Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:26 am

The tiered system of lower-tech peasants beneath the technobilities in their hyperkremlins and floating cities and Elysiums could've been the basis for how in the Byzonist Empire the peripheral worlds have to use internal combustion engines whereas the core worlds and Bragule have war-moons and cybrags and gear befitting a galactic power.

With the technobilities, aside from depriving the peasants, it also fuels the "If Only The Tsar Knew" mentality where the local authorities are brutish in enforcing the order but seen as separate from the higher nobles, so the peasants can see the low authorities as antagonistic but continue revering the distant technobilities and abasing themselves to chosen anointed representatives - clergy who serve as proto-commissariat. Like how in the real-life PRC, common folks' disputes are with the local authorities and they still look to the Politburo and central power for assistance.

Peasant families could have revered techno-relic heirlooms, a pocket watch holo-computer, some ancestral verdibolter (rename of the K-bolt...), with engraved features of some saintly patron technoble.

The local boyar could have a nuclear-powered cummerbund/championship belt with the seal of the technoble family, it can shoot death rays or project protective nucleonic fields, but if their authority is revoked by the higher power it could make them explode.

Nobles could come in once a decade or once a century, astride in some ceremonial nucleo-throne like what Orion and Metron have in the Kirby stories, to audit the peasantry. There can be celebrations. The throne can cure diseases. Vaporize wrongdoers in disputes the noble presides over. Stimulate the growth of crops. Project a divine halo!

The Noble Cults of High Bragule!
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:44 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:26 am
With the technobilities, aside from depriving the peasants, it also fuels the "If Only The Tsar Knew" mentality where the local authorities are brutish in enforcing the order but seen as separate from the higher nobles, so the peasants can see the low authorities as antagonistic but continue revering the distant technobilities and abasing themselves to chosen anointed representatives - clergy who serve as proto-commissariat. Like how in the real-life PRC, common folks' disputes are with the local authorities and they still look to the Politburo and central power for assistance.
So, a metastable system. No social uprising can overcome the tremendous technological barrier between the atomic tsars and everyone else, and when the atomic tsars knock over each other it only replaces the top of the hierarchy - or the system itself just eventually re-coalesces into a top-down technocracy because floating a new hover-city over the radioactive aftermath of the ensuring war is always the easier way.

This is in turn because of the bottleneck of pre-Byzonist ultratech that must be maintained by Bragulan Keepers (Vielre? Vielren?), whose numbers are limited by the fundamental non-interventionism of late-Imperial Apexai who really, really don't want to hand out any more provisional Oversoul access permissions. And maybe also because of the nature of such ultratech as gifts from a higher authority, control over which is always concrete and absolute and only in the hands of a few at a time because they tend to be Kirbyesque cosmo-batons and palm circuits and the like.

So, what changed to make the Byzonist revolution possible?

It probably comes back to the Reignfall again. Like these earlier posts described, the psychic tsunami of the Cataclysm badly messed up the Oversoul and by extension Apexai society, turning its mood into what is, at best, cynical nihilism. If Apexaia was merely mired in decadent self-absorption before, after this point it was no longer even theoretically capable of taking action. Certainly not intervening to make adjustments to the younger species littering its own cosmopolitical backyard*.

But how did the younger species even notice this weakness, given that the Apexai were already unshakably isolationist before this point? Did every Vielre in the K-Zone suffer spontaneous seizures when the Oversoul crashed? Or was the shattering of the Lie that the Apexai crafted for themselves so tumultuous that for a moment everyone shared the guilt and doubt and the fear that the Apexai felt for themselves (and maybe even some inkling of the actual truth, the timeless servitude and the forgetting and the masquerade that became genuine arrogance), and nobody could ever think of them as the wise and tranquil master race afterwards.

I'm not sure whether the loss of the Vielren was enough to make the old model of Bragulan society collapse, attriting away the old ultratech that the atomic tsars relied on down to mad max levels until, for example, Byzon managed to put together a new tech Verdigrite-based industrial base and sweep back out of the old homeworld of Bragule. But the decisive loss of the Apexai's mediating influence on the K-Zone, however minimal it was in the first place, also shook things up, allowing new civilizations to rise into prominence.

