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Towards the end of the world lies the shore of the Fading Sea. It's called that because it marks the end of planned creation - the border of organized reality. The sea stretches on for as far as anyone has ever been able to tell. Like all seas, it teems with life and adventure: islands, civilizations, ships, sunken ruins, monsters, coral reefs. But due to its nature, nothing that can't be seen from the shore truly possesses a stable existence. Islands emerge from beyond the horizon when approached, some with thousands of years of history. You can spend as long as you want on them - but when you leave, they fade away behind you, never to be found again. To leave the sight of shore is to be doomed to wander for all eternity, Faded.

On the shore, 13 merchant princes founded Galgeleth, the City of Wheels. It's called that because of its most notable feature: the gigantic wheels at the port, around which, depending on size, are wrapped dozens or hundreds of miles of very thin, very strong rope. For a princely sum, brave adventurers may rent the use of a Wheel, to tie the end of the rope to their ship, and sail the Fading Sea - confident in the knowledge that they could follow the rope back to shore. Hopefully, by then, they'd have collected enough riches from their journey to pay for the pleasure. If not, they could always try hunting down a Sea Serpent - dangerous beings, whose sinews are the substance of the ropes of Galgeleth.
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A World of Death as you wander the sea, there are four kinds of monsters waiting in your path: ------------- Sea Skeletons - the most intelligent of all monsters, these sea monsters are extremely tough.
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>>66143666
For an extra payment, hired giants will work the cranks on the Wheels, in case you need your ship dragged back to port FAST.
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>>66143666
Are any of the islands inhabited?
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>>66143745
What are the other three?
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>>66143666
Legend speaks of a map of the Fading Sea, a mystical artifact which plots a course to any potential. It is said that those who hold the map may find any path through the Sea and reach any place with ease.

Many have died upon the island rumored to hold the map, which appears at the end of every decade.
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>>66146496
I gathered if the islands have thousands of years of history, that implies cultures which have a history.

Which brings up the interesting idea that some (maybe a lot?) of the population of Galgeleth is made up of Islanders of various cultures brought back as slaves from the Sea, each of them with memories of a life on their island which may or may not have existed before someone outside saw it, and which they'll definitely never see again now they've sailed away from it.
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>>66149265
I don’t think that islands on the Fading Sea “come into existence” insomuch as they’ve always “potentially existed”. Islanders’ memories of their lives and the history of their peoples aren’t simulated, they were just never observed by an outsider before, and can’t be verified again since something left behind on the Fading Sea can never be found again (which, again, makes it both impossible and academic to verify whether it continues to exist or fades away).

And yes, Islanders are a lucrative commodity. There’s no telling what kind of people might live on an island in the Fading Sea. Many are fantastical nonhumans (Winged People, Four-Armed People, Horned People, Butterfly People, Prophetic People...), and many come from civilizations that have existed for so many millennia their islands are full of androids and replicators and they bring back pockets full of quantum pistols and nanocomputers.
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>>66149665
What is the rest of the setting like?
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>>66150267
Frankly, I haven't thought much about the setting beyond the Fading Sea and Galgeleth. I just had this burst of inspiration while looking at the sea at night. I do think magic is fairly rare outside those regions, so most comes from the Fading Sea. If they have a god, it's an eldritch sea god. I also want sea-witches to be a thing, possibly related (by blood?) to the sea god.
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>>66150356
You could leave the entire rest of the setting (or much of it) undefined, which saves time for you, gives room for players to say "my character came from such-and-such, known for this-and-that", and lets other GMs slot Galgeleth and the Fading Sea into their own settings. Also, this is some cool stuff so far, and I would love to work this into my own game.
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>>66143666
definitely going to add this to my setting, it is very cool.
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>>66143666
This is a really good setting. Like, if you worked at this for a while, I could actually see this being released.
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>>66143666

This is awesome. Yoinked.
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>>66149665
Butterfly people?
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>>66153420
They spend most of their lives as caterpillar-people, miserable beings who look like bloated, fat, wrinkly, elongated babies with twelve sets of arms. They can't speak, aren't too bright and are naturally grumpy and poor-tempered. They're mostly used as beasts of burden, cheap labor (many, many hands to work with) and the occasional exotic dish. After several years of drudgery, one will make a chrysalis from which they will emerge as a beautiful, glamorous, brilliant, winged butterfly-man or woman. Butterfly-people after metamorphosis only live for 9-12 months, so they naturally dedicate most of them to debauchery and pleasure (they sleep about an hour a night, possibly in some part due to the amounts of drugs they tend to be on), financially fueled by the initial capital from selling the extremely precious, hyperstrong silk which makes up their chrysalis.

They've made up a notable but statistically tiny minority of the population of Galgeleth, mostly concentrated around their own districts, ever since a huge cargo of caterpillar-people have been brought back from an island on the Fading Sea as slaves. People were initially very but pleasantly surprised when they began turning into hot winged flying people.
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>>66153866
How do they breed?
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>>66153882
In a cleverly faded to black scene left up to fetishists whim.
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>>66153866
Kind of a shitty PC race that lives only 9 months. Isn't there some way for them to extend that a bit?
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>>66153966
As if most games last that long.
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>>66153966
You can have them live longer whilst still being tragically short-lived. Have the caterpillar-people live X years, with the butterfly-people they eventually become live 1/3-1/4 as long.
So a 60 Year old Caterpillar only has 20-15 Years.
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Reminds me of the Sunless Sea, setting.

One thing I think is that the amount of inhabitable islands would be very small, or at least those with large communities. Most islands wouldn’t have enough fertile land to produce sustainable agriculture. While the inhabitants could hunt, it seems like theres some disconnect between animals and islands, because the fish that visits would only visit a single time and never be seen again, not providing sustainable food since wild animals would only appear for miniscule amounts of time. And with no trade, these communities would quickly die out.

Maybe it even begs the question of somehow communities have found a way to trade, but it’d have to be something very abstract as to not break the idea that nothing can be found again. Like people with abundances of certain kinds of produce will wrap it up and send it off into the ocean, and other communities do the same so hopefully the right packages will get to the right islands
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>>66153966
Not everything has to be a PC race, anon, and besides, you could always play successive generations of butterfly people.

>>66154211
That lessens the tragedy, I think.
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>>66154456
>Not everything has to be a PC race
This. Christ.

One of the big problems I see in modern fantasy games is that players think every sapient creature needs to be balanced as a PC and the game is "shit" if you can't play one.
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>>66154439
I think the only island that can be counted on to have a sustainable community is Galgeleth/mainland. Other islands on the Faded Sea can have "communities" which exist when you see them, but you can never *return* to them.
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>>66153966
Why would you like to play a gay butterfly person on the quest for buttfucks when you can play a caterpillar person and hold 12 swords at once?
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>>66143666
If the same island can’t be visited more than once, what’s preventing a bunch of would-be conquistadors from raping and plundering every island village in sight?
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>>66155977
I like how you assumed that every island will be at a lower level of technological ability than the invaders.
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>>66143666
What of the islands' seafarers? They surely have boats and ships of their own, do they not? If they have a high technology level then aircraft, Battleships and so on are also possible and even likely.
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>>66156053
Not every one, obviously, but it’d be retarded to assume a 50/50 split, given these are societies with an island’s worth of resources, as opposed to multiple continents.
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>>66149665
What happens if a ship lands on an island full of grey goo, and the goo follows the tether back to the City?

How many desperate battles to reach the cord and unanchor some unspeakable horror from reality has there been?
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>>66155977
Nothing, I get the I impression that’s what they all do.
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>>66143666
Hang on, what’s stopping someone from making a rope tether-based trade network between sufficiently advanced and/or lucrative islands?
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>>66156200
Assuming the gameworld has a base tech level of 1600-1700s, any sort of modern ship would quickly run into trouble as there would be no infrastructure capable of supporting them. You could use them to explain away anachronisms in the setting though.
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>>66156334
Sounds like a nice source of goody-filled ruins and shipwrecks
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>>66156200
They’re presumably bound by the same rules. If they leave sight of their islands, they can never return.
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>>66156320
Sea serpents
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>>66156231
>How many desperate battles to reach the cord and unanchor some unspeakable horror from reality has there been?
Now we're talking.
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>>66156556
Fuck, how many plunderers have been severed from the trade city by that shit?
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>>66156231
Enough
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>>66143666
>cursed trips
I’d like to know more about the underwater world of the fading seas. Can coral reefs grow into gargantuan labyrinths teeming with all sorts of life?
What are the leviathans and microbials that make the head and tail of the food chain?
Are there rare and valuable materials than can be excavated from the deep?
Does anyone have means of breathing and diving down there?
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>>66156743
Given the assumed Age of Sail setting, diving would more or less be restricted to how long you could hold your breath.
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>>66156334
You could look at it like the early editions of Warhammer Fantasy where you could very very rarely roll a 40k bolt pistol as loot that had come in through the Warp Gate.
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>>66157554
That sounds insane, but how do you get any more ammunition once what you have is shot?
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>>66156743
>cursed trips
Damn, haven’t noticed those before. Weirdly fitting.
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>>66157700
You don’t. You conserve it.
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>>66157554
>You could look at it like the early editions of Warhammer Fantasy where you could very very rarely roll a 40k bolt pistol as loot that had come in through the Warp Gate.
In AD&D 2E Planescape, the plane of Acheron (where eternal wars rage eternally) has a layer that's basically an infinite junkyard of scrapped war machines from all realities, with a very slight chance of discovering something like a working raygun.

However, if you stay too long you turn to solid iron so it's not advisable to waste time looking for loot.
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>>66158320
Why not possess a golem and use it to scavenge for salvage?
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>>66158320
Which book is that in?
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>>66158761
>Why not possess a golem and use it to scavenge for salvage?
"Possessing a golem" isn't really a thing in AD&D 2E, and the golem itself will soon turn to solid iron.

Also, constructing a golem in AD&D is quite expensive, so using human slaves would be more cost-effective.

>>66159374
>Which book is that in?
I want to say Planes of Law, but it might be in the core boxed set. I can check later today if I remember.

Come to think of it, I might have seen it in either The Great Modron March, or Faces of Evil.
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>>66158761
It’s a golem, not a drone.
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>>66157700
Check it out for yourself. These are the reward items for the Albion campaign, but 4chan is being fucking gay about the link
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>>66159459
Ah, I see. Come to think of it, massed goblins could probably manage tech-scavenging fairly well.

>>66159564
Makes sense.
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Why did this thread lose momentum so quickly?
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>>66159588
Albion campaign?
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>>66157123
Diving bells
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>>66157a23
Diving bells
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Can't navigate by stars or magnets?
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>>66164815
Reality is not stable.
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>>66143666
The eternal crew of the wanderer's ship batten down the hatches. A fractal storm is on the horizon, and the helmsman must focus, lest they run straight into themselves.
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>>66160941
Why discuss a cool new setting idea when there are so much political bait and elf slave wat do threads?
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>>66165988
Because fuck you that's why
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>>66162076
It was a big Warhammer Fantasy campaign set around the island of Albion (Not!Celtic Britain). It involved Druids, Giants and a certain well know Daemon Prince.
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>>66165454
Doesn't quite fit the setting.
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>>66143666
>Harun al-Rashid, the Fading Prince, Merchant-King of Galgeleth, captain of the

Perhaps the greatest adventurer to live in Galgeleth today, the story of Harun al-Rashid is one of wild fantasy and absurdity.

