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Chaos Effects


Jkeown
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Here are some notes. No proper HERO constructs yet. Those will follow hard upon when I get home. I just started writing this an hour ago. 

 

If it sucks, remember I just started writing this an hour ago.

 

If it's really good, then remember that I just started writing this an hour ago.

 

Suggestions welcome. It can't get too weird!

Chaos Effects.pdf

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For more source material, try any of the Shadow Walking scenes from Zelazny's Courts books or some of the Mage War stuff from DiscWorld:

 

http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Mage_Wars

 

"Rincewind realises that they are in one in the The Colour of Magic when he flips seven coins; four land on edge and one turns into a caterpillar."

 

Also there are some spots in the Mage Winds books by Mercedes Lackey which would be appropriate.

 

I am sure there are others, those just seemed to fit best.

 

- E

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Zelazny's The Changing Land includes a powerful Chaos Zone as well.

 

White Wolf's game Exalted includes multiple sorts of uncanny terrain. The largest is the Wyld: As you travel further from the stabilizing power of the Elemental Pole of Earth at the center of the (flat) world, reality frays and breaks down until you reach the Primal Chaos that came before all things. For a summary of all things Wyld, I recommend the obviously-named Compass of Celestial Directions, Vol. II: The Wyld (though much of the material previously appeared in various First Edition books). Various magical events can cause pockets of Wyldness inside Creation, but the Wyld itself is not caused; it is the substrate from which the world was built, and out of which heroes can shape new terrain.

 

Exalted also has Demesnes, pockets of concentrated magical energy that can be aspected to any of the five elements; celestially (Solar, Lunar, or Sidereal); or Abyssal (the Underworld of the dead). Abyssal demesnes can be mistaken for Shadowlands, where Creation and the Underworld actually interpenetrate.

 

The Fair Folk from outside Creation create their own Freeholds of supernatural weirdness as havens against the calcifying power of excessive reality.

 

I can post a few examples from my own Exalted work, if you like.

 

Dean Shomshak

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<Bows> I live to serve. Here are the sample demesnes I dashed off when I was considering an Exalted campaign set in the North quarter of Creation. It never materialized, and I am quite sure now that it never will. Exalted is unfortunately the ultimate exemplar of White Wolf's style of game design: Brilliant setting, but the game mechanics are intricate in some place, grossly insufficient in others, and mined with hidden self-destructs. And I say this as someone who developed several books for the game.

 

DEMESNES OF THE NORTH

 

Wind-Harp Grove (Air 1)

The breeze never stops blowing in these several acres of scattered trees, and the wind hums as it blows through the branches. The birds and marmots that live in the grove all see in the dark and taste the air with forked tongues. They also sing humming tones that harmonize with the winds but sound quite weird on their own. (Poxes: Night Vision, Serpentine Tongue; Deficiency: Disturbing Voice.)

 

Essence Token: The music, caught using an Aeolian harp.

Power: +1 bonus success to any Performance roll based on song or music.

 

Echo Canyon (Air 1)

Any sound made within this gorge echoes throughout its entire length without losing any clarity, giving 1 bonus success to all hearing Perception rolls with no range penalties. Oversized, pale blue birds nest in the canyon. They resist even the bitterest cold and are trainable, but cannot abide warmth: They hibernate in small caves through the summer months. (Poxes: Elemental Adaptation: Air, Large; Deficiency: Temperature Sensitivity.)

 

Essence Token: A tailfeather from one of the birds.

Power: Throw your voice so it seems to come from up to 30 yards from your true location.

 

Lightning-Stone Hill (Air 2)

Thunderstorms often form above this hilltop. At such times, bolts of lightning invariably strike the natural stone spires that dot the hill. The veins of quartz that riddle the spires then glow for several minutes. The air around the hill always holds an electric tingle and a hint of ozone. Touching the stones always results in a painful shock (environmental effect, damage 1B/action, trauma 1). Nothing lives on the hill except grass and weeds.

 

Essence Token: A pebble that retains a faint glow and shocking aura.

