Monday 29 August 2022

Weebery Five - I Barely Survived

I am back and I have watched yet more anime. I could not stop. The original posts are here

Inuyashiki Last Hero

Gankutsuo: The Count of Monte Cristo
Outlaw Star
Full Metal Panic!

The Great Passage
Bannana Fish

Ranking of Kings
Odd Taxi
Fire Force
My Hero Academia
Attack on Titan
Mob Psycho 100
Demon Slayer

I have broken this down into categories based on general theme

Darling in the Franxx
Assassination Classroom
The Girl from the Other Side

2 - COMEDY???
Spy x Family
Love After World Domination

Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department
Shadows House
Vivy -Flourite Eyes Song

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works

Dr Stone, Series 1
The Vision of Escaflowne
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
The Devil is a Part-Timer Series 1
Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World
Banished from the Heroes Party I Decided to Lead a Quiet Life in the Countryside

86 Eighty Six

In order to keep this to something like a sane length I will try to describe the premise to each show in AS SHORT A WAY AS POSSIBLE before moving on to note things I liked.


Darling in the Franxx - what the actual fuck

Starts as a porn kind of? Gets good then goes VERY strange. Look it’s just your classic evolved-from-porn post-apoc teens in mecha show that evolves into a ruthless depictions of vampiric gerontocracy which then in the very last big turns into a cosmic galactic war, also the mecha are driven by orgones or their equivalent apparently.


The central section where the teens in a kind of fishbowl simulation of a school gradually find out that they are essentially malmukes, slaves created purely to fight to the death in defence of a society of immortal adults, that they are subhuman in that society and they will never "grow up" and become adults, either they will die in the field or die of genetic degradation since they are hybrids not made to live that long.

We find this out along the way in a range of neatly implied ways - the children’s school uniforms which look like early 20thC ritualised European school uniforms with braces, ties, garters for the socks - then we find out that these are daily-extruded plastic/paper hybrid all in one coverings with just those elements pictured or embossed on the fabric. We didn't see this because its an animation and we can't see the texture of cloth, and the teens don't know how strange it is because its all they've ever known.

It's really quite wonderfully horrific - the depictions of seemingly-empty night-cities of immortal humans who live in giant CLEAN apartments blitzed out of their minds on cyber-soma, with no actual physical connections to each other.

The "bad" things about Franxx are also things I kinda respect it for just having the balls to do. I sort of respect it for being so irredeemably porny to start with (think it actually evolved from a porn to begin with) and towards the end of the series it goes completely fucking nuts, in a way where you get the sense they knew they were not getting a second series and decided to 'Babylon 5' it, so in very quick succession you get the secret queen of an underground race of ancient, well not aliens as they are terrestrial but Archeans or Cryptids, plus the ascension of adult humanity to a bodiless state by a bunch of aliens who were behind everything the whole time, the reveal of a centauroid super-robot powered by love, war in space, pregnancy, learning to grow crops, more war in space and a cosmic gate to the far side of the Galaxy and a super-war against the aliens. It really goes balls out.

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = its literally all about that - OLD = BAD! BOOMERS = BAD!! Looks like Japan has already gone through everything we are about to.

+ Calls to the FBI = so much it would be mad to try to list them, the whole thing really, especially at the beginning. If you have seen this you should be on a watchlist.

Assassination Classroom

Its Goodbye Mr Chips if Mr Chips was a --- like a warner brothers monster? Or a surrealist nightmare? The moon blows up. A super-being exists and reveals to the worlds government that they blew up the moon and are going to destroy the earth and the ONLY way to stop this is to let them teach this one particular class in this one particular Japanese school and if the students in this class can assassinate the creature before the year ends the world will be saved. Honestly its a tribute to insanity that this plot actually makes sense by the end  of the series.


Basically imagine if one of those shitty High Concept series from US TV that starts "what if" and rapidly dies of being milked too much and staggers on with its desperate original fandom hanging off its withered haunches - well imagine if one of those was over and done in one series and actually managed to answer all the insane questions it brought up at the start. And was funny.

What can I say it’s Mr Chips/Dangerous Minds with heart-warming stories of personal growth and regular increasingly complex assassination attempts and various plots

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = not that much but the Japanese School system treating its "failures" as disposable objects is a theme.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = a little, one of the students is very obviously a "trap" and this becomes a whole thing. But honestly, for anime, relatively low levels of ambient paedophilia

The Girl from the Other Side

A girl wakes up in the forest at night, heavily implied that she is a survivor of a massacre of "infected" or suspected infected people from 'the inside', this forest being the outside. Meets a weird as shit man beast monster wearing a suit who looks after and protects here while being very careful never to physically touch her as he definitely is infected and if they touch she will end up a memoryless monster like him.


It’s really incredibly strange and beautiful. Is either hand animated or pseudo-so. Storybook, well I say "dreamlike" too much but this is the most like a dream you half remember. Quite affecting. 

ANGRY though because clearly much deeper and more complex than what we were shown but we only got THREE EPISODES! WHY? Cost too much to animate? Ended in a vague bougie ambivalent symbolic way which frustrated me. It’s based on an illustrated series so may eventually pick that up.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = NONE! Don't you fucking even DARE to besmirch the purity of this sacred Anime!


Spy x Family

If you know anything about Anime you probably know about this already but I will go on. Pseudo cold-war setting. cold as ice but Heart of Gold super-spy  given mission to literally create a family, beautiful but very awkward young office girl secretly a midnight super-assassin looking for a cover relationship to get suspicion off her back, orphan girl w telepathic powers is looking for a home, all  three come together in a pseudo-family which is, in effect, a real family except we know that and they don't. The spy doesn't know the wife is an assassin, the wife doesn't know the husband is a spy, neither of them know the girl is psychic and the girl knows everything.


Do you know how fucking hard it is to do an action comedy that’s actually good and that’s for normal people? Well the first part is hard for anyone, and doing anything even vaguely normal is hard as shit for the Japanese...

Its just a really well done action comedy that’s also a very pleasurable, ridiculous and self-sustaining farce. Basically its Frasier meets The Man from Uncle. A family who don't realise they are actually a family but we the audience do! Normative Values! you probably don't think this is good from the way I described it but it fun as shit so whatever.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = there are LITERALLY NONE its hard to believe! This Anime is pure! Oh no wait I forgot Yor Forgers brother has a somewhat creepy crush on her. I spoke too soon, you win again Japan.

HOWEVER, other than this, this is one of relatively few Anime that I would willingly show to normal people. 

