⭗ REDIRECTIONS XI⭗
⭗ LE GRANDE WRECK ⭗
“Yes,” the Blue Oracle licked the tip of her index finger and held it aloft in the air. After a moment, she looked to the west, toward the setting sun. “This is the way.”
“To answers?” Past-Tense asked. Beside the golem, the polybody pilgrim was tossing a ball between her bodies in an ever-evolving triangle. “I want to know what broke Azure. I want to know the one thing that crushed it and kept it from rising again.”
“But it was never just one thing,” the Blue Oracle said. “Empires are crushed only under the weight of dreams made manifest. Too much built too fast, and the pillars that hold the dreamers aloft collapse. That is how the Azure Age ended. With countless creations, including creations like you, and like those powered by these.” She showed the golem a handful of the lift crystal points she had gathered specifically for their precise shapes and inclusions.
“So it was technology that did it,” Coda-2 posited. Distracted for a moment, she failed to catch the ball tossed by Coda-1 and it bounced off the side of her head, rolling into the dirt.
“Technology is a means, not a cause,” The Blue Oracle said, her eyes set on the western horizon. “Dreams made manifest. That will always be the thing that collapses are made of.”
Rising over the wastes of La Honte de Davier sits the massive wreckage of an ark starship called The Belmont. Few use that name anymore, even those who live there, so most know it only by its current name, Le Grande Wreck.
Generations upon generations ago, The Belmont carried the hopes and dreams of a meek and spiritual people to the stars when their planet was teetering at the edge of death. Every attempt was made to gather genetic samples of every species of plant and animal life on the planet for freezing and for the long voyage to a distant star, but some five hundred years later, when The Belmont had finally arrived at the planet that was supposed to be an untouched paradise, the uploaded crew woke to discover that the planet was in fact an arid wasteland. With no fuel or resources left to redirect to another world, The Belmont was forced to crash land and hope for the best. In the years that followed, the ship was colonized by the local life and incorporated into the local culture. It became a hub for trade and most of the genetic samples were traded away for food and other consumables. Some enterprising wizards use the samples as currency, like a kind of wizard coin that is more valuable than water or gold. Still others collect these samples, and some have even used them to resurrect long dead species from The Belmont’s distant home. These days, Le Grande Wreck is both a bustling metropolis and a hollowed out carcass. The denizens crawl through the wreckage and pick at it like maggots in a corpse, selling what they can and repurposing the rest. Great gardens and sources of power still hum and churn away deep inside the wreckage, but they are guarded by a jealous and fat ruler who keeps an iron grip on anything that comes in or out of the core. Rumors persist that this ruler sits on a great cache of wizard coins, and that a popular uprising is scheming a plan to unseat him, but this may all just be rumors.
⭗ THE PEOPLE OF LE GRANDE WRECK⭗
The Belmont is a massive ship that is home to many thousands of people. Truly, it is a city entirely unto itself. Your party can expect to meet all kinds of individuals of every strata of society here, and if there is a specific expert in a specific field that they have been seeking, there is a good chance (60-90%) that they will find such an expert here. In addition, at any given time, your characters may encounter the following notable people in or around The Belmont:
1. Flodeka, a ghostly, impossibly tall antiquarian spiritually bound to the many ancient collectibles crowding her curio shop. She has a deep memory and a keen eye for details. It is said that she will persist only for as long as there are curios in her shop to sell, but she keeps buying new ones, so that may be a long time yet.
2. “Sticks” Wojczec, a bony old wizard in a loincloth who scours the wastes for the perfect charms and gnarled limbs from mystical trees to turn into powerful magic staves. He believes that everyone has one perfect staff that they’re just waiting to be united with, and he will often follow people he finds interesting until he gathers everything he needs to make them their perfect staff. He never accepts payment in anything except catchy songs that he can learn and sing while he wanders the wastes.
3. The Tokesmith is a wizened dwarf reptiloid who knows more about smokables than anyone you’ve ever met. He makes it a point to study every mist, plant and mineral for its fumigation properties and can make recommendations on all forms of smoke, whether they be mystical, medicinal or annihilatory.
4. Emma Malinois, Lady of the Aviary, started life as a wolf before her brain was uplifted by spores from a sentient fungus and her head was transplanted onto the body of an intricately-engineered clockwork golem. In the course of the last few decades, she has become very proficient in a number of the tongues common to the trade caravans that visit Le Grande Wreck, and has a keen ear for new ones. Her primary role as a citizen of The Belmont is tending to the needs of the flock of brass pelicans kept at the highest peak of the settlement, and she rents out their services for a variety of tasks, depending on the size of the birds. Some are fast, capable messengers while others are large enough for an entire party of adventurers to ride. All of Emma’s birds are imbued with simple intelligences made from fragments of shattered souls, so they always find their way back to The Belmont, cannot be stolen and only rarely go murderously insane.
5. General Zuigeling was genetically-engineered to live forever at the cost of never physically aging past the apparent age of a year and a half. This was something that his parents chose and enjoyed until they passed away fifty years into General Zuigeling’s life. Knowing that his parents were nearing the end of their lives, and knowing that his only asset was his keen mind (which continued to develop at a normal human pace) Zuigeling commissioned a sorcerer-smith to craft him a subservient golem body which could serve all of his bodily needs. Using this golem to be his voice and his fist (he can only gurgle and make simple gestures) he raised an army and conquered the lands around Le Grande Wreck until he got bored of being a despot and retired. Currently, he maintains a quiet and dusty exotic artillery museum aboard The Belmont, though there are rumors that he may actually be stockpiling weapons and support for an eventual (and bloody) return to power.
6. Paress Basenji is rarely seen in The Belmont, and probably because she is only barely tolerated by the people there. Though she was born in Le Grande Wreck to a family of successful scavengers, Paress has never really been interested in taking on a role in the family business. The greater world holds far more appeal for her, and she often disappears into the wastes for months at a time. Her true passion, though, is hoverbikes. No one in the wastes knows their intricacies and idiosyncrasies better than Paress, so if you have one, she can make it sing. If you don’t have one, she’d be more than happy to build you one, for the right price.
⭗ OUR PARTY (SO FAR) ⭗
Coda-1, Coda-2 and Coda-3, a bluelander polybody pilgrim, allegedly.