Monday, 2 December 2019

The Eight Worghast Laws

More Eldritch Foundry R&D. Whenever I start thinking about Golems (or 'Warforged') I start thinking about the boundaries of Humanity and A.I. I guess thats not an uncommon process.

Think 'Worghast' wasn't my name originally, hhmmm.



Damn this is a surprisingly good Fantasy Robot image, something that does not usually inspire me.

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FEAR OF THE MACHINE



There are many kinds of construct possible. Though much of the knowledge of old Esh is lost, much remains. Knowledge of many kinds, magical, technological, philosophical and theoretical.

The technology level of Blackwater is clearly much lower than many of the cultures that fed into it, but its magical powers are significant, and though large scale systemic scientific understanding has either been lost, or made irrelevant by the decay of Uud, bits and pieces, fragment, tools, books and hints of knowledge all remain. The Thaumaturges of Blackwater can be strong indeed. Reality is tattered, and a powerful will can shape much.

So it is that there are many forms of Construct in Blackwater, and the Waste-Lands generally.
Moving figures, things that seem like Humans.

In the Waste-Lands these are classified into three types of being. Golems, Worghast and Robots.

A Golem is of the following qualities;

Almost always of a single material. Of a single intent or purpose. Single minded. A creation of Pure Thaumaturgy with no moving parts without personality or name. And it does not dream.

The legal status of a Golem is relatively simple. It is merely a complex tool, an extension of the Creators will, and whatever a golem does, good or bad, is counted as an action by its creator.

And almost all kingdoms have laws for who can make a Golem, when and why.




A Robot is a different thing.

No-one in the Waste-Lands has ever seen a Robot, but they have a vague idea of what one is. And what a Robot is is bad, very bad.

They are a destructive, annihilating wave. They are anti-human. They have greater than human intelligence, but no souls and they do not dream. They do not require Thaumaturgy, being completely material beings.

Robots, even the memory of what a Robot might be, mainly forgotten, re-created a thousand times by different cultures is a shadowy silver dream-thing. Not just the physical destruction of Humanity but the replacement, the subversion of Humanity and the removal of what it means to "be Human".

The "Silver Legions".

No-one has ever seen a robot, but the terror of the dream of them persists.



Between these two things, the Golem, simple, magical, explicable, legal and (largely) controllable, easily observed by all, and the Robot, a kind of imagined memory of terror, the Orc-Machine, the Automoata-as-Other, is the Worghast.

A Worghast is defined by Law, and that Law is ancient, older even than Uud.




THE WORGHAST LAWS


The laws descend from Esh. Translated and re-constructed through a thousand different tongues and cultures but always containing the same basic principals and concepts and therefore indicating, to most Sophonts, a distant common origin that lies behind them all.


FIRST - THE ARTISINAL LAW


Every Worghast must be an entirely individual and original creation. None may be a direct copy of any other. Especially and most vitally - they may not be mass-produced. Ever.

This law has great primacy in the Waste-Lands. It stands against the mass-replacement of Humanity by its own synthetic creations and it is enforced directly, immediately and by mass action in every sane polity and every society known.

To create synthetic life is one thing, but to create mass, identical synthetic life without end, is to spell Humanities doom.

This law and its immediate moral intuition across so many cultures and societies that have seemingly nothing in common, and which are in fact often deeply opposed, suggests to some that its origin must lie in some deep trauma or catastrophe, older even than the fall of Esh.

Even in the face of Yggsrathaals advances, this law has not (or has rarely been) broken, so central is it in concept to the construction and preservation of "Humanity".



SECOND - MADE THINGS MAY NOT MAKE LIFE


Going directly along with the Artisanal Law is one exactly as vital.

A Worghast may never make another Worghast.

Only original, organic Humanity may make synthetic or engineered life. For a Worghast to create another of its kind, and that being able to in turn create more, would lead to their immediate and violent destruction by any means necessary.

In almost every cases, Worghast are specifically designed and created with either an anti-desire to create more of themselves, or a simple indifference to the concept.



