Deepshard in Galeblazers | World Anvil


Deepshards are jagged tempest-tossed fragments of fallen ayrlands staked into the ice, on a slow abyss-bound spiral grind. Their reefs are petrified bone-white, and the wilting tree branches bow low in embarrassment. The cursed rocks will never again take flight. Only the frozen corpses of the foolish or forsaken remain. They loom like tombstones at the terminus of skid-scraped canyons, or at the epicenters of flooded craters, commemorating the triumphs and follies of abandoned cities and extinct civilizations.   Ventures into the time-frozen ruins are reliably ill-fated, and rarely profitable for the common hardboots. The benefactors reveal themselves by way of silver tongues and sun-bronzed skin. They do not hesitate to squander the blood of their hirelings in vainglorious pursuit of banquet-banter curios. Nearer to the abyss, the shards are older and more foreign, albeit picked clean of the more obvious rewards. Here huddle a rare few who plunder for lost manuscripts of forbidden lore, and forgotten schematics to infernal devices best left buried. I came to regard these folk as more subtle-minded than the common scavengers on the outer latitudes, though no less competitive, and decidedly more prone to madness and obsession.   It is impossible to enter the deepshards suitably forewarned about the psychological dangers. One encounters scenes of humanity in its final moments, frozen in tableaus where agonized panic meets pathetic banality. People running for the docks. Children clutching at their mothers and dogs. Lovers embracing under all the mattresses and cushions they could gather. The ice trembles as something falls in the distance with a thundering crash. Conflagrations of flux and brimstone trumpet the arrival of another martyr.   Could the Leviathans of the southern Deepsea ever slumber easy with such noisesome upstairs neighbors?  

Into The Necropolith

Aye, many a gahl go thirsty-eyed at the thought of the prizes in the shards. Most folk 'round here are stateless or broke, so they're desperate for a golden ticket to the Clear. But the expeditions are tough to finance and near impossible to insure. First is the journey across the ice, which is always like to crack or shift, and specially so 'round a fresh site, which is where all the good stuff is anyway. You also need transportation, not just for your crew, but for food and supplies. Folk need tools to break the ice and blast through rock, and masks to protect from toxic gasses, and you can't forget containers and hoses if you're lookin' to siphon flux. You can find it all here at Kennelridge, and a loyal team of hounds to pull it all back.   Weapons too, and more to spare! There's spiders down in the deeps, and the gangvolphs like to use the shards for a nursing den. 'Sides, it wouldn't do to spend a month under the ice only to have your haul nicked by raiders when you come back up, now would it? Sometimes you even find locals still alive, either holed up inside waiting for rescue, or trying their best to eke out a living aboveground. And of course, there are the Hollowmen, who stay active in the tunnels, barely worse for wear after the drop. But why're you askin' me? You shouldn't even be thinkin' about going down there without a seasoned guide, unless you're keen to get trapped by a quake or a cave-in.
— Sylvio Ardem, Sledwright at Port Kennelridge

Cover image: by Caspar David Friedrich (PD)