Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Kesselhaven

The first thing you see as you approach the shores of Hyperborea, the lost continent to the north of everywhere, is a dim red beacon guttering in the polar night. The flame atop the Ivory Tower - scrimshawed, soot-blackened, home to the Illuminators and the tallest building in the whaleport of Kesselhaven - never goes out. As your ship threads its way between jagged shoals and treacherous chunks of sea-ice, striving to reach safe harbour, you see smaller fires blazing in crevices of barren rock. Brass kettles, spitting and hissing. Men in leather aprons, streaked with grime and blood. Whales. By the hundreds. In varieties you've never heard of. All, expect for a few unlucky ones, dead. Long knives flaying the blubber from their corpses, carving it into strips and flinging it into the overflowing kettles. Sea wolves and piranha penguins lacerating the bloody shallows, snatching gobbets of whaleflesh and the limbs of men who stray too far from the firelight. Officers screaming, praying, cracking whips. Birds wheeling in their thousands.

The nights are long in Hyperborea and there is always a need for more heat. Whales are more plentiful than trees, more common than coal. The work of the oilmen never stops.


(Here is the rest of this post. It's in a Google doc because it was too long to put anywhere else. I am thinking of writing a setting guide to Hyperborea, the lost continent to the north of everywhere.)

2 comments:

  1. Excellent stuff; most atmospheric. Moby Dick is an obvious comparison; perhaps there is a Hyperborean outpost among the Skraelings on Pseudo-Nantucket?

    I do hope this list (https://abookofcreatures.com/tag/icelandic-folklore/page/2/) is not unknown to you.

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