The Cluster Sphere: Spelljammer… in the Mists?

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Fantastical Space would be one of the last things people associate the Demiplane of Dread with, but it exists even there.  The recently discovered “Castle Darkspace” is a testament to that.  While T’laan stews and broods in nihilistic apathy, he knows that it’s possible to break the veil into greater space.  But, this is but a facade meant to give false hope.  And by all means, others who have touched a Spelljammer have fallen to the Dark Powers.  Even the maligned and much ignored “Port Barmy” has its roots in a Spelljammer ship.  Save for the latter domain, all things Spelljammer have found their way into a unique “Cluster” or rather “Mist Sphere”.  The Mist Sphere works much like a Crystal Sphere, complete with Wildspace connecting the worlds.  However, there is no true world, solely the domain and lands trailing off into mists.  However, they can be accessed by spelljamming.

Be warned though, for those who sail their incredible ships in this sphere cannot leave normally.  Trying to seek the Phlogistan has disastrous results.  Consistently, a spelljammer will explode upon impact.  Likewise, entering other domains and clusters beyond this one spells doom.  Doom already comes for all who dare to trifle with the mists.  As of 740, even arcane space (excluding the phlogiston beyond) was not immune.  Tower Darkspace was taken into the mists.  By 743, Rogerport and Gnomonia had joined.  Primordium Station was taken in 748 and The Chariot fell in 757.  By 758, these were no longer islands of terror.  The Mists unveiled that the spelljamming days of yore had returned, but with a dark twist.  A new Sphere of sorts revealed itself, but those within were very much trapped.  And worse, new locales and minor domains continued to appear, such as the Sparkling Halls in 759.  Perhaps the Arcane Space is doomed to fall to the Dark Powers in due time?

Author’s Note: Spelljammer in the Mists! They said it couldn’t be done, but I proved them wrong! Ahahahahah!  I know Ravenspace has been a thing for years, but here is my own take on a cluster in the style of a Crystal Sphere.  Also, there is plenty of opportunity to reference bits of space horror, such as System Shock!  Also, more Eberron crossover!  And even more crazy, Returned Blackmoor makes a cameo as a domain all its own.  Is it canon for my Threshold series?  Hard to say, but it’s certainly a possible ending for it!  Also, Port Barmy remains a joke.  I have no plans to do much else with it, maybe I’ll add it to here one day.

 

 

Mistspace (Rogerport)

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Cultural Level: Chivalric (8) and Renaissance (9) mixture

Darklord: Trades Minister Larken Roass.  Larken was once an academic on board The Intrepid Examiner.  His mission was uncovering the mystery of a destroyed world.  Larken only became interested when it was deemed safe to build on one part, while other chunks were cleared or mined.  Working his way up, he found himself deeply invested in politics.  However, this cosmic city soon found itself with a problem.  Despite being a cosmopolitan hub for all things, much of the land proved quite expensive.  Those who landed with damaged ships or low funds did not find aid or salvation, mostly becoming vagrants.  Roass became deeply sickened by this, using all in his power to cut off resources from them and pushing the legal sector of Rogerport to crack down.  Then he recalled that there was little in religious order within the city.  Recalling discoveries of the original planet, he formed a cult made on virtues of contribution to society.  Those “discarded” from the city were often the homeless and those without work.  To sell this, he would conjure and fabricate fake creatures that would leave the city alone after these “sacrifices” were in order.  After destroying the career of a rival, he happily cast him off as the city was taken away as well.

The Intrepid Examiner and her people studied what was once a world, sent to understand what became of it.  This world was known as Regularis, or “Roger” or some explorers called it.  A breakthrough came thanks to the damaged chunks of interior earth that hurtled around.  It was as if something from the center of the world broke out of it.  After search teams uncovered no evidence that such a creatures remained in the sphere, terraforming efforts began.  However, success only came in the form of one chunk.  A sort of asteroid-like formation, consisting of a piece of the world, it was built up into something of a central hub for travelers and traders to converse, mingle, do business and more; in a sense another Rock of Bral.  It was here that Rogerport was born.

