Telluric Iron- Native Iron, Iron born of the Earth itself and not mixed with other elements. Even more so than Cold Iron, Telluric Iron is deadly to anything supernatural.
CAVES- The tunnels and sumps and squeezes and cathedrals and switchbacks beneath the crust of the earth carved by water and friction and heat and pressure. These are the holes that existed before you put shovel to earth, these are the holes that will exist when the rest of the planet is nothing but ash and glass. These depths do not care for you.
DUNGEONS- Life’s feeble attempts at emulating caves. Spaces made by hands and tools beneath the earth, places of hiding, places of imprisonment. You were not meant to uncover these places, they were put here to be out of your reach. Did you not read the signs?
DRAGONS- Big old Lizards who like wealth. Here’s the thing, material wealth creates dragons. If you collect up enough gold you become a dragon. It takes less diamonds to become a dragon and apparently even less printer cartridges. It is easiest to hide, maintain and sleep on a hoard underground. Sometimes a dragon is spontaneously formed when someone finds and claims an exceptionally rich mineral vein. The Gold Rush made a lot of dragons.
BONES- Without the help of magic or a death at escape velocity speeds, all bones eventually find their way into the earth.
Fossilized Vampires- For an epoch, it was all Vampires until the universe at large decided such an ecosphere was tantamount to madness and pulverized the surface into thick red goo. None of the vampires died of course. They’re all now a thin red line in the strata, waiting for a drop of blood to revive and awaken them en masse.
World-Mind- Dig deep enough and you will reach Hell. Dig deeper and you will come to the Inner World. Dig even deeper and you will reach the World-Mind. They say that the Astral Plane is the Plane of Thought, where the collective Noosphere of conscious thought is amassed, where raw belief travels to the far horizons of imagination and form into the Outer Planes. This is only partially true. Untold trillions of minds cannot work in concert together to do such a thing. Certain underground dwelling squid-folk can tell you its hard enough to do that with a few dozen. In the depths of each world lies the World-Mind. Tectonics are merely the shifting wrinkles on a massive brain, everywhere we know is really just outer derma and skull, hell is just a migraine. The d3R0 have reached this place already and are filling it with conspiracy.
Hell- Speaking of Hell, yes you’ll eventually get there if you keep digging. It’s down there because they’ve always told you is is down there. It is down there because you believe it is down there. Atheists can’t find hell on their own. Last I heard a bunch of Paladins took it over and made it worse.
Elder Being Nightmares- More than one nightmarish giant from out of time is buried in the earth, awaiting the Time Of Awakening. Until then, more than one mine has been opened up through their splintered skulls to harvest their twisted dreams and fevered nightmares. Some folks try to plant happy thoughts inside instead, but we’ve not seen much evidence of its effectiveness yet.
Crystalized Sins- When your body rots, everything sinks into the earth. Sins, being exceptionally heavy, sink the deepest. If they sink deep enough they drop into Hell and pull your spirit along with them. But more often they end up sitting in the earth, gathering in vast pools of sin. Over time they evaporate (due to actions taken in Purgatory) and what is left concentrates into singular gemstones. They’re highly prized by devils, alchemists and CEOs.
Concentrated Quantum Foam- Literal Stuff, this is the literal building blocks of reality. This chunk is the cosmic equivalent to stem cells, it can become anything. Just be careful, it is exceptionally reactive to thought.
Ice Seeds- Motes of cold made manifest, an Ice Seed is the remnants of an ancient comet. Good for cooling the drinks of cloud giants or freezing over lakes.
Serendipity- Sudden ideas jump out from the dark and fill your mind with inspiration both dark and fascinating. This is why the dark scares us, it makes us think.
Fossils- The corpses of ancient beings turned to rock by writ of the Pact of Stone. It is from clay that living things were wrought and it is to clay and ash and stone that we will be made again. Earth elementals just take a long long time to get to it.
