Alara: The Evertorn

Yeah, yeah, I haven’t posted in two weeks. Production of Agamemnon + psychotic embryology teacher = fuck me in the ass and name me Clancy. But I’m back.

It is well known, among the ranks of the even-slightly-educated, that Alara is a world that hovers above the clouds, suspended by the will of a dethroned god, ever floating. For most people in the Civilized Lands, in Aulind, in all of Alara, this does not and will never matter. Many never see the Cloudsea, or only see it once in their lives, or very few times. Many others, however, live their entire lives by and for the Cloudsea, such as the Wind Dwarves of Below, the minotaur sailors of the isles, and fishermen in small villages all over the the Civilized Lands.

Even those who live and die according the the whims of the great Sea almost never stop to question: what lies below? Beneath that layer of wind-torn cloud, what exists? Where do fallen sailors come to rest? These questions have been the territory of philosophers, scientists, and wizards since the dawn of civilization. And the answer is this: the Evertorn.

The Evertorn is the land beneath the clouds. It is the remains of the land that the current continents rose from, in the depths of time. It is a horrible, horrible place: barren, desolate, and almost devoid of life, save one thing. The demons. The Evertorn is a place under constant warfare, constantly devoured by the demons fighting for supremacy.

Hypothetically, the Evertorn is infinite. No one has ever measured the land beneath the clouds, and no one knows how large it is. Thus, hypothetically, there are an infinite number of demons dwelling there. An infinite number of types of demons, as well: if something could be conceived to exist, it’s probably in the Evertorn.

The demons are grotesque creatures. Incredibly varied in form, intelligence, and any other criteria you might choose to pick, the demons are a heartily evil bunch. Occasionally, one shows its evil in a more creative way than others, and chooses to do something nice. But trust us, it’s all for the greater purpose of evil.

Demons range from mindless mutants bent on the destruction of everything in their path to loyal and disciplined soldiers to scheming overlords who can contain their evil for the purpose of a greater one: politics. The one major interest of any Evertorn demon lord is power, which can be split up into to two lesser interests of warfare and politics. At any given time, a demon lord is waging war on several other demon lords, formating alliances with several completely separate demon lords, and plotting to betray all of them. The web of allegiances and hatreds on the Evertorn is so mind-blowingly complicated that trying to diagram it actually led to the death of several prominent Blue Magi, studying in the Arcane Academy of Wyrmspire.

Which leads us to another thing: the Evertorn and Alara, while miles of cloud-stuff apart, are not wholly separate. On one side, many prominent wizards and scientists in the Civilized Lands spend their entire lives studying the Evertorn. “Where do the Imps we summon come from?” question prominent demonologists. “If I drop a rock off of Below, how long will it take to hit the Evertorn, and if it lands on a demon will it kill it?” question prominent (read: batshit insane) scientists. Wizards make entire careers out of summoning demons into their service, and it often pays to figure out where the shit you’re summoning is coming from, and also how to summon bigger demons (wizards aren’t the most sensible of people).

On the Evertorn side, everything revolves around the surface world. The demons of the Evertorn hate the fact that they’re caught in this craphole, and are doing everything in their power to ravage and destructify the hated surface. Of course, demons hate each other almost more than they hate the surface world, so things are basically fucking crazy. A demon lord attempts to open a portal to invade Alara, and is immediately set upon by his neighbors who resent him being more successful than them. On the other hand, a demon lord manages to, in disguise, get into a powerful position in the House of Dargonne, and the ensuing bragging rights catch him several allegiances from other demon lords. Controlling parts, however minuscule, of the above is a major thing in demon politics, and the most major demon lords often play in the surface world. And then kill everyone involved, even on their side, so no one can go tattling to the other demon lords. Demon lords aren’t very nice.

The Evertorn does not adhere to the normal rules of the physical world, as such. Though, scientifically speaking, light cannot actually filter through all the layers of cloud to reach the Evertorn from the sun, there are still regions of it that are burning deserts, the sun seemingly so close that one could reach out and touch it. Other parts are nearly black, illumination only provided by lava flows or strange luminous algae. It is thought that this strange inconsistency of light is caused by the proximity of the Evertorn to the body of the Elder God.

There are many, many races of demons. They are innumerable. In some wretched corner of the land beneath the clouds, anything and everything imaginable exists. There are, of course, several races of demons that, through their strength, ease of proliferation, or some other factor have become more common than others. Three such races are the Dradh, the Sak’kiin, and the Orlüg. The Dradh are the common underlings of every demon lord, of every minor leader. They are tall, bordering on nine feet, strong as hell, and have as much free will as a slightly retarded marmot. They have humanesque faces, with reptilian nostrils and eyes. Their bodies are covered with armorlike scales, and their arms have spike-like protrusions pointing forward: natural weapons. Dradh make up the majority of the forces of many, many demon lords, and also make good slaves.

