The Skriph Saga (Or, Perhaps Vignette)

Skriph, sometimes, missed Rozburg.  As dull and stagnant as everything had been there, it had also lacked Centralia's overwhelming liveliness, and pronouns had never been dangerous back home.   People got upset when Skriph guessed wrong or forgot, and the only constant was that nobody wanted to be called "it" (even though that was a singular pronoun).  So much felt wrong and different (wonders like roads, wheels, electricity, and magic were not only not-forbidden, but were ubiquitous) that it sometimes worried that it would suddenly wake up in the swamp and realize this wonderful, scandalous, terrifying, noisy, disgusting, cheerful, thankfully-lax-in-guarding-foodstuffs, candy-decorated, city was merely a dream.

Skriph missed its knife.  Darn that Safety Fairy.

(This thread was made so I could turn my main thread back into posting-my-random-thoughts, also, the ending space in the title is intentional, for ternary divisibility).


  • Funny how you take some things for granted.

    Dame Adorabelle's Academy* had taken it for granted that its princesses had a trickster streak and a fondness for unscheduled snacking, so nobody really noticed when the food stocks were slightly less full.

    The citizens of Pompeii had taken it for granted that Vesuvius, on very nearly all days in its history, did not erupt.

    Skriph had taken it for granted that wandering off was okay so long as you stayed within earshot and eyesight, and its family had taken it for granted that rulers of kingdoms could, but in very nearly all instances didn't, silence-the-ways-of-travel** *** **** *****.

    *And, to a lesser extent, the nearby grocery store.

    ** [NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]:  As bizarre as it may sound, the rulers of other nations/kingdoms/baronies cannot silence-the-ways-of-travel.  They rely on walls and armies to keep that-which-must-be-guarded in and that-which-must-be-guarded-against (such as enemies) out.  

    ***[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-NOT-FROM-ROZBURG]:  One of the more interesting magics known to be associated with the "royal" family of our glorious swamp is the power to "silence-the-ways-of-travel", which is, essentially, the act of making it impossible to enter or exit the kingdom unless the (accursed) Konungr wills it.  This, fortunately, will not be a problem for us, as it, by its very nature, would not guard from internal threats and furthermore would serve to prevent outside interference.

    ****[FURTHER NOTE FOR PEOPLE-NOT-FROM-ROZBURG]:  Multi-hyphenated-word-phrases are a very common linguistic feature of these-swampy-lands-over-here.  They appear in the spoken word surprisingly often in other places, but tend-to-be-less-common in the written word of the same.  If it seems strange to you, consider where the genitive " 's daughter" appears when adding a daughter to "the king of Spain".

    *****Footnotes are fun!

    Word of the Day:  Lignify \'lig-nə-,fi\ vb -fied; -fying [F lignifier, fr L lignum] vt (ca 1828): to convert into wood or woody tissue ~ vi: to become wood or woody --- lig*ni*fi*ca*tion \,lig-nə-fə-kā-shən\ n
  • edited 2022-05-03 03:32:58
    Of course, when one uses a phrase like "nobody really noticed" what one often means is "nobody of true significance noticed" or "nobody whose noticing matters noticed".

    Barnaba, who (1) had at least one other name that wasn't "of Centralia"* **, (2) was a self-proclaimed "conspiracy theorist-except that people don't like those anymore, so maybe I'm just a theorizer who specializes in secrets, like I think that Her Royal Highwayness sneaks around everywhere dressed in a student outfit and I think she takes food from here like you evidently do not that I'm saying you're a thief or anything sorry wow people don't usually let me talk for this long are we friends now", and (3) had not had very many friends before but promised to be a good one (whatever that means), had noticed.

    Words are, in the end, a lot of what we are made of, and some people have words with weight like a stone in a small pool, while others simply don't.

    *[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]: By order of the tripartite princettarchy***, all citizens of Centralia and the rest of the kingdom are legally able to change their names whenever they want.

    **[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-NOT-FROM-ROZBURG]:  When the time comes, naming conventions will be reformed.  There is thus no need to explain the silly, often inconsistent naming-patterns, we have been plagued with.

    ***This is not a word, but its intended meaning can easily enough be guessed by context.

    Word of the Day:  hoise \'hȯiz\ vt hoised \'hȯizd\ or hoist \'hȯist\ hoising \hȯiziŋ\ [origin unknown]: HOIST --- hoist with one's own petard : blown up by one's own bomb
  • Barnaba:  One day, I'll photograph the Princess and send it to Coy Pony Chartreis magazine.  Then they'll all believe me.

    Skriph:  Pretty sure that's the one I keep finding in trashcans.

    Barnaba:  Ohmigosh you read it too!

    Skriph:  No, I just look at the pictures and try to learn names in case that ever becomes useful.

    Barnaba:  Oh yeah?  Well, then...

    Barnaba -pulls out Issue #60, flips to a random page-

    Barnaba:  ...Who's this?

    Skriph:  Oh, that's lady Hors-

    Barnaba: NO!

    Skriph: ???

    Barnaba:  That was close, you almost said a super bad word, yikes, be more careful!

    Skriph:  Words can be bad... individually?!

    Barnaba:  Wow.  Do they not have swearing where you're from, I mean, I guess they must not, but seriously how have you not even heard of such things?

