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Round 2 - Festival of Ability!


SerakHawk

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On 2/15/2024 at 1:50 AM, EmBark said:

During the Showcase of Agility

 

Entry

Epeka Sunderlanad stood on a platform. She took a deep breath and leapt at a bar, swinging around it once, twice, three times... and letting go! She grabbed a pole in mid-air and swung around it, grabbed it with her other hand and descended as she swung round and round, moving her legs around it. Music began to play with soft strings. She spun slower as she got mere inches off the ground, the tip of her nose almost brushing against it. She slowed down so much, she stopped.

Silence.

"This floor... is very clean," she said.

Then she started glowing softly, a rose hue emitting from the crevices of her horns and surrounding her skin. She let go of the pole and floated in place. Arms and legs spread, she slowly rose, then turned to float vertically, feet off the ground. She took a breath. She took a bow. Then the music picked up and drums and wind instruments joined in. On cue, she moved like she leapt and curved around the pole, then a different one, then a third and fourth and then diving into an entire obstacle course of tight curves and impossible bends. Her body bent to form shapes like letters, shapes like animals, just to fit through some holes in the course set up for her. The flight of a llort who had perfected one magical ability in its physical form.

At the end of the obstacle course she did it in reverse, and then top-down through a different part of it. She came out of a hole in the front and soared over the audience, then back for a final few twists and turns, before bursting out again and grabbing the pole that had been there at the start. Round and round and round and descending, slowing down, the music slowing down, until finally hanging in place again, setting out one foot and stepping away.

She bowed and did not rise until she heard a response.

She couldn't look anyone in the face. She told herself she'd done well, but in the quiet fractions of seconds the voices still told her no.

 

Karim-12 applauds uproariously, letting out a brief wolf-whistle before ze vanish off into the crowds, slipping away to the next showcase.

On 2/16/2024 at 11:39 AM, volthawk said:

Cool Technology!

While there was no official delegation from Eilif Dhaoine slated to appear at the festival, that didn't mean nobody from the Reserve had arrived. Besides the usual scattered sealga bands that were slowly and unfortunately becoming increasingly common across Tekhum, there was one group from the Reserve that had made the proper arrangements to put forward an entry into consideration. Set up in the room used for the Showcase of Ingenuity is a team led by Raoic Tàirn, a...well, he politefully refuses the term "artisan" be applied to him (despite that being the norm for craftsmen in Eilif Dhaoine as far as anyone outside of the Reserve could see), instead asking to be called an engineer or technician or similar. The reason for the distinction isn't particularly clear at first glance, and the main guess that takes root in the crowd watching them set up is that "art" appears to not at all be within the man's plans - the device they unpack and assemble is definitely not one built for appearance's sake, unlike the way that suits of chitincraft armour worn by the lannan also serve as an elaborate uniform or how sealga equipment often also serves as trophies showcasing notable kills and feats. Some bàscail chitin is definitely used in its construction, that much is clear, and while the mixture of the inhuman chitin and human machinery may have some appeal there's the lack of the usual...intent shown in chitincraft equipment to showcase that dichotomy. Instead, this weapon - and it is becoming increasingly clear that the piece being worked on is a weapon - simply uses it where it is needed* to make the whole more effective.

Once he's done with overseeing the bulk of the construction, Raoic steps forward towards anyone watching and clears his throat before speaking in Low Imperial - something that had been becoming increasingly popular among the Dhaoine who were interested in the wider world. "Ahem. Those of you who were present at the Arkhive's banquet some years back, or have had further dealings with the various groups of artisans selling their gear on the open market, will be quite familiar with the chitincraft armour and weapons that have helped bring Eilif Dhaoine a fair amount of fame in recent years. This, what I have here, is not that. It isn't the work of the artisans, those who outfit the lannan or give the sealga their little ego-boosters, but the work of us, the engineers and crawler technicians that spearhead the design of armoured vehicles. It is the continuation of centuries of research and development that have recently seen new heights in the construction of the glungagan ships. This is work that has primarily answered a very simple question in increasingly simple ways - when you have an array of light vehicles that need to work around rough terrain while also needing to take on any one of a wide variety of monsters and leviathans, how do you take the biggest gun possible and fit in on the lightest vehicle possible in a way that allows both halves to work at full effectiveness and in harmony, rather than building something that tears itself apart after a few shots or which sacrifices too much mobility and gets torn apart by the bàscail? This here, my entry to your competition, is my current best answer - the dealan-sleagh, which I'm told translates to something along the lines of "lightning spear" in Low Imperial - I'm sure your translators will all verify that. Simply put, it is an exercise in using mass driver technology to fire armour-penetrating rounds at the highest rate of fire possible while still being practical to use in a light vehicle - we typically use it on light crawlers, while the main crawler tanks tend to use something a little different which I don't have to hand right now. This thing can tear through most bàscail one might encounter out on the Reserve, and in our recent campaign in the mainland it served to great effect against enemy infantry and light to medium armour, including vehicles significantly larger than ones we mount this weapon on." He pauses, a little unsure where to continue. "So...any questions? Is that what we're supposed to do at this point?"

*It is noted in the literature related to the topic that have been slowly produced by Dhaoine cities for wider consumption that the chitin gathered from certain varieties of bàscail has a number of properties that regular insect chitin does not, and chitincraft started out as simply taking advantage of those properties, and the artistic aspect and the connotations around the struggle between Dhaoine and bàscail came later.

 

The High Lord barely pauses for the weapon on display, an expression of clear disdain on zir face. Ze do not pass judgment, simply walking on- perhaps more damning an indictment, in zir mind, than anything that could be said aloud.

21 hours ago, EmBark said:

During the Showcase of Artwork

 

The banner next to their showcase said "a marriage of the second and third dimension--of light and paint--of the visual and the physical--of dream and other dream".

Entry

The tarp removed, the artwork showed a small platform barely inches high, a large painting the size of a human doorway towards the back of it. The was a chair in the middle of the platform.

The painting seemed like an ordinary painting at first. Stylized and very colourful and very textured with paint. It showed the edges of a doorway and a landscape beyond lit up by the sun. There were mountains in the distance, a house by a creek slightly nearer, and fields of yellow grass between the house and the viewer. Some trees on the edge of the field were seen on one side, with a dark figure leaning against one, back turned towards the viewer.

After approaching at least as close to the painting as the chair and being near the painting for a few seconds, words lit up above the doorway.

"Please touch."

Touching the painting felt the texture at first, like real paint, but there was a slight ripple. Then, the figure in the painting turned, revealing it was much more than just paint within the artwork. The figure walked closer, until face to face with the viewer, just beyond the doorway, and recognizable as a youthful androgynous llort dressed in planetbound human clothing and with bare feet.

The llort extended their hand, placing it as if against a glass wall between them and the viewer.

A viewer who might return the gesture, placing their hand against the 'wall' as well.

A viewer who would find the painting pressing back against their hand, as if the llort from the painting pushed through, pushed the viewer's hand back, as the llort stepped forward and slowly materialized as a hologram created by generators within the platform and the painting's frame.

There were some basic physical responses, involving the llort from the painting reacting to the viewer, either dancing around them or even with them, touching their shoulders gently if they sat down in the seat as if trying to give a massage that a hologram did not have the physical pressure to perform, shaking hands or laughing at a joke. After at most a few minutes, the llort stepped back into the painting, letting go of the viewer, and disappearing into the forest in the painting. They would only reappear again minutes later, as long as the original viewer had left the platform in the meantime.

The Llort artwork seems to captivate Karim-12, and ze spend a long time simply staring at the painted figure without interacting at all. When ze do touch, it seems almost perfunctory, as though ze are simply going through the motions to confirm ze have understood it. Ze nod when the figure returns to the painting, and announce to nobody in particular, "Adequate."

7 hours ago, Rocket Relm said:

Moonsoul Mountains Display Of History

Calling the Moonsoul Mountain display a shrine was technically accurate, but all in all it seemed ot resemble the interior of a castle and a tunnel into a mountain at the same time. Shaping the area around their hall into hallways lined with writing, ones that would speak to you as you passed, when touched would glow and impart their knowledge. Knowledge of the history of these people, the cataclysm from which history beyond was a mystery, the forging of the councils, the degree to which methods to allow their radiated bodies to produce children and grow their number were forged.

Methods which include a good portion of magic and mean that the Moonmen are infertile without explicit attempts to do so. Methods which are deliberately not elaborated on in great detail.

Through the tunnels of history branch each of the main 'families', each having their own history catalogued. Due to their genetic structure there really isn't much of a differentiation between "family" and "clan", though 'special bonding' between groups of two, or sometimes three and rarer still four, happen, and lineage is very much catalogued.

Within the center room, a wider area showcasing lots of the building structure, is the skeleton of a great beast. An oversized diorama one can walk inside and look out through the eyes of. More, one can observe the 'controls' being twisted around to make it move, for all that it is empty and more metal than ivory. Near the top is a singular spaceship, a true one, a different one manifested based on which Moonman is present at a given hour and showcasing their ability, but the relative smaller scale of such a thing compared to the greater culture emphasizes how new it is, despite the current overwhelming importance.

"Would you care for a game?"

The voice calls out from the side. A woman in deep blue cowl and hood, gloved and decorated with ordinary stones as if they were gems, with no features visible spare glowing blue eyes. She offers the chance to participate in the many games, from simple card games to those involving miniatures to those involving dice and pamphlets with pens that seem to take emotional effort to scribe with. One can sample the games, though the girl who only goes by Cascade recommends any judges or tourists with an aim to win play against each other, whatever the stakes, because to win against a native in a game they have played on first glance is a daunting task indeed.

Karim's eyes skip over the writing and dioramas, and ze gravitate directly to the games. At the prospect of a challenge, zir grin turns predatory, and ze look at Cascade with half-lidded eyes and naked hunger. "You pick the game. I'm ready."

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A Showcase of Artwork from the Kingdom of High Ishtahnos

Badal was a long long way away from Veehra and the prospect of travelling so long a distance in microgravity caused many of the Ishtahn's finest artists to balk at the prospect of attending in person. Interplanetary travel was still a new prospect after all and the kinks had yet to be worked out to make such a long journey comfortable. Yet the prospect was for some irresistible and despite initial difficulties, the Ministry of Arts soon had dozens of applicants to sift through. It took a few weeks but they eventually decided on an entrant to showcase Ishtahn culture.

The first is Marcus Langton Dusthide, a master of Gramarye. Very short for an Ishtahn, he stands only six foot six inches. He has long blond hair that reaches all the way down his back and he is dressed in a rather drab suit with the lower half of his face concealed by a pale blue bandana. A rather unassuming individual all things considered. His art, meanwhile, is anything but. Numerous large scrolls of deep blue, red and black parchment covered with zoomorphic calligraphy in silver and gold ink fill his display area. In pride of place is the largest, an enormous piece of red dyed parchment adorned with a calligraphic wolf seated and howling at a calligraphic sun, both in iridescent silver ink. From afar the broad strokes of the picture give the impression of simplicity and elegance, but when viewed from very close up the large characters making up the body of the wolf and the disk and rays of the sun above are in fact composed of thousands of tiny characters.

As he waits to be judged he sits at a portable writing table, scribing images on the Jy'mar in plain black ink on plain parchment.

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When the displays were set-up, Earl Vikesh Bafatis made sure the judges of the contest were made aware that they were ready to be visited.

 

The showcase of ingenuity

Inside there is a large item, about two times man-size and about half as wide and deep as high.  Cables come out at various intervals, connected to some other machines which are working.  Next to the object is another smaller object also connected to it.  They look rather bland, but the diagrams next to the device explains what it does.  At first glance, it's a simple fusion reactor and while this is a small model, it's not uncommon to have them this small to build into fighters and shuttles and the like.

But a closer look on the diagrams showed that this fusion reactor uses equipment normally used to generate artificial gravity fields.  According to the schematics, Bafatis scientists had used that technology to focus the reaction and control it better, therefore creating better output and less waste.  The reaction chamber was also smaller than usual, making the overall system smaller than contemporary designs.

The machines around it are just to use the energy, but they are still a showcase of Bafatis engineering and productivity.

The Showcase of Artwork

The Bafatis psions had created something called a mind canvas.  It was a canvas sheet that would not only take oil paints, but would also make some subtle changes to the painting based upon the mind of the viewer.  While the basic painting would be the same, everybody would see subtle differences in the details.  The paintings that are presented are mostly desert landscapes or the animals that live there.  

