What is a Blip? Does it make a distinct sound? And why would it make an interesting companion? The Astral Blip is one of the metaphysical materials you can collect in the game Control, turned into an “item” to use in your role-playing games. Read more about the idea behind it – and the whole list – here.

How an Astral Blip is Created

When two pieces of planar magic interact, strange things can happen. Putting one item that was enchanted to hold more than it should into another one results in a violent explosion. Carrying such an item through a portal, though, causes a much more benign reaction. A mote of planar energy condenses into existence on any side of the portal, and starts moving on its own accord through the cosmos.

An Astral Blip is invisible to anyone not capable of or trained in seeing invisibility. If revealed, they appear like motes of faintly glowing energy that flit around, only moderately hindered by matter. On the ethereal plane, these blips appear like small animals that frolic, for lack of a better term. The exact type of animal varies depending on who is watching, so it is likely that that is a kind of elaborate illusion.

A portal that the Astral Blip might be able to stabilize,

Over-Blip and Under-Blip

Portals that see frequent use are known to produce few Astral Blips, while those gateways that lay dormant for long stretches of time can create multiple blips once used. This has lead scholars to conclude that there is some kind of energy buildup or driving force behind the creation of blips. Some have even theorized a kind of consciousness in the Astral realm that seeps through in form of the Astral Blips.

An Astral Blip’s Behaviour

Astral Blips appear to have a basic kind of sentience. They exhibit curiosity, but also fear, despite the fact that there are no known ways to hurt or destroy an Astral Blip. Apparently, they just fade away over time, melting back into the Astral Plane.

Capturing Befriending an Astral Blip

There is no way to hold an Astral Blip, for they can pass through most things, and can always fade away should they indeed be trapped. They also appear to sense hostile intentions, and will move away quickly when they encounter someone who has malicious ideas about them.

Instead, the best way to “capture” an Astral Blip is to peak its curiosity. This works best on newly created blips, for they grow bored quickly after they were made. Things that attract them include planar artifacts, good intentions, complex motives, and convoluted plans that result in good.

If the curiosity persists, the blip will eventually reveal itself to the person it is following, as a mote of soft light on the periphery of their vision. At that point, it is possible to talk to the blip in simple terms, and get answers by means of movement and blinking.

Astral Blip, represented in 2 dimensions by water.

Mechanics of a Blip

I do not think that there should be hard and fast ruled for befriending an Astral Blip. Instead, a character’s behavior should determine whether a blip would be attracted to them or not, and over time be inclined to reveal itself.

An interesting aspect of this is that the process does not require the character’s knowledge or participation. If they manage to attract a blip, they will eventually see it, and learn of what they have accomplished. If not, then no harm done.

Uses for an Astral Blip

Originating from the Astral plane, a willing Blip can be a great boon to planar travel. It can mark a remote location for easier use of teleportation magic, and make treacherous portal connections more stable.

Another use of a befriended Astral Blip is its ability to go almost anywhere and remain largely unseen. As such, they make great spies, even though the intelligence they gather can only be communicated via simple questions, answered in gestures of a flying mote of light.

Time for some Feed-Blip!

Let me know what you think about this different kind of companion. I think every group traveling the planes should endeavor to have one – or pick one up anyway! Let me know what you think on Discord, and share this with your friends! You can also find more inspiration here.

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to Be Inspired!