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The Stranger is a location in Echoes of the Eye. It is a massive artificial ring world spacecraft that is cloaked in the Solar System. It does not orbit any astral body. The Stranger was built by a species that predates the Hearthians and the Nomai. Due to its cloaking field, it is impossible to locate initially without observing the shadow it casts on the Sun's light from behind.

Description[]

Cloaking field[]

The Stranger cloaked in front of the sun

The Stranger's cloaking field affects all light except that of the Sun. This field is ineffective at distances shorter than 800 meters, rendering the Stranger fully visible to observers within that range. The cloaking technology blocks not only the visual light spectrum, but also any radio waves. As a result, the Signalscope is completely useless while inside the cloaking field. Any Scout shot into or out of the field will also lose connection with the launcher; photographs will only show random static. The map also does not work while inside the cloaking field.

Structure[]

One of the ship bays of the Stranger

The Stranger was built as a rotating ring that simulates gravity through centrifugal force. The Station has ship bays on both of its body's circular "faces", with each face having different designs.

Above the sunward face are five spokes connected to a circular frame, resembling a wheel. Hidden within these spokes are enormous green sails, which can be furled or unfurled to propel the Stranger. The shadow side has five great spikes protruding out of the hull's outer edge at an angle. Within this is another circular frame (this one without the spokes) standing above a series of smaller spikes and pillars scattered across the face.

Insides[]

Inside the Stranger

The inside of the Stranger contains an artificial climate reminiscent of a swamp, with an endlessly circling river. The river's flow is controlled by a dam, which contains a very powerful Reservoir. The river can be traversed via raft.

The Stranger's sails open as seen from inside

Light was significant to the inhabitants of the Stranger, as they made extensive use of it across the station. Many of the machines inside of the Stranger react to light, such as rafts, doors and elevators. Slide projectors can also be found in every major settlement, and slide reels outnumber any form of writing on the station.

There are many small collections of buildings within the Stranger built by the station's inhabitants. These areas are named after their locations in the station and include the River Lowlands, the Cinder Isles, and the Hidden Gorge. Each of these towns contains similarly sized houses, as well as a slide theater.

Accessibility[]

The Stranger visible near the Deep Space Satellite

When visiting the Radio Tower on Timber Hearth, the Protagonist can learn of the Deep Space Satellite's anomalous picture taken at a 40° inclination, which shows the Sun's light being blocked by an invisible object. The Protagonist must then travel to the Satellite and wait until the inclination on its onboard display is around 40°. The exact same anomaly shown in the picture then becomes visible. This will fully reveal the Stranger's location. On subsequent loops, it is possible to travel to the Stranger more quickly by marking it on the Ship Log.

Approaching the Stranger from the sunward or shadow side reveals a landing bay on either side of the ring. Each landing bay has an airlock that provides access to the interior of the ship. Another way to access it is from a round bulkhead that has been blown out on the sunward side of the ring.

History[]

The barren home moon after the Stranger's construction

The Stranger was built by a species native to a terrestrial moon orbiting a gas giant. After receiving the signal of the Eye of the Universe, they stripped their home moon of all its resources to build a spacecraft capable of reaching the Eye. Once they arrived at the Eye's location, they found out that the Eye was capable of ending the universe. Horrified by this discovery, the inhabitants of the Stranger burned their temple dedicated to the Eye. To prevent any other species from receiving the Eye's signal, they built an Eye signal blocker and put it in orbit around the Eye.

The Eye's signal being blocked

Upon the signal blocker's activation, the Stranger moved near the center of the Solar System, where it enabled its cloaking field. As they regretted sacrificing their home moon to build the Stranger, the inhabitants constructed a simulated reality modeled after their homeworld. Following many tests, they all went to sleep in their simulation. However, one of the inhabitants woke up from the simulation and disabled the Eye signal blocker. This freed the Eye's signal and let it broadcast throughout the universe. As punishment, the other inhabitants locked this individual in the Sealed Vault. They re-enabled the signal blocker and went back to sleep in the simulation.

The Stranger's inhabitants dead but still inside the simulation

As the years went on, the Stranger's inhabitants' physical bodies all died. Nevertheless, they remained alive inside the simulation, unable to wake up. The Stranger fell into disrepair and all its flora withered away, but its technology remained functional. The Nomai of Escall's clan eventually received the echoes of the Eye's signal, which led to their presence in the Solar System. In spite of that, they never discovered the existence of the cloaked Stranger. It was only when the Hearthians launched their Deep Space Satellite that hints of the Stranger's presence were found.

Movement[]

Slides showing the Stranger moving away from the Sun

The Stranger initially has a fixed location far above the Solar System's ecliptic plane, and does not orbit any astral body. As the Sun expands, the Stranger autonomously unfurls its vast sails (causing a brief power fluctuation across the ring world, and ultimately the collapse of the Dam) and gradually moves away from the center of the System. As a result, it is able to survive the Supernova by moving beyond the explosion's reach. If the Advanced Warp Core is removed from the Ash Twin Project and the Protagonist is on the Stranger after the Sun explodes, the player will encounter one of two endings (depending on whether the Protagonist is alive, or dead and trapped in the Simulation) similar to the Isolation Ending.

Inhabitants[]

Locations[]

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