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Setting: Wyrmweb Station

Here’s some pretty major backstory of one of the most important areas in the setting, one which you’ll probably be seeing a lot of. It also goes over basically how space travel is accomplished in the setting, and the ideological differences between different classes that developed as a result of the new discoveries of the interstellar age.

Space Travel

Space travel began, like many other things with the inventions of wizards – great crystalline batteries could store and release arcane energy spurring a revolution in technology, and spurred on by the adventurer-driven nature of the Motherrock those efforts quickly focused towards exploring further and further. The use of illusion magic to bend and focus light in new ways meant the heavens could be studied like never before, while wards and invocations could be placed on an intrepid explorer to protect them from the dangers of space travel. Shortly thereafter primal, psionic and divine power sources were identified and a magical space race began. Psions would command massive geodes of psi-crystals to power space craft with pinpoint efficiency, while clerics could venture further and further via their mastery of ward spells, while druids used their command over nature to establish colonies on the nearby moons and asteroids.

With the laws of physics subjugated to their commands, mages of all domains were able to press further and further outwards, turning journeys that would take lifetimes into matters of months, reducing navigation to trivia through arcane beacons which could be easily scried and beginning the first steps of interstellar colonization. As they did they discovered a universe teeming with life – angels, demons, fey and all manner of monsters were found living in the sector in varying degrees of civilization, but also vast alien forests, unfathomably deep seas and scorching wastelands. The great revelation of the interstellar age was that not only were they not alone in the universe, but the origins of life spread far and wide. The indigenous home of the Fey was discovered resembling a caricature of home as if the gods had taken a few goes to get it right, and the entire concept of evolutionary biology began to take shape in the minds of the druids who studied it. These vast new fields of science are still poorly understood as civilization attempts to make a millennium of progress in two short centuries, but amid the so much hope, philosophical and ideological differences threaten to tear civilization apart at the seams.

Domain of the Shardminds

As tensions began to rise, and explorers ventured further and further few took into account the mysterious shardminds – the only race whose history remained just as mysterious as it was before. But when portals began to open in the skies above civilized worlds, the other races discovered a massive interplanetary hub, built in secret with gates allowing travel between all the known universe. The labyrinthine station was only ever accessible though shardmind portals, and its exact location was nigh-unknowable, but the sheer utility of the station, immediately propelled the shardminds into the position of the first true galactic power. Existing as a neutral zone between vast ideological conflicts, the station acted as a powerful force for order in the cosmos, allowing free philosophical discourse and travel, quickly supplanting the Motherrock as the seat of galactic power.

Arrival of the Dragons

All was not meant to last however as the eternal greed of the dragons had not been content to merely sit by and allow lesser races to prosper untaxed. A few short years after the establishment of the Shardmind Hub, it found itself under siege by the ancient Wyrms, lead by Yarluth, The Celestial Fire – a colossal Red dragon who sought to add the hub itself to her hoarde. For the first time since it’s creation, the portals to the Shardmind Hub were closed, and when they reopened it was to a wasteland. The Hub was scorched and burned, with casualties on both sides – Yarluth herself had fallen in battle and his Emerald council had proposed a truce. What is now referred to as Wyrmweb Station is now considered property of the Emerald Council, but it is run and shaped by the shardminds who enjoy a security detail like no other.

As of the Campaign

Wyrmweb Station is the seat of galatic power – a cosmopolitan, labrynthine city of unknown size, location and proportions built to facilitate travel anywhere in the known universe. For the purposes of most travellers it’s a means to an end, but the real adventure lies where the Wyrmholes can’t take you – on the frontier. The station itself has only ever been seen from the inside – some believe it occupies its own pocket dimension, or the core of a planet, others suggest it occupies nowhere at all – it’s merely a single point in space multiplied upon itself an infinite number of times. Whatever the case, the unique nature of the station itself is not in question – it is truly a product of portals. The actual geometry of the station lacks any internal coherence -non-Euclidian paths warp in around and on top of each other, storefronts exist on walls too thin to be occupied, staircases rotate a full 720 degrees getting you to twice the height you’d expect in half the space.

The Collective Unconscious

The only thing stopping this Escherian nightmare from being the death of those who travel it is the collective unconscious – a conglomerate of psionic focus that scans the thoughts of travellers, projecting directions and information directly into their minds. Psions upon entering are asked to join their focus to the unconscious in order to better aid others. Psions who do so lose access to their abilities for the duration of their stay while the unconscious draws upon them, they cannot read or influence the thoughts of anyone onboard the station, and as far as anyone knows, the unconscious has never attempted to influence anyone either. It’s generally accepted by travellers for it’s usefulness, but mistrusted by wizards and psions for its potential to do harm, though to anyone’s knowledge, it has never been used to do so, and indeed, is too powerful for any one psion to influence to their own ends.

In Practice

The internals of the station resemble rock and crystal caves of vastly varying size with massive stained glass tubes separating pedestrian traffic from the depressurize shipping lanes. Branching halls, impossible spaces and subtly placed portals make the geometry feel arbitrary and unpredictable to all but the Shardminds, who understand its logic on an instinctive level. Many more naturalistic races have staked out their own areas of the station, planting grass, trees and wooden panelling to create more favourable environments, which the dragons are more than happy to allow – for a price. As a trading hub you can find nearly anything there, you need only think the right thoughts to be directed, however all purchases are traceable and many prefer to only buy supplies there, lest they be noticed by the dragons. By that same logic there is high demand for smugglers who are willing to spend time bypassing Wyrmweb in order to ensure goods are delivered discretely via the impossible to police conventional channels.

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Categories: Setting
  1. August 11, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Pretty much exactly what I was looking for, thanks 🙂

    Kind of reminds me of the Bazaar in the Mythadventures series…

  2. August 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I have to say, I’m enjoying the setting and background information.

    The events, for example, seem to arise naturally. “Of course Dragons would be envious of the expansion! It makes perfect sense!”

    So yeah. Great job. 🙂

    • August 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks. Its kind of a key goal for the setting that it feels like a logical extension of the standard tropes. Fantasy is very arbitrary and static – it has lists of monsters, that just sit around in caves until the heroes arrive. It never made sense to me that say, dragons never did anything ambitious given their vast lifespans, phenomenal wealth, limitless greed and legendary cunning. From there its a matter of considering racial stereotypes as I would active characters (fantasy loves stereotypes, as much as I love to mess around with them ). So that’s pretty much where this is going.

  1. January 30, 2013 at 7:37 pm
  2. October 28, 2014 at 1:39 pm

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