Hear my words, mortal kind! The old myths are dying. We Gods fade from the world, as mankind turns to their machines, their magic-killing science, their virtual worlds, filled with new gods and monsters. They believe that they do not need us any more and we are forgotten. The old myths are dying…
We sleep. We dream. We fade into eternity.
But I, Vulcan, the god they once entreated to gift them their machines, their science, their god-forged weapons, will not go quietly. No, I will embrace their new myths, their invisible worlds, their gods who speak in code of webs and nets and chains. I will forge a world that will be greater than the mundane ambitions of you mere mortals! I will use your science to create a virtual world born of a God, a world beyond the fickle, ephemeral dreams of mankind.
This is the capital of the VulcanVerse and where Vulcan himself has his home. Surrounding the Palace are various administrative buildings that any visiting mortal can call upon.Here you can register your land purchase, look at the kinds of Vulcanites that are available, examine
upgrades and functions available to you, enhance your ownership credentials, and invest in higher membership tiers, opening up new kinds of functionality for a mortal to play with.
Most of Vulcan City is run by the Kourai Khryseai, extra-ordinary beings, automatons crafted to look like humans by Vulcan himself, but made entirely of gold, and yet possessed of high intelligence and reason, as well as great beauty. These exquisite mechanical marvels run the VulcanVerse on behalf of the God.
Around and about the City wandering groups of Keledones, golden automaton maidens, sing and dance for the entertainment of gods and mortals. They’re otherworldly voices fill the air with a strange enchantment.
The God Vulcan has chosen to bestow his blessings upon mankind. That means you, a mere mortal, may acquire plots of land in his New Olympus, the Vulcanverse. The VulcanVerse is divided into four quarters around the Palace of Vulcan in the centre of Vulcan City.
Each quarter is unique in style and terrain types. Players can build upon their land, recruiting creatures (Vulcanites) developing their land, and as the Vulcanverse itself is developed, eventually adding buildings that give new functionality, produce goods, trade with other players and with Vulcan City, create their own games, palaces, objects, art and so on.
Each plot of land is unique to the purchaser. There can only ever be one of each plot using vechain tech. You can farm, upgrade and build upon your land as you see fit, buy others land and sell yours too. It will be the ultimate virtual world directly owned by you.
1. In that day will I raise up the Gods of the ages that are fallen, and open up the tombs that sleep thereof; and I will raise up the ruins, and I will build Olympus as in the days of old:
2. That they may possess the remnants of Hyperion, and of all the mortals, which are called by my name, saith it be Vulcan that doeth this.
The Acheron and the Styx run across the land. They come from sources in the mountainous southern edge of Hades where it abuts the Mountains quarter (The Mountains of Boreas). The Acheron runs through the central city. Both join up after the city to merge in the Delta of Darkness at the northern (or western) edge of the map.
A bloated swamp, full of Mangrave trees, and the drowned dead. Flies feast on sunken corpses, twisted beasts feed on the fetid fruits of that land. Giant Snakes and Hydras wander the swamps. Mangrave trees – trees that are half bark, half twisted dead body, grow across all the swamps and bayous of Hades, nourished by the souls of the dead.
The Slimeswamp is a congealed morass of putrefaction with spiders littered about. Giant swamp spiders, so like a swamp but with slimy webs.
Those swamps that are on the course of the Styx and Acheron end up as Black Bayous, like lakes of thin, black oil. Riverside dens and watery graves line the black waters, punts and flat bottomed boats ply the waters, manned by the souls of those drowned at sea.
The Necropolis, the capital of the Underworld. At its centre a single, tomb smothered hill, rises up over the city like a gravestone. Upon its peak is the now empty Palace of the Dead, where Hades once ruled. Round and about its foothills, tomb complexes spread outward like the suburbs of a living city. Statues of the long dead seem to stalk its streets like thieves in the night, their deeds in life long forgotten.
