Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Torpor - The Hammer Hall

The transition between realities has been compared to the space between the waking world and sleep. Lost and confused, the Pilgrim is simply carried along by the will of the Saint, and their own will to find her. In this twilight state, a Pilgrim seeking the Saint’s Path will find one more hurdle to overcome before they are granted entry into the city of Torpor.

On walking through the Parallax Door, the Pilgrim will find themselves in what has been named by those who’ve survived, as the Hammer Hall. If the Parallax Door judges a person’s inner purpose, this anteroom to the Saint’s path will act as their judge, jury, and executioner to determine whether the pilgrim has the strength and ability to even survive the long and dangerous journey to its end.

In their stupor, the Pilgrim will have no choice but be led by waiting attendants, gently and with reverence, to the middle of the long stone hall where they will stand over a large sluicing grate set into the floor beneath them. To their left, a rough chute has been dug into the joining of wall and floor, sloping sharply down and away from the hall into blackness. To their right, on a raised platform stands a third attendant who, like his fellows, wears a long leather apron and faceless burlap hood. Despite its ominous appearance, the mask still manages to convey some sense of mournful apology to the Pilgrim, as if they too are helpless victims to the intent of the hall.

These are the Knackermen. Appointed by the Saint herself, the Knackermen deliver the final test to the hopeful.

Brandishing a large stone hammer hewn from the fossilized excrement of the Living Altar which sits at the center of Torpor, the Knackerman commanding the platform will take a single swing at the Pilgrim. The hammer’s stone head resonates in synch with the soul of the Saint, and should the Pilgrim be truly worthy to walk her path, the hammer will stop upon the moment of impact, merely kissing the Pilgrim’s forehead, gifting them with the Saint’s blessing.

Those found lacking will have their skull swept from the floor, and deposited along with their body down the stone chute at their side, to be rendered down into their constituent parts - parts that no one in the city is sure exactly how they are used, but to err on the side of caution, many of the survivors have since become vegetarians.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Very WIP

I'm usually not much of a WIP kind of guy, but...Techno Barbarian.

Still much to be done, but an encouraging first model after a long absence from the hobby. Very slow work.

Much more greenstuff to go, and waiting on a part or two.

The original model was obliterated to get to this point.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Torpor - The Parallax Door

Inspired by elements of grimdark, the kernel of an unused story idea, and the recent fever-dreams of a low-grade flu, Torpor is a writing exercise in world building where the narrative will be told through a series of vignettes that focus on the world around the story, rather than directly on the plot itself.

For lack of a better term, I’m calling the process Artifacting. Like digging up a long forgotten relic from out of the earth, the reader will uncover the narrative bit by bit from the surrounding fiction that the story is buried in - an Artifact waiting to be discovered.

Part historical reference, part adventurer’s journal, part religious text, I want Torpor to feel like someplace lived-in, where to the newcomer, every answer unlocks new questions about the people and places that they discover.

As I’m usually prone to overwriting, and rewriting ad nauseam until I feel like I’ve gotten a piece right (and how many stories have I thrown away because it’s never felt good enough?), for this exercise series I’m writing the vignettes as quickly and off-the-cuff as I can stomach with almost no editing. As much an exercise in automatic writing as anything to maybe free up some of the old and rusty head-gubbins. If this turns into anything I’m mildly pleased with, I might go back and collect and polish them into something larger. For now, just an experiment.

We’ll see how it works. Frankly, it might not, but it should be interesting.

Here, I present the first part of this series I am calling, Torpor.