Instruments: Tarot deck, 2d6 or 1d20
You are a researcher who has recently discovered the manuscript and diary of "The Maker" a person who made a new type of magic which revolutionized the world. You take the role of writing the diary as well as the researcher's notes as you unearth the story behind the creation of this magic.
Game Content WarningsThese are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.
Playthrough Content WarningsThese are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.
Some terms that are used throughought the game that are explained in the game setup
Word Count: 10,836/10,836 Played: Dec 15-26, 2020
Diary of Tacit Infor Banal “The Maker”
Research Notes by Abstracted Orto Carved
Roll: 5, Out in About
Card: 3 of Pentacles
I spent all day in my study today running the numbers for my taxes and bills. It’s getting close and I’m running dry. The Court won’t listen to me and I doubt I’ll get many more stipends from them. I know I’m onto something but they just don't care.
I might have to move out of the valley and down south to my parent’s village. I can’t stand the cold… I really can’t go back. I don’t know if I could live with myself if I lived as a sheepherder in the tundra.
There’s also rumors of unrest, the Court is clambering about how dangerous it is everyone's learning audiomancy and how it could bring ruin to everything. I think they are just afraid of their rule being questioned or threatened. They should be. I think about how I will make something that is helpful and wonderful and … something something I don’t know I just want to be useful I guess?
I think the Court would have me tried for treason if they read this. Either that or laugh at me…. I think I’ll just have to cut back on food again this week. No more wine for me I guess.
Roll: 6, Out and About
Card: 9 of Wands
I stripped all the items from my study today. I will have no distractions and nothing touching me but the air and sound itself. I stood alone in the room hoping to feel something new in the world, something that would draw me into a deep passion. I could hear everything in the house. The wind on the window, the mice in the attic, the water dripping from my sink but what drew me in closely was the sound of my clock.
The ticking was almost perfect but not quite. Every minute the 31, 32, 34 ticks were slower and quieter than the others. I could feel the weight of the clock’s own hands slowing it down and moving the clock out of time ever so slightly.
I felt almost as if I were the face of the clock and the sound of the ticks and one with it’s gears. But then the moment vanished and I was alone, naked on the floor of my study looking up at the dust beams.
I need to buy some mouse traps or maybe a cat. I should probably get a curtain for the window too. For some reason the feeling of the sun on my skin makes me feel like I’m being watched. It’s weird and creepy.
Roll: 5, Out and About
Card: Jack of Pentacles
I went to the market today to buy some curtains and I ran into the son of one of the Court members. Their name was Observant Forwith Cautious, the youngest son of Madam Forwith. I think he’s only about three years younger than me, which is surprising considering what an old bag Madam Forwith is.
He had apparently heard of me or something because he knew who I was on sight. I really don’t know how, I’m not that tall…. Anyway he took a real interest in me because he bought me lunch and we talked on and on about audiomancy. He never seemed to get bored either, though he might have just been acting polite; I can never tell with those rich people.
Right, so I did happen to mention that the Court wasn’t going to be paying me much anymore since I hadn’t produced anything new and he, well he wanted to patronize me? I think? I think he’s just trying to stick it to his mother, which, fine by me if I get paid.
Luckily I didn’t tell him about my empty room, which I need to come up with a good name for. He didn’t ask about the curtains at all. He didn’t even ask to see my study or workstation or anything. Now that I think about it he might have been having a joke on me. … I still got a free lunch so I’ll see if he turns up again. It’s not like my address is hidden. He can find me again if he wants.
Roll: 4, Out and About
Card: 9 of Swords
Observant sent me a letter today! I knew he could find me if he wanted. He wanted to meet with me again and set up some kind of arrangement for patronage. I want to be cautious since I don’t know what he’ll ask in return but it could just be regular philanthropy. I really suspect he just wants to spend mommy’s money in a way that will make her angry.
We’re meeting again tomorrow in some small restaurant for lunch. I am excited to see him again…
When we met we just talked business, stipend supplies etc. I want to ask for more but I can’t justify it. I don’t know what kind of equipment I’ll need since I’m still in the very early stages of anything. I told him the truth and he said we could always re-discuss the payments at a later date if I needed more. I want to believe him, he has such a kind and handsome face, but I’m afraid there’s a catch.
I accepted the offer and he bought me lunch again this time. He also said he wanted to see me again so we arranged a meeting once a week. Well I guess I get free food? I .. I don’t mind seeing him again I supposed.
Roll: 2, Castrophic Failure
Card: The Magician
Next two cards only pull from the minor deck
It has been at least two weeks since I have had the strength to write. Ah, so apparently I made a bunch of ""mistakes"" with the quiet room. I’ve since removed it and destroyed that damn clock too.
So last time I went in there I did all of the same things, nothing between me and the sound, not even the anchor of the light from the window. I was one with it, hearing everything, being everything at once. I was the vibration through the air, silent and loud, all motion was mine and I was nothing and everything.
I don’t know how long I was in that room, Observant said it was probably two weeks before I wandered out? Luckily he still wants to associate with me after what happened next. I think I’ve become a quirky pet for him to show off to his rich friends. As long as I still get paid I suppose it doesn’t matter. I wonder if he really does think of me as just an amusement…
Anyway like I said, I had wandered out of the room. I didn’t know any of it, I was still in the Ether, the place of magic and sound, hearing all the vibrations and tickings of all the clocks. I felt the pulse and rhythm of something true, the constant ticking in proper order, not slow like my bastard clock.