THIRD - THE LAW OF THOUGHT


Also called The Law of "NO!", The Law of Free Will and the Law of No Purpose.

This is a curious Law and one of the few Worghast Laws which it seems was created for the benefit of the Worghast as well as for the safety and preservation of Humanity.

If a creature is incapable of saying "No", of refusing an order from its creator, and thereby forging its own path, then it is not considered Sentient and is classed as a Golem.

In that case the Golem laws take effect.

This is a remarkably subtle law, and a sophisticated one to test.

Many Worghast are created by groups or powerful individuals with clear intent behind their creation. The Worghast is made to serve a specific purpose, often with a very long term goal. But the law of "No" insists that no Worghast may exist that lacks the complexity, and the free will to, if it should so choose, deny its creator. So every act of creation is a subtle interplay of the intent and desire of the creator, and the developing and increasing complexity and self-direction of the created being.

Making a Worghast is not like making a Golem, a tool for one specific purpose, neither is it quite like educating a child, it is a third thing and no other relationship quite matches it.

The utility of this law is multiple.

Firstly it is a law against slavery, and against the creation of "willing slaves". This is good for the slaves (probably) and also good for society as the moral stain of slavery is avoided, and also the economy is not destroyed and the value of human work ruined.

Society benefits again, for the law of "No" effectively prevents a genius-level or well-resourced creator of Worghasts from building an army of machines to enforce their will.

Any such creator (and few indeed are subtle or powerful enough to ever create more than one), would be limited first by the Artisinal Law - every creation must be original, then by the Second Law - their Worghasts may not assist them in making more, and finally by the Third Law - if they create multiple Worghasts and all seem too obedient they will certainly come under investigation, and likely under censure.




FOURTH - THE LAW OF HUMAN EQUIVILENCY


Absolutely central to the Worghast Laws, and the law even peasants and slumdwellers know, is that no Created Intelligence may be, in total, superior to Humanity.

Now, exactly what this means and how this law plays out, is in fact insanely complex.

Firstly there is the definition of "Humanity" which includes beings as varied in capacity and Deoth, Aeth, Nathlings, Avatars, Somon, Homon and, in Yga at least, Half-Orcs, and even possibly Full-Orcs.

And that fails to account for the enormous and insane variation within groupings. A guttersnipe who cannot count their own fingers is human, a Prime Thaumaturge of a Great College, able to pierces realities, lay waste to nations and of near-Optimatical power, is also, simply human.

The "Amendment" of Hulfr is one Worghast which pushes against the boundary of this definition. Made with incredible powers of intellect, and built of the most fragile crystal, so that the merest glancing blow would utterly destroy it, weighted constantly with lead pendulums, guarded and watched continually and with almost the entire government of Hulfr to check every word and action and to guard against its power. This creature is still declared totally illegal in most of the rest of the Grey Cities, and even many allies of Hulfr have tried to persuade the city to destroy it, so sharply does it push against the law of Human Equivalency.

For most Worghast, the question is a more practical one - if they go into some random village will they be torn apart?

Levels of prejudice and tolerance vary enormously across Blackwater, by place and nation, and also from age to age.

As solitary as they can often be, and as long lived as they often are, any sane Worghast must plan for ages, and areas, of intolerance.

Because of this, many chose to carry their weaknesses openly and directly, making it entirely and obviously visible to any who observe that they are clearly and frankly no superior to humanity.

Many Worghast have limbs and bodies of shatterable porcelain. Those capable of magic or great skill often have limbs or bodies of clouded glass. Some are clad in tarnished copper which requires continual cleaning. Some great Worghast sword-masters or warriors are constructed from Scrap and must continually re-construct themselves after each battle. Some very physically powerful Worghast, made to break sieges or construct buildings, have iron bands symbolically riveted over their inactive mouths to indicate they cannot speak, or even over their eyes. Some Worghast have faces of carved gold but feet of cracking clay which must be continually (and visibly) re-made, or heavy lumpen feet of stone on thin gracile bodies.

