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Old 09-16-2018, 10:45 PM   #11
Daigoro
 
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

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Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
The deepest point in Knurlkyth is actually relatively shallow, only about a hundred feet below the local terrain baseline (about 1 mile above sea level). This is because of an ancient belief among the dwarves that if they ever delve deeper than the depth of the lowest body of water in their territory, a terrible fate will occur. Whether this is true prophecy or merely superstition is unknown, but it's entrenched enough among the dwarves that they don't test it (though there has been some talk of dredging a lake to artificially lower the critical depth).
More of a follow up question to this, but I guess I'll give it a number:

Question 6
Does sinking a deep geothermal borehole violate this prohibition?
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
More of a follow up question to this, but I guess I'll give it a number:

Question 6
Does sinking a deep geothermal borehole violate this prohibition?
Does Knurlkyth have the technology to drill such a borehole? Pre-industrial borehole drilling seems to be limited to about 600m (which admittedly is a lot deeper than I thought was possible).

In any case, I'm going to say: Yes, delving that far violates the prohibition... if it's done by dwarves. However, certain dwarves have been able to call on elemental powers, whether by summoning, deals, or what-have-you to bore (or perhaps create) new geothermal sources. Such events are always a Big Deal and celebrated in song and story (or, when they go wrong, the basis of dark cautionary tales).

Question 7
Like Knurl, the elven warmaster Lornegei founded a community to prove his side of the argument, namely that a perfectly trained but poorly armed warrior was superior to a poorly trained but perfectly armed warrior. What was the nature of this community, and how did it perish?
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

(NB: I skipped the number 3 in labelling the questions. Mea culpa. Perhaps they have a superstition around things that come third.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
Question 5:
What do the dwarves of Knurlkyth believe to be the greatest threat to their way of life, and are they right?
Answer 5
There may be other kinds of threat, social, economic or metaphysical, but the military/political threat that they're currently concerned about is news from the southern mountain ranges.

A new dwarf leader, the Thrumbleking, has taken the crown of the distant dwarven nation of Hurldrak, and is campaigning to unite all the dwarven nations under one banner- willing or not. Murblemorn is the first crown to have fallen to him and thus their treasure horde is his to command. This has allowed him to add companies of human, toad-head and rhinoman mercenaries to the two dwarven armies he now leads.

He is still consolidating his power base in the south, but he will soon turn his attentions to the northern nations.


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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
3) Artisanal Weapons and Armour
... Knurlkyth is now known for producing some of the region's best individual weapon or armour creations, but as each piece is unique they command a high price.
Just to clarify the meaning of "artisanal" here. These weapons are indeed works of art, but they are deadly, functional weapons first. They may bear ornamentations and decorations but this does not interfere with their balance, heft or cutting power. When commissioned for dukes and kings, Knurlkyth weapon-smiths are proud to be able to present swords and halberds worthy of such august personages that may also be confidently wielded in battle. Again, you should seek audience with some of Knurlkryth's neighbours if you require gaudy baubles with the appearance of real weapons.

-----

Question 3
Why is there a superstition against things that come third, and how would one notice this in daily life in the city?

Question 8
What political and legal system does the city and its encompassing nation use? Bonus points for incorporating an idea from the Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems thread.

Question 9
Please provide names for:
- the mountain
- the encompassing mountain range
- the city's nation (or local loose alliance of states)
- maybe the nearby lakes and waterways, particularly the mountaintop heated lake and the lowland lake which limits the city's lower boundary
- any other notable features
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Last edited by Daigoro; 09-17-2018 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

Question 8
What political and legal system does the city and its encompassing nation use? Bonus points for incorporating an idea from the Exotic Governmental/Legal Systems thread.

The government is formed of 4 benches within a bicameral legislature. The benches are composed of the general population, the craftsmen, the wealthy, and the hereditary nobility.

The Assembly
The lower house of the legislature is elected directly by the inhabitants of 30 different dens (electoral districts). At one point, these corresponded to about 500 dwarves per den, but due to growth and resistance to reform, they now can correspond to anywhere from just under 100 to just over a thousand. Elections are yearly, but only 5 of the 30 go up for election each year, on a six year schedule. The lower house is very weak, and can usually be overridden by the upper house. The only matters that must pass the lower house are foreign affairs, changes to its composition, and the appointment of The First Forgewright.

