The Land of the Living
There lies a valley, far to the west, on the shores of The Great Northern Sea, that has a mist that is both blessing and curse. All those that breath the mist heal with remarkable speed, so fast that only the mightiest blow or the truest strike can fell the smallest beast. The warriors who settled this land became soilders of great renown, for not only were they impenetrable defenders, they were warriors whose aim and might were unsurpassed.
The valley that holds the Land of the Living was once another barren valley in the tundra, home to scarcly any creatures or plants. A shift in magma in the depths of the earth began to heat the waters in fissures deep underground to create numerous hot springs and geysers. The the mist rose to kiss the high hills around the valley untill it spills over and disipates to the winds.
As wandering people began to discover this oasis of warmth in the frozen wastes, they also began to notice the mist’s strange effect on things. They would try to hunt for food, only to loose arrow after arrow and watch with amazement as they were pushed out by the creatures healing powers. Only shots that ended the quarry’s life instantly would also end this healing process. This process was so remarkable that after some time they found they could even capture a live buck, use thier axe to suddenly strike off a leg, and in the time it took them to prepare the leg to cook, the agitated buck once again possessed four strong legs.
Civilizations grow and in time this remote camp of misguided arctic hunters became a villiage, then a settlement, and finally a city. It became appearent that this healing mist only works on animals, for the crops that grew in the warm moist enviroment would not sprout new fruit when the ripe one were harvested. With a finite amount of land to grow crops on, the Khan of the valley decided to send out parties of warriors to find the best crops to fill his valley. Three important things happened from these parties wanderings: First, a mix of grains and trees were brought to the valley to fill every acre with plants. Second, word of the valley’s amazing mist reached the outside world. Third, the warriors of the Land of the Living found that they would not heal any faster than anyone else outside the mist. Of the twelve parties sent out, only four returned, and all suffered the losses of at least half the warriors.
With the secret of the mist present in the world, the Khan was soon found assaulted by trade agreements to export the mist so that sick heads of state could be healed, ailments could be banished, and armies could be made invincible. The Khan agreed and tried to meet teh demands, but the mist’s wonders proved unable to be bottled. It simply stopped working within a day of leaving the valley. The Khan was soon met with the very emmisaries who had come bearing gift to gain his favor, but this time they bore declarations of war and labeled him a thief and a liar, and blamed for the death of a sickly heir.
With a valley of warriors at his command, the Khan set up defenses to hold the many armies at bay. Nations who were bitter rivals joined in greed as they descended on the small valley. The soilders who survived came back shaken, telling tales of invicible warriors leaping from the mist to strike fatal blows. The Khan denouced the nations that attacked him as evil and set up the permanent watch of his borders known to this day as the Line of Bone.
The Line of Bone is two hundred foot wide path of scattered bones and powder. The line marks the edges of the valley’s mist and it’s healing properties. The warriors that walk the line were given the name 'Cloud walkers' because the bone powder puffs around their feet as they walk and often follows them on the soles of their shoes as they travel inside the valley. The Cloud walkers question anyone found on the line and have permission to slay them on sight.
It is unknown what gives the mist it’s healing properties, perhaps a mixing of exotic elements from the depths of the earth with rare moss spores, but all those who breathe it heal with remarkable speed. All those that have breathed the mists for at least one day may recover 2d4 hit points a combat round. After an day outside the mists, the healing powers stop.
The mist is not a heavy fog, but visibility inside the mist during the day is about a hundred feet, which is why the Line of Bone is two hundred feet wide, so they can see any invaders while remaining inside the mist. At night visibility drops to about twenty feet.
Many of the warriors have dogs with them. These 'Mist Hounds' have been trained to attack with great ferocity to accomplish the kills neccesary in the mist.
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? Responses (21)
HOLY CRAP!! You can use this ANYWHERE!
I am never speechless, but WHAT HE SAID!!!
I would like to award you six stars for this one and nominate you for an emie.
It is great, I think my world will grow a bit...
Just to make sure, people do not become truly immortal, right?
They rather get venerable, and die of old age when their time comes. This may create a slightly different society, where even old people are fully competent at their crafts, their knowledge giving them even more respect from the younger ones.