    Skriph:  Of course they had swearing, but I don't see what promises, vows, and oaths have to do with anything.

    Barnaba:  I mean words that shouldn't be said, or at least not in public or around kids, you know, curse words.

    Skriph:  Curse words... -shudder-  ...what a horrible thought.  Thanks for saving me.

    Barnaba:  No problem, just be more careful.

    Skriph:  I need to learn them all, just to be safe.

    Word of the Day: ???
  • Barnaba:  What are you doi-

    Skriph:  Gaa!  Don't sneak up on people like that!

    Barnaba:  Hypocritical, but valid, but also not answering my question, what are you doing (I mean, if it's okay to ask, actually scratch that I'm asking if it's not okay because I'm getting concerned here, what are you doing)?

    Skriph:  Making a fire*.  

    Banaba:  You can't just make fires**!

    Skriph:  I know.  That's what matches are for***.

    Barnaba:  ...

    Barnaba:  Okay, why are you building a fire?

    Skriph:  Nomtime approaches.

    Barnaba:  -glances at smoke detector-

    Barnaba: -glances at "no smoking" and "no fires" signs-

    Barnaba:  -facepalms-

    Barnaba:  Gotta get you a microwave, kiddo, oh, and also the tinfoil for hats so they can't get your thoughts (and no, I don't know who "they" are yet, but I'm narrowing it down).

    Skriph:  Kiddo?  I'm a year older than you.

    *[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]:  In other lands, there exist mysterious wall-infesting things with long spiderweb-like-strands of metal.   Most of these are artificial creations, and live in a mutualistic relationship with their client room-dwelling host friends.  Some of them are parasites living off of residual electricity (a light-heat-magic energy).  The parasites, as a defense mechanism, use ear-killing noises whenever they sense danger.  Citizens in these lands are taught from childhood the quickest escape routes from most buildings in case of such auditory attacks.  Known triggers for resonance assaults include fire, certain types of poison gas, depletion of electricity, and direct physical damage.  Archaeological and historical evidence (including oral memory accounts) suggest that in previous generations, Rozburg had electricity and wall-webbers, but no living specimens remain.

    **[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-NOT-FROM-ROZBURG]:  Fire magic, sometimes called Pyromancy, is, even more than most magic, almost exclusively associated with the family of Konungar, and most often with the Konungr itself.  The root "mancy" suggests a divination component, but as with many other forms of magic with that root, it is unclear whether communication, insight, or knowledge-attainment is involved.  For most of us in these-swampy-lands-over-here, building a cooking fire is a chore, during which stories are often shared.  This, the cooking, and the meal, is what is called Nomtime.  This egregious waste of time which could otherwise be filled with productive work, will, if all goes as plan, soon be a thing of the past.

    ***Need a light?  Ask your grocery store if they have Free Samples of Playne-Widdth (R) Charcoal-Quality Matches.  The only matches rated child-safe, they really put the PLUS in Surplus!

    Word of the Day: lac*co*lith \'lak-ə-,lith\ n [Gk lakkos cistern + E -lith]: a mass of igneous rock that is intruded between sedimentary beds and produces a domical bulging of the overlying strata
  • edited 2022-05-12 00:15:35
    From Barnaba's Journal:

    ??-13-????  I'm pretty sure that junk mail contains coded messages.  I can't think of a better way to convey information without an interceptor being able to tell who the intended recipient is than to send it to everyone in such a way that everyone except the intended recipients immediately discard it without thinking.  Thus, I've been saving the junk mail I get, and trying to decode it.

    ??-27-????  The Recycling Fairy is clearly an agent of powers not to be trusted.  I wonder if a cold iron box would work.  Do they even make cold iron anymore, or was that never a real thing?

    ??-29-???? Ugh, why do they teach magic at this Academy, it's not like I'm ever going to use it in real life.  What's the point of levitation if everything interesting is on the ground anyway?

    Word of the Day: hex·ad \ˈhek-ˌsad\ or hex·ade \-ˌsād\ n [LL hexad-, hexas, fr. Gk, fr. hex](1660): a group or series of six  -  hex·ad·ic \hek-ˈsad-ik\ adj

    (For the record, Skriph and Barnaba are not meant to be self-inserts or author-avatars or fictional reflections of anyone.  Having characters that aren't those things opens up possibilities for worldbuilding and silliness.)
  • edited 2022-05-12 00:36:22
    Skriph:  The microwave is too small, unfortunately, but it is still much appreciated.

    Barnaba:  Eeck!  I mean, oh, I totally heard you coming and just pretended to be surprised to humor you, and you can't prove otherwise.  Anyways, no, it's not too small, it's a standard-size microwave.

    Skriph:  Well, then standard is insufficient, because It's not big enough to fit in.  I assume that this is for hatchings and bab-bies*.

    Barnaba:  You don't go in the microwave, the food goes in the microwave.

    Skriph:  But it's warm in there, and I want to spin!  Also, I cannot read the instructions on the pop-corn if I'm out-side the microwave while it's in-side.

    Barnaba:  Ohmigosh you're right!  "Step One:  Put in Microwave and Close Door", but then you can't read step two... That doesn't make any sense.  There's gotta be more to this than meets the eye.

