Under the hot, humid sun that beats down on NaeraCull, you see a strange sight—a bright red and white parasol bobbing up and down, just a few feet above the ground. A thrumming hum punctuated by a steady tapping, almost insidious with the ease of its melody, accompanies the bouncing, curved canvas until its wearer finally comes into view: a skeleton.
Not a regular skeleton mind you, but a small one—perhaps it was once a gnome or halfling—quite different from the typical sort. First of all, its dressed in a finely tailored suit with an ostentatious top hat that just barely taps the inside of the parasol in its hands. A worn pack is slung over its shoulder, but two satchels swing on either side of him, each bursting with papers. In its other hand is a battered, lacquered cane with a silver fitting at its top—upon rounding the corner it points it at you and, to your utter surprise, speaks.
“You! You there! Welcome to NaeraCull! I am Jurgen, guide of these famed lands and purveyor of useful information to explorers not native to the Hungering Jungle! Come, come, read of the beatific God’s Tears’ Falls! Learn of the infamous buccaneer the Red Death, and perhaps find treasure near his watery grave! Please, take a pamphlet, I’ve many, enough for all!”
Oddly, the small undead seems to be quite genuine, staking the sharpened bottom of the parasol into the ground dropping his satchels on either side to sit cross-legged before rifling through the many folded papers in each bag. He grabs one, holding it out toward you “here! Pirate treasure, eh—some say that gold coins wash onto the shores of the beaches to the south. Do you dare venture there? Or Mount Mahangua—are you brave enough to seek fame and glory in the fiery territory of the lizardfolk?”
Looking at one of the parchments, you can clearly make out the Common tongue, detailing various elements of the region—these are literally ‘Guides to the Hungering Jungle.’ As this undead fellow’s questionable sanity comes barreling to mind, he waves his fingerbones through the air and declares, “no, no charge necessary of course! Simply take a few and enjoy your stay in NaeraCull! You’ll be dying to come back!”
[The first of these pamphlets will be revealed throughout next week, and available to download as one of the free PDFs for every Friday this month! -MM]