Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (June Edition)



  • We haven't done this in a few months and perhaps it's time to bring it back. So here goes it.

    [Note from Josey: Pinned for great justice!]

    As started by @typical_demigod

    What is the Worldbuilding Answer Ask?

    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!

    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.

    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.

    Question to get you all started: How is crime handled in your world?



  • Hrm. How do you feel if I answer this with two different worlds? I'm trying to worldbuild my main fantasy world and I'm making huge changes so it's a problem. (And then Earthlings, again, gotta research. It's heavily developed in some areas and barely at all in most others cries)

    Q: How is crime handled in your world?

    In Pedestal, there are your regular police people (without guns though, but they have really scary pepper spray that can temporarily paralyze you, so still don't get caught by them). However, there's one court. One big centralized court. (You say "wow" but there's like three towns in Pedestal and then Central Pedestal, or the actual city of Pedestal.)

    So, you get picked up, taken to a temporary holding place, and put into the system or whatever. If it's something that can be handled quickly (ex: they have security footage of you stealing that bread, so you're definitely guilty) then you get to wait there in the jail until the mayor can drop by and say whether you're guilty or not, as well as your sentence. If your sentence is X time in prison, then you go to the prison in Central Pedestal and wait out your time.

    Now, murder and any crime that can't be solved by watching some tapes and quick tests (for example, a bank robber that can't be caught or something like that), will go to the High Court. The High Court is presided over directly by the Lady Protector, and it runs on her time, too. If she decides that she isn't having any part in the Court for ten years, then you're just outta luck.

    (In the case of Winnie, she makes efforts to hold regular times for trials, and then Resa generally keeps up with the people being tried, but you can't conduct thorough investigations on people when you're ruling a country. But there's internal reform going on probably.)

    This is where lawyers come into play. I'll use River as an example, because it happens in the first 2 chapters and it's not really major and people like River are going to be the main victims of the broken legal system.

    So in the beginning, when River is charged & arrested for murder, she's already in Central Pedestal, so she goes straight to the jail there. She makes a comment that it should take weeks to months to years to get her trial, and because she has no money (plus Tee doesn't know where she is) the only lawyer she gets is the public defender. Except she can't contact anyone, including the public defender. (Which is why Tee doesn't know where she is.)

    She gets her trial a while later and when she asks if she gets a lawyer, she gets told, "It's the public defender's day off." Meanwhile, the state has a prosecuting lawyer who isn't really in the mood to play nice with the person who has no idea about anything regarding law. So, even if the Lady Protector was scanning the file and she was like, "Well, maybe this person is innocent", once the prosecutor has finished, she's going to say "nah you guilty" (plot happens and the trial doesn't happen for River, but)

    So that's the state of law in Pedestal.

    Compare this to having money and/or prestige. If you manage to get into jail, then you can pay for a phone, a great lawyer, evidence to be destroyed, etc. Of course, this comes with a personal price (especially that last one), since you might end up being blackmailed, but it's that or suffer the... strict... consequences of whatever you did.

    Which leads us to sentencing. There's regular old prison, sure. But you're lucky to get there unscathed, if at all. Pedestan law is 35-60% "eye for an eye". If you murder someone, then you will be executed. (Probably publicly, given that the entire point of this story is irony.) If you take X amount of money, you can expect to pay that back (and if you can't, have fun trying to do it in prison).

    The other 40-65% of the law is "This country was set up at the VERY end of the Old World/beginning of the Middle World and the survival of the species is kinda sorta important to us! ;) " Which is to say, nobody has updated the law in ~200+ years, and it's draconic, even to contemporary society, to the point that just the mention has people go, "Wait, maybe I shouldn't go through with this mastermind plan to take over the world." What things are these?

    Well, in some instances, treason can be treated with sterilization and exile. Sometimes sterilization and prison. Sometimes just torture and then death. (Depends how the Lady Protector is feeling that day and what you did.) Rape is generally reacted to violently, and then you get sterilization and prison. Maybe more. Depending on who you steal from, you can get prison for life. Depending on what you steal you can get prison for life. Child abuse is major and you'll be lucky to get away with just prison, but sometimes you'll get sterilized and/or tortured before you go in (and then you have all the other prisoners, and prisoners don't really like child abusers).

    On the plus side of all of this, even though your family's name might be scathed, you're family itself will be fine.

    (Sterilization is a major one because back in the day having kids was a big deal and it still is, at least in this part of the world. Being able to say you have 1-3 kids is usually important to your place in society.)

    I think that was confusing, which is amusing, given River's plot involves a court case, so you'd think I had a page in my notes laying it down clearly. :P

    Q: What is the state of literacy in your world?



  • @typical_demigod said in Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (June Edition):

    How do you feel if I answer this with two different worlds?

    Yes, please. I like reading this stuff. ^^

    The High Court is presided over directly by the Lady Protector, and it runs on her time, too. If she decides that she isn't having any part in the Court for ten years, then you're just outta luck.

    Well then. :|

    sigh Cue the walls of text. -.-

    Q: How is crime handled in your world?

    We haven't figured out the actual legal system in the cities yet. So I can't say much about the sentencing process yet, but one thing I can say for sure... If you're an outlaw and you belong to a faction such as the Wolfpack or the Crimson Shadows, you're far more likely to get a fair punishment for rule breaking than in the Cities.

    In Newhaven, for instance, if you piss off a noble or a White Knight and they decide is off to the dungeons with you, whatever random accusation they can come up with will stick and land you prison time unless the Captain of the White Knights is a super lawful individual who doesn't play along to false allegations (which luckily in the timeline of the main series will be the case, but not in Shadows Rise and not in the generation after that), and even so, a White Knight Captain not willing to cater to nobility and the City Council at least a little bit, is going to have to put up with a lot of crap to keep their position. If you are considered a possible asset and your crime isn't too heinous, you have a chance to dodge prison by being drafted into the Black Guard, but that is entirely the prerogative of the Black Knight Captain and not a very common thing at that.

