Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (January Edition)



  • So, I talked about this a while ago, but never started it. With the new year and refreshing the CRAA, I figured I'd set this one up too.

    It works pretty similarly to the CRAA, except you're talking about your world, and you probably don't want to do it through the POV of your characters, because that would probably just cause a fight amongst your characters and provide a lot of differing views.

    The idea is that it'll help you develop your world. Even if you think you know everything about it, someone will eventually pose a question for an element you hadn't thought of. (Think it's not so? I just saw it happen to one of the most detailed worldbuilders I think I know of on the Nano edition.)

    Scared to participate because you don't know a lot about your world? Don't panic! Half the time I'm making up my posts as I go along based on what I know about a few other random things in my world and hoping it makes sense. (I never said I was a good role model.) It'll still be great for helping you develop your world!

    So, I'll leave a question at the end of the thread. Person 1 comes up and decides to answer the question the best they can. Then, they leave their own question about some element of your world. You come up, see it, and think, "Okay, I can answer this!" But before you can answer it, you have to post a response about Person 1's post. After that's done, then you can answer the question, and then you can ask your own question!

    For example:

    Person 1:

    • Answers the question at the bottom of the thread
    • Leaves their own question

    Person 2:

    • Responds to Person 1 (I.e., Wow, I didn't think about that when I was developing my education system. Still, X's relationship with Y is kind of weird because Z reason.)
    • Answers the question left by Person 1
    • Leaves their own question

    And then repeat.

    Some pointers-

    Even if your world isn't technically a secondary world (maybe it's based on London in 1815 or China in 1009), don't be afraid to answer! I'm sure you'll share information that we didn't know before. And if it's urban fantasy in AU 2017, then, again, don't think you can't answer! The idea is that these question will apply to all, or most, worlds.

    Sometimes a post might get long, however hard you try to keep it short. This is okay. Whatever it takes for you to explain whatever you're talking about in a way that you think makes sense :)

    If you're new, and there's previous posts, then don't feel obligated to read them all and/or respond to all the questions that were asked. If there's some that you really like, then go ahead and answer them! But don't feel like you have to.

    Topics can be about anything and everything! From, "What's life like for the average individual?" to "What is your favorite part about your magic system?" to "Talk about the fashion because we all love a well-designed outfit!" to "What are considered virtuous traits in a person? What are considered bad traits in a person?" to anything else you think of.

    I think that's everything. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask.

    To start us off: What's your favorite part about your world?



  • Oooooh.... This is such a complicated question. God damn it. It looks simple, but it isn't. It's not simple. Curses.

    Is everything a valid answer? Because, really, everything. I'd live in Valcrest if I could, even though I'm positive I wouldn't survive five minutes there. lol

    I'm not sure if you mean, literally what part of the world; as in a location within the world, or what my favorite aspect of the world is, so I'm gonna go with the latter and you correct me if I got it wrong...

    I think my favorite aspect of Valcrest is that everything is connected in some way. Even the way magic functions and behaves is something deeply connected to the land itself. And that makes it so every little action wields more than just a simple reaction, but a whole chain of events that inevitably unravels into spiraling chaos and doom. It also makes it so the whole country feels in itself like a living breathing entity and we've sort of been developing it similarly to how we develop our characters. It's constantly evolving and constantly changed by the events of the story. I think because of the constant chaos and doom, Valcrest is a world that learned to adapt quickly in order to survive.

    Like I said; I wouldn't survive five whole minutes there. But totally worth it. :P

    Speaking of...

    Q: Would you like to live in your world given the chance? Why/why not? (don't be afraid to elaborate on this).


  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    Oh man. You two have a opened a can of worms for me here! I will state that all my answers are totally @Occi 's fault. After all he literally created the places where I write. With that in mind, I am jumping in!

    @Blackbird - Lol I just like you. I really am. Leave it to @typical_demigod to start with a question that is insanely simply and yet so complex. ;)

    What's your favourite part of the world?
    I really want to answer everything. But I will pick one thing. Just one. Hm.. may I need to get a coffee and think about this. One moment. Okay, back. Right, when it comes to the world the thing that I always come back to a very special concept @Occi created called affectionately a DoC. This is an acronym for dimension of consensus. A simple, yet complex, idea. A DoC is special and proves that all the human (or mundanes) who do not believe in the supernatural are actually more powerful than all the supernaturals around them..as long as they keep on not believing. There is a lot of lore behind what, and how it works, and I don't want to spoil too much. Just know that supernaturals are naturally terrified of the DoC, and the ones who created it, use it, and manipulate it have no idea they are doing it. Talk about a situation that can induce impotent rage!

    Would you like to live in your world given the chance? Why/why not?
    smirk Ah, this is where I get to bend all the rules. Considering how the world is built, it could be that we already live in this world, we just don't know it.. see above answer ;). I think for me the question is would I want to be a supernatural in this world? That whole impotent rage concept.. and to be honest, I really don't know. Time to get slightly philosophical. I have so many characters in this world, and I could see myself in every character I have created, but I like me as me. Thus, if I lived in that world, I would be totally unaware of the fact that I lived in it. lol.

    Question Time! How bad is traffic in your world?



  • @Blackbird Everything is definitely a valid answer ;) I have a couple of worlds where I just love everything about them, even if they're utterly horrible places to live. I find your concept that literally everything is interlinked interesting. Is there ever an action that doesn't spiral into chaos and doom?