Shroom even suggested that the Hrgltuhe, the top astropolitical dogs of the K-Zone at the time and hostile to Apexai influence, had a go at conquering Apexaia first and while it didn't work out, the very attempt broke some unspoken taboo and made the very idea conceivable.

*The idea that an inconceivably powerful and influential elder race only really claims one eponymous planet as sovereign territory does jive with older science fiction (see Lensmen, Arisia). And even if the planet wasn't hidden behind walls of irresistible illusion or its own pocket dimension, who's going to attack Apexaia anyway?
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:07 pm

Invictus wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:44 pm
But how did the younger species even notice this weakness, given that the Apexai were already unshakably isolationist before this point?
That unconsciously psychohistory's inertia drove them to attack, like over the decades and centuries the Vielre themselves became apathetic and some even just withered so there was less and less reinforcement of the old Apexai foreign policy doctrine/order, resulted in the eventuality?

Like the reverse of Sauron eventually regaining enough clout over the centuries since his first defeat, turning Saruman, and the events of LOTR coming to play?

And the Hrlgtuhe. Their neurodogma was designed to harden them from Apexai wiles and they just stubbornly rejected the Grey Order or whatever we'll call their doctrine, and then as the Apexai lost their puissance this corresponded with centuries of increasing Hrlgtuhe aggression and opportunism - their encroaching of the Desthej* and the old Bragulan nations, a failed attempt on the Apexai themselves, and finally defeat at the hands of the reformed Bragulans who finally did the job the Hrlgs couldn't do.

*For the Desthej, the Instrumentality was a parallel psychosocietal hardening... perhaps the Desthej were former Hrlgtuhe allies or also went through a similar period of rejecting Apexaism? OR during the Apexai decline, after or even before the Reignfall, we already see societies rejecting Apexaism and its Keepers , forming psycho-hardened orders (like a diet version of what the Myrran did). Perhaps Byzon was a representative of the Bragulan movement towards anti-psionics and hardening.

I propose the Keepers are called the Vielre or Vielren and Bragulan propaganda decried it as the Vielren Theocracy :P
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:30 pm

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:12 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:07 pm
And the Hrlgtuhe. Their neurodogma was designed to harden them from Apexai wiles and they just stubbornly rejected the Grey Order or whatever we'll call their doctrine, and then as the Apexai lost their puissance this corresponded with centuries of increasing Hrlgtuhe aggression and opportunism - their encroaching of the Desthej* and the old Bragulan nations, a failed attempt on the Apexai themselves, and finally defeat at the hands of the reformed Bragulans who finally did the job the Hrlgs couldn't do.
Now I'm picturing Hrgltuhe neurodogma as hard-coded Dead Hand behavioral triggers - meaning that once they perceive any strategic weaknesses in a cosmopolitical rival, they *must* execute the corresponding WAR PLAN GREY to take advantage of it. It would make sense if the Hrgls who set up the system thought outside subversion was a bigger risk than unreadiness or overextension - which probably was true in at least some snapshot of the K-Zone situation. And more horrifyingly, this neurodogma is not just a consequence of vast and inflexible logistical systems, but somehow extends down to every individual, who are expected to execute Order 66 once the correct passphase is given.

So even when repeatedly reduced to post-atomic scavengers, the surviving Hrgltuhe act like, I dunno, cold warriors - communicating in BLAND Institute-ese, making counter-productive PURITY CHECKS on each other, clutching lead-lined briefcases full of useless codebooks, etc.

---

Also, evidently not all Vieleren were incapacitated by the fall of the Apexai and the destruction of the Oversoul, because some of them went on to execute their backup projects.

I speak of the Pyropraxy, an empire newly designed to occupy the "east" of the K-Zone. A cabal of surviving Vieleren retreated to a remote world and sacrificed their physical forms to undergo a collective ascension - maybe to keep the bare dream of a higher purpose alive, now that their universal order had failed - into an everburning, quasi-physical flame within containing every mind in a holy collective. The hive mind now seeks out more and more souls to add to itself, and this forms the basic cycle of the Pyropraxy's expansion.