Discarded Identities- Fake IDs, masks, bigfoot costumes, your AOL username, the wizard’s fake name of Pendragon. There is a Prince who collects and cares for these bits of used and discarded self, They make sure it all is properly entombed. If you find them, you can become them, just don’t lose yourself.
Elven Ceramics- Formed from the Primordial Clay (Deities like to use it to make people sometimes), glazed by Sands of Time, and fired in the hearts of Neutron Stars, about the only thing that can scratch Elven Ceramics is Star Metal and asteroid impacts. The amount of shattered Elven Ceramics present in certain areas are indicative of previous impacts or of ancient interplanetary wars–the elves aren’t telling which. Complete pieces are worth a fortune to the right collectors, but shards make for devastating arrowheads at the very least. Supposedly there are vaults of Ceramics weapons out there, but mostly we find oyster forks for some reason.
Left Socks- They had to end up somewhere and veins of Left Socks show up more often than Gold or Platinum. You might never find yours though as the cotton and wool industries are highly aggressive about buying up these mines.
Petrified Ooze- This makes up an entire Stratum, presumably from when the Primordial Ooze blanketed the planet. As the world heated up, it lost much of its liquid and thinned out into world-spanning film. Many oozes underground at, in fact, bits of the Primordial Ooze that was revived by moisture.
Molemen Graveyards- These are actually quite close to the surface, sometimes near the peaks of mountains. The Molemen believe in burying their dead as deep as possible, but their perception is inverted. (add something more)
New Darkness- Gathering New Darkness is pretty easy. Dig a hole, cover it with a lid, let it sit for a few days, then pump it out into opaque jars.
Old Darkness- This is darkness that has fermented since the beginning, in the hearts of mountains and in the depths of tectonic plates. This is the darkness that remembers the birth of the world and it is the darkness that will be the last to see the light. Take it with you if you must, but the sky is no longer yours to behold.
Wizard Teeth- Wizard Teeth have an incredibly long half-life, leaching raw magic into the soil over the course of millenia. This magic causes spontaneous mutation in wildlife, mass grave risings, and very odd birth defects if it reaches the water table. Responsible wizard universities have ensured that their dentists are trained in proper disposal, usually in triple sealed lead containers with bound guardian jinn buried at the bottom of salt mines. Some folks think that they may be able to harness this random magic, but most of them end up with ten limbs and a face made of custard.
4D Corpses- 3D beings, as we know, only ever leave corpses and fossils in a single stratum, but 4D beings can be viewed across several stratum usually across several continents. They are like the layers of an MRI image, only impossibly more complex. It is quite possible that reassembling it all will bring the higher dimensional being back to life. If you want a 5D corpse, you’ll need to travel across several parallel quantum-realities.
The ORKUS– The ground is where things rot. Rot, under the right circumstances, cycles back into nutrients and life. However there are places where Rot concentrates at a metaphysical level, places where the Rot chews at the foundations of the world. It is here that The Orkus pools and collects, waiting to bubble to the surface. ORKUS is often the most concentrated far below urban areas.
Hole- This Hole is Yours. It was made for You. It would be terribly rude not to use it.
Holes- Different from your personal Hole, proper Holes are about the circumference of your outstretched arms and perfectly circular. Using spider’s silk and a properly prepared needle, you can stitch the edges to the ground and then fold the entire thing up. What? You think Wizards made Portable Holes?
A Hole Heart – A human heart with a hole through the middle. It sounds like someone gently weeping. The hole wants to be filled, can you fill it?
Letters – Tightly bound parchment tied with a vivid red string. Unwrapping it reveals a love letter intended for someone, complete with a papercraft rose.
A Lifelike Statue – Someone left a very well-carved, eerily lifelike statue buried in the ground. It’s smooth to touch, and sometimes feels like it’s staring back at you from within its stony casing.
