- Do you want to explore new lands and seek out new civilizations?
- Do you want to trek the tractless trails of tributaries to talk to timeless tribesmen?
- Does the idea of backpacking with eighty pound packs through dismal swamps and snake-infested jungles turn you on?
Then you need the Famous Explorers' Correspondence Course for Wayward Wanderers.
We here at the Famous Explorers' Correspondence Course for Wayward Wanderers understand the unique needs of Explorers and thus publish a valuable series of succinct and informative Field Guides in order to capitalize upon those exploring needs.
- Field Guide to East Fricana includes "Tips about Tarna", "Jungle Jaunting", and "Savanna Sightseeing".
- Field Guide to West Fricana includes "How to Do Voodoo", "Local Customs" (and How to Avoid Paying It), and "How to Stay a Free Agent in the Slave Trade".
- Field Guide to North Fricana includes "How not to be Gypped in Egypt", "Guide to Local Cafe's Catering to Expatriots", and "Discovering Destiny in Dusty Deserts".
- Field Guide to South Fricana includes "How to Speak with a Southern Accent", "How to Host Post-Apartheid Parties", and "Scintillating Diamond Mine Tours".
- Field Guide to East L. A. includes "How to Have a Riotously Good Time", "Fabulous Freeway Festivals", and "Budget Tours on Less Than 200 Golds per Night".
These handy and informative guides are available for just 10 golds each, plus 25 silvers shipping and handling. (Traveler's checks not accepted, so leave home without them.)
Just remember the Famous Explorers' Correspondence Course for Wayward Wanderers motto: "Wherever you go, there you are."
Introduction to the Land of East FricanaEdit
"Hello there, F. E. here. That's Famous Explorer to you. I'm going to be your guide through the sizable savannas and gigantic jungles that make up the land you call East Fricana. I call it 'Boopsie', myself -- named it after a girl I once... Well, that's another story.
I've been an experienced Explorer for a long time now and I've learned a lot over the years. I've seen everything from the great Zezeboo Desert to the great, greasy, green Limpopo River. I'm kind of an Explorer's explorer, you know? So now, you want to be an Explorer? You've come to the right place for all the secrets of savanna survival and jungle journeys."
What is an Explorer?Edit
Exploring is not an easy job. In the Hero business all you have to do is fight ferocious monsters, rescue dainty damsels from dragons or deliver defeated knights from dungeons and stop mad Magicians from unleashing terrible powers and destroying the world. Big deal. An Explorer must face malicious mosquitoes, fend off bodacious babes from decadent lost cities who mistake you for the legendary missing Master of the World and solve cunning and complex puzzles to avoid traps built with technology far beyond the capabilities of the civilizations which constructed them in order to find incredible artifacts of unbelievable power and put them in a museum (or store them away in some unmarked government warehouse).
Pointers for Potential ExplorersEdit
"F. E. here. Just thought I'd share a few secrets to scouting the savanna and suggestions for jaunting through the jungle. I remember the time when I discovered the Great Lost City of the Brass Bikini where I.... well, uh, where was I? Oh yeah, anyway, if you want to be an experienced adventurer like me, you've got to learn how to get along in the exploring biz.
For instance, always observe local customs -- many tribes have customs worth observing. I mean, the way those women don't wear, well, you know what I mean. At any rate, try to obey the villagers' quaint rules and never annoy the locals. While there may be a few tribes you can still favorably impress by flicking your bic at them, some will spear you for using magic in front of them and others will counter your fire with some flame magic of their own, and then where will you be?
Also, never underestimate the local inhabitants. Remember, they've been local for a lot longer than you've been lost there.
Finally, keep a wise crack handy for serious situations. You never know when you might get caught in a goblin pygmy trap just when twenty of the little buggers are converging upon you for a late night snack. Just whip out your wit and recite some rapid repartee and you'll really earn their respect. They'll tell stories about you long after they've gnawed your bones. Reputation is an important part of being a famous Explorer."
Famous, Fearless Fighting ExplorersEdit
When a Fighter turns Explorer, it's time for the local flora and fauna to flee! The Fighter is accustomed to getting his own way, and everyone else had better stay out of it. Just because he's in a foreign country with an unknown culture, unable to speak the language and unlikely to make friends or influence people, he won't let this undermine his overconfidence. However, there are a few ground rules which it would be well for the prospective Fighter-Explorer to keep in mind:
- It is considered poor form to kill an innkeeper (or, for that matter, a restaurant owner, waitress, or other innocent townsperson). In general, you might do well to only attack creatures which attack you, or are otherwise overtly hostile.
