By: stormbreathstormbreath
Published on 29 Jul 2022 00:49
rating: +129+x

What this is

A bunch of miscellaneous CSS 'improvements' that I, CroquemboucheCroquembouche, use on a bunch of pages because I think it makes them easier to deal with.

The changes this component makes are bunch of really trivial modifications to ease the writing experience and to make documenting components/themes a bit easier (which I do a lot). It doesn't change anything about the page visually for the reader — the changes are for the writer.

I wouldn't expect translations of articles that use this component to also use this component, unless the translator likes it and would want to use it anyway.

This component probably won't conflict with other components or themes, and even if it does, it probably won't matter too much.


On any wiki:

[[include :scp-wiki:component:croqstyle]]

This component is designed to be used on other components. When using on another component, be sure to add this inside the component's [[iftags]] block, so that users of your component are not forced into also using Croqstyle.

Related components

Other personal styling components (which change just a couple things):

Personal styling themes (which are visual overhauls):

CSS changes

Reasonably-sized footnotes

Stops footnotes from being a million miles wide, so that you can actually read them.

.hovertip { max-width: 400px; }

Monospace edit/code

Makes the edit textbox monospace, and also changes all monospace text to Fira Code, the obviously superior monospace font.

@import url(';700&display=swap');
:root { --mono-font: "Fira Code", Cousine, monospace; }
#edit-page-textarea, .code pre, .code p, .code, tt, .page-source { font-family: var(--mono-font); }
.code pre * { white-space: pre; }
.code *, .pre * { font-feature-settings: unset; }

Teletype backgrounds

Adds a light grey background to <tt> elements ({{text}}), so code snippets stand out more.

tt {
  background-color: var(--swatch-something-bhl-idk-will-fix-later, #f4f4f4);
  font-size: 85%;
  padding: 0.2em 0.4em;
  margin: 0;
  border-radius: 6px;

No more bigfaces

Stops big pictures from appearing when you hover over someone's avatar image, because they're stupid and really annoying and you can just click on them if you want to see the big version.

.avatar-hover { display: none !important; }

Breaky breaky

Any text inside a div with class nobreak has line-wrapping happen between every letter.

.nobreak { word-break: break-all; }

Code colours

Add my terminal's code colours as variables. Maybe I'll change this to a more common terminal theme like Monokai or something at some point, but for now it's just my personal theme, which is derived from Tomorrow Night Eighties.

Also, adding the .terminal class to a fake code block as [[div class="code terminal"]] gives it a sort of pseudo-terminal look with a dark background. Doesn't work with [[code]], because Wikidot inserts a bunch of syntax highlighting that you can't change yourself without a bunch of CSS. Use it for non-[[code]] code snippets only.

Quick tool to colourise a 'standard' Wikidot component usage example with the above vars: link

:root {
  --c-bg: #393939;
  --c-syntax: #e0e0e0;
  --c-comment: #999999;
  --c-error: #f2777a;
  --c-value: #f99157;
  --c-symbol: #ffcc66;
  --c-string: #99cc99;
  --c-operator: #66cccc;
  --c-builtin: #70a7df;
  --c-keyword: #cc99cc;
.terminal, .terminal > .code {
  color: var(--c-syntax);
  background: var(--c-bg);
  border: 0.4rem solid var(--c-comment);
  border-radius: 1rem;

Debug mode

Draw lines around anything inside .debug-mode. The colour of the lines is red but defers to CSS variable --debug-colour.

You can also add div.debug-info.over and div.debug-info.under inside an element to annotate the debug boxes — though you'll need to make sure to leave enough vertical space that the annotation doesn't overlap the thing above or below it.

…like this!

.debug-mode, .debug-mode *, .debug-mode *::before, .debug-mode *::after {
  outline: 1px solid var(--debug-colour, red);
  position: relative;
.debug-info {
  position: absolute;
  left: 50%;
  transform: translateX(-50%);
  font-family: 'Fira Code', monospace;
  font-size: 1rem;
  white-space: nowrap;
.debug-info.over { top: -2.5rem; }
.debug-info.under { bottom: -2.5rem; }
.debug-info p { margin: 0; }

rating: +129+x


Item #: SCP-7010 Level 3/7010
Object Class: Thaumiel Neutralized Confidential


Demesne of Dagda mac Aengus, a former locus of SCP-7010 (SCP-7010-α).

Assigned Site


Site Director

Dr. Kennedy Collins

Research Head

Dr. Kennedy Collins

Assigned MTF


Assigned Site


Site Director

Dr. Kennedy Collins

Research Head

Dr. Kennedy Collins

Assigned MTF


Special Containment Procedures [OUTDATED]: Containment and maintenance of SCP-7010 is in the control of the Hy-Brasil government, per operation treaties that allow for the existence of Site-03. Although Site-03 benefits from SCP-7010 as a risk-aversion measure, it is not directly or immediately responsible for the continued supervision of the system.

Description: SCP-7010 was a system of thaumaturgical wards on Nx-03 that anomalously altered probability on the island. Generally favorable outcomes were of increased likelihood, whereas unfavorable outcomes were significantly reduced in chance. These protections served to both increase quality of life on the island, and function as a means of protection against extreme adverse events, such as natural disasters or mass fatality incidents.

Nexus №: Nx-03

Civilian Designation: Hy-Brasil

Overview: An island nation-state to the west of Ireland, populated by an anomalous human subspecies known as the Tuatha Dé Danann (Homo sapiens tumuli). Nx-03 is only in baseline reality for one day out of every seven years, and during the intervening time, only anomalous organisms can reach it. The Foundation has established Site-03 on the island to help regulate dangerous anomalies therein.

The Foundation — during the period in which SCP-7010 was active — benefited from these protections because of the location of Site-03. The Site was generally viewed as one of the most secure facilities, where the risk of a severe containment breach was effectively zero. There were seven wards total, designated SCP-7010-α, β, γ, δ, ε, ζ, and η.