The Plains are home to lost souls, wandering in the miasmic shadows, who wail and groan, shambling aimlessly, lamenting their fate in the pale, decaying light, hence the name. Mysterious sink holes, ash-filled wells and rune-written trapdoors in the ground lead to subterranean crypts and caverns. There are ancient broken towers scattered across the land. Strix, bronze beaked blood drinking birds, circle some of them. Elsewhere, Lamias (half woman, half snake) lurk, waiting to pounce on the unwary.
The two rivers finally join and run into the Delta of Darkness at the coast. On the delta can be seen the Barge of Charon, who leads the souls of the dead upriver into Hades. Charon himself is long gone though, sleeping in his tomb somewhere. Also at the end of the Delta is the abode of Cerberus, the three headed dog of the underworld, the Guardian at the Gates of Hell, now empty.
Scattered about are small graveyards or cemeteries with a handful of tombs and mausoleums. Here the lost souls have Hades dwell in kind of half life
Little clusters of blasted trees, half tree, half dead body, litter the land.
4 And I will bring again the people, and they shall build up the waste cities, and live in them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
The river god Ladon once lived in the gushing waters, but now the rivers of Arcadia run dry as Ladon slumbers. Perhaps the ancient springs can be unblocked, wells cleared and the waters restored to flow once more bringing with it life and sustenance the sleeping gardens of Arcadia.
Once tended by Centaurs these farmlands have fallen into disarray. Sacred stables, home to centaurs, and bucolic farmhouses still litter the land, waiting to be put to use once more.
Here were grown Olympian vines, tended by Satyrs, who’s hooves juiced the grapes from which the heady wines of Bacchus were made, called the sweet nectar of Olympus.
Much of Arcadia is covered in sculpted woodland, given a veneer of wildness but in fact criss crossed with trails and paths, dotted with arbours and bowers, statues, fountains, flowered gardens, gazebos and gardener’s huts. It was a bucolic paradise, now overgrown and truly wild. Ambrosia, the food of the gods that imparts immortality on those who eat of it, was also harvested here from the mushroomed shadows of glen and glade.Yet a few Dryads still live in leaf-thatched tree houses, some nymphs still dance in sunlit glades and gambol in the streams and pools.
These are the truly wild parts of Arcadia, found at its remoter edges. The deeper you go, the darker it gets until you reach Lykaon’s Den. Do not assume you will ever leave that place alive though. Safer places along the way are the Druid’s Groves, so long as you treat them with respect and honour. Druids still tend a grove or two – do not anger them for they have mastery over root and branch, leaf and stream and can ensnare the unwary or those that desecrate their sacred charges.
Here dwell dwindling tribes of faeries and sprites, playing in the waters and tree lined glens, or banqueting on elderberry wine and mushrooms, roots and nuts. Beware, mortals, for to disturb the Fae at play is to risk much, perhaps even your very soul!
This lies at the centre of Arcadia, so called because there is only one season in Arcadia – eternal summer. The Palace is where the Gods once stayed but long has it stood empty, its murals chipped and flaking, its rooms empty and dust-bound, its windows shuttered and its kitchens closed, the banqueting halls and bedchambers silent and empty, begrimed with the filth of ages. The Palace is surrounded by Ornamental Gardens that have also fallen into ruin and decay. Weeds and creepers fill the flower beds, hedge thorn and nettles block and bind the garden paths.
3 Behold, the days come, saith Vulcan, that the sleeper awakes, mortal men shall overtake the reaper, and the treaders of grapes and those that soweth the seeds; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
Three of these are hidden in the sands of the desert awaiting discovery. Much smaller than the great pyramids of Egypt these mausoleums each house one of the Sphinxes of ancient times. They slumber, awaiting a new birth. Will it be mortal men who free them from their sleepy shackles?
This is the origin of the Great River that runs through the Desert of Sphinxes. Oceanus was the god of rivers, the well of all the fresh waters in the world. But now he sleeps, no longer needed, discarded, set aside. So the wellspring of the Great River has dried up, and the once fertile lands, fed by the river, have been reclaimed by desert sands.
