Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Slush Pile 12

Time to clean out the drafts folder and notebooks for the new year

Old Slushpiles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8.5, 9,10,11

  1. A log cabin, filled with magically-empowered bandits, buried deep underground in a granite vein.
  2. Dune Theory: Few, if any, of the Sardarkuar ever saw actual combat prior to the Arrakis incident. Their reputation is entirely propaganda + brutalizing unarmed civilians.
  3. Sphinxes happen when a cat gets lost in L-space for all nine of its lives. The tenth reincarnation is as a sphinx.
  4. Space elevators held aloft by gasbags on a high atmo-pressure, high gravity world.
  5. A run-down prola with a bad slouch and bags under their eyes. Friendly. Ordinary. Nothing off about them. --There is a worm inside them, coiled around their spine, hooked into their brain, watching everything, hearing everything, recording and reporting and when its cover is blown it will tear itself out of its host and writhe off into the darkness.
  6. Orcs as a variety of fungus that grows on corpses in places touched by the Orkus. Cordyceps-like in one part, puppeting around corpses, but the lineage diverges when there is a living host, or no host at all.
  7. The Planck-1 Assassination.
  8. The House of 0 coalesces and begins subdivision.
  9. The Atûm - Highest and inmost, source and summit, at the center of all mysteries, there is the Atûm: the Sea of Souls, the Eternal Fire, the Is-That-Is-Not, the Monadic Flame.
  10. You can wish upon lightning once - more liable to happen than with a shooting star. But only once - try it again, and it will start striking friends and family as payment.
  11. The players, inhabitants of a debt-internment colony, are working maintenance down in the sub-levels, and find a human corpse blocking a pipe. In its hand is...
  12. A tiny, nectar-eating anteater-relative. Lives in trees in the tropics. Brightly-colored fur, almost birdlike.
  13. Drop bears filling a niche of urban mesopredators. Fighting cats for turf, dropping off of eaves and lampposts to nab pigeons.
  14. Thanksgiving -> Black Friday -> Christmas extrapolated into future-hell-capitalist Easter Triduum - enormous feast of overconsumption, then you must buy buy buy so that money can go to paying off Santa debts so he can return from hell.
  15. The last human in the world, maintaining the last radio, waiting for help to arrive. Hands the too-late alien rescuers a small package wrapped in brown paper and twine.
  16. Substitutionary atonement not for humanity's sins, but for God's.
  17. Exowomb creches with dedicated parent/teacher tenders. Cyborgs? Avatar-chains?
  18. Space languages: Belter Navajo, Martian Sino-Spanish, Elevator Swahili, Standardized Alliance Auxillary Language, Universal machine Interface Language.
  19. Generic blue magical energy is un-fire; produces no heat, is entropically neutral, removing all energy it added into the universe when the spell disperses.
  20. Post Idea: Return to the Jump-9 Empires, with revisions now factoring in the principle of ontological decay / acausal hazards caused by the Jump-9 ships violating causality.
  21. Post Idea: A detailed look at the Manvantara Ontological Divergence Event
  22. Retired Adventurer, on theme, via discord: "Step 1: Think big thoughts; feel big feels Step 2: Make the setting reflect those thoughts and feels"
