End of the Year Writing Contest: Wiki Rush
Have you ever looked through our wiki and thought to yourself “Hm, this needs more information.” Oh boy, do we have a treat for you!
From November to January the writing contest will be..... Wiki Rush! Grab something from the Writer Wanted section and hmail the admin for your chance to win some gold and help shape Hollow’s world!
1000 gold per entry with no cap. Low effort entries will not be accepted.
- The person with the most accepted entries will receive a +15 custom.
- 2nd place will receive a +10 custom.
- Third place will receive a +5 custom.
Hmails must be submitted to Meri, Valrae, Khitti & Kanna before January 22nd at 11:59 PM.
Need help finding the Writer Wanted pages?
Check out the link below.
Not sure you're looking at the right pages?
The tag below will be right at the top! You can't miss it.
|This section has not been written
|If you wish to write this section, please contact Meri by hmail or at her talk page.
Submissions from Lanlan
Ammut - Vakmatharas
Grotesque monsters that are said to ascend from the realms of Vakmatharas to take back those who would stray from their destined paths. Creatures the size and shape of hippos with reptilian maws shaped like that of a crocodile. Despite their great size, they function well as ambush predators, their dark leathery flesh reflecting almost no light, and seeming to require neither air nor sustenance to persist. Any being who agitates one of these creatures puts themselves at great peril, for they will defend themselves with great malice and hook-clawed forepaws not unlike a dragons. But their prey is not the living. Undead roam the continents of Lithrydel, cold bodies that are owed to the underworld. When they prove unwilling or unable to reach their ultimate destinations, an ammut may appear to assist in their delivery. Vampires, zombies, liches beware.
Some have even known to be adorned in what appears to be ceremonial armor. Bands of celestial bronze shackling their limbs and coating their teeth lending them the power to break curses and sever tethers that bind beings to the material existence past their time. After being shredded and rent by the talons and flesh, the released are then consumed, where it is hypothesized that rather than being digested, the undead are transported directly to their final resting place in Vakmatharas's domain.
They are most often seen in Vailkrin, though they aren't a common sight. It seems that they're predominantly tasked with bringing low those undead who repeatedly evade their final peace, often to the point of flaunting their abominable existence. Especially devout members of the Vakmatharas clergy have also been known to be capable of summoning them, seemingly at will. In such a case where their common Lord's trust has been so placed in the summoner, they will obey their commands, even to the point of becoming a steed.
A beast of unrivaled aggression and malice. The once and future king of beasts and monsters. Luckily, it's trapped in Alithrya, and moreso than the naga who may leave their home-become-prison by way of any number of portals that may be created there and back. May it never find an escape. Instead, the entire expansive and unexplored wilderness that the behemoth makes its home belongs to the behemoth alone.
And here is a place of bloodshed. The boundaries of these woods that it makes its home are seemingly always drenched in blood and viscera and bone. A dark forest of tall trees stained red. A floor drenched and muddy, pools of blood and worse that quiver with barely detected tremors from something miles away. And yet the quickness in which the tremors grow into quakes...
Primary sources are summarily dismissed by anyone with an inkling of wisdom, because the creature doesn't tolerate observation. The only survivors who happened upon it are the ones who ran or flew or teleported faster the rest (not faster than the behemoth, it's worth noting), and didn't dare to chance a second look. Even when viewed from afar with a spyglass, or scryed upon from safety, the creature eludes. Instead, parts of it are glimpsed. Massive, sinewy, muscled arms that rend the earth and carve canyons, sculpting the very landscape at its whim. Horns that curve out of a massive canine-like cranium and pierce the sky and tower over treetops. A mane like fire scorching its dark velvety fur from shoulders to skullcap. A belly full from all that it's consumed, all that its ended. The path of its heavy tail through the forest today will be the river of tomorrow. And this is all that can be gleaned. The beast has never been seen in it's entirety, due to what might be a cleverness or an instinct to know when it's being watched. But a thing so enormous could never be observed; to get close enough to see past the trees is too near to observe more than a piece.
