Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Stuff for Sale

You can grab my copy. I'll put a message in if you like. I'm also selling a bunch of random Maze merch and some original Zak artwork.

My copy of Maze of the Blue Medusa



This fabric map by All Rolled Up

Maze Dice Tray by All Rolled Up



This Zak Smith Artwork 



This, honestly, pretty odd, one of a kind Maze bathroom/wall tile 



Wednesday, 13 June 2018

The Wodlands 7 - The Actual Wodlands

1. The Plain of Anaesthetic Fire.
2. The Antigoblin Empire.
3. The Whetstone Ridge.
4. The Painted Plane.
5. The Vermilion Sea.
6. The Large Goblin Collider. 





The Wodlands


A city like a turned-over log where the people scatter like pigeons and the pigeons stalk like wolves, the Wodlands are the tumorous heart of a maddened land. Originally, the nobility built castles and mansions ranged around the Old Throne at the Wodlands Heart, then after the Revolution the Masons raised vast monuments to civil law and reasonable thought. Clear sweeps of pale stone washed around windows of glorious glass and hand-carved columns. Statues to Eternal Reason dotted gardens of imported trees.

With the fall of the Master Mason, and the loss of its hinterland to total reality breakdown, Goblins and invading Chaos Wasps, the Capital has collapsed into absolute economic, cultural, spiritual and psychological ruin. Its concentric highways have become a spiralling maze leading to an empty core, the Old Throne has disappeared, some say ruined or stolen or sunk into the grass like a wrecked ship sinking into liquid earth, but still whole somewhere, passed beyond time, never to return.

Proud buildings covered with faded pentangle and hexagrams, with gilded stairways, lists of revolutionary heroes and idealised figures of justice and reason, have been broken down into warrens of tiny flats. The demi-castles of the old nobility, still spattered with musket and cannon scars, were ruined twice.

The Mansions are full of ruined descendants living in penury, cooking magpies, setting squirrel traps, sometimes eating small Goblins or trying to boil a Meta-Fox. A few still keep one of the old hereditary MegaBadgers as guards, but they have been pulled into underground Badger Brawls.

There are things on fire in the night and shadows move against the flames. There are Goblin ghosts in bottles and bins. Everyone is an addict.

These streets are serious. There is movement behind black windows stacked with rotting paperback books. Overgrown ornamental trees, full of angry birds, loom on the lanes and lean over into the street.

All the birds are angry here. And criminal. Crow Zones are inaccessible hells, Gull Gangs harass those too long in the open. All the pigeons are informers and they are everywhere.

The centre has become the margin and the margins have become the core. The city is accessed via hidden paths, routes through fences and walls. Some doors to ordinary houses are left part-open and those who know can walk in, move thought and climb a chair to a kitchen window. Trash alleys are guarded toll-roads. Hidden trails sneak through sculpture dumping grounds from various ages of monumental pride and censorship. Paint splattered ladders leaning against crumbling brick walls could be part of the thoroughfare.


CROW ZONES

Crows are active in the Crow Zones. They sometimes erect cunning signs stating 'No-Crow Zone', but this is a lie. They are murderous, intelligent and theiveing creatures whose nests are full of golden teeth and forgotten I.O.U's.

A Wodlands crow is an intelligent as a Tax Inspector and can change size at will to be as big as a man or as small as a mouse. They have no sense of right or wrong.


GULL GANGS

The Gulls are, thankfully, really fucking stupid, and cannot change size. They will compulsively harass and attack anyone and anything they like, following them until they escape or are pecked to death.


CRACK SHOPS

Sweatshop powered by cracked-up Goblins and anyone else they can squeeze in. The Wodlands is full of these and they churn endlessly, spewing out high volumes of terrible goods.

The Crack shops are the chief, and only really, remaining economic engine of the Wodlands. They make good things badly and at high volumes. So useful tools, cakes, books, handy items like glasses, everyday household objects, all are made at incredible speed, sold cheap and break within d4 months or hours.

