Children Of Eve Session Nineteen

<HollyhockGod> So, last time we spoke, you were deep within Magrithea, the Chancel built inside the moon.

<RyanSherbrig> ("I love what you've done with the place.")

<Ebba> for certain values of inside, anyway

<HollyhockGod> "It does have a certain je ne sais quois," E'jah admits.

<RyanSherbrig> (We were hear again… oh, right, to consult on the stone of Antiheros.)

<HollyhockGod> "Now, let me see, where has the tea satellite got to?"

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, it's over there. Well, it should arrive at the gate in five minutes or so," he says.

<Alexa> "This is amazing. So how did you get into this line of work?"

<HollyhockGod> "The bright side of this place is that we can provide any environment, for any occasion. The downside is that occasionally the planet is on the other side of the Moon from you."

<Alexa> "And how do you get around?"

<HollyhockGod> "Well, as you know, I practice alchemy, which involves the study of the deepest natural laws of Creation."

* Alexa nods.

<HollyhockGod> "Once I got involved with that, it was only natural to become interested in how these laws differ from one world on the tree to the next."

<HollyhockGod> "And I realized that it was actually quite simple to tweak these laws in minor ways, within the fundamental constraints of Ygg itself, that would enable the creation of custom-made physical spaces."

<RyanSherbrig> "Convenient."

<HollyhockGod> "I originally had planned to build smaller spaces, akin to the old "house inside a wardrobe" trick, but Selim realized that it would be nearly as easy to simply build entire planetary bodies to spec."

<Alexa> "Does your Imperator help out, or is this your own project?"

<RyanSherbrig> "I imagine transportation would be problematic, though, as you said."

<HollyhockGod> "He has a talent for thinking grandly, as is only natural."

<HollyhockGod> "Ah, the Argent Wyrm assisted in the original refitting of the Chancel, but since then we've carried out the project entirely on our own. It's quite profitable for Familia and Ymera both, of course."

<HollyhockGod> "Well, the transport is a matter of luck and timing."

<HollyhockGod> "There are several moving bands that will carry you around the circumference and allow you to catch up to a given body, but if you're unlucky or bad at mental calculus, it can take twenty minutes or so to get to where you want to be."

<HollyhockGod> "I eventually had to install toilettes at each beltway station for guests."

<HollyhockGod> "But I feel that the possibilities quite make up for any small inconveniences!"

<RyanSherbrig> "Bah. Biology."

<Alexa> "Oh, I forgot! We brought some presents for you."

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, I know."

<HollyhockGod> "How delightful!"

* Alexa hands over the aromatic logs.

<RyanSherbrig> (That sounds so wrong.)

* Fiona hands over the flower

<Ebba> (wasn't I the one with the aromatic logs?)

<Alexa> (I think we both had some.)

<Ebba> (or did we both have aromatic logs?)

<HollyhockGod> "Mmmm," says E'jah, gently levitating the flower and bundle of logs with gentle telekinesis. "These are… I don't think I've ever detected this fragrance before. Surely these can't be local?"

<Alexa> (Yours were based on your own world's stock, mine were from the Chancel garden stock.)

<RyanSherbrig> ("Oh, we have our sources. As I'm sure you remember when we prayed to you about that whole worldlet thing and then mysteriously dropped the subject.")

<Alexa> "Fiona, what did you end up putting in the flower?"

<RyanSherbrig> (/me smears undifferentiated causa causans on his toast. "Hmmmm, mindbogglingly wasteful.")

<Fiona> "flowering and hope, I think."

<HollyhockGod> "It has a certain 'Yes, we can' feeling to it, yes."

<HollyhockGod> "Ah, and here is the tea planet."

<HollyhockGod> A modestly-sized sphere containing a garden is orbiting gently towards you along the wall.

<HollyhockGod> As it comes close, a walkway forms itself out of radiant energy to allow you to walk across.

* Alexa crosses the walkway.

<RyanSherbrig> "Delightful."

<Ebba> (it's a sorta heinliens-like moving raods setup? where you step between different tracks moving at different speeds?)

<HollyhockGod> (Yes, quite.)

<HollyhockGod> The tea planet is an all-indoors planet, which has been set up to look like the inside of a fancy British tea room.

