The Oozing Sea
It heaves, lurches, and moves, almost like a living thing — which, perhaps, it is. Hundreds of miles across, ringed by craggy cliffs of black glass and dotted, here and there, by daggerlike islands, the Ooozing Sea is part of the realm of the Slime Lord, or, perhaps, a part of his own body. None know for sure, and His Insane and Unknowable Majesty isn’t talking, or even burbling. Though it is a sea of corrosive and insidious ooze, it is nonetheless a sea, and that means there are those who travel upon it, live beside it, and otherwise exploit it, even as it seeks to devour them.
Sea Of Green… Slime
The bulk of the sea is an undulating green ooze. The green shifts constantly in color and texture, from pale lime-green to deep emerald, from nearly as thin as water to almost solid. There are ceaseless whorls and eddies of color, constantly rippling across its surface, endlessly spinning into each other. Sometimes, the colors blend smoothly; at other times, the lines between them are so sharp as to seem knife-etched. Likewise, the motion of the sea is never constant; while it is often described as a slow, pulsating, undulation, there are times and places where it froths into a mad storm, great waves and crests of dripping goop rising and falling with frenetic energy, and there are times and places where it is preternaturally calm, almost immobile, a great flat plain of green glass. Most of the time, the substance of the sea has a slight translucence, again constantly varying from almost-clear to almost-opaque, and watchers from above can sometimes make out great dark shapes moving below.
To touch the sea is, mostly, to die. The substance of it is corrosive to all mortal life, and each round any being is in contact with it, they suffer 5 acid damage, though resistance applies (normally). Most of the "natives" have, obviously, either very high levels of Resist (Acid) or are simply immune. Visitors who know what to expect can usually take precautions.
Day and night occur here on a random schedule, though usually, there is a constant brightening and then a constant dimming. In the event it should matter, on any given "day", there will be 2d6 hours of light slowly growing to brightness, followed by 2d6 hours of dimming to black, followed by 4d6 hours of darkness moving from twilight to dawn. There is no sun, and no stars, and no moon; the sky brightens and dims on its own. The sea, in places, produces a bioluminescence, bathing all around it in a sickly and baleful green light. When this light is especially bright, it is called "The Slime-Lord’s Gaze". See "The Crunchy Bits" for more.
The substance of the sea will not dissolve glass or ceramic, and so it is that the "land" of this layer of the Abyss is jagged spars of obsidian and other natural glasses, dark, sharp, and unyielding. The sea is a very irregular oblong surrounded by mountains and cliffs of rock; these mountains mark the outer boundaries of the layer, and there is nothing beyond them but howling chaos. This area, sometimes called the Blackdagger Shore, is about a mile wide in most places, with a few random spots wider or narrower.
There are islands in the sea as well, archipelagoes of needle-like spires, reaching far higher into the sky than should seem possible. Sometimes, things will perch on these needles to lunge as passers-by; sometimes, the base of the spires, often no more than one or two dozen feet across, if that, will be home to some desperate and luckless unfortunate dumped here. Beings of power and malice sometimes consign an enemy to one of these "islands", opening a portal and dumping them here to cling desperately to the slick black glass and to stare at the maddening green swirls beyond. The truly cruel provide a magical means of food and water, so that the necessities of life are eternally provided, at least until some wandering demon happens by for a snack.
The largest flat space in the Blackdagger Shore, Bloodstain Beach is the main settlement in the Oozing Sea, a place of semi-rest and retreat. It is favored by beings composed of, interested in, or otherwise connected to acid, though this is not absolute and almost anyone might have a reason for being here. Cultists of the Lord Of Muck often make pilgrimages here, sometimes bringing offerings. (There is a large bridge which leads out five hundred feet or so, over the sea itself, which can be used to make offerings for a small fee.)
Bloodstain is the name given to the "town" which has sprung up on Bloodstain Beach (the name of the place is due to the effect the sand, made entirely of sharp and insidious particle of obsdian, has on the feet and skin of any who walk upon it without adequate protection), though it’s more a sprawling collection of ad-hoc dwellings than it is any kind of organized settlement. Perhaps the largest group of inhabitants here are, of all things, Bullywugs — remnants of a tribe which somehow was dumped here, ages ago, and which has adapted to be acidproof. (Use standard Bullywug but add Immunity: Acid). The others are mostly beings who saw opportunities to gain wealth, power, or knowledge, and each "native" is responsible for whatever security he desires regarding his own buildings. Thus, the social structure of Bloodstain is that of a collection of dozens of tiny compounds, each controlled by someone of power, who has his own set of followers, servants, slaves, and so forth. Every so often someone will try to unite or organize these various places, but no one has managed to do so by brute force and attempts to do so by persuasion and politicing have always met with failure.
