Posts Tagged ‘Worldbuilding’

Hello inmates.

I haven’t done one of these in a rather long time. Not since 2014! I’m not sure why, I suppose it simply never really came up. Maybe I haven’t been reminiscing as much recently. Anyway, I quite liked the idea of it before, So I’ve decided to make another with some of my older poems in it. It seemed apt with the new year looming in the horizon. Mayhap a little self-indulgent, but I don’t want my older poems to be forgotten. So, I would encourage any newer inmates to take a gander, You might see something you like!

The Clockwork Dragon – A tale of a frightening mechanical nightmare.
Internal Hydra – A poem, or perhaps an introspection, on humanity’s inner monster.
Red Stamp – An experimental poem about the horrors of fascism.
Night Sky – A poem about my adoration of the night.
Shotgun Romance – A twisted poem about love.
Sorcery – A poem about the magic of our own potential.
Beast of Eyes – A story of an otherworldly being.
Dirge of the Jester – One of my few forays into rhyme.

So there we have it. Just my personal picks from my archives. Every piece of writing I create is important to me, so I’d appreciate it immensely if you would let me know what you think. Here’s hoping that you won’t regret having a read.

On a side note, I hope you’ve been enjoying my more recent works! I’ve been getting back into the routine of writing daily, and I’ve been feeling so much better for it. Thanks to every one of you who takes the time to visit the asylum!

Until next time, have a very crazy day inmates!

Hello inmates!

And here’s the second random idea that I’ve had recently. I’m not sure what I think of these ideas right now, but who knows, I may flesh them out.

“The three legendary swords, once thought to be the saviors of the world, have been revealed to be the greatest threats to all life on this planet.

One, Cataclysm, wants to wreath the world in flame and cleave it in twain with the power of the elements.
One, Enigma, wishes to reduce the world to a crystalline void, devoid of life, where only madness survives.
One, Factory, seeks to choke all life with myriad poisons and diseases, darkening the skies with imperceptible death.

The unwitting (and indeed unwilling) wielders of these blades are going to destroy each other, our world and everything we hold dear in a grand conflict!

We cannot let them. We must stop them!”

That’s it for my second idea. Let me know what you think of both of these random ideas. I know they’re pretty bare-bones, but there you go!

Have a very crazy day inmates!

Hello inmates!

Ok, so I didn’t get this posted when I intended to at all. Here goes, finally:

“What if I told you there were three groups of beings in this world superior to us. Living and fighting in secrecy.

One to protect us.
One to subjugate us.
One to wipe us out.

We call them the Exarchs, the Autarchs and the God-Machines.”

That’s your first random idea that I mentioned. Took me quite some time to get that done, sorry about that.

Have you all have a very crazy day!

Good day inmates!

I hope you’re all having a great day. Oh, and happy belated Independence Day to any Americans who happen to read this! It’s been a few days since I posted anything and I’m sorry about that. Work has pretty much worn me out, so i haven’t had much, if any, writing time. So I’m sorry about that. I’ll try to get on track in the coming week. I have Daetrolos piece in the works, as well as a poem. I also have several Asylum Mythos pieces in the works as well. I’ve been pretty much working simultaneously on three of them. So I suppose watch out for those soon!

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With all of that said, I have been getting lots of random ideas recently. A job where you’re on your most of the day helps. I can sort of daydream while still getting all of my work done. It’s a really good deal, to be honest. If only I could listen to music as well, I would be getting inspiration left, right and center! Over the course of tonight, I’m going to post about a couple of the ideas that I’ve had in the last week or so. Mostly just for a change, but also to see what my fellow bloglings think of them.

So, there was another thing I wanted to ask in the post. How do all you get your inspiration? What influences your ideas? Are you inspired by music? Or things you see perhaps? I’d really love to hear from you all!

Until later, have a very crazy inmates!

“Madness is a funny thing isn’t it? I don’t mean amusing funny, but curious funny. Alright, sometimes it can be amusing funny too! I once saw a man kissing his cell-wall. Very amusing! However, I mostly find madness interesting. Since finding my way here after getting lost, I’ve seen many mentally damaged individuals who were simply fascinating. The scientist in me finds it all very invigorating. I see a new manifestation of insanity every day it seems. Just yesterday there was a woman who spoke compulsively and inexplicably in a completely new language every time she opened her mouth. Fascinating! Now obviously, I’m not insane, I’m the Hag-Man after all. I just got lost and ended up here. Nope, I’m not mad even if we are all mad here.

