From Labyrinthe Wiki
Features of the Sunless
Ever present if only seen and without actual substance nonetheless it is thought to be in which those that would ascend or fall to Disciplehood enter and grow.
The scents of the Sunless are those of burnt sugar, of cinnamon and sweet decay (the last of Hostile Nature). Like the screaming of the wind such scents are hardly noticed by those used to the land, but on those new to it or without the strongest of wills the air abraids the nerves, makes enemies of friends, rots leather, tarnishes metal and sours water, food and even potions not made and therefore with local knowledge. Outsiders find that wounds suppurate and their breath, short, leads to coughing. Sleep is fitful and attracts 'Maise.
Whether summoned or given vent by time and substance the soulwind howls about the land in a thin cloud mostly seen only where it disturbs the land. Like some great flock it consists of the growing and despairing spirits of the lost and the sacrificed. Like rain elsewhere it succours those there – such that the Sunless Foe need little to drink, and little need to eat though the ‘wind does not seem to remove thirst or hunger.
Flora and Fauna
Bugs and beetles proliferate in the Sunless just as does fungi. Typically small and a part of the dust both in the air and the ground they are a physical manifestation of the breaking down of the land, and providing more of the dust that makes it. Hostile Nature now strong in the Sunless they in all their any forms are a part of the curious circle of nature now there. Such creatures form the basis for most potions and poisons in the Sunless.
Fleshformed hunting beasts sometimes ridden, with the bodies of great hunting cats and the bearded, heavily ringed faces of men.
Barren the land may look but its nature now Hostile and made such the that presence and his actions, still it thrives. The land itself, the civilisation there now eaten, is fed on as if the darkest earth for crops by a thousand varieties of fungus. Some the size of pins that irritate and when brushed away take an ounce of flesh. Some tall and sturdy as trees. Some that make slaves with their scented spores. Some that not content to wait actually seize, sting or commonly spore their prey to break down and feed them. Where wood can be used elsewhere, nowadays so can fungus here.
Said to be from the now lost Blauz home-world, the Fudaneth are large, bloated and roughly spherical creatures that seem to float a yard from the ground on tiny tentacles. They roam the Sed, those river plains between the Crookback Mountains and the Khazat ranges. Fudaneth are mindless as it would be understood, bloated on souls and almost incorporeal as they sink over and break apart the vessels for such.
Cattle, herd beasts, used if at all to describe the people of the Baronies, and even the Empire though few even if they had heard the name know much more of it. The Sunless regards the two lands as primitive and terribly backward, still worshipping gods when they have not learned to worship themselves (Fire Angel, The Spiter). The common nature of the people of the two nations bemuses most of the Sunless, and certainly even though dangerous the two lands are just places of beasts. Fickle, with little sense of time, many do not dwell or even care to recall a time previous to the Sunless.
Tiny birds adapted to the land, seen and avoided when in family packs – or encountered singly when an outcast or juvenile male. Knives blink, shifting and appearing with sharply feathered wings and all amidst their own little darkness. They cut like knives, and the more so of course and by sympathy from behind. The large the swarm the deeper their darkness.
Translucent and indeed highly reflective of bright colour – white especially which glows sickly in the Sunless - Lamptails are brainless, jelly fish-like creatures in size between a foot and thirty in length. They are attracted by colour and other strong visual signals and feed softly on heat. They are readily distracted even by common fires whilst burning blue, brief and fierce they are snuffed by the presence of Lamptails. The oddities only defence if attacked is to blow apart quietly into acid.
Barely seen but for a clotting of the air, ‘Maise feed on horror, fear and anger. They are in nature a swarm of tiny somewhat elemental particles.
Near invisible in the haze and wind the Mourn is a giant that glides on the howling souls and feeds like a whale on those killed in battle. Flat, wide and with the impression of teeth that is all that remains in the minds that have seen it is most commonly noted by its flat, deep wailing that adds a note to the wind.
The colour of a diseased lung, with the substance of hot rubber. Slicks move like snapping elastic from wall to wall, childishly intelligent and are in essence the Sunless elementals.
Or 'snorts', ‘hounds’ or indeed a different name in each region, the Snaef are a common and early creation of the fleshlore whereby Blauz were made into more combative forms – squat, strong, simple minded and fast. Little more intelligent than dogs they are driven by Ggrutuck hound masters. Those that live over the years start to feed on magic, and ritual especially.
Large lizards, typically swift but strong enough to carry a Blauz – in rarer cases heavier, hungier and used in the extremely rare for the Sunless shock Mount role. Just as with nearly all groups being independent and whipped at times in line by the territorial lord – Venach riders are clannish, also nomadic and often hire on as outriders.