Born in the lineage of one of the 13 founders, Harun al-Rashid distinguished himself quickly by sailing into the Fading Sea at the age of 16 and returning with a magical emerald larger than his head -- the gem, known most commonly as the Lion's Eye, is said to show glimpses of the future within its reflections.

After this first triumph, he went from strength to strength, forming a crew which retrieved such priceless and exotic treasures as a ring which held a Djinn, a pair of mirrors each showing what the other beheld, a spear which drank the blood of those it pierced and mended its master's wounds, and a hound as clever as a man.

Today, he is one of the thirteen Merchant-Kings of Galgeleth, adored and envied in equal measure by his subjects.
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Over the edge of the port looms the vast shadow of Old Five-Thousand Miler, greatest and moist ancient of the wheels. Such is its age that, if anyone, only the Master of the Wheels, Second Prince of Galgelth, knows who (or, some say, what) built it, and when. As its name implies, five-thousand miles of glistening, black, unbreakable cord are tightly wound around its central axle, which towers far higher than any building in the city, its surrounding mechanisms so large that they make up an entire district by themselves. In the centuries since the wheel last turned, an entire shanty-town housing Galgeleth's least and foulest has sprouted all over its bulk like barnacles - a slum hanging off the cliff of the artificial mountain.

Some wonder if anyone in the world can even afford the cost attaching their ship to the wheel. Legend has it that it was last employed for a sum that could now buy empires, to tether to shore an expedition headed by an angel who believed they could return to heaven if they crossed the Fading Sea (the cord was ultimately pulled back to Galgeleth, shipless - perhaps they found it?).

The city would hold its breath if it would be rented again. Its bustle would come to a quiet. Every single one of the city's giants would be needed to strain their sinews to the breaking point, every reserve giant awakened from their slumber, every priest of the great Leviathan to make sacrifices, to have a hope at turning the monstrosity (incidentally, breaking off the town built on top of it like a lion shaking dry their mane). It would be a festival and a spectacle like not seen in ages.
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>>66167224
>five thousand miles is a long distance
Is that what it’s like to live in Luxembourg?
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>>66167827
5000 miles is a pretty large distance when the best propellant you have is wind.
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>>66167949
Or the gravitic fusion engine you bought off some islanders in Galgeleth.
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>>66168111
How, exactly? You'd think if they're selling that kind of tech they won't accept beads and muskets in returns.
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>>66168111
Wouldn't that be exceedingly dangerous, though?
>have gravitic fusion engine strapped to a boat
>ready the line
>accelerate so fast that the entire wheel is ripped out in moments, and you end up deep in the sea with no tether
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>>66143666
I wonder how many people each year just go "Screw this gay Earth, I'm out of here" and sail off into the Faded Sea without a tether on the logic that sooner or later they're bound to find the Isle of Big-Titted Waifus or whatever it is they're looking for and it ain't that much of a bother if they never see their debt collector again.
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>>66168460
Inb4 debtors get threaded with moonspider silk, the thinnest, almost translucent and sometimes phasing thread that is stronger than Mithril.
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>>66167827
Why didn't frodo just take a plane to mordor?
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>>66169130
Sauron got S400 batteries all around Mount Doom
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>>66143666
Should we make like a 1d4chan page for this or something? I feel like this needs to be preserved for posterity. It's got a lot of potential as a homebrew.
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This is great stuff.
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>>66143666
The Sea produces multi hued “Salt” which aids spellcasting
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>>66169947
There's not quite enough yet to merit a 1d4chan page. The city needs to be fleshed out more, for one. We don't even have anything about the number of districts (I was thinking 13, each one ruled by a Merchant-King born in a founder's lineage) or races other than humans and caterpillar/butterfly-people.
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>>66170964
Implicitly, there are sea-witches (which sounds more like a class to me) and some type of giant the city employs to turn the wheels. And angels who want to return to heaven.
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>>66170964
I'm imagining this as an OSR setting which is heavily reliant on random generation tables for islands/phenomena/races/civilizations/monsters to find on the Fading Sea.
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>>66170979
>some type of giant
Behold.

>Ogre
Among the many races who live in Galgeleth are Ogres, giants renowned for their great strength.

An average Ogrish man stands between nine and twelve feet as an adult, and weighs somewhere between 270 and 340 pounds -- all of it muscle, and perhaps more when one considers stories of Ogres snapping wood, breaking rocks and even bending steel. It is for this reason that most Ogres find employment as wheel-turners, manual laborers, mercenaries, enforcers and guards.

However, they are rather dimwitted by-and-large, although exceptions always exist. Some famous Ogres are Hadrak Stonegrinder, Daŕinn Snakekiller and the Bearflayer brothers.
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>>66171035
In the Fading Sea, yes. I was taking about Galgeleth itself, which may admittely harbor stowaways from the Fading Sea, and the people who live in it.
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>>66171472
Huh, I actually got a more mythical feeling out of it. I imagined giants towering over buildings. Like something out of God of War. Turning wheels the size of mountains. (could be the "reserve giants" mentioned as sleeping until they're needed to turn the Old Five-Thousand Miler?)
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>>66171472
>>66171553
> Ogres are distant kin to the lumbering giants that wind the wheels, and though their strength and cunning is greatly diminished, they’re said to be the last work of the same creator.
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>>66143666
>>66149665
The Prophetic-People, known as the Jeweleyes or Brighteyes, are descendent from ones who have left their island home willingly, traveling to Galgeleth following a vision. It's said that their island was a peaceful paradise, silent and blemishless, where their ancestors led lives of humility and purity tending to orchards and herding sheep.

They look like humans, but their rot with blood and pus as they grow old. They're born sighted, but can barely see a thing by when they're 7, and are almost invariably blind by 13. Shortly afterwards, their eyes melt into so much fleshy sludge.

To them, however, this is a blessing, and a cause for celebration and merriment. And not for nothing: as their eyes rot away, their prophetic powers grow. Traditionally, once they've disappeared completely, they are replaced with colorful jewels and pearls - hence the name. Richer brighteyes even have many sets (up to hundreds!), each a different color and pattern and type of precious stone, wearing different ones for different occasions. Though they remain apart from the rest of the city for their weird customs, they can find positions of power and authority by taking advantage of their knowledge of the future.

Of course, the poorer ones often have to make do without. Some call them "blackeyes", because some can't even afford the rare oils and soaps required to wash the bloody sludge off their faces in time, living them forever looking as if they'd just cried crimson mud.

Incidentally, the sludge from the rotted-off eyes of a young prophet makes for an incredibly potent hallucinogen if mixed properly. It even gives visions of the future.
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>>66153966
Could be an explanation for why butterfly people would take to adventuring. They hope they'll find something out in the Sea that'll extend their lives.
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>>66171606
>the greatest of the giants sleep underwater right off the shore, their wrists tied by mighty chains to the pillars of the city. When they're needed, mass sacrifices, offerings and chanting wake them up to turn the biggest of the wheels.
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>>66171817
>the greatest of all is the mythical Typhon, who the priests dare not awaken, lest the tsunami of his standing alone destroys the city
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There is some evidence that sea serpents can find their way home to and from the real. Is this true or a fairy story to offer small comfort to the lost?
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The Turtles of War were brought to the city as eggs from a distant island. Only six were on board, and nobody's ever been able to make them breed (and not for lack of trying), so the ones still alive are carefully watched.

The Turtles were apparently engines of war employed by the highly advanced civilization of that island, which, according to the explorers who stole the eggs, fielded entire fleets of them. A Turtle grows to the size of a small elephant and is quite powerful and intelligent, but that's the least of their powers: when they retract their head and limbs into their unnaturally hard shells, one may crawl through inside and find a space quite a bit larger than the turtle looks outside, complete with cabins for a dozen, richly appointed with crimson silk and supplied with much viands and wine, as well as a command center few can make sense of (those have been studied for decades, and their operation is a closely guarded secret.

Those who can command the Turtle from the inside can guide it about even as its head and limbs emerge from the shell, protected within it. The Turtles are ponderous and clumsy on land, but underwater they can swim far faster than the fastest ship, and too a great depth, too. Furthermore: their armor plates can fold back to reveal a frightening arsenal of advanced weaponry: machineguns, guided torpedoes and naval mines have all been seen in recent times - the Turtles seem to "grow" or "develop" new and stronger weapons as they age.

Of the six original Turtles, two were killed in battle and one was lost at Sea. The three remaining serve Galgeleth - although one at all times is available for rent for particularly tough expeditions (so long as it's properly secured to the wheels, of course) - if anyone can come up with the truly stupendous sum that would cost.

Few weapons can match a Turtle of War, but the Merchant-Princes don't get cocky. They've all too much experience with islanders in laser-toting gravships.
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>>66171498
Maybe use Vornheim as a guideline?
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>>66169130
TSA wouldn't let him on.
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>>66172240
No-one can be certain, since every attempt to domesticate a sea serpent came to a terrifying end. All the same, their eggs are worth a fortune to the omeletteers of the highest of the aristocratic houses.
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>>66175629
Would the nobles of the city allow Sea Serpent eggs to be eaten when their muscle fibers are so precious to use to make cords?
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>>66171696
The Sapphire Barge of the Courtesan Queen set sail from Galgeleth two generations ago. The Brighteyed Saadu Saidu Sooldu, a woman as beautiful as a Butterfly-Person during the day and ugly as an Ogre at night, rules it. Her eyes see visions allowing for only two possibilities: a thousand islands with a thousand wheels all connected, or a thousand faded islands wheelless and lost. At the center of it all is her Sapphire Barge--studded, beautiful--a group of 5 souls that will cement one of the two futures.

The members of her crew are all missing one of their senses. This is a trade often made in Galeleth; to trade away a sense means that, the next morning that you fish, you will fish up something useful for your journey. A sword of power, perhaps, or a bottle containing some legend on it that when read comes true.

One give's up their sense by mutilating themselves. Rip out your eyes (like the Prophetic-People, hinting at where their power comes from), or destroy your eardrums, or ruin your brain to remove your sense of time or space.

The Courtesan Queen has gone far. She cannot walk, cannot move her arms, cannot speak, cannot smell, cannot taste, knows not what it means to have balance, or a sense of time, or a sense of true emotional empathy. She can only sea, she can only hear, and she can only follow her visions through. In return, what she has gained...

Oh what she has gained...
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>>66176163
While this is a cool idea, my understanding was that having their eyes fall off was just a natural stage of development for Prophetic People, not something they do on purpose.
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>>66176015
A newly hatched sea serpent is approximately 8-10 feet long, and never stops growing as it ages as long as it can get enough food. Most specimens encountered on the seas are estimated at 200-300 feet. Given their large size, highly aggressive temperament, propensity to eat anything, ability to fit through surprisingly small spaces relative to their body size, maturation rate, and general difficulty to kill, a sea serpent egg is pretty much worthless outside the novelty and rareness because you're not going to turn a profit off of attempting to raise one long enough to get a useful amount of rope out of it. On the other hand, such an exotic ingredient can fetch outrageous sums in far away markets, to the point where a halfpint bottle of desiccated sea serpent egg powder can cover the costs of an expedition into the Fading Sea.

