Sands of varied reds and yellows, swirled and formed into curled into unreadable texts by the winds. The sands cannot be mixed but will always find thier way to a like color.
A sluggish river, a slow-motion kaleidoscope in ochre and crimson mud. It's toxic from alchemical war agents and will poison any who drinks from it it.
Here, the sand sits perfectly still, frozen in a dream. No wind blows here, no sound can be heard besides one's own breath, footsteps, and heartbeat.
A forest of rust colored fungus and lavender slime molds 10' - 30' tall. It teems with strange life and the blooms of the tendrils look disconcertingly like eyes.
A squad killed in a friendly fire incident refuses to give up their forward observation post in undeath. The brass has refused to clear them as they want to see how the situation develops.
Organic appearing, twisted, sandstone spires and rugose pillars rise to form a motley, almost-forest, made more eerie by the moaning of the wind through the holes and hollows in the formations. A great place for an ambush..
Contorted time-frozen gargantuan poly-dimensional warlocks trapped in the Astral by their mentor-patron-lover-destroyers rize in a scrofulous tangle, topped by the giant Onion Flumph Master Wizards who use their ever-regrowing-and-reformulating bodies to feed their labyrinth dreams. Not only do the great, skyscraper-sized bodies sit, contort and distort in weird angles, the Onion Dreams confuse and bring to tears all who enter, sending them out screaming, soul-destroyed wretches trying to eat the souls of the still-whole.
Here a hollow is marked by graffiti all around its lip. Bellumphage scrawl, Marine shorthand, Stiltrunes. ("This hole LIES!" they say.) The hollow speaks the coordinates of another hex. "That's where Zazziato is," it says. "He ate the Godhood Bomb and grants wishes now." The coordinates are reliable - though the hollow gives different coordinates every dawn-cycle breeze.
Pierced though and warped as if once molten, the black purple crags are largely volcanic glass. Wind howls through them repeating fragments of lost words and the shining cliffs do not always reflect what is before them.
Shining like a mirror rivers move sluggish and silver though the land but reflect nothing. They teem with clear stingray and mercury skinned amphibians.
Rich forest, swaying softly and abundent in stilted slow moving life. Dream Tigers, Crystal Jaguars and Mobius Pythons hunt Fractal Monkeys and lost souls that flee on all fours bounding like deer among the ropey tendrils. The war has not reached here.
Stiltbugs live on stilts here, dwellers intermingled with their houses, spearing floater-fish in the luminous ether of the forest. Their slow-fast thoughts jerk around like monkeys caged in crystal ships. They are friendly to visitors, they eat long-term residents and convert them into protoplasm.
Here in the forest there is a quiet shrine where the Hive Mothers come to lament their fallen brood, lost in the endless skirmishes with the prime material bandits. Each cell contains a memory from the childhood of one fallen Hive Grunt. If the brass catches wind of the shrine, they'll try to harness the unbearable memories for the construction of third degree grief ordinance. Any attempt to so harvest memories for military purposes will spawn a vengeful spirit hive.
Among the tendrils and shoots of the deep forest is a series of dugusts carved through dense fungal blooms. It is home to a group of guerilla fighters in contact with and supplied by the 812th Slave Battalion of the Bellumphagic Heirarchy of Thought. These fighters are well trained, and supplied with advanced weapons, including state of the art shoulder mounted anti-air blood siprochet senders and a limited number of PASSE's (Penetrative Adaptive Seeking Super Egos) for the destruction and/or posession of armed units or titanic warbeasts. The guerillas are fervent devotees of the Red Dream and currently have suborned the STILIT VILLAGE into providing intelligence and supplies.
"Let the People Know My Wisdom! Fill the Land with Smoke!" booms from the red eyed squatting godthing that lurks here salivating at the SOUL SMOKER in 0303. The salientian lump of warty flesh is pus yellow where it's body is not covered in a thick armor of caked ash. The god thing is not aggressive, though certainly capable of harm, and will trade cryptic prophecies, blessings for the ashes of valuables or friends burnt within its site. It can restore life, but does not like to do so.
