'Riddlespace' is the colloquial term for any region of space which, whether by distorting perception or through actual distortions in the geometry of space, cause three-dimensional creatures who enter them to become severely disoriented. Small patches of riddlespace can be found throughout the Manifold Sky and present special difficulties for navigation.  


A patch of riddlespace is most likely to appear:
  • underground (where pathways can loop back on themselves),
  • under water (where visibility is limited and buoyancy can counteract gravity),
  • in a space which is dark, hazy, or otherwise present difficulties in seeing landmarks,
  • in a space with non-standard gravitation (i.e. in vertex mountains, inflection layers, or commissures) where the vestibular system has a difficult time establishing orientation,
  • in a region which is previously unexplored or only sparsely explored,
  • in an environment with little or no oxygen (disorientation and confusion can be symptoms of anoxia), and
  • in the Dorsal Tesseract (where there are only a few prominent landmarks) or Ventral Tesseract (where the landmarks are often changing).
  As an example, the deep, peripheral regions of Bunker Primus are infamous for being riddled with patches of riddle space. The darkened arcades of these areas are stiflingly hot and humid and have little to no gravity due to their proximity to the commissure. They also reach into vertex and corner mountains' gravitational spheres of influence in places, turning corridors into 'pits' which seem to draw the unwary in. Groups of Groundlings are known to inhabit these places, inured to the sensation of riddlespace found here by years of local experience, and can use the riddlespace effect to their advantage when evading law enforcement or opposing gangs.   In another example, the Vianne Tributaries seasonal snowcap can sometimes generate patches of riddlespace. Skiers are sometimes struck by fact that, while the central peak looks like any other mountain range, the slopes have the phantasmal ability to change apparent grade when one crosses closer to one adjacent cube face than the other due to the way gravity works on vertex mountains. Certain out-of-bounds parts of the resorts can spawn unusually-formed snow hollows which look easy to escape from the outside, but are actually impossible to escape without outside aid.   The Glass Block Fortress is one of the largest and most famous patches of riddlespace. In fact, it is one of the only known 'true' riddlespace locations in existence, as it is believed that the normal laws of physics with regard to gravitation and light do not apply in the depths. The deeper one ventures into the Glass Block Fortress, the more convoluted and hostile the architecture becomes until, at some point, it becomes impossible to progress further without risking permanent entrapment. Corridors twist back on themselves and every object appears distorted among the vitreous voxels.  


Most patches of so-called riddlespace are simply illusory - visually unnerving or difficult to navigate without careful forethought, but otherwise mundane (or, at least, as mundane as anything in a five-dimensional world can be). Most creatures in the Manifold Sky setting instinctively avoid places where it looks like gravity isn't 'right;' sentient creatures report a phantasmal sense of unease about such places, something akin to seeing something uncanny. In rare instances, however, a patch of riddlespace might actually contain some sort of physical anomaly which the eyes of three-dimensional creatures cannot process clearly (see above). It is believed that these instances of riddlespace may have some sort of connection to edgesight pathogenesis, as the infinite vista found at the direct center of an inflection layer might constitute such a place.  

In Popular Culture

As the goddess most attuned to the bizarre physics of the hidden Celestial Realms, the Church of the Unexpected recognizes riddlespace phenomena as the work of Cosmeon, Goddess of Cosmic Irony.

Cover image: by acekreations


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