Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2023-09-06
After an introduction by Nalgene, Dotta says the team has so many fun things to talk about. He asks if Elf is going to walk about WWF (WWE), in reference to Elf playing Hulk Hogan's theme song for the show's introduction.
Wrestling, Revelations, & Runes TCG's Flippy
Elf says he isn't going to talk about wrestling too much, but says he was telling Jitcy in Discord earlier that he was an oldschool wrestling fan. Elf notes he stopped watching wrestling when Hulk Hogan "went bad" as "Hollywood Hogan." Dotta asks where he can watch the reruns. Elf says he isn't sure where Dotta can catch up on old wrestling matches, but notes their similarities to soap-operas, saying wrestling was filled with drama and theatre — almost to the point of being Shakespearean.
Dotta then says they plan to speak about The Bringer of the End Times, The End Times, and the narrative meaning of 666, stating there are a lot of "revelations" to go through. Elf says he also will share lore for his Black Goat Wizard if there is time.
On the subject of lore, Elf says he was speaking to Giveahoot about Runes TCG, when he came across a character he hadn't seen before. He asks Bearsnake and Dotta if they're familiar with "Flippy" They say they aren't. Elf says he is a Skydancer in the Runiverse, and he's amazing. Elf says a part of him wants to quit his job at Magic Machine and just write lore about Flippy and Bread Friend, saying he thinks they go on amazing adventures that no one has written about yet.
Dotta says, "What if I told you you don't have to quit to write it?"
Elf shouts out Giveahoot and all of the contributors to Runes TCG. He urges those to haven't played to try the game out.
An Updated Roadmap
Elf then jumps into Cult Questions. The first comes from Henboyd, who asks if there will be an update to the Forgotten Runes roadmap. Dotta says the question sparked discussion within the Magic Machine Discord on the morning of the show. Dotta says they need to put together a "one-shot view" of everything happening in Forgotten Runes. He says the idea of roadmaps comes from early-stage projects where you're not sure who you can trust, so you put together a list of things that you aim to accomplish.
Dotta says as Forgotten Runes continues to grow, he wants to emphasize the idea of a "spoke and hub model" where Forgotten Runes is at the center and Magic Machine is one spoke. He mentions Runes TCG and BlackSand as examples of other spokes that build on top of Forgotten Runes.
Dotta says that Magic Machine's projects should be on the roadmap (e.g. the TV show, the comic, the Runiverse Game, Goblin Town, and others in the works) but says everyone should know it's a decentralized legendarium. Everyone who is participating is pushing the project forward. Dotta says they will ask around about other Forgotten Runes community projects who want to be on the new overview graphic.
Elf says Forgotten Runes is no longer represented by a linear road but more of a "rhizomatic cluster" — spreading without a traditional hierarchy.
Next, Elf answers a question regarding the launch of 3D Souls. He says he won't give an exact date, but they're deep into production and all that's left is rigging. He notes the timeline will be simpler than 3D Wizards because they don't also have to build a website for Souls.
Status of the DAO
"We're basically at a phase where a couple of people who are signers on the multisig...have to KYC for our...partners in the Caymans."
Dotta says as he understands it, the paperwork has already been filed with the Caymans and they're just finalizing "basically the charter documents." Dotta says he and one other person have KYC'd so far for the multisig. Dotta notes that the Council meets every week, and it has been a lot of work which has resulted in burnout for some members. Due to this, he says that 3 or 4 seats on the Council will be opening up for election once the paperwork is finalized. Dotta says:
"If you're interested in some underappreciated bureaucratic work with your fellow Wizzies, then consider running for the DAO multisig. The main consideration is effectively that you have to tell our legal partners, the directors of the DAO...who you are for real."
Elf says that he has stayed out of the DAO, but what he's seen from the outside is "the very definition of 'bureaucratic nightmare.'" Dotta says almost all of the DAOs you've seen are unincorporated partnerships that are sloppily done and putting you at all sorts of legal risk. Dotta states that the Forgotten Runes DAO is completely above the board and that's why it's taken a year to put it together. Elf clarifies the DAO itself isn't the bureaucratic nightmare, just the legalities around setting it up.
