Thursday, February 28, 2008

EarthMaze (Realm)

another Everway Realm

EarthMaze (Realm)

The rocky wilderness that surrounds and separates Flashfire and Night’s Adornment is commonly known as EarthMaze. It is a dangerous realm, difficult to travel, and so quite amazing that two such grand city-states should grow upon its borders. The canyons form a great labyrinth, and much more is speculated to be hidden in those folds than anyone has ever proven.

Usurper Force: Wandering The Maze
Normal: Secret Twists
Inverted: The Exit Is Closer Than You Thought

Vessel Gnomes: In the deep crevasses and caverns of Earth Maze there lives a breed of tiny people who appear to be made of wet clay. Adults are between 8 and 12 inches in height. Their appearance varies greatly, as though each were a clay sculpture by a different artist’s hand. One thing they all have in common is a depression or hollow in their body, which is filled with a fluid that looks and smells not unlike green tea. If that liquid pours out, the Drinking Vessel Gnome dries up and dies in a small belch of flame that leaves a hard ceramic body behind.

Cup Hunters: There are constant rumors that unscrupulous individuals hunt the Vessel Gnomes, drain them and sell their bodies on the black market in far corners of the universe. You’ve never seen such a macabre item for sale in even the seediest marketplace, so perhaps it’s just a nightmare fairytale designed to frighten children. Such a gnome-hunter would have to be a Spherewalker or have Spherewalker allies to be able to export such sadistic cups off-world.

Economy: The Drinking Vessel Gnomes (now that you think about, that appellation might be a bit insensitive, but it is the only name you’ve heard of for them) mostly keep to themselves. Having heard the nightmare fairytale one too many times, they tend to be distrustful of “big folk”. If there’s any economy here, it’s all black market exports.

Military: None that you know of, unless you count the Minotaur.

Ecology: Sharp spurs of rock make up the jagged walls of the EarthMaze. Lichens are the most commonly encountered life. Plants are mostly small trees and bushes. Cactus exist here, but are rare. Rodents are common, including several different breeds of rabbit. And in your trips through earthmaze you’ve seen signs of the passing of large herds of cattle or bison, but you’ve never seen such a beast directly. Frequently you see Dragons fly overhead, especially when near to Flashfire. You’re generally happy to have only noticed them from a distance. And then, of course there’s the folklore about the Minotaur.

Green Tea Rose: The local rose blossoms on a lanky bush that grows far horizontally but stays very close to the ground. The yellow-green rose that it produces has a sweet scent reminiscent of tea, and makes a good brew you are told. It’s often been speculated that there is some correlation between such a blossom and the tea-like substance carried in the Drinking Vessel Gnomes’ hollows, but no one knows for sure.

The Minotaur: All the accounts vary, so he could be anywhere from 5 to 20 feet tall, humanoid or quadruped, uncivilized or bearing bronze armor and tools, earthbound or capable of magical flight, incredibly strong and fast or a lethargic beast that slays with poisoned breath, etc, etc, etc. Tradition holds that he kills those he encounters, showing no mercy and rarely making escape possible. No one you know has actually seen him with their own eyes in good lighting, but it’s possible he does exist nonetheless. Whether fearing attack by Minotaur, Dragon, or just Stampede of Bison, most who travel through EarthMaze do so without dawdling.

Gates & Bordering Realms: There may well be Gates hidden deep in the rocky culdesacs of EarthMaze. You’ve kept only to established trade routes, and didn’t stop to dally, so you don’t know. All you can say for certain is that EarthMaze borders both Night’s Adornment and Flashfire, and sees a good deal of merchant traffic as a result.

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