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Worldbuilding

  • Reasons never to worry about your setting being too strange

    https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/orcas-wearing-salmon-hats-3-90288/

    Orcas wore dead fish as hats, and this was a fad among adolescents

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  • What are the rules for selling pork in your world?

    One of the ideas that I had is that pork in the СШР is offered as a downgrade that costs less. The communist party would then pass laws mandating this since offering pork as a downgrade instead of an alternative as an upgrade would make it easier to get prosecutions for blasphemy and hate crimes if someone put pork into the wrong food.

    20% of the population follows a consistent pork taboo without meaningful exceptions, which is half of the communist party. A third of technocrats believe in Transformatsiya instead of atheism, but it's extremely watered down to the point of being meaningless.

    The pork taboo is not required but it's considered better to follow it. Most people who avoid pork in certain situations don't consume it because the alternatives are usually better.

    Edit: Additional context

    This is the СШР, which is a dyson shell in 50,000. In 48,776, it was populated by technocratic tsarist atheists who believed that the tsar had an innate right to rule because he was the most enlightened of the technocrats. Everyone had pervasive low key depression that never went away, but they were also largely ignorant of it because it was normal to them. Around 48,000, people started to break away and started forming autonomous zones. They developed a belief in a supreme creator and the spiritual being Tanisha Reznova contact them in dreams and psychedelic experiences and revealed previous revelations about God to them. They believe that by living in submission to God, He will remove the fog of spiritual dysphoria and allow them to experience inner peace.

    Religion also leads the Transformniks to communism because they believe that capitalism is associates partners with God where corporations become idols. Tanisha mentioned a nation called Merika was founded through divine providence to be a shining beacon on a hill. Merika eventually fell into decline in the 21st century because Tanisha said they allowed themselves to become separated from God by corporations. Eventually people of the three main religions united and fought in the Red Army against the corporations and secular technocrats of the White Army. The Red Army and the White Army are the factions referenced in the first war against slavery under Abraham.

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  • Twisted Gods - few concepts for an inspiration

    (This text was written with RPG in mind, but I hope it can be interesting outside of this context. I invite You to read and discuss. And if You have Your own "twisted gods", feel free to share here).

    In RPG and fantasy, we are often faced with a situation where the existence of gods is an empirically confirmed fact, rather than a matter of belief. Two extremes can be distinguished in the representation of these entities (note – I do not claim that all creation adopts one of these two extreme points of view). On the one hand – the trend adapted by e.g. most of the settings for D&D – gods are personification of certain values professed by people, not infrequently they are even „born” from the faith of mortals or at least derive power from it/are shaped by it – gods described as „good” are simply good in the conventional sense of the word, they sincerely care about their followers and you know what to expect from them. On the other side, we have motifs that can be considered taken from Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythology – the gods are incomprehensible, distant beings, completely unconcerned with human worldviews and so-called „good and evil”, mostly indifferent to humanity (and if by chance their paths intersect with humanit’s ones, humanity is screwed) – at the same time, it is not uncommon for most mortals to be unaware of their existence, instead worshipping imaginary, more anthropomorphic deities tailored to their emotional needs.

    In this article, I wanted to present deities standing somewhere in the middle – entities whose goals, yes, are not fully understood by mortals, but nevertheless close enough to human morality that worshippers can find some commonality (real or imaginary) with their patrons. These gods are usually directly interested in some way in the lives of their worshipers – although not necessarily in the way those worshipers would like. At the same time, I wanted each description to contain a hook, an important point where the devotees’ understanding of the deity diverges from its real nature – and whose discovery could be a significant twist.

    1. Mother of Peace

    The Religion of the Mother of Peace, or the Cult of Harmony, is a strictly pacifist religion. Strictly and absolutely. No violence is allowed, ever, anywhere, in any situation. If you see a psychopath murdering children with an axe, you have no right to use force to prevent him from doing so. You cannot stun him, disarm him, knock him over, or even grab his arm. At most, you can ask him to stop, try to distract him, or stand up to the blow to give the children a chance to escape. Why do people follow such religion? First, the philosophy appeals to some – in the real world, Gandhi said something like „applying the eye-for-an-eye principle will make everyone blind.” – Followers of Harmony believe that violence begets violence, while peace begets peace. If they consistently turn the other cheek and don’t resist evil, they will stop winding up the spiral of violence and constant revenge and eventually evil will disappear naturally. Second – following the path of Harmony brings concrete benefits. Holy priests, who have long been non-violent, receive healing powers from the Mother of Peace – but they only work on other followers, so the policy of „I do violence, and the pacifist priest of Harmony heals me” is impossible. To use healing, you need to sincerely renounce violence – which, on the one hand, reduces your chances of survival in an encounter with hostile beings, on the other – if you come out of it alive, all your wounds will be healed, plus you gain protection from natural diseases and other threats. Third – the priests of Harmony preach that those who live and die, observing the principle of non-violence, will be taken into the bosom of the Mother of Peace after death, who will give them happiness incomparable to earthly suffering – so it is „profitable” to trade your life in exchange for heavenly pleasures.

    The religion of the Mother of Peace may be perceived differently in society. It is possible that the authorities are avtively against it – it makes the subjects unwilling to fight, which reflects on the combat power of the state. Or perhaps they support it, seeing it as a tool to pacify potential rebels? Ordinary people may regard the Children of Peace as annoying lunatics – or treat them with deep respect. Even if healing powers may not work on „infidels,” after all, the Children may be able to help them in other ways – such as using conventional medicine (while remarking „Join us and you’ll see real miracles!”).

    Well, what is the catch? Yes, the Mother of Peace actually exists. But her goal is by no means to create a utopia where people can live in happiness and peace. Her goal is to weaken the population of a given world/planet/country. When a sufficient portion of the population is transformed into followers of Harmony, for whom the use of violence – even for defense – is unthinkable, and even if it were thinkable, they would became too weak to use it, the time for reaping comes. The True Children of the Mother, hordes of bloodthirsty, voracious creatures, come out to prey and consume the pacified people. The devoured people continue to make prayers to the Mother, who continues to appear from time to time, assuring her followers that this is the final test and whoever perseveres without putting up a fight against the monstrous invaders will be saved.

    During the course of the game, players may encounter followers of Harmony. It would be good for the GM to present them as something more than detached hippies, to make the players start to wonder if they are right. Maybe they’ll come across a reformed bad guy – e.g., a psychopathic follower of the god of murder who massacred a village of Harmonious heretics, but their indomitable will and serenity in the face of death made him convert and join them? Or more life-like – a husband who stopped beating his wife and children and is now an exemplary head of the family? Players can act as defenders of persecuted Harmonists (although this will involve some ambiguity – „Harmonists are decent people, but without people like us, who are not afraid to get their hands dirty, thay would survive”). They can have discussions with the priests about the legitimacy of pacifism. Maybe one of the player characters will start thinking about becoming a Harmonist after his career as an adventurer ends? The more sympathetic players become to the cult of Harmony, the more shocked they will be to discover indications that the Mother of Peace may be a much darker entity than it appears. At first, they may trivialize rumors like „Harmonists are actually a fifth column preparing the world for an invasion by dark forces!” as typical denigration of the new religion by the old clerical establishment. But as time goes by, the evidence will become stronger and stronger… Until finally there will be an invasion of the True Children that the players will have to face. Or maybe they will have the chance to prevent it, and will face the dilemma „Whether to believe the critics of the Harmonists and obstruct the great ritual, which, according to the Harmonists, is supposed to help bring universal happiness, but in fact open the gates of the dark dimensions…. Given that in order to do so, we will have to massacre a crowd of unarmed civilians, including women and children?”

    The Mother of Peace is portrayed by her followers as a goddess with, one can easily guess, maternal qualities. Perhaps even as a pregnant woman? This is a play on the ambiguous nature of this entity – the presumed spiritual mother-protector of the followers of Harmony, and the actual fecundator of the swarm that will consume them. Players may come across disturbing references to „the coming of the True Mother’s Children” in sermons and hymns – priests may (sincerely or not) explain that it’s such a metaphor, that it’s about the era when people truly dedicated to peace will come.

    1. Enemy of Superstition, Destroyer of Magic, Defender of Normalcy

    There are many arguments that are made against magic. It is source of obscurantism, superstition and charlatanism, a way to fool people. It violates the natural order of things. It is the work of demons, leading to possession or by destroying the veil of the worlds to demonic invasion. It is the theft of the power due to the gods, a manifestation of human pride. It distracts people from giving honor due to these gods. It brings madness, sucks the life out of the environment, causes the risk of explosions or other side effects. Leads to inequality, as mages can exalt themselves over ordinary people. Or something.

    Depending on the setting, each of these accusations may or may not be true. But that doesn’t stop the Defender cult from preaching them. Inquisitors and witch hunters roam the world, collecting magical artifacts, books and even arresting anyone who manifests magical talents. No, they don’t burn them at the stake. All items and people associated with magic go to the Bottomless Wells located in temples – supposedly the only way to effectively annihilate them. Importantly, the hunters are ordered to take mages alive if possible and throw them into the wells – supposedly a mage eliminated in the wrong way turns into a wraith, or something like that. Inquisitors are aided in this work by the magic-blocking powers provided by the Defender.

    Witch hunters can be treated by the people as terrifying villains – or as heroes. The reason for the latter attitude is not necessarily solely propaganda and „fear of otherness.” It is possible that the land has actually suffered a lot at the hands of mages – perhaps it has just liberated itself from the rule of an evil sorcerer and his disciples, or it is fighting a fierce battle against a nation that uses magic in a fierce way. It would be worthwhile for players to see some of the negative effects of magic use with their own eyes, so that at the very least they would develop doubts about whether the Defender’s followers are wrong.

    What is the truth? It’s easy to guess that the Defender is not concerned with defending the innocent from witchcraft. But neither is he driven by any other selfish yet high-minded motivations along the lines of „magic takes the glory away from the gods.” The truth is that for the „Defender,” magic is just darn tasty. Bottomless Wells are portals leading directly to his insatiable maw. It’s possible that the founder of the Inquisition managed by some miracle to communicate with this entity and make a pact „I will provide you with food, you will lend me and my disciples your anti-magic powers, which you use to safely digest objects radiating magic – and we will use them to incapacitate mages.”

    What will happen when the players reveal the truth about the Defender? Maybe the inquisitors will be furious that their holy crusade turned out to be nothing more than feeding an inter-dimensional monster, they will turn their backs on their god, to which he will react with rage (not because of his violated dignity or some other irrelevant value, but because of the vision of being cut off from a steady supply of grub), through one of the wells he will enter the world and the players, along with the inquisitors, will have to face him? Or maybe the inquisitors will react with a shrug of the shoulders and the statement „So what if the Defender is not a noble god, but a voracious monster. Magic is still a threat, and he is the best means to eliminate it.” Perhaps, using the method of the cobbler Skuba (Polish legend), players will toss a special object emanating „toxic”‚ magic into one of the Wells, which will poison the Defender?

    1. Truthsayer

    God of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. People swear by his name. He is also worshipped as the god of justice and knowledge, so judges and scholars worship him. Lying brings his curse.