One of the newest painters used a very minimalist style, just a few brush strokes left and right to show the landscape, letting the psion part fill in the details.  As the painter, Senarathne, was a psion herself and made her own canvasses to paint, the effect was reinforced.  Her main painting was of a desert road with mountains in the background and a setting sun between the mountains.  A fairly common theme in Bafatis because while they lived in the Northern Oasis of the planet Veehra, they still had a lot of desert around them.  Another painting of the same artist showed a desert fox, a small animal with quite large ears compared to its body.  Again a few brush strokes were made to outline the animal and the psion spells on the canvas would fill in the rest.  Some people even swore they saw the ears twitch.

The Showcase of Agility

In Bafatis there exist a number of dances, some more of a gymnastics .  They are difficult to replicate on other planets due to the higher gravity, but with the same artificial gravity generators they use on ships to lower the gravity on the stage they had been given, it was possible to perform the dance as it should be and not the abbreviated forms that they did without removing part of the gravity.

When everybody was ready, a group of ten people, five men and five women, start simple by moving in a round, women on the inside, men on the outside.  But soon the men picked up the women and threw them up in the air, the low gravity making it very easy.  The women did multiple saltos and flips, before coming down on their hands and after a bridge they stood back up.  Now the women were on the outside of the circle and they picked up the men to throw them up.  The men did the exact same moves.  They repeated this three times before suddenly both groups jumped up and did a triple salto.  As they came back down, they immediately jumped back up and did another triple salto.  Coming back down there were five couple again and they move a almost slow motion around, with big steps and slowly swaying from side to side.  Then they turn towards the spectators and take a bow.

 

The dance would be repeated as many times as was necessary, while the painters would explain things and the technicians would keep the machine running.

 

@Silent_Interim @Featherscale @Lumaeus @SerakHawk

 

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The Coalition's displays - or to be more accurate, the displays of the various crews and Heads that had decided to come in response to the publicized invitation to the festival - were, as expected, an eclectic mix. Several were mobile, with only the bare minimum of equipment for their showcases; others were so large that setup had taken most of the previous day. At least one group appeared to have simple left a sign in their assigned space that simply said 'keep an eye out'.

And there were so many of them.

Showcase: A Feast For You And Your Eyes
Despite the provisioned food and drink, a number of Coalition-affiliated showcase runners appeared to have set up essentially half-open food carts, which their chefs used as stages to dish up Coalition street food as a form of performance art - juggling their tools and ingredients, creating intricate patterns and structures from the food while it cooks, making use of flaring open flames, only ever slowing to generate tension for the next act, and all without letting the food burn or be served unfinished. Broadly, the performers (all but one of whom sported extra cybernetic arms), though they made a variety of foods, were proficient at turning what should have otherwise been a relatively tame affair into a true spectacle. The food itself was everything one could ask for from street food, and a far cry from the prim, proper, and nutritionally balanced meals provided by the Jy'mar. No, this was delightfully greasy, mouth-wateringly spicy, and addictively salty, with deserts sweet enough and sharp enough with acids and sugar as to leave one bittersweetly nauseuous at the thought of stomaching any more. Even the notoriously protein-hungry Jy'mar were likely to get a kick out of it, between vat-shrimp & chili stir-fries, garlic cloudfish curries, and the gro-cheese noodle platters. Several carts were even set up to cater to some of the odder anticipated dietary restrictions the cooks expected to be present, just to make sure everyone had a chance to try at least some of it.

Showcase: Mixing It Up
The least surprising entry for anyone even vaguely familiar with Coalition-frequented websites on the InterPlaNet would be, of course, the musicians - though they'd hate to be referred to by the term. No, these were 'recomposers' or 'noise artists' or 'remix pioneers' or even just 'sample-jammers'. It was a common opinion in the mainstream of Coalition musical thought (if it could be called that) if the Empire had two million years of history, everything must have been done already by someone. So most Coalition musicians - sorry, 'remix pioneers' - focused more on remixing what had already been done into something new. Despite the mere fifty-ish year history of the Coalition, the layers of sampling and remixing on most popular tracks had become so densely packed that even the most dedicated PEEARITS had trouble following back the overlapping and interfeeding chains of credit and sourcing and editing and repackaging. Which was, incidentally, how many of those noise artists liked it. This approach to musical performance, of course, was hard to do live - and for that, we must turn to the noise artists who now engage in their craft aboard the Tiotanic. Some of them make use of a multitude PEEARIT controlled directional mics to find random environmental sounds, isolate them, record, and remix them into newly improv'd songs on the spot - complete with audience participation. Several take antagonistic approaches or even intentionally ruin their first few tracks until someone dares to heckle them - at which point they turn the very voice of the heckler into an entire soundscape with which to demonstrate their talent. Others take a more traditional approach, building up songs with playback equipment to loop the new additions to the song until they can begin replaying entire songs, practiced or not, from their individual parts. A very few bring their own pyrotechnics, but almost all have visualizers of some kind with them - and one artist in particular seems more concerned with showing off their ability to use frequency patterns to manipulate this visualizer into a sort of light show, and while the music itself doesn't sound bad, it's clearly a secondary concern for their synesthetic performance style.

Showcase: Visual Unreality
Of course, there are still more permanent forms of media on display - in particular, a series of surreal and psychedelic dreamscapes crafted from planes of intersecting light in virtual reality, holo-displays of seemingly infinite detail - viewers being free to navigate at their leisure, and extreme speed generation of high fidelity two-dimensional artworks by PEEARIT artists in response to audience prompts - which is not without some novelty, given the demonstration of both genuine creativity but also the vague disconnect inherent to the AIs' presence as primarily digital entities, resulting in vaguely ethereal, sometimes uncanny art works capable of being adjusted in real time. But of course, speaking of visual displays...

Showcase: Speedpainting
A high speed cyborg will occasionally skate by, separate from any stationary showcase, perfectly weaving through crowds, corridors, and walkways - carrying a small device not unlike a multi-nozzle spray gun, and chased by an equally fast cyborg with a similar but distinctive device. The first of these will attempt to rapidly graffiti showcases with as striking a display as possible - the second comes to spray a material which dissolves the paint. If the second catches the first, they switch roles. Every artwork thus created is entirely ephemeral and unique, as the product of fevered minds working overtime to try to one-up one another in high-speed competition, all the while avoiding the exasperated security personnel of their Jy'mar hosts. Black Cloud performance art at its most pure - even if every other Coalition-affiliated showcase finds it incredibly annoying to have their equipment be the ones to get sprayed.

Showcase: Speedrunning, Speedleveling, and Adversarial Improvisation
In a similar vein but with rather more decorum are the various high-fidelity PEEARIT-designed simulators and associated displays. Some are available for audience participation to engage with anything from abstract full immersion puzzle games to combat simulators realistic enough to serve as training for Coalition military personnel (and to warrant 'potentially retraumatizing content' warnings for veterans come to participate...), but others serve as a showcase for speedrunners in transparent full-body-use VR spheres to compete for the best times on levels generated nearly as fast by PEEARIT level builders, similarly live and on display for the audience. Few of the speedrunners are able to complete multiple levels in a row without breaks, as a result of the total body workout provided. Fewer still are pleased to have to take the break their bodies demand from them, lungs heaving and hearts pounding, metallic limbs creaking from the heat buildup. These are the crucible that Hǎi Píng & Dǎo-Māo were forged in, and likely to remain the source of the greatest warriors and commanders the Coalition has to offer for some time yet, with the newfound lull in raiding with the anouncement of the Elect.

Showcase: Flesh & Chrome:
Most conventional, and perhaps least impressive for that - or perhaps most acceptable - are the displays of prototype cybernetics by aspiring cyber-engineers, the demonstrations of surgical techniques for implantation, and the multitude of prosthetic design tutorials by Coalition medical professionals hoping to use the Festival as an opportunity to spread their knowledge for the better. Somewhat less conventional would be the number of relatively young Coalition volunteers opting to undergo public surgery to demonstrate all of these - attended, fortunately, by the ministrations of a team of biokineticists and TrueFaith healers.

Showcase: Starlight & Shadow:
Least expected, though, is the lightshow made entirely of...runes? While runecrafting, though often dismissed, was known to be practiced among the pirates to a greater extent than most, this was stranger. A single androgynous-looking cyborg, with at least a dozen fingers on each hand that remain distinct digits right down to the wrist, typing rapidly on a set of holo-keyboards that do indeed appear to correspond to some sort of distilled runic alphabet, actually typing out spells for their display. The trenchcoat they wear conceals much of their form, as does the swirl of glowing runes surrounding them and filtering up into what appears to be a popular, if old, Coalition action holofilm focused on questions of identity, the nature of reality and the tradeoffs between self-actualization and social comforts. And it appears to be created entirely from memory (though that says little given the existence of PEEARITs in the Coalition), and more importantly, entirely manually from the runic spells. If one looks closely, one can still make out the character forms as they're twist into the colors and shapes in some of the slower scenes, shrinking, but never quite disappearing entirely.


And, of course, the Captain of the Coalition was nowhere to be found, the Coalition's recent military maneuvers requiring her expert attentions instead.

Edited by Rolepgeek
Touchups (see edit history)
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Before the Showcase of Ingenuity

Baladisilab Tesela nervously tinkered with his contraption. It seemed to be a mess of a chair with mechanical bits and bobs sticking out of it on all sides. There couldn't possibly be more spanners in his works as at odd angles there were some still attached to the bolts they had been used to tighten. Baladisilab at one point even got asked by someone passing by if the spanners were part of the thing itself.

"They asked if the spanners were part of the thing itself!" Baladisilab said in an exasperated voice, throwing up his hands as if he were milking a giant space cow.

"Well, maybe you should remove the spanners when you no longer need them then." Another engineer remarked helpfully.

Baladisilab considered it, then dismissed it.

"That's silly, what if I need to tune things further while it is in use?"

He removed the spanners a minute later. He'd claim he thought of it himself.

 

During the Showcase of Ingenuity

Entry, CW: arachnophobia?

The chair was large and comfortable, letting the occupant lean back and put their feet up. A bunch of multi-segmented almost spider-leg-like arms emerged and would hover over the occupant, scanning their face, their hairline if they had one, their horns if they had any, their hands and fingernails if they had any, and their feet if they were bare.

Then, they would set to work. Three of the arms with their little hands would start gently brushing the occupant's hair and untangling it, then making it wet and lathering it up with an admixture of cleaning agent and moisturizer, before giving a gentle scalp massage. At the same time, four other arms would clean the hands and nails and precisely desintegrate the excess of nail sticking out beyond the fingertips, then gently filing them down to an agreeable length. Baladisilab was biting his own fingernails while the desintegration was happening, because only then did he realize how wrong that could go if his calibration had been off. He praised Science and the Emperor when everything went fine. Four of the other arms would do the same for any bare feet, but if they were shod in footwear they would instead clean them and any leather was given a shine. A number of smaller arms also gave gentle massages to the neck, while something within the chair itself moved to do the same for the shoulders and back. Lastly, and similarly suddenly distressing to the nail desintegration for Baladisilab, two arms would apply a moisturizing and hair-softening cream to the face, and those with facial hair were offered the chance for a shave--those without would simply get a clean and soft face. At the end of this small-scale spa-like treatment, the hair was rinsed and dried and gently brushed again.

The whole process took less than ten minutes and left the occupant clean, presentable and refreshed.

"Although," Baladisilab remarked to an onlooker while their partner was in the chair, "you can ask it to take longer with the massage, and there's optional massage-arms for the legs, arms and tail."

 

OOC

This is my last entry here. Thank you for hosting this! This was very fun to all think up and write out. I'll of course still be in here in case anyone wants to interact with any of the characters or someone is asking questions in-character about the showcases.

 

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Entry

Compared to the neon discord of the Coalition, the kanmarran showcase begins as a much quieter affair. A portable screen stands nearly ten feet high--encircling much of the exhibit as workers move to push setpieces into position.

Amidst those readily visible, Taio Wakari stands with a heavy sort of scowl. The broad-shouldered male is dressed in robes made of synthetic fibers--woven with rich shades of violets, blues, and silver lining wound in intricate patterns. As he moves about, the most striking thing about the elder kanmarran is his carapace... Delicate carvings span the entirety of the back plate, carefully burnt into the exoskeleton. The male himself is a mural--save, perhaps, for some rather jagged cracks that interrupt the artistry. Battle wounds, perhaps.

But, where most of his kind would molt into a new skin with this amount of damage, metal plates are bolted key places to hold the carapace together without causing undue harm. He greets any passersby with a sort of blunt affect--neither overly friendly, nor overly cold. Roughly an hour into the display, the workers pull away the portable barriers to reveal a large stage--and with it, two dozen more kanmarra of varying ages--all of them adults. They are dressed in similar affect--many of them bearing symbols depicting their lineage within the Clans.

