1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

The "Daily" Worldbuilding Prompt. Chapter 2

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Ban, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

    924
    431
    63
    General post offices do take care of it, though it is still a relatively confused post system. No one's really sorted through it yet as there's still probably warehouses full of mail and boxes that ain't been delivered since before the Lich Wars. There were and are certainly other ways for post to go through, though even the private companies are getting back on their feet. However in Zukal and it's surrounding kingdoms they have the golem post, which has been very efficient at getting mail and packages and war machines to places quite quickly.

    The Celestial Lands have another very efficient national post of sorts, with riders, runners and golems and animal deliveries. It's still well operated even despite the Lich Wars, then they weren't hit at hard in the infrastructure as on the Western Fea world. So while the west has to get it's act together and get mail delivered, most everywhere but the great Red Sands Desert have very efficient mail systems. And even in the Red Sands, someone will find a way, usually delivery by sandworm. It'll just take a couple months to get there.
     
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    4,298
    1,360
    163
    Imperial Post Office - literally. (for physical letters and parcels). Originally established as a military/government courier network, grew over time into a actual postal system with bundles of mail tossed onto ships or loaded into caravan wagons. Of note here are the Dispatch Cutters, long narrow sailboats engineered for speed. This network is post office to post office only, with many delays along the way.

    For short messages, there are the signal towers, a network of semaphores begun in the reign of Emperor Fabius more than two hundred years ago. It consists of some 4000 towers perched on hills and prominent points, each with a staff of about half a dozen. (Worth noting - many of these people are female, it is among the few socially acceptable professions for women). Priority is given to government/military messages, including a sort of 'bullet point' news announcements. Messages are kept short, with many cryptic abbreviations. The last major leg of the network, a two thousand mile stretch (500+ towers) along the southern coast of the Mare Imperium, built by the II Equitant Legion during the Traag War in an astonishing two year time frame.
     
  3. Vaporo

    Vaporo Sage

    380
    198
    43
    Question 70: How does a package or message arrive from one place to another?

    The various governments of the world usually have an official courier system for the delivery of official messages and packages. The common folk rely on courier companies unassociated with any government.

    Government couriers usually travel on horseback for maximum travel speed, but courier companies may rely on slower methods, such as travelling by river barge.

    In the time of the Amulkine Empire, there were magical portals connecting almost every corner of the world. The portals were available for public use and could be used to ship a message or package anywhere in the world within just a couple of days. If you were wealthy enough, you could have the portals opened outside of their usual schedule and travel almost anywhere instantly.

    I also have a character who has re-learned something of the ancient Amulkonian portals and uses the power to smuggle goods in and out of Antisa.
     
  4. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    2,026
    956
    113
    Question 71: Can you tell me about one of your world’s secret societies?
     
  5. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

    924
    431
    63
    After some thought, why stop at one when there's two competing secret societies. Who, really aren't that secret, but secret enough. The Cult of the Spider and The Order of the Holy Light. The former is dedicated to Lolth, though most only have sneaking suspicions of such at first and the second is to the Lich the Lady of Light. The latter is by far the more dangerous.

    The Cult of the Spider, in being a drow based cult and secret society has made sure to never have one group exactly the same. In fact, simply getting a hold of one of their books can either lead to the truth or far more likely end up being a joke book, a raunchy erotic novel or a decoder for a drow's family recipe of their favorite ribs. The cult itself is usually buried beneath layers of subterfuge and fakes and patsy's. Though eventually even those ones will become just another part of what is probably a long running joke or find deeper meaning in Lolth. Or just go with the general hedonistic vibe that eventually comes with being part of the drow. The cult is often in flux and often suspected of being everywhere (they kind of are) and usually meant to be burned out and any who are in it killed on sight. The cult still thrives and survives despite it and the wood elf elite calvary of the Widowmaker's are often a part of it. Also often suspected of it due to their connection to spiders.