Power: +6L soak against lightning and other electrical effects.

 

Valley of Silence (Air 2)

The air is always still in this broad, steep-walled valley. The dense pine forest that fills much of the valley gives the demesne a slight Wood aspect as well, that used to be balanced by the Water aspect of a lake in the center. The lake is silted up and more than half marsh now. A small island in the lake holds the shattered remains of a manse that exploded long ago. (The demesne used to be Air 3.) Sound does not carry in the still air: Even the loudest shout becomes inaudible more than 5 yards away.

 

People live in the Valley of Silence. They are all deaf-mutes who communicate through sign language. They are immune to cold, though, and have become translucent so they blend into their surroundings. They also have feathers instead of hair. All the animals living in the valley are also translucent and immune to cold. (Affliction: Chameleon; Poxes: Elemental Adaptation [Air], Hair Color; Deficiencies: Lost Sense [Hearing], Mute.)

 

Essence Token: A sprig of pine needles from the tip of one of the trees.

Power: +2 bonus successes to all Stealth rolls, or –2 external penalty to any Perception check to locate the token’s bearer by sound.

 

Ice Devil Peak (Air 3)

A stiff wind constantly blows about this perpetually ice-covered peak. The wind carves the ice into a maze of hollows, spires, and aretes. Some hollows hold perpetual whirlwinds of snow and glittering ice crystals.

 

Birds made of ice live on Ice Devil Peak. They are difficult to damage, but they cannot live long in temperatures much above freezing or anyplace less saturated in Essence than a demesne. (Abomination: Stone Body; Pox: Elemental Adaptation [Air]; Debility: Demesne Addiction [= Wyld Addiction]; Deficiency: Temperature Sensitivity.)

 

A colony of People of the Air live in caves in the mountain peak. Their innate affinity to Air reduced the demesne’s effect upon them, but the demesne did make them immune to cold — but also dependent on cold temperatures and superabundant Essence. (Abomination: Wings; Poxes: Elemental Adaptation [Air], Enhanced Sense [sight], Longevity; Debility: Demesne Addiction; Deficiency: Temperature Sensitivity.) The leader of the colony has enlightened Essence and is attuned to the demesne.

 

Essence Token: An ice crystal plucked from the largest whirlwind.

Power: Control winds like a Wind Jewel (see Oadenol’s Codex, p. 86).

 

Watchers’ Rock (Earth 1)

This mass of rugged granite outcroppings covers about a square mile. In the center, an acre-sized butte rises 500 feet above the lower masses. From four separate angles, the clefts and crags in the butte make it look like a human face.

 

The cracks between the lower masses of rock, and a few ledges in the central butte, hold small patches of vegetation. Atop the butte, in the very center, grows a single ancient, gnarled oak tree. It is part of the demesne’s geomancy: The tree cannot die while the demesne endures, but cutting it down would detonate the demesne.

 

Small animals, including small goats, live in the vegetated cracks in the rock, and birds nest on the central butte. Birds and beasts all have tough, gray skin, fur, and feathers, and look as tough and unappealing as the rock itself. Their flesh is similarly tough and tasteless. (Affliction: Tough Skin; Pox: Ugly.)

 

Essence Token: An acorn from the oak tree.

Power: +1L/2B innate soak.

 

Stone Palms (Earth 3)

This demesne consists of a system of limestone caves. The center is a huge cavern more than 500 feet long, 300 feet wide, and 100 feet high. Much of the cave system is only sparsely decorated, but the great cavern is full of flowstone draperies, stalactites, and stalagmites. The larger stalagmites all look like tree trunks and put forth branches at their top, as if they were slowly turning into groves of palm trees. This Wood sub-aspect to the demesne is balanced by pools of drip-water and subterranean ponds and streams in the lower level of the cave network. A geomancer can tell that this demesne is slowly growing more powerful, though it won’t reach its full potential for centuries more.