    In short response to your question, given that I just said I have a couple of worlds where I love everything about them: I don't think there's a world I've built where I would actually want to live. My favorite fantasy world? The only era that's been built is one of constant turmoil. One country is in the middle of a bloody civil war akin to the French Revolution; one is trying to not enter a bloody civil war akin to the French Revolution; slavery still runs rampant in half the nations; the two most powerful nations are headed by monarchs that despise each other and are constantly butting heads; there's no germ theory... That's just ONE continent in ONE era. BUT I LOVE IT SO <3 (Once I start working on my Chimu idea full time, you'll probably hear more about it ;) ) My other favorite fantasy world is full of terrifying, icky monsters and pseudo-medieval, so it has even less medical knowledge. :P

    As for my current world, it's fairly mellow, but I would only want to live in it if I was a human or a fairy. Anything else and I'm basically screwed. I would also only want to live in it pre-war. :/ Racially speaking, it's pretty screwed up, so...

    @Josey So is it possible for a person to be given a ton of evidence that supernaturals are real but then still not believe even a tiny bit so that they can keep DoC? I like the concept though. The concept of your world, too. Both of you have lovely world concepts XD

    How bad is traffic in your world?

    You know, I don't actually spend a lot of time planetside, and the times that they are both planetside and in a car, not much is said about the traffic, mostly because they aren't travelling at peak hours when they're shown.

    Most cars are auto-driven, since the computer technology that most of us drool over (a self-driven car!?! the future really is here!) but will never afford in our life time is common to all cars. That itself should help with the traffic, because they can decide what the fastest route is (assuming you don't manually program it) and accidents are cut down by A LOT because while people can still drive manually, you're probably not doing it 24/7, so human error is cut down on a lot. Still, you can't deny that during rush hours there's still going to be a lot of traffic.

    So, in short, I would say that traffic is pretty much the same in the future as it is now, give or take a little bit of traffic.

    Question: What are the instruments like/what's the music like?



  • @Josey That's a fantastic world concept. Wow.

    @typical_demigod No, not everything results in chaos and doom. It's more of a 'reap what you sow' kind of thing, but... Our characters aren't quite the smartest where is comes down to life choices. Cue chaos and doom. :P

    Question: What are the instruments like/what's the music like?

    We've actually had debates over this lol. Valcrest itself has music more based on woodwind instruments and percussion. In more high brow events you'll find things like harps, lutes and violins, but the common folk are more likely seen with flutes, ocarinas, the like. Dastan plays the panpipes like a pro. Major hit with the ladies. ;)

    Now, just a bit to the south, in Terra, they have more modernized instruments that will eventually start making their way into Valcrest. Things like Lutes and Citterns will become more common and... One of my characters (she hasn't been introduced yet), who is sort of a bard-type-character will actually have a harp guitar.

    Q: What do people do for funsies?/What kind of games/sports are popular in your world?



  • @Blackbird Fair enough.

    So, not here to answer the question because I only have one unique game and the funsies are underdeveloped, but I saw that harp guitar and my first thought was, "wow, that's cool; it looks kind of hard to play though" and my second thought was "kind of like a sitar looks kind of hard to play". I understand that they're totally different instruments, but anyway. (I actually feel like a sitar (and obviously the harp guitar) is probably played the same as an extra long guitar would be played, but it's just so long o.o)



  • @typical_demigod A harp guitar plays sort of like a guitar with a built-in bass, actually.

    It is pretty sweet. Why I gave Celia one. Badass bards* call for badass instruments. >.>

    (*there are no actual bards in Valcrest, but what she does can be compared to the role of a bard by the standards of games like Dragon Age where they're not utterly useless. >.>)



  • I tend to intertwine cause-effect and story lines together in such a way as that there is a meta being told, even if I never say as much to my audience. In this way @Blackbird , I think your interconnected world as the possibility not just to spiral into chaos and doom, but hidden depths, should you choose to twist and gnarl the world up that way. I for one hope that you do.

    @Josey I appreciate all of the support and effort you've given me over the years. Neither the DoCs, nor my IP as it now stands, would exist without your love and attention. As much as the ideas have been refined in my mind, they'd fail to bloom without you. @typical_demigod the specifics of Dimensions of Consensus can become tricky in a hurry to an outsider looking in, but the following rule of thumb could take you far in a given situation where you are confronted by, or stuck within, a DoC - perception and belief beget reality. If you truly believe, or desire to, you're likely to see the truth, or a version of it. If you shut the mysteries of the world out, ignorance may well be your bliss (or road to ruin).
    As to your world concepts @typical_demigod , I like the romanticized version of times both dark and archaic, although I'm with you on the unlikely desire to be present among such casual horrors. I'd imagine a setting of war and/or revolution creates quite the buffet of conflict potentials and core story motivations. Are the MCs typically directly involved, or held more to the periphery of the contest playing out in the main theater of war?
    @Blackbird I'm glad to hear you've planned for the migration of culture through music and instruments, and how class/caste can be hinted at a guess by their musical preferences/familiarity. That'd be a nice clue to drop into the background for the astute audience members.

    What's your favorite part about your world?
    Frame of reference, my current work (and the bulk of my material these days) takes place in 'Illusion - Earth' (realm - world). It is as you'd expect your world around you to appear, modern day, urban genre-defying-epic, but there are hidden truths beneath the assumed normalcy of the world. My favorite part of the world setting is that I can take reality and fantasy and fuse them so tightly together that they become indistinguishable from one another. Sure, we don't live where I'm writing, in theory, but perhaps we do. Perhaps this labor of love is an account from a sane individual labeled as mad (or better yet, an author), or perhaps this flight of fancy is just that. Who are we to judge?