- If you don't know what it is -- watch out. Some creatures may be tougher then they look. Keep your weapon sharp, your shield handy and your running shoes ready. A good offense may be the best defense, but a shield on the arm is better than your arm in a sling.
Artifacts for the FighterEdit
- The sword
- You need to be the "Sultan of Swing", the "Caesar of Slash" and the "Lord of the Longsword" or you'll be the "Monarch of Main Courses".
- The shield
- Use it, or lose it (arm and all).
- The shoes
- Remember, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, so keep an open line of retreat.
Mysterious, Mystical Magical ExplorersEdit
When a Spellcaster goes on safari, the savanna will never be the same again. Strange situations seem to surround the Sorcerer. Magic manifests itself everywhere, from the water of a quiet pool to the fruit of a large tree. The Magic User sometimes gets the feeling that someone is watching his every move, manipulating his actions, and that the entire world was designed to test his abilities. This is known as "paranoia". There is nothing more dangerous than a paranoid prestidigitator.
Messages for the Magic UserEdit
- Magic Motions
- When you got it, flaunt it. Use your spells (and your brains!) every chance you get. This is sure to make an impression upon the locals.
- Wizardly Warnings
- Some tribes have taboos against magic. Avoid the use of spells in their presence. While you are certain to impress the locals, they are likely to impress their spears upon you.
- Combat Communications
- Since most Wizards are wimps, it will be wise to withdraw when conflict is close. Spells work great against monsters, but claws and pointy teeth work just as well on Magic Users, so things tend to balance. Ultimately, when in doubt, get out.
- Spell Suggestions
- Know your spells. Most spells have unique advantages and disadvantages, so it is wise to choose the best for a given situation. Don't, for instance, use a "Flame Dart" when surrounded by dynamite. You might go off on a tangent. Always keep track of your Spell Points. When you run out of these and a dinosaur is breathing down your neck, you'd better flee with fleet feet or meet defeat.
Field Guide to Favorite Explorer SpellsEdit
- Flame Dart (Offensive Spell)
- This is the "Main Flame" of legerdemain. This useful spell is relatively cheap in spell points, can be used in close combat and can turn a gruesome Ghoul into a toothsome gruel (if you like that sort of thing). Keep in mind, though, that some of the more powerful monsters are immune to immolation.
- Force Bolt (Offensive Spell)
- The "Bolt with the Bounce" is a versatile spell. It can be used in close combat as an offensive spell (but it uses up a lot of spell points), or to ricochet off something and knock other things over. While fewer creatures are immune to the effects of the Force Bolt, it does not do as much damage as a Flame Dart.
- Zap (Offensive Spell)
- This spell can make your "dirk perk" or your "dagger swagger" since it adds a magical charge to your weapon and increases its damage. Unfortunately, the spell effect is only useful in close combat since you need to actually contact the monster with your dagger to release the magical charge. Fortunately, you can cast the spell on your weapon either before or during combat, which lets you get a little extra charge when you need it most.
- Dazzle (Offensive Spell)
- "Erasmus's Razzle Dazzle" momentarily blinds your opponent and gives you time for an extra attack while the monster is rubbing its eyes. This does presume that your opponent has eyes that see in the visible light spectrum.
- Reversal (Defensive Spell)
- The "Karma Cookie" of spell casting. Cast this spell before entering a magical battle and any offensive spell directed specifically at you will bounce back at the one who cast it. This does not make you immune to area-affecting spells like Thermonuclear Attack, nor can it be cast during close combat.
- Calm (Defensive Spell)
- This "Mellow Fellow" spell relaxes a monster and makes it take a few seconds to reflect upon the infinite beauty of the universe. Meanwhile, the Magic User can make an escape. This spell is less likely to work upon intelligent beings who notice you casting the spell since they may think you are acting disharmoniously and decide to beat the oneness of all things back into you. Likewise, this spell is useless in close combat for the monster will just mellowly eat you up.
- Detect Magic (General Spell)
- This "Spell Spotter" allows you to sense the presence of magical energy. Useful for finding major magical items or determining the obvious.
- Levitate (General Spell)
- A "Rise Guys" spell, this allows the caster to float weightlessly up into the air. Quite useful for getting in over your head. Levitation requires concentration upon the part of the caster and cannot be used in close combat.
