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Old 06-07-2019, 12:41 PM   #41
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Default Re: [GAME] Conceive a Cross Dimensional Fantasy Milieu

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Question 40 This potentially impinges on Q27, Q29 and Q32, so perhaps those questions should be answered first, but I just want to throw this out there. Calledron has regular access to a cosm that was once highly urbanized but suffered from an extinction event. Do they colonize it? Restrict access to it? What do they think caused the extinction, and how certain are they of that?
Answer 40 [MV]- Thresher

Praxis, City of Lemurs, was the grand capital of a realm of steppe, canyons and meandering rivers. Wayfarers spoke of its gables and pagodas coloured in lacquered sable and plum, its broad canals that crossed the city in radial patterns, its city guard resplendent in polished electrum cuirass and grass-green plumage, and its shaded liqueur terraces where dignitaries would meet over precisely poured fragrant cypress cups of palm spirit and feed berries grown on faraway worlds to their amber-furred tame lemurs. Now the city is covered in a fine soot and its more than a million inhabitants, covered in pestilent ulcers, lie in piles in the city squares or floating bloated in the stagnant waterways.

This whole dimension has been absorbed by the Thresher and forged into the reality-matter-substance of his Ring of Bitter Worlds. The world of Praxis is now stretched and warped into a segment of the Ring, itself 400 miles wide and 900 miles across, which spins slowly on the mummified finger bone of Thresher. And to describe Thresher…

A human-like skeleton, taller by ten times than the height of a planet, stretched over with a skin turned to parchment by burial in canopic salts. The skeleton stands with feet apart and one arm outstretched. The head, bigger than a planet by half, is rocked back to screech an incantation, while the other hand holds a staff 100,000 miles long with a threshing baton attached to it by chain links mined from the embers of a red star. A black mitre sits upon his head and a cowl hangs to his shoulders. From the extended forefinger, there shoots a jagged fork of electro-necrotic energy to strike an unseen target, and it is upon this finger that the Ring of Bitter Worlds sits.

An observer standing on the forward edge of the Ring would note the runnels of purple plasma streaming from it, generated from its gargantuan store of morbidity. Then if they crossed to the inner edge of the ring and looked down on the 700 mile long finger segment, they would realise that the desiccated hide below was not still, but instead that it swarmed with the souls of billions and billions of damned, engaged in a swirling, endless battle. However, looking then up at the face of Thresher, or at the crinkling bolts of lightning, these would almost appear to not be moving.

The Praxis-Thresher Portal is located two world jumps away from Calledron, but there is an imperial garrison guarding it. None are allowed to make the crossing, and any who try are brought before the Archmage to explain themselves. If reckless adventurers do manage to gain access, or if an imperial contingent is sent, they will immediately notice an oppressive miasma of doom. The city's destruction was reported a century ago, yet to visitors the corpses would seem somewhat fresh and recent. Travellers will be afflicted with horrendous waking nightmare visions, and will have to fight the spectres of the original inhabitants of Praxis as well as more from the other adjoined worlds that were absorbed by the Ring over countless millennia ago. Apart from looting, and the macabre sightseeing, there is one good reason to make the journey. The portals that existed in the other worlds absorbed by the ring may still be accessible, and would reach to other far-flung parts of the polycosm that are perhaps not even known of in this immediate cluster of realms.

As for the cause of Praxis' destruction, it could be that Thresher destroyed the world, or it could be that he was drawn to it after it fell by other means, and he came to collect its wellspring of necromantic power.