SCP-7010 catastrophically failed on June 13th, 1988, following a brief period of instability. Immediately after the collapse, an entity known to the Global Occult Coalition as LTE-0851-Cetus attacked the island. This entity was a mostly aquatic organism measuring 100 meters tall, possessing five arms and five rear tentacles. The attack, and the damage caused by the GOC during their defense of Nx-03, led to massive architectural and infrastructural damage alongside major civilian casualties.

During the attack, both High King Nuada Airgetlám VII and Crown Princess Mór-Ríoghain were killed. Prince Delbáeth — the son of Nuada's younger brother — ascended to the throne and became High King. Having been a part of the investigation into the failing wards, he outlawed their future usage, seeing them as responsible for the downfall of his nation and the deaths of his close family members.


From the Personal Log of Dr. Kennedy Collins


My Foundation dual assignment with the fair folk led me onboard an elegant schooner of traditional Tuatha Dé construction. There, I spent my trip listening to the deckhands, who were taking turns wooing me with traditional tales and passing jokes. I found the latter shockingly vulgar. No matter: It was a delight hearing what they had to say. The former truly fascinated me: I had done my first BA in Folkloristics, though this was at a mundane college. The lore of Hy-Brasil, on the other hand, is credibly out of this world.

Only aboard a Tuatha-crewed ship could I reach the island in the first place. I'd have to wait another 5 years otherwise..As anticipated, Hy-Brasil would again become visible and fully accessible on 7 July 1993 at precisely 00:00 (GMT+1).

In no time, my attachés helped me from their ship to dry land, then from there to the Site-03 security cordon. Here, a limestone motte residence is my home for the next six months.

Tomorrow is Friday, but I won't be joining the rest of the city for their nighttime revelry. There's paperwork to do.


I was invited today to meet with the new Court Wizard of the Hy-Brasil Royal Court, a young man by the name of Midhir mac Lug. Young is relative, here: These are a people that routinely live for upwards of two hundred years, and being forty years old is to them but a child. (Only a little older than I am, as it happens.) However, it is old enough to receive a prestigious appointment, it appears.

I have never met a court wizard before, never mind a Court Wizard.

Considering I am a newcomer visiting nobility, I was to be accompanied with servants. However, when the young royal subjects heard I was in town, and with such an important mission, they chose to accompany me directly. My superiors told me that this was entirely out of procedure, but no one would dare say no to the first and second in line for the throne.

The information I received on them was brief. Between Midhir and I in age. By chance, the two had been born one day apart — the Princess, by the name of Mór-Ríoghain, was the elder — and tended to act more as twin siblings. Both had attended ICSUT.The International Center for the Study of Unified Thaumatology (ICSUT): The world's foremost magickal college. Mór-Ríoghain and Delbáeth both went to the Hy-Brasil campus of the school, although they completed study abroad programs at other campuses. in their youth and were accomplished wizards, although not nearly as powerful as Midhir.

The pair were waiting outside Site-03 when I left for the first time since my arrival.



Princess Mór-Ríoghain: Ah-ha! There she is. The lovely human diplomat.

Prince Delbáeth: Salutations, good lady.

Dr. Collins: [Stuttering.] Oh, uh, hello. [She bows before the two.] Your majesty-sies. I wasn't expecting you; I didn't think our meeting with Midhir was until tomorrow.

Prince Delbáeth: It isn't.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: We wanted to introduce ourselves. And take you out for a meal. There's an excellent location down the street. Owned by the Deathless Merchant of London, though the food is good.

Prince Delbáeth: We should note it has been under his ownership for over a hundred years. Before he became the Deathless Merchant of London.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: After. But before the current occasion, to be fair.

Dr. Collins: Ah, then. I'd be delighted.

The trio walks down from Site-03 to the aforementioned restaurant, enters, and is escorted to a private rooftop table. Food is brought out without being ordered.

Prince Delbáeth: We called ahead, of course. Nothing but the finest for the pair of us.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: So! We hear you are to meet with our dear little Midhir. We went to school with him, you know. Let's hear about you first.

Dr. Collins: Is this a test? Am I at risk of losing my appointment with him?

Prince Delbáeth: Not too likely, unless you offend us deeply.

Dr. Collins: Ah. To start with, I'm an agent of the SCP Foundation, assigned to the Diplomacy Division. I was sent to the island to speak with the Court Wizard out of growing Foundation interest in your thaumaturgical workings.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: That word always amuses me. Call it what it is. Magic.

Mór-Ríoghain waves her hand in an arc, leaving a trail of sparks in the shape and colors of a rainbow suspended in the air.

Dr. Collins: They'd fire me for that, I think. Maybe just a reprimand. I'd agree with you, but I've had the right terminology beaten into my head over the years. I've been with the Foundation for well over a decade; they sponsored my graduate degrees, after all.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: And did they make you into their loyal lackey, then? Pressed into shape.

Dr. Collins: I, well. I wouldn't go so far as to say that. I agree with them on a great many of things, but can see the problems. Regardless, there are few who do what they do. I don't think I'll ever leave the Foundation, just for that simple fact.

Prince Delbáeth: We've encountered all sorts of types over the years. All sorts of agents of all the various groups who come to this island. Your Foundation. The Coalition, the Hand, all those churches, all the rest. If not us, our grandfathers. So we need to speak to you first. See what makes you tick.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: So, why did you come here?

Dr. Collins: I was ordered here.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: How'd you feel about it, then?

Dr. Collins: Excitement. Unbelievable. An island straight out of legend, filled with magic and the fair folk… I would have never imagined anything like it. Like I said — there is no job like this in the world.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: No job like this in your world. Not ours. Let's see how this little meeting with Midhir goes. Perhaps there is permanent potential for you.