 

A small community of elkmen live in the Stone Palms. The demesne has made them blind and forces them to shun sunlight, but it compensates with tougher skin, a longer lifespan, and an incredibly keen sense of hearing. (Blight: Enlightened Essence; Afflictions: Antlers [= Horns], Tough Skin; Poxes: Enhanced Hearing, Enhanced Smell, Hooves, Large, Longevity; Debility: Blind; Deficiency: Allergy to sunlight.) They are all powerful thaumaturges who can craft a variety of talismans and other low-power artifacts.

 

The leader of the elkmen is a sorcerer who self-initiated and learned spells through the Salinan Working: The Stone Palms is a natural terminal for the Working: A sufficiently learned, perceptive, and intuitive sorcerer can find several spells coded into the cave formations. The leader has attuned to the demesne.

 

Essence Token: a cave pearl taken from one of the pools.

Power: +2 dice to Willpower, Integrity and Resistance rolls.

 

Brimstone Hill (Fire 1)

Small fumaroles dot this low, mile-wide hill. Sulfur collects around the volcanic vents. A dense cedar forest extends around the hill for another mile, but nothing grows on the hill itself but nettles and wild rue. The forest is full of russet-furred wolves with unnaturally brilliant red eyes. These wolves also have exceptionally long, sharp claws and teeth made of iron. They hunt constantly. (Affliction: Talons/Tusks/Horns; Deficiency: Hungry.)

 

People in the area know about Brimstone Hill and consider it accursed. Apart from the ferocious and ravenous red wolves, the people believe there can be nothing good about a place where hot, stinking smoke comes from the ground.

 

Essence Token: A wisp of sulfurous vapor, caught in a bottle.

Power: +1 bonus success to all Athletics rolls.

 

The Double Fountain (Water 1)

Two springs bubble out of the ground just a few yards apart. One spring is steaming hot; the other is icy cold. The two streams of water flow together into a single creek that makes almost a complete circle around the twin springs before flowing away. The whole demesne covers less than an acre, within the circle of the stream.

            The water is marvelously clear, clean, and refreshing because of its superabundant Essence. The exceptional purity of the water grants a long lifespan to animals living near the demesne, but they become sick if they drink any water that is less pure. (Pox: Longevity; Deficiency: Allergy.)

 

Essence Token: Spray from both fountains, caught at once in a crystal bowl.

Power: +2 successes to Resistance rolls against disease and poison.

 

Venefice Wood (Wood 1)

A mile-wide hollow holds a grove of ancient yew trees. Around them grow nightshade, hellebore, wolfsbane, fly agaric mushrooms, and a wide variety of other toxic herbs and fungi. Every plant, however, also has a medical use when applied in the proper dosage.

 

Rabbits, raccoons, deer, and other animals live in this toxic cornucopia. They are all toxic, too—both their flesh and their bite. They are also prone to erratic behavior: shy and skittish one moment, friendly and inquisitive the next, and fiercely hostile a moment after that. (Affliction: Toxin; Deficiency: Mood Swings.) Such behavior isn’t just the result of living in the demesne. The animals are tripping on various delirient and hallucinogenic plants, which still have some effects on the fauna even though the animals consume doses that normally would kill a mammoth.

 

Essence Token: Toxic blood from one of the rabbits.

Power: +2 dice to Medicine rolls (but unExalted bearers must have at least one dot in Medicine already).

 

The Moon Pool (Lunar 2)

This mountain pond has no inflow except rain water and no outflow at all, but stays clear and pure nonetheless. It’s almost circular, like a gibbous moon, caught in a natural bowl of pegmatite rock studded with foot-wide crystals. The pool’s surface shimmers with unnatural brilliance in the moonlight, while the crystals glow and glitter. Since the Moon Pool is above the treeline, little grows around it except for miniature morning-glories that bloom only under the full moon, their little white disks echoing the orb above.

 

No one lives in this demesne, or even very near it, but a few beastman tribes know of the Moon Pool and consider it sacred.

