We Chinese are a strange people. We have a such a rich old culture that it's ingrained deep within each of us, deep as bones. We don't learn it in Sunday School or any class. It's taught through a harsh pinch halfway through dinner when a cheeky child sticks a pair of chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice. A stinging rap on the knuckles if someone commented out loud about the sudden sweet smell of flowers during the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. But we don't learn everything through oral tradition, passed down from our elders. Some things we learn through experience. Experiences that we... no, that I... would wish on no one else. I still meet up with my schoolmates from primary school from time to time. Maybe once a year. We each remember the year of the funerals differently. Of all my friends, I was the closest to the centre of the strangeness that took us in that year. This is what I remember. I guess this story belongs here.
A Chinese funeral is a raucous affair, an assault on the senses. On your approach, your eyes water as you wander into a thick haze of incense. Your nostrils fill with the rich, sweet smell of joss sticks. Walk a little closer. The intermittent chime of a prayer bell cuts through the air. Closer yet. The wails and crying of the family becomes clear. The drone of the priest chanting prayers and sutras plays a low counterpoint to the sounds of grief.
That's how I remember the funeral that started that ordeal back in '88. Poh Heng had been one of our classmates. Till this day, I don't know what illness he died of. He’d been out of school for a scant two weeks before the word came down the grapevine that he’d passed away in the hospital. I remember whispered conversations between my parents at the dinner table as they furtively sneaked glances to check if I was still engrossed in re-runs of Knight Rider on TV, whilst arguing whether I was old enough to go to a classmate’s funeral.
In the end, my mother brought me. The funeral was wholly unfamiliar to me. Groups of friends, relatives or classmates sat around cheap wooden tables, talking in hushed tones. I recognized Soon Kuai, one of my closest friends, at an adjacent table. Poh Heng's family, dressed simply in white, gathered red-eyed near the coffin. I looked around awkwardly, not knowing what to say. My mother watched me like a hawk. Each table had a small plate with an assortment of food. Peanuts. Melon seeds. Sweets. And a bundle of red threads. Absentmindedly, I started teasing the bundle of threads apart. I winced at the sudden flash of pain on my right arm. My mother's arm snaked back into her lap. "Don't play with that", she hissed. I rubbed at the raised red welt on my arm. Her small, nimble fingers quickly tied a single red thread around one of my fingers. "Untie it and throw it away before we get home."
The walk home was a subdued affair, with my mother keeping uncharacteristically silent as she gently tugged me along. About halfway home, she stopped short and lifted my hand. Working quickly, she picked at the string tied around my finger with her sharp nails. When she finally got it free, she quickly slipped the one looped around her finger off and threw them both by the side of the road, muttering a prayer. Sensing my curiosity, she cupped both hands under my chin and looked straight at me with her dark eyes, her face so close to mine that I could smell her sweet breath. “Sometimes at funerals, the spirit feels lost. Or lonely. Remember when you got lost at the mall? When you ran into Uncle Eddy by luck? It’s like that with spirits. They linger around the body and then they see family or friends like you. That’s why we throw the strings away before we get home, so that nothing follows us back, you see?”
I was back at school the next day. We were in class, manually copying out multiplication tables. Brute, rote work. Numbing to the mind. It wasn’t wholly unexpected that I felt the corner of a folded piece of paper jab me in the back. With a smooth, practiced manuevre, I reached behind me with my non-writing hand and grabbed the piece of paper. I looked at the folded piece of paper. Soon Kuai, it said in big, bold letters. Soon Kuai was just in front of me. I shifted forward in my seat, reaching out to pass him the note, keeping well out of the line of sight of Mrs Wong, the Math teacher.
I heard the rustle of the paper being unfolded and the sudden small screech of bare metal against concrete as Soon Kuai stiffened in his chair. Mrs Wong cleared her throat and tapped her long wooden ruler against the table. Impromptu pointer, teaching aid and, most importantly, disciplinary device, the effect of that quiet clicking was like an air raid siren. As one, the class hunkered down at their respective desks and got busy with the task at hand.
Soon Kuai was in a frenzy at recess, trying to track down the source of the note. He tried tracing down every connection, every hand that touched the note, but it simply led him in circles. I only managed to catch up with him just before classes were about to start. He was shaking like a leaf. “He isn’t real, he isn’t real. I see him but he isn’t real”. He repeated this over and over, sounding almost like the priest at the funeral the day before, waving the note in the air like a white flag. With a smack, he brought his small hands together and crumpled the note, tossing it onto the floor and stormed back to class.
I sometimes wonder how different things would have turned out if I hadn't taken that first step. Would everything that happened after that one step slipped by me, like a shark under a surfboard? How strange it is, that we go about our childhoods, seconds from disaster, inches from horror, hugging serendipity like a security blanket. None of this crossed my mind when I stayed back in class, looking at some of the work we'd pinned to the corkboard at the back of the room. The piece of paper, veined with wrinkles now, only had 6 bold words written on it in the savage, childish scrawl. I need 3 more to play.
