Worldbuilder Thread

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Worldbuilder Thread

Postby agoraoptera on Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:02 am

All is primordial darkness, inky nothing cloaked in lightless cold. The world is unborn, unmade, a limitless field of potential. There are a billion stars out there, glinting without warmth, giving no life. It is an empty void, filled to bursting with nothing.

Good thing we're around, aye?

Welcome to the Worldbuilding Thread, where we breathe life, character and style into a new land full of adventure and excitement. With each post, you can either build on pre-existing lands, cities and peoples or strike out in a new direction and set up something new within the world. You can post in the form of a description, as a tourguide booklet, as a scene with characters, as a story being related, whatever way you prefer. The only restrictions are these: whatever you make must make sense within the context thus far established, and you must take into account everything others have written. Let me get the ball rolling. Oh, and try to give a rough sense of where regions are relative to each other. Best to be realistic, ie, ice capped regions in the north.

---

To the northeast, in climes cooler all-year round, lie a city of the dead, a veritable Necropolis. The dead, in a manner of speaking, live there, eking out an existence in the Necropolis half-buried underground. Much of the sprawling city extends into the rock, wrought in tunnels and tiered caverns. When the Necromancer King was vanquished in the early wars, many of the undead under his dominion went feral, but some retained a measure of their sentience. These Outcast Dead, a motley crew of vampires, ghouls, zombies, wights and many more, banded together and wrought the Necropolis, a place to call their home. Now, the Necropolis is wondrously hospitable, even to the living. The Outcast Dead pride themselves on being 'necropolitans', and do their best to accomodate the living, the better to ease away old prejudices. They welcome all equally (except maybe the elves) and grow delectable mushrooms in their underground farms as their primary export.

Far towards the west, where the Necropolitans are just traveler's tall tales, is an expansive swathe of bleak barren land known as the Desolace. Roving clans of techno-magi war amongst themselves with undue frequency, vying for control over the most intense storms. While steampower is prolific in other neighbouring provinces, these techno-magi have fabricated their own madcap means of power: lightning. The Desolace is almost constantly tortured by powerful static storms which scar the land and churn the ground. An entirely inhospitable place, but the techno-magi seek out the static storms with nearly suicidal thirst, bathing their three-man tall mechanical machines in the lightning and fighting each other, all in the name of power. No permanent settlement can survive the wrath of the storms, and so they lead pseudo-nomadic lives, following the path of the storm wherever it may takes them. Most people think the techno-magi are crazy belligerent idiots, but the occasional clansmen who venture out of the Desolace and back to civilisation tend to bring fanciful gadgets and innovations that at least hint of some intelligence. Besides, those mecha they ride in are the stuff of legends, if nothing else.
If you can make it better, don't make it sentient.

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Re: Worldbuilder Thread

Postby narrativedilettante on Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:01 pm

The legend goes like this.

Two elves, brothers, twins in fact, were traveling by boat on the river Zyx. They had come from the mountains in the north, looking to seek their fortunes and find land to live on and call their own. One of the brothers was kind and open-hearted, while the other was cruel and conniving. Which of these brothers possessed which qualities depends on who is telling the story.

One brother, by the name of Quincy, cast a line for fish. He fell into the water. In some versions of the stories he was pushed overboard by his brother Opus.

Some say that Opus tried to pull Quincy back into the boat, and that rather than valuing his own rescue, Quincy cruelly sought revenge and pulled Opus into the water. Some say that Opus, in his efforts to see his brother drowned, lost his balance and fell after Quincy.

All agree that, once in the water, the brothers fought with each other while the boat was swept on by the current. They lost everything they had, and at last, exhausted, each swam to the opposite shore, and they continued their way on foot. Their distrust of one another was such that neither slept, and they kept walking even when it was too dark to see the way ahead, and they kept looking for the other and imagining that he was visible in the distance even when the opposite shore was completely obscured by trees.

At nightfall, they each came to what they thought was a bend in the river. It was too dark to see the opposite shore, so they each continued on, walking until daylight struck. They had come to Lake Thir, and in their paranoia, each had kept walking for fear that his brother was just across a river and ready to strike, so that now, while dawn rose, each found himself alone on the shore of a vast lake with his brother nowhere to be seen.