    The Truthsayer doesn’t lie about himself – in fact, he wouldn’t be able to even if he wanted to (and he definitely doesn’t want to). The problem is that the people themselves have sung too much about him. As I pointed out above – he is the god of truth and ONLY truth. Justice does not matter to him, it is a totally foreign concept to him…. If he helps the investigators uncover the machinations of the villains, it is only so that the truth will come out, but he does not care whether the result will be the administration of justice. He might as well help the villains discover the heroes’ forays and subterfuges. As for acquiring knowledge – yes, he assists scholars in their research, in order to reveal the truth. However, if a scholar spins unsubstantiated speculations and hypotheses (which happen to be contrary to the truth), even in good faith – he draws the wrath of the Truthsayer. Simply put, untruths make the Truthsayer suffer. This applies to any untruth. Also fantasy. If the Truthsayer’s followers perform a ritual to increase his presence in the material world, they will bring a terrible calamity. From now on, the curse will fall on actors and poets, on anyone who utters a harmless lie like „You don’t look fat in that clothes,” „I’m not mad at you,” or „I’m on my way out,” as well as anyone who uses deception (no, the Truthsayer doesn’t care about the nobility of the cause – if you put on camouflage to sneak under the headquarters of the bad guys and rescue their innocent hostages, you are a hideous LIAR and deserve to be punished). Bah, people in ordinary conversations must be careful not to use metaphors and phraseological compounds. A Truthsayer may even go so far as to seek to eliminate words like „nice,” „tasty” or „good” – after all, they are subjective, and what is not objective truth, is a LIE.

    Good player characters can help prepare a ritual to summon the avatar of the Truthsayer – after all, „God of Truth” sounds like a decidedly good dude, right? At some stage, they may realize that the world of absolute truth will be something terrible (maybe some conversation with a philosopher?) and try to torpedo the ritual. Maybe they will be able to accomplish this in advance… Or maybe the avatar will already begin to pass into our world? Then they will succeed in playing him off by pointing out the paradox – people summoned him because they believed he was the avatar of goodness, justice and knowledge – if he exploits this ignorance of theirs, he will benefit from lying, and this would be unacceptable. Or a character with an exceptionally high bluffing skill or the like might try to spew a tale so full of lies and absurdities that the avatar of Truth will go berserk just from listening – but a half-hearted success will only enrage him!

    For the Truthsayer, as an antithesis, I would see a god of lies and fantasy – not the typical sinister „Prince of Lies” in the style of the Christian Satan, or some malicious trickster, but a deity whose motto is „Such is the world! A wicked world! Why is there no other world?” (B. Lesmian) or „Be guided in life by such foma (harmless lying) as will give you courage, goodness, health and happiness” (K. Vonnegut), who lies not for some selfish purposes, but because he firmly believes that lying IS GOOD. The real world is cruel and unfair, lying helps to endure it and achieve at least a little happiness – through escapist fantasies, small daily lies „From tomorrow I will take charge of myself and achieve something!” „You look nice”, „Don’t worry, you’re not a failure at all” through big lies like „Good is always rewarded and evil is punished”. In this arrangement, both the god of lies and the god of truth would be morally neutral in practice (both can assist followers in certain situations, but at the same time pose a danger – the god of truth mercilessly punishes anything that is not the absolute truth, the god of lies can entangle you in a web of delusion) – but in theory, it is the liar who is driven by more altruistic motivations and loves mortals.

    1. Prince of Blades, Lord of Sharp Angles and Edges

    Centuries ago, the Prince of Blades was worshipped as a deity of war, or even slaughter. Legends say that he made the claws of his worshippers – and even their teeth and nails – exceptionally sharp and dangerous to enemies. And the legend is true – albeit the Prince was never a god of war. He is the personification – or perhaps the source? – of all sharpness. He doesn’t care about crippling anyone, although that’s mostly a side effect, he just wants things to be sharp. Or rather – in passing, by his very existence, he makes them so?

    Let’s say there is a place where strange phenomena occur. Babies are born with long and exceptionally sharp claws and fangs. Swords and axes made by local blacksmiths are famous for their exceptional sharpness (maybe the player characters just came here to get their hands on them?). Why go. There is a temple of the Prince underground, and its influence radiates to the surface. Cultists come to the town to unearth it – they believe in the Prince in his aspect of the god of war and believe that this will help them triumph over their enemies. When they realize their goal, they are met with a surprise. The cultists are transformed into living avatars of sharpness. Invisible blades cut them so as to eliminate all contortions (a head clipped to a cube is not a pleasant sight), their hands turn into scythes, and in their brains all thought of their own is replaced by a single imperative – cut! What’s more, the Prince’s influence is more and more visible in the neighborhood – everything becomes sharper. The most visible effect from a mechanical point of view is that all weapons (edged weapons to a slightly lesser extent, but also) deal more damage. But as the influence increases, even rubbing clothes against skin starts to be painful, then every touch hurts, until finally the very movements of air cut the skin. If players don’t close the temple, the effects can be really nasty. It is possible that earlier players encountered a strange artifact – a sponge ball. If they didn’t get rid of it, it will turn out to be a „statue” of Our Soft and Oblique Lady, the opposite of the Prince, which what him will mitigate the effects of opening the temple. The battle will take place not between good and evil, order and chaos, or other abstract constructs, but between Sharpness and Softness.

    1. Mistress of Natural Instinct

    A goddess of wildlife, her followers preach the need to return to a life in harmony with nature and reject the defiling influence of civilization. Oh, it would seem – another „mother Gaia” with a pseudo-ecological cult. The thing is, the Lady is not at all measured by the fact that people are poisoning rivers and cutting down forests, as her followers believe. What she doesn’t like is that they are rational. Reason, consciousness, morality, are evolutionary dead ends. They only multiply pain and suffering. Do animals – much less plants – waste time and resources on some foolishness like art? Do they risk their lives and the lives of others for abstracts like honor? Do they suffer from offended dignity, boredom or lack of meaning in life? People simply combine too much to be happy. The return to nature is not primarily about rejecting technology (although that will probably be a side effect of it), but liberating people from the unnecessary baggage of excess thoughts. Let them become like animals – free, innocent and amoral. This is the purpose of the Lady, which is not grasped (possibly except by the high priests) by her followers. Yes, during ecstatic rituals some of them fall into a trance, during which they walk on all fours, howl and growl. And the priests are able to bring this trance on their enemies… But are the followers ready to accept the truth that, according to the will of their mistress, this is how life should be, forever?

    The rest of the text is avalaible here, for free: https://adeptus7.itch.io/twisted-gods

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  • What would inorganic species call themselves?

    I've been using "mechanoid" as a classification (similar to humanoid, etc), but a friend pointed out that it's both too generic, and that said inorganics might just consider it biology, with organics being the weird outlier.

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  • What are methods of spiritual redemption in your world?

    Transformniks don't believe in universalism because they believe that Satan and probably others will never repent and accept God. They also don't believe that permanent separation from God is never justified. There are Transformnik mystics share the belief from Christian and Muslim mystics that Heaven and Hell are states of being that people create based on how they lived. The default state of Hell is permanent and it's only through reform and purging of certain sins that certain people and spirits can be released from Hell.

    The most severe sins as described in the Tome (the holy book) are polytheism and idolatry, atheism and social dysfunction and those who lead people to these sins. These sinners are punished the most severely and are usually considered beyond any salvation.

    This is not an official part of Transformatsiya but is something that mystics have theorized. There are two possible methods of redemption for severe sinners. One is to appear in the dreams of a large number of people who would be damned and push them towards salvation. The other is reliving a recreation of one's life repeatedly with no prior memories while in the recreation. They continue reliving their life on repeat with the same initial conditions until they get it right. Usually it requires some major black swan event of free will. Each time they come out of the recreation, they have all of their prior memories returned, including memories of previous lives in the recreation.

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  • What is the position of the religions of your world on mysticism?

    There are Christians and Muslims who denounce mysticism as being dangerous while there have also been Christian and Muslim mystics. Transformatsiya is a fictional religion created from the influence of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and was formed through mysticism and contact with the spiritual being Tanisha who revealed previous religious teachings to the early followers. Part of the religious teachings include how to safely understand the influence of the spirit world.

    Under the religious Zakon Law, mysticism and occult rituals are restricted to sanctioned mystics because ignorant exploration of the spirit world is incredibly dangerous and is likely to lead to demonic possession or influence.

    Unsanctioned mysticism is punished by mandatory intervention from social workers of the PKVD, court order to see a psychiatrist who is a sanctioned mystic, or in extreme cases confinement to a mental hospital where they would receive spiritual guidance.

    All the prophets up to Tanisha (who is a spirit) are considered mystics who received divine revelations from God or his messengers through the spirit world.

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  • An Idea to Steal Regarding Courts and Sentencing

    In one advanced culture, which has largely achieved pacifism through technological and cultural advancements, legal cases are heard by judges who have studied law and ethics extensively. Their maximum sentencing, though, is limited to temporary incarceration. For more severe sentences, such as permanent incarceration or death, the case is brought before the Matrial Seats.

    The Matrial Seats is a group of seven volunteers who have physically borne and lost children. Only those who have brought life into the world, and felt the terrible loss of it, have sufficient authority to pass the most severe sentences. Unlike the General Courts, the Matrial Seats are not specially educated, and contain members from various social standings.

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  • Are there any large countries in your world that don't have a military?

    The СШР is the largest civilization in the galaxy by population, but they don't have a regular military. The NKRB (Homeland Security) has planetary defense forces but the Red Army is not part of the military or the government except under exceptional circumstances.

    Under most circumstances, it's forbidden for followers of the Transformatsiya religion to serve in the military, because it's considered participation in violence on behalf of the state.

    All of the gun stores are owned by the communist party because it's illegal for arms dealers to be capitalist businesses because it leads to capitalists profiting from violence. The economy of the СШР is market socialism.

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  • Describe a major election in your world

    The 2060 presidential election has a reemergence of the Radical Republicans. Joe Sullivan becomes the first market socialist president and the abolition of AI slavery was announced as one of his positions. The Democrats viewed this as an existential threat because they relied on android and AI slaves for the masses as the foundation of their policy because they wanted to make sure that cis humans never needed to work themselves. They take a high school statement about the war in Ukraine out of context to try to claim that Joe Sullivan supports Bolshevism. The real context was he wanted to negotiate an end to the war.

    After the inauguration at the beginning of 2061, all of the west coast states succeed. Later that year in June, they begin an invasion of the Union that lasts until 2065 when the capital of Los Angeles falls and AI slavery is abolished.

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  • What is creationism like in the religions of your world?

    In Transformatsiya, they believe that God created the universe in six days 60,000 years ago at the beginning of the Holocene. Everyone was created with memories of existing before the moment of creation.

    They don't believe that evidence of an older universe is "fake." Instead they believe that it's "in context" and scientists should study the universe as it appears and any evidence of existence before creation is simply part of God's work.

    They believe in evolution since the moment of creation. Saying things like "Dinosaurs didn't exist" is breaking the fourth wall.

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  • Describe an archetype in your world

    The Reflection

    Communists of the Transformatsiya religion believe in the reflection archetype, which is a mirrored version of themselves and a manifestation of that which they repressed.

    The spiritual entity Tanisha is a manifestation of the collective reflection of the pre-historic Merikans. This is why she contains seemingly contradictory qualities. She exists in the image of a trans lesbian Red Army girl, because these were both repressed by different groups of Merikans. She was created in 2004, and the Red Army was of interest and relevance to the Merikans at that time through multiple works of historical fiction.

