Sunday, December 2, 2018

MEN WANTED

for expedition to find the bottom of the valley of kings, to live underground for an unknown duration, high risk of death by privation or predation, incredible rewards if we both succeed and survive.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Lake of Light

This underground chamber is a massive cylinder, 500 meters deep and 3 kilometers in diameter. The bottom 200 meters of the chamber is filled by the lake of light, the top 200 is occupied by the upside-down forest, and 100 meters of space separates them.

The lake of light is filled with water that glows, bright enough that the trees of the upside-down forest can live on the light. Many small fish and large crustaceans live in the lake, all of which are transluscent, the better to hide in the bright water. They live off of whatever falls from the forest.

The upsidedown forest is dominated by massive ironwood trees, on which grow numerous types of vines. The trees grow rocknuts and the vines grow berries. Ironhide monkeys swing from branch to branch, throwing rocknuts at intruders to knock them into the lake. A species of grey bee with cement hives pollinates the flowers of the trees and vines. Small birds live off of the berries, larger birds snatch fish from the lake below, and large birds prey on the monkey, as well as the occasional explorer.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Shattered Hive

Ghostly pale translucent grubs, chew the mud of an alien planet and huddle together in dark chambers. Once they were larvae, surviving underground until they could metamorphosize into winged insects but cowering in the dark proved a better survival strategy than flying, so now they stay adolescent forever. Once they were solitary, assuming any other life was hostile. Cooperation proved an effective means of gathering food and creating shelter, so their society became tightly bound, and then bond even tighter when the grubs began communicating through an unceasing ultrasonic song, carrying the thoughts of a nascent gestalt mind

Their carefully sculpted clay tower colonies became slumped over mounds and they began to die ever more frequently, from mold, parasites, and confused violence. Yet, in the depths of these mounds, individuals began to experiment with their own creations, churning mud into representations from their dream-like consciousness.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Pale Riders

Out of the pale morning sun, pale men on pale horses with pale hounds. But they are not men; their limbs are too long, their horses have the mouths of tigers, and their hounds move with the grace of cats. Their armor and weapons are made of polished bone, their hair is as white as their skin. They ride and slay until coated with blood, and then ride into the red setting sun.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Lesser Malformed Homunculus

Fundamentally, a humonculus is a parasite of form. Clay-flesh, the creation of which is beyond the scope of this document, can use a human body as its mold, stealing away shapeliness and poise for its own use.

The creation of a homunculus is a complex undertaking that can go wrong in many different ways. Errors in early stages of development usually force an early "birth", creating a small, weak creature that is of little use. If this happens, you can still recover costs by placing the malformed thing within the skull of a freshly dead body. If all goes well, the homunculus will learn to control the body, and thus still be able to serve.

Wants: Sensation. When malformed lesser homunculi view the world it is as if through smudged glass, when they touch it as if their hands were wrapped in cloth. They pursue pleasurable sensation without care for its nature or cost, seeking more and more intensity. Their incredible hedonism gives them incredible reputations; they can often be tracked down by seeking the sources of the strange rumors that are spread about them.

Needs: To obey their creator. Even malformed homunculi must obey their creator. They will bend meaning and interpret as far as they can, but they must obey the letter of a command. Use them but never trust them.

Morale: Malformed lesser homunculi rarely have a instinct of self-preservation. Their morale depends on their attitude towards pain. Some despise pain so desperately they will surrender upon merely being threatened with it. Others embrace pain as another sensation that can be felt intensely, and will fight until destroyed.

What happens if you eat this monster: The bulk of the body is human, and eating it has all the usual ethical, legal, and occult implications of eating human meat. The homunculus itself, is made of skin surrounding a core of disgustingly soft fatty meat. It is calorie rich, but needs to be cooked carefully to be made palatable.

What can be crafted out of this monster's body: The body of the homunculus is of great value, as it can be made into a clay-like material out of which replacement limbs and organs can be shaped.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

World of Mists

The world of mists is a terrarium, a cylinder carved out of an asteroid to contain a self-sustaining ecosystem. Spun for gravity, the interior of the cylinder has a surface area of almost 140km2. An odd effect of airflow through the spinning cylinder has led to permanent mist.

Approximately a third of the surface is covered in lakes and ponds, another third is marsh, and another third is forest. The constant mist has lead to massive amounts of lichens and mosses growing on every available surface. Moose wander the land eating lichen off branches, otters live along the shores of the lakes, and packs of wild dogs hunt through smell at night. The thick constant mist forces all animals to neglect their sight and depend on other senses. During the day you can hear moose bellowing to each other, and at night the dogs howl.

A village has been carved into the sheer cliff that forms one end of the cylinder.. The villagers tend to moist gardens and maintain necessary machines, living meditative lives of routine, including exercises that maximize their hearing. It is because of these exercises that they have become aware of the wanderer, a being that has never been seen. It may be able to see through the mist, for it has always been able to avoid even silent pursuers, but in quiet twilights one can hear the sound of its heavy steps as it roams.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Punctuated Equilibrium

Long after the singularity, after a million miracles had been tried and left wanting, after the reconstruction of the solar system into countless ruins, after the creation of great minds who cared for nothing but their own thoughts, humanity endures.

Then, each new invention promised a new world, a new way of life, a new future. Now each new invention promises more wealth, more power, and more prospects, but is always found to be costly, impractical, or useless.

The renovations of Mars and Venus would have made new Earths. It would have been a labor of centuries, but subsequent generations proved unwilling to pay the great costs. They support life, but they are not Earth-like. The solar system would not be adapted to suit Earth life, but Earth life was adapted to suit the solar system.

Then, humanity assumed that the creation of great artificial intelligences would be its greatest work.  They were long anticipated as the harbingers of either heaven or hell, but they only introspect, answering no questions and telling no truths. They are only feared when they are not forgotten.

A thousand peoples have lived and died, but only the tenacious and omnivorous survive. There are many peoples, but only some are human. Humanity endures, but the great wheel of time grinds innovation into tradition, and tradition into stagnation.