The Holy Inferno is not a "vanish off into the higher dimensions" type of transcendence that certain other esper-adjacent individuals have found, and requires some material support. On worlds fully controlled by the Pyropraxy, fire literally covers the sky in orbiting bands, its psychic presence palpable at interstellar distances and a constant pressure on the world's inhabitants that live under them. On this level, the fire can maybe self-sustain through its own psionic might. Lesser quantities of the flame, which are sometimes siphoned off the main collective for specific purposes like piloting Space Marine armor suits, do gradually wane and expire, ending the manifestation. But separated flame remain psionically connected: the warrior-mind in the suit probably blows up like a small nuke when its containment is ruptured, but it can expect to rejoin its collective to be re-embodied in glorious immortality.

(Well, and sometimes smaller manifestations can sustain themselves by going full sci-fi energy vampire on other peeps, if a fanatic space marine angel dalek wasn't bad enough news)

Life under the Pyropraxy is a passage towards ascension, to become worthy enough to join the hosts within the Holy Inferno in transcendental ecstasy. You don't have to be an esper to qualify for this, but you at least have to not be psionically void like some types of being because the hive-mind needs *something* to read other than passive psychometric impressions. An unprepared mind would make the transition incompletely, maybe only as rough passions or broad vows, and feeding droves of terrified captives into the sacrificial fire is going to add nothing but awful wails across the noosphere. Despite its fundamental drive, the Pyropraxy has the incentive to maintain fulfilling societies under its gaze.

Well, and it needs all the industries and material organization to maintain an expansive conventional military. Expect 40K-ish stained glass aesthetics*, infantry working in eerie lockstep, lots of light and fire employed in weaponry**, and some nasty elite shocktrooper options.

Predictably, the Pyropraxy is prejudiced towards psionic animism i.e. only people with psionic potential count as real people; which makes them pretty badly disposed towards the Bragulans as well as the USS with all its soulless CIs and uploading. They respect Apexai, but sort of in the way post-Jesus religions treat Jews; they owe their rise to their fall surely enough, but the Apexai had blown all the chances, and now it is the Pyropraxy that is the true successor of the Invisible Imperium.

*(Because much of the link between the Holy Inferno and its still-mortal congregants rely on emotional resonance, obligating it to be embedded into art and architecture and everything)
**(Because emotional resonance then feeds back to the people)
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:32 pm

Hmmm... the coding of the Hrlgtuhe may vary depending on the ancient hegemony they came from. Yes, more collectivistic/totalitarian ones probably have denizens coded to be Cold War Lemmings. Less centralized civilizations could have more fragmented, community-level neurodogma bonds... filial piety types. If not familial bonds, then newer bonds can be made through initiation rituals. Yeah, you can have Hrlgtuhe societies where every level is composed of multiple interlocking cult/orders!

As for the Pyroprax - the Holy Inferno, Divine Incandescence, etc. - don't forget that initially these Vielren were saving some society that was being eaten by pre-Gorok Traumfanger psychovores.

We're thinking that aside from the Pyroprax, there can be a counter-movement or heresy called the Sublime Respite wherein due to philosophical differences and pacifistic morals, those of the Respite don't ascend into this great world-spanning flame but join into oceans of liquefied souls. A surrender, a baptism. Their worlds, with these Evangelion ending-esque seas, are as psionically puissant as those of the Pyroprax, but the movement as a whole is less openly aggressive and more... subversive, perhaps involving less strictures of "purity" and more accepting of any being wishing to be baptized.

