A HellPit is a spring of green ectoplasmic goo that spring forth from the bowels of the astreal to the materail realm in out of the way places. These points of concentrated Evil and Chaos create dangers untold in regions around them.
A spring can occur when an underground flow of water stagnates and is compressed or heated. The water needs a release. If the water finds 'weak earth' and pushes through to the surface, it will be released. This creates a spring: a pool of mineral water.
Magic, technically Espiritus - the energy of magic, also flows through the astreal world like water. There are place where pressure builds even in the fluid astreal world. It finds the point of greatest weakness, usually the barrier between the realms. The energy flows forth out of the Astreal into the world. In most cases, this makes a place attuned to a higher energy, making it unique or empowered. In the case of 'negative energies' which are chaotic and destructive, pooling has other consequences. While a little negative Espiritus can be healthy, too much is disruptive. Where it pools 'melts' the reality there, changing it to match its form. This Espiritus becomes material. The material form is a HellPit.
HellPits vary in size, from anywhere from an arm span to two man's heights across in a roughly roundish shape. The sides are always sharp, as if a hole has been punched in the ground. As to depth, it is hard to say. Things that enter a HellPit tend not to leave (or if they do, they do so in a very different form). A HellPit is not technically a pit, but a pool of magically charged chaos. The pool's surface is always a bit from the surface - from a hand span to an arm's length below the edge. Even major extractions can only lower the level of the pool for a time (thus attempts to drain pools always fail). It is always bubbling too, giving off a smell like a lighting bolt has struck.
The pit itself is a hazard, but the pooled liquid, that is the true danger. It is Hell's Blood.
Hell's Blood is the thick syrupy liquid that 'pools' in HellPits. It is a shocking green that glows with its own soft light. Its smell is the smell of burning things, things burned by lightning. It is charged with the potential of change.
This magical change can be dangerous.
Change 'builds up' and randomly leap away like lightning to the ground, striking some point near the HellPit. Some strikes are near. Some are far, like the edge of a great forest. Anything touched by this 'change bolt' is changed, and usually not for the better. The thing is changed to a darker, more dangerous, more destructive form. Trees become animated and blood thirsty, rabbits begin to hunt, wolves become giant wargs with spikes on their spine, bears become giant monsters shooting lightning from their claws, no changes are ever exactly alike.
And woe be it to the thing that falls into the pit. If it emerges, it becomes a creatures of nightmare. No longer recognizable for what it was, it is truly a monster.
Sometimes, and this be legend, things of true Evil or Chaos emerge from the pits full cloth, escaping from their realms through the astreal and ending up in the material world.
Places around HellPits are assumed to be cursed, dammed, or shunned. The number of 'monsters' in the vicinity of a HellPit is daunting. The occasional 'other thing' that is in the area is what people fear.
Those who practice magic and do not mind the touch of Evil or Chaos, will utilize the ectoplasm in their magics. Any magic of change (and any magic really, as it changes reality) is empowered and amplified by use of the Hell's Blood. If one is not too concerned with safety or possible changes, using the Hell's Blood directly (burning it in a brazer or keeping it a chalice and using it as a foci) is quite potent.
Now, if there are enough HellPits in an area, people might be able to learn how to use their power. If one is not too picky, the powers can be used to restore lost limbs.
The most common way to use these power, safely, is to keep the Hell's Blood in a 'Reliquary', a glass cylinder topped with gold/silver/bronze caps. (A bone of some animal is in the Hell's Blood). Not only will this create a powerful light source, but it will generate a manna every scene or impulse (depends on the Hell's Blood or the Bone used).
Hell's Blood that has been 'purified' and most of its magic removed, still has uses. If kept in a Reliquary like item, it is still a strong ever burning light source.
Variations on Reliquaries can allow 'power' to empower magic items or other things.
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? Responses (9)-9
*imagines a twisted geyser basin Yellowstone style of Hellpits*
The Reliquary part was quite nice, otherwise a rather basic extrapolation of the hellpits from the Dark Oak Forest. While some mechanics have been added, nothing really new has been brought to the table.
This is the new to the table, as every one said the original implied information was insufficient.
This is quite... interesting, and can possibly work some great havok, but it is quite logical in its madness. I like it for that.
An interesting sub, but I generally view magic as inherently neutral. In this case it appears this is most definately not the case.
Is there a balancing 'Heaven Pit'? :)
Heaven Pit...good inspiration.
My poor Hellpits are so misunderstood. A little Evil (like a little capitalism) is a good thing. Chaos and change, in moderation, prevents stagnation. Destruction makes way for new growth. It is only when there is no balance that these forces are called "bad". And to be honest, HellPits are a bit unbalanced. They can make an area a "living hell" with mutants and monsters and animated plants. However, they even out the world... equalizing the "high" and "low" pressures of order/ good and chaos/evil.
You did mention 'In the case of "negative energies.." ' which I had overlooked. My bad.
However it did spur a new sub, so it's all good.
I rather took them to be like over-flows, or the cosmological equivalent to a leaking pipe.