Thursday, January 14, 2016

Limbo: The Sargasso of Space

Any hyperspatial fissure can be a hazard to interstellar navigation, but a large, stable one like the irruption zone known as Limbo is to be avoided at all costs. Those vessels unlucky enough to have been caught in Limbo but lucky enough to escape report a strange world trapped within the borders of distorted, kaleidoscopic spacetime.

First and foremost, there is a graveyard of ships, some still inhabited, some partially cannibalized by the survivors of other vessels. Mutual distrust is the general rule, as resources are limited, but also because the bleed of reality warping hyperspace has deleterious effects on the human mind, leading to paranoia and often insanity. This may or may not explain the general xenophobia of the non-marooned races that make Limbo home.

by Tony DiTerlizzi
There are multiple species of the froglike humanoid Slaad existing in state of mutual hostility with each other and apparently every other sapient being. The Red are near bestial, the Blue are barbaric and more organized, while the somewhat more intelligent Green are merely narcissistic and sociopathic. All known Slaad are all the more unpleasant due to their parasitic or infectious means of reproduction. Both the Blue and the Green have human slaves indoctrinated to believe being used in such a way allows they themselves to be reborn as more evolved Slaad.

There is rumored to be a fourth Slaad race--the Gray or Elder Slaad--that created the others in a rash attempt at eugenics, but credible reports of encounters exist. The Slaad place almost religious significance on an asteroid they call "the Spawning Stone" that is purported to contain their ancient genetic laboratory-temple and the cloning vats from which all Slaad species were born. 

The so-called mad monks of Githzerai are sallow-skinned ascetics with settlements on various asteroids and dwarf planetoids. They are not hospitable, but neither are they as murderous as the Slaad. The Githzerai have protected themselves against "hyperspace madness" to some degree by mediation, physical discipline, and psychic links between abbots and their subordinates. Still they often swing between periods of religious ecstasy and intense emotion or dream-like dissociation. They believe such openess to the divine Chaos of hyperspace will allow their intellects to complete a cycle of rebirth.

This is a follow-up to this post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such places always seem like a good place for an adventure. After all, you want to escape being trapped here, ne?

Especially if the Slaadi are coming for you . . .