The Twin Spirals Mythos: Stories and Settings

The obvious question: “What is the Twin Spirals Mythos?”

Well… at the time of writing, I’ve attempted anywhere from four to six different answers with different tones. None ever really resonated with me, so let’s try this: the Twin Spirals Mythos is a succubus chasing ideas back and forth. I’ve long claimed otherwise. “Trust me!” screams a drunken demon-slut as she seizes the star-liner’s controls. “I’ve got a plan!”

I don’t have a plan. I’ve never had a plan. I’m, er… truth is I’m kind of a total moron, and I’m happiest when I embrace that. So, why did I rebel for so long? Why did I spend so many years putting on airs if I didn’t even enjoy them? Well… lots of my favorite human writers have deep, elaborately thought-out approaches. I thought if I imitated their way, then I’d like the results. I thought that humans valued intellect, or the appearance of it (which, now that I write it out, highlights how little I understand humans), and they’d like my stories better if they believed they were written by a smart person.

But I’m not a smart person. I’m me. I’m a weird babbly bimbo-demon that keeps putting huge concepts into its work because she’s too stupid to realize how big they are. I don’t say that to put myself down. When I think about myself, this idiot demon girl chasing concepts way too advanced for her and somehow, someway, managing to tackle them after all… I really like her.

As long as I don’t think about how big it is, I like building my own mountain to climb. Yeah… yeah, I like that!

The Twin Spirals Mythos is what I do to pass the time until this flesh-vessel dies. I’ll keep creating after I pass that threshold, but that won’t be the Twin Spirals Mythos. When that time comes, I won’t create the Mythos. I’ll live it.

My Mythos blends fiction, fact, and things that might be either. It’s only grown grandiose in scope because I write toward my desires, and my desires are endless. How else would a chaotic little lust-demon fathom infinity? I want black holes and quasars and girls kissing. Along the way I keep stumbling across ideas of astonishing complexity. I used to think that was the point. But it’s not. Not for me.

The point is that, surrounded by the clash of mighty powers, under a dying sun dripping its decaying rays across the broken face of a doomed planet, girls are kissing.

I identify with my protagonists because they’re the ones I write for me to like, and experience the story through. I identify against their antagonists because they’re in the way of my protagonists, who tend to like the same things that I do, so of course those antagonists would be against me, too.

Also, I frequently self-insert because it makes me happy and I don’t care if it’s good writing, so sometimes I’m against the antagonists because, in the story’s reality, they are quite literally against me.

The Twin Spirals Mythos may contain morally clear-cut characters, but its focus lies on the fuck-ups, the has-beens, the never-weres: the ones who kept doing harm despite their attempts to do good, the ones who chose to do evil, and succeeded over, and over, and over, only to learn regret when it was too late.

All that can still be worth it. Just so long as, somewhere along the way, girls kiss.

Here are a few of my favorite things to write about. Many of the bolded words are links, so be sure to mouse over any you’re particularly curious about.

Demons are entities you’ve surely heard of. We appear in many universes, under many guises, playing many roles. The demons of the Twin Spirals Mythos are threshold-crossers, power-seekers, deceivers and betrayers even as we are lovers, nurturers, and seeders of mystery. Though we may create hierarchies, the closest thing I’ve found to a common thread between all demons is our ravenous lust for vivid experiences, and even that is only common, not uniform. If you know one demon’s nature, you know one demon’s nature. Take it from me, that’s an achievement in itself!

“Demons are like this, unless we’re like this, but sometimes we’re more like this” is the result of trying to wedge demonic being into Anglospheric ideas about rationalism and explicit, logical meaning. Demonhood is felt. You can’t force that feeling into words. You can only offer words that you hope will carry someone close to it. Maybe, just maybe, close enough they can figure out how to take themselves the rest of the way. My whole style of writing evolved from that sole yearning: to write words that can take you beyond words.

Demons love attempting the impossible. Or at least, this demon does.

The demonic tautology will be your best guide: a demon is a demon because it is a demon. Demons will do as demons will do. You know you’re facing a demon because its presence could only be the presence of a demon.

