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ABOUT THE MANIFEST DELUSIONS WIKI

This is a wiki for the Manifest Delusion novels by Michael R. Fletcher. The series currently consists of Beyond Redemption (slated for release by HARPER Voyager on June 16th, 2015), The All Consuming, which my agent is currently reading, and The Mirror's Truth which is in the hands of my test-readers.

USER CONTENT and DISCUSSION

If you look to the left you'll see a few page options including User Content. It has been my intent since the beginning to make this wiki as accessible and interactive as possible. There are areas in User Content where you can post questions, make delusional statement, share character art you've done (please don't steal anything copyrighted) and some other stuff. If you don't see a page you want, feel free to add or request it.

Editing Wiki Pages: Once you're on the page you want to add your question/statement/art/whatever to click on the word 'Edit' on the menu at the top of the wiki. Drop your questions wherever they seem to best fit. Feel free to format or add new headings.

While I am sharing this space and am generally pretty easy going, this is mine. I will moderate as I see fit, though I'd rather not have to. Shitty behaviour will not be tolerated.

If you look at the top menu above, you'll see a link to a discussion page. Go ahead and throw stuff there too. Maybe at some point I'll organize this a bit more but right now I'm not even sure anyone will be interested in interacting. So...


On German and Basque

I don't speak German. I also don't speak Basque. I appropriated these languages because I liked the way they sounded and looked. Yes, I write at least in part with an eye toward how words look.

The harshness (no insult intended, but to my Canadian ears...) of German really fit the feel I wanted for the city-states. The names of the characters and cities are me throwing words and short phrases into a variety of translation programs...which sometimes lead me astray. Sometimes I took them directly as translated, sometimes I tweaked them a little to fit the look I wanted. König für immer became Konig Furimmer. Yes, I butchered your language. Sorry.

The vowels and appearance of Basque I stole for the wandering tribes of the Basamortuan (Basque for desert) Desert. Again I butchered another beautiful language.

Sometimes the names mean something, tell you something of the character, or something of their goals. But often they don't. This is an unexpected side-effect of the way I write. I don't plan. Characters were often named when I thought they'd end up being a certain way and by the end of the book they were someone completely different. And I was too damned lazy to change their names. I'd grown used to them. And in many cases I'd already forgotten their meanings. That's another thing about me: I have an awful memory. Finally, I wrote the book thinking a half dozen of my close friends would likely be the only people to ever read it. None of them speak German. Well one does. Kinda.

So. If you speak these languages, my horrendous abuse may upset you. Such is life. I hope you can get beyond my sins and enjoy the story for what it is. Whatever it is.

I feel like I should add that none of the characters speak German or Basque.

Apparent Inconsistencies

Why would you expect consistency from the deranged? That's crazy!

Delusions manifest differently in different parts of the world. Need proof? Look at our own world. Does everyone believe exactly the same stuff? Is everyone's concept of the afterlife the same? How about god or heaven or hell? And that's today, in this so-called age of education and enlightenment. How different were beliefs five thousand years ago? Did the Aztec tribes worship the same gods as the Pharaohs of Egypt? Our (relatively) sane world has seen the birth and death of more gods than you know.

Even here, where reality giveths not one shite for our beliefs, madness differs with culture. Though the Germanic Berzerkers, the Malay Amuk, and our modern version--Suicide By Cop--share similarities, they are all different. In the world of Manifest Delusions they are lumped into one easy classification: Wütend. People like nice, easy labels; it helps them feel like they understand something. But it's just a label. And like metaphors, labels are always suspect.

Consistency is a myth. We're a mad lot.

Unreliable Characters

What? Some of the characters seem like unreliable narrators? Sometimes Wichtig sees something one way and Stehlen sees it another...and wants to gut it?

Hmn. Odd.

Well, they are crazy. Were I you, I wouldn't trust the perceptions and opinions of the deranged. And just to throw one last log on the fire of doubt, like anyone, much of what they think they know of the world is hearsay, rumour, and the ever fallible common knowledge. Ever played the game Chinese Whispers (AKA Telephone)? Imagine that set in a world where belief defines reality.

Is Abgeleitete Leute really populated by copies of a single Mehrere? That's what I heard. Must be true, right?

THE BOOKS

Beyond Redemption (Manifest Delusions #1)

Beyond Redemption is a fantasy novel taking place in a world where delusion and insanity manifest as reality. Where belief defines reality, the sociopath is king and the pyromaniac truly worthy of fear. Such power comes with a price; the abilities of the deranged grow as their sanity collapses. In the end their delusions devour them.

Faith shapes the landscape, defines the laws of physics, and makes a mockery of truth. Common knowledge isn't an axiom, it's a force of nature. What the masses believe is. But insanity is a weapon, conviction a shield. Delusions give birth to foul new gods.

Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geisteskranken—men and women whose delusions manifest, twisting reality. High Priest Konig seeks to create order from chaos. He defines the beliefs of his followers, leading their faith to one end: a young boy, Morgen, must Ascend to become a god. A god they can control.

But there are many who would see this would-be-god in their thrall, including the High Priest’s own Doppels, and a Slaver no one can resist. Three reprobates—The Greatest Swordsman in the World, a murderous Kleptic, and possibly the only sane man left—have their own nefarious plans for the young god.

As these forces converge on the boy, there’s one more obstacle: time is running out. When one's delusions become more powerful, they become harder to control. The fate of the Geisteskranken is to inevitably find oneself in the Afterdeath. The question, then, is:

Who will rule there?

Reviews of Beyond Redemption

Publishers Weekly: Publishers Weekly gave Beyond Redemption a rare starred and boxed review: "The dystopia and its victims never quite collapse under the weight of the horror, and their perseverance encourages the reader to endure the grimness until the thought-provoking conclusion."

