129: On Gloom Geometry


Have you heard of the Shadow Farmers?

There are places in the city where shadows fall in such a way that they create biomes for other kinds of life. The feng-shui criss-cross of penumbras with slashes of light cutting perfectly across the network of shadows allow strange things to take root, but complete darkness, or complete brightness, will prevent their growth. Places that are exposed to the same level and orientation of light and dark are the best breeding grounds – abandoned places that no longer suffer human interference.

Urban explorers tend to run into the work of the Shadow Farmers the most, though they do not always recognise it when they see it. Human silhouettes that seem to stalk them throughout their expedition, shadows that fall towards the light, the outline of a window where none are to be found… these are often written off as “a trick of the light”, which, in a way, is exactly what they are.

The Shadow Farmers make new things out of the lack of light. “Shadow people” can easily be crafted from the silhouette of a single human body, which fulfill the Shadow Farmer’s requests. The angles of a building that suggest depth and perspective can form a hallway that allows access into people’s darkened bedrooms at night through the shadows cast by lights outside their windows. The overlap of mesh and scaffolding can create a cage to imprison their enemies. The motion of a slow, grinding fan can create a method of execution for those same enemies.

Fortunately, we have an ally. The Shadow Farmers are said to be opposed by a group who have discovered ways of permanently destroying things crafted through gloom geometry. Their methods include the use of sunlight reflected in hexagonal patterns, six-sided prisms that split light into various colour wavelengths that seem to expunge shadow when used alongside sounds that harmonise with those wavelengths.

Unfortunately, it is a necessary consequence that those casting the strongest light will also create the strongest shadows.

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