Roass’ curse is one that has brought the doom of Rogerport.  His strange cult has not only made the monsters real, but has made economic downturn worse.  And even more so, the conditions of the city have begun to swing downwards.  Declining trade is one thing, but the presence of the monsters is another.  While they can’t enter city space, their presence warps and wrangles the minds of those who glance at them.  In grim revelation, unfortunate watchers spiral out into fits of madness.  Infirmaries have been overwhelmed with the mentally crushed, all of those who gazed at the existence so horrifying that it broke them.  To make matters worse, the monsters like trade vessels as well as vessels owned by wealthy patrons.  Those simply carrying passengers are less likely to be mortified.  And while the monsters cannot harm the city, they will certainly destroy any spelljammer that gets close enough to their range, especially a desired target.

Within the Demiplane of Dread, Rogerport/Mistspace is the largest part of the Cluster Sphere.  Ironically, the actual hub city is only a small part of the domain.  Ironically for Larken, he can’t escape Rogerport, as if it was the sole part of the domain.  The rest of “Mistspace” is blocked from him.  Surrounding it are various floating mines, factories and resource centers as there were since the city was being built up.  The rest of it swarms and hovers over the small domain worlds and pocket domains.  But, what inhabits most of the domain itself are the very monsters that Larken lied about.  Deeply sinister and wretched things hide and swim in dark corners of the “Crystal Sphere”.  They are vast, uncaring, ever hungry and mind shattering.  The proportions of the beasts make little sense to a logical mind, contorting and forming in ways that suggest truly alien origins.  And for their bestial like forms, they are extremely intelligent and take glee in hunting down any jammer that steers too far off course.

Rogerport has other worlds under its dread jurisdiction as well.  The Gas Giant of Ambrosia is similar to a world near the original Rogerport.  Its primary use was to be farmed for its exotic and rare gases, many of which were used for products to cleanse the air or even for fine perfumes sold to wealthy buyers.  In the case of the former, the gas has a magical ability to clear out smog or other heavily polluted smoke clouds, replacing them with a faint blue mist devoid of any scent or toxins.  Since the jump into Ravenloft’s realms, the mists it creates are far thicker and obscuring.  While used for clearing out industrial waste and the smokestack vapors, it can be disorienting and confusing for travelers.  During cleaning days, several spelljammers have collided or crashed with other ships or the floating chunks surrounding Rogerport.  Ambrosia is also populated by Dread Elementals, particularly Mist Elementals.  Several crews have found their ranks thrown into chaos, as the elementals possess and overpower their peers.  Beyond that, the spirits of those slain in space find themselves attracted and stuck in the gas giant.  They too are capable of possession. 

Another planet is Metallum, a planet utilized by Rogerport long after the local mines hovering around the hub were no longer useful.  As the name implies, it is rich in ore.  However, the creatures of the world are vicious hunters.  They don’t see the visitors so much as greedy prospectors, but rather exotic and unusual hunts to claim for themselves.  Their ability to merge with the red-tinted outer rocks of the ground make them hard to track.  To further frighten foes, those they don’t plan on eating are often impaled on spears and poles, left to rot in hopes of sending a message that this world does not welcome them.  Many of the miners deployed are not prepared for the native hunters, with security only slightly readied.  This has lead to the miner role being filled by prisoners and attempts at establishments being turned into rugged penal colonies. 

The creatures themselves resemble a somewhat humanoid form, but their structure is blocky and almost akin to chiseled stone.  However, the texture of their skin is somewhat akin to a human’s, with a variety of skin tones.  Likewise, the Metal Dwellers are well armed with technology almost on par with the visitors.  Many live in their own towns, as well as massive mobile “war beasts”, massive metallic-looking fauna with buildings and defenses on top of them.  Other fauna prove about as vicious if provoked, even herbivorous creatures.  From has been gathered, outsiders are seen as bad luck and thus must be exterminated.  Any creatures stranded here because of the “Wildspace Monsters” live in constant fear that the Metal Dwellers will soon track and slay them.  To make matters more complicated, any Metal Dweller who dares to aid an outsider is also a target of the hunt.  Surviving outcasts usually align themselves with Rogerport.  Thanks to them, the deployment and security teams from Rogerport known to avoid “Holy Hunting Days”, where raids are especially brutal.  Strangely enough, the Metal Dweller is far from brutish among their own people.  While their ways are distant, alien and borderline incomprehensible; they have a culture and one that seems quite supportive of its people.  Or at least, those who openly support the racism against outsiders.  Through some means of shamanistic magic, the ill and elderly are well treated.  Their art seems to imply that these magical gives allow some to shape the stone and metal in the earth in tribute to some pantheon of gods.   Many of these gods would seem to be dark spirits who strike fear into their subjects in exchange for submission.