The Committee
The upper house of the legislature is composed of three benches which will be detailed later. The Committee has most of the power, and nothing happens without its approval. If all three benches have a majority, the matter does not need to be referred to The Assembly. If there is a majority over the entire Committee, but not each of the three benches, The Assembly holds a vote, and if it passes the assembly, the matter passes. This, in general, allows the government to run fairly smoothly.

The Workers' Bench
Each of the 11 recognized guilds appoints a member. Some guilds do this democratically, while others appoint whoever the guildmasters like. At least one holds a contest to elect a member. Bench politics tends to end up concentrating between the more exclusive cults, and the more populist cults.

The Gold Bench
The Gold Bench ends up being the bench that tends to change the most over time. Every year, one of the nine members of the Gold Bench goes up for election. Anyone who pays at least $2000 at the poll tax gets three votes, and the three candidates with the most votes win (one vote per candidate). This gives this bench a very plutocratic character.

The Spiritual Bench
The Spiritual Bench is has one member for each of the heads of the five families. These families are considered spiritually "special" and able to confer with the spirits. They tend to vote as a very uniform bloc, though occasionally there have been rifts over obscure religious disputes.

The First Forgewright
The First Forgewright is appointed by The Assembly and The Committee jointly. First, each bench of The Committee selects one nominee (usually one of their own) for the position of The First Forgewright. Then, The Assembly elects one of the three candidates. The candidate with the most votes serves as First Forgewright for life. If The Assembly unanimously votes against the three candidates, the process repeats until an acceptable candidate is nominated and elected. The First Forgewright heads the executive, and is considered the face of Knurlkyth.

Question 3
Why is there a superstition against things that come third, and how would one notice this in daily life in the city?

The Rule of Three
In a time of great crisis, the First Forgewright may call The Assembly to invoke The Rule of Three. If this passes, each bench of The Committee selects one of their own to serve in The Three. After, The First Forgewright, The Assembly, and The Committee all resign, being left vacant. The Three rule until the crisis is resolved. It has been invoked twice, the first after a great earthquake, and the second during a short war. Both times the republic was only restored after civil war.

Question 3 (Continued)
There is a superstition against things that come third. How would one notice this in daily life in the city?

Question 9
Please provide names for:
- the mountain
- the encompassing mountain range
- the city's nation (or local loose alliance of states)
- maybe the nearby lakes and waterways, particularly the mountaintop heated lake and the lowland lake which limits the city's lower boundary
- any other notable features

Question 10
What are the 11 recognized guilds? Are there unrecognized guilds?

Question 11
Are the five families spiritually special, or is it just belief? If it is untrue, do spirits exist?

Question 12
Money. What is it, and who mints it?
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:31 PM   #15
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

Answer 11
Are the five families spiritually special, or is it just belief? If it is untrue, do spirits exist?

Craftsmagi aside, true Dwarven mages are exceedingly rare and somewhat different from the magic users of the human or other races. When a dwarven mage’s talent emerges it is invariably specialized and frequently quite powerful. These Weirdwrights as they a generally known are considered nobility and are adopted into the noble families of their region. Each Weirdwright has the right to create their own title associated with their aspect, an earth aspected Weirdwright may take a title like Stonekin, Rockbrother or Mountain’s-voice. A Weirdwright's bond with their aspect is so deep that they can commune with the elemental and nature spirits associated with it. Dwarves believe that these spirits and elemental beings are intermediaries of a sort between this world and the divine realm. Each Weirdwright can only communicate with spirits associated with their aspect and even then there is still some challenge in interpreting meaning. This often leads to disagreement about the meaning of a message or even if it exists at all.

The Weirdwrights who follow a Plant or Fungi aspect are among the more respected as they have the ability to talk and talk safely with the honoured dead. In theory at least the Weirdwrights are servants of Dwarvenkind as a whole who are granted the privileges of nobility to aid them in their duties.

Question 11A
What's a better name than "Shaper"?

Question 13
How are things transported within the city and mines of Knurlkyth?
[Edit] this is partially answered already...
Question 16
Aside from starting crops to extend the growing season what are the glass fronted dwarven greenhouses used for?