Time- Everyone knows that Space is the Future. So the past can be found underground. While yes you can find antiquities and the occasional Lost World where a pocket of ancient time continues to the present, this is not what I mean. With the right tools, you can dig towards the past, peeling away time with every strata you dig through. This is the source of a number of anachronistic objects and fossils as it is one thing to dig your way to the past, but folks often forget to leave a knotted rope back up to the future.
Liquid Debt- Just as a number of miners have ‘struck it rich’ many more have struck it poor instead. Pools of the gelatinous Liquid Debt lie in wait in many likely places for promising shafts. It infects and eats up promising materials, gold, silver, even coal and lead turning it all into worthless gangue. What’s worse is touching the stuff eats up a person’s assets, coins and accounts drained as everything they touch becomes doomed to financial failure. Liquid Debt grenades are a popular and highly illegal weapon against the aristocracy.
Arrowheads- Leftovers from an ancient civilization and forged from a deep space meteorite, these arrowheads contain an alien virus that either agonizingly kills or unlocks deep hidden power in all they pierce.
Swords- Elemental Iron is the Death of Stars and the birth of all heavier elements.It can be melted down, forged, transformed by magic and otherwise manipulated, but it is the one thing that survives the cycle of Kalpas. Magical swords are especially resistant to the trauma of the expansion and contraction of the universe, their metaselves existing both in the dreaming Oneirean and the ORKWORLD that exists after, or perhaps before. While many lesser swords may only exist in the ground as Iron That Will Be, the greatest of them remain buried in the earth, ontological spikes pinning the world to the fabric of reality.
Echos- Everything screamed into the void, echos. And those echos, echo. Their reverberations never really cease, but they often find themselves trapped. Trapped in deep caverns, caught in fissures, compressed with time, their waves compressed into thin lines of layered whispers. These sounds wear grooves into the earth not unlike the grooves in a vinyl record. With the right tools, one could follow the grooves and listen to the past.
Giant Ancient Superweapons- And by Giant Ancient Superweapons, I mean Mechas. When fighting alien threats from space, Mechas are for sure the best way to fight them. But when the threat is over and they’re no longer needed, where do they go? Buried in silos and hangers and bunkers and forgotten by generations, covered by the processes of weather, geography, and geology. They’re waiting for the threats from beyond to return and for a chosen few to dig them up.
Lard- Y’know, from the 5th Elephant?
Out Of Place Artifacts- They’re not really out of place, your understanding of time and the technology available to ancient peoples is just skewed. Ancient batteries, clockwork computers, rocks with spark plugs in them, and so forth. The soil is full of them.
Bear Clay- Bears are not born, they’re made. Or rather, they are born as shapeless lumps of clay that the mother bear licks into the shape of a bear. Primordial Cave Bears, the ones big enough to BE the Cave, saw the coming of their end and buried vast deposits of Bear Clay. Perhaps they hope their lesser descendants would find these pits and remake their glorious ancestors, but instead Wizards and their ilk pay vast fortunes for Bear Clay for creating homunculi.
Primordial Clay- Not unlike Bear Clay, the Primordial Clay is said to be the droppings from Ursa Major, used by divine beings to shape the mortal peoples. It is much much rarer to find these days after the Elves used up much of it for their ceramics. With it you could create truly new life, not the half-formed monstrosities Wizards lick out of Bear Clay.
Mysterious Pillars- We’ve unearthed a great black obelisk, it is the first. There are more. We know it. When the Last is FOUND then THen thEN wE WILL BE READY!
Computorium- The Singularity? Oh, that’s happened several times over, don’t you know that is just how a 7D being is born. Computorium is just some leavings from their ascension, this static goo that reacts and changes to your commands. Some worlds are seething with Computorium in fine dust particles, this is how magic works of course.
Buer- YEAH HE’S JUST CHILLING HERE IN THE EARTH WAITING FOR YOU TO DIG HIM UP. IF YOU’RE COLD, HE’S COLD LET HIM IN? NO!