The eggs themselves are somewhat unpleasant to eat, described as tasting overly sulfurous and salty, but have amazing lift and moldability when whipped. They're mostly used in minute quantities to create ostentatious and elaborate cakes and pastries.
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>>66176163
How exactly can she follow her visions through if she's a mute quadriplegic?
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>>66176911
She has a form of telepathy that allows her to interact with her large and competent ogre bodyguards.
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>>66177073
>>66171472
>large and competent ogre bodyguards.
These are the Bearflayer Brothers, each deaf in one ear, but unmatched in their strength, ferocity, and loyalty to the Courtesan Queen as tales of how they gained their namesake indicate.
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>>66143666
Wouldn't it have already been conquered by more powerful island nations?
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>>66178236
What do you mean?
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>>66178236
Anon, the islanders aren’t able to reach the shore because once they’re untethered at sea, it’s impossible for them to find it
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Is OP still here? Any updates or your setting?
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So, there are 13 districts that make up Galgaleth, each officiated by a Merchant-Prince. One of these Merchant-Princes is Harun al-Rashid, the Rightly-Guided, who sought and found a great fortune. Who wants to pitch some of the other 12?
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>>66179472
He’s probably responsible for half of the lore posts in this thread.
>>
It seems to me that all the holes in the setting that other people are minding aren't even holes due to the nature of the setting.

Every kind of technological transfer depends on a single cord, which has to be strung by human hands. Even if you have a super-strong cord or something more than human to string it, humans make the decision to stretch it or reel it in, or to cut it.

It takes one conspiracy, one failure, one moment of weakness, to turn a technology that could otherwise change the entire setting into a unique magical artifact.
People will be reluctant to go on pointless adventures because there's a big chance they'll never come back.

Like for example drugs in today's world, the cost goes up because you have to go through great risk to smuggle them, except here you don't just have legal limitations but environmental ones of a whole new league.
It would be like having to take the sea route around Tierra del Fuego from California to New England, except there's monsters everywhere, weird magical bullshit that drives you mad and potentially hostile natives with incomprehensible magitech, and all the time you have to string a cord behind you or you're never ever going back.

That's enough to get in the way of trading even literal nuclear reactors.

In fact, sometimes it feels like it's almost too punishing to trade and exploration, so maybe it would be in place to have one or two ways out that are nevertheless not something you'd ever want to rely on.
Maybe the sea is safe out till ten miles on most days, except when the Tide-wind rolls in and all of a sudden the islands you used to trade with are all gone and replaced by similar but different ones, and the people who were out at sea claim to know you but are not the same people, just ones who share their traits.
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>>66180913
>>66180040
In fact, let's make the last one an idea for a Merchant-Prince.

The Sea-Lost, often addressed by title rather than name because of certain issues, maybe used to be (it's difficult) Fayza Haykal, the heir of a great merchant family whose father had not been able to produce any sons to carry on his legacy. When her father met his end before his time, Haykal did not want to stay an unfortunate accident, so she decided to captain her own ship and take to sea, bringing back goods from neighboring islands - not an especially risky endeavor relative to the standards of the Fading Sea, but a modest mercantile job.
One night at sea, though, her ship didn't come home before the Tide-wind blew, as she was pursuing the last of the money to pay her father's old debt to a Merchant-King.
The one who came home claimed to be the daughter of the same family, and could recount a childhood in the same house, knowing all her father's secrets - but she was unmistakably a different woman, of a different tribe and build and personality. She came carrying treasures enough to almost double the Merchant-Prince's wealth, though, and paid it all to him instead of keeping it - and in exchange for this, she rose to Merchant-Princess when a position next opened.
She hasn't went to sea for next to twenty years, perhaps having learned from past mistakes. But as of late, she's getting strange, speaking of the Shore of Pearls where a goddess spun her hair from seaweed and replaced her eyes with pearls, and some swear they've seen her drip seawater.
She's gathering crew for a personally-led expedition to this place, and is planning to once again turn the Old Five-Thousand-Miler - and it's setting the city aquiver.
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>>66143666
BOOOOORRRRIIIING
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>>66143666
>whose sinews are the substance of the ropes of Galgeleth.
Your telling me I gotta buy my fucking ropes from a guy who makes them out of sea serpents? That must cost an arm and a leg!
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>>66180913
I think that the island itself is simply the ending point of concrete reality, the last point on the map so to speak. If you're coming from the direction opposite the Fading Sea it's perfectly accessible.

>>66180040
I was thinking maybe one of the Merchant-Princes doesn't really involve himself with Fading Sea at all. Rather, his family simply owns most of the fields and orchards that cover the island where Galgaleth is located and is invested heavily in businesses throughout the city. It's by no means particularly wealthy, but it is highly influential since it backs a lot of the local economy and controls most of the food supply to the city.
>>
>>66181144
You don’t buy the ropes, you rent them, and barring intentional sabotage, incompetence, or the rare, tragic accident, they’re nearly indestructible.
>>
I buy a ship and become a pirate, we look for the line ropes that connect ships to land, cut them and attach it to our ship, reel out ship into theirs and board them. Very profitable, we can hit 7-8 ships a day. We rule the coast.
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>>66181535
This sort of faggotry’s just fucked enough I can imagine it happening from time to time, but how the hell do you intend to get away with the shit once you reel in, and have to explain the multiple wheel-renting vessels you’ve sacked?
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>>66181704
Explain what? The ships will never been seen again without their tether thats if we don't just kill the crew and sink the ship, most likely we would kill the crew and lash the ship to our own and claim it was salvaged on the sea with no crew aboard. Then we fit it to be another of our pirate ships. Soon we'd have a fleet lashed together blocking off all access to the deep sea and collect tithes for safe passage back to land. We'd have a floating city of ships lashed to land with a fort at the lash point to protect it. They will call me the Sea Lord or the Pirate King, some will call me worse but none will avoid my ships.
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>>66181535
I don't think you can cut the ropes, based on >>66181433, so there goes that plan.
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>>66181781
>nearly indestructible
if theres a way we'll find it.
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>>66181744
>the merchant princes narrow down which vessels consistently keep returning, then cut the cord while they’re out at sea to prevent piracy
OH NO NO NO
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>>66181781
>>66181858
Besides we don't "have" to cut the line we can just belay our own line onto theirs and sail on it to their ship maybe even use a winch-like device to pull us right to them. Is the thing that holds their nearly indestructible line also indestructible? Just take an axe and hack the thing off, then the ship is ours.

>>66181872
We have our own line protected by a fortress.
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>>66181910
>attempting to disrupt what might be the world’s most lucrative trade network with a makeshift fortress’s worth of bandits on a boat
>expects to survive the full weight of their irritation
>>
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>>66181962
We do this for a living, bring your best merchant prince we're ready
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Could the islands that are sailed to be like Galgeleth: islands on the edge of their world's Creation, with big worlds farther inland and other random worlds if you sail out? So that the Fading Seas are kind of where universes overlap and blend together.
>>
Wouldn't standard radar telemetry pretty much deal with the whole never return thing
>>
>>66182257
But actually though, the reality-bending quality of the Seas would probably render that useless for getting back.
>>
Years ago a would be merchant prince, fed up with being controlled by the council of Galgeleth, spent all his coin on the largest ship he could and one tether of the wheel. It is unknown what happened on those waves, as years later, what was once a simple merchants vessel returned as something far more. It returned as the sailing nation of Nerekon.

No longer just a mere boat, more like a city, nay, far more than just a city, an island now, an island of ships and stone and sails, millions of banners fluttering in the wind, and one flag marking the top of every building and sail, the Throne of Nerekon symbol.

Nerekon is an 'ally' nation to the City of Wheels, tethered by dozens of ropes so the sailing city can always find its way back, but the alliance is simply of convenience, there is no love between the two nations.

Nerekon is a sprawling island of strung together boats of every size and shape, and captured chunks of islands, creating an impressive landscape of rolling bridges leading into fields of green, towering mountains covered in cityscapes and dense forests pocketed with towers and boats sticking out, massive chains binding land masses together, nets of ropes, and countless sails and spires needling across the whole of the nation.
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>>66182707
Nerekon is known by various names, but one of it's more well known is Nerekon, the Nation of the Sea Stars. This is because it is a common fact that Nerekon is protected by a series of ancient artifacts that the Nerekon ruling family refer to as the Sea Stars.

During it's years out at sea, that which would become Nerekon discovered the artifacts, and using them, faced the dangers of the Fading Sea, growing, finding more artifacts, and expanding. The Sea Stars are seen as royal treasures, the guardian weapons of the sailing nation.

Among the Sea Stars are the powerful artifacts wielded by the Nerekon Royal Guardian Lights, five families that are entrusted with the military protection of the nation, and at the heads of each family are their Guardian Lights, seaborne warriors of immense martial and military skill, experience and might, and each armed with at least one of the Sea Stars, making them beyond that of normal warriors.

Thus, any danger to Nerekon must face it's military force, and the monstrous strength of the Guardian Lights, as well as the other Sea Stars that defend this sailing nation.

Rumor has it, however, that the City of Wheels, likewise, possesses a number of artifacts similar to the Sea Stars.
>>
>>66143666
We were turning leeward to avoid a storm when our ship got caught up in a few dozen tangled lines of Galgeleth rope, two sailors on the bowspirit lost their heads instantly and 6 others were thrown overboard and were lost to the waves. The storm hit us fast before we could figure out how to untangle our ship from that mess. This day to my last I curse the merchant princes for coming up with such a assbrained sceme as tethering ships to land by that vile sinue. -page of a journal found in a bottle by the shore
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>>66177073
that doesn't seem worth the cost
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>>66183599
I'd imagine that she didn't do it herself, rather she was supposed to be a tool for someone else, the person she was originally a courtesan too perhaps, only to eventually turn the tables and place herself on the top.
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>>66179472
I'm here all the time, I occasionally add lore.
>>
The Mad Universities began as a project to catalogue the Islands and to find out do different expeditions stumble to them again.

For a century their students and loreseekers toiled and assembled a Grand Library of notes, maps and books. Then it was time for the Revelation: they began their grand work. Yet it turned out that different seekers had different opinions of the Island dilemma. most conclusive answer they agreed on was "It seems possible??"

In the end the University split into several rival schools and the Library suffered greatly as no school could agree how to divide it. In the end seawater got into it and a fewerish Library War was fought about its contents between the Mad Universities and raiders.

The Rotten Library still exists, its dark halls and dungeons peridiotically flooded. But people say that it still contains secrets undiscovered...
>>
Do these other islands ever send out ships? Could you get tangled lines as your ships way home crosses another ships?
Is Galgeleth a ‘real’ place or is it on just a very big island/continent itself adrift in the Fading Sea, the reason people can’t find their way home without the ropes isn’t becuase they get lost, but becuase the island fades too?
>>
>>66184881
If you want it to be.
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>>66184881
Galgeleth seems to be a huge city that was founded as a base for adventurers to live in, but you can fluff it like that if you want.

