Far off to the West of the Cloudcrystal Skyfields, maybe a hundred miles West of Deep Vormask lies a deep bay. In fact, the bay is a flooded crater, from the center of which stretches an immense, metal and synth arm, clutching up at the sky, eternally trying to reach the shining star that lays locked in the sky high above.
The arm itself is maybe a mile in diameter and the hand is barely visible through the clouds, except on a clear day, each finger larger than even the largest castle in the Steadfast. Along the edge of the bay and in the base of the arm itself, a city has grown to mine the arm for cyphers and precious metals. The mines in the arms also delve down deep. Most of the lower arm is flooded, but there are some passages free of sea-water that lead down, further even than the sea bed and the metallic, strange structures of the arm so no sign of ending.
Of course, not everyone is happy about the industry that has gone out of the arm. Some believe it is the arm of a sleeping god who fell from the stars and that the peoples meddling will wake it up and incur it’s wrath. Whilst the city is one of bustling industry, it is also a place of religious worship and academic study.
The Way of the Sleeping God preach a message of peace and learning. While they do not approve of the mining operations, they do not actively oppose them. They believe that all the world is a dream of the Sleeping God, the Fallen One, and that if he ever wakes the world will come to an end. As such, they ask that people share a story or lullaby with the arm so that the Fallen One may dream one day longer.
The Collegium Brachium are a group of nanos and jacks that have dedicated their lives to studying and exploring the arm. A branch of the Aeon Priesthood, though separate from them, the Collegium have an uneasy relationship with The Way but bolstered by the priesthood’s backing, they plow forward and their mission of discovery. Being so close to the borders from which the Gaian invaders approach, the priesthood are very interested in finding weapons or defenses within the arm, or perhaps, even reawakening it if it can be controlled.
- The Steadfast
- Armfell Hearsay:
Armed and Dangerous
A group of fanatics that the Way of the Sleeping God completely disavow have been attacking those that mine the arm, stealing artifacts recovered and returning them to the arm. All mining operations have ceased due to the threat of traps planted within the arm, an act which the Way find abhorrent and fear that, if triggered, will wake the God and bring doom us all. Both the Way and the miners are seeking out volunteers to try and disarm the traps and bring justice to the parties responsible.
Last Line of Defense
The Aeon priests from Navarene have shown great interest in the arm and the wealth of artifacts it is host to, not least because the arm is very close to the border with the Gaian invaders. Naturally, the priesthood are very interested in anything to do with the arm or any defensive cyphers and artifacts discovered within.
The unofficial name of the coastal city that has grown around the arm (both collectively being known as Armfell), Arm’s Reach tries very hard to be considered a modern city of research and religious freedom. However, it’s clear to virtually anyone who visits that it is a city of vultures, picking over the corpse of a giant for whatever shiny scrap they can sell. Homelessness, thievery and slave labour are rife in the city and the mines and warehouses are defended viciously by their owners who contrary to the veneer of academia, rarely share their findings with anyone, instead using their secrecy to inflate the prices of their wares.
- The Weird of Armfell:
Singing From Below
Miners of the arm find that as they descend below the water line and make their way through the dangerous, flood-prone caverns of the lower arm that singing can be heard, echoing from deeper in. The religious and superstitious fear it may be ghosts or perhaps the voice of the Sleeping God itself.
The Reaching Star
High, directly above the arm, shines a bright white star that, to a lesser extent, is even visible during the day. It remains in a fixed point above the arm, even as others in the sky move and twinkle, the Reaching Star as it is known shines with the same white intensity in the same position.
The Somnambulist Engineers
Though the mines never close, occasionally warehouse workers and Collegium members who store and catalogue the findings in the arm have been found trying to enter the mines whilst walking in a deep sleep, taking with them the very artifacts they were working on. Many feel it is a sign that the Sleeping God wants returned what was stolen from it, but others feel it is perhaps a trick by those wishing to capitalise on peoples fears in order to get a greater share of the mine to themselves.
- Points of Interest:
The Collegium Brachium
Despite it’s erudite name, the Collegium is more of a ramshackle shanty town of excitable academics and experimenters. A sprawling mass of tents, cobbled-together workshops and shacks, the Collegium is full of excitable, knowledgeable researchers, as well as thieves, con-artists and overseers from Navarene and the Aeon Priests. Information and tuition about almost anything can be found in the disorganised mass, if you can tear a professor away from their research for long enough.
Hand’s Shadow is an inn that services the miners and researchers of the arm. Full of strange, though inert, artifacts it has quite an unusual atmosphere and is extremely large in order to accommodate the huge numbers of patrons it gathers at all times throughout the day and night. What makes it’s most famous though is the event for which it is named. When the shadow of the arms falls across the inn, drinks are free in exchange for sharing an arm-miner’s tale or a researcher’s discovery with the barman Crix Cammes, who records such things in a crystal cube that can play back what it has heard on demand.
The Sleeping Chapel
The Sleeping Chapel is the main place of worship for those that follow the Way of the Sleeping God. Located on a large boat that is permanently moored alongside the arm itself, the decks are lined with beds so that worshipers can commune in sleep with the god himself. Every day, the congregation gather for the Lullabys, where they each tell a new story or song to the Sleeping God so that he might sleep yet another day. As a result of their strange worship, the Way has attracted many bards and performers, becoming a short of college of it’s own that offer training and tuition in the story-telling and singing arts in exchange for any new songs being donated freely to the Sleeping God.