Plane of Earth
Earth Rifts: avalanche from beyond
The ground shakes. Dust swirls and rocks rain as a monstrous spike of stone stabs down through a tear in the sky. Carbuncles and stalagmites bubble up like boils as hulking monstrosities emerge from this new Earth Rift.
Explorers may be tempted by an Earth Rift, for every new spire bursts with precious minerals and gems clearer than water. These riches are but a trap to lure the greedy into the arms of waiting horrors. With each treasure hunter so doomed, Laethys smiles…
Plane of Earth: the unquiet stone
The Plane of Earth is a desert of multicolored sand, pierced by massive spikes of crystal and stone. Rivers of molten metal flow down mountains that rise beyond the sky, cooling sometimes into continents of alloy in a sea of dust. Rock formations defy gravity as tiny necks of stone support boulders that span between horizons, dotted with gems as big as houses.
Earthtouched: immovable objects
Sheer, unrelenting might is the trademark of the Earthtouched. They resist all coercion, bow to no force. They summon unbreakable shields and wear soldered plate armor, and they strike with such power that their victims would prefer to stand in the path of a landslide. From the lurking gnar, to numberless swarms of giant ants, to basilisks with corrosive poison dripping from their fangs, the beasts from the Plane of Earth exemplify this base brutality.
Orelings tunnel underground, enslaved to expand the mines of troglodytes. The troglodytes’ bulbous cousins, the Mountain Trolls, imitate boulders in their bulk and blunt stupidity. The minions of Laethys only grow from there: sharp-toothed ogres and muscle-bound cyclopes, golems of mud and rusted iron and even diamond.
And the Titans. Once rulers of an empire within the Plane of Earth, these enormous beings make the tallest mortal look like a toy. They are not brutal, the Titans. They are not stupid. They are Earth at its most dangerous: wise, cold, mighty beyond comprehension. And they will have an empire again.
Dragon of Earth: Queen of Avarice
The Gold Dragon’s flesh flows like molten metal, and diamonds are her eyes. The riches of worlds will fall through her clutches, and she will never have enough while anyone else has anything at all. Laethys will feast atop a pile of famished wretches. All will adore her alone, and she will never give them quite enough.
Laethys would never let Regulos destroy the world, for how can she possess that which does not exist? She hates Crucia for spreading passionless devotion where there should be ravening lust. But she will work with nearly anyone who offers enough treasure, if only to steal the source of their wealth and watch her former ally grovel in the dirt.
Spoiled and fickle, Laethys discards her followers as quickly as she warms to them. Who knows how many back-alley beggars were once fat merchants who forgot the proper sacrifice to Laethys: pretty youths, their eyes cut out and replaced with rubies.
Cult of Laethys: the Golden Maw
There is a tale of an Oligarch of the Golden Maw who would pour molten gold down the throat of any of his cultists who even used the word “enough.” “Never,” he would say over their hideous corpses, “not even now.” Such is the way of the Golden Maw. They want more, more wealth, bottomless wealth for its own bloated sake.
You might see a cultured merchant leading a life of glittering splendor, and never know that he feels every day like a starving beggar because somewhere he imagines a fatter belly or prettier slaves. The Golden Maw make a game of manipulating economies, sluicing a nation’s wealth into their own overflowing hoards. They serve Laethys in hopes of splitting her leavings, and having a bigger piece of the refuse than any of their fellows.
In sickness and in wealth
In the ancient Dwarven Delve of Broochforge, there lived a jeweler named Igor Burburov. Igor Burburov had a wife who thought of nothing but their sick son, and Igor’s gold went to doctors, then to Elven healers from the wood, then rare treatments from across Telara, and still the boy only coughed and coughed, until Igor Burburov was all but a pauper.
“I wish he would cough up something useful, for a change. Like diamonds!” said Igor Burburov one day to his wife.
And so the boy did. He coughed up diamonds of rare beauty. Igor Burburov laughed as they tumbled through his fingers, not noticing when his wife caught the illness. And when all his neighbors caught the illness. But Igor Burburov did not notice, until they coughed up enough diamonds to fill up all of Broochforge.
There is no more Dwarven Delve of Broochforge. There is a hollow filled with diamonds. In the center is poor Igor Burburov. And he is still laughing.
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