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Tuesday, 17th June, 2008, 08:52 PM #1
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
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<Homebrew> The Port on the Aster Sea
Any feedback is appreciated.
Synopsis: the action takes place in and around a port city on the shores of a metaphysical sea after an end of the world.
Setting: the world is a narrow band of mundane reality commonly called the Middling Lands, or by some, the Clutch, situated between the Aster Sea to the east and the Interior to the west.
The Aster Sea (Astral) leads to other planes of existence, which the port locals think of as islands. To sail east on the Aster is to sail away from human understanding. It is dotted with islands populated by monsters of ever-decreasing comprehensibility . Sail far enough and you’ll reach Azazoth/pure chaos.
The Interior is a vast primal land resembling a mythologized Australian Outback that corresponds to the psyche. Travelers in the Interior are frequently attacked by the things they fear the most; their personal demons. Travel far enough into the Interior and you’ll reach the Ultimate Self (first yours, then God's).
History: the world was once a normal planet that got “unraveled” during the Calamity, which separated the World Before from the World After.
This was either the result of an apocalyptic final battle between the Dragonborn and Tiefling empires, or the result of their apocalyptic cooperation in an attempt to halt Time and thus prevent the coming Age of Men.
The Port: possible names: Port Saudade? Port Aubade? Port Worlorn?, Port Yesod? Port Tav?, Port Eschaton? Port Erewhon? Port Nowhere?, Port Meirion?, Penultima Thule?, the Port of Interzone?.  maybe the port should be nameless? Or Nameless?
- The port is ruled by a Governor. He in turn claims allegiance to the never-seen Duke Beyond the Sea, who might be immortal, dead, or the product of the Governor’s paranoid delusions. Portraits of the Duke resemble the Horned God in fancy dress.
- The port lies in the delta formed by two rivers; the River Livia and the Ossuary Flow, which originates in the Interior. Strange things sometimes float in on the Ossuary; empty stone boats, giant infants in reed baskets, potential Messiahs.
- In a way, the city is every port city of the World Before folded together into one; a riot of different architectural styles and eras. In some places this is the result of normal building on top of previous construction, in others it’s a parfait of folded, urban space-time, including bits of the future world yet-to-come. In the port you never quite know what you’ll find in someone’s basement…
- The Preservation Alliance seeks to preserve historic architecture. Its secret mission is to recover ancient relics and future wonders.
- The Oceanographic Guild attempts to chart the whole of the Aster Sea, which is the most dangerous pursuit in the world. It’s made up of mystics and suicides.
- The Geographic Society attempts to map the Interior, which is the second most dangerous pursuit in the world. It’s made up of mystics and suicides who are afraid of water but like camping.
- The fractious Guild of Revelry controls most of the vice industries. Rumor has it its masters seek a monopoly on the very concept of pleasure.
The Sea and its Environs:
- The Sea to the east has many names: the Aster, the Disaster, the Sea of Dreams, Quiddity, the Twilight Sea, the Sea of Shadows, the Sea of Means, the Sea of Ends.
- Its water varies from day to day; from saltwater to fresh, from the consistency of bitter tears to the clear, cold of fresh regret. Sages say it’s always exactly what people need.
- Despite governmental warnings, the poor, foolish and desperate swim/bathe in the sea. Parents warn their children not to put their heads underwater. Those that do sometimes emerge changed, or as Changelings, or as entirely different people. Some bottle its water for drinking.
- The city beaches are full of romantics and suicides.
- The Eladrin hail from the Blessed Isle, not far off the coast. They are originally from the ‘Waking Lands’. They insist the entire time they spend in this world is a dream.
- The Elves insist that world was the dream, one from which they wakened after they heard the call of the Great Girding Forrest.
- Various nearby islands are home to various mythological races; shapeshifters, minotaur, vampires, etc.
- Somewhere in the Sea is the lost island of Mu, where the Men of the World Before are said to hail from.
- Some people claim to be able to sea the souls of the dead departing in black boats from the coastline around the port. Worse, some claim to see the souls of dead coming back to be reborn.
- Far to the north of lies the Unassailable North, home to hardy, free, savage peoples (think Fafhrd et al.). Beyond that lies the Frozen Pole.
- To the South the lies the Snake States, home to drugged, corrupt bureaucracies. Full of slavery, eunuchs, lies and treacheries; lands crisscrossed with slow, swollen rivers and tarry black lakes full of poisoned water (think Conan-esque S&S or the snake nation from Eddings). Beyond them lies the Burning Pole.
- West of the city lies the Great Girding Forrest and the Border Kingdoms, full of warring feudal states, knights, and magical forests, the kind of place where men hunt stag-gods, maidens and each other. Beyond the Borderlands lies the Interior.
- The sun rises in the west and sets in the east, into the sea.
Last edited by Mallus; Wednesday, 16th December, 2009 at 04:00 PM."You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.
The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.
The Port on the Aster Sea Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!
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