    The Order of the Holy Light is one Liches long term plans and part of her original plans to become The Goddess of the Sun. This plan kind of fell through due to matricide by way of her daughter who would replace her as High Queen. But being a Lich has at least got her the fairly immortal part of the whole becoming a deity plan. Her cult spreads through the general light and sun worshipping folks and seems very benign and almost as helpful as the Hearth Temples. Unlike the Hearth Temples however, she ensnare's people and their souls with a spell that originally was used for creating very powerful seconds. This Chosen spell has a multiplication effect that all rebounds back to her and to make her more powerful as she takes the souls. Entire temples are found with poor souls soon to be undead and outright undead just waiting to be sprung upon an unsuspecting person. Living minions are sent out to preach and create more temples before reaching their ultimate successfulness and then becoming a minor lich for her. Any temples found are burned and destroyed when found on contact.

    And to make matters more fun, the two are technically at war with each other. For all the ribald and more earthy tendencies the Order of the Spider have, they do not take people against there will and are quite welcoming. Then again, it is expected of the drow. They also do not like their role of being deceitful (formerly backstabbing and money grubbing) arses taken over by some mystic enslavement cult. So they wage a secret war through the shadows against this light. And sometimes do it very explosively. Slightly fruity explosives, but still explosive. Can't win a war against uptight undead pricks without a clown that throws exploding peaches.
     
    Ban likes this.
  6. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    4,298
    1,360
    163
    not so much what's going on now (time frame of most of my stories) but what happens over the next few generations.

    Specifically, wizardry and social development.

    During the Traag War, the Solarian Empire was vastly outclassed by the enemy in the magic department. Traag's sorcerers conjured demons that decimated entire legions. To counter this, Grand Marshal Titus Maximus ordered a census and training program for all magically talented individuals within the empire - over the churches vehement objections. The result was the majority of people who had arcane talent received (non-church) training, then sent off to the battlefields, where they died in droves - but did play a significant role in Traag's defeat.

    After the war, a anti-magic faction within the Church assumed temporary prominence, arguing that 'magic stolen from God' (mortal mages in general) was an offence that needed to be remedied with a purge. So began a pogrom against those independent imperial sorcerers who survived the war, unless they had powerful patrons - like the army or noble families. True wizards became scarcer. Many went underground. The purge eventually ended, but many sorcerers elected to remain in hiding, joining harmless sounding civic groups - todays equivalent of the Rotary Club or some such, screening the rank and file for suitable apprentices.

    That's the magical end.

    Socially, the imperial government was broke at the end of the Traag War, and offered citizenship and land in lieu of coin to almost all veterans, regardless of time served - a massive spike in the equestrian or middle class that caused social chaos. Time passed. The aristocracy passed putative laws intended to keep the new middle class 'in their proper place.' The citizens being oppressed organized in secret, again using 'Rotary Club' type groups as fronts.

    (massive social change and industrialization are key themes in my stories)
     
    Ban likes this.
  7. Vaporo

    Vaporo Sage

    380
    198
    43
    Question 71: Can you tell me about one of your world’s secret societies?

    Oh, boy. My world use to have about a million secret societies, but most of them stopped existing, changed roles, or became so large that they weren't really "secret" anymore (See: The Amul). Let's see... Do I even still have any? Hmmm...

    I suppose that I could talk about the Var Grat. Like all Grat, the Var Grat were created by the Generals by mutating mortal creatures to assist in besieging reality. While most Grat were functionally living siege engines, the Var Grat were spies and assassins. Biologically, they are basically just humans with a few added genes for improved secrecy, deception, and loyalty. They are also one of the few types of Grat capable of reproduction.

    After the war ended and the Grat were accepted as part of the world, the Var Grat lived publicly for a while, but over the centuries became gradually more secretive until they finally closed themselves off from the rest of the world entirely. So, to this day they live secretly throughout human society, never revealing their true nature except to other Var Grat.

    They hide simply because it is their nature to hide their true nature. They enjoy quietly plucking on the stings of society, so many prominent political figures and noble houses are secretly Var Grat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
    Ban likes this.
  8. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    2,026
    956
    113
    Question 72: Can you give me an overview of what could be found in your world’s black markets?
     
  9. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    2,026
    956
    113
    This one I can answer right away for once, courtesy of post-it notes. I'll explain the simplified model that only takes All imports and exports to and from Europe in consideration.

