Task B: Bowmans Pastures

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Deep in the poisoned wastes; lost in the burning, red hell of the Canyon Maze lies a tiny green postage stamp of idyllic medieval farmland radiating out from a harmonious little hamlet huddled reverently around a gleaming white church tower. Like everything in the Ancient Wastes however, not all is at it seems...
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
I've got to get this down, so I'm going point form and not necessarily in order here. Everything is still super-rough:

  • Having narrowly interpreted some obscure text of [generic central church] regarding He Who Looked Upon the Dark Waters, Wilhelm Bowman, founder of the Groundwater Sect set out with his followers into the wasteland, promising to guide them to the Holy Sea, fountainhead of the waters of creation, source of all that runs below.
  • Shit this is getting too long.
  • This cult headed into the wastes to find the water. They met with utter disaster. Hounded through the fringes of the Canyon Maze by its avian protectors, starving and parched, dreadful choices of survival were made.
  • Deep in the Canyons, they found their promised land, a desolate valley, dry and windswept.
  • There, Wilhelm is said to have died of heartbreak, swearing to the last that this was the spot promised to him in dreams and vision.
  • Trapped with no way back, the pilgrims turned to cannibalism and terrible acts of sacrifice in their despair.
  • And behold, the soil brought forth fruit! The waters began to run. The God of the Waters received their sacrifices and answered their prayers.
  • Now the people live a peaceful life overseen by a council of stern elders.
  • They have formed a stout militia of deadly bow and pikemen that protects them from the menaces of the Maze.
  • Their scouts have ranged outward in all directions and once again reopened the route to the wider Wastes.
  • Their missionaries travel to nearby settlements to spread the good word and bring back supplies.
  • Every once in a while the flock is gathered, and someone is chosen to become one with the Mulch and enter perfect communion with their god...
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
They await the Holy Groundswell, when the earth will tremble and the waters pour forth. Until then they are content to til what land they can, adding to the soil with their own.

The town is small but extremely self-sufficient. They have all the critical medieval craftspeople including an excellent weaponsmith/armourer and one of the most talented bowyer-fletchers in the Wastes.
People are law-abiding. Hard but not cruel. Polite and welcoming.

Chief among their enemies are the [avian threat] who predate the high canyon walls, the weird Frog People inhabiting the deeper reaches of the Maze and the dreaded Mulch Crawler.
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
The Elders discovered a terrible secret in the hollows beneath the church. An enormous cavern with a black lake of pure fresh water. The answer to all their prayers! High on the water-carved cavern walls an ancient structure crouched, gathering shadows about itself.
Inside, they found an antechamber and claimed the strange [Andean] regalia they found therein for their own.
Deeper exploration brought them into contact with an alien intelligence; I titanic mycetic life form whose tendrils stretched throughout the cavern and the valley above.
It is now the god of the unknowing settlers above. Transforming their remains into soil, and animating their twisted, fungus-filled, skeletal corpses to do its strange bidding. Sending its dreadful Mulch Crawler out to punish those who resist.
It blocks further exploration of the strange ruins.
There is an immense stone door in the ruins that appears to be operated by a great water turbine; as if the water table belongs at a higher level...
 

DangerousPuhson

So ... slow work day? Every day?
I trust this settlement will be located far from the Giant Bug settlement? As the Bug town has a literal waterfall running through it, so it wouldn't make too much sense if these guys set out in search of water when it was right there...

Unless maybe the Bug town is downstream of this one, and their water source is new? Actually it would be fitting if these guys were the ones responsible for all the water in the area, essentially bringing lifeblood into the place.
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Something elsewhere in the Wastes is draining the water table, keeping it well below the ancient levels that once drove the machinery in this installation. Perhaps the Groundwater Cultists are in Carcass for more than just fresh converts (and souls for the Mulch). Perhaps there are even two factions of fanatics; one following a path of hope, seeking to reroute the errant waterfall perhaps leading to a means to defeat their false god; the other despairingly seeking fresh flesh for the fields. Almost certainly the agents of both factions are completely deluded as to the true nature of their missions.
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
I like Grutzi's The Cracks idea. I hope I'm not taking it too far in an unintended direction. I tried to leave it pretty open. I'm envisioning conventional canyon country (difficult to navigate but not impossible) in one direction towards the general Wastes,other settlements and the bulk of the adventure locations, and a deeper Enchanted Canyon Maze with its own set of mechanics in the other direction. The avian threat exists as a (annoying but not impossible) foil to PC's who want to short cut things by climbing or flying, however the enchanted maze itself can be passed over geographically, but it can't be cheated if one wishes to find its hidden locations.
Further settlements or locations could easily be placed deeper in the maze or elsewhere in the canyon country. I kind of envisioned the settlers with there fungal backing being enemies to the Glass Gripplis, which would put them somewhere not too far off.
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Apparently I'm all alone here on the 4th of July Weekend...

