Sunday, November 10, 2013

Zone Phenomena

Logo by Hereticwerks
blue buzz: A roughly phone booth sized patch of pale blue light, flickering like a dying fluorescent bulb. Within 20 feet or so, a constant buzz like an alarm clock can be heard, though approximately 10% of individuals will hear haunting, indescribable music instead. Anyone entering the area of light experiences a slowing of time to roughly 14% it's normal rate. Leaving the area can be a shock to the system (saving throw), and lead to sudden death with autopsy revealing advanced aging of the heart muscle. Everyone experiences distracting tinnitus for  1-6 hours.

chasing shadow: Too thick and deep black to be natural, the chasing shadow is nevertheless able to lurk unseen in normal darkness. It slides out of hiding when a living thing draws near, and if not stopped, attaches itself to them at their feet like a normal shadow--though does not also flow out in the same direction as the natural one. It slowly begins to crawl up the victims body and if not stopped, will cover a person complete in darkness in 20-30 hours. Over the next 30-45 minutes it will contort and collapse their body until only the flat shadow remains. What happens to the victim is unknown. If caught early, the shadow can be removed but only if the victim is surrounded by bright light and a small laser (like a laser pointer, for example) is used carefully "cut" away from the chasing shadow.

memory flashes: Groups of will-o'-the-wisp-like flashes of light with colorful after-images. They move quickly to swarm around a person, typically for no more than a minute. After the flashes pass, a person so caught will have one or more new memories of things that happened to someone else instead of them. They will also likely notice at some point that one or more of their own memories are missing--always small, discrete things, but perhaps important (like a telephone number of the location of something).

razorfog: Appears as a patch of fog or white smoke (typically 10'x20'), drifting in the breeze (even when the air is still), but is actually more like a cloud of talcum powder in consistency. Anyone caught in a razorfog takes 2 points of damage per round if not armored or wearing protective clothing. Anyone damaged by the fog may become confused (per spell) and will be at -2 to attacks and saves as long as they're engulfed. The damaging effects of razorfog linger 3 rounds after being freed of the fog, only the victim is thoroughly washed.

voidflower: Voidflowers are translucent tubular structures (from a distance they look like wavering heat haze) with funnel mouths like featureless black holes poked in the fabric of the world. They're found in clumps of 5-20 and stand about 2.5 feet tall. Voidflowers are believed to stretched out pricks in spacetime. Anything brought within reach of a voidflower maw will trigger it to snap, swallowing any matter inside. The quantum-thin edge of the maw can pass through solid matter as easy as air, swallowing internal material as easy as that on the outside.

See more of the collaborative The Zones project here.

6 comments:

John Till said...

There's some really interesting and dangerous Zone phenomena here, Trey!

I imagine the Voidflowers are going to attract a lot of attention from a variety of well-monied interests willing to pay someone to "pick" one and bring it back. The land tubeworm as suicide bomb or One Ring.

garrisonjames said...

Great stuff. Especially the Chasing Shadows, which is a really nifty variant of the whole 'swallowed by darkness' thing taken to 11. Cool!

Chris C. said...

The "chasing shadow" is super creepy. Fear of the dark, fear of being devoured, fear of a slow death, all rolled into one.

Porky said...

They fit right in with the ideas in the book, all inspiring as well. I'm with John on the voidflowers. I think the memory flashes play to the tone of the movie too, and take things to a slightly deeper place, with more complex transformations of the world outside.

Canageek said...

I really like this entry; are you going to keep writing in this setting?

Trey said...

I may have another post or two, yet. Check out everybody else's Zone stuff over at FATE SF.