Under the Needle 2: The Broken Steppe

Being continued from the first post.

Our explorers find themselves in a landscape of shattered sentinel trees, flowering overthorns, and wide open expanses of yellowgrass. Orcoons mock them from the boughs, while grazing megaporcs cut down any vegetable that would grow overmighty. Abandoned complexes of antentropic shipsteel mystify the modern traveler.


A cross between a baboon and a raccoon, with the acquisitive, greedy mind of a magpie goblin. Some long ago thinkerkin had the bright idea of breeding a brighter beast. They succeeded.

  1. inquisitive – hunting
  2. grumpy – playing
  3. hungry – thieving
  4. melancholy – dismembering
  5. angry – flinging
  6. content – painting

A successful attempt to replace the extinct pachyderms with an oversized, four-tusked, long-snouted pig. Intelligent and possessed of a racial memory of the horrors of the tower farm.

  1. lonely – wandering
  2. suspicious – stalking
  3. lustful – fighting
  4. regretful – excavating
  5. acquisitive – scavenging
  6. somber – praying
Antentropic Shipsteel Complex

Antentropolith: type of synthetic meta-mineral devised by the builders, integrating retro-chronic particles that enable it to resist entropy and decay. Not actually steel, thought it is quite reflective when polished and harder than corundum. Creating this material today is utterly beyond the abilities of even the greatest of technowizards and even manipulating it is night impossible.

  1. this was some kind of plantation council judgment building?
  2. perhaps a vat or bioprocessor of some sort?
  3. possibly a theatre bunker?
  4. definitely a ritual location … but what kind of ritual?
  5. combination bath house, furnace, and battle arena?
  6. a museum and restaurant combination?
  7. it looks like a fence made out of doors?
  8. some kind of landing area with pleasure maze on the side?
the broken steppe
Being the Hexes of the Broken Steppe

Being the grass-fat hexes at the right end of the map.

d10Day, OverbrightNight, Starlit
1Sad grass (L0), crawling, waterhungry, flesh-cutting.Glowing overthorns (L1), blocking, crying, trapping.
2Symbiotic starling colony (L0), singing, scavenging, stalking.Turnip toads (L0), tuber-eaters, hole-diggers, mole-biters.
3Bug-eyed antelope (L1), tasty, testy, tentacled.Big-eared nut bats (L1), swooping, wooshing, flighty.
4Orcoon (L1) party, fighting, fiddling, fussing.Orcoon (L2) hunters, ambushing, trapping, knee-capping.
5Great ratcat (L2), striped, skunk, saber-toothed.The Dustclothed (L3), bone, mud, and unquiet soul.
6Megaporc (L5) family, loner, ghoul.Taker of the night (L3), great bat, eats hat, steals cat.
7Ant expedition (L4), combined, meta-intelligent, patrolling.Megaporc Zu Ghoul (L7), terrifying, predictable, glitchy.
8Striding tree (L6), giant stick insect, phyto-symbiotes, slow.Nest of Sleep (L6), peaceful, defensive, symbiotic beasts.
9Zumech (L4), incomprehensible biomachine, explosive, imperturbale.Illumant (L4), spotlighting, nightshouting, ghoul-calling.
10A.N.T. Factory Mind (L11), avatar, neuromanipulator, theroformer.The Great Orcoon (L7), antihero, destroyer, avenger.
Table XX-II: Strange And Unexpected Things
  1. Visions of a lost family.
  2. Skull with mechanical spell-port.
  3. A chitin hand.
  4. Four pairs of viscose underwear.
  5. Plastic trumpet.
  6. Singing sword.
  7. Rubber mongoose statue.
  8. Sleeping snake (L2, very velenous).
  9. Big Egg – human, will hatch in 5 months.
  10. Steel cage with bird skeleton.
  11. Zodiac sign on a string.
  12. Bullet-riddled silver machine.
  13. Self-help codex (add 1d4-1 to 1 mental ability, subtract 1d4-1 from another).
  14. Bottle of bloodwine.
  15. Forty pieces of corundum.
  16. Diamond saw.
  17. Machine corpse dressed in the skin of an orcoon.
  18. Boastful stelae.
  19. Cloak of gold, heat-reflecting.
  20. Voice modification scarab. It crawls inside your throat and changes your voice to make it reverberate with deep desire and make people feel again, like there are voices singing in their hearts when they hear you speak (spend 1 life to activate, works like some kind of Charm spell, I guess).

This is an elaboration on a location that will get a paragraph or two in Our Golden Age, which I’m working on over at the patreon.