The Exhibition

(This is the Day 9 and 10 entry for the 30 day world building challenge.)

‘Oh, I scrounge a meal, here and there’, remarked the old man with the one eye and the cleft jaw. I tried to give him some copper, but he refused, ‘Not the pieces with that ugly bird on, no way in hellsname!’ I assume he was referring to the The Crow, the portrait of whom adorned the back of every single piece of city treasure in The Fourth. I stepped over the vagrant and into the building he was slumped in front of, a scrawny dog by his side. Inside I spotted a swift grill, and from it ordered a hunk of charred impsnout — not the most appetising of meals — but very cheap, and also quite nourishing. A smallpint of honeymead washed it down and I disposed of the paper containers in the adjacent pile, closing the lid.

The show I was attending, an exhibition called ‘A Day of Kindness’, had been raved about by my closest friends, and I was curious to see it. Upon paying and entering the gallery I was confronted not with large and colourful tapestries, canvases, or boarskins, but with tiny square pictures drawn on common paper and placed on the wall at equal intervals. Examining the pictures more closely I was astonished to witness a degree of artistry, both illustration and composition, that I had never before seen. Each image, only a hands width wide, contained a complex illustrated scene with details tinier than I, of 20/20 vision, could discern. The scenes were both familiar, and yet odd, containing those denizens of The Fourth least understood. The stand out image for me was a scene on a balcony, standing on which was a gentleman, with a stately disposition, having a normal conversion with the A’leek! Really! The A’leek only sings AT you,  nobody has ever spoken WITH one. And so on it went, until I arrived at the last. This one stood apart from the others, it was not an illustration, but a mosaic, with uniform and square cells, eight across and eight down. As I squinted I could make out a strange smiling green face, and as I recognised it I got a vivid flash of a bloodcurdling scene in my mind — the world was scorched and everybody had turned to dust.



Armour, Cloaks, and Casual Wear

(This is the Day 8 entry for the 30 day world building challenge.)

Fashion in the fourth (municipality), is chaotic, anachronistic, and almost never practical. A lad of the ultra-violence persuasion has a range of close combat armour to choose from, fashioned from leather, iron, gold, ebony, steel, emerald, sandsteel, sunstone, paper, wood, kapur bark, and, well, practically anything that would resist a solid whack from a sawn-off claymore. The transcendant, the magikal and the soul-less, prefer lighter clothing, typically cloaks, bedsheets, or armour made from less dense materials, such as moonstone. This clothing is typically resonant with the wearer, amplifying whatever godless gift they have. And finally, the ultra-passive citizens of the fourth usually don’t wear armour, but prefer to wear whatever is the current style, from formal suits, shirts with white paints, gangster costumes, renaissance-era garb, whatever takes their fancy really. Head-wear or masks are often worn, from richly decorated feathered hats down to simple accessories, such as the +1 culture monocle.


Races and Culture in the fourth municipality of Oed

(This is the Day 7 entry for the 30 day world building challenge.)

The fourth municipality of Oed is home to a number of human and human-sized creatures. Categorising these creatures into “race” by tracing evolutionary trees is impossible, as the old rogue magiks have distorted even these lineages. Many creatures exist which have no “biological” ancestors, spawning from the echo of an idea of a mad sorceror of a time long gone. Despite this, groups of similar beings gather into cliques, some of which have names, and others which don’t. Some groups of note are:

