Adventures in the Age of Dusk: The Weapon

To the west of Gal’Alor, beyond the fiefdoms of the ruthless Border Princes, the barren soil turns to the vitrified expanses of the Glass Waste. Here, savage Mazhurians raid caravans laden with salt, water and steel to survive, and horrors haunt the razor-edged desert, feeding off blood and souls. But even the strongest tribes and the greatest horrors avoid the heart of the Glass Waste.

Miles upon miles of straight-edged cliffs cut through the glass, miles deep, from the corrupted heart of this inhospitable wasteland. A horrid maze of right-angles and fractal geometry awaits those that seek the riches at its heart.  Those Mazhurian tribes that have been forced into this accursed region by internecine struggles survive here for a time, before they too fall prey to the cancer at its heart. With knives of glass they gouge these same patterns into their flesh, becoming not men, but expressions of something immense and incomprehensible. In the many disturbing oral traditions of the Mazhurians, these are known as the Taken, and they are hated and feared in equal measure.

If one passess this country-sized labyrinth, evading its carnivorous fractal trees, packs of Taken, the Thing of the Chimes, and the corrosive madness carried upon ozone-scented winds, one reaches the heart of the Glass Waste, a location of unimaginable power and corruption. A cancer in the heart of reality. It is named the Weapon, and what better name for a construction that laid waste to the Gods themselves?

To look upon it is to gaze upon insanity. A grotesque angular cathedral, sprouting towers like cancerous growths, lurks menacingly within the labyrinth’s centre. Its razor-edged angles of black glass are nevertheless moist with excretions, giving the whole a sickly organic feel. The very air is filled with a subsonic murmuring, and those that stand within sight of the Weapon cannot shake an overwhelming feeling of being watched, as though they were ants crawling between the feet of men. Those that seek it out often wish its destruction, though some merely wish to help themselves to the ancient lore jealously hoarded within its contorted innards.

But those that enter the Weapon and crawl through its cyclopean tunnels in search of riches or salvation awaits great peril indeed. For the Weapon is not without its guardians.
The re-animated corpses of fallen demi-gods, undecayed and preserved from the moment of their deaths, guard its treasures. Though mindless, these husks retain the strength and invincibility they possessed in life.
Leading these battalions of majestic carrion are the Praetorians, forged from the riven bodies of fallen deities and held together with the vitrified substance of the Weapon itself. Great halbeards with edges thinner then a blade of grass and death-masks sculpted by the dreams of a genocidal anti-deity lay waste to all but the strongest and most ruthless of antagonists.

But all this peril is not for naught. For the vaults and cavernous rooms of the Weapon hold the secrets of Old Tzyan. Eldritch weaponry and volumes of sorcerous lore are the rewards for those that have the courage, or madness, to risk it all.

For those few who still retain some vestige of the nobility of their distant ancestors that seek to destroy the weapon awaits a grim ordeal indeed. They must navigate the non-euclidian maze of the Deep Interior and the schemes of Tzyanese Sorcerers thought long dead, pass through the Gate of Thorns by anointing it with the blood of a traitor and step forth into the inverted world of the Red Fields, where the Weapon keeps most of its presence.

Antagonists/Obstacles:

The Weapon

* The Re-animated Host: The animated corpses of the gods of the age of summer.
* The Praetorians: Hunter-killers and tacticians without peer, the equal of any of the Sial-Atramentar. Look like schorpion centaurs of blood-red crystal with pale white flesh for the human/deity part. Deathmask gaze kills even faster then the hallbeard.
* The Caretakers: Glass men that tend to the weapon and will die to protect the sanctum. In theory. Even the Glass Men have been affected by the Weapon and a Glass Man civil war is currently taking place within its tunnels. Glass Men can swim through the crystalline substrate of the Weapon.
* Time-displaced adventurers/heroes: Many are the heroes that have tried to brave the Weapon, and all of them have failed. Time and Space are twisted things in the Deep interior, and those same warriors that set out to destroy it shortly after the cataclysm still prowl its innards, some mad, some sane, hoping to escape or to finish their quest. Some are convinced the others are nothing but illusions or tricks of the weapon and seek to slay them wherever they are found. Some have been co-opted and now stalk the halls with murderous intent. The most powerful and feared among them is the Harrow King Saergkhan Haerg and his personal guard of animated suits of armour (The Hollow Constabulary).
* A thousand tricks and traps: The weapon is a product of non-euclidean geometry, making mapping extremely challenging. Temporal distortions make it difficult to perceive how much time has passed, and sometimes turns are lost or gained and torches burn out in seconds. Those that stay for long within the Weapon are prone to paranoia and hallucination. The fact the Weapon is indeed sentient and is capable of changing its structure to repel intruders does not help anyone. Multiple spatial distortions that function roughly like spheres of annihilation can be found within the Weapon proper, though none can be brought into the Inner sanctum.
* Ancient Tzyanese Sorcerers: The Tzyanese have long been reduced to withered husks, sustained by the Sorcery they leech from the very air. They are trapped here too, unaware of how much time has passed. Some have been co-opted entirely and are like automatons, others continue their experimentation, One is hoping for a way out and, realising what a horror they have brought into the world, will assist in any attempt to slay it.

The Red Fields.
* The Trimetheans, ancient enemies of the Tzyanese, were enslaved and forced to construct the weapon and when it was completed they were led into the Gate of Thorns and imprisoned within the inverted world of the Carrion Fields, there to languish under its presence. Endless time-looped warfare under an inverted sky with a sun black as night and the sky rust-red like an old wound is their fate. Those that follow in the footsteps of the heroes of olden time and the first prophet of the Cult of Tzyan would do well to master these damned souls and lead them against the hosts of the Prophet. So too must the Harrow King Gormaskor and his loathsome host be defeated, for they seek not the Weapon’s destruction but its mastery.
* Atop the great Ziggurat in the centre of the fields of Carrion the nightmare substance of the Weapon is made corporeal and men can match steel and sorcery against limitless hate and unfathomable hunger. It goes without saying that people that come without packing artifact-level weaponry or some serious Sorcery are in for a rather harsh challenge. Fortunately Gormaskor had adequate foresight and brought one so perhaps you could use that one?

Treasures and rewards?!?:
The many ancient sorceries and artifacts of the Tzyanese are yours for the taking. Deiophages, Inquisitors Eyes, Weavestones, Prisms of Ethereal Imprisonment, the Eyeless Robe of Skraeg-hai and many other treasures thought lost or destroyed. Boundless riches await those that brave the Weapon.

Outline so far.

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7 thoughts on “Adventures in the Age of Dusk: The Weapon

  1. I am intrigued by this place (and the Hollow Constabulary is a fine name), but I would need more insight into the natures of these treasures before I risk having my temporals interfered with. Let’s see those loot tables, squire…

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  2. Lichway:

    [Entirely harmless picture from a close personal friend]

    I don’t know how comfortable you are with torrents, but the entire PDF run of the first 100 White Dwarf issues is out there.

    Like

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