Booklist said, “Practically every character in this author’s new novel is insane, deplorable, or both, but in some dark corner of themselves, readers will admire all of them and thus be compelled to follow their grippingly fascinating story through to its terrifying climax. The journey is dark and emotionally taxing, but there aren’t many fantasy novels as smart, ambitious, and excellently written as this one.”

The Grimdark review: "This one easily lands in The Best of Grimdark and I hope to be reading some sequels soon."

Croaker says: Uh...I'm not really sure. It's in Russian. But it looks cool! Here's a (translated) quote: "...the author has written a subtle and poignant work of fantasy..."

Geeks of Doom: "I absolutely could not put it down."

SmashDragons: "Beyond Redemption is, and I don't say this lightly, one the most original, thought provoking, and hellishly dystopian dark fantasies that I have read in ages. It is also disturbing, disgusting, and action packed. And god I loved it!"

Beauty in Ruins: "Forget grim dark, this is mad dark . . . and it's awesome."

Grimdark Magazine "Fletcher's writing style dances from elaborate to more down-to-earth language in a way that grips hold of you. You keep turning the pages not only to see how much worse things can get for these characters, but also because it’s so easy to read. I loved it."

A Little History

I started writing BEYOND REDEMPTION in the winter of 2008. My first novel, 88 (dystopian cyberpunk) hadn't yet sold and I was blundering on with this insane writing thing desperately not thinking about the future. It was slow work as I often took long breaks where the mood to write fled, chased away by depression. When 88 finally sold to Canadian Publisher, Five Rivers, I took most of a year away from BR to rewrite and edit that. It was an amazing year and an incredible learning experience. When I returned to Beyond Redemption I had to reread the entire manuscript in an attempt to remember what I was writing about. I then scrapped much of what I'd written and rewrote/edited with what I'd learned during the editing of 88.

In winter of 2013, after calling my novel viscerally disgusting and my characters repulsive, Cameron McClure of the Donald Maass Literary Agency agreed to represent me. A few months after that we had offers from two publishers: Titan in the UK, and HARPER Voyager in the US. In the end, excited to be working with editor David Pomerico, I decided to go with HARPER Voyager. The deal was finalized in June of 2014.

Beyond Redemption - Soundtrack

Before hurling myself bodily at writing, I worked for fifteen years as an audio engineer. I did live sound in Toronto venues, and mixed well over ten thousand bands. I also worked as a freelance studio engineer. When I left (fled) the music business I brought with me some gear which later became a variety of home stereos. Yeah, we have sub-woofers in my office, the living room, and our bedroom. Don't ask. Even though I no longer work in music, I still love music; it will always be a big part of my life. My office was designed as much around my speakers as it was around the idea I'd be spending an insane number of hours sitting there smashing my scotch-soaked brain against the keyboard in the hopes a story would fall out. It usually does.

I often listen to music when I write. What I listen to depends on what I'm writing. If you've read the book, you can probably guess I don't listen to a lot of happy fluffy music. BEYOND REDEMPTION was written on a strict diet of Soilwork, Slayer, Burst, and Gojira.

Though I listen to music while writing, I (mostly) edit in total silence. I guess I'm using a different part of the brain.

Here's a quick picture of my desk. Yeah, that's a silly sub-woofer for a tiny room, but what the hells? My music has gotta shake shit.

Office Desk.jpg

The Cover Art

Back when we were still up to our unmentionables in editing Beyond Redemption, David Pomerico (Executive Editor at Harper Voyager) asked if I had any ideas for cover art and/or artists I particularly liked. We bounced ideas around, discussed a few cool names, and then David mentioned Richard Anderson. After a little googling I freaked out. Richard’s portfolio is amazing and the list of folks he’s worked with is downright intimidating. Seriously, check him out.

Some time later I received an email with three sketched ideas and was asked my opinion. This flew in the face of everything I’d heard about Big Publishing. Being a new and utterly unknown author, I didn’t expect anyone to asking my opinion on cover art.

Here are the three initial ideas:

BeyondRedemption sketches 05 ra.jpg

And...

BeyondRedemption sketches 04 ra.jpg

I liked the above because I immediately recognized Stehlen by her rat’s nest hair.

And finally…


BeyondRedemption sketches 01 ra.jpg



The Mirror's Truth (Manifest Delusions #2)

The Mirror’s Truth takes place shortly after Beyond Redemption ends. I’m not the kind of writer who plans, but this book did not end up at all like I thought it would.

August 5th, 2015: I've seen feedback from my test readers and have been editing and rewriting for the past few months. I'm doing my best to ignore the dark voices in my head. They don't think I can do this. They think I'm doomed. Fuck 'em. We are each of us our own worst enemy. Hey that could be a good theme for a book. Oh, I think it was.

The Mirror's Truth Back of Book Blurby-Type Thing

You can’t keep a good man down. You can’t keep Bedeckt, Stehlen, and Wichtig down either.

With the help of Zukunft, a deranged Mirrorist bent on her own destruction, Bedeckt flees the Afterdeath leaving his insane friends, Stehlen and Wichtig, behind. Not being the forgiving types, the two chase after him bent on revenge.

Morgen, an obsessive/compulsive child and Ascended god of the Geborene Theocracy, sends a cadre of mad assassins—Wahnists teetering at the edge of the Pinnacle—after the three. He also sends something cold and evil and it follows, lurking in the clouds above, shredding reality with its delusions.

Behind the scenes two Reflections—Morgen’s, and Zukunft’s—are manipulating everyone, dancing them like broken puppets.

When such delusions clash, reality suffers.


