|Titles||The Lion-Faced, The Redsmith, The Great Bronze Serpent, The Higmost of Artists|
|Names||The Spokesman, The Grand Merchant, Adonis, The Landlord, The Jailor|
|Date of arrival||After Her Scarred Serenity|
|Owner(s)||A Blessed Feline|
The Demiurge is the youngest child of The Old Wyrm, and the fickle patron of artists, industrialists, and inventors. He sees the Mansus as fundamentally broken and falling apart, and unable to be fixed, which is why he's decided to construct a new Mansus in the middle of Nowhere, using a stolen shard of the Glory. This so-called New Mansus takes the form of a large bronze dyson sphere filled with 6 smaller spheres, with the stolen Glory-shard at is center. He claims that this is his magnum opus, and the only way for both humanity and the Hours to survive the Collision. Not much is known of what actually goes on in the New Mansus, but there are rumors of horrid work conditions, rampant classcism, and indentured servitude. Some also whisper of a rebellion brewing in the outer spheres of the New Mansus, led by a disgraced Name of the Demiurge. Official New Mansus propaganda staunchly denies this, portraying it as a worker's paradise. What is known, however, is that things sometimes come out of the New Mansus. These things are often as bizarre as they are beautiful, and as impractical as they are bizarre. The Demiurge prides himself as a great philanthropist and artist, and the devices it sends are most often intended as either automatons to aid in the rebuilding of the Mansus, humanitarian aid for its denizens, or simply grandiose works of art, though the lines between the three are usually thin. A vast majority of these devices either end up not preforming their intended function or preforming it in a ridiculously overcomplicated way, preforming it in great excess to the point that the machine or its products become dangerous, or simply malfunctioning in odd and often dangerous ways. These malfunctions often disproportionately harm the Hearthkeeper and the Old Wyrm. There are rumors of these devices being the remnants of Long who either remade themselves into machines to sate the Demiurge's whims, or were made into such things as a punishment. All this has led some to conclude that the Demiurge is mad, though they can't agree on whether this is the doings of the Glory-shard, Nowhere, or something else entirely
The Demiurge was never much, before the Collision. He kept to himself, secretly suspecting that his father shuns him for burning his mother. He attempted to establish himself as a patron of the arts, a muse, and an artist himself. His art, however, always felt soulless, pretty to look at but lacking in deeper meaning or inspiration. This was also the case with the few artists he inspired. During the Collision, he was hit with a blaze of Glory that blinded him in one eye, but he was also hit by a burst of true inspiration for what would later become the New Mansus.
Entry requires one to create a Bronze Gate, a massive construct requiring several rare parts, many of which can only be bought from The Demiurge. These massive constructs were created en masse shortly after the Collision due to several people becoming aware of his plan as he bled Forge influence from his wound. These gates are all one-use, and their corpses tend to litter Forge-influenced areas There's also the Leonine Gate in the Mansus, though that one is reserved for him and the aid he sends to the rebuilding of the Mansus. The Name known as The Spokesman stands outside this gate, and is required to open it and any Bronze Gates created by mortals.
When the blaze of Glory hit the Demiurge, a surge of inspiration radiated from him and echoed into the waking world, where myriad were struck with the same vision as the Hour: An New Mansus, which would not fall as the twin Mansi had fallen. These people were each quick to construct the now-dead Bronze Gates which can be seen littering Forge-influenced areas. Some of these people also created entirely different works, such as prototypes for enigmatic machines or the impossibly beautiful sculptures that are occasionally encountered in Grail-influenced areas. In all areas, the influence of the Demiurge manifests as an obsessive urge to create.
Physically, the Demiurge mostly appears to his employees and the other Hours as a titanic serpent with copper scales, and the head of a lion with a mane of tentacles. At the end of many tentacle is an implement such as a brush, a blowtorch, or a wrench, which the Demiurge uses for its work due to lacking arms. Its face is humanoid, appearing both leonine and human. Half of the face is coated in a brilliant bronze mask to cover the extensive scarring from the blaze of Glory, with a hole for the unseeing, Glory-lit eye which would otherwise melt through the mask.
