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-GM, master of... ( Discord | Patreon )

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So the stone induces the worst acid trip ever in whoever has it? One that lasts forever?


...Well no, there's quite a bit more to it than that. There's more here than just an intense stream of randomness.

-GM, master of hidden clues.

8124341 Cuil Theory is hard to Grok.

Basically as Cuil levels rise, Causality, Logic, and Reason break down in ever increasing waves of randomness until everything enters a state of near-absolute madness.

One might go so far as to assume that Azathoth exists at all times inside higher level Cuil Layers. It makes sense, because Azathoth precedes Cuil Theory and this is the only way that would make sense.

To the author : Yay for trippy universe-destroying madness. Poor, poor Twilight, and yet so free and liberated all at once.


The biggest hint you'll get is the following paragraph spoken by the monolith:

A locus was introduced into a situation in which it could spiral off out of control, contacting the higher dimensional framework that leaks between all existences in such a way that it would incrementally access higher values of Cuil through which you, your memories, and many other elements were dragged, going deeper and deeper into that which should never be seen, past the constructs which would provide familiarity and closer to me. The process is completely natural and out of the control of all beings, only something of which can be observed, and not eaten without a slice of common sense. The attributes of such a trip are different every time, though the first recorded in data logs that acquire time involved a human man asking for a hamburger.

I hesitate to explain it all at once since part of the fun is trying to find the meaning in this madness, so anyone who wants to try to figure out themselves should FLEE FROM THE SPOILER. I'll point you in the right direction. A locus (which in this case a blue stone) was introduced into a situation that started this entire madness - which, through natural causes, dragged Twilight through the different levels of Cuil, allowing her to incrementally access them. On the surface, if you dig enough into the context, you can realize that all the levels of Cuil actually exist, she's just jumping from one to another because of a freak 'natural' accident that takes her further and further from reality where, in the end, she can be both alive, dead, insane, and not at the same time. The end "ONE" there? Pinkie is not shifting between Cuil levels - that is just what Level One Pinkie experienced, revealing that there is still a Twilight trapped in the higher levels.

However, that's really just the surface. I made sure to include lots of suggestions that reality is not exactly what it means, that our relation to the 'characters' is important, and that the event Twilight is going through may not be as 'natural' as the monolith claims. I have answers to these questions in my mind, yes - but I left them open ended on purpose, for the readers to have fun. Is it real? Is it not? Are we in this? Are there Cuils around us? It's all up to you, really.

-GM, master of expo.

As soon as I saw "cuil" appear, I knew this was going to be really good, or absolutely horrible. It was good! Real trippy, and that ending:pinkiegasp:


What about Cthulhu? He's the high priest of Madness. I guess he can perceive all the levels, even if he doesn't reside in them.


going deeper and deeper into that which should never be seen

The mature galleries of Furaffinity... :fluttershbad::raritydespair::pinkiecrazy: .... :rainbowwild: Of course YOU'D like it, Dash!


Chevron seven, chevron seven, chevron seven, will not lock.

Oh now you're just throwing "Stargate" references into the madness.

Pseudo-madness without SOME artistic quality to it is just dull, to be perfectly honest. It's not hard to vomit out disjointed ranting. I've seen more interesting and disturbing things from homeless people screaming at a blank wall in Philadelphia. And I'm not exaggerating.

8124551 Cthulhu is a different sort of Madness. Cthulhu isn't the gibbering unreason and absolute breakdown into crawling chaos that is Azathoth. Cthulhu has an agenda, and that very agenda makes it impossible for him to be a truly Cuil entity.

8124353 But it's based on a theory of randomness which itself is contradictory to its own existence and... oh. I suppose that works.


The references actually had a purpose. If I followed my own rules ( and I'm pretty sure I did, seeing as I did an absurd amount of re-reading this thing to make sure it made sense to ME) all references were contained in level Six (perhaps a few in level Seven). Cuil Six was the one where I allowed the fourth wall to break down, specifically allowing references to exist. It was a side effect of the "you" and "I" and "Pinkie"-ness of it.

-GM, master of hiccs.

