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The Initial Vignette - In Media Res

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
Questant is a type of interactive fiction known as a forumventure ('forum adventure') or otherwise as an Art Quest.
Updates may be delayed due to asset creation, or otherwise erratic.
At some point this opening post will change (likely to show a "new reader? skip ahead to recap" option)

🛑This narrative is likely to explore mature themes. These will range from existentiality to substance use to trauma, and there are likely to animations that risk straining the eyes or triggering photosensitive epilepsy.
Specifics will be outlined at the start of an opening where they are relevant.

I will try to provide image descriptions in alt text, but may forget or find that competing with the energy I have available for running the quest.


A vintage store with an excess of lamps. One lamp atop a dresser has a holographic eye staring back at the viewer. It is adorned in rosaries and shines to attract your attention.


Another layer, and this one looks to be a vintage store. It's a bit heavy on the [ LAMP ] selection available.
Things seem stable. When that person said it, it'd made you understand when an area innately feels a certain way... the synesthesia you're experiencing explains why it's as though the air tastes both rosy and here to stay. This space feels anchored to itself.

[ You can rely on [ Entrances and Exits ] to this [ SegPock ] remaining [ Stable ] without interference ]
[ You feel yourself impressed upon the sensation that this space is a place of [ Refuge ] should you need it ]

As though deja vu it comes to you in waves. Was it like this where that person had come from?
You're calmed knowing there's nothing to run from here. There won't be barring the worst.
There's some mark of intent here, not just a memory but something shaped like a path on a hill. Its ontology handshakes with you in an embrace. it directs you to know:

[ A [ Shrine ] is located here. ]

[ Distance: close. It is an openly gazing lamp adorned in scaled and bone rosaries. It's eye is haloed. Should you look for it your sensorium will highlight it's location. It's dedication and attunement is to the the deiforme [ Eschate ] , the robust novice godhead of nostalgia, furniture, transient memories, and incense. ]
[X] Investigate
[ ] Consider
[ ] Traipse Elsewhere
[X] Introspect


> Introspect

You grip the scrapbook hanging from your side and turn your attention inward for a brief moment.

a user interface screen. the texturing of the image is intended to resemble scrapbooking paper. the point of view character has a messenger bag and scrapbook as containers on them, which form the other inventory preview slots (outside of the on person slot which they are displayed in). Among the displayed inventory are a pile of sticky notes, two bottles of sparkling water, a gel pen, and four protein bars. The character's name is unknown, along with their species and pronouns. The area where their talk and walksprites would be displayed is glitched out.


As the alien traveler had told you, a sense of what you have on your person, your form, wellbeing, and what others will know of you on your meeting.
"The [ Profile ] system is a decentralized peer to peermind interface. If your fate was to travel even a brief while it'll smooth out some encounters."

Introductions always carry that uncertainty of exposing yourself.. for now it sits bare. The idea of seeing a turntable model of yourself would be initially alienating to most, you think, and it's heitened rotating the absence of yourself.

In the wake of however you got here some things feel scrambled.. like your name or who you are even.
You know the world existed. You know you've not been here before no matter what the deja vu and synesthesia in each layer tells you.

[ ] Setup [ Profile ] to Inspect (Self or Other)
[ ] Check or Manage Inventory
[ ] Consider Other Query

> Investigate [ Shrine ]

You approach the [ Shrine ] and it senses your intent.
A plane emanates above the lampshade and curls itself to mimic a field of vision. The holographic effect gains the same sense of depth a window outside would.

the psionic eye projects a curved hologram interface


As it hums idly there's a subtle change in the air.. like the motes of dust and static re-aligned themselves.
A draft wafts from the [ Shrine ] console that has materialized.
It smells such that a notion declares itself to be that of rose incense. No smoke emanates with the scent.

A reclining figure comes into view.

the screen displays a serpentine bodied individual coiled atop pillows within some sort of chair. Their underbelly bears a crystalline texture likenable to that on their wedge shaped head. This head terminates in two tapering crystalline horns, from which a brazier hangs. The incense cone burning within the brazier produces smoke which clouds over their face. A psionic eye hangs and emotes atop that smoke. They wear two draped veils over their horns. They wear a feather manteau that look remniscient of wings. Their arms should they have them are not readily apparent. They emote with mandibles that run along their jawline.


The room they sit in hazes into and out from what the screen displays in response to your attempts to focus onto it.
All you see is some form of working space that opens to a corridor.

The figure projects a smile as it's gaze fixes on you, Welcome Questant to Eschate's shrine, a seed of refuge within the great rift.   From clues of context.. you're in need of assistance. The space that materializes in the interface is an office of sorts

The figure projects a smile as it's gaze fixes on you, "Welcome Questant to Eschate's shrine, a seed of refuge within the great rift.
From clues of context.. you're in need of assistance."

 I will act as your [ patronne ] in this instance.  Their eye closes as they introduce themselves, You may choose to know me as Korite, an alcolyte in service to Eschate.

"I will act as your [ patronne ] in this instance."

Their eye closes as they introduce themselves, "You may choose to know me as Korite, an alcolyte in service to Eschate."
Korite: "Without a [profile] to speak of I cant get an easy read of you." They say, "Do introduce yourself when you find the right moment."

Your voice is initially shaky.. until you find the footing to ask once again, "So, where do you think I am?"

Korite: "You called at a shrine, so beyond the obvious.."
Their head tilts, the incense burner remaining level as it wafts to fill the space behind their eye, "In a way it depends on how you arrived, but presently you're within a remix of memories, dreams, thoughts."

Korite: "Forgive my prying eye but I do believe that since you have the capacity for a [profile] already it means you've met someone other than myself so far in your traipse. You leave me wondering," They say with a wry smile "Did they answer all that differently?"

From that it's clear they know you'd ran into the kind stranger from earlier, and you divulge by reflex "We only had so much time to chat."
Their gaze tells you that you're not being interrogated, and you decide to relay your brief past whether it was waking up alone.. the [segpocks] you'd passed through..
that other you'd met..
and what separated you.
"I wanted another perspective on what's going on here.." You reply, and say in anticipation of what they might ask next "They did tell me to seek this place out when we got split up."

It's disappointing when the newly arrived dont get enough time with their welcome wagon. They say, making a thoughtful pause before moving on. I'll be escalating the matter of the [ Pursuer ].

"It's disappointing when the newly arrived dont get enough time with their welcome wagon." They say, making a thoughtful pause before moving on. "I'll be escalating the matter of the [ Pursuer ]."

It's not enough thinking about what you escaped, and you press asking "What'll happen?"

Korite: "We have some people who will be out on scouting and maintenance duties. They'll likely attempt to provoke an encounter with it, and decide from there what's the best way to proceed."
Rolling their eyes they say "It's not the sort of thing I handle."
"Normally I'd ask 'how can I help' opening a call with a questant, but you?"

Priorities change, and my own is to ensure you reach a safe exit. At present you're lucky. A cleric will be coming on for their shift and has time available to [ Passage ] their way and meet you.

"Priorities change, and my own is to ensure you reach a safe exit."
"At present you're lucky. A cleric will be coming on for their shift and has time available to [ Passage ] their way and meet you."

 They sigh and roll their eye, Unfortunately by the time they arrive.. it's more than likely I'll have guided you successfully to the rendezvous.  Their head shakes from side to side, the draped silk shifting and their facets glinting as they do this, So the matter sits upon my plate.

They sigh and roll their eye, "Unfortunately by the time they arrive.. it's more than likely I'll have guided you successfully to the rendezvous."
Their head shakes from side to side, the draped silk shifting and their facets glinting as they do this, "So the matter sits upon my plate."

 Those you'll meet will often be in the company of that which may be called a 'cognion'. Bred, caught, or assembled they find their way into our care.  It's often considered a base hospitality to offer others a 'starter' [ cognion ] so that their travels are safer.

"Those you'll meet will often be in the company of that which may be called a 'cognion'. Bred, caught, or assembled they find their way into our care."
"It's often considered a base hospitality to offer others a 'starter' [ cognion ] so that their travels are safer."

Korite: It's the flatter tone in their voice that tells you they're offering some sort of disclaimer, "It is worth noting that starters are liable to look a little simpler than these."
"These have each been through some form of modification, and only the one on the right is a construct similar to what I'll assist you in making today.""

Korite: "Our stables are bare in terms of a spare, so I'll preside over the ritual"

Korite: "Should a stray cognion seek to satiate itself with your ichor, your own can be called forth to safeguard you. Once distracted, you escape."
"Your cognion will aid you in the capture and hunting of other cognions. Cognion keepers often find further usages in the daily life, or in your case... traversing a [ NER ]."

They sigh. I would rather not make you waste time. You'll need to also have some form of [ innerscape ] for your cognion to retreat to. Otherwise it'll have to constantly be at your side.

They sigh. "I would rather not make you waste time. You'll need to also have some form of [ innerscape ] for your cognion to retreat to. Otherwise it'll have to constantly be at your side."

Korite: "Thankfully you already have a foci.. I'm talking about that scrapbook of your's."

You don't say it, but you do wonder how they knew about it.

Korite: "It's not like you're able to hide anything beyond line of sight at the moment.. with an inner world you'd at least have another barrier to prevent prying eyes from accessing your inventory.." Korite muses, "but hey, these calls are an open window. I can use my senses to see you plainly. It's not as though it's not my job to give you a look over and see whether you're carrying anything that saves us time."

Korite: Korite shrugs and leans back into their plush perch. "I could've done a scan, but the way you started things off confirmed the context clues presented."
"Anyway, while they may have taken a different path for now.. that sophont you met did right by setting you up with the baseline enchantment to start this whole process." They say. They look up into what you're not privy to and pause in thought, "I may need to thank them personally for making my job that much easier."

 When you're ready look through your scrapbook. Let me know when you find something to center yourself around. With a profile and inner world? You'll be ready to make your safe exit from this NER, or otherwise find sustainability in the void.

"When you're ready look through your scrapbook. Let me know when you find something to center yourself around."
"With a profile and inner world? You'll be ready to make your safe exit from this NER, or otherwise find sustainability in the void."

Korite: "Welcome to somewhere else entirely than you may have known. The collective unconsciousness remixed in endless forms. "

[ ] Examine your Scrapbook
[ ] Ask about the Cognion Ritual
[ ] Ask Korite about a topic
[ ] Chat with Korite about a topic

If your suggestion isnt picked I may still come back to it. I'll generally take the voted for command, ones I think help exposit, and ones that I think are interesting or funny

This Quest is being run and mirrored on Sufficient Velocity in this thread. I intend to mirror to MSPFA too.
My priority here will be mirroring updates every so often.
I can take votes / commands from this thread, BUT an update's posting may be delayed a week or more (for instance this is being posted in whole so far two weeks after the first SV update). Informational slash worldbuilding or similar posts will be delayed, but the SV thread is threadmarked.

Quests are a form of interactive fiction where you as the audience get to decide character actions, tactical plans, and other things in a narrative. There are two other quests, aka forumventures or Forum Adventures, in the text adventure style. As an Art Quest that means there's a bit of a hybrid style going on here.
I'd meant to make a thread explaining the concept of quests about a year back, and may do it still. I still intend to run a pokemon sandbox quest on here when I get back to it. In the meantime SV has an (albeit old) thread on this.
 
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Cognion Ritual for the Uninitiated

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all

[X] Ask about the Cognion Ritual

You're able to connect the dots from the way they phrase a cognion as being something assembled to the lack of one they can give you.
You're left wondering why a ritual is necessary, "If a cognion can be made why do we need the ritual? Is it a religious thing?"

Korite shakes their head almost immediately, "No, no, this is a ritual unconnected to my work with Eschate."
They explain, and their attention turns to whatever parallel interface they mess with to talk to you, talking as they go, "There are countless many sophonts who practice a ritual like this in the void," still idly talking to you as they manage what seems like what otherwise comes with their work, "and to both myself and others you could see the process of assembling furniture not dissimilar to the rite of base cognioneering.."
They pause with a squint before saying finally saying "but it is no matter.", and the shrine you stand talking at shudders.

The dresser distorts such like quicksilver, encroaching on the space of it's neighbors within the store and pushing the lamp to it's back.
The top sinks in a round bezel, the surface taking on a translucency that peers past what you could otherwise see before you.. and runes take their place to fill out that new hollow space.
Slots sit clearly for you to place something within them.. and its clear that they will be feeding the center

Voidtraipse%20Inspect_Shrine%20Korite_Dialogue_08_point5.png

Korite stares at the altar from the ui interface that has materialized atop the background, With pride they smile upon the transformed shrine's basin. There we are they say in gazing upon it, the shrine is not the most advanced, but it has the capacity for a ritual space all the same. Many rituals act like instructions to bend and sculpt unreality unto our own designs. Base materials form the substrate of the cognion's form with one's will guiding. That structure allows an inexperienced sophont a foundation.

With pride they smile upon the transformed shrine's basin.
"There we are" they say in gazing upon it, "the shrine is not the most advanced, but it has the capacity for a ritual space all the same."
"Many rituals act like instructions to bend and sculpt unreality unto our own designs. Base materials form the substrate of the cognion's form with one's will guiding. That structure allows an inexperienced sophont a foundation."

You recall the third cognion, "The 'construct', was it made this way?"

"Meluch's construct?" Korite asks, and as you note they let out a chuckle, "If only that was true.. or if they were gifted in cognioneering. No, no, Meluch's method is that of calling forth pure will. They are Kilonnese, and the Kilon had their constructs even before their various unfoldings."

The phrasing puts a sour taste in your mouth.. and before you can call them on it..