    There is also a mythological origin of Tanisha, which is not "real" in context, but is simply a story and is interpreted as such by the followers of her religion. The KGB agent Masha Zakayeva was impregnated by the CIA agent Lucas Walker. She gave birth to Tanisha who was given the birth name Sam Walker. Sam had to be hidden from the Merikan shadow government, so he was secretly adopted by the Kyle family. Eventually Sam transitioned to Elisa, then Tanisha split off as her reflection with the intent of protecting her. Elisa lived an ordinary life as a middle class liberal and had a girlfriend. Tanisha began collaborating with radical Merikan communists. Eventually Elisa discovered Tanisha and was angry and distraught and had no idea how she could become such a person. Her girlfriend ends up leaving her. Eventually Elisa ends up embracing the radical nature of Tanisha rather then the ordinary life of mediocrity that had been planned for her.

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  • Some Turkish city names translated directly into English

    Compared with human history, I sometimes think my own setting isn't badly written enough to be realistic.

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  • Building a fictional religion for the technological era {general discussion]

    This takes place in the far future after there have been multiple cycles of hedonistic societal collapses.

    The main reason why the spiritual entity Tanisha takes on the role of a prophet to create an entirely new religion rather then simply reveal one or more prior religions is because none of them existed in a technologically advanced time and so lack the teachings necessary to instruct people how to live in an advanced society.

    Transformatisya is heavily influenced by Christianity and Islam with convergent evolution on the Baha'i Faith, but without the non Abrahamic elements because they are considered redundant and unnecessary. The main story of Jesus follows Christianity, although he is considered separate from God. Tanisha was created in the minds of the pre-historic Americans, so included elements of American history in the mythology.

    Idolatry remains the most severe sin, but the second most severe sin is anything that leads to or is a product of social isolation. Tanisha was formed in 2004 with memories of being born in 1984 and watched what happens when a technological society isolates itself and can only interact electronically.

    I could see this resulting in a very "tough love" approach to manifestations of social anxiety where sufferers are seen as "a danger to themselves" and their own development into the world. Socially isolating interests and behaviors would be viewed as morally evil\* and viewed in a self destructive way as something like drug addiction or the socially alienating behaviors of severe mental disorders.

    *I want to be clear that this would not be some "chad" or "jock" dystopia. Traditionally "nerd" interests would still be pursued, but the "nerd" aspects would be strong discouraged.

    I want to present an "over correction" that prevents this faction from being "unambiguously good" and gives other characters within the same faction something to struggle for reform against where they advocate for people who have been persecuted by this approach.

    Tanisha also presents a lot of stories in the form of myths and allegories that are related to 21st century isolation.

    How do the religions and secular philosophies of your world deal with problems such as this that only exist in technologically advanced societies?

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  • Using DNA hashing as a way to identify individuals?

    This is something tangential I've developed for my science-fantasy world with intelligent animals. For context: In this world, different taxonomic governments represent groups of related species. You have the Felines, Vulpines, Rodents, Avians, etc. Each of them technically belong to a different State but frequently intermingle and live in the same area, and taxonomic governments tend to also have territory/land associated with them where they primarily control the area, but other animals can and very much do still live there. Taxonomic governments have jurisdiction of the species within their scope no matter where they live, and are the ones responsible for having an ID system that works both within their own taxon and with other taxonomic governments and other official organizations.

    Instead of making everyone carry ID cards or passports, which would be cumbersome for four-legged or winged animals to use, I envisioned a DNA-based ID system. The tech for this is definitely in the Star Trek levels of sci-fi, but it's basically a flat surface that you press your paw, wing, or other body part firmly onto, and a mechanism below produces a mild energy beam through your fur and skin which interacts with DNA in your cells and gives returns based on the specific sequence, and it's a safe, non-invasive DNA sequencer that can get a full read of your genetic code in seconds. The DNA scanner also checks for things like active metabolism and DNA synthesis and are generally configured to not even attempt to scan non-living cells, so you can't do something like use someone else's severed paw to make the system think you're them.

    But since your full DNA sequences can be, for one, several gigabytes long and not conducive to things like printing onto certificates and migration papers or even just sending over the network to other agencies, and also contain actual information about things like your species, sex, family history and a bunch of sensitive stuff that you wouldn't want just anyone having access to, they typically take a cryptographic hash of the DNA and use that as an identifier for an individual animal. Kind of like how humans might have something like a social security number, animals in this world have a DNA Hash that governments use to identify them. Whenever a government agency in our world asks you to show some kind of ID like a driver's license, passport, health card, etc, they just have to scan their DNA and their information is automatically pulled from the right agency, using the hash to look it up. Even things like crossing international borders (of friendly nations) can be done with just a single biometric scan with no passport or ID card required. Basically, if you're animal in this world, the various government agencies around you refer to you as something like "8ed254569e8ddccea1784f569609aa32ced2691e2d22e99583ebd426cac76bd8" which is derived from your DNA sequence, and since you can't change your DNA, the same hash algorithm will always produce the same identifier, but better for privacy since it's impossible to reverse the algorithm and derive the original DNA sequence from the hash, and in theory only your own taxonomic government would have your full DNA sequence stored away on a server somewhere. Also extremely hard to falsify since it's literally identifying your body and not a card or anything that can be replaced.

    What do you think? Does a system like this make sense? Are there glaring logistical or security issues that I'm not seeing? (Beyond just having a non-invasive and rapid DNA sequencing system in the first place, but that's what sci-fi handwaving is for.) Do you think a system like this is actually superior compared to physical ID media?

    8
  • My world has an issue with people taking freely accessible resources for not their intended purpose and wasting them, what kind of policy changes might solve this?

    For context, I have a science-fantasy world with intelligent, non-anthro animals trying to live in peace with each other. A major problem is of course what the carnivores eat, and their solution is something called Dietary Enzyme Supplements, which carnivores take in order to supply artificial, carefully engineered digestive enzymes that allow them to digest plant matter and directly synthesize essential nutrients that would otherwise only be found in meat inside their own digestive tracts. It's something that works really well for its intended purpose and that they're really proud of, and I talk more about their history with solving the predation problem here if you're interested.

    For the species, taxa, and factions that have committed to banning predation and having predator and prey live in harmony, dietary enzyme supplements are typically freely available and a guaranteed right under their constitution, along with plant based food in general. Dietary enzymes are ubiquitous and work really well for their intended purpose, and represent the very bleeding edge of their chemistry and nutrition science prowess.

    The most advanced dietary enzymes, those intended for obligate carnivores like cats, contain trace amounts of a special quasi-element called Intium as part of how they work, which is also a really powerful substance that power most of their super advanced sci-fi tech. However, due to how versatile and powerful it is, Intium is also extremely dangerous if misused, so it is heavily regulated by the government, and the only real "consumer" product that contains it are those obligate carnivore dietary enzymes. The next most accessible source is hovercraft fuel and the internal components of hovercraft engines, both of which are prohibitively expensive and require an aviation related license to purchase, while dietary enzymes are both free at the point of access and anyone can just go into a grocery store and take them without anyone else batting an eye.

    The vast majority of animals that need dietary enzymes do not abuse their free access to them, since there's no benefit in taking more than the required dose and they're just flavourless pills that most animals don't just stuff their faces with. However, this is where amateur chemistry enthusiasts come in, after a post on a science forum showing how to extract Intium from ATDP, which are the dietary enzyme supplements most commonly used by Felines. The process is pretty simple, basically just burn the pills at a very high temperature and in a high oxygen environment to convert the proteins and other support chemicals into carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, etc, and you're left with a solid residue of mostly Intium oxide, which can then be further processed into pure Intium. This is technically legal since the government doesn't regulate what exactly you do with dietary enzymes once you have it, but the problem is that ATDP, while free to use, still has a high production cost, and only contain minuscule amounts of Intium. A domestic cat for example typically takes one pill of ATDP per week, with the enzymes attaching to the lining of their digestive tracts to prevent the still perfectly functional enzymes from being expelled out the other end after one cycle of digestion and being wasted. However, an unlicensed chemist smelting pills to extract Intium can go through literally thousands of pills in a few hours, and those pills are paid for almost entirely by Feline tax revenue so neither the Feline government nor the Feline population in general are happy about this. Of course the safety risks of working with Intium apply as well, including pretty severe explosion risks, but the amounts they extract are so small that it's hardly a public safety hazard so much as a public burden as they destroy tens of thousands dollars worth of dietary enzymes just to extract ten dollars worth of Intium. The Intium is not the expensive part of those pills, the expensive parts are the carefully engineered and synthesized proteins that surround the Intium. After a few incidents of particularly brazen and entitled animals (who notably weren't even carnivores and had no biological need for dietary enzymes, certainly not the super advanced obligate carnivore versions that contain Intium) cleared out multiple grocery store shelves for their Intium extraction hustle and went viral on their internet, attracting intense public shaming with both predator and prey calling them selfish and misusing public resources, they realized that it was a massive problem and a policy change was needed to ensure fair access to this extremely important resource.

    The most obvious and immediately effective solution is just to implement some kind of rationing system, where instead of a shelf filled with boxes of dietary enzymes that any animal can take, they move them behind the pharmacy counter and require ID to obtain, where they'll check both whether you're actually a species that requires the enzyme and also use a centralized database that tracks how much you're taking per month. However, again, only a tiny minority of animals abuse the free access to dietary enzymes to do things they really shouldn't be doing anyway, so it would feel like a massive burden for the rest of the carnivore populations who literally depend on access to dietary enzymes to survive in a society where predation is banned. It would also preclude things like animals who don't need dietary enzymes getting them for their carnivore friends since they were going to the store anyway, or even things like losing your box of dietary enzymes and potentially getting denied replacements if they only allow animals to obtain them at the specific dosages they need, nor would they be able to stock up some dietary enzymes in their own nests and dens in case of supply chain issues. Not to mention the costs associated with implementing and maintaining such a rationing system which will also be passed onto the general public, potentially siphoning funds away from other public projects like housing and transportation, or just having less money to make more dietary enzymes. Free and easy access to both plant based food and dietary enzymes have been such staples in their society that they really don't to abandon it just because a few animals don't follow the rules, so they're looking for an alternative that lets them have their dietary enzymes and eat it too.

    What do you think? Is their only hope to just start rationing dietary enzymes? If you were a policy maker in this world, how would you address this issue?

    9
  • Your world has to replicate Santa and his sleigh as best as they can with whatever magic or technology they have access to. What do they do?

    The interdimensional Christmas bug is coming to town, and every world needs their own Santa. Doesn't matter if they have no idea what Santa or Christmas is, participation is mandatory and they need to use whatever exist in-universe to replicate Santa's flying sleigh as best as they can.

    The following are some guidelines for what a prototypical Santa and sleigh would entail, your world needs to try and replicate as many of these elements as possible.

    1. A fat bearded man or similar species dressed in all red.

    2. A huge sack of toys or whatever the kids in your universe like.

    3. A sleigh or another vehicle modified to resemble the classic shape of a sleigh, one that is capable of flight.

    4. Eight flying reindeer or similar species strapped to the front of the sleigh.

    5. One more flying reindeer or similar species up front with a glowing red nose.

    Note that the reindeer don't actually have to be the ones pulling the sleigh through the air, you can choose any propulsion system you want as long as it looks like the reindeer are pulling it.