    The Newhaven Dungeon has 4 levels of depth. The higher the offense and the more heinous the crime the deeper down they send you. The first levels are temporary holding cells for things such as breaking curfew (when it is in place), unruly behavior, and other minor offenses, The second level is where you'll be sent for non-violent crimes or minor assault charges. The third levels are for crimes ranging from aggravated assault, attempted murder, sexual assault and 'regular murder'. The fourth level of the dungeons is where the real monsters are kept. To be sent there you have to be considered extremely dangerous and beyond redemption, the cells are small, individual, and any human contact is extremely limited. Basically, once you're there, they'll provide you food and water once a day and that's it. You're pretty much buried alive. :/

    The fourth level of the dungeons is where Luckas' brother was sent once he was caught and Luke later came to regret not killing him instead... So, yeah... It's not a place you want to be.

    In Blackpond it's easier to get away with minor crimes unless you piss off someone important, but you do not want to get caught. Because they are a lot more execution-happy than Newhaven. If you're young, a first offender or they think you won't be that much of a hassle, they may force you into serving the City Guard instead, but more often than not criminals are tossed in the dungeons and forgotten about; if they're not publicly hanged. Basically, Blackpond doesn't for paying to keep you alive unless you can be useful, they rather just bury your corpse. :/

    Then you have the Wolfpack. The Pack is a lot more straightforward as in the Alpha's word is law and their Second-in-Command (not as commonly referred to as Beta) is the next best thing. The major thing that will get you a shitload of trouble in the Pack is committing treason. Treason to the Wolves' understanding is to knowingly and willingly act in a way that is harmful to the whole of the clan. This includes disclosing information about the clan, killing without authorization from the Alpha, (serious) violence against a fellow Wolf, abandoning the clan without the authorization of the Alpha... and other things to that effect. Treason will be punished with execution, however, for that to happen it needs to be proved beyond any reasonable doubt, and accusing someone of treason without evidence is not a very wise thing to do. If the Alpha wants to be merciful or if there are serious suspicions about an individual, but not enough proof, they'll exile the traitor, which means that if the person in question ever comes into contact with the Wolfpack again in any way they are to be killed on sight; this is a particularly rough punishment on someone who grew up in the clan and has family there, but it beats dying.

    Another action that may result in exile or execution is challenging the Alpha. Anyone can do this at any moment; if you work as a cook in the Wolfpack you can just wake up one day, point at the Alpha, and yell "FITE ME". If you win, you become the next Alpha, but if you lose the Alpha is allowed to kill you where you stand. More often than not, this results in exile, but there have been cases where the Alpha has killed the challenger (Crys does this in the main story, in fact).

    Minor transgressions are dealt with on a more case-to-case basis. If they are committed by a recruit, their Instructor is often allowed to deal the punishment (although also issued a warning for failing to control said recruit), and that usually involves manual labor of some description. Full-fledged Wolves that are caught rule breaking are often suspended, which means they have their weapons taken away and forbidden to leave the camp for a certain period of time, they also may be given tasks to perform in Camp.

    Instructors may be demoted if they are incapable of keeping their recruits under control, which is a very rare shameful occurrence. And you don't want it to happen to you.

    The Crimson Shadows have a Leader and a Commander. The Leader is the one who has the final say in most things and cares for the clan's general well-being, however, the Commander is responsible for the training of the clan's warriors and the protection of their territory. If you're what they call a civilian and you rule-break you'll deal with the Leader, if you're a warrior, you'll deal with the Commander. Warriors are held to much higher standards and in general, angering the Commander is not something you want to do.

    That said, staying out of trouble in the Crimson Shadows is extremely easy if you're a decent human being. Don't disrespect others in the clan, don't commit any form of violence against women or children, do not disrespect marital vows, don't go back on your word, don't get caught breaking the law in the Cities.

    Usually, the Crimson don't do execution. And for most offenses at most you'll be exiled, but... The Crimson are extremely protective of their women and children and they consider marriage vows as something extremely sacred. They don't tolerate domestic abuse of any form, they don't tolerate adultery, and they sure as heck don't condone any form of sexual violence. Laying a hand on a woman in any way without her consent is bound to get a man into really deep shit with the clan, even if that woman is your wife. And child abuse or rape will usually be dealt with by the whole of the clan. As in, literally the entire clan will come down on you and beat you until you die. In public.

    If a man, or woman, breaks their marriage vows their spouse can go to the leader and demand the marriage be nullified. At which point they are free to pursue anyone else they like in the clan. However, if you're a cheater and people know you're a cheater it's very unlikely you'll get any action ever again (yes, really).Getting involved with a married individual will not do your reputation any good either. Which makes this sort of situation pretty rare. Mostly, because the Crimson are pretty liberal unless you actually tie the knot. So as long as you're all single and consenting adults, you can go around with how many people you like. And if you have some babies without being married; cool, more children, hooray. So people don't tend to get married unless they really, really, want to. It's not something that you're socially obligated to do, but it is something you're socially obligated to respect if you chose to. So there's that.

    Q: What is the state of literacy in your world?

    It's.... Eeeeeeh... Reasonable?

    There are no actual schools in Valcrest (anymore, there might have been before the War).

    There are tutors that can be hired to come to your house and teach your children if you have the money to pay for it. Which, if you don't, you'll likely have to teach them yourself or they'll grow up stupid. If you had parents and they didn't suck odds are you'll know how to read by the time you're ten. If not, you'll have to find someone later in life who is willing to teach you.

    If you want to get into a profession and you find a mentor in that profession it's likely they'd be willing to teach you to read and write if it's necessary for the job. Likewise, most factions will make sure their members have a certain level of study before they allow them to actually do the work. Especially the White Shadows. In fact, I think the easiest way to actually get free schooling is offering yourself, or your kid, to work as a healer's assistant seeing as that doesn't involve actually becoming a healer and will still provide the same level of education than becoming an apprentice in the clan.

    Q: How does your society view sexuality and marriage?



  • @Blackbird Then I will probably start answering with two different worlds.