A new screen materializes depicting an individual using the power of their will drawn from their Heart Core combined with incanted sigils to bring into being a sigil construct cognion.. Sensing this Korite corrects, The Kilon way is not inherently inferior nor do I hold such a.. frankly bigoted view. As I said, Meluch is no [Cognioneer], and even then as an esper they arent exactly the most adept.  There are Kilon who make potent constructs for themselves by comparison to what we will likely bring forth, and Meluch's starter is.. a cheaply made one.

Sensing this Korite corrects, "The Kilon way is not inherently inferior nor do I hold such a.. frankly bigoted view. As I said, Meluch is no [Cognioneer], and even then as an esper they arent exactly the most adept.
There are Kilon who make potent constructs for themselves by comparison to what we will likely bring forth, and Meluch's starter is.. a cheaply made one. "

Sensing this Korite corrects, "The Kilon way is not inherently inferior nor do I hold such a.. frankly bigoted view. As I said, Meluch is no [Cognioneer], and even then as an esper they arent exactly the most adept.
There are Kilon who make potent constructs for themselves by comparison to what we will likely bring forth, and Meluch's starter is.. a cheaply made one. "

It is briefly reassuring, if only because you understand yet another skill those who call the void home choose to sculpt.. or dont (often?) in Meluch's case.

"I should be more careful in how I phrase these matters," the alcyolyte says swaying back and forth, "I've seen enough of still-folded worlds to know I must be better than spreading a prejudice.. and even were it truly less efficient, it wouldnt be excusable to look down on another's ways."
They bow their head towards you from behind the screen, "This is not among the misunderstandings it is fine to leave you with so new to the void, and with that you have my apology."

As the silence begins to pass they bring up the next visual, and sigh as they allow themself to relax.. leaving you wonder what that was really about.

I digress, the ritual will require you to select from what you have available to compose the substrate. An item or two, though a memory could also be used, they note and it transfers unto you, While we may not have starters in our stables there are a few inventory cores available, and as such I will contribute one through the linkage. ; the ui now depicts a version of the ritual you are undertaking in which a grave marker cross, an inventory system tesseract, the memory of a cat, and the very room you stand in are the reagents for the ritual, causing an object headed feline of the colors of the room to be synthesized

"I digress, the ritual will require you to select from what you have available to compose the substrate. An item or two, though a memory could also be used," they note and it transfers unto you, "While we may not have starters in our stables there are a few inventory cores available, and as such I will contribute one through the linkage."

"I will be the one conducting the psionic component, as while you may contribute meaningfully I dont expect you've attained the capacity to do workings of your own just yet. A statement of intent or otherwise a wish from your core will suffice plenty, like a word for us to etch into the cognion's pataphysiology."

As you are within a NER.. this is not all the ritual will involve.  The void *will* sense that what we seek to bring forth is incomplete in it's being.  As such  The Void Fills The Gap  We could use the same reagents again, and again, but the results will always differ subtly from the void's tendrils caressing our workings. ; inky tendrils of the void itself creep forth from cracks the rituals cause. the kilonnese cognion takes on textures and hues it didnt have before, with tinted claws and toes. the object headed cat becomes plush bodied and its palette shifts although it keeps the object head and tail

"As you are within a NER.. this is not all the ritual will involve."
"The void *will* sense that what we seek to bring forth is incomplete in it's being."
"As such [ The Void Fills The Gap]"
"We could use the same reagents again, and again, but the results will always differ subtly from the void's tendrils caressing our workings."

"Even in a demiplane like I reside there's a likelihood of that happening." Korite notes,
"More than likely it will neither diminish your cognion's capacity, nor will it overtly be a boon. The void's contribution will be what you make of it.. though it could be a boon (in disguise or not)"

It is one thing for the shifting landscape you traipse to have risen from what lies 'outside', but the way any instability can resolve itself.. you're not entirely sure what to make of the knowledge once again impressed into your psyche.

[X] Ask about Korite's Cognion

"Just about everyone has a cognion of some form here," You think out loud, leading to your next question, "Right?"

Korite tilts their head, "Yes, why?"

"What's your's like?" you ask.

Chuckling they clearly struggle not to flail their torso about, Ah, ah-  They slow, I have a few in my stead rather than the singular.  With glee they add, You do not know what door you've opened. I am more than happy to take a moment to share of my own.. but I must limit to sharing of one for now...

Chuckling they clearly struggle not to flail their torso about, "Ah, ah-"
They slow, "I have a few in my stead rather than the singular."
With glee they add," You do not know what door you've opened. I am more than happy to take a moment to share of my own.. but I must limit to sharing of one for now..."
(Choose 1)
[] "It is both aquatic and blessed with flight, this variant belonging to my species."
[] "The cultivated symbiotic relationship allowed a synergystic fusion, this one~"
[] "Convergently shaped like that of a cachelith, I managed. It is on the slimiy side.."



[X] Check Inventory


It's good to mull over your options, and so you opt for a distraction.
Checking your inventory will give you early leads on what to build your starter from.
On your person is:
(1) Messenger Bag - A Key Item ("for organizing your belongings") ; within it is:
  • (3) protein bar(s), associated flavors - ration
  • (2) fliptop bottle(s), mineral water - ration
  • (1) Gel Pen, voidtouched enchantment (segpock influence - color) - tool
  • (1) pile of pottery shard(s) - material (junk)
  • (1) frayed-off zipper - material (junk)
(1) Scrapbook - A Key Item ("for organizing your psyche") ; within it is:
  • (1) Memory Page containing (3) Long-Term Memories
  • (?) Memory Page(s) containing (?) Long-Term Memories
  • (2) Sticky-note Trappers - found on interior covers ("Hm, shouldn't there be another trapper in there?" - Alien Stalwarte)
  • (1) Enchanted Page, Voidtouched (segpock influenced)
(1) sticky-note pad, 20 note pages - material (paper) - kept within your pocket
(1) protein bar(s), associated flavors - ration - kept within your pocket

..and now you have a better idea of what you have to work with so far.
You're not sure how willing Korite is to allow you to backtrack or progress deeper just to find more materials to work with, and thankfully it sounds like anything you use will still result in a viable starter... even if it is junk you found.. or created.

[X] Examine your Scrapbook


You hadnt expected the stalwarte's assistance would really help until you saw it in action.. your lived experience an open book to you at last.
Even with the enchantment that granted you this boon you cannot remember everything as of yet.. empty or not many pages feel stuck as though they are cloying away from you. You feel you'd have spent hours turning the pages to answer the questions you're considering, but have found no solace as of yet..

A 3D model of a book lays open with the first page containing three pasted scenes. A dry brush forest pond remniscient of a gameboy game, the back room at an expo center where the exit door leads to a starry void, and a tunnel that stretches onwards seemingly infinitely under technicolor lighting sit there. the paper layer the images are on has lacey trim


You can however easily see the first page's contents, although they are not many the memories are made that much clearer laid out before you.
It's though you can reach out and touch them the way they glimmer and shift like a prism upon the paper. If you did it right you swear you could tilt the book about to change what the mind's eye looks at.. when you said that ey had laughed in delight, glad that you were taking to it well.

They're so clear like this.
Meditating on any one brings it back to your senses like you could play it over again. It's something that comes to your mind again and again.

Further in the pages become able to record your travels.

Alien Stalwarte (ey/em/eyr) said:
Small beginnings and all that.. but hey!! That book of your's is where you can keep traces of where you go.
You'll find a lot of folks keep their memories that way.. retracing your steps through versions of itself. It ain't a bad way to do it. It even points at where you were through the memory.
("Even when it's from before I fell?")
Yup yup! With a material world backing it that should get you some pretty damn strong coordinates.

So long as you take the time to trace your steps.. recording it into a sticky note and pasting it into the scrapbook will keep it safe, just like your longterm memories.

You'll need to set aside time to do that.. when it's actually safe to.

It's only a brief review, but you're left with yet another question regarding constructs and the nature of cognioneering, "Could I create a cognion made entirely of music?"

What joy it is to see a first-timer put thought into the process of creation~ The alien muses, You're in luck, you remember Meluch, yes?  He keeps two cognions, and the second is of bardic design.  Not made entirely of music, but the intent was one usable in tandem  to aid his workings of music. ; Meluch the Kilon is once again displayed but this time has a cognion the size of his body. it's sigil form superficially resembles a lyre or harp, and has a bow strung across the strings, which mount to the base, which threads into the resting spot of the scale quill. its function isnt wholly determinable

"What joy it is to see a first-timer put thought into the process of creation~"
The alien muses, "You're in luck, you remember Meluch, yes?
He keeps two cognions, and the second is of bardic design.
Not made entirely of music, but the intent was one usable in tandem
to aid his workings of music."

"I can attempt to steer things in that direction, but I can give you no guarantee that you will not find yourself with a cognion suited for use as an instrument," They explain "As opposed to a living song, if that is what you'd meant."

[] Ask or Chat with Korite (Write-In Topic)
[] Use a Past Command

An update is upcoming where character creation will happen. Worldbuilding posts can be found via threadmarks in the mirror. I'll mirror them here eventually.
 

Negrek

Play the Rain
Staff
Ooh, I really love the glitchy vaporwave vibes of this! And a little dose of horror, too. Very nice. I enjoy when alien locales really feel properly alien, and a bit dangerous. A rather disorienting beginning to an adventure, which seems appropriate, as this is a rather strange and disorienting place that we find ourselves in...

I'm guessing that the way this works with the mirrors is that basically anything posted in this thread is basically a "vote" towards whatever happens across all the places the adventure is posted?

One way or another, I think there are a couple places where we can give commands.

[X] "Convergently shaped like that of a cachelith, I managed. It is on the slimiy side.."

[X] Chat with Korite about incense
 

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
I'm guessing that the way this works with the mirrors is that basically anything posted in this thread is basically a "vote" towards whatever happens across all the places the adventure is posted?
Yup! I may run different adventures on both sites, but this one'll be updated on both sites. I cant always promise that the TR thread will be updated, so there may be an update I skip mirroring only for it to drop alongside the next one.
Voting closed on this update already, but I didnt want to have to do all the mirroring with three updates (or more) to go, along with it being a character creation update. Those tend to be a bigger part of hooking an audience.

X] Chat with Korite about incense
While I may have closed voting on which of Korite's cognions will be in the next update (I'm working on posting to SV rn), I am marking this one down in my notes for the next one, ty!

Also wanna say ty for the kind words! You've got a bit of the vibes I'm trying to get across, so that's got me optimistic for how it's reading to folks
While there may be a kindness to being lost in the void, it doesn't mean that being in a new place isnt scary.. especially when you only have so little to ground yourself
 
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Who Are You? - Character Creation

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all

[x] "The cultivated symbiotic relationship allowed a synergystic fusion, this one"


"Can I ask about the symbiotic one?" You reply, and puzzle over the meaning, "Have two cognions been fused into one?"

They smile with delight, "That they are.. well two species and more than two individuals."
Their attention shifts to key-in the visual, "Are you aware of clams?"

You nod, "The ocean-floor bivalvic mollusc?"

Korite squints immediately, "That would be a correct answer, but we are picturing different cognions with just the noun. I will clarify then: A clam of the void, or 'voidclam' as it were?"

You shake your head.

"They're a useful cognion you'll encounter on your own sooner or later, but for now.." Korite says as they bring up the visual

Another dialogue page with Korite who smiles as the interface shows their cognion. It resembles a series of clams that have grown together atop their substrate. A sprite-like creature of shadow perches atop the clam and it's tentacles writh, smoky tendrils trail from their shining eyes. It is time for you to meet.. Umbriel. They say with a delighted smile.  My Umbriel is among my current cognions, and showcases the time it took to care for both a voidclam and voidsprite in tandem. Umbriel for the most part refers to the largest sprite and clam, but the others in their colony do respond to the name too. They're fond of treats, as sprites are likely to be.

"It is time for you to meet.. Umbriel." They say with a delighted smile.
"My Umbriel is among my current cognions, and showcases the time it took to care for both a voidclam and voidsprite in tandem."
"Umbriel for the most part refers to the largest sprite and clam, but the others in their colony do respond to the name too. They're fond of treats, as sprites are likely to be."

"My largest voidclam Ariel, and my largest voidsprite Uriel, had a sufficient bond to transcend their symbiotic relationship and enjoin.. allowing a colonial form that buds off new members of both their species, along with the enjoined form too."
"Some may think that the fusion only hinders the strengths of both organisms. A voidclam that is just a bit more conspicuous, and a voidsprite unable to flit about the same way it once would.."
And yet, they beam, "AND THEY WOULD BE (partially right) WRONG. Uriel now draws from a direct pool of essencia they're attuned to wield, and Ariel has a dedicated stalwarte! As Umbriel they may not be a highly mobile cognion, but they hold a power that keeps an attacker at bay and can retreat should they come under fire!"

You nod, needing a moment to digest the idea before asking, "Like a living fortress with cannons atop the ramparts?"

Korite nods, "Very much a similar concept to their existence. They've done well since the fusion.. if you ever consider the route of fusing cognions, whether in a fashion as I've done or one more focused on integration of concepts and tissues, do pay heed to whether the individuals get along.."
They grimace briefly, "I havent seen the fairest results from a fusion of two that loathed each other, or were diametrically opposed. It takes an experienced cognioneer to navigate that mess.. or intentionally design it's making."

[X] Setup [ Profile ]​


The same profile ui from the start, although cracks have formed around the border, and the tendrils of the void have reached to fill the space where a name would otherwise go, leaving Zrom in the formerly empty space


With introspection you turn inwards once more to see those familiar cardstocks.
..and you could have sworn the name field was blank before.