The rhythm was like a heartbeat and I knew it was the key to unlock everything. Unfortunately for me, in my state of one-ness with sound and magic, I had wandered into the middle of town square in front of the clock tower, naked, weeping and starving.
I was fortunate enough that people realized I wasn’t in my right mind so I wasn’t arrested or fined or anything but I’ll be the talk of the city for at least two weeks.
I was shaken out of the trance by some gentle peacekeepers and when I came to I was so exhausted I collapsed and had to be taken to a hospital. I could barely move and everything seemed so quiet.
Observant visited me once in the hospital. We talked for awhile and eventually I agreed he’d come to my own home to check up on me since he didn’t want something like this to happen again. He seemed a little angry but was mostly amused. Like I said before, an amusing pet he now has a story about.
I destroyed the quiet room after I got back. I don’t think there’s anything there that can help me. It was euphoric, but not helpful.
Card: King of Wands
Observant has been coming to my home every week. Sometimes we go out and sometimes I show him around the lab. I’ve been experimenting with more physical objects this time instead of emotional states. I think it’s more stable. I haven’t had another incident like the clocktower.
He’s been less and less interested in my work, I can tell. I think it bores him. I catch him looking at me more than my work. He asked me again today about connecting to the Ether and what it was like when I was in my state.
We hadn’t talked about it before but he was insistent. I described to him the best way that I could and he wanted to try it. I told him it wasn’t a good idea since what happened to me but then he said that’s why he wanted to do it.
I don’t understand him. This doesn’t further my research at all but he said he would get me tomorrow and we would do it at his home.
I didn’t believe him but there was a coach outside my house the next day and I was taken to his mansion. One of the servant’s escorted me up to a room that was empty except for O who was wearing a robe.
He took my hand and guided me inside and shut the door behind us. He smiled at me and asked me if I was ready.
I admit I was scared. I reminded him that last time I was completely naked and he removed his robe.
He was beautiful. He placed a hand on my cheek and asked me if I would join him. I could barely hear him over my racing heart but I nodded and took off my own clothes.
We stood in the center of the room; I was behind him and he held his arms out. I guided him through what I did when I connected to the Ether and I could feel his presence beside me. I could hear and feel the pulse of his heart and the warmth of his skin.
We were connected together in the Ether in a way I haven’t been with another person. It was as if we were one person feeling togher, breathing together and being together. We were each other upon and in ourselves, combined and collected for this moment.
I was both myself and us at the same time. I had begun to cry again from the euphoria when he kissed me the first time. He held my face and I could feel myself through his hands. I stroked his hair and breathed through his lungs.
We combined our bodies along with our spirits and made love on the floor of his quiet room. It was more gentle and halcyon than anything in the purely physical world.
We could feel the connection slowly fade while we lay there on the floor. I became just me again and became aware of all the corners of the ceiling and the weight of his head on my chest.
I am scared I will never feel this way again. I am scared this will become mundane to me. I have never experienced such a connection to another person and I wonder if he will discard me once he learns to do this by himself. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think I can see him again.
Card: Ace of Swords
My parents came to visit today. They had heard about the incident with the tower and they wanted to check on me. I told them that I had abandoned that avenu of research and even showed them that the room was no longer a quiet room.
They didn’t believe me and are going to stay with me for a couple days. I don’t have room in my tiny house so they are staying in a nearby hotel.
I wonder how much of the outside world knows about it? I can’t imagine it was that big of an incident, they probably just heard because they keep an eye out for any information about me. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
I don’t think cloistering myself in silence is the way to go. I think I need to spend more time with the outside world. I was outside in the backyard today. It’s more of a little field since I live on the outskirts of town. I can see where the valley ends to the south. It’s covered in a field of snow and is so thick that I can’t see anything beyond it.
I’m thinking more and more about barriers these days, both the physical and the mental and spiritual ones. My mom joined me in the garden and we had a nice cup of tea. She asked me more questions about my research. I feel ashamed that I haven’t come up with any concrete plans or theories. She doesn’t seem disappointed in me, though.
I just wish I knew what else to study… I feel so dull just going over sound and music day after day. I’m scared to do anything more with medicine and my body. I don’t know how true the founding stories of the Valley are, but I think there’s some truth to the story about the Voice Eater.
(The Voice Eater has been found down south. Sometimes he goes to Malhal and it’s rumored he visits The Supplicant, but I don’t know how trustworthy those sources are. I don’t know why the Maker would doubt those stories? I think they didn’t have as much hard evidence as we do now.)
Roll: 5, Out and About
Card: Ace of Pentacles
This is the end. I know it. I’m out of ideas. I can’t think of anything. I can’t concentrate. I can’t eat. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been avoiding Observant Mr Forwith since our encounter in his Quiet Room. He’s still sending me stipends but I don’t know how long it will last. I don’t know what to tell him. He sent me letters and came to see me once but I couldn’t face him.
I think I need to just cancel everything. I don’t know what to do. I think I just need to apply as an assistant to someone else. I can’t do this on my own. I have no ideas--I have no future in this. I can’t make anything and I certainly can’t make anything new.
I see the revolutionaries in the streets every once and awhile, they are protesting and I know that soon the Court will ban all Audiomancy from commoners. If it was Decided that everyone has the ability to learn to use it then everyone should be able to no matter what station in life they are.
I don’t know what to do. I want to help.
Roll: 7, Out and About
Card: 10 of Wands
Nope all of that was a lie, I am a genius and I will revolutionize the world. Sound is a supplement not a core component like I was led to believe. I believed my own process to be the best way since I was the one doing it.