    Well then. :|

    The legal system is the one thing that Pedestans are willing to admit the Reflections (Mirror Image) do better than them. And that's saying something, because they are absolutely terrified/despise the Reflections. (Despite, you know, taking 70% of their popular culture from them.)

    What exactly are the White Knights/what do they do?

    Q: How does your society view sexuality and marriage?

    Hahahhaha

    Okay, so, I've answered this a couple of times (at least the marriage portion) in the Nano forums, so I'm just going to post those links here and here because it saves me time & energy.

    TL;DR: Both Pedestal and Mirror Image are super open to sexuality; they literally couldn't care less. In terms of marriage, a Pedestan could meet a married Pedestan and safely assume that they are romantically/sexually available (unless otherwise told). Meanwhile, a Reflection (Mirror Image) would balk at the idea of a married person having an extramarital romantic/sexual relationship.


    In my fantasy world, it's pretty much the complete opposite.

    (as a quick overview, there's the "north", a half of a continent that is... north of a channel, lol, and consists of Othornia & Trusia (plus several noteable Othorn provinces), and Rosedaisy Province, a much disputed strip of coast that legally belongs to the Provabians but culturally is still fairly Othorn. South of that channel is Provabia, Etrien, and Craestan. Nobody really cares about Etrien and Craestan is in the middle of a bloody revolution or wrapping up a bloody revolution in the time period of most of the stories that happen in this part of the world. Once I start getting more research done, I'll probably bring in another continent, but that's a ways away.)

    In terms of marriage, it's unacceptable to be adulterous, but people also don't really pay any mind when married men are promiscuous. In some areas in Eastern Provabia/Western Craestan and probably some parts of Othornia, you can get an annulment on the basis of your spouse being promiscuous, but as a woman in any of those regions, that usually leaves you broke and homeless, and possibly lacking the possibility of ever seeing any children you have again (since the husband is the one with the job, money, and home). Though, of course, you could always try your local temple or monastery. (And now I want to tell the story of King Abercourtney the Third.)

    Sexuality is very wishy washy. North the Channel (minus the Province), homosexuality is pretty normalized. Why? Long story short, Othornia's patron goddess is a lesbian who is married to another goddess. Trusia just kinda followed suite. Anyway, it's not uncommon for homosexual couples to be married, and in many parts of Othornia, there will be monasteries dedicated to Aelyzac and Thancin (the aforementioned goddesses) in which the head priestesses are married based around a ritual or tradition of some kind.

    This brings us to the Province. It changed hands to Provabia about ~100 years ago, and since then, they've been struggling with adapting to Provabian culture but being, 1) Traditionally Othorn before the trade, 2) Still bordering the Othorns, and 3) Being the gateway for Othorn traders (and thus culture). That being said, their mythology has the same stories around Aelyzac and Thancin's marriage as the Othorns, BUT the older Provincial generation has taken a staunchly Provabian POV towards homosexuality & homosexual relationships. This causes a lot of strife with the younger generation, who are trying to come to terms with the way they were raised, what their religion tells them, and what their government tells them.

    Homosexual marriage is technically illegal in the Province (per Provabian law), but some women can get around this by becoming head priestesses in Aelyzin/Thancin monasteries and agreeing to have a ritualistic marriage based around that. Not perfect and probably doesn't allow them to see each other as often as a married couple probably would like, but it's pretty much the only option.

    Now we get to Provabia! They have the same pantheon and pantheon set up as the Othorns, but in their mythology, Aelyzac and Thancin get together not via mutual true love for each other, but because Aelyzac convinced her sons to help her trick Thancin into marrying her. Soooo. They are very much against non-heterosexual relationships because of the way the Aelyzac/Thancin marriage is set up in their mythology. Nobody talks about it, and getting caught in any sort of non-platonic homosexual relationship is punishable by death and probably burial if your family can't pay to retrieve the body (which, per religion, eternally ties the soul to the body). Minus the Province.

    As for Craestan, not sure where they fall with all of this, because their culture is inherently different than the Northerners or Provabians/Etrenese in that their religion is based off of a different founding religious figure than the rest of the world. (They still have the same pantheon/pantheon set up and generally the same mythology as the other countries, but it's a totally different world in Craestan and it always has been.)

    In case you were wondering about any other LGBT+ people.... they exist, but the cultures don't have names for any of it and, especially with gender, prefer to think that they don't exist. :P

    Q: How does your world believe wealth should be used?



  • @typical_demigod said in Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (June Edition):

    What exactly are the White Knights/what do they do?

    Newhaven has two sets of Knights and two Guards. The White Knights officially run the army and protect the King and Queen, and the White Guard upholds the law in the City.

    The Black Knights and the Black Guard do the not-so-very-by-the-book work that needs to be done in order to keep Newhaven safe and running. Being drafted into the Black Guard, or offered a position as a Black Knight entails forsaking your life completely, officially dying and becoming a ghost. Their existence wasn't even a confirmed fact until the second arc of the main story when they were deployed to wage war on the Wolfpack. In theory, the Black Knight captain would answer to the White Knight Captain, but in reality, the White Knights have literally no control over the Black Knights or the Black Guard. They only really answer to their Captain.

    Ya know, I was reading all this and really, all I was thinking is I really like all of your names for stuff. I struggle so hard with names and half the time I don't even like stuff I come up with. :/

    Everything in Valcrest was named via generator. >.>

    In case you were wondering about any other LGBT+ people.... they exist, but the cultures don't have names for any of it and, especially with gender, prefer to think that they don't exist. :P

    This kinda of reminded me of... My friend was asking me about Amber, like what she is in terms of orientation and I was utterly confused because, not only does Amber like literally anything, as a shapeshifter she can change her gender whenever the hell she wants. She can even father a child if she wants, even though she was a born a girl, because when she shifts she is, in her own words, 'fully functional' as whatever gender she is. So I was like "Nah, we're not putting a label on this. Just, no. For my sanity."

    Q: How does your society view sexuality and marriage?

    I feel that I'm adding unnecessary walls of text by answering my own questions? lol

    But I ask stuff and then I start thinking about it. :P

    This has not been canonically established, and we think it probably won't unless it becomes relevant, but I do have a personal take on it.

