In the Beginning…
The 5th Epoch of man ended in a magical transformation. No known artifacts of humanity survived the process. All life on Earth was transformed as the very nature of the universe rearranged itself. The planet became known as The Shell.
The Lingamorph created Seed pods and from them hatched the first 31v35. They constructed the first humans from mud and decided to worship them, but the humans turned out to be kinda shitty.
Luridia is the core of the exploded shell, which still floats in fragments above the surface. It’s possible to visit the Shell by airship (but why would you? Clouds would probably eat you. Or thunder would strike you. Or cloud-eating-thunder would have its way with you).
Fast forward a few hundred millennia…and the new humans have spread all over the world like a disease. Alien beings with strange powers arrive from the stars – they are eldritch and tentacular (tentacled and spectacular) and have unpronounceable names like Mub-blub’gluggenoth, Ghel Myrnnighor, Bloong, and Cletttttttt’tttth.
Humans are stupid so they start worshipping these living mass of tentacles. But the alien-monster-gods are magical, full of voidal humour (the stuff of magic), and so they confuse side-effects such as exploded heads and engorged testies as “miracles.” Cults form. Because of course they do.
New races emerge. Fearsome, warlike humanoids with the appearance of lions, panthers, and tigers, along with their lesser, mixed-blood cousins, with the temperance of portly, craven house cats. The Seraphim dragons: powerful, angelica flying reptiles with miraculous powers; nasty humanoid reptiles called shrievers, and so on.
Our story begins in the empire of Marmothoa, a sprawling, churning, chaotic mass of humanity, in which Emperor Padamose rules the capital city of Marduun…
Venture to the crown city of Marduun 150 years before the events of Second Edition and the Unlikely Heroes cycle where the Great Mau Emperor Padamose reigns supreme over the villainous world of Luridia. From his seat of power in the capital city, he and the Seven Great Swords of Justice preside over a world on the brink of chaos. But not all is well in Padamose’s court as his most trusted advisors, the warrior sorceress Elzibeth and the secret Thabbashite Priest Woadenworm Gloamspike conspire with Lecram the Silent Jester and the living couch Mr. Chesterton to topple Padamose’s regime.
Threats from inside and out crowd in as religious persecution runs rampant in the streets of Marduun as the money worshipping Mau merchants, lesser feline cousins of the Emperor, are corralled into submission. Outside the city walls, Thabbashite and Lingamite cults worship their lifeless living gods, and one woman, Gilda, succeeds in the impossible by summoning the Lingamorph, the one known deity in this world of villainy.
From their coupling comes Gideon, a warrior savant, whose reputation spreads like wildfire. It isn’t long before Gideon attracts Elzibeth’s attention. What she finds is a man in love with his twin sister, Ashara, and ridden with guilt over his actions and demonological origin. Elzibeth deftly manipulates Gideon into exiling his mother and sister and joining her in the fighting pits, where he must prove his mettle against an ailing Sword of Great Justice to take his place. Moments before death, Gideon taps into a secret power, stored in the blood and bond he shares with the Lingamorph, to slay Ecneret in front of the Emperor and the other six Swords.
Shocked but impressed, the Great Swords Giada, Iohane, Athulumund, Vilghame, Octo-Ba-Ba, and Adriel welcome Gideon to their ranks, humbled by the strength of this newcomer. He quickly becomes the most revered and loved of the Great Swords, and is a boon to the Emperor’s fading reign.
While Gideon and his army succeeds on the battlefield, Padamose loses more turf on the homefront. Deeply indebted to the banking cartel known as the Brotherhood of the Mau, Padamose must beg for an extension on his loans. Scholars believe Padamose to have suffered from early onset Recession, a disease that attacks the Mau brain and renders it feeble. Or perhaps he was simply crippled under the enormous weight of ruling, as the old 31v15 addage goes, “a Crusader does not an Emperor make, and always eat chocolate on Sundays.”
It was then that Gloamspike summoned his three sons, the half-31f creatures known as the Demon Knights, to fight the Great Swords as he whispered lies into Padamose’s ear at court. The War of the Demon Knights went on for years with casualties on both sides. All the while, Elzibeth plotted. Obsessed with the Lingamorph and Gideon’s origin, Elzibeth convinced him to marry her and experimented on their children, hoping to harness the hidden power of the Lingamorph. She sought favor with Padamose, promising a brood of demon dragon warriors capable of replacing the Great Swords and fighting back the Demon Knights. But Padamose was a good king, perhaps the last of them, and was horrified by the mutitilated corpses of her dead children. Gideon, away from court at war, was none the wiser.
Padamose rounded up Gideon’s remaining children and placed them in a mud prison for their own safety, but when Gideon found out, he went on a rampage searching for his missing kin. Gloamspike, believing this was his chance to kill the leader of the Great Swords and tip the scales of war in his favor, sent the two remaining Demon Knights to corner him, but in a rage Gideon slayed them both.
He returned to the city with nothing but his Seraphim dragon and the heads of his enemies and flung them at Padamose’s feet. Padamose stripped Gideon of his rank for desertion and ordered the other Swords to destroy his Seraphim dragon. Adriel refused to participate and went into hiding while Gideon was imprisoned.
Only four of the original Seven Swords remained. Emperor Padamose re-christened them as Guardians of the North, South, East, and West, and divided the possessions and wealth of the other swords equally among them. Adriel, now Guardian of the South, was permanently based in Marduun.
The decision to imprison Gideon and redistribute his wealth was wildly unpopular among the masses and his comrades-in-arms. Dissent boiled like a fever in the minds of the loyal. The followers of the slain Swords held the Emperor in contempt and wished for Gideon to return to lead them. Mutiny and desertion was widespread as the Brotherhood of the Mau turned to foreign powers for help collecting their debts.
Adriel, in hiding, discovered where Gideon’s sons were being held. In the middle of the night he lead a stealth mission to storm Gideon’s prison, slaying over one hundred guards in the process. Gideon, little more than skin and bones when Adriel finds him. Gideon wishes to undergo the transformation attempted on his eldest son.
Together, Gideon and Adriel escaped Marduun and found Gideon’s mother and sister. Gideon asked his mother and her Lingamite priests to awaken the spirit of the Lingamorph inside him.
They sawed off his arms and legs. They burned away his genitals, ears and hair. They tortured what was left of him for days until his body exploded and Emperor Barduse, evil incarnate, emerged. Barduse devoured Gideon’s mother and the priests, leaving only his sister alive.
Adriel awaited Emperor Barduse and swore fealty to him while he devoured a cult of humans and animals, left as sacrifice. When he finished feasting, Adriel told him where Gideon’s sons were being held. Barduse stretched his mighty wings and took flight to find his sons while Adriel, joined by the dissenting troops of the dead Swords, headed for Marduun.
Just outside the capital, juggernaughts carrying Living Gods of Thabbash stormed the gates as the last remnants of Padamose’s control slips.
Emperor Barduse found Gideon’s sons. When they heard his howl, they also burst and barduse emerged. Only Gideon’s youngest son, who was deaf, remained human.
In a fury, the barduse descended on the capital for revenge as Adriel breaks through the walls, laying siege and making way for the juggernaughts and assorted pagan cults to rape, murder, and pillage. Followers threw themselves under the wheels as human sacrifices to the gods inside.
The barduse tore the Guardians of the East and West to ribbons. Gloamspike went into hiding in the city sewers. Elzibeth fled, but not before she was hideously burned by Emperor Barduse. She took the remaining troops of the East and West Swords, as well as most of the regular military already under her command to the West and occupied the stronghold, Geldale.