- Fetch (General Spell)
- The "Come and Get It" spell allows you to create a magical "lasso" to grab an inanimate object and retrieve it.
- Trigger (General Spell)
- This "Incantation Activator" allows the caster to set off magical traps or spells. Warning: This spell can cause the immediate release of magical energy when cast upon items which store magic and can cause major destruction as a result.
- Open (General Spell)
- The "Open Sesame Says Me" spell lets the caster unlock latches and open doors. It's useful when you lose your keys. Open does not always work on enchanted doors.
Summary of Special SpellsEdit
- Lightning Ball (Offensive Spell)
- This "Sparking Sphere" spell creates an orb of energy you can use to direct against an opponent. While this spell uses more spell points than a "Flame Dart", there are fewer monsters
immune to it.
- Thermonuclear Attack (Offensive Spell)
- The "Final Strike" spell (or "Nuke 'em 'til they glow"). This spell destroys all living things within a radius of ten miles from ground zero and makes that area uninhabitable for several centuries thereafter. However, it usually destroys the spellcaster as well as the target. This fortunate side effect has helped reduce the proliferation of this slightly unpleasant spell.
- Juggling Lights (General Spell)
- The undignified "Jittering Glitter" spell creates a series of lighted spheres spinning around the head of the spell caster. Useful for lighting up dark areas where no one else can see how silly you look. A spell only a Gnome could love.
- Summon Staff (General Spell)
- While this is not in the true sense a spell, a "Magic Staff" is a magically created manifestation for the purpose of casting spells. Created through magical ritual from magically attuned wood, the Magic Staff does not truly exist in this world. Thus it requires concentration to maintain its presence and is not something with which you can walk around or engage in close combat. On the other hand, spells cast from the Staff do not use up the Magic User's spell points. More importantly , the Magic Staff enhances all spells, making them more
Larcenous, Light-fingered, Lock-Picking ExplorersEdit
As Explorers, thieves are rather out of their element. In villages, lock-picking is a lost art, since there are no doors to unlock and very few things worth stealing. In remote and ancient cities strangers are rather obvious and a prime suspect when things are missing. Punishment can be swift and deadly. Thieves' Guilds seldom survive in the savanna since there is nothing to swipe. Thus, most self-respecting practitioners of purloining pursue pilferage elsewhere or prepare a new profession.
Thoughts for the ThiefEdit
- Sneak frequently. Unlike many of your other skills, sneaking is actually useful when exploring. The less noise you make, the less encounters you take.
- Throw thoroughly. The more you practice your pitching, the fewer monsters you'll be missing.
- Avoid direct confrontation. Sneak, hide, do anything to keep from being noticed. The longer you stay out of sight, the longer you stay out of fights.
- Contact your confederates. Everybody needs somebody sometime, but only make the Thief Sign to those you suspect perform your own profession. The Thief Sign may have a disquieting effect upon strangers. To make the Thief Sign, place your right hand perpendicular to your face with the thumb resting upon your nose and wiggle your fingers. With your left hand, rub your belly. Practice before a mirror before attempting this in public. After all, you wouldn't want to look foolish.
- Remember: make the Thief Sign when you want to find crime.
Tools of the Thief TradeEdit
- Thieves' Toolkit
- This handy-dandy kit holds everything you need for illegal entry, from lockpicks to credit cards.
- This can be used for climbing slick walls or preventing great falls.
- Grappling Hooks
- When attached to a rope, these allow access to otherwise unscalable scenery.
- When silence is essential, oil is great for greasing squeakies.
Some call them "Do-Gooders", some call them "Knights of Nobility" and some call them "Cavaliers of Courtesy". Others just call them "Confounded Nuisances". There are many names for these unsung heroes who try to prevent injustices in the world and encourage harmony between living things. However, since modesty is an important quality for Paladins, they seldom become famous Explorers.
Paladins uphold the virtues of goodness and are at one with the essential rightness of the universe. Paladins are not followers but leaders of their own destinies. Where the laws of the land and the rights of the individual are in conflict, the Paladin promotes what is "Good" rather than what is "Lawful". Paladins are seldom welcome in totalitarian countries.
To become a Paladin you must be trustworthy, helpful, pure, and brave. (So most of you can bloody well forget it.) A potential Paladin is often watched by those who are already Paladins and is rewarded for his good actions by a formal presentation of a Paladin Sword. Through the acts of kindness, charity and heroism, the Paladin gains in his knowledge and understanding.