I went out today and saw in the streets the new lights they are installing, the ones made with electricity. I’ve been aware of it for sometime but I haven’t really taken notice. I could almost hear the bulbs singing and crackling as I stood under it.
There has to be a way they are connected. I think electricity is the way to go.. I’ll need to speak with someone who knows more about it.
I know some basics from my classes at the university but I couldn’t make heads or tails of the runes and magics in the base of the lamppost.
I just need to find out what to do with both of them….
Roll: 10, Research Breakthrough
Card: 18, The Moon
I’ve been working with another person, they call themselves a “technomancer”, which is a relatively new term. It came about only within this last year. Her name is Vigorous Atby Ahead and she is about two years younger than me.
I’m surprised that she was willing to talk with me after my incident, but I think most people are sympathetic to what happened at the clock tower. I’m told that I’ve become a warning to new students on over-indulgence in the sound Ether. She did say that she hadn’t heard of anyone else becoming that connected to the Ether before, so maybe that’s something….
Anyway I’m glad that I got to talk to someone else about other disciplines. I told her that I wasn’t familiar at all with any of it and she explained again that it was only added to the college this year so it’s understandable that I wouldn’t know. This made me feel better, especially since she was so ready and willing to explain everything to me.
She talked about how technomancy was about weaving magic into items specifically to generate a purpose. It seemed a bit arbitrary but she explained that audiomancy can weave a song to produce light whereas technomancy will create an object that will create light.
I’m not sure why we would need something like that, it seems far more complicated but she went on to explain that it no longer needs a spellcaster to continue the magic since the object will continue to do it. In the long run things run much longer and they are better at complicated tasks than simple lights.
I wanted to ask her how they got the power in the first place but were out of time for the day and she had to get going.
I’m starting to get confident that this is the correct path. I think if I just knew more about it I could but on to something.
Roll: 7, Out and About
Card: 10 of Cups
Mr Forwith came by today. He was by himself and he invited himself in past me when I opened the door. He seemed angry and I couldn’t look him in the face.
I tried to make excuses that I was busy but he wasn’t having any of it. He sat down on the couch and stared at me for a long time. I tried telling him I hadn’t been feeling well and that I was struggling with research.
This wasn’t what he wanted to talk about but I figured if I kept talking he couldn’t change the subject to that.
I did tell him that I feel close to a breakthrough and I talked on and on about the new technomancers and how I think that they could be useful with audiomancy. I asked him if he wanted to see some of the new things in my study and he declined.
He was silent for a long time and I could feel him looking me up and down before saying very quietly that when he visits next week we will talk about what happened or he will sever our connection.
I couldn’t say anything and he walked out the door. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think I could handle another interaction in his Quiet Room. It was too intense, it was too much of everything. It was the best night in my entire life and I can’t ever do it again.
I don’t know if he will want to continue to patronize me if I won't but I cannot give myself to anyone in that way ever again.
Roll: 2 Catastrophic Failure
Card: 13 Death
Next to cards only pull from the minor deck
I fucked up again. I got too excited about the new lab and all the fancy things Ms Atby told me about the technomancy and all the things I could do with it. I was looking for power sources as she had described.
The only problem is that I forgot that the human body also uses electricity to power itself. I was working on the attachments as a way to control some of the lamp devices with magic directly instead of carving sigils and having them draw through the ether when the damn thing got attached to me.
I mean literally, it fused into my arm and powered itself by my own body. I tried to pull it off but it had, I don’t know melted into my skin? It was part of me now. I don’t know how this keeps happening! No one else seems to have this much problems with their work! Only me! Why?!
(It seems that The Maker’s much more powerful than he realizes and doesn’t fully know how to control the Ether as delicately as he should. If I had to guess it seems like he was just pouring huge amounts of energy into any situation instead of applying a little amount where it counts.)
I haven’t gone to the doctor yet. I can still use my arm fine. I don’t know if they would be able to remove it without doing permanent damage to the arm itself. I… I don’t want to go in and have them force me to have it removed if it means I won’t be able to use it.
I don’t think electricity is the way to go. I.. I think this technomancy is correct. There’s something here but I don’t like how it’s powered by the electricity. This is too dangerous.
Card: Ace of Wands
I looked around in some medical textbooks to see if the light is going to cause any problems, other than just being on at all times. It does seem to get brighter and darker and I think that has to do with the electrical pulse things in the body. It’s the same stuff that tells the heart to beat and such. I notice when my heart rate increases that the light gets brighter too. This will become a nuisance.
Anyway! I have forgone electricity completely and returned to my beloved audiomancy. I’ve been tinkering with other tech in my study, I’m still working with lights since they are the easiest to see if it's working. I’ve covered my own arm so that it’s not a distraction.
I’m working on getting the tech to combine with the sound to see if I can activate it or not using sound. I’ve got to combine the tech with the correct score and work out all the equations and stuff. It’s not working right now, but I think I can get it to go in a few days.
This is all the technical stuff so I won’t be reaching into the Ether anytime soon so I’ll be safe.
Card: 6 of Cups
I went and saw Ms Atby today! I told her about how much I hated electricity and thought it was dangerous. She just laughed at me and said that you just needed to take certain precautions and everything will be fine. I didn't show her my arm. I don’t know what she would think of me if I did.
Anway, I began to talk about how we could combine the tech with audio and she seemed really interested! I told her that there should be better ways to use it than the electricity, something that is much much safer and does not require the precautions from before. She was very excited too! I’m going to show her my lab and I think that I would like her to help me with more of the technical aspects I was struggling with. I think this will be a good partnership!
