Greatest city of the new and ancient land, the overhanging levels of jettied houses stacked atop each other shadow the sprawling streets, solid stone architecture unknown to any of the old countries nestles behind shouting waremongers in the morning mist, birds sing from a neighbouring rooftop and something scuttles from under your bed. It’s another beautiful day in Cörpathium, watch your step.
When entering a new borough roll below.
|3d6||Boroughs of Cörpathium|
|14-18||Well, You Don't See That Every Day..|
|4-13||Another Day In Paradise|
|3||End Times Cometh|
|Another Day In Paradise|
|1||A young woman bumps into a random PC as they push through a crowd, she blushes and apologises and continues on her way.
Further on into the neighbourhood the PC will find an old man hawking something that looks very much like something important to them, something they no longer seem to be carrying. There are already several interested buyers standing by his stall.
|2||A shrieking man falls to his knees in the street, clawing at his skin.
1. He is the son of a Corvuscult family, prone to fits of madness. Discretion would be appreciated.
2. A wasp has crawled under his skin to lay her eggs.
3. He's just a plain old loon.
4. He is a Haruspex, suffering a vision of locust plague, harbinger to the coming of the Locust Queen.
|3||A young woman is bitten by a dog.|
|4||A Speaker of the Godless announces a curfew in light of unnatural maulings in the neighbourhood the past few nights.|
|5||A couple of inherited wealth dandies sitting at a coffee house laugh at a random PC's attire.|
|6||A vendor of fig pies scrambles to collect the contents of his upturned cart before the crowd consumes it all.|
|7||A rat the size of a terrier emerges from a nearby sewer and slumps back on its hind legs in front of a random PC, scratching its bloated stomach.
Roll Loyalty. It won't be pretty if you roll low.
|8||A young girl hawks her services as an assistant in dangerous and foolhardy ventures.
She can't be more than 14, she's an exceptionally skilled thief, and she can fit into places your fat old arse never could.
|9||A street urchin attempts to snatch a coin purse or other item from a random PC.|
|10||A woman with old letters sewn into the folds of her dress glides through the street. Her sunken eyes are the colour of despair and she fawns over every man she meets like a whore, murmuring and cooing through full red lips.|
|11||A bucket of innards and vomit is dumped on the PCs from an overhead window, it is unclear if it was accidental.|
|12||A gaunt man with stretched hanging skin stands on an iron stool preaching to 2d10 onlookers about the evils of the Corpulent One.|
|13||A Mother of Silence strides through the street, her footfall would crash in your ears if her presence hadn't stolen every sound within 30'. [Mothers of Silence will be another post]|
|14||A spruiker in a jaunty hat proclaiming himself to be the originator of Cuckold's Courage sells bottles from a cart on the street corner. The bottles are full of:
2. Fermented onions and cat faeces.
3. Putrefied fishguts.
4. Curdled milk and rubbing alcohol.
5. River water and silt.
6. Crushed lice and dust. "Just add water!"
|15||An elderly woman drops the fruit she was carrying and four young men in ostentatious clothing start dancing a jig, stomping it into the road.|
|16||When they return home a random PC will find something important missing and a yellow feather on their bed. Hagatha Gloom of the Golden Harpies has taken a liking to them.|
|17||A burly drunk emerges from a brewhouse and shoves his way through the PCs.|
|18||A woman in obvious Toad-Dropping withdrawal pushes her way past the PCs and into a nearby alley.|
|19||A man wearing a large stitched leather top hat and a coat embroidered with images of vicious rodents hawks bottles of Verminbane. Caged rats are piled behind him for demonstration and several greased tame rats climb over his shoulders and crawl about his feet, leashed to his belt by string.|
|20||Seventh Goat mercenaries jostle the PC with the highest Strength as they pass. If offence is taken they invite you to settle the matter in the Viper's Nest fight den tonight, they've been in
|Well, You Don't See That Every Day..