The following was part of a series of royal appointments I had with Court Wizard Midhir, in which he personally provided me with a first-hand look at one of the SCP-7010 instances. Because of the events that transpire in this log, however, only this sole appointment could be completed.

As with many of our forthcoming encounters, today's was recorded by an audio-visual device planted on my person (Dr. Collins) and some Royal Court-sanctioned equipment planted in the vicinity.



The Prince and Crown Princess flank Doctor Collins on each side. The three stand before the Court Wizard, who levitates.

Behind him, the ground is demarcated. A narrow strip of flat, loamy soil partitions a field from the rest of the area. Within the soil, sets of low, regal hedgerows have been planted, creating navigable gaps between them.

Dr. Collins: I hope you will forgive me for breaching the silence. [She clears her throat.] Today, I am here with… Ah.

Dr. Collins: Pardon, your honour, I wouldn't have wanted to mispronounce your name.

Sir Midhir: I'll allow the indiscretion. Though, next time? [He swipes his thumb across his Adam's apple.]

All laugh.

Dr. Collins: Oh, they told me about your japery. I'm ready for it. Believe me, I am.

Sir Midhir: Promise to keep me on my best behaviour, will you? I've yet to have my smoke today. Which I should be having very, very soon.

Dr. Collins: I'm all business today, your honour.

Sir Midhir: Very well. The ward is just over this hill. I wish to show it to you.

They cross the soil and enter the untrammelled field beyond.

Dr. Collins: If I may ask, your honour: Who is the owner of this land?

Sir Midhir: You insult without knowing, doctor.

Dr. Collins: Oh, I— What I suppose I mean, is, who looks after it when nobody else is around?

Sir Midhir: Well, at times there are interlopers with the Serpent's Hand who pretend they are the wardens. But really, the ancestors are the true overseers of this land. They watch over it. They are the ones who tend to it.

Dr. Collins: Then, what prevents someone from coming in and meddling? You know — with the ward.

Sir Midhir: The ward is impervious to all manner of meddlers. My, there is so much you have still yet to learn, doctor.

The four ascend a gradual slope. Three climb, whereas Midhir floats.

Dr. Collins: How many wards are present across the island?

Sir Midhir: On the island? Seven.

Dr. Collins: And are all of them, you know… Can you find them in such conspicuous locations as this? You have the wards, but you also have the things they're bound to. Even if the wards are protected —

Sir Midhir: I'm afraid you have the framing all off, doctor. I suppose I cannot blame you. You and your organization are too beholden to your dogmas of containment. But know this: The material forces at play are inconsequential. The majesty of our magickal anchors, you see? They dominate over our city, the verdancy that surrounds it, the earth at our feet, the sea at our shores, and even the heavens above. They are a triumph of Tuatha Dé wonderworking.

Dr. Collins: Right. You do seem to hold an extremely great degree of confidence in these wards. I wonder if we could explore that.

Sir Midhir: This is no mere aggrandizement befitting of a guided tour. I am confident. Completely and utterly.

Dr. Collins: In my readings, what shocked me most was the age of these wards. Many of the thaumaturgical bindings on the island were cast well before most residents were born. And these wards in particular — they've been at work for more than half a millennium. It's hard to fathom!

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: [She cuts in.] With respect, doctor, what's the implication?

Dr. Collins: Well, let's consider this by analogy. The buildings on this island are gorgeous. Works of art, we might all agree. With respect to your people, they've also been here an exceptionally long time. Yet even the greatest architects have trouble imagining passages of time on the scale of centuries. Every wonder of the world needs to be maintained, nonetheless.

Sir Midhir: But even as an academic — especially as one — you would recognize the majesty of these workings. Would you not?

Dr. Collins: I would, and I do. But you sidestep the point: How do you maintain them? And how will you know when to repair them?

Sir Midhir: This is where the analogy crumbles. Great sacrifices were made to complete these workings! They have stood resolute since the founding of Hy-Brasil. Mortal words such as "maintain" do not even begin to comport with protective magicks.

Dr. Collins: Oh, it's semantics, your honour, is it not?

Sir Midhir: Well, what can I say? This is just what it is. For all the books you have read, you clearly have a fundamental misunderstanding.

Dr. Collins: Let me try a different tack. As the city grows, will the efficacy of these wards scale with it? Your population has already grown tenfold since the last Occult War. This is the most important anomalous city on the planet, with a diverse populace, and a history and culture worth preserving. I'm a pragmatist. How will the wards continue to ensure their protection?

The four reach a lightly foliaged grove at the hill's crest, overlooking the ocean. At the centre sits a monumental burial stone, which binds SCP-7010-δ.

Suddenly, the ground gives way beneath Mór-Ríoghain and collapses into the earth. Mór-Ríoghain screams, then falls out of sight.

Prince Delbáeth turns, shouts, and then becomes a living shadow, blitzing across the hill. Once he reaches the cliff, he transforms back into a man, face precarious over the edge.

Midhir and Doctor Collins make chase to the cliffside.

The ground Mór-Ríoghain was standing on exhibits a deformation of five meters. It appears to have finally settled. Mór-Ríoghain remains standing, but is pressed against the wall.

Sir Midhir: Princess, quick, are you — Ah, there you are.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: [She is out of breath, palm resting on chest.] Nothing I can't handle.

Mór-Ríoghain attempts to climb the side of the cliff. Delbáeth waits to pull her to the top.

Sir Midhir: Great. Unscathed, then. Wonderful. I may need to revise my earlier position.

Dr. Collins: Oh?

Sir Midhir: This section of the cliff — it is just outside of the areas protected by the wards. And as I go beyond it, I can feel a terrible sensation growing around me, a scratching and crushing feeling. Is it just me, or does the world seem a little darker to you? A little colder?

