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Old 10-03-2017, 12:37 PM   #531
somecallmetim
 
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

Two weird ideas from a while ago:

Regress 1-12

The Regress Skerry is a set of 12 Earths located on Quantum 7. It is very difficult to deliberately navigate to a world within the skerry from outside (all parachronic operation rolls at -5) but simple to navigate within it (+5 to the same rolls). The worlds (simply called Regress 1 through Regress 12) have local dates just slightly less than forty years apart. Regress 1 is currently in the year 2020, Regress 12 is in 1584.

Until the local year 1860, they appear to be anchors, like Homeline in every testable respect, though very stable and unable to be shifted. Also, history tends to aggressively right itself, as odd coincidences move things "back on track". Regress 1 continued on normally, so far as homeline can tell, with the exception of four unexplained, simultaneous deaths in Paris in 1900, which did little to disrupt things in the grand scheme. At the same instant in Regress 2, the consciousnesses of the four dead individuals from Regress 1 came to occupy the bodies of their counterparts, seemingly retaining their full memories.

When 1900 rolled around on Regress 2, the four died again and assumed control of their bodies on Regress 3. The date for their psychic regression is rapidly approaching. By now the four have identified eachother and intend on spending the next cycle trying to understand what is happening to them.

On Regress 2, they mostly managed to make slightly more comfortable lives for themselves, only slightly disaligning history. On Regress 3, they managed to locate one another and to build relatively large sums of wealth and advance several technological fields in the process. (History seems far more plastic after the regress has occurred within a worldline.) Their intention is to build a more efficient commercial and technological empire and begin investigating possible physical or psychic causes of their state. They also closely watch for any disruptions of expected events that they do not directly cause, both in hopes of avoiding unintended consequences, and tracking down anyone else with an anomalous relationship to time. They would be very interested in parachronic technology, as what happened to the "old" timelines they occupied is a topic of great curiosity.
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Arneson

Arneson is a Quantum 3 world. The current year is 1297. It was a no mana until 1202, when a reality quake and an earthquake simultaneously hit Syria. While the earthquake had a counterpart on Homeline, it was far more severe on Arneson, resulting in hundreds of thousands deaths. It also opened a huge, geologically improbable sinkhole.

Then it got worse. Within a few days, the sinkhole poured forth monsters. First blood drinking insects as long as a man's hand. Then strange, lizard like things that hunted more like great cats, aggressively stalking those near to the pit at night. And finally, strange, eyeless men, who could hunt like bats, clicking and shrieking to locate prey.

If the depredations weren't enough to provoke a response, the equipment the monster-men carried was. While most carried crude, iron weapons, a few had swords bright as silver but sharper and harder than steel and glittering with jewels. Expeditions within the pit revealed a strange mix of natural caves, strange architecture, and oddly organic tunnels that pulsed and writhed. Clearing the upper levels of monsters was bloody but straightforward work, but the deeper sections were more treacherous and had larger and stranger beasts. Though they had recovered a king's ransom in treasure, the low hanging fruit was quickly exhausted and the opening was sealed. This was sufficient to stop the monsters from swarming en masse, but smaller openings were found throughout the countryside, drawing those braver than they were wise to try their luck in the pit.

Amongst the treasures discovered in the early expeditions were books in no known tongue. Though they were in no known alphabet, divination and strange dreams helped a few scholars begin painstaking interpretations of the texts, which were complex instructions in a totally unknown system of magical rituals. Whats more, these rituals sometimes worked! Assuming they were performed properly and within a few miles of the pit by one of those few who had been able to translate them. Copies of these texts were made, but only the originals seemed to inspire the strange dreams and visions that led to their interpretations. A new book from the pit would earn a huge price for anyone lucky enough to escape with one.

At first these aberrations were feared as the end of the world, but eventually it became clear the strangeness was largely localized. Until two decades later when a pair of earthquakes in northern Italy and Cyprus opened similar pits with different, though equally horrific, creatures. The resulting rush of adventurers and fortune seekers dragged many strange wonders from the new pits. Swords that burned with unending flame, staffs that held the power to command lightning. More troubling still, strange temples within the pit held altars and idols of nameless gods, and strange relics that granted powers to those who prayed at them. The Catholic Church (as well as nearly every other religious body made aware of them) condemned these powers as demonic deceptions. Despite this, heretics (referred to as Voragites) have declared these temples to be gifts from God to provide miraculous aid against the heathens occupying the holy land. Though few outside the sect are convinced, most explorers are willing to overlook their religious qualms in exchange for mystical healing of wounds are protections, even if their powers wane away from the pit. (In game terms the levels of both mana and sanctity are low at the mouth and upper levels of the pit and grow stronger the deeper you go.)

Over the past 90 years, several more pits have opened, many near Italy, raising large areas of the peninsula to at least very low mana. A recent earthquake near Kamakura Japan has opened a similar pit. Infinity researchers have found several more such openings in the Americas and are exploring a particularly isolated one more aggressively. The chance to explore the strange and powerful magics here are tempting to Paralabs, but even automatic weapons and body armor don't make exploring the pits safe. Several Infinity researchers are also undercover in Crete. Since so far the earthquakes here have continued to line up with ones in Homeline history, they are watching for any strange parachronic phenomena in the lead up to the 1303 earthquake.
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:15 AM   #532
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

Hmmm. Should read "swords that burned with unending flame while near one of the pits".
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:31 AM   #533
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonft View Post
Hmmm. Should read "swords that burned with unending flame while near one of the pits".
You're quite right. An oversight on my part.

Though I imagine the mana levels of the world slowly rising as more pits open, meaning eventually large swaths of the planet would be at least very low mana. But not yet. Some of the items are probably exotic materials (like mentioned in Dungeon Fantasy: Treasure Tables" and so may maintain some of their traits (like unnatural sharpness) away from the pits.
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:23 PM   #534
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You might also get certain monsters like maybe dragons that are Mana Generators. Thus nowhere is completely safe from the weirdness.
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:49 PM   #535
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That's a really cool idea.
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Old 10-04-2017, 01:52 PM   #536
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Quote:
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You might also get certain monsters like maybe dragons that are Mana Generators. Thus nowhere is completely safe from the weirdness.
Dragon slayers aren't just after cool treasure, out for revenge, or even the challenge. They mean to save reality itself. It harkens back to symbolism equating dragons with Satan and all things inimical to good people.
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:01 PM   #537
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Default Re: Catalog of the Weird Parallels

Its particularly fun if the dragons have aspected mana: each one allows certain types of spells but not other.

A silver scaled dragon has taken up residence on a high mountain peak. Its aspected for healing magic, and about half of those who see it report coming back healed. The other half get eaten, and no one can prove a pattern.

The local bishop has taken to calling the beast "Lucifer", and made efforts to stop those coming seeking healing. The local lord says its foolishness, and encourages healers to come to his court. (of course, you could flip that around.)
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:51 PM   #538
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Those healed by the dragon are sometimes infected with a parasite vaguely similar to toxoplasmosis. It causes slowed aging and an obsession with draconic imagery and interests. Bam. Dragon cults.

When the infection reaches its peak, it causes an uncontrollable urge to sacrifice oneself to a dragon or at the very least drown in a body of water frequented by a dragon.
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:16 PM   #539
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Dragons are also recognized as symbols of empires. At random intervals a giant five clawed dragon shows up in China to eat corrupt ministers. Promptly hailed by peasants as agent of Heavenly Court.
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:20 PM   #540
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People do ascribe meaning and pattern to all sorts of purely random events and forces. It's our nature.
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