    Q: Would you like to live in your world given the chance? Why/why not? (don't be afraid to elaborate on this).
    In many ways I do. I look at reality and skew the lens until I see Illusions all around me. Transposition of fantasy is a benefit of questionable sanity, I suppose, but useful in the alchemy of creativity. I understand where one world ends and the other begins often times, but I like it when I can't. When I marvel in wonder at the strangeness of reality, I hope to later impart that on others.

    Question Time! How bad is traffic in your world?
    My current story's MC lives in Las Vegas NV, so it varies. There are herds of humanity playing in traffic in some spots, crazy drivers throughout the city limits, and an inordinate number of commuters (both nearby leisure/work routines and the masses that travel for entertainment from abroad). The MC does get around town, and both driving and traffic do come up at times, but there is rarely a riveting moment, so often transit is expedited.

    Question: What are the instruments like/what's the music like?
    This one I think all of you should know. You're familiar with the vast array of mundane instruments and music, of course, or could be with a bit of google-fu. There are other possibilities, mind you. Consider for a moment that music is ultimately vibration, and there are creatures with control over forces originating in the metaphysical crossing into reality. Surely they could warp sufficient energy to cause chosen vibrations. Whether a phantom opera or a trick of the wind, there are no limits aside the imagination. Beyond that, you may well hear something that isn't there (especially if an individual worms into your mind and plants the sensory stimulation there instead of seeping in from the outside). What might you hear at the whims of a conductor of an infinite chorus of limitless potential? I dare not attempt to answer that all inclusively.

    Q: What do people do for funsies?/What kind of games/sports are popular in your world?
    Again, this one is obvious on the surface as the mundanes (humans - the approximate 99% of world population) are just as diverse as you'd find in our reality, on all directions of the spectrum for entertainment. In any given story (such as the one I'm currently working on) each individual has their own interests and pass-times. While it's entirely possible to bump into some strange new hobby or amusement given the potential, the current MC is fairly tame. He's a gamer (PC strategy primarily), fighter (in a cage, and hard to distinguish when it's work and when it's play), foodie (knows what he likes and taught himself what he knows in the kitchen), and enjoys dancing (vertical or horizontal). Standard fare for the most part, but he's about to be dropped into the deep end where people create forms of entertainment he's never even considered. The new and unknown surround us, whether we are open to it or not is our choice.

    A question for the thread: Are there 'Divine Powers that Be'? If so, are they as flawed and complex as us (are they seen as such, or as omnipotent by their faithful)? When it comes to faith and belief, I'm curious to understand what hidden truth and what common accepted understandings exist in your worlds; especially among the ruling elite who broker influence and move pawns - possibly the MCs - across the board like pawns.



  • @Occi I feel like your world is deceptively simple. Like, the actual concept is simple, but the innerworkings? Not so much.

    Ehh, for the main fantasy world, it depends on the novel. There are ~5 planned for the world, though only 3 are relevant to this post; I will lovingly abbreviate them for reference. One is mainly about a king after the new regime has become stable and semi-established (OttP), and one is planned to at least take place in the country at the height of the revolution (OttSS), though I'm not sure yet how involved they'll be in the actual revolution. In the other story, (OttQ), and OttP, it's mainly a periphery, but it's one that they think seriously about (at least, if we're dealing with members of government).

    OttQ, which deals with a queen trying to prevent her usurpation, it's definitely a worry-- if the people decide that they, too, can rebel and behead their reigning monarch and change the face of history... Combined with rumors of her illegitimacy to hold the throne? She's one misstep from making the country another OttSS. Especially because they have enough of a history of unhappy citizens that they're a constitutional monarchy in a world of absolute monarchs.

    The king in OttP is trying to prevent the same circumstances that happened in OttSS happening in his country, which is immersed in social turmoil because they ARE thinking, "wait, what if we, too, rebel and behead our reigning monarch and change the face of history..."

    It also affects how much help the royal family of OttSS gets, especially from their good ally, the country in OttP. At the time of OttSS, the king in OttP is actually still a prince, but by now he's pulling his father's strings, and he refuses to send an army and has actually made a couple of behind the scenes deals with the rebels because this could go two ways: he could send an army to the aid of the monarch and the monarch could still be defeated, encouraging his own unhappy people to uprise; or, he could remain as neutral as possible and hope for the best on all sides.

    For other countries, either they can't believe someone is actually toppling the old regime, or they're thinking that they're too far away for it to affect them. (I mean, this is an old regime. We're talking the queen in OttQ claiming to be able to trace her lineage back a thousand years, old.)

    coughs sorry. Not sure how much sense that made with all the acronyms. Technically, each one takes places slightly after or before the other one, but I still have to know how each one connects with the other one because the revolution doesn't start to taper off until the beginning of OttP, and even then it's only JUST starting to taper off, mostly because the prince of OttSS is realizing he simply can't win and to keep trying is only going to lead to more pointless bloodshed.

    And there be no divine powers in my novel and the non-divine powers that be are plot-holeish, so... slinks away after skipping a question a second time in a row in one of her favorite threads



  • So, I was thinking about the question, and decided that I don't have divine powers that be (though, in a past age, they very well could've been), but the fairies could certainly qualify as powers that be. They're the least plot-holeish of all my powers that be.

