The Heat of Battle

“Next in our study of how climatic and ecological events affect military and logistic strategy, we will be studying the Cold War.

“Taking place on Qern (Aris Delphi), in the years 7199-7223, the Cold War was directly caused by such an event. Following the asteroid impact of 7197, the ensuing particle winter caused catastrophic temperature drops with associated crop loss, glaciation, power grid failures, thermal infrastructure inadequacy, and so forth all across Qern’s southern hemisphere.

“In response to this, the southern powers – initially independently, but later united as the Austral Alliance – waged war against first the tropics, and later the more southerly regions of the less-affected northern hemisphere – in an attempt to seize territory that was both warm enough to allow food production and relatively survivable conditions, and which was not in imminent danger of being buried under a mile-high ice sheet.

“At first, the war was inconclusive and poorly prosecuted on both sides, with the shattering of the northern powers’ economy by the impact – immortalized forever in the term Qern cost center – and the increasing failure rate of the southern powers’ equipment as the temperature fell, not to mention the disruption of both sides’ command and logistic chains by the increasingly harsh weather.

“However, with the ingenuity of desperation, the southern powers in particular devised a range of cold-adapted military technologies, including snowdrills, ice-boats, bergpiers, and more, as well as crude but serviceable adaptations to existing technologies compensating for thermal embrittlement, frost- and flood-damaged terrain, and the erosive, corrosive environment of a particle winter. It is these technologies, and the modifications they imposed on logistics and strategy in the latter period of the Cold War, that we shall be examining in these next four lectures…”

– from a lecture series delivered at the Imperial War College

Essential Services

Transdivine Tectonic Computation Array: The supercomputers that manage attitude control and station-keeping of the Cirys swarm, thus ensuring that the orbits of god’s planet-sized organs never intersect and collisions are appropriately averted. While its original and primary node is buried deep in the substructure of the Centropolis of Cal Secalár, secondary elements of the Array are located in multiple hexterranes distributed throughout the body of the swarm.

– A Theoanatomic Gazetteer, 3rd ed.,
Coricál Ailék Board of Applied Geography

Copier Humor

The Rogue State’s Guide To Imperial Diplomacy

diplomatic cruiser: an embassy with guns on it

diplonought: an embassy with continent-cracking guns on it

neutral: a place where you don’t shoot at the embassy, and it doesn’t shoot back

ally: a place where the upgunned embassy is probably on your side

client-state: a place where the upgunned embassy is definitely on your side

satrapy: a place where they don’t bother putting guns on the embassy

diplomatic immunity: a courtesy awarded by host nations to diplomats in return for the reciprocal courtesy

diplomatic impunity: “I have a dreadnought. Your argument is invalid.”

peace delegation: see diplonought

– printout found in a duplicator, Conclave Drift

Winds of Winter

“Eight million esteyn,” Merith Amézel said, gazing out at the blanket of white dusted across the plaza, hiding the mosaic that, on clear days, reflected the Thunderbird Applied Meteorology logo. “Eight million. That is what your damnfool stunt cost us.”

A cough came from behind him, but he didn’t turn.

“Let’s recap, shall we? You retasked three orbital mirrors and four echelon mirror systems to heat the ocean and put moisture into the air, along with creating shepherding air currents to ensure the moist air traveled along the right path and gained enough altitude to freeze. You redirected upper-atmosphere vectors across half the southern continent to put a cold downdraft in the right place to drop the ground temperature, and then deployed half the local fleet of cloud-seeding drones to ensure it precipitated out as snow directly over Cant Maris. Then used the same systems again to wrench those upset weather patterns mostly back into place. Do I have that right?”

“I also,” a soft voice said, “had the area swept with laser brooms to make sure we had a clear, bright sky today.”

“And you had the area laser-swept.” He turned, at last, and fixed the dar-e’sevdra standing before his desk with a gimlet eye. “At a total cost of eight million, one hundred and forty-two thousand, nine-hundred eighty-five esteyn, and requiring your co-workers to spend something like the next two months working overtime to get the ripples damped. Would you care to justify this series of actions?”

The feathers on his errant Regional Weather Supervisor’s wings ruffled, but she stood firm, and looked him in the eye. Merith approved.

“No justification. I take full responsibility for my actions, and -“

“No, Regional Weather Supervisor Leiril, I’m not looking for a formality to put on your contract termination. It’s your motives that I want to know.”

“The new colonists.”