Emperor Padamose was thrown in jail but Emperor Barduse had no interest in fighting the cults and defending the city; the Barduse seek revenge on Elzibeth and the remaining Guardian. Barduse and his followers leave the city and founded a new empire based on the might of the Barduse and the glory of the remaining Seraphim. Adriel is put in command of the newly formed Imperial Army. The Barduse and his army left the city to go North to seize Castle Direstock from the Guardian of the North as Gloamspike fled to Lugubria.
And Emperor Padamose? Soon he was found by the followers of Thabbash and fed to the deity Phlog-noggoth’narnameon, who devoured him from the inside out.
That was just the beginning…
Emperor Padamose: A Great Mau who liberated Marduun from Thabbashites. Assembled the Seven Swords of Great Justice. Cast out the Mau as punishment for usury.
Vilghame Manewaft is an extraordinary figure amongst a collection of extraordinary figures that became known as the Seven Swords of Great Justice. Manewaft is unique in the sense that he possessed the strength and brutality of a Greater Mau, but also clearly demonstrated the cunning and capacity for sociability of a Lesser Mau. Greater Mau are notoriously territorial and anti-social. The likelihood that a second Greater Mau would emerge from the jungles of Goru Goru Gidea in the same generation to interact with humanity is slim (Emperor Padamose himself being the first), and the concept of two Greater Mau working in cooperation, much less one swearing fealty to another, refutes everything we know about the creatures. There are scant records to go by, but contemporary letters suggest that Manewaft was actually the offspring of a Gidean Greater Mau and a Lesser Mau tradesperson who came to Marduun to bear the child. Regardless of his origins, it was common knowledge that Manewaft became Padamose’s most brilliant tactician and battlefield commander. He is largely credited with delivering the Empire’s victory on the Rimean plains and the subsequent acquiescence of Giada’s kingdom to the Empire.
Octo-Ba-Ba, the Devourer
Originally the warrior king of the island-nation off the coast of Marduun, Octo-Ba-Ba was the first Seraphim-bestowed ruler to be brought to heel by Emperor Padamose. As part of the treaty of annexation, the original name of the island kingdom was expunged from all records and has now been lost to time. (The island’s current occupation by Thabbashites and one of their terrible Living Gods has also barred modern historians from further investigating its history.) After his pledge of fealty to Padamose, Octo-Ba-Ba’s brutality and strength was instrumental in extending the reach of the Empire, both by forcing the annexation of surrounding territories and by inducing other Seraphim-endowed to join the Swords of Great Justice. Nevertheless, his people continued to worship Octo-Ba-Ba as a deity and, as a result, the threat of insurrection was never far. To prevent an uprising, Padamose sent Octo-Ba-Ba far away, into the foothills of Metatropea in order to establish the outpost at Direstock. Consequently, Direstock’s brutalism cannot wholly be attributed to the influence of Emperor Barduse and his perverse descendents.
Giada, the Elegant
Giada Heartsworn, more colloquially known as Giada the Elegant, was the last of the mighty warriors to be defeated by the armies of Emperor Padamose and join the Swords of Great Justice. A prodigy from birth, Giada came into her Seraphim at a remarkably young age. By leveraging the power of her Seraphim and personal charisma, she was able to unite the horse-bound people of Rimean plains before her 16th birthday. She ruled unopposed for a decade before Padamose turned his eye towards Rimea, and it would be another decade after first military contact before Giada would swear fealty to the Empire. Despite a brief reign, Giada remains a folk hero and symbol of both Rimean unity and independence. Popular legends tend to focus on her tenacity and ability to survive impossible situations. Her death was “confirmed” and widely reported no less than seven times before her final death at the hands of the Demon Knight Geiseric. A strain of messianic fervor still lives on in Rimean culture, anticipating the return of Giada.
Iohane, the Convex
Unlike many of the other Swords of Great Justice, who were widely feared and renowned as rulers of their own fiefdoms before bending the knee to Emperor Padamose, very little is known about Iohane’s life before joining the Swords. What is known is that she and her Seraphim came from the East, possibly from as far as Geldale or even the Sardonican shore. Iohane was the second Sword to pledge fealty to Emperor Padamose, and quite possibly the only one to seek out Padamose of their own volition in order to join the Swords. Unfortunately, the court records do not make any mention of motives. Contemporary letters show that the rumor mill was in full tilt with speculations about her origins, but little of it seems to have been substantiated, as the stories ranged from “deposed monarch” to “peasant messiah.” Iohane’s Seraphim was also famously mute, which must have only further fueled the sense of mystery about the two figures.
The eldest of the living Great Swords, Athalamund came from a long-line of powerful, hard-hitting, fast punching Mangod’s. His progeny, Rudo Mangod, would become a particularly talented and ruthless young lieutenant of the Imperial Army under Emperor Barduse’s children.
One of the Seven Swords of Great Justice. Close friend of Gideon. Founded the Imperial Army, fell in love with Gideon’s sister, and eventually became the first Sarcophyle.
Villainous wife of Gideon. Converted to Sarcophelia. Leader of the Counter-Imperial army.
Deceitful and disgraced former advisor to Emperor Padamose, student of Arcanology and Thabbashology and 31f fetishist.
Ipsighast, the Lustful
Firstborn of Gloamspike’s union with an 31f woman, Ipsighast was also foremost in the triumvirate of half-31f warriors popularly known in legend and history as the Demon Knights. (Incidentally, no living person appears to have been able to find any record of the name Gloamspike’s Nidian consort, nor does it appear to have been common knowledge at the time. Gloamspike appears to have been a master of subterfuge, even without the aid of his considerable arcanological powers – remember, his treasonous involvement with the Thabbashites was similarly unknown to the Marmothoans.) Ipsighast, alongside his brother Merbegon, met a grisly demise at the hands of Gideon and his Seraphim during an ill-fated ambush attempt immediately prior to the Thabbashite Siege of Marduun.
Merbegon, the Taxidermist
Little is known concretely about the childhood or education of the half-31f Demon Knights that terrorized the Marmothoan Empire, aside from the fact that they were born and raised by their 31f mother in the marshes of Lugubria. This is highly unusual, as near all 31v35 are born on Nidian soil (if not birthed from Nidian soil – please see Professor Emberson’s dissertation on 31f physiology if this caveat seems unclear to you). It is also known that Merbegon was the thirdborn child, and it is widely speculated that his manic obsession with creating sculptures (or perhaps more precisely, automatons) from formerly living tissue is a result of his growing up lonesome as the youngest.
The Demon Knights were remarkable not only for their supernatural feats of strength and speed, making them superb warriors of a caliber matched only by the Seven Swords, but also for their unique powers specific to each Knight. Geiseric, for example, was reported to be able to not only see the patterns of voidal energy as though they were a physical phenomenon, but also consume the souls of his enemies. This has been recorded from several credible sources, such that it seems quite possibly true. The only modern example to which these powers might be analogous are the remarkable and unpredictable abilities, known as “Qualities,” so treasured and sought after by the Lords of the Arcanist Houses of Lugubria.
Fast Forward 150 Years, to the Year 145 AB
A Brief Primer on Notable Contemporary Personages & Factions of Luridia
Authored by the Right Honorable Basel E. Corgington, Esq.
Professor Emeritus of Historical Imperatives
Padamose University of Clockman
College of the Fancy Arts
Murderers & Despots
Luridia is an unkind place. One is just as likely to meet one’s death at the end of a sword as from old age or an accident.
Wars are common and fought for any number of reasons: honor, power, wealth, hatred, history. In this kind of place, there are those for whom there is no greater joy than the slaughter of a battlefield and the smell of blood.