    Fairies hold an odd place in society. They are wholebloods^, which immediately puts them into a state of privilege, but they still number less than humans, leaving most of the power with humans. Humans, however, still harbor a very old fear of fairies. They aren't traditional fairies in any way but name, but they do have 'magic', or superpowers. The magic itself varies and depends on a number of factors-- how pure is the fairy's ancestral line; what kinds of abilities are common to the fairy's family; how healthy was the fairy when born^^; etc. etc. They could have magic ranging from barely able to light a match only with great effort to being able to light themselves and your home on fire with merely a thought.

    Fairies don't hold as much power as you might expect, though it's not uncommon to meet a wealthy fairy. Still, when a fairy reaches a place of power, regardless of what that place actually is, their actual influence will be greatly exaggerated.

    For example, imagine there was a fairy named Manda. She was recently hired at your local Target. She doesn't tell anyone, but her telekinesis only stretches to small inanimate objects. Yet however lazy and bad at her job she is, she has actually been able to convince the higher-ups that she needs a raise. Why? Because she might decide to cause mayhem of unimaginable levels with her magic, directed purely at whoever told her no.

    TL;DR: Fairy abilities are extremely exaggerated, leading to extreme fear by humans, and thus causing them to have a greater influence than there rank should actually give.

    Ultimately, most fairies don't choose to exploit that power. But one comes around, sometimes with good intentions, sometimes with questionable intentions, and exploits it readily.

    The most ready example in the novel is Ambassador Aleigha, a fairy. Her magic is pretty nice, even though I don't think it's ever elaborated on in-story, but she's basically an empath. She rarely manipulates anyone, but if she walks into a room and says, "I want this person fired and I want this person to do this for me by this time", then the odds are high that there will be some way found for that person to be fired and this person to get that job done by X time. And if they don't want to do it? Well, she doesn't shy away from manipulation.

    Now, fairies only act as powers that be for humans. Quecheen have an extremely hard time telling the difference between fairies and humans (and halfbloods and wholebloods) and will backtalk one without a second thought. But when quecheen have relatively little power (outside of delsiaborn quecheen who probably moved to earth for a specific career that was offered to them) compared to humans, fairies are the ones at the top of the pyramid.

    ^Fairies and humans are both part of the group called 'wholebloods'. If I ever post and say 'wholebloods', then I'm almost certainly talking about humans and fairies as a whole. It's a system that will hopefully be made more clear in the thread ;)

    ^^Being unhealthy is more likely to suggest a more powerful child than being healthy, but it's still a method of predicting the power.

    Which leads to the question: What is the government like in your world?


  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    @typical_demigod In regards to the traffic, is there no real traffic in space? Are there any sectors heavily populated? Also, I love how your faeries work. grins Nothing like having a good PR team. :D

    @Blackbird - I'm curious, are there any percussion instruments? Like drums? I also cannot wait to meet that yet to be introduced character!

    @Occi :D I wouldn't be able to do this post without you and the literal years you put into your creation.

    Question: What are the instruments like/what's the music like?
    Oddly, I can actually say see @Occi's answer here. While I write my own stories, at the moment they do take place on Illusion - Earth. :D

    Q: What do people do for funsies?/What kind of games/sports are popular in your world?
    Again, I totally can point at @occi's answer here. Ha! I get to cheat sort of.

    What is the government like in your world? HA! Finally, I can get an answer in before @Occi, but knowing him, he will be ever so much more eloquent than I will be. As pointed out this is Earth... in the Realm of Illusion. So the governments you see in the world, yeah, that's here too. The better question is what is the internal structure like for the supernaturals who don't care about who is running for Prime Minister unless they are the ones pulling the strings to make certain people reach a level of power for their own agendas. I will state that every single species on the planet has their own unique structure. What I can say, is that for each species, @Occi wrote about 5 pages explaining their different structures, governments (if you want to call them that), and .. yeah. Maybe I should have just let him respond first there. lol



  • @Josey said in Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (January Edition):

    @typical_demigod In regards to the traffic, is there no real traffic in space? Are there any sectors heavily populated?

    Not really, even when they're moving a fleet across the galaxy.

    The reasoning for this relates to the fact that the fuel source for FTL is particularly hard to find and is mostly monopolized by governments and extremely powerful/wealthy corporations. A major source within the solar system is on Mars (particularly in Independent nations, which is what ultimately fueled their revolutions for independence, who supply a select few, currently undecided nations (who backed them during their revolutions and basically made them indebted forever; ew), who supply the rest of earth. Well, until colonies in the Gliese system were made functional, plus any colonies on asteroids or other planets that had the fuel source. But if you want it quick, you go to Mars (ahem, their suppliers).

    So if the fuel costs a butt load besides making the actual ship and supplying the ship with thrusting fuel (because the two fuels are NOT interchangeable), besides actually paying an able crew with the necessary skills, then not many people are going to be in control of space devices. (Plus factor in that these drives are deadly and could, quote "blow a hole the size of Texas into a planet", and you can imagine how locked down they're going to be.) So, for general civilians, they're not just going to be running around on an FTL spaceship without some sort of backing from the government. STL? Sure. FTL? Nooooo.

    When it comes to the point where they have to send a decent sized fleet across the galaxy, it's also not that traffic-y, because they don't use warp/slip space/what have you. They use a jumping method, where they hop from place to place. So, with a LOT of math, they can move the fleet so that they all arrive in the same relative area each time they jump. (The amount of education and training the navigators (see: Benito and Michael) have to have before they're allowed to even go near a spaceship is ridiculous, though.) That's not even the tricky part. We won't talk about the tricky part much, because I currently have hard feelings towards it, but basically, even though they all can make simultaneous jumps, the times between jumps are different depending on the size of the ship.

