Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mushrooms, Pigs, and Cold Light

The thaumaturgic forces unleashed by the Great War have left much of Ealderde strange. For an example of just how weird this transformation can be, one need look no farther than Lumière,the former capital of Neustrie and the Gallian Alliance. Once Lumière’s lights were emblematic of a city that never slept, a place of art and culture. Today, Lumière is a bombed out ruin, and the amber luminescence that crawls or flows through its streets and buildings is something of another world.

The thing is alive; almost everyone agrees on that, but little they agree on little else. Is it matter? Some gelatinous substance similar to the strange denizens of the underground? Or is it pure energy, somehow thickened and held? If it’s the latter, it’s light with no heat.

In the day, it seems to hide in the skeletons of buildings, perhaps fearing the sun. At night it pours forth and spreads out over whole blocks. Rats and vermin flee it. Living things it touches develop strange tumors or growths. When it first rose, victims caught in its path were left rooted to the spot, transformed into masses of cancer.

The glowing touch of the thing seems to have created at least one mutant species. The wild swine that moved into the city to root and scavenge after the devastation of the war have been changed. They've grown large, and bloated and pale as grubs, with eyes that glow with a paler yellow that the thing. Though they can’t speak, they seem to have evolved an evil intelligence. They roam the streets in herds, seeming to take pleasure in spoiling what remains of the works of man, and looking (though they're hardly picky eaters) for their primary form of sustenance: fungal spores.

The Mushrooms, the swines' unrelenting foes, resent their progency being consumed by the swine with a displeasure that's more cold practicality than horror. These fungal sapients likely lived beneath the city even in previous times (certain legends hint at their presence) but when the humans fled they saw an opportunity. From their inhuman alchemical laboratories they create structures from fungal stock and weaponize molds to strike at the swine and keep humans away.

Looters and treasure seekers make forays into the ruin of Lumière, but it's a dangerous undertaking. Even if the poured-honey creeping of the luminescent thing can be avoided, there are the packs of hungry swine to be outwitted, and the silent and dispassionate Mushroom scientists to be dealt with.


The Angry Lurker said...

The fungi wars...excellent!

garrisonjames said...

Very cool. Hodgson in Paris after the war with a side of uppity fungi bar-tenders of doom. Sounds like our kind of place...

Cole said...

I'd like to see more about this place in the future!

Mark K said...

Trey, my good sir,

I would be honoured if you allow me to tag you on my blog site.

The Rules Are:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4. Tag eleven bloggers, however, you can break the rules and tag fewer people if you want. Make sure you hyperlink their names/blogs.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!
6. Have fun!

I understand if you rather decline, just let me know, but it's good for exposure, plus I follow a lot of writing blogs so the exposure would be (hopefully) widespread.

All the best, look forward to hearing from you soon,

Mark aka EvilDM (The DM's Screen)

Trey said...

@Lurker - Keep your antifungals close.

@Garrisonjames - It is a bit of Wermspittle-ish sort of place. :)

@Cole - Thanks. I'd know if we'll see more of Lumiere soon, but they'll certainly be more of Ealderde.

@Mark - It's an honor to be chosen, but I don't know if I know 11 fun facts about myself--at least not that are worth sharing.

Anonymous said...

The Hell Syndicate, having failed to win over any of the mutated swine, now seeks an alliance with the Mushroom people and access to weaponized spores and other useful fungal items. It will pay good money to anyone who has established communication with the mushroom towers.

Col Yves St Thymas, 2nd Neustrien Hussars (ret), is organizing an expedition to retrieve items of note from the Lumiere Main Armory, all adventurous types are welcome to apply.

Trey said...

@Seaofstarsrpg - Awesome.

Unknown said...

I have to say that the Ealderde wars tickles me.

Some years ago I read a comic about an alternate WWI where magic had become a weapon. It had French army wizards and mythical beasts, combined with trenches and dogfights. Too bad I can't remember the name though.

Trey said...

Are you thinking of Kurt Busiek's Arrowsmith? or was this a Euro-comic?

Tickles you in what way?

Chris said...

Today, Lumière is a bombed out ruin...

Yeah, things went pretty bad for him after he found fame in that cartoon about the abusive relationship. (sorry)

Noxious chemicals, feral pigs and angry truffles: you have truly captured the essence of that there place across the Channel.

Trey said...

No need to be sorry: somebody had to do it.

Everything I know about that land (only slightly exaggerated here) I picked up from visits to your fair island.

Mark K said...


Here's a link to my blog - check it over the next couple of days to get my list of questions for you. Remember, this is mainly for fun and added exposure :) And it's my honour to include you, seriously - loving your blog.

Unknown said...

Yes! Arrowsmith! Pretty awesome stuff, I seem to recall. I may need to have a look in my internet and see if I can't acquire myself a copy.

As for the tickling, I think a post-war, early 20th Century Europe, where magic and monsters are real, and were used in the war, sounds like a marvellous thing.

If I have the time this weekend, I may note down some of my thoughts and fire them over to you.

Trey said...

Oh, yeah I agree, though I've added a bit of post-apocalypse to it suggested by Edgar Rice Burroughs's Beyond Thirty.

I'd be interested in seeing those notes.

Unknown said...

Ok, so your Ealderde is post-apocalyptic, not just ravaged by war? How devastated is it? Have the nation states crumbled completely? And does this encompass the entire continent?

Trey said...

Well, there are varying degrees of post-apocalypse. Lumiere is as you read here, but the southern provinces of Averoigne and Poitemme are mostly intact. Metropolis, capital of Staark, is booming, but the Staarkish countryside is nicht so gut. Southern Ealderde is mostly ok, I think. No worse than a lot of the New World. Northern Ealderde is gripped by thaumaturgic winter (and troll and hudra-folk incursions) as are parts of the revolution torn Ruthenian Empire. The crazy-quilt of microstates that is Mittel-Ealderde varies wildly from place to place.

The islands of Grand Lludd I've touched on before. The capital Lugdun is zombie-plagued beneath a eldritch fog, while north in Alban, soldiers guard the wall against undead possessed by extradimensional invaders/

urthshu said...

Like so?

Trey said...

Cool! Yeah, that's pretyt much it.