Some suggest that the real reason Alithrya was sealed away was because the naga failed to contain this, and so to save everyone, some were sacrificed to time. Yet others contend that it serves a divine purpose, for it must've been Hind who created it initially. And the gods intentions may well be unknowable, but some legacies of Hind's worship claim to have inherited the knowledge of their ancestors. It is said that nature on its own would destroy itself, and the animals who are constantly at war with one another would grow fiercer and wilder and stronger without the presence of a true King. And even from its far away home beneath the sea, all it takes is one roar every few years or decades or centuries to keep the beasts in check. A roar that echoes through dimensions to remind the would be kings and tyrants of the animal kingdom never to grow too big or take too much.
Of course there are skeptics. Ones who say nature on its own could never produce such a magnificent and powerful creature, that there must have been not only design, but magical assistance. Those are but narrow-minded scholars and mages and warriors and hunters, who in their infinite hubris, believe nothing is out of the reach of magic and practice and skill... The wisest understand that the gods set limits. The behemoth is one of them.
In the murky depths of the swamp, where shadows dance in the haunting glow of will-o'-wisps, the catoblepas resides, a colossal creature of mythic proportions. This herbivorous behemoth, with its grotesque appearance, stands as a living relic from an age long past. Its body, resembling that of a waterlogged buffalo, is adorned with scales and mottled, decaying vegetation, merging seamlessly with the swamp's eerie ambiance.
The catoblepas sloshes through the knee-deep waters, disturbing the surface with each ponderous step. Its eyes, hidden beneath a curtain of tangled swamp vines, emit an otherworldly glow, revealing only glimpses of their eerie luminescence. Its elongated neck, drooping low enough to sag just above the swampy waters, bears a multitude of moss-covered warts, concealing a head adorned with twisted, antler-like horns that protrude from the sides.
The creature's most unnerving feature is its heavy, mud-caked tail that drags lethargically behind, leaving a trail through the swamp's dark waters. As the catoblepas grazes on the eerie vegetation, its breath releases a low, haunting gas. Dense and heavy, it creates a sickly fog that obscures the creature further. Not only is the gas extremely foul smelling, it’s also extremely poisonous and depending on what vegetation the creature has been feasting on, potentially acidic.
The catoblepas is known to have an iron stomach, able to endure the most potent of poisons and powers in whatever vegetation it eats, and then exhale the dangerous substances through their breath. What isn’t exhaled poisons the meat, which is why despite being a slow-moving and fleshy creature, it doesn’t face any true predators. The smell is also a deterrent.
Gorgons are rare beings in the lands of Lithrydel. A species of humanoid made up entirely of women, made famous (or infamous) for their visage of stone death and their writhing manes of living snakes. Accounts by survivors vary in the nature of the encounter, ranging from surprisingly friendly to harrowing near-death experiences. Indeed, the greatest difference may be due to the person and their intentions.
In general, Gorgons seem to reside away from civilization in dark places such as caves. Sisterhoods form on occasion, when these women gather in small communities to support themselves and protect each other. Some Gorgon lairs are populated by an altogether different type of denizen; unmoving, cold, and brittle. Stone statues of would be heroes or hapless victims who once drew breath, fossilized forever in horror or rage.
Where most humanoids have hair on their heads, Gorgons have writhing snakes that seem to be intrinsically or telepathically connected to each other and the Gorgon herself. Often content merely to lie dormant, they become excited as she does, and become dangerous as she does, awakening in a threatening mass to intimidate or strike. The gorgon's skin is occasionally mottled with sleek scales similar to a snake, especially around her crown but sometimes further, covering even up to their entire body from head to toe.
