Currently this text is a copy of our working script, not the exact text of the episode. It will be updated once we have transcripts prepared for every episode.
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of… whatever this is! Practical game master is going on hiatus, due to requests that I share my research as I look into this whole thing about Geneva. I’m glad you guys are as interested in this as I am, because… it’s the main thing on my mind, lately.
I’ve listened back to our conversation a bunch of times, and transcribed it. The following is basically a record of observations I’ve made and research I’ve been able to do to try and figure out what might be going on. My education on the scientific dimension/time/space aspect of this is extremely limited, but I do have an excellent background for talking about parts of history and literature that may reflect contact with a different culture.
So, if you want to leave me any comments or help with the sciency end of this, you know how to get in touch. If you’re as invested in the issue as I am, I’d love a sound bite to include, or I could interview you about it. Serious inquiries only, please.
First thing, she said what seems to be a date, “23rd Snowmarch 763 a don.” I am a little confused by what it means - 23rd Snowmarch makes sense to me, it’s clearly the day and month, and I guess it’s winter there. The rest of it, I would guess the 763 is the year, but who knows about that last part. It’s worth noting, if nothing else.
The biggest thing we have to go on is the way that Geneva uses language. I’m sure you noticed that she was speaking English, despite supposedly being from a different planet or even a different dimension entirely. So, there’s something exciting. The next time we manage to connect, I will definitely be asking her about the history of the language, because even if they don’t have records of Earth, they will have records of how that language has developed there.
She also, I believe, referred to English as the common tongue! That’s wild. Imagine a place where this insane language is an international standard language. My brain runs wild on that particular fact, but there’s something solid, as well. She thought the planet was called “Aerth.” Her English is so very American standard - the cadences are a little different, but the pronunciations are there.
Based on my favorite etymological sources, “earth,” referring to the planet and to dirt is a word that derives from Old English, and it was originally EYY-orth-a, if I’m not mistaken about those vowel sounds. (eorþe). In Middle English, the pronunciation became air-thuh (erthe). So, given the concept of portals between worlds… we might be able to track this connection by the great vowel shift? Thank you, English degree, coming in useful for the first time in my goddamned life.
So let’s… extrapolate, now, heading into the realm of assumption and guesswork, based on these facts… I think that in the past, Chell and Earth had a considerable amount of contact during the middle ages, and that it could explain a lot of Arthurian legend... stuff. Curses, magic swords, wizards and witches, the questing beast...
Side note... Behindthename.com, which is a fairly legit site for onomastics, recognizes Geneva as a variation of Genevieve - a super medieval name, and popular because St. Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris. I will be asking her about that one, too, if I get the chance.
I’ve been looking into, sort of… the general concept of portals between worlds, and I can’t really find any mention of a society that guards or researches such a thing, except maybe NASA. For all I know it’s the true purpose of the Freemasons, but that’s not knowledge that I’ll be able to come by.
I think modern interest in portals stems from Einstein’s theory of relativity. You know, E=MC squared. Etc. I already said, I don’t main science. But a lot of physicists have been working off this theory for years in order to try to create wormholes and things that would allow us to travel great distances in a short period of time. I can’t find anything that talks about breaking through to another world, though.
As far as I understand, wormholes opening directly between two planets would just suck one planet into the other, causing them to smash together, killing everyone who may have been there to take notes. And that’s about where I reach my limit on the science stuff. Like I said, if you have any insight on it, hit me up. I’m starting to think I’d have to get an advanced degree in physics to learn more, and I just don’t have that kind of time. Or money… or talent.
I do know about portals from a mythical perspective - it’s definitely skewed towards the European side of things, but since Geneva speaks English, I’m not sure that’s going to be a problem.
