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The World of CryptoMuun
The waking eye only sees half of reality.
The blinking eye sees the other.
The world behind the eye which unfolds when we sleep; which in some circles is casually quipped as the third eye; which connects to the pineal gland; which receives names like dream or nightmare to discount its reality; which goes unexplored for eons; this world has been awakened. It is the World of Cryptomuun.
Two thousand years ago, in ancient Egypt, a vortex opened and a handful of men in armor riding great frothing stallions spilled out into a large underground cavern which turned out to be a large tomb. There was no place to escape to, no exit from the tomb, its walls made of alabaster and compressed sandstone. These men were knights, and they had been pulled into a vortex during one of those battles that is played out in movies and involves a lot of clanging swords, yelling, and bearded battlemen lurching through the smoke. They were from medieval Europe and wore heavy armored shells like shiny silver beetles. These same beetles now dotted the walls of the tomb and were intermixed with runes and hieroglyphs, some taking form as large scarab beetles and others morphing into more grotesque and odd creatures with the body of men and the heads of dogs and birds. To the knights, it was a place of confusion and disbelief.
After several long hours in this stifling box of a room, all but two men had perished. The oxygen was measured in tiny dust granules which swirled and fell around the mustached mouths of the surviving knights. The smell of death and horse manure mingled in a sweet and ugly aroma that clung to their hairy nostrils. The two knights were pale, weak, and lying across the tomb from one another in a slouched position held aloft only by their stiff plated armor, when a voice echoed through the air. It seemed to come from inside the walls and the men didn’t move, convinced that it must be the voice of an angel coming to take them to their brethren.
Their guess was almost correct.
It was the voice of an archangel, a magician, a healer, a goddess, and she appeared slowly as an apparition in the middle of the room, first transparent and then becoming more opaque and less ghastly. She was not there to guide them to their brethren, however; She was there to take their bodies and transform them into something more….useful. She was known as the Queen, and her world had many doors, many vortices, and many options. She was assembling her material, her chessmen: a group of players to assist her in the design of a new world, a world which took the best possible characters from ages past and Frankensteined them into individuals who would be resilient come disease, plague, drought, fire or death. Her world was known as CryptoMuun, and she had just begun to build her family.
While the men laid there, she stepped into their comatose conscience, lifting back the layers of their third eye and imbuing them with her magical transformative powers. She began to cast her spells and their bodies took on the characteristics of other warriors, other races, other sexes. Their armored helmets were replaced with sombreros, their faces covered in skull-like paint or removed entirely and replaced with the faces of Egyptian goddesses. Their armor peeled back to reveal western clothes removed from dust-bleached gunfighters, their swords replaced with flintlocks, with crook and flail. Once the Queen had finished her work, the Knights stood at attention, richly clad in their new garb as if they were blank souls that had just been dipped into a gooey brine of historical heroes and heroines. These would be her Knights, and next she would assemble her Bishop and Rook, and then her many Pawns.