Saturday, 4 April 2020

I Spek - All my Audio Interviews and Podcasts

My voice - surprisingly nasal. Here is a page of links, like a library of all the podcasts and recordings where I have been interviewed by, or talked with, someone else.

General Interviews

The Smart Party Interview - pre Silent Titans

Udda ting with Heinrich Moller - mainly about VotE

Loco Ludus - general gaming culture

The Magniloquent Moth with Salinday, Part 1

The Magniloquent Moth with Salinday, Part 2 - another pretty wide ranging talk.

Single Subject Discussions

The Worm Ouroboros I talk with Tom Fitzgerald of 'Middenmurk' about the book, 'The Work Ouroboros'

The Great Crystal Debate w Kiel Chenier. Crystals, good or bad? = BAD


A series of conversations I had with Scrap

Podecast One

Podecast Two - Monsters

Podecast Three - Beauty

Podecast Six - Bees!

Podecast Five - Relateable Content!

Podecast Six - The Wonderful Kererū

19 The Shotwick Basement

Scrap has described the Eburnean Attendant 

And asked, what is this?

Dost thou taunt me then?

You dare to show me a cave
an hole?


Bur first -

Ok, this image

is of;

The Shotwick Basement

Ethel Shotwick, hospitalised with post-partum depression and schizophrenic tendencies in 1962. Released after four months after mild electro-shock therapies and on a prescription of anti-psychotics.

By all accounts became an upstanding member of the community, well-liked by all. Though known for many eccentricities; speaking to walls, threatening shadows with mysterious signs etc.

Ethel was sometimes found out in the early hours, walking the streets of Ofthaven in her nightgown, with one of her 'devices'. These were items she had her husband build for her in their garage, which he did to her instructions after being informed by her Doctors that building and creating was a useful part of Ethels therapy, and that if that was something they could do together, then that would be good for the family. Though he always claimed "I don't know what she does with them".

The Ofthaven police were quite familiar with Ethels night-time escapades and when they heard a call of a strange woman wandering the night in nothing but slippers and a housecoat, wielding a pole-like device humming with some kind of static electricity, often accompanied by bright flashes of light; "like silent fireworks" according to witnesses, they knew what to expect.

"More of Ethels light show" was the word on the dispatch radio. The police grew quite used to escorting Ethel home in the back of their car with her "equipment", which had usually burnt out by this point and an empty box of dog treats for the local strays, and returning her to her frazzled husband at around 4am.

(It was a curious aspect of Ethels residence in Ofthaven that any local stray dogs, and lost dogs were often attracted to Ethel, and would accompany her on her 'nighttime pursuits'. The police grew so used to this that the first place they would look for any missing pet was the Shotwick residence, where it would often be found, with Ethel, having been fed and washed.)

Ethel was by all account a genial and likeable character, though "somewhat skatty", and often treated the police officers like nephews or sons, asking after their families and lives.

Only two incidents disturbed this pattern.

In August 1982, during an unusually hot, yet dark summer, with heavy cloud cover both night and day, and during a spate of teenage suicides, almost certainly due to group hysteria and the infiltration of new drugs into the town, along with a commensurate 'satanic panic' amongst the towns evangelical community, Ethel was found out on her usual rounds but with her Husbands service revolver in her pocket.

She was extremely apologetic to the police and explained that she would never have used it
but the Dark Ray powers were very strong just now.

After the officers spoke to Ethels husband Daniel Shotwick, it was agreed that Ethels night time activities should be curtailed, and Daniel placed a lock on their bedroom door, the key to which he kept tied around his neck, making Ethel promise that she would not take it off.

The second incident took place about a week after Ethels escapade with the gun.

Two officers were called by neighbours hearing loud sounds. Officer Mike Barry, a 20 year veteran, and someone quite familiar with the Ethel, found the house dark and the door unlocked.

Barry claimed he feared home invasion and sent his partner, John VanVort, around the back to catch any 'fleeing suspects'.

This was an unusual break in protocol for Barry, since standard guidance would insist that VanVort entered the house with him as backup.

Annotations to the casefile suggest that Barry likely suspected Suicide, or Murder-Suicide, and wished to spare VanVort, who was in his first week of active service, the sight of the bodies.

VanVort describes the sight of Barrys torch inside the house, then, "a flash of light of some kind, blue-white. Then a scream, really, a really bad scream like someone caught in a machine, with a snarl like twisting metal".

Racing into the house VanVort found Barry in a catatonic state, and with his face and body contorted in such a way that VanVort initially assumed he was deceased, and which was described as 'distressing' by the later attending physician.

VanVort said he found the house 'normal, no-one there, no signs of struggle', but quickly left the scene with Barry.

Regrettably, Barrys catatonic state persisted till his death in hospital 10 years later.

The photograph in question was taken by the investigative team who returned to the Shotwick house at dawn the following day.

They found the house in good order, but with signs that someone, probably Ethel by the missing clothes, had made quick preparations for a hurried flight. The car was still the the garage.

This image is labelled as being of the Shotwicks "under-basement".

Apparently the Shotwick house had a pine-floor basement which was used as a rec room. During a search of the house, a Police K9 unit located a loose plank, which when removed, exposed a ladder, leading down.

This brought the investigators to what they describe as an "under basement", which this image shows.

No further records or reports of the Shotwick case exist, both Shotwicks being registered a 'missing' in 1982. and 'missing - presumed dead' five years later. The case files have been unopened since that date.



