Welcome to Toonaria, folks. As promised, I will provide some more examples today of what you can do in this fabulous realm of epic heroes, fantastic technology and amazing magic. If you missed the earlier parts, just scroll down the blog (be sure to subscribe to be safe!)
For those of you who are just discovering my realms, I’ve been writing fiction and designing board, card and roleplaying games set in my two campaign settings (Toonaria and the Cosmoverse) for nearly 4 decades, but have only recently begun publishing some of them. The next book out later this year is The Shadow Reaper. It’s completely done and heavily edited—it just needs layout. The cover painting and internal art is all done, but it still needs to be laid out in InDesign.
Along with The Sea Of Worms, both both books are a small part of the vast Cosmoverse. I figured it was time to start highlighting the “usually” less gritty, but very epic Toonaria universe, as I expand and polish it as well as continue working on the latest roleplaying game: Epic Destinies via QT Games. They are all near and dear to my heart and both have a growing fan base, so I’m working my tail off. I’m hoping you’ll be among the fans before long!
Okay, enough introductions and updates for today. It’s time to give you another small sampling of the sorts of adventures that are possible in Toonaria. I gave 4 examples last week. Here’s three more!
5. The Dark Ones: Never had the puff floated so high. It won’t be long now and I’ll be back home, the cloudling thought. It was much work to float so high at his age, being more dense than the oldlings, but he was determined to visit his uncle, for he heard rumors about a tainted ship heading for that region with a crew of Dark Ones, and feared for his family. His uncle lived closest to the border and could warn the kingdom of puffs of the impending danger.
Ahead on a floating ball of rock, that was surely held aloft by a vein of aetherstone running through it, was a most curious creature. “I think I’ve seen one of those before,” the puff thought. “It’s a . . . a human, I think.” Drifting toward it, the puff noticed the long, bearded human was sleeping. There were streams of pink running out of holes in the man’s side and he lay very still.
The wound was far worse than the puff realized, and the liquid was red, not pink, but reality was fuzzy to the puff and he saw only pink. It reminded him of pink frosting on his favorite cupcakes. Even so, he felt bad for the human, for clearly something had gone very wrong. And then he noticed all around the man as he lay there sound asleep—the Big Sleep, as the Toonarians call it— were flowers growing from the tufts of exposed earth on the floating rock—only the flowers were wilted and turning black.
“Dear me. I’m afraid I may be too late. It seems the Dark Ones are upon us already!” he realized and pushed himself harder than he had ever before to float faster and faster toward his uncle’s home in the sky, thankful his uncle didn’t live anywhere near as high as the great Architect Ring, for he knew he was not nearly strong enough to reach that high. As it was, the puff used so much magic he feared he might burst into flames from the mounting Entropy building inside him.
In the distance he saw a large object. At first he thought it was one of the great sky whales, but as he drew nearer, he realized it was one of the massive ships of the Dark Ones he’d heard about, and things were about to get very complicated.
6. Gone Missing: “I’m sure I put the pie on the windowsill to cool,” Gubs said as he paced back and forth, wondering what he was going to serve his friends for dessert.
Farly turned to him and frowned. “I believe you. There has been a lot of things vanishing lately. Just last night—” the jawba stopped in mid-thought as a shadow passed by the window. “Gubs . . .” he muttered, rushing to the window. Off in the distance, they saw a roboto zipping along the path with a pie. He bolted out the door, with Gubs close behind and they followed the creature until it vanished into the forest.
“I could have sworn that was Robby,” Gubs said, adding, “But Farly, why would he take our pie? I invited him to dinner, too, and now—”
“That is strange,” the jawba chimed in as they made their way back home.
An hour later, Robby knocked on the door, smiling brightly, as he was known to do. There was a smear of bungleberry pie on its chrome belly. When Gubs inquired, the roboto seemed genuinely to have no memory of taking a pie, but was apologetic for any trouble nonetheless. He offered to buy Gubs a pie if that would help, but swore up and down he’d never take one. They believed him, but found the whole thing strange.
The next night, the children in the village started disappearing and someone mentioned seeing Robby walking along a path with two young gubblings. Again, Robby claimed to have no memory of such an event. He did mention waking up in the forest and not knowing how he’d gotten there. Gubs, Farly and Robby set off into the forest to look for clues. When they were about to give up, they came upon a cave. Near the entrance was an empty pie tin and a broken toy.
7. The Vending Machine: No one in town knew where the vending machine came from, only that the strange coins they had been finding for weeks now seemed to fit into the slot in the front of the machine, and when they did so, something interesting would drop down into the bin below. It was all very exciting and mysterious, in part because sometimes what came out was unlike anything they’d ever seen before. They heard news of other towns becoming hosts to such devices as well, and someone learned that you could push a button to pick which thing dropped into the slot.
Soon, everyone in the realms were collecting the strange coins and started purchasing goodies from the vending machine- some mundane, and others exotic. Some began trading and selling the more exotic of the treasures that came from the machines.
Months went by and everyone wondered just who was supplying the strange and wonderful machines, and why they never saw anyone restocking them, yet each day they were obviously fully stocked once more.
One night, Gubs and Farly camped out to see if they could see their mysterious benefactor. Well into the night, they heard a noise and the nearby machine seemed to shift and move its position slightly. They heard a mechanical sound that continued on for a minute or so, then came an even stranger clanking, over and over again. They were nervous at first, but curiosity finally drove them from their hidden perch in a tree and over to the back of the machine where they found a mechanical arm. One end of it disappeared into a hole in the ground, the other was jabbing at a rock that had come loose and was wedged in the trap door’s track, apparently preventing the arm from retracting back down into the hole.
“The machine is full again,” Farly said.
Gubs nodded and glanced back at the mechanical arm, still striking at the rock. An idea came to him. “Wanna see where this hole goes, Farly?”
Farly gulped hard, but he was curious, too. Nodding, he followed Gubs down into the dark hole. It was a short drop down into a metal tunnel where they found an empty bin the metal arm was attached to. Gubs cast a spell to illuminate the tunnel just as the rock slipped free, allowing the metal arm to drop back down and the trap door to slide shut again. Gubs and Farlys glanced at each other worriedly.
“Hopefully we can get that to open again, Gubs said, as the bin zipped off back down the track, the mechanical arm descending into a slot at its side as it went.
“Guess we should follow and see where it goes, huh, Gubs?” Farly asked. The two rushed down the tunnel after the thing, wondering what they might be getting themselves into.
Now, these are just simple adventure seeds, mind you—I’m pretty slammed right now, after all—but hopefully you can see that a lot of neat things can come from them and others like them, and I’m also hoping you’ve got a little better sense of what’s possible in Toonaria. That’s just scratching the surface, but I’ll stop there for now. Next week, I’ll delve into other aspects of the setting and rpg.
Take care, all, and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog post (and our newsletter if you want to get a free ebook and stay up to date on other cool stuff I’m working on at QT Games.) I’d love to hear from you. Take care and till next week, cheers!