Saturday, June 25, 2022

100 Statement World-Building Challenge

Shoggoth did A Monit
by Flannerius CC-BY-SA 4.0

This is a challenge that I saw Samwise7RPG doing that looked like a lot of fun: create a setting in 100 statements. I worked on it on what spare time I could steal between watching my little guy and recovering from the pneumonia that wrecked me this month.

It got too big for Twitter pretty fast. And Twitter was exceptionally unpleasant yesterday, so I moved it here.

I let my imagination just flow when I had time to type. This represents about 5 hours of stream -of-consciousness brainstorming, starting with the idea of a fractured world with an elder god serving as it's sun and just running with it .

  1.  Lim-Obol was uttered into existence by U'ulul, the greatest of the Shoggoths.
  2. U'ulul was among the first shoggoths vomited forth by Mother Hydra, and shared much of her divinity.
  3. For Aeons U'ulul gibbered only nonsense in the heart of the void until, growing quiescent for a time, he projected his eyes through the multiverse.
  4. It is fever dream he left it into existence his own Twisted reflection of the reality his half seeing eyes witnessed.
    Image generated with Dall-E Mini

  5. Only his sense of smell was not fooled, nor subject to his madness. And so he created around himself a shell of sweet air.
  6. U'ulul dream the world of floating islands in rings about him people with warped plants and strange life.
  7. The rays of U'ulul's eyes are like sunlight. They nourish all that he observes, but warp and mutate as well, if care is not taken..
  8. U'ulul loves birds best, and so his world was adorned with four-winged nightingales, bejeweled cassowaries, many-headed shoebills, cloud-sized raptors, clever Pelgranes, and perfectly ordinary lyrebirds.
  9. U'ulul dreamed deep, crystal filled caves within his Islands so vast and strange that the islands became bigger on the inside without.
  10. Lim-Obol was discovered by sorcerers from the land of Vik during a hallucinogenic mycelium plague.
  11. The magicians who visited Lim-Obol learned many secrets of the universe and forbidden magics by listening to the drowsy muttering of U'ulul and the songs of his bizarre birds.
  12. Inspired by the first fungus-crusted Wizards who visited him, U'ulul dreamed into being the Mycelloids: fungus beings who grow deep in the caverns of his islands., As they mature become puff balls with terrible magical powers who float on the breath of their insane creator.
  13. Emekindal the Clever sought to make the realm more hospitable. He U'ulul water on the limbs of the sleeping Hulu until dreamed of water, seas, and storms.
  14. U'ulul, dreamed regularly of water after that, surrounding himself in a massive storm cloud that caused rain to fall on all U'sides of the floating islands, and created a bowl shaped see that slowly orbits him.
  15. This cloud is called Emekindal's veil in honor of the wise magus who brought rain to Lim-Obol. And to remind all that care must be taken in dealing with U'ulul, as he was devoured by an errant mouth. It said his own eyes and mouth appear somewhere on the face of the mad god.
  16. When the gods of Vik went mad and ravaged the face of their world, a wizard named Garm took a select population with him into Lim-Obol for safety. They fled into a large cavern complex to retain their sanity.
    Image generated by Dall-E Mini