Patient describes a the golden land at the centre of the earth occupied by the beneficent golden ones now too ancient, frail, vulnerable and spiritually pure to emerge into our "fallen world".

Describes lost civilisation of non Homo-Sapiens but related form, as in "something like the Neanderthals" and technological civilisation existing long before the development of agriculture by Homo Sapiens.

The "Elders of Mu" beam the golden radiation of their thoughtful empathy out into the world
blocking, counteracting and reversing the foul mind-control machines of the "Dero".

The Dero are a similar but more ancient race, this one dedicated to evil.

These actions (of the Elders) must be maintained in "deep secrecy" since the Dero machines read and work from, the neocortex and language centres first, infiltrating the rest of the mind invisibly from there, altering its comprehension of reality and changing its memories with "invasive altering mind-phages"

Thusly the Elders of Mu cannot work with the aspects of the literate or self-aware mind and can proceed only through "intuition" and "dream visions" which they bestow upon a "sensitive few".

Patients paracosm is standard, and highly inventive imaginative structure most commonly held with paranoid schizophrenics. The "Dero" and their mind-control devices in particular are a common theme amongst our more troubled patients, though under a variety of names and forms.

The construction of an imagined world in which the patient is central to reality-shaking events but must defend hidden secrets which the outside world would never understand is a classic defence mechanism.

In this case, likely trauma due to stillbirth of child triggered nascent schizophrenic tendencies.

Darker elements of patients fantasy are troubling, nevertheless, patient is increasingly bright, empathic, popular with the staff and is responding well to treatment. Her construction of the "Elders of Mu" as a beneficent life-giving force I take as a positive sign of her personality attempting to reconstruct itself in a healthy and pro-social way.

Considering the patients good character I have bent our treatment programme slightly and made limited use of the "Elders of Mu", using questions as "Wouldn't the Elders want you to get healthy?" and "What do you think the Elders would think of that thought process?".

I realise this does risk embedding the patient ever-more deeply in her paracosm, but her very strong response to this line of treatment and her general improvement in health, vitality and optimism I think justifies this mild 'bending' of the rules.

Patient says she is eager to be healed and to get back to work, which, considering her profession is listed as "housewife" I assume to mean the support of her husband, which I find admirable.


Now Scrap, what is this?

Eva Funderburgh

Thursday, 2 April 2020

17 The chain of the Lunar Majesty

Scrap has given us a sessile larvae form of a Piper of Azathoth.

And asked for the nature of this;

Takayuki Takeya costume design for Kamen Rider or similar show

But first Marketing marketing blah blah blah

Six Days Left on the Kickstarter


If anyone wants an interview 

or something like that in the next 6 days let me know and one or more of us should be available

And now

The chain of the Lunar Majesty

This is the spirit of a Dead Deodand, one who, in its destruction has gone to the Ghenna of Machines, that part of the Manifold Hells dedicated to punishing such things.

In older times those tools, beasts and devices which aided and abetted mortal sin were held guilty of those self same sins. Called Deodands, they were tried and convicted as if they were men, insensate though they may be.

This custom either prefigures, or poorly represented a quite-real, and much more severe
divine ruling. For all those tools, machines, objects and beasts, are indeed held quite guilty of all the sins which they commit, and like living souls once their use is permanently over, (and He who stands beyond Time knows well when this is), their soul falls to the Deodand Ghenna, there to be judged, and to suffer for its crimes.

An apparently simply divine decree with surprisingly complex and exponentially difficult meta-theology required in order to fulfil it, and with curious side-effects on the Economy of Hell.

Firstly, that without a mind cannot suffer, and cannot know guilt or shame, so a clade of curious Angels is imbued with the desire and ability to imbue these material scraps with intelligence and self-awareness, at least enough for them to realise that they are guilty and for them to feel bad about it.

Those who find this insane would do well to consider their own material conditions;
born into a culture, a body and with a family and social position over none of which they have any control, and set there, often to suffer, at complete random. Is your position that much stranger than an animated chain?

Then a separate clade of Demons is employed to educate the Deodands to the point where they understand the context and meaning of the sin they committed. Which perforce, requires that they develop some knowledge of the material realm, based in each case, purely around the circumstances of their evil deed.

Strange beings, born only to suffer and atone

Still, hell itself, in a wider sense, has a similar mirrorverse pseudoculture, reality itself is arranged specifically to be a suffering nightmare, but since every intelligent thing there is deeply concerned with the specifics of the human world, and many of those beings are self-aware, and many of the rest extremely complex, then hell has a society, and an economy, even though its substance is shaped by spirt, soul and divine decree.

Machines in hell are useful, but very hard to make, reality having little regularity to it and Devils being skilled mainly in the engineering of torture devices. So it is that most technological needs in hell are filled by these animated Deodands, traded like slaves between the layers of pain.

A demon might call another on the Iphone used to text an assassin, (shouting over the dumb burbling voice of the phone itself). Dukes of Annihilation look things up on laptops belonging to terrorists and mobsters, or just those used to cave in someones head. Lords of Despair ride a wide range of cars.

And of guns, bombs, knives and swords, well there is no shortage of those in hell, sometimes they literally carpet the floor. Sometimes they *are* the floor. Its more rare to be in a space away from weapons.

This particular Deodand is the Chain of the Lunar Majesty, which snapped on launch, allowing the Lunar Majesty to slide down its dry-dock and turning sixty-six stevedores to paste.

Now it stumbles hither and yon in hell, piloted by possessed legs, serving whatever cause is called on by its lords.


