subterranean world

Book Recommendations for Each Type

ISFP: The Illustrated Lark Rise to Candleford  (Flora Thompson)
Punctuated with beautiful watercolour paintings, this whimsical memoir details hamlet life in the late Victorian era. 

ISTP: Into Thin Air (Jon Krakauer)
A raw, real book about the risks mountaineers know they take.

ISFJ: Please Look After Mom (Kyun-Sook Shin)
After their mother disappears in a crowded Seoul train station, a family looks back on all she has done for them.

ISTJ: The Ministry of Fear (Graham Greene)
During the Second World War, a man named Arthur Rowe purchases a cake. This action comes back to haunt him…

INFP: A Face Like Glass (Frances Hardinge)
Probably my favourite fantasy book. Neverfell stumbles into the luxurious subterranean world of Caverna, which is populated by denizens whose faces do not show emotion. 

INFJ: H is for Hawk (Helen MacDonald)
Helen Macdonald’s autobiographical account of her struggle to successfully train a goshawk and the discoveries she makes along the way.

ESFP: Love Poems (Pablo Neruda)
“if each day a flower/ climbs up your lips to seek me/ ah my love, ah my own/ in me all that fire is repeated”

ESTP: The Pleasures of the Damned (Charles Bukowski)
Charles Bukowski’s poems are raw and real, no frills added depictions of city life and the human condition.

ESFJ: Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
Elizabeth Bennet develops a prejudice for haughty Mr. Darcy. Everyone gets what they so richly deserve.

ESTJ: The Woman In White (Wilkie Collins)
A woman in white escapes from an insane asylum. A sinister plot haunts the inhabitants of Limmeridge House.

ENFP: Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel García Márquez)
This is my personal favourite and it’s the one I’m reading right now. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, describes the decades-long passion of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza.

ENTP: Is That A Fish In Your Ear? (David Bellos)
David Bellos’ humorous, insightful guide to the intricacies of translation.

ENFJ: Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert)
When a young country girl marries a struggling doctor, she enmeshes herself in adultery to escape the crippling boredom of poverty.

ESTJ: The Once and Future King (T.H. White)
The Arthurian legend retold in splendour and sadness–a romp as well as a tragedy.

5 graphic novels to check out this week:

MONSTRESS Vol. 2: The Blood

The Eisner-nominated MONSTRESS is back! Maika, Kippa, and Ren journey to Thyria in search of answers to her past…and discover a terrible new threat. Collects MONSTRESS #7-12.

GAMORA: Memento Mori

From screenwriter Nicole Perlman - co-writer of the Guardians of the Galaxy screenplay - and Marvel superstar artist Marco Checchetto, comes a killer new ongoing series! Once upon a time, Gamora was Thanos’ heartless pet assassin and favorite adopted daughter. Today, she is the backbone of the Guardians of the Galaxy, putting her life on the line to defend the innocent throughout the universe. What was it that transformed her from being used as a tool of her oppressor, to a champion of the powerless? Embark on a journey of revenge and redemption, and witness how Gamora earned her reputation as the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy. Collects Gamora #1-5.

LOOSE ENDS

No one seemed to notice Sonny Gibson as he stepped back into “The Hideaway,” a dusty little honky-tonk nestled off the Carolina highway. But before the night was over, Sonny would be on the run—from the law, from criminals, and even from himself. LOOSE ENDS is a gritty, slow-cooked, Southern crime romance that follows a winding trail down Tobacco Road, through the war-torn streets of Baghdad, and into the bright lights and bloody gutters of South Florida. From JASON LATOUR, co-creator of Eisner-winning SOUTHERN BASTARDS and the writer of Spider-Gwen, CHRIS BRUNNER (SOUTHERN BASTARDS, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight), and RICO RENZI (Spider-Gwen, Squirrel Girl). Collects LOOSE ENDS #1-4.

CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE Vol. 1: Going Underground

Cave Carson was once the world’s greatest underground adventurer-but that was a long time ago. When he settled down with his wife, Eileen, to raise their daughter, Chloe, he traded the controls of his vehicle, the Mighty Mole Mark 1, for a desk and keyboard. Since then, Cave has led a quiet life-even with the constant distraction of his otherworldly cybernetic eye.