As they stay isolated, what do they see? They live in paradise, bordered by frozen wastelands, occassionally producing a few dirty attackers they can deal with easily. They certainly are worth more than anyone outside, right?
They do grow old and die of old age, how competent they are is up to you, as is their veiws on society and culture.
One small thing I considered but forgot to post: The mist effect only works on the way the cells interact with each other to heal each other. Otherwise, single celled oraganisims would also be as hard to destroy and the people would either have super immune systems or be carrying superpowered diseases to let loose when they leave their land. Either way it's not a good thing to have or encounter, so single celled organisms and bacteria get to die here just as they would anywhere else.
Hmmm... old people that can be still competent in their Art...
A wise Khan that does not despise the other lands completely, may know the value of experts. For those, especially when they start to get older (maybe even sick), the offer of quality long life may sound tempting. Some experts may be offered the chance of serving the Land of the Living... and few would refuse outright... some may agree.
This of course depends on the contacts they have with the outside world, and how pissed the surrounding nations are at this stealing of their most talented men and women.
Imagine the Land of the Living after a century or two of gathering experts, immigration permission being sort of a reward - the greatest storehouse of knowledge and Mecca of science.
It would be the greatest of privileges for a student to be able to study in the Grand University of the Khan, in a land that does not know sickness, hunger, accidents, and that no-one dares to attack anymore.
Does the term Shangra-la meen anything to you? They will have their own special society.
Eventually, they will look outside and see the mess that the world is. Fearing for their special place, they will create a confusing mist, invisability, ofuscations of all sorts, just to keep themselves from being found by the Outside,,, where there primative barbarism will not effect them.
Wonderful. The Cloud Walkers grabbed my attention and sent images rolling in my mind of white clothed warriors leaping from the mist and shadow to end the life of a trespasser. Truely wonderful.
I used this, and it became one of my players favorite sessions of the past five years!!
The only thing that pains me is that I'll never be able to use it again with quite the same panache and novelty factor for the same crew. I know, I'll just have to find a new group!!
I could see this in a Tarzan or Pelucidar novel. It evokes a scene, one of wonder, epic, and tragidy.
I stumbled over this again in the random and went, dang, this needs to be HoH'd again. It also needs another Golden Vote.
Very original - wonderful understanding of the effects.
There are so many options here it is not funny!
Love it! (Problem being that if technological.. oh screw it.. it's a great idea nad I love it.) 5/5.
What a great idea! As I am currently in the process of mapping out a new continenent, I have just the place to use this idea, with a few modifications to fit my world.
Excellent sub and full of great ideas. Any interesting question arises however, does the society allow/encourage inbreeding/incest? Or do they send out raiding parties for new people every so many years?
If they do send out raiding parties to acquire the best and brightest for their lands population it makes for a great springboard for adventures such as:
To rescue a Living Treasure
The heroes find themselves on a hired to rescue a world renowned artisan who was suddenly abducted by strange white clothed warriors who sailed off to the north.
Rite of passage
As part of the passage from child to adult, young adults of the mist valley must join a "gathering party" and leave their land to return with several people of worth to join their culture and keep it strong. For these young warriors who have never known debilitating injury or sickness the outside world can be a daunting place, but tradition demands they return successful, or not at all...
Sanctuary, Refuge Denied
Fleeing a war, plague or continental catastrophe a ship full of refugees seeks sanctuary in the magical northern lands, rumored to be safe from all the mortal worlds horrors. Unfortunately while following a returning group of gatherers they manage to wreck their ship upon the coastal rocks, and are forced to either negotiate with these secluded winter warriors, or find a way to breach their defenses and carve a piece of the mist land for themselves.
(forgot to vote)
Still speechless. Love it just as much now as when I first read. Outstanding idea and well demonstrated concept.
Aye, its a good one. Never did comment&vote on this one, correcting that now.
I, personally, dont find this to be all that great. All i see is a place wgere crops and animals get healed. Unless im missing something?
Anyway, still take a 4/5
Not a bad idea.
Good one, I like the imagery of the cloud walkers.
Agar I can't believe your activity status is grey!!!