Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

For 'verse proposals, random ideas, musings, and brainwaves.

Moderators: Invictus, speaker-to-trolls

Post Reply
User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:19 pm

This is an attempt to cohere a few disparate ideas that never seem to leave me alone for long together into a single setting. These include San Dorado, Shear Anarchy and a some other random ideas I picked up here and there.

Frankly I'm not sure this is going anywhere ('nowhere' after all being where most of my worldbuilding ideas end up eventually), but it's been on my mind for long enough to idly doodle a first outline of a world on the train:

Image

The Daedalean Empire featured in the background of the 2014 STGOD over on SD.net, I provided it as a predecessor of the UOCSR. The Khanate of Kagaria also featured in that game, but in fact made its debut in Shear Anarchy back in 2011. The Khanate and the Empire have a bad history that goes back hundreds of years.

The peninsula below Kagaria is the Balkan-esque region also seen in Shear Anarchy, featuring the Zagor Democratic Republic (now a breakaway Tibet-like region of Kagaria), the Republic of Sjenska (lead by the ever-delightful Srdjan Karic), turmoil-engulfed Vlasenica, the island state of Tshkumkara and newcomer the Grand Duchy of Niksic, de jure a client state of the Daedalean Empire but de facto independent.

Below them on their own peninsula is San Dorado, which needs no introduction. Their continent needs to be fleshed out but is pretty much a collection of basket case states that San Dorado's powerbrokers take great care to keep that way.

To the east of San Dorado is the Impact Archipelago, dominated by infighting states, part native and part Daedalean crusaders.

To the west of San Dorado lies the Sublime Sultante of Dar Qimr, one of the world's superpowers.

North of Dar Qimr is the island empire of Teyrnon Canhastyr. They are a nation of Bismarckian assholes stuck in 19th century mode, dominated by nobles who really like more land. They have the most powerful navy in the world and they run permanent military frontiers (essentially occupations) on both the Kagarian and Dar Qimr continents. More on them later.

Everything in the west remains to be defined. One idea is that the eastern board of the northern continent is settled by a string of free cities who waged a terrible genocidal war with poison gas and biological weapons against the natives that tried to drive them off in the recent history. Needless to say this has isolated them in the world.

There might be room for another continent, but this is quite enough to fill up for now.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4615
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:51 pm

The return!

How gritty real world will these be? Or is it on CSW-esque levels? And how weird can it be, since your O1 San Dorado did incorporate pseudo-urban fantasy elements with supernatural ruling cabals.

Berber pirate states, invaded by superpowers, resulting in failures and then further disintegration, further piracy and slavery! Game of Thrones: MODERN WARFARE BLACK OPS.
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:42 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:How gritty real world will these be? Or is it on CSW-esque levels? And how weird can it be, since your O1 San Dorado did incorporate pseudo-urban fantasy elements with supernatural ruling cabals.
Fairly weird. I'm leaning toward 1980s/90s technology with anachronistic elements and irregular technological development. So a rogue Zagori general might think he's doing well because he's kitted his troops with automatic rifles, he has his telex machines set up for fast communication and he even has the occasional tank with IR sights... And then he runs into a handful of San Doradan mercs with spy satellites, attack drones and stealthy helicopters, and it's an absolute massacre.

The world is unfair. And also full of occasional gengineered monsters and general weird stuff. Was the Impact Archipelago formed by an asteroid or because an ancient civilization self-destructed there? Are the secret societies that run San Dorado just plain nuts or are they actually worshipping an entity that can be glipsed in stock market anomalies and fluctuations in the cosmic background radiation? And so forth. So there's shades of CSW there, just... I guess I don't have to stick to two or three superpowers anymore. That's quite liberating, actually. Now whatever Ridley analogue shows up can be an actual knight, with training in sword fighting, and I don't have to go through contortions to justify it!
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Lelouch vi Britannia
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 10:27 am
Location: Ashford Academy

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Lelouch vi Britannia » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:36 pm

What else can we afford to import from the various SDN Worlds? Is there room in this world for a revival of Shroomania and the Shroomanian Commonwealth?
I ship Eino Ilmari Juutilainen x Lydia V. Litvyak.

