The Unmaking

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Darkseid and Related Updates

Hello Multerrites! You may have noticed A Message in the Crossroads Discussion section of the forum in March. This message vaguely alluded to updates to the site’s main story with brand new quests, NPC updates, and potential narrative goals for your characters included. These updates are all based on an event that will make or break Multerra... the Unmaking and the arrival of Darkseid.

The adjustments to the main story are based on this recent addition to Crossroads lore:

“The Crossroads grew from the wills of 8 semi-divine entities, who manifested their Worlds around them from sheer force of thought. The inhabitants and environments of these worlds affect and change the divine spark, providing it energy in the same way it provides the denizens context and habitat. These Arbiters are the closest thing the Crossroads has to gods, and though their forms can be malleable over time, they never willingly destroy or subvert their creations.

At the time the Crossroads were being created, however, there was a Ninth Arbiter. This foul entity felt that it alone should dictate the form and function of the Crossroads, and saw all other Arbiters as decadent and weak. But, the Ninth spent so much energy on trying to steal and control the work of others, it neglected to make a World of its own. In time, it lost its cohesive form, and faded into Unmaking.

For many cycles, the Crossroads thrived and hummed with activity in life. But, in time, things began to grind to a halt on certain worlds. A spark of vitality had left the denizens' hearts, leaving the Arbiter weak, and alone. The Ninth, now known as Darkseid, was little more than a phantom which crept into the fabric of this stagnating world and turned the heart of its Arbiter to destruction and simmering chaos.

The World, weakened as it was, abruptly turned to a place of shadow, distortion, pain, and tyranny. Motes of this Unmaking spread from the World all across the Crossroads like seeds of dark omen, threatening to corrupt the known cosmos. The Unmaking takes root in the hearts of the listless, repressed, and hopeless, leeching off the dregs of their willpower and replacing it with the distorting intentions of Darkseid. In this way, the Fallen Ninth Arbiter has renewed his conquest of the Crossroads, and is all too eager to pursue his apocalyptic agenda of Unmaking All Things.”

To account for this update, the Introduction to Multerra has been revised. In addition, information has been added to the Wiki for the 8 Arbiters + Darkseid, viewable in the NPCs section. Much of the information below is likewise presented in its own Rules page.

What’s Happening

Govermorne is undergoing complete Unmaking at the hands of Darkseid. This world has been reduced to little more than a cloud of shadows and warped, confused monstrosities with a terrifying Unmade Arbiter looming in its midst. Even stepping foot on this World risks drawing Darkseid's attention. No purchases, no transport, and new characters cannot be created here.
  • All current writers on Govermorne will have their characters transported to another world; a related quest is listed below, though this is optional and you can create your own narrative for how your character escaped. There, you can rally a group of player characters interested in helping you save your world, or at least prevent the spread of Darkseid.

Cevanti is beginning to experience true corruption. The Arbiter of this World has been fully inverted into Unmaking and the World is visibly sick. Frequent attacks by parademons and other corrupted creatures oppress and terrorize denizens. Coin purchases cost 50% more while on this World.
  • Characters on this World should notice things changing drastically.

All other worlds are receiving refugees from the aforementioned corrupt worlds, in addition to small notes of corruption here and there.

How to Participate

Worlds that begin to fall to Darkseid go through several levels of destruction. There is no hard criterion for how to gauge a given level, writers should just operate under the assumption that things will steadily get worse if left unchecked.


Corruption Effects & Levels
  1. Only minor Unmade presence, either scouts or small gangs of Unthings. No effect on inhabitants.
  2. Significant Unmade beach-head established with hidden or fortified HQ. Occasional raids and patrols harass denizens every week or so. Arbiter sends plea for help, minor environmental warping.
  3. True corruption begins. Arbiter is fully inverted into Unmaking and World begins to fall apart. Frequent Unmade attacks oppress and terrorize denizens. Coin purchases cost 50% more while on this World.
  4. World is almost entirely warped beyond recognition. Denizens evacuate as corrupted Arbiter and Unmade mobs rampage. Life mutates and crumbles. Coin purchases unavailable on this World. Transport Hubs offline.
  5. Complete Unmaking. This World is little more than a cloud of shadows and warped, confused monstrosities with a terrifying Unmade Arbiter looming in its midst. Even stepping foot on this World risks drawing Darkseid's attention. No purchases, no transport, and new characters cannot be created here.

