Thursday, 10 January 2019


Adam Stone asked for something to do with the City of Infinite Ruin. (I think. Hope I wrote that one down right.)

"That which must be banned must first be known, otherwise the guilty, (or their lawyers, or various irritating social reformers who keep trying to push edge-cases) will weasel out of it somehow.

As an approved Agent of the Perceptual Inquisition you have been granted access to the following ideas.

These concepts were drawn from the speech and communication of various and sundry scholars, radicals, alleged seers, prophets, explorers, magic-users, scryers, rumour-mongers, playwrights, authors and poets.

Absolutely none of these concepts are true. There is no way for them to be true. Even if they were true (which they are not) there would be no way for the originators of the concepts to become aware of them.

They are therefore entirely fictional. Nevertheless, they are extremely dangerous.

You must never discuss, repeat or acknowledge the existence of these concepts outside of a court of law, unless it is to enforce the law that others not do so either, in which case, your authority is limitless.

Neither may you ever translate the form of these ideas from its approved encoding as a series of silken knots. Neither may you ever teach or reveal the nature of this code to any being without the direct and repeated (thrice times) request of your immediate superior, and their immediate superior in turn.


- Exponential Empires.

- Peaceful stone republics like beads of water on a nettles edge. Trembling.

- Sands of beaten-down mortuary stone spotted with the sea-smoothed bones of alternate human strains washed from drowned necropolis.

 - Species that never lived, existing only to be entombed, their words inscribed only on the walls of vast paradoxical tombs - the flotsam of proliferating realities.

- The Cold Birds.

- Golem Armies. Auto-Generated statues with the capacity to make more of themselves, products of a kind of natural selection and an infinity of stone.

- Tomb Wars.

- Thanocausts.

- Empires of the Undying who have never lived.

- Immortal Shadow Empires, whether of size or shrunken to bands of nomadic humans.

- The likelihood, in infinite space, of randomly-generated immortality.

- The likelihood of immortality being passed on to descendants.

- The likely results of this happening even once, in infinite space.

- Empires of living shadows passing like a sundials hands.

- City-worlds of sulphurous rain. Cathedral-volcanoes hurling out small churches like boulders, architectural magma bleeding megastructures from some chthonic heart.

- Animated alter-reality museum cultures. Awoken species and races from ever-wilder theoretical museums of imaginary worlds.

- The necessity, in infinite space, of there being a Museum-of-Museums, and its contents.

- Temporary oceans where micro fluxions of the world-structure cause the outfall of rain storms the size of planets to rush together in one space, producing world-sized sunken cities.

- Living storms. Tornadoes of electrical power and living hyperdimensional masonry-rubble. Symbiotic entities in which the stone possesses the storm and the storm the stone.

-  Cultures of half-intelligent birds raised as prey or farmers of prey, for Empires of intelligent super-eagles which act as vampiric Pharos or demi-gods, promising protection from still-greater powers. Protection they cannot truly offer as they know their 'Empire' is just a shifting network between the boundaries of truly alien Exponential Empires.

- Helical trees grown from the seeds of neverborn worlds bursting from the dry stomachs of tera-human corpses washed from cracked-open tombs by the wars of cyclonic self-aware tornadoes against expanding wave-fronts of lunatic cherubim. Their branches clustered with fat near-flightless peasant-birds awaiting the Judgement of god-emperor pharaonic raptors from the dead sky.

- The apocalypses of omnipotent Abrahamic gods piercing the infinite and expanding infinitely, in infinite space, at the speed of an angels flight, growing without end.

- Creatures for whom the most familiar form of human is an animated corpse or a body carved from stone - the original creatures of flesh a legend, dying of old age before it can ever reach the deeps.

- The speed of the expansion of the city.

- Any acceleration in this speed.

- Any exponential acceleration in this speed.

- The rate at which the strands of the radial expansion must be moving apart from each other as they grow further from the city walls.

- Specifically; the speed at which two people standing side-by-side are pulled across the axis of growth as new material is created.

- The Horizon of Actual return. The furthest anyone has gone into the City and actually come back.

- The Horizon of Theoretical Return. The furthest a human being could possibly go into the city and come back.

- Oneiric Demon Gods of never-born Empires vastly greater in extent and power than anything in the "real"  world - wielding a frustrated near-omnipotence over their Eons of desolate stone.

- The Horizon of Cries - the point at which a shout, when uttered, will never reach even one foot in either direction for the city is growing faster than sound can travel.

- The Horizon of Light - a wall of infinite black. The city growing too quickly for light to reach it and return to the observer.

- Red-shifting of the city.

- Silence in the red-shift zone.

- The red horizon being the great penumbra of the Exponential Empires.

- Sandstorms of proliferating microgolems reducing everything into themselves.

- That these imaginary beings, constructs and polities are effectively *trapped* in this near-infinite silent red penumbra, unable to advance towards the centre due to the cities speed of expansion. [INQUISITORIAL SANCTION - THIS CONCEPT MAY BE DISCUSSED WITH HIGH-STATUS PERSONNEL IN SITUATIONS OF NECESSITY AND UNDER DUE SUPERVISION.]

- But they must know, the more intelligent of them, that their cosmos has a centre. All they need to do is measure the flow of stone. What must they think of it, these endo-cosmic para-deities? Of the great cosmic womb of stone which vomits forth the substance of all they comprehend, a cornucopia of fuming substance and a generative loci, the mouth of a god-beyond-gods which they can dimly intuit but never approach?

- Parasitic cognovores, memetic art-plagues, simple repeated symbols which cause ant conscious mind to repeat them too. But in the infinity of the theoretical deeps there is enough time, for even these para-beings to evolve, grow in complexity, develop self-awareness.

