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Icewalker
2008-10-11, 03:14 AM
"In all my travels, it was the most inhospitable place I've ever seen, and possibly the most dangerous. I've been to the Nine Hells, the harshest spots of the elemental planes, and untold layers of this horror which is the Abyss. But I've always regretted this one journey and no other. The seven of us left from this very city, on the third of the month...I'm the only one who made it back. Six good men, the toughest and smartest I've ever known, and it took the damn tempest two hours..."
-Vor Rusiv, the only survivor of the first recorded expedition to The Red Rage.


The Red Rage

The Red Rage, also known sometimes as The Red Hurricane or The Red Tempest is one of the infinite layers of the Abyss. Very little is known about The Red Rage because its extremely hostile environment has stopped almost all research, and there are few enough living researchers of the Abyss as is.

The Red Rage is known to be much large than many other layers, extending greatly in all directions. To known knowledge it is naught but a titanic windstorm of stinging red dust in an already unbreathable environment. There are no proven denizens of the storm, although the few explorers have reported seeing figures in the dust, and one of the members of the famous Rusiv Expedition was suspected to have been taken by a demon of the layer.

Environment

"The storm was the worst, obviously. We've all faced the worst weather before, everything from the necrotic flaywinds of the Eastern Desert to the death hail in the Frost Wastes, but nothing could have prepared us for what we faced here. It tore at us as soon as we arrived, worse than we could have imagined. Clarke...he wasn't prepared for the strength of the wind, and it blew his mask to the side for just a moment, and we saw the crimson winds eat out his eyes before we could move. He was screaming as the wind devoured the rest of his face. We couldn't hear him in the tempest, but he was screaming. We all were."

The all-permeating whipping sands of The Red Rage are finer and harsher than any found on the material plane. They tear at any creature or object with hardness less than 10, dealing 2d6 points of lethal damage per round instead of the nonlethal damage dealt by material sandstorms. Wearing heavy clothing (or any form of armor) reduces the damage to 1d6 points per round, but it cannot protect creatures entirely. A barricade or enclosed space is the only sure protection, but no such structures have been found on the layer, only solid protections brought by explorers. It is hypothesized that any outcropping or solid object would be quickly reduced to a fine sand and added to the storm by the eternal sourceless winds.

The constant wind sends anyone unanchored rolling away, with little hope of getting up. Every round, anybody on the layer must make a Balance check, DC 10 +5 per two squares moved in the round or fall, and if fallen prone in the wind, a creature is blown 40 ft. per round. To stand up, the fallen creature must make a DC 30 balance check which can be attempted once per round.

This layer is not only a massive storm of stinging red, but even the air is not potable to the material lung. There is no known method that allows the breathing of the atmosphere of The Red Rage, and explorers are forced to find ways to bring their own air sources, or to use magical methods to eliminate the need to breathe altogether.


"Jacobs was lost late. The cold got him. We all felt it, there would've been frost all over us if it weren't for the tearing winds. He's always been the weakest when it came to that kind of thing, tended to skip the trips to the colder lands. He couldn't pass up the unexplored storm though, always loved tempests. He collapsed. We couldn't grab him in time, he was hurled away by the winds as soon as he lost his balance."

Despite its desert nature, The Red Rage is Unearthly Cold, below -50 degrees. Unprotected characters take 1d6 cold damage and 1d4 points of nonlethal damage per minute (no save). Partially protected characters take damage once per 10 minutes instead of once per minute. For complete protection against the effects of unearthly cold, a character must have a level of protection of 4 or higher as per the supplemental book Frostburn. Level 2 or 3 is considered partial protection, and level 1 is no protection at all.

Environmental Hazards:

"Cordell was the next. We had only been there for a quarter of an hour, and were setting up our shelter for the expedition. We'd just finished getting the last wall up and were heading inside when it happened. There was a sudden streak of yellow in the storm, it didn't last half a second, and he was gone. All that was left of Cordell was a darker red smear on the sand where he had stood, and that was scoured by the cyclone within a second."