    Valcrest society, in general, doesn't care who you sleep with. Some individuals probably will; sure, but it's not something that is considered criminal or immoral or anything of the sorts.

    However, I believe that within the city there is more of an 'okay, you can like whatever you like, but you're still marrying your opposite gender and having babies, like it or not' mentality. Which I'm going to assume is a lot worse for women than for men, seeing as in Newhaven and Blackpond there is a bit of implied ownership of men over women when it comes to marriage. Especially amongst the nobility, but not exclusive to it. If a man marries a woman (and here I'll note that a man can marry a girl as young as thirteen if her parents consent. It's not common, but it's completely legal) he can do pretty much whatever short of beating or killing her. And that mostly means that if a gay man marries a woman and wants to have a boyfriend on the side, it'll be a lot less frowned upon than if a gay woman has a girlfriend outside of marriage.

    In short, homosexuality is okay, but gay marriage is not a thing in the cities due to 'having babies' still being the number one reason people get married around those parts.

    Within factions, however, things are different. The Crimson Shadows are pretty accepting of literally everything so long as it's consensual and no one gets hurt. And while they do take marriage incredibly serious, they take it seriously in a 'swearing an oath to the Gods' way more than a 'this is a social contract' kind of way, so as long as you respect your marriage vows, who you pledge them to is inconsequential to them.

    On that note, polyamory is a-okay with the Crimson. However, polygamy is not.

    The Wolfpack and the White Shadows are similar in the sense that marriage, and long-term relationships in general, are rare for healers and assassins alike due to their line of work. More so for the Wolves seeing as maintaining a relationship with someone outside of the clan is nearly impossible. If you're a Wolf and you're seeing someone outside the clan you'll inevitably have to recruit them into the Wolfpack, ask the Alpha permission to leave the clan, or break it off. That said, if you're serious about this assassin person you're dating, it's actually a great deal to become a part of the Wolfpack as a worker. You don't have to kill to be a Wolf. You can pretty much do any kind of work you're competent at within the clan and be totally secure for life.

    The White Shadows, not so much. Shacking up with a healer means sleeping in an uncomfortable as hell tent in the windy plains, eating bland vegetable stew for nearly every meal and having the traditional 'honey, how was your day?' question met with either depressing accounts of dying people or 'I'm not allowed to talk about it'. A lot people generally believe healers aren't allowed relationships, but they are. They just... Don't usually do well with them, >.>

    Q: How does your world believe wealth should be used?

    Hmmmph... I don't know what Valcrest believes in regards to money in general. I think the most economically stable faction in Valcrest is the Wolfpack due to the fact they've never been directly involved in the War. And the Wolfpack is very careful in having wealth divided as equally as possible taking in consideration people's level of contribution to the clan.

    Which, funny enough, because they own businesses in both Blackpond and Newhaven and pay taxes related to these businesses, they equally contribute to both cities' economy. :P

    Everyone else just gets by and the cities try as best as they can to make sure it doesn't become apparent how much in the shit they are. Which, as of the current RP is no longer working. Everything is very openly going to shit.

    For people who understand the inner workings of things, they know that peole who have obscene amounts of money are usually deep into some pretty illegal shit and profiting off the War. Your run-of-the-mill nobles don't have as much gold in their pockets as they'll have you believe they do.

    Q: Is there anything considered mundane to us that is either looked down upon or glorified in your world?



  • @Blackbird said in Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (June Edition):

    Ya know, I was reading all this and really, all I was thinking is I really like all of your names for stuff. I struggle so hard with names and half the time I don't even like stuff I come up with. :/
    Everything in Valcrest was named via generator. >.>

    this cracked me up so hard because

    I randomly generated ALL OF IT.

    Except Othornia. I came up with that because I had Provabia and the basis of a plot following Provabina characters and I knew Othornia was the arch enemy of the Provabians and I was like "What word can I make with the word 'thorn [in the side]'...?" (I think I may have also named Provabia because of the original idea, but I can't remember tbh. I'm not even fully sure if I actually named Othornia or I tell myself I did because it's works so well.)

    Anyway, I later combined the world with one that I was thinking about a lot and wanted to start writing from again, and do you know what the original countries were? They were numbers. Realms 1-8, I believe. Except there was no 1st Realm or 7th Realm. They were lost to time. (Still are.)

    The only place I have ever, in my entire writing career, been original in naming things is Remnants. But for most of unique Remnants place names are portmanteus anyway :P

    wait what did the Wolves do to have war declared on them? Were they just being all-around insensitive?

    For people who understand the inner workings of things, they know that peole who have obscene amounts of money are usually deep into some pretty illegal shit and profiting off the War.

    I'm pretty sure that's how it is in the real world tho sooo ;)

    Q: Is there anything considered mundane to us that is either looked down upon or glorified in your world?

    Gonna keep this to my fantasy world because I'm trying to worldbuild :)

    Oil lamps and stars, which are... not so much glorified as celebrated and looked down upon, respectively.

    Oil lamps are a recent discovery. Every so often, a whale (or some sort of similar organism) would wash up on some town's lucky beaches. It's an exciting event, I've decided within the last month. A really Big Deal. But more amazing is that, probably ~50 years ago, someone made a discovery (...somehow): some whales have oil. Oil that can be burned for light without as much smoke as candles. Because candles pretty much suck and you only use them if you're rich and you can get the good stuff or you're desperate.

    After that, people realized that whales live in the ocean. But to get to the ocean, people have to have, you guessed it: boats.

    Now, there are small boats that allow for quick & easy transportation through the Channel and around coasts, but outside of that region, the high seas are a place to be feared. Why? Because it storms. A lot. Like, so much that a storm sinking a ship is the basis for a story in this world and it's perfectly acceptable. So much that when a survivor wants to circumnavigate the globe for plot-reasons, rich people are like "but our ships aren't strong enough to survive the waves! D: "

    This discovery of oil thus led to a rush of engineers to construct sea-worthy boats, which is a difficult task at the very least. Eventually, they came to the realization that there are seasons when the sea is relatively calmer than normal, and that became whale hunting season. All the same, seas are a deadly place to be, which makes whale hunters some kind of urban legend and the oil they harvest something only the gods can possess.