  • Human: the ancestral line to most, if not all of Oed’s intelligent life.
  • Towerman: the guardians and watchers of Crowhase, the birthplace of The Crow.
  • The Fierce: A line of man-beast hybrids, with a rich monarchy and tradition.
  • Mosa of the Underground: A race of bipedal golem-like creatures, aggressive towards any race of soft skin.
  • Cerulean: A small shaman-led clan, whom worship the Cerulean Daedra.
  • Barbarian: Small barbaric groups exist all over the fourth municipality, and are unmatched in melee combat amongst similar-size humanoids.
  • Ember: These creatures have only ever been seen at night. It is postulated that they transcend to another world during the day. The Ember are passive, however communication with them is nigh impossible.
Smaller groups, consisting of just one, two, or maybe three individuals can also be found roaming the municipality. The Owl may decide to stop you and talk about clocks. A’leek can be found dancing across rooftops, muttering incomprehensibly. The Patriache is best avoided. Bluenommer awkwardly arrives when uninvited. Oed is a dangerous place, most other individuals can be considered extremely dangerous, so avoid them at all cost. Lastly we have, Lunem Man, a mythical creature written about several times throughout history. It is said he fell from the moon, although their are competing accounts as to whether he was extremely dangerous or just apathetic.


Fauna of the fourth municipality of Oed

(This is the Day 6 entry for the 30 day world building challenge.)

Excerpt from St. P. Naturality Guidebook…

Although Oed has become dominated by the “intelligent” species, leading to the inevitable extinction of much of its wondrous wildlife, a considerable number of species still exist. Magiks run astray have torn the planet’s weather system apart, leading to chaotic and unpredictable weather and a landscape that changes far more rapidly than evolution has catered for. Nonetheless, the species that remain dominate their niche and have learnt to survive in these wildly changing conditions. Restricting our attention to those in the fourth municipality (Figure ii), we see a number of unique and interesting lifeforms.



Of the ground creatures, the two most popular are the imp and the white rabbit. Don’t be convinced by the imp’s intelligent appearance, these creatures are as wild and primitive as the rest. Imps can often be seen scurrying out of their homes, holes dug into the dirt, and foraging for berries, bark, and bugs. Although imps can be eaten, they are not very tasty, and the difficulty of catching them means they are not hunted. The white rabbit, which can be seen bounding around the tundra and snow fields, is a herbivore and lives off the dry grasses that dominate the colder regions of the fourth municipality. The mystics assert that white rabbits visit ethereally-charged areas of the plains, and by following them, one can ascertain points of advantageous transcendence.

Of the air creatures, the zweibird is the rarest. Although with rich pink feathers, when it is in range it is hard to miss, fluttering and flittering about the trees and bushes, hunting for worms, bugs, and wyrm-bugs. The zweibird is uniquely biological, as reproduction in the female occurs not by giving birth but by spontaneously splitting into two new zweibirds, of equal size. A curiosity indeed! The mottled crow needs no explanation, it is seen everywhere in Oed, and is a scavenger. The eagal on the other hand, is one of Nature’s great species, vivid emerald feathers gleam in the sunlight, and a full span of its wings can rival that of a full grown person! The eagal is oft found perched on jutting cliff faces, high up in the mountains, where its perfect vision can search the ground for its prey, typically rabbits and zweibirds.

If roaming at night, one may come across the nightbird, a dark grey bird-like creature with fire-red eyes which glow at night. You may be tempted to flee, but don’t, the nightbird is harmful in appearance only, and feeds only on the bugs that are attracted by moonlight. However, the nightbird has a distant cousin, the firebird, which lives under the surface, closer to the core. It glows with the fire that runs through its veins, and is vicious towards anything which stumbles into its domain. If venturing deep underground, it is highly recommended you take the appropriate precautions and carry medical supplies for treating burns.


Fungi in Oed

(This is the Day 5 entry for the 30 day world building challenge.)

This book is a reference for the study of fungi, Mycology. It covers numerous topics in depth, including: taxonomies, practical acquisition of fungi, toxicological information, as well as several recipes for delicious mushroom stew. If you are new to the study of Oed’s most colourful and delightful organisms, then you are in for a treat. Mycology is a rewarding and fulfilling branch of science, nay, the most rewarding and fulfilling. A practicing mycologist can be expected to venture deep into the earth to collect specimens of the rarest mushrooms, thwarting attempts on his life by wild animals, beasts and bats. The hallucinogenic properties of some fungi means that mycologists are often The Life Of The Party, and typically have a wide circle of acquaintances. It isn’t all fun and games, though, a mycologist must devote his entire life to the serious study of fungi in all its forms — fungi is essential for medicine, food, and magiks (and Ale of course!) and only by advancing the state of the art can the people of Oed evolve. — Preface to “The Mycologist’s Index”.