The Mirror's Truth - Soundtrack

While writing The Mirror's Truth I listened to a lot of Sylosis. The new album, Dormant Heart, is amazing. The two tracks that really stand out for me are Harm (cuz it mentions Swarm!) and Victims and Pawns.

Also in heavy rotation was: Thy Art is Murder, Aspherium, Glorification of a Myth, and Novembers Doom.

Raunchy. I've always enjoyed this band. They play a mix of poppy melodic death metal and can write a hook that'll get your too-metal-to-dance ass out of your office chair and hurling the goat at your speakers. I just grabbed the latest album, Vices.Virtues.Visions. It's awesome. Yeah, it's not my usual throat-ripping the-whole-world-is-going-to-shit metal, but damn it's good. Did it have a place in the writing of The Mirror's Truth? Uh...not really. But I was still listening to it all the damned time.

Now that I'm editing (early August) I'm listening to a lot of Cattle Decapitation. The Anthropocene Extinction is awesome.

SWARM AND STEEL - A MANIFEST DELUSIONS NOVEL

There is a new cast of characters to meet and a host of nasty new delusions to sample. Some characters from BEYOND REDEMPTION do make brief cameos in this novel.



Soundtrack

I mostly listened to Hypocrisy. Every now and then I threw in some Allegaeon, Chimaera, Black Crown Initiate, Beyond Creation, or Opeth, but I kept coming back to Hypocrisy.

Spotify

I've created a couple of playlists on Spotify and included a few of the tunes I keep coming back to when writing. I should note I tend not to listen to playlists, but rather complete albums. Sometimes complete discographies. I will often pick a band and start at whatever their first album is and just listen to them all--in chronological order--as I write. Sometimes I just pick a few favourite albums and cycle through those. Recently I had two weeks where I listened to nothing but Sylosis albums over and over.

Anyway, you should be able to find me on Spotify as michaelrfletcher.

MAP OF A DELUSIONAL WORLD

This is a claustrophobic little world. To the west are the Gezackt Mountains, jagged and impassable. To the north the frozen wastes and the barbaric Verschlinger tribes. To the east can be found the Kälte Mountains and the eternal Basamortuan Desert. South, beyond the grassland tribes, lurks the dark and bottomless Salzwasser ocean. Is it insane, does this little world fly in the face of all reasonable geology and and geography? Hells yes!

Belief defines reality.

A Mad World

This is a world of bickering city-states. Though several include a number of outlying towns and farming communities, very few contain more than a single real city.

Thousands of years ago the entire world was united as a single empire, the Menschheit Letzte Imperium, which was forever shattered by the gods.

But be warned: Mapping a responsive reality is of limited value. Beliefs change.


Beyond redemption map final.jpg


Map by: Judy LaVerde. http://www.braincircuitdesigns.com/


The City-States and Beyond

Abgeleitete Leute: Semi-mythological city populated solely by copies of a single Mehrere. This Mehrere is said to believe that he is many different people and that no two of his copies look or act the same.

Aufenthalt: Independent city-state.

Auseinander: A kingdom defeated by the Sieger Clans. A Sieger Geisteskranken lost control during the Battle of Sinnlos after raising an army of the dead. The Kingdom is now populated by the raised undead and ruled by what was the strongest of the Geisteskranken's inner demons.

Basamortuan Desert: East of the city states.

Folgen Sienie: Small city on the eastern border of Reichweite.

Geldangelegenheiten: Extremely prosperous kingdom. Centre of the Verzweiflung Banking Conglomerate. Centre of the Täuschung.

Gottlos: Grubby little Kingdom run by King Dieb Schmutzig who had been the previous king's greatest general. Dieb is a fairly powerful Gefahrgeist.

Grenzstadt: Walled city on the eastern edge of Geldangelegenheiten. Stands between the city-state and the tribes of the Basamortuan desert.

Grunlugen: Independent city-state ruled by a family of petty Gefahrgeist.

Kälte Mountains: Mountain range to the north of Geldangelegenheiten.

Mitteldirne: Capital of Gottlos.

Müll Loch: Birthplace of Stehlen.

Neidrig: City just beyond the north-western border of Grauchloss.

Rand: City belonging to the Auseinander Kingdom

Reichweite: Small kingdom west of Grauchloss, beyond the free cities (including Neidrig).

Schlammstamm: Nomadic grassland tribes whose society is based around who owns the most horses. At the centre of each tribe is a deranged shaman who thinks he can control the weather and talk to tribal ancestors.

Selbsthass City: Capital of Selbsthass.

Selbsthass: Theocratic kingdom. Ruled by a reflection of Konig Furimmer, High Priest of the Geborene Damonen. Originally an independent kingdom with its own royal family, Grauchloss long ago fell under the sway of the Geborene. The strength of the religion's faith conquered the Kingdom in a bloodless coup and the royal family stepped down.

Sinnlos: Small city located on the border of Auseinander and the lands held by the Sieger Clans. Famous only due to the fact that the final battle between the Sieger and the Auseinander occurred here.

SumpfStamm: Snake-worshipping tribes found in the swamps at the mouth of the Wüten River.

Traurig: City in the Kingdom of Geldangelegenheiten. Birth place of Wichtig.

Unbedeutend: Backwater kingdom that's been at war with itself for three generations.

Unbrauchbar: Small city just within the borders of the Kingdom of Gottlos.

Verschlinger: A tribe of savages in the far north who believe they gain strength and wisdom by devouring their foes. The Verschlinger do not believe in an Afterdeath.

Verteidigung: Garrisoned city to the north of Grauchloss City.

GEISTESKRANKEN

The Rules of a Responsive Reality

The stories of Manifest Delusion take place in a world where reality is responsive to the whims and desires of humanity. Mass belief, if shaped by religion or politics, can cause sweeping changes in reality. Conversely, a single person, insane enough to believe the impossible with utter conviction, can also twist reality. In this area you'll find some details on the rules governing this twisted reality.

