Friday, December 28, 2012

Secret Santicore: New Planes Revealed!

Courtney Campbell makes a secret Secret Santicore request most cosmic: "30 new interesting inner planes. 20 new interesting outer planes."  

Barry Blatt charts as many of these heretofore unknown realms as he could think of:

Inner Planes:
  1. Zodiaca: Inhabited by 12 races with characteristics related to  Zodiac signs. Thus Arieans have goat horns and are impetuous and competitive, Scorpios have socrpion tails and are forceful and obsessive, Geminis have two bodies in telepathic communication and so on.
  2.  Lavalamp World: World is entirely liquid all the way to the core and has two immiscible fluids in is sea, a light blue one and a dark red one. The inhabitants of the blue one live in vast floating jellyfish settlements and fight a never ending war with the barbed arthropods from the second medium. At any time storms and swells from some unknown inner core can mix bubbles of the two up.
  3. Cyland: The world is on the inside of vast torus, along the middle of which a great shining palace inhabited by immortals floats giving light and heat, while lesser floaters are inhabited by various other powerful wizards. Flying ships can cross the  miles of air to the opposite surface of the torus and attempts have been made to build towers from one side to the other (curved do as to avoid the 'sun' and 'planets').
  4.  Roachworld: Conquered long ago by high tech creatures hundreds of meters high, humanity hides behind the wainscotting and under the fridge, scavenging a primitive living from the detritus of their colossal overlords and enduring regular attempts to wipe them out.
  5.  It's Complicated World: This world has seventeen different sexes all of whom must participate in order to create a new child, who are born in clusters of three to ten. Domestic arguments are common, but an overmighty religion prohibits divorce and cohabitation by groups of less than seventeen, despite the race dying out.
  6.  Nebbish World: Inhabited by skinny six inch high pygmies who regard big visitors as war gods and try and get them to obliterate their neighbours.
  7.  Egg World: All species lay eggs and fertilise them externally. People who hear tales from visitors of reproductive habits back home are disgusted and appalled.
  8. Phrenologica: Entire plane is one vast brain, with rounded mountain ranges and deep valleys. Inhabitants make mines to penetrate to the depths of the brain and towers to broadcast the thoughts they find there. People at the back of the brain have good vision and love bright colours, others good memories,the left side are logical and straightforward the right side are dreamers and emotional. A disaster happened when someone dug down far enough to reach the limbic system and allowed instinct to rule.
  9.  Tentacula: Inhabitants are cephalopods with many tentacles that divide into subtentacles. These regrow easily and they use them as currency, snipping them off with scissors and so high value items require more pain to acquire than cheap ones. Mugging is a pretty brutal process. Will thoughtfully provide scissors to fingered visitors.
  10.  Zombolica: An evil necromancer took over this world a long time ago with a zombie army and then didn't quite know what to do with it. People are all zombified after death as a matter of course and have to look after the zombies of their deceased family members. Overpopulation means there are dozens of unemployed zombies fighting in the street, while the living ruling class occupy high towers while their deceased relatives sweep floors, man 7-eleven counters, collect shopping trolleys and labour in the fields.
  11.  Rising Damp World: Overenthusiastic bureaucrats from the department of irrigation have been so successful that the entire world is covered in six feet of water. The dictatorial government has decided that everyone is going to evolve into a fish and encourages people to practice underwater breathing, have their legs sewn together to form fishy tails, tattoo themselves with scales etc. Complaints of rheumatism are not accepted, and dissidents forced to sculpt statues of fish. (Thanks to Stanislaw Lem).
  12.  The Great Glacier: A once civilized world has been reduced to savagery by an encroaching ice age, people hunt each other down not as food, there is a cold loving algae that provides all the nutrition they need in the form of green ice, but for heat. Igloos made from the living bodies of defeated enemies trussed up and fed green ice are common dwelling and as a special treat they will run a few slaves round the iceberg a few times and sit on their exhausted and sweaty bodies luxuriating in the warmth.
  13.  Equalitainia: Everyone here is equal. Those with higher intelligence than anyone else have headphones that pour inane 70's pop music into their ears to make them stupid, the wise are required to watch a certain number of hours of reality TV every day, those with higher strength are required to lumber around with heavy weights chained to them, fast runners have lead balls to drag, the beautiful wear horrible make up and masks. Everything is done in a mediocre fashion so not as to embarrass people by showing off how competent you are at a task, and the only people who show any zeal are the Handicapper General and her police. (Thank you Kurt Vonnegut).
  14.  Polygenetica: Everything here can viably mate with just about everything else via spores and the place abounds with crazy crossbreeds of every imaginable type, with very little breeding true. Groves of half giraffe, half geranium trees are grazed by semi-arthropodal pachyderms, and as their shedding skin cells are integrated into the local ecosystem adventurers will find hordes of their half-breed offspring popping out of pods, emerging from chrysalises and spontaneously erupting from bodily orifices all around them. Shub-Niggurath holidays here regularly.
