Timeline

This will probably not make much sense – I’m posting it here so I can reference it easily…

July 1891: Foundation of the Guild of Metaphysics (GM) by ‘Azmael’ in London, England.

February 1896: The GM succeed in opening a gate to Otherworld One. They make several trips to Otherworld One through the rest of the year.

October 1896: The GM open a gate to Neandertan. Exploration of the world commences, resulting in occasionally violent interactions with the native ‘savages’.

January 1897: The GM open a gate to Gehenna.

1897-1899: The GM open gates to many worlds. The majority are uninhabitable and not revisited.

Late 1898: The GM start work on the ‘Luxembourg Experiment’, an experimental ritual intended to harness the power of a Ley node on Neandertan. Local inhabitants are bribed, bullied and occasionaly enslaved to assist with the preparations.

March 14th 1902: The Luxembourg Experiment is enacted. The power generated proves completely uncontrollable, instantly killing all mammals larger than a dog for a radius of close to 20km and carving out a crater 600m wide. Most of the Guild survive in ‘the eye of the storm’ but their Neandertal ‘assistants’ perish.

In the wake of the disaster the Guild fragmnents into warring factions with different opinions on how – or even whether – to continue their research.

After detecting ripples from the explosion the Wyrms investigate, and begin trying to track down those responsible. The incident strengthens the position of those in the Wyrymyan Parliament arguing for the establishment of a body to protect non-metaphysically aware civilisations.

Early 1904: The factions within the GM have solidified into three ‘parties’. The First Party believes Metaphysics should remain secret knowledge, shared with only a careful, select few. The Second Party believes Metaphysics should be shared with all ‘to create a Paradise on Earth’. The Third Party believes Metaphysics should be used to take control of society and reshape it as they see fit.

December 1906: The Wyrms establish contact with the GM. It takes some time to convince the members that they are not ‘ascended masters’ or ‘higher dimensional beings’.

~1907: The first bands of Zurvár start migrating into local probability.

August 12th 1908: After lengthy negotiations the Metaphysicians Guild is founded with the support of the Wyrymyan Parliament and members from numeous local worlds. The Majority of the Guild of Metaphysics join – with the exception of the Third Party who are officially expelled. The GM ceases to operate in any serious capacity soon afterwards.

1913: The Metaphysicians Guild takes posession of Metaphysica and starts constructing campuses on the sites of major cities. The largest and defacto capital is De Chirico/Paris.

April 7th 1919: The De Chirico campus is attacked by several thousand Neandertals via gates opened by ‘Iron Drum’ shamans. Hundreds are killed on both sides over the course of 6 hours. The battle is ended when the Neandertals are driven back by the arrival of forces from several Zurvár houses, summoned by representatives who were present negotiating with the Guild for settlement rights.

Later research indicates that the lingering effects of the Luxembourg disaster resulted in an increase in Metaphysical potential among the survivors, which combined with relics left from experiment allowed the attack.

1919-1926: A series of small battles and skirmishes take place on Neandertan, mostly instigated by vengeful Guild members. No further attacks are made on Metaphysica – oral histories attribute this to only eight shamans being capable of opening gates, five of whom were killed at De Chirico.

1926: A treaty is negotiated with the Neandertals, ending the Neandertan War. Tensions remain however.

Early 1950s: The number of Zurvár travelling through local probability increases notably.

1959: An uninhabited world is ceded to the Zurvár, being christened Zurvár Areana.

Further Thoughts on Fallout

Having binged my entire way though Fallout, I have some further thoughts (spoilers ahead!).

WOW. Like, seriously. WOW.

They’ve done an amazing job. There are only three things that stood out to me as inaccurate, and two of those are fairly accurately explained.

The first is ghouls using a drug to avoid turning feral. To my knowledge there is no mention of this in any other Fallout media. Ghouls are tough, get healed (to some extent) by radiation, can live for centuries, and sometimes go irreversibly insane and turn into mindless, cannibalistic monsters. There seems to be some link between age and going feral, but it’s very vague – some ghouls remain sane for centuries, whole others lose their mind within a few years.

To my mind there’s no reason that ghouls in California couldn’t have stumbled over a pre-war drug that fends off going feral, or even developed such a drug. We know that Dr Barrows in D.C. is looking for treatments for the ghoul condition, there’s surely similar researchers in California. If it’s a comparatively recent development then it wouldn’t have had time to spread to the rest of the wasteland, which would explain why it doesn’t show up in any of the games

The second issue is Maximus getting stuck in his power armour after Thaddeus stole his fusion core. This should be impossible – from the games we know that you can easily get out of power amour even when your last core runs out, and you can move (albeit very slowly) in non-powered power armour.