    Now, there are certainly populated sectors. Heavily? Probably not as heavily as you're thinking. Extra-solar colonization only started getting into full swing ~50-75 years ago. Even now, the only places that are going to be funded for colonization are going to be the ones with potential gains, usually from mining (because most 'habitable' planets aren't actually habitable without space suits and whatnot, because space sucks :P). But the only traffic they're going to get is from the government (or potentially a private company, depending on who funded them).


  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    @typical_demigod That entire post just gave me a fantastic view of your world. :D And I can see so many potential strange stories coming out of it.



  • Interestingly, I only have two other story ideas. One is on Mars and is about a plague that is affecting the people (strangely, mostly only in Dependent nations...) and the other one probably takes place before this novel, but it wouldn't be a prequel; it would follow a couple of characters who, unfortunately, didn't get to be protags in this story D:



  • @Josey @Occi 5 pages!? O_O

    Do supernaturals make attempts to pull strings very often, or do they usually just stay focused on themselves and their own groups?

    Q: What is the government like in your world?

    Ehhh well this is one of the vaguer areas of my world, unusual as that is for me, and there are quite a few kinks to be worked out.

    For the most part, governments function about the same as they do now. In terms of interstellar relations, governments tend to group under alliances and other such groupings. For the quecheen, the only one you need to care about is the Klyxzon Alliance, made up of at least 6-ish delsian nations. It's hinted that the Sheqwuan are part of a different alliance. On earth, there's the United Nations, though I guess smaller regional groupings might also get involved in local (i.e., within the solar system) or colonial disputes (e.g., a European Collective or something like that). On Mars, you can pretty easily divide them up into the Independents and Dependents. Independents are tighter knit than Dependents, but there are also generally fewer Independent nations than Dependant territories.

    I think that's everyone. I mean, pretty much like today, only with more umbrella groups and more underdeveloped. :P

    Q: How are scientists treated in your world?



  • Sorry I haven't stopped by this thread so much, but... I've had my nephew over the past few days and... Talking about Valcrest takes up a lot more time and brain power than just incorporating my characters. -.-

    @Josey Yes, there are several types of percussion instruments. Up to and including steel drums. Which... AWESOME. >.>

    And I like what you and @Occi have going here. If only my co-writers would come around to answer some stuff for me. Especially my co-GM since he's the strongest worldbuilder of the bunch. :P

    @typical_demigod I really like how your faeries work.

    Q: Are there 'Divine Powers that Be'? If so, are they as flawed and complex as us (are they seen as such, or as omnipotent by their faithful)? When it comes to faith and belief, I'm curious to understand what hidden truth and what common accepted understandings exist in your worlds; especially among the ruling elite who broker influence and move pawns - possibly the MCs - across the board like pawns.

    This question in particular... Well, I've rambled about our mythology a bit on my timeline thread and that was a scratch on the surface. So pardon me while I possibly give you a giant wall of text. :P

    According to Valcrest myths, there are sixteen Gods. Mother and Father; the all-powerful beings that created the Universe and their fourteen children; born in seven pairs of twins.

    The Myth of Creation; which is the basis of Valcrest mythology, explains that because humanity had distanced itself from the Divine, Mother and Father decided to send their children down to the mortal realm in order to guide humanity and help shape the world. So every few hundred years; presumably when they were considered 'of age', a pair of Twins would be sent down to the mortal world by Mother and Father. In order: Sun and Moon, Fire and Water, Earth and Air, Life and Death, Heart and Mind, Time and Space, and finally; War and Peace.

    Every pair of Twins to arrive would grant one gift to humanity and one gift to the world, thus shaping the face of creation. Their only instruction from Mother and Father was to not; under any circumstance, produce offspring with any human. Ever. An instruction which of course they violated, causing a) the spread of magic, and b) Mother and Father to intervene and strip them of their immortality, thus causing the Twins to age and die over time, returning home to the Divine, unable to return or interfere with the mortal realm ever again.

    And there's Terra, who in some iterations of the Myths was the first human to bear the child of a God and in others was Mother and Father's fifteenth child, sent to the mortal realm to grant the world the gift of magic. Unchanging in both iterations is the fact she fell in love with a man named Duncan, who was challenged by Life himself to a duel over her hand. Life, being an immortal God and all of that, obviously won and killed Duncan. Terra then resigned herself to... eh... doing the nasty with Life who was either just the asshole who murdered her boyfriend, or her asshole older brother who murdered her boyfriend; whichever you wanna believe. Bottom line; she gave birth to Life's only son, raised him to adulthood and then left Valcrest never to be seen again.

    Her path after that is... eeeeehhh... We're not sure... BUT! Every religion outside of Valcrest in some way revolves around Terra, the country to the south of Valcrest even being named 'Terra' in her honor.

    There are some confusing mythology we worked on involving Terra in which she is actually a Goddess and, not having been punished with mortality like the Twins, spends a great deal of time trying to kill herself; Mother and Father were clearly not giving enough of a crap about her at this point to just let her go home, or maybe she revolted against them, I'm not sure, but either way; it all leads to a very depressing descent down a pit of insanity. :P

    All of that info dumping out of the way... We're very ambiguous in the actual story with what is real or not and cults of worship are incredibly diverse in Valcrest. There isn't much in terms of religious discrimination so long as you worship the Twins in some way; or not at all. A few of my later characters will actually worship Terra; coming from the country of the same name, and they will get slightly scoffed at because in Valcrest she isn't considered a Goddess. Some people believe the Twins existed and walked the mortal world, others believe in them simply as ideals to uphold; like I said, the myths are there to be interpreted. And even myself and my co-writers have different ideas about some things, which influences how we write our characters and their sets of beliefs.