Dr. Collins: I'm… unsure what you mean, Midhir.

The Court Wizard shuffles towards Doctor Collins and speaks in a lower register.

Sir Midhir: Misfortune has accumulated around the outside of the city, clawing at the wards. Here, on the border, we are almost cursed. And if that unluck is potent enough that a cliff collapses as soon as a woman steps on it… It may very well be that the unluck is eating at the wards.

Poor omens, all around. I will approach the rest of the Court as expediently as they can be assembled, but I want you to promise that you steel yourself before the proceedings we undertake. I imagine you will play a key role in them.

Dr. Collins: Your honour, believe me. I'm more than aware of my—

Sir Midhir: Can you do this for me?

Dr. Collins: To the best of my abilities, yes. I will.

Sir Midhir: Very well. Let us check on the others.

Doctor Collins teeters on her feet, turns, and — succumbing to the shift in chance — vomits.

Sir Midhir: Our work is cut out for us.



The Prince and Crown Princess very quickly declared they would lay hold of the reins for this momentous investigation. To their surprise, Midhir overruled. It seemed he would take matters into his own hands. He would return with a solution once the requisite deliberations had been through with and preparations made — or so he'd said.

The resulting longest week of my life was held in the balance by half-measure reassurances about an esoteric magickal system I struggled to keep pace with. What punctuated my precarious new reality was the sudden dawning that the island lacked cable TV. “The thaumaturgy underlying Hy-Brasil,” I was told, “complicates matters in this regard.” Fortunately, a treasure trove of film did exist; I tuned into the back catalogue of Chevy Chase comedies in-between my readings.

When Midhir returned early one morning, he took us to the Royal Wizard. The Tuath was named Dagda mac Aengus, a portly subordinate to Midhir. His lair was on one of the cliffs overlooking the city, the host of one of the wards.

If I had to describe him, a self-serious Clark Griswold seems most fitting. He even chewed the scenery like him..[RAISA NOTICE — EDIT] Passage has been stricken from the record.



Sir Dagda: A visitor? Oh, yes, please, do come in. I wouldn't be up to anything important — like quelling magic-resistant plantar warts.

Sir Midhir: Maidin mhaith to you too. And I would certainly hope not; we have guests.

Dr. Collins: Hello, I'm Dr. Kennedy Collins. I'm the newest researcher assigned to Foundation Site-03. It's a pleasure to —

Sir Dagda: A fresh face! And just in time; I've whipped up a batch of my grandmother's toffee just this morning.

Sir Midhir: Dagda, are you scuttered? You have gotten my communiqué, haven't you?

Sir Dagda: I have.

Sir Midhir: And what have you to say about it? This is urgent.

Sir Dagda: I'm not feeling particularly serendipitous this morning, so I've decided. This means the wards are working fine. Just as they have been for the past one hundred and eighty-nine thousand some-odd days.

Sir Midhir: Do not be such a fool. You would never enter a barracks and consult the soldiers in there for news on the front. Nobody in the city would feel a thing until it was too late.

Sir Dagda: And you? How would you know better?

Sir Midhir: Because, I have gone to the outskirts of the island and visited the Tomb of Nuada Airgetlám the First. As I peered into the golden waters from over the cliff edge, I felt some wrongness. A wrongness I have never felt in my life. Our ancestors, the ones who erected the very wards that have aided us for all these generations, said there were certain omens that come with fortune of the wrong sorts. I've always believed those to be superstitions, never letting myself become blinded by them. But on that afternoon, I felt it so vividly. Like a stone in my gut, pulling the rest of me down.

Sir Dagda: You stared into the sea and your tummy felt off? Well, I've never met a landlubber more utterly parched.

Sir Midhir: Pray tell: When did you last step out of this ruin?

Dr. Collins: [Aside.] Uh, is this how they deal with matters?

Prince Delbáeth: [Aside.] This is how they puff their egos.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: [Aside.] It's how they show their affection.

Sir Dagda: I am perfectly safe here in my demesne. If you have come to persuade me, you've done a piss-poor job, your honour.

Sir Midhir: The three who stand before you were present on that day. Though their senses may not be as acute or as trained as ours, they can certainly attest. But it matters not. What I seek is your confidence. If we have that, we can begin our inquiry in earnest. We can inform the High King, and spur the full might of the Royal Court into action.

Sir Dagda: Did you expect me to flinch? When you come in and say these things, I flinch, all right. What next: Shall we sack the King? Conspire against the moon?

Sir Midhir: I expect you to think about a possible contingency plan. This is all I'm asking for.

Sir Dagda: The wards are fine, Midhir. I am embarrassed you would suggest otherwise. Now, either stay for brunch, or go away and return again with your senses.

Sir Midhir: Goodbye, Dagda.


MARCH 16TH, 1988

Getting audience with High King Nuada was easy. As was scheduling an appointment to hold a meeting and speak with him. Mór-Ríoghain was, after all, the Crown Princess and saw him every day. With Midhir — a member of the Court — backing her, the meeting was easily arranged.

It was my job to get Site Director Walsh to attend the meeting we had arranged. Fortunately for my own part, Mór had prepared a letter of invite with the royal seal. I don't know if I would have had the sway to get his ear otherwise, but with the backing of the Princess I could get his attention.

We met with the King and Walsh three weeks after our meeting with Dagda. We didn't want a repeat of the last incident — this was going to be our only chance to see real change. If we couldn't convince Dagda, this was our last chance. Three weeks of assessing the wards, gathering evidence, conducting experiments.



King Nuada is the last of the six in the meeting to arrive. He enters the council chamber and strides to his chair at the head of the table. Mór-Ríoghain is seated to his right, with Delbáeth beside her, and Midhir to his left. Site Director Walsh and Doctor Collins are at the other end of the table, flanking the foot.

