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The Long Game

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by Daftpanzer, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Ailedhoo

    Ailedhoo wonderer

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    While open orders do allow better opportunities for co-operation I can understand the appeal of blind orders.
     
  2. Alguerath

    Alguerath Chieftain

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    Wait, there is a Discord for this?
     
  3. erez87

    erez87 Lord of Random

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    1 worms go far deeper, accidentally opening up a gate to hell. Jk. But their deep digging does bring up a ton of heat into the atmosphere.
    2 worms get bigger again and become hunters who listen to vibrations in the ground to come up and devour whatever was on top in surprise.
     
  4. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Action 1: Begin opening an east-west rift system in the north of the supercontinent.

    Action 2: An offshoot of the fungal trees develop more advanced symbiosis. These fungi form complex subterranean networks, collecting nutrients from the soil, which they exchange with the roots of plants in exchange for sugars and certain proteins. These fungal hyphae (fibrous rootlike structures) grow through other plants, forming very close associations, where what appears to be a plant may actually be a complex matrix of plant and fungal cells.
     
    Immaculate and thomas.berubeg like this.
  5. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Epoch 8



    At the dawn of this era, an asteroid roughly 15 kilometres in diameter slammed into the planet’s atmosphere, instantly glowing bright red and sending a shower of molten fragments over the frozen plains of Altica and the Nessan. It was within seconds of striking the planet and instigating an extinction-level event. However, as fate would have it, the asteroid’s trajectory was just slightly too shallow; the object missed the surface, and its momentum carried it back out into space. Still glowing hot, the object crashed into the moon a few hours later, gouging a huge crater and sending out a shower of small meteorites, some of which eventually crashed back on the planet’s surface, leaving a mark in the geological record. But apart from a few unfortunate animals being caught in the crossfire, and forest fires being sparked by hot debris, the impact was minimal...

    Nonetheless, challenging times were ahead; the first half of this era saw the supercontinent of Nesiota reach a peak of size, while an ice age continued, and the temperature plunged to a new record low. Millions of years of volcanic activity and fluctuating weather followed.



    The western half Panzerna and the Ailean islands were steadily consumed by the ravenous supercontinent, being twisted and distorted in the process - leaving some complex and spectacular terrain along the eastern coasts of Nesiota. Yet another new mountain range formed where Panzerna collided with Imperia, thrusting the foundations of ancient rainforest kilometres into the sky, along with their fossils of early land trilobites and ancient amphibians. At the same time, the collision of parts of the Aelian with other islands off the north-east of Nesiota created the Geralia archipelago; at the junction of warm and cold ocean currents, it was a very stormy and rainy place, but offered rich fishing grounds for species that ventured here.

    Eastern Panzerna, meanwhile, was now rifting away from the supercontinent and continued eastwards into the ocean. At the same time, huge new volcanoes began erupting in the islands to the south-east - still an ancient weakpoint in the planet’s crust, since it was the site of an ancient asteroid impact - with extensive lava flows forming large new islands. Together these landmasses now formed the island region known as Semmaria, a last refuge for isolated species of plants and animals - colourful tropical trilobites, flightless pterosaurs, large crabs and oversize insects.

    However, this refuge was far from safe; the volcanic islands of south-east Semmaria were the source of several large tsunami events and severe volcanic winters. It was at this time that the global temperature reached a peak low, with thick glaciers covering the Panzerna-Imperia mountain range at the equator, while ice and cold desert expanded to the coasts of the supercontinent in many areas. Tropical species were again fragmented and pushed into a few survivable pockets in Otope, Panzerna and northern Semmaria.

    Once again the cold favoured mammals, but other winners were the larger terrestrial squid, cold-adapted pterosaurs and birds, and burrowing velvet worms...

    The Mammal family expanded to include very large carnivorous pig-like forms with ferocious bites, giant cave bears, as well as wolf-like animals armed with large fangs. Mammal herbivores were also still thriving in places; there was an explosion of long-haired, rabbit-like species, while the gazelle-like animals of the previous era diversified into hairy buffalo-like animals - some reaching elephant size - as well as smaller, sure-footed, goat-like creatures that took to the steep sides of mountains for safety.