<HollyhockGod> There are even waiters and a few apparent customers at the other side, although Ebba's keen eyes can tell that they're artificial.

<HollyhockGod> Three small tables pull themselves together and merge themselves into a larger circle as you approach, and the chairs move gently into position.

<Alexa> "Do you mind if I smoke?"

<HollyhockGod> The only thing the room doesn't have is a ceiling, so you can watch the work going on above you.

<HollyhockGod> "This sphere has built-in air purifiers, so go ahead- you'll have to abstain if you tour the main workshops, however."

<HollyhockGod> E'jah manipulates a small control panel before setting down, causing a slight shift in the planet's orbit- evidently you're headed somewhere.

* Alexa lights a cigarette.

<RyanSherbrig> "That sounds interesting. Any large projects underway?"

<HollyhockGod> "Well, in this economy most of the actual currency is coming from the Cammorra, who have… strange tastes," admits E'jah. "Honestly, they've ordered far more brothel planets than any organization actually needs."

<HollyhockGod> "But we do have a nice little commission going on from the Power of Death, who is planning to have a private observatory place in one of Earth's Lagrange points."

<Alexa> "Where do they put them?"

<HollyhockGod> "In general, we try to keep the more idiosyncratic orders outside of the Sol system altogether," explains E'jah. "It means installing N-dimensional gateways, but it does keep the night sky tasteful."

<Alexa> "Where are they in relation to Earth's spot on the Tree? Do they hang off the same branch or something?"

<RyanSherbrig> "And it's not like N-dimensional gateways are that hard to pull off anyone. Especially if you're limiting yourself to real values for N."

<RyanSherbrig> (Anyway, not anyone)

<HollyhockGod> "From the mythic perspective, they hang from the offshoots of a different branch."

<Alexa> "Interesting! Any branch in particular? And how do you graft them on?"

<Ebba> (ah, it was pandora who was the other person with worldwalker; not alexa)

<HollyhockGod> "The Tree seems quite willing to accept new worlds, actually. In general, I simply oversee the placement of the product in the correct orbit, and the Tree grows out to accomodate it."

<Fiona> (Ebba: and me, sort of)

<RyanSherbrig> (I could cheat if I had forenotice and wanted to give up one of my lovely assassins from beyond.)

<Alexa> "That's handy. Has the Tree ever rejected a new world?"

<RyanSherbrig> ("There was that ONE brothel world…")

<HollyhockGod> "Only if it was somehow flawed. We learned that in the first phases of our world. We've since found it best not to rush construction."

<Alexa> "I see. How long does a typical project take?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm."

<HollyhockGod> "Somewhere between six months and three years."

<HollyhockGod> "Of course, of late, our most interesting project has been our work with Lady Whitsunday to lay the foundations for new universes."

<RyanSherbrig> "Yes, quite interesting, that."

<Ebba> (that was the project mentioned at the party at the timeheart, right?)

<Alexa> "Universes?"

<HollyhockGod> "I estimate that we'll be finished with the preliminary mathematics in just under fifty years. After that, it's simply a matter of finding the proper materials for construction."

<Alexa> "Where would you put *those*?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Outside, of course."

<HollyhockGod> "Lady Fire, we hope to construct universes entirely separate from the Tree and send them out with humanity inside, thus preserving them from the Excrucian assault, and, with the appropriate adjustments, hedging out the Dark entirely."

<Alexa> "That's ambitious. And impressive."

<RyanSherbrig> "And it seems a bit more popular with the Light than the whole wacky 'steal the Citric Immortality from the Dark' thing."

<Ebba> "and we believe that the Excrutians would be uninterested in such creations; or is the plan to provide them with more active defenses?"

<HollyhockGod> "Well, if luck is on our side, the Excrucians will not feel it necessary to attack it, but our intention is that such a universe would generate its own miraculous defenders."

<Alexa> "So, like planting new Trees?"

<HollyhockGod> "I was hoping for some sort of Divine Orrery. One does like to be slightly original in these matters."

<RyanSherbrig> "I wonder if you'd need to find another Narsinha or Azbogah or some beings along those lines to start a new Creation."

<RyanSherbrig> "Or the one the C'neph made Angels out of. N'mosnisomething."

<Alexa> "Allegedly!"

<RyanSherbrig> "Yes, yes."