Bog Bodies (and Butter): Folks have been tossing corpses into bogs for burial and sacrifice for, I dunno, millenia. There’s a bunch of bodies just hanging out in the abiotic morass waiting for someone to dig them back up. While the bodies themselves are of interest for various reasons, such as archeology, necromancy, and stealing sacrifices from the Gods, the real treat is in the Butter. I don’t know what the Druids were doing, but that fermented butter is *chef’s kiss* fiiiiiine. Gourmands and alchemists alike can’t get enough of it.
Fluffy- It’s Fulffy, remember? Your first pet. They didn’t run away, I’m sorry. Parents don’t always know how to explain these things to children. It’s okay though, they’re here now. You’re here now.
Lapudite- A glowing blue stone found in thin veins across the world. It is a stone that craves the sky just as we crave ever greater heights. It is through the processing of this stone that Flying Cities were constructed in the past and it is through abuse of this stone that they all eventually fell. Except one.
Hadite- A deep red crystal found in dense geodes. Hadite only ever exists in small quantities as anything more than a nail sized gem surpasses the Schwarzchild limit and collapses into a short lived black hole. The Flying Cities were constructed with anchors of alloyed Hadite to counteract the Lapudite and avoid floating into space.
Mycelium- Did you know that if you took all the mycelium in the ground and stretched it into a single continuous line, its length would need to be measured in light years? There is so much mycelium down there. It is what’s holding everything else together.
Fairy Mounds- The easy way to Fairy is to step into a fairy circle, but then you have to play by their rules. A Fairy Circle is just a Summoning Circle for mortals, and as any spellcaster will know it is the summoning circle that instills the rules into the summoned. So if you want to get into Fairy on your own terms, you’ll need to dig up their mounds and barrows then crack open their gates with cold iron. It is a declaration of War, but why else would you want to invade it?
Goblins- THE EARTH IS A WOMB FOR GOBLINS! WHISPERS AND SCRAPS AND EVERYTHING UNWANTED AND FORGOTTEN FALLS INTO THE EARTH AND GERMINATES INTO GOBLINS! YOUR LOST QUARTERS YOUR FORGOTTEN OBLIGATIONS YOUR BABY TEETH AND YOUR TIME ARE ALL BECOMING GOBLINS.
Bureaucratium- The opposite of computorium, this is Dumb Matter. It expands and complicates the more attention and focus it is given, quickly growing into a pointless gray tumor on the world.
55 Gallon Drums- Uh, I really don’t think you should open those up. They were put down here for a reason. That yellow circle on there is really menacing.
Cicada Pupa- No not pupae. There are plenty of those. This one has been sleeping a lot longer. Growing. Its eventual rise will be felt across the world.
A Hole To The Hollow Earth- You can dig to the molten core of the planet and never reach the Hollow Earth because the Hollow exists slightly out of tune with the rest of the world. Certain holes can resonate with it however, it is all about size, depth, and location. There’s a permanent hole at the Pole.
Robots- Probably from an ancient advanced civilization or perhaps time travel accidentally embedded them into the crust. There are a bunch of these rusting away in the earth, waiting.
Junk- Just a whole bunch of it. Someone at some point dug a hole and filled it with a country’s worth of trash and buried it again. Maybe there is something worthwhile in all of this, afterall one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
“Junk”- A whole bunch of one specific thing. This is someone’s collection, mundane as it might seem to be, to them it was a treasure. Why is it down here? Who on the surface might actually pay for a thousand novelty clown figurines?
Vault of Eggs- Speaking of Clowns, you’ve stumbled upon one of their vaults here. The porcelain white door with the bulbous red lock is a give away. It even squeaks as you pick it. Inside are rows upon rows of eggs, each painted with a unique face. They know you are here, you best get your awful business done soon.
A Sphinx- The big stone statue kind, may or may not have a nose. It is totally mysterious and there will be dozens of documentaries about it.