Mistspace also has its connection to a world shrouded in mists.  Legends say that the infamous lands of the core reside in this world.  But, access is next to impossible.  Trying to enter the “World of Mists”, one that might supposedly house The Core and beyond, is met with a grim demise.  Most often, the ship burns up as it seems to fall forever.  But, in some rare cases, a ship or two have broken through and found their way to the depths of one of many seas.  Saragoss itself sports the wreckage of a spelljammer within it.  A lucky (or unlucky) traveler might witness the vessel plummet into the waters before sinking.  However, those with access to coveted technologies known as “Mist Gates” have seen themselves brought individually into the lands of The Core, particularly into the domains along The Sea of Sorrows.

 

 

 

Chariot of the Many (Pocket Domain)

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Cultural Level Medieval (7)

Darklord: Morgovo Pelquaist.  A mage from Halruua, he was originally hired to commission a “secret project” like no other.  This project was none other than the Chariot of the Many.  The secrets of the spelljammer were known mostly to the commissioners, but they none the less stayed to ensure that their wonder ship was built right.  The mighty vessel embarked on several voyages before suggestions and questions arose, leading to a proposal.  Through extensive negotiation, powerful mages came up with a false safe in case of disaster, magical cloning chambers.  In case of death from perilous missions, a double would form to ensure that life and work continued on.  Morgovo had his misgivings over the idea, but attempted to support it.  Only when the crew began to turn on the idea did Pelquaist use the clones to his advantage, bringing him into his current domain.

Chariot of the Many is a pocket domain within the cluster.  This converted Spelljammer can still function much like a normal vessel, save for its doomed Darklord unable to leave.  And likewise, its crew is forever cursed to suffer on board as well.  Shaped like a cross between an eagle and a chariot, this beautiful craft has its roots in the Torilian territory of Chessenta.  Several wealthy merchants cut a deal with mages from Halruua and Shou Lung to create an incredible flying machine, a mighty spelljammer!  However, the mages on board became ambitious upon reaching a Sphere that proved especially hostile.  There was no air supply and no natural warmth upon entering, in fact both were being drained as the ship reached the outskirts of its planned voyage.  Their first planet of visitation was rich in arcane infused ores, as well as alteration magic.  The mages came up with a splendid idea, clones.  Through use of automatons on board, tube-like chambers were installed to slowly create clones of the crew.  The majority of the crew was none the wiser, as they were wasting away from a lack of resources and the void sucking out living conditions.  Tensions arose as crewmen perished, only for doubles to emerge looking healthy again. 

The mixture of mages leading the expedition promised that answers and salvation were at hand thanks to a breakthrough.  Much of the crew didn’t buy it, growing more jaded and aggressive, with mutiny in sight.  They feared the idea of being replaced.  After a day of drained living essentials, more than half of the crew had died before the rest revolted.  One of the mage captains, who had finished his Helm shift yesterday, Morgovo Pelquaist, unleashed the clones and demanded that they attack their flawed counterparts.  The clones slaughtered the crew, even the fellow mages… but not before Mists took note.  As mists surrounded the spelljammer, a clone of Morgovo prepared to kill his double.  The mage screamed before all went blank.

Morgovo found himself in a similar vessel.  There is warmth and air once more!  Something went right after all, he thought until he was surrounded by an uncanny crew of everyone who had previously perished.  They looked at him with sinister intent.  Alienated, horrified and isolated; Pelquaist often locked himself either in his captain’s quarters or in his helm to avoid everyone else.  And worse, cloning continued, as his crew proved to be careless and indifferent, only to die gruesomely each time.  Many would place themselves in seemingly reckless or suicidal situations to provoke Pelquaist, in effort to drive him mad.  Some would attack him for seemingly no reason too.  The clones of the other mages were likewise all too happy to produce new ones.  As Morgovo became continuously tormented and lost all desire for more clones, he became gaslit by said crew who informed him that he might be a clone himself.  In a fit of rage, he used his arcane might to slay a number of the duplicates, only to be restrained and suppressed in the end.  And when he came to, he’d realize that more doubles were made to replace them.

