Friday, 6 April 2018
The Wodlands 2 - The Antigoblin Empire
Big fat red Ogre-Babies walking slowly on fat legs. Shrivelled old small-featured faces. Fat stubby little fingers and plump warm palms with beads of sweat.
All carry Long-Tongs, primary culture-tool of the AntiGoblins. Strong iron tongs the length of a man which they use to grab and snatch things. partly becasue their fat hands are so poor at grasping, and partly to safely control a Goblin, should they see one.
If Goblin and AntiGoblin physically meet they instantly annihilate each other in a blue-tinged spherical compression wave that destroys everything in a five-metre radius and irradiates high-velocity heavy fey particles up to a 50 metre radius.
They are hideously strong creatures and their tongs can crush a skull or snatch a grown man right off the ground at full extension and carry them around like that at arms length indefinitely. They can squeeze right through a human.
AntiGoblins wear cloaks and big cylindrical hats with hat size showing their relative logic-dominance and progression towards ego-death. Their only other clothes are big nappies and thick yellow wellingtons. They are EXTREMELY SERIOUS beings, with low, fluid but monotone voices and anguished expressions. They hate to be made fun of.
Pedantic, intelligent, unimaginative materialistic reductionists, they believe that the 'self' does not exist.
Common methods of address are;
"The epiphenemon labelled as.. greets you" and
"The gestalt collected under the function of ... acknowledges awareness of the other."
Some likely names (epihenemon labels) are;
1. Gradations Of-Blue
2. Subtle-thought Fabrication
3. Piston Bo-Reason
4. Observable Acts
5. Known-to-be-seen Seen-to-be-known
6. Calculable Contraption
7. Identity Concept
8. Imaginary Concept
9. No-Joke Concept
10. Concept Grasper
11. Preserve-Truth No-Goblins
12. Definitely Notagoblin
13. Objectively Notagoblin
14. Burnagoblin Truth-Irreducable
15. Oneplusone Isto
16. Zero Goblins
17. Intense Calm
18. Mind Zoomfaster
19. Thinkbee Notagoblin
20. Zero Incoherence
Obviously, the Anti-Goblins are at permanent and absolute war with the Goblins. They are desperately afraid of actually coming into direct contact with a Goblin and continually paranoid about the existence or possibility of Goblin infiltration by any means. Goblins are their greatest hate and greatest fear. They will do anything to strike at them and anything to avoid them. They are also low-key obsessed with seeing them, though this is an illegal and loathed fetish.
THE EMPIRE ITSELF.
The nation is not large and, at least compared to mane other areas of the Wodlands, quite calm. The AntiGoblins are careful and lawful rulers and obvious adventure scenarios are (relatively) rare, while travel is (technically) much easier than in other places. Well paved roads and secure Inns are common.
There are three main areas of interest, the Inverse Forest to the north, source of the Empires wealth, the Lolipop Hills to the south, and Place-Prime, heart of the Empire.
THE INVERSE FOREST
The trees of the inverse forest are all upside down. Their tops merely graze the earth and their roots tangle in interlocked escher-patterns deep into the sky, far beyond easy sight.
In the heights (depths) of the tree roots, a parasitic vine grows a mistletoe-white antigravity pear which, if eaten or processed into cider, gives the power of floating, for a time. The pear also dries and keeps reasonably well, making it an excellent trade good.
The AntiGoblins are too big and horrid to climb into the escher-maze of the trees roots so they employ, or in some cases enslave, depending on their reasoning about such matters, huge numbers of workers to do so for them.
The AntiGoblin plantation owners patrol the ground level with 'tame' Giant Shoebills, the only animals the AntiGoblins seem to like.
There is always work in the sky plantations for extra planters, slaves, slave-catchers, security staff, Shoebill minders and all manner of other thing.
The AntiGoblins fear creatures they call the 'Anti-Gravity Invaders, translucent sky-dwelling balloon people who wrap themselves in chains and 'sink' down to the plantations to abduct staff, steal pears, kill Shoebills and foil AntiGoblin plans.
It is highly likely that the Invaders are not real in any way, no-one AntiGoblin has ever seen them, and if they were real, its no clear how they would be any kind of tactical threat, being made of translucent balloons. Nevertheless, they are spoken of often by sky-planters and their complete absence from measurable reality casts a strange pall in the midst of the AntiGoblins, causing them to be feared in a mysterious way, as if the very concept of them were disturbing.
THE LOLLIPOP HILLS
Other than their tongs, their blue city of Place-Prime and their continual 3rd-hand war with all Goblins everywhere, the only major expenditure of the AntiGoblins is their continual urge and desire to plant and prune an entire section of their nation so that every plant forms a perfect sphere.
