Friday, September 2, 2016

Getting Wasted

So I have another project that's been in development for years. I've mentioned it before, here and on Google+. It's a big, weird world, made of dreams, and it involves a dying god. or maybe gods. It's a terrible place; there's no name one cares to remember what it was. No one wants to die; death is horrible.

And no one wants to dream, because dreaming is worse than death. Here, your dreams become real. They manifest as nightmarish creatures. Dreams are feared. Dreams are the terrible curse of this place. This once-world. This reality, in its awful death throes.

This waste.

There are a LOT of details about Waste I'm keeping secret, but here are some things to know:

  1. +Anxy P. and +Andrew Walter are making art for it. +Michael Raston just signed on as well.
  2. +Evey Lockhart is writing for it.
  3. It's a collection of weird people, places, and things.
  4. It's fantasy based, but it's not limited by fantasy themes.
Here are some things I created for it last night. How all of these different pieces will come together is something I'm still working out, but the concepts are fun to create and I'm very interested in the weirdness this place inspires.

Chronal Lake Eater

Aboleth artwork found on Google, run through Prisma App.
There's a pit near an edge of the Thirst, a deep and narrow hole bored into the earth, like an ancient mine. It's walls are lined with glistening crystals, chromatic rings of geodes casting sparkling tones of lavender, cobalt, and crimson.

The effect is lost on the sole inhabitant of the pit, the chronal lake eater, whose 12 eyes are all dull, white, and listless.

For this beast, the immortal and temporal devourer of the Waste's last ocean, the beast still drinking in the salt water in some distant history it inhabits, is blind.

So it languishes at the bottom of the pit, its gargantuan body drifting in a bath of silt, its long neck exposed, reaching upward like a lone stalk of wheat, chasing warmth.

While its mind drifts backwards through earlier eras, before this world went dry.

Lake Eater Hunting Parties

Hunting parties prepare their sub to assault the Chronal Lake Eater.
Artwork by +Juan Ochoa 

Nearer to the coast lies a graveyard of metal ships, jutting up through dirt and sand like layered shark teeth. A tribe of humans have built homes here, cut into the hulls and down into their long abandoned bowels.

This tribe is crazed, like most of the human tribes scattered across the Waste, and they hunger for the flesh of the last fish, the Lake Eater.

They have fashioned from their ship-homes crude submarines that screech down through the air on thick, rusted chains. From these they lunge at the Lake Eater, but it always knows they are coming, even though it is blind. Because its future self knows the pain of their terrible harpoons, and warns itself across the distance of time.

And so the hunters die as the beast thrashes at them. And the survivors retreat, to plot the creature's murder for another day.

The Fetid Carnival

Found via Google. Artwork by Bridget Monro.
There's a carnival troupe that can be found sometimes in the Golden Thirst, rolling on croaking wheels between the rows of starving cities, made of old, broken wagons, all covered in dust and cobwebs and vacant.

When the croaking comes to a halt a tent slowly rises from the center of the caravan, and a noise, like an organ, bellows a somber tune.

The earth stirs and ancient beasts rise up, taking part in the festivities.

People are drawn from the nearby city, enchanted by the music.

The stench of rotted meat hangs over everything.

Soon, a thrush of hook-limbed scarror birds will fletch through the air, their thrumming, fur-covered wings stirring up the dust that coats the wagons as they prepare to feast on the attendants. They skewer down through the air, piercing and ripping at the crowds and pulling meals off to their nests.

Each victim stolen away draws a cheer of revelry as skeletal whalephants perform stunts in the center of the massive tent.

By dawn, the horror is over and few survivors remain. They slowly drift back to their cities, jealous they weren't stolen like their neighbors, their loved ones, their friends.

Waiting for the next time the carnival rolls around, that they might become a feast.

(Artwork by Bridget Monro. Found on the Internet. Sadly, she no longer does illustration.)


