The Shape

From fattwiki
The Shape overlaid on a map of Sangfielle

The Shape doesn't need to send a train through your house to ruin your day. But also, sometimes, it does send a train through your house.

The Shape is a cursed railway that runs throughout Sangfielle.

History[edit | edit source]

Around the time of the Panic, the Shape came spilling out of the heartland[1], scaring the people so bad.

A number of decades prior to to the events of Sangfielle, the Shape Knights, in a tremendous multidisciplinary effort involving earthworks, managed to trap and kill a singular Shape train.

Chantilly Scathe believes that the Shape can be partnered with to usher in an age of "civilisation, commerce, exchange".

Properties[edit | edit source]

Are the trains that run across the Heartland bound to the Structure, or do they direct it? Is the overlap between the two even real at all, or might two machinic forces be at work here in Sangfielle?

The Shape itself is a railway with all associated scary qualities and powers. It has five main lines that cover the majority of the heartland, with a number of ancillary minor lines and stations branching off from them. These change over time, sometimes being built overnight; powerful trains display the ability to control tracks and establish them where they want to go. Lines are created and maintained by gandies. While train transport is not safe or reliable enough to commute, people do ride the trains: making a journey on important business is risky, but so is traveling a long distance on foot, which will be slower as well.

The Shape, or its associated trains, often serves as a force to establish its own strange order across places: though often contradictory to, or actively antagonistic towards, the order of communities therein. This may or may not be the same thing as The Structure.

Things that move across a line of the Shape increase in power.[2][3]

The Shape is strongly associated with the Technology domain, as it is one of the main (and most obvious) manifestations of a potential future within the heartland.

Symbol[edit | edit source]

The Shape as drawn by Jack de Quidt

"The Shape" also refers to the symbol created by the shape of the main tracks, which can be invoked to bring order to a space, or as part of a magical ritual. However, if you get this wrong, sometimes it will decide that you are the problematic disruption of order and simply send a train through your house.

The symbol is drawn with a horizontal line; then two vertical lines above (one around the midpoint of the line, another shorter one to the left); a diagonal line.

The symbol does not have to be drawn exactly: for example, it does not matter whether the two diagonal lines meet at a point or outline a triangle. Whether it counts as the Shape is only determined by whether it produces a magical effect.

Seeing the actual Shape from above, rather than a representation, would likely kill an average person who is not a Shape Knight. However, Pickman survived this, partly because being at this vantage point means that one is not on the Shape.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sangfielle 04: The Blackwick Group
  2. Sangfielle 05: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 1
  3. De Quidt, Jack (2021-04-09). Tweet. Twitter. Retrieved on October 14, 2021.