But when a sudden illness claims Eileen’s life, Cave’s tranquil existence is shatteredsh and he and Chloe soon find themselves hurtling down a terrifying tunnel of danger, discovery, mayhem and madness.

At the bottom of that tunnel lie secrets buried for decades-secrets that hold the key to thwarting a conspiracy that threatens to consume the surface and subterranean worlds alike. But will Cave and his intrepid team of super-spelunkers be able to overcome this new generation of evil-or is there less to this hero than meets the eye? Collects issues #1-6.

ANGEL CATBIRD Vol. 3: The Catbird Roars

It’s all-out war in the madcap conclusion to Angel Catbird’s superhero saga. The evil Rat army is aiming for world domination, and only a ragtag gang of half-cats stands in their way. Internationally best-selling novelist and animal lover Margaret Atwood pens a conclusion to the dramatic, hilarious, and heartwarming trilogy.

The conclusion to the Ipsywitch story.

As I will never get to drawing the end of the old blog and people have asked I’ve written down a condensed ending, here is the end of Ipsywitch.———————————————————————–

The scavenging party slipped back into the boarded-up house as dawn light crept across the land, bounding excitedly down the secret stair way to the waiting assembly amidst the guttering candles.

They cantered pridefully to the large robed figure stood at the waterside, the one who found the book trotting up to him with a toothy, unfriendly smile

“Where is Lady Ipsywitch?” she demanded.

Escher looked sternly at the restless deep-pony, shifting erratically on it hooves in front of him “My wife is sleeping, no one is to wake her”

“The book is for her! We sought it on her command!” It snapped, the other members of the search party looking around from behind her, heads weaving gently like predatory birds with their lidless unblinking eyes.

“She must sleep! I can wait!” He stamped his heavy front hooves and snorted, the unblinking seaponies backing away. Escher held his head high in a victory that lasted only a moment as he realised they had not back away from him. The pleasant warm spiced scent of the red haired deep-pony filled the air as she slid passed his side, rubbing herself against him.

“They lady must rest” She purred in a voice like silken razors “bring me to book”

They presented the scorched tome and placed it upon the pedestal in the central chamber, Starry-Eyed Surprise flicking slowly through the pages of the book, occasionally pausing to trace a split hooved claw over a name and follow its line of descendantcy, she muttered and pondered, slowly a smile widening across her face.

“Yes, this will make things much easier” She turned to the hooded assembly “We know who carries our blood here. Go! Seek and find them! bring them to the faith brothers and sisters!”

There was no cheer, this was not a cheering crowd, as one it lowered its many heads in submissive agreement.

Mares and stallions of the hooded fellowship made their way into the town undercover of night, they sought names from the lists, speaking in beguiling and seductive words until the followed into the jewellery shop and down a secret door to a subterranean world, the watered down deep-pony bloodlines being bolstered and crossed with the seaponies from the caverns depths, the groups number slowly swelling as under the influences of the deep-ponies the Shoggoth now fully grown set to work dissolving through the rock and stone, following narrow fissures and seems it worked to underground waterways and streams, cutting narrow passages to wide paths as the fellowship gathered more blood to its numbers, those beckoned and seduced into its halls that were too weak in the line and beyond other use served to feed is endless appetite.

Over time the town grew weary and worried, too many missing, too much terrible singing and noise from boarded up supposedly devoid of life, worried pleas for help eventually made their way to the highest levels.

When the guards broke through the door the house was empty save for strange decoration and allot more food than a handful of ponies would have needed, an exhaustive search eventually found a trap door hidden under a grain sack in the cellar. Forcing it open revealed a stairway down to a cave in the living darkness below, too far down they realised something hand shut the way behind them, and now the ground was moving under their hooves as many eyes opened across the walls.

By this time the party had made its way down river and cave, avoiding daylight here possible all the way to the coast where the Seaponies that had made the journey with them slipped into the estuary and made their way out to sea as the others waited behind; they would make the descent into the dark reef a mile off shore. Everything was in place now all that was needed was to wait.

On the night of the first full moon the waters around Whinniesmouth boiled and churned. From the deeps the black reef pushed its way to the surface, driving massive carved stone edifices above the waterline for the first time in millennia. The black temple of ancient basalt breached the surface, surrounded by monumental stone rings encircling it, sea water gushing and streaming from the arches exposed to the air after untold ages.