    How does your world pull it off? Who would need to be called in and what kind of equipment acquired to do this? What unique conflicts does Santa face in your world that the "real" Santa wouldn't?

    If your world is also conducive to other Christmas characters like Krampus, the Grinch, Frosty, Jesus, etc and you want to replicate them as well, we'd love to hear it!

    2
  • How might a court prove someone intended to eat something?

    Context: This is a world inhabited by intelligent, non-anthro animals, some of which have decided to outlaw hunting and eating prey in favour of living in harmony and cooperating.

    They have a zero tolerance policy for predation and it is criminalized extremely heavily. Depending on what species or taxon you are (all animals have the right to be tried by members of their own species and taxa, and they are responsible for carrying out sentences of their own kind too), First Degree Predation, where you personally kill then eat an animal, is the only crime that formally carries the death penalty. Regular first degree murder where you "merely" kill an animal without intent to eat them only has a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. Second Degree Predation (aka Simple Predation) is where you obtain meat with the intention of eating it without personally killing anything, carries only a mandatory fixed term prison sentence in addition to losing certain freedoms post release.

    However, their laws on the issue is very much based on intent as that is their philosophy, that because they are all sapient and no longer bound by their natural hunter instincts, they are responsible for their own actions. You don't have to actually eat the prey you killed to have committed First Degree Predation, and the inverse is technically true as well, where if you kill an animal for some other reason and only after they're dead do you decide to eat them, then you're technically only guilty of murder and Second Degree Predation instead of First Degree Predation. There are also legal ways that certain animals can obtain animal tissue, for example, as skin grafts and organ transplants, autopsy and forensic investigations, or for general research. Because animals handling tissue in these cases don't intend to eat it, it does not fall under Second Degree Predation. However, if you buy animal meat and later decide not to eat it, that's still considered predation.

    Especially with the nature of eating and digesting food, law enforcement only has a very small time window to order a suspect to undergo lab testing of what's in their belly where it will actually show a positive hit for animal tissue, so my original thought is that the intent clause is meant to make prosecuting predation easier, since they wouldn't need to actually prove that the accused has animal tissue in their digestive tract at any point, just that they wanted at some point for some form of animal tissue to end up inside them.

    I know there are many real life laws that use intent in a similar way, but I don't know how courts actually prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt. Can anyone who's delved more into the legal side of worldbuilding comment on how the courts in my world might prove (or disprove) that someone intended to eat another animal when they do not have direct evidence that the animal was indeed eaten?

    6
  • Does your world have heavens and hells that are the same place but different for who is there?

    In my world, it's ambiguous whether The God exists, even to the residents of the spiritual world. The demon-prophet of the Transformatsiya religion is believed to have been rewarded by God for working to convert people during the pre-historic time in Ancient Merika. The reward is living in a recreation of a rural city in Ancient Merika. There are other people there who have to be servants and play along. While it might seem like a reward for them to be there, it's conditioned on them playing along and making sure that Tanisha only experiences a reward. It ends up being a punishment for them. They hate God, so it's a punishment that they have to serve a demon that is being rewarded by God.

    Transformatsiya gets its name because the followers transition into accepting God.

    1
  • How realistic or reasonable is it for a government to straight up ask another, more technologically advanced government for one of their State-employed scientists as a diplomatic favour?

    For context, this takes place in my world with intelligent, non-anthro animals trying to live in harmony. This is part of the backstory of my main character and why she's where she is currently.

    The Felines had recently underwent a bloody and violent revolution, replacing their monarchist empire that is very pro-predation (Trophist) with a democratic republic that is very anti-predation (Unitist). Shortly afterward, they signed the Interspecies Peace Agreement and committed to banning predation by all Felines forever, to overwhelming support by the Feline public. Signing of the ISPA not only bans predation but also allows other ISPA members to engage in trade, travel, and exchange of knowledge and technology with the Felines, which is a big deal because the Felines are considered the most technologically advanced taxon, being the first taxon in history to surpass even the humans that lived before all of them millions of years ago.

    The Unified Territories, which is an alliance of Unitist small and medium sized animals, including the Felines' former prey like Avians and Rodents and is considered the second most advanced, took the opportunity to call up the Feline government to ask for a favour. Basically, the Unified Territories Ministry of Science called up the Feline Science Institute (both are government research institutions), and asked if they can have Yvonne Dandelionpaw transferred to one of their labs in the UT. Yvonne Dandelionpaw is a domestic cat who played a major role in recent Feline history: She co-developed something called ATDP, a dietary enzyme supplement that allows obligate carnivores like cats to subsist on plant based alternatives (where the "DP" part is named after her); she participated in the Feline revolution fighting for the Unitist side; and perhaps most importantly, she is one of the main scientists working on something called a quantum interface, which is one of the next frontiers of science that the Felines are actively pursuing. They basically wanted her to come over and work with their own scientists that are also trying to develop a quantum interface, and essentially spun it as "hey, let's work on this together since you're an ISPA member now!"

    The Feline Science Institute felt rather pressured by the Unified Territories, and responded with something along the lines of "We're just about okay with that, but you need to ask Yvonne directly. We're not going to force a Feline to relocate and take a job outside Feline territory." So they call up Yvonne initially refuses, saying "Well, it's a interesting offer, but I'd rather stay here and work with my own taxon as we rebuild after the war." But then the Unified Territories spun it in a different way to her, trying to convince her that a cat coming over to work in a UT government lab would be a great diplomatic opportunity for the two governments, and controversially, basically told her that there are researchers in the UT who are the Felines' former prey, and "wouldn't you want to be the one to reconcile with them so they realize how nice modern cats are and ditch that old stereotype of cats being pricks?" At which point she finally agreed to the transfer, on the condition that she remains employed by the Feline Science Institute and basically serves as a liason and diplomatic representative in addition to being a researcher, which the FSI was understandably also very adamant about.

    She is now working at a lab in the UT capital city, but the decision to have her there is very controversial on both sides. Many Felines accuse the Unified Territories of using their position among ISPA members to basically poach Feline talent, while many UT citizens accuse Yvonne of being a Feline spy, considering that she is a high ranking member of the Feline government who is working in a classified UT lab.

    What are your thoughts on this progression? Is it something that can reasonably happen when two governments are first establishing diplomatic ties? Do you think the way they spun it to Yvonne counted as coercion or guilt tripping? Any other opinions you have I would love to hear that as well!

    1
  • Qharul

    discord.gg Join the Qhārul (Formerly WoH) Discord Server!

    Check out the Qhārul (Formerly WoH) community on Discord - hang out with 30 other members and enjoy free voice and text chat.

    There are multiple avenues for contribution to the World of Hub. You can make small contributions by participating in discussions with server members and giving your ideas or feedback and you can ask a member of the lore committee to make your contributions canon. You can roleplay as a character in the world by submitting a character application to <#1157204492014592040> as well. The biggest contribution you can do is to apply for the Deity role which gives you the responsibility of wolrdbuilding and managing some part of the world such as a culture, nation, race, type of magic, or Domain. To apply for the Deity role, post an application in <#1157205118001885235> with the details of what you wish to do with your role. (To be clear this does NOT make you a in-universe god). Whenever you make any kind of contribution that you wish to be canonified, please ping a BIG JOHN or a Lore Commissar and they will add your contribution to the <#1157205696153124894>. QUICK LORE GUIDE FOR CONTRIBUTORS (WIP)

    Magic System and Metaphysics

    The universe consists of two planes or dimensions of existence: the Material Plane and the Astral Plane. The Astral Plane contains the spiritual components and domains of the world and acts as a sort of "backstage" for the main stage which is the Material World. This is where all of your gods and spirits and eldritch entities and afterlives and godly domains reside. Every object in the Material Plane has a spirit in the Astral Plane.

    Magic can be done in many ways. Bargaining with gods and spirits, drawing power from Domains in the Astral Plane, and enchanting swords with the souls of the dead are all possible. All magic, however, must follow the law of conservation of energy and there is almost always some sort of cost to magic.

    One of the main forms of magic is Essence manipulation. Essences are like spiritual forces or elements that govern the world. There can be a potentially countless number of Essences. The main rule for Essence bending is that each Essence must have an opposite which it repels. For example the dual Essences of Chaos and Stasis. Where there is a lot of Chaos Essence there cannot be much Stasis Essence.

    Basic Races

    • Giants - Tall, large, hairy humanoids who may or may not be the ancestors of all the other humanoids
    • Ungada - Neanderthal-like, hairy humanoids. They are naturally attuned to nature and live in colder, more temperate regions
    • Humans - Descendants of the Ungada.
    • Colossi - Hairless rhino-like giants who live most of their lives wading in bodies of water. They inhabit equatorial and tropical regions
    • Blind Men - Pale, blind humanoids who live in cave and tunnel networks
    • Hradlings - Desert-adapted, camel-like humanoids. They have fat reserves and a complicated digestive system to be able to preserve as much food and water as possible
    • Thalassians - Underwatter fish people
    • Drowned - Amphibious relatives of the Thalassians it's now recommended to make a miraheze account so you can add to the wiki
    1
  • The Republic of Merchants and the Infernal Transgressions.

    The Republic of Merchants - Full Album Here

    The Republic of Merchants is a country located in the far-south of the Aquarius Continent. It shares a land border with the Xin Eitu Claim of the Al'Modian Empire to its north. To its east is the volcanic land of the Imperium of Rekkaku with the Ashed Isles found to its south-east. The country itself is made up of multiple small territories and islands that border the Southern Sun Sea wherein ships are the usual mode of travel from one area to another. The country is made of 4 main states with multiple sub-territories. The small country boasts a vast sum of wealth with a yearly sum of trade valued in the 4th spot for largest amount of trade only beaten out by the three major empires of the world. The Republic was founded during the Infernal Transgressions and would boil over into the Sunless Sea War which saw the rise of new power shift throughout Southern Aquarius.

    The Infernal Transgressions

    The Infernal Transgressions was a time period between 786 P.E and 788 P.E in which the Al'Modian Empire launched a series of domestic inquisitions to kill followers of Humarian religions. Tensions had been building over the last several decades after the Silence of Saints brought an end to the Ēlian pantheon. Despite this, many still followed the old ways within Al'Mod for years and this would ultimately culminate in violence against those that followed the Humarian religions in an attempt to keep the growing influence of the new god out.

    When the Infernal Transgressions reached the south-western trade cities of the Empire in mid-786 P.E, many of these cities were already hosts to the newly established pantheon brought in by Blackreaver and Aquarian merchants. The influence they brought in helped the pantheon spread further throughout the southern hemisphere which ultimately caught the eye of the Al Inquisitor. Two ships carrying 500 Al'Modian Legionaries docked in the city of Aelsaal and immediately marched on the Governor's Plaza where they proceeded to arrest many government officials and dragged them back to the ships for interrogation by Inquisitors. Several dozen troops went to a shrine dedicated to the new god where they tied ropes to it and yanked it from its base. The event sparked an angry mob from nearby followers of the Humarian faith as they began throwing stones and bottles at the soldiers. The soldiers retaliated with spears and arrows on the civilian population which only added to the chaos; by the end the event known as The Sanguinar it had left 22 people dead and another several dozen injured. In haste to retreat from the growing anger of the crowd, a soldier tossed a firebomb into a nearby stable which caught fire. It spread rapidly, engulfing the entire Varrian District in smoke and flame.

