A follow-up to this post. More excerpts from A Concise Atlas of the Multiverse (2273):
Reality: Highly Mutable, psychomorphic
Dominant Lifeform: ?
Description: A roiling, colorful manifold filled with psychedelic, pseudo-matter forms spontaneously generated by interaction with the mental imprints of sophont beings, Bedlam is thought to be either a vestige of raw hyperspace prior to manipulation by the Precursors or a walled off area of damaged metric. Its metaphysics have a profound effect on visitors, leading to feelings of depersonalization, paranoia, and sometimes full psychotic reactions among those not properly prepared. Prolong exposure to the naked manifold ultimately leads to dissolution of the physical form, following mental disintegration. Artificial islands of stability exist within Bedlam and these are the primary destinations for visitors. Wildcatters use some islands as bases for attempts to "mine" the metric. Gathziri monasteries are often found in these places, though its unlikely their inhabitants created the islands in the first place.
Reality: Fixed, paraphysical
Dominant Lifeform: deodands; numerous prisoner species
Description: Black Iron Prison (human designation) is an ancient megastructure, a 4-dimensional hyperoctahedron the size of a dwarf planet, and the pocket universe that houses it. The structure was supposedly constructed by the Precursors as a prison, or maybe as the concept of confinement, itself. It is staffed by a clade of hereditary guards called deodands, who view their job as a quasi-religious obligation. For a fee, they will accept new prisoners from any political body, though very few governments will admit to using their services. No public record of those housed in the Escher-maze cell-blocks of the prison exists, but some of its inmates are likely the descendants of individuals whose accusers have been long forgotten, to say nothing of their alleged crimes.
1 hour ago