King Nuada: I see I'm the last to arrive. I can tell this is a serious endeavor. Even called up the Foundation for it, although from the sound of it, this is an affair of the state, daughter.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: Well, sire, it is our ultimate decision to make — but it is with the assistance of Doctor Collins that we came to our conclusions. And it is with the assistance of Director Walsh that we seek to move forward.

King Nuada: I see. Well, I am not your grandfather. I am no stranger to the counsel of the outside world. If I had not valued the Foundation, I would not have let them build their Site, that marvellous fortress.

Director Walsh: And for that we remain eternally in your debt, your majesty.

Sir Midhir: The matter we bring to you is dire, m'lord. It concerns the luck wards we've used to protect Hy-Brasil for centuries, ever since we retreated here hundreds of years ago.

King Nuada: The luck wards. It is hard to imagine life without them. I can barely even think of it.

Prince Delbáeth: You might have to.

Sir Midhir: The wards are failing. We've spent the past month doing rounds of investigation, testing, everything. We went to Dagda mac Aengus with our findings, but he didn't believe us.

Doctor Collins places three large black binders onto the table. She hands one to Director Walsh, and passes the other to King Nuada. The last she gives to Midhir.

Sir Midhir: These binders are filled with the last three weeks of us performing every test we could think of to evaluate the strength of the wards. The results are undeniable — misfortune has accumulated around the outside of Hy-Brasil, and it is chipping and scraping at the wards. They haven't fallen yet, but they could.

King Nuada: Hmm. That bodes poorly, I'd admit.

King Nuada begins to flip through the binder in front of him, as does Director Walsh.

King Nuada: Why do you think this is happening? Some flaw in the wards? A construction imperfection? Improper refreshing over the years?

Sir Midhir: I believe that the wards are fundamentally flawed. They seek to assert control over luck, but luck is that which cannot fundamentally be controlled. Their purpose is an exercise in futility.

King Nuada: So you don't believe there is any way to fix them, do you?

Sir Midhir: No. I do not.

King Nuada: And how long do you think the wards have before they will fail altogether?

Sir Midhir: No more than two years, perhaps. But they will fail at the worst moment possible, no matter the circumstances. Perhaps it will cause a plague. Perhaps, a terrible storm. Weather is notoriously boorish when it comes to probabilistic control, what with all the variables. Perhaps it will simply be a nasty succession crisis in the Court — the three of you indisposed for whatever reason. There is no way to tell.

King Nuada continues to look through the binders. He does not speak for several minutes. The assembled group waits in the chambers for him to respond.

King Nuada: I must thank you for your advice, Midhir. But I can't find the evidence that supports these conclusions. If the wards were as bad of an idea as you say, why have they not failed sooner?

Sir Midhir: By all rights, they should have failed a long time ago. I can't speak to why they haven't already, but they are on the verge of collapse. There is only one idea I have that makes any sense, and… I fear to speak it aloud.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: They've been waiting for a tragedy. A true disaster. Why collapse twenty years prior when we live as long as we do, and tremendous disaster awaits us?

King Nuada: A plausible theory. But the operation of the wards, for as long as they have, works against it. There have been many times in my reign when disaster could have come to these lands. The Seventh Occult War alone brought no end to the challenges here. And I should note that none of you remember that war. All of you were born after.

Sir Midhir: That the wards have stood in the past is no reason to believe they will continue to work. I am telling you, as your chief advisor on these matters, that we are in mortal peril.

King Nuada: I will commune with the ancestral spirits of those who have held your position. That will be the final decision.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: Father! You are putting the lives of the entire island, our people in danger! We'll never survive a collapse!

King Nuada: Oh, sweet Morrigan. You should by now know how mighty our race is. There is no challenge we cannot pass, no battle we will not best. If doom comes to Hy-Brasil, we will meet it with force and conquer it. There is nothing to be scared of.

You are all dismissed. That is all.


The King did as he said and spoke to the ghosts of the former Court Wizards. They all disagreed with Midhir's analysis — but of course they would. Locked away in mausoleums of the palace, they could have never known what condition the wards were in.

We need to find another way to save this island.

APRIL 1ST, 1988

At 0900 on the 1st, we made for the ICSUT campus in the city centre.

It was Midhir's ICSUT professors — a pair of brilliant thaumatologists by the names Ketterley and Belacqua — whose papers I had vaguely consulted in anticipation of our first meeting on the island. I figured light reading on scientific magicks wouldn't hurt (I was making audience with elves). And now we were consulting those very same people. Mayhaps, just as we are now mired in stifling skepticism, our paths were destined in those early moments.

By this point, the binders have grown from three to seven — one for each ward.




Four of the six attendees sit around a vast ashwood conference table. Doctor Collins stands to the right of the professors, across from the Prince and Crown Princess, peering over the work. At the leftmost end, Sir Midhir hovers in cross-legged position.

Contents of the now-seven binders are strewn across every square centimetre of the table.

Prof. Ketterley: [She scans a binder's contents closely.] Fortune manipulation of fae provenance is unique in this regard. I'd have to see a ward in person to truly grok the intricacies of their workings. Though, looking at the timeline of predicted failure? That's seeming unlikely…

Professor Ketterley looks up for the first time in a while.

Prof. Ketterley: Y'know, it's funny. Like, just as I'm flipping through these thaumic design specs, it's jogging my memory. Back in the '50s, a handful of us graduate thaumatologists did contract work for PHYSICS..PHYSICS Division: The action arm of the Global Occult Coalition. They had us troubleshooting the massive technical overhead on a set of thaumatic probability workings. It took years to sort out. I didn't think our work was ever put to use.

They'd eventually been acquired wholesale by some highest bidder or other. Some occult branch of the American government, I presume? Anyway, those were state-of-the-art magitechnology. The same ones deployed against the Eastern Bloc as part of the anti-Soviet containment policy.

