Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Maps (Multiverse Passages Mapping Initiative)

It is called the Multiverse Passages Mapping Initiative, a consisted attempt to chart and map all known Passages and Places. Originally started by scholars at The College, it now describes dozens of disconnected pieces of information, of varying levels of trustworthiness. 

Most people simply call them Maps.

People have died and killed for Maps.

 As previously mentioned, even knowing where a Passage is, it is still non-trivial to find it again, let alone map it. Most of the most travelled Passages (about 80) in Thyra are signalled by a bright red circle on the ground, drawn around it, about one meter in diameter, with the Passage number written a number of times around the perimeter. If you aim for the centre of the circle, most times you go through. If not, you turn back and try again.

Some passages have black circles, and other warning signs, mostly those that have the potential to kill you in instants (toxic/no atmosphere, aggressive fauna/flora around the Passage end, aggressive populations, the list goes on)

Some passages are only rumoured or mythical, and may or may not exist. The official Maps refer to them by letter combinations (instead of numbers). Only once has a lettered passage become a numbered one (Passage BK became passage 20). The reason behind this is a simple one: if you find a Passage yourself, that has a lot of money potential, you won't necessarily share it with the world.

According to Professor Gregor Wallinsky, geographer at The College, between official, unofficial and quasi-mythical Passages (including Land, Water, Air and Below Passages), their total number to present is somewhere in the vicinity of 250.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Passages v 2.0 (UPDATE)

As a quick addendum to my previous post on passages,  I wanted to further their description: a Passage is a shimmering (like heat distortion) axis, about 3 meters high, and no wider than 1 foot (33 cm). It is subtle, and if you're not looking for it and/or is not signalled, you'll probably miss it.

Most importantly, a Passage is only Opened, if one walks into it, carrying an amount of NightGems no smaller than a closed fist. The NightGem then glows its characteristic black/purple, and the Passage is Opened, depositing the traveller in the other Place. As NightGems have never been found anywhere else in the other Places, Openings can only be done from Thyra's side. As there is no visual indiction prior to the Opening, most Passages are opened by mere chance.

Once opened, one can walk into a Passage from anywhere in a 360o circle around it. 

The Plaza

Only two places in Thyra do not resemble a hive of brass and steel and brick: a few noble and moneyed streets in Oldtown and The Plaza.

The Plaza is an area just outside the main urban area that was left clear after the War. It is a large space, by far the largest single-use area in the city, and on an average day, it heaves with activity. 

Carts and people disappear and appear, apparently out of thin air. Carts, wagons, wheelbarrows, everything is used to move stuff around.

For you see, The Plaza has the biggest concentration of Passages in the whole of Thyra. In an area slightly smaller than a couple of  hectares, there are dozens and dozens of passages, randomly spread out throughout.

It is one of the main thoroughfares in the city, and a sign of how big a hub Thyra actually is.

I have recently come into possession of about a hundred more possible new Places, so I needed A LOT more Passages.

Friday, 25 December 2015

TANDEM (Thyran Defense Directorate Multiverse)

The one key difference between Thyra and all the other Places, is (if one ignores magic, dragons, high technology, etc.), it that Thyra has NightGems, and the rest of the Multiverse does not. Why this is is a source of extensive debate, but the facts are there. This makes the city singularly important, not only as a hub, but also as the source of this material.

After the debacle of Passage 66, it became clear, throughout the Places, that all the eggs were very much in the same basket, and if Thyra fell, ALL the passages would be at risk.

TANDEM was created for this purpose. A rag-tag collection of individuals from all backgrounds, acting on an information network that extends throughout the Places. Not a fist, not even a scalpel, more like a snipers bullet, preventing situations from escalating, before they can endanger Thyra or its commerce.

With individuals and tactics from Places throughout the Multiverse, TANDEM are a force to be reckoned with. Moving in the shadows, and with absolutely no official standing, these people(s) have been key on keeping the trade going.

Secretly, that is.

Something I've been thinking about for some time. Perhaps having the characters have a bigger purpose, or indeed be a type of unofficial (and indeed illegal) secret agents, might open more doors to the narrative.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Character: Doctor Thaddeus 'Doc' Rathrock

Thaddeus is the living embodiment of how things can go wrong, and how far a sentient being can be pushed.

Originally from Er'th (Passage 88), his love of machinery was obvious from a young age. The trip into Thyra allowed this love to blossom and he was part of The College team that developed the 3rd Gen cores.

But it was not enough.

In his quest to explore other possibilities, Thaddeus stated to break College rules, his thirst for knowledge apparently boundless.

He injected himself with NighSerum, and it was not enough.

He developed the ability to fuse flesh and brass and steel to a degree others only dream of, he could make or break most machines, but it was not enough.

He started experimenting with his own flesh, but it was still not enough.

Eventually he was expelled from the university. But his experimentations continued.

Today, he is addicted to NightSerum, but what he has gained far outshines this issue.

To fund his research he became brains for hire. He travels the Passages, looking for new knowledge, new metals and new machines.

My personal character. He is a really unpleasant character, which for me is refreshing. He has a mild forcefield (-2 to hit) and has a lot of extra limbs, allowing a second action at no penalty, and these limbs have blades, making him really strong at melee. Otherwise, he's made of tissue. I look forward to see how he performs!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Character: Harlow Redstone

There are some harsh and wild Places at the other side of the Passages. And then there is Koncorvire. 

A planet of erupting volcanoes, boiling oceans and storm filled skies. Oh, and in constant conflict. 

Home sweet home to the wise mouthed, Mohawk wearing, cigar chomping, battle hardened Dwarf, Harlow Redstone. For over 300 years Redstone has been in the heat of battle against the Magma Giants. Standing 15 foot tall & made of burning rock, these monstrous creatures crush & incinerate anything that isn't their kin but with his Dac rifle in his hands and his Lightening blade strapped to his back, Redstone is never happier than crushing Mag heads.

On one fateful day though, during a routine scouting mission, Redstones team was ambushed and in the middle of the battle, the floor to give way. As both parties fall into the abyss, Redstone was engulfed in a shimmering distortion and with a sudden thump he was left unconscious. 

Waking up, Redstone realises he wasn't on Koncorvire any more. The tunnels around him was smooth, and well built, not natural at all (he was a Dwarf, after all, he knew of these things). After finding his way out of the 'caverns' he awoke in (he was at the outskirts of Below), Redstone reached the surface, and nothing could had prepared him for the visions he was exposed to.

He had heard tales of blue skies and green lands but never imagined he would ever see them for himself. For months Redstone has now been in the city of Thyra taking jobs to make money. Be it as a bodyguard or as a Merc or scout. If you need a blade or gun at your side, Redstone is your Dwarf. 

A custom build for a friend. Fantastic melee, with a wicked Lightening Axe (STR+D6+3), Bloodthirsty, you name it, he has it. I've been wondering about this for many a week, to focus combat on one speciality, and making the character phenomenally good at what he does. 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Airships and Sky Passages.

As mentioned before, the impact of The Night shattered the walls between Places and created the Passages. Many are at ground level, and can be either simply walked into or one can take a boat (is a Water Passage). Some are Below.

And some are very much above.

Accessible only by airship, these passages are serviced by a growing fleet, moving tons of cargo and passengers between Places. The worlds thus served are usually at a tech level similar to Thyra, so the services are regular. Some are empty, and therefore it is by airship that new explorers are ferried in and out.

Some of these airships are now powered by 4th Gen NightSerum cores and can maintain themselves airborne for as long as their supplies last.