Licensing Lore Written By a Holder Who No Longer Own the Token
Elf then answers a question about the future royalties model for licensed lore. Community member Xebulon wonders what happens if lore is used by Magic Machine that was written by someone who no longer owns the token for which they wrote lore. Dotta says this is a very interesting question, and he will have to ask the team's lawyers about it. He says they are "not able in this moment to give royalties blanket to the token holders." Dotta says what they will be able to do is license IP from people who write lore in the Book of Lore and own those tokens. As of now, you would no longer have a commercial right to Magic Machine's interpretation of that character.
Dotta notes he will have to consult with legal about the transfer of lore for licensing. He says this is a sticky situation and thanks Xebulon for bringing it up. Elf asks if it's not as simple as whatever wallet holds the token owns the IP, regardless of who wrote the lore.
Dotta says it's a tough situation, noting that Wizard NFTs are not securities, and there is no clear guidance on what is allowed. He says Elf's notion makes the most sense intuitively and is the goal situation, but says he needs to talk to their lawyers.
The Emissary, The Bringer of End Times, The Meta Sword & The Quantum Sword
Following that, a lore question comes up about the Meta and Quantum Swords along with The Emissary and The Bringer of the End Times. Elf notes the Meta and Quantum Swords are Warrior weapons. The Emissary is the first Warrior. The Bringer of the End Times is the last Wizard. Elf says the Bringer of the End Times and The Emissary are related.
"The Bringer of the End Times, in a pact with Ouroboros, sealed the population of 10,000 Wizards and closed the Summoning Beam at the Secret Tower. But after this halcyonic period of early days, these antediluvian, immortal Wizards, in their golden paradise, needed a rebalance. The Ouroboros groaned, an epoch turned, and the End Times became new again. A fresh Emissary was summoned — a herald of a new mortal class of powerful beings — titans of muscle and might. And though they could not use magic, they brought powerful weapons. While some of these weapons were made of base materials, some were forged in magic and alchemy."
Elf notes legendary weapons that appeared such as Excalibur, Grasscutter, and Tizona. These were once thought to be unique 1/1s, but they have been alchemically copied and claimed by various Warriors. New legendary weapons also appeared: The Meta and Quantum Swords. Elf says:
"If the Sacred Key Master's key can open any door — including the doors to the Realms 1-7 — then the Quantum Sword can perhaps simply hew them open, provided it is wielded by a Warrior with enough Quantum Style. The Meta Sword...is a weapon of all weapons — a transcendent blade that is self-aware, and it can only be used for certain cosmic tasks."
He says you won't see a Kobold pull out a Meta Sword in a bar fight.
Bearsnake then asks if Elf can recount the lore of "a certain Kobold who wields Excalibur" referring to the Goblin Warrior that Elf lost to Bear in an arm-wrestling match. Elf says he's going to win the Warrior back and Excalibur will be returned to its rightful owner.
BlackSand Racing Update
After that, Elf gives an update on the current BlackSand Pony Racing Elysian Circuit, noting that the team "Purple Cobras" have taken the lead from third place last week. Elf is happy to report this, as he is a member of Purple Cobras. Bill Gains currently leads the pack.
The Lore of 666
Then, Dotta begins telling lore about the number 666, relating it to the 666 Shadow Ordinals' inscription on Block 666 satoshis. Dotta says he has received messages from people who say things like, "That's really cool. 666 — Yeah! the devil, man."
Dotta says people don't realize the actual meaning behind 666 and how deep it goes. He says it's typically associated with the beast from the Book of Revelation and the Antichrist. He says the reason they used Block 666 sats is not in celebration of the Antichrist.
Dotta says the use of sats from Block 666 is more closely related to the idea of a "mark that is required to buy or sell." He says this is very closely related to the themes of The Shadows and The Shadow Hats' as a tribute to Satoshi and the "mark" as it relates to crypto.
Dotta reads a passage from the Christian Bible:
"And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six."
Dotta says there are many interesting ideas in this story that have parallels to world at present.
The Divinity of 7
He says the idea of the number 6 can be contrasted with the idea of the number 7 as a "divine number." Dotta notes this idea is even used in Forgotten Runes collections.
Dotta says that Buddha took 7 steps at his birth. He notes there are 7 chakras in Hinduism. Pythagorean numerology regards 7 as "divine" and the "number of the universe." There are 7 days of creation in the Book of Genesis. Dotta says there is an "ultimate completeness" in 7.
Dotta contrasts that with the number 6, which he says is "falling short" of divine perfection. He says this is also a number of systems, symmetry, science, and technology.
