Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Preliminary Encounter: Transition Mechanism

What Manner of Madman Built This Device? Is it Really a Device?

After one particularly fruitful if incredibly dangerous expedition into the Olyan ruins in the South, you made an important discovery. The discovery of a lifetime. It had already cost several loyal followers their lives. You have devoted most of your adult life to studying the secret ruins that you have not disclosed to anyone out of fear for the claim-jumping and bully tactics of your peers amongst the wizards and scholars of your homeland. They who claim to share your obsession with the mysteries of the South cannot be trusted. They are a vicious and vituperative lot, driven to petty feuds and vendettas over every perceived slight. They lack vision. You do not.

You left most of them behind when you took passage south. For more than a decade you have delved into the dark and forgotten places that lie undiscovered beneath the fetid and plague-ridden jungles that have grown up to swallow so many of these vast, cyclopean ruins of a people, a culture, an entire civilization that your own people sometimes even refuse to believe ever existed. But you know better.

This last trip was very costly. There were many deaths from poison gas and there was no way to ever suspect that the last section of the ruins would be the sealed domain of a three-headed mummy. No one could have expected that. Certainly none of your rivals.

As you escaped from the grotto-like cyst of the cerebian mummy, you uncovered a set of gold-alloy disks that were inscribed with peculiar diagrams and pictographs. There were three of them. You wrapped them in what remained of your cloak and focused on getting back to civilization.

You were younger back then. Almost reckless and much less patient. It has been years of diligent research, hard work, dangerous (and very secret) expeditions into the jungles and the ruins they contain. But finally, finally you have succeeded where none thought it possible. You were right. The three golden alloy disks were a sort of map after all.

A vast chasm reaching more than a mile down into the darkness didn't stop you. Crossing a raging torrent of hot, foul-smelling sulfurous waters didn't stop you even if you did lose three hirelings in the effort. Tribes of venomous fungifolk didn't deter you even though they seriously wounded many of your remaining adventuring party and the overall mood and morale began to turn ugly.

You pressed on.

Cannibalistic Olyan-descended degenerates and unwholesome fishbelly-white hybrid-things killed the rest of your friends and associates, but that didn't stop you.

You kept going.

Finally, wracked with fever and the lingering effects of spore-toxins, you reached a deep purple shaft and the trapezoidal chamber you knew would be there. You knew because you had deciphered the maps. You knew that a great treasure awaited you, that you just needed to reach it, to seize it, to claim it and make it your own and it would make you great and powerful.

Powerful enough to destroy your enemies.

When you awoke from your fever-dreams you climbed down the shaft.

You entered the trapezoidal chamber.

There on a block of translucent green stone you could see a fairly inert-looking rectangular plaque of metal about the width of your hand, probably less.

The metal object looked like some sort of flattened device or possibly a talisman of some sort.  It looked like it held many, many layers of overlapping etchings or fine engravings that seemingly went on forever. Perhaps it was some kind of mirror or a skrying device of some sort?

You had come a long way for this thing.

Maybe it was the fever, maybe the poison, possibly it was because of all the horrors that you had endured to reach this place, to claim this treasure. Whatever the case, you reached out to touch it.

It was cold. At first.

The seemingly inert rectangular plaque of metal turned out to not be so innocuous after all.

It attempted to graft itself to your flesh.

Did it succeed?

Friday, July 13, 2012

.|.|.|. They Watch Intently .|.|.|.

The shattered shells of ten thousand worlds have been ransacked and plundered.
Each fragment, every sifting of dust, the shards of ice, even the streams of crude gasses; all matter that passes the outer zones of the Great Ring are examined, scrutinized and picked-over by the Zaldrim.
But what are they looking for?
Why do they linger in this desolate place?
What binds them to this place?
What claim does it have over them?

Saturday, June 23, 2012


There are only Nine Hundred years left to Zalchis. As time was once measured. The Hyper-Orrerries of Bal Hallash are the only mechanisms still capable of measuring the flow of time with any sort of accuracy, but then they were completely incapable of being precise, accurate or on-time prior to the Great Collapse. There is an ironic sort of symmetry in this.

Robots of Parlassa

Sunday, January 1, 2012

An Introduction to Zalchis

"It is living and ceasing to live that are imaginary solutions. Existence is elsewhere."
Andre Breton
This entry is in the process of being substantially revised and will be re-posted to Hereticwerks.