“The ones who came in from Tessil on Wind-Carried Leaf?

“I had a few drinks with a group of them a couple of weeks ago, and they were talking about never seeing snow at Winterlights on Tessil, and how disappointed they were that they still wouldn’t, Cant Maris being in the southern hemisphere, so I thought maybe….”

“…you could give that to them?”

“Yes.”

Merith’s lips quirked. “A rather better reason than most. Very well. Consider yourself relieved of duty for the next two weeks, and we will be exercising clause 4/v/i of your contract with respect to a penalty equivalent to two months’ average consideration. Dismissed.” He swiveled back around to face the window, and the blanket of snow beyond.

What!? I, uh, mean – what? The cost…”

“Did you think you were the only one?” he said, noting approvingly a group in the distance negotiating the terms of a snowball-deléhain. “We’ve given ourselves near-godlike command of the forces of nature, and temptation is what it is. Everyone who’s ever made it to Senior Regional Supervisor has a wild-weather incident on their record, so we budget for them. One wild-weather incident,” he added warningly. “But we can hardly be more severe to you than we all have been to ourselves.”

“Yes, sir. Thank you.” She paused for a moment. “If I may ask – what was yours?”

“Extreme skywriting.” Merith grinned at her over his shoulder. “Look it up in the records, if you like. Now leave an old man to watch his clients play.”

Worldbuilding: Theory of Mind

So, let’s talk about Theory of Mind.

Well, okay, not that theory of mind. The theory of how minds work in the ‘verse, and so the theory behind most sophotechnology, since this topic has come up on the Discord recently.

(Much of the below was heavily inspired by Greg Bear’s Queen of Angels, in my opinion one of the best pieces of SF exploring psychology and cognition. I heartily recommend it.)

The first division sophotechnologists make in analyzing mind-states is logos and psyche, or to give them their longer names, personality organization algorithm and incrementing memory string.

The logos has been discussed before. It is, for sophont minds, where the magic happens. Volition, paracausality, nondeterminism, all that good stuff. It’s also a seed crystal for mind. Drop a logos into a free energy medium where quantum computation is possible, and it’ll start spinning out mind around itself, like a seed crystal in a supersaturated solution. This is how digisapiences are made, for example.

It is also, unfortunately, mostly a black box, although some studies and classifications of it have been made from the outside. (Imagine how pleased that makes the AI wakeners.) Further study is ongoing, but poses both extreme technical and equally extreme ethical problems.

The psyche is everything else. So what is everything else?

(Actually, let’s get one special case out of the way first. That special case is the consciousness loop, a specialized agent which organizes your narrative thread of consciousness. This is the agent which is responsible for autosentience – self-awareness – to whatever degree you have it, that endless stream of status updates on your thoughts that runs through your head.

Note: it’s not in charge of anything. It’s just a glorified journal file that brings order to chaos. This is why those experiments seem to show that you acted before you thought of acting; the decision was made elsewhere in the psyche. What you think is you thinking of something is actually just that thought being written to the log…

…humans do not have very good autoscience. For one thing, just think of the sheer amount of cognitive activity going on that you remain completely unaware of.

And for that matter, autoscience is not a strictly necessary part of minds at all! Self-awareness is not a prerequisite of even quite advanced cognition, although it is needed for sophoncy.)

The psyche is essentially a Minskian society of mind, a frothing sea of agents – mental subroutines – running independently and, for the most part, in parallel. Individual agents are no more than scraps of mental code – major mental structures come from their agglomeration into larger routines of various types: talents, memes, memories, subpersonalities, and so forth. The interaction of all of these, the chorus, produces the mind as we know it.

The most basic agents arise from evolution and brain structure. Some remain that simple all the way through: the agent responsible for, say, heartbeat doesn’t need much more to perform its function. Others are spun out by the logos – simple builders, shapers, generators. Yet more are generated by other agents or higher structures, the mind shaping itself according to archetype and input from memory and sensorium.

But the key to understanding the mind is the higher structures. These include:

Primary personality: The primary personality isn’t, if we’re being strictly technical, very different from a subpersonality in structure; its distinction is that it has emerged during individuation as the dominant voice in the chorus. It is the structure most readily identifiable with the conscious self, but that’s at best only a limited part of the picture – it spends much of its time enmeshed with subpersonalities, talents, and agents all of which color it a great deal, and of course also with the logos.

