“There goes another one,” Charred-Hand gestured with his two remaining fingers. In the distance, one of the fast stars had become unmoored from the sphere of the heavens and was streaking toward the grasslands.

“A crystal tomb,” the Blue Oracle mused.

“How do you know?” Lleva asked.

“I can feel it,” the Blue Oracle turned to the greenfolk naturalist, her eyes sparkling. “I have dream-walked among the empyreans. I know their resonance.”


Tomb Robbers of the Crystal Frontier is a wonderful OSR adventure (and setting) which I really enjoyed reading through. I also think that it’s weird enough and surreal enough that it could combine nicely as a place for heroes and caravans to move through in the world of Luka Rejec’s Ultraviolet Grasslands. To that end, I have crafted a short adventure framework (kind of a pointcrawl without a proper map) that players of UVG (or SEACAT) can use to incorporate some of the elements of Tomb Robbers of the Crystal Frontier into their games. I’ve left out some details from the source material (like how tomb crystal poisoning works) to encourage you to pick up Tomb Robbers of the Crystal Frontier and give it a read. Players who want to adapt this adventure back to the system used by Tomb Robbers should be able to easily do so with all of the familiar foes and traps listed in this adventure.

Also, hey! As of this 34th entry in the REDIRECTIONS series, we’ve hit 50,000 words! That’s an entire book’s worth of text!


In forgotten eons past, two minor houses of empyrean nobility maintained a centuries-long vendetta against each other. The Featherglass family was known for its exquisite glass and crystal crafts, while the Veinbranch family was known for its rich and sticky sweet wines. Both coveted the others’ crafts, but instead of working together and combining their resources, they did the more fashionable thing. They declared war on each other.

This war was a great source of drama and gossip for both families (and also a fine tax deduction) through countless generations of both the Featherglass and Veinbranch families. That is, until the unthinkable happened. The only son of the Featherglass family, a young empyrean named Gyrald, and the only daughter of the Veinbranch patriarch, fell madly in love. Denied a union by their warring parents (think of the scandal!) both Gyrald Featherglass and Carniya Veinbranch snuck out of their districts one last time and drank poison, hoping to be together in death even if they could not be together in life.

Instead of bringing the two families together, the double death instead stoked the feud between the patriarchs until the Featherglass and Veinbranch families wiped each other out to a man. In the end, the two families and their entire retinues were ultimately interred in a pair of crystal tombs, one for Featherglass, and one for Veinbranch.

This would not be the end of their feud, however. Instead of resting peacefully among the fixed stars for all eternity, the souls of the two star-crossed lovers remained entwined, clinging together for eons, drawing their family tombs together until the two spires crashed into one another and plummeted from the heavens to the wastes of the crystal frontier far below.


The entangled tomb spires are large enough that when they come down, they light up the entire sky and people from all over the Crystal Frontier see the impact happen. Eager packs of bandits and prospectors gear up and ride out immediately to try to be the first ones to claim the site. A few hours after impact, the first skirmishes between bandit packs begin around the crater containing the spires, but the radiating heat from re-entry will be too much to bear for a while yet.

Ten hours after the spires come down, a small tent city of belligerent farmers and scraggly, tumor-covered treasure seekers will pop up around the impact site. The sands will be scalding hot for at least 36 hours after impact. After that, the boldest folk from the tent city will rush to the towers and try to find a way in. One team will have an Experienced Gemcutter (L2, half eaten by tomb crystal) to help them facet a way in. Another team (mostly bandits) will use a Meaty Poly-Giant (L3, vibro-fisted) to bash a way in through the tomb crystal. The team with the Poly-Giant will be the first to gain entry, but they will all be exposed to a wave of tomb crystal dust and become infected by it.