Excerpt from the archives of Knurlkyth
(Because I got half way through answering Q3 before getting beaten to the punch)

“... the third ruler of Knurlkyth, formerly known as First Miner Hald commissioned at large expense a mythril tattoo for his left hand that could glow with great light from the Craftmagi and Ink-master Galan of …”

Overheard conversation
between a dwarven adventurer and her bard companion.
"Call me a druid again and on my word you'll be picking up your teeth!"
"What do we call you then? You can do everything a druid can do!"
"...mumble, plantfriend, mumble"
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:45 PM   #16
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

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Question 11A
What's a better name than "Shaper"?
Weirdwright.

Weird is the term used by the dwarves for magic that works with elemental and nature spirits or that connects to the divine realm.

Common expressions such as "I feel a little weird," "That's weird" or "He's a weird person" have a deeper connotation of capricious spirits interfering with mortals.

---
Question 14
How long is it since Knurl the Firstsmith first lit his forge with stubborn purpose? And how long before that was the mountain a meeting point for elven and dwarven warriors?
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

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Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
The Workers' Bench
Each of the 11 recognized guilds appoints a member.

Question 10
What are the 11 recognized guilds? Are there unrecognized guilds?
Answer 10 - The Twelve Guilds
There are eleven functional recognised guilds and one honorary, unfilled seat on the Workers' Bench, being:

1) The Lodge of the Untrained - The primary military arm of the city, consisting of soldiers, strategists and warriors.

2) The Lodge of the Unarmed - This phantom seat on the bench remains vacant awaiting the return of one of Lornegei's long lost disciples. In ancient times, it was the lone voice representing the city's elven community in the Committee.

3) The Guild of the Gate - The secondary military arm, this is the city's Hall Guard. They're responsible for the city's defenses- construction and upkeep of the gates and fortifications and manning them- as well as policing the citizenry. They also guard the roads and bridges surrounding the city and handle scouting and patrol work.

4) The Guild of the Smelter - This is the guild of all forge workers, that is, the weaponsmiths, the armourers, metalsmiths and glassblowers, and incidentally includes scholars and archivists. This odd collection is based on the philosophical tenet of extracting purity and function from course, base, unsmelted ore. Thus, early on, Knurl the Firstsmith declared that knowledge is a core principle of refinement, and that perfection could not be achieved without carefully incorporating book knowledge into practice. Strict recording of experimental results was also a part of this, and thus the Guild of the Smelter harbours an early form of the scientific method. Incidentally, glassblowing is seen as an unskilled, apprentice's job, where they learn the basics of using the forge and handling hot, molten materials before they graduate to more advanced metalworking. Thus, glasswork in the city is generally of a poor, simple quality.

5) The Guild of the Pillar - This guild of masons is responsible for the city's Works and Wells- construction of public works, the six heat pump wells, the city's internal and external roads, canals, waterlocks and reservoirs and other infrastructure. They design and manage the city's, and mountain's, hydrology cycles.

6) The Guild of the Bushel - This is the farmers', agriculturists' and animal husbandry guild, for that branch of farming that works primarily outdoors.

7) The Guild of the Worm - This is the second agricultural guild, but focussing on the advanced dwarven craft of myoculture as well as related indoor farming. They handle fungi crops, insects, bats and the indoor aquaculture, but are also in charge of handling brewing and similar fungus-based herbology or alchemy.

8) The Guild of the Auger - This is guild of miners, mining engineers and bore-hole diggers. Gold merchants, gem-cutters, jewellers and precious stone traders also share this guild's protection.

9) The Guild of the Horn - This is the guild responsible for crafts and skills related to feeding the populace- thus management of the city's grain supplies and siloage, other food stores, cooking and food preservation. Food merchants also fall under this roof.

10) The Guild of the Thread - The guild of weavers and dyers, then, by extension, tattooists and painters. It holds a large part of the city's artistic community by nature of the medium, but sculptors would belong to the Guild of the Pillar.

11) The Guild of the Wind - Named in reference to their outdoor lifestyle, this guild is for the woodcutters, forestry workers, hunters and trappers.

12) The Guild of the _____ - I'll leave this one open, as I can't think of anything further. Perhaps it could go to a priestly group or lawyers and conveyancers or something. Or perhaps a woodworkers guild for carpenters, cabinet makers, wainwrights, barrel-makers and such?



ETA: So one guild remaining, but also the part of Question 10 concerning unrecognised guilds is unanswered.

-----

Quote:
Question 12
Money. What is it, and who mints it?
(Thinking aloud...) The Guild of the Auger handles gold and precious gems, but minting is usually handled by a government authority.