Love After World Domination

The main guy from a Power Rangers type situation and the S&M-Themed Arch Foe from the villains organisation fall in love and have a tentative romantic relationship.


This was pleasant and the art style was calming. the warm soft roundness of the characters and ok basically I have a childs colour palette so whatever fuck you. The gags are intermittently funny but sometimes go pretty hard. I laughed occasionally. Someone clearly put a more than normative amount of effort into developing the art style at least compared to the average anime.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = I don't know if an almost insane level of neuroticism and pathological avoidance and simultaneous desire for intimacy actually counts as "perversity", but its repeated so much in anime that it actually feels like it does.  I suppose this one isn’t that bad as they are partially making fun of those tropes.

Also the Miss Reaper costume is... like way too hot for a sort-of kids tv themed anime


Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department

(This is really a comedy but I needed to bulk this section out). Farcical/Absurdist workplace comedy with a young scientist trying to survive and get ahead in the crazy world of corporate but the corporation is actually the evil supervillain org from a seinen hero series - her job is monster development and all the monsters go out and get beaten up by the hero figure.


Slightly badly animated but much more directly funny than 'Love After World Domination', the workplace insanity is more cutting and feels more on point, monster designs being completely bollocked because the CEO paid a visit to the lab and 'made suggestions', a valentines themed chocolate monster being banned from use because she was poorly manufactured and is full of foreign objects, (also never make a holiday themed monster, you can only use them once a year), single-episode beat-em-up sidekick roles being sketchy single say work-for hire jobs where they bus you to another city and don't tell you what it’s about, its funnier than I'm making it sound.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = male monster gets brain transplanted into the body of a hot wolf girl yeah its Japan.

Shadows House Series 1

Is it weird that this reminds me of the Korean film The Handmaiden? I really liked this one. Young girl wakes up in a box, in a servants room in a labyrinthine house, finds out that she is a 'living doll' and is meant to act as a servant for  a featureless living silhouette the exact shape and form of the main character with slightly different dress who speaks and seems to think just like a young noble lady but who emits soot in a vertical column when upset. An entire generation of shadows live in this wing, each with a 'living doll' servant, which they are physically identical to in form and shape, except that they are utterly featureless black voids. Gradually we realise that  that the 'living dolls' as well as being servants are meant to act as their shadows 'face', learning their moods and manner so well that they can walk alongside them and simultaneously express emotion in a visible way. Then our main girl and her shadow mistress are put through a range of increasingly odd and obscure tests and situations, those that don't pass "disappear".


It’s a beautiful weird country house puzzle drama. I like stuff where everyone is mannered and drinks tea and anyone could be killed at any time according to a labyrinthine arrangement of rules which are never fully disclosed. Possibly this is my British DNA showing. The first series main character Emilico, a hyper positive to the point of mental illness super-girl is great. The classic introvert/extrovert pairing of the two main girls is also great.

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = oh hell yes, the older generation of Shadows are effectively evil and part of an evil and consuming structure of power headed by the oldest, who is essentially worshipped by the rest.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = not that bad.

Vivy – Fluorite-Eyes Song

An A.I. created "to make the world happy with my singing" is visited by another robot from the future,  in the future A.I.s go Skynet and destroy mankind. These two team up to alter events so that doesn't happen. The stage is set for a series of special-ops missions and strange investigations spread out over decades as the two awkwardly try to change fate.


Remember the Asimov film I.Robot, well its a bit like that but good, except actually very good. Really well animated - some fucking great robot vs robot vs cyborg vs human fights. Matsumoto the cube-formed time travelling robot is great, especially as time goes by and he develops more and more abilities and add-ons, all of which are cube-based. Ah and its overwhelmingly sad. Also its really beautiful, did I mention how well animated this is? Plus each episode is a strange new evolution of the relationship between men and machines, and between machine and machine.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = you know I'm not sure I even saw one. A guy does fall in love with a robot at one point but the incredible sadness of how it turns out really robs it of FBI points.


Goddamn Fate, the Universe which started as a multiple choice story that was also kinda a porn and just got more complex from there.  Basically don't bother with this unless you like working things out of the fly or really enjoy lore. I have only watched two series of this; Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works and Fate/Zero.

A  maguffin called the 'Holy Grail' grants wishes. To reach it, seven mages have to fight each other by summoning seven 'Heroic Spirits', like ghost, tulpas or reincarnations of famous historical heroes. Only one mage can reach the magical thing at the end. 


The main interest comes from the tactical dicking about between the mages and the various skill-sets and personalities of the different mage/spirit pairings, and the conflicts between the values, personalities and ideologies of the different mage and spirit combos. In one scene Gilgamesh, gender-swapped King Arthur and Alexander the Great have a sit down to discuss the meaning of Kingship, you are unlikely to get this stuff outside Anime.

Damn the creator has a dark view on the heroic ideal and the search for meaning, in Fate Zero at least, those with the most clear "heroic" motivation are gradually corroded by those desires, leaving them mutated and morally compromised, while those who often seem if not sociopathic then very unpleasant, often gradually come to seem more reasonable as time goes by and they emerege as, at least, less hypocritical and self-deluding

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = not so much though the old mage families which dominate things are usually mildly psychotic.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = YES. Did you want to see Gender-Swapped King Arthur tied up in a BDSM style by Gilgamesh Lord of Uruk well you are going to.


The genre that has eaten Anime like a fat fucking fuck eating everything. 

But the Isekais have been going so long that they have started to meta-evolve, a bit like the Gremlins in the film 'Gremlins 2' producing slightly more interesting variations and iterations on the basic theme. Here I throw in Isekais and a range of post, pre and semi-Isekais together.


Is this even an Isekai? Or even a post-post Isekai? Fuck knows. It does take place in some kind of virtual dream realm or something. A teenage boy wakes up with amnesia, his parents are 'on holiday', he tries to act normal and go to school but the city is attacked by Kaiju and things get stranger from there.


Very strange intense and horrific dreamlike feel as kids and people die horribly in monster attacks before the city is "re-set" each night, leaving no memory of the particular people who died. Only the main characters know people are "missing" school classrooms gradually becoming more sparse, happy families reduced to lonely parent and single parents unable to mourn the absence of someone they can't even remember.

Pleasing monster designs - especially towards the end where the demonic entity allowing the Kaiju to become real just grabs a bunch of unfinished ones off the shelf, resulting in some really awkward, gawky nightmare broken toy monsters that are quite unpleasant.

Also a good scene where the heroes meet with the main alien/demon guy in an ordinary roadside restaurant at night -everything is normal and low-fi and this fictional supervillain inhuman nightmare guy thing walks in and no-one but the heroes really perceive it fully.