Each founded a city, the cities of Op and Quine. In short order the people of each city discovered the other city across the lake, and war was declared. Peace between the two cities was rare, and even after the brothers were long dead, the men and women of Quine and Op regarded the inhabitants of the other city with suspicion.

But of course, that was many thousands of years ago. In our modern, enlightened age, none would hold onto such old and baseless prejudices, would they?
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Re: Worldbuilder Thread

Postby Victin on Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:00 pm

Finally, Ian refilled the water jar, and put the flower, of very light yellow petals, inside it again. Now everything was back to its place, all properly tidied up. It took long two hours of work, but the result was worth each second. The living room's coffee table was properly set, and the morning sun made the shimmering beauty of the flower even more beautiful. Of the paintings which decorated the walls, none was leaning to any side, and now they were arranged in such way that no inch of the wall seemed empty, and that none felt too crowded. The cushioned chairs, imported from one or another faraway land, had had both their leather cushions washed and metal carcass polished. It was surprising for many that a bourgeois had such quality furniture in their home, but for others it was not, as the bourgeoisie was considered the new nobility. Sociopolitical matters aside, Ian was now ready to leave the home.

He took the key from his pocket, but looked behind him one last time, assuring himself he had done everything he had to. After doing so two or three times, he opened the door just in time for the person on the other side to not knock on it. It was a maid, who had come to do the housework. She already had a key on her person, but found polite to knock before entering her patrons' houses. Her uniform was a black and white dress, which fit well her petite figure, on Ian's opinion.

"Who are you... mister? A guest of Mister Smith?" She said, faking politeness at the unkwnon person.

"Not quite... you see..." He pronouced each syllabe slowly and carefully, almost with what would sound as regret to an everyday listener. A knife slid out of his pocket unnoticed, and went straight to the woman's throath, as if it were a vampire. The other hand covered the mouth, preventing any yell. After the body fell onto Ian's arms, his eyes glanced around, making sure the street was empty of any witnesses. Following that, he entered the house once again, now with the body on his arms, and closed the door behind him.

"Great, so much work ruined so quickly." Ian sighed, while the thought process continued in his mind. "Now I'll have to make this look like murder followed by suicide. Or just a couple's suicide, yes. Perfect." He carried the body to the bedroom, and regretfully made sure this perfectly tidy bed looked as messy as it should, taking care to not exaggerate. Then he brought the other body and put it under the sheets, then intertwined the "lovers'" arms, as if they had stabbed each other at the same time. Walking out of the bedroom, Ian noticed the blood stains that had been left on the floor.

He entered the bathroom, a fanciful commodity disponible only for those who could pay for it and didn't mind the odors filling the house, or had methods to counter them. For example, Ian had just lit a patch of herbs, to keep the smell of death from the air for a longer time. He proceeded to wash his hands, two, three, five, eight times. As many as he judged he needed, and more to make sure they were clean. The man then took hold of one or two cleaning items and the small glass recipient with the aromatic herbs, first taking the latter to the bedroom, and then by starting the long process of cleaning the corridor.
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Re: Worldbuilder Thread

Postby narrativedilettante on Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:34 pm

"But MOM!"

"The answer is no."

"You never let me do anything fun." The girl pouted, crossing her arms in front of her, watching her mother stir a variety of ingredients into a batter.

"Then it shouldn't surprise you that I won't let you do this, either," said the mother, tapping her daughter's nose with a spoon. A spoon which, moments before, had scooped butter into a bowl. The girl rubbed her nose.

"Ugh, why did you do that? Now I have to wash my face!"

"Perhaps that was my intention. I wouldn't want you to feature an unwashed face at your birthday party."

"But it's not for HOURS."

"Pity, that. Your face will likely get all dirty again in the meantime. Ah, well, what can I do?"

"Ashley got to go to the Necropolis for HER 10th birthday."

"Ashley's grandfather is a vampire. It's understandable that her family wanted her to meet him."