Happenings around the Pastures:

Mulch Crawler:
Appearing very much like another more famous caterpillar-like crawler, this abominations is strung together out of bones, fungus and human soil. Its head is a stretched human skull (some say the Skull of Wilhelm Bowman himself) with paralytic fungal tendrils lashing obscenely from its distended jaw. It has all the benefits and weaknesses of a Undead and Fungus type creature including greatly reduced damage from piercing weapons (making it a real terror to the mostly bows and polearms Pasture Militia).
It forms in the mulch pits at the whims of the Mycetic God and creeps out at night to take those who have earned its arbitrary interest/ire.
 
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The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Bridge of Birds:

The High Canyon-Bridge, a narrow and precarious bottleneck on the road to the outer Wastes has been blocked by a Vulture Knight. The honourable, avian Paladin claims she must guard the bridge against all who trespass on its holy ground, offering single combat to those who would dare her crossing.
The bridge towers thousands of feet above the impassible, rocky floor of the abyss. It appears too angular to natural, but too weathered and petrified to be man-made. At some point there was a central pillar to either side, supporting the middle of the span, but one has eroded almost entirely away and the other is ... fuck it, here's a drawing:
48
A bird sacred to the Vulture People has built its nest at the peak of the pinnacle. The knight will not move until the creature has finished raising its chicks. She either needs to be defeated or convinced that the nest will be left unmolested or can be safely moved elsewhere.
Research/Lore: The sacred bird is exceedingly rare and known to be an omen of mighty events and drawn to places of great power.
Clues: Searching under the nest reveals a corroded hatch.
The pillar once housed a small installation. Inside can be found: Lore regarding the wider mystery of the Ancients. Clues regarding secrets/locks of the [Main Dungeon]. Trapped [Lesser Guardian Creature].
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Song of the Moonless Night:
On the night of the New Moon, the people of Bowmans Pastures gather in the church, share a meal and sing hymns of praise through the night.
Outside, eerie, luminescent tendrils slowly unfurl from the Mulch and the cultivated fields, reaching longingly towards the pitch black spaces between the stars above. An alien song fills the valley. All who hear it receive visions of impossible things and risk madness or worse!
Harvested tendrils may be consumed to grant The Curse of Memory. Harvesting tendrils certainly draws the ire of the Mulch Crawler.
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Crack Fishing:
The annual Canyon Trout Run is about to begin. High above the canyon floor in a treacherous section of the Outer Maze these flying fish dart through the narrow fissures to their mysterious Deep Maze spawning grounds. The trail there is precarious including a number of critical climb, jump and balance tests as well as some basic Maze Navigation. The fish are easy to catch (as long as you have a way to remain safely hitched to your ledge) and are highly valued as food by the natives of the Cracks. Research: the Canyon Trout flying bladder can be used to concoct a potion of Limited Weightlessness that grants an extended Pass Without Trace or short Jump effect.
The Canyon Trout Run draws numerous Crack predators and is particularly enjoyed by [Avian Threat].
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Goody Samuelsen:
The village wise-woman, chief brewer, midwife and confirmed witch is beloved by most and hated by a powerful few. She leads the Women's Auxiliary, organizing food and logistics for church and community events. None doubt her devotion. Her enemies lie among the Elders who hate the authority she has amassed outside their rigid hierarchy.
She is the widow of one of the last moderate Elders.
She is having an affair with one of the hard-line Elders. A married man.
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Cave of Stars:
Ergotism is a common and celebrated occurrence among the Settlers. It is not uncommon to see people speaking in tongues, dancing in the street or further embellishing the huge, disturbing murals of the chapel. They have been touched by the god of the waters, granted a glimpse beyond the dark reflected surface.
A place frequently sought by the young, The Cave of Stars is forbidden to all but the most holy, but that doesn't stop daring youth from sneaking in and tripping balls in the womb-like dark of this nearby cavern. Luminescent fungi grow in noticeably orderly clumps on the walls and ceiling, almost like constellations and colourful nebulae, but none known to man. Research: The fungi have indeed grown in the pattern of stars above this world hundreds of millions of years ago.
Secret: The stars scintillate randomly. The fungus of this cavern is a break-off entity, it is attempting to communicate through luminescence. If it can be communicated with (through Dancing Lights/Fairy Fire/Comprehend Languages etc.) a powerful ally can be made.
Secret: If the stars of a certain constellation of religious importance (appears on the walls of the chapel and the regalia of the Grand Elder) are pressed (or a light show of the constellation is made before the fungus), a secret door leading to a hidden ledge high up on the walls of the Groundwater Cavern can be found.
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
One-day Canyon:
Sought by lovers and the adventurous, this deep, narrow chasm in the Outer Maze receives direct sunlight at its bottom but once a year. On this one day every year, the slimy banks of these stygian depths bloom to technicolour life in a way that brings tears to the most jaded of travelers' eyes. A rare flower grows among suddenly verdant life here, treasured by lovers for its abilities to freeze a fleeting moment of time [Limited Time Stop].
The banks of canyon stream boil with a rare, poisonous newt that must spawn at this time every year. Stepping or falling in the water can be fatal. The newts are a popular delicacy to the Glass Grippli who send small fishing parties down into the gloom to collect them.
All this activity draws an increased probability of encountering [Outer Maze Predator].
 
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