|1||A vagrant-looking man sitting atop a filthy sheet with junk wares laid out in front of him calls out to the PCs. He tries to sell them a few worthless bits of trash, raving about the aroma of a broken candle, the lands trod by a sole-less pair of boots, the shadowy history of a tangled ball of fish-hooks, a rag that once veiled the Yellow Queen on one of her myriad wedding nights. The price he asks is beyond extravagant; he huffs and puffs, laments your greed, and even though he is already losing out on the deal begrudgingly offers to sweeten it by throwing in a weather-worn tome. He will not sell the tome alone, he can't understand why you would want that, he will only sell his precious treasures, with the tome thrown in.
The tome is a handwritten instruction in the Black Fungous Arts, containing twelve spells in all. They are written in plain Cörpathian and do not require deciphering or Read Magic, only spell level x1d3 days to learn each one after first spending 1d6 days to study the basic tenets.
(A fine layer of black mould grows on the cover and inner diagrams, growing thicker and darker after each spell is learnt, crawling across studied pages, you'll notice it when you next read the tome. The book decomposes into a swirl of spores at the moment the twelfth spell is learnt successfully, invading your mouth and nose, blinding you, covering every inch of exposed skin, burrowing through your clothes. Save vs. Poison and Magic. Regardless of the result you are deformed into a hulking mass of black fungal flesh, bristling with fruiting bodies, oozing mould, but you only maintain sentience if you save vs. Poison, and develop a psychotic hatred need to maim and colonise anything not fungal if you fail vs. Magic.)
|2||A crowd watches as a Godless is ritually stripped of her armour on a makeshift podium in front of a Deicidium.
She was found in worship of Baratthuus, Seed of Glory, breaking her vow to the Godless. She will be left on the podium for six days without nourishment or rest; let her god give her the strength to stand. If she lasts the trial she is free to leave, if she sits or falls she will be given one chance to renounce her absent god and rejoin their ranks (facially branded with the Godless mark of Religious Taint if she does, deprived of her hands and tongue and set free if she doesn't), if she tries to leave before the trial is through she will be captured and burnt alive.
|3||A grizzled old man, still keeping in the fashion of his exploring days, passes the PCs and doesn't notice a heavy pouch fall from his belt.
Inside is a rounded piece of pink marble with an eye in its centre full of small holes. Judging by the way the sides of the marble are cut, it would appear to be designed to join with a larger object. The pouch also contains a linen map covered in shorthand scrawl but it makes no sense.
|4||Rahrn Gooschbringer, whose family was recently ousted from the Corvuscult, duels a young man of one of the currently reigning families in the street. Rahrn is a viscous seething thing, and if he begins to feel he is losing will feign a coughing fit, the signal to onlooking Red Pit mercenaries to knife the youth.|
|5||An old man argues in the street with a mangy dog. "I'm done! No more ya mutt! I'll not help you do in another one, I may be damned but I'll be damned if you'll make me do it again!"
1-2 The old man is psychically linked to the dog, it desires more sacrifices to its dark gods.
3-4 The old man thinks he is psychically linked to the dog and it desires more sacrifices to its dark gods.
4-6 The dog looks hungry, the old man thinks it's begging him to steal food for it.
7-8 The old man is tired of cleaning up the dog's poops.
|6||The majority of houses in this neighbourhood have rooftop gardens, it is time to sew new crops and they are in the midst of celebration to Bakhri. People dance naked in the streets around bonfires of litter from the last harvest, men wearing enormous grotesque goat heads with towering curved horns stalk around with engorged cocks, pouring goat's blood on revellers from ornate iron jugs.
If you want to be in this neighbourhood you'd best take part, to refuse the celebration would be to damn their crops.
|7||"Spare a bit of Black, love?"
d4 Blackthroats and their throat-rotted leader step out from the shadows.
|8||A shadowy figure opens a doorway as you pass and beckons you inside with a voice barely above a whisper. Your new friend is:
1. A heavily mutated Maleficar. They tell you that a group of Godless are stationed across the street, waiting for a Mother of Silence to come and capture the Maleficar for crimes not their own. They want your help.