Reducing Corruption
  • Corruption of levels 2 and below is fairly simple; consistent resistance missions and fighting mooks will keep Unmaking at a cool level 1.
  • Worlds of C3 (Corruption level 3) and higher require defeating an Unmade Arbiter, which should be a very difficult boss battle.
  • If a World goes above C3, the Unmade Arbiter becomes too powerful to fight directly. Worlds of C4 and C5 need large scale cooperation and directly supervised missions to reduce the Corruption Level low enough to finally Purify the Arbiter.

Quests

Corruption levels can be reduced by defeating enemies and completing quests. There are currently 8 quests, but as things progress, more will be added. These quests cannot be repeated by the same character multiple times. To accept a quest, you don’t need to notify staff at all until it is complete. Once you complete a quest, respond to this thread with 1) which quest it was, and 2) a link to the quest thread.


QUESTS FOR RELATIVELY NORMAL WORLDS

An Arbiter’s Plea

• Quest Giver: Arbiter (Dependent on World Location)
• Quest Length: 2,500 words
• Quest Location: All worlds except Govermorne and Cevanti
• Quest Prerequisites: N/A
• Quest Description: Your character is going about their daily business when a strange sensation overcomes them, leaving them somewhere between nausea and elation. A thought that is not their own blooms from the very recesses of their brain, seemingly planted there long ago: the Arbiter of your world has chosen you, perhaps alongside others, as the one to aid them in their time of need. There is a great evil coming and it has already infected three other worlds. If this corruption is permitted to spread, it could spell the end of the Crossroads themselves.

• Repeatable? No

The Fleeing Masses

• Quest Giver: Up to the player
• Quest Length: 2,500 words
• Quest Location: All worlds except Govermorne and Cevanti
• Quest Prerequisites: Must have completed “An Arbiter’s Plea”
• Quest Description: After hearing that strange psychic message about an entity called “Darkseid”, you recognize that something decidedly odd is happening all across the Crossroads. There are just so many… people spilling into towns and settlements on various worlds, some even entering into hostile environments because they are so desperate to escape something. You might hear it from a barkeep or a random passerby on the street, maybe even see these often penniless vagrants begging in the streets for food or work. They have all fled from Cevanti and Govermorne. Whatever has happened to these people, it’s something serious. You should talk to them about it.

• Repeatable? No

Kidnapped!

• Quest Giver: Desperate refugee
• Quest Length: 10,000 words
• Quest Location: All worlds except Govermorne and Cevanti
• Quest Prerequisites: Must have completed “The Fleeing Masses”, 2 players preferred but not required
• Quest Description: After you speak to the refugees about the mass devastation overtaking their worlds, a distressed refugee approaches you on the street. Apparently, a friend or relative of theirs has been kidnapped by a group of fanatics convinced that they can curry Darkseid’s favor by returning his lost “property”. How they intend to do this, however, is a mystery. Find one of these supposed members of the “Cult of Darkseid” and find out where they are taking the victim. You will encounter various cultists along the way, but the entire operation is being run by two distinguished cultists.

• Repeatable? No

Cultist Troubles

• Quest Giver: Up to the player
• Quest Length: 5,000 words
• Quest Location: All worlds except Govermorne and Cevanti
• Quest Prerequisites: Must have completed “An Arbiter’s Plea”
• Quest Description: After hearing that strange psychic message about an entity called “Darkseid”, you happen to overhear a peculiar and disturbing comment from a stranger about the appearance of a cult on your world. Whether it is from concerned family member, law enforcement, or perhaps an indiscreet cultist is up to you, the message is still the same: something or someone is coming, and a shadowy group has assembled with the hope of pleasing this mysterious being. You might decide to follow, interrogate, reason with, or fight these cultists based on how they respond to your curiosity. Their fervor is immense, however, and these individuals feel that they are in a spiritual fight for their lives— tread lightly if you want to avoid violence.