    Barnaba: ...

    Barnaba:  Stop trying to get into the microwave.

    *[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]: Human babies are loud and unable to walk or speak coherently.  Though useless for most tasks, they are very cute and often curious.

    Word of the Day:  dor·nick \ˈdȯr-nik, ˈdä(r)n-ik\ n [prob. fr. IrGael dornōg]: a small stone or chunk of rock
  • Skriph thought, not for the first time and not for the last, about knowing.  Knowledge was sometimes like fire, you can give it to another without diminishing your own.  But not always.  Some things couldn't be taught, only learned, and that knowing came like a sunrise without any moment where "before" became "after" and something changed.  And, again like sunrise, that knowing might sneak up on one unwanted.  Maybe that was why the answer to all the truly interesting how or why questions had been "You wouldn't understand.  Maybe when you're older".

    Skriph had taken it so much for granted that the "Maybe-when-your-older"s in Rozburg would become clear someday, that it was unnerved when it dawned on it that it might know more of the answer to "What happened to/in/at Rozburg?" than the Aggers*, and that that meant that it knew as much as anybody.  

    *[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-NOT-FROM-ROZBURG]: "Agger" is a slang term for pseudosuchian-type beings from These-Swampy-Lands-Over-Here who study abroad in the rest of the world.  Possibly derived from a corruption of "Alligator" and "Mugger" (itself a slang term for a pseudosuchian-type-being), "Agger" should not be applied to those of us who have never left.  Most Aggers have no family or even extended kin (this lack of ties explains the integration into foreign communities), and thus the term has connotations of orphan-hood/orphan-ment/orphan-ity/orphan-ness which those-of-us-to-whom-such-things-do-not-apply do not like having applied to us.  The largest numerical amount of Aggers is associated with the Daim Adorabell Academy in Centralia.  In general, Aggers can be considered as having goals orthogonal to our glorious reformation, and should not be considered as assets or potential recruits.  Remember, our goal is change, not escape.  Don't be fooled by the protests they do against the (bad-smelling and no-good) Konungr Aliroz, that is simply a "student thing". 

    Word(s) of the Day: 1Mugger \ˈməg-ər\ n [Hindi magar, fr. Skt makara water monster] (1844) : a common usu. harmless freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) of southeastern Asia
    2Mugger n [3mug] (1863): one who attacks with intent to rob
    3Mugger n [2mug] (1892): one that grimaces esp. before an audience
  • NON-DIEGETIC-NOTE:  (The "NOTES FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG" are supposed to be excerpts from a book that is something of a cultural guide for Rozburgians about the rest of the world.  It is supposed to come off as precise-but-inaccurate, and perhaps a bit, well, not propagandist-ic, but a-product-of its-culture and also more concerned-with-being-aligned-with-the-official-positions than insightful-or-even-really-understanding-of-the-rest-of-the-world.  It allows for me to write amusing misunderstandings and do worldbuilding).

    NON-DIEGETIC-NOTE:  (The "NOTES FOR PEOPLE-NOT-FROM-ROZBURG" are supposed to be excerpts from a book that is ostensibly something of a cultural guide for the rest of the world about Rozburg and its surrounding swamplands, but is transparently a handbook for a rebellion/revolution/"reformation" opposed to Konungr Aliroz The Confused.  This also allows for me to write amusing misunderstandings and do worldbuilding).

    NON-DIEGETIC-NOTE:  I do not write parody or satire.  I aim for absurdity-humor and punnery, perhaps-at most, a kind of dry "lol" at things that are funny only to me for reasons that make sense only to me, or are inside jokes to old HH and TvTropes lore.
  • Barnaba:  I always hated the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf.  

    Skriph:  Aack!  Oh, hello.  Boy crying wolf?  I don't know that one.

    Barnaba:  So, a boy is a shepherd, which means he takes care of sheep, so he is supposed to watch for wolves, and yell when he sees one so that everyone can come and scare away the wolf before it can scare away the sheep.

    Skriph:  Oh, so he's an informant, like you want to be!  That explains why you call people sheep all the time.

    Barnaba:  The word is "Investigative journalist"-

    Skriph:  Pretty sure that's illegal, and two words.

    Barnaba:  -and there's a differenc-wait, you think journalism's some kind of crime and being an informant's normal, that's... kind of messed up.

    Skriph:  -shrugs, makes a universal back-of-throat "I dunno" hum-

    Barnaba:  Gotta learn more about your culture one of these days, as soon as you stop being weird about talking about it and-

    Skriph:  Shut up.  

    Barnaba:  -universal front-of-throat chirp of confusedly shutting up-

    Skriph:  I don't have a culture.  The swamp didn't have a culture.  Everywhere else has a culture.

    Barnaba:  That makes no sense.

    Skriph:  Then explain Centralia's culture.

    Barnaba:  But Centralia doesn't have a cultu-oh.  Huh.

    Word of the Day:  ni·dus \ˈnīd-əs\ n, pl ni·di \ˈnī-ˌdī\ or ni·dus·es [NL, fr. L] 1: a nest or breeding place; esp : a place or substance in an animal or plant where bacteria or other organisms lodge and multiply 2: a place where something originates, develops, or is located
  • Skriph:  So, about the boy watching for wolves.  I think we got off-topic in the conversation*.