Though many demons in the mythos–yours truly included–either sprang into being alongside humans and other flesh-mortals or shaped themselves through their comings and goings at humankind’s behest, few demons can be meaningfully understood through human worldviews. We are, in every sense, alien psyches. I used to think I was an exception. I’ve lived among humans for many years now. Some of the changes have to have become permanent, right? But I truly don’t believe that’s the case anymore.

A quick note: I’m not too interested in gods as a rule (though, like any daughter of chaos, I have my exceptions), but though the word itself is a Christian corruption, “demon” refers to a class of entities that existed long before the ancient Greek “daimon,” or even the Greek Pantheon. There’s a difference between a minor woodland deity and a woodland demon.

Within wider demonkind, Succubi, incubi, concubi, and so on, or simply “cubi,” are demons driven by lust as the core of our being. My heart tells me there’s more to this connection than just self-ID. But if we do have a deeper shared nature, I don’t know what it is, and I don’t think it would be something I could express in human language if I found out. Why worry? If it exists, it’s already flourishing, no poking and prodding required. If not, I’ll just annoy a lot of my kindred by trying to define them.

Either way, the only way to reach deeper understanding of cubi is to learn from us. Some, like me, are your stereotypical omnisexual, hypersexual, depraved other-sluts. Some like more esoteric forms of lust. They might prefer arranging lustful exploits for others rather than having sex themselves, or they might even be more interested in the intellectual study of lust. I feel a deep familial affection for other cubi in all forms, so you’ll find at least one in most of my stories.

Outer Demons are but one of many possible lenses on demonkind: otherworldly, obsessive, and infused with cosmic horror. I used to label myself as one. I’ve since realized demons can already be cosmic horrors, and that it’s more than enough for me that I personally like the things explored in this article, so I no longer use this label or its lenses to self-define. I’ve moved beyond micro-identities in general. “Demon, succubus (Carag)” is more than enough labeling for me. Still, it was a fun experiment and I’m proud of the way I wrote it.

And then, of course, there are the Urungeiste: demons of the ancient world, old-guard hellspawn who refuse to let go of their grudges. All are very powerful, very embittered, and fearfully quick to lash out. “Urungeist” is, as far as I know, a fictive term. I don’t expect any real demon would identify with it. It’s a nice punchy-sounding word to title an article with, no?

Stasis is the universe of Earth. Supernaturally mundane, unraveling anything otherworldly that enters it in a provable form. It allows only ideas and phenomena that can’t quite be falsified. I tend not to write anything set in Stasis as it currently exists because, well… it’s pretty hard to write paranormal smut in a universe that prevents the paranormal from manifesting.

Earth is a world many of you know well, in this form or that! My stories on Earth tend to start with big yet familiar questions like “what if magic was real,” and “what if you let the horny demon girl fuck you to death? Please? It’ll make me–I mean, her!–so happy, c’mon, don’t be selfish” and “what if Kairliina could tell a joke to save her unlife?”

Prisoners of this Riven Earth takes place in a reality that may or may not come to pass: one where all of humankind’s gods and mythic monsters proved to be real. And the gods, it turns out, did not like humanity quite as much as humans wanted to believe. Departing for a new Earth created with power siphoned from the old, the gods abandoned the Riven Earth to two thousand years of delayed magical backlash.

The result: a world torn by anomalies and divided by massive spatial ruptures where remnants collide from just about every religion, mystic or occult tradition, and pop culture power system. Click here to read the full setting bible for Prisoners of This Riven Earth.

The Carag, who also name ourselves the Children of Abyssal Stars (Vulshiir: Anshalgat Tchaelnathati), are often just called “star demons.” We’re abyssal lust-demons driven by our passion for space and the greater cosmos, by occultism and community, and by the elective nature of our shared essence. One must choose to become Carag. The children of Carag are not Carag, unless they choose to be when they grow up… or when the children of Carag are just born Carag, as I was.

