Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wörld of Metal Gazetteer: The Dead Lands

The Brotherhood of the Sun
Land of Drone Metal

East of Fyrotherre is a thin sliver of grey land owned by the Brotherhood of the Sun, a mysterious order of cowled monks and their subordinates. Dwelling in cold stone temples amidst tangled forests, they are known to perform strange rituals involving sustained chanting and droning of instruments. On occasion they will hire mercenaries to perform tasks for them in other lands - assassinations, desecrations and thefts, none of which seem to conform to any discernible plan or motivation.

The nations of Fyrotherre dislike the Brotherhood, but grudgingly tolerate their existence because they maintain the wards that protect the western lands from the horrors of Carceron. For their part the Brotherhood are inscrutable and seemingly neutral. However, all those who have tried to infiltrate the Brotherhood or learn more about their religion have met with an awful fate.

The Brotherhood of the Sun has a monopoly on the lone mine that still produces Drone Metal, a blue-grey metal which at first seems dull, brittle and without value. However, if it is forged into a resonant instrument such as a tuning fork or a bell, it can emit a powerful subsonic tone. This tone causes unease, fear and even internal organ damage. The monks of the Brotherhood undergo severe bodily training to resist this effect.

Sounds like: Sunn O))), Earth, Jesu.

Land of Death Metal

Beyond the lands of the Brotherhood lies the fallen nation of Carceron. Once a great power, it was brought to destruction after a war with its northern neighbour, Magherall. At the end of the war, the two forces each placed a curse of encroaching death upon their enemies, and both were wiped out utterly. The curse upon Carceron caused the living and the dead alike to be transformed into horrible ghouls, who immediately began to devour each other in a carnival of horror and depravity that continues to this day.

The borders of Carceron were soon sealed with powerful wards to prevent the undead from escaping. Today these wards are maintained by the Brotherhood of the Sun in the west, by the oni-mages of Cipangu to the east, and by the volk of the Svetsmelt to the south. Beyond these barriers, few men dare to tread, and those that do are almost immediately set upon by anthropophagous horrors. Nevertheless, some adventurers make forays into the accursed land to raid the tomb-cities that still conceal the lost treasures of an ancient empire.

Among these treasures are the fragments of Death Metal. It is said that this off-white metal was once the pride of Carceron for its brilliant colour and durability; but when the land was cursed, so too was this metal, giving it evil properties. If the metal is handled carefully it is harmless, but if one is so much as nicked by a blade of Death Metal, a foul rotting disease is contracted that will devour the entire body within a day. Amputation is the only possible treatment.

Sounds like: Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Gorgoroth.

Land of Funeral Doom Metal

North of Carceron, but still south of the great mountain range that makes up Vikrölsandr, there lies the other of the two Dead Lands. Before the last war with Carceron, Magherall was known for its powerful sorcerors, but they all perished along with the rest of the kingdom when they were cursed by the powers of Carceron. Their bodies were turned to dust but their souls were condemned to wander empty streets and wild woodlands for all eternity. 

The ghosts keep to themselves, so there is no need for wards as there are on the borders of Carceron. Still, few people dare to enter this haunted landscape, where mist always clings close around the traveller and the season is always a wet, windy autumn. The cobbled lanes and stone bell-towers of the kingdom have become overgrown with trees. Most animals avoid the place, but rooks and wolves seem to be unaffected by it.

Where the wraiths wander, treading the same path over and over again for centuries, there can form a build-up of unholy energy that coalesces into Funeral Metal. This substance is small in quantity and difficult to forge. It emits an aura of invisible darkness that affects all living creatures in the area, causing them to sicken. After a week of exposure, all but the hardiest souls will have passed away and risen again as wights. Acquiring Funeral Metal is dangerous, for it can only be negated by sealing it in a box of Black Metal; nevertheless, there are tales of the metal being forged into jewellery or buried beneath flagstones in order to assassinate particularly hated enemies.

Sounds like: Funeral, Wolves in the Throne Room, Mournful Congregation.

Next on Wörld of Metal Gazetteer: The Western Coast.

(Edit: Changed Magherall from Doom Metal to Funeral Doom, which fits a bit better.)

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