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pre-TNESV: Applications & Map Generation

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Thlayli, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    ---

    Phase One Players:

    -The Core-

    Xassa - North King
    Ekkadey - thomas.berubeg
    Qae - Luckymoose
    Tiatus - Dreadnought

    -The Fringe-

    Boh'ha - Ninja Dude
    Hae Cham Kolseng - ork
    Yeokapae - tuxedohamm

    -The Isolated-

    Shurazh - Lord Iggy

    ---

    This is the application thread for my upcoming cradle NES. I will be choosing 6-8 individuals for the first round, based on a holistic selection criteria focused around balance, originality, quality, and player reputation. If you are interested, please fill out the template. The application template doesn't require you to make up any names, just give me an idea of what type of civilization you're going for.

    There is no map yet! I will design the map around the civilizations chosen for Phase 1.

    Facts about the world so far:

    In general it's a lot like ours, with similar axial tilt and climate bands.

    There is one moon. The planet has a well-developed ring system which is occasionally visible during the day, and brilliantly so during the night. It is visible arcing from east to west, on either the northern or southern horizon depending on which hemisphere one is in, or directly overhead at the equator. Our crack science team (NK) is currently researching the various weather effects of the rings based on sun shadowing of various latitudes at different times in the year, but you can assume that they will not be extreme. The planet is placed in a spiral arm galaxy much like our own, and the band of the galaxy at night is also similar, albeit overshadowed by the rings.

    You can assume that similar staples (long grains to grind into flour, short grains like rice, corns, starchy tubers, etc.) and animals (riding animals, hard labor animals, big food animals, small food animals, pets) are available, although not all in every cradle. Isolates are more likely to have limited crop/animal packages. I am open to alternate domesticated animals and plants, if they’re relatively similar to variants of earth domesticates or possible domesticates. Some examples would be canines large enough to ride, or weasels/martens made more sociable and common pets, etc. Alternate drugs are definitely allowed, although alcohol will almost certainly arise.

    Default earth species will still be available!

    Phase 1:

    This process will allow me to select civilizations which will enter Phase 1 of the acceleration process, in which we will very quickly simulate approximately 3000-3500 years of history, from the dawn of civilization through the rise of the first great polities, then their decline and fall, and their replacement with new, rising powers, as other fringe groups begin to civilize and challenge the ancient imperial regions. We will go from the Neolithic to the early Iron Age in rough technological terms.

    You don't have to give me a culture name or any in-character terms yet, I just want to get an idea of what you want to do.

    On to the template!

    Location:
    Geography:
    Themes and Values:
    Goals:
    Variations:
    National Focus:
    National Failure:
    Preferred Flora & Fauna:


    Location: Choose from Core, Fringe, or Isolate to describe how you would like to be positioned relative to your neighbors of other cultures. Core will give you multiple nearby neighbors, Fringe will place you near one, Isolate will place you alone. These will give you advantages and disadvantages that are pretty obvious.

    Geography: Describe the ideal geography for your culture. For example, “A large temperate river valley with easy access to the sea and nearby deposits of tin and copper, convenient to major trade routes,” or “A sprawling archipelago stretching latitudinally within an inland sea that passes from cool continental to arid desert climes, isolated from neighboring regions by a variety of natural barriers.” [1-3 sentences]

    Themes and Values: Describe the ideals and values that your people prize as important, as well as their taboos. Pretty much anything can go here; pick the ideas that excite you most. You can also talk about government types, religion, and other social structures. You don’t have to name anything IC yet unless you want to. [no limit]

    Goals: What are your overarching goals for your people(s)? In a perfect universe, describe how you would like to “end up” politically and culturally, with respect to yourselves and your neighbors. Examples might include dominating the region's trade routes, acquiring immense levels of cultural and religious prestige, or conquering the world. Plans for transitions, collapses or getting conquered by someone also go here. [2-4 sentences]

    Variations: Will different cultures emerge from your root culture during this period? If so, what types? Consider hybridization with and influences from your neighbors if you’re a Core or Fringe culture. [1-3 sentences]

    National Focus: Everyone wants to be effective at everything, but what are your people best at? [1-2 sentences]

    National Failure: What do you see as your people’s greatest weaknesses? [1-2 sentences]

    Preferred Flora & Fauna: Describe the crops and animals you would prefer to have. Hopefully this is influenced by your geography.
     
  2. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    If you are selected for Phase 1, I will require additional information later, but the goal of the template is to be easy to complete (making up fake names is hard) while testing your creativity and coherency, and helping me choose submissions that will balance each other nicely.

    If you are NOT selected for Phase 1, you will absolutely still be welcome for later stages in the NES, after the acceleration. Don't be discouraged if this is the case, just keep your ideas on hold; we'll still need them.

    Go ahead and post!

    Current map draft:

     
  3. North King

    North King blech

    Joined:
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    Alright, I'll bite:

    Link.

