Planejammer Campaign Setting
The Land of the Lost
The Land of the Lost
Gravity: Normal gravity. The Land of the Lost has gravity similar to that of the Material Plane. The usual rules for ability scores, carrying capacity, and encumbrance apply.
Time: Erratic Time. Time that slows down and speeds up, so an individual may lose or gain time as he moves between the Land of the Lost and other planes. To the denizens of the Land of the Lost, time flows naturally and the shift is unnoticed.
Size: Finite size. (50 Miles) Self-Contained Shape.In the Land of the Lost, the borders wrap in on themselves, depositing the traveler on the other side of the map.
Morphic Traits: Alterable morphic. Objects remain where they are (and what they are) unless affected by physical force or magic. You can change the immediate environment as a result of tangible effort.
No Elemental or Energy Traits: Specific locations may have these traits, however.
Mildly Neutral-Aligned: Though it may contain high concentrations of evil or good, law or chaos in places.
Limited Magic: Spells and spell-like abilities of conjuration (teleportation) and the travel domain, are impeded when used to travel beyond the confines of the Demiplane. The only way in or out of the Demiplane is the use of the Time Doors.
LimitedPsionics: Powers and psi-like abilities of the psychportation discipline, are impeded when used to travel beyond the confines of the Demiplane.
Ecosphere: Sleestak | Pakuni | Dinosaurs and Creatures | Food Availability
Technology: Light crystals | Pylons and Matrix Tables | Skylons
Geography: The Lands Heart | The Lost City | Library of Skulls | The Builder Temple | Mist Marsh
The Land of the Lost is a very small, closed pocket universe that consists of a valley surrounded by mountains. A traveler attempting to pass over the mountains will find himself reentering the valley from the other side.There is one major river flowing through the Land, forming a similarly closed loop; it flows into a cave at one end of the valley and comes back out again in a waterfall at the other end.
The climate of the Land is tropical, and the valley is filled almost entirely with dense jungle. Other major landmarks include a tar pit, a misty swamp filled with dead trees that appears to be locked in darkness even during the day, some high bluffs containing natural caves, and a narrow canyon or chasm that extends into the mountains. The Land lacks a nickel-iron core (or at least a magnetic field), rendering compasses useless.
The Land appears to have three moons. The smallest is also the fastest, moving visibly through the sky. Considering the unusual cosmography of the universe in which the Land is located, however, it is possible that the “moons” are artificial or otherwise illusory.
Manipulation of a Pylon’s crystal matrix table caused the motion of the sun and moons to halt, suggesting that the entire sky may be an illusion. Conjunctions of the moons appear to trigger the activities of some Pylons, including the elevator Pylon and the possession Pylon.
The 2009 movie incarnation of the Land resembles that of the original series, but is actually a dimension where timelines converge. Outside an area of dense jungle is a vast desert where various things, ranging from ice cream trucks and limousines to ferris wheels and oil rigs, crash-land upon arrival and attract the attention of hungry dinosaurs within minutes.
Conversion by Loki, in memorial to Jason “Green Lantern” Deas
Closely associated with the Weather Pylon are small flying golden bipyramidal objects the Marshalls dubbed Skylons. When the matrix table in the Pylon has been tampered with in a destructive way, Skylons will arrive and hover over the Pylon, while flashing a sequence of colours corresponding to the sequence of light crystals required to restore the table (usually the reverse order in which they were originally touched). Skylons also appear to respond to signaling with reflected sunlight. The Skylons are apparently only able to cope with problems resulting directly from mis-set crystal matrix tables. The Skylons are unable to handle problems resulting from outside forces such as the Zarn’s gravity drive, though they do indicate Zarn as the source of the problem. This may suggest that they are relatively simple automatons and not particularly intelligent. Rick suggests that they are “living machines” and possibly sentient. The door aperture in the Pylon is roughly the same shape as Skylons, but it is not known whether Skylons actually enter the Pylon through it. Instead, they were seen hovering around the Pylon at about the same level as its key. Will originally suggested they be called “Sky Pylons”, “Twirling Tops”, or “Golden Diamonds” before Holly finally agreed on “Skylons”.