These people might be called Warlords, and they drink daily from a deep wellspring of rage. In the absence of a reason to fight, they would invent one. Omnipresent in a world daily rent asunder by violence, the most powerful warlords claim Direstock and Geldale as their seats of power.
The Imperial Army – Founded by Emperor Barduse in the remote Metatropean outpost of Direstock,
the Imperial Army seeks to claim the mantle of the Marmothoan Empire by crushing the traitor-queen Elzibeth and her Counter-Imperial Army. The military might of Direstock is considerable, including the
terrible Barduse, lesser dragons and many legions of men in its ranks. Over the course of decades, they have ground the middle continent of Metatropea to a bloody ruin.
The Counter-Imperial Army – Arrayed to protect the immortal sorceress Elzibeth who sits in
governance at Geldale, the Counter-Imperial Army has managed to go blow for blow with the Imperial Army by commanding shrievers and the latest voidal weapon technologies. It has been a hard-fought
and costly stalemate, but the undying Elzibeth has the advantage of time. As each generation of
Barduse grows sicklier and more deranged, the balance of power seems to gradually shift towards Elzibeth and her hordes.
The Clockman Guard – Corrupt and brutal lackeys of the ruling elite, the Clockman Guard is commonly
portrayed as a gang of bumbling thugs in matching uniforms. This is not too far off the truth. It is
rumored that the Clockman Guard’s contract as the de facto law enforcement agency will be coming
up for renewal soon. The ensuing chaos as other organizations jockey and scheme to get awarded the contract promises to be hysterical and lucrative.
Agents of Wrath
Elzibeth – The same Elzibeth that betrayed Padamose to the Thabbashites over a century previous,
the sorceress has turned sarcophyle. Her lifespan greatly extended, she commands the forces of the
Counter-Imperial army from Geldale, where she schemes to steal the mantle of the Marmothoan Empire for once and all.
Rudo Mangod – As handsome as he is violent, the young Rudo Mangod is the sort of unapologetically brutal savant who might at one time have served as a Sword of Great Justice in long-ago Marmothoa.
Rudo serves with distinction in the Imperial Army, where he regularly covers himself in glory (and
gore) fighting against the Counter-Imperials. His habits as a brawler aside, he is a rising star of
Direstock. Rudo is also the only human courageous (or stupid) enough to admonish Bladefist Doomwing, for whom he has a strange affection.
Emperor Barduse – Once known as Gideon, a Sword of Great Justice in the Marmothoan Empire
under the Great Mau Padamose. The creature called Emperor Barduse erupted from his body during a profane ritual that was a desperate gamble to fight the tides of fate.
Emperor Barduse left Padamose and Marmothoa to the Thabbashites and established his own realm
in Metatropea. However, Emperor Barduse could never quite leave his human self behind. He died seeking to avenge himself on his traitorous wife, the witch Elzibeth. Generations of his children, the barduse dragons of Direstock, have fought and died trying to finish their progenitor’s work.
Wyrmfang Deathskull – An enormously fat and loathsome barduse, Wyrmfang is also the cleverest. It is a cleverness masked by many layers of dementia, but cleverness nonetheless. As such, Wyrmfang
now commands the latest effort by the Imperial Army to unseat Elzibeth from her Peak in Geldale.
Bladefist Doomwing – Deranged and belligerent, Doomwing is considered dangerous even by barduse
standards, who are themselves a brood of winged sociopaths. Nonetheless, sometimes his brothers and sisters deign to let him out of his chains long enough to unleash havoc on their enemies.
The Seven Swords of Great Justice – A long-lost band of heroes that once defended the Empire of Marmothoa. They rode into battle accompanied by majestic dragon-creatures known as Seraphim.
Some regarded them as brutal enforcers of the Emperor Padamose, others thought them noble and
great. Regardless, the fact of history is that the world quickly tumbled into chaos when the Swords died and disbanded.
The Lords of Paper
The trade of financiers, lawyers, mobsters, mercenaries, merchants, moneychangers,
bureaucrats, pirates and politicians, and all other
sorts of malcontents who would sell their mothers for a payout.
Bankers lust after power and wealth with an
unalloyed greed. Their tools are exchange, litigation, brokering and sometimes a good honest murder.
Though present everywhere in Luridia, Clockman is
the undisputed epicenter of the commercial world.
Cartels & Conspiracies
The Clockman Government Council – It is important to note that Clockman is not governed by a single
body, but rather by a collection of governments that provide services to their constituents on a
subscription basis. This is about as insane as it sounds. As such, the Clockman Government Council
is not a government in and of itself, but rather a council of governments – where they convene to
establish common rules, discuss matters of importance to each organization, and desperately try to
prevent the outbreak of utter chaos. It is almost certainly not the pawn of a cabal of Mau known as the
Knitting Coalition. The Council is overseen by a mayor, elected “bi-annually.” Sometimes that’s understood to mean twice a year, sometimes that’s understood to mean every two years.
The Knitting Coalition – If one were to believe in secret societies and that sort of nonsense, one might imagine that the Knitting Coalition controls nearly all affairs of governance and business in Clockman, and thereby much of the world. But that would be ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as imagining that the
Knitting Coalition is the spiritual successor of the Order of the Golden String, the reigning body of priest-politicians that governed the Mau during their Great Pilgrimage across the continent.
Captains of Industry
Beatrix Winterbottom – An ambitious Mau banker working in Clockman, specializing in hostile
takeovers. She is the lead partner of Winterbottom, Marmouth & Co, which regularly brokers in futures contracts, leveraged buyouts, and a dazzling array of impressive-sounding acronyms.
Samuel Gristwalter – A uniquely talented and ruthless, but elderly, attorney operating in Clockman.
Wouldn’t be a member of the Knitting Coalition even if it did exist, which it doesn’t. Founding member of Ruthless Bastards of Clockman Anonymous.
Randolf von Macovawitz Spitoon III, Ltd – Infamous reality tycoon living in Clockman. Made a fortune
by shorting the gravity market just before the Great Gravity Crash of 1872. One of Clockman’s few
Limited Liability Persons
Eustace Padamose Gristwalter-Winterbottom – A graduate of the Gristwalter-Winterbottom Foundation
for the Education of Young Mau, it is unlikely that Eustace is actually the offspring of Samuel or
Beatrix, though one never knows. He is a timid clerk in the Shameless Litigation division of Winterbottom, Marmouth & Co.
Avarice Wrapped in Fur
There is no other race in Lugubria for whom cutthroat dealing comes as naturally as to the Mau. Originally raiders and petty traders from the western coast of Goru-Goru Gidea, an offshoot tribe
established themselves in Marmothoa in the wake of Padamose declaring himself Emperor. There
they prospered immensely at the expense of the natives, amassing tremendous wealth with their
financial acumen and commercial cunning. When the Mau were no longer welcome in Marmothoa, they smelted their considerable belongings and forged a golden caravan to embark on their Great
Pilgrimage. Part-exodus, part-crusade, the Great Pilgrimage led the Mau to pillage and swindle their way across the continent. Excepting a false stop in Kittendrool, they didn’t halt until they reached the other side, at a settlement that would later become known as Clockman.
Rooted deep in the Mau culture is a reverence for the powers of law, finance and the dead. A contract
is a magical pact, money has arcane properties, and ancestors demand their due. Mau ghosts are particularly notorious for being restless spirits, who will only leave the living in peace after receiving
offerings of wealth and praise. In fact, many aspects of Malaproprean Mau culture stems from the
tradition of lawyer-shamans of the feral Mau of Goru Goru Gidea, whose original duties were
appeasing the ancestor spirits of each tribe and enforcing contracts with magically-empowered clauses.