"But how did-"

"I don't know the details. If you're curious, you could ask Ashley. Just bring it up in a tactful way, please? Don't just shout 'Hey Ashley how do you have a vampire in your family' in the middle of the party?"

"I just want to meet some zombies. Please? For my birthday?"

"I've told you a thousand times, NO."

"Humph!"

The girl stayed in the kitchen, arms crossed, defiantly staring down her mother, who poured the batter into a pan and set it into the oven space above their hearth fire. When her mother did not address her stare, and rather moved on to mix together butter and sugar, the girl finally retreated from the kitchen to wash her face and plan her next appeal.
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Re: Worldbuilder Thread

Postby agoraoptera on Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:48 pm

Now, my fine lords and ladies, listen fine and listen well, here's an old bawdy I'm sure you'll all agree with. It's a long ride down to the old Cape, and many-a thing we've seen changed, but some things never change.

Oh, the Davian girls,
They say are like pearls,
And the Tynari like fine wine.
But if you want the top,
Grab a Quine and an Op,
Competing, they'll blow your mind!
If you can make it better, don't make it sentient.

agoraoptera wrote: :| Shane just because I'm Asian doesn't mean I get to be Godzilla


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Re: Worldbuilder Thread

Postby Victin on Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:29 pm

Author: Gaspar Eldranor, Archmage from the Academy of Tiamat, in the city of Ob
Book: On Magic and the Beings Who Use It, written 87 years prior to the current year
Excerpt taken from chapter two of three, "Sentient Beings and Magic", from pages 152, 156 and 157

Trolls are a notable race which distinguishable corporeal feature is certainly magical. Many times, a troll doesn't seem to be a living being, rather a feature of the landscape. The reason for that are the trolls' natural ability to change their body according to the environment they live in. These transformations occur wether the troll is willing or not, but there are very few known cases of trolls despising this unique skill of them. They happen progressively as a troll encounters and experiences a different environment, naturally starting roughly after seven days of continuous contact with an environment, though the prospect of how long the troll believes he will stay in the environment he is currently located may lessen or increase the amount of time it takes for the transformation to begin and how long the process will last. The transformation itself tends to last from the minimum of four days to at most fourteen.

Despite this, trolls are considered an humanoid race, given that of any substance they may be or appear to be made of, they retain the basic shape of two legs under a torso, with a pair of arms, each on the respective side, and a head atop it all. Even then, a certain type of forest troll may be taller than most trees, with huge and strong limbs scaled to the appropriate size, while the relatively small head stands on an equally small and large neck, while another is slim and no taller than an human or elf, possibly with a tail on the back of its body, distinguishing itself from the others and allowing more mobility on the treetops. In fact, this kind of difference between trolls seems to be more unique to each individual than their shifting nature would imply, but these characteristics seem to remain similar, if not constant, on the descendency of a population of similar trolls, and a careful analysis of their ascendency may reveal a common tendency of these traits to move on, sometimes resulting in populations composed entirely by the same biotype, sometimes resulting in populations where both the small and the tall troll coexist. Nonetheless, both of them being forest trolls result in the same body composition, of both humus and vegetal nature (the exact vegetals which compose the body may vary based on the individuals, though).

[…]

Many scholars disagree on the subject of troll sentience, but given the disponible examples the matter become irrefutable. While it's true some trolls, specially those who live in few numbers, if not alone, deep down inside caves or into the ocean display little intelligence, they are in fact sentient, lacking mostly social skills and the capacity of making complex items. Nonetheless, there are many known troll tribes all over the world. Though many of them display tendencies such as pillaging or cannibalism, they don't disprove the sentience of the race.

One of the many tribes of trolls live in the forest close to the cities of Op and Quine. The tribe display a nomadic behavior, though through the years they have rarely left the general area of the forest, they have moved less and less over the recent decades. Even then, the tribes constantly attacks cities from the close regions, pillaging a diverse amount of utensils the tribe doesn't possess the capacity to produce. Despite this primitive behavior, the tribe has the tendency to kidnap children from the cities they attack, commonly those whose parents the trolls believe were killed during the attack or whom appear to live in poor conditions. The children are then adopted and integrated in the society, without any different treatment by the other members of the community. The group understands anyone raised by the trolls as another troll, a belief which seems to exist justified on the ever shifting nature of the troll race. This, however, isn't necessarily a tendency on the troll societies as a whole, given that each has it's own culture, beliefs and political system.
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Re: Worldbuilder Thread

Postby Krika on Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:12 am

Muun is dead.