 

Essence Token/Power: The Moon Pool’s Essence token and its power are one and the same. Anyone who bathes in the pool when the full Moon shines on it, and who successfully performs the Pearl-Collecting Rite to acquire the demesne’s Essence token, can induce a minor, temporary mutation in himself. The Moon Pool grants one pox—whatever the bather desires. This mutation lasts as long as an Essence token would retain its power, and then disappears.

 

More importantly, perhaps, the Moon Pool can remove a pox the same way. What’s more, the mutant has a chance to remove the pox permanently as if he had power-quested in a Bordermarch (see CoCD: Wyld, p. 141). The Moon Pool cannot deal with any mutation more severe than poxes, though some afflictions and blights can be represented by a pox taken two or three times. The Moon Pool can gradually reduce such mutations, if the Wyld mutant has sufficiently strong will and a lot of luck. Fortunately, a failed attempt to remove a Wyld mutation leaves the character no worse off than she was before. Of course, the person must already be attuned to the demesne.

 

The Moon Pool is cold. Any attempt to use its power incidentally involves a multiple action: the Pearl-Collecting Rite, with a simultaneous (Stamina + [Resistance or Survival]) roll to avoid hypothermia. Failing the latter roll results in the character losing consciousness, and death if no one is on hand to pull him out. Charms that grant immunity to cold negate this hazard.

 

Midwinter Valley (Solar 2)

This two mile long, narrow valley has steep walls of yellow tufa and pink granite veined with pyrite. On the first day of Resplendent Water—midwinter, the shortest day of the year—the sun rises framed exactly by the eastern end of the valley. Only at this hour does the entire valley receive light: At any other hour, of any other day, some part of the valley is in shadow.

 

Midwinter Valley is always a bit warmer than its surroundings, and on Midwinter Day it warms like springtime. Oak trees grow on the valley floor. Their leaves have a golden shimmer, and their acorns are always sweet. The eagles, deer, and wildcats that live in the valley have white and golden fur and feathers, while everyone in the small human community has fair skin and golden hair. The people and animals of the valley all live twice as long as normal and heal amazingly well, but cannot survive for long anywhere else. (Affliction: Exalted Healing; Poxes: Skin/Hair Color, Longevity; Debility: Demesne Addiction.)

 

The people of Midwinter Valley live on acorns and vegetables. They also grow a variety of medicinal herbs, which are more potent than the normal varieties and make the valley a stop for Guild merchants. The valley folk also cultivate a daisy-like yellow flower that grows only in Solar demesnes; its flowers are one of the ingredients for seven bounties paste.

 

Essence Token: One of the golden flowers.

Power: Heal wounds and resist diseases as an Exalt.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Here are the Wyld pockets I wrote up. Demesnes show a strong elemental theme, but Wyld pockets can have anything -- the forms and qualities of existence shuffled any which way.

 

WYLD POCKETS OF THE NORTH

 

Amethyst Tower (Bordermarch/Freehold)

A 10-yard hedge of brush and briars armed with finger-length, venomous thorns surrounds an acre-sized pumpkin patch. The vines of this patch always bear violet pumpkins. In the center of the patch rises a tower of glittering amethyst. The door’s only tower is located at the top, beneath a spire of huge crystal pumpkin flowers.

Inside the tower lives a beautiful maiden in amethyst chains, held prisoner by scarecrows with jack-o-lantern heads. The scarecrows call pumpkin vines to slither up the tower, and the pumpkin they pluck is full of whatever food or other commodity they or the maiden desire.

 

The maiden, of course, is one of the Fair Folk. She enjoys being rescued by heroes. In her story, it isn’t enough to kill her hobgoblin guards: her chains break only when she is deflowered. She marries her besotted rescuer, feeds on him until he’s left a soulless husk, and then goes back to the tower to await her next rescuer.

 

Cloud Lake (Bordermarch)

This lake covers almost a square mile. The water looks and feels like fog, but moves like water. People can both swim and breath in it. The lake stays at the temperature of a balmy spring day. Fish, frogs, and insects live in the lake, but the vertebrates all have three eyes. Instead of water weeds, the lake bed is covered in moss and assorted shrubs in all stages of their seasonal cycles. The vegetation includes various berry bushes, though the berries don’t always grow on the proper sort of bush.