Before anyone can facet a way in, a horde of Lith Wights (L1, Infectious), awakened by all of the noise and commotion, will spill zombie-like out of heretofore hidden doors in the sides of the shattered, leaning towers, howling and brandishing rusty swords in their mummified and crystal-perforated hands. Terrified, the folk down near the spires will fight and be subsumed by the flood of undead, becoming Lith Wights themselves. These newest Lith Wights will split and either return to the tent town to cause havoc or they will rush into the nearest tomb spire and start gathering up anything even remotely valuable so they can jealously (and mindlessly) hoard it in a corner.

The green-skinned, empyrean Lith Wights pouring out of the tomb spires are divided by faction. Those wearing bronzy-green armor pour out of the tomb built to hold the Featherglass family to make war on the host in vibrant red plate who pour out of the tomb built to hold the Veinbranch family. Both forces are entirely focused on fighting each other, and will generally ignore anyone else who arrives, as long as they do not try to enter one of the tombs. Outsiders who try to enter one of the spires will be attacked on sight by the Lith Wights closest to that tower. The battle will rage on outside for years before it ends in a stalemate if the hosts of empyrean Lith Wights are left alone to simply fight it out. Most of the bandits and farmers are content to wait for someone else to be bold enough to hurry things along, and periodically they will goad someone drunk or inexperienced enough into trying to rush into one of the towers. Those that try will bypass the sprawling battle of crystal-covered undead with relative ease only to find themselves immediately attacked by Gilded, Six-Armed Tomb Guardians (L4, automatons) that have been tasked to guard the Featherglass Spire, or they will be wrapped up and devoured by the Giant Glass Spiders (L2, venomous) that have completely colonized the Veinbranch Spire.

For those heroes who wish to brave the towers, each one is presented below, divided into three sections. If you map these sections, I recommend circular maps of 3-5 levels, with the Outer Layer being closest to the surface and the Core Layer being buried underground.


The tomb spire of the Featherglass family is elegant and resplendent, echoing their legacy as a dynasty of masterful glass sculptors. Green glass frescoes inlaid with gold are everywhere within the spire, telling the family’s history in sections that highlight their achievements. Many glass funeral busts of green, antennaed empyreans sit on shelves in the spire, and each of these is affixed with gold-inlaid glyphs that (presumably) list the names of the people they have been crafted to represent.


Two Gilded, Six-Armed Tomb Guardians (L4, automatons) patrol the outermost chambers of the Featherglass tomb spire, moving in a circular, clockwise pattern and staying at opposite ends of the tomb. Eons of cosmic radiation have left them mostly blind (and absolutely unhinged insane), but if one of them discovers something amiss, it will not be long before the other comes to assist in crushing it. The rooms in this layer mostly serve as dusty, unused mourning and visiting spaces full of desiccated flowers with the occasional jade coin placed in front of a funeral bust. (Empyrean jade coins are roughly equivalent in value to silver coins for this adventure.) Empty display halls built to house the history frescos stretch between these mourning spaces, telling a mostly incomprehensible story of the dynasty’s socially dramatic past. There is little of value here, but prying the gold off the walls, busts and sculptures can net heroes a few hundred GP worth of treasure if they tear it all out. The Tomb Guardians themselves have about 1,000GP worth of gold plating on each of them.


The main body of the Featherglass tomb spire is dominated by meeting halls (empty except for tables, chairs and desiccated food offerings), vaults (three, each containing 3k-9k gp of heavy and gilded elegant green glass urns and heroic statuary) and a pair of barracks (empty but for beds and 300-900 gp worth of tattered green clothing, simple glass weapons and ornamental glass armor.) Twelve Armored Lith Wights (L2, Infectious) patrol this layer in groups of three and are supported by another pair of unhinged and half-blind Gilded, Six-Armed Tomb Guardians (L4, automatons).


The innermost sanctum of the Featherglass Spire has been reserved for the heads of the family, the last and most noble of the family’s lineage. Patriarch Helton Featherglass lies in a sarcophagus of green tomb crystal, clutching a stunning violet glass decanter that was his finest work and his proudest achievement. The decanter is magical (it makes whatever is poured from it taste divine.) Nearly unbreakable, it is clearly valuable (500gp) and very heavy. Helton’s sarcophagus is warded with a magical trap that, if activated, shoots shards of razor-edged glass at every living thing within 2 meters. His wife, who died decades before him, has a similar trap on her sarcophagus, but she has been dressed in funereal finery made entirely of tiny pieces of green, beaded glass. Her tiara, gown, necklace, gloves and shoes will fetch a high price (500gp) with any antiquities dealer who has a taste for fine empyrean antiques.