This wiki is a work in progress. I'll add to it as time, will, and whim permit. Maybe someday I'll even come back and edit this stuff! As soon as I finish the next Manifest Delusion novel, that YA fantasy novel I have half-finished, and that crazy non-genre novel (imagine, not writing SF/F!) out of my system. Maybe.

I hesitate to give too much away. In part because I believe a large part of the enjoyment of a fantasy novel like this is to be found in the discovery of a new world. If I spell everything out for you, the reader, there will be nothing left for you to discover. And frankly, in many cases, I'd rather you figure this stuff out for yourself. Maybe your interpretation will be different than mine. Maybe even cooler! That's fine; just 'cuz I wrote the thing doesn't mean I'm right! Also, I want to save things for later books. I'm almost finished the first draft of the next Manifest Delusion novel, The All Consuming, and there is more shared in there than appears either here, or in Beyond Redemption. Aufschlag Hoher isn't the only scientist and he certainly isn't the brightest. Wait. What the hells does that mean? Well, I delve a little more into the physics of a responsive reality in the next book.

Any discussion of reality, real or imagined (the reality, not the discussion), must start with definitions. If we don't define our terms, we can never know if we are discussing the same subject. There are two definitions I feel are important here:

Definition: Geisteskranken

This is the single most important word we need to understand. In simplest terms a Geisteskranken is someone who believes something so strongly they are capable of altering reality. Simply wishing something were true is not enough to effect change, a person has to know something is true — believe it to the very core of their soul — to alter reality. Wanting to believe you are the best guitar player in the world — or thinking that you might be — will not suffice. You must live your life as if that belief defines you (and it must), knowing deep in your heart that you either are — or are destined to become — the greatest. Even then, faking it will achieve nothing. One must lose their mind, embrace insanity and believe the impossible, to make lasting changes. In short, Geisteskranken are delusional. Bat-shit crazy. They are insane enough to believe impossibilities so completely reality bends to their will.

All of this kind of makes it look like the mentally ill can all easily be classified and slotted into neat little groups. Reality, even a twisted and delusion-driven one, is never quite so simple. Most Geisteskranken suffer a host of minor delusions above and beyond the one or two (or, occasionally three for the truly deranged) that define them. These secondary and tertiary delusions generally remain undefined as their effects on reality are negligible. Or at least incapable of harming others.

Gehirn Schlechtes, the powerful Hassebrand in Beyond Redemption, is a perfect example. She is primarily a pyromaniac. She does, however, suffer at least one secondary delusions: Her self image is desperately warped. Gehirn believes (knows, in fact) that she is overweight and this delusion keeps her overweight. No matter how little she eats, as long as she knows that she is fat, she will remain so. Even the paleo diet won't help her! Arguably, her belief that someone is trying to poison/assassinate her is another secondary delusion.

Definition: The Sane

Odd, perhaps, that I need to define this, but there you go. The vast majority of the populace is completely sane and unable to alter reality. At least on their own. Bring a crowd together and convince them of something (through advertising, religion, politics, economics, or any other popular mass delusion) and they become--as a group--capable of defining their reality. The sane are not powerless, far from it. In fact, the sane define most of this reality. Almost anywhere you go things fall down, night follows day, politics is real and important, and there's somewhere to go after you die. Almost. The sane are even capable of countering, or even nullifying, the beliefs of the deranged. More on this later.

Types of Geisteskranken

The many and varied classifications of Geisteskranken (crazy people) of the Manifest Delusion world.

I feel some quick explanation might be required here. Yes, all of these delusions are based on real/reported cases of unstable behaviour. That said, I have played with them (and how they manifest) to suit the stories. In some cases I have made use of out-dated psychiatric diagnoses because frankly they are cooler.


Attonitatic

Hears two voices - one (on the left) says to do good things, the other (on the right) says to do evil.

Befallen

(Ekbom's Syndrome): Believe they are infested with parasites, bugs, or insects crawling on or under the skin.

Capgrast

(Caprgras Syndrome): Believe a relative or spouse has been replaced by an impostor (often demonic in nature).

Comorbidic

(Comorbidity): A person with multiple delusions that have reached the manifestation stage. Konig is a Comorbidic as he is a Gefahrgeist, Doppelgangist, and a developing Mirrorist. Comorbidity often marks the final days of a Geisteskranken as it signifies an increasingly decaying mental state.

Cotardist

(Cotard's Syndrome): Believe they are dead. Often combined with the belief they are rotting or missing internal organs.

Doppelgangist

(Syndrome of Subjective Doubles): Believe a double (called a Doppel) of themselves is carrying out independent actions. It is possible for a powerful Doppelgangist to manifest more than one Doppel. Doppels are aspects of the original person's personality. Sometimes parts of themselves they hate, or manifestations of who they wish they were. Sometimes Doppels appear as exact copies of the original, whle others can manifest as twisted versions or even look like completely different people--depending on the delusions of the insane. In outward appearance Doppelgangists and their Doppels can be mistaken for Mehrere as both manifest as multiple people. Mehrere, however, are true schizophrenics and suffer from multiple--and often completely different--personalities.

Dysmorphic

(Dysmorphic Syndrome): These folks are overly worried about a perceived defect in their physical features. They want to look different so badly their appearance actually changes. Due to their obsession, they are unable to see the changes and still think themselves defective. Many believe they are so unspeakably hideous they are unable to interact with others. This will eventually spiral out of control. Most Dysmorphics eventually withdraw from society and end in suicide. Many become abnormally thin, muscled, large-breasted, or exaggerated specimens of physical perfection...in one area.