  15. The Transfinite Vatican: Which Pope persuaded which eldritch deity to allow him to send colonists to a vacant plane we will never know (bet it was a Borgia), but now a back door in the Vatican of various prime material variants of Earth opens onto this strange paradise. Every belief of the Catholic Church over the centuries is true here, wine does turn into real blood at the Mass, virgin births are the only type allowed, you can't walk down a street without running into half a dozen stigmatics speaking in tongues, the air is thick with incense and weeping statues of the Virgin Mary work as shopkeepers and housemaids. Rumor has it that Hasan-i Sabbah has a similar set up someplace on the same plane for his fanatical sect of Ismailis and the Buddha has been spotted flying about on a golden cloud. St Brendan has been floating about randomly in a coracle hoping the grace of God will show him the hiding places of these heathens, and when he does there will literally be Hell to pay. Denizens of other planes fervently hope the fighting will be limited to this one corner of the Multiverse.
  16.  Colonicus: This wet, dark and stinky world is inhabited by highly cultured and intelligent tapeworms, who speculate idly about the nature of the beast whose bowel they have colonised, and occasionally worry about the spasms that shake their cities and the coming of the Great Purgative.
  17.  Titanica: A pleasant planetoid with a temperate climate drifts serenely through space with whole kingdoms of idle citizens having endless cocktail parties and balls, while in the caves inside overcrowded peasants farm and labour to serve their every need. No one remembers the worlds name or where it is going or why, and are very excited about passing through the cometary  Oort Cloud of a great star system visible beyond the planetoids pointed tip in a few years time.
  18.  Stromatalitica: A plane with many shallow tropical seas and no visible sentient life. The may huge coral reefs and stromatalites are actually intelligent and telepathic and use mobile visitors to pass messages in the form of sentient sponges and sea anemones. Occasionally they ask them to pass coral fronds and rocks and transplant them in other reefs, actually a form of reef sex.
  19.  Eggworld: A small egg shaped world with one freezing cold end that projects nearly out of the atmosphere and another that is a large flat swampy jungle full of giant insects. The inhabitants mine 'liquid gold', a wonderful life giving substance that acts as a healing potion. Visitors to the mines will notice red pulsing veins running through the yellow goo and in fact the whole planet is the huge egg of some monstrous cosmic chicken, and its about to hatch.
  20.  DIY World: This plane has endless lumps of ice, rock and scrap metal floating in an airy void, the shattered remains of the planet Mondos. The inhabitants assemble floating islands out of this wreckage, and guide them through many ingenious methods of propulsion from sails to flatulent cattle lined up along great rickety metal gantries, seeking out clumps of useful salvage to bolt onto their existing real estate. Megalomaniac warlords dream of savaging all the bits and rebuilding the planet.
  21.  The Temporal Plane: Time moves in a strange way on this world, going slower the closer you get to the Eternal Frontier, where it just plain stops, creating an Einsteinian temporal paradox every time you pop down to the shops for a pint of milk.
  22.  The Lonely Planet: Devastated by a stroppy adolescent kid with a ring of wishes, this planet has only one inhabitant, the kids himself, who decided one day that he hated everybody and wanted to be left alone. The whole place is a vast windy ruin, with abandoned streets, overgrown parks and the distant sound of goth rock played as loud as he damn well likes.
  23.  Duotonica: A peculiar mutation affects the people of this world, they only have one type of cone cell in their retinas. A race of red skinned people who can only see red live among a green skinned people who can only see green. The red skinned types have crimson buildings, scarlet clothes, rose madder cats and magenta food, while the green skinned have viridian buildings, olive green dogs, racing green clothes etc. Neither can see the other and is convinced that much of their world is populated by evil ghosts. The demons in charge thoughtfully confiscate any paint from visitors. (Yeah, I know Jack Vance did this one as well).
  24.  It's a Mad World: The lunatics have taken over the asylum and have set up cities and countries based on their most congenial company, people of the same clinical diagnosis. Manic city is exhausting, the Land of Paranoia consists mainly of bunkers and minefields, Depression Dale is a lot like Wolverhampton in the UK, Schizophrenia city is utterly unnerving and the suburban sprawl of OCD is very neat. Visitors soon find themselves developing interesting psychoses of their very own and may find it hard to leave. (Thanks again the Philip K Dick)
  25. Happy Valley: People in Happy Valley are extremely pleased with jocular King Smyle IX and only ever say positive and affirming things about him, their homes, the skin-rejuvenating damp climate, the tastiness of their bland grey government rations, the bubbly feeling of their rumbling stomachs, being struck by lightning and so on. And they are especially complimentary about the squads of cute ogre sized Everbabies that take anyone expressing a negative thought, uttering a tiny complaint or cursing fate over stubbed toe away to be used as teething rings and rattles.
Outer Planes:
  1.  The Hills of Slain: Everyone who ever dies in a war anywhere in the multiverse ends up deposited here, in colossal heaps and mountain ranges of corpses. The lowers levels have become a kind of coal and their metallic weapons a rusty iron ore. This is mined by the slaves of demonic industrialist Githyanki and made into hell forged weapons for export back to the planes where the wars started in the first place.
