I would like a little variety in the possible truths, perhaps like all the supernatural aside, the man was a mugger and his victim caught up with him, gave him a tasering and then beat him with a blunt object for stealing her purse (Anger management???) Go to Comment
I really like the lead in, this solid intro and plot set up. A great write up. It is more atmosphere than plot, but you could go a lot places with it. It even be sci-fi adventure, mad researcher, alien space landing and all that.
A fun little side adventure to plug into any modern horror game, then watch the pc's go nuts trying to figure out where it fits into the "bigger picture" of the campaign. (Some of the conclusions they sometimes wind up drawing either make for great ideas, or are eerily accurate.) Go to Comment
The important thing to know about The Road is, that it has sides. If you follow it on the right side in the right direction, you will travel a little faster; if you choose the wrong side, you will be slowed down. Magical support will make route much more pleasant and smooth. A road well travelled will change over time, bumps will be trampled into the ground, and intervening vegetation will wither away.
The road changes even more, when there are many travellers at once. Their magics and will to travel make it into something more, almost a collective conscience. It becomes a stream, that wants to push on, and avoids obstacles and dangers by mere instinct.
The construction requires direction markers, in its simplest form pairs of wooden beams, laid into an angle to resemble arrows, the sharper, the more intense the effect, blunt shapes are dampening, as is going against their direction. A basic ingredient are the bones of migratory animals. Some include the seeds of plants, that pass large distances, for a lesser effect. Bones of migratory fish are reported to work as well. Go to Comment
The spiral is used for many purposes. It reacts on streams and movements of magic, and exerts a certain resistance as this force consumed in the infinite loop. Of course, no model will be truly infinite, so only a small part can be captured. The useful part is exactly the resistance - if the item carrying the Spiral allows it, it can move in response to surrounding magic.
- various triggers and traps running on the presence of magic
- primitive machines running on magic, using circular motion, ranging from prayer wheels, through mixers and other kitchen appliances, up to large millls - all depends on the power source
- simple detectors of magic Go to Comment
The Furlings were a deeply spiritual race, with incredible powers of foresight. After a period of rapid spreading throughout their galaxy and several others, their advancement was slowed down and eventually halted. Their own abilities grew until they paralyzed them completely, unable to act on any decision, foreseeing its consequences for years, then decades, then centuries, sometimes thousands of years. They cultivated hundreds of philosophies to cope with their ability. And failed.
The Furlings were great advisors, if you knew how to cut them off quickly, so they were recognized as a great race. Their influence vaned with the approach of the "Great Confluence", a mysterious event they revealed little about, except that they cannot see into it, though they could see before and after it. Increasingly irrational, they withdrew completely from all affairs and vanished. Investigations have shown, that they removed pretty much all of their presence from existence, so there is practically no trace of their civilization. Why would they do that (or if somebody else did it) is unknown. Some speculate they simply couldn't bear it any longer and did it all on purpose, or just obeyed their fate.
On a personal level, they combined pride of their species with a dose of incurable pessimism. The few preserved pieces of their technology are evidence of it, as you can find now, thousands of years later, notes from the item's owner, who knew what will happen to it ("Don't push the red button, stupid Earthling!"). You just have to be fluent in Furling. Go to Comment
There was a time, when the Furlings resembled another famous interstellar race - the Borg. They used technology to augment their bodies and freely attacked and assimilated anything, that looked interesting. They achieved amazing power and destroyed many civilizations, until they were defeated by a great alliance. As their last action, they sent a few of their drones into the past. Carrying all of their knowledge, the collective was swiftly upgraded to the newest standard, centuries before they achieved it at a normal pace. One more time they rised, were defeated and returned even further. Then they were the most powerful creatures in the galaxy.
But what would they do? Now they were on the top, no one having technologies or power to rival theirs. Few looked even remotely interesting. They started to 'seed' primitive races with technical knowledge, aiding a faster development. With the most advanced groups they entered 'alliances', then threw them bones in form of the strangest pieces of knowledge, for which their allies gladly reported any advances. Sometimes it was worth requesting another opinion.
Then, to their shock, one of the lesser species discovered the process of Ascension. The Furlings quickly found it to be a more powerful mode of existence then their own. Within a short timeframe, their entire race ascended.
What became of them is not known. Maybe they were all wiped out due to a horrible miscalculation. Much more likely, they continue to rise to new levels of existence as a melded collective mind, completely ignoring the universe as it is known to us. They won't be seen anytime soon, astronomically speaking. The bits and pieces of their technology remaining will be incomprehensible. The other races won't tell anything, they found them too... unsettling.
(Oh, and why Furlings? Their final physical form, no matter its actual shape, was covered in fine hair-like extensions, uncounted nanoscopic manipulators.) Go to Comment
For once is a name telling. The Furlings are not only furry, they can furl themselves. When completely furled together, they are small enough to keep on your lap, resembling a sloth. They can get frighteningly large quickly, unwinding their limbs and bodies, taking on volume and mass. Using means from purely organic to highly technological, they compress matter and put it aside until needed ('aside' means other dimensions at this stage).
The Furlings not only look like sloths, they appear lazy to utterly passive, and don't mind to be confused with animals at all.* It takes them a very long time to trust anyone. On the positive side, they like to be scratched. They are content with living out their existence in peaceful contemplation, taking the surprises of life as they come.
Possible entry: a team looks for the Furlings of legend, and is given a little creature that will supposedly "show the way". Traveling blindly around the galaxy, they are attacked by a random enemy, whereupon the pet grows and eats the bad guy. Digesting him with weapons and all, it explains the evaluation will continue for some more time, possibly years, then requests more scratching.
The Furlings are explorers, scientists and poets. They have great telepathic abilities, so great, that it is hard for them to be around sentients and not be influenced. They prefer to keep distance to such a degree, that they have become permanent nomads, roaming the depths of space, rarely approaching other races, and they themselves live in small groups or as loners. This has lead to an effective taboo on being seen, and they will not reveal their appearance even in remote communication. That their ships are permanently cloaked doesn't help.
Furlings tend to feel insulted, if "ambushed" by younger races eager to contact them. It is the infinite universe, that is fascinating enough to spend an eternity studying. The numerous young species, that claim to be intelligent, are a too regular source of disappointment. But they keep an eye open.
The one thing still eagerly traded among them, are "touches", intricate scans of minds, revealing much about a person and his own race. If you were in the vicinity of a Furling, all of them will soon know you intimately.
In general, they avoid interventions, and don't mind watching the lesser beings slaughtering and enslaving each other. But as all great races, they have a certain resentment against advanced technology in wrong hands. What makes them truly angry, are mind-control techniques, if they are too effective or applied too indiscriminately. Those on their bad side tend to fall to accidents, or dumb luck of some random heroes, a third party is rarely suspected.
And how do they look? Well, they evolved, too. They also were humanoid ages ago. Now they are mainly composed of their head. The rest of their body shrunk, and their four limbs make them quadrupeds, equally good for movement as manipulation. Their technology doesn't need even that, but they like to keep it that way. Their faces are still recognizable, which makes it awkward indeed. Some of them grow a bulge on their forehead, a 'third eye', to remind of their ancestry.