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The new RPG from Monte Cook. A game of surrealistic fantasy, secrets, and magic played both at the table--and away from it.
A roleplaying game of surrealistic fantasy, secrets, and magic played both at the table—and away from it.
A roleplaying game of surrealistic fantasy, secrets, and magic played both at the table—and away from it.
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Satyrine

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Ah, glistening jewel of Indigo, 
Ah, city of notions,
Oh, city of secrets, visions, and mysteries,
What have you become? 

Satyrine is the largest city in Indigo, founded many thousands of years ago as a trading hub for merchants selling thoughts, ideas, sensations, and feelings created in the Emotion Mills of the Unfathomable Archipelago. Eventually, some of those milling operations were brought to Satyrine itself. Before Satyrine, the site was home to another city, built by pre-human beings known as the Arabast. 

The most significant thing to know about Satyrine is that it was reduced to ruin and rubble in the War. The inhabitants are restoring and rebuilding the city, but that is more difficult than it would seem because the weapons used in the War left behind extraordinarily dangerous hate-powered, cancerous objects called cysts. This has led to focusing on districts that were not utterly devastated, and building out from each of these, like oases of safety and sanctuary in a desert of ruins. 

Satyrine is vast, stretching for miles, although much of it is desolate. Perhaps once, long ago, its population numbered in the tens of millions. But today? No one could even make an educated guess. This is made more difficult still as many of the apparent inhabitants are thoughtforms rather than actual people. These magical constructs carry out many of the mundane tasks that make the city work. 

Still, despite the ruin, the reclaimed and rebuilt sections of the city have returned somewhat to normal. Nobles strut and preen, artisans create and perform, merchants trade, and criminals steal. Probably much like it always has been. 

Ruling over Satyrine, the three immortal, godlike beings known as the Deathless Triumvirate dwell both within and beyond the city itself. Each has a dual nature: one physical and in the city, usually within a massive citadel located near Satyrine’s center in the Marquis Quarter, and one far more ephemeral. It is possible—likely, even—that the Triumvirate is just a manifestation of Satyrine’s own life force and will. If this secret proves to be true, then it would not be incorrect to think of them as the mind and the city as the body. The cysts, then, are tumorous and the Triumvirate—that is, the city itself—wants them removed. 

Before the Triumvirate came along, another, far older entity called the Angular Serpentine was the ruler and the spirit of the city that existed here before Satyrine. And still the Angular Serpentine remains. If the Triumvirate are Satyrine’s mind or soul, the Angular Serpentine could be considered a demon possessing the city. It was a force given life in the far-off half-worlds of Narvago, a realm that probably no longer exists, and brought to the city for reasons unknown. 

Almost half of Satyrine still lies in ruin. Buildings damaged or pulverized by powerful weapons, fire, or rampaging warbeasts sit next to mostly intact structures abandoned when that section of the city was evacuated during the worst portions of the conflict. 

These regions of desolation and neighborhoods of destruction are like stretches of apocalyptic wilderness dividing many of the intact districts. Traveling from one district to another often involves passing through one of the expanses, and doing so is always dangerous. 

In some places, paths have been cleared through the rubble, or just blazed through and over the wreckage, to facilitate travel across the ruin. But make no mistake, these locales are not yet reclaimed. They are dangerous and unpredictable for many reasons. The architecture is unstable, brigands and thieves make their lairs there, and creatures like ratgoblins and roachgoblins lurk around every corner. But more than that, the Hate Cysts are still quite active. 

One strange effect of the cysts is the oppressive gloom that hangs over the ruins. No matter the weather or season elsewhere in the city, entering into one of the ruined expanses brings on an almost cavelike atmosphere. Many people think of the ruins as being underground, and even describe the grey ceiling overhead, even though there is no literal truth to it. 

Walking through the ruins, one finds the rubble-choked streets and empty piazzas unsettlingly quiet, even in a city as sedate at Satyrine. 

 

Shanna Germain, Patrick P., and 32 more people like this update.

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