  17. The apprentices of Garm went, on his command, with crystals carved from the heart of the caverns and trapped the rays of U'ulul's Light within them. These became the Lesser Sun Sones that provided warmth, light, and crops for those Garm had rescued.
  18. Watching the apprentices, U'ulul imagined these stones with a touch of his essence on a much greater scale. And so floating Greater Sun Stones appeared in his orbit, flush with Eldritch power for those willing to tap it.
  19. Over three generations, the caverns that Garm's followers lived in work worked and shaped. They became the great Labyrinth of Garm. A twisting underground stronghold that stretched for miles. The cradle of Lim-Vik civilization.
  20. In time, with disciplined ascetic practice, even the non-magicians among the Lim-Vik could finally move to the upward faces of the floating islands. For a Time people throve in the light of U'ulul rays. This was called the Age of Radiance.
  21. As the dreaming mad god watched the humans below him, his dreams created his own Twisted parodies thereof. The malignant peacock-men known as the Malak. The neurotic seafaring Oly pelican-folk. The night-bodied sprites. The eyeless, flesh eating subterranean Uagrim.
  22. The first Wars came in the underground. The depredations of the Uagrim forced man to abandon their ancestral Labyrinth. The Lesser Sun Stones were lost.
  23. Wars with the Oly and the Malak forced humankind to create Magrocratic principalities around the Twisted Towers of the Magi who descended from those taught by Garm.
  24. For each Magus, an order of knights armed with blessed weapons in hand defended mankind against the Inhumans and monsters of Lim-Obol.
  25. These wars raged for centuries and are remembered as the Age of Violence.
  26. In time the bloodshed below woke U'ulul from his slumber. Thousands of questing maws to descended, devouring the Lim-Vik and his own progeny alike.
  27. Those who survived his first ravaging form together too slay the Mad God of Lim-Obol, putting aside their centuries of warfare and tension.
  28. Chaos beasts rained from the sky and clashed with magic, golems, and heroes.
  29. U'ulul cannot die, but he can be forced into undeath for a time. His babbling mouths go silent and eyes stare dimly. 
  30. The death of U'ulul puts an end to his dreaming. Without it, it does not rain. Were not for the Greater Sun Stones, the pale white from the cataractrd eyes would not be enough to sustain life. The times where U'ulul does are as ice ages.
  31. After a few final Wars, the Age of the First Death settled to an uneasy peace 
  32. Man and Oly learns to coexist; Man trading grain for the oils, scales, and meat of the sea serpents and feathered whales of the Sea of Tears.
  33. The Malak carved out hey territory filled with human slaves where they continue to cohabit with subjugated humans today.
  34. Much of the lore and magic of both the Lim-Vik and the Malak were lost in the age of the first death. The Twisted Towers were shunned as places full of monsters and wild magic.
  35. In time, new humans arrived from the mortal realm. These invaders brought their own magicians who plundered the ruins of the Twisted Towers and hunted the myscelloids to gain "native" magic.
  36. At first the human races fought against one another, unwilling to give ground or share secrets. 
  37. In the Age of the First Death, those who controlled the mouths of caves where underground s lakes had formed could rule by rationing water. These Watermen had to be great magicians and warriors to take that water in the face of the Uagrim. 
  38. All of this changed when the demigoddess Xopala, the rain bringer, came to Lim-Obol. She could create rain on her own without the need for a waking U'ulul.
  39. People flocked to Xopala, and her coat became the ruling Faith over all men who did not want to be tyrannized by Water-Sellers. 
  40. Xopala's shrines were built on the sites of the ruined Twisted Towers, and those who did not follow her commands for a society of peace and obedience were sacrificed on her altar to give her the power to make more rain.
  41. Over a couple of generations drunk on power, Xopala became the petty god-queen of a decadent and decayed Empire. Ultimately, the Clerisy of Rivala and the Malachean Unity seems to compete for which could become the most decayed society.
  42. In particular, the purple fleshy fruit of the Jelai tree, but euphoric hallucinatory State and erotic visions nearly claimed two generations of every people but the staunch Oly.
  43. When U'ulul begin to blink and murmur again, no longer undead, few paid any attention. They were too busy languishing in there pleasure gardens scattered through increasingly empty cities.
  44. To this day, Uagrel, a crimson skinned mutation of the Uagrim stalk Urban ruins looking to satisfy both erotic and carnivorous urges on the unwary.
  45. Even as U'ulul shaped fresh monsters inspired by the depravity seen below, such as Deodands and Grues and generations refused to care for their children in the emptied mortal cities, a hero named Karr was released from several centuries of captivity by sprites.
  46. Karr was a mage's kight from the Age of Violence, and looked upon the world that replaced his with disgust. He built a small army of youths who had lost too much to the drugs and sacrifices to be complacent: The Hounds of Garm.