"All of my sins have locked me in hell", reads a simple pedestal in the most unusual of places, surrounded by the bones of lesser creatures in the thousands. Pitted and scoured by the relentless howling winds a basin atop the pillar still holds the writhing liquid smoke - bound by ritual. "Plead again for rich rewards", it whispers "They shall be yours". Above a wave of lost memories crawls down the slope like a glacier, holding the dreams of ages past, a blinding beacon in contrast to the black and broken stone surrounding.
A polyphonic chorus of pained screams rise from the maw of a twin volcanic orchestra pits. The song hits the surface of the sands in a kind of tremelo, like a sickly rise and fall of the tides, shifting between discord and harmony, never resting long enough for the listener to find comfort. The closer one gets to the smoking pits, the more maddeningly discomforting the song becomes, causing hallucinations that will uniformly take one on a bad trip. Surrounding the bases of the vents is a twisted wreath of wrecked sand vessels. Steam fissures, burning boulders, rockslides, ash plumes, and sudden lava storms make climbing the vents hazardous and ash slyphs, nightmare goats, charcoal wisps, and steam mockers are all potential risks in the area. Beneath the maw is a city of caverns and brass, once hom to invading elemental gods. The city maintains their ancient and twisted society of enslaving and torturing all life it and its firey minions can manage to capture or breed. Captives subject ot strange tortures of flame and ash until they sing their delirious songs of pain, coming together to form the voices of the dreadful, ethereal choir.
This land exists beneath the ominous shadow of the SOUL SMOKER, and it's curse taints all who dwell here. Here, the song of pain is distant, yet ever present. A thousand tiny voices quietly hum the same song, but all in different keys. Sometimes, the souls of those who die in the maw manage to escape. They live here now, missing much of themselves but not wishing not to find what has been lost in favor of quiet peace of their cramped stone villages. Once in a while, a soul will escape from the maw that was meant to burn too brightly to find rest, lighting up the sky, an electric brush stroke.
High above the sands the sky whales drift, it's unclear why they congregate here, perhaps the downdraft over the river discourages predators? Frequent Skywhale falls have made the area rich with neutriants, and support entire empires of scavenging half-intelligent multiarmed apes, who feud and bicker from thier bone fortresses seeming unaware that they are stalked by at least two prides of fat sleek intellect devourers.
From any point of observation the river flows slugglishly in both directions; there is only downstream. Blind and mindless except for the continual nimbus of uncidrected psionic power that surrounds their lolling heads, undead su-monsters dispatched and refulated by the STILT VILLAGE press and strain the Uncertainly Water through the fiber of harvested tendrils. The Potential Cloth they produce is used for Void Wrappings but can be blasphemously dried and smoked.
In an effort to maintain the Required Account Concerning Kills Exhibiting Triumph (RACKET), our scouts have taken to fishing out the bodies of our dead enemies out of the river, stacking up them up, and shipping them off to the labs to be reanimated as undead war machines. The bean counters have become real hardasses for keeping up records of how we're keeping the war effort going.
The tendrils here are laden with a succulent tart fruit in a hard black shell. Its flesh looks like a staring eyeball.
The River turns East into another patrol sector. Peaceful and broad there is the illusion of bucolic ease, but at night the Eastern horizon roils with withc light and sparkles with the tracers and bolts of arcane bombardment. More dangerous are the floating mines laid here or launch on woody fungal rafts by the nearby guerillas 0309. The mines are indescrimnate and powerful, making travel East a nussiance. They are also cunningly constructed to look like the work of the bugs in STILT VILLAGE and are part of the Guerilla plan to either provoke a massacre or draw powerful units to the area that they can ambush.
Psychokinetic Antlions draw prey towards them with strange dreams and malignant visions. What you most desire is at the centre of the sand-trap, what you most fear is one step behind. Down into the sand where they devour you feet-first. They save the brain for last. Antion size defines the extent and power of their psychic projections. The largest in the centre of the hex is 4 storeys deep and holds the others under its psychic sway. If you defeat it, they may be grateful.