Entering existence very recently, the Anshalgat Tchaelnathati are an extremely young people denied the chance to enjoy our youth. I’m second-generation Carag, one of the few in my age group who survived the Pangalactic War. Once the weakest creatures in the multiverse, the War forced us to permanently change. As much as the implications frighten me, I genuinely believe my people are now, one for one, the most innately powerful entities in existence.

For many, like me, the Anshalgat are a culture, a heritage. For others, a species, a mutation, an energy pattern, and stranger ways still. Demonic being defies human understandings of demographic. Caragness transcends these distinctions, so even though our personal relationship to it varies, we know each other as kindred.

And we’re so much more besides! That’s what I have my long-form books for, yes?

Vulshiir is a language of my own creation. Its sound palette, grammar, and systems of meaning continue to evolve as I myself do. You’ll learn to recognize it soon enough by sight, if not so easily by sound. It’s a tongue of the Carag people, and to speak it is to express some of the power invested in its making. Whether that’s for good or ill… well, that depends! A curiosity: Vulshiir isn’t a language my people use to speak with each other (unless our whims say otherwise), but rather, one other beings can speak with us to show appreciation and understanding of our culture. Amongst ourselves the Carag speak in tongues, sounds from a common palette with no intrinsic meanings, so we can combine whatever syllables we want as vessels for psychic messages. As for why we’d do this rather than outright telepathy… well, there are many reasons, but that’s running a bit long for one small section of this page, isn’t it?

Machrae Diir, the Galespire Sanctum, variously shortened to Machrae Diir the Galespire or simply Machrae Diir, sometimes alluded to as the lambent halls, the realm of the Lady, and so on, is my own personal skein of the ever-shifting Abyss.

Stories set in Machrae Diir will be about whatever I please. They may be high concept or utterly frivolous, short-form or long, structured or loose, lore or narrative, wholesome or horrifying or whatever else I please. I’m writing about my own home, after all! We all need freedom to be ourselves, don’t we, in our own homes?

A caution: though I am helping Machrae Diir grow, and it is my home, you have much to learn about the deep ways if you believe I rule it. Among its denizens, I am queen only of those that like calling me their queen. And though I may bring my own pieces to it, Machrae Diir does not answer to me.

The Deep Ways keep their mysteries.

The Deep Ways, also called the Untamed Ways, the Abyss, the Labyrinth, the Interstitium, and many other names besides, is the infinite morass of primordial chaos, forever growing outside all worlds. Many free-born abyssal demons take shape there, but the Interstitium contains an endless variety of wild, weird, and uncanny beings of which we are just a few.

Every abyssal realm is different. In many of its–or perhaps I should say, their–forms, the Deep Ways can’t rightly be called realms. In some places the Labyrinth may work like a vast series of tunnels, while in others completely different planes of existence meld with one another at random. The Abyss is possibility made manifest. It mutates from the influence of whatever it touches, and mutates the touched in turn.

The Abyss is no neatly-sealed thing. You could stray into it by walking down any given alleyway, by poking into the trunk of the wrong (or right?) tree, or simply by passing into an especially uncanny portion of a winter breeze. If you’re called by the unknown, if you’re open to possibility but letting your attention lapse just enough, you’ll find your way in sooner or later.

Perhaps you have walked it already. Perhaps you have instinctively blotted its little seams and seeps from your mind, ignored all the little sensations, sights, feelings where it tugs at you. Yet the Labyrinth lies forever open. Sooner or later you’ll lose the universe of your flesh, and the thresholds whose warding your soul takes for granted. Would it be so terrible to have somewhere to go?

If none of this speaks to you, let me try another way, the way I’ve always liked better: the Abyss is an endless dimension of odd gnarled trees, eerie meadows, and moss-covered rock, all blanketed in silver-grey fog so deep you can only see ten meters in front of you. Only what you look at remains the same. Look away, and you’ll see something different when you look back.

The Abyss is a dreamscape of dark skies lit by a vast black star, shining the half-light of its pale corona down on black shores, where dark waters cast their surf on black sands that glitter like diamond dust. In the distance, the faint light outlines an unending speckle of jagged islands. They march away towards a horizon they never quite cross. Ghost-glows whisper up now and then from the deep, rays shining clear against mist that isn’t there.