Another society could be an Apostles of the Calibration-esque cyborged-as-hell anti-psionic bunch trying to save their people and all peoples from these maniacs turning entire global populations into fire or slime. They might've been there initially when their society tried to stave off the Traumfangers.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:02 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:32 pm
We're thinking that aside from the Pyroprax, there can be a counter-movement or heresy called the Sublime Respite wherein due to philosophical differences and pacifistic morals, those of the Respite don't ascend into this great world-spanning flame but join into oceans of liquefied souls. A surrender, a baptism. Their worlds, with these Evangelion ending-esque seas, are as psionically puissant as those of the Pyroprax, but the movement as a whole is less openly aggressive and more... subversive, perhaps involving less strictures of "purity" and more accepting of any being wishing to be baptized.
That's the other successful Vieleren contingency plan, I expect, not as prominent but maybe more sustainable in the long run.

I want to import from my old idea here in which the psychic component of the Respite can use something as small as a single bacterium as a viable host. Whereas to take root in a world the Pyropraxy must either ferry a seed-Flame across the void or perform a new ascension ritual, and in both cases remake society to shepherd its growth; the vector for the Respite's spread is the growth of life itself.

You can imagine a tiny bit of psychic slime that gets into the groundwater and gradually takes over an enormous subterranean microbial network, continent-spanning and nigh-inextricable. Its whispers start reaching out to the surface and its inhabitants, who start knitting together a planetary dreamscape out of their own unconscious exertions. Even if the truth comes out, then the world is still benefiting from the added utility of a psionic internet, an additional layer of fostered complexity created at little material cost, and then they can decide if they want to keep the mystical sea rituals or not.

The whole idea is kind of hippy and Evangelion-y, so it could have something to do with the Zigonians, or even the thematically similar Karlacks.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:13 pm

Sure, Zigonian converts and apostles of the early Pyroprax decided on a new way when they were spreading the faith in the frontier - like the Nestorian Christians of Central Asia with their divergent faith.

The Respiters probably wanted a Communion that didn't melt entire ecosystems - as I think the Pyres of the Pyroprax probably psycho-incinerate and consume chunks of the biospheres touched by the flame. So with the Sublime Respite, their seas of souls are filled with this living fluid, this psychoplasm, but within it you have eerie biospheres carrying on their existences - perhaps altered into psychadelic forms due to the critical mass of psychoplasm, but nonetheless alive, with their alterations and transmutations considered in-keeping with the Respite's "pro-life" philosophy?
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:34 am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:13 pm
The Respiters probably wanted a Communion that didn't melt entire ecosystems - as I think the Pyres of the Pyroprax probably psycho-incinerate and consume chunks of the biospheres touched by the flame. So with the Sublime Respite, their seas of souls are filled with this living fluid, this psychoplasm, but within it you have eerie biospheres carrying on their existences - perhaps altered into psychadelic forms due to the critical mass of psychoplasm, but nonetheless alive, with their alterations and transmutations considered in-keeping with the Respite's "pro-life" philosophy?
I'm not so convinced that the Pyres physically need fuel - entrants let themselves be bodily incinerated, sure, as a leap of faith type thing and to signify the Pyropraxy's defiance of mortal entropy; and every once in a while the great Pyres of every world converge to hold an Orichalcon, a great theological conference/council where the heated debate can indeed incinerate chunks of the landscape; and the mortal Pyropraxy itself runs on its own base of reverse-engineered Apexai-tech that's not quite as efficient or low impact as the Sovereignty's, with predictable ecological consequences there - well okay, the Pyropraxy is not very "pro-life".

A Respite being comparatively low-key is both its advantage and disadvantage. Sometimes it's useful to be able to eyebeam a starship with your incandescent reserves of psionic might, too.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:44 am

I think the ecosystem around the flames might themselves be affected over time and be "purified" to a point of combusting, maybe the Pyroprax flames can also incorporate psionically neutral matter - not as an active ingredient or fuel, but something that'll still immolate? Stuff just catches fire around it.