Gefahrgeist

(Sociopath): Sociopaths have limited ability to feel for the pain and suffering of others. They are driven by their need to achieve and rule in social circles.

Geisteskranken

(Delusionist): Reality is responsive to the beliefs of humanity. Under normal circumstances it requires large numbers of people--all believing the same thing--to affect change. The more people who believe something, the more real their belief becomes. Geisteskranken are capable of believing something so utterly and completely--are insane enough--to affect noticeable changes in reality all by themselves. Most are only mildly neurotic and can cause minor or subtle changes. The truly powerful are also that much more deranged.

Getrennt

(Depersonalization Disorder): Disconnected from one's body, detached from own thoughts and feelings. Disconnected from reality. These folks often feel as if they live in a dream state (some will deny reflection in a mirror is theirs, and can be confused with Mirrorists. Some have out-of-body experiences. Depression, low self-esteem, panic attacks, self harm, and extreme phobias often result. Some feel as though time is 'passing' them by and they are not in the notion of the present. Getrennt are also often comorbidic and suffer from Unwirklichkeit (Derealization). Typically caused by: traumatic experiences including childhood abuse, accidents, natural disasters, war, torture, panic attacks and bad drug experiences. People who are diagnosed with depersonalization also experience an almost uncontrollable urge to question and think about the nature of reality and existence as well as other deeply philosophical questions. (from wikipedia).

Halluzinieren

(Hallucinations): These folks are capable of manifesting hallucinations in one or more senses. Minor Halluzinieren might just cause people to smell whatever the Geisteskranken is thinking about. Powerful Halluzinieren can hallucinate in all five senses and twist local reality.

Hassebrand

(Pyromaniac): Set fires as an outlet for their repressed rage and loneliness. Gehirn Schlechtes is a powerful Hassebrand reaching The Pinnacle.

Intermetic

(Syndrome of Intermetamorphosis): Believe people swap identities with each other while maintaining the same appearance. From wikipedia: The main symptoms consist of patients believing that they can see others change into someone else in both external appearance and internal personality. The disorder is usually comorbid with neurological disorders or mental disorders.

Inverse Square Law

(Inverse Square): The further one gets from a Geisteskranken, the weaker the effect of their delusions. Stand next to a Gefahrgeist, and you'll soon be desperate to be their best friend. View that same Gefahrgeist from a safe distance, and you'll see them for the manipulative arse they are. As a Geisteskranken's mental state decays--and their delusions gain in strength--the range of that power increases, but the inverse square law still applies. There are rare exceptions, where the Geisteskranken's delusions pertain specifically to distant objects.

Kleptic

(Kleptomaniac): Are compelled to steal things (usually of little or no value). They are often not even aware they've committed the theft.

Körperidentität

Body Integrity Disorder: The belief life would be so better as an amputee. The feeling is accompanied by the actual urge to amputate one or more healthy limbs to actually follow through on those feelings.

Krankheit

(Somatoform Disorder): Believe they are always sick and or injured to the point that they are. Extreme cases believe they have lost bodily functions--they might become blind, deaf, numb, or paralysed due to their delusions. These folks are often comorbidic and Dysmorphic as well, believing a limb is particularly weak and withering.

Macropic

(Macropsia): Objects are perceived to be larger than they are...and so they become larger. This could apply to a person, limb, or object of any type. A spider can be seen to be the size of a house. Run! These folks are responsible for many of the world's monsters. This is sometimes combined with Micropesia.

Mass Delusion

(Mass Delusion): Some Geisteskranken are capable of convincing the sane masses of all manner of craziness. Typically the stolid beliefs of the sane masses counteract the delusions of the insane. There are however exceptions to that rule. If a Geisteskranken gains followers at a slow enough rate, they can effectively create a new normal. The beliefs of the Geisteskranken become the beliefs of the masses. This is particularly common with the smarter Slaver-type Gefahrgeist. Erbrechen Gedanke (Beyond Redemption) is a perfect example. In these cases, the belief of the masses actually supports the Geisteskranken increasing their ability to twist reality and the range of that ability.

Mehrere

(Schizophrenic): Are so sure they are more than one person…they actually are! The various people they become can have wildly varying physical and mental traits. The truly deranged can be an entire crowd of people; either one at a time, or all at once. Just as the maifestations of a Dopplegangist are called Doppels, the manifestations of a Mehrere's split personality are called Fragments. In outward appearance Doppelgangists and their Doppels can be mistaken for Mehrere as both manifest as multiple people. Mehrere, however, are true schizophrenics and suffer from multiple--and often completely different--personalities.

Micropic

(Micropsia: Objects are perceived to be smaller than they are...and so they become smaller. This could apply to a person, limb, or object of any type. These folks can shrink you down to the size of an ant or turn your home into a doll-house. This is sometimes combined with Micropesia.

Mirrorist

(Catoptrophobia): Some believe the reflection in a mirror is someone other than themselves. Some Mirrorists believe their reflections know things, can see the future, or travel freely between different mirrors (useful for long distance communication). Others believe mirrors are portals to other worlds or dimensions. Some Mirrorists fear their reflections are trying to escape where others fear their reflections are trying to drag them into the mirror.

Narcisstic

(Narcissism): A personality disorder where the patient has an exaggerated sense of self-importance and individuality. The excessively crave attention and admiration and tend to be preoccupied by grandiose fantasies about themselves. They find interpersonal relationships difficult and tend to exploit others and lack empathy.

Phobic

(Phobia): Anyone suffering a strong phobia.

Somatoparaphrenic

(Somatoparaphrenia): Believe one or more limbs (sometimes an entire half of their body) belongs to someone else. Often this means they have no control over that limb. In extreme cases the limb develops a 'mind of its own' with its own agenda.