 

The Fane Tergiversant (Freehold)

This Fair Folk freehold occupies an Air 2 demesne. The entrance is hidden in the ruins of a temple, through a doorway in a section of crumbling wall. The rambling, chaotic halls of the fane form one waypoint of the freehold; the other five are large courtyards within the fane. The only way to reach an “outside” is back through one of the courtyards, which holds the freehold’s sole entrance and exit.

 

The Fair Folk of the Fane play at piety. Every few months, they pick a new god and devote themselves to its worship. Since Fair Folk have no souls, their worship gives no benefit to the god; but then, the Fae don’t care what the god wants anyway. Each time they change gods, they capture a bunch of people and demand that each one of them invent a new sacrificial ritual. The Fair Folk pick the ritual they find most dramatic. They sacrifice the other mortals using the winner’s ritual, and the winner has to watch. Then they give the winner a boon—not of his choice, but treasures of glamour or gossamer are common choices—and set him free.

 

Frost Fern Meadow (Bordermarch)

It’s always below freezing on this acre of rocky ground. The fernlike traceries of frost on the rocks grow larger and larger until they become actual ferns — but still made of delicate frost that melts at a touch. If something melts enough ferns to form a small pool, and the water then freezes on an exceptionally cold night, the result might be a small quantity of unmelting ice. The Wyld pocket already holds a few small deposits of unmelting ice (Resource 2 value). The rocks themselves look like human heads carved of stone, no two alike; a searcher can always find his own head in the meadow, if he looks long enough.

 

Graphic Spires (Tainted Land)

An area of several square miles is dotted with sandstone spires between 30 and 50 feet wide and 150 to 200 feet tall. Channels and hollows in the stone form Realm calligraphy. Some spires hold brief excerpts from the Immaculate texts, while others hold “Knock Knock” jokes. Miniature trees grow between the spires, with miniature animals. All the animals have bird heads. (The birds, however, are normal.)

 

Snowberry Patch (Tainted Land)

This half-acre is covered in cloudberry bushes, but the fruit has turned stark white. The fruit is also ice-cold no matter what the ambient temperature. It chills those who eat it — a pleasant treat on a warm summer day, and medically useful for bringing down fever. Snowberries could grow in other tainted lands, which could make these areas potentially profitable.

 

Unweather Dell (Bordermarch)

In this valley, all precipitation happens backwards. Patches of ground become moist mud, then puddles, while all the landscape becomes wet and drops of water separate and fall up into the clouds. Water freezes into snow, that likewise sifts up into the sky.

 

During the summer, all the trees and bushes in the dell bear miniature canteloupes. Eating them makes you hungrier than you were before. All the animals have serpentine tongues. Like the melons, eating them makes you hungrier.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Finally, some shadowlands. Large numbers of deaths, or deaths of exceptional horror, fray Creation and let the Underworld bleed through. Shadowlands are uncanny places during the day; but at night they merge with the Underworld and the ghosts become as solid as mortal folk.

 

(I managed to work versions of Naldestra and Karroth Vlan into a couple of Exalted supplements. You see them here in their original forms.)

 

SHADOWLANDS OF THE NORTH

 

Castle Pest

A few centuries ago, a Dragon-Blooded lord tried to escape an outbreak of the Black Death by sealing himself and his entourage into a remote fortress with enough food—they hoped—to wait until the epidemic burned itself out. The plague found a way into the castle, however, and everyone inside it died within a week. The castle became a shadowland. The ghostly residents still pretend they are alive and the Black Death shall pass.

 

Possible castle locations:

• The mountains. The castle seals off a narrow, cliff-walled valley where the residents hoped to grow extra food.

• The sea. The castle is on a small island; the residents fished to supplement their stores. Sometimes, the lights from the castle deceive unwary mariners into wrecking their ship.

• A river. The castle is on a small but rocky island in a large river. Again, the residents fished. Boaters cannot avoid passing by Castle Pest, but they try to do so by day.

