Monday, December 12, 2016

Exterminators, Drugs, Tattoos, Planar Authority

Oh, whistle, in Scarabae, and I'll come to you...

This is my attempt to describe a setting through its material culture, which is probably foolish since I'm not an archaeologist or anthropologist. 

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Protective gear worn by a Scarabaen exterminator (1)
Exterminators in Scarabae are called on to deal with threats ranging from giant rodents to ankhegs and oozes.











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A pipe (2)
The manufacture and distribution of intoxicants is a booming business in Scarabae. This pipe was found in a bag along with a note that read, “We had two bags of black lotus powder, seventy-five opiate tentacles, five sheets of hallucinogenic runes, an urn half-full of acid mummy dust. Meet us at the Psychonaut Club at midnight."


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Tattoo flash (3)
Gang members in the city to proclaim their allegiance. Prominent gangs in Scarabae include the Cardinal Queens, the Forsaken, the Redhooks, the Knives of Purgatory, the Knuckle Syndicate, the Royal Proxy, the Onyx Viper Soldiers, the Violet Cross, the Empty Eyes, and the Errant Bulldogs.

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Sigil of the Authority (4)
Often thought to be pure myth, the Authority is said to be a secretive entity who sends agents to terminate any planar breach within Scarabae that threatens the stability of the world's prima materia. According to tales passed upon the streets, those taken by the Authority are never seen again.







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(1) - I like the idea of specialists called in to deal with routine threats. Inspired by William S. Burroughs's "Exterminator!"
(2) - Inspired by Burroughs's Naked Lunch, in no small amount, as well as Cronenberg's film version of the book.
(3) - Magic tattoos are definitely going to be a thing, as in Planescape: Torment, Dishonored, Fallen London, Undying, and Shanoa from Castlevania.
(4) - There's a lot of China Mieville's The City & the City in here, as well as some of the Lady of Pain from the Planescape setting, and probably a bit of Burroughs and Deleuze as well.