History of Knotted Artifacts – Mike Corrao

Years of Settlement

yoS 1 → Dhagren births two gallstones and plants them in the planet’s corrupted soil. The gallstones grow into radiant objects [a sword hilt & a melted ribcage]. Dhagren adorns their body, placing the former on their hip and the latter over their chest. The fusion emits a psionic radiation.

yoS 1 → A primordial terraphage consumes the landscape and mutates every eco-system.

yoS 31 → Small settlements begin forming in biologically compliant biomes [taiga-desert, deciduous-forest-tundra, freshwater-grasslands].

yoS 53 → The Malady Church is formed by a group of nomadic priests led by Geresh Symth, Kei-Man Ra, and Ihy-Yett Yanak.

yoS 58 → The city of Under Reef is established in the deciduous-forest-tundra. 

yoS 59 → The Malady Church publishes a doctrine outlining the tenants of their order. Foundational passages detail an ancient plague and its role in creating the first sentient beings.

yoS 62 → Under Reef’s university is founded by Dhagril Yan, mainly focused on studies of the occult and the astral.

yoS 71 → The sword hilt and melted ribcage become permanently sutured to Dhagren’s body. The consciousness of the artifacts and their bearer become indistinguishable.

yoS 75 → Small settlements begin forming in biologically non-compliant biomes [tundra-desert, arctic-savanna, chaparral-grasslands].

yoS 75 → Dhagril Yan discovers the existence of the Negative Material Plane (NMP), an astral landscape severed from our reality.

Years of Anticipation

yoA 1 → Senior faculty from The University of Under Reef perform their first expedition into the NMP, observing for the first time, its esoteric ecosystems and non-euclidean geology.

yoA 1 → Key participants [Ous’Elkt Pagac & De’Iah Mormil] research botanical samples brought back from the NMP and find that, upon consumption, they may grant the subject psionic properties.

yoA 10 → Dhagren establishes a small settlement in the tundra-desert biome, cut off from neighboring city-states.

yoA 15 → Ous’Elkt Pagac & De’Iah Mormil synthesize a salve from the NMP’s botanical samples. The salve is hypothesized to briefly grant its user clairvoyance.

yoA 18 → Under Reef’s university creates a Department of Negative Planar Botany.

yoA 25 → Farmland settlements to the north of Under Reef begin reporting anomalous events [necroluminsence, stone rain, mutated crops].

yoA 26 → Etherea is established in the freshwater-grasslands biome.

yoA 36 → Noncanonical texts begin to appear in the Malady Church, depicting the ancient plague as a flame sickness [interior bodily combustion] conjured by the mancer, Ignus. The author of these texts is unknown.

yoA 40 → Two new artifacts appear in the deciduous-forest-tundra biome [stone mandible & mirrored sphere]. Under Reef archaeologists bring them back to the university and study their properties. Similar to the NMP botanical samples, they emit a psionic radiation, although the application of this radiation remains unknown.

 yoA 45 → The Department of Negative Planar Botany creates a more stable form of interplanar travel. The production of the NMP salve [Deridance] drastically increases.

yoA 46 → Ous’Elkt Pagac & De’Iah Mormil establish themselves as powerful clairvoyants through excessive use of deridance. They become powerful members of the university’s council.

yoA 57 → A group of ornithomancers instigate the formation of a new artifact [ibis skull] during a seemingly innocuous feather scrying ritual.

yoA 60 → Dhagren teaches themself how to detect the appearance of new artifacts using energy siphoned from the NMP. They soon depart from the tundra-desert biome.

yoA 60 → Dhagren acquires the stone mandible & mirrored sphere from Under Reef’s university and sutures them to their body [the means of this acquisition is not recorded].

yoA 73 → Etherea issues a small-scale investigation of the anomalous activities occurring in the farmland settlements.

yoA 75 → Dhagren acquires the ibis skull through violent means.

