Tuesday, April 2, 2013

092: Nagog Hill

ENTRY 092: Nagog Hill

In the bosom of the Naar Crater on Mars rises a castle on an artificial hill; a bizarre pseudo-fractal recombinatorial extrapolation of Schloss Neuschwanstein, a place where small halls, towers, and buttresses sprawl out in six sweeping arms from the main structure, up to airlocks at the crater rim. Inside the supercomplex, uplifts wear adaptations of human period costume and speak in affected accents, prismatic-winged “faerie” flying spycams flit about the strange twilight halls, and in the dungeons luminescent crystals and fungi grow to shed light for eager adventurers. This is the Nagog Hill Complex, sometimes called “the Magic Kingdom.”

Nagog Hill is a bizarre community, one part extreme cosplay enthusiasts, one part tourist trap. It is the dream vision of a six-member anarchist commune from the Inner Sphere who wished to explore and experience living a life of fantasy, and had the collective wealth to build and operate the Nagog Hill Complex. Each of the Six have relative dominion over their spiral arm, and spend their days traipsing the halls as lords, ladies, mad scientists, and adventurers in an ahistorical mishmash of a setting culled from a couple centuries worth of fantasy literature. Most of the uplifts that live and maintain Nagog Hill are “compensated guests,” allowed to live in the complex and given access to makers and fabbers for all their needs in exchange for providing the appropriate “atmosphere” and taking care of necessary maintenance. “Players” are tourists and visitors from other habitats, who are encouraged to play along and stay in character for the term of their visit—those who do not comply face encouragement to leave.

Using Nagog Hill

Think of Nagog Hill as a very large, perpetual Renaissance Faire run by people who have the technology to fake living in a Dungeons & Dragons setting; that’s not the limit of the strange weirdness of Nagog Hill, as some of the Six have interests in steampunk, dieselpunk, and other such genres, but you get the idea. In a setting like Eclipse Phase where it is possible for people with the right resources to literally live out their fantasies and populate their little world with things straight from their imaginations, you can damn well bet that someone is going to do it—not matter how expensive, silly, or dangerous it might be.

Gamemasters can make Nagog Hill as scary as an out-of-control holodeck without the safety protocols or as unthreatening and clean as Mardi Gras at Disneyworld, but it provides a setting where player characters can interact in an environment that combines the familiar with the fantastic and weird. Player characters may or may not choose to stay “in character” with respect to Nagog Hill; that’s fine by most everyone involved—the uplifts couldn’t care less, simply ignoring PCs if they’re out of character. So long as the PCs don’t get violent, the Six will also leave them alone; violent characters tend to get herded or tricked into a chamber and the roof opened to expose them to the unfiltered Martian atmosphere.


  • One of Six, who has dominion of the northern arm, has imported what he thinks are genetically engineered grotesques for his dungeon—in fact, they are a group of exsurgent monsters. Firewall has caught wind of the shipment and offers to kit the player characters out to put them down – even if it means destroying the entire habitat. If the PCs are up for a literal dungeon crawl, that is.

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