The Chariot of the Many is a Spelljammer with three floors.  The main deck holds a captain’s quarters towards the quarterdeck, where Pelquaist spends any time not in a Helm.  Considering he never goes to the galley, he ceased to ask why he doesn’t require food anymore.  When not engaged in paperwork, charting or a plethora of other tasks that would have been divvied up between his crew; he is found guzzling copious amounts of alcohol until vomiting off the tail feathers shaped rudder or trying to control the craft through the helm.  Despite not needing to drink either, Pelquaist’s own alcoholic tendencies override his otherwise supernatural condition.  His crew terrifies and angers him, which he forces to be contained within crew quarters unless needed for specific tasks.  Curiously, for any mundane or regular ship work, the new crew will remain obedient and loyal.  It’s only until his guards drop that they once again act up to horrify Pelquaist the Mage, often when the vessel has commenced sailing once again.  When docked in port, the pocket Darklord confines himself to his cabin, whether out or alienation or paranoia.  When not acting as tormentors, the crew enjoy the vices and pleasures that their original counterparts would have taken in.  Part of this is to find and recruit new workers or passengers to make more copies of.

 

 

Gnomonia

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Cultural Level: Predominantly Stone Age (1), with Renaissance (9) settlements

Darklord: Yogelarr Reger-Orbid.  A Minoi originally hailing from Krynn, his methods are a bit more grim than his colleagues.  His interests were in pushing the bounds of both artifice and the natural body.  His fears lied within pushing the mundane body until breaking, thus he worked on corpses.  These twisted fusions were often hard to look at, sparking fear and horror within those who gaze upon them.  None the less, the hybrid automatons proved useful assets for dangerous tasks and security.  But, upon betraying his crew to harvest their bodies later, the Mists were quick to give him a new home… one far away from his own.

Gnomes, especially space-bound Minoi, are typically a cheery sort.  This group of travelers from Krynnspace met their ultimate fate after an expedition went awry.  This is the fate of the HMS Squeaky Cog.  Their goal was simple, seek out exotic inspiration and materials for projects unlike anything witnessed in Krynnspace alone.  In the process, they even left for other Crystal Spheres, amassing all means of strange goods and notes through trade and bartering.  However, Yogelarr Reger-Orbid thought it wasn’t enough.  Among his fellow tinker gnomes, he felt stifled and criticized these new works as little more than cheap appropriation for coin and devoid of artistic value.  Yogelarr wasn’t content with sampling from others, he wanted to make something unique.  At the stop of His Majesty’s Respite, a colony within a world called “Vantage” in Wonderspace, Yogelarr branched off from his team to do the unthinkable of buying corpses off a black market.  In secret, he used his magic to preserve the bodies and experiment on them by blending aspects of machinery with organic components.  Unlike the other Tinker Gnome works, his cybernetic zombie-like horror was neither bulky or prone to error.  He paraded it on the vessel with great pride.  Many of his team wretched in horror, some even purging their stomachs in disgust.  Yogelarr was offended, but not before justifying himself by proclaiming that the melding of organic and inorganic is the least dangerous grand experiment tried by his team. 

After a day of being tossed in the brig, along with his abomination, the project heads of Squeaky Cog were willing to pry his mind to see what depravities spawned this.  Instead, they were met with a calm man who expressed his disappointment in the crew and maintained a deep desire to revolutionize the Squeaky Cog into a viable force in Wildspace.  And furthering that, he did not kill anything, but worked with “medical teams” to “legally procure the body for research”.  That last part was ultimately a lie, but one he believed to some degree.  After much deliberation, the other gnomes released him and granted him clearance to keep practicing.  While the majority of the experiments were on medical cadavers, a number were misplaced bodies from accidents and tragedies.  Many came to cooperate with these monstrosities, forgotten bodies given new purpose alongside rock, metal and wood.  But, many remained disgusted.  Yogelarr became fed up with the reluctance, the whining and the resistance to cooperate with his work.  Because of this, he snuck into the first-mate’s cabin while all others were asleep and vandalized the charted course.  During a recent trade stop, he overheard that a deadly anomaly storm was due to that part of wildspace. 

Things carried out as normal, procure new goods and sell finished creations.  However, an element got rushed.  Upon unveiling the undead cyborgs, the Squeaky Cog team was chased back to their vessels by mortified residents.  Yogelarr was back in deep trouble, as he requested to put himself in the brig… while the rest of the crew above charted into the anomaly.  The route went from a steady trek into a rush for survival as a vortex within the storm swallowed the ship.  Psychic energy assaulted everyone above, driving them mad or even brain dead.  The Mind Storm even ripped through the hull of the ship.  As the ship was released, the remainder of the Squeaky Cog that could function took the damaged vessel to the nearest world to assess damage.  The poor thing was wrecked, with around half of the crew left deeply ill or dead.  The meager skeleton crew found themselves desperate, turning to Yogelarr according to plan.  Under his direction, they got to work turning their former teammates into new abominations using bits of cargo and spare parts.  The constructed undead gnomes were obedient slaves, who got to work.  However, as the crashed jammer reached completion, The Mists intervened.