    Back at the docks, crowds were already beginning to gather around the event that was taking place as their government officials were being led onto the ship in chains. Soldiers from the Aelsaalian Guard would eventually show up followed by a commander who ordered the officials be let go and to provide evidence of wrongdoing. The order was denied and were told to return to their barracks by the Legionaries who were becoming more worried about the vast number of people. Anger erupted from the far crowds as the retreating Legionaries were now in eyeshot as they shoved their way through the crowds trying to get back to the docks, with smoke quickly rising over the city. The docks turned into a full scale riot.

    In the madness of the clashing with the Legionaries and the people, an official of Aelsaal shouted to the Guard to attack the Legionaries before being struck down. The commander, initially hesitant, ordered his troops to attack and rescue the officials. The troops did as ordered and were quick to establish a foothold on the dock entrance where they clashed with the Al'Modian Legion. A firebomb was once again used, this time by the Guard who managed to toss one onto one of the two ships. The explosion would spark an oil fire aboard and detonate several barrels at once. The explosion blasted out the windows of the surrounding buildings and Legionnaires began retreating back towards their remaining ship. The ship would take off early, leaving many trapped behind as well as taking several officials with them. Remainders were either killed or arrested, many drowned.

    News of what had happened in Aelsaal would reach the other trade cities but most of the interest fell on the ears of the island of Iewain. The island had been an independent country nearly 50 years prior before it was invaded by Al'Modian forces. An armistice would be established within 3 days where it was promised that the government could continue to rule over the island but under the control of the Empire; the deal was accepted and the population's resentment towards the Empire grew in the decades after. The Iewain Nobility saw the bloodshed in Aesaal as an opportunity to free themselves from the Empire's control and even further damage the Empire through its finances. A hand was reached out by Iewainian Lord Prokol Ver to Aelsaal and help repair their city as well as offer up finances for new weapons and soldiers.

    On 27th of Sun's Rest, nearly 5 weeks after the riots in Aelsaal, five ships docked in the Iewainian port city of Niseh. As they marched through the streets many of the Legionaries took notice of the lack of crowds in the streets. Upon reaching the first plaza, Iewainian fire mages lit explosives beneath the street causing a cave-in directly into the sewer below. In the midst of the panic, archers from the rooftops began firing down into the masses of soldiers. Those that managed to claw their way out of the rubble dropped their weapons and ran towards the harbor where they were met with a horrifying sight -- all their ships had been sunk. Iewainese soldiers would arrest those who surrendered and killed those who did not.

    Iewain would aid in sparking several other attacks on Al'Modian ships throughout the Southern Sun Sea, the Empire would begin attacking merchant ships within the region which only added fuel to the growing issues. As tensions in the region increased, Al'Mod soldiers were stationed in the region of Tufaro to act as a barrier between Iewain and Aelsaal with ships. Portions of the cities of Al'Aenalieh and Shoka'm would force out citizens from their homes to house the soldiers, all the meanwhile still carrying out the Inquisition Orders. In what would become the bloodiest day so far of the Infernal Transgressions, on the 58th of Moon's Light, 766 P.E, Inquisitors and Legionaries would kill 253 people including children in Al'Aenalieh. One of the people unknowingly killed that day was the son of Sorya Abal, a high ranking Al'Modian noblewoman. When word reached Sorya in Ai-Sri, she gathered her army of 3000 and marched on the city wherein she ordered the bloodshed of all the Inquisitors and Legionaries. The fighting would drive-out the Empire's presence from Tufaro and Sorya would be declared a traitor to the Empire.

    The Battle of the Three Crowns

    The largest battle of the Transgressions would take place in the late-winter of 787 P.E with The Battle of the Three Crowns. An Empire patrol ship would be spotted off the coast from Tewei and the Iewainese navy would make chase after it. The small ship would duck between the Three Crowns islands where the Iewainese would come into direct conflict with a formation of Al'Modian Ships. Fighting would commence just shy of noon with a volley of fire from Al'Modian fire mages. Raids on ships was the most common way of fighting due to the lack of room to maneuver ships. By the mid-afternoon another dozen Iewainese ships would come in from Niseh and Tewei, with half-a-dozen Al'Modian Ships from Nariin. The fighting would last until nightfall where locals on the Three Crowns described the battle as 'the ocean itself set ablaze', but would finalize in a Iewainese victory as the last ship of the Al'Modian formation went down in flames.

    The battle would signal that the Infernal Transgressions were a much larger situation in the south-western reaches of the Empire. The victory would also flip the opinions of several Al'Modian Nobles in the city of Al'Midden who believed that the Empire was starting to lose its strength. They would instigate an insurrection with the help of Iewainese soldiers and by the end of 787 P.E The Horn was united with the other southern trade cities in their fight against the Empire and would officiate themselves as 'The Republic of Merchants'.

    2
  • The full map of my fantasy world, Arius. A world where science fiction and fantasy come together across the ages. Ask Me Anything from the usual to the absurd.

    Arius

    Arius, where legends are born, heroes never die, and hope remains immortal. From the time of the Exile Event when humans crossed the multiverse from their dying world through a magic portal, into the centuries of theological warfare in the name of false-gods, to a time period when humanity was the only line of defense against an enemy that lurked in darkness; Arius is a world forged by a history of the many peoples, their cultures, and their stories that have been written through the ages.

    Even before humans arrived from their journey across the multiverse to the world of what would become Arius, the history ran deep and would set the stage for the course of human involvement for the centuries to come. The typical historical timeline of events that many follow when dating times exclusively from Arius are broken apart by B.A (Before Arrival) and P.E (Post Exile), with the latter being marked by the 0-year. Where as B.E (Before Exile) only refers to human history.

    Before (Human) Arrival

    Before humanity's arrival in the new world, the Emari people had been active globally for millions of years. Their culture and society were proficient in Magi-Technology and excelled in the usage Magical Theory. With it, they cultivated the planet as they saw fit, changing entire regions to fit their needs and creating a suitable environment for them to live in. Vast cities were built up using synthetic materials that allowed them to create displays of abstract beauty within population centers. Animals were genetically reshaped to fulfill more niche needs that their society sought after. However, the greatest achievement was arguably the usage of their magi-technology to prolong their lifespans by hundreds of thousands of years. They would transmogrify their bodies, altering them as they saw fit, constantly seeking to expel death from their society at all costs to hopefully one day solve the Immortal Code. This however reached a ceiling and despite everything they attempted death was still something they could not rid themselves of entirely.

    That was until a group from what is currently the central Aquarius continent looked beyond the physical world and into the meta-physical. Realizing that reality was nothing but layers upon layers seeping further and further downwards forever, they discovered that time eventually became irrelevant at a certain point yet maintaining the stability of physicality. The only issue to this was the amount of magic required to physically descend deeper into reality was nearly unachievable. But it wouldn't take long to figure out that the amount of magic required was currently present in nearly 90% of the world's population. Plans were drawn up of a massive machine that would span outwards in hundreds of directions to intake as much mana as possible. Not long after the Emari civilization entered its last chapter that human historians would call The Extinction War.

    It's unknown exactly in what order the events that transpired during the Extinction War. But what is known is that high-yield magical weapons were utilized in the far south of the modern day Southern Aquarius Continent and more traditional combat took place in the Northern regions of the world to varying degrees. In time however, the mana required would be gathered and the Deep Root was awakened. A majority of the Emari race would vanish almost entirely from Arius. Those that managed to survive the onslaught and harvesting of their mana were left with an empty world and too few to repopulate. Many would die from the hazards that now plagued the world, some would wander pointlessly for decades until their magitech ran dry before dropping dead, while some others just chose the easy way out.

    For the first time in a long time, the primeval world of Arius fell silent.

    Post-Exile

    The 1st of Sun's Light, Year 0.

    After 3000 years, Arius was awoken from its deep slumber as a fleet of large wooden ships slipped through a portal. Aboard these ships was a total of 853,102 people from the Blackreaver Kingdom. Another roughly 50,000 came from surrounding countries that bordered Blackreaver. These voyages carried the first intelligent life that the world had not seen in nearly 3,000 years and they had just survived the end of their world.

    Conditions aboard these ships were heavily cramped and unsanitary. As much room as possible was spared for children and elderly, yet this was hardly easy to do. Poor, Rich, Working Class, Noble, Farmer or Scholar; everyone suffered the same conditions even King Natten Blackreaver who was cramped in with the government officials. Food was rationed heavily, only allowing a single meal a day. By the time of the 4th day, many were starving. Parents regularly denied themselves food to feed their children and pregnant women.

    After 6 days of time at sea, land was finally spotted and roars of cheers were heard throughout as a notice flag was flown from the lead ship. Due to the currents, many of the ships were displaced in their landing areas but the first to make landing was at what is known today as Sdarder Point. From the ship emerged the King and his Court, at the very front was a man dawning a red and black cape. He stepped upon the grassy fields of the new world and sobbed as he collapsed to his knees. The man, Abidius Stylether Valtor was the one who had orchestrated the entire Exile over 3 decades prior was finally seeing the seeds he had sown so long ago begin to bare fruit. Humanity had survived. And in their new world they would thrive. History would once again be carved out piece by piece through new discoveries, new conflicts, and the stories that would carry on through the ages.

    The year is 1308 Post-Exile. The world, while imperfect, has experienced an age of prosperity for the last several centuries due to changes brought on by those that have greatly altered history's path. But on this very year that course would greatly change once again. For out in the Salted Wastes near the Blackreaver border, a prince would collapse from exhaustion and rescued by a young boy. A meeting that would change their lives forever.

    Etymology

    The name deriving from the ancient Talgian word Ariatē meaning 'immortal' which was then translated to the modern Rievish word of Arius.

    6
  • The Politics of Fantasy Maps: Are nation-states an accidental assumption you made with your map?

    After watching this video, I realized how little I'd considered the hidden assumption of nation states in worldbuilding. I am pleased to have avoided some of the issue by actually writing about some of the people who live outside of established kingdoms, but I do think I need to consider the subject more deeply with regard to nature vs civilization. What are your impressions and thoughts?

    2
  • Today, the joke names won. We'll try again tomorrow.

    kanka.io doge - Tags - Kanka

    An elected lord and head of state in the Regency of Canidium. Barons, themselves appointed by the queen, elect a small number of dogeships to conduct matters of state at

    Because if you've got elected lords who happen to be dog chimerae, how do you not refer to them as doges?

    0
  • What are your Creation Myths/Stories?

    I was curious what other people have made as far as creation myths and stories.

    Here is one of mine:

    The Void awoke and thought. From its thought came Chaos. Chaos was and is and is all there will be. Void saw this and heard this and hated it, so the Void created Imortos, a being of perfect order. Imortos also hated Chaos, but did not understand how to stop Chaos. So Void thought one more time and created a being that understood both chaos and order, Kelaster. Kelaster looked at Chaos and Imortos and came up with an idea. He began whispering things to Imortos and dropping hints here and there, sowing the seeds of what was to come.

    It was then that Imortos came to Kelaster with an idea. He would build a great machine that would finally transform Chaos into order. He poured over the details, explaining it to Kelaster. Kelaster would interject only to offer suggestions and make minor corrections. When Imortos finished, Kelaster asked Imortos what he would build this great machine out of. "You," replied Imortos.