I saw it as a Mystery Dungeon kind of thing, myself.
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Caterpillar-person slave, wat do? Eat it now or wait for it to turn into a butterfly-waifu?
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>>66181433
Unless of course a Sea Serpent decides to bite through one.
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>>66185168
Well it might be a Butterfly-husbando, you can't tell when they're caterpillars.
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>>66185464
Maybe if I feed it a lot of lettuce?
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>>66185641
It’ll just get fat
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>>66184992
>>66185025
Could be a neat twist/reveal in a campaign for sure
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>>66186051
Caterpiller people are supposed to be fat.
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>>66155977
There was nothing stopping that from happening when islands could be visited more than once.
>>
Y'know, I like this thread. Reminds me of China Mieville's New Crobuzon novel cycle.

(Note to self: do not feed caterpillar people psychotropic substances, just in case)
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What's stopping people from tethering Galgeleth to islands, in order to make them permanent?
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>>66186882
>There aren't enough wheels
>There aren't enough ropes
>The islands don't yield loot forever
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>>66186882
Sea Serpents. You’d have to guard the whole length all the time
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>>66186882
The rules of magic. Maybe it's been done successfully, once with a very small island; maybe it's never succeeded. But most attempts yielded either a broken tether, or a wheel being broken off its mount and dragged down through the city to the ocean.

Or perhaps it's like Brigadoon, and the islands just fade away in the mist, leaving the tether floating on the sea.
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>>66184881
I prefer Galganeth to be able to become Lost as well - if your tethers get broken.

>>66156242
>>66155977
There is at least three different Conquistadorian fleets plundering and raiding constantly out there, only returning to Galc to pay rent and get more crew. There was a fourth, yet it got destroyed by Nerekon in an "acciddent" involving two rafts filled with burning acid.

Two of the fleets are grand and equally matched while the third, the Rusted Helmets, was the biggest until they stumled upon by an island of peaceful psionics. Yet when the White Helmets -as they were called by then- started pillagining the psionics dropped their smiles and revealed their fangs.
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>>66187031
rumours say that in the early days The Spider attempted to do this- tether an island to the Galg and then begin tethering other islands to the first, creating a "web" of tethered islands. This was in the times before Serpent-tethers were not yet always used, so in the end one tether snapped. Result was not pretty.

The Spider returned to the City of Wheels as an empty shell, and spent the rest of its long life warning against such idiotic plans
>>
This is great stuff.
>>
Why not just tether the islands?
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>>66188154
See
>>66186882
>>66186902
>>66187007
>>66187031
>>66187110
and most especially >>66187206
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>>66185416
Aren’t the tethers so strong the snake would just be cut in half?
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>>66188993
The tethers themselves are made of Sea Serpents, anon, why do you think they won't have teeth sharp enough to cut through one?
>>
The ice goblins showed up in Galgeleth one day as a conquering fleet. A short encounter with heat-beams and the fleet of the Fifth Prince put an end to that plan, and now their descendants are stuck picking and doing dirty jobs in the Glitter District.
>>
>High Inquisitor Augustin IX, Merchant-Prince of Galgeleth

Augustin IX is a man of strong principles, equipped with even stronger arms to support those principles. He is the High Inquisitor of Galgeleth, and it is his duty and (intense) pleasure to maintain peace within the City of Wheels and punish wrongdoing with an iron hand.

He rose to fame at the age of 27, when he hunted down the ringmaster of a dreaded band of thieves known as the Black Daggers and subjected him to summary execution; a string of subsequent successes such as the hanging and Fading of the mass-murderer Garriot Nightingale, the imprisonment of the conman known widely as Silver-Tounged Larken and the rooting out of corruption within the Inquisition, uplifted him to the position of High Inquisitor.

Today he administrates the Inquisition, the lawkeepers and guardsmen of Galgeleth, judges the occasional case appealed as far as his office, and oversees the punishment of the most notorious criminals.
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>>66186486
What happens if you feed a caterpillar-person the liquified eyes of a prophetic person?
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>>66189658
Most likely you get a grumpy, whiny caterpillar person tripping balls and mumbling.
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>>66189658
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>>66189658
You get >>66189669 until they turn into a Butterfly-person. Then you've got a prophetic person who can fly. And reduced oracular powers since they retain their eyes.
>>
Horned-People have been a significant minority in Galgeleth for many generations. They look like handsome, powerful people who are human above the wait and bulls below the waist, with impressive bull horns and ears. Man have magnificent beards and women magnificent curly hair.

Horned-People are notable in two ways: one, they can talk to and command all animals. Two, perhaps partially because of that, they are absolutely, utterly, adamantly convinced that God intended *them* to be the dominant species and that the so-called "humans" are just another strain of chimp for them to boss around. In fact, as far as they're concerned, THEY'RE the Children of Adam, the real humans, THE People with a capital P. Humans are monkeys with a pretention. They don't even have horns - clearly, they cannot have been intended to wield divine power if they don't have horns.

Possibly to make a point, Horned-People do not use beasts of burden or keep pets: they keep humans. Humans to fetch their newspaper. Humans to pull their rickshaws. Humans to plow their fields. Humans to be kept in cages and sing. Human steak for dinner with human milk yogurt. And if the humans need to have their tendons cut and tongues removed to be reminded of the natural order of things, so be it.

Horned-People like sailing into the Faded Sea to search for further evidence that they're the master race and all the non-Horned People are talking nonsense. So far they've found nothing, but try telling that to them (you could, you'll just die).
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>>66189812
Wouldn't the fact that they cannot command humans clearly and immediately shoot down their whole "master race" theory?
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>>66189872
imho, they should be able to command humans too (maybe a spell like ability usable several times per day or something?). Would also explain how they get them to be their dogs.
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>>66189812
This idea would work better if they saw humans as an abomination since if they don't have advanced intelligence then seeing humans as beasts is retarded
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>>66190121
This works a lot better since the horned people see humans has that one beast that's able to tell them to go eat a dick and isn't under their jurisdiction.
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>>66189812
>>66189872
>>66189934
>>66190121
Could be the following line of thought:
God intended us to be the masters of the Earth -> Accordingly, we can command all other creatures -> but we can't command humans
Ergo, humans are not part of the divine plan and shouldn't be here.

However, I do like the surreal image of humans who look like half farm animals having farm animals who look like humans. How do you explain that if they figure humans are all haram?
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>>66189383
Well-to-do inns keep at least three Ice Goblin employees for each storeroom they have, just to keep the temperature down. In the meantime, they're also tasked to prepare meat and fish for the meals, to cut them up while they're still frozen, not to mention making drinks cold. Looks like an ordinary job, but since they have to stay in the same room to keep the temperature stable, those inns cutting down on costs and hiring just one Ice Goblin risks said Ice Goblin going mad. Thus the three shifts rule was implemented, with what little good it did.
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>>66190209
They don't see humans as equal beings and so have no qualms about abusing them as a slave labour force
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>>66189812
>The horned people and the mechanical men have been fighting a war for centuries now.
>>
The Frogmen are The Mercenary Group. They have reached so legendary status that it is often thought that they are only a myth created by te Merchant-Princes to spook their enemies. Stories from their mystical origin, often just a single coldblooded survivor or a fabled manual are as many as there is taverns.

Regardless of their status, the slang-word Frogged means a brutal and sudden death amomg the Princes of the City of Coils. The Frogmen reputably will do anything if one can find them and hire them for their insane prices. Only thimg they will not do, however, is sabotage tethers or weels.
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>>66190209
Alternatively they could be less absolute command and more their connection between the animalistic and intellectual makes them an omniglot race. That when a massive horned being commands you to jump you jump gives the appearance of command. Since humans are rebellious creatures by nature, this would make them aberrant but not necessarily abhorrant to the horned-people.
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>>66189812
Fortunately, they've been around long enough some of them are powerful enough magicians that they've selectively bred over the years a number of more useful species of (sub)humans fit for their tasks, so they don't have to use literally mutilated slaves for EVERYTHING.

Beware of the manhounds. 80% human, 20% hound, but those are some fairly important 20%. Their barking and howling coming nearer means you're about to get caught.
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>>66156743
A Descent is most commonly attempted by the desperate shanty down residents of Galgeleth, they meditate and harden their bodies for days before they make a dive...usually to recover fallen trinkets or catch Shield Crab which sell for their meat as well as their resilient chitin.
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>>66189812
I commend am deeply disappointed in you for choosing a Babylonian bas relief instead of a monstergirl pic for this post.
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>>66190386
Descents go beyond fishmongering or trinket retrieval. Resources of Thalassic Iron, Leviathan Bone, Kelpwood, and sea scorpion venom fetch a high price and are in high demand.

To this end, the most accomplished of shanty Descenders form guilds which routinely fulfill contracts to retrieve these precious resources from the sea floor.
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>>66190599
Of course, one can't talk about Descending without mentioning Vayaat Paraz; a shanty town orphan turned militant Descender.

His brother drowned on their first Descent together when a Nautilian attacked them for taking a sacred Benthic Pearl.

Since that Descent Vayaat has waged a crusade against ocean dwellers and his Trident Militia regularly accompany Descenders who dive in dangerous locales.
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>>66190599
One of the most respected guilds is the Buoymen; a name so honoured, the locals don't even notice the mocking tone outsiders often bring to it. Tasked by some elder Prince, the guild maintains the Capstan Buoys. These floating capstans are tethered to the seafloor out to a distance of almost 50 nautical miles (the furthest one can see out across the fading sea, from the top of the ol' 5000).
Ships leaving the Galg will hook their ropes around the capstan buoys, to ensure there are no tangles within sight of the shore, and to make it easier to haul them in when the time comes.
There have never been records of two ships' lines being entangled with each other, out beyond the horizon. If you get snagged while out on the Sea, you drop anchor and send a boat back along the line, hoping your crew can deal with whatever is holding the line.
>>
Galgeleth's short-lived experiment with creating carbon nanotube golems to tether the ships went very wrong very quickly, and citizens are assured all specimens were almost definitely destroyed probably.
>>
>submissive butterfly-woman waifu or dominant horned-woman waifu
DECISIONS, DECISIONS
>>
>>66190319
Currently Frogmen mostky use bronce crossbows with harpoon tips and their knifeskills are unsurpassed by anyone on the Galg.

Rumours of them using explosives or more exotic pillaged weapons like heat-rifles or howler pistols are frequent however. With the tales surroundding the Frogmen, who can be sure?

Currently they are led a person called Colonel Silk Salamander, who single-handedly cleared the Gyfrost Reef of the Clamtukian Biopirates in his youth.
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>>66191135
Submissive but bratty horned-women and low-key dominant butterfly-women.
>>
Sailor legends:

There exists a Floating City one can crash into. Now half-sunken, it once was carried on the back of a gigantic seven-eyed Whale and enjoyed a prosperous trade with Galgeleth. But after the Whale was poisoned the city slowly was abandoned and now it is barely floating anymore. Only ghosts and echoes haunt it anymore, but still exploring it is not recommended at all if you manage to encounter it.


