Nifflas: Where Librarians Mean Business

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Just remembered, in the story about Fafnir, they said that tasting the blood of a dragon would let you speak to animals. Fits right in.

I feel like sketching some Nifflan dragons, might put those up in a bit.
This is a really cool setting. Bravo.

I like the idea of dragons creating an area of bounty, but I'd like to have a stylistic reason to back it up / flesh it out. Why should living memories create verdure? This might help us better define their personality/perspective as well.
Dragons are basically solid memories. It takes a large amount of mental effort just to keep from dissolving. Background memories and ideas (little stuff, tastes, smells, etc) start to kind of leak out from the dragon.

Thus a dragon who spent a lot of time either around or thinking about trees would start to create them in the background. Most nifflans spend a decent amount of time thinking about food, so most dragons create an area of bounty around them.

Now of course, this is the general rule, not absolute. Dragons that used to be junkfolk might create a background of machines and refuse (trash-dragons, yay!), while a dedicated librarian dragon might create paper all around them.

So yeah, sketches didn't really go anywhere, couldn't find one style that I liked. I did come up with some preliminary sketches for a Cuckoo Knight, though.
Hey everyone - no 1.2 yet, but here's some ideas I've been chewing on. Feel free to twist, mangle, or improve upon them, as usual.

On the subject of dragons: I love the idea of them being solid memories. I think someone mentioned that they could feed on memories? I've been wanting to squeeze the idea of eating intangibles into the setting for a while now, but have never found the right place. This seems like it might work. Also, what if the memories they bled out influenced their physical form as well? So the librarian-dragon would be made of books and paper, with fangs and claws made from fountain pens and quills, and the ex-junkman would be a huge contraption of metal and trash.

Here's another idea, half-stolen from this webcomic: what if, instead of dragons breathing life, their breath is the fire of memories. Dragon fire does not burn, it transforms. Whatever the strongest memory of the dragon is at that moment, their fire burns whatever it touches into that thing. So a person whose head was scorched by dragon fire might have its favorite tree growing out of them. A person caught in the full blast might be transformed into the dragon's lost love.

Alchemists (also called Pyromancers) have learned to recreate the conditions that make dragon-fire, and to project it from flamethrowe-like devices, but unlike dragons, they must sacrifice a memory completely for each burst of dragon-fire. Once it's gone, it's gone, leaving only a hole in the Pyromancer's mind.

Dragon language is song. They have two keys. The first is used for normal communication, and the second for magic. Some humans, called "Cantomancers" have learned to imitate the songs of dragons, assisted by strange vocal contraptions.

Junk doesn't pile up on the islands much - mostly, there are abandoned buildings and machines, rather than sprawling junkyards (though some do still exist).

Unkindlies are empty. There isn't anything behind those masks.

“Coin-operated Wizards” is a pejorative term for junkfolk who practice magic.

Dwarves have a symbiotic relationship with the Colossi (ancient junkfolk who have reached enormous size). They live inside them and maintain them, and in return gain safety and a powerful friend.

On one largeish, isolated island, the inhabitants believe that the end of the Island is the End of The World. They have set up a sign there, and it is a popular picnic spot - people go to gaze out at the clouds and eat amongst the ruins of ancient cities and the moss-covered stone corpses of dead gods.

What if we scrapped the idea of mills and used dragons instead? Perhaps the Government of the Yebba Dim Day, the Parliament of Rooks, has formed a long-standing contract with an ancient dragon. They feed it the corpses of all those who die in the city (all dragons have special and exclusive diets - this one can eat only human corpses), and in return it regularly breathes its fire, transforming whatever they put in front of it into bread. Thus, bread from the Day is called “Dead Bread”, and killing a person is known as “Feeding the Wyrm”.

In the Day, wearing a fishbowl on one’s head is currently considered the hight of chiq.

Tiny creatures inhabit the island, and sometimes take up residence in people afflicted with Metropolitis. They also have an understanding with witches: witches can only give birth to houses, and the tiny folk live in the houses, and do favors for the witches in return.

