First off, a reminder: I have a Patreon; even a buck a month really helps encourage me to keep this blog going. Much appreciation for my patrons!
Second, much thanks to Robert Brookes, the man behind Aethera; thanks to him I should be getting my hands on a hardcopy of the Starfinder Free RPG Day supplement. I am more than a little interested, given the presence of queer iconics and a playable race that has trinary sexes rather than binary.
And now for today’s primary segment: welcome to the Atlas of Worlds, a more fantastic counterpart to the Gatecrasher’s Almanac series that I have running here. The form the Atlas takes depends on you; it might just be a GM resource, a starting point to build a homebrew world on. It might be a planewalking wizard’s personal book of lore, which the players stumble upon. It might even be a divine tome, whose pages literally contain the worlds they describe. Regardless, the Atlas of Worlds will be a game resource that I’ll build up over time.
I hope it’s of use for you!
Name: The Land of Fallen Spires
Climate: Cool temperate, trending colder
Magic: Formerly high magic; now low and dangerous
The Land of Fallen Spires was, a few hundred years ago, a fairly typically example of magic-rich worlds, with several bright cities crafted using enchantments. In this realm’s case, the magic was derived entirely from the gods, whose will enabled cities with slender crystalline towers and lace-like streets between them to exist. It was warm, pleasant, and doomed.
No one alive now knows exactly what set it off, but the gods went to war with one another; one theory says that a god with Fate as part of his nature started it because it was ordained. Another claims it was two gods who were imbued with War as part of their nature who lost their self-control. The darkest rumors whisper that somehow, the first god was felled by the hands of mortals – the same ones who wield power in the modern world.
The aftermath of the divine war was swift – without the power of the gods to sustain them, the enchantments collapsed, and without them, the cities fell in on themselves. Many remain in ruins, shimmering mass graves slowly being reclaimed by the natural world. Some even serve as the tombs of gods, when their corpses fell from the heavens onto the cities they were patrons of.
It is those corpses that are now the most valuable and dangerous resource of the world, as ice creeps north from the far south and the weather slowly grows colder with each passing decade. Divine flesh is hardy, and contains some of their power still. Often, it gets used to power some fragment of the old world – the water pumps that permit the city of Last Home to exist as far south as it does, sending warm water through the pipes scavenged from the ruins of the city of Azure Dream, are one example.
Others use it to build new things; the golems that populate the labor forces of the more fortunate cities have a chunk of divine meat at their core. Only a few are overwhelmed by the strange forces that drive them each year, but a single rogue golem trying to follow the course of a god can wreak havoc still. Worse are those who try to claim the power for themselves. The mages of the new world have a variety of methods – some eat fragments of godflesh, others pierce themselves with needles of bone hewn from their vast corpses. All of them lose themselves to the power, sooner or later, driven by the impulses of a divine power that overwhelms their mortal wills. The fortunate die from their own stolen power, while the less fortunate are either put down after they kill someone or they go on to live as twisted abominations, hiding away in places sacred to whatever god they drew their power from.
Rumors say one person is traveling from corpse to corpse, taking a fragment at each stop, with the plan to take all the pieces into themself at once; they apparently think the different divine powers will balance out, leaving them whole of mind but imbued with the fragmentary powers of all the gods who once were.
As for what will happen… Who can say for sure?