Subpersonality: Among the largest of structures, each reflecting a major personality aspect. (You can find a whole bunch of Jungian archetypes here.) Probably the best known are the animus/anima/animin, the gender-modeling routines, but there are also things like occupations (your “on-the-job” personality), parental models, your with-this-group-of-close-friends personality, etc., etc. They aren’t independent; they mesh with and color the primary personality when brought forward.

(If one were to devise a theory to explain plurality/dissociative identity disorder in this paradigm it would be subpersonalities which had grown to the point of overshadowing the primary, or become independent primaries; they may also have accompanying sets of talents which are exclusively or mostly-exclusively invoked by them, which adds to the complexity when it comes to determining legal divergence of identity.

This is also something that can be and is done intentionally to produce useful mental subfunctions, similar to Aristoi’s daimones.)

Talents: Talents are smaller complexes of agents encapsulating particular skills, or parts of a skill, called forth when they are required. “Skill” for these purposes includes instincts, emotions, and so on and so forth. “Anger” is a talent – or set of talents – every bit as much as, say, “Tying a Tie” or “Tightrope Walking”, or “Administering Kubernetes Clusters”. They are not necessarily passive; the “situational awareness” talent-cluster is entirely capable of making itself known when other cognitive activity triggers it, for an obvious example.

Memes and memories are both actually subclasses of talents, in this sense: a meme is simply a talent encapsulating an idea, much as a memory is simply a talent encapsulating a remembered concept, in each case along with its various associative linkages. These are mostly passive until something happens to poke their associative linkages: things like PTSD are what happens when they aren’t passive enough and force themselves on the primary personality.

The talent class also includes mental models, mini-eidolon talents formed in the image of other minds for the purpose of predictive empathy.

Implications for Identity

Identity is… messy. Even identity of primary personality doesn’t constitute identity of identity, since there is so much else intermeshed with it that goes to make up the mind. Especially since, being a chorus, virtually all of the elements that go to make up a mind can be shared, even without going to the level of a conflux or a Fusion.

Thus, to a considerable degree, identity is also arbitrary.

For legal purposes, identity is defined by delta-divergence of the mind-state entire, even those parts that may be shared.

For practical purposes, individuality is defined by legal identity plus substrate separation. Hence, immediately after Bob forks, Bob is now a single identity, but two individuals.

Implications for Sophotechnology

This nature of the mind also enables other sophotechnologies. Situational subpersonalities and parapersonalities, for example, work by injecting a full subpersonality into the chorus. Skillware and microskillware operate by injecting talent-level routines, as does mnemonesis by injecting memory-formatted talents. Other technologies, like memory redaction, work by isolating and removing specific talents and patching the associative linkages; other thought-viruses add to these effects by temporarily suppressing some subpersonalities or talents and promoting others, while full psychedesign or meme rehab effects this permanently.

(This is a delicate art due to the complexity of the chorus and its internal balances, but it’s basically what therapy – making use of the mind’s self-editing capacity – and other psychiatric treatment is doing now, indirectly, rather than by direct mental surgery.)

Even such interface technologies as cathexis, synnoesis and vastening work, ultimately, by integrating outside cognition into the chorus, as do collective-consciousness systems like confluxes, Fusions, and the Transcendent soul-shard. (Although with that last we then get into the complexities of soul hierarchies, which is beyond the topic of this post.)

Macrophage

“A number of high-biotech polities have taken the immune system as a model for their military forces. What seems an exotic, even amusing quirk when looked at from the point of view of rank titles and equipment designations is much less amusing when you’re drowning in sticky goo, encapsulated, and actively being digested.”

– A Virus Speaks: A Memoir of the Myriasoma War

Anywhere, Anytime, Anything

INTRODUCING

from Creation Mechanics, ICC

THE FIRST

free-space precision fused material deposition 3D printer

THE CREO 144

The Creo 144 does not open new frontiers in the field of 3D printing. That’s because the Creo 144 has no frontiers. Its unique combination of 3D printing and autonomous drone technology makes an end of volume limitations.

Replacing the conventional framework of an enclosed 3D printer with independently mobile print heads, using helium for neutral buoyancy and ducted fans to move with minimal effect on the print area – combining filament magazines, extruders, and hot ends – the Creo 144 is the first 3D printer able to print objects of arbitrary size along every axis, on any surface1.

