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Lamplighter Hills I – Through the Clandestine Arch

Lamplighter Hills I – Through the Clandestine Arch

If you’re ever in such dire need to travel fast and unseen between the realms, search for one of the Clandestine Arches. Whereas most Realmgates are pompous constructs that bring you in an instant from one place to another, these gates merely offer you access to a shadowy realm between realms, a corridor to travel hidden from unwanted attention.

The ‘Ash Marshes’ they call this place, a desolate and brumous plain filled with nothing but ash, rocks and marshy hollows. Dark by day, pitch-black by night, they say – but I’ve never encountered a sunrise there.

– Marulius the Severed, Hammerhall beggar

Not much is known about Ulgu, the Realm of Shadows. Divided in thirteen regions the Shadowkin live in this realm, as do some of the Fyreslayers. But there is more – splinters of this realm float between the other realms, connecting them and filling the empty void like a slowly creeping wall of fog. One of these splinters are the Ash Marshes. Once a populated region, it touched the Realms of Shyish and Chaos, bringing horror, mutation and deathlessness to its vast plains. Now only very few mortals still live in the marshes, with most of its inhabitants turned into nightmares made flesh.

Do not think this inhospitable land is uninhabited. Tribes of hooded Marsh Striders roam the ashen wastes, some of them may even help you and trade with useful goods. But the darkness holds many terrors, things that once were mortal, shivering masses of flesh with too many or not enough limbs. They will follow you, surround you. So don’t stop, never halt for too long.

And should you see lights in the dark, like from a dozen lanterns – run. Just run. Although I suppose you won’t get away from it as it travels fast and knows neither fatigue nor sleep. It will find you and it will speak to you. It will offer you its help. To guide you, to protect you from those terrible things in the dark. And it will name its price. A terrible price, but you will pay it. Don’t make the same mistake as we did and refuse its offer…

– Marulius the Severed, Hammerhall beggar

The Marsh Striders are the remnants of a once prosperous culture, now damned to travel the marshes without ever stopping as only constant movement outpaces the shambling creatures of the dark night. They clad themselves in leathery clothes, hoods and masks to battle the ash that fills the air. No outsider has ever seen a strider without this gear and and it remains unknown how much humanity is left in these people.

Far worse is the creature that is called ‘The Lamplighter’ by the tribes. A stitched together brute with a multitude of arms and hands, holding lanterns and candles to light the plains’ darkness. It doesn’t seem to be either daemon or undead, it just is. Whenever it finds travelling outsiders, it offers guidance and protection at a price. This price varies, but always is of a sinister nature. Her arm and your feet, seven fresh eyes or even a whole member of the travellers’ group. Upon payment it guides the travellers unnaturally fast through the marshes without any hostile encounters or hazards right to their wanted destination. Should the travellers refuse the offer, the Lamplighter wanders off and the flesh nightmares will come.

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Posted by on 24. April 2017 in AoS28, Specialist Games

 

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