Now Scrap, what is this?

Is is a beautiful Eburnean Attendant

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Stretch-Goal Two! FEAST OF BUKAKO!!


Ok, with only six days left on the Kickstarter we have developed another, completely ridiculous stretch goal!

At a total of £35,000

Scrap and I will institute the FEAST OF BUKAKO.

Named of course, for the long-loved and world famous stories of Bukako, the spell-consuming monkey and his partner and mount, the magical Pleasing Fish.

"Patrick what is the Feast of Bukako?" I hear you cry.

Some of you may be familiar with venerable-but-still-fresh calmpunk luminary and OSR blogger, Brendan Strejcek.

Here is Brendan;

Back in 2015, Brendan did a book called 'Wonder and Wickedness'. (Just google Wonder and Wickedness for reviews).

This was a book of original spells notable for their mixture of poetry, clarity and especially the fact that they were LEVELESS.

Any Magic-User could learn any spell and the power and potential blowback of the spell, increased with the level of the Magic-User. So every spell was useful to every wizard.

Wouldn't it be great (I thought), if we could pay Brendan to do that for every spell in the D&D SRD and so change spellcasTing in D&D forever, for everyone, by totally altering the way they act with levels, and we could make the finished spellbook free for all.

And that's very slightly, at a much smaller scale, what we propose to start doing now.

There are just over thirty spells in Deep Carbon Observatory. A handful new, but the rest standard D&D spells;

  • Avoid Notice 
  • Bookspeak 
  • Change Self 
  • Control Weather
  • Earthquake
  • Ease Grief 
  • Enlarge
  • ESP 
  • Fear 
  • Fly 
  • Hide Sorrow 
  • Identify 
  • Invisibility 
  • Lessen Pain 
  • Locate Object 
  • Magic Jar  
  • Magic Missile 
  • Mending 
  • Message 
  • Mind Blank
  • Minimise Thirst 
  • Mirror Image 
  • Part Water
  • Permanency
  • Phantasmal Force
  • Polymorph Any Object
  • Reduce Scars 
  • Shape Change
  • Shield
  • Shrink 
  • Sleep 
  • Speak With Animals 
  • Suggestion 
  • Trap the Soul
  • Wall of Fog
  • Water Breathing

So at our stretch goal, we have agreed with Brendan that he will produce leveless rules for all of these spells.

Those spells will then be made available to all in a BASIC (i.e. Just the Text, bookmarks etc) PDF that anyone can access.

This means first, that anyone who needs to find a spell while running or playing DCO can just grab this document.

But secondly, the long term (very long term) goal is to, every time False Machine produces a D&D adventure with spells, we hope to add new leveless versions by Brendan to the stretch goals, and then add the completed spells to the giant list.

And, (I repeat), this will be free and accessible and useable by all.

So, if things go well, (in the future, which definitely will exist ha ha ha) ultimately, we should be able to produce a new old-school master-list of leveless spells which can go into the giant OSR/BX/D&D commons for any future project or game by anyone who wants them.

(And then feed them to a Magic Monkey called Bukako obviously).


Tuesday, 31 March 2020

15 Bukako and the Pleasing Fish

Scrap has given us a would be elemental.

And asked for the meaning of this image;

First marketing.

Behold! Only Seven Days Remain on the DCO Kickstarter!!!

Have spoken to the printer and apparently everything is still on,


Bukako and the Pleasing Fish - An Introduction

So began the esorscelment of the Pleasing Fish by the Sorcerous Monkey Bukako Wisest of primates, except for a few. That eater of books and fiend of the waves.

Woe! Woe to the Pleasing Fish! For when shall we see such fins again? Woe to the lightning-raddled waves, Coral kingdoms now fulgarite-struck! All due to the cunning of Bukako, Wisest of primates, except for a few.

Bukako, first and only subject of the paper-eater spell, O unwise sorcery! Trapped by an asp and sold of to a sorcerers churl, that dominating Mage named Bezelzak-Belvana-Besrok, the Mind-Phage of the Inner Dark. Her churl named "Swab-It of Besrok" for their most common task. 

The serf, Swab-It, thought to practice the Greater Magics and seized the asp-struck Bukako feeding him runes of power and ninety-five illuminating herbs, eventually sacrificing sixty-six ants in a summoning of one of the more forgettable daemons.

So Bukako was imbued with power immortal. he would know forever, any text he ate. At first his appetites were minor, and made little difference, receipts and casual notes, fragments of knowledge, floating in the void of an illiterate monkey mind. Yet Bukako was wise enough to hide his knowledge from the Swab, keeping always a little back, and then a lot. A diet of mashed up teach-your-child-to-read books sparked consciousness in the simian. From that point on, Bukako planned, he thought and dreamed within his fairly-small skull.

The Books of Spells were his aim! Those Bezelzak-Belvana-Besrok kept hid and warded behind multidimensional locks and elemental hounds.

Ultimately Bukako broke out from his cage, entered the sorcerous sanctum of Besrok and ran wild amidst the multiversal tomes, chewing and eating wildly! The monkey tore! swallowed! bit and chewed again until his spit ran like fluorescent paint!

Great was the battle betwixt the Monkey and the Mage when Bezelzak-Belvana-Besrok returned!

That eons-old walker in the dreams of Gods against the hairy thaumaturge now bloated with stolen power! The city of Ix shook like a leaf, seven temples were flattened, four thrown back in time, two turned to glass, one to flowers and one fresh temple brought into being, housing an unknown god.