  2. The Plane of Silicon: Inhabited by a race of computerized warbots who pride themselves on their logic and who have conquered the planes of Germanium and Tellurium already. Not sure what to do about the Planes of Carbon – of which most prime material planes are a subset – but the decadent and whorish behavior of Carbon, bonding with any element that offers a hint of covalency, cries out for incineration. Live in fear of attack by the Chromium Giants.
  3. The Plane of Money: Money talks, well on this plane it does, the demons of coinage have possessed every scrap of precious metal or printed bill and the inhabitants, and lost souls from all over the multiverse seduced by their love of lucre get to live in a world where the law of the market is the only law. Cost efficiency is all, vast projects useless to living beings are started in order to create more money, speculative bubbles rise and burst in a matter of hours and no one seems to notice the grinning little faces on the local coinage snickering at them as they defraud, extort and rip each other off in the most outrageous fashion.
  4.  Hobbit Heaven: All plants are edible and/or smokable, the animals grow with joint cutting patterns on their hides for butchers and the pie crust and jam butty mines produce a huge surplus. The major deity presides over a never ending feast and can make it rain flitches of bacon like hail, with a shower of doughnuts for dessert. Very little here to upset the digestion except the pie golems.
  5.  The Plane of Odor: A grey void inhabited by stench elementals, invisible wafts of any smell possible and several that aren't. Visitors may be perceived as friendly or mailcious, powerful or weak, entirely dependent on how strong they smell; unwashed barbarians and punctilious fops with lavender hankies beware! Inhabitants communicate by smell as well, which will at least initially baffle the tourist; old hands come with a chest full of nebulisers and essential oils. Having a war with plane 6...
  6.  The Plane of Noises: A slightly different shade of grey void inhabited by sound elementals, disembodied noises of all pitches and volumes. Can be deafening and decidedly creepy when the sound of footsteps on a gravel path wanders by, but though non-verbal the elementals are easier to communicate with, at least if you have a drum-kit  a bassoon and some nice rustly cellophane to crumple. Their war with the Plane of Odour is inexplicable and unnerving to witness, as the sound of barking dogs and marching regiments take on the smell of fresh cut grass and baking bread, leaving whimpering groans and the taint of putrid corpses in their wake. Expert farters with the talent of Le Petomaine might be able to negotiate a truce.
  7.  The Repository of Lost Things: Anything mislaid by anyone ever ends up here. The heaps of keyrings match the Himalayas in size, the dropped change forms a tinkling sea washing gently up and down beaches of broken spectacles. And as for the City of Lost Virginity...
  8. The Plane of Devolution: Everything here is gradually reduced to articles of the same general purpose but of lower technological complexity and craftsmanship. A laser gun becomes a gauss pistol which becomes an automatic, then a six gun, then a musketoon, a crossbow, a bow and arrow, a javelin then a throwing club and finally a rock. Everything ends up as rocks eventually, and this place has lots of them, and lots of apes beating each other round the head with them. Visitors will also devolve biologically, with elves ending up as trees, dwarves as rocks (again), and halflings as rats. (See Philip K Dick's Ubik).
  9. The Plane Plane: A two dimensional plane where three dimensional visitors will be met with horror and incredulity as they easily pass through locked squares, poke about in people's internal organs and become ever changing and transforming cross sections etc.
  10.  It's a Hard World: Matter here has an exaggerated tendency to form crystals, everything becoming hard and shiny and usually solid, though liquid crystals do exist. Sentient quartzes do a good trade with The Plane of Silicon in raw materials and with various Prime Material Planes in the unusual statuary that most visitors become after a few days sojourn.
  11.  Suddenly, Elephants!: Also called the Plane of Spontaneous Generation, this plane has a strange relationship with quantum fluctuation. At any time and in any place energy may fluctuate to the point where entire elephants may wink into existence and out again in a matter of whole seconds and minutes rather than the Prime Material smidgens of subatomic particles for femtoseconds. It's all a bit unnerving, especially when visitors realize that they could be caught up in one and wink out of existence at any point. Why elephants? Ask Heisenberg. He's the white elephant who appears one time in 10x1016  fluctuations.
  12. The Garden Between Dawn and Sunrise: A dim and numinous realm wherein a person is more than likely to meet their first love as they fondly imagined them to be way back when, not the rather ordinary and dull being they turned out after the hormonal rush began to die down. Of course visitors appear as prosaic they really are and will not impress these beautiful and fascinating creatures one bit, especially when their own doppelgangers, the figments of their first love's imagined image of them, are wandering about as well. An entirely disheartening and depressing place visited only by bad poets and the glummest and most self-hating emos. (Nicked from Jurgen by James Branch Cabell, and why not?).

3 comments:

Ken Harrison said...

This was a fun list. I could actually see using some of these in our gaming sessions. Thanks for the post!!

Adam Thornton said...

Inner Planes 23 and 24 need collapsing.

This was an excellent Santicore.

-C said...

This is better than I could have hoped.