Hole in the Sky is about happens when an ancient civilization is forced to flee, but picks an unusual direction. One that will make it almost impossible for them to turn around. And if they ever were to decide to return anyway, the consequences for the rest of the world would be dire.
This is a Slow Burn Sourcebook, meaning that I will give you the main pitch of this idea here, then expand on it in a series of articles detailing different aspects.
The Hook for “Hole in the Sky”
In the distant past, something happened to the world. Its people sought to survive, and many succeeded. One of them was never heard from again. Many thought they succumbed to the desaster or wiped themselves out. Instead, they went up.
As the calamity befell the world, this people chose flight – literally. They sought a way to escape the world they lived on. And they found it in an ancient artifact of unknown origin. Once released from its primordial shackles, it would go up seemingly indefinitely. They build a structure around it, akin to a big city, and eventually left their world behind by going up into the sky.
The Ascent to Safety
As they went, they got to see the extent of the disaster they were escaping. It was terrible to behold. For a time, they were glad they had made it out (or up) in time. As they moved further and further away from the world, they were unable to tell whether anyone else has survived the waves of destruction down below. And when their old world turned into a mere speck, they began to wonder where they were going.
Theories, hastily put together in the days leading up to their ascent, had been divided. Some scholars expected them to hit a wall, possibly one as blue as the sky. Others postulated they would pass from the world into an astral plane. A few calculated that the artifact would lose energy after all, and their ascent would slow and eventually reverse.
Being a rational people at heart, they had done what they could on short notice. They had added padding to the top of their construction. They had began to research and apply rudimentary runes to protect them against the detrimental effects of astral winds. And they had even made plans and preparations for an eventual landing.
As it turned out, none of these theories was correct. Nobody had expected they would be able to travel ever upwards, through a bright sky, never seeing the sun which they had left behind with their world, but always enjoying its warm embrace.
Over centuries and eons they changed. They cracked the secret of the of flight that the artifact provided, allowing them to build more structures from material they willed into existence. After what they had been through, nobody gave that discovery a second thought. The events leading to their ascension turned from history to myth, and they began to see themselves as something better for it.
Only one Way to go
A few experiments early on revealed another unexpected reality of their new situation. If you stop going up, you are left behind. Their method of going up knows only one speed, which also means that anyone who stops for whatever reason can never reach their catch up.
This is also the reason behind the title of this sourcebook. Something strange happens when someone decides to return. Stepping off one of the structures would leave you stationary in the endless blue. But actively going in the direction they came from would return them to the world much quicker. A weird effect compresses the near infinite distance into a mere shimmer that resembles a hole being torn through the sky to those below, with the returnee appearing through it in a matter of minutes.
Hole in the Sky – List of Entries
Here are a few things I want to dive into with this SBS – future chapters, if you will. They – including their cool sounding names – are of course subject to change, as all things are. But I believe I already have a good idea about where this is going. Why, up, of course.
- Society in the Endless Blue – what happens to a people under those circumstances? How do their believes change, and what will be left of those who went up in the first place?
- The Magic of Ascension – general ideas on magic and architecture, not just looks but also function, which in turn would inform things they might be able to do eventually – as in their technology.
- The Rising Stone – the artifact that made the whole thing possible itself. What is it? Where did it come from? And what will eventually happen to it?
- Travel Mechanics – a slightly deeper dive into the realities of going up the way this people did. What happens when you stop, or, sky forbid, go down?
- The Return of the Ascended – what can the world expect if this ascended/lost people ever decided to return? This is close to an adventure path, at least in the concept phase,
- I also want to get into the tropes used and possible with this idea, and how to handle them to either make them fun or to add more twists. But I am not sure about this one yet.
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