Image

"YOU JERK! YOU WOULDN'T KNOW SEXY IF IT BIT YOU!" - Erica Hartmann, Strike Witches

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:21 am

Shroomania doesn't really fit the more serious fake-Clancy feel this is aiming for (and I already have a major island empire in there). I also want to limit 'imports' to things I had a significant hand in shaping. Cribbing other people's ideas without their consent is bad form. Suggestions are always welcome of course, but I do want this to be distinct.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4615
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:57 am

Siege has a track record of utilizing, or re-purposing, older things (like ancient 'verse concepts) more methodically and thoughtfully and with care and restraint than, say, me. I guess it's the Western European craftsman ethic and systematic-ness... applied to worldbuilding! :P

A mean, psycho-aristocratic island kingdom vying to remain relevant in an insanely changing, cold war-ridden world - and filled with hedonistic inbred Wilhelm II-esque nobility and prone to ostentatious, costly and poorly conceived colonial and non-colonial misadventures where lots of people die - would pretty much be grim dark evil alternate-universe equivalent of Shroomania, anyway. The Shroomanian Valeria Belgian Congo! There won't be anything Shroomanian about it at all, because really there's no need for any Shroomanian-ness. Since this isn't a STGOD where people can go meta and have play entirely just by "lololol" instead of actual nation-ing.

The multinational space program, or the alliance of smaller nations trying to avoid being squished by giant nations (one of the cooler bits of SDNW1-SDNW2 Shroomanian-political-contributions!) could work in this setting. That could be something for your other continent, perhaps. Depending on how much the polities hate each other. :P

The ancient civilizations tangent is a cool one to allude, though maybe not to fully give away. The world could be a lost space colony that forgot its heritage, kind of like the SDNW4 Murca planet. Or it could be the recentest incarnation of a cycle of civilizations reaching the modern age before wiping itself out through weapons of mass destruction? Could there be lost continents or lost islands or lost cities with the occasional fossilized skyscrapers and vaults full of eldritch ancient archaeotech electrothermal rifles and stealth jets? Their ancient, primordial Atlantis legends could actually have involved a thermonuclear war happening like 2000 years ago, but everyone's forgotten and there are these inexplicable steel trinkets fossilized in the sand that nobody can explain or something.Their archeology would be all sorts of weird due to the anachronistic nature of tech-development.

Like the San Dorado-an banks could be using huge super-steel alloy vaults constructed from time immemorial, kind of like how some places in the world are still being irrigated by still-functioning Roman Empire aqueducts.

In aboriginal societies, you could have shamans passing down stainless steel surgical instruments or Swiss Army knives to the next generation of healers, and these scalpels and whatnot could be from forgotten eras and these tribesmen would have no present way of making more of these things. And yet these eons-old Swiss Army knives would still be more intricate than their modern San Doradan counterparts, making those pith-helmet, khaki-shorts-wearing explorers scratch their heads.

Or this might be a little bit too much? :P Since this would imply that societies like San Dorado evolved from places like Bartertown and the Lord Humungus could be the Founding Father of some nation and his face could be carved on Mount Mad Maxmore, and he could be Karic's noble ancestor or something.
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:23 am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:A mean, psycho-aristocratic island kingdom vying to remain relevant in an insanely changing, cold war-ridden world - and filled with hedonistic inbred Wilhelm II-esque nobility and prone to ostentatious, costly and poorly conceived colonial and non-colonial misadventures where lots of people die - would pretty much be grim dark evil alternate-universe equivalent of Shroomania, anyway. The Shroomanian Valeria Belgian Congo! There won't be anything Shroomanian about it at all, because really there's no need for any Shroomanian-ness.
That is... surprisingly accurate and true :D.
The multinational space program, or the alliance of smaller nations trying to avoid being squished by giant nations (one of the cooler bits of SDNW1-SDNW2 Shroomanian-political-contributions!) could work in this setting. That could be something for your other continent, perhaps. Depending on how much the polities hate each other. :P
I fancy the idea of an international 'non aligned movement'. Lead by Srdjan Karic :D.

"Why would we trust the Angel of Darkness?"

