Monday, 22 November 2021

WHALEFALL: Inventory worldbuilding



They appear where the walls of realspace are weakened- at the conjunction of jump lanes, the site of drive accidents, near the wounds of Gaunt incursions. Somewhere far above us, in some golden dimension of vectors and light and heavenly uncolour, they died- and now they fall. They fall longer and further than anything has fallen before, tumbling between dimensions, through cracks and tears, until at last they land here. The ocean floor, the abyssal plane. 

And here now the scavengers come to feast, to crawl within these rough beasts, asteroid-sized titans of strange flesh, impossible biology. 

The mad, the hungry, the desperate, the alien.

The Cutter

Carving away at the Corpse of a god; for love, for credits, for obsession. Make your fortune and get out fast, or it’ll take you, body and soul.

  1. Vibro-cleaver. Mono edged, 200hr battery life. 2-handed haft attachment for cutting at a distance. Leather grip, the hide of your master.

  2. Paring Sword for delicate work; carving fat from bone from muscle.

  3. Stents; holds open flesh liable to collapse. Extends to 3m when triggered.

  4. Vacsuit, carved with wards. The Corpse warp biology by their very presence, and wreak havoc on an unprotected body.

  5. Guild tattoos, patterns of red and black. The Bloody House takes a third of your haul, but you can count on their protection when it comes down to it.

  6. Apprentice. Rake-thin girl, an orphan. Quick with a blade. She cleans the meat from your boots and you teach her everything you know.

  7. Shuttle. Leaky, cramped, mostly owned by the Guild. Home, such as it is.

  8. Refrigerated vacuum containers for valuable finds; Blue Meat, Black Meat, Pearls and Red Marrow, oil and ambergris.

  9. Collapsible SMG, Crawler-toxin rounds. Will see off most of the arasites and predators that the Corpse brought with it.

  10. Digging beast; something like a giant maggot crossed with a spider, head a mass of feelers and grinding teeth. Carves through WHALE-flesh like butter Traded from the Gaunt for a keg of engine-fuel vodka.

  11. Synthetic ‘meat’ buns, artificial teriyaki flavour. Organic substances close to the Corpse tend to go strange.

  12. Minor mutation, delicate fleshy frilling on your hips. The toxicity of the Corpse builds up despite the best preparations, and this is a sign that the seasonal limit is close.

  13. Totem to the Butcher-gods, worn on a cord at the wrist. Metal and stone. The sanctioned action is to cut.

The Gaunt

You and your swarm hitched a ride on a dimensional wind, following the Breacher as it fell down to Realspace. The local sophonts have a shanty-town here; you decided to stay awhile.

  1. Host body. Traded, not stolen; you aren't a heretic. Some kind of livestock, bred by the Butcher Guilds for compatibility. After bonding, resembles a skinny hazard suit crossed with a pig and an octopus.

  2. Jar of plastic cut-offs marinated in alcohol made by locals. Delicious.

  3. Realspace form, a glowing white worm, lined with tendrils. Interwoven with your host for as long as you’ll stay here.

  4. Unraveller. Weapon of your Spawn-mother/father/descendent, handed down to you. A twisting, knobbled rod that blooms into fractal thorns. You haven't had to use it yet, and you hope not to.

  5. Large collection of nude portraits, your beverage of choice. Humans make such beautiful art.

  6. Laser Cutter, taken from the dead. Produces fascinating beams of heat and energy. These hurt, as you have learned.

  7. Garment woven from acrylic thread- a bodysuit and hood. A concession to human sensibilities. Also a snack in an emergency.

  8. Sheaf of poetry carved on thin ceramic tablets; a gift from your companion. Dark, brooding, violent- a delight to the senses.

  9. Maps of the Corpse; irregular spheroids of bone, delicately carved and warped. Your career as a guide would be hard without it.

  10. Receipt chit for a unique chimerical sleeve, currently growing in its womb-pod. You have grown attached to the human that calls you ‘’lover’, and don’t intend to lose them to the realspace disease of entropy.

  11. Immigration papers. The Bloody Houses welcome your kind and the wealth you can bring them, but insist on bureaucracy. 

  12. Structure resembling a bonsai tree of screaming faces; made from Blue Meat and Iron. Communication device, lets you call home. You don’t often, it gives your neighbors nightmares.

  13. Oil lamp. In the depths of the Corpse, electricity cannot flow. The flickering unlight shows the way.

The Cannibal Sister

You learned at the feet of the Red Nuns; of the God-Corpse’ fall from heaven, of the secrets of Meat and Bone. With blade and song you guide the wayward souls who eat at your God.

  1. Your tools, bewildering array of blades stored in a leather satchel. No soul in the Corpse can be left behind, lest God consume them.

  2. Prayer-book, containing the songs and rites of your order. Metal and plastic

  3. Webbing of Corpse-flesh, traded from the Gaunt, inserted around the intestines. Protection from Prion disease.

  4. Habit; tunic, apron, headscarf. Crafted from skin of fallen Priests and Black Flesh cord.

  5. Cermet belly-plate. Your gut is where you keep the souls of your flock; injury to it is unthinkable.

  6. Highly-trained vocal cords. Polyphonic Overtone throat-singing  takes a lot of practice.

  7. Major mutation; tube-like structures erupting from your back, fingers splitting fractally.

  1. Goch/Petric Microcomp B-series loaded with the collected series of shitty cop procedural Flash/Burn and some strategy games.

  2. Custom biogland inserted in the thigh, produces steady drip of estrogen and anti-androgens.

  3. Packed lunch- smoked thigh-meat jerky, chunks of raw liver, fermented marrow drink.

  4. Bobble-headed Gaunt figurine. Ophelia Cheng Von Patel is the local Alpha, and an enterprising one at that. She even sells pin-ups.

  5. Hammer, head in the shape of a meat tenderizer. Weapon of your order. Biotech inertia device in the handle; when activated a good swing hits with around 0.5Knwt.

  6. Wedding scars, unique pattern across the forehead. Your partner is a teamster, contracted to a long-haul cargo vessel. You won’t see her for another four months.