Is that really your name?

You move onwards to set up your profile and find the scene filling itself in with those same paper textures.


Your mind drifted as you tried to piece together the stray emotions.. those motes of your selfhood you'd collected throughout the day that transpired so far. This was probably the most soul-searching you'd done in a while, and while you're unsure if you came to it easily in this moment or if it took time..

Your name was the first thing you could parse, and all because it said Zrom on opening it all up again... from there it'd hopefully get easier.

five alien species from left to right: the chriilth'tyn, eparai, human, kilon, and spooper. the chriilth'tyn is a tangle of tentacles in a hoodie with a musical instrument mask, the eparai is a short bird biped with psychic orbs that orbit their head. the human is well a human. the kilon has a sigil structure for their floating head. the spooper is a skeleton tangled with vines with a pumpkin for a head


Character Creation Sheet Notes said:
You can select a premade character, or create one whole cloth.
You can additionally vote for specific creation options.
If you create a character please format the vote as "[] I Am: (name)" and put the character application in spoilers. No character app needs to be complete, but understand that the void will fill the gaps (likely with votes). The most voted palette will override any character created, but feel free to include it for future usage.
For an example vote or two please check the end of this post
Name:
Pronouns:
Species:
Facets: Curious (replaceable), (Write-in or pick up to 2)
Hobby:
Description:
Palette: (You're welcome to pick out a palette, but this is only a suggestion for the submission as a background / reused character. Please list your palette vote separately)

Name:

  • []Zrom
  • []Write-in

Pronouns:

You're allowed to invoke He, She, and They pronouns, but only as a combination.
You're also welcome to select a set of neopronouns I haven't listed, but please do direct me to a resource on their usage like pronoun wiki or a similar website.

Species

A number of species that are used within the voidverse setting are owned by other persons and used with their permission, and in the case of three species for selection here were originally submitted to another setting and it's online encyclopedia, both of which being The Cosmosdex.
While the articles are presented for ease of understanding the species it should be understood that the articles are reflective and contextual to the cosmosdex's setting.
These summaries are modeled on the same format. I'm guilty of finding the cosmosdex to be a platonic ideal in fictional encyclopedia format.

Only the humans and kilon have a trivia section in these summaries, as the other species already have their own that suffices on the cosmosdex without lore conflicts (plus my plagiarism paranoia isnt strong enough to defeat my enjoyment of a friend's species article writing. go read the trivia, it's good as gholdengo)

Elements such as the "limbo gods" and other lore specific to the setting, or mentions of species that neither I nor those I have permission from own (ex Notails are cited in the chriilth'tyn article) should not be considered canon to the voidverse, and will not appear without explicit permission from those who hold the rights.
Unless the subspecies is heavily tied to the cosmosdex's universe, subspecies should be considered viable for the void's peoples.
This work, and by extension my setting project, should not be assumed to be affiliated or endorsed by the cosmosdex.
(I do however recommend you read the cosmosdex and it's associated webcomic fortuna if either sound like your proverbial jam.)

Summary
Have you heard of the Chriilth'tyn people? They hailed from a world that looked almost primordial, and below it's surface through snaking tunnels were their cities. They, like many species, unfolded, and now you may see one move through crowds fluidly, or adorned as an eldritch idol.

Behavior
Chriilth'tyn live their lives fairly casually, and tend to their affairs in the same regard. Unattended items are fair game to those who have the need or want for them, and they leave tokens as placeholders, often psionically signed so that they may be reminded to return it.

Physiology
Many of their species present as experiencing a bipedal model of some sort, but the nature of their physiology behind this presentation is one of having many tentacles that descend from their head and out from their highly flexible torso (the nature of their ribcage has been likened to a bistable auxetic material). These tentacles group to form the four limbs. The 'hood', though some will customize it through the many options one may have in redefining their form, is a leathery fibrous mesh that keeps their core and head protected from rain and potential predators alike.

Homeworld and Common Biomes
The Chriilth'tyn prior to their unfolding did not have a particular name for their world, and depending on the language may refer to it as "over there, place".
The surface appears to be simple woodlands, and those who manage to pass through the narrow and constricting tunnels.. or otherwise traipse in, will find the actual urban landscape of the world in the vast and extensive cave systems of the chriilth'tyn homeworld.

Skeleton?: would you believe me if I said yes? not like its worthwhile though
Cosmosdex Link

Summary
It isnt common you meet an eparai fond of crowds, as being hyper-aware of other's emotions means such a scene is one of sensory overload for most. Prior unfolding this is why their population density rarely pushed so far, and encouraged expanding past the continent they evolved on. Most eparai you'll meet choose to carefully cultivate their social network

Behavior
Eparai are often considered emotionally direct. Whether this is because they can sense the emotions of those in proximity to them via how they feed, or cultural reasons is a matter of discussion. Most will answer that they dont see a point in keeping their emotions to themselves or downplaying them. Individuals outside of spaces associated with their species will make an effort to understand the social cues of others, but may not always pick up on subtleties.

Physiology
Eparai physiology varies by phenotype, but the standard is two pairs of eyes (and with the upper pair being vestigial). Their body may be covered in any mix of feathers, fur, or sealskin, although one will be predominant. Most eparai can be considered to experience and follow the engulf-excrete gastric bilateral-symmetry bodyplan, and are frequently bipedal.

Homeworld
Worldtrees do vary and as such the biomes of Avesia will vary, but the originating planet of the eparai species is almost always Avesia, and the continent they hail from will similarly be a lush one.
Common biomes include canyons, forests, marshes, river deltas, and plains. Prior to the world's unfolding many urban centers found themselves intertwined with the ecology due to the population density eparai need to avoid overstimulation. As such the blur between biological and urban ecology is both fluid and gradual.

Skeleton?: fragile, but yup! why did the spooper implant the nonbinary eparai? because there's marrow in them/their bones! alright here's your caramelithes
Cosmosdex Link

Summary
You probably know all about these already dont you? It's okay if you dont.. just because some claim they're the most common sophontic race of the void doesn't mean they're right by any means let alone that you'll have met one.. but maybe just maybe you are one.

behavior
Some members of this species claim that their flexibility, their adaptability to any circumstance, that the vast number of world trees shows these traits on display.. and while they're not wrong to claim that any given human species is a flexible one they miss the thread that many human worldtrees are known by necessity. Some are quite cruel to find yourself stranded on should they not yet have unfolded, and even after unfolding there are countless worlds that necessitated the deployment of lifeboat fleets whether for nuclear annihilation or usage of bioweapons that would make their sole material realm uninhabitable.

physiology
Many humans experience and follow the engulf-excrete gastric bilateral-symmetry bodyplan, and are frequently bipedal. Their heads are frequently found to be covered in hair (of countless colors), and their bodies may be as well. They possess a variety of primary and secondary sexual characteristics that exist as a continuum and spectrum, and their genetic profiles inform the shapes these take based upon their hormone balances. Countless physiological details vary, but often you can find a human to exist within some flavor of modal state between the ranges.

homeworld and common biomes
human worlds are variable, and as a result the association to biomes is itself flexible. A common sophontic strain of the species will be on a planet named "earth" or otherwise similarly themed in accordance with the cultures of their world (and correspondent mythos), a spheroid blessed with countless biomes across it's history. a seemingly endless cycle of life that is constantly in flux takes place on the world.
like any species their commonly associated biomes are many. to be brief consider the "parking lot" or "castle", the "farmlands" and the "river delta" to be easy examples, and to be extensive try finding a local trove of human knowledge, such as a book or noospheric repository.

Skeleton: you sure betcha

Trivia
  • Whether the providence is named Earth, Terra, or any number of others you can expect that should they not share their world or be gifted with talkative neighbors, this sophontic species will find a calling to seek others.
  • Many of the human varieties posses a wide range of palettes (often associated with cultural culinary styles), and their resistances / susceptibilities to toxins vary.. although are rarely in sync with that of their world's pre-cognions (otherwise known as "flora" and "fauna")
  • Human media culture is extensive! Should you find yourself struggling to make your way back to the void on a folded world you need only to sift the local culture to find another world to traipse, and then onwards repeat the process like one would transiting NERs.

summary
the kilon are among sophontic races known for a proclivity to both physical and psionic arts, and this is owed to a quirk of their physiology.. dependent on countless factors like heredity or strain. easily among the 'common' sophontic races similar to humans, most can claim to have met one if not know one personally.. that or an ex-member.

behavior
While individuals may vary as heavily as with any species the Kilon cultures hold an agreement on the matter of nature, and that they should work with it where possible. Kilon architecture is integrated into the landscape, often altering it to preserve the balance between the needs of their people and that of the ecosystem they inhabit. Most cultural spheres hold belief that one should find their social niche, whether within a found family unit, or within a cultural tradition.
Upon Unfolding, this resulted in the kilon pilgrimage to find one's place to be one of voidtraipsing. Not all young kilon take part in it, as some find a profession or relationship that gives them a reason to stay in place, but many traverse NERs and demiplanes alike seeking where they can find common ground with others.
Magic is an integral part of their culture whether one was gifted capacity or not, and any kilonnese individual will treasure their personal amulet. A kilon's head may change over time, and as such their sigil will change in-kind. Major changes are less uncommon after the end of adolescence. It is rare to see a kilon part with their amulet, often seeking to retool or remodel it to better resemble their new sigil, but in the event they need to entirely remake it they may gift the old one to a friend, or sell it to an antiquarian.

physiology
The kilon are no strangers to the bipedal engulf-excretal model, although some may wonder how they eat with a floating head. Many individuals do not know how their food enters their digestive tract on swallowing, and do not particularly care.
The head of a kilonnese individual may be more energetic than material, with their face being the origin of their personal sigil. The easiest comparison for those who's face is able to be touched is that of chitin or boney plates. As their faces are highly variable traits like eyes, mouths, mandibles, and any sensory receptors are possible.

homeworld common biomes
Kilon worldtrees are variable, and most commonly are associated with cohabited worlds. Often these are likenable to works of fantasy novels with mythological beasts and tall tales playing out across the planet. Often the kilon are found settling regions that others cannot or would avoid inhabiting like a mountainside or desert.

Skeleton?: cant guarantee the skull but sure as pumpkin pie

trivia
  • Most individuals have their own thing going on, but an earnest interest in practicing the kilonnese art of construct making may endear one enough to be taken on as an apprentice to learn the basics.
  • Their valued togetherness cannot prevent abuse and ostracization, and yet they'll still try. Is it not heartening?
  • If you witness a floated kilon tossing their head about or otherwise treating it strangely it may not be worth your time to ask why. Using your own head as a stim-toy isnt uncommon with other species, and kilonnese individuals are similar in that regard.

Summary
The Spooper are a jovial species commonly found throughout the void. Wherever there are abandoned and decaying bodies one just might find the birth of a spooper. From there on our you can expect they'll spread both frights and mirth alike, and often in that order

Behavior
Spoopers normally appreciate a good joke.. and a bad joke too. If the day falls on the premier cultural festival of the spoopers, and it always does, you'll be hearing some form of joke too. This same festival traces similar roots to the same-similar festival of humanity known as 'halloween', and as such carries the same belief in tricks and treats. In exchange for having been treated to a trick, individuals are tricked into forgiveness via treats, and the spoopers find this to be a fair exchange.

Physiology
The Spooper gourd is the hub of their nervous system, and through the vines that extend so too does their sensorium. These vines are manipulated through their psionic abilities to puppeteer the skeleton they inhabit. Some spoopers may lack vines and have stronger psionics to cope, and some may instead root stationary without any skeleton to pilot.
Spoopers are capable of inhabiting any discarded body, but tend to prefer one sufficiently decayed for the 'scare factor'. Prior to unfolding transferring from one skeleton to another was possible but rarely done due to the time it takes, and today that is largely the same matter (although some swap skeletons like costumes).

Homeworld and Common Biomes
There is but one homeworld of the spooper, and it is Spookus. Almost all of it's surface is composed of a necropolis as a result of the skeleton war. It is in eternal twilight. Another species once inhabited their world, but that is primordial history to them and visitors alike.

Skeleton?: optional, but common to use a bonor-supplied one. very kind of those bone donors, where would we be without them? bonorless, of course.
Cosmosdex Article

Facet:

  • []KEEP Curious Facet
  • []REPLACE Curious with: Write-in
  • []Facet: Write-in
  • []Facet: Write-in
My concept for designing characters is that they can have up to 4 personality traits, or Facets, to guide writing them and considering them as a person. No list will ever be truly complete, so feel free to give your own. It's an arbitrary mechanic like any other, so there may be a bit of overlap (see chill and phlegmatic, affable and sanguine)
For now I'm only allowing the first three facets to be edited. So far the POV has the facet Curious, will they keep it?
Otherwise these are the facets (think "personality trait") I've in-mind so far
  • affable
  • chill
  • choleric
  • competitive
  • complains
  • coy
  • curious
  • dutiful
  • macabre
  • melancholic
  • phlegmatic
  • sanguine
  • skeptical
  • trendsetter

Hobby:

  • []Write-in

Description:

Feel free to pick out a hairstyle, fashion sense, or otherwise describe the character you have in-mind.

Voidtraipse%20Questant%20Select%20Palette.png


Palette:

  • []First Palette, #
  • []Second Palette, #
  • []Third Palette, #
You can choose up to 3. Please order them in highest to lowest priority as that determines tie-breaks.


