Thursday, 28 February 2013

Guano made bombs in WW1

ICE FALL TRAVERSE

A barrier become a bridge. Will highlight as you cross and soon decay.

Converging winds knit a temporary frozen micro-climate. Water-dwellers caught half in half out. Freeze-thaw cracks ebmoss the stone. You can briefly climb across, or through. Its bright. he floor is knives and forks* of ice glimmering and glittering, casting back and fracturing your light, blinding you and winding. Thaws in d4 hours and will not freeze again for days.

SKYLINE TRAVERSE

A face-forward sidestepping crawl across the highest point.

Climbing with your face against the rock, moving across with darkness falling below. A roof crawl defined by its distance from the ground. A half-foot path, a foot turned lengthwise takes up half the space, a zig zag up. (At the top is someone selling something because everyone has been here before.) Press your hands against the cave roof for balance. Balance balance balance.

GUANO FIELD

A piled white desert of fossilised poisonous shit.

Bats, birds or something worse. Cracks under your feet sometimes. Lots and lots of flesh eating grubs. Baby bones everywhere, bird or bat being devoured. It has their attention for now. Fungal infections, Incapacitating smell. You weep yellow tears. Anyone who lies bleeding in the dirt is fucked.. Now or later. Blinding chemical dust.

ELEPHANT SHAFT

Bends and twists like an elephants trunk fiddling with a twig.

Elephant-sized, you could throw one down. Tusk-curved stalactites line the walls arranged in radial spirals like the saarlacs mouth. Tips vibrate with distant hums and clue you in to secret falls. They quiver like tuning forks and moan sadly. Remind you of things you forgot long ago. Two small holes lead out, each going to a different path.


THE PISTON

Poylhedral cave, the exit blocked by a giant crystal.

Shape of the cave is whichever platonic solid you pull blindly out of your dice bag or pocket, tilted on its point. The crystal piston spikes through like a brass tack pinning it to the ground. Vibrating like giant quartz watch. Clues to the movement. converge with insane hums like a galactic bee. Crystal stack shivering thumb-blurs like hornet wings, growing like contractions. Humming and crackling. Goes apeshit if you try to break it. Days sometimes. Possible truce area. Tracks, fire pits, score marks on the walls. The test is waiting. It will hover out rhythmically in d6 days, obeying hidden laws.


*not spoons

5 comments:

  1. The title reminds me of something I feel like I might have heard once about how they burned mummies (maybe mummy cats) in steam engines in the old we-don't-give-a-fuck days -it's almost certainly apocryphal, misheard or misremembered. That, in turn, reminds me of how Picasso and Braque burned what was later estimated to be sixty million dollars worth of paintings in one cold Parisian night in nineteen-o-something. All of which is beside the point.
    These are my favourite caves yet, the cumulative effect of reading through all these entries is starting to get quite creepily under my skin. I've clambered though some precipitous terrain in my time and the balance,balance, balance character of the skyline traverse is both very familiar from my own experience and unfamiliar from my experience of games. Is desperate fearful clambering out of fashion? Is there something inherently unfun about it?
    Considering guano's explosive potential, would it not make sense that belligerent crafty subterranean types might avail themselves of this characteristic in fairly unpleasant ways?

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    1. It might be because its a kind of mono-dimensional challenge. very difficult to layer and impossible to come back from if you fail. 'You are balancing at a high point. Test your DEX' 'I fail' 'Ok, well, 100 foot fall, looks like you're dead then.'

      I the Duregar might have Guano-nitrate bombs. The drow, probably not, its playing with shit after all.

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  3. Not that I'm particularly fond of drow and the tacky spandex PG-fetishistic clonish post-Salvatorean photoshopped mockeries they've become, but if I encountered a decadent sorcerous underground fairy race and they weren't at least slightly coprophiliac I'd be disappointed.

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