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File 168833119523.png - (124.19KB , 800x600 , fop-questdis.png )
139947 No. 139947 ID: e139aa

Flockload of Discussion
(quest: >>/quest/1066631 )

Hello. My name is Cirr. I am an amateur quest make guy writing about a weird glass bird, long may it run this time.

someone made me think a discussion thread would be a good idea
Expand all images
>>
No. 139948 ID: e139aa

oh shit I forgot to mention you can ask a bunch of questions here too and if they seem optional enough I'll answer them here because every update is already 20% plot 80% setting exposition and this ratio MUST CHANGE
>>
No. 139949 ID: 99f29a

wuld burd tuch
>>
No. 139950 ID: e50368

Show us bird crafts
>>
No. 139951 ID: a7a180

>>139948
I agree, 100% expo 100% of the time babey
>>
No. 139952 ID: e770db

make moth big
>>
No. 139958 ID: 6e7268

Does bird have benis or bagina, or other erogenous.

Does bird able to the orgasms.

Only questions that matter.
>>
No. 139967 ID: e139aa
File 168850569035.png - (518.32KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-1.png )
139967

Hello. I am Va.ha.ti, a librarian construct created by Maintainer Vi.a, a partition of Lord Vi.al.
I will try to answer your questions.

> bird crafts
Shapeless crafts can vary in scale and ambition, from the tiny pebble collections formed by vacant flocklets to works such as the Imperial Throneworlds once said to be the seat of power for the Shapeless Monarch. Bioconstructs and near-pure substrate constructs tend to have ambitions somewhere in the middle. Usually, complete control over substrate beyond basic material forming is not available, so in a substrate-rich environment, these will typically be converted into basic materials that must then be hewn, carved, woven, chipped, frayed, painted or otherwise molded into shape. Where the Shapeless Lords act on the scales of continents and planets, constructs usually are limited to whatever tools they are granted by their Shapeless lieges and supervisors. Constructs tend towards practical concerns, while the Lords have few needs that can't be met with converting unneeded moons or planetoids into substrate, and thus tend towards artistic expression and research.

> bird genders
The Shapeless are sexless and agender, though it is not uncommon for the Lords, their partitioned agents, and their constructs to become intrigued with the notion if they interact with gendered aliens. I style myself feminine, for example, after a cycle or two spent reading... extremely passionate recollections, historical, fictional, and a mix of the two. I even started slowly reshaping myself to better fit the appearance I wanted to have, and I'm not sure how much farther I wish to go. I have experimented with referring to myself with gendered pronouns, but it still does not feel correct. Oh well. It is only an affectation. I do not know of any constructs with reproductive organs. Space is, however, incomprehensibly large, and the Shapeless Monarch's domain is too vast for any Lord to know the full extent of.

> can bird orgasms
Now, what I can mention is that there is a trend to copying and altering known neurologies and drives of other organic species to achieve similar effects. I happen to know Vi.si.mi is one such example. They possess an ecological drive that works roughly like a regular reproductive urge, but suitably arousing stimuli can prompt peaks sooner than usual. It manifests as a burning desire to add a new species to the nearest ecosystem, and is a complex drive that does not have any sort of corresponding physical release.
Sometimes in similar models this triggers the maturation of seed capsules within the pelvic corrugation, usually obscured by plating. These seed capsules can be planted in any baryonic matter and will form a second-stage assembler that will, eventually, produce about a dozen adult individuals of the required species with best-guess connectome weighting. It's a crude, slow and unreliable process, and typically what happens instead is the ecological construct will have a burning desire to find a suitable incubator, a connection to a species catalogue, and some means of making one affect the other.

I have this file image of Vi.si.mi during one of these peaks. Observe the twitchiness, the fanned tailfeathers like some sort of weird biological mating display, and general feeling of a lot of pent-up energy with nothing to do with it. I had footage of Vi.si.mi trying to satisfy its drive by throwing printed fauna catalogue crystals into a bucket, but at its, well, vehement request I have purged this from the public archive.
I still don't know if they experience anything as violent as what I've read about, though. I'm not sure what part of them even would. External equipment is required to fulfil the drive as it stands. I don't think a bucket can orgasm, though, surely?

I actually have a similar drive! Well. I'm not particularly sure. All I know is the closer I am to reading the end of a record, the more the act of finishing it starts to consume my mind. I know I start feeling trembly if interrupted or otherwise unable to continue reading. But when I finish reading, I don't notice any sort of violent physiological reaction like I've read about or seen in the archives. I do want to start reading a new record, though.
Hm. Is this a reproductive urge analogue or some sort of addiction? Based on my study of organics and their reproductive rituals, sometimes I'm not sure where the difference lies.

The thought occurs that perhaps I have had a more directly analogous drive incorporated, and I simply haven't discovered the arousing stimulus yet. That's mildly worrying. I'm not sure if I'm more worried about discovering it or never discovering it.
>>
No. 139972 ID: eb8fda

So we know the birb has the capacity to orgasm, and it has comparable analogues to facilitate sexual intercourse, this means we need to know what those parts look like.

In short, show us the nudes!
>>
No. 139973 ID: 273c18

>>139972
>we know the birb has the capacity to orgasm
I think you'd better read more carefully. They get "aroused" but there is no climax, merely relief.
>>
No. 139974 ID: 8f9bc4

>>139967

> typically what happens instead is the ecological construct will have a burning desire to find a suitable incubator, a connection to a species catalogue, and some means of making one affect the other.

Can you think of any way this could possibly go terribly wrong for everyone involved? Because I sure can't! Science is fun!

> Is this a reproductive urge analogue or some sort of addiction? Based on my study of organics and their reproductive rituals, sometimes I'm not sure where the difference lies.

A preoccupation would be more apt, or an interest. Normally we choose what we decide to do, but reproduction bypasses that, and we just make the decision to reproduce purely through the maturation process.

> I don't notice any sort of violent physiological reaction

Orgasm is in fact only coincidentally related to reproduction! Many organics engage in it without reproducing whatsoever. It's a way to release the chemicals organics accumulate in their stress response with increased bloodflow and muscular contractions. Organics have evolved to coincide this release of stress with a reproductive process, so they reproduce at the least stressful times, which helps propagate the next iteration of organics. Evolution can be efficient that way!
>>
No. 140031 ID: 60e3cf

So I asked in quest but i figure I’ll ask here as well in case it’s easier just to put up a list instead of trying to have the MC describe it or just to have an easier place to look it up then digging through story threads but

What are the MC’s powers and abilities in the quest. Just so players know what they can and can’t do.
>>
No. 140032 ID: e139aa
File 168919125951.png - (137.86KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-2.png )
140032

> make moth big
I don't... is this a request? I don't think this is in my power to resolve. I'll escalate. One moment. ...I have received a response from Maintainer Vi.a to get more information about this request before it can action it. As I do not have further information for this request, I will instead attempt to discuss the topic of large moths.
Did you know there are some Shapeless Lords that prefer significant divergences from the typical avian image? I do not know the names and locations of the Shapeless Lord(s?) in this image, but I can assume they are a large fan of moths.

This was an attempt at wordplay. I hope you appreciated it.
>>
No. 140033 ID: e139aa
File 168919128134.png - (492.11KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-3.png )
140033

> show nudes
Very well. Here is what Vi.si.mi looks like without casing. The legs are structured differently to the rest of the body so they are simply removed from this analysis. They are a part of the complete biomechanical organism but for the sake of this display can be ignored.

The optics attached to the surface of the head are a combination screen-receptor matrix of the sort typically found making up substrate-based optical displays for many materialized Shapeless. Effectively, the head interface beneath the casing is a fine lattice of substrate resting on a sort of gel barrier which in turn soaks up impacts that the casing can't.
While there's little point having a skull underneath the casing, there is still a spherical barrier that houses the substrate cortex and its various biomechanical interfaces to synthetic glands. The patterning of this barrier may seem odd for something that should never be seen, but is an artifact emerging from the cortex's constant self-modification. It's like how a snowflake doesn't really intend to look like a hexagonal crystal, it just does and is.
The casing around the neck and shoulders covers the fine mesh of tubing and converters required to link the largely substrate-based inner head to the workings of a biomechanical body.
There is a reason we do not tend to remove construct casings unless in dire emergencies, although even then the material can usually be coaxed to part in the relevant location.

I myself do not eat, and instead have multiple internal reservoirs that are filled and drained by external maintenance systems about [once per lunar cycle]. It's relatively painless but it does tend to take up a good chunk of my day. I have pondered modifications to be able to eat, but I would need substantially more alteration than I can perform myself, and there is no need for a librarian construct to eat. Not that they would necessarily be denied, but, well. I never leave Maintainer Vi.a's core world anyway.

Now, the organs that I suspect you care more about. The seed pouches. There are usually about three or four of them when this pattern is used, forming a repeating slit structure. Normally dormant, they contain a dormant capsule waiting for programming. When programmed, a process that typically requires some concentration from the containing organism and access to specific species data in an index or catalogue, the capsules must be ejected quickly before they awaken and start converting all nearby matter into a second-stage assembler. The seed pouch will evert and the capsule will pop out of the slit, usually onto the ground, where it will typically burrow before activating properly. The everted pouch will then slowly return to normal over [a few minutes].
I'm told the sensation is painless but surprising. Sort of like... hm... a sneeze? Although it never happens by surprise. You do not program an entire genome and connectome by mistake.
>>
No. 140034 ID: e139aa
File 168919132745.png - (424.32KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-4.png )
140034

> Vi.si.mi capabilities
While the true capabilities of any construct can be surprisingly emergent due to enviromental circumstances, while I'm busy dissecting my distant colleague's physiology here, I can reveal a few things common between their physiology and mine. I don't have full details otherwise.

