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 Nifflas - Version 1.1

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PostSubject: Nifflas - Version 1.1   Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:15 am

I've had a lot of weird ideas fermenting in my head for a while, plus 4th Edition is coming out, so a while ago, I decided to make a brand new setting. This is the updated version of that setting, including nearly everything that's been discussed on the first four pages of the thread after I submitted it the first time.

I really dislike reading and writing long, in-depth histories of worlds, both because they tend to be dull and because they give too much away, in my opinion. So, I wrote the setting mostly in the form of first-person narration, and tried to make it as open ended as possible without being overly vague. I also wanted to give adventuring a new twist - the adventurers will be Librarians, searching for stories and knowledge a la The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as well as exploring the World Tree Library and tracking down those who don't return their books.

I've gotten some great feedback so far, and more ideas to riff on are always welcome. Also, you are, of course free to steal, distort, and mangle what I've written in any way you please, so long as you don't make money off it.

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PostSubject: The Islands, The Library, and The Yebba Dim Day   Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:16 am

“Every object attracts every other object with a force that is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the separation between the two objects (Expect for big chunks of rock.)”

- Tonwen Sacai’s Law of Almost Universal Gravitation

“The world was given form by The Inebriated One. And lo, He was utterly sloshed, and did forget to stick it together properly. So yea all fell apart into lots of pieces and, in His Infinite Wisdom, He made the pieces float rather than clutter up His junk room floor, where He had stuck it. And Lo, He did chuck in junk from time to time, so that lots of bits and bobs of other worlds He had made did clutter its surface. In his name we drink. Cheers.”

- Libir Inebrius 6:19

"No-one quite knows why the world is the way it is. But the fact is, the Islands exist, and we're stuck with them."

"No-one knows how many of the skerries there are (that's what we Dayers call the Outer Islands), but there's only one place that really matters. The Yebba Dim Day. It’s a vertical sort of place, the City. There isn’t much ground to build on, so people make their homes anywhere they can find. It’s not unusual to see a cluster of houses around the supporting columns of a trolley line, or to see shops and towers and temples all stacked on top of each other, making great towers of buildings that look like they're held together with nothing but spit and layer upon layer of paint. People build over and on and around other buildings, too, so there are layers and layers and layers to the everything. Sometimes, you’ll find a dusty old room at the center of a cluster of buildings, buried by the rooms in every direction.

There’s not a place in all of Nifflas like it. A great City that stretches across five islands, cobbled together from ruins and junk and scraps. Built, rebuilt, repaired, and endlessly patched up, a seething patchwork of layered architecture, buildings crowding and jostling for space. A thousand thousand call the city their home, a great tapestry of life sewn together from patches of every size and color imaginable. And moving through it all are the trollies, they’re it’s guts, it’s veins, connecting the five islands together and winding through the City’s most secret places. It’s a dangerous, insane, marvelous place. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be."

- Martin Forspythe

- A Guy We Met in a Bar

“And Lo, the Islands did float in the junk room of the Inebriated One. And he did chuck old bits and bobs of other worlds upon it. And the years passed, and the junk did accumulate, and pile up. And Yea, as there wasn’t much else to build with, the people did use the junk as their dwelling-places, and did forge swords and all sorts of weird contraptions out of it. And the Inebriated One did think it was weird, and did stop throwing junk there.”

- Libir Inebrius 27:13

“The most abundant resource on the islands is junk. The Islands are littered with pieces of ruined machinery, scrap metal, ancient contraptions of unknown origin. Maybe they’re relics from a long-ago war, or some long-lost civilization, or maybe we’re just a cosmic trash-heap like the Inebriated claim. There are ruins, too. Ancient stone statues, half-tumbled buildings. Most of the junk looks like it was once used in some way or another, though no-one can figure out how. There isn’t much in the way of other materials, so people make their homes in the ruins, or by piling up junk into vast mountains, then building and tunneling into it, creating sprawling, networked villages protected by layers of scrap. Every building on the islands, even in the Day, is cobbled together from mud, from leftovers, from scrap metal and old stone, from the bones of a hundred civilizations.”