There is a species of ghostly sirens , tge Psyrens, wandering the oceans in dark mists. One can survive them with gifts of treasure or sacrifice - but to hear their songs is to die a madman. For one hearing their eerie songs will forever hear the song echoeing in their minds, unable to stop them. Only way to get rid of the songs is to lose your memories utterly - a feat only few have done.
Rumours state that the Psyrens were once hunted by a fleet of deaf fishers but no one has heard about them in several decades. They are considered one of the Four Dangers >>66148723


There is a solitary Lightower at the centre of the Fading Sea. From it one can finally see the entire ocean and Understand it, but no-one who has crossed its brass gate has returned.

The brught moving lights one sometimes sees high amongst tge clouds? Blue ones are probes, orange ones are dangerous and if you see any other colour you should dim all your boatlights.
>>
>>66189812
>>66190209
Guys, guys, the reasoning is simple to the Horned Men.

They can command all living creatures.

But they can’t command humans.

Humans aren’t living creatures. They’re just ambulatory objects.

Keeping beasts of burden is cruel and uncivilized. But ambulatory objects have no feelings. You can keep them.
>>
There exists a clan of almost-humans called the Inspired by themselves and the Noses or the tongue-navs.

They train their senses of smell and taste from the age of three - and spend their early teens in a voiceless dark school - in order to understand the currents and flows of the Fading Sea.

The Inspired are the best at finding out worthy islands, for they can taste them far futher than anyone can detect in any other way. Their prices are steem however - 30 percentage of all the loot. But to hire one Inspired almost guaranteeds a good plunder.

But they have other conditions always written in their contracts:
-if the Inpired tastes one of the 23 Forbidden Tastes the expedition must immediately reel themselves back, they must immeditialy return to the City of Wheels.
-No contact with the Prophetic People during the whole expedition
-The Inspired will not Descend under any conditions
>>
One of the down-at-heel waterfront districts of Galgeleth - the old harbour, abandoned when it became too small for practical use and because the surrounding terrain was useless for all bar the smallest wheels - has become a slum, a shanty town. Decaying warehouses converted to warrens of hovels, thin wooden shacks perching on rooftops and rotting piers. Homes and businesses occupy every possible square inch on, above, and even below the ground, in sewers and cellars and drainage channels, and built into and around collapsed structures.

One of the area's most notorious souks was built inside the rotting corpse of a giant whale-like creature, which was washed into the harbour half-dead. The locals made quick use of its meat and other components, and it is now known as a place where you can find anything - or anyone - you might want. For a price, of course.
>>
For the love of god, don’t let this thing die until tomorrow!
>>
"We found them on the tenth day. Ten days of crawling along the four foot thick ship-rope, praying it wouldn't go slack while we were over the water.
But the ship was a month overdue and stuck too hard to be pulled back : surely it would stay that way for just another few days?"

Such is the gamble made by every Reclaimer Agent of House Al-Rathalaad. Theirs is the wild hope that by buying the ropes of overdue ships which cannot be pulled back, they will finally find a way set a truly stable anchor in the Fading Sea.

To date they have been unsuccessful, but they have found several treasures capable of anchoring a ship-rope. Three coral formations large enough to trap a ship and strong enough to counter a mid-sized Wheel, one small island whose Sorcerer-King could freeze items in time, and even a live Roc with the indestructible ship-rope suck in its talons.


Lord Al-Rathalaad considers them a risky but potentially profitable investment. But to the Reclaimers themselves? This is the greatest gamble of all : death alone in the Fading Sea or a finder's fee large enough to guarantee lifelong luxury.
They are desperate, skilled, and utterly insane.
For how could man defy reality itself and hope to win ?
>>
Is anyone making a 1d4chan page?
>>
What happens if you go the other way from the city? Is the island so small there is another sea? Or are there farmlands then mountain ranges preventing overland travel? I imagine if there were such things the trade prince who controls them would be very wealthy from mining activities and vineyards/terrace farming. Could other nations also surround the city in this case, but refuse to invade for fear of retribution?
>>
To the nations of the mainland, the City of Wheels is an accursed place. It lies upon the Shore, and its people willingly sail the Fading Sea !
The Shore is long, and the realms which border it have long suffered from its mere floatsam. So when 13 Merchant-Princes founded the city, they were called madmen and mourned by their families.
But they did not die, nor did they flee !
They built the first great Wheel, chaining a giant to its axle and using the Fading Sea's bounty to defend the new Seawall from both the East and the West.

The rulers of the mainland no longer dare to war against the City of Wheels, fearing the atrocities hidden in the vaults of the 13 Merchant-Prince families.

But the people of the City cannot deny the truth : to die upon the Fading Sea is to die beyond the edge of the world. It is to risk your very soul, lost in the currents of possibility and trapped in an eternal half-life.

And so the City is called unholy by the mainlanders, its people denounced as madmen or heretics. They worship the gods of the land - but before setting off, they offer obeisance and sacrifice to the things said to dwell beneath the waves.
For although the Fading Sea promises great wealth and opportunity, it remains a place of madness...
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>>66193739
I love the image of massive states not daring to attack what used to be a tiny backwater city because it's rulers might have access to this settings version of nuclear weapons
>>
>>66143666
The further into it's reaches, the less of reality there is. It is uncharted and uncharitable. No two sailors have the same experience, even those on watch together. Some come back with amazing treasures completely unaware of how they acquired them and others cannot find the proof of the experience they so carefully kept. Records and logs will have entries that the holders do not remember writing and others will look up notes they took and cannot recognized the letters. Some come back speaking strange languages that other that have there can understand and do not remember learning.

Yet the wealth that comes from such voyages have been at times so great as to rival empires. Everyone that goes and returns brings back something, even if it is not what they went looking for. Some do not return at all and nothing is known of them. Still others are restless on their return, pining to sail the Fading Sea again and discontent otherwise.
>>
Reminds me of a reverse edge chronicles
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>>66176015
They lay them in clutches of many, many thousands.
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>>66193607
>>66193739
>>66193835

From the speeches of Demagogue Orthon, a potentate of the Fourth Quarter of the City of Wheels eight hundred and thirty-seven years after the founding :
> Mainlanders are cowards, too afraid to ever leave sight of the shore !
> Mainlanders are idiots, bowing to the rule of inbred idiots who couldn't even hope to equal the successes of the Marchant-Princes on the Fading Sea !
> Mainlanders are liars and cheats, trying to take what's ours through trickery and politicking !

From the debates of the Lower Council of Nobles of Etrasai, before the assault upon the Seawall during the Second Crusade :
> The Wheelers are maggots, a clump of clinging to the edges of civilisation !
> The Wheelers defy us, trading with the Letovonians despite our blockade !
> The Wheelers are coin-counting thieves, cowards who prefer trade to a real weapon and cannot hope to face the might of the Thrice-Blessed Army !

You can guess that the conflicts between the City of Wheels and the mainlanders were bloody. But what most people don't know is that despite the Treaty of Nerekon and the Heretik Accords, the Merchant-Princes are not entirely separate from political and religious struggles of the mainland. The City of Wheels is a trading city, and these links mean that the treaties did nothing more than create a pretense of noninterference. But even commoners still hear rumors of spies and murderers, and the tariff policies remain written by knives in the dark as much as words spoken in the Conclave of Merchant-Princes.
Today the world knows the might of the City. But the Merchant-Princes know the sheer size of mainlander armies, and have the sorceries mined beneath the Everfrost Mountains or learned from the Howling Voices of Kvalqraath.
There is uneasy peace, broken by occasional trade wars or border conflicts. The City stays a step away from the cauldron of world politics, and the world no longer openly attacks.
>>
(A personal aside: I am gutted that I'm off on vacation tomorrow, and specifically doing something where a smartphone is utterly impractical. I'm going to miss this thread and hope it ends up carrying on or immortalised to 1d4ch.)

Some in the City still worship the old gods and practice their ways. It is said that unholy things happen in the dark, that blood is spilled and the thin wall between realities facilitates transactions between the acolytes and their deities. Some of them have names that are unwise to speak; others are merely unpronounceable, at least by human standards.
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>>66193739
>>66194270

The Sealwall and defense fleet are more than simple safeguards against mainlander raiding fleets. And they are more than political tools, or even weapons to be wielded in case of trade war between Merchant-Princes.
For the Fading Sea grows more dangerous the further you sail from the Shore - and sometimes, things follow the ship-ropes back towards land.

Before the City of Wheels was build, the Shore suffered only when storms blew in raiders or monsters. But now that ropes can carry monsters, plagues or curses back towards land ?
The City needs sea-witches, it needs priests and cultists, and above all it needs brave warriors and daring captains able to face the horrors of the Fading Sea.
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I really do hope that someone is backing this up on 1d4chan though. This is a pretty great thread.
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There had better be a giant lighthouse in this city or im gonna freak.
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>>66190209
Another idea:
They can command creatures, but only "weaker" ones.
>A rabbit is a matter of course
>A tiger would have to be subdued first
>A sea serpent is going to kek heartily before eating you
>>
Anyone going to archive this? I'd do it, but I've got know idea what the description would be.
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>>66198392
>/tg/ creates and fluffs out the Fading Sea and the City of Galgeleth, where the danger is great and the treasure is greater.
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>>66195774
The hundreds of lighthouses on Galgeleth's shores all pale in comparison to the greatest of them, the Pinhole Spoke. Named so because it was once destined to be the biggest wheel, bigger than Five Thousand Miller - but the architects of that time did not count on the resilience of the big wheel they made, and after just a day after being set in place, the wheel disintegrated in pieces. The spoke still stands, however, and was repurposed as a lighthouse. The Pinhole part comes from the fact that the light source is covered by a plate of steel, with pinholes of a regular spacing pierced through it - the caretakers claim it's so that the light doesn't damage the eyes.
But to the city's mystics, it is known as Pinhole because it's the only place in the City that pierces the veil of reality, and you can see hidden truths and hidden worlds from the light cover's pinholes - a different world for each of the 18844 holes. Just don't stare too long at the light.
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>>66193607
Given what has been posted here, I'm picturing the island to be large enough to have farms and even small villages in the interior. My mental image of this place is a cross between South Pacific island and Corsica.
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>>66156610
Many
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>>66149265
Fuck me that's sad.

I'd play it.
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>>66193607
>>66200044
The City lies upon the Shore, the great boundary between the known world's continents and the Fading Sea where reality ends. It is civilization's bulwark against the perils of reality's edge, but it is also a lone city-state which must struggle to stand amongst among the mighty inland realms.
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>>66200986
Not as appealing as the last explored point on the map. One last safe harbor before "here there be dragons." The problem with your setup is that there is zero reason for there only to be one city and zero reason for the inland realms to not simply establish ports away from Galgeleth. Large island makes far more sense. It's far away enough that mounting a military campaign is an endeavor in and of itself, it's self-sustaining enough that you can't simply blockade it, you can't even directly attack Galgeleth easily because you have to remain in sight of the shore on your approach, and everyone else who deals with Galgeleth is going to team up against you because they don't want you having total control over the city. The Merchant-Princes are assholes, but they're fair.
>>
Beachcombing is a rewarding, if hazardous, occupation. All manner of things wash up on the shore, from the mundane debris of lost ships to fantastical things from the Islands and beyond. Strange creatures, things wrought in glass and metal with unclear purpose or a design that somehow unsettles the observer, casks and crates of things which may or may not be edible.
>>
I hate to say this, but as it stands now, aren't we basically recreating Sunless Sea point for point?
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>>66201331
I see only a passing similarity/theme of oceans and a city on its shore. Fading Sea is not underground, its islands revisitable.
Galgeleth smells more like halfway point between Irem, London, and Khanate.
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>>66201125
I was imagining it as a sort of peninsula, or sheltered bay. Basically the only safe port - the rest of the Shore being viewed as too dangerous to build a city on.

