WORMSKIN

11/11/2013

Underworld Lore | Mezzoglunes



Thinking out loud here about an upcoming article for UL#4:

The dreams of underworld gods -- be they indigenous to that environment or exiles cast down from the Land Above -- congest the tunnels, passageways, quadrangles, chambers, and caverns of the Land Below as they rise up like a psychic smog, invisibly congealing into supernatural territories called mezzoglunes
Mezzoglunes are psychic real estate accessible by mortals only through the act of dreaming. For every level below the surface world, there is a 5% chance that a sleeping N/PC will accidentally "wander" into a nearby 'glune. 
It is very rare that such non-places are found uninhabited. Ghosts of dead adventurers, for instance, may take up residence in a mezzoglune and are just as likely to welcome a stray dreamer as they are to rebuke him for showing up uninvited. Demons, shadows and other disembodied phantoms are equally attracted to the ambiance of particular 'glunes, altering the misty dream-environments to suit their unearthly tastes in decor. 
There are particular risks associated with dreaming in 'glunes. For instance, an N/PC always runs the risk of encountering a being capable of constraining him, so that his dream-self will be incapable of returning to his physical body. With his mind imprisoned, the N/PC's body could become hijacked by a ghost, demon or phantom.

There's at least one chart I need to generate for these concepts: The table that explains the end-result of an N/PC's sojourn in a 'glune, eg. he gleans useful info from a ghost and answers a question; or he ends up a psychic prisoner and his body is now usurped by a demon -- lots of possibilities for roleplay here!

2 comments:

  1. Here's Six New Mezzoglunes for your table:

    1. Saligar's Library. Visitors to this Mezzoglune lose 1d100 days per hour spent here. Some feel it is a small price to pay as they gain access to a range of scrolls, incised tablets, codices and rare manuscripts that can be read in no other place. Indeed, there are many documents here that simply do not exist anywhere else. A Save is required to retain each spell memorized and/or learned in this place as you return to the world you know. Each visit requires a new Save for all spells taken from this place, including any from a previous visit. This unfortunate effect is why some spell-casters hire multiple agents or take-on apprentices, as it just isn't cost-effective to keep going back themselves.

    2. The silent, brooding beings who hover within the lurid green mists of this nameless Mezzoglune watch over
    the warped blackened forests of hooks and barbs where howling things prowl in wretched obscurity. They watch and they wait, implacable in their vigilance. You may ask any one of them three questions. You will receive one answer. It is up to you to determine its ultimate value.

    3. Those who trespass upon this particular Mezzoglune find their hair taking on a life of its own, writhing and coiling and wriggling about them like an aura of thread-fine worms. The effect is unsettling and persists for 1d4 weeks, during which time you can converse with various worm-like beings in their dreams. Most of them will seek to avoid you, as you are so hideous and alien to their mind-set and grotesquely distorted in terms of their physiology, however a few brave or demented souls among them might be able to discourse with you somewhat. Most of them demand things from you, things for which you have no words, no common basis of comparison...

    4. Those returning from this Mezzoglune must Save or find their own shadow has been replaced with that of some other being. The new shadow will move of its own accord and volition, from time to time, but usually it remains discrete. It seems to be looking for something, or someone...

    5. A dismal place, where shattered ruins encrust even the walls and ceilings like so many smashed wasp nests. Fear drips from the fractured stones, forming terrifying puddles and pools across the uneven, rubble-mounded and bounded grounds. There are secrets lost beneath the rubble and debris of this place, but the longer one remains, the more intensely the Fear begins to affect them. Every 15 minutes another Save must be rolled, each time a cumulative penalty of -1 is accrued, failure subjects the victim to the effects of a Fear spell, success allows them to remain in this place for another 15 minutes. So far no one has found anything worthwhile. But then no one knows where to look, or what they're looking for really...

    6. Wet and fetid, this garishly lit Mezzoglune reeks of the herb mace. Everything has a dull, orange tinge to it. Even those who visit this place take on a slight orange-tint for the next 1d4 hours. The twelve-limbed spider-things living here will teach you how to bite, if you ask them. They will give you the means to truly bite your enemies, if you can make it worth their while...

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    Replies
    1. "reeks of the herb mace" -- OH, this is so going to be a sensory prop at the next game! Brilliant stuff, Jim -- you totally ran off with the concept and returned with some visions here.

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