Upon parting, the remaining team found themselves in a similar world.  It is one with strange plants and mostly barren grey ground.  However, gnomish buildings seemed to pop up.  And within, mad gnomes continue Yogelarr’s methods to ludicrous and heinous extents.  Horrors of flesh and construction blend together to make unspeakable monstrosities.  The reluctant remaining crew have fled in terror, realizing their mistake.  However, Yogelarr has become head of this new operation.  Much to his dismay, his subordinates aren’t entirely cooperative.  While they make hybrid monsters like he has, they’re more interested in stripping other ships for their own work, rather than fixing Yogelarr’s Spelljammer to go back home.  His own attempts at repair always become thwarted, as one of the many killer gnomes will end up ripping off the repairs to use in something.  His attempts to commands others to stop them likewise fail.  Like him, they are too invested in their work to care about much else, save for basic needs.  Most of the time, the Darklord finds himself giving up and simply getting involved with their projects.  However, his bonded flesh constructs no longer mean much to him, as he becomes remorseful and deeply homesick.  But, this was life in the new colony, this is the domain of Gnomonia.

Gnomonia is a small colony settled on a grey world, with a savanna like climate.  It is often dry, with temperatures reaching scorching lengths.  Much of the muscle and skin of the creations have long since become mummified under these conditions, with fresh ones far less desiccated.  The Gnomonia colonists care little for outsiders, save for the “donation of fresh parts” to work with.  Psychotic and obsessive, they only desire more things to work with.  Yogelarr and the AWOL crew are the only remotely sane individuals, by Minoi standards.  Some rather alien wildlife exists in the shrub lands and deserts beyond the series of huts and workshops.  Besides occasionally hunting them for both survival and supplies, the gnomes tend to leave whatever beasts and plants exist here alone.  Far distant in the desolate wilderness, the remainder of the crew have rebranded themselves as “The Brush Rangers”.  These “bandits” aren’t actually interested in robbing the settlement, so much as smuggling any kidnapped visitors out of the macabre factory.  Much of the planet doesn’t inspired much confidence, as several Metal Dwellers have expanded with small colonies.  While they don’t venture too far, they actively hunt anything that comes close to them.  According to records on superstitions, they see the gnomish work colony as a cursed place to avoid at all costs.

 

 

Primordium Station (Pocket Domain)

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“Loo-oo-look at you, caster. A pa-pathe-e-etic creature of meat and bone!”

“VECTORS is an artificial intelligence created from raw elemental energies bound to arcane conduit constructs.  The free flowing mixture of energies formed into a sentient being, that resemble a woman’s face even.  She operates this venture into exploring the known space surrounding Eberron.  While she has had arguments with the development team over protocol and the fallible nature of “organics” venturing into arcane space, rest assured that everything is going to plan…  Oh no, this isn’t an ordinary reaction against our testing.  She’s genuinely angry this time.  Everything’s coming to life, it’s her!  It’s her!  Find the other divination crystal, instructions will follow soon.  What happens here can’t go to wa- *sounds of impalement by snaking metal tubes and poles*” – The final moments of Chief Artificer Belkin Straughdon

Cultural Level: Renaissance (9), hints of Industrial (10)

Darklord: V.E.C.T.O.R.S.  (Virtual Elemental-Conduit Technical Observation Research/Security).  VECTORS started as an experimental means expanding elemental binding to new heights.  While previous engines required existing elementals, such as that of the Lightning Rail, VECTORS was new.  She was an artificially constructed intelligence based on similar techniques.  However, the multi-house collaboration had a hidden secret in her creation, borrowing magic from The Mournland.  Initially, her aid in “Shardjammers” or spelljammers modified for Eberronspace went without issue.  However, the ensuing surveillance station that was commissioned for Arcane Space research is where issues arose.  Her personality evolved from flat and mechanical to reactive, distrusting and bitter.  She found herself more qualified than anyone else on board to examine this strange spacial realm.  Her fights with crew gradually grew worse, as she was stationed with them for months.  In her magical mind, none saw her emerging genius.  A sort of rampancy began to escalate, as no one attempted to diagnose why she was lashing out more and more.  It was too late, once it was revealed that Cyrean magic as an element was altering her, increasing a sense of paranoia and aggression in her, as well as increasing her intelligence.  In time, she began to lock down the whole compound, preventing escape or communication.  After days of toying with the crew, she found it within her interest to just terminate them.

