The Zone in Blazing Umbra

So, @Spartan_889 and I have started working on how to make his Zone idea from the STALKERs home setting into Soteria. I’m not entirely sure what shape this will take of course since there are some issues that need to be taken care of to make it relevant. I have no doubt these issues can be resolved, and I would like to find a tie in for his the overarching plots we have going.

I would like to start this thread as a place for people to comment and collaboratively help make this a reality, but please be constructive. So what kind of features of this would we like to see?

What is the Zone? Is this going to be same Zone as it exists in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. lore? What issues need to be addressed? What needs to be done to make it work?

I gathered from this wiki article and the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. timeline that the Zone is supposed to be an alternate history version of the real world Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Before and after the Chernobyl disaster, the general area around Chernobyl and Pripyat had been used as a site for experiments and the study of the so-called Noosphere, a ubiquitous field of energy around Earth which is somehow linked to human minds and thoughts. For this purpose they worked on the Common Consciousness, a project which for they link together human minds, creating a super consciousness or hive mind that would enable them to alter the Noosphere. During this project, an experiment backfired, causing a rift in the Noosphere and manifesting a clusterfuck of anomalies and phenomena across a large perimeter.

The Noosphere seems to be a planet bound, psionic counterpart of the Aether - it can affect the world and is difficult to control directly, requiring the faculties of a super consciousness, such as the aforementioned Common Consciousness project, to do so. Not to mention, failures or carelessness can lead to permanent damage and other repercussions as evidenced by the existence of the Zone and its consequent manifestations.

But how would it transfer to Soteria? Does Soteria have its own Noosphere, perhaps even Nimbus, being home to many people? The Zone supposedly expands - can the damage done to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Earth’s Noosphere somehow propagate through splices, infecting/corrupting the local Noosphere? I mean, there is a phenomenon called Emissions, a dangerous release of noosphere energy which also lead to the Zone’s growth at some point.

So this is what I’ve come up with so far, thoughts… Comments… Concerns… Further ideas…

Conversion for Blazing Umbra

Since the Zone’s backstory within the games is experimentation with psionics coupled with the explosion of a nuclear reactor to create this toxic wasteland full of mutated creatures, random artifacts with bizarre properties, and anomalies where the laws of reality no longer apply, the analogy into the Blazing Umbra Setting is going to be that it is a zone of Unstable Energy and that the anomalies within are Chaotic Magic Zones, which would explain why the physical laws do not apply.

Aether - Psionic / Magical Energy

Since both Psionic and Magical energy are two ways of interpreting the properties of Aether for people, the Zone itself transcends those definitions and is an area of unstable Aether, where the ley lines, wells, and other such things are distorted and changing in chaotic ways.

Implications

  • Mutations
  • Psionic Disruption
  • Negative Attention

Mutations

The way Aether, which is the life energy of the universe similar in scope to the Force, is so chaotic and unpredictable that it has an intensely negative effect on life within the area which becomes distorted and mutated in strange ways. A significant amount of life within the area dies very young or is still-born. However, a high enough percentage of life in the zone will actually live and grow more and more distorted and mutated as time goes on.

Psionic Disruption

Another side-effect of the intense distortion in Aether is the intensely pervasive effects it can have on the humanoid mind which can be easily effected by chaotic shifts in the Aether. The mind can become accustomed to and adapted to such shifts should it have enough pliability, fortitude, and the persons core mental strength and resistance to outside influence be strong enough. However any living within the zone will be effected. The most common effect of this is to be driven insane, though there are some problematic and intriguing variations on this theme.

Variations

Though the most common impact of the psionic distortion is for a persons mind to be broken and them to be driven insane with only short (if any at all) periods of lucidity the complex nature of the sentient mind has a number of issues.

  • Deification of the zone and the chaotic forces there
  • Desire to distort others or allow others to be distorted by the zone
  • Belief that being in the zone has made the person godlike or otherwise to be revered
  • Intense paranoia, everyone is against the person, only the zone understands

Negative Attention

Equally corruptive creatures and entities are attracted to the intensely perverse nature of the zone and the rift itself, some seeking to control it, others drawn like moths to a flame. The psionic energy it emanates is quite powerful on other planes and can attract demons and other nasty things to it.

Cause: Chaos Rift

The splice which opened up and brought people from that universe into Blazing Umbra caused an intense emission on the other side, which travelled the splice and disrupted the Aether present on Soteria creating a small inter-planar rift dubbed the Chaos Rift. This rift drew in the contaminated psionic energy which was once part of the “Common Consciousness” from that universe. The energy is incomplete and not a mind per-se, but it is incredibly tainted with the corrupting force of the Zone on the other side of the splice. That energy was drawn into the rift which planted the corrosive seed into the Aether welling up from other planes.

Anomalies

The intense shift in Aether cause zones of complete energy chaos, in these areas the physical laws of reality do not apply. They are incredibly dangerous and can be both static in their type and effects but can also take on properties of the person or people who enter the anomalies vicinity.

Artifacts

Anomalies can also create artifacts. Artifacts are once-normal objects which gain special abilities by exposure to the intensely distorted Aether within an anomaly. Such objects can have incredibly useful properties but can also be intensely destructive. All artifacts are known to have an upside and a downside. The upside is generally something beneficial while the downside is something destructive or harmful in some way. The two do not have to be balanced, but statistically speaking the downside will usually be more intense and powerful than the upside.

