A Paper on the Mists

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David of Shea
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A Paper on the Mists

Post by David of Shea » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:38 pm

University of Hoch Katheder Faculty Publishing

Being a Summary of the Mists, its denizens, and its observed effects, including new data from the Northern Frontier.

Authored by Professor Ult Ramarine, with input from Research Assistant Iza Prussian
Data Gathered by Professor Ult Ramarine Ilmarhain, and Research Assistant Iza Prussian,
This paper is respectfully dedicated to the memory of Ilmarhain, who died on an expedition into the mists.

Abstract

This paper will be a collation of all current Hoch Katheder research into the mists, augmented with new information from The Northern Frontier gathered at great expense. It stands as a testament to the stubborn excellence of the late and lamented Ilmarhain, who lost his life on a journey into the perilous mists.

Introduction

The mists are an understood and dangerous phenomena. Affecting more than just our own world, thanks to the academic efforts of the Tor Keth we now know much more about this inimical power and its effects on reality. Recent excursions in the Northern Frontier have shed further light on this deadly 'region', its denizens, and its terrible desires. Thanks to much blood and sweat and fear, this information can now be shared. Much information has been gathered, some of it contradictory, but testaments and observations from the Iron Dwarves, the free peoples, and the skilled mages of RED have all built a fuller picture than ever before. My thanks to them all.

History

The Mists have always existed as a fundamental part of reality, perhaps as THE most fundamental type of existence that can still be called existence. That worlds form in the mists is known, but what causes these worlds to form is still not known for sure. While the Free People claim to be the galvanizing force behind the creation of this world, this cannot be the case, for instance, behind Caleah, home of the Tor Keth and center of their empire. One theory holds that divine beings, Gods, are behind the formation of worlds from the mists, (1) but whence do the Gods come? This question may never be answered. What is known for sure is that sapient creatures have a naturally repelling effect on the mists. At its most basic level, a large population of people bulwarks structured reality, but when focused via a ritual circle, the weight of this belief can secure large portions of structured reality against the ‘base’ reality.

Once, it is believed the mists were quiescent, never actively helpful or malicious (2). However, some event occurred that changed the mists, making them actively harmful to beings of our world, indeed of all worlds (3). Its nature is inimical in two ways:

Corrosive effects are reported on any contact with the mists. What the mists erodes primarily is both time, and reference points. Deeper travels into the mists further unmoors people from their home time stream, resulting in lost weeks, months, even years, but can also accelerate subjective time for those lost in the mists. The most extreme extant example of this is the case of the Iron Dwarves. A remnant people from the world-that-was, they headed into the mists with their Northmen allies (A human-template offshoot) within six months, the free peoples reported contacting Iron dwarves, Dwarves with metal skin and lava blood, who had formed a whole civilization in the mists with thousands of members. Considering that they entered the mists with less than 200 people, this growth is astounding and represents a considerable slippage of perceived time, especially for such a large group.

Reference point erosion is a more abstract concept, but results in the largest gross changes observable. When someone is unmoored from their reference points in structured reality, they can undergo radical physiological, psychological and theological change. Mind, Body, and Soul can be twisted to match the deepest parts of the subjects id. In the case of the Iron Dwarves, their desire to survive at all costs, to thrive, and to be strong resulted in the mists making all that possible, but at the cost of gross change. Many mist creatures seem to be driven purely by id, rather than the more complex id-ego-superego structure. (4). Whether this is also true for the Mist Queen and the other complex beings that have formed within the mists, remain to be seen.

Creatures that undergo significant Reference Point Erosion (RPE) eventually become entirely reliant on the mists to sustain biological function for any length of time. These Mist Creatures do not include the deadly mist walkers, but did include the Iron Dwarves and does include the ‘Greygan’. How long such specimens can last without the mists to support their twisted organs is unknown, but something I’d be very interested in studying.

Separate from the Mist Creatures are Mist Constructs. These are beings that never had an existence in Structured Reality independent of the mists, and include the Mist Walkers and Mist King. While powerful, they are limited in their ability to operate outside of the mists, and are much stronger in the mists. They can also control the mists, even attacking structured reality to make it more like the mists and therefore increase their hold on it.

Hypothesis

From this, we can begin to form a hypothesis of the mists. That it has always existed, and represents the lowest energy and complexity form of reality across the multiverse. Everything else is built from the mists, using it rude matter as a fundamental building block. Considering that both magic and faith are useful counters and ways of manipulating the mists, we can assume that both are key tools in the construction of worlds, creating complexity out of the abrasive simplicity of the mists. And if it has always existed, and exists everywhere, perhaps the source of its antipathy to structured reality is now clear. It is close to being ‘perfect’, and views all structured reality as ‘imperfect’. To fight these imperfections. It must itself create an interface between ‘perfection’ and ‘imperfection’, this being the Mist Constructs previously described. And of course, knowing that the Mists can be affected by magic and faith, we know it can itself use the same techniques to battle us.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the mists have always existed, and will always exist, and therefore will always pose a threat that must be dealt with. Any truce or ceasefire will be naturally unsatisfactory to both sides, even antithetical, and will always break down under pressure from one or both sides. The mist hungers, and its hunger will not be sated until every pressure against it is eliminated. As such, we must endeavor to always build our walls higher, our wards stronger, our armies mightier, and our libraries deeper, so that we are always equipped against a force that cares for us a forest fire cares for the forest it burns. And if possible, we must seek the thing that broke the mists, changed it from a placid force to a malevolent one, and then deal with the problem at its root.

References
1: Theology and Baking, Overlord Krem the Extortionator, Hoch Katheder University Press
2: Ancient Legends and Oral Traditions, 2nd Edition
3: Torketh Report to Hoch Katheder, Torketh Embassy Staff
4: Psychology Basics, Professor Sass Yman
Now playing: Ult Ramarine, Professor of Unusual Geography, University of Hoch Katheder.

"To say we cannot is lazy. We cannot do this, we cannot do that, we cannot know this. I know that we can."

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