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Spooky Headmates

Spooky Headmates published on 38 Comments on Spooky Headmates

Yes, some of these forum posters are just roleplaying, and no, I’m not saying which. On the net, nobody knows you’re not a dog.

The Pond Thing is an actual headmate for Atarangi and Kiki. It shows up even less than Sandy, and I don’t have any particular plans for it…I just wanted to throw in something to emphasize that Brains are Weird.


Kiki (thinking): Body time means net time! It’s so great of this forum to have a hangout for teens like me to talk about stuff . . .

Forum: does anyone else have kinda spooky headmates? Not like a mean person, but —

Well like one of mine is not human. She has not hurt anyone but she never blinks and the staring is creepy, especially for the littles

we ttly know what you mean, one of ours is a sea serpent!!

I have a protector that’s a Vampire. He thinks he’s the reincarnated soul of a real vampire but I don’t know

You know how cartoons have imps? On your shoulder. And they give advice. We have an imp. He gives bad advice lol

We have a Jeffersonian. he will seriously wreck headspace with his ray wand if he gets mad. If you don’t know they’re an alien character from a silly sci fi comedy

We have a cat but like a ghost cat?

Kiki: Atarangi!! Do we have any cool, scary headmates?

Atarangi: That forum again, Kiki? I bet half of the users there are making up whatever system members sound “cool.”

No we don’t have exotic headmates like ghosts or aliens, and that’s fine. We’re valid just the way we are.

Kiki: . . . I guess all I have to tell people about is the Pond Thing.

Atarangi: WE DO NOT SPEAK ABOUT THE POND THING

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38 Comments

The vampire made me wonder: are there any systems or system members with heartswords?

Purely based on my fairly limited knowledge of multi-personality systems (I do know someone that’s a system, but we don’t speak about it much) I’m pretty sure that systems tend to be something that develops as they grow, which would suggest that it’s probably a personality that fractures and/or creates new facets (again – far from an expert on the matter, most of this is guesses) which would suggest that multiple souls reincarnating into one body probably wouldn’t happen (even if I were an expert that would be a guess given the lack of reincarnation in our world) so if a system could draw a heartsword than all the members that could draw it would probably draw the same heartsword.

That said, it would be possible that only one member would “know” how to draw a heartsword. The others could probably learn how from that one much quicker than a person would ordinarily know. But they probably wouldn’t be inclined, as it would be easier to just let the heartsword user front whenever they needed a heartsword.

Since drawing a heartsword leaves a scar, that could be somewhat dysphoric to the other system members. But it’s also possible they could see it as symbolic of being part of the same system.

I could also see a system which has potential to be both a magical girl and a heartsword user, and have different members take different paths. They would probably run into the same “only so much time to learn this stuff” issue because fundamentally, they have just one brain, and it can only learn so much at once. As such, they’d probably not be able to be top tier in either.

Of course, sometimes, being a generalist is more useful than being an expert, so that might not work out badly for them.

“Lack of reincarnations in our world”? Seriously? So, now when you have Buddhism, Hinduism and several smaller religions covered, which are you going to insult next?

What we lack – at least almost certainly – are longrunners and with them an actual PROOF reincarnations happens.

@HKMaly: WUT. Making a statement that makes it clear you don’t believe SOMEONE ELSE’S religion isn’t insulting it, or its believers. People don’t generally (ever?) talk as if things are real when they don’t believe in them. So your comment makes no sense to me.

If I say reincarnation, or Jesus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster don’t exist: This isn’t an insult to someone else’s beliefs; IT’S MY BELIEFS. You may as well say they’re insulting me by saying something exists that I don’t believe in – see? It makes no sense either way.

So I don’t understand your reaction at all. ::shrug::

Simmer down, now.

Reincarnation is a proven, scientifically-verifiable fact in the Leif & Thorn world. That just plain isn’t the case in our world (and it’s pretty obvious this is what the commenter was talking about).

That’s a totally separate issue from how many individual religious traditions believe in it.

