Back to
Barmy to
the Spire

What's all this barmy stuff?
About

Want to find out what has been forgotten in the Styx?
Archives

Not enough barminess for you?
Features

Barmy to the Spire
Third Low of Accordant

February 20th, 2000

 

Element of a Dream
(Burg, Raging Mists, Quasielemental Plane of Steam)
by Jeremiah Golden

Ah? You want to know about elements of your dreams, eh cutter? Well I normally don't give fortunes, but since I've just gotten back to Sigil from studying there, there's just something about the fog here you could just eat it, so what the sod, I'll give it a try. Now, if I just had some props here, yes, lets imagine this donut is element Wobbly-Bit, thank you, and the two bits of Fuzz here, and yes the stain will do nicely as a half-steam of Shiny... Mmm? Oh, you just want to know about the burg, eh? Wonderful place it is, making truly breathtaking squeaks and swooshes through the discovery of important new elements, and ah, the showers there, you'd be amazed is all I can say.

Character: The burgs purpose is the study and cataloguing of the elements of dreams, and was founded by the genius (though he's a bit barmy to tell you the truth, but a barmy genius) Professor Ruthford Nitt-Rojen, an air sorcerer it has been my extreme pleasure to be able to study under. He theorized in his brilliant paper to the Fraternity of Order the existence of basic elements that are composed and stuck together to create people's dreams, such as Ff (Fluff, steam-weight 3), Sh (Sheep, steam-weight 9), and Fz (Fuzz, steam-weight 1) that could be combined to describe a cozy dream about a glowing spoon who talked to you in your sleep (Sh3Ff8 in this case). This startling idea went through the muliversal community like a damp spot, finally allowing mages and scholars alike to be able to get in the minds of sods and see what made them tick, no longer mystified by strange dreams or omens, but scientifically catalogued in a nice shiny table of dreams and omens.

The paper a success, the funding poured in for further study and testing of new elements, and so the laboratory of Element of a Dream was constructed on the soothing spot in the elemental planes where the clammy fog of Steam mixes with the dream like mists of the Ethereal. With enthusiastic students such as myself lining up at public portals to get the chance to study at the now famous Element of a Dream, it wasn't long before a whole burg grew up around the place. (Most of the towns occupants are now young Guvner scholars, interested in classification of all things, but also present are a number of soppy Signer gals interested in dreams, who draw even more young Guvners to the place - the Editor)

Description: Hmm, what's the best way to describe it.... the burg of Element of a Dream is possibly a round platform, possibly square, but most possibly a metal frame of tubes and plumbing and nothing else under a berks feet besides a two span pipe. The burg floats in the swirling mists and is so banked up in cloud no one has ever been able to withdraw enough foggy mist to get a good look at the whole thing. It is lifted by a huge hot air filled balloon that's wires rise up into the fog, and another group of smaller balloons around the edges to serve to balance the whole craft and to impress young kiddies with how colorful the patchwork of colored cloth that make up the bags is. 

The mists fill the place so much you couldn't even see the front of your nose, not that any of the nearsighted old scholars that are attracted to the town can see much anyway. It always escaped me why people would want to see all that bloody empty space around them, give me a nice wall of fog between me and it any day. The whole town is well powered though as it creaks and turns with, appropriately enough, steam power, which means the place is always one step away from a nightmare of exploding air (Which would be Ff12Sh1Wo[Whoosh]4), but this also means it has nice long hot showers and excellent laundry service, as I said. Look, see this spot here? Hah, of course you don't, the ooze stain came right out like a snap, and you know how annoying ooze stains can be, especially when they move around.

Ruler: Though there's a whole gaggle of deans, instructors, and high-ups to run the burg now, the official head researcher is still Professors Ruthford Nitt-Rojen (Pl / Air Genasi / M12[Air Sorcerer] / Guvner / LN), who'd rather get his old frail hands damp with research into dreams then play as a bureaucrat anyway. Being so famous in the burg as he is, most everysod knows his history of being the son of Angleine Nitt (Who he named element steam-weight 113 after, An[Angleine Nitt], which is so rare that it was only dreamed once, after the air sorcerer had felt guilty about not sending a mephit with a letter to his mum lately and had a bad dream after eating some pickled onions) and the djinn Mdobba Rojen, a flying carpet weaver. He moved around allot as a child, often on a carpet, and dreamed the dream of all young air genasi, to stop being dizzy all the time (The very basic dream of Fz8), but it was most likely this dizziness of the head that allowed his famous discovery of elements of dreams. (Or it could of been the frequent trips off the battered carpet, with nothing better to do then think and fall - the Editor.) Though brilliant, we all thought of Prof. Ruthford was still frankly a bit mental, as he tends to go around wearing nothing but a nice quilted towel, a bath hat, a pair of fogged spectacles, and a squiggly brush. All in the name of research, of course.

Sites: The Sauna Laboratory, which I've had the pleasure of working in while writing a thesis on counting sheep (FznShm), is Element of a Dream's main testing and research faculty, located at the center of the platform just under the main boiler room. Full of some of the most clean lab equipment in the multiverse, it's also completely up to date in it's pillows, blankets, bedtime stories and other important instruments for dream studying. The lab is run by Ruthford's assistant Oscargenliam (Pl / Steam Mephit / M4 / N), a bossy steam mephit so old no one can remember which of them summoned who, usually seen as a squeaky talking, steaming mad imp with a pair of spectacles, or as more often is the case, zooming through the pipes deep in his work. The place is filled with the slow snores and occasional bangs of researchers at work discovering and classifying elements.

