All the unaccomplished works of nature’s hand,
Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixed,
Dissolved on earth, fleet hither, and in vain,
Till final dissolution, wander here.
— Jothol Nimn, “Elisii Forfeit”
Only children and the stupid seek both cause and effect in the same story.Only children and the stupid seek both cause and effect in the same story.Many say: I wanted to learn, but here I have found only madness. Yet, should they seek deep wisdom elsewhere, they may not find it.
— The teachings of Sundarin Jadho
The Premise is a realm for those who in life said “yes” more than they said “no”. Here more than any other lamina the curtain of CreationCreation tends towards activity, energy, passion, agitation, change, mutation, excitation, creativity, egoism, instability, uncertainty, and dynamism.Turn to chapter is worn thin to the point of breaking, making a mockery of logic and comprehension only tamed by the careful intentions of its petitionersSouls of the dead that have re-manifested on the most well-suited lamina, where they perfect and reshape themselves while carrying out pursuits in accordance with that lamina's principles.Turn to chapter, the Rhemes. Great voids of the phlogiston of Creation, that potentiator of all things, fill the Premise, empty to the eye in their purity but hazardous to coherency: any ordinary matter that touches it erupts into lunatic fruition: a flock of birds, a geyser of violet flame, a tangle of seaweed. Some such interactions have cascaded into maelstroms of roiling nonsense—boulders of stone and vegetation, whirlpools of color, entire civilizations’ worth of buildings—but islands of relative stability and safety can be found around the massive trees that root in drifting nebulae and in which the Rhemes gather to ponder and intend personal microcosms into existence from out of the raw stuff around them.
The Premise swells with all possible factors from which anything can be made, an uncontainable plasma that overwhelms the cause and effect of local actions. Where striking a flint to tinder may normally start a small flame, here the tinder is as likely to light ablaze in advance of the flint being struck, or indeed burst into water instead of flame. As with the perversions of the BloomA dazzling and hideous jungle in which everything blossoms and transforms and regenerates unpredictably. To its children, the Florets, it is a paradise garden for endless play within the forgiving embrace of their Mother.Turn to chapter however, the environment does appear to react to the intentions of conscious thought, and is putty to the curious minds of Rhemes. The Rhemes are as eclectic as their environment, sometimes barely recognizable as beings, and have the unpredictable wisdom of children and an unshakeable belief in a concept of “Self Will”: that rather than responding to the environment, every being has the agency to cause the environment to respond to them.1 They are the gods of this place; each creates their own reality, and in their presence this visitor felt like just another of their creations.2
And then there is the Mutatorium. Resembling a nautilus shell the size of a small city, its colors, ridges, and spirals shift as it holds impossibly still against the winds of Creation slamming its sheening surface. Inside, anfractuous passageways house the practicalities of a self-contained society of Rhemes and mortals who receive travellers that arrive (through vergesThe thinning of the Ordial barrier between cardinal and laminal realities such that certain aspects of one may influence, be perceived, or be simultaneously present on the other.Turn to chapter or otherwise) seeking great change in their lives. Some come to change their minds, some come to change their bodies, some come to change their future, and some bring others—willing or unwilling—for transformation. The Mutatorium’s residents are well-meaning assistants in these endeavors, and have created as tools internal chambers in which controlled rivulets of Creation trickle in through ornate portholes from the chaos outside. With sufficient preparation and luck these transformations sometime go according to plan, but many supplicants leave the Mutatorium with something other than what they believed they had intended.
[This chapter has not yet been translated. Please turn to the Inevitability, the Bloom, or the Unfolding for completed chapters. Recent additions can be found in the Translation Log.]
boats/airships where a balloon has wrapped a bunch of miscellaneous matter that gradually is ejected in order to combust with the phlogiston of creation to protect the passengers
No payment is expected for the services provided here - the plane itself supplies the raw materials necessary, and the caretakers partake for the joy of it.
What sustains the Mutatorium remains unknown, but the best guess is that the nautilus structure itself is responsible, and that it may be the husk of a dead Lawful Neutral god transported from the Astral Plane and revived into a powerful but dormant, semi-conscious state.
most don’t have the precision of intention that the Rhemes do
some crazy swirl of color
Scholars have contrasted this to the InstrumentThe labyrinthine interior of a colossal automaton, the outside of which never been seen. The Instrument is tended to by the Moilers, whose culture has lost its knowledge of the automaton's purpose and operation, and as a result have devolved into industrious paranoia and neurosis.Turn to chapter (whose facets of MethodThe facets of Hierarchy ꩧ, Synthesis ꧪ, and Autonomy ꧹ concern matters of control and agency: how societies organize their efforts and distribute power, and how individuals fit into and are beholden to the larger whole.Turn to chapter and MeansThe facets of Creation ꧠ, Equilibrium ဓ, and Dissolution ဗ are forces that fuel reality. They are, respectively, the inhale, the pause, and the exhale: a cycle harnessed by every being in support of its goals.Turn to chapter lie directly opposite to the Premise) in which Moilers see themselves as constructs devoid of free will and as beholden to mechanical determinism as the machine that makes up their world.↩︎
Upon hearing this observation, one Rheme offered a correction: “You are not in the Premise, you are the Premise.”↩︎