Dust
Dusty Tales

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Dust Bunnies (by Needlepoint)

There are tales told of a nameless being or organisation in the plane of Dust that is so secret that none know of it who are not part of it. The occasional Doomguard, moving through one of their favourite planes, finds the merest clue of its existence, and this is enough to spur it into action to preserve its anonymity: it has seen too many others grasp at power and fall once their plans were exposed. From the shadows is best. If possible the Sinker is killed where he stands, but when this risks greater exposure, or if the Sinker manages to effect an escape, then other methods are needed.

Finding where the Sinker who knows too much lives, minions steal into his kip and plant small, wispy spherical objects in some location where they are unlikely to be found, usually under the bed. These objects are named by the minions after the "dust bunnies" which they superficially resemble. Each bunny is, in reality, a magical object which acts to convert the material around it into dust. The bunnies themselves act as extremely concentrated forms of dust and also record sights and, more importantly given their usual location, sounds. Doomguard faction members are unlikely, due to their typical lack of cleaning habits, to notice the growth of the bunnies under their beds, and the dust that the bunnies create is quickly converted, through unknown means, into more bunnies (This ability for magical objects to create more such objects is a secret only known to their creator). In a short span of time, there are enough bunnies to create an elemental vortex to the plane of Dust, pulling themselves along with the surprised Sinker. There, the unfortunate victim is killed and the recordings of the bunnies analysed to find if any others have been told anything of what the victim knows.

The following poem was written by the Doomguard Grandin, but no link has been made to her disappearance shortly thereafter:

Beneath my bed as I contentedly sleep,
Deep in the night
The dustbunnies creep.
They hop and wriggle,
They never die,
They simply live and multiply.
Once there were none,
Then there was one,
Then two, and then four;
Now there are many, many more.
Beneath my bed is their domain,
Under the place where I have lain,
Dreamt and slumbered,
And contentedly slept,
As below me they invisibly grow
Their hopes and wishes are
But are certainly not those
Of flesh and bone
Homunculi of dust below me
As the springs' rusty breath agrees
I should have cleaned much more,
Even if it's such a dreadful chore.
I have lost this race
And no longer control the space
Beneath my bed, where as I sleep,
The dustbunnies hop and grow and creep.

 

Ilkmar (by Alex de Beer)

Three hundred years before the old city was created, the wizard Ennelong had cursed the gluttonous merchant Kohsmann for his evil acts. The latter had made profit at the expense of the poor, and, more serious, stolen a magical item that was very dear to Ennelong.

Ennelongs curse stated, that, lest he atoned, he and the ground he stood on would become the very image of death. This would happen when he would be on his highest moment of glory.

The wish Ennelong used was not without costs: being the old mage he was, it became the end of him. Kohsmann, however, successfully became a prolonger and sucked the peasants dry for three more centuries.

Then he came upon the city of Ilkmar, a harbour city which nearly celebrated the 500th anniversary of the granting of it's city rights. Kohsmann decided to run for mayor and hoped to turn public favour towards him by setting up a great banquet to celebrate the event. This was made possible by a magical device that created godlike food. His popularity rose considerably that day (the people from the city did not know him yet) Thus his greatest moment of glory came, and the fulfilment of the curse. He, the city and all it's inhabitants turned into beings of pure dust, and were sent to the Plane of Dust.

Right now he lives his life there, as mayor of a city of dust, inhabited by dust beings. Even the sea it lay at was completely transmuted, turned into pure salt.

A berk can just walk into the burg (given the right magics on him) and interact with any creature in there. He cannot touch 'em. Touching 'em will turn 'em into a pile of dust. The blood will also avoid making too much noise, for buildings may collapse (tough they seem to rebuild themselves after a while).

Sages speculate that there are ways to break the curse and setting the inhabitants free. Those who know the dark of Kohsmann know that he should severely atone for his misdeeds.

The Rock of Eternity (by Adam Reeve)

Entropy, entropy, entropy! Blah, blah, blah! If I hear one more soddin' Sinker go blatherin' on about the unstoppable force of entropy, I'm gonna puke! Because I've seen it, ya know. With my own eyes I've seen the Sinkers greatest secret, their greatest failure...

