> "My son, the world wasn't always the rocky, barren waste it is today, many generations ago, in an age long forgotten, when the gods walked among us, the entirety of the world was lush, vibrant, and fertile, and a great multitude of plants unimaginable thrived, compared to them, the grasses and palms along the banks of the great river are as nothing."
>>54556497The world is secretly an hourglass, and the time of inversion approaches. To make ready many cults are creating great ornithopters on which to ride into the new world
Sand Mages are able to break apart their bodies into small, telepathically controlled particles and slide across the sands like a ghost, riding on the wind.
>>54556546This explains all those castles submerged by sand.As time goes on older and more horrible ruins are revealed. When the last grain of sand goes underground it starts raining sand.
>>54556497Ancient ruins lie undiscovered from older civilizations that most people do not encroach on. However, recent technological advances (Guns? Magic items? You decide) have allowed more of the common folk to explore these fallen citadels without as much risk of horrible death. There is a great commotion of relic hunters whenever a sandstorm rolls about, revealing these lost cities before they are buried again just days later. Those inside are on a short timer before they will be permanently entombed underneath the next storm.
>>54556497>>54556546>>54556626The great river cascades onto the center of the world through an impossible "leak" in the top of the sky, this waterfall, visible for hundreds of leagues away, is the beginning of the world's rivers and the source of their waters. A great and proud empire has formed around the source.
>>54556583Sand Magic, when casted, evaporates the waters near it, and dries the resulting mist into air. Because of this, it is highly illegal and in many places, its practitioners are actively hunted.
Many spirits and demons hide deep within the sands, waiting for explorers and adventurers to summon them by tampering with ancient ruins, or completing old rituals they did not even know they were completing. Once summoned, these spirits offer their blessings or assistance to the explorer in exchange for offerings or favors in return, often bizarre and confusing for anyone but the spirits.
>>54556546Man used to live outside the hourglass but one day a mad god stole away man and trapped him inside an hourglass for his amusement
>>54556497 Inexpensive white salt plains dotted with bleached coral, long beached ships and extinct aquatic animals skeletons, all that remains of once expansive ocean.
Unlike the hated sand magicians, rain shamans are necessary and revered in their part in ensuring continued survival for people away from the river.
>>54556824>>54556497Where did all the water go? If it evaporated it would just come back down as rain
>>54556871Maybe it doesn't actually rain in the hour glass. The Mad God just pours water into it sometimes, and that's what rain is. Everything else is just stored up water that will go away eventually.
Colossal rock whales swim slowly in the sand. they are tens of KM long and take decades for a fin to rise and fall again. Cities were build on their back only to be covered by sand centuries later when the whale go undersand.Fire snakes moves through sand by fusing it with their flame. They leave behind glass tunnels that some adventurers try to explore.
>>54556895How does the water leave the hourglass once the mad god poors water in? Maybe the glass is permeable to water or something? That or just to be a dick he removes the water so that the hourglass stays a dessert
>>54556936It filters to the bottom. Then things invert and there's a great deluge on the other side of the glass, followed by the slow rising tide of the sands. So goes the world. From a sea of water, to a sea of sand.
Hate to be that guy, but a crucial question must be asked for the sake of the world's solidarity: what do people eat here?
>>54556991That's actually really good, rain still happens because not all the water enters the other half of the hourglass but overtime the amount of rain diminishes because more and more of the water is in the second half of the hourglass, that would explain how in the past the world used to be not a dessert
>>54557046Giant centipede meat.Salted sandfish.Oasis fruit.
>>54557046Farming is still a thing along the few remaining rivers, that and there's probably specialized plants adapted to the dry environment, most people are probably pastoral or hunter gatherers with a few agrarian civilizations along the rivers
>>54557046the same as in ancient egypt: Bear.
>>54556546Is this the first time the hourglass has been inverted? If not how did people survive? Magic? Did the mad god pick a few people to repopulate the new land
>>54557152I don't know enough about Egypt but this is probably bullshit
>>54557230>>54557152I meant beer. Made with grain. Maybe they use domesticated bears as cattle?
>>54557274Alcohol is a given, domestic animal wise they're probably on the smaller size as a consequence of the lack of resources maybe?
Sometimes, the Mad God will release a crystalline, frozen creature into the world, and see how long it takes before the humans try to hunt it. Upon death, the crystalline being release ice cold waters that are not only refreshing, but have positive growing properties on crops.
>>54556497>>54556749>>54556895The gods of legend are real, but their once-vast power was torn away from them when they were defeated by the Mad God and his kith in an ancient conflict, and as a punishment, they've been cursed, to never leave the hourglass. What little power the gods can muster is gathered through mortal faith and sacrifice, and despite their imprisonment, they're still gods, and their might is still incredible to any within the hourglass.
>>54557374These ice creatures are angels of the god that created humans, the mad god delights in the irony
Deep within the darkness of Tartarus sits an Hourglass. The tiny fragile object glows with a dim light that barely illuminates the chained Titan watching as the grains fall endlessly. A mocking gift left by a son. Out of boredom He grew a world to do with as He pleases. A mere imitation of the one taken from Him, but His world none-the-less. With His breath He brought rain. That rain brought life. That life brought civilization. All the while the grains fall to their inevitable conclusion. Displeased with His creation, once more, Kronos turns the hourglass over and starts again. The faint light reveals the merest hint of a smile.
>>54557397The Mad God delights on all things foolish, both in jest and in cruelty. Those that make him laugh the most, be it through a carefree nature, a clever wit, or simply a really horrible streak of bad luck he finds funny, are sometimes plucked out of the hourglass to amuse the Mad God in person. Few ever return. Those that due can hardly be considered the same person they were when they left.
>>54557468Religeous fanatics of a half dead sand god shape most of the worlds resources and clean food... for a price. Since material wealth is nothing to them this comes always in the form of a favor to them and their god.
>>54557527One of the gods that the mad god defeated before the creation of the hourglass was the god of death and renewal, the hourglass is a parody of his philosophy
Mad God's name isn't known, it's said that this is because saying his name was bad luck, or that knowing it would grant you power of him, which would surely invite his wrath.
