Worldbuilding Respond, Answer, Ask (February Edition)

  • February's here and this will be the month we finally start doing some serious worldbuilding! XP

    What is the Worldbuilding Respond, Answer, Ask?

    Are you a fantasy writer? A science fiction writer? A historical fiction writer? A fanfiction writer? Are you struggling to figure out what exactly your world is about?

    Congrats! You found a thread that will give you prompts to think about aspects of your world you may not have thought about before. How does it work?

    I'll leave a question at the end of this post. The first person to find the thread will post an answer to that question, and leave a question at the end of their post.

    Then another person will arrive. They'll read the first person's post, leave a response (maybe compliment something, or ask a question about something) to the first person's answer. Then, they'll answer the question that person left from the perspective of their world, and leave a question for the next person at the end of their post.

    Something like:

    Q: What is travel like in your world?
    P1: Easy. Portals are usually kept in temples, and getting a mage to open it to a specific location is as easy as having a couple coins.
    P1: leaves question How frivolous are the rich of your world?

    P2: responds to P1 Wow, that sounds nice! Are there any side effects to using portals?
    P2: answers P1's question
    P2: leaves their own question

    And so forth.

    Some notes!

    Your world doesn't need to be a secondary world to answer. Writing a novel set in 1735? Is your story set exactly tomorrow, but with werewolves? Though many questions here tend to apply to secondary worlds, there are plenty others that you can use to fit your modern (or other) setting. If you keep getting stuck behind either questions that can't apply to your world (maybe you don't have magic), then feel free to either pick from a previous question that does apply to your world OR ask for other participants to try posting some more world-neutral questions.
    (If you're socially awkward and don't want to do that on the thread, feel free to PM me and I'll help ya out :) )

    Sometimes posts get long. It happens. Don't flip out. If it's what you need to explain a concept fully and understandably, then do so. On that note:

    Try to write about a paragraph when you post. It's hard to respond when you write two sentences about X element of your world. On the same hand as long posts, sometimes a topic doesn't require a lot of explanation. And that's totally okay! But try not to let one-sentence-answers become a habit.

    Topics can be whatever you think of.

    Don't forget to respond! Responding to other peoples worlds is part of what makes this thread as much fun as it is! Even if all you have to say is "That sounds so awesome" or "That's so weird O.o" -- say it!

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

    Question for the beginning of the month: Q: In your opinion, what is the most interesting aspect of your world?

  • We are going to keep this thread going this time :|

    Q: In your opinion, what is the most interesting aspect of your world?

    By popular demand, I'll talk about the tattoos, mostly because I don't know what aspect is most interesting to me.

    The usage of tattoos varies throughout the world, but in Teslal, they hold a special religious and social purpose. Religiously, they tell what deity/ies you worship and how piously. Socially, they tell other people facts such as marital status and what frightens you. (You wouldn't get a charm to protect you against XYZ if you weren't scared of it affecting you, would you?)

    Tattoos are only performed by the priesthood. The future tattooists are specially selected for their artistic talent and memorize all tattoos & charms related to whatever deity they're in service to, as well as learn how to draw those tattoos. These tattoos are standardized pretty well across Teslal, and although there might be regional stylistic differences, they're relatively minor. In terms of the tattooist themself, taking artistic liberties in a traditional tattoo will probably get you excommunicated at best. (And if you're excommunicated, there's zero chance at getting to the afterlife, so...)

    While charms are small and usually can be placed anywhere on the body (generally, the more visible, the better), there are some tattoos that have specific plcaement.

    1. Religious - These tattoos denote your patron. For example, if you follow Adaer, the odds are very high that you probably have charms that belong to one or both of her sons, if not one or two unrelated gods, as well as charms relating to Adaer. So, how do people know that you primarily worship Adaer? You get a fun, matching pair of tattoos on both wrists/back of your hands!
    • What you get and where it goes varies based on who your patron is. For followers of Maim, it goes on part of the head. Follows of Likren, bracelets. Etc.
    • This tattoo is something of a rite of passage. You get it when you turn 16, at which point you're considered an adult.
    1. Social - Mostly, this relates to wedding tattoos. When you get married, instead of getting a ring, you get a tattoo on your chest. The exact charms relating to it (which usually bless your marriage) depend on the couple's patrons, but the placement is standardized & the image is relatively unchanged by patrons.