I will probably have to introduce her to Mr Forwith though… I hope it won’t be too awkward between us. I think that it shouldn’t be in my home.
Roll: 8, Research Breakthrough
Card: The Hanged Man
I brought Vigorous into the lab today! She was very excited to see all of my equipment and she had so many new ideas, but all of them required that damned electricity. I kept trying to persuade her that it wasn’t the right path but she kept insisting over and over until I accidentally told her about my arm.
She was … well she was angry and horrified and eventually agreed with me that we needed another way of going about things. She tried to get me to go to the doctor but I told her that it wasn’t causing me any problems and I was worried that trying to remove it would cause permanent damage. She eventually relented.
We talked more and more about all the tech until she helped me realize what it is I need to do. I’ve been thinking about the things that audiomancy does when you use the sounds. You play a melody or a rhythm to create something new. Technomancy does this without the help of a person but requires something to get it done.
If I could weave a score into the tech that could use any sound to gather power from the Ether, then we wouldn’t need electricity or anything else.
We could have street lights powered by the sound of the streets themselves: the people walking, talking, birds, whatever. It wouldn’t even stop then. Sound is just vibrations, and the earth itself is constantly moving, the windmills and anything else, nothing is still. Some people even theorize that the particles that make up the world are in constant motion.
I’ll need to be careful. I think I should stick with larger sounds for the moment, I wouldn’t want to undo myself or any other item.
(It’s amazing to think that he theorized some of the core components of what we use for audiotechonomancy today. We won’t be able to use atomic vibrations for another century but even back then he thought it might work.)
Roll: 9, Reasearch Breakthrough
I tapped back into the Ether today for the first time since the incident. The light in my arm shone brightly and I could feel the hairs on my arm around it prick up like with static electricity. I didn’t get shocked or anything so I think it’s safe going forward?
Anway, I set an alarm to go off in case I get lost in the Ether again. I miss the feeling of being connected but I feel sick at the same time. I keep thinking about Observant. He wasn’t able to make our meeting this week and sent a letter in regards. Word on the street is that his father is sick, so I don’t expect him to be by anytime soon. I.. I should probably send him something.
I really don’t know what kind of a relationship we have. I’m worried that it truly is only physical, and financial but I don’t think he would be that mad if it was. Or maybe he’s angry because I’ve been withdrawing myself from him. I.. we need to talk about it, but I don’t want to.
But I want to write about what I’ve been doing in the lab.
I was in the Ether and was drawing the magic into the tech instead of myself like Vigorous taught me. I studied the patterns on how to do it and compared it to the scores we use in audiomancy to connect to the Ether. I think I have weaved a score that can directly pull the Ether into the tech without the spell caster.
The problem is that I’ve been overloading the tech with too much Ether. I managed to balance one of the small lights but there was no way to turn it off after I attached the score. I’ll need to work on an on off switch or something.
Roll: 5, Out and About
Card: 4 of Swords
Mr Forwith came by today. He looked so tired. I asked him how he had been but he didn’t want to talk about that, or about the quiet room. (He said so directly.)
I took him back into the study and showed him some of the lights. He looked like he wanted to be excited about it but he was just too exhausted. I asked him if he wanted to head home early but he said he needed to be away from his family.
I told him he could stay as long as he wanted and he just nodded and we sat in silence for a while. I made him some tea and we sat at my kitchen table while he just stared into space. I wanted to comfort him but I didn’t know how. I told him he could come back whenever he wanted to, not just when it was scheduled. I don’t know why I said that, it’s giving me horrible nerves right now just thinking about it. I wanted to be polite but now I’m shaking.
He did say he would. I wonder if he’s just avoiding all his rich friends, he hasn’t really talked about them much. When he left he put his hand on my shoulder for a long time and looked at me in the eyes for a long long time.
I.. I don’t know what to do.
Roll: 5, Out and About
Card: Page of Swords
Observant came to see me again. It had only been about three days since I last saw him. I wasn’t expecting him again so soon. He still seemed tired when I let him inside but not as bad as last time.
He said he wanted to talk about the Quiet Room this time. I made a fool of myself. I kept trying to make excuses but he kept driving home the point. He started to get angry that I wasn’t being direct with him and he didn’t understand why I wasn’t talking to him.
I had to tell him I couldn’t do that again. He was shocked and upset at first wanted to know why. He thought it was his fault and that I had enjoyed it. I did, and I told him. I had to tell him that it was the best night of my life and that it was too much for me to do ever again.
I admit I did start to cry and told him how overwhelming everything was. He still looked upset but he listened to me as I tried to explain myself as best I could. I also had to admit to him that I didn’t just want to be a novelty fuck toy to him.
He got really mad at that and demanded to know why I would think that. He didn’t yell or anything but he just got really intense in a way that people with power know they can control you.
And I had to tell him that I didn’t know why he was funding my research, I didn't know why he wanted to fuck me in the first place, and I could see it in the sideways glances and smirks when I was in the hospital that I was some sort of an amusing pet to him--that I was something he could laugh at with all the other Court members. I told him that I didn’t understand our relationship or what he wanted especially since my entire livelihood depended upon him.
I was a bit of a mess at this point. He didn’t say anything for a while but sat next to me and took my hand and placed his head on my shoulder.
We were quiet for a long time until he asked me about the light on my arm. I had to admit to him it was another failed experiment. He didn’t say anything about it.
