Obelisks of the Song of Things Building / Landmark in The Canticles | World Anvil

Obelisks of the Song of Things

Praise the divine Obelisks For they are the ward of civilization Thank them for their guidance And the relay of all Songs being Be grateful
— From the second Canticle

Subjects of adoration and respect, the Obelisks of the Songs of Things are the principal mean of communication across the known universe. It is believed they uphold the very weight of reality, their resonance acting as a guarantee of the integrity of matter and mind.


Space markers


It is unclear whether the Obelisks predate the spacefaring civilizations or if they were planted by the Voice to support their grand scheme. They are erected everywhere in the known universe, leaving no place outside of their reach. The distribution of the sites obeys a logic known to the Canticles alone.


Some of them sit atop of high mountains while others bathe into magma. You can stumble upon one of these majestic structures in the loneliest planet or at the heart of a buzzing megalopolis. One of them is even floating adrift on a rogue asteroid.

The Apex is the biggest Obelisk of them all. Shadowing a whole stellar system, he orbits around the star and turns on itself, like an elongated planetoid. The cities at its surface are populated with devout and strange fellows, who live off trading and the support of the Canticles. As a result of its presence, things in the Stolm system are... too straight. Not really rough, but sharper than they should be.

No obelisk is strictly identical to another. They bear the same general shape but vary in size and width. They can be made of a rough block of matter or finely worked with mysterious carvings. Their main common point is the material they are made of. A material like nothing else, which fits nowhere in the periodic table and has never been found anywhere else.


It has been suggested that they are molded from the Song of Things itself, adopting the most perfect shape and state according to the situation. And indeed, these obelisks are the sturdiest that nothing except ███████████████ can bring down. It serves their purpose well, allowing the buildings to be found in the most hostile environments.

The Skytouch Obelisk

Are the Obelisks sentients?


They are nothing like regular living or sentient beings, however some elements raise the question. Though unfaltering, their resonance dims in regular cycles, like they are sleeping. During such periods, the activity around them slow down naturally, even in the busy city of Myrliad.


After ███████████████████████████████████, all obelisks of the galaxy could be heard weeping. The feeling was extremely unsettling and caused great damage to the global population's morale, as if they were sharing their grief with the people.

The Raging Obelisk by Rumengol via MidJourney

Universal relays


The Songs are fundamental parts of any being, even inanimate things sing a Song of their own. Most are hardly compatible with each other, creating interferences and clashes when they mix together. Only the Song of Things is universal, able to transmit losslessly any Song over great distances. The process is faster and better than any other wave, like the radio waves used before the ascension. This is all thanks to the Obelisks, which broadcast any Song addressed to them to other Obelisks.


A message transmitted this way contains a layer of information in its song corresponding to the recipient. This part is conveyed through the purest Song of Things from Obelisk to Obelisk but stripped of the final song. Once the message has reached the Obelisk closest to its goal, it is transformed into an audible form. There, listeners record the translation in the Song of Things and send someone or an in-system electronic message to its final destination.

How do they know that someone is listening? It is hard to say. We know for sure that isolated Obelisks won't deliver their message in the void, even if they are the closest to the recipient. No, they relay to the next populated one, so that no message is ever lost.

Frontier of life


Beyond the Obelisks' range, here be nothingness. They are not ubiquitary, not even in the galaxy. Inside their tight network are flourishing civilizations strengthened by the link that binds every being together. Not even outcasts dare cross the ultimate boundary, where they will be cut off from the Song forever.


It is human's nature to wish to cross boundaries, and from this foolishness came to be the Artificial Obelisk Project. Unauthorized, yet not really forbidden by the Canticles, this crazy project aims to create an artificial Obelisk to relay the Song of Things beyond the established frontiers to push even further the limits of their space garden. After the explosive setback of the first attempt, a second obelisk is being built in the system of Alterra, carrying the hopes of thousands of individuals.

Cover image: The Lone Beacon


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Apr 2, 2023 01:02 by Stormbril

Oh my, these are absolutely fascinating! All the mystery and strangeness about them just intrigues me so much and makes me want to keep reading more :O So curious to know where they come from, and I love how varied they are in location and even slightly in aesthetics!   Great work on earning your Marchitecture badge and thank you so much for participating :D  


Apr 2, 2023 08:37

Thank you so much! Glad you liked it! You will be able to pick some hints about the nature of the Obelisks in the CYOA I'm making for AA ^^ I am happy to finally work on this world.   And thank you again for this beautiful badge, which doesn't pale in comparison to the official ones!

Hoo~ Hoo