A Style Guide For The Dystopia -The Toast

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Our roots lie in the Hardfought Wastes, but increasingly we find our work applicable across the Lands of the Trackless. Our future, like that of so many others, depends on consistent usage of best practices in every region under the Skyburn.


  • General notes on distinguishing the Unfettered from the Self-Born
  • Concise articles with snappy intros (future users may have mere seconds to scan through the manual before the redhand descends)
  • Keep your readers in mind – are they Immutable, or merely Imperishable?
  • On metaphor and avoiding figurative speech in your petitions to the Preacher-Harvesters
  • Survival first, clarity second
  • Images – remember them?
  • There’s no time to thank about them now
  • Echtra vs. Otherworld and other naming conventions


Stick to Magisterial (sanctioned-speech) spelling, but the rules of punctuation vary more subtly between Weather Precincts; choose the most common-sense rules from both.

Focus your message – you only have four sec-tics

  • Some of the most effective messages use only one word. If you have multiple messages to send, try breaking them up into a series of cries for help. Examples include:
    • NO
    • RUN
    • THEY SEE
    • NO REST
    • HELP


There are many uses for apostrophes, but they are most commonly used for contractions (don’t touch, can’t see, won’t help) and to express possession. For example, if something is possessive it is Strelleth’s last hope, Granden’s shattered pelvis, or the Waster’s Hordes. This shouldn’t be confused with pluralization; adding an s doesn’t necessarily mean you need an apostrophe (e.g. horrors, lead-storms, creshers, Flesh Mines).


Ellipses should have a space before and after, and with the exception of quotation and question marks, no punctuation should precede it. They should be used, for instance, in recording the final message of a lover whose plea for assistance from the Shrouded City was cut hideously short:

We woke it, we woke it, we woke it, I’m sorry, please send the Veiled Lords or they’ll b …

Title Capitalization

Capitalize everything.

Use your brand assets

  • Include your Holdmaker’s brand or sear at the top of your messages, so people know where it’s coming from
  • If you are challenged along the Carrier’s Way, reveal your Waking Scar to the Sere Seer, that they might know whose burden you bear
  • Whose are you now? Whose will you be when the Discerners come?

Know your Calls To Action

  • CTAs link readers to external content or ask them to do something, like point you in the direction of unblack water or hide you from the Grinning Ones. You can link images, buttons, or text, depending on whether or not your readers have learned to read or still possess eyes. Choose whichever suits your purpose, but don’t include too many CTAs in one message or readers will be swallowed by the Flying Desert before they can offer you shelter.


  • Calling For Aid When The Wakeful Eye Opens (Third Edition)
  • Style Manual for Water Marshals and Bread-Givers (Sixth Edition, Bronze Head)
  • There Is But One Chance (First And Only Edition)

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