As if the layer was not hostile enough, there is one record of a gust of sands that were streaked with yellow, and highly acidic. These Acid Gusts burn at anything in their path, traveling in streaks swirling throughout the layer. An acid gust travels at a speed of 100 ft. per round, generally moving in a straight line for long distances, curving very slowly. Any being in a square passed through by an acid gust is generally reduced to nothing by the piercing dissolving sands, which deal 6d6 acid damage to any being in a square they pass in addition to the normal damage from the whipping storm.


"It had been an hour. We'd managed to get our shelter up, and me and Wiker went out with our prepared flasks to get samples of the sand. I have no idea where the fire came from. The massive pillar of red spiked straight through Wiker's chest. He was dead before the blast wave tore him apart, the pieces that were once a man scattered to dust before they hit the ground. The inferno tore my hand clean off, and blew away my sleeve, letting the wind take the rest of my arm before I could make it the three feet back into the shelter."

The second recorded specific hazard of The Red Rage is the pyrenail. A streak of fire, ignited by some spark, traveling through the whipping flammable gasses that scatter the layer. A pyrenail strikes with no warning in a single five-foot square, dealing 8d6 fire damage to anything occupying the square, and a blast wave dealing a 3d6 fire damage to everyone else in a 10 ft. radius, as well as increasing the DC of their balance check to remain upright by 10.


Denizens

"The expedition had already failed. Worse than any I'd ever led. It took the Rage just over an hour and five of us were already gone. It was Baur who was the fifth. We'd underestimated the place, and our shelter fell before the battering winds, leaving us out in the storm again. We were preparing to leave when something moved behind him. There was barely a silhouette, but it was there. It flicked something right through Baur, and his head clean left his shoulders and was picked up by the wind. His body fell, but didn't roll. It slid away against the wind. Dragged."

There are no definitively known denizens of The Red Rage. Rusiv has recorded seeing something on the layer having decapitated one of his companions and dragged it away, but the wind was too thick for him to identify it as anything but a faint silhouette.



"Strayton saw it too. Something killed Baur. It was just the two of us left, and we were getting out. We dug the emergency return amulets from our packs in a frenzy. Strayton was always a little shaky when he was scared. The amulet slipped from his fingers as he pulled it out and before he saw what happened it was but a sliver of gold in the air and then nothing at all. He turned to me then. I had mine in hand. The spell can only take one."




[hr]
Well...I wasn't feeling like I could do work on my current projects, but I felt like writing something, so I skimmed around wikipedia for some quick homebrew inspiration. Ended up here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Red_Spot#Great_Red_Spot).

...I'm really scared by my own story actually.

Zeta Kai
2008-10-11, 11:02 AM
Damn. Great story. That last part is rather unnerving. It gave me chills.

Well, you've created quite a hellish layer. BTW, what number is this layer? Almost no known layer is below #1,000 & I was curious.

Also, am I to understand that the nature of this layer is a flat, sandy plain, perpetually raked by the winds & other hazards? The initial description is a little fuzzy, so it wasn't immediately clear what kind of land there was, if any.

Again, fabulous & evocative job. The Abyss just got a bit scarier.

AstralFire
2008-10-11, 11:07 AM
Yeah... that was pretty awesome.

afroakuma
2008-10-11, 11:36 AM
Concurred.

SilentNight
2008-10-11, 12:48 PM
Sweetness, freakish, terrifying and awesome. One of the best layers yet.

TheCountAlucard
2008-10-11, 01:51 PM
:smallsigh: Y'know, now I'm gonna have to use this in my Primordial Abyss campaign! Man, the PCs are gonna die... (mutter mutter)

Vaynor
2008-10-11, 03:18 PM
This is awesome. :smallbiggrin:

Icewalker
2008-10-11, 05:58 PM
Thank you all. Yeah, the general idea was a windswept wasteland, although it hasn't been sufficiently explored to prove that it is consistently so.

After having written this, I talked with a friend of mine and within about 30 minutes I had come up with the basis for an adventure revolving around the layer, I'll probably write it up and run it as a pbp game eventually.

Also, does anybody recognize the names of the explorers? Eh?

AstralFire
2008-10-11, 06:07 PM
I see 'Cordell' and recognize Wiker, so I presume they're WotC game designers.

douglas
2008-10-11, 06:37 PM
All this, and a mere two spells from the Spell Compendium negate the whole thing:smallamused:. Stormrage for the winds and sand, Energy Immunity for the rest.

