Every Book’s a Sourcebook: Little Women

Elsewhere, I’m reading Little Women – slowly – and blogging about it in excruciating detail. Little Women may seem like an unlikely source for D&D inspiration, but that’s because you’ve forgotten that Every Book’s a Sourcebook.

Here’s a passage that Little Women‘s author, Louisa May Alcott, liked so much that she put it, or something very close to it, in two books (Little Women and A Long Fatal Love Chase):

Valrosa well deserved its name, for in that climate of perpetual summer roses blossomed everywhere. They overhung the archway, thrust themselves between the bars of the great gate … Every shadowy nook, where seats invited one to stop and rest, was a mass of bloom, every cool grotto had its marble nymph smiling from a veil of flowers and every fountain reflected crimson, white, or pale pink roses, leaning down to smile at their own beauty. Roses covered the walls of the house, draped the cornices, climbed the pillars, and ran riot over the balustrade of the wide terrace, whence one looked down on the sunny Mediterranean, and the white-walled city on its shore.

Valrosa sounds like a beautiful city: overgrown with flowers, perhaps so overgrown that it is in fact abandoned. What if my campaign’s Undead City, instead of being a depressing gray ruin overrun with ghouls, is a beautiful, sweet-smelling garden city overrun with ghouls? White roses climb up the city’s walls and choke the alleyways. They blossom through the eyesockets of ghoul-devoured corpses in the street. A cool grotto with a flower-covered marble nymph sounds like a great place for the fleeing PCs to get beset by skeletons.


3 Responses to “Every Book’s a Sourcebook: Little Women”

  1. Rory Rory says:

    Sounds creepy! I wonder if you could get away with doing something like that in the Shadowfell instead of the mortal world. Kind of weird to have a vibrant garden overrun with undead in the Shadowfell, but you figure there must be at least some farming done there, right? Maybe? Also, it could be near a boundary to the fey realm or something like that.

  2. paul paul says:

    Actually, it might just be in the feywild. That would explain the over-the-top flower growth. Why is there an undead city in the realm of faerie? That’s the mystery for the PCs, I guess.

  3. […] fun. I set up a weird environment in the Shadowfell that was similar to the beautiful and creepy garden Paul described in a previous article. The Creature and Gray used Unearthly Whispers to charm the […]

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