----

Question 43 [MV][Name 5]- Imperial Realms
As of Answer 16/Post 31, the Calledron Empire is spread across 6 realms. One is presumably Fragment, so what are the other 5? Give some details.
(Only one answer at a time is ok, you don't have to try to do all 5 at once.)
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:43 PM   #42
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Default Re: [GAME] Conceive a Cross Dimensional Fantasy Milieu

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Question 25 While most of Fragment consists of chunks of bone the size of large islands ill-suited to any sort of development or habitation, the collarbone and pelvis have enough surface area to accumulate some topsoil and biome. How are these two masses different from Calledron? Are they understood well or mysterious?
Answer 25a

The main "collar bone" region of Suchos is known as Telinar. Telinar is a thick jungle inhabited by a peculiar folk skilled with illusions, learned in the cultivation of yam, and dedicated to the taming of birds. Contact with Telinar is difficult and expensive, but by no means extraordinary: Calledron Mages are able to levitate, and that is far from the only capability accessible to a civilization trading across the polycosm. Some means of flight is required: Telinar lack reliable portal access.

The more intricate portions of the torso are inhabited by a host of small aggressive tribes and bands with access to flight in one form or another.

Question 15b, about the pelvis, remains.


Question 44 [FRG] :
How common are mages in the imperial population?

Question 45 [ALC] :
How could an alchemist get to a location requiring flight?
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:22 PM   #43
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Default Re: [GAME] Conceive a Cross Dimensional Fantasy Milieu

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Question [FRG] 35
The river of the seasons is one of the larger portals on fragment, what makes it interesting?
Answer 35 [FRG]- The River of the Seasons
The River of the Seasons is the portal through which the thousand vessels of the Turtle Fleet splashed down on Calledron. One moment, they're sailing through the Thelthuane Straits to righteous victory against the pagan Hoggans, and the next they're plummeting through 50 feet of empty air onto a stretch of dark jungle on the lower slope of Calledron's western wall. Whatever sacrifice the Hoggans had made to their Lady Summer and the Springthane, it was grand enough for them to open a Fairy Lane as had never been seen before.

Unfortunately, there still remains a tenuous, apparently one-way connection between the two realms. It opens at random intervals linked to the tides, lunar phases or the emotional states of the Thane and Lady, and hapless fishing vessels, boulder crabs, whales or pirate carracks get sucked across the polycosmic void. Sometimes mists or storms come through a partial portal, other times the sky above the crater fills with silent explosions like puffing dandelions as a significant mass is ported through.

What used to be a few miles of solid jungle is now a briny swamp-filled crater due to the irregular inundations of seawater. The wreckage of the original Turtle Fleet was long ago salvaged and carted off to either be used in building makeshift fortresses and barricades for the stranded arrivals, or later to be reassembled as the first navy ever seen on Calledron's Inland Sea. However, any luckless victims coming through the portal now will likely be imprisoned immediately, or summarily killed if they threaten to bring stories of what's happening back on the homeworld. A number of guard towers ring the crater, there's a stone brighouse, but also there's the grandiose Shrine of the Forgotten Seas looking down upon the crater, with an altar forged of melted down ship's anchors.

----

Question 46 [MV]- Death Cult
Which secret, underground cult worships Thresher? How? Why? What plans do they have involving a visit to Praxis?

Question 47 [MV][Name 5]- Races (Re Answer 7/Post 8)
If humans are the most complained about species, what are some of the other races? Which ones live on Calledron?
Actually, let's make this a "Name 5" question, that is, let's describe at least 5 races in some detail.
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:49 AM   #44
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Default Re: [GAME] Conceive a Cross Dimensional Fantasy Milieu

Answer 29 the civilization that Calledron originated from referred to itself as Oppuhan; it consisted of many cities with a surrounding pale of farmland, each ruled by a mighty individual whether they called themself monarch, tyrant, all-father or wisest; succession was non-hereditary and therefore frequently messy. There was no true multi-city government but alliances and multicity armies were routine, particularly when war against other cultures offered; war against the alien was an excellent way to do mighty deeds, impress people and set yourself up to become monarch later, after all. The provincial structure of the Calledron Empire was thus not a great leap for them. Wine was consumed by everyone in slightly ridiculous quantities, the pursuit of wealth was publicly sneered at but of course privately pursued, and vocal performances of poetry were both the highest art and most popular entertainment, both memorized and freestyle, typically with limited musical accompaniment. Gender equality was near-total, fortunately for the invading fleet that found themselves surprise colonists inside a crocodile skull. Gifting and guest-right were important rituals, and the tension between the desire for individual fame and acclaim and poetry sung about you and the need to not harm the city in your pursuit of glory was a major theme. They acknowledged a score of gods, all of whom were selfish, capricious and downright dangerous, such that the minority who chose to avoid all gods were seen as reasonable enough in their decision. The fringe lunatics who vowed to actually fight against a god were seen as exciting cautionary tales, typically. Their enemies du jour, the Hoggans, worshipped a set of seasonal deities and propitiated them with human sacrifice, as good an excuse as any for a war of rectification against them.