But the funny part is. [She gestures to the cluttered table.] Weighing them against these centuries-old wards? Seven, protecting an entire island? There is no earthly comparison.

Sir Midhir: Naturally, were we to conceive some means of replacing the Tuathan wards, Bookburner wonderworking would never muster a hundredth of their output. [He winks at Doctor Collins.]

Dr. Belacqua: Although, it would be a show of spectacular hubris.

Prof. Ketterley: Honestly? I'm feeling rewarded to have been able to grasp the fruits of your research, Mr. Midhir. Sharp as ever.

Prince Delbáeth: Pardon. Do you see why it's so important that you publish?

Prof. Ketterley: [She continues idly scanning the binder's contents.] Well, the thaumatology is unequivocal. The wards will fail — a matter of when, not if — and when they do, the probabilistic backlash will create the unprecedented. There will be inclement weather on Hy-Brasil.

Prince Delbáeth: …But?

Prof. Ketterley: Your findings certainly seem —

Dr. Belacqua: [He cuts in.] There are other conclusions which bear out from the data.

Prof. Ketterley: [She casts a narrow but pensive gaze at Doctor Belacqua.] I thought something was peculiar myself. Do elaborate.

It was about here that I had that gut feeling we weren't out of the woods just yet.

We knew the wards would fail. The thaumatologist was correct — it wasn't something we could just rely on a contingency for, as Midhir had first expected, as he had been wanting the Court's authorization to create. This was a matter of exigency.

But could there have been something else? Something that would skew the situation's already dour trajectory?

I mean, hell, how weird could it get?

Dr. Belacqua: There is not merely the presence of bad fortunes from without. You have all made painstaking effort illustrating that. No; there is most certainly a build-up of another force. From within.

Dr. Collins: Is this a particular threat to our safety? Should I inform my supervisors?

Dr. Belacqua: [He shakes his head with vigour.] There is no threat per se. It's not a reciprocal function of the growing misfortune. But there are certain interactions that can create a cause for concern. Are you acquainted with the vital-force?

Dr. Collins: Not personally. I'm sure it wouldn't take much to scrounge up the pertinent documentation.

Dr. Belacqua: The vital-force is the building block of Unified Thaumatology. It is the impetus by which any learned thaumatologist can plumb the theory of magic for its practical applications. But there are other ways it can manifest. For instance, all living beings have some degree of vitality — the somatic impetus, or human desire — that ensures the continuity of life. And all living beings give off that vitality in a particulate termed “Élan-Vital”.

Professor Ketterley pulls her glasses down, letting them dangle from their retainers. She then rubs her eyes.

Prof. Ketterley: His point is, we can measure it.

Dr. Collins: Right. Electro-photonic imaging. The entire island would shine like Yuletide in July. Every single citizen.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: Very keen, doctor.

Doctor Collins does a faux curtsy. They both laugh.

Dr. Belacqua: This is a correct, albeit vulgar understanding. The vital-force is value-neutral, but there are sources that give off Élan-Vital particles at greater quantities. Thaumatological entities, indeed, are higher on the spectrum.

Sir Midhir: [He smiles.] That's us.

Dr. Belacqua: But there are other sources still. It has long been theorized that certain forms of belief are contributors of their own thaumatologically significant particles.

Prof. Ketterley: Allow me to hazard a hypothesis. Ever consider the High King's dominion? His lineage has held the throne uncontested for the past 520 years. The Tuatha Dé have enjoyed legitimate governance under their monarchy for that entire time. And they've not just sworn fealty; they exhibit an almost born allegiance to what it stands for. For a people of this stature? You're looking at something pretty significant.

Sir Midhir: I had figured we were missing some pertinent detail.

A pregnant pause seizes the room.

Doctor Collins breaks the silence.

Dr. Collins: You're saying the palace has accrued its own vital-force.

Another pause. Doctor Belacqua suddenly leaves for his office, marking the end of the meeting.

Prof. Ketterley: Since we've all whetted our appetites for conjecture. I think we've got everything we need. I'm confident in your findings, Mr. Midhir, and the Prince and Princess. The good doctor and I shall work to get your analyses condensed, then published in the quarterly. Good chat!

Prince Delbáeth: So, that's that. Thank you —

Sir Midhir: Er, not so quick. Belacqua's elucidation has opened a new avenue for exploration.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: So…?

Sir Midhir: We shall await the publication, of course.

Princess Mór-Ríoghain: …And then?

Sir Midhir: One foot in front of the other.


That, in hindsight, was a heavily ironic statement coming from someone who floats half of the time.

APRIL 29TH, 1988

Mere hours after the publication made its début in Unified Thaumatology Quarterly, we already felt the reverberations of our findings.

But it wasn't the wards.

Rather, the High King had summoned us to the Royal Palace.

A phalanx of servants appeared at the Site, ready to usher me towards an impromptu gathering with the rest of the royal party. I figured it was a routine follow-up to our last meeting. But when I caught up with Midhir, he looked painfully stoic. He informed me, in sober terms, that the King had learned of the publication and, lacking the capability to pull it from the university, declared that he would see us forthwith.

It wasn't a meeting; it was a formal rebuke.

The royal party were handed punishments for their actions.

Delbáeth, seen only as mere accessory, held the lightest sentence of the three. He was simply sent away from the Court — an effective exile for the next few years, but not official. The Royal Family would not stomach such a disgrace to their own, but he would not be welcome on the island for some time.

Midhir, on the other hand, was to accept that he would step down. He would no longer preside over the Royal Court. In the wake of this decision, Dagda, at once his second-in-command, would now take his place. Dagda hung around in the back of the room during that entire admonition session. His face was deeply etched in an expression of self-satisfaction; a smug effigy of himself.