Premade Characters

Premade characters lack a pre-selected palette. I'll be using the most voted for palette.
If no premade character is used they may still make an appearance in this or another quest I run.
Name: Tay'kon M'mii
Pronouns: Xe Xem
Species: Chriilth'tyn
Personality Facets: Curious, Chill, Phlegmatic
Hobby: Dance
Name: Perice Cantaorre
Pronouns: They Them, Ze Zir
Species: Eparai
Personality Facets: Curious, Dutiful, Sanguine
Hobby: Upcycling
Name: Jae Greyacre
Pronouns: Ey Em Eir
Species: Human
Personality Facets: Curious, Melancholic, Skeptical
Hobby: Reading Manga
Name: Azralel Threshheld
Pronouns: Ey Em Eir
Species: Kilon
Personality Facets: Curious, Chill, Choleric
Hobby: Ceramics
Name: Hip'olita Bones
Pronouns: It Its
Species: Spooper (Human(?))
Personality Facets: Curious, Competitive, Macabre
Hobby: Cosplay


You pause from the tedium of setting up your profile to ask one more question, "Is it possible to retrieve something from a memory? The ritual example used the memory of a cat.. and of the layer I'm in right now.." you compose, and move forward with "Is it possible to retrieve something from a memory?"

Korite grins as they reply You'll hear me prattle about how precious time is.. but there are things worth a wasted moment, and an insight like that... oh my friend that is one of them  Due to this shrine being.. it's servicible, alright? Due to that I cannot do more for you than assisting you in pulling two things to keep.

"You'll hear me prattle about how precious time is.. but there are things worth a wasted moment, and an insight like that... oh my friend that is one of them"

"Due to this shrine being.. it's servicible, alright? Due to that I cannot do more for you than assisting you in pulling two things to keep."

"There is a broad horizon for you in your future" Korite says, "In time you'll be the one pulling treasures from your memories."

You nod only realizing in the moment that you'd walked into another discovery. The moment nearly passes before you let yourself ask once more:
"Can I put something into a memory?"

Korite grins wide and does not verbally answer, but the subtext is clear:
Rhetorical questions answer themselves, dont they?

[]I am:

So I'll keep it simple
[]I Am: Perice Cantaorre
[]Pronouns: It/Its, Xe/Xem
[]First Palette: 8
[]Second Palette: 3
[]Third Palette: 7
[]KEEP Curious

[]I Am: Meluch
Name: Meluch
Pronouns: He/Him, They/Them
Species: Kilon
Facets: Chill, Complains
Hobby: Bardic Studies
Description: A trilaterla symmetry headed kilon that distantly resembles a biohazard symbol. two skull-like barette-like ornaments hang atop his face as part of it. he wears a flowing blue chainmail tunic with a gold fleece manteau. he wears heart motif cowboy boots.
[]First Palette: 4
[]Second Palette: 7
[]Third Palette: 1
[]Hobby: Bardic Studies
[]Facets: REPLACE Curious with Sanguine


OK and that's the update folks. This took me a week longer than I'd meant for it to as a result of having a busy week, and the one ahead is it's own. I'll probably close voting around halloween. It doesn't help that I added a fifth species to the lineup due to seasonal and "lol, skeleton field for each species" reasons.
Character creation is taking place on both forums. Feel free to vote in favor of what's submitted there, and vice versus.
 
Last edited:

Negrek

Play the Rain
Staff
Love the little clam creature! Definitely seems like there's a lot of fun stuff you can do with cognions, with them taking on such diverse forms to begin with and then the opportunity for them to change further with fusions like these. It'll be fun to meet more of them along the way!

It seems, given the time of year, that there can really only be one choice here...

[x] I Am; Hip'olita Bones

[x]First Palette; 5
[x]Second Palette: 1
[x]Third Palette: 3
 

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
the winning vote from SV

Love the little clam creature! Definitely seems like there's a lot of fun stuff you can do with cognions, with them taking on such diverse forms to begin with and then the opportunity for them to change further with fusions like these. It'll be fun to meet more of them along the way!

I'm glad to hear that! I've got a number of them for various characters in-mind, although only so many will ever show up it's still fun to draft ideas for new species or oc parties

It seems, given the time of year, that there can really only be one choice here...
I was actually hoping more people would go with a spooper, although it all works out as the premades were still background character drafting work either way. Ty for the palette choice, I'm gonna keep it in-mind for if/when I put Hip'olita into the narrative
 
The Scrapbook

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all

The Scrapbook​


Within it's pages are memories and spaces where your psyche is organized.
Three (3) Longterm Memories are accessible to you with ease, and are anchored within the scrapbook.
view of a pond from the high grass. a woodpecker or waterfowl perches atop a dead log in the center. there are woods in the background. the visuals have changed to reflect a certain era of monster taming games on handheld devices

"That [Pond] was like a level in a certain videogame..."

Your window into the memory shows a wetlands pond surrounded by banks of reeds within a forest.
There looks to be something else than yourself within this memory, and the filter that's always present brings back nostalgia for a game series you can't place the name of.. but you do know like with a cognion you needed a 'starter' to travel.

a convention or expo center side room. tables are set up with tableclothes, there is a suitcase in the back, and shipping palettes wrapped in plastic with unknown contents sit in the room. there are at lease two or three rows of tables and three columns. It could  be a panel room. The door leading out of the room opens to an empty tarry and starry black void

"That was my first time volunteering for a convention..."

It's one of the slow moments during a volunteering shift at the convention you were attending, so you take a break in the back room for staffers and volunteers. Crates sit full with backup supplies as the days of the convention stretch onwards.
Something happened to the memory at some point when you fell... as the door doesnt lead to anything but a starry and infinite void. Something about it makes the memory feel slightly less stable.

an underground tunnel. lights regularly dot the ceiling, and every so often a maintenance or emergency door dots the wall. you dont know how deep the tunnel goes.

"Take to the tunnels when the stars fall upon you..."

That's how the hymnal begins.. and so it came to pass.
No matter the direction you turn a hunch backs it: You could walk infinitely in that tunnel, couldn't you?
How long does a pilgrimage in refuge last if there is no destination to be had?

As soon as you recalled yourself another page was able to turn and depict two pages of memories..
a forest scene with a faded sign posted. there is a dark hole in the ground and two shimmering rocks are placed along its rim

"A gift in every hollow"

Its a transient moment as any on the surface ends up being. So many creches to find a trinket within, so many to keep track of what you owe to where.
Two different individuals left their markers visibly within this snapshot, and a long-faded sign stands watch over the cache.

a mediterranean courtyard. the cavern lights are twinkling in the skylight.

"Hoping for a view below?" "Either's fine, really."

Only so many dedicate themselves to actually visiting the cities. The passages wind and twist so narrowly that its understandable.
You'd moved into a new place, and the communal courtyard was one that gazed up at the depthscraper chamber's ceiling.
A neighbor expected you were the sort to prefer a gaze corewards.. and while you weren't opposed you knew enough tales of slipping through the open air ports and having to spend too long transiting back home.. and both a glass ceiling and a glass floor alike are... stifling to say the least.
It would be an easy place to take your breaks and gaze at the cavern lights.

an artisinal workshop with light shining through the window. a number of work in progress masks are strung up on a stand

"-your furred sona?" "No defense ; I admire greatly"

It was the call that made you laugh in response not to deflect but make acknowledgement of what they'd said. You shared with your mentor why you admire them. Wonderment at how beasts like what you'd made dash through the forests above, and what it might be like.
It earned some playful responses.. as you could surely chase and run down most of those beasts.
Their shape was different, and they moved differently as such.
Of course you can live with the differences, but your creation is your metamorphosis, it is your joyous becoming in the vein you can have.
You linger almost too long in this one. It is the workshop you undertook your apprenticeship within, and the one where you created your instrument.

the rooftop lounge of a music venue looking down at the stadium roof. The background has geometric formations strutting from the ground to the cavern structure's ceiling. Urban lights dot the far off walls and the distant support towers

"The view from up here is amazing"

You'd heard it from one of the others gathered on that venue's rooftop.
Roof access wasn't unheard of, but it was a good evening to view the cavern lights. In this fashion you could look out upon the depthscraper network and see the support structures throughout your cavern's cell, tracing the superstructure into the ceiling above, and seeing all the twinkling lights of others living their lives as they would you.
It was your standard music venue in this strata of the depthscraper city you'd come to call home, and you were there for a show by some aggressive synth group you'd come to enjoy that cycle.
It got to be too much, so you took to the roof to enjoy what break you could take from the crowds. The cavern lights blinking in the distance were a light show of their own.

an abandoned halloween store, it is dark within, many costumes still line the shelves, and the same for sold items

"Supposedly it goes back a lot further"

You'd come across an abandoned store. It seemed fresh, but you'd heard talk of a much older one than you had initially thought.
A quick check showed that it was the same store as you'd heard.
Just like you'd heard a decoration somewhere in it's depths was still being set off now and again by motion.. or maybe it was just always like that?

Other pages stick together and resist your attempts to pry them apart.. else you risk tearing them.
They release their grip on each other as you release your own upon them.

Both covers of the scrapbook's interior have a pouch to keep small objects, and you've stashed your sticky-notes that record past segpocks within them.
At some point you should really organize them onto a page, but it's all the same for now.
The sticky notes so far:
  • That Room I Woke Up In? Cramped.
  • The tunnel out.. it stretched on for a bit
  • The forest path did too, but at least I found that patio space
  • The pantry with the broken pots, and the pantry I got a protein bar from
  • The daisy field where I met that alien, and the stairwell we hung out in
  • That cultural garden is where I started feeling like I couldnt breath right
  • It chased us through the mall, I thought I'd collapse
  • After the bell rang out I took an emergency exit into an alleyway of hedges

The only other thing you can think of is the enchanted page.. it doesnt tell you much more than what you already know, but you should get in the habit of checking it. That alien said it was influenced by where you are at the moment.


hm, we dont have an informational threadmark system, so just take these worldbuilding threadmarks as containing both Quest Info, and Setting Info
 
I am Klevas Mil'zante

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
Nonakin said:
[X]I Am: Klevas Mil'zante
Name: Klevas Mil'zante
Pronouns: Vae/Vaer
Species: Chriilth'tyn
Facets: Curious, Creative, Melancholic
Hobby: Instrument Making
Description: Sports a custom instrument outwardly resembling a fox mask sans ears, the strings within tied at odd angles for vaer personal comfort. Vae wear a vest, jeans, and elbow/knee pads, but forego gloves or shoes.
-[X]First Palette: #10

Content Warning: Brief implied religious abuse.

Your instrument comes to you first
A fox mask split down the middle from the point of the third and only animate eye. The other eyes look like the opening of a violin, and on it are brass valves for intonations. This is vaer mask


So many so easily forget their own face, as you've heard. It was something you'd heard from someone of the elder diaspora.. and it comes to mind as you pull yourself from this fog.
That common critique of mistaking a sense of self entirely defined by how others view you, how they're meant to view you.
Forgetting your shape without a warped perspective in place..

The mask is grasped on all sides by tendrils like vibes. They are Klevas' means to manipulate the world around vaem, and vae states to the world I am more than the mask I speak my world through to declare vaerself


As you tendrils reach to grasp it you feel giddy.
You need not a mirror to know it's angles.
You need not bear witness to know the geometries it's facade bears.
You need no reference schematic to know how to restring it's insides.

Your instrument is of your making to best suit you.
It is a metamorphosis of your own design, and you wear it well.

You wear your mask, and it serves as both your instrument, and to some your face.
You are Klevas, and Klevas.. vae's not vaer mask, but the mask is vaer's and it is their instrument of choice.

Your instrument, your mask, and your face.
It is the culmination of your apprenticeship as a mask maker and artisan. Nurtured from a hobby into a same similar foundation of a future for yourself. A role that those around you can know you through, and something you may take pride in the same way others do their work.
The face you put on shows your skill the moment you speak claim to it's crafting.

Being more than your mask you feel the need to stretch.

'Radial in' you think calling upon the same-similar stretches.
It takes somewhat conscious effort to remember exactly where most of your tendrils are at the moment, but they contract and recede towards your core from your left, clockwise through to your right.

Each movement comes second-nature, and this includes the steps you'd intend to otherwise take when moving about. The tension builds, and you struggle to hold your mask without compressing your body down while holding your breath in this moment..
You relent letting your tendrils dilate back to full length as you work back 'radial out'

You stand tall, realizing just now how much you peer down at the shrine's altar console.

Klevas stands with a couple tendrils grasping the sides of vaer mask as they speak  You tilt your instrument down a smidge to get a better 'look' at Korite, as they seem to have something they want to say..      Bowing the inner strings and depressing the mid-range valve, you let out Do you need? and release to depress again, the tones forming the gestalt speech Need me?      I was in setup, and am not now. You establish, and then say Sorry.

You tilt your instrument down a smidge to get a better 'look' at Korite, as they seem to have something they want to say..
Bowing the inner strings and depressing the mid-range valve, you let out "Do you need?" and release to depress again, the tones forming the gestalt speech "Need me?"
"I was in setup, and am not now." You establish, and then say "Sorry."
korite smiles with eyes slightly narrowed as they say That's more than fine, as I can finally put a name, pronouns, AND a face even together.. All associated as the one. Korite says with glee      I dont blame you getting a good stretch in. I would too if I'd only just remembered the whole having a body thing.

"That's more than fine, as I can finally put a name, pronouns, AND a face even together.. All associated as the one." Korite says with glee
"I dont blame you getting a good stretch in. I would too if I'd only just remembered the whole having a body thing."
the vales of Klevas' mask are pulled from within and they release to play notes They may tease but Klevas is left uncertain by what they say..  Vae switches the subject to redirect their attention,  The incense burning.. is that and the censer a traditional item for the alcolytes?