I recognized the handwriting, of course. But I had to be sure. There, adorning one of the many corkboards at the back of the room was a huge, brightly coloured piece of paper. We had all written our new year's resolutions there at the beginning of the year. There was only one match I was looking for as I smoothed the wrinkled sheet of paper against the board. It was a perfect match. Poh Heng's writing.
Soon Kuai was a little strange after that. Withdrawn. Haunted. He had always been a cheeky boy. The both of us were always getting into some kind of trouble. Not after the funeral though. Once in awhile, I’d even catch his lips moving like he was talking under his breath. He stopped joining in the games we played in the schoolyard. We'd sometimes snatch glimpse of him skulking off in the distance, staring at walls or scampering off somewhere.
It was two weeks after the funeral. I'd had enough of Soon Kuai's moping and resolved to find him. School was out for the day and most of the other kids had gone home, aside from the odd one or two moping around. Our school was a massive concrete edifice, built far before air conditioned classrooms or pastel colours. Cold concrete gave way to cheap, shiny paint. Thin, wooden doors, riddled with tunnels left by termites, hid silent classrooms. Everything seemed huge to a 10 year old boy. The sounds of playing children and rumble of school buses leaving the compound faded in the distance as I ventured deeper into the emptying school.
I heard him before I saw him. Or at least, I heard what he was doing. It was a simple childhood sound. Two children passing a basketball to each other. A single bounce on the floor. Duum. The short rasp of a child’s hand when the ball was received. Tshk. And over again. Tshk. Duum. Tshk. The sounds came from around a blind corner. As the sounds got louder, Soon Kuai came into view. His partner was obscured behind the wall. Tshk. Duum. Tshk. The sound of two pairs of hands. Tshk. Duum. Tshk. Hearing my footsteps, Soon Kuai looked up. His unseen partner passed the ball to him a final time. His haunted eyes, ringed with dark circles, met mine. “We’re tired of this. Let’s find somewhere else to play on the way home.” He threw the ball on the floor, picked up his bag and made for the school gate at a brisk pace. Curiously, I peered around the corner. Nothing was there, except the slowly spinning basketball on the floor.
We were both silent as we plodded home. The stifling tropical heat clutched at us like warm water, the hot air searing our lungs from the inside out. Our clothes were quickly soaked through with sweat. I looked at him questioningly as we strolled past his house. He gave the cool shade of the indoors a longing look, but frowned at the little slip of paper pasted above the door, curling with age, the chinese script of the protective charm barely discernable over the browning paper. "Come on, there's a better place to play, " Soon Kuai said, without a trace of his former mischievous twinkle.
The air about the field we eventually got to was abuzz with the songs of crickets. But it wasn't the field we were looking for. Running along the field was a deep storm drain, deeper than the height of a man, and wide enough for two to walk abreast. A lazy trickle of dirty water flowed down the drain. We followed the trickle of water to its source, where the storm drain dove underground. The bright overhead sun did little to illuminate the depths of the drain, it gaped at the two of us, dark and forbidding.
"We'll be cave explorers!" Soon Kuai dumped his bag in the long grass, setting off a few grasshoppers, the afternoon sun glinting off their emerald green carapaces as they sprang away.
He scampered down the edge of drain, landing with a small splash of scummy water. I followed, a little curious at Soon Kuai's change of heart. Tiny tadpoles scattered as we tromped through the water in the drain. The heat of the afternoon sun gave way to a still coolness as we entered the storm drain. Soon Kuai forged on ahead. My questing fingers brushed the wall, feeling rough concrete interspersed with slick moss. The light of the entrance to the drain shrank in the distance and the clinging darkness closed in. The echoes of splashes and breathing bouncing off the walls erased all sense of distance. “Kuai?” I called out, suddenly afraid. I felt his thin, strong fingers close around my forearm. In our minds, we were hunters, astronauts, explorers. But deep in our hearts, we were little more than scared little boys and I was reassured by that simple human contact.
“Don’t go too deep, we’ll get lost!” Soon Kuai’s silhouette blocked out the light at the mouth of the drain. I felt my legs go soft. The fingers on my forearm were still there, tugging me ever deeper. The comfort of scant seconds ago vanished like the mist evaporating on a warm morning, The fingers on my arm seemed colder and thinner than they were a moment ago. They tightened like a vise, pulling me forward. Nonononono My throat felt dry, coated with dust. My whispers and pleas came out like little croaks. I felt warm urine stream down my leg as my bladder gave way. The sensation gave me the little jolt I needed. I began to thrash in earnest. My heart leapt as I felt those cold fingers loosen and give way. I ran for the light as though the devil himself was at my heels. Maybe that wasn’t far from the truth.
The smell of grass that greeted me as I burst back into the warm sunlight may have been the sweetest thing I smelled in my life. My legs were covered in brown mud and slick green moss from my sprint through the tunnel. I looked up at Soon Kuai and saw the mixture of relief and shame on his face. He knew. He knew what was in there. He gave a forced smile which turned into look of shock as I caught him right in the chest with a two handed push. His teeth clicked together with an audible snap as his back cracked against the side of the drain.