Monster vs Robot Superhero fights with the crazed energy of a childs summertime imagination but maybe we are indeed in a dream or something like that? What is real?

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = not really other than the deep loneliness of the children

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = hmmmmmm

Dr Stone, Series 1

Mankind gets turned to a bunch of stone statues by UNKNOWN FORCES. Several thousand years later one guy wakes up and decides he is going to re-create ALL human technology from the stone-age ground up, revive ALL of humanity and also work out the Petrification thing.


Procedural science stuff! That’s basically what this series is about. Want to see how to go from a literal stone age level of tech to building a radio in a year or so? Well here you go.

The Plot armour in this one is a little ridiculous.

There are some genuinely effecting moments where stone age people experience the miracles of raw science, diseases defeated through sulphur drugs, an electric light shining in a stone age world.

Has a lot of unexplored depth where you could look at the not-all-good effects of technology and knowledge on a prehistoric culture but that’s largely unexamined 

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = motivation for the main villain is that in our time the place was plagued with olds who owned everything and kept everyone down so now he is going to CRUSH their frozen bodies and build a NEW SOCIETY of the young and pure! No one has told this guy that people age I guess

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = none come to mind... a gymnast eats cotton candy in a suggestive way..

The Vision of Escaflowne

One of the (near) original Isekai transported to a dream realm stories? and its technically Shogo. Teenage girl arrives in fantasy land where evil Wizard Scientist guy is trying to conquer everything for obscure reasons - girl faces "bellas choice" between Hot Princes whilst having adventures, also there are steampunk mecha powered by dragon hearts.


Its FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. PEAK 90s aesthetic. The backgrounds. Sky rocks hovering in the midnight air. The science-fantasy worldbuilding. The dreamy summer-ish feel. Our own planet hangs in the sky like an unreachable vision.

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = Isaac Newton is evil and old but he's just taking the place of God who is always evil in Anime.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = I think there's a sister-brother crush in this? Not sure. But that’s about it, oooohh no I forgot [SPOILERS] one of the evil characters is actually the abducted sister of one of the good guys, transformed through dark science in to a psychotic man, yes they changed her gender and psychology thanks Japan you did it again.

The Devil is a Part-Timer Series 1

After a standard defeat-the-demon-lord story the Demon Lord in question escapes... to Japan. With a handful of his courtiers, followed by the Hero who beat him. Over here though magic is hard to come by and they are little more than normal people who have to adapt to Japanese society, get jobs etc.


Damn this thing is keeping a lot of balls in the air. In particular a strong conflict between the rarely stated background and current reality, i.e. the demon king literally killed quite a lot of human beings, including the hero girls actual family, and this is never entirely swept under the rug, but just chunders there quietly. Honestly manages to remain fun and interesting but how will they maintain it and where are they going with it?

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = questionable relationship with subordinate at McDonalds

Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World 

NEET is Isekai'd to normative Fantasy World, is genre savvy but has no special powers. Turns out his power is Groundhog Day. When he dies he is returned to the last 'save point' and must live that time again till he can reach the next. He doesn't know when he has reached a save point, doesn't know anything about the vast range of conspiracies and horrible things aimed partially at him and is massively overpowered by everyone, plus when he dies its utterly horrible and traumatic.


Oddly a really innovative story structure. Everything is a mystery and the hero progresses largely through understanding *context*. 

Deep and tragic alienation of the Hero from reality as, he knows and values everyone around him deeply but from their perspective they met him about a week ago. Same applies to us as through repetitions we understand everyone’s drives and backstory.

Key Point - its really more of a horror story, or a guy trying to escape from a horror story, and the middle parts of the first series are some of the most exciting horror/nightmare stuff I've seen recently. Poor bastard dies so much and so horrifically, and is so utterly trapped by fate and astounded by impossibilities, that ultimately he does what anyone would and goes completely catatonic - just shuts down mentally for several episodes, AND THEN THINGS GET WORSE

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = fetish maid.

Banished from the Heroes Party I Decided to Lead a Quiet Life in the Countryside

Another derivation of the Pre/Post/During/Alternate 'Defeat the Demon Lord' story. Follows the guy who is the mainstay of your JRPG party throughout the first half of the story but eventually you load up on specialists and level grind and he's just not keeping up so you summarily dump him in an inn or something, after taking every single sword and potion you left on his person.


Prepare to see something you have never seen before in an Anime, something so surprising it may SHOCK YOU. In this story, a man, and a woman (not related by blood or even raised together), have an emotionally intimate relationship, that develops at a reasonable pace, without any insane misunderstandings, mental breakdowns, mind control, demon rape, anyone bein snatched into a parallel dimension or any we-need-to-hide-this-from-the-world bullshit, and then they fuck. 

They just fall in love, get closer and eventually have fulfilling sex. I don't know what to tell you. Has 'BftHPIDtLaQLitC' actually done the impossible and produced an anime with NO perversity? No because the guys sister kinda has a crush on him. 

I mean thats not the only good thing about this series - the slow development of how living in what’s effectively a 'Levelled' society actually works and affects people, and the weird science-fantasy inferences of how that came to be ('High-Elf Ruins look like a crashed space ship, very D&D) are interesting, plus a main character who is trying hard to avoid explicit heroism and build another kind of life with a strange skill set, good. But holy shit they just kiss, bang and have a relationship, holy fucking god.

+ Vampire State/Gerontocracy = Kami Sama seems evil but that’s relatively normal for Anime

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = Sister crush

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

FUCK this is tiring. Did I write about this one already? Its not the original Isekai but the one that set the template for the more recent versions. NEET meets Truck Kun and is reincarnated as a baby with a nice family in a fantasy world, he keeps his adult knowledge and is naturally insanely overpowered with magic juice.


I've been writing this for a while.. It’s just really good? It’s kinda pervy but surprisingly emotionally honest compared to most Anime. This is one of the only guys where they got Isekai'd and actually genuinely tried to change who they were in their new life and genuinely and deeply struggled against their own crappy broken personality and to actually grow in ways not defined b power (though they also get to be super-powerful too HAXXXOORRR.

+ Perversity/Calls to the FBI = Oh yeah plenty. Really can't even list them all.


86 Eighty Six

Future gene-hacked society is fighting against an A.I. hive-mind someone accidentally made and which is wrecking everything but hopefully it will run out of juice soon. In order to avoid taking casualties they uuuuuussseee.. the children of refugees! Yep its child soldiers thrown into disposable mechs and sent to fight until they die. Main female character is an in-group remote force commander who starts to intuit that race-based child slave solders might be wrong somehow.