>>54557159The mad god saves a handful of people from death as he flips the hourglass, he does so because he likes to watch them struggle and doesn't want the show to end
There is a race of nomadic birdfolk called the Yipti who are known across the deserts as the very greatest scavengers and treasure hunters. They always seem to know where the oddest ruins with the best loot are about to show up, and adept at their exploration and exploitation, knowing little scraps of history and lore on just about everything under the sun.This is because they are one if the first races of the hourglass world, and eve though their grand and ancient empire was destroyed in the first turning-over, they have been able to survive it and all subsequent turnings because they can fly. They have been living as nomads through the long years since their empire's toppling by salvaging what they can from other toppled civilizations and passing on their historical knowledge amongst themselves.
>>54556497Species of mobile cactus slowly move throughout the desert using their spines, like sea urchins through water. Many communities depend on the movement of these herds for water. Harvesting them is a risky business for they are covered in extremely strong and sharp spines, almost bone-like in consistency.
The most inhospitable corners of this world are known as The Black Dunes. There the heat absorbed from the world's trio of suns heat the ebon sand to unbearable temperatures. The only civilization that survives there are the nomadic Dunefolk.They are not difficult to pick out in a crowd, by their tendency to walk around barefoot and their slightly cooler body temperature.
>>54556497Unlike Athas and other half-baked attempts to create single-biome settings, this world actually still has oceans and temperature varying with latitude, because of course it does.
>>54557860>he didn't read the thread
>>54557894Biomes probably still exist, it's just that overtime the amount of water in the world goes down turning more and more of the world into a dessert
>>54558070What biomes exists current era in the hourglass? I can't see anything with more perception than shrubland
>>54558390Definitely delta flats near the source of the great river, and aside from that, most people don't realize that there's a ton of diversity in desert climate.
>>54558390Perhaps a treacherous salty marshland at the very center of the desert where water and sand are being pulled down into the bottom section of the hour glass?
>>54557860Isn't Athas mono-dessert because of magic? That and shrub lands exist to the north
>>54558447That's actually pretty cool
How big is the hourglass?
>>54557742Maybe make them like aboleth? They have genetic memory of all that happened to that race. They know all the ruins cause they remember when they were not ruins.Make sense with the fact that Toth is the god of knowledge.
>>54558785Maybe, I don't like the idea of people knowing about the hourglass cycles outside of myths and stuff, also are humans and bird people the only races? Are the bird people also from outside the hourglasses?
>>54558785I had been thinking of going with an oral history through birdsong sort of angle,but that could work too.
>>54557374I like this idea. Some of those angels generate cold around them:From a setting I was making Ice Rok Giant bird made out of Ice that roams the skies of Ameth. It is said she freezes everything around her and her nest in the middle of a desert is made of Ice. The water continuously condenses due to the cold and flows forming a ring of fresh water around the nest. The said nest ends up surrounded by a paradise, the Ice Rok grants live to the desert creatures, but if you near it too much you die. When an Ice Rok flies her shadow is so cold it condenses water. The bird will leave a trail of water puddles in her wake.
>>54556748SHAI'HULUD!THE WORLD SHALL TREMBLE IN HIS PASSING
>>54558745Roughly 7 thousand miles wide, that gives a surface area slightly less than the surface area of the earth not counting oceans
>>54557736In the new world, these saved men and women are seen as crazy old fools, talking about ages that never existed. An entire world of sand? Bah! How foolish, in this, our age of waters.
>>54558837I was thinking that maybe they'd tried to restart their grand civilization several times, only to have it destroyed again with each turn of the hourglass, instilling this sense of silly futility in them as a race.They may not remember exactly what happens when the hourglass turns, but they've retained enouh knowledge with each turn that they know that something catastrophic happens at regular intervals and that it's not worth fighting it.So, the go out, they enjoy themselves, hey sing about the past histories of the world and they remember the locations of the best ruins with the best loot, living off the remains of all the civilizations that are dead and gone.
>>54559069That works, any ideas for other races?
There are those who would take the forbidden arts of sand magic to their extreme, and use their powers to mummify themselves into terrifying undead, similar to liches.They take up residence in ruins, plotting schemes and performing unethical experiments. They are universally hated not just for their streaks of cruelty, but because their very presence sucks up the moisture around them, destroying water and making life harder for everyone.Even the Mad God does not like these undead, but not because of their evil ways, those he considers entertaining enough. It's because to the Mad God, the mummies are dreadfully boring, always going on about research and science and magic when they could be doing a thousand more interesting things.
>>54559190Well, let's see...If you wanted an antagonistic race, you could go with some kind of mummy/necron analogue, as ancient as the bird folk, who dwell deep in specific layers of ruins beneath the sand.Their civilization was likewise about to be destroyed by a turning of the hourglass, but they saw it coming early enough that they'd do something about it. They magically reinforced their cities and he selves to try and survive, but were buried deep underground when the world flipped over, trapping them without food or water or light or air. The centuries passed but magicked as they were, they were unable to die, eventually becoming dry, desiccated, and mummy-like. Eventually, though, as more and more sand empties out of the top of the glass the ruins of their cities emerge, freeing them. By now they have mostly gone mad and mindless with rage, grief, pain, and isolation and they try to guard and rebuild their cities.Many may have retained enough of their sanity, however, to pose serious threats. Some may still possess enough of their humanity to become allies against the others.
>>54557046Mesquite is a good option
Something occurs to me. Redwood trees are able to easily survive landslides and floods because, if further buried, they can sprout new roots up on their trunks and keep growing. What if some tree (one, obviously, that doesn't require the same temperate climate as the redwood) possesses this ability in this hourglass world. If it keeps sprouting new roots and growing up above the sand, what happens during the Inversion?
>>54558390Is it warmer or colder around the edge of this hourglass? Is it a literal hourglass shape, i.e. does the area of the surface decrease as the sands pile up, or is it a more abstract constriction between the two halves? What are the differences between the emptying half and the filling half? What is their relationship?
>>54559564>>54559190If you wanted a race reminiscent of Tolkein's elves, you could go with something plant-based:There is a sweet, sad race of dryad folk that live in the shrinking oasis that dot the desert landscape. Quiet, shy and deeply spiritual, these people have many customs with regards to the proper way guests must be treated and the needy helped, making their homes havens for travelers and those with no place else to go.The sad thing is that the drying up of their oasis and the sheer number of people that turn to them for shelter work together to diminish the race. Every year there are fewer and fewer oasis and more and more dryads on pilgrimages trying to find some relief and salvation. Some even join caravans or adventuring parties.
