Sundry is the name of the base world in which the Warriors of Twilight and Madness find themselves trapped. Aside from the Warriors brought in by an unknown force, Sundry is a dead world, littered with the remains of an ancient civilisation. At least part of the world is a simulation created by a godmachine known as The Embodiment.
The vast majority of Sundry is carpeted in a pale grey material which we have chosen to call "ash", though in consistency it is closer to gritty sand. In most places, the ash blankets a perfectly flat plain. There are areas of Sundry which feature dunes of ash, but these are rare. The ash extends to at least three metres in depth, with no change in colour or consistency noted. Nothing appears to grow in this barren environment, nor does it hold any moisture. As such, we have named the general landscape of Sundry "the ashlands".
Scattered across the ashlands are chunks of dull crystal, ranging in size from smaller than a potato to the height of a small house. It is currently unknown if these fragments are derived from one large crystal, or from many structures, though we can theorise from their omnipresence and the technology of the hubs that they were the basis of much of Sundry's civilisation's power. These crystals appear to be deprived of power at first; however, they will occasionally react to the magic of one holding it. This reaction is painful; though no physical wounds are inflicted, the victim feels intense pain, loneliness and anguish, strong enough to cause them to instinctively break contact. No pattern has yet been detected as to what causes this reaction.
From records and the extent of technology left behind, it can be assumed that Sundry was once home to a significant civilisation that spanned most of the continent. Surprisingly, the number of ruins left behind is less than would be suggested by this history, suggesting an awe-inspiring level of destruction. Ruins are often inconsistent in age and destruction, with some components nearly perfectly preserved, whilst others seem excessively aged. Ruins with similar styles of damage estimated to be inflicted at a similar time are sometimes in different architectural styles. We surmise from this that the cataclysm which Sundry was inflicted by came in waves, with periods of rebuilding in-between. Alternatively - or additionally - whatever method was used to disrupt Sundry's timeline has also impacted the remains of the civilisation. This argument is supported by the high level of anomalous phenomena and unusual geological features that the ruins of Sundry feature.
When one gazes in any direction in Sundry, one can spot what appears to be the dark, dim smudge of a mountain range on the horizon. This range appears to be at a great distance, neither receding or approaching with movement. Thus, many describe the mountain ranges as appearing to be painted onto the horizon, like a static backdrop. This effect only dissipates when one is within 2.4 kilometres of the mountain range. At this distance, it will appear as if the range is rapidly approaching, accelerating as it comes closer. Within 100 metres, the part of the range will either be present at the expected distance, or vanish entirely. From our explorations, we have so far determined that the northern and southern ranges are mostly extant. The western range is broken up, with many areas of plains in-between individual mountains and mesas. The eastern range is entirely non-existent, ending in the sea instead.
The eastern shoreline is varied in nature, featuring steep cliffs of the same rock as the mountain, beaches of stone and ash, and abrupt junctions between land and sea with perfectly smooth edges. The sea itself is grey, reflecting the constancy of the sky. Analysis of the water thus far shows salt water of salinity 6%, which would classify it as brine. Despite this, salt does not appear to crystallise on the shore. The composition is otherwise comparable with seawater on most home worlds, except for a level of sulphur twenty times higher than expected. No organic matter, dead or alive, has been detected.
It is not yet known what lies beyond either the mountain ranges or the sea. The mountains are taller than the worn impression from a distance, appearing treacherously steep and jagged at close range, with many patches of loose scree. No snow is visible, though their height is estimated at being greater than 8km. Past expeditions over the sea have been unsuccessful, with nothing but a few islands close to the coast spotted. Until the Society's resources are greatly improved, regretfully, we will have to focus our energies on this continent.
The weather in Sundry is always uniformly overcast. Constantly roiling clouds hang oppressively low over the landscape. The effect is of a murky half-light, which leaches most of the colour from the world. There is never any breeze, though occasionally a sound like the wail of the wind can be heard. The sensation of rain can be occasionally felt, though this rain cannot be seen by most inhabitants.
The passage of time is difficult to gauge in Sundry. The light, temperature and weather are always constant, suggesting no change in the movement of the sun. No Warrior is known to have lived here long enough for the effects of age to be apparent. Since hunger is not an issue, warriors generally regulate their sleep based on mental and physical fatigue. There are no living things available to test the rate of decay, except for in Shards, which obey their own rules of time. Extraction of items from Shards has had limited success, with most disintegrating at unpredictable rates unrelated to their expected physical properties. Warriors with innate time-keeping abilities, such as Concord, have expressed contradictory answers with no apparent pattern. The Luminous Society have built several clocks for their members using the oscillations of Sundrian crystals, which suggests that some form of time does pass. Without an outside reference, however, it is difficult to say how it behaves, and these watches are used largely for ease of organisation between Fellows.
