Sunday, January 20, 2019

20 Horrible Dimensions

[1] Utterfringe. You are transported into a realm that is a dark, frigid forest around a very comfortable and quaint village. The village is inhabited by people of your race and culture, and is very peaceful. However, any attempt to approach this village is met with screams and thrown rocks, guards are called out, but they never pursue you into the woods or seek to kill you, merely drive you away.

You are never allowed to be a part of their society. They don't even speak to you like a person, they view you like you're some kind of animal or monster. You are utterly alone, and must survive by stealing scraps of food and discarded apple cores. For whatever reason, you can only get the worst bits, and fate intervenes whenever you try to improve your lot in any way. You will subsist this way until you die of exposure or old age- multiple people transported to the Utterfrineg get trapped outside of different villages. It is unknown if anyone could cross the bleak forests to meet each other, as the villages have no roads.

[2] Pulsing Hills. Each shaggy, moss covered hill emits a different pulsing wave of energy, intervals of a few seconds each. The pulse is weaker at the base of each hill, but different pulses bleed into each other where the hills touch, with the top of each hill being the most powerful. Most pulses are constant drumming feeling, and do not feel good, causing either stat damage to a specific stat, temporary lose of a sense, some health damage, or some other negative for staying more then one exploration turn on an individual hill.

There are also few hills with positive pulses, usually that aid in healing or make the user experience a rush of euphoria, and ALL of these are heavily guarded by round walls and gates by ogre-like creatures and their scrawny pet sorcerers. Crowded around these hills are masses of trans dimensional travelers, runts, and other native species trying to get a moment of rest before being sprayed with freezing water and made to leave.

[3] The Harp Player. Realm with a golden floor and vaulted pillars of golden splendor. All of them surround a very old man with a long white beard wearing a long white robe. He plays a magical golden harp at all times. He does not sleep or eat or age, but is mortal. If he stops playing the harp for more then a few minutes, the pillars begin to crack and crumble, the ground starts to shift, and everything would (he claims) fall into oblivion blackness for eternity. As such, he plays his harp.

The old man is also totally corrupted by his power and knows he cannot be killed or stopped by anyone- since his hands are the only things keeping everyone trapped here alive. Several monkey-like men with fur painted gold from the pillars they rub and sleep up against are his honor guard, and he also knows several spells. If he breaks one of the harp strings, he can create a bottomless pit in this realm at any point of his choosing as well, and only requires a long white whisker from one of his pets to replace it. The corrupt old man uses his power to get anything and everything he wants from dimensional travelers and the native beings; a hoard of treasure and personal items worth nothing to himself lie at his feet all while he strums his gentle harp.

[4] World in a Smokescreen. Every where you go, there is a very thick smoke constantly rising from every object and being that sits still. It also is carried around by winds, but never blown away by them, spreading itself everywhere there is any open space. The smoke is only a slight irritation, but you must breathe it constantly, and there is much dread over your health as it looms.

If something, or someone, does not move the smoke rises from them. They feel at peace if they are alive, but also must still breathe the smoke and force others to breathe it as well, since they have become a conductor for it. As objects move around, they start to lose color, crack, fade, and slowly turn into gray dust which makes up the dirt and soil in this realm. Even people begin to fall apart, starting at the hands and ending at the feet, so they may continue walking as long as they wish, just to get some fresh air.

[5] Realm of Sweet Release. It's just a candy realm. Everything here is made of candy; cotton candy clouds, licorice forest, graham cracker houses and evil gingerbread men with tamed jawbreaker beholders, etc. Doesn't seem so bad until you realize there is no protein or fats here you can eat, so you start to get very sick and need to constantly eat worthless sugar for energy which rots your teeth and stains your lips multiple colors.

To add insult to injury when you finally turn on each other and commit the act of cannibalism to survive- the guy you killed has his head pop open and candy sprays out. You're all pinatas now.

