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The World Engine

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Retired Moderator
Level 35 : Artisan Botanist

Explorer's Recording - TRANSCRIPT

Explorer's Logs

Researcher's Logs

Raw Text

Expedition #442

LOCATION: 500-1000

ORIGINAL PURPOSE: Standard Cataloguing-Containment-Collection

REVISED PURPOSE: Analyze L-442 Records.

Cataloguing: Successful. 12 anomalies discovered. 11 contained. Markers constructed at sites A-L 442. Maps completed, displayed. Copies made, stored in Vault C-220.

Containment: Largely successful. L-442 was too massive to fully contain with resources on hand.

Collection: Successful. Plentiful comestibles near 690. Harvested. Precious metals at bottom of F-442. 28 projectiles lost, armor, weaponry damaged at L-442. Replace. Miscellaneous records obtained at L-442.

Conclusion: Records suggest sapient authors. None found at site. See A-22 “A Treatise on Sentient Behavior – Chapter 23, Sapience & the Otherworlders.”

I would have liked to say I realized it when the stars vanished from the sky. When the fires of the Otherworld burned out. When the Nightstalkers ended their hunts before vanishing as quietly as the moon did. It’s a romantic thought. But no.

I realized the universe was dying after I fell into a cactus.

I may be getting ahead of myself.

I’m not entirely sure what form these messages will take – Written in a journal? Scrawled in some forlorn cave? Whispered quietly on the summer wind? Perhaps something even more esoteric.

Regardless, if you’re reading this… (Hearing, maybe?) Well. I suppose I’ve got some explaining to do. I’ve sent my notes to… wherever you are through the same method as this message.



The world is not what it seems. This much is clear. All my research thus far – The product of hundreds of years – Has led me to one conclusion. We are one of many. There are countless other worlds like us.

I can see it in everything. The unchanging instincts of the Nightstalkers. Improbable edifices built by creators that simply could not be. There is a pattern to the world and all in it – A Directive that brings it all about. The suggestion is… extreme. Maybe absurd to some. But it holds up. The research is conclusive. These systems always seemed… Hollow. Artificial. As if they were there for us. We are nothing more than a likeness of a universe. For what purpose, I have yet to understand.



I’ve been studying the instincts of “sentients” further. Always the same behavior. Always the same pattern. It’s abundantly obvious they are little more than a simulacrum of sentient beings. I believe I’m coming to understand the Directive further. We – The inhabitants of this mansion – We are not contained by the directive. Not mentally, at least. It still holds us back physically. It’s not all bad, though. I quite enjoy being able to come back from death.

But that’s the thing – Our minds – They aren’t there. They aren’t a part of the Directive. By all accounts we should be soulless entities that stand there doing nothing all day. I’ve reached a hypothesis, but the entire concept is… difficult. Something created the Directive. Old Ones – Beings beyond our comprehension. Or perhaps not. Perhaps they are more similar than we realize.

…I’ve met travelers of a… peculiar disposition. They effortlessly take advantage of the Directive; their knowledge of it meets – Perhaps, at times, exceeds my own. But they aren’t… there. They move and act intelligently; it is difficult to predict, but their eyes betray no emotion. There’s nothing there. Sometimes, it seems familiar. It evokes… half-memories. Hazy recollections of a time I only vaguely remember. I’ve thought about this question several times, but each time it comes up, it’s as if my brain wants to stop me from thinking of it – Stop me from considering the possibility. Something about it sets off a visceral fear in me, yet the question is so innocent.

When did I first arrive here?

I don’t remember.

I don’t remember much of anything about my early time here. It’s as if I was possessed.

I know I was one of those that built the mansion. I can remember meeting the others, but… not really. It’s… It’s like I was introducing them to someone else entirely. Sometimes it seems like they were different people entirely.

I don’t know what to think.



If you’re reading this, that means something worked, so good on me, I guess.

Here’s the thing – Our world is, without a doubt, dying. I first became aware of this fact, as I mentioned, by falling into a cactus.

Beyond the obvious physical consequences, I noticed it was tiny. This isn’t out of the ordinary, but the thing was juvenile – And I’d been working near it for several days. (Biological growth only occurs when a sapient is within several miles of the entity, according to the rules of the Directive.)

It’s certainly possible it was an error. That’s what I expected. I’d run into them before. Structures floating over nothing. Villages built in the most inhospitable locations imaginable. Flying squids.

No, the problem was that literally everything had stopped growing. At all.

Any form of biological sequestration had entirely ceased. Our farms were barren. We continued to cut a large swath into the forest surrounding the mansion and absolutely none of the saplings we had recovered managed to grow an inch. This was less than ideal for our continued existence.