    The big boys on the European black market, the ones everyone is concerned about, are the same ones as today: drugs, guns and people. With the advent of the synthetic revolution, the drug market has gone through a renaissance, where drugs of all types, doses and flavours can be found. Druglaws are determined on a nation by nation level in the 2080 EUCPL, which in reality has led to a continental "tolerance policy" based on the dutch model. Drugs are still illegal, but buying and selling drugs in designated shops is permitted, while producing and trafficking is not. A silly policy but arguably necessary, seeing as the drastic move away from drug-growing to drug-brewing (along with some other world developments attested to before) has shifted the production as well as the consumption market of drugs to Europe, with smaller, less voracious markets in the wealthy Russian states and Federal China.

    Guns are similarly under a semi-stable tolerance policy. A sharp increase in violent crime, with an equally sharp decrease in conviction rates, has shifted public opinion in favour of owning weapons for self-defense. Still, official weapon stores are not permitted in any member-country other than Italy and Albania, the two weaponry-making powerhouses. The various Italian crime organizations play a vital role in equalizing the distribution of weaponry, but the highest quality can be found in the stocks of Albanian embassies, where wealthy gunlords have established a semi-legal walhalla of high-grade weaponry. The average citizen who wishes to be armed has to suffice with one of the many millions of surplus firearms still in circulation from the mediterranean and south-east asian wars. Ammunition is legal for purchase in Spain, as well as the previously mentioned two, but is usually also pedalled by gunlords and mafias.

    Human trafficking and people smuggling has remained the same as it is today, an immense and terrible industry, that stays relatively quiet. Snakeheads operate from the chinese opportunity states and peripheral countries, but various counterparts from other countries are also at large and making a killing. Rarely does this industry lead to all-out-war between streetgangs or well-publicized assassinations, so the public knows little about it.

    Counterfeit goods have remained a quiet powerhouse, and mostly come from Maghreb, Mashriq and Egypt. Exotic, genetically-manipulated species of animals and plants are made in the Russian states. Organ trade and internet trade mostly comes from the indian successor states. The world of 2080 has shifted from wild, unstable internet, to the impregnable (and easy to monitor) zyphernet system. Online criminal practices are impossible on the zyphernet, so many criminals, freedom-lovers and other folk interested in not being spied on, are happy to buy their ancient computers and internet from the indian markets.

    Sub-saharan Africa has long been used by Eurasia and the Americas as a dumping ground for products, including electronic junk. This, combined with the ongoing warzone spanning from the DRC to Angola, which has received trillions of euros and quadrillions of pesos worth of weapons, has led to a blossoming black market in junk. Metal and bioplastic can be bought in bulk for cheap here.

    Finally, there are the cybernetic and bio-engineering markets. As I have writtern previously, both industries are illegal in the EUCPL, but that does not mean that individuals do not want to play god. Chinese triads provide excellent bio-engineering services, while Scottish milkmen (not-quite legal representatives of corporations) do the same for cybernetic implants. If those are too expensive, individuals can contact their local american streetgang, who may know a guy who knows a guy.

    This brings us to trafficking and distribution. Distribution of drugs and counterfeits is in the hands of the booming streetgangs, which come in all forms and sizes, but are increasingly dominated by Brazillian and American gangs created by migrants from the warzones there. More established networks are present in all countries, notable amongst them being 'the salon', a society of Dutch criminals from long and illustrious criminal families, that lays claim on all Randstad import and export. These type of societies are rarely involved in the day-to-day distribution, manifacturing or trafficking of goods, they simply demand their share from anyone operating on their turf.
    Trafficking of russian animal and plant species is firmly in the hands of Swedish gangs, whereas trafficking of drugs is in the hands of private contractors, wandering cults and more notably, motorgangs. Few folk would brave the highways of the EUCPL willingly with a manual vehicle, seeing as driving one can be enough ground for being driven off the highway by the highway-gavels. The many transnational motor-roamers are more than willing to fight these lawmen if need be, and as such have built up a strong and reliable reputation with the many criminal syndicates that operate in the EUCPL.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  10. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    4,298
    1,360
    163
    Pretty much everything and anything. Books deemed heretical by the Church or subversive by the government. Printing presses for that matter - movable type, until the aftermath of the Traag War, was the jealously guarded domain of the government and church, with penalties ranging up to execution for violations. 'Blue Dust' - a semi-legal narcotic used to keep slaves docile - but also popular amongst the lower classes. Artifacts salvaged from the ruins where the ancient aliens once flourished. People - slavery is an accepted practice in the southern empire, but sublegal at best in the north (part of the whole social upheaval theme). 'Advanced technology' from Equitant - everything from farming equipment to crude cameras to extremely simple electrical devices to hang gliders to explosive powder - used to be largely banned outright elsewhere in the empire and is still tightly restricted, but these toys and others grow in popularity anyhow - again, the social upheaval theme, the conflict between human (slave) power and technology.