<HollyhockGod> "Yes, being able to verify the truth of those legends would be helpful."

<HollyhockGod> "Of course, you'll probably want to see the actual universe-creating mechanism."

<Alexa> "Ooh, can we?"

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, it's right over there."

* RyanSherbrig sips his tea.

<HollyhockGod> E'jah raises a trail of numbers up at the sky and points.

<HollyhockGod> It's a crystal sphere rather bigger than the one you're drinking tea on, and crackling with lightning.

<HollyhockGod> As you draw closer, you can see that it's starting to shake.

<HollyhockGod> In fact, first Ebba and then everyone else starts to hear something coming from inside the sphere.

<HollyhockGod> It's somebody laughing. Maniacally!

<Ebba> "Is it supposed to do that?"

<HollyhockGod> Crackle, crackle, a-ha-ha!

<Alexa> (I was just about to ask if it was screaming. ;))

<HollyhockGod> E'jah says, resignedly, "I can't seem to make him stop."

<Alexa> "Who is it?"

<HollyhockGod> He touches another control, and as the tea sphere approaches the larger sphere, your table and chairs begin to slide along the floor and onto the interface, leaving you sitting on the outer moving walkway of the crystal sphere, orbiting slowly around the new planetoid.

* Alexa stubs out her cigarette.

<HollyhockGod> The noise and lightning cease, and out of a suddenly opening walkway appears Selim Ahroun, looking as limpid as ever.

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, hullo, E'jah," he says placidly. "Guests for tea? Is there jam?"

<RyanSherbrig> (What was Selim's estate again?)

<HollyhockGod> Growth.

<Ebba> (so we have him to blame for all those emails? :D)

<HollyhockGod> I suppose that if he were more generous, those emails wouldn't be necessary…. so I guess so.

* RyanSherbrig nods in greeting. "Selim."

<Alexa> "Hi, Selim. I'm Alexa."

* Ebba bows

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, Ryan. Good to see you again, and Fiona as well. And you must be the Lady Fire. And Dame Ebba; E'jah won't stop going on about y-"

<HollyhockGod> He stops, looking uncomfortable, as though someone had lit some part of him that you cannot see on fire.

<HollyhockGod> He amends his statement to "It's very nice to see you again."

* Ebba raises eyebrow

* Alexa smirks.

<HollyhockGod> It's impossible for E'jah to look embarassed, because he doesn't have a face.

<HollyhockGod> Now you see the superiority of his condensed form!

<RyanSherbrig> "How goes the universe creation?"

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, very well. I've been trying to see what sort of shinma I can create using a pipe organ."

<RyanSherbrig> "I've always been more of a fan of string instruments, myself."

<Alexa> "What's a shinma?"

<Ebba> (god and/or demon)

<RyanSherbrig> (It's a kind of cheese!)

<HollyhockGod> "A shinma," explains E'jah, "is one of the most basic laws of existence. You might call them patterns governing the formation of patterns. Meta-laws."

<Alexa> "Oh. Would Narsinha and Azbogah have been shinma, then, if they existed?"

<HollyhockGod> "Meta-ymerae," suggests Selim.

<HollyhockGod> "Not in the least!" shouts E'jah, to Selim. "Personifying these concepts in that primitive way is quite inappropriate."

<RyanSherbrig> "It's a topic of some debate."

<HollyhockGod> "And Narsinha and Azbogah were not shinma, merely incredibly huge monsters."

<Alexa> "Mmhmm."

<RyanSherbrig> "Large enough to be used as the raw materials for building the Weirding Wall and Hell, respectively."

<HollyhockGod> "A shinma defines concepts such as "things are not the same as other things," at a lower level than the existence of Estates and Imperators. The influence of the shinma is necessary for Ymerae to meaningfully exist at all."

<HollyhockGod> "For example, the angel Firstborn embodies the concept of Existence within Creation. Everything in Ygg which exists understands their existence through the medium of Firstborn's nature."

<Alexa> "So, like, the possibility of Estates? The meta-Estate of Estates, as it were?"

<HollyhockGod> "Indeed."

<HollyhockGod> "As you know, things exist beyond Creation and outside Firstborn's power."

<Alexa> "I was about to say."

<HollyhockGod> 'The principle that makes this possible is a shinma."

