Friday, 24 August 2018

Weird Worlds (Part One)

The Neverwoods
Visitors to the Neverwoods are rarely there on purpose, but the Sphere has a way of drawing in the lost and unwary. Many a dense thicket acts as an accidental portal to this twisted place.
            This world is thick forest all-around, except for where the villages and manors break the foliage. Magical barriers generated by the world’s ever-present ward-stones, weird rune marked rocks that keep the chaos of the forest at bay: for it is more than the threat of wilderness that stalks the perimeters these stones mark out.
            The Neverwoods do not obey the usual rules of space. Once out in the un-warded areas, distance is molten and mutable and time is as fragmentary and fickle as the weather- it is impossible to wander from the few carefully warded paths without becoming hopelessly lost and quickly maddened. The only souls who tread freely between the trees are the Witches, men and women who have submitted to the madness out there and gained twisted powers as a result.

The Village Peasants
The Manor-Nobles
The Woods Around
… are a weak and miserable bunch, terrified of the world outside of their ward-stones and totally subservient to the ruling class.
… are decadent maniacs, dressed in ornate animal masks. They have a penchant for the dramatic, and love to see the reactions of those nearest their victims.
… have an unusual number of Witches who walk amongst the peasants and consort with the nobility.
… are obsessed with a backwards and puritanical religion, regularly burning “witches” to keep the Woods-Gods at bay. Xenophobic and accepting of their roles beneath the nobles.
… are gluttonous brutes, prone to cannibalism and gruesome culinary displays. They keep great and ghastly hounds which are beaten and starved into peak viciousness.
… have a barrow of the dead nearby which periodically rise, drawn to the rare light of the living and the stability created by the ward-stones.
… are scheming and paranoid, split into many cells of revolutionaries who talk empty talk of overthrowing the nobles.
… are perverse schemers, prim and proper in dress and manner but driven by unspeakable and insatiable urges. Their wickedest members are academics of the blackest arts, fascinated by the science of cruelty.
… have a faulty ward-stone, leading to a confusing and disturbing effect on the villages perimeter, where ghosts and illusions pace freely amongst the trees.
… are broken mentally and physically by their constant toiling, with barely a reaction, let alone word, for the worst horrors and surprises in their world.
… are violent, drunken louts with little in the way of civility except perhaps an exquisite wardrobe of breeches, ever stocked to replace those freshly-soiled.
… have a group of rogue peasants camped just barely within reach of a ward-stone, armed and out for blood as they prowl about as highwaymen.
… are kept cheery and bright by the sing-song promises of a pastor who has erected a humble church in the square and has a sinister manner when left alone with the vulnerable…
… are a long and inbred line of wicked necromancers, morbidly drawn to the dead time and time again and with little if any love for the living.
… have been claimed as the hunting grounds for a huge, demonic bear.
… are sinister and cruel, having been moulded by their surroundings. Still powerless to stop the nobles, they unleash their bitterness on any weaker targets they find.
… are seemingly genteel souls, seeming fair and kind on first impression though each and every one holds a private darkness in their heart. Their keeping-up of appearances only serves to salt the wounds of those they inevitably damage irrevocably in pursuit of these “little guilty pleasures”.
…have a particularly ancient and powerful Witch living in them, who causes untold heartache for peasants and nobles alike.

Why would you come to this dreadful place?
1.       You seek information, and only the parun of a particular noble family can give it to you.
2.       You need a curse breaking, and only one of the wild and ancient witches of the Neverwoods can do the job.
3.       You misunderstood how fundamental suffering is to this place, and came hoping to change things for the better.
4.      You came to study the ward-stones, and work out how lumps of rune-scarred rock can impose a kind of reality on this chaos.
5.      You have been tricked here, by an ill-reputed sorcerer who wished you nothing but ill.
6.      You have been hired to broker a deal with a family of nobles… little do you know, it’s for a human trafficker.


  1. I just wanted to let you know I enjoy your blog and things you create.
    I hope you keep at it :)

  2. Thank you so much! I certainly intend to!