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Abyssal Compendium

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  • Abyssal Compendium

    So Intruders: Encounters with the Abyss is an amazing book, and combined with a recent thread trying to understand the nature of Scelesti and Abyssal encounters, it occurred to me that in the same vein as the Creative Thaumaturgy thread, it might be cool to have a thread compiling various fan-made encounters, creatures, locations, and npcs of the Abyss.

    I'll start with my own.

    The 61st Second
    The incursion known as the 61st second manifests as an extra "tick" on an affected clock that sounds after the 60th second of the last minute and the 1st second of the next. Despite this apparent added time, affected clocks and time-keeping devices remain synched with the rest of the world and do not, as might be expected, gradually deviate from standard time. While relatively harmless in a mechanical clock, this effect can produce profoundly disturbing results in the programming of computers and digital devices - from inconspicuous lag to program-rending bugs and crashes. Affected computers have been known incursion sites for abyssal programs of other kinds.
    More worrying still, once the number of affected devices in a given area reaches a certain critical mass, it begins to affect the local area in strange and often deadly ways. Long-term exposure to these areas has shown that even living organisms can be affected, disturbing biological cycles and even affecting isotopic decay if a large enough incursion is left to fester for long enough.

    How it Spreads: Physical contact between an affected time-keeping device and an unaffected one spreads the infection immediately, as does extended proximity to an affected device, even without physical contact. Fortunately the 61st second does not seem able to travel over distant lines of communication, but closely networked routers can quickly spread the incursion.

  • #2
    That's pretty great. It'd be interesting if Magi have known about it for centuries but have done nothing due to it being largely irrelevant. But now exact timing actually matters...

    Physical contact between an affected time-keeping device and an unaffected one spreads the infection immediately,
    I'd leave it to spreading by proximity, physical contagion seems a bit odd.


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    • #3
      There was such a thread on one of the previous forums; should someone recall the link, it would be appreciated.

      In that vein: for ease of reference, and so Arthexis doesn't have to:

      Originally posted by arthexis View Post
      Another way of creating some abyssal beings would be by giving an impossible characteristic or power to something that appears to be simply understood. Or twist the way they work so that it challenges the notion of what it is supposed to do normally/ I will list 10 entities of the top of my head.

      1. An infomercial that is a little weird. The lighting in the studio is not correct, audio has some glitches. People who call to order a product get strange things without even giving their address or paying for it. Maybe one gets a can full of cereal that dissolves your intestines while you eat it, but you just can't stop having.

      2. A garment that slowly replaces the flesh of the user when worn for more than a length of time. However, the user is much lighter or faster while wearing it, and this enhancement continues escalating until the body of the user is completely consumed or twisted beyond recognition.

      3. A pet grey parrot that always says whatever you want to hear (by probably reading your mind). Soon it starts convincing you of that whatever it tells you is what you want to hear. Even if that means eating your children or sending your toes through the mail.

      4. A raincoat that doesn't protect from the rain at all. Instead, drops of rain hit the wearer like bullets made of molten lava.

      5. A bottle of sleeping pills. When a sleeper takes one of them, their souls escape their bodies as a ghostly shell during the night and behaves like a ghost (they have anchors and passions and stuff) and can't wake up until the night is over and their soul comes back. They have vague recollections of what goes on as a nightmare.

      6. A levitating hat that acts like a person. In fact everyone thinks the hat is a person and can talk or interact with them normally. Except they actually don't exist. Sometimes the hat decides it wants to be someone else and goes and tries to kill that person, and as soon as it does, it forgets why it wanted to do that.

      7. A Facebook friend who everyone thinks know who they are, but has never seen in person. They don't do anything "harmful" but they can't be blocked or unfriended. FB tech support doesn't acknowledge this bug and if the more people make theories about that person and interact with it, it begins to gather substance.

      8. A small toy elephant that behaves like a real elephant in everyway, except sometimes, maybe on Firdays, it eats through the walls and leaves behind a weird oily trail. If caught on the act it turns back into a normal toy. Stuff around it sometimes changes color.

      9. A decorative snowglobe that people walk into if they draw some twisty perspective lines on the floor around it and close their eyes as they walk. The inside has a comfy cabin on the top of a snowy mountain by an evergreen forest and a frozen lake. Pretty neat vistas if you don't mind the cold and quiet. Just make sure no one smashes it when you are inside.

      10. A box of crayons that contains one specific color that no one knows what its called. When coloring drawings with it, the drawings become sentient.

