Friday, July 22, 2016

Gods of the Fall - Descending to Soulrest

Image Source: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/explore-functional-aesthetics-indias-elaborate-stepwell-architecture
How does one get to Soulrest? There are options in the Gods of the Fall text.
  • A played out silver mine on Seraph Isle. 
  • The Stairs of Oblivion.
  • The Gate of Horn on/in Nod.
But as the case often is, a GM may find a need to have a gateway to the realms of the dead somewhere else. Enter the architecture of stepwells. Most common in India these massive structures act as water reservoirs that people can descend into to remove water when needed. That may seem rather simple, but looking at the architecture of these monumental structures quickly banishes such thoughts. They are massive and beautiful, austere and mesmerizing. 

Take a look at that image above; it should be easy to be able to imagine this as a temple to some long forgotten god of the underworld. The depressed structure and the stairs down to the main "temple" symbolically linking the worshipper to the journey of the soul from the realm of life to the afterlife, to Soulrest. A site such as this could even hold a hidden or forgotten gateway to Soulrest that the living, should they be brave enough to venture the depths of the waters below, can use to venture to that land. 

Depending on the specific architecture of these sites some may be all but hidden from site with narrow, linear structures that cut deep into the earth but are only barely visible from the surface. Others may be more pond-line (stepped ponds) which are large portions of complexes and often adjacent to temples or other structure. Alternately yours may serve some different purpose and take a non-traditional form (non-traditional for the real world anyway).

What do you think you might use a stepwell for in your game?