Finding one an enemy is dangerous, especially because of their magical ability to calcify organic material completely. Whether it is a blessing or a curse is often contentious, as it is no doubt their ability to turn people into stone that earned them their fearsome reputation. Some have encountered women in caves with hair of snakes who have provided them shelter and hospitality from storms or pursuers, and they've looked upon these women and remained bodily the same, implying not every one is evil and becoming a statue is not inevitable. Still more encounters claim that petrification is just a fact for all around them, marking them as a blight upon the world fit only for eradication. The process of becoming stone seems nearly impossible to reverse, and not without great magic. Often upon a successful transmutation, the result is an unliving and preserved corpse. The process is not recommended on those statues who have lost significant parts of themselves or who have broken into many pieces.
These lumbering creatures are among the many so-called terrible lizards native to Venturil. This particular one is notable especially for the bony plates along its back and the four impaling spikes on its tail, known as Thagomizers. They are so named after perhaps the greatest zoologist of our time, who met his unfortunate end atop one of these and was found days later on the culprit, who by all accounts had no idea and was just eating grass happily when it was discovered. They aren't known for being very bright, and are mostly docile.
The plates on its back are beautiful and intimidating while the creature lives. Throughout each plate is a network of channels and tubes, blood vessels, and when the stego's blood flows through them, they light up in brilliant and sometimes intimidating and mesmerizing displays of scarlet. The many different patterns and degrees of color that they can channel leads some scholars to believe that these creatures are much more complex than initially thought. Could they be used as a form of silent communication?
Most are doubtful, and this is convenient for them. Stegosaurs are especially useful draft animals in warm places like Venturil, where there placid nature and ability to carry enormous loads is a great boon to farmers and traders in the region. Here, their plates may be used to great effect, as a foundation by which a flattened structure can even be built, in lieu of a simple saddle. Some have even been known to have what is essentially a small cottage built on their backs, and despite all this extra weight, they happily graze until directed elsewhere.
At least one tribe of nomads in the wild has adopted the animal as their guardian and totem, and consider the creature to be sacred above all others. They travel with a herd of stegosaurs, protecting not only their children, but the dinosaurs' too. In return, they are protected by the herd against many of the greater threats that other dinosaurs (and people) pose. This tribe, like the dinosaur itself, is considered to be simple and peaceful. As with the dinosaur, the ignorance may not be of the people being observed, but of the observers. Though they care little for things such as money, they are known to be cooperative with the stationary peoples of Venturil when it comes to mutual protection of the land.
Many parts of a stegosaurus are quite valuable to collectors, who would see the plates on their back detached, sanded, and gilded. They may or may not fill the channels within with some colorful substance or another, presenting the beauty and patterns in myriad colors beyond the sanguine display of the living creature. Their bones, especially their femurs, are known to be nearly indestructible. Though they're brittle and not suited to shaping, certain organic adhesives can expand their function to be used in a variety of ways. They also are incredibly heat resistant, and can withstand being coated in metals for further increased density and strength. Their eggs are prized as a delicacy by the very rich, and are often served in discrete, anonymous restaurants in places like Chartsend and Vhys. As expected though, the Thagomizers are the true prize. They aren't useful for much beyond simple weaponry, but they're so cool that everyone wants one. Or four. Of course, the harvesting of these things from wild stegosaurs is considered poaching, and the punishment for crossing this line results in jail and fines from Venturil's government, or blood feud and eventual death from the tribes who revere the creatures.
Sphinxes are enormous creatures, famed for having the bodies of lions but with human-like faces, and often with wings that enable them to fly despite their great size. Their physical strength is known to rival even all the most powerful dragons.
Their true power comes from their minds. Though they are most inscrutable, every recorded interaction with one has shown them to be possessed of an intelligence and breadth of knowledge far beyond what a person is capable. Is it luck or misfortune then, that they seem content to merely observe the time as it passes? While they have been known on occasion to offer guidance to a traveler who beseeches them, it is only after they pass their enigmatic tests of judgment. They may be in the form of a riddle, or a moral quandary; but some boons have been gifted by them unto supplicants with no clear rhyme or reason. The greatest of them is said to have a mind of such power and scope, that it is a realm unto itself, capable of being visited by mortals, for a price. Though it is one near impossible to pay, even if the supplicant is willing.