The Empire has attempted to preserve and recreate this culture, but it is tempered by the fact that the initial population was a military fleet with attached marines. Oppuhan practiced chattel slavery, but as the fleet brought very few slaves (and only officers are likely to be slaveholders), the practice didn't really carry forward on any scale. Enslaving the locals proved impractical at first, and once it became practical, they'd lived without slaves for two generations...Religion is widespread and powerful in a military on campaign, but their gods failed to protect them, which forms one of Calledron's endless debate topics.

Answer 47-1 One of humanities' rivals are the Swarms of the Chanovat, which some humans refer to as Roaches or Locusts. By default, the Chanovat are not especially sapient. They lay masses of thousands of eggs, which hatch into omnivorous, gluttonous nymphs, which will eventually become omnivorous, gluttonous hard-shelled, six-limbed adults who lay thousands of eggs...where there's one chanovat, there's enough to crash a biome. They have a strong instinct not to engage in cannibalism or violence against one another, which doesn't really help anyone else. Missionaries of the Primal Swarm seek out "unenlightened" swarms of chanovat, use a divine song to lull them into passivity, and let them drink of the alchemical divine communion, which sparks sapience and language in them. A swarm with no alchemist to make the communion fluid will be nonsapient omnipredators next generation; administering the communion fluid to a chanovat who is not physically mature has been found to be inadvisable. Non-chanovat drinking the communion fluid has been found to be even more strongly inadvisable. Withholding it from a nymph or nonsapient adult, for whatever reason, is a major point of contention between swarms of different philosophies and cultures. The Primal Swarm, of course, maintain that they were gifted the secret of the communion fluid by an ur-mother goddess; perhaps they were. Because they are nonsapient as children, most chanovat do not have a strong conception of family or social organization smaller than the swarm, although some swarms model a quasiparental relationship with the one who administered communion and awakened one's mind.

Question 48 What are some heinous crimes in the Calledron legal system, and what are some comparably minor crimes? What are typical punishments? How is guilt or innocence usually determined?
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:05 AM   #45
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Default Re: [GAME] Conceive a Cross Dimensional Fantasy Milieu

A list of Active questions, for reference:

Question 15 [MV]
Per answer #1, Many Portals have names, and each is unique. How may a wayfarer or sage distinguish between two portals?
  • I think Diagro said he was working on this one?
Question 25 [FRG]
While most of Fragment consists of chunks of bone the size of large islands ill-suited to any sort of development or habitation, the collarbone and pelvis have enough surface area to accumulate some topsoil and biome. How are these two masses different from Calledron? Are they understood well or mysterious?
  • the collarbone was discussed in post 42
  • The pelvis remains

Question 31 [MV]
Re: A#1, what and where are the Distorted Lands?

Question 32 [FRG]
Where does Calledron get its metal and metal items from?

Question 33 [FRG]
As per Answer #12 Fragment has had many inhabitants before the imperials. In the seat of governance, which non-imperial people is most prominent, and how numerous is that people in the seat of governance, when compared with imperials?

Question 36 [MV]
Is there some method of identifying a newly discovered cosm as a "passing cosm" that will only be around a few years, or is this only determined in retrospect when a cosm becomes inaccessible? Have any passing cosmi reappeared later, perhaps at a different point on the network or web of worlds?

Question 37 [MV]
Who fought the Empire of Calledron to a standstill or even a Pyrrhic victory, and where? Over what?