The cheerier, or at least chillier, place in the burg is the common student hang out, the Study Hole. It used to be a study hall, but then a student prank involving a cork blew a hole in the floor, which turned out to actually improve the place to everyone's liking. Tables are scattered around the hole for people to sit at and study or just have a cool drink while the breeze blows through, and it's generally a good place to sit and chat. In fact, the towns main chant monger and secretive spy Glitter (Pl / Mist Mephit / T4 / CN), who would have a long title except she hasn't found one yet that's secret enough (Or maybe she has? - the Editor), spends most of her time here. The slightly green mephit is always clam, shelling herself in a very stylish suit of black spiral misted gear suitable for any spy who's clothing should scream secret underground sneaky person. If a your looking for the latest gossip, say on who that dreamy Signer gal is imagining she'll take to the Wavefire dance (Though of course extensive understanding of Sh2Wo20 would also help), Glitter is the mephit to ask.

Current Chant: Truly exciting events are under way indeed! In fact I'm in Sigil right now to report on the newest element found, Bg[Bang!]. And that exclamation mark is no mistake. It was discovered by banging a pair of pillows together really fast, and we're quite enthused about it's possiblities in creating really exciting dreams. In fact, I should be lecturing on that right now... Excuse me if you will, Tata. (What's trully worrying though is the fact that the discovery of the Bang! element caused quite an explosion, and recently the local steam and mist mephits have taken to using pillows in their not so silent war with each other, sending feathers everywhere - the Editor)

Third Hive of Accordant

February 19th, 2000

 


Boggling Infinity:
Miss Gabrielle's Horn
by Tom Bubul

To: Factor Sruce, Gatehouse
From: Factotum Torjion, City Courts

Lady's Grace again, Miss Sruce. I have again come upon a most strange phenomenon, while wandering our most lovely streets. While out looking for a bite to eat, I ended up spending the afternoon in rapture on the steps outside of the Civic Festhall. Of coarse, it isn't the sort of place you'd normally find me, with my condition; all of the bloody colours and jugglers and clowns and whatnot are enough to make a sod barmy. In passing, I saw a most fascinatng thing that made me stay, and deal with the showiness; a mephiteer and a musician had an act involving ooze mephits that I just had to watch.

The musician, a fierce looking tiefling woman with such hair and eyes and... mmm. The musician stood with a wide grin on her face as she pounded the notes from a great herald's trumpet, long and thin as a goristro's toothpick, right into the ear of a dirty mephiteer. While she played, the filthy sod (I think it was that Peter Shambits, he had a cell a few down from mine, if I remember correctly) sat inside of his pentagram popping ooze mephits from a hat. The sloppy things crawled up his side and leapt into the horn, while the woman kept playing. Forty three mephits hopped into her trumpet before the Harmonium came and arrested them for indecent summoning of mephits; in violation of a health code I think they made up on the spot. Not a spot of ooze, somehow, had reached her lips, nor had a single mephit dripped out again.

I followed the woman back to the Prison, where she was waiting to be tried, because all I wanted to do was ask her about her show. It had nothing to do with her radiant, Lower Planar beauty that I just had to see again.

When I arrived in the Prison, which I must say isn't half as nice as the Gatehouse, my dear Mr. Tyvold, I found her in moments. She had a nice little cell, with a tea service and everything.

"Hello," I said.

"'Lo, guv," she said.

"That was a nice trick, with the horn, how did it work?"

"Dontcha ask a gel's name before questioning her, guvnor?" I turned a lovely shade of pink, the pink of sunsets, the pink of mushrooms in the Hinterlands, the pink of a gnome's nose.

"What's a gel's name, rather, er, what's your name?"

"Gabrielle." Like music, Mr. Tyvold, she was like music. Music with ooze mephits in.

"Torjion. Do tell about that show, yes? How did you and that other sod fit all of those bloody mephits into your horn?"

"Ooze Mephits are oozey. They slosh all over the place. My horn is special, you can't cover all of it at once." It was true. A little bit of it was showing from under her bed, despite her efforts to cover it with a sheet and some pillows.

"But didn't all of those ooze mephits fill it up?"

"Yes."

"And they didn't cover all of it's interior surface?"

"No."

"How?"

"Yore not so smart, for a guvnor," she snickered. "'S'easy. There's not much of it, m'horn, in three die-mentions; but there's an awful lot of it in two, if you unroll it. The oozies spread themselves so thin trying to cover the interior surface, which there's a lot of, that there becomes more space to squish more of them in." She grinned broadly. "M'da' was a guvnor, smarter'n you, I see."

I left, pondering this concept. If what I was told is true, my dear Sruce, then a horn like this Miss Gabrielle's could be ever so useful for carrying grand quantities of liquids around the place. I think the trick is getting them to spread out and try and cover the interior, and then getting them out again. After all, those forty odd mephits are, as far as I can tell, still spreading out trying to fill up the horn. You could wear such a horn as a hat, and when approached, you could disappear inside. The posibilities seem endless, and I shall look further into them and report later.

Yours Always,
Torjion

Special thanks to Dave "Heregul is Dead" King for explaining to me the unnecessary Calculus needed to maintain my relative sanity. Also, to boggle yourself, see the the true example of Miss Gabrielle's Horn.

Third Lady of Accordant

February 15th, 2000

 

Barmy to the Spire
Anniversary

This week marks a whole year of barminess for Barmy to the Spire, an entire trip of infinity, spoons, and time. And while the simple watching of spire butterflies swirling in the morning mists at the base of the spire might seem like celebration enough, a wise cloud told us that something more was surely need for such a special occasion. And thus we dug up a book we had stashed under a rock, pushed away the worms who were trying to start a literary career, patted the fuzzy mold, and went around gibbering until some of our most barmy friends and fans signed it, a barmy book for a barmy year. 

Book of Barmy (50k)

 

Last Week's Chant

All content copyright 2000 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.