This is easily explained by the fact that Maximus has never actually been trained! He’s using armour that he stole and has very little idea what he’s doing. There’s probably a release somewhere inside that opens the suit without power, and another one that allows the suit to articulate, but he has no idea where they are, or that they even exist. So when the power goes out, he’s screwed.

The final issue is the big one – the location of Shady Sands. Shady Sands is supposed to lie directly east of Vault 13, which is in the vicinity of Mount Whitney in the Sierra Nevada. It absolutely cannot be over 300km south west in the Angel’s Boneyard. I can’t think of a single way to deal with this – maybe it’ll be explained in Season 2 (we’re gonna get a Season 2, right?) or maybe it’s just something we’ll have to live with.

Anyway, spectacularly well done to everyone involved, and roll on New Vegas!

Initial Thoughts on Fallout

Some thoughts after watching the first two episodes of Amazon’s adaption of Fallout (includes spoilers)…

Spending 20 minutes rotating pictures of wheelbarrows is an oddly Vault-Tec method of accessing the Prime free trial.

Holy guacamole! I thought the trailers looked good, but didn’t dare hope they’d get everything this right!

Ella Purnel is adorable.

The tension in the wedding scene was nail biting.

I LOVE the fact that they’re playing stimpacks straight. Suffered a horrifying, likely fatal injury? Just grab a stimpack and you’re fine!

I’m pretty sure they did a bunch of shooting in Namibia.

They’ve managed to strike the perfect balance between realism and silliness with the violence. It’s ludicrous, but not so much that it takes you out of the story.

Knight Titus was a dick, even by the high dickery standards of the Brotherhood.

Putting all his points into sharpshooting definitely helped with the Yao Guai, but Maximus probably should have spared a few for the Power Armour Training perk.

The brahmin looked so good I didn’t even register them for a second. Cow with two heads? Yeah, that’s just background.

I was furious when the Ghoul killed Dogmeat! But then he fixed him up, so I shall forgive.

Copies of the Wasteland Survival Guide in the shop – perfect!

I am very much looking forward to continuing the series!

All Your Warhammer 40k Questions Answered

Q: What is that tube running into Horus’s nose?
A: Perturabo installed it so he can make the Warmaster smell burning toast whenever he’s being particularly annoying.

Q: Who did Dorn kill on Pluto? Was it Alpharius or was Omegon taking his place?
A: Neither. Alpharius killed Dorn, but then took his place. Theoretically you could tell Dorn-Dorn and Alpharius-Dorn apart because one of them had kickass sideburns and a moustache while the other was clean shaven, but which was which has been censored from Imperial records along with Malcador’s recipe for Chili Con Carne.

Q: Did Malcador really have an ancient toy rocket with С.С.С.Р. written on it?
A: No, but he did have an almost complete collection of Generation 1 Transformers. His notorious feud with Erda originated from her repeated refusal to sell him her Windcharger.

Q: Why does speaking Enuncia make your teeth explode?
A: It doesn’t. Everyone in the 41st millennium just has really bad dental hygiene.

Q: Were the Cabal correct about a victory for Horus resulting in the final defeat of Chaos?
A: The Cabal were all on crack.

Q: Even Eldrad?
A: Especially Eldrad!

Q: Why is Torias Telion still a sergeant despite over 300 years of service?
A: His wicked obscura habit makes him unsuitable for promotion.

Q: Is Elon Musk the Emperor?
A: The Emperor’s parenting skills are bad, but they’re not that bad.

Q: What’s the deal with Guilliman and Yvraine?
A: They’re loyal and devoted pen-pals, nothing more.

Q: Who would win in a volleyball match between Ravenor and Eisenhorn?
A: It depends on whether Eisenhorn is allowed to sub-in Cherubael.

Q: Is it true that you’re selling video tapes of Ciaphus Cain’s wedding night?
A: This interview is OVER!

On Cryptids

There is a time in every weirdo’s life that they feel compelled to come up with a categorisation system for those strange creatures that lurk on the boundary between science, folklore and small-town tourism campaigns – cryptids! And for me that time has come today.

So gentle reader, please behold the Purple Wyrm Cryptid Categorisation system – which I must admit owes more than a touch of inspiration to Alex Flanigan of the gone but always in our hearts Cryptid Keeper podcast.

(NOTE: By default this system uses ‘boys’ as a categorisation term. Users should feel free to substitute this with whatever term – gendered or non-gendered – they prefer. Cryptozoology is a wide brontosaurus with room on its back for all!)

CLASS ONE: SHADY BOYS
Shady Boys are perfectly normal beasts seen under unusual circumstances that make them look all cool and mysterious. As an example consider the ‘lioness’ filmed lurking around Berlin back in the June of 2023 that actually turned out to be a wild boar. That boar is a very shady boy.

