Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2023-09-13
This week, FrogEater kicks off the show with a guest introduction from the 3rd Dimension of the Quantum Downs. The show opens with just Frog and Elf onstage. Elf says he isn't sure where Bearsnake is, and Dotta is absent due to travel. Elf opens the stage for other speakers.
3D Souls Likely Done In Time For Halloween
After noting that the team has given Jitcy the day off for his birthday, Elf asks Frog what he has been up to these days, and Frog responds that he has mostly been working on the rigging for 3D Souls. He says they are about 50% done and they are on track to release by Halloween. It appears that Frog let the date slip, because Elf says he loves how FrogEater dropped the 3D Souls deadline. They laugh it off, though Elf says he didn't want to drop the deadline, because he wasn't sure it they could meet it. However, Elf says Frog has given him confidence.
Dotta Continues His Wizard Wednesday Streak
Elf then points out that Dotta's absence was short-lived, and that he is lurking in the audience and asks if he wants to come onstage. Dotta joins briefly from Hell's Kitchen, NYC. Elf asks if Dotta has been having a good vacation. Dotta replies that it has been great and that he toured a submarine.
Elf asks if he saw anything interesting underwater. Dotta says no, and that they stayed surfaced.
Elf asks if it was piloted with a video game controller. Dotta says the submarine he toured was not piloted with a video game controller, and that it was "a little more serious than that." He notes he got to see all of the equipment and nuclear missile silos. Visitors could also lie in the beds. He says it seemed "quite cramped."
While onstage, Dotta also says that aliens are real, and asks if Elf saw the news from Mexico. Elf says that he has a lot to say about it. Dotta says, in seriousness, that the supposed person who released the bodies has presented human corpses as aliens in the past. Dotta says there's reason to be skeptical about the alien news from Mexico, but he says the DNA can still be analyzed, so it's yet to be seen.
Elf says it's the "fakest looking alien corpse [he's] ever seen."
LachnessMonsta connects and says that we wouldn't know an alien's form outside of Earth, and if an alien were to travel to Earth, it might transform in different ways to navigate Earth. Dotta says the presented aliens were covered in diatomaceous earth, and he thinks it sucked the moisture from them and they "died right there in the cave." Elf asks for Frog's opinion, and he says he thinks they're real.
He says, "There's no reason for the Mexican government to lie to us," which elicits a round of laughter.
Elf says that the "alien" looks like something a human with little to no artistic skill would make. He then notes that Bearsnake has joined the Space. Elf says the alien situation makes him think of Kafka's Metamorphosis in reverse. He note's Kafka's emphasis on rigid bureaucracy that has lost touch with humanity and reality.
"Our institutions have such limited vision...that they can barely function."
Elf goes on the says that the protagonist in The Metamorphosis is transformed into a giant cockroach, and the first questions he's asked by his employer when they learn of his transformation is how it will affect his job performance and if he will be late for work. Elf says now, the institution is the one presenting absurdity, and they're casually passing it off as if the default assumption is that everyone will accept its legitimacy.
"It's just one more act in this...macabre theatre we see playing out daily on social media."
Elf notes that Dotta has left, but Bearsnake steps up onstage. Bearsnake says he thinks it's real. He says he isn't sure about the aliens being presented in Mexico, but he believes we are being "visited."
Frog says, "Yeah."
Lorepunk says she believes the Great Filter exists and she believes it's unlikely we've been visited unless it was "billions of years ago before we were here."
Elf says he's with Lorepunk, and that it poses a logistical problem. Bear notes the idea that parallel dimensions sit next to each other, which might afford a mode of travel without having to reach "5x the speed of light to get over here." Elf says that he would almost argue that faster than light travel seems more feasible than traveling dimensions.
Elf says, "From looks only and vibe only: looks fake as hell."
Bear says, "It's a thousand years old! It's not going to be shiny!"
Elf says even the anatomy of the supposed aliens looks silly — like something a child would make out of Play-Doh. Bear asks what Elf thinks about the eggs inside from the Xray.
Through his laughter, Elf just says, "It's so ridiculous." They round out the alien conversation with a discussion of alien memes. Elf also notes that there is an alien in the Runiverse who is rarely talked about, but says perhaps he will discuss that lore some other day.
Words Dot Art
On that topic, Elf says there are many lore questions to cover. To start with Cult Questions, however, he responds to Tadmajor's question about the Words app Dotta has been developing.