Crack pipes, lockpicks, shanking daggers, voodoo dolls, lava lamps, face masks, gloves, syringes, cheese graters, strappy sandals, fedora hats, granny glasses, graphic Tees, acid, slime, certain cheeses, poisons, political pamphlets, commemorative coins, novelty aprons, pointed shoes, cravats and pleather trousers are all made surprisingly well by specific drugged-out artisans.

Any bad object can be found in the Wodlands markets for a reasonable price. It is the only main reason for coming here.


SHOUTING MATCHES

A street that isn't empty or patrolled by birds or unseen gangs or cleared for a Penny Farthing race will have a shouting match on it. These are either Window to Street arguments or Intra-Street arguments. Window to Street arguments are less likely to break into violence but will go on much longer.

They can also be Window to Window. Beyond that arguments can be either Group on Individual, in which case the Individual will probably end up running for it. Group on Group, in which case a gang fight may be about to break out. Or Individual to Individual, which has a wide range of possible results.

Most arguments are about drugs, money or varied opinions and dissenting views on a complex network of interpersonal relationships and deep emotional connections.

It has been said that if you cannot hear an argument in the next street then you are not in the Wodlands.


GOBLIN PENNY FARTHING GANGS

Goblins have learnt to attach very basic petrol engines to penny-farthing bicycles. The engines don't actually do anything other than produce noise and smoke, Goblin technology is not that good. The weight of them probably slows down the bikes. The bikes do not have breaks.

Goblins to 'supercharge' their penny-farthings with rare chemicals and have extensive competitions and arguments about the best engine and the best adaptations. Although all the supercharging does is to change the noise and the smoke and sometimes explode the engines.

The Bikers lounge around with their sleeves rolled up and are extremely macho about their biking culture. It's not clear if they know or care that the engines don't work, or even if the engines are meant to be working to power the bike.

The interpretation that the engine should be powering the bike may be a purely human construct. It may simply be enough for the Goblins that the Engine be Engine.

The Goblin Bikers make a living dealing and delivering drugs and through various other crimes. The feud for street control and run regular midnight races in which Penny Farthings dash down narrow roads a quarter mile at a time. They are commonly killed through being hit in the face by an Great Horned Owl at high speed in the dark.


GOBLIN GARDENERS

The High Status Gardening Gangs of the Wodlands began as aggressive guilds during the rule of the Theigns, who loved to splash cash on pointless bushes and display-lawns. As the Theigns became more crazed and other aspects of the economy tanked, highly aggressive gardening was one of the few routes to wealth for the working classes and the Guilds became more violent and controlling, launching raids on each others Gardens and sometimes even Composting each other.

After the Revolution the Masons tried to force the culture of Gardening competitiveness into matters of pure display, though they were never entirely successful; the association of Gardening with crime and secret violence had already been made and the Guilds were hard to break.

After the Masons fall, Goblns slowly infiltrated and replaced many of the Guilds, and the few that remained had to match them in violence, cruelty and tricksyness in order to survive.

Sculpted Topiary is a danger sign. A clean garden means you have crossed a line Any area of carefully maintained greenery is the territory of a violent herbaceous gang. The plants and their maintenance of them are a status display. Even entering the area may be considered an offence, especially if you are already associated with another gang. Damaging greenery will be considered an attack.

To not step on the grass.

GOBLIN DOGS

Also, do not go in the grass.

Goblin Dogs are green, long-jawed snaggley-toothed creatures that could easily be deformed hairy Goblins going on all fours. They may be the final evolution of the Goblin form, a strange mutation or a freaky experiment from the Goblin Cube.

The dogs are sneaky carnivores. Though they cannot speak or use tools, their intelligence is roughly double that of a Goblin.


GOBLIN BUBONKONERS

Falcony with Owls.

Most birds of prey will not tolerate a Goblin. Only the Great Horned Owl will stand their presence, it is because they share an unreasonable attitude to life and both have very long claws whose points are so sharp they cannot be easily seen, being mere blurs against the air.

