107 · A feather lands on the pond and a dozen goldfish come to poke at it. We are whoever rises into our eyes to have a look.
— Jesma Shirancord, “Vectors”
The Bauble is the ocean of dreams and nightmares, the chromatic fount of both sleeping dreams and waking inspiration. This laminaAfterworlds that are each aligned with a particular set of facets. The twenty-seven laminae are layered on top of our reality and interact with it in myriad ways.Turn to chapter is most mortals’ first and only living trans-OrdialThe membrane that divides laminae from cardinal worlds, a membrane which can be forded by various means.Turn to chapter experience as they drift here through the vergesThe thinning of the Ordial barrier between cardinal and laminal realities such that certain aspects of one may influence, be perceived, or be simultaneously present on the other.Turn to chapter of sleep and reverie, their bared minds taking shape as translucent shimmers among the waters. One can distinguish here those that embrace their dreams from those that fear them: the former float in the flux of their inspiration in vast warm shallows rippling with gardens of fancy and lilting tunes, and the latter wall themselves off in latticed prisons and sink through dark crags and shadows into the hopeful quiet deep—though all this can change flavor at the mercy of sudden swells of wave or weather.
From their vantage point here the petitionersSouls of the dead that have re-manifested on the most well-suited lamina, where they perfect and reshape themselves while carrying out pursuits in accordance with that lamina's principles.Turn to chapter of this realm, the Inks, can see that the creativity of a mortal mind is in fact a puncture wound in the folds of reality through which not just fancies but also madnesses and monsters of the Bauble can slip. And so Inks tend to the waters carefully, guarding delicately exposed mortal minds, doing their best to chase away phantoms and soften the harsh light of dreams with gentle clouds of color and fantasy. It is an imprecise task; despite the efforts of Inks the fruits of this place remain a blessing and a curse: dreams are subject to the vagaries of tides and storms, and many artists have been tormented by the wilting lack or unharnessable abundance of inspiration.
Dreams will not prepare you for visiting the Bauble, for in person you will find that without the veil of the Ordial all the figments that loom hazily in dreams become strikingly real, and amorphous shapes lurking in the corner of your eye take the forms of the thoughts of nearby dreaming mortals: dreams of grandeur, unbidden, unfiltered, dreams of curiosity, dreams of feared things, hopes, and memories of strangers. On her journey here the wordless Inks flocked to this visitor, tall sprites with complex markings in the place of facial features, adorned in vibrant spiral gowns of coral foliage and glass, who wished to whisk her away in boat held aloft by what appeared to be a giant hollow eye, but she did not wish to stray too far from the apertureLocations where two realms are joined in such a way that you may slip between them. They appear as uncanny distortions through which passage can be disorienting and dangerous.Turn to chapter by which she had arrived. They relented, and remained to guard against rifts and phantasms, pointing out passing fancies until the time came for this visitor to depart.
TODO(make more powerful?)
is it powerful enough?
are all the Inks so benevolent?
dreams are weird because you’re influenced by your dream neighbores
you can choose to sleep here forever?