[6] Hard Mode Dimension. Everything is the same as it was in your home world, everyone has the same positions and goals. However, everything that has any element of challenge or danger to you is amplified. Little kids throw rocks that fire as fast as slings. Edges of furniture you bump into break skin and make you bleed. Even small animals are more aggressive and diseased with every worse poxes to infect you with. Labor is also changed; dirt is harder and your shovels break. Math equations require multiple harder, more complex steps to solve. Magical arts suffer to, an archmage struggles as an apprentice does to keep a potion-pot boiling and needs more ingredients for even a simple poultice.

Regardless of how you try to prove or show this, everyone else in this dimension seems normal, and none of them have any more advanced ability then they used it, it is simply you who seems weaker and unprepared to be here. A less powerful version of the self that could have existed in this place.

[7] Pyramid Realm. This entire dimension rests within a utterly massive pyramid, with sloping mountains of stairs to ascend further. Hundreds of millions of tomb rooms and traps in every direction, an explorer's paradise. It is also very dangerous, with crocodile pits and ancient magics and old ways of killing.

Everything brought from this realm anywhere else falls apart and becomes useless sand. The dead bodies of your friends also cannot leave without becoming sand as well, they're part of the pyramid now, as much as a tomb for them as it is for the cursed mummies who still walk the halls.

[8] The Doll House. This dimension is filled with artificial people, animals, plants, and vistas. You're the size of a doll, and can see a black veil in the east that goes up, down, and across the entire horizon forever. This is the wall that the great ones can peer through. The more you disturb, the more likely you are to be noticed.

If you are noticed, you are attacked by titanic hands which seek to turn you into something else; every time you are touched or stroked your body turns less organic, more artificial, replacing your bones and organs with red fluff that slowly turns white, your skin becomes more like fabric, your eyes get harder and more like buttons. If you are defeated you turn into an unmoving, unliving doll that will be placed in a scene to be admired from afar, a morbid panaroma.

[9] Realm of Siege. Massive city with marble streets and the finest architecture in ruins. War machines still attack the city, an endless assault on this place. There are no living things beyond rats and weeds; the war machines having killed them all off. The invaders are nowhere to be found, but the skeletons outside seem to show that they are also gone. The city itself is a beautiful place, massive murals of forgotten gods, huge fountains and baths, a level of sophistication and opulence not seen in your world anywhere. There is a massive millhouse complex that even made grain for the poor; which is now under siege.

This realm is a waste- and the machines still run. Despite the various rusting parts and broken wheels, the machines ineffectively chip away at the opulent palaces and strucutres. The long broken catapult with no driver uses its beam to rub out a sign, little stomping machine with iron feet break shards of glass from an already shattered window, a pointless assault that lasts forever. If you are spotted, the machines will attack you to, and while some are more suited to structures others are very adapt at killing soldiers. They've just ran out of soldiers to kill.

[10] The Small Space. The entire realm is the size of a large warehouse, with impenetrable walls, floors, and ceilings of unbreakable black stone. Almost everything here can hear and smell everything else. It is just empty space, but over the years the corpses, intelligent beings, and plants have built a complex maze-like canopy of tight spaces and clutter to make it feel a little less cramped. An entire society lives here, with relegated farming space, social strata, and predators/monsters outside “the walls” who you can feel the body heat of when they get up to go hunting. Most go insane here, due to an absolute lack of privacy. Even the highest nobles only get enough space to lie down, the rest stand or take turns sitting in the fetal position on a bed of rotting leaves from the tree that you were also born under.

[11] Dimension of the Falling Daggers. This realm seems similar to your world, just with a feeling of dread and apprehension. Everyone has a dagger floating over their head, each one is unique and fitting to that person, but all look painful and deadly. Those with unusually strong constitutions will have a poisonous dagger, and those who are agile will have a double sided dagger so they cannot try to grab the handle, etc. Regardless of what your dagger is, if it falls on you you will perish from it, no save or hit points will save you.

Somewhere in your new order in the cosmic scheme of things; there is a entity watching you. If you displease it, the dagger may vibrate or glow, warning you that it is about to fall if you continue your actions. Most people get a feel from what their entity wants from them; but none of them allow you to live an easy or happy life. Every entity is different as well, and some will force you to commit horrible crimes or betray your principles under pain of death. Civilization must still persist either way, and the executioner is just as threatened by his dagger as he tightens the hangman's noose around the neck of an innocent man. Once a person dies, the dagger meanders off into the wasteland. Nobody knows where they go.