Distance is also difficult to predict. This feature is most prominent in the case of the mountain ranges, but afflicts most features of Sundry's landscape. Distance shrinking or growing with unexpected rapidity is the most common manifestation. Strikingly, this effect does not tend to appear with Shards. Stepping into a seemingly small or confined area often reveals an extensive location, sometimes with little reference to the exterior. This effect can be dangerous, as many of the areas are warped by this distance change in a disorienting manner. More subtly, the size of Sundry as estimated from the air and records is inconsistent with the ability of Warriors to easily traverse its breadth by foot. In addition, Fellows report different lengths of time to walk between areas, despite using synchronised watches to measure time.
Gravity varies throughout Sundry, but is typically at between 0.4-0.8 times that of the home worlds of the Society. In some areas, gravity approaches extremes of 0.2 and 2.6 times respectively.
Magic and technology appear to have co-existed in Sundry's civilisation. Magic appears to have been derived primarily from crystals, which are focused through cuts to individual crystals and elaborate arrangements of multiples. In the past, crystals were continuously formed by Sundry itself, providing an ever renewing source of magic that could be harvested. No such crystal growths exist now, and every crystal discovered thus far has been damaged in some way, with most having been entirely shattered. Even the central crystals of the Hubs may have been reconstituted from fragments.
No one has yet been able to detect more than a flicker of Sundry's original magic, which we theorise was an unusually strong aether sea located below the surface of the world. Crystal outcroppings represented solidified outbursts from this volatile sea of magic. Those who have magical abilities on their own world report an attenuation of their abilities as well, as if an invisible wall were blocking them from their source of power, which can only be overcome with difficulty, and only partially still.
Records are the only source of information on Sundry's planetary neighbours. These records date back before the unknown calamity which struck the world. Sundry is depicted as the fourth planet of ten that orbits around a normal, medium-sized star. Three moons, ranging in size from an eighth to a third of Sundry's diameter, orbit the planet. In the present day, Sundry is lighted by a constant source, which does not vary in intensity over the period of each day, or even across the months that some have been trapped here.
A key aim of the research team is to somehow disrupt the constant cloud cover. Even brief visualisation will allow us to better place where Sundry is in the world, and if it may be possible to depart the planet via space travel.
Spliced with the world of Sundry are fragments of other realities, which I have termed "Shards". Their nature is uncertain: they may be replicas created by the Embodiment from the memories of Warriors, or actual fragments of other worlds which have somehow been woven into Sundry's fabric. Shards often possess their own physics, weather, geography, sky etc. Each Shard is strictly demarcated from the rest of Sundry; as soon as one steps into a Shard, it as if one has ventured into another world. From a distance, one can see utter stillness in the ashlands beyond windy groves, rivers stopped as if halted by an invisible border, lines between ash and grass so stark and straight that they could have been ruled.
The grand majority of Shards are home to anomalous phenomena. These do not appear to be characteristic of their original dimensions, but are a product of whatever process that removes the Shard and relocates it to Sundry. Many appear to be a product of temporal instability, merging elements of the past and future of that reality. Imperfect replicas of people native to that world are also common. Thus, the Shards pose a risk to those from the world they originate from, in addition to their general unpredictability. We are given glimpses of the future of our worlds, but know not how much we can trust it.
The bases belonging to Eris and Ragnarok both have a central hub, which allows access to most Shards. Shards appear to be more strongly attuned to one hub, allowing better ease of access for one side. However, I have had no difficulty using the hub belonging to Eris (the difficulty of sneaking into her fortress is another story)! The hub takes the appearance of a large crystal - red in Eris's hub, blue in Ragnarok's - approximately two metres in height. A protective field encircles the crystal, which levitates in place. Thirteen monitors atop small pedestals surround the crystal. Warriors can teleport to a Shard by placing their hand against a monitor and envisioning the location to which they wish to travel. Travelling in this manner drains energy, particularly if the Shard is poorly attuned to their particular hub. Some locations cannot be reached by hub at all.
Throughout Sundry, there are a number of secondary hubs that may be used. Most of these are lesser in power, able to transport the user to only a limited number of locations. Hubs located within Sundry itself appear to be limited by geographical distance, whilst those in Shards are limited by connections between worlds. Multiple uses of a single hub in swift succession drains the crystal, leaving it dim and non-functional. It is not yet known how long it takes for a hub to be refueled.
This list of locations includes both Shards and unusual features of Sundry itself.
- Anonymous Apex
- Astral Century Battle Surveillance Station
- Bloodied Prairie
- Emperor's Fortress
- Emperor's Wire-Throne
- Great Basin
- Great Reaper Palace
- Library of Ithil
- Ruined Temple
- Salt Flats
- The Silver Death
- Tourmaline Peaks
- Twilight Forest
- Well of Ascension
These notes are compiled from information gathered by the Luminous Society. In the event that you encounter the corpse of one of our field agents, please collect whatever journals, notes, sketches, datasticks etc. you may find and deliver them to Dr Duncan Duncen, currently based in the Library of Ithil. You will be rewarded. Thank you for furthering the progress of science.
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