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Horologion
Deathsdoorstep ambience.png
Category Random Event
Type Random
Data ID 312018

Horologion is a Sunless Skies Random Event.

Guide[]

The Horologion is a Wonder found in The Blue Kingdom.

Captains that aren’t Invisible can observe the Horologion once per month. 2/3rds of the time this results in a Vision of the Heavens.

Antedeceased captains sometimes can choose between becoming Ephemera or becoming Invisible and gaining 1 Iron.

Ephemera captains will sometimes be inflicted with Dining with the Dead.

Yoked captains will sometimes be inflicted with Served by Shades.

Story description[]

The great dial, Horologion, is in motion. It is the clock of the Blue Kingdom, dictating the hours of the Observances: rituals which govern the progress of the spirit toward Death's Door.

Beneath its face, thousands of spirits labour to power its revolution. Above, greater spirits of aureate majesty preside over the regular Observances.

It is both a symbol and vital function of the bureaucracy of the dead.

Trigger conditions[]

Location: The High Wilderness
Area: Limbo
Frequency: Always (100%)

Interactions[]

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Approach Horologion
The Observances are mandatory for spirits at Horologion. There is an Observance for every status, and once begun, may not be escaped.
In motion
Your engine lands at the appointed place in the shadow of the gnomon. You step from your engine onto the face of the great dial. Aureate Ministers with crowns of molten gold turn to you as you disembark: an Observance is about to begin. Every spirit has its place during the hours chimed by Horologion. You are about to be shown yours.

Advanced query needs investigation


Depart
The Observances of Horologion are not intended for the living.
Beyond the hours
Shafts of light flung from Death's Door illuminate the face of Horologion in a brief corona of dazzling gold. For a moment your engine is washed in a terrible radiance. Then, you are away, and the dial is behind you.
Observe the Ephemera
At this hour, the Ephemera are invited to a banquet.

Game note: You are not permitted to participate, but you may watch.

The last feast
Shades lead you below the face of Horologion and into a cavern under the dial.

A great table carved from the jaw of an Eater of the Dead stands at its centre. Thousands of spirits in masks sit on long benches to either side. Shades bearing tapers carry platters of petrichor the colour of sweet milk.

The only sound in all the chamber is the scraping of wooden spoon on bowl. Eventually the spirits stand, and as one, file out. The petrichor remains on the table.
Observe the Ephemera
At this hour, the Ephemera are invited to a banquet.

Game note: You are not permitted to participate, but you may watch.

The last banquet
Shades lead you below the face of Horologion and into a cavern under the dial.

A great table carved from the jaw of an Eater of the Dead stands at its centre. Thousands of spirits in masks sit on long benches to either side. Shades bearing tapers carry platters of petrichor the colour of sweet milk.

The only sound in all the chamber is the scraping of wooden spoon on bowl. Eventually the spirits stand, and as one, file out. The petrichor remains on the table.
An Observance: Partake of a Feast
Spirits in porcelain masks wait to take you to a banquet of shades.

Game note: You are Ephemera. You have no choice here.

The food of the dead
Beneath the great dial is a cavern. At its centre is a single banquet table, carved from the long jaw of an Eater of the Dead. Scores of Ephemera sit on benches before a vast and ghostly feast. You are shown to your place. The food before you sits on platters of bone, pale as an autumn moon. It tastes like the memory of butterscotch and mellow vanilla. You partake in silence; the only sound is that of your spoon against your bowl, again and again.
Observe the Antedeceased
Witness how the Antedeceased become Ephemera when Horologion dictates.

Game note: You are not permitted to participate, but you may watch.

A time for all things
A flock of Antedeceased crosses the dial. Some are living, still in skyfarer's garb. Others are spirits, caught between life and death. One quakes beneath their porcelain masks. Aureate Ministers assist the Antedeceased in their transition. Masks of smouldering flame are placed over their heads. Their garments and forms are rent, baring them to the sun's light. A scent like myrrh and incense emerges, as the light begins to fade. The new Ephemera are shepherded in the direction of Death's Door as junior Ministers appear to begin the clean up. Horologion's face turns.
An Observance: Become Ephemera
Aureate Ministers with wheels of living fire at their backs approach. Their burnt-branch hands reach toward you.

Game note: You are Antedeceased. It is the appointed hour. You have no choice here.

The way of pain
You are caught in their long and many-limbed grip like a fly in a web. The most senior of the ministers produces a mask of golden candlewax from their cloak of shining silk. Another brings forth a bowl of copper flame. They mean to make your Ephemera, one of the dead on its journey to Death's Door.'
Submit
Give in. Become Ephemera.
The mask fits tightly to your face. It has no holes for eyes. You see only the shadow of a movement through it, then a sudden bright as the bowl of copper flame approaches.

Hands take your own; numbing your senses as the wax begins to melt.

Later, they help you stand and carve your name into a stone tablet, confirming you as one of the Ephemera, on your way to Death's Door.
Resist
You do not want to become one of the Ephemera.
You struggle. The spindled limbs holding you bend like willow, but they do not break. The most junior of the Ministers makes a note on a wax tablet, registering your resistance.

They keep you in place as they approach. They hold the mask just above your head, so that your shadow wears a mask of its own. The Ministers then set the mask alight.

You are released. You have lost all Status in the Blue Kingdom. You are Invisible.
Observe the Yoked
At this hour, Horologion undergoes maintenance.

Game note: You are not permitted to participate, but you may watch.

Cleaning the clocks
You are not allowed below the great dial. Instead you and your crew are permitted to stand at the rim and look down.

A river of spirits churns, sluiced through the vast, intricate machinery beneath the Blue Kingdom's clock. The spirits carry buckets and amphora filled with souls and vinegary wine.

As abruptly as it began; the cleaning ceases .A torrent of thin, grey, flawed souls spills out below Horologion. Bells toll. The dial moves again.
An Observance: Clean the machinery of Horologion
Ministers in white and gold stand ready with sapphire shackles. You have a duty to perform.

Game note: You are Yoked. You have no choice here.

The service of the dead
A flock of other masked spirits walk in front of you and march behind you, as you are led down a golden stair that cleaves to the underside of the dial.

You are handed an amphora filled with wine and souls, and directed to churn through the great wheels that power the dial. Souls pass through your hands; a torrid river that sluices through the mechanism of the great sundial. Your task is the cleaning of a single cog. By the time you are done, your souls are lost or wrung out.

Not every spirit bound to their task emerges from the underside. Some are stuck in the wheels and left; others ground up, dust to be cleansed in future. Others yet are taken away. There is no shortage of tasks for the Yoked.
Advanced alteration value probably needs examination.

Advanced alteration value probably needs examination.



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