    (Now that I wrote all of that, I realized that whale hunters are glorified, but I don't want to rewrite that, so deal.)

    Then there are the stars, involved in the most unique piece of worldbuilding this world has to offer: the world is on a moon (Orymosean for these purposes) which orbits a gas giant, Ulso. Not only orbits but, on this side of the moon, is tidally locked to. There's also ~2 other moons that regularly share the sky with Ulso, the Tydin and Thancin, IIRC.

    What does this mean about stars, though? Mostly, that nobody cares about them. I'm sure there are constellations, but why bother? People don't go to sea, so just use the giant orange planet and go on your way! What time of the night is it? Just glance at the giant orange planet and be on your way!

    In this same vein, there's not much going on in the science of astronomy. Society is fairly religious, and Ulso is viewed as the home of the gods & the place where spirits go if they were Good People. (That's a post in and of itself.) There are certain rocks (orange topaz; I don't remember the technical term) that are believed to have come from Ulso as gifts from the gods and are now used by monarchs as proof that they should be allowed to rule. There's also no particular need for them to know anything about astronomy. As seafare develops, people are becoming slightly more interested, but not enough for astronomy to become interesting in the mainstream.

    After all, there is literally no monarch in this world that would be excited to learn that Ulso is a ball of gas. I mean, I'm sure they'd try to find some way to alter mythology to fit, but that'd be hard for several reasons.

    Q: What are beliefs about reproduction we would consider unusual, weird, or downright taboo that are perfectly normal in your world? (don't ask me why I'm asking this. Just... research takes people to strange places, okay?)



  • This looks fun!

    Q: What are beliefs about reproduction we would consider unusual, weird, or downright taboo that are perfectly normal in your world? (don't ask me why I'm asking this. Just... research takes people to strange places, okay?)

    A. Well we don't know it yet but reproduction has been taken out of our hands. The Glitch stopped all reproduction in rebels, since rebels are the only people who are still chipped.

    Q. Do people still dream in your world? Is it the same as what we know as dreams now?



  • @toashajiordano I have so many questions regarding this.

    Do you know yet how the Glitch stopped reproduction? Did it kill sex drive or something?

    Q: What are beliefs about reproduction we would consider unusual, weird, or downright taboo that are perfectly normal in your world?

    I started thinking about this after I asked it.

    So there are mallies, or malevolent spirits. They wander around causing trouble, as you might've guessed. They do things like cause droughts, burn fields, cause work accidents, etc.

    One thing these grumpy ghosts like to do, according to myth, is enter a pregnant woman's body and either kill the fetus or else injure it in an attempt to kill the fetus. Thus, when a child is born with disability, you can blame it on the fetus.

    There's a belief in some areas that disability acquired in life can be passed on to children. As an example, there's a character that went blind in his late teens from an accident, and it's perfectly logical to him that he might pass on the trait to any children he has.

    I feel like there might be another one but I can't think of it at the moment.

    Q: Do people still dream in your world? Is it the same as what we know as dreams now?

    Yep and yep.

    In religious stories, it's said that there were seers. These seers received their visions as dreams while they slept.

    Some people believe there truly were seers, other people believe that it is the same as magic-- a folktale. For those who believe in the past existence of seers (and other semi-magical people), their argument is that they disappeared ~500 years ago thanks to the anti-wizardry of Queen Martha over in Othornia. She created a systemic extinction of known magicians (which includes seers, people with the ability to see and/or hear the dead, and other psychic powers), and because of Othornia's influence, other countries set up the same project.

    Most recently in the history of magic, Provabia's King James... IV? Anyway, he banned all magic about fifty years ago. Magic had already fallen out of favor and magicians were popularly viewed as quacks, but this sealed the deal. Anyone who genuinely believes in magic is seen as immature at best. (Magic is viewed as the human ability to do supernatural things and it's distinct from the ability of supernatural things to do things we would consider magical, if that makes sense. Basically, things that the gods do in stories are clearly magical, but these things are considered to be abilities of the gods, not magic, in-world.)

    Q: Is there magic in your world? If not, is there advanced technology that might be seen as magic?



  • The glitch is a faulty patch to microchips implanted behind people's ears. It sends a block signal to girls' bodies. They never start their periods.

    Q. Is there magic in your world? If not, is there advanced technology that might be seen as magic?

    No magic. And people are quite comfortable with the technology. Some of it might seem like magic to us, right now. Like controlling cars and TVs with their chips.

    Q. What would your MC think of you if you met in real life?



  • Oh boy, I missed quite a few posts the past couple days. o.O

    @toashajiordano Hello! Nice to see a new username in the thread!

    So there are mallies, or malevolent spirits. They wander around causing trouble, as you might've guessed. They do things like cause droughts, burn fields, cause work accidents, etc.
    One thing these grumpy ghosts like to do, according to myth, is enter a pregnant woman's body and either kill the fetus or else injure it in an attempt to kill the fetus. Thus, when a child is born with disability, you can blame it on the fetus.

    This seems vaguely familiar to something I read, I believe, in Japanese folklore. Japan and Korea have the scariest shit when it comes to ghosts. -.-

    Q: Q: What are beliefs about reproduction we would consider unusual, weird, or downright taboo that are perfectly normal in your world?

    You know, I thought long and hard about this. And I don't think there are any. Which, it's almost disappointing. Maybe I need to come up with something. :P

    There's that thing about... Being the woman's 'responsibility' to give the man a son thing... Mostly amongst NH royalty. The King's second wife was exiled for not being able to give him another son in a time when his eldest was ill and believed to be about to die. So she was exiled and had to hide away her daughter so she wasn't killed... That whole thing. I don't consider it that unusual in terms of real world because... It was a real world thing.

    But the prince recovered and lived to become king... And be murdered and impersonated by a psycho... Yay? >.>

    Q: Do people still dream in your world? Is it the same as what we know as dreams now?
    Yes and Yes... For the most part.