Speakers whir to life on either side of the stage, attached to a microprocessor that is loaded with the Arkhive's xenolinguistic database. Combined with some rudimentary processes from the Biarbu, the entire system translates the spoken, native word of the Eucrus Alliance into Low Imperial, as well as the languages of each of the judges, participants, overlaid at different pitches and staggered in such a way as to avoid becoming pure, white noise.

Taio Wakari steps to the head of the group and turns out to face the audience, claws slapping onto his knees. His voice booms, reminiscent of the roil of the Sea of Clouds in its intensity. "LISTEN! Hear. Us. Well!" The dancers follow suit in their movements, slightly delayed from the leader in this call and response.

"Prepare. Yourself!" Taio calls again. The dancers stomp in rhythm, their claws bouncing from chitinous plate to chitinous plate on their legs and thighs.


"I die. I die. I live!" The dancers reply as they posture aggressively, arms crossing their bodies as their claws collide with their opposing forearms.

"Dark above! Fire below!" Taio bellows, the assembled dancers' claws resting on their hips, while he reaches with a trembling claw down to the floor and raises it up high, as if to emulate a plume of fire.

In the background, stagehands move a massive model replica of an Alliance capital ship across the stage in what becomes more apparent as an interpretive retelling of kanmarran history--the evacuation of their homes during the War of Eternal Bombardment. As the ship moves through the stage, members of each Clan help each other to 'board', fleeing from some unseen calamity off-screen--though the implication is quite clear.

The effects are largely practical and possibly quite quaint depend on one's view of art--it is never more obvious than when the stagehands set the 'ship' down, and the weight hitting the floor reverberates near the exhibit. Holographic displays do provide knee high plumes of fire in compromise--to avoid bringing true pyrotechnics aboard a civilian gathering.

The assembled dancers whoop and continue the response, clacking, stomping. "For we are the ones who stand! So that those on our backs may climb!"

"HOLD. FAST!"

At the barked command, each kanmarran sweeps up a leg, snatching up what looks to be a ceremonial (and clearly dull) polearm and clasping it between both claws. The shafts are polished, dark wood, and the "blades" are made of some darkened steel. The stagehands, now dressed in more muted, darker colors, collide with the line of dancers and are shoved away, tumbling backward off the front of the stage and racing off behind the curtains. 

"Duty within! Life will out! The Vigil stands!"

Nearly half of the dancers hold their position with the polearms as if in a defensive line, while ten kanmarra, each bearing a different mark of Clan heraldry convene in a circle behind them. They lock claws and clash in a mock fight, before Taio breaks through the circle and shoves two of them aside as if to break the dispute. The ten lock arms, with Taio reaching up from the heavens and laying his claw in the center of the circle. Ten claws follow suit to meet his own. An agreement is struck. The beginning of the Compact.

Holographic images shine in the background as those playing the role of 'diplomats' move to the side--a highlight reel of Kanmarran society. Births, children playing.. Great artists, engineers.. Scientists, studying kanmarran patients in what looks to be some sort of medical stasis tank. Dozens of different lives are arrayed in a short vignette that exemplifies a life of service, but also beauty and culture beyond that of simply war.


"The sun shines again!"

The lights dim, the kanmarran performers set down props and leave the stage. A twenty minute break is taken while Taio fields questions from any passersby about Kanmarran history--or meanings within the performance that may have been missed. When the curtain rises again, it is a variety of artistic endeavors. One Kanmarran in military dress leans on what looks to be a modified tattooing chair, their back exposed while the artist begins to inscribe a small mosaic along the ridges of his carapace.

At a different table, a female crafter demonstrates the process behind some kanmarran jewelry--weaving bracelets with large gemstones that are common to more aquatic environments. At another, a sculptor begins to set up a table. And finally, one particularly androgynous kanmarran who stands at nearly eight feet tall seems to be hosting an arm wrestling contest.

 

 

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Of Charters and Bees

Queen Constance

On 2/15/2024 at 12:14 PM, Lumaeus said:

Queen Constance of Comment is a genuinely enthusiastic individual who enjoys meeting and building relationships with like-minded leaders. She doesn't lean on insincerity or deception to get what she wants. But honest passion still works in service of her greater aims, and those are securing a place for the Arkhive among the Elect. The Console is officially her closest ally, and the Queen's entire being focuses in on making sure that bond remains.

"While I can hardly restrain my enthusiasm for the gathered wonders of Tekhum, I will gladly defer to you if you think the content of our discussion should be removed from such a distracted setting. Please, my duty is to you my host, and since my duty as a judge is also to you, it is a subordinate one. Let us discuss, wherever you feel most comfortable."

 

 

Prisca nods toward a side hallway and leads Queen Constance with her hovering platform.

"It should take but a moment, we have time to tour the exhibits."

Once in the hallway the smaller Console rubs her hands together nervously.

"So, I must apologize I did not read the charter initially when Marcus brought back his copy - I was quite occupied at the time, but once we were notified we were going to be the First Patron of the Arkhive well. I had to review the entire thing myself. I have one main concern."

Exhaling deeply Prisca glances side to side to make sure the festival goers aren't too close.

"I saw two potential dangers to the Arkhive by its own Charter - First as it sits there is no limit to the same nation continually obtaining the Patronage of the Arkhive, which while some may say could show the sign of the deep connection they have with the Arkhive, it also could irrevocably sway and damage the intention of unity of knowledge and cooperation the Arkhive seems to want to foster."

Rubbing the fur on her neck she continues.

"I've uh, drafted an amendment to the charter to be put to a vote in the next Hexenniel banquet. I have a copy of it here... for your perusal and comment when you have a chance."

A Rolled up Piece of Parchment 

First Charter Amendment:

It is under the auspices of time and fate that all things must fade and all power should be relinquished. The Illumined Utopian is well aware that all things must pass so that the future may be paved brighter. It is under this guiding principle that the Illumined Utopian, First Patron of the Arkhive Æternal, led by Console Prisca Calpurnius propose the following amendment to the Charter of the Arkhive Æternal for its own benefit and for the fostering of future relations between all members of the Arkhive library and for the ability for differing points of view to hold sway over the course of the Arkhive.

1. A Consecutive Term Limit is Mandated for Patrons of the Arkhive Æternal to be limited to a gap of a minimum of one varying Patron Realm between Patronage. Contribution position may be carried forward unto the following Patronage Cycle.

2. The Current Patron may provide a recommendation to the Arkhive Æternal providing an incumbent Patron with a higher ranking in the terms of contributions to the Arkhive Æternal.

It is the Illumined Utopian's intention to have a limit enforced such that a single Patron cannot 'strong-arm' policy changes and cultural shifts on the Arkhive Æternal without end requiring Realms to share the patronage of the Arkhive. The ability of a current Patron to 'elect' an incumbent Patron allows for additional collaboration between the current Patron and potential future Patrons hopefully resulting in the fostering of relationships between members of the Library.

Directing the Queen's attention to the rolled up parchment Prisca continues on.

"Second, your policy on non-aggression has certainly raised eyebrows across the system. There are many Realms gearing up for conflict across Tekhum and my only shame is that you are so far from our base of power that it is a hinderance for us to protect you should it be required. I have a plan to get closer... but it may require some... discussions with the Elect of Sansar."


 

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A Flying Dance - Artwork Revealed - @EmBark

Epeka Sunderlanad

On 2/14/2024 at 8:50 AM, EmBark said:

Epeka Sunderlanad stood on a platform. She took a deep breath and leapt at a bar, swinging around it once, twice, three times... and letting go! She grabbed a pole in mid-air and swung around it, grabbed it with her other hand and descended as she swung round and round, moving her legs around it. Music began to play with soft strings. She spun slower as she got mere inches off the ground, the tip of her nose almost brushing against it. She slowed down so much, she stopped.

Silence.

"This floor... is very clean," she said.

Then she started glowing softly, a rose hue emitting from the crevices of her horns and surrounding her skin. She let go of the pole and floated in place. Arms and legs spread, she slowly rose, then turned to float vertically, feet off the ground. She took a breath. She took a bow. Then the music picked up and drums and wind instruments joined in. On cue, she moved like she leapt and curved around the pole, then a different one, then a third and fourth and then diving into an entire obstacle course of tight curves and impossible bends. Her body bent to form shapes like letters, shapes like animals, just to fit through some holes in the course set up for her. The flight of a llort who had perfected one magical ability in its physical form.

At the end of the obstacle course she did it in reverse, and then top-down through a different part of it. She came out of a hole in the front and soared over the audience, then back for a final few twists and turns, before bursting out again and grabbing the pole that had been there at the start. Round and round and round and descending, slowing down, the music slowing down, until finally hanging in place again, setting out one foot and stepping away.

She bowed and did not rise until she heard a response.

She couldn't look anyone in the face. She told herself she'd done well, but in the quiet fractions of seconds the voices still told her no.

 

 

Console Prisca gasped when Epeka started floating and was shocked into silence while watching the llort fly. Clapping when finished the Console adds her voice to others watching. "Bravo, well done!"

Pol Mediki

On 2/16/2024 at 8:42 PM, EmBark said:

"A marriage of the second and third dimension--of light and paint--of the visual and the physical--of dream and other dream"

The tarp removed, the artwork showed a small platform barely inches high, a large painting the size of a human doorway towards the back of it. The was a chair in the middle of the platform.

The painting seemed like an ordinary painting at first. Stylized and very colourful and very textured with paint. It showed the edges of a doorway and a landscape beyond lit up by the sun. There were mountains in the distance, a house by a creek slightly nearer, and fields of yellow grass between the house and the viewer. Some trees on the edge of the field were seen on one side, with a dark figure leaning against one, back turned towards the viewer.

After approaching at least as close to the painting as the chair and being near the painting for a few seconds, words lit up above the doorway.

"Please touch."

Touching the painting felt the texture at first, like real paint, but there was a slight ripple. Then, the figure in the painting turned, revealing it was much more than just paint within the artwork. The figure walked closer, until face to face with the viewer, just beyond the doorway, and recognizable as a youthful androgynous llort dressed in planetbound human clothing and with bare feet.

The llort extended their hand, placing it as if against a glass wall between them and the viewer.

A viewer who might return the gesture, placing their hand against the 'wall' as well.

A viewer who would find the painting pressing back against their hand, as if the llort from the painting pushed through, pushed the viewer's hand back, as the llort stepped forward and slowly materialized as a hologram created by generators within the platform and the painting's frame.

There were some basic physical responses, involving the llort from the painting reacting to the viewer, either dancing around them or even with them, touching their shoulders gently if they sat down in the seat as if trying to give a massage that a hologram did not have the physical pressure to perform, shaking hands or laughing at a joke. After at most a few minutes, the llort stepped back into the painting, letting go of the viewer, and disappearing into the forest in the painting. They would only reappear again minutes later, as long as the original viewer had left the platform in the meantime.

 

 

Prisca watched as others interacted with the three dimensional tactile display, tilting her head to take in the beauty she refrained from attempting to touch the artwork herself - mostly due to her inability to reach the majority of the painting. A small smile finds her face as she watches some other Jy'mar attempt to use the tactile elements of the painting to climb the llort through the painting's hand.

CW Arachnophobia - Robit Hairdresser

On 2/19/2024 at 1:19 PM, EmBark said:

The chair was large and comfortable, letting the occupant lean back and put their feet up. A bunch of multi-segmented almost spider-leg-like arms emerged and would hover over the occupant, scanning their face, their hairline if they had one, their horns if they had any, their hands and fingernails if they had any, and their feet if they were bare.

Then, they would set to work. Three of the arms with their little hands would start gently brushing the occupant's hair and untangling it, then making it wet and lathering it up with an admixture of cleaning agent and moisturizer, before giving a gentle scalp massage. At the same time, four other arms would clean the hands and nails and precisely desintegrate the excess of nail sticking out beyond the fingertips, then gently filing them down to an agreeable length. Baladisilab was biting his own fingernails while the desintegration was happening, because only then did he realize how wrong that could go if his calibration had been off. He praised Science and the Emperor when everything went fine. Four of the other arms would do the same for any bare feet, but if they were shod in footwear they would instead clean them and any leather was given a shine. A number of smaller arms also gave gentle massages to the neck, while something within the chair itself moved to do the same for the shoulders and back. Lastly, and similarly suddenly distressing to the nail desintegration for Baladisilab, two arms would apply a moisturizing and hair-softening cream to the face, and those with facial hair were offered the chance for a shave--those without would simply get a clean and soft face. At the end of this small-scale spa-like treatment, the hair was rinsed and dried and gently brushed again.

The whole process took less than ten minutes and left the occupant clean, presentable and refreshed.

"Although," Baladisilab remarked to an onlooker while their partner was in the chair, "you can ask it to take longer with the massage, and there's optional massage-arms for the legs, arms and tail."