2. A phantasm created by a sorcerer obsessed with alchemy of the flesh, it will lead you around the house, insisting there is something very important you must see. The dark interior of the house is covered in sorcerous wards painted in black blood and mounds of yellow incense burn in every room. Every time you fail a save vs. Magic you follow the phantasm for an hour without realising it, developing a mutation every two hours that will seem absolutely normal until you save successfully.
3. An assassin. They're not very good.
4. A diseased prostitute, they insist that entering the home forms a contract and you need to pay them even if you're not going to fuck them.
5. A reclusive scholar, he offers you 100sp now and 300sp later if you deliver a wrapped and belted book to the Hall of Many Things, he sternly warns you not to peer beneath the wrapping. If he isn't here when you return the place will be in quite a state.
6. The proprietor of a fight house set up in the lower levels. He's just had a fighter drop dead from some kind of blooming cauliflower-skin infection and is looking for a replacement.
|9||A multicoloured procession of painted fools dances through the street, they gibber and drool and hoot and wave vibrant streamers in the faces of those they pass.
Anyone that joins their procession will be led to the Sanctorium to be initiated via a hammer and spike to the brainpan.
|10||A man drags himself out of a sewer opening before passing out. His fist is clamped around a distorted gold nugget and his legs are missing beneath the knee, trailing a mess of pink and white clumps of filth.
(Beneath the streets a blasphemy of fused arms and mouths and flesh covered in dry-blood alchemical symbols devours sewage and excretes gold, it has flesh-memory of pleasure, but its kiss will melt your body.)
|11||Black clouds tinged in pink boil overhead and a torrential thunderstorm floods over the city for 4d4 hours. Every 10 minutes spent in the rain carries a 10% chance of contracting Sturg's Sickness. Your hacking coughs produce orange mucus and you become ever more sensitive to light, if you haven't been cured within a week your pupils swell and consume the iris of your eyes, you develop orange blisters on your chest that spill mucus when burst. After another week save vs. Poison or drown by your own mucus-filled lungs. If successful your lungs will clear up, but your eyes will never return to normal.|
|12||Four Godless carry a corpse out of a house, it is bloated and discoloured and swollen puncture wounds line the sides of the torso.|
|13||A small girl playfully offers a random PC a smoky glass ball. If accepted the smoke slowly begins to swirl, the patterns and coloured flashes are enrapturing, the PC will realise too late that their hands are fused to the ball, and that smoky liquid glass is softly expanding and covering their arms, their flesh and bone utterly disappearing beneath it, while the ball grows ever more beautiful.
(The single black eyeball branded and inked on her stomach marks her as a member of the Endless Dark murder cult. Their services don't come cheap.)
|14||Returning explorers parade the head of some exotic beast through the streets. The head is the size of a buffalo's, with closely-curled blonde fur and d8 spiralling ebony horns protruding around the crown of its skull. Its muzzle is pocked with drooling pink-flecked holes in place of a mouth, and it stares at onlookers with limp-lidded golden eyes.
A trail of honey-coloured blood is left in their wake, drawing in hundreds of flies, half of which seem to burst.
(The beast's blood is a powerful accelerant, causing wounds to heal rapidly and allowing incredible physical feats, but on a failed save vs. Poison the stress on your internal organs is too great and they explode out of your torso, still pumping and churning in the dust.)
|15||A young woman knifes an old man in the street and flees with blood-covered hands.
1. He has been haunting her steps for weeks, he will not die.
2. She's a prostitute deep in debt with a bottom-rung procuress called Maggie “Feathers” Rheinhold, this assassination was meant as a payment.
