"Captain's log, date unknown. We have been exploring a region of dead space, wandering between the dull cinders of dying suns, looking for an explanation to what happened in this sector of space. Our charts show that this sector should be bursting with life - young stars and verdant worlds - but all we have seen is a stellar wasteland." -Log entry recovered from a derelict exploratory vessel on the fringe of the Miros Waste
"It was just after nightfall when it came; a horrible, rotten mass of bone and flesh, with a voice that was like a thousand screams braided together. I only survived because I ran - I ran and I've never stopped running, because I know it's after me. Me, and everyone else who was there when the city of Vesta was slaughtered." -Hans, Former Captain turned nomad
Descended from humanity, the orcs of Kuramen are a far cry from the bloodthirsty savages of many other worlds.
"See that one, with the burn scars and dark veins? Don't stick too close; he shoots fireblood before engagements. Keeps friends and foes alike at bay, it does."
Driven by the need to keep his descendants fed, Daniel Andersson is one of the more peculiar undead - and gods - one might ever come across.
Being a picky eater as a vampire can be quite troublesome.
Some people have neither good nor bad luck; they instead have a certain whimsy of fate attached to them, placing them at the center of bizarre events whether they wish it or not. Joseph Random is one such individual…
An ocean of fine silt, shot through with pillars and islands of ancient stone, this realm would be a thing of harsh beauty were it not for the utterly lifeless nature of it.
A well-meaning mage has banished darkness from the area, not realizing the downsides of this event.
The Lazy Goat is a wayfarer’s stop, a tavern of sorts out in the dark between cities.
A fragment of the mighty Blades of the Storm, reworked into an icon of faith and worship to the very god who once graced it with her touch.
"Oh, yes, I know of him. That half-mad disciple of the Storm, you’d never think he was dangerous to look at him - until he pulls out those twin blades of his and screams in his high voice ‘Blood for the Storm God!’ - you wouldn’t think a pixie could make your blood go cold like that."
-Anatos One-Eye, speaking of Raziel of the Crimson Storm
"It was as if, for a heartbeat, the world awoke, and lashed out in rage at those who disturbed it."
Silent, accurate, and powerful, the cogwheel rifles serve as a potent alternative to standard firearms.
Ancient-looking, yellowed bone, slashed with streak of dry black ichor, forms the core material of this loathsome armor.
Odd little devices, almost ubiquitous in any city which relies on thaumatechnology.
Sturdy goggles with thick green lenses, and wires that lead to a battery of thaumic energy.
In the deep of night, even the most jaded of criminals will look over their shoulders for the telltale scarlet glow of the steamwalkers.
Glistening in the light of Acheron, the crystalline structure of the Atrium is a fragment of Earth, carried across the void; a snapshot of green and blue amid the pale tans and reds of Tarterus, a promise and a dream.
The product of centuries of slow, careful, painstaking work, a testament to the Old Ways and the power of Thaumaturgy, the Cathedral of Light is known of across the whole of Kuramen.
Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.
Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.
Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.
The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.
Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.
In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.
Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.