotherhood fervently support the cult's early operations in a region. However, when the plan would normally crash into panic and slaughter, the Brotherhood takes steps to maintain the crest of terror and suspicion. Heroes of the Lands should not consider these monks as allies united against the cult - they will eagerly destroy and publicly display the remains of any interlopers of noble intent so as to further demoralize their subjects.

The Brotherhood is the keeper of a rare and terrible breed of Thaaskith - the well toad.


The shambling, simian mounts of Vye and northern Gasmithon are clearly descended from human stock. Ghasts are slower than horses, but more enduring, and many walled-in defenders have been dismayed to discover they climb very well, even with a rider. Ghasts are omnivorous and can live thirty years or longer.

They are generally dull-witted but show occasional bursts of cunning and clarity, a tendency which their handlers keep watch on, wary of wights.


Thaia-thaan’ag has many temples. Even a handful of followers in a tiny village cell need a dark place to hide, a place to hurt. These basements or barns are generally guarded by whichever cultist is furthest under the effects of whatever corrupting mechanism is devouring them.

A successful cell outgrows these humble lairs as their neighbors’ wills fail and are drawn in. Converting some abandoned house or linking several nearby cellars into a twisting midden that undermines the town are common practices. Dedicated guardians such as cockatrices or cerastes are brought to these lairs from afar by secret couriers or grown from some of the infested through rank rituals.

Even a town given over completely to the worship of dissolution needs to obscure its faith in order to draw in more guests and victims. Similarly, large city-based cells need strong protection from both government, churches, and even crime.


There were serpents in the earth long before there were gardens. Skulls full of dull hatred basked in the blind sun and claws slashed scales aeons before the first vine rooted in Babylon. In the tatzelwurm Thaia-thaan’ag has sought to bring some measure of that immemorial malice slouching into the meek, soft present.

Coiled, the beast is about as large as a wolf. Tiny, tawny feathers cover its head and back, while sleek white ones run down its jaw and belly, and darker ones shadow its eyes and nostrils. All told its plumage blends into the drab colors of its favored hunting grounds - boulder-strewn hills, dry autumn meadows, and oaken underbrush.

Coiled, the beast waits. Patient and hungry as a ghost called from a time before mercy. When food strays close, the tensed, springy body surges forward, propelled by strong but stumpy hind legs. Midair, forearms unfurl ungodly talons, barreling the quarry to the ground as the back legs fold.


The jaculus is a stout, dun snake which grows about a foot long, up to a third of which is its serrated rattle. It possesses an unusual, cross-hatched ribcage that grants an insectile appearance when moving and the ability to lock itself rigid, rib-against-rib. The breed has a narcotic venom akin to that of the amphisbaena.

In the wild, a jaculus typically hunts birds, squirrels, and beetles among the tree branches. During the spring, they cluster above predators’ lairs, and fall upon prey much larger than what they can eat themselves, stiffening their bodies to drive their rattle deep inside. This fragile structure then breaks off and releases a flood of debilitating toxins while the serpent withdraws to safety. The poisoned animal is easy prey for the larger predator, and scavengers and insects drawn to the kill provide ample food for the jaculus and its newly hatched young.

Thaia-thaan’ag breeds jaculi and use them in their raids.


In Gasmithon and far Northern borderlands, where trollizards are less viable in the cold, people farm feastworms. These are large, meaty beetle grubs that are raised in canisters. A few adult beetles and a supply of garbage and carrion are sealed inside at the start of the winter and buried deep to keep them warm. In the spring, the canisters are excavated, and the feastworms within are smoked or pickled. Subtle variations of flavor can be achieved by providing different nutrients during incubation.

Image @bluegriff