    (subject to change, pending thomas's stuff)

    Location: Core
    Geography: A chain (or more probably, multiple chains) of islands off the shore of one or more continents in the tropical to subtropical latitudes -- think Cape Hatteras to Trinidad. The chain should extend out into the ocean; I'm not particularly fussy about which end the continents are on.
    Themes and Values: Demographic - Urban, cosmopolitan, diverse, with lots of immigrants and emigrants and plenty of good feeling towards them both; the islands, particularly the larger ones, have significant rural hinterlands, but even they tend to be relatively urbane. Cultural - So much culture! Xassa should excel in architecture, sculpture, poetry, music, longform literature, and performance art. Painting isn't particularly prized (things tend to decay pretty rapidly), though they do have access to a lot of unusual dyes. Social - Strong communal ties, mostly secular; the autochthonous religion is a complex pantheism which I'll sketch out eventually, but will probably be replaced anyway since cradles need more people adopting other peoples' faiths. Social stratification? Obviously! Mostly, people who get rich tend to enjoy a lot of creature comforts. Economic - Naturally a lot of middleman-ship, where they build big, beautiful clinker boats with nice lateen sails and go and bring stuff to other places for other stuff. But they also have a pretty high biodiversity on the islands, so cash crops like cotton, cacao, rubber, tobacco, or sugar might grow there in great quantities for export; numerous dyes would probably be available too. As they run up the complexity ladder, finished goods like complex, beautifully dyed fabrics, chocolate, fine carvings, and eventually even industrial goods will proliferate. Very few people in the country are not tied to a regional (and even quasi-global) network of commerce. Oh, and they fish. duh. Political - Typically, they go for a more republican mode of governance; or oligarchic. Despots are kind of frowned upon as inelegant.
    Goals: Well, the Xassa can end up in a number of ways, so I guess I'll put a few variations on a theme here: 1) A united merchant republic, utterly dominating the sea lanes and controlling trade for the area. 2) Fractious city-states, full of pirates, trading hubs, and local potentates. 3) A commercial backwater, largely only known for its exotic crop packages, probably a target for slave raids. 4) An imperial republic, combining its maritime might with significant chthonic holdings to subjugate numerous other peoples.
    Variations: Some variants: 1) Xassal Library: These cosmopolitan, urbane people have become a hub for the transmission and preservation of human knowledge, and they are consequently a center of culture and proto-science. 2) Xassal bellum sacrum: Becoming obsessed with a religious strain of the mainland, these Xassal have used their naval skills to export the faith across a vast and disparate array of ports and hinterlands -- often violently. 3) Xassal Colonists: Founding numerous cities on the mainland, these Xassal haven't wholly given up their seaborne roots, but they've started to mingle with the locals. 4) Xassal Mercenaries: When you can get anywhere in the world, why not hire out your sword? 5) Xassal Involution: A lot of money + no threats = building really big buildings and admiring your pretty island city all day.
    National Focus: The sea, obviously. They're also merchants par excellence, but instead of a blase thalassocracy, they tend to actually use their wealth to construct wonders (not just lighthouses), intervene on land, and write beautiful poetry.
    National Failure: Given the precarious geography, I think the likeliest failures are ecological -- overexploitation of island soils, not preparing for your sesquicentennial volcanic eruptions, and so on.
    Preferred Flora & Fauna:
    Domesticates: Critical - manioc, oca, taro, sweet potato, cotton, beans, various trees including most importantly rubber, ice cream bean, peach palm, acai, star fruit, cashew, sacha mango, breadfruit. Desired - kola nuts, melons, sugar, tobacco; donkeys, pigs, chickens. Stretch - maize, bananas. No Thank You - wheat, flax, yams; cows, goats, sheep, water buffalo, llamas.
    Wild: Critical - a highly diverse package of various plants; same goes for animals, though particularly spider monkeys. Stretch - blah; random island giants like komodo dragons or emus, elephants (on the mainland). No Thank You - Old World primates.
     
  4. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    I'm intrigued by the Xassa! Submission approved (also pending changes), and I'll get started working on the Xassal Seas.
     
  5. ork75

    ork75 Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Hae Cham Kolseng

    Location:
    core/fringe

    Geography:
    Wide rolling plains. Some mountains, at the edges (bigger there) and a few low ridge networks in the middle. Climate is temperate, or at least with seasons, but is pretty cool. Winters are downright chilly. Few trees, except along rivers and along the edges of the plains. The plains themselves are grassy, but not much more. In the summers and springs they become endless fields of flowers (religiously significant too!)

    Ideally these plains are at the edge or reach into a cradle, or bridge the gap between two cradles (this is the ideal, perhaps with a few tongues that dive far into one cradle or another)

    Themes and Values:
    The Hae Cham Kolseng are a horse people. While some pockets are farmers, monks, priests and shamans live in stone mountain or hill temples, and there might even be a few cities, tucked away in the vast steppe where outsiders are rarely if ever allowed to travel.

    The Hae Cham Kolseng excel at two activities. The first is trade. They specialize in trade of the extreme long distance, riding impressive quantities of goods over still more impressive distances on the backs of their still MORE impressive horses. They rival even sea traders in this regard, especially for their ability to traverse routes unusable by the boat-men. The other is conquest. They tend not to raid, but instead fall upon other civilizations like the wrath of the gods (which the Hae Cham Kolseng believe they in fact are: religion detailed below). That said, they do frequently take many many slaves. Their conquests generally result in administrative takeover of the targets, and attempts to assimilate and manage the conquered people to the goals of the Hae Cham Kolseng.

    Religion is of primary importance. The gods made the world imperfect, and the Hae Cham Kolseng were put among the peoples of the world with a unique purpose - to make it perfect. While this is undoubtedly a futile task, the Hae Cham Kolseng give it their best shot, damn it. This leads to several tropes.

    First, the mountains and stone faces of the plains are carved and refined from their initial forms to reveal more perfect shapes beneath. These gigantic monuments, think Mt. Rushmore or the Crazy Horse head, are often undertaken using slave labor. However, this is a service to the impressed workers. They, with the misfortune of being born impure and not of the Hae Cham Kolseng, are given the privilege and honor of being involved in great projects to make the world more perfect and to further honor the gods. The carvings themselves are of gods, shapes of natural beauty, simple geometry, patterns, and writing. Often, these carved mountains are topped with stone monasteries or temples, inhabited by sedentary monks and visited by mobile elements of society.

    At these temples, and indeed across the plains, flowers are ritually burned as an offering to the gods. Flower sacrifice is seen as an offering of the earth’s perfection to the gods, and a reminder of the never-ending quest of the Hae Cham Kolseng. Some flowers are dried and stored, and burned throughout the year even when they do not grow.

    Breeding and improvement of genetic stock is a more sinister result of the obsession with worldly perfection. To outsiders, this is most notable in the prime horses the Hae Cham Kolseng breed, larger, more powerful, and quite possibly superior to anything else in the world. Other breeds of horse may be specialized, too: smaller horses might be bred for speed and stamina for messengers and wandering artists, others might be bred to bear the loads of the merchant trains, etc.

    This obsession does not end with animal stock, of course. It extends to humanity. There is a preoccupation with breeding the best of the best together, and perhaps as an aid to this there is no monogamy or traditional marriage as such. The basic social unit is a clan, composed of multiple husbands and wives, and often a small swarm of children. Generally, individuals do not rule. Instead, a ruling clan as a whole makes decisions for a larger group.

    Since the Hae Cham Kolseng are more perfect than other earthly peoples, there is no small element of xenophobia to their dealings with outsiders. This does not manifest as a hatred, though, just as a light disdain or pity. Trade with outsiders is a necessity, even if mildly unpleasant. When conquered empires are ruled, every attempt is made to refine society, break traditional social units into clans, teach Hae Cham Kolseng language and writing, and convert the conquered people into an instrument for further perfection. This can mean that social inequities may be addressed, or other ills dealt with. The Hae Cham Kolseng would like to believe their rule benevolent, and attempt to make this known to those they command. After all, they are sacrificing their lives for the purpose of the world’s (and whichever people’s) perfection.

    Other stuff: Thin banners, vertically written syllabic alphabet, low stone architecture concentrated along rivers and hills. General obsessiveness. Culture focused especially on visual art, physical art, and short form literature. Ushankas. Soy. Dyed hair, with many colors. Quilting.

    Goals:
    Make the world PERFECT! Conquer, trade, convert, and make people think like they do. Be a “positive” force.

    Variations:
    Sedentary people obsessed with specialization. Breeding the best animals, farming the very best crops and for the most sustainability, creating and refining the best methods of government. Temple folk, obsessed with greater offerings to the heavens and intensity of belief in perfection. Perhaps a slightly different religious vein who believe that if the world is not constantly improved the gods will destroy the creation. Another that believes the world has been forgotten by the gods and must be made more perfect to draw in their attention once more. Mountain shepherds. Mobile and conquering armies. Bureaucrats and administrators of conquered lands. Architects and researchers.

    National Focus:
    The great expanse of the land, and refining society and the world. Overall, the Hae Cham Kolseng are capable of recognizing foreign advancements and acting on them. Conversion and assimilation of the world. Trading and conquering, and teaching people how to be perfect.

    National Failure:
    Pigheadedness and tendency towards obsession. Meaningless and arbitrary ideas of “perfect” take away from necessary tasks. Undeveloped core. Perhaps an unwillingness by certain elements to accept and recognize how outsiders might do it better. Inward perfection (not always true). Infighting, over who is more perfect. Conquered peoples not seeing things the same way the Hae Cham Kolseng do.

    Preferred Flora & Fauna:
    Horses, duh. Sheep, goats, cows. Falcons and pigeons (for messaging and hunting). Wheat, barley, rice. Sweet potatoes. Fruit trees. Grasses. Quinoa (!?!). Other stuff!
     
  6. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Neat. I'm going to approve this one as well. TBD your cradle status with regard to NK (and possibly thomas), you might be on another continent. Still working it out.
     
  7. Ninja Dude

    Ninja Dude Sorry, I wasn't listening...

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    Boh'ha

    Location: Fringe

    Geography: Mountainous location with mesas and cliffs, with actual climate not entirely important. The Boh'ha will be cliff dwelling peoples, and so wherever you can make that happen would be acceptable. [1-3 sentences]

    Themes and Values: Boh'ha culture places a significant emphasis on leaving a legacy, usually symbolized as "one's water" (cistern analogies) or throwing their echo out into the world at large, joining the voices of those others who have since passed from the world, but continue influencing and shaping it. Leaders are judged on how they provide for their progeny, with blunders and hardships becoming more forgivable if it has paved the way for future generations. On the other hand, selfishness and reckless ambition, no matter how successful, tends to be eyed warily by more conservative members of society. Reservation and contemplation are signs of strong character, while stubbornness, brashness, and acting on impulse show signs of lesser character

    Boh'ha religion, as mentioned before, tends to focus on a person's interactions with later generations. When a Boh'ha person dies, their last breath supposedly joins the worldsong, an immense tapestry of voices and sounds of the world, hanging in the skies overhead. The worldsong's many portions shape the world in many subtle ways; the winds, the tides, the emotions of man. A respectable member of Boh'ha society can expect their portion of the worldsong to be influential, capable of support one's ancestors for generations to come. Boh'ha people emulate this worldsong with group songs that are largely improvisational, although traditional guidelines give participants acceptable behaviors that ensure most voices are heard without creating too much chaos. Drums and whistling are also common in Boh'ha performances, echoing through the canyons.

