The 5e warlock patron and its little running messenger

Poor Cartero
(postman from The Legend of Zelda)
In an upcoming 5e game, I'm playing a tiny warlock named Merla.

And like all warlocks, Merla needs an otherworldly patron (page 107 in the PHB). I haven't decided on which one, but it'll probably be some sort of fiend.

According to the PHB, the patron whom you struck this pact with, grants you these powers in exchange for favours you need to carry out (burn this village of peaceful rabbits, tease your sister, eat a bowl of maggots under one minute, and so on).

This is what I'm thinking for Merla's fiend patron:

  • It's the loneliest fiend in the world
  • It communicates with Merla through handwritten letters, delivered by the always-on-the-run-always-out-of-breath maildaemon Cartero MMMDCLXVI
  • When the fiend grows tired of a warlock, it will try to lure him/her to come visit it in its extremely lonely castle - only to kill and turn the warlock into the next Cartero (that is, Cartero MMMDCLXVII)
  • The fields surrounding the castle is crowded with former Carteros. Since their services are no longer needed, they've built small mailboxes out of whatever (bones, stones, almost dead birds), and spend all day delivering stuff (junk) to each other
  • The fiend "dabbles in poetry", so bad that the paper it writes them on turns into horrible, soul tormenting spells

A Very Useless Zine

This was a pocketmod zine I printed out and mailed to a bunch of folks. I've thrown away the original so I'm mostly putting it up here for nostalgia.


Each PuterScGUID is uniquely identified by a sequence consisting of 32 hexadecimal digits, separated into five groups (eg. 21EC2020-3AEA-4069-A2DD-08002B30309D).

If you happen to come across such a sequence, you can with very easy means always know:

  • ...its exact location
  • ...what it's currently doing
  • to contact it (using the ScGUID's TMQS1.1 - Telepathic Message Queuing System version 1.1)

Most ScGUID:s live in the binary seas, are poisonous and worship the never seen bot-entity known only as I, Unknown (whom they worship because even though its sequence is well known - 00000000-0000-0000-C000-000000000046 - no-one has ever been able to locate or contact it, something the ScGUID:s would love to know how it does) .


How come the gods are drunkards, monster, or even childs? Because gods are not otherworldly entities that's always been - they are normal beings randomly taken into godhood.

Becoming a god is a curse. When lifted to godhood, one is frozen in time and mind. A child god is powerful but forever immature, wanting things on the same level as other five year olds - only with a shorter period of satisfaction. And a child god with a tantrum is a dangerous thing.

Mixed bag of doodles that somehow are connected

Hmm when presented like this, they all seem connected somehow. What is the "story glue" that binds these together? Something about nature fighting back?

The balloon that mustn't land

Every now and then, a blue hot air balloon passes over Bastion. Usually it's high above, but its presence still makes people nervous, as if they worry it would drop down from the sky any second.

It goes by many names - Death's Blue Bell, The Bastion Bye, The Doomed Shroom, Mankind's End - all conveying the same meaning: you don't want it to land, at least not here.

Sometimes it's descending a little too low for people not to do anything about it, and suddenly small groups assemble out of nowhere claiming they know how to make the balloon rise again.

Balloon Groups "We'll save Bastion from Mankind's End" (d12)

1-4: d6 Priests of Pupa - STR 3, DEX 3, WIL 15, 3hp. Robed, Bluetinted fingertips, Bulging backs (concealed mechanized wings, d4 Damage). Real reason they want to visit the balloon is:
1: The God of Pupa lies in at the bottom of the wicker basket, looking like a large withered leaf with a fanged mouth. Should the balloon land, the God will evolve into the God of Imago, a deity worshipped by a rival priesthood. The Priests of Pupa wishes to keep their god in this state.
2: The schematics for their mechanized wings (among other things not yet commonly known) are hidden in the wicker basket. The whole thing is a hoax by the priests themselves to keep people out.
3: The wicker basket holds the Bomb Ova, a really, really powerful bomb. A priest flies up and feeds the bomb his/her blood (all of it), making it go for another lap around the planet. Each lap takes it one step further in the metamorphosis. The priests hopes for a really big bang, and they've been waiting for some years now.
4: A bucket of blue paint stands in the middle of the basket. The priest dips his/her fingers in it, making the balloon rise again, and then they fly down again. The bucket is actually a portal to a piranha infested part of the Long Sea; the fingertips are bitten off and replaced with a gelatinous substance much like rubber. Should the balloon land, the bucket will leak all of the Long Sea.
5-7: Fancy Dresser - STR 9, DEX 7, WIL 5, 2hp. Fancy Dress, Fancy Hat, Fancy Face, Well-spoken, Slim. Real reason s/he wants to visit the balloon is:
5: Mad and/or compulsive liar. Doesn't have a clue what to do up there. Whatever is in that balloon, this bugger will make it come down over Bastion. Run for your life.
6: An Oddity that spits out coins when fed rats is hardwired into the wicker basket. The greater the altitude, the bigger the coin. Explains the bag the fancy dresser is carrying with him/her.
7: Several paintings of the fancy dresser lies scattered in the basket. All portraits look more dead than alive (several are actually dead). By dropping off a fresh painting in the basket, the fancy dresser extends his/her youth by another year, since the portraits does the ageing. Should the balloon land, the portraits manifests into real beings, and will hunt the fancy dresser down (and after that, everyone else, because when you're pissed off you're pissed off).
8: The Scientist Not From This Planet Or Age Or Game But Nobody Believes Her - STR 3, DEX 3, WIL 10, 1hp. Ragged clothes, Black eye, Modern Gun (no ammo), Post-its that form a star map. Fourth wall breaker. This person must be from another game the GM owns, and she knows that the balloon contains a big bad monster from her game (GM's pick) that will transfer to Into the Odd should the balloon land (and if it does, neither she or the monster must be available in the other game). Going on a dangerous expedition with her is the only sure way to make the balloon rise again, for some odd reason.
9: 1024 Ordinary Cats. Somehow, it is commonly known that these little animals are up for the job, and they do it good. They'll leap from rooftop to rooftop at midnight, and eventually take flight to reach the balloon. Unfortunately, they'll all vanish for at least five years, causing severe rat infestations throughout Bastion.
10-11: d6 Arcanum Sacrificium - STR 8, DEX 8, WIL 12, 2hp. Lost limb(s) and/or Eyes, Look of resignation, Whispers. They want to go up and collect the heavy, world-devouring Arcanum that makes the balloon descend, to destroy it properly (e.g. without activating it). But every time they've collected one evil Arcanum, someone (or something further above, and bigger) drops another into the basket.
10: (see entry above)
11: A couple of individuals in the group (d6, or all if roll is greater) have been contacted/blackmailed by Underground guilds, to bring them the Arcanum in exchange for riches/freedom.
12: d8 Not From Bastion Men - STR 12, DEX 10, WIL 12, 5hp. Off-putting face, Baggy Clothes, Filthy Crowbars (d6 Damage, diseased). "Dats our b'loon, lads," they say. "Hands off." They will not accept that the balloon lands in Bastion, and will declare war over it. Someone heard something about their boss being in the basket, another heard that their entire capital is in there. Whatever it is, it mustn't land here.