Codex - Gossamer Miscellany

We are crowdsourcing the miscellany for Codex - Gossamer! The prompt for this miscellany is: “What is out there in the Gossamer Void?” For those unfamiliar, the Gossamer Void is a part of the setting in Trophy where few details have been established so far–now is our chance to paint the landscape! What we know about the Gossamer Void so far: it is only reachable by magic or ships that fly through the sky in some sort of astral plane or other realm not normally reachable from Ambaret or Fort Durin. In the Void are floating “islands” inhabited by strange individuals (there is even an entire archipelago out in the Void). For more inspiration, here are the two Trophy Gold incursions that have touched on the Gossamer Void so far: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f8tlsTyF1fdCKl81xNZzghlw39S-NBco/view?usp=sharing

For each entry, when you consider “what is out there in the Gossamer Void,” try focusing on just one of the following ideas: 1) the name, look, crew, and purpose of a flying ship that travels the Gossamer Void; 2) a treasure, and where it is rumored to be hidden; 3) a trap, and how it interferes with treasure-hunters; or 4) a monster, richly detailed and a habit or two it has as it dwells in the Void.

Submissions should be no more than 1-3 short sentences. By submitting here in the replies, you’re agreeing to let us use it (you’ll get a credit on the issue). We’re looking for evocative things; the purpose of the miscellany is to inspire the reader. Please do not submit any entries with sexist imagery (we won’t publish it).

Note: if you’d like your name to be listed differently on the Codex credit, send me a DM here (but please keep your submissions in the thread).

For this miscellany, we’re looking for things that are fantastical, horrifying, otherworldly, and occasionally humorous or ironic. Here are some examples:

“Captain Faust sails a ship formed from superheated sand. Three-quarters of the Glass Cannon’s crew are always blind folded while the rest work in a hobbled state to restrict how fast they can move. These precautions are necessary when hunting a beast that drives someone mad with nothing more than a look from any one of its ten-thousand eyes.”

“They say a solidly black chunk of land floats in a perpetually black piece of sky. If anyone could navigate to this rock, they would find the thrice-locked black chest–inside, the black heart of the immortal king.”

“Some try to navigate the Void by complex star models – a kind of three-dimensional version of a star chart. The dangerous bit is when you mistake a school of glowing void-krill for a star and navigate into the bull-whale fishery. Few survive their first encounter with the tri-jawed giants.”

“On a particularly green and lush rock, a group of long-limbed and hairy humanoids seem to cry for help from in the tree-line. Only when treasure-hunters get too close can they see these “creatures” for what they are – the many hands of a much larger creature that seeks to devour the crew and use their clothes to make more finger puppets.”

5 Likes

Deep in the Gossamer Void are feathered creatures with human limbs and gaunt faces (like sickly skin stretched over a too-long skull) nearly twice the size of the average treasure hunter. Their great wings secrete a putrid mucus that drips down to coat serrated claws, longer than a man’s forearm, jutting from their too-many-fingered hands. They swoop down on their prey with staggering dexterity, emitting high pitched shrieks and howls as they steal weapons, treasure, or the occasional person to devour.

(I’m really pushing the boundaries on sentence length here, sorry! These things have been fully formed in my imagination for a long time.)

3 Likes

Nobody knows what forms the secret core of the Node, now buried deep beneath layers of accreted crust. The mass grows ever larger, its surface ever more jagged and twisted. Its agressive rending magnetism pulls all metals to form its growing skin, its range and power ebbing and flowing in cataclysmic cycles.

2 Likes

Among the ferns on the islands of the Gossamer Void are the Whispering Crickets. Each of these large crickets has a human eye on the centre of its head, an eye of someone you’ve felt kindness or kinship towards. The crickets whisper your regrets, your nostalgia and your desires - but only while you are not looking at them. Should a traveller rest near the crickets, they may hear things the crickets have whispered to other creatures…

3 Likes

Washed upon the shores of the Gossamer Void are the umbral shark eggs. These shadowy semi transparent eggs can provide light sustenance, but the devourer will experience a dream like state where they relive touch based memories - some create laughter, some curiosity, some arousal. The dream states will last as long as the traveller desires, however the longer one stays - once they return to reality - the stronger the desire to crawl into the sea and become a Gossamer Void shark…

4 Likes

They say if you stray too far into the Gossamer Void, you’ll start hearing the susurration of the slipvoid squid, the sound of their swimming everpresent in your shadow. Swift and small, they feed on your richest memories, those ripe to bursting with delight, love, and peace, delicately nibbling away at them with dedication, dicing them down with their beaks into thoughts, then suggestions, then nebulous hints before final ingestion. The only way to rid yourself of them is to starve them with your sorrow.