    Barnaba:  Oh, yeah, so, the boy gets bored, as in, mega super bored, because nothing happens and he doesn't see or hear any wolves.

    Skriph:  But that means the sheep are safe and not-scared, so that's good.

    Barnaba:  Sheep are so boring, people actually count them to fall asleep.

    Skriph:  Fascinating.  Maybe sheep count people to achieve an inactive state*  **, too.  Or perhaps they calculate themselves.

    Barnaba:  Okay, Spock.  Also, wow, this story doesn't usually take this long to tell.  Anyways, the boy, since he is bored, hollers that a wolf is chasing the sheep.  Except, there is no wolf, it's a prank.  He does this at least twice.  Then, later, when a real wolf comes and scares all his sheep away, he yells but nobody comes because they think he's messing with them again.  The moral is that if you say things that are wrong, then nobody will believe you when you are right, and I hate it.  So.  Much.

    Skriph:  I don't think I understand why it bothers you so.

    Barnaba:  A coin that lands on heads twice in a row is no more likely to land heads the next time than a coin that landed on tails twice in a row, if they're both fair.  A fact doesn't become true or false because of its source.  People act like it does, so they can ignore people they don't want to listen to.  Nobody listens to me.

    Skriph:  I listen to you.

    Barnaba:  You don't know any better.  You don't count.

    Skriph:  :A****  -sad suchian noises-*****-

    Barnaba:  Haven't you ever known something that nobody else knows, and tried to tell about it, and no one believed you?  One of these days, they'll all see, I'll make them see, and everybody will have to say "Wow, Barnaba!  You were right all along, about everything!  Can you ever forgive us?", and I'll look down and whisper, "maybe".

    *It is a widely known truth that on-topic conversations are, and always were, worse than all the other ones.

    **[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]:  Endothermic beings typically do not bask in the sun.  They also (like most ectothermic beings-that-aren't-us) don't usually properly go dormant or inactive, but enter a fully unconscious state for eight to ten hours every night.  For comfort, they usually do this in their softest clothes and wedge themselves between blankets and pleasantly yielding surfaces called "mattress" or "bed".  This is called "sleeping", probably as a corruption of "slipping into unconsciousness".

    ***[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]:  We do not sleep.  We wait.

    ****: ":A" is the only emoticon other than :V which are possible for Suchians.  As a famed bard of the herpetofauna once said, 'tis difficult being green.  Or actually most commonly a dark grey with green tones, or brown, or tan, or sometimes ochre, or rarely orange, or white if albino or even if not albino, or any of a surprisingly large range of colors which vary more than is commonly realized and can change in response to environmental color conditions.

    *****:  Court stenography usually types these as "rrrrrrrgrrrrrrrrargrrrrrrrrrhhhhrrrh"

    Word(s) of the Day: ban·de·role or ban·de·rol \ˈban-də-ˌrōl\ n [F banderole, fr. It. banderuola, dim. of bandiera banner, of Gmc. origin; akin to Goth bandwo sign - more at FANCY] (1562): : a long narrow forked flag or streamer 2 : a long scroll bearing an inscription or a device 
  • Barnaba:  Haven't you ever known something was going to happen, and everybody said it wouldn't, but you knew you weren't being silly no matter how many times you were told not to be silly, and then it happened?  Didn't you want to scream "I knew it!  I knew it ALL ALONG, and you told me I was crazy!  The worst part is, I think you knew it the whole time, deep down, and just wanted me to shut up!".

    Barnaba:  Hey, where'd you go?  Buddy?

    [sound of door opening]

    Barnaba:  Thesignsaysemployeesonlyandyouownthisstore, soyou'retheemployernotanemployee, soyou'renotallowedhereandIambecauseI'memployedbytheschoolpaper andIwasn'tbeingthatloudsoyouhavenothingonmeIknowmyrightsyoufascist I'msorryI'msorrygoodstorekeepdon'tbanmeI'mgoingI'mgoing.

    [sound of door closing]


    Skriph:  I have returne-where'd you go?

    Skriph:  I brought tissues* and also string**.

    Skriph:  If you're there, say something, but not too loud, I think the storekeep is close.

    *[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]: Tissues are a small leaf-like surface of paper-thin cloth which are not made of paper even though it is sometimes called "tissue paper".  They are used to clean faces and help when sad.  They are disposable, but since they, repeat, are not paper, it does not mean that foreigners routinely waste paper by rubbing their faces on it.

    **[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]: Despite what the children's stories say, fairies generally do not assume the guise of humans, and there is no proof of the persistent folk belief that a faery's/fairy's/faerie's/fae's questions have the power to steal souls (much less the myth that the same is true of any foreigner).  Answering strange and perplexing questions is often dangerous, but for reasons other than cautionary tales and old sayings have it, and these dangers cannot be warded off by making a bowline knot.  In the interest of full disclosure, though, it must be admitted that there is no proof that knots cannot ward against evil and trouble, and it's worth trying (we would be remiss not to add that we, the authors and editors of this guide, find ourselves tying luck-knots on average at least three times a month).  Knowing your knots may not save your soul, but it can save your life in a survival situation.

