Denizens of the Wastes—Dusters


The Dusters are a not a group so much as individuals who share a philosophy. Dusters believe the Shambling was the end of the world, that the Shambles trod everything to dust, and that if an people are still alive, they represent the last gasps of a dying world. Dusters typically doubt their very existence and, when questioned, wonder why those who believe they are alive are so certain. Trying to prove one’s existence to someone who doubts his own can be quite frustrating.

For many Dusters truth is important. The only problem is no one knows what truth is. Any attempt to assure a Duster of the veracity of a claim will be met with doubt and cynicism. Dusters often assume they have better discernment than others, and if a person presents a truth, a Duster believes the person is most likely a fool or a liar.

Some Dusters find reason for a jaded optimism—the world is destroyed and everyone is dead, so things can’t get worse. Others see every triumph of “evil” as a sign of the state of things and every triumph of “good” as futile. Most dusters don’t believe in absolute good or evil, defying those who insist upon such morality. Those who use magic to ascertain goodness or evil sometimes try to sway a Duster, but Dusters counter that the magic gives a relative, not objective, answer. If a Raider detects as “evil”, it’s because he is opposed to the one casting the spell, not because of any absolute idea. At least that is how the Dusters see things.

Dusters often refer to those who created the Shambles as Revealers, instead of Ruiners. To the Dusters, these people ripped the illusion of life from the world and let the more thoughtful see things as they truly are. Dusters don’t revere the Revealers, but they appreciate knowing the truth of existence.

Dusters and Religion

Dusters believe the Old Gods may have existed, but they are now dead. And their beliefs put them diametrically opposed to the Acolytes of the Arks. Dusters see the Shambles as destroyers of the world and that Vernlarum has had its final armageddon. Some Dusters stand outside of gatherings of Acolytes and try to explain the lies of life to them. Other Dusters regret their own ability to see through those lies and wish they, too, could be fooled into having faith that the world was saved.

Dusters as Adventurers

Many Dusters make a living adventuring. The philosophy lends itself to a life of risk and reward seeking, as Dusters find no great reason or purpose to hold down a steady job. Neither do Dusters have trouble confronting desperate situations—to a Duster things cannot get more desperate than a so-called life on a dead or dying world.

Dusters have advantage on checks to determine if they are afraid, as they have already confronted their own mortality. However, Dusters have disadvantage on checks to persuade, bluff, or act diplomatically—their belief that life is meaningless and hollow comes through in their personal interactions. Many Dusters are adamant truth-tellers, and they do not strive to make their difficult truths more comfortable.

Some Dusters see it as their sacred duty to see that the world finishes it’s process of dying. These radical Dusters band together and strive to deal a dying world its death blow. They scour the land looking for ancient artifacts of power that would cause the world to finish gasping and finally die. Most Dusters see this take on their philosophy as foolish but no more foolish than the other things people believe. And certainly less foolish than believing the very things that destroyed the world were the things that saved it.