Creo 144 Features:

  • Infinite Print Size: given a suitable surface, there is no limit to the size of object that a Creo 144 can print.
  • Infinite Variety: while the Creo 144 ships with four filament-deposition drones, the Creo control unit can handle up to 144 drones, including alternative modalities such as paste extruders, laser etchers and cutters, and so forth.
  • Accuracy: In still conditions, the Creo drones maintain the 0.03 fil accuracy expected of modern 3D printers, and retain greater than 0.12 fil accuracy at wind speeds below 6 knots.

For more information, see our ‘weave site:

e.pl.creation-mechanics:htp

PREORDERS OPEN NOW
RELEASES SPRING 1812


Note: print bed may be required for certain materials. See the Creo-B series of modular print beds which can be combined to form a single bed of any size.

A Little Too Smart

The Esmérel secretary is a breed of long, low-set bandal with short legs and a deep chest, possessed of great speed, stamina, and grace, as well as a remarkable intelligence and ability to memorize and perform complex tasks without distraction. Secretaries nominally weigh around 30 pounds, and come in a variety of coat colors, most notably the blue-merle pattern found in the original Imperial Service lineages.

Historically, the Esmérel secretary was bred out of a number of southern Selenarian herding lineages to serve as aides in the Selenarian imperial bureaucracy, running messages and performing other minor office tasks. (Indeed, many older Service buildings still contain the special doors and passages built for these bandal on their rounds.) In the modern era, they are found in many roles as general assistants and work-partners in the office and in the home, as well as companions and personal helpers.

– Know Your Bandal: A Short Guide to Floofy Cladistics

Esmérel dupe: Found primarily in older paper records, an “Esmérel dupe” is a duplicate index entry dating to the early years of the use of Esmérel secretary bandal in the Imperial Service; specifically, duplicate index entries created by those ingenious devils who discovered that extra ear scritches and belly rubs could be earned by delivering the same document to the archives twice.

– Dictionary of Imperial Service Jargon, 36th ed.

Eldraeic Words of the Freedom

A quick conlang note inspired by a conversation I was having elsewhere, in which my interlocutor was vexed by people talking as if lack of choice due to government (i.e., coercive constraint) was a reduction in freedom, whereas lack of choice due to poverty, illness, disability, etc. was not.

The relevant part here is my claim (which included mention of my conlang) that we can once again blame it on English, that lazy and imprecise language, for lumping two distinct concepts into one single word and hoping no-one is rude enough to point it out, resultant confusion be damned.

The Conclave of Linguistics and Ontology, you see, has higher standards of precision. The Eldraeic word usually glossed as liberty, or freedom, is jírileth, which literally means “a life of choices”, and insofar as it’s talking about freedom from constraint, it includes the latter natural constraints and much more, right up to making amendments to natural laws, punching out the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and installing a few doors in infinity. “A prison the size of the universe is yet a prison! I will not be bound!”

(Its excruciatingly technical definition, the one used in the ethical calculus, would be “optimization of the phase-space of individual volition”, or slightly less jargonically, “affording each the greatest scope of will”).

This is the one which they put on the Imperial motto, because if there’s one thing the Empire’s citizen-shareholders aren’t afraid of, it’s tackling really big ideas.

The former, on the other hand, is mere ulqóras, a shortened form of ulquor kóras, literally meaning “absence of coercive power”, and while much more fundamental to ethics, it’s also a much, much smaller concept. And the problems attached to it are far, far simpler to solve — if one can manage to refrain from choice-theft.

Laager

A drink dating back to the tank battles of the Southron War, hence the pun, and kept alive by veterans who miss its sharp burn and acute abdominal pains, laager is not beer, but rather a distilled spirit. Specifically, while it can be – and has been – distilled from any number of fermented grains or tubers, it gains most of its character from the method of production – namely, taking advantage of the curious fact that a complete fermentation and distillation system could be crammed into the engine compartment of a TT-19 Werewolf tank, constructed almost entirely from field-available spares, without significantly impairing the performance of the engine.

Color: Clear, with occasional variations towards translucent gray-blue.

Flavor: Raw, bitter, brutally strong alcohol, with a hint of motor oil and cordite.

Recommended: For those with excellent health coverage, and no sense of taste or smell. Alternatively, it serves well to clean engine parts, strip paint, and fuel small stoves. Has been known to spontaneously combust in rich atmospheres.

By the numbers, less than three in twelve habitual drinkers go blind, most not permanently.

– Bottles of the Empire, 2448 ed.