I wanted to tell you about a particularly mad man I met just the other day. We spoke over the space of a few hours, about many different subjects. He has odd views on the weather, I’ll tell you that for nothing. We spoke at length over a few mugs of ale and were rather jolly. This man called himself the “Cultmaster”. He told me of his past, over many ales. Oddly enough, he never became intoxicated. I daresay he was some kind of sorcerer. That lot tends to be able to avoid drunkenness. He was a small, stout man. With short, parted blond hair and a clean shaven face. Quite unremarkable really, apart from having quite brilliantly blue eyes. They almost glowed eerily.

He claimed that he was from a small town in the USA. He told me of a relatively uninteresting childhood and young life, I mostly switched off for that part. The most intriguing things he told me about were his love of theater and of a particular disdain for romance. He adored tragedies. I believe he said he loved to see partnerships shattered and marriages collapsed. His words, not mine. He didn’t actually tell me where that thought came from. Where this unrestrained hate came from. I’m assuming he had a particularly terrible love life. Most likely insane as well. He was bitter when talking about people he knew getting married and gritted his teeth often. He said he was beyond that. Far too good for that. Ahh, yes, quite the narcissist he was.

He told me more about his love of the theater, how he watched everything ever written  by Shakespeare and commonly listening to opera. A man of culture, you could say. He told me how he wished to be a playwright of some kind. He had been practicing with puppets, which he called “Lost Souls”. He wasn’t a huge fan of people so he had learned how to fashion small doll actors out of cotton and arcane power. He then produced from his coat a pair of little dolls. They were about a foot tall. Entirely black, with cartoonishly large heads. They had a red cross on their torsos and green crosses for eyes. They were inanimate and silent. The Cultmaster then clicked his fingers and the dolls sprang to life. At first they just stood there staring at one another. Then one started to softly smile, and waved at the other. The other doll then smiled back and waved in response. It was as if these dolls were friends. The dolls waddled closer and then embraced. The Cultmaster looked on, unflinchingly.

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The dolls became closer, embracing more and more. The first doll even managed a simple kiss on the cheek of the second. These dolls seemed to be in love. It seemed so real and poignant, despite the toy-like features of the actors involved. These so-called Lost Souls didn’t seem all that lost to me. Then it all seemed to go wrong. The Cultmaster clicked his fingers again. The second doll stepped away from the first, looking away, and held out a hand to push the first doll away. It appeared to be sobbing all of a sudden. The first doll began to cry uncontrollably. Were they breaking up? Why? Why did I care so much? Was this the Cultmasters influence?

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The Cultmaster pulled out a third doll and clicked his fingers once more, bringing it to life. The third doll walked quickly over the second doll and took its hand. It was stealing it away from the first! The second doll embraced the third and then kissed it soundly on the mouth. The second and third dolls then waddled to the other end of the table hand in hand, leaving the first alone and apparently heartbroken. The Cultmaster grinned quite menacingly. He threw what could only be described as a miniature rope to the first doll and clicked his damned fingers again. What happened next is almost burned into my eyes. The first doll, still sobbing, picked up the miniature rope and tied it around its own neck. It then slowly looked longingly at the other two dolls and walked to the edge of the table. I couldn’t watch. The doll attached the end of the rope to the edge and, sobbing softly, leaped from the table. There was a short silence and then nothing.

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A doll committing suicide sounds insane, in and of itself. But somehow this really hit me in the gut. I don’t usually show emotions, but I somehow couldn’t help tearing up, watching the lifeless form of the doll hanging from the table. The Cultmaster laughed hysterically at this point and clicked his fingers a final time. All three dolls went limp and lifeless. The feelings of sorrow and misery suddenly and bizarrely vanished. It felt like it had all been drained out of me in an instant. He laughed for what seemed like an age and then collected his little actors. He didn’t seem at all fazed by the horror that we both just witnessed. This was some kind of magical puppet show.