People shit on this because its depiction of racism is facile but I am old and conservative and 90% of all pop culture is somewhat like that for me anyway so whatever. 

The direction has these modernist cuts which leap directly from inference or incident right to consequence, which I quite liked and appreciated as it saves me a fair amount of time. The depictions of swarm warfare - solar-powered micro-drones filling the sky like swarms of flies or lying in great fields like crops of glass, weird mechs and super mechs, the shitty spitfire-like vulnerability of the good-guy mechs, the depictions of a decadent society which has made a terrible invisible deal; its officer class bloated, drunken and mentally broken passed out in fountains capped with statues of the glorious founder, nothing to do except remotely supervise the sacrifice by war of the Untermensch, and the bad-guy A.I. has taken to stealing the heads of human troops lost in the field, it finds some forms of originality hard to rips the heads off, freezes them and either strips the brains down to engrams or just straight up wires the heads into its mechs as an officer corp.

Thursday 18 August 2022



Here are some rules for an all-Goblin game build on the "BX Commons" chassis.

Arthur Rackham


  • all goblins are stealthy
  • all goblins are thieves
  • all goblins attend to the phases of the mooooon
  • not all goblins are goblins
  • all goblins can hide behind things
  • Fear COLD IRON

AMORAL - a goblin is not a hero and can never do anything because it is the "right thing to do" (in human terms at least)
it has to be funny, tricksy, part of a deal, chaotic or otherwise

STR - 3d6 drop the highest
DEX - 4d6 drop the lowest
INT - 3d6
WIS - zero, gobs have no wisdom
CHA - 3d6
CON - 3d6 drop the highest

d3 hit points

  • Climbing - all can climb *built surfaces* without restriction
  • Sneaking - all can hide if there are shadows to hide in
  • Crafting - all can tie & fix things together pretty well, if an unspecialised handyman could do it they can too

Genderless, or so we think, except for the Goblin Queen and for Changelings

And one of the following GOBLIN POWERS (d100);