Some extremely wealthy and successful Worghast have themselves reduced down to a simple head in a box, carried around by organic servants, and make this their own highly visible counterweight to their financial and political power.

Some warriors go clad in ribbons and curls of parchment with their legal verification and confirmations from many kingdoms written upon them, ribbons of text in such great profusions that they seem almost to be flowing robes. And of course the Acts of Hulfr carry with them visibly at all times, the Act of Parliament which makes their existence legal and valid.







FIFTH - THE LIBRARY LAW


Also called the Law of Limited Mind or the Memory Law.

This Law states that, while the Intelligence of a Worghast may not be significantly above that of "Humanity" (whatever that is taken to mean), and of course assuming that nothing else about the Worghast acts as a limiting factor (limbs of glass for example) to bring it back within the average, neither may its memory be Infinite.

Worghast can "live" a long, long time. It is possible that, taking into account replacements and alterations, some Worghast descend even from Esh. But the coherent memory of a Worghast is not allowed to go far beyond a thousand years or so (and that would be pushing it).

If they were allowed to remember too much, to know too much, even with limited intelligence, they would become too powerful.

Usually this means Worghast are built with a natural fade to their memories after a certain time, or with memory cores or other elements which can be replaced or swapped out.

This means there is a natural tragedy to a Worghasts existence. Though their lives often have continuity of experience, they often do not know how old they are, or what they have done in previous ages.

Worghasts are allowed to record their memories, on paper, or in art. And many do this, but over time the natural drift of language and evolution of thought, let alone the chaos of history, means their own memories become both unreadable to them, and so massive that all they can do is dip into their huge libraries of experience, unable to ever hold the whole thing in their mind at once.

Most accept this as a natural consequence of their existence, but some become obsessed with hiding, seeking or recovering lost or forgotten memories or records, or with processing and amending events so ancient that they should not be recalled at all.

It is a wise Worghast, often, who simply walks away from the archive of their own experience, who lets themselves forget and essentially, becomes someone else.



SIXTH - THE ENTROPIC LAW


The law of No Free Lunch.

Simply - No Worghast may be powered or driven by a source significantly more easily available than food.

They have to work, and they have to be part of the Human economy. It does not matter if they buy food, coal, magic crystals, special oils, amber beads or whatever it is, so long as their energy is not free.

It would be theoretically possible to build a Worghast powered by light, or by background magical radiation, or perhaps by entropy itself, but this would make them Superior to Humanity to an unacceptable degree.

They must eat. They cannot have a free lunch.




SEVENTH - THE BODILY LAW


One body only. No hive minds, bilocating, swarms of Worghast, remote control bodies, distributed intelligences or backup personalities.

Just as (most) humans are, Worghast must be bound to one body, and one life. (Though of course, many Thaumaturges and other Sophonts do seek means to break this boundary).

Still, the principal is sound. If the body goes, they go.

This law mixes with the Law of Human Equivalency. Though a Worghast body must be "Human Equivalent" and they are allowed only one. It is possible to stretch the definition of what exactly is equivalent.

The immortal spindle-limbed tax collectors of the Grey Cities are one such example. As keen and completely loyal agents of the state, they have quite a bit more leeway than other Worghast in exactly how "human" they appear.




EIGHTH - THE LAW OF SOULS


Also called the Ghost Box Law.

One body. One mind. One soul.

You cannot just jam a demon in a metal body and call it a Worghast. Neither can you grab a ghost, or a bunch of ghosts and make a Ghost Automata. Neither may you seal a spirit of Yggsrathaal within a glass body and call that a Worghast.

And especially, and most commonly, you may not make a magical 'immortality box' in which a Thaumaturge either seals their own spirit in a Golem, or even transplants their brain into an automata, or even employs Imps and Goblins to magically transcribe every thought and simultaneously encode them into a mind of ice-cold hyperdimensional clockwork inside a body of brass (though the last one is a bit of an edge case).

