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A to Z – Infernal Realms

11 April, 2018

Infernal PlaceOne of the end results of the Gods War was a sealing off of the Sea of Stars from outside realms, some more so that others.  The higher, heavenly, and lower, infernal realms were deliberately and effectively cut off from the Sea of Stars while magic could pierce the barriers, it is difficult and the called beings find themselves drawn back to their native realm.

Naturally, the rulers of the infernal realms are not happy with this situation, they are certain that if they could gain unrestricted access to the mortal realms again they could, at the very least, reap a harvest of souls and, at best, conquer the world and and promote themselves to gods.  Unfortunately, the new nature of the world works against them in so many ways.

  • Hell reaches for youIncreasingly powerful magics are required to bring over more than the most minor being.  Once summoned, the magical membrane separating the realms moves to close and to eject any creature from the lower realms (or, to be fair, the higher realms as well) unless they are bound to a contract or a physical object or being in this one.  If the binding is broken, the process of ejection begins anew.
  • The new morality of Dominae makes many of the sins that the lower beings feed on and leverage into corruption people into acceptable and even expected action.  How can a demon tempt you into what is expected or even encouraged?
  • The dragons have no wish to see new rivals to their power and while a small number of dragons will make minor deals with the lower planes it is always from a position of strength and never for more than minor boons or servants.  Most dragons ruthlessly hunt down infernalists and dark cults with the same zeal they destroy zealots wishing to resurrect the gods.

This does not stop the infernal realms from seeking a foothold, or cults from seeking a new dark, god or infernalists seeking power, but it does make all of their paths much more difficult.  Thus demons and other infernal beings a known but rare danger in the Sea of Stars.

Notes: Just under the wire on this one.

Image of the Palace “Inferno. Hell.” by Luciano and of the grasping hands of hell, “A Depiction of Hell” by David Wiley both are licensed under CC BY 2.0.

 

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Tuesday Magic Item / A to Z – Hell Lance

10 April, 2018

Knight with lance“Look, they are bringing up their elite.  The knights of the doomsday?” Voddick asked, not sure if he remembered the name correctly.

“Indeed, armed with weapons left over from the Gods War, forged in hell flames and other such fanciful nonsense,” said Gollaon.

“Does that indicate that they are not exceedingly dangerous?”

“Well, yes, but less so because of the weapons.  They were forged primarily to fight a divine foe that no longer exists, but they are still potent magic items.”

Hell Lance

These weapons are deliberately constructed to look cruel and vicious with hooks and barbs common motifs, made of black or red tinted steel with poles of dark wood reinforced with strips of metal and studs.  They are as much a tool of intimidation as a weapon of war.

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A to Z – Giant Bone

9 April, 2018

Bone“Weapons made of bone,” Voddick shook his head.  “I cannot help but find them distasteful.”

“Understandable,” said Gollaon inspecting a dagger carved from bone.  “Using what was once an animal, or a person, as a weapon has a stench of necrourgy to it.”

“Agreed,” nodded Voddick.  “I will stick to steel and bronze.”

Giant bone is a prized material, as hard as metal, it can be shaped and it easily accepts enchantments aligned with the elemental nature of the giant it was harvested from.  The larger the bone, the larger the giant and the more elementally powerful the giant was, all play into the value of the a piece of giant bone.

Since the aftermath of the Gods War, the number of giants has declined precipitously and new giant bone has become increasing rare, though some Draconic Houses are said to retain a considerable stockpile of giant bones.

One of the rarer classes of sky ships use alchemical treated bones, usually the ribs, of the sky giants incorporated into the hulls to provide lift.  Their magic has proved very potent and many of these ships still travel the skies even today.

Notes: Many, many years back I remember reading an article, I think it was in Sorcerer’s Apprentice magazine, that discussed giants and if a humanoid was as large as a giant, it would have to have bones like structural steel and blood like acid.  This has always inspired my thinking about giant bone.  Additionally, in the RuneQuest book of treasures, there was a legendary lance carved from the thigh bone of a giant (because giants in Glorantha are really big).