    The rotation of the supercontinent had now carried Moddier region far into the north, where it had become buried under kilometres of ice, but a warm current from the south-west allowed the southern fringes to remain partly unfrozen; it was on these coasts that seagoing mammals continued to evolve, from otter-like forms into more seal-like creatures. These were however hunted by sharks and other carnivores that prowled the oceans.

    With thick ice descending from Moddier along the mountain chains of Nesiota, there was now effectively an ice wall dividing the supercontinent. Isolated on the other side was the region of Altica, ancient homeland of mammals, which was now a cold, dry desert - too dry for ice to accumulate, but still severely cold, encircled by mountains and glaciers, and perhaps the least hospitable place outside of the ice sheets themselves. Yet even here hardy mammals survived; animals with the appearance of a cross between camels and yaks trekked between grazing grounds, surviving on lichen and stubby plant growths. Large pterosaurs would also sometimes be seen here, searching for carcasses to scavenge.

    Meanwhile the desert region of Nessan became more habitable during this era, with rivers born from the melting of glaciers as they pushed down from the mountains under their own weight, offering literal lifelines for plants and animals amidst otherwise barren desert. Migratory mammals were again most common here, but they rubbed shoulders with many kinds of birds and pterosaurs, increasingly large and varied kinds of kangaroo-lizards, and a few surviving species of small non-avian dinosaurs and the last few eusocial hive-building trilobites. But the rulers of this land where the largest terrestrial squid yet to evolve - so-called ‘super mammoth’ squid, building on the success of earlier mammoth squid but adding greater size, strength, greater intelligence and longer life spans.

    These behemoths boasted large spiral tusks made from the same material as ancestral mollusc shells, and at least two large trunk-like arms which were capable of tearing down whole trees, as well as being delicate enough for using tools and constructing shelters. As individuals aged they would build up a complex mental map of food and water sources over many hundreds of kilometres. Though lacking language, they were one of several species alive at this time that had what could be called ‘culture’, and had no natural enemies once fully grown.

    For young mammoths, however, there were dangers - the Nessan was plagued by new mammalian carnivores, large predatory pterosaurs, and a revival of large solitary velvet worm predators - the latter would often burrow through sand and gravel near water sources, lying in wait for something to approach. With keen vibration senses, they would wait for the right moment to strike with large, venomous fangs - they could afford to be patient, as having slower metabolisms, a buffalo-sized meal would last them a whole year.

    Their more sophisticated cousins, the social velvet worms - sometimes called ‘purple worms’, though they had now diversified into many different physical forms - became more specialised as subterranean, cave-dwelling species, but expanded beyond the tropical biomes, exploiting geothermal systems where possible to survive in cooler climates, even amongst the mountains at the heart of the great continent. Cultivated fungus grown from harvested plant material remained their primary food source, though some species also hunted animals or scavenged caracasses to suppliment their diet.

    Flying squid were still most successful as night hunters, taking owl-like and bat-like forms. Though most common in the tropical islands, some species developed mutual existence with velvet worms on the supercontinent - providing alarms to potential threats, and providing fertiliser with their droppings, to be fed to fungus. In exchange, the velvet worms would slowly enlarge cave systems, while their ‘warrior’ caste would provide mutual defence, and the ‘workers’ built highly defensible dome-shaped entrances with tough concrete-like secretions of mucus and chewed up rock fragments.

    Unlike velvet worms, social arachnids had spread by various means to many of the tropical islands, but their hives were still forced to adapt to periods of cooler weather. Some developed more elaborate hives with harvested feathers and carefully-selected plant material to serve as insulation; the ‘builders’ of these hives evolving more sophisticated manipulator limbs. Other branches of arachnids abandoned hives altogether; some larger species evolved hairy growths to reduce heat loss, and prowled the undergrowth in small groups, using a combination of chemical signals and high-frequency sounds to coordinate hunts of small animals.