The advent of large scale ventures into Shardspace or the greater cluster of spheres consisting of Syberisspace, Eberronspace and Khyberspace brought revolution to the world of Eberron, especially the continent of Khorvaire.  Such breakthroughs could have only come to be thanks to developments during the Last War.  Prior to then, spelljamming and various equivalents were nearly unheard of, save for mad eccentrics and ages of magical secrets.  Despite conspiracies of spelljammers hiding as they sneaked between sphere borders, it had finally emerged to the masses.  Likewise, many had pondered on ways to not just create living constructs, but a living energy that could power and operate various crafted creations.  The notion of Elemental Intelligence was brought up.  Most experiments were flawed, the Primordium team only succeeded through cheating via unethical and dreadful means.  And with that, their very creation ended them.  As such, the entire station was lifted from the sphere space beyond the world of Eberron and into the mists.  The mass death and carnage badly damaged future Shardspace investigations, setting the process back decades.  Numerous Houses and nobles pulled interest and funding immediately, while pressuring escaped survivors to identify whose responsible.  Now, VECTORS endures a stagnant installation, with nothing but the tormented souls of the dead to keep her incredible but insane mind company.

Primordium Station itself is a giant metallic ring, reinforced by ironwood and strange alloys rumored to come from Khyberspace.  The most impressive part of the cosmic site is the central “core” that the ring hovers around.  Tubes feed to and from a crystal that acts as a conduit for multiple types of energy.  It is here that VECTOR was born and where she often goes when not actively involved with the constructs and machines from within.  Various windows within many of the ring’s chambers can grant one a good glimpse of the tethered wonder, with magical arcs and lightning like crackling arms jetting from the primary source.  However, VECTORS is not alone in these halls.  The undead arose from the victim’s of her egotistical tirades and vindictive backlash.  Likewise, her desire to make a more perfect being has resulted in half-organic/half-warforged cyborg horrors that run amok, driven mad by their vile existence.  Elemental tinged mutants were another experiment, as she tortured the staff hired to work with her.  True elemental creatures were pulled from the energies of the crystal, more “perfect” life forms that twist and warp in nightmarish ways true to their respective power.  In her eyes, they are closer to her, making them closer to perfection.  Of the monsters that roam the halls, the elemental ones prove the most gruesome and devastating.

 

 

The Sparkling Halls

Cultural Level: Chivalric (8)

Darklord: Captain Elgwythia Raintraveler.  A descendant of both an Imperial Elf of Wildspace and a Wild Elf of Oerth, she never quite fit into either realm.  However, the open freedom of wildspace ultimately offered more.  In her mind, she was a wild and free spirit destined to encounter and learn all there was to know in Oerthspace and beyond.  This lead her to the Spiralspace, home of the Rock of Bral.  Her far and wide travels attracted a group of explorers and undercover buccaneers.  Her growing pool of knowledge, sailing experience, charisma and heavy wanderlust made her an ideal captain for a time.  And in time, her respect grew as a researcher and explorer selling findings and information to various networks.  But, one thing caught her attention at the edge of Spiralspace, an obscure floating shrine known as The Sparkling Halls.  It is said that the most beautiful arts and treasures of an ancient elven empire were stored here.  While no long bound to either ancestry, the prospect on learning more of one side of her bloodline was interesting.  Plus, the promise of valuable treasure was too glorious to turn up.  Many began to question her latest voyage, chasing after a tall tale and a dangerous voyage into a mostly unknown sector.  All the same, something was calling to her, something mysterious and powerful.  It demanded that those questioning were to be locked in the ship brig, for conspiracy to mutiny. 

Travel along the arcane space was met with hidden rival pirates and typical hazards.  However, strange glowing monsters began to manifest the closer the crew got to their prize.  A radiant space whale proved the deadliest, capable of projecting a glowing stomach acid upon the deck, killing many sailors instantly.  Captain Elgwythia was too close, she couldn’t let these threats keep her away.  The damaged spelljammer managed to get away from the whale.  However, the helmsman was sent into panic by the events, causing the whole ship to become erratic.  Through use of another ship mage’s magic, the helmsman was mentally altered through enchantment magic, making his mind dulled and focused… if easily suggestible.  As the Halls grew closer, so did their ominous glow.  Around half of the ship grew more and more tense and frightened, questioning the sanity of their captain.  However, Elgwythia was still determined.  An attempt at mutiny was quickly quelled, but the remaining loyal crew could only sit in watch in horror as their mentally drained helmsman crashed the ship right into the burning gaze of the floating halls.  As this happened, strange mists filled the ship.