A Sphinx- The angry riddle-lady kind and she’s kinda pissed you dug up her den. I really hope you are good at riddles and dodging claws/laser eyes.
A Mistake- Wizards and scientists are not fond of folks finding their failure, unless they can distance themselves from said failure by claiming it is some kind of interdimensional cryptid or something. Usually they bury it. An awful lot of them are novelty zombies for some reason.
Stone Tapes- When powerful or traumatic emotions occur, the psychic impressions can be projected and imprinted upon the very earth. Under certain conditions, these Stone Tapes can replay these events. This is one of the ways we get ghosts, they are merely reflections and recordings of those from the past re-enacting a moment in time over and over again. Really deep down Stone Tapes might get you ghosts of ancient civilizations. Or Dinosaurs.
Fascinus- Like a whole trove of them. Dozens and dozens and hundreds of them. Just piled up in heaps and stacks. Some have wings, some have smaller facini! Boy howdy, that is a lot.
The Route- There is a path, a road, a way. There is a route. It leads into the earth and it is a journey that you must take by yourself. It is a journey towards rebirth. Maybe your rebirth. Maybe another’s. Do not look back.
Books- Not everywhere, but in places where civilization has been and places where antiquarians have been allowed to flourish, there are books below us. Great catacombs and labyrinths of books. Thin tunnels made of arching shelves. Monolithic spaces with books stacked to an unseeable roof with stone books of ancient giants. Here every door leads to the Stygian Library, so closed spaces are strictly prohibited.
Stone Men- They are oiled and muscular and poised and posed even. They await awakening. It is another fucking Jojo reference.
Pirate Treasure- It is goddamn everywhere, you just have to find an X. Two crossed sticks? Something scrawled in a sandbox? Two intersecting faults? Where there is an X, there is pirate treasure. You just have to dig deep enough.
Drow- Of course there is Drow down here. Up to their weird dark bullshit in the weird dark lands. Don’t trust elves, they’re all remnants of dying dreams.
Names- According to some mythologies, all things were named in the early days. They were writ upon the foundations of the world and they define the world as it is. All things named but abide by their name. The wizards have dug up a few. Demons and spells and angels and diseases (for they’re all the same) know their names and hide them well. But the originals are all down here, waiting to be said.
Petrified Angels- Calcified megastures buried deep within the crust, rings within rings, inscribed with eyes larger than city blocks. They were entombed here for some Older Sin. Their calcified feathers make for the best quills. Their golden blood, still liquid, is a powerful conductor for the divine.
Occultum– Raw magic given solid shape, you find it by digging deep under wizard towers, cursed swamps, radioactive waste storage facilities and similar. These gold-black grains are usually melted down into coins for easy transport and storage. Wizards will fucking strangle you for them. Inject one into your pineal gland for magical might! Or messily explode. But hey, that’s magic for you.
Fulgurite- Fossilized Lighting, these are the paradoxical abortive signs of a tryst between Lightning Elementals and Earth Elementals. The sort you pull out of the sand after a storm is mostly of decorative interest, but the ancient Paleolightning you find in the depths retain the strange energies from the early days of creation.
Chalk- This soft rock is the result of millions of years of compressed corpses of microscopic plankton. It’s got plenty of uses beyond looking pretty as a landscape. Common knowledge is that is no good for growing witches on, but since when did common knowledge mean anything? Beneath all of that soft whiteness is the sharp, dense cores of Flint.
Flint- You’re inner caveman craves this. This is what makes fire. This is what makes the sharp tools for cutting and stripping and killing. Flint is the primordial killing stone formed in holes between the ancient dead, the solidified tiny regrets of a billion billion tiny lives.
Time Capsule- There’s a wooden boat, some buttons, and some tin soldiers in here. A note is here as well, drawn in green colored wax on yellowed paper. It asks, in the halting script of a child, if the future is fun, if their favorite ice cream parlor is still open, and how are you future-person? It is hard to make out his name.