    Best place to find such dubious goods is among the ten thousand stalls and shops of Corber Ports infamous 'Low Market.'
     
  11. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    2,026
    956
    113
    Question 73: What’s the most legendary artefact lusted for by adventurers and scholars alike?
     
  12. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    5,369
    2,383
    313
    The hearts of dragons.
    Dragons are rare creatures. They're powerful, and they often do not last very long after they appear. Once the dragon disappears, so does the heart - unless it's already been removed. It's said that the heart of a dragon enables a weaver to create stronger and more complex magics. It's unclear how much truth there is in that, but due to the scarcity of dragon, not much research has been performed - and what little has been performed is generally kept secret.
     
  13. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

    1,135
    415
    83
    The Seven Treasures of Demiurgus.
    The god of Mystery, Demiurgus, made seven objects (a chain, a helmet, a sword and some other stuff) that each granted the owner god-like powers. This was part of an experiment of his to foster the creation of a 'self-made' god. He deemed the project a failure (as there's a world of difference between a true god and a super-powered immortal) and threw-out the objects.

    Some guy named Levinus gathered them up some 4,000 years later and, with them, nearly took control of the world. Since his death (killed by the god of Might), the seven treasures have never been at the same place at the same time. To this day, some consider Levinus to be the 'god of governance and idolatry' and many powerful figures want to get their hands on the Treasures.

    Needless to say, these are meant to be quest goals in an rpg campaign.
     
  14. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    4,298
    1,360
    163
    Not so much 'adventurers and scholars,' but during the Traag War, Emperor Morgan DuSwaimair II directed a special branch of his intelligence agencies ('Eyes of a sort') to track down any and all 'unique objects' that might help counter Traag's demons. The intelligence agency in question recruited everybody from legion scouts to thieves (sometimes minutes before their executions) to rogue wizards (a few of whom were broken out of Church prisons) to artisans to scholars and sent them in small groups across much of the world - where most of them died in droves. While they collected no few arcane relics, their main focus became functioning relics of the ancient aliens.
     
  15. Mel Syreth

    Mel Syreth Scribe

    37
    23
    8
    Here we go, round 2.
    Probably a little befuddled how he made it onto the island intact, thankful for the gifts, and then a week or so later, life returns to normal.

    For vampires, blood.
    For fairies, the dew of deathshade flowers (it's not as deadly as it sounds)
    For humans... there is a lot. Mainly because they have celebrations for everything.

    Eh, I haven't really thought about that.

    There is a great chain of mountains that separates the northern and southern parts of the island, with a few passages here and there. We only call them 'The Mountains' but I'm sure humans have given it some weird name because they give weird names to everything.

    Culture shifts from (mostly) vampiric to (mostly) human, which means using more coins and less 'favors' in the shops, more foods and beverages, less spots for literature and arts, et cetera.

    That is so meta I think it might destroy the universe.

    Assuming 'wizards' as in 'humans with inherited magic': At young age they do some weird mishap, then they either learn to make use of it growing up or just don't bother with it (because it's not shooting fireballs from their hands by instinct so why bother am I right?). Either way they usually live their lives with the humans, as humans.

    Straight from the last question, the whole of 'fire snapping' (fireworks) came from a human like that a few decades ago. Basically it's a large amount of energy condensed in a tiny projectile shot from fingertips and then popped with a snap of a finger. There are wizards and vampires who has a sort of part-time job putting up firesnap shows in celebrations like that.