Resources

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OKay I am really really late for this comment for two months.

Now to the questions…well you guys pretty much explain what the Zone is and will affect Blazing Umbra in a sense. Though I have to clarify some of your questions.

I mean, there is a phenomenon called Emissions, a dangerous release of noosphere energy which also lead to the Zone’s growth at some point.

Not necessarily true actually, it more acts like a dam when there’s certain amount Noosphere energy in the local area which triggers to phenomena which results in an Emission but usually doesn’t expand the zone.

As such when a huge spike or amount of said energy appears out of the blue, that would create a huge Emission which would last for days and would undoubtedly increase the Zone’s area furthermore.

Mutations

The way Aether, which is the life energy of the universe similar in scope to the Force, is so chaotic and unpredictable that it has an intensely negative effect on life within the area which becomes distorted and mutated in strange ways. A significant amount of life within the area dies very young or is still-born. However, a high enough percentage of life in the zone will actually live and grow more and more distorted and mutated as time goes on.

That I agree, and such this can also lead to newer mutants never seen before, kinda planning of a tree flesh monster. The zone is ever changing.

Psionic Disruption

Another side-effect of the intense distortion in Aether is the intensely pervasive effects it can have on the humanoid mind which can be easily effected by chaotic shifts in the Aether. The mind can become accustomed to and adapted to such shifts should it have enough pliability, fortitude, and the persons core mental strength and resistance to outside influence be strong enough. However any living within the zone will be effected. The most common effect of this is to be driven insane, though there are some problematic and intriguing variations on this theme.

Variations

Though the most common impact of the psionic distortion is for a persons mind to be broken and them to be driven insane with only short (if any at all) periods of lucidity the complex nature of the sentient mind has a number of issues.

  • Deification of the zone and the chaotic forces there
  • Desire to distort others or allow others to be distorted by the zone
  • Belief that being in the zone has made the person godlike or otherwise to be revered
  • Intense paranoia, everyone is against the person, only the zone understands

Ah yes, there are actually cases in the STALKER franchise of this happening but this is usually those with the Faction called Monolith where they’re brainwashed so bad they can’t even remember anything of their past. Worst case being turned into a mindless husk of a zombie who just shoots at anyone he/she sees which is the usual results of an Emission or prolong exposure to C-Conscious experiments and psionic mutants like Controllers

But this only happens when someone comes into contact of items with such psionic potential like the wishing stone.

Though intense paranoia isn’t much of an effect to any S.T.A.L.K.E.Rs

Anomalies

The intense shift in Aether cause zones of complete energy chaos, in these areas the physical laws of reality do not apply. They are incredibly dangerous and can be both static in their type and effects but can also take on properties of the person or people who enter the anomalies vicinity.

Artifacts

Anomalies can also create artifacts. Artifacts are once-normal objects which gain special abilities by exposure to the intensely distorted Aether within an anomaly. Such objects can have incredibly useful properties but can also be intensely destructive. All artifacts are known to have an upside and a downside. The upside is generally something beneficial while the downside is something destructive or harmful in some way. The two do not have to be balanced, but statistically speaking the downside will usually be more intense and powerful than the upside.

This an interesting bag of cats actually. But to clarify one thing, almost all Anomalies are harmful to people but a small percentage are not, that being spatial anomalies that open and links an FTL(I think) pathway for people to traverse through them or trap them in its own dimension.

Well for Artifacts, they are not only once normal objects, but they are also actually formed by the Anomalies they reside nearby, for example, the Whirligig. Its an anomaly that sucks you into the air spinning and rips you into a bloody mist and through that bloody mist, it somehow collects the cells from that bloody mist of its victims plus dust, dirt and pressure which in turns produces a Meatchunk Artifact which is a 1/100 chance of happening. This chance further increases due to an Emission storm which amps up the production time and chance of an artifact. And thanks to the Emission creates a field of new Anomalies

Upsides usually depend on what Anomaly they were formed by while the downsides range from anything but most common being radiation poisoning once kept on the person for too long. Only quick cure besides rad medicine is usually a good bottle of Vodka

Given Soteria environment, new anomalies, and artifacts never seened are bound to appear.

I’m glad we’re largely on the same page. I’m going to take the view up upside/downside on them. in the puerile TV show of “Warehouse 13”, artifacts captured the essence of something the person who made them dealt with.

That is kind of what I’m going with in general, along with an my general magic ideas of equivalent exchange and balance. So, what I’d like to do with the Zone is for it to be a place where the down sides of things are much steeper and much more costly than the up-sides but I want to get away from the video-game paradigm of things. Clearly the helpful artifacts left by anomalies are designed to give in-game assistance to players. I’d like to get away from that and more into an exploration of the horror side of things; not that I’ve really decided all that much yet.

I’d like to get into more about what you’re looking for in our first Zone event; if you could share your Google Doc with blazingumbra@gmail.com?

Well crap, back where my OCs came from, Artifacts played an important role both economical, social and utilitarian use. The game lore also explains due to the unique nature of each Artifacts, the scientific community has gone head over heels for them and has requested the STALKERs to collect them via payment of huge sums of money.

But yeah, Ill send you the doc

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