The Cultmaster called the little Lost Souls the Pint-Sized Cult. He was their master and he told me how he made them fulfill those same acts we just witnessed constantly. Sometimes he would vary the act somewhat, but the result was the same. It was a miniature shattered romance, but with full sized emotions. He told me that he watched these same acts over and over again, savoring the heartbreak and melancholy. Not only is he a narcissist, but he’s also a monster in my eyes. The Cultmaster traveled around and outside the Asylum, “performing” this play to crowds and taking in all of the sorrow. He seemed to feed on the heartache somehow. Perhaps it was the sorrow that gave him his powers? Did he simply live to create grief? With a slight grin and a wave, the Cultmaster promptly left after his show, leaving me feeling somewhat empty and violated.

I didn’t really know what to make of this madness. The Cultmaster had an amazing power, to be sure. Begrudgingly, I can’t deny that. The way he manipulated the Pint-Sized Cult was marvelous, but the sickening stories he imposed on the Lost Souls was not something to applaud. I couldn’t help feeling that there was some kind of intelligence behind the dolls eyes. Almost as if someone was trapped within them. Perhaps that is where the name Lost Soul comes from? That thought left me shaken. The horror of witnessing the play could not be anything compared to the horror of acting it in over and over again. Terrible.

So there you go, I’ve told you a story of the one of the most bizarre individuals I’ve met thus far. If you ever were to meet him, be sure to leave swiftly. Do not watch the play, it could be the end of your heart…”

“Not only humans reside here in the asylum. Oh no indeed! There are myriad entities in these halls. From demons to vampires, from faefolk to sorcerers, from beasts to things ever more unknowable. The asylum is a menagerie of sorts. Anybody or anything can potentially find its way here. The more bizarre and demented they are, the easier they can find it. I get along with the majority of things here, even the most unusual inmates. In fact, the cellmate opposite me, a good friend, is a cyclops. The cell at the end of the hall is said to hold a man who can turn anything he licks into diamond. You’re never far from something strange or unexplainable. That’s just the nature of the asylum. There is never a dull moment!

It’s true that the asylum is endless. It’s our own dimension. There are as many cell-blocks as there are stars in the sky and nobody is tied to one cell. Oh, apart from that one man who is literally attached to his cell walls, but I digress. There is one cell-block few dare to enter however. This cell-block is said to contain one of the strangest beings I know of. Yes indeed, even the Hag-Man is lost for words. They call it the Brain-Beast.

In all honesty, nobody really knows what it is. Even I. Is it a demon? Some lost monster? An old god? What ever it is, it’s certainly powerful. It wouldn’t have been able to carve out something a territory otherwise. They say it resembles an over-sized human brain with a bizarre and unnerving mask, emblazoned in orange and dark green. The expression is ever-staring and freakishly gormless. There are said to be four eye holes, so I suppose the creature has four eyes. From the brain hangs something of a vestigial spinal cord, like an inanimate tail. From the flanks of the brain are four iron joints, from which four fleshy arms sprout. The arms are said to be of differing lengths. At the ends of these fleshy arms are skeletal hands in white silken globes. Very unusual.

Brainbeast1

They say the Brain-Beast was once man. An insane man, by all accounts. Mad, yes, but a genius if there ever was one. Genius and insanity often go hand in hand don’t they? Typical really. He was a man that not only displayed signs of multiple-personality disorder, but also ironically wished to be able to be in several places at once. I daresay this was due to a demanding occupation and an ever more demanding married life. The man wished to be able to work 24 hours a day every day, while still having a home life. He also wanted sorely to have an active social life. Simply too much, even for a genius. You could say he was innately a busybody. A true workaholic, as well as an aspiring barfly.

The man was a scientist, a professor or perhaps a doctor. It’s not entirely clear. As all men of science are known to do, he began to concoct a plan. A plan to cure his ailing life. He was going to be in several places at once, ethics be damned. What happened at this point is something of a mystery. How did a scientific and prodigious busybody with a mental disorder become the abominable being we hear of today? Some say he made some kind of deal with a powerful demon. Others say he conducted an experiment so foul that nobody wishes to speak of it. Some inmates speak of unknown sorcery. Some say he summoned the Brain-Beast and was consumed by it. Nobody knows for sure. Myself? I believe that one of his more ugly personalities took over and caused the experiment to go awry. The man was turned into the Brain-Beast by accident. Naturally I would take my own theory over any other.