This great expanse of spiral sands is about as inhospitable a place as one could find, yet it teems with life and activity. Skywhales slowly hover over this land, feeding themselves with the sun through solar skin. Their massive bodies cast shadows that tortoises the size of cities occupy, forming a strange type of symbiotic relationship. In turn, other forms of life grow up around these creatures to form their own ecologies. This expanse is also home to a myriad of astral pirates, trade caravans, sandcrawler junkers, grub-riding nomads, and doomed pilgrims on their foolish voyage to hurl themselves into SOUL SMOKER.
Secret base of seditionists operate from the looming crags. They have excellent vision over the sands, utilising an Optical Extender of significant size and complexity to perceive anything larger than an insect walking in its line of sight. Fireteams will need to access the base via the crags, they will have no luck coming in from the sand.
The spiral sands here churn slowly, unearthing from time to time precious repositories of mutagenic psyche-spice. This spice unleashes powerful psionic powers for 24 hours accompanied with wild hallucinations. Struggles to control the strange resource have left the area laden with corrosive bio-mines, and the ruins of small barb-wired outposts are occasionally disgorged by the desert more or less intact. The psyche-spice also attracts bands of intellect devourers that are addicted to the intellects of those tripping on spice.
The steep, oddly-shaped crags of this hex almost seem to act as magnets for the astral storms that rock the area more often than not. Mysterious monasteries are said to blink in and out of existence at certain intervals, though few travel here to learn their secrets. Fear of the infamous Storm Riders prevents visitors.
Hexagonal prisms of white and blue crystal hold fossilized dreams of warriors at the edge of time.
Three great teeth of time stand out like lighthouses of slow space. Time slows more and more as you approach them and stops when you touch them. They are surrounded by slow monks and mad time-travelling adventurers trying to reach the Future. Fools. Time is a circle.
A great violent overhang juts into the sky above the syrupy waters, spider cultists live in hanging nets crying and screaming at the vulture and pigeon cultists who also make their homes here. All sup on the life-juice leaking out of the astral pores that culminate in the Trickle of Oblivion at the end of the jut.
Glomping rubbery bubbles of repressed emotion burp and resubmerge in the sands here, threatening but never overwhelming the serried menhirs or oligoliths of order and sobriety.
Disturbing, all encompassing silence. Speech possible close by, but fades quickly after several metres. Like they're shouting through cotton wool. Strong winds blow occasionally, strong and silent.
Storm and dragon war in the petrified crystal sands, very slowly. Rage builds and dissipates in unrequited frustration. Ego dreams die. Lust decays into dust.
The crags here hide a Grey Beard Sorcerer band's tunnel complex, it has been discovered before but the powerful and clumsy magics of the terrestrial intruder shroud it again each time - pulling it from the minds of intelligence officers, blotting out the memories of scouts, smudging it on maps and inverting its coordinates in comminques or artillery fire orders. Within the sorcerers in thier pointed hats and heavy wool robes sing their cadre songs as they carve store rooms by magic, build ever more stable rifts to thier home plane, plunder astral riches and plan ambushes of supply convoys.
Lurid orange flows from fungal orifices, like a gush of juice from the drooling mouth of an idiot god-kaiju. Rich with the psi-plankton of the astral, the waters glow with a song of sweet emotion, fertilising the mosses to the south. Within, say the old-guard, lie rest and red redemption.
Strangely shaped helical speleothems in the gravitic caves act as naturally occurring Antipathy Vortices. Negative thoughts and feelings are whisked away, only to be expelled en masse if the delicate balance of the area is disrupted. Those travelling through the area must guard against Hatequakes and Fearbursts. Those who live in the area may be willing to act as guides, though they may abandon dangerous clients who make too much emotional noise.
A silver bunker, hidden amongst the crags, containing many psionic soldiers sealed in during the Psychic Wars. The bunker has two floors: The top floor is occupied by the manifested Ids, Egos and Superegos of the soldiers who have each formed their own faction. The bottom floor contains all of the soldiers in preservation tanks, their faces now pale and with a look of permanent horror. Approaching the bunker, psychic anomalies can be observed. Inside, the chaos gets much, much worse...