Scales glistening silver in the moonlight the seaponies spilled onto the land.

A leaping, trashing tide that swelled up ramps and shores, crashing onto quays and docks they came in an enumerable throng. Terrified ponies stampeded inland from the coast pushing past bleary eyed slumberers awoken by the panic, the crowd tormenting around a procession of robed figures that made its way calmly towards the shore, a brace of heavy guards in armour spearheading the path clear for the smaller cultists all the way to the sea front where they stopped and waited.

The tide of aquatic monsters subsided at this spot, the waters calming unnaturally as beneath the waves and unearthly song seeped it way, heralding a cadre of seapony sirens decked in monstrous jewellery, their arrival preceding a monstrous crustacean that clambered ponderously up the cobbled ship ramp, moving smoothly, barley jostling a pale seapony sat in the throne of shells mounted atop is hideous back, the beast stooping to allow her dismount. Four heavy set and smoothly scaled deep ones plated in silvery armour flanked her side as she approached, the now kneeling procession of cultists, de-hooding herself before them Ipsy stood at the fore, alone. The smooth skinned Pathaela Laei observing the group coldly as around them the seemingly endless flow of seaponies of every sort steamed onto land. Lowering her head the sea pony priestess rubbed her cheek tenderly against her daughters, uttering a warm greeting in their monstrous elder speech.

Ipsy spoke back in the old tongue briefly, her words earning as much a look of surprise and joy as that unblinking smooth face could show, turning back she beckoned Escher to approach, the basket held gently in his teeth, its contents peering curiously over its rim with huge silver eyes.

Pathaela gave a delighted cooing noise as she beheld her granddaughter for the first time, nosing the filly gently.

All around them in their isolated bubble of ritualistic greeting the world was going to hell, some ponies fleeing, some fighting, none were succeeding against the seemingly endless horde of underwater horrors that swept over the land in a glistening silver tide.

The end had come with their horrible song.

Shooby dooby doo.

Shooby dooby.

Doo.

Siren Song - 5

Although Y/N had been exposed to magic her entire life, few rooms had left her in awe; her breath caught in her chest. She was transported into an alternate world, a subterranean haven disjointed and isolated from the rest of the castle and its inhabitants. As she stepped into the Slytherin common room, Y/N brimmed with an overwhelming sense of house pride. With her initial sweeping glance of the room, she knew this was where she belonged. This was her house. The sorting hat had chosen Slytherin for her for a reason, and Y/N was tooth and nail determined to make the most of her placement.

She surveyed the room closer, familiarizing herself with her new surroundings. The long room was bathed in soft green light that danced upon rough stone walls and Y/N’s eyes immediately were drawn to the large, ornate windows that offered no tableau of the night sky. Her eyes widened when she realized she was gazing into water and, much to her amusement and satisfaction, Y/N felt as if she were peering into an untamed, overgrown aquarium.  

“Wicked, huh? We’re under part of the Black Lake. No other common room is underwater.” Blaise had been watching Y/N’s reaction to the room. “It’s my favorite thing about our common room.”

“It’s awesome.  I’ve never been in a room like this before.” Y/N continued to search the room, her eyes settling momentarily on dark green blown glass lamps suspended by thick metal chains dangling from the ceiling, massive tapestries that dominated wall space and told moving stories about the trials and achievements of Slytherins past, high-backed chairs and large and small tables crafted long ago from some dark and sturdy wood, plush leather sofas sprawling in front of a tremendous stone fireplace, a fire that roared, crackled and glowed bright from its many embers, a tall bookshelf that contained an assortment of old, important looking books, and numerous serpents of all sizes incorporated into the architecture and decor of the room. The common room was dotted with several Slytherin students either doing homework or chatting with friends.

Visually overstimulated by the opulence and detail in front of her, Y/N turned her attention to the distinct smell of the room. If you had asked her an hour ago what she believed a dungeon smelled like, Y/N would have replied with damp, musty, stale, or stagnant. Pleasantly surprised, however, she couldn’t have been any more incorrect about this room. The Slytherin common room instead smelled of leather, rich-wood furniture, parchment, and burning logs from the fire. Occasionally, a whiff of cool, sharp lake water drifted into her nostrils.

