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Some easily reached otherspaces for the duke on the run.
The books state that Australian dukes seem to spend much of their time in a series of otherspaces. Since I donít have PoMoMa, which is apparently the best source of info on otherspaces, I was required to create a number of otherspaces for a game set in Australia, and in case anyone is tired of just seeing adept school after adept school, Iíve decided to start posting otherspaces. I put no guarantee on quality, so feel free to comment, so they get more refined as we go on. Iíve already vaguely mentioned one otherspace, the echo, in my write up of Marcus Speculo
It is possible that similar ideas exist in print already, but if I didnít do things I thought others did better, I wouldnít do anything.
Iíve written the first two as rather easy to get to once you know how, mostly to get my players into otherspaces- creating a gondwana link takes effort, but others can use it without knowing how to make it, while anyone can enter Midas (indeed if a canny duke slipped the right things into your bag you might enter unwittingly) but being prepared makes it much safer. Expect the otherspaces, and the ways to access them to become more convoluted as things progress
So without further ado some otherspaces-
GONDWANA (THE GREEN)
Densest jungle, thickest forest, more strange and exotic (and dangerous) plants and fruits than have ever been catalogued by man. This is what is found in Gondwana. Named after one of the continents of prehistory, by an unknown duke many years ago, who clearly hadnít examined it too thoroughly, Gondwana is a great primeval forest, filled with greenery of every description. In some places the trees tower up higher than the clouds, while in others they are smaller, barely bigger than a man. Every square inch of the ground is covered with plants, even those areas the weak light from the distinctly orange sun doesnít penetrate are coated in thick layers of green, if only from moss. Every kind of plant that can be found in nature exists here, and many more that canít are here too.
It does not take long foraging to find fruit or nuts, although identifying the poisonous from the edible is a difficult undertaking. One fact many dukes donít notice until they try hunting is that there are no animals in Gondwana. There are things that look like animals, but if they are caught, it is discovered that they are mobile plants, that closely resemble animals, with coats of tiny leaves instead of fur or feathers, and thorns for teeth. Some of these creatures are edible, for those who can stomach the foul taste. Many, possibly most of these faux-animals enjoy the taste of meat, however, a commodity that can only be found in the gear and hides of dukes.
But the poisonous fruits and predatory plants are far from the only threat. Dukes whisper of creatures called Podlings, intelligent plants that look just like humans, who seek to trap humans to make more of their kind. Luckily they canít leave Gondwana unless carried out by a flesh and blood creature, so one should always be wary of friends who are injured away from the group and seek to be carried home, especially if they try taking some plant with them, lest they bring back a podling and the mother plant they spring from. Others claim these stories are just told to get people stranded in Gondwana by their allies, so unscrupulous dukes can nick the gear from their remains after they have succumbed to Gondwanaís many dangers. There are tales of fruits capable of bestowing mighty strength and other nonsense on those who eat them, of food so addictive the eater is trapped by the tree, eating nothing but the fruit till they waste away and the tree gains nourishment from their decomposing corpse. Almost any story involving plants youíve heard, dukesíll tell you itís out there in the green.
Gondwana Door (3 minor charges)
To enter gondwana one must first ritually prepare a tree. To do this you have to make a powder, made from the ground remains of a plant that ruined an inanimate object (such as a tree root that cracked into a water pipe or broke a sidewalk), mixed with the ground remains of a plant that killed a living creature (such as a poisonous fruit removed from a creatures corpse, a branch blown off a tree by wind that struck and killed a man or a humble venus flytrap), and mix it with the sap of the tree that is being ritually prepared, to make a kind of thick paste which is used to paint ritual symbols onto the tree (which can not be the same plant either of the powders came from). If the caster succeeds on the ritual roll, one of the symbols on the tree turns green, and stains into the bark and wood, as a permanent mark that this tree is now a link to gondwana. Afterwards it is a simple matter of winding a length of vine around your left arm (wrapped at least seven times around) and piercing thorns into you left palm and forehead, climbing the tree till you are higher up than you are tall, and jumping off, head first into a nearby bush or patch of grass. If the tree was enchanted properly, you or anyone else who jumps as described, pass through the plant and into Gondwana. The site you entered is visible with a red version of the same symbol that remains on the tree you enchanted, but much larger. Moving into this symbol with at least as much speed as you needed to get in will send you back into the real world. It is worth noting that you do not have to exit through the same gateway you entered, although you have no way of knowing where the other end of any given gateway is if you havenít used it before, and the distance/direction between two gateways in one world does not necessarily match that of the other (although massive differences in distance are rare). Note that if the tree a gate is linked to dies or is cut down, the gateway is destroyed.