"Not much room in the Day, and there's only so far up you can build. So people have built down. There is another city. The Labyrinth honeycombs the depths of the five islands - uncountable miles of tunnels and chambers that have never been fully mapped. Honest folk live there, people who just aren't as fortunate. But it's a dangerous place, home to the desperate and the mad. There isn't much in the Labyrinth. In the depths, even sunlight is a commodity.”

- Niska Orpen, Sunlight Salesman

"It rises from the center of the Day, soaring high above the piles of buildings and ramshackle towers of the City. A tree, uncounted miles high, floating in the air at the center of the ring of islands. And inside... books. The tree is hollow, and filled with circular floors, joined by a great spiral staircase. Some of the floors are relatively normal: old wood, curtains, neat rows of shelves. Some are... less so. There are floors that have rolling fields for floorboards, or jungle. There is one floor on which the shelves are perched on tall pinnacles of rock, joined only by thin rope bridges. Sometimes the shelves themselves are so tall that scaling them to reach a high-up book is a feat demanding extensive equipment and several days time.

Then there are the books. They are of every shape and size, from bigger than a person to smaller than a postage stamp. And they are alive. Walking through the stacks, you can sometimes hear them whispering to each other in their rustling language. Particularly cantankerous ones will jump of the shelves and flap around, or even snap at you. They are organized, after a fashion, though no-one has quite been able to work out an overall scheme. One shelf might contain books that all contain some reference to bees, however obscure. Another might contain ones with exactly 376 pages. Needless to say, looking for a specific book is fruitless without the card catalogue. This precious resource is scattered throughout the floors, and it is the constant duty of the Librarians to seek out new indexing, to boldly search filing systems no man has searched before.

Most of the books in the Library are written by other people. Long lost authors sending their books out into the world from a time forgotten. But there is one book that is written by the people of the Islands. The Almanac. It is a chronicle, a guide, a story of the Islands as they are and as they have been in our memory. This is the Librarian's great work - we travel from Island to Island, seeing, writing, wondering, and occasionally helping out those who need our help, or collecting unreturned books from particularly unruly customers. Once a year, the Librarians who have been in the Skerries meet at the Library, at the Parliament of Rooks, and compile the knowledge they've gained and the stories they've told, and so the next edition of the Almanac is written. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it, and there's never a dull moment"

- Fox Mechran, High Librarian

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PostSubject: Travel, Food, and Drink   Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:17 am

“Airships are made from Skywood, rare trees that float around the islands, absorbing moisture from the clouds, and eating passing birds. They keep their floating qualities after they’re cut, so rich folks build ships out of them. Skywood is rare, though, so the ships are valuable, and tend to carry a lot of cargo, so they’re always a target for pirates.

Some of the crazier tinkers have built mechanical flying machines from the junk, propelled by some sort of constant controlled explosion. Sounds mad to me - they’re faster than the fastest zeppelin by far, but I wouldn’t get in one for all the books in the Library

Balloons - that’s where it’s at. Usually made from hide, they’re every color you can imagine, and range from the biggest zeppelin to the smallest one-man basket. Some say they’re slow, that they’re clumsy, but they don’t understand. See the Floating City but once, and you’ll know what I mean.

People have all sorts of ways of getting around. Some can tame the beasts that fly the Islands, riding on the backs of birds, or whales, or flying pigs, even dragons and pterodactyls dinosaurs. The contraptions called planes are the most common flying machine cobbled together from the junk, but there are plenty of other, even madder ones. Some of the greater Sorcerers can even make themselves fly, sprouting wings or just glaring at the laws of physics until they slink away whimpering.”

- George Mistrath, Aeronaut

"Ever wonder how the Day got to be the only city worth speaking of on the Islands? Ever wonder where the bread we put on your table comes from? It's the mills, boy. Eh - Pass me tha' bottle. Good lad. Nifflas only stands because of 'em - they're the secret heart of the city. Some say the Library has the power - pah! Can't eat paper, lest yer a Tarrie-Cat. An yer no Tarrie-cat, though ye may look like one. Nifflas grew up around the mills, when the founders figured out how they work. Now listen here, an' I'll tell ye secrets ye must never forget.