3. The trail of blood is blue, when you track the woman down she appears dead.
4. The man is not dead, just wounded, he pleads with you to bring back his drug-addicted daughter so he can get her help. (50% chance she's his unwilling bride)
|16||Several Youngbloods run out of a coffee house with melting flesh. Inside, the Maleficar who was hired to kill them has lost control, his bloated body reaches the ceiling and rabid organs prowl about the room, tied to the Maleficar's split torso by a web of arteries.|
|17||A passing youth shoves several leaflets into the hands of the PCs and continues on, not stopping to answer questions. The leaflets are:
1-2. An invitation to an unspecified celebration at Jurgenholm, a lavishly appointed home in a random neighbourhood. Drinking! Merrymaking! Feasting! (Ritual sacrifice to the Feathered Lord of Fascination not mentioned but that's what's going to happen!)
3-4. Advertisement for an exhibition bloodmatch at the Crimson Sky fighting house (where if blood doesn't hit the roof it's considered a bad show) between Fredriech Haas and Garrick the Unfilled. Fredreich has been relieved of all fingers and straps flails to his hands. Garrick was born without arms and has concerningly sharp teeth. Members of the crowd are invited to challenge the winner.
5-6. Seemingly disconnected gibberish, but when connected in the right order they complete the formula for a random 9th level spell. (Read Magic with a penalty equal to PCs present)
|18||Slavus Vracken, Lieutenant of the Seventh Goat mercenary company, viciously beats a woman in the street. She is a Whaugur (part whore part augur, she catches glimpses of your fate while fucking you) of the Cathedral of Lost Virtue who no longer desires to provide her services for free, and she will die if he is not stopped.|
|19||Tungson York, one-eyed adventurer of advanced years and bronze teeth, has a map and a proposition.
Accompany him to the Shrouded Hills, wherein lies an entrance below, wherein you shall find the lost temple of the mythic sect of the Purple Dream. Forbidden knowledge, terrifying precious idols, and more riches than you can carry await you where only Tungson knows the way.
|20||A scarred sword-whore mistakes a random PC for somebody else. His bloodshot eyes betray a large amount of drugs and he excitedly tells them that he has found the location of the Jade Gauntlet, and soon will be without death.
|End Times Cometh|
|1||What is left of the Gilded Dawn company returns from a charting job to reach a mountain in the Quenchless Mouth of Many, jungles to the South-West of Cörpathium. They say something stalks them, that it has slaughtered every settlement and homestead they stopped at, that it leaves no marks or trace, that its whispering drowns out the screaming.
(They found the mountain and entered it, they removed a bottomless bowl of precious black stone, those that have touched the bowl within the last day are safe, but those that have spoken to them or someone they have spoken to are no more than death to fill the bowl each night.)
|2||Bright blue flowers bloom from weeds growing in the shadowed nooks of the poorer neighbourhoods of the city. At first they are sold by vagrant women, but their entrancing aroma soon brings more aggressive waremongers into the trade. Prices increase, buyers come from all over Cörpathium, they're given as gifts, made into perfume, served as food, they induce a mild euphoria and you would like more, they're so beautiful.
Soon they will no longer sell, they wall off the areas around the flowers, they begin to worship. Many will come to join the cult, but there isn't room for all, and not everyone will take rejection lightly.
|3||Every member of a random Corvuscult family is assassinated overnight. Poisoned, stabbed, gutted and hung from a balcony, teeming with exotic parasites, thrown down the Emerald Pit, choked by a throat full of snakes, no two die the same way but none live by morning.|
|4||An old woman stops and sneezes in front of a random PC, a green powder is expelled from her nose and mouth, hitting the PC full in the face. The woman flushes red and apologises profusely, not seeming to grasp what has happened, and drops dead after a few steps.
At night you dream of a towering yellow mushroom with pink gills, left without worship in a forgotten cavern beneath the city. It wants to be found.