  47. Karr imprisoned Xopala in a magical Iron Maiden and placed her at the heart of her grandest shrine. To this day she can be forced to make it rain as needed by pouring drugs down her throat.
  48. There are prophecies about what rewards or terrible fates await whomever might free her.  Most would rather not lose the potential water source.
  49. The most abject criminals are still sacrificed on Xopala's altars. When they are, they bleed pure water.
  50. Otherwise, her altars are shunned to save by an order of monks dedicated to the punishment of the irredeemable and the redemption of the penitent. They remain gardens full of strange intoxicants.
  51. It is said that this Order of Rain can concoct drugs that forces the taker to relive the pain of the victims of their crimes.
  52. Karr sponsored both knights and magicians, as he tried to rebuild something like a new Radiant Age. It is remembered as the Age of Awakening.
  53. With the magic of the Age of Violence mostly forgotten, people who wish to travel from Islands to Island relied either on sailing when the seas swing around below them, or riding on giant Pelicans to reach from place to place.
  54. Flying travelers were, for a long time, easy prey for winged monsters. Under Karr's disciples, magical wind-ways that carry Travers between islands on kites were made. These remain today, but are now unreliable.
  55. Kerr's followers also set up a brotherhood of pelican-mounted knights to hunt the Pelgranes and Sky-rays that threaten travelers by bird, balloon, or harnessed Mycelloid.
  56. The need for preservation of magical lore before more was lost inspired an order of mystics called the Sages of Everlight, who helped to reclaim lost labyrinths, then carved spells on crystals and great tablets in places of power and beauty where the madness of the surface might never erase them.
  57. In spite of the institutions he established and the warnings he made, Kerr's warnings about the danger U'ulul would one day represent did not lead to a unified Lim-Obol.
  58. The Age of Awakening ended with petty kingdoms built in the ruins of empty cities. While they respected the need for certain organizations to stride across there border, such as a hounds of Kerr and the sages of everlight, they demanded loyalty from anyone not affiliated with such orders, and once again began to build up old feudal rivalries.
  59. Since the Age of Awakening, the islands that remain middle distant from U'ulul are covered with crumbling, Urban ruins filled with the statuary and gardens of a culture obsessed with sex and drugs.
  60. The kingdoms surrounding these ruins sit on cleared hillside like islands of green in a craggy expanse.
  61. The Malak returns to their practice of taking humans slaves in this time, and rebuilt an empire on the Proximal isles.
  62. The Malak Saturday cult in the worship directly of U'ulul, in hopes of currying favor with the god and bending his dreams.
  63. Malak Alchemists mastered the art of tailoring dreams through drugs and hypnosis, then fed carefully conditioned dreamers to the sleeping U'ulul in order to spread the dreams 
  64. In time, their Sandmen also learned to travel beyond Lim-Obol by riding human dreams. They learned to hunt Men of the Mortal realm, dragging them to Lim-Obol through their dreams 
  65. In time, the Sandmen drew the wrath of a god of the Old World, Kagma, and he called upon the faithful to launch a Crusade.
  66. Faithful magicians to Kagma slipped into Lim-Obol and built vast doorways to and from the Mortal World. Some still stand in ancient pleasure gardens and fallen arenas in the Age of Awakening ruins.
  67. The Dream Crusade surged into Lim-Obol of the backs of Holy Beasts with steel and gunpowder. This was the Dawn of the Age of Fire 
  68. The Malak, used to preying upon defenceless dreamers or taking slaves from small islands were not ready for the onslaught of a mortal army; they were decimated, and their slaves freed to rule themselves.
  69. New shrines to Kagma were erected where the shrines of U'ulul once stood. And a grand War Temple was built to allow the Dream Crusade to spread their faith to the godless Men of Lim-Obol.
  70. The Crusaders were not subtle, not did they know the ancient history of the realm. As they kept putting Malak lords to the sword and evangelizing with flame, They woke U'ulul again.
  71. The Crusade fought valiantly against the Mad God and the horrors he spawned. They held for months, throwing heroes and Martyrs at the Mad God until so many sacrifices were made that Kagma himself came and slew U'ulul.
  72. With U'ulul once again plunged into undeath the fatigued Kagma sat upon a throne of the armor of the Martyrs and pledged to sanctify Lim-Obol for the loss.
  73. Lim-Obol fell into the dry, frigid Age of the Second Death.
  74. The most decadent of the Malak islands became a hallowed ground for the Kagmites. Dream Labs and Pleasure Domes became halls for the hallowed dead. Temples to U'ulul were remade into towers where vigils could be made of the Dead Mad God.
  75. Kagme also had temples built on the Greater Sun Stones as sites of prayer devoted labors that recharge the stones with Kagme's holy light rather than the twisting gaze of U'ulul.
