Wednesday, January 04, 2012

RPG Carnival Jan 2012: Fantastic Locations

This month's RPG Carnival is on the topic of Fantastic Locations, sponsored by Keith J Davies, and since I have a few of those, I thought I'd drum up a little post about one that I particularly liked.

The place is called Weeleena's Tea House, and is located somewhere between the Realm of the Earth Kingdom and a certain ancient Tower of the Black Hill Ruins.

When the Bellowick children needed an escape route from the top of the tower (they were being rather viciously attacked by shadow wolves and a fey warlock riding on the back of one, iirc), a certain hedge witch by the name of Old Biddy Mable, was able to help them through a stone-sealed archway in the wall on the spiral stairs going between the top of the tower and the bottom.  They passed through the wall, and inadvertently also passed through the rather interesting outskirts of the Earth Kingdom Realm of Minvar.  Since the Earth Realm is shaped somewhat like a funnel, from the outskirts you can, if you manage to peek over the edge, see pretty far down... and since some members of the party happen to be priests and priestesses of Minvar, the Elkron of the Earth, they could see further than the ordinary person who only sees shades of darkness, blurred brown and black shapes, and the occassional flashinng of glowering red-orange.  But for the Minvarians it is quite a different view... they could see the actual Kingdom itself with its vast monolithic architectures, huge underworld vaults filled with secret troves of rare minerals and gigantic gemstones, and the great rivers of magma flowing with the "Blood of Minvar".  It's quite an astonishing view, even from the outer precincts...

"Only the three Minvarians could see what was happening, as they are all disciples of the Elkron of the Earth. They all felt as they walked into the stone a deep and abiding cold, a thickness and solitude that is very hard for humans to describe. And what they saw shocked and amazed them. For inside the stone they could see downward through the tower into the earth itself, all of the different kinds of stones as rivers and veins one might see standing on the shoulder of a great earth giant. Down further into the depths they could make out distant lava pools like beating hearts, and rivers of magma far down below them like great veins. It was an incredible sight. At least it was for the Minvarians, as the others could only make out dim shadows in the darkness as they walked through the menacing cold, and nothing more."  - From 'The Ladybug at Weeleena's'

Suddenly, they found themselves passing through a doorway into a bright and spacious room...

"Into a brightly lit room they suddenly entered. It was an elegant and charming room with white lace table cloths, and teak woods, and glass lanterns with golden candles, but no windows, only doorways large and small, some open, most closed. Tinkling and the strains of flute music could be heard everywhere, and at that the place was abuzz with sounds of conversation at different tables. No one seemed to take any notice of the strangers who were being lead to a table by Biddy Mable. There was one table with men wearing extremely audacious finery, and at another some lowly peasants in burlap drinking ales. There were numerous people about chittering away over drinks, and all the while buzzing among them was a lovely young woman with tiny flowers in her hair, and green leaves making up her cloak, and she carried a tray of tea and decanters for her guests."

What is most fascinating about Weeleena's Tea House, aside from the utterly beautiful and delicate flute music, delicious aromas, and strange buzzing of the guests, are the guests themselves, who by and large mostly happen to be the Royalty and Nobles of the Insect Kingdom, trussed up in their Humanoid forms.  In their finery and splendor one might think they'd entered the halls of some Absolute Monarch from an age of incomparable opulence.   And indeed one would be quite correct in thinking so.  A great deal of gossip and news passes through that strange ethereal place! But of course, one must understand the Insect Languages to make heads or tails of it all amid the great buzzing that permeates that splendid tea house.   Weeleena, the elegant and talented hostess, is always to be seen, carrying a silver tray of delectables hither and thither, when she is not entertaining the guests with her wondrously subtle flute serenades.

From there the Bellowicks made their escape back to their own world... but tiny-sized, and so spent a good deal of the remainder of that adventure the size of rice grains, riding around on the backs of aphids, fighting in the Insect Wars, and saving their own land of Glendale from a threat that no one but they had any clue about.  It was really great.  And Weeleena's Tea House, though briefly seen, was one of the more fantastical and enjoyable locations in the Campaign.   The Bellowicks did not have a chance to return there, but perhaps someday they shall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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