(The spores inside you are not complete alone, they need spores from the Pink-Gilled Mother to gestate, to make you a Fungal Lord. If you do not search for the Pink-Gilled Mother the spores will leave your body in search for someone who will, but their sudden absence will send your organs into shock, likely causing your death.)
|5||The dogs of the city become strange, often stopping to stare in silence at the sky. At the next full moon they will gather in the streets to sit and stare, those kept inside will howl and scratch and bite to be let out. At midnight those outside shiver and shake without a whimper as their flesh peels backwards from their snouts like an opening flower-bud, uncovering a smooth ellipsoid of pure white light, half as big as their body.
Wandering moonbeams like arcs of electricity surround the ellipsoids as they float through the streets, dog bodies dangling beneath them. The moonbeams penetrate flesh, pulling in to hold you beneath the ellipsoid's luminous girth next to the dog body, in 4 hours they will return to the sky.
|6||A dark green slime drains out between the brickwork of a passing house, it rolls down the wall to the street in thin strands, from the alley running beside the building you can hear screams of agony as a young woman is caught in the oozing side wall.
(The slime pulls her back between the bricks, her flesh dissolves and breaks, within the house is an old man writing a book, he has been writing it for 18 years, it is nearly finished, would you like to wait a moment and be the first to read it?)
|7||The PCs find an intricately gold-gilded black iron egg in the street, ignored by everyone else around them. The lines scored in patterns around it suggest that it can be opened.
When attempting to open the egg there is a 1 in 20 chance that they figure it out, and the chance increases by 1 for every previous attempt.
When it opens, the tiny sections making up the upper half of the egg expand outwards, attached to nothing, slowly turning in place 6 inches away from the warm pink thing nestled atop the base. Feathery light creeps out from it and brushes your hand, save vs. Magic Item.
If successful the warm pink thing melds with you, it hurts but you don't mind, once it is comfortable inside your flesh the egg pieces settle on your skin and grow, covering you in an intricately decorated iron second skin that shifts as you move. There is something important that you need to do, that you need to find, others buried with the world-vessel, failed and lost, it will take you some time to understand.
If the save is failed, you are not worthy. You weep tears of regret and blood and pus and liquefied brains and collapse to the floor, the solid egg rolls off your fingertips and out of sight, waiting for one who is worthy.
|8||The Damask Plague. People develop strange infections, their skin grows twirling lesions, they speak in a contagion of murky poetry, they paint repeating patterns across the walls where they gather. A man speaks in gestures parading as words as he grips the arm of a Godless, and their flesh begins to meld. The man is disembowelled and the Godless hacks at his arm to remove the mingled flesh. Inside, the man's organs form a familiar pattern.|
|9||The Godless burn dozens of Sporophytes wandering out of the Sporous Apiary, but they still appear in d6 surrounding neighbourhoods, bursting in the streets and showering everything around them in purple spores.
Spores that land on buildings will mature by the next morning, but spores that land on flesh are so aggressive that those affected are covered in fruiting bodies within the hour, seeking out new ground to cover in their own spores.
|10||People begin to change. The skin of a passing man is marred by grey patches that flakes to the ground as he rushes past, groups sitting by coffee houses display nervous ticks and awkward rapid head movements, you see one woman eating another in a passing glance down an alley and when you look again they are gone, whispered cults spring up around the city, a Family Head is cast out, rumoured to have undergone a hideous transformation of body and mind, he returns at night to murder half of his remaining family before being brought down, the remains are burnt. The Locust Queen comes.|
|11||The next time you walk through a neighbourhood at night a misshapen shadow without a surface lurches out at you. It disappears the moment it gets close to you but the buildings around you bear shadows not cast by the moon, shapes that seem to be observing you, shadows in the shape of men and other things besides.
(A dreamer sits in a room nearby, unwillingly bound in sleep and space by splattered wax wards and ritual and blood. The longer they remain the further the shadow influence will spread, and the nearer they will get to touching flesh.)
|12||An earthquake shakes the city, around the neighbourhood a filthy black oil oozes up through cracks in roads and foundations. The streams of coloured dust and decomposition that swim through its mass are enthralling, many won't be able to resist cupping it in their hands to admire.