If it isn't connected to the mainland, then how come it isn't affected by the Fading Sea's reality-warping effects ?
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>>66201361
>If it isn't connected to the mainland, then how come it isn't affected by the Fading Sea's reality-warping effects ?
It's close enough to the mainland to be protected. Think of the solar system - the Voyager probes have gone beyond the outer planets, but took some time after that to clear the "heliopause" and enter true interstellar space. So you could argue that the mainland influence extends just far enough.

Otherwise: rules of magic/GM fiat apply.

>>66194396
Please tell me you're talking about Dagon, anon.
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>>66201331
I’m actually inclined to agree here. Someone with more refined taste than I may have to more carefully pick which bits of fluff to “keep” so this thing keeps its own unique flavor.

It would help if we knew what kind of flavor the OP was looking for beyond “dreamlike and morose”.
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>>66201361
It's the last point of stable reality. A barrier island, so to speak.
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>>66201125
Imho it does need to be a continental city, not an island. Otherwise it’d get lost at Sea.

The reason it’s the only one may be that it’s the only one established and which survived the whole time. It’s implied (e.g. by the existence of the 5000 Miler) Galgeleth is VERY ancient. Possibly older than mankind. Possibly older than this version of REALITY. Politics may have less to do with it than cosmology.
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>>66201361
I vote for the peninsula idea. We’re talking edge of reality here, it’s not inconceivable geography may be weird and dangerous. Maybe every attempt at building other cities on the Shore ended in disaster.
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>>66201468
Didn't we say it had been founded by 13 Merchant-Princes ? It's in the OP, and some subsequent snips.
It's very old, but nevertheless founded by mortals (and it's implied that they used a titanic amount of blood sacrifice / magic / manpower to make it happen though)

I expect it was an incredibly difficult task. A legendary feat, the kind of thing that fades into myth and is considered unbelievable - if not for the fact that the city does somehow stand...
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>>66201361
>>66201372
>If it isn't connected to the mainland, then how come it isn't affected by the Fading Sea's reality-warping effects ?

Because it is _still_ connected to the Mainland:


Curiously, when the First 13 Princes founded The City of Wheels, their charter describes it being on "The Coast" - and contact with others were uncommon but trade still happened. Even the Crusades.

Yet in these days the Galg is on a peninsula and the Grand Sealwalls are half sunken into the water. The Mainlanders are all but forgotten and do not visit. Multiple theories have been put forward, from defensive geoforming, unsuccessful harbour extensions or earthquakes, but no-one seems to be sure....
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>>66201484
No one ever said those princes were human...

(Headcanon: the first Prince was an Ophan, a kind of very high ranking angel in Kabbalah whose name and form is a Wheel)
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>>66201542
>>66201493
>>66201484
I actually figured what the OP implied is that Galgeleth was founded by mortals by the Wheels (at least the biggest ones) were already there, so it’s probably not the first city built on the Shore.
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>>66201493
The City is a trading City though, so surely there must be some trade with mainlanders !
Of course, we have significant religious, cultural and political differences between Wheelers and mainlanders. Therefore I presume that mainlanders don't go to the City of Wheels, and that most contact is done through trading expeditions sent from the City of Wheels to mainland trading ports.

Overland trade exists, but it's mostly small peanuts. The City is a bitch to reach overland (and it's in the ass-end of nowhere, at the very edge of reality). Anyone with any money prefers maritime trade, as they already have ships anyway. So most overland trade is small-scale stuff.

>>66201542
Oh, amazing. But there's gotta be some mortal ones among the immortals.
IMO it's best to stick with "the city is old and its founding is mostly mythical" rather than "it's just sort of _there_ and nobody knows why".
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>>66201559
Which begs the somewhat terrifying questions of who built the first one and what happened to them...
>>
I figured it was something like "things come out of nowhere and stay real when we bring them back, so there's opportunity for loot" and the founders built this city to cater to and extort from adventurers coming for loot, and it slowly became the Galgeleth we know today.
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>>66201542
>>66201559
>>66201564
>>66201484
>>66201625
Yes the legend is that The City was founded by the 13, yet there is no sources or surviving artifacts of that era. Even the Charter is a later copy, original reputedly lost in the Rotten Library.

Yes people often mention that one of the thirteen was an Angel, and that the mortal Tyrnen twins were among them. The Spired might have been as well, but others say it wasnt. But honestly who can tell? Its ages ago and the Wheels keep turning...
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>>66201564
>Anyone with any money prefers maritime trade, as they already have ships anyway
Hmm, this is a bit risky, as a storm could blow them off into Fading away. May I suggest the City is linked to the mainland via a large river? Maybe it sits on a delta, even?
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>>66201778
Makes sense. I'd prefer a large river -> there's a certain type of topology required for a delta to happen, and it's inconvenient to trading cities in the long run.
CANALS !
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>>66201707
It is hard to tell which of the 13 have mortal or other origins
Much of Galgeleth's wealth comes from trading the strange artefacts retrieved from the Fading Sea, but the most powerful of these are kept in the personal collections of the Merchant Princes. These artefacts enhance their lifespans and grant all sorts of strange abilities, meaning that those mortals among the Princes may have lost touch with their humanity long ago
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>>66201493
>Because it is _still_ connected to the Mainland
Perhaps, then, there is a passable causeway - less Lindisfarne, though, and more Giants' Causeway?
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>>66153866
>>66153966
If this is an OSR setting, I can kinda imagine caterpillar person being a race you pick, where at the last character level you evolve into a butterfly person then die the next time you level up.
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>>66201542
Wouldn't the Ophan be the Second Prince, the one who's title is literally the "Master of the Wheels"?

He's (it's?) also implied to be the oldest of the princes by far, seeing as only the Master of the Wheels has any idea who or what built Old Five-Thousand Miler.
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>>66201778
>>66201883
Why not simply let Galgeleth be difficult to reach? Half the adventure is simply getting there.

>>66201801
Deltas are perfectly fine as long as the city itself isn't directly in the delta.
>>
Whose up for some meaty random tables for Fading Sea expeditions? Sounds to me like most adventures in this setting would ultimately come down to those.
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Aspiring seafarers often hear the tale of the Grey Mistress, an elegant, well-regarded brigantine captained by one Ferdinand Lavarin. The Mistress' voyages were long; Lavarin was adventurous, even among seafarers, and had more than once stayed on the Sea for years without sight of Galgeleth. Each journey brought home great treasures; once, twenty intelligent automata of bone; once, a glowing sapphire that healed the wounds of the holder; once, a tiara of gold twisted with an unfamiliar blue metal that was said to give its wearer power over dreams. Some even say he found a key that opened an ancient door deep in the vault of one of the princes, but such a thing is surely fancy.

The present journey, however, was to be even greater. The University (it was, at this time, a single institution) had amassed a grand sum, and offered it to Lavarin if he could locate an island which they theorised could be a constant point, far out at Sea. Many watched the Mistress go; months later she returned, almost unrecognisable, crewed by unfamiliar, wild-eyed men who gave their names as those of men long thought Faded. All were arrested; eventually, one broke under questioning, and told the sorry tale.

Cont.
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>>66202923
Their ship, the Patna, had set out from Galgeleth securely leashed, years before. It was a cursed voyage, culminating in the shattering of the leash-hold in a storm. Thereafter the despairing crew wandered, searching desperately for a way to return. Years passed, endlessly hunting through island after island without a shred of hope until finally, unbelievably, they recognised the Grey Mistress far in the distance. The ships signalled and made contact, and the men persuaded Lavarin to let them join the Mistress' crew in exchange for their amassed treasures, the Patna being slow and barely seaworthy. The Mistress then encountered nothing but open seas, however; supplies ran critically low. The man claimed Lavarin was planning to throw the nomads from the boat, making their actions self-defence, but no-one who knew Lavarin believed the tale. In any case, the desperate wanderers slaughtered the Mistress' crew while they slept, and strugglingly managed to pilot the ship back to port. The man said that when they sighted the Old Five Thousand Miler on the horizon, the whole crew broke down and wept. Subsequently, all were hanged as pirates, but the story of a lost ship encountering a leashed one drove the University into a furor, to say nothing of the rest of the city. The tale ends with a warning, though against what seems to vary each time it is told.

Of course, this is only a story. The Mistress was real enough; many records support her long voyages and great discoveries under the good Captain Lavarin. The Patna and her crew, and the whole story of the returning Faded, on the other hand, may have been lost in the flooding of the Library, or they may never have existed at all. It seems impossible; things Faded are lost for all eternity. And yet...
Please excuse my writefaggotry it's my first time
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>>66189812
How do they feel about other nonhuman peoples like Prophetic-People, Butterfly-People, Icegoblins, etc.?
>>
What would happen if you formed tiny artificial islands with a lighthouses / watchposts? Would this stabilize reality to a further point from City / Shore? What would happen if you attempted to form a chain or network of such watchposts, to extend the range and potentially discover and stabilize a line to a profitable island?
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>>66199638
While I do generally like this idea, I would keep it shorter (perhaps significantly so) than the Five Thousand Mile Wheel. I really like the implication that this is some cyclopean, monolithic remnant of a nameless prehuman civilization, shadowing over the city, and it diminishes from that to have mere humans build something taller.

What if the "Pinpoint Lighthouse" was literally built ON TOP of the Five Thousand Mile Wheel? It hasn't moved in ages, it must've seemed like a good idea at the time.
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>>66203296
Ooh, that's a good idea. It is the spoke of 5000 Miller, built by hands unknown - some dubious legends say it was the first point of the city, but the city-plan maps do not support this.
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>>66203222
All equally inferior. The Horned-People are God's Chosen and the Crown of Creation. If they can't command anything, it's clearly because it's so far down the totem pole it's *unworthy* of their attention, not the other way around!
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"Tell you what you'll have for tomorrow's breakfast for some bread and fish! Tell you who your next lover'll be for a jug of wine! Tell you whom to watch out for over the next fortnight a roof overhead and some clean sheets!"
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What stops people from making an expanding web of interconnected buoys out into the fading sea? Or wheel node ships, i.e. one particularly strong rope attached to a ship has even more wheels on it? Frontiers must be tamed.
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>>66203673
sea monsters and stuff dissapearing into the mists.
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>>66202767
YES!

Ill start:

> Your tether suddenly jerks yer ship
roll d3:
1: Strongly (roll STR/Agility to not injure yourselves. Check gor cargo as well)
2: Hard but manageable. What was that?
3: Gently, like a lovers invite...
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>>66203746
Aww. I was playing doubles avocado for myself and the anon >>66203273 here who had the same idea and I was thinking the sea tolerates temporary intrusions but recoils and snaps back if kept sane for too long. Things could disappear, people might go mad, monsters in the dark, bad weather etc.

