Wednesday, 13 August 2014

From the Osteolix to the Inner Clumps

Underworld Lore #4 is coming this week, which means the Arcane Dwellings table needed to be done faster than expected, so I did the last nine myself, to be sure there are 30 ready to go.

If you want to add any, like Red Orc did with the Threshold of Eternity on Monday, go right ahead, and Greg can push that many of mine off the list.

The Osteolix
Have we got an astounding self-timeshare opportunity for you! Our insane arcane architects will bend time and space and reason itself to construct for you a fine retreat - within your very own body! That's right: a spacious home in any single bone, internal deposit or exoskeletal plate of your choosing! Be in even when you're out! Shelter from the chill within your very own marrow! Look inside yourself and see your essential nature in a whole new mood lighting! Expensive? It can hardly cost an arm or a leg when you keep the limb and the limb keeps you! Arrange a looping today!

Begun as a modest chalk circle on an oddly vulnerable site and expanded by innumerable frantic arcanists down the ages, this complex system of trans-Euclidian lines in a range of materials has become a labyrinthine fortress capable of resisting any imaginable onslaught at least somewhere within its extent, up to and including the onslaught of reason, as many of its most rational architects have found if the signs are to be believed. For messages smuggled out via dimension and plane, by ingenious means, suggest the sanctuary has become a nigh on unnavigable nightmare, a hungry honeycomb sucking in those seeking only a safe place to hole up, occupied by maddened figures in flight and hybrid populations of the traumatised, hunted through crazy spaces by unlikely beings summoned into existence in final acts of desperation, or trapped in their turn while sheltering from still greater threats. Hide by all means, but careful where...

Fed by essential waters bubbling up from deep springs, this creek will dissolve a persistent swimmer over a period of 1d3 turns per HD, once a turnly save is first failed; gathering oneself together once dissolved and pulling free takes twice as long. While protected amid its reed banks, a guest can rest easily on the silty bed, rising and falling with the tide and quite literally mingling with fellow waders and wallowers. However, the life of a solution is no solution for life: the evaporated salts of the surrounding flood plains speak drily of the existential risk of lingering out of season...

The Salt Cellar
Hidden among the whispering dunes alongside Waterborne is a shallow pit half-filled with the local salts, gathered, sieved and compacted by the once-pitying former hands of a husk now sprawled nearby. This glittering mass constitutes an underworld in which the essences of 1d100 x 10 evaporated and leeched beings merge and live on, knowing each other almost innately but rarely able to form true compounds. It yearns in many hundreds of voices, and burns even several yards away, leeching the essence of the inquisitive into itself at a rate of one level per turn, once a turnly save is first failed. Restoration requires rehydration, with each of the evaporated or leeched beings then popping back into existence, albeit heavily intermixed, with each initial being now scattered among 1d100 new.

The Wandering Chamber
This well-travelled set of polished stalk panels is usually chanced upon in transit or temporary storage, often close by a thoroughfare, in a coach house, distribution centre or buffer, more rarely buried or otherwise concealed to prevent discovery, as at times of war. When assembled to its tattered plans, more or less accurate copies of which exist in many lands, it frames a room out of time in which all past, present and future occupants again coexist, breaking off their ageless discussions only to write out the export licences, packing notes and directions for the next leg.

Abandoned now for long years and heavily rotted despite its lamination, this stiffened wood pulp villa consisting of three geographically remote single-room cabins is in fact one structure refracted into three constituent colours and scattered to the vertices of the world. Each cabin has but one hue, either 1) cyan, 2) magenta or 3) yellow, with an occupant able to leap from one to the other by use of a suitable chromatic magic. Unfortunately, each set of walls, door, floor and roof form a physical barrier to the given constituent colour only, and only to the extent that the colour is present, allowing entities reflecting less in this hue to force access more easily, perhaps explaining the abandonment. Rumour persists of three further cabins, combinations of the hues, while wilder speculation claims that a previous owner resides even now within a unified seventh, entirely black.

The Skyscratcher
This well-appointed crow's nest several miles above the countryside is entirely invisible, as is the mast upon which it rises. If the base can be found and the long ladder climbed, or access gained by another means, ownership can be taken back from the creatures of the upper skies. A little lacking in privacy perhaps, and breezy too, with sphincter-clenching swings through arcs of several hundred yards at a time - but what a view!

The Co-Riddor and the Junk Room
Hoarding instinct out of control? Contemptible home furnishing decisions? Simple inability to get on with your fellow residents? Live with your failings no longer! Just plug your dwelling into the Co-Riddor and we'll carry them off through our intracosmic back passage! And that's not all. You want a new life? We'll bring you one! It's not the rats in the walls - it's us! The Co-Riddor! And now, introducing the Junk Room! Feel like trash? Just want to live in a world of your own? We've got the pocket universe for you!

The Inner Clumps
As the dusts of upholsteries, insulations and tissues is ground down fine by the action of deep dwelling itself, they may pass out through the fabric of the cosmos and whirl in the crawlspaces beyond, where none but the subtler spirits make their homes. There the true nature of living beings and their furnishings grows apparent in impossible structures born of dreams of shelter, warmth and bliss, but wracked by decay, tension and catastrophic failure. While these outer clumps may be reached through a heart of hearts, and even occupied by those so inclined, they have their counterparts in the dusts trickling back in opposite directions, particles flowing in from other worlds - perhaps drawn for certain ends - to coalesce in warped reflections of those peri-homes and stand in all their beauty and horror in plain sight here, among and within the most intimate of spaces...

So that's it. If you have got one you want to go in UL #4, now's the time to post it here.


Red Orc said...

You have been busy! Well done on finishing the list - I was planning on adding at least one more but hadn't realised the deadline was upon us.

I particularly like the Scribble. The idea of a labyrinth made up of the remains of protection spells is pretty blinking intriguing.

Porky said...

I like that one too and I think it has a lot of potential, and in various worlds and maybe even as a point of crossover. Yesterday I was thinking something like it could be a funky home base for a reworking or alternate version of 40K's Grey Knights.