This is AntiGoblin leisure time. They often come here with huge long clippers riding enslaved Procoptodon to prune the trees, plants, and anything else. The area is large and the AntiGoblins few, they will not allow anyone else to prune the trees so the work never ends. When a plant is pruned into a perfect sphere the AntiGoblins will clap their hands, say "Oh. Wonderful." and almost smile. No sooner is one part 'perfect' that another has fallen into disarray.
Because of its size and unpopulated condition, the area of the Lolipop hills is the primary hiding place of any radical or illegal element in the Empire, though they must all continually move to stay ahead of the pruning AntiGoblins.
Escaped slaves will hide here. Since much of the trade that moves through the Empire is based, ultimately, on contact with Goblins on either end, almost every merchant is also technically a drug dealer and smuggler. This results in massive taxation, paranoia and culture war regarding the trade amongst the AntiGoblins
The place is also full of Bandits and robbers. Their acknowledged 'leader', or at least the guy that nobody fucks with, is 'Bobbin Ten-Goblins', a huge man who continually wears armour consisting of ten live goblins trapped all over his body, tied to him even while he sleeps.
And of course there are actual Goblin Infiltrators. They have squeezed a juice that can turn anyone, physically, into an AntiGoblin. They wage a continual and covert terroristic war to destroy the AntiGoblin Empire and the Grand Catalyst, using themselves as bombs.
Obviously, the AntiGoblins loathe this disorder, but they will not spoil their hills with fortifications or settlements. Anti-Bandit patrols of mercenaries and hirelings are common.
The beating heart of AntiGoblin life and culture. Place Prime is actually the name of the central cubic fortress where the Grand Catalyst dwells.
In Place Prime everything that can be square, doors, rooms, tiles, paving slabs, glasses, meals, plates, is square, and everything that can be a shade of blue, is a shade of blue.
The Gates - These are guarded by the Malakaj Kudroj -the Joke Police. These employed and expert human absurdists perform ridiculous antics and strange performance art with deep intensity before everyone trying to get in. They seek to provoke a reaction in hidden Goblins, or part-goblins, to reveal their true form.
Within the blue city, at its square central square, is the Fortress of the Grand Catalyst.
Level 1 - The Halls of the Absurd. A maze of rooms patrolled by the elite performance artists Malakaj Kudroj and filled with surreal and absurdist art of the most remarkable kinds. AntiGoblins looking to make a deal will often come here to display their own lack of Goblinness and to check for any Goblin elements in their potential partners.
Level 2 - The Beastly Disquisition. To progress further everyone must enter one of a series of rooms, totally alone. Within is an angry monkey. They must calm the monkey using only Pure Reason. If the monkey dies, another will be added. Only once the monkey has reached a reasonable level of calm will it cough up the ceramic key needed to pass on to the next level.
Level 3 - The Scythes of Illusion. Both the name for this level and of the military faction of the Esploradoj - the AntiGoblin Inquisition who control it. Supplicants must meditate while the Esploradoj patrol around them and shout random rationalist questions and swing their scythes. Fear, flinching or an incorrect response means instant decapitation. Those who answer wisely may pass to Level Four.
Level 4 - The Conclave of Equations. This is the AntiGoblin Parliament, where the laws are created. Anyone capable of passing the challenged may attend, but the job of the Conclave is only to interpret the law in the words passed down from the Thrones of Ego Death in the higher levels. The walls of the Conclave are all chalkboards for only laws that can be proven to be logical are allowed to be enacted.
To leave the Conclave and move upwards, take the Stairs of Ascention which, allegedly, the truly wise will be able to levitate up while meditating.
Level 5 - The Inquisition of Penitants. This is the lair and headquarters of the Esploradoj, the most fanatically AntiGoblin AntiGoblins in the AntiGoblin Empire. The Inquisitors keep actual Goblins imprisoned floating in superthick test tubes and glass tesseracts, questioning them to learn more of their nature, though the Goblins tend to be bored to death rather than anything else. None of them are actually penitant.
Level 6 - The Thrones of Ego Death. Here are the endlessly-meditating Ascended Minds of the Empire. They do indeed float while chilling in a Lotus position. They listen carefully to the occasional gnomic statements of the Grand Catalyst and translate his words in turn. Their statements are recorded by the Esploradoj and taken down to the Conclave of Equations, presumably unaltered.
Level 7 - THE ARK OF THE GRAND CATALYST. Locked in eternal meditation, the first AntiGoblin to free themselves from Goblinhood though PURE THOUGHT. They sit veiled within their Ark. They may seem unaware of what happens but, being purely and perfectly logical, it is assumed they are capable of predicting any element of the material world and will simply speak when it is necessary they do so.
The Grand Catalyst still has the Goblin they once were growing out of them, essentially their leg is part of his huge arm and they look like an insane glovepuppet. The Goblin is insane and claims that the Grand Catalyst is just a huge animate radiation tumour that grew out of them and took over. The Catalysts hat is really big.