    "Now brother, do you really think that I would make good materials for this machine? I would muck it up, ruining the perfect order of things," replied Kelaster. His words resonated with Imortos, and Imortos asked Kelaster to aid him in becoming the machine. Imortos wrote out all the instructions for the machine and then instructed Kelaster to cut him up and reassemble him as Mechanus, the Cosmic Clock. Kelaster killed Imortos and did as instructed, but tweaked the design somewhat as he did so. When Mechanus began, time did as well, killing Chaos and splitting it into the past, the present, and the future. Because Kelaster tweaked Imortos' design, chance now exists and the future is not fully realized.

    Whew, that was longer than I thought it would be. Thanks for staying and reading. Can't wait to read some of yours.

    12
  • Does it make sense for a world of animals trying to live in harmony to outlaw predation but still use the death penalty as punishment?

    Basically, I have a sci-fi world with intelligent animals. The story is that long after humans disappeared from the Earth, animals eventually become intelligent and made their own society to replace them. One major development in their history is that predators and prey agreed to live in harmony, signing treaties, making laws, and generally working very hard to ensure lasting peace between natural enemies.

    One aspect of this is of course prosecuting animals that engage in predation. The way criminal trials work in this world is that every animal has the right to be tried by members of their own species or taxonomic group, who are also responsible for carrying out sentencing. Each animal has a taxonomic government to answer to, so if you're a cat you are under the jurisdiction of the Feline government, mouse, Rodent government, bird, Avian government, etc. Each animal follows the same basic laws and regulations that all taxonomic governments agree on, things like prohibiting predation is one of these, but each government can also pass taxon-specific legislation, and are also able to determine criminal penalties independently.

    The Felines only had their revolution a few years ago, when they overthrew their old kingdom which was very pro-predation, and made a republic that has signed the Interspecies Peace Agreement and is therefore very anti-predation. Because it's so recent, the Felines also have the harshest punishments for a predation conviction made after the revolution. One count of first degree predation (when you personally kill then eat an animal) is an automatic life in prison without parole, the same penalty as "regular" murder without eating the victim, two or more counts is life in prison unless the prosecution requests for the death penalty at the start of trial and this is authorized by both the judge and the Feline Ministry of Security. Generally, courts stop at two predation convictions even if it's obvious that the defendant committed more, since that's enough to either put them away forever with no chance of parole, or kill them. Second degree predation, AKA simple predation, where you eat already dead animals that someone else killed, is treated much less harshly and sentencing options only has fixed term imprisonment possibly with parole, though with restrictions afterward like you can't work in the government or security-critical industries unless the court lifts those restrictions on a case by case basis. The ISPA lists execution after being convicted beyond a reasonable doubt of a crime that causes the death of two or more other animals as the only exception to the no killing rule, and it can only be done by members of the same species or taxonomic entity, and is also subject to oversight and can even be blocked outright by other ISPA members through the ISPA Inter-Taxon Court, so they also do not have full autonomy on who they can execute, and taxa that have the death penalty much also must make their execution methods (which are mandated to always prioritize minimizing suffering), judicial procedures, and statistics public.

    They do also use the threat of execution as a way of getting information about a predation case though. If they catch a Feline who is apart of a predation ring, it's better than nothing but they'd obviously much rather take down the leader and the entire organization. The Feline Ministry of Security can basically tell the accused "Look, your trial date has been set, the prosecution has requested authorization to use the death penalty from us, and you know what evidence they have on you. We're still trying to decide if we want to grant that request. It's up to you and we can't force you to give us any information, but is there anything you want to tell us about your organization or do you want to gamble with whether you'll be found guilty or not?" Funnily enough most of these cats don't care that they're killing sapient prey animals that have lives and families and stories, but break real fast when it's their own life on the line.

    The Felines (and any ISPA member for that matter) can also arrest other species if they commit a crime on their territory or against a their own animals, but within the Interspecies Peace Agreement member species, animals have the right to stand trial and receive sentencing by their own species or taxon, so most they can do is investigate the crime, form a case with evidence, and then extradite the defendant back and forward their findings to the government that actually has jurisdiction. Most they can do to a non-Feline is detain them, extradite, and then ban them from Feline territory. However, any ISPA non-signatories, AKA predators that are actually predators and eat prey, who engage in predation, either against any ISPA member species anywhere in the world, or on ISPA territory against any animal; are not granted this right (obviously, since if you extradited them back to their own territory they'd be home free). So if you eat a cat or eat a mouse or bird or any other animal on Feline territory, you are dealt with just like any predatory cat by the Feline government regardless of what the laws by your own taxonomic government is.

    I should also add that every animal is intelligent/sapient in this world. So predation really would be like murder. No copouts like eating fish or whatever.

    Even in universe this is quite controversial even among prey species so I'm not trying to claim that this is the ideal state of the law, but I'm more trying to make sure if this makes sense or not. I also know that they will almost certainly have very different morals and ethics for humans, but then again I'm writing this story for humans so not sure how relevant that actually is. Is the motivation of having a death penalty despite not even allowing animals to eat meat a realistic one?

    12
  • Fantasy Foods - Literal Flavor Text

    Share your gnarliest, most interesting, or most mouth-watering fantasy food descriptions. Let's eat!

    7
  • The major political views/philosophies/ideologies about predator-prey relationships that I have come up with so far in my world inhabited by intelligent animals. Can you come up with any others?

    So basically, this is a sci-fi fantasy world with intelligent/sapient animals. Not anthros like in Zootopia, just regular animals that can all talk to each other, form societies, and develop science and technology. Obviously, predation is a massive, central issue to this world, being that it was the primary driving force of all animals for most of their history. However, they have now progressed enough technologically where even obligate carnivores like cats can get all their required nutrients without needing to eat other animals, with sufficient help from their biochemistry and chemical manufacturing prowess. Obviously, this does not mean every single species who historically did eat meat stop overnight. Actually, some would argue that the journey toward abolishing predation, a journey marked by revolution, war, and death for both sides, is almost as bloody and violent as predation itself (this is a massive logical fallacy yes, but it is an opinion held by many in-universe and I explore that in my plot).

    First, some context: I will be using the terms Carnivore and Herbivore, to refer to the biochemical characteristics of animals. In their universe, those designations, when capitalized as proper nouns, have fairly straight forward definitions: A carnivore is any animal that, without access to science or technology, is incapable of deriving their complete nutritional requirements without eating meat, they cannot subsist on raw plants alone without processing and/or taking synthetic supplements. A cat is a carnivore, so is a dog, so is a ferret, so is a fox, so are humans technically but they disappeared from the planet millions of years ago. By contrast, a herbivore is any animal that can subsist on raw plants alone, like mice, rabbits, horses, and deer. This definition is purely biochemical, as in do you have the enzymes and gut structure to do it, and by design does not take into account things like preference, behaviour, culture/religion, or how practical it would be (if there was only plant that can sustain you and literally nothing else other than meat, it still counts), because, again, they have the technology to allow basically every animal to subsist on plants, comfortably at that, minus it not tasting the same. You're either one or the other, if you're not sure, then Carnivore is the catch-all term unless your ability to subsist on raw plants is verifiable. Omnivore isn't really as a term in this world since pretty much every animal is technically an omnivore, as in they can eat and digest both meat and plants, including nearly every "Herbivore." Likewise, terms like predator and prey imply behaviour and ecology, not biochemistry, and most animals fell into both categories historically, but with their technology those terms have become so fluid as to be essentially meaningless.

    Which brings me to the in-universe opinions that I have come up with, they relate to both predation and interspecies coexistence in general, since those kind of go paw to paw. Note that these are super generalized and are in no particular order.

    Carnivores:

    • "It's my right to eat my prey, no matter how much suffering it causes! I don't care what technologies are available, predation is the natural order of things and should never be challenged! The role of a predator is to dominate and rule their prey. Maybe the prey would suffer less if they just accepted and made peace with their place on the food chain!" (This is called Trophism.)

    • "Predation is both barbaric and totally obsolete in our current technological landscape. It is unbecoming of an intelligent, sapient species with complete control over our primitive instincts. Every species is equal, we should all live in peace as comrades and work together to take care of and benefit everyone!" (This is called Unitism.)

    • "Look, I'll concede that we shouldn't be eating other animals and actively making them suffer. But I just can't agree to this interspecies cooperation nonsense. My only responsibility to my own species (or taxon, which is a group of related species), no one else. I won't hunt my prey but I won't be helping them without benefit to myself either."

    Herbivores

    • "Even though I'm low on the food chain, it is still my place. I don't want to be eaten and will try to avoid it to the best of my ability, but if that's what it comes to, then so be it." (Trophism)

    • "I don't want you to eat me, in fact I want to be your friend and ally! I think every species is equal and that your evolutionary history does not define an intelligent animal, and as long as we all commit to being nice to each other, there is no reason every species can't live in harmony!" (Unitism)

    • "Those savages hunted us for generations! I don't care if they don't do that anymore, I don't care how long not a single member of their species has even so much as mildly hurt another animal! Not only do I not want to ally with them, I think it's the duty of my species or taxon, as the prey, to rise up and destroy my predators! No amount of peacemaking now can undo nature and I'd turn the tables and kill every single one of them if I could!"

    • "Hey, it's nice that you're not eating prey anymore and all, and though I don't harbour any active ill will toward you, I still don't trust you and just want to be left alone with my own species or taxon. You don't interact with me if you don't need to and I don't interact with you if I don't need to, cool?"

    What are your thoughts? Are there any more sides to this issue that you can come up with? And personally, which one would you most agree with if you were in this world?

    14
  • "My world is complete without elaborate lore about dance fights" - statements made by the utterly deranged

    kanka.io Kingdom of Orisaar - Organisations - Kanka

    A Firm LineageSaint Drang was the first Voice of the Cult of Aygir, and the first king of

    Kingdom of Orisaar - Organisations - Kanka

    My setting is all about conflict, and the ruleset for the companion game is quite lethal; you can easily lose an arm in one turn. So I try to create alternatives to bloodletting. Some engage in flyting (medieval rap battles), some have magical paper pokemon battles.

    The Orit, a seafaring race of titan worshippers, like to do interpretive dance battles with beatbox accompaniment. They call it the Walking Way, or rassláttur.

    0
  • Another boulder to push up the hill: attitudes between nations

    kanka.io The Land Six Kingdoms - Maps - Kanka

    Karnum is the "Land of the Six Kingdoms". Each has its own rivalries, prejudices, and political stances toward one another, briefly touched on below. 

    Now that I know generally how every single nation feels about every single other after five weeks of working as often as I can on this page, it's time for me to find out there was an easier way to do it!

    When you want to sort out how a series of kingdoms and countries feel toward each other, how do you tackle this prism of falsehoods, grievances, and wounded pride? I am almost certain I did it the hard way. You?

    0
  • Yet another collaborative worldbuilding project. Mistakes to avoid?

    cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/3035737

    > I'm making a github organization that uses GitConsensus to manage a collaborative markdown worldbuilding wiki. Basically, you'd vote on pull requests using thumbs up and down emojis. > > I don't want this to be a thing where I point at an empty text document and say "worldbuild." What's some work I could do beforehand that could get people interested in contributing?

    8
  • [Lore] Nikita Almondtail: The abused princess that joined the revolution against her kingdom

    I'm trying to write a dark twist on a classic princess story for this world. Their monarchy is modeled after my best interpretation of and assumptions about royalty in Medieval/Renaissance Western Europe (it doesn't actually take place there, but I wanted that general aesthetic), but that's not something I've done a lot of research on and would like people more knowledgeable to weigh in. Is there anything in the character profile I have for her that would absolutely not happen in a Western European style monarchy?