Angels feed on light, and so a room will slowly darken in their presence, but they will become brighter as they feast. They are strange, formless creatures, patterns of light and sound. Their movement gives the impression of wings beating, and in their presence, birds behave strangely.

Witches are women who have had the knowledge of rituals and who have been bound into a web of magical contracts for as long as anyone can remember. To become a witch, one must give up the ability to bear children - Witches can only give birth to houses, which come out tiny, but grow to be the witch’s own dwelling. They know how to glimpse the future in the entrails of animals and the flights of birds. Many develop metropolitis, and some have whole communities of tinies living in them. Witches know all the tongues of Nifflas, and can speak to an angel or a dragon as easily as they might a Dayer, but can never tell a lie. They are sometimes employed as speakers and diplomats because of their gift of tongues, though their honesty can get them in trouble. Some say they can speak even to the dead. Every witch focuses their power in a part of their body - like their hair, their finger, or their 3rd Left rib.

Some ruins which should have fallen long ago still float strangely in the air.

One of the most powerful and closely guarded rituals in the Library is the Song of Flight, which enchants any object with the ability to fly, from a teacup to a building. The requirements and preparation time are quite strenuous, but many have used it throughout the ages.

The Pyramids of Zuzangi are a group of seven pyramids of unknown origin, housing many people, on one of the outer islands. They are filled, too, with the Ghosts of those buried there.
Keep the mills.

They are likely one of the coolest parts of the setting.

That and the idea of chancing upon a mill and throwing someone in is pretty cool. Especially when you have no idea what will come out. (Maybe even a Dragon!!)
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I agree with keeping the mills. Also, a few ideas to tack parasitically onto your own:

- I love the idea of the dragons being made of varying materials. It's making me wish there was a Nifflas movie so I could see the librarian and junk dragons in CG. :P

- The Pyromancers sound cool. I'm thinking this could translate into an actual mechanic - the stronger the memory, the more powerful the flame. The memory of how that sandwich tasted yesterday might yield a paltry d6, while pouring your entire childhood into it might rival the power of the dragons themselves! I can see some people being very wary of this new "science", as Pyromancers who aren't careful and feed it the wrong memories forget themselves...literally...and might start a chain reaction where they can't stop feeding it, laying waste (transformative waste, anyway) to the countryside.

- On Witches...ouch, giving birth to a house sounds painful. :P I just had a quick idea that the highest-paid Witches who act as interpreters are (ironically) the ones who know the least about what/who they're interpreting. This is because the less they know, the less chance they have of realizing something the person tells them to repeat is a lie - thus most Witches live in seclusion...after all, it's just good business sense. (This only works if the "cannot tell a lie" is perception-based, and not a purely magical phenomena. Disregard otherwise.)
Mmm. Well, the idea about scrapping the mills was based on Dragons and mills fulfilling similar functions - taking in inputs (memories) and outputting a transformation. The dragons just have a little more flavor.
The dragons and the mills serve similar functions yes.

However as concepts there is room for both.

The mills create, dragons are more about changing what's already there.
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I agree with Wyld and Warweaver, keep the millls.

Also, you could think of mills as generators, while dragons are more like batteries. Mills directly move information from input to output, while dragons use stored memories and energy.

I like the bit about angels, does that mean that devils eat darkness? Would a room with a devil in it proceed to grow continually brighter?

Do we want angels and devils to be extraplanar creatures or are they natural beings? I like the fact that the only two 'planes' in Nifflas so far are the Book and Backstage. Also, if there are different choirs of angels, could there be really small ones? Maybe very small demons could be caught in glass bottles and suspended from the ceiling in order to give light in the Labyrinth.
Maybe very small demons could be caught in glass bottles and suspended from the ceiling in order to give light in the Labyrinth.

"HEY!" "LISTEN!" (to me so I can corrupt your soul...) :P

Historically there's a lot of tales about the power of a dragon's heart, blood, teeth, etc. Maybe the mills incorporate this somehow. Maybe they run on a perpetually-pumping dragon heart, or use a dragon's teeth to do the grinding.

