I just tossed this idea around on reddit forum for Cataclysm. Thought I’d post it here too.
On a seasonal basis(every 2 seasons?), access to an Eldritch Castle would be allowed. I
guess this could spawn when the world is created, but “invisible” and inaccessible until
the time arrives. Given that its seasonal, this will give plenty of time for players to prepare
and advance themselves, as well as finding appropriate gear for their builds.
As the title says, it is a floating castle from beyond the 4th Dimension, the Far Side of Nowhere.
Let’s call it “The Floating Ziggurut”
It would have the following:
[ul][li]Roughly 4 Z-levels. Lower level is “Breeding Pits”, Middle 2 is the Castle, Top layer is the center final boss area, the Ziggurut. This is only accessible from the middle castle area. [/li]
[li]Once the Floating Ziggurut arrives, players will see its shadow over the terrain as blinking indicators. Much like how we can see NPC spawns from a distance[/li]
[li]All portals and tears in reality will converge on the castle/Ziggurut. To get into the floating castle, players need only to step into a portal on the ground. [/li]
[li]Once in, players will arrive next to a portal leading to a random groundside area nearby(not water). They will be on the outer battlements and outer wall of the castle.[/li]
[li]One way or another, players will make their way past the outer walls into the castle, getting strange items and weapons from beyond, or perhaps from the bodies of lost XEDRA explorers in hazmat suits and carrying crowbars(hehe).[/li]
[li]After fighting through the castle, disabling traps, and solving the occasional puzzle, players will reach through a staircase the Ziggurut level. The Final Area.[/li]
[li]The Ziggurut looks oddly like the Cathedrals but grossly organic, filled with cultists, mad and mutated, in procession, all bowed to the Voremouth. The final boss. SHUB NIGGURUTH. IA! IA! It guards 4 altars, each with an artifact behind its gross body.[/li]
[li] First players fight off the cultists. Easy. Then the Voremouth will spawn waves(3-4? Like the Amigara event) of eldritch monsters from beyond. Difficult. A notice will tell the player when the Voremouth has finished spawning a wave, and the player will have to damage the monster as much as possible. Very difficult. Like fungal spire difficult.[/li]
[li]The Beast is dead and we have won. The Voremouth is killed by the player. But the castle yearns to return to its mother realm to repair its, having lost its heart powering it. The player must escape before the countdown ends through a portal on the outer walls. Or just jump off(parachute item?).
[/li][li]You will not survive if you stay. Monsters will pour from the walls if you stay. You may stay after the countdown if you have a death wish. Regardless if you kill every horror, the castle will be sucked back into the 4th dimension, bathing the place in strange and deadly particles, some known to scientist and many unknown. You will die.[/li]
[li] Should you survive, enjoy the loot! 4 artificacts, strange fruits from beyond(that may poison, mutate, enhance temporarily or permanently), bioweapons from beyond, stuff from the occasional dead XEDRA explorer, etc[/li] [/ul]
And now a story of one such person.
It calls. A floating eldtritch of pulsing biochemical spires hovers silently outside the city. The animals have gone silent. The zombie hordes continue to walk to unseen rhythms. Perhaps as big as a mansion of the pre-cataclysm days your eyes tell you. This is a haunt, a castle full of strange and warped beasts and 4th dimensional demons. Even from the ground, you see strange slithering shapes dance around it, while the very walls and battlements seem to breathe with a strange life.
You feel it tugging at you. From the castle and further above, a great vortex of swirling energies has violated the virgin sky, opening a window to darker origins and alien skies. Faintly, you see fungal towers floating in the sky beyond. [b]It tugs at you[/b]. You feel yourself at the cusp of something [i]greater[/i]. The rush before the fall. The crest before the ocean tide crashes onto the naked shore. Like obsidian, pregnant with its mother volcano's former power.
You must go. There, to the Far Side of Nowhere.