“You knew. You knew and you brought me here.” I’d never felt so angry... so betrayed. He just looked at me with those haunted eyes and said softly, “He needs 3 more to play.” I left him there in the heat. That was the last time I was ever alone with him.
That weekend passed without incident. My forearm was marked with neat parallel bruises where it had been gripped. The sensation haunted my nights and I woke up sweating at the ghost of a feeling on my arm. Monday’s classes passed in a daze. On Tuesday, our form teacher came in with a serious look on her face. One of our classmates, Beng Wah, had been found, the day before, drowned in a storm drain. She explained that sudden thunderstorms could send torrents of water through the system and that any person could rapidly find themselves swept away by strong currents when they had been standing in a dry drain only moments before.
I wasn’t listening, of course. I was looking down the aisle of desks, at the sparkling white canvas shoes of all my classmates, washed over the weekend and still untouched by the grime and dirt of a week’s worth of playing. All white except for one pair. Soon Kuai’s shoes, pristinely white the day before, were stained brown and green. He caught me staring at him. While the rest of the class sat rapt, listening to the teacher drone on about the water dangers, a folded piece of paper slowly made its way to me, passed from hand to hand.
My fingers felt numb. They would barely move enough to unfold the thin square of paper. I was acutely aware of the lines of ugly brown bruises on my forearm. “They need two more to play”
That evening, we attended the second funeral for that year.
If anything, Soon Kuai's behaviour took a turn for the worse after the incident. His little quirks had only been obvious to his close friends before the second funeral, but his increasingly bizarre behaviour started to scare off the rest of the class. His gaze took on an unnatural focus for a child of his years. That piercing look unnerved even the larger boys in our year. A cold, calculating predatory look unknown in scrawny boys like Soon Kuai or myself. He stopped speaking to all his friends. He didn't stop speaking though. Quite the opposite. He was always mumbling to himself, under his breath, his lips constantly moving. We'd always watch him from the corner of our eyes. There was something unsettling about being around him, like being in the room with something dangerous, a naked blade perhaps, or some large predatory animal. It paid to keep your eyes on things like that.
I wasn't the only one who saw things that year. A boy who sat at the back of class swore blind that he'd look up from time to time and see every desk in the class occupied, when there should have been two empty desks. He whispered that the child sitting at Poh Heng's desk had stopped writing and slowly started turning around to face him. His eyes glistened with tears of fear at the recollection. He'd thrown himself back into his work, pressing his pencil down on his worksheet so hard that the thin cylinder of lead snapped.
Another boy told us about how the driver from the school bus he took with Beng Wah had conducted his regular headcount of his passengers and kept on getting the count wrong. How the driver had had counted one extra student 3 times from the front of the bus before he stormed to the back of the bus and counted every child whilst stomping down the aisle.
A slow, insidious fear started to permeate the class. The entire level practically stank of it. Recess, a time for hyperactive children to blow off steam, became a subdued affair. Things hadn't returned to normal, even a fortnight after the drowning. Even the throngs of students waiting to board the school buses were strangely silent. I lived close enough to school to walk home but I stayed on to squeeze the last drop of social interaction out of the school day. A sea of bobbing heads milled about the pavements, waiting for the fleet of buses to pull up. I caught a glimpse of Soon Kuai, mumbling to himself as usual. I could barely make out what he was saying. "Two more, two more, two more.”
A shriek cut through the afternoon chatter. I pushed my way to the front of the crowd. To this day, everybody else I've ever spoken to remembers the sequence of events slightly differently. The human mind constantly redecorates and repaints its memories, and its favourite colour is rationality. I saw the teacher tugging desperately at the arm of the small boy who had fallen behind the reversing bus, pulling so hard that his uniform had ripped off, his pale torso heaving as he screamed in fear. Later on, I would overhear her saying that she had been too late, that the bus had already trapped the boy and that there was no way she could have freed him.
I remember differently. The world through a child's eyes is a raw place, a true place. I know what I saw. The boy's screams of pain started well before the heavy wheel of the bus surged over his thigh. I saw the Mrs Wong, her face red with effort, bracing her pudgy feet against the road, unable to move a skinny boy who could have weighed no more than 40 kilos. I saw a boy, screaming not at the approaching bus, but flailing away at his chest with his one free arm. And I saw... something else. Livid against pale skin of his bony chest, four small handprints, pressing him down. And back in the distance, Soon Kuai vanishing into the crowd of shocked and silent children. His mumbled mantra had changed. One more. One more. One more to play.
That was the third funeral we attended that year.
We grew paranoid. The stories were few and far between, but looks of terror on the faces of the tellers told us that these were no campfire ghost stories. We took to going everywhere in pairs. Even the teaching staff were beginning to notice something amiss with the classes. The first death had been a tragedy. The second, hot on the heels of the first, an unfortunate coincidence. The third death was too much even for the most level headed amongst us. Fear spread like a disease, with every student jumping at corners and shadows. I had something else to fear, of course. I’d seen the look on Soon Kuai’s face at the storm drain, at the school bus. Sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I’d catch him looking at me intently, still mouthing those cursed words. One more to play. One more to play. I gave him a wide berth.