"Because I'm the angel you can trust. It's Cupid who's armed."
The ancient civilizations tangent is a cool one to allude, though maybe not to fully give away.
Yes, it's something to not overdo right from the start. The idea of lost jungle skyscraper cities tickles my fancy but it does beg the question of why such a place wasn't discovered way before (maybe because terrible diseases killed off expeditions onto whatever island this is on. The lingering remnants of biological warfare agents?) It's something to ponder. I don't want to go overboard too much with it though, if a civilization of roughly contemporary stature was wiped out within the last five thousand years I reckon we'd be finding a lot of their stuff. Unless their main stuff sank beneath the ocean. Hmm...
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4615
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:13 pm

That really depends. How long ARE skyscrapers built to last? I am sure that giant suburbs and those buildings made out of pre-fab won't last as long as ancient structures made out of rock.

And it also depends on how bad the onset of the Dark Ages was. If its just thermonuclear war and Fallout style vault survivors reclaiming evacuated cities, then the Dark Ages probably won't be bad and a lot of pre-apocalyptic stuff can be salvaged and recovery will actually progress at a decent pace.

If it was an apocalyptic thermonuclear war plus a nightmare horror plague that actually erased the developed world and all but the more isolated populaces... then the survivors might actually have to rebuild society and civilization from the ground up. By the time people number in the millions on post-apocalyptic earth, several[/i] millennia might have passed... I don't think things made from modern construction materials, instead of solid rock like the pyramids, could still stand.

But this is something really, really tangential and really quite irrelevant. But the whole notion of "civilizations can reach 21st century levels and still be so easily snuffed out by something really horrible and so humanity has to redo the last several thousand years of progress" is really a frightful and sobering thought. Cyclical nature of existence, a blink in the eye of god and all that, showing just how insignificant these things are to the scale of nature and such. Man.
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:41 pm

That really depends. How long ARE skyscrapers built to last? I am sure that giant suburbs and those buildings made out of pre-fab won't last as long as ancient structures made out of rock.
Skyscrapers won't last particularly long I don't think, certainly not compared to Egyptian pyramids. But the cities those skyscrapers are in are absolutely massive artificial deformations of the land: huge holes dug for basements and foundations, sewers and subway tunnels, road grids dug into the landscape (archaeologists can find ancient Roman roads in the landscape today by searching for specific deformations, imagine what a modern superhighway would look like), vast artificial agglomerations of worked wood and stone, rivers rerouted, seasides shored with deposits of stuff that shouldn't naturally occur there up and so on. I have no doubt that to anyone with a degree in archaeology a place like Manhattan would stand out like a sore thumb even if two thousand years had passed, nothing of the actual skyscrapers remained and ignorant natives had in fact carried away all the actual steel and stone and glass. The New York urban agglomeration covers 789 km2 of land. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to remove every trace of that, let alone how long it would take just the elements before it became impossible to tell there was once a giant city there.
The whole notion of "civilizations can reach 21st century levels and still be so easily snuffed out by something really horrible and so humanity has to redo the last several thousand years of progress" is really a frightful and sobering thought. Cyclical nature of existence, a blink in the eye of god and all that, showing just how insignificant these things are to the scale of nature and such. Man.
Yeah it's very evocative. At the same time if this disaster took place a really long time ago (say 10,000 years or more) then perhaps the only really tangible stuff left is various terrible disasters that line up suspiciously well in various unconnected mythologies of the world. Especially if what passed for civilization was centered on continents that are now on the bottom of the sea...
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4615
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:46 am

You could then have recurring Thule Society theozoolosophist weirdos seeking ancient doomsday weapons only to re-open an Atlantean equivalent of Yucca Mountain with 10,000 years old nuclear waste containers and then facemelt.

I'm sorry for digressing. It could help explain the assymetrical progression of technology too, some managed to piece this or that together and scavenge it and hoard it - instead of technology evolving more organically like in real-life. Anachronisms could be explained then.
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:17 pm

The Serene Empire der Ligne Teyrnon Canhastyr (of the kin of Teyrnon and Canhastyr) is an island state located off the western coast of the Kagarian continent, well north of Dar Qimr.