    Boh'ha tend to organize themselves under the leadership of priest-singers or venerated elders. These men tend to live in ornate ancestral halls befitting of their station, where they take the grievances and concerns of the community they serve. While the process for choosing these leaders varies from community to community, it could potentially lead to a system close to a democracy, although in action is closer to an oligarchy or a theocracy. Given the geographical challenges that the Boh'ha face, larger polities will have difficulty forming, although local rulers could potentially work to form federations, but only in times of crisis.

    Goals: Largely independent city-states carved into the sides of cliffs, creating ornate music chambers and massive cisterns unique to Boh'ha culture. Traveling performance groups will spread their musical tradition throughout the world, with improvisation giving rise to a tradition of comedy as well. Politically, as mentioned earlier, city-states would likely form, although the lack of numbers and cooperation between the Boh'ha would make them easy prey for larger countries, provided they can risk a costly invasion (and see anything to gain from one). Given Boh'ha concerns for the future, bloodshed would likely be avoided when possible, settling for autonomy rights if they are subsumed into larger polities.

    Oh, and if an entire amazing city is carved out of a cliff and then gets destroyed in an earthquake or something, then SO BE IT.

    Variations: More religious communities of Boh'ha will build on top of mesas, rather than on the cliffs in an attempt to live closer to the worldsong. The group performances of their lower brothers are replaced with wails of penance and sacrifice as priests bake in the sun or strike themselves with whips. Seeking to show their dedication and selflessness through any means necessary, these religious minorities travel to remote corners of the world (typically moving to higher elevations). The typical reserved nature of the Boh'ha is taken to the extreme, with only the most basic goods being allowed in their settlements.

    Other groups will become more nomadic, traveling between Boh'ha settlements (as well as those of other cultures, obviously) and peddling their wares. Ornate carvings, gems, and medicinal herbs are traded for metal tools and weapons, which may or may not lead to a shift in power towards these more mobile groups. Particularly powerful groups and their camps could serve as a "shifting capital" amidst a federation, with the supreme ruler and his closest advisors moving here and there, carrying messages and connecting the cities to one another.

    National Focus: Ideally, Boh'ha architecture would be unique, supporting both breathtaking works of art, as well as formidable fortifications. They would also try to preserve their independence/autonomy, although their religion and values are not entirely exclusive to others, depending on what other cultures develop.

    National Failure: A lack of numbers compared to cultures with access to less confined areas, as well as a lack of natural resources. I know I can hope and pray for mineral wealth to be found somewhere in those cliffs, but I have my doubts :p

    Flora: I have absolutely no idea about Flora, so I'm gonna leave this bit up to you Thlayli.
    Fauna: Addax (domesticated?) ibex, oryx, rock hyrax (pet?), camels
     
  8. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Oh, that's so cool Ninja. Boh'ha are totally in.

    Very interesting that the three of you so far have chosen totally different climate regions!

    I'm hoping to get at least 2 more sedentary Core powers and then a couple fringe/isolates. If we're absolutely overflowing with interesting concepts I might raise the initial player limit over 7, but we'll see how the interest develops; it might not be necessary.
     
  9. North King

    North King blech

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    I dunno, seems like Ninja's cool with any climate. :D
     
  10. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Well all of his fauna were kinda deserty, so I assume he was imagining something dry and warm at least.
     
  11. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Ekkadey
    Location: Core
    Geography:
    Lots of low hills, marshlands, sawgrass prairies towards the coast, with the coastlines themselves being defined predominantly by Mangals. More inland, the the marshes and swamps are supplanted by drier prairies and scrublands. There should be a large, wide, slow river meandering its way towards a fertile delta. Every so often, but not ridiculously rarely, there will likely be Stock Igneous intrusions, pushing their way out of the ground, and overlooking large areas of the surrounding swamplands. Most cities will likely be built on these intrusions. Since the early days Ekkedey occupation, large scale reclamation efforts have drained some areas for agriculture, though the tree-based agriculture the Ekkad requires little draining.

    Maybe, in the far south, there is a low mountainous spine. I picture the Ekkadey beleiving they come from somewhere “beyond the mountains.”

    Themes and Values:
    Origin Myth:
    Many Thousands of years ago, when the Ekkadey were still a thousand people with a thousand different languages, the lived in the distant south. It was a magical place. Water changed on a whim, one minute liquid, another solid, and it was possibly for a man to die simply by going outside.

    And yet, there were people there. Thousands of cheifdoms, each bickering with each other for choice bits of land. In their hubris, they even bickered with spirits and gods. This bickering angered Sulma, He of the Ten Thousand Eyes, and he swore that the people of the land would perish for daring to infringe upon his domain. And so he sent his servants to walk amongst the people who would become the Ekkad, spreading a wasting cold amongst them. Thousands died, entire cities left only to the dead.

    Ekkad, son of Alman, who had already perished to the curse, preyed twenty nights and twenty days to the Gods, so that they may bring relief. Nouda the Bright Shiner took pity upon him. Coming before him, Nouda gave Ekkad a task, telling him to gather the tribes of man together before the mountain, and she would offer them sanctuary. As she set him on his way, kissed him upon the lips, and in that moment, he was changed, his Eyes turning blue and his hair yellow like her light. (That is why those few born with those colors tend to end up in the priesthood, or adopted by nobility.)

