Lascaux is an old recursion stretching tens of thousands of square kilometers wide, covered in gargantuan geographical features. Forests of redwood trees stretch up thousands of meters, with a canopy obstructing most of the sky above. Plains of tall grass meters tall stretch on for as far as the bright sun can see, all surrounded by colossal mountains that ring the edge of the recursion. Wide but shallow lakes number only on a single hand yet are wide enough to be on the horizon, taking up about 1/4 of the land of Lascaux. The mountains that ring Lascaux seem far in the distance, but it is possible to arrive at them. Small passages that were dug seemingly long ago vein through the mountains. Travelling through them will take you directly into the Strange. It’s dangerous to leave this way, since swarms of Kray and other Strangers swim about its nucleus, trying to find a way in.
The sky is bright and blue, unfettered by the smog of air-pollution that even rural areas of modern Earth suffers from. Those who stay in Lascaux will notice that the sun is slightly smaller, and the climate is that of cool autumn or spring. The moon is much larger than that of Earth’s (but in reality it’s just closer in that context). The day/night cycle is shorter than normal, with 12 hours of night and only 10 hours of day. The people and fauna of Lascaux have adapted to this cycle quite easily. Night is much more active than the docile day, with shooting stars and the undulating mass of the Strange shining down. Creatures from Earth’s recent past (from a cosmic perspective) survive and thrive in this environment. Mastodon, Indricothere, and ground-sloths are just a few of the myriad beasts that graze during the day, yet dive for cover at night. The regular fauna (elk, hawks etc.) are all exponentially larger than normal, with stag being two and a half meters at the shoulder. None are intelligent nor do they have the spark. That won’t stop a Wooly Rhinoceros from charging you, however.
The humans of Lascaux are Paleolithic in origin, a time even before the great Native American tribes. The average technological level is stone or flint based weaponry with bare hide clothing, and fire considered as a luxury. The language is incredibly basic, with seemingly pre-Sumerian roots and no real script. They do not make homes, but wander the plains of Lascaux in nomadic tribes (usually groups of 4-8). At first glance they seem cautious and downright scared of the forested regions. Upon closer investigation crude figures have been drawn on some trees bordering the forests. These basic figures represent the Animistic spirits that inhabit the forest and were drawn to ward them away. If one looks closely, they may spy the cruel visage of Cernnunos, the Horned God.
When night falls upon this prehistoric land the most active wildlife emerge in full. Skulking in the dark are dire wolfs, short-faced bears and many other ancient predators. At this time the Spirits awaken, and wander the lands freely. The runes Humans scribe to keep them away often are just superstition, but occasionally one will be infused with spiritual magic. Often the spirits will simply break the weak magic and hunt down those who inscribed it, other times the spirits are kind and could not be bothered. It is not known where the spirits come from, but they are powerful in their ways. Ethereal creatures resembling the animals around them, Spirits resonate with primal eldritch magic. They each have a unique personality and possess the spark, making them dangerous if given knowledge of the Strange. They command the powerful elemental energies that are inextricably bound to the land and use them to guard against dangers towards the environment. This includes breaking apart any efforts humans may have towards civilization (but these are rare).
Persons of Interest
Cernnunos the Horned God:
Cernnunos is the self-proclaimed ruler of Lascaux. Standing nearly three meters tall with rusty roan fur, he is a humanoid figure with many striking features similar to a stag. Knees angled backwards with powerful cloven hoofs, he can sprint at speeds as fast as 20 kilometers per hour. His head is that of a stag with dark eyes that betray little to no emotion. His eyes and antlers radiate chaotic energy, instilling fear in their hearts of prey. Unfortunately for recursors, humans are his favorite quarry, and his great hunts are always attracted to quickened individuals if at all possible.
Cernnunos seeks new and thrilling prey, and hunts them down with his powerful hunting abilities, and the pack of spirits in the form of dire wolfs that follow his every command. He uses a short bow made from the tusk of a mammoth, and a tomahawk made from wickedly sharp obsidian. He takes perverted pleasure in frightening and exhausting his prey, leaving them to the mercy of his dire wolfs. He cannot be convinced to stop hunting you if you happen to be his quarry, yet it is possible to converse with him through his pseudo-telepathic abilities. It is not true telepathy, since he can only convey bare emotions, or possibly a word or two at a time. Anyone who speaks with Cernnunos in such a way must succeed on a difficulty 5 intellect check or become unable to move for one round.
A powerful spirit that glows dark purple in the night, Lal’Assu takes the form of a large Eagle Owl. It commands power over the stars and the sky, using them to paint arcane vistas across the night sky. Not only that but Lal’Assu has the spark. He yearns to leave Lescuex and travel through the Strange to learn as much as he can. However, he cannot translate, and most recursions could not support his form (much less Earth). To further his knowledge he seeks to “uplift” the humans of Lescuex, although he has been met with little to no success. Whenever he gives them knowledge to help them survive, Lal’Assu has unfortunately been forced to watch as other spirits tear their meager thatch huts apart with fire and energy, or in abject horror as they are slaughtered by Cernnunos. If he could somehow either give them enough power to help them save themselves, or change the spirits, he could finally get his wish…
One of the few humans to have reached past his twenties, Dal is also the only human with the spark in Lescuex. Having been taught by Lal’Assu, he watched as his entire family was savagely butchered by Cernnunos and his pack of spirits. Lal’Assu and another spirit whose name has been lost intervened, saving him. Unfortunately that spirit died in the fight, but Lal’Assu was able to stop the act of his death. Cernnunos considers this a personal offense, and has tried multiple times to find and Dal. The shamanistic lore Dal was given by the owl-like spirit has prevented Cernnunos from finding him. Dal created a small wooden cabin and enchanted it to float like a feather upon water, so he spends most of his time floating on a large lake, fishing and writing down his thoughts on wooden tablets with thick charcoal slivers. Here Cernnunos is not able to hunt him, although Cernnunos is working on finding a way to do so, in-between his usual hunts (which have turned more savage with his aggression).
Places of Interest
The Binding Circle:
Standing tall on the border between Lascaux’s largest lake and its greatest patch of forest stands an ancient relic. A ring of 12 tall pillars made from once polished stone, the tarnished and worn columns stand equidistant from each other. They surround a small decaying ziggurat made of dark red material. It is smooth where not scuffed and rapping it with your knuckles shows it’s hollow. Any attempt at breaking the ziggurat either fails to break it, or releases a blast of arcing light that kills any who try. Inscribed on the ziggurat are glowing black runes that decipher as such: “In the dregs of the Great Dark lies this long dead tyrant. In the darkness We bind Him.”
Kilometers into the dark forests, the elemental magic Lascaux concentrates in strange fashions. One such artifact is The Chasm, a small depression in the ground lined with weary stone stairs. At the bottom of this small circular depression is a hole three meters across. On the rim of the Chasm is a metal lip engraved with archaic runes that are dead, no longer giving off the glow of magic. The hole seems completely endless, and no rock dropped or light shone can show any sort of bottom. No being knows who constructed the hole or what lays at the bottom. Could it contain some great horror, or some great treasure? Does it drop down into a prison, or directly into the Strange?