From RPGnet
Jump to: navigation, search

An small squiggle In the Jeweled Amber Multiverse

Cover3.jpg 2

History and Creation[edit]


What is known is that the Squiggle is a completed work, unable to be enlarged by any means, forged by the Jewel of Judgment. Nothing more is known.

History and Mastery[edit]

No Being in Subterra, presently or in the past, knows for sure what the Squiggle 'actually' is or how it came to be... but there are no less than 13 and no more than 50 Subterrans (at this time) that bear the Imprint of the Squiggle, known by those who bear its Imprint as 'The Gem'. All those that bear the Imprint of The Gem know how to use it for High Order Sorcery and Magical Defense, at the very least. One Being of Subterra has a few ideas about what the Squiggle is; he is the only Master Imprint Holder of 'The Gem'. The only Being that knows for sure what the Squiggle is and how it was created is Outsider to Subterra, and he or she is its Creator.

Though millions of Beings, over the millennia, have crossed from one Shadow to the next within the Core Shadows of Subterra upon its many Shadow Paths, nobody knew they were doing it; the commerce and wars of the Core Shadows span all twelve of the Core Shadows.

The first to discover and assay the Squiggle was a very powerful Wizard of one of the two local Low Order Magic Systems (D&D); after assaying The Gem, he had a dream about what the Squiggle was, how to use it and that it would extend his life at least 10 fold. He found it about 3000 years (local time) before the arrival of the Jeweled Road and after learning its initial secrets he began wandering Subterra to learn every type of Magic he could; including Clerical or Faith Magic.

After a few centuries he had mastered all of the Low Order Magics Subterra had to offer and had also mastered High Order Sorcery and the Powers of the Imprint of The Gem... or so he thought. During his time traveling the Core Shadows of Subterra, learning the Magics of the Realm, he also learned a lot about the peoples and cultures of Subterra as well; it was a world (worlds) constantly at war and on the edge of total ruin. He knew something should be done but was not exactly sure what... so he decided to make a Pilgrimage to The Gem to contemplate the problem and hope for inspiration for a solution.

Upon arriving at the secret location of The Gem, The Sorcerer had an instant urge to place his foot upon it and assay it again, but he knew this was not possible, he had tried twice in the past; once shortly after he assayed it centuries ago, and once about a decade later, both times he felt a resistance, a force, keeping him from placing his foot upon it again. The Sorcerer spent many weeks regarding it from different angles, studying the many colors it produced, studying the pattern of the color changes (or more accurately lack of pattern), and all the while contemplating the fate of Subterra if the current state of affairs didn't change soon. Each time he studied either end of the Inscription, or got near either of them, he again felt a compulsion to set foot upon it and assay it again... and one day, after many weeks of resisting the impulse, he set foot upon what he would call the 'end' of the Inscription (only because it was harder to get to and because he assayed it in the opposite direction the first time. His experience the second time was identical to the first, except for the direction the inscription led him; he felt as if he was supposed to be walking the magical inscription, despite the effort to do so, he knew he could and would complete it, despite the increased effort needed at certain points, and he also felt, and somehow knew, that the Inscription, 'The Gem', wanted him to assay it... even though that thought seemed unlikely and somewhat like the ravings of a madman, but when he finished Assaying The Gem the second time, knew that no matter how unlikely or crazy it may seem, it was true; 'The Gem' wanted to be Assayed.

inspiration strikes...

At about the same time that the Jeweled Trail appeared only twelve Subterrans, each of a different 'race' and each from a different Core Shadow, bore the Imprint of The Gem, but once the 'Jeweled Trail' was discovered, it was also discovered by The Twelve that 'The Gem' could now be assayed a second time and more powers gained, so each of The Twelve assayed it a second time and then soon after each brought 2-3 others to assay it as well, but each assayed it only once; they all did this to help strengthen their positions within their own Shadow Realm and to strengthen Subterra as a whole from what was sure to come... the Jeweled Trail had to go to/come from somewhere...

Prior to the arrival of the Jeweled Trail in Cleggane, nobody in Subterra; except the Master of the Realm and The Twelve, knew of the existence of Shadow or the Squiggle. In fact, the Twin Cities of Sandor and Gregor didn't even exist prior the the arrival of the 'Jeweled Trail'; both cities were built near the sight shortly after its discovery. The two cities competed with each other until they butted up against each other at the ending of the Jeweled Trail. The City of Sandor created puzzle piece paving stones in many colors to match the Jeweled Trail and have turned their side of the road into an imitation of the JT. The City of Sandor had been using square paving stones for its roads and tried to pull up the Jeweled Trail with no success, so special paving stones were cut to fit up against the JT, but the paving stones used were not colored.

