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The Bloom is a unique and very complex living organism, considered by numerous outcasts as their home and refuge. It is located on a canyon northeast to the city of Sagus Cliffs, in the Sagus Protectorate, and is the location of the third act of Torment: Tides of Numenera.
People who live here are very superstitious due to the nature of the Bloom. They came here in hope to escape a fate worse than living in such a dangerous place, but sometimes they did not make such a choice at all. Some of them are here by accident, by stepping through one of the Bloom's portals.
The Bloom is an enormous, living predatory city at the base of Sagus Cliffs, its black and tarry tendrils reaching out to anchor itself against the gorge walls as it creeps toward the sea. It subsists on the thoughts and actions of those who dwell within it, subtly encouraging this behavior in its residents, some of whom it will occasionally devour in part or whole with its many Maws. Its interior chambers and great fleshy folds provide any number of places for someone to live and hide, and its hidden pathways can lead daring merchants to great secrets… or to their dooms. The pathways are sometimes one-way passages to new worlds.
In itself, it is a massive Numenera, and could be categorized as a discovery. Its assumed original purpose was to create pathways between several points in space and to other dimensions, as its body extend way beyond what can be observed. But it is also a very dangerous predator, who often eats its inhabitants thanks to its 'Maws'. It seems to track individuals of certain kind of intelligence, with changing tastes through time. Its particular predation and its ability to open portals to other places are likely to be linked. Its structure and aspect are always evolving, and it grows ever bigger while moving very slowly, a few inches every year. Everyone who tried to examine and quantify it too closely has been disposed of by the organism.
There is a battle for control here that occasionally spills into the open. The Memovira (a crime lord who rules the Bloom, to the extent that anyone can) controls the trade and the gate to Sagus Cliffs, but other gangs and factions jockey for power and wait for her to misstep. The most notable of these are the murdens in the Old Slave Block, the mutants of Little Nihliesh, and Artaglio's crew from the Chiurgeon Slump.
Sagus Cliffs and the Bloom share a long standing relationship. In the past, the Bloom served as a host for the city slaves, but two centuries ago an uprising overthrew the power in place and left the strange place. Now, the Bloom welcomes the city outcasts as well as its merchants, who use the Bloom to bring back exotic merchandises from other worlds and dimensions. Also, the city doesn't hesitate to send large amount of its detritus through the Bloom's portals.
Deep inside the Bloom exists a place, called "the Gullet" by the locals. This is where the "Maws" send the people they swallow, half-digested, to die in a long agony. The minds and memories of the victims then join some kind of organic stew and wander in the form of transdimensional echoes in the Gullet's tunnels. The place has its own ecology created by the Bloom itself, with creatures who hunt any trespassers. Lost artifacts and ancients machinery from distant worlds or times can also be found there, half-submerged in Bloom-flesh. Even deeper in the Bloom is located the gigantic organism's heart, and its conscience is more aware and malignant there.
Behind the scenes
The Bloom is a game area of the Torment: Tides of Numenera video game. It was designed by George Ziets, who produced a 150-pages document on the subject. The area gained more importance during the development of the game than it was originally intended, when announced in the Kickstarter campaign. In time, it gained the status of the game's second hub, instead of the Oasis of M'ra Jolios.
The Bloom ability to open dimensional portals is most probably inspired by Sigil, the City of Doors from Planescape: Torment, where everything could be a portal, or a key to open it.
Sketch of the same area, by Daniel Kim