Monday, November 3, 2014

Story Seed - The Slick

Image Source: http://theplourde.deviantart.com/art/Empty-Chest-488794936
"The wastes.  Go far enough north and west from Ghan and before you come to the domain of the Gaians there is a stretch of desolate coastline where few creatures and fewer people live. This land is frequented by those of my trade; smugglers, traffickers, spies, and worse. Dangerous though it is this land is the safest path between the Steadfast and Gaian lands. 

"The waters here are murky. Clouded through by a slick oily substance that mixes with the water but does not stick to anything it chokes the fish and other marine life.  Some say that it is a contaminant from a prior age, some poison byproduct of an ancient numenera.  Others say that the slick is itself a form of alien life, one so foreign that it does not register as such to us.  Whatever the slick is, it ensures that the wastes are barren of all but the carcasses of dead sea creatures the withered strands of whatever plant life can filter out the slick, and those of us making trade in coming and going in secret.

"I once made camp in the remains of some great creature.  The cave of its ribs was ample enough for a dozen men, and its skull stood nearly higher than I could reach.  I know not what that poor creature was, but surely it fell foul of the slick and perished in those filthy waters.  The waves saw fit to give the creature a burial on the shores much as it does for other, smaller, creatures of the sea.  As you might surmise the wastes regularly stink of the foul odor rot. 

"The skeleton was gone when I next returned. I know not why. If some person harvested the poor creature's remains they did so with remarkable speed. If the Iron Wind cleansed it from the shores it did not see fit to leave any other evidence of its passage. I suspect that the slick itself, whatever it may be, had some hand in the dissolution of those great remains. I cannot prove it so, but there was a great pool of the material where I believe that the carcass had lain."

"And this is this slick that you speak up?" the aeon priest asked, holding up the small jar, its lid sealed with a numenera I had acquired at great expense.

"Yes, and I think it is spreading."

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Summary - To the west and north of the Steadfast an oceanborn blight spreads through the water, killing creatures of the sea, and leaving vast stretches of shore dead and lifeless.