The first grinds the bodies of the dead and spits out flour. The dustmen travel the streets and walk the labyrinth the add corpses to their carts, to feed the hungry masses.

The second eats names. Titles, ceremonials, given names. Depending on the worth o' the name, the mill will grind out produce: apples, oranges, lettuce, anything that might come out of the maw of a dragon. That's why the name trade sprung up, ye know - people selling their titles and even birth names to one another. That's why the nobles have so many damn names, and that's where the Nameless come from. Sorry souls who sold every name they had to pay for food.

An' then theres the third. Not a body knows what it does. It's sat on the fifth Isle since time out a mind. No-one's gone in, least ways if anyone did, they never came out again. But the mill turns, so it must be grinding something. Though what it is, and what it's making, no-one knows...

So there's the secret of the Day, boy. That's why the only currency here is a corpse or a name, an' what else gets sold is what don't come out of the mills - magic, services, machines, meat. There's other mills scattered around the islands. Sometimes they produce something useful and a settlement'll grow up around it. Most times not. No-one knows how to build the mills, though some fools say they do. Half the time, ye don't even know what a mill grinds. Ye have to figure it out by trial an' error, or search through the Library on the off-chance that you'll find a book about it. Anyway, there ye have it, and don't ferget it...pass me another bottle, eh.

- Godric Antennae, Miller, Apparently attempting to join the Holy Order of the Inebriated Ones.

"Away from the Day, away from the safety of the mills, food is scarcer, and sometimes you can't afford to buy Dead-Bread. So a Junker has a few options. Sometimes the odd edible plant grows on the islands, but looking for them is always like trusting a sphinx - always a risky prospect. Seed and good earth are worth their weight in names out here, giving as they do a secure, reliable source of food.

In the caverns and dark parts of the Junkyards, mushrooms grow. They're pretty tasty when they're fried up right, but they don't give a body needs. For that, you need Dragon's Breath. This isn't common knowledge in the Day, but Dragons don't breath fire (I don't know how that old yarn got spread around), they breathe life. When you get a dragon angry enough, it'll breathe at you. If it gets you, you'll twist and change, mutate into something unspeakable. But a nice side effect is that in its wake it leaves trees that bear strange, but usually edible fruit, or makes new plants spring up from the ground. So, we get our dinner from angry dragons. Never a dull moment."

- Greth Oldwatch

"And yea, the Inebriated One did sometimes eat his lunch in the junk room, and rather than chucking them in the trash he did sweep the leftovers onto the forgotten remains of his world. And thus it is the task of his followers to seek out the Sweepings from the Divine Plate and eat of them, so that they might commune with our Lord.

And they shall be hidden amongst the junk. They shall peek out from between matresses and old doors, and they shall be good to eat. And thou shalt not suffer to live those not of His church, who attempt to poison the communion by consuming of his holy leftovers."

- Libir Inebrius 13:27-36

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PostSubject: People   Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:23 am

"They call us halflings, for we are only half in this world, only half human. We are the Nameless, the forgotten folk. Some of us lost our names, some were born to this life. We live in the secret places - we are the people of the labyrinth, that secret world of tunnels and basements, rooftops and the spaces in between the walls, under the floorboards.

They see us on the street and pass us by, like we have something contagious, and they're afraid they'll catch it if they're near us too long. They give us nothing from the mills, then call us thieves when we take what we need. We build our lives from the scraps of theirs, taking what they have cast aside or forgotten.

Some of us leave the Day, stow away on a ship bound for the Isles or join a pirate crew. Some become Librarians, some just look for a new life in the skerries. We are the forgotten and the unnoticed, and that can serve us as well as curse us. We know how to go unseen, how to listen, how to wait. A name gives you power, but it also binds you, ties you up. We are the Nameless, the half-folk, the forgotten. We are free."