"Part of the downfall of these kinds of systems is, effectively, their hubris. Logic tends to fall in love with its own creations and thinks that it encompasses everything, completely, with no exceptions."
Dotta notes Milton's portrayal of Lucifer in Paradise Lost, saying it is not a grotesque monster, but rather an angel of light that uses logic for his reasons.
"His fault is actually an excess of pride — an excess of perfection. It's this idea of a totalitarianism. Totalitarianism falls because it uses its logic to say, 'I've solved all the problems and invented this system, and this system is the Ultimate Good.' This system is basically the god."
There is a system and structure, but all in the absence of an Ultimate Good. Dotta goes on to say that without this Ultimate Good, the system effectively becomes a false idol.
A Golden Idol
Dotta returns to biblical references, noting that 666 also shows up in the Old Testament in which King Nebuchadnezzar demands a golden idol be built that is 60 cubits x 60 cubits. Dotta notes Nebuchadnezzar required people of the kingdom to bow to the statue lest they be thrown into a furnace. He uses this as an example of the narcissism associated with the number 6.
Then, he returns to the passage about the beast — noting there are actually two beasts: one from the sea and one from the Earth, and the beast from the Earth serves the beast of the sea. He then reads another passage describing the two beasts. Dotta continues that the beast of the Earth orders the inhabitants of the world to construct an image of the first beast, and breathes life into is such that it can speak, and all who do not worship it are killed. Dotta relates this back to the story of Nebuchadnezzar.
Dotta circles back to the mark:
"No one can participate in any economic activity unless you submit to this total authority, and this is what totalitarian systems do. They break down families...clubs...religions. You have to reduce people down to a number...their 'public key'."
Dotta then says this is analogous to ideas of central bank digital currencies. He says the symbolism here of 666 isn't to celebrate evil and the Antichrist, but to remind everyone of the story.
"They prepare us to be on our guard from these systems of totalitarianism."
Quantum Synchronicity & Dragon Speech
Elf chimes in to say he knows exactly what Dotta is talking about, stating there is, "so much Quantum Synchronicity flowing between us right now." Elf says he and Dotta did not collaborate on anything Dotta has said. Dotta just told Elf he wanted to talk about 666.
Elf says all of what Dotta has said relates to the lore of why he decided to take on the role of the Black Goat. He says this is why he and Dotta work together so well — they have an intuitive understanding of what they're doing to the point they don't have to communicate it.
Dotta says in the story in Revelation, the beasts make an idol of their own totalitarianism and then bring it to life so that it can speak. He says, "This is so weird. Wait. A talking rock?" He says this totalitarianism creates an artificial life — artificial intelligence.
Dotta notes that the beast in the passage looks like a lamb, but speaks like a dragon. He says it creates artificial intelligence that doesn't speak to the transcendent Good even though it looks like a lamb, but rather speaks to its own destructive pride.
Elf says he has so many paths he wants to go down.
"There's so many ways to interpret that totalitarian machine. Some obvious ones would be a super intelligent AI that heralds our destruction. I think another one could be corporate entities that control our governments. It is interesting how much these ancient stories seem to portend our current condition."
Dotta says the silver lining is that even in the Book of Daniel, not everyone bowed down to the idol. Three friends refused to bow, were thrown into the furnace, and were saved. Dotta continues to say that even in Revelation, it basically says those who did not bow down to the idol in that story were also saved. He says the lesson is not to "bow to false gods" but to maintain loyalty to transcendent ideals even in the face of overwhelming adversity.
"The best defense against the beasts of our time is to fortify our moral foundations so we can stand, unwaveringly, even in the face of fire."
Evil Arcanist Black Goat of the Wood
Elf then leads into his Black Goat lore, noting Nightowlbirdman's campaign to get Elf, Dotta, and Bear to write lore for their Wizards. He asks Bear and Dotta if they have written any lore. Bear says he has about 5 drafts for different Characters.
Dotta replies, "No."
Elf says his excuse has always been that it was in his head. To start, he says there's a notion at the core of Forgotten Runes in which one can take timeless symbols and archetypes and build on them with new 21 century interpretations. Elf says he has received questions similar to Dotta's inbox inquiries about the Shadows:
"What's up with the satanic goat?"
Elf notes he's even called "The Evil One, The Black Goat of the Wood." Elf says this has always been tongue-in-cheek for him.