Obviously this would be a big secret nearly no one knows - otherwise many a desperate fool would try to slay the dragons to have more mills. Perhaps this was even how it was at one time (when the first mills were created), and one (or more) of the older, most powerful dragons slew every person who remembered it - or found some way to eat the secret itself!
Why is having fools trying to slay dragons a bad thing? Isn't that the basis of many a story?
Why is having fools trying to slay dragons a bad thing? Isn't that the basis of many a story?

Right, I meant it as kind of a twist on the normal fantasy tale - nobody wants to go after the dragons when Campaign X starts, but eventually this secret comes out somehow and the dragons are all "oh noes!" and the PCs find out it used to be known and there was all kinds of mayhem and such. Might even end up with the PCs trying to stop "dragon predation" (meaning preying on dragons, not vice-versa). :P

I mean, slaying dragons for prestige and glory is one thing - finding out they're the power source for the most important buildings in the world is quite another! It wouldn't be just lone knights/adventurers going after them, but organized governments and factions looking for a piece of the miller's pie. Also the dragons in Nifflas seem (to me) to be more intrinsically tied to the health of the setting than standard dragons. But that might be my erroneous perception.
Well considering they have the only way of creating some of the more exotic things in the setting...

(Longsword trees? How about just plain ol' Fruit Trees. God forbid a Fruitcake Tree!!)

They are pretty important to the health of the setting.
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Concerning paladins

"Paladin's eh? Funny you should ask. Used t' be a paladin meself once, so many years ago. Twern't no divine inspiration neither. It was a story I read once, about how brave Sir George slayed the green dragon that was terrorizing the Day. I thought, well, if he could do it, why not me? Now, I'm not the strongest man in the world, but I do know how to weave a good yarn, and I'm quite the speaker. I think that's what helped me get in good with 'Ye storie of Saint George and Ystdraxlarmon ye greate wurm.' It knew I would be telling it's story for ages to come. So I went down to Low Day and found me a sword and a chain shirt, and started prancin' about like a fool. Defendin' the weak, helpin' the innocent. Ah, it was a good day.

"Here's the thing. I told ye earlier tha' I'm not the strongest man tha' ever lived. And outside o' fightin' I could barely lift that greatsword. But in the heat of battle, I remembered how Sir George slew the thousand Murksoldiers, and my blade started movin' practically all by itself.

"If yer intrested in becomin' a paladin, I've still got the book. You might want to take a look."

-That same guy we met in a bar

Also, all the non martial classes should be able to use enchanted books as impliments.
Humm, The various types of dragons I like, not so sure they need to be coupled to the mills in any way thought.

In large I prefer the dragons as is, with some exception for junk dragons etc. As Warweaver pointed out, they are an excellent and interesting explanation for soil fertility on island that cannot have normal bio-cycles.

Cool story Delfedd,

Don't drink the holy-water; we don't like it when you drink the holy-water.

Hmm. OK. How about this: Dragon breath transforms things, burning them from their original state into lizards or fruit or trees. Pyromancers have discovered the secret of dragon fire, and use it to power the mills, manipulating the conditions of the flame to make it produce whatever is needed, sacrificing memories to feed the islanders.

(Addendum - it is very early in the morning here, and I am very tired, so I'm not sure how much sense that made.)
The Day’s political system, random thoughts

The Library


The Library has always controlled the information flow in Nifflas, all the way back to the very first issue of the Almanac. The first part of their power stems from their unparalleled knowledge of the great tree, being the only organization that has any hopes of navigating it efficiently (via the card catalogs, and tribal knowledge). Recognizing that without the inspiration and magic stories (rituals) the books contain Nifflas would fall into ruin; they lend them to prop up the system.

The second part of their power comes from the mills. Skilled librarians are needed to perform powerful rituals, torturously deciphered off the mill’s surface, to act as a catalyst for its operation. Any significant disruption from would threaten the food supply (or whatever comes out of the third mill), and the power of the Day. In addition if you find your own mill you at least need a rouge Librarian to help you get it started.

However the training and secrecy required leaves them comparatively small in number and vulnerable to threats form outside the Day; those who have no care weather is stands or falls.