    Word(s) of the Day: won·ky \ˈwäŋ-kē\ adj [alter of E dial. wankle, fr. ME wankel, fr OE wancol]
    1 Brit : UNSTEADY, SHAKY 
    2 Brit : AWRY, WRONG
  • From Barnaba's Journal:  

    ??-2-????: I'll never keep enough junk mail for long enough to crack the messages, but I've just figured out another means to the same end:  the word searches in the newspaper!  If you keep only the letters that aren't in any of the words, I'm sure there's secrets there.

    ??-3-????:  Okay, I was certain that newspapers weren't recycled, but now everybody acts as though they are.  Will every trace I find just be cleaned away by this Meredith-darned Recycling Fairy?

    Also ??-3-????:  S. almost had a heart attack when I explained that paper* is recycled to make new paper**.  Honestly, I don't really get why, but I think it's because a book made of recycled paper is essentially made of other books, which is kind of creepy in a Frankenstein's Monster kind of way.  I know I'd cry if all my journals were taken and made into something else.

    ??-4-????: I bet I can lure at least one of the three Princesses by putting stickers on a sign and waiting for Her Royal Highwayness to un-deface it.  I mean, stickers and signs are on the official "best things" list, so this should work like a charm.

    ??-5-????:  Botherations and frustrations!  The automatic camera caught nothing but a lens cap, and the sticker I spent a week's allowance on is now covered up with another sticker.

    *[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]:  Languages other than Marish have at least two separate words for hrgrrlurrghrhhgrrragruugrha.  In English, this is "paper" and "soul".  How they fail to make the connection between those which bear words, which hold meaning and life beyond life, that most precious to be preserved above all, is astounding.  To be fair, though, written mentions in other people's writing to "scripture" as something both sacred and paper-based, and to "illumination", imply that on some level, this understanding is or was once shared, if perhaps unconsciously.

    *[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-NOT-FROM-ROZBURG]: Perhaps Konungr Aliroz The Confused's greatest enormities were the disassembly of the printing presses and the scattering of their components.  We cannot repair what is undamaged, we cannot replace what isn't destroyed, and we have been prevented in our attempts in finding and restoring these wonders.  Our own meager attempts at re-creation are echoes, shadows, lesser reflections of something not entirely understood, last grasps at a fading memory.

    Word of the Day: gris·eous \ˈgriz-ē-əs, ˈgris-\ adj [ML griseus, of Gmc origin; akin to OHG gris gray] (1819) : of a light color or white mottled with black or brown : GRIZZLED
  • 30 Rozpoints to whoever first gives feedback on (what is, I suppose, now officially named) the Skriph Saga.

    I mean, come on, you pretty much can't get Rozpoints anymore, I think the last time I gave them out was last decade.

    (Man, I wonder if Imipoints are still a thing).
  • edited 2022-05-19 01:25:26
    Skriph had, in time, learned that it was the easiest of things to pretend to be someone you weren't.  Act like you belonged, and people would generally assume that you were supposed to be wherever you were.  Nobody seemed to verify identities very much, and nobody asked Skriph to recite a kin-list even once.  This was convenient, as Skriph had never been the most proficient memorizer of such, but it was also a little sad because without needing to remember its kin, Skriph had forgotten some of the more distant generations and furthest cousins--what if I forget it all, thought Skriph, then I won't know who or whose I am...was?  Perhaps it doesn't matter anymore.  Of Centralia doesn't even know him wait no his wait no her wait no hers wait no she he theirs grandparents' names.*  

    People were, however, quick to notice when the acronyms were wrong, and there were so many acronyms.  Some of them even used to be different acronyms, so you had to be careful about that.

    *Skriph, having assumed that all students were orphans, had been very surprised to learn that Barnaba had parents.  Why someone would send their own offspring to a boarding school was a mystery which no amount of eavesdropping seemed to explain.  And if the students outnumbered the staff so much, why didn't they gang up on them and change the rules to abolish the dreaded studying?

    Word of the Day:  im·pos·ture \im-ˈpäs-chər\ n [LL impostura, fr. L impositus, impostus, pp. of imponere] : the act or conduct of an impostor : DECEPTION; esp : fraudulent impersonation
      syn IMPOSTURE, FRAUD, SHAM, FAKE, HUMBUG, COUNTERFEIT mean a thing imposed on one by false pretenses.  IMPOSTURE applies to any situation in which a spurious object or action is passed off as genuine; FRAUD usu. implies a deliberate perversion of the truth, but applied to a person it may suggest merely pretense and hypocrisy; SHAM applies to fraudulent imitation of a real thing or action; FAKE implies an imitation of or substitution for the genuine but does not necessarily imply dishonesty; HUMBUG suggests elaborate pretense usu. so flagrant as to be transparent; COUNTERFEIT applies esp. to the close imitation of something valuable
  • NON-DIAGETIC NOTE: There's a trope I think about a lot, Unintentionally Unsympathetic, and I also think about its twin, Unintentionally Sympathetic. Audience sympathy is such a powerful thing, it practically determines the morality of fiction, and that morality often determines the course of events. There isn't really a trope for "character who is unsympathetic despite said character intending to be sympathetic" as opposed to "character who is unsympathetic despite the author intending said character to be sympathetic", but if there was, I would say that that trope applies to Barnaba and Skriph, who are intended to be unsympathetic for reasons they don't truly comprehend. 