Because the Paladin is in harmony with the peaceful power which pervades all, he gains certain abilities as he continues to do "Good".
Palaver for PaladinsEdit
- Do good deeds.
- Don't do bad deeds. (Kicking cats is bad Karma.)
Partial Posting of Paladin PowersEdit
- Flaming Sword
- The first benefit the Paladin gains is the ability to create a magical flame around his Paladin Sword. This increases the amount of damage the sword will do to evil doers.
- As the Paladin continues to promote peace, monsters tend to try to tear him to pieces. Therefore, the Paladin acquires the ability to heal by touch. Since this draws upon the Paladin's inner strength, this temporarily weakens him, so the ability cannot be used in combat.
- Sense Danger
- After the Paladin has continued pursuing good activities for some time this ability will automatically give the Paladin advance warning if danger is present.
- Honor Shield
- When a Paladin has performed many deeds of great heroism he is surrounded by magical protection whenever the Flaming Sword is ignited. The Flaming Sword will now incinerate certain magical attacks intended for the Paladin.
Welcome to East FricanaEdit
"Ha, thought we'd never get here, didn't you? F. E. again. Now we get to the real nitty-gritty part of being an Explorer. This is where we get to explore the land of East Fricana.
The continent of Fricana is somewhere south of where most civilized people live. It's wild and wooly and has many places and peoples never before seen by someone with skin the color of unbaked bread dough. Our job as famous Explorers is to seek out these strange civilizations and teach them to live the way we do. Why should they be allowed to sit in the sun peacefully herding their cattle? They should be working nine-to-five jobs and get stress-related ulcers the way people in the rest of the world do.
This all reminds me very little of the time I was exploring with Trudy Trueheart. Old Prudy Trudy, I called her. Never got very far with her. She met some Simbani Warriors as I recall, ran off to marry one of them. Heard she was trying to teach them some civilization, or was that the other way around? Can't quite recall just now...
Anyhow, East Fricana is a major section of this continent. Its principal city/country is a place called Tarna, run by a bunch of Liontaurs. Mostly it's just a bunch of peaceful villages surrounded by dense, jeopardous jungles or vast, viperous savannas. Perfect place for the beginner to get into the exciting career of exploration."
Tour Guide to TarnaEdit
Built centuries ago on the banks of the Mto Kubwa (Big River) at the western edge of the great savanna, this city has retained the basic architectural style of the ancient Egyptians. Some of the descendants of the original builders still remain there and the major languages spoken are Egyptian, Swahili and Common.
Liontaurs are the dominant species in the city. They are the ruling class, and the warrior class of guards. The Liontaurs primarily live in the eastern section of the city. This area is restricted to humans.
- The government of Tarna is headed by the position of King. The laws of Tarna are made by the matriarchal Council of Judgment. The King is selected through a series of tests of skill, strength and wit known as the "Rite of Rulership". He serves as King until the Council of Judgment proclaims him unfit to rule. The former King can again compete in the Rite of Rulership to regain the throne. Usually, he is torn to shreds by the younger males during the competition.
The Council of Judgment consists of six positions: the Speaker, the Mother, the Youth, the Warrior, the Priestess, and the Wizard. These roles are restricted to females.
- The primary currencies of Tarna are Royals and Commons. Royals are roughly equal to the Golds and Dinars of other lands. There are 100 Commons to the Royal. Tourists should note: There is a Money Changer in the northwest section of the city who will exchange other currency for Royals and Commons.
- Places to Stay
- There is a good inn called the Welcome Inn in central Tarna. This inn has fine rooms at reasonable prices. The food ranges daily from standard Mid-Eastern cuisine to many more local specialties. FECSrating: ****.
- Things to See
- No self-respecting tourist should miss the spectacle of the bazaar in western Tarna. The sights and sounds create an ambiance unrivaled in this part of the world.
The sightseer should also go out of the way to see the impressive "Temple of Sekhmet" located inside the highest tower of the city. Although humans are not allowed inside the temple, a peek inside is more than worth the asthma attack from climbing so many steps to get up there.
The savanna is a large plain of grass with a few trees and rocks to break up the monotony. Scattered through this vast grassland are the villages of the Simbani people.
- Simbani Village Life
- The Simbani are traditionally nomadic Warriors and herders of cattle. They travel many months of the year from village site to village site in order to keep the herds in fresh pasturage. The Simbani are friendly and open people. They value physical fitness and greatly respect outsiders who are physically fit. They are openly antagonistic towards Magic Users, so it is strongly suggested that no magic be used in their presence.