 

The Console having already undergone significant amounts of communal grooming before the festival passes on using the automated hair dresser, but a giggle escapes her lips as she sees several Jy'mar queued up and the chair attempting to deal with a small client completely covered with tangled fur.

 


A Weapon Untested! @volthawk

The Dealan-Sleagh

On 2/15/2024 at 6:39 PM, volthawk said:

While there was no official delegation from Eilif Dhaoine slated to appear at the festival, that didn't mean nobody from the Reserve had arrived. Besides the usual scattered sealga bands that were slowly and unfortunately becoming increasingly common across Tekhum, there was one group from the Reserve that had made the proper arrangements to put forward an entry into consideration. Set up in the room used for the Showcase of Ingenuity is a team led by Raoic Tàirn, a...well, he politefully refuses the term "artisan" be applied to him (despite that being the norm for craftsmen in Eilif Dhaoine as far as anyone outside of the Reserve could see), instead asking to be called an engineer or technician or similar. The reason for the distinction isn't particularly clear at first glance, and the main guess that takes root in the crowd watching them set up is that "art" appears to not at all be within the man's plans - the device they unpack and assemble is definitely not one built for appearance's sake, unlike the way that suits of chitincraft armour worn by the lannan also serve as an elaborate uniform or how sealga equipment often also serves as trophies showcasing notable kills and feats. Some bàscail chitin is definitely used in its construction, that much is clear, and while the mixture of the inhuman chitin and human machinery may have some appeal there's the lack of the usual...intent shown in chitincraft equipment to showcase that dichotomy. Instead, this weapon - and it is becoming increasingly clear that the piece being worked on is a weapon - simply uses it where it is needed* to make the whole more effective.

Once he's done with overseeing the bulk of the construction, Raoic steps forward towards anyone watching and clears his throat before speaking in Low Imperial - something that had been becoming increasingly popular among the Dhaoine who were interested in the wider world. "Ahem. Those of you who were present at the Arkhive's banquet some years back, or have had further dealings with the various groups of artisans selling their gear on the open market, will be quite familiar with the chitincraft armour and weapons that have helped bring Eilif Dhaoine a fair amount of fame in recent years. This, what I have here, is not that. It isn't the work of the artisans, those who outfit the lannan or give the sealga their little ego-boosters, but the work of us, the engineers and crawler technicians that spearhead the design of armoured vehicles. It is the continuation of centuries of research and development that have recently seen new heights in the construction of the glungagan ships. This is work that has primarily answered a very simple question in increasingly simple ways - when you have an array of light vehicles that need to work around rough terrain while also needing to take on any one of a wide variety of monsters and leviathans, how do you take the biggest gun possible and fit in on the lightest vehicle possible in a way that allows both halves to work at full effectiveness and in harmony, rather than building something that tears itself apart after a few shots or which sacrifices too much mobility and gets torn apart by the bàscail? This here, my entry to your competition, is my current best answer - the dealan-sleagh, which I'm told translates to something along the lines of "lightning spear" in Low Imperial - I'm sure your translators will all verify that. Simply put, it is an exercise in using mass driver technology to fire armour-penetrating rounds at the highest rate of fire possible while still being practical to use in a light vehicle - we typically use it on light crawlers, while the main crawler tanks tend to use something a little different which I don't have to hand right now. This thing can tear through most bàscail one might encounter out on the Reserve, and in our recent campaign in the mainland it served to great effect against enemy infantry and light to medium armour, including vehicles significantly larger than ones we mount this weapon on." He pauses, a little unsure where to continue. "So...any questions? Is that what we're supposed to do at this point?"

*It is noted in the literature related to the topic that have been slowly produced by Dhaoine cities for wider consumption that the chitin gathered from certain varieties of bàscail has a number of properties that regular insect chitin does not, and chitincraft started out as simply taking advantage of those properties, and the artistic aspect and the connotations around the struggle between Dhaoine and bàscail came later.

 

Console Prisca zero-ins on the mass-driver display - waiting with baited breath for some kind of technical display, a video, a test fire - anything. With only a general ask for questions she immediately starts frowning.

"No offence to the Dealan-Sleagh, a mighty weapon it may be, the Illumined Utopian also use mass driver weaponry due to our small size for similar purposes as you. Your weapon system greatly interests me and I assume would greatly interest my August - Is this example model... functional? Perhaps we could arrange a test fire? What is the yields - could the Illumined Utopian provide one of our lesser ships as a target for your exhibit?"

>>>Console Prisca is willing to have the weapon setup and fired at a Jy'mar vessel as an example for your exhibit outside of the Tiotanic.

You are free to describe how this looks and happens if you want to display the weapon firing. The Jy'mar ship would be one that was in the repair dock queue but has war-set armor still in place along most of the hull.

This war vessel would be roughly the size of a large 4-person bomber for most other races.

 


A Game? @Rocket Relm

Show this

On 2/17/2024 at 10:52 AM, Rocket Relm said:

Moonsoul Mountains Display Of History

Calling the Moonsoul Mountain display a shrine was technically accurate, but all in all it seemed to resemble the interior of a castle and a tunnel into a mountain at the same time. Shaping the area around their hall into hallways lined with writing, ones that would speak to you as you passed, when touched would glow and impart their knowledge. Knowledge of the history of these people, the cataclysm from which history beyond was a mystery, the forging of the councils, the degree to which methods to allow their radiated bodies to produce children and grow their number were forged.

Methods which include a good portion of magic and mean that the Moonmen are infertile without explicit attempts to do so. Methods which are deliberately not elaborated on in great detail.

Through the tunnels of history branch each of the main 'families', each having their own history catalogued. Due to their genetic structure there really isn't much of a differentiation between "family" and "clan", though 'special bonding' between groups of two, or sometimes three and rarer still four, happen, and lineage is very much catalogued.

Within the center room, a wider area showcasing lots of the building structure, is the skeleton of a great beast. An oversized diorama one can walk inside and look out through the eyes of. More, one can observe the 'controls' being twisted around to make it move, for all that it is empty and more metal than ivory. Near the top is a singular spaceship, a true one, a different one manifested based on which Moonman is present at a given hour and showcasing their ability, but the relative smaller scale of such a thing compared to the greater culture emphasizes how new it is, despite the current overwhelming importance.

"Would you care for a game?"

The voice calls out from the side. A woman in deep blue cowl and hood, gloved and decorated with ordinary stones as if they were gems, with no features visible spare glowing blue eyes. She offers the chance to participate in the many games, from simple card games to those involving miniatures to those involving dice and pamphlets with pens that seem to take emotional effort to scribe with. One can sample the games, though the girl who only goes by Cascade recommends any judges or tourists with an aim to win play against each other, whatever the stakes, because to win against a native in a game they have played on first glance is a daunting task indeed.

 

The Console peruses the games provided, gently refuses offers to play while examining all those playing. She spends quite a while wandering the family branch histories and seeing the weight of recorded family lines on display for all to see, a look of longing on her face as she gently follows the threads of time.

 


Calligraphy of Veehra @Elemental

Arkwork from Ishtahnos

On 2/18/2024 at 10:38 AM, Elemental said:

A Showcase of Artwork from the Kingdom of High Ishtahnos

Badal was a long long way away from Veehra and the prospect of travelling so long a distance in microgravity caused many of the Ishtahn's finest artists to balk at the prospect of attending in person. Interplanetary travel was still a new prospect after all and the kinks had yet to be worked out to make such a long journey comfortable. Yet the prospect was for some irresistible and despite initial difficulties, the Ministry of Arts soon had dozens of applicants to sift through. It took a few weeks but they eventually decided on an entrant to showcase Ishtahn culture.

The first is Marcus Langton Dusthide, a master of Gramarye. Very short for an Ishtahn, he stands only six foot six inches. He has long blond hair that reaches all the way down his back and he is dressed in a rather drab suit with the lower half of his face concealed by a pale blue bandana. A rather unassuming individual all things considered. His art, meanwhile, is anything but. Numerous large scrolls of deep blue, red and black parchment covered with zoomorphic calligraphy in silver and gold ink fill his display area. In pride of place is the largest, an enormous piece of red dyed parchment adorned with a calligraphic wolf seated and howling at a calligraphic sun, both in iridescent silver ink. From afar the broad strokes of the picture give the impression of simplicity and elegance, but when viewed from very close up the large characters making up the body of the wolf and the disk and rays of the sun above are in fact composed of thousands of tiny characters.

As he waits to be judged he sits at a portable writing table, scribing images on the Jy'mar in plain black ink on plain parchment.

 

Prisca gets real close to the calligraphic work, deliberately reading each of the tiny characters that make the larger picture - something that is easier for the Console given her smaller stature. When she finishes she turns over to Marcus Langton.

"What are these characters, do they hold meaning for the Ishtahnos or yourself?"

 


Bafatis Showcases @farothel

Showcase of Ingenuity

On 2/18/2024 at 5:24 PM, farothel said:

Inside there is a large item, about two times man-size and about half as wide and deep as high.  Cables come out at various intervals, connected to some other machines which are working.  Next to the object is another smaller object also connected to it.  They look rather bland, but the diagrams next to the device explains what it does.  At first glance, it's a simple fusion reactor and while this is a small model, it's not uncommon to have them this small to build into fighters and shuttles and the like.

But a closer look on the diagrams showed that this fusion reactor uses equipment normally used to generate artificial gravity fields.  According to the schematics, Bafatis scientists had used that technology to focus the reaction and control it better, therefore creating better output and less waste.  The reaction chamber was also smaller than usual, making the overall system smaller than contemporary designs.

The machines around it are just to use the energy, but they are still a showcase of Bafatis engineering and productivity.

 

The Console briefly skims the schematics - noting how they managed to minimize the fusion reactor size with an impressed nod.

Showcase of Artwork

On 2/18/2024 at 5:24 PM, farothel said:

The Bafatis psions had created something called a mind canvas.  It was a canvas sheet that would not only take oil paints, but would also make some subtle changes to the painting based upon the mind of the viewer.  While the basic painting would be the same, everybody would see subtle differences in the details.  The paintings that are presented are mostly desert landscapes or the animals that live there.  

One of the newest painters used a very minimalist style, just a few brush strokes left and right to show the landscape, letting the psion part fill in the details.  As the painter, Senarathne, was a psion herself and made her own canvasses to paint, the effect was reinforced.  Her main painting was of a desert road with mountains in the background and a setting sun between the mountains.  A fairly common theme in Bafatis because while they lived in the Northern Oasis of the planet Veehra, they still had a lot of desert around them.  Another painting of the same artist showed a desert fox, a small animal with quite large ears compared to its body.  Again a few brush strokes were made to outline the animal and the psion spells on the canvas would fill in the rest.  Some people even swore they saw the ears twitch.

 

Console Prisca's fur stood on end as the image of the fox seems to snap its claws at her after she had studied it for a minute, hands on her chest she left the display with a nervous chuckle.

Showcase of Agility

On 2/18/2024 at 5:24 PM, farothel said:

In Bafatis there exist a number of dances, some more of a gymnastics .  They are difficult to replicate on other planets due to the higher gravity, but with the same artificial gravity generators they use on ships to lower the gravity on the stage they had been given, it was possible to perform the dance as it should be and not the abbreviated forms that they did without removing part of the gravity.

When everybody was ready, a group of ten people, five men and five women, start simple by moving in a round, women on the inside, men on the outside.  But soon the men picked up the women and threw them up in the air, the low gravity making it very easy.  The women did multiple saltos and flips, before coming down on their hands and after a bridge they stood back up.  Now the women were on the outside of the circle and they picked up the men to throw them up.  The men did the exact same moves.  They repeated this three times before suddenly both groups jumped up and did a triple salto.  As they came back down, they immediately jumped back up and did another triple salto.  Coming back down there were five couple again and they move a almost slow motion around, with big steps and slowly swaying from side to side.  Then they turn towards the spectators and take a bow.

 

 

Prisca clapped when the dancers bowed to the crowd - "Bravo! What a show of coordination!"

 


PEERITS and Pirates Oh My! @Rolepgeek

 

Its everywhere!

On 2/19/2024 at 6:08 AM, Rolepgeek said:

The Coalition's displays - or to be more accurate, the displays of the various crews and Heads that had decided to come in response to the publicized invitation to the festival - were, as expected, an eclectic mix. Several were mobile, with only the bare minimum of equipment for their showcases; others were so large that setup had taken most of the previous day. At least one group appeared to have simple left a sign in their assigned space that simply said 'keep an eye out'.

And there were so many of them.