I'm sorry, but... I found this because I was searching the 'comedy' tag list. I fail to see anything comedic in this, either in the sense of 'haha funny', or in the older sense of 'happy ending'. And yes, I saw the horror tag, but there's not even really any horror here, except perhaps at the very end. The tags chosen for this story appear to be extremely misleading as to the nature of what's inside it, and I think this story itself might be a 'locus' for my own sense of reality quavering.


...What the absolute BUCK did I just read?

Also, is it odd, that after this was read, I felt the need to watch someone skin a deer? Yeah, probably. Also, :moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache: out of five moustaches for you.

Holy Molly. I expected comedy, and got undiluted cosmic horror. 10/10.

I dunno, I found it pretty horrifying from four onwards, as the realization of Twilight being stuck in some kind of warping madness that warped even her own mind and didn't even let her thoughts remain enough to try and decipher what was wrong, yet she still knew something was wrong. This not regular horror mind you, instead, it is surreal horror, existential horror, and even cosmic horror.

Quite enjoyed this. It's "random," but not the really annoying kind. Pretty well done! I featured on my podcast, Pony 411.



...On a podcast.

...I haven't even heard it yet but THANK YOU!

-GM, master of 411.

This made perfect sense the entire way through and I love every bit of it! :pinkiehappy:

8124762 So Cuil six is where the characters become aware that they are not real, and Cuil seven is where the characters become aware that the reader is not real. :applejackunsure:

I personally would make Cuils a bit less er... poetic, but I guess the point is more being spooky than philosophising. Like um...
1) Twilight finds a piece of azurite
2) Twilight reads a book about finding a piece of azurite.
3) There is a story about Twilight reading about finding a piece of azurite.
4) Twilight writes a story about someone who finds a story in which she reads about finding a piece of azurite.

You could have something with infinite Cuils too. For instance, I'm writing a comment about this comment.


It's not as clear cut as that, but I suppose you could look at it that way.

Ah, but those four you outline there don't follow the original Cuil theory's boundaries, nor does it make as interesting of a story. The Cuil theory is less about meta-ness and nested events (though that does happen) than it is about displacement from reality. Those four things you wrote have nothing inherently un-real about them - they're all certainly possible within level Zero, though the weirdness of them may require a level One. I really suggest you watch the video in the author's notes if you haven't already.

Infinite Cuils were beyond my capacity to write. However, I do imply that there are many levels beyond Seven, and that Twilight is approaching 'something' the further she goes.

-GM, master of sevens.

8172709 So it's more about increasing implausibility, rather than levels of separation from reality. Or as I put it, being spooky.

Within level zero, it's impossible to have something be both real and unreal, so a fictional story is a separate level of reality, away from the reality where it actually happens. That's kind of the definition of fiction. It's not real.

I want some Greggs.

What the flipping f*ck did i just read

My brain hurts....

I was just watching the movie "Chicago" and it reminded me of Cuil Theory. The musical parts where everything was different but the story was the same is a Cuil off the regular movie parts. It is the best example of a Cuil that I can think of at all (and it is a great movie -- no that wasn't the first time I had watched it).

I came expecting a metafictional nesting doll. I got a spiralling descent into throughly refined madness. And a hamburger.

I'm going to go read something a bit less abstract. Like Finnegan's Wake.

I don't exactly have time to read this right now, will later when I do though.
I am expecting a pony version of this when I do:

Been years since I watched that video but the word "cuil" in the title jogged my memory. Talk about a blast from the past, was just a trippy as I remeber :rainbowderp:

I like the implication that MLP existing as a show is inherently level six.

All I heard as reality broke was this (language). In all seriousness, it's brilliantly well written. It's just...I just...how deep did you need to rabbit-hole to produce this?

Also, 'Chevron 7 will not engage' was a wonderful moment of sanity for me in the midst of that because I knew what that meant and latched on.

The deepness of the rabbit hole I went down is, itself, at least a 2 Cuil Object. :pinkiecrazy:

-GM, master of Alice.