Nevertheless most Goblin Bubonkoners are very badly scarred around the face and brain, even by Goblin standard, and will have fingers missing.

The Bubonkoners come forth in the evening and compete for space with the Drug Dealers, Bikers and Badger Addicts. The noise of these activities always bothers the Owls so the Bubonkoners are obsessive about stopping excess noise. unlike most Goblins they go quietly on rag-padded feet and slide slim knives invisibly into lungs to let out the sounds before they form.

The Bubonkoners are tolerated because the Owls kill Crows, Gulls and Pigeons and so reduce the numbers of Terrible and Harrassing Birds in the Wodlands, something desired by all.


WHO RULES AND HOW


The true lords of the Wodlands can only be communicated by whisper, never out loud. They are the Rumour Rulers and Rumour is their law. Whatever rumour they spread will be believed and come true.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Wodlands 6 - The Large Goblin Collider

1. The Plains of Anaesthetic Fire.
2. The Antigoblin Empire
3. The Whetstone Ridge
4. The Painted Plane
5. The Vermillion Sea



In the yellow plain between the Umber Woods and the Plain of Anaesthetic Fire, and on the path that links the Wodlands to the Vermillion Sea, within sight of palette-coloured banks the Pigment River, is the Cube of the Large Goblin Collider.

The Collider itself is a huge subterranean loop, buried beneath the waving yellow grass. At intermittent periods, the distant vibrations of the supersonic rail, the screams of the rocket pods, the cackling laughter of the High Velocity Goblins and the tuning-fork-bomb-blast air-buzzing implosion of Goblins colliding at high speed directly beneath the Cube, which then incandesces with bright white Pure Goblin Energy, can be heard and felt thrumming through the earth.

All Goblins possess Goblin Genius and to investigate, and exploit the nature of this genius, they built the Collider and the Cube where they smash up Goblins at supersonic speed.
  
The Cube itself is a library, a laboratory, a dada-ist religious site and a nerve centre for the League of United Goblins, the para-reality Goblin Government and overall organising force.

The answer to any Goblin Problem can be found within.

Anyone wishing to effect or alter the Grand Goblin Strategy across All Worlds, must come here, anyone wishing to attack, exploit, evade or corrupt goblins must also come here. All Goblins everywhere are expected to make a pilgrimage to the Cube at least once in their lives, to experiment, or be experimented upon.


THE YELLOW PLAIN


Encounters on the plain involve wandering Goblin Philosophers on their way to the Cube, Goblin subjects, hoping to be experimented on and Goblins with strange mutations and weird powers who have been crapped out by the Cube, which acts like a fucked-up factory for ridiculously random X-Men.

"Roving Dimensional Holes At All Times" warn the faded falling signs. These holes, perhaps created by the Large Goblin Collider, by experiments inside the Cube or just by extra-dimensional Goblins trying to bend space to get here, are a continual threat. They roll or skate wildly across the plain being chased by Goblin scientists with Hole Hooks who bring them back to experiment on, either by shoving Goblins inside them, or by shoving them inside Goblins.



APPROACHING THE CUBE


The Cube is a vast building, poised on its corner. It is white, tiled in cracked glass and ceramic with an off-kilter modernist style. It is lit from within by bright flashes of Goblin Energy.

The area around the Cube is patrolled byGoblin Guards, (new versions and types are spewed out by the Cube every day), and huge near-feral watchtower golems. Surrounding this is the security fence and beyond that are lines to enter and the huge crowd of Goblin pilgrims.

The only legal way for any non-Goblin to enter the Large Goblin Collider is to sneak in, goblin-style. However, if you do succeed in sneaking inside then it will be assumed  that you are meant to be there.

The crowd breaks into two lines, one for Goblin Philosophers, the other for Experimental Goblins. Goblin Philosophers must be able to present a work of  goblin science or advanced goblin thinking that proves their right to enter. Experimental Goblins need only sign a waiver. As soon as Goblins pass the main gate, the two lines merge and mix as if they forgot that they were different.