    Through many heroic tasks and noble deeds, Ekkad brought together all the tribes, Making of their daughters his wives, so that all the tribes could know the blessing of the Bright Shiner.

    When they had all gathered, Nouda reappeared before Ekkad, declaring his people the Ekkadey, and he, Ekkad, thier first king. Pointing North, she told the Ekkadey that their salvation ley in that direction, where there was a land where she ruled all year around, and the curse of Sulma would not find them easily. But, she warned them, they must learn to work together, or else her power would slowly fail. In honor of the twenty days and twenty nights he had prayed, she gave him twenty horses and twenty cows, and her husband, The Stone Face, taught Ekkad how to forge Iron and make a wheel.

    Ekkad took as the symbol of his house the face of Nouda, carving it with the first Iron Knife he had made into his chest.

    The Ekkadim wandered many many years before finding the land Nouda had spoken of, and along the way, many were lost, some to the wasting curse, and some simply because they wrongly believed they had found the land that was promised. Ekkad, however, knew that was not the case, and he knew that, even if the traitors thrived for a time, one day Sulma would claim their souls.

    There are many stories told of the exodus, and even more tales lost to time.

    It was only when they reached the Holy Mount of Nouda that Ekkad planted his feet and said “No More.” With the Gifts of The Stone Face, Ekkad, Iron and the Chariot, Ekkad conquered the promised mount, and on it’s slopes, overlooking the river, he built the first city of the Ekkadey, where it still stands today, the great city of the Sun.

    Values:
    The Ekkadey very firmly beleive they are the promised people of the Sun, since they survived long ago. Every Ekkadey city, and there are many, strongly believes that its ruling line, no matter how young nor old, no matter that scarcely three generations, that self same family were simple farmers or the ruling elite, are the true heirs of Ekkad. For all that Ekkadey hate the idea of being ruled by another city, each Ekkadey, in his heart of hearts, strongly believes that the Ekkadey have only declined since the days of the Empire of the Sun.

    The Ekkadey, at least mythically, all descend from a specific tribe united with the others by Ekkad. Legend states that each tribe founded a different city in the image of Ekkad’s, giving it the name of thier tribe. As such, for the inhabitants, the city is as much a place to live as it is an extended family. Ekkadey are known by their First name, City Name, and Last name, and there is an inherent and immediate camaraderie with someone that shares the same city name, even if they are encountered in a distant city. One can always count on some food, or a place to stay, from a fellow cityman. Likewise, enemeties between city-clans can span generations. Despite that, Ekkadey are always inherinetly favored over foreigners (Though most cities have a sizable foreign enclave.)

    The Faith of the Ekkadey is known as the “faith of the Sun,” which has as it’s symbol a red sun. (Need a name for it the religion) The Ekkadey believe that the souls of the faithful are shielded from agony after death by the embrace of Nouda, and that the good, the worth, travel to her upon their death along the God’s Road. Sinners, however, are cast from the road, and lie in the cold dark alone, waiting until such time as Ekkad returns and forgives them for their transgressions. The Faith itself is recorded in a book called “The Bloody Sun” as the first version of the book was inscribed by Ekkad himself with the blood from the wound he carved into his chest.

    The Ekkadey raid the surrounding lands and seas for slaves and plunder, bringing them back behind their stout stone walls to labor, but also trade with the surrounding people, Ekkadey ships ranging far and wide in the sea.

    Ekkadey art likely reflects a syncretization of what their ancestors who once migrated had (i’m picturing a lot of thin, beaten gold ornaments and masks, and metal spiral armbands) and what their neighbors (and the natives once) had.

    The Ekkadey drink many fruit wines, brewed from the many fruits that grow in their orchards. As with their neighbors, many of the crops of the Ekkadey are perennials.



    Goals:
    Many possibilities: 1) Unit under a true heir of Ekkad, bringing the light of Nouda far and wide, subjugating the natives and enslaving them. 2) Remain fractious city states, temporarily united under petty despots and confederations, alliances that collapse within a generation. 3) Conquest by foreign powers. 4) ecological collapse causing the great cities to be abandoned to the Jungle

    Variations:
    Some groups likely are much more amenable to working together. The City of the Sun, geographically central and with the weight of institutional history behind it, likely rules a not insignificant league of cities. Likewise, some groups, potentially on the coast, are much likely to a-conquering out in the wine-dark sea, as it is said that Ekkad himself once led the great Armada out and conquered the islands out there, though Xassa legends no doubt disagree.

    National Focus:
    Reclamation of a lost history. They are the promised people, and, by her warmth, they will have what they deserve.

    National Failure:
    WHY WON’T THEY GET ALONG? (Also, the ecology seems like it would be sort of fragile.)

    Preferred Flora & Fauna:
    (Lifted from NK, though slightly modified)
    Critical - Horses, Cows, manioc, oca, taro, sweet potato, cotton, beans, various trees including most importantly rubber, ice cream bean, peach palm, acai, star fruit, cashew, sacha mango, breadfruit. Desired - kola nuts, melons, sugar, donkeys, pigs, chickens. Stretch - maize, bananas.

    Wild: Critical - a highly diverse package of various plants; same goes for animals, though particularly spider monkeys. Elephants (on the mainland)


    REALLY IMPORTANT: The Ekkadey can digest lactose.
     
  12. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Location:
    In the desert
    I'd like you to actually PM Dreadnought, who has a sort of similar idea for a city-state based empire with sun (and moon) worship. If you're blonde haired, blue-eyed migrants from outside of the cradle, you'll probably be bringing knowledge of wild grain cultivation with you, as well as the fact that your area doesn't support the Xassa crop package as effectively due to the lack of humidity and tree cover.