Gondwana Lock (6 minor charges)
Gondwana has been a big part of the Australian underground for some time, both as a method of travel, and as a source of unusual poisons/plants, so its unsurprising that someone found a way to block itís gateways, without cutting down the trees it uses as links. To perform this ritual the caster must make a paste from the powdered bones of a herbivorous animal, the finely shredded remnants of a saw blade, axle grease from a lawnmower and his own blood. Using this paste he paints a series of ritual symbols on a tree. If he rolls a success, a red mark appears on the tree (over the green gondwana symbol if the tree is a link to gondwana). This tree can no never be used as a gateway for gondwana, and if there is an existing gate from it, that gate is closed.
Rumour has it that these two rituals work reversed from within gondwana (the blood paint opening a gate to the real world, and the sap paint sealing off a gateway their). But this remains conjecture.
MIDAS (THE GOLD)
Dukes recognise why this realm is called Midas or just ďthe goldĒ from the second they first enter it. There are only two substances native to Midas- gold, and sand. The majority of Midas is a huge sweltering desert, a trackless sea of sand dunes, dotted with tiny islands of gold. Upon approach these island can be seen to be buildings, villages, even cities with towering structures, all made completely of gold. Walking down the gold-paved streets of these cities one gets the feel of a ghost town, for Midas has no native inhabitants. The sand blowing on the wind is the only trace of movement found, unless you find a cabal of dukes, hunkered down somewhere trying to figure out how to take some of the fantastic wealth of Midas back to the real world without it transforming into worthless sand, or scrabbling to attack you and take your water and food. The sun never sets over Midas, it is always noon here, and the temperature never drops below 45˚C (the internet tells me thatís 113˚F for the americans), uncomfortably hot, but not unliveable to the desperate. Of course, the only food and water found here are what dukes have brought with them, and such food is quickly contaminated by the sand that blows everywhere (even into hermetically sealed packages) and water slowly evaporates away, so despite the lack of predators this is not a useful realm to hide out in during emergencies unless one has friends to keep sending in food and (more importantly water). It is however easy to get to, and so is often used by dukes seeking to avoid police tails or escape dangerous situations.
To journey to Midas one must step through either a specially prepared door or any doorway in a bank or other financial institute (such as an accountantís office), while holding a doll filled with sand, and singing part of any ode to wealth or money (most dukes are taught to sing the line ďitís a rich manís worldĒ but lines from any song will do), and carrying enough gold to pay for the passage of yourself and anything else you have with you.
Midas charges all those who seek to enter. And itís charge is gold. $13 worth of gold is required for a person to travel to Midas (this cost includes their clothing and the doll, but nothing else). In countries that still have alloyed gold coins this is a very simple matter (most Melbourne dukes carry a few rolls of dollar coins around for this reason) but in other countries this means either buying jewellery, or carrying unworked gold. If the duke wants more than just his clothes to come with him he has to pay for the extra gear, adding the price of everything he is trying to bring with him to the amount of gold needed. Midas does not give change nor credit- if you are paying in coins or other small pieces, just enough gold disappears to pay for what you bring but if you are paying with something bigger, like a statue, that is worth significantly more than what you need to pay, then tough luck its gone, to no-one knows where. To leave Midas you need to pour a litre (thatís about 2 pints for the americans) of fluid over the door to any of the buildings and step through it (any liquid will do, and given how quickly water is used up in Midas it is most often blood). You return from a random door in a financial institute in the city you left from, unless you have a Midas handle, in which case you may choose to return from that doorway.
The Golden Land (8 minor charges)
This ritual prepares a doorway to act as a portal to Midas and creates a Midas handle connected with that doorway. You need to find a door (or door frame) that was formerly used by a financial institution. Place the door (or frame) in a place the sunlight will be able to reach and if needed add either a door or frame, to make it a complete doorway. Remove the handle from one side of the door. Then scour the door down with sand to remove any paint, varnish or other markings that are on it. Then using gold paint mixed with flecks of pure gold and the casters own blood, repaint the door and frame, while reciting a chant in ancient greek. All of this must be done in full view of the sun, and in the place the door is meant to be finally placed. If the ritual is successful the handle you removed will shine faintly and develop a thin coating of gold. Whenever the door is opened from the side that still has a handle anyone who walks through it (and has enough gold) will be transported to Midas. Further anyone holding the removed handle while in Midas can concentrate while stepping through a doorway and return through the prepared door.
Suggestions? Comments? Scathing Criticisms?
also up next the Black and The Blue - otherspaces for the desperate duke.
Cal_Lous | profile | Mar 02, 06 | 10:47 pm
I like the Green more than the Gold probably because I can't imagine how the Gold came to be. Mind you I tend to think of Otherspaces as pieces of former versions of the Universe that have fallen off. Or otherwise weren't reincarnated with the rest of the Clergy.
Beautiful, beautiful Otherspaces! Oh, how I love thee!