ENTRY 218: Grendal’s Loop
Reachable through the Discord Gate, Grendal’s Loop is a set of gate coordinates with atypical properties. All probes and living gatecrashers who have passed through the gate to Grendal’s Loop have returned 6-60 seconds later. Individuals have reported no indication of lost time, and recording devices remain active for the entire period of the journey. Gatecrashers who have passed through Grendal’s Loop have described an inability to focus properly on sensations, but describe a sensation of movement and fleeting glimpses of dozens of exoplanets and exotic landscapes, ending when they arrive back on the platform at the Discord Gate. Sensors seem to confirm these impressions: video brings back a blur of images and the only sound is a low-volume, muted static; efforts to map the loop with sonar, radar, lidar, and t-rays give only confused and difficult to parse images, but temperature, pressure, and gravimetric readings however do not vary at all.
The most popular theory for Grendal’s Loop, born out by exacting dissection of the recorded data, is that the gate address quickly sequences the individuals entering the gate through dozens or even hundreds of other gates in a series of microsecond transactions. The exact sequence of worlds seems to be random or pseudorandom, but the gatecrashers exist on the world for only a split second before the gate shuffles them on to the next one, too fast for gasses to exchange or sound to properly propagate. Still, if the theory is correct then gatecrashers may still be vulnerable to extreme changes of gravity and sudden bursts of radiation, so new gatecrashers taking Grendal’s Loop are now given a travel advisory to that effect.
- Ultimate researcher Gal Feuer believes they have found a way to “break” Grendal’s Loop by using a time dilation awareness protocol and a wireless gate dialer prototype. The good news is: it appears to have worked. The bad news is: now the researcher is lost. The Go-nin have offered a substantial reward for a group of gatecrashers willing to go through Grendal’s Loop with their own dialer prototypes, find Gal Feuer and bring them back.
- Recently, gatecrashers exploring Grendal’s Loop have been coming back maimed and injured. Rumors have started that there is somehow something “stuck” in the loop with them—and that perhaps the Loop is a prison that transhumans have inadvertently been opening and closing. The Go-nin wish a group of private investigators to look into these rumors, and see if there is any truth to them.
- Joyce Friel believes that Grendal’s Loop is an inherent instability in the gate system, and that continued access of it will eventually cause all of the gates to malfunction or even self-destruct. She advocates complete forbiddance of further uses of Grendal’s Loop, but so far no-one has taken her or her research seriously. To prove her point, she has programmed a worst-case variant of the Grendal’s Loop gate code that, if it works, would permanently damage the Discord Gate—and she wishes to hire the player characters to install it.