Ultimately, as her subtle spellcraft clashed and locked with the chaotic multiplicity of Bukakos bitten powers, Bezelzak-Belvana-Besrok descended to low fisticuffs and booted the beast through a portal in space and time.

Since that day, Bezelzak-Belvana-Besrok, all her descendants, many of her students and three of her elemental hounds sought Bukako, the Sorcerous Monkey, wisest of primates except for a few. For he had nibbled not just whole spells, but vital fragments of some powerful incantations which now existed only in his mind. for the return of these torn glyph-scraps alone, a kings ransom would not suffice.

But what of the Pleasing Fish? That most supine and relaxed of magical beasts? Legendary, delicious and mythical, gurgling through its turquoise sea, between the rocks of Ixinian and the Horn of Aan?

This unicorn of the sea, a wish-giving delicioufish, sought by greedy kings for its delicious flesh which, once imagined, cannot be forgotten. Do not think of its steaks or battered cakes! Or you will be forever lost! No!!!

The Pleasing Fish, an apparently deluded, perhaps, stupid, witless but beautiful creature, appeared in legend, only to the innocent and confused. No certain beast was he! Delivering wishes with a flick of its glimmering fins. Wishes of beauty, grace and stupendous power. Yet all fundamentally useless, at least for the wisher, for, being both innocent and confused, they always screw up the wish or do that thing where they think aloud or say casually "I wish this was all over." and then that's what they get. Such are the tricks and teases of fate.

But yea, the wishes of the Pleasing Fish are well for some, if not for the wisher themselves. Boons to some they are, like how that giant crab someone accidentally wished for ended up feeding the starving people of Ix, (though they gave no thanks for it!). Or how the ability to speak Magpie which another got in error, ultimately resolved the Ninth Hell War and saved uncounted souls, (you won't hear the Hell-Lords say "Oh thanks"!).

So ghosts and dives the Pleasing Fish through the turquoise sea between the rocks of Ixinian and the Horn of Aan, hunted by armadas of taste-maddened Kings. (don't think about the fish-sticks! Don't!). Transiting through the Archipelagos of Mysterious Time, betwixt Dream and Legend, disposing its odd powers to the confusion of the confused and the surprising benefit of the completely-screwed. Muttering its troubles incantations of self, trying to remember where the sun goes at night, leaping up to meet it in the day, searching for vectors for its overflowing wish-power, like liquid lightning incapable of striking the wise.

Until, upon its back, a thud! A hairy foot! A bouncing tail!

And the weight of Bukako the Sorcerous Monkey, wisest of Primates, except for a few!

So began the Adventures of Bukako and the Pleasing Fish. Pursued by Armadas, magicians and elemental hounds across the turquoise seas between the rocks of Ixinian and the Horn of Aan, and through the archipelagos of Mysterious Time....


Now Scrap, what is this?

Bad Roll Games

Thursday, 26 March 2020

13 - The Go-Go-Go God Vroom

Scrap has identified an Heraldic Beast.
And in antipodean trickery, answered again with Sorcerer Knights.
And asked,what is this?

Possibly Howard Bloom

It is VROOM.

But first, a DCO2 update

Its still going. I have called the printer and the storage people and they say so far everything is on track, and we are creeping towards the Bloated Overreach edition goal,


The Go-Go-Go God VROOM

A Stupendous Engine, Vroom, the God who Go-Go-Goes. Here we see the Ark of the Go-Go-Go God being introduced by their Technomantic Trickster Pope; Ultimate Science Guy NOW IV.

Vroom Vroom is an out of control god, always teetering on the brink of their own destruction, going as fast as they can go on wheels too small. A wonder of the Future, a hypermachine, Techno-Wizardry from the borders of the Real, impudent and wild like a giant red dildo. A God of Super-Science, or really, the _idea_ of Super-Science.

A God of amazement, wonder and forward progress.

But, progress towards what?


But what future?

Science! Technology! Progress!

Vroom was recovered from the ocean deeps as a shifting prism of pure incandescent optimistic light. The Go-Go-Go God  themselves informed its rescuers in how to build its ark, designed both to limit its holy energies and also to project them in a focused way since, in its natural state, the God was making everyone around it way way way too enthusiastic about everything, which did give them a lot of impetus to act, but unfortunately not in a very controlled, planned or sustained way, meaning everything they built or did was kind of janky and barely worked.

Still, so long as it barely, but actually, worked, Vroom was pretty much ok about it and was happy to be wheeled on their unsteady and rickety wheels hither and yon, blasting crowds with pure stupefaction and generally enlightening the world with WONDER.

whence fell this Archon of hope in one of its rawest forms and from what divine hierarchies, we may never know. But as to why it was left behind..

So hopeful is this metallic angel that it can respond only in positive imprecations and optimistic declarations.

Vroom may be a bringer of amazement, but it’s kind of just, amazement on its own. It brings hope in the wonders of science, technology and progress, but doesn't actually tell you how to build any of those things, or tell you anything useful about them.

Hope alone, without substance, is...

Measurably better than no hope at all?

Despite being a bit of a flake when separated from any actually useful work to make the future better or different from the present or the past, the Go-Go-Go God does seem broadly likable, and their worship essentially harmless.

And Vroom is often invoked, or even invited, at the start of major events or projects since they do fill people with a sense of drive and optimism. At any time the Go-Go-Go God may blast forth rays of pure STUPIFICATION and WONDER at what the future may hold!