Topography and Cosmology.[edit]

The Time Flow from Shadow to Shadow within the Subterra System is consistent and at a rate of 10 to 1 with Amber. The Shadow of Subterra is actually a limited Shadow System of nearly 1,000 Shadows all stemming from the Squiggle at it heart and the Thirteen Shadows considered to be the Core of the Subterra Shadow System. Twelve of the thirteen ‘core shadows’ are exclusively subterranean; if there is a ‘surface’ on these worlds they have never been found. Clean breathable air is abundant and only the most remote pockets of caverns might contain ‘stale air’ or ‘dead air’. The extensive interconnected caverns and tunnels that honeycomb Subterra come in all shapes, sizes, and an extensive variety of rock types. The caverns of Subterra can include glowing fungus, glowing crystals, precious metals, precious gemstones, a wide variety of edible and inedible fungi, molds and rarely roots, a multitude of creatures adapted to subterranean life, and a wide variety of intelligent, subterranean beings with cultures and civilizations and politics and wars.

The rest of the Subterra Shadow System is filled with Shadows that all contain similarly massive interconnected cavern systems, most all of which have inhabitants and complex civilizations, but they also contain surface worlds, filled with varying degrees of inhabitants, cultures and civilizations.

Magic and Technology[edit]

Subterra is a High Magic Shadow System where High Technology does work, but is rare; Techno-Magic is extremely rare. Two forms of Low Order Magic are available throughout the Subterra System, but High Order Magic (Sorcery) can only be gained by “Assaying The Gem”, but only a handful of the denizens of Subterra have assayed The Gem… and those that have aren’t talking.


Food sources range from fungi and molds to living creatures, some domesticated for food, some ‘wild’ and sometimes other denizens of Subterra. Those Shadows with surface worlds also have a variety of edible plants and animals, pretty standard fare.


Lighting is usually glowing fungus, glowing and sometimes light emitting crystals or crystal formations (sometimes quite enormous). There is no day/night cycle in Subterra except that which is commonly accepted in large settlements; most of Subterra is 24/7, so to speak, with people sleeping at different times depending upon their location, employer or preference.

Thirteenth: The Rock, a Primal Realm[edit]

The Thirteenth Shadow of the Core Shadows, actually the First Shadow... or more precisely the Primal Realm, is truly unique amongst all the nearly 1,000 Shadows of the Subterra System. First, it is precisely in the center of the Subterra System. Second, it is an almost perfectly spherical ‘rock’ 10 miles in diameter which has a ‘surface’ and ‘space’ of sorts but no stars or a sun. Third, the entire Shadow/World seems to be dimly lit ‘everywhere’ with no direct light source present. Fourth, though this Shadow has normal (Earth) gravity just like all of Subterra, it comes from the ‘rock beneath your feet’ not the center of the sphere, allowing one to traverse any surface at any angle. Fifth, though it does have breathable air that never gets stale or dead, it only extends 30' out from its surface. And lastly, but most importantly, it contains a Squiggle, the only assayable Inscription in all of Subterra.

The ‘Rock’ is honeycombed and criss-crossed with tunnels, caverns and columns/bridges of rock, all of which seem to intersect each other at all angles. In the Heart of the Rock, the ‘center of the sphere’, there is a cavern of titanic proportions, about 1 mile across in all directions, that is made of a white crystal and filled with columns/bridges, made of the same white crystal, that criss-cross and intersect at all angles, spanning the length, breadth and depth of the titanic crystal cavern; it is called ‘The Geode’. And in the center of it, where the crystal columns/bridges intersect the most tightly is where one can find the Squiggle.

The Squiggle is a small (compared to the Pattern) three dimensional inscription of power, that can be negotiated from either end. It glows dimly and shifts color every 30 seconds or so, running through the entire spectrum of colors (more than the standard seven in a rainbow), but not in any particular order or pattern. The light given off by the Squiggle does not travel far, barely enough for it to be seen while negotiating its three dimensional lines and angles, thus making it very difficult to find if one does not already know where it is. The Squiggle is aptly named ‘The Gem’ due to its ‘shape’ when looked at ‘from the outside’ (or the inside); it somewhat resembles lines partially tracing the inside of a faceted gem.

People of Note[edit]

Master of Realm


Each of these Shadows is inhabited with Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes and Humanoids, but all of a subterranean variety; Drow, Duergar, Sverfneblin, Morlocks, etc. There are also other subterranean creatures and races that can be found exclusively in subterranean environments. There are 12 dominant races in the Core Shadows of Subterra and throughout most of the Subterra Sway's subterranean areas.

