[ Acheron ] [ Avalas | Thuldanin | Tintibulus | Ocanthus ]


Acheron — Layer the First

The Ringing Cubes of Avalas, the Strife of Conflict

Themes of the Layer: The personification of endless struggle, and unthinking obedience. 

Welcome to Avalas, the Strife of Conflict, the endless battleground of futile Acheron. Here, cutter, is where the clash of steel and the roar of battle fill the air, a chaotic symphony of law over-exerting itself. Vast armies of petitioners, mercenaries, and fiends hurl themselves into eternal combat across the faces of colossal iron cubes that drift through the endless void.

Avalas is the personification of endless struggle, and unthinking obedience. It embodies the essence of futility, and the pointlessness of trying to overcome authority. But digging deeper, Avalas is also the plane of xenophobia, of conflict between one race and another, for no reason other than fear and hatred of their intrinsic differences. The orc, goblin and human armies—and pantheons—who wage endless wars here are all trying to prove their superiority over their humanoid rivals, each one unable to stand down without losing face and proving their enemies correct all along.

Now, let me tell you, Avalas ain’t no place for the faint of heart. Each cube moves of its own accord through the steel gray skies, and collisions between them are as common as tavern brawls on a busy night. When two cubes meet, it’s like the hammer of the gods crashing down, crushing anything unfortunate enough to be caught in between. For the armies of Avalas, a collision means only one thing—chaos. Yet even in the midst of battle, there’s a strange kind of order to it all. Armies may pause their fighting when a collision looms on the horizon to give them tie to hunker down in tunnels and trenches, but don’t count on it lasting long—especially if the incoming cube bears an invasion force of its own.

Now, you might think that with so many troops, Avalas would be teeming with leaders, generals, and strategists. But you’d be dead wrong. Here, leadership is a scarce commodity, with only those who’ve lost sight of the true purpose of conflict rising to command. Any blood who has the get-up-and-go to lead well tends to get off the plane as soon as they’re able.

Beyond the clashing forces, the skies are filled with flocks of birds—crows, vultures, and other scavengers, drawn to the promise of carnage and carrion. Some say they’re ill omens, heralding the approach of doom with their dark wings. And others are grateful for their presence, picking the cubes clean of the dead and acting as a early warning of impending collisions, for the birds always leave a cube early as if they instinctively know that danger approaches.

And let’s not forget about the cubes themselves. The oldest ones are heavily populated and carved with barracks, fortress-cities, and countless lines of trenches. The smartest armies have even riddled their cubes with tunnels, ready to withdraw into their armoured redoubts when a collision, or invasion, is nigh. But be warned—too much excavation can weaken the structure, and those cubes that crack or shatter upon collision inevitably plummet into Thuldanin, a fate worse at least as bad a swift death on the battlefield.

Locations of Avalas

  • Battlecube (site)
    • Clangor (realm of goblin pantheon: Maglubiyet, Kurgorbaeyag, Nomog-Geaya)
      • Grashmog (realm town)
      • Low Plateau (site)
      • Redspike (realm town)
      • River Lorfang (site)
      • Shetring (realm town)
    • Nishrek (realm of Orc pantheon; Gruumsh, Bahgtru, Ilneval, Luthic, Nurva, Nuugahtrec)
      • Blood Armour (realm town)
      • Broken Skull (realm town)
      • Iron Fist (realm town)
      • Rotting Eye (realm town)
      • Three Fang (realm town)
      • White Hand (realm town)
  • Black Bastion (realm of Bane; abandoned)
  • Blue Cube (site)
  • Brilliant Land, the (realm of Amatsu-Mikaboshi)
  • Claw of Vengeance (realm of Ravanna)
  • Disputed Lands
  • Engines of Destruction (independent burg)
  • Fujiyama (planar pathway)
  • Grillmore (independent burg)
  • Istvarhan (mobile orc fortress)
  • Jungle Cube, the (realm of Huitzilopochtli)
    • Coatepec, the Hill of Serpents (site)
  • Mictlan
  • Resounding Thunder (realm of Lei Kung)
    • Black Water (realm town)
    • Eight-Devils-Laughing (realm town, gate town to Baator)
    • Firecracker Palace (Lei Kung’s palace)
    • Ministry of Justice
      • Court of Humility
      • Court of Instruction
      • Court of Resting Laughter
      • Court of Weariness
      • Courtyard of the Just
      • Scriptorium
    • Nihao (realm town, gate town to Mechanus)
    • Nine-League Prison (prison burg)
      • Hall of Retribution
    • Sublime Portal
    • Wall of the Will of Lei Kung (site)
  • Restyn’s Last Stand (site)
  • River Acheron (planar pathway)
  • River Styx (planar pathway)
  • Scourgehold (realm of Hextor)
    • Great Coliseum, the
  • Shell Shock (independent burg)
  • Swift Retribution (realm of Anat)
  • Vorkehan (Mercykiller burg)
    • Wells of Vorkehan
  • War Without End (independent burg)
  • Wreychtmirk(site)
    • Mesk  (Styx burg)
  • Zigguraxus (realm of Gilgeam; abandoned)

Powers of Avalas

Goblin Pantheon

  • Kurgorbaeyag (goblin power of slavery)
  • Maglubiyet (goblin power of war; pantheon leader)
  • Nomog-Geaya (goblin power of hobgoblins)

Orcish Pantheon

  • Bahgtru (orcish power of brutish strength)
  • Gruumsh (orcish power of war; pantheon leader)
  • Ilneval (orcish power of strategic warfare)
  • Luthic (orcish power of fertility)
  • Nurva (orcish power of oracles and prophecy)
  • Nuugahtrec (orcish power of herd animals and wrestling)

Other Powers

  • Amatsu-Mikaboshi (Japanese power of secrets and betrayals)
  • Anat (Egyptian power of love and war)
  • Bane (Faerûnian power of strife; dead…?)
  • Gilgeam (Faerûnian power of strength and battle; dead)
  • Hextor (Oerdian power of massacres)
  • Huitzilopochtli (Aztec power of war and willpower)
  • Lei Kung Chinese power of thunder and vengeance)
  • Ravanna (rakshasa power of deception and tyranny)

Armies of Avalas

  • Gouged Eye Clan
  • Steelbiters, the (army-cult of Maglubiyet)
  • White Hand, the (army-cult of Gruumsh)

More details to follow!

Source: Jon Winter-Holt

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