The Demiurge can also appear as a black-haired man in an orange suit, wearing the same mask, which is the form in which he usually appears to mortals.
- Temptation: X:
- Dedication: X:
- Ascension: X:
- Ascension: X:
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- Ascension: X:
The New Mansus
The New Mansus consists of 7 concentric bronze spheres, with The New Glory at its center. The numerous Long and Names of the Demiurge live their lives entirely on the insides of these spheres, with the outside of the inner sphere as their roof.
The First Sphere:
The First Sphere is a beautiful place, said to rival the most wondrous parts of the Mansi before the Collision, and definitely surpassing them afterwards. It is filled with carefully crafted bronze vegetation, delicately lifelike bronze animals, and the beautiful art-deco mansions of the richest among the population of the New Mansus. It can, however, be dangerous at times, due to rampaging wonders created by these rich innovators and artists which occasionally escape their creators' workshops and wreak havoc across this layer. Some let their creations out on purpose, to test them out or pit them against one another. Another danger in this layer is the New Glory, which hangs in the middle of the layer and whose light is fully capable of driving mortals to maddened visions. The surface of the layer contains many crystalline mirror-domes, made to trap this light and mirror it outwards through the layers to provide them with the vital light that keeps Nowhere at bay. The most notable structure on this layer is The Lighthouse, an impossibly beautiful and impossibly tall structure stretching all the way up to The New Glory. This is The Demiurge's personal residence, and he spends most of his time at its top attempting to perfect the grand machine that refines the raw materials that keep the New Mansus functioning out of pure Glory-light. The Lighthouse extends throughout the New Mansus all the way to the Hull, providing transport of goods, people, and Glory-light.
The Second Sphere:
The Second Sphere is home to grand workshops and studios of the Long, and prototype and engineer many of the wonders produced in the Second Fansus. Many rich Long live here, spending their waking hours constructing enigmatic devices and creating brilliant woks of art. The part of the Lighthouse in this area is home to the other side of the Leonine Gate, through which the Long first arrive in the New Mansus and through which the Demiurge leaves it on the rare occasions when he visits the Mansus.
The Overseer of this Sphere is the Spokesman, though he rarely enters it. The Spokesman is a brilliant artisan who is said to have been a Name of the Demiurge even before the Collision. He collaborated with the Demiurge on the New Mansus early in its history and constructed the Leonine Gate, but was later assigned to the Mansus-side of the Gate to be the Demiurge's spokesman to the other Hours and ensue that the other Hours do not suspect anything about his master's philanthropy. He yearns for the New Mansus, and had myriad ideas for how to improve it and yet so little time to sit in his workshop and make these ideas a reality before he is needed elsewhere by his patron. Some say this is deliberate on the part of the Demiurge, who they most often claim is either jealous of his own Name for having better ideas than he is, or does not wish to see the Spokesman's ideas implemented out of fear of the power they would give to the population he oppresses.
The Aspects of the Spokesman are Knock and Forge
The Third Sphere:
The Third Sphere is the market district of the New Mansus, where all manner of wonders created by the Long of the Demiurge are bought and sold. Scales are the official currency of the New Mansus, but the markets of the Third Sphere frequently accept other things as tender. These things are not only material objects like precious resources, art, or inventions, but also memories, senses, inspiration, skill, titles, and names. Some Long live in their market halls.
The part of the Lighthouse in this layer also contains the Mint, which engraves the shed bronze scales of the Demiurge with arcane symbols and pay them as wages to the working Long. The Demiurge sheds his skin like a snake, and pay comes when the scales have been removed from the skin and engraved. The remaining skin is then used as an isolator, being capable of keeping out heat, Nowhere, and Glory-light alike. The conversion rate between the scales and Spintria changes frequently and irrationally, and conversion between them requires tons of bureaucracy, cementing the kafkaesque nature of trying to leave the New Mansus. The New Mansus is also one of the only places where they're legal tender. The Mint also acts as the timekeepers of the New Mansus, as time is measured according to the time between sheddings. As the Demiurge has several forms which do not shed their skin, this gives it nearly full control over time in the New Mansus by simply deciding when to shed or not shed.