Now Scrap, what signifies THIS???
It seems to be a Abeyantal Ambassador, a would be an elemental 

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Ping-Pong 11 - The Dream of the Queen Settra

Scrap asked me - what is this?

Jiri Sozansky


It is


Jiri Sozansky

The colonists to distant Ir were packed in like dead fish, cloaked in ice, minds left to dream, purely in order to provoke enough cognitive response to prevent decay, madness or brutal retardation on awaking, the timeshock of the deep dreamer.

Left to walk through the virtual world of their Ice Craft the "Queen Settra", minds moving so slowly that to a conscious observer they drifted like ghosts, leaving blotched stains of three-dimensional thought behind them. So slow and uncomprehending were their minds that the clock rate of their virtual world itself could be turned down to significantly below the reality perception rate of base reality - to save both raw power and processing capacity.

Neither need the dream-realm be too real, the colonists, at least while they were awake, knew where they were going and what would happen. Most were soothed and doped into a pleasurable wooze which, it was hoped would last through their slowed circulation systems for the whole length of the journey - ensuring happy dreams for all and being significantly cheaper than a complex overwatch A.I. (or the equally-complex governing systems and fallback modes which would keep such a potential Ellison-machine in check and prevent Mindcrime).

Corners were cut.

For an estimated journey of 500 years, there would have been no problem, but the slow collapse of causality into formless Greyspace, and the apparent disappearance of Ir, hidden in some pocket realm, changed the situation.

The Queen Settra proceeded for a thousand years, and even so the semiregular thawings of command and repair staff kept the ship running. After this however, even the superslow metabolisms of the cargo had bled out every last opiate molecule in their cold blood - the half a million or so minds in the simulation were coming down, together.

A series of accidents and incidents of psychological breakdown, each unique and unexpected, but when taken as a whole, inevitable, cut the layers of sane and functional command staff. The last shift refused to re-enter sleep or to re-enter the simulation and a conflict broke out aboard - a deck was vented and the Queen Settra suffered hull and engine damage before basic functionality was restored by automatic systems and drones.

The ship, already lost and missing its target, now listed on a cosmic axis, heading who-knows-where, but most likely out into the black. The cargo, still sleeping, still unconscious, still within their slow dream realm which, for them was perhaps a few days, a few weeks old, had no way to wake up.

They must have realised, even on a subconscious level, that something was terribly wrong.

As the generators and fallback systems of the Queen Settra began to fail, one by one, over several centuries without oversight, the remaining functional systems executed protocols designed to ensure the survival of as much cargo as possible for as long as possible.

Being classified as cargo, and with no-one with command authority awake to legally re-classify them, they were not allowed to wake up - perhaps reasonably, that would only have wasted resources. The ship could only sustain enough food and environmental stability for a handful of command staff over its projected 500-year journey. Even in their chambers, the cargo would run out of ultraslow intravenous nutrients in a few centuries.

The cargo began to starve.

The para-reality of their sustainment, now their prison, began to glitch and lose detail and continuity as the Queen Settra slowly succumbed to entropy from cosmic rays and micro-impacts.

Still they could not wake up.

Neither could any of them permanently die, at lest not from damage sustained while within the simulation.

At least, not easily.

Even a governing system of sufficient complexity to overwatch the reality-sustainment A.I. would have been nowhere near complex or aware enough to prevent what happened in Queen Settras Dream, for this flowed not from Metal-On-Meat Mindcrime, but Intra-Meat reality collapse.

Crawling, starving with a hunger they could not suppress, maddened with unregulated opiate comedowns, tortured with memories of the bright time days? weeks? Months? before the Queen Settra, and deeply, but entirely unconsciously aware that their world, whatever it was, was doomed, the cargo of the Queen went, individually and as a society, violently insane.

The simplistic, but dangerously undergoverned reality sustainment A.I attempted to provide simulated goods, tools, relationships and experiences which would keep the Cargo happy and stable, fulfilling their hierarchy of needs.

But this was impossible, they were starving to death and trapped within a dream.

They found, at first, subtle ways of subverting the A.I.s locks on weapons and implements of harm, on perverse situations or illegal simulations, and on mutual access and mutual pain.

Pain at least, was stronger than the hunger, and stronger than the fear, and for a lucky few, pain or terror sever enough might trigger a heart-attack of such severity that the Queen Settras auto-systems would be overwhelmed and they might be allowed to die.

If very large numbers of the cargo underwent such attacks, at the same time, the chance of death rose...

This image depicts one fragmentary capture of the Cargo writhing and stumbling through the greying-out collapsing reality of the dying mindcore of the "Queen Settra", projected onto a watch-screen in a base-reality overwatch chamber, itself open to vacuum and holding only a corpse with a self-inflicted suicide wound, the edged of the bullet hole now mummified with centuries of frost.


So now I ask you Scrap, what is this?

Games Workshop/Louise Sugden

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Ping Pong 9 - The King of Monstrous Deeds

Scrap has explained the nature of the Assuring Dog.

Certainly, you  did nothing wrong, or you did what anyone would do. And who can reasonably blame you for that?

And asked, for the Ninth Pong of the Ping, what is this?

James Pryde The Death Bed


So dies the King of Monstrous Deeds..