They may tease but Klevas is left uncertain by what they say..
Vae switches the subject to redirect their attention,
"The incense burning.. is that and the censer a traditional item for the alcolytes?"
Korite brings up an incense cone display ; They dont take long to respond, barely a moment passes before they say  Ohoho no, no, this is MY own recipe. You could call it a tradition I suppose..  I learned to make cone incense with my family. A handmade craft even.

They dont take long to respond, barely a moment passes before they say
"Ohoho no, no, this is MY own recipe. You could call it a tradition I suppose.."
"I learned to make cone incense with my family. A handmade craft even."

Korite grins all the same, "I am not the only member of the Rememaudlin community that don incense like this.. it helps that Eschate chose incense as one of their symbols." they muse, and twirl the a swirl into the cloud via one of their mandible claws, "Makes forming a cultural quirk like this that much easier.. but I've seen plenty a voidform who wear smoke all the same."

They shrug, and Korite continues, "As I said, it is my own craft rather than of Rememaudlin or a merchant."

Korite once more smiles as the display brings up the process of duplicating an incense cone by using a psionic pull to dissociate the item ontologically from itself enough to form a facsimile that can be bolstered with itself to form a copy. The memorized recipe and a conceptual fragment of the smoke plume are added to fill the gap. A pile of the cones is also in the image, and all is contained within the core of Symbol Korite's inner world, which is accessed through ripping a hole through space into their spirit, which looks like a fractal wound in reality being ripped by their hands into their body ; they say Whenever I need more I merely draw from the reserves held within my inner world..  I do have to handmake some now and again just to reinforce the memories I'm pulling from, however. The recipe can only fill in so much of what fades after all..

Korite once more smiles as the display brings up the process of duplicating an incense cone by using a psionic pull to dissociate the item ontologically from itself enough to form a facsimile that can be bolstered with itself to form a copy. The memorized recipe and a conceptual fragment of the smoke plume are added to fill the gap. A pile of the cones is also in the image, and all is contained within the core of Symbol Korite's inner world, which is accessed through ripping a hole through space into their spirit, which looks like a fractal wound in reality being ripped by their hands into their body
they say "Whenever I need more I merely draw from the reserves held within my inner world.." "I do have to handmake some now and again just to reinforce the memories I'm pulling from, however. The recipe can only fill in so much of what fades after all.."

Korite smiles, "I digress.. this technique is more or less the same as what I'll be doing to retrieve the item of your choosing from your memories." As they fidget with your side of the call their eye goes wide, "Just as you are not limited to purely material components to your cognion, I am not limited to retrieving only an item. In my example there is a fragment of smoke I'm using, and I could grab a similar fragment of a concept within your memories."

Klevas nods, trying to take in the options before vaer. In a moment you come to realize something, and ask "If you dont mind, is there a means by which I might learn this method.. and by extension the making of your incense?"

Korite grins and rocks about, elated, "Should you spend some time in Rememaudlin and I am available, I am open to teaching the interested how to make their own." They note. "If you dont find another to educate you, I do tutor the esper-technical basics.." And Korite trails off returning to their interface.

The next time you are in the same area as them you may seek them out to hang out.

only the lowest valve opens, Feeling the spark Klevas pushes to ask,  Do voidclams burn the same?

Feeling the spark Klevas pushes to ask,
"Do voidclams burn the same?"
No.. but that IS an idea I could augment them with..  They seem to be filled with an excitement as they visibly stifle the urge to rock back and forth giddily, Their smoke is reflective of the environment around them to a degree.. It's possible I could manage the augment to not impede the utility of their smoke.. but..

"No.. but that IS an idea I could augment them with.."
They seem to be filled with an excitement as they visibly stifle the urge to rock back and forth giddily, "Their smoke is reflective of the environment around them to a degree.. It's possible I could manage the augment to not impede the utility of their smoke.. but.."
Korite brings up a display of a voidclam positioned within the threshhold between a stone tower's halls and a nuclear reactor complex ; A voidclam's smoke reflects the stability of connection bridging two segpocks, layers, demiplanes, you get the idea.  They're a commonly sighted cognion for a reason..  They're quite useful to those who traipse the void, like yourself.

Korite brings up a display of a voidclam positioned within the threshhold between a stone tower's halls and a nuclear reactor complex
"A voidclam's smoke reflects the stability of connection bridging two segpocks, layers, demiplanes, you get the idea. They're a commonly sighted cognion for a reason.. They're quite useful to those who traipse the void, like yourself."

"You've traversed enough of the pockmarks in unreality to get a feel for them yes?" Korite asks you, that wry smile forming as they lead you towards their next point.

Vaer mask tilts downwards and only the middle vent opens ; Tilting your instrument as though you were nodding you head, I have not walked far, have I? you continue to key-in your answer, I notice phantom qualia.. like a layer singing so I know beyond..  You swing your arms wide and splay the tendrils at the opening of them to gesture at the shrine before you, The shrine layer differs. It spoke clearer, louder, by design, yes?

Tilting your instrument as though you were nodding you head, "I have not walked far, have I?" you continue to key-in your answer, "I notice phantom qualia.. like a layer singing so I know beyond.."
You swing your arms wide and splay the tendrils at the opening of them to gesture at the shrine before you, "The shrine layer differs. It spoke clearer, louder, by design, yes?"

Korite leans to one side in their seat, "You're learning fast at least.. that or you're just gifted enough with a sensitivity to the void's whispers.. but for what I want to tell you of I'll draw you to consider: those threshholds where should you take a few steps you are somewhere else entirely, and it seems impossible that it would be contained within the same building, yes?"

Your tendrils are keying-in before they can finish, "How the N E R layers connect, what of?"

I'm not alone in finding it rather annoying that NERs arent stable in their composition.  You may think a quarry will be behind a broom closet door, and yet in your absence, they rant, it is now merely a broom closet.

"I'm not alone in finding it rather annoying that NERs arent stable in their composition.
You may think a quarry will be behind a broom closet door, and yet in your absence," they rant, "it is now merely a broom closet.
Oh it was only an hour at most,  but no the NER never cares how stable the connection between the two segpocks should be,  and you're back to it traversing if not wandering the NER in the futile hope that you find that quarry once more!

Oh it was only an hour at most,
but no the NER never cares how stable the connection between the two segpocks should be,
and you're back to it traversing if not wandering the NER in the futile hope that you find that quarry once more!"

They sigh, and on closing their eye take a deep breath before continuing, "You can imagine why I'm as much of a fan as I am of them.. and why I'm not alone in valuing them as much as I do."

the same threshhold appears. The voidclam consumes ambient fragments of [ Lamp ] and [ Music ] that have previously colonized the reactor and transmutes them to smoke plume ; The basal voidclam is known to feed from a mixture of sources, and as a result it offgases it's smoke.  A voidclam's plumes can be indicative of a series of variables. A layer's connective stability, how it's changing over time, and even what may prowl nearby.

the same threshhold appears. The voidclam consumes ambient fragments of [ Lamp ] and [ Music ] that have previously colonized the reactor and transmutes them to smoke plume
"The basal voidclam is known to feed from a mixture of sources, and as a result it offgases it's smoke."
"A voidclam's plumes can be indicative of a series of variables. A layer's connective stability, how it's changing over time, and even what may prowl nearby."

A distorted hisland desert view and it's threshhold with a voidclam connects to a city street This is one part of why they are planted by those who garden in NERs.  Clams prefer a steady flow of what they feed on, and any viable threshhold will inevitably be a richer than not point.

A distorted hisland desert view and it's threshhold with a voidclam connects to a city street
"This is one part of why they are planted by those who garden in NERs."
"Clams prefer a steady flow of what they feed on, and any viable threshhold will inevitably be a richer than not point."
The clams are both closed shut. The connection was severed manually by them. The highland desert is the site of a wandering Pursuer, projecting an aura centered around religious abuse and hallucinations thereof. To keep themselves safe, should the layer degrade, should a self-proliferating concept infest the layer, should a pursuer's domain encroach too close, they may snap shut.. forcibly closing the connection. Korite says

The clams are both closed shut. The connection was severed manually by them. The highland desert is the site of a wandering Pursuer, projecting an aura centered around religious abuse and hallucinations thereof.
"To keep themselves safe, should the layer degrade, should a self-proliferating concept infest the layer, should a pursuer's domain encroach too close, they may snap shut.. forcibly closing the connection."

"This is a problem for those who encounter a pursuer, set it off, and find they cant backtrack to safety.." Korite adds, and closes their eyes, "It is best to watch for a moment when you encounter them, or to start looking for alternate points of egress once you pass the threshhold."

How are changes monitored? you key in idly, expecting you'd learn anyway.  Still, you know it important to keep the other party engaged..  And recall that this is Korite's job, would they really worry if you hadn't?

"How are changes monitored?" you key in idly, expecting you'd learn anyway.
Still, you know it important to keep the other party engaged..
And recall that this is Korite's job, would they really worry if you hadn't?

the voidclam's smoke from earlier is stuttered. Stuttering, they answer, stuttering shows how the connection is  changing or weakening. You'll be looking for gaps that will likely start  timed widely apart. The gaps will shorten, and the plume will  become less regular as the connection is more likely to close.  Color shifts also reflect the changes in the adjacent area's nature.

"Stuttering," they answer, "stuttering shows how the connection is
changing or weakening. You'll be looking for gaps that will likely start
timed widely apart. The gaps will shorten, and the plume will
become less regular as the connection is more likely to close.
Color shifts also reflect the changes in the adjacent area's nature."

Korite twirls about one of their mandibles as though they're making a generalization, "Its entirely possible you'll encounter one that has diverged in ways that make it behave differently, so take this only as a general piece of advice."

"This is also my encouragement for you to consider keeping a voidclam within your roster." Korite beams, "If you see a budding one dont hesitate to propagate it as a new cognion, and should we not encounter any... feel free to ask around Rememaudlin. I'm not the only one familiar with them."

I am ready to select.. You key away your chords, my core memory, yes?  All that is earned is a nod, and you set to work..

"I am ready to select.." You key away your chords, "my core memory, yes?"
All that is earned is a nod, and you set to work..

Klevas realizes that vae doesn't know how to set a core memory.
"How... how do I do that?"

Ah, yes yes, right. You wouldnt know that..  The silence leaves Klevas worried no instructions would follow, but Korite soon chimes once more:  As when you introspect upon yourself to pull up your profile you'll want to draw your attention inwards..

"Ah, yes yes, right. You wouldnt know that.."
The silence leaves Klevas worried no instructions would follow, but Korite soon chimes once more:
"As when you introspect upon yourself to pull up your profile you'll want to draw your attention inwards.."

"In our case you'll want to flip through that scrapbook, consider your options.. once you've made your choice you'll want to meditate on that memory. Recall it, trace it's shape, picture the space that you exist within that memory, it's contours, the qualia that builds it. Grounding yourself through this bridges the gap between your selfhood and the memory itself.. and in doing so you may root yourself to that memory such that you may visit it, that you may build a world within yourself with it as the first anchor among as many as you seek."
 
Core Memory Selection

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
Flipping open the scrapbook you find another page after the first of memories comes free from where it had been stuck to the other.

Each so familiar it's a wonder they had been lost falling into the void.

view of a pond from the high grass. a woodpecker or waterfowl perches atop a dead log in the center. there are woods in the background. the visuals have changed to reflect a certain era of monster taming games on handheld devices

"A fascinating specimen" Korite observes, and you ask "The bird?" only to be met with "No the memory, it's transcended to be within the game it was an observation of... you were fairly immersed when playing it weren't you?" they say, and you nod in response as it only makes sense
"..but yes, the bird is worthy of note too. Only investigation will tell whether there are other cognions wandering about the memory. You could cultivate the memory of their existence into a spawn with a bit of work."
They otherwise note that pond clearing is undeveloped and that you would need to enter the woods or the water to cross a threshhold to another memory.

a convention or expo center side room. tables are set up with tableclothes, there is a suitcase in the back, and shipping palettes wrapped in plastic with unknown contents sit in the room. there are at lease two or three rows of tables and three columns. It could  be a panel room. The door leading out of the room opens to an empty tarry and starry black void

The second memory is cramped to start with, but Korite tells you that can be changed later.
You know there's some sort of items you can pull from the mainly, and this is mainly a beverage you've asked Korite to help you with retrieving before the ritual.
"I would close those doors. Good threshhold port for a memory, however." They note, and you get the feeling they have their own questions about your memories.

an underground tunnel. lights regularly dot the ceiling, and every so often a maintenance or emergency door dots the wall. you dont know how deep the tunnel goes.

"How peculiar.. you have a tautologically infinite memory going on here." Korite states, and continues to inform you that a self-sustaining setup could be easily built within.
You dont need their assistance to recognize it, but the emergency exit doors are spaced far enough apart that connecting other memories and walking between them may become a chore without a vehicle or other transit within yourself. They do mention there are tricks around that.
Korite is otherwise uncertain how to gauge this memory.

a forest scene with a faded sign posted. there is a dark hole in the ground and two shimmering rocks are placed along its rim

It's of the surface and thus out in the open..
The caches and cubbies of the surface may hold items you remember passing by.
Korite warns you the underbrush is easy feed for cognions more than likely, but finding it in the skybox of the memory when you visit may be a chore.

a mediterranean courtyard. the cavern lights are twinkling in the skylight.