 

Candle Mire

This patch of flat, boggy ground looks safe enough, but it’s so laced with quicksand and hidden, water-filled pits that the whole mire is a death trap several miles wide. Local folk know to avoid it. More than a century ago, however, a troop of refugees fleeing war blundered into the mire as they traveled by night. Almost no one made it out, and their deaths turned a small patch of the bog into a shadowland.

 

The ghosts of the refugees still haunt the bog, and they still carry the small rush-lights they used when they died. These lights, which local folk call corpse-candles, sometimes lure other nighttime travelers into the mire. The ghosts don’t mean to do this, but their compulsion to cross the bog by night ensures that the Candle Mire continues to claim victims.

 

Ghost City of Naldestra

During the Shogunate, Naldestra was the largest city along the Rimewash River, built at its juncture with its main tributary, the Elk River. The Great Contagion struck the city in midwinter. Those who did not die from the plague found themselves trapped in a new shadowland.

 

Naldestra remains the largest shadowland in the Rimewash valley. Thousands of ghosts huddle in the necropolis, both the original dead and later ghosts from throughout the region. In Creation, the city is long gone. At night, however, the ghostly city reappears on the Rimewash bank and phantom lights twinkle through the darkness. Mortal folk shun Naldestra. Travelers avoid being near the shadowland when night falls.

 

Less than a dozen miles away across the river lies the new city of Riverfair, which has grown for the same reason Naldestra did: It’s a good place for a trade city. So far, the people of Riverfair shun Naldestra, while the city of the dead largely ignores the city of the living.

 

The Fatal Chantry, however, has a branch office in Naldestra to assist recent ghosts who may want to stay in communication with mortal descendants. As Riverfair grows, it produces ghosts. Many Riverfair ghosts want to stay near their mortal kin, but some of them go to Naldestra. Not only do they call on the Fatal Chantry’s services, they pull the old Naldestran ghosts into contact with the dead who remain in Riverfair.

 

The Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible also recently sent missionaries to Naldestra. The Bishop’s followers agitate for the Naldestrans to force mortals to honor the dead. Much of his support comes from the Riverfair ghosts and other new ghosts. The chantry and the Bishop’s followers have their own rivalry, though. The Fatal Chantry advocates a moderate form of ancestor cult in which the living and the dead help each other, while the Bishop’s cult demands that that the living should serve the dead and receive nothing until they die themselves.

 

In the Northern Underworld, Naldrestra sits beside the Fimbulthul River, the Underworld’s analog to the Rimewash, near its joining with its tributary the Ylg.

 

Karroth Vlan, the City of Ashes

Two centuries ago, King Veltarxes seized the throne from his older brother with the help of the Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible. In return, he gave the Deathlord all three of the demesnes in his little kingdom. The Bishops’ necromantic backing enabled Veltarxes to rule as a tyrant and bully his neighbor city-states, petty kingdoms and tribes. He even defied the Exalted of Dragontor. Veltarxes’ people hated their usurper king for his taxes, wars and demands for forced labor in fortifying the kingdom, almost as much as they feared the nemissaries and charnel war machines that supported his rule.

 

Of course, Veltarxes went mad. As Dragontor’s army closed around his capital, he locked the gates of Karroth Vlan so his people could not open them to the invaders. Then his nemissary guards set fire to Karroth Vlan. As the city and his palace burned around him, Veltarxes took poison and declaimed his own funeral oration. The horrified besiegers rushed to break down the gates and lift scaling-ladders over the walls to rescue as many people as they could, but thousands burned and Karroth Vlan became a shadowland as soon as the embers cooled.

 

In Creation, only the blackened walls and scorched, tumbled bricks of Karroth Vlan remain. At night, however, a whole ghost city appears—the grave goods of King Veltarxes, a funeral offering he burned to himself. Veltarxes remains loyal to the Deathlord, though his madness makes him an erratic ally. Nevertheless, the City of Ashes gives the Deathlord a major base within the southern Rimewash valley.