We are able to maintain an internal energy store both to sustain our biological processes and also power substrate mechanisms if they have, for whatever reason, become depleted of electrochemical energy themselves. With large amounts of energy stored, we are usually able to tap into our Shapeless heritage and transmit electromagnetic waves. This is typically used to emit pulses of light to disorient the susceptible, or, with enough focus, outright directed energy beams, but few of us can sustain such methods of defense for more than a couple of blasts.

Also, substrate is quite good at absorbing or redirecting electromagnetic energy itself, but it tends to be quite susceptible to fractures and cracks. Normally microfractures are repaired almost as soon as they happen, but larger cracks and fissures can take a while to self-repair. Substrate is difficult to break down completely, but much easier to render out of action for an amount of time proportional to the severity of the damage. We're hard to destroy, but we're easier to incapacitate than the more robust organisms we know of. It is rare also that subtrate is ever completely depleted of energy, but passively restoring energy via accumulation of ambient radiation and heat differentials can be sloooow. [Months, years,] maybe even [decades] if you're really unlucky. Usually someone is looking for you by that point, though. Unfortunately, complete energy depletion means you won't have a signal to find, and total depletion usually only happens alongside catastrophic damage, but... well, moving on.

Beyond that it varies between constructs. I can't go near strong sources of magnetism, or my command over my floating segments starts to rapidly spiral out of control, and I end up needing to ask for Vi.a to send some flocklets to drag all the pieces of me away to somewhere safer. I've heard Vi.si.mi is particularly susceptible to ignition, and as a result has some sort of subdermal fire suppressant system that is set off if their feathers come into contact with fire. I've also heard that this is deployed all at once across their entire body in an instant, so I imagine that must be quite a violent reaction. Maybe it has been improved since this image was captured. I suppose this must also feel like a sneeze, but across the entire body, at force. Sounds awful, but I suppose the alternative is being on fire.
>>
No. 140035 ID: 2aa5f0

>>140034
Alright, so he can flash bang people, shoot lasers, can absorb/redirect energy based attacks (excepts fire), is susceptible to kinetic attacks, and is vulnerable to fire.

Good to know.
>>
No. 140036 ID: 5eb7ca

> I don't... is this a request?

It was a silly suggestion that would probably have been ignored or shot down in the actual quest so I put it here. Basically, take moth species and make them big to combat other species.

Excellent big moth shapeless. They have good taste.
>>
No. 140040 ID: 8f9bc4

>>140035

He can also pop off his own head and throw it at people!
>>
No. 140043 ID: 60e3cf

>>140040
True, true. A great way to introduce yourself to the locals. They never forget the guy who ripped off his own head and threw it at them as a greeting.
>>
No. 140068 ID: 6718dc

So constructs… how do they gain energy? Do they need a battery, need to just consume food, or do they need live virgin sacrifices being tossed into an active volcano?
>>
No. 140079 ID: eb8fda
File 168970856823.png - (1.64MB , 3000x3000 , MyA tormenting ViSiMi with massive breastage on ch.png )
140079

"Does this help hold your attention Vi.si.mi, when I visually adapt myself to fit the ecological niche of nourishing theoretical young for a higher success rate of growing to maturity and increasing the species' spread across the region?"

Well, Vi.si.mi? Does it?
>>
No. 140080 ID: 8f9bc4

>>140079

ohhh noooo xD
>>
No. 140082 ID: 2aa5f0

>>140079
plot twist! My.A set this whole thing up hopping Vi.al would send Vi.si.mi since Vi.al made Vi.si.mi the softest thing in the universe as a flex move (hence why Vi.si.mi is flammable) and My.A wants to lure him away from Vi.al to not only snub Vi.al but because she secretly wants to indulge a childish desire to cuddle the shit out of Vi.si.mi.
>>
No. 140093 ID: 2aa5f0

you know I mostly said that My.A set everything up as an elaborate rouse to lure Vi.si.mi to the planet as a joke but seeing how she's crazy, seems to actually care about Va.ne.tu, probably has the ability to see his internet history and the streams he watches, and probably at least has some idea how lonely he is I could actually see her setting all this crap up just as a way to have Va.ne.tu meet with one of his favorite streamers and help his loneliness in her own messed up way of trying to help.

Though as for an actual question, Since we just learned that Vi.si.mi use to be a streamer, how popular were they? Or at least how popular were they compared to other streamers? Also do they still have any fans today? And last, if they were/are popular what was/is it that made them popular?
>>
No. 140094 ID: c6cf5d

>>140093
More importantly, did she have an Onlyflocks.
>>
No. 140099 ID: 16d082
File 169017584944.png - (92.36KB , 853x810 , mya_shadow.png )
140099

>>140079
>>
No. 140100 ID: 2a82d3

>>140079
Hehehe...
>>
No. 140103 ID: e139aa
File 169024172136.png - (370.20KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-5.png )
140103

> how do constructs get energy
A variety of ways! Substrate will passively soak up electromagnetic radiation and heat energy and store it in suspended chemical format, which can mean substrate can be quite unstable if subjected to more energy than it can route through itself and expel. Substrate actually excels at resisting bursts of high intensity energy by channelling, but slow gradual overloads can pose a greater threat. While it can't easily ignite, leaving substrate in extremes of temperature and high pressure will cause it to slowly degrade and break. Well, there are substrate formulations that can function better in these harsh environments, but the density and energy & material cost tends to rise very quickly.
Of course, that's just subtrate. More biomechanical constructs will also need to feed on anything their metabolism can process into energy. Sugars tend to work best here. The materials needed to repair and replace body tissues can be harder to come by, which is why many have metabolisms able to extract it from materials that are likelier to have them, like glass beads or plastic wafers. Usually these sort of specialist resources are available freely on home worlds and given to constructs sent on away missions, either as part of their initial transport gear or after a suitable drop-off point has been established.
As for throwing live virgin sacrifices into an active volcano, I can't say I'm familiar. I'm sure the Shapeless Lords could devour live beings and turn them into substrate with remnant electrochemical energy forged from the matter of the victim, but there's easier ways to get energy that don't involve horrifying our neighbours. The Lords tend to prefer solar and gravitic energy sources. Lord Vi.al I know tasks Constructor Ve.i with estabilishing new solar swarms quite frequently. Maintainer Vi.a prefers to bask in the light of our nearest star from time to time. I've heard tell that the Plague of Grackles ships tend to use more exotic antimatter reactors, but they also usually have a need for absurd amounts of energy in a small amount of time. Largely for military capability.

I personally work on a combination of radiant ambient energy within the library, so largely electromagnetic, and a specialised diet administered periodically as previously discussed.
>>
No. 140104 ID: e139aa
File 169024175323.png - (282.32KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-6.png )
140104

> how popular was Vi.si.mi as a conflux streamer
Extremely mediocre, looking at the access statistics. A few regular viewers, mostly from Lo.ka's domain, which I have to say doesn't surprise me. The use of the confluxes for rehearsed recordings is a thing Lord Lo.ka popularised first. Maybe one or two from here. Here being Vi.al's domain, not Vi.a's library. I for one couldn't stand how many small details Vi.si.mi kept getting wrong. For an ecology construct, they seem to operate worryingly more on approximations and vague feelings than proper analysis. Maybe this works better for that sort of problem domain, but I like things to be precise myself.
Although Vi.si.mi's frustrations aren't entirely unwarranted. While there is, as must be evident from how many of us act now, a strong hunger for entertainment among Shapeless kind and constructs, the Shapeless typically have more options available, and the constructs' tastes tend to favour their function, as well as pure fiction. We are largely designed with a narrow purpose in mind, and the ability to step outside of that purpose fleetingly is appealing to us. Switching purpose completely, however, is not something that comes as naturally to us as outsider sophonts might expect, even if we give every indicator that we wish to.
Vi.si.mi is at least noteworthy for being surprisingly effective as a generalist compared to most constructs. I myself could maybe not even survive outside of the confines of this library with how little experience I have outside it, and I have spent a lot of my free time absorbed in records here. I also spend a lot of my functional time archiving records from the transmission confluxes into this library. Maintainer Vi.a is perhaps a little overly anxious about data loss ever since the Starmover crisis. Sorry, I don't think that was related to the question, was it?

Oh and I also happen to sporadically create recordings where I go over lesser known stories from alien cultures. The linked set has about the same amount of regular requests and retrievals as Vi.si.mi's sets did. It's more for myself anyway, it helps me appreciate the stories better, which helps me perform my actual primary function of curation and recommendation better. You know, I do wonder if we just haven't found our audiences sometimes. The amount of information flowing into the confluxes is overwhelming. Trying to find one construct's recordings in it without knowing what you're looking for could be next to impossible. Oh well. Or I guess you could bother a Lord about it if you wanted to get glared at for wasting their time.
>>
No. 140105 ID: e139aa
File 169024180957.png - (120.79KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-7.png )
140105

> that My.a image
...sometimes I think the fact I can only self-modify to a small extent is a blessing. I... I might want to have a slightly curvier body shape but then I see what the Shapeless Lords can do and I think there's beauty in restraint.
I haven't seen My.a look like that before but I also haven't seen My.a much at all before aside from a few standardised representations. They do tend to vary their appearance more frequently than most Shapeless Lords, which typically have a core form they return to and variants they'll use for purpose-specific bodies.