Showcase: A Feast For You And Your Eyes
Despite the provisioned food and drink, a number of Coalition-affiliated showcase runners appeared to have set up essentially half-open food carts, which their chefs used as stages to dish up Coalition street food as a form of performance art - juggling their tools and ingredients, creating intricate patterns and structures from the food while it cooks, making use of flaring open flames, only ever slowing to generate tension for the next act, and all without letting the food burn or be served unfinished. Broadly, the performers (all but one of whom sported extra cybernetic arms), though they made a variety of foods, were proficient at turning what should have otherwise been a relatively tame affair into a true spectacle. The food itself was everything one could ask for from street food, and a far cry from the prim, proper, and nutritionally balanced meals provided by the Jy'mar. No, this was delightfully greasy, mouth-wateringly spicy, and addictively salty, with deserts sweet enough and sharp enough with acids and sugar as to leave one bittersweetly nauseuous at the thought of stomaching any more. Even the notoriously protein-hungry Jy'mar were likely to get a kick out of it, between vat-shrimp & chili stir-fries, garlic cloudfish curries, and the gro-cheese noodle platters. Several carts were even set up to cater to some of the odder anticipated dietary restrictions the cooks expected to be present, just to make sure everyone had a chance to try at least some of it.

Showcase: Mixing It Up
The least surprising entry for anyone even vaguely familiar with Coalition-frequented websites on the InterPlaNet would be, of course, the musicians - though they'd hate to be referred to by the term. No, these were 'recomposers' or 'noise artists' or 'remix pioneers' or even just 'sample-jammers'. It was a common opinion in the mainstream of Coalition musical thought (if it could be called that) if the Empire had two million years of history, everything must have been done already by someone. So most Coalition musicians - sorry, 'remix pioneers' - focused more on remixing what had already been done into something new. Despite the mere fifty-ish year history of the Coalition, the layers of sampling and remixing on most popular tracks had become so densely packed that even the most dedicated PEEARITS had trouble following back the overlapping and interfeeding chains of credit and sourcing and editing and repackaging. Which was, incidentally, how many of those noise artists liked it. This approach to musical performance, of course, was hard to do live - and for that, we must turn to the noise artists who now engage in their craft aboard the Tiotanic. Some of them make use of a multitude PEEARIT controlled directional mics to find random environmental sounds, isolate them, record, and remix them into newly improv'd songs on the spot - complete with audience participation. Several take antagonistic approaches or even intentionally ruin their first few tracks until someone dares to heckle them - at which point they turn the very voice of the heckler into an entire soundscape with which to demonstrate their talent. Others take a more traditional approach, building up songs with playback equipment to loop the new additions to the song until they can begin replaying entire songs, practiced or not, from their individual parts. A very few bring their own pyrotechnics, but almost all have visualizers of some kind with them - and one artist in particular seems more concerned with showing off their ability to use frequency patterns to manipulate this visualizer into a sort of light show, and while the music itself doesn't sound bad, it's clearly a secondary concern for their synesthetic performance style.

Showcase: Visual Unreality
Of course, there are still more permanent forms of media on display - in particular, a series of surreal and psychedelic dreamscapes crafted from planes of intersecting light in virtual reality, holo-displays of seemingly infinite detail - viewers being free to navigate at their leisure, and extreme speed generation of high fidelity two-dimensional artworks by PEEARIT artists in response to audience prompts - which is not without some novelty, given the demonstration of both genuine creativity but also the vague disconnect inherent to the AIs' presence as primarily digital entities, resulting in vaguely ethereal, sometimes uncanny art works capable of being adjusted in real time. But of course, speaking of visual displays...

Showcase: Speedpainting
A high speed cyborg will occasionally skate by, separate from any stationary showcase, perfectly weaving through crowds, corridors, and walkways - carrying a small device not unlike a multi-nozzle spray gun, and chased by an equally fast cyborg with a similar but distinctive device. The first of these will attempt to rapidly graffiti showcases with as striking a display as possible - the second comes to spray a material which dissolves the paint. If the second catches the first, they switch roles. Every artwork thus created is entirely ephemeral and unique, as the product of fevered minds working overtime to try to one-up one another in high-speed competition, all the while avoiding the exasperated security personnel of their Jy'mar hosts. Black Cloud performance art at its most pure - even if every other Coalition-affiliated showcase finds it incredibly annoying to have their equipment be the ones to get sprayed.

Showcase: Speedrunning, Speedleveling, and Adversarial Improvisation
In a similar vein but with rather more decorum are the various high-fidelity PEEARIT-designed simulators and associated displays. Some are available for audience participation to engage with anything from abstract full immersion puzzle games to combat simulators realistic enough to serve as training for Coalition military personnel (and to warrant 'potentially retraumatizing content' warnings for veterans come to participate...), but others serve as a showcase for speedrunners in transparent full-body-use VR spheres to compete for the best times on levels generated nearly as fast by PEEARIT level builders, similarly live and on display for the audience. Few of the speedrunners are able to complete multiple levels in a row without breaks, as a result of the total body workout provided. Fewer still are pleased to have to take the break their bodies demand from them, lungs heaving and hearts pounding, metallic limbs creaking from the heat buildup. These are the crucible that Hǎi Píng & Dǎo-Māo were forged in, and likely to remain the source of the greatest warriors and commanders the Coalition has to offer for some time yet, with the newfound lull in raiding with the anouncement of the Elect.

Showcase: Flesh & Chrome:
Most conventional, and perhaps least impressive for that - or perhaps most acceptable - are the displays of prototype cybernetics by aspiring cyber-engineers, the demonstrations of surgical techniques for implantation, and the multitude of prosthetic design tutorials by Coalition medical professionals hoping to use the Festival as an opportunity to spread their knowledge for the better. Somewhat less conventional would be the number of relatively young Coalition volunteers opting to undergo public surgery to demonstrate all of these - attended, fortunately, by the ministrations of a team of biokineticists and TrueFaith healers.

Showcase: Starlight & Shadow:
Least expected, though, is the lightshow made entirely of...runes? While runecrafting, though often dismissed, was known to be practiced among the pirates to a greater extent than most, this was stranger. A single androgynous-looking cyborg, with at least a dozen fingers on each hand that remain distinct digits right down to the wrist, typing rapidly on a set of holo-keyboards that do indeed appear to correspond to some sort of distilled runic alphabet, actually typing out spells for their display. The trenchcoat they wear conceals much of their form, as does the swirl of glowing runes surrounding them and filtering up into what appears to be a popular, if old, Coalition action holofilm focused on questions of identity, the nature of reality and the tradeoffs between self-actualization and social comforts. And it appears to be created entirely from memory (though that says little given the existence of PEEARITs in the Coalition), and more importantly, entirely manually from the runic spells. If one looks closely, one can still make out the character forms as they're twist into the colors and shapes in some of the slower scenes, shrinking, but never quite disappearing entirely.

 

Console Prisca kept finding herself running into the Badalian's from the coalition, generally causing some form of chaos or mishap. She did find herself returning to the food displays for more and more of the spicy treats. Several festival attendees make complaints to Prisca about the speed-painter defacing various items - and while normally she would have the guard round up the culprit the intent of the Festival was to showcase different cultures... even if some of them were more disruptive than others.

Prisca did steer clear of the visual unreality display and some of the other virtual reality displays the coalition brought to show-off, somethings she could not stomach and not have a head-ache. She did however closely study the cybernetic displays and the runic spells being displayed.

 


Crab! @Stygian

Crab Crab Crab Crab

On 2/20/2024 at 1:48 AM, Stygian said:
Entry

Compared to the neon discord of the Coalition, the kanmarran showcase begins as a much quieter affair. A portable screen stands nearly ten feet high--encircling much of the exhibit as workers move to push setpieces into position.

Amidst those readily visible, Taio Wakari stands with a heavy sort of scowl. The broad-shouldered male is dressed in robes made of synthetic fibers--woven with rich shades of violets, blues, and silver lining wound in intricate patterns. As he moves about, the most striking thing about the elder kanmarran is his carapace... Delicate carvings span the entirety of the back plate, carefully burnt into the exoskeleton. The male himself is a mural--save, perhaps, for some rather jagged cracks that interrupt the artistry. Battle wounds, perhaps.

But, where most of his kind would molt into a new skin with this amount of damage, metal plates are bolted key places to hold the carapace together without causing undue harm. He greets any passersby with a sort of blunt affect--neither overly friendly, nor overly cold. Roughly an hour into the display, the workers pull away the portable barriers to reveal a large stage--and with it, two dozen more kanmarra of varying ages--all of them adults. They are dressed in similar affect--many of them bearing symbols depicting their lineage within the Clans.

Speakers whir to life on either side of the stage, attached to a microprocessor that is loaded with the Arkhive's xenolinguistic database. Combined with some rudimentary processes from the Biarbu, the entire system translates the spoken, native word of the Eucrus Alliance into Low Imperial, as well as the languages of each of the judges, participants, overlaid at different pitches and staggered in such a way as to avoid becoming pure, white noise.

Taio Wakari steps to the head of the group and turns out to face the audience, claws slapping onto his knees. His voice booms, reminiscent of the roil of the Sea of Clouds in its intensity. "LISTEN! Hear. Us. Well!" The dancers follow suit in their movements, slightly delayed from the leader in this call and response.

"Prepare. Yourself!" Taio calls again. The dancers stomp in rhythm, their claws bouncing from chitinous plate to chitinous plate on their legs and thighs.


"I die. I die. I live!" The dancers reply as they posture aggressively, arms crossing their bodies as their claws collide with their opposing forearms.

"Dark above! Fire below!" Taio bellows, the assembled dancers' claws resting on their hips, while he reaches with a trembling claw down to the floor and raises it up high, as if to emulate a plume of fire.

In the background, stagehands move a massive model replica of an Alliance capital ship across the stage in what becomes more apparent as an interpretive retelling of kanmarran history--the evacuation of their homes during the War of Eternal Bombardment. As the ship moves through the stage, members of each Clan help each other to 'board', fleeing from some unseen calamity off-screen--though the implication is quite clear.

The effects are largely practical and possibly quite quaint depend on one's view of art--it is never more obvious than when the stagehands set the 'ship' down, and the weight hitting the floor reverberates near the exhibit. Holographic displays do provide knee high plumes of fire in compromise--to avoid bringing true pyrotechnics aboard a civilian gathering.

The assembled dancers whoop and continue the response, clacking, stomping. "For we are the ones who stand! So that those on our backs may climb!"

"HOLD. FAST!"

At the barked command, each kanmarran sweeps up a leg, snatching up what looks to be a ceremonial (and clearly dull) polearm and clasping it between both claws. The shafts are polished, dark wood, and the "blades" are made of some darkened steel. The stagehands, now dressed in more muted, darker colors, collide with the line of dancers and are shoved away, tumbling backward off the front of the stage and racing off behind the curtains. 

"Duty within! Life will out! The Vigil stands!"

Nearly half of the dancers hold their position with the polearms as if in a defensive line, while ten kanmarra, each bearing a different mark of Clan heraldry convene in a circle behind them. They lock claws and clash in a mock fight, before Taio breaks through the circle and shoves two of them aside as if to break the dispute. The ten lock arms, with Taio reaching up from the heavens and laying his claw in the center of the circle. Ten claws follow suit to meet his own. An agreement is struck. The beginning of the Compact.

Holographic images shine in the background as those playing the role of 'diplomats' move to the side--a highlight reel of Kanmarran society. Births, children playing.. Great artists, engineers.. Scientists, studying kanmarran patients in what looks to be some sort of medical stasis tank. Dozens of different lives are arrayed in a short vignette that exemplifies a life of service, but also beauty and culture beyond that of simply war.


"The sun shines again!"

The lights dim, the kanmarran performers set down props and leave the stage. A twenty minute break is taken while Taio fields questions from any passersby about Kanmarran history--or meanings within the performance that may have been missed. When the curtain rises again, it is a variety of artistic endeavors. One Kanmarran in military dress leans on what looks to be a modified tattooing chair, their back exposed while the artist begins to inscribe a small mosaic along the ridges of his carapace.

At a different table, a female crafter demonstrates the process behind some kanmarran jewelry--weaving bracelets with large gemstones that are common to more aquatic environments. At another, a sculptor begins to set up a table. And finally, one particularly androgynous kanmarran who stands at nearly eight feet tall seems to be hosting an arm wrestling contest.

 

 

The Console is enraptured in the display from the neighbouring aero-stat, a hint of jealousy on her face as she considers their oral traditions to pass history down. Something the Illumined Utopian lost in the War of Eternal Bombardment. The jealousy turns to wonder as she studies the movements and mosaic written across the chitinous plates of the dancers. With the presentation complete Prisca hovers over the Artist inscribing on the Military Kanmarran.

"What does this mosaic mean? Is it for luck or is it a part of your history past - or to come?"

 


OOC

If I missed your submission let me know and I'll take a look at it! Thanks for entering!

