Everything you see in the Matrioska Multiverse may constitute spoilers for other worlds I'm working on. Proceed with caution!
Verses are constructions of statements in the Word that allow users to accomplish more nuanced and complex effects.


In many ways, verses blur the line between 'items' and 'spells' in the Matrioshka Multiverse. Indeed, some verses have the effect of creating objects which are physical and persistent within the Matrioshka, and the creation of an instance could be conceptualized as an extremely long and complex series of verses that create an entire universe of material within a region of Unallocated Space. Importantly, however, a verse need not have a visible effect to be useful to its user.   Verses can manifest any of the effects of the underlying Word segments, but they can also exhibit combinations of effects (i.e. calling forth a summon before binding it in place), modify the effects (i.e. sculpt a region of Unallocated Space in a very specific way), or change functions in response to circumstances (i.e. if-then-else and other logical statements work).   Choir blanks, as entities who were born into an existence governed by code even even before entering the Matrioshka, are the most proficient and prolific users of verses. For choirs, verses are used like tools on a daily basis, but they are also finding increasing use as weapons as choirs are coming to understant the human (in this case elder and Instance blanks) propensity for crime and violence even within the relative peace and abundance of the Matrioshka Multiverse.


If the Word is the programming language of the Matrioshka Multiverse, then verses are scripts. Thus, unless the user is very articulate, quick-thinking, and well-versed in the use of the Word, then a verse must be pre-constructed before its power can be used. The construction of a verse typically entails a period of research, experimentation, and error-checking before the final verse is created. Once the user is sure that a given verse will work as intended - especially if it might effect the fabric of an Instance or blank in an adverse manner - the user may utter or otherwise 'encode' the verse. Encoded verses persist and may be invoked later through various means (i.e. a short 'nickname' in the Word) by those aware of it and with the proper connection to it.

Related Discipline
Effect Duration
Permanent until no longer valid
Effect Casting Time
Applied Restriction
The actual complexity of a verse is limited only by the knowledge and time possessed by the user, though access to research and encoding materials can also be bottlenecks for verses intended to have permanent effects. More importantly, certain parts of the Word - and thus verses - are restricted by The Substrate for safety reasons and not generally disseminated to untrusted members of the public. Such restricted uses of the Word often won't function at all unless used by a high-ranking choir or elder. Other parts of Chime - the language of the Word - are simply restricted in their use by nature of being poorly understood.   The specific physics of a given instance might prevent certain uses of the Word, but this can be overcome with the right knowledge. ComInDS takes a very dim view of the use of verses in experimental or strictly realistic instances and is likely to send enforcers to deal with anyone who tries it, but the organization is by no means omniscient. Research materials containing particularly dangerous verses are often seeded with segments that have the hidden effect of alerting Substrate authorities to their use.

Cover image: by Ferdinand Stöhr


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