    You're sort of in a hybrid area between the Xassan and inlander crop packages, so the coastal mangrove forests will still support some tree-based agriculture, while the river (especially away from the coast) would probably be a more traditional wheat/barley cultivation process, most likely using the alluvial floodplain. In comparison to the Ekkadim, Dreadnought's people will have a much greater connection to grain cultivation and the inland, and be relatively lighter skinned.

    But approved, generally speaking.
     
  13. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    18,347
    Location:
    Get Back
    Rough sketch:

    Name: Qae/Qaen (Keh/Kehn)
    Location: Core (though likely not, since the core is so weird)
    Geography: A humid sub-tropical/mediterranean land of hills and eroded mountains situated along a mighty river flowing into a broad coastal plain, where natural salt pans form in the marshy lowlands, and flanked by a gentle rolling tropical savanna.
    Themes and Values: A people dedicated to the art of arguments, the Qaen have mastered the engineering of city states in the thousand valleys of their homeland, with terraced farming and highland ranching centered around tall, stone fortifications usually with earthen defenses farther out, including the strategic sequestering of waters into lakes and ponds for even the smallest population centers. Ergo, cramped living conditions are the norm during times of conflict, which themselves are the norm, though the wars are typically small in grand scheme of things. Dynastic ownership of these fortresses typically fails after a few generations, either through marriage, and thus new families moving in, or outright coups. Matriarchy dominates all aspects of society, as the women commit to cottage industries within the walls as the men roam the countryside where danger persists, so mothers, being least likely to be captured, injured, or otherwise indisposed control the politics of their individual family units, cities, and larger networks of alliances. In the lowlands, cities construct earthen mottes with stone fortresses near vital salt evaporation schemes, trading further inland along raised causeways pocked with forts and farming villages. These causeways naturally create prepackaged territories claimed by the strongest, nearest city for exploitation. Kidnapping and enslavement is expected as a sign of strength.

    As a people of arguments, they commit a lot of time to the oral and written word of law, and the study thereof, which fosters a great need for an educated class of women to behave as diplomats in the rapidly changing world of valley politics. In the arts, the weaving of fantastical clothing to showcase the wealth and status of one city over another is the primary trade, while music, done by traveling troupers as a way of, again, telling one city why yours is the best, comes in a strong second. This inconsistent and fluid political climate makes trade a more complex and difficult matter, thus requiring a well-versed merchant class, educating the next generations in the fields of commerce, diplomacy, and humility (if they want to survive long enough to make a profit, as even during times of conflict the spice must flow).

    In the household, women rule, as stated above, but more importantly the concept of monogamy is absent. Polygamous marriages are advantageous for women who frequently lose husbands to kidnappings, battles, or just plain old wanting to lose one. The concept of paternity of a child is absolutely foreign, since the only individual who matters is the birth mother, and her mother, when determining familial relations. The men share responsibility for the children, even if they had no actual "input" in their creation. Loyalty to your daughters is a thing of pride. Men, then, fall into two camps: the hard lives of agriculture, construction, and war, or the trained life of the merchant class. Which you fall into depends entirely on who your mother and mother's mother is. Sexuality in a system where one woman shares many men has shifted. When one man, or many, can never guarantee their appetites will be fulfilled, especially if their wives despise them (the beloved spouses gain many other benefits outside of intimacy, but that's one of the perks), a third gender role develops. Some men, whether born with that inclination or adapting it out of cultural pressure, fill the gap of intimacy left by the ruling gender, becoming a middle ground of sexual desire, romantic partnership, etc. that is not only supported but endorsed by the women.

    Religion is as anarchistic as the rest of this mess. Every city has a patron deity, which changes depending on the mood and current sitting family's personal flavor, which leads to a massive pantheon of gods and one confusing mythology. Some ideas persist in all cities, namely the concept of the mountains as the womb, and the rivers as the broken waters of childbirth, denoting the coming of the peoples to the world. Interestingly there is no sun or moon god, only a concept of division founded around the planet's ring and its shadow. This division reinforces the need for individual cities to promote their own political welfare, the need to maintain men and women in separate roles, and even in the design of earthen structures.
    Goals: Inwardly focused coalition building and shifting, constructing ever larger engineering projects on scales other puny peoples could never manage, being ladies of salt
    Variations: Groups that are far more religiously minded, with heterodox gender roles, seafaring varieties near the coastline (pirate queens), and more nomadic flavors on the savanna in tent cities.
    National Focus: Anarchy, thus stone fortifications and standing, personal armies & engineering of the world around them, thus dykes, dams, lakes, salt flats, causeways, etc.
    National Failure: Dynastic legacy, thus holding power over several generations is the exception, not the rule & foreign policy cohesion
    Preferred Flora & Fauna:
    Domesticates: Goats, cattle, peafowl, junglefowl, coffee, millet, plums, peaches, lemons, oranges, cotton, sugarcane
     
  14. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,477
    Location:
    In the desert
    I like the concept and I'm interested to fit it into the cradle! You'll probably be in the more equatorial extreme of the cradle, while NK, then thomas and then Dreadnought (once he submits) and finally ork will get gradually closer to the temperate zones.

    Approved.
     