The Empire is a semifeudal society in which power is uneasily shared between the monarch and a handful of councillor-dukes. Outside a handful of free imperial cities, esoteric orders and self-governing families with ancient concessions the populace is bound to these autocrats through centuries-old quasi-seigneurial dues.

Until approximately the year 800 the island suffered a desolate frigid climate, but as gulf streams shifted over the course of the 9th century it thawed to a much more pleasant climate characterized by hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The changing climate caused massive upheaval and the first of the great dynastic wars of the Empire.

Since the unification of the island by Queen-Empress Emryn Canhastyr the Absolute in 1357 the Serene Empire has cycled through periods of isolationism and instabilities followed usually by aggressive foreign campaigns. These have resulted in extensive footholds ('military frontiers') on both Dar Qimr and the western Kagarian coast. The Serene Empire uses military campaigns as a means to relieve demographic pressures and silence internal discontent.

Although its overseas territories are in an almost constant state of flux due to border skirmishes and rebellions the Empire continues to maintain the largest colonial empire, backed up with the most powerful navy in the world.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4615
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:12 am

There could be a Rajastan regional great power with a fleet of ancient, or rusting decades-old, nuclear bombers* warding them off. But then we don't want it to turn into an O1-World and then into a CSW-esque Cold War.

*Which are difficult to replace due to the fact that the bomber designs are based on archaeotechnology, so while the scientists can build that bomber over and over again, they have difficulties designing new ones with superior performances and capabilities. Or... not.
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
Invictus
Posts: 1278
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Invictus » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:53 pm

I don't have any ideas or specific comments yet (unless they touch on my recent interest in the WWII Pacific Theater!), but I want to say that I'm following this with appreciation.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:22 pm

Thanks Vic, that means a lot :).

I'd like to solicit biome ideas. Since this is an alt-world it can basically contain anything, so I'd like the world to contain things like pseudo-dinosaurs, ridiculously lethal spiders, and generally interesting flora and fauna.

Random ideas so far:

* In Dar Qimr, Iguana-like creatures have a similar status to cats in ancient Egypt (holy, domesticated, kills snakes, deity-statues, etc.)

* Random gengineered monsters stalk the back alleys of San Dorado. Nobody knows from whence they came. Except maybe SinGen, but they aren't talking.

* Certain areas of the world could contain sea creatures big enough to necessitate military convoy escorts and/or depth charges to avoid cargo ships being dragged down into the depths.

* There are sentient octoupi in the South Pacific. They may be in conflict with creatures living even deeper down in the oceans.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4615
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:24 pm

Intelligent octopi colony creatures? Working like some kind of wasps nests.

The world may be more humid, or the weather extremes more extreme between the equatorials and the temperate regions, so the equatorials might have coastal crocodiles of various sizes instead of seals and otters. Whereas predatory penguins can stalk the northern icelands like cassowaries in tuxedos.

Savannas can have inverted things, where hyenas are huge alpha predators whereas lions have shrunk and are now second-tier pack predators.

Some coastal cities can be a mix of Cairo and Venice, where ancient guys managed to create a series of urban...agricultural...hydroponic canals. And where less-stupid manatees serve as beasts of burden and draw water-chariots/boats.

Predatory chimpanzees roaming the plains - like baboons but with fucking spears.

Tapirs everywhere!

Coelacanths. Lots of various species of nautiluses... all shorts of shelled squids! And horseshoe crabs. Weird ass crustaceans. And fresh water cephalopods.

Overgrown slugs! That might be kept as pets! Like, some places might have slugs instead of rabbits. The slugs are boiled! They're like... it's like how eating cucumbers is like eating a fruit made out of water. Well, foot-long slugs can be like that. Slugs on sticks.

Giant salamanders becoming equivalent to those river monster predatory fishes.

Marsupial weird shits. Like Zor's beloved prehistoric Australian monstrosities.

And predatory crows. Even eagle-sized smart, predatory crows. That hunt in packs!
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
Invictus
Posts: 1278
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 11:44 pm

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Invictus » Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:39 am

Maybe I'm not as keen to make the setting Gigafauna Deathworld as Shroom ( :P ), but let's not forget there could be more subtle stuff.