The salty marsh is already is part of my current desert world campaign. The PC's live next to the last and rapidly drying up sea.In my version, I made the night time shorter and the sun never really sets. Also made centipedes a symbol of the decay of the world. At its core, its life is being fed on by a mad being known as the Conqueror Worm.Love the hourglass idea, not sure how it can be combined though. Players have no idea about the bbeg yet (a warlord who wants to control the last source of water) since only 3 sessions in.
>>54559806It was previously mentioned that there is a large waterfall that comes straight out of the center of the sky. This would mean that the center of the hourglass is a mushy, murky swampy "oasis", as someone else had also said. A sinkhole in the center pours sand into the other side, which is likely primarily water. One could imagine that on this side, a giant pillar of sand continuously pours from the sky, leading to a single giant island among an endless ocean. At the bottom of the abyss lies a whirlpool where the water pours back through to the other side, back out of the sky waterfall again.
>>54559806The edges may be a cold desert due to the effect of the deeper cold sands chilling the glass on the opposite side of the sun. If the light source goes the usual East-West direction, then the North-South axis will be much colder.
>>54560505This could lead to stretches of dry, cold tundra scrubland similar to the summertime Arctic. I like it.
>>54556497The few true forests that remain are constantly bombarded with a rain of fire, allowing only vegetation that thrives in extreme conditions to exist. Those who venture into these blackened woods will find that the fire rain is the least of their worries.
Cold grey sand deserts in the north and south. Sandstone mountains and crags in the North are home to giant Burrowing Owls that hunt by night. Wolves and other scavengers lurk beneath their nests waiting for scraps. Narrow valleys are warded by the Apaec spiders that lurk in their immense webs above waiting for passing prey.In the Shadows of these peaks live the Mountain builders. Great Adobe structures built on the hard bedrock of the upper lands shield the Mountain builders from the worst of the winter sandstorms. Their Hydraulic Empires vie over what little water trickles from the mountains into the Centre of the World. Old dams dot the landscape from failed water sources. Some have been re-purposed as fortifications as old river valleys become invasion routes.
>10k+ years in GIMPFuck this shit someone better than me should do this.
>>54560848So doomsday comes when the water runs out?
>>54561185No many sand doesn't float. It's a sandy waterfall. The water runs out before all the sand does.
>>54560848Good work Anon.
>>54560848Seeing the hourglass drawn out like this makes me wonder fi there aren't two linked hourglass worlds.
>>54560814Great beads of dew gather in the silken webs of the Apaec Spiders and drip from the mountains flowing down into the valleys into the lands of The Mountain Builders who worship the Arachnids as Gods of bounty and send "tributes" into the high crags for annual water flow.
Hey, question!Are the walls of the hourglass tangible? If one could make it all the way to the edge, would there be a glass-like wall there, stretching out and up?Also, what's beyond the walls of the hourglass?
>>54559825Dryads only reproduce once. Upon death, their bodies burst and expel a large number of seeds in all directions. These seeds are nearly indestructible and well suited for surviving the great upheaval, but by the time conditions change enough to enable the seeds to grow into dryads, none of the previous generation will have survived to teach them, and must start over their civilization from scratch.
>>54560226Personally I wouldn't go with that as your putting more water into the hourglass so overtime it would stop being a dessert
>>54561402I imagine that the glass walls are literal. To the people in the hour glass, it just seems to be invisible walls that block their way. If they were somehow able to smash a hole in the glass, they'd see the real world beyond the glass, and the sand would start to flow out of the wall.
>>54561402You're assuming anyone on /tg/ is able to make a coherent enough setting to think that far ahead
>>54561402Probably, it seems cool so let's go with that
>>54559738There would probably be some sort of insect race (probably ants or termites) that live symbiotically with it and until the inversion are a united empire. But during inversion their Empire splinters into dozens of feuding groups who battle for control of the tree and it's resources and usually ends with the tree completely burning away, which is actually necessary for the tree to spread it's own seeds.
>>54561402Outside of the walls are the Mad God. His eyes are like two burning suns and surrounding him are his other failed experiments at world building. I imagine outside of the hourglass it would be like the far realm but more depressing.
Are there people living in the bottom half of the hourglass? If you tunneled deep enough into the ground you could get to the hole between the halfs of the hourglass, but you would defenitly have trouble getting down. Maybe going between halfs of the hourglass is something only powerful magic users and advanced civilizations do?
>>54561402I like the idea of a literal glass wall. Maybe agents of the Mad God work to stop anyone from trying to breach it. Who knows what would leak out, or in. Some people claim to have seen what's on the other side of the glass. They've all gone mad. Ie, it's up to the GM
>>54558447The brine shrimp there grow in hundreds of varied forms, filling the salty void where little else can survive. Smaller varieties dart through the shallows like alien fish, while shrimp as large as crocodiles drag the unwary into the depths, seizing their victims with jagged fangs.
Rain Shamans do not actually have the power to summon rain.What's actually happening is that the Mad God, for whatever reason, is amused by their presence. When he sees a rain shaman dancing and singing and doing all kinds of crazy things to get the rain to come, he laughs, and rewards the shaman by bringing in rain. Just as he steals adventurers who amuse him, The Mad God may also snatch up a rain shaman if their antics are too hilarious for him not too. These shamans who disappear are said to have become one with the rain spirits.
>>54561852It's not that hard to get to the edge of the hourglass if we're going with >>54558928I figure outside the hourglass is the mad god's house
>>54561663What if Supernatural Sandstorms periodically disintegrated the water, evening it out over time?
>>54561923What's the thickness of the glass, with a hourglass 7,000 miles in diamater, I image the glass has to be 10+ miles thick at least. It might also be super glass/magic to withstand all the forces necessary.>>54559738Maybe some sort of titanic "Resurection" trees. They're massive and their roots streach all the way down anchoring themselves in the glass. Their life cycle involves a "winter" lasting however long it takes to for the hour glass to re-flip.
The Goddess of Dreams, like many other gods, has been reduced to a much weaker state after the Mad God took over. She now lives in the hour glass, as she cannot bear to leave the humans there without her assistance. Sadly, the Mad God cut out her tongue in an attempt to stop her from revealing too many secrets to the humans and "ruining his fun."So instead, she uses her dreams to show the humans visions of the world outside of the hour glass, hoping one day they will understand there is a world beyond the desert, and one that they must escape to.As for why she can't just write, being a god being dealing with mortals who die quickly, she'd always need to learn new written languages to best communicate with them. So it's much easier to just use dreams.