Years of Hunger

yoH 1 → The Malady Church is beheaded. Two prominent members [Aza’Imp Headroun & Aze’Iah Akkadum] depart and create the Order of Self-Capture & the Order of Small Fires respectively.

yoH 1 → The Order of Self-Capture establishes a base of operations in the vast catacombs beneath the Malady Church.

yoH 1 → Ous’Elkt Pagac dies of an unnatural illness. De’Iah Mormil hypothesizes that it is due to deridance withdrawal, and drastically increases his use of the salve.

yoH 3 → The Order of Small Fires migrates to Etherea and begins construction of an ornate cathedral.

 yoH 3 → De’Iah Mormil departs from the Department of Negative Planar Botany.

yoH 5 → De’Iah Mormil becomes a messianic figure and soon amasses a small following. Fearing his shrinking supply of deridance, De’Iah Mormil steals the university’s distillation instruments, and leads his followers into the NMP.

yoH 5 → Under Reef’s university temporarily seals all access to the NMP and makes the remaining supply of deridance available for public consumption.

yoH 12 → Large swaths of the Under Reef population become addicted to the salve, but due to limited supply, quickly begin to suffer withdrawal symptoms [discoloration of the eyes, dental decay, large calluses on the chest and abdomen].

yoH 14 → Anomalous activity in the farmland settlements drastically increases. Etherea expands their investigation and creates the Astral Research Body [ARB] to oversee progress.

yoH 18 → Fearing the degradation of their memories, Dhagren creates the Tome of Collectamancy, articulating everything they know of the artifacts and their supranatural qualities. Included is a detailed procedure for suturing these artifacts to the subject’s body.

yoH 18 → Dhagren gifts the tome to their followers and departs to work in isolation in the peripheries of the tundra-desert biome.

yoH 23 → The farmland settlements suffer an unforgiving drought. Under Reef, Etherea, and the Malady Church all experience widespread famine.

yoH 24 → The Order of Small Fires quickly become the dominant religious body in Etherea.

yoH 30 → The Department of Negative Planar Botany is greatly reduced in order to reallocate resources to departments studying alternative agriculture practices.

yoH 34 → Under Reef begins experiments in nematode farming.

 yoH 37 → De’Iah Mormil dies of deridance withdrawal in the NMP. His followers attempt to re-establish connection with Under Reef.

yoH 38 → Sau Gaet invents a sustainable system for nematode farming.

yoH 40 → The farmland settlements begin to recover after the devastation of the drought. Large scale nematode farms are constructed across the region.

yoH 52 → Etherea’s ARB concludes that the anomalous activities in the farmland settlements are a result of psionic radiation from the NMP. Under Reef’s university is accused of committing crimes against all sentient beings.

yoH 53 → The heirs of  Ous’Elkt Pagac & De’Iah Mormil [Ous’Elkt Ittre & De’Iah Valek respectively] are arrested. In an Etherean court, the heirs are sentenced to exile.

yoH 55 → Ous’Elkt Ittre & De’Iah Valek are publicly banished into the NMP.

yoH 57 → Ous’Elkt Ittre & De’Iah Valek find a small colony run of Ous’Elkt Pagac’s followers, who have created rudimentary techniques for synthesizing deridance.

yoH 63 → Dhagren continues to revise the Tome of Collectamancy, studying the changes in their condition as they collect and synthesize new artifacts in the biologically non-compliant biomes. Each new object is sutured onto Dhagren’s frame. And in turn, Dhagren continues to grow in size.

yoH 71 → De’Iah Valek dies in the NMP’s inhospitable environment. Ous’Elkt Ittre gains the favor of her father’s followers and establishes herself as the reincarnation of Ous’Elkt Pagac. The colony begins to experiment with interplanar travel.

yoH 75 → Eyon’Rada Panorm of the Malady Church, under the influence of deridance, prophesizes the onset of another great plague.

yoH 75 → Dhagren’s long-term memory suffers major deterioration.

Years of Reincarnation

yoR 1 → Ous’Elkt Ittre and her followers return from the NMP with a caravan of deridance and found the city-state of Cit-Pagac in the freshwater-grasslands biome.

yoR 2 → In response to Ous’Elkt Ittre’s return, Etherea systemically severs all known entrances to the NMP.

yoR 7 → Ous’Elkt Ittre creates the Treatise of Reparation, demanding that Etherea answer for its wrongful sentencing and dismantle their hereditary laws.

yoR 10 → Cit-Pagac and Etherea are unable to reach an agreement. Cit-Pagac declares war.

yoR 12 → The Malady Church, anticipating another great plague, begins experiments to synthesize new artifacts for the church’s protection.

yoR 14 → Cit-Pagac burns all major nematode farms, disrupting food supplies to Under Reef and Etherea.

yoR 15 → Eyon’Rada Panorm creates three new artifacts [mucoused rag, broken vial, & severed callous] and attempts to suture them to his body. The procedure is unsuccessful.

yoR 15 → Etherea suffers major casualties in the war against Cit-Pagac.