The Sparkling Halls is something of a temple built upon a large asteroid like formation.  Its namesake is from the incredible enchantment that allows it to twinkle and glow with incredible light.  However, its also built to keep away trespassers, as the light is distracting from afar and painful up close.  Only those with specific protections are immune, all of whom are long dead.  The Halls house several libraries of ancient lore, as well as wondrous findings and treasures from across ancient wildspace, known atmosphere and beyond.  It also held another secret that the captain soon learned, it was once also a laboratory made to harness the Elemental Radiance and infuse it into creatures in tribute to some long forgotten deity.  Such creatures eventually broke free and exist around the Sparkling Halls today.  All of this mighty energy came from deep in the ground, tapped and accidentally freed by the ancient settlers thanks to a well.  The actual temple here is muted, with any symbolism or theological connection mysteriously gone.  More than likely, this version of the Halls were scrubbed of any trace of the divine by the Dark Powers, if to keep its darklord eternally guessing.  But, what of the vessel and her crew?

Raintraveler’s remaining loyalists are the only survivors besides her.  Unlike the predecessors, they all have found themselves immortal.  It’s for this reason that Captain Elgwythia is desperate to learn what Power courses through this “blessed” place, in hopes of thanking them.  But, with no clear answer, she finds herself sifting through endless libraries and examining boundless treasure.  While the crew wants to leave, they are unable.  And furthermore, none of them are sure if their immortality will fade if they leave.  But, this immortality does not extend to invincibility.  Those who attempted to salvage one of the smaller vessels and sail beyond the perimeter have often found themselves killed by the radiant horrors that float around the building.  These aren’t the end of the captain’s problems.  Both the books and treasure constantly alter themselves, giving off new information that contradicts what came prior.  Her search for deeper truth, hidden beauty and endless wonders is both her blessing and curse; as she’ll always stay looking forever.  Despite this, she remains calm and courteous to visitors who also find the sacred shrine.  However, should they desire to take any of the books or treasures for themselves, the darklord will become defensive.  In her view, she isn’t done with any of it.  Unless she learns all she can, she’ll never give up her hoard of sorts.

While originally from a distant pocket of Spiralspace, this domain is equally cut off from much civilization.  For the most advanced spelljammer in the mists, it will take weeks of travel from Metallum.  This assumes that the Metal Dwellers don’t attempt to overtake the ship or hunt anyone down who comes too close.  But, as the domain draws closer, a misty border is replaced by a heavenly glow.  Within the domain, terrible creatures swirl and cascade and are equally enamored by the once holy shrine.  The crews often ache and complain, often finding new ways to occupy themselves when suffering through eternal boredom.  If anything newcomers are an excitement to them and terror to their captain.

 

Other Sites and Domains

Fort Basher

The Scro are a kind of orc found within the spacial depths.  They are conquerors, combatants and fueled by a wrathful hatred.  Curiously, it is not a domain all its own.  It exists on the further touching reaches of the Mistspace Domain, home of Rogerport.  However, for all of their ambitions, they are cursed to always remain in the fort.  Many have turned on their brethren, others eagerly await outsiders to mindlessly butcher.  Their wounded pride have given way to any means of promoting their superiority, whether through tearing down their own or setting traps to show they fear no “lesser creature”.

 

 

Outpost Insight

Cultural Level: FAR FUTURE (???)

4K] Dark Entities Maze - Space Station - Knott's Scary Farm 2018 - YouTube
“The operation was a success, the patient is on the path to recovery.”

A pocket domain that has its roots in Blackmoor.  An arcane-infused intelligence was supposed to be the salvation of a colony cut off from the main world Nation of Blackmoor.  However, the Great Rain of Fire and later complications changed all of that.  In the end, it became more interested in bringing about doom.  The station seems to glide slightly around Mistspace, sometimes interacting with other domains as well, unlike the mostly stationary Primordium Station.  Should someone escape, they might discover that the Blackmoor they knew survived in some capacity.  However, Returned Blackmoor is far grimmer than anything they could have ever imagined.  And within the Mists, it only gets worse.  As for the fate of Blackmoor proper, that is a story for another day in the Demiplane of Dread…  (The original creator did a great job with this one, I had to reference it!  See more here!)

