Anyone who grew up watching Ripley's knows of Florida's Coral Castle, but not so well known is the Bosco dei Mostri. In Bomarzo, Italy, there is a garden that looks like it was designed by the same guy who designed the tomb in the Advanced D&D module Tomb of Horrors. Compare Erol Otus's green-faced devil with the Orc of Bomarzo's Monster's Grove.
Built by 16th century condotierro and patron of the arts Pier Francesco Orsini in memory of his deceased wife, the park also features statues of Ceres, Cerebus, and one of Hannibal's elephants trampling a Roman soldier. Architectural wonders include a temple and a stilted house which is reminscent of Pisa's Leaning Tower.
Looks like a great place to LARP (not that I've ever done that, mind you) and a great source of dungeon-design inspiration.
h/t to Secret Saturdays creator Jay Stephens for this one.
Thirsiz the Augur
From my Timurid clone culture, this young man is autistic except when mounted on horseback. Once on horseback, he is wise, possibly lucid, and can give prophecies.
The idea for this fellow came from a CNN story about a family that travelled to Mongolia in hopes of battling their son's autism. Having witnessed progress after stateside therapeutic riding and visits from Botswanan bush healers, the Austin, Texas family felt what better place to go than the oldest horse culture on the planet and the place where the word "shaman" was coined. John Bonifield, CNN Medical Producer, reports that even though parents Rupert Issacson and Kristin Neff "never abandoned more orthodox treatments," the double dose of hippotherapy and shamanism seem to have improved both Rowan's linguistic skills and his temper.
I've been looking for this for a long time.
2 hours ago