In recent times, Mau in Clockman and their banking cartels are held in check by several factors: their history in Marduun and their status as a racial minority puts them in a vulnerable position. In addition to this, they are heavily dependent on the services of skilled workers, and increasingly knowledgeable workers, as well as the resource-producing political powers in Lugubria. For these reasons, they must
rely on careful politicking and image management, as well as the deliberate creation of a moneyed
middle class in Clockman. The Clockman Mau also go to pains to appear to be working under
separate organizations, but many believe them to be secretly conspiring to manipulate every aspect of life in the city.
From the perspective of humans, Mau are inclined towards a kind of calculating heartlessness that can seem almost alien. While the Mau are not entirely without sympathy, they cooperate only when
there is a clear benefit and what passes for their sense of loyalty is bounded by the terms of contract
or indebtedness. Humans, in particular, are often seen as a kind of prey animal to the Mau. Most often, this is limited to fleecing people for all their financial worth, but it can go beyond that. Eating human babies has been proscribed by nearly all the governments in Clockman, but embarrassing and
inflammatory evidence occasionally surfaces to ruin the career of one politician or another.
Mau carry family names, but do not have families in the sense that most humans would be familiar
with. Unlike people, the Mau go into estrus twice per year. The banking district is closed and all
business grinds to a halt as Uptown Terrace and the King’s Fields are overrun by a feral orgy. The noise alone is horrific. The resulting children are only briefly nursed by their mothers, before being turned over to the nurseries, grammar schools and academies sponsored by the wealthiest of Mau patrons. The wards of these institutions will typically adopt the family name of the patron. As one might
imagine, tracing a Mau’s familial ancestry is a hopeless affair. Inheritance, as a result, is not determined by bloodline, but by contract.
The Shambling Indebted
Necromorphs are reanimated corpses. They retain a dim and mechanical semblance to their
previously living selves. A growing body of necromorphs has created a kind of rotting underclass in Clockman, where they are used for menial tasks such as transcribing, cleaning, and so forth.
‘Necromorph clauses’ are becoming more and more typical in debt contracts. They represent a form of
corporeal foreclosure by which indentured servitude may be extended well beyond the natural life of the borrower, and are an attractive option when considering borrowers with no children, property or
other collateral. While necromorphs have been around as long as arcana, their present day invocation
in legal agreements is the canonical example of the intersection of magic and law made possible by voidal science.
A Civil Sort of Anarchy
The city-state of Clockman is organized into distinct neighborhoods, each with their own rich histories, quirks and dangers.
Torchlight District – A sprawling dockside district with all the charming features one might expect: gambling dens, brothels, warehouses full of smuggled goods, inns with regularly scheduled brawls,
rookeries home to bands of thieves and cutthroats. The Torchlight also has the dubious honor of being home to the city’s sarcophyles, the only district of the city they are allowed to reside in without special
permission from the Office of Sarcophyle Registration. This has also given rise to a social institution peculiar to Torchlight: the Blood House, a sarcophyle-only equivalent of a social club.
Plebeia – Home to the working classes of Clockman. One step above the slums of the Torchlight, but two steps below the genteel poverty of Subtopia Bohemia, Plebeia is a warren of tenement buildings crowded atop one another, divided by strips of cobblestones and punctuated by gin houses and pie shops.
Subtopia Bohemia – One of the most dynamic neighborhoods of Clockman, the Sub-Bohemia is a
rich, bubbling stew of professions and peoples. Honest shopkeepers rub shoulders with philosophers and petty bureaucrats. Writers, actors, artists and other scoundrels congregate in coffee shops and
wine sinks that line the streets. One can learn a great many things in the Sub-Bohemia. Some of them may even turn out to be true.
Knight’s Terrace – Once belonging to the lesser lords of Clockman and their agents, over the years
the Knight’s Terrace has become home to the burgeoning middle classes of Clockman. The richly
appointed mansions have been subdivided into apartments for rent by the families of lawyers, financiers and bureaucrats. Many of the schools and academies responsible for educating the profession classes are also found on the Knight’s.
Isle of the Dead – Traditionally home to the city’s mortuaries, crematoriums and hospitals, the Isle has
more recently become the place where necromorph clauses are executed. In a growing number of
cases, there are apartments (well, storage closets really) that necromorphs can go to at the end of the day if their owners do not keep night hours.
Uptown Terrace – The throbbing, golden heart of Clockman. This is where one can find the banks, the
legal offices, the towering and lavish apartments, the rich and exclusive social clubs, the glittering
manses of Clockman’s wealthiest elite heavily patrolled by the Clockman Guard. Features the greatest proportion of Mau in Clockman, as a percentage of residents.
King’s Fields – No longer belonging to any sort of king or nobility, the name sees continued use in spite of the course of history. The Mayor’s Manse sits on the King’s Fields, in addition to a series of nicely maintained public parks and water gardens. Clockman also has number of other notable features.
Wizard’s Bridge – The apparently empty span between the Wizard’s Gate on mainland Clockman and the isolated tower that houses the Clockman Arcanology branch. It is traversed every day by hundreds
of workaday arcanologists. Whether the arcanists walk on air to work every day or if it is an invisible
bridge that only holds arcanists is a hotly contested topic amongst the coffee houses and bug dens of Clockman, and no shortage of fools and paid orphans have plummeted to their death trying to resolve the argument.
The Office of Sarcophyle Registration – One of Clockman’s many bureaucratic institutions, the
Bloody Office (as it’s known) is responsible for initiating and maintaining all documentation required for
sarcophyles who wish to remain citizens in good standing of the city. Failure to do so results in summary execution, possibly preceded by a public flogging.
FUMAST – The central hub of commercial and financial activity in the world, the FUMAST has
innumerable currency exchanges, futures markets, voidal trading houses and offices representing the major banks of Clockman.
Foreman Pete – Before exploding into the sprawling industrial city-state we know it as today,
Clockman was originally a mining outpost located in the harsh territory of northwestern Malapropea. The name Clockman comes from Foreman Pete, a towering clockwork statue that loomed over the mines. Driven by the mighty furnaces that powered the engines of the mines, Pete would mark the hours with his arms, literally blowing his top in a pyrotechnic display of steam and flame to call the miners to work. So the name is literal: clock man. Foreman Pete is now buried under layers of
industrial growth and overshadowed by the city named for him, but lives on as an icon of progress and industry. Ironically, most of the inhabitants of Clockman have never laid eyes on their city’s namesake.
Arcanologists are a strange breed. Whether a
workaday quotidian drone, or a great lord of a House
in Lugubria, they are all compelled to continue
probing the boundaries of magic. As a result of this obsession, a new age of industrial magic has been unleashed on the world.
Founded by Dogwald Gloamspike at his ancestral
home in Lugubria, the new Arcanist Lords continue to
investigate Things That Man Was Not Meant to
Know. Incidentally, they – or rather their factories of paid underlings – also churn out tremendous
quantities of voidal humor and perform spells for hire for the benefit of anyone with the resources to pay for them.
The Magical-Industrial Complex
The word ‘arcanist’ is a contraction of ‘arcanologist.’ There are a few different types of arcanists.
Historically, arcanists have been researchers of occult science and occasional wielders of magic; in a
word, wizards. This kind of arcanist is called an orthodox arcanist. Their research is expensive and
time-consuming, and their spells sporadically reliable. They have usually been employed only by
wealthy patrons who recognized the potential to gain great power by successfully controlling magical or even demonological forces.
