A Terrible Journey — Part I

Hidden NareshOrder of Truth apprentices, pay attention. Today I will share a secret. How does one travel to the lands of the Sun Below? It’s not pretty, not safe, and not sane.

For over a century, the Order has used a most difficult path, through the fell city of Hidden Naresh. Our scholars have found dozens of references to other entrances, but when we look for them, we find nothing. Take heed and you will know why the Order keeps seeking for other portals to the lands below our feet.

In Hidden Naresh the world is torn and reality drips away. There is nothing for a mind to hold onto. An Aeon Priest will forget their own name, their purpose, and all that came before entering the city. One must hold on. A talisman is a necessity. Hold tight and stay focused.

Then, under the Temple of a Thousand Terrors, enter the lowest basement and find the red door. Not the blood door, but the door made out of red flesh. Enter this door and step into the pit.

Your fall will be gentled by a thousand clinging tendrils. Each will make an offer that you must not acknowledge. Do not give in. Keep falling, down, down, down, until you meet the gatekeeper.

Do not stare at her eyeless face. She will know if you do. Face away, but direct your speech to her. Ask for passage. She will open your back. Be glad you cannot see.

— Charis Kos, Aeon Priest

Continue to Part II

Meet the Slithik

Here we have a work in progress by artist Reece Ambrose. This slithik just wants to be your friend. Or does she?

SlithikColorSampleThe slithik is one of the races unfortunate enough to have been enslaved by the Praithians. In many of the lands under The Sun Below, the slithik run their own affairs. But in Urbamorr, the Praithians still hold power, and the slithik, despite their many advantages, are all mind controlled slaves.

Well, maybe not all of them…

For a look at more art by Reece, check out his portfolio.

More slithik goodness will be found in the adventure The Sun Below: City on the Edge.

Finding Illustrators

Urbamorr, City on the Edge
Illustration by Reece Ambrose

One of the best part of working on roleplaying games is getting to work with artists. I admire great illustrations, and when they come in through my email transom, I just can’t love it enough.

I have some great art already, but need more to finish up that side of The Sun Below: City on the Edge.

Here’s a peak on what I’m asking illustrators:

I’m looking for more art to finish up a Numenera adventure. I have the cover art and some other illustrations already underway.

The Sun Below: City on the Edge is a licensed Numenera adventure set in The World Below, a giant tube buried deep under the surface of the Ninth World. A slow moving white sun floats along the tube near the ceiling.

Under the light of the Sun Below, the characters encounter the Praithians, psychic mummies encased in levitating stone heads. The Praithians have two slave races ripe for revolt: the Flann, androgynous purple humans and the Slithik, a nightmare cross between the Lovecraft’s Shuggoth and the Great Race of Yith. All are featured on the cover, so illustrations that include them should use the cover art as a starting point.

Numenera has a post-apocalyptic look with an important twist – the ruins and artifacts of previous ages are mind bogglingly advanced ultra-tech. This is set a Billion years in the future. If you think Star Trek, the leftover tech isn’t Federation, it’s the Q Continuum. For the people living in the rubble, it’s magic.

Writing the Other

How do you write about people you are not? Women/Men? Gay/Straight/Other? Ninth Worlders are inherently other.

I’ve spent this week in Chattanooga learning to do just this, at the Writing the Other workshop.

More game information when I get back!

David and Mary
Authors David Anthony Durham and Mary Robinette Kowal discuss writing the other.