Corposants and other Strange Things

posted in: Stuff I Like, writing | 0

So I’m about elbow* deep in this new story I’m working on, tentatively titled “A Shadow Under Innsmoon.**”

I’ve been reading up about Flying Polyps (SPOILERS! Oh. Wait. You’re supposed to warn people before you say it, aren’t you?) and believe that they are way too underrated of a monster. Supposedly they exist on more levels of existence than in just the physical world, and other scary monsters hate them. How are they not awesome? They sort of phase through walls and distance, and only certain types of electrical fields can slow them down or imprison them (which leads us to the Saint Elmo’s Fire, below.)

They are so strange, in fact, that two of the other really scary monsters of the mythos have gone to war with them! Elder Things were able to lock them deep under the sea in basalt towers (SPOILERS) while The Great Race of Yith was later destroyed by them in the far distant future. Or something. I’m going off vague memories of playing Call of Cthulhu with refreshers from Wikipedia here and there. All in all, they’re pretty great, and while they’re no Mi-G0 (“But I just GOT here!”) they’re still pretty cool.

Mi-Go are still my favorite lovecraftian monsters though, mostly because of all the bad jokes you can make about them!

I was also researching*** Saint Elmo’s Fire (also called ‘corposants’), which is kind of a neat sort of phenomenon, or substance, or whatever the heck it is. It’s interesting stuff. I guess it happens when there’s a lot of electricity going on, and it tends to look like flames that appear on the end of pointed things like ship masts, church steeples; one guy even said he saw it on the back o the Hindenburg before the ship blew up! I guess it’s a plasma, and not actually fire or electricity, but I have no idea what that even means. Plasma is… I don’t’ know. Isn’t the sun made of plasma? Something like that.

Also, did you know that “electricity” comes from a Greek word meaning “amber” because amber rods could be used to make electric sparks? (I can see the experiments now, involving amber rods, and cat fur, and later: stitches at the doctor’s office.) And that people have been mucking around with electricity in various forms for centuries (millennia?) before it was finally harnessed to do things like power laptops? Pretty neat stuff.

I have a friend who, when we were kids, would rub balloons on her cat, and then we’d watch her (the cat) run around, surly that her dignity had been compromised by a stupid balloon. This friend later went on to become a scientist, so I’m sure that if anyone could tell you an accurate history of electricity, as well as a proper definition for a plasma, it’d be her. She could also tell you if the cat ever revenge-peed on either of our stuff, but I don’t think it did. I remember her cat having the patience of… well… of a saint, if that’s something you can compare a cat to.

I… I also wanted to make a “patience of a saint” combined with “corposant meaning ‘holy body'” and “rubbing balloons on a cat’s body” joke… but I’m not sure how to work it out. Instead I’ll just set all the pieces out, and you can put them together in any which way that fits. I imagine it’s a bit of a crossword puzzle with “corposant” in the center of everything.

Okay, I guess I should get back to working before my brain starts to misfire completely.


* I figure you get your hands dirty, your wrists, then you work your ways up your arms, and then you’re pulled in at the shoulders and are now standing “in it.” Sometimes analogies don’t work the way I think they should. Or maybe I’m just weird. Or maybe it’s two things?

** It’s a lovecraftian sort of space-going steampunk story, so I don’t know if it’s tacky to (mis)use a title he’s already used. I’m on the fence on this one, but John seems to like it. Mind you, John is supportive to the point of unreliable judgement in my favor, so I’m still not so sure it’s a good idea.

*** …er… “looking up in wikipedia”

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