James Pryde The Death Bed

So dies the King of Monstrous Deeds,
so slinks the ghoulish porter to the glass,
crouched to leap upon a moon-beam,
and fly back to his moon-queen.
Who watches in the window, fanning her face with black clouds,
dotting stars into her sunless hair,
black, on the back of her shaved head,
musing on mortality on earth.
So kneels the Vampire daughter-wife,
Dowager Princess of Monstrous Deeds,
nibbling, licking, drinking deep,
from a wet wound on the Kings pale feet.
So perches the pet Peacock by the head,
cinerous confessor-bird of gloom,
final counsellor, fan spread and still,
speaking whispered secrets in his ear.
Those secrets only dying ears may hear,
when only ten breaths are left in the lung,
(five per valve, if two remain),
for to tell the tenth of them is twelve breaths work,
so the whole may never be known,
Except by the bird.
So expand the shadows, looming up,
gathered by the guard, the ceiling-beast,
standing on its tentacles of night,
growling round the mattress stuffed with virgins pubic hair,
gazing mutely stricken on its kings last gasp.
Queen kneeling/Daughter stealing,
peacock speaking secrets,
porter polishing glass and praising the Moon,
who tarries with a tide and turns away.
So dies the King of Monstrous Deeds.

Now Scrap,

Was ist das?

(It is a Might-of-been-kiln.)

Monday, 16 March 2020


Yes christ more marketing! Choke on iiiiittt! You can never hate me as much as I hate myself!!!

Wounded by victory and tantalised by capitalism, we stagger towards some terrible Jerusalem to be born.

Scrap and I have submitted to the terrible logic of STRETCH GOALS

For the extremely reasonable price of only £30,000 we will create a magnificent folly of slightly but meaningfully higher quality than before. Including...

  • THICKER PAPER! - Now a luxurious 150gsm silk!
  • SECTION SEWN HARDBACK - It already was though!
  • THREE RIBBON MARKERS  - You really seemed to want these so now you get classic DCO White, Black and RED. NEVER LOSE YOUR PLACE AGAIN.
  • SPOT UV COVER - A translucent tactile shimmering image within an image. What will it be? No idea yet!
  • PRINTED ENDPAPERS - All the maps to be included in the endpapers as well as inside the book!
  • SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS TRILOBITE - After massive demand your old familiar friend from previous False Machine products will be making an appearance to introduce you to the book!
  • FREE MAP FILES WITH THE PDF - Anyone downloading the PDF will have the option to download files of the maps. Print em' out and use them however you like!
  • OH WAIT - A SHELF FOR ELGIN SCOTT SO HE HAS ROOM TO PLACE THE BOOK - I am only doing this once in my life and only because it is funny so don't ask me for stuff again, but YES, if we reach our goal we will buy this guy and Ikea Shelving Unit and have it shipped to his home.

There were also fancy Backer Levels but they are now largely gone - I think 2 are left.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Ping-Pong 7: An attack on the Impossible

Scrap has ANSWERED, with wild tales of the Horizon Society.

And asked, what signifies this?;

 The answer is simple, but first you must click the Trilobite and be marketed to about our Kickstarter for Deep Carbon Observatory - Remastered.

Now, obviously, this is

An attack on The Impossible

These vast stasis-engines were built by the command of the Imperator Umbra, Emperor of Shadows.

Alone of all that faded half-world, the stasis engines are locked into cosmo-synchronous position relative to the attenuated Cartesian webwork which underpins that slight reality.

The black rails, built of toxic (to the shadow realm) imported iron, are laid beneath the engines in vast circumlocutions of the shadowverses un-sphere. Bridges of white stone thrown across valleys and tunnels bored straight through ghrey hills by savage-minded semimechanical moles.

On the stated day, at the Imperators command, sent by timed lightning-birds, made from the shadows of electrical strikes and released at carefully calculated intervals relative to their destinations position  to the super-coop from which they are released (shadow travelling very slightly slower than the speed of light, so as not to get in its way), the Great Command was sent, and in one simultaneous instant all across the realm of shades, the Stasis Engines burst into life.

This took place before even the final tracks were laid, the engines expected to drive so slowly that there would be plenty of time to reach completion.

So, with a great gasp of industrial power, the engines strook steel and the world moved beneath them. 

In no other realm would this have been possible, but the fine and airy substance of shadow, and its lacing and encompassing with rail and binding with iron, meant that the mass of the shadow realm was just low enough to place it within the grasp of Science to move.

The first moment was the greatest as, individually and all across the realm, the engines breathed for the first time. Of course, many exploded under the untested stress (this was expected, accounted for in projections and is not the image pictured) but enough laboured, coughed, moved and ground round that slowly, impossibly, the realm itself began to move beneath them.

Locked in position and biting into their rails, the Stasis Engines heaved their reality around, slowly, at only the speed of a walking man, but, for the first and only time in this half-grey Empire, the world turned. The sky changed into something other than oaplescent and polarised gloom.

Great cheers broke out all across (the Urban centres) of the Imperium. Weather patterns began to form. Wind happened. Clouds shaped themselves in the air. As the shadow world span beneath the grip of the locked industrial machines it gained, for the first time, movement, seasons, activity, burgeoning life and change.

Yes the cost in materials, labour, poisonings from the toxic iron, lightning birds, exploded engines and the insane tax levels required to keep the engines fed, all were huge. But what is Empire for if not to change the world? And the Imperator Umbra, now titled, 'Master of the Impossible' ("The Impossible" being the name of the greatest, central and flagship Stasis Engine) was more popular than ever before.

In the urban centres. 

And among the middle and educated upper classes.

But Empires have their half-light, and change is not beloved by all.

Out in the distant never-suppressed reaches of the Imperium, in its muttering underclass and, it is rumoured, in crooked alleys of its Paleoconservative Mansions, rage and resistance brewed like bubbling tea. 