The Overseer of this Sphere is the Grand Merchant, an odd fellow dressed in heavy yellow robes. Whether a Long or a mechanical creation lies beneath these robes is an enigma, and nobody knows where the Grand Merchant appeared from or what it was before becoming a Name. Like the Spokesman, it spends much of its time outside the New Mansus, but it prefers the waking world to the Mansus. There, it travels the wastes, offering deals that seem too good to be true in exchange for material and insubstantial things. It is through The Grand Merchant that most get the rare materials required to construct a Bronze Gate. The majority of these profits go towards the purchase of new goods from the Demiurge, but some always remain the Grand Merchant's own, at least for a while. When the Grand Merchant visits the New Mansus, they enjoy gambling at the Second Sphere casino known as the Red Pearl, one of the few venues in the New Mansus not owned by the Demiurge. The Demiurge has attempted to acquire the Red Pearl several times, but Aramintha and Esmerhild, the duo of Grail-Long who own the casino, have so far refused to sell it. There are rumors that they have connections to the Syndicate or that they have gained access that allows them to exploit the Grand Merchant to their own ends, but nobody dares accuse them, as they have several Long and possibly a Name in their pocket.
The Aspects of the Grand Merchant are Lantern and Grail.
The Fourth Sphere:
The Fourth Sphere is where the marvelous things invented in the Third Sphere are mass-produced. It is a vast and grandiose realm of factories where goods are produced, crucibles where metals are alloyed, and vats where chemicals are mixed. Many parts of it are automated, but it continues to employ most Long of the New Mansus. The Syndicate has some cells here, but they act very covertly to avoid the gaze of the Demiurge's Names.
The part of the Lighthouse that extends into the Fourth Sphere is home to a large system of elevators and pipes, designed to transport and sort raw materials, finished products, art, food, drink and people throughout the New Mansus. The Name known as The Landlord was intended to be housed here before being repurposed into what it is now and installed in the Fifth Sphere.
The Overseer of this Sphere is Adonis, a broad-shouldered giant of a Name who oversees the alloying of metals and the mixing of chemicals unharmed by the searing heat and the corrosive fumes. He was recently and suddenly elevated to a Name, and fears that he will be discarded just as suddenly. Therefore, he is ever eager to placate the whims of the Demiurge and the inventors and merchants of the spheres within his, pushing the workers of the Fourth Sphere ever harder to match ridiculous production quotas while rooting out workers at the slightest suspicion of Syndicate sympathy. Some rumor that Adonis himself was formerly a Syndicate agent who has gone through the brutal reprocessing program that takes place in the Sixth Sphere, explaining his loyalty and paranoia. He resents the Landlord for its rigorous scheduling interfering with his push for progress and attempts to take command over the machinery of the Sphere, and frequently accuses it of trying to sabotage his work. He's not completely wrong.
Adonis wields Forge and Grail.
The Fifth Sphere:
The Fifth Sphere is where an overwhelming majority of the Long working in the New Mansus live, containing myriad apartments of vastly varying sizes and prices. The Syndicate holds much power among the poorest Long here. This is also the farthest up that Nowhere has breached, in the time before the Landlord, though the breach has long since been fixed.
The part of the Lighthouse in the Fifth Sphere houses the Landlord, a grand mechanical computer and Name of the Demiurge. The Landlord is fiercely loyal to its creator yet fiercely ambitious, yearning for control over the sphere within its own. It vigilantly watches its tenants and demands control over every aspect over their lives, enforcing a cold, unfeeling, and mechanical schedule. It is also deeply afraid of the Jailer and its cruel madness, and resents Adonis for overseeing the Fourth Sphere, a position it claims that it should hold.