    We do all agree that the Twins were; to immortal standards, still young and fairly stupid impulsive. There is a whole myth I wrote around the fact Mind and Heart were so busy fighting for control that they tainted the human soul with evil. As in, every single human soul in existence gained the potential for either cruelty or insanity due to their freaking incompetence. A fuck up so monumental, Mother and Father themselves were unable to correct. Think of it as the divine version of that episode of Friends where the monkey fiddles with the remote and then the TV was in Spanish forever because no one could figure out how the heck he even did that.

    They then spend the rest of their existence in the mortal realm trying to recover balance in the world and training their children to do the same, hoping to somehow atone for their mistake.

    But of course, there is a great deal of differences between what the Twins really were like (according to my own headcanon at least) and what people see them as. They are most commonly regarded as all-knowing wise mystical beings of awesome. :)

    Q: What is the government like in your world?

    Aye... rubs temples Honestly? It's barely much of anything at this point. See, originally, there were five great cities: Blackhurst, Effort, Brightvale, Blackpond, and Newhaven. HOWEVER... Internal conflicts have devastated Valcrest to the point where only two cities remain; Blackpond and Newhaven.

    Each city has its own government, its own set of laws and, here's the kicker; zero influence outside their territory. Go too deep into the forest, into the plains or the desert and you better know how to handle yourself 'cause no one's gonna hear you scream, bud.

    Until recently both cities were monarchies, under the rule of a king or queen, a city council working as advisors and a Warlord/Commander of armies in charge of the military. Recently, after their throne was usurped by a group of psychopaths, Blackpond is instating a Military Council to run the city instead.

    Outside the cities you have independent factions; more notably the Wolfpack (assassins), the Crimson Shadows (mercenaries) and White Shadows (healers), who have their own territory, their own laws and customs and their own way of upholding said laws. And they generally function a lot better than the Cities now that I think of it. In chapter one of Shadows Rise, Sebastian talks about going to the Crimson Shadows because they will accept anyone so long as they are fit to work in some way. Whereas an orphan staying in the Blackpond orphanage, if not adopted by age 15, is sent off to join the army; no choice given. Most of the city guard is made up of such orphans and therefore the force is corrupt as all hell... And that was in the good ol' days when Blackpond was still under the rule of a good King who gave a crap. You don't want to see what we're dealing with in present day. >.>

    Q: How are scientists treated in your world?

    The White Shadows are the closest thing to scientists Valcrest has.

    They are the ones who actually study how magic functions, develop ways to account for it in the treatment of injuries and illnesses, and actually know how to handle out of control magic, or magic-related afflictions. And, applying the question to them... They're treated with the utmost respect usually. They're a pacifist, neutral, clan who does its best to help anyone in need regardless of who they are.

    That said; they're a clan who does its best to help anyone in need regardless of who they are and, at one point, Blackpond figured it'd be even better if the White Shadows only helped them and tried intimidating the healers into doing just that. This did not sit well with the White Shadows and... Blackpond killed some of them... Others left the clan forever in the aftermath... And now that the entirety of Valcrest has fallen ill, I bet they wished they haven't. >.>

    Q: Who are considered the 'bad guys' in your universe and what is their ultimate goal?



  • @Blackbird It's fine! Has the visit with your nephew been good? And yeah, I can see how that would take a lot of brain power. I feel that way the fantasy world that I've talked about some on this thread, which is... much better developed than my Earthling world.

    BRING ON THE RELIGION
    A couple of notes

    • I looooove how there are variations in the myths from place to place and person to person! I feel like people forget that religion isn't a monolith, and any religion in existence that you take will NOT be practiced the same way, even from person to person, and in the major religions alone, there are about a million break-offs and sects from where people interpreted some important thing differently.
    • it's only natural that the Twins wouldn't listen to their parents.
    • the mythology (especially that bit with Terra and Life) is so messed up and weird. Only in mythology would you potentially have to deal with your older brother murdering your boyfriend because he wants to be with you likeee ? only in mythology, only in mythology.
    • Unless you guys are really interested in figuring out what happens to all your major figures, you could always just assume that the point between Terra finishing raising her son and leaving to the point where one can safely assume she's mad is a black box.
    • Did Mother and Father give a pass to Heart and Mind that they could stay in the mortal world because they were trying to right their wrong, or did they have to go back to the Divine as well, or did I just miss something completely?

    What kind of internal conflicts happened? Just city-states being city-states and warring with each other? Are any of the other countries fully-fledged nation-states that might try to come in and try to conquer Valcrest?

    Annnd I was about to ask if people have laws around the White Shadows or maybe an agreement among themselves to just leave the White Shadows be and let them do their thing helping everyone, but apparently not. Or, if they did, Blackpond did not get the memo.

    Sorry about the wall of text :/ I didn't mean to. It just sort of happened... >.> I'm either extremely observant of what I'm reading or I'm not, and you caught me on a night where I'm extremely observant of what I'm reading headdesk

    Q: Who are considered the 'bad guys' in your universe and what is their ultimate goal?

    I think it's pretty obvious that this would be the Sheqwuan. I mean, if you really want me to, I can get into how the quecheen (as a species), the fairies, and the halfbloods are all bad guys in my universe, but that is

    1. a very human-based response
    2. likely to make this post very long, because everyone in the quecheen species doesn't have the same goal. Nor do the fairies (who I'm still debating if they're a species or a subspecies of humans, because they can reproduce perfectly fine with humans). (Halfbloods I could actually probably fit in easily; they have modest goals for themselves.)
      (I bet I could work the Independents in there too, tbh.)

