Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pellatarrum in Photographs

As I try to get back into the habit of writing creatively more often (and hopefully finish up the dozen or so projects I have on my plate), I figured I'd ease back into Pellatarrum by picking some photographs that really spoke to me and then explaining why I feel they'd fit perfectly in my pet fantasy world.

The Disappearing Cove

(photo by Michael Marten)

Pellatarrum has no moons, and thus logically has no tidal action. However, as I have said before, science and logic is boring when it comes to fantasy.  Tides are interesting, so Pellatarrum has them.  Why?  Take your pick:
  • The water periodically drains away through caverns to the opposite side of the disk. However, the Water component of the Engines of Creation  (ancient artifacts which created the pocket Material Plane of Pellatarrum) notices the imbalance and pulls more from the Elemental plane to refresh the supply.  
    • Does this mean there is a MASSIVE underground sea about halfway through the disk?  Possibly...
  • There is a creature of epic, monstrous proportions  (think J√∂rmungandr ) asleep at the bottom of the sea. Each time it draws breath, it sucks seas into its lungs; every time it exhales, tides rush in. Storms at sea happen when this creature has nightmares and shifts restlessly in its sleep. 
  • This particular cove sits at a nexus of positive and negative energy. This nexus is usually netural, but the day-night cycle of Pellatarrum is enough to overcome that balance. When daylight strikes the cove, creation wins and water is generated ex nihilo. This lasts for as long as day is dominant; as night begins to fall (and necrosis begins to win against radiance) it becomes less and less. When night finally arrives, the water begins to dissipate into salt until there is nothing but a salt flat where once a cove stood... until daylight starts the cycle over again. 
    • Expect this area to be a riot of life and healing during the day, and then become incredibly haunted at night.

Mountain Shards

Winter in Pellatarrum is a time when Elemental Earth rains supreme. Usually that just means some soil comes loose and falls to the ground, its intense cold freezing the water around it, with the net result that fields get a few inches of rich fertile soil across them (and cities get that much muddier).  Sometimes larger pieces -- pebbles, really -- fall during a large storm, like hail. 

But every so often, something dramatic happens, and gigantic shards of Earth calve from its surface and plummet like falling spears. Pellatarrans call this Mountainfall, and when it happens it can drastically reshape the landscape:  the valley just over the hills can be buried by a newly-fallen mountain range, or a farming community's fields can be cratered beyond recognition. 

(Mapmaking is a vague art, not a science, in Pellatarrum. Better by far to take along a Ranger who can read the signs and get you there than risk death by taking a map you didn't realize had expired, and whose path takes you along watercourses that no longer exist, so that you die of thirst.)

These mountain shards occurred when a large chunk of Earth broke away and, while falling, broke apart like a cluster of spears. Locals call these the Javelin Peaks.


I wouldn't go here, were I you.  This looks like the result of a blue dragon arranging the landscape in a form it finds pleasing. Any trespass is likely to be interpreted as despoiling of a draconic masterpiece. 

If you must pass this way, bribe the local kobold tribes for safe passage; do NOT wander off the designated paths; and if your guide stops to show you a vista or give you an interpretation of what you're seeing, pay attention and ooh and ahh appreciatively. Dragon artistes do not take well to uncultured ruffians, and you never know who is watching....


Yeah, I wouldn't touch these flowers, either. This is clearly a forest at night (when the Dead Sun reigns) and these suckers are a bright yellow under negative energy. I don't know if they're undead (can plants be undead? Why not?), plague-ridden, vampiric or just really damn poisonous. This should be a big ol' NOPE NOPE NOPE from all sensible rangers and druids. 

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