There was this bunch of backwater primes, centuries ago, who had this special rock. The huge slab of granite, easily one hundred yards in all directions, sat in the middle of a huge flat prairie--a strange sort of place for such a big chunk o' stone. Well, this rock had been there, unchanged, for longer than anyone in the region could remember, even with some of those darn elves livin' there. And the thing seemed completely invulnerable to anything anyone tried to do to alter it in any way. Wizard magic, cleric prayers, and even dwarven mining picks had absolutely no effect on the thing. Legends had grown about the rock over the years, about what purpose it may hold, or where it came from, but I'll get to that in just a bit.

So now along comes the Doomguard. This musta been a couple centuries ago. The Sinkers heard about this enormous, indestructible rock, and figured it would be their crowning achievement and the proof to validate their whole philosophy if they could somehow destroy the Rock of Eternity.

They expended an incredible amount of money and effort and the managed to steal the Rock. Transported it to the Plane of Dust, they did, figuring that the destructive nature of the plane would cause it to decay, to crumble into dust like everything else on that blasted, godforsaken plane.

But it didn't work! The huge Rock just sits there, now three-quarters buried beneath the eternal dust ocean, but just as large and indestructible as ever! Not a single pebble has eroded from that baby, and it's got the Sinkers pretty worried, believe me! Nothing they do will crack that sucker, and they keep trying everything they can think of. They post guards around the thing day and night, and kill anything that even gets close enough to THINK about sneaking a peek. (So how did I get to see it? Well, ol' Gruff can't go spillin' all his secrets, now can he?) 'Cause they know that if word gets out, their philosophy will get a big ol' black eye, something the Godsmen would just love to blab all over the Cage.

There's still plenty of mystery around the Rock of Eternity, that's for sure. It definitely seems indestructible, imperious even to entropy. Now I'm thinkin' that means there's a reason for that. Seems to me that the only reason somebody'd build a big rock like that is to trap someone, or something, inside, and make darn sure that they (or it) never, ever gets out. One legend says that inside the Rock is the interdimensional space where all the Lady's mazes are created. Another says an ancient city of incredible magic and wonder lies within. And the legends from that old prime world say that the thing houses the biggest, baddest, most evil creature in the multiverse, but I shudder to think what kinda creature would need that big and tough of a prison. Of course the legend also states that somewhere there is a unknown key, which will 'unlock' the Rock, and if it is ever used it will spell the end of all that is, was, or ever will be. But that's just stories, just nonsense, I hope..."

-- Gruff Rockfist, dwarf Indep and inner planar explorer

The Sand Mines (by Joshua Jarvis)

by Ed McGraff

It was on the third month of Pintar by Eolian reckoning (that's my prime world, don't knock it unless you want a slug of lead from my sling embedded in your heart) when me and my band got lost in a sandstorm and got thrown off track. Weeks from our portal and low on supplies we decided to find a nice burg to get supplies and directions in.

I found a small boomtown and decided to mosey on down to the general store and ask for directions. Dust swirled by my face as I stepped into town. Women and children ran for cover and a bunch of redsuits (hard heads you call them) mostly hired thugs came out with crossbows loaded. "You're not wanted in these here parts stranger," sneered the Hardhead.

I tried explaining the situation to him real gentleman-like but he snorted and told me to leave this town by dawn. After getting a drink and some quick directions at the town centre I decided to go out and get my bearings. It was tough, everywhere I went their were guards at my back saying stuff like "There's not enough room in this town for the two of us," and other lame threats.

I did notice that the town was in a ring shaped air pocket. Curious I darted through alleys shaking the guards, then cast a spell over me to let me slip through the dust like a cat slips through a gap in a picket fence. I was surprised to see the central pocket hollow, and a huge mineshaft. Silicate-rich sand was being smelted into glass. I looked at one of the crates of glass and it was marked silicate valley enterprises. I knew that this was one of Sigils main glass suppliers (hey I may be clueless but I'm not THAT clueless) and that they had a hidden mine that they keep secret. (After all their sand makes fracture resistant glass, super strong yet it doesn't detect as magic.)

Then I was spotted, crossbows raised and fired. It was only my magic that allowed to escape by exiting the wall. I gathered my band and high tailed it out of their, being chased down by a posse that was out for blood. Those redcoats were on a warpath and they had the bolts to prove it. If it wasn't for me getting the portal location they would have killed me. Now I'm a wanted man in over a dozen planes (any with Harmonium) that's why I rarely go to Sigil anymore. My homeworld is safer.


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Copyright 1999, text by Jon Winter,
graphics by Jon Winter and Jeremiah Golden

Consult the Mimir Again