What ever the case was, the mans wish was fulfilled, in a sense. As the Brain-Beast wanders, reportedly by floating in mid-air through telepathic means, it carries in each hand a lifeless puppet. The creature somehow fashions each of these puppets into a human figure. Each one different, each one random. Perhaps one is his original form? Others could be people he knew or people he has seen before. Perhaps they are simply from the creatures imagination. The figures change seemingly at a whim. One could be a young blond man, another could be elderly woman, while yet another could be a one-legged man. It simply doesn’t appear to offer any challenged to the creature. It gets stranger though. The creature hangs each of these puppets from strings attached to its fingers, like an old puppeteer. The Brain-Beasts true body vanishes into thin air, leaving only the puppets. The puppets are horrifically lifelike, they look like real people. Expressionless faces stare outwards. Then the strangest thing happens.

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The puppets come to life, each of them imitating human beings. Each puppet acts independently. The Brain-Beast seemingly controlling each one individually, with absolutely perfect aptitude.  Oddly these puppet people are able to move unhindered, as if there were no strings holding them up. Distance doesn’t seem to matter. One puppet could be doing something at one end of a building while another could be in a different room, on a different floor. It must be some form of magic. The Brain-Beast can now be in several locations at once, acting and seeing through these puppets. It could be building something with one puppet, while getting materials at the other end of the asylum with another puppet. These puppets can be dangerous, perhaps due to the creatures power, by possessing immense physical strength and appearing to feel no pain or fear. The Brain-Beast can fight with these puppets, since an aggressor can never know exactly where the creature is at a given time due to its invisibility. It could be behind them in the same room or in another location altogether. The man got his wish, he essentially became several people, controlled by a tremendously powerful mind. I daresay the creature is as insane as the man whom it used to be. Acting at random and without an end goal. It is simply content with fulfilling it’s wish of being in several places at once.

BB2

I found it hard to believe when I first heard the legend of the Brain-Beast. It seems anything can exist and even thrive in this asylum. It does highlight just how bizarre this place is. I do not yet understand why the Harlequin fashioned this asylum. Why would any being create such a place? Is it a reflection of himself? Is it a hiding place? Or perhaps a prison? It simply makes no sense. I intend to find out someday though. Not even the Harlequin can outsmart the Hag-Man, I swear it…”

“Off the west coast of Primea is the treacherous Great Divide, a nigh-on endless ocean. It’s possibly the grandest mystery on this world. Few dare to traverse its waves, fewer still have actually managed to locate any new landmasses or anything of note. It’s desolate, to say the least. Even decorated explorers such as Renault Tserra, Klaus Transuppe and Magnus the Sequined have all attempted to map the waves, to little success. One lady though, discovered something truly fascinating. Rene Jerla was a Riefan Lords daughter turned explorer who used her fathers money to buy a boat to roam the Great Divide, in hopes of making a name for herself. She discovered something fascinating, yet terrifying in the same measure. She discovered another continent, far larger than Primea. She discovered the Amber land, the continent of Demes.

Rene Jerla made contact with many inhabitants of Demes, crossing the dunes in search of this new lands secrets. In time, she discovered a realm of Humans. The Migran Empire, they called it. A terrifying behemoth of a nation. The details of these years of Lady Jerlas exploratory career are hazy, even to me. It’s possible she simply disappered into the Demes dunes, never to be heard of again.

The little we do know our western cousins on Demes comes from the Riefan expeditionaries who followed in the wake of Lady Jerla. They tell of a harsh land, where Dust is rampant and unchecked, and the most common sight is that of wasteland-like desert. The people of Demes, our cousins, are equally harsh. They are a warlike people, bred to conquer and dominate all that they survey. The Migran Empire covers a large portion of Demes, though the exact amount of land is unknown. The land the Migrans have swallowed is said to dwarf even the entirety of our continent of Primea. I suppose that gives you an idea of the scale of this domain. The Empire is stained with blood and echoes with the sound of countless shrieks of pain and dismay. War appears to be a way of lie for the Migrans, who naturally have a colossal military. Using this steely arm, the Migrans appears to have wiped out any other nations that may have shared Demes with them.