Box Canyons, switchbacks and scree slides make for difficult terrain, but between the black glass walls tiny flowers grow, flickering in and out of existence, as transparent shrimp mantis try to catch them in pahse to drink thier honey. It is a peaceful idyll above lands shadowed in anxious horror.
An Astral Liner containing supplies and personnel crashed and partially sank into the great lake of primordial slime that permeates much of this hex. Her stern rests abutting a nearby crag, allowing precarious entry into the ship that now exists more or less as a leaning tower. You haven't been cleared to know what exactly the Liner carried or what the cause of the crash was. Common rumor has it that it was enemy sabotage, but more worrisome explanations also abound, ranging from monster worms to the siren songs of ghostly slime goddesses.
The call came in over the silver wires just after false dawn three cycles ago, a Cutter out of Airbase Golf was heading in to LZ Delta with a full load of troops and supplies. The pilots barely had time to call in the groundfire, shocked to be under a sustained barrage in this pacified sector. On examination the troops and pilots are dead or missing, the dead reduced to flabby sacks filled with bloody slurry by the state of the art spirochetes sent from some kind of shoulder-launched man portable-loci. Cargo remains largely unlooted, but consists entirely of crates of rattling bound demons designed for long range artillery summonings.
Blue and green mosses, carpeted with tiny flowers and an occassional eruption of bright fungus are deceptively smooth. The moss is piled deep, and infantry are forced move quickly or use moss shoes to spread thier weight to avoid sinking ankle, neck, or twenty feet through the moss.
A great prism of gold and ivory and doom and forgetting holds a lich trapped in dreams of her own making, forever beyond access to her shell-and-bead cultists and their odd sacrifices of cargo.
The orange is strong here and the red dreams of tooth and claw inhabit the placid waters. A film of psionic pressure keeps the waters in, and an emotionally still walker may cross like over a great water bed. Hate crocodiles swim with flippered feet inside the waters.
A ridiculous riot of life-forms cohabit in communist idyl in this tendriloid village. Indeed, all the creatures living here are but hosts for the half-plant-half-worm parasitoids that have eaten up their brains. The glass pyramids are built as focusing lenses for the psionic energy of the chi-munga and gamma-orgona flow-lines that cross in the area.
At the southern barrier between the crags and the tendril forest, the reaching tendril trees try futilely to scramble up a bleak stony incline that blocks their egress. The peculiar shapes of the stone canopy rising above the canyon beyond makes aerial access difficult, leaving the area a no gith's land if it is inhabited at all.
Refusal trees claw at the crags, refusing access to air and water alike, mad in their delusions of grandeur. They are powerless, but the air is weak here and great anaerobic amoeba-bears wander around, top predators in a realm of slow decay.
Warning: Chrono-biohazard! Bone-white spores fill the air around the great fungal head. The head's very presence represents a slow-motion invasion played backwards. The August Mycelium Unity coalesces in this region eons into the future and has slowly grown backgrounds through time to a precursor group intelligence fruiting, the Head. Infection is predestination; it means a being was a member of the collective in the future.
Pearlescent shelled snails died in the millions here, forming a midden of thier tiny shells that the moss has trouble colonizing. From the size of a fingernail to giants bigger then a house the shells erupt from struggling and unhealthy moss beds.
A shabby shell of bone and stone is all that remains of the Tavern at the Edge of Time, consumed by Enemy Inaction and the Tardigrades of Timority. Displacer zombies abound.
Violent turqoise sub-spatial infinity embraces the mystery of creation as dream-phantasm ghosts mimic copulation among the moss beds and tendril tussocks. Bones of marines fallen to the false orgasm of the dream-phantasms abound.
Mysterious and seemingly unbreachable, the cones are ageless and serene. Command would like them cracked and tamed or destroyed - Scientific expeditions, commando teams, and even armroed recon has taken a run at the FLOATING CONES but neither high power sorcery or guided soul eating munitiions can even scratch the surface. Rumor has it that the Cones are the source of many of the pyschic disturbances in the area, the fathers of every bad thought or morale collapse, and that they are getting angrier with each attempt to disturb them.
