A very short “worldspoiler primer” for Tyrian in the spirit of the Stablehand one. It’s much less polished and more like a thoughtdump, but it gets all the important stuff and new ideas I had lately in. See also my Tyrian page at the top.
Again, the whole “if you don’t want ANY spoilers this is not for you” thing. You’ve been warned. :p
Artifices, Jyr and Meir
There are these Artes Perabsurdae that can warp reality, practiced by a vast organisation called the Artifices Absurditatum (“artists of absurdity”). The Artes can range from pretty basic to incredibly, incredibly over the top, and of course one of the goals of the organisation is to make crazier and crazier ones though different divisions of it have different goals of what they want to achieve and what they want their Artes to become. It’s kind of making fun of anime/manga where there are similar organisations and ideas, and really any number of things that are not anime but still do things similarly.
Along with the Artes the Artifices also have a philosophy called “subjectivism” (I may change this to subjectivity given that I named it that years ago thinking objectivism was a philosophy based on objectivity; I had reasons :p). Subjectivism is basically nonsense logic, the idea that whatever you can prove is true, no matter how ridiculous the logic you used to proved it, and “objective truth” doesn’t exist—a photograph of the sky showing it’s blue is worth nothing, you have to prove it in an argument. The Artifices use subjectivism to aid in their Artes, and also just for fun as a thing to rally around. For one thing they have this silly event called “Artif-x” (the name is a TEDx parody) where they just present really weird and bizarre arguments to each other.
The Artifices Absurditatum were founded by Jyr Lins and Meiromelechus the unicorn. Meir has the power to distort reality, but finds it boring to do so himself so he is acting as a kind of engine for the Artifices. If you’re a really good Artifex you can do a liiiiitttle bit of Artes without him but he just makes it way easier for everybody to do Artes.
Where Meir came from I have no idea.
Honou von Jogann was the first to discover the Artes independently (probably, there may have been others), before Jyr. He probably had a different name then since most Artifices use pseudonyms of some kind. Jyr happened to find Honou and recruit him when looking for members for his new project.
Tyrian and the colossal lie-in-a-lie
Tyrian, the first human to be made purely of Artes, was created by the Divisio Caliginis. Hayes, Fiuhm, Kalimas, and Nubia are the heads of it, at least.
They created him ostensibly because they thought the Artifices taking over the world was wrong and they needed a hero to stop them. They hid this cleverly so it looked like they didn’t want anybody, including any of the other Artifices and indeed Jyr and the unicorn, to know, and they “vanished” in order to protect that secret. But actually, Jyr is the one who sent them to do this.
Secretly, they actually created Tyrian as a straw man to make all Artifices actively fight objectivity and ensure nothing could slow down the Artifices’ slow encroachment over the planet. With a clueless, inconsiderate “hero” ruining everyone’s fun, it would seem to be only the natural thing to get rid of any pesky “objective” who fought the Artifices and subjectivism.
Kinda inherent in using the Artes and being an Artifex is that you become kinda “not serious”. As I said, throughout the story as chapter openings or something I had the idea to have “Artif-x” presentations kinda like TED presentations but way more absurd and nonsensical. (For example Hutanas Leopard has a presentation on “sustainable hunting” where he declares “all hunting is sustainable!” because hunting is an action you have to do continuously therefore it must be sustainable.) Basically Artifices are really prone to going into these surreal over-the-top ramblings that have a certain logic to them but don’t make any sense.
The heroes however, in committing themselves to objectivity and fighting the Artes, are very serious and focused.
This opens them up to habitation by strange spirit-like creatures called Chayavana, which thrive on seriousness (one Chayavana per person though Tyrian maaaay have two). They live in the abstract realm of Satyata (“reality”), where all bodies of water show the material world, hence their name, which means “reflection watchers”. Chayavana give their hosts great new abilities, but also have a tendency to drag them down with their dark and serious tendencies.
Chayavana are presented as being warriors of truth that protect reality, chosen by the deity-like Saralya (“truth”) to aid all who uphold objectivity in the material world. However, it’s not actually that clear-cut.
Artes vs. Chayavana, the bigger lie
The thing is, the Tyrian universe actually has the same “cirque physics” as the Stablehand universe (see WSP)—that is, the world is such that manipulating it in a “magical” way is just part of its physics. It may even be the exact same universe just in some alternate state.
The Artifices have just figured out how to unlock this, and decided to use it to distort all known rules of reality to their liking.
The “heroes” have figured out how to unlock this to fight the Artifices. The Chayavana that they think are so good and pure are really just running on the same exact thing as the Artes they think are so bad and evil. It’s kind of funny in a sad dramatic-irony way.
The Chayavana are pretty much Stablehand aethereals (MBs), though they present a little differently than those aethereals: they can be male or female pretty commonly, and the way I drew them previously they had eyes and looked less abstract, though that was kind of due to a lack of imagination on my part and I will probably revamp them to look more MB-like, more abstract and perhaps without normal eyes.
I had this idea that at the point Tyrian is really starting to learn the deep secrets that some defecting Artifex telling him stuff would complain that when working on perfecting high-level Artes all these “monsters” kept threatening to come into the world (literally Insulators and Conductors and all that good stuff) and they had to keep shooing them out.
Also, the unicorn Meiromelechus is most likely a Chayavana too, though there might be something a little different about him than the others.
What the Chayavana really want
I haven’t figured this out. Probably they want to see their world merge with the material world so they get all kinds of amazing human stuff and human ideas to play with but at the same time get to mould the material world into weird and wondrous fluctuating fusions of abstraction and earth stuff. Beautiful but also unpredictable and terrifying.
They are probably backing the objective faction because they know the objective faction will let them be in command and roam free whereas if they back the Artifices the Artifices are going to be annoying and try to rule everything. Not too ideal!
Meiromelechus doesn’t really know about the Chayavana’s “ulterior plan” here, even though he’s one of them.
When I saw a Twitter make a pun about the “Centre of Gravity” I thought heh it would be funny if there’s a Centre of Gravity in Satyata and that’s like where the Chayavana have their council meetings to decide what to do with earth or whatever.