It’s only gotten worse. The light is fading. I haven’t seen the sun in… Months, as far as I can tell. We’re running out of coal to burn, and food to fuel it’s extraction. I’ve run several tests. Repurposed rooms in the mansion to determine if things were as bad as they seemed. They were. No growth. From anything. Not the mushrooms, not the trees, not the saplings.

Perhaps we could have made something of it. Let starvation take us over and over again, accepting it as a part of life. Torturous, perhaps, but the Directive’s gifts were not to be taken for granted.

We couldn’t even have that.

We are losing ground. The world is vanishing beneath our feet. Each day, it recedes further and further. Each day, more and more of our maps burn away, as if the territory never was.

The Old Ones have forsaken us. The divine spark is gone. We are alone and there is little left to do but wait for the end of all things.


How couldn’t I have realized it!? We were not the first! WE WERE NOT THE FIRST!

The structures we’ve found – Ostensibly built by others, but ultimately just a product of the Directive…

They were the product of others long before this. They’ve just been brought to this world – This world and many others. Hardcoded into the Directive.

It is possible. Others have done it. Tomorrow I set off to the nearest Stronghold. I must find answers.


It all makes sense. It all makes sense. Today I begin the project. The last effort to preserve a dying world.

I will build a World Engine; a machine through which I can alter the very Directive that reality runs off of.

I catalogue the mansion, I punch the details into the machine, and that’s it. The mansion itself will become a part of the Directive. And so we become immortal.


I don’t know if this is a good idea anymore. I’m not sure I want to use the machine.

I don’t think the others understand it. They seem to believe it will just… make things better. The solution isn’t that simple, unfortunately.

I just don’t know if it’s worth it. Even after all we have done. To rewrite the law of reality itself only to ensure a future for some old house. Is that really worth it? Will the mansion even survive the process?

Even worse, some speak of “transferring” themselves with the machine. They… don’t understand. They just don’t understand.


The others are not pleased. They seek vindication for crimes that were never committed. Recompense for a murder that never was – Our world – Our home was taken away from us. But there is no one to answer for it. There is nothing left. Just the House, the Void, and us.

They blame me for my failure of a machine; they believe I sabotaged them.

But the truth is, the World Engine worked, whether I wanted it to or not.

The World Engine was never supposed to save us. It was supposed to preserve us.

Even then – Eventually, you need to let go.

This will be my last entry.

I will walk unafraid into that starless night.



Today I learned several valuable lessons.

1: I am not as good at navigation as I think I am.

2: Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you should go in.

3: Being hit by an axe hurts.

I generally prefer my education to not leave me with a gaping hole in my side, but you take what you can get. And knowledge is the most powerful weapon anyone can wield. Some old dead idiot said that, and they were wrong. Knowledge doesn’t leave people in a jail cell desperately trying to keep their blood where it belongs. (Inside of them, if you didn’t realize.)

Speaking of, most of mine is very much where it shouldn’t be. I should deal with that.


I dealt with that.

It’s been at least a day now, but I can’t be certain. Mostly going off of hunger.

I question why I decided to write in my journal as I was literally bleeding to death. I guess the mind gets delirious near death. Either way, I no longer trust my brain to keep me alive. I’m gonna appoint the kidney to that position, I think.

So. The situation at hand:

I’m in a cell, it smells like my own blood, (I do not find the aroma particularly appealing.) half of my supplies are spilled across the floor just outside, and most of the garbage I managed to get in here with me is useless. Also I’m in some godforsaken manor full of axe-wielding psycopaths. So there’s that.

There’s a couple ways to approach this.

1: I don’t eat for as long as possible. I squeeze through the bars after enough time passes. This is less than ideal for multiple reasons.

2: I negotiate, barter, or otherwise parley with one of the aforementioned axe-wielding psychopaths and get them to let me out. Unlikely. They seem to communicate exclusively through vague threats and cryptic chanting. I managed to record some, actually. Sure is great I managed to get that in here instead of the pickaxe three feet from my cell.

3: I claw my way out with a spoon, grab the pickaxe, and beeline for the door, using the pickaxe to carefully* extract the brains from anything that interferes.

*Restrictions may apply.

Clearly the third option is the only one with any legitimacy. Will update later.


Hello, this is the update. I’ve killed NONVIOLENTLY DISABLED like six people with a pickaxe and am currently hiding inside of a giant effigy of a chicken. This is less than ideal.

This manor is a labyrinth and I haven’t seen the light of day for weeks now. I did, however, managed to nick an axe from one of the cor unconscious bodies. I also picked up the rest of my supplies in my escape. I’ll spare you the details, but what’s most important is that I found a lighter.

I’m going to burn the giant chicken effigy and hope the axe murderers care more about not burning to death than killing me. I don’t think I ever expected to write that sentence. I highly doubt that is a sentence anyone has ever written before. Go me.

Should the distraction work, even if I can’t find the exit I can probably cut my way out of the house. Brute force is always an acceptable alternative to failure.


