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The Cicatrix

Synthesis Empathy Dissolution ꧪဥဗ

So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you. You do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.

Rianer Riama Relik

If you want something, don’t ask for nothing
If you want nothing, don’t ask for something

The Defhauteurs

Should you shield the canyon from the windstorm you would never see the intricacy of its carvings.

Theabelis Solbüs-Kerr

The rocky crags and overhangs of the Cicatrix are as scarred and gnarled as the Alters who reside there dancing in tears and bliss and laughter on the knife edge between the devastating meaninglessness and excruciating meaningfulness of life. The Alters watch the ship sinking, the dead eulogized, the marathon completed, the commitment abandoned, and the knot untied. They feel the joy and the pain of these moments, and they are present when the pain and the joy are released moments or years later.

Alters appear more scar than body, each bearing this in their own way: with equanimity and absurdism, with ebullient disregard, with violence and mirth. Their scars are their selves, twisted in directions both chosen and accepted. In eulogies of bloodletting and glossolalia riddles the Alters paint, pierce, and scarify their bodies, and in these same rituals the landscape is marked: memorialized with carvings, murals, and fields of stelae until the rock is as transfigured as the Alters.

No terra firma holds the Cicatrix; instead layers of stone wind through the sky forming peaks and plateaus, giving way to rocky tendrils that protrude at all angles through clouds and bridging distant land masses: the rest is all sky. The entire structure unpredictably rotates under a warm sun, a movement perceptible only on the order of many years. Monuments and gravestones and at times even Alters or whole chunks of land eventually slip into the sky; full-grown trees hold on to ever more precarious clifftops; and carvings, artifacts, and aperturesLocations 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 are lost in far-fetched underhangs for aeons before becoming accessible again. A violent wind curls through the Cicatrix, ensuring alongside the gradual rotation that only the most enduring memorials survive, and even so, the land is everywhere thick with them.

While Alters bear the vergingThe 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 currents of catharsis across the multiverse, visitors are welcome to find their own here in person. Bring a matter to be commemorated or to be rid of, and you will be joined in a worthy ritual: a troupe of Alters to scream with you to tears, an effigy constructed upon a pedestal to be destroyed, or a precipice from which to fling an object into the sky. Of course, the thing you are forced to let go of is rarely what you came to release.

[This chapter has not yet been translated. Please turn to the Inevitability, the Bloom, or the Unfolding for completed chapters. Recent additions can be found in the Translation Log.]

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