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The Bough

Autonomy Empathy Dissolution ꧹ဥဗ

170 · Closing a door very gently, you pull with one hand, push with the other.

Jesma Shirancord, “Vectors”

Where the BaubleThe Bauble is the ocean of dreams and nightmares. From vast warm shallows rippling with gardens of fancy and lilting tunes to dark crags and shadows of the quiet deep, the Inks who reside here guard drifting, delicate mortal minds against phantoms and rifts and the swells of storms and waves.Turn to chapter, the 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 of dreams, is usually a mortal’s first experience of the laminae, the Bough is invariably the last, for all deaths pass under the influence of this place. When death draws near, 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 develop between this realm and cardinalThe cardinal worlds make up our foundational, everyday reality over which the laminae are layered.Turn to chapter worlds, through which are sighted the dim placid waterways and luminous nostalgic fog of this place as visions of near-death phenomena, and figures in such visions are the Quells that reside here as 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, pale and delicately beautiful, watching over the soon-to-be-departed and offering succor to their loved ones.

The fading of mortal fleshed is intimately linked to its pains and pleasures, which in the hazy upland forests of the Bough are experienced as a project of intuitive education, vastly different from the unquenchable experimentation and dominance that define that other lamina known for its erotic pursuits, the MaculaThe Macula is a pitch-dark realm where every shred of light and substance has long since been utilized by the alien and fractal Oriels to build curling, spectacular palaces in which they warp their minds and bodies in pursuit of ever more esoteric experiences of beauty.Turn to chapter, whose facets lie precisely opposite the Bough. In the receiving of pain one is unified with the suffering that is shared by all conscious beings, and in the providing of pain one becomes for that moment a force of nature, and through this exchange beings can truly see one another. Lovemaking carries its participants to a world that is otherwise out of reachin those brief moments, the Bough is glimpsed.

Some Quells practice this project in the form of symbiotic grooming, reaching out through verges to pluck scars and memories no longer needed by mortals; such pickings are to Quells bright gems of empathic alleviation. Some visitors come to the Bough for unmediated congress with this process, curling up in the velvet petals of a great flower with one Quell who gently pores over them, softly extricating the weary detritus of mortal experiences. Though it is a profoundly healing process, those that spend too long in this gentle coition find themselves relieved of more than they intended, and some find themselves relieved of everything.

[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.]

Kay Nielsen - Deserted MomentKay Nielsen - Deserted Moment
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