  76. While the Malak have rebuilt their citadels and renewed their slave-taking, they do it subtly now, creating cults and hiding in human form in public. Their homes often attach to magical dream-palaces where unfortunate slaves toil in secret where none might ever find them.
  77. Tension between the Kagmites, the Order of Rain, remaining U'ulul cultists, Karrites, and Garmites built slowly at first, and then rapidly as the different belief systems vied for control over how civilization in Lim-Obol might be rebuilt.
  78. Many see the Kagmites as interlopers who still have the option of returning to the world of Mortals.
  79. Time flows more slowly in Lim-Obol, the two thousand years that have passed since the first Vikari came here has been closer to seven thousand on the material plane. None remember Vik or its gods, or the intruders who came after. There is no place for the people born on Lim-Obol to return to.
  80. Modern Karrites hold that Karr was an avatar of Law, and that he was captured, and released by the Sprites exactly when he was needed, and will return again in time to restore Order to Lim-Obol.
  81. Many of Karr's institutions: Sky-Knights, Magicial fraternties, and the Order of Rain remain nearly seven hundred years after his passing.
  82. The Sages of Everlight, on the other hand, are long gone. Their legacy of libraries of magical lore engraved on the walls of the Labyrinths lives on, however.
  83. Garmites are not so much a religion as they are a philosophy that denies the moral authority of gods, in favor of a monotheistic semi-intelligent source of magic they call Pymander, of whom they can gain special gnostic revelation.
  84. Garmite religion is at the heart of magical teachings in Lim-Obol, although the meditative practices of magician-swamis of the invaders have strongly informed the modern version of the pseudo-religion.
  85. U'ulul cultists today are often small cells of mystics devoted to tinkering with the dream-magic of the Malak Sand-Men and trying to manipulate the dreams of U'ulul to grant themselves wishes.
  86. These cults are frequently the pawns (witting or not) of Malak sorcerers, who use them to acquire slaves, treasure, and power.
  87. Uagrim and other terrors banished to the Labyrinths and Age of the First Death ruins are a constant threat, and obstacle between the lost magical knowledge and creations of the early ages and the current cultures.
  88. The Order of Rain controls both the distribution of fresh water and the matter of criminal justice (as well as the market on hallucinogens) all thanks to their control of the imprisoned goddess Xopala. They are not Kerrites or worshippers of Xopala, but have a deeply humanistic approach that draws a great deal on Kerr's ancient chivalric code.
  89. The Order of Rain and the Kagmite faith should be allies, but the Order Refuses to adjust their methods of jurisprudence to match Kagma's more modern standards, and the two often clash.
  90. Communities that allow Kagmite bishops to take control of the local justice system are denied rain until they relent.
  91. Islands that are partially immersed in The Sea of Tears periodically tend to be the last bastions of old Lim-Obol culture, and the home to the Oly pelican-folk. 
  92. The Oly stubbornly refuse to change their ways for any outside pressure. They fish, they whale, they slay sea-serpents, and they breed the best flying mounts in Lim-Obol. Those who respect that can trade for valuable goods.
  93. The Oly are mostly staunch Kerrites, with a few Xopala worshippers who keep the cult in its earliest form alive.
  94. Currency almost everywhere in Lim-Obol is measured in spindles of Quartz, Chalcedony, Lapis Lazuli, and Alexandrite, all of which represent different volumes of water.
  95. Gold is almost nonexistent in Lim-Obol. Kagmites have had a hard time getting the locals to accept it as currency. It was used during the Age of Radiance, but was limited by the supply brought by the Vik refugees.
  96. Many worry that if the Kagmites push, no settlement could withstand the might of the Crusade, as their black powder weapons and fine steel make them far more powerful on the battlefield than native Lim-Obolites.
  97. Rumors that U'ulul has blinked, sighed, or whispered are becoming more common. Some fear he is quickening again only decades after death this time.
  98. Hunting Mycelloids is still considered the swiftest, but riskiest route to magical knowledge. Many who would rise to the rank of Magrocrat die every year trying to capture one and devour it for it's knowledge.
  99. The Lesser Sunstones are still mostly lost. Those few that have been found have always brought their wielder power and influence.
  100. There is an Exodus youth movement to leave Lim-Obol and wander the planes to find a place free of mad gods where stars shine in the sky.


  1. Wow. This would make an amazing world book. Very old school Lynn Carter and Jack Vance.

    1. Thanks so much! I just finished reading Cugel's Saga, so that kind of bizarre science fantasy is on my mind.

      I could probably get a book or two out of it if I had just a few more hours in the day.

  2. Wow, this is awesome! You've definitely inspired me, hoss.