Twinflesh Material in Cathedris | World Anvil

Cathedris Themesong

Twinflesh

Abhorrent Organs

The biology of these monsters, the Rendlings, is utterly incomprehensible. Whatever happens when the Ichor hits the original host, it isn't pretty -- everything inside them is jumbled, mutated, and rewritten.   The only constant in all of 'em is this... one... little... bit... here. Twinflesh. It's part of a pair, and we'll find the other one elsewhere in this mess of a body.
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— Legion Field Researcher
  Within the abhorrent bodies of the monstrous Rendulgraph can be found a pair of strange organs; their purpose is unknown, but they seem to be in an odd, paired state, as if two were one. Each organ seems to never decay, appears perfectly identical with the first, and exhibits an impossible property -- when one experiences a certain type of stimulus, the other will instantly respond at the same time as the first, no matter the distance nor material between the two.    

Blasphemous Biology

Rendlings are the sacrilegious offspring of dead gods; spilled Ichor and shed body parts mix together with nearby fauna, corrupting, converting, and mutating them into monsters. For much of humanity's existence within the shadows of the God-husks, the Rendlings have been an enigma -- most thought it was a curse, or the spiteful final act of one of the gods before it died. However in recent years, a new prevailing theory has come to the forefront.  

Perpetuation Theory

Ichor contains the power of the gods -- the strange properties contained within are what keep them shambling across the surface of Cathedris, despite dying thousands of years ago. It has an innate connection to godhood -- it keeps the God-husks in some form of twisted divinity, an eternal unlife. When Ichor is introduced to the body of a new host, the leading theory is that the blood of the gods is trying to make its new host into a facsimile of its old one -- the Ichor is trying to birth a god in the body of the new host, but creating a near-immortal monster instead.  
The twinflesh seems to be the nucleus of this abherration -- a single deific cell, appearing as an organ, that managed to undergo mitosis exactly once before corrupting and halting its growth. Every other cell in the hosts body rapidly mutates around these two corrupted "god cells", trying to join with them, merge with them, reject them, and consume them; creating biological war within the body of the unlucky host until an unholy equilibrium is reached.

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These two original "cells", or organs, remain as nucleus points for the rendling's body, strangely interconnected as they never properly underwent mitosis; forever acting as if they were still but one cell despite having physically split, which the theory states helps to explain the interconnection between the organs, regardless of distance.

Rendlings

Appearing in 3 distinct forms known as Faunal, Deific, or Malladic Rendlings. Each one differs by its new host body, method of infection, or source of power -- Faunal are based mostly on the corruption of natural fauna, Deific contain or are mostly comprised of actual body parts from the God-husks, and Malladic were created through pure feats of godly power during The Seven Day War.

Applications

Used to create Stimboxes, an electrical device capable of sending signals instantaneously from one box to another regardless of distance, found in the heart of all Simulrendology devices such as Rendulgraph technology.
 
Rendulgraph
Technology / Science | Jul 11, 2023

A device made through subjecting paired Rendling Flesh to small amounts of electricity, allowing for instant communication at any distance.