Analysis of the Elements

(This is the Day 4 entry for the 30 day world building challenge.)

Excerpt from Page 17 of the St. P. Alc. Eyebook…

The creators of this world were truly the greatest of combinatorists. There are a finite number of elements, each of which has a relationship with the others. The Table above illustrates these relationships, the elements, except Air, lie in the top row, and their reactive friends lie below. These elements are: The Air [1] which breathes life into all of God’s creations, and is inert towards all the other elements; The Moonstone [2] which warms and lights our way at night. Remarkably, when Moonstone and Sunstone are within a small distance of each other, a low hum can be heard. Luckily, there isn’t enough Moonstone in our world for there to be an eternal hum; Third, we have Phosphor [3], a common reagent in many topes and remedies; Fourth is Gold [4], the bearer of the divine glow, the possession of which has resulted in many wars, including the longest, the Many Wars; Platinum, or Crowmium [5], can be molten in a Sunstone hearth, and formed into impenetrable armours and structural materials; Sunstone [6], or God’s Heart, the maker of  fire. Sunstone is used to break down the elements and recombine them. It is also added to many processes in order to strengthen materials and add heat. For instance, HM’s throne contains a small amount of Sunstone in which to keep HM at a constant temperature.




The Bell Tower

(This is the Day 3 entry for the 30 day world building challenge.)

The Bell Tower, of origin unbeknownst, stood weary on the tor,
There was great power within its walls, but would not toll anymore,
Some argue that, upon one chime, another would succeed,
And from the depths, where the daemons slept, would awake an ancient fiend.


The Bell Tower

The geography of Oed

(This is the Day 2 entry for the 30 day world building challenge.)

The geography of Oed is as varied as the pastries cooked by the fifth Lord’s master pâtissier. The following is an excerpt from the JE Atlas, a series of geographical and anthropological surveys performed by the team of expert spelunkers Jula and Ela, during the rule of the Crow.

We travelled by kamel north for many months, to an uncharted quarter of The Crow’s Plaines. This land seemed similar to the arid plains of Mehco. On the surface a vast grassland sprawled as far as we could see, and the landscape was populated by old desert trees, snitch-arms, and reezels. We first encountered a large empty mountain, several travels tall, and just as wide. We prepared the gear and the Gears, and attempted to descend. About 20 travels down and the emptyness started to branch off into small tunnels and caverns, so at 27 travels we camped for the night. In the morning we had traced at least 12 of these, all leading to dead ends, before stumbling across a vast cavern with glorious angled ceiling. The cavern was glowing, filled with glowing mushrooms and other life. To our shock we found evidence of civilisation — a large sand-steel wall — but could not find a way through. A curious symbol was etched on the wall, it looked like [Entry Removed]. Further descent of the empty mountain resulted in no other great finds, nonetheless we graphed the terrain down to 80 travels. – Jula

After mapping the mountain we continued across the plain, and encountered a calm cerulean river bisecting the region, opening to a delta in the sea, and forming a lake near the hills. A wet-descent of the lake revealed it to be surprisingly empty, but deep, very deep. We could only graph 2 travels down before the water became too murky and the pressure too great to continue. The next geographical marvel we encountered was a giant stone column, rising up into the heavens and supporting a massive land mass. By the rate of travel of its shadow across the ground we estimate it to be no less than 15 travels above ground and at least 8 travels in diameter. The sheerness of the column made it impossible to climb, but nonetheless we have graphed the visible outline and Jula has imaginatively filled in the interior based on a dream he had while we slept in its shadow. (Which, by the way, was curiously devoid of any flora whatsoever.) – Ela

