I’ve been working on the overhaul of the current version of Yellow Dawn (2.1) for over 8 months now. Here’s a chunk of text that’s going to be bolted into the start of the chapter on Occult & Mythos, it’s a narrative overview that gives you a picture of the Quantisphere. The Quantisphere is a key theme within the dark fantasy aspect of my sci-fi and cyberpunk fiction, and so naturally follows into the world of Yellow Dawn which is based on the shared universe of all my fiction – following a Mythos Apocalypse (on Earth).
In a world where vast areas of earth and sea have fallen from the scrutiny of men, there is great opportunity for dark designs to take root. These can be Occult in nature, through Demons and negative elementals or, the truly terrifying machinations of HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.
The realm of the Occult is considerably smaller and less powerful than the realm of the Cthulhu Mythos. The Cosmic Horror of the Mythos and the insignificance that humankind has within it was first described by the American writer, H.P.Lovecraft, best known for his fictionalization of the sanity-shredding knowledge he received. The true nature of our reality can never be fully defined or described because humans do not have the innate ability or sensory organs to perceive and comprehend it; a very simplistic analogy is to see our reality as a bubble of form, structure and order within the Outer Chaos of the Mythos.
We, as humans, share that bubble with all living things of the Universe – and every other universe – from the animals of the sea and land on Earth, to the organisms that pulse, crawl, fly, flutter and stampede through landscapes and atmospheres of astronomically distant planets. We also share it with the new minds that have formed through computer evolution, true AIs that have gained some of the Divine Spark that fuels and feeds all Intelligence, and the subsequent robot Minds that those AIs have engendered. Likewise, as humans we share our reality with the things that are less seen and more felt and feared: the entities of the higher-planes, spirits, ghosts and elementals, and further, deeper into the recesses of human reality, Demonic forms and Angelic beings… part of the God-complex that pervades all human thought, whether we choose to accept it or not.
There are other Things, creatures and minds that have nothing to do with the human condition, technically a part of the Mythos – from the Outer Chaos – but not bound by it and so able to penetrate, travel and occupy our reality; some people know of these Things, some call them monsters, others call them aliens or simply non-human species.
Inside this bubble the laws of physics, quantum mechanics and overarching mathematical theories hold true – until stronger forces bend them out of shape.
And, within this bubble is the domain of the Occult. This is where Magick is merely a science that humans do not yet fully understand (although the advent of Road Mages and Schools of Magick are drawing those dark days of ignorance nearer to a close). The power of the Mind is key to this, as is an understanding of elemental systems (Fire, Water, Air, Earth) and the duality of Nature and those forms that thrive off it: Angels and Demons.
The Occult allows you to shape thought into energy that can be directed, either as a weapon, a tool or a shield. It allows you to manipulate the fabric of space and time, to warp it (but not permanently change it) to your Will… you can create illusions, starts fires, make howling winds blow with freezing frenzy, call in giant Tsunami or flood rivers to bursting point. You can detach your mind from your physical body and travel via the Astral Plane. You can sense the location of things far from physical sight by tuning in to the vibrations. You can call upon Demonic Circles for diabolical assistance and command these dangerous forms with words of Angelic Power - at the peril of your eternal life force, what some would call your soul, for these are entities that excel in trickery and manipulation.
Throughout human history these feats have been available to all of us but very few have ever taken up the mantle to do so. The reason is simple: fear.
Manipulating these energies requires great mental fortitude, a strength of Will that most humans do not posses, and the ability to transcend the fear of the pain and mortal danger that comes from engaging with Occult powers.
What is it then that separates the realm of the Occult from the Mythos?
The answer is known as the Quantisphere.
To those who study these things it is an invisible membrane; not the boundary of a bubble, but something that exists between your thumb and forefinger when you squeeze them together, wherever and when-ever you may be. This is something hyper-dimensional.
Beyond, beyond lies the Outer Chaos, the often formless, seething, sometimes mindless energies that exist where even the notion of Time has no remit.
