Tag Archives: Doomsday

Shattered Grounds – Updated Concept

A long time ago I came up with what I tentatively call “Shattered Grounds”. It is post-apocalyptic fantasy setting, but unlike the trope (in which magic awakes after a nuclear war), it is an actual fantasy setting that experienced a doomsday.

The – as of yet unnamed – world was a normal fantasy world with dragons, wizards, orcs and humans. It also featured a vast underworld, similar to the Underdark from Dungeons & dragons. If anything, this underworld was much more extensive, with underground caverns hundreds of kilometers across.

One day, and without warning, large sections of the surface collapsed into that underworld. The continent-sized caverns caved in, causing huge valleys and lowlands, effectively lowering leaving continent-wide, kilometer-deep scars behind. The oceans of the world flowed into the now exposed underworld, flooding much of it; consequently, with much of the water gone, the surface world turned into a vast desert. Civilization was devastated and the world was plunged into chaos and savagery…

Shattered Grounds - Concept
Shattered Grounds – Concept

Should make for some awesome vistas…

So what’s happening in the world?

Continue reading “Shattered Grounds – Updated Concept” »

Plot-a-Day: Ten Uses for Asteroids

Asteroids. Big lumps of rock and metal floating in the endless void of space. The Dawn probe is about to enter orbit around Vesta, where it will stay a year before moving on to Ceres.

The Andiope Doublet (Image credit: ESO)
The Andiope Doublet (Image credit: ESO)

So I was wondering: What can you actually do with Asteroids? They seem pretty useless, but here are some ideas:

  1. Prisons: Try to escape from a ball of rock a few hundred kilometers in diameter, literally out in the middle of no-where. Good luck.
  2. Mining: Some asteroids contain valuable metals or minerals or even tiny primordial black holes, and could be a source of conflict if more than one party claims them.
  3. Warfare: Use them as a military base or crash them into a planet. It ensured victory over the dinosaurs.
  4. Secret hideout: Pirates, spies, alien invaders, mad scientists, religious fanatics, the Space Mafia, rich eccentrics, anybody who wishes to remain out of the limelight for a while may set up shop on an asteroid.
  5. Space ship: Hollow them out, put in quarters and a big drive system, and ride a chunk of rock to the stars. In theory you could even use the rock of the asteroid itself as reaction mass.
  6. Waystation: Use it as a refueling and resupplying depot on your way to the outer system, or assemble your first FTL ship using that asteroid as a base.
  7. Monuments: What better place for the grave of your early space heroes than an asteroid cemetary?
  8. Natural Hazard: Very dense asteroid belts might actually pose a hazard to spaceships. The asteroid belt in the Solar System doesn’t; but it’s a staple of Space Operae to posit belts where asteroid tumble about chaotically and close enough to each other to constantly bump into one another. If a belt is created within the story’s timeframe, say by destroying a planet, it could become a new hazard to hyperspace lanes or what have you.
  9. Doomsday: In fiction, asteroids have a habit of constantly crashing into Earth or other inhabited planets. The players could either be helpless to stop it, and need to deal with a society gone wild in expectation of doomsday, or are heroic heroes that get sent into space to help Bruce Willis blow up that approaching menace.
  10. Mystery: Back in the days, people thought the asteroids might be the left-over of a fifth planet that was ripped apart. They don’t have enough mass, among other things, so this seems no longer plausible. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true in your fictional universe – and it might be the origin of asteroid belts in other systems. The players could hunt for artifacts from the fifth planet, prevent a similar fate from befalling Earth, could encounter Aliens in cold sleep, survivors from the catastrophe; or they could travel back in time to prevent the disaster (or, in a twist, cause the disaster in the first place to keep the timeline intact).

What other uses could asteroids have in adventures? How have you used asteroids in your games or stories?

How The Gods Destroyed The World – First Draft

Countless ages ago, Arnâron was a paradise protected by the benevolence of the eight gods: It was called Dukaydor in those days, the land of water, because water was plentiful everywhere: Rivers sprang from the mountains and flowed into the vast oceans, which covered most of the world with water. The water even fell from the sky, and so Dukaydor was a green and pleasant land. Trees, flowers and crops grew everywhere. Great numbers of beautiful animals roamed the land, the sea, and even the skies, but none of them was dangerous. No man and no woman had to suffer hunger, or thirst. The people lived in happiness and security. They built great cities, and created art and the sciences. They explored the entire world, and ruled over it without challenge. There was no limit to what they could do.

However, with their great power came pride, and with pride came sinfulness. They discarded the old religions and considered themselves gods. Moral decay and decadence followed. Eventually, the eight gods decided to punish the people. They tasked Turyon, the dark god, with this.

Turyon sent two of his servants to Dukaydor. Their names were Death and Destruction, and they were aptly named.

They appeared out of no-where in the sky, great, silvery disks that began to illuminate the night. The oceans began to move, and flooded the coasts. Volcanoes erupted, and the ground trembled. Many of the great cities were destroyed, others abandoned as their citizens fled in panic.

Scared for their life, the people decided to beg the gods for mercy. But it was not in their hearts; it was a cold and calculated act. Thus Inyanu, the lady of the light, who had provided warmth and daylight since the beginning of time, lashed out at Dukaydor as well. Where she touched the world, oceans boiled and the land burned. The blood of the dead dyed the ground in a crimson red.

The people threw themselves to the ground and prayed to the eight gods to show compassion and mercy, and they weeped in desperation. The gods saw this and gave mankind a second chance. Their fury subsided, and they spared the lives of those who had survived. But now Dukaydor had become Arnâron, the home of the red sand, a bleak, barren world, that would forever remind the people to live in humility and reverence of the gods. Death and Destruction, Turyon’s servants, remained in the skies as well, ready to unleash further desolation as soon as the people would veer off the righteous path again.