The Great Pyramid of Asria
In the plains of Asria, there is a great structure--two thousand feet tall and twice as wide.
It is made from stone and metal and stranger things still. There are between 100 and 135 floors (depending on how you count). The structure shows evidence of multiple eras of inhabitats, with sublayers and connectors all built according to different types of construction and quality.
The newer construction tends to be the lowest caliber. The oldest, original parts of the building are built with such exotic materials and techniques that modern engineers aren't even sure how it could be disassembled, or if its even possible.
The Great Pyramid has numerous lifts that move up and down the building. The largest of these are the size of city blocks, and are used as marketplaces. They move up and down through the layers with a trudging regularity, and are used as clocks by the inhabitants.
All of this is powered by a system of living hydraulics--domestic oozes that live inside the stone and metal-work of the pyramid.
|by Paolo Soleri|
The Quiet Farms of Asria
Before you reach the city of Asria, however, you must pass through the farmland.
The quiet farms flank both banks of the Ravello. They are composed of large, irrigated pools covered with green mats of thrush, a type of ooze. For the most part, the thrush fields are content to lay in the sun, where they grow fat and stinking, a viscid mat atop a thin layer of stagnant water. Nothing bothers them except the brine flies.
Once a field is mature, it liquifies, changing color and becoming venous (in some cases). Then, it crawls to Asria, where it deposits itself in a silo and begins auto-fermentation, in order to prevent spoilage.
Each of these enormous silos is owned by one of the lords of Asria, who owe their allegiance to the queen. This thrush is then sold as food.
While thrush differentiates itself into different types of edible thrush, they are all universally repugnant. Bread and meats are also sold in Asria, but those farms must be placed further away. The city claims all the nearby land for itself and its farms.
Roads through the quiet farms are atop narrow dikes or raised boardwalks.
The Defenders of Asria
It is important to distinguish between the people of Asria--the inhabitants of the arcology, the lords, and their queen-- and the city of Asria, which is composed of the autonomous oozes that control the city and the quiet farms.
The city feeds and shelters the people, but it does not care about them. You could travel to Asria and murder every inhabitant, and the hydraulic oozes of that place would not change the lift-schedules by a single minute. But Prophetessa (May She Live Again) help you if you trample one of the farms.
Any threat to the city is countered by the appearance of a mobulus, another type of domesticated ooze.
A mobulus looks like this, except less cartoony and more organic
A mobulus is also a bit more pallid
A mobulus stands 10 to 15 feet high. They are bipedal, but can break apart and reform into different modules as needed. It knows a language called avadeigan, which no one knows or has bothered learning, mostly because (a) mobuli don't show up very often, (b) when they do show up, they are often trying to kill you, and (c) they only talk when they need to clarify something, and most of their tasks don't require that.
HD 8 Def none Atk 1d8/1d8+engulf
Move slow Int 6 Dis guardian
Gelatinous -- All physical damage is reduced by 5. Attacks that hit its eye (10' off the ground) deal full damage.
Throw Gob -- The mobulus throws a gob of itself up to 100' away. The chunk is a full HD 2 ooze. On a hit, it deals 1d8 damage and the target is engulfed by an ooze. The mobulus takes damage equal to the ooze's HP.
When Lord Mygolios attempted to raze one of the quiet farms in order to install a farm where he could raise his noble pig, he was forced to exterminate several mobuli in the process. He triumphed, and the farm went up.
Over the next month, however, the neighboring farms stopped producing. The thrush disappeared as it matured, seemingly overnight. Wherever it crawled, it wasn't to the great pyramid of asria.
Then, in what was obviously a coordinated effort, dozens of mobuli emerged from the earth beneath the nearby farms. Mygolios' farm was overrun, his men were digested, and his prized pig was torn apart.
The mobuli remained for a few days more, in order to oversee the re-establishment of the quiet farm. They dug trenches, and the neighboring farms dutifully donated enough thrush for the ponds to become re-established. Their task complete, the mobuli marched to Asria, crawled inside a silo, and pickled themselves.