Friday, September 22, 2023

Slush Pile 8

Names: Avino, Etilig, Zelorn, Cathalo, Bick, Manap, Ogal, Mizoolah, Habiru, En-Yen-Yee, Warlumderby, Shiersha, Haxty Gron, Portry, Gurdielark, Pisnong, Bellganver, Umeziya (those last two came to me in dreams), Nephila (a sort of spider)

Perfume dungeon - perfumer's guild developed scent so intoxicating it drove people mad, and so the whole structure was entombed
-underwater access canals used to drag whales live into the perfumery to harvest their ambergris

Word Corner:
Chancrous - relating to chancres, ulcer at the site of entry of a pathogen
Ouabain - toxic latex from plants
Orbicular - having the shape of a flat ring or disk / having a rounded convex or globular shape
Sequela - a condition which is the consequence of a previous disease or injury
Akht - Avestan, pest, or saturated by poison
Drem - dot, dust, fish-scale, limitless impurity
Amadou - a spongy materiak derived from the hoof fungus, useful for firestarting, water-absorbing, and making items of clothing (like a sort of leather)
Rammalie - Communication with other worlds and aeons through patterns on pebbles and desert sand
Dracolatry - worship of the ancient serpents, of their forms in volcanos and underground rivers, flows of heated power
Zampone - an Italian sausage encased in a hollowed-out pig's foot
Anamnesis - the remembering of things from a previous existence
Buckboard - a four-wheeled wagon of simple construction meant to be drawn by a horse or other large animal. A distinctly American utility vehicle, the buckboard has no springs between the body and the axles. The suspension is provided by the flexible floorboards of the body and a leaf spring under the seat(s). The buckboard has no sideboards on the body, leaving the floor quite mobile. In rough terrain, the floor can flex and "buck", lending the vehicle its name.
Scarabesque - like arabesque, but for scarabs. Apparently also the name of an enemy from the Sonic videogame franchise.
Shaunchliest - an adjective for a place which most resembles a public washroom without officially being a public washroom
Jettatura - Italian name for the evil eye, lit. "to throw/thrower of bad luck"
Malandrin - Like Oiselier, other name for Cagots
Siriger - A man of sorrows
Thoral - Having to do with a couple’s marital bed and/or nuptials
Feretory - A receptacle to hold the relics of saints, the chapel in which such a receptacle is kept
Caranain - A temple of the Amazons
Ashglory - Paul Celan's special new word

Stricken-plays are performed by lepers wearing the masks of gods and demons, to ward off sickness and win some food

The words of the book come to live in the eyes of their readers, changing their colour, their shape, revealing things once hidden from them

The plane-spanning world-tree Yggdrasil and Mount Olympus are remnants of old Orders, old orderings of the planes, before the time of Sigil and its Great Wheel
-Languages too, as expressions of these Orders - alphabets with letters of tellurian curlings - the infinite coilings of the cosmic dragon Io, trapezohedral blocks of mountain-speech, ambigiously and fractally grammatical branchings of arbor-tongue

Chimeristry - the art of forging together disparate flesh
-the clay surgeons of Ogal practice a medical/cosmetic form of chimeristry - as the name suggests, they imitate divine creation by molding clay onto flesh, whether to heal wounds, replace limbs, and shape features, drawing on the wick of their patient's remaining lifespan to animate these additions, being incapable of genesis ex nihilo

A monster with a beard of human entrails

Orcs (or elves or what have you) as a linguistic development - sapir-whorfery, or relation of sign and signified - the pronounced words of war and dehumanization deform the face that speaks them, spurring on the growth of armoured bone and gut-spilling tusks

"man-shaped stains on the brightness of the air"
"Brass is mistaken for gold more easily than clay is. And if it finally refuses conversion its corruption will be worse than the corruption of what ye call the lower passions. It is a stronger angel, and therefore, when it falls, a fiercer devil."
-from The Great Divorce