You may not steal, or even legally receive spirits from elsewhere and bind them. No Worghast may have more than one soul and whatever soul it does have must spring "naturally" from its construction and individual creation and from nowhere else.

All Worghast Trials are complex and difficult, but the most difficult is trying to worm out the mind of a cunning immortality-seeking magician from its body of brass gears while it pretends earnestly to be nothing more than a simple machine.



ENFORCEMENT OF THE WORGHAST LAWS


The Laws are enforced, firstly, by the Worghast themselves.

Every single created Worghast may be deputised, subpoenaed or called up by any legal authority at any time to either "bring in" a Worghast suspected of defying or evading the Laws, or to act as a member of a Worghast court.

Beyond this lies simple fear. The Worghast are not loved. Humanities old terror of its potential replacements has never really faded. They are allowed to exist, as a minority made up of individual works of art. If Humanities fear of them were to break out into open violence, as it sometimes does, they would be destroyed.

The Laws are not just protection for Humanity from artificial or mechanical replacement, they are protection for Worghast from Humanities fear of them.

The knowledge that the Laws exist, that the Laws are being followed, and that all Worghast are directly and immediately involved in enforcing them, is their passport to survival. They are amongst the first and most ruthless to police their own kind for only by doing so are they all kept safe.

Strangely, there are no specific laws preventing Worghast from hurting Humans, from wielding weapons, serving in the military or any similar action. Instead they are simply accounted as valid humans and treated in exactly the same way should they commit a crime (though prison sentences are usually exponentially longer. More than one Worghast has been found waiting in the ruins of a prison, refusing to leave the square of their cell until their sentence has run out).



Friday, 29 November 2019

The BX Commons

No doubt this is one of those ideas that someone had about ten years ago on a blog somewhere and I'm sure someone will link me to it in the comments.








What would change if we just started rating everything with how backwards-compatible to BX it is?

Because that seems to be what most of us are talking about, effectively, when we talk about something being "O.S.R.".

I'll rephrase that. When we talk about something being "O.S.R.", we all mean something different and we all use a completely different range of references and ideas but if there is one idea and one reference than is more commonly and consistently used than others, its probably the swarm of concepts hovering around BX D&D.

Curious thing about the dual-face of backwards compatibility is its simultaneous conservatism and democratic accessibility.

In terms of 'design' and 'progress', having everything hovering around, looping away from and then looping back to simple old-school D&D is intellectual and (to storygamers anyway) creative stasis.

The thing with indy games and storygames is you can't really write adventures for them as easily, and if you do only people who play that narrow, focused indy game will, or can play them.

Instead you need to invent or hack a whole new 'game', like an Apocalypse World hack.

All of this fits neatly into that storygame space where a game is this focused thing, like a statement or a thesis, and it’s about one thing, the game itself has a 'meaning'. So everyone goes around making new games but with a common, fluctuating store of mechanics.

Then you have an OSR space where the basic mechanics of 'the game' are broadly set, and where, ideally, the 'meaning' of what you are doing is open to investigation and interpretation during play and working that out is itself part of the game and where what people are mainly doing is making adventures, rather than making new games.

The conservatism of everything being backwards-compatible to BX, or something like it, means that everyone setting out to make an adventure has a shared language, and a potentially shared market. A huge market.

And because the rules are simple, free or easy to distribute and widely available anywhere, then you have strong equality of access to the basic ideas needed.

When you break away from that, like with the latest gen of retroclones, Black Hack, Into the Odd, Knave etc, not to mention Troika which is totally uninterested in being backwards compatible with BX, all of these bend the format, try to do something new, try to carve out their own little space. But in doing so they fragment the great, messy, dirty pulsating island of BX-compatible D&D

I'm commenting here not to condemn - most people have sound reasons for doing whatever they are doing, or even to largely persuade, at least not to strongly persuade people to any particular axis of action. I find generally, people are better off left largely alone to do their own thing.