Even so, I found myself in a dilemma one day. The school day was ending and the rumble in my stomach was telling me that I wouldn’t last the walk home. As my classmates filed out of the room to head home, I had to excuse myself and rush for the toilet. Even with the strain of keeping my guts from bubbling over, I still felt a chill when I entered the toilet. The sharp smell of bleach filled my nostrils. There were four cubicles, lined up in a row, their doors slightly ajar. I was alone. I kept my head down, reluctant to look into the mirror as I rushed for the last cubicle. I latched the door and barely had enough time lower my pants as my guts blew out their contents into the bowl. The sound of students in the yard bounced through the small window high above my cubicle and reassured me. I cleaned myself up and unlatched the door, my spirits slightly lifted. I soaped my hands at one of the cracked basins. Even with my head down, I caught a sliver of the mirror at the edge of my vision. And that told me all I needed to know. The other three doors were now shut.
There was no way anybody could have made it into the toilet without me knowing. Sound bounced of the tiled walls in that confined space like a trapped animal. I told myself, it wasn’t real, I’d misremembered. Or a draft could have closed that cubicle doors. That was it. A draft. To reassure myself, I placed my hand against the cheap plywood door and pushed. It wouldn’t yield. It was locked from the inside. It felt like my blood had frozen in my veins. I tried to command my hand to move from the door, for my feet to carry me far, far away from this place of madness, but nothing listened. I tried the next door. Locked. The last door. Locked. Every part of me was screaming to go, to run, to flee. Yet I didn’t. Some last part of me held out for an explanation. I dropped to my knees and peered under the door to the cubicle. Nothing. There wasn’t a single shoe in sight. Nobody was in the cubicles. Whatever shred of sanity, of reason, that was holding me back snapped right there. My shoes squeaked on the tiled floor as I made a dash for the exit. The lock to the main door to the toilet had been removed a long time ago, defeated by rust and termites. 2 inches of wood stood between me and freedom. I stretched my arms out to push the door open... and bounced straight off. My breath came in little hiccups as I struggled to fill my lungs with air. I tried again. The door wouldn’t budge. No way. There was no lock on the door. It couldn’t be shut. It was impossible.
And right then, under the echoes of my own harsh breathing, I became aware of another sound. A child’s giggle. No, not a single child. More than one. The laughter filled my ears. That simple schoolyard sound was quickly overlaid by a more urgent, whispered chanting. One more to play. One more to play. Tears of fear rolled down my face. There was nothing else in the world except for me, backed into a corner of the toilet, inches from freedom, and that devilish chorus of 3 familiar voices. One more to play. One more to play.
A sharp clack sounded. The lock. One of the doors was unlocked. Clack. And another. Clack. The last door. I felt my nails digging little crescents of pain into my palm as I clenched my fists in terror. I knew that if the doors opened and I would be lost, perhaps forever. I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and launched myself at the door. This time, the door yielded, sending me sprawling into the corridor beyond. I didn’t even look back as I sprinted to my classroom.
The classroom was empty. Everybody else must have upped and left while I was in the toilet. My school bag sat on the table, mocking, daring me to step into the room to retrieve it. I took a step into the empty classroom, chest still heaving with exertion.
"You're not supposed to be here." I gave a little yelp at Soon Kuai's voice. He was perched on one of the wooden desks. He didn't have that haunted look on his face any more. His expression was hard to read, it looked like equal parts fear and anger. "You were supposed to be the last! They needed one more. Just one more." Tears started leaking from his eyes. "They said they'd leave me alone when they were done. You were supposed to be the last..." He started sniffing loudly. I didn't know what to feel. Had he been haunted like the rest of us? What had he seen? I saw nothing of the friend that I used to have in that wreck of a body in front of me. All I knew was that I needed to get out of school. I snatched at my bag and backed away from Soon Kuai.
"You can't leave me alone. Don't go. Don't leave me with them." Finally, a sliver of emotion coloured his tone. He was pleading. The desk clattered on its side as he scrambled to keep up with me. I felt him tug at my bag. I was already halfway out the door. I turned around and kicked at the tall wooden door. There was a crunch as the heavy door connected Soon Kuai, knocking him back into the room. I heard him scrabble to his feet on the other side of the door. First, he pushed at it. Then, the door shook as he pounded at it with his small fists. Finally, I heard loud thus as he flung himself bodily at the wooden frame.
Like the door in the toilet, the door to our classroom wouldn't lock. For the second time that day, I fled for my life.
The yard was still bustling with the dregs of our cohort of homeward bound students. Some talking, chasing each other. I quickly slowed my pace, trying to assume some semblance of normalcy. I was halfway across the yard when a loud thud stopped me dead in my tracks. The screaming had already started by the time I got to Soon Kuai's side.
The fall had shattered his small frame, one leg was bent at a wholly unnatural angle. A bloody froth leaked from his lips as he struggled for breath. I was dimly aware of a pair of teachers trying to pull me away, before they decided that clearing the crowd and summoning help were greater priorities.