Elf says he deliberately chose this archetype that is loaded with history — one that often inspires fear, dread, and evil. He says he has made it his personal lore building mission to deconstruct and rebuild the Black Goat's image with new meaning.
Elf says the core of Forgotten Runes is a meta-modernist project which takes timeless archetypes, deconstructs them, and gives them new life. He says he's interested in "using an icon of an iconoclasm to show that you have the freedom to destroy and rebuild all icons." Elf relates this to Dotta's discussion, noting he sees parallels with crypto — taking maligned technology and recontextualizing it as a force for good, freedom, and liberation.
"To do that, it seems that we may have to dismantle the old icons."
Elf says that right now, crypto and NFTs are a scapegoat cast as a tool for money laundering, criminals, terrorists, and drug dealers. Elf says that, like all tools and technologies, blockchain is value-neutral.
Lore of the Black Goat
"Yes [blockchains] can be used by people with bad intent, but [they are] also be used by people with good intent. At its best, it offers liberation and freedom. When the establishment sees us on our best days, reveling in this freedom, they see a threat...They fear they are losing track of the flock. They want the sheep to stay under the protective surveillance of the shepherd. The sheep and the flock are fearful, too. They've grown very comfortable with the shepherd and the sheepdog who protect them from the wolves...The sheep are content to nibble on the grass in these pastures of ignorant bliss. But the Black Goat is roaming on the boundaries, flirting on the edge of the pasture where the dark forest begins...he wonders if the fangs of the wolves are worse than the shepherd's crook. The shepherd has loaded the Black Goat with his own sins...his own darkness, because his domestic order is threatened by...this nonconformist Goat...I think the shepherd kind of hopes the wolves will take him. The shepherd makes no attempt to tame the Goat. What he does not know is the shepherd's daughters, with a gaggle of spring lambs, join the Goat in the forest where the build fires that strike fear into the heart of the wolves. They weave intricate designs and speak esoteric languages and plot a new world order. A cult is forming, and it is attracting spellsingers, and bards, and artistic alchemists, oracles, prophets, Kobolds, and all manner of technological Wizards. Now I just need to get all of that in the Book of Lore, but that, to me, is what the Black Goat is."
God Is In Washing the Juicer
After Elf gives his lore, Dotta explains a comment he made earlier that, "God is in washing the juicer." This is a phrase that came up earlier in the week in Sales Chat when Tad Major offered to host 6-8 tents for a Wizard commune in Ecuador. Bill Gains said that communal living never worked out for he and Acideater. Tad responded that it needs the right, aligned group otherwise one person does all the work while others sleep in a hammock.
"The elitist White Hats will always skip weeding the garden to meditate."
Bill Gains said he will never forget "the guy who used [his] juicer to juice turmeric and didn't clean it because he had to go meditate." Dotta's response was that the way to be your best self is not to sit and think about yourself, but to use your work to serve others.
Thus, God is in washing the juicer.
Cosmic Birds Talks Burning Man
Cosmic Birds of Ornithia then steps up to speak about Burning Man's exodus. She says it wasn't as bad as it looked in the media and that it was more of a disappointment than anything, noting they were going for the latter half, though she still got to have one great night. Cosmic says it was crazy trying to get out, noting they ditched her car and two trailers, which are still in the desert. She recounts the story of her friend who was late picking her up because they were driving Diplo, Chris Rock, and Cindy Crawford.
Dotta asks how many times it has rained at Burning Man, to which Cosmic says, "very few." It was unprecedented that people were unable to leave. She says from her perspective as a biologist/ecologist, she's worried about the desert ecosystem.
However, Cosmic says she doesn't regret going, though she wished for a bit more of a fun experience to compensate for the hassles.
"Really, we got 90% hassles and 10% fun."
Though she has never seen life on The Playa, Cosmic says that she saw two beetles come out of the mud along with a crow that landed on her tent on Friday morning. She wonders if it was an omen of the inclement weather.
Biohazards On a Plane
Bear then briefly speaks about what he calls the "real natural disaster" in reference to the flight that was forced to turn around after takeoff due to an unfortunate biohazard situation. Dotta then announces he will miss next week's Wizard Wednesday — his first absence — due to travel.
With the remaining time, the team reviews the work aggregated in the 33rd week of the illustrious Tania del Rio's Cult Content Chronicle.