The Sak’kiin are cunning, intelligent, and the closest thing to a demon lord a regular demon ever gets. They are slightly smaller than the Dradh, averaging around seven feet tall. Their short stature is more than made up for by their absolute brilliance, however. In battle, Sak’kiin make up the shock troops, coming in, tossing fireballs everywhere, and teleporting away before anyone can do anything about it. Sak’kiith are often used by demon lords as advisers, though it pays to keep a regiment of Dradh bodyguards around, as your adviser may just decide to kill you in a massive power-play. The Sak’kiin look mostly humanoid, as do most of the most prolific demon races, but their humanity is tempered by their fangs, six pupil-less eyes, and the auxiliary pair of arms, six feet long and tipped with bony, dagger-like ends on their backs.

The Orlüg are scary. Ranging from twelve feet tall (short) to fifty feet (oh shit, oh shit, an elder Orlüg is eating my castle), all share the same attitude: anything in existence deserves to be purged from said existence. The Orüg exist only to eat, to destroy, to decimate. They are vaguely humanoid, but with grotesque, overblown features, covered in coarse hair, cyclopean, and often with two or more heads.

The demon lords control everything, when it comes to the Evertorn. Depending on the lord, his dominion will take a different form: some demon lords build massive cities to house their armies and their slaves, while some simply roam around, essentially being glorified brigands. What every demon lord has in common is power. A demon lord, if transported with all his power into the Civilized Lands, could rip through entire villages, entire cities, without being stopped. Of course, if the city targeted were Wyrmspire, some wizard would just magic him back to the Evertorn. Which is the weakness of every demon: they are tied, irrevocably, to the Evertorn. A simple spell, and they are banished. Some have the will to resist, but they are rare. Demons are created, arguably, by the Evertorn: no one actually knows where demons come from, they just seem to… appear. It’s quite possible that they are just… grown. Like flowers. Horrible, angry, twisted flowers.

The greatest of the demon lords are the demon princes. These beings are nearly deities, and indeed are occasionally worshiped as such by various cults. The demon princes have vast dominions in the Evertorn, occasionally larger than some continents above. Of course, a demon prince’s greatest enemy is another demon prince. The most powerful of the demons are constantly cutting each other’s throats. There is no real criteria for when a demon lord becomes a demon prince, but when an undeserving lord declares himself a prince, he’s usually set upon by all the other princes, and quickly eliminated. Only the most powerful lords can survive this onslaught long enough for the princes to give up and go back to squabbling with each other, and this is the mark of a prince. A prince has not ascended in the Evertorn for many centuries. Demon princes, and all demon lords, are physically unique, and while they may take elements from other creatures beings looking exactly like them do not exist.

Don’t think, however, that there is no human (or, rather, mortal) presence in the Evertorn. That would be unbalanced. There exists the occasional mortal in the Evertorn, just as there exists the occasional demon on Alara. Many prominent wizards, though mainly those with sick twists, occasionally delve into the politics of the Evertorn. Many a prominent and good-hearted wizard has formated a group to go in and clean up the Evertorn, opened a portal, stepped through, glimpsed the bat-fuck, ape-shit crazy place that is the Evertorn, and turned back immediately, sometimes permanently renouncing goodness on the basis that if something as evil as the Evertorn can exist then there can be no good.

Non-wizards may also reach the Evertorn, though it’s hard. Scientists in Below have calculated that, if one simply tries to fall there, one will starve before one hits. Or, if one has the foresight to bring along a picnic basket, one will eventually reach such a speed that one’s flesh will be ripped from one’s bones, due to the incredible gravitational force of the Elder God. All this, however, has not stopped the crazy Wind Dwarves, Underfoot, and Humans of Below from trying. Recently, an expedition was launched, in which a group of specialists were encased in a solid lead, square-shaped ship, provisioned with several weeks worth of food, and of course, massive amounts of shock-absorbing technology for when they hit. They haven’t been heard back from, but it didn’t seem likely that they would be. Chances are they’re either dead, or have started scientifically diagramming the Evertorn, and will report back when they figure out how to build a catapult large enough to get back.

Important Residents of the Evertorn:

Prince Haal is the current most powerful demon prince of the Evertorn. Haal is a cunning politician and a brutal warlord, and rules over an absolutely massive territory. Haal is unique among the demon lords in that he will keep any allegiance that he swears to. Of course, you have to watch his wording, but he never actually lies. This has given him a reputation that allows him to make deals with fellow demon lords at a much greater rate and with much less squabbling over details – thus, if he’s being attacked, he can bargain a squadron of Sak’kiin reinforcements in the blink of an eye. Occasionally, someone doesn’t watch the wording of the agreement he enters into with Haal. Haal then backstabs him, takes his territory and all his minions, and adds them to his own power. Countless demon lords have been dethroned by trusting Haal too far.