Y/N inhaled deeply, “I could get use to this.” She turned her attention to the boy next to her, “Thanks again for bringing me here.” She smiled at him. “Could you also possibly point me in the direction of where my room might be? I want to check and make sure all my stuff got here okay. I already know my owl is in the owlery, but I’ve not seen my trunk or anything in hours.”

“I can do better than just pointing you in the right direction.” Blaise walked to the back of the room and Y/N followed. He approached a swarthy girl with thick, unruly eyebrows. “Hey Millicent, could you do me a favor?” Blaise had heard a rumor that Millicent fancied him and he was willing to exploit this crush. “Y/N here is our new Slytherin. Snape said she’ll be in your room. Would you be a doll, Millicent, and show her where that is?”

Millicent stared at Blaise and nodded, “Sure, Blaise. Anything else you need me to show her?”

He shrugged his shoulders, “Whatever she needs, thanks.” Blaise spun around and addressed Y/N, “I’ll be in the common room for a bit if you want to find me after you’re done getting settled.” Often apathetic to the people around him, Blaise couldn’t help but be attracted to Y/N; she was like a shiny new plaything, but Blaise allowed that she probably wouldn’t let anyone treat her as such. Nonetheless, he wanted to get to know her better. And to be perfectly frank, she was appealing to look at and he wasn’t bored with her yet.

Blaise glanced at Y/N’s lips and wondered what they tasted like.

“I’ll be back here after I’m situated,” Y/N promised the boy. She turned to Millicent ready to follow her. The pair exited the room and proceeded up a spiral stone staircase to a dark door on the left. Carved on the front of the door was the Slytherin serpent standing upright with a coiled tail. Millicent pushed back the door and the girls entered the room.

Echoing the design of the common room, the entire back wall of the room was one large panel of glass that pressed against the murky green water of the Black Lake.

“Okay, now that’s fucking cool,” Y/N emphasized her approval of the room.

“Your bed is that end one I’m guessing, closest to the lake. The other three are mine, Pansy’s, and Daphne’s.” Millicent pointed at each of the fourposter beds. “Looks like your things are here. If you need the bathroom or shower,” Millicent waved her hand, “go through that door. I’m going to head back to the common room and work on my essay. Transfiguration is kicking my ass.”

“Thanks for showing me everything,” was all Y/N managed to get out before Millicent had turned around and disappeared completely.

Y/N approached her bed and flung herself upon the deep green comforter. She sank into the the material feeling as if she were floating on a cloud. The fabric was soft and silky, and Y/N knew she wouldn’t have trouble falling asleep tonight. She listened to the room around her and could faintly make out only the low bubble and gurgle of the lake around her. Her room was incredibly peaceful and Y/N couldn’t help but wish she didn’t have to share it with three other girls. Especially Pansy Parkinson.

After arranging her belongings for what felt like an eternity (and exploring the low ceilinged stone bathroom), Y/N returned to the common room with her class schedule, wand, a blank piece of parchment, a red quill, and a pot of ink. She intended to find Blaise and ask him for help with directions to her classes. Scouring the room, Y/N failed to locate him. The common room was considerably more crowded than earlier, but Y/N noticed an empty leather sofa directly in front of the fire. Placing her belongings on a dark end table by the sofa, Y/N walked to the tall bookshelf and browsed its contents. Settling on an ancient book about the founding of the Slytherin house, Y/N returned to her spot on the couch and decided to read until Blaise reappeared.

Absorbed in her book, she payed no attention to the three pairs of footsteps approaching the back of the sofa.

“You can’t sit there.” The voice coming from behind Y/N was cold and familiar. “L/N,” snapped Draco Malfoy, who was flanked by Crabbe and Goyle, “you need to move. That’s my seat.”

She whipped around to face her aggressor and met his gray eyes. “Do you have assigned seats or something?” she asked defensively.

“Not per se. But I always sit there — it’s my seat. And you need to find somewhere else to move to, away from me, because I’m allergic to blood traitors like you,” he spat his words like venom.

However handsome he was, Y/N thought Draco was acting like a toddler throwing a tantrum. “Well, Malfoy,” she stressed his last name as he had done with hers, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m not moving just because you tell me to. If you want to sit next to me, you’re more than welcome to, there is plenty of room. But if you’re going to keep insulting me and calling me a blood traitor, let me stop you right there. Because I won’t listen.”