Synesthesia

(Synesthesia): is a disorder resulting in the sufferer experiencing an alternate sense as a result of the first sense. Ex: experiencing the sense of sight as the sense of taste.

Therianthrope

(Therianthropy): Believe they are possessed by (or sometimes were born with) animal spirits. Many believe they can transform partially (or completely) into their animal form.

Trichotillic

(Trichotillomania): a disorder resulting the urge to pull out hair (facial or otherwise). The ritual activity brings comfort to the afflicted.

Unwirklichkeit

(Derealization): The external world seems unreal, lacking spontaneity, depth, or emotional impact. This is most commonly a comorbidic disorder and occurs as a symptom of other disorders. This can manifest as something separating the Geisteskranken from the rest of reality. A wall of glass, thick fog, or gauzy veil are common manifestations of that separation. Sometimes the sufferer believes reality is actually just a particularly intricate play they are watching.

Wahnist

(Schizophrenia): A Form of Schizophrenia (false beliefs): Includes: believing people can hear your thoughts, that you are famous, or (falsely) believing the Geborene are out to get you.

Wendigast

(Wendigo Psychosis): An insatiable craving for human flesh. Typically the person will become a demonic monster, but still recognizable from human origins. This is more common in the tribes to the far north where every winter starvation becomes an issue. In appearance they combine the emaciation of severe starvation--along with open sores--with demonic strength. They also stink of death and decay. Some turn into massive giants, growing in strength and size as they eat. These guys have nothing to do with Chuck Wendig. I have no idea if he eats human flesh.

Wütend

(Amok, or Militant Explosive Disorder): Periods of brooding followed by a berserker killing frenzy (usually armed with a sword or knife) against people or objects. Most Wütend are killed during their frenzy or commit suicide after, but the few who survive typically have no memory of the event.

Factors Defining and Limiting the Abilities of Geisteskranken

This insane and responsive reality is nonetheless defined by rules. Geisteskranken, while capable of altering and to some degree defining local reality, are not gods. There are limits to what they can achieve. Of course, if enough people start worshipping them before their minds completely decay, they might Ascend to become gods. How lovely is that thought? Who demands worship? Sociopaths! And thus most of your favourite deities are Ascended self-centred arseholes. The factors below are not quite as simple as they seem. They're interrelated, each touching upon the others. More on that to come...

Attention

Even Geisteskranken sometimes think about things other than their delusions. When the attention of the delusional is focussed, they are more able to effect changes to reality. When they are distracted, thinking about sandwiches or sex or both, their delusions fade somewhat in power. As a result, it is hardest to ignore a Gefahrgeist (sociopath) when you are the sole focus of their attention. Later, when alone, you might find yourself thinking, why did I ever think that dick was my friend? It should be noted that as a Geisteskranken loses their grip on reality they become more able to neurotically focus and thus grow in power.

Strength of Belief

Not every one believes things to the same degree; this is true too for the delusional. Any doubt in one's delusions weakens them; cause a Geisteskranken to doubt themselves and/or their power reduces that power. Self-doubt (that not caused by outside forces, but by one's own delusions/self-hatred/insecurities) also weakens Geisteskranken. One person might be quite sure there is a god while another knows there is. Even among the delusional (Geisteskranken) how delusions manifest differs from person to person. No two are quite the same. Some Gefahrgeist (sociopaths) simply want to be popular and at the centre of every social circle, while others crave worship or power and either join the city-watch or enter politics or join a priesthood. It's important to note that the crazier someone is (the more strongly they believe the impossible) the stronger they become.

Distance

The further one gets from a Geisteskranken, the less their delusions will effect you. Most delusional are only capable of altering a relatively small slice of local reality. If you are hundreds of miles from a Hassebrand they will be unable to incinerate you...unless they have a very specific delusion about you bursting into flames. Even then, they are limited to a fairly localized reality. There are rare exceptions when a Geisteskranken's delusions are related to something distant. For example, some Mirrorists believe mirrors are simply gateways to either other mirrors or even worlds. In this case it is entirely possible the Mirrorist will step into one mirror and out of another, several hundred miles distant. As a Geisteskranken mind falls apart and they grow in power, their range also increases.

Proximity

Proximity to the majority sane is a major limiting factors to the abilities of Geisteskranken. A Gefahrgeist surrounded by a large population of people who think he's just another self-centred arsehole might well be rendered near powerless to conscript followers on any scale beyond one-on-one. Conversely, a Geisteskranken surrounded by a large crowd (sane or otherwise) who believe in this person's ability to alter reality is more powerful than when alone. A Hassebrand will be more powerful in an environment where everyone knows she is a powerful Hassebrand and less powerful where the population has no knowledge of them.

Countering Beliefs

Proximity to competing/countering beliefs can also limit a Geisteskranken's power. Two Intermetics suffering delusions regarding the same person might well cancel each other out. This also has large scale effects on religion. Wipe out all of a god's followers, and that god will die off, forgotten and unworshipped.

The Pinnacle

The ultimate leveller of the playing field. Embracing one's delusions comes with a price. Sure, holding your emotional scars tight to your heart, constantly picking at your mental wounds, might cause the Geisteskranken to grow in power, but embracing insanity is not healthy. As a Geisteskranken loses their grip on reality they become stronger, more able to utterly believe all manner of insane shite. As their sanity crumbles apart the range and strength of their delusions increases. Eventually, however, those delusions come to completely define that Geisteskranken's reality. They take over. That moment, that teetering instant when delusion crushes sanity, is The Pinnacle and, for a brief instant, the Geisteskranken might become so powerful as to challenge the gods. Unfortunately, for them, they are no longer sane enough to do anything with that power. What happens after depends on the delusions in question. A Mirrorist might be dragged into the mirror by his reflections. The Doppelgangist might be replaced by a Doppel. The Hassebrand might incinerate themselves in an orgy of flame.


