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supernal

Terrenus: The Black Market - Obsolete 2017-04-28

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Everyone knows what a black market is. That place, that sweet spot deep in the heart of any nation no matter how pitiful or how grand, where a guy can find whatever his heart desires if he's willing to pay the right price. And sometimes that price needs to be in more than just coin and paper.

Steam vents somewhere far off with a loud hiss. A finger with an icy tip traces a chill line all along your backbone, feeling out the ridges of your vertebrae. You've heard the rumors, things that in the broad daylight seem incredible and unbelievable and exaggeration, and are now concrete, menacing promises hiding just out of sight.

You're deep enough into the labyrinth that the voices from the main street, voices that somehow offer security or at least the comfort of knowing you won't die alone, fade into a nebulous mist. That's when the maze of twisting pathways all end on a single road, and at the end of that single road is a single door. Broken down and battered, pissed on and abused, but standing now and would be standing in a hundred years more.

You approach the door. Behind it, all your dreams, all your fantasies no matter how twisted or perverse or filled with self-loathing or psychopathic hate, all of them at least had the potential for realization. The carnival, the only place on this sweaty mess of a planet earth where a rotten-toothed stick-up kid might find himself within arms-reach of a king of crime.

Having already been told the gristly tales of anyone dumb enough to try and open the door by its knob, you reach up and flick the lightbulb with your middle finger. It comes on and bathes you in a light tinted with a pleasant but unnatural shade of blue. Your skin tingles. You wonder if the tip you paid greasy money for was bad and you were about to die, when a ding announced that you had passed the test. Built-in alignment scanning system. Good guys got zapped, bad guys got let in, neutral guys set of an alarm and eyeballed as they worked their way through the market or peddled wares.

The door opens and you step through. Everything changes as soon as you step through the threshold, the sensation of being stretched like a rubber band and shot across the sky pervasive and undeniable. Next thing you know you're staring into the open sky, hundreds if not thousands of thieves and heartless mercs milling before your eyes, weapons passing hands like bread and you realize you made it through.

Welcome to the black market kid. Abandon all hope.

~~~~~~~~~~



The door is in actuality a virtual private tunnel. It is not a teleporter, as that kind of technology or high-level spell would alert Terran authorities given teleportation laws, but is an invisible tube that moves matter and energy back and forth at incredible rates. The technology is based off of Terran warp-gates but has been modified. There are 36 of these tunnels present in Terrenus, three for each city.

An alignment spelled rigged into the initial entryway prevents creatures of pure good alignment from entering by way of shatter, disintegration, micro-laser, or good ol' fashioned poison, the cycle determined by a built-in randomizer. Neutral alignments are allowed through but alert eyeballs on the other end, and make it very difficult to buy or sell wares in some scenarios.

The tunnel leads to a [ABBR=A castle in the sky]laputa[/ABBR]. The original location of the Black Market was underground, beneath the Forgotten Woods where heinous crimes were committed and then memory of the crime erased so as to prevent ratting and divulging due to torture, but Terran affinity for earth soon became an obvious deterrent.

abandonedbywarpedbabido.jpg

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