The Migran army is large, however unlike we enlightened Riefans and Bulrins, the Migrans appear to shun discipline line combat and drill training and instead have opted for a somewhat more crude yet undeniably effective doctrine: sheer weight of numbers and brute force. Their armies appear to be drafted from the innumerable towns, cities and villages that span Demes. These peasant armies occasionally volunteer, but more often than not are forced by the Migran elite. Their armies are made up of the poor, the weak and the helpless. These peaseant armies can be conscripted quickly and can be “summoned” from anywhere the Empire requires. These peasants are usually forced to find a cheap weapon; an old musket, a rusty sword, a table leg, what ever they can muster. It is ironic that for people who discovered Demes in search of peace, we find only war. In fact, we know almost nothing about the Migran Empire that doesn’t pertain to warfare and the military. We know nothing of their economy, leaders and politics, for example.

Despite the barbarism displayed by these Migran armies, the Migrans are far from primitive. In fact, what we’ve seen of their progress in alchemy and engineering dwarfs our own by some measure. This progress is displayed in a huge way.

They call ‘them’ the Djinn. The Djinn are the armoured fist of the Migrans. Massive metal things on legs, draped in livery and carrying a number of marksmen and big guns. They have been observed wading through hostile armies, akin to walking buildings, crushing everything in their path. Tearing through infantry and cavalry alike, belching smoke and steam as they go. They shrug off musket-fire and cannon-fire alike. Bandits and hostile armies have been observed fleeing in utter terror upon feeling the ground shake as a Djinn approaches over the dunes.

It is unknown, even to the Migran people, how these towering weapons of war are built or function. It’s even a mystery what metals are used in the construction process. Perhaps they are even created with some kind of mysticism? Migran peasants appear to see the Djinn as protective demi-gods, annihilating any who show hostility to the Empire. They worship these creations as if they were beings from the heavens. The funds and resources required for such a marvel of industrial might must be astronomical.

What little is known about the Djinn can be listed fairly easily. Little is known after all. Firstly, the machine is allegedly controlled by an “Arcanist” somewhere on board. This general, engineer, or perhaps sage, rules over the machine through unknown means. It is even rumored that these arcanists have some kind of connection with their machines, but where this is physical, spiritual or just conjecture is a mystery. These arcanists are rumored to be drawn from the scientific branches within the Migran Empire, bestowing their genius to the cause.

Secondly, the Primean expeditionaries were told that there are literally hundreds of Djinn, each and every one unique and special. The Djinn could be modified and specialized to different kinds of battlefield duties. Some, they heard, were lumbering platforms laden with cannon, others were designed to carry elite soldiers while allowing these same warriors some protection and a vantage point. Others still were said to be designed for close-quarters combat, equipped with automotive arms or blades, allowing the  machine to be a walking hurricane of blood and gore. Finally, there are Djinn with more bizarre uses, from walking Dust shrines to promenading hospitals.

These facts barely scratch the surface of the vault of knowledge that is sure to exist about these extraordinary mechanical wonders and, of course, their owners and builders. The discovery of these weapons by the Primean expeditionaries was met with equal parts disbelief and terror back at Riefe and Bulrin. Indeed, nothing in the arsenal of either country had the clout to take on these juggernauts, let alone destroy one. The discovery has led to an arms race recently, with Bulrin and Riefe trying to strengthen their militaries and technology. This has come about as fears rise of an invasion from the Migrans, the scale of which could destroy all of Primea. Ironically, as Riefe and Bulrin strengthen their sword arms, so too do they practice their silver tongues. Both nations have attempted to begin diplomatic negotiations with the Migran Empire. This too has problems of its own of course. This, however, is a story for another time…”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.

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“Have you heard of the Peekers? Mischievous, spiteful little tykes. Once they notice you, they’re always watching. Always. Always. Always. They’re always watching. Peeking around corners, hiding in the closet, sniggering in hushed tones. They’re rather nasty, I tell you! They’re been known to come here to the Asylum occasionally, taking unwary inmates away for some devious purpose. We don’t hear from them again. They haven’t come to me of course, not even the Peekers can outsmart the Hag-Man. I feel no fear.

Nobody knows what they look like. Nobody even knows what they truly are. Demons, monsters or otherwise. They say you just simply feel an unearthly presence. An chill perhaps or maybe a soft wind. A peripheral shadow or the weight of eyes. You just feel them watching. Peeking and peeking and peeking and peeking. You might even hear them if you’re lucky. Chittering and hissing, chuckling and gibbering. You might think you seem them in the corner of your eye. A flash of shadow or a burst of movement. That’s just part of their game though, they won’t take you until you’re scared into utter mindless terror.