Contracervisial

SECURE STORAGE CATALOG RECORD 23-0-119674
FACILITY 23 / LEVEL E / CELL 1138 / NICHE 4-11
BLACK UNCLASS
HAZARD RATING: NEGLIGIBLE

DESIGNATION: The Antibeer

HANDLING PROCEDURES: No physical (baryonic matter) contact beyond border of magnetic bottle. Ensure radiation shielding remains in place except when work with this item is in progress to prevent scintillation effects. Maintain electrical power supply to containment at all times; in event of power failure exceeding two (2) hours in length, execute special disposal protocol CT-14. Not for cismaterial consumption.

DESCRIPTION: A synthetic fermented drink, the Antibeer is the product of a somewhat ill-advised wager made during an afterparty following the sixth day of the 147th Conference on Particle Physics Applications. After a heated and liquor-enhanced argument over the merits of Academician Perna Medanis-ith-Medanis’s proposed method for the production of stable higher-order anti-atoms and their orderly combination into anti-molecules, a challenge was offered and accepted, and the participants in the aforementioned argument procured the use of the host institution’s particle physics laboratories.

The end result of this was a small quantity (approximately 125 ml) of liquid antimatter composed primarily of antiwater and antiethanol, packaged in a modified commercial magnetic bottle with a handwritten label attached, designating it “The Antibeer”.

The Antibeer itself was voluntarily surrendered for secure containment, on the proviso that it be returned to its developers for testing when and if, in the future, an antidrinker should exist capable of consuming it.

Conspiracy Theory

“This is SERIOUS. They’re building GIANT hexterranes that they can flatten out ENTIRE PLANETARY CRUSTS onto! They’re going to use them to pack all their WORLDS into that fancy Cirys sphere of theirs and go MARAUDING around the galaxy – or maybe the universe, or even beyond the universe with enough reality engines – like a cosmic pinball of SMUGNESS and DOOM, sucking SUNS of LIFE to live FOREVER!”

– seen on the
Important Information (Please Reproduce and Disseminate) memeweave

“What the egg-sucking fuck is this guy smoking, and please stop him.”

– seen on the
Important Disinformation (Please Parody and Reeducate) memeweave

Here Is There

This is another post which has fallen through a wormhole from the future, since the device in question won’t be invented until well into the 9th millennium.

But since they’re going to appear before too long in Timeo Eldraos et Dona Ferentes, it is probably best that they be mentioned here first.

What is important to understand where the Claves-Catala translocator is – or to give it its more common name, translocation rings are – concerned is that they do not utilize any of the classically theorized methods of teleportation. (The Indeterminacy Barrier and its corollary, the uncloneability lemma, prevent matter-information conversion with sufficient fidelity for accurate reproduction in a manner not amenable to bypass by subquantum operators, and handling the energies of significant volumes makes the use of mass-energy conversion impractical.) Nor do they make use of wormhole technology, fixed or dynamic, whose necessary mass and relationship with the metric stress tensor is inconvenient for neighborhood deployment.

Rather, translocation rings make use of matter editation techniques to perform an interlocked exchange on the mass-energy within two volumes; an exchange which does not violate the uncloneability lemma, since while the quantum states of the volumes are exchanged, neither becomes known or determinate in the process.

From this principle of operation, many of the limitations and properties of translocation rings proceed. Since the core of their functionality is an interlocked exchange at the ontic level, it follows that there can be no unidirectional translocation; that each translocation operation necessarily involves the bidirectional exchange of identical hyper⁶spheres. Energy and momentum are conserved, but for the purposes of calculating the necessary compensation and buffering that must be provided by the ring-sets, the hyper⁶spheres may be treated as ontomathematical points.

(Obviously, the necessity of bidirectional exchange implies that each set of translocation rings is, of that necessity, a transceiver; and thus those most fantastic notions of translocation without equipment at one or both ends of the operation can safely be left in the reams of the pulps, as can any concern over the possibility of interpenetration; at no point and in no conceivable failure mode can the hyper⁶spheres collapse into a samespace.)

Likewise, there is no intrinsic limitation on translocation range, save for the required energetic compensation and the necessity that the ring-sets involved be precisely synchronized in all respects, which necessitates communication, and thus range becomes primarily a matter of the allowable communications delay before synchronization fails. It is this necessity for communication that largely imposes the Luminal Limit upon translocation de facto. Nor can there be any alteration of the mass-energy in transit, since indeterminate states cannot be edited, nor do they exist, in any technical sense, during the tesseral moment of transition.