He says it's a shame Dotta left because it's mostly "[his] baby." Elf asks if Bear wants to speak about it. Bear says they don't want to talk too much about the Words app, but notes that no matter what they build, they want to make sure they're giving value to the community and mentions advantage for the Cult in terms of signing up on launch. For now, the app is on testnet.
Bear says the Words app is more of an experiment, but it could tie directionally back to Wizards. He notes that it's a good way to explore the possibilities of progressive web apps and the ability to take Web3 mobile. Bear says that he signed his brother-in-law up for Friend Tech, and his brother-in-law said it was one of the easiest experiences he has ever had interacting with blockchain. The Twitter account for Words is live, and they hope to have the app launched relatively soon.
Elf says that Dotta has been learning a lot by building out the Words app, and the team is getting some great insight into PWAs in general. Elf says PWAs feel like the next great iteration of crypto on mobile.
Does the Team Sleep Well?
Then, community member Pleasures asks if the team sleeps well. Elf says he sleeps ok, estimating he gets about 6-7 hours. Bear says he thinks he's sleeping less than he ever has.
"It's hard to turn the brain off."
He says he tries not to go under 6 hours.
Elf asks about Frog's quality of sleep. Frog says he unfortunately doesn't get a lot of sleep, but says the positive to that is that he feels he's most creative with around 5-6 hours of sleep. Otherwise, he feels groggy or sleepy. Elf says that poets are known to not get a lot of sleep and asks if that's true for Lorepunk. She directs listeners to her Twitter to see the shocking hours she keeps. She said her sleep shifted a lot once she started in the space and led to lots of late nights.
Elf says he has a question for Lorepunk, which is due to a question Magus Wazir asked about the "taste of magic." Elf asks if Lorepunk has heard of a quote along the lines of, "You don't know what life tastes like unless you've eaten while crying." Lorepunk says it does sound familiar and it definitely has a poetic sound to it.
Madotsuki finds that quote, which is from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
"If you've never eaten while crying, you don't know what life tastes like."
Modes of Transportation In the Runiverse
Then, Elf says he's spent around 40 minutes thinking about the next question from Ozzz: What are the common means of transportation in the Runiverse aside from ponies? Are there airplanes? Is there a fuel scarcity? Elf says he loves this question so much.
Elf says he believes one of the big methods of transportation in the Runiverse is trains. He says he thinks it is so just because he loves trains. He says he has asked if Bisonic could put a rail system in the Runiverse game, to which they responded it could be a stretch goal. Elf also says that he would like to overlay a rail system on top of the existing Runiverse map. He mentions that he has been writing his own Forgotten Runes story that takes place on a train as well.
He says there were requests a while back for more Magic Machine stories. Elf says the team still wants to do more Forgotten Runes stories from Magic Machine, and the first one that he started writing was a story about a train. Elf says his favorite rail system of all time is the Orient Express and describes his obsession with its mythologies. Elf says there are other forms of modern vehicles in the Runiverse — even cars. He says Goblin Town probably has a lot of ridiculous cars.
Elf notes that there is also a high-tech police helicopter as well as an old wooden ship in the Forgotten Runes TV show trailer. Elf says the inclusion of these two vehicles in the trailer was very deliberate and the important thing to note is how people in the Runiverse deal with these modern vehicles. However, he says he doubts you will see sprawling highways or dead-zone parking lots in many places. Elf says there is a tension between magic and technology in the Runiverse. He notes that in our world, since the Industrial Revolution, all of our machines are made by machines, which puts efficiency and utility first.
However, in the Runiverse, many of these devices, appliances, and machines are still made with "inefficient methods" or even by hand. Elf says this is due to an optimization for aesthetic over utility as magic-users have learned that aesthetics increase magical abilities.
"Magic is a thing that heavily relies on a person's psychological reaction to it. It's like artwork. It's a force of the mind and of emotions and of dreams...[that is] far more powerful than the cold, scientific physics that govern the natural laws of the universe."
Elf says he could talk endlessly about this, which is why he loved the question so much. He notes he was speaking to Derek Kolstad earlier in the week about the forces of tech and magic, which he says are proxies for order and chaos that govern the Runiverse.
Dinosaurs & Dragons
Then, Elf answers a question regarding the dinosaurs in the Warriors collection, and if they are "regular-sized." Elf says that dinosaurs in the Runiverse can be summed up as, "The alchemists' version of Jurassic Park." Elf says he believes dinosaurs exist in the Runiverse purely through alchemy and other magical sciences. Elf says there are small dinosaurs, large dinosaurs, mini ones — anything the alchemists can come up with.
