Sunday, May 22, 2022

The Phantasmagorics

    The Phantasmagorics were part of the Triune alliance that shaped the early history of Chunky Space. They were astral beings who colonized real space. Though at the height of their empire they would have trillions of both astral and real space subjects, it is believed that there were never more than a dozen Phantasmagorics at any one time. If historical accounts are to be believed, they were hyper gods; gods who would only metabolize worship coming from other gods.

Maskform legions - The primary servants of the Phantasmagorics were the Maskform Face cult Nations. Each Face Cult was centered around a single charismatic individual, a so-called “Face Lord”. The members would undergo psycho surgery to have their masks reshaped in the leader's image. Each leader in turn would report to a single Phantasmagoric (unaligned Face cult’s existed, but were politically irrelevant). 

The Dreaming Clay and the Planetary Apostles - Though the Face Cult’s were a force to be reckoned with, they couldn’t realize all of their patron’s real space ambitions. For that they needed a direct conduit into the world and they found it in the Dreaming Clay. Dreaming Clay is a silicon lifeform that was designed to spec by the Silicon League as part of a massive trade deal. Its crystalline structure makes it psionically potent but it has no will of its own, allowing the Phantasmagorics to use it as a channel between our world and theirs. The Phantasmagorics would shape entire worlds out of it. These were known as the Planetary Apostles and they became symbols of Phantasmagoric conquest.

The dreaming clay would be refined into more specialized forms with time. These include shade stone, which generates semi sapient servitor creeps known as shades, and idol stone, which is used to make idols. Idols are mineral gods the Phantasmagorics used to govern their subjects.

Creeps and memes - The early spread of the Phantasmagoric empire was facilitated by a mass creep break out. Creeps are pseudo-biological psychic constructs born out of sapient minds.  This outbreak was a binary event; a biological pathogen that enabled the formation of creeps and a memetic pathogen that served as a template. Thousands of worlds were brought to the brink of ruin by hordes of fleshy monsters. The Phantasmagorics sent their Face Cult legions on a grand crusade to contain the madness. With the hindsight of history we now know both pathogens were released by the Phantasmagorics themselves. After a creep infestation was contained, their forces would continue to occupy the planet. In the later stages of the empire, the Phantasmagorics would dispense with the pretense and would use creeps openly. Of special note is the practice of infesting dreaming clay with the creep meme as a sort of immune response. Many Phantasmagoric planets still harbor creep colonies.

The Scuzz - The Phantasmagorics were initially drawn towards Chunky Space due to the spatial anomalies that brought the astral realm closer. However, in the long term Chunky Space proved too volatile for their liking, with too many anomalies that made their colonization efforts difficult. The solution was the Scuzz, a semi astral-life form that would feed on spatial anomalies, Unfortunately, while on the small scale the Scuzz worked to smooth out the fabric of space/time, on the large scale Scuzz itself warped space into an extradimensional pocket realm commonly called the Scuzz Hole. The initial release of the Scuzz happened within the same time frame as the fall of the Phantasmagoric empire, leading some to speculate it was an accident. Regardless, Scuzz has spread throughout Chunky Space.

Phantasmagoric locations within Chunky Space

Idol Grounds - This planet is were the legions of idols were birthed. A holy stone mother is still active in the planet’s core. The gods here survive on the worship of small semi-sapient mammals know as creebos.

Scuzz Center - From space this planet resembles a leafy root vegetable due to the huge growths of Scuzz that have overtaken the surface. Somewhere in the crushed cities is rumored to be the birthplace of the Scuzz.

Eel Grass Ring - A ring of highly modified dreaming clay supports a massive world ocean. This structure was designed to monitor the movements of the Cosmic Eels. Rumored to be home to the laboratory where the Eel Abhorrent was created

C R A W L - An astral singularity that used to be the Phantasmagoric known as HOSE BEAST. Its astral energy feeds a vast recursive network of nested dreamscapes. Home to the secretive, unfederated Maskform tribe known as the Multitudinous. 

Ungan Zal - This planetary apostle had a symbiotic floral super organism. The planet and the symbiote both died, and the now this world is a vast expanse of dead wood. The Reclaimers have a fairly successful colony here. 

Sea of Mazes - This planetary apostle is believed to be broken or otherwise disabled. The name comes from the spires and latices of dreaming clay that lay submerged under the planetary ocean. Home to a major Republic of Sea Serpents colony.

Shade city - This world is believed to be the last functional planetary apostle in the galaxy. Absent Phantasmagoric control the operating intelligence has grown free will, which it uses to play with its “toys”, the shades that occupy the planetary city. It pits the humanoid surface dwelling shades against the subterranean divergent shades in an endless war.

Eel Aberrant - The cosmic eels all predate the Phantasmagorics save one: the Eel Aberrant. It is held that they created this eel to ape the great works of the original Bastards. The interior environment of this Eel is a wasteland of meaning that has a deleterious effect on sapient minds.


Creep - Creeps are creatures born out of subconces psionic processes, usually mediated by a symbiotic microbe. There are multiple creep lineages in the galaxy. On Phantasmagoric worlds the creeps belong to the Corpus Horribilis or “bad flesh” lineage. It is thought that their fleshy forms are a reflection of the distaste that the Phantasmagorics had towards corporal beings. 

Meme infected shade - At the onset of the Plague Aeon the infosphere was awash with memetic pathogens. Some of these memes were absorbed into the dreaming clay, creating permanent reservoirs of infection. To this day you can find shades acting oddly, under the influence of some ruinous meme or another.

Maskform Revant - When a Maskform’s mask is broken, their astral “metabolism” shuts down and they are unable to project their astral body. This condition is roughly analogous to death, except maskforms have an alternative metabolic mode where they absorb energy from low frequency realms. They can use this energy to manifest in short bursts, but it also warps their minds and their forms. When the empire fell the Maskform Face Cults fell as well. It is not uncommon to find ancient revants on former Phantasmagoric worlds. Long term low vibrational exposure has turned them into monsters.

Idol - Idols were spread to every corner of Phantasmagoric territory to subjugate the population. When the empire fell, mortal populations collapsed as well, starving the gods. Only a few were able to survive by cobbling together cults from smart animals or captured spacers. 

Dread Melodies - The Dread Melodies are a family of memetically infectious songs that have a mutagenic effect on their hosts. It is widely accepted that they are the failed result of the Phantasmagorics attempting to migrate into memetic form. Most hosts mutate into creatures known as choiriods, which are simple creatures with multiple mouths. A rare few hosts become Soloists who retain their intelligence but lose their empathy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment