Of Albino Apes and Pygmies

A living wall of albino apes was coming through the doorway. Their faces twisted in snarling expressions, showing their yellow canines but making no sound, the mute, baboon-like things began to plow through the opening. The front wave had impacted the partially open door and pushed it inward. Because they had paused outside the door and thereby lost their momentum, and because the portal was heavy and not easily moved, the beasts’ initial entry was slow. The apes behind the first wave had an opportunity to build up some speed in the corridor, and they ran over the ones in front of them. The result was that a few of the apes were stunned or injured by their allies, and the haphazard nature of the charge gave the adventurers inside the room a few valuable seconds to prepare for the onslaught.
Chapter 12, Sea of Death, by Gary Gygax 1987

An evocative scene from the 3rd Gord the Rogue novel (the first one after Gygax’s falling out with TSR) where the heroes are attacked by a reckless horde… nay, a swarm of angry albino apelings led by “pale midgets”.

Did I say a swarm?

Hmmm… there’s an idea, an encounter with a swarm of diminutive baboon creatures in service to a mad derro savant, a subterranean living crazed albino monkey swarm.

Come to think of it, derro mobs might make the basis for a good swarm (or more likely a disorganised troop given their Small size)…

Continue reading “Of Albino Apes and Pygmies”

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Legacies of the Suel Imperium, Part 1 (Background)

Derro (Dungeon 241 LotSI)
Suloise dwur-rohoi (Greyhawk)

This landmark article, written by Roger E. Moore and published in DRAGON #241 (Nov 1997) is one of my favourite pieces of roleplaying history, with extensive 2E mechanics on playing PCs from the lost albino Lerara tribe (first tantalisingly mentioned in the original Greyhawk boxed set), derro, the diminutive jermlaine or even a unique albino su-doppleganger.

The fiction material in this piece forms the basis of much of the Greyhawk derro lore, detailing and expanding on the now classic Suloise slave origin story first hinted at in Gary Gygax’s third Gord the Rogue novel, Sea of Deathwhich details the exploration of the Forgotten City.

Much of the background fiction is in the form of a letter:

Continue reading “Legacies of the Suel Imperium, Part 1 (Background)”