 

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On 2/16/2024 at 6:42 PM, EmBark said:
During the Showcase of Artwork

The banner next to their showcase said "a marriage of the second and third dimension--of light and paint--of the visual and the physical--of dream and other dream".

Queen Constance is eager to take a turn with the work, but does not use any authority or gravity to skip a line. If judges are ushered to the front, she goes. If anyone offers her a cut in a line, she takes it (a concession to realities of time and her manifold duties) but with earnest thanks. Viewers of the spectacle are soon enough treated to an unusual (but hopefully charming) dance from the Queen and her phantasmal partner.

Bees are the smallest creatures with the smallest brains that can be argued to have language on all of Sansar. Their dancesIRL scientifically this is known as a waggle dance, and even though I openly think science has gone too far and must be stopped (especially biology, as we were simply Not Meant To Know), I am enamored of this <3 contain precise information as to direction, distance, conditions, and reward. A traditional style of Arkhival dance developed from observing this language, and though it has never, to anyone's knowledge, served a practical function that couldn't be more neatly accomplished with more traditional speech, it is nonetheless still essentially a dance of information.

Constance dances, arms akimbo, in an arcing circle. She wiggles and looks from her partner to the sky with wondering overexpression. This, any versed in the frankly obscure provincial artform, suggests movement upwards, possibly movement into space. She meanwhile stoops lower and lower on her arc in steady cycles, nearly squatting as she indicates movement-not-sunwards. Into space, away from the sun. At the end, a series of jigging leaps serve to multiply to scale of the distance, until it becomes clear--she dances a path to the Arkhive to the figure.

She bows to it before it leaves and, lightly winded and only a touch self-conscious, praises the clever artwork.

 

On 2/16/2024 at 10:32 PM, volthawk said:

So yes, we're allowed to share designs and provide more detailed commentary if you like, although you may have to find replacement materials with similar properties in the parts where we typically use bàscail chitin."

"You are generous," says Constance, asking a few further interested questions that indicate an amateur understanding. Nothing foolish here, but she takes the time to have a real expert explain to her what truly is special about this in comparison. She doesn't claim more than a metric moment before thanking and going.

 

On 2/17/2024 at 8:52 AM, Rocket Relm said:

Moonsoul Mountains Display Of History

Shaping the area around their hall into hallways lined with writing, ones that would speak to you as you passed, when touched would glow and impart their knowledge. Knowledge of the history of these people, the cataclysm from which history beyond was a mystery, the forging of the councils, the degree to which methods to allow their radiated bodies to produce children and grow their number were forged.


Within the center room, a wider area showcasing lots of the building structure, is the skeleton of a great beast. An oversized diorama one can walk inside and look out through the eyes of. More, one can observe the 'controls' being twisted around to make it move, for all that it is empty and more metal than ivory.

Whenever the Queen disappears from public view, whenever her location is uncertain, she can be found here, silently running her fingers along the walls and mouthing words to herself. She takes her time with the exhibit and never quite makes it to the game, though she watches others play from time to time as she digests the histories.

 

On 2/18/2024 at 8:38 AM, Elemental said:

A Showcase of Artwork from the Kingdom of High Ishtahnos

Numerous large scrolls of deep blue, red and black parchment covered with zoomorphic calligraphy in silver and gold ink fill his display area. In pride of place is the largest, an enormous piece of red dyed parchment adorned with a calligraphic wolf seated and howling at a calligraphic sun, both in iridescent silver ink. From afar the broad strokes of the picture give the impression of simplicity and elegance, but when viewed from very close up the large characters making up the body of the wolf and the disk and rays of the sun above are in fact composed of thousands of tiny characters.

The moment that the Queen, drawing nearer to the scrolls, comes to the realization that the art hides characters within itself, a respectful look of ah, yes, art. How refined, how pleasant is overwhelmed by a dawning wonder. She doesn't bother to conceal her smile, and approaches as near as is allowed anyone else. A few times, she strides back and forth, and there's an impression to any observer that if she weren't burdened by office, she might run back and forth like a child in front of a Tekhum-equivalent-of-Seurat. Seudurat, let's say.

"Beautifully constructed," she says when she gets the chance to speak with Marcus. "I suppose I could estimate myself, but do you know how many characters compose each image? Are these scriptural texts, folklore, or merely glyphs converted to art? The Arkhive has extensive translation capacity, but I find that translated art often pales."

"Oh, and what materials do you use for parchment? These are, to my eye, fine, but how do they compare to typical Veehran parchments? How are they dyed? For that matter, how is your ink made and sourced?"

On 2/18/2024 at 3:24 PM, farothel said:

The showcase of ingenuity

Inside there is a large item, about two times man-size and about half as wide and deep as high.  Cables come out at various intervals, connected to some other machines which are working.  Next to the object is another smaller object also connected to it.  They look rather bland, but the diagrams next to the device explains what it does.  At first glance, it's a simple fusion reactor and while this is a small model, it's not uncommon to have them this small to build into fighters and shuttles and the like.

But a closer look on the diagrams showed that this fusion reactor uses equipment normally used to generate artificial gravity fields.  According to the schematics, Bafatis scientists had used that technology to focus the reaction and control it better, therefore creating better output and less waste.  The reaction chamber was also smaller than usual, making the overall system smaller than contemporary designs.

The machines around it are just to use the energy, but they are still a showcase of Bafatis engineering and productivity.

The Showcase of Artwork

The Bafatis psions had created something called a mind canvas.  It was a canvas sheet that would not only take oil paints, but would also make some subtle changes to the painting based upon the mind of the viewer.  While the basic painting would be the same, everybody would see subtle differences in the details.  The paintings that are presented are mostly desert landscapes or the animals that live there.  

One of the newest painters used a very minimalist style, just a few brush strokes left and right to show the landscape, letting the psion part fill in the details.  As the painter, Senarathne, was a psion herself and made her own canvasses to paint, the effect was reinforced.  Her main painting was of a desert road with mountains in the background and a setting sun between the mountains.  A fairly common theme in Bafatis because while they lived in the Northern Oasis of the planet Veehra, they still had a lot of desert around them.  Another painting of the same artist showed a desert fox, a small animal with quite large ears compared to its body.  Again a few brush strokes were made to outline the animal and the psion spells on the canvas would fill in the rest.  Some people even swore they saw the ears twitch.

The Showcase of Agility

In Bafatis there exist a number of dances, some more of a gymnastics .  They are difficult to replicate on other planets due to the higher gravity, but with the same artificial gravity generators they use on ships to lower the gravity on the stage they had been given, it was possible to perform the dance as it should be and not the abbreviated forms that they did without removing part of the gravity.

When everybody was ready, a group of ten people, five men and five women, start simple by moving in a round, women on the inside, men on the outside.  But soon the men picked up the women and threw them up in the air, the low gravity making it very easy.  The women did multiple saltos and flips, before coming down on their hands and after a bridge they stood back up.  Now the women were on the outside of the circle and they picked up the men to throw them up.  The men did the exact same moves.  They repeated this three times before suddenly both groups jumped up and did a triple salto.  As they came back down, they immediately jumped back up and did another triple salto.  Coming back down there were five couple again and they move a almost slow motion around, with big steps and slowly swaying from side to side.  Then they turn towards the spectators and take a bow.

 

The dance would be repeated as many times as was necessary, while the painters would explain things and the technicians would keep the machine running.

 

@Silent_Interim @Featherscale @Lumaeus @SerakHawk

 

Ingenuity: Constance listens intently to discussion of the device, reads everything provided, and then can be caught sending off details in a message via InterPlaNetary means to some of her scientists. The Queen is an educated woman, but this is clearly specialty science, and she cannot judge alone.

Artwork: "Remarkable!" Constance smiles. "I really appreciate that Senarathne's work, especially, is featured, since it so clearly demonstrates the gulf between the physical marks on the canvas and the impressions we see. I'm curious, however, whether you can in any way demonstrate that difference in perception other than relying on everyone's own reporting--which I do want to stress is still an impressive and reliable method!"

Agility: Constance plays audience and claps along with the crowd. She's clearly pleased with the display, but does not linger or Comment.

On 2/19/2024 at 4:08 AM, Rolepgeek said:
Showcase: A Feast For You And Your Eyes

Several carts were even set up to cater to some of the odder anticipated dietary restrictions the cooks expected to be present, just to make sure everyone had a chance to try at least some of it.

Showcase: Mixing It Up
This approach to musical performance, of course, was hard to do live - and for that, we must turn to the noise artists who now engage in their craft aboard the Tiotanic.

Showcase: Visual Unreality
a series of surreal and psychedelic dreamscapes crafted from planes of intersecting light in virtual reality, holo-displays of seemingly infinite detail

Showcase: Speedpainting
Black Cloud performance art at its most pure - even if every other Coalition-affiliated showcase finds it incredibly annoying to have their equipment be the ones to get sprayed.

Showcase: Speedrunning, Speedleveling, and Adversarial Improvisation
In a similar vein but with rather more decorum are the various high-fidelity PEEARIT-designed simulators and associated displays.

Showcase: Flesh & Chrome:
Somewhat less conventional would be the number of relatively young Coalition volunteers opting to undergo public surgery to demonstrate all of these - attended, fortunately, by the ministrations of a team of biokineticists and TrueFaith healers.

Showcase: Starlight & Shadow:
Least expected, though, is the lightshow made entirely of...runes?


And, of course, the Captain of the Coalition was nowhere to be found, the Coalition's recent military maneuvers requiring her expert attentions instead.

Showcase: A Feast For You And Your Eyes: Constance has been good about not abusing her position, but she does, as a matter of duty, get a piece of everything she can--in order to fairly judge, of course. She pays particular attention to the specialized carts for dietary restriction. She also saves the spicier foods for last and clearly is hard-pressed to get through the worst strongest of them.

Showcase: Mixing It Up: The Queen makes no attempt to disguise her donning of wax earplugs, but offense is hopefully prevented by the fact that she does make a point of attending and considering the noiseformances. Outside of an occasional faint headwag, she gives no physical indication that she's jamming, but she can be overheard as she speaks to a companion on the way out of one of the more(?) experimental performances "Awful, aggravating stuff. Not music by many traditional defintions." A faint smile. "Which I suspect proves their skill."

Showcase: Visual Unreality: "A memory of compassion reviled!" "Nimble colors diffuse alacritously!" Constance twice gives a deliberately difficult prompt, and nods at the results and at many other renderings.

Showcase: Speedpainting: Clearly unused still to serious peril, Queen Constance doesn't move for cover when the first form streaks by. At first, the graffiti elicits an immediate expression of offended propriety from her, but as she realizes what;s happening, a grin of empathetic mischief spreads over her face. She merely nods, and winks at the offended exhibition.

Showcase: Speedrunning, Speedleveling, and Adversarial Improvisation: While she does play a brief puzzle (finishing high on the bellcurve for a first timer, though certainly no prodigy performance), Constance is more interested in watching the demanding demos. She leaves with more of a sense of satisfied anthropological interest than any official commendation.

Showcase: Flesh & Chrome: The Queen bears witness to a full surgery with unflinching gaze, and immediately speaks with those who might share. "What is the cost of such prosthesis? How intense and long is the necessary training to implement it? Is there an expected schedule of maintenance? A full replacement after enough time? And can these technologies be adapted to those without augmented capabilities, or is the cybernetic infrastructure prerequisite? This would be revolutionary medicine on Sansar."

Showcase: Starlight & Shadow: Constance watches with some interest, but pays especial attention to Glix reaction.

And, of course, the Captain of the Coalition was nowhere to be found: A shame--the Queen likes her.

On 2/19/2024 at 11:19 AM, EmBark said:
During the Showcase of Ingenuity
 
The whole process took less than ten minutes and left the occupant clean, presentable and refreshed.

The Queen is openly pleased as she emerges with a technically ruined hairstyle, but also a technically presentable new one. "What a pleasant diversion--and eminently practical in application if not, as I suspect, in manufacture and acquisition. Do you intend this for mass production?"

On 2/19/2024 at 11:48 PM, Stygian said:
Entry

Speakers whir to life on either side of the stage, attached to a microprocessor that is loaded with the Arkhive's xenolinguistic database. Combined with some rudimentary processes from the Biarbu, the entire system translates the spoken, native word of the Eucrus Alliance into Low Imperial, as well as the languages of each of the judges, participants, overlaid at different pitches and staggered in such a way as to avoid becoming pure, white noise.

"LISTEN! Hear. Us. Well!" The dancers follow suit in their movements, slightly delayed from the leader in this call and response.