Jesuit transplant surgeons so adept in the science of transubstantiation that they can make bread into a serviceable (superior! given that it's the flesh of God) substitute for any human organ

Bone-ash Flames: The bones of tyrants and rebels, killers and executioners, exhumed from their sepulchres and kindled with a fire to torment their evil ghosts - the bone-ash flame is perpetual once lit, and everything in its light turns the white of a corpse

An angel who is a knot of iron with crystalline hands, loosing arrows of error on those too mighty to have opposition besides their own mistakes

There's a village out in the dusty red highlands that buries its dead atop a plateau where no grass grows and no birds nest. These dead shrivel and harden over the years down in the earth, until they are a black lump smaller than a peach pit. When the villagers go to war they exhume these lumps and use them as bullets in slings or guns. On the battlefield they are undefeated.

A tutelary spirit who takes the form of a hunched old woman with two extraordinarily saggy breasts which she keeps rolled up on scrolls - upon their skin are scarred the words of many books. Talks like a storybook witch, cackling, calling people "my dearies".

Crowdsourced debt collection app - no longer phonecalls, now vigilantes are given the identities of debtors to beat and humiliate, with a social network & prizes for posting the videos

Man wearing the underside of a pelican's beak as a hood, eyeholes poked through it, still reeking of fish and the sea.

Continued gerontocracification of the United States - the Villages expanded to fill most of American southeast - drone strikes ordered on scam call centers in India

The city of Harmonious Wallab in the cradle of the western mountains invited a star to earth - a rogue star, hated by its kind. The sky is permanently overcast by great hydrothermal misting-machines to obscure their wrath. The rogue star sits in a position of honour in Wallab's palace, declaring new forgery-fates for petitioners.

A nation of trolls who nail spikes into their brains, using their regenerative ability to survive the process while supressing their hunger, aggression, etc. - a nation of surgically-enhanced philosopher-ascetics

Volcanoes are trepanning the Earth

Funeral strippers - real

Barebones plot: Noblewoman dies, suitors believe estate is now haunted, picked off one by one as they believe her ghost is wrathful and must be put to rest - actually a kenku brigand mimicking her voice along with some tricks (dress hung on tree branch in wind) to fake the haunting while it kills off the people on the estate to take their stuff and loot it

Rats that crawled off slave-ships infused with evil (stole this one from Braindead)

Ravenloftery - Vistani are not an ethnic group, but an occult one: those who've made a pact with the spirit Ravallah to be able to traverse the Mist

Alien with worm-like organs/symbiotes instead of muscles, which rearrange around their skeleton with suction cups or somesuch instead of being anchored with tendons

Experiments with stem cells unleash terrible new organs/mutations that had been previously locked away in the human genome (stole this one from Rabid)

A living pronoun (what?) - boomer horror... like if Stephen King's brain was melted by tumblr instead of Trump

The whole "secret behind Roman concrete" thing is a cover-up - the real secret is using ashes from children sacrificed to Moloch - that'll give you concrete you can build an empire on

There are sixteen "spokes" of the Great Wheel, great tower-cities between planes, lesser counterparts to Sigil's "hub" - undermining them would be key to destroying the Wheel and replacing it with another paradigm

The continent of Antarctica bears an uncanny resemblance to the human brain because it's a nexus of our species' morphogenetic field - megastructural projects (or the destruction of megastructures already constructed) built there can control human thought - "sanity" and SAN loss in a Cthulhu-y context is the result of Antarctican structures - Cthulhu entites are sealed there because they are dark exudate of the collective unconscious - why Antarctica? Magnetic pole (The Magnetic Pole! Hero to downtrodden Polish workers throughout the E.U.)
-Supervillain: Buzzkill, drank out of a paper straw infested with wasp larvae, now has a hive in her throat and can scream out angry wasps

Whip made of a giant snail's radula
-giant animals in general seem like they'd make non-metalworking cultures more competitive with metalworking ones, what with the much greater tensile strength and whatsuch

Amazon Stork (tm) delivers genetically-customized babies by drone right to your doorstep