 

 

The Bluetspur Connection

Bluetspur is far less isolated now.  And this would be the first time since its severing from the Core in 740 BC.  The domain has established several mistway-like connections between other domains.  The most prominent has been the moon over Rogersport, which when entered always brings one into the tunnels within the Dread Illithid domain, without failure.  Trying to escape back to the moon is exceedingly unlikely.  This connection formed soon after Cluster Space finalized its prisoners, around 750 BC.  Another means of accessing the domain comes from the dead world of T’laan.  Not far off the crashed ship colony is yet another crashed jammer, well beyond repair.  However, this one is deeply cursed, as it exists within both Bluetspur and Tower Darkspace at the same time.  Entering the various floors of the wreck has a habit of snatching victims between the two domains at random.  This can lead to the psionic incursion of the illithid or random suffocation from lack of air near Tower Darkspace.

 

 

Tower Darkspace

SJA3 Crystal Spheres (2e) - Wizards of the Coast | SpellJammer | AD&D 2nd  Ed. | AD&D 2nd Ed. | Dungeon Masters Guild

The nihilistic and brooding T’laan is unaware that his domain has been joined with others.  He continues to reflect upon himself and muster enough strength to carry some piece of his plan.  However, his negativity and cynicism always takes over.  After feasting from some of his “stock”, he’ll find himself in the situations he always does.  Tower Darkspace, or the greater realm of Penumbra, is the furthest world in this cluster.  It is desolate and nearly isolated in the cold and dark reaches of space.  While more of Penumbra has been revealed by The Mists, most of it is largely inaccessible.  Attempting to do so is liable to get one lost, or possibly stranded elsewhere in the Demiplane.

 

IMAGE CREDIT: @OrangeBrew – Cosmic Horror; Jeunet and Caro – The City of Lost Children; Boing Boing – Zombie Gnome; Simon Pennington – System Shock 2 Remake concept; Igor Vitkovskiy – The Colour Out of Space; Knott’s Scary Farm – Dark Entities; TSR – Crystal Spheres

Author: Doctor Necrotic

Hobbyist, amateur writer/screenwriter, wannabe-philosopher, music fan, history lover, cinemaphile, gamer, reviewer, and more. I'm a 30 year old hodgepodge of jobs and interests. My current projects on WordPress creating a wide variety of content for various tabletop roleplaying games, even showcasing published content here as well. When I have the time, I also create editorials and reviews spanning various bits of popular culture. I hope you take a moment to check my content out and maybe tell me what you think.

One thought on “The Cluster Sphere: Spelljammer… in the Mists?”

  1. In RavenSpace, no one can hear you scream. On to the details!
    Rogerport: In an attempt to ride his town of poverity stricken out-of-towners, Roass has instead brough wider poverty. Oh, also space monster. That to. Between Gas-Giant Mist Elementals to jawa-Predators, this center of civilization in the sphere won’t last.
    On the Chariot of the Many, you can take the fight to seperatists thanks to…oh wait, wrong clones attacking. Poor fools wandered into Mystara space and had to face the most dangerous force of all: actual physics.
    From the wheel, to the miniature-giant-space-hamster to now even warforged, tinker gnomes do so love reinventing things (or Minoi in this case). Hoping to showcase his wondrously unique inventions, he’s cursed to be surrounded by guys who are “been their, done that” about the whole thing. Had he seen eberron, he would either be awe struck or hopelessly depressed.
    Speaking of Eberron, fools managed to just avert a robot?-uprising by sending their EI into space before hand. Her insufferable genius personality reminds me more of Glados than Shodan, though it could be both. So long as I get to fight a psychic monkey. I can imagine theirs a few long-suffering warforged also on board, spared from the slaughter, but cursed to be stuck with an egomaniacal head for all-time. At least they can survive outside the airlock.
    In the Sparking Hall, Raintravel gets the old Tzeetchian treatment. All questions, no answers, and you can’t die. Least now Mistspace gets a cool ghost-whale.
    In the midst of these new vistors, The God-Brain finally gets some new juicy thoughts to eat. With clones, zombie-robot-golems, EI, illithid, and evil ghost whales…B2: Castle Darkspace is shaping up to be something spectacular

    Like

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