Korite notes that this memory would serve well as a core memory and nexus, and conversely says it'll be relatively easy to find your cognion, or section off an area.
"We have a similar segpock modified to serve as cells of our stablehousing."

an artisinal workshop with light shining through the window. a number of work in progress masks are strung up on a stand

This memory is one of personal comfort for you, and your cognion shouldn't make too much trouble while you're away your temporary patronne informs you.
"Still, I bet it'd make a better nest for you than a core, for now." Korite notes.
There's definitely enough to pick from for items within the workshop

the rooftop lounge of a music venue looking down at the stadium roof. The background has geometric formations strutting from the ground to the cavern structure's ceiling. Urban lights dot the far off walls and the distant support towers

"Keep an eye on the crowd or two in this one," Korite comments, "There's nothing sophontic, but they're indistinct enough for the void to fill those gaps.. or for them to replicate"
Your cognion will be at ease relaxing to the ambient music within this segpock, and so would you.
"With some work this could be a good landing space. It's versatile enough for guests or ensouled wild cognions."

an abandoned halloween store, it is dark within, many costumes still line the shelves, and the same for sold items

"Now that's sublime" Korite coos, clasping their face with their mandibles and leaning forward
You know there's something to recover with this memory
This memory holds the most to scavenge from, there's no contest, and that could be a hazard to visiting cognions.


Which memory would become Klevas' core memory?

[]Memory 1
[]Memory 2
[]Memory 3
[]Memory 4
[]Memory 5
[]Memory 6
[]Memory 7
[]Memory 8
Select up to three. Most to least important.

Klevas can request Korite to retrieve up to 2 things from vaer memories.​

While the idea Klevas has had so far was an item vaer also able to select an aspect of the dream in a conceptual sense.
[]Entrafresh (rewrite)
[]Write-in
You can pick up to 2



This is not a tactical vote.
Voting will remain close somewhere between the 14th and 17th of November.

This determines what will serve as the nexus for Klevas' inner world.
A core memory serves as a starting point on visiting vaerself, a safe haven for vaer cognions, and what connections would build out from vaerself.

No memory here will be lost through not selecting it.
The Core memory can be changed at a later date when further innerscaping.

I very much encourage discussion of the core memory choice, and dont be afraid to tie in your reasoning to starter plans.

This turned out to be the longest update... both wordcount and panels!
I'm going to aiming between 1 and 5k words for updates.
..til the images went over xenforo limit of 20. oops. had to split the update.


Klevas' design phase took the most time, and got away from me for a second, but after a few iterations of the mask design I was able to start hammering out one asset or another for the talksprite.
Getting their design as a whole down took a moment. I was expecting this palette to stand a good chance and thought Spooper would likely get voted for with it.. a chriilth'tyn works due to their hoodies being green too.
03127.gif

Congratulations, yall chose not only a homestuck palette, but also a vriska palette. there were classpect palettes and homestuck lands edited in the list 83c

Writing Klevas was something that puzzled me for a second. I think I could get a better chriilth'tyn tone in the future, but Im happy with vaer characterization so far. By the time I got done with scripting and considering future updates with vaer as the pov character / protagonist I felt "ok yeah I can do this"... especially with seeing talksprite and text together.
"hey can I make a cognion from the concept of music" and the species with text to speech device instruments got picked with the instrument crafting hobby? that's a good matchup to work from for me.


The photo edited backgrounds, the memories, didnt take as long as I worried.
The forest is a photo I took myself at the start of this summer on a beach trip. The rooftop is from a Frankie & The Witch Fingers concert I had fun at, and took rooftop photography at (and the memory is influenced by what led me too the roof, by accident lol)


My plan is to try and get the next update done by thanksgiving.
There will be 8 parts to it, and I'll be staggering the release between updates.
Im excited to visit a local mall for some photos this weekend for the next update. A number of my edits may be in the public domain or dissected for assets... but I also love taking photos myself. The rooftop and forest are my own photos.


Thank you for your patience with this update, and I hope you look forward to the cognion ritual.
 
Last edited:

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
Once again we've got voting results

Memory 2 (Expo Center Volunteer's Room) has been selected as Klevas's core memory
(1) Bottle of Entrafresh (Cranberry) and (1) Cauldron (Plastic) will be retrieved from Klevas's memories


I've been pecking away at writing the next update, and the art assets too.
Unfortunately, I have been sick with "the yuckies" as one of my boyfriends affectionately calls it, since thursday. I expect it to last a little while given how the symptoms I have rn usually play out, but I'm still hopeful I'll be posting the update in the next couple days.
The next update is reagent selection, and in the update after the shrine interaction sequence will be complete... thus allowing things to finally move on.
 
Prolo 1 - You Awake Alone

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
a clearly abandoned interior with stickets and graffiti plastered about it


You... wake up?

You dont remember going to sleep, or where this is.

"Who am I?" leaps to your thoughts before you can ask "Where am I?"

You.. you dont know.. you dont know the.. the answer to these questions.

"Why dont I know this?" you find yourself asking.

[X] Calm Down, search your surroundings


You do your best to suppress the questions flooding in..
You lean against a wall trying to center yourself. There are more important things, right? Such as whether you're somewhere safe or not.

A look around the cramped space reveals no cameras, so you aren't in some sort of torture palace.. hopefully not at least. The stickers pasted now and again in the room are probably a good indication that you're just in an abandoned building.. at least there's plenty of wood to knock on with all the windows boarded up.

[X]Examine Exits

The supposed "exits" all seem boarded up- and you missed one of them.

The signs pointing to this include the air flowing against your face, and that you can clearly see the last of the six windows is both empty and stretches onwards as a crawlspace would.

There might be a point to the stickers aside from making it less weird to be in.

You dont feel ready to check it out, and move onto checking the floor to see if you dropped anything while you were unconscious.

the same space but an icon bubble has shown that a messenger bag was found in one of the cubby boxes of the room


You find a messenger bag slumped against the opening of it.
It feels just familiar enough that you're certain this bag is your's.. or at least if it isn't you'll find out soon enough and apologize to who it belongs to.

[X]Open the bag

the same inventory inspection shows a gel pen and a scrapbook


You open the bag to find two things.
  • a gel pen (it feels weird to hold)​
  • a scrapbook (it feels right to hold)​
You set the pen back into the bag, but keep the scrapbook in your hands and turn it over, and over.

It just feels right.. and you know it must be important to you.

Trying to pry it's latch open even yields you no answers to what's going on. The thought to pry it open with the pen occurs, but you dismiss it expecting you'd damage either and waste your time... and you dont feel like making it easier for someone else to snoop on your keepsakes regardless of what they are.

[X]Write on the wall "SOS"


Someone said it best that when lost the best thing you can do is wait for help to show up rather than wandering off. They also said the most important thing is some form of shelter.

If you're going to be stuck waiting around for help you should probably put up some sort of sign say if you're away from this room to gather snacks.. well once the protein bars run out. That sign would also be useful if you were asleep so that someone doesnt think this is your bedroom.

You'd rather them not think this is your bedroom.

How do you convince them otherwise..

the same graffiti decked room now shows your own SOS addition


Right, the idea to write on a wall.
You compromise and use your pen to scribble onto the wall a plea.

It takes a while to fill in the outline you make, but eventually it's there for a rescuer to lay their eyes upon.

All you need to do is play the waiting game.

[X]Nobody: Come


It turns out the waiting game sucks.. but at least you had a distraction for a moment.

It takes you a grand total of (another) several minutes to realize you're probably not stranded in a wilderness survival situation. If someone were to come in here they'd see the message, and clearly yourself, so there's no point in it.

There's also no point in staying in place.. you dont have much to survive on even if you have shelter.

[X]Cross it out and leave an updated message

and the SOS was crossed out, struck from the record

You cross it out, but decide not to update the message.. is "nevermind?" or "gonna brb to figure out where I am I guess" really that useful to your supposed rescuers?

It wouldn't be clear at all.. but it might be to the point that you're not here.

Either way you can live with this.

[X]Exit


You suppose a peek wouldn't hurt... but you do need to move the cubby over to get leverage and pull yourself up.

..You only realize afterwards that it may have been best to put the bag in the exit before trying to climb out, as you stumble and nearly fall flat backwards.

Before long you're crawling to freedom, sweet sweet freedom.

a tunnel with a light at the end. the material of the walls is like opalescent bricks, and two sections seem cut out near the top, giving a glimps at a purple void with magenta cyan and other colored stars twinkling beyond the glass panes

This isn't freedom, it's another tunnel.

Ok, you admit to yourself that there's a light at the end of the tunnel so there's probably freedom at the end of it, and you aren't crawling towards freedom anymore so there's that too.

You can walk to freedom at your own pace.

[X]Inspect Walls


You look at them. They sure are walls.

It makes sense given that you're in a tunnel. They need those to keep the ceiling from collapsing atop you, at least the ones you've heard of need those.

What does stand out to you about the walls is the twinkling stars hanging in the void behind long panes of what you assume to be glass.

You're not sure you want to reach out in-case you're proven wrong. You have a hunch that it'd be too tempting to try and throw something through and not get it back, or worse try and climb out and fall.

It raises the question of if you're in a tunnel why can you see the sky?

You could be somewhere in orbit, you suppose.

You decide that since you cant do anything about it, and since the tunnel hasnt decided you shall meet your untimely demise in a timely fashion.. that you'd rather keep moving for now.

The light you'd seen at the end was not the exit, but a bright fluorescent light lining the tunnel. As you look down the next corridor it seems to be the same.. and the same after it leaving you wondering how long they run on for. There seem to be ports every so often like the one you had crawled through to enter the tunnel, and some seem to be labelled as 'maintenance access', but you're not quite sure that's where your's actually led to.

After the seventh or eighth star-lined corridor you come to a junction, and the light filtering in at the end of where you can see of it.. it feels like it's at least somewhere else.

a mineshaft entrance in the middle of an overgrown and distorted forest sits, the point you exited the tunnel below from


The exit from the tunnel corridors pays off, and you come to find.. well you weren't expecting this.

Ok maybe you were expecting to get to the surface when you initially found yourself in a tunnel, and you expected to get outside when you left where you woke up, but the sky's...

You turn around and enter the tunnel just briefly enough to check. The stars still shine down from above the tunnel you look above to the sky outside it.. where it is clearly some point in an afternoon.

As you linger out in the open you feel like you're hearing something in the distance, as though you're eavesdropping on a conversation..

[X]Go around and greet the voices

the same exit, but text filters in incompletely as though it's only partially heard (transcript will be after last image in update)


It's like there's people just around the other side of the structure you exited from.

Its only like that, however, as you cant get a clear read and it doesnt feel the same as hearing the rest of the forest's sounds.

Questant%20Prologue%20009.png

"This doesn't go anywhere"
"Crawl out from the NER regardless ; Wait, really?"
"Cmon we got a" ; "Spawn point" ; "Pursuer could expand ; the last thing we are in need of is disentangling from the NER"
"I know when I'm out voted. Lets head back."

You make an attempt, but eventually find the brush to be too thick.

So you call out a general "Hey!" to get their attention

But it doesn't change anything, and it doesn't change that what you're hearing feels the same way a song you only heard a few times but still tried to memorize the lyrics to.

It takes a moment, but you can tell whoever they are there's definitely multiple of them in a group. Someone is better than nobody being out here.. so you feel confident in trying to catch up to them.

The path ahead stretches for a while from what you can see.. you hope you can catch up to them before it gets dark.
 
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Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
Hey there! Thank you for your patience!
The last couple months have been a bit of a ride whether with the holidays, or changing out meds. I've struggled with my expectations for how I wanna execute things, and I'm trying to just let myself keep it (relatively) simple where I can and get to the actual exploration sequence and what lies beyond that.
To that end I updated the thread index summary and gave this baybee a simple icon so that it's not just my avatar floating thru the void.

The next formal update is gonna be 1/20/2024 aka tomorrow aka this saturday. Would've posted it several hours later tonight, but my plans for the night changed.
 
Klevas' Starter Ritual - Reagent Selection

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
Klevas stands with the altar space. The text reads It isn't a hard decision after all for Klevas. Break Room you key-in your intonations without much delay, Cons, they feel a home to me. I am ready.


Korite closes their eye in reflextion, The shape of the memory as it already is within your thoughts.. hold onto it gently. This working is rather simple that way, They say with a wry smile that whole notion of the power being within you all the while.


They arent wrong, as the easy part of this is for Klevas to hold onto the memory.

Focusing on it makes it feel that much more tangible.. and as it becomes closer to the forefront of vaer psyche there's a pliability to it and vae stifles a disturbed chuckle.

"Dwelling on the memory will allow you to soon dwell within it. This is built by shaping the room.." Korite muses, but pauses to crane their head as they eye the chriilth'tyn from across the holopane, "Am I going too fast, or is there something else on your mind?"

"Only malleable memories." Klevas intones as vae continues to visualize the breakroom within vaer mind.

With only so many to recall it stands as easy to warp each memory by way of pulling it to mind often in lieu of others, and easy to pull it at all to the forefront.

Is it the lack of similar memories that allow it to stand out?

As the others.. it stands sufficiently distinct that Klevas doesnt confuse vaerself in the process of meditating on the memory, and they intone once more, "Please, continue."

"Of course," Korite replies and makes a curt nod as they watch from across the pane the layer's reflection begin to take shape in the bezel of the altar, "It helps to know what lies beyond the symbolic representation you have on-hand in that scrapbook. Constructing the panorama that surrounds your mind's eye, what an out-of-body perspective could gleam from its sensorium."

For a moment you're unsteady in considering the actual dimensions of where you were.

The tables are arranged like a panel room would be, but you knew the crates were supplies for staff and volunteers during the convention.

It didnt go too terribly far back.. did it?

Was it one repurposed?

The result seems sufficient for Korite to continue, but Klevas is left in want to examine the memory's internal dimensions further when there's time.