- ...

"Have you ever seen the Flying Circus? Run by the Sky-Folk, you know. Elves, as they call 'emselves. I believe the owner is a man called Python. They're strange ones, them Elves. They spend their whole lives in their air, moving from island to island, trading mostly, or just wandering. Some live in the bigger sky-trees, building houses in their branches and floating along with the wind. 'Course, a good number of 'em are Pirates. Wouldn't expect nothin' less from a folk that never stays in one place.

Hah. 'Ave ye seen their ears? Big, curved and pointed, they are. They say it's so that they can hear the wind speak to them. Maybe that's true. Though they're prolly jus' full of it.

The Circus, though, that's somethin' to see. It's like a city in the air, held up by a thousand balloons of every color ye can think of. It's a maze of rickety wood, packed with every wonder you can imagine. Beasts from every corner of the Islands, women who spit fire, men who can twist themselves into all manner of unnatural shapes... I'll remember it te the day I die."

- Dren McTaggart, Inhabitant of the Pyramids of Zuzangi

Sometimes, if a person is caught outside when a storm passes, they will be changed. They will no longer simply be the person they were, though they will have all of that person's memories: they will carry with them a piece of the storm that altered them. These people are known as the storm-born, composite entities of both elemental power and human mind. They know the languages of humans, but when they speak, they speak in a voice of thunder, and lightning lives behind their eyes.

- Grot Halfheart, on the Storm-born

“Though our more bestial cousins insist on their roaring and stamping, there is no reason that the more refined saurians should not compose a useful and integral part of Nifflian society.”

- Gustave Camembert, Raptor Philosopher.

“No-one’s sure where the Eladrin came from. It seems like they don’t reproduce, just appear from time to time in people’s closets, under their beds, sometimes even in between their walls. They say they don’t remember anything of where they came from, though they refer to it as "Backstage". With their strange black eyes, they’re often distrusted, but one appeared in my closet a couple years back, and he’s nice enough. Helps out in the bakery.”

- Nort Greenfallow, Resident of the Giant's Head

"We are the junk. It is our father and our mother. We arise from it, putting new bits of it onto ourselves and taking old pieces off, and one day return to it completely. We all arise from the same source, and though we may walk and speak, we are never apart from it. In truth, we are all One. We are moments in an enternal stream - the junk flows through us all."

- Tick-Tock, Junk-Priest

““They’re strange, those junkfolk. Made out of the junk – a part of it, as we all are, I suppose. They’re all different, each made out of old springs and bits and bobs. They don’t give birth I hear. Instead, they lovingly craft their children from things they find.

In the Day Above (The part of the city above ground) Junk-folk look for artistic qualities in the use of junk. They might look for rhinestones or vendor trash that is fluidly worked into the frame of the Living Junk. Some Junkers even have stories written into their pieces, such as a line from a love poem in a circle on their finger or a Ballad of Courage on their chests.

In the Day Below the Junk folk are less worried about the fancy and artistic and are more worried about what is practical. They look for junk that can be used as shovels or to make other contraptions of an eccentric nature. They also have maps etched into their frames, or on pieces of parchment that are stuck to them. Some say that these maps show all the sectioned off areas of the Labyrinth so that the Living Junk know where to go to hide or to do whatever it is they do behind those walls.”

- Morten Halfsprit

'S a lovely place, the Junk. Ye can find most anything, if you look long and hard enough. An' sometimes ye find somthin' ye weren't lookin' for, but needed jus' the same. It gives us our homes - we tunnel into the piles, or else take pieces of it and build houses. I gather tha's why they call us Dwarves, cause we've grown to fit our home - it pays to be small when yer clamberin' around in a pile. I once saw a Dayer try to squeeze in between two gears, an' I swear, I'd pay to see it again.