- The main ruler of the tribe is the Laibon, chosen from the Elders, (older members of the tribe), for his wisdom. Most decisions of the tribe are made by the Laibon and the Elders discussing issues together.
- The principal currency of the Simbani is cattle. One bull = Two cows = Four calves. Gold is of no value to the Simbani except as an item of jewelry. The bartering of items is very common also.
- Places to Stay
- Simbani villages usually have a guest hut for visitors. It is strongly recommended that tourists bring their own food. While the Simbani are more than willing to share, few sightseers can stand the coagulated blood and milk that make up a major part of the Simbani diet. FECS rating: **. (After all, you can't beat the price!)
If you must sleep outside in the savanna, be sure to bring along something with which to light a fire. Many monsters stalk the savanna, searching for sleeping Explorers. A well-lit fire will either drive them away or attract them, but at least you can see what you are fighting.
- Things to See
- The people, the huts, and the cattle of the Simbani villages are much more exciting than the grass, rocks and trees of the savanna.
If you are into walking somewhere to the south of the main Simbani village of Tarna you will find the Pool of Peace. This pleasant little lake has the reputation of being magical and is always a great place to watch for wildlife.
When most outsiders think of Fricana, they envision thick vegetation blocking the trails being hacked by machetes, creepy vines reaching to trip the unwary, snakes slithering through the very branch the Explorer is reaching for, mosquitoes munching every section of exposed flesh, and the heat and humidity helping the sweat stick your shirt to your skin. Yes, this is it -- the great jungle. This is where we separate the Explorer from the Tourist.
The jungle is indeed a place of wild beauty. It is merely a matter of searching for it. Various tribes live in the jungle of East Fricana. It is only a matter of finding them. Lost civilizations are concealed everywhere in the thick undergrowth. It is only a matter of avoiding them. (Few lost civilizations are filled with friendly folk.)
- Places to Stay
- Things to See
- Plants, snakes, monkeys, bugs, leopards, vines, mosquitoes, trees, ferns, etc. It is rumored that there is a giant, magical tree somewhere in this part of the country and a lost sister city of Tarna filled with ancient treasure. Such are the stories of this great land.
"F. E. here. The lure of the jungle is the siren's call to every Explorer. You never know just what you will find there. One time I was hacking my way through some heavy underbrush when I came across this lost city inhabited by apes and ruled by a beautiful woman. Naturally, when she saw me, she fell instantly in love. After all, the rest of the guys around there were pretty big, smelly, and hairy. Jealous, too. I barely got away by the skin of my, well, let's just say that I learned an important lesson."
East Fricana Language GuideEdit
Most of the people of this land understand either Common, Swahili or Arabic, so here are some common phrases to make your communication more pleasant.
Greetings are very important to the people of this region. Almost all social interactions should begin with a greeting, so mind your manners and be polite.
|Greeting:||Habari||(News?)||(How are you?)|
|Reply:||Mzuri||(Good)||(I am well)|
Other Greetings such as "Jambo" ("You have nothing the matter?") vary according to the number and person you are greeting.
|Greeting:||Naharak sa'id||(Happy day)||(Have a nice day)|
Other Useful Phrases Swahili:
|Kwa Heri -- "Good-bye"||Asante -- "Thank you"|
|Lala salama -- "Sleep in peace"||Hodi -- "May I enter your house?"|
|Auda'nak -- "Good-bye"||Kattir Khairak -- "Thanks"|
|Lailtak sa'idi -- "Good Night"||Shuf ilmkara waka'mnilbarl --"Look, the mooker has fallen off the mule."|
Field Guide to Native Fricana Flora and FaunaEdit
East Fricana is widely renowned for its dynamically diverse wildlife. The elegant impalas leap past the grazing gnus and enormous elephants, the cunning cheetah pursues at incredible speed the zippy zebra, the giant giraffes spread their legs wide apart and bend their elongated necks down to drink at the wondrous waterhole while the happy hippopotamus wallows in the malodorous mud. These are the incredible images of the savanna safari journeying deep into the hidden heart of this lovely land. Unfortunately, most of these amazing animals are now found only in a small game preserve east of colorful Kensington, so you are unlikely to come across them even on your most extensive excursions.
