Serial Setting 2 ~ Week 16

The Casting Shadows blog’s second Serial Setting appears in weekly installments and is scheduled for a 6-month run. This series is focused on providing basic details for heroic pulp adventures for the Ubiquity Roleplaying System as presented in Hollow Earth Expedition. These ideas, set in a fictionalized and mysticized version of the Korean peninsula in 1936, present a community oppressed by faceless enemies and their own countrymen. It will additionally suggest routes, leads, and hooks for GMs to entice groups based elsewhere in the world to get involved.

16  The Comprehensive Manual of Internal Navigation –   Circular logic works best when one is being forced to travel in circles

One of the sites which will come to be known for its early development of printing, the Korean peninsula has at times, spread great wealth in the form of compiled knowledge printed for many, and horded by a few. One such compendium bears a title which is profoundly confusing to all who read it, and leads to misfiling and misrepresentation by those who have not read it, or only claim to have done so. The titles of the Manual of Internal Navigation, or its most complete version, the Comprehensive Manual of Internal Navigation can often mislead modern viewers capable of reading the older chinese characters in which it was printed with wood block, changeable-type presses on series of long scrolls. Older readers were equally confused, but far less likely to categorize the work as a military one, or one relating to Buddhist physical training.

The work is in fact a guide to the navigation of a place known as the Inner World, and it speaks of spatial and temporal distortions in very clumsy language which quickly persuade readers to give up and study something else. Like many works of great insight, the reader does not truly comprehend what they read, until they have already a great deal of experience with the conditions it describes. The work is not intended to teach a way, but rather to confirm that the reader is on the same path as one who as walked that way before.

The manual does not reveal how to enter the Inner World, but it does deal exhaustively with how to navigate successfully once one is there. Groups who have experience with travel in the Hollow Earth may find that careful study of the text allows them to deal with travel there far more successfully should they venture there again.

With the ongoing search for written material from Korean scholars, a find with some or all of the scrolls for the compendium may turn up, or be sent with other collections out of immediate harm’s way. Such treasures may come into the hands of characters, heroes and villains alike.


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