It doesn't mind, I know, 'cause I've realized the same thing the Junkmen knew all along - everything on Nifflas is a part of the Junkyard. Everythin's made from somethin' used, something old. And it all goes back to the junk in the end. We take pieces of it, and rearrange 'em, or reshape 'em, but it's all the same when ye look at the big picture. It's like a cloud, forever movin' and changin', but still a cloud. And there's a joy in makin' things, in takin' old bits and bobs and makin' somethin' new out of them. An' seein' the look on a dragon's face when you punch it with the robot you're piloting... worth all the books in the Library.

'S a good life, though my boy, he seems restless. Keeps talkin' about becomin' a ship's mechanic, 'bout bein' a Librarian and explorin' the islands, ever since a few of 'em came through last month. How're you gonna keep 'em down on the Junkyard, once they've seen an airship?

- Greth Brokenwatch, Inhabitant of the Isle of Nonce
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PostSubject: Rumors   Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:30 am

"What are stories? Think of it like this: reality is like a sheet of paper, and the sheet is what is Now, the little slice of time that is this moment. The world is concerned with what is, but stories are all what ifs and maybes and perhapses. They talk to the world, and remind it what it might be, what it has been, what could have come to pass, and doing that twists the sheet of paper, folds it into new shapes.

Now, stories are floating around all the time. People tell them to each other, people build up memories, people wonder and dream. But some folks have learned to focus them, to twist reality in a certain place by telling a certain story in a certain sort of way. Sometimes, for small twists, a little story made up on the spot and spoken is good enough. But for big twists, you need more power. You may need a name, which is a sort of story about the person it's attached to. Or a book - writing a story down distills it, focuses the power, and books have their own names - their titles. Of course, some stories are more powerful than others... and sometimes a story gets so big, so powerful, that it starts changing the book it's written in. The most powerful books can move, can change what's written on their pages, even speak in their own strange way. And there are other books, even more powerful than these... so powerful that just to read them wouldn't just fold the world... it would tear it. That's what the Unkindlies are for. To protect those books and the world."

- Fox Mechran, Cheif Librarian, on Wizards and the Forbidden Books

"The captain's name is John Pineapple. Leastwise, it is now."

"Pineapple? Poor bloke, then, is 'e? I assume as he's giving' share of the haul?'

"No, no. Leastwise, not to deckhands. But he's promising us a dozen names each at end of the voyage -- when we're all done.Think about it. It's not just poor blokes wot mill their family names for food, but blokes with a name wot's doing them more harm than good. Rumor says 'e's a prince from out the skerries, come to Yabba Dim Day to hire a crew."

"Pfh. I got a dozen names for anyone who'd swallow a story like that. How's this: Dunderhead. Ninehammer. Fool. If he milled a king's name, 'e'd get more than a pineapple for it. An' if he's got a dozen names for ever last one of us, where'd they all go, mm? Why not now?"

"Think what you want. But if he's poor, then why'm I sporting these two fine peach-pit earrings? And ate two peaches yesterday, I might add. And why's he building a crew of fighting men, if not to reclaim his stolen throne?"

"Cor. Two peaches in a single day. Well, maybe 'e's got a tame dragon."

"Well he's not poor that way either, now is he?"

"Point taken."

- Librarian's Notes, Parrot's Head Bar. See also: "The Coronation of John Pineapple," World Tree Almanac, 54th Edition, pg. 54.

"You want to know about warlocks?" asked the baker. "Tonnas!," he called into the back room, "You remember that warlock that came by here a week ago?"

The Eladrin stuck his head into the room, "Yes, sah."

"How much did he take off with?"

"Oh, about five or six loaves, sah. In his defense I was greatly entertained."

"Yeah, yeah. But you know what happened when I went to the mill to get me moneys worth?"

"What sah?"

"I couldn't remember a damn blasted detail of the story!" The baker turned back to the stranger, "And you know what's worse? I went around telling people my name was Sphincter for three days afterwards."

"You weren't doing that on purpose, sah?"

The baker turned back around and stared at his hired help. "What?"

"I thought you were being funny."

The tiefling retreated to the backroom as quickly as he could. The baker turned back around.

