Aerowyn Report

Plane #2354 “Aerowyn” – Final Report
Planestracker #73, Lt. James Caspin

Colonel Slezcko,

Sir, I apologize profusely for the lateness of this report. While it’s not an excuse and I understand it will not stay my execution, the reason for the delay will become clear as you read what I’ve discovered here. I know the crisis is reaching a critical point, but my devotion to the cause would not allow me to pass up the opportunity to gather the following information, even if the delay meant my death. For I believe I’ve found a plane of such unique quality that it may well be the answer we’ve been looking for.

The natives refer to their world as Aerowyn. Though it took me a while to get that much out of them. In all my time in the service, I’ve never been to a world where the citizens are so defensive and paranoid. I didn’t understand why at first, but it eventually became clear.

To explain, I must first describe the geological structure of this world, as it’s unlike any other I’ve seen. On our plane, and every other plane we’ve visited, there is a clear difference between between the ground and the sky. Between down and up. If one loses their grip on a chalice of wine, it falls down to the floor and makes a mess. To throw a heavy sack up into a wagon requires considerable strength and force.

This is not the case in Aerowyn. “Down” seems to be a very relative, if not completely foreign, concept to the beings that reside here. Everything seems to just float around as if underwater, except that it floats within the very air I breathe. If one were to lose their grip on that same chalice here, it would remain suspended in midair until something else pushed it. However, they don’t have chalices here either, as the liquid would just float away rather than staying inside a cup. They drink everything out of sealed skin bladders, much like the riding bottles that our scouts carry.

In fact, all the behavior of water on this plane was peculiar. There are some rivers and ponds on the larger islands (see below), but most of it existed in vast floating blobs of “ocean.” Some were the size of continents, others merely the size of a house. I was unable to explore any of these in the time I was here, but I believe they merit further study. I heard stories of miraculous things within those oceans.

I spent the first few days feeling very sick to my stomach, as the lack of “down” gives the sensation that one is constantly falling off a tall cliff. This was particularly unpleasant, as my sick would not splatter to the floor, rather it would hover in front of my face and slowly drift all over the room. It’s difficult to describe the experience, but one does eventually grow accustomed to it. Much of my adjustment period was spent in a “bed” at an Inn that would be better described as a man sized cocoon.

Sir, I know that my purview is merely to report, not to theorize, but I spent a considerable amount of time trying to decipher how this lack of down could exist and I think I have a hypothesis that the Naturalism Mages may be interested in investigating. I believe that there is a force generated by the ground on most planes (I’ve been referring to it as the “Ground-force,” or G-force) that pulls on all the objects and beings above it. The bigger the object, the harder the ground pulls on it, which is why bigger things are heavier.

I think that Aerowyn’s lack of a “ground” is the reason that there isn’t a large G-force across the plane. There are many “islands” (for lack of a better name) of earth that float around the plane, and each one seems to have it’s own very weak G-force. Each one creates it’s own “down,” but that sense of down is always oriented so as to pull me towards the center of the island. I spent a day walking around one such island to see if there was something on the other side generating the G-force, only to find myself right back in the place I started. Much the way an ant would walk around the outside of an apple to end up in the same spot.

As I mentioned above, though, the G-force is very weak. Even on the largest islands, the natives can push off with their legs and “jump” into the “sky.” As they fly into the null space between islands, they all move with a grace that I have yet to emulate. They then always manage to land in the exact spot on another island they were aiming for, leading me to believe that this was not a difficult feat. That turned out to be very wrong, though, as my first attempt was nearly fatal. I completely misjudged the angle and ended up floating aimlessly through the null space for days before I happened to drift close enough to an airship that took pity on me and rescued me from starvation.

Which brings me back to their paranoia. This particular ship was captained by an extremely kind gentleman that turned out to be one of the very few people on the plane that was willing to talk to me beyond basic matters of business. Much of the information in this report comes from Captain Gillingham, and I would humbly request that he be spared if the Hegemony decides to move to move our forces to this plane. It quickly became clear to me that he is a very intelligent strategist and would be a significant asset to the cause. He’s the one that explained the reason for this pervasive fear.