There is intelligence out there, but so alien, so awful and jarring to our human senses, that to even perceive the existence of such things can drive any normal man or woman utterly insane.
The Mythos is an abomination to us, and to anything born of the Quantisphere – anything with that Divine Spark as part of its mind. This includes the animals and sentient machines. Even the Angels and the Demons.
To those Things that lurk and fester within our reality, unhindered by the boundary that protects us, the non-human species of the Mythos, the Quantisphere is nothing more than a shift in terrain: like us going from land to sea, or from a terrestrial atmosphere into Outer Space, there are Travellers from the Void.
And then there are those gargantuan and terrible entities of the Mythos; the Great Old Ones and the Outer Gods, immortal, eternal, and yet for all their staggering power, only capable of coming through into our reality in rare and specific conditions: when the stars are right, when the “fabric” of the Quantisphere is thin enough to rip, or when their human and non-human worshippers expend enough energy in gruesome ceremonies of blood sacrifice to burn a hole right through, creating temporary doorways from Beyond.
The energies of the Mythos are potent, dangerous, infectious and can even have a Will of their own. To dabble in the Mythos is to open yourself to the risk of becoming ensnared by the lure of incredible power, and tangled in tendrils of dream-like influence from utterly alien and unfathomable intelligences.
Exposure to the Mythos leaves a taint, a stain upon the physical and psycho-emotional construct that defines a living mind whilst contained in a reality-sensing vessel. Such a vessel being anything from a human tampering with arcane techniques, or a dolphin streaming through ancient temples on the sea floor, or a machine mind tumbling through the distant rim of space where the Great Old Ones have left their physical marks within the Quantisphere. The taint is like radiation damage, burned tissue and scarred thoughts, infused with an alien energy that slowly burns like embers caught in the invisible vortices of a cosmic breeze. A taint can never be removed and lingers like a cancer, always threatening to spread and increase its corrupting influence on the mind in question.
Outside the Quantisphere there are substances and fibres of physical and non-physical matter that defy human understanding, the rules of space and time crumple like a tin can appearing at the bottom of an ocean, or fly apart like a water when a drop of oil strikes the surface. Nothing is certain. Nothing is consistent. Every aspect of the Mythos can be the same but different.
Knowledge of all of these realms and entities, and of the operations that allow an individual to wield Occult and Mythos energies and to call upon Things greater than themselves, can found and learned by those willing to accept the risks and confront the Fears of their own mortality and sanity.
All of us can trick ourselves into believing we are brave, but how often has an unusual and isolated setting, a disconsolate group of people or even just a strange and inexplicable mood left you feeling unsettled and vulnerable. Humans are by default fragile creatures; a consequences of our mental agility where our emotional state rides the edges of reason and metaphysics. Our emotional state and our psychological will is the powerhouse of our energy. They are our energy (our POW)… on the higher planes of Quantispheric reality.
Beyond the Quantisphere such forms of energy are feeble compared to the cold yet furiously burning and incomprehensible forms of the Mythos.
Only madmen go there.
With Mythos Magick an individual can permanently change fragments of reality, sometimes whole bodies, locations, even worlds, depending on the energy being expended. And that is the lure, which is why some people strive to engage with what lies beyond the Quantisphere regardless of certain destruction.
The potential for madness and mayhem are at the heart of any Mythos encounter.
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If you’re interested in tales of the occult then check out the plethora of cyberpunk horror short stories on my Facebook Page; there’s also the demoniacal novel, Dante’s Fool. Alternatively if the Cthulhu Mythos is your thing, take a peek at God Seed (an avatar of Nyarlathotep tries to bring about the destruction of all humankind) or EDGE (a new Great Old One to the Mythos begins to re-emerge within our reality after millenia of absence – at a site that is now a snowboard resort in New Zealand: all hell breaks loose). All novels are available in paperback from LULU or on Amazon Kindle in US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Finally, if you’re a gamer, check out the free scenario I wrote for Yellow Dawn RPG: Kingdom of Shadows – based on Roman Polanski’s classic occult thriller – The Ninth Gate. Also playable with Call of Cthulhu.