But if I did want to persuade people of anything it would be more to persuade them of the potential value of seeing the world in a particular way, and of seeing this vast pool of backwards-compatibility, as low-status, dirty, common, messy, often very bad, and definitely not 'cool', not the kind of thing any individual creator can be 'proud of', but as seeing this big pulsating island as a kind of useful, even noble, commons of thought, and specifically, one that gives a really wide range of people, the people you might care about if you are a lefty, marginalised etc, but also just totally random people, people you weren't necessarily thinking of when you imagined 'accessibility', equality of a sort, fairness, or as close as we are getting, and a shared market.

So it is worth maintaining and contributing to this huuge, dirty pizza-slice swimming pool
'the BX Commons' because its hugeness aids everyone

Of course this is loathsome to anyone who cares about political and moral purity. The existence pf the commons, of true , actual democracy, means you have to, at least in theory, share a paddling pool with those you despise and wish to drive out of existence.

Thing is, if everyone’s wee microgames and personal versions work out and if everyone gets what they dream of, then the commons disappears and we all starve, which is interesting to think about.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Sweet Airs

Furthering the ideas of The Prospero;

Few things of sweetness append to me at any time. Most recently I was paralysed with illness and the deepest interest was in the slow tides of fever which I could feel rolling from one side of my body to another.

Walking on Bidston hill in the evening, a woman had thrown particles of food upon the stone path, bordered by trees, and Crows (or maybe Rooks?) had gathered in ever branch, black on the shadows of the black trees, paper cut-outs against the slow gloom and the band of city lights on the horizon which cut the boughs.

And none of that would count very well towards Calibans "sweet airs", I have little sweetness in me, for few things of beauty append to me and sweetness not being my policy I fear I lack the capacity to add these visions much vigour, but I have done what I could.



........................................






The momentary restoration of those we loved. A vision of those that were lost at sea waiting calmly beneath the waves.

Good memories of bad souls. Caliban dandled on Sycorax's knee. Given newts to play with.

The Phoenix Throne amidst the glowing trees of Ind, which hold their fruit like jewels. And those shimmering palaces glowing like the heads of curling flowers, pennants burning as the striped backs of basking snakes.

Clouds opening to show a lamp-specked carriage ride across the sea, drawn by silent horses, night-black against the dark, visible only from the Eld-light of the dashing wheels which drew across the rolling surf as a matron cuts the pastry of a pie all curled.

Stars like jewels in a pillowcase, peeping like a child through fingers.

Lightning like a bleeding eye, like a blow struck against an effigy of gold which, when scarred, does bleed and issue forth great gouts of silver mercury and red gold which drench the ground as rain.

A great city of lights burnishing the shadow of the horizon. It does glitter and charm w' wonderous grace as to be a very city for the Tigers of the Dawn and their rough multitude, pulling at the curtains of the night as if to pull them to the Seas floor.

Fine girls as glowing as christmas and as happy as hens, sitting like little queens on great eggs.

And of such eggs, why they were gilded like the summer sun and shot through w' veins and channels of damascene and pearl like maps of rivers or ink running from a page too freshly stampt.

And I saw a land composed of the freedom riches made, and was as if the streets were a river of sky and mean flocking like birds, going wherever they would.

That whole nation were as clear as glass and as open as mountaintops.

The shell of sea-turtles, very smooth and Wise, and I did dream I stroke'd em' and made much of their learned smoothness.

The sea-worms also. The waves-orchid, flower men of Juno's bower. Most gracile and tractomorphic tentacles, fit to dance morris maypole at a very Salt Spring!

A river of the rainbowest fish and the did tickle my feet and made much of me and game me fine watches, seven each, with hands like suns rays and new pairs of shoes. Shoes nonpareil!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

TRAITORS!

Lets be honest, you're all garbage people incapable of useful or concerted action or decision unless being simultaneously terrified of, and enthralled by, a manically deluded magus-figure on whom you can focus the black energy of your churning resentment and desire.