THE FENCE


The fence is always a random height and made from random materials in each section. It is also an irregular shape if seen from above.

Some parts are like long slender fingers sticking up as if there were huge gracile goblin hands just beneath the ground. Some are made of crumbling concrete sprayed with Goblin graffiti, some parts are collapsing chain link, others are fine green-hued Victorian fretwork with fine cast iron Goblin faces, some thick deadly Goblin hedge, some electrical wire. Some parts are marked with flayed Goblin faces that wink, some are hung with bells or tied up Autistic Goblins that go REEEEEEE if disturbed.

Between the fence and the cube are the huge predatory watchtowers and the varied guards.

The Watchtowers are constructions of black splintery wood. They lumber about on wooden spider legs. At their tops are Goblin lookouts and spotlights whose bulbs are incandescent Goblins fully charged with P.I.G.G.Y - PURE INCANDESCENT GOBLIN GALVANISING YIELD.

The Watchtowers sometimes get confused and attack each other like big animals in the night. The winner will cannibalise parts and get taller. Too tall - eventually the tallest falls over and shatters into smaller watchtowers, or is consumed by the herd.

The guards are varied but may consist of;

- Goblins riding baskets using lighter-than-air hydrocephalic goblins as huge balloons, their bulging eyes turn.
- Goblin Mecha, large copper steam-bots that go AWOOGA and often explode.
- Necro-goblins meditating on huge floating skulls and firing death-energy from their occipital lobes.
- Thieving counter insurgency stealth goblins like Aye-Ayes with long fingers and large eyes.
- Goblins driving a bound Antigoblin as a suicide bomb.
- Goblins hang-gliding on big crows and dropping from above.
- Goblins in spitting biplanes powered by refined P.I.G.G.Y.
- Attack-Goblin cavalry on Penny Farthings with scythes on the wheel hubs - big hussar hats, fur capes and swinging sabres


  

INSIDE THE CUBE


Inside there is a maze of linked and jury-rigged monorails ridden by Goblins in primary colour jumpsuits (crashes are common), and a network of glass tubes. There are Goblins moving in the goblin tubing, the scurrying never stops.

There are paper maps pinned to various places. All are inaccurate, have been moved, are in faded crayon or are not actually of the Goblin Cube. There are also timetables, signposts, directional floor-lines and information desks for which the same is true.

The rooms and layout of the Cube are Borgesian but retarded. Rooms of random size, shape and contents, with random entries and exits. Here Goblins are experimenting and experimented upon. This might include;

- Glass-walled Hannibal Lecter cells full of normal reasonable rational goblins undergoing Psychotherapy.
- Captain America-style transformational radiation machines.
- Goblins putting on a Harold Pinter play but they have disintegration rays and disintegrate each other at random before freezing into an expressionist tableaux.
- Goblins wearing human papier-mache heads in an otherwise normal laboratory.
- Goblins miniaturised and injected into things, then further miniaturised and set to ride beams of green light.
- Goblins with jet stream test area strapping goblins in and testing goblin dynamics.
- Dangerous Goblin surgery taking place. Drugged ocelots being implanted into grateful patient, thumbs up at the end
- Dogs playing an octopus at cards, one Goblin furiously paints the scene, others measure the artists brainwave output with torrents of paper, but the tongues of paper infiltrate the scene, causing the artist to paint them and setting off a cascade response.
- Goblins gathered round a barely controlled pocket universe which rolls around like a big lead ball sucking goblins into it. They push it with carbon rods like curlers.
- Goblin Cybernetic Snail jousts
- Goblins fed into consuming extradimensional spiral like charity coins.


HIGH SECURITY AREAS


THE WAR ROOM

It is here that the meta-strategy for all Goblin Conflicts across all realities is decided. Anyone who can infiltrate this room could conceivably acquire information invaluable to anyone engaged in warfare against Goblins anywhere. They could also possibly alter Goblin strategy, though the effects of this are unpredictable.