Living oceanic garbage patches. Floating morasses of plankton/rubbish/various micro-organisms the size of countries, with their own ecosystems. They aren't controlled by an intelligent hungry overmind or anything, but their mere presence is a hazard to shipping and sometimes civilization. Not just because it takes something akin to an icebreaker to cut through the denser patches and it smells horrible, but because sailing into one for any period of time will contaminate your ship with insects, sea parasites, antediluvian bacteria bubbling up from sulfur vents or what have you - and they're all in turn prime vectors for some new and exciting pathogen to sweep the world.

I like the idea of an abundance of intelligent but sub-sapient animals. Apes, celaphopods and let's not forget birds. If you want to up the gonzo, they've somehow appropriated bits of antediluvian technology for their own benefit. This doesn't literally have to be ray guns - just, like, successful tricks and hunting strategies that they shouldn't have figured out on their own.

Termite megacolonies with uncanny reach. Huge hives, sure, but sometimes a termite being tracked vanishes and later turns up on another continent. Tunnels shouldn't work that way, right?

The more extreme climate creates more horrible superstorms that wreck coastal cities and put periodic dampers on trade and economic development. Epidemics that really come and go like clockwork, never causing enough deaths for urgent concern but with identifiable enough symptoms to set your watch by.

And if the Lovecraftian Godhead Fortuna is still a thing, maybe anything of sufficient complexity (both in the plain and mathematical sense) can open a channel to it and be touched by its eldritch influences. So it isn't just humans turning megacorps and societies into sacrifice machines; sometimes, a hurricane, a supercomputer, one of those garbage patches I mentioned above blindly hits the right frequency/configuration and lets something unnatural into the world.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4615
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:26 am

Invictus wrote:Maybe I'm not as keen to make the setting Gigafauna Deathworld as Shroom ( :P ), but let's not forget there could be more subtle stuff.
Hey, I was just saying that obscure B-list, 2nd grade lifeforms might enlarge to A-list, 1st grade predators and herbivores (but not ridiculous Sci-Fi Channel MegaShark Crokomodo Dragondiles) whereas normally dominant life forms would shrink or be marginalized. Besides, your point would work if you didn't go on and propose giant floating oceanic reef-mangrove-swamps of death. :P

Imagine tapirs and camel-oids all over the savannas as dominant herd creatures! Camels instead of zebras! And ridiculous horrifying swarms of wild boars, horribly territorial and vengeful, like in Princess Mononoke!

Maybe chickens, antediluvian chickens of vast populaces due to the pre-Fall Atlantean cyclopean breedings and steroidifications, could have evolved into moderate-sized chocobos turned into steeds and beasts of burden! And sources of huge foods. War cavalry riding chickens with those cockfighting-foot-spur-blades (the size of short-swords).

Enlarged cockfights. And the deadliest bloodsport of all, where a human matador duels a frenzied fighting cock armed with those aforementioned gladius-spurs! Something even a legendary swordsman would go oh shit at.
Living oceanic garbage patches. Floating morasses of plankton/rubbish/various micro-organisms the size of countries, with their own ecosystems.
one of those garbage patches I mentioned above blindly hits the right frequency/configuration and lets something unnatural into the world.
I actually do like these patches. They would be meaner versions of coral reefs. But nomadic. Pseudo-mangrove swamps. Of coagulated sewage and garbage.

I imagine there could be more benign lifeforms that can adapt and around these things. Even sea people, nomad ocean gypsies, as these things can provide nutrition. Yes, all the fishes are covered in fugu venom and the invertebrates are all box jellyfish man'o wars... but still!

And imagine some Rajastani kid and his pet tiger and Gerard Depardieau get into a sea accident and their life raft drifts into one of your obscene nomad-reef-deathgrove-swamps that due to mathematical complexity channel the Fortune-essence and result in the marooned castaways' MAGICAL REALISM ADVENTURES.

The Life of Pies!
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:48 pm

I really like the floating islands with indigenous cultures living on them, slowly making their way through the ocean on predictable currents that take them past the occasional island for foraging. I'll be looking to incorporate that. Perhaps they warred with imperial Daedalean galleons in the distant past.

