Out in the undulating wastes of the Amorphous Fields stands a large ridge of rock into which a series of mine shafts have been dug. The ridge itself flairs out in an unusual pattern, flanges of rock branching out up into the air in an almost fractal pattern. What is more interesting about the ridge however, is what they have discovered underneath it.
The mines lead deep beneath the Amorphous Fields, revealing an immense, underground cavern. The cavern is entirely unlit, except by whatever sources miners bring with them, but when illuminated you can see a large pool of thick, semi-solid slime or mucus stretching out into the darkness. The mucus has several useful properties. It dissolves organic matter over time, acting well as a cleaning agent and when dried and mixed with various chemicals, becomes an extremely strong adhesive. Of course, that doesn’t stop sellers from marketing it as anything and everything, from skin treatments to cough medicine. Several miners have set up on Varix Ridge to exploit the strange substance for profit.
Situated near the river south of The Twisted Spire, Varix Ridge also serves as a stop-gap supply post for those visiting the strange spire, since access is reasonably easy by boats from Queslin or Vebar.
- Everau, Choen and Borzil
- The Beyond
- Varix Ridge Hearsay:
Journey to the Centre of the Goo
A singular Aeon Priest also calls Varix Ridge her home. Living in a small miners shack set up on the ridge, Prok Vaisa is planning an expedition. After some mining equipment was lost during a collapse, sending it sinking into the slime until it had disappeared completely, Prok is most interested in delving beneath the slime to see just how deep it goes. Word has it that she has secured the usage of a strange numenera craft that can swim like a fish, carrying a number of people within, if only a few would volunteer to join her on a voyage of discovery.
The World Shell
A small cult of ex-miners, travellers and consumers of mucus-based products has formed to worship what they are calling “The World Shell”. They have come to believe that much like there is a hard shell around snails, the world itself is a hard shell around an immense creature of limitless power, the mucus-mines serving as a living proof that their beliefs are true. Most of the miners think they are crazy, but enough feel uneasy about the almost living, organic nature of the mucus that they think twice before dismissing their claims. The cultists do little more than pray and bathe themselves in mucus, which they gladly pay the more enterprising miners for, but there are rumours that they plan to try and stop the mining operations.
Tales have been circulating around the small mining town of things living down there in the dark. No-one has ever caught a clear glimpse of them, but there are rumours that there are ghosts living in the mucus, swimming, watching, waiting for something. Prok, of course, dismisses such nonsense as superstition, but is most interested in studying and native mucus-dwelling lifeforms.
- The Weird of Varix Ridge:
The Mines of Mucus
While the miners make plenty of use of the shaft leading into the main excavation cavern, they didn’t make them. The shafts are cut in a circular shape and inscribed with all sorts of messages in unknown languages. As well is leading into the main cavern, they also swirl around the surrounding underground rock in seemingly pointless patterns, each tunnel lined with it’s own unique set of messages. They’ve never been fully explored, as the cavern is more than large enough to accommodate as many miners working there at once as one could hope for. However, those that have delved deeper have come back reporting the faint echoes of something, perhaps digging, deeper into the darkness.
The large cavern filled with mucus has a much lower gravity than usual. Whilst the stickiness of the mucus seems to keep it in place, miners can jump almost three times their height easily in the cavern.
- Points of Interest:
Prok, the local Aeon Priest, maintains an open house at most times, sharing her abode with visitors who bring her tales of the world back home in Nebalich and the Steadfast. She operates her small shack as a sort of museum, showcasing interesting items and samples from her investigation of the mines.
Pastor Chiral’s Communion Pool
Pastor Chiral, self-appointed leader of the World Shell Cult, maintains a small sanctum with his followers where they have carved out a large pool in the floor of a small cave in the rock face. Over several weeks, they’ve filled this pool with mucus from the caverns below and use it for communal bathing, cleansing themselves of sin and bringing them closer together and to their god. The communion pool is open to all for a small donation, the money used to replenish the mucus in the pool as it is used up.
Miners Meet is the main building in the small town, serving double duty as an inn and as a miners guildhall. Large enough to accommodate all 200 semi-permanent residents of Varix Ridge at once, the building is rarely empty and many people choose to permanently rent room there rather than set up their own shacks on the unforgiving rock of the ridge itself. The proprietors are a trio of triplets; Everau, Choen and Borzil. Everau and Choen both run the inn and trading post, whilst their sister Borzil runs the guildhall and manages the needs of the mines and the miners. Working together, they’ve carved out quite a profitable little enterprise for themselves. Most, if not all major decisions about the future of Varix Ridge normally ends up going through the three sisters.