Icewalker
2008-10-11, 06:37 PM
@AstralFire: More specific than that, but yes.


Ah, but what level are those two spells? Very high. Also, I would rule that Stormrage does not protect you from the whipping sands, but merely being buffeted by the wind. It's somewhat debatable based on the description, but a wind wall wouldn't stop this storm.

And you'd need them for every member of the party.

AstralFire
2008-10-11, 06:37 PM
All this, and a mere two spells from the Spell Compendium negate the whole thing:smallamused:. Stormrage for the winds and sand, Energy Immunity for the rest.

That would be how magic usually works, yes. DMs find exciting and interesting locales and changes, and a 12th level wizard screws everything.

AstralFire
2008-10-11, 06:40 PM
@AstralFire: More specific than that, but yes.

The guys who wrote the Sandstorm/etc books? Though I don't recognize anyone named Rusiv.

Icewalker
2008-10-11, 06:42 PM
Vor Rusiv is just an anagram. The other six:
The last names of the three authors of Sandstorm, and the three of Frostburn. Although I took Jennifer Clarke Wilkes as Clarke, because there was already a Wiker.

AstralFire
2008-10-11, 06:43 PM
Ah. Survivor.

Icewalker
2008-10-11, 06:47 PM
Every name in anything I do is either actual words, an anagram, or has some other meaning, like being a word in a different language. Sometimes more than one.

AstralFire
2008-10-11, 06:49 PM
Every name in anything I do is either actual words, an anagram, or has some other meaning, like being a word in a different language. Sometimes more than one.

I generally pick names on assonance; I used to do meaning, but that took too long. I'll still do it for a rare few, though.

EDIT: Yay, Ogre.

Zeta Kai
2008-10-11, 06:59 PM
I usually make a fictional language, pick an appropriate meaning (like Sky-Walker, or Scar-Face), & make the translation. It usually works for me. But, of course, making up languages isn't for everyone. :smallwink:

AstralFire
2008-10-11, 07:24 PM
I usually make a fictional language, pick an appropriate meaning (like Sky-Walker, or Scar-Face), & make the translation. It usually works for me. But, of course, making up languages isn't for everyone. :smallwink:

I tried, once. I still have a tareean dictionary somewhere for all of the various languages - Derentic, Shalbonic, etc. I was terrible at it.

Zeta Kai
2008-10-11, 10:03 PM
I tried, once. I still have a tareean dictionary somewhere for all of the various languages - Derentic, Shalbonic, etc. I was terrible at it.

If you need any help, PM me.

Icewalker
2008-10-11, 11:20 PM
I'm actually doing both at once for one nation in my campaign. They have their own language, and the names for places mean something in their language, and individual words or phrases are also often anagrams. It really works if you can use the same word, because it looks like a consistent language. In the little I've worked out so far, the word Epa shows up twice, which is their word for father, and the name of the sun god their theocracy is based on is Epa Thusesh, an anagram.

Owrtho
2008-10-12, 01:44 AM
Really like this place. Though it'd be nice to see some creatures for it (or some recommended creatures). I'd say that there could likely be some that live under the sand, and just pull down any prey which happens to move over them thus avoiding ever revealing themselves to the elements. This also for some reason makes me think of a book where an entire dessert was actually made of the bodies of tiny bugs the size of grains of sand with their hive at the center of the vast expanse (they would occasional make sandstorms too).


I usually make a fictional language, pick an appropriate meaning (like Sky-Walker, or Scar-Face), & make the translation. It usually works for me. But, of course, making up languages isn't for everyone. :smallwink:

Lol, I once made a language (technically it is still in progress though no work has been done for about a year). Couldn't be spoken or written phonetically (was symbol based), but then it isn't a human language. Actually is in the first post of the first link in my sig (in the 5th spoiler in the spoiler). Good times.

Owrtho

Icewalker
2008-10-12, 02:29 AM
Yeah, I'm probably going to eventually write up the adventure and it'll come with additional creatures and likely at least one locale which is somehow not destroyed by the sands.