    If you're a telepath; depending on your exact enlightenment, dreaming may become a bit of an inconvenience for you and nightmares may become a bit of a hassle for people around you. :/

    Take Lena, for instance, her enlightenment involves memory manipulation and even though she can control how much of other people's memories she can consciously access there is a little bit that goes through without her realizing just by being around them. During the day, that's fine, she can be around 200 different people and not actually see any of their memories, but... Once you sleep, your subconscious is in control and then... Welp... No control.

    So, imagine going to sleep every night with the possibility of seeing some possibly real private stuff about people you then have to face on a daily basis. Fun right?

    In Lena's case, she can also project memories. And she can do it pretty freaking far to everyone within reach. So, like I said, nightmares are a problem for everyone. :/

    If you're not a telepath or living the vicinity of an unstable one, though.... Dreaming is pretty much normal. :P

    Q: Is there magic in your world? If not, is there advanced technology that might be seen as magic?

    Gee... Is there magic in Valcrest? Hm... ponders

    Yep. We got da magickz. Valcrest is literally built around the concept of magic being so ingrained within not just society but literally the land itself, that even within a continent that has mages and mage colleges (in some countries), it's an anomaly. Mage scholars from places like Arcadia (Terra's capital), and other places in the continent we're yet to name or develop, are probably terrified of traveling to Valcrest. Some people even believe the country itself is cursed. Which, you know, I can't exactly blame them for. >.>

    Q. What would your MC think of you if you met in real life?

    That depends whether they know I wrote them. If they didn't, they wouldn't really care about me. If they did... I think I'd probably need to put my affairs in order. :/

    Q: What aspect(s) of your fictional universe do you believe works better than in real life?



  • Hey! I'm really loving this site!

    Q: What aspect(s) of your fictional universe do you believe works better than in real life?

    A. Even knowing what I wrote about my world, and what happens to people with chips, I still would want one. They can transmit thoughts to each other through their chips. They control their world, like a smart house or smart car, via the chips. The news broadcasts to them via the chips. They learn by uploading patches and updates. It would be so cool.

    Q. How do people in your world make a living?



  • @Blackbird

    ... according to myth, is enter a pregnant woman's body and either kill the fetus

    This seems vaguely familiar to something I read, I believe, in Japanese folklore. Japan and Korea have the scariest shit when it comes to ghosts. -.-

    I actually got this from the aswang tbh, and that's Filipino.

    I feel like people with Lena's enlightenment walk the line between being forced to become political weapons if found out :/

    @toashajiordano Like any advancement, it seems like chips have a long way to go before being fully safe. Though, they're a computer, and I don't think computers can ever be fully safe :P

    Q: What would your MC think of you if you met in real life?

    Which one...?

    Most of them would probably be concerned for my modesty. Then they would like to know whether or not they're dead because this place doesn't look like home. Upon learning that they are not dead, they would still be very confused by what's around them. Finally, upon learning about the existence of Jupiter, they would demand to be taken back to their home, only to learn that they cannot return, because 1. They were never orbiting Jupiter in the first place? 2. With current space technology, they would all be very, very long dead by the time they got there.

    All of this to say, they would think of me as their strange mentor who is helping them adjust to life in modern America.

    If they found out that I created them and their world, they wouldn't react violently, but they would call me out on some of the traits of certain world and character elements. ._.

    Q: What aspect(s) of your fictional universe do you believe works better than in real life?

    This is a good question.

    pauses to think

    Monarchy.

    You don't understand. There have been dynasties for 800+ years. (Or so some of them claim.)

    Monarchy works really well in this world. (Until the Craestics prove that it doesn't and go French Revolution on the monarchy.)

    Q: How do people in your world make a living?

    The same as you or I. Minus electricians, cable/internet guys, and mail carriers*. You can't get a job as any of those people.

    If you are an artist or scientist, you're either barely scrounging by, a rich noble with nothing better to do with your time, or have a rich noble patron who is throwing money at you because they look cool by having an artist guy that works for them.

    If you're a rich noble guy, it depends. Serfdom was recently abolished in Provabia, but they still work the people that are forced to live on their land to death. That, or import slaves to work the land, which is becoming more common because slaves are cheap and when you work them to death nobody cares. (Provabian king was probably murdered because he wanted to also abolish slavery. >.>) Whichever path you take, you end up making money off your land.

    If you're a cleric, you make a living by either scamming the poor people OR convincing rich people and/or the monarch that you need more money to build schools which are actually (usually) just temples used to scam more poor people for money.

    If you're a monarch, you get it by keeping your location obscure at all times. If you don't do this, you run the risk of being murdered. Then, it is very much impossible to make a living.

    If you're the 12th son of a famous general, you pretend you're going to university when you're actually living with your respected older brother politician and party.

    I can't really think of anything else that's important to add.

    *Okay, so, there are mail carriers. But they aren't terribly efficient. Not to mention, many people are illiterate, so outside of the nobility and most religious clerics, there isn't a lot of mail to be sent around.

    Q: Is there any sort of slavery in your world?



  • @toashajiordano

    Even knowing what I wrote about my world, and what happens to people with chips, I still would want one. They can transmit thoughts to each other through their chips. They control their world, like a smart house or smart car, via the chips. The news broadcasts to them via the chips. They learn by uploading patches and updates. It would be so cool.

    All of this sounds like the beginning of a real bad time to me. Like, I would not want anything connected to my brain that way. Ever.

    Telepathy, even in a magical sense like in my world, sounds like it would be my worst nightmare. Do not want. o.O

    @typical_demigod It's nearly impossible to force a telepath into doing your bidding, though. Unless they're just a gullible person. Like... Luckas sort of is... Which is why Lena takes him in on the main story before he becomes extremely dangerous and gets murdered or thrown in the 4th level of the NH dungeon with his brother. >.>

    Monarchy.

    I did not see that one coming. lol

    If you're a cleric, you make a living by either scamming the poor people OR convincing rich people and/or the monarch that you need more money to build schools which are actually (usually) just temples used to scam more poor people for money.