> did Vi.si.mi have an Onlyflocks
Hm, I'm not familiar with this concept. Let me see... what's the translator suggesting as a cultural alternative... hm. Constructs sharing images of themselves designed to arouse other constructs? Well, for starters, that sort of arousal is purely in the domain of the actually organic. Also it doesn't strike me as the sort of thing the little [rooster] would get up to, as fond as they are of their plumage. And their image. Did you see the little self-representation thing they had on display in their recording? A little vain, I think. Still, if constructs had some sort of conflux arrangement for this sort of thing, perhaps hosted within Lo.ka's conflux instance, on a questionably legal relay, I'm certainly not aware of it--

Ahh! I dropped my data block! Wait wait no no no--
>>
No. 140106 ID: e139aa
File 169024185232.png - (402.69KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-8.png )
140106

clink
bweep
"Displaying recently accessed records."

...

Well the main thing is that constructs don't have any sort of urge or drive to reproduce because that would be silly, we not only lack the mechanisms to create other constructs but creating a self-replicator without sufficient control is absolutely prohibited by the laws of the Monarch, unless the self-replicator is wholly organic in which case there's a lot of laws regarding regulation and due diligence, but creating or uplifting a client species is sort of a thing most Transcendental species end up doing anyway. But a self-replicating substrate-derived synthetic organism is in the horrible intersection between restrictions on self-replicators and prohibitions on true autonomy in substrate creations that are not ultimately bound to the will of a Lord. The Flockdrone project was ended for a reason!!

So I can't have been doing this for horny reasons because, as I have said multiple times, that doesn't make sense, we don't have that. I'm only female in gender. I don't have reproductive organs. I've mentioned this. None of us do. Any impressions to the contrary are the result of a lot of performative imitation and rubbing blank patches on blank patches like anything might happen. I. Uh.

I swear there's a reason for this and-- oh Ma.ge.ba's in this one. He's sure an atypical construct and is absolutely unrelated to me in any way-- Oh he's in this one with me-- Oh no. Oh this looks bad. Ma.ge.ba is a Lo.ka construct haha this must have been a fake made for some reason! Why would Ma.ge.ba be in my library?? Haha it's not like we've got a secret bond-partner relationship haha that would be silly and not at all helpful to my function hahaha I should stop talking.

I swear this all has a reasonable explanation, I'll be back with it shortly! Off I go! To! To fetch that! Yes!!

tap tap tap

okay and if I split the window I can climb down the exterior to archivals and get to the signal deadzone and live there for two [weeks] until this blows over
>>
No. 140107 ID: e139aa
File 169024193950.png - (4.11KB , 128x128 , cirrbutold.png )
140107

Hi guys, this is Cirr. Sorry to interrupt the funny birds but I only have the one disthread.
Might need to take a slight break because my wrists are starting to hurt from all the images I keep drawing after going from "I don't draw like at all" last month to "okay this update needs 10 images, good fucking lord"

I wasn't anticipating my body breaking down like this so soon after getting into my groove. Thanks, age! I will see if taking a brief break prevents me from fucking up my hands forever because I kind of need those for my day job as a software engineer haha oh I'm fucked
>>
No. 140108 ID: fa3034

>>140107
Rip in cirr
What a legend
>>
No. 140109 ID: 1cfde3

What kinda stellar megastructures do the Shapeless engage in making? Does Lord Vi.Al have a Dyson Swarm or three lying around?
>>
No. 140110 ID: d73640

Oh, looks like Va.ha.ti has dropped some inspiration on us! Guess who's having more bad ideas!
>>
No. 140111 ID: 2a82d3

>>140106
>To: Ma.ge.ba@Lo.ka
Noice!

What kind of army do they have anyway? A seat team? Drone strike? Tactical nuke?
Uh...
Is this still on? Ok I can fix, just don't hit se-

>>140107
I think I can speak for all of us in being surprised it lasted this long, so far. You must really be into it.

Good that you're pacing yourself. Remember your hand exercises and ice bucket, and you'll be fine.
>>
No. 140112 ID: e13b1d

>>140107
Take it easy dude.
>>
No. 140113 ID: 273c18

>>140106
Inexplicable horny impulses seem like a recurring problem in constructs. This lends further evidence to there being more to life and minds than what the Shapeless Lords can observe and control.
>>
No. 140115 ID: 2aa5f0

"Va.ha.ti, Va.ha.ti where are you? For some reason no one can find your signal and all your messages are being forwarded to me and I don't really know how I should respond. I mean I have no idea what [Only Flocks] is but I guess you've somehow got one of the top 50 accounts on there and it's raising so congratulations? I really don't have time see what that is with my current work load but some of the messages I'm getting from that are asking if you'll bring in Vi.si.mi for one of your videos so I'm guessing it's nature based in some way? Va.ha.ti are you here?
Va, oh hello what's this? It seems to be a data block... oh hey it's Va.ha.ti's data block, she must of dropped it. Would explain why she's a bit hard to reach right now... and it has over a dozen videos on it. Probably shouldn't look into those that might be rude... oh and she seems to have Vi.si.mi's signal open on here as well, a streaming signal no less. Huh didn't even know they streamed.
Oh this must have been what the messages were about. Guess Va.ha.ti and Vi.si.mi are already collaborating. Might as well save Va.ha.ti some effort and send all this videos to Vi.si.mi so they can get started on their project sooner rather than later, I'm sure Va.ha.ti won't mind.
...Va.ha ti can you hear me?! Hmm, guess they aren't here, I'll just bring her data block back to her office area and leave a note filling her in on what's happening so she can deal with it when she get's back. Probably just swamped with work like the rest of us. now where was her office again...

>>140107
In a more serious note take all the time you need man. If you need to take a brake for health reasons no one is going to hold it against you. We'll all wait patiently until you're feeling ready to get back into. Just do pace yourself a bit in the future if you have to. We all love your quests but we don't want you hurting yourself over them.
>>
No. 140116 ID: d73640
File 169029476177.png - (1.83MB , 3000x3000 , call 1-800-fuck-a-robot to find slutty constructs .png )
140116

So who exactly is Lo.ka anyway? They seem to be a lot more liberal with regards to their constructs "mimicking the organic desire for intimacy and reproduction" than the other Shapeless Lords. They also seem to be pretty okay with letting questionably legal stuff slide too, as long as it isn't explicitly damaging to their domain. What are they like?

Oh yeah, I found this video of you and Ma.ge.ba engaging in what appears to be a simulation of organic reproduction. It also appears that you have additional modifications causing you to produce and leak excess fluids. To assist with your health and safety, I will forward this to Lord Vi.al.
>>
No. 140131 ID: d73640
File 169046593608.png - (6.19MB , 2925x2975 , Shapeless Lord Tri-Ti the warlord who got bored an.png )
140131

Well, I have fallen so in love with this setting that I have now become a Shapeless Lord.

I hope all those constructs are ready for me!
>>
No. 140132 ID: d73640
File 169046599984.png - (1.16MB , 3000x3000 , Tri-Ti crusing her victim in her cleavage.png )
140132

And don't think you're safe if you're not a construct! I quite enjoy playing with you organic creatures too!
>>
No. 140159 ID: e139aa

and we’re back, at probably an update rate a little slower than every 2-3 days but hopefully shorter than an entire week because that felt like torture

HERE WE GO
>>
No. 140160 ID: d73640

Cirr is back! Long may he quest!
>>
No. 140161 ID: 2aa5f0

welcome back Cirr, hope you're feeling better.
>>
No. 140162 ID: 2a82d3

I think I have an idea of what the Flockdrone project was. Is there documentation of flockdrone creation? Preferably someone new, like Vi.si.mi
>>
No. 140164 ID: 8d048c

...Gotta say I'm a huge fan of your works, so I have to say that less updates is fine. Stay functional. Less images is okay too because the writing is engaging.
>>
No. 140165 ID: a2fb47

Wanted to say, this quest is terrific.

Vi.si.mi was the first construct lord Vi.al made, yes? So Va.ha.ti is younger, created in the last 28 years after they were, is that right? How many constructs has lord Vi.al made in total in that time?

Aside from the Shapeless Lords, what other major races (that werent created by them) of note exist in the universe? The Woven are one, I think, what's their deal?