All of them are known to be infinitely wise and insightful, though their personalities vary between cold and unfeeling, to beings of great honor and compassion. Above all, they are known to be judgemental. Some sphinxes are said to have such good hearing that they can distinguish a truth or a lie just upon hearing it; and woe be to the one who is caught attempting to deceive a sphinx, for their wrath at being displeased may range from utter indifference, to annihilation. The latter may come from a heavy paw, a precise dismantling via ornate magic, or a roar so loud it cracks bone. Indeed, a particularly ill tempered sphinx may have a lair littered with headless skeletons beset with shards of skull strewn about. At least they departed quickly.
This leads some scholars to believe that they may be in place as agents of a particular God or Goddess, usually Xalious or Q'na or Hind, and merely maintain the laws that govern existence of physics and nature. The truth is, understanding them may be beyond what mortals are capable of.
The limits of their magical abilities can only be guessed at. While their aforementioned roar is almost certainly at least partially magical, they have also demonstrated a great affinity for various types of magic designed to compel smaller minded beings. Mind control is certainly within their capabilities. Ones who answer falsely may perish, while those who merely answer inadequately may find themselves taking a long walk back the way they came, whether they like it or not.
Also like dragons, many of them have lairs. Places that they've become so attuned to, that to sneak into one beneath their knowledge (and indeed, their permission), is nearly impossible. And what treasure may be found is hardly the riches of a dragons hoard, but is more likely to be one of prized knowledge; even a single secret, depending on its matter, may be worth more than a hundred hoards. Unlike dragons however, they do not often seem to be possessed of their own agency. Their lairs were not chosen by them out of desire, but purpose, to dispense their treasure to the worthy perhaps, or to guard knowledge, secrets, or artifacts which can't be or shouldn't be destroyed. While they and their lairs may be static, their geographic position need not be. That is to say that they may always reside in a temple of vaulted mithril columns and walls and ceilings, but it may be found today on the tallest peak in the Xalious Mountain range, and tomorrow behind a waterfall in Rynvale.
Their physiology seems to vary somewhat in size and shape, while usually maintaining the same basic form. The face of a person, the body of a great feline. The greatest have feathery wings that grant them flight no matter how improbable. Two things that have been relentlessly debated is how one comes into existence, and therefore, the prospect of them pairing (and here is also a third thing, assuming they do procreate as we do, and that is whether or not they might lay eggs.) They are known to be solitary creatures, often remaining in one place for hundreds if not thousands of years without being seen or heard.
Yet despite their great prowess, stories exist of ones who have cleverly gotten the better of them. There are numerous tales of one who has even been seen as an equal, and a partner. Though this particular story has been told a multitude of times in different cultures granting the hero a number of different monikers, scholars out of the Mage's Guild are naturally inclined toward one in particular.
Dinosaurs native to Venturil, and highly regarded animals seen as honorable defenders of the weak. They're famous for their massive skulls which combine the effects of a massive protective shield and piercing pikes that create a deadly defense against assault.
These noble herbivores travel in herds and, unlike many reptiles, they actually nurture their young. Similar to elephants, they form deep familial connections within their herd, and are led by a single elder matriarch. They're also fiercely territorial beasts, and will guard to the death the lands where they build their nests. Though deeply mistrusting of outsiders, the bonds they form with those who are accepted among them are permanent. Be they triceratops or person or something else, the ones who are counted among them are guarded with the same tenacity as any other in the herd.
This steadfast devotion can have it's downsides. Upon the failure to protect one of their own, especially a young one, they have been observed entering protracted periods of lethargy. They seem unfocused and confused, and the pattern of behavior is described as mourning by some zoologists, though many more dismiss this claim saying they aren't complicated enough to regret loss. Furthermore, there have been times when one of the herd is seemingly forced out. After some sort of dispute between one or more members, something akin to a duel takes place. The dinosaurs each take place against each other, and then charge against each other, horn first. Often the region will seem to experience a thunderstorm with no clouds nor lightning nor rain. It's two triceratops clashing. The loser will often depart the herd and try to make it on their own, usually with less than three horns.