As our resources were dwindling we decided to expedite the drill phase of our survey. Site A (in the top-right sector of the graphed region) took an entire day to initialise as the drilling machinery needed much maintenance. It was nightfall before we descended. As the drill churned the rock below us, we rappelled down, analysing the various substrata and compiling the results into Document A3 (attached). Of particular interest was the abundance of heatstone, which made the journey much more uncomfortable than usual. At a depth of 27 travels, hoping to find the other side of the sandsteel wall, we spent the next 12 hours exploring the myriad cave networks, some of which were only just wide enough to squeeze through. A small incident occurred as we needled samples from the rock — warm water started gushing through the hole, which required immediate plugging. Based on our coordinates, the water source was either the lake we found above ground (making it the deepest lake we are aware of), or an underground river, but considering the pressure of the expellation we assume the former. [Ed: The lake in the figure is now known as The Great Crow’s Deep Lake]  Tomorrow we descend further than we have ever been, I’m excited! – Jula

We slept the night at -27 travels — not our first underground slumber by far. We programmed the drill to descend to -100 travels then to return to the surface. In the morning we found it had broken down at -80 travels, w
here the stone had become extremely hard, black, and quite warm to the touch. It wasn’t heatstone, but something different. We couldn’t take samples as our equipment was not fine enough, we have marked the exact coordinates for The Crow’s Jeweller. We could not repair the drill, but considering it had lasted over 17 large-months, it was well past retirement and so we left it there. Another day of spelunking the caves revealed a vast connected network of caverns and tunnels. To the south of Site A we found a great chasm fill with molten heatstone, we could only get within 10 jumps before the heat overwhelmed us. And this is where our technical survey ends and the descent into fiction begins. Jula, spelunking westward on our last day at -80 travels, came back later in the day, shivering and with minor burns all over him. I treated him as best as I could, but the physical ailments were not the issue, I could no longer communicate with him, as he was speaking nonsense. After several days manual ascension we got to the surface and I helped Jula onto his kamel. Before our journey to the nearest Tower I got the map from Jula to make some final remarks. To my surprise he had graphed the region he was exploring just before the incident, it seems he had found a medium sized cavern just west of Site A. However, when I looked closer, demonic eyes were etched into the paper, underneath them a hideous smile, and above, long curved horns.  I looked up at Jula, he was staring at me, and I swear I saw a flicker of flame in his eyes. – Ela 






(This is the Day 1 entry for the 30 day world building challenge being run over at tigforums.)

It was the world of a thousand names, Oed, Qusayma, Suevia, the mother world. For the inhabitants of Oed’s only moon, Lunem, it was heaven, luminescence, and the logical conclusion to an illogical life. It hung in the sky and lit the night up with a comforting hue. For the thirty thousand nine hundred and eight six million three hundred and ninety one thousand and seventeenth Lunem-man — coincidentally the first man to escape the immense gravity of the dense moon — Oed was to be his fate. In one of a billion possibilities, in a multitudinous-many-every-verse like his, the Lunem-man crashed landed on Oed, and awakened eight millenia later. 

Oed is a terrestrial planet like most, it has oxygen, water, rich minerals, vegetation and animal life. It is also populated by many intelligent civilisations competing for these resources. The landscape of Oed is rich and varied. From high plains balanced precariously on thick naturally forming columns of sand-stone down to torrential rivers of fire near the planet’s core. There is an abundance of rich minerals most of which are mined and processed by the advanced species. The Mosa Of The Undergound, for instance, create sand-steel through a number of organic processes, which they use to build their impenetrable giant dome-nests.

Oed is extremely dangerous. The roads above ground are just as dangerous as the spidery intertwined cave systems. Creatures travel in daylight and night. They fly, scurry, burrow, slime, climb, and osmose. Early explorers to new parts of Oed would often be found dead in their make-shift fortresses, unaware of the matter-transcending capabilities of the Lyre. Oed is a vicious place, the air viscous with death.

Beware the creatures of Oed! The dangerous ___________ and the __________ are typical encounters on a midnight stroll. Without the proper training you will surely be made a meal of. — Excerpt from “The Mycologist’s Index”. (Edited by E)