Books

Slag: The Little Orphan Boggart

On page forty of every Dungeoneer Magazine and bunched up at the bottom of every yummy box of Crag ‘r Slag, is another episode of the never-ending cartoon strip saga Slag: The Little Orphan Boggart. Yes indeed, in a world of dungeons and cold steel, many a rapscallion finds the time to light his or her day with the rambunctious hijinks of Little Slag.

The basic premise follows a wiry Boggart broodling orphaned at a young age by a firebreathing dragon, accidentally awakened by the Fangburg Charity Honk-Whistle Ensemble at the Annual Feed the Elderly Parade. The town was vaporized in minutes, leaving only a few, scattered survivors (mostly children that were little enough to squeeze into soggy worm-logs). However, despite his loss, Slag dusted off his parents’ ashes, popped his gisbry cap, and embarked on a heart warming, if not shamelessly episodic, adventure through a fictionalized version of the Greater Mucklands. Over the decades, Slag has plucked at many heart strings and stirred many hornet’s nests with its sometimes controversial plotlines. Some of which include: Slag Meets a Gnome and Does Not Try to Drown It, and Slag and the Bard Write Love Songs to Fish, and of course, Slag puts a Slarmeel into Mr. Grooper’s Trousers.

Using his own life as source material, Shep Glitterbolg created the character when he was just an orphan teen, during the Great Famine of Fangburg. The strip rose to fame as it played largely on the fragilities of Boggart culture at the time. Once the famine swept the Mucklands, wiping out millions, the Boggart family structure was forever shattered. Orphans banded together into gangs, building makeshift waddlle-and-daub structures, which dotted the swamps as far as the eye could see. It was in one of these down-trodden abodes that Shep drew his first Slag cartoon in the mud with his finger. When all the other gang members burst out laughing, he knew he’d struck a chord.

These days, Slag: The Little Orphan Boggart is written and drawn by Furp Glitterbolg, Shep’s son, who has carried on the legacy of his father. When asked to comment on what this passing of the mantle has meant to him, Furp said: “Huh? Are you kidding? I don’t write that crap. I hired some worthless Boggle to ghostwrite and draw the thing, and now I’m reaping all the profits from the merchandising rights. My dad was an idiot. The real money is in the ragdolls, and the munch pails, and the limited edition commemorative spoons.”

Ral Nok Sorcerex

The Ral Nok Sorcerex is one of two volumes that delve into the mysteries of true sorcery. Unlike the magic of wizards or the natural magics of faerie folk, sorcery is unique to only a few individuals in history. These individuals possess a command over the elements and do not rely upon incantations, alchemy, words of power, or mysticism. A sorcerer’s power is a power of the will and for this reason it is regarded as the most powerful magic in Eem.

Named for the steep cliffs of Ral Nok, high within the mountain range of Ur, the exact history of the Ral Nok Sorcerex is an uncertain one. It is surmised amongst wizards to be a bastardized copy of an original biographical work, first penned some thousand years before the Dungeon Era. Unlike other books of magic, the Sorcerex contains no spells, but instead reads as a kind of detailed log of a chronicler named Zhadazar the Thaumatat, who lived in the shadow of a powerful sorcerer, referred to as the “magnanimous master.” The content of the Sorcerex is centered around the exploits of Zhadazar’s master, and is quite bloody and macabre in its telling of a tragic and vengeful tale.

Less is known about the man called Zhadazar himself, though there are long, feverish passages that break from the main narrative of the sorcerer and clumsily tell of witchcraft, alchemy, and bizarre ritual sacrifices committed by the chronicler in a grim quest to unnaturally prolong his own life.

 

Of Pomp & Pizazz

Of Pomp & Pizazz is a boggart sales guide written by Sherwoog Kitch. Despite the title, the book is famously dull and ham-fisted, and is only praised by boggarts for the simple method by which it communicates the importance of celebrating the glamour of a thing when attempting to sell. Besides its trivial usefulness for boggart merchants and carpetbaggers, the book itself is unremarkable but for a single fact–each copy is cursed.

Most don’t believe the legends at first. Of all the books to curse, why Kitch’s innocuous, humdrum snoozefest of closing deals the boggart way? Actually, it is for that very reason that Of Pomp & Pizazz bears a curse. Sherwoog Kitch himself was by trade a traveling salesman, beholden to no particular product, as well as no particular sales etiquette. And on one accursed day, Kitch unabashedly rapped upon the door of one Veratha Mog, a most crumeduous hag in Rengwere Mire, who was quite serious about enforcing the “No solicitors” sign nailed to the skeleton that was strung to her door.

Not knowing that anything horrible had happened at all, Sherwoog moved on down the road, continuing to spread his barrels of books to unsuspecting rubes, who now possessed a book that would doom their firstborn children to lives of catastrophe. Luckily, Sherwoog never blighted the world with his offspring, but there are whole boggart families whose bloodlines are marred by Of Pomp and Pizazz.