Those Who Follow The Star-Prophet

(All characters of the graichic race are hermaphroditic, and do not have gender-specific pronouns; a singular they has been used in place. If this becomes too confusing, it will be switched to a different pronoun.)

The waterfalls were deafening, even from so far away; like so many rains happening further below, all thunderous cacophony and deep bass rumbling. It filled Fa with such a peace that the last month’s hardships were slowly ebbed away, and they allowed themselves a few moments of dozing in the early summer sun, surrounded by their raichii who splashed happily in the waters. Fa was nearly asleep by the time they felt a nudging head poke into their abdomen.

“Where is Mo, Fa?” Came the little voice from beside them.

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A Father’s Words

“Sometimes, you just need to sit and bask, bake, under an uncaring sun.” He inhaled slowly, as if drawing in the very heat around himself. My ears were so poised for his next words I almost missed them in the background noise.

“Because, daughter mine, the world under your feet, the grass and insects and animals, all that wind and rain and ceaseless molten activity?” He exhaled his breath as if it were smoke from a tasteless cigar; a habit that he’d kicked but that followed him like a stray dog, “It barely notices your passing. Unless you Make it notice.”

I often wondered if that was why he had burned that giant factory down, assaulting the fire brigade, then police that tried to contaiin him, as if the fire were a warning about the real danger; he was worse than a five-alarm blaze, more destructive than an earthquake and twice as likely to pour boiliing philospophical threats down your throat as he was to scam you blind.

Those words he spoke to me (the last words he spoke to me) should have given me purpose – some drive to motivate me to better myself – but it only made me question whether the sun could, in fact, care.

I suppose that’s why I find myself in a broken pod, staring out the only window at a star so massive, even the spots on it could engulf me without incident; sirens wailing, the inevitable pull of atmosphere as it rushes through myriad leaks in the hull, even the broken chatter of my colleagues on the ship behind me as they attempt to understand why I sabotaged the pod before hurling it and myself towards that stellar oven.

In hindsight, I idly wondered if the old bastard was right, before I felt the first ray of pure, undiluted sunlight grace my form through the rapidly deteriorating vessel. Within seconds, I was blind, and mere seconds later, I was burning. A minute later, and what remained of my blasted corpse was igniting and flaring as the unfathomable pull of the sun drew it effortlessly in.

The sun wasn’t uncaring; no, no, it cared a great deal. But what an immense churning giant of gas and flame cares about is not something we can comprehend, let alone appreciate.

At least, that’s what the melting pile of jelly that considered itself to be my brain tried to explain during the descent to brain-death.

This is another sketch, based on a line of reasoning I stumbled into while doing what the titular father suggested – sitting out in the sun. Whether this all makes sense, I can’t say; I’m just content putting something up.


“Fifteen months of service, and where do they put me?” The frustrated voice crackled out of the radio.

Sighing, Ebriette paused in their work, hanging on to the metal latticework of the communication tower with one hand and increasing the volume on the receiver. “Let me guess, Milo. ‘Out in the middle of an ocean’.” Their reply was dripping with as much sarcasm as they could muster through the thin clinging film of the high-altitude-breathing-apparatus; or as the insufferable goon in charge of training had cheerfully explained, HAPA.

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Cuquimo Mergedyell, the Colourless Viper

This story is based off of a story from the game Dwarf Fortress, provided by the lovely Dusty Dorfs posts here and here. Dwarf Fortress is a game steeped in lore and legends, as well as nuanced and complex histories. I have taken some liberties with added names and personalities, but I drew much of the information here directly from those posts. From this we have a story of Cuquimo Mergedyell, the human general of a conflict against that wretched blight, the Goblin, and the kind of impact that has on a person later in their life…


The corpse-laden battlefield, heavy with the burden of war, stretched out below them like death’s own bloody harvest.

Cuquimo Lecbealá, she of the title “The Colourless Viper”, stood atop a short crest where the officers had made camp; from here, she could survey the battle’s results, and hear faint conversation from the soldiers under her command. There was the faint stench of blood and soiled bodies even upwind, and the guttering pitch of the torches did little to aid the smell.

The voices below occasionally rang out in boisterous laughter or raucous songs, accompanied by the rhythmic clanking of tankards and armor and the stomping of many a boot. A sort of chaotic symphony, attesting that their victory was one to be celebrated, lauded in song and dance for days to come.

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Menhir – Rieva’s Story

Her home was empty, both of noise and of another home within it, as a song without a melody. Her bones felt the chill of autumn’s touch all too keenly from the open windows, but she could not bring herself to close them. Something in her said that it was right; his spirit could not find her if the house was shut up like a tomb, could not bade her fond farewell or show her to their mutual love. Saden had been missing for nearly three days since the passing, and she would not hold the wake without him. Not only for his sake and company, but for Syf’s spirit to know they were both there at the last.

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Deep green fluid, transparent and illuminated from all sides by miniature bulbs, gurgled quietly as it circled in the pool. As it poured over over a head the size of a small house, steam jetted along the length of it, hissing in the slight viscosity coating it. Multiple symmetrical grooves ran lengthwise along the almost-humanoid jaw, though the shape resembled that of a warship’s prow more than a human face. Circuitry pulsed with life in these channels, a veritable night’s sky of lights blinking in and out in a lazy pattern. The metal beast slumbered wearily, its languor clear as it idled within the restoring bath.

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Stormworld: Freeways

(Warning: This story contains mentions of attempted suicide. If this is something you don’t wish to read about, please return to the archives here.)


Seven more freeways, he thought with a grimace. Seven more freeways until he could get out of the storm for a breath or two. Normally, this should have given him relief, even a spring in his step – a dry place in the middle of the heavy rains? May as well be heaven.
Paul shook his head to clear the water from his eyes. If the amount of Waterbacks and Watchers out were any indication, being indoors could be as risky as facing one of the Reclamation’s mutanta. The thought that being drenched outdoors with a few metres of clear view was more ideal than the safety of a roof and walls gave Paul pause; would the risks of theft or violence really outweigh the benefit of a dry spot?

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Stormworld: Cottage

The cottage stood empty on the bluff, wind whistling through long-broken shutters as a fine mist descended from the thin clouds. Occasional god-rays shone through, which was as sunny as it got this time of year. The cottage on the hill was, like most structures, derelict – abandoned years ago and nowhere near salvage or food to bother fixing up. As such, it made for a fantastic bird perch, as well as hideaway for one individual.

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Stormworld: Watcher & Harvester

(The following story contains mild sexual content; if you are under 18 or otherwise not keen on reading about it, please leave this page.)

This is the fourth in a series of short stories set in a shared universe: Earth has been pummeled by heavy storms for twenty years, and the governments left over have adapted by genetically manipulating (and in some cases, Inventing) creatures to help them survive the onslaught of rain and wind. After two decades, the storms have diminished, but the changes are too significant to return to the status quo so easily…


The sound of the rain had taken on a subtle tone, dashing itself against the tin roof with a soft but determined fervor. No malice or ill intent transmitted throughout the dilapidated structure, yet there rang a hollow noise, low and almost empty, from the opened doorways and windowless voids along its face; echoes of a past long forgotten. Read more