      Ineffable Love

      The intrusion is thought to enter somehow as a result of distorted ideas of love, but details are scanty. (One theory is that an Abyssal Nativity became a pop star.) There is evidence that the effect either changes or can be negated in a single action, but the most recent form seems to spread by infected minds performing appropriate music or, strangely, affected individuals choosing to play appropriate music. Appropriate music is anything that present love as a mystery or as something concrete, but unrelated. (e.g. That's Amore and What is Love? both qualify.) Affected individuals lose all capacity to identify and understand love. This doesn't change their ability to find and experience it, but it does make them incapable of correctly identifying it when they do. All they know is that somehow, this relationship or activity is fulfilling. Normally, the effect seems just to be a leaping to a wrong conclusion, but some minds are methodical enough to home in on it, and, should a mind be able to focus enough, the effect brings on hallucinations and distorted memories as needed.

      As a result, many of the affected identify strange things adjacent to love or simply to those that they love as love. They also tend to be very desperate to hang onto this thing they need but do not understand, making them disinclined to give up the source of this crazy thing called love. (or let it go, for that matter)


      Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for copying my intruders. I will now provide a couple more detailed ones. The following entities belongs to one of my favorite non-categories of non-beings: symbols taken out of context.

        A Murder of Crows

        This Abyssal entity sometimes appears as a manifestation or anomaly when Death spells go wrong close to any spot where crows are present. The anomaly version sticks to the area while it fades away, but the manifestation version can move around. The intruder has no physical or twilight shape, instead is manifests by spontaneously murdering any group of crows in the area. The dead crows are tainted by Abyssal energies and will stop decomposing after a few minutes or hours. If no one is looking at a crow killed by this intruder, the crow will continue acting as it was before dying. Only sight causes the Crows to appear dead, so people in the area not looking at them can hear them moving or crowing. Living crows that enter the area where the intruder is still present will almost instantly die. Although highly disquieting, the intruder can be expelled by burying or otherwise disposing of the crow corpses, or if they can be brought back to life by some Master Life spell. Even though the crows can still fly and jump around when unseen, they will tend to keep close to each other. If a Mage attempts to use any sort of shenanigans involving magic to catch them moving (like using Space to see behind his back or Time to see when they moved in the past), the crows will become agitated and attack while watched in their undead state with the sole intention to keep the Mage from watching them.

        Time Is Money

        This very insidious intruder takes the form of 20 dollar bill (or whatever form of fungible currency is preferred where it manifests). Whenever this piece of currency is used to pay for goods or services, the buyers lifetime is shortened by an amount relative to the total cost paid (around 14 hours per 1 dollar, but not exactly, seems to depend on the minimum wage where the currency gets used). Then, the seller's lifetime gets increased by 72% of that amount. What happens to the difference is anyone's guess. Anyone who attempts to destroy or banish the intruder causes it instead to jump to another form of fungible currency within 200 yards as a reflexive action. If no such a container exists, the intruder is gone, but it tears out its value out of the destroyers own lifetime. If the currency is not used to purchase anything within 24 hours of being obtained, it literally begins to burn a hole in its owner's pocket, potentially causing nearby stuff to catch on fire (this doesn't harm the currency, just surrounding objects). If the currency is stored away from a potential financial actor that could use it, it begins sending summons for people with some sort of Greed-related Vice to go and retrieve it. This could potentially be resisted by some, but eventually someone will fall for it and do whatever is necessary to steal it.

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        • #5
          Curved Geomantic space.
          An abyssal anomaly triggered by vulgar Space magic particularly teleportation. Certain routes taken when traveling might be found to take less or more time than they ought to. Walking to the shops might take 10minutes but it takes 20minutes to walk back the same path. The anomaly reacts to Teleportation space magic spreading the phenomenon to other nearby paths or randomly flipping the direction of a path if "teleported over", When routes form cohesive patterns (all pointing towards a certain direction/joining right angles in a perfect square) the dilation effect is intensified progressively depending on the level of "order" attained.