They’ll get closer and closer. They’ll grab you and take you away once you’ve finally lost your mind. To where? Who knows. You’ll be lost for good though. I got lost once. They go for the weakest among us. The fools, simpletons and the imbeciles. Sometimes the young and helpless too. Cruel, devilish, gibbering things that they are! Clawing at your mind from just out of sight.

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They’re ancient things to be sure, far older than any human civilization. Our forebears told tales of shadow monsters and fey beings that took helpless infants and younglings into the night or into the dark forests. Perhaps the Peekers are they? Even I don’t know for sure. One could even theorize that this is how they grow in numbers. Assuming of course that the Peekers are, in fact, not once singular being. Could they, in fact, be an it? Who’s to know? There have been stranger things in this world. How intriguing, yes?

So next time you are walking out under the moon, whether it be in the city or in the wildness, don’t ignore that feeling of being watched. Who knows? You just might be…”

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Hagman

“Hello there! You look a little bit lost. I got lost once. How did you find your way here, into the Asylum? They, the voices in the walls, call this place the Asylum. It’s some kind of dimensional plane outside of our own world. You can be strange and kept safe here. It’s a place of oddness, but at the same time, individuality. You can be utterly yourself here. I can be myself here. That gent over there can be himself here. Any man, woman, child, monster, devil or creature can be themselves here. I live here now you know. They call me the Hag-Man. Who knows why. They found me in the desert. I’m something of a scholar you see. I search up and down for all sorts of knowledge. Knowledge of the other side, of magic, of madness, of mystery. I like to know things you see. I’m definitely the smartest man here. They found me in the desert. I’m not mad.

I hail from Germany originally, Frankfurt I believe. However, I spent most of my life in Nevada. You see, I was a scientist once. I was something of an Egyptologist and a geologist. I know I look rather fair, but I spent a number of years in the Valley of the Dead and the Saharan Dunes before I got lost. Did I tell you I got lost once? I got lost and now I’m here.

I was testing a theory you see. I detected something of a spiritual channel sprouting out of the Egyptian tombs, out into the Sahara. I believe I called it a “Leyline” at the time. Much to the disbelief and arguments of my oafish colleagues, I followed the Leyline into the desert. Mad perhaps? Perhaps not. We’re all made here but I’m not. Not. Not. Not. Not. Not. Not. What happened? Don’t you listen? I got lost and now I’m here.

Inmates and seekers of knowledge both would do well to seek me out. Keep me interested and I’ll tell you where to find something or how to kill something or what something does. I’m definitely the most knowledgeable person in here. This Asylum has an odd effect on people within it. This place changed me, my mind has never felt so liberated. I’m quite literally a know-it-all now. Magic is straight forward now. The unknown is known to me. Monsters are childs play. Science is a breeze. Easy. Easy. Easy.

I’ll tell you what isn’t straight forward though. The purpose of this place and what it is. We’re not sealed in here, many have left the Asylum and returned to the mundane world. A separate dimension yes, but why and where? Why does this place exist? Why do the curious members of society end up here? Why do we change while within its archaic halls? I know everything obviously, but I don’t know the answers to these questions. I theorize it has something to do with the mysterious creator of this place: Big papa Harlequin. The Oldschool Harlequin they call him. I haven’t really seen this being before, but I sort of feel him nearby at all times. I don’t really know how to explain that. He’s everywhere and nowhere at the same time in this place. He never speaks to us. Silent. Silent. Silent.

Personally I like it within these halls. It’s a calm, chilled place. It’s oddly familiar, mostly resembling a typical insane asylum from the real world, yet with the most alien array of residents imaginable. I get along with the majority of other denizens, despite their eccentricities. Oh, and their inferiority of course. It feels safe here and I’ve never felt so free. I was lost and now I found myself here. I’ll tell you more about it eventually I reckon, you seem curious enough to me. I think I’m going to stay here, forever…”

The Hag-Man

“Primea is a tumultuous place, to say the least. You see it everyday in my trade, if you could call it a trade. I travel from one end of the continent to the other, exploring every ruin and following every tale. I thrive on the unknown and the bizarre, I flourish in exploration, I live for mystery. I’ve seen many things that I can’t explain and many things that I wish I hadn’t even witnessed. Prime amongst these are the monsters of Dust. I find myself writing time and again just how dreadful these horrific things are. Just how dangerous they are. Just how absolutely alien they are. I feel like I’m beginning to repeat myself. They’re simply the worst denizens of this world. I often get chills as I rest, simply by thinking about the creatures I’ve seen. However, this is lessened somewhat by knowing there are those out there who have dedicated their lives to hunting these horrors.