A crew of time-traveling actors have arrived to film a movie of the conflict. The actors all represent what future people will see as crude caricatures of the conflict, yet they have become mistakenly enmeshed in it. Fairly clueless about actual history, the actors aren't exactly certain about the outcome of the war.
At the heart of the jungle lies a mystery of nature - the graveyard of the crystal jaguars, a place where the majestic faceted beasts come as thier internal lights dim. The empty corpses of thier kind collect here arranged with immortal symmetry, cut crystal statues piled atop eachother in repose or standing sentry in inlocked rings.
Embittered by war, another company is systematically gathering up hiding noncombatants and marching them off to secluded locations to be killed en masse. The soldiers are on edge, for they fear being admonished for wasting ammunition and killing off potential slaves and sacrifices to the Great Auntie Vlaakith. The officers have ordered the grunts to terminate anybody who might rat them out with extreme prejudice.
Moss grows on the backs of the Sleepers. It can be harvested in dreams. Not all who sleep will awaken, but all will be changed. Scallop shells litter the downsteam banks but upstream there are only echoes of explosions and the roar of blood in the listener's ear.
Dense jungle, particolored and filled with life, the fungal tendrils and thier ocular blooms reaching and striving skyward. Life is exhuberant here, and every stand of tendril that yeilds grudgingly to a machete blade reveals some new wonder of pulsing strange beauty - a silent crystal jaguar drinks from a pool, great smoke vipers writh in a matting ball or a colony of mind linked silver skin birds flee a hunting grell in perfectly synchronized movement.
Burnt-out deserters, their minds opened and surrounding their bodies like coronae, have scratched out a barely functional refgue in the shadow of this monument of planar conquest. Their watchword: "The only King is the King of Oblivion." At nights they creep down to the river in 0801 and arc mind fire over the Sleepers' backs, lighting up the far shore with the memories of war.
The intersection of the moss beds and the river provide an ideal spawning ground for slaadi tadpoles. Eons ago, a mad githzerai exile stole many eggs and transplanted them here, leaving the place infested with dormant slaadi. Altered by their githzerai "father", these slaadi advocate a form of mystical anarchocommunism that focuses on freeing the unenlightened from their authoritarian tethers by freeing them from their "meatbag" bodies. The slaadi say, "inside of each humanoid, there is a slaadi just screaming to get out." Regardless of the truth or lack thereof in their beliefs, the slaadi remain a threat to river traffic and also spread out into nearby hexes, haranguing Lotus Eaters, Astral Marines, or King in Crimson acolytes alike.
Deep moss stretches peaceful and deceptively solid looking. Transparent shelled insects or shrimp as long as a finger dart among the riot of moss blooms and make a chittering chorus that stops suddenly and ominously whenever the moss is disturbed.
Tall, inscrutable, it rises. A wall, a door, a testament, a mute and deaf mad reef of stone. Carved with sigils that offer truth and sell the poison of inevitable deliquiescence. The King in Crimson stands nearby, cackling and budding polyps while polyglot pilgrams come to give offerings of silver cord in exchange for pounds of her flesh.
Matte black a slowly moving reef of corruption inches across the plane year by year, rewriting the land beneath it. Within gleam tiny jewel like globes, and points of starry light. Those who submerge in the dark tarry substance that holds them never return.
This will be your home for the next six months, tuck your rucks under the cots with the new canvas, cause the marines that had those last don't need them anymore. The lightning projectors are on auto after dark, so don't try to sneak down to the village and watch out for psychic sappers along the wire. Report any disturbances, ennui or malignant sendings or red toe fungus to your officers. Psst. let me or supply ward Xeris know if you got a few crystals to make time pass a bit more plesurably...there's a village of Lotus Eaters just over the way.
