The countryside is home to underground caverns, in which grow and are harvested psionic crystals, outcroppings of resonant amethyst which allows many people to use the innate psychic powers of the gems. These grow in a wide variety of places, and they allow people to communicate telepathically, see into the past, view distant places, and shape people’s thoughts and emotions. These abilities do not allow for telekinesis, though; the crystals’ psionic abilities only affect thoughts and senses, not matter or forces. The crystals themselves, however, do glow, and enough gathered together will illuminate underground settlements perpetually.
As people live peacefully above or below ground in worked or natural caverns, architecture takes on crystal-inspired shapes. Some are simple geometric structures like pyramids or Platonic solids, while others incorporate jagged lattice-like growths evocative of raw quartz. At least one culture instead embraces curves with almost no sharp angles: they consider their structures signs of mastering complex arts beyond mere polygons.
The people that use the psionic crystals are a progressive sort: as the commonplace minerals permit telepathic communication, art and the exchange of ideas flourish. Scholarship has a competitive but esteemed place in society, alongside theater, which often dramatically reenacts historic battles of times before telepathy changed society over 300 years ago. Among both men and women, unisex robes, arm bands, and a head crest with a psionic gem installed in it are considered common garments.
Some insist that in the deepest parts of the world is a cavern, wherein lies a mind trapped in amethyst, who has spread its telepathic influence among the people with the spread of its psionic crystals from underground. These people who refuse to use the crystals themselves speculate on a conspiracy to make people more docile and less warlike, in preparation for some eventual take-over, and that a mysterious but easily forgotten tattooed man may be the crystal’s puppet. Most dismiss the claims: after all, if people are less violent, isn’t that a good thing?
(I do not own the images in the above collage, and all copyrights belong to their respective owners.)
Go to another world …