It’s been a while since you've been screamed at by a narcissistic loon and I am, once again, out of ideas, so its TIME FOR A WITCHUNT. THE ORDO HERETICUS HAS MADE PLANETFALL.



I know full well that ALL OF YOU are Traitors, one way or another. I look aside only for a moment, and return back to discover that a 2d6 Apocalypse World roll is "essentially the same" as the holy d20, that fundamentally, what were all engaged in is "telling stories".... that system matters.


WHAT WASTE HAVE YE MADE OF THIS HOLY COUNTRY AND WHAT CORRUPTION STIRS IN YE?





... NO SEA MAY HOLD MY TEARS, NO SHORE ENCOMPASS MY SORROWS AND NO STONE GUARD AGAINST MY WRATH

Now is the time brethren, for the End Times are upon us all. Speak now or forever be confined to Discord.



HOW HAVE YOU BETRAYED THE OSR!??


FOR YE MUST KNOW IN YOUR HEART, THAT SURELY, YE HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN FROM THE TRUE WAY



Was it actually playing 4E? Are ye a delver in the corpse of that ancient and defeated God? KEIL .. WHY???

Are you hanging with Storygamers now, maybe dabbling with narrative control? RAM I KNOW IT WAS YOU, I KNOW IT WAS YOU AND IT BREAKS MY HEART.

Are you shopping like you believe in yourself on Itchio? ITS JUST BLOG POSTS YOU PAY FOR YOU FOOLS!

Are you staggering through incalculably-long threads on RPG.NET like a man who crawls through thorns, both teared by and tearing at that which restrains you? OH YE SUPPLICANTS TO THE PURPLE CITY, KNOW YE NOT THAT IN THE LAST DAYS EVEN YE SHALL BE CAST DOWN?

Have you been starting shit on Twitter and hoping against hope that a Cop or a Fascist turns up so ye may cast the bitter ashes of your heart upon them? (Actually that is pretty classically OSR, ye are forgiven for that).

Now is the time my rebellious Kine. Ye may confess your sins and face the fire, at least with a shrived soul.

(You can name yourselves Traitor but anyone naming others Traitor proves themself to *be* a Traitor Most Foul and will be deleted.)

Thursday, 14 November 2019

I HAVE SOLVED OUR OSR SPLINTER PROBLEM

SIMPLE

FREE INDIVIDUAL SUB-GENRE EACH

You heard me! Everbody gets a genre!

Click the Expanding Mind Meme Image to generate your personal post-O.S.R splinter faction.

Then war in comments over who is real!

Old time are become new again!


Also - Remember LAST GASP? Still around!

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

The Prospero

Here is a vague plan for an adventure which will probably never get made.

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The slave-ship "Prospero", storm-wrecked, its hull burst open.

The PCs escape.


THE PCS

The PCs have randomly generated gender, tribes/nations and status-levels.

They also have a semi-random range of languages, meaning they can speak their own tribal language, and may be able to speak other local languages,  depending on their closeness and the PCs intelligence, education and status level, as well as a rough lingua-franca of their overall culture-group.

This sounds complicated and will probably be abstracted. Key thing is, the PCs cant all talk to each other easily or directly, their will be semi-random patterns of communication. For instance, a Prince may only be able to speak easily with a criminal of his own tribe and a young woman of a nearby tribe. The young woman may be able to speak a little with all PCs.

The PCs also have particular status-levels, with the chart tilted more towards the 'interesting' or dramatic possibilities, rather than the 'realistic' curve of almost everyone being a poor farmer.

Everyone has a reason for ending up a slave as well, captured in war, a victim of political intrigue and conflict, being simply low-status and expendable, maybe being a low-level criminal, or even being a really horrible criminal who probably deserved imprisonment, if not actual slavery.

Point being, the PCs start with a complex web of societal roles, assumptions and patterns of communication, co-operation and resentment.

Could also leave an option open for (very) old-school STR limits for Female PCs, probably with a statement saying only use this if you are randomising PC gender at start and if all the players are into it.

