The Shattered Pillar
The remainder of this article contains lore created collaboratively by the Blaseball community.
ENTRY NAME :
The Shattered Pillar
SUBJECT TYPE :
Region / Location
Pillar, Shattered, Void, Anomaly
ACCESSIBILITY & DANGER RATING :
- 0 - Completely inaccessible to almost all people, with or without disabilities
- d – Accessible infrastructure would be extremely difficult to introduce due to intense material cost and/or construction obstacles
- Omnipresent - Environmental Hazards are everywhere and require constant effort to mitigate
- Sentinel - Threats focus on protecting localized areas for artificial reasons
ACCESS POINTS :
There are only two known Access Points to this region. Both are separated by a great physical distance, but were discovered in close timing.
- The first was found on [DATA MISSING] in DownTown, by Little-Fire-Gift, inside the sub-basement of the Nagasumi Bed and Breakfast. It is a set of double-doors that appeared one day, and which swing outwards from the room, into the void. There was no landing or platform on the opposite side of these doors. They are unassuming arched, wooden doors, with plain iron fittings. When the doors are viewed from with in the region, they appear to float in the void. (UPDATE : With permission of the operators of the Nagasumi Bed and Breakfast, the sub-basement has been converted to a base of operation for future expeditions.)
- The second was found approximately two days after the first, by Core visitor [Name Removed on Request], when ze were using the elevator at the Haydrian Mass Foundries. Ze saw a new button on a service lift’s control panel, below the normal set. The lift ran below the normal stopping floor (B-4), and stopped after approximately 2 minutes past that point. The elevator shaft doors open onto a stone and concrete island the size of small communal diner. This island, like the others, floats in the void. The elevator shaft, viewed on the outside, extends up much farther than the trip would suggest, disappearing into the distant darkness. The floor material of the island suggests it was once part of a workshop, but no identifying marks have been found. The first Access Point is not visible to the naked eye. (UPDATE : This has also been converted into a base of operations, called Elevator Base, and is the main site for expeditions into this region.)
There are four aspects of this region that immediately strike anyone who enters, beyond just the strange means of entry. Firstly, the massive, looming Pillar in the distance, reflecting dim pale light from somewhere unknown off of its dark blue granite surface. Secondly, the massive broken mess which is at its middle. Floating in mid air, by unknown means, are chunks of wildly varying sizes, resembling an explosion frozen in time. (UPDATE : Photographic Optical Analysis has shown these chunks do oscillate up and down, by as much as 200 metres.) Thirdly, a vast expanse of seemingly nothing but black, empty void in all directions. And finally, you will realize what you stand on is supported by nothing, floating in the void.
These can all prove to be extremely overwhelming to many people, for a variety of reasons. The fact that there is no visible ceiling, walls, or floors to the space can be deeply upsetting to those who have not spent much time in the Up. The sight of a Pillar, in a state of suspended destruction, may trouble others. The notion that we do not know if there is a bottom may terrify those afraid to fall forever. Ultimately, this is a hostile place, more through the environment than through any active threats. (UPDATE : The discovery of the metallic-fauna in the newly-found Alenkinse Laboratories has prompted a re-evaluation of the previous statement.) We have no idea what other dangers may be here, but there do not seem to be any hunting explorers.
In the weeks following the discovery of this region, attempts were made to measure the distance to the Shattered Pillar using standard laser distance finders, working on the premise that the Pillar was of approximately similar size to most of the other Pillars. Initial readings showed a distance of only a few dozen kilometers, which matched the visual estimates of the time. Small exploratory airships set out from the Elevator Base to make physical contact with the Pillar. It is fortunate these were lighter-than-air, as the estimates and readings were grossly incorrect.
What the lasers had reflected off of, and what those airships had found, was the floating wreckage of a medical facility, constructed in a manner characteristic to us in the Core. Only a few portions of the foundation were intact, with most of the building having collapsed into the nothingness below.
What remains is more of a skeletal husk than a building proper. The explorers, not equipped for ground recon, then tried to make another laser reading of the distance to the Pillar, only to find the distance showed only a few kilometers. Using their telescopes, they spotted what looked like another island, this time a single wall of what must have been a massive hanger. There was no way to use laser range-finding in this place, other than to find other islands, as visibility at such distances is difficult on things smaller than the Pillar. Eventually, they were force to return due to the safety recommendation from DOWN reps to return at 60% fuel reserves.
Later efforts have attempted to use Photographic Optical Analysis methods to compare changes in size and parallax on the Pillar after traveling known distances, and use the results to calculate both the size of and distance to the Pillar. What was found is difficult to believe. According to the Analysis, the Shattered Pillar is approximately [DATA REDACTED] kilometers in diameter, with the generally visible portion being several thousand kilometers tall.
There are so many questions that this raises that no one has any answer for. It is the largest Pillar discovered by an absurd amount, able to fit all other Pillars within itself several times over.
There is speculation that the broken, floating islands are related in some way to whatever shattered the Pillar, but as yet, there is no conclusive evidence to show one way or the other.
Continued exploration of the region has progressed slowly, spreading out from both Access Points. Eventually, the position of each other was established, and by setting up relay beacons on a number of islands, a rudimentary Positioning System has been established, allowing for more accurate mapping and exploration.
LOCAL FLORA & FAUNA :
What little flora that has been found on the various floating islands has been consistent with deep-cave lichens and molds, although these have adapted to survive entirely on the ambient moisture in the air. It is conceivable that, given enough time, they will breakdown their islands entirely. It is unknown if they will float or fall.
On a very small number of islands, more complex flora has been found, although their morphology has changed radically from what Core or Surface plants it is believed they originated as. Most plants have developed a far greater reactivity with ultraviolet light, and seem to orient themselves toward the Pillar.
No fauna has been found. Not even remains of fauna, nor non-flesh animals or people.
(UPDATE : The Alenkinse Laboratories, found extremely recently, appears to be occupied by metallic-fauna, of definite artificial make. Named “Greasetallow Flies” by their discoverers, these insect-like automata seem to nest within the deeper reaches of the Laboratories. They have a squat body, about 9 cm in diameter at their front, tapering down to about 3 cm at the rear. They are overall about 16 cm in length, with a wingspan of 40 cm. Their front is dominated by a single large camera lens. They have 5 very squat legs, used primarily for roosting.
Their primary function seems to be as an automated building maintenance and construction system, taking found or provided raw materials, and extruding through the silicone nozzles on their rear the desired substances.
They appear to be trying to rebuild the Laboratories, having recycled a few nearby islands since discovered, along with recycling three of our airships, and a partial collection of a fourth. Given the mostly intact foundations of the Laboratories, it can be assumed that a mostly intact replica of the Laboratories building is achievable, which some researchers believe will give insight into who, or when, lived here.
However, it must be noted that all attempts to enter the buildings have led to total loss of life, save one. As such, the Laboratories is completely off limits, until a means to pacify or placate the Greasetallow Flies is found.)
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