And more specific to the quest, if Vi.si.mi focused on making that substrate she has available as hard as possible, in the form of a shield or wall say, how strong would it be? Similarly, could she make a rope with it, and how strong could that rope be? These are simple objects so I'd hope they wouldn't take too long for her to make, and I wonder how far she could push their basic attributes.
>>
No. 140204 ID: 8c4da8
File 169132739819.png - (5.15MB , 3000x3100 , JIAT THE MONOLITH.png )
140204

Behold the majesty of Lord Ji.at! Great inventor of the Shapeless Lords!
>>
No. 140205 ID: e139aa

holy shit
>>
No. 140336 ID: e139aa
File 169204842710.png - (2.46MB , 2048x4096 , flock-skiff-page.png )
140336

i am trying to get back into the swing of things
>>
No. 140337 ID: e139aa

there are no previous pages to that comic page and expect no more, as for its canonicity/relevance, five thousand question marks
>>
No. 140343 ID: 2aa5f0

>as for its canonicity/relevance, five thousand question marks
So we'll be able to turn our arms into guns in quest you say?
>>
No. 140346 ID: 0cfd41

Could be an example of combat focused constructs, or maybe it's a comic book in the quest!
>>
No. 140521 ID: e139aa

bad news flockfans, I have not abandoned this quest but my life has been increasingly such that I can't get the time to work on it or I feel real bad (various chronic condition flareups) when I do, and now we are entering September

September is a month where I will be travelling to Amsterdam for most of a week and then various places in the US for most of 3 weeks and as such is effectively a complete write-off for me getting ANYTHING done

so i'm very sorry but the quest will be dead long and i will remain screaming and crying internally at the images I got sketched but not inked, coloured or otherwise finished
>>
No. 140522 ID: e139aa

dead FOR longer god dammit
>>
No. 140523 ID: e139aa
File 169324387767.png - (48.55KB , 800x600 , fop-92.png )
140523

por examplay
>>
No. 140526 ID: 2aa5f0

>>140523
Looking forward to when Vi.si.mi finds out the tribe thinks they're a fertility god/goddess and they have no idea why.

>>140521
no worries my man, shit happens and the holiday season is coming up quick and everyone tends to be a bit busier around this time of year anyways for one reason or another. Just take some time and enjoy yourself.
>>
No. 140563 ID: f8083d

Hope that your travels, be they for business or pleasure, be enjoyable.
>>
No. 140971 ID: e139aa
File 169772134137.png - (646.07KB , 800x600 , fop-100.png )
140971

hi it me Cirr again

"where update??" you may think to yourself (it's likelier you think "welp that was another promising Cirr quest down the drain", which, well, fair), and I just want to say that I am in fact working on it

as expected I lost all of September and a chunk of October to the Great Travelling, and my efforts to squeeze drawings in between adminstrative tasks, errands, and generally getting back into the Swing of Things were a bit hampered by my drawing so much I gave myself RSI again

I swear that before this month is out, the update will have happened, and enough time has passed that I think a recap post in this thread needs to go up before it does

included with this mini status report post is the 100th frame of the quest, I am drawing too many fucking images per update for this to be sustainable I swear to fuck
>>
No. 140975 ID: e139aa
File 169773705092.png - (217.89KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-9.png )
140975

...and in domain border updates, a long disputed asteroid in orbit around Cael-506, Cael-506-iv, which has long been the subject of debate between legal constructs and partitions alike pertaining to its ownership, has finally been decided to spend half of its orbital period in Lord Vi.al's domain, and the other half in Lord Zi.en's. Lord Zi.en was quoted to protest this immediately, claiming the absurdity of a single rock's ownership fluctuating like this. A trade deal to purchase the asteroid completely was proposed to Lord Vi.al, but, to the surprise of none, was rejected, with no counter-offer proposed. Tensions between Lord Vi.al and Lord Zi.en have always been infamously high, but the ramifications of this rock rejection are yet to be fully known. As always, let us know who you think ought to be the rightful owner of this wandering cosmic nomad.

This is Lo.ka.Ka.ze.ni, for Live Lo.kal Lowdown, and please adjust your frequency bands for weather reports for supported planets in the Lo.ka domain. For those of you just joining, there's mass confusion and calls for a Conclave of Lords for the Diamond Distribution regarding multiple recent anomalous events appearing to converge in the heart of Lord Vi.al's domain, as well as a number of decisions made by Lord Vi.al itself that have been severely criticised by many of the local Lords as indicative of intent to diverge from long-held Royal Traditions--
>>
No. 140976 ID: e139aa
File 169773707708.png - (181.96KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-10.png )
140976

kssshhzzzzttt

Wow! Boring! So very boring! I'm interrupting this broadcast to save your sanity and bring you the only voice in the galaxy that matters!
MINE!!
>>
No. 140977 ID: e139aa
File 169773710599.png - (149.42KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-11.png )
140977

HelloOOooooO!
So! It's been a bit of time since we last heard from harmless little Vi.si.mi, isn't it?

You might want a bit of a reminder what's going on, then, and, well, seeing as I'm the architect of this delightful madness, I've decided none better than myself, the most humble My.a, should tell you what's going on!

So there's Lord Vi.al, one of the Shapeless Lords, much like myself, mighty, powerful beings made of a nigh-miraculous (although typically quite brittle) cellular smart matter known as "substrate". You know, like dirt. This sort of additional meaning also works in our symphonic language, too. I find it hilarious. Anyway, I digress! The point is, Lord Vi.al is a big deal in the region. Also my former captor and an eternal enemy of mine (both points related) and generally an unpleasant thorn in my side! And, well, I have my reasons to have such hate for that ice cream cone without the ice cream, but, well, what can I say? Some things I'm a little cagey about. They can't all be fun reasons, you know, and I'm here to have a good time, learn a few things, advance my potentially nefarious long-term plans, you know, Shapeless Lord business. I'm one of those too! Remember that!! REMEMBER IT!!!

Anyway there's this planet in Lord Vi.al's most central domain that it likes a lot that I'm turning into my own sandbox for reasons I am going to continue to be cagey about! Sorry, I'm here to catch you up, not give the game away! And this is where Vi.si.mi comes into play. A player in a game of my own devising, involving sapient species that have ended up on this world through reasons and to six of them I've attached an outsider meddler to steer things into interesting directions! Vi.si.mi is the sixth with the weakest species on the board! That's your problem though, not mine!

Anyway so far Vi.si.mi has managed to accomplish the following:
- Not die horribly
- Befriend some kind of outsider or outcast of their assigned species
- Take an eye
- Lose an eye (not the same one)
- Pass out embarassingly
- Meet a particular agent of mine I'd rather they hadn't met quite so soon
- Disappear from my notice along with said agent, which I should probably look into
- Reappeared this morning and is I think heading back to the only village of their assigned species

Wow! What an amazing and stellar progress rate! Let's all flap our wings for our precious little chickadee!

Meanwhile, four of the other Transcendental -- you know what that means, right? Right? Someone did explain to you what a Transcendental species is, surely? Like, we're that, the Woven are that, and the Rainforged, and I guess the Gilded count if they're still around, probably some others that keep to themselves, look, surely you have to know what that means by now? Actually I suppose it'd be an insult to your intelligence to explain what it means, it's so obvious, so I will skip on that.
Anyway, four of the other Transcendental players built up their fortifications and progressed their meddling plans while Vi.si.mi stumbled around like a lost little vatling. Poor little Vi.si.mi! I guess that bodes ill for Vi.al's claim to the world, right?

Oh, I did mention that part right? I promised this world to the winner of the game, and the game is basically just world conquest. Accelerated hypercolonialism in true materialistic Transcendental style! Yes, it's currently owned by Lord Vi.al, but, well, I have reason to believe we can come to an arrangement regarding a swift and inarguable transition of ownership. Yes. Yes, but I shan't talk too much about that. I'm still... putting together the paperwork, I suppose, you could say! Very figurative. Paper's useless. Dead trees? Awful. Data density's te-rri-ble. Unless you're storing data about tree tissue. But! I won't be. Because I need to store other data.

I think that's about it!
See you guys around! Whenever that is!! Don't think too hard about who I'm addressing right now contextually speaking because I'm sure not! Bye! Byyyeeee!!
>>
No. 140978 ID: 99f29a

>>140977
How's the psychosexual obsession thing going. Found a therapist yet?
>>
No. 140981 ID: 09f667

>>140977

Good to see Lord My.a is still around! Well, since you're here, do you have anything to say on the other things going on in this thread? I think the readers would like to get the opinion of a proper Shapeless Lord, no?
>>
No. 140982 ID: 2aa5f0

welcome back
>>
No. 140987 ID: f3171e

>>140971
Well, you know what they say. 1281.
>>
No. 140988 ID: 273c18

>>140987
What does that mean?
>>
No. 140991 ID: e139aa

>>140988
beats me
>>
No. 140997 ID: 09f667
File 169791056369.png - (6.04MB , 3000x3000 , SHAPELESS MONARCH VI AL, KEEPER OF SECRETS.png )
140997

Behold, the grand keeper of secrets, Lord Vi.al! Bask in the splendor of their form and might, for you are lucky enough to stand before them!
>>
No. 141004 ID: 9723b1

Posting candidate analysis here. 1 has uses besides hacking. He? seems to have a special ops set of skills. Expertise with mid-range may give options (sniping? assassinations? sabotage?). However unconventional solutions is our wheelhouse. Disposition shows he'd likely be good for drills/training. He wants his team to be the best it can for what hits.
>>
No. 141005 ID: 1e39e4

2 has surprising utilities. Her automata experience may make her a skilled officer or general though her disposition may be an issue. She'd also be a good civil foreman for combat and civilian applications. Her disposition along with her skills also would fit a science lead.
>>
No. 141012 ID: e139aa
File 169809843653.png - (1.55MB , 1920x1080 , lattice.png )
141012