- Fungal cities in the silent red horizon, feeding off the stone and the cherencov radiation spat back from the event horizon, bathing in the dim red light and utter cold.

- Flatness of the city, existing on one plain without a curve. The ability to see a long way inside. The optical cause of its apparent curve upwards.

- Heretical or rebellious deep-city Observatory/Philosophy stations built on theoretical ziggurats, using vast lenses to look as deep into the city as possible.

- Spires of mile-high alien megastructures rising and falling on the horizon like insect limbs."

Record ends. Textural fragment recovered from deep-range Alienist expedition.

Location of recovery claimed as primary seed-stone for surrounding ruinscape. [UNVERIFIED]

Fragment scheduled for auction at Rim-House Mendolo in three days time.

Expedition claims possession of more.

Desired action?


  1. The moment someone invents trains in that setting, it is going to go very wrong.

  2. You could probably my get this printed up in a sci fi short story book for real money.

  3. Can’t believe I missed the city of infinite ruin until now, what a concept/bundle of many fascinating concepts.

    Dude if you posted your stuff to reddit you’d get so many upvotes

    1. I think the rules of most subreddits mean you can't/shouldn't post your own stuff. I mean I do have my own (on the sidebar) its just that there is no-one on it.

    2. What I’ve generally seen in rpg and rpg-adjacent subs (e.g. r/rpg, r/DNDBehindTheScreen, r/worldbuilding), the intent behind rules is to prevent “advertising” rather than posting your own stuff. As forum moderators are invariably fallible and sickly creatures, these anti-advertising rules tend to be finnicky and kind of dumb.

      To refer back to the subreddits mentioned,

      For r/rpg:

      “Bloggers, Self Promotion & Other Advertising

      You may link out to content you have produced (whether a blog, podcast, video or something else) or another outside source once per week as long as you are not spamming. Spamming consists of more than 50% of your comments and posts (all the content you contribute to /r/rpg together) being used for self-promotion. Please engage with the community in order to avoid spamming. Spammers will be blocked on /r/rpg.”

      Seems you’d be in the clear so long as you don’t do it too often and make some non-blog comments every now and then. Mind you I’m less familiar with this one, so I don’t know how well a purely “fluff” post would be received.

      For r/DNDBehindTheScreen:


      We were getting ridiculous amounts of advertising, so we were forced to implement new rules.
      You may advertise if you are a "regular, recognizable contributor".
      What does this mean?
      You've posted at least 12 times in the past 12 months, and you've been commenting for at least 12 months.”

      From what I’ve seen of this sub, advertising can mean making a post that’s a direct link to your blog. This is fairly easy to get around, as you could copy-paste a blog post to a text post on reddit and get that accepted, then provide a link to here when people are inevitably wowed by the quality and ask if you’ve got more writing available, or whatever.

      For r/worldbuilding:

      “6. We allow advertising, but it shouldn't disrupt the community.
      In general, we're tolerant of ads that respect our community and meet our worldbuilding context requirements.
      Having a previous relationship to /r/worldbuilding is not necessary to advertise here, but ads should be able to demonstrate some relevance and usefulness to the community.
      It's always okay to monetize your own worldbuilding using a Patreon link or something similar. Even selling merchandise is OK.
      Kickstarters or other crowdfunding projects always require pre-approval by the moderation team.
      Collaborative worldbuilding projects can recruit on /r/worldbuilding, as long as they organize themselves elsewhere.
      Don't post any kind of ad more than once a month without a mod's approval.
      Ads that don't meet these requirements, are posted too frequently, or which are otherwise malicious will be considered spam.”

      It’s fine with links to blogposts, but they tend to get less attention than reddit posts, as do text posts relative to image posts. Not a directly rpg sub, but rpg stuff is welcome there.

      Anyways that’s by no means a comprehensive sample, and might be too much of a hassle depending on what sort of audience you want to reach, but I hope it’s helpful.

    3. I suppose my reasons for not posting stuff on Reddit are not entirely rational.

      My attitude to the blog is essentially schizophrenic. On one level I like the attention, but on another I'm deeply ambivalent about publicising my stuff and pushing it out there.

      With most of those sub-reddits, I genuinely don't read them. I read r/RPG occasionally and r/OSR sometimes but if I don't bother reading something then lurching in and pretending that I am a 'community member'feels fake. And the truth is I'm barely a 'community member' anywhere.

      I have no problem with other people posting my stuff, if they like it, or cross-posting it, its actually a little like a nice treat if something turns up on Reddit, but I probably won't do more than putting my posts on the False Machine subreddit.

  4. Chilling stuff. I'm a big fan of the way you take one weird idea and carry it to it's even weirder conclusion. I wonder what kind of campaign would take place in the city. People looting the interior I guess?

  5. Finally got around to reading through this.
    It is not what I'd imagined you might follow up with. In its defiance of my expectations, it is magnificent. It is better than I'd hoped for.
    You have my (maybe/probably worthless) gratitude for cracking open the ossuary of an idea that had potentially already been played out as far as it could be, and scrape-sucking from therein such delicious thought-marrow. Bra-fucking-vo.

  6. This is a great expansion to an excellent concept. This feels like the things the players would begin to think about after 4 or so months of "oh, infinite mordheim!" when they start to realizing the true depth of power of the term "infinite" and get a sinking feeling.

  7. Another blinder (or rather, blinding extension on a blinder). It would be interesting to examine your brain with high powered instruments. Probably been replaced by hyper aware fungal mass at some time in your sleeping life.

    In all seriousness, this would make a fucking brilliant Dark Heresy or Inquisitor setting.