          If the effect becomes severe distortions to the space-time continuum might occur essentially space-time is curving in on itself. dimming and Red-shifting of light and radio transmissions from the city center visible distortion of the speed in which people seem to move down certain roads, Persons might go missing for weeks but for them only moments have passed, others might be gone for half an hour only to return elderly claiming to have been lost for decades.
          In such an enviroment it ultimately may become impossible to reach certain destinations then that area will visibly be consumed by an obvious black holes event horizon and be excised from our reality, teleporting to inaccessible locations in these cases is usually catastrophic and escape exceedingly difficult as space-time has at these locals has encapsulated itself off and stretched itself out into impossible positions.. (see abyssal verge)

          while a single centimeter might be longer than the entire face of the earth we only ever dance forward towards his heart forever receding in the endless night of the tandem spiral

          To neutralize the anomaly you have to intentionally flip certain routes to disorganize them breaking the pattern. once isolated and disorganized the effect will fade slowly following standard paradox dissipation rules assuming no further aggravation to the tapestry occurs.
          Last edited by Pebbles; 10-19-2015, 08:42 AM.

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          • #6
            Arthexis, I like your Intruders. Only I cannot see in this...

            Originally posted by arthexis View Post
            A Murder of Crows

            This Abyssal entity sometimes appears as a manifestation or anomaly when Death spells go wrong close to any spot where crows are present. The anomaly version sticks to the area while it fades away, but the manifestation version can move around. The intruder has no physical or twilight shape, instead is manifests by spontaneously murdering any group of crows in the area. The dead crows are tainted by Abyssal energies and will stop decomposing after a few minutes or hours. If no one is looking at a crow killed by this intruder, the crow will continue acting as it was before dying. Only sight causes the Crows to appear dead, so people in the area not looking at them can hear them moving or crowing. Living crows that enter the area where the intruder is still present will almost instantly die. Although highly disquieting, the intruder can be expelled by burying or otherwise disposing of the crow corpses, or if they can be brought back to life by some Master Life spell. Even though the crows can still fly and jump around when unseen, they will tend to keep close to each other. If a Mage attempts to use any sort of shenanigans involving magic to catch them moving (like using Space to see behind his back or Time to see when they moved in the past), the crows will become agitated and attack while watched in their undead state with the sole intention to keep the Mage from watching them.
            ... how undead crows are dengerous to Fallen World...


            My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
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            • #7
              You don't think that an intruder that kills tons of crows and completely upsets local ecosystems is dangerous?

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              • #8
                The damage needn't be observable to be a serious problem, either, and especially not to Sleepers.


                Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Its possible for it to be self defeating in a bizarre way. Example: in the area where its infection takes hold, every still living crow beyond the range of it malignant influence becomes spontaneously pregnant, laying eggs until for each dead crow, a new one is born in its place. Its a strange kindness from a thing that isn't from our reality.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                    ... how undead crows are dengerous to Fallen World...
                    They aren't. They're dangerous to mages.

                    Keep in mind Awakened are addicted to mystery anyway, and if they grok that the crow bodies are following them, their first instinct is to catch them in the act.

                    Booby, meet trap.

                    (not all Abyssal beings are dangerous to everyone).

                    Spiegelgeist (aka Mirror Man, The Inverted Reflection, Messenger of the Annunaki)

                    There are many reasons Gulmoth cross over into the Fallen World. Hunger is always a big one, while it's never their only motive, unlike a being from the Lower Depths, the desire to absorb and become stronger and bigger is often a catalyst to break through the barrier between the Outer Darkness and the world we know. Some do so because they wish to experience things outside the strange environs of the Abyss. Most do so because that is simply what they do, they instinctively seek to change the unfamiliar world outside their alien home into something they are familiar with.

                    A Spiegelgeist crosses over primarily because it's lonely.

                    A "relative" of the Unwelcome Guest, the Spiegelgeist is an alien symbiote that offers companionship in return for a home in the Fallen World. Such is the same thing for the Mirror Man, in fact; the Gulmoth is drawn to solitude and isolation, the kind of isolation that gradually drives individuals insane. More than that, it's attracted to those humans separated from humans by supernatural abilities; while a long and extreme period of loneliness may attract a Spiegelgeist to Sleepers (not just being stranded in the wilderness for a year, but stranded alone for four years on an island with not even a ball with a face on it to talk to), it far prefers seeking out mages, Sleepwalkers, or even other posthuman supernatural beings (Unchained may or may not count in your games). Once there, it manifests initially as a flicker in the corner of the eye, a feeling of being followed, perhaps even a snippet of the speaker's native language...until the focus gets close to a reflective surface, or something that can be made reflective. The Spiegelgeist's Influences help that.