Ambient pressure, temperature, et. al., are not compensated for by the system, and in most cases this simply leads to the characteristic ‘sigh’ of translocation, as the higher or lower air pressure of the translocated volume evens itself out with an outbreeze or inbreeze, respectively. (Indeed, nor is atmospheric, etc., chemistry, which can lead to the amusing sight of, for example, a perfect cylinder of water flashing briefly into existence along with a diver before collapsing under its own weight and flowing away, while at the other end of the process a similar bubble of air undergoes the reverse to the surprise of the fish.) In large translocation grids, wayshrines – the traditional name for the buildings containing public translocation rings – whose environment differs significantly from the local standard are usually enclosed and environmentally sealed, to avoid inconvenience and unpleasant incidents.

All this, of course, is of little relevance to the typical user of translocation rings, whether independent pairs or part of the translocation grid, who need merely stand within the volume defined by the ring-set and activate it – with, in the latter case, the minor additional task of selecting a destination set in advance.

– Theory and Praxis of Translocation,
Riëdal Claves-ith-Claves & Jancis Catala-ith-Catala,
Practical Insight Publishing (8124)

The Seal of Quality

Thunimidár,

I have completed the investigation of the quality control incident of last month with regard to various varietals of our pleasure fruit on sale in the Chonsey Provinces.

It would appear that one of the local suppliers chosen to produce these varietals took it upon themselves (in direct defiance of our Better Product mandate) to dope the pleasure fruit produced with anticompetitive sequesterands targeted at the hedonic products of competing organizations. This led to various customers becoming unable to consume said products, in many cases without suffering severe side effects.

These customers have been informed of the reason for these events, and compensated accordingly for past harms done. Discounted access to our products has also been offered in the interests of goodwill.

Internally, OP1 in this constellation was deemed to be guilty of only minor negligence, and has been informed of a cut in his percentages. A formal reprimand has been placed in his file.

As per standard procedure for handling supply of known-contaminated goods, our contract, and the supplier, have been terminated.

Awaiting further instructions,

SOP Bluesteel

– archived from the Chonsey Provinces Eldinimieuthunimis darknet

Wakey, Wakey

navigational awareness system: The most dangerous part of space flight, interface vehicles excepted, is close-orbit maneuvering, or rendezvous, in which one craft must maneuver near to, or even to touch, another safely. Since neither starships nor habitats are small, it only takes a minor accident to involve a lot of momentum. For this reason, it is at these times that the soph conning a space vehicle, be they sailing master or pilot, must be most attentive.

The navigational awareness system is an adaptation of older technologies to the space environment, which while not mandated by the Imperial Navigation Act, is often required by celestime insurers. Essentially, when the equipped vessel is in close proximity to another craft or station and operating under manual control, it periodically and randomly prompts the soph at the conn with a high or low chime, to which they must respond promptly by left-depressing or right-depressing an acknowledgement pedal appropriately. (Some systems attempted to monitor the attention state of the helmsman directly using neural sensors, but this technique had the disadvantage of being unable to distinguish between concentration on the conn, and concentration on this month’s issue of Xenophilia Unveiled.)

Failure to do so causes automatic safety systems tied into the NAS to disable the conn controls, to bring the craft (using cold-gas thrusters or other low-power drive systems) to rest with respect to the local reference body in such a manner as to avoid possibly causing a collision, and to pip the transponder to indicate that the craft is not under command. These measures cannot be reverted without removing the current helm key and inserting it, or another, anew. This ensures that an inattentive helmsman, or one who suffers a medical emergency during such maneuvers, should not be able to steer their craft unknowingly into danger.

– A Star Traveler’s Dictionary

As She Is Spoke

Some more words and phrases, since I’m feeling linguistic this morning:

esélmór: remembrance; memory-token (from esél “remember” + mórés “token, representation”); an object kept to stimulate the memory.

ethé: soft, yielding, comfortable

feäl qalasír: necessity (internal; an irrefusable demand of the soul); from feäl – abstraction operator – + qalasír “driving energies of the individual”.

galráësél: to recall with the body, as in trained reflexes or physical skills (from galrás “flesh” and esél “remember”)

galshín: to carve (cut meat), a meat-carving knife

galshíndar: one who uses a meat-carving knife; butcher

hatheän: ephemeral, brief (from hath “time” + eän “flicker (of flame)”).

húëll: animal (originally, anything which is living and moves by its own will)

kalat: plant, sessile lifeform (originally, anything which is living and does not move itself)

kithémór: heart-token (from kithel “to feel, to emote” + mórés “token, representation”); an object kept to express its owner’s passions.

layés: longing, yearning, to long /yearn for

misan: a day-night cycle; specifically, one calendar “day” composed of an arísú “day” and a múrna “night”, although not necessarily in that order. See also -mis, suffix for day names.

