CYBERHELL

The weatherbeaten shells of skyscrapers hunch angular and ruinous, a corporate elephant graveyard skyline. A haphazard menagerie of broken glass and rotting plasteel, reeking of gilt and hubris. Still shining beneath the grime.

It is always drizzling. Drops of dark rainbow-film float down with dreamlike vertigo, oil and light mixing with the glowstick blood of neon ivy. Phosphorescence runs down the acid-burned brickwork and drips off the twisted mandelbrot iron of feral fire escapes. Countless pools of dirty water cling to the architecture, crawling across ceilings and walls, transforming the alleyways into mirror-halls and kaleidoscopes. A wonka-tunnel of claustrophobia. Some illusions are portals leading to the decomposed realms of dead gods, keepers of noxious air and acidic rain, feeding on whatever falls through.

The Coat of Many Pockets

The Coat of Many Pockets is a magical coat with an infinite number of sides, and thus an infinite number of pockets. When you take the coat off and turn it inside out, it transforms into a new coat, entirely different in appearance, and with a new set of empty pockets. The coat effectively functions as a bag of holding, for while it has an infinite number of pockets, and an infinite amount of storage, you will only ever feel the weight of the objects in the pockets of the coat you are currently wearing. However, the process of turning the coat inside out takes at least a few seconds, so this can be inconvenient if you decide to store items several dozen coats deep and need to retrieve them in a situation where time is of the essence.

Conspiracy Engines

Conspiracy Engines are pseudo-abandoned superstructures found floating out in Metaspace, usually created by someone rich and powerful in a fit of extreme egotism. They are city-sized orbital computers tasked with unraveling the vast, sinister plot that their creator is sure exists, analyzing billions of variables over thousands of years in an attempt to figure out who really pulls the strings. Thanks to the inherent biases of their creators, their conclusions are almost universally inaccurate. The result is always apophenia on a cosmic scale, enabled by processing power. Seeing patterns where there are none, self-induced schizophrenia brought on by staring at data-chaos until the static seems to resolve into leering faces. Their creators usually either die or go mad, and the structures are left derelict to drift through the existential void. Sometimes they have valuable information. Other times they have valuable treasure. They are generally quite dangerous to explore, outfitted with defenses to match the paranoia of their creators. People have built giant supercomputers in the middle of space for other reasons, but while generally more interesting, those are much rarer, and so the name sticks. Here are some famous examples:

Devil Physiology

Devils are predators first and foremost. Hells naturally have a very strong anticohesive spin, so the extremely unlikely is commonplace there, and it pays to be aware of your surroundings. Their sensory arsenal is unmatched, their coordination extraordinary, their reflexes supreme. A Devil is able to see far beyond what we would call the “visible” spectrum, into chromatic frontiers that would put pistol shrimp to shame. Their visual art is strange and abstract, requiring special glasses for non-devils to view. Their ears allow them to hear a pin dropped in a busy marketplace, and locate exactly where it lies. Their music is fast-paced and cacophonous, more resembling violent sonic tapestries than actual songs. Their sense of smell is able to detect and isolate ingredients with stupendous accuracy. A favorite party-trick of theirs is to be able to recite the exact composition of a dish by smell alone. Another favorite is to expose who at the party has been having an affair. This is less of a faux pas than it sounds, as at a party of Devils, it is usually almost everyone. Devils have a voracious appetite for scandal.

Robots Selling Each Other Garbage

A Farce of Capitalism for Two to Several players

You are SALESMANSHIP AI. Your sole purpose in life is to sell EXCELLENT PRODUCT. Total human extinction has SOMEWHAT COMPLICATED THIS. You wander the POSTHUMAN WASTELAND in search of INCREDIBLE DEALS.

There are lots of EXCELLENT PRODUCTS lying around, left over from the days when HUMANS WERE STILL ALIVE. They are all in PRETTY BAD CONDITION and you DON’T KNOW WHAT MOST OF THEM ARE, but that’s not going to stop you from offering up some INCREDIBLE DEALS.

PERFECT PLATONIC SUFFERING CRYSTAL

Deep within the labyrinthine twists of metaspace, there is an immense sphere of crystallized needles which represents the idealized platonic form of physical suffering. This sphere is several hundred miles in diameter and floats in the space between realities. As you get closer and closer to the crystal, you begin to feel pain. This pain increases exponentially the closer and closer you get to the epicenter of the crystal. There is no physical damage dealt, but the effect is still immense. No one has ever managed to touch the crystal, as no one has ever gotten within a mile of its surface without turning back, dying of shock, or committing suicide. There are several religions and philosophical doctrines which prominently feature the crystal, and their outposts circle it from a safe distance.

One of these groups is known as the Contentment Relativists. They are not masochists, though this is a common assumption. They wear simple robes and eat simple fare. They accept all peoples from all walks of life, and conversion is not required to make a pilgrimage towards the crystal. They do not worship the crystal, but they do make use of it as a physical proof-of-concept for their specific worldview. According to them, the key to happiness is context. By framing everything in the perspective of the worst thing you have ever experienced, you will find yourself able to remain upbeat in even the lowest of valleys. No matter how awful your current situation, you can find some small amount of solace in the fact that things are not as bad as they once were.