Abyssal Layer 225

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Just SurvivingAbyssal Layer 225 Copyright © 2000 by William NorthernDecay

Instantly overwhelming, all that's vile and stomach churning, a merciless stench most foul; no break, no refuge, and no escape. The layer engulfs all with an olfactory assault so powerful that all other senses seem useless. The torture does not end on escaping and the memory alone will cause vomiting. The 225th layer of the Abyss is known as Decay.

Special Physical ConditionsThose berks unfortunate enough to land on this plane are truly cursed (as if being in the Abyss wasn't bad enough). There is no tangible ground and the terrain solely consists of dung, offal, corpses, decaying body parts, and any other form of organic waste. The contents of Decay constantly fall from various gates and portals, which open and close at random (long enough to discharge its contents). This gives the layer the overall appearance of being a waste disposal site.

Standing on the waste is deadly as the sod will begin to sink (as if in extremely thick mud). A merciless reddish-orange sun beats down on this layer and causes the stench of rot and excrement to take on the appearance of fog. This greyish-black fog obscures all vision like a dense haze and limits the average range of sight to 30 feet (beyond that distance, everything has a shadowy appearance). The stench is incredible (to say the least) and the hapless sod must make a constitution check at -5 or begin retching and vomiting uncontrollably until dry heaves give way to violent stomach spasms and unconsciousness.

The fog of late evening is a lot thicker than the fog of early morning and the fog subsides during the night hours.

Aside from the obvious composition of the terrain, Decay has the general appearance of a mountainous region. Some of the less dominant mountains bear such names as the lesser and greater Spoor Slopes, Guano Ridge, and Offal Mound (a direct portal to the layer of the same name). Many portals feed into this layer but only a few lead out. Two such portals are located at the apex of the two largest mountains. There are no other major geographic wonders aside from the various mountains of pure waste. The Dung Hillock and Compost Mountain sit opposed to each other. Due to the chaotic nature of this layer, they will always appear to be on the opposite side of the traveler (even if you successfully made the journey to one mountain and scaled around to the other side, the other mountain would appear on that side as well).

Special Magical ConditionsDue to the deadly nature of Decay, each hour over the initial two the traveler will be susceptible to a highly advanced form of rotting disease. The travelers must each make a save against paralysis at -3 (with the penalty increasing by one each hour) to avoid the effects or contract the disease. Once contracted, the disease will continue to spread thereafter. The disease will infect the extremities first and will resemble leprosy with its overall damage.

The painful disease will not subside even if the traveler leaves the layer. Only a cure serious disease (alter reality, limited wish, and wish) will stop the deadly disease. The victim will need a year's bed rest for each hour of damage endured.

While on Decay, simple spells such as create food and purify water will always create waste and corrupt any liquid. All light and flame-based spells are subjected to a 65% chance (increased by 10% based on the flammable nature of the spell cast) that the effects will generate an explosion. This is definitely the result of the chemical imbalance of the fog (or it could quite simply be the effect of the Abyss; imagine an explosion following the use of a light spell). All necromancy spells will draw the attention of the various inhabitants of this layer.

Native InhabitantsChasme are common on Decay as well as all manner of flies. The fly swarms often blot out the sun when they are on the move.

They have the perfect camouflage in the fog, but the buzzing sound they make will alert even the barmiest clod. These flies are more aggressive than the average horse fly and are capable of biting repeatedly. Though they thrive on the varying levels of rot on this layer, an offering of fresh meat will not be overlooked.

There is an extremely agile species of ghoul that will feed on anything available. These ghouls typically only come out at night and linger underground during the day in hastily made tunnels waiting to grab anything that sinks below the surface. The landscape is ripe with ravenous maggots and every conceivable parasite. Enormous dung beetles patrol the areas around the base of the larger mountains and are believed by some to be responsible for building the mountains.

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