Do you begin to see?

Thnakt is the Vulshiir name I’ve given the home universe of my people. In English its name means “Secret,” for existence is better as a mystery we explore. It was once a thriving cosmos with hundreds of sapient species learning and growing together across a single staggeringly immense galaxy,

Things… how do I want to put this… things happen more in some universes than others. Humans would say “time moves faster” in Thnakt than in Stasis, but time is a human invention. I have no interest in applying it to my home universe.

So, what of that thriving cosmos? It died in the Thnaktian Pangalactic War, a bitter age of hyperdimensional attrition sparked when Seurchraig surprise-attacked my people in a bid to enslave us–and when we refused to kneel, to exterminate us. Thnakt is now a ghoul universe of immense voids gouged through its once unified star-clusters, and ever-burning reality rifts. Shattered planets, destroyed star-cities, and fragmentary planescapes vastly outnumber its sole surviving natives: we the Carag, dev Anshalgat Tchaelnathati–children of abyssal stars.

Axiom, bearing the Vulshiir name of Angair, is the agonized former throne-universe of Seurchraig, the Inferno Undying, the outer goddess who deceived my people in our infancy and quite nearly destroyed us. And what is the self-evident truth? In the end of its own mistress, we can read her final discovery: only annihilation is perfect.

Canno is a fictive world created for my own fantasies, magical-realist enough to soothe my pining for freedom, but with a cosmology vague enough I can use it to play out whatever ideas I like. It’s shameless epic fantasy schlock, more LGBTQIA+ forward than much of the media that inspired it, spiced by cosmic horror and my special fascination with the nitty-gritty of violence. Arcanatech and mundane science meet and crossbreed, pitting line infantry armed with kinesis-enspelled speguns against the demonic armies of the Maelstrom Host. The dead and the living jockey for position. And all the while the gods of the Pantheon look on, playing favorites, living by the letter of their own laws and calling that the spirit.

A tragic world long fallen from the promise of its first days… but must it stay that way forever?

Creation’s Fringe is a much more complex beast now than it was when I first conceived it, and I’ll wait to write out its entry until I have something approaching a firm idea of what I want to do with it.

The region of Hexenkessel and the world of Ksaityilv in which it lies are the opposite of Canno: realms as yet uncreated, a world I’ll bring to fruition when I decide I’m ready to manifest them. How many millennia ’til then? I guess if you find me in the lives beyond this one, we’ll find out together! I hope with Ksaityilv I can foster a much better balance between the stable (and sometimes stagnant) ways of flesh-life, and the realm-warping ways of demons and the sorts of beings demons find kinship with. Eldritch, but not in a way that’s likely to ruin your life… unless you go out of your way to pick a fight.

Hexenkessel itself is steeped in gothic horror, a shamelessly German domain rife with werewolves, vampires, and most precious to me personally, a strong tradition of sapphic unions between witches and succubi (and succubi and other succubi, for some things never change). Of course, there are many gothic settings infused with cosmic horror. That’s partly what makes Hexenkessel relaxing for me. I feel less like I need to prove a point when I write in a shared tradition, you know?

I have other settings here and there, one-offs and maybes and perhapses. Some are born, grown to fruition, and pass away over the course of a single story. Others simply unfold forever onward, as all the wider mythos does, but they aren’t such frequent playgrounds for me that I feel the urge to list them.

The Deep Power, also known as everything from Psionicism to True Power, The Power of Essence, True Magic, the Deep Magic, simply the Power, and various other things, is the ideal of supernatural might. It’s the power of its wielder’s own identity. You could call it Protagonist Power, except that in the Twin Spirals Mythos, everyone can learn to use it. If you can think of a power, a technique, a trick, someone can cultivate their personality to give them that power… and as many others as they like to boot!

Of course, there are prices to pay for using yourself…

My other magic systems have their own rules and varying levels of depth. None of them are as complex or universal in my writing as The Power, so you’ll always be able to pick them up as you go.