Draco narrowed his eyes viciously at Y/N. He wasn’t use to being challenged by his housemates. How dare she speak to him that way… Who did she think she was? She was below him, a blood traitor. Fire from her words surged within Draco, and for a fleeting moment, his anger seemed to dissolve into something else entirely. He was torn and couldn’t determine if he was experiencing outrage or desire. Where was this coming from? He wanted her to shut up, but he found her combativeness to be oddly enticing. He rebuked himself and dismissed the thought as quick as a lightning strike. Yet he couldn’t pull himself away from her. Instead Draco leaned over the sofa, purposefully encroaching upon Y/N’s personal space, and whispered loudly, “Move, or I will move you myself.”

His breath was warm on her ear and neck and smelled of peppermint. Y/N was twitching nerves inside, but she hardened her face and projected calm confidence. She could fight fire with fire and decided to do just that. She slightly turned her head and positioned her mouth by the blonde’s ear.

“Touch me,” Y/N replied slowly in a whisper, her breath now electrifying Draco’s skin, “anywhere,” she pulled away from Draco and stared, challenging him again, “and I will jinx you all the way to the hospital wing. Now please leave. Me. Alone.”

Draco was shocked not only by Y/N’s feistiness, but also the palpable tension that existed between them. Taking a step back from the sofa, Draco quickly replied, “Tonight you can sit here. Since it’s your first night, I’ll let it slide. If we see you sitting here tomorrow, we will really have a problem, won’t we now, boys?” he asked Crabbe and Goyle. The three boys laughed and sneered at Y/N before leaving to find an open table across the room.

“Well Malfoy,” Blaise had strolled out of the boys dormitory in time to witness the scene unfold and sauntered up to Draco. “She certainly ruffled your little white peacock feathers,” Blaise snarkily alluded to the preening pets that the Malfoy family kept on their lawn.

Snapping his head up towards Blaise, Draco growled, “Leave it alone, Zabini. Or else.”

He chuckled at the blonde’s hollow threat before turning to leave him, “Whatever you say, Malfoy.” Blaise felt his friend’s heavy, blistering stare as he joined Y/N on the leather couch.

Draco sat fuming at the table irritated by both his interaction with Y/N and Blaise’s subsequent, snide comment. And the fact that they were now sitting together in Draco’s spot. Since when did Zabini and some random girl get to insult him and get away with it? His pride stung, he was ready to regain his composure, move past tonight, and then stonewall Y/N for good. But he couldn’t get her out of his mind; she filled him with contempt and something else Draco was hesitant to identify.

3

One of the oldest (and most gruesome) stories I ever heard in France about the Catacombs was the legend of the ‘Green Man.’ This allegedly carnivorous denizen of Paris’ underworld is thought to stalk and ambush vagrants who sneak into his subterranean world…and devour them.

Sounds crazy but there are people down there that will steal your gear and stalk you undetected. True story: my Parisian friend Olivier and his friends stopped visiting the catacombs under the Luxembourg Garden after they caught a tall creepy man who had hidden himself in a rock alcove and was just watching them with night vision goggles. They had just stumbled across remains of what they thought was a Black Mass when one of his buddies felt like someone was watching them. They swept their flashlights around and discovered the guy’s hiding spot. And even though they directed some choice words his way for scaring them, the watcher never moved and never said a word. They made tracks out of there after that.

Olivier said there was such an awful vibe in the spot where someone was allegedly performing black magic rituals that they never explored that particular area of the catacombs again. The candles, Satanic symbols on the floors and walls and the scary stalker guy really spooked them. My reaction was like ‘if there’s one guy creeping around stalking people like that, there are more.’

Did the allegedly satanic rituals summon something that was still hanging around? Olivier said they all had nightmares about being chased through the catacombs for a week after that (I think he was still too spooked to go into much detail). Maybe something followed them home. Either way, they never explored under the Luxembourg Garden again. The big iron door in the pharmacy facility basement they had gained access from was welded shut not long after. Creepy.