    If it's a normal message or package it's mostly by trading wagons. If it's urgent then couriers. The Arcantists' Guild have been trying out prototypes of enchanted pairs of parchments that can copy words written on them onto the other parchment via runic linking. It's like two tin cans tied together with a rope... just with paper... and magic.

    There is none.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  16. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    2,026
    956
    113
    Question 74: Can you tell me about the hermits of your world?
     
  17. Mel Syreth

    Mel Syreth Scribe

    37
    23
    8
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  18. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

    1,135
    415
    83
    Mel Syreth likes this.
  19. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

    924
    431
    63
    Internet has been out, thus not being able to answer, so, to answer.

    Chocolate and cane sugars are the biggest ones at the current time. All brought in and approved of by the Sea Queen of course. Slaves now and again, though this is being disguised as other things, indentured servitude and such. Though if found out someone is still liable to break heads, legalish or not. Then there's the relics, left overs from the Lich Wars and before that may not always be legal and a lot of it quite dangerous in any hands (especially those not knowing what to do with them). Hence why most end up on the black market, even if it is legal to go out and find them. Just some you might not want to touch, due to something or someone taking mind, body and soul. And others just having you for lunch, though that's also just a regular sort of danger too.

    Anything Lich related. And it's not really lusted after so much as wanted so the Liches can't have it and it may be properly disposed of, if it can be properly disposed of. Which usually involves a lot of fire (heaven or hellish fire, both work right well). And then getting purified and burning the area it was found in and then purifying the now burned area. It's a lot of work to deal with Liches and it's not helped the most ordinary of things end up being relics and artifacts, near to the point of annoyance.

    Not really, they like to be left alone.
     
  20. Vaporo

    Vaporo Sage

    380
    198
    43
    Question 72: Can you give me an overview of what could be found in your world’s black markets?

    Drugs, naturally. Most typical earth narcotics are banned within most city limits, so an addict must acquire then illegally. Stolen goods, particularly valuable, easily identifiable stolen goods taken from another city where they would be difficult or impossible to sell due to their high profile, such as the jewelery of the wealthy. Outside of Antisa one will find hron beer in abundance for cheap on the black market, since Antisa puts huge export tariffs on the stuff. Human trafficking does exist in very small amounts, mostly in remote areas, but the majority of smugglers find the idea so repugnant that if contacted by a trafficker they'll refuse to provide services and happily rat them out to the authorities.

    Question 73: What’s the most legendary artefact lusted for by adventurers and scholars alike?

    Likely the Felstone. Largely believed to be myth, the Felstone was created by the wizards of the Amulkine Empire to entrap the entire Fel army. Their plan was successful, and the stone now has over fifty thousand Fel bound within. It appears as a polished gray stone orb that can fit in one's hand. It is desired because it is believed that its owner can unleash the Fel army to do their bidding. In reality, only one Gifted with Alstaliance can draw the Fel out of the Felstone, and even then good luck trying to bind all fifty thousand enraged Fel to your will at once.

    Question 74: Can you tell me about the hermits of your world?

    In the mountains south of Untia there are several people living happy lives in isolation from the rest of the world.

    In a more cosmic sense, there is Mandula, the former goddess of mass and physical matter. She has lived in the Land of the Gods for nearly five thousand years waiting for to doors to the plane of reality to open back up so that she may visit Goss, the god of thought, who is her former lover. She has tamed a small piece of eldritch landscape to be habitable to her now mortal body, and she spends her most of her time farming her plot, studying the plane of reality to find a crack large enough that she may slip in, and watching the Generals mill around the gates.

    She technically has the authority to call the Generals off of their mission to destroy that plane of reality, as she was part of the pantheon that gave them their original orders, but she has never tried to do so. Without her incredible cosmic power as a signature, the Generals have no way to verify that she is the real Mandula, so at best they would ignore her, and at worst they would torture her for information. Plus, she figures that her best bet for getting into her lover's plane is when the Generals eventually force the gate open.

    Gaaaaaah! I've got to think of a proper name for this plane of reality. Saying "The plane of reality where the bulk of my world building takes place" is starting to get a bit clumsy.
     
Loading...

Share This Page