Tuesday 2 November 2021

A Jale Shadow

One of the most fun things about Jeffery McKinney's RPG setting Carcosa is the presence of two new primary colours, Jale and Ulfire. Jale is decribed as 'dreamlike, feverish and voluptuous' in David Lindsay's novel A Voyage to Arcturus, the ideal colour for the Tsolyani goddess Dlamelish if she was not already green.

On Tekumel, as we know from study of The Pandects of Those Who Journey Beyond, there are four mystical directions, grai, chio, grel and vraz in Engsvanyali. Each has an associated colour, 'untet, 'unpur, 'unway and 'unshap, and Jale is the Tsolyani term for 'untet.

As we know in our mundane plane some female members of the human species have a fourth colour sensitive opsin, the proteins that reacts to light and causes vision, on far future Tekumel, an opsin for seeing Jale may be possible.

To someone without the ability to see it pure Jale just looks off-white, and mixtures of Jale and other colours just look like slighty paler version of those colours.

Most of those who can see the colour do not have a word for it, and do not recognise seeing it as being anything unusual and usually do not even recognise that their colour perception may be different from others. Only scholars call it Jale, and most do not know of its other planar and magical associations.

Eye - 3D and CG & Abstract Background Wallpapers on Desktop Nexus (Image  477843)
From: https://abstract.desktopnexus.com/wallpaper/477843/

How to see Jale

Mihalli, Chima and Hokun see Jale automatically.

Pygmy Folk, Shen, Ahoggya, Tinaliya and almost all other species never see Jale.

Humans, Pe Choi, Shunned Ones and Hlaka may possibly see Jale.

Using AEPT rules:

To be 'Jale+' roll 100+ on a d100

Add Psychic Ability modifer, if able to cast spells add Psy Ab modifer again.

If female human add +1, if a male Hlaka add +1, if a Pe Choi of any sex +1, with Pe Choi neuters gaining an additonal +1. Pe Choi have a 1 in 20 chance to gain or lose the ability to see jale if they change sex away from or to neuter. Tiuni have +5 to see Jale, for what it is worth, and the ability to perceive it is scattered throughout Tekumels crazy mish mash of animal, fungi and plant kingdoms.

Among human nations Livyani add +1, N'luss get -1, Nom get +2, people from the far north eastern tribes of the Northern continent get +1 also, and the people of Lost Bayarsha get +3.

Since objects with the colour are so few and far between outside visions or visitations of other planes many human scholars just do not believe the colour really exists. In Livyanu they know it is there and sects like the Mad One of Hlikku in Yan Kor paint their secret idols in it.

The paint used in Hlikku is made up using a pigment made from a rare rock which happens to be radioactive, not that they care, and the secret books written in jale ink hidden away in Livyanu have lead covers. Jale+ people cannot see or perceive this radiation though and not all jale objects are radioactive.

Oddly tinted adventures?:

  • The Not White Room. The cell of Yu'ukanna the Hermit is preserved at a certain mountain shrine dedicated to Thumis. It is a square stone room with a square skylight that is its only entrance (one gets in by ladder) and the walls are thickly plastered with the smoothest, palest grey limewash. Except it isn't. The walls are covered in tiny writing in a jale ink, using a spiky alphabet of unknown provenance. The shrine is a very minor one of interest mostly to local villagers only and as yet no scorcer or priest with the ability to even see the script, let alone read it – it is in Sunuz – has visited. The locals will excitedly tell of the legend of her translation into 'pure light' - well they turned up with her food one day and she was gone, and there was no way she could jump out and she didn't have a ladder – and suitable magic will detect that a wandering nexus point cycles through here. Do you really want to know what she wrote down? Or where she went?
  • The Demon Tiuni. Galya hiIrikanen of the White Stone clan was a cat lady, she had dozens of the little beasts, all white. Her six year old grand-neice, Ssia, warned her that one of them was 'not white', though the little girl could not say quite what colour they were. Now Galya is dead, poisoned, and while cat tracks are not hard to find in her house, according to the experts brought in by the White Stones only one set of tracks appears to go through walls. 
  • In Livyanu the colour jale is associated with Quyo, and in Hemektu people who can see it are considered blessed by the goddess and recruited as clergy, while the Horned One of Secrets colour is dolm, a mix of jale and blue. The Chima are not often seen in this part of Tekumel, but if they find out much about the strange Livyani pantheon they may tell you that several others have 'funny' colours seen in their most ancient idols too, and are amused that humans don't realise it.

  • Along the sakbe east from Tumissa stones mark every tsan and every ten tsan, as on any other sakbe. Only the 73 tsan marker is made from a jale stone, and below it a side road leads off through a number of villages and on to Hmakuyal. Further 'white' waystones mark the true path, and some deliberately created false ones lead to caves full of Thunru'u, Qol and Winged Serpents of many hues and inclinations.

    Life after death: Terrifying NDE accounts recall dark void in first moments  after death | Weird | News | Express.co.uk

  • The Not White Room II. In Waba's Almanac there is a reference to the 'Place of the Pearl' described as a being 'A place of pearly white effulgence, of sweet winds and softened sound, but where all is invisible including the native sharetlkoi so wonderfully blessed with great powers of  Abscission and Manducation.'

    A sage of the Temple of Belkhanu has acquired the page, and located a nexus point. He seeks foolhardy voyagers who can see Jale to test his theory that the inhabitants are in fact fully visible if you look at them right, and that Waba's 'Place of the Pearl' is a pathway to the Palace of Neverending Regret, the Mountains of Mostly Mist and the Golden Haven of Hettashte.