It is said that they innovated the first phalanx formation. It is their habit when threatened, to form an impenetrable line of spikes and shields facing the aggressor while keeping the young and old and weak nestled behind in a pocket of safety. Predatory creatures of nearly any size will sooner find new prey rather than subject themselves to the torment of perforation and frustration. It's complicated further when a tribe of people has been accepted into the herd, as triceratops aren't known for their intelligence, and it is perhaps their one weakness. Yet when combined with the strategy and concern of people, this weakness is mitigated, and the herd of people and dinosaurs thrives.
Though many attempts have been made to domesticate the beast for its great strength and protective nature, few have succeeded for long. They seem to detest instinctively manmade structures, and even if they seem to accept the lifestyle of servitude for a time, it almost always ends in a pile of rubble.
Submissions from Alex
The harbinger of death.
The Banshee is an extraordinarily rare manifestation that is discussed only in hushed whispers by those who have braved the terrifying depths of the Underdark.
The apparition takes the form of a slender woman with a blindingly white dress that fades to mist just below her waist. Her long hair flows above her head in waves as if she’s submerged in water and her complexion is a sickly green with open sores giving way to exposed tissue. Most disturbing is her slack jaw that hangs down to her chest in a permanent and exaggerated state of shock while her cheeks stretch like clay from the weight.
The legends claim that the forsaken spirit roams the cramped and murky tunnels outside of Trist’oth near a documented deep dragon den where she attempts to warn passing travelers of the dangers ahead.
Though her intentions are pure, the banshee emits a piercing scream that is powerful enough to peel skin from bone, exposing a deep sense of irony in the fact that her attempted warnings of death are instead what brings it about.
Some powerful wizards and warriors claim to have slain the banshee and reaped great rewards for their effort, but most regard them as braggarts with a knack for embellishment. Many locals dismiss the idea of the Banshee as mere myth while others tend to turn as pale as her dress when asked of their experience.
This leaves those who ponder the true existence of the ethereal maiden with only a single option; to search for themselves.
Broken rocks, brains, and bodies.
The ogres that roam the desolate caverns beneath Gamorg are very different than their surface-dwelling counterparts. Not so much in their physique but more so in their mannerisms and state of mind, or lack thereof.
While their brethren enjoy the “fresh” air of the rotting city and spend their days in raiding parties and downing grog, these subterranean ogres are forced to live a life of hard labor breaking apart rock and stone in labyrinths of their own chaotic design as they constantly inhale the mind-altering fog the lingers in the hollowed halls.
Their knuckles, knees, feet and skulls are often battered to bits with fresh lacerations and massive lumps. If you wander their mines long enough, you may notice that despite carrying a massive pickaxe, the miners often leave the tool at their side outside of combat, which brings about an epiphany that explains their tortured physical state as you realize the pathways are made almost exclusively through sheer force and brutality.
For most outsiders, encountering an ogre often leads to conflict, but many of the miners seem passive in their nature. However, it is unlikely that this neutrality comes from their own goodwill and is instead a byproduct of the psychological deterioration experienced from prolonged exposure to the harsh conditions of their environment. As a result, they demonstrate little personality, even for ogres, and can often be seen doing the “thrall shuffle” as they wander about with little direction.
This unfortunately makes them a prime target for adventurers looking to take advantage of their vulnerabilities and profit from their hard work by assaulting the beaten workers, looting their Ghroundium hauls, and selling them off to the less than ethical Ka’Bonk who conveniently set up shop just outside the bank that resides at the far end of the mines.
Pests or Pals?
Rats are medium-sized rodents that are commonly found in settlements and in the wilderness.
There are many diverse species of rat but the most encountered are common black and brown rats which can grow up to 40 centimeters, or 1.3 feet in length.
Rats are known for their sharp teeth, long tails, and tendency to invade living quarters where they ransack cabinets and cupboards in search of food.