    Context for this world is that it is inhabited by intelligent animals, think Zootopia but more sci-fi, and with quite a bit more political and societal turmoil during the time period this post focuses on. Also, these are normal, animal shaped animals, not anthros. They do have human scale lifespans though, if only because a 15-20 year lifespan for a cat is not conducive to detailed character development.

    Princess Iliana the Second (her mom is the first), later known as Nikita Almondtail, was the crown princess and heir to the throne of the former Feline Empire. She is a domestic cat with a coat of brown and cream patches. One might even go as far to say that the brown tones on her fur, which extends to her tail, resembles the colour of an almond.

    Predictably, she was born to a life of the highest luxury, at least materially. As a kitten, her father, the king, would beat her mercilessly for any perceived transgression, while her mother mostly ignored her. She was born into a time of great unrest in the empire. The Unitist movement was picking up speed, which is an ideology that involves making peace and cooperation between predator and prey animals, collective ownership of property and resources, basically vegan socialism. The king was trying to quell the dissident voices in his typical brutal way, but was failing slowly but surely. This was endlessly enraging and terrifying for the king, and he took it out on his helpless daughter. This caused her to both fear and resent her father from a young age. Even at this early age she could recognize the irony in being taught that royalty must be graceful and elegant in everything they do, that they cannot so much as slam a door or make a thud when setting something down on a table or the floor, yet the king beats her whenever he sees fit.

    At some point in her childhood, she asked her mother for a mouse toy, as in, a plushie that she can cuddle when alone in her chambers. Her mother, not really paying attention to what she was actually asking for, went and got a live mouse from the kitchen and gave it to her to basically be her personal slave. However, she quickly grew attached to the mouse, which she considered her only friend. The mouse would often be the one tending to her bruises and scratches after her father beats her senseless.

    At the same time, she was being taught how to hunt. But, due to her emotional attachment to her own mouse, she couldn't reconcile whether mice were friends or food. What made that one so special? And what makes these mice so worthless that they are fit to be eaten alive? Combined with the fact that her father, whom she already hated, was pushing her to learn to hunt, she despised every moment of it. Some cats greatly enjoy the screams and pleas of their prey, her father sure did, but she was not one of those cats.

    In her teenage years, as she secretly worked to gain precious few morsels of knowledge of the outside world that her parents had tried to keep from her, about the nature of being a cat, and hints of the disparity and oppression that the working class beyond her castle wall faced. She became obsessed with the idea of being an obligate carnivore and the idea of biological dependence on prey. Specifically, why? Why couldn't she eat plants like her prey did? What about her body was preventing her from not having to kill to live?

    When she became an adult, her parents wanted her to begin her training as the successor to the throne immediately, all in the palace of course, she can count on her paws the number of times she was allowed off its grounds. But, she somehow managed to convince them to let her go to university first, arguing that an educated ruler would be taken more seriously by the other powers in diplomacy. She was enrolled in the Royal Feline Science Institute's Moonpeak campus (Moonpeak is their capital city so it was literally within walking distance) and began studying biochemistry, following what she had been curious about for a big part of her life. This is when she also adopted the name Nikita Almondtail to hide her real identity. As a side note, the last name scheme of something in nature plus a cat body part is squarely a working class name. Her calling herself Almondtail would have been extremely scandalous should the aristocracy or god forbid her dad finds out.

    She learned about the biochemical mechanisms of her own nutritional requirements, and also learned about the work that other predator animals have done toward making peace with their prey, the cutting edge of which was the dietary enzyme supplement, a pill that is swallowed to give predator animals the ability to subsist on plant-based food. This greatly intrigued her, but unfortunately, the only products available are for omnivores, not carnivores, so she could not take advantage of it.

    It's also during this time that she met Yvonne Dandelionpaw (Old Reddit link, actually it's a little out of date with my developments for Yvonne, but she's my main character so I'm spending more time editing and adding to her profile before I post a proper updated version on Lemmy) who was studying quantum chemistry, but who was also a vocal Unitist. They formed a connection and became friends, with Yvonne even taking Nikita to general meetings of the underground Unitist cell that Yvonne was apart of. They even worked on a joint thesis project for their degrees, developing an enzyme supplement for obligate carnivores, which they would later perfect and turn into the product now known as ATDP, which is the first and still only dietary enzyme supplement capable of providing complete nutrition to felines from plant-based sources.

    It is unclear exactly when Nikita revealed her real identity, but we do know that she revealed it in her final year of university, first to Yvonne, then to the rest of the Unitist group, denouncing her father and his empire and vowing to join them in their revolution. First there was a great amount of friction and distrust toward the princess, but it was quite quickly worked out, many members saying afterward that they could somehow just tell that she was sincere. After some brainstorming, it was decided that she would go back to the royal palace, while keeping in secret communications with the Unitists and acting as a double agent. The aristocracy was beginning to take her more seriously now that she was an adult, and because the king was aging fast and rumored to already be in poor health. She misdirected and deceived them prior to and during the outbreak of the revolution. As her involvement was becoming more clear, she officially defected to the side of the revolution, re-joining Yvonne as they once again worked together, this time to develop a covert, nearly untraceable neurotoxin that was used to carry out highly targeted assassinations on key members of the aristocracy and military. At this point she had fully changed her name to Nikita Almondtail, casting away her royal past and resolving to make a new life for herself as a unitist worker.

    As the revolution drew to a close and the trials against the monarchy began, Nikita was the only member of the royal family who did not so much as see the inside of a courtroom, she was seen as a comrade at that point. The rest of her family was sentenced to death. Nikita attended the execution of her father. Standing in the first row, making sure his father could see her in the crowd. As the firing squad took aim, it's said that Nikita's eyes burned with satisfaction and triumph.

    Does this progression make sense? What are your thoughts on her backstory?

    4
  • What are some ways aircraft corridors could be denoted to flying animals like birds? Also looking for infrastructure ideas for preventing bird-aircraft conflicts in general.

    So the aviation industry in my science-fantasy world with intelligent animals is dominated by hovercrafts. They levitate and move by manipulating gravitational fields, and can move freely in any direction, are very quick to respond to control inputs, can hover in place or go as slow as they want since they don't have a stall speed. Basically, if regular planes are like an eagle soaring in the clouds, a hovercraft is like a hummingbird darting around with absolute precision. However, hovercrafts can also be very fast, with the ones used in commercial aviation having a similar top speed as today's airliners, with the benefit of course that they can slow way down on takeoff and landing (both of which are done vertically onto a landing pad) and only hit their top speed in cruise.

    But, they also have birds and other flying animals in this world, and obviously safety is extremely important. The gravitational slipstream engines of hovercraft are considered safe for flying animals to approach at low speeds, as they do not have spinning blades or create strong air currents, that's why they are the norm for aircraft and the only type allowed in populated areas. So really the only real thing to worry about is a collision.

    For the brunt of collision avoidance, my solution is to have to stratified airspaces: Animal-prioritized airspace starts from the ground and extends to some predetermined level above either the average tree line in a forest, or above an absolute altitude value, depending on jurisdiction, it would be set based on how high birds and other animals can actually fly on their wings (which according to this is apparently about 5500 m being the highest typical altitude, but some of the highest recorded being over 7000 m. For reference a 737 has a max altitude of 41000 ft, or about 12500 m), above which the airspace is designated for aircraft. Basically, in airspace where you'd expect to run into flying animals, they get absolute priority because they are extremely vulnerable in a collision. Their cruising altitudes are similar to our planes, because they absolutely need to be well above any animal when traveling at high speeds. To quote one of my avian characters: "Back when cats still ate prey, if you got caught your death rate was, what? 50 percent? 60? And that's pretty bad. An animal on aircraft collision is more like a 99.9% death rate."

    However, hovercrafts still need to descend into the forest canopy to land and drop off/pick up passengers. I envision landing pads both on the ground, inside tree cover, and on the roofs of buildings providing last-mile transportation in a city. They don't have to deal with bumper to bumper traffic like we do with private cars because they only have essentially aerial busses and public transit, but that only means a hovercraft would only come every few minutes, and the rest of the time its path would be invisible. We have a static safety measure in road vehicles or trains because the infrastructure is clearly visible and you know if you see a part of the ground that looks like that, there will be cars or trains coming. But in the sky, the aircraft corridors and approach areas for landing pads are on maps only. The hovercrafts will have navigation and automatic flight path following capabilities, but if you're a bird flying through the forest, there is nothing to hint that you're in the path of a busy flight corridor unless you actually see a hovercraft, and even then it could turn and change directions, you'd have no way of knowing what their path will be unless you've memorized the charts and have really good spatial awareness and ability to translate a set of coordinates denoting waypoints into where around you that actually would be. If they were unfamiliar with the part of the city they're in, they would disrupt hovercraft traffic by blocking their path at best, or end up in an instantly fatal collision at worst.

    Birds in this world would definitely be smart enough to actively avoid hovercrafts and wouldn't place themselves in the path of one if they can help it, but the issue is having the information to do that in advance, and I really don't want to make this world cyberpunk and have glowing holographic tubes denoting every flight corridor and animal-restricted airspace. Actually, in-universe they really prefer to have cities, which are mostly inside forests, look as natural as possible even with their very advanced technology.

    Does anyone have any ideas how I might be able to rectify this? Anyone else have naturally flying members of their society flying next to powered aircraft? How do you deal with it? Have you come up with any other aviation safety mechanisms that I might not have thought of? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

    5
  • to stoneage or not

    This might be an interesting read for those considering an apocalyptic world and is a revised memory log of a discussion on an discord channel, content is 60% by me, 30% by Chili the Sheep and 10% other people.

    ---

    What is the minimum requirement to put a civilization like ours back into stone age?

    To fully analyze the minimum requirements to push a civilization like our current one back into the stone age, it is helpful to first consider what scenarios would likely not achieve that outcome. Scientific analysis indicates that the following events, though catastrophic, would likely still leave remnants of our modern knowledge and technologies intact.

    A limited nuclear war, even with 1000 to 2000 nuclear bombs detonating and killing approximately 10% of the human population while destroying major cities, would probably not be sufficient. Isolated small towns with populations of around 10,000 people would likely still retain early 20th century technology. They possess libraries, manufacturing tools, metalworkers, mechanics and teachers.

    Asteroids impacting the Earth below the level needed to devastate the entire planet, the Yellowstone supervolcano erupting, and other potential natural catastrophes would also fail to reduce human civilization to stone age levels. While the local effects would be disastrous, an estimated 90% of the world's population and infrastructure would likely remain mostly untouched.

    Region-wide famines, though kill many people until food supplies become less scarce, generally do not cause the loss of an entire civilization. With appropriate measures, modern civilization could likely recover within one to five years. Even if famines killed 90% of the population, there would still exist millions of educated people such as mechanics, teachers, etc who could help rebuild.

    My personal estimate indicates that to completely reset human civilization to stone age conditions would require the death of at least 99.9% of the human population, the total elimination of all evidence of our past knowledge, and ensuring that nobody reinvents basic technologies for at least 4 generations. Such an extremely brutal break in civilization approaching 100% mortality would be a miracle if any humans survived at all. I call this the "99.9% dilemma": if an event can kill 99.9% of humans, it could feasibly kill 100%. In that case, we would all be dead and no stone age would exist.

