The One Beneath the Waves
From time to time, one of the All can be divided from the One and All mind. This is a traumatic event, and it is rare that the severed member of the All survives, let alone becomes a solitary One. But from time to time, it can occur. Seeking succor from the desperate silence in its mind, the One Beneath The Waves has sunken himself beneath the oceans of Shamash II, and there it lies, seeking fruitlessly to soothe its injuries.
It is difficult for the quick ones, Men and those like him, to truly comprehend the body of The One Beneath the Waves, for he has found the core of the watery world Shamash II much to his liking. Once a whirling ball of molten silicon and iron, The One Beneath the Waves has consumed nearly all of his world. A miles thick layer of silicon crystal, arching around the whirling, molten core of his world and spiking up to the edge between ocean and atmosphere, the One Beneath The Waves is, in every sense, his world, a planet of deep, beautiful seas, teeming with life, cultured carefully by the One Beneath The Waves.
For the One Beneath the Waves is broken, and cannot heal himself. Damaged in battle far in the depths of space, and written off by his own kind as dead, the One Beneath The Waves has been deafened to the hyperspace hive-mind that his kind shares, and where there was once the comfort of the One and the All filling every facet of his being, the One Beneath The Waves can hear only an infinite nothing, and it fills him with anguish, not entirely unlike that of a man who knowing all the pleasures of the world suffers when all the senses are cut from him. And so, he has taken this world in an attempt to fill this emptiness. Here, where once he heard the voices of a trillion minds, he instead feels the caress of every wave, drinks in the motion of every tiny fin and gill that beats inside the deep ocean. Accordingly, he has carefully stoked the life about him, twisting it gently, pushing their populations apart, a slow enhancement of natural evolution, bringing forth a profusion of deep corals, lightly touching upon the crystalline islands of his body that poke up to the edge of the waves, delicate plants that float upon the waves, and an incomprehensible variety of soft and spiny bodied animals of every shape and size. It is a world in infinite bloom, unmatched on earth since the Cambrian Explosion.
And yet, it is not what The One Beneath The Waves seeks. It is not enough, for all the living chaos of his seas are nothing except noise. It fills his soul, yet it does not sate it. He requires the touch of minds, the more the better, and he is not afraid to take them, should they arrive on Shamash II. Vessels that land there and betray the patterns of language being spoken within their hulls will be sucked down into the watery depths, and there The One Beneath The Waves will use his total control over the ocean waters to hold them there. In short time, he may be able to speak by directly vibrating the hull of a vessel, but this will require him learning their language, starting from eerie burst of random syllables. Should they attempt to lead the vessel, he will use the water itself to capture and place them onto his crystalline islands, expecting them to be able to feed themselves from the bounty of his seas, all the while babbling to them continuously, quite possibly in multiple, simultaneous voices, expecting them to converse back even as he speaks... and becoming increasingly angry with them, to the point of violence, should they prove unable. To escape will require either far greater force than the average vessel can produce, or else to reason with him - But this will require keeping up with the onslaught of language from the One Beneath the Waves, and initiating their own input stream at the same time, and convincing the Mad Thoron his needs will be met...
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? Responses (3)-3
This is a neat little submission. A little madness, nice tragedy, bit of a hostile planet scenario. Overall: Thought-provoking. I could see using this on a smaller scale as well, in a fantasy setting. Far Ocean, God-From-Beyond-the-Stars with complete control of it. Turns out it's just lonely, wants to babble at people, and thats why no one makes it past the Edge of the World Waters. Cool.
A tidy piece.
Not something players can get out of by just utilising standard hack/slash/boom tactics.
I like it.
I also greatly enjoyed the feeling of this piece -- you did a great job of putting the creature's suffering into words. If you added just a few more things, however, this could easily go from being a good sub to a great one:
Plot hooks -- why would anyone want to go to this world? Are they biologists, intent on studying the unique life here? Were they forced to make an emergency stop for supplies or due to a ship malfunction? Is the All trying to reestablish contact with this child through intermediaries?
Other means of escape -- wrestling free through brute force is unlikely, which forces the party to reason with a semi-insane godlike being. Having no other way out (other than to dance to its whims) might annoy your gamers. Can it be tricked? Does it have a hidden weakness that they can exploit? Give us some options, please.