Thinking back, I like to dream that I saw something else in his eyes in those final minutes other than fear and pain. That I saw something of my friend left. That maybe he was trying to tell me that he was sorry. On his arms, I saw angry red marks, like someone had gripped his arms with great force. Marks that the teachers and other adults would again give a thick overcoat of rationality. I felt hot and salty tears creep down my face and blurring my sight as I sat there by my friend. A wall of skinny calves and shoes crowded around the edge of my vision. And, off in the distance, waiting to welcome their new friend, a cluster of 3 pairs of shoes that were oh so familiar.
There was only one thing I could do for my friend as I watched the life, hot and red, ebb from his body. I took his hand to let him know I was there. As his face relaxed, I saw something familiar that I hadn't seen in weeks or months. The ghost of a smile on his lips. I felt an unexpected roughness on my fingers. I looked down. There on his finger, turned black with grime and dirt, were three strings, stained crimson again by his blood.
He was already cold by the time I heard the wail of the sirens.
submitted by straydog1980
Subreddit Stats: worldbuilding top posts from 2017-06-02 to 2018-06-01 22:11 PDT
Period: 364.31 days
| ||Submissions ||Comments |
|Total ||1000 ||56998 |
|Rate (per day) ||2.74 ||155.87 |
|Unique Redditors ||522 ||15210 |
|Combined Score ||905222 ||611529 |
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- Portrait of Nootamkeht (1569 - 1613), chief of the Matchaquot (629 points, 33 comments)
- [Agrea] A Kagosi mage from the Kingdom of Cabra (554 points, 21 comments)
- [Agrea] People of Arborea: The Loutrans (527 points, 56 comments)
- Portraits of Thaddeus Garnett (1588 - 1670) and Digby Cunningham (1580 - 1670) (369 points, 37 comments)
- [Agrea] People of Arborea: The Martrons (354 points, 30 comments)
- 9068 points, 12 submissions: ezfi
- The Art of Eye-Reading (2289 points, 109 comments)
- Human Cultures of the Alnea Region (1393 points, 59 comments)
- [Corvona] A human criminal mage and his Glassling partner asserting their dominance in a seedy tavern using a public display of affection. (1071 points, 99 comments)
- A HIMF (Human In Many Forms) volunteer giving a friendship bracelet to her Limuda friend (836 points, 52 comments)
- [Tervior] A spontaneously generated elf "egg" growing out of a tree (758 points, 43 comments)
- [Tervior] Yhedrons: Mystical and Mysterious 4th Wall Breakers (703 points, 26 comments)
- Worldbuilding in a Box — Esria (520 points, 62 comments)
- Ezfi Mouth Anatomy (423 points, 101 comments)
- The Nimburu, Corvona's cloud people (336 points, 29 comments)
- An Esrian woman wearing a chitri gown (264 points, 12 comments)
- 9023 points, 13 submissions: MasterGecko117
- Monarch class supercarrier update (1482 points, 146 comments)
- Mk.78 4th generation PBS (Powered Battle Suit) (1048 points, 84 comments)
- Viper Commander “Centurion” armor variant (898 points, 66 comments)
- UFM Viper service uniform, battle armor and synthetic infantry (871 points, 54 comments)
- Egret Ballistic Research AR-12,AR-12 C and EM-3 (783 points, 72 comments)
- Decimal International SR-12 Anti-Material Rifle (739 points, 84 comments)
- UAF aircraft weaponry (guns) (694 points, 54 comments)
- C-22 "Colossus" nuclear powered Ultra Heavy-lift Transport (643 points, 100 comments)
- XF-02 Combat Drone (496 points, 59 comments)
- Character introduction: Arbiter 1 (461 points, 37 comments)
- 8626 points, 11 submissions: zoozoo458
- The Krilli Idea of Justice (2181 points, 222 comments)
- The God Is The One Who Wears The Mask (1525 points, 133 comments)
- Underfolk Withering Pits (1153 points, 57 comments)
- How The Jacidi Show Loyalty/Debt (809 points, 72 comments)
- Soul Melded Entities (639 points, 92 comments)
- The Spinning Top Theory (620 points, 22 comments)
- Karrow Broodmother (601 points, 35 comments)
- The Solidification of Time (402 points, 42 comments)
- Always Remember The World That Various Generations Grew Up In (284 points, 18 comments)
- [Sunder] The Matriarch And The Hunter (211 points, 7 comments)
- 8344 points, 1 submission: chai-chino
- Working on my protagonist’s character design and looking for critiques. She’s a 19-year-old who lost her heart to a banshee and is on a journey to get it back. (8344 points, 320 comments)
- 8340 points, 14 submissions: RasterAlien
- Looming Gaia's Magic System: Crystals and iron and sigils, oh my! (info in comments) (1258 points, 30 comments)
- Vampires: S U C C T H I S (lore in comments!) (1001 points, 62 comments)
- Green Puppets [NSFW, body horror] (lore in comments!) (799 points, 60 comments)
- Afflicted of Looming Gaia (lore in comments) [NSFW, blood and body horror] (759 points, 70 comments)