Modern horror seed - billionaire-type stuck in line for the peak of Mount Everest makes bargain with space-entity (demon) so as not to freeze to death waiting - it can only reach through the atmosphere from space at its thinnest point (why not planes? uhhh, the metal frame acts as a Faraday cage, or at least enough of one to keep it out)

The hobgoblin's less-popular cousins: slobgoblins, snobgoblins, blobgoblins, cobgoblins, lobgoblins, knobgoblins, sobgoblins, jobgoblins
-Goblinoid trifecta of taking: goblins - theft, hobgoblins - slavery, bugbears - murder
-Bugbear variants based on sorts of fear: paranoia agents, gutwrenchers, creepy-crawlers, spinetinglers, nailbiters

Planet of ghosts - result of astral projection experiments of CIA and KGB during the Cold War, souls stranded thousands of light years from Earth

Druids as counter-necromancers - instead of going forward to death, they move back to pimeval & protean life

Far future sci-fi or crazy alien artifact - weapon based on dark energy, instantaneously expands space within a target, tearing it apart no matter how durable it may be - synthetic muonic matter, etc.

Cursed DIY instruction videotape, lets watchers perform horrible & otherwise-impossible home improvement projects, like a dishwasher rigged up to a living person's digestive tract, or an endless hallway

Gurus & yogis kidnapped for illegal chakra transplants

Grey market hormone supplier's supply tainted - by aliens? - those who take it begin to transition to FORBIDDEN GENDERS

(From Starship Troopers, kind of) Psychic powers as diplomatic device of hive-mind alien species, those that receive them tend toward amenable political-mental structure (telepathic hubs)

Heavy-handed metaphor - sci-fi future where immortality is invented (but only affordable to really rich people), works by turning every cell in your body into a sort of cancer

Common Extrasolar Colony Collapse Conditions:
-Brainfreeze: Anomalous ice crystal formation in brains of cryonically-frozen colonists lead to unacceptable levels of death, amnesia, and madness
-Edenic Dereliction: Conditions on new world support human thriving without advanced technology - colonists abandon utility to wider galactic civilization in favour of ease
-Temporal Stutter: Experimental FTL used in colony ship leads to multiple versions of the ship arriving at colony site, resulting in disastrous causal pruning
-AI Cult: Where colonists are grown from fetuses, religious-based instruction is useful to ensure obedience - a mistake in programming the AI which performs the role of the central god or prophet of this colonial religion can result in the AI acting as if it were truly worthy of worship, leading to mass human sacrifice or other non-utility of the colony

Monsters with castes or instars or whatever based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs - most common are animalistic eaters, above them are warriors, top is philosopher-kings, etc.

High/dark/wood elves aren't different kinds of elves but the same elves at different points in time somehow smushed together into the same temporality - wood elves are ancestral form, just coming down from the trees, dark elves from apocalyptic future, just emerging from buried bunkers

Dwarves divided by the type of stone they dig in - sedimentary dwarves animate the fossils they exhume as stony undead servants, igneous dwarves worship volcanic gods, etc.

Hot bunk rentals - do they already do this? You rent out your lil pod apartment for 8 hours a day

(From Tetsuo) Cyberpsychosis isn't from hooking robotic prostheses up to your nervous system exactly, but from the will of rust infecting the metal, which desires to crumble the whole world into the uncaring dust of the universe


  1. Thanks for posting these, they're quite fun to dip in and out of.

  2. always enjoy these posts, thanks for them

  3. There are too many awesome ideas to even keep track of them all. Your slush piles are always great but this one in particular is especially good. If I absolutely had to pick a few, let me see...

    The words in general

    The crowdsourced debt collectors

    The creepy pelican man

    The philosopher trolls

    The living pronoun (if played as parody-horror, or alternatively, as a kind of god/spirit/anima)


    Druid counter-necromancers

    Atemporal elves

    Dwarven undead mineral golems

    Rust cyberpsychosis