It will dry and harden in the sun within the hour, but those who touched it go home changed. Altered. They want to watch the oil swim again and they know that they can make it happen, all they need to do is sit here in the dark and wait, the oil will swim within them.
The transformation cycle takes two weeks, and once their bodies have blackened and swelled and burst the oil will grow quickly within the dark nest of their homes.
|13||Dim waves of multicoloured light appear in the sky to the West, growing steadily larger and brighter as each night passes.
Vunfragh the Many-Eyed, toothless Maleficar and blight of the Moldenwood, has opened a gate which should have been left unfound. He lies atop his tower in the Moldenwood as his body is slowly consumed, light birthing from his many eyes into the sky above, the larva of godlight to come.
|14||Three Godless run into a nearby alley, answering the shrill bell-ringing of one of their number. A headless corpse lies in the alley, drained of all blood, gold coins held in its open palms.
(Lady Vania Gotheryne arranges the blood-bloated head in line with three rows of similarly engorged heads in the topmost room of her home. She smiles at the singer's pursed lips, at all of the singer's pursed lips, she is so near now, only a few voices remain to be collected, and then will come the song of blood and joy and madness, the end of her loneliness. Soon all of Cörpathium will hear the song that swells within her marrow.)
|15||Fishermen at the Dockmaw pull in a netted seabeast. It is the shape of a whale, with feathered flesh instead of a tail, and smooth shimmering tentacles along its flanks and underside. It appears dead, but when released from the net opens several mouths and bathes the dock in a harmonious penetrating wail.
Later those looking on from further back report that the fishermen walked into the water of the Dockmaw and disappeared into its depths, but cannot recall what happened to the thing that had been dragged ashore.
|16||When you are next in the neighbourhood, a Chronoscribe screams something that sounds like murder as he plummets from the Howling Spire of Time.
(The body cannot be found but the stain remains, the Chronoscribes in the spire don't know what you're talking about, you've never heard of the reigning Corvuscult families, the city guards are not Godless, they worship the Great Pestilence, Rot of All Things. The Chronoscribes say it has always been this way, and who would know better than a Chronoscribe?)
|17||The Hall of Many Things is defiled and looted, Solivius Juergen is murdered, but he will be back in a few days.
Nils Oman doesn't believe the thieves understood where they had broken into, the trinkets they stole are valuable enough in their own way, but nothing special. They did, however, steal several flasks of hypnoplasm, which they no doubt mistook for aged spirits. Hypnoplasm gives flesh to dreams, but if the thieves drink it their dreams will not be pleasant, nor will the things that birth from their torn bodies.
|18||Slopping, crawling creatures emerge from the sea, they raise themselves up in mockery of man and paralyse with a breath. A woman of child-bearing age is stolen for every one of their number, and their number is one thousand.|
|19||A bird falls at your feet, its head cleanly sliced from its body and nowhere to be found.
Merchant caravans return to the Godless at the gates, unable to leave, some kind of force surrounds the city. At first nothing looks out of place, but over the coming weeks the wrongness of the land outside the barrier grows, nightmare constellations are painted across the night sky, glimpses of things immediately forgotten reduce people to hysterics, night grows longer until it is all there is.
The Corvuscult hires sorcerers and augurs, but they will fail, food will run out, Cörpathium will become as a beast.
Only one decrepit Maleficar in the city understands this, and he knows you..
|20||Every Corvuscult member over the age of 12 disappears overnight. There are no witnesses, meals are left half eaten, concubines awake in empty beds, there are no signs of violence, they will never be found.|
Malles Vermald, Cörpathium, and Some Sights to See
- Frontier continent in an era of enlightenment.
- Mountains, caverns, ancient forests, swamps, jungles, the great inland sea.
- Despite a general attitude of conquest there are no actual records of native inhabitants ever having been encountered, and no one seems sure if the older cities were built or merely populated when Malles Vermald was discovered.
- If you have the strength to hold something, it’s yours. That farmer doesn’t live out here because he’s a depressed peasant, he lives out here because he wanted the land and he knows how to defend it.
- Conquistador sword-whores find plenty to occupy their time, whether it be the squabbles of upstart citystates, or scouring the dark depths of Malles Vermald. Large parts of the country remain unexplored, and even long settled areas have their share of secrets to hide.
- There is no single rulership and each city or settlement lives independently, but it is silently accepted that if Malles Vermald were to be ruled, Cörpathium would be its queen.
- The largest city of Malles Vermald, overflowing with mercenary bands such as the Seventh Goat and Golden Harpies, and gangs like the inherited-wealth Youngbloods.
- Governed by nine families, the Corvuscult.
- Anyone can challenge a family’s place in the Corvuscult provided they can gain petition from at least two other reigning families. The opposing families then appoint a champion to enter The Morrigan to face challenges set by the rest of the Corvuscult, with victory granted to the family whose champion survives the arena.
- While the champion isn’t required to be part of the family, they must represent them out of faith in their ability to govern, not how well they pay. The discovery of mercenary champions is not taken lightly by the Corvuscult.
- Runs on a 12 month calender of perfect 28 day lunar cycles. The 12th cycle bears a black full moon, during which lobotomised harvest soldiers are lead underground to procure Mondmilch to entrap in lanterns for the wealthy and influential. More superstitious sects spend the month in celebration, either of the end of days if the moon remains black, or of the new year if it returns to white.
- In the centre of the city is the Emerald Pit, a 30′ wide well, with lush ferns and grasses covering its walls as far down as the sun illuminates. Official attempts to discover its depths were abandoned after the tenth group again disappeared without trace, but private explorers are still known to try their luck. At the full moon the ferns raise themselves up with every imitation of song, until the twelfth cycle when they turn as black as the moon and rot into the depths of the Pit.
- Order is maintained in Cörpathium by guards sworn free of religion or allegiance to anything other than Cörpathium itself, not even the Corvuscult are beyond their judgement.
- The tests and trials to enter their ranks are said to last weeks, but none who pass them ever speak of what they endured, and those who fail inevitably find their way to the Sanctorium in their madness.
- They are said to be privy to many of Cörpathium’s forgotten secrets.
- Most boroughs in Cörpathium have a Deicidium, a dark ornate building where the Godless live, train, and study.
- A sprawl of alleys and multileveled stone buildings, infested with purple mould and fungus, inhabited by the poor and lost.
- The mould can be dried and ground into a powder, then fermented to produce the viscous purple narcotic known as Royal Honey. Under its influence the body requires no sustenance, seemingly living off sun and squalor, but the euphoric haze is sometimes accompanied by constant hallucinations of flying pure black insects the size of lobsters, multiple clawed limbs clacking beneath them as they stare impassively through negative-space eyes.
- Addicts have been known to collapse like putrefying mushrooms when their body can no longer bear the strain, while others enter a symbiotic state with the fungus, becoming infested with it inside and out in a constant state of euphoria. The bodily fluids of these Sporous Queens is like having distilled Royal Honey on tap, making them lucrative possessions.
- There are records of infested addicts called Sporophytes leaving the Apiary and wandering into outer neighbourhoods, stopping in the middle of the street and staring into the sky until their body swelled and burst, showering everything around them in spores.
- The Corvuscult have had the Apiary burnt out multiple times, but the mould always grows back. The last purge was 10 years ago, but no new Sporophyte incidents have been recorded since then.
- Architecturally disturbing asylum and monument to madness.
- Insanity is not uncommon in Cörpathium , and many of Malles Vermald’s mentally unsound find their way to The Sanctorium without having ever heard of it.
- None within its walls are free of madness, and the incomprehensible raucous rituals constantly taking place seem almost akin to worship.