                    The Mirror Man initially appears as a shape in the mirror it has incarnated itself in, but quickly crawls out of it, no matter how small. Close examination will reveal that the image of the Spiegelgeist is still present within its mirror, and if startled it will briefly react if the entire world was mirrored (trying to stop a surprise attack from the left with a defense meant for the right, for example). In truth, the image within the mirror is the true Messenger, and the being that comes out is the reflection it casts. While it can certainly affect the world, harming the three-dimensional shadow simply irritates the Gulmoth, and breaking the mirror does nothing to the actual entity-it's just a mirror, after all. No, magic or some way of affecting creatures on a different phase of existence (like hurting creatures in Twilight from the material world, although the Spiegelgeist's particular version is likely unique to its own genus of Gulmoth) or Abjurations is required.

                    This manifestation is made in both the Inverted Reflection's and its focus' best interests, as the Spiegelgeist, in its natural environs in the Abyss, is incapable of communicating with other Abyssal entities. Perhaps this is due to its inherent dual nature as a living two dimensional entity and a three-dimensional puppet in a place where duality does not truly exist, but while a Mirror Man can perceive other beings in the Void and gauge their emotional states, nothing it does can truly make it understood by other intruders, or they itself. Thus, all the Messenger can do is watch its fellows and the Fallen World in envy and desperation, attempting to somehow connect with beings it cannot truly live with. Like calls to like, however, and after a summoned Spiegelgeist gets its bearings, it soon figures out the trick of communicating with it focus. From there, the creatures begin to display signs of extreme codependent personality disorder, becoming emotionally reliant on their focus for any degree of validation, even allowing itself to be the recipient of extreme emotional and physical abuse if it makes their focus happy.

                    This would simply be a rather sad example of supernatural weirdness, but nothing the Abyss lets slip into the real world is done without either corruption or laying the groundwork for future intrusion. About a month to a year after its initial manifestation, a Spiegelgeist invariably learns that it has a reflection in the Abyss as well, and this one can communicate with the very worlds that compose the broken cosmos of the Void, the Annunaki. It is a strange communion, one based on symbolism that no mortal mind, no matter how insane, may understand, but the Messenger is not and has never been mortal. In a short time, the Spiegelgeist learns that the Annunaki wish entry into the Fallen World, either for themselves or their children. And they know how it might be done.

                    Since the focus has likely become as dependent on the Inverted Reflection as it is on them, the question is not whether the focus will become the willing conspirator in this, the question is whether or not the Spiegelgeist will ever bring it up. And really, who could blame them when they do? Who would not wish to finally be able to speak to one's peers?


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                    • #11
                      I had a nightmare recently about my arms and legs withering away from touching some very hot stones, like eggs that did not want to be plucked from their nest or jewels too comfortable in a crown to be pried out with a screwdriver. As they withered, the stones I had managed to loose from their places devoured the rotting flesh, and still searing in heat, took their shapes and drilled themselves, like burining coals, into the stumps of my limbs. I woke up to find I had slept on my hands, and the pain of oxygen deprevation was very annoying. But for the first few moments, as I lay awake, I looked at my hands and thought to myself "These are not my hands; these are the stones, and they will have their revenge and devour the rest of me, and replace me utterly, unless I cleave them off again". I ran downstairs to find my sharpest knife..... only for the blood to return to my hands, the pain to stop, and the utter ridiculousness of the whole thing to wash over me.

                      I wonder, could an intruder that 'replaces' a hand or foot, causing phantom limb pain while still being a 'real' hand or foot be possible? Or would the intruder in this story be the dream itself?


                      I used to know things. Forbidden things.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brasstreader View Post
                        I had a nightmare recently about my arms and legs withering away from touching some very hot stones, like eggs that did not want to be plucked from their nest or jewels too comfortable in a crown to be pried out with a screwdriver. As they withered, the stones I had managed to loose from their places devoured the rotting flesh, and still searing in heat, took their shapes and drilled themselves, like burining coals, into the stumps of my limbs. I woke up to find I had slept on my hands, and the pain of oxygen deprevation was very annoying. But for the first few moments, as I lay awake, I looked at my hands and thought to myself "These are not my hands; these are the stones, and they will have their revenge and devour the rest of me, and replace me utterly, unless I cleave them off again". I ran downstairs to find my sharpest knife..... only for the blood to return to my hands, the pain to stop, and the utter ridiculousness of the whole thing to wash over me.