Zalchis is the incredibly ancient and thoroughly rotten core of a dying universe that is on the very last throes of its prematurely (and artificially) terminated existence.  Composed of a scarred and pitted ring accumulated from the debris, detritus and dust of countless lost worlds and forgotten solar systems, Zalchis encircles an intensely compressed and eternally ravenous inverted star --the Central Anti-Star--wreathed in the whorls of a decaying Maelstrom that grows more diffuse with each passing decade.

The universe of Zalchis is nearly dead, cruelly murdered by a mad and now nameless Tyrant.  Entropy stalks the outer perimeter of Zalchis like a great wolf, slavering in anticipation of the inevitable, inexorable end that everyone knows is coming.  Darkness permeates everything.  Even the few lingering suns that reel and roll along the circumference of the Great Ring, those few that haven't been captured and enslaved by the Seneschals, grow dimmer as they waver betwixt and between a death transfixed upon the black spires of the servants of an Absent Tyrant or the final spiralling descent into the Maelstrom and ultimate extinguishment at the very center point of what remains of their cosmos.

Eight Archons--whom some refer to as 'Carceraiads' or 'Carcerchons'--colossal beings who were once the Absent Tyrant's most faithful and loyal servants, writhe in agony deep within their gargantuan prisons, each one impaled upon an exquisite spire of smoky crystal. They maintain the energetic workings of the Great Ring and strive to hold the dread black anti-sun in its place so that the final, ultimate doom of Zalchis takes place as foretold, foreseen, and foreknown by the Veiled Harridans of Kashtoom, those wicked and depraved witches who once were the cenobite-concubines of the Absent Tyrant.  The Carcerchons are so single-minded in their suffering and their nihilistic struggles that anyone uttering the least of their Truenames is made to share in their terrible labors.  One does not call upon the Carcerchons, though sometimes powerful sorcerers have been known to trick their enemies into performing this very act of sheerest folly.  For this reason alone, it is not wise to blindly read the scrolls, tablets of codexes of the Adepts. 

But the Carcerchons and their prison-spires are ranged along the Inner Circumference of the Great Ring, each one precisely calibrated and arranged so as to face directly into the very hear of the black anti-sun they surround.  Few ever visit these forlorn and dismal places.  Fewer ever return.

The Outer Circumference of Zalchis is a vast and jagged wasteland lit only sporadically by the guttering rays of those suns that have been captured by the Seneschals who prey upon them.  The Seneschals command tremendous forces and possess awesome appetites as well, for they drain the captive suns of their energies and their vital essence and then cast them aside so that the smoldering embers to fall into the gapping maw of nothingness that awaits them at the very center of the Great Ring, past the swirling Maelstrom of debris that surrounds the black anti-sun.

Time is coming to an end in this accursed and doomed place.  Less than a thousand years remain to it.  Everything is finite here, fleeting, ephemeral, ending.  The universe of Zalchis is not only dying, but the final foretold date of its ultimate collapse into nothingness is known by all who remain in this place.  The calendar of Zalchis counts downwards to zero as this doomed, damned and mostly abandoned cosmos contracts and collapses bit by bit into oblivion.

The end is a certainty, a known thing; measurable, palpable, assured and as inevitable as death itself.  Those who could escape, have left.  Only the lost or the forlorn linger in Zalchis.  It is a cursed place, a fantastic curdled nightmare and a fatal abomination.

There are no cities here.

There are no safe places either.

Dreams stalk the dreamers and shadows walk freely with no one to cast them.  Science has collapsed under the weight of too many impossibilities, giving birth to strange new forms of sorcery and mad technologies rooted in nonsense and improbability.  What gods remain, one would be wise to avoid.

What manner of people remain in Zalchis?  What beings have any business traveling to this dying realm?  Who would brave the unnameable horrors of this penultimate sepulchre of a black void, this festering cesspit of cosmic horror--what fabulous and terrible things do they seek amidst the jumbled ruins of ten thousand-thousand worlds dashed to bits by the vortexes and aethyric currents that seethe and swirl just beyond the turbulent and dangerously broken skies of Zalchis?  Who is out there and what are they waiting for?