CLASS TWO: WEIRD BOYS
Weird Boys are perfectly normal beasts with some kind of condition or deformity that makes them look unusual or act in an unexpected fashion. The coyotes with mange that people keep trotting out as chupucabras (American subspecies) for instance, or the tailless iguana laughably claimed to be the Loveland Frogman (the Loveland Frogman is real and he is a wizard!).

CLASS THREE: LOST BOYS
Lost Boys are (again) perfectly normal beasts that have somehow ended up in places that logic dictates they shouldn’t be. The phantom kangaroos of the American midwest, or the Alien Big Cats of Great Britain for example. Vampires are not lost boys no matter what Joel Schumacher may tell you.

CLASS FOUR: OLD BOYS
Old Boys are beasts that we know used to exist, but are/were considered extinct. The poster boy for the old boy is the happy coelacanth, merrily swishing its tail at the bottom of the Indian Ocean in defiance of paleontologists everywhere. Should the various mega-cryptids of the Congo basin turn out to be real and turn out to be dinosaurs then they would be very old boys indeed.

CLASS FIVE: NEW BOYS
New Boys are beasts never before described by science. Regularly hauled across the earthquake-riven boundary between the continents of Cryptozoology (disreputable) and Zoology (respected) they are the most common class of cryptid and the only one mentionable in polite scientific company. The Vu Quang Ox (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) of Vietnam is a fine example, only having been admitted to the halls of respectable science in 1992.

CLASS SIX: SPACE BOYS
Space Boys are life-forms from planets other than Earth. Y’know, aliens. Be they disgusting little Greys, buff blonde Nordics, sexy Venusians or the giant Liberace who descended from a UFO to perform a concert in Fyffe Alabama in 1989, they are all space boys.

CLASS SEVEN: SPOOKY BOYS
Spooky Boys are things from realms and dimensions other than ours. Ghosts, demons, machine-elves, vampires, mothmen, Indrid Cold style Men in Black, Indrid Cold himself – basically anything that defies logic and is probably best not meddled with. They are the spooky boys – although it’s probably best not to call them that to their faces (for the ones that have them…).

CLASS EIGHT: IMAGINARY BOYS
Finally we have the Imaginary Boys. These are creatures that are entirely made up for reasons of humour, profit, entertainment, fraud, or just good old-fashioned mischief. There are many classic cryptids that must sadly be placed in this category – the entire contents of Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods for a start (barring some major scientific discoveries). Of course, the fact that none of these are real does not in any way detract from their value and importance. They may not be real boys, but they are all good boys!

So there we have it! Eight clear and unambiguous categories for all your cryptid classification needs. Classify nice now!

The Trooper

My earlier post about the Protomen’s album The Cover Up and their version of Iron Maiden’s The Trooper with each instance of “Russian” replaced with “Robot” got me thinking about what a more extensive conversion would look like. So I wrote one. Here ’tis.

You’ll take my life, but I’ll take yours too
You’ll fire your maser, but I’ll run you through
So when you’re waiting for the next attack
You’d better stand, there’s no turning back

The siren sounds, the charge begins
But on this battlefield, no one wins
The smell of acrid smoke and diesel fumes
As I plunge on into certain doom

My cycle engine roars, we break to run
The mighty roar of the robot guns
And as we race towards the android wall
The screams of pain as my comrades fall

We hurdle bodies that lay on the ground
And the robots fire another round
We get so near, yet so far away
We won’t live to fight another day

We get so close, near enough to fight
When a robot gets me in his sights
He pulls the trigger and I feel the blow
A burst of rounds take my bike below

And as I lay there gazing at the sky
My body’s numb and my throat is dry
A mess of wires where my arm had been
I never knew I was one of them

And if that’s not enough desecration of a metal classic, check this out…

Exothermic

Building a device to filter the isopropyl alcohol I use for stripping paint from models, and reinforcing some joins with string and superglue.

Remember that cyanoacrylate reacts exothermically with cotton!

Reason that nothing has happened so far, so presumably the cheap string I’m using doesn’t contain cotton.

Shrug and continue.

Five minutes later, smoke starts seeping from the joins.

“Oh, son of a…”

Khahali Khuzd re Khafeleki Tûm

It’s been unreasonably hot of late (maximums hovering around 40° for the last three days), which means that I’ve found it rather difficult to sleep. I’ve tried what I often do under such circumstances which is to stay up watching weird, late night TV until I can barely form a coherent thought (La Brea seems interesting, at least when horribly sleep deprived) then crawl into bed in the hopes of passing out, but it never actually works, so I’ve spent much of the last few nights tossing and turning while my brain whirls away like a merry-go-round with a broken speed governor.