"Eh, between you and me, I'm not too mad at 'im." He snuck a look backwards and then smiled. "He still hasn't realized that he ain't wearing pants."

-Baker, on the nature of warlocks

"That's crazy. You know what happened last time they tried that?"

"Died horribly. All of them. But we won't, since we know better."

"Know better than what? The mill works, sure, but you'll never be able to use it. It ruins you, Bottleby."

"Ah, yes! But I know the trick to it, now." Pause. "I hope it won't!"
"But it'll eat that out of you. Give it a day, two days, and you won't hope it won't anymore."

"And there's the trick: I hope fervently that I'll keep hoping it won't."

"You're mad, Bottleby. I hope you know that."

"And there's the trick. I've got all these mad hopes. An infinite chain of them, all the way back to first causes; all the way back to the center of the universe. I'll never run out, because I hope for things that aren't even vaguely possible."

"Like making your fortune off of a mill that eats hope and makes -- well, what does it make, Bottleby?"

"I hope it makes biscuits."

- The Last Voyage of Godfred Bottleby, Volume I

The books of the library are alive. They whisper to each other, and the more powerful ones can even move. Once, when I was wandering the stacks late at night, I heard the books begin to whisper with one voice, to speak as if they were a single being. It said that its name was Sussurrus… and it said other things too… secrets… which the likes of you can never know. I’ve spent my years since that night wandering the stacks, plumbing the depths of the Library, trying to find it again.

- Librarian Miskrat Greensteel Fort

"Ah. Yes. You'll be wanting Prayer Request Form 27B-6. Yes. No, no. That's the Blue one, that's 28A-7. You want the goldenrod. Right. Now, name here. Here, as well. Now I'm going to need to check all the boxes that apply. Finished? Right. Now fill the same form out again twice. Why? Well all offical forms have to be in triplicate, don't they? Right. Now we offer a special deal to all members today - raise your afterlife status for just a little extra. Wonderful. Now if you'll just fill out these forms..."

- Overheard at the Diety Information Headquarters in the Yebba Dim Day

One of the crowning achievements of Yebba Dim Day is their expansive tram system. Up in the day these mechanical carts run like clockwork, bringing people too and from their days.

But what most people don't remember is that there was a second train system, the one in the Labyrinth. It's been called the Rusted Rails, the Night Bus, or the Black Tram.

They'll carry you through the labyrinth with blinding speed. The fastest one, according to rumor, made the Kessel run (from Hobgoblin Spire on the first island to the Jut on the last) in less than twelve parsecs (roughly as long as it takes to make a bad reference).

Oh, but it's not as simple as all that. Nobody knows the schedule, not even the drivers. Most wander around, picking up passengers as they see fit, demanding what they will in payment. Some take currency, some demand favors or tokens. Some will take your name (or worse, make you take one of their's. You never know where a name has been.)

The only thing that gives any real order to the Black Trams is the Guide. However, this book is so incredibly rare that it's existence is more story than fact.

"They are driven by deformed gypsies and merchants. Kings in their own little worlds, half-loony, half-bonkers."

"But Grandpa, doesn't that mean that they're totally insane?"

"Ah, I knew you were a sharp one."

- Grot Hellbottom

Metropolitis is a disease that causes the spontaneous growth of architecture from the afflicted’s body. Thus, cities and houses grow from heads, arms become encrusted in tiny towers, etc. Occasionally, the buildings are accompanied by occupants.

The language of dragons is song, and so is their magic.

The Skerries are full of wonders, but horrible, twisted things live there too.

There is a man who says he is God. He is old, and spends most of his time in a small room, drinking tea and hiding from all the “paperwork that is coming his way”.

Below the Labyrinth, there are people who live on the bottom of the islands. They just build down from the bottom (and can fall with a missed step.) These people deny that there are any people on top of the islands, and claim anyone who says so is crazy.

Massive statues, part stone, part building, part wood and old moss, and part fur and bone dot the skerrys. Most are hollow, so temples and villages are often built inside them. Their inner surfaces are covered in mysterious writing in an unknown language.