The Queen is duly impressed with the careful application of the translation tech to reach so many at once. But the oral and physical transmission of history captivates her. As Arkhival Majesty, Constance of Comment is acutely aware of the limitations of conventional information transmission--at least in the ostensibly Up part of Chonkia, she reminds herself. Learning from books and from honey seems like a default only because it's the cultural norm. To see a history in such an expressive form is both a wonder and a spectacle that she works hard not to exoticize. Oral traditions are not unknown on Sansar, and dance is really a part of that lineage, she thinks. Probably. They have been much sidelined in the current age, but absence does not imply obsolescence.

She stays for the entire performance and all follow up questions, openly taking notes.

7 hours ago, SerakHawk said:
"I've uh, drafted an amendment to the charter to be put to a vote in the next Hexenniel banquet. I have a copy of it here... for your perusal and comment when you have a chance."

A Rolled up Piece of Parchment 

First Charter Amendment:

It is under the auspices of time and fate that all things must fade and all power should be relinquished. The Illumined Utopian is well aware that all things must pass so that the future may be paved brighter. It is under this guiding principle that the Illumined Utopian, First Patron of the Arkhive Æternal, led by Console Prisca Calpurnius propose the following amendment to the Charter of the Arkhive Æternal for its own benefit and for the fostering of future relations between all members of the Arkhive library and for the ability for differing points of view to hold sway over the course of the Arkhive.

1. A Consecutive Term Limit is Mandated for Patrons of the Arkhive Æternal to be limited to a gap of a minimum of one varying Patron Realm between Patronage. Contribution position may be carried forward unto the following Patronage Cycle.

2. The Current Patron may provide a recommendation to the Arkhive Æternal providing an incumbent Patron with a higher ranking in the terms of contributions to the Arkhive Æternal.

It is the Illumined Utopian's intention to have a limit enforced such that a single Patron cannot 'strong-arm' policy changes and cultural shifts on the Arkhive Æternal without end requiring Realms to share the patronage of the Arkhive. The ability of a current Patron to 'elect' an incumbent Patron allows for additional collaboration between the current Patron and potential future Patrons hopefully resulting in the fostering of relationships between members of the Library.

Directing the Queen's attention to the rolled up parchment Prisca continues on.

"Second, your policy on non-aggression has certainly raised eyebrows across the system. There are many Realms gearing up for conflict across Tekhum and my only shame is that you are so far from our base of power that it is a hinderance for us to protect you should it be required. I have a plan to get closer... but it may require some... discussions with the Elect of Sansar."


The Queen carefully reads the parchment, taking enough time that even a slow reader would be able to go over it twice.

"I cannot speak with both haste and certainty but..." She smiles down at Prisca, "I think the Arkhive will be grateful to have such a thoughtful and generous inaugural Patron. I believe I will be willing to ply whatever small influence I have at the coming Hexenniel to support both your proposal and your presence on Sansar, depending on your methods."

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2 hours ago, Lumaeus said:

The Queen is openly pleased as she emerges with a technically ruined hairstyle, but also a technically presentable new one. "What a pleasant diversion--and eminently practical in application if not, as I suspect, in manufacture and acquisition. Do you intend this for mass production?"

Baladisilab Tesela bows before the Queen, holding on to a hat that snugly fits between his horns.

"It is my hope that one day it can be. It requires utmost precision and craftsmanship however. I am not certain all the precise work could be left up to machines alone. I would not want to see any enjoying my craft to have something disintegrated that they did not wish for."

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The Llort displays

Agility!

"Wow!  A feat of telekinetic prowess The Hammer herself couldn't equal!"  Exclaims one Worker.  Glim, no great ally of the mad cultist, signals agreement.

Artwork!

The painting responds to the Workers normally, until Glim interfaces with them.  She appears ghostly behind the images of the Brothers actually engaging the piece.  As a good Queen should, whatever that nasty [presumed insult] thinks.

Ingenuity!

Glim, after a few tests and calibrations submits herself to the massage machine.  She really enjoys it.  Then she is alerted to a disturbance...


The Ishtahnos exhibit

The Herald, Raum'Flischk, was wandering, dejected.   He was used to problem clients.  Being forcibly possessed and verbally abused was part of dealing with unwell Queens.

But he had never had been directly hired by someone with the authority to dismisd him arbitrarily. Certainly not while trapped on a planet far from Flischk.  His brothers would certainly take him back if got home, but his reputation was going to be ruined.  That escalated the situation by slinging a slur at his client after refusing to do his job was a perspective he was blissfully innocent of...

He decided to take in the sights.  It was just as well Glix lack hearts as well as lungs, the work of both being done by the diaphragm muscles that cycle the gills.  He would have no doubt had a heart attack, otherwise. 

It was a beast bound in runes.

A creature made of lies, brought to a semblance of life by a fell wizard!

It wasn't just the Gas-lit Wraiths ironically called Purifiers!  It wasn't just the venal necromancy of literature that even a few carefully vetted Glix must learn as a practical necessity.

This was the ultimate blasphemy.   Writing for its own sake!

His impotent rage blazed across the Aerostat, for those with the ganglia to perceive.

This was mostly a handful of psychically sensitive types and the other Glix Workers.  The latter flagged it as of note to Glim'Bosk.

Glim'Bosk projected to Raum'Flischk. *Oh, you stupid little creature.  Let me blank that out for you and take you back to the ship.  You may be an inferior Worker, but I am an adequate Queen, and it wouldn't be done for anyone to know I was going to leave you, anymore than anyone needs to know you really, really deserve it.  I'll pilot you back to the hold.  Meditate on what you've done*

With that,  Glim indicates to her Jy'mar attendants to start wheeling her to the Ishtahnos exhibit.  Anything so scandalous is worth seeing directly!

The Exhibits from Voletha

After seeing and complimenting the Calligraphy, so alien to Glic sensibilities, yet oddly compelling, Glim went to the delegation sent by the Bafatis Dynasty.

She was very impressed, frankly.

The fusion engine was far more elegant and practical than Khylokian designs gifted The Hammer at the Arkhive recently.  She could immediately see how she might reproduce the refinements with Lepkashramov.

The psychic painting was.... beautiful.  It brought her back to when she was a mere Nymph and first allowed to use a reverse-theramin to sculpt. 

She sent to one of the Bosk Brothers to grab something from her private quarters.  Not that Queens, or anyone truly had privacy, not amongst telepaths. But they did have stuff sectioned off.

She had the Worker present the piece to Senarathne.  It was a simple desk lamp, that could grow dimmer or brighter, or cold or hot, based on the will of the last person to project at it.

"I, too, am an artist of the mind.  I never saw such a medium before.  I am humbled by your skill.  I would give you a gift, the third thing I ever created."  She spoke directly, discomfitting the Worker, who, though used to Glim's eccentricities, still assumed Queens were to be obeyed, not heard.  They certainly didn't talk like *this.*

***

The Glix party all saw the wondrous dance.  They were awed by the display of fine gravity control, but lacked context to truly appreciate the aerobatics.


The Coalition Displays

 

The Feast

The feast was a true delight to the Glix, but not as alien to them as many might have guessed. Their diets, full of spice and nutrient rich, were based on the idea of efficiently feeding obligate carnivores, and the Coalition, also living in confined, artificial spaces, came up with similar ideas.  Since the Coalition held the largest population of Glix outside Mekhala, this was perhaps not surprising.

The Sounds of Freedom


The music was eye-opening to the Glix.  The vogue in Glic Space was Opera and Ballads.   Polyphonic and polyrhythmic music was a rarity.  And this... this was a new experience.   Tlisk'Bosk, a member of The Balisica ship's senior officers, led a delegation to the exhibit and ceremonial set up a Shrine.

This is the place Glic Music was Reborn. 58th year of the 98th Jubilee.

Cybernetics

The Glix nod appreciatively at the cybernetics.  One elderly Glix, having lost much of his sight and face palps to a mine breech, is led forward, and petitions the cyberdocs for help.

The other displays

The use of hard light is no novelty to the Glix, it being easily duplicated by Lepkashramov, although the speed a d ephemeral nature of the displays is deeply unsettling.   Glic longevity and the practical nature of both their science and religion praise solidity and gradual change.  This chaos is novel and strange, but not in the transcendent way they received the music.

Only Glim dares observe the typist-wizard.  She is very impressed, but does not know how to articulate it.  Her people's magic is the diametric opposite of the wonders of display.

The Kanmarran

This formal dance is the only display of Agility the Glix can appreciate on their own terms, it resembling their own Opera, if more stylized.

They all take it in and give their appreciation to the performers after their set.


The jewelers, too, use techniques  not unknown to the Glix, and a few of the Workers order pieces for their friends left behind in Mekhala.


They consider joining the arm-wrestling contest.  Then they realize, that being unable to sit, they cannot qualify without handicapping one side or the other as to whether they dismount their legs or stay standing.

Glim, lacking hands, simply could not join in.  But they cheered on the contestants, anyway!

Edited by Featherscale (see edit history)
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Console Prisca

7 hours ago, SerakHawk said:

Calligraphy of Veehra @Elemental

Arkwork from Ishtahnos

A Showcase of Artwork from the Kingdom of High Ishtahnos

Badal was a long long way away from Veehra and the prospect of travelling so long a distance in microgravity caused many of the Ishtahn's finest artists to balk at the prospect of attending in person. Interplanetary travel was still a new prospect after all and the kinks had yet to be worked out to make such a long journey comfortable. Yet the prospect was for some irresistible and despite initial difficulties, the Ministry of Arts soon had dozens of applicants to sift through. It took a few weeks but they eventually decided on an entrant to showcase Ishtahn culture.

The first is Marcus Langton Dusthide, a master of Gramarye. Very short for an Ishtahn, he stands only six foot six inches. He has long blond hair that reaches all the way down his back and he is dressed in a rather drab suit with the lower half of his face concealed by a pale blue bandana. A rather unassuming individual all things considered. His art, meanwhile, is anything but. Numerous large scrolls of deep blue, red and black parchment covered with zoomorphic calligraphy in silver and gold ink fill his display area. In pride of place is the largest, an enormous piece of red dyed parchment adorned with a calligraphic wolf seated and howling at a calligraphic sun, both in iridescent silver ink. From afar the broad strokes of the picture give the impression of simplicity and elegance, but when viewed from very close up the large characters making up the body of the wolf and the disk and rays of the sun above are in fact composed of thousands of tiny characters.

As he waits to be judged he sits at a portable writing table, scribing images on the Jy'mar in plain black ink on plain parchment.

 

Prisca gets real close to the calligraphic work, deliberately reading each of the tiny characters that make the larger picture - something that is easier for the Console given her smaller stature. When she finishes she turns over to Marcus Langton.

"What are these characters, do they hold meaning for the Ishtahnos or yourself?"

A Discussion of Meaning

Whether the Console can read Ishtahn or has to rely on some means of translation, it takes a long time to read the entirety of any of the scrolls on display given how small some of the characters are and how large the scrolls are. Assuming their translation is somewhat successful the characters are revealed to be spelling out incantations of life and illusion, descriptive prose of the image's subject, all interspersed with ancient words of power and small bits of poetry. As Prisca does their reading Marcus scribes an image of them reading a large scroll, a quick work nowhere near as intricate as the larger work the Console is reading. He looks up form his parchment at the question and thinks for a moment.

"The characters? Hmm... Meaning is a strange term, but I would say yes? In a strict sense the characters when written out in a straight line mean nothing, essentially a rambling stream of consciousness and broken sorcery, but when arranged and confined by shape they assume a meaning and purpose greater than the sum of its parts," he rummages through a stack of parchments and pulls out an image of a group of five Jy'mar, much simpler than any of the scrolls on display in plain black ink on undyed parchment, "Here's one I scribbled out earlier that I think helps to demonstrate without being too disruptive."

Despite describing the work as "scribbled" the lines are clean and the characters neat and clear. Marcus laid it flat on his writing table and places his hand just above the surface. He closes his eyes and slowly raises his hand, pulling five shadow Jy'mar from the page. They look quite indistinct, but seem quite lifelike, though if the Console were to examine them closer he would see that they are composed of tiny letters. Marcus smiles at them and holds out his hand palm up to them and they each jump on. They run around in a circle on his hand before one after another they run up his arm, then down the other and jump off his other hand onto the table. All the while it's clear he's directing them, slight movements of his arms and flicks of his eyes direct them to and fro.

"I don't know if I should make them do a little dance, it might be rude."

 

Queen Constance

3 hours ago, Lumaeus said:

The moment that the Queen, drawing nearer to the scrolls, comes to the realization that the art hides characters within itself, a respectful look of ah, yes, art. How refined, how pleasant is overwhelmed by a dawning wonder. She doesn't bother to conceal her smile, and approaches as near as is allowed anyone else. A few times, she strides back and forth, and there's an impression to any observer that if she weren't burdened by office, she might run back and forth like a child in front of a Tekhum-equivalent-of-Seurat. Seudurat, let's say.