Amusing and Mostly Harmless CreaturesEdit
- Arboreal mammals with puerile senses of humor, monkeys do their best to enliven the dull day of even the lowliest Explorer with such amusements as dropping overripe mangos on the traveler's head, leaving banana peels on the path of the unwary wanderer, and sneaking into the camp of the exhausted Explorer and making off with his traveler's cheques.
- Small, furry creatures with wings, meerbats seem to be a mutant form of meerkat. They live in large colonies underground and eat fruit and insects.
Not Quite So Amusing and Slightly Less Harmless CreaturesEdit
- These ungainly remnants of prehistoric times still wander the savanna of today. They have extremely poor eyesight, keen hearing, and an irascible temper. If you happen to come across one of these amazing creatures remember this famous Simbani proverb: "The only way to stop a rhinoceros from charging is to take away its credit card."
- Goblin Pygmies
- These diminutive members of the Goblin family are seldom seen in the savanna and jungle although their presence is obvious. Being meat-eating and cautiously cowardly, they capture their prey in traps. These traps are found throughout this region. The wise adventurer should stay alert, as some of these traps are well-concealed. There is nothing more damaging to the dignity of the Explorer than to be discovered hanging from a footnoose by the wandering Warriors of the Simbani. While the Simbani are too polite to laugh at you, they do tend to snicker when they think you can't hear them.
- Giant Ants
- These insects are no picnic. Giant ants have unbelievable appetites and have been known to strip an elephant carcass in 2.3 seconds. They are persist-ant and resist-ant to giving up their chosen prey, be it eland or Explorer. In addition to their vise-like jaws and acid-ejecting abdomens, giant ants are deadly since they seldom stalk solo.
- Venomous Vines
- There are poisonous plants elsewhere on the planet, but none are as vicious as the Venomous Vines of the East Fricana savanna. The fruit of the vines is similar to grapes, very sweet and highly appetizing. They form on a central stalk near the center of the vine patch. When living creatures approach to poach upon the fruit, the vines whip around, snagging and trapping the animal and injecting the virulent venom with their thorns. Use caution and common sense when coming across these crummy creepers and skedaddle.
Definitely Not Quite As Amusing and Even Rather Harmful CreaturesEdit
- Flying Cobras
- Venomous vipers with wicked wings (a particularly nasty combination), Flying Cobras have the added evolutionary advantage of spitting venom as well as biting. Thus, when journeying through jungles, Poison Cure pills are recommended.
- These humanoid reptilemen are intelligent, tough and toothsome. They refuse to talk truce, (since they can't speak), and seldom spare the spear or sheath their teeth.
- While it is not clear if these are apes ascending to men or men descending to apes, Apemen combine the brute strength and toughness of the anthropoid with the stupidity and cantankerousness of the humanoid.
- These are members of jungle tribes having the magical ability to take on certain aspects of an animal and transform into a combination of human and animal. The type of animal depends upon the totem of a particular village. Some tribes, like those that assume the aspects of the Bushbaby, are pleasant to encounter. Others, like those that assume aspects of the Python, Warthog, or Leopard, are best avoided. All know magic and use spells to defend their territory from all outsiders. Shapechanger villages are extremely hard to discover since they are generally magically concealed.
- There are no moose in East Fricana.
Creatures From Which You'd Best Run AwayEdit
- Big, ugly, mean, too stubborn to quit, too stupid to die, the "Hatari Kubwa" (big danger) is definitely something to put on the feet-don't-fail-me-now list.
- Demon Worms
- Legends are told from the Mijikenda on down of the big monster they call "Utakufa" (You will die). Since no one who has ever actually seen this thing has ever lived to tell about it, rumors are sketchy. It is supposed to burrow underground after its prey and spring up out of the earth at the last moment. Most famous Explorers discard such naive native narratives as pure poppycock.
Demons: Demons are not native to this region. In fact, they are not native to this world. They enter our world through magical gates to spread chaos and desolation upon everything. The gates are opened by means of negative energy released through death or destruction. Such gates are usually temporary unless sustained by a "Gate Orb" -- a magical device that draws magic and negative energy from the air in order to maintain a gate.
Demons are resistant to fire and damage from non-magical weapons. They may be highly intelligent and magic-using (Demon Wizards), or just stupid and tough (Dumb Demons), but all Demons are dangerous.
"F. E. again. Well, that's about all you need to know to be a Famous Explorer around here. It's been good talking to you. Don't get much of a chance to talk much anymore. Seems no one wants to listen. Why, I well recall the time..."