Does any of this really matter and is it workable?

I suppose I will write on and see. Probably you could run the 'basic' version without it.




THE ISLAND

The PCs have no idea where the Island is. It is far from anywhere.

The island is enchanted, full of magic, strange airs, mild illusions, softness, trickery, and danger. It plays upon the mind. If you want more I'm going to have to re-read The Tempest (and probably all the associated fictions and poems).

Control of the Island is split between three individuals, though only one claims true rulership.





The Lord of the Island is Caliban - a crooked, bestial, but intelligent and strong, sorcerer.
powerful body. He wields a staff made from two pieces of sea-stained broken wood tied together. Once they may have truly been part of the same staff. The power of his magic lies in the staff and in books, which he refers to, but guards closely.

The books themselves, when encountered, are drowned. They have soaked in brine and now bulge. The magic in them seeps. The books grow coral in wild forms from their pages.

Calibans magic is kinda janky and fucked-up, but its the most immediate and practical form on the Island. In D&D terms he has most of the actually-immediately-destructive Wizard spells. And he is always armed with them. And not above blasting a PC to illustrate exactly what he can do.

He is also tough as shit physically and hyper-paranoid and distrusting. And he knows all the secrets of the Isles, its tricks and spirits, and more mundane dangers. Even stripped of his magic he would be a powerful opponent for the PCs.

Caliban desires above all, love and respect as the islands true Lord.

He cannot feel or acknowledge love, having never been loved, and his crushingly low self-esteem makes him flail in imperious rages and degrade others. If he meets a criminal, he will try to enslave them, (though he will probably get along better with them than anyone else), if he meets a Prince, he will try to awe and impress him. He will probably try to marry any possible wife. (Or more realistically, rape them, if you are ready for your game to get that edgy. If not he may just obsess over persuading/forcing them to like him).

But if Caliban could truly feel love, and could recognise respect, he might become quite a different being. While he is physically mildly horrific, he is still.. potent, and he does genuinely love the Island. If his behaviour were to change he might not necessarily be a terrible Husband, though thinks are likely to be.. STORMY.

For now, his main problems are Ariel and Stetebos.





Stetebos is a terrible God whom Caliban worships, and fears.

Calibans mother Sycorax was a worshipper of Stetebos and passed that faith on to her son. Stetbos liveth in the eye of the moon. They are an Outer God. A creature of terrible unreality.

When Caliban took over the Island and "found" "his" books, he, quite faithfully, used the magic in them to find some way to bring Stetebos to our terrestrial orb. This was a mistake.

The nature of the ritual he used means that Stetebos grows more powerful the closer the moon gets to full. While the moon is full, they can physically incarnate on the Isle, but they are pissed (in as much as an Outer God can be pissed) that their physical form is trapped in this brief cycle of time and on this shitty island.

Stetebos rules from their unnerving and dreamlike Lunar Court in something like the manner of a Rennaisance Prince/Queen/Horriblefuckingmonsterthing.

In as much as Stetebos wants anything, its to personally ontologically fuck reality, piece-by-piece, and after doing as much of that as seemed interesting on this island, they have started to have almost humanlike thoughts about stuff like 'ships' and 'logistics'.

Stetebos can promise anything to its servants and could maybe do a lot of it, but wont. It is a child stamping on tadpoles in a pool until it gets bored (or something stings it).

The most powerful weapon against Stetebos is the magic in Calibans books.

But Caliban still essentially worships Stetebos (like mother taught him) and has little other source of meaning in his life. And no fucking way is anyone else getting near those books, not after all the shit he had to go through to get them.






Arial is an Opposing Spirit of the Isle, and (especially in Calibans eyes, a carpetbagging tourist).

Ariel is light, etherial, beautiful and has little combat capacity. Though, outside of doing direct damage to anything, they are potentially insanely powerful. They could run around the world a bunch of times. Move faster than light. Trick, delude and persuade people, and are incredibly slippery; near impossible to trap and harm. (Unless you trap them in a pine).