The Rooks

The Rooks are the Day’s government, and have the only proper navy in Nifflas, their power stems from relative control of the city, and the favor of the Library who relies on them for protection. They levy taxes, pass legislation, and police the streets. How the parliamentary system is arranged is not abundantly clear, but citizens often find themselves voting, with must be good…right?

The Unkindlies

Little is know of them, rather then their violent exploits have taken many a Rook, Liberian, and Citizen, but discreetly enough to ensure some degree of secrecy. The leading theory states they are necessary to keep the most potent stories (rituals) from destroying Nifflas, and to check the perpetual balancing act of the various political forces of the Day.

For whatever reason they are tolerated by those organizations they stalk.

Don't drink the holy-water; we don't like it when you drink the holy-water.

Hmm. OK. How about this: Dragon breath transforms things, burning them from their original state into lizards or fruit or trees. Pyromancers have discovered the secret of dragon fire, and use it to power the mills, manipulating the conditions of the flame to make it produce whatever is needed, sacrificing memories to feed the islanders.

(Addendum - it is very early in the morning here, and I am very tired, so I'm not sure how much sense that made.)

Has promise, deserves a spot in the rumor mill at least.

Don't drink the holy-water; we don't like it when you drink the holy-water.

Yeah, I like it.

Thanks. I think the idea came to me when I was watching a thing on retroviruses, and i realized that not all viruses are malignant. Then, because I'm a responsible nerd, I immediately applied that idea to D&D. The paladin stories are almost like viruses, converting a "cell" into a story factory.

Also, I think the idea of an outbreak of paladins is funny.
Also, I think the idea of an outbreak of paladins is funny.

I really like the paladin thing, although there was an idea a ways back of Paladins functioning like garbagemen. Not sure which one I like better. Maybe call Delfedd's idea Heros instead of Paladins.

"What's wrong with Jimmy?"
"Oh, he's caught the heroism, you know how it is."
"Ah yeah, just last week I was trying to kill the windmill, turned out to be a giant. Had some explaining to do after that."

Edit: Or maybe make clerics do the garbage man thing, I think that'd work out better.
When I've told my friends and the players in my game about Nifflas, the thing that almost everyone is fascinated by is the bit about the three mills in the Day - one grinds names into produce, one grinds corpses into flour, and one turns and turns but no one can see what goes in or what comes out. The evocativeness, the creepyness, the "whoa"ness of the mills, I think, would be lessened if they're created or maintained by humans.

I'd suggest that, when this setting gets 'offically' written up, it includes two or three different 'theories' about how dragons function, and each possible explanation includes sample dragons stats using that theory. So, for example, one breathes 'life' that causes a mutagenic disease, one breathes a fire that transmogrifies the target on the spot, and so on.
Hey everyone - fixed the images on the first page. Also, I hear everyone on keeping the mills. I think you're right, Zamboni, that when we write the setting up, dragons would benefit from having their exact nature be unclear. While we're on the topic - it seems to me as though a free pdf/website would do the trick, unless anyone has any other ideas. Also - love the idea of a Paladin Outbreak =].
Quick sketches: A cuckoo knight and the head of a music dragon.

That cuckoo knight is... almost unbelievably creepy. Love it.
I love the wind-instrument-like horns on the dragon - very nice aesthetic.
Hi everyone,

I only jumped on the Nifflas trolley a few days ago and I haven't read all eight pages of comments in their entirety, so please bear with me. First, spectacular setting Mostly Ghostly, lots of very interesting themes and concepts woven into a really fantastical, compelling whole. I have only a few suggestions:

First, I strongly support keeping the mills. They're very compelling. I want bread to be made from corpses by the people of Nifflas. Feeding corpses to a corpse-eating dragons in return for food feels like something that could happen in any setting (even with Nifflas' unique dragons). The mills feel very Nifflas to me.

Second, I'm strongly against this idea:

Junk doesn't pile up on the islands much - mostly, there are abandoned buildings and machines, rather than sprawling junkyards (though some do still exist).

