Monday, July 24, 2017

Setting: The Great Discape

While bored at work the other day, the following thoughts came into my head in quick succession.

“I sure do love Planescape.”

“Oh hey, the Outlands are a big disc.”

“I sure do love worlds that are also discs.”

“What if all the planes were mashed into the Outlands which was also being carried around on something’s back.”

“The turtle is traditional but what about whales? Bahamut needs love.”

“Also I need to do something different with alignments. Humours are good. Can work out the outer planes later.”

“I should make this a setting.”

So I made it a setting.

Perfect.

The City in the Center

A mobius torus of alabaster and samite, with streets of marble and pillars of oldest basalt. The homes of the gods are built here, tumbled together and layered atop each other. The passing of Time is marked by the ringing of the city’s twelve mighty bells, each a cathedral of its own. The one hundred and eight forms of Death maintain order between the gods and watch over the Great Discape below. Vast flocks of winged servants carry prayers and pilgrims to and from the city. The gods debate and feast and fight and fuck in the City’s plazas and pools and parks. The hymns of the angelic legions are never ceasing, and the air is redolent with incense and heavy with prayers.

Floating in the center of the city, above the very peak of the mountain Vüngelbraeskilnük, is MANA YOOD SHUSHAI – the creator of the gods, the creator of the Great Discape, the First and Only, he who is worshiped by the gods alone, who slumbers forever in the center of all things.

Vüngelbraeskilnük

The mountain in the center of the world, reaching up all the way to the City in the Center. Its slopes are pocked with the caves of the night-gaunts, studded with the palaces of the ice giants, engraved with switchback pilgrimage paths. Vast-winged eagles that never land to nest fly cry keening songs in the crystalline air.

In the temple at the mountain’s ice-capped peak lives Skarl the Drummer, whose heart-shaped drum and its constant beat keep MANA YOOD SUSHAI lulled in his slumber. Were Skarl ever to stop, the world would cease to be.

The City Below the Center

A ring-shaped metropolis around the base of Vüngelbraeskilnük, where peoples from all over the Great Discape come together in chaos and argumentation. It is a city of streets like broken fingers, of canals coughing up technicolor sludge, of buildings built like tumors.

The City Below is ruled by 36 Arcarchs, each ruling over a ten-degree slice of the city. Theirs is a restless life, attempting to balance the machinations of both the criminal guilds and the other 35 Arcarchs. But there is progress being made: the days before the abolition of slavery are fading memories in the minds of the grandfolk, there are more schools and hospitals opening up, the city guard has been mostly cleaned out, and one can occasionally find a legitimate business with only a little bit of effort. For all the chaos within the City Below, the atmosphere is one of optimism.

Environment Types of the Central Humorous Low-Land

Sanguine Savanna

Blood-and-gold grasses appear as waves of fire under the wind sunlight. Clusters of acacia trees and baobabs break the horizon. When the rainy season comes, the storms bark with laughter and the newborn lightninglings leap between the thunderheads. The inhabitants follow the rains and the herds of cup-headed russeceroses in an eternal cycle. Territory is marked by stamping down patterns in the grass, to be seen from above by tribal balloonsmen.

Choleric Desert

A cracked expanse of off-yellow grit and salt crust. Everything smells faintly of urine, and any moisture has long since been baked away. Anything living that finds itself in these lands will find itself dead in short order, and shortly thereafter animated by whatever sparks of hate that might still jump between its desiccated neurons. The deserts are rich grounds for mining salt and antiwater (it looks something like bismuth), drawing the crazy or desperate from afar. The local inhabitants, mummified ages ago, sit in their spiteful spires and bicker. The hateful dead have nothing better to do.

Phlegmatic Forest

Temperate rainforests, perpetually shrouded by mists. The wildlife is placid and lonesome – the larger beasts stride through the silvery mists with moss growing out of their fur and birds nesting in their antlers, while the smaller creatures scurry in the ferns beneath. The trees are like towers, their thick bark carved by growth and elements into a story of the years. It is a place for meditation on the bank of a mirror-pool. The inhabitants live in seclusion, their settlements hidden in the mists. They have emptied themselves of noise and bother and worry, and might offer a clay bottle of it to those who come to them

Melancholic Bog

Black, cadaverous swampland. Half-rotted trees, peat pits, ghost-fires, brackish water, clammy cold. Chemical vents belch smoke and haze skywards to be trapped by the bordering hills. It is the domain of bugs, slimy things, and misshapen creatures. Things sink into the bogs – slowly, ever slowly. Everything sinks and does not rise again. In the pits that the peat miners dig they find the past in layers. Bog Cake, they call it. The inhabitants of this place have hunched backs and downward-cast eyes. Their pale skin oozes black ichor, sucked up from the guts of the blind catfish fish they eat.

The Rim Lands

Towards the edge of the Great Discape, past the Lands-In Balance, the land takes different shapes and the people different forms, breaking away from the trends of the Humorous Low-Lands. They will not be elucidated upon at this time.

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