(Traditionally, the cycle was accounted from dawn to following dawn in the Old Empires region, which became the basis of the Harmonious Calendar; however, when contact with the Underside was made, the cycle there was accounted from dusk to following dusk, thus preserving identity of date, i.e., the 9th day of the month would consist of the same hours on both Upperside and Underside, save with the day and night reversed to night and day.)

mithseir: mathematician (from mithá “number(s)” + idaseir “seer, scryer”).

nistrazik: ore (from nistraöth “metal” + azik “rock”)

shín: to cut, a cutter (including knives and all other objects which cut)

“súnavár an-arídamaen”: “brightening sunsets” (from súnar “bright” + arídan “sun” and maen “to fall, one which falls”); a euphemism for “dead”, referring to cremation and the scattering of ashes into the wind.

“traäman cadair”: the Dragon Throne (from aman “dragon” + cadair “throne”).

“traülestxí ithal”: mathom, purposeless object (potentially with function, but without purpose); from estxí “function”, diminutive form of estxíjir “wyrd/destiny/dharma” + ithal “object”.

velcál: bread; technically any product made from a dough of ground grains (desh). Seen often in the compounds el velcál ap aesaer (bread and salt) and el velcál ap galrás (bread and meat; a common type of sandwich).

velmahav: baker, to bake (from velcál “bread” + mahav “make”)

Steenkin’ Badges

One of the better known traditions in the Legions is the collection of fort badges. When you successfully pass training at one of the Legions’ many specialized facilities, you are awarded a small ceramic badge to display with that fort’s crest. Officially, this is so that legionaries with particular skill-sets under their belts are readily identifiable; unofficially, it lets veterans of particular courses make those who haven’t attended them pay for the next round of drinks.

The one everyone’s familiar with, of course, is the falcon-over-anvil badge of Fort Petrae, where every new legionary-apprentice goes for basic training.

Stay in and get assigned to interesting jobs, and there are plenty more to collect. Fort Snowbound, for ice moon, high-radiation and dark-ocean training. Fort Cascade, for survival and deep-field operations. Fort Inferno, for high-pressure, toxic-environment, and volcanic-world training. Fort Labyrinth, a blacked-out maze in a barren rock where you learn stealth, sniping, breaking stealth, and not being sniped. Fort Efreet, for those chosen few who might need to fight inside a sun.

And perhaps most memorable, there’s Fort Surreal, where the challenge is a simple combined obstacle, live-fire, and social-combat course, just like you were run through back at Fort Petrae.

It’s just that at Fort Petrae, they don’t shoot you up with the most gods-cursed witch’s brew of narcotics, stimulants, and hallucinogens they can devise first.

– The Emperor’s Little Finger: A Double Dodectave of Special Ops

Eldraeic Word of the Day: cagshálvéth

cagshálvéth: (lit. “sewer-food”; from cagshálla “sewer” + evéth “food”; the former itself from cagál “shit” + shálla “pipe”) a derogatory term applied to yeast-based and (especially) mycogenic foodstuffs, typically by outworld dirtsiders who haven’t figured out yet that a larger circle of life doesn’t mean that they aren’t eating as much shit as they’re talking.

(Actually a much more common word in Trade than regular Eldraeic.)

Safety First

The difficult part of constructing extremely tall buildings and other large structures is not, despite initial appearances, the use of dynamic compressive members, electromagnetic coupling, paragravitation, and other such tricks to make the entire structure hang together. That part is child’s play.

The difficult part is arranging that, should all your clever dynamic trickery fail, along with its auxiliaries and backups, the building will come apart in a safe manner that both doesn’t result in any casualties, and preferably permits the building to be easily reassembled afterwards.

And if you aren’t clear on why this is considered difficult, consider well the design issues of a long-term-stable, instant-use-no-fail, one-shot rocket motor capable of pushing a twelve-storey slice from the stratosphere into a stable recovery orbit, while being safe to use around all the other building segments doing the same thing.

– Cessír Claves-ith-Estenv,
Octarthius Professor of Megastructural Engineering