>>54561967Maybe, I also like the water falls into the second half of the hourglass faster than sand so total water in the top half decreases with time idea better though
The followers of the Mad God claim that the suns are the eyes of god. Elaborate maddening festivals, bacchanals and various antics must be maintained less the Mad God grow bored.
>>54562017>Madness leaks into her dream lessons, often veiling or corrupting the message
>>54562052Experience shows that the more extravagant the festivals are, the hotter the day actually becomes. This is because the suns are actually getting closer; the mad god is interested and wants a closer look.
Now for the big question: Whats on the other side of the glass?Another world, deep space or something much, much worse?
>>54562317The mad gods table and from there his house
>>54562052>>54562095The ramblings of those who stumble out of the desert, delirious from heat and thirst are considered sacred, as they have been blessed by the eyes of the lord, and recorded in holy tombs. >>54562317>Now for the big question: Whats on the other side of the glass?>Another world, deep space or something much, much worse?I'd leave it up to the GM. Maybe have a cult dedicated to breaking the glass to be one with the mad god. Maybe imply heavily that whatever it is is bad news, like demons/angels of the mad god occasionally "leaking" through.
>>54562364I was thinking something more godly, with the mad gods great hall, where each star is his divine subjects playing a terrifying, mad tune for him. Sun is his eyes as he circles the glass and then leaves to torment another world.
There is no moon in this world, for there is no need for one. The suns are the Mad God's eyes, and when he sleeps, so does the hour glass.
Fire magic is considered much like necromancy in other worlds, as fire used recklessly kills untold amount of lives and burns down valuable vegetation.Also its hot enough as it is, get that shit outa here.
>>54562585A trick to locate fire casters in your kingdom is to search the tongues of those you suspect for any strange spices. What anyone else would consider seasoning is often used as a catalyst for fire breath spells.
>>54562585>>54562617And mages who specialize in water are considered the forces of good, almost having a small cult following around the idea to create water from air.of course water merchants and other high ups seek to either control them or hunt them, if they weren't protected by their own popularity.
>>54562684True water mages are often seen hunting the ice creatures that the Mad God occasionally releases into the world. Rather than killing them though, they seek to tame them, and figure out just what exactly those icy beings really are.
>>54557468There was a sci-fi comedy show made where I live that had cave-men aliens eat sand and use the resulting feces as a cement for their homes and pillars... it wasn't a very clever tv show...
So how does magic / the supernatural work? Gods exist and so do fire, water, and sand mages, but what's the specifics? I know people want to keep some stuff mysterious and leave the big details to the GM but we should at less flesh out the magic the pcs presumably have access to
>>54563752Magic is probably something outside the mad god considering that he can't stop the sand liches
>>54563752>>54563808Agreeing with this anon here, magic should be something not controlled by the Mad God. I'm thinking of it basically being a natural resource of sorts that sentient bodies can connect to and manipulate to their needs. Gods have the most magical power, allowing the Mad God to create the hour glass in the first place, but they can't control how other beings who can tap into magic manipulate and alter it. That's why the Mad God can't just snuff out all the liches or stop the other gods from helping humanity, because their magic is always changing and unless he exterminates them all, there's no proper way to just block it out.
>>54563882What do you think would be the appropriate cap for magical power in the hourglass not counting the gods
>>54563977I'd say the cap depends entirely on the body trying to use it. A normal human being with no physical alterations, at peak magical capability, would probably be equivalent to high skilled benders from Avatar, just with their own magical area of choice. It's once they're turning themselves into sand liches, becoming one with the water, or turning into fire snakes when they can start taking down entire towns without difficulty and some plunky adventurers need to come in and stop them.
>>54557785The "sand" of the black dunes isn't exactly sand. It's about as fine, certainly, but a close examination reveals that it's principally made up of..charcoal?
>>54563977>>54564042I might also cap it with more powerful magics being more likely to attract the mad gods attention. Powerful magics are best worked at night, or underground, far from the mad gods eyes. >>54562684Cruel water mages could just as easily turn water into vapor, dooming whole settlements.
>>54564406Ooo, I like that a lot. Those who don't believe in the Mad God come up with many convoluted reasons why danger is more likely to occur when powerful magic is performed out in the open, but those who know the truth understand that the Mad God will not allow anyone to throw the balance off of his game if he gets the chance to stop it. They Will Be Nerfed
>>54561852I like the idea of Hell/Heaven/Unknown being outside the glass. Thus, You never know what you may let in. But the Mad God and his Agents have been known to patch up these holes. Except, some speak of past ages, in different worlds, when the Mad God allowed this chaos to flow into the Glass.
>>54556546So, Last Exile?
>>54556497There was, is, and will always be a race made of glass, wrought from the bits of glass shorn from the side of the hourglass every time the hourglass tilts. They are nigh-immortal, with a very high durability and sometimes entirely transparent to the senses, but they are also very passive and secretive. The truth is that these Shards are the product of the god of time that the mad god slew and fashioned into the glass of the hourglass, and the Shards know that if they disturb the mad god's plaything they could very well end life in the hourglass. So most of them are content to observe the world from the inside.
Just add some bigass worms
>>54565804Many will go seeking these legendary invisible men in search of knowledge, thinking them to be spirits.
>>54561809>his other failed experiments at world building.I like it.How about the second half of the houglass being the kingdom of the dead where souls are stored untill the next turn?
>>54566546When somebody dies, they become buried in the sand...but not necessarily by choice. The moment life leaves the body, it begins to sink like a stone into the sand, as if being specifically targeted by gravity. What's happening is that their body is being taken to the other side of the hour glass, to await being reborn once the glass turns.
>>54566638I wonder if anyone would try to experiment with that, like creating a sort of sand submarine that got dragged down by bodies
>>54566659Some crazy mummy, probably.
>>54556497>> "My son, the world wasn't always the rocky, barren waste it is today, but this time you fucked up and i can't fix it.'fixed
>>54562007>glass has to be 10+ miles I like it being just normal glass. If you spend a couple generation mining it in horizontal direction you will get outside.