Weather! Storms! 


Cobwebs driven from their corners. Leaves tumbling from trees. Birds flying instead of remaining poised and heraldic on the skyline. 

"What is next? A Moon? A SUN?!?!"

So the attacks began. Summoned from the abyssal reaches, radical Men-O-War-Men, black colony organisms, formerly overlooked as ethnically dull and far away, rose from the shadowy sea and hurled themselves at the Stasis Engines in explosively suicidal assaults. 

Worse, they howled hymns of Old-Umbra at they strook, promising a return to better times of stillness and quiet. An end to seasons and the threat of possible snow, awful in its crystalline whiteness.

The image in question shows a split second moment of one such attack, captured by high-speed Daguerreotype. The black, suicidal Man-O-War-Man dives into the engine compartment of The Impossible, in a split second before its explosion. 

The creature was rumoured to be shouting "NO DANDELIONS" as it died.


Now Scrap, I ask you, what is THIS?

Alfrid Shaymardanov

Friday, 13 March 2020

I'm on the Loco Ludus Podcast

Click here or the image

We get into nerd culture, irresolvable polarities oral culture and just a whole bunch of stuff.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Ping Pong 5 - Sobetet Speaks with Alarasathia

Scrap has explained the nature of the Toad which Hears and Knows.

crapaud et grenouille by Jean-Joseph Carriès

And asked me in return, for the 5th pong of the ping - what is this?

Agostino Arrivabene

Of course its pretty simple. But first blah blah blah back our Kickstarter we are working on stretch goals waiting to here back from the printer etc etc

Sobetet Speaks with Alarasathia

Agostino Arrivabene

The minds of the Sleeping Gods flit and eddy across landscapes and cosmic archtectures, both those real to us, but also introverted dream-realms of their own creation

For to a sleeping god, one with the power of creation itself, what difference truly is there between reality and dream?

At times the unconscious minds of the gods fall through the ruins of empty purgatories, guttering candlelit hells and faded gardens of paradise where once the souls of the faithful and the dammed congregated before the gods somnolence and the slow fall of all that the gods sustained paled the hierarchies of the beyond into shadows - etched memories of spiritual passion and release

Now in the long, slow death of What-Is, the pinnacles of such ruined paracosms lurch and falter, teetering, leaning and falling through unspeakable conceptions of space to crumble and merge.

The forgotten dead of one heaven wander into another cultures Hell. The prison bars of Hades rust and even the crimes whose sins fills those cells are forgotten. Elysium and Acheron crumble as one.

Here in the ruined afterlives old categories of soul are forgotten - pale eldritch dementia strips meaning from the fearsome and force from the mad.

The Queen pictured, Alarasathia, disposes her patronage over one such abandoned antiverse - stilling the whispering hordes of her churl-souls with the paper-thin remnant of a beauty which once shattered nations, and the ticking echo of a capacious and tyrannical mind.

All sleep, or near-sleep in this dirge of being, for the dead, or the memories of the memories of the dead which these may be, know no true rest, but only winter-morning half-waking poised between sleep and light.

Still, even in such ruin and infinite time, events may take place and visitors may come

This image shows the visitation of the Lunar God Sobetet, wholesome and reversed sibling of the monstrous Stetbos.

Sobetet dreams like all gods, and is perhaps dead, or lost within the coma of God-death themselves. Where their mind ranges none, lest of all the God themselves, can tell whether what they perceive is true-creation or merely the half-created fragmentary dreamworld of the Gods own unconscious imaginings.

And, Gods being Gods, it is possible that even those strange perceptions might have a soft of waking un-life of their own. Fogotten thoughts from a forgotten mind.

At this moment Sobetet, or a cluster of minds seeming to be Sobetet, or Sobetet broken and unweaved down to a a myriad of blurred selves, comes upon the throne of Alarasathia.

The sleeping memory of the light of a long-annihilated moon shines within the echoing netherworld of the forgotten dead - an event so rare, strange and impossible that even these scribbled etchings of wraiths may recall it for an eon or more.

Sobetet, perhaps drawn by the beauty and long-lost intensity of Alarasathia, gazes upon her and speaks to her. Seeing her like we might see a Queen within a dream, who fades upon morning.

Yet for these figures such a morning is unlikely to come.

Of what Sobetet said to Alarasathia, or of what Alarasathia replied, you may guess. It could be that thier words had only as much sense as those of two sleepers turning to each other in a darkneed bed, bodily aware of the others presence but lost within their own unconscious dream-realms, murmuring sleep-speech to each other.

Is what happens in such moments ever true communication? Can anything of meaning pass between?


Now I ask of thee Scrap, what signifies this?

Angelo Canevari
The answer is a curious one.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Ping Pong 3 - The Rakshas Dream

Scrap described the Perfect Monarch.

And asked me; what is this?




Is is, "A Rakshas Dream"

Theories abound of the origin of the painting; "A Rakshas Dream".

Of the why more than the who. For the who is Uxlurian Vesh, famous explorer and, it is rumoured, now terminal Akwei addict.

(Though Vesh certainly did not paint the image, but claims to have recovered it from the City of Portal on his most daring expedition.)

But of the why, and what the painting means; these are the common subjects of discussion.

It is not horrifying, through it is a little disturbing.

It is beautiful, but like a very cold dream of something which sees through time.

How many levels of reality are bound within its canvas?

Famously, "Dream" is apparently a hyper-realistic painting of a painting of the inside of an Elephant, on the Elephant itself.