 
  "Look alive techies, crate of burnt-out Stimboxes comin' in."       Two technicians in dirty blue overalls leapt to their feet -- one was older, with a scratchy gray beard and sun-baked skin that resembled both the colour and texture of oak bark. He looked as if he'd spent lifetimes under the hot sun, and had become all the more wise for it. The other was far younger, inexperience clearly visible on his smooth face, and he seemed to be glancing toward his partner as if looking for instruction and guidance.   "Timeline?" asked the older technician, as he took the crate from the immaculately dressed Legion officer.   "ASAP." Came the reply. "You can call me when they're done, Evan." The officer's pristine boots clicked harshly on the ground as they left the room; the tap-tap-tap could be heard long after the door had slammed shut.       Evan exhaled slowly, wearily, as he hefted the crate over to the wobbly metal table they'd set up as a temporary work surface.   "Well, we'll continue our previous chat later," started Evan. "Looks like you're learning SBs, er, Stimboxes, now instead."   He lifted the lid off the crate, revealing a jumbled pile of cylindrical metal devices. Each device was roughly 6" long, and 2" in diameter; it had a valve opening on one end, and loose wires running from the other. There were hundreds of them in the box, each one seemingly indistinguishable from the next.       "Those rat bastards..." the old man swore. "They didn't even keep the gods damned things organized?"   He dumped the contents of the crate out onto the table, spreading them flat across the entire surface. He picked one up, and held it out to his younger partner, showing one side of the cylinder. "Here's your first lesson on SBs, Ochi. See this stamp?" Evan rotated the device to catch the light so that the stamped serial number on the side became visible.   "X... F.... 94G... 12" Ochi read the characters slowly. "A serial number?"   Evan nodded, and then pointed at the table with countless other Stimboxes spread out across it. "All SBs come in pairs, two devices that are intrinsically linked. They will only ever talk to each other. That serial number? That's how you keep them paired."   "So... where's the pair to this one, to... XF92G12?"   "Ahhhhh, see, that's the problem now isn't it. Where indeed? Why isn't it right next to this one? It's almost like it'd be a really good idea to keep them in their pairs, using some damned forsaken organization to make our lives a little less shitty." Evan punctuated this last word by slapping the table, causing the Stimboxes piled upon it to jump. A few of them rolled off the table, prompting Ochi to quickly duck below in order to retrieve them.       "So here's what we're going to do." Said Evan, taking the loose Stimboxes from Ochi's hands. "We're going to sit here for the next two hours, sorting each of these into their distinctive pairs. Or rather, you're goin' to do that, and I'll handle the hard part."   "What's the hard part?"   Evan grabbed one of the devices and twisted the valve on the end of it; with a soft grinding noise the valve opened, releasing a tiny cloud of particulate. "If you remember," he said while turning the Stimbox upside down and giving it a little shake. "That officer said these were burnt-out SBs. That means they've got no juice left in them -- no power to make them work." A couple tiny drops splashed onto the table. "Don't touch that, by the way" Evan noted of the droplets on the table.   "In order to recharge these, we need to insert a new metal core through this valve, and then refill the inner reservoir with solution. A chemical reaction between the two produces power -- electricity." He pulled the corroded metal core out of the Stimbox and tossed it into the corner of the room.   "It's what makes the whole thing work. The electricity zaps the Twinflesh held within the cylinder. Then the Twinflesh inside its paired Stimbox responds to it, triggering the device to output a short burst of electricity. The same works in reverse, too -- two electrical boxes that are capable of sending and receiving simple signals. It's then up to whatever device that houses the Stimbox to encode and decode those into more complex forms of communication, like the speech that comes through Rendulgraphs."       "Makes sense." came Ochi's reply. He had started rummaging through the devices on the table already, flipping each one over and over until finding the serial number stamped into the metal on the side.   "Although..." he said, after a moment of searching. "Wouldn't it be easier to recharge each Stimb-- SB first, and then just zap one and see which other responds?"   Evan's face crumpled into a wry smile. "Very clever Ochi. Yes, but there's a few problems with that. First off, I don't want you touching this solution here, it's quite corrosive, bad for your skin. Second, you really do not want a pile of fully charged SBs getting random zaps being output throughout them."   "Why's that?"   "In this exposed form, one SB outputs a zap into another that outputs a zap into another that... well, you get the picture. Quick way to lose your hands, if you ask me, from the resulting electrical fire -- or even explosion."   "Got it, manually sorting them."   Ochi exhaled slowly as he bent over the table once more, examining Stimbox after Stimbox with dreary acceptance.       The tap-tap-tap of the Legion Officer's shoes slowly faded into the pair of technician's awareness. The door to their room opened roughly, and the Officer stepped in once again holding another large crate. His shoes gleamed in the dim light of the room.   "Look alive techies, another box of burnt-out Stimboxes for you." He dropped the crate onto the already full table. "Timeline moved up, too. We'll need these by noon."       The tap-tap-tap of the officer's shoes and the sound of the door slamming behind him as he left perfectly masked the furious cursing coming from the experienced technician in the room.




Cover image: by National Cancer Institute

Comments

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Jul 16, 2023 22:23 by Mochi

Woah! I really like this Ochi character ;)

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Consider voting for me in the Worldbuilding Awards!
Jul 18, 2023 18:09 by Stormbril
Jul 17, 2023 01:52 by Morgan Biscup

Poor Legion techs. (Maybe they shouldn't work for the Legion, hmmm?)   I love watching Cathedris' tech unfold. These are great. Horrific, also. But great.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Jul 18, 2023 18:09 by Stormbril

What seemed like a great job opportunity quickly deteriorated into this :(   Thank you! <3

Jul 17, 2023 16:09 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

The prose made me laugh. Poor techs.   Horrifying technology but I love it.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 18, 2023 18:10 by Stormbril

I really wanted to write something sorta fun and sorta frustrating for it xD   Thank you Emy! :D

Jul 22, 2023 18:38 by Reanna R

I'm loving these little bits of prose! Quite the clever way to explain the details of how the technology works without making it too complicated or boring :)

May your worldbuilding hammer always fall true! Also, check out the world of the Skydwellers for lots of aerial adventures.
Jul 24, 2023 16:29 by Stormbril

So glad to hear that! I've been enjoying putting it in, trying to figure out how to explain things through prose :)

Aug 13, 2023 12:47 by Chris L

The curse of the tech, the higher-ups think you can somehow do a job faster that... can't be done faster and takes as long as it takes.


For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

Aug 14, 2023 16:12 by Stormbril

The real villain in many cases is management >:|

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