The Respite's defenses would be to just... drown incoming hostiles in a sense of surrender. Even incoming drones and RKVs could be arrested or put into slow motion? I'd like to imagine Respite worlds looking like something straight out of Ponyo, with strange half-submerged ecosystems. Though they're submerged in fluid that used to be people...
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:59 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:44 am
I think the ecosystem around the flames might themselves be affected over time and be "purified" to a point of combusting, maybe the Pyroprax flames can also incorporate psionically neutral matter - not as an active ingredient or fuel, but something that'll still immolate? Stuff just catches fire around it.
Both are good points. Firstly it makes sense because something platonic overlap something weakened Aguero safeguards something spontaneous pyrokinetics. Secondly, the presence of a Pyre Belt does exercise a profound pressure on malleable minds; people become metaphysically blinded and lose their physical senses (and compensate by mentally taking in the pervasive psychometric impressions of the outside world, so in effect all they see is replaced by auras and religious iconography), and sometimes they even develop their own psychic powers. If this effect extends to subsapient life, it would lend some actual credibility to the Pyropraxy's animistic theories, and I'm all for that because it would make them be more than superstitious 40K-esque loons.

I was thinking more about how Respite ORGY P O O L S can melt people into them and also psycho-magically unmelt them if they want to leave, itself a potent shepherd of biomass as well as minds and souls. Like its firey opposite the Respite is perfectly capable of having mortal cultists and pursing its goals through social vectors - and if anything, they're the more grounded ones about it.

If you live on a Wild Space world or even at the Solarian frontier, once every month you (and all your neighbors) might be assailed by a few minutes of sudden visions of infinite light and purpose/bliss and liquid unity, and then when it's over you just shrug and get on with your day because it's just the cosmic equivalent of proselytizing leaflets.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:08 pm

Respiters can literally baptise people or sprinkle sacred fluid and infect people with the liquefied souls which can have psionic secondary bio-mutagenic effects... MIDICHLORIANS and MITOCHONDRIAL EVES and cue Kojima-esque ramblings of DOMINANT GENES and METALLIC ARCHEA!

The biological component isn't the causative agent but more of a marker and even conduit? But even the biological component isn't strictly biological... like microscopic, organic "anomalies." Cellular-level manifestation of psycho-cosmics.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:42 pm

I've half a mind to decide that the Respite has spread to the Cascade already, along with longshot Zigonian habitat ships.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:48 pm

Sure, more cross-pollination of weird shit from the K-Zone. Distance shouldn't be a mega-obstacle... and there are gateways!
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:33 pm

So the other day I got to thinking.

The Sovereignty famously uses replicants, flash-grown and mind-printed for maximum soldierly efficiency, as its boots on the ground in Wild Space.

The Sovereignty also sources its technology mainly from two origins: the Apexai on the one hand and Pan-Empyrean on the other. Pan-Empyrean is a vertical clearing house first and foremost, a workshop and research laboratory that develops new hypertech and disseminates it under license to the Sovereignty's regular horizontal megacorps for practical implementation and mass production. Pan-Empyrean works with Apexai, CIs, Jabuzov's Foundation - basically anyone's that's anyone in bleeding edge science. It''s owned by Sidney Hank.

Sidney Hank, who was once a member of the Inner Cortege, Assessor to the Encephalon, Clade-Planner and Chief Semiotic Architect of Earthreign.

Isn't the Sovereignty unwittingly using ancient Earthreign vat-fruct biotics, repurposed and repackaged by the man who originally conceived those horrors?
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:32 pm

Siege wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:33 pm
Isn't the Sovereignty unwittingly using ancient Earthreign vat-fruct biotics, repurposed and repackaged by the man who originally conceived those horrors?
That seems as good an explanation as any, though using Earthreign-era genics isn't as unique an atrocity as implied; most of the Fracture's own reproductive-adjacent biotech can trace a straight line from the same infrastructure, and in most respects has built and improved upon it. Just because the drop-pod factories that can gurn legions of Mandragoran clonetroopers out of nothing but soil and water are banned as WMDs doesn't mean modern Mandragorans haven't reverse engineered their principles. And the transhuman aristocrats of Auriga certainly need particularly arcane axlotl tanks to produce meaningful offspring. Plenty of Sidereal or Desecrated clades rely entirely on mass artificial production because natural reproduction isn't an option with their biologies - if they inherited any value of 'natural' to begin with.