Mór-Ríoghain had been stripped of her palatial duties. I saw her face when the judgment came down. I couldn't make out which emotions she masked — was she distraught, or relieved? Whichever it was, the Crown Princess took no stand to the contrary, and she swiftly complied. Not that there was a choice in the matter.

“Your behaviour,” the High King told them, “borders on insolence. You have laid bare the centuries of arcana our ancestors toiled to keep a secret. You did so to justify rampant speculation. In the process, you have put our entire city in jeopardy.”

Director Walsh was also there. He and I stood shoulder-to-shoulder. We didn't speak a word to each other.

When the King had finished with his reprimands, Walsh whisked me into a private antechamber. He informed me that, effective immediately, my assignment was officially on hold. Instead, I would be placed under a 3-month administrative leave. During that time, I could go home. Or I could remain on the island.

I've made up my mind.

I choose to stay. Right now, it's my calling.

MAY 2ND, 1988

High King Nuada revealed everything to the public this morning. Here's what he released.




Lá maith.

Midday Friday, the Royal Court learned that a quarry of forbidden materials had been leaked at the Hy-Brasil Campus of the International Center for the Study of Unified Thaumatology. These materials concern the Great Wards that regulate Luck and Unluck throughout Hy-Brasil. Fair People, allow me to come ahead of the rumors. There is no threat to our valiant city nor the isle She rests upon.

A group of highly privileged individuals have engaged in unprecedented malfeasance by leaking these materials. They have tried to sow discord amongst the Tuatha Dé Danann and Her allies. Not only that. They have even sought to interfere with the safe operation of the Great Wards.

Let me be clear. The extent of their miscreancy has been discovered. A measure of justice apportionate to their crimes has been brought against them. They pose no more threat now than a pygmy shrew.

You may have heard all manner of murmurs in the city. Unease in the port. Hushed tones in the library. I will assuage your fears. For generations, the Great Wards have been invaluable in preserving an ever-present aura of security in our nation. With the prosperity they have guaranteed, we are as strong as we have ever been. Even if our Great Wards falter, the Great People of Hy-Brasil will stand firm.

The Forefathers look down with Pride. If tested, we shall weather any storm!

Nuada Airgetlám VII

We Shall Endure

God, I think I'm going to be ill.

I'm unsure as to when the royals and I will meet again. My fear of reprisal barely skirts the irrational. I'm going to lay low for some time, find lodgings in the city.

For now? There's nothing else worth committing to my journal.

MAY 5TH, 1988

There's still one thing about all this I've yet to fully grasp.

I've had my hand in plenty of diplomatic dealings across my career. Within the milieu of the paranatural community and its various Groups of Interest, and in the nations where the Foundation is most active, I've dealt with my fair share of powerful figures. And there are the same commonalities in every one of them.

You notice a pattern, writ large, and it is everywhere. It screams at you. But as it towers so high above you, so out of reach, you cannot possibly face it head-on.

Even Hy-Brasil hasn't been inoculated against it, I'm afraid.

In the midst of these thoughts, I am reminded of Hobbes and his Leviathan. That pre-Enlightenment treatise written at the end of the English Civil War. In an allegorical sense, its core premise involves Mankind's once-thought escape from an unjust, primordial state of nature.

Half-consciously, I unravel the premise in negative space. Again and again. I begin thinking of it as a question.

Mankind's natural condition. Personally, I consider that a B.S. notion altogether. But if such a thing were to exist, what could prevent our escape? The answer — a conflict, of all against all, that continually reasserts itself. A conflict driven by passion in its many forms.

If this conflict could truly be resolved, Hobbes thought, there is only one way: By the command of a sovereign authority at the head of civil society. It's quite a literal thing. If society is the body, the sovereign is its head. It could move its arms and legs and orient society in whichever direction was necessary to support itself; to keep control.

Head, body, appendages. He had a name for it — this is the Leviathan.

It wasn't so simple; there was a certain form of passion so destructive, it confounded even the sovereign. It could despoil the whole of civil society. Sure, its ruler could maneuver society in the direction necessary to limit harm to itself. But it could never entirely stamp it out.

What passion?


Vain-glorious men — such as without being conscious to themselves of great sufficiency, delight in supposing themselves gallant men — are inclined only to ostentation; but not to attempt: Because when danger or difficulty appears, they look for nothing but to have their insufficiency discovered.

Vain-glorious men — such as estimate their sufficiency by the flattery of other men, or the fortune of some precedent action, without assured ground of hope from the true knowledge of themselves — are inclined to rash engaging; and in the approach of danger, or difficulty, to retire if they can: Because not seeing the way of safety, they will rather hazard their honour, which may be salved with an excuse; than their lives, for which no salve is sufficient. (Hobbes, 1651).Hobbes, T. (1651). Chapter XI: Of the Difference of Manners. Leviathan (p. 124). Penguin Books, Inc.

Midhir simply wanted to understand. He wanted to find out what, after all these centuries, resisted the wards of Hy-Brasil. In too many ways, he is the only one with enough courage to confront this knowledge directly; to decide what should be done. And with this courage, he traced that misfortune as far back as inquiry would allow. For a Tuathan wizard, this is remarkably far.

The people of Hy-Brasil might not presently be in danger. But for how much longer, exactly, can they continue to be protected? Months? A year?

With every fibre of my body, I know it's wrong to sit idle and let consequences play out. Because if we ignore the wards — if we think we know better? — we, alone, are the arbiters of consequence.

Quod fors feret. “Come what may.”

For the people of Hy-Brasil, I wish for nothing but their protection. I have scared myself into thinking there could be anything but. And with this fear comes the doubts. Lots of little doubts. They buzz in and out of my head. They tell me our data is flawed. That it fits a reality only dreamt up. The months we spent studying the wards? A farce. That's not true, I tell myself.

Yet, if we are correct — then, is the High King wrong?