>>54567230>Dig outside into the vast darkness>Face sun eyed god of madness>Expedition team runs all the way back screaming and jabbering, covered in 3rd degree burns>those were the lucky ones>Glass wall has melted shut thanks to his staring
>>54566370>>54565804>they are transparent so they must be ghosts. >Go and find one>He is solid glass and doesn't want to reveal anything>If you are annoying enough and treaten to make a scene they will answer your question since that will attract less attention.>They are invisible to the Mad God beacuase are made from the hourglass glass.
>>54567318>>54567384>The glass men's secrecy is no surprise>The mad god hates them for they are the ones who do not fall or live at his command>The agents of the mad god hunts them as his eyes in the hourglass>Glistening varnished wooden bodies made from the very foundation of the hourglass, with ashen sand heads that ever flows into their necks>Though they are visually blind, anyone who touches the sand is theirs to see.>With the power to control lesser living beings and siphon energy and liquid out of their victims>ironically being patrons of the mad god, they cannot walk in his light and must hide in the sand during the day
What is the goblin, small short-lived race analogue here?
>>545709303ft tall kangaroo rat men, unlike the other races they evolved naturally in the hourglass and remember a time when they were the only people in the hourglass ( before mad god put the humans and stuff in the hourglass) they are incredibly suspicious of all the other races but aren't as flat out violent as goblins
>>54561305I thought that was the idea. A world below with water pouring out from the heavens, and a world above slowly sinking for mysterious reasons. The two meet briefly at the end of a Cycle before the hourglass is turned over and chaos reigns for a time before all is reset.
>>54571408The rat men not being the product of gods have a fascination with religion and generally either become staunch atheists (in the sense that they refuse to worship gods) or are some of the most devout upon conversion
>>54571446Someone mentioned high powered mages and advanced civilizations traveling between the halves of the hourglass
>>54567230Agreed. Since might consider it sacrilegious, but mining the glass would be a cheap way to get resources. Glass would probably replace stone for a lot of things.
>>54571602Is there any stone in the hourglass? Maybe the sand deep down close to the other half of the hourglass is turned into stone from the pressure?
>>54571602Building materials probably depends on location, the center as well as the north and south probably have more water and hence vegetation and wood to make stuff out of while the edges of the hourglass have easy access to glass, I guess everyone else would use stone left near the surface from past inversions and bone for materials
>>54571765I'm not sure. The mad god could have put stone,iron, and entire mountains in there when he put in the people.I guess it depends on how far you want to divorce it from a standard fantasy setting.
>>54572148I like not having traditional metals if only because it's different
>>54572257I think I like having them. It adds to the Conanesque sword and sorcery feel, what with the incoming elements, mad gods, and evil cults.
>>54572346Maybe make them rare? iron and stuff would be something that people would fight over
>>54572378It's probably keep it close to the historical equivalent. You might be able to afford a sword, but unless you're a Lord, or someone important, no more than that.
>>54572523I can see that, so are there just lumps of iron, stone, and other materials buried in the sand?
How long does it take between inversions?
>>54572682Long enough that both the early period where there's much more water on the top hourglass and the inversions themselves are myths
>>54572682Centuries, for sure.
There is an exploratory expedition to scale the glass walls. Armed with lightest of rations, balloons and glass picks they try to reach the top of the hourglass.
>>54572682Every 6 thousand years?
>>54572796>This expedition is backed by certain kingdoms, but not out of any real curiosity to see what's beyond the glass.>Scaling the glass means that pieces of glass will fall out of place. Loose glass is then shipped to the financial backers, where it can be repurposed for construction or weaponry.
>>54572895The expedition team has set up camp in an alcove they've cut out of glass, overtime the came has grown into a large colony
The permanent residents of the alcove, if there is such a thing, are quiet and reserved. Food and water are scant on the perch, living space even more so. Afraid of the inquisitive gaze of the Mad God, they do their best to avoid attention from without. With every year passing, new expeditions try to reach further and further, creating new alcoves as resting places. Most of these are akin to shelves, just several feet in length and depth.Many don't come back from these expeditions. Sometimes the ropes break, and the shrill scream is only stopped by unforgiving sands below. Sometimes starvation and heat gets the best of them - and the mummified corpses hang from their harness, forever pinned between the sky and the earth.
>>54572966The walls of glass are astonishingly pure and almost perfectly transparent. For those who camp high up in the walls, they must always watch their step.Many explorers of the wall have fallen to their death by stepping too far out of their alcove, expecting a glass floor where there is only air.
How big is the center swamp? if it's large enough swamp boatmen could be important traders
>>54573258>>54572966The higher you go the more curved the shape becomes. You are not fighting against the wall, you are fighting against the wall and yourself.>>54573294Is it a swamp or a jungle?We have a center to borders destribuition of water, what about temperature distribuition?
The swamps are treacherous and muddy, with vegetation and horrible things below making boats near obsolete. The few locals use stilts to slowly navigate the fetid marsh, seeking powerful herbs within.
>>54573352Temperature is highest near the "equator" also I think the wind from he heat would carry a lot of rain to the north and south also I don't think the ground near the center is stable enough to support a jungle, I am not an expert though
>>54573390People still venture into the swamp as it's one of the few places with a good supply of wood as very few other places have the amount of water necessary to sustain trees
What would be the primary building material in this land? I could see villas of glass blocks, with surfaces ground down to allow privacy, for the richest of the rich. The settlements around the central swamp could have mud bricks and rudimentary cement, as wood is too rare and treasured for such mundane uses.Many would settle for tents and yurts, held up with bone, made from skins and fur from various animals.
>>54573267High enough up the wall, and moisture becomes yet another threat. Great clouds of water vapour block sight of the lands below, or the things further up. Virtually no-one ascended above the cloud layer, where the walls of smooth glass curve away from you and drip with condensation.
>>54573986Those living permanently up the glass wall use rags to collect moisture from the clouds for later consumption
What kind of creatures, if any, live at high altitudes near the clouds? Do great vultures soar through the skies, looking for carcasses down below? Would the wall dwellers want to attract these birds to their alcoves as the only source of fresh meat away from surface?