Question 38 [MTPL]
What is The Mother's attitude to soldiers and armies or to murderers and criminals? Does she do anything to them?

Question 39 [MV]
are divinities, such as the Mother of Mother Plains or (by some interpretations) Suchos the dead titan, naturally restricted to their cosm of origin except when Summoning magics are initiated by a mortal, or do they have the power to move about and reach into other cosms?

Question 41 [MTPL]
are other divinities known to be active on Mother Plains, or is it a one woman show?

Question 42 [ALC]:
How large is the Cosmi the City of Ton is in? Is the rest of it similar to steaming pools below the City, or is that an atypical part of the world?

Question 43 [MV][Name 5]- Imperial Realms
As of Answer 16/Post 31, the Calledron Empire is spread across 6 realms. One is presumably Fragment, so what are the other 5? Give some details.

Question 44 [FRG] :
How common are mages in the imperial population?

Question 45 [ALC] :
How could an alchemist get to a location requiring flight?

Question 46 [MV]- Death Cult
Which secret, underground cult worships Thresher? How? Why? What plans do they have involving a visit to Praxis?

Question 47 [MV][Name 5]- Races (Re Answer 7/Post 8)
  • Swarms of the Chanovat
  • 4 remain

Question 48 [FRG]
What are some heinous crimes in the Calledron legal system, and what are some comparably minor crimes? What are typical punishments? How is guilt or innocence usually determined?
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:49 AM   #46
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Question 32 Where does Calledron get its metal and metal items from?
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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Question 43 [MV][Name 5]- Imperial Realms
Metal has always been scarce on Fragment, and on the mother plains as well for that matter, so access to metal is key to the Calledron empire's well being. There are three major sources.

The first is the wider polycosmic market. Goods flow all over the polycosm, and high quality metal tools and weapons are solid trading items. From their first arrival on fragment, Calledronians have purchased items from their neighbors.

Its a poor policy to be dependent on your neighbors for your weapons, and the empire has at least one cosm that produces a net export of metal: Eddy. Eddy is composed of myriad streams of water flowing through midair, piercing and arcing above myriad blocks of stone. Some of the stone glows, lighting the maze of a cosm. The streams are rich in life, much of which is highly mineralized. Some of the creatures even use unique alloys in their shells or teeth, and these are highly sought after. Some are even domesticated and farmed, such as the black ridged crab.

Recently, the alchemists of Ton have dominated as the suppliers of tools and weapons to the empire. Many have warned that this is unwise, but the low price of the goods and their exceptional quality make it difficult to do otherwise. The crab-farms of Eddy have suffered, though hunters of beasts with rarer alloys have continued to do well.

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Question 47 [MV][Name 5]- Races (Re Answer 7/Post 8)
If humans are the most complained about species, what are some of the other races? Which ones live on Calledron?
Actually, let's make this a "Name 5" question, that is, let's describe at least 5 races in some detail.
Notable among Calledron's non-imperials, and indeed among the polycosm, are The People of the Hawk. The hawk folk look much like humans, but are only from 4 to 5 feet tall and possess broad sweeping wings. Hawk folk are skilled flyers, which allows them to live in many otherwise inaccessible places, such as isolated spots of vegetation on Suchus's vertebrae. Hawk-folk don't farm well, preferring to hunt and having a natural preference for meat. They are rarely numerous, but they seem to be everywhere. At least everywhere with wide open spaces.

Question 49 [MV]:
This is almost a request for clarification rather than a question, but can chanovat fly?