Giant turtles are used as mounts, as are giant snails. Some are so large that grass and trees grow on their backs. Houses are often built on these larger specimens.

The Raven Queen and the Kingdom of the Cuckoos are at war.

Paper airplanes held together by stories are used for flying short distances.

The Eladrin whisper of an ancient being, who lives in the place they came from.

Sometimes, a person will disappear and be replaced by a fake, who usually appears normal but has completely black eyes and no memories of the stolen’s life.

Masks are fashionable in the Yebba Dim Day this week, as are fishbowls worn atop the head.

A traveling theatre is run by a witch called Baba Yaga, who makes patchwork dolls and animates them to perform puppet shows.

Legends speak of islands composed of a hard biscuit whose taste could drive one to tears of wonder. In ancient times of unrest, a young warlord by the name of Trohan hired a town's worth of bakers to make enough biscuits to build a small island, then set it loose to float near an enemy city he was blockading. When the starving inhabitants fell upon the feast they released the hungry creatures Trohan had concealed inside the hollow structure and were slain to the last child. These days, when someone speaks of infiltrating another's defences disguised as something they would want, one speaks of Trohan's Horrors.

Some think the Junkfolk are planning war, building Battle Machines in secret corners of the Gear Forests.

There are bands of roving philosophers who ply the Islands. Nihilists attack everything on sight, while Transhumanists graft technological enhancements to their bodies, and neo-neo-luddites are determined to incorrectly use all technology (such as wearing teapots as hats and trying to use airships as baking ovens, often to their owner's consternation).

Sources of inspiration and shameless Theft

Abarat by Clive Barker
Mirrormask by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Flight Edited by Kazu Kibuishi
Shadow of the Colossus
Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki
Chris Appelhans
Sean Tan
Perdido Street Station and Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
Knytt Stories by Nifflas Games

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PostSubject: Re: Nifflas - Version 1.1   Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:10 pm

Wow. There's a butt ton of content here. Holy crap. Well, I've yet to create a character mostly because of the spatual first person story and was wondering if you could possibly organize a list of already conceptualized guilds and organizations, as well as significant characters, races, monsters, etc. I suppose I could get of my lazy bum and do it myself. But I don't wanna. Or maybe there's already a list and I've made an ass of myself for not reading the entire thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Nifflas - Version 1.1   Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:39 pm

Well, off the top of my head...

There are the Librarians, the folk who alternately work in the Library doing the harrowing and dangerous work of shelving books and searching for card catalogues, and travel the Skerries (The Outer Islands) collecting new stories and information and writing it all down, as well as collecting borrowed books and tracking down those who won't return their volumes.

In the skies, there are traders, pirates, and general explorers, as well as ships hunting the flying whales or the great herds of flying pigs. Some also harvest Cloudpine, which is used to make airships but is known to eat passers-by, among other resources.

The Church of the Inebriated One believes the whole world was created by a God who was piss-drunk at the time, and so they drink constantly to be closer to Him.

The Parliament of Rooks is a vast, sprawling government, largely smothered in bureaucracy, which rules the Yebba Dim Day, the vast city that covers the Central Islands.

I haven't fleshed out many characters yet - they're mainly just referenced obliquely in the description above.

As for races, there are various cultures of humans, including the Dayers (those who live in the Yebba Dim Day), the Basement Folk (those who have sold or lost their name, or were born without one, and who now live on the fringes of society, in Basements, on rooftops, in between the walls of houses, and in the vast labyrinth that honeycombs the islands beneath the Day). There are also those humans who live on the Skerries, some in traditional villages, and some in huge piles of junk and scrap metal. Some folk spend their whole lives in the air, in vast floating cities like the Flying Circus (owned by a man named Monty Python).

There are the Tieflings, creatures with a demonic appearance who come from some place they call "backstage" and appear in closets and under beds without warning, only able to step backt o whatever place they come from for brief periods. There are the Storm-born, composite entities of a human who was caught outside in a storm and a shard of the storm itself. Finally, there are the Junkfolk, beings composed of sentient junk held together by an unknown force, who add junk to themselves as they age, and who do not give birth, but rather lovingly fashion their children.