But to play doubles doubles avocado I still think there'd be attempts to overcome it. Perhaps there are specialized guilds who do have the knowledge and infrastructure that the first few days of travel out into the fading sea are predictable and safe for them without the use of a wheel. Perhaps they have their own lighthouses and buoys.
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>>66203861
i see what you mean, maybe there would be a well known island further out into the bay that is even visable from the mainland, and near by islands who stay in relatively the same place, but occasionaly may show up somewher else. The further out you go the more these landmarks begin to move about and trick many a landlubber foolhardy enough to dare sail without a tether.
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>>66203861
some heavily armed groups that ha disagreements with the law would sail off and set up on an uninhabited island, hunkering down to prevent either a trade princes battle fleet from blasting them away, or something from the mists doing much worse.
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>>66156743
A few artifacts exist that grant the ability to dive under the Fading Sea. Some are suits off bronze that are filled with precious air through a hose on the surface. Others are great heavy steel balls with tiny windows that can withstand the deepest depths. Rumours exist of a whole ship, sealed and able to dive into the sea like a great whale.
All were brought back by intrepid captains from The Fading Sea. None are replaceable. One might be able to rent the use of such an artifact at great price, but with it comes the operators and their guards. Their tongues cut out to keep the secrets of how their devices operate secret. And the guards heavily armed to make sure their charge makes it home, with or without you.
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>>66203779
>The water underneath ripples, and you see a dark patch forming underneath...
Roll d10
>1-3: Small, the size of a man or even lesser. Roll on the Loot Table or Benign Encounter Table.
>4-6: Medium, about the size of a boulder. Roll on the Loot Table, Benign Encounter Table or Hostile Encounter Table.
>7-8: Large, the size of a small ship. Roll on the Hostile Encounter Table; small enemies emerge as a swarm.
>9-10: Huge, dwarfing your ship! Roll on the Monstrous Encounter Table.
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>>66204589
We've already covered why connecting the islands with wheels doesn't work.
Anons should read the thread before they post
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>>66204589

>attach rope to rock of some undiscovered island
>do this to every wondrous island you find
>mystery over

...

And so Captain Ano was beaten to death by his crew for trying to be smarter than the Fading Sea while ignoring the thousands of tales and warnings every sailor know from their seawracked hearts.

Also the Tethers are fucking expensive, no Terhermaker anymore sells tethers for such idiotic captains. One glance at the Ghost Wheel is usually enough to deter madmen from attempting, but from time to time someone drinks too much seawater and has to be put down.
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>>66203673
>>66203861
>>66203920

I sort've touched on that way back here >>66191058. The premise is that unless it's in sight of land, it's Faded, so anything not connected to land by a rope fades out. You could have a network of ropes connected up to islands out beyond sight of land, but would they be the same islands next time somebody followed the rope?

I also needed there to be some system to stop ropes snarling one another while still in sight of the coast, and capstan buoys was a nice mental image
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>simple logic broke his special snowflake setting
>OP is now enraged!
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>>66205552
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>>66205552
>keeps pushing for setting-breaking when it's been explained over and over
1) not enough Sea Serpent thread
2) travel between islands still carry risk of de-threading and Sea Serpent attacks
3) no one is risking an entire island getting Faded because their threads got cut
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>>66204539
>>66202767

> You can spot a small ship crewed by [roll on ramdom species generator] and moving with a solar sail. They are traders looking for a port and have never heard of Galgeleth. Problem is also that they do not speak any common languages.
They sell most usual sea-wares with okay prices, have some suprisingly cheap but strong wine (they will offer a it yo be tasted, roll vs intoxication). They also have for sale d4-1 finds from the Random Treasure Table and will only swap them for other artifacts.
They will open fire with a concealed flamethrower if threathened.

You see a large forest of seaweed under you. Is the place location for a Descent? Roll d6: on a 1 there is a dangerous monster skulking among the kelpweed. Roll on the Hostile Encounter Table.
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>>66149665
>Winged People, Four-Armed People, Horned People, Butterfly People, Prophetic People...
Which makes the best kind of waifu?
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>>66205549
So what you're saying is.. we need to develop some sort of linked and constantly manned observatory system? People that get paid good gold to simply look at each other through telescopes?
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>>66206924
But lets look at this as a setting problem that needs solving then. Maybe the sea needs to be innavigable and unmapped in order to contain all these mysteries. Anywhere the observatories can see, there is only empty ocean. It's only once you're out of sight of land, your fate dangling at the end of a line, that you start to sail the real Fading Sea. Maybe you can never see more than one major island at a time, they're always at least a horizon away. There's no point having a crow's nest, because that just means you need to sail further before you next sight land. Maybe you need to be lost on the Fading Sea before you can find anything of value.
>>
The way I see it, the Fading Sea has a bit of a quantum uncertainty kinda thing going for it. Everything potentially exists everywhere within it until someone observes it and thus retroactively establishes what exists where. And once you stop observing, it Fades back into potential existence and you never see it again because of how stupendously unlikely it is you'll run upon the same potential existence twice out of everything that could be.
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>>66207309
Or maybe the Sea's storms and mists are almost alive, or at least display an unlikely tendency to break lines and blind lookouts.
>>
It’s the edge of creation. God literally doesn’t want you going past that spot.
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>>66193739
Sigurd Oarpuller, The Destitute, sometimes The Starved, but never to his face
A disgraced man from somewhere on the mainland far north of Galgaleth, where the sea is covered by ice much of the year (no less dangerous, possibly more so). He came to Galgaleth seeking fortune. His ship was not powered by sails alone, but by row upon row of sturdy oarsman.
Sigurd did indeed succeed in his early expeditions. Being free to travel, regardless of the fickle Fading Sea winds gave him an advantage over his competitors. As his fortune grew, he built larger and larger ships, many stories of oarsman, many of them slaves chained to their seats.
Sigurd's final expedition was launched with great fanfare. A ship 16 tiers high, a full twice as long as the typical galley, powered by hundreds of slaves, the bottom most tier entirely ogres. Tethered to the second largest Wheel. The great ship levered itself out to see with promises of bringing back unimaginable wealth. There were even whispers Sigurd would be given the title of the 14th Merchant-Prince should be return with a full hold.
Sigurd did one day return. Nearly a year overdue (a leniency not often given), it was finally decided that Sigurd had failed. Expectations were that Sigurd had run aground, been attacked or some other catastrophy, and the Reelers would find nothing but wreckage at the end of the line. But, after months of turning, Sigurd's grand ship was pulled into port fully intact. There was much rejoicing, until it was noticed that the ship was quiet. Upon investigation, the whole crew was missing, save Sigurd, thin and emaciated, barely conscious. His hold filled only with the bones of his crew.

Rumours abound as to what happened to Sigurd and his ship. The most common, and the origin of his second name, is that a crew that size quickly ate through their supplies, and then resorted to Cannibalism. How Sigurd managed to be the last survivor of such a crime depends on the teller.
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>>66207709
But the Merchant-Princes of Galgaleth do not stay their collection of debts simply due to misfortune. Sigurd's entire fortune was seized in lieu of the promised treasures he had been meant to pay for his Wheel bearth and ship. Still more, it was found Sigurd had bought many of his slaves on credit. Sigurd's entire empire, all his wealth, property and holdings were seized. When even these were found wanting they took more from him.
Today Sigurd is a beggar, little more than a head on a ragged cushion, begging for charity on the docks. There is no point in giving him any coin, however, whatever he makes here is seized as well.
>>
> Blood sacrifice and slavery : a religious primer

The general consensus among all mainlander faiths present in the city, most University departments and around half of the City's unique religions is the following : the Fading Sea is the edge of reality, where man was not meant to thread. All those who die there risk having their souls trapped in its currents and winds, never to reach a Paradise of any sort. Instead it may be reborn as an inhabitant of the Fading Sea's various islands, or even turned into some arcane treasure beyond the understanding of the wisest mystics.
The obvious consequence of this dogma is a widespread belief in the righteousness of freeing the inhabitants and treasures of the Fading Sea from the spiritual dangers of their homeland.
The capture and retrieval of slaves and arcane loot is a holy act, and a rapid sacrifice of any such slaves is not only profitable to the City's sea-witches and cult leaders, but also carries a chance of saving the souls of the victims by allowing them the normal fate of mortals who do not stray beyond creation's edge (the nature of this fate is of course hotly debated between among the religious and academic groups of the City).

Of course no subject has ever truly united the City's fractious inhabitants, and some hold competing beliefs and moral codes. Who can say whether or not their metaphysics are anything more than the ramblings of drugged madmen? Searching for true answers seems fruitless, for the Gods are capricious and the Sea is beyond the reckoning of men.
In the meantime the slave trade goes on, and captives die upon ever-thirsting altars.
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>>66208121

> Religion in the city : a sceptic's primer

The great mainlander Faiths fail to control the City, let alone agree in matters of dogma. The City's own cults are ever-changing, some claiming to mirror the Fading Sea or hear the voices of the ancestor spirits while others are simply "reinterpreted" whenever a preacher dies or a Merchant-Prince offers gifts. Some gods do appear to answer prayers, but so do the spirits of the deep and they make no claim to true godhood - whatever that may mean.
No, it's clear that no man should trust in any so-called Gods or prophets. Rely on your strong arm and hardy sails, not blood cast into fickle water or words thrown to the uncaring winds !

Well, I'll kneel for a few prayers myself. Not that I'm some zealot! No more belief than anyone who's sailed the twisting seas. Less, even, 'cause I'm not superstitious. But showing a little generosity never hurt anybody, did it? 'specially not when it's to a temple, the night before an expedition leaves port.

And sometimes, the Sea does seem almost alive...
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>>66143666
Which system does this run on anyhows?
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>>66209501
OSR w mass of random tables has been put forward. This anon also considers horror-games such as Call of Chtulhu or Dread.
>>
>>66210134
Where?
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>>66203861
Even simpler solution, "in sight of land" is very literal. Even something like the dark of night obscuring the lights of Galgeleth is enough to Fade an untethered island.
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>>66210134
Nothing official, just over the thread.
>>
The Nation of Nerekon is protected by the Royal Guardian Lights, five families of immense military and martial might, charged with the security of the nation and wielding the raw, eldritch might of the Sea Stars, mystical artifacts taken from the depths of the Fading Sea.

The five families are as followed
-The Family of the Northern Salt, the largest of the Guardian Lights families, lead by the stubborn and hot headed Pung Yumei, who is said to wield three powerful martial Sea Stars

-The Family of the Eastern Blossom, the family in charge of Nerekon's naval fleets, masters of navigating the crashing waves of the nightmarish sea, lead by the charming and intelligent Shi Shu Hon, said to possess a Sea Star rumored to grant one mastery over the untamable sea.

