CAS

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Inspiring Illustrations - The Temple of the Blind


NOTE: These are adventure seeds and setting work for my own Hyperborea campaign inspired by the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerors of Hyperborea Gazetteer

24). The Temple of the Blind

In the Red Desert men have found fortunes in mines of silver, iron and copper, but the cost is often their lives, as the sages have written and the families of the men lost to this cold wasteland will attest. Men do not live in the Red Desert but things that hold themselves as men do. Beast like creatures that ape the ways of men haunt the steppes and high grounds, walk the bottoms of dried out seas where the bones of ships can be found, the detritus of ages past; lost fleets and lone vessels from different times and places. Ships of wood, ships of bone, ships of metal that could never have floated, ships of glass; their shattered hulls flaring like beacons when the sun's rays break through the dismal perennial clouds which roof the wasteland.

Then there are the sightless men and their temple city with the vast blind effigy of their god which sits amid the cavernous homes of their metropolis. Sightless they are with smooth flesh where their eyes should be, but doubly keen are their other senses. They can hear the breath of their enemy, the sound of every move. It is said that the wind which blows across the desert is the dying words of their stone god and with it they can hear what a man could see. Hear shapes and the space between the leaves of a plant, hear the distance between walls of their home and the table where the sit to dinner, hear the roughness of the ground, the edge of a cliff, the half-buried root that would trip a seeing man.

The sightless men are disdainers of magic and have no liking for those who practice the arcane art. They are a pious people and many dedicate themselves to the worship of their dead stone god. They are strong warriors and amazing with any weapon that is thrown, especially the use of the sling. They have an affinity with stone.

Their homes are colorless and dark except where a random streak of some unintended, unseen brightness has been added. They have no liking for fire and seem immune to the heat of the day or the frosty chill of the night. They delve deep into the earth of Hyperborea and trade precious metals and gems with men who dare the wasteland. They are always greedy for weapons or items of metal which they do not produce themselves. They weapons and items that they craft for themselves are stone, crystal or bone.

While they appear almost human their flesh is rough and scale-like, they have no hair and their teeth are a single ridge of bone that grows throughout their life and must be worn down usually by an oblong of stone they use as a file or rasp.


The sightless men are dangerous to deal with though once they have established trade with a man they will deal fairly, but they are constantly looking for men and dangerous beasts to sacrifice to their god. The method of sacrifice is said to be truly horrific as the sightless men eat their victims alive within the confines of their temple, first pummeling them with thrown stones, then setting upon the near senseless captive in a maddened pack and consuming the body utterly till nothing is left but cracked bones upon a blood soaked floor.

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