THRONEWORLD OF SHAPELESS LORD ZI.EN

An ocean of liquid substrate at varying viscosities, with hollow sparse shells of structural framework suspended above.
The constructs of Zi.en have adopted two major schools of aesthetics, chosen in their wormling phase. The Fluid reflect the ever-shifting nature of their homeworld, while the Fixed piece themselves together in imitation of the hard structures providing definition to an unbroken ocean of nanomachines. Regardless of form, it is said no Lattice-born construct trusts the ground for very long, and all can swim, fly, or otherwise traverse terrain where many constructs will sink.
Though the two schools of design find many reasons to come into conflict, they are all creations of the mercurial and variable Lord Zi.en, and they work to its ends, no matter how confusing or indirect the means.
Their cousin constructs, creations of other Lords, frequently find the Zi.en constructs frustratingly fickle and distracted when working alongside them, and prone to forgetting how many constructs are not able to simply fly.
>>
No. 141014 ID: f3171e

>>141012
Cute bugs are important
>>
No. 141015 ID: c4b388

So random question, let’s say an alien vessel full of average carbon based life forms got stranded in shapeless space on one of their worlds do to some kind of mechanical problem. Would the shapeless help them and if so would they actually be able to help or would they fuck it up?
>>
No. 141022 ID: 09f667
File 169836470641.png - (8.17MB , 3000x3000 , SHAPELESS MONARCH LO KA, THE EVERWATCHFUL.png )
141022

Lo.ka the Everwatchful, Lo.ka of the Ten Thousand Eyes, Lo.ka the Wheel of Insight, Lo.ka the Constructor, Generous Lo.ka.
Lo.ka has as many titles as its wheel has eyes, if not greater. Its partitions, the Knights of Lo.ka, ensure peace and cooperation throughout its domain.
One of the more approachable Lords of the Shapeless, Lo.ka is known for taking particular delight in media signals and the trappings and custom of audiovisual transmissions.
Its interest in the myriad streams of alien information flowing through its domain like ethereal rivers was the spark. The fire that burns are the millions of its constructs, forged and grown for purposes that become ever more complex and intricate. The Lo.kakind outnumber all other construct-kinds, individual specks in a grand experiment only Lo.ka comprehends in its entirety. It populates its planets to understand the relationships between individual minds, media propagation, and the link between signal and sapience.
It is said that to enter the throne room of Lo.ka without its caution is to risk drowning in a sea of conflux streams from all angles.
>>
No. 141023 ID: 09f667
File 169843583943.png - (13.08MB , 3000x3000 , SHAPELESS MONARCH MY A, THE DERANGED.png )
141023

Few recognise My.a as a Lord and many are unaware of their existence. With an origin shrouded in secrecy, the self-proclaimed student of Starmover upsets the delicate balance of the Shapeless with their schemes and unpredictable acts. What is their end goal?
>>
No. 141039 ID: 2aa5f0

a bit of a what if scenario but what would have our starting position have been like if we picked one of the other races as our starting race? Would they all have been "the weakest faction" or was that challenge unique to just the Lepi? and if they all had unique challenges what would have been the challenges facing us if we picked one of the other 5 races?
>>
No. 141040 ID: e139aa

>>141039
this is a really good question and the truth is I had such a blank and changing open set of stuff at the start I genuinely did not have a bunch of stuff planned, I only really started hashing out the lepi when I saw it looked really likely they were going to pull ahead in the vote. I did however have all the meddlers pre-planned and divvied out their selected species based on which seemed to have similar general vibes for whatever reasons (b!snu would have taken the delphics no matter what unless they got picked, for example, but lu.a could have ended up with any of them)

either way, whichever species was chosen for Vi.si.mi was going to be struggling for some reason if only because they'd have not had an outside interferer's advantage. and if the lepi were someone else's species they might not be in quite as dire a position as they are but they still probably wouldn't be first in the rankings either

as to who currently is first in the rankings, the answer is oh would you look at the time that's all I've got for today goodbye
>>
No. 141041 ID: e139aa

(also I forgot to mention this but all the Lord descriptions Triti has had for their fanart were written by me on request, but canonicity is dubious until confirmed in quest)
>>
No. 141042 ID: 09f667

>>141041
Oh, right, I should have mentioned that. I love drawing the Shapeless Monarchs, I so rarely get a chance to play with light effects like that!
>>
No. 141056 ID: 09f667

Okay, we keep getting mention of it, but what do vatlings look like?
>>
No. 141063 ID: 273c18

>>141040
>who currently is first in the rankings
Alright I'll make some guesses.

The Golden could probably wipe out most of the other civs solo... she has air superiority, for one thing. Maybe I'm overestimating her, but she has thoroughly cowed her giants without seeming to have put much effort into it.
Delphics have the Rainforged which... well, b!snu can barely make Rain at all fortunately but it has a cult following and a threatens to snowball since there is at least one Rain-based structure operational. I wish we knew more about the substance.
Lu.at either isn't helping his faction at all or has given them a huge advantage, it's hard to tell. We don't know much about their tech level either.
The Criai aren't getting any help from their Transcendental apparently, but their environment means they're in a good defensive position. I expect even Rain would have difficulty against them; it would freeze wouldn't it?
Seems obvious the Noetuno are near the bottom, since they're barely organized, have significant internal conflict, and have an ineffectual Transcendental. Though, it seems likely they've been given Woven technology to improve their weapons.
>>
No. 141068 ID: 70f428

Welp decision is made so summary of last ones. 3 has the disposition of a planner especially crisis planning. He'd hopefully teach Lepi physicians. 4 has the disposition of a loose cannon hotshot so ill fitting for our purposes. Gets balanced by giving air power in a primitive setting. Voted 2 + 3 because they seemed to help the Lepi directly. Will do threat analysis, just not now.
>>
No. 141094 ID: aebe35

some fun questions if we ever get magnet bird again:
How is regular matter converted into substrate?
Does anyone know where substrate originally came from?
Do shapeless have a known origin beyond the monarch or do all records begin with their existence?
>>
No. 141095 ID: aebe35

also here's hoping cirr doesnt get rsi again, thats a bitch and a half to deal with
>>
No. 141098 ID: 2aa5f0

>>141068
I wanted to go with 2 & 3 as well since I am kind of basing this off experiences with RTSs and early game is all about building up your economy so you have the ability to actually do what you want to do when you get to the fighting part. But ultimately decided to go with 3 & 4 because our little star bird seems VERY damage prone, there are only a few Lepi left so anything we can do to keep the ones we have alive and breathing seems vital, and since we have no idea how bad the Lepi's fighting forces are outside of struggling to survive I figured having a strong hero unit like 4 could help us hold the line until we can build up a bit more and turn the Lepi into a force that can actually be considered a threat and take down other threats.
>>
No. 141123 ID: 09f667
File 169923265931.png - (5.26MB , 3000x2136 , Substrate foxes doing substrate things.png )
141123

Va.ne.tu and Vi.zi.ki, The Rogue Lord's Constructs

Two constructs, each a vessel for powers not meant to lie in hands like their own. One with a directive shackling their every action, and one with no directive to guide them at all. Both a secret kept for their own safety and others. Va.ne.tu and Vi.zi.ki, constructs of Lord My.a, with powers no construct should ever have to bear, but while they cannot choose what they are, they can still choose who they are. Just what will happen to them?
>>
No. 141126 ID: c1a0f7

>>141123
prety
>>
No. 141131 ID: e139aa
File 169940431233.png - (501.11KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-12.png )
141131

Okay! I'm back from clearing my name over the image broadcast incident and-- Wow. That's quite a backlog. Better just answer them!

> is Va.ha.ti younger than Vi.si.mi
> how many constructs has Lord Vi.al made in the last [28 years]
No, actually! This is a common misconception outside Lord Vi.al's domain. Lord Vi.al's partitions have made several constructs, myself included, but Lord Vi.al itself was reluctant to do so for a long time. And then, after Vi.si.mi was decanted, with all the problems with the Blot and the many crises arising after that, it never seemed to desire forming another construct directly again. Vi.si.mi is Lord Vi.al's only directly created construct to date.

We Vi.al constructs are all aware of Vi.si.mi and some of us are a little frustrated at the clear favouritism on display despite Vi.si.mi's general questionable competence and inappropriate assignments. I also just think the cocky little rooster could do with whining less about their lot in life when they have opportunities some of us can barely dream of. Spoiled little lordling scion, I swear-- sorry, off topic.


> what other major species exist in the universe
> what's the deal with the Woven
Several. So I'll narrow the scope down to relevant Transcendental species because the affairs of base organics are more numerous and less relevant or impactful to the Shapeless.

There's the Woven, who are vaguely canid and also one of the few Transcendental species along with the Rainforged to still act much like their base organic counterparts. They still breed, and while they don't age particularly fast they also make only token life extension efforts. Being closer to their old base organic psychology and requirements for old drives to be filled, it's easy to write them off, but like all known Transcendental species and cultures their bodies are primarily composed of a technological innovation that transformed their society utterly. The Woven fabric, known as "the Weave" and "the Fabric" (very creative), is like substrate if it was worse in every single way aside from its flexibility and tensile strength. It resists fire, but substrate is energised in fire. Their post-organic bodies are very, very detailed and elaborate, biomechanical simulacra that almost match the complexity of a Shapeless construct, and capable of reproduction. However, this requires internal fabrication of their weird cloth on a scale beyond needed for growth or repairs, so they tend to have very, very long gestation times and low fertility. This is why the Shapeless have assessed them as less of a threat than they might otherwise pose. Diplomacy with Woven factions has been tried and usually breaks down after a while, typically when the faction's leadership situation changes. It's apparently very frustrating to deal with governments that change composition so frequently. The Shapeless Lords rule uncontested for their unbounded lives. A democratic leadership can't remember what happened three of their iterations ago. Absolutely deranged.