• Repeatable? No

The Root of the Problem

• Quest Giver: Up to the player
• Quest Length: 10,000 words
• Quest Location: All worlds except Govermorne and Cevanti
• Quest Prerequisites: Must have completed “Cultist Troubles” or “Kidnapped!”, 2 players preferred but not required
• Quest Description: After your encounter with the cultists, you have now learned of the location of some sort of headquarters from which seeds of Darkseid’s corruption are being spread (gradually and insidiously, of course). The cultists were apparently preparing a means of approaching this headquarters in the hopes that they might be spared, but you have a feeling it wouldn’t have gone well. Yet, you understand that if this process is allowed to continue, your world and its Arbiter will eventually be corrupted.

To head this off, you must locate the “rat’s nest”, so to speak. This HQ contains an operation being run by a single parademon. The design of this HQ varies depending on your location— on Kraw, it might take the form of a literal massive seed pod seething with bad energy, and on Erde Nona it could be located in an abandoned barn; it’s up to you. With various corrupted flora and fauna challenging you along the way, you’ll have to find some way to kill the parademon before it destroys everything you know.

• Repeatable? No

QUESTS FOR CEVANTI (TIER 3 CORRUPTION)

An Arbiter’s Rage

• Quest Giver: Up to the player
• Quest Length: 2,500 words
• Quest Location: Cevanti
• Quest Prerequisites: N/A
• Quest Description: Your character is going about their daily business when a strange sensation overcomes them, leaving them somewhere between burning rage and infinite sorrow. As they look around, they begin to notice that something isn’t right: their surroundings are… dimming, like some great spirit in the sky has switched out the lights. Suddenly, in the distance, the screams begin. A Voice that you instantly and ineffably recognize as your world’s Arbiter screams, as well. The ground cracks beneath your feet, whole chunks of landscape swallowed by pockets of void-like darkness. The world around you devolves into chaos, and you’ll have to fight your way out as corrupted flora and fauna begin to swarm the area. You need to find somewhere safe, if that even exists anymore.

• Repeatable? No


A Swarm of Locusts

• Quest Giver: Up to the player
• Quest Length: 5,000 words
• Quest Location: Cevanti
• Quest Prerequisites: Must have completed “An Arbiter’s Rage”, 2 players preferred but not required
• Quest Description: Your character finds a relatively “safe” area that hasn’t yet been devoured by the pockets of void now littering the planet. There are others like you who have escaped, too, and from these shaken escapees you learn of an attack on a nearby settlement/district by hideous, grey-skinned demons with glowing red eyes. You decide to track down these creatures, either through tips from the local populace or through your own superior tracking skills. The world around you seems sick, with visible signs of corruption, and more corrupted creatures appear to block your way. Eventually, you find at least two of these “parademons” in the act of committing unspeakable atrocities, but realize that they are indescribably strong. Yet, you find that you can’t just stand by and watch. Eliminate these parademons by any means necessary.

• Repeatable? No


QUESTS FOR GOVERMORNE (Corruption 5)

The Sun’s Gone Dim and the Sky’s Turned Black

• Quest Giver: Up to the player
• Quest Length: 2,500 words
• Quest Location: Govermorne
• Quest Prerequisites: N/A
• Quest Description: One minute, everything was fine. The next, the world around you shattered into a million tiny pieces. You’ve managed to flee in an escape pod with only a handful of others. In your broken, shell-shocked state, you all can only stare blankly out of the spacecraft’s viewport at the writhing mass of shadows your planet has become. Some of these people had family there, parents and grandparents and cousins and children. Some of them probably wish they’d stayed behind and been eaten up by the rampaging dark like all the rest.

Not you. No. There’s something burning in your chest now, swelling against your organs like a balloon about to burst. You know who did this, and you know that this world’s Arbiter has been warped into the perfect tool to do His bidding. Wherever this battered spaceship takes you, whatever world you can find your footing on, you know what you have to do.

You can’t help but wonder, though. Will the Crossroads ever be the same?

• Repeatable? No

Enemies

You don’t need to be writing a quest to fend off the Unmade. Below is a list of general enemies with abilities included to give you an idea of what you’re facing. These enemies can be slain and fought without staff oversight, and you can even design your own Community Quests to help reduce your world’s chance of total corruption.

PARADEMONS [IMAGE]

Physical Description: Humanoid, grey-skinned demon-locusts with 4 limbs. They are typically 6 ft/183 cm tall and wear black power armor with red-lensed goggles. Insect-like wings grow from their back. When a parademon’s blood is drawn in battle, they bleed green.