(Do merry-go-rounds have speed governors? Is a speed governor even a thing? You can tell I’m not all here can’t you?)

Anyway, as I was writing in mental and physical torment last night my brain spat up a really silly idea, which was to attempt a translation of everyone’s favourite Dwarf song – Diggy Diggy Hole – into Khuzdul, the language of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Dwarves.

What do you mean you don’t know Diggy Diggy Hole?! What have you been doing with your life?! Here’s Wind Rose’s version to get you up to speed.

Anyhoo, translating it isn’t quite as crazy as it seems because we don’t really know a lot about Khuzdul words and grammar – which gives me plenty of scope to just make things up!

So I looked up what scraps of the language we actually have, and threw in the Neo-Khuzdul lyrics of The Bridge of Khazad-dûm from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack which helpfully provides a basic grammar and a number of words found in Diggy Diggy Hole despite being wildly different in tone.

And here it is! The first verse and chorus of Diggy Diggy Hole translated into what we might call Neo-Neo-Khuzdul…


FELEKA TÛM

Gûza mêngalaribarâ!
Mênfelakarâ khul!
Mêntakarâ felak lamâ!
Mênorodalarâ khul!
Mâsalani buzra zar
Mak tabandi bazanar
Gilim samil, zigil, nim
Abilul sanzigil bin
!

Mâbala ni buzra
Kûman taranasha mâ
Mâzikada ni aznân
Suruk ni kathalamâ
Paragul kurdumâ
Sanbaragul bishkumâ!
Feleka tamahaldi rûza
Mênorodalarâ gûza!

Khahali Khuzd
Ra khafeleki tûm!
Khafeleki tûm!
Khafeleki tûm!

Khahali Khuzd
Ra khafeleki tûm!
Khafeleki tûm!
Feleka tûm!


Translated back to English…

DIGGING A HALL

Brothers you will rejoice!
Dig with me!
Use our tools and voices!
Sing with me!
Deeper and deeper we go,
No one knows what lies beneath,
Shining gems, silver, gold,
Mithril hidden deep
!

We were born underground,
Nourished by stone,
We grew in the dark,
Secure in our mountain stronghold,
Our skin is iron,
Our bones are steel,
Digging makes us free,
Brothers sing with me!

I am a Dwarf,
And I’m digging a hall,
I’m digging a hall,
I’m digging a hall,

I am a Dwarf,
And I’m digging a hall,
I’m digging a hall,
Digging a hall,


And finally for those who care about such things, a line by line gloss…

Gûza mêngalaribarâ
all-brothers you-celebrate-imperative
Brothers you will rejoice!

Mênfelakarâ khul
you-delve-imperative me-with
Dig with me!

Mêntakarâ felak lamâ
you-use-imperative tool voices-our
Use our tools and voices!

Mênorodalarâ khul
you-sing-imperative me-with
Sing with me!

Mâsalani buzra zar
We-descend-are deeps more
We go deeper and deeper

Mak tabandi bazanar
No-one it-know-are below-things
No one know what lies below

Gilim samil, zigil, nim
Shining gems, silver, gold
Shining gems, silver, gold

Abilul sanzigil bin
hidden true-silver beneath
Mithril hidden below

Mâbala ni buzra
we-born-were in deeps
We were born underground

Kûman taranasha mâ
stone it-nourish-did us
Nourished by stone

Mâzikada ni aznân
we-grow-did in darkness
We grew in the dark

Suruk ni kathalamâ
secure in mountain-stronghold-our
Secure in our mountain stronghold

Paragul kurdumâ
iron-of skin-our
Our skin is iron

Sanbaragul bishkumâ
true-iron skeletons-our
Our bones are steel

Feleka tamahaldi rûza
To-dig it-create-does freedom
Digging creates freedom

Mênorodalarâ gûza!
you-sing-imperative all-brothers
All brothers sing!

Khahali Khuzd
me-be-am dwarf
I am a dwarf

Ra khafeleki tûm
and me-dig-am underground-hall
And I’m digging a hall

Khafeleki tûm
me-dig-am underground-hall
I’m digging a hall

Khafeleki tûm
me-dig-am underground-hall
I’m digging a hall

Khahali Khuzd
me-be-am dwarf
I am a dwarf

Ra khafeleki tûm
and me-dig-am underground-hall
And I’m digging a hall

Khafeleki tûm
me-dig-am underground-hall
I’m digging a hall

Feleka tûm
to-dig underground-hall
To dig a hall


So there you go. I’m done for the day. Mênmahaldarâ lara! (make your own entertainment)

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