I'm not laying blame at anyone's feet. As the saying goes, a good king will always act in the best interests of his people. And I think King Nuada is a good king. A cosmopolitan man; a sworn leader.

Even still, he thinks with the affectations of his ancestors. Speaking through him, they haunt our here-and-now. When he's under their sway, he can recognize the wards only in sacrificial terms — what it took.

“They are enough; they have always been enough.”

I think I finally get it.

Misfortune is not our adversary. Not really. Misfortune is not even the adversary that threatens SCP-7010.

The adversary of the Kingdom of Hy-Brasil is vain-glory. Once it has brought on a head cold, it fouls the body politic, and the Leviathan lurches blindly through uncharted waters.

Despite all this, I believe there may be some kind of remedy to vain-glorious men. It requires a certain humility. A resolve to create students of the people. And where there's students, they're in want of a teacher.

This means we must cultivate knowledge. We must do our duty and reveal the truth to the people of Hy-Brasil. Then, we can build new circumstances of fortune on a bed of right-thinking.

In a way, we have already done this.

We published our discoveries. Having done so, we supplied the Tuatha Dé Danann with means to convince their king.

We planted the seed.

May it take hold and germinate.

Will it be enough?

I fear there's only so much time.

JUNE 13TH, 1988

It came one day at noon. The wind broke suddenly and the world shook.

The wind coming in was chilling. Absolutely freezing. You could see the clouds grow darker all of a sudden, and fuller, to block out the sun. It was obvious something had changed. Something awful. Everyone stopped in their tracks, and looked out to the ocean horizon. We all knew where it was coming from.

It wasn’t supposed to storm in Hy-Brasil.

A dark shape upon the horizon, slowly and slowly growing larger by the minute. When it reached a certain distance, it raised a part of its head into the air — the five eyes glowing in the darkness, bright enough to illuminate the scaly head. At a certain point it stopped swimming and began to rise, further and further out of the water. Five arms, five tentacles. A beast crossed between dragon and kraken.

Fomóraigh! Abomination from undersea.”

Midhir swore next to me. He looked off at the beast — the kraken — with hatred in his eyes, rising from the table we were all sitting at. He turned around to me, looking at Mór, who was already standing from her seat. I found myself standing as well.

“We have to get back to the Palace. This thing is going to—”

Midhir couldn't finish. The spellfire of the beast — a terrible pale flame — had been lobbed at the palace, a single burst of plasma. Almost as if the beast had known he was saying that. Half the palace was immediately gone, and the rest hit by shockwave and fire. The beast turned and spread the flames into the city, erasing whatever it touched.

The two Tuatha screamed in unison, their cry shattering the café we were sitting at and the road around us. They looked in collective horror at the palace, left a smoking ruin. Nobody could have survived that. My hand floated to my gaping mouth. There were no words.

Mór looked at Midhir with a glowing light in her eyes.

“I'm going to the Palace. I will save my father. Midhir mac Lug, I command you: Save this city and its people. As your Queen.”

She jumped with grace, onto the roof of the building next to us, and then into the air, flying off to the palace. I never saw her again.

Midhir turned to me and sighed.

“Go. Go to your Site. They have bunkers there, installations that can survive this attack. You'll be safe there. I must do my duty, and defend this city. With the rest of the Royal Wizards dead, defense of the city falls to me.”

With that, he ran off to fight the kraken, spells already crackling in the air around him, lightning launching from his fingertips. I watched him and the kraken as I ran through the streets. He stayed up there in the air, facing it until the Coalition arrived. I don't know how much longer he could have held against it alone, and don't think he even managed to harm it all that deeply, but he stayed there in the sky protecting the city.

Unlike myself, who retreated into a Foundation bunker, deep below, helping no-one.

JUNE 22ND, 1988

Delbáeth had returned to the island as soon as the dust had settled. Everyone knew, at once, what had happened and the title he held, but he refused to accept a coronation until it was confirmed that his uncle and cousin were, in fact, gone.

Their bodies were recovered from the castle ruins three days after the attack. For all the power of the wizards of this island, they cannot restore the dead to life. Delbáeth folded after that, and admitted it was time to begin preparations for his coronation. What was left of the Royal Court started working on the process immediately, led by Midhir, one of the few survivors.

With the palace a smoldering heap of rubble and much of the island destroyed — whether by kraken, or by the nuclear bomb used to kill it — there were few places to have the coronation. Delbáeth chose to hold the coronation in a theater on the northern shore of the island, away from the destruction caused by the beast in the south. Perhaps, just for the coronation, there would be some modicum of history made, and the people could look past the destruction.

The ceremony itself was beautiful. I was given a first-row seat next to Director Walsh. Midhir led the proceedings, using the Four Treasures — the Stone of Fál, the Spear of Lugh, the Claidheamh Soluis, the Cauldron of the Dagda — to anoint Delbáeth. The ceremony was marked by a distinct air of sadness. It was evident how much smaller it was than it should have been — so much of the population had been lost.

The days after that were a whirlwind.

The city was a smoking ruin, and the majority of the Tuatha felt it could not be rebuilt — a sentiment shared by Midhir. Three days after the coronation, he worked a massive spell, taking thousands of survivors through the mists, to another world, one where Hy-Brasil had not fell. As a part of the spell, and the urgency with which he was working it, those who took his offer would be cursed to never return to our world.

The Foundation immediately began to pull out of Site-03 and leave the island behind. No longer a relevant operation center for them, it seemed. I found myself slowly working my way up the Site bureaucracy, one of the few people who wanted to stay on the island and keep the skeleton Site operational.

There is one, small, saving grace to all of this: High King Delbáeth II's first act was to formally outlaw the practice of the luck wards. For as long as he reigns, Hy-Brasil will not taunt the workings of fate and bring their own doom upon them.

If only Nuada had done the same.


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