  15. Dreadnought

    Dreadnought Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    6,896
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Tiatus

    Location: Core

    Geography: A land of gentle hills and fertile grasslands fed by several river systems that feed into a large sea. The climate is humid subtropical, with fairly uniform rainfall, as the tall nearby mountains trap the air flows from the sea against the coast.

    Themes and Values: Long ago, the Tiatans embarked on a great journey. Not much is remembered from that time; the stories tell of death and a bitter cold that seeped into men's hearts. Solmus, the God of Death, had cursed their ancestors for crimes of hubris and defiance in the name of the gods. The ancestors were forced to flee from their homeland and wander the world in search of a new domain to settle. The migrants were lead by Akkad, though their clan itself was lead by Tiat and his father Henos, the last surviving heroes of old who were said to be a descendant of the gods themselves.

    According to the myths, the expedition began as a whole host of the ancestors ventured forth to escape their impending doom. The ravages of the trip, combined with the ever present pursuit of Solman, rapidly reduced their number. Compounding these issues were the disunity present in this migratory group; they were, after all, not a single people, but instead a host of different families, clans, and tribes.

    Late in their journey, when their old homes were but a distant memory, Henos's health reached serious decline. He was late in life, and he could not keep pace with the group. He urged the Tiatans to continue without him, but Tiat refuted such selflessness and decreed that he would never leave his father to die alone in the wilderness. Despite this, Akkad, who had grown arrogant in his position of power, would not halt the expedition; the next day, the vast majority of the party proceeded onwards, leaving the Tiatans and their god-chiefs in solitude.

    Henos did not survive much longer, and the Tiatans provided him with a funeral worthy of their venerable leader; unfortunately, the damage had already been done, and despite Tiat's best efforts all contact with the main party was lost. In desperation they continued northwards along the coast, hoping to by chance rendezvous with the other ancestors, but it was all in vain.

    Akkad, claiming to be the envoy of the gods, had not shared their destination with the rest of the party, instead choosing to personally enact all decisions of importance. Thus, the Tiatans were stranded in a foreign land, wandering aimlessly; in desperation, Tiat begged the gods for some sort of sign to guide them to their new home. It appeared that Nolda, the goddess of the Sun, the original sponsor of their expedition, refuted Tiat on that day; for Akkad had been her chosen champion, and Tiat's defiance to Akkad was an affront to the Sun Goddess herself.

    On that day, however, the Sun Goddess was overruled.

    As the party marched westward along the River Dubro, the previously silent Moon Goddess Nela, less bright than Nolda but far more majestic in the night sky, decided to grant the Tiatans her blessing. In a awe-inspiring sequence, the goddess adopted the Tiatans as her people: it is said, that to combat the wrath of Nolda, Nela herself ventured forth in the daytime sky – a feat rare for the Moon Goddess – and a brief few moments ruled the day in her stead, forcing the Sun Goddess into hiding. Tiat at once understood the significance of such an act, and proclaimed that very spot to be their new domain. To this day, the great city of Tiata rests upon that river; the great temple of Nela, it is said, was constructed upon the very hill from which the Tiatans witnessed their goddess's blessing.

    Thus, the Tiatans are a monotheistic people, devoted in their worship of the Moon. Despite this, they do not dispute the existence of other gods: Nolda and Solmus chief among them. These gods, however, can no longer threaten the safety and longevity of the Tiatan people, for Nela herself has promised to protect them from the wrath of jealous deities. In fact, it is said that Nela herself constructed the rings that grace the night sky as a barrier to protect the Tiatans from the pursuit of Solmus; though Nolda continues to rise and set each day, once in very many years Nela again steals the daytime sky from her, extending her pact with the Tiatans and showing her approval of their worship.

    * * *

    Priestesses and Kings rule supreme in the lands of Tiatus – and the order of prevalence between the two has varied significantly over the years. The Tiatans worship the Moon, Nela; they also believe the rings that grace the sky to be the walls of heaven that separate the souls of the dead from the living.

    The head of state of Tiatus is a monarch with absolute power; although males have a preference in succession, a Queen ruling the Tiatans is not a completely unknown status. The ruling house is deemed the descendants from Tiat himself, and thus their word is considered the direct will of the Moon Goddess; at least, as long as the church deems it to be.

    The Tiatan church forms the bureaucracy of the Kingdom, and priestesses oftentimes act as governors, viziers, and other such significant positions under the monarch. Although male members of the clergy are accepted, the most prominent positions of power within the church exclusively cater to women, in homage to the sexuality of the Moon Goddess. Sometimes, when the ruler of the Tiatans is weak of mind or will, the church acts as the supreme power in the kingdom, ruling as the voice of the king. When the ruler of the Kingdom is strong and capable, the religious leaders serve as loyal subordinates to follow the King’s will. The unfortunate grey area between the two is a source of friction between the two branches; in fact, one of the challenges of ruling Tiatus is keeping the large and powerful church in its place.

    Tiatan society can be divided into several different classes. The nobility are the wealthy landowners and lords who acted as wardens and extensions of the political power of the King. The priests and priestesses, as already mentioned, wield considerable political power in their own right, as well as functioning as religious leaders in the cities and towns of the Kingdom. Professional soldiers form their own caste; although their numbers are fewer compared to other civilizations, their livelihoods are completely satisfied by the nobility, allowing this small group to hone their training and military capabilities. The artisans and merchants form the middle class of the social structure. Beneath them are the freemen, the vast majority of whom are farmers. Finally, slaves and servants encompass the final, lowest rung of society, and function alongside the freemen as the main workers in the agricultural sector.

