Tuesday 28 March 2023

Aelid the Blue's Chambers, and Future Publishing Plans

Here, apropos of nothing much really, are two locations from the next big thing I'm working on, The Three-Mile Tree - a megadungeon inside the trunk of, well, a three-mile high tree:

34. The Soothsaying Room. The witch, Aelid the Blue (see room 35) does her soothsaying in this small chamber, from the low ceiling of which hang various bird skulls on lengths of string - those of a magpie, an owl, a crow, and a dunnock. 

The magpie skull will tell the value of any non-magical object. The owl skull will tell the location of any person. The crow will give information about the feelings and memories of the recently dead. And the dunnock will tell the location of any object that has been deliberately hidden. 

The skulls only respond to Aelid, who will ask them questions in return for teeth on a one-to-one basis. She removes teeth with a single yank of her forefinger and thumb. On removal of a third tooth, the supplicant loses 1 CHA permanently. For each tooth removed thereafter, he or she loses a further 1 CHA. 

35. Aelid’s Sleeping Area. The doorways to this chamber are closed with heavy whicker doors. Within is a wigwam-like tent within which AELID THE BLUE sleeps and spends most of her days. Crouching motionless on its haunches nearby is an incongruous IRON GOLEM, which resembles a male ape that would stand 7’ tall if fully erect. It obeys Aelid’s commands without question and instantly attacks anybody it perceives to threaten her or who enters the tent without her permission.

From the outside the tent appears to be around 8’ in diameter, but on the inside it is three or four times as wide, and could easily shelter a dozen people or more. Aelid’s bed is a cot carved out of the back of the stiffened carcass of a cave bear, which stands four-legged in the middle of the tent. Beside it on either side are a pair of stuffed wolves standing awkwardly on their hind legs. The wolf on the left bears a silver tray in its paws which, if filled with brine, Aelid can use for scrying (she does not supply the brine). In return, she requires a finger tip, which she bites off. Anyone may lose two fingertips without penalty. After that, each fingertip lost reduces DEX by 1. The wolf on the right bears a basket which contains the witch’s possessions - a potion of invulnerability, a potion of speed, a potion of water breathing, two scrolls of protection from elementals, a spell scroll of wizard eye/light/create air, a ring of fire resistance, and a large pouch containing 1000 ep.

AELID THE BLUE, 8th level magic-user (20 hp), AC 9, staff. Has memorised polymorph other, dimension door, protection from normal missiles, clairvoyance, mirror image, invisibility, phantasmal force, charm person, magic missile, hold portal

IRON GOLEM: HD 9, AC 0, #ATT 2, DMG 1d12/1d12, Move 90, ML 12, TT None

*Only damaged by bludgeoning or magical weapons

Currently, I'm working on finally ironing out all the kinks in distribution of Issue 1 of In the Hall of the Third Blue Wizard (the latest thing is that it turns out that when the Royal Mail's software pulls orders from my online shop, it sometimes cuts off a line from the customer's address, so most days over the last two or three weeks I've come home to find a 'return to sender' package waiting for me on the doormat - something that naturally never fails to produce from me a trill of fond laughter at the postal service's hijinks). After that, my plans are:

  • By autumn 2023 - Yoon-Suin 2nd edition finished and being distributed
  • By autumn 2023 - possibly run a Kickstarter for In the Hall of the Third Blue Wizard, Issue 2 (I don't really care if there is any demand for this - I will do it in any case to spite Patrick)
  • By end of 2023/early 2024 - run a Kickstarter for The Great North, billed as 'Yoon-Suin for North East England'
  • By end of 2024 - run a Kickstarter for The Three-Mile Tree
  • After that - finally complete Behind Gently Smiling Jaws
Wish me luck.


  1. There are several Jack Vance stories to mine for inspiration--Houses of Iszm, I think features a gigantic tree?

  2. Oooh, Gently Smiling Jaws is happening! Very excited to hear this.

  3. There's a sci-fi book titled "The Integral Trees" and its sequel, whose name escapes me at the moment, that has some cool ideas for such a big tree, especially as you get higher up.

    1. The smoke ring is the sequel. Fun books, but even bigger trees in a totally alien world!

  4. Jaws! Jaws! Do give us gently smiling jaws! :D