From my very first read-through of Nifflas, I've been very attached to the idea of the world as a giant junkyard. My thoughts went something like this: "What does it mean to live in a world where even the ground you walk on is someone's forgotten garbage and even your food is made from recycled corpses? What does it mean to be part of a society in which the highest religious aspiration around is to embrace one's destiny as a resident of the place where God throws his trash when he gets drunk? Why are the people in this world so happy, even excited about their lives? The stories. They feed off stories and names that have implicit power because they're all that keep these people hopeful, all that keep them truly alive."

Removing the sprawling junkyard weakens the image for me. If it's mostly just abandon buildings and machines that are lying around the Islands, then the setting feels much more generic; it feels much more like every setting where ancient magical devices and mystical ruins dot the landscape in every direction. Nifflas needs to be a trash heap through and through.

Finally, don't add too many quirky details, Mostly Ghostly. The gimmicky stuff that's in the setting now is great because it moves beyond the gimmicky and makes for a really compelling, creepy, unimaginable whole. But if you add too many little ideas, the setting gets glutted. I already feel this way about a couple of things in the setting. The edible 'Sweepings of the Divine Plate' hiding among the junk and the Storm-born only get referenced once, as far as I can remember, and they don't seem to fit into the whole very well. There aren't any other references to storms or weather carrying intrinsic power or changing things, and I don't think there should be. We don't need another "source of power and change" to make sense of; we can hardly handle the ones we have! I say scrap the Storm-born.

Go for a few really compelling elements that work together well rather than pages upon pages of little ideas that only get mentioned once. If anything, confine such little, isolated elements to the Rumors section, sorta like an ideas bin that a DM can draw from.
Very good to have more contributors; welcome to the thread Transformer.

Removing the sprawling junkyard weakens the image for me. If it's mostly just abandon buildings and machines that are lying around the Islands, then the setting feels much more generic; it feels much more like every setting where ancient magical devices and mystical ruins dot the landscape in every direction. Nifflas needs to be a trash heap through and through.

Important to remember that space in Nifflas is at a premium having more islands covered with ‘the junk’ would grow tiresome. There is substantial wreckage on most large islands and the occasional junkyard, however with the exception of the mills they rarely contain item that would give a mystic vibe, useful to Junkers absolutely, but not mystic.

On that note how many mills do we want to give explicit page service too, we have four currently:

-Mill of names
-Mill of corpses
-The third Mill (in the Day)
-The Forgotten Mill (Unknown location, eats hope)

Finally, don't add too many quirky details, Mostly Ghostly. The gimmicky stuff that's in the setting now is great because it moves beyond the gimmicky and makes for a really compelling, creepy, unimaginable whole. But if you add too many little ideas, the setting gets glutted. I already feel this way about a couple of things in the setting. The edible 'Sweepings of the Divine Plate' hiding among the junk and the Storm-born only get referenced once, as far as I can remember, and they don't seem to fit into the whole very well. There aren't any other references to storms or weather carrying intrinsic power or changing things, and I don't think there should be. We don't need another "source of power and change" to make sense of; we can hardly handle the ones we have! I say scrap the Storm-born.

I like the mushrooms personally; it’s not so much that they are special, just that the order of the inebriate thinks they are special and helps to fill out their doctrine.

The Strom-Born have been a point of contention for me as well. On the other forum (see Mostly’s post on page 6) my advice was to make them an independent true-breeding race who have a culturally different view on the nature of Nifflas, believing it to have once been a ‘whole’ world which was sundered by the leviathans.

I advocate for their existence on the grounds it gives opposition to the inebriate’s church.

Don't drink the holy-water; we don't like it when you drink the holy-water.

Hi Kord's Boon--

I can see that it would get boring having the entire surface of every island covered with refuse. Still, I dislike this: "mostly, there are abandoned buildings and machines." Just look at how many references there are to old mattresses and doors in version 1.1. I still want to see plenty of mattresses and piles of rubble and doors and old boots lying around outside of the big junkyards, not just machines and buildings.

On that note how many mills do we want to give explicit page service too, we have four currently:

-Mill of names
-Mill of corpses
-The third Mill (in the Day)
-The Forgotten Mill (Unknown location, eats hope)

I really don't have any idea on this one. I guess it depends on how many really good ideas for different mills we can field, as well as the direction the mills and dragons take as a whole.


