The Chosen Priest and Apostle of Infinite Space
A downloadable TTRPG
THE CHOSEN PRIEST AND APOSTLE OF INFINITE SPACE
A TTRPG game of cosmic worship, for one player or more.
The vastness of space and the myriad of creation outstretches the reach of casual society. There are over 150,000,000 objects of larger than 100 metres diameter in the inner solar system alone. Were humanity to dwell only on our lone rock forever more, and worship only that which we can directly interface with, it would be great transgression against the infinite variety of the universe to let it go unnoticed, unappreciated, unworshipped.
Though we may never reach every point of light in the sky, and though we may never hope to experience every point of light in our hearts, the fires of creation burn within us, dust from their cessation reformed into beating hearts and minds.
It is with this, our star heart of hearts, our mind made of matter from across the cosmos, that we must give back thanks and worship to the heavens; that we must pay heed and thanks to every quantum of creation, though we may never hope to worship it physically, or even comprehend it within our lifetimes, we may at least celebrate the possibility of its existence.
Yet space is as infinite as humanity is yet to achieve, though we may approximate an infinite existence by our overlapping lifespans; each beginning before another's end.
It is for this cause that your time has come; your turn as the Chosen Priest and Apostle of Infinite Space. You must ensure that a new fraction of the cosmos is paid heed, though you may never hope to reach it. You must worship a part of existence that you can only observe through the mind's eye.
To begin, set aside a time you can carry out your rituals uninterrupted. The length of time itself is up to you; more than none and less than infinite time is available to you.
Prepare your location as you see fit. You may wish to dim the lights, set out candles, light incense; you may choose to host the ritual outdoors, in touch with nature and creation, or indoors, where you have more control over the environment.
Choose your audio accompaniment and set it playing in the background. The exact choice is up to you, but it is recommended to be an audio track that allows you to step away from your direct surroundings into a more contemplative space.
(The inspiration for this game is the Bull of Heaven track of the same name, The Chosen Priest And Apostle Of Infinite Space, which lasts for 1,453 hours. It would be impractical to perform the ritual for the entire length of the track, so a shorter excerpt is suggested. The track is available on archive.org.)
Arrange yourself in the space you have prepared so that you are comfortable.
If there is more than one participant, designate one person as the Chosen Priest And Apostle.
The Chosen should now open their mind to the cosmos, and choose the target of this ritual's worship. Cast your inner eye to the furthest reaches of unknown space, or closer to home, to an object perhaps rarely considered by humanity.
- It may be giant, or it may be small.
- It may be shiny, or it may be dull.
- It may be resplendent with all the colours of creation, or it may be monochrome.
- It may be unimaginably old, or it may be young, birthed by a recent impact or disintegration.
- It may be lonely in space, or it may have a thousand family, orbiting together in the void.
- It may be bathed in the light of a star, or it may be far from the light of anything, unseen in the dark.
- It may be known to humanity, or yet to be known, or never to be known.
- It may be deemed worthy of a name, a number, or neither; yet everything is worthy of your worship.
Once you have chosen your object of worship for this session, contemplate it in your mind; if there are other participants, describe it to them. Do not fret too much about your choice of words; human speech is clunky and ill-fitted to describing the myriad wonders of creation, so a few clumsy words will not detract.
With your object of worship in your mind, close your eyes, focus on the music, and when you feel ready, begin to perform the motions of the ritual. You will not know them in advance, for you will not know your object of worship in advance; your imagination may be the first knowledge humanity has of it; you are a leading edge of wonder, and so, much as you have built this image in your mind, so must you build the ritual.
For every action that springs into your mind, you must perform it, with as many repetitions as feel right. It may be that your ritual consists of nothing but the same action, over and over, until you feel complete. It may be that you perform one action after the other, pushing through countless motions or mumbles to reach an end.
If you are taking part in the ritual as a participant who is not the Chosen Priest and Apostle, then you must follow their actions as best as you can, boosting their resolve with your doubling of bodies.
You may feel you reach an obvious end; or you may continue until you feel the ritual over not by completion but by abdication of ability to do justice by the target of your worship through mere human actions. This is also fine, and by admitting your inability to do justice to a part of creation, so you are admitting its splendor, too, and that humility is in itself an act of worship.
Once you have reached what seems to be the end, be it minutes or hours into the ritual, we move on to the final part.
THE END OF THE RITUAL
Space is infinite, but you are not. At some point, the ritual must end, and you must bequeath your status as Priest and Apostle on a new person. It is by this trading of roles that we can create something that outlasts a human lifespan; it is by our shared creation that we can outlive our mortal bodies, and perhaps come that step closer to the infinite.
If you have performed the ritual with others taking part, then you may choose one of them as the next Chosen Priest and Apostle. If you have performed it as a solitary ritual, or if for whatever reason you feel compelled to pass over your companions, then you may rest assured that the role will not lay dormant; for at any moment, at any time, there is surely a member of humanity contemplating the wonder of creation in their own way, and so the ritual continues itself unknown.
Consider what it means to appreciate and worship the parts of the cosmos.
Consider the atoms of the firmament that make up your body to this day.
Consider that the borders between distinct objects are imaginary, that all borders are imaginary, that the only thing separating each atom of your body with another and with the stars is the space between us.
Consider that the space between us may be small, it may be vast, and yet it is always traversable with your mind. The space between you and me and them and ??? is only but a thought and a ritual away.
Carry this knowledge in your mind, and carry this worship of everything and everyone into whatever your future holds.
A thoughtful TTRPG by Freya Campbell / @spdrcstl / communistsister interactive, made for the game jam Record Collection 2k19.
Inspired by the work of Bull of Heaven, in particular the eponymous track, The Chosen Priest and Apostle of Infinite Space, itself inspired by other acts of creation, as all things work in cycles.
In memory of Clayton Counts, passed into the infinite too soon.
"We are responsible for creating our own idiosyncratic realities."
|Tags||infinite, meditation, Music, Singleplayer, Space, Tabletop role-playing game, worship|
|Average session||About an hour|
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This was a beautiful entry for the Record Collection 2k19 game jam. It drew my attention as soon as I saw it in among the other entries, but I didn't have time to actually sit down with it until tonight, and I'm so glad that I did. Marvelous job!
FREYA DARLING THIS IS SO SUPER COOL AND POETIC AAAAA 💖💖💖