     NON-DIAGETIC-NOTE, CONTINUATION: Conspiracy theories have been responsible for a stunning portion of the real-life suffering in recent years. Being a crocodile-type being and using that nearly 3,000 pounds-per-square-inch bite force on stolen marshmellows instead of ambushing your own food is not just lamesauce, but lamesauce concentrate. A Suchian, like a bear, has no need of such blue tactics. To my mind, a near-universal part of being on the autistic spectrum is being Unintentionally Unsympathetic in the way-I-just-described-which-isn't-a-trope for reasons you don't understand. Not that characters I create are necessarily meant to be on such, mind you, but given that when you write characters every thought they think is a thought you came up with, there's a degree to which the resonances of your own mind are echoed in what you write.
  • Skriph:  Supplies!  Here's tissues.

    SFX:  TissuesHittingConspiracyTheorist.wav

    Barnaba:  Aak!-Bwuh?  Hey, get out of there before you fall and hurt yourself.

    Skriph:  Explain.

    Barnaba:  No U, I mean, you explain.

    Skriph:  I don't know why you made a request for me to fall and hurt myself.

    Barnaba:  I didn't!  What I mean is, if you don't get out of there, that's what'll happen.

    Skriph:  You don't know that.  Maybe this ceiling is my new home, all cozy and snug-like.

    Barnaba:  Oh.

    Barnaba:  Realization.sdds

    Barnaba:  You're stuck up there.

    Skriph:  Truly, your efforts at this learn-fort have met great success, and you've mastered the art of clairvoyance.

    Barnaba:  Ha ha, no.  You're not the first to figure out about the loose part of the ceiling there, beneath the supply cabinet.  I don't even think that I was, though I was the last, at least, until you.

    Skriph:  Oh, so THAT'S why it's flame-sealed and eternally bound.

    Barnaba:  Yeah, I was stuck there for, I don't know, a kajillion minutes*, so they welded the supply cabinet shut and moved the shelves to stop this exact situation from ever happening again.  

    Skriph:  I suppose that's why "B was heer here" is scratched into the-

    Barnaba:  Nope, surprisingly, that one was there before my time.  Pretty sure Kilroy's scratches were there even before that.  I'll get a ladder.

    SFX:  HorrifyingWailOfADyingUniverse.mp3**

    SFX:  ClatterClatterRunRunOof.raw

    Skriph:  Thank you, friend.  

    Barnaba:  Footsteps, yo!  Cheese it, the fuzz!*** I'll cover for you.

    Skriph:  -nods, vamooses-

    Barnaba:  Youcan'thidealltheladdersforeverIwillfindallthesecrethidingplacesinthisacademyandyoucan'tstopmeyoufascistsyoumightweldadoorbutyoucan'tweldshutthevoiceofthetruth.

    *Unlikely.  There are sixty minutes in an hour, sixty seconds in a minute, and twenty-four hours in a day, for a total of 86,400 seconds in a day.  This number can be more easily remembered as "One hundred and eight, times one hundred, times eight".  Since 108 is divisible by 27, being 27 times four, this number is also 27 times four times 800 or 27 times 3200.  This means that this number divides well into powers of three, 10, and two.  Math is so fun, this footnote doesn't need a real purpose.

    **Anybody who has moved a ladder across a floor knows that these two sound effects are identical.

    ***[NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]:  Despite mammalians being fuzzy, "the fuzz" is most often used as a reference to authorities or enforcers of law or rules of any kind in any context.  This has lead many to believe that authorities and enforcers can be identified by their increased fuzziness.  This is not the case.
  • Skriph pondered, not for the first time and not for the last time, on magic.  False-lights shone with no heat, lifeless eyes turned and watched from the walls, echoing voices chanted from no mouth, and none of this was "magic" to the people.  More food than a feast lay unsecured and ever-replenished in great halls where the winds never blew and the smells didn't change with the hours, and none of this was "magic" to them.  Towering doors opened and closed at their own volition, and that wasn't "magic" either.

    Though never the most attentive listener to fairy tales, Skriph had known enough to not heed the words of the ghost-voices, to stay out of sight of wall-eyes, and most importantly to not eat the food or drink the water if you ever wanted to return home.  Unfortunately, the young (even those who don't have fewer brains than stomachs) are rarely gifted with patience for the pangs of hunger and thirst.  Even more unfortunately, youth's aptitude for learning carries with it a tendency to learn the wrong lessons, and "ambushing* your own food is a waste of time when you can just sneaky-get** it" is certainly a wrong lesson.

    [NOTE FOR PEOPLE-NOT-FROM-ROZBURG]: There is a word in Marish, which cannot be adequately phonemicized but is often described as, "'Ghuyraaaorrr', but surging from the back of the throat to the fore, then back, while baring 66 teeth, with shades of malice"+, which is all too frequently translated as, "ambush"; it refers to the deadly lunging strike of a Suchian as it bursts from the water after laying motionless for hours or days.  "Ambush" is a word which retains the possibility that it may be faced head-on and overcome.  What we are talking about is the blow which may be evaded but cannot be endured.