So maybe the difference is in authenticity, because Sidney Hank remembers enough to rebuild the old systems from scratch - not that I imagine him selling them in this day and age. It's been like millennia after the Reignfall, after all, and everyone has taken a good enough look at their strategic priorities to take the tech in their own directions.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:39 am

Woah my god yeah, not sure how much of it Hank himself remembers and hands-on made, but yes Sidney Hank as the immortal vizier of the Earthreign, one of the makers or even founders... is he haunted by his mistakes and wants to change and do right while using methods based on what he knew? Or is he trying to perfect the previous attempt? Is he so detached that even those definitions and perspectives can't even apply or can't even capture what he's trying to do?
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:29 am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:Is he so detached that even those definitions and perspectives can't even apply or can't even capture what he's trying to do?
I fancy thinking it's a tangled web of conflicting motivations. A disjoined sense of dismay and chagrin at former failures, yes. A susceptibility to the flattery of a personal appeal for help. A vague aspiration to do right. A braggart's fondness for showing off. The experience that today's genuine effort may be the root of tomorrow's dreadful mistake. A certain jaded indifference from having lived so long and seen so much carnage. An eagerness to tinker with high tech in 'field conditions'. The ego of a megalomaniac. Many different competing drives, some of them deeply human and some of them much less so. Which one wins out in any given situation is anyone's guess, especially for people who don't share his exceedingly long-lived perspective.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:26 pm

It could well be that Hank had a lot more going on because nothing says he wasn't some kind of giant grotesque brain-caterpillar back then. :o
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:29 pm

Invictus wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:26 pm
It could well be that Hank had a lot more going on because nothing says he wasn't some kind of giant grotesque brain-caterpillar back then. :o
On that thought, he could have astrally projected himself into a more 'baseline' form when things went south; a body more anonymous but probably not actually as mentally capable as whatever psi-tyrant mainframe he could afford. This further implies the existence of other backup bodies and other copies of his mind because there's no way someone like Sidney Hank didn't have multiple contingencies at hand.

But then, it's not like Sidney Hank is the type of person to tolerate copies of himself running around either. Or maybe that was what his Highlander phase was about. :?
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:14 am

What if Hank himself is the current incarnation but the original mind wasn't even someone we'd think of as Hank but some Earthreign continuity contingency system that beamed out hyper-capable secrets-bearing souls/beings across space in hopes of recreating the grand project. Hank became Hank after this, with his embedded genius and eldritch knowledge, plus a long ass journey of reflection and Highlander-killing his counterparts and absorbing their own caches... THE QUICKENING!

Yer a horcrux, Hank!

So there could've been a time where he was horrified at what he was and like torn between the encoded impulses, the nature of fate and possibility of making his own destiny - etc. This schizo multi-impulse being he's become may be a way to avert that? Or have his cake and eat it. In manipulating the Sovereignty, is he repeating his mistakes and recreating the Earthreign, or doing right by making something that's the antithesis? Will the latter act fail and result in the former? Or did he initially try to recreate the Earthreign but ended up with its opposite?

Tweenysex' apparition then chides him with some cryptic fortune cookie bullshit.
Image

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:39 pm

He is, I think, what he needs to be. First and foremost to survive, and secondly to prevail in his ambitions -- the most imperative of which is continued survival. All else is tertiary at best.

If the most advantageous way forward is to shed his MORTAL FORM in favor of the occult biochemistries of some grotesque chiton host body, he'd have no misgivings about that. As Earthreign cerebrant he might've experimented with fusing sleeper personalities to unwitting victims, or used them simply as convenient external storage - what better way to avoid the mental inquisitors than to hide your plans and ambitions in someone else's mind?

But that might eventually prove inconvenient. What if the trapdoor personality of one of your husks is accidentally triggered when the primary is still around? It could get messy quick.