Bear says he thinks there are only mini ones. The conversation turns briefly to the 1985 film Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend, about a paleontologist who finds Brontosaurus in Central Africa.
Elf then wonders about the correlation between dinosaurs and dragons within the Runiverse. Elf says he has a lot of lore cooking up about dragons. Bear says he is adamant that dragons and dinosaurs are unrelated.
"Dinosaurs are animals. Dragons are sapient beings...Dinosaurs could not vote. Dragons could."
Elf says he appreciates that delineation.
Bearsnake says he really identifies dragons as Fantasy things where he sees dinosaurs as a step in the evolution of life on planet Earth and they inherently conflict in his head. Elf says he believes dinosaur fossils were used by the ancients to "prove" the existence of dragons.
Elf asks if Cosmic Birds has any input as the resident biologist on the relationship between dragons and dinosaurs to come onstage to speak.
A Pause For Gold
Then, he considers a question about the use of gold in the Runiverse as a currency and its interactions with magic.
Dragons, Dinosaurs, and Mythological Origins
Before he is able to answer, Cosmic Birds approaches the stage. She says that from a paleontological perspective, the hotbed of feathered dinosaurs, which look very much like dragons, is in China — a location with some of the richest legends about dragons. Cosmic says that even to this day, the majority of feathered dinosaur fossils that are found are being found in China. It is believed that this is the origin of the dragon legends. Then, as Europe and Asia began to interact, Europeans began creating their own dragon myths.
Cosmic says that these feathered dinosaurs were the ancestors of modern day birds. She notes that in biology, there is discussion around non-avian dinosaurs, which are what we normally associate with dinosaurs, versus avian dinosaurs, which exist as modern day birds. Elf says he asked ChatGPT about the oldest dragon myth, and it ranks China alongside ancient Mesopotamia. He asks if Cosmic knows of any dragon fossils from ancient Mesopotamia.
She says she's sure there are, because they exist all over the world. Cosmic says there is such a proliferation of feathered dinosaur fossils in China due to their extensive cave system. She apologizes and says she disagrees with Bear and thinks that dinosaurs and dragons are very connected. Bear says it makes complete logical sense, noting the stories take root in a time before it was possible to predict the kind of bodies that could be supported by found skeletal remains.
Cosmic notes this is also how the myth of the cyclops came to be as well. Cosmic says that the skull of a dwarf elephant has a large hole in its center, which was supposed as a single eye socket, but it is the location of the elephants' proboscis in reality. Cosmic notes there is all sorts of connection between paleontology and Fantasy lore.
Pet Birds, Furbies, & Aliens, Cont.
Cosmic Weighs In On Aliens In Mexico
Elf says, "Cosmic. Mexican alien: true or false?"
She laughs and says, "There's, like, zero chance that those things are real, but they're so funny."
Elf asks if she could stretch some sort of biological or paleontological justification for them. Cosmic says the fact that the "aliens" came from the Nazca region of Peru says a lot, as it is a region known for its mummifications. She says it isn't unheard of that they could have mummified some creature and that maybe they've dated it, and it is a thousand years old. Cosmic says that the presentations in Mexico may have some sort of archaeological basis, but, "it's definitely not an alien."
Birds & Furbies For Bear
Cosmic tells Bear that if he wants pet-sized dinosaur, he could get a bird. Bear asks what the top 3 birds Cosmic would recommend having as pets. She says that she believes birds should be free, but as far as things she thinks would be cool to have in her house: a crow, some sort of parrot, or a hummingbird. Lorepunk says the best birds to keep are domesticated birds — if your city allows — like chickens or ducks. She says if you watch these animals for five minutes you will know in the deep marrow of your bones that they are dinosaurs.
Frog jokes that he thinks Bear is only capable of taking care of a Furby. Cosmic asks what color Furby he would want.
Bear says, "Bright orange — remind me of the Puppet Man."
He then says, "We're unwinding without Dotta."
Madotsuki approaches the stage. Elf asks if he believes the aliens portrayed in the recent news are real.
Mado says, "Oh, that's actually just a picture of one of our senators." Mado says it seems unlikely that beings from across the galaxy would evolve to have humanoid form. Cosmic points to a comment Mado made about the range of biodiversity on Earth and states that the idea that aliens would take a human form is the height of hubris. Elf says that Star Trek addresses this in its lore with a humanoid "Mother Race" that spread throughout the galaxy. Madotsuki shares the concept of meteorites acting as interplanetary seeds, noting fungal species that can survive space travel as long as they aren't exposed too long to UV rays.