A full Ham Scan is required before entry. Visitors must place their buttocks against a glass plate and a green scanning line will check their hams. If their hams are not cleared for entry then special forces Awooga Goblins will emerge in small cars.

There is always fighting in the War Room. The place is divided into different factions based on preferred meta-strategy, tie colour and food sauce preference. Goblins in suits and bejazzled military uniforms battle and besiege each other with sporks, hot coffee and office furniture. The Big Green Screen shows the Universal Goblin disposition and current danger level (at the moment, set to Gob Con Four, the worst being Gob Con One).

 THE TRICK MINT

The primary Goblin currency, the Trick, is minted in the Cube in greenish gold. Not only do they mint the coins, they also set the value of the Trick and decide large scale Goblin economics.

1 Jab = 1 Poke (the currencies are pegged to each other).
88 Jabs = 1 Trick.
97 Tricks = 1 Crime.
56 Crimes = 1 Jab.

The mint is often the target of robbery or financial manipulation, but is defended by a giant invisible hand which sometimes just smashes stuff randomly and by bewigged Goblin Financial Philosophers who gargle coffee and argue constantly about the value of the Trick.

The value itself is set by a pig attached to a complex series of levers, its wanderings have  huge effects on the Goblin Economy across the multiverse. If the value of the Trick should fall then Goblins will have to perform many more Tricks to avoid falling into the legal classes. Should the value of the Trick rise, then a Trick Bubble may take place, with Goblins massively over-investing in highly complex and unstable tricks that never pay off.


MEGAWEAPON DEVELOPMENT

Here, deadly arms are created to use against the next Apocalypse Peach if/when it comes, and also just for fun. These include;

- Bionic Wasps; These go horribly wrong always.
- The Supermurder Cannon; Deadly, but too large to move, also now sentient and paranoid.
- Postmodernism Bomb; Too terrible for even Goblins to contemplate.
- Autism Ray; May have no effect on chaos wasps.
- Mega-Monkey Super-Cyber-Suit; Impossible to control any Goblin that puts it on as they instantly go Mad With Power.
- Engine of Infinite Blades; Theorised to simply be an un-closable portal to the plane of Edge. Now used for dicing by cooking goblins. Blade elementals sometimes escape.
- Ultra-Maggot Cannon; Distressing to use. Should the Ultra-Maggott survive it can hatch into a Mega-Fly.
- Ultra Maggot-Cannon; Similar problem to above but smaller, and on a much wider scale.
- Self-Replicating Peachivorous High Speed Bioweapon; The Goblins have simply reverse-engineered rabbits. They seem unaware that Rabbit already exist and keep these ones under exacting control.
- Fungal Destructor; Has also attained sentience, possibly also possessed, currently barely confined. Is also party leader of Goblin Minority Cordyceps Faction.
- Primordial Annihilator Device; Will definitely destroy the next Apocalypse Peach, will also release Chaos Gods upon unwitting cosmos.


POGRAP

Near the centre is the office of the President of Goblins Representing All Parallels or P.O.G.R.A.P, a Goblin with a head so huge it needs a moving stand to get it around. Few have spoken directly with the POGRAP and their powers and authority are unknown outside the Cube.

THE PIGGY

Finally, at the centre, or bottom, or somewhere hard to reach, is the Large Goblin Collider itself, where PURE INCANSECENT GOBLIN GALVINISING YEILD - or P.I.G.G.Y is studied and released. Or perhaps the PIGGY itself is studying the Goblins.

The PIGGY forms balls of Gremlinish electro-stuff that arcs across the cosmos. Wherever it grounds itself Goblin anima is released and integrated into the environment creating cascades of Active Mischiefons and Cackle Waves.


Inanimate objects can be imbued with Goblinish sentience, if it arcs into a living thing (like the PC's) it can auto-generate goblinism up inside them, allowing them to ignore the rules of the game if they do bad things. Of course they must then perform more Goblinsh actions or the effects will swing back upon them, producing a spiral of Goblin chaos.