Here's my contribution to the races. They don't really have a proper name but yeah.>in the most inhospitable places dwell the white golems>weathered and battered constructs resembling jointed, porcelain statues wander the desolate landscape>most are styled as animals or monsters, but a minority are humanoid shaped and form small communities>rumor has it they were created by an ancient civilization as servants, entertainers, or even soldiers, but their parent has long since vanished, and now they endlessly wander the wastes looking for something to fill the existential void in their collective psyche>because of this, many of the sapient golems are eccentric and even downright inhuman, developing strange fixations and habits, while the more animalistic ones are either tamed by their sapient peers or become true monsters themselves>despite being constructs, they need to consume matter to survive and heal themselves, but can live off of rock or sand, leading to surreal "feasts" where the table is adorned with boulder steaks and soups of pebbles>sometimes when one ventures into a golem village one has been to before, one can sometimes see new golems mingling with the old. No one knows how such things happen, and the golems themselves aren't telling, if they even know themselves.>during the age when most of the world is underwater, golems are rarely if ever seen, because they can't swim and thus will simply form their communities under the waves>they are often hunted by nobles to be used as slaves if sapient or mounts/pets if not. Golems of all kinds fetch a high price in the markets.>while they obviously do not age, golems are susceptible to a strange sort of melancholy if they feel they lack a reason for living. They stop feeling the urge to eat and let themselves be worn down by the wind and rain, finally collapsing into a pile of inanimate stone.
>>54574232You have pretty high flying birds such as the Ruppell's Vulture in real life so you could have stuff like thathttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%BCppell%27s_vultureAlso you could have insects crawling on the glass walls or something
>>54574416>despite being constructs, they need to consume matter to survive and heal themselves, but can live off of rock or sand, leading to surreal "feasts" where the table is adorned with boulder steaks and soups of pebbles>sometimes when one ventures into a golem village one has been to before, one can sometimes see new golems mingling with the old. No one knows how such things happen, and the golems themselves aren't telling, if they even know themselves.I'm loving this.Another great question - is there a sun and moon, somewhere within the hour glass? Or are the eyes of the Mad God the only source of heat and light?The nights on the ground are often lit up by pale glow of the moon. Few people aside from philosophers and sages give it much thought.Sometimes, when the failed wall climbers trying to penetrate the cloud cover rain from the sky, their records are recovered. These artifacts, exceedingly rare and often damaged by conditions and the fall, sometimes mention the moon seen up-close, ruins littering the dark side facing away from the surface.These words are surely a product of madness and starvation; they should not be trusted.
What of the stars? Is the night sky a blackened dome, lit only by the moon that hovers in its place? Do gleams of dreaded Outside shine through in the absence of the light?
>>54574838There are no stars, only the flickering of glowing Sand swirling to the manipulations of the Mad God. The night sky is as alive and rippling as any Ocean.
>>54556865>But the shamans are seen as a greedy and malcontend bunch, for they control the scale of live an death... and they know it. It's whispered that they are sometimes served by the dead victims of the floods they create.
>>54572682Nobody is entirely sure, but every region has some kind of goofy omen of the next inversion.Some go by how many sandstorms there are in a given season. Others by how low the water is getting, still others by how quickly corpses sink into the sand.
>>54573680There are a suprising number of people who quite simply, do without homes of any kind.KangaRatmen and Dune Folk in particular, are fond of sleeping out under the stars. Due to the latter's weirdly lower body temperature, they are often mistaken for dead bodies and awoken by well meaning city folk attempting to give them a proper burial by taking them from the city's paved streets to a patch of sand. The ones who don't try to loot them, anyway.
>>54566638Of course, in order for this to happen, the body must be on a patch of sand deep enough for the body to sink into, which are somewhat rare on the paved roads of the Great Capital. Hence, there are organizations and citizens who do their best to keep the Capital free of bodies.And occasional refugee from the Black Dunes, irate from being so rudely manhandled in their sleep.
Folklore speaks of a monster that turns people into glass. Caravaners sometimes note these glistening statues from afar. Most are too afraid to approach, there are many ways to lose your life in the sands, there's no reason to add another.
>>54556497That fox is just so damn cute!
>>54574416>Food shaped rocks>>54574681No moon.
>>54575446I was imagining just normal rocks on a plate but this is also good. Maybe they'd use these kinds to mess with their fleshy friends.
Great forests of cacti litter large swaths of the desert. For lost travelers without the stars to lead their way, these "forests" are the last hope of survival. Some permanent settlements form within cacti forests, drawing small amounts of liquid each day, just enough to survive. Their lives are always lived on the razor edge.Some of the cacti are poisonous, and some are said to drive men mad. Others can give you gleaming visions of the future.
>The God of The Sea was one of the gods to ally himself with the Mad God, predicting his victory and turning on the other gods to remain in power.>The Mad God promised him a great ocean to rule over in the new world he would create.>And the Mad God kept his promise...somewhat.>The Ocean God was cast down into the hour glass, where during the ocean cycle, he would great domain over the waves.>But during the desert cycles, he would be a frail, dried up version of his former self.>He is still a powerful water mage compared to anyone else, but it is clear that these thousands of years in deserts drive him to mad.>In an effort to stay on the Mad God's good side and hopefully keep what little power over the ocean cycles he has, he makes sure not to reveal the truth about the world to the humans.
>>54575532The bottom half of the hourglass is still an ocean, he probably just travels between the halves of the hourglass
>>54575446The moon is the vessel for surviving people, when the hourglass turns. As the last sands depart, it is the only thing hovering over the abyss. Those who reach it in the last days of the cycle and hide within will survive the repopulate the next cycle.
>>54575560The "moon" is not truly a celestial body. It's just another invention of the Mad God. Incapable of creating new life, he needed a way to repopulate his world if just to stay amused.The last scramble of survivors, all trying to get a place on the tiny vessel, fill the Mad God with joy.
>>54574838>>54574866Well, one idea is that the Mad God is surrounded by the wreckage of his previous attempts as creating worlds and with the Hourglass world being his current focus. They could resemble stars, but anything outside of the hourglass might appear warped due to the shape of the glass.>>54575469I was just reminded of rock food since I was a a fair that had minerals and fossils on display, including some rocks that looked like food.>>54575521Carnivorous plants haunt these cactus forests, and some are surprisingly mobile. On the borders of these forests creatures that are like a cross between a Sarlacc pit and a trapdoor spider lay hidden underneath the sand, just waiting for unsuspecting prey to rush towards the perceived safety of the forest.>>54575560>>54575679Life on this ark is worst than living on the surface, and yet some choose to remain even after the Inversion is completed. They are considered to be madder than the Mad God.