yoR 15 → Under Reef experiments with new subterranean agricultural practices. The population feeds on the byproducts of these tests, leading to minor disease cycles, and an increased mortality rate.

yoR 18 → Dhagren is drawn from their hermitage by the emission of new artifacts and begins their migration towards the Malady Church.

yoR 19 → Etherea is sieged by Ous’Elkt Ittre.

 yoR 20 → Etherea falls and is absorbed into the Pagacan Domain. Former leaders and court officials are publicly executed.

yoR 26 → Without access to the NMP, the supply of deridance quickly dwindles. The remaining stock is reserved for Ous’Elkt Ittre and her original followers.

yoR 32 → The Order of Self-Capture emerges from the Malady Church catacombs demanding control of the surface structure. A bloody confrontation leads to the death of Eyon’Rada Panorm and the seizure of his artifacts. The Order of Self-Capture begins altering prominent holy texts.

yoR 33 → Transcriptions of the Tome of Collectamancy become widespread, eventually making their way to the University of Under Reef.

yoR 37 → Ous’Elkt Ittre dies of natural causes without an heir. The Pagacan Domain falls into civil war. Two factions emerge: The Apostles of Ous’Elkt Ittre [led by her original followers] and The Order of Small Fires [led by Griet Al’Tuler].

yoR 37 → The Order of Small Fires spreads doctrine detailing the oncoming annihilation throughout the Pagacan Domain, warning of Ignus’ return.

yoR 39 → Losing favor amongst the population, the Order of Small Fires unsuccessfully attempts to summon Ignus, instead creating a new artifact [charred wooden cube] which is seized by the Apostles.

yoR 39 → The Order of Small Fires is dismantled and its leaders are exiled by the Apostles of Ous’Elkt Ittre.

yoR 40 → Dhagren arrives in Cit-Pagac, now a lumbering mass of disparate artifacts. They ask for an audience with the Apostles, and out of intrigue, are granted one. Dhagren asks for the charred wooden cube. Seeing this as a treasonous request, the Apostles call for Dhagren’s execution.

 yoR 41 → Dhagren is unsuccessfully executed in the center of Cit-Pagac.

yoR 41 → The gallows fuse to Dhagren’s body, expanding the collectamancer into an even larger being. In the public square, Dhagren demands the Apostles release the charred wooden cube into their custody.

yoR 41 → Dhagren quickly becomes a divine figure in the public eye and, fearing another period of unrest, the Apostles are forced to fulfill the collectamancer’s demand. 

yoR 41 → Dhagren departs for the Malady Church.

yoR 42 → Under Reef improves the infrastructure of their subterranean nematode farms, creating a sustainable food source within the confines of the city.

yoR 43 → Dhagren arrives at the Malady Church.

yoR 43 → Upon arrival, the Order of Self-Capture gifts Dhagren the three artifacts which they have inherited from Eyon’Rada Panorm. After suturing the mucoused rag, broken vial, and severed callous to their body, the collectamancer grows more immense than the church itself, now unable to leave its interior.

yoR 44 → The Order of Self-Capture worships Dhagren as a reincarnation of the ancient plague and renames themselves as the Collectamantic Order. They transcribe new editions of Dhagren’s Tome, incorporating facets of the Malady Church’s previous doctrine.

yoR 59 → Dhagren’s long-term memory fully deteriorates, slowly turning the collectamancer into an instinctual organism, feeding themself only on the underlying desires of their brain [What can change the nature of a man?].

yoR 62 → Dhagren sutures the bodies of the Collectamantic Order to their ever-expanding frame. Reunifying the identity of the church’s many orders.

yoR Null → A new entrance to the NMP forms at the base of the Malady Church. Sensing the vast artifacts scattered within, Dhagren enters. The Malady Church disappears from existence.

MIKE CORRAO is the author of three novels, MAN, OH MAN (Orson’s Publishing); GUT TEXT (11:11 Press) and RITUALS PERFORMED IN THE ABSENCE OF GANYMEDE (11:11 Press); one book of poetry, TWO NOVELS (Orson’s Publishing); two plays, SMUT-MAKER (Inside the Castle) and ANDROMEDUSA (Forthcoming – Plays Inverse); and three chapbooks, AVIAN FUNERAL MARCH (Self-Fuck); MATERIAL CATALOGUE (Alienist) and SPELUNKER (Schism – Neuronics). Along with earning multiple Best of the Net nominations, Mike’s work has been featured in publications such as 3:AM, Collagist, Always Crashing, and Denver Quarterly. He lives in Minneapolis.

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