Volume 79: Doppelgangers & Radiants
So as we soar near the top of the Panic, lets cover two things before we move forward. One is something we should have probably discussed some time ago. The other is brand new so now is a perfect time to discuss it. Let’s get started!
When dealing with a nearly infinite multiverse there are many oddities that come to light. Some of these we have discussed to varying degrees with beings like Brazz and Bastion. Others we have not talked about because they haven’t really been important to the story so far. But one of the most pressing issues we have not talked about is the issue of Doppelgangers.
By definition doppelgangers are simply doubles. But when discussing the multiverse, it can mean more. For those that know about multiverse theory (which we have discussed briefly in earlier posts) there is the concept that for every decision you could make another universe exists for that choice. And for the most part that is true. However, this is not really that applicable to our story. We could dive into the philosophy and intricacies of this phenomenon of the multiverse, but it would not really add to what we are trying to do here. SO, as such we will not be talking about it much.
That being said it should be acknowledged that doppelgangers or doubles DO exist. Before the Crushes began it was a much more widely expressed phenomenon, but as we are in the middle of the Panic it is an occurrence that happens with much less frequency. So rarely now at this part of our story in fact that it almost never occurs. There are many reasons for this.
You may have heard the adage, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” A simple but profound truth. There is a similar one that states, “A universe abhors duplicity.” This one is a bit more complex but equally as true. This may seem counterintuitive as we have just discussed the nearly infinite variation available in the multiverse for each individual. But the truth is even before the Crushes began the chances of meeting one of your doppelgangers was very remote.
Some that travel the multiverse insist that this is superstition, and that if one knew the location of one’s own doppelganger, they could simply use a Reality Drive or some comparable magic to go to them and that would be that. But in fact, it has been found in a multitude of scientific studies by nearly every race that attempting to do so is fraught with peril. Those attempting to locate or contact alternate versions of themselves usually find the task impossible. For whatever reason the probability fields that determine most causality go crazy when such attempts are made, and the results are usually malfunction, terrible luck, injury, and even death. And it raises exponentially the closer one gets to their own doppelganger. Each living universe seems to do all it can to keep such duplicity from existing.
Compounding this is that the Oblivion seems to target doppelganger universes with a ravenous hunger. By time we reach the height of the Panic, most doppelganger universes have been all but eliminated.
That’s is really all there is to say on the subject but there is one more note. Despite all of this doppelgangers do still exist. And they do sometimes meet. However, it would seem the only real way to meet one of your doppelgangers is by chance. Searching for one’s own self will meet with the universal pushback we have already discussed. But this is worth discussing because it CAN make for very interesting game play and adventuring groups!
A really fun quirk to a party of adventurers is to have a pair of doppelgangers in it. If you have two players that want to try this type of gameplay it can be a pretty cool thing. It also provides an excellent chance for some great story telling not only for the DM but for the players themselves. How did they meet? Why did they decide to stick together? How similar are they? Many cool and unique questions are waiting to be answered. If you have some people in your group that want to try this there are many different ways it could go, but as examples I’ll give two of the most extreme which tend to be pretty fun!
One way to go is to have both players start as identical doppelgangers. Same class, same skills, same stats, etc. The one difference between them is subtle. Maybe one has a mustache and the other does not. One has a forearm tattoo the other not. Besides this one difference they are the same. This offers a great way to see how these players will eventually drift apart. Or will they? Will the subtle difference between them turn out to be a big deal? The dynamic of these players and what it adds to the story can be quite intriguing.
The other example is quite the opposite but equally as interesting. They are dopplegangers looking exactly alike, maybe sharing similar stats or abilities, but regardless they come from very different pasts. Maybe one grew up in luxury while one grew up fighting to live in alleys. One may be a strict military person and the other a stoner slacker. How they met and ended up together may be a story of conflict in itself. How will each react to seeing a mirror image of themselves that is so different? This offers the chance for deeply thoughtful and introspective gameplay.
Regardless there are many many options, almost all of which are fun! But as such we will end the talk of dopplegangers here.
Next let’s discuss the phenomenon of the Radiants. Near the height of the Panic, Psionic and Magic users as well and many others began to have visions of unbelievably large Traxts. They emit light like a bright star and everywhere the light touches healing and peace follow. In these dreams and visions the Radiants push back and even destroy the Oblivion. Dark Dwarf’s magic is eradicated, and they flee from the light. Barren lands are made fertile. The list goes on. The important thing to note is these dreams are always positive and the people having them describe a feeling of incredible rest and personal peace when waking from them.
These visions began to spring up all across the multiverse at the peak of the Panic. In some places, cities would hold town halls where people who had these visions were invited to speak about them. People who heard the stories also reported a sense of peace or even inspiration at hearing about these massive gems. Across all of reality, tales of the Radiants brought comfort in many forms to all the people.
But it also brought uncomfortable questions. Why were people having these visions? What did they mean? Why were these Traxts so gigantic? They were the size of planets, and some claimed even bigger. But why? No Traxt had ever been seen that large. And when it came down to it, these visions were all well and good, but they didn’t provide anything substantial. The Oblivion continued its steady press across all of realty and the Dark Dwarf scourge progressed as savagely as ever. If these dreams had any deeper or REAL meaning it had yet to present itself. For this reason, some found the idea of the Radiants to be more worrying than reassuring. With these visions just beginning, what will become of them remains to be seen…
About the Illustrations: Today we have an alien design that (obviously) didn’t make it ha ha! We also have a very unique looking robot and as a bonus some “popular” characters playing with a Trementian.
Thank you all SO MUCH for reading this installment of Traskoria! PLEASE support my Patreon so I can keep bringing this important story to you!