Adam’s Retroverse DM Blog: Entry 4

Entry 4: Quadrant Contents - Iosia












In addition to pop-culture references, there are more than a few nods to the reality of the world we live (it’s somewhat of a occasional modus operandi of mine when it comes to campaign design, as you can tell from the podcast). Quadrant 1: Iosia, is certainly not an exception. I apologize in advance for the shorter article, but, like another area of this face, Iosia is shrouded in mystery on purpose. Well…a better way to describe the narrative state of the quadrant would be to say that gathering intelligence here suffers from a major breakdown. Much like North Korea, the nation that governs much of Iosia’s landmass is a hermit state. Unlike North Korea, it is crammed full of somewhat advanced technology. I have no plans to paint regimes like this in a cool tone (there’s not enough phthalo blue in the world for Bob Ross to even pull that off successfully). You’ll just have to wait for the story of this quadrant to be told in its own time. I only hope that it’s compelling in the end.


  • Iosia is a quadrant dominated and suffused with Code energy that few rarely (safely) traverse. One singular political actor, The Iosian Netocratic State, governs most inhabitants of this quadrant.


  • The Sea of Ios is the lone body of water that blankets roughly 3/4ths of the quadrant. It is arguably the most inhospitable body of water on this face of the cube, and possibly all of the Retroverse. This “honor” is bestowed upon this ocean due to the inky, reflective blackness of its “water” at all depths, surface to bottom (which no sentient creature has ever seen and returned to tell tales of), and the dangers that lie within. One could try swimming to the bottom but would almost immediately find themselves blinded by the opaque liquid, chemically burned on all patches of exposed skin, and covered head to toe in cuts and lacerations received from the near-invisible shards of glass and larger glassbergs that are abundant on and below the surface. The only creatures that seem content with these conditions are seafaring holo-beasts of all shapes and sizes, who can swim through these shards, unaffected. In contrast to its deadly nature, the beauty of this quadrant shines at the end of the day, when the sea, almost always flat and still, perfectly mirrors the night sky, surrounding sailors with stars above and below. Should one wish to navigate these waters, special boat hulls are required to withstand the shards, glassbergs, and acidic nature of this sea.


  • The Iosian Peninsula is the chief landmass of Iosia. From above, one would mistake it for a colossal, ill-placed, black rectangle jutting out from the face’s main continent, and those who venture across it would find the surface as equally flat as the sea and made of an extremely resilient and reflective glassy material. The edges of this peninsula are perfect 90-degree angles, with cliffs that rise 400 meters above the Sea of Ios. Nothing grows on this land, and therefore one will find no wildlife except for herds of holo-beasts whose fleshy counterparts would usually be found in grasslands.


  • Data Falls is the name given to the large, jagged chunk missing from the Iosian Peninsula along its northwestern edge. From it, waterfalls of the dark, opaque liquid gush into the sea. This 400-meter-tall, 80-mile-deep breach serves as the sole entrance to The Iosian Netocratic State.


  • The Iosian Netocratic State. Unfortunately for the average denizen and most, if not all, nations of this face of the cube, very little is known about the reclusive, hermit nation that resides within the glassy, metallic confines of the Iosian Peninsula aside that it is a vast metropolis lit only by the few rays that penetrate the smoky, quasi-transparent, crystalline ceiling that separates it from the world above. Few actually trade with this state and its people, leading many to speculate that it might be an entirely self-sufficient society. More than a few merchants and businessmen who have journeyed to offer economic opportunities reported that often those who travel with them choose to stay there, starting a rumor of some glorious, digital utopia. The INS is immensely protective of its borders and its people, chasing away nosey intruders with armed drones that patrol the peninsula’s surface.