As for monsters, many strange and twisted things live on the unexplored Skerries. Or perhaps they're normal and they think others are weird and twisted. There are the dragons, who speak in song and breath clouds of life, causing anyone caught in them to mutate. There are flying whales, flying pigs, and dinosaurs. There are the sphynxes, also called "Tarrie-Cats", who eat paper and are the sworn enemy of the Library. There are the Leviathans, huge creatures who float between the islands and breathe storms. There are other things too, probably, but I can't think of any more. That work?
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PostSubject: Re: Nifflas - Version 1.1   Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:10 pm

I like seeing that the Tieflings are back in the closet (no pun intended). Eladrins were fine and it explained the fey step, but I think they are better suited becoming the Strom Born, a race of creatures that ties their origin to the great storms that ravage the skies and believe the leviathans to be evidence and harbingers of the great entities that sundered Nifflas.

As their race was, or so they claim, literally birthed in the heart of a storm (a fundamentally elemental force) their fey-origin makes perfect sense. In the mean time we could come up with another way for the fey step/storm walk to work.

On that note have you given any thought to cosmology? I know the god are not directly involved, and may not even exist, but is there anywhere other then “backstage”, on the WoTC thread I recall someone mentioning adding another plane between the stars of some such.

Oh, and one last thing: what was the name you gave to the creature that’s supposedly Backstage, the one the Tieflings murmur in their sleep. And the name the books speak of
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PostSubject: Re: Nifflas - Version 1.1   Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:11 pm

Tiefling = backstager again? Ok, I'm going to have to rework my character now (he was made under the assumption that tiefling were stormborn).

I do like the change though, I think the eladrin-storm tiefling-stage works better.
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PostSubject: Re: Nifflas - Version 1.1   Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:07 pm

Boom wrote:
Tiefling = backstager again? Ok, I'm going to have to rework my character now (he was made under the assumption that tiefling were stormborn).

I do like the change though, I think the eladrin-storm tiefling-stage works better.

I think I may have misread Mostly post, so don't change anything yet. Teifings seem to be geeting overhaled so they will end up with fey-step. The storm-born seem eladrin like, but im having trouble imagining them minus their signature power. Also they don't appear to be a true breeding race as I belived which would have a great deal of cultural signifigance.

Well anyways, my suggestions are in my prior post. If nothing else I would like the see the storm born as true breeding; makes the orgin story more unifying and allows for a more pervasive culture.

In the mean time im gonna see if I can't think of something good for the stom born to get, since tieflings are now infused with awsome, Teleport and horns and all.
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PostSubject: Re: Nifflas - Version 1.1   Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:44 pm

Oops, well, too late now. I don't think you misread Mostly's post.

If we're swapping powers I think it should go like this:

Tiefling (Backstager) gets fey step. This ties in with the 'otherwordly'.

Eladrin (Stormborn) get the equivalent of the dragonborn's breath attack. They're infused with the storms power, so I think a blast of elemental energy works well.

Dragonborn (Raptorians) get Hellish rebuke. Raptorians aren't related to dragons anymore, so I think a more feral attack would fit.
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PostSubject: Re: Nifflas - Version 1.1   Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:13 pm

Hmmm I'd like to hear final word on it before I get someone to draw my character up but I am going with whichever race has the 'Step Backstage' power when Mostly does give us a final word.

The other planes were The Closet (Shadowfell) and The Garden (The Feywilds). The Night is the Underdark and technically The Closet and Garden are supposed to have an underdark place as well, but making interesting names for them is beyond me right now.

In the material on the WotC boards, not sure about the other boards, none of the races were true breeding except humans and dragonborn with a possibility for tiefling as we never discussed it. All the others were different cultures that had changed humans, unless that was changed from version to version.

Good to see you all here. *Goes to make character*

-The Fae
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