An adjoining chamber in the Core Layer contains a pair of thrones that were occupied by the reigning lord and lady during their lifetimes. A picture of the prodigal son, Gyrald Featherglass, rests on one of the seats, framed in fine glass.

The sarcophagus of Gyrald Featherglass is not trapped, but it is sealed behind a locked door made of tomb crystal. Opening it will make a horribly loud noise and attract the attention of Tomb Guardians and Lith Wights that have been hibernating in shadowy alcoves nearby. Smashing the sarcophagus open will expose all present to the deadly crystal dust. Inside his sarcophagus, Gyrald has been buried with a scimitar made of shimmering green glass that counts as magical and gives a +1 (advantage.) Sensitive folk will feel his presence in the room, mournful and whispering about wishing to be reunited with his lost love, Carniya. His spirit will wander into the throne room and will return there even if banished, turned, etc.


The tomb spire of the Veinbranch family is lush with rotting crimson tapestries and trimmed in gold. What remains of the tapestries tells a broken story of the history of the Veinbranch wine dynasty, right up to the point where the last patriarch, Nebbiolo Veinbranch, was (scandalously) unable to sire a male heir. The tapestries that depict Nebbiolo show a proud, broad-shouldered and green, long-antennaed empyrean dressed in crimson finery, but the tapestries showing his daughter are poorly made and defaced, possibly by Nebbiolo himself. Neither of his two wives appears in any of the tapestries. There is very little here that would be of any monetary value, only sentimental, and only for the residents who are long dead.


Giant Glass Spiders (L2, venomous) mutated to the size of a medium dog by empyrean rays have webbed off this whole area and lurk in the darkness, waiting hungrily for any living thing to rustle their scintillating webs. In the whole outer layer, there are 12-20 of these spiders in the process of awakening from their long slumber, and they are so hungry that they will rush at any prey that dares to cross into their domain. Crystalizing venom drips from their fangs, and those bitten must save or risk becoming infected as if they had breathed in tomb crystal dust. The rooms in this layer mostly serve as dusty, unused visiting rooms and empty display halls built to house the history tapestries. About the only thing of value in this layer are a few hundred casks of middling wine (the common swill which Veinbranch made to keep his servants compliant) that have mostly turned to a pungent vinegar.


The main body of the Veinbranch spire is dominated by meeting halls (empty but for tables, chairs and desiccated desserts), cellars (six, each containing 4d6 large butts of fine Veinbranch wine that can be sold for about 100gp each, if you can roll them out of the tower and across the crystal frontier to a town that will buy them) and a trio of barracks (empty but for beds and 300-900 gp worth of tattered red clothing and 3d6 bottles of middling Veinbranch wine that can be sold for about 2-3gp each.) Giant Glass Spiders (L2, venomous) lurk in the shadows of almost every room and will attack in groups of three until enough of them die that they realize they can’t just charge the heroes. At that point, they will pull back, attacking only rarely, and always in groups of 4-10, or double the number of heroes in the group, whichever number is larger. Behind sealed doors, one might also find a few Armored Lith Wights (L2, Infectious) but most of these were devoured long ago by the glass spiders.