[12] Elemental Inferno. All elements in the smallest proportions to the biggest are personified and have intelligence of their own. They may be displeased with you and act out- Fire refuses to cook your food or warm you without the proper sacrifices. Water may simply leave your well and trickle somewhere else, if you do not worship and please it. The elements also regularly feud with each other; great mudslides as water and earth clash, or gouts of stream that engulf your home and force you out or be burned as your stove and water jug duke it out over pointless banter.

The elements also form elementals; more reasonable but more powerful then the ones in the actual world. They may be huge, eating small elements to grow more powerful or casually destroying huge areas or killing people as a condition of what they are. Similar to genies, they will grant “wishes”, but their wishes are always twisted with magic and malice as they inadvertently ruin the balance of harmony. The air elemental will gladly slay your rivals by throwing huge boulders at them, but will kill many innocents along the way, or infuse you with electrical energies so you cannot ever touch a metal object again as part of the “deal”.

[13] The Least Place. This dimension, everyone believes only in themselves. The moment children are born, nothing makes the parents of the child care for them beyond the thought of genetic legacy. No love or honor binds anyone. Nobody fights for any cause unless it directly benefits them with gold or power, or unless they were threatened to do it. These people do not have souls, they vote and demand treatment that is better without thought to their countrymen or to any sort of code of morality. They are the least people.

[14] Parasite's Dream. Everything in this dimension can only reproduce by infecting other beings. Sex is forced, bladed appendages infect wounds with slithering offspring. Many kill, fully grown adults springing forth from the corpse. This realm contains huge, 8 ft tall insectoids with bladed arms that slice apart anything too big to escape their notice; mostly human travelers who stupidly wander into this cursed realm. The floor is covered in mushrooms, or endlessly erode the stone and soot. Maybe one day they'll spawn their way to the bottom and this nightmare can end.

[15] Alien Afterlife. This multicolored realm is filled with lounging spirits of strange shape, blissfully unaware of your struggles or dangers. There are huge faces here, deities of cultures you'll never meet or understand, with slithering tongues that bathe the spirits in glory. Weird plants caresses parts of your body you don't have, tending to the faults of life with their alien desires and alien needs, all taken care of.

Nothing in this realm is supposed to be hostile, but you are simply a traveler in a place you shouldn't even be. The water is alkaline. The music screeches and leaves marks in your skin. The spirits play games with you that make you bleed and lose your vision, electric touches that short out your optic nerve and try to make it see things that you didn't want to see. If you manage to survive this realm, you won't come back without 1d2 newly implanted alien organs in your body.

[16] The Mountain. The mountain is endlessly high, and continues falling. Every day, hundreds of boulders and stones roll from the top down to the bottom, which is being lost to a black ocean that breaks anything that falls into it apart into pieces and dissolves them to nothing. It is like a powerful acid, but acid resistance offers no protection. The mountain is constantly sinking into this sea as well, the first 1d20x100 feet getting swallowed by the ocean, any anyone down there lost with it.

The only way to stay alive is climb, bloody knuckled fingers. Huge black rams bat each other off the cliffs into the sea below to fight over the ewes, Unless you can survive on the rugged shaggy grasses, you'll have to survive on the lizards and snakes in their dens up the mountain as you climb. If you make enemies with anyone, they may try to go ahead of you and destroy any way to ascend above you, making you unable to climb and making you lost to the sea by the time it catches up to you.

[17] Realm of Onnic. There is a magic spell that conjures some of the mist of this realm, but the realm itself is much more expansive. The realm is filled with deep purple smoke, heavy purple dew, and pools of purple liquid. Everything here is in a state of combination and confusion. Neighboring objects, elements, beings, and forces share properties with each other. Predators grow horns to butt away the killing teeth and claws of prey animals, while trees strangle their suddenly animated branches around the rough bark-like necks of grazing animals. These animals are not naturally supposed to be here, but were brought to experiment with the powers of the realm and managed to hang on.