The Land’s “Heart”
There is at least one location in the Land of the Lost where there should be a Pylon according to their pattern of distribution but where there is only an empty clearing in the jungle instead. The clearing has a hidden circular aperture in the center that sporadically opens to drop whatever was on top of it down a shaft into a black void. A jagged pulsating house-sized red crystal floats in the center of this void. Objects that have fallen down there “orbit” the red crystal for a while, but eventually the red crystal shoots the objects with an energy beam that pulls them into it. Rick Marshall speculated that this crystal was a “generator or giant heart” for the Land, and that it drew energy from what it consumed in this manner. Rick, Holly, and Cha-Ka fell inside the void once, but Rick managed to get them all out again by using his signal mirror to reflect the crystal’s beam back at it. The crystal reacted by violently ejecting all the remaining orbiting objects from the pit.
A nearby Pylon appears to be a control station for this pit with a viewing orb that shows the interior of the shaft.
The Lost City
The Lost City is an ancient subterranean city originally built by the Altrusians but now inhabited by the Sleestak and partly abandoned. It is built into the base of a mountain in a region of the Land separated from the rest by a narrow but deep chasm; a fallen stone slab bridging the chasm is the only convenient method of access. Externally, it consists of a huge plaza with an arched entrance, crumbling rectangular pillars, and three tunnel entrances set into a mountainside. The plaza is the home territory of an allosaurus. The Marshalls dub this allosaurus “Big Alice”, but the Sleestak call her “Selima”, which means “Protector”, because she keeps animals away from their eggs.
The left entrance to the City leads to the Devil’s Cauldron lava pool, along corridors with many stone alcoves used by the Sleestak for hibernation. Accessible through the central entrance is a fog-filled pit at least seven meters deep called the “Hole of No Return,” within which lives a carnivorous beast the Sleestak refer to as their god, to which they sacrifice people and animals as food. Sleestak legend tells that only once did someone escape from the Hole, but the legend doesn’t detail how; one possible route is via a narrow tunnel that runs from the bottom of the pit to the top, too small for the god to pass through and normally hidden by fog.
Also through the central entrance is a passage to a chamber containing a crystal matrix table, where Enik spends most of his time attempting to open a time doorway back to his original era. Near this room is a door with a Pylon key next to it, beyond which is a small opening that leads to a bottomless pit. In the episode “Elsewhen”, Holly descends into this pit on a rope, and she briefly finds herself hanging in the sky under an upside-down Land of the Lost. This bizarre vision is never explained within the show, but may be related to the closed nature of the universe that the Land is in; just as the river loops back to its origin, the pit may descend so far that it comes out in the sky overhead. (In Dorothy Fontana’s script this is confirmed as the scene is specifically described as the chasm being upside down and that the light that suddenly shines on Holly is from the rising sun.)
Although the Sleestak occasionally venture beyond the chasm above ground (The Sleestak God, The Stranger, The Hole, Circle, etc.), there are caves and tunnels all over the underground of the Land, many of which link to the Lost City. The Sleestak sometimes use these tunnels to hunt, chipping upward to create a pit trap and waiting below for prey to fall in.
A pristine version of the Lost City – presumably from the time of the Altrusians, and marked by structures which no longer exist – is briefly seen in both “Pylon Express” and “The Longest Day”.
Library of Skulls
The Library of Skulls (introduced in the episode “Fair Trade”) is a foggy cavern in the Lost City that contains glowing Altrusian skulls and urns on pedestals and ledges. The Library is a relic of the Altrusian civilization. As shown in “The Longest Day” and “Blackout,” the urns can emit a “sacred smoke” that induces a form of telepathy that allows the user to communicate with the skulls, and that also has the side effect of removing all language barriers, allowing Marshall to talk to the Sleestak for the first time. Lengthy exposure to the smoke causes hallucinations.
The skulls have various areas of expertise or specialization (e.g. the “Skull of History” or the “Skull of Wisdom”), and the “Index Skull” is an important starting point when asking the Library for information. They are also able to predict or prophesy the future, and they know at least some details about how to operate Pylon matrix tables. As knowledgeable as they are, however, the skulls do not appear to have any goals or will of their own; they only provide answers to the questions they are asked.
