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Humanity after the Apocalypse

Discussion in 'World Building' started by nwillmott8897, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. nwillmott8897

    nwillmott8897 Scribe

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    Tens of thousands of years before the beginning of my series, my primary antagonist brings about a series of Apocalyptic-sized disasters; Volcanoes and Super-Volcanoes erupt worldwide, earthquakes rock the world, a house-sized asteroid hits Asia (an asteroid this size, travelling at 30,000mph would have the power of 10 million Hiroshima bombs.) (If it hit New York City everything from Washington D.C. to Boston would be completely flattened.)

    The moisture and debris from the impact would block the sunlight and plunge to world back into an Ice Age. In my scenario this Ice Age finally thaws out 11,000 years later. The few remaining pockets of humans found mostly in the UK (Albion) and Eastern Europe (The Wildlands) have evolved to be more lithe, fast and cat-like to escape the predators that also evolved to become more violent, armored and deadly.

    By the time my series is set, it's another 20,000 - 30,000 years into the future and humanity has managed to get back onto their feet in the UK at least (Because the UK does not sit on any plate boundaries, has only 10 volcanoes which are all extinct, and would not have been affected by the asteroid, whereas America has 3 Super-Volcanoes, countless volcanoes, and the whole east coast is on a plate border.) People are living in small villages of around 100 people that will help the other villages in their "kingdom." (some villages farm, some fish, some hunt, etc.) (A kingdom is a group of 5 or 6 villages)

    The villages themselves are very reminiscent of some of the smaller villages in the Elder Scrolls series, such as Riften from Skyrim. (Riften Sunset by ~lupusmagus on deviantART) Clothing is also very simplistic, with a lot of leathers and animal pelt. Almost all of modern civilization is gone and the last few relics are very rare and are used to trade between Kingdoms.

    Do you think that this is plausible? Would you change anything? Any feedback, positive or negative, would be greatly appreciated :D If you have any more questions please feel free to ask as much as you want.

    --Nathan.
     
  2. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Troubadour

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    It sounds like an interesting concept to me. And the west coast is also on a plate border.
     
  3. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    While mankind CAN survive in pretty much any climate the world has to offer, I would personally think that given a choice between a frozen waste like northern europe and a warmer place close to the equator where game is probably more readily available; they'd choose the latter. Perhaps also they'd be like the ancient man, following the herd and taking only what they need from it. The native americans (and other early man) did just that and survived for millenia. Perhaps you could consider a migration from Albion due to the melting ice opening up the English channel again, threatening to cut them off from the mainland again.

    Other than that I think it's a sound idea for a story/ series of stories.
     
  4. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    mmmm.... my only concern is whether or not the time scale you are describing is realistic. I mean, one of humanity's major things is our rate of improvement, furthermore, due to ruins of the past age and knowledge passed down via word of mouth, it's not like they are starting from zero.
     
  5. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    I do agree. 30,000 years after the ice age is over does seem a bit extensive for a stagnation in technological development. I could see the ice age itself stagnating growth (societal, technological etc.) and there isn't really a frame of reference in real world history to draw on for comparison. Sure, mankind survived the last ice age, but were they like before? Most likely primitives with basic civilizations without much technology, so they stagnated because their numbers were small, and those there forced into service positions (hunting, fishing or whatever) instead of becoming "specialists" in a given field; which leads to innovation.

    To comment on your other point, word-of-mouth over that long a period would likely take on an air of "magic" and even IF the story somehow remains unchanged through the centuries (or millenia), those with the ingenuity to make it work again probably wouldn't happen since they'd have to master the technologies that came before to understand the dynamics or philosophies the "story" talks about. It would be like an ancient egyptian hearing about a computer. Could he understand what it is? create one? improve on it? all this without the basic understanding of complex mathematics, fabrication, silicon and the like.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  6. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    I would also suggest you rethink your timeline. 10k years ago we ceased being hunter-gatherers and settled our first small cities and farms. Recorded history extends back 6k years. Look at how far world civilization has come in only the past century and a half. You're talking about 2 - 3 times that. I don't care how nasty the fauna has gotten, homo sapiens sapiens is not still scratching dirt 30k years later, not after going from banging rocks to walking on the moon in only 1/3 that time.