 

Sorric’s Howe

The Wildgrave Sorric surrendered to the warlord Iron-Eye on condition that his troops could return home. Iron-Eye broke his promise, however, and massacred Sorric and the now-disarmed soldiers. The warlord dumped the bodies in a common grave. At the last moment, Iron-Eye erected a memorial cairn and had a priest say some prayers, but it was not enough. The howe became a small shadowland, and a flood of hungry ghosts slew Iron-Eye and many of his troops.

 

The ghosts of Sorric and about 20 of his soldiers still dwell around the howe. They are well-disposed to their descendants. Young warriors come to Sorric’s Howe to meet their most famous ancestor and receive his blessing. Tradition says that a soldier should visit the howe only once; they will spend more than enough time there after they, too, die.

 

Starvation Heights

Decades ago, several dozen miners and their families settled on a high ridge to mine a deposit of rock crystal they thought would make them rich. They brought a herd of goats they expected to feed them through the winter—fearing claim-jumpers, they were in too much of a hurry to secure a more certain livelihood. Just as the snows closed in, however, a murrain wiped out half the goats. After half the mining camp starved to death and the last goats were eaten, the survivors turned to cannibalism. This guaranteed that everyone who died would rise as a hungry ghost. Not one man, woman or child lived to see the spring, and the exceptional horror of their deaths ripped Creation to make a shadowland.

 

The ghosts still mine the ridge, though they extract the dark crystals of the Underworld. Greed brought them to this spot, and that passion still binds them to the place where they died. They also still feel the terrible hunger that killed them. The exceptional evil of their lives and deaths further turned their mineshafts into an entrance to the Labyrinth and the whispers of Oblivion. The ghosts are all mad, cannibalistic spectres. Only their insanity prevents them from becoming a greater danger—they have a direct conduit from the Labyrinth to Creation that entities of greater power could use. Any mortal who comes to Starvation Heights, though, faces certain, murderous attack in this ghost town.

 

The Wailing Pit

When the Great Contagion struck anearby city, people died too quickly even for mass graves. Instead, the people who survived (for the moment) dumped the dead into a neaby sinkhole with wholly inadequate prayers. Before long, many of the infected threw themselves into the pit in hopes that at least they could stem the Contagion’s spread. Their death and despair turned the sinkhole into a shadowland.

 

The town is long gone, but hungry ghosts of some of the victims still sometimes congregate at the sinkhole. So do ghosts who became spectres at the moment of their death through sheer despair. Their howls and cries give the Wailing Pit its name. The pit also offers a reliable supply of ghostly minions for any Abyssal, Deathlord or other servant of Oblivion who acts in the area. The people who live nearest the pit know it as a lethally accursed place that they should shun at all costs.

 

Dean Shomshak

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A shadowland might be,, hmm, an EDM-based Gate with a Trigger (nightfall) that automatically resets. Area can range from a single basement where a serial killer tortured and slew his victims to an entire country. You could use the same writeup for other sorts of dimensional interpenetrations.

 

Here's a classic: The magnetic mountain that sinks passing ships by ripping the nails from the hull. It appears in Mandeville's Travels, I think in the Arabian Nights (not sure I trust my memory here), and probably goes back to Pliny. MegaScale TK, only affects iron.

 

One of the Oz books had the exiled Nome King crossing the Ripple Land, that constantly rises and falls like ocean waves. He found it extremely annoying. I'm not sure how you'd write it up. Maybe just a Change Environment penalizing Running, to represent the extra exertion of crossing land that won't stay still?

 

Dean Shomshak

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  • 2 months later...

Here are some notes. No proper HERO constructs yet. Those will follow hard upon when I get home. I just started writing this an hour ago. 

 

If it sucks, remember I just started writing this an hour ago.

 

If it's really good, then remember that I just started writing this an hour ago.

 

Suggestions welcome. It can't get too weird!

Shadow world with its essence storms could produces effects like this.

https://rpggeek.com/rpgsetting/443/shadow-world-rolemaster

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