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The Story:

Chapter 1plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 1: Juanda's Cave

We’ve lived all our lives in this bloody canyon, and me can’t takes no more. Me hates the canyon. And me hates me companions.

Anyway, the five of us were huddled in Juanda’s ice cave. Someone tapped on the curtain entrance and Juanda opened it. Outside were two officers of the law. One of them was Glennard. I told the coppers to state their business or taste a lick of me blade.

Chapter 2plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 2: Chicken Soup

After having agreed to split all of their spoils evenly, Blacksong, Juanda, Bernherd, and Glennard decide to get together to share tales of their past. Bernherd tells the tale of his first companion, a man so much like Blacksong that they are nearly indistinguishable.

Chapter 3plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 3: Laying Traps

Suspecting that the Traders Guild was going to find Black Song's secret path to the surface eventually, the party decided to lay some traps. Glennard cast a spell that would notify him if anyone tried to enter the cave. Black Song dug a pit. Behnerd made a magically malodorous malady. Juanda used her magic to block off the passage with a natural-seeming wall of stone, which could be climbed over if one knew where to look.

Chapter 4plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 4: Time to Make a Deal

Cliffhanger... we picked up weapons and money in our heist and were mid discussion on being criminals.

Black Song wonders aloud if he should leave his crew or go off alone.

Someone has triggered Glenard's trap. We turn to notice a man and woman standing outside of the cave.




The great colony ship left Earth on a one-way trip. Two hundred years ago, it arrived at its destination. At first, the world appeared to be barely habitable. The surface was covered in ice, with temperatures even at the equator averaging fifty below zero, and the air was so thin that just walking around was exhausting. The surface conditions resembled those at the top of Mount Everest, so the world was named after the tallest mountain on Earth.

Then their luck turned. Here and there on the world, they found miles-deep craters and canyons. The air was breathable, temperatures were moderate, and run-off from the surface ice meant a steady supply of fresh water. They landed the colony ship in the largest of these canyons, and sent gliders off to settle the others.

Other ships were supposed to arrive at ten-year intervals, bringing supplies from Earth as well as new colonists, but for reasons no one ever learned, the other ships didn't come. The level of technology has regressed over time, and the remaining equipment has degraded. Not much still works. Fortunately, the colonies have become self-sufficient, and the colonists discovered something else about this world that has aided in their survival: magic. Something about the world allows certain skilled people to change it using an as-yet not understood power.


The place where the colony ship landed is called Landing. It is a thriving city of twenty thousand people, sitting in the middle of a crater forty miles wide at its widest. Landing has a lake, which is the edge of an underground sea, and there is one spot along the slope of the twenty-thousand-foot deep crater which is relatively easy to climb. This path is held by the Trade Guild, which manages all trade with other colonies.

Landing has a temperate, consistent climate, being in the equatorial region. It only rains a few times a year, but the land is still fertile and green with Earth plants, watered by a series of pipes and rivulets that are fed by the numerous waterfalls around the edge of the crater.

The Mines

There are mines throughout Landing, mainly in the south. They produce a variety of minerals, but the real prize is Heat Crystals. Heat Crystals have as yet only been found in Landing, so they are a major export. They produce enough heat to make the surface a little more comfortable, and last a couple months once removed from the ground. It's suspected that a living thing inside keeps them warm, and that thing is sustained by something in the caves, so Heat Crystals are not rechargeable.

The Colony Ship

The ship sits in the center of Landing, and is the seat of government. Only a few people are allowed access, as some of Landing's greatest treasures are inside. These include stores of rare and valuable plastic, tools and machinery (some of which still works). There is a supply of oxygen tanks, which make surface travel much easier, but most of the tanks and machines to fill them have broken down or rusted through, so they are extremely valuable.

The Undersea

The north face of the crater slopes up at about a 95 degree angle, so short-lived waterfalls appear frequently. They feed a lake that extends two miles into the crater, where one can find a variety of small, bland-tasting fish, and a plentiful amount of an edible algae called Muck. The Muck Guild trades in both fish and algae, which they capture by dragging a woven mesh between two longboats.

The real money comes from the undersea. Independent sailors, not part of any guild, navigate the dangerous passages that connect the lake and the undersea. They do this with the rigging disassembled and the sails rolled up, to make the ships as maneuverable as possible. Then, when the passages open up into the dark sea, they quickly put their ships back together, raise the sails and start their exploration. The trip is long and dangerous, but comes with great rewards: Sea creatures with a variety of tastes and other applications, valuable crystals and more.

Sailors look down on Muck draggers.

The Bard Community

The bards provide entertainment for the people Landing, in the form of music, theater and magic shows. Bards live in their own community outside of Landing proper.

The Wizard School

A few miles from Landing, the Wizard School trains people in the magic that was discovered on Everest.

The Gyorphanage

A group of Gypsy orphans (or Gyorphans) live in the Gyorphanage.

The Scribehous

A company of scribes works in the Scribehous, copying books and documents, and writing new ones. They will also do illustrations, lithographs and other complex work. The junior scribes work at a long table that dominates the long, narrow building, while master scribes have offices. A master scribe typically charges $30 per page, or $100 per hour.

The Surface

The surface of the planet is a barren icy wasteland, but it's not totally uninhabitable. Some people, using magic, ancient technology, or adaptation, have made small areas livable. Native plants and animals survive on the surface as well.

Getting from one canyon or crater to the next necessarily requires surface travel, and there are people who specialize in making these trips possible.