Green Children of Woolpit

The legend of the green children of Woolpit concerns two children of unusual skin colour who reportedly appeared in the village of Woolpit in Suffolk, England, some time in the 12th century, perhaps during the reign of King Stephen. The children, brother and sister, were of generally normal appearance except for the green colour of their skin. They spoke in an unknown language, and the only food they would eat was beans. Eventually they learned to eat other food and lost their green pallor, but the boy was sickly and died soon after he and his sister were baptised. The girl adjusted to her new life, but she was considered to be “rather loose and wanton in her conduct”. After she learned to speak English, the girl explained that she and her brother had come from Saint Martin’s Land, a subterranean world inhabited by green people.

(Source)

thedestrcyer  asked:

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY MORE OPTIONS TO BEING GAY. <333

⋅⋅⋅||; There, in her eyes, HE could see the hallow pinpoint of deprivation for something that survival alone could not provide. Though the shadows of their subterranean world danced with the rise and fall of the two suns in the distance they never left and they never stopped their pursuit.

              For all they had known the last of the xenomorphs had been eradicated from the planet, yet they never seemed as far as the nightmares following her in the sleep that came and went when Ripley dared to shut her eyes. They found food and water in abandoned crafts, some with the skeletons of marooned crew left behind. What a ghost world they lived in—

             SHE WAS NO GHOST, yet he so longed to find a light for her to go into that he scanned the stars above for the first glimmer of another side to their existence.

             Optimus Prime knew what it meant to constantly live in shadows; to have their tendril fingers danced at their feet with each step, and when they came to make contact another terror was remembered. Long ago when Cybertron was at its nadir, when the world had begun to grow dark as it died, he had the company of his brethren soldiers. Bots such a Jazz or Ironhide knew how to crack humor that seemed inappropriate for their moods, though it was so desperately needed.

             Never had Prime been a particularly funny mech. He was somber and serious, with a smile that rarely came but the rarity gave it a value same as his weight in platinum. It was always others that made him smile or dare to laugh, and when they broke the sobriety of their leader it cast a light that reached the furthest corners and cast out those abhorrent shadows.

             If only he had their sense of levity—o❜ what irony that he who advocated freedom for all felt constrained to the same blitheness of others. Perhaps it was the testament of his advocacy—

                           Though now he only felt his deficit in her eyes.

             Giving it his ( worst ) in effort of his ( best, )
             Optimus said with an ungainly half smile—

         ❝ I had a dream that I was a muffler last night.
                                                              I woke up exhausted. ❞

            For herHe’d gladly be the fool.

6

Albino Lullaby

A first-person horror adventure game set in a dark and fun subterranean world. Clinging to the precipices of underground cliffs the highly interactive environment twists and contorts around you in real time as you puzzle your way through its equally twisted narrative.

I’m going to give a quick shout out to Ape Law’s upcoming game Albino Lullaby. I actually haven’t looked into it at all yet (oops), but from what I understand Ape Law is an indie game developing team, made up of former Triple A game developers, including, but not limited to, former employees of Irrational Games. Employees who worked audio and level design for the original BioShock and BioShock: Infinite: Justin Pappas and Ryan Patrick Buckley.

They have a kickstarter up for this game, so if you’re interested and have the means, be sure to show them some support!

2

Cenote Ik Kil

Location: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Ik Kil is one of the many cenotes located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Cenotes are natural swimming holes formed by the collapse of porous limestone bedrock, which has revealed a secret subterranean world of groundwater pools. Most cave cenotes have fresh water - meticulously filtered by the earth, making them so clear and pure that you can see straight through to small fish frolicking in the plant life below. 

The Mayans revered cenotes because they were a water source in dry times; the name cenote means ‘sacred well’. Mayans settled villages around these spiritual wells with the belief that they were a portal to speak with the gods. Today, you can still see why cenotes held the Mayans in awe. Swimming in the pristine waters feels like stepping into prehistory, where giant tropical trees and vines form wild cathedral walls leading up to shafts of sunlight.

The Beginning of Ender (Hope it's okay if I resubmit this to this blog)

Line. All was Line, in the ancient days. In the days before Ender crossed the Edge and Became Form. But before Ender crossed the Edge, Ender often dwelled there. In the Far Lands, where Line met Form and its Edge took both. This was long, long ago, although the Far Lands only vanished relatively recently.

