Archive for the ‘Synesthete Synod’ Tag

Endless Blue – Week 114 – Ewer on the Confluence   Leave a comment

Geography

Ewer on the Confluence

Lost in the mountainous wilderness, the party spies a black dome not too far away, perched near the cliff edge of a deep trench. It is a large building with a stone frill around it. Oval and long in shape, it is made of obsidian, with the front 40′ smooth but the rest of its 200′ length covered in a latticework of chevrons, also of obsidian, that point towards the other end.

Despite the craggy stone terrain, Bladderwort kelp grows around the dome, swaying gently in the eddies. The kelp appears malnourished, and is slightly stunted, thus the poorly developed algae floats slightly but not straight up.

Ground Floor

  1. The first thing that is noticeable is that the inside of the dome is comprised of salmon-pink marble. The room itself is an acute triangle, and the entrance from outside has no door, but strips of vividly mauve leather across the entryway. The outer wall is lined with empty caribiners, suggesting something was to be connected here before venturing further in. The door on the inner wall has no handle, but is hanging wide open (all doors in the dome are in this same state).
  2. Long, oval rooms with a series of 8 columns along the outer wall. However, instead of supporting the roof, these columns curve inward toward the center of the building and actually connect to the inner wall, forming arcs. They are comprised of a fine but flexible kind of coral, and will only give slightly no matter how much pressure is applied. From where the columns join the wall downward to the floor, hammock like sacks hang, anchored at each end with more caribiner-like devices. Inside of each sack is an inert Patchwork being — flesh golem like pastiches of humanoid parts sewn together. The party can choose to kill these Patchwork things, but slitting their throats or impaling where the heart is triggers no movement from them.
  3. Instead of a hallway, this corridor is more rounded, like an underground tunnel. It does not travel in angular directions, but instead seem to fold into curves. Patches of dried, caked-on brown algae cling to the walls, floor, and ceiling, in no discernible order.
  4. This room is trisected by two curtains of hanging leather, similar to those at the entrance of rooms 1. They seem to insulate the sections they form, with each next one becoming warmer than the last.
  5. This corridor curves sharply to the left, and almost imperceptably angles downward. The further along, the faster the air moves forward.
  6. This round cavern as thousands of tiny holes across its walls and ceiling. They are too small to let in light, but a flow can be felt emanating from them. There is a larger hole in the ceiling further back into the room, that leads up to room 8 in the Upper Floor.
  7. This chamber is large, at least two stories. A balcony hangs over the entrance way, and immediately to each side is a 14′ wide column. These columns are covered in a thick, solid plug of wax. Should the party penetrate the wax plug, the Patchwork Men from room 1 will animate. At this point, treat the whole building as a wild zone, where any spell or energy employed has unexpected consequences.

Broken Seals

Cruor starts pouring into Room 6 through the tiny holes in the walls and ceiling when the wax seals on the fonts are compromised. It takes 1 minute for room 6 to fill, after which the cruor will begin to advance down Room 5 and fill room 4 in another minute. Then it will travel along Room 3, taking 3 minutes to fill. Room 2b has a closer door than 2a, but that also means the Patchwork Mer inside may have intercepted the party before reaching it. Otherwise, both Room 2s will fill in 10 minutes, and finally both Rooms 1. However, no Cruor will spill out of the hanging strips that make up the entrance ways of Room 1.

Once the Ewer is filled, the briofont will begin to glow bright enough to be seen through the obsidian dome. Soon thereafter, the dome bends, unmooring itself from the ground and dropping into the bottomless trench and the abyssal Deep Sound Channel.

Significance of Conjunctions

The Confluence refers to overlap of three distinct magic sources. The first is the CurorWeb, an ethereal layer of power that can be tapped into to summon floating algae that are toxic if inhaled, called Red Tide. The second is a pair of fountains with life giving properties, known as Briofonts. These fonts produce an infusement of life called animus vitae, and can be used to give movement to the inanimate. The third is a unique ley line that, instead of crossing other ley lines, runs in a curve and forms a circle with itself. Above the center of this ley line, a large spur of crystal is perched.

The Ewer — this vessel — was built around these magic sources. It’s not just a “vessel” in terms of movement, but a vessel by means of what it holds inside. It is meant to be filled with the bubbling Briofont, ley line shaped Xanthellaette coral, and the coagulated toxin of the CruorWeb. Sashelas only knows what effect the Spur has in all this…


Upper Floor

  • 8. A 10′ hole in the floor leads down to Room 6 on the Ground Floor. The floor has an ever changing cascade of red travelling across it, like an eternal wave across the ocean.
  • 9. Unless bathed in ultraviolet light and view through ultravision, this room seems empty. In truth, the walls have myriad complex mathematical formulae written indelibly all over them. There are levels of math here that those outside the Outliers have yet to discover.
  • 10. The balcony from Room 7, where a huge node of crystal looms. It has a large center staff and smaller spikes emanating from around its base. It would most likely be a Spur, if not for its complexity and the fact it is inside a structure. It is immovable, and any small bit chipped off immediately disintegrates into silt.
  • 11. This room is actually a cage with bars barely 5″ apart. There doesn’t appear to be a door, and the cage appears empty.
  • 12. This trio of long rooms each hold a mask and mantle at the back, perched upon a pole and cross bar. The mantles are large and bulky, and drape a floor-length cape around the entire body. The masks cover half the face and are smooth, with tiny eye openings, and tapering out to a pointed nose, reminiscent of a marlin.