Traveling in this realm is twice as difficult, even if you stick to the less foggy and wet areas, due to your feet meshing with the soil and terrain as you try to pass over. Going through an especially boggy area is suicide, as your composite form and traits start to spread quickly through the landscape, and you can die from being split into a zillion parts, becoming one with the realm via absorption. Every day spent here confers a 1 in 6 chance of gaining a new memory, randomizes one of your stats into a new number; roll a 1d20 to determine it, or you may wake up a new race, gender, or with greatly different equipment. These are from the infused qualities of the realms.

[18] The Prison Realm. This realm is made to imprison beings from around the multiverse. Nobody truly owned or created it, it was formed by a combined need and from natural phenomenon that happened to fit the need. This realm is like a massive dungeon or jail, with an unlimited number of new chambers and rooms found down the next hall as needed. Old areas no longer suitable are abandoned or scavenged. People sent here are instantly thought of as prisoners, and are cosmically marked by it. You wouldn't be here unless if you were a prisoner. Those with the power to travel between dimensions immediately get trapped here, requiring huge amounts of magic or friends in very high places to get out of this sink-trap of a dimension.

There are natural ecosystems here; a race of prison guards, with a natural inclination towards strength and cruelty. Rusted iron armor grows as they do, their inheritance from the stones. Food is grown along long ditches in the naturally forming canteen caverns; prisoners are loaded up in long gangs and forced to march between different ones to let the mushroom breads and moldy old meat plants regenerate after their daily breakfast. The place is illuminated by torches, as wood grows from metal sockets in the walls and eventually ignites to form long standing light sources. Long gargoyle mouths form in the stone to release streams of water in mold coated shower rooms.

The culture of the guards is rather brutish and simple, and any one of them taken out of this realm would have a very different mindset of normal beings. Also, guards are not subject to the difficulties of the “prisoners”, and could leave the realm via astral travel or teleportation much easier then a prisoner could. In its deepest pits, the beings this realm houses are much more powerful and ancient then the mortals sent here to die.

[19] The Second Land of the Shadow Men. While otherwise appearing as a normal material world with average races, monsters hiding in the dark places, shadowy magic traditions and more, the entire realm is controlled and oppressed by the Shadow Men. This is their second try, the first devolving their home dimension into an endless, listless darkness.

The Shadow Men come out at night in this dimension, having power. Once night falls, all beings outside freeze in place so the Shadow Men can descend upon them. Drawing blood with long black needles and experimenting on them, casting spells and watching everything. If you're inside at night you just feel an uneasy stillness, able to move slowly and sluggishly, but still easy prey for the Shadow Men if they so marked you. The light in this realm is being devoured, and already the Gods here are becoming weaker and less present as the Shadow Men try their great working again.

[20] The Four Golden Valleys. In this dimension, there are four golden valleys. The first one you visit is a gorgeous wonderland, with every surface covered in golden dust and painted in gold. Around the gold are piles of other precious metals, treasures, bottles of incredibly luxurious and expensive wines, and so on. The second valley contains even more- magical golden mirrors that can create illusions of you you want to see, beautiful golden statues of young men and women, ready to serve you in any way you wish, fountains of curative potions that can fix your illnesses and imbue you with supernaturally long life and magic powers, and so on. Each valley is greater then the last, but no one has ever seen or described the third and fourth Valley- whatever lay in them must be even more breathtaking.
The moment you enter this realm, a dark shadow hangs over you. If you for even an instant appreciate this place for more then just a means to an end, or if you ever desire more then you truly “need” from this place, you will be trapped here forever. Your body will be blown apart by the wind, piece by piece, your skin and flesh turning dark amber and eventually becoming the massive fields of golden dust just outside each of the valleys- your mind is unraveled too, creating and infusing the works of art in this place as your memories and magic crack and sprinkle over the landscape to become a part of its richness. It is possible to travel through here without taking anything, but a single failed saving throw means sure isolation and death. One person has even managed to take a treasure from the valley without consequence; a blind old monk meditated to reach this realm, sifted through a pile of golden rice, and took the smallest grain with a humble bow so he could pay for repairs and to feed the local orphanage. With even a scrap of selfish intent, you will be lost.

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