Image cropped from “Bokeh Bone” by Al King is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A to Z – Fantastic Foods of the Sea of Stars

6 April, 2018

The Sundering and the release of strange magics in the aftermath of the Gods War has produced many odd things to mix with the many foodstuffs that existed before.  Most anything sort of food that exist here in Earth can be found in the Sea of Stars.  Additionally, there are many stranger and more unusual edibles to be found, such as:

  • Food!Eternal apples from the Stone Forest of Vut, while their fruit is grey, and the flesh slightly grainy, they keep indefinitely (or at least for centuries).
  • Self-cooking barley from the Sulfur Hills, the grain tossed into water boils the water and cooks itself but it does taste of mildly of sulfur.
  • Fish from the Fish Trees of Malabar, packed and salted in barrels.  Their wooden bones can serve as toothpicks.
  • Blue honey from the giant sapphire bees of the Karulean mountains.  It is said that the mead brewed from it can provide the ability to fly.
  • Rat steaks, and other cuts, harvested from the giant rats of Tikk Most, where there are raised like pigs.  Sadly, the merchants of Tikk Most have not been able to convert rat meat into much of an export commodity.
  • Rainbow wheat from the fields of Khelm are extremely colorful, though it takes considerable work to sort the grains by color.  Chickens, or other foul, fed the grain produce eggs with shells of the same color.
  • The glowing shrimp netted in the waters off the Pearl Cities, cooking in the proper spices will adjust the color of the glow from yellow to orange, pink or even lavender, the most difficult color to obtain.

There is more, much more, but that is all I have for you today.

Notes: Image “Food” by Ray_LAC is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

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A to Z – Enigma of the Sea of Stars

5 April, 2018

This is a collection of unanswered, perhaps unanswerable questions about the Sea of Stars:

  • Shattered and sunderedWhy did the Sundering happen?  Was it a final act of spite of the Gods?  A miscalculation on behalf of the Empress?  An end result of the titanic energy unleashed during the Gods War?
  • Where did the Visse, the race of small humans that serve the dragons, come from?  Where they always around and never noticed?  Did the Empress somehow create them?  Were they once other being transformed as a reward or punishment?
  • How has the Moon escaped death at the hands of the Dragons since the Gods War?  Especially as the Moon Sect is the source of such chaos and disruption.
  • How did the Wash survive?  And how did it become Petrichor?

Notes: Busy day and and thus a short A to Z entry.

Image  “Shattered Glass #2” by Ben Becker is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A to Z – Dragon’s Blood

4 April, 2018

It only takes a dropThe very essence of dragons is magic, no where is this more apparent then in their blood which is a potent magical enhancer . . . and addictive to any magic user who partakes of it.

This is the real thing, the blood of a dragon, alchemically refined to keep its potency. (Though fresh dragon’s blood has the same effects, it must be drunk quite soon after it is spilled or the magic is lost.) The appearance of the dragon’s blood depends on the type of dragon it came from.  It also carries a ‘taste’ of sense impressions which give a sensorial clue to the personality, elemental alignment and soul of the dragon it was drawn from.

Consuming dragon’s blood fills one with power and confidence, heightening natural magic use and washing away cares.  However, the users is filled with a overwhelming sense of power and desire and the consumer may indulge in actions and activity they would normally consider unthinkable as it also washes away inhibitions.  Unfortunately, it also burns through the body’s energy reserves, leaving the user tired and weak when it wears off (though a good meal will help recovery).

Using actual dragon’s blood as a base, alchemists have developed a substance that is close to dragon’s blood, though not as potent. To those who have not tasted the real thing, the synthetic is sweet and potent, but to those who have tasted the true blood, it seems bitter and incomplete.

Those unfortunates who have tasted and become addicted to dragon’s blood often turn to the use of the synthetic to satisfy their cravings for power.  The synthetic requires a trace of dragon blood or a larger amount of blood from one of the dragonkine or false dragons as a base.

A small number of debased dragonkine sell their blood to alchemists for such uses.  Some true dragon consider the manufacture of synthetic dragon’s blood (or even the refining of true dragn’s blood) an insult and will destroy the laboratory and maker of such.

Notes: Dragon’s blood is an interesting lot device which I have only rarely used in my campaign.  Dangerous to use but some will pay any price for power.

Image “Blood Hibiscus” by Kryziz Bonny is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Cobra-Cat Chain

3 April, 2018

Cat Chain“I would not get too close,” cautioned Golloan as Voddick stepped closer to the long bodied cat.

“I will not, I do not have much like with such beasts,” Voddick replied, keeping his distance.

“Good as I suspect this cat is more than it appears.”

Cobra-Cat Chain

These items are made in pairs, a chain collar for the pet and a bracelet or necklace for the owner.  Almost always made of precious metals, silver being the most common, and occasional having suspended baubles.

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