In addition, here are some poetic "snippets". The first one is by me, the last two are written by Evey Lockhart, who I'm so thrilled to have working on this book. Her writing and conceptualizing is very similar to my own, in a lot of really good ways, only her visions are a lot more twisted and detailed. I love her stuff. (Can you tell I'm excited?)

Song for a Screaming Sun, Metal Lands, and Mountains of Bone

A lullaby

There's a portal in the earth to a place where a god lays on scarred metal, dying. His eyes shine bright as a star. He is a world, and his worshippers make of him homes, burrowing caves and dungeons into his leathery flesh.

The elders sing poetry of how their tribe's use of the god land pleases Him who Screams.

They are wrong.

And there are worms growing in his heart that will teach them the error in their sagas.

When they dig too deep.

And here's the first piece written by Evey:

Song for the Möbious Worms

The möbious worms wait. They grow. They do not know.
But they hate.
They are his pain. His fear. The dying shivers of necrotic hope.
They will rend. Unmake.
However, this unmaking will take forever. An eternity of of undoing.
They turn impossibly upon themselves. They were your beginning. They are fear coiling in your guts. They will come for you in death.

What was will never be... right up until the end.

No one actually believes the sagas. They wish to. They try to. But it falls through their fingers like the weeping waters of his veins.


And here's another piece by Evey, this one is very much a rough, "stream-of-consciousness" post, but it very much captures that sort of visceral nature she has with her writing:

Nights of the Absent Moon “Only the dead have it worse."
It whispers through cracked lips, sighs across yellow teeth, echoes in many ears. The phrase, the ritual, the words, the knowledge, the pain of it touches all in the Waste… But how might one know? How might one comprehend a fate worse than this? The dead scream. Not often, but the dead always cry, when given voice. The ever-changing sky sometimes reveals an awful moon or perhaps some horrible planet. It is huge and dark and cold. A terrible, round absence, the orb flows across the sky at impossible angles. Dilating madly, it never quite winks out of existence. This is why you never drink your last bottle of sleep… not ‘til you’ve seen the night’s sky.
The cacophony is maddening. The very bedrock of this world is death, bones can be dug from the ground as frequent as stones. Nothing, not even deafness, can halt the hearing of them. Only dreamless sleep can save you. -- -- -- -- -- - The mad priests of Xanthrill claim to hear patterns, learn truths in the unbelievable noise of the Absent Moon. Whispering wizards sometimes say they recognize voices. Some few even claim to have given the dead solace, though any who have lived through an Absent Moon cannot believe them.* Most simply suffer, as ever, as always. It’s best to try and remember: “Should I dash myself upon the bones and stones, should I let flow the red water of my wrists, should I hang choking from the rafters, it is I who will scream forever.”† -- -- -- -- -- - Wizards do not wish this to be known; however, magic does not exist under an Absent Moon. It seems the souls of the objects to which they speak are no longer there. If you need to kill a wizard, endure the screaming for he or she will be weak. -- -- -- -- -- - * It is worth noting that all such claims have come from particularly powerful wizards. Whether this is a simple ploy to demand loyalty or an unexpected truth is the subject of much debate.(At least, amongst those with the luxury of contemplation.) Perhaps souls never leave this place but instead reside in each stone, rest in each door, wait in every window, burble in every stream. Only under the Absent Moon, each soul must find its bones and speak its lack of peace. Or the dead simply scream because it is terrible. Just like every other facet of this awful world. † Few know, but this oft repeated adage is from the sacred texts of Xanthrill. Should a priest come across someone awake during an Absent Moon, he or she is bidden to hold the unfortunate soul tightly and shout these words into their ear. Those who walk in Xanthrill’s footsteps are ever slaves to kindness. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- - -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

I'm going to be posting more about the three projects that are in development (Across the Stars, Bag of Astronauts, and Waste) for the next few months, possibly based on a set schedule of announcements for each product. Each one is very much in the early stages of design, and while I would love to be ready for a January or February release for my first title, it's more important to me that I make something polished. I'll likely release free "samples" periodically, and I've already started to set up private communities on G+ where I can discuss each product's development.

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