Behavior: Vicious, inhumane, and frightening, these creatures are irrevocably loyal to their master, Darkseid. Do not try to reason with them or ask for mercy— they will not give it. They will only appear on worlds that are very close to destruction, unlike the Cult of Darkseid.

Abilities:

Brute Strength - Parademons are extraordinarily powerful, capable of lifting up to 400 pounds/181kg. They can also pack one hell of a punch, the strongest of their strikes capable of cracking concrete.
- Damage Rank 3 (300E)
- Move Object Rank 3 (300E)
Total Cost: 600E

Unnatural Quickness - These creatures can move at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour/72kph, making them only slightly less quick than cheetahs. Parademons can move at high speeds continuously without needing to pause for rest.
- Speed Rank 3 (600E)
-- Ongoing Rank 3 (300E)
Total Cost: 900E

Heightened Senses - Driven by the need to snatch up other living beings and raze the worlds they belong to, parademons are equipped with a remarkable arsenal of senses designed to seek out their prey. This includes the enhanced senses of sight, smell, and hearing, all of which are always active. Parademons are even capable of sensing prey indirectly through obstacles such as walls.

- Sense (Sight, Smell, Hearing) Rank 2 (600E)
-- Ongoing Rank 2 (200E)
-- Indirect Rank 2 (200E)
Total Cost: 1,000E

Laser Rifles - All parademons carry a rifle capable of firing searing lasers at their enemies; the damage they inflict may badly injure or kill someone who is undefended. The laser rifles have an activation time of 13 seconds before they can be used and can harm a person standing over 10ft/3m away.
- Damage Rank 4 (400E)
-- Activation Rank 4 (-200E)
-- Ranged Rank 4 (200E)
Total Cost: 600E

Spears - 7ft/213cm honed spears that can inflict serious damage on other living things, and possibly even kill them if they are without armor or a shield. However, thrusting the spear leaves a parademon open to side attacks for approximately 5 seconds.
- Damage Rank 4 (400E)
-- Side Effect Rank 4 (-200E, leaves parademon open to attack)
Total Cost: 200E

Power Armor - The most defining characteristic of a parademon is the armor they wear. Hellish red goggles stand out against a snarling face, the black power armor covering much of the parademon’s insectoid frame cutting an imposing figure. The protection provided by this armor is ongoing.

- Protection Rank 3 (300E)
-- Ongoing Rank 3 (300E)
Total Cost: 600E

Wing Blades - Parademons have razor sharp wings that allow them to fly at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour/72 kilometers per hour. The damage inflicted by these wings is akin to getting sliced open by a long knife.
- Flight Rank 3 (600E)
-- Ongoing Rank 3 (300E)
- Damage Rank 2 (200E)
Total Cost: 1,100E


CULT OF DARKSEID - STANDARD CULTIST

Physical Description: The sapients of various worlds might attempt to curry favor with Darkseid in order to prevent their destruction. Their appearance varies depending on their world of origin, although all members of the cult adorn the backs of their robes with the Omega symbol. They also have a hidden Omega symbol carved into the meat of their palms.

Behavior: Would you notice the worship of the bacteria on your skin? Of course not. You're gonna take a shower and wash them down the drain right alongside all the ones who don't worship you. That is Darkseid. The members of the Cult of Darkseid, however, foolishly believe that their devotion might save them. Thus, they are dangerous to those around them who choose not to follow their religious predilections.

Cult members typically engage in paranoid behaviors, such as the stockpiling of resources and maintaining an avid suspicion of those around them. They tend to hide their cult status on the palms of their hands, only showing their Omega symbol scars to their most trusted friends and family members. If this individual refuses to convert… well, the Cult of Darkseid is not above murder, which they view as making a sacrifice to their “god.”