Also, those were pretty good books. Very simple, but not bad.

herrhauptmann
2008-10-12, 09:17 PM
That was cool.

TheCountAlucard
2008-10-12, 10:34 PM
Really like this place. Though it'd be nice to see some creatures for it (or some recommended creatures). I'd say that there could likely be some that live under the sand, and just pull down any prey which happens to move over them thus avoiding ever revealing themselves to the elements.

Y'know, that might actually be a good situation in which to use my homebrew obyrith, the Grath. :smallbiggrin: [/shamelessplug]


...where an entire dessert was actually made of the bodies of tiny bugs...

...err, I think I'll just stick with the pie, thanks... :smalltongue:

imp_fireball
2009-02-12, 01:00 AM
Too bad there isn't a valid layer that consists of thousands of bleeding walls of howling faces and flesh surrounded on all sides in an infinite number of receding perceptions with an infinite void in between, complete with unlimited falling, while being attacked by millions of demons that surround you at all times and a million^infinity-1 demon demographic that increases when daemonic summoners arrive to open gates to the other layers.

Hah. I created a more horrible one just now! :smallbiggrin:

Varion
2009-12-15, 05:38 PM
Awesome, just awesome. Reminds me a bit of the movie, Pitch Black, only with more nasty weather. Now, how about a description of ABNORMAL weather on this plane? I can just imagine what 'stormy weather' would be in a place as perpetually nasty as this. Also, what spells would be adequate to actually allow survival, specifically? Create air wouldn't seem viable with high winds like that, so something that enables the cessation of all breathing. Also, some kind of protection versus the driving red dust. Would mage armor provide any kind of protection? Perhaps stoneskin would temporarily blunt the lethality of the storm. It also occurs to me that some of the denizens of the plane should be golems with DR 15/adamantium or dust elementals. Maybe a good way to explore would be with a shield guardian? They would still have to be careful or be self healing, due to the elemental hazards, but they might be viable inhabitants. Other than that, I can't imagine ever seeing a building there, only caves which got a little closer to the surface every year. Are there sand dunes?
Great story, it really sets the imagination going.

imp_fireball
2009-12-16, 08:14 PM
Almost no known layer is below #1,000 & I was curious.

It doesn't really make sense that layers should be numbered, since aren't they supposed to defy the laws of the material universe (being another plane and all)?

Haven
2009-12-16, 08:20 PM
It doesn't really make sense that layers should be numbered, since aren't they supposed to defy the laws of the material universe (being another plane and all)?

Well, it is a preexisting tradition in canon, talking about the Xth layer of the Abyss, although I'm pretty sure there are only supposed to be 666 of them (lolsatanism).

OP: Well, the story is great. But as far as a writeup of an area goes, it doesn't really provide any plot hooks, so it's not something that lends itself to being used in a game.

imp_fireball
2009-12-16, 08:30 PM
OP: Well, the story is great. But as far as a writeup of an area goes, it doesn't really provide any plot hooks, so it's not something that lends itself to being used in a game.

Fun for surprise screw sessions with powerful PCs (and no, it's not always because the GM doesn't like you, he's just evil).

Also, if a PC is CR 40, they should be able to survive any environment (no excuses!). Hence my idea of the super plane of infinite demons that are all aware of you at all times. :smallbiggrin:

Science Officer
2009-12-16, 10:53 PM
Very nice story and location, as others have said.

But on to the subject of constructing languages, which is what really caused this temporary delurkment.

I was about to suggest this (http://www.fantasist.net/conlang.shtml)to anyone who wants to create their own, unfortunately the generator has been taken down.
The site is now recommending this program (http://www.softpedia.com/get/Others/Home-Education/LangMaker.shtml) for creating your own languages, I haven't tried it, but it could work.

Narmy
2009-12-18, 10:23 AM
I sincerely hope that I never have to deal with a DM as creative and awesome, and... scarey as this story.

I assume you are one such DM.

<.< -Hides from you in my blanket-
Blankets protect us all! >< -Fears-

Auroch
2009-12-22, 12:01 AM
Unless I'm reading it wrong, the fatherly Sun God you mentioned anagrams into a woman. . .

Also, awesome story. Also also, I enjoy your language-creation methods and will probably yoink them.