We were quiet again for a while before he apologized to me. He said he didn’t mean to make me feel that way and that he thought we had fucked because I wanted to too. I mean I did, I just wasn’t prepared for how intense it was.
He kissed my shoulder and he asked me what are we: a patron and beneficiary, friends, lovers, strangers? I told him I didn’t know. I didn’t want to be strangers, or a purely physical relationship. I told him that I don’t know if we could become true partners given his station.
He put his hand on my cheek and turned it to face him and told me that when I completed my “world changing devices” that wouldn't be a problem. He made me laugh and then he kissed me gently.
He put his arms around me and pushed me back into the couch and we laid on the couch just holding each other for a while. It was nice. I told him we should take things at a slower pace and he agreed.
I.. I think we’re fine now? We never did truly establish what kind of relationship we are in, but I think that’s fine. He at least knows how I feel and I… that man is a mystery to me but I think that might just be because I’m in my own head a bit too much.
Roll: 6, Out and About
Card: King of Swords
Observant’s father died two days ago. He had been sick for a while so it wasn’t a big surprise but he’s completely devastated by it.
He showed up in the middle of the night last night raging drunk, furious and sobbing. He went on about how he can’t stand the rest of his family and that he has to get away from all of it so he came here.
He kissed me once then made himself home on my couch and pulled out another wine bottle from somewhere in his coat, uncorked it and drank straight from the bottle. He looked me dead in the eyes and said he couldn’t be around any of them and I was the only one he wanted to see.
He gave me the bottle to share. I did have some, and noticed the vintage was worth more than my tiny house.
(There is an old wine label glued to the page here. I don’t recognize the vineyard but the year is XXXX at least 500 years from today.)
Observant then demanded that I distract him by telling him about my work. He grabbed one of my hands in both of his and promised he wouldn’t touch anything. He was still crying but trying to act like nothing had happened. He was trying to act like he was sober but was swaying a little bit.
I did take him back and showed him some things. He also tried to touch some stuff but I managed to stop him. We did this for about an hour before we returned to the couch. I had to stop him from drinking more of the wine by drinking it myself. I knew it would be bad by morning and there was no sense in wasting it. Although I suppose drinking it this quickly was a waste too.
We were on the couch together for a long time, him on top of me like we were a couple days ago. I was a drunk at this point too and we were two grown men giggling together on a couch.
He took my face in both of his hands and told me that I was the only person who felt real. And then he fell asleep on top of me. I knew I wasn’t strong enough to move him so I eventually fell asleep on the couch too.
When I woke up he was in the kitchen, hungover. He apologized to me about last night, but I said it was fine. I held his hand across the table for a while and made some eggs for the both of us.
He wanted coffee but I told him that there was no way I could afford something like that and he said he’d have to give me some. I told him I didn’t need it, but oh, I do want it so much, but I can’t.
I made him some tea instead and we had a nice, well as nice as a hangover breakfast can be. He stayed for a long while on my couch just staring into the ceiling. Eventually he did go home today but he kissed me on the cheek and thanked me before leaving.
I hope he feels better.
Roll: 3, Out and About
Card: 2 of Pentacles
I am running out of room in my study. I have the walls papers with equations I have to reference so I can’t take them down, and the floor is filled with some precautionary sigils and such I got from Ms Atby.
I need to condense the equations down into a few sheets but I don’t have the time or capability to memorize them completely. I think that I’m going to have to turn my living room into a new workspace.
I’ve completely covered the living room now, there’s so much more space and I don’t have to worry about knocking something over or damaging any of the tech. I redrew the sigils on the floor and rolled up the carpet and put it in my bedroom for now. The kitchen is still the same as it was before and I’m starting to regret turning down Observant’s offer to buy me coffee.
Roll: 6, Out and About
Card: Queen of Pentacles
Observant came by today again and saw the mess. He does seem to be in better spirits since he was laughing at all of it. He joked that we wouldn’t be able to spend time together on the couch since it was covered in everything.
He told me he would rent out a space for me to use, one that was bigger and had more space for me to put everything. At first I rejected the idea since I like the idea of being able to work on it whenever I please instead of having to adhere to a schedule.
He looked me in the face and squeezed the light on my arm and told me that I needed to separate work from home life and that it would be better for me to have some rest.
Eventually I did relent. I think Ms Atby would be more comfortable working in a space that wasn’t my home either. I told him that it had to be within a 20 min walking distance and he told me he would do what he could.
I made a joke that he should just buy me a bigger house and for a moment he seriously considered it. I told him that wasn’t necessary and that he didn’t have to do that for me. I don’t think he listened to me though.
He hasn’t said anything about taking me to a doctor for my arm or anything. It’s not really an issue and … I am sort of starting to feel things though it? If I touch it I can feel a sensation, a dull one, but I can definitely sense touch though it. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
Roll: 5, Out and About
Card 10 of Pentacles
I met up with Ms Atby today. She had some bad news. She said that one of her sisters had fallen chronically ill and that she was going to have to move further up the valley into one of the smaller villages to take care of her.
She had already spoken with the University and had placed her on an extended leave with a leeway of five years for her to come back. I’m really sad to see her go. I didn’t know much about her personally or as a friend but she was a great help to my research.
She did give me a forwarding address and said I should send her letters. I think I’ll try to do that. I’m terrible at correspondence but I think if I make a note to do it on certain days instead of just when major events happen then I think I can remember.
We spent the rest of our time together talking about other things, nothing important, I did mention things were going well with Observant and that I think he’s looking into getting me a new lab.