Barrows- Long dead kings and their long buried wealth. You really shouldn’t be robbing tombs. And if you are, please just rob the tombs of your own ancestors. Oh yeah, and watch out for those Draugr.
Water- Aquifers, springs, cenotes, the deep drainage of karst topography. Be careful as you dig for groundwater, there are rivers down there that are not meant for the living.
Apocalyptic Preper Bunker- There are hundreds of these things, most are abandoned after their respective apocalypses fail to occur. While much of what they’re stocked with is mundane, it is often many years worth of supplies. Some are still maintained for future threats, and some are even inhabited. These end-of-days cults tend to be heavy on fear, paranoia, and xenophobia, so careful where you stick that shovel buster.
Todd- Todd just wanted some goddamn peace and quiet. Give Todd a break. He’s now a camp follower. He bitches and complains about you to everyone, you’re almost as bad as that worthless son of his.
Active Landmine- Okay so, your shovel just pressed down on an active landmine. If you change the pressure at all, it will explode. Breathe shallowly, do not tremble. There are ways to survive this if you can remain calm. OH FUCK IS THAT A WASP?!
Corplite- Aw shit.
The Cellar- You’ve found one of the entrances to the World’s Deepest Cellar, a vast megadungeon of alcohol and fermenting curiosities. At the bottom is the Gods’ Mead, are you ready to taste divinity?
An Escapee- Two shovels ting from opposite sides of the ground. A face like a hamhock in an orange jumpsuit pops up from the ground. You recognize him, didn’t he get imprisoned like five years ago for something heinous. Are those sirens?
The Sunless Sea- Fed by the Sacred River Alph, the Sunless Sea is where the dreams of addicts and poets rule, where only the un-light of vast fungal stars gives shape to the world below. There are deathless cities here upon the Sea. They are happy to trade if you bring the right currency.
Cursed Objects- Cursed things have a tendency to attach themselves to people barring certain conditions. The Bottle Imp, for example, will always come back to you unless you sell it fairly for less than what you paid for it. Some powerful magics can break these bindings, the work of Sin Eaters and Exorcists primarily. But what happens to an Unbound Cursed Object? The same strange power that binds them is used to whisk them away and bury them where they may be found once again by happenstance.
VOID- There are bottomless pits beneath the earth. No, not the sort you drop a rock down and giggle about it being bottomless because you can’t hear it hit the bottom. No, these are truly bottomless, places where the darkness is so dense it connects to the empty gaps between the stars. Falling into them is bad enough, it is when things crawl out of them that we really need to worry.
A Dead Caver- Ah…one of the unwillingly buried. The ground is full of them just as mountains are full of dead mountaineers. This one
Has gnaw marks and broken teeth
Is clutching a ring
Has been mummified
Is barely human, their nails long and caked with dirt and blood
Is broken and bent, tangles and suffocated in the rope that was supposed to break their fall
Springs to life at your touch, screaming an eternal death knell as they drag you under.
Heinous Idols– These are not idols of worship. The wooden hand-sized fetishes depict anthropomorphized evils which are ritually bound, sealed, and mutilated in order to ward off their touch. A common final step is to ritually bury the idol, essentially pronouncing the evil dead. Digging one up is sure to attract attention.
Mountain Kings- Pretty much every culture has one of these fella’s. A Monarch of great renown who is said to rest deep in the earth (or on some fairy isle, but as we know fairies live in mounds) until the time comes to defend their people from a great threat. There are hundreds if not thousands of them down there. Waking them up early is sure to upset them. At some point I bet they’re all gonna wake up and have some kind of epic brawl.
Passage to the Underworld– Not THE Underworld, but AN underworld. Somewhere between a Buddhist Hell and the Catacombs of Paris, people live and work down here but only because they have little other choice.
An Assortment of Things- I mean, someone was digging on the beach and pulled a ferrari out once, so why not any of these?
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