Shelled with bound demons, outer walls crazed with discharge from lightning casters and likely still haunted by unexploded sendings, a ruin, once a several story tower carved with garish foreign glyphs is now much reduced. The wreck stands on a level plane of moss supported by marble pillars. It's still a servicable position, but the extraplanar intruders who once garrisoned it are long dead or fled and it presents its own dangers from the detritus of arcane war.
River meets Lotus Paddy, the round ponds filled with bright narcotic flowers have been recently expanded by the day labor of pilgrims needing to rest before thier final journey to the RED OBELISK. The villagers of LOTUS VILLAGE are happy with this arrangement, as it increases the amount of Lotus available without requiring more labor from thier frail bodies. It is unclear if this nearly free labor force has increased the popularity of the Red Dream in the area, but it seems likely.
The Lotus Eaters have but one industry - the farming of more lotus and here man, woman, child and other toil in shifts, day and night knee deep in the lotus ponds to grow harvest and prepare lotus for the villagers insatiable appittites.
Here strode a god. Now a black lake of putrefaction, slowly merging with the reef of corruption [(0909)]. The waters thick and vicous but not yet the creeping anti-matter. Brought low by its own crustacean-like children. They built empires amid the bioluminescent organs of their creator. Filling every space they could find until they were all that flowed through its veins. It was here that it fell, crushing the very earth as it toppled bringing the cataclysm to its children. Those that survived are now twisted and hideous parasites wallowing in the icor. Starving and mad for that which they will never again touch, the divine. Somewhere in the depths of the god lake rests the final fragments of a once great being. Hidden by its spawn, all that remains, their god's eye.
"There's a thing with a gun over there, telling me I got to beware." You're ushered past blasted craters from the preliminary bombardment, the beetle casings for brain moles and sublimation bombs stacked and piled, around a circular pit in the moss 8' tall to the black rock where your carrier is wolfing down a quick refuel of raw meat with it's seven sucker mouths and testing it's wings. If this spot falls to the infiltarators FIREBASE OMEGA will be cut off and you'll all soon be ragged ghosts. Ammunition and supply flights arrive each day shortly after dust, but despite the importance of the LZ the defenses look lackidasical at best.
The caissons are not rolling here. When FIREBASE OMEGA was younger, with a less jaded commander an artillery park was planned here on this deceptively placid looking azure moss bed. The moss bed proved far deeper then expected and unable to support the weight of any significant number of demon engines. The plan for a support position was abandoned, the artillery company withdrawn. However, a lack of resources prevented the recovery of three heavy demon engines, and they remain, mostly sunk in deep moss, requiring far more brawn and effort to remove then the current forces in the area feel like exerting to free.
Pacified more by thier own addictions and placid nature the villagers don't seem to mind the nearby base, or the bands of Astral Marines that come here on the sly for cheap kicks. The villagers are strangely tall and emaciated, and the village's ancient wooden houses run down in the way of picturesque rural poverty. Drugs, companionship, booze and most of all the silver lotus of sweet anhillation can be had here for fairly cheap. Despite thier languid appearence and squalid lives the villagers moil endlessly in their lotus paddies to feed thier addicition.
The stench, billowous clouds crawl across the landscape obscuring site and dampening sound but the rank odour is clearly rotting meat. A depressional bowl pitted and ruined with snaking trenches created by two mad wizards and their loathsome forces. Home to the Wizard of Gore aptly wearing red. Choosing the pieces that he wants to keep, she is the Wizard of Gore. "Bone collections, tissue samples,Buckets of blood, bowls of eyeballs" from which his necromantic arts create fodder for the warmachine. Defending her territory from the Wizard of Wor clad in blue and master of vivisection with his stitchwork horde. Insectoid like worluks and thorwor scorpion like mockeries.
Gus posted this map on Google+ and asked for help filling in the hexes. This page is based on work I did for the Hexenbracken. Contributors: Gus L (26), Luka R (15), Chris P. (7), James Young (4), trey (4), Terra Frank (4), TheJohnnyNormal (3), Handy Haversack (3), Zedeck Siew (1), Paul C (1), Ben L. (1), Ben L. (1), Ben L (1).