A common way to travel between worlds is a mound or fairy ring. You go out on the moors at night, or you step into this ring of mushrooms or flowers and fall into fairy land, where nothing makes sense, there are immortals and people with immense power, and my may get tricked or trapped, and you may never return at all. If Chell is a place where magic is real--by which I mean flashy magic, please don’t at me if you do tarot or divine with a pendulum or whatever, regular witchcraft stuff... I know that’s a thing. Uh but please DO at me if you can cast bigby’s hand--anyway, Chell more than fits the bill as fairyland. What I am basically imagining here is an English dirt farmer, someone like the guy from the beginning of Monty Python and the Holy Grail - the “help help I’m being repressed!” guy? I’m picturing that guy picking mushrooms one second and facing down a literal dragon the next. Not that we discussed dragons. And it does sound like there was a certain amount of infrastructure in place, if humans colonized Chell and natives from Chell came to settle here.
As a side note, the theory of relativity isn’t completely irrelevant when you’re talking about these kinds of journeys. Usually, your stay in fairyland does not match up with the amount of time that passes back on Earth. You might stay a week in fairy land and return to earth a hundred years later, or even more. Your disappearance may be a local legend!
That doesn’t seem to be what’s happening between me and Geneva, though. At least I don’t think it is. There isn’t a time difference. We were talking, almost normally. Though I suppose neither of us actually have stepped through the portal. Maybe there would be a difference then. Imagine, I put on my robe and wizard hat, step through a door into Geneva’s world, and as soon as my feet touch the ground I crumble to dust? We’ll hope for… not that. Anyway, as far as I can tell, there isn’t any time difference, so lets look at something else.
Oh! Right, the name of the planet… oh man you guys. I can’t tell if it’s proof that this is a hoax, or of contact between planes, or just that coincidences happen. A planet called Chell, accessed through a portal?
I have basically, at this point, turned my pinboard into a list of questions to ask Geneva. What does Chell mean? Is it referring to a shell, and then, in what sense? Is it a diminutive of Michelle - like, the planet is named after a god of some sort? IS that hard to follow - Michelle is the feminine of Michael which refers to God. I really have to stop doing guesswork when it comes to language.
There are things that make me think that - regardless of my overall theory of Chell having a lot of influence through the earlier medieval period, there were some phrases that Geneva used that made me think the two places have influenced each other at other points in time. Particularly, she used the phrases “through the veil,” which is a concept that originates in the Victorian period, and the phrase “this is getting awkward,” which is… just so very contemporary.
Another thing is the way she spoke of Elves and Dwarves, which sounded very much like D&D, in the sense that there are humans, and elves, and dwarves, all living side by side... clearly not in harmony, but in... mundane fact. Which is very weird.
Harkening back to the fairyland thing, the typical understanding is that “fairies,” and both elves and dwarves would fall into that broad category, fairies are old gods that have been pushed aside by Christianity. So Elves and Dwarves in the D&D sense, the Tolkienian sense… well, let’s say it’s confusing the issue. Also... am I alone in thinking that Geneva is a dwarf? The gruff voice, the almost scientific way of talking about the world, the, uh, blunt way she spoke about humans? That’s my gut feeling on it, anyway.
Last thing, I’ve been powering through it because I prepared serious notes and shit, but I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve gotten a lot of interference as I recorded this. As far as I can tell, none of it is from Geneva. Most of it is impossible to even understand, just white noise and garbled speech.
There... is a part of me, sometimes a big part, that is starting to doubt it, again. I mean… it couldn’t have been real, right? The thing is, at this point, I’m not the only one. People are talking about it on several of the podcaster discords I follow, and I’ve even seen some legit articles about strange signals interrupting radio broadcasts. I’ll link you there on twitter.
I don’t know what’s going on, but if we’re experiencing widespread contact from another dimension… this is serious. I need to talk to Geneva.
Theme Music Plays
Thank you for listening to Interference. For more information, or to get in touch, head to orczone.com, or tweet us @theorczone. Thanks again to Rhi from the Magpies Podcast and Grayson from Heroes Not Included, as well as Tessa from Shenanigoons. Their info is in the show notes. As always, my thanks to Jahzzar for the use of their song “Please Listen Carefully,” available at betterwithmusic.com.