The time that Ender crossed the Edge into Form was very, very long ago. So long ago that even the humans who build impossible monuments and cross untold distances for no reason at all had yet to arrive. Before Villages. Not before the Nether, though, for the Ender had always been there, but definitely before the Nether was crossed so easily. This time was, however, before the End.

In this ancient time, Ender’s eyes were as green as their pearls. In this time, there was a much different kind of Builder in the world. They were not human, but they were definitely not Ender either. They were different. None of their kind lives in the present, although their bones still walk under the dirt and under the moon. These peoples were mighty in the ancient times. They built, but not like humans would in the far future, nor like Ender ever could and would, but somewhere in-between the two extremes. They built from themselves, from within, taking from the world and putting back something new. They built the strongholds, and they lived there. They did not much like the sun, although it did not hurt them. They just disliked it.

These peoples made the strange stones with which they built their underground cities. Some of the stones were not proper, however. Sometimes the person’s inner evils would taint the stone, and instead of a proper stone an egg of stone would be created instead.

These peoples built farms under their stone roofs. They built massive libraries, which they filled with their secrets. Which they created bookshelves, and books, to write their secrets in. These people created, and enabled the future creation of, all non naturally spawning things. They even dealt with the mobs that spawned in their cities, putting them all behind bars which they made for this exact purpose. These peoples were absolute. Nothing stopped them, nothing could, and nothing did. They changed the very world itself when nature stood in their way.

But then Ender crossed the Edge. And suddenly these peoples had a problem they could not solve. Ender were weak, in these days, but they could move all blocks without destroying them. Ender were born of shadows, and were too tall to fit in the prisons these people had made. Even if they could fit, Ender came from shadows, not darkness. No amount of lighting could eliminate shadow. These peoples had an enemy that for once they could not take care of.

Unfortunately, these peoples were absolute. There was nothing they could not do. So in the face of something they truly could not eliminate, they showed the true, full extent of their prowess. In these ancient times, the Nether was extremely hard to reach. A simple frame of obsidian could not be lit and walked through, the world could not do that. These peoples could make it possible, however. And they did. They used their own massive underground city, their subterranean world. They destroyed parts of it, leaving only three massive cities arranged around a central point. The very center of the world, to be precise. By doing this, they were able to anchor the Nether to the Overworld, and once it was anchored they could travel to it much more easily. This was important, because with two dimensions layed over each other it was easy for these peoples to weave a third dimension into being. Although even these peoples could not create a full world, so it was little more than an empty pocket of static in the Void.

These peoples then had to build a gate to this new world. But they made it hard. They created a gate, made of blocks that no person of mortal blood could craft. Powered by something which did not yet exist, but would soon. With these preparations made, these peoples wrought their cruelest, most sinister magic yet. Together as one, these peoples stole from Ender what made their eyes green, and hid it in the Nether. The Nether, a world of fire, gave fiery Form to the essence of Line, and what humans would some day call the Blazes were born. Stripped of their mortality, Ender became a tiny bit less Form, and from then until the end of all would have the gift of teleportation. These peoples then went into the Nether and slayed many Blazes, then smashed their bones and stole the powder of their essence. These peoples slew many Ender, and took their Pearls. Then, on the benches of creation these peoples created, the fiery powder was sprinkled over the Pearls, and they became Eyes of Ender. Twelve of them were made.

Twelve End Gate Stones, twelve Eyes of Ender. Each Gate Stone filled with an Eye, and the End Portal was opened for the first time. In a flash, Ender was stolen from the Overworld. These peoples rejoiced, and plucked several Eyes to disable the Portal. They did not realize many Ender were carrying blocks and built an island. They did not realize that Ender could take blocks of End itself, either, and build a permanent home. And lastly, they did not realize that Ender could cross through the Void and out of shadows and thus back into the Overworld.

These peoples met their downfall at their hubris. They reacted to the quick return of Ender with irritatio, and Ender reacted to the banishment from their Home with Rage. The mere act of looking at Ender brought these peoples to their death. Caught in their hubris, their sureness that they were absolute, they never thought to consider that they would have to avoid looking. They never dared consider anything being not for them to do. They died, as a result.

Ender has no hatred for humans. Ender, in fact, admires humans for their immense creativity. However much they care for humans, though, a Stare is a crime beyond forgiveness. Although Ender has long since forgotten why, the Rage remains. Humans do not mind, for the most part. Humans, for the most part, Respect the Men of The End.