Whether by determination, curiosity, or dark pride, you submit to one of the many portals littering the city nearby. With your abilities after several seasons, the monsters around it are no match. Darkness. You awaken at the end of what seems to be a massive pulsing vein, throbbing with strange liquids. Like vines they spread throughout the spongy and ancient castle floors, disappearing or reappearing into the walls or cracks. A biologist's and electrician's dark collaboration could best describe this place. But no matter. You've seen them before. Fiends from the Far Side of Nowhere. The 4th Dimension. The XEDRA Experiments. The Dark Ones. You've heard all their names and have yet to discover more. They walk among these halls, hostile to your intrusion.
You’ve arrived at one of the “outer walls” if that could best describe it. Strange sacs and fruits power up the mutated bio-turrets that litter the outer walls. Some simply slime you. Others fire prickly spines, as deadly as bullets. Maybe there might be an underground passage avoiding these. But who knows what claws await you there. Massive breeding pits line the basements, filled with horrifying larvae and their fierce broodmothers from beyond. That is one way in. Or perhaps killing the sacs here at the walls will cut some of the turrets off from their food…
Regardless, you've reached the insides somehow. These ceilings resemble odd ribcages, while veins and engorged blood vessels pump vile fluids throughout the halls and body. Insanity or a lack of water may provoke some to drink these fluids. But you will never be the same after. Monsters stalk the halls. Traps await at every intersection. Weapons from labs or from beyond can be found. If you hunger, eat the fruit if you dare. Some look tasty and promising. Others with a hint of violence behind their tangerine skin.
“Eat the Fruit if you dare” says a Serpent’s voice in the dark places of your mind
"And ye shall be as gods!"
Fruit or no fruit, you go on. The inner halls to the heart continue to pulsate with the strange blood vessels. You feel the air becoming heavier and moist, like the incubation halls in some of the labs you've encountered. You remember those labs, filled with grotesque sculptures of twisty biology. It is no different here. Some of the brick floors feel spongy beneath your feet. Staying to long on these floor sections may cause you to sink. The basements are always an option, but are filled with breeding pits, which run through the underground sections of the fortress. Some of these you can flood randomly by severing key veins. But reach the heart you must. It calls. The inner sanctum at last. How similar it appears to a cathedral of old. At its heart, a dark altar of artifacts(4). A strange "voremouth" pulses between the 4 altars, guarded by cultists bowing in awe Some are like you, lured by promises of riches and pleasure. Others are deformed beyond meaning, crafting strange bioweapons from their dough like arms. [b]"IA! IA! SHIB-NIGGURUTH![/b] The Voremouth, or as the cultists call it-Shub Nigguruth, is the fleshy center of this womb, a great eye whose irises show realms beyond. All the veins and blood vessels you've seen before all converge on this area. Like a throne, its fleshy mass guards the 4 altars, each with a glittering artifact of power. It spews dark energies into the skies above from its crown of mile high tentacles, polluting the air with its sickening moist breath and foul image. This is indeed a womb, and this [i]Thing[/i] suckles the very energy around it, waiting for the time to bloom. You shudder at what will happen then. The cultists turn and charge at you, angered at a heretic in the chambers of their infant god. But they fall before you by skill and weapon. The Voremouth roars, deafening you. From its lidless eye, it begins to spawn waves of horrors from beyond(3?). But they fall before you. 3 waves of them. Difficult, but not impossible. And before the Voremouth can spawn more horrors, you kill it. In its death roars it releases its grip on the 4 altars surrounding it. They are yours now, along with whatever else you may have gotten from this foul place. But it is not over yet. Shrieks resound through the halls. You feel a tugging at your heart, stronger now. Weakened, the castle yearns to return to the Far Side, and begins its ascent up into its mother realm. You will not survive the trip there. Strange particles discovered by some and unknown to all will bathe this place. The onslaught of monsters will be too much. Some may wait here and kill as many monsters as they can, which will arrive soon-and simply accept their fate. But you will not. Quickly before the countdown ends, you reach a portal, fighting confused, stunned, and enraged monsters along the way, lamenting the loss of their infant god. And before the castle returns to its realm, you escape through one of the portals on the outer walls or in the basement breeding pits. Those with a parachute may simply just jump off. And you made it. With a trove of strange fruits(some may mutate randomly, others empower you permanently or temporarily), bioweapons from beyond, arcane items, and powerful artifacts, you made it.
What else could stop you now?