The advent of voidal industry saw a new type of arcanist, the Lugubrian Arcanist Lord. The Arcanist
Lords are a group of orthodox arcanists who became massively wealthy by finding ways to
commercialize voidal technology. They are self-styled royalty, holding vast family estates and
negotiating the development of their bloodlines. Although the Arcanist Lords are credited with bringing magic into the mainstream and architecting the industrial and political landscape of the modern world,
they are also powerful wizards who still keep the deepest secrets of arcana alive. Generations of magical practice have given the Arcanist Lords and their families terrifying magical abilities. They
usually appear in positions of power, wearing flamboyant coats and top hats. Elaborate and intimidating beards are also the vogue.
The rest of the arcanists are working class grunts. These are the arcanists on the factory floor who
actually have to perform the complicated and bizarre ‘quotidian rituals’ devised by the Arcanist Lords.
The rituals take place in voidal amplification chambers in order to make the extraction of voidal
humour possible. Voidal humour is thought to come from the void (that is to say, from nothingness,
although this probably isn’t quite correct) and is considered the raw stuff of magic. Voidal humour has
a tremendous number of applications, from fueling the voidal circuity of majigs to empowering continuous enchantments to driving runic war machines.
Woadenworm Gloamspike – Arcanologist and traitorous advisor of Emperor Padamose,
Woadenworm Gloamspike brought the Thabbashite doom to Marmothoa. He sired the infamous half- 31f Demon Knights, who all died in battle against the Swords of Great Justice. Later, after his exile to Lugubria, he also fathered some of the most important figures of the era: the Brothers Gloamspike.
The Brothers Gloamspike – Two grotesque half-31v35 and their human half-brother, Mogdra, Mirgla
and Dogwald Gloamspike are responsible for the discovery of voidal humor. Born in Lugubria, after
their father’s disgraced exile from Marmothoa, they set forth to see the world after their weird old father died. In the process, Mogdra died of voidal poisoning. Overcome by grief, Mirgla became a
reclusive scholar and holy thief. Dogwald went on to found the school of quotidian magic and establish
the first voidal humor factory in Lugubria. As a result, he has become fantastically wealthy and powerful.
Ignatius Gloamspike – One of many children fathered by Dogwald. Not especially good at voidal magic. Works as a clerk in the Arcana Department of the Clockman Arcanology branch.
Zenobia – Legendary female Arcanist and famed artificer. Zenobia famously refused to marry into a
House, choosing instead to live in seclusion on Mt. Mulrich. No one actually knows what she looks
like. Rumors of her investigating the lore of the Seven Swords and the seraphim are greatly exaggerated.
Eldridge Gosche – One of the pre-eminent Arcanist Lords in Lugubria and descended from the
Lugubrian landed nobility that came before the Arcanist Lords. Nearly as rich and powerful as
Dogwald Gloamspike himself. The two were close friends in their younger days as they built the
quotidian tradition together, but they have become famously antagonistic for reasons that remain
shrouded in secrecy. Their rivalry has become increasingly bitter over the years, falling just short of outright war.
The Living Gods of Thabbash
Since before the first written histories, perhaps before even the first 31f, the Living Gods of Thabbash
have stood upon the face of Luridia. Some taller than the highest minarets of Marduun, others no larger than a horse, each Living God is a horrifying mass of alien flesh and organs. Tentacles and other bizarre appendages undulate according to currents beyond the ken of mortals. Undying and
inscrutable, the Living Gods of Thabbash inspire revulsion, awe, reverence and terror in all sentient creatures. Even the despicable shrievers know well enough to give them a wide berth. Notably, the
Living Gods speak no language, and seem to require no sustenance. In truth, they have been
apparently content to pass their strange eons without agenda. This has not, however, prevented degenerate humans from worshiping them. Known as Thabbashites, the priests of these twisted
cultists claim the Living Gods speak to them, direct their actions and bestow their ‘gifts’ on the worthy
in the form of horrifying mutations and bizarre abilities. Under the guidance of the traitorous
Woadenworm Gloamspike, the Thabbashites have mounted the Living Gods on massive rolling
platforms, allowing the cultists to carry their deities with them. This would not be cause for concern,
were it not for the fact that the Living Gods are also tremendous fonts of voidal power. Their mere
presence spreads madness, desolation, mutation and terrifying voidal phenomena into the
surrounding area, poisoning the very land and air with voidal energy. Attempts by overly ambitious
arcanologists to fully harness this power have all resulted in madness, gruesome arcane accidents or much worse.
Thieves & Assassins
The card sharp, the pickpocket, the assassin, the
smuggler, the cutpurse, the cutthroat – each of these
villains and their ilk may be properly called rogues.
They’re the wily sorts of people who would keep a bird in a treasure chest. More than the riches they
steal; it is the pure joy of a well-played deception that
drives them. If there was nothing left to filch, a true
rogue would probably give away all her possessions –
just so she could steal them back under the cover of night.
Found at masquerade balls and theatre houses as often as dockside taverns, rogues flourish with particular robustness in the alleys of the Torchlight District.
Mize Ciendilio – Disenfranchised by his family, Mize is the big brother of Josephine Ciendilio, literally. They rarely speak these days. Mize now works as a bounty hunter in Clockman, dispensing a rough sort of street justice from the end of a maul.
Pluck – The greatest con man in Clockman, Pluck is a skilled actor, an impeccable liar and a man with a taste for the fantastic. Using a series of personas and disguises with such colorful names as Cheats McGuillicutty, The Billionaire, Mr. Fetch, and Bottlebeard Brandyshanks, Pluck has cheated, swindled and scammed the powerful and wealthy for years. He keeps many friends and more than a few lovers
about the city, but vanishingly few people know anything about his real self, if he even has one left. Pluck’s only constant companion is an especially ugly sarume named Chum.
Vander Malagut – Degenerate rake, underworld kingpin, dandy about town, and self-appointed
advocate for sarcophyles living in Clockman. Anyone who knows who’s who in the Torchlight knows
that Vander Malagut is a sarcophyle’s sarcophyle. Heir to an enormous fortune but afflicted with youthful nihilism: Malagut converted to sarcophelia when he was 23 years of age. Malagut is an incredibly dangerous monster, but he always throws the best parties.
Brigands of a Feather…
The Turncoat Men – A group of sellswords skilled in espionage, double agency and shockingly brazen assassinations.
Parliament of Blood – The sarcophyle shadow government in Clockman, nominally organized to lobby for the concerns of the sarcophyle community there.
Leeches in Lace
Appearing shortly after death of the Emperor Barduse, the exact origins of the sarcophyles are
unknown, but are believed to have something to do with the Imperial Army. It is known that Queen
Elzibeth barely cheated death by converting to sarcophilia. The most well known sarcophyles are
those found in Clockman. The mayor allows them to stay in the city and feed off the inhabitants of the Torchlight District, but they are also required to register with the city authorities and keep their papers in order or suffer a swift and fatal punishment. Sarcophyles are not vampyres, though the similarities
are striking. Vampyres are known to have existed in the past, but have not been seen for centuries in
Malapropea. Sarcophyles are fascinated by vampyres and the Vampyre Lords, Ladies and Kings of the old world. Many sarcophyles style themselves as vampyres, invoking a cultural heritage that isn’t
really theirs. Sarcophyles are not as physically powerful as vampyres, even when engorged with
blood, and do not seem to enjoy the allegedly open-ended life expectancy of a vampyre; this hasn’t been confirmed, as sarcophyles are still new on the scene, but many sarcophyles do appear to age, albeit very slowly. Probably the most important difference between sarcophyles and vampyres, and
the most likely reason that sarcophyles are allowed to survive and have not been purged and
destroyed as the Vampyre Lords were, is that sarcophyles cannot convert humans to sarcophilia with their bite, nor can they control the minds and bodies of their converted ‘offspring.’ In order to become
a sarcophyle, a human being must consume an uncomfortable amount of infected blood over a long period of time.
