Friday, June 5, 2015

Cthonospheric Compass (Exploring Lovecraftian Zones)

Truly, there are terrible primal arcana of earth which had better be left unknown and unevoked; dread secrets which have nothing to do with man, and which man may learn only in exchange for peace and sanity; cryptic truths which make the knower evermore an alien among his kind, and cause him to walk alone on earth.

by H.P. Lovecraft & William Lumley

Seventeen of this particular type of infernal device have been recovered from the ruins surrounding Wermspittle's third and fourth parallels. The Bureau of Progressive Reclamation forecasts that there could be more than a hundred of them out there for the taking. The Sewer Militia has announced a bounty of seven hundred pound-marks for each of these pseudo-geomantic mechanisms that get turned over to them voluntarily. Verifying the contraband devices has been difficult, as no two look quite alike. At least three fakes are known to have turned-up at the usual places. The Antiquarian's Council is up in arms over this fresh insult to their cherished institutions, leading some to speculate that several more fakes were able to pass through their hands before they were able to properly distinguish the actual from the spurious. But despite all this hub-bub and activity, no one knows where these things come from, or who made them...or why...

Foragers down along Aungier Street who frequent the Tea Swilling Monkey Tavern, many of whom recovered the majority of the documented Compasses, have avoided speculating openly about their findings. Some believe this is because these Foragers are using the Compasses to delve into hitherto unsuspected and hence unplundered spaces, no matter how dangerous or dire they might be.

Perhaps unrelated, a small pamphlet printed on fast yellowing pulp-print has come into circulation within the ranks of the various Foragers, Scavengers, Toshers and the like regardless of their affiliation or level of certification. The pamphlet, simply titled 'Ye Limnally Stratified Stages of Ye Cthonospheric Congeries,' shows a crude illustration of one of the newfound Compasses, a small schematic that purports to display the inner workings of the thing (curiously, this diagram is labelled in an obscure low-dialect of Aklo), and a brief, cryptic explanation of six zones not included in the Common Registry.

The Six Cthonospheric Zones noted in the pamphlet are as follows...

  1. Blue Yan: Possibly a corruption of Yian and suspected of being a subterranean adjunct to the Yianic Peripheries, a theory supported by the confirmed presence of Y'm Bhi and Gyaa-types within the ruins explored by no fewer than three gangs. Seven peculiar rusted metal tablets incised with looping hieroglyphs have been brought back from these preliminary investigations. Each of these tablets reverberate with intense telepathic impressions and warn of some sort of 'Forbidden Zone,' which no one has been able to locate at this time. The metal of these tablets is remarkably similar to the alloy used in the notorious Hound Talismans...
  2. Violet Abyss of Vooric Twilight: Actually several fragmented and disharmonious interstitial transitional zones where sound is distorted into a baffling cacophony, matter takes on a variety of new and heretofore un-examined states, and gravity is essentially meaningless. By no means vacant, these vague twilit regions are crowded with indescribable angled masses of substances that are simultaneously organic and inorganic and yet neither. Horrid Hues and Dread Colors have been reported, as have Orb Clusters and Nebulous Blurs, so it is suggested one proceed with extreme caution. Scholars speculate that this region could provide the means to access any number of incredibly remote locations, if the necessary mathematics can be worked-out.
  3. Red Yoth: A lurid and cavernous region where three deserted cities have been spotted by the initial surveyor-teams. Two Ixaxar Seal-Stones were claimed to have been recovered from one of these ruins by Mondrikus Larim, but due to a sequence of unfortunate events, he has been unavailable for further comment and the Black Seals have gone missing. The survivors of the second surveyor-team returned with the body of a degenerate ophidian creature that has since been turned over to the anatomists at the Medical College for further study.
  4. Black N'Kai: Also listed as "N'keth," "N'Gred," "N'thon/N'Thon/N'Thaan," and "N'Kir." Somewhat lower in overall vibrational frequency to Yoth above, this region is rich in mineralogical oddities and rife with bizarre geological formations that defy conventional expectations and theories. Little is actually known about this region, though it is suspected it might connect to, or somehow be co-terminus with the so-called Vaults of Zin, at least according to one interpretation of the Ghoulscript Codex and the so-called 'transpositional map of the endless black river' that supposedly somehow opens the way to someplace noted as the Gravelands.
  5. Gray Y'Qaa: Interdicted by heavily-armed patrols of the Sewer Militia, this region is designated unclean and all access is by the discretion of the Kommandant. The patrols are equipped with powerful dessiccators, burners and planar-lenses and they have been ordered to kill first and ask questions later. A cryptic Tsalalian scroll has surfaced recently that alludes to this region as being somehow linked to the Polar Ruins of more than a dozen Dead Worlds that have fallen to the Purple Clouds. The Pallid Masters of Aman Utal also have taken an interest in these gray regions below and are rumored to be mounting their own expeditions, regardless of any prohibitions or declarations of the Sewer Militia, which may well lead to another potentially ruinous underground struggle...

The designations of these spaces seems to be somewhat arbitrary and may prove to be inaccurate as it appears to have been copied-over from one or more proscribed manuscripts currently in circulation despite the best efforts of the Ministry of Truth and Understanding...


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. I found this one buried in the Drafts and thought it about time to post it. more Zonic-stuff to follow...

  2. Wow, suggestive and nebulous at the same time.

    1. All the better for you to make it your own and to adapt it for use in your own game. There's a lot of detail buried in-between the lines, but it isn't necessary to know any of it to make use of these six zones.


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