Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Walls of Graveston Prison

“Abandon All Hope” reads the blood red graffiti some wag has managed to scrawl on the stone cliff beside the docks. It may well be the first thing most prisoners see when emerging from the department of correction’s ferry at Graveston, the Union’s most notorious maximum security prison.

Graveston looks like a Medieval fortress and seems to rise from a rocky isle in San Tiburon Bay as if it grew from it. Popular stories suggest that sea devils once held pagan rituals on the island before the Natives were finally able to drive the humanoids. Current thaumatological theory considers this unlikely, because of the island's unusual properties: The stone which forms it generates an anti-magic zone that leeches the power from any spell.

This property made the island an ideal spot for a prison to hold thaumaturgists. Though modern Graveston holds dangerous men of all sorts, its lowest levels hold criminal mages and magical entities. Hell Syndicate hitman Charley Rictus and the murderous ventriloquist’s dummy Otto were held here at one time alongside a host of thaumaturgic wrongdoers. All of them are rendered powerless (supposedly) by the island’s stone.

There is some evidence that the current theories island's anti-magic nature are incomplete. Belief has power here, which is why the warden and guards work hard to break the spirits of the inmates. No god or spirit-form can be more powerful than their authority within Graveston’s stone walls. Some have suggested this has had the effect of allowing seepage of the Black Prison into the Material plane--which may have long term consequences.

Also, magically enhanced shivs and shanks are sometimes found among the population. Beyond the power of petty spirits and eikones yet unbroken by the screws’ clubs, life itself carries a thaumaturgic charge. And when that life is wasted in spilled blood, the blood does, too. Blood sacrifices (of their own, or better yet, others) grant prisoners power, but some of this blood power is always lost to the floor, to the walls. What might the stones do with all that power, one might wonder?

7 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

Good place for the lee savoury members of society, same graffiti we have on the security lodge at work......

christian said...

Excellent! It'd be neat to use the prisoners of Alcatraz as models for fictional inmates at Graveston.

Trey said...

@Angry Luker - Hmmmm...Make of that what you will. ;)

@Christian - Great minds think alike. :) I had thought about doing some of that with this post, but it had started to run long enough as it was, so I didn't.

Bard said...

A very pragmatic post for gaming consideration -- what does one do with evil magicians/magic entities once they're caught?

I've often thought of the historical illogic inherent to punishing people who aren't actually witches (if that person you're about to burn was actually a witch, don't you think she could turn you all to stone, burst out of her chains and fly off to freedom?)

But I never actually made the next step to how things would have to be handled in a fantastic world where magic does exist. Very nicely done!

Trey said...

Thanks. The funny thing about witch-hunts and the like is that would probably be more likely to occur in a world where witchcraft was real in that their would be continuing incitements to persecution (like the real world Red Scare and communist witch hunts). Of course, that assumes witches are powerful enough to just take over.

Anyway, yeah I figured there would need to be a way to imprison magical types. I guess I cheated a bit by providing a "natural" phenomena to be exploited to do it.

garrisonjames said...

You can hear Johnny cash in the background when reading this post...or at least we can...

Trey said...

I think that's perfect. I almost called the post "Graveston Prison Blues."