She told me I was very lucky to have found someone who was interested in my work to fund me. I know this, I… I don’t know what I’ll do afterwards though once I’ve finished my work. I mean, if I finish it anytime soon, it could take a couple years or decades.
Roll: 10, Research Breakthough
Card: The Star
Observant moved me into a larger home, despite my protests. It’s closer to where he lives but it’s not in some high, fancy, rich neighborhood. I think he knows I wouldn’t have liked it.
I have so much space, there’s a large basement where I could layout all of my work and see it in its entirety. Everything makes so much more sense with it layed out. I can see the patterns and draw from the Ether much more clearly down here.
I feel so close. I figured out that I need something to sever the connection when the tech has as much Ether as it needs. I also need to create something that stores the Ether in the device when nothing is powering the score to connect it to Ether. I made a little diagram :
It’s not perfect. I also need an off switch for when the storage is full.
(A/N: At this point I switched over to a d20 which has a 5% of success instead of the 2.7% 2d6 has)
Roll: 12, Out and About
Card:3 of Cups
I had a “housewarming party”, as Observant called it, today. I had some of my friends by. Observant also showed up, but he dressed down for the occasion, which I’m grateful for.
I hadn’t really told anyone about my patronage since, well how do you explain it without people getting jealous or suspicious or anything. I think Observant knows how embarrassed I am about it so he didn’t make a huge deal out of anything. He was charming and got along really well with everyone too.
There were only about ten people there total, which was good since I don’t really like parties. People were surprised about my patronage but no one gave me grief about it, at least to my face. I know how Gleaming feels about politics and the ongoing revolutionaries, they didn’t say anything to Observant’s face but I feel like, given the chance, they would have gotten into some arguments.
We did talk a little bit outside and I managed to convince them that it’s better for him to spend their money on me, who’s actively working on something than to spend it out on wine or other rich nonsense. I also told them that getting into an argument now wouldn’t do any good other than make themselves look like a fool.
They told me that if the Court wasn’t around then I wouldn’t need to beg for money from them in the first place or beg for some rich kid’s money. I agree completely but arguing with it now wouldn’t do any good.
We decided not to talk about it the rest of the night. It was a pretty good time.
Roll: 11, Out and About
Card: 7 of Pentacles
My arm is starting to itch. The one with the light on it. I think it’s going bad. I haven’t told anyone or seen a doctor yet. I am starting to gain more feeling in it and it's really become irritating.
It hasn’t started to affect my work yet but I’m worried that it’s going to soon. I wonder if I’ll be able to control the light from it yet.
It’s also a good thing no one else noticed it. I’ve taken to covering it up with bandages when I wake up. I do it even on days when I’m not going out because I know if I don’t do it every time I’ll never remember to do it when it’s important.
Roll: 5, Out and About
Card: 4 of Pentacles
It’s starting to hurt now. I can feel the light dimming and brightening as if it was a part of my own body, like I can feel my own heart beat. I can’t control it at all but I know it’s a part of me.
I can still use the arm but flexing it where the light is embedded has started to really hurt. I’ve found that I’m trying to avoid using it to do any work. It feels like a dead weight on my side.
I don’t even know where to begin with going to the doctor. I’ve probably made the situation much worse by avoiding it in the first place, especially since I’ve... I don’t know, grown nerves into it????? I hate this. I don’t think any doctor can help me now. I’ll just have to wait this out and hope the pain stops. It’s like growing pains right? Like when I was younger and getting taller and taller. I remember the pains in my back, this is the same. I’m sure of it. Everything will be fine.
Roll: 14, Research Breakthrough
Card: The Tower
I have forgone the alarm and reached completely into the Ether again. I surrounded myself with the vibrations of the world and the truths of the world.
I feel as though I could almost sense a feeling of Divinity. It’s arrogant of me to say this, but I wonder if this is what it’s like to make a Decision.
Regardless, I have opened my eyes clearly to the nature of the Ether. I had always assumed that it was another form of energy, one that we can use if we are able, but I don’t think that it is anything.
The “Ether” isn't a separate source like water or heat or anything, what we think of as the “Ether” is just the world itself. I am connected to reality and choose to change it through magic. It is not it’s own separate element, it is sound and heat and electricity and life and the Deciders and the mortals and everything.
Nothing is separate and the failings of all magic is the division between groups. That’s not to say that the different groups don’t exist; it was Decided that there are categories and I’m not that blasphemous to say that’s wrong but if things can be defined and redefined and recategorized all the time then are they really so separate? Are we really just coming up with different names for the same thing over and over and over again?
The “Ether” is just the world and the magic we use is how we choose to define the “Ether.” For me the “ether” is sound and by extension vibration.
Yes, I think after all my rambling and half baked ideas above I’ve come to these conclusions.
On a more personal note I think I was in there again for too long again. I’ll have to start looking into the long term side effects of being too connected to the world ether . I think I’ll still refer to it as the “ether” since it’s a good shorthand. Anway, I started to experience some auditory hallucinations when I was forming my conclusions.
I started to hear some distant windchimes and I know that I don’t have any around and I wouldn’t be able to hear them from any of the neighbors houses if they had any. At least I don’t think so. I’ll have to look around and make sure I’m not suffering any long term problems.
Roll: 5, Out and About
Card: 4 of Cups
Observant has been by a lot more frequently. I find myself thinking about him more and more lately too. We haven’t been going over my research as much when we’ve been together. I haven’t told him about my arm yet, even though it’s been hurting more and more recently.