- [Looming Gaia] Do Cecaelia Have Butts? And Other Inappropriate Questions (text in comments) [NSFW] (748 points, 52 comments)
- Extinct Peoples of Looming Gaia (lore in comments) (729 points, 29 comments)
- Morganya, the tragic "Suicide Goddess" (lore in comments!) (614 points, 46 comments)
- The Trial of Titans. Dungeon? More like FUNgeon! (lore in comments) (557 points, 22 comments)
- Faunae and Artema: Born to be Wild (lore in comments!) (392 points, 52 comments)
- Floeback Whales: Briny Buck-Toothed Behemoths (lore in comments!) (366 points, 35 comments)
- 7391 points, 6 submissions: BlackOmegaPsi
- [Beneath the Void] Scypherebrals (4689 points, 221 comments)
- [Star Shadow] The Red Nightmare, Terrikian sniper (1125 points, 41 comments)
- [Beneath the Void] A sci-horror game pitch project (618 points, 32 comments)
- [Star Shadow] Guide to Terrik Empire’s AI types (lore in comments) (418 points, 8 comments)
- Star Shadow - Border Systems fighters (331 points, 28 comments)
- [Star Shadow] Border Systems’ Mirmydok Linebreaker MK. II (210 points, 17 comments)
- 7127 points, 2 submissions: Thuktunthp_Reader
- A popular form of ktrit'zal poetry is to make a line into a ring. Reading it counter-clockwise produces the first line, then you read it clockwise to read the second line. (6084 points, 118 comments)
- Here's some more Ktrit'zal ring poetry, complete with a completely revised writing system! Translation in comments. (1043 points, 30 comments)
- 7094 points, 2 submissions: noobulater
- Hi guys, I'm making a homebrewing webapp and added some features that lets you build world maps/connected maps! (5969 points, 246 comments)
- Hi guys, I'm back with my webapp and wanted to share how it lets you build world maps/connected maps! (1125 points, 45 comments)
- 7065 points, 1 submission: LitZippo
- I'm trying to build a story and world involving agents who investigate mythical beasts and folklore in the remote islands of a 1930s Scotland. I decided to create one of my agents 'investigators case'. (7065 points, 117 comments)
- 6213 points, 1 submission: WhoreaTheExplorer
- Remember this when world building or writing. Evil isn’t born evil and for some species is more of an opinion (6213 points, 323 comments)
- 6195 points, 4 submissions: sad_robots
- Portsmouth, The City of the Golden River (3112 points, 179 comments)
- Windcrest, The City of the Five Spires (1725 points, 57 comments)
- Map I drew of my D&D World, Thaylyoth (1065 points, 68 comments)
- Work in progress map for the capital city of my D&D world (293 points, 29 comments)
- 6143 points, 2 submissions: sanescientist252
- Steelskins: Corrupted knights from my world (5833 points, 146 comments)
- The Red Men (310 points, 21 comments)
- 6072 points, 2 submissions: Jessica_Anner
- Map of the Astral Library (3462 points, 118 comments)
- "The Known World" (2610 points, 92 comments)
- 5989 points, 2 submissions: Vapour-One
- Holographic ghosts from my Science-Fantasy universe (3577 points, 112 comments)
- Rustflat Scavengers (2412 points, 58 comments)
- 5954 points, 6 submissions: bitsfair
- Out gathering the parasitic blue plant to make some sour paste. (1655 points, 36 comments)
- Freshwater predator. (1469 points, 120 comments)
- A temperate rainforest. (1379 points, 57 comments)
- A spider-creature from a broken magical ecosystem. (694 points, 33 comments)
- A split globe. (465 points, 99 comments)
- The structure of a house. (292 points, 15 comments)
- 5856 points, 9 submissions: alowisius_tandplak
- Volxteen (Bos) (2049 points, 82 comments)
- Grootmuyl (Bos) (1144 points, 58 comments)
- Sdronksoepe (Bos) (657 points, 72 comments)
- Stoetery (Bos) (539 points, 29 comments)
- Hoogryk (Bos) (421 points, 55 comments)
- Ruyters (Bos) (385 points, 24 comments)
- Zwalpdal (Bos) (242 points, 35 comments)
- Toornepoortes (Bos) (212 points, 35 comments)
- Den Tweekoninck (Bos) (207 points, 45 comments)
- 5637 points, 1 submission: Realkdoth
- To be honest this is a really interesting twist on the trickster god concept (5637 points, 152 comments)
- 5543 points, 8 submissions: swedishplayer97
- [Reign of Heroes] The S-scale: Superhuman power range (1813 points, 136 comments)
- [Luficer's Children] The Necromantic Oath (1051 points, 113 comments)
- [Luficer's Children] Types of Dark Influences (858 points, 45 comments)
- A SPEAR sniper and his spotter waiting for orders (743 points, 54 comments)
- [War Heroes] Five generations of European space rockets (290 points, 18 comments)
- The distribution of major religions in my world (274 points, 21 comments)
- The five forms of magic, according to the Magical Regulatory Commission (266 points, 54 comments)
- The spread of industrial automation vs. traditional labor in the United States (248 points, 21 comments)
