It struck me while working on an update to Tholgrin’s (Unnecessarily Long) Guide to Adventure Packs – for me, some of the most memorable and fun environments to quest in are the ones with the “weirdest” surroundings.
Like the Demonweb. Or the Dreaming Dark. Or Xoriat.
So what were to happen if, say, the Devourer of Dreams (who, as a Quori, isn’t “killed” per-se when defeated, but rather reborn within the dream realm once again) were to take up a little partnership with Belashyrra with the express intent of forming a rift within Eberron, whereby the insanity of the Plane of Madness and the terror of the Plane of Nightmares could spill in, uncontested.
And, of course, only something on the scale of a raid could contain the level of mind-bendy-ness that I’ve been envisioning.
What we would have is a multi-level, gravity-altering disasterpiece of previously unseen proportions. Built with the general environmental effects of The Dreaming Dark with the “partially subjective” gravitational sourcing of the Demonweb, leaping off a platform to another floating chunk of icky-I-don’t-really-want-to-think-about-what-this-is-or-was Xoriat “architecture” might result in a directional rotation, whereby you are then “standing” on what was the “wall.” So everyone else who hasn’t jumped yet is looking at you sideways.
Which will, of course, make exploring this terrain for the first time a group effort of leaps of faith and, on occasion, manually altering which direction is “down” via the use of Mystical Object Of Immense Importance To This Arc Which (Unsurprisingly) Appears Nowhere Else In The Game.
Think, if you will, H.R. Giger meets Super Mario Galaxy with a healthy dose of M.C. Escher and Labyrinth swirled in for good measure.
Not to mention the complete and utter chaos of the (envisioned) end fight – an extraplanar aberration of near-deity power, the Devourer of Madness – a multi-limbed fusion of the Devourer of Dreams’ form incorporated into the avatar of Belashyrra’s body in a horrifying mockery of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, hereafter referred to only with the placeholder title “The Big Ugly.” Armed with the chaos of Xoriat beholders, illithids, Quori and Living Nightmares, the fight would be a tenuous balance between keeping the heat on The Big Ugly and limiting the volume of trash, all while trying to keep out of nightmare-fueled pounce attacks which leave folks in its wake suffering unblockable psionic damage and being stunned.. just before gravity flips and those stunned are unable to float to icky chunks of tenuous safety, instead plummeting into a pit of “dream spikes” until they can make their way out.
Sideways, of course. Or, if they stay put long enough, they’ll eventually just fall out once more as the cube-shaped final chamber rolls and various permutations morph the terrain.
The only way to “destroy” The Big Ugly would be to deal enough damage to weaken it and survive while the Mystical Object of Immense Importance Etc. charges up – at which point, the party will attempt to have The Big Ugly travel through the Mystical Ring it creates, suspended in the center of the final fight chamber. (Of course, if any of the parts of the Mystical Object are damaged too much from trash on the floating islands in the center, they’ll have to be killed and the Object Parts repaired.) Once The Big Ugly flies/falls/is flung through the Mystical Ring, it will then split back into Belashyrra and the Devourer of Dreams, who can then be weakened and killed simultaneously. Failure to do so will result in the one who was “downed” being reabsorbed by the other rushing over to their aid, thereby “reassembling” themselves back into The Big Ugly… and then the Mystical Object will need to be powered up again.
This is not intended to be an easy raid, but rather one which would require several people to perform multiple jobs – protect the Mystical Object parts, keep trash down, keep heat on The Big Ugly, then split into teams to work together to break the two individuals down once they’re no longer fused.
I don’t expect to see this in game, in truth, ever. I’ve made a half-hearted attempt at a content pitch before, and if I recall correctly, the official stance (even then) is that original player-based submissions are not being considered for development. But it’s still fun to think about. ^_^