  23. Retired adventurer, via discord: "Bankrolling your future army of freed slaves is actually a pretty good reason to be a dungeon delver... Harriet Tubman: Fighter; John Brown: Cleric; Frederick Douglass: Rogue; John Rock: Wizard; The Bury the Chains expansion: Olaudah Equiano: Ranger; William Wilberforce: Cleric; Granville Sharp: Bard; Thomas Clarkson: Rogue; Black Jacobins expansion: Toussaint L'Ouverture: Fighter; Jeanjak Dessalines: Ranger; Dutty Boukman / Cecile Fatiman: Clerics; Sonthonax: Wizard."
  24. Ornate dark hardwood palanquin with these incredibly elaborately detailed golden blackout curtains, carried by a creature that looks like if you cut a man in half at the waist, and replaced the upper half with a sea anemone made out of fingers. The drow ambassador-sorceress is inside. An assassin was captured by the villa staff, hoping to use the hot summer afternoon to catch her sleeping.  A pudgy, gloved hand emerges from the curtains and there is a mottom-style [P E R I S H].
  25. For those space teamsters who want to go VERY fast and do things VERY dangerously and VERY illegally, there is the "hot reload" -Instead of venting exotic energy buildup from the jump core like normal, you jettison the entire thing as soon as you exit hyperspace, immediately install a new one, and jump right back in."
  26. Brad Láthspell, via discord — "It's surely Prof. T at his most overtly radical. Sharkey encloses the commons, takes full control of the economy, establishes a brutal authoritarian regime that makes the unintimidating Shire reeves into a brute squad, and when the shiriffs prove insufficient because most of them never signed up to be cops, they get replaced with straight-up gangsters. Then the common folk of the Shire unite, organize, and kill the enactors of state violence until things are better."
  27. Conlang idea: polysynthetic latin
  28. TF2, but it's Warhammer 40k. The Imperium / Heretic teams are literally the same characters with a costume switch. Scout = Ratling, Soldier = Commissar, Pyro = Sister of Battle, Demo = Guardsman, Heavy = Ogryn, Engineer = Techpriest, Medic = Psyker, Sniper = Skitarii, Spy = Ork
  29. In Japan you can get stamps from shrines for a special booklet, used as a devotional / pilgrimage tracker. They're called shuin.
  30. An image from a dream: animatronic baleen whale hanging from warehouse ceiling, sadly swimming in place, caked / choked / impaled / wrapped with garbage. An art project of some kind.
  31. Drow have internal parasitic males, similar to deep-sea anglerfish. These are actually the "real" drow, as the people that are called drow are just hybridized humans.
  32. Planet where the entire population descended from emulations of very limited pool of original colonists.
  33. [Orion's Arm] Deeper Covenant relay station finds itself in chaos as Blood Angel / Queen of Pain seraph attacks an incoming Dominion-allied ship
  34. Conlang idea: Noun classes are Generic, Trademarked, and Copywrited
  35. StarshipTzadkiel, via reddit: "In The Best of Gene Wolfe each story has a little afterword written by the man himself. One of them - I think after The Boy Who Hooked the Sun - has his advice for learning to write. It is this: rewrite a story you love from memory. You know the characters, the plot, the setting. So rewrite it in your own style." 
  36. A word: gadugi, via Cherokee, meaning a sort of ad-hoc task-specific work team / group.
  37. Aliens that can maintain theory of mind for more than 4 people at a time.
  38. Evidence / facts > answers
  39. Erdtree grafted onto Great Tree? Maliketh's great rune has roots - conjoining earlier beastman civilization to the Golden Order, a connection forgotten / buried? Humans prior to Erdtree - pre GO death gods?
  40. The temple of Zeus Castratus
  41. "Have you heard the one about the wandering carnifex?"