Setting up the Storm-born as a true-breeding race and putting them in tension with the Inebriates could work well. I definitely think if they're kept, something needs to be done with them above and beyond the snippet we have now. They need to fit the setting and have a solid place within it.
"The storm-born? Ah yes, we have quite a lot on them. They have been around as far as anyone can remember. Incredible abilities, all of them. There have been those who claim to see storm-born shoot lightning bolts from there hands, call down fire from the heavens, and teleport from place to place better than a geshret. I can hardly give credence to all these claims, but I can tell you a bit about there history.

All the Storm-born have pure white hair. You know that, of course, you've come asking, but it is in a librarian's habit to tell all the details, and you will forgive me.

"Or else."

"Anyway, the first knowledge of the Storm-born came two thousand years ago. Some say that Nifflas hasn't been around for that long, but to that I say 'you cannot ever prove to me that Nifflas hasn't started existing two minutes ago, let alone two thousand years.' Hm. Cursed abstractists."

"In any case, the historical accounts differ on what was happening on the Yebba Dim Day at the time. Some say it was a pirate coalition, some say it was an empire whose influence spred over the islands. Some say that cabbages grew on trees and all who lived in the Day could eat like a king. The last one is poppycock, since cabbages don't grow on trees, but the first two I give credence too. Regardless, the ruler of the Day sent a fleet of skyships to the sky, to see how high the Inebriated one's roof was. Some accounts say they flew past the sun. Higher and Higher they went, until they found why the sky was blue."

"This is the part that I have the hardest time believing. There is much debate over what it is said they found there. All that can be assured is that whatever they saw changed them. Many where on the brink of madness, seeing the great blue in front of them, and that was when the skystorm swept in."

"Apparently, the water went up, out into the great blue. Spirits of great storms filled up those who had gone half mad. And the storms changed them. Granted there children great power."

"Now the storm-born still ride those ships, of that we can be sure. They make great use of the thermals that sweep in front of thunderclouds, sweeping into the Day right before a great storm."

"Of course, there are those who say that instead of filling some men with clay and fire, the inebriated one filled the storm-born with lightning. Or cabbage. The translation is a little uncertain, but I'm almost certain that it was lightning."
-A Nameless Librarian
It should be noted that this Librarian spent decades in the deep reaches researching the storm-born, and it is very possible that is how he lost his name and then his sanity.
I believe the storm-born were originally created from two sources: One, the Edge Chronicles (a fantastic children's series) in which storms hold power, and two the need for a race analagous to the Eladrin. I would agree that maybe it's time to rethink them, make them fit in better with the story.

And about the junkyard business, personally I don't think the two ideas have to be mutally exclusive. In Yibba-Dim-Day space is at a premium due to the fact that it is the most habitable island. Except for the forgotten spaces, every available inch is used (So I can see one person's old mattress being another person's wall). However, out in the skerries, who knows. Many of them are unhabitable, so I can totally see huge amounts of junk on those.

One thing that has always kind of bugged me is: How do people get water? Especially in the Day. You'd be surprised how much water a person goes through. It can't be constantly raining. Maybe there are great tanks and reservoirs in the Day. Not a big deal, but I think there should be atleast a note of it.

Edit: Argh, don't you hate having a post come up while you're writing? On the other hand, such a great post. I like the idea that there's an entire ocean above Nifflas. I think what exactly is above and below should be left undecided (like the dragons) if this is ever published, but I'll definitely be toying with the idea for a while Delfedd, great work.
Oh definitely. I was trying to keep the idea of "It's an ocean" kinda subtle. Maybe I was a bit heavyhanded.

It doesn't have to be an ocean. Could be a giant field of blue cabbage. Goblin has a lot of words for cabbage.

Water... lets see. Well, there's the simple idea of the water trade, but that's not enough by far. Maybe at the core of every island is almost a molten core, but instead it's liquid. It's constantly drawing liquids in from the surrounding air and rain.

Yes, I am proposing water mines.
A:"Sir! We've hit the motherload! Wells four, five, nine, and thirteen are all filled with water. And corpses!"
B:"Corpses?"
A:"It did fill up rather fast, sir."
B:"Then how did you get out?"
A:"Made a raft out of me co-workers, sir."
B:"All...right...then."