The Library is tended by a Sleestak Librarian, and the Sleestak Council and Leader consult the Library of Skulls on important matters. The Council and Leader claim exclusive rights to consultation, though they may allow others to ask questions under some circumstances.
The Builder Temple
Near the Lost City’s plaza is a stone “temple” (discovered by Will and Holly in “The Test”). It is avoided by Sleestak, as it is not an Altrusian ruin but rather was built by some other humanoid agency of great stature. Outside the temple there are two very curious artifacts. The first is a large stone obelisk which Will suggests might represent the Pylons. The other is a stone tablet with mysterious markings that vaguely resemble letters of the English alphabet. Rick posits that there may be a possible connection. Inside the temple is an empty antechamber with a sundial set into the floor, somewhat of an oddity since sunlight does not reach that far into the room. As shown in “The Musician,” there is a solid stone door at the back, and at the top of the door frame is a sculptured relief high on the wall of two hands touching; one hand is convex, the other concave. The door only opens when the “right” individual (Cha-Ka, in this case) puts his or her hand into the concave relief. Inside is an auto-illuminating chamber with “the great-granddaddy of all matrix tables” (as Rick described it). There are also several pieces of art including a chrome humanoid statue and a pane of hand-shaped glass.
When this chamber is explored in “The Musician”, Cha-Ka touched the matrix table and caused the appearance of a glowing red humanoid figure, along with colored light smears in the sky. The figure was uninterested in the Marshalls, telling them “You have already proven yourself; it is not your time.” When it encountered Cha-Ka and he faced the glowing figure bravely, it declared, “It is your time, Cha-Ka.” The figure morphed from a tall, featureless red humanoid into a boy – a more human-like twin of Cha-Ka – before vanishing. Cha-Ka was apparently left with a powerful ring and improved intelligence; at the end of the episode, he is shown playing music on a recorder that he had previously been unable to comprehend.
Farther away from the Lost City is another smaller complex also called “The Temple”. This other Temple is perhaps of Altrusian origin; its decorations include the half-sunburst symbol seen over the entrances to the Lost City. The Marshalls wound up using this temple as their primary shelter in the show’s third season.
The Zarn’s spacecraft rests in the Mist Marsh.
The Mist Marsh lies beyond a treeless ridge approximately one mile from High Bluff;13 neither Pakuni nor Sleestak venture near it. It is a dim, eerie, foggy field of dead trees, cloaked in gloom even during the day.
In the original script, the “mist” is described as having actual weight where it pours through openings in the rocks much like tiny waterfalls. While walking through one of these “fogfalls”, Will is actually pushed back by the force of the mist but remains completely dry. This was not included in the filmed version.
The Zarn’s spacecraft is located in the Mist Marsh. Like the Zarn himself the spacecraft is largely invisible, its streamlined shape outlined by spots of light that dot its surface. The Zarn’s ship uses a gravity drive. When operating, it can cause significant increases in the local gravity field.10 This causes lots of activity in the Pylons and Skylons, but the Land of the Lost cannot counteract it all. In an attempt to escape the Land, the Zarn at one point[clarification needed] attempts to use the gravity drive to destroy it entirely. The Marshalls prevent this by distracting him at a key moment, and the uncontrolled gravity badly damages the Zarn’s ship instead.
Vegetables: carrots, heart of palm, onions, potatoes, smilax, strawberries, turnips, grapes
Animals: chicken, eggs, fish, iguana, insects, pork, skunk, guinea pig, goat (mentioned in Season 3 Ep.8 but unseen), toad (jewelled, offered by Enik in Season 3 Ep.9 but unseen)
Others: water, salt
Shown, but not mentioned by name: corn, jicama, oranges
Note that some of these are not exactly like those in “the real world”. The strawberries and carrots, for instance, are quite a bit larger than the usual variety. Also, one supposes that the dinosaurs themselves could be a food source, and one character does mention that the Sleestak taste something like lobster.14