Monday, July 24, 2017

City of Curses: Vault, the Floating Frontier

The eerie continent of Vault appeared after the Night of Fire.  Its sudden appearance is just one of its mysteries.  That the Vault floats in midair, roughly eighty handspans from the surface of the Ocean is another mystery.  For millennia, the Prince had cloaked it from all vision.  Prior to 1786 AO, most of the world had been unawares of the Floating Frontier.

The Old Prince had restricted access to Vault so tightly that no one had suspicions of it.  The adamantine and other mysterious ores the Prince smuggled into Crux were thought to be just another part of the greater mysteries that surrounded him.  His successor has taken no interest in Vault.   He gave up most claims to it, save for the massive Castle on Vault that over looks the Secret Sound.  The new Tinkerer has announced plans to construct a bridge linking Vault to the mainland of Crux.  Once completed, Crux will no longer connect just two continents, but three.
Vault is unique.

The mechanism that causes it to float is unknown.  Some speculate it could be the result of some ancient artifact the Old Prince had hidden.  Others surmise a mineral or substance within Vault causes the floating effect.

The fauna and flora of Vault differ greatly from Necruxa and Ainesia as well.  The megafauna of Vault seem related to animals found throughout the rest of the world, but are bigger, or are vastly different in how they appear.  More that are discovered remain unique and different from those found elsewhere.  The megafauna are matched by the Vault Giants, an introspective folk who seem to find other intelligent folk intimidating, despite any size advantage they might have.

Ruins from the Aetheric Empire are scattered throughout Vault.  Metallic, giant structures that vibrate with energies that aren't just magic but somewhere between science and magic.   They bear sigils that still need translating.  The recent discovery of the First City underneath the Skullmount has drawn comparisons.  Some of the ruins match writing found in the First City.  It remains a great mystery, however.  This attracts delvers and treasure hunters from all over the world to Crux to enter the Floating Frontier.

The Android who has taken on the title of Tinkerer has begun to construct a bridge between Crux and the lowest ledges of Vault, creating an easier means for the City of Curses to expand onto the once hidden continent.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Heart in a Box (flash fiction)

There once was a girl who kept her heart in a box.  A wooden box with glass inlaid in it.  It glowed along with her heart's beat.

That's where she kept it.  In a box. And never once did she want to put it back in her chest.

She would open the lid and listen to her heart sing its song.  The heart song would keep her dry in rain and cool in summer heat.

In dead of winter, her heart's song would make plants grow and move as if painted with brushstrokes.

She never wanted anything wicked to happen to her heart, so the box was always clean.

But she would never put it in her chest.  Never.  Ever.

Worse would be those who suggested she give it away.  How could she be without its song to keep her?

Without her heart, where would she be?

Besides, she would say, no one could keep her heart like she.

The girl who kept her heart in a box, kept it hidden from all others.  Sometimes handsome boys and wonderful girls would ask her if she would share her heart with them.  Some tried to steal it.

They failed.

The girl never shared her heart.  She kept it hidden in her box.  And she was happier for it.