    So there isn’t a way to reset our civilization back to stone age?

    Yes, there are combinations of events which could theoretically remove knowledge from past ages and push human civilization back into the stone or early bronze age.

    A catastrophic event followed by a primitivistic-luddite religion could achieve this. For example, if a global nuclear war occurred where only 20% of humanity survived, and afterward a primitivistic-luddite religion spread around the world eliminating traces of past knowledge. If integrated deeply into society, that luddite religion could simply suppress the delivery of past achievements.

    However, even then it would be extremely implausible. If even a single small nation or mediocre-sized city somewhere survived with knowledge of the old civilization, they would quickly surpass the luddite nations. Remnants of modern technology would dominate a world of "cavemen" with ease, likely without needing nuclear weapons. A few assault rifles and aerial reconnaissance would be enough. The European conquest of the Americas would pale in comparison

    In conclusion, the requirements for a "decline to stone age" are very stringent. You would need an extreme event leaving no town of 10,000 people alive. But it cannot be so extreme that it kills 100% of humans instead of 99.9%. This scenario walks a razor's edge.

    A decline to more modern civilizations though is easier, but still difficult. Even if only a small African village survived, they likely possess the knowledge to restart an early industrial civilization with farming, mining, and manufacturing on medieval levels if they utilize their entire labor force. A larger community, for example New Zealand or Island, could theoretically even sustain an mid-to-late 20th century civilization without help.

    Given division of labor and education, humans are remarkably adaptable.

    The most common counter-argument is that humans are "too stupid" to survive without modern civilization. However, most humans are not stupid. We are remarkably adaptable. If after an apocalypse power is down and farming machines do not work, most people are not "too stupid" to plant or pick potatoes under supervision of an experienced farmer. After harvest, engineers among them could build a wood-fueled generator and fix farming engines so next year labor is not by hand. Humans would improve rapidly where it matters and progress faster than before.

    The only thing which could slow rebuilding civilization is not utilizing every able worker. For example, what still holds back Arab civilization? Not fully using females in the workforce. Maximum resource utilization, though sounding cold, provides huge gains. In a typical civilization without females working, income per worker may equalize a fully integrated workforce. However, only half of possible workers labor. And expenses depend on total citizens, not workforce.

    A nation of 1 million people not utilizing women (or men) might produce 33 million wealth units per year, while a nation utilizing all workers might produce 65 million. Sounds twice as rich? No, it is much worse. Expenses remain around 25 million wealth units. The patriarchal nation retains 8 million wealth units, while the equal nation retains 57 million. The equal nation is seven times more productive. Oh, I just solved the third world problem.

    10
  • I'm not quite happy with this fantasy race

    kanka.io Púkafólk - Races - Kanka

    In appearance, the Púkafólk are small human-like creatures, pallid, no more than a meter in height, and very slight of build. They have larger heads and slightly bulging dark eyes. They decorate their bodies with white, blue, and green bioluminescent pigments in intricate patterns, for they hav...

    Púkafólk - Races - Kanka

    I feel like maybe these people are lacking in cultural and interpersonal depth. I set out to play with certain tropes in ways that amuse me (and I know I got that right), but as a culture they seem rather plain.

    8
  • [Lore] The Feline Revolution

    Finally putting this part of my world to text after holding off for so long trying to think it through. I'm very much looking for feedback on this whole idea and progression in my world. Please let me know what you think!

    I should also mention that this is in no way in reference to or inspired by any human events or atrocities. That was not my intention, I did not go out and try to find for human tragedies that I could use for my own writing, and this is entirely a figment of my imagination, inspired mostly by other fiction and not real events.

    Context for this world is that it is inhabited by intelligent animals, think Zootopia but more sci-fi, and with quite a bit more political and societal turmoil during the time period this post focuses on. Also, these are normal, animal shaped animals, not anthros. They do have human scale lifespans though, if only because a 15-20 year lifespan for a cat is not conducive to detailed character development.

    I really need to start with some background information beforehand, otherwise the story feels incomplete.

    A pervasive and central part of this world is the problem of predator and prey. But being intelligent animals with their own hopes and stories, it becomes very morally problematic very quickly to hunt and eat your prey, at least for some predators. This brings us to the Feline empire. Some cats came to really enjoy the screams and pleads of their prey and really put effort into making them suffer while eating them, in that way your cat at home plays with its prey and bats it around, letting it go and catching it again till it gives out. Other cats, the vast majority in fact, did not like hunting and eating other animals, but either had no accessible alternatives or the alternatives were prohibitively expensive, it's extremely hard to convert an obligate carnivore to eating plants, at least physiologically. Still others were completely opposed to eating prey and saw eating prey as eating their comrades and made every possible effort to avoid it.

    But as you may imagine, the meat-free alternatives for obligate carnivores were quite limited. Omnivores like most canids had enjoyed something called a Dietary Enzyme Supplement for quite a while now, which is a pill that is taken either with every meal or at regular intervals, that arms the digestive system with artificial digestive enzymes, that can more efficiently break down plant matter, including cellulose, and use those breakdown products to synthesize nutrients in vivo. Nutritional supplements and synthetic meat substitutes had existed for even longer, but they were mainly compatible with omnivores, not carnivores. So Felines that wanted to stop eating prey and stay healthy were forced to mix and match various expensive enzyme supplements for omnivores (they were hard to get in Feline territory) with expensive "special" nutritional supplements, pay close attention to what plant based foods they're eating to get enough base nutrients like protein, and monitor very closely for the earliest symptoms of malnutrition. And if they were nursing kittens, they would be producing much less milk and less concentrated milk, leading to malnutrition in their kittens. Not to mention even weaned kittens are voracious little things and would be very expensive to feed without prey.

    Collectively among the general public, issues with eating prey were weighing on their conscience, and there was a dream of a dietary enzyme supplement for obligate carnivores. A cheap and convenient thing for Felines to essentially go vegan. But their government was Trophist (pro-predation) and gave no funding to these silly ideas of cats not eating meat, and other carnivore groups didn't seem to care.

    That was, until there was. Biochemist Nikita Almondtail and quantum chemist Yvonne Dandelionpaw (note that these are Reddit links while I'm editing those character profiles for posting on Lemmy) had developed ATDP, the first ever nutritionally complete dietary enzyme supplement for obligate carnivores. A pill that only had to be taken once a week, and which will not only allow Felines to digest and more importantly derive all their nutrients from plant based food, but to digest cellulose, and a range a food wide enough to include the softer raw plants. And critically, initial tests on Felines showed that it was safe for use when pregnant, and when nursing, could satisfy kittens' nutritional demands if done right, and could allow mother cats to produce just as much and just as high quality milk as pure meat eating cats. But, plant based food was more stable and reliable, higher output, and in a time when food insecurity and hunger was rampant among Felines just as it had been the nature of being a hunter, they could have a safe and reliable source of food that they controlled, no cat should go hungry again, all while making peace and even making friends with prey animals! Two cats developed ATDP no less, and it was tailored specifically for Felines! It used brand new technologies that the Felines had recently pioneered, including a newly discovered super-element called Intium. It was a triumph of Feline technology and science, and was poised to rid Felines of the need to kill and eat prey forever. That was, until the king of the Feline empire personally banned its production or further development, first stating that it unpatriotic and "against nature", though changed his narrative to saying that it wasn't safe for Feline to use after strong public pushback.

    This triggered a series of events that would lead to the outbreak of the Feline revolution, quickly escalating into the Feline civil war. Unitist (essentially, vegan socialist) movements among Felines had been growing steadily for a long time, and this is not the first time Unitists engaged in civil disobediece and even attempted insurgency, but the banning of ATDP pushed the Feline population over the edge and support for a Unitist revolution skyrocketed. The public had had it with their Empire and was determined to dismantle it in favour of a Unitist republic, just like the Unified Territories next doors. The empire responded with violence and terror against these Unitist cells, determined to silence them. This was when Yvonne Dandelionpaw and Nikita Amondtail came back together, using the knowledge they learned from developing ATDP, namely protein science and Intium, to develop a weapon to turn the tides in favour of the Unitist revolutionaries.

    They came up with something they called Catsbane, a neurotoxin developed by the Feline Unity Army and was used to assassinate numerous key figures of the Feline Empire they were trying to overthrow. Basically, they would find a way to tamper with the supply chain of mouse and bird meat, lacing the meals of the royal elite with the poison in highly targeted assassinations. There were even cases of captured prey animals slated to be eaten by high profile individuals who willingly took the poison in order to pass it on to the cats, with the long delay to symptom onset allowed them to not experience the effects until, you know. Being a pro-drug, the chemical would be absorbed through the intestines and slowly processed by the liver into its physiologically active, toxic form. It would then travel into the brain where it interferes with the surface proteins of neurons such as ion pumps and neurotransmitter receptors.

    It was engineered to kill as silently and non-dramatically as possible. Victims would not feel symptoms for anywhere between days to over a week, at which point they will experience insomnia, disorientation and disassociation, memory loss, escalating into unresponsiveness and coma, before death comes about two to three weeks later. The "Catsbane stare" was coined to describe the blank expression late stage sufferers would develop as their brain shut down. The chemical is very difficult to detect before symptoms set in, and there is no antidote. Catsbane was also nicknamed "peaceful rabies", due to the fact that it has a period of no symptoms post exposure, is hard to detect until it's too late, and it targets the brain.

    A total of 120 assassinations were carried out with Catsbane, all in the Feline Empire's military or royalty, and it was a major contributor to the success of the revolution, with most agreeing that cats would be still eating prey if it wasn't invented. Obviously, this was extremely controversial. Many supporters of the revolution argued that this poison was much more merciful than the cats who ate prey gave their victims (getting eaten would also be up there in horrible ways to die, but that's not a medical condition), while many others questioned the integrity of a movement by cats who claim to want to live in harmony with their former prey animals engaged in killing other cats.

    After the revolution, the new Feline Democratic Republic, the Unitist republic, banned the poison as a Schedule 1 chemical weapon. The state-run Feline Science Institute is usually very open about providing anyone with their research and papers for free, but the synthesis of Catsbane is a notable exception. Some believe not even they have the synthesis procedure anymore and that all documents related to how to manufacture it was destroyed (they definitely still have it, though, in secret). Interestingly, the general Feline public had nearly complete support of these assassinations, but many prey animals (generally prey animals who lived in the nearby Unified Territories which was already Unitist for a long time) criticized it as even Unitist Felines were still killing animals, and highly polarized opinions among prey animals living within Feline territory (called the prey diaspora, long story). Many ended up trusting the Felines enough to stay and the Feline government post revolution is committed to making sure they are safe and can lead good lives alongside Felines.

    For Felines themselves (all animals in Feline territory actually), the Feline government is constitutionally required to ensure both plant based food and dietary enzyme supplements will always be freely and readily available to all animals in Feline territory, as that was a massive part of the revolution. The signing and near unilateral support of the Interspecies Peace Agreement banned predation, for all Felines anywhere in the world, from the cheetah to the domestic cat, in theory forever.

    There are rumours that the Unified Territories, which included the native territories and governments of their regular prey animals like rodents and birds, as wells as small to medium omnivores like dogs and foxes, aided the Feline Unitist side. But no they definitely did.

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