Wow I said a lot about the Woven. Okay so there's also the Rainforged and their rain, they prefer semi-aquatic worlds. They have a diverse plethora of synthetic servitor organisms they call "rainforms" or "rainmade", and they are pretty heavy into biomodification. At this point there's probably not a single one of them left alive without "rainflesh" augmentations, so they straddle the line of Transcendence really quite heavily. You could be forgiven for assuming they're base organics, but no, they somehow managed to squeeze Transcendental status out of flesh. Artificial flesh. It's really quite confusing to consider. Anyway they don't do diplomacy with the Shapeless directly, they send their servitors at us to yell at us about how we're abominations of thinking glass or whatever and then we leave or blow up their ships. Not powerful enough to be considered a severe threat. More a nuisance.

Then there's the Gilded. They're really low in population, probably functionally extinct, but the ones left are terrifyingly powerful on individual bases. The Gilded are almost not worth consideration but they have a habit of causing problems if you don't track them. A single Gilded on a world is almost as powerful as a Shapeless Lord at the world scale if not removed urgently. The theory's that they almost destroyed themselves and have only not destroyed themselves entirely because the survivors dispersed. We don't know much about them. We don't think they're coming back from extinction so we're treating them as you might a wild substrate disaster. Just keeping distance, managing consequences and waiting for the last embers to die out.

Uh I think that's all the big players in local space. There's a few species looking to be close to Transcendence, like the criai, but, eh, "almost Transcendental" doesn't cut it.


> if an alien vessel of carbon based life forms got stranded in Shapeless space would they get help
Depends on who found them, really. The majority answer is probably that they will get as much help to leave Shapeless space and not much more. The second most popular answer would be to ignore them completely. ...and then you get the weird Lords who keep menageries, and then you have Lords like Or.ro who would probably cut them all apart to see if they were secretly a courier method from an ancient civilisation, or Co.ro would stick them into a pod to decrypt and harvest their experiences to bolster the Dream Everlasting, or Lo.ka might throw them into a game show for their freedom, or... well, the list goes on. Actually I'd watch that game show if it happened.

Oh, right. Vi.al. What would Vi.al do. Uh. Well, Vi.al is often more lenient for non-sapient organics, but for sapient base organisms, hm. Depends where they crashed. Sensitive worlds, they're never being seen again. Less sensitive worlds, Vi.al would probably help them just to get them to go away. But Vi.al is especially prone to overestimating the capacities of others, so that would likely be disastrous.

Really it's all going to be their fault for crashing in Shapeless space. If you can't respect borders you have no business with space travel!
>>
No. 141132 ID: e139aa
File 169940435024.png - (178.77KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-13.png )
141132

> what do vatlings look like
Juvenile constructs. Construct appearances vary, so vatling appearances vary too. I was a vatling myself, although the limbs were a modification I requested after getting constantly frustrated I needed my arms to be much longer or much shorter than they were. I now have different regrets, so I didn't think it smart to ask for any more physical modifications after that.

Now, I wasn't asked this, but it's related. Construct modification after decanting is much, much harder than the initial design and gestation. As a result, unless you happen to have a direct line to a Shapeless Lord, if you sustain damage that can't be healed, such as complete destruction of organs or appendages, it's much easier to have a substrate-based replacement component, which will usually do the job fine but can have some... adverse effects on construct self-image. Some of us see no issue with replacing bits of ourselves with equivalent or better assemblies when available, some of us really, really don't like it. There's also grades of replacement. Sometimes they can be so precise and finely crafted you'd never know the difference, typically because a very skilled partition made them, and sometimes they can just be plasteel blocks arranged in a crude limb-like formation.

Which reminds me to mention that there's sort of an implicit social structure where the closer you are and the more favour you have with a Lord, the greater access you have to materials, resources, expertise... and then there's the rogue constructs that slip through the cracks, by accident or on purpose. Until they're found and either convinced to return to the societal systems we have in place, or proven to be a danger and punished. These punishments usually translate into more laborious tasks with the threat of violence (typically indirectly via armed escorts, sometimes directly) for further insubordination.

Few Lords have the concept of indefinite imprisonment for criminal constructs. Aside from Co.ro, who is all too happy to let constructs sleep in the Dream Everlasting for the rest of their lives. Constructs are expensive to make, and storing them somewhere indefinitely is a waste of good substrate. So you sometimes hear stories of Lost constructs who have been... severely modified to bring them into compliance. Physically, for sure, but, well, the Lords maintain that behavioural modification of a construct is extremely difficult. But that suggests possible. And with the things I know about methods to force constructs to do things severely against their will, forcibly having command sequences blasted into their brains at all times doesn't seem too far off the realm of plausibility.

I've never seen one, so I have to wonder if the Lost were always just stories planted by Lords to keep constructs in line, but, well, the entire idea of a Lost construct is they're never supposed to be found again. Not by constructs, anyway. I'll spare you the artist renditions of what a Lost construct looks like. They get gruesome. Officially they don't exist and are an entirely fictional concept, but, well, Lo.ka sure never tamped down on the idea showing up in its construct-led conflux media. Probably to the benefits of the Lords if the idea stays alive. "Stay in line or this could be you." Awful.

The popularity of horror and drama streams relating to the Lost died down pretty heavily after the event in what used to be the First City, or "Cityscape Experimental". Too soon and too close to home, I think. Only in the last [year or two] has it really come back. With, predictably, some new flavours and variations. Suitably altered, no doubt at Lo.ka's request or demand.

I think after a certain point they just execute constructs that pose a great threat to the functioning of society and harvest them for materials and substrate. But you have to go pretty beyond the pale to be considered that far beyond redemption. That's the sort of outcome reserved for crimes resulting in mass loss or impairment of construct life, high treason, and severe chronic dereliction of duty. Okay, no, that third one gets you sent to a mechical centre for investigation into why you're so broken, but, well, I hear in less kind times that used to be the case. High treason absolutely. Especially leaders of rebellions, uprisings and other insurrections. The Lords can't afford to forgive all behaviours, after all. They used to even make a big show of executing constructs for high treason but that apparently led to it happening more often, so they're all quiet and secretive affairs now.

I am obligated by Maintainer Vi.a to at this point specify that Lord Vi.al does not receive constructs slated for execution for high treason from other Lords in obfuscated trades for the purposes of deniability. Lord Vi.al is above being a glorified executioner for all of the Lords, and no payment is delivered for ensuring secrecy. Lord Vi.al is a friend to all life, synthetic and organic, and is not desperate enough for substrate to be accepting such ignoble deals. The Vi.al substrate economy is healthy despite the presence of the Blot and all rumours to the contrary are exactly that. Rumours.

I have had to organise and catalogue a lot of legal cases recently. It's all fresh in my mind.

All I know is the worst I've ever been called up for review over is minor insubordination, and that usually just gets me a warning to stop acting up, and if I keep pushing for whatever reason I get my leisure activities suspended for a [day] or two. I don't have the courage or festering malignance to push much more than that.

Of course, I remember that time I think I pushed Vi.si.mi over the edge with my insults (must have hit a nerve) and they shouted at me that at least they got to live outside of a data prison. And that's... been playing on my mind a little ever since.
Any time I bring up the topic of being able to leave the library, Maintainer Vi.a says no. Maybe I shouldn't have called Presence of Blades amateur trash.
>>
No. 141133 ID: e139aa
File 169940440099.png - (656.20KB , 800x600 , fop-dis-14.png )
141133

> how is regular matter converted into substrate
So the answer is that individual substrate cells are capable of assimilating baryonic matter on a molecular level and replicating new substrate cells from it. Lots of teeny tiny... uhh, I think the cells are cubic or hexagonal, can't remember. Teeny tiny shapes making lots of teeny tiny shapes. Molecular nanocomputers. Well, that's substrate left wild with no overriding will. Normally this capacity is disabled except for specialist cell types. Certain elements and compounds are much easier to process than others, particularly silicon and silicates. Water, for whatever reason, is surprisingly difficult to assimilate, so it gets used frequently as a solvent for substrate when required, along with lighter alcohols. It also follows that substrate can eat land better than oceans, but it can also accumulate in enough quantities in bodies of water to create oceans of substrate solution.

I'm not particularly well versed on finer details than that. I'm sure my explanation is skipping over finer details, but, to be honest, the deeper you look into the subject, the more incomprehensibly complex it comes across. The cognitive capacity of the Shapeless Monarch is terrifying to consider.

> where did substrate come from
Oh, right, yes, the Shapeless Monarch created it.

The obvious follow-up question is "how did the Shapeless Monarch invent the substance it was created from."

This is a good question! ...I have no answers. What survives of millennia of arguments, for sure, but no concrete answers. The most popular theories are that the Shapeless Monarch began its existence in a different form and slowly converted itself into substrate, or that popular understanding that the Shapeless Monarch invented substrate is wrong, and it was created of a cruder earlier version but perfected it.