- 5434 points, 6 submissions: Artifexian
- I gave a TEDx talk on Worldbuilding (3654 points, 135 comments)
- How to Construct Lunar Calendars for Single and Multiple Moon Settings. (489 points, 27 comments)
- WORDbuilding: how to create words for your conlangs (396 points, 32 comments)
- I'm at the stage where I'm trying to make worldbuilding my full-time IRL job. Because of the support of this sub, my dreams may well come true. Y'all are fracking awesome. Thank you. (343 points, 54 comments)
- [Artifexian] I'm back making videos! Here's my method for constructing solar calendars. I think it's kinda unique and hopefully will be some help to you guys. (333 points, 69 comments)
- Geography Now's april fools' day videos are pretty cool worldbuilding. (219 points, 14 comments)
- 5302 points, 4 submissions: quietconcert
- Magnolia, the tiger god (2/4) (2869 points, 104 comments)
- asian-inspired world fashion: a commoner, a priestess, and an aristocrat (1082 points, 73 comments)
- Kin, the dragon god (3/4) (1065 points, 26 comments)
- creator 1/4: the wolf god (post-madness) (286 points, 12 comments)
- 5289 points, 1 submission: AHibbert33
- An excellent source for Medieval fantasy worldbuilding, highly recommended! (5289 points, 94 comments)
- 5258 points, 2 submissions: RuneLFox
- I made board game today. Here's Loord, a 5 minute game of rapid expansion. (3175 points, 132 comments)
- A cover for a short story I'm writing! (Wallpaper Version) (2083 points, 61 comments)
- 4614 points, 3 submissions: Kryptonaut
- Pump-Action Crossbow MK II: I improved upon my previous crossbow design using suggestions from other users. (2762 points, 134 comments)
- /cyberpunk is having a field day making megacorp logos. Took the opportunity to bring the mysterious antagonistic corporation of my world to life. "Dive into hell." - Antonius Syndicate Japan Research Branch (1541 points, 54 comments)
- A reverse-pump-action Inquisitor's crossbow (now with 20% more pulleys!) (311 points, 26 comments)
- 4565 points, 6 submissions: prokhorvlg
- Secure Data Starscrapers: the lifeblood of the interstellar information economy (1084 points, 59 comments)
- Ghost ships and black holes (853 points, 60 comments)
- Morality at the flick of a switch (778 points, 61 comments)
- The Temple at the Edge of All Things (725 points, 33 comments)
- Imperial arsenal ship (683 points, 38 comments)
- The Boring Rocket (442 points, 46 comments)
- 4522 points, 8 submissions: eatitharvey
- The Father, an Elvin god (1129 points, 34 comments)
- A Grey Child (732 points, 45 comments)
- A Valiant, with and without her bio-mask (728 points, 25 comments)
- (Rough sketch) The average height of an Elvin compared to the average height of a man. (649 points, 75 comments)
- A young male Crusader and his younger sister (463 points, 18 comments)
- How Crusaders treated female toddlers: Then vs. Now (342 points, 26 comments)
- Villain concept: Syllen, the Psychic Mutt (282 points, 11 comments)
- A small glimpse into the complexities and common phrases in Elvish speech and dialogue (197 points, 37 comments)
- 4485 points, 6 submissions: ewolf20
- hopaki, my grasshopper folk (1888 points, 70 comments)
- The moon lepidu: folk of the Ookraian nights (1062 points, 21 comments)
- The five directions of nature (732 points, 42 comments)
- A bug shaman (325 points, 22 comments)
- is your setting based on medieval Europe or Tolkien? (282 points, 199 comments)
- The Apizani, my bee race (196 points, 23 comments)
- 4482 points, 2 submissions: FlowandTorrent
- A few city icons I've been working on for a re-draw/re-vamp of my map. (2612 points, 95 comments)
- A Re-draw of my World Map (warning large file) (1870 points, 173 comments)
- 4384 points, 1 submission: SkyloTC
- Seems like good reference (4384 points, 149 comments)
- 4380 points, 4 submissions: Number9Robotic
- A Traveling Werewolf Merchant/Ware-Wolf! (A Self-Imposed Worldbuilding/Character Design Exercise) (3615 points, 101 comments)
- [Untitled Cyberpunk Magical Girl] Shino Nano / VIOLET NINJA (and the Outsider underclass) (302 points, 23 comments)
- [Untitled Cyberpunk Magical Girl Project] Suzi Kurashiki / ORANGE_CAT (241 points, 21 comments)
- [Untitled Cyberpunk Magical Girl] Kim Lorenzo / GREEN SNIPER (222 points, 9 comments)
- 4370 points, 4 submissions: 8va
- Quinn, the Cartographer, leaves his home island of Eskrit to begin his journey. (2363 points, 44 comments)
- [The Cartographer] The Rupture (824 points, 24 comments)
- Quinn and Aonair summon Atitheor, the last Great Spirit. (785 points, 18 comments)
- [The Cartographer] Bridge - A free-standing remnant of a lost city repurposed into a town and trading post. (398 points, 27 comments)
- 4335 points, 4 submissions: jimmyt_comics
- Lore for the Coffee Stain Islands (see previous post) (1648 points, 142 comments)