This plane is infested with tremendous monstrosities the likes of which I’ve never seen before. The people here have many names for them, but the most common is “The Morodin.” I suspect that the lack of G-force allows the creatures here to grow to gargantuan sizes, and some of them are truly terrifying. I’ve only seen one in my time here, but I’m told that I’ve been very lucky. Captain Gillingham tells me that on bad days his crew will encounter 3 or 4 of them in a single trip. I certainly don’t envy him, because the one I saw looked like a spider the size of a mountain. It towered above me like an elephant over an ant. It was only sheer luck that I wasn’t crushed.

Most of these creatures have scores of followers that worship them as gods. They often live on the creatures themselves, in between scales or at the roots of gigantic hairs. Some are so large that they generate their own G-force, and have full cities of men on their backs or heads. However, as far as I can tell the creatures aren’t aware of them. In fact, I suspect that they aren’t even aware that there are sentient beings of our size.

These “Cults of the Morodin” understand what drive the creatures, though. And if they find a settlement that they feel is blasphemous to their god, they have ways of calling them to come destroy the settlement. I haven’t been able to get close enough to find out how they manage it, but this plane is littered with refugees that all tell the same story.

A stranger would arrive in their township seeking shelter. They would then stay a few weeks there, getting to know the town and it’s people, then vanish into this air. Soon thereafter, a brigade would arrive bearing the mark of one of the Morodin, usually led by the stranger. They would inform the town that they had committed some act of ungodliness, and that their town had been marked for destruction if they didn’t comply with the will of their god. The brigade would then “shake down” the town for all it’s worth, and call the Morodin to wipe out the town if they didn’t comply. After hearing a number of similar tales, I began to understand the fear and distrust I had been shown at every turn.

A few civilizations have managed to prosper, however, through the use of what they call “The Golems.” They’ve used either technology, magic, or some fusion of the two to create giant behemoths that can defend their cities from the Morodin. I did not personally witness any of the Golems in action, but I saw a few in their dormant state and paintings of others. Most appear in roughly the shape of a man, but large enough to do battle with the hulking creatures. I encountered several such civilizations, and all had different ways of creating their Golems.

The techno-mages of the Kizzark Clouds created electric golems of lighting and steel. The hedge wizards on Dural, one of the larger mountainous islands, have conjured behemoths of wod and earth. There even are dark warlocks in the murky parts of the plane that grow Golems out of the filth and rot of dead things. Evidently, the Golems are not beings themselves, but are some kind of magical automatons controlled by the spirits of men who have sacrificed themselves to defend the city. These men will ritually kill themselves on the alter, then have the ability to inhabit the body of the golem as if it were their own. However, I’m told that the spirit can only handle the size difference for a few days before it loses it’s grip on reality and dissipates. It is a tremendous honor for the warriors to make this transformation, and is believed to be their only way to achieve paradise in their afterlife. Many train their entire lives to make the sacrifice.

There’s one more thing about these Golems. I’m a bit hesitant to report this, as most of the inhabitants of Aerowyn regard it as a myth, but it speaks to a problem large enough to prevent us from operating on this plane if it’s true. There is a clan in the far reaches of the plane where new islands are formed out of lava and molten slag, the “Vorgoth”. This clan apparently has majestic Golems of coal and fire that are so fierce that the Morodin rarely venture near them. I don’t believe this would hinder us too much, except it is said that one of the warriors that sacrificed himself to the Golem still dwells there. His spirit did not dissipate after a few days, he’s resided in the golem for hundreds of years. It is said that he is the most powerful spirit to ever inhabit a golem. So powerful that he can even ‘walk to other worlds.

The natives have no idea what that means, of course, but it sounds to me like that warrior ignited his spark when he inhabited the Golem. A being like that with the power of a planeswalker could be catastrophic for us. As such, I would recommend extensive covert operations on this plane before launching a full scale invasion. It is critical that we ascertain the truth of those rumors before exposing our forces to that risk.

In conclusion, it is this Planestracker’s belief that Aerowyn is the ideal location for the transition. The lack of G-force means that we could expand almost indefinitely without breakdown of the physical infrastructure. With the possible exception of the Vorgothian Golem, I don’t think the native population will have the willingness or organization to offer any kind of meaningful resistance to extermination. The Morodin will present a challenge, but I’m confidant it can be overcome. As long as we use a careful and cautious approach, I believe this plane is exactly what the Planestracker project was created to find.

I will remain here to gather intelligence until such time as I am recalled for execution. As always, I serve for the honor of the Empire and the Hegemony.

With Respect

Planestracker #73, Lt. James Caspin