Sunday, June 9, 2019

Expedition to Krangor

Krangor smells of skin, of sweet yeast and sour sweat. Krangor lives and breathes as an incarnate god but unlike other proud and boastful deities it whispers with a  silent voice. We heard its enigmatic call, and its unspoken promise. It spoke to us of the Molecular Fire. After all, what else could have catalyzed the birth of such a titian?

We arrived in the space-port of Rump Town ten strong. Rump Town is a benighted place, smelling of waste and desperation. The town is built over a deep upwelling from the bowels of Krangor. The foul odor is compounded by the tube forests that grow from spores carried by incautious astro-travelers.

The foul boutique reeks of alien pollution and the heavings of a great beast. An Overwhelming cocktail to be sure, but I was able to sniff out some unusual essences. There was a tall and proud tube tree with an uncharacteristic noble odor, and a small vermin the smelled of incredible violence. When I had finished with my gatherings, Ise had arranged us travel on a caravan, so we set out.

The skin plains are a lonesome place, an empty eternity under a bruise purple sky. Our guides were sullen and watchful humans, obscured under heavy robes. Even my companions could smell their unease and paranoia and soon we learned of its source. Ise was taken in the night, skewered by a horrible mourn that had crept unseen into our encampment. Too late the alarm was sounded as it skittered away into the darkness. Our guides fired a desultory volley but the beast was long gone. In the mourning we once again ventured forth into the flatness, our minds dark with visions of spear -like limbs. At night we would hear their sad bellows, and in the light we would see their looming forms. We were not attacked again, though I do not know why.

After a week of numbing travel we arrived at the Theatre of the Center, a monastery city. It resembled a jeweled adornment pierced through the skin. Here at last we met the Magocytes. These strange creatures are massive cells that guard and heal Krangor. I could smell the power rolling of them, the creamy burnt smell of psionic metabolisms. As expected, they were reluctant to give me a sample of their cytoplasm, but one unusually gregarious individual accepted Gve as payment. I thanked Gve for his service and took my prize.

Ise had most of our coin when he was taken, so I sold Til and Fal for more funds. At one of the bars they had a most potent brew called ich that would crawl up the sides of the glass under its own power. I added it to my collection, and went to find its source.

This lead me to the nearby scab fields. Here the skin is broken and cracked and thick rivers of red ichor flow to the surface. The blood of Krangor has a will of its own and Dak was grabbed and pulled under during a moment of inattention. Unfortunate, but I was able to collect a sample of the raw ichor.

We were lucky enough to witness the cause of the scablands when a plastic angel burst forth in a shower of gore. These creatures infect Krangor and emerge from its depths according to their own alien whims. From accounts I had heard their forms vary but this one was composed of three orbs orbiting around a central blade. After its violent birth it took notice of us and pointed its body at Vil, who soon collapsed shaking and bleeding. The rest of my party was able to take the creature down with concentrated small arms fire. It's flesh was smooth and smelled of ancient malice. I placed the sample in my most secure jar. Vil body began to swell and contort with the creature's offspring so we burned it and returned it to the theater.

I retired to my rented study to examine my samples. The tube tree's nobility proved false, an ancient forgery. The tree used this ruse to  parasitize true kings. A monarch parasite could be adapted into a weapon easily enough, but it is useless to my art. the vermin was another weapon, a seeker. It's ordained prey was long dead, almost certainly by its fangs. I have no need for genocide .

The cytoplasm, to my resignation decayed quickly. The resulting slurry had a paradoxical flavor. It tasted of great victory and bitter defeat at the same time. I have added it to my spice collection.

I  breed out the yeast from the liquor. It was a vile and aggressive beast that fought the ichor to ferment it. It is powerful with a bellicose flavor. The ichor was the most tantalizing but the most obscure. It hid its scent from me. It used its powers to keep me from its secrets. Its will can only come from the planet itself. For a few precious hours a fragment of a god was dying  on my workbench. In death it catalyzed itself to oblivion in a final blaze of glory. This tiny God corpse will not be long in my possession. I will give it to  the order so that they may ponder its Glory.

While I was conducting my studies, the rest of my party was exploring the city. In a sunken bar beneath the skin Vre heard a curious Tidbit; beyond the subterranean latrines there was a passage to the depths of Krangor. Vre lead is  to the sewer pits where an unknown hand had made a path out of plastic sheets and cast off wood. Within the expected foulness I sensed death. I sent Tan to collect a sample but she slipped and drowned in the foulness before we could rescue her.  We pushed on.

I expected the interior of Krangor  to be a realm of blood and Tissue. while such a place may exist deeper still, what I found was more skin; caverns of folds and wrinkles, deep pores and hidden crypts. The air was poor and stale with a curious vital odor.

We had only just stopped catch our breath when Ove  cried out. A noxious yellow ooze crawled up his leg . I held back Vre as I dug through my pack looking for gloves. As I pulled them out, the smell of a  powerful catalyst filled the air. I tore great handfuls of slime off of him as he wailed in pain. I saw his naked bones under the slime, as my gloves begin to smoke. I ripped them off and come quickly cleansed my hands. Vre passed soon after.  We retraced our steps not without a great deal of terror.

Our manpower depleted and  our funds dwindling, we made our way off-world. Krangor is an old and quarrelsome God and it holds its secrets deep, but our quest is unabated. I or my successor will venture once more into the skin may find the molecular fire.

Editor's Note

Here we have the latest dispatch for Arch Magi Hervin Voss of the order of the Molecular Fire. For those keeping track at home, we're up to 38 assorted casualties among his allies and hirelings. I don't know where he keeps finding these people, and I don't understand how he's still alive.

Some notes: There is a rumor the caravans of Krangor deliberately allow some of their charges to be taken by the horrible mourns, in return for a measure of safety. Now, I can not speak with authority but the events Hervin describes are at least in line with such a thing. I'm not saying it is true but it is certainly suggestive.

Now it might seem like our pal Hervin sold some of his friends into slavery, but that’s not quite the case. Magocytes only accept those who come into their service willingly. These servants are then modified through bio-kinesis into creatures known as skin servitors. By all reports they have a high degree of autonomy and a comfortable standard of living. It is not the best life but it beats following Hervin into the dank corners of the galaxy.

And for the thickos out there, the Galactic Gazetteer only publishes these accounts for informational purposes. We can't be held liable for any expeditions to any of the locations we describe.  If you read the same account I did, I can't imagine any of you wanting to go to Krangor, but you mouth breathers always surprise me. 

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