The most current research and theories suggest that people are born with different states that develop over time (hungry, sad, angry, etc.) and then fuse sometime between roughly 7 and 9, depending upon the individual, to form a singular personality and identity state. Trauma however, can interfere with this integration and fusion, causing each state to remain separate and differentiate over time as well as further split. Basically a system isn’t one fractured personality, but the result of a personality never fusing into one. As a system who’s been in therapy over a decade now, we’ve gotten to learn a lot about what is understood about people like us. Definitely have to agree the more than one soul in a body is unlikely, but not knowing all the mechanics of this world, only Erin could say for sure.

I am very interested in this research (I think we have communicated about this a little before). I adore brain research and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA; former special education teacher). My husband and I are ALMOST through the paperwork process to become foster parents, willing to take in ages 5-18. I imagine that it is likely we will have a child placed with us who is a system (part of a system?), so it will be useful information down the road. Can you point me toward any reputable sources?

Based on my personal experience (which has nothing to do with actual heartswords as heartswords don’t exist in our reality >.>) it’d always be completely possible for a headmate to have a heartsword *in their headspace*. And while I can’t know enough about the metaphysics of heartswords to extrapolate as to how that might carry through when fronting, I suspect it’s similar to being a magical girl.

THAT said, I also don’t know how it works with being a magical girl. >.> But I would feel pretty confident saying that if just one member of a system could draw a heartsword, then also, just one member could be a magical girl – but if those are more properties of the body, or the system as a whole, then it would be more a matter of who is fronting and thus “has the reins” of the heartsword/magical girl powers. And this could easily vary from one system to another, so one system may have one or two individuals who have a particular power like a heartsword or talking to spirits, while another system might have a power linked to the body or to the system as a whole that can be “wielded” by whoever is fronting.

I would say that most likely, being a magical girl requires both body and soul properties. Heartsword would DEFINITELY need both considering the sword is supposed to be actual soul AND it leaves physical mark on body.

Not sure how that would translate to systems, though.

It’s even possible that a system can’t get through heartsword training.

I’ve sat here for a few minutes to try to figure out what you’re getting at, but I honestly can’t think of even a single reason why a system wouldn’t be able to get through heartsword training. A system has all of the same physical and metaphysical qualities as anyone else, just potentially more of them, so what would be lacking?

Besides, we already know that at least one system in-universe canonically transforms with magical girl powers. It seems very likely that having a heartsword would be possible.

…But what I meant about being a property of the body was where the power is carried, which is different from how the power manifests or what it can affect. It’s very clear that a heartsword comes out through one’s body, but the nature of reincarnating heartsword wielders makes it seem much more likely to be connected to the non-physical reincarnated soul than to the physical body itself.

To avoid dodging around the wording I was in fact dodging: the core question is whether a power is carried in the body, the soul, or both, and then, whether the members of a system have individual souls or share a soul, using the metaphysical definition in-universe of a soul, since they by definition share a body. To wit:

1: If the ability is a property of the body, all the members of a system who could front would be able to access it (although might not know how).

2: If the ability is a property of the soul and a system shares a single soul, all the members of a system would be able to access it (although might not know how).

3: If the ability is a property of the soul and each individual member of a system has its own soul, the ability would only be accessible by the individual in question.

There are, of course, ways this could combine and be complicated, such as there being multiple different types and causes of plurality that may result in different configurations and combinations of persons-per-soul and souls-per-body, which is why I was mostly being vague the first time and am ultimately still saying “it’s probably possible and probably works a lot like magical girls”.

I wonder if their idea is “headmates happen when one original soul splits into multiple fragments, therefore, maybe no single fragment would be able to access the entire heartsword.”

Which…is a reasonable theory to come up with, if you accept the original premise.

(Gonna avoid making a Word-of-God ruling on the subject for now, since I don’t have plans to go there in canon any time soon.)

OTOH, another universe’s take on it is that cracks in the soul are how magical powers get in in the first place 🙂 Shallan has no (physical) trouble using *her* powers, although for a while(?) Radiant is the only one willing to wield the sword itself.

The Jeffersonian seems like they’re making it up (since they directly reference a show), and I think the vampire one is pretending to be a vampire since as far as I know there’s no record of them reincarnating and that seems pretty easy to fake. Can headmates even BE reincarnations?

The sea serpent also seems possibly fake to me but I feel like the others are real. I think it’s because the serpent’s too cool to be plausible to me?