Tiny lions are just cats :). I dig nautiluses, squids and jellyfish-squid hybrid things. Possibly the jellyfish-squid hybrid things are allied to the intelligent squids in their fight against the deep things lurking on the ocean floors.

Coastal cities: for SDNW I came up with Lothal, which was a kind of shoreside Dubai until it got wrecked by successive tropical storms for several years. It thereafter became a place for pirates and other up-to-no-goods. That works as one of the states on the same continent San Dorado is on, and it also jives with Shroom's idea for canal-cities: it's just that the canals are inbetween ruined skyscrapers and the hydroponics facilities are inside wrecked giant hotels.

A hearty 'yes' to pack-hunting predatory crows. Really clever ones, that maybe form working relationships with San Doradan sprawl-gangs as scouts and drone-busters.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Shroom Man 777
Global Mod
Posts: 4615
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:09 pm
Contact:

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:48 pm

Stormy city could have learned its lesson and planted insane numbers of typhoon-attenuating windmills off-shore. Maintenance will be a bitch... as well as oceans full of massacrated seagulls. :P
Image

"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:34 pm

Are... are typhoon-attenuating windmills an actual thing?

Anyway I'd think Lothal is mostly a ruined tangle of partially-flooded cities, with most of the population having moved inland and a weak government subsisting mostly on international aid and bribes from coastal warlords. Their ineffectiveness is punctuated every once in a while by bombardment by cruisers from the Daedalean Great Fleet or the Navy Royal, or the occasional punitive assassination when the pirates try to hijack the wrong San Doradan ship.

On the same continent (provisional name: Vedica) we have Upper and Lower Sankara, pseudo-African basket case states mostly known for the Sankaran Rand, the gold currency used for most questionable deals in the world. They are divided by the Blue Assam river. Somewhere down by the 'strait' splitting Vedica from Dar Qimr is La Vela. Much like Tshkumkara in the north the Sultan has suzerainty over La Vela but prolonged bouts of fighting with the Serene Empire has reduced Dar Qimr's ability to actually control its far-flung possessions and as a result they have gained de-facto independence. Unlike Tshkumkara which pays only lip service to the Sultan's authority however La Vela depends on the threat of intervention by the Golden Throne to ward off would-be conquerors, and consequently maintains much closer ties to the Sultanate even if most of the time it is left to fend for itself.

The problem with Sublime Sultanate of Dar Qimr is that it is easily one of the richest and most powerful states in the world, but traditionally practices open succession. This means that the Golden Throne is inherited by the fittest, rather than the eldest child. During the Sultan's lifetime, all of the adult sons and daughters hold provincial governorships. Accompanied and mentored by their (adoptive) mothers, they gather supporters, jockey for position and, upon the death of the ruler, fight among themselves until one emerges triumphant. As a result a ruling Sultan or Sultana is often a master of intrigue and warfare at the time they take the Golden Throne, but their grip on power tends to weaken over the course of their reign by the continuous infighting of the princely heirs. This 'King Lear syndrone' frequently puts the Sultanate at a disadvantage against the Serene Empire, whose autocrats maintain an iron grip on the noble families. It also fuels the dynamic between the two great states, as the border wars tend to intensify every time a new ruler comes to power in Dar Qimr.

Meanwhile in the north the Daedalean Empire is defined by its byzantine legal code and veneration of the law. The patrician families fight each other with elaborate lawsuits based on two and a half thousand years of continuous case law. There's a vast imperial bureaucracy whose sole job it is to massage contradictory laws into a single cohesive whole. And the main title of the emperor is Sanctor, or lawmaker: the emperor is the only person who is by definition not bound to the law because he embodies its living will. Suffice it to say the empire is not the most efficient state currently in existence.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
speaker-to-trolls
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 12:34 am
Location: The World of Men

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:43 pm

This looks ingenious and full of possibilities.

I particularly like the Sultanate, and the possibilities implicit in the leadership struggle every time a Sultan dies.

I lurked a bit on the first SDN World (I think), do you remember the Mujahadeen Submarines you and Shroom played who plagued Zor's shipping lanes? Could they be reintroduced as, maybe, partisans for a failed prince who disappeared rather than accepting the new Sultan, and now ply the seaways as devil may care pirates and soldiers of fortune?