1. can invert personal gravity 
2. can spit like a hand catapult
3. excellent voice impersonator
4. can talk to (choose one) corvids, foxes, rats, bats, cats,
5. wonderful dancer
6. plays the [choose one] fiddle, whistle, harp, or sings beautifully
7. can tell one not immediately disprovable lie per night which will automatically be believed
8. can read, write, calculate and do accounts
9. can pick locks with fingernails
10. can tie things up super-fast
11. acrobatic/clown skills (vaulting, tumbling etc)
12. can hide under any object (regardless of size) (and opposed to hiding *behind* objects, which all Goblins can do)
13. can light or quench lamps and lights in a room by snapping fingers (fires dim but don't go out)
14. can whistle up a wind
15. wears a coat with seven pockets, containing; string, sharp tacks, chalk, a sharp stone knife, a gold ring, a beautiful mirror and a brass bell
16. detachable limbs act as floating truculent (and unreliable) servants, responding to voice command (sometimes)
17. can always guess what others have in their pockets
18. can swim in air as if it were water while holding their breath
19. can inflate self like a pufferfish, becoming a robust, very bouncy rubberesque ball
20. can throw cutlery *other than knives* with incredible accuracy 
21. can roll like a hoop without end
22. has a fundamentally indeterminate number of toes (i.e. they cannot be counted at all)
23. has a large black "riding cat", cultured, more intelligent than they are, reluctantly obedient and largely indifferent to their desires
24. a magnificent cook
25. wears a wizards hat, top unscrews to reveal a pot of super-strong glue
26. can enchant snails for remote communication if worn as ear buds (range 50 meters, snails whisper what is said, casting goblin must be wearing one)
27. can charm others to dance as they are dancing, (music must be playing and they may not play it)
28. wears heavy boots which only they can move in with prefect ease and silence, boots highly resistant to all damage, leave human-seeming footprints
29. wears a red coat which is very fine, all shall remark on it
30. extremely sharp teeth
31. savant whistler
32. extremely skilled and lucky at games of gambling or chance
33. can pull an extremely frightening face
34. can wiggle out of or though most impediments and restrictions (within bounds, under door gaps perhaps, not through keyholes)
35. very good at hiding things
36. has a pair of thick spectacles that allow them to see things very far away like an owl, because this is how they think spectacles work
37. can make excellent paper planes and in fact use them as gliders
38. acidic piss
39. own reflection acts as a kind of retainer, can be sent on missions to other reflective surfaces, keep watch etc, must be paid in silver for each deed
40. has a 'ghost costume' which, depending on circumstance, looks kinda legit
41. snot is mildly explosive when flicked (equivalent to streetkid 'caps')
42. can telekinetically control milk (when in field of view) if rolled twice can control cheese as well
43. can easily pull rug or carpet out from underneath someone's feet (regardless of mass, floor staples, etc)
44. earwax acts as a low-friction Grease
45. can magically transform into small critters if they eat one (dispelled by daylight or cold iron)
46. can poke, prod and pinch via power of the mind alone (line of sight only)
47. can 'solid snake' small containers as un-suspectable disguises (so long as not seen moving)
48. can musically control hair so long as continually playing, whistling singing etc
49. can trick or fool most quadrupeds
50. after being pressganged for a winter, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the names, addresses and various naughtiness or niceness of all local children, as well as any potential access via chimney
51. after slight case of vampirism, can command the sleeping to perform actions they would usually perform
52. high voice, big ears, has an inaudible (to humans) ultrasound squeal that enables darkvision
53. smoking habit, hacking cough, pipe, can form quite large smoke animals and objects & command them somewhat (depending on wind & tobacco access)
54. can garble and disorder systems of measurement by "fiddling" with them (clocks ruined, book pages out of joint, calendars give wrong months/days etc)
55. genius puppeteer
56. can shed skin like a snake, leaves goblin-shaped skin-bag behind, multiple possible uses
57. 'moon eyed' one eye clear white, constantly emits moonlight when opened
58. can balance on anything
59. if they can stick their finger up a quadrupeds arse it will do whatever they say *so long as the finger is up their arse*
60. savant goldsmith
61. can turn small stones to gems (limited time period)
62. can swallow quite a large number of small objects and bring them up later
63. has a remarkable beard, from the neck up, could me mistaken for a very old man
64. has golden scissors, can shear a sheep or cut hair in a trice "with my golden scissors!"
65. poops out fruit pastilles, has a constant supply, they are pretty tasty
66. savant who always wins any artistic competition, (in any field) but no talent rest of the time
67. swapmaster, others will always listen to their offer of a swap, usually gets the best out of any deal
68. can clean and repair pretty much anything over the course of a night
69. alcoholic goblin, can mix great drinks - knows them all, also compulsive drunk who will neck everything in sight
70. very large nose, smells like a dog
71. can roll most round objects for an undeterminedly long distance
72. can balance almost anything on top of anything else
73. mushrooms growing under left arm produce hallucinations when eaten, those under right arm incapacitate with sickness, crotch shrooms create agreeableness
74. is haunted by a spectral capybara which appears in darkness and prophecies doom (actually quite useful information most times, is unusually specific doomsayer)
75. has a witches hat stuffed with straw which contains a small owls nest, the small owl will sometimes agree to perform certain narrowly-defined tasks
76. left eye is a crystal Palantir which can see the *feet* of anyone within 100 miles ( will only focus on feet), others can stare into (or steal) the eye
77. can throw pennies with unearthly accuracy
79. Goblin Prince,  wears a silver paper crown which bestows  *influence* (by verbal and RHYMED command only) over [pick or roll one] pigs, cows, goats, doors, kitchen implements, wool (influence more powerful in darkness, tripled under a full moon)
80. has pockets full of pins
81. 'door painter' can paint doors onto vertical surfaces which give goblins, friendlies and neutrals access to, if they take half an hour to paint it, the other side, or if they do it super-fast - wherever the DM finds most amusing, doors panted under full moons can go further but effect ends that night (may return next full moon)
82. when saddened, weeps silvery tears which, if tears from both eyes are used to flavour food, make it delicious, or if collected in *identical* (they must be identical and unlabelled) crystal vials, the tears from the left eye make a 'first sight' love potion while those from the right eye form an donkeys-head-plus-egomania potion. These vials are easy to tell apart UNLESS *anyone* warns against getting them mixed up, in which case they are immediately mixed up.
83. has a tongue of purest alchemical green which if it licks an object *all over* can turn that object into 'pure green', pure green objects are (d6) 1 weightless, 2 unearthly smooth, 3 ripe cheese smell, 4 come alive with impish consciousness, 5 emit bright green glow or 6, either wonderous sharp or leaden heavy it being whichever they were NOT before
84. wears a magnificent three-piece suit and top hat and no shoes with a large spider in each pocket, the hat full of webs and another spider in their pocket watch which tells the time some of the time, spiders are somewhat commensurate to command
85. very large, ripe buttocks, invulnerable to most harm, very bouncy
86. carries a glass hammer which they can use to anneal (only) very soft things into each other, shape them and to make them hard
87. impish ancestry, immune to fire and in fact finds it healing and invigorating, likes to sleep/dance in there
88. candle goblin, head encrusted with single large white old wax candle which, when lit, allows them to summon and partially command relatively large amounts of relatively large moths, goblin depressed when candle not lit
89. vantablack goblin, can hide in strong shadows, even during the day, even in villages and civilised areas, often hard to find
90. wears fine glass gloves (horrible goblin hands inside) leaves human hand prints, can shatter brittle objects from a distance by rubbing fingers to make a SKREEEE sound, if glove is lost humans who find it will assume it belongs to a "beautiful lady" & seek "her" out
91. egg goblin, can transform into a sinister-looking egg at-will and roll about in a dark and ominous manner
92. curse goblin, can only have one curse operating at any time, curse MUST have specific, (if impossible) conditions, can also be ended on command, curses must be FUNNY (to the goblin at least), need line of sight, pointed finger and voice to curse, curse must be announced and heard by victim
93. very big ears, hears like a surveillance microphone (must be aimed in right direction)
94. pneumocephalic goblin, can inflate own head and other limbs, and body like a balloon and use it to float away, and for other purposes
95. sack goblin, carries a bag of holding, 1ft diameter opening, sack is patched and will semi-regularly let random items loose unless constantly re-patched
96. horned goblin, horns re-grow over a night if pulled off 
97. gold-toothed goblin, gold teeth will re-grow (as gold) if pulled out, over about a month (teeth are not sharp goblin can only eat soft foods)
98. sleep terror goblin, if it crouches on someone's chest when they are lying down and *looks at them* they will be utterly unable to get up, also terrified
99. mosquito goblin, can extend super long tongue to slluuuuuuuurp up large amounts of liquids & store in expanding belly
100. Goblin King, wears a golden paper crown which gives (by verbal and RHYMED command only) command over hair, eggs, shoes, golden objects, snails, prickly animals and the hearts of spinsters and very old men


At a new level you get a new hit *point* and one more goblin power.


(Goblins find it hard to win a straight fight with anything bigger than themselves. Especially in daylight, they will be booted like a football, kicked to death and once they are dead people will say "look its just a strange rat or hairless racoon". By morning they have calmed down, take a look at the body again and its clearly some kind of strange animal, dangerous certainly, we should get another dog, but spirits were high last night and things always look worse by moonlight eh?)

Also Goblins don't actually *fight* much. Their missions don't require it and they wouldn't win anyway. Trickery is usually better.


Run a standard Human as a 3HD Ogre. Big, slow, dumb but unlike Ogres, civilised.

HD, Morale and Resistance to Trickery of Humans goes UP relative to;

- Daylight
- Adulthood
- Numbers

HD, Morale and Resistance to Trickery of Humans goes DOWN relative to;

- Darkness
- Moonlight
- Children
- On their own
- Drunkeness
- Madness


FRIENDLIES (will greet Gobs in a Freindly way, Gobs rarely get into conflict with these & can get missions from them)

- Necromancer (or mad Wizard)
- Witch
- Vampire
- Troll
- A ghoul in the graveyard hanging out and waiting for a meal
- Ghosts roaming about here and there
- A dragon on a pile of gold (of little interest to you, you prefer cake & socks)

NEUTRALS (who knows how they will react, depends much on circumstance and chance. i.e a reaction roll)

- Children on their own or in small groups
- Wizard (standard)
- Drunk adults
- Madmen
- Beggars
- Fairys (are twats to you, basically the Goblins Goblins)

NEUTRAL/NEGATIVE (not friendly, but won't necessarily attack)

- Farm animals like horses, cows etc
- Skeletons

DANGEROUS ENEMIES (No need for a reaction roll, these fuckers will kill you on sight)

- All sane sober adults
- Policeman
- Priest
- Guardian animals
- Redcap (magical and kind of a Goblin but also a serial killer)


'CENTRE' of the Goblin map is the margins of a normal 'civilised' map. More 'points of dark', so forest, moorlands, buried glens, caves, ruins of truly ancient cities,  dragon sleeping deep in a forgotten cave, hills and steep valleys like Appalachia, dry soil, no way for croplands.