Tinkers, Imps & Madmen
A peculiar alliance between human men driven by a
need to invent and the boyish 31v35 for whom
invention is an irrepressible talent, the gearsmiths of
Luridia can be characterized as those who strive to constantly outdo one another.
Constantly building wilder and stranger contraptions,
the gearsmith is driven by a sense of elitism – he must be the best engineer, the best inventor, the
best voidal circuit-designer, or suffer the mockery of his peers.
Once clustered in tents along the crooks and bends of Turncrank Gorge, the epicenter of the gearsmith’s world now lies on the island-complex of Acrolos.
Makers & their Machines
The Acrolos Combine – A collective of architects, engineers and 31v35 located off the mainland,
Acrolos houses some of the most advanced facilities in Luridia. Also boasts the highest nodes per
capita. Acrolos is the primary center of voidal circuitry research and development, where new
weapons and machines are constantly being built, tested and subsequently sold to the highest bidder.
Josephine ‘Jo’ Ciendilio – The only female on Acrolos, Jo is a brilliant architect whose usefulness as
an inventor is rivaled only by her unrivaled ability to carry on a normal conversation with other people
outside of Acrolos. This is tremendously helpful for actually getting paid for all the weird technology
they build in the hopes of selling it to Lugubrian Lords, or Direstock armorers, or the Clockman financiers.
Micromajig Masters – Micromajigs are tiny majigs, illegally mass produced by a gang of rebellious
architects and inventors thrown out of Acrolos for flaunting the 31v15h tradition of runic non-
proliferation. The Masters, as they style themselves, now live in a cluster of factories secreted away
the mountains of Metatropea, where they have gang-pressed 31v35 into churning out tremendous numbers of micromajigs for sale or shenanigans.
One Legged Hopping Pogo Bear – Something some mischievous 31v35 built to piss off the human
architects who were trying to convince them to build something useful instead. It was eventually gift-
wrapped and air-lifted to a canyon near Direstock. Even the architects had to admit that the results were pretty funny. The pogo-bear is still thought to be hopping higher and higher somewhere in the eastern plains of Metatropea.
0|\| 31v15h 50(137y
31v35 come from Nidia, an isolated island-continent to the south of Malapropea, across the Nidian
Sea (naturally.) The 31v35 live in a matriarchal society. The reason for this is primarily because male
31v35 reach puberty at around 13 years of age and then, unlike their female counterparts, stop
maturing for the majority of their remaining lives. Most of the 31v35 who travel to Malapropea are
males who just want to play, goof around and fiddle with the latest gadgets, which the ancient culture
in Nidia doesn’t have a lot of use for. They’re often very clever and have the benefit of centuries of expertise; they just don’t give a hopping pogo bear about anything.
Another reason for the dominance of women in 31v15h society is that they have used their great
sorceries to outsource the burden of carrying and birthing children. 31v35 take a long time to gestate
(5+ years), so this was top priority for the forebears of Nidian society. After impregnation, a female 31f
will produce a seed (or egg, if you will) that is planted, and will eventually grow to produce fruits that “birth” baby 31v35. One consequence of this is that the soil determines a lot about the resulting child. Before the 31v35 closed off their borders to the outside world, rich Marmothoan and Rimean soil were especially prized as trade goods.
Now, male 31v35 must they have their ears stitched together before they are permitted to leave Nidia.
This is done to symbolically (and perhaps magically) close off their minds, so they don’t bring any
stupid foreign ideas back to Nidia. The practice came into use sometime shortly after the fall of Marmothoa, as a reaction to when a number of the 31v3s who had worked in Turncrank Gorge
returned to Nidia and started causing trouble. Male 31v35 are not allowed to unstitch their ears until they return to Nidia, and must get re-stitched if they decide to return to the continent.
As a consequence of their long lives, individual 31v35 will sometimes disappear for years at a time, sometimes even a century or two, only to reappear and act as though nothing happened. Males do resume physical and emotional development, but only several decades before their death, at which point they may become tall and muscular, even by human standards. So basically, for most of their
lives the 31v35 are developmentally teenagers, and young teenagers at that. We know that even young humans may forget about their own mortality and not think about the consequences of their
actions, and most humans only live a mere 80 years or so. Imagine how a creature with a life
expectancy of several thousand years thinks about things like mortality and morality. In fact, most
31v35 fail to develop anything like a moral conscience until death is literally staring them in the face (well, at least in 31v15h terms, which usually means they have a good 70 years or so left).
It’s also worth noting that 31v35 have an almost religious aversion to mass production. Moreover, the fact that the creation of machines to produce other machines is considered deeply taboo means that 31v35 are deeply disinclined towards ever making anything actually useful to civilization.
Glossary and Thesaurus
- 31v35: The first peoples of Luridia. Live for hundreds or even thousands of years. Only very young 31v35 venture out from Nidia.
- Acrolos: A quasi-secret research facility, financed by Clockman and Lugubrian banking cartels.
- Adriel: One of the Seven Swords of Great Justice. Close friend of Gideon.
- Alliance of Handy Weirdoes: An avuncular association of affable advisors.
- Amalforact: A Lugubrian mega-corporation created to control the commoditization of natural forces. ‘Amalforact’ is a contraction of ‘Amalgamated Force and Actuality.’
- Arcanist Lord: A head of one of the Great Houses of Lugubria, self-styled royalty that controls all voidal industry in Luridia. Generations of ectomantic practice have given the Lords and their families terrifying supernatural abilities.
- Arcanist: A sorcerer who engages in obsessive/compulsive rituals. Working class and usually employed by an ecto-distillery or licensed firm offering voidal services. Lives in constant peril from surreal maladies and catastrophes.
- Barduse: Sinister demon-dragons with leering human faces. Only a handful exist; all are descendents of the Emperor Barduse.
- Bask: A giant, bilious toad-like reptile.
- Berserkers: Monsters created by injecting human beings with Barduse bodily fluids. Recognizable by their red skin, swollen physiques, bulging eyes and palsied grins. Ferocious in battle but prone to sudden detonation.
- Blightmoore: Modern seat of voidal industry in Lugubria.
- Blutig: A shanty town in Eastern Lugubria. Swampy and poverty-stricken. Population mostly consists of native Lugubrians.
- Bowler Hat: Traditional headwear of working-class Arcanists.
- Brothers Gloamspike, The: Mirgla, Mogdra and Dogwald, the three sons of Woadenwick Gloamspike. Traveled extensively, including a voyage to Nidia. Famously infiltrated a Thabbashite tribe to study their Living ‘God.’ Pioneered voidal science upon returning to Lugubria.
- Ciendelio, Josephine (‘Jo’): The only female architect working on Acrolos. She is the younger sister of Mize Ciendelio.
- Ciendelio, Mize: Josephine Ciendelio’s older brother. Brilliant but disenfranchised. Works as a vigilante and bounty hunter in Clockman’s industrial district.
- Clockman: Sprawling megalopolis built into a dam. Protected by all sides by natural features, but accessible by sea. Formerly a mining outpost, developed into the hub of modern commerce by the Mau families exiled from Marduun.
- Clocktalk: Jargon-filled dialect of the Clockman underclasses, derived from miner’s slang.
- Corporeal Foreclosure: The collection of debt secured by the debtor’s body. The body may be parted out, transformed or, if deceased, revived as a Necromorph.