4 Likes

The Admiral, an old man with a patchy beard and an equally patchy tricorn hat known by no other name, captains a rickety old dory with long strands of shimmering cobwebs for oars. Every few weeks he rows into the void on nothingness to a small floating island, unsteadily climbing from his old boat on shaky legs to slowly make his way up a beach with wisp-fine sand to open a half-buried oak chest. He stares into the chest for a long time before returning the way he came, muttering to himself “Next time. It will work next time.”

3 Likes

Sometimes when a soul dies, instead of going wherever it should, it gets lost in the Gossamer where it will float for a while, crying piteously in a voice none can here until, eventually, it turns to crystal. These soul crystals hang in the void, flickering like small hopeless beacons. Well, they flicker until a Gralx harvesting ship comes by and plucks them like so much ripe fruit. Then the crystals get faceted and used to power flying ships, aether cannon, and all manner of usefulness.

3 Likes

Water can be a terror in the Gossamer, at least when it condenses into the huge hanging water balls that sailors call Shimmies. These can be big enough to envelop a ship, which is bad enough, but the are also home to a species of darting purple fish with mouthfuls of sharpness, called Razorfish, that can strip a body to bones in moments. Even just brushing through a Shimmie can be bad - one minute Hamish is in the rigging, calling the hour, and the next he’s a ragged mess of bone and tendon flopping down the rigging like a Jacob’s ladder.

4 Likes

The Morning Dew is a ship that is rumored to only have Manikin aboard. Some say that the Fae created them and are an amalgamation of whatever the Fae could get their hands on. It’s unclear whether or not you would recognize them on sight as being Manikin as they wouldn’t look human whatsoever, or not for the same reason.

3 Likes

Silken Shroud Jellyfish are luminescent flying creatures that resemble jellyfish. Crashed flying ships are their favorite meals as survivors often think they can “tame” these creatures to lift up their ship. It just ends up instead of being eaten at the crash site, it is inside of a Silken Shroud’s nest.

4 Likes

A disjointed cluster of tiny islands made from the scattered vertebrae and skull of an ancient VoidWyrm.

A gravitic vortex that ensnares unwary ships of all sizes. Home to countless wrecks. Rumors say that the vortex is actually a portal to another world.

5 Likes

The Tapestry of the Veiled Queen is intricately weaved from the silk of incandescent spider-creatures and delicate threads of pure gold. While a treasure in itself, it is also rumoured to contain a secret ritual to elongate life far beyond natural means. The Veiled Queen herself is rarely seen – she and her tapestry are safely guarded at the top of a tall crystalline tower that looms over a small island populated by fervent worshippers.

4 Likes

New Agate was a jewelled metropolis, bright hub of the Void. But the island on which it sat was an egg, and one day it hatched. Now they say its haunted glimmering ruins await, fused to the shell of the thing it birthed.

3 Likes

Children born within the folding winds of the Gossamer Void are gifted with a dual sight. Once returned to the places outside the void, they see the paths and tangled ways to return. It is these children who are the shipwrights of the vessels that now sail within the void. How the first shipwright was born and returned however, remains a mystery.

2 Likes

“So we’ll hoist the sail of windchimes!
and we’ll row the opal oars!
And when we get back they’ll cleave our hands
for we sail to void-lit shores!”
-The Trip of the Voidship “Wren” a void-shanty

3 Likes

Veteran travelers of the Gossamer Void share tales of tall luminescent humanoids swathed in motes of iridescent ash that obscure the details of their features. The Veilbearers are said to offer safe passage through the darkest parts of the Void at a cost and arrive in times of great yearning or desperation. The price always differs, but it’s never an easy one to repay.

3 Likes

They say that there are ten ancient names for the Gossamer Void in the tongues of those who delve it. Veteran sailors collect the symbols that evoke them, ritually carved into each knuckle of gnarled hands and rubbed with the ash of dying stars. The final word is a black whorling glyph evoking a nameless screaming terror devoid of light and hope.

2 Likes

The fwyga are rightly seen as a bad omen. The length of three slim boats and translucent as gauze, these whip-scorpions have the face of an old man and the cry of a keening gull.

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They say on return voyages you can run afoul of the Delphin, the ghost ship of Capt. Drachme who lost her leg and son to a vast whale. Heed not her bargains.

2 Likes