>>54575679>The "moon" is not truly a celestial body. It's just another invention of the Mad God. Incapable of creating new life, he needed a way to repopulate his world if just to stay amused.>>54574416>while they obviously do not age, golems are susceptible to a strange sort of melancholy if they feel they lack a reason for living. They stop feeling the urge to eat and let themselves be worn down by the wind and rain, finally collapsing into a pile of inanimate stone.>during the great upheaval, golems usually do not make it onto the moon in great numbers. However, they can survive being sucked into the sand, as they can survive simply by opening their mouths and consuming the earth in front of them. However, during this time, many succumb to melancholy and are destroyed, or their memories of the prior era grow dim. This causes the survivors to end up forgetting the circumstances that led to their position, until they eventually pop out of the ground and restart their society.
We need to determine WHY this particular place is a desert. Is it because mountains block moisture ? is it because it's at the center of the continent, thousands of miles away from the eastern coast ?>>54556497>the entirety of the world was lush, vibrant, and fertile, and a great multitude of plants unimaginable thrived, compared to them, the grasses and palms along the banks of the great river are as nothingthis is literally what the Sahara desert was like 10k years ago, like >>54556824 says
>>54575903have you read the thread m8
>>54575903This place is a desert because of the artificial conditions imposed by the Mad God. Once most of the water drains into the bottom of the hourglass at the beginning to mid of the cycle, the entire biome becomes a desert rather quickly.Is it possible for someone to end up in the water-dominated bottom of the hourglass? It's dominated by darkness, great unending seas and mega fish.
>>54575959apparently the statue people >>54574416live on the bottom of the sea until it drains, since they can't swim. I guess they form little underwater villages and shit. This might actually be something of a golden age for them when you think about it, since the waters keep them from oppression by other civilizations. On the other hand, megafish.
>long, long ago a frozen asteroid crashed into the desert, killing everything around on impact>there, it melted into an unbelievingly large lake that the suns still haven't managed to evaporate>vegetation and animals gather around it, but it makes sedentary life almost impossible because of the fast rate at which the frozen core remaining melts>the ice melts faster than the water evaporates (not sure this applies IRL, it probably doesn't) so anything build near the water sinks eventuallyI wonder what it would look like>>54557046>reptiles those can easily live in that environment>camels they're literally the only thing that kept Arabs going back in the day, without them they would've long deserted the hostile place>>54557339>Alcohol is a givenwhy ? it dehydrates like crazy
>>54576004>be a wizard exploring the ocean with waterbreathing>sneak past giant horrific sea creatures of all kinds>touch down at the bottom>after wandering a bit, end up in a massive statue garden>must be an ancient relic, there's probably mad loot down here>suddenly, they all turn to look at meI'd probably shit myself desu
>>54576095The little statue offers rock candy.
>>54576132>its actual rocks
>>54557742>>54558785if they were giant birds migrating through the desert, the excrements they'd drop along the way when drinking in oasises would be precious compost to feed the palm trees and grow cropsif there are eough of them, the overall quantity of biomass in the desert would actually grow naturally>>54557778>plot twist: it's actually a tribe of people cursed by their god who sentenced them to roam the desert in agony, with people piercing their skins to collect their waterhumans are their vampires
>>54576044Alcohol would only be present in larger cities or in the areas surrounding the central swamp. Only the richest would be able to afford it, given the pricelessness of water.
>>54576185You still need to hydrate and most of the water is probably not pure enough for straight consumption, I could see them cutting water with alcohol to make it potable
>>54557785>>54556707>>54556671>>54556626>>54556583>>54557742>>54576172I love these.
>>54556497There is a fanatical cult that worships a being called the Cold One and insist that he shall blanket the world in an unending amount of a thing called "Snow".They are identified by their sigil: a bronze recreation of a thing called a "snowflake".
>>54576314They worship the ice animals as heralds of their god>>54557374
needless to say>giant scroptions>poisonous cactiso you wanna die from thirst or poisonned ?>treacherous stoney sand hills and tunnels that are formed when waters is condensed at the meeting point of cool moist winds at night, during the day they might break at the slightest disturbance if one dares to seek relief in their shadow. they're used as an expression by local people to describe avarice>cobras, cobras everywherespeaking of stingy environment>during the night - and only during the night - one might witness pregnant clouds roam across the sky. They do not shed a single drop of water, only further darkening the landscape and hiding the starts, causing the loss and death of many travellersare we even sure these are clouds ?>razor sharp stones honed by cruel winds, watch your step !
>>54560174lovely map>a warlord who wants to control the last source of waterdoes he have five wives ?>>54562017>you can't reach the outside world physically, you have to ascend like for Nirvana
>>54576314>literal special snowflakeskek
Are there any mountains, stone and ore? Or is everything long ground up and mixed with the sands?
>>54576710I think someone mentioned ore and stone existed but was rare
>>54576334>>54576314These Ice Worshipers and those who hunt ice animals are frequently at battle.
>>54575959>It's dominated by darkness, great unending seas and mega fishkinda like Sunless Sea?
>>54576802Fuck off Crystal BoyGo get cucked by Cobra.
>>54576959Wouldn't the mad god look at the bottom half of the hourglass as well
>>54577262It would make sense. But I feel like there's only one habitable half, at least for human and human-like civilizations so the other one automatically has to be unpleasant.Since it's all about deserts ITT, the bottom half has to be a shithole. Or at least more of a shithole than the top.
>>54577262Actually thats been pretty vague, if this is a hourglass and this world is on the lower end, whats above?The great sinkhole country?
>>54577262Of course he does, but those who dwell in the deep know to avoid giant lights in the darkness.
>>54577352The dessert is on the top of the hourglass, that's why there's a swampy sinkhole in the center of the dessert
>>54577435Oh I just figured that this whole time we've been talking about the lower end of the hourglass world, a giant desert with an even bigger swamp/oasis in the middle pouring down from some unknown topworld
>>54577435>>54577479We could have both a lower world and an upper world. Travel between the two would only be possible to a god or a very, very skilled mage.
What civilizations are there in the top half of the hourglass?
>>54578114A few have been mentioned so far, for example some kingdoms near the edge of the hourglass have organized an expedition to the top of the glass wall
>>54578114People who live in massive adobe circular dome houses, suspended by ropes made from reed.They hang below a large cliff, and are connected via a network of walkways and hanging gardens.They harvest water by digging deeply into the dirt surface of the cliff and straining the mud through textiles.