Today we sat together alone on my couch and he held my hand. We didn’t say anything but it was a comfortable silence.
Roll: 1, Catastrophic Failure
Next two cards, pull from the minor deck
I’ve been having worse and worse hallucinations lately and it’s all gone to hell. I was down in my lab when I could feel my skin heating up and the sounds in my brain. I tried to tap into the ether again to continue my research but my arm started rapidly pulsing and the light flashed so bright and shattered in front of me.
I can’t feel the connection to the world any more. Every time I try to connect to the ether my body seizes up and starts to shake and I start to see bright spots of light in my vision. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to connect to it again. I.. I will need to find a way around it for everything to work.
I did go to the hospital… My arm is, well it’s healing now. They were able to remove most of the light from it but they don’t know if I’ll be at full use for it. I can open and close my hand still so that’s something.
Observant came to visit me in the hospital. He was upset and worried and stayed with me until the doctors kicked him out.
I was in the hospital for about two days and when I returned home he was there to help me. He did stay the night but he slept in one of the extra rooms, I have extra rooms in my house!
I feel so bad. He’s helped me so much and I haven’t been able to make anything yet.
Card: 8 of Cups
Observant has been here two weeks now. My arm is still healing, but the surgery they did was intensive so I won’t be able to use it properly for some time. I told him I should be fine but he insists on staying.
He told me that he wants to help me in every way that he can. I told him he was already helping me so much and that I hadn’t done anything.
I confessed to him that I couldn’t connect to the ether anymore and I didn’t know if I’d be able to continue my research. I started crying again at this point and he held me for a long, long time. He told me that he knows that I’ll find a way around it, and that every other time that something bad happened I’d always gotten through it.
I don't know what to do now. It was always there, something I could rely on, something that I could go back to when I wasn’t sure of the path. It’s been taken from me now. Observant assures me that there are other ways to produce something but I.. I just don’t know.
Card: Knight of Swords
…. I met -A- today, the Pattern Decider, God of Assemblages, domain of classifications, taxonomy etc. I am ashamed to admit that I hadn’t known of them before.
(It’s odd he knows that divisions were a Decision but he didn’t know about the Pattern Decider. I wonder who he thought made the Decision?)
I didn’t realize how close I had strayed into Their territory when I entered the ether last and found my discoveries. They said I had come close to discovering one of the truths about the world and They weren’t happy about it, which is the mild way of putting it.
I’m not sure what it was since, obviously, They won’t tell me. I guess I should write about how we met?
My arm has been feeling better. I had been out of the hospital for about three weeks when I tried reaching into the ether again. I knew the side effects of the last couple times but I tried going slow this time and taking note of all the different things that were happening to me.
It all seems so obvious in retrospect. I could hear the chimes in my mind, loud and banging, and could feel the blistering heat on my skin like from a summer’s solstice, and all around me were the bright spots in my vision, shifting with no obvious source.
I continued to push on through, though, hoping they would go away and that it was just my body having learned to react to something harmful and was trying to stop me.
I continued I felt myself fall onto the floor and I blacked out. When I awoke all the sensations were there, but they were not intense and threatening: a shifting pattern of lights with no source, the feeling of sunlight on the skin, and the faint sound of windchimes in the mind but not the ears. I knew that I was in the presence of a Divine being, and I knew, despite having never been informed about Them, that They were called -A- and this was their presence to mortals.
When I sat up They spoke to me and I knew who and what They were. This is when They warned me I was getting too close to the source. I asked Them if it was because I had figured out what the ether was. They laughed at me and said that the “ether” was strictly a northern concept.
I asked them what it was I was going to discover and the intensity returned as They told me it was not for mortals to know.
I begged them that I was close to figuring out something with the magic and the tech. They calmed down and said I was free to pursue whatever technology I wished but They made it clear that I was not to determine any more aspects about the world, it’s sources, or The Connection Between All Things.
I wished to be able to connect back to the ether but They said I couldn’t be trusted. I begged and pleaded if there was any other way. They demanded fealty, devotion, and a ritual for my connection to the world.
I accepted and now I have to make a shrine in my lab. With all things considered this is completely acceptable.
The only problem is that I don’t know how to build a shrine? I’ll have to do some research on how -A- wants it to be done, apparently They are extremely demanding and things have to be done in an exact right order. I think I might need an expert, but I don’t know if there are any followers of -A- in the city.
I feel like trying to call to -A- would get me in more trouble.
Roll: 18, Research Breakthrough
Card: The High Priestess
I told Observant about my encounter. I lead into the conversation gently and let him draw his own conclusion about it at first. Turns out being rich means you have a much better education and he knew all about all the Deciders and their presence to mortals.
He eventually came to the conclusion that my inability to connect to the ether was divine interference and I told him about our conversation. He was quiet for a long time, then he started to pace across the floor.
He told me more about -A-, how the witches down south are the ones who connect with Them most. He also told me that the axiom of -A- is: To know the components of the world is to understand both its past and it’s future.
He also told me that -A- is very demanding and definitive, and famously never takes prophets which is why They are not as well known. I asked him what I should do, and he shrugged and said I had to build a shrine.
I asked him if he knew any witches that could help me and he thought for a moment and said he would ask around. I thought I was joking but it looks like he might actually be able to find someone.
He suggested that if I can’t completely know the ether then I’ll have to completely know the tech and the process to connect to the ether.
I told him that -A- only demanded a ritual if I was going to connect to the world and that there wasn’t a complete rush to get a shrine in order. I could still work on my research otherwise.