The innermost sanctum of the Veinbranch Spire has been reserved for the heads of the family, the last and most noble of the dynasty’s members. Patriarch Nebbiolo Veinbranch is entombed standing upright in a sarcophagus of crimson tomb crystal with his two wives (Stilta and Olalala Veinbranch) similarly entombed on his right and left. Their leering, mummified faces can be seen as soon as one enters the core layer, and the eyes painted on the tomb crystal give the illusion that they are actually alive. In his hands, Nebbiolo holds a small star-mahogany cask of his finest wine (1,000gp) but his sarcophagus has a lid fit together with puzzling pieces and trapped with explosive bolts that will damage the lid (making it impossible to open without smashing it.) If the bolts go off or the lid is smashed, everyone in the room will be exposed to tomb crystal dust. The sarcophagi of Nebbiolo’s two wives are not trapped and have simple, easily-opened lids, but they hold nothing of value (not even their tattered funeral garments.)

On either side of Nebbiolo, past his wives, are two small pillar stands inset with low circles. If the star-mahogany cask is set into either one of these pillar stands, doors open on either side of the room which have staircases leading down. The pillar stand to the left opens a door with a staircase that leads to a pair of thrones that were occupied by the reigning lord and lady during their lifetimes. A picture of Nebbiolo’s daughter Carniya looking sad and dour, rests on one of the seats, framed in fine glass.

The pillar stand to the right opens a door with a staircase that leads down to a single, central chamber dominated by an upright sarcophagus of crimson tomb crystal containing the mummified corpse of Carniya Veinbranch. Her sarcophagus isn’t trapped, but there is a very hungry brood of four Giant Glass Spiders (L2, venomous) hibernating behind it that will wake and charge the players if they make enough noise. In her hands, Carniya holds an elegant mirror of green tomb crystal (obviously of Featherglass make, if the heroes have seen Featherglass’s work.) Those who stare into the mirror for a solid round will see a face rise up out of the glass and smile at them. The face is that of the viewer’s truest love.

Sensitive folk will feel Carniya’s presence in the room, mournful and whispering about wishing to be reunited with her lost love, Gyrald. Her spirit will wander into the throne room and will return there even if banished, turned, etc.


1. Placing the mummies of both Gyrald Featherglass and Carniya Veinbranch into the thrones of lord and ladyship in the inner sanctum at the core of either the Featherglass Tower or the Veinbranch Tower will pacify the whole undead populace. The retinues of both families will return to their tombs, tuck themselves in and drop away into eternal slumber. Trying to rob them of their grave goods while they slumber is a sure way to wake them up again individually though, but at least the war will end. If Veinbranch’s finest wine is placed in Featherglass’s finest decanter AND the lovers are placed on the thrones, defeat is total and the undead won’t even stir if they’re robbed.

2. Destroying enough Lith Wights of one faction will give the other faction an advantage and they may quickly overwhelm the other. If this happens, the larger faction will storm the opposing spire and destroy everything within it in their blind, undead rage. Relics, magic items, brews, mummies, even stonework and machinery will be reduced to shards. Tomb dust will rise thick within the invaded spire and anyone living caught inside will become infected or have their infection progress significantly.

3. If the bandits and farmers surrounding the tent city sense that there is an opportunity to rush in and grab anything of value, they will swarm in, frothing and shouting and trying to seize whatever is at hand. They have little regard for their own health and most of them will likely be exposed to tomb crystal dust, some even becoming Lith Wights themselves. Most will seize a handful of anything that even looks like it might be valuable before they rush out and run back to their camp or their homes. A few of the bandits are more organized and will be more calculating in their approach to stealing as much of value as they can. These few can probably be bargained with, probably.


The fallen spires have brought eager prospectors in from all over the crystal frontier. As soon as the heroes manage to get inside one of the spires, the boldest and most well-equipped packs of bandits, ne'er do wells and drunken farmers will start to get itchy about all the treasure that might be hidden away inside the crystal tombs. You can make up your own parties of treasure hunters, but I’ve included a handful of individuals below to get you started.

Quinn Torporite (L1, sticky fingers) has a taste for the finer things in life, but doesn’t always have the money to pay for them. A real champagne tastes and beer budget kind of person. Maybe that’s why Quinn got into banditry? You can’t have nice things around Quinn.

Ricky Hagson (L1, itchy trigger finger) is a wide-eyed (and very green) prospector with big dreams of getting rich on the Crystal Frontier. He’s probably going to die out here, and it’ll probably be his own fault.