"Beautifully constructed," she says when she gets the chance to speak with Marcus. "I suppose I could estimate myself, but do you know how many characters compose each image? Are these scriptural texts, folklore, or merely glyphs converted to art? The Arkhive has extensive translation capacity, but I find that translated art often pales."

"Oh, and what materials do you use for parchment? These are, to my eye, fine, but how do they compare to typical Veehran parchments? How are they dyed? For that matter, how is your ink made and sourced?"

A Discussion of Materials

Her Arkhival Majesty is allowed as close as she likes, Marcus seems well aware that his work is best appreciated when the viewer is allowed to examine it to their heart's content so that each new glance can reveal further details and characters in new and interesting shapes. The usual approach to translating texts that would likely be second nature, or perhaps first nature, to Constance doesn't really work as incantations, descriptive text, poetry and words of power are all interspersed and jumbled together seemingly randomly, or if not randomly according to some higher purpose not immediately apparent.

Marcus thinks for a moment, scratching his head as he considers the first question, "Honestly I've got no idea, there must be thousands at least in the larger pieces, but I've never stopped to count. The number never really seemed important, y'know?" he says, his tone friendly like he has no idea he's talking to a Queen, "As for what they say, nothing really? At least not taken out of context of the larger piece. I do sometimes use bits of scripture and folklore for flavour if it helps describe what I'm trying to represent and there are definitely no random glyphs. Everything plays its part in making the greater whole."

He listens to the questions about materials and once Constance has them all out he begins answering in a manner that indicates he knows his stuff. "The parchment is aurochs hide, usually from a two or three year old to ensure its still suitably supple and to avoid the imperfections that can arise as the animal ages. I'm not experienced with the parchment available elsewhere, but my gut feeling is that ours is of at least slightly higher quality. We do have the livestock to spare after all.

"I do all my dyeing personally to get better control of the resulting colour. I mostly use vegetable dyes derived from many of the plants that grow in the Highlands. Chemical ones don't support the incantations as well. The red is made from the sap of the dragon bush and the blue is a personal secret mix of various indigo yielding herbs. The black dye is the hardest to make as the primary ingredient I use is extracted from the crushed thorns of sliver barbs and I've ended up with a thorn through a finger more than once and any blood spoils the mixture entirely, but given the alternative is using a tonne of blue it's worth the risk.

"For the ink, I mix my own black ink using sliver barb thorns, soot and tears. That is, uh, it's a sort of resinous gum produced by firebrush trees. I used to make my own metallic inks, but powdered silver gives me a rash."

 

The Glix

1 hour ago, Featherscale said:

The Ishtahnos exhibit

The Herald, Raum'Flischk, was wandering, dejected.   He was used to problem clients.  Being forcibly possessed and verbally abused was part of dealing with unwell Queens.

But he had never had been directly hired by someone with the authority to dismisd him arbitrarily. Certainly not while trapped on a planet far from Flischk.  His brothers would certainly take him back if got home, but his reputation was going to be ruined.  That escalated the situation by slinging a slur at his client after refusing to do his job was a perspective he was blissfully innocent of...

He decided to take in the sights.  It was just as well Glix lack hearts as well as lungs, the work of both being done by the diaphragm muscles that cycle the gills.  He would have no doubt had a heart attack, otherwise. 

It was a beast bound in runes.

A creature made of lies, brought to a semblance of life by a fell wizard!

It wasn't just the Gas-lit Wraiths ironically called Purifiers!  It wasn't just the venal necromancy of literature that even a few carefully vetted Glix must learn as a practical necessity.

This was the ultimate blasphemy.   Writing for its own sake!

His impotent rage blazed across the Aerostat, for those with the ganglia to perceive.

This was mostly a handful of psychically sensitive types and the other Glix Workers.  The latter flagged it as of note to Glim'Bosk.

Glim'Bosk projected to Raum'Flischk. *Oh, you stupid little creature.  Let me blank that out for you and take you back to the ship.  You may be an inferior Worker, but I am an adequate Queen, and it wouldn't be done for anyone to know I was going to leave you, anymore than anyone needs to know you really, really deserve it.  I'll pilot you back to the hold.  Meditate on what you've done*

With that,  Glim indicates to her Jy'mar attendants to start wheeling her to the Ishtahnos exhibit.  Anything so scandalous is worth seeing directly!

What an Odd Fellow

Marcus watches as the Glix worker storms off in a furious huff, very concerned that he'd unknowingly done something to offend the strange individual, but he didn't know what as he hadn't done anything. Maybe he didn't like the fact that Marcus was scribing an image of him, some people didn't like that but he just had to take the challenge of creating a recognisable image of such a, to him, strange creature. After a few moments he shrugs and goes back to his attempt at a Glix worker.

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34 minutes ago, Elemental said:

What an Odd Fellow

Marcus watches as the Glix worker storms off in a furious huff, very concerned that he'd unknowingly done something to offend the strange individual, but he didn't know what as he hadn't done anything. Maybe he didn't like the fact that Marcus was scribing an image of him, some people didn't like that but he just had to take the challenge of creating a recognisable image of such a, to him, strange creature. After a few moments he shrugs and goes back to his attempt at a Glix worker.

Glim is wheeled before the Calligraphy exhibit. She laughs and clips. It is unheard of for a Queen to be without a Worker escort, but she is.

"I, uh, wouldn't show that current work to other Glix. The dominant religion has a... thing... about writing. It sent that poor fellow on something of an attack.

 

I'm personally something of an Atheist, and I think such superstition is a little silly, but our cousin Raum is... old fashioned.

I personally think it is a great piece, even if I only can read Imperial Standard. I'd be proud to put it in my Basilica as a trophy, if you are interested in a barter?"

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On 2/18/2024 at 3:44 AM, Silent_Interim said:
Karim's eyes skip over the writing and dioramas, and ze gravitate directly to the games. At the prospect of a challenge, zir grin turns predatory, and ze look at Cascade with half-lidded eyes and naked hunger. "You pick the game. I'm ready."

There are a few offers, a few watchers, and a few games going on of the various sorts. However, this is the one offer being made to Cascade herself. She smiles after recognizing the more direct challenge offered, bearing this wide, mirthful smile.

"Titan Singing it is. Now, I will provide us with entry level decks and rules, it would literally be unfair otherwise. The kind of thing one is and can be expected to play on setup, rather than a personally crafted pasttime. I terribly enjoy this game, it has much cultural relevance in terms of teaching young people the basics of wielding innate magics, what the elements are. The rules of the Olden Formatte are mostly modeled on accuracy to real life over a strict sense of fairness, but we're not playing that today."

(We can roll for some level of outcome if preferred to the duel itself.)

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18 hours ago, SerakHawk said:

Bafatis Showcases

Showcase of Ingenuity

Inside there is a large item, about two times man-size and about half as wide and deep as high.  Cables come out at various intervals, connected to some other machines which are working.  Next to the object is another smaller object also connected to it.  They look rather bland, but the diagrams next to the device explains what it does.  At first glance, it's a simple fusion reactor and while this is a small model, it's not uncommon to have them this small to build into fighters and shuttles and the like.

But a closer look on the diagrams showed that this fusion reactor uses equipment normally used to generate artificial gravity fields.  According to the schematics, Bafatis scientists had used that technology to focus the reaction and control it better, therefore creating better output and less waste.  The reaction chamber was also smaller than usual, making the overall system smaller than contemporary designs.

The machines around it are just to use the energy, but they are still a showcase of Bafatis engineering and productivity.

 

The Console briefly skims the schematics - noting how they managed to minimize the fusion reactor size with an impressed nod.

Showcase of Artwork

The Bafatis psions had created something called a mind canvas.  It was a canvas sheet that would not only take oil paints, but would also make some subtle changes to the painting based upon the mind of the viewer.  While the basic painting would be the same, everybody would see subtle differences in the details.  The paintings that are presented are mostly desert landscapes or the animals that live there.  

One of the newest painters used a very minimalist style, just a few brush strokes left and right to show the landscape, letting the psion part fill in the details.  As the painter, Senarathne, was a psion herself and made her own canvasses to paint, the effect was reinforced.  Her main painting was of a desert road with mountains in the background and a setting sun between the mountains.  A fairly common theme in Bafatis because while they lived in the Northern Oasis of the planet Veehra, they still had a lot of desert around them.  Another painting of the same artist showed a desert fox, a small animal with quite large ears compared to its body.  Again a few brush strokes were made to outline the animal and the psion spells on the canvas would fill in the rest.  Some people even swore they saw the ears twitch.

 

Console Prisca's fur stood on end as the image of the fox seems to snap its claws at her after she had studied it for a minute, hands on her chest she left the display with a nervous chuckle.

Showcase of Agility

In Bafatis there exist a number of dances, some more of a gymnastics .  They are difficult to replicate on other planets due to the higher gravity, but with the same artificial gravity generators they use on ships to lower the gravity on the stage they had been given, it was possible to perform the dance as it should be and not the abbreviated forms that they did without removing part of the gravity.

When everybody was ready, a group of ten people, five men and five women, start simple by moving in a round, women on the inside, men on the outside.  But soon the men picked up the women and threw them up in the air, the low gravity making it very easy.  The women did multiple saltos and flips, before coming down on their hands and after a bridge they stood back up.  Now the women were on the outside of the circle and they picked up the men to throw them up.  The men did the exact same moves.  They repeated this three times before suddenly both groups jumped up and did a triple salto.  As they came back down, they immediately jumped back up and did another triple salto.  Coming back down there were five couple again and they move a almost slow motion around, with big steps and slowly swaying from side to side.  Then they turn towards the spectators and take a bow.

 

 

Prisca clapped when the dancers bowed to the crowd - "Bravo! What a show of coordination!"

The scientists stand ready for extra information should there be questions.

 

Senarathne bowed as Prisca studied the paintings, but she didn't say anything. This was her first time out of her home region and she was a bit overwhelmed by all the other people and other species.

 

The dancers bow again and wave at the spectators.

 

13 hours ago, Lumaeus said:

Ingenuity: Constance listens intently to discussion of the device, reads everything provided, and then can be caught sending off details in a message via InterPlaNetary means to some of her scientists. The Queen is an educated woman, but this is clearly specialty science, and she cannot judge alone.

Artwork: "Remarkable!" Constance smiles. "I really appreciate that Senarathne's work, especially, is featured, since it so clearly demonstrates the gulf between the physical marks on the canvas and the impressions we see. I'm curious, however, whether you can in any way demonstrate that difference in perception other than relying on everyone's own reporting--which I do want to stress is still an impressive and reliable method!"

Agility: Constance plays audience and claps along with the crowd. She's clearly pleased with the display, but does not linger or Comment.

As before, the scientists are ready to answer any questions the viewers might have.

 

Senarathne looks at Constance.

"That's part of the experience, mylady, the way it's different for everybody. I'm not sure if you can demonstrate objectively how things are different, as everybody has a different mind. One can't see the changes on a picture or movie of the work, that much I know. At home we have discussion forums where people meet, watch a painting and discuss what they have seen. They can be very popular."

 

The dancers bow again and wave at the spectators.

 

5 hours ago, Featherscale said:

The Exhibits from Voletha

After seeing and complimenting the Calligraphy, so alien to Glic sensibilities, yet oddly compelling, Glim went to the delegation sent by the Bafatis Dynasty.

She was very impressed, frankly.

The fusion engine was far more elegant and practical than Khylokian designs gifted The Hammer at the Arkhive recently.  She could immediately see how she might reproduce the refinements with Lepkashramov.

The psychic painting was.... beautiful.  It brought her back to when she was a mere Nymph and first allowed to use a reverse-theramin to sculpt. 

She sent to one of the Bosk Brothers to grab something from her private quarters.  Not that Queens, or anyone truly had privacy, not amongst telepaths. But they did have stuff sectioned off.

She had the Worker present the piece to Senarathne.  It was a simple desk lamp, that could grow dimmer or brighter, or cold or hot, based on the will of the last person to project at it.

"I, too, am an artist of the mind.  I never saw such a medium before.  I am humbled by your skill.  I would give you a gift, the third thing I ever created."  She spoke directly, discomfitting the Worker, who, though used to Glim's eccentricities, still assumed Queens were to be obeyed, not heard.  They certainly didn't talk like *this.*

***

The Glix party all saw the wondrous dance.  They were awed by the display of fine gravity control, but lacked context to truly appreciate the aerobatics.

As before, the scientists are ready to answer any questions the viewers might have.

 

"Thank you, your majesty," Senarathne said with a bow, "I have an empty canvas which I will give you so you can try it as well. For me it works better if I make my own canvasses to paint on, but other artists work better with canvasses made by others. Just paint on it and open your mind to what you are painting."

 

The dancers bow again and wave at the spectators.

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