The Aspects of the Landlord are Forge and Lantern.
The Sixth Sphere:
The Sixth Sphere is a winding mess of maintenance tunnels and plumbing, where many down-on-their-luck Long work to pay off their debts. Nowhere incursions are an uncommon but extant threat, and the Sixth Sphere is also a hub for various criminal activities. Illegal fighting pits are common here, both for Long and for their automatons, and many Long ashamed of their works have dumped or released them here to get rid of them.
The Overseer of the Sixth Sphere Jailor, who is chained to the part of the Lighthouse that goes through the Sphere. The Jailor is part mechanical computer like its successor The Landlord, and part amalgamation of various forms of scrap, automaton parts, torture implements, and esoteric art. This all has caused it to be known as The Ramshackle among the Syndicate. The Ramshackle is responsible for carrying out what the Demiurge calls reprocessing, brutal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual torture that takes place in this part of the Lighthouse. The Jailor was formerly the Overseer of the Fifth Sphere, but was compromised by sabotage carried out by what would later become the Syndicate. For this, the Jailor was cast into the Sixth Sphere to be reprodessed by the one who then held its current position, now known as The Syndicalist. After the The Syndicalist had reprocessed the Jailor, she began to doubt the Demiurge, as the prospect of a creation of the Demiurge becoming compromised had formerly seemed impossible. She abandoned the Demiurge and gathered the people who had sabotaged the Jailor, and founded the Syndicate. The Demiurge, meanwhile, installed the reprocessed Jailor as the Overseer of the Sixth Sphere.
The Aspects of the Jailor are Edge and Moth.
The true master of the Sixth Sphere, however, remains the former Name known as The Syndicalist. A slight woman in a bright red dress, she leads the vast organization known as The Syndicate, striking fear into the hearts of the Long and the Names of the New Mansus. Some call the Syndicate a labor union, others call it an organized crime group, and others yet call it a terrorist group. It is heavily decentralized, and may very well be all of these at the same time. It is headquartered in the Sixth Sphere, though the location of these headquarters changes frequently and irregularly. Some members have allied themselves with the Unfettered, or the Old Wyrm, or strange Gods-from-Nowhere that nobody in any Mansus has heard about, but officially the Syndicate affiliates itself with no Hour and defines itself in opposition to the Demiurge. Their goals vary equally wildly, some simply want better rights for the worker Long, some want to organize a mass escape from the New Mansus through the Leonine Gate, and some want to kill the Demiurge and remake the New Mansus into the worker's paradise that the Demiurge promised them.
The Hull is the outermost and most dangerous layer, being off-limits to ordinary Long citizens. Only specialized engineers work here to maintain the Hull and prevent Nowhere from creeping in. Despite this, large parts of it are constantly being lost, though equally large parts are being mended as well. Automatons aren't allowed here due to the danger of them succumbing to Nowhere, though some occasionally find their way don from the Sixth Layer anyways. As the engineer-Long who maintain the Hull are left mostly to their own devices by the Demiurge, some have joined the Syndicate, though most are too attached to their large paychecks to consider doing so.
The most skilled of these engineer-Long are known as the Voidmenders, who enter Nowhere itself in specialized Voidsuits to mend the worst breaches of the Hull from the outside. Voidsuits are carefully crafted from the scaleless shed skin of the Demiurge, and equipped with crystallized spheres of Glory-light to ensue their safety. The Voidmenders are headquartered in the base of the Lighthouse that reaches the Hull. The Void Engineers are incredibly skilled at their craft, and are enthusiastically recruited from among the Long of the New Mansus and ran through an intensive training program. Despite this, they remain very few in number. This is however balanced out by the fact that none of them has ever been lost to Nowhere. Despite this, however, there is always a shortage of Voidsuits, and nobody knows where they are vanishing. Demiurge propaganda blames Syndicate sabotage.
The Hull has no Overseer. The Hull has never had an Overseer.