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ID: 6785


June 17, 2013, 6:35 pm

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Keeper of the Hourglass


"Remember, lad, nothing on this world remains constant, not even the world itself or anything beyond. The only constants ever are the Fabric and time"

Before the creation of worlds and universes, there is only the Fabric that constantly folds in and out across itself in a completely random way. It is where the Fabric comes into contact with itself that basic matter forms and subsequently gives rise to the formation of the various universes and worlds. Along the same logic, regions on the Fabric where it is unfolding are where whole worlds and even universes will be snuffed out. Thus, the only constant besides the Fabric is time, an element common to all worlds and universes.

Time is governed by the One, the Ultimate, the Observer, the Keeper of the Hourglass. He stands and watches. He watches the Fabric folding and unfolding, watches worlds and universe being born, watches the same worlds and universes coming to an end. He forewarns of the Unfolding, announcing the Ultimate Countdown in the form of burning letters that chase themselves across the sky miles above all lifeforms.

Plot Hooks:

Deciphering what was Forgotten (based on comment from Forganthus)

- The Ultimate Countdown is written in an ancient tongue that has been long forgotten. Ignorant of its nature, each individual count has become known as a comet with no particular meaning except those attributed to it through folklore. Can the truth of the Ultimate Countdown be discovered in time?

- The PCs found an ancient tome written in a script that neither of them is familiar with that tells of the Keeper and the Ultimate Countdown. Can they get it deciphered in time and warn the rest of their race?

Means of World Travel

- The race of the PCs has lost the means to traverse worlds generations ago. Like in the Omen of Fire plot, a part of the society has given up on law and order. Can the PCs survive amidst the chaos much less make a name for themselves and/or re-discover the means for world travel?

- Same context as above, what opportunities and/or mayhem await the PCs who just arrived at this particular world (and might or might not be stranded here)?

- The race of the PCs has just migrated to a new world and found out that the means of world travel has been lost (could be a magical portal spell that no longer functions because the meta-physics of the new world is different to the old world or a broken spaceship depending on the setting)! What to do now?

The Truth in the Constellations

- What if the Keeper of the Hourglass has hidden information on the Unfolding relating to different worlds in the constellations? What powers can someone who has partially decoded such information wield?

Author's notes:
This idea came to me because of Freetext Friday and this is as far as I can take it. I imagine this would be the background myth to a setting where humans (or any other type of intelligent beings would do) are forced to migrate every once in a while (I imagine the time would be at least thousands of years) across worlds or even universes becasuse of the Fabric unfolding.

Finally, a special thanks goes to Forganthus for his comments, which have both directly and indirectly led to the Plot Hooks section being added.

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Comments ( 9 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

June 10, 2012, 5:04
This sub starts out somewhat ordinary, but there is some greatness that is hinted at near the end. I like the idea that the intelligent races must migrate into a different universe every so often. Maybe the Keeper of the Hourglass let's them know exactly how long they have until the end of the world? None of this "according to prophetic interpretations" stuff--I'm imagining a countdown in the sky, built from burning letters a hundred miles high.
June 11, 2012, 20:00
Update: Updated incorporating Forganthus's idea and the great image. Thanks for the input. This feels more complete now with respect to the possible interactions with humans, which I personally felt was somewhat lacking before.
June 14, 2012, 3:26
I like this sub. :)

That does sound like comets, though. Maybe we've forgotten the First Tongue, and we'll decode that the comets in the sky are actually a countdown--almost too late.
June 14, 2012, 19:09
Now that you mention it, it does sound likes comets. Basically I was just trying to incorporate your image but adapt it so that it's more in line with the atmosphere of the sub and the "chase themselves across the sky" just came to me. And your idea abt the forgetting the First Tongue, that's interesting as well. Surely a creditable plot hook that could arise from this background.
June 15, 2012, 22:28
I can envision a magic system based on tapping into those awesome energies. Unlimited power can be had, if it doesn't burn the caster's mind into a cinder first.
June 15, 2012, 23:09
Tapping into the energy of fabric disassociation? Like, every time I cast a spell, I bring the apocalypse closer? A wizard's college could advance the apocalypse by two years every year. Yet, without powerful magic, there is no way to escape this doomed plane. . .

I see a cultural conflict!
June 17, 2013, 4:37
Update: Promoted from stub to full sub
Voted valadaar
June 17, 2013, 12:46
Really more of a plot than an deity or religion - there is really not much about this Keeper apart from what he does.

The plot idea is quite cool though.
June 17, 2013, 18:33
True, on the Keeper himself, I can't push further cos I see him being part of the bg to a setting (ppl might not even know of him specifically but rather just that the Ultimate Countdown will appear sooner or later if they know abt the Countdown at all). Hence, this was originally a stub that I sort of liked but just didn't think it's suitable as a full sub. But after Forganthus's comments and a revisit, the plot ideas sort of surfaced so that's why I've promoted it to a sub.

Anyway, I'm changing this sub to a Plot as suggested cos it is more fitting.
Voted Dossta
June 19, 2013, 12:16
I like the idea of comets having a greater meaning. Making them into a giant, celestial doomsday clock is an idea that definitely appeals to the dramatic. I'd love to use this in a steampunk setting or something, since they already have such a heavy emphasis on gears and clockwork.

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