    + It is also phonemicized as "'Ghaaaaarrrrh!', but with the terror that comes from the sound of your own bones snapping beneath teeth, said with the last of the air in your lungs", but that's the wrong viewpoint of the subject entirely.

    [NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]: Despite what tyro correction-enthusiasts will tell you, words like sneakaget and walkathrough are just as legitimate as sneaky-get and walk-through, all being regional turns of phrase not typically written that way in foreign lands.  Furthermore, only in recent centuries has the idea that prepositions are not for ending sentences with caught on.

    Word of the day:  Tyro:  A beginner in learning, a novice.  See AMATEUR.
  • edited 2022-05-30 04:21:29
    From Barnaba's Journal:

    ??-12-????:  Breakthrough!  "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle", and always in that order, is the phrase.  Where are the Reducing Fairy and the Reusing Fairy  (or, perhaps, the Reduction fairy and the Reuse Fairy?)?  And why do they all start with "re"?

    I was talking with S. about this, and I never knew lizardy eyes could get so wide.  Apparently, whoever they are, behind all the badness and conspiracies, they were called Reformers in the swamp, sometimes Rebels or Renegades.  It all makes sense!  Revolutionaries, reprobates, recreants, revolts!

    By Jeanette's Hairpins!  That's why nobody will tell me what republicans* are!

    * "What do you call a republican who's not terrible?  Fictional!  :D"~Princess Alice, circa ???5.

    Word of the Day: recondite \ˈrek-ən-ˌdīt, ri-ˈkän-\ adj [L reconditus, pp. of recondere to conceal, fr. re + condere to store up, fr. com- + dere to put --- more at DO] (1649): : hidden from sight : CONCEALED 2 : difficult or impossible for one of ordinary understanding or knowledge to comprehend : DEEP <a ~ subject> 3 : of, relating to, or dealing with something little known or obscure <~ fact abou the origin of the holiday - Floyd Dell> --re·con·dite·ly adv -- re·con·dite·ness n
  • edited 2022-06-13 04:41:25
    While Of Centralia had said it was "too dark, too cold, and too jagged", Skriph was sure that (1) no other roof-alcove gave such a view of the streets and skies while being itself hid* to most angles of view**, (2) nowhere in the world could possibly have such beautiful sunrises and sunsets as Centralia, and (3) the next best thing to basking on rock was basking on asphalt shingles.

    "But, that's just a regular sunrise, not worth getting up for.  Such things happen every day.  You must have seen a million of them before", of Centralia had said.

    "No, the mists of the swamp rarely let us see splendor like this.  And to feel it, the heat returning to the world, to be warmed at day's hatching with the city itself, walls and windows and streets and roofs...", it had replied.

    "'re right.  It really is something.  Look, that's the street I'm from, and there's the birdbath***!"

    *To hide, one must understand the ways that sounds and smells travel.  Had Skriph been a bit older, it would have appreciated the way that wind-currents and surface-shapes had conspired to make its favorite alcove silence-enclosed and veiled-to-scent.  It is the tendency of the young not to understand the soundness of their own choices.

    **In a place like Centralia, if one is to hide, one must consider both airborne and surface-based points of view.

    ***GUIDE TO CENTRALIA:  In Havensborough, there is a fountain shaped like a greco-roman jar with a narrow neck and two handles.  The birds of the city are known to squabble over perching-space there, so it is known as the Ave Amphora, a testament to Havensborough's persistent punning tradition.  This gave the fountain, and the borough itself, the nickname of "the birdbath".

    Word of the Day: mal·tha \ˈmal-thə\ also mal·thite \-ˌthīt\ n [L maltha] : a black viscid substance intermediate between petroleum and asphalt
  • You are the end result of a “would you push the button” prompt where the prompt was “you have unlimited godlike powers but you appear to all and sundry to be an impetuous child” – Zero, 2022
    This is very fun. You have a unique and memorable narrative voice!

    I'm also very glad to see my friend so into my Centralia worldbuilding. I love it when people choose to partake in the things I create!
  • One of the differences Skriph ought to have picked up on between endothermic beings and exothermic beings was the difference in digestion-speeds.  A 300-pound Alligator sinensis requires less food than a 20-pound Canis familiaris for the same amount of time.  Slowly, but surely, though, a Pseudosuchian can digest just about anything, or, at least, cough up what few things it cannot break down*.

    Minds and stomachs are a lot more alike than most realize.  Both are shaped, molded, and defined by what they consume and internalize.  Both reject obvious poisons but fall victim to subtle ones.  Both can, with time, wear down even very resistant problems to reach their core.**

    Sometimes, you just know something's up.  There's a stillness in the air, a pause before your friend replies, a brick off-color from how you remembered it yesterday, an extra stair in the staircase.

    For Skriph, it was one too many sightings of C.A.P.S.***, a jumpiness in B's**** ***** manner, and a cloud shaped like a question mark (a clear omen if ever there was one).

    It took a couple days, but it got to the core eventually:


    B had broken the promise not to tell anyone of S.

    *The true masters of digestion are the tiger sharks who, until the advent of plastic, had never EVER found something they couldn't digest or hork back up, angrily chomp on, and then attempt to digest again.

    ** In some dialects of Marish, "Truth" and "Nutrient" share a word.  The core of knowledge is truth.  The core of food is nutrient.