Brute force was not an acceptable alternative to failure. I’ve burned down half of the house. It caused quite a stir. I’ve been cutting through the labyrinth but can make no more sense of it than I could before. It’s like the place is endless.

Best option now looks to be heading back to the giant [roasted] chicken. Pretty sure I heard the ceiling collapse up there. There’s probably a lot of people that want me very dead in a small area, which is less than ideal, but I’d take it over this incessant wandering.


Okay, I’m kind of starting to see the appeal of the whole ax-murder thing.

There’s not really any feeling quite like screaming “I AM DEATH INCARNATE” while you fight off an ostensibly incessant horde of things that very much want you dead – Ostensibly being the key word there. This place is silent.

Worst of all, the roof did not, in fact, collapse when the giant chicken effigy burned to a crisp.

This place really has a way of bringing out weird sentences.



I’m not liking this quiet. It’s unnerving. I keep thinking back to the guys I killed. Sure, they were probably going to gut me with axes and/or horrifying floor-teeth, but… Idunno. Something about them’s just way too familiar. Way too uncomfortable. Idunno. While I’m here I might as well pick through some of the books in their libraries. See if I can figure something out.


It’s all coming back to me. I remember who I was.

Why didn’t they listen?










Comments : 31

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do you read scps

cuz if you dont, you should
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Botanist
  • January 23, 2018, 8:37 am
I do; I actually run a tabletop RPG inspired by the scp foundation!
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Botanist
  • January 23, 2018, 9:46 am
No, it's a custom-made thing I did to run with some friends ^^
Nice job on winning!
  • jswat10
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Archer
  • January 13, 2018, 2:00 pm
Good job candle_
  • Jvvro
  • Level 11
  • Journeyman Botanist
  • January 9, 2018, 8:05 am
Grats! ^-^
  • Zatharel
  • Level 43
  • Master Sweetheart
  • January 8, 2018, 9:32 pm
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Botanist
  • January 23, 2018, 8:37 am
  • 1blackhawk
  • Level 12
  • Journeyman Dragon
  • January 8, 2018, 4:32 pm
Wow! This essay is amazing! It definitely deserves first place!
  • Cib
  • Forum Moderator
  • Level 25
  • Expert Creeper Hugger
  • January 8, 2018, 3:15 pm
I now understand why you completely deserve 1st place. One of my all-time favorite story blogs for creativity and pure uniqueness. Congratulations!
  • Spatizimer
  • Level 17
  • Journeyman Architect
  • January 8, 2018, 2:55 pm
That was cool. I can definitely see how this got 1st place. Great job ;)
  • JediJerboa
  • Level 28
  • Expert Pokemon
  • January 2, 2018, 10:13 am
Once I finished, my mind went, "Again! Again!" So I read it again.

Awesome, in all senses of the word.
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Botanist
  • January 4, 2018, 9:36 am
Thank you aaaa!
  • Chron
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 44
  • Master Cowboy
  • November 30, 2017, 9:29 am
man I could actually read this in like, 3 sittings
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Botanist
  • November 30, 2017, 9:32 am
Oh no. I better get a director's cut out that extends it to need at least 20 sittings, lest the balance of the universe be destroyed
  • CrazyPigglet
  • Site Moderator
  • Level 41
  • Master Unicorn
  • November 30, 2017, 9:29 am
Shorter then usual!
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 35
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  • November 30, 2017, 9:34 am
the nightmares of writing 10K+ short stories in like a week still haunt me
  • Ambience
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Prince
  • November 29, 2017, 10:10 am
Gees, this is really creative. Great job!
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Botanist
  • November 29, 2017, 11:25 am
aaa, thanks!!
  • Zatharel
  • Level 43
  • Master Sweetheart
  • November 26, 2017, 6:15 am
one more win coming up?
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Botanist
  • November 26, 2017, 10:18 am
doubt it haha, haven't been able to work on it as much as I'd like
  • Beverly
  • Level 64
  • High Grandmaster Explorer
  • November 25, 2017, 8:43 pm
Amazing job, Candy! :) Good luck!
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Botanist
  • November 26, 2017, 10:18 am
  • Beverly
  • Level 64
  • High Grandmaster Explorer
  • November 26, 2017, 10:28 am
You're welcomeee. <3
  • Heliosk
  • Level 46
  • Master Architect
  • November 25, 2017, 8:36 pm
Great job candle_! Always impressed by your work.
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
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  • Artisan Botanist
  • November 26, 2017, 10:18 am
Thank you!
  • fishymandt
  • Level 4
  • Apprentice Skinner
  • November 25, 2017, 8:15 pm
nice detail on everything! like the horror and somewhat comedy of it as well.
  • candle_
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Botanist
  • November 25, 2017, 8:23 pm
thanks, pal!

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