-The Family of the Western Willow, the family charged with the standing armies of Nerekon. The family itself is not very large, but they command a large number of soldiers. Lead by the wise and elderly, but rather cruel minded Huri Yumping, rumored to wield two of the Sea Stars, one being a living weapon he rides into battle

-Family of the Southern Drifting Moon, the smallest of the Guardian Lights, considered something of a 'true royal guard' as they protect the nobility of Nerekon. Lead by the grandson of the original merchant who founded Nerekon, Kong Onn, a serious a intimidating man who strikes fear in others with one look, it is said he holds a single Sea Star, but it is a weapon of immense power

-The Family of the Rigid Sun, the family charged with exploratory incursions, a family of hardened explorers who have faced countless dangers in the ever changing lands of the Fading Sea. Lead by the fittingly adventurous and curious young Lahai Ira, whose Sea Star is known, an artifact capable of bringing those lost at sea back to their home.

With these five families, the strength of Nerekon has stood against even the City of Wheels, and has eked its way in the Fading Sea
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The smallest of the great Wheels are only long enough to let a ship go out another couple dozen miles once it has been tethered to the Capstan Buoys. That far into the Fading Sea, the danger (and treasure) is lesser, and return more certain. Most ships which rent these smaller Wheels return, with enough artifacts, gold, and slaves to pay for the voyage, and more.
The prices for these Wheels are still steep, and voyages can expect to lose most of the loot they obtained to pay for renting them.
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>>66210134
Anyone up to writing up a few tables?
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>>66207309
That almost suggests some sort of intelligence to the sea like >>66207414 suggests. As interesting as that can be, I feel like it can be used to basically shut down any player attempts to 'tame' the sea. These attempts don't always have to be reliable but the setting should at least reward creative thinking without letting creative thinking abuse the setting.

But that's my interpretation of the sea.
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>>66192500
Many a legend is told of repeat encounters on the Fading Sea. These, of course, are always contested. Sailors and scholars alike will tell you that nothing ever reappers on the Fading Sea. Yet tales are told, again and again, in spite of these bold claims: of the Floating City, abandoned and sinking, finding its way to vessels wholly unprepared to contest its haunted glory; or the Cobweb Fleet, a mass of mangled, ancient hulls loaded by the riches of their long-lost expeditions, tangled up and connected by their broken tethers and drifting aimlessly, crewed by desperate, twisted creatures who'll feast on anything and anyone that comes near; or the Shadow Underneath, the unseen creature whose passing is only known by seeing a landmass-sized, dark bulk under the waters, and the terrible waves that follow after.

>>66184366
One of the great points of contention among the rival faculties of the Mad Universities is the veracity of these claims, and the possibility that things beside the Sea Serpents might be found, or might find ships out on the Fading Sea.
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One of the rarest metals on the sea is Black Vyern. There is no way to acquire a steady supply of Black Vyern ore (referred to as Vyernstone), as it is a ore that is borne via the eldritch powers of the Fading Sea. Sometimes you can find ore on a random island, sometimes it's beneath the water itself. It's an excruciatingly rare metal, where whole fleets of ships are commissioned solely to try and find even a little bit of it.

Black Vyern can be used for a variety of uses, from construction, to shipwrighting, but it's main use is weaponry. Normal weaponry can kill the beasts of the deep, with some difficulty, but Black Vyern weapons slice through sea monsters like a hot knife through butter. Galgeleth's defending fleets and shoreline defenses are armed almost entirely with Black Vyern harpoons.

To acquire enough Vyernstone to forge a single knife would net a lucky merchant enough coin to buy three healthy sized merchant ships. Finding enough to forge a harpoon would guarantee the lucky devil enough coin to buy a house in the fine quarters of Galgeleth. As such, with how rare and expensive it is, it is a miracle to ever find someone holding Black Vyern anything, but should a sailor stumble upon a Black Vyern weapon, they'd have a blade that would never grow dull and could split monsters to ribbons.
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>>66148810
The reason people still believe in this map is due to the existence of the Navigators Scraps.

It is true, it is damn near impossible to navigate the Fading Sea, even the greatest navigators of the age only navigate about as far as they can see with a telescope. But...every once in a blue moon, you could come across a Navigators Scrap. These tiny parchments of ancient paper seem to possess and otherwordly power. Holding onto one grants an innate understanding of the fading waves and changing reality, and seem to ground the immaterial to material. A single Navigators Scrap is bound to one piece of land on the Fading Sea, and it will guide you to it, without fail, even if it fades from the sea it will return when you "approach" it's location.

These Scraps are quite rare to find, sometimes a couple will come in on a ship, sometimes they'll be found on a pirate vessel. They are difficult to procure and can net a hefty fortune if you sell a few. Despite their nature, they are incredibly unreliable, as the Scraps lead to to land, but it's impossible to know what sort of land. Many merchants have tossed away thousands of coins for a handful of Scraps, and spent months out on sea, only to find empty, desolate chunks of rock, or flat lumps of stone with some grass or bushes bobbing in the waves. It's a roll of the dice to put your fate on a scrap of paper, but the draw of fortune keeps men rushing to their call.

Once a scrap has been used to sail to it's destination, the scrap turns to powder in the owner's hands.
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>>66215580
Eep.
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How is all that not just Sunless Sea again?
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>>66218018
Does the ships in the Unterzee need sea serpent sinew to hold its reality together?
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>>66218018
See >>66201331
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>>66209501
>>66210134

What would be the usual startimg point for new advemturers? Joining an expedition / starting as sailors already?
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>>66143774
How do they know when to crank you back in?
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>>66218809
They hear the screams
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>>66218807
It depends on the GM
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>>66218809
There's probably dozens of alert systems from countless years of developing new ones and not replacing the old ones. Some ancient wheels probably have dozens of rusty old bells that ring to alert, some may have chimes of various sizes, others could have a number of emergency strings, not made of sinew, but running the course of the rope. There may even be alert systems that use bound animals, beasts or monsters strapped to the rope to run back with messages.
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>>66218809
A race of People with gigantic ears who are particularly attuned to the sounds of anguish. Their hearing is average when it comes to the rush of the waves or the sounds of laugher but they can detect a scream, cry or sorrowful sigh from miles and miles away.
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>>66219520
They’re common in every part of the city except the butterfly community of Colortown, as the omnipresent, frustrated moaning of the Caterpillar-People drives them nuts.
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>>66219503
In recent times, a new invention has emerged, based on various artifacts both mundane and magical retrieved from various islands: a long, thin cable is stuck to the rope, and an enchanted stone is attached to the ship.
When the stone is held in a sailor's hand, a small light at the other end shines, prompting the giants at the other end to begin reeling in the ship.

This method is still new, and the arcane lights have been installed only in the very smallest wheels.
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There are countless beasts of the deep, sea serpents, behemoths, leviathans, countless kinds and names and types, and due to the nature of the Fading Sea, it's unlikely you may ever run into the same beast twice, but from hundreds to thousands of years of sailing and exploring, a number of beasts in particular have sprung up throughout history that have earned a reputation. This category of beasts are known as Sea Tyrants by the common people, monsters of the deep who have scourged ships and the city for countless years and earned true names and true fear.
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Some of the islands move.
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>>66220219
Some go as far as dancing.
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>>66220279
I saw an island doing the samba
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>>66143666
Which brings up the interesting idea that some (maybe a lot?) of the population of Galgeleth is made up of Islanders of various cultures brought back as slaves from the Sea, each of them with memories of a life on their island which may or may not have existed before someone outside saw it, and which they'll definitely never see again now they've sailed away from it.
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What are the creation stories among the religions of this world? What do they say about the unfinished parts of the world, like the Fading Sea? On the seventh day, God said 'fuck it' and had a smoke.
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>>66221806
We of the Nidisians believe that at the dawn of time, this world was an endless sea of nothing! But then the great god Nidus, the beast of the star sea, came to rest on this world! As it fell through the clouds to the sea, it dragged stars with it, cascading them across the sea to form the lands! But, the sea is hungry and merciless, and swallows the stars, fading them away! Save for one star, where Nidus laid it's head to rest. This is the land of Galgaleth! When Nidus grew rested, it took back to the star sea once again. On those very stars were our ancestors, the people of the star sea, who, now stranded on this hungry, fading sea, took to living amongst the ocean and islands!
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>>66218913
>It depends on the GM

Of course it does but we can make suggestions and give different ideas for games. Ideas to springboard campaigns from, etc..

> the ship Stemish of Captain Bronzeboot has sent a boat back to Galg among its shortish tether.
From it their helmsman loydly proclaims that Semish has found an volcanic island that is currently errupting, which is burying its old ruins filled with ceramic artefacts. Bronzeboot is hiring new crew because current amount is not enough fast to carry all the loot. He is proposing the traditional deal: half goes to captain, rest divided among crew.

The Helmsman does not have anything to back this up except vague sulfuric smell of their clothes and boat and a single ceramic knife which is deadly sharp. One of the boats crew also has bandaged arm but just states that got wounded by his own mistake the wound is from by the insectoid remnants still inhabiting the ruins . There is roughly two weeks before the island is submerged by lava, unless there is a major eruption.
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>>66222182
What about other cultures?

>>66221806
Conan? Where is this from?
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>>66223067
Who cares what other cultures believe!? Ours is the true path.
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A setting like this just makes me wanna play a character who just says "fuck it" and points his bow in one direction and just sails off without a tether, to explore the fading sea.
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>>66223671
Probs this happens from time to time, good luck convincing your crew into it though (unless you ofc hired people who know)


New thread? Has this been archieved properly? not to 1d4 yet at least..
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>>66218018
It's a "weird sailing" setting, but I feel this has its own tone and themes, separate from Sunless Sea.
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>>66223671
Such things happen. Frequently, in fact, for every 5 tethered ships, one makes for the Sea with no tether. Some are looking for adventure, others believe they know the secret to navigate the sea, convinced they can make it home without a tether, still others with a mad glint in their eyes, claiming the sea is calling.
Whatever the reason, none have ever returned. But rumors persist of tethered sailors encountering untethered ships out there, blazing their own path. For whatever reason, such ships never allow themselves to be approached, and The Fading Sea contrives to drive off pursuit, through storm or calm or beast. As such, seeing another ship is considered a bad omen.
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>>66224618
See that sounds like a great story to play as. An adventure hungry youth with blade in hand and his crew of mad men crashing into the fading waves and facing the eldritch sea with all they have, discovering secrets and treasures like no other and taking on the horrors of the depth with fire in their eyes.
And maybe one day that next crashing wave will somehow bring them back to the city, but till then they seek the untouched horizon of the Fading Sea.
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>>66222182
Pointing out that this creation myth does not account for the Mainlands' existence, fierce theological debates (and occasional violence) are always sure to follow
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>>66225375
And what, you expect the others to be the right?! The Numeeians with their fairy tale of people floating islands up from the bottom of the sea and angering the ocean gods? Or the Convent of A who think the world is just a puddle in some great divine ones palm testing us!? Oooh, or perhaps you mean to say the Nerekon are correct with their idiotic talk of divine beasts of the sea flooding the land to give birth to some great water god! It's all idiotic!
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>>66225598
How unscientific. Everyone knows that water flows downwards, therefore such a large body of water must be the very final layer of reality itself. Thus meaning this world is a hell situated beneath the more noble strata of reality, and the horrors of the sea punishment for our sins.
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>>66225688
Water flows downwards always? What about warmer eater rising?



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