                        I wonder, could an intruder that 'replaces' a hand or foot, causing phantom limb pain while still being a 'real' hand or foot be possible? Or would the intruder in this story be the dream itself?
                        I think there is already an Abyssal legacy like that in summoners, They are a particularly horrible kind of Sclesti They intentionally replace organs and body parts with abyssal incursions giving them strange acmoth-esq abilities the abyssal gains viability in the fallen world through this method. with each new attainment they choose to replace another part of their body. To mage sight these creatures look more like a corrupted mass of abyssal spirits hanging off an awakened soul. To regular eyes you tell something is very not right with that person. twisted spines/quills jutting from the skin with texture like pussy stone/too many fingers.

                        Not impossible that circumstance might involve an involuntary transformation in this manner.
                        Last edited by Pebbles; 10-23-2015, 11:39 AM.

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                        • #13
                          If someone is looking for inspiration not only for Abyssal intruders but for Mage in general, I recommend reading Borges. If you have the opportunity to read him in Spanish, do so, he was truly a master of the language. His short stories are brief and full of mysteries. A few I would like to mention with some Abyssal influence:

                          The Zahir: A story about an object (or many objects) that once you see it, you cannot take your mind off it. Even mentions stuff about the Veil and the symbols from High.

                          The Immortal: About a man who seeks immortality. His quest causes him to be lost in a Pandemonium-like place... or an Abyssal version of it, even includes some sort of Watchtower.

                          Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius: About a mysterious book that Borges finds and starts to redefine the fundamental concepts of reality.

                          Death and the Compass: About how a Mage's (I mean, detective) tendency to over-intellectualize reality can become lethal.

                          The Lottery in Babilon: About how a game of lottery overtakes law, common sense and morality while its origins become enshrouded by Pancryptia.

                          An basically almost everythin Borges wrote is magnificent, and there are other stories that are probably even better than these, but these ones are the ones I most certainly relate to abyssal phenomena.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here's some old ones.

                            The Exit Sign Leads In: This strangely harmless incursion parasitizes a building, redirecting any door with a prominent Exit sign to 'exit' out of any other external door of the building. Regardless of how the original door is passed through, it leads into the building in question.

                            It is currently unknown whether or not the incursion progresses any further than this, since the issue can be treated by simply removing every Exit sign in the building.


                            I think a bunch of Actuals from Nobilis would make excellent Incursions. The Family would be especially disturbing, since their effect on the world is arguably positive (a Family member comes into your life and loves you in a way that both of you need, but in doing so converts you into a member of the Family.)

                            Here are some fan-made examples.


                            I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                            So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Another Color is the New Black

                              The original intrusion occurred hundreds or perhaps thousands of years ago when an abyssal creature (a separate intrusion which has not been identified at this point) was slain and its blood was used as dye to decorate the robes of a ancient warrior (probably the person who killed it in the first place, and according to what is known, possibly a Sleeper rather than a Mage). It is said that a small war fought over the garment until it was destroyed. However, some of its fabric survived and was rediscovered sometime near the industrial age.

                              Intrigued by the color of the garment (which appears to be a very deep shade of black to the naked eye, though it looks slightly translucent through some forms of light), chemists attempted to reproduce it and had some measure of success. It is unknown if the original is still around, but the formula that was derived from it seems to carry a small measure of its power. It is believed that the formula has been secured by the Mysterium or destroyed by the Guardians, but now and then some garment using it pops up.

                              A piece of clothing colored with this dye causes several effects on the wearer and the onlooker. First, the wearer replaces their Vice with Vanity (if using GMC rules, or with Pride if using 1e). The change is subtle and not noticeable at first, but becomes more evident as time goes on. Second, other people want to use the same color in their own clothing. If it is impossible for them to acquire or obtain them, they will begin harboring intense feelings of jealousy towards the wearer. They also cannot stop subconsciously staring at them. For every 15 minutes that an onlooker is in presence of the wearer, the onlooker rolls Resolve+Composure. On a failure, they are compelled to say scathing remarks about the wearer while at the same time praising the garment and their Resolve or Composure is temporarily reduced by one until they act on their Vice.

                              On a dramatic failure, the onlooker is compelled to obtain the garment. Their attempt will be civilized at first, but if they don't obtain what they desire within the next 15 minutes, they will become violent and will try to take it by force. While a person is wearing a garment with this color, they are immune to effects of other similar garments. Destroying the garment completely (burning it or shredding it to very small pieces) ends all the effects, but a successful Resolve+Composure roll is needed to perform the deed consciously. If the roll fails, the character cannot attempt to conciously destroy it for the remainder of the scene.

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