Cosmic says that there are tardigrades sitting on the moon right now due to an accident where they were ejected. She notes they are likely in a form of suspended animation and it's possible they could still be alive if returned to Earth.
Elf asks if octopuses "are supposed to be from another planet."
Cosmic immediately says no. Bear says there is a theory that 1000s of years from now octopuses will come to land, humans will die off, and there will be tree-dwelling octopuses. Elf says he thinks Bear made it up. Cosmic agrees that she has also never heard of the land octopus theory. Mado asks Bear if his kids play Splatoon, as that is basically the premise of those games. Mado also says his favorite interpretation of extraterrestrial life is from the film Arrival. He says he believes aliens wouldn't look anything like we expect. Elf agrees that Arrival imagines aliens in a truly otherworldly way. Lorepunk says Arrival is based on a novella called Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang. She says another book that delves into these theories of parallel evolution is Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. She also notes recent theories that AI may allow communication with dolphins and wonders if it might eventually be a way for communication with aliens.
Cosmic says that one of her favorite portrayals of aliens is from an episode of Love, Death, & Robots called "The Swarm." Elf says he enjoyed Love, Death, & Robots. FrogEater agrees, saying it was "an animated treat."
Claynosaurz & Comics
Praise For Claynosaurz Project
On the topic of animation, Bearsnake says he was on a panel with a bunch of storytelling projects and a company, Story Protocol. Bear says one of the people on the panel was Cab, from Claynosaurz. Bear asks if anyone has seen these before, and Elf replies that he has. Bear says the art is unbelievable, and a lot of the team are former VFX artists and animators from big studios. Bear says that Cab is a great guy and sees a lot of the same opportunity that Forgotten Runes sees. He says he doesn't know much about the specifics of Claynosaurz as a project, but they're "working the production angle on a ton of short-form, high-end content."
The Comic Makes Progress
Then, Elf says Bear noted "something fun" about the comic the other day and asks if he remembers what it was. Bear says he isn't sure; he talks about the comic a lot.
Elf says they heard from a big comic store:
"Who are you guys and why is everybody ordering your comic?"
Bear says they have been getting very good feedback from big stores about the comic sales, but they won't have hard order numbers until the end of October. He says he, Nalgene, Lach, and Jitcy are working to maximize that and sending promotional material to keep them talking. Elf thanks everyone who has pre-ordered a comic and says that it is making a splash and the pre-orders are helping it get off the ground. Bear agrees that it makes shops want to order more until eventually it reaches people who don't know what Forgotten Runes is. Bearsnake also says he has updated order links for various regions in the Forgotten Runes Discord for anyone who still hasn't placed an order but would like to. He also says you can DM him or Nalgene, or put in a support ticket on Discord. Bear also notes that the team will be in New York next month for New York Comicon at Titan's booth, and he thinks they will do a signing with artist Reilley Brown.
Elf then answers a question from the Discord about how the comics impact the NFTs. Elf says there are a bunch of ways to answer, but it's good for the overall project and brand — to increase awareness of the project and to get Forgotten Runes in the minds of the mainstream. Elf says another way to answer is that the storylines in the comic intersect with a lot of content from the Book of Lore. The storywriter for the comic pulled a lot of information from the Book of Lore, and if your content is featured in the comic, you will have the option to receive royalties. Elf says the legalities of this royalty distribution are still being figured out.
Bear says that the underpinning of the project is the web of proper entertainment that elevates the IP and rewards creation of fan canon. Mado explains that is part of the attraction of Forgotten Runes: Creators can see that their stories can be a part of something bigger. Any Character in Forgotten Runes can be made legendary with a great story.
Potential Work With Story Protocol
Lorepunk circles back to Bear's mention of Story Protocol and says that is a great connection to make. Bear says they have a lot of "friends in common." Bear says their toolset may potentially be able to help engage with the Cult in a way they already plan to do. Elf says that potentially, Story Protocol could help Magic Machine wade through the red tape of Character licensing.
Mado also asks about an "audio series" Bearsnake mentioned in a thread a while back. He asks if Bear can give more details.
In short, Bear says, "Nice try."
Elf signs off noting that he wants to dive into the question about Runiverse currency next week.
Though it was not covered on the show, don't forget to check out the new creative works from the Forgotten Runes community in Tania del Rio's Cult Content Chronicle below.