EDIT: Over the week end I doodled some artwork inspired by Ton. I'm not a great artist, and the work is pretty stylized, but here it is:
The hanging city of Ton
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:37 AM   #47
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Default Re: [GAME] Conceive a Cross Dimensional Fantasy Milieu

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Question 15 [MV]
Per answer #1, Many Portals have names, and each is unique. How may a wayfarer or sage distinguish between two portals?
  • I think Diagro said he was working on this one?
It's ending up as more of a treatise on how dimensions and portals work, but it might answer a couple of other outstanding questions at the same time. Problem is that it's too long, and I keep changing my mind. Any suggestions? About metaphysics and stuff, that is.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:42 AM   #48
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It's ending up as more of a treatise on how dimensions and portals work, but it might answer a couple of other outstanding questions at the same time. Problem is that it's too long, and I keep changing my mind. Any suggestions? About metaphysics and stuff, that is.
Some thoughts:
  • Portals appear to change their endpoints from time to time, some much more rapidly than others.
  • Some portals open and close at intervals.
  • Each portal is unique.
  • We have at least four instances of portals that target people: Kidnapper, Bugout, the legendary portal that brought the imperials to Fragment, and the River of the seasons.
  • It would be nice if the cues about portal identity are visually dramatic.
  • I favor soft rules about what actually separates the cosmi and what they are as opposed to hard rules.
  • You don't have to deliver the whole answer: dangling stubs are as interesting as fully fleshed solutions

I hope that helps.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:51 AM   #49
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Default Re: [GAME] Conceive a Cross Dimensional Fantasy Milieu

To add to those considerations:
  • there are divine and spirit realms that can be accessed by mortals
  • there is summoning magic
  • gods can make new portals
  • but the usable portal network is ancient and no one knows how it works

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Some thoughts:
  • Each portal is unique.
I can see many portals working differently, and there being many unique portals, but I can't see there not being networks of connected portals with similar identities- a set of Aztec portals, then a network of Grecian portals, to give a rough explanation.

Quote:
  • We have at least four instances of portals that target people: Kidnapper, Bugout, the legendary portal that brought the imperials to Fragment, and the River of the seasons.
btw- Those last two are the same thing. (A35/p43)

Quote:
  • It would be nice if the cues about portal identity are visually dramatic.
As in, the identity of the plane they connect to? So Mother Plains Portals in other realms (if they exist) all look similar and give similar vibes?

Quote:
  • I favor soft rules about what actually separates the cosmi and what they are as opposed to hard rules.
I can see both being useful. We want to allow some flexibility, but I have a resistance to making kitchen sink settings, as they tend to be similar to any other kitchen sink setting.

Quote:
  • You don't have to deliver the whole answer: dangling stubs are as interesting as fully fleshed solutions
I've actually often cut stuff that I've written and turned it back as a question, but this is good to remember nonetheless. Smaller steps are also quicker to take, instead of trying to sort out everything in one block.

Quote:
I hope that helps.
Very much so :)
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:36 PM   #50
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gods can make new portals
That's not something I'm not 100% sure has to be true yet. Though they can at the very least greatly alter portals. Our use of the word "Gods" probably needs to be refined as well. I've seen that word refer to planet-sized creatures that are lived on. I've seen it referred to what seem to be powerful spirits that respond to mortal requests. And we have at least a one instance where "Godlings" are referred to, possibly referring to archmages and others of their power level. And the mother plains possibly blurs the lines between 1 and 2.

Quote:
btw- Those last two are the same thing. (A35/p43)
Oh wow, they are. But I thought the homeworld of the imperials was lost. Its difficult to get through the river of seasons, but its nothing a determined archmage couldn't do. I wonder if the portal still leads to their old world? I suppose something powerful enough to change one end or create a portal can change the other.

Quote:
As in, the identity of the plane they connect to? So Mother Plains Portals in other realms (if they exist) all look similar and give similar vibes?
More like you can tell that this is the kidnapper because of its color and motion. No need to tie portals to worlds. Some of them certainly move around.

Quote:
I can see both being useful. We want to allow some flexibility, but I have a resistance to making kitchen sink settings, as they tend to be similar to any other kitchen sink setting.
True. We don't need yet another generic fantasy setting, but we still want enough flexibility for people to plug things in. That's one reason I answered the magic rules question the way I did: so that any given ability could be available, but that any one user is either bound by continually looking for exotic resources or by the powerset they were born with.
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