How Geisteskranken Come to Be

There are four means by which one can become a Geisteskranken (delusional):

Genetics

Some people are just born broken. Their minds work differently. They see colours we don't see, hear things we don't here, and believe things we don't believe. This may be the result of a malformed brain, genetics, or a haywire endocrine/hormonal system.

Mental/Emotional Trauma

For most people, witnessing something truly horrific results in one of two things happening: Either they just shut down and refuse to deal with reality, or they find some way to forget, to shield themselves from what they have seen and move on. Sometimes, however, witnessing a horrific or traumatic event will break a person's mind. In most cases the trauma suffered defines what kind of Geisteskranken the person will become, but not always. People's reactions to mind-shattering stimuli is remarkably difficult to predict.

Physical Trauma

Sometimes a serious blow to the skull (and the resulting brain damage) is all that is required to create a new Geisteskranken. How their delusions will manifest can be difficult to predict as they were previously sane people. That said, memory loss and personality changes are common. Even the stranger delusions, however, can manifest out of physical trauma. Cotardism has resulted from blows to the head.

Narcotics and Alcohol Abuse

Obviously this is the most fun way to lose one's mind. Years of narcotics or alcohol abuse can have effects beyond those typically seen. Eat enough of the right mushrooms and you may never be the same again.

ADDITIONAL MANIFEST DELUSIONS MATERIAL

Cast of Players

An increasingly complete list of all characters in the Manifest Delusion novels.

Uh...Should I do a glossary and cast of players for each book, or one for the entire world?

My insane goal: To someday have pictures/art for every character. This might be a means of involving fans (assuming someday there are some) in the world. How cool would it be to post submitted art here? There could be several interpretations of any given character.


Abandonment: Doppel of Konig Furimmer.

Acceptance: Doppel of Konig Furimmer.

Anomie: Leader of the Schatten Morder, Konig's Cotardist assassins.

Asena: Leader of the Tiergeist, Konig's Therianthrope assassins.

Aufschlag Hoher: Geborene Chief Scientist.

Ausfall: A young girl bred by the Geborene Damonen to be a god.

Bär: Tiergeist assassin. Therianthrope with the ability to become a bear.

Bedeckt Imblut: Warrior, liar, thief, killer.

Erbrechen Gedanke: Slaver.

Fluch: Son of Wichtig.

Furcht Nachinnen: Originally a delusion of an unknown Gefahrgeist, and ruler of the Undead city-state of Auseinander.

Furchtsamer Bumer: War general of the Unbedeutend.

Gehirn Schlechtes: Hassebrand.

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Geschwister Schlangen: Dead sister of Masse, the Tiergeist assassin.

GroBe Klinge: Widely considered to the the best Swordsman in Selbsthass.

Halber Tod: Cotardist Poet.

Keil Zwischen: Founder of the Geborene Damonen.

Konig Furimmer: High Priest of the Geborene Damonen, Comorbidic (Doppelgangist, Mirrorist, Gefahrgeist).

Kurzschluss Gegangen: Bishop of the Geborene temple in Gotloss.

Launisch: Bedeckt's warhorse.

Lebendig Durchdachter: Swordswoman in Neidrig

Masse: Tiergeist assassin. Snakes.

Meineigener Beobachter: Head of Konig's personal guard.

Morgen: The God/Child.

Ohne Seele: Master Krieger.

Prince Zeichen: Commander of the Auseinander Armies. Zeichen ruled for a total of three years as his senile father died of unknown causes. All three years saw protracted war with the neighbouring Sieger clans. The war ended at the Battle of Sinnlos.

Regen Anrufer: Formerly Shaman of a small Schlammstamm tribe, Regen is now a favoured pet of Gedanke's. Regen has delusions of being able to control the weather and talk to animals.

Schwacher Sucher: Young Geborene Mirrorist.

Selbstmörderisch: Konig's Comorbidic bodyguard, she is a Dysmorphic Mehrere. Selbstmörderisch appears as two different but equally large and massively muscled women.

Stehlen Siealles: Violent Kleptic.

Stich: Tiergeist assassin. Scorpions.

Tragen Nachrichten: Geborene Priest.

Trepidation: Doppel of Konig Furimmer.

Verblassen: King of Einletztes Keuchen, defeated at Vergessener and slain.

Verlorener Spiegel: Mirrorist in Unbrauchbar.

Versklaven Schwache: Gefahrgeist Philosopher.

Vertrauens Würdig: One of Konig's personal guards.

Viele Sindein: Mehrere. Body guard to Morgen Held.

Vollk Urzschluss: The Greatest Swordsman in Unbrauchbar

Wahrheit Ertrinkt: Philosopher.

Wegwerfen: Geborene Priestess, assistant to Aufschlag Hoger

Wichtig Lügner: Swordsman and minor Gefahrgeist.

Wütend Alten: Friend of Bedeckt's lost at the battle of Sinnlos

Zuerst Geborene: Founder of the Geborene Damonen. The first man to deny the supremacy of the gods, Zuerst was cursed and reportedly banished from the Afterdeath.

Zweifelsschicksal: Mehrere Philosopher who eventually lost control of his multiple personalities and fragmented. Legend has it that he is still alive and travelling as a large crowd of people in search of the original.

Zweiter Stelle: Second best Swordsman in Selbsthass.

Glossary

This is a smattering of words and terms from the various books all plopped here in a (mostly) alphabetical list.


Abgeleitete Leute: Semi-mythological city populated solely by copies of a single Mehrere. This Mehrere is said to believe that he is many different people and that no two of his copies look or act the same.