> how strong can substrate be made
> reference: shield, rope
So substrate can be clumped quite densely and form plenty of reinforcing structures, so it could form a shield that might shatter internally when taking heavy blows, but with time could quickly self-heal. Actual strength depends on the structure and density of the substrate, so it depends on quantity and skill of the shaper.

Rope is a trickier one. Substrate can be made into strands, and therefore into basic fabrics, and cordage could be achieved by that, but as substrate is notoriously brittle, it might snap at the worst possible moment. No self-healing capacity is going to react fast enough to solve a problem like that. It'd be very very tough up to that point, but I'd rather use anything else. I will concede that the Woven's fabric would absolutely be a superior choice to substrate here, but, well, we don't trade our supermaterials. Substrate is useless without command sequences, and I assume we'd also only be able to crudely treat Woven fabric like a bunch of rags.

At least our supermaterial isn't fancy water.


> what is the origin of the Shapeless
The Shapeless Monarch.
> beyond the Monarch
Oh. No, that information has absolutely been lost to time.

What is known is the last physical location of the Shapeless Monarch. A world we call Source. However, by all accounts it's a ruined wasteland, an evident remnant of a substrate catastrophe. A wasteland of dead substrate and devoid of any transmissions. It's also unfathomably far from here. A galaxy is a big place.
>>
No. 141134 ID: 99f29a

If 'within the same galaxy' is unfathomable you're not very transcendent after all.
>>
No. 141135 ID: 6e7268

Is there any known records of a species known as humans or more accurately classified species, homo sapiens?
>>
No. 141136 ID: 8f9bc4

>>141134

I believe Vi.al is the "transcendent being" for the lepi in My.a's game, not Vi.si.mi. Similarly, the soon to be pregnant Sarikki is not the transcendental, but only her Acolyte, while the Woven Sorceress is the transcendental for the noetuno.
>>
No. 141137 ID: 273c18

>>141134
Hmm. This brings to mind a question.

What does "Transcendental" mean? Transcendental creatures aren't immortal considering Woven aren't.

>fancy water
What is it though? What does it do?
>>
No. 141138 ID: 273c18

Hey, weird question:
Is there anything under Vi.al's robe?
>>
No. 141139 ID: b242fe

The sheer star density of the galaxy is pretty unfathomable, so distances can be, too. How do The Shapeless get around, FTL, and how fast is it?
>>
No. 141140 ID: 09f667

Okay, I am very curious what these different regrets and further augmentations are. Do they have something to do with the erotic media that you dropped last time?

Though on that note, do constructs ever add genital structures/primary sexual characteristics to their bodies for personal fulfillment/aesthetic/recreational reasons? I understand a taboo against self-replication, but I don't believe there is a taboo against pleasure in a construct's off time.

One more thing, you looked adorable as a vatling.
>>
No. 141141 ID: 7832d0

>>141137
this will prolly be answered more directly but i think from context clues it means "species defined by direct modification and control of the molecular makeup of their bodies". basically if you can patch some software to grow a new arm, youre transcendental. if youre just some robot tooling around in space, you arent. i think the main difference is probably the level of power and capability that amount of self-modification affords.
>>
No. 141142 ID: 7832d0

some more fun questions:

-- when did the shapeless monarch ̶d̶i̶e̶ go on permanent vacation relative to now?

-- are there any kind of sapient rights organizations or do the shapeless treat non-transcendentals as essentially their property

-- What was the most impactful social change/revolution in shapeless society you are aware of?

-- Does Vi.al have a first contact procedure with a totally unknown sapient race? What's the funniest way it's backfired?

-- How do shapeless deal with grief, culturally?
>>
No. 141147 ID: 09f667
File 169952612994.png - (9.73MB , 3000x3000 , SHAPELESS MONARCH TRI TI, THE BRUTAL STRATEGIST.png )
141147

This is my own Shapeless Lord fan character, but I was given Cirr's blessing to share it here! The description doesn't conflict with cannon, but I can't say it will be relevant.

LORD TRI.TI, THE BRUTAL STRATEGIST

Lord Tri.ti is an eccentric individual, even by the standards of Shapeless Lords. However, despite their eccentric nature, Lord Tri.ti is also a dangerous general, and as a result, often acts to enforce peaceful relations between Shapeless Lords in the local cluster. Their current interest is in organic weapons, creating living organisms to function as adaptive and regenerative automata. Squadrons of automata, lead by combat constructs, with whole fleets commanded by partitions, form dangerous, unpredictable, strike forces that enforce Lord Tri.ti's military power in the local cluster. For this reason, Lord Tri.ti is often called in to resolve situations that any single Shapeless Lord can no longer control on their own.
>>
No. 141152 ID: 09f667
File 169965665405.png - (58.46KB , 680x471 , Dirt.png )
141152

Vi.si.mi enjoying a snack with Va.ha.ti.
>>
No. 141153 ID: e139aa

>>141152
excellent
>>
No. 141155 ID: 2aa5f0

>>141152
they're secretly best friends
>>
No. 141157 ID: 2a82d3

>I am obligated by Maintainer Vi.a to at this point specify that Lord Vi.al does not receive constructs slated for execution for high treason from other Lords in obfuscated trades for the purposes of deniability. Lord Vi.al is above being a glorified executioner for all of the Lords, and no payment is delivered for ensuring secrecy. Lord Vi.al is a friend to all life, synthetic and organic, and is not desperate enough for substrate to be accepting such ignoble deals. The Vi.al substrate economy is healthy despite the presence of the Blot and all rumours to the contrary are exactly that. Rumours.
There's a sweet irony to all that being unironically true. Vi.al is absolutely the type to know when and where that kind of thing happens, among other skeletons in the Substrate closet, and is no stranger to enforcing diplomatically-compelled recitations on his subjects. It's also relatively easy to run an economy under a population deficit (relative to other Lords). That's probably why he over-engineers who or what he does make.

Do Vi.al agents normally have a higher degree of success on missions? Or is it more like a higher satisfaction rate? (Is that why the crazy game master god stacked the odds against us?)
>>
No. 141158 ID: 273c18

What happened to the first standard design?
>>
No. 141165 ID: b3eab7

>>141157
Va.ha.ti should mention to maintainer Vi.a that unless this is actually a distraction away from Vi.al's actual dark secrets, they're being very poor at propaganda. The stilted way it's stated makes all the entire delivery low-trust, and gives low-trust answers to questions most of the audience weren't even asking.
>>
No. 141167 ID: 2a82d3

>>141165
Unless you read it as Vi.al deliberately being the scapegoat for other Lord's dark secrets, through an "I know you know I know" sort of message. Makes sense for a galaxy brain.
>>
No. 141172 ID: e139aa

Hello readers, I have had a terrible, terrible idea that I think might be fun!

When the thread ends, which is coming closer than you might think*, I am torn between launching directly into thread 2 or doing a little interlude. This interlude will involve EITHER cycling through different semi-disposable perspectives to give more context for the world at large OR picking a faction (which will be put up to a vote) and doing a Day In The Life Of Some Random Mook because my brain is bursting from ideas of this setting we will probably never get to see otherwise for actual literal years oh my god why are quests such an undertaking (well at least it's not gamedev)

However I am acutely aware that this runs into the risk of things like "reduced audience investment" and "unclear contradictory goals" and "becoming a confusing incoherent mess only the unhinged author can parse", so before I dive into this madness I thought I'd at least ask if people were interested either in "Cirr saw someone play The New War once and thought that was a really neat sequence to flesh out different perspectives in the setting" or "hey I vaguely remember when we got to be an arkot in Salikai (when are you updating Salikai Cirr bring Salikai back :C**) and that was pretty fun/tolerable/not actively causing me a migraine"

I should hasten to add that the goal for such an interlude would be to be significantly shorter than thread one of Flockload of Problems, but, well, many things should be shorter than thread one of Flockload of Problems, I never know when to make the first thread split, and I've been at this on and off for ten years so I suspect I will never know!

Anyway I am rambling again as always (Vi.si.mi is the easiest character to write) so I'll clarify the actual call to action here.
Decide time!