- Coffee Stain Islands Lore vol. 2 (1224 points, 69 comments)
- The Coffee Stain Islands (1199 points, 70 comments)
- Lore of the Coffee Stain Islands vol. 3 (264 points, 13 comments)
- caba111 (8904 points, 662 comments)
- Mr_Industrial (8146 points, 124 comments)
- uglyink (6682 points, 692 comments)
- thompsw (6647 points, 319 comments)
- ezfi (4849 points, 199 comments)
- zoozoo458 (4483 points, 293 comments)
- monswine (4237 points, 209 comments)
- HK_Urban (3150 points, 50 comments)
- TheJemcins (3138 points, 78 comments)
- nickynick15 (2704 points, 1 comment)
- wererat2000 (2634 points, 43 comments)
- MelonKony (2567 points, 196 comments)
- Lord_of_Space (2250 points, 2 comments)
- RasterAlien (2176 points, 206 comments)
- the_vizir (2168 points, 176 comments)
- MaxRavenclaw (2046 points, 214 comments)
- NK_Ryzov (2027 points, 148 comments)
- swedishplayer97 (2003 points, 173 comments)
- Objectalone (1892 points, 105 comments)
- noobulater (1887 points, 90 comments)
- ArloReed (1879 points, 228 comments)
- JesterRaiin (1861 points, 60 comments)
- MasterGecko117 (1855 points, 234 comments)
- Jacapig (1855 points, 45 comments)
- Tjurit (1757 points, 89 comments)
- BlackOmegaPsi (1722 points, 147 comments)
- xenomorphs_at_disney (1705 points, 15 comments)
- Vapour-One (1682 points, 41 comments)
- poeshmoe (1626 points, 27 comments)
- NovislavDjajic (1609 points, 74 comments)
- Quite_Mushy (1585 points, 40 comments)
- PaperbackButterfly (1566 points, 159 comments)
- eatitharvey (1540 points, 86 comments)
- NeuroDeus (1511 points, 9 comments)
- Leorlev-Cleric (1489 points, 77 comments)
- Ucatsuton (1486 points, 6 comments)
- Brauny74 (1475 points, 3 comments)
- sanescientist252 (1385 points, 39 comments)
- xilstudio (1338 points, 3 comments)
- sir_vile (1324 points, 104 comments)
- bitsfair (1321 points, 89 comments)
- chai-chino (1308 points, 23 comments)
- Artifexian (1300 points, 109 comments)
- TheMomentofGallifrey (1292 points, 43 comments)
- UNoahGuy (1218 points, 91 comments)
- FloZone (1201 points, 93 comments)
- Xisuthrus (1148 points, 27 comments)
- Pvt_Larry (1138 points, 34 comments)
- justokre (1124 points, 2 comments)
- Baneofbanes (1056 points, 80 comments)
- Types of dragons by Japanophiliac (18951 points, 602 comments)
- I just discovered this amazing subreddit and present to you: Econ by TheJemcins (16009 points, 422 comments)
- A Superluminal Drive Computer preparing for a jump. by Jacapig (13801 points, 252 comments)
- Brand names often sound like fantasy names, so... by deleted (12380 points, 920 comments)
- Working on my protagonist’s character design and looking for critiques. She’s a 19-year-old who lost her heart to a banshee and is on a journey to get it back. by chai-chino (8344 points, 320 comments)
- I'm trying to build a story and world involving agents who investigate mythical beasts and folklore in the remote islands of a 1930s Scotland. I decided to create one of my agents 'investigators case'. by LitZippo (7065 points, 117 comments)
- Remember this when world building or writing. Evil isn’t born evil and for some species is more of an opinion by WhoreaTheExplorer (6213 points, 323 comments)
- A popular form of ktrit'zal poetry is to make a line into a ring. Reading it counter-clockwise produces the first line, then you read it clockwise to read the second line. by Thuktunthp_Reader (6084 points, 118 comments)
- Hi guys, I'm making a homebrewing webapp and added some features that lets you build world maps/connected maps! by noobulater (5969 points, 246 comments)
- Steelskins: Corrupted knights from my world by sanescientist252 (5833 points, 146 comments)
- 2704 points: nickynick15's comment in I just discovered this amazing subreddit and present to you: Econ
- 2624 points: HK_Urban's comment in Brand names often sound like fantasy names, so...
- 1960 points: Lord_of_Space's comment in Abandon the word "realistic" and instead use "believable"
- 1593 points: xenomorphs_at_disney's comment in Working on my protagonist’s character design and looking for critiques. She’s a 19-year-old who lost her heart to a banshee and is on a journey to get it back.
- 1458 points: Ucatsuton's comment in Sometimes people ask me what kind of nerd I am. I'm this kind of nerd.
- 1394 points: wererat2000's comment in Types of dragons
- 1270 points: poeshmoe's comment in A Superluminal Drive Computer preparing for a jump.
- 1214 points: TheJemcins's comment in I just discovered this amazing subreddit and present to you: Econ
- 1193 points: deleted's comment in Brand names often sound like fantasy names, so...
- 1123 points: justokre's comment in So I randomly stumbled into this sub without any clue what the hell is this...
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