Thaddeus Blindeye (L2, half-wight) is an experienced gemcutter and pistol duelist. Thoroughly infected with tomb crystal dust, it won’t be long before he too becomes a Lith Wight. In the meantime, he’s more than capable of beating his foes with his cane.

Sheena Plinkbore (L2, cheery) always finds a way to make a profit off of the bandits and prospectors of the Crystal Frontier. Usually, it’s by selling tools, reloaded ammunition or questionable weapons, but she has also been known to sell snake oil cures for tomb crystal dust poisoning. Most people say that her cures just make the poisoning worse, though.

Strick Osterizer (L3, whirling) spent years honing his skills with a blade until he practically dances through every combat. Now, he seeks to ply his trade in the Crystal Frontier. At least he’s smart about it, and wily too.

The Stoat (L3, stalwart) has been making a living on the Crystal Frontier for more than a few decades. Some say he’s lucky, others that he’s just tough as nails. He knows the sands better than almost anyone, and somehow doesn’t have any signs of tomb crystal poisoning.

Punta Fewpenney (L4, brawny) was a champion boxer in better lands than these until she retired to take up her family profession of grub farming at the edge of the Crystal Frontier. She’s middle aged and leathery, but she’s still got all of the brawn of her youth. She’s out here to smash and grab and get back to the farm with enough cash to build another grub-barn.

Geena Verdantstar (L4, imperial) is a haughty empyrean who was locked away in stasis in a tomb spire until it fell from the heavens and she was freed by some wide-eyed bandits. She’s out here looking for enough parts to build her own voidship so she can return to the heavens and have her revenge against the descendants of those who wronged her so very long ago.

Dale “Jumbo” Peltier (L5, makes things go boom) is a small man with a big bomb, or several of them, and those are just the ones that are on him at any given time. Need to make a big-badda-boom? Jumbo’s your man.


"Charred-Hand" a perfectly ordinary and unassuming wastelander

The Blue Oracle, Dreamer of Dreams

Ilod Kvelak, Redlander Merchant and Caravaneer

Coda-1, Coda-2 and Coda-3, a Bluelander polybody pilgrim, allegedly.

Lleva Vyeldisana, Greenfolk Naturalist and Zoa Conservationist


My goal with REDIRECTIONS is to add my own contribution to the Psychedelic / Heavy Metal / Ligne Claire art RPG space.  Much in the way that people inspired by Tolkien’s style helped give birth to the modern genre of High Fantasy, the style of Jean “Moebius” Giraud (and others like him) seems to be spawning a sort of genre of its own right now, and I want to expose more people to the wonders of it. I want to share it. I want to be a part of it. Most of all, I want it to grow.

    REDIRECTIONS is a collection of wondrous places and resources presented in story format (as a game in play, specifically traversing the universe of UVG (Ultraviolet Grasslands) but it is also kept more general for your own RPG characters to visit and explore regardless of the system you use. Each place is unique and wholly original, with a bevy of interesting stories, plot hooks and characters to color your experience. 

    The format and many of the specific terms are from UVG. I'm just playing in Luca Rejec's universe. 

    If you like these posts and find them useful, let me know! 

    While the images (not the text) of the majority of the prior posts in this series have been created in collaboration with AI, I have been working to learn how to draw and so all of the images in this post were ones I drew by hand. I still enjoy collaborating with AI to make pretty pictures, but I also I greatly respect the skill of people who work with pen and pencil and have the skill of hand to make things from scratch. I’m still learning myself.

    This is a series, and each entry is numbered. If you like things like this, please support the true artists whose works are part of the genre, such as the works of Moebius, Luka Rejec's Ultraviolet Grasslands, Luke Gearing's Acid Death Fantasy and Raw Fury's game SABLE.


  1. Glad you liked Tomb Robbers - this is a pretty sweet sky tomb concept. If you want to actually dungeon it out for old school play drop me a line at oldmanlaru@gmail.com



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