Korite smiles with their eye open as they say What was the ambient temperature of this place? What were you feeling in that moment and the others that trace the shape of this place in your memory?


You remember it being a stable room temperature.

The seats could have been a little more comfortable in some of the panel rooms.

Klevas brought the matter to accessibility after watching some patrons spend a panel standing in the back to observe, repeatedly moving from standing and crouched stances as a result of chronic pain that would only have been exacerbated by sitting in the chairs available.

In the end nothing could be done as the chairs were the ones that the venue had available.

It was only the first day of the convention proper and midway through your shift you were getting tired. Entrafresh bottles were being passed around each time vae'd visit.


an isometric sketch of memory 2 unfolds within Klevas' mental interior


If it wasnt for the break being one of the shorter ones, vae could've taken an afternoon nap with how chill the breakroom was kept.

Klevas thinks vae could manage to take a nap sitting in the chairs within this memory, but not a particularly long one.


Klevas' eye narrows and they frown.  If you would, please establish contact with the altar's console Korite instructs as their head takes on a new light, you may feel a pinch along your mind-body boundary. mild ontalgic pain isn't uncommon the first time you do this


Klevas places their tendrils onto the console. Interlacing tendrils on their left side in a means to feel some stability through surface tension stimming.

"There'll either be bottles in boxes underneath the tables," vae says with some uncertainty, and adds to cover vaer bases, "or they'll be packed away in the crates.. I'm not yet sure what day of the con this memory's from."

The components "mild" and "pinch" lead Klevas to expect something likenable to the incision of a needle for a blood draw.

Vae supposed had vae voiced this expectation to Korite they might have confirmed it, but vaer response was not one to ask for further clarification.

The smoky tendrils that snaked out from the altar console's holographic window and from beneath the bezel's plane were likely extended with a gentle intent, as Klevas could only hope from what rapport vae could build with the acolyte, but as they coiled about vaer own limbs.. vae could grasp better what had been meant.

Those ethereal tendrils had firmly locked Klevas' own into place, and you do not know exactly when they will release Klevas. Korite grins benevolently as they reply, "I'm hopeful to that point, as I dont find much delight in a prolonged extraction process.."

In this moment the body and the mind, although they may interface and be one in the same, are likewise separate entities that cooperate. Klevas is not their body, nor their mind.

It'd be easiest to seek refuge in the idea of an immutable soul as a grounding principle for both, and in this moment it is clear that all three are similar in the basis that they are very mutable things.

You know it does not take long for Korite to locate the memory in question.

The tendrils tunnel through the still air of the room the memory has become after their entry through that open doorway, and Klevas can feel themselves drifting mentally in the dispassionate embrace of vaer memory being witnessed by an outside force.

It is different to trace its shape or to recall it yourself, and yet it is almost the same when someone traces your pathways to locate it and to explore its contents.

The tendrils pass through tableclothes end-to-end only to find no target hiding within. With some you all know there is only empty space for what was within was never known to the memory.

Despite the distance vae feels from vaer body Klevas is able to tilt their instrument up to emulate an exchanged glance and blurt out, "Sorry."

Korite grimaces reflexively, replying in-kind as they withdraw the tendrils so that they may probe the crates, "You have my condolences for the strain I'm asking you bear.." and the sigh as the first manages to snake around and snare itself a bottle. "There is no need to apologize for a wrong guess, as the strain this act draws on me is of little comparison.. It is not my first time enacting it."

As the tendril moves the bottle.. its being lifted feels wrong to Klevas for the bottle was in its rightful place.

Vae knew where it was, where is it now, where it should be, and where it should not be.

The plastic warps as they try to tug it through, and it takes the aid of others to warp the mesh's partition wide enough for the tendril to pull it free.

Nothing is broken, only distorted, and yet being changed like this..

It leaves Klevas feeling emptier, as though vaer're no longer quite whole.

The altar's circle brightens slightly as a grid forms atop it.


the altar space has a bottle of entrafresh materialize via psirune printing layer by layer of it's self-concept


The object materializes in front of them atop the altar's working space. Layer by layer the sigil unfolds the object's selfhood into the same segpock as Klevas.

You take the bottle as soon as it finishes materializing and stuff it into your messenger bag.

Its contents arent yet wholly full, but you find yourself glad to know that the weight you're carrying will be eased soon.

Klevas shifts vaer tendrils with discomfort, and releases the valves of the mask to intone out "Will.. will th-the cauldron be.. painful too?"

Korite sighs and looks up at Klevas, "I had said that you may feel some quantity of pain.. and I had likewise underestimated the effect it would have on you. Not all sophonts experience a congruent reaction," they continue with a tone that carries both concern and remorse alike, "but thankfully the other object to retrieve will be less invasive due to line-of-sight from the snapshot view."

They shift once more and add, "A medique or a specialized magixenn would likely have been able to do this without provoking as much discomfort... but yes, the first time is the worst as most experience it. The ease of this second attempt should be nigh-painless."

Klevas' tendrils tighten their weave in anticipation.. but the pain does not come this time.

Those same wispy tendrils snake out from the snapshot's field of view, and quickly coil around the cauldron. It is a brief invasion of vaer self, but only discomforting for a brief moment.

the same printing of the cauldron occurs


As the shrine lights up once more to materialize the plastic cauldron Korite once more speaks up, "With a bit of practice you should be able to do the same remotely, but until that time you will need to visit the interior of your inner world and by extension your memories to manually retrieve items and raw materials."

"Could.. could I do it anytime?" Klevas asks in acting on a spark of intuition and vaer curiosity entangled, "Before the stalwarte and I sought shelter.. ey had told me that we should not do it 'out in the open', is it the same or different?"

Korite frowns and replies quickly, "You could, but in a NER you risk a realignment occurring. You'd likely be ejected out into the void unless you had anchored your inner world to the segpock you had last been in.."

As they muse, a final item is materialized into being upon the altar: an 'inventory core'.

Their shoulders droop, and they stare Klevas down "It shouldn't need too much explanation to imagine how that would be a setback in your present circumstances. This is why in many realms the norm is for voidfolk to find somewhere stable.. and safe to carry out their more delicate workings."

"A dormitory, a safe house, really anywhere sufficiently private. Doing so in any given segpock with an anchor to your inner world would allow whatever is passing through to traipse into you.." And at this point Korite grins in a wide fashion, "doing so in a demiplane? In public? Some consider an open door an invitation my friend."

"Did you have any further queries before we begin?"

a couple of klevas' instrument valves open to release the air of the intonation, I cannot do this alone yet.. Klevas replies, and leans forwards onto the shrine's console to peer down at the void's reflection beneath the bezel, but can.. can I watch closer?


"It's possible, of course." Korite says, "but it may go over your head a touch." They warm, but still beam nontheless, "There's no harm at all to see it from another perspective my friend."

The light that was emanating from them gleams once more as they ask, "Now if you would, please select the reagents for this Working."

An interface unfolds from the altar basin. Each option available to Klevas unfurls within their own sections. It is immediately apparent that despite the theoretical max recommended 8 reagent option (that the acolyte immediately dismisses as being an actual maximum, their aside noting that it is 'less messy 03'), as not all sections vae sees have available options.. and vaer thought is to ask later about this.


Plan Vote - Starter Reagents​

Inventory ; Select up to 4 said:
These provide a substrate for concepts to adhere to. These define or influence material properties, and abilities, of the resulting cognion.
[]Cauldron (plastic)
[]Protein Bar (assorted)
[]Fliptop Bottle (mineral water)
[]Entrafresh Bottle (cranberry)
[]Gel Pen (voidtouch augment)
[]Stickey Note
[]Pottery Shards
[]Frayed-off Zipper
Memories ; Select up to 1 said:
The inclusion of a memory associates the resulting cognion with it. This may result in the segpock being derived by the cognion as an originating habitat, or conferring an understanding of the memory as it's owner would know it. This often only affects the palette of the cognion, but in lieu of provided substrate will influence the resulting cognion's form more heavily.
[] Memory (1 to 8)
Inscribe Intent said:
The core of the cognion's reason for being, and it's likeness. This can shift over time or be manually edited. This influence is often more subtle, but can be seen reflected in the 'build' aptitudes and basal abilities of the cognion.
A single word or simple phrase will suffice. This is not limited to nouns, but a noun will be most conducive to the working.
[]Oasis
[]Write-in
Required Reagents said:
[X]Inventory Core

You can find other Plans being voted for on the Sufficient Velocity forum mirror.
You are welcome to mirror a plan to the other forum by posting it there in the replies. Please either use the same username, or declare in your post that you're X user from elsewhere. Mirrored votes are not counted twice.


Normal Vote - Participation​

How would Klevas approach the ritual and attempt to influence it via?
[][Curious] - Klevas' interest lies in how [ The Void Fills The Gap ] came into play, and would open vaerself to better understand if it could be used with intent.
[][Creative] - Klevas would contribute vaer instrument's song to the ritual to imbue the cognion with vaer [ Music ] and the capacity for the same.
[][Melancholic] - Klevas wanted to connect to the shrine as Korite would, and in doing so observe more closely what they could of voidfolk workings.
[]Write-In

Voting ends at 11:59pm utc-8 on January 26th.
 
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Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all

Plan Votes - quoted from SV Intro to Questing

Planning Rationality! This kind of system is a little strange, not to mention rare, but is very much fun to play and interesting. While there are many bits of minutia this kind of system can have, most quests that feature this system will have the QM automatically veto an action that the character will not take In Character (IC) and/or the QM will take the plan of action that has the best reasoned argument.
These are useful for when there are several choices to make. I lean towards majority rules in some cases, and while I might take any command I get for more freeform sections, this update requires a plan.

OncelerFan201X said:
>Plan "I've Got An Idea"
->Protein Bar
->Memory 6
TwicetheFutility said:
>Plan "I've got a different one
->Frayed-Off Zipper
->Memory 3
->Memory 8

so the vote would be tied at one vote for each plan. A third user could come along and vote for either, or suggest a third plan.
In the following case, the user might think they're voting for either one, and just merging or changing them, but their vote is a separate one entirely.

ThriceUponATime said:
>Plan "I've Got An Idea"
->Protein Bar
->Memory 8

the thing that user 3 would need to change no matter what is the plan name.
while plan names are not necessary, voting for a plan in specific requires keeping it's components the same, or renaming it as a new plan.
While Thousand Roads doesnt use the voting module that Sufficient Velocity Does, for my own sanity should there be a bit of votes on the TR side, I'd like folks to try and use plan-based block voting as well. I can tally it myself, but specifying the plan will help here.
 
Prolo 2 - The Forest's Path

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
a winding and distorted forest path with the impression of the conversation as follows Always in old shows buuuut there's clearly a human once.       Cmon we cant leave an offering behind?       I'd rather not be caught       general intuition says      how long til we're back?

"Always in old shows buuuut there's clearly a human once."
"Cmon we cant leave an offering behind?"
"I'd rather not be caught"
"general intuition says"
"how long til we're back?"

The path feels almost well-worn into the hillside as each step traces another's.

Down the distant hillside you think you can spot some form of animal, but its shape is obscurred by both underbrush and the shape of the shade cast by the canopy alike.

Regardless of what it is.. it doesn't bolt as a result of the conversation you continue to overhear as you trail behind the group.


yet another space, the wireframes of reality dimly shine through in the shade of every object in this space as the whispers proliferate again a true expression of your people?      kind of ok give me a second      One and done that's your second

"a true expression of your people?"
"kind of ok give me a second"
"One and done that's your second"

It's been a short while of treading the path, but you can tell now that there's definitely a group of people. Some more than two and definitely less than five.

You feel like they know each other well enough that they likely call each other friends.

Sometimes you feel just distracted enough that you might trip over a branch, and from the way that the shadows in this part of the trail glimmer and reveal some underlying shape of the world around you.. you dont think you want to trip here.

A split in the path arrives and only one option remains as the result of a large and dying tree having fell across the other. With assistance you may have been able to climb over it, but the shape of it is irregular enough that you expect you'd fall down trying and only tire yourself out.

It's frustrating as you expect the group went along that route.


a clearing where a path is worn through the middle. some lone tress sprout out within the clearing, and the cloud cover obscures the mountainside rising int he distance. the sky is distorted as though a fog cover begins after the trees. underneath one to the left is a grazing beast with warped and mottled flesh


With each step it feels as though you are not any closer to the group ahead. The delay slowed you down, and while you could still tell they were nearby along the other path you had to maintain a steady pace in an attempt to keep ahead.

In time you've reached a clearing and a decent vantage point. The path you were along winded about the lower hillside and had to take a bit of a turn to reach it, but you're back onto the same trail.

Some form of beast browses through the grass in the shade of a tree at the border of the clearing, but it doesn't pay you anymore attention than you do it. Either way it clearly doesn't mind your presence in its midst.

You dont have any clearer a view of the group you'd been following.

You at best can tell that they're distantly ahead, so you continue on your way.


the edge of another clearing. birch trees are visible in the foreground between the light grass brush. the whispers are back and say Its something along the word's archaic     You know normally I know normally     My vote's the voidship.

"Its something along the word's archaic"
"You know normally I know normally"
"My vote's the voidship."

Their voices sound off in exchange to each other as call and response, but without any to your own no matter the volume you try to reach.

Your calls became hoarse over the last.. it's probaby been half an hour since you have been following them if you had to guess.

You find yourself in another clearing, and the edge of it ahead is thin enough to reveal a fence-line closing off another clearing.

