Sunday, January 17, 2021

Slushpile 7: Archive Dredging Edition

Slushpiles Past: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

I have on my computer a folder containing writings that span from 2009-2017. Nearly all of it is terrible, and seeing as how I'm certainly not going to return to it, I shall do what I do best, and carve up the good parts for a slush pile post. 

There's still more lying around, but it is better fit for other posts.

(It is, however, quite fun seeing how ideas are carried forward out of the past - the original form of Lighthouse, some dim precursors that would eventually get merged into Mother Stole Fire, a whole lot of space opera material (highest salvagability of the lot, I think, much of that will get its own post), entirely too many different early versions of Unicorn Meat. Quite fascinating. more on that later.)

These aren't in any particular order, nor are they a particularly complete look into the hidden datavault - so much just was no good at all, and I will spare you Homestuck fanfiction.

Slushpile # 7

1) "None of my maps survived out of my childhood, as is typical."

2) The Happy Grognard - a tavern, popular with a certain band of expatriate veterans long-ago abandoned by their government.

3) A document titled "Virus.docx", last saved on 10/11/11 and containing nothing beyond "There was a raised platform in the center of the room. The walls shifted". [Ed. I have exactly 0 idea as to what this was supposed to be]

4) The Great Digitals - An alternative term for Celestials.

5) Long Horizon Colonial Security - A now-defunct Earth-based private military contractor. The war crimes committed did not, in the end, have an influence on the circumstances of its collapse.

6) Bliss Swing Sensorata - An interactive-experiential musical group.

7) Turning Toward Summer - An AI overseer of the primary Gliese 667 colony. 

8) Anaspaxi - A neogenic lifeform. Quadrupedal. Large bodies, small, narrow heads, shovel-shaped tongues, mostly hairless, dark grey splotted with black. Wallow in mud.

9) Lord Krelling's Moon - “There are sixteen thousand Krellings on LKM, and not a single one of them is legitimate.”

10) MOTEN - A major government of Solsys, concerned primarily with acting as a colonizing force.

11) "Half-plus" - term for someone who has a non-standard suite of enhancements beyond normal in-utero and infancy treatments

12) "The Server Farm" - Insider name for an AI development lab

13) Kakarodon – A god; The Father of Sharks. His bowls are Hell, his shit perfection, and no man escapes his maw. He judges not, and cares not for guilt, seeking only to satisfy his own hunger. He is the one to consume the world at its end.

14) Knight Doctorate - Militant order drawn from ranks of landowning nobles during plague years. Led by the Lords Doctorate, who hold their own seats in the Upper House as well as those of their families, giving the order significant (undue, really) political power.

15) "Nearly two centuries ago, a drifting alien superstructure was caught by the sun’s gravity and pulled into orbit. The Puzzle Box, as the artificial planet came to be known, is now the home of thousands of explorers, scientists, and entrepreneurs, all trying to pull secrets from the labyrinthine insides."

16) Inter-Polity Cooperative Space Agency

17) Szci-Hadolaüng Mutual Interest Group - operates directly on forty-one worlds in eight systems, with over one hundred and fifty affiliated moons and habitats

18) Mzchuriz, the Witch Queen

19) The House of None - Vast paradox unspoken / hidden name unknown

20) "Here and there a grove of smaller trees or another massive baobab broke the savannah, or a slender black interdiction pole with a blue markerlight on top. The tiny spire of the Szci-Hadolaüng resort tower, up on the tallest of the mountains, reflected the last rays of the sun."

21) Gristlepig - Small, round, rather dumb creature. Not particularly tasty, but plentiful and edible.

22) The cursed River Attathakit - Water induces cannibalistic urges


“There, on the horizon”

An Zan squinted, following Liu’s finger. Just as she had said, there were the greyish-blue blobs in the distance. He could make out three of them, maybe four, but those would be the adults. The juveniles would be too small to be seen from this distance.

“They're coming towards us."

24) A little creature bobs by her shoulder: a bleached white skull missing a jaw, diminutive red-black body hanging limply from it, blue-white pinpricks of light in the sockets.