Nobody speaks of him.
Nobody knows who he is.
Nobody is where he exists.
Nobody reads the blank signs.
Nobody finds the map which was never written.

Anybody can find it.
Anybody can claim him.
Anybody can use them.

Anybody can learn.
Nobody can be aware.
Somebody can read.

Muun is gone.
But Muun dreams.
Krika
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>We are affirming our collective jerkhood by committing genocide on them.
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>No
>No it does not
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Re: Worldbuilder Thread

Postby Victin on Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:51 pm

Children...

"MOOOOOOOM!!!"

"What is it, Elliot?"

"Jack stole my thermoelectrical pneumatic compressor again!"

"No, I didn't!"

"Jack give back your brother's compressor!"

"But I don't have it!"

"Just give it back!"

"Butbutbut..."

"Jacques Theodore Armstrong!"

Jack growled angrily, and gave back his brother's compressor. Now Elliot was happy, because he could make his toy work again. It was a miniature version of the coolest and most awesome magi-mechanical armor of the entire Desolace: the Bloody Storm, named after what the pilot and creator said when he became bald when hit by a statical storm, sans the profanities.

~~~~

"Run, run, run, it's coming the night" Billy was blindfolded and steps walked around him.

"Hide, hide, hide, the moon's already bright" They grabbed him and made him spin, little pulls coming from little arms.

"Jump in the throat, by the guts go through" The others ran away from him, and he carefully stopped himself from spinning.

"To be born everyday! Now, rise and shine if you may." He took out the blindfold from himself and ran out, to look for his friends.

All trolls, some born of two human parents, two elven parents, others born from two troll parents, and even one born of mixed parents, but all of them kids were trolls nonetheless.

~~~~

"Now stand still."

"I said stand still, stop moving."

"For the sake of... Gregor! Just stand still while I stitch this!"

"It's not that big of a rip."

"But it's one, and we don't want your cousin and her family to think less of us, do you?"

"Just because my hand fell off they will think that?"

"I don't know, I haven't been out much. You should ask your granduncle. He was the one who got around and had my cousin, the dhampir."

"Why do you always refer to him like that? It's not like you have any other cousins."

"Maybe I have one from his side of the family? I'm not sure how genealogy is supposed to work, we vampires are sort of like... You know."

"Mom, you've been telling me that for the twenty seven years I've been half-alive and I still don't understand."

"Well, me neither. Done, see? It wasn't that hard. Now your hand shouldn't be falling around when your cousin Ashley and her family arrive. Now you are mommy's prettiest zombie."

"Mom..." Gregor said, rolling his eyes, and walked away to anothe room. As her son walked away, the mother sighed. One thing she know for sure is that vampires can't have children, and if they do they are dhampirs, or whatever the plural of that word is. At least, the woman had never heard of vampires having children, which is why she adopted a zombie for her own. He never brought up the subject, so she too never did, although she wondered if that ever passed by his head. At the same time, she always wondered why she had ever lived with Uncle Hailey and he had never mentioned her parents, whomever they were. For sure she was surprised when he said he was going to be a father himself. "My family's so complicated..." She told herself, and a knock was heard on the door. "GREGOR!!! THEY ARE HERE!!! "
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Re: Worldbuilder Thread

Postby agoraoptera on Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:23 pm

"Dad."

"Son."

"I'm a little hungry."

"Well, keep your fangs to yourself. I'll get you some blood later."

"Can't I just nibble off someone-"

"Pech! Shame on you! We are civilised people."

Pech sighed. "Yes, father."

There was a silence.

"Look up there, Pech. You see the trailing silhouettes? That's Chondo, the Sky-City."

"It's finally here. What're those things trailing behind?"

"The sky-vine plantations. That's where they grow the Chondathan sky-melons."