The Midnight Market
- Some of the most valuable artefacts, ingredients, information and narcotics are to be found at the Midnight Market, but unless you’ve been initiated you’ll never know where or when it’s popping up next.
The Cathedral of Lost Virtue
- The most powerful and imposing of all Cörpathium’s pleasure houses, where the only stains you’ll find are the windows.
- Overseen by Sister Nektaria Siourthas, who jealously collects all Whaugurs that dwell within the city, prizing them above all the Cathedral’s other Sisters.
- Harbour allowing entry to Cörpathium from the Hollow Sea.
- Safer than most of the surrounding coastline despite the monolithic black stones that rise from its waters.
- Moored floating docks and counter-weighted bridges service anything much larger than a fishing boat.
The Hall of Many Things
- Down the stairs and to the left, down more stairs but never turn left again, go right, ignore the doors along the wall and don’t touch the knockers, the clouds beyond the reaching walls above you are dark and soft, at the end of the hall-alley is a door with a dirty glass window and intersecting triangles carved into the smooth worn wood of its surface, open it.
- The Hall of Many Things houses many things. Books, treasures, biological and anatomical specimens, weapons of dead empires, they line the walls and hang from the roof and sit upon haphazard stacks of shelves.
- Owned and operated by Solivius Juergen, a reclusive and wizened gentleman. Some of the things are for sale, most are not. The Hall’s main trade is in purchasing rather specific things sought by Solivius.
- Solivius’ employee Nils Oman may find you to extend an invitation, but otherwise you will never find it. Men have wasted years searching for the Hall without an invitation.
- Nils always seems to be facing anyone that looks at him. From behind he is actually hollow, but if anyone were to ever somehow see this he would become as a portal, spilling nightmares and death from his hollow back.
The Howling Spire of Time
- Strict records of the history of Cörpathium and Malles Vermald have been kept for the past 100 years, though nothing exists from before that time and none now live who might explain why.
- Once initiated as a Chronoscribe, undertaking the sacred duty of record keeping, most will never leave the spire.
- The roof of the spire is a mess of overlapping sections, allowing views of the sky. Older Chronoscribes believe the moon speaks to them through the howling of the wind through the gaps.
To Name a Few Indulgences
Rub a black salve into their throats, if its been too long since they last had a bit of Black the stain on their throats eats into their windpipe, older users often have crusted holes in their throat.
Someone on the Black cannot be poisoned by anything consumed orally and feels pretty fucking confident in themselves.
Keep a small toad with translucent lime green blisters on their backs. A delicate glass eye-dropper can be pushed into the blisters without bursting them. In addition to a pleasant mild high the fluid makes the user’s skin incredibly smooth and firm and vaguely moist. When in withdrawal the user’s skin takes on quite a different aspect.
The Thing in a Bottle
It sits in the bottle, too large now to fit through the neck, its urine swirls about at chest height, it blinks at you and doesn’t seem to mind, things would seem different if it was on the other side of the glass. The urine is green and luminescent, vaguely viscous like an oil, it is sweet and stronger than the finest distilled spirits. The hard part is getting it into the bottle in the first place.
[For your convenience you will find a cheap and nasty PDF of the above over in Penny Pamphlets]
Man that’s good stuff. Love your site!
Thanks! If you stick around more Cörpathium bits and pieces should be on their way, including a Whaugur premonition table.
Thanks for being unfettered in your awesomeness.
Writing tends to be one of those situations where restraints aren’t sexy.
Oh oh oh Cörpathium needs to be collected into book form at some point! Loving all this.
The more I write the more it becomes inevitable that I’ll have to make a book, even if it’s just six copies, I want a nasty hardcover sealed with wax.
Fantastic. I wish I’d thought of all of this myself.
Well that’s mighty kind of you to say.
[…] It is when I read weird and beautiful descriptions of cities such as Vornheim or make-your-own-Cörpathium it doesn’t go beyond description. What I am even to do with a district full of carved stone […]