Thursday, April 13, 2023

Slush Pile 13

A notebook has reached its appointed end, and thus it is time for a new slush pile.

Old Slushpiles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8.5, 9, 10, 11, 12


This is a cartouche reading MA-NA-YO-DU-SU-SA-I in Linear B. You will assuredly find some use for it.

  1. Long ago, a proto-human figured out that a sharp rock in the hand is good at breaking skulls. A much more productive one figured out that reeds plucked from the river might be woven into a container. We've been chasing that high ever since.
  2. The Anthropocene Collapse put an end to the singularity dreams of the early techno-utopianists, and in the rebuilding that followed the general attitude was that such branches of tech development were wasteful, ineffective, and dangerous. The computer was a tool, and letting it become the master of mankind had made the Collapse all the worse when it came. It was materials and environmental science that saved us, not AI development.
  3. Even in the modern day, iilon bézho is the insult of choice for tech-grifters
  4. The Coding Laws strictly limited the utilization of software and cybernics in the wake of the Collapse. The Treaty of Pallas established limitations on what governments could mandate and what private citizens could procure in terms of pre-natal genetic modification. Legislation rarely kept pace with developments in the field. Expansion into the solar system saw the loosening of restrictions by necessity - there is no practical way to keep human beings alive in space for long periods of time without some sort of modification.
  5. Limits on biomods: splice cancer, those who reject it in case of splice cancer, metazoanic monopoly, sumptuary laws
  6. Good art is the mad attempt to translate that impossible vastness into something we can understand through the medium of the electrified protein in our skulls and the work of our hands.
  7. Institutional Knowledge - DG scenario, chasing after the one surviving copy of the MAGPIE Report, which contains a full overview of the organization's collection of practical knowledge of the unnatural compiled over the last 90 years+. Very valuable. Very dangerous.
  8. The dead have their names stripped from them and are buried anonymously, to protect their souls and bodies from necromancers.
  9. The language of angels is not actually that - it's just the language of the humans who first made contact with angels.
  10. Easy fantastic place-names - take the latin names of features on other bodies in the solar system, calque them into other languages.
  11. Regency romance novel where the first ball is interrupted by one of the eligible bachelor's having a major mental breakdown brought on by Napoleonic War flashbacks.
  12. The two aspects of Thoth - Aza and Yogso
  13. Roman-era Robin Hood. Same archetypes, different time and place.
  14. From Voyage to Arcturus - A hand telescope with a 2 inch lens. Weighs 20 pounds and can view extrasolar planets with clarity up to 40 light years away.
  15. MoSh - Culture stagnates for thousands of years because the dominance of AI-generated arts and media leads to a perpetual regurgitation of what has come before, with nothing new ever being made.
  16. Alignment as culture / religion / politics
  17. Alignment as gender
  18. Making humans magical: they return to clay when they die.
  19. "Se non è vero, è ben trovato" - if it's not true, it's well-conceived
  20. Recycling is very efficient when you have alchemy.
  21. Sci-fi spiritualism - a séance via the deceased's digital remains
  22. Via cosmic orrery: "I feel like no one has done anything with PI being some sacred number inscribed upon the universe by the demiurge. It'd be well suited to the idea, since it turns up damn near everywhere in mathematics and physics and geometry and etc"
  23. An image - the shades of the dead - masked, silent - part for a procession of the living. A funeral, or a ritual on a sacred day.
  24. Delta Green handler walks into the briefing, throws a manila envelope on the table, and spits out "It's the fucking mi-go!"
  25. Sainthood as a position that can be held during life, but can only be added to the canonical rolls after death.
  26. Game Mechanic idea: alien species get playbooks
  27. "Her child was born with a great disfigurement of the head, a skull filled with water. In fear and terror she cut off its head; in grief she painted eyes and a mouth upon its chest. And these eyes opened and the mouth began to cry: thus cane the first of the Headless Men."
  28. Names for humans in this setting are all the last names of sci-fi authors followed by a numerical designation. Curious indeed.
  29.  From esoteric Hindu cosmology: Karanodaka, the Causal Ocean.
  30. Moon Beasts fill the same role as mind flayers and are better in all ways.
  31. Vampirism is like if being Rupert Murdoch was a communicable disease.
  32. "Tha whoresons! Wretchsome pisswallahs! Punkasses! Oozy-faced scrunts! Queen T. save me from dunggobblas like tha, thinkin thall're biggabad paradise-killas."
  33. Wielder of the Celestial Brush class (ie Okami powers)
  34. Clades: Undine, Dataslug, Calculatari, Wolf-Rayet Warrior Cultists, Meta-esthesiachronoi, Pneuman, Homo Corporatus, Apulmon
  35. Ouroboric Gate - An immense snake burst up from the ground and bites its tail. A swirl of stars on velvet black night fills the space, opening up to places beyond.
  36. Item Register # AE34-7320 - Granite sarcophagus containing two female skeletons. Skeleton A estimated 4.2m in height when fully reconstructed. Grave goods conspicuously absent.
  37. Ork-logic applied to tacticool accoutremonts. More tacticool means better gun.
  38. I feel somewhat thankful that Games Workshop has not reverse-engineered a fantasy version of the Tau. This is an oversight on their part, but also a gift. Would be fun to explore.
  39. Either Skywalker is a generic name for bastards, Owen took Beru's surname, Beru is Anakin's sister, or they're aunt and uncle in a non-familial manner.
  40. A call from dispatch: "Angel" on the other end.
  41. Why the hell are there 22 major arcana cards, can't divide 22 by jack shit. It's practically prime! 21 is sitting RIGHT THERE and it's 3 x 7! 24 is great too, can divide 24 by damn near everything. Same with 36. Something with nice 3 and 4-way splits. Aleister Crowley: math illiterate, ignorant of the advantages of dozenal counting.
  42. More books should do what roguelikes do and just use a letter + a color for a monster.
  43. Anglerfish siren in the depths of a gas giant.
  44. Colonial Investigators' Union - The "Ashrakers"
  45. "If a rich man eats a snake, the people say by his wisdom. if a poor man eats it they say by his hunger" - evergreen quote from the Story of Ahicar.
  46. Humans born from clay / humans born from trees / humans born as always (oh hai Elden Ring)
  47.  New standard player character options - humans, cynocephalons, headless men, amazons, ghouls, deep ones, morlocks/eloi, sky people, cambions, androgynoi
  48. The Tallow-Woman
  49. Using the hazardous-materials four-color diamond for bestiary entries
  50. Conlang Shitpost Idea: Toki Pona, but caveman speak.
  51. "This history aligns only in shape - its tenor and texture are not necessarily our own."
  52. Anomalous video game - explore hell in order to find and then insult Richard Nixon. The anomalous part is that you are, in fact, doing that.
  53. Stasis of the colony ships was longer than expected, waiting for the starwisps to prepare worlds for them.
  54. Translate the aspects of the Egypian concept of the soul into a sci-fi future setting? Shadow as data?
  55. Alchemical Conlang Thoughts: deviation via combination of elements / substances / traits ie. earth + spirit
  56. To be wizardly is, in many languages, to be miserly with one's knowledge.
  57. The Dungeon as literalized hauntology
  58. The LSD experiments with dolphins went nowhere. The experiments with whales resulted in a single response: CEASE.
  59. Homo pantropus? pantropic anthropus? pantropanthropus?
  60. MoSh: Warming Earth leads to a cordyceps that can infect humans; resulting hybrids not as apocalyptic as one would fear, dulling inter-human aggression as part of the fungus' survival strategy. Increased empathy through parasitic fungus.
  61. The Blind Passage - The means of entering the Underworld through mundane caves and depths.
  62. MoSh: The unbreachable divide between the Land People and the Star People.
  63. MoSh: - The great divide between the Sky People and Land People.
  64. FromSoft style game set in Middle-Earth. Some of the bosses you fight are ur-orcs and they are introduced by their original elf-names. As would be both expected and appropriate, those that get second stages get a moment of reclaiming a shade of the dignity that has been stripped from them - literally becoming less orcish as the fight progresses and they remember more of who they once were.
  65. Humans make contact with the Watchers through the Dream, stirring them to action (and angering the archons). Dreaming is not necessarily a benefit - nightmares and the attention of other forces.