>>54578114Well since the top is constantly flowing downwards I was thinking a great sea/maelstrom. So its kinda a great sea of chaotic sand with small islands of sandstone stuck in the glass.Its would mean theres at least a thematic difference between the bottom and the top.
In order for sand mages to transform into sand form, they need a special item to hold their consciousness. This can be something like a scarab-shaped amulet, or urns that hold items important to the sand mage. Using their transformation magic without this item, or with an improperly crafted item, will cause the mind to degrade, potentially driving the practicioner to madness.
>>54578666Scarabs and Urns are considered contrabrand n most countries
The ritual to become a sand lich basically involves ingesting a bitter magical concoction and then abstaining from food and drink until there bodies are dried of all liquid in the heat of the dessert, most go mad from the pain
>>54578747I didn't mean it like it was one or the other, as if those were the only two options. Those were just examples of something they could use. It has to be an object that represents something about the sand mage's personality, since they're using it to hold their soul.
>>54579006As they become more and more mummified, there is a moment in time where the sand lich in the making will actually gain a sense of enlightenment, an inner peace, almost, and those rare few who find them during this brief window of time can share in their knowledge. But once the barrier between human and lich has been crossed, and the ravages of hunger and thirst no longer apply, and the years take their toll, they transform into the fiends they are known to be.
>>54579393I was thinking more it's a question of if their will can last the whole ritual, sand liches that can last the whole ritual are good or atleast not insane but the majority of sand liches don't make it through the whole ritual and go insane
One of the most feared creatures are a rare kind of naked bears, these nomad creatures have refined their intellect to hunt things greater than them and myth tells of day these defeated a whole town.A creature unseen lurks hidden the cloudless skies; greater than anything, stronger than anything, flies the sky and snatches whoever and whatever hears it's nearing loud echo. its actually a giant locust,fast and can change colors Whenever Oil is found an ancient kind of creatures arises around the sands and dismantles any traces of the extractors, oil and whoever was found there too. Often the areas are set on fire by the personnel to avoid being snatched by the rocky oil skeletons.
so wait, the desert is located both on top and on bottom of the hourglass? wich would explain both the sinking in the center and the waterfall from the sky
A large mining town is here, deep in the middle of nothing. It's not the kind of town where people live, but where people work and move on after a while. For hundreds of miles there is nothing but hot sand, snakes, scorpions, coyotes. It would be an impossible trip except for a lone train hauling what's found from the mine out and supplies in. Supplies are mostly the basics like food, and water. Water because the run off from the mine makes any well water undrinkable. There is some food to be on hand like the coyotes and snakes, which there are plenty of, but farming is about impossible.There is a small economy outside the mine to take care of the miners, a bar, a general store, a brothel, a church.So this entire town is dependent on a lone train to keep them from dying of thirst, with no real communication with the outside, and under the authority of the mine owner.
there is a huge city surrounded by vast empty dunes, inhibited by a clergy believing in a three-faced god. One face represents tactics, another wealth, and the last one predictability and mathematics. This god is hated by the mad god, so traditional religious rituals are saved for the night. People honor their god at daytime by playing a vastly popular boardgame, called tsarr.This game is so ingrained in the cities culture, that it is said that people who excel in the game, excel in life. The clergy of the city has the responsibility to host tournaments and rate players, give out honors and aid promising young players with scholarships in the sciences.
>>54580388High level tournaments of tsarr sometimes involve people putting their limbs, lives and fortunes on the line.
>>54580670Instead of trial by combat, trial by tsarr exists, its mostly used for minor crimes however
>>54561402Kinda like a flat earth
Close near the mountains where the desert starts is a dry lake bed, and a town. The town is run by natives. During the summer, many elect to move into the mountains to get away from the heat. There are benefits to being on the lake bed too. The lakebed is a diy airport/spaceport and there is a 10 mile racetrack on the lake bed.
>>54571765Maybe that is how rain exists. The pressure and friction in the middle is so high in the middle that some water evaporates.
Sorry to bother but can you explain again the turning circles.As far as I understood we have>lots of water. Possibly giant monsters in the fresh water ocean.>Water level start going down, Lot of fertile land. civilization prosper. Giant ocean creature dies and their bones are left on the landscape>Water level keep dropping. Drought comes. Civilizations start to fall, dertification progress.>most of the world is a desert>Sand is slowly disappearing revealing more ruins.>no sand left>Hourglass turns.What happens during the turning? What about the giant waterfall at the center? Is ti always on? Does it get replaced by a sand waterfall?
>>54583591It feels like everyone is confusing top and bottom halves.The top would not have any waterfall, but a giant sinkhole. There water just slowly sinks into the sand to disappear altogether at some point. Perhaps the only source of water on top is some sort of condensation, so little water remains - enough to keep life, but not enough for larger civilizations to appear. Eventually there would be so much free space and so little sand left that the pressure is very low, temperature drops and that's how the half dies.The bottom would have the water/sandfall but there sand would build up and bury cities and civilizations, while new ones would pop up on top of it. Here it would get warmer and warmer as the bottom fills up with sand.What about a crazy scholar/mage, that by studying ancient ruins realizes there is a world through the sinkhole, so he builds a special capsule in order to pass through alive?
>>54575746>>54575762>>54575560Maybe each cycle people get visions form the mad god and start building the Moon from scratch?Each cycle a new Noah moon has to be made.
>>54583678Once the majority of people are killed off and the hour glass turns around, the dead are reborn to live out new lives, without memory of their pasts. Those who survive the shift would be seen as crazy people, talking about ancient ages where things weren't always sand/water/mix of both.
Here a video of the mad god first project.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1_HfhtB5eoAlso the old Sinbad cartoon gives me the same feel as this setting.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBq47NPVinE
>>54580388The night god of the dark Math.
>>54583943>that first videoIt fits too well, holy shit.
>>54580670Some whisper in the corners of bars and in the backs of alleys that there is a tournament of tsarr of such high stakes that one can win anything their hearts desire, but requires staking the one thing the person holds most dear to them, whether material or immaterial.
>>54572895Glass weapons are higly valued for their superior durability and sharpness. A master glass-smith is able to create weapons and armour that are almost invisible in their transparency. The only downside to glass weapons is their tendency to shatter into hunderd of tiny fragments once their durability is expended, making repairs impossible.
>>54580670I loved player of games
>>54585258>once their durability is expended,GTFO with that video game bullshit.