A proper skill check of difficult level reveals that the masks are indeed Icht masks, and in pristine condition. It’s not unreasonable to think the mantle/cape combinations are also of the same origin. However, due to their size and shape, they are difficult to carry out of the Ewer without actually wearing them. Which probably explains why they were left here to begin with…

The Patchwork Mer

The Patchwork Mer will animate should the seals on the pair of briofonts be punctured. They are not magical, and have standard stats as a normal humanoid for the setting, save of heightened stats. The manner of these boosts are based on the type of “replaced parts” the Patchwork has — they gain whatever ability bonus the race would normally get at the time of character generation. An orcan arm would give extra strength, chelonian lungs would give constitution, or lumulus carapace might bestow heightened armor. The GM can be creative in the possible combinations, and can increase then number of sewn-on parts to scale with the party’s level of power.

Patchwork Mer are the product of Resurrectionists that believe in the Transpiscean ideal that the piscean form can be improved upon. Going beyond mere prosthetics, these progressive Anatomists seek to create superior individuals by picking and choosing the desirable traits from other intelligent species. While the use of homonculi — reanimated bodies of expired creatures — for labor in the Mer Currents has found a foothold, overt evidence of transpiscean grafts is still taboo.


Ewer on the Confluence is written as a One Page Dungeon. One Page Dungeon is a yearly contest that ran from 2009 to last year, 2018. The home website for the project is www.dungeoncontest.com, and there you can find numerous submissions, individually or collected by year, of simple adventure outlines that can be easily dropped into your campaign if you are struggling to come up with an idea on game night. Some submission are absolutely brilliant, others are beautiful to behold, but all are charmingly creative. I highly recommend plumbing their One Page Dungeon archives — there are so many gems to be found. Submission Guidelines can also be found there to guide you in making your own One Page Dungeons to share with others. All submissions are released under the “Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported” license.

One Page Dungeon Contest www.dungeoncontest.com

“You are the ewer.
You fill it with of choice, and it is filled without permit.
The pang of mistakes; the surge of success.

“You are the ewer.
You chose your path, but destiny is the destination.
The act of trying, the regret of passivity.

“You are the ewer.
You aim your actions, and they impact the whole world.
The rashness of youth, the tedium of experience.

“This is the vessel from which all comes from, to which all goes.
Draft from the ewer, drink of its life as it fills.
All things lead here.
You are on the Confluence

— a fresh echo in the Deep Sound Channel

Endless Blue – Week 89.5 – Jetsam: Modulo Multiplex   Leave a comment

Archaeology

Modulo Multiplex

A compact tool for computation, working on clockwork.  Used by Synod Synesthetes, but actually designed by an Outlier of the Godless.  Far more advanced than an abacus, which is little more than “keeping your place” in your mind, marked with beads.

A squat tube capped on on either end.  Along the tube are switches that can be moved into one of eight positions.  Along the edge of the top cap are slots where results will appear.  The handle on the top is turned the number of times you want to multiply the number locked in along the length of the tube.  Division is accomplished by locking the number in on the length of the tube and rotating the top backwards.  Addition and subtraction are done by readjusting the locked number and turning once.

This analog calculator is a powerful tool to the Synod, allowing them to perform multiple complex calculations at a speed so rapid the untrained eye would equate as magic.

Endless Blue – Week 87.5 – Flotsam: The Lernynge Lax, or the Salmon of Knowledge   Leave a comment

Mythology

The Lernynge Lax, or the Salmon of Knowledge

The tale of the Lernynge Lax is thought to be folklore inspired to help keep the masses of the Known World uneducated.  By shedding personal illumination in a negative context, the more educated hope to keep the population from seeking enlightenment.  Without education, the wealthy keep the advantage in survival to themselves.

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Endless Blue – Week 73 – Societies Submerged in Shadow   11 comments

Sociology

Societies Submerged in Shadow

Just as there are great dangers lurking in the dark of the ocean abyss, there are conspiratorial organizations hiding among the pisceans of Elqua.  Spoken of in hushed tones, these manipulative groups seek power and wealth for their own purposes, and are quite willing to sacrifice anything, or anyone, that tries to impede them.  They are the shadow societies of the Endless Blue, the moving dark that works for its own sake.

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Endless Blue – Kickstarter Day 09 – The Epochs of Elqua   1 comment

The fourth installment condensing what is laid out on the ENDLESS BLUE website so it can more easily accessed by backers:

The Ages of Elqua

The History of Elqua is roughly broken up into “Epochs”, each named after a color.  An epoch does not correspond to an explicit length of time, but is more a general range of circumstances in the world’s history.  The color scale was created by the forefathers of the Synesthete Synod, whose diviners posses a strange cross-linking of their senses, such as seeing color when specific notes are played.  They used these unique ways of sensing to guide their prognostications, nudging society towards outcomes that were more pleasing to the individual’s particular synesthesia.  Garish or jarring sensory input was seen as a sign of ill omen, and soon the general populace began to use the color system to denote events long in the past.

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Endless Blue – Week 55 – Vitruvian Mer   9 comments

Biology

Vitruvian Mer

Despite the distinct number of different sentient races inhabiting the oceans of Elqua, their morphologies all share the same common qualities.  These commonalities are what is known as “the Piscean Form“, and carry over from one race to the other without fail, though with unique variations.  These variants of the paragon form are used to classify the races — essentially defining what makes a species different from the others.  Historically (and even currently) this separation according to race has led to contention and violence, but supporters adhere to the mantra that facts are indisputable and reality must be accepted.

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