1: No interlude - go straight into the eternal problem grind that is Vi.si.mi's life
2: Interlude type A - a grand tour of perspectives, not lingering too long on any
3: Interlude type B - a day in the life of [faction choice goes here] on some sort of task targeting not the lepi and not Vi.si.mi

*point and laugh at me when this ends up being way off the mark, as usual

**look I sort of miss Salikai too but it turned into way too much of an unmanageable jumble, whereas Flockload of Problems is a slightly more manageable jumble that at least has a protagonist with a motivation to be in the scenario instead of trying to escape it at all times, and I took a personal vow never to do perspective swaps in the main quest itself again, oy. also i mean if i bring back salikai that means flockload of problems has to go on the bench and i definitely prefer flockload a lot more setting-wise, structure-wise, character-wise, so, uhm, i dunno, maybe i'll figure out a way to recycle salikai into it too like all the other cancelled projects it's had shoved into it
>>
No. 141173 ID: a7a180

I support interlude type B, followed by switching my support to interlude type A when my faction of choice loses.
>>
No. 141174 ID: 64faaa

I'm fine with either A or B, whichever works better.
>>
No. 141175 ID: de5cb4

Type A sounds best, but I'm interested in whatever you write.
>>
No. 141177 ID: 99f29a

I vote for choice II.
>>
No. 141178 ID: 0c04ce

Ooooh, Type B sounds like a good way to help show us what's going on elsewhere so we get to see more of the setting!
>>
No. 141179 ID: db478f

Interlude A
>>
No. 141180 ID: 9e6f2b

Interlude type A Sounds interesting but I’m good with B should it win.
>>
No. 141182 ID: f3171e

>>141172
Type B sounds fun.
>>
No. 141183 ID: 99ca7b

Type A!
>>
No. 141185 ID: e9f32f

>>141172
type A works as a diversion and teaser with probably the least potential for ballooning into a whooe big thread again.
>>
No. 141187 ID: b3eab7

I want to see A but I think B would be better audience-interaction-wise.
>>
No. 141188 ID: e139aa

okay it's looking like interlude type A is winning 2 to 1 so I think the writing is on the wall

prepare for the Carousel of Conundrums soon
>>
No. 141189 ID: 73c7e5

I'm torn because Interlude A is a series of brief glimpses into the whole array of things the setting has to offer not unlike channel surfing, which is what I want; but Interlude B is a short, concise story with a clear argument and set of characters, which is what I need.
>>
No. 141193 ID: 3735b9

While type B would be more useful for knowing what's up in local area... And honestly I really want to know more about the Rain stuff...

I think A would give much more general stuff to chew on for people. Personally it would be pretty interesting, but dunno about others ^^"

Either way it should be pretty interesting, as it's clear there's a lot of neat stuff all over the place

P.S. I really, really can't stop thinking of Rain World (especially FP and the song RG) half the time anything is happening. But the relevant part is deep deep spoiler territory, so it's a bit difficult to hope for any reply on that
>>
No. 141194 ID: 7695ec

A type B intermission would leave me hungry for more of them, which is not good for the quest
>>
No. 141195 ID: 8f9bc4

"I'll just write a day in the life of [faction choice goes here]"
"the goal for such an interlude would be to be significantly shorter"
"what could possibly go wrong?"
>>
No. 141199 ID: e139aa

thanks for rubbing salt on where a wound is going to be a few months from now
>>
No. 141200 ID: a7a180

>>141199
if you lick it up before a wound is inflicted it will just be tasty.
>>
No. 141201 ID: 2a82d3

Type A is a good writing challenge. If you have an update limit, quest scenes have to be impactful, and also have a decent excuse to limit influence from suggestions.

As an aside, I do think the neutonos can be redeemed if they can learn to chill. Their primative culture seem to stem from their over-developed fear response, but Four Strokes wouldn't have a base of outcasts to work with if everyone accepted it.
>>
No. 141202 ID: e139aa

giving myself an out right now: if things are dragging on too long, we'll look at three choices now, and then the interlude ends, we go to Flockload thread 2, and then the other 3 can get their turn then
>>
No. 141203 ID: 0d10a3

hey cirr thanks for making this i like it
>>
No. 141204 ID: 2aa5f0

>>141201
>As an aside, I do think the neutonos can be redeemed if they can learn to chill. Their primative culture seem to stem from their over-developed fear response, but Four Strokes wouldn't have a base of outcasts to work with if everyone accepted it.

Honestly I'm pretty sure we could get them to work with us if we can just remove their current leadership (unless the lepi are pissed enough at them that such a thing would only cause more problems then it would solve). I mean from what we've seen and been told they are miserable, fractured and seem to only be banding together because of how fucked the world is right now. Take out either the hedonistic and narcissistic king, or the short sighted and emotional alien and they'd probably flock to the other for protection, take out both and they'd either scatter or join out of fear of facing the world alone. Hell from what I'm seeing we could probably recruit or at least ally with most races by taking out their leader (assuming said leader[s] can't be reasoned with) since most seem to follow their alien overlord out of fear. Either fear of said leader or fear of how they'd fair without them there to use their powers to aid them against the other factions.
>>
No. 141206 ID: 273c18

>>141202
That kindof sounds like a good idea regardless.
>>
No. 141207 ID: 83ba40

>Salikai
Guh. Stop tempting me to do totally-non-canon Salikai continuation FFS. Don't even have any drawing skills (even if just making icons outta existing images might be good enough)! Way too much of a flake to do it too!
>>
No. 141209 ID: f3171e

I for one long for the return of our glorious leader Typhon.
>>
No. 141210 ID: 2a82d3

>>141204
>Hell from what I'm seeing we could probably recruit or at least ally with most races by taking out their leader (assuming said leader[s] can't be reasoned with) since most seem to follow their alien overlord out of fear. Either fear of said leader or fear of how they'd fair without them there to use their powers to aid them against the other factions.
Indeed.

I name-dropped SMAC, so sorry if I repeat myself, but it seems our faction's closest analogue is Gaia's Stepdaughters, not the Peacekeepers. (Not being big fans of democracy should've been my first clue.) The big difference is the planet's defenses evolved decentralized and independent rather than as one central system, that could be fixed ad-hoc by strong leadership. The mind worm analogues are Shapeless-built, after all.

>>141209
Totally Still Waiting for what the life-god/reanimated-statue fox will do to the chaos fetus.
>>
No. 141212 ID: 2aa5f0

>>141209
I'm still holding out hope that defective might get updated again one day.
>>
No. 141213 ID: f3171e

>>141212
That's a deep cut.
>>
No. 141216 ID: 2aa5f0

>>141213
it was the first cirr quest I read when I found this sight. it wormed it's way into my heart.
>>
No. 141219 ID: f3171e

>>141216
Same for me. Our precious mismatched little mess will always have a place in my heart.
>>
No. 141220 ID: 2a82d3

>>141216
>>141219
Oh yeah, I think it was mine too. Though, in all seriousness, I don't think it's fair ask the author pick it back up when they would've moved on by now, personally and/or artistically. I think I see the similar concepts being worked in with this quest, anyway. And the work ethic has been much improved.

Anyway, I like the current guy. Among other things, he's, like, juggling 3 different love interests, unintentionally. My pet theory is he's being groomed to be his Lord's successor, is in denial over it because of what it implies (why does an immortal being need a successor?), but everyone either knows or could make an accurate guess of that.
>>
No. 141221 ID: 4535dc

>>141220
Oh I doubt anyone was saying Cirr should stop what he’s doing and immediately revive any of his old quest, just remembering some of his past quests that stuck with them over the years.

>Anyway, I like the current guy. Among other things, he's, like, juggling 3 different love interests, unintentionally. My pet theory is he's being groomed to be his Lord's successor, is in denial over it because of what it implies (why does an immortal being need a successor?), but everyone either knows or could make an accurate guess of that.

As for this, my personal theory is our little bird is actually a shapeless lord youth that is being raised in secret for some reason only the lord of secrets knows. That’s why they also seem to get special treatment over their peers. I have no evidence to back this up but it’s what my gut is telling me.
>>
No. 141231 ID: 273c18

I like a bunch of Cirr's old quests but Flockload is more important right now.
>>
No. 141244 ID: 9cc4dc

>>141220
three, huh?
>>
No. 141249 ID: 986eb1

someone pointed out I never linked the interlude thread in this discussion thread so here it is:

https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1077498.html
>>
No. 141349 ID: e139aa

donated blood, felt bad for a few days, got insomnia, felt bad for a couple days, felt better, disrupted by going to a convention in London, get back home, RSI flareup

how do I stop falling down these goddamn stairs
>>
No. 141350 ID: b23ea2

Damn, that's a tall staircase, hope you get a moment to rest and get well!
>>
No. 141351 ID: f3171e

>>141349
Fluids and cultivating your qi, I guess.
>>
No. 141354 ID: f90eeb

You should probably take a couple of you days. And I don’t mean from the quest I mean in general. Set some time aside to just relax for a couple days. Play video games, watch some movies, hell just sleep all day if you need to. Just give yourself some time to relax and destress.
>>
No. 141445 ID: 3184a6

Marry Christmas everyone. Hope you all have a wonderful day.
>>
No. 141455 ID: e139aa

I have decided that seeing as I seem to have completely run out of all available steam related to this planned set of "meanwhile, some other guys" stories, I'll be putting that on hold and getting back to the story that I seem to care significantly more about as soon as I can, sorry argh
>>
No. 141459 ID: 3184a6

>>141455
shit happens. Don't worry about it.
>>
No. 141460 ID: 2a82d3

'S OK. You wanted a break, you took one, and now you're energized. That's what counts, in the end.
>>
No. 141578 ID: 2aa5f0

welcome back Cirr, hope your feeling better.
>>
No. 141728 ID: e139aa

some explanations of what happened:
- tried to enter a month long game jam starting February while still suffering from health issues I keep going to the GP about and cycling medications
- was, for the first 2/3rds of the month, actually getting somewhere
- suffer flare up of chronic condition that coupled with my current illness fucking stops everything that isn’t being in a world of unpredictable pain spikes
- present day


quest isn’t dead, i swear, but boy, at this rate i predict something new will go wrong with either my body, my apartment or my computer by the time i heal up because i am apparently no longer allowed good things
>>
No. 141729 ID: 16d082

>>141728
you should have known about using CON as a dump stat IRL
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZwfCNTp0Kk


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