You're starting to consider whether heading back is the better course of action.. and yet this is the first sign of another structure than the one you had exited from. Anything that's a sign of people is better than wandering a countryside you dont know.


this time the path at least approaches a gate after which stands a tall tree.


So you trudge onwards.

You can see a building up ahead. It looks like it could be someone's home.

While you can't hear the group.. that's enough for you.


a ranch style house's comfortable porch. the dimensions are warped as though the room was made for a widescreen monitor. there are railings to separate the room gently from the outside. No glass separates the space where a wood floor rug and couch and ottoman with lamp and a side chair sit. the forest is in the distance of the clearing. the whispers do their thing This path does not equate to being worth our time.  I heard it leads anyway  So sallyforth we must!

"This path does not equate to being worth our time."
"I heard it leads anyway"
"So sallyforth we must!"

You dont see them, but you can hear them.

The back patio is furnished. You contemplate sitting down and taking a break, but know it can wait.

You knock on the back door and call out to anyone inside. You repeat the process for at least several minutes before you sigh and resign yourself to checking if the door is unlocked.

It is.

Reconsidering whether you want to enter uninvited you decide to sit on the patio furniture and wait.

The sound of the wind blowing through the trees fills the air, and even some beast cries sound out from the woods like a natural chorus accompanying it.

If you hadn't woken up in a some sort of basement in the middle of what you can only assume is the wilderness somewhere.. this would be a lot more relaxing.

You find yourself taking comfort in the moment for the minutes it lasts.
 
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Negrek

Play the Rain
Staff
[[ Looks like I've managed to miss a fair bit here, oof. My impression is that there's nothing to be done in the scene with the house now, and voting has to do with the creation of the cognion? I'll give it a shot! ]]

> Plan "Starter Pokémon"
-> Protein Bar
-> Pottery Shards
-> Frayed-Off Zipper
-> Memory: 6
-> Intent: Companion
 

Nonakin

Youngster
Pronouns
he/him
[X] Plan "Oasis"
-[X] Pottery Shards
-[X] Frayed-Off Zipper
-[X] Entrafresh Bottle
-[X] Cauldron
-[X] Memory: 3 (Tunnel)
-[X] Intent: Oasis

[X][Creative]
 
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Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
combined with the vote from the SV Thread, [Starter Pokemon] is the winner, along with [Creative] participation
 
Sorry I'm Late I Brought Sketches 1 New

Meridian

local liminal entity
Location
The Casca Region
Pronouns
any/all
Hey there, as I warned at the start of the quest things will periodically slow down. I wanted to get the next prologue and update out before this last weekend, but my process wasn't conducive to the writing or art I expected it to be.
so
I'm finally gonna start posting my sketches / do an author's note thing, because beyond communicating a light delay, I need to get used to posting my art. here's where stuff's at
  • Prologue 3 is mostly finished in terms of background assets. I have some hallucinatory text to draft, other rough drafts to resolve, and then formatting it, but it's just about done.
  • Next Mainline Upd8..
    • I'm just about done with the cognion design (aka the sprite. it's faster if my chibi walksprite is concept art at times I find)
    • working over the rough draft's script. The writing is mostly done, with an editing pass and finishing some parts.. which means I'll be onto panel assembly.
    • concept drafting stage went interestingly. I'm kind of excited about it.. I'm gonna try at some animated gifs. We're not talking an Flash (tho I do want to do one later on), but it's still a scope creep that I'm reigning in.
      • I have a tendency to think of 'a grand vision', and these days Im learning to scale things backwards, BUT giving myself enough of a challenge that I'll learn something new usually.
      • It's been years since I used the Blender suite and I've wanted to return to it for a while, so I'm going to try a (simple as i can make it) blender animation.
      • Scope feels managable, I know the fundamental parts to what I'll be doing with this piece, but it's still gonna take time collating reference guides and troubleshooting.
  • The 4th prologue update has been fairly outlined and concepted for a while.
    It's where this art quest / comic has, finally, 🎉A Third Character🎉.
    • Ey has eyr own section to this extra extra read-all-about-it update.
    • I have a couple easy to work on backgrounds, and after asset creation that'll happen this week will be composed into the panels you're used to mixed with implementing the psychedelic visual elements.

Aiming for Prologue 3 on thursday, Cognion Ritual in the few days following, and prologue 4 around voting close.
After that, this project moves to an Exploration Phase with a relatively 'nearby' (as few as 4 Turn updates. There'll be a narrative puzzle, resource scavenging, and mon capturing opportunities.
After that? First 'town', Act 1 begins baybee.



Lumsketch is being added to the credits for designing the element system outlined originally in this tumblr post. This was then updated to the following chart with additions by members of a scifi discord. I asked to make usage of this system, and Lum said they were cool with that.
2020-11-12-damage-icons%20lumsketch.png

Lum runs the blog Lumsketch on Tumblr, where their art is featured. They're also running a webcomic called Foreach, which is amazing. Here's an excerpt from the about page.

Jasper Mundy is a young exorcist who feels beaten down by the pressures of life, friends and family. When the going gets to be just too much to bear, Jasper likes to sit down and play a mysterious videogame called LOVE BOMB, about a young man named Jiro...​

Foreach is a comic about cycles, parenthood, power, friendship, escapism, and videogames.​


Updates on Sundays!
Content warnings for: blood, violence, themes of trauma and depression, reference to suicide
Foreach is best enjoyed with any webpage color or format changing extensions disabled

This update is the first time I'm going to formally be rolling dice.

Dice rolls are more for introducing a rng element to progression of actions. This quest ideally will be kept out from having too much crunch, largely rewarding experimentation, so-on. If you read, dont worry too much about any vote having a wrong answer, even a puzzle going awry takes you somewhere.
There are no true consequences here just bonuses to give Klevas / the starting Party of this art quest resources to work from.

This comes into play because the noeme of [ Music ] is what could result from the ritual being infused with an instrumentalist's song, would be represented as doing [ Rupture ] damage.
So, I'm leaving that to a dice roll. The results of which will likely include a new choice for Klevas to make. The method used is sufficient velocity's dice rolling mechanic, which happens after I send a post (and then edit to roll the dice in the post). The roll threshholds felt "yeah this should work".

DICE ROLLS

VOID FILLS THE GAP: [Holographic] Check (> 65 +5 from Klevas particpating)
- if passed, Klevas will better understand the [Holographic] noeme on an enhanced level. this increases all interactions with the noeme.
VOID FILLS THE GAP: [Glazed] Check (> 65 +5 from Klevas participating)
- if passed, Klevas will better understand the [Glazed] noeme on an enhanced level. this increases all interactions with the noeme.
CREATIVE PARTICIPATION: Check (> 30 + 15 from Klevas' instrument affinity ; roll twice, taking the higher result)
- if passed choose (1) of (2) abilities.
CREATIVE PARTICIPATION: Check (> 65 +15 from Klevas' instrument affinity, roll twice take highest)
- if passed a noeme of [ Music ] coalesces within the cognion, and will attune with time towards it.
- These results will not manifest until the cognion has lived the breadth of at least a day (Rolled per aspect. 1/3 chance after Day 1, 1/2 after Day 2, 2/3 after Day 3, 4/5 after Day 4).
- Further consequences are likely as time passes.

VFTG Holographic: 12, a fail

VFTG Glazed: 58, a fail

Creative Participation Ability: 86, a success. Choice of (1) between two abilities will occur in cognion ritual update.
  • Ability: Simple Song ; This cognion has found a way to make music, and uses it to make a simple song. At the very least it is cute. Can be used for a variety of purposes. As an attack it can deal low Rupture damage.
  • Ability: Basic Mimicry ; This cognion is capable of mimicking what it's been trained to repeat. It may be anywhere from spot-on to uncanny.

Creative Participation Music Noeme: 65... I'm counting it, that's a 50+15, and I didnt have more than or equal to. I'm curving the grade to D
Wahoo, this'll be a fun cognion keeping aspect to run


Design Work Preview for Questant, and other projects like NERrium and worldbuilding preview.​

I got a bit distracted this last week with prepping for another forumventure I want to run, so have a preview of some a couple cognions that'll appear a few updates into it.

In the dungeon drawing exosphere toy, the forumventure narrative will work similar to something like Dungeon Core, in that the shape of the NER (like a mystery dungeon they randomly generate ex nihilo) will flow as a result of updates. Random chance events will happen, and organisms populating it will forage, hunt, and form relationships with the surreal patchwork realities they inhabit.

With this sketch I wanted to capture a feeling of encountering Cognions in an adventure game / 'travel sim', as inspired by indie rpgs, point and click games (hivesim for instance), and experimental animator YourLocalBreadman's Purgaliminal concept series. It was life-changing seeing the concepts I'd been curious about explored and executed as they were, and would definitely point to their work. I want to make the lifesim approach a level like the Creatures game series for NER ecologies. Different segpocks connect like different metarooms.

With this sketch I wanted to try and show a cognion battle lot for a practice spar. I decided to use cognions I was drafting for a later update of the forumventure side project I'm gonna launch soon. I'd say I was inspired by casette beasts, and that combat ui / visual styles are gonna shift with any work I do. I didnt feel ready to use walksprites for a cognion conflict mockup..
but the combat mechanics and elemental system are gonna make things interesting.

NERrium%20Preview%20snippiet%2004.png

NERrium%20Preview%20snippet%2003.png

The Nakashima Cube​

The Nakashima cube is an animated stim toy, a cube that can repeatedly fold itself over. They come in all sorts of colors and styles.
  • the arrangement of eyes and patterns on a cube cognion is extensive, and breeding them is a hobby of some cognion keepers
  • countless strains and breed families of cube cognion are called different names, but often will still be of human origin
  • there are countless stim toy cognions out there, across sophontic species and cultures too

The Fauxnosaur / Ydawopod​

you remember that toy dinosuar you loved the colors and spikes on, but later learned it might never have walked like that? damn.
  • This species of cognion is known for being the dinosaurs the books wont tell you about. Some humans might remember reading about them too.
  • Herbivorous beaks on apex predators, robotic components, garish colors, this cognion can do it all
  • A worthwhile starter to choose due to their evolutionary capabilities, and adaptability to cognion conflicts.

The cachelithe and cairnlithe alike were domestic fauna of the loineur worlds.
The Loineur species and it's cultures tamed countless creatures and brought them to convergent and biotechnical states in cohabitance on their folded world. Among it's cultures is the free and open cultural association of the Loi-Floios. This is the culture to which Baird, a starting party member in a planned forum quest I didnt launch from about 2 years ago, ascribes to.

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Frequently handles area denial, defensive measures, overwatch, etc and is otherwise a capable generalist.He is able to adapt to needed roles within a party, a literal-figurative skill monkey. He is a cognion tamer, and has two cognions in his roster, one of which is a trade project with his party member. Competent and casual, Baird is likely to be cryptic and snarky alike as it hangs around the party.
Could be a mentor, but do you want someone who casually admits to getting their jacket off a dead body ("didnt need it anymore after getting hit by a pursuer I expect") to be your mentorfriend in the void? Syder, the seer and explorator of the party, wants to learn the way of radical bodily autonomy through changes to one's form and psyche alike.
To become alien to your past selves, to become unfettered and likenable to feythings. This is xenofeying, a simple portmanteau and umbrella term of the voidtraipsing voidfolk like Baird, Caestellau, and many others. With all the time in the world and surrealist magic at your fingertips, what would you seek to start changing about your reality?
His head is a hologram being projected by a chassis headcase. His real head is resting within his inner world, and is a backup should the chassis get damaged in a fight. It's not uncommon for object head species to have a separate 'original' or 'extra' head.
I may give him and his party a cameo in Rememaudlin
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Baird is a member of the Loineur species, that bred the cachelithes from the megafauna cairnlithes. The cachelithe is a commonly seen starter cognion for their frequency to inherit and inventory core or to spontaneously generate it during their lifespan.

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I've alluded to em a few times so far in the narrative, but this is Caestellau. I'm gonna be finalizing eyr design in the next couple days, as ey debuts in Prologue Part 4 🎉(tada emoji).
Caestellau is a stalwarte who acts frequently as a First Party Member type of aid as an adventurer and tank. Ey willl be here for as long as you'll have em, or at such a point that ey feels Klevas is self-sufficient (and will make it a conversation sequence).
Ey is a member of the Loi-Floios through birth + raising, and has a connection with eyr loi-orault heritage (those that tamed the cairnlith), and kilonnese heritage, but only maintains so much with the mantaean diaspora.

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Ey and Korite were the first two characters sketched specifically for Questant. They differ a little bit from sketches, like I wanted to use shibori print textures in robes for their work outfit, but I decided "big serpent with gem underbelly" would be fine for the zoomed out, and I'll draw robe outfit for off-the-clock Korite.
Caestellau... eyr design isnt finalized... such as that ey has a tail, a big ol peacock-like sigil tail.

Flotillans like Korite have a multiversal history with Mantaeans, and vice-versus. Caestellau has no hangups about that sort of stuff, whereas Korite on meeting remotely or not will want to be deferential to Caestellau and assist em in eyr survival out of a sense of custodial obligation. They just work here, and are skilled at suppressing stress reactions in client facing interactions, but wow this sure is a call to have picked up for.


Lastly, the other thing I got sidetracked with: I worked on coloring the walksprites from species select, and worked with my cognion designs over the last couple years to make a size lineup. My style is all over the place, but I'm kind of happy with that
The third cognion species is among the members of the lineup, what what stands out to you?
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Lastly I'm gonna be trying to make some changes to how the first page is arranged.
My intent is to have the option to read chronologically, or from the first Questant image edit I made. Once this prologue wraps up I'll have a summary for new readers to jump in via.
 
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