-----

Question 15
Are there any other communities living on or around the mountain, or are there non-dwarven communities living in the city?
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:00 AM   #18
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

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Originally Posted by (E) View Post
Question 13
How are things transported within the city and mines of Knurlkyth?
[Edit] this is partially answered already...
Question 13 revised
Aside from starting crops to extend the growing season what are the glass fronted dwarven greenhouses used for?
Well, canals and waterlocks were mentioned, but I think there's still some details to be covered. The city covers up to 3500 metres in elevation, and I figured it would be split into 3 main districts associated with each gate, thus a High Town, Mid Town and Low Town, so there's the problem of getting between levels.

I was thinking a massive Archimedes screw, or series of them, could transport small floating metal tubs carrying goods or passengers, but that might be a bit much of an ask engineering-wise. There's also the Caisson lock for large elevations, but on the order of 15 metres, not 1500.

A more realistic answer is just a long spiral highway tunnel, inside the mountain, or well-paved surface roads.

So I'd leave it as two questions.
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:19 AM   #19
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Question 16
Aside from starting crops to extend the growing season what are the glass fronted dwarven greenhouses used for?
Answer 16 - High Meadow Glass Houses
Recreation
Tea rooms, tanning salons (for the elites who have picked up the foreign habit of desiring periods of exposure to the open sky), ale houses, music rooms- the glass fronting gives an airy acoustic to small viol ensembles, or bath houses- with various health-giving mineral mixtures.

Vermi-/Entomo-/Mycoculture Growth Houses
Grizzelmax, Master of Worms, is conducting various trials on fungi and insects that live on leafy plants, continuing work started by his 2nd predecessor. Some of the growth houses are hermetically sealed with locked, heavy steel doors to prevent release of more pathogenic strains, while there are some clusters of cabins that are patrolled by armed guards. On the other hand, he also keeps a couple of butterfly houses as a side-hobby, and he'll invite guests for poetry recitals.

-----

Question 17
How do the five families fit into the city's power structure? What status do they have, how do they relate to the guilds, and how are they tied to the city's history?

Question 18
What goods is it necessary for the city to import? And are there any foreign luxuries that are particularly in demand?
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Old 09-19-2018, 06:03 AM   #20
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Default Re: [GAME] Collaborative World Building Dwarven city as a start

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Question 14
How long is it since Knurl the Firstsmith first lit his forge with stubborn purpose? And how long before that was the mountain a meeting point for elven and dwarven warriors?
At what is considered the end of the first age the nomadic twilight elves had the centennial gathering that served as all the governance their folk required. At this gathering the news, portends and rumours that had been gathered caused the elves to make preparations for darker times. Having little history of war and conflict they sent messengers to their kin for aid and wisdom.
The Elves of the Grey Forest replied that they were done with war and would flee if war threatened them again as the costs were too great. The Elves of the Whispering Sands could not be found. The messenger to the Elves of the Frozen North was slain. The final messenger was sent to the High Elves whose enemies were nought but dust and ashes. A year passed before the messenger was granted an audience and then poetically dismissed. The young messenger Lornegei returned to his people in a bittersweet mood as while he had failed his quest, beside him now strode his new wife the palace guard and war-mistress Celadoren.

The huge task of training and equipping the twilight elves fell upon Celadoren's shoulders. As her new people lacked the metallurgical skill to produce weapons she proposed an alliance with the dwarves. This was four and half thousand years ago. It took nearly a century before the dwarves and twilight elves began training and competing with each other on a mountain between the elven trails and dwarven kingdoms. Four hundred years later Lornegei attained the title of warmaster for himself and at the celebration he met and befriended a young and extremely talented dwarven smith called Knurl "lorethief". They talked, argued and laughed long into the night. Then shortly before dawn, Knurl began to build a forge to modify a weapon to prove a point....

In the years and centuries that followed much happened in the world. The living corruption, the halfblood dominion, the quickening princess, the rise of the first empire of man, the fall of the high elves and more. Throughout all this Knurlkyth grew, faced many challenges and continued to grow.

Question 19
What else can be said about these or other historic events, why are they important or memorable?

The living corruption
The halfblood dominion
The quickening princess
The rise of the first empire of man
The fall of the high elves

Excerpt from the archives
"...it was agreed upon that Knurl should no longer equip his students with wheeled bows of the cruciform type while Lornegei would no longer select a Titan to demonstrate their proficiency with a broken branch..."
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