Thursday, April 7, 2016

Pashan Whispers

The border of the Pashan Whispers.
The Pashan Whispers could be hidden in a distant desert, on a far-away world or found within a fold in the fabric of time and perception. Dunes of prismatic sand, colors shifting endlessly regardless of the light, dust storms holding visions of a civilization's rise and fall. Ruins, crystalline art, alien geometry in fossilized life, all older than mankind, singing in the wind and calling out in a mad tongue.

Memories in a dust storm

The name becomes apparent when the wind is strong enough to shift the dunes. As the rainbow sands tumble over one another, they unleash the susurrus of voices stored beneath these ancient hills. Sanity appears to be an impediment to understanding the language, the anatomy of the throat a disability to speaking it.

For those mad enough to understand them, the whispers speak of: glories past, heroic myths, and epic poems that stretch the very fabric of comprehension. In her Suma Manialogica, the prophetess Lyssa of the Stillborn Chorus chronicled her several months, or possibly lifetimes, among the prismatic dunes of the Whispers. In her poetic prophecies, she described the narratives of the sands' past as a form of logic that transcends all previous modes of thought. Lyssa wrote, 'The wisdom of the sand makes all other philosophies like the chirping of crickets, without meaning aside from the logic of noise without purpose.'

The storms are the ghosts of times past, rainbow recreations of exotic glories long expired. Twisting hues of the sand filled wind form ghostly imagines made within depths of the storm. Shifting storm images: ghosts of titan-spiders dancing to unheard symphonies, cities flowing through valleys like rivers of flesh and crystal, processions of children crying into the sand and wind, and so many more events that blur the boundaries between the foreign and the commonplace. These memories of sand and wind could be gates to a fabled past, or merely a land reminiscing over a youth long since dissipated.

A chair brought back from a recent expedition.
The ruins of the long departed Pasha are as peculiar as the desert that surrounds and obscures them. The dessicated chitin of fantastically colored, terrestrial hermit crabs form the foundations of Pashan structures. Towers, libraries, castles, and homes are formed from the calcified shells of these acre sized crabs. Helical spires and nautiloid domes are but a few of the architectural forms found in the strange Pashan ascetic. Singing columns, animated mosaics, twisting domes, crawling statues, and so many more horrible and wondrous things can be found in these dead places. 

Within the abandoned places of the Pasha, are the last remnants of their culture. Many of these items still function, owing their continued utility to the mastery of their makers. Their furniture is constructed of materials both common and exotic. Beds of black dust and spider-silk, chairs formed of glass thread atop sculpted iridium arachnids, tables of bone whose tops shift to present unreadable script, are just a few of the wonders that can be found. Broken armoires might contain bottles of armored mists that protect the user from harm. Locked chests might contain projectile weapons shaped like the spindly limbs of insects, their pointed tips expelling spectral fleas that burn and sicken their unfortunate target. Perhaps, overlooked by previous looters, one might find a sword whose blade is a black mass of winding and shifting thread that never knots; the edges so sharp as to cut the bond between friends and lovers without physical harm. In the sand choked wine cellars, bottles of restorative vintages might be hidden beneath dust and bone. Bottles filled with liquid silver, lightning bound mist, or sand that quenches thirst like water. These drafts can close wounds, expand the mind, or enhance a single second of time into a euphoric eternity. The presented oddities are but a few mysteries one might take back to familiar lands, if one does not get lost in the rainbow sands of the desert.

The next post will focus on a set of tables and rules for the Pashan Whispers. Tables of: the kinds of buildings uncovered, the sights seen within the sands, the heard within the whispers of the sands, weird stuff found in abandoned places, and so much more. Table mania!!!