Not all are willing to sit by and allow horrors of Dust ravage outlying villages and scheme in unknown labyrinths. There are those who would cast their fear aside and become a predator. A predator of Dust monsters. A scary prospect, to be sure. These individuals are considered madmen and fools by the majority of the civilized population. Their cause can be considered just, though inevitably ghastly. These individuals are commonly called “Dust Slayers” or “Inquisitors”. Collectively, they are referred to as the “Common Inquisition”. A legion of common people who live to end Dust monsters. They are not a literal group or institution, but they share a common interest and often exchange information with one another if their paths cross.

They are naturally all dangerous individuals. I’ve met a small number in my time. I’ve seen them take on abominations, the likes of which you could not imagine. Naturally not all I met were sane. Dust Slayers usually operate alone, either fearing for the safety of other innocents or cultivating a deep mistrust for everyone and everything. It is not uncommon for an Inquisitors hunt to spill over into the fields of crime. More than one Inquisitor has become a serial killer, supposedly as the lines between monster and man were blurred.

There is almost always a particular event that sets a Slayer off on his or her personal crusade. It is not a simply whim that compels a man to hunt a creature made of pure chaos, a very real and physical nightmare. Inquisitors hunt for their own reasons, not simply for the good of civilization. It is rare indeed for an Inquisitor to hunt simply to protect the innocent, their hunts are pervaded by pure hatred or self-destructive thoughts. A Slayer may have lost a loved one to a Dust creature or witnessed the remains of a humble village on the edge of a wasteland. Rather than shrink away in fear from the experience, these individuals set out for revenge against the manifestations of Dust.

The majority of Slayers are solitary hunters, though they have been known to hunt in groups. Individual Slayers may pick up the same trail and decide to partner up. This way, larger Dust creatures can be toppled. A small group of Slayers armed with musket, sabre and gunpowder can dominate even the most terrible creature, given the planning. That is the most important facet of the Common Inquisition. Without an element of pre-planning, an inexperienced Slayer is likely to have the tables turned on himself. As with mundane animals, a Dust monster is freakishly dangerous when cornered.

As well as these, there are a small number of organizations that also claim to be hunters of Dust. There are the obvious governmental institutions like Tern Street and the Masques, who seek to further the interests of their nations. These are not strictly members of the Common Inquisition clearly, though have been known to assist in eliminating Dust creatures. I’ve even heard tell of individual Tern Street Runners assisting Inquisitors in specific hunts. There are less well-known or underground groups that also seek to eliminate the Dust. They too hunt the Dust monsters, however they have their own reasons for being and for hunting. For example, there is the Brotherhood of Calont who follow in the footsteps of a legendary Dust Slayer. Also, the Coterie of the Impervious Crucible, who bring a religious fervor like no other to the hunt. These groups are not necessarily considered part of the Common Inquisition, but I felt were worth mentioning all the same.

Many Inquisitors are ordinary people who often lead secret lives, working at day and hunting at night. Many have families and loved ones to take care of. An Inquisitor is rarely a rich individual, it doesn’t often bring a monetary reward nor gratitude. They have been known to even live in slums, hunting with the barest essentials and armaments. Indeed, many Slayers have nothing but the hunt left. Hunting out of obsession or with suicidal intentions. Some of these poor souls become twisted, becoming part of that which they once hunted. These poor fools are known as “Furies”. Their minds crack at the horrors they have faced or are bent to the will of their Dust prey. Many go mad, seeing everyone and everything as enemies. As I mentioned previously, many become serial killers, believing the innocents they slaughter are Dust creatures as well. These people embody the line “When the hunter becomes the hunted”. How horrifically literal.

I fear the world would be a darker place without the Common Inquisition watching our streets and lands. They are a force of grey against the blackness of the Dust. They aren’t perfect, and they most certainly are not necessarily pure servitors of justice. But I think that the people of Primea, myself included, can sleep softer knowing that there are those who try to keep the monsters back, fighting desperately with their sword arms and sanity.”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.