Gluttondark

From PathfinderWiki
Gluttondark
Zevgavizeb eating a spinosaurus.
(Abyssal realm)
Ruler Zevgavizeb
Ecology Multiple: such as jungles, mountains, swamps, and seas
Denizens Dinosaurs, bat-like monsters, sea monsters, fiendish troglodytes
Description Monster-haunted, dank, and filthy caverns

Source: Siege of the Dinosaurs, pg(s). 68ff.

Gluttondark is the name of the Abyssal realm of the demon lord Zevgavizeb, and one of the deepest and largest known Abyssal realms. It consists of multiple hollow, horror-filled caverns joined by underground rivers and chasms. At least 19 major caverns are documented, and it is hinted that up to double this number might exist: some unexplored, some sealed, others simply inaccessible.[1]

Many followers of Zevgavizeb travel to Gluttondark, either voluntarily or in the claws of demonic kidnappers, there to participate in great feasts and sacrifices under their master's eyes. Portals to Gluttondark are relatively rare; combined with the ravenous residents and numerous hazards, only a few visitors have come there and returned with their sanity intact.[2]

Geography

Gluttondark consists of a large number of interlinked, spherical caverns. The size of these spaces can range from that of a continent to that of a planet. Each contains an array of ecologies such as jungles, mountains, swamps, and seas. These areas attach to the walls of the spheroid caverns, as gravity works differently from normal in the realm: gravity pulls down to the inner surface of the caverns, meaning that a sea could be perched "above" a jungle, seemingly in its "sky". At the heart of each cavern is a star that brightens and dims to simulate a normal day-and-night cycle, which varies from cavern to cavern.[3] Access between the caverns is limited, restricting travel to a small number of tunnels and portals connecting the cavern-worlds.[1]

Xulgavoor

Xulgavoor is one of the largest of the caverns, and epitomizes the image of Gluttondark as a demonic jungle filled with predators. Xulgavoor lies under a bright yellow pseudo-star, while its inner surface is covered in thick jungle crossed by large, winding rivers. The cavern-world's dense forests are inhabited by large populations of demon-touched dinosaurs and other terrestrial predators, while its sapient population consists of three powerful xulgath empires; a fourth one existed in the past, but has since been destroyed. The three xulgath nations do not have any religious, cultural or ethnic differences from one another, but are locked into a state of constant war over control of the hollow world and access to the only natural portal leading out from Xulgavoor.[4]

Gatha'shal

Gatha'shal is lit by a bright, white star, but its light rarely penetrates the thick cloud cover that shrouds the cavern's surface. Gata'shal's surface is predominantly oceanic, and is covered in shallow, briny seas dotted with swamps, salt marshes, and bogs the size of continents. These land areas are covered in thick vegetation, further blocking out the central star's light in many places. Similarly, the seas are filled with dense aquatic vegetation. Gata'shal's seas teem with predators, including marine dinosaurs, demonic crocodiles, and primordial, armored bull sharks that inhabit the deepest waters. The seafloor is also inhabited by aukashungi, isopods that periodically swarm onto land in search of prey. A type of intelligent, marine viper vine known as the boggard's tangle is also found here.[5]

Gata'shal's sapient natives include amphibious xulgaths, boggards, lizardfolk, and saurians, including both mortals and petitioners, alongside demons such as xilvireks, which inhabit cities built on the marshes and artificial islands made of corpses. Gatha'shal's inhabitants, uniquely in Gluttondark, are largely united with each other and instead focus on raiding and enslaving the natives of a Material Plane world accessible through a rift that spontaneously opened in the cavern near its capital city, Azdrevendis.[5]

Urothess

Urothess' surface is covered by wide savannas of razor-sharp, purple and white grasses, interspersed with tall red mesas bounded by steep cliffs. Urothess' plains are also crossed by seemingly bottomless ravines that serve as epicenters for powerful, world-shaking earthquakes. The plane is roamed by packs of fiendish raptors, while winged fiends hunt across the skies. The world's sapient inhabitants include xilvireks, demons, petitioners, and demonic xulgaths, which inhabit a system of clifftop cities ruled by the vavakia Yoma Whipwind, avoiding the predator-ruled savannas, and are notable for having all developed wings or other means of flight. Periodically, the rifts also disgorge immense hordes of deformed, sickly and barely recognizable qlippoth, including nyogoth, gorgoros, and the occasional cataboligne, which ruthlessly attack the cliff-cities.[6]

Vorat'kul

Vorat'kul is Gluttondark's smallest explored domain. Its reddish, flickering sun is orbited by a large blue moon that periodically eclipses it, plunging the cavern-world into long periods of night. Its landscape is dominated by great rocky wastelands of sandstone hoodoos, mazelike karst formations, and winding cliffsides. Vorat'kul is home to numerous enclaves of fiendish xulgaths, whose attempts at consolidating rule over the cavern are impeded by the long periods of darkness, during which flocks of qurashith emerge from lairs in the world's numerous recesses and hidden crevasses to prey on anything they encounter, forcing the xulgaths to retreat to fortified cities dug into the rock of high cliffsides until the daylight months return. In Vorat'kul's wastes lies a landmark known as the the Whispering Hollow, the titanic skull of a long-dead qlippoth lord worshipped by xulgaths from the breadth of Gluttondark as a holy site.[6]

Zevgessos

The central and largest cavern is Zevgessos, the Land of the Verdant Moon. The center of this cavern is dominated by a faintly glowing, jungle-covered moon that gives the realm its title, on which Zevgavizeb lies feasting and sleeping. He generally has little interest beyond sating his hunger and poses little threat to anything outside his realm. Notably, while darkvision normally renders images in shades of black and white, a property of the radiation emitted by the moon causes this cavern to be perceived in a nauseating shade of green.[7]

The surface of Zevgessos' cavern is rendered uninhabitable by the radiation emitted from the moon; while large numbers of xulgath, petitioners, and demons can be found here, they are transient populations whose members only remain in the realm long enough to pray to Zevgavizeb, offer sacrifices, or be sacrificed themselves. The surface of the realm is dotted with immense sacrificial platforms, on which endless streams of captives made by Zevgavizeb's followers are sacrificed to the deity. The victims' blood flows out into a network of viscous, bloody rivers known as the Scarlet Ragewaters, which run throughout the Land of the Verdant Moon. The moon itself is almost entirely unexplored, as waves of psychic agony assault anyone who sets foot on it.[7]

Inhabitants

Most of Gluttondark's inhabitants are petitioners, demons, half-fiends, and fiendish creatures that worship Zevgavizeb. Gluttondark's wildlife consists of dinosaurs, weird chiropterans, aukashungi, and other sea monsters. Every death and scream is dedicated to Zevgavizeb, who culls the weak and empowers the strong. At the end of each slaughter, Zevgavizeb descends into a cavern-world, devours its inhabitants, then causes its central star to go nova, burning everything to ashes. In time, a new generation of foul life arises from a destroyed world. Its only description, made by Tabris the Chronicler in the Book of the Damned, describes the moon as a hollow shell surrounding something known as the Font of Corrosive Whispers, an object or location rumored to have caused Zevgavizeb transition from a qlippoth to a demon lord.[1]