The water thing doesn't need to work for all the islands, just Yibba-Dim-Day, since that's the only one with logistic problems. The water mine thing is pretty interesting, but I'm not sure.
It's not like it's bountiful. It'd be sold off to the highest bidder as per the usual.

The interesting thing about watermining is that it has a tendency to come into... contact with the underrealms.
Just to clear things up - the idea about the junk was really just because I didn't want all the Islands to be thickly piled in junk. I do agree though that just having a bunch of abandoned buildings makes it too generic.

@Transformer - In a lot of ways, Nifflas is my brain dump. I worry about it becoming too gimmicky too, but really I don't expect all the ideas I spit out to necessarily fit together. I figure I can always hammer them out later, or at least relegate them to the rumors section.

I also agree that the exact discovery the expedition made should be kept secret. Perhaps they found that the ceiling of the junk room was just painted blue, perhaps it was a sea? They're all too mad to say, in any case.

About water - that was a problem I've been avoiding for a while. I came up with one idea - that the clouds periodically roll in over the islands, and Nifflians collect the moisture they deposit. That seems like it wouldn't generate nearly enough for everyone, though. I suppose we could always have another mill generate water, but that seems a little too easy. It's always a backup, I guess.

Also - I've been thinking about Religion in Nifflas. As cool as the idea of the Inebriated One is, I feel like we do need more. For one thing, I'd imagine that the Church wouldn't be able to make its teachings Universal given the isolated nature of the Islands. Perhaps some people worship Dragons? Maybe there is a group of people (The Elves?) who worship the Sky in best pantheistic style (though that smacks a bit too much of the "Elves as tree-hugging nature-lovers" stereotype)? I had an idea a while ago about a God called "Susurrus", who was a sort of collective consciousness made up of all the sentient books in the Library.

Finally - I was reading bits of the Sigil setting, and came across something called the Spiral Cathedral. It is, essentially, a giant pile of Churches and Shrines, with the most popular ones at the top levels and the small, unrecognized cults at the bottom. A person who walks to the top is constantly surrounded by the followers of various religions hawking their Gods, attempting to gather new followers and perhaps move up to a higher level. Perhaps something similar occurs in the Day's famous marketplace - a thousand splinter religions selling eternal salvation and promises of fame and glory, for the very reasonable price of twelve bedsprings (or equivalent) and a year's worth of memories.
About the water, I've been thinking, and I think the best answer is a composite of a couple of different ideas. In atleast one of the islands there could be a vast underground or artificial reservoir, combined with cloud-catching, as well as a thriving water-trade.

Spiral Cathedral sounds pretty cool. I always pictured religion in Nifflas to be just that, thousands of small cults and followings, a few universal ideas, but no real cohesion.
Ooh, I like the Sussurus.

How I explained it to my players was like this.

Inebriated one is like the Christian god in America. There are other gods, but they're from far away. There are some people who have other religions, but they're not in the majority (such as the raven queen or the Cuckoo king).

The other deities are perceived the same way the mainstream media perceives other religions. Kinda weird, but perfectly acceptable.
And since there is no direct intervention from Nifflas’ deities no-one has foolproof evidence they are the one true path.

Don't drink the holy-water; we don't like it when you drink the holy-water.

Mm. I like the idea of "Cloud Catching", Jaimes_Gaines. It suggests to me that, rather than simply waiting to collect water that rolls in, there are people who actually go out and chase clouds. Ships covered in giant suction tubes and water processing plants, sucking up clouds and selling the water to a thirsty populace...

Delfedd - I think that's probably the best way to approach it, at least in the Day. I think there would also be countless splintered sects of his church, which argue about things like His exact level of drunkenness and how big His junk room really is, and whether he can balance on the head of a pin when he's had a tad too much to drink. Also, while we're on the subject of the Inebriated One - what do His worshippers actually do? Do they all get wasted at church? Do they ritually toss junk on little effigy islands? Do some people just go and throw the junk out of habit and not really believe a word of it?
Could He build a burrito so large that He Himself could not eat it?
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