'Goblin Normalcy', relatively safe places for you, even in daylight.

INNER RING of the goblin map, ruins, old forgotten graveyards, a necromancers tower, a witches hut, a vampires mansion, all far away from villages, hard for villagers to get to, no roads, or at least no obvious roads, but might be pastoralists around; shepherds, goatherds, truffle seekers, wanderers, charcoal burners, hermits. A troll bridge, - probably a rare road leads between villages, across the wilderness, but a troll there (you know them well), plenty of dungeons and stuff (you live in them sometimes).

OUTER RING of the goblin map

The villages - actually the outskirts of three different counties or duchies, (lucky for you they don't talk to each other much), managed forest, rivers grow more navigable, land flatter, roads, scarecrows, more pastoralists (likely young men and women), outlying houses, usually for the poor and old.

Then the centres of the villages - very dangerous places for goblins, even at night, can be many people around, blacksmiths, the church, DOGS, still lots of nooks and crannies, roofs to hop between, eaves to huddle under, bins, drains, alehouses. The village for Goblins is like a dungeon for humans. The castle/mansion, you would want somewhere for the Duke to live so the Goblin Queen can send you to swap his baby for a changeling.

How big would the map actually be though? You would want it to be small enough for children to potentially get lost in the forest. Probably not all that big.. But maybe distance means fundamentally different things to Goblins?


PCs can fast travel without random encounters so long as the PLAYERS sing a goblin song together.


Goblin missions are meant to be somewhat absurdist, though still to involve infiltration, trickery, deception, thieving and general shenanigans. Stealing eggs from a grandmother should still be a pretty hard ask since that grandma is essentially an Ogre armed with a magical weapon (iron skillet), with a guard dog (pretty dangerous to Goblins), and not to mention the COCK - a fucking prehistoric murder machine that will not let you near those eggs.

Standard Goblin missions come from the Goblin Queen, who usually wants something completely different each time she wakes up, so you only have a single night to fulfill her desire and it will be different tomorrow.

- Causing goblin trouble for people i.e. scaring their cows, spoiling milk etc.
- Stealing eggs from a henhouse.
- Stealing the golden hair of a maiden.
- A priests teeth not won by force.
- A grandmothers cup (she won't let it go, lives on the edge of town drinks heavily, complains constantly of Goblins in her house
- Goblin inception - placing something *in* a house rather than taking something *out*
- Changeling-Swap (probably a high-difficulty mission)
- Bring a bunch of people to dance round a mushroom circle under the moon.
- A catskin cloak
- A copy of the humans 'magic' (i.e. holy) book.
- *Hot* tarts
- Certain pale apples
- A particular rare alcoholic drink
- The roundest pig possible.

Wednesday 10 August 2022

The Goblin Polychronicon

 What is written in green ink on the golden pages of the Grand Goblin History?

The Goblin Polychronicon: a treasure outside Time. A hyper-possible text telling the true story of the Goblins and their origins, their meaning and their end.

No exact translation has ever been written though a thousand partial commentaries exist. 

The core tome itself, split into an indeterminate number of physical volumes, (an odd number likely between eight and thirty two), is no sooner found than lost. Easy to acquire, (for the Goblins are always losing or selling one volume or more), but hard to retain, (for the Goblins always steal it back when the moon is full), many brief commentaries on the Goblin Polychronicon have been written, but none of them agree.


Well; any single volume may simply be a fake, the goblins themselves love making fakes of their own work and, being Goblins, often get them mixed up with the original. Notwithstanting that, the Goblin Polychronicon itself is a many-stranded and circular text, with alternate histories, counterfactuals, encoded allegories and outright fantasies included and commented on, and that each of these is spread across multiple volumes, linked through capacious appendicies, subtexts and fold-out diagrams, AND that the whole thing is written in multi-layered Goblin Code, and that the text itself has perhaps been infiltrated by some green goblin mycellium which mimics the shapes of Goblin words ((though some say the fungi follows the tracks of invisible ink left on the page and thence highlights meaningful secrets themselves to be combined with visible Goblin Knowledge in order to reveal yet more perspacious truths) and yet still others claim the fungal strands, gobin-natured as they are, bloat themselves on half-truths and misperceptions encoded in the Goblin Text and thence provide cunning guidance on how not to read the Polychronicon), and and as also as well we must not forget that the history of Goblins is a history of LIES and that much of the Polychronicon consists of the development of lies and the meta-structure of deceptions developed and sustained by Goblin Ontology and also that large parts of it may be made up. Maybe the whole thing is made up, who knows?

NO! The Goblin Polychronicon IS TRUE and is a real book about real things. History attests to this! It is absolutely not a scam and my lawyers can confirm. 


Deep in the Umber Eon the ever-famed Ranulph de Goblyn, first and last chief librarian at the catastrophically ruined Goblin Pig Library heeded the summons of the Goblin King to work thereon unto "an history of thee tails & seeds of or peeple". Accepting a bonk from the purple stave Ranulph began work on the Goblin Polychronicon in "due tyme", finally and fatally passing the work on to his descendants upon the breaching of the citrus dawn.

Of course modern historians recognise that the Ranulph identity was  merely a nom de plume, probably representing a cabal or circle of Goblins who recorded the Goblin Polychronicon first through transcribing the oral histories of the Goblins, then when he (they) realised these could not be relied on, by developing time travel and returning to witness the events in question, then on unfortunately accidentally altering these events and encountering parallel versions of him her or themselves trapped in varieties of time loop, gave up on the whole thing, travelling into their (or his) her own future and stealing a copy of the Goblin Polychronicon from his fututre self (or selves), copying it quickly in a phone booth and using that as a base, making up the rest, then, on then contracting Bubonic Boils and realising he-they whomever will never live to become the future self(ves) from whom he can steal the book, imploring his(their) descendants to take on their aspect and essentially cosplay as him (or them) to make sure the time loop does not collapse, BUT! at the same time insisting that the trickery of the "false Ranulph" makes the veracity of the Goblin Polychronicon suspect and that they (or just he) should carefully check and edit every aspect of it while they (the descendant(s)) still have the time, which they both do and do not have due to the aforementioned loops.