(The question of "of"-"of"-"in"-"on" has fuelled critical exploration more than any other.)

The name "Rakshas Dream", suggests that the image is intended to be that of an Elephant, as conceived of in the somnolent mind of a predatory Tiger-Demon.

Its name as well, was probably not given by Vesh, or at least no record seems to exist of its origin. It may be that people simply started calling it that, or that Vesh came out with the phrase either before or after one of his binges.

Perhaps he recalled the phrase from some connection to the paintings origin, or perhaps the words come from nowhere at all.

(Or this is an image of the Elephant itself, dreaming of itself.)

Perhaps the  eye of this death-dealing spirit penetrates skin, bone and flesh. Do Rakasha dream of skinless beings? Or is a sleeping Tiger-spirit no more or less likely to do so than anyone else?

Is this how those demonic multitudes imagine us? As skinless ghouls, translucently-wrapped packages of meat?

OR - is the painting itself perhaps only what it appears to be - an exact and accurate reproduction of a real-life scene? In which case the painting is merely a record of another painting, this one drawn directly onto the skin of a surprisingly-quiescent Elephant.

This raises more questions. Who painted the Elephant itelf? And in what circumstances? And why?

It is here that the strangest and most cryptic and detailed therories have been developed - that the musculature of the Elephant descibe some sort of map or code. Madmen have seen patterns in this flesh and a guard must be kept before "Dream" whenever it is exhibited lest a small minority of oddities attempt the grapple with or seek possession of the piece.

Still there are always a slumped few towards the rear of the attending crowds who can be found scribbling in notebooks and swapping anguished glares.

This sub-cult believes that the maze of some slender dimensional is pictured or encoded in the painting on the elephant in the painting of the Rakshas Dream, and that the painting is one of a real painting, one a real elephant, and that this multiply-layered nature is a deep and necessary part of this encoding.


Not that great maybe, but you will probably do better Scrap when you tell me what, or who is THIS:

crapaud et grenouille by Jean-Joseph Carriès

Discover its nature HERE.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Ping-Pong One: Psy-Berg of the Phosphate Sea


Scrap has asked me to find a meaning for this image;

Which was simple, but FIRST - Marketing Copy!!!

The Deep Carbon Observatory Kickstarter is Live! And a success!

We will be doing stretch goals probably!

We do not know what those will be yet!

Click HERE for the Kickstarter
or click the Trilobite

Ok, marketing done. 

What is THIS?

A Psy-Berg of the Phosphate Sea

Here we see glowering beautifully a worm-haunted waste-pack from the City of Solar Light, which races, roaring, across the horizon at high altitude and speed.

The bergs themselves are a byproduct of the Cities schemes to control its own terrible heat, a kind of thermal foam is created there, the most ethereal layers of which are so exquisitely sensitiveness that they absorb the terror of the heat-exhausted underclass who labour to continual produce it.

Thence this top layer is skimmed off with rapidity, and since it already begins to writhe and set, is ejected at speed, directly down into the Phosphate Sea as the City passed overhead.

Constructed as they are, of coagulated pain, the Psy-Bergs are home not only to Psy-Pirates, who raid the dreams and memories of those they attack for old hopes and fond connections, which they gather round as the hopes slowly dim to nothing, serving to keep the pirates from self-annihilation, and holding back the spooks of doom, but also to their own strange ecology of carrion thoughts, both evolved forms descended from vermin of the fire city and creatures from the phosphate sea itself adapted to a more sessile life upon the bergs.

The bergs, as you see, are never entirely stable. Ghosformed, shifting like illusions between visits, they cannot be named and are recorded only by a narrow caste of Mute Deceivers descended themselves from an extinct clade of shaman from the annihilated tribes of the Phosphate Sea.

These Deceivers, expertly record, not the details of the berg itself but the patterning of waves and swells around it, as well and the emotional, physical, psychic and moral destruction they werak upon those who enter within.

But of the berg itself, they think not at all, and so hold the records of them silently as a void at the centre of a web of connections.

Only the Mute Deceivers can inform anyone of which psy-bergs are where, of their relative size and psychic danger, of the presence of pirates or apex predators, or any other thing, and so the cult persists

The Ecology of the Psy-Bergs;

Beneath and around their base subsists the Algae of Pain; anti-luminescent microbeings - identifiable through the rich darkness they spread upon the water - clearly visible in this image.

Feeding upon these pools of night-black energy-absorbing algae are the ghosts of evil whales - largely unconcerned with human endeavour, nevertheless their foul song can be extremely disenchanting.

SquealSeals also hunt in the inverted pain pinnacles beneath the berg. This is a form of deadly squid which has adapted itself, for some unknown reason, into forming the shape of a seal, curling its tentacles and other parts into that morphology and even in some cases, inhabiting a seal skin.

Within the caverns of the Berg can be found colonies of vile midnight-brown Descending Penguins, morbid, violent, cannibalistic and intensely sexually destructive creatures - the main threat to their survival as a species being themselves, as nothing else is willing to come near them.

Cackling in the black caverns can also be found the Gibbons of Delusion - maniacal ice-cold cryo-monkeys created by the Sleep of Reason itself. The more tractable examples of their kind are sometimes trained by Psy-Pirates, becoming first violent pets, then almost part of the crew, and if their deluding abilities grow strong enough, eventually leading such groups...


Now I have answered you Scrap, SO.

WHAT, (or WHO) is this;

Sergio Bustamente