    So, for the novel and the sake of me not going into all the minute social details of my world, we can safely assume that all of the protagonists see the Sheqwuan as the bad guys. Most earthlings in general, in fact, see the Sheqwuan as the bad guys. Not all, because not all earth nations are at war with the Sheqwuan, and not all people in warring nations see the big deal, but that's not the point.

    Their ultimate goal is simple enough and stems from the inciting incidents of the war itself.

    The politics behind the war are complex, and I don't really know many of them, but a couple of important factors are that the Sheqwuan pretty much never communicated with anyone on earth until ~20 years ago, allowing immigrants and representatives from the Klyxzon Alliance to BS about them for ~200 years. Then humans started getting into space that the Sheqwuan frequented ~20-30 years ago, and while they could avoid each to a degree, it was impossible to avoid each other completely.

    In short, some humans were taking what Alliance members said and deciding that the Sheqwuan were no match for them. Give or take a few unsavory comments, the provocation of a couple of less careful ship commanders into actual armed battles, and a general lackluster effort by the UN to try and recover relations because of unfounded assumptions, and the Sheqwuan decided they didn't have the time to deal with this annoying species from another planet on the other side of the galaxy.

    Hence leading to their ultimate goal: Make the annoying earthlings understand that they are at the bottom of the food chain and they have no right to come waltzing in like they're the kings of the galaxy when, in all reality, they're annoying little children. Also, possibly it's a pride thing. I can imagine them with their buddies, and their buddies are like: "Why are you still arguing with the giants from the other side of the galaxy?"^ "idk" "Well you should probably take care of them before the Alliance realizes they're more powerful than you." "oh wait you're right... give us about a year and we'll take care of this."

    ^Quecheen are shorter and stockier than humans. I haven't worked out the averages for any of them, but you can assume that a tall quecheen is 5'4"-5'6". The other part of Rus's story that isn't complaining about people smelling bad is complaining about being short and saying he's 5' when he's actually 4'11. (the rebel O_o)

    Q: What kind of folkloric heroes does your society have?



  • @typical_demigod The visit was great, just really exhausting. :)

    • I looooove how there are variations in the myths from place to place and person to person! I feel like people forget that religion isn't a monolith, and any religion in existence that you take will NOT be practiced the same way, even from person to person, and in the major religions alone, there are about a million break-offs and sects from where people interpreted some important thing differently.

    Yeah, that was a reason why I was sort of reluctant to go into religion until my co-GM said "look, I have these ideas", we started running with it and I realized we could actually take this in all kinds of different directions at once.

    • it's only natural that the Twins wouldn't listen to their parents.

    It's not religion unless the major powers to be give an order that someone completely disregards. :P

    • the mythology (especially that bit with Terra and Life) is so messed up and weird. Only in mythology would you potentially have to deal with your older brother murdering your boyfriend because he wants to be with you likeee ? only in mythology, only in mythology.
    • Unless you guys are really interested in figuring out what happens to all your major figures, you could always just assume that the point between Terra finishing raising her son and leaving to the point where one can safely assume she's mad is a black box.

    My co-GM is actually developing other Terra based religions for the neighboring countries, so we'll have at least some theories about it at some point, I suppose.

    The Order, which is the cult responsible for most of Luckas' fucked up of a backstory is a Terran cult, although they are extremists who want to eradicate enlightenment (magic) from Valcrest because they believed Terra was supposed to be the only source of magic and the Twins destroyed the natural order of the world by bearing children and spreading magic on their own. They have some solid theories about Terra's life, but I didn't want to bring them up because... WALL OF TEXT. :P

    • Did Mother and Father give a pass to Heart and Mind that they could stay in the mortal world because they were trying to right their wrong, or did they have to go back to the Divine as well, or did I just miss something completely?

    No. Mother and Father's punishment was only to make the Twins' mortal, so they all lived a certain amount of time in Valcrest as mortal beings after that.

    What kind of internal conflicts happened? Just city-states being city-states and warring with each other? Are any of the other countries fully-fledged nation-states that might try to come in and try to conquer Valcrest?

    The conflicts started after it became public knowledge that the Twins had a Source within Valcrest to fuel their magic while in the mortal realm. Rumors began to arise that Blackhurst had knowledge of the source's location... Things unraveled from there, really. It basically started as Newhaven and Blackpond wanting to find and control the Source, but over the years it just devolved into the two cities hating each other and the real reasons for the War were... Forgotten. In present time, the War died down more to just animosity, but suring Shadows of The Past, Newhaven was in conflict with the Wolfpack and Blackpond saw this as a chance to take them over, which reignited the war.

    Other countries tend to steer clear of Valcrest like it has the country equivalent of the cooties. But that will slowly change after the current RP is done. We just haven't fleshed out the rest of continent much beyond some small portions of Terra.

    Some small portions of Terra which, by the way, really resent Valcrest. Because the Order's little mission of destroying all magic in Valcrest also involves fueling the slave trade in Terra for easy minions. Which is an ongoing hell they have to deal with, while Valcrest hasn't actually been aware of the Order's existence until recently.Terra is the country actually dealing with their crap for hundreds of years non-stop now. >.>

    Annnd I was about to ask if people have laws around the White Shadows or maybe an agreement among themselves to just leave the White Shadows be and let them do their thing helping everyone, but apparently not. Or, if they did, Blackpond did not get the memo.