The Volumes of the Goblin Polychronicon are split into several odd-numbered groups of odd-numbered books, separated by the likelihood of them being simply made up. All of the volumes are Histories, in a sense, though they are all also something else as well, often being made up of encyclopaedias, instruction books, recipe books, biographies, puzzle books, chemical equations, spells, sigils, paint splatters, diagrams, 'information', cartoons and so on, with the historical information wovel through and explicated via these mediums, and all of these themselves explained and elucidated via subtitles, indexes, references, bibliographies, marginalia, fingerprints, food stains, the afrorementioned fungal infiltration etc.

We begin with the five initial, almost-certainly real volumes;

The True Polychronicon

Volume One - The Goblins and How They Were Known
(Contains knowledge of Schemes)

Volume Three - The Ripe Ones in their First Feeling
(Speaks much of Pigs)

Volume Five - Lords of the Green Moon
(an encyclopaedia of Tricks)

Volume Seven - The Gold Bell Chimes
(A digression on Thieving, Theft and Thefts)

Volume Minus-One - Thee Hydden Ceekrets of Thee Polygoblinomicon
(A philosophical tome on Conceptual Recursiveness and Trapped Thoughts)

The Second Addendum

The 'Second Addendum' (actually (probably) the first) is made up of three volumes which might be real be who knows really. They are;

Volume Nine -  The Grand Reversal
(Stars, Moonshadows, the Moon) 

Volume Eleven - The Doom Of The Gobs
(Owls, the colour Grey, Ordinary Shadows)

Volume Thirteen - The Reversal Reversed, that is Made Rightwise
(Considers only Green Shadows in a Green Land)

The Final Speaking

The 'Final Speaking' (not actually final) is made up seven books largely considered to be frauds, broken interpolations, strange translations, fantasies or mistakes. Nevertheless they do seem to act in all ways as Volumes of the Goblin Polychronicon (disposing secret knowings, causing madness and being stolen back under a full moon etc)

Volume Fifteen - How the Dooms Were Inverted 
Handwritten subtitle; Dooms2Boons inne fife symple stepps
(Escapes, Maidens, Round Animals)

Volume Seventeen - The Doom of the Quicksilver Man
(Charms, Illusions cast by Glass, Long Animals)

Volume Nineteen - The Doom of the Square Cups
(Getting into Buildings, Magical Soups, Games of Chance)

Volume Twenty-One - Green Infinity
(Impossibilities, Unlikely Reversals, Pie, Grand Strategy)

Volume Twenty Three - Thee Last Booke of thee Gobline Polychronicon
(Wild Fiddling, Weaving Fates in Golden Hair, Constructing Toys)

Volume Twenty Five - Index, Addendum and Appendicies Too Thee Laste Booke
(Princesses, Lying Flat, Smooth Beings, Squirming)

Volume Twenty-Seven - Be Thys Thee Ende? A Counterblaste To Muche-Puffed DOOMS
(Incepting Artefacts, Looking into Smooth Water, Bogs)

The Thorts and Komenterys

The 'Thorts & Komenterys', presumed to be the (actual) final grouping, is made up of three books, one of which either does not exist or cannot be named

Volume Twenty-Nine - Thee Seecret ande Final Parte In Which All CODES be Revealed
(Riding Animals Small and Large, Life with Giants, Odd Dogs)

?????? ??????-??? - ??????? ??? ??????? ???? ??? ??????? ???????
(???? ??, ??? ???????, ????? ??????????, ????, ????????, ??????)

Volume Thirty-Three - Goblinomicon, Book One, Thee Begynning
(Smelling your Way, the Pockets of Gods, Wardrobe TRAVEL etc)


"Power" might be the wrong word to use...

Reading and understanding what might be a volume, or volumes of the Goblin Polychronicon is said to reveal certain capacities or latent hidden aspects of reality in ways analogous to "spells"

In fact its said that many things now called "spells" are simply regulised & mundanified versions of transcriptions or commentaries on parts of the GOblin Polychronicon.

Get hold of a Volume and study it for as long as you can, (usually this involves decoding/translating it by the light of the moon, often aided by mushrooms and mushroom concoctions) before selling it off or getting rid of it before the next full moon lest the Goblins steal more than they might when they steal it back, for they have been known to make of with more than just the book itself, to whit, the name of its holder, their children or child, their shadow, the hair, the holes of their nose, the small bones of the ear.

Book Covers from here

Monday 1 August 2022

Prescience Wars 10 - The Ouroboros Kin

Previous Entries;

1. The Children of the Amber Lords

Long has the Amber Court ruled in silence but for the slow chiming of bells, and what decadence results! And wealth! Prognosticators ruling from silent workshops riding chariots of gold! Near half-gods, a parliament of prophets. And how changed those who served them, for those who serve prophets must learn to live without doubt, decision, expectation or despair. As it is written, so shall it be.
And of their children who shall be our rulers hertobe. Those raised by the court in and its ways, born knowing their future and  educated in thereby, born unlike other mortals, even those who first formed the court, for _they_ were raised amidst us, amongst the unknowing, and though they see much, much is unseen.
And how shall it be if the Court predicts not only predicted lives but the lives of those who are raised _knowing those predictions_, raised by those who also know them.
In our own lives even the doomed can hope, and hope up until the last, blindly, feverish, relentless; that curse and blessing which allows us to endure the unendurable, but these children of the Amber Court must live without hope. They know full well what they will endure, and when, and when life will break them, and if it can. All hopes will be fruitless to them and all dooms pre-known.
Their morality will not and cannot be that of mortal men, though mortal they are.
[Fragment of ‘The Wounds of the Unknowing’, recovered in the 8th crusade. Believed to be of Amberist origin in the Late Amber Court years.]