This second cataract, half way on the Great Rivers journey to the sea, was used to divert waters into the irrigation canals. A shrine to the goddess Tethys was regularly tended, to ensure the free flow of waters but that too has fallen into rack and ruin. Tethys herself has long since departed.
A river that meanders through the two cataracts from the north to the delta and the sea to the south. It is now dried out and is slowly filling up with sand. It nourished a fertile land, but now it is a barren wasteland of dust and sand.
A once great port at the mouth of the Great River where it spilled into the sea. Now the delta is silting up, and the great city is a shadow of its former self, slowly falling apart as the sun beats down upon it like a hammer taken to pottery.
TRolling dunes march across the desert, but be wary of one stretch of such dunes, the Dunes of Doom, for they are also home to Skorpius, the giant scorpion queen and her children. And they are legion….
6 And I will bring the shackles and break them, and out of captivity I shall bring them, and they shall be as to Kings again.
Where a hill rises up out of the steppes, the Amazons built a fort upon it, the better to store their goods and defend against raids by the minotaurs, harpies, hippogriffs, cyclopes and other fell creatures of the mountains. Mostly they lie in ruins but one or two are still inhabited by Amazon warrior women, eking out a sparse life amidst the ruined glories of their past.
Most of the interior of the Boreas is a steppe plateau. Here and there hills rise up out of the flatlands. Where once the land was tilled and farmed, now it is mostly frozen tundra. The Amazons once roamed these lands, leading their herds of cattle and horses in search of pasture, growing crops and tending the land. They built temples and a few hilltop forts, but mostly they moved around living in great tented cities.
These four mountains are the abodes of the four Oreads, the Mountain Nymphs that once ruled over the land with the North wind, Boreas. They rise up from the plateau near the four corners. They sleep in their mountain top palaces (like little Parthenons), waiting to be woken once more. From each mountain, a river of the same name, runs to a large abyssal sink-hole near the centre of the High Steppe. The waters cascade down great waterfalls to disappear into unknown lands far, far below. Some say the rivers flow to Neptune’s realm of endless seas, like a celestial drain, others that they flow to another plane entirely.
Here the four rivers that run from the mountains of the Oreads spill down into the endless depths of an enormous sinkhole near the centre of the high steppes. Some say that if you fall into the Great Sinkhole, you will fall and fall, and die of thirst and starvation before you reach the bottom…
This is a pillared hypostyle fortress of porticos and pillars. It rests atop a solid column of stone that rises up from the High Steppes to scratch at the clouds. It is the home of Boreas, the Winter Wind, but he has long abandoned it, in favour of hurtling about his realm shrieking like… well, the wind, creating havoc, trying to throw off the bonds that bind him.
In the mountainsides that border the interior of Boreas are many caves, dug out by the one eyed giant Cyclopes. Here they would hurl boulders down at unwary Amazons below or play catch with their friends and enemies on nearby mountains using great boulders as balls.
Here hippogriffs (half eagle, half horse) made their homes, high up in the mountains. They would war against the harpies whilst also trying to raid the herds and settlements of the Amazons below.
Harpies (half woman, half bird) made their nests from bones and skins high in the mountains. They would war against the Hippogriffs for control of the skies, whilst also raiding the Amazons below. A risky business as the Amazons became adept in making sky-ballistae that could take down a Harpy or a
Below the ground, minotaurs have dug complex tunnel systems, creating living spaces, mines, passages, underground temples and stores. Much has fallen into rack and ruin but their great pillared portals and gargantuan gates still dot the landscape though most are sealed through rockfall or massive locks the keys for which have long been forgotten or lost. You might still catch sight of a lone Minotaur lurking at one of these gates from time to time but sightings are rare.
5 And I will give unto them the earth, and they will toil and fill their land which I have given them, Vulcan, thy God.