    And it was in the above mentioned reigniting of the War that Blackpond decided that having the White Shadows entirely on their side could grant them a swift victory. Considering who the leader of the White Shadows was at the time... They should have realized this was never going to happen. >.>

    Until then, and ever since, it's been an unspoken rule of Valcrest that the White Shadows aren't to be hassled. And now, since Annie took over, healers are actually allowed to take up arms or use their magic in self-defense; which wasn't the case before. So it's even more of a bad idea. There are a lot of powerful enlightened in the White Shadows. That is actually precisely the reason why most of them decide to become pacifists to begin with.

    I like your characters enough at this point that I feel horrible for thinking their bad guys actually have a bit of a point there. >.>

    And I think Luckas would be pleased to know Rus is shorter than him. He also hates being short. lol

    Passing the question along because I have no idea at this point.

    Q: What kind of folkloric heroes does your society have?



  • @Blackbird Yay for good visits!

    How exactly does one eradicate magic? Does it have to do with the sickness that is affecting Valcrest?

    I like your characters enough at this point that I feel horrible for thinking their bad guys actually have a bit of a point there. >.>

    It's not the characters' faults themselves, if it makes you feel better. They're all just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some more so than others... :/

    Q: What kind of folkloric heroes does your society have?

    I really haven't worked on this, either.

    I can imagine that the first Martian colonists have gone down as heroes. Who are they? There are about a million programs today alone about putting colonists on Mars so, honestly, that's anyone's guess. It's probably the most realistic thing in the world, because they didn't know how to get to warp speed yet.

    The same is true of the first people going into the outer solar system and then the people that settled the first colonies outside of the solar system. The first explorers, as well.

    If you're in the Fleet, then you at least know who Konstantin Tsiolkovsky is, because he is one of the fathers of rocketry.

    The reason we're all reading this, however, is that I realized someone(s) the halfbloods have probably made heroes: the Prosevas's (I don't know how to pluralize that XD). At least around Plethoshai, a city somewhere in the southeast of North America. The city itself has a fairly interesting history, but that's not the point of this post.

    So, they don't have first names, because I am utterly horrible at naming people, so we will call them Mr. Prosevas and Mrs. Prosevas. Mr. Prosevas was an unnotable but wealthy human, and Mrs. Prosevas was a fairy from a reputable family (Prosevas; they took her name because of a particular fairy tradition) of extremely pure lineage. They decided they really loved each other and they should get married. They also made the mistake of having children. Oops.

    Before this, however, they were very active in the halfblood community in Plethoshai. It's highly unusual for wholebloods to be allowed in and to be trusted, because usually the end goal of the wholeblood that's doing it is not a good one, but they put in the effort and were repaid with friendship. I'm pretty sure they were the ones who funded the free clinic in the community, as well, even though they were also the only people, outside of the occasional quecheen, that was willing to keep it stocked and funded and there were no professional doctors on site.

    They then went on to have two children, a daughter and son, despite the increasingly deplorable relations between wholebloods and halfbloods. Everything was leading up to what came, inevitably, about once every century: a cleansing.

    Basically, if there was even a rumor forty years ago that you had a halfblood child, or even were just pregnant with one, then you are, at best, going to prison on random and ridiculous charges that would never hold up in an actual court. At worst, a fate usually saved for those who can be proven to have halfblood children because they're still actively caring for them, they and their family are going to be murdered. The halfblood communities are more likely to be attacked, meaning that they'll scatter and, if they know what's best for them, leave the urban setting for a few years and try their luck on the road.

    The community figured the Prosevas's would turn tail and flee, probably dropping their children on a random doorstep and making a new life for themselves elsewhere, possibly in a different country or maybe even on a different planet or other satellite. However, they did not. They decided they would try and peacefully repair the relationships.

    Long story short, Mr. and Mrs. Prosevas were murdered during the cleansing, and their daughter (at that time 10-12) dropped her younger brother (~8) on a random doorstep and it's assumed by everyone in the community for the next 15 years that she's long dead.

    Their son has risen to a place of prestige in the community, because he's gone on to do very well for himself via a quecheen building company and catching the attention of the right people.

    Their daughter showed back up in town about five years before the story started with the future Ambassador Aleigha. She's now an infamous figure for using her relationship with the ambassador to start speaking out about the fact that halfbloods are treated worse than dirt, but in the future she might also become some sort of hero. I don't know yet; depends on whether or not she gets murdered herself. shrug

    So I honestly probably shouldn't have answered my own question, especially because it was a bad answer; I just got excited when I realized that this would potentially be the Prosevas family. Given that their children are ex-protagonists, they don't get the attention they deserve.

    Q: How does news and other information travel?



  • @typical_demigod

    Without going into how magic works in Valcrest; because that's a whole other wall of text right there, in order to eradicate magic in Valcrest one would have to, hypothetically, locate the Source of Magic left behind by the Twins and destroy it. And the illness may or not related to that. At this point, we don't know. poker face

    But if it was... I would say that's because the Source is connected to every magic bearer on a genetic level, so... Destroying it would... Ya know... Kill A LOT of people. >.>

    The Order suuucks.

    That was... Very brave and very stupid of the Prosevas's (?). That's basically the definition of heroism, though, isn't it? :P

    Q: How does news and other information travel?

    Ridiculously fast (Valcrest is a tiny country) and mostly from word of mouth, really. The cities would have public officials to make official statements and the like, but anyone with two brain cells would have learned by now to get their real news late night at the tavern. :P

    Q: Since I sort of already mentioned it... Is there magic in your world? If so, how does it work?


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