<HollyhockGod> "Nirguna," offers Selim.

<HollyhockGod> "STOP DOING THAT!," roars E'jah.

<HollyhockGod> "There's no such person!"

<Alexa> "Do Creation and Outside share shinma? Do different regions of Outside have different shinma?"

<HollyhockGod> "Well, obviously," says Selim. "As the enabler of existence, obviously Nirguna cannot exist herself."

<Alexa> "If that's the correct plural?"

<Alexa> "Wait, what?"

<RyanSherbrig> "As I said. Some aspects of our understanding of Shinma are somewhat contentious."

<HollyhockGod> E'jah, turning himself forcibly from Selim, says, "It is our belief that Creation is built upon the same shinma that underly the Lands Beyond."

<HollyhockGod> "Hence, an ability to define individual shimna and isolate their influence will let us adjust the properties of entire universes."

<Fiona> (I should probably go now. laters people).

<HollyhockGod> "However, I cannot agree with my colleague's insistence on personifying these… entities, however traditional it may be."

<HollyhockGod> All right, we've probably done enough for one night.

* You are now known as RandBrittain

<Alexa> (Seeya!)

* Fiona has quit (Disintegrated: Fiona)

<RandBrittain> For more information on shinma, check Exalted: the Fair Folk.

* RyanSherbrig is now known as Benhimself

<Alexa> Yeah, I'm familiar with them from there, but a) Alexa isn't, and b) I wanted to explore how/whether they're different here.

* Alexa is now known as Uqbarian

<Ebba> (of course, the tendency to anthropomorphize things (or things to anthropomorphizse themselves) may be one of the meta rules of creations…)

<Uqbarian> Though I also apologise if the cosmological digressions bore everyone else.

<Benhimself> Secondborn is the angel of anthropomorphic personification.

<RandBrittain> Well, I like cosmological digressions.

<Uqbarian> :)

<RandBrittain> And E'jah likes to talk about his work to people who understand.

<Uqbarian> How about to people who don't understand but nod and smile politely?

<Benhimself> There were a few times Ryan was tempted to just go ahead and directly segue into "So, how feasible is this little project we've had". But every other time he's just gone and gotten to the point, the rest of his Familia seems to get mad at him.

<RandBrittain> He mentioned shinma to a Cammoran once, and they were like "Is there a shinma of orgasms? Can you adjust that a bit on the next brothel?"

<Uqbarian> You don't want to turn that dial too high, or you get an Ananda situation.

<Benhimself> The problem is that that even assuming there's a dial like that is headache inducing to experts.

<Benhimself> It's like a physicist watching Superman turn back time by reversing the rotation of the earth.

<Uqbarian> OOC, I think one of us should mention Ebba's worldlet and talk about regrowing a world from it. Then also mention the Antihero Stone idea.

<Ebba> yes, but wasn't sure where alexa was going

<Ebba> so didn't want to derail things

<Uqbarian> I got distracted, I'm afraid.

<Ebba> since she really seemed to want to get there, wherever it was

<Uqbarian> No actual destination in mind!

<Uqbarian> Sorry.

* Ebba is now known as crusher_bob

<Uqbarian> Who's the third member of the Worldshapers?

<crusher_bob> obviously a sample of 'walk like you know what you are doing and people will start to follow you shinma…"

<Uqbarian> And do we know whether they're all similarly enthusiastic about this project, or is it mainly E'jah's deal?

<Benhimself> Glorianna, Song.

<Uqbarian> Oh, right. Like the GWB pic.

<RandBrittain> Gloria van Dyne.

<Benhimself> Off to work. Later, all.

<crusher_bob> byeybe

<Uqbarian> Seeya!

* RandBrittain waves

<Uqbarian> So, the enthusiasm thing?

<crusher_bob> hmm?

<RandBrittain> Well, they all seemed interested at the party.

* Benhimself has quit (Disintegrated: )

<Uqbarian> Righto.

<Uqbarian> I was thinking something like maybe Selim could take some of us on a tour of the facility while the others talk to E'jah about our plans.

<Uqbarian> Alexa's idea is that this makes our plans look less official.

<RandBrittain> Hm, that might be so.

<Uqbarian> Just a thought. Anyway, I'll head off for lunch.

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