    I would also look a little more in depth into evolutionary time tables. 30k years is really not a very long period of time at all from an evolutionary standpoint, and you are talking about some pretty major physiological changes both to humans and to the general fauna. Remember, we alone have existed in our current forms with our current mental capacities for the last 100k years. Humans and animals may adapt, certainly, and those adaptations may be extreme, but evolution is an other matter entirely.
     
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  7. Julius

    Julius Acolyte

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    I agree with what most of the other people have said, the concept in itself is very interesting, and I think it would make for a good read. However the timeline seems quite unrealistic, for if we make the assumption that after the near wipe-out of human civilization and technology that we as a race would be thrown back to square one, it would take maybe 7 or 8 thousands years to regain our technological footing. However we would have the enormous advantage of history. The humans would know what the world had become, how it had become so, and how it was when the human race had a similar amount of technology at its disposal. This would elevate our advancement significantly.

    But you are however, after everything the writer. And since you are the writer there are a dozen different solutions to any problem of this nature which might present itself to you in your work. The first thing off to solve this certain dilemma off the top of my head is your antagonist. You said that he would be your antagonist in this piece of work, which is set thousands of years in the future, so I am assuming he is immortal and he wields godlike destructive powers to boot. Couldn't he have somehow slowed the advancement of human technology?
     
  8. nwillmott8897

    nwillmott8897 Scribe

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    Perhaps evolution is a bad choice of words, a better word would possibly be adaption as far as humans are concerned. But it is also proven that evolution can move along at a faster pace (but still cripplingly slowly) when the environment and habitat around you takes a sudden change (eg: Wall lizards have developed an entirely new gastrointestinal tract, head, and more powerful bite all during a 40-year period. This is of course, after being isolated on an island by scientists in the 1970s.)

    Also on the technology front... much of modern technology is still used for the first few hundred years of the ice age. But as far as Albion/the UK is concerned, once the technology is broken beyond repair they don't have the means to make more (Raw materials) This is why definitely by the time my story is now set people have had to return to a simpler life of hunter-gathering.

    Another point that this brings up, is why after 30,000 years civilization hasn't been able to grow to a level that is as advanced as we are in 2013? This is simply because of their surroundings. Think of it as chocolate cake... To bake a cake you need Flour, Sugar, Eggs, Milk, butter and Cocoa Powder. If you think of modern day as the completed cake, it would need all of these ingredients to get it to where it is... So if you take away even one of these ingredients it would be impossible to make a chocolate cake, and if you tried all you'd get is a bowl full of mushy goo. So because of the setting that this civilization has to live in, they are advanced as they are going to get given the situation they are placed in.

    Does this help to clear up everything? :D
    Also, Thank you so much for all of your positive comments about how promising my idea seems, thanks!
     
  9. TheokinsJ

    TheokinsJ Troubadour

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    It sounds very, very interesting! I would question one or two things first though, as far as evolution goes, can humans evolve that quickly? I know nothing on the matter, so I pose this question to anyone with knowledge on the subject, but is 30 000 years enough time for humans to evolve? But apart from that, sounds great. I've seen people who've done the whole "apocalypse, end of the world" thing, but the way you have described it, your ideas are really interesting, I would certainly read a book about it, especially the part about humans evolving with cat-like reflexes, thought that was really cool.
     
  10. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    With training, some humans already have the speed and reflexes of a cat, so it wouldn't be a huge step forward actually. It could simply be a "side-effect" of their circumstances. Obviously, hunting and surviving in the wilds (especially without much technology) is tough and could give people more strength, better reflexes and better physical stamina. If the villages (like native Americans) are semi-transitory and both men and women share the duties of hunting you could hypothetically have most of your people with superior "survival" skills and physical aspect using only the reasoning that they train physically from a young age (like they did in Sparta).

    The animals likely wouldn't change that much, thicker fur developing due to the ice age (or in the case of things like elephants growing it), perhaps longer claws or teeth for improved efficiency in stalking and hunting prey; but likely little else. Even with outside influences (i.e. the meteorite bringing alien bacteria or spores) most of the changes to the fauna would be internal most likely (an improved immune system or special organ to deactivate the spore's effect). Left alone, many of the big cats and dogs (for example) could hypothetically flourish (once the ice age is over of course) allowing them to increase in size, which is always dependent on food supply. They are plenty dangerous to humans; especially in large numbers, who would be back to living without much technology like cavemen, though we'd still possess an "modern" brain compared to cavemen.
     
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