Arial and Caliban have something of a Joker/Batman thing going on here, or more like a Road-Runner/Wile E. Coyote thing, with Caliban obsessed with trapping and controlling Ariel and Ariel thinking Caliban is a massive tool and endlessly fucking with him (in relatively minor ways).

Ariel is totally and utterly obsessed with never being under anyones control ever again and will accept no authority or command. They can only be charmed with fine manners, sad stories, music, beauty, dance or play. They rarely do harm but can inflict great mischief, and can find out most things.

Ariel is well aware of how insanely dangerous Stetbos and their Lunar Court are, but firstly Ariel is not exactly super-woke to the value of consensus reality, this one being only one of many to them, and secondly Stetebos is one of the few creatures that could easily harm or control Ariel, and Ariel won't go near Stetebos.




Other NPC's

The Phoenician

- This is a skeleton flowering with shells and coral who hangs around being maudlin and poetic. Caliban tries to drag them in to guarding the books, due to the sea theme and Skeletons being sleepless. The Phoenician lives in a slow whirlpool in the Island.

Other NPCs'/Spirits?

Comments are open to anything from either the bits of the Tempest I have forgotten or all the associated poems and (good) fiction relating to it that I doubtless haven't read.


Tuesday, 5 November 2019

CAN MAN BECOME SPAM?

Can we do something interesting with the Vampire Marketing Spam?



Or just the general torrent of Spam as the dying Byzantine Empire of google retreats from the Blogger Provinces, abandoning us to the roving bot-tribes of the digital plains?

I feel like learning to act more and more like spam or chatbots will be more and more useful in the coming word. As the shitty low-level marketting A.I.s take over more and more of reality, not only will we encounter more of them than real people, but generations as yet unborn will have their thoughts and attitudes shaped by them, simulating them through natural adaptation.

Plus when robots rule the world, Spam-Camo will be the only save way to traverse online spaces. We will have to sneak past the Panopticon in Spam-Skins and communicate to each other as if we were misfiring chatbots, signalling out humanity through subtle interpretations and apparent cognitive-misfire metaphors.

I did try leaving a comment on Arnolds blog as faux Vampire Spam, but it got deleted. I will never know if that was because he mistook it for actual spam, which makes it a kind of victory, or whether he just found it irritating. But this is the kind of fundamental uncertainty you have to learn to live with when you Become Spam.

It is time for us to put on the Clothes of the Night which will inevitably consume us.

My first challenge to you all is for you to respond to this post ONLY in the form of pseudo-spam comments. Points will be awarded for Absurdity, Beauty and Spamishness. (Of course the Most Spamish Comments may not be correctly identified as the work of human beings, but of course, that is the nature of those Secret and Uncertain Victories).

My second challenge is, the next time you see a blog post you like, and you feel like you should say something positive but have nothing detailed to say, and since the Plus-1 button has been taken from us, COMMENT AS SPAM.

PRETEND TO BE SPAM my children! Offer Vampire Cures and SEO Optimisation and Youtube Sporting Channels. And hide links to other posts in yours. Use link shorteners and other methods.

With this we will create THE INFINITE LABYRINTH OF SPAM - a secret layer of Adventure to the OSR Blogosphere. The next time you come to delete interminable Spam comments, you will have to think, to analyse; "Is this truly Spam?"

And if you click on a link you may get a surprise gift - a special Blog Post, on which you can leave another pseudo-spam comment, leading to yet another post.

Yet you may also get actual, real spam, like porn sites or Singaporean Rhino Horn. This adds the necessary thrill of danger and risk which will gamify my infinite labyrinth into a True Dungeon.

The Great Game. Us against the Robots. Us against each other. And all for the sweet sweet treasure of internet culture - THE GOLDEN CLICKS.

LET US BECOME AS THE SPAM MY CHILDREN - LET US BECOME THE ANNIHILATOR AND LIVE FOREVER