- Counter-Imperial Army, The: One of the most powerful military forces in Luridia, headquartered in Geldale. Led by the villainous Elzibeth. Claims legitimacy as successor to the Marmothoan Empire. Bent on destroying the Imperial Army.
- Deadpan: A skillet-shaped continent on the far side of the Specific Ocean, West of Malapropea. A badlands still in the throes of the powerful, wild magic used to detonate Luridia. Deadpan is almost impossible to reach due to the perils of travel in Luridia.
- Deathskull, Wyrmfang: Great grandson of the Emperor Barduse, his perverted cruelty is only exceeded by his massive girth. Categorically denies having ever lived in a pineapple under the sea.
- Direspeak: Doubleplus goodwords of Direstock for battlespeak and peoplekill.
- Direstock; Castle Direstock: Presently the home of the Imperial Army. A nigh-impregnable fortress-city complex, encircled by series of satellite forts and outposts.
- Doomwing, Bladefist: Half-mad grandson of the Emperor Barduse.
- Drowned Catacombs: A network of tunnels and vaults under Rimea.
- Ecto-Distillation: The process of extracting voidal humour from the atmosphere. Quotidian ritual is performed to gather voidal energy, which accumulates on voidal condensation bulbs as voidal humour. Ecto-distillation is mortally dangerous and, when performed to excess, poisons the surrounding environment.
- Elder Dome, The: Southern cap of the blasted shell planet surrounding Luridia. Theorized to be the idyllic home of the ancient 31v35 who were responsible, according to legend, for detonating the shell planet millennia ago.
- Elzibeth: Villainous wife of Gideon. Converted to Sarcophelia. Leader of the Counter-Imperial army.
- Elzibeth’s Peak: A rocky outcrop above Geldale. Seat of the Counter-Imperial Army.
- Emperor Barduse, The: The original Barduse. Appeared on the scene at the fall of the Marmothoan Empire. Died of insanity and physical decay.
- Emperor Padamose: A Great Mau who liberated Marduun from Thabbashites. Assembled the Seven Swords of Great Justice. Cast out the Mau as punishment for usury.
- First Unified Market of Abstract Secure Theoreticals (FUMAST): The seat of finance and trade in Clockman, especially reality brokering.
- Foreman Pete: Clockman’s namesake, a towering clockwork statue that looms over the mines of Clockman, calling miners to work with a pyrotechnic display of steam and flame.
- Geldale: The stronghold of the Counter-Imperial Army under Elzibeth. Located in the forests of Yenassa at the base of Elzibeth’s Peak. The rangers of Geldale have protected the forest against monsters, invasions and monstrous invasions for generations.
- Gidea: A large continent to the South of Malapropea. Even more dangerous and untamed than Malapropea, which is already at least twice as dangerous and untamed than the most dangerous, untamed place you can imagine.
- Gidean Sea, The: The sea to the Southwest of the Gidean continent. Swarming with sea monsters and families of nilpha, it is rarely traveled by humans.
- Gideon: One of the Seven Swords of Great Justice. Gideon’s superpowers were discovered by Elzibeth, who later became his wife.
- Gloamspike, Woadenwick: Decietful and disgraced former advisor to Emperor Padamose, student of Arcanology and Thabbashology and 31f fetishist.
- Golems (Luteomajigs): Clay robots programmed with runes.
- Goru-Goru Gidea: The jungle-choked Northern region of the Gidean land mass. Home to exotic wildlife, lost cities, bloodthirsty cannibals and warlike tribes of barbarous Lesser Mau.
- Gosche, Eldridge: A famous and influential Arcanist Lord.
- Great Gravity Crash of 1872, The: A disastrous adjustment in the natural forces market brought about by the commoditization of a new system of physics. At its worst, the resulting turmoil in the market led to widespread failure of physics-bound devices such as elevators, levers and airships, which plummeted to earth or turned into cheese.
- Gristwalter, Balthazar: Great-grandfather of Samuel Gristwalter. One of the most powerful attorneys in Marduun. Joined the Mau priesthood after experiencing religious vision during the Great Pilgrimage.
- Gristwalter, Samuel: A uniquely talented and ruthless (but elderly) attorney operating in Clockman. Wouldn’t be a member of the Knitting Coalition even if it did exist, which it doesn’t. Founding member of Ruthless Bastards of Clockman Anonymous.
- Hall of Great Justice: The headquarters of the Swords of Great Justice.
- Hangdog Alley: A labyrinthine Clockman neighborhood, home to gangs of criminals and all manner of illegal enterprises.
- Holcroft, Millicent: A powerful Arcanist sorceress with the ability to control insects. Her casual and unaffected demeanor (some call her ‘ditzy’) often lulls her enemies into a false sense of security.
- Humans (7th Epoch): The ancient 31v35 fashioned the first humans from mud and decided to worship them. But the humans turned out to be kind of shitty, so the 31v35 kicked them out. Now humans are one of the most rapidly growing and influential species alive on Luridia. Take that, stupid 31v35!
- Imperial Army, The: One of the most powerful military forces in Luridia, headquartered in Castle Direstock. Led by the villainous Barduse. Claims legitimacy as successor to the Marmothoan Empire. Bent on destroying the Counter-Imperial Army.
- Ironic Ocean, The: It’s like a black fly in your chardonnay. Or rain on your wedding day.
- Kittendrool: A dilapidated port town serving Mau fishermen and also “fishermen.” A hub for the import and export of illicit Mau goods including the trafficking of humans and 31v35.
- Knitting Coalition, The: Doesn’t exist. (see ‘Order of the Golden String, The’).
- Limited Liability Person: A special status granted by the Mau-controlled courts in Clockman. A limited liability person cannot be held responsible for his actions as long as he’s acting in his own best interest.
- Lingamorph, The: A shadowy elder deity of Luridia. Progenitor of all life on Luridia. Greatly sought after by demonologists and summoners for the mysterious gifts it is said to bestow.
- Living Gods of Thabbash, The: Alien beings revered by the Thabbasites. Incapable of communication and devoid of intelligence. Perform dubious ‘miracles’ such as melting people or animals, causing them to burst into flames or turning them into monsters. Not really gods at all, but tell the Thabbashites that and they’ll cut you, man.
- Lugubria: A kind of frozen swamp, now the seat of voidal industry. Polluted and warped by excess voidal energy.
- Luridia: Shattered planet infused with violent magic.
- Luteoderm: Enchanted clay developed by 31v35, controlled with runes and powered by voidal energy.
- Majigs: Modern golems. Programmed with runic circuitry and infused with voidal energy.
- Malagut, Vander: A self-appointed advocate for sarcophelia living in Clockman. Heir to an enormous fortune but afflicted with youthful nihilism, Malagut converted to sarcophelia when he was 23 years of age.
- Malapropea: A central Luridian continent.
- Mangod, Rudo: A particularly talented and ruthless young lieutenant of the Imperial Army operating in Direstock. Descendent of Athalamund Mangod, one of the Seven Swords of Great Justice.
- Marduun: Desert city. Formerly the seat of the Marmothoan Empire. Now controlled by warring Thabbashite tribes.
- Mau, Great: Warlike Mau with the harsh features of lions, panthers or tigers. Fiercely territorial and rarely seen.
- Mau: Cat-headed humanoids. An ancient people, formerly fishermen and ‘fishermen’ (pirates). Came into power through the discovery of usury. Naturally political and avaricious.
- Maurum: Ancestral language of the Mau. Has over 30 words for “pudding.”
- Metatropea: The central region of the Malapropean continent.
- Micromajigs: Tiny majigs, illegally mass produced by a rebellious Gearsmith architect thrown out of Acrolos for flaunting the 31v15 tradition of runic non-proliferation.