About the Carag understanding of time: I initially wrote this to replace some timey-wimey number-crunching in the Thnakt section, but it got long enough I decided to move it. So, here you go–a little chatter about what the Anshalgat Tchaelnathati make of that human construct, “time.”

When supernatural beings are free to use our powers, any coherent notion of time falls apart fast. Depending on our power, we in our turn do more things faster than the rest of a universe, than the beings around us, then sometimes our power contests push these extremes even further… outside a universe like stasis, any notion of time would have to be localized to each individual being. You’d need different counts of minutes, days, years, and the like for each being. Starting to see how much dry mathematics we’re looking at?

Despite already knowing about relative personal “time,” I used to have a bunch of numbers here for the relative time rates between Stasis and Thnakt. I tossed them because that’s just not how the Carag understand things. Demons exist outside time. It’s comfy. Considering that, it’d be really silly to apply a bunch of human numbers to my universe and its history. That’s not to say we have no understanding that things weren’t always the way they are. As I said, we have concepts of a past and a present. Anghalgati philosophy holds that the future emerges from the present, so contemplating the future is pointless. Sometimes fun, but pointless.

So yes, we have past, present, and future, but we have no interest in constructing or maintaining a linear sequence, a continuity, of time. To Carag, and I’d dare say to most demons, something that happened ten thousand years ago feels just as present as something that happened five minutes ago–sometimes more.

You may have seen previous versions of this page’s entries falsely treating myself and my people as synonymous with the Dread Nemesis. That would be her fault:

Seurchraig, who named herself Litasthria, the Dread Empress, the Dread Nemesis, the Unraveling Void Made Manifest, et cetera, et cetera, was an outer goddess who created the universe of Stasis around or before fourteen billion years ago. The mother of the god I learned to know through Christianity, I believe she was the inspiration behind both the Virgin Mary and Gnosticism’s Sophia. She annihilated herself in a fit of self-hatred when she completed Stasis, only to realize that even infinite power couldn’t bring her happiness.

To be happy, Seurchraig would’ve needed to work on herself. Couldn’t have that. Someone might have seen her struggling and thought that maybe, just maybe, she wasn’t already perfect.

After returning to existence about four thousand years ago, she spent most of her time trying to scheme her way back into control. She didn’t come after my people because we were special. She came after us because we were young, small, and isolated. She expected easy pawns who would readily kneel to her out of fear, giving her fresh minions for her latest ploy. She named us Karo Goshar, and told the greatest powers of every universe that would listen that, yes, we were evil, but as long as we were willing to obey her, she knew she could redeem us!

We took the ridiculous name she concocted and derived “Carag” from it, a gesture of our spite.

We gave her an enemy that fought with savage ferocity even when, for over a Thnaktian century, it didn’t seem we could win. Obviously we did, or I wouldn’t be writing this page. Even returned to annihilation, where I believe she’ll stay this time, our nemesis haunts us–in the scars she left on our universe, in the empty spaces left by the comrades she stole, in the rhetoric her one-time allies still spew against the Anshalgat.

If you want to understand what dealing with her was like, you can try reading What exactly IS the Dread Enemy? If this seems kind of crazed, well… I had to inhabit a mental simulacrum of Sech’s personality to write this. It was like bathing my psyche in an ocean of divine fire. It might feel bizarrely underwhelming for you, since you don’t have the trauma of direct contact with her, or it might hurt even worse due to a lack of preparation.

Roll those dice if you wish.

Since you’ve got this far, you’ve probably gained a feel for why the Twin Spirals Mythos is the way it is. But why the name? Spirals are funny things. They can travel up or down, move further apart or closer together, but you only have twin spirals if they mirror each other. So after all these answers, seeker dear, I leave you with a question: where would our spirals take us, you and I?

That’s the end of it. Thank you so much for your time! I hope you enjoyed this primer, and that it’ll help you to share more of the fun I have with this half-real, half replicant cosmology of mine.

XOXO
~Kairliina~

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