The great bronze doors open with the tectonic rumblings of vast and hidden gears. A hunchbacked figure in mechanoschematic robes hobbles into the lamplight, cane tok'-tok'-tok'ing on the knotwork-engraved basalt slabs. The the old monastic reaches the edge of the top stair, looks down at the guns of the expedition team, and then unfolds. They cast off their robes, rise up to full height; A gleaming chassis of shimmering oricalchum, a nine-foot galatea with blood-crimson hair, shining armor plating engraved with lions and bulls and beasts of the great abyss. Talons like the night, raised up to heaven, and an electronic voice booms with the clarity of a great bell. From the darkness there is the scuttling and whirring of limbs and rotors, a clickaclack choir of safeties undone and hammers pulled back.

"Glory glory hallelujah, I've got me one o' them fancy resurrection bodies!" sounds the clarion-call. "WELCOME TO THE NEW FLESH, BITCHES."



0 - Communication is Impossible - Species cannot be communicated with, even through intermediaries. Few species will be classified at this level.

1 - Establishment of Territory - Communication is sufficient to demarcate territorial holdings but the species either cannot or will not engage in further communication.

2 - Limited Cooperation - Communication is sufficient for basic or sporadic cooperation.

3 - Cooperation - Communication is sufficient for long-term cooperation and some basic cultural exchange. Shared territorial agreements possible at this stage.

4 - Integration - Communication is sufficient for mutually-beneficial shared society.

5 - Kin-bond - Communication is sufficient for mutual understanding

3-4-5 can also be titled Allies-Neighbors-Friends




I went down the river in a red canoe, and what do you think I saw? 

All manner of creeping, wriggling things freed up by the thaw.

For March came in like a lion, free of green and white 

to bathe us all in gray and brown and all the ends of life.


  1. 13th pile on 13th day, that wasn't even planned.

    Happy "This is your reminder that Homestuck has existed for 14 years" Day

    1. Only four hundred more years till the big one!

      (This list is great. My favorites are "alignment as gender" and the digital seance)

  2. 'Skywalker' as a name for bastard children like 'Snow' or 'Stone' in "Song of Ice and Fire" is entirely fitting for Star Wars universe.

    15. 'Whatever new is made, it is immediately disassembled into little pieces and recombined until it is becomes the part of the common AI-sludge'

    18, 23 and 30. This is especially great.

  3. My take on the 22 tarot cards is that there are, essentially, 21 Major Arcana--and one extra, the Fool, who is the outsider at the feast. This makes sense to me, given that any attempt to define a complete set of something leaves the outside of that set still hanging around, and the Fool represents that outside--all that has not yet started on a journey.

    I like observing the common themes in these posts connecting the little bits. The medievalism kick you seem to be on lately is great stuff--the evil part of me wants to force a blemmaye PC to try and modify a magic breastplate so they can see out of it.

    1. That makes sense, but also still irks me to no end

  4. I love the many Egyptian souls (sah, ren, &c.), always reminds me of the Seven Souls in Arnold's Centerra