I am not going to say that that lady captain who refused to wear a headscarf could be Malcolm Reynolds... But I just did :P
"Little monuments may be completed by their first architects, but great ones; true ones leave their copestones to posterity. God keep me from completing anything."

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:33 am

Captain A'shadieeyah Mohammad! :) I'd nearly forgotten about her exploits. Yes, that could work very well. She could in fact be an heir to the throne herself, maybe the youngest sister of the current Sultan/Sultana who noped out of the struggle by escaping to sea with a trusted crew. Now operating out of Vedica, raiding Sultanate ships, being a general nuisance and having adventures. She's accumulated a small flotilla of stateless ships, some from the Sultanate and others from all over the world. They operate on the high seas (like Sea Beggars!), moving between neutral ports and occasionally get supplied by by San Doradan replenishment ships. Hunted by the Navy Royal for a crime they didn't commit, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire...

Additional notes:
* The Vedican continent is split by a vast mountain range called the Spine Of The World. It runs south to north through the middle of the continent, dips for a bit near the north and then resurfaces as the San Doradan peninsula. Vast formations of basalt abound, pushed upwards out of the earth's crust in a great forgotten upheaval. [EDIT: Spine of the World is apparently something that exists in multiple fantasy settings. New temporary name for this mountain range is Splits-the-World.]

* The north-western coast of Teyrnon Canhastyr is home to the Hexapolis, six allied free cities with ancient pre-imperial privileges. They are aligned with the city-states on the so far nameless western continent, although relations have soured significantly since the genocidal wars of that continent and the massacres perpetrated in those wars.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:58 pm

-- no longer applicable --
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Fri May 08, 2015 3:29 pm

Llyn is a honorific address in Teyrnon Canhastyr. It derives from the Insular Domraeg word for 'lake', specifically a place with fresh open water. Before the island's climate changed in the 9th century Teyrnon Canhastyr suffered under desperately frigid conditions. Open, unfrozen lochs came to represent the handful of sheltered valleys where humans could reliably eke out a living. The chiefs of such places were held in high esteem. The word came to be synonymous with the master of a lake and its surrounds, and was formally adopted as a title of honor of a marcher lord in the 14th century under Emryn Canhastyr the Absolute.


Gallowglass is a private military company from Cae Gwaun, a city on the Free Coast that is part of the Hexapolis. The company traces its history back to the Gall Goídel, the mercenary 'wild men' recruited from the icy wastes of the island to serve as bodyguards by the faraway Daedalean Emperors. Gallowglass continues to provide a company of troops to the Emperor to this day. In terms of prominence however Gallowglass has been eclipsed by PMCs from San Dorado and Tshkumkara.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

User avatar
Siege
Site Admin
Posts: 2517
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 7:03 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Shear Anarchy / San Dorado [Worldbuilding Exercise]

Post by Siege » Thu May 14, 2015 5:33 pm

The Daedalean Empire is bilingual. The majority of its populace especially in the northern reaches speak Burjmyk, a standardized language heavily influenced by Khagaric dialects. In the imperial provinces of the southern coast however where almost all the major cities are, the people speak predominantly Graic.

This language barrier is socially significant because it forms a firm but invisible barrier between the prosperous southern provinces and a poor and vulgar north full of people perceived by southerners as suspiciously like the hated Kagarians. Policies are in place that make it deliberately difficult for northerners to obtain fluency in Graic in order to prevent them from migrating south or becoming economically succesful. As a result it is said that there are more native Burjmyk speaking migrant laborerers in San Dorado than there are in the imperial provinces, which is a stretch - but not by much.

All laws in the Daedalean Empire are written in Imperial High Graic, the esoteric royal dialect of the ruling classes that includes multiple tenses and verbs that do not exist in 'low' Graic. Only the elite of Daedalean society speaks this dialect, and mastery of it is necessary to understand the byzantine legal codes of the empire. Since its group of users is so small Imperial High Graic is very resistant to (social) change, playing a major part in the stratification (and ossification) of Daedalean society.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

Post Reply