Fictional leakage, drawing on the imaginations of thousands of residents of Earth Prime, has created some truly breathtaking recursions, places like Ardeyn and Old Mars, where beautiful vistas, noble adventurers, and derring-do for the good of all are the order of the day.
It’s also drawn on some of Humanity’s darkest fears, and most sane recursors know to avoid places like Cataclyst and Treachery if they know what’s good for them.
So far, not many recursors know about the Midnight Building, but the word is slowly spreading.
And the word isn’t good.
Getting Past the Doorman
Still a relatively young recursion, the Midnight Building takes the form of a single, massive apartment complex, similar to Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong or the Centro Financiero Confinanzas in Venezuela. Like those buildings, the decor ranges from threadbare to derelict, with hallways lit by dim, flickering fluorescent lighting, walls sporting cracking paint or peeling wallpaper, puddles of water formed under dripping vents, and the overall pallor of neglect and decay. All windows to the outside have been boarded up or bricked over, and characters will find these barriers impossible to break through.
Whether translating to the Midnight Building or coming by way of a gate, travelers always first appear in a random empty apartment. Some have radios or televisions that are tuned to static, others sport half-eaten meals or cigarettes still burning in ashtrays. All of them are abandoned; in fact, the recursion seems to sport no inhabitants other than those who come here from outside of it. This perception is not entirely accurate, however, as those who insist on exploring the building will come to find out.
Those who undertake recurrent visits to the Midnight Building will learn that its architecture is never the same way twice. Sometimes, it’s 50 floors high, other times 100 floors; sometimes the parking garage is 10 levels deep, other times, it has no parking garage. If a group of recursors is already in the building when another appears, then the building will conform to the layout “established” by the first visitors, but as soon as they leave, it will start to subtly shift; doors that lead into hallways before now lead into closets, and the empty first floor is now populated by a number of ransacked newsstands and convenience stores.
It should be noted that, while getting into the Midnight Building is easy, getting out is not. Translating into the building is a level 3 task, but all other recursions are considered level 6 for purposes of translating out, unless the destination recursion’s level is higher (both are modified as usual by any special abilities pertaining to translation that a recursor might have). Gates operate normally, but might be hard to find if the building’s floorplan has changed.
People who wander the halls and apartments of the Midnight Building long enough often get the feeling they’re being watched.
That’s because they are.
Shortly after arriving, recursors will begin to notice strange, disturbing events: appliances turning on and off of their own accord, distant screams whose sources are never found, shadowy figures half-seen in reflective surfaces.
Staying in the Midnight Building for too long will eventually prompt a visit from the recursion’s only true inhabitants, the onryo. These creatures are drawn to the living in the hope that they might be released from their unending torment through the completion of unfinished business, but as they are simply creations of the Midnight Building, with no true histories (and thus no true wrongs to right), their desperation inevitably turns to rage, as they seek to destroy those who “won’t help them.”
The GM can use the stats for ghosts found on page 60 of The Strange Bestiary for onryo, or create his own brand of murderous, nigh-unstoppable spectre.