I feel a bit more at peace knowing what has been happening to me. I feel like my life is a bit more under my control now.
Roll:7, Out and About
Card: 6 of Pentacles
Observant is having a hard time finding anyone who knows anything about -A- or knows any witches or anyone else. I haven’t been able to connect to the ether in over two months at this point.
Sometimes I think about trying to connect without the ritual just so I can get Their attention so that I can ask Them about it, but I think They would eliminate me or hurt me in some other way.
I don’t know if I should just hang up windchimes and crystals with lights to emulate Their presence or if that would be insulting. There has to be a pattern since t
They are the Pattern Decider, right?
I have cleared out the space for it to go in one of the corners. At least I hope it goes in a corner. I’m so paranoid about every little thing now. I feel like if I make one mistake when connecting to the ether then that’s it.
I’ve also been thinking about Observant and my connection in the ether. I know I said that I would never do it again but now that the opportunity has been taken away from me… I wonder if I would want to if I could?
Would -A- even care if mortals were using the ether to connect to one another or is that even more blasphemous? I don’t want to risk it away.
I think I’ll forgo working on the shrine until Observant has more of an idea of what to do.
Roll: 19, Research Breakthrough
Card: The Hierophant
I don’t know how I did it but I built a shrine. I felt Their presence while I did it too, They weren’t there, exactly, but I could almost feel the warmth on my skin while I arranged all of the items.
I did end up using a bunch of glass as light-catchers but no wind chimes or anything else that made sound. I used a bunch of chalk to draw some outlines on the table where I paced the glass so I would know if any of them ever moved and I could put them back in place.
I was feeling really nervous and really hoping it would work. I thought I was going to be sick; I was so afraid that everything was wrong and I really really didn’t want to anger -A-.
I don’t know what it was that compelled me to do the next thing but I knew that something was missing. The shrine itself was fine, I think. But I needed to offer something to Them. I admit I got a little desperate at what to do, so I sliced my thumb and put a little bit of blood in the center of the chalk rings.
Somehow this worked! I felt a sense of relief wash over me as I tried to connect with the ether again and it was as if nothing had happened before. I’m both afraid and a little star-struck that I have to be baby-sat by a Decider while I do my work.
I’m going to tell Observation the good news the next time that I see him! I’m so excited! Of course this could have been a fluke, I don’t know if I’ll be able to replicate it again….
I did manage to work a bit on the formula for the tech to connect to the ether through the score I’m weaving. I feel as though I just need to work that out to completion and things will be almost complete.
Roll: 20 The Maker’s Call
Card: The Lovers
I… I worked out the formula. It’s done. I. The storage is complete, the connection is complete, the tech is performing as expected.
If I strip away all the jargon and such I have made a light that is powered by sound. I made a clock that is powered by vibrations. I have made devices that can work with a non-exhaustive source of energy.
I feel exhausted and more joyous than I have ever felt before in my life. I spend the rest of the day to myself going over and checking everything, making sure everything worked and then sitting again outside under the stars.
I thought about -A- and wondered if they knew I had succeeded. Observant said that They knew the future, so they probably saw my success. I feel as though it was a Decision that I was to succeed.
(I’ve also heard that -A- can ‘rearrange’ the future to guarantee outcomes and that they seek out those who are influential.)
He came by again the next day and I kissed him when I saw him. He was surprised and kissed me back.
I took Observant by the hand and we both embraced the world together, connected again under Divine Authority.
I held his hand the entire time and showed him everything that I had made. He looked at me the entire time and I could feel his joy.
He… He took me by both of my hands then placed one hand on my cheek and told me that he loved me.
I started crying again and we were both in my basement disconnected from the world itself except for each other.
I’ve shared my findings with the Court and the university and every other place I can think to send it to. I released the formulas for everyone to use, I don’t think I should be hiding it away from anyone for any reason. I suppose this is coming from a place of comfort since I have my needs taken care of by Observant, but profiting off of something that could impact people so directly seems irresponsible and selfish.
I’ve started to see the changes around the city. People far more ambitious than I have implemented it in ways I never would have thought to use. I saw a woman wearing a dress that changed color with every word she spoke and a store heated by the sounds of the winds outside.
Observant tells me the Court is in an uproar since people are now able to cater to their needs without them. He says that a lot of businesses are scrambling to find new ways to use the Enchantments and that the Revolutionaries have been emboldened since they are able to use it as well.
I don’t know what will happen to us…
The Researcher’s Curtain Call
Card: 10 of Cups
Abstracted placed the old dairy down on the floor where they had found it, covered in dust, surrounded by an old shrine made of chalk, blood, desperation, and devotion. They saw the completed pattern in the circles of the cover and the lines in the floor.
This was a sacrifice, or an offering to their Decider and Abstracted admired the Maker’s devotion. They took their own chalk out of a pocket and retraced the lines on the floor before standing up and returning upstairs.
The owner of the manor, a small, elderly man greeted them when they arrived upstairs. He apologized for the mess down there and asked if Abstracted had found anything useful.
They shook their head, “Only an old shrine to -A-.”
The man nodded, “Ah, yes, an old practice in my family, better to leave it be.”
Abstracted nodded, “yes, it's something that should be left alone.” They thought about leaving since there was nothing else in this place for their own research but paused.
The elderly man lived alone in this home, the rest of his family had moved far down south or had already passed. They could tell he was happy to have someone around the place even for a moment.
Abstracted looked down at the old man, “I’d like to know more about your family Mr Infor.”