  • Morlock - Carnivorous and Cannibalistic Humans adapted to living underground; aggressive and war like.
  • Sapiens - Humans adapted to living underground; Vegetarian, Fungitarian and sometimes Omnivorous; generally peaceful.
  • Drow - Dark Elves
  • Grys - Scaled Elves; skins looks like fish scales and does offer some protection
  • Duergar - Gray Dwarves
  • Derro - Dark Dwarves
  • Svirfneblin - Deep Gnomes
  • Lizzaard- Dark Lizardmen
  • Bugbears - Already well adapted to darkness, just more so here
  • Myconids - Highly intelligent Fungus Men
  • Durahk - Dark Urakai
  • Darkonian - Deep Dragon/Draconian; psychotropic gas breath weapon


A tiny thread trail of the Jeweled Road branches off a wagon wide trail from Main Road past the Diega Granar Realms.

The Thread enters at the first Shadow outside the Subterra Core that contains a 'surface world'; the world is called Cleggane and the puzzled bricks for the 'Jeweled Path' peter out at the center of the twin cities of Sandor and Gregor.

Cleggane is like any other High Fantasy world in most regards, except for the lack of diverse and plentiful flora and edible fauna; Cleggane breeds rugged beings, creatures and flora, most preying upon each other to survive. Low population, low vegetation, tougher than normal shadow people (ALL Beings of the Subterra System will have Chaos Level 'Physical' Attributes [Str & End]).

There are many Entrances/Shadow Paths leading into the Core Shadows of Subterra, but all are underground; Cleggane has several, as do the other surface worlds whose Veils border on Subterra.

Subterra has many Shadow Paths interconnecting all of its Core Shadows to one another; excluding the Thirteenth Shadow; Subterra's True Core.

The Thirteenth Shadow has twelve Shadow Paths connecting it to each of the twelve other Core Shadows, one per Core Shadow; each is guarded and a guarded secret. The guards are set by the Being that Assayed The Gem from each respective Shadow.


Notables of Subterra[edit]

The Dude is considered a Wise Man, a Fool by some, and he IS the most powerful Sorcerer in all of Subterra. He is also the Arch Mage and the Arch Wizard of the Realm... but he is known by a different name when he performs the duties of those important positions.

Diego, the Desert Elf is the most notable Guide in Subterra, as he was the first to travel with the Most Notable Honored Traveler, Vek Hendrake.

Moon is the most notable Scoundrel of Subterra, bar none.


  • The Powers available in Subterra are considerable, but still limited compared to Amber, Avalon, Mandalay and the Courts of Chaos.

High Order[edit]

Imprint of "The Gem"

  • 10 pip Basic Imprint.
    • Frame can hold 4 Minor Spells and 2 Major Spells.
    • Sigil can be used as a Defensive Dome/Bubble against Low and High Order Magic (limited)
  • 20 pip Advanced Imprint.
    • Frame can hold 6 Minor Spells and 3 Major Spells.
    • Sigil can be used as a Defensive Dome/Bubble against Low and High Order Magic (limited)
    • Can detect Shadow Veils & Paths within the Subterra Sway only.
  • 30 pip Master's Imprint.
    • Frame can hold 10 Minor Spells and 5 Major Spells.
    • Sigil can be used as a Defensive Dome/Bubble against Low and High Order Magic (limited)
    • Can detect Shadow Veils & Paths within the Subterra Sway only.
    • Can Shadow Seek within the Subterra Sway only.

Trump Powers

  • Trump Powers based upon The Gem are unknown, but could function (perhaps limited), AND could be taught.

Shape Shifting (No Adv SS available)

  • 10 Self Alteration/Disguise
  • 20 Limited Shape Shift
  • 35 Shape Shifting (Standard)

High Order Magics - must have Gem Imprint

  • 10-25 Power Words
  • 15 Sorcery (Standard ONLY; No Adv or Master levels)
  • 20 Conjuration (Standard ONLY; No Adv or Master levels)
  • 5 Compelling (must have Conjuration)

Low Order Magics[edit]

There are two (2) Low Order Magic Systems that function and exist throughout the Subterra Sway; its System of Shadows, but both Systems are not known/practiced/taught in each and every Shadow. For example; the Shadows that have Shadow Paths connected to the Core Shadows that practice the Magery System (Warlock) will also practice Magery, but Wizardy (D&D) the other Low Order Magic System, still functions, though it is not taught or practiced by the denizens of that Shadow, but might be 'heard of'.

Clerical/Druidical Magics of both Low Order Systems also function and are used throughout the Subterra Sway. The Deities that are worshiped throughout this Sway may be called my many different names, but their Spheres of Influence are similar if not identical and They may just be all be the same Deities, just called by different names. It is also possible that there are only three Deities, representing Good, Evil and Balance... but The Dude believes that the 'Deities' are 'something else' and truly represent Order, Chaos and Balance.

Gm Notes[edit]

Wiki text help Page[[1]]

Vek's conversation on the cosmology of the universe