And The End thanks them.

we are grateful for the sharing of the story of ender

Miradas de  hora pico. Buenos Aires. Argentina. 2015

Corpse Orgy

The image above is from the Tome of Horrors Complete and was done by Eric Lofgren.

Despite the name, the corpse orgy actually isn’t an undead being, it’s an aberration, and fortunately for those of us of more delicate palates, the name has more to do with appearance than anything else.  Similar to oozes, corpse orgies absorb the bodies of those they slay, the pile of rotting corpses giving the creature it’s name, replacing the corpses as they rot away with fresh meat.  As a large mass of body parts, whole corpses, and even less describable detritus, these monsters have no real features beyond their absorbed bodies, even using them to defend itself as its slam attacks or even grapple opponents.  Usually found underground, corpse orgies tend to stick near areas with living humanoids to insure a fresh supply of kills rather than being out in the complete wilds.  Given how active a lot of worlds’ subterranean depths are, that’s probably not hard to find but in desperation, these monsters have been known to move toward the surface.  Despite their intelligence and apparent ability to understand Aklo, Undercommon, and even Common, no one has ever successfully communicated with a corpse orgy. Or at least, no one’s done it and survived to report the success to anyone else.  Because of their insular natures and monstrous habits, corpse orgies stand out to me as obstacles rather than the central figure of an adventure but at CR 13, they’re going to formidable challenges.

Accidentally drawn forth from the Abyss by a poorly performed summoning, a fiendish corpse orgy has become the center of a splinter cult to the ascended vrolikai known as That Which Feeds in Shadow.  Seen as an avatar of their gluttonous master or mistress – the vrolikai’s gender is a subject of debate and occasionally lethal strife, something that greatly amuses the nascent demon lord – the corpse orgy seethes with Abyssal energies, occasionally muttering foul proclamations in a sinister combination of Abyssal and Aklo from two or more of the mouths of its absorbed prey.  Inevitably, any corpse the creature absorbs comes to bear the features of a tiefling as it decays and the horns and hooves are the last tattered remnants of its victims.

Seeking to tap into the mythic power of a rumored archmage, the wealthy and eccentric tiefling occultist Delisiron is recruiting delvers and explorers to reclaim two of the archmage’s prized posessions – an adamantine dagger with a fantastic emerald in the pommel and a ruby ring of a mysterious coppery metal.  While there are enough clues from recovered scraps of journals and old legends to eventually point the occultist’s minions in the right direction, the final fate of the archmage’s corpse will make recovery difficult.  Although her body has long since rotted away, the dagger and ring are both still contained within the ooze of the corpse orgy that consumed the slain mage.

While most corpse orgies are completely reticent to communicate, not all of them are so silent.  Some even enjoy a good conversation from time to time with those creatures they consider worthy.  That definition generally excludes anything a corpse orgy might be interested in absorbing. One in particular has struck up an odd partnership with a roper, providing a sardonically utilitarian counterpoint to its friend’s pseudo-philosophical ramblings.  Although the pair inevitably exhaust the wit of any would-be debate partners, their bodies always go to good use and the corpse orgy is even kind enough to arrange to absorb particularly skilled debaters so that they can continue to enjoy the discussion after death, though the quality of their input does rather diminish.

- Tome of Horrors Complete 121

Wondering what the ring in the second seed is made out of?  For me, it’s horaculum one of the skymetals detailed in Pathfinder #61 although you might prefer something like Plato’s orichalcum.

bbc.co.uk
BBC Radio 4 - Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere - Episode guide

London Below. Richard Mayhew finds himself in a mysterious subterranean world

The first episode of BBC Radio 4’s Neverwhere, starring James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Harewood, Sophie Okonedo, Anthony Stuart Head, Sir Christopher Lee, Bernard Cribbins, and oh, lots of people,  went out today, which means you have 7 days left to listen to it, wherever you are. (It’s at the bottom of the page.)

(The next 5 episodes will go out over the next 5 days.) You can listen to NEVERWHERE  anywhere in the world using a desktop/laptop computer.

If you are using a tablet or mobile device you can still listen but you’ll need a radio app like TuneIn Radio