How do you put into words an emotion that doesn't exist? As the conclusion approaches the beginning and the walls break up and signal turns to noise, as deeper and higher levels become an abstraction of hyperbole, something very deep at the center of this shakes me in ways I am not normally moved.

Maybe that makes sense.

Maybe it doesn't.

I hardly know what the characters that I supposedly puppeteer are doing half the time, with vague ideas that eventually they'll do one particular thing before they approach what seems to be a conclusion.

Maybe it's a descent into madness.

Maybe it's a climb to enlightenment.

Maybe they're the same thing and we're all on an infinite plane of understanding and insanity.

Maybe I like the Twilight Zone too much.

Ok. I need. . . Hang on, I just read this for the first time, but, I just read this quite some time ago, just now. I remember reading this ages ago, but I know that I only just read it just now. I also remember writing this comment before, but not exactly like this. Did I just come out of a cuil state? Or did I just enter one?
Either way, I'm not high enough to understand, but the point isn't to understand, is it.
Good read, my mind is tired now.

I so understand how Twilight feels. My brain is drowning. And for whatever reason my smashing the close button with a hammer does not help!

So when it switched to second tense, it felt like a coolant for an overheating nuclear reactor.

Just one question: How long did it take for you to write this? And do NOT give me some kind of bs response concerning the matter of time, reality, existence and inexistence.

Two days, if I recall correctly. Maybe three. I think the overall work time was less than 24 hours... I don't remember that much details, but I do know this is one of the few stories I heavily revised. Spent as much time revising as writing, which is something I rarely do. This really needed to be consistent.

-GM, master of comments.


Seems about right. But it looks like a weeks day of work. Have a good one and keep rollin' that die.

I feel like this song might fit on some level, maybe?

I think I'm going to shy away from anything Cuil now though, thank you.

Made perfect sense to me, you just need to stop understanding it.

There is only one proper response to this... abomination of reality thing beyond comprehension.

Wut? :applejackconfused:

The most terrifying thing about this entire fic is that, given that Cuil is a level of abstraction and you said there was some sort of sense to it, I might reread it just to reverse engineer and understand what constitutes a level of abstraction and how these levels increment.

Although... I get the feeling that the only unnatural thing about this entire fic is that Twilight was aware of the higher Cuils. After all, a Cuil is just a higher level of abstraction away from reality. It has a tenuous connection to it, but at the same time a degree of unreality. The Twilight going through the events of the higher Cuils shouldn't be aware that reality is unhinged. They should just be, and act. Maybe the ones at 6 and higher would be aware to some degree, but that's because the abstractions are fucking nuts to conventional logic by that point. Maybe even a Cuil or two earlier, but I digress.

Something is dragging Twilight's awareness through the higher levels of Cuil, towards something akin to Azatoth or whoever that nightmare is. On purpose, too, because someone put that Smooze Statue in her bag, and its effects on higher Cuils will inevitably lead to that result given the higher Cuil's transformations of the Smooze into its horrifying and eldritch Gen 1 incarnation, which will get more and more abstractly Smooze with each passing level, until nothing but the most abstract, pure concept of Smooze exists. And then it'll go even further beyond because we can only abstractly understand abstraction's end result, not definitively understand it.

The obvious thing dragging Twilight's awareness through these Cuil's? The narrative, the narrator driving the narrative, the causality and its potential squabbles with Free Will that drive the narrator, and the entity/entity's/random chance that drive THAT.

......am I just gibbering madness here, or am I actually onto something?

I'm going to say you got half of it right, but then came to a conclusion that was slightly off.

Though let's be honest here, I wrote this quite a while ago and I'm not even sure what the TRUE answer is anymore.

-GM, master of being vague.

Fair enough. Accursed time, erasing and obscuring the answer in the present and hiding it behind the ultimate lockbox that is the past.

My imagination gave out at level five. I think... Maybe earlier.

I tried going with the flow but it made me understand it less (I guess maybe it actually got more accurate)

I think I could reread it and understand a bit more than last time.
I'm pretty sure I shouldn't do that. So I won't.

This story has scarred and horrified me in ways I hadn't considered possible. Here's my fave and upvote.

Smooze goo, which was purple for some reason.

As it should be.

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