subterranean world

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.

Filleted Dragon
Also known colloquially as the zombie or ghost drake, the Filleted Dragon is one of the rarest and most elusive of all dragon species. Having only been documented deep within a jungle underwater cave, it is unknown if they exist outside of this specific subterranean world.
Believed to be sequential hermaphrodites, females have not been documented, nor have eggs or chicks.
While not strong flyers they are capable of flight, though more apt to swimming as their primary form of locomotion. Their translucent skin is do to their sunless environment and renders them nearly invisible. It is not known if adult Filleted Dragons have predators but remains of adults have been documented and cannibalism has not been ruled out.
Their long illustrious fins are believed to be used in courtship or territorial displays but also act as a large radar transmitter. Lined with tiny electroreceptors,when opened, the filleted dragon can pick up the tiniest of vibrations and electro magnetic impulse being released by prey and its environment.

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.



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.

Miradas de  hora pico. Buenos Aires. Argentina. 2015


Athanasius Kircher - Diagrams showing the interconnectedness of Fire and Water inside the Earth, “Mundus Subterraneus”, 1665.

Kircher stated that “the whole Earth is not solid but everywhere gaping, and hollowed with empty rooms and spaces, and hidden burrows.” Deep down, it holds many great oceans and fires, interconnected by a system of passageways that reached all the way to its core. In his view, volcanoes, however awful and awe-inspiring, “are nothing but the vent-holes, or breath-pipes of Nature,” and earthquakes are merely the “proper effects of subterrestrial cumbustions” that are sure to go on constantly. The “prodigious volcanoes and fire-vomiting mountains visible in the external surface of the earth do sufficiently demonstrate it to be full of invisible and underground fires,” he wrote. “For wherever there is a volcano, there also is a conservatory or storehouse of fire under it…. And these fires argue for deeper treasuries and storehouses of fire, in the very heart and inward bowels of the Earth.” According to Kircher, “the fire and water sweetly conspire together in mutual service.” The tides, caused by the nitrous effluvia of the moon, push “an immense bulk of water” through “hidden and occult passages at the bottom of the Ocean” and thrust it “forcibly into the intimate bowels of the Earth.” The resulting winds “excite and stir up” and otherwise feed the subterraneous fire like a huge bellows. The seas, which would stagnate and freeze without the fires, keep the fires from getting out of hand, preventing “unlimited eruptions,” which would “soon turn all to ruins.” The “secret make-up of the mountains” is that they are hollow and serve as reservoirs. Hot baths, hot springs, and fountains are produced where underground water passageways come near or interconnect with the fire channels.

More than once, Kircher compares the movement of the earth’s water to the circulation of the blood in the body as described by William Harvey. The water of the oceans follows its “secret motions” up and around the globe toward the North Pole. Somewhere off the coast of Norway (the actual site of a major whirlpool system called the Moskenstraumen), he declared, is a giant maelstrom through which the water enters the earth - as if passing through a great drain - and runs through it, cooling it down, providing it with nutriments in particulate form before being eliminated through a nether opening at the South Pole. Sometimes the analogies referred more to the continuing process of the digestive system than the cycling of blood, but no matter: “You see therefore the manner and way of the Circulation of Nature.”

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.

Amazon just never bothered to send me my pre-ordered copy of The Cursed Child so I finally got tired of waiting and am trying to read it now, and this is the one thing I wanted to point out because it encapsulates my entire fucking problem with this abysmally written terrible abomination of a play in a nutshell:

Hermione: The wizarding world has been living in peace now for many years. It’s twenty-two years since we defeated Voldemort at the Battle of Hogwarts, and I’m delighted to say there is a new generation being brought up having known only the slightest conflict.

So. Here is a list of things that don’t exist in a post-Voldemort, post-9/11 wizarding world according to the obtuse asshole dudes who wrote this story.

  • a growing right-wing post-voldemort extremist movement, either overly political and visible or subterranean, within the wizarding world after the demise of the death eaters
  • wizard refugees fleeing the middle east due to escalating conflicts within the muggle world
  • muggle terrorist cells encroaching into the wizarding world from within the middle east or increasingly turbulent parts of europe
  • any kind of repercussions or evolution in conflict over the wizarding world’s treatment of muggles, squibs, werewolves, house elves, giants, or other magical creatures
  • any kind of unresolved and carefully moderated ongoing conflicts within hogwarts over attempts to more fully integrate muggle-born students into the culture following a GENOCIDAL WAR on muggle families
  • any kind of unresolved and carefully moderated ongoing conflicts within hogwarts over further divided house rivalries following the battle of hogwarts and slytherin being the INNATELY RACIST HOUSE for the better part of 1000 years

None of these issues exist in any way in this story because these fucking shit-faced nerdbro dudes didn’t bother to think about the future of this universe and the repercussions of these seven books for longer than it took to go “welp i guess if ‘all was well’ that meant that all was well!” 

the only thing these assholes care about is their clever derivative time-travel fanservice plot and how good they’ll look for giving audiences yet another excuse to fawn over fucking snape and their handwavey doctor who time-turner bullshit. 

they don’t give a shit about the universe, the future, the character journeys and where they could have taken them, or the expanded world of harry potter. 

they just don’t give a single goddamn shit.