  • GROUP NAME: Munsögossek Nekutotad Etor - "Vilecouncil the Secretive Hands of Kings"
  • FORTRESS NAME: Zirilgakit Saràmbobrur Solam - "Firethief the Great Mother of Nations"
  • SYMBOL: Rerithbakat - "Chaosgame" 
    • "It is an image of a five-pointed star, a mangrove, dwarves, unicorns, a scroll, and a goblin. The dwarves are fighting with the unicorns. The dwarves are devouring the unicorns. The dwarves are screaming. The goblin is hiding the scroll."


"Have you ever seen an ork in bloom? When they have grown too old for the axe and their skin sags and their joints grind? When they go to the places that the Orkus has touched, set down mycelium in the rich organic muck, let go of the bones they once stole from lichyards and abbatoirs, grow bright new fruiting bodies in the gloom and, fed with manure and corpses and rotting things, begin to spore?"



How 2 Make a Souls Game

  • Once upon a time there was a normal, unfucked state of the world.
  • Someone has since fucked it up by trying to overturn the ordering of the world
  • Attempts to fix the initial fuckery have only furthered the fuckening, and developed new ways in which the world is fucked.
  • Assorted factions exist. They wish to:
    • Unfuck the world (it'll definitely work this time!)
    • Usurp the ordering of the world into an entirely new kind of fucked
    • Re-align the world to its previous unfucked order
    • Attempt to push through current fuckedness to a new state of unfuckedness
    • Wallow in the fucked and drag down everyone else with them
  • You are a cipher, a deniable asset, a stooge


How 2 Star Trek in Mosh

1) Vulcans now androids. Maybe remote piloted by methane-breathing aliens, maybe not
2) Klingons now weird warrior cult formed from a mercenary company stranded on the Rim for centuries
3) Ferengi now the office drones of a world that lost all its C-levels and they've been filling the niches


On January 1, 2020, a youtuber by the name of BREADSWORD uploaded a ten-minute video titled "Dancers in the Dark - A Brief History of Dance in Film". At the time of writing, it has just under sixty-five thousand views.

"Dancers in the Dark - A Brief History of Dance in Film" is a sequence of just that. Dance, as portrayed in over three hundred films from 1894 to 2019 and accompanied by the end title theme for Cloud Atlas. There are no words, not until after the dance ceases when BREADSWORD ends his eight-minute silence to thank the viewer for watching and to read aloud a list of patreon backers.

If I could choose a single piece of art to show to aliens - whether it be to persuade them away from destroying us, or the limitations on interstellar bandwidth - it would be this. For I cannot stop myself from imagining some alien scholar watching it (presuming, at least, that it can see as we do) and overjoyed, exclaiming:

"They were like us! See? They danced! They were like us!"

That is the hope.


Taxonomies Used By Wizards (inspired by a Zedeck post)

A) The Throne of Salt Taxons
B) Split between "can a spell(s) reside within it" or not, and further subdivided as to whether or not the spell(s) is innate.
C) Things to eat, things to fight with, things to mate with, things to run away from, things to ignore, and rocks
D) Taxonomy according to the types of tool usage
E) Bearing no relation to the organisms actual qualities, but rather what group of serpentmen engineered them
F) According to a complicated astrological / elemental type system which is basically Pokemon


> "I met a knight of An-Hehm on the road and I asked him, 'Tell me brother, what is the last great secret of the universe?'"
> "And what did he say?"
> "He punched me in the nose."

[Static image of a man, presumably homeless, sitting inside a cardboard box at the entrance to an alleyway. Man is wearing a rubber dog mask and is holding a rusting machete]

gongfarmren: This guy was glaring at me the entire time I was down watching the protests today. Tried talking to him and he just said 'God aborted the universe' and then said that my mother fucks dogs. What gives?

hadriansceiling: lol wtf

hortawortbort: It's true, your mother does fuck dogs, that's why you're a [SLUR DELETED]

biangbiang: I think you met God

gundabad: DOG GOD

mudandsludge: That's a knight of An-Hehm. Probably from the School of the Cynocephalus, they're the ones who wear the dog masks.

gongfarmren: A what? Is that some kind of cult?

mudandsludge: > wellyesbutalsono.jpg

mudandsludge: It's complicated. They're a sect that follows the Atûmaic mysteries

goodjourb: Oh shit it's serious now we're breaking out the diacritics.

gongfarmren: What's the atumaic mysteries? Srry for being dense I've never heard of them before.

redsandhighway: Why would they know, they're mysteries.


They called him Botfly, for an infection as an infant left his arms and face pockmarked with scars. He was a slave and the son of slaves, and grew up lean and tough and clever in the shipyards of Port Miser. The abuses of those years of imprisonment - first as the errand boy and then as the oarsman - enkindled in him a great longing for freedom and a greater hatred of all men who considered themselves masters. It was that hatred that bore him through those dark and hungry nights, as the years turned and the lashes scabbed over and turned to scars along his back.

Two men he hated above all others. The first was the bishop of Port Miser, Monsignor Radelerd, who had a controlling interest in the dockyards and whose demands were a constant yoke upon the workers.