    Clerics are assholes. ^.-

    Q: Is there any sort of slavery in your world?

    pained groan

    Sort of. Yes.

    Slavery in Valcrest is sort of like in our world in the sense that... It's not technically legal or okay, but there's a shit ton of it everywhere and not everyone in charge cares about putting a stop to it because it makes money.

    Essence, my friend's character (and Luckas' 'Lady') was a child sex slave in Blackpond and... What her masters were doing wasn't exactly a secret to anyone. And this was in a time where Blackpond was under the rule of a somewhat competent King.

    That said... Slave trafficking doesn't actually happen in Valcrest. Slaves are sometimes brought it (for purposes such as the above mentioned), but more often than not, children are captured and shipped out to Terra where slave trading is a lot less... Policed. Slave traders will usually target orphan in the aftermath of major battles, but sometimes they will straight up kidnap someone's kid or, well, buy them if the parents are both desperate and shitty human beings.

    See, slavery is technically illegal in Terra and it is absolutely not tolerated in Arcadia (the capital), however, the further away from the Capital the less control the Imperial Forces have and the easier it is to just blatantly disregard their laws. So slave trafficking is rampant in the outskirts of Terra. And that includes the border.

    Q: Are there any important commemorative dates particular to your Universe? Are they similar or equivalent to any real world holidays?



  • @Blackbird said in Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (June Edition):

    Clerics are assholes. ^.-

    There's a trope I have in-world where the deities that are unpopular have the clerics that would actually drop everything to help a person in need (which is what they're supposed to do).

    How large is Terra? I feel like they need to make stronger police forces.

    Q: Are there any important commemorative dates particular to your Universe? Are they similar or equivalent to any real world holidays?

    Hmm.

    Well, monarchic nations celebrate the king's (or queen's, in the case of Provabia) birthday. Unless you're the Highlands. They despise the king and are plotting his death at the moment. In Craestan, there's probably a holiday celebrating the end of the monarchy (which, naturally, ignores the fact that the end included the murder of most of the royal family). The Hunters (considered a cult but a sizeable cultural group tbh which live North the Channel)... I feel like they don't have any celebrations regarding government.

    There's Enys. That's a 5-day celebration of the new year. It takes place at different times depending on where you live. In the north, where it's more temperate, you'll usually see it held during mid-winter, but in the south, where it's fairly cold, you'll usually see it held closer to late spring/early summer. It's one of the few truly universal holidays. (Practices don't tend to vary a ton from location to location, either.)

    Unique to Provabia is a holiday sometime in the spring or summer (I can't find the date in my timeline and you are wrong if you think I'm willing to try and pull up the date from the document) which celebrates the beginning of the millennium. It's hosted by the reigning monarch yearly, and technically it's open to all, but it costs money to get in, so you'll tend to find middle-high class and the nobles. (It's not a huge deal to common people.)

    The Battle of Salf, fought on Ryelly 16 up in the Province (I think that's a spring date) marks the end of the last war directly fought with the Othorns 20 years ago, the War of Leaves. It's a big deal because the Othorns surrendered in an unexpected twist, which was a big deal pride-wise. Since then, they've managed to avoid war, to the shock of the world.

    There's a holiday called Day of the Dead (early summer), but I don't know a ton about that. I threw it in to make it more difficult for my characters to travel. The idea is to mourn for the any wandering spirits, regardless of whether they're malevolent or not.

    Q: Describe a typical wedding in your world.



  • @typical_demigod

    Terra is pretty damn big.

    0_1498774090778_Map.png

    We're reworking this map, but, just to give an idea.

    And the thing about law in Terra is that the Emperor and the Imperial Forces basically decide and enforce the law. Thing is, while they are very present all over the country... The farther away from the Capital, and from the eyes of the Emperor, the more they can do literally whatever the fuck they want, which makes them easy to corrupt. And that's mostly the reason why the Terran Liberation Front (which includes the Rangers' Guild my Terran characters belong to) sort of has the Emperor's permission to go vigilante on that shit because it's easier than to try and actually deal with all the corruption in the military in those areas. And the Liberation Front isn't funded by the Empire so that's a plus for the Emperor as well. :P

    Well, monarchic nations celebrate the king's (or queen's, in the case of Provabia) birthday. Unless you're the Highlands. They despise the king and are plotting his death at the moment.

    This made me laugh. I just kept imagining a point in this dude's reign where it was like "nope we're not celebrating your birthday this year because fuck you".

    I'm gonna exercise restraint and not answer my own question this once. >.>

    Q: Describe a typical wedding in your world.

    Funny enough, I started to think about this stuff when the current RP reached mid-point and I decided I wanted Crys and Jake to get married. And then I realized neither of them knew how weddings are celebrated because... Neither of them had witnessed one. lol

    The particulars vary depending on where the couple is from, but basically... In Valcrest any faction leader; or an appointed representative, can officiate a wedding. And, regardless of where and by whom you're married, it is considered legally binding anywhere in Valcrest.

    The basics are that the couple will ask someone to officiate the union; in the cities, unless they're friends with someone who has the power to do this they'll need to pay for the service. If they want something simple they'll need two people to act as witnesses, but if they're having a large ceremony they'll gather up their friends and family in a location of their choosing; in the cities it's usually in one of the temples depending on the couple's beliefs, but some people will prefer to do it at home, the person officiating will say a few nice words, the couple will swear their vows, and the officiant will declare them married.

    Now, like I said, this is the gist of it, but there are variations depending on where you're from. In the Wolfpack is customary for bride and groom to be 'given away' by a family member or a 'close enough to consider family' friend.

    In the Crimson Shadows wedding ceremonies are usually officiated at midday, they span the afternoon and end with the couple lighting a sky lantern or floating lantern (depending on whether they worship Water or Air) and sending it off together. Wedding parties can last a day, two, up to a whole week (as with most parties to be honest) and usually start at sundown with a large bonfire, music, and dance.

    Wedding bands are customary in all clans and factions, but some won't wear them. Assassins usually won't for safety reasons, and some Knights and high ranking officers won't either for similar reasons.

    Q: Are new births celebrated in your world? If so, how?



  • @Blackbird
    Q: Describe a typical wedding in your world.
    I like this question because, like you, neither of my characters that would eventually get married, has seen a wedding. And there are probably no officials left to run it properly anyway. So I guess they'd mimic something they saw on TV.

    Q: Are new births celebrated in your world? If so, how?
    If there was a new birth, it would be both celebrated and feared. After the glitch, any female with a chip mysteriously stops menstruating. At least, everyone Synta knows. If one of them had a child the government would come after it.

    Q: Do you have the same seasons that we have?



  • @toasha said in Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (June Edition):

    So I guess they'd mimic something they saw on TV.

    That is both sad and endearing. :/

    Q: Do you have the same seasons that we have?

    Yes. Although, Summer and Fall are shorter than Winter and Spring. Don't ask me why. I just randomly decided when I made the calendar. :P

    Q: Is there an aspect of your world you wish didn't exist (even though you created it)?



  • @Blackbird Hmm. Terra is, indeed, large. I see the emperor's predicament.

    This made me laugh. I just kept imagining a point in this dude's reign where it was like "nope we're not celebrating your birthday this year because fuck you".

    I started laughing and then I remembered that they would've actually said it to the current king's father and I about died because

    That's a different story.

    In Othornia, where the Highlands are, you've got Adrinne, who just became king like six months ago and nobody likes because he doesn't take shit from anyone, and who inherited a country with... well, a lot of issues, to say the least, and then you've got his father, Abercourtney (Abe). The guy who went King Henry VIII and faked the murder of his pregnant wife to marry some random lady he met on the street one day and was perfectly willing to go to war for no other reason than to restore his pride.

    And the image in my head of that man finding out that the Highlanders said that (because they did!) is literal gold.

    You know, except the part where, once he recovered, his response was probably to go execute a bunch of Highlanders and exasperate the issue >.<

    Do they have tattooing in Valcrest? I imagine most of these groups are tight-knit enough that they people would know if they were married or not, but I can also imagine them taking the time to tattoo a ring on their finger, just for the sake of it :P

    @toasha Why are the rebels rebelling? Also, what made the rebels think it was a good idea to keep the chip in their brain after non-rebels started taking their chips out? Did the government manage to find out everyone who was/wasn't a rebel and pick and choose which chips were affected?

    Q: Are new births celebrated in your world? If so, how?

    This is a good question.

    I'm not totally sure what the answer is.

    See, I was thinking about it, and... except maybe Craestan (which has a somewhat different view on religion because they follow Oramosa, not Orymosy, but not one that I've explored in any depth yet), Orymosean is obsessed with death and the afterlife. Granted, the place they deem the afterlife is a giant planet that they not only orbit, but are tidally locked to; and, granted, once upon a time magicians were able to actively interact with the dead, but still. Obsessed.

    This brings me back to an MC whose father was a general. This general was the guy that won the Battle of Salf for Provabia, and a couple days after the battle he was involved in a peace conference with King Abe and his eldest son showed up like "hey dad what's up? mom's about to give birth, do you wanna, you know, travel a few dozen miles and be present for that???" and no joke MC's father was like "Look, just don't let her name the baby, and I'll be over there as soon as I'm done here, okay?"

    (She had the baby two days later and named him.)

    All of that to say: I really don't think they care about births. Unless you're an aristocrat who needs a son to inherit his property, there's no cultural reason to. The goal is to live well enough in life that you get picked up for the afterlife.

    This really isn't surprising though.

    Q: Do you have the same seasons that we have?

    I'm pretty sure? Though, the better part of Provabia is a taiga, and from what little research I've gotten done on taigas, I can tell you that seasons there are actually 8-9 months of freezing winter and then 3-4 months of scorching summer.

    When I made the calendar, many years ago, I literally made up some months and some lengths set to equal 365 days in the donjon calendar generator, then copied those onto some paper next to the real world calendar, and called it a day.

    Q: Is there an aspect of your world you wish didn't exist (even though you created it)?

    It's very prejudiced and discriminatory and I'm reaching a point where I'm like, "But do I actually need that? Maybe they should live more or less in harmony."

    Also, Etrien. Supposedly Etrien is the worst about all of the crappy discriminatory bits of my world.

    Tides.

    The fact that it's socially acceptable to not care about kids. I bet the orphan rate is out of control.

    ...that would also explain why literacy is super low and why nobody cares about the printing press being invented.

    Q: What is an aspect of your world that is sorely underdeveloped but which you also don't really feel like developing any time soon?



  • @typical_demigod said in Worldbuilding Respond Answer Ask (June Edition):

    Do they have tattooing in Valcrest? I imagine most of these groups are tight-knit enough that they people would know if they were married or not, but I can also imagine them taking the time to tattoo a ring on their finger, just for the sake of it :P

    There is a tattooing in Valcrest, yeah. Gerald has one in fact. And, funny enough, Crys and Jake joked about that, but in the end, she wanted a ring because she can't see a tattoo and it's not the same thing. >.>

    Not like anyone would be insane enough to target either of them or their future children after what will happen in the ending of this series.

    The fact that it's socially acceptable to not care about kids. I bet the orphan rate is out of control.

    That is super sad. :/

    Q: What is an aspect of your world that is sorely underdeveloped but which you also don't really feel like developing any time soon?

    How economy works on a larger scale. The intricacies of an actual legal system. Politics. I really hate politics.

    This will probably get done eventually because gladly I'm not writing this on my own, but if I was.... Hah, no. No, thank you. >.>

    And now that I think about it, my solo novel has a ridiculous amount of political disputes on it. Going back to that one day will be fun. groan

    Q: Are there any racial slurs or insults particular to your universe?



  • Q: Are there any racial slurs or insults particular to your universe?
    Not yet. However, they say Stone instead of God for everything. For Stone's Sake! He was their martyr.
    The races are pretty homogynized in my world, but I should create a slur for chipped vs 'natural' people.

    Q: Would you survive if you were dropped into your world tomorrow?


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