[Outworld] Chapter openings

Author’s note: This is not a chapter in the Outworld saga, per se; instead, it’s a series of small bits of information that will precede each chapter, as an opener.  They are only tangentially related to the voyage of our narrator and Cain, but do pertain to the same world.  

Salvation was built on hope.  In earlier days, when Outworld seemed smaller, tamer, there was a push to civilize the wilderness, to construct a line of cities and roads stretching across the territories.  At one point, some visionaries even dreamed of a railroad, linking the ends of Outworld.  Salvation was built as a rest stop, conveniently located near a water source, a railroad train.  But construction of the railroad never made it out to Salvation, and the town built on hope began to wither away.


The territory of Outworld is patchwork.  The landscape shifts abruptly, changing from forest to desert to ocean within miles.  Sir Charles Raymond, one of the best-known explorers of Outworld, claims that each biome came from a different world, dropped like a puzzle piece into the landscape.  As evidence, he points to the City of Dis, a square mile of ruined towers with no surrounding buildings.


Many gods in Outworld are feared, but even the Godsends themselves shy away from confrontation with Furor.  The self-proclaimed “god of madness,” he is known for entering thriving towns and slowly infecting the landscape, subtly shifting reality until the minds of the citizens can no longer handle the strain.  Furor is followed by a trail of twisted impossibilities and gibbering husks, capable only of carrying out his commands.  Only Hastur’s name commands more respect.


Where does godliness begin?  The Godsends don’t have an answer, but they know that it ends at the tip of a blade.  Although the founding of their order is shrouded in mystery, the details known only to the highest members of the order, they task themselves with hunting down the gods that roam across Outworld, slaying them so that balance might be maintained.  It is unclear whether their efforts are having any effect.


What is human?  The pervasive magic of Outworld has a tendency to creep into and infect those who visit its plane, leaving them changed in some way.  Some discover new abilities, while others find that they have been irreversibly altered in some way.  Some accept their changes as gifts, but most denizens of Outworld do their best to ignore the footprint left on them by their world.

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