I see two options for headmates being reincarnations, given the world of Leif and Thorn as I understand it:

1. The original boy/girl could be a longrunner. But I think this would be rather rare, because the experiences from the prior life would likely give them the mental coping skills they need to not fracture.

2. The older headmates are all reincarnations from the same multiple longrunner. They may not recognize this, however.

As far as the vampire longrunner… I agree this seems somewhat unlikely. However, if a vampire did reincarnate as a longrunner, I’d think that by itself could be traumatic enough to cause someone to be a multiple.

I see you missed that in the world of Leif and Thorn, reincarnation is practically universal although longrunners are uncommon.

And I would guess that while the fracture should be unlikely with the experience from prior (unfractured) life, if someone fractures in first life and then became longrunner, they may have a full set of headmates who are reincarnated and knows it, reincarnated and not aware and ones which are fresh. Along with some previous life headmates missing or assumed missing. But, like, no mixing of headmates between two longrunners or something.

eh, I’ve seen enough people mention fictives, they’re a thing. iirc they’re often aware that they’re technically fictional, but like… that doesn’t much change who they are.
kinda like introjects – the brain takes what it knows of another person and builds an alter out of that.
I also know someone with a snek, so sea serpent doesn’t seem that far out there 🙂
even the vampire *could* be a “real” alter with a fictional past.

Yes. They are not ACTUAL vampires, dragons or space aliens (they CANT, given they are inside human brain), but they can easily be how a human imagines them to be.

Personally, I would say that the ghost cat is most likely to be not made up. Made up headmates would have better description than “cat but like a ghost cat”. But that doesn’t mean ANY of those would be impossible …

Oh I dunno about that. They say the vampire believes he’s a reincarnation, not that he absolutely is, which is a completely plausible thing to be true.

I have a policy of taking everyone’s headmates at face value, tho, it’s easier for everyone that way and then I have a solid ground to stand on when people are like “how are you typing on a keyboard if you’re a cat”, lmao.

p.s. we all love Pond Thing omg

We agree on the vampire and on believing people about their system mates. Also, as a system with many non human members, we get what you mean about explaining how certain things are possible due to Innerworld differences from our human body.

Aww, Kiki is cute. When she calls Atarangi I imagine it sounds like “Mommy!!” So the Pond Thing is neither cool nor scary. I think it’s kind of cute in their own way.

Do shoulder imps always give (bad) advice? I have some annoying imp telling me how I suck whenever something goes wrong. But there used to be two of them so I guess I’m doing better?

Based on what imps have said so far in this comic, they don’t necessarily give BAD advice, but rather suggest the course of action that would feel the best, a la Freud’s hypothesis of Id, Ego, and Superego, with the faerie tending towards serving counterpoint as the moralistic Superego… But then we get Leif’s Shoulder Guard and my theory falls apart somewhat.

I dunno, I think Leif’s shoulder guard fits in: imps give advice that feels GOOD, faeries give advice that feels right/just, and Leif’s shoulder guard gives advice that has been proven to keep Leif safe/alive in His Particular Situation. Remember, of all the characters in the story, Leif is in the unique situation that his trauma is consistent, ongoing, and that he has no functional chance of escaping. If that sort of thing doesn’t make you fracture into a system, you DO develop a sort of appeasement line of thinking for what is going to keep you safe, regardless of what feels good or is just/right.

Source: being an autistic black queer in America

Aw, Pond Thing is cute!

The more we learn about the Franklin Roosevelt show the more I want to learn. Are the Jeffersonians a different species from FDR or is Franklin simply a different color from the one pictured here? In a fantasy world’s sci-fi, how much of the fantasy (that’s normal in-world) is incorporated into their sci-fi? (In this case, is the ray wand a Jeffersonian magical girl thing, or a sci-fi thing all it’s own?) What is the true meaning of Smekday?

While there is an answer to the “is the ray wand a Jeffersonian magical girl thing, or a sci-fi thing all it’s own?”, it doesn’t mean much for the general answer. Even in our world, mixing sci-fi and fantasy is common. Remember that Star Wars is closer to fantasy than sci-fi, star destroyers notwithstanding. And, well …

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” – Arthur C. Clarke
“Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!” – Agatha Heterodyne

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