Peoples of the Sunless
Arvenis The Third Touch
Wyr Sire of the Northern Pleasure and Moriamoch (Lord, Prince, Ruler-of-this-place) of Khazat, Arvenis is a gaunt figure, near fleshless. One of the closest followers of the Spiter, not a Disciple but a lord of battle. His name comes from his skill and certain talents, that nothing lives beyond the third touch of hand or blade.
The Badly Broken Men
Vochstelene and others serving Manfred of the Circle. They wander, live amongst and have long become a part of the Sunless to the extent they could never return. Most are still loyal but all have become by blending in as much a part of the Sunless as any other, and certainly would not even help one another.
During the rebellion many serfs, even a few Barons (though rarely) and a lot of brigands, outlaws and hedge threw in their lot with the Sunless. In the first two to three years also more found their way there in the belief that the Sunless was a lawless place, some sort of grand ‘Deci’ that stood against the Baronies. Damned by doing so, marked and caught about spirit and soul the many that still remain have done so by being worse, more foul and terrible than their masters. Wild folk, their heavy beards set them apart from the captives/slaves who are typically marked as such by being completely shaved and so the fashion has endured, even increased.
Priestesses and acolytes of a Church that does not exist, that of the Horned God and who being Spiter has no time for such nonsense. The Brides all symbolically marry their God and thereafter stalk Khazat and certain other cities to catch and carry away to sacrifice the unwary. Ambushers, they do not fight – fleeing if actually opposed. Note and importantly, they have no power in the sense of priests. They are regarded as being backward, superstitious and of course rather worrying.
Disciple of the Spiter.
Protected on a crag overlooking an angry sea these are the faithful to Shining Rael, who uncaring has been caused to protect them whilst they remain and thereafter entirely forget them. Life is hard, mean and cold but they are and whilst always frightened, free.
Blauz in their orderly and devout city, served by gruesome slaves. The Perfect seek to become as they see is their birth right to ascend, so that each year their leader is the most perfect of them and at the end is ritually slain so as to become with the Fire Angels if he is indeed Perfect enough.
One of the Foe but ever few in number and almost forgotten. Studious but cruel, the Laspoplee were rapidly made captive and are kept where found at all as often limbless slaves, chained and closely watched. It is said what one knows all knows, and they know much.
Salas The Deep
Disciple of the Spiter.
The Scale Maiden
One of the current thirteen Disciples.
Winged Blauz, one of the earliest twisting of the flesh pits. They can truly fly, especially in the soul wind but their intelligence suffers and their frames are light.
The first and greatest of the Fire Angels, all is sensation, change and majesty. There are always the same number of Fire Angels and for a Blauz as barely ever happens now to so ascend is to become one with them. All as was, is lost as they join with those others that are also that Fire Angel even if for each it is only they. The Fire Angels are a myth, in the same way one’s god is to a character's church. Their beauty will blind worlds, their delight will end cities, their delight will make sun and their laughter change worlds. He is father of The Spiter and it is in part his rejection of his son due to his imperfections that fuelled the Spiter's drive.
Both alive and simply meat, an almost-currency in the Sunless where there is no money in the same way as elsewhere though gemstones and other shiny pretty-things are used at times in much the same way.
Presumed God of the Sunless, called indeed the Horned God. Has seemingly little will or whim over the land other than through devotion and his Love. Said to dwell in a mountain, that mountain by location unknown or more likely changeable.
Wyr Sire of the Lower Pleasure of the Sunless. Former Graf, leader in the rebellion, executor of many assassins. Built up and was defeated in a town-city that took his name of late and driven into the further Sunless by the White Templars.
Parlance of the Sunless
Normal term of abuse for the lesser Blauz by anyone that wishes to deride them. The Blauz arriving here for centuries were by nature the cripples, those that were imperfect, too worldly, too mean and too thin spirited to ascend to the Fire Angels. It is believed that the the Blauz as are, are but a pupae stage for their true forms – that of the Fire Angels.
Also known as Flesh Lore or Flesh Weaving, the knowledge of which first stolen by the Spiter when still mortal from the Gathen of the True North, this Ritual Tree/Mantic colour is both used for great ritual, but also and in more recent years has become workable in many ways by its weavers and singers much as the Guilds of the Empire benefit from the traditions and observations to the Empress. Cities thrive on fleshpits whereby meat, used and reused, can be formed by the experimentation of the rulers. It is here that many common Blauz submit themselves, especially the young breed coming to their apparent maturity in swift years. One or two in a hundred is reborn pure and greater, most emerge as horrors. The more meat is (ahem) recycled the poorer it is, thus the best of things are muscle pink and the worst, the simplest, and not to put too fine a point on it – are shitty brown.
Love of the Spiter
That which for a moment at the ‘Dawn and at times for the most worthy falls on those of the Sunless. He sees them, knows them – they burn with the pain and purety of his love for them – and no amount of goodly churches telling them otherwise changes that. For them this is entirely true, and in that moment they witness and feel if only briefly that burning sensation of absolute change that it is to be a Fire Angel.