25) Three figures stand above a bloody, mutilated cow. Their skin is blackened, leprous, with wisps of pale hair and thin fleshy quills. They are wearing capes of flayed skin around their shoulders and goat skulls on their heads, the horns festooned with talismans of bone and gristle. The cow is opened up, its organs removed, cleaned, and placed around the eviscerated body.

The desert wind carries their moaning, droning chant, as a group of three humans and six house cats crest a nearby ridge. The humans are armed. The cats are not.

26) Chinese symbols in red neon glow in the pouring black rain. Fat droplets splatter on the sidewalk.

27) Time passed much like a kidney stone.

28) "Since its original publishing in 1939, the Lighthouse Field Manual has been considered one of the best resources in the field of the paranormal to the general public. Over the course of its eight editions, the The Manual’s success is in part due to its convenient size, and its simple, down-to-earth language."


  • Arichon-Rho, the White Sun
  • Hadzi-Hadzi, the Blue Sun
  • Derremona, the Yellow Sun
  • Llannozon, the Red Sun
  • Hahn-Ren, the Exiled Sun

30) A description of a Szci-Hadolaüng representative: "A slim silvery torso supported on three legs.  A sphere honeycombed with empty pockets floats above smooth shoulders. Feathery fractal branches linked in a constantly shifting lace weave fan out behind the torso. Occasionally, a patch of the thing’s surface would flush a fleeting shade of blue or green or purple."

31) A long black car, one of those vintages that’s sleek and dark and looks a bit like a hearse, cut through the mist on a lonely grey-gravel road. 

32) Fermented milk / In black porcelain cups / With rims of lapis lazuli

33) Furthermore, in the ancient traditions of the Ashkedash sky-squid, certain unicorn-bone totems were regarded as sacred, and were used in their magical rites.

34) Dr. Lodd’s Miracle Medicinal Whiskey

35) "Depravity of that scope necessitates vision."

36) Htan-Htin, the Protector of All Ships - A spacer's god.

37) "Welcome to NPR’s “Fresh Air”, I’m Terry Gross. This hour we’re taking a look at traditional unicorn farms with journalist Jessica Sande. She recently finished a tour of some of the most prominent family-owned unicorn farms in the country. Her experiences can be found in her new book, “Virgins Only, Bed and Meals Provided”, which comes out in September. Jessica, welcome."

38) The Conclave in Blue - A distant power flexing its influence in these mercantile hubs across the Boiling Sea. Agents are skilled in the arcanosomatic combat arts and are easily discerned by their deep blue clothing. One is sitting up on top of the statue in the center of the market under an umbrella, I wonder what she wants?

39) After the fall of the God-Kings, it became common for city-states in the Old Domain to mint their own coins. Some currencies will spread among several cities, some will only fill part of a city, but the following are accepted more or less anywhere in the Old Domain, and oftentimes elsewhere.

  • Old Domain Crowns - Genuine coins from before the collapse.
  • White Obsidian - Value of a shard determined by weight.
  • Red Oil - Seals from the Oildrinker’s Guild, being backed by red oil, are equivalent.
  • Labyrinthines - Forged from the metal of the inner labyrinth.
  • Folly - Nearly but not entirely worthless paper money.
  • Soulpearls - Form inside the stomach when the soul irritates the body.

40) Patio done in stone tiles, a swirling mosaic of pale yellow and sky blue and pinks and oranges, swirling like clouds. Wicker chairs.

41) Brabbery, the City of Towers, Mars - Principle city of the lower canal country.

42) The Knights Confessor were blind, each and all. Initiation into the order required the removal of their eyes, so that they might not judge any sinner who came to them. All words spoken within their chambers were bound to secrecy, and no magic or mortal persuasion could wrench them out.

43) Iced-over hot springs under a dim and greying sky. Trees of coral and pearl sucked of their color. Dead, brown gardens.

44) "The horn of the unicorn has many uses. When ground up, it can render fluids completely undrinkable by forming a solution that will solidify into something much like very brittle concrete halfway down the esophagus. When used as a channel for magical energy, it has a great tendency to violently explode. When held by itself, it is very good at stabbing things, but will dull after a few uses. When used in art, it tends to degrade far faster than the bones of other animals."


