These notes are for you, Verbles.

There are five houses of dead stars: Beginnings, Devourings, Maelstroms, Enmities, Graves. (By this point it should already be clear that I don't name anything down there.) If you're into that sort of pretension, you can argue for elemental associations of the houses: Beginnings to Water, Devourings to Fire, Maelstroms to Air, Enmities to Wood, and Graves to Earth. For the geomantically retarded who might be reading this later, that's a cycle of mutual annihilation: Water quenches Fire, which scorches Air, which blows down Wood, which eats Earth, which drinks Water, and so on.

The trouble is that if we use that cycle as-is, the treehouse will fall down during the first sleepover, and it's a long drop. So the Essence adjustments on the borders and anchoring the flows inside need to do two things: balance that whole "sucking void" problem you get with attuning to corpse stars, and channel living sparklies across the Shroud to balance the buildup. (Remember: deficit spending your dead Essence is BAD, kids.)

Item one happens by juggling the elemental correspondences so they make a cycle of mutual generation instead. In another nod to the dumb kids (and they SAY I'd never make a teacher): Wood burns, producing Fire, which leaves ash, or Earth, which settles out to leave Air, which births the clouds that give Water, which is necessary for the growth of... etc. So any flows need to pass through the anchor points thataway.

Thing B was a poser, since Kivet claims that the channel for living Essence needs to be a narrative circle to balance out that heroic journey antithesis BS that you get in the underworld. In brief, the usual story goes like this.

  • Beginnings: oshitz I'm dead, this is WAY IMPORTANT
  • Devourings: maybe if I didn't suck, I wouldn't be here?
  • Maelstroms: emo ghost contemplates his situation and cries
  • Enmities: crap this bites, I will blame EVERYONE BUT MYSELF
  • Graves: tantrum over, still dead x.x

The trouble is that this is every bit as pretentious and simplistic (take heed--talented academics can aspire to both simultaneously!) as the living analog.

  • Journeys: lala, i iz a hero going places
  • Serenity: a girl <3 <3 <3
  • Secrets: I have a secret which any thinking person knew since five minutes into step one
  • Endings: big finish! pretend we've changed something

So anyway, I clearly can't just paste in an answering heroic cycle with a straight face, because as amusing as "the treehouse built on BS" is for a title card over the door, I try not to snap my po like a piece of taffy more than once a year. But don't worry, I have a plan. I'll give the elemental correspondence anchor materials the right set of associations, and you can tell me where to plop them when we're ready.

This is going to be so cool. I have my rope ladder ready and everything.