    Tiata is the principle urban locale of the kingdom, and its magnificence and imposingness dwarfs other nearby towns and settlements. The kings of Tiatus spend extravagantly for construction and expansion of the city, including the grand temple of the Moon. Agricultural harvests are funneled directly to feed its significant population; the city’s unrelenting growth has overstepped even the bountiful harvests of the nearby farmlands, creating the need for several internal trade cycles. Famine and disease occasionally strike as disasters in Tiata, forcing the ruling class to constantly import fresh slaves and freemen to act as the cogs of the city’s operations.

    Because the freemen and slave populations form such a foundation upon the Tiatan economy, the upper class is free to engage in cultural and scientific endeavors that the common man cannot. Astronomy the chief science practiced in the realm, due to the religious connection with the night sky; logic and primitive mathematics naturally followed from such a pursuit. In fact, the great Temple of the Moon features an observatory atop the great tower in the center of the complex; for those blessed to venture into such a venerable place, it is said to resemble an aerie perched high above the city below. There, sages and wise men record the traversals of the stars and the phases of the Moon.

    Cultural works are also varied in the city. Most are either religious or mythological in scope, and chiefly act as grand tales of heroism. Males and females both prominently feature in these stories, and romance is a common underlying plot device. This idea, combined with the Moon Goddess's cycles correlating to women's menstruation, had lead to the Moon Goddess assuming the guise of a gentle, loving, motherly figure in the Tiatus religious dialogue, and is imagined as an attractive young woman. Even the architecture is influenced by the Tiatan's worship of the Moon: dull purples, blues, and greys are commonplace colors, giving the city a unique facade.

    Goals: The monarchs and nobles of Tiata always seek to increase their personal power through the acquisition of new lands and peoples, as well as the taxation and development of their existing domains. Religion also plays a major role in this regard; expanding the base and strength of the religious class is, naturally, doing the goddess's work on this earth. Expansion also provides a second important effect: allowing more resources and peoples to be funneled towards the maintenance and improvement of Tiata proper.

    Variations: Variations would not be an intrinsic characteristic for which Tiatus would strive. That being said, however, the constant influx of new peoples and ideas into Tiata would create an interesting chasm for cultural shifts and new paradigms. The natural contest between the extreme centralization of Tiata versus the decentralized nature of outlying regions would also play a role in that regard.

    National Focus: The continued expansion of the city of Tiata is a prime candidate for the focus of Tiatus. It could be a metropolitan area that instills marvel and awe in foreigners that first see it upon the horizon.

    National Failure: Tiata is the natural focus of Tiatus, but it could also be its downfall, as the maintainability of such an urban area is a struggle even during the best of times. Additionally, the consistent power struggle between the nobility and king versus the church can also lead to periods of tension.

    Preferred Flora & Fauna: The most common domesticated agriculture includes emmer wheat, barley, and other such grains, as well as celeriac, various legumes, red onions, rue, and cabbage. Less common delicacies include grapes, melons, dates, olives, pistachios, and almonds. Livestock animals include pigs, goats, sheep, cattle, and horses. Domesticated dogs are a common site in Tiatus, and dog breeding is a common endeavor among the nobility. The sea hosts numerous types of fish, including sword fish and dolphins; while fishing is not uncommon, seamanship is not among the chief qualities of Tiatus. Wild animals include eagles, ibexes, chamois, bears, wolves, and marmots; wild plants and trees include holly, cork oak, pine, and cypresses.
     
  16. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    10,477
    Location:
    In the desert
    Looks good, Dread. The rivalry between the cities of the sun and the moon and the clashes of their coalitions is a good common narrative for the bronze age in the Core.
     
  17. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,477
    Location:
    In the desert
    Please view and applaud this highly advanced design document, using only the latest in cutting-edge cartography:



    I'm looking for an Isolated empire to play the role of "weirdos who trade with ork," so PM me or post here if you're interested in submitting for that. Also, I'm expecting Chief Designer to post an Isolated culture to round out our bunch.

    It's looking increasingly like we're going to have two continents. Like our world's Europe and Africa, the northern and southern continents recently (in geologic time) pulled apart, creating a sea where the ocean rushed in. Unlike our world's Europe and Africa, the two will probably end up being completely bisected by a large, long ocean/pseudo-inland sea. So the axis of Old World migration and development is gonna be hella different due to that separation.

    Also unlike our world, the big intercontinental sea (at least the one where the cradle is) is right on top of the equator.
     
  18. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    24,511
    Location:
    Yukon
    I can be a weirdo.
     
  19. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    10,477
    Location:
    In the desert
    Excellent! Your main crop will be maize, although you also (recently) gained access to grains from trading with ork, who traded with NK, who got the grains from thomas' people who (probably) domesticated them. Or were at least chilling nearby when it happened. Ideally something that sounds like it could maybe come from the same language family as ork's people would be good, though there's a lot of leeway.

    Ork's people will be bringing NK's exotic tropical goods across the plains, presumably trading with you for what you've got, whatever that may be, though his civilization probably craves other luxuries, metal, timber, wine, and worked stone, so it would be good if you had some of that. Climate is up to you, though it will most likely be somewhere from cold temperate to subtropical. And you'll have a coast.

    Rice and potatoes are not present on either continent, not counting sweet potatoes.
     
  20. tuxedohamm

    tuxedohamm Disguised as crow.

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    894
    Location:
    With a murder
    I just spotted this. Reading quickly through, I may be just a hint late, but I'd be interested in a fringe or isolated group if there's time/space left.
     

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