The obvious solution: don't have a primary. Be a flock, a brood of mental men who automatically atune into aural coadunation. A distributed system with no vulnerable central node that can conveniently be taken out by scrappy heroes. That may have been the leap made at Reignfall, when freakish psi-monsters had outstayed their welcome and outlived their usefulness. Someone vaporized his deformity from orbit and thought they'd done a cracking job ridding the galaxy of him, and he just vanished into the cosmos as a crowd.

The next stage might be to leave the messiness of cloning behind altogether, to just exist as a mental apparition that snatches bodies as necessary. Useful particularly in the wild chaos of Reignfall space, where technology to maintain a colony of clones might be in short supply but there's ample bodies to go around. This stage may have ended when he first encountered the Apexai, who would've the means to drive out and squash puny human shadow phantoms. So back to physical incarnations it is.

Then he appropriates Apexai technology. The first experiment, hybridization of human and Apexai forms, doesn't produce the desired leap forward. So then virtualization, which is essentially the best aspects of flocks and massively powerful central forms combined.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:39 pm

The Pyropraxy's founder species are the Xolom, wormy natives of a remote world in the K-Zone.

The Xolom were not a civilization nor were they even sapient to start with; the worms' distinctive feature was that they could extrude a) an oily slime with mild psychoactive properties, allowing them to communicate in lieu of other senses and maybe even paralyze prey on contact; and b) a hardy nacreous substance with which they can build protective exoskeletons and nests around themselves. So far, we're not talking about Wrannath-like terrors of the cosmos.

But then, the spirit of the Apexai Oversoul moved over the waters of their face and decided that they had potential. They didn't make any crude uplift efforts, but merely imparted to them the DIVINE CONFIGURATIONS: specific shapes and patterns that Xolomites can reproduce with their lacre and, by treading and writhing over said patterns, achieve sapience. This needs the coordinated effort of a sufficient number of worms and the resultant enlightened masses are collective minds, individual bodies connected by slithery layers of psi-chrism.

Quickly the Xolom redefined individuality as ambulatory swarms wrapped around humanoid (or more accurately, Apexaioid) frames, each movement a prayer to consciousness, and probably thrived as a weird primitivist psitech civilization. That every Xolom was technically psychic meant that proportionately a lot of them were further elevated into Vieleren, exalted caretakers with a line to the Oversoul itself. Having a bunch of oily worm-men be their representatives, I think, did not do further wonders for the Apexai's reputation around the K-Zone.

Soon enough, Apexaia fell and the Oversoul shattered. All that was lost in the self-censoring vestibules of Apexai memory flooded forth, along with all those Apexai sorcerer ghosts that Siege mentioned, seeking to cling to existence by establishing a presence in realspace - in other words, by turning themselves into rampaging psychovores.

With the living Apexai out of action, it was up to the vastly less psionically potent Xolom, among their mentors' most devoted disciples, to come up with something. To this end, the Xolomite-Vieleren collectively immolated themselves, partially transcending their physical forms to meld into the first Pyropraxic Pyres - powerful enough to wrestle said sorcerer ghosts on the astral plane, or even to trap the latter within themselves until all iniquity (and indeed, ego) is burned away.

While the modern Pyropraxy is made up of all species, the Xolom would still form a privileged priestly caste, their oily secretions a sacred (and inflammable) sacrament and their mortal members a living link to the firey hive-mind's founding. The nacreous cognitive aids/rosaries left behind by ascending Xolom become sacred relics, which only Xolom are capable of making use of intimately - and in doing so, actually perpetuate the identity of the Xolomite worthy enough to be inducted into the Pyres.

The Pyropraxy is basically led by worms riding the bones of saints.

Guys, I think we've out-40Ked 40K.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Steve » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:10 am

Invictus wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:39 pm
Guys, I think we've out-40Ked 40K.
....

*takes hat off in respect*
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:46 pm

Steve wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:10 am
Invictus wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:39 pm
Guys, I think we've out-40Ked 40K.
....

*takes hat off in respect*
Objective accomplished, then.

Though if some Xolom also went off to form the Respite Tendency, the latter's omni-slime would seem like a straightforward development of their own natural secretions.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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