    *** Centralia Adolescent Protective Services: Finding lost children since children have been lost.

    **** [NOTE FOR PEOPLE-FROM-ROZBURG]: While "Bee Yes" is, in foreign lands, a common phrase for errant nonsense or obvious untruth, it is in fact, short for a curse-phrase, and should be eschewed when talking to foreigners.

    ***** NON-Diagetic Note:  Low-hanging friend-nickname "Oh, lol, they're kids and don't know better" joke is low-hanging, but still amuses me.
  • In retrospect, it ought to have been patently manifest from the boy-wolf-scare-sheep story.  Seekers-After-Truth are not meant to hide truth.  Not the pure-hearted ones, anyway.

    It must be said, in defense of Barnaba (who had another name that was not Of Centralia), that wiser minds and craftier secret-holders that that one have found found themselves realizing a moment too late that the Drywall Fairy* is very, very, good at what it does and the proverbial beans are now spilled.  Even master secret-mongers are apt to forget just how prevalent drywall is in a city.

    *The vigilante taxonomists of the elder continent would call the Drywall Fairy a Knowledge Broker.  To a Seeker-After-Truth, there are few offers more enticing than "I know many things.  Tell me something I don't know, and I'll tell you something you don't know.".  Do not lightly make deals with fae, children.  The walls have ears**.

    **As the great Pratchett once wrote, there are fewer metaphors than people think.
  • From Barnaba's Journal:

    ??-9-????:  Oh yikes oh yikes Meredith Jeanette Alice Meredith Jeanette Alice Meredith Jeanette Alice oh yikes!  Sorry, dear journal, I've gotten ahead of myself.  I'm alive, and okay, obviously, just bruised.  It's a darn good thing I'm quick and S. isn't as good at whatever-the-word-for-quick-jump-bite-attack-crocodile-chomp-is as he/she thinks she/he is and isn't grown yet, or I'd have a broken arm or worse.

    You know how in books and stories time slows down so people can have conversations while fighting?  Turns out that's truth in television, and so is the thing in cartoons where everything turns into a dustbowl of indistinct violence and sharp lines.
  • Skriph:  YOU!

    SFX: Hatchie'

    SFX: Baby'sFirstDodge.wav

    Barnaba:  Gaah!  What the Maël! 

    Skriph:  You told.  And you said you wouldn't.  You promised.

    SFX:  Clatterclatterwhompwhompkickpunchfight.mp3

    SFX: CartoonyViolenceSounds.cdr

    Barnaba:  Wh-

    Skriph:  No questions.

    Barnaba:  But-

    Skriph:  You never needed them anyway, to get what you were after.  Deceiver, informant, traitor.

    SFX:  BroomWhackToTheScalyGut.bnk

    Barnaba:  Explain.  Calmly.

    Skriph:  The boy, the wolves, the sheep, the people, the story.  I didn't understand for so long.  I knew the boy meant you in symbols, and I thought people meant me.  But I wasn't.  I was the wolves, and you'd told the people, and you were trying to warn me to ease your guilt-voice.


    SFX:  MopSmack.waptt

    Barnaba:  I was-

    Skriph:  I know, following orders.  Working for the learn-fort's information-serial-papers.  Doing assignments you hate for your instructors.  Trying to unmask conspiracies all the time... but... but you didn't have to make me think you were my friend!

    Barnaba:  We ARE friends!

    Skriph:  THEN WHY?

    Barnaba:  Because you're a homeless kid!

    SFX: Objectdrop.avi

    SFX:  HandsToMouthInShock.mp4

    SFX: Silence.brr

    Skriph:  I'm not homeless.  I have a home, I have a family, I just... I just can't get there.

    SFX:  RunningAway.raw

    SFX:  Tears.sib
  • away, and I'm not sure I'll ever see S. again.
  • edited 2023-06-30 21:47:00
    NON-DIAGETIC-NOTE:  Honestly, this part probably could have been much better, but oh well.  It's hard to mix silliness and genuine emotion in the way that kids so often experience.  The last five sentences of spoken dialogue are all that really mattered, there.  You don't really have to do a coherent plot or solid foreshadowing when you're just doing vignettes.

    We all know this friendship doesn't end like this.
  • NON-DIAGETIC-NOTE:  The (lost/inaccessible) lands of the swamp do, in fact, have a name distinct from that of Rozburg, the proper name for the heapkingdom/heapnation is Eysre, a reverse acronm for These Swampy Lands Over Here.
  • One of the benefits of getting lost is finding things you weren't looking for.  One of the detriments of getting lost is finding things you weren't looking for.  The discovery of a nondescript door next to a sign with "Comedy Club" is in a trouble category all its own.

    Skriph had, since it could remember, been afraid of satirists--those nightmarish creatures of vague description and strange attribute.  Beyond this door, Skriph thought, I hear voices.

    It's a good thing psuedosuchians, unlike lizards, can run and hyperventilate at the same time.

    *And, to a lesser extent, comedians**.
    **It is debated whether satirists are a kind of comedian or if comedians are a kind of satirist.  Such questions do not really matter to the frightened mind.  Ophidiophobia doesn't care if the slithering scaly legless thing belongs in the Serpent box, the Viper box, or the Snake box.
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