A few of the larger compounds are:
- The shop of Bolorobus Blisterblessed, Neogi Alchemist
- The Temple Of His Dissolution, a shrine to the Slime Lord, overseen by by Prelate Javandar Tolamaius The Half-Molten
- Grabazak’s Barracks, home to a mercenary force of Draconic Hobgoblin Mercenaries.
Transit across the sea can be arranged via ceramic or magically treated boats, or via flying craft.
The main reason to visit or travel to the Sea of Ooze is to seek something, often something lost in its depths, that is nonetheless immune to the corrosive nature of the place. Sometimes, things are dropped here precisely because they’ll be hard to find, but for whatever reason, should not be destroyed. Gemstones of great power, glass containers holding unspeakable things, and ceramic golems may all be found in the Depths Of Dissolution. Likewise, though who either follow, or oppose, the Slime Lord may find their way here, to one of the strongholds of his power. If it is true the sea is part of his true body, then studying it can give knowledge to his enemies, while leaping into it can give communion to his followers — if they do not die, he has blessed them. Lastly, Bloodstain Beach attracts many people of various sorts; adventurers may need someone visiting or living here for reasons utterly unrelated to the sea itself — for example, heroes seeking to stop a form of alchemist’s fire that has become corrupted and threatens to burn half a continent might need to speak to Bolorubus.
The Crunchy Bits
As noted, anyone entering the sea suffers 5 acid damage/round. This is for casual contact. Anyone swimming in the sea suffers 10/round, and anyone diving into it suffers 15/round when submerged. Each round of swimming or submersion reduces acid resistance by 1 point; this "heals" at 1 point per hour unexposed. Those immune to acid remain so, barring any special attacks, abilities, etc, that remove immunity.
Swimming in the ooze is astoundingly difficult. All listed Swim DCs increase by 15, and all swimming creatures are considered Slowed, unless they have the ability to ignore difficult terrain or have a Tunneling speed. (If they do, their Swim speed is half their Tunneling speed.)
To determine the level of glow during times of darkness, if it ever becomes necessary, use the following chart:
The Grimoire Of Jovain Nemerakos, Disciple Of The Formless
Jovain Nemerakos was one of the most powerful wizards of the Aeld. During the time of the Demonwar, he saw countless Aeld cities fall to the rampaging hordes his own people had unleashed in their arrogance. Driven to madness, his mind touched the living insanity that is the Formless Lord. Lunacy combined with intellect, and Jovain turned the knowledge he had gained by the contact into magics most foul. These are but a few of the spells he crafted.
Wall Of Ooze: Wizard Attack 15
A glistening, amorphous wall of slime rises from the ground.
Daily * Arcane, Acid, Conjuration, Implement
Area: Wall 10 within 8 squares
Effect: You conjure a wall of green, translucent, slime. The wall can be up to 10 squares long and up to 6 squares high. Any creature who enters the area of the wall takes 2d6+Intelligence modifier Acid damage and 5 ongoing acid damage (save ends). The wall can be passed through; entering it takes two squares of movement. Once inside, a DC 20 Athletics check must be made to move out; making this check consumes no additional squares of movement, but if it fails, the creature stops moving inside the wall. The wall provides partial cover against attacks made through or into it.
If the wall is summoned over an occupied square, make an attack of Int vs. Reflex. On a hit, the creatures occupying the square take 1d6+Int modifier damage and may shift to the nearest adjacent, non-wall square. On a miss, the creatures shift to the nearest adjacent, non-wall square and take no damage.
Sustain Minor: You can sustain the wall as a minor action.
Sustain Move: As a move action, you can sustain the wall and move up to 2 squares of it. The new arrangement of the wall must be legal, that is, it must be in a shape that you could have cast it in from your current position.
Ooze Pools: Wizard Attack 17
At a gesture, eruptions of slime dot the ground.
Encounter * Arcane, Implement, Zone
Standard Action: 4 Burst 1 within 20
Target: All creatures in each burst
Attack: Int vs. Reflex
Hit: 3d6+Intelligence modifier acid damage.
Effect: Each zone remains until the end of your next turn. Any creature who enters or starts their turn in a zone is attacked. The zones are considered difficult terrain.
Sustain Minor: One of the zones may be sustained as a minor action.
Sustain Healing: One of the zones may be sustained by expending a healing surge.
Jelly Bones: Wizard Attack 23
Your victim screams as his very bones turn to soft mush. He collapses in agony, almost helpless.
Encounter * Arcane, Implement
Standard Action Ranged 20
Attack: Intelligence vs. Fortitude.
Hit: 3d6 Acid damage, and the target is knocked prone and stunned(save ends). His Fortitude defense is reduced by 2 until the end of combat.
Special: This spell does not affect creatures with the Ooze keyword.