Haal’s physical form is that of a giant, reptilian man, twelve feet in stature and with six arms. In each arm he holds his favored weapon, a highly decorated sacrificial dagger. Haal most often wears a formless brown robe, seemingly with no openings save the bottom one and one for his head, enveloped in brown cloth. Then, out of nowhere, come the daggers. Snicker-snack, and you’re dead. Haal, in addition to being very lethal in close quarters, is an incredibly accomplished sorcerer, and will fuck you up. Period. Some legends abound of Haal being a bastard son of Anator, god of chaos, but there’s a chance those were just started by Haal to enhance his aura of power.

Prince Salarath is the second-most powerful prince of the Evertorn. He’s fucking crazy. He makes allegiances just like Haal, but is about seven billion times more likely to randomly break them and eat the head of whoever he had the agreement with. Because Salarath is a wolf. Well, technically, he’s three wolves. Salarath, in his most favored form for battle, stands about nine feet tall, and has three bodies. All molded into one. They are, essentially, three large, upright wolfmen. But when you look at the back of the left arm of one, it turns out to be the front of the right arm of another, and then it doesn’t matter which arm it is because it’s clawing your eyes out. This means that Salarath has three arms, three legs, three chests, three heads, etcetera. This means that battle with him is a fucking crazy fuckfest, because each head trades off control of the body essentially every second, meaning you could be watching him eat someone from twenty feet away and then suddenly he’s leaping at you and then he’s away again but one of the retreating claws takes off your head so you’re fucked up anyway.

The three heads are three different, and often competing, sentiences. Their names are Belgrath, Thane, and Meshiae. Each one is a different color: Belgrath black, Thane brown, and Meshiae white. Belgrath is an insane warmonger, who revels in killing things and then eating them. Thane is the brains of the group, and often is in control of the body, as well as the plots, the legions, and everything else Salarath controls. Meshiae is a mage who spends most of the time with his eyes forced closed by the wills of his two brothers, who fear him. This is because, if Meshiae opens his disturbing, ice-blue eyes, anything targeted by them will be frozen in a block of ice, then incinerated, then ripped through several portals to far realms and taken back. When used in small doses, however, Meshiae’s specific brand of lunacy can be very useful for, say, completely decimating several legions of enemy soldiers.

While Salarath’s most common form in battle is that of the three-bodied wolfman, he takes another in other instances: Belgrath, Thane, and Meshiae all have their own bodies. Normal wolf bodies, though larger than usual and with horribly intelligent, glinting eyes. This is the form that Salarath most usually lounges in, as he enjoys the freedom of movement granted to him by separate bodies. Salarath often moves about Alara, gaining followers or interfering with politics, and he uses his separate form in this time. So, if you’re out in the forest, and you suddenly see three wolves, one black, one brown, and one white, all looking at you even though the white one has its eyes closed, and all moving in tandem: run. Run like you’ve never run before, and pray to god the white one doesn’t open its eyes.

Prospector Dhar Dhurek is the dwarven leader of the mortal presence in the Evertorn. He’s not important by the standards of the Evertorn, as in he doesn’t have a massive territory or several hundred thousand minions reporting to him. But, by the dubious standards of the Civilized Lands, he’s very, very important. The Prospector is the leader of the expedition, begun several months ago, to Evertorn. The one where they dropped a giant lead block full of scientists into the Cloudsea. Yeah, it worked. And Dhar is amazingly good at leading the expedition.

When the giant lead block (known as the Successful by the overly optimistic project-funders in Below) hit the Evertorn, it immediately sunk several hundred feet, causing such a sudden vacuum in what was previously earth that it was filled in overhead immediately. After tunneling out, the expedition beheld a bunch of demons killing each other. They were not immediately noticed, so they scarped. Now, several months later, the remains of the Successful and several other caverns have become the city of New Below (also commonly called Further Below). New Below is dedicated to diagramming the Evertorn, cataloging its denizens, etcetera, etcetera. Dhar is the leader of this. He often sends out field expeditions, to watch demon battles and take notes, draw pictures, and drag in dead demons to be dissected. They’ve got quite a lot amount of data so far, and have not yet been discovered and exterminated. This is an Accomplishment.

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5 Comments

  1. Daniel said,

    April 15, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Awesome. Love the big lead block thing.

  2. Pieboy from school said,

    April 18, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Well that got dark and existential really fast. Wow.

    further below hahahahaha

  3. tuskedchimp said,

    April 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Yeah, the Evertorn is not a pleasant place.

  4. pieboy said,

    May 1, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    i posted a ton of shit on my blog honky

  5. tuskedchimp said,

    May 3, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    i noticed before i read this comment cracker


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