"I'd like to try some."

"And you will. Just wait for it to come around, and then there'll be crowds wanting to visit Chondo."

"Tinker Gonzo will have good business then."

"Yes, Gonzo's a smart man, manufacturing the filter-cloaks to keep the harmful bits of the sun away from us. He didn't always live here, you know."

"Oh?"

"Tinker Gonzo came from Tynar, like me. We had the same teacher, Karasondrias-"

"The half-dragon, half-phoenix?"

"The same. I don't think she lives in Tynar anymore though, I hear she went back to her homeland in the Flaming Peaks. We weren't always Necropoles. It was.. okay there, but here we get to live more freely."

"'Live', huh? I still don't quite get how I... how I'm your son. People say I'm adopted."

"Who said that?" Pech's father thundered.

"My friends and-"

"Well, they're wrong. You are my son, never doubt that."

"But.."

"You know how you're taught that in death, all are equal?"

Pech nodded.

"It's true, but while all vampires are equal, some vampires are more equal than others."

"I.... see...."

"In a manner of speaking, you're not a vampire as is commonly understood. Yes, you live on blood and yes, the sun is quite an irritant, but you're not the same vampire I am. You live and you grow. You're not a vampire. Not until we have you killed."

Pech swallowed uneasily.

"Oh, don't worry, son. Death to us is just a phase. You'll, ah, grow out of it."

"Y-Yes, father."

"I can tell you're afraid. Don't worry; you still have some years before your blooding. Besides, we still have to find you a nice sweet girl."

"Father!"

"I know you have a soft spot for Mina, and she's a sweet dame, but if she's not willing to stay by your side for a couple of centuries, then she's not worth it. I know you love her, but trust me, you want a lifelong and deathlong companion. Your mother does like her, though, and I admit, new blood will keep our line fresh. But don't rush into anything, my son. It's a big decision. She'll have to love you enough to slit your throat, anyway."

"What?"

"The look on your face, Pech! I kid, I kid. The throat's usually too messy: our tradition is the heart."

"Dad..."

"Come now, let's go see if we can't convince your mother to join us at Chondo. She loves the sky-melons."

"Mother's afraid of heights, dad."

"Rather poor showing for a crowkin, eh?"

"I wish I had wings."

"Your mother didn't love you enough to pass on those genes to you."

"Dad!"

"I kid, I kid."
If you can make it better, don't make it sentient.

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Re: Worldbuilder Thread

Postby narrativedilettante on Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:53 pm

The following is an excerpt from The Merchant's Almanac.

Sky-Melons (Melonis Caelum) are valuable commodities. They are both highly sought after and difficult to come by, which means the asking price can often be as high as the merchant may choose to set it. They are easy to sell; the trouble comes in stocking them.

True sky-melons are only grown in the flying city of Chondo. A discerning customer will buy only authentically sourced Chondathan melons, refusing to do business with any vendor incapable of providing authentic Chondathan certificates of trade. Such certificates may be forged, with some work, but the penalties for doing so can be severe, ranging from imprisonment to beheading, depending on local customs. (Be sure to check local laws in any area before peddling goods there.)

Most customers, though, are willing to buy cheaper, more easily stocked imitations of sky-melons. These will not fetch the same price, unless a truly elaborate scheme is put in place, but their increased availability more than makes up for the decreased profit margin.

The sky-melon is visually similar to the ordinary honeydew, and if a customer has never been privileged enough to partake of the authentic article, they will have virtually no basis by which to tell the difference. Honeydew melons may be stocked at a considerable discount in farming communities, and sold in nearby cities with a sky-melon label for a hefty markup.

A more dedicated merchant may be able to obtain some sky-melon seeds and set up his or her own plot on the ground. Unfortunately, the lower latitudes do not suit sky-melon growth, and the resulting melons will be smaller and more bitter than their avian counterparts. They can, however, still fetch quite a price in markets where true sky-melons are rarities. Even an honest merchant may find that these "sky melons" are popular enough with the customers to justify a significant investment. And a dishonest merchant who raises their own melons may well never have to stock the genuine article again.
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