Abilities:

Scavenged Weapon - Your average member of the Cult of Darkseid is often cowardly and has little combat experience. When confronted, they will often scrounge around for a weapon on the ground, coming up with something akin to a knife, sword, or other sharp object. The cultists are easily disarmed by a skilled warrior, though they might inflict a moderate wound or accidentally kill someone in the process...
- Damage Rank 2 (200E)
-- Removable Rank 2 (-100E)
Total Cost: 100E

Delusional Devotion - The Cult of Darkseid are often so focused on their worship that they display an unusual amount of resilience, working for long periods of time in preparation for their god.
- Endurance Rank 1 (100E)
Total Cost: 100E

Improvised Shield - When under attack, a cultist might grab a wayward wooden board, a dead body, a ceremonial object, or some other item to protect themselves from harm. Fortunately, these improvised shields are fairly weak and can be dislodged using stronger attacks.
- Protection Rank 1 (100E)
-- Removable Rank 1 (-50E)
Total Cost: 50E

CULT OF DARKSEID - DISTINGUISHED CULTIST

Physical Description: As you know, sapients of various worlds might attempt to curry favor with Darkseid in order to prevent their destruction. Their appearance varies depending on their world of origin, although all members of the cult adorn the backs of their robes with the Omega symbol. They also have a hidden Omega symbol carved into the meat of their palms. A distinguished cultist, however, might be dressed more ostentatiously due to their high status in their community.

Behavior: The Cult of Darkseid has members from all walks of life, with the distinguished cultist being less common- one or two per every sect of the cult. These cultists enjoy a position of power within their respective cults due to a combination of charisma, wealth, and fearsome abilities; they are often narcissistic, and chose to be members of the cult because they saw an opportunity to dominate and control others. Their career backgrounds are most often in business, military, and politics.

The distinguished cultist is somewhat more capable of defending themselves from harm than the average cultist.

Melee Weapon - Distinguished cultists will generally be armed at all times with a melee weapon. This melee weapon could be anything from a dagger to a sledgehammer, but using it leaves the cultist open to retaliation for up to five seconds.
- Damage Rank 3 (300E)
-- Side Effect Rank 3 (-150E, using weapon can leave cultist open to attack)
Total Cost: 150E

Magic (Optional) - Some distinguished cultists are magic users, but the type of magic they might use varies drastically. One cultist might sling a fireball at you, and yet another might use ice magic instead. Just know that the damage these spells inflict should be powerful enough to break thin stone or concrete. These spells must be charged for up to 10 seconds before they can be used and can harm a person standing over 10ft/3m away.
- Damage Rank 3 (300E)
-- Activation Rank 3 (-150E)
-- Ranged Rank 3 (150E)
Total Cost: 450E

Delusional Devotion - Like other members of the Cult of Darkseid, distinguished cultists display an unusual amount of resilience, working for long periods of time in preparation for their god.
- Endurance Rank 1 (100E)
Total Cost: 100E

CORRUPTED FLORA & FAUNA

Physical Description: On the worlds facing corruption at the hands of Darkseid, various critters have been twisted into dark, ugly things for the purpose of total destruction. Some plants might grow to a massive scale and attempt to devour passerby, while others might kickstart a slow and insidious poisoning of the landscape. Animals, too, are not safe from Darkseid’s corruption, and have become distorted facsimiles of their species. These effects are not limited to organic beings, however, as low-sentience mechanical beings can be corrupted as well.

Behavior: Absolutely feral and bent on destruction, large groups of these creatures will occasionally swarm settlements. It is more common, however, to find them skulking about on the outskirts of civilization, picking off lone travellers or small caravans to sate their sinister appetites.

Abilities:

Natural Features - Even beasts that were once peaceful have turned to capturing and feeding on those unlucky enough to cross their path. They might accomplish this through the use of claws, thorns, teeth, metal limbs, horns, or vines; anything you can imagine that is capable of inflicting damage. These attacks are generally about as powerful as being slashed at with a knife.
- Damage Rank 1 (100E)
Total Cost: 100E

Unnatural Durability - Damage inflicted by small arms doesn’t do much to faze these creatures. The reason for this can be invented by the player, with some ideas being a newly developed carapace or thick skin. Go wild!
- Protection Rank 1 (100E)
-- Ongoing Rank 1 (100E)
Total Cost: 200E

Rewards
  • Quests award the usual coinage (see: Travel and Questing in the Crossroads).
  • Organizing a group and defeating an Unmade Arbiter in a raid will reveal valuable consumables as well as the chance to activate an Arbiter Boon - an ongoing, passive Ability based on your world’s Arbiter patronage. Only 1 Arbiter Boon may be active at a time, and ceases to function if the Arbiter becomes Unmade again.
 
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