    But the most successful arachnids in terms of numbers were actually from a much more primitive branch of the family - small arachnids that evolved to be tiny parasitic mites, leaching blood from their hosts; pterosaurs were especially vulnerable to these mites, as they tended to breed in large colonies, allowing the mites to spread rapidly. It was such a problem that some pterosaur species evolved to have proteins in their blood that were toxic to the mites. Mammals, birds, land squid and even velvet worms also suffered from these infestations.



    Pterosaurs, however, remained most widespread and arguably the most successful group of animals. Cold-adapted, seagoing species were a particular success during this era, thriving in the rich seas off the shores of southern Moddier and the Geralia islands, where they could gorge on small fish and squid, and breed on islands free from land-based predators.

    Swimming, flightless pterosaurs that had originally evolved in Panzerna islands - originally penguin-like creatures - diversified during this era, becoming a new kind of air-breathing aquatic predator similar to mosasaurs, though with more powerful front flippers and atrophied hind limbs. As with plesiosaurs, some also evolved live birth to enable them to live at sea permanently; with higher metabolisms than plesiosaurs and blubber for insulation, they began to replace plesiosaurs in the richer cold-water feeding grounds, some reaching large sizes and also hunting on swimming mammals off the western coast of the continent.

    The highly intelligent, social, parrot-like pterosaurs meanwhile spread from their refuges in the Semmaria islands, diversifying again into new species that were better able to survive in cold weather; with more flexible grasping digits, some took to living among steep cliffs and caves of the continental mountains, where they built less elaborate nests and took on a duller appearance. Remarkably, some groups managed to learn the secret of sparking fire by using their snouts to bash pieces of flint onto rocky ground next to piles of dried wood and leaves - behaviour that took a lot of effort, but provided these groups with a means to stay warm in freezing temperatures, and in some instances allowed a form of attack - with these pterosaurs being one of few species willing to tackle velvet worm nests, using pieces of smouldering wood to flush them out of their concrete-like barricades. Now arguably more intelligent than any other creature out of water, with the beginnings of a true verbal language, these fire-starting pterosaurs nonetheless remained relatively few in number, and were themselves still vulnerable to their larger predatory cousins, climbing squid, or new kinds of mammal predators that were evolving with them.

    In the oceans, low sea levels meant that shallow coastal habitat was relatively limited, and species diversity was still low compared to earlier eras, not helped by a steady drop in ocean temperature. The loss of the Ailean archipelago as it was swallowed by the mainland also removed a key habitat for reef-building species. The new volcanic islands of Semmaria compensated for this to an extent; here there was a revival of highly intelligent, social cephalopods using the vents as a means to cook otherwise poisonous food - such as local trilobites - and also cultivating a mix of chemotrophs and other bioluminescent coral, both for food and for building materials.



    Although relatively less intelligent, the dolphin-like cephalopods thrived in larger numbers and spread around the oceans during this era; all the erosion from glaciers on land brought more soil and sediment into the oceans, providing nutrients that allowed plankton and thus fish and squid to thrive in larger numbers. The dolphinoid species that spent time close to land - in muddy tidal estuaries full of sediment - developed both a form of echolocation and, crucially, the ability to extract oxygen by gulping air - mirroring the same adaptation that originally brought distant terrestrial cousins onto dry land. This fuelled higher metabolisms, and air-gulping cephalopods began to diversify rapidly by the end of the era, some already evolving into large whale-like forms, complete with beak-plates adapted to filter plankton from the water; these species were able to communicate with elaborate songs and displays from chromatophores, and had complex social groups, although their lifestyle had little need for tool use.

    Towards the end of the era, the temperature had begun to stabilise at a slightly warmer level, as greenhouse gasses were again able to start building up in the atmosphere, and tropical forest biomes were able to recover along much of their former ranges. Fuelling the recovery was a new clade of fungus, one that formed symbiotic relationships with plants, meshing their deep hyphae network with the plant’s root systems, leaching the products of photosynthesis in exchange for sharing water and nutrients from deeper in the soil. Originating in Imperia, the fungus eventually spread via its spores as far as the Semmaria islands.

    Having been shaken up by tsunamis and