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


Acheron — Layer the Fourth

The Trenchant Ices of Ocanthus, the Strife of Violence

Themes of the Layer: Personification of mercilessness, unfeeling dissection, the vorpal plane

Picture a realm cloaked in eternal darkness, where the air is thick with the howling of frigid winds and the deadly dance of razor-sharp ice shards. Welcome to Ocanthus, the sinister and violent final layer of Acheron, where survival is a constant battle against the elements.

In Ocanthus, the air is filled with fast-flying shards of black ice, ranging from tiny needles to colossal, miles-wide structures. These shards, born from a single source—the night-black boundary of the plane itself—slice through the darkness like vorpal blades, their collisions creating an endless blizzard of deadly projectiles. The shards are frozen into thin layers, breaking apart upon impact and fracturing into progressively smaller pieces, until they eventually turn to dust.

Ocanthus is nearly uninhabitable, with temperatures plummeting far below freezing and the biting winds cutting through even the hardiest of travelers. Only the bladelings, a race of axani with bodies studded with razor-sharp blades, call Ocanthus home. Their city, Zoronor, known as the City of Blades, stands as a solitary beacon of civilization amidst the frozen wasteland.

At the heart of Ocanthus lies a mysterious sheet of infinite black ice, rumored to be the source or destination of the River Styx. It is said that every memory stolen by the river remains frozen within the ice, waiting to be uncovered by those brave enough to venture into its depths. But such journeys are perilous, for the ice itself is treacherous, with shards constantly breaking off and flying through the air like dark birds of prey.

Few dare to visit Ocanthus, and fewer still return unscathed. Each moment spent on the layer carries the risk of being struck by a deadly ice shard, their razor-sharp edges capable of piercing through flesh and bone with the ease of a vorpal weapon. Even the hardiest of adventurers must tread carefully, for such a kiss of Ocanthus leaves a scar that may never fade, a reminder of the plane’s relentless violent and unforgiving nature.

Yet amidst the darkness and danger, there are whispers of ancient secrets waiting to be uncovered, of memories lost to time and buried within the icy depths. For those brave enough to seek them out, Ocanthus offers the promise of knowledge beyond imagining—but at a price that few are willing to pay.

Locations of Ocanthus

  • Blade Maze of Therores (site)
  • Cabal Macabre (realm of Wee Jas)
  • Eye of the Storm (secondary realm of Amatsu-Mikaboshi)
  • River Acheron (planar pathway)
  • Zoronor, the City of Shadows (bladeling burg)
    • Blood Forest, the (site)
    • Hriste’s Shadow (site)

Powers of Ocanthus

  • Amatsu-Mikaboshi (Japanese power of secrets and betrayals)
  • Hriste (bladeling power of protection and fertility)

Philosophies of Ocanthus

  • Blackwater Guards
  • Sable Legion
  • Shadowbrook Rangers

Cutters of Ocanthus

  • Bloodsmoke — bladeling High Priestess
  • Ghost Walker — bladeling of Zoronor
  • Morwen of Ribcage
  • Nightsilver — bladeling Protector-General
  • Pagwort the Pustulant — a barbazau baatezu of the Blood Forest

More details to follow!

Source: Jon Winter-Holt. Note: The name Ocanthus probably comes from acanthus, meaning thorny.

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