A sign had been posted on the door, which read:

“Please ring! We’ll meet you out there!”

Underneath, in smaller print:

“There is a seven-in-eight chance of instantaneous death if you open this door, so please, let us get it for you.”

An on a sheet of laminated paper taped over the doorbell:

“Doorbell broken: Please knock. Warning still applies. We apologize for inconvenient wait times.”

46) Achios’ Unorthodox Foodstuffs! Introducing Pred: the Meal That Fights Back!

47) Erotech Pleasure Simulants: Reliable, Safe, Adapted to Your Needs.

48) Glorified - State of transhuman ascension provided by the Gift

49) The King of Turning Wheels

50) Thirteen had ridden out with her, and thirteen had died upon the blood-red road. Five in glory, two by cold, four by sickness, one by the perils of the night, and one by her own hands – a bloodless, shaming death, fit only to fatten the crows. 

51) A dream – a version of XCOM EU, with the EW expansion, more detailed than the typical art style.. Fought a couple of exalts who called in some posthuman help. Column of red-goo. Rusty armor guy, fast.

52) "I will speak now of the time when the upstart sun was consumed. Aye, consumed! The upstart sun consumed, and all its planets and planetoids!"


In the tropical kingdoms of Ist, the tigers grow old and clever and cruel. They do not fear the hunter, nor fall to the poacher as their cousins do in Vashra and Tele. In the deep jungles of Ist, among the crumbling, vine-choked ruins of ancient god-kings, the tigers eat men and the essences of men.

It is the soul that the tigers of Ist seek - meat merely sates the body, and while the tigers of Ist take pleasure in every kill, the women and children of the villages along the jungle’s border do not satisfy the gnawing in their hearts.

When a tiger of Ist has killed one hundred men and devoured their souls, it transforms into a manticore.

A man who devours one hundred tigers in turn becomes man-tiger.
A man who eats a manticore, well, that is a Xastrachata.

54) Elves as weird primordial cambrian fetus-creatures

55) Magical bird-pterosaurs are also elves, from an older age

56) Vampire dinosaurs – like horrible mosquitos

57) Cats that sound like babies to lure people into traps

58) "The man holding the bat is wearing a sweat-stained wifebeater, frayed jeans, and steel-toed boots. His arms and chest are layered with tattoos, some faded, some sharp. Coils of barbed wire, skulls on fire, naked women, jagged letters and occult symbos. An anarchy A with an Eye of Providence on his forehead, between two subdermal implants at his temples to give him blunted horns."

59) A description of the un-man: "Soft, pale skin. A narrow, horselike face with jutting, sculpted teeth. Wide ears with lobes stretched out by silver gauges and dangling strings of little diamonds. Lapis lazuli implants poking out from the skin along the forehead, the nose, the cheeks. Thin arms connected to the trunk of the body at too broad of an angle. Slender fingers, each a joint too long, banded with gemstone rings. Knifelike fingernails, engraved and painted. Voluminous layers of folded silks, scarlet and gold, hiding whatever shapes sat underneath. A fat purple tongue snaked out from between its lips, licked at an eyeball, probed a nostril, and returned."


  1. It's a good feeling, cleaning out the dusty shelves. There was stuff in there I had honestly forgotten I had written, and much I wish I had forgotten, but also good stuff.

  2. I have a "slush pile" myself that I have been cultivating in a similar fashion, stealing sentences from these blogs and other far places. Normally I need to pry the sentences loose from the surrounding context, but these bones come presented as they are, no more and no less. I appreciate that you revealed them, and stole a whole bunch for my own nefarious purposes.

    25) is my favorite, followed by Mzchuriz, the Witch Queen. Honestly I don't think you can have enough Witch Queens.

  3. "Cats that sound like babies to lure people into traps"
    Ackchyually I have been told that the meowing of cats was used only to communicate with humans (the cats do not use it between them) and that the sound was based upon the sound of babies, as it is very efficient to attract the human attention

  4. 15 feels like some great megadungeon potential

  5. 15 I 100% want to run as a game/setting.

    Also this is making me sad that my phone breaking made me lose a lot of my old slush pile. Maybe I can dig up the old notebooks I used to use for it...