- Mirgla: Half-31f son of Woadenwick Gloamspike and his first wife. Twin brother of Mogdra (deceased) and half-brother of Dogwald Gloamspike. A wandering scholar and infamous trickster, his sometimes-home is an abandoned palace in the Mirthsbane Mountains. Often the victim of unfortunate circumstances.
- Mogdra: Twin brother of Mirgla. Sickly through life, overcome by illness and injured by his brother Dogwald, he perished shortly after the discovery of voidal humour. His extravagant tomb in Northeastern Lugubria is visited only by Mirgla.
- Moist Cave of the Darkpump: A central hub of the underground caverns where the arcanologists of Marduun conduct their sinister experiments.
- Motrons: Giant, thinking machines built by the 31v35s.
- Mt. Mulrich: Volcano located in the center of Lugubria. Now poisoned with voidal energy, it glows with an unholy, greenish light. Recognized as one of the most geomagically active locations on Marmothoa.
- Necromorphs: Corpses animated by voidal energy.
- Nidia: Luridian home of the ancient 31v35. Closed to the outside world, protected on all sides by walls of rock. A matriarchal society.
- Nidian Sea, The: A sea separating Nidia from Gidea and Malapropea. Well charted and often traveled by humans, Mau and 31v35.
- Nilpha: A serpentine sea-dragon. Nilpha can grow to several miles in length.
- Nodes: Connected by a series of tubes, the function of these mysterious 31v15h structures remains unclear at best.
- Order of the Golden String: Never existed. (see ‘Knitting Coalition, The.’)
- Osadra: A tropical kingdom surrounded by jungle. Formerly a satellite state to the Empire of Marduun and ruled by Kre’jal Baquun Jalid, one of the Swords of Great Justice. Following the fall of Marduun, the Osadrans closed off all roads leading to their country and ceased communication and trade with the outside world.
- Pithythippity: Legendary site of the battle between Blempheus and Ipipsion as documented in The Gruntead.
- Pluck: A particularly talented and ruthless young con-man operating in Clockman. Drinking buddies with Mize Ciendelio. Marked by destiny and stuff. There’s probably some sort of prophecy, too.
- Quotidian Misfire: The failing of a quotidian ritual, usually involving the spectacular death or disfigurement of the ritual’s practitioners. While often the result of malpractice (ritual was performed on the wrong day of the week, or some small instruction was not followed perfectly), misfire is always a risk.
- Quotidian Ritual: Patterns of thought and action designed to gather voidal energy around the practitioner. May be practiced to bring about specific effects in the world, to imbue objects with voidal powers or simply to gather energy for distillation. Considered “magic” and studied by arcanologists prior to the advent of voidal science.
- Randolf von Macavowitz Spittoon III, Ltd.: Infamous reality tycoon living in Clockman. Made a fortune by shorting the gravity market just before the Great Gravity Crash of 1872. One of Clockman’s few Limited Liability Persons.
- Rimea: Port town to the South of Marduun and home to a vibrant gambling industry. Once a glorious seafaring nation and a ‘jewel in the Emperor’s crown,’ now struggles to hold off Thabbashite occupation.
- Runes: Markings contrived to gather and/or manipulate voidal energy.
- Runic Automata: Any mechanism powered by voidal energy gathered or controlled by runes.
- Runic Circuitry: The modern generation of runes. Powered directly by voidal humour, runic circuitry does not suffer from the cost and volatility of runes designed to both gather as well as control voidal energy. As opposed to classical runes, runic circuitry is denser and contains more information by several orders of magnitude.
- Runic Weaponry: Any weapon enhanced by runes or runic circuitry. The complexity, durability and scarcity of these weapons combine to make them heirloom items, often bearing the name or family name of their original owners.
- Sarcophelia: A demonological illness first appearing in Marmothoa during the reign of the Emperor Barduse. Not to be confused with Vampyrism.
- Sarcophyle: A person afflicted with Sarcophelia. Many Sarcophyles fancy themselves Vampyres. But they’re not.
- Sardonica: Oft-maligned Northern continent, connected to Malapropea by a tiny land bridge.
- Sarume: A small, dog-like dragon with limited flight ability. Most sarume have a cunning intelligence and a few are able to speak human languages.
- Seraphim Dragon: One of the magical familiars of the Seven Swords of Great Justice. If a Seraphim Dragon is killed, its spirit will be reborn in the form of an ordinary creature until it chooses a new master.
- Seven Swords of Great Justice, The: A group of knights sworn to protect Emperor Padamose and the Marmothoan Empire. The Seven Swords were chosen by Emperor Padamose for their superhuman fighting abilities and extraordinary merchandising potential. The Seven Swords were aided in battle by their runic weapons and Seraphim Dragons.
- Shell, The; Shell Planet: Luridia is the core of an exploded shell planet, which still floats in fragments above its surface. It is possible to visit the Shell by airship.
- Shriever: Vicious humanoid dragons, all Shrievers are born disfigured with a random number of mutations, such as arbitrarily jointed limbs or sometimes multiple heads. Most are born with wings and are able to fly.
- Society of Magical Propriety, The (SOMP): A public relations front controlled by the Arcanist Lords. Its mission is to slander rogue arcanologists, wizards and magical sole-practitioners and to regulate the manipulation of magical forces by lobbying and bribing government bodies.
- Specific Ocean, The: Always in the exact same place. That’s where it is. It’s there.
- Spectral Dome, The: The Northern cap of Luridia, a hellish, haunted terrain inhabited by sinister voidal entities.
- Stovepipe Hat: Tall, thin, cylindrical hat favored by the lower classes in Clockman. Fashion recalls traditional Clockman formal wear.
- Subtropea: The southern portion of the continent of Malapropea.
- Thabbash: Ancient name for the desert region outside of Marduun.
- Thabbashites: Warring tribes of Thabbash. Fervently worship their living ‘Gods,’ which they drag around the desert in ramshackle, mobile temples.
- Top Hat: Short, cylindrical hat favored by Arcanist Lords.
- Tournament Faction, The: An organizing body responsible for Luridia’s largest formal competition in which wits and athletics are equally measured. Originally based in Marduun, the Tournament Faction now resides in Clockman. An ancient tradition that crosses cultural boundaries, even the most bloodthirsty enemies will often set aside their differences to attend the event.
- Turncrank Gorge: An 31v15h outpost in the mountains North of Marduun. Home to a community of friendly tinkers. Destroyed by Thabbashite fanatics after the fall of Marduun.
- Voidal Enhancement (Voidal Doping): The dangerous use of voidal humour and its extracts to augment the human entity.
- Voidal Humour: Raw magical energy gathered by quotidian ritual and condensed through ecto-distillation. Powerful and volatile, it is the most valuable substance in the world.
- Voidal Science: The modern understanding of Arcanology and magical physics, as formulated by the brothers Gloamspike and industrialized by Dogwald Gloamspike.
- Vuldenwood: An impenetrable forest on the continent of Malapropea. Home to a clan of dangerous witches.
- Winterbottom, Beatrix: An ambitious Mau banker working in Clockman. Specializes in hostile takeovers.
- Wraithlands, The: An icy, moribund land mass battered by terrifying phenomena and supernatural entities. The closest location on Malapropea to the Spectral Dome. Separated from Lugubria by the Mirthbane Mountains.
- Yenassa: A forested peninsula at the base of Elzibeth’s Peak. One of the few natural lands in Malapropea successfully held against monsters, supernatural hazards and predators.
- Zenobia: Legendary Arcanist witch and famed artificer. Lives on the spectral face of Mt. Mulrich where she researches geomagical activity.