The second was the man called Trant. Botfly regretted that there was no opportunity to kill him during the escape

His early life was not without some kindnesses. Among the slaves of the shipyard there was Old Gim, blind and ever-dignified, stolen long ago from his home across the sea. A man who the slavemasters of Port Miser could not break, who took the boy called Botfly under his protection, such as he could offer, and taught him the ways of endurance.


They Called Us Dogs

A half-baked premise for Dialect, about a population of monster-hunters deported to the edges of the empire that conquered them, to delve into the monster-filled ruins of an even older empire.

Aspect Generation Questions

  • Surrounded by Monsters - Hunting monsters has always been part of our culture. Which ones are the most useful, the most significant?
  • Anathema - What practices of ours are most-hated by the imperial government and its ecclesiastic attack dogs?

Community Questions

  • What is it like to live out here, in the ruins of the Silent Empire? How have these ruins been repurposed by us?
  • How do we initiate new hunters? Where do those who do not take up the trade find themselves in our society?


The Cloud-Eaters

Life is not unknown among the gas giants, but it is rare and it trends so alien to our frame of reference that we don't tend to pay it much mind. Such are the Cloud-Eaters - a species we have made contact but not communication with.

1) They are enormous - well beyond the size of other jovian lifeforms. Closer to the side of an interplanetary spaceship.
2) When disturbed, they will plummet to the deeper cloud layers - well out of the biotic zones.
3) They have been observed on worlds dozens or hundreds of lightyears apart, some of which have no known native biosphere to support them.
5) When diving, they release a sudden burst of noise via radio waves. It sounds very much like a chorus of human beings screaming.


Markers of smooth black-blue stone rise up from the ground, a circular hole cut out from near the top of each and a sphere of similar material floating above. Lights in the sky at night - pulsing, blinking, zipping about. Gristly organic matter, scab red, grows outward from the base, like roots or webbing or a tumor. Colonists vanish. If they are ever found, they're found without their heads. Lights in the sky. In ones and twos, you see things in the dim, hours-long twilight; things that look like people but are not. They watch you, and return to the forest. They do not come close. They do not show aggression. They stand in place, for hours, days, weeks, and gaze up at the sky, where the lights dance at night. They raise mis-aligned limbs and point westward.


  1. All hail slush, the slush that grants life.

  2. Fun game: roll on the numbered table at the start of the post. Whatever you get is what the body in the pipe is holding. It's your job to make that fit.

    I like Botfly. He's going places.

  3. It's always fun to see your stray thoughts, you have a talent for artistic sensitivity I envy. My work always never satisfies me because I can't get to really pop.

    Anyway, shot in the dark; a prompt for you: urban legend and folklore and "spooky crap" for the rail yards (as in trains, which are an underrated transport with lots of adventure potential IMO) of a decent sized town or small city. Like, little rituals the rail workers do, miscellaneous strange things they talk about at the bar after work, weird creatures said to haunt the rails, cool details about the trains and their interiors, notable NPCs working on the trains and in the yard, etc.

    Adventures on trains almost get too little play in fiction (the anime Baccano did a good arc of it, just off the top of my head) so I'd like to see you put your talents to it.

  4. Number two isn't a fan theory, it's confirmed in the text. Sardaukar performance against the Fremen is actually worse than that of the Harkonnen house guards. When Thufir and the Baron discuss kill ratios, the Mentat mentions offhand that the Sards lost ten men for every Fremen killed, while on average the Hark soldiers under Rabban only lost five.

    The glossary at the end of the novel addresses the issue more directly and calls the Sardaukar as a force in decline.

  5. Number 32 brings to mind a sci fi novel i started reading a while ago- "Dark Eden"

    the premise is that a stargate-y sort of accident stranded two people on a hostile alien world, and generations later the descendents of this Adam and Eve pairing are in a sort of civilizational rut and have to change their ways, being led by one of the MCs who has a sort of Moses-y vibe imo (likely intentional given the name of the novel and the adam and eve thing) its a super weird novel but in an interesting way IMO

    1. Reading the summary on Wikipedia, yeah that sounds wild.