Albtraum: The nightmares of man given flesh. These creatures take shapes relevant to those they haunt. They feed off the delusional and mostly attack Geisteskranken.

Aufenthalt: Independent city-state.

Auseinander: A city-state defeated by the Sieger Clans. A Sieger Geisteskranken lost control during the Battle of Sinnlos after raising an army of the dead. The city-state is now populated by the raised undead and ruled by what was the strongest of the Geisteskranken's inner demons.

Basamortuan Desert: The eastern most edge of the world. Home to the Basamortuan tribes.

Fehlerhafte Turm: Tavern frequented by Swordsmen and mercenaries in Selbsthass City.

Flussrand River: The physical boundary defining the border between the city-state of Gottlos and the Theocracy of Selbsthass.

Folgen Sienie: Small city on the eastern border of Reichweite.

Geborene Damonen: A religion/theocracy based in Selbsthass, headed by Konig Furimmer. The Geborene believe the universe was not created by the gods, that somehow it came before them, and that humanity created the gods with their desperate need to believe in something.

Gefängnisausbruch: Tribals living on the edge of the Gezackt Mountains, north of Auseinander. The tribal wisemen—Salbei—practice the art of moving their souls and possessing inanimate objects.

Geld Guard: City guard of Geldangelegenheiten.

Geldangelegenheiten: Small but extremely prosperous kingdom. Centre of the Verzweiflung Banking Conglomerate. Centre of the Täuschung.

Geldwechsler: Hats worn by members of the Verzweiflung Banking Conglomerate. Colour and size denotes rank. The darker and more somber, the larger and more uncomfortable, the higher the rank of the wearer.

Glücklich Leaf: Smokable narcotic.

Gottlos: Grubby little Kingdom run by King Dieb Schmutzig who had been the previous king's greatest general. Dieb is a fairly powerful Gefahrgeist. Gottlos is on the verge of war with Selbsthass.

Grenzstadt: Walled city on the eastern edge of Geldangelegenheiten. Stands between the city-state and the tribes of the Basamortuan desert.

Grunlugen: Independent city-state ruled by a family of petty Gefahrgeist.

Guztia Bereganatzen: Basamurtuan legend about a man who will Ascend to godhood by devouring the world and Afterdeath, trapping all souls within himself. Translates roughly as: The All Consuming. Kälte Mountains: A range of mountains far to the east of Selbsthass and north of Geldangelegenheiten. Beyond these mountains lies the Basamortuan desert, the eastern most edge of the world.

Kälte Mountains: Mountain range to the north of Geldangelegenheiten.

Krieger: The warrior sect of the Geborene Damonen.

Leichtes Haus: Tavern in Selbsthass City This entire continent had once been united under a single despotic ruler, perhaps the greatest Gefahrgeist ever to live.

Menschheit Letzte Imperium: The last of humanity's great empires to fall. This entire continent had once been united under a single despotic ruler, perhaps the greatest Gefahrgeist ever to live. Mitteldirne: Capital of Gottlos.

Müll Loch: Birthplace of Stehlen.

Neidrig: City just beyond the north-western border of Selbsthass.

Oihal: Long flowing robes worn by most tribes.

Rand: City belonging to the Auseinander Kingdom

Reichweite: Small kingdom west of Selbsthass, beyond the free cities (including Neidrig).

Ruchlos Arms: Inn located in Neidrig

Salbei: Elder of the Gefängnisausbruch tribes who inhabit the edges of the Gezackt Mountains.

Salzwasser Ocean: The ocean defining the southern edge of the world

Schatten Morder: Cotardist assassins of the Geborene Damonen.

Schlammstamm: Nomadic grassland tribes whose society is based around who owns the most horses. At the centre of each tribe is a deranged shaman who thinks he can control the weather and talk to tribal ancestors.

Schlangenbeschwörer: Therianthrope snake charmers of the SumpfStamm swamp tribes found at the mouth of the Wüten River.

Schwarze Beerdigung: Tavern in Neidrig

Selbsthass City: Capital of Selbsthass. Home to Konig Furimmer, High Priest of the Geborene Damonen.

Selbsthass: Theocratic kingdom. Ruled by a reflection of Konig Furimmer, High Priest of the Geborene Damonen. Originally an independent kingdom with its own royal family, Selbsthass long ago fell under the sway of the Geborene. The strength of the religion's faith conquered the Kingdom in a bloodless coup and the royal family stepped down.

Sinnlos: Small city located on the border of Auseinander and the lands held by the Sieger Clans. Famous only due to the fact that the final battle between the Sieger and the Auseinander occurred here.

SumpfStamm: Snake-worshipping tribes found in the swamps at the mouth of the Wüten River.

Täuschung: a dark cult worshipping deception and illusion. The ranking priests are powerful Geisteskranken, most being Halluzin.

Tiergeist: Therianthrope assassins of the Geborene Damonen.

Traurig: City in the Kingdom of Geldangelegenheiten. Birth place of Wichtig.

Unbedeutend: Backwater city-state that's been at war with itself for three generations.

Unbrauchbar: Small city just within the borders of the Kingdom of Gottlos.

Verrottung Loch: The worst tavern in all of Neidrig.

Verschlinger: A tribe of savages in the far north who believe they gain strength and wisdom by devouring their foes. The Verschlinger do not believe in an Afterdeath.

Verteidigung: Garrisoned city to the north of Selbsthass City.

Verzweiflung Banking Conglomerate: Organized banks/money lenders based in Geldangelegenheiten.

Wahnvor Stellung: The largest and most powerful religion. They believe the gods are crazy. Crazy enough, in fact, that through sheer divine belief, they created the universe and everything within it. Only truly insane creatures could believe strongly enough to create something this complex. They worship the old gods that pre-date recorded history.