They’ve also developed a negative reputation due to their association with spreading disease through bites, scratches, urine, and scat which has even led to rats being credited as the primary source of some plagues and pandemics across the civilized regions of Hollow.
However, they are also known to be extremely social and intelligent creatures that often bond with other species leading several people to raise them as pets. Some greedier owners have even gone so far as to train their companions in the art of pickpocketing.
Rats are also a common cheap meal to many of Hollow’s native races with several eateries offering this frugal option for a mere 1 copper piece!
Domesticated rats can be purchased as pets from the Animal Menagerie in Larket while… “larger” breeds can be found a bit lower beneath the city… but perhaps that’s a better story for another time.
Wild rats are most commonly found in the Xalious Village, one of Hollow’s oldest settlements, which means the rapidly reproducing species has had plenty of time to claim their own slice of the proverbial cheese.
The rats here have grown into a nuisance as they tend to run off with the villager’s cheese and coin, which witnesses claim to have seen many adventurers take for themselves through short but brutal combat with the small scavengers.
The locals often look the other way and consider these blatant acts of animal cruelty as a pest control service, though they have noted feeling queasy when they sometimes see these combatants devour cheese fresh out of a rodent’s mouth.
The true king of the dinosaurs.
An adult Spinosaurus can stand upwards of 18 feet tall with a body length between 45 to 59 feet. This puts it well above the more popular Tyrannosaurus Rex which grows up to 13 feet tall with a body length of around 41 feet.
Even the greatest giants of Gualon and Frostmaw struggle to compete with these behemoths who can weigh up to 46,000 pounds.
These amphibious titans have a huge sail-like fin that protrudes from their back, which is just as intimidating to behold when it disrupts the tree line as when it breaches the surface of the water.
Some local legends claim that these creatures are cursed dragons who are doomed to live out their millennium with their wings ‘fused’ together to keep them grounded, hence the fin, and why some refer to them as “flightless dragons”.
Their scales often display patterns of stripes, dots, and blotches in various hues of brown, green, gray, and blue; though albino specimens have been documented, they rarely reach adulthood due to the value of their hide.
These carnivorous beasts roam the lost paradise of the Grasslands beyond the Xalious Mountain Range where they have an abundance of prey including other apex predators and wandering adventurers.
Fiercely territorial, it is rare to escape the fury of a Spinosaurus by land or sea. Often, the only two options of escape are through fatal combat or taking flight as the ‘cursed’ creature shakes the earth below with it’s terrifying and deafening roar.
Submissions by Tinin
In the desolate expanse of Hollow, a spectral figure, the Dark Immortal emerges from the shifting sands of the nameless desert. Cloaked in robes woven from shadows, their presence is an amalgamation of otherworldly darkness and eternal longevity. Wisps of obsidian mist emanate from the hem of their garments, blending seamlessly with the arid winds that sweep across the lifeless landscape.
The Dark Immortal's eyes, pools of inky blackness, hold the weight of centuries, reflecting a detached wisdom borne from witnessing the rise and fall of civilizations. Strands of ebon hair cascade like tendrils of midnight, framing a visage obscured by the mysteries of time. A pale, almost translucent complexion hints at an existence suspended between the realms of the living and the shadows.
Within the folds of their obsidian cloak, ancient symbols writhe like serpents, pulsating with an eerie glow that casts an ominous radiance upon the barren dunes. Crystalline shards, remnants of forgotten spells, adorn their skeletal hands, catching the scant rays of a sun that rarely pierces the perpetual gloom. The very air around the Dark Immortal shivers with an intangible, haunting energy, as if the very essence of the desert has become entwined with their immortal being.
In the heart of the nameless desert, the Dark Immortal stands as a spectral guardian, a timeless enigma veiled in the riddles of an eternity spent in the desolation of the Hollow Realm. Those who dare to cross the sands feel the weight of their presence, an indelible mark etched into the very soul of the forsaken landscape.