2. On The Origins of Things

from where does a personality come, when it has been predicted long in advance?
The rulers of the Amber Court were not fools, they were intimate familiars with the concept of the returning feed, of 'thread tension' - of the flowing timeless interaction between the situation, the prediction and the steps taken to arrange it.
For if an army advances, and a prediction says 'they shall be turned back through such-and-such a method', and the method is employed - then where was it devised? Was it born ex-nihilo in the conjunctions of the world? Imported from some unknown strand? Hermetically self-born?
If a prediction says; "this person here shall learn of this prediction and thereby go mad and lose their reason, and shall die by fire", if they then learn of this prophecy and believe it, is the sheer weight and terror of the prophecy itself the ultimate factor in their madness, and then their death? For if no prophecy had been made, would they then have gone mad? or being sensitive, have suffered some lesser trauma or calamity, or none?
Conversely if a prophet says; "Go here at this time and you shall be happy in such a way, and your plans and dreams will end well in this way and that", and the listener does go and is happy in the manner shown, was this shaped by the prediction itself? Or would the subject have been such a person to shape a good life even without such knowledge? Or would it have been a less-perfect life? And is the resulting person truly 'good' for they decided only to follow the voice of the prediction - from where did the goodness come? And was it intensified by the voice of the prophet? Or limited? Or did it make no difference at all?
Always to predict is to shape, whether knowing or unknowing, and the corde predicted is a corde _in which the prediction is made_. It cannot be otherwise for never can a prognosticator say “I shall see now a future in which I make no predictions.”
All this the Preceptors of Glass knew well enough.
What perhaps they could not truly know, even if told, was the cumulative weight of this paradox upon a culture.
The paradox first, deepened, with one seer predicting the fate of another, and that seer predicting yet another fate from within their own seer-shaped _courde_, and the paradox _spread_, with the servants of the Amber Court increasingly certain of the verity of predictions, trained and experienced in their fulfilment and even raised from youth in full knowledge of them.
What must it have been to be raised in a culture of prophets and prophecies, themselves shaped by still older prophets. What would it mean to disagree in such a culture? To take an order or not take one?
What will be will be.
[From ‘In the Memories of Stars’, recovered from the ruins of Samaris.] 

3. The Unspeakable Nobility

If they have names these may not be spoken, or even for some, imagined. The power of their King is on them and within them and as His name may now be known or recorded so neither may theirs. How they know each other we cannot tell. Perhaps they simply remember.

The Blind Sage

who speaks deep knowledge which has no origin
yet will at times randomly and purposely slay those around them
a solver of unsolvable problems
a maker of impossible devices and fountain of physical lore and technique
who understands none of it
but only remembers it, or knew that he would speak it
recalls it from the future
bent in horror at the emptiness of his own understanding
and the truths which come "from nowhere" from darkness
as if passed down a chain of annihilated selves

The Fool

a spirit of chaos and uncatchable monster
perhaps driven mad by the prediction of their own dark fate
perhaps simply a madman empowered by prescience
a terrorist, killer, criminal, manipulator, corruptor, destroyer
unkillable, uncatchable
they glory little in their greatest "crimes"
usually driven into a corner by the effects of their own plans to escape fate
a seeker for a mercy which will not, or cannot, come
waiting and praying for the ability not to kill, not to destroy

The Empty Blade

duellist of the Amber Court
skilled beyond the capacity of the mind to understand
death itself to those they face
consumed utterly by their predicted fate
given never at any time any expression of either joy or fear
takes no pleasure and no shame in any victory
like a ghost wearing the skin of a man
the horror of their presence so great that the rumour their attention can end wars

The Queen of Air and Darkness

She who would rebel against fate
a magician of unequalled ability,
one fit to bend the world
seeking always and to attempt with every breath and action to defeat and overthrow prophecy
and never succeeding
yet to never giving in
a breaker of realities wrapped in invisible chains herself
who hurls herself against the boundaries of impossibility
a wreaker of chaos and much change in the lives of others

The Dancer

they who play games with time
bringing strange chaos
turning events upon a pin-head
always to paths unexpected to all but them
dancing with time
what their motivations are, whether they embody fate or fight against it, none know
for who they perform, for others or themselves, who can say
they run along times cutting edge, in times and places where to live is to dance upon a burning sword
appearing where nothing should be
moving through fire and chaos like a smiling ghost

The Lady Of Sorrows

she who grieves for all she could not change
unable to alter what she fears she sets herself to at least feel in full
to live truly with the knowledge
and to embody herself in the moment - to be present
to live
a goddess of no mercy, but recognition at least
a tomb-queen wreathed in flowers, bent beneath the weight of infinite names

The Player of the Silver Pipes

a lord of knights and holder of oaths
called a witnesser of truth – he of the silver bough
he pipes the turns of beauty-in-fate
a guardian and exemplar of moments
as lively as the dancer
feared as the blade
present as the lady
he makes the music of strange times
[Believed to be Neo-Pathist Samidzat. Printed text used as binding for a history of The Time of Three Teasons – exact age and origin unknown.]

4. “Calm were the Children”

Deep was the calm of the children of the Amber Court, as deep as the sea, and deep was their rage, for they lived not as characters in a story who saw not the page, nor as the writers of tales who compassed a corde from beginning and end, shaping it at will, but their lives were lived halfly, between those two, knowing more of their corde than the hero in a tale, often more than even the wise can guess at, but much less than the shaper.
[Oldest recoverable statement discovered when researching the popular lullaby “Calm were the Children, Calm as the Sea”. This fragment found only as a reference in a sheet of music dated to about 55YS, itself a copy of an earlier document. It is not clear if this reference is itself a replication of an earlier statement or an interpolation or addition at the time of scribing. Whatever text it refers to is lost.]

5. Where Lies Meaning?

Where the value and the meaning in life is found not in choices made or in driving towards any particular goal, but in the nature and the quality of the experience as it happens. In being present in the moment, in fully experiencing that particular moment and in understanding its meaning as one recognises part of a tale that has been already told, where both the beginning and the end are already known, if vaguely, some lost to memory and some predicted but unclear, and so the matter of a life becomes not - what will happen - but what is the meaning of this happening, what does it feel like to be here, now, present at this time and in this time, and how does this reflect and react with all of my memories and all of my prophecies
What would be your own reaction to the advanced knowledge of your own life? Knowing it could not be changed. That everything, including everything you hated, was a consequence of your own choices, and that when you reached the point of decision, even a decision you hated in advance, you would freely choose as predicted, that it could not be otherwise?
[From "The Dharma of Care", by Priest-Viscount Apsanalan, Scrolls 600 to 965  concerning the Late Amber Court Wars.]

6. An Imperfect Metaphor

to understand the Ouroboros Kin one must imagine a human personality unspooled, like a tight rope bound with grease and wax, pulled taught and tense through long hard use, bathed in the softest waters and gentle allowed to unravel, the curls and windings of its hairs spread this way and that,
each thread of this slowly unspooling rope as it floats in its perfumed bath decided by its placement and compression in the original bound flax.
[Fragment from the ‘Onerologicon’, assumed first written around 33YS. Popular scholarship makes its writer the esteemed ‘Ranulph of Cheem’, though there is no textual proof that such a single writer existed and many claim evidence of multiple writers. This part left within an excised copy as a fragment of parchment, all other pages of this section removed, presumably by the Ordos. No such section exists in any modern copy or equivalent historical document.]