    In other countries, this isn't necessarily the case. It's sometimes more likely that they get tattoos because of personal meaning, they liked how it looks, etc etc. For the well-traveled of Teslal, this is a novel idea. Unfortunately, finding a priest who is willing to go freestyle is difficult, and getting the money is usually harder. Once you have both of these things, you typically want to be careful where you put the tattoo, because non-traditional tattoos aren't well-accepted.

    On the plus side, they're very knowledgeable about keeping new tattoos clean, and many methods used with new tattoos are carried over to medical practices. Practices like disinfecting a needle with fire before using it, for example, is carried into medical uses. They don't know what germs are, but they can keep them at bay pretty well.

    Fun fact to close us off: Some tattoo ink fades faster than others, and this is on purpose. For a wedding tattoo, the ink tends to fade noticeably in the first year, even with proper care. It plays into an anniversary ritual in which both members go together and get the ink redone, which resets the cycle. After a length of time, it stabilizes and fades at about the same rate as other tattoos, though by now it's in significantly poorer condition.

    If I ever figure out what's most interesting to me personally, I'll be sure to get back to this question.

    Q: What is tattooing like in your world, if it's present?

  • @typical_demigod

    As a part of the population who demanded this, I am very pleased. nods

    I honestly find all of this pretty fascinating. In general, having tattoos specifically denote your religious affiliation, social status, etc... Sounds like such a cool concept to me. ^_^

    Okay, let's try to be good and answer some questions now, then. :P

    Q: In your opinion, what is the most interesting aspect of your world?

    This is a tough question regarding Valcrest because every time we come up with some new bit of lore, it gains its own special place in my heart. But, I think, religion will always be the most interesting part of Valcrest. Not necessarily the mythology itself, but how the Myths and the mere concept of the Twins are so deeply ingrained in society that, frankly, being an atheist is almost considered an abomination. People don't have to be religious in Valcrest or follow a particular philosophy, but to straight up renounce the mere concept of the Twins is almost unheard of.

    If you're born into a faction, in one of the cities, or are a part of any society in Valcrest, everything you know in terms of customs, rituals, beliefs, originated in the Myths somehow. From the colors you wear to what games you play as a child, to what is considered socially acceptable behavior. So for someone to come around and say they renounce the Twins as a whole is pretty much the same as saying that everything you know and love is a lie. It's a pretty big deal. So for the most part, if you're an atheist, you keep to yourself about it. >.>

    Q: What is tattooing like in your world, if it's present?

    This is something I've been meaning to develop for the sake of a few characters. So, surprisingly easy to answer although, I don't have much of a detailed idea of it yet.

    At the time Shadows Rise takes place tattooing isn't a popular or well-known practice. It's most common amongst the military in Newhaven and the more well-traveled Crimson Shadow who got theirs outside of Valcrest. There is no such thing as a tattoo shop in Valcrest, tattoo artists are mostly self-taught nutjobs who then end up doing it for all their friends. Some of them turn out to be very skilled artists in the long run, but learning process can be awkward; to put it lightly.

    Tattoos draw attention and are usually recognizable. Especially if they are colorful and/or in visible areas.

    The reasons for getting them are usually personal and/or aesthetic. Likewise, placement doesn't hold much meaning, although amongst the Black Guard it is a somewhat standard practice that if you get a tattoo in honor of a deceased loved one, it should be placed on your back. This is both to symbolize them becoming a part of your past and the idea that they still "have your back" even in death, as this is usually done in honor of fallen squad members.

    Around the time the main series kicks in, tattooing is a bit more common, but still not something very accessible. You can find people who will do it for coin, but you have to really look to find it. It'd be frowned upon in Blackpond to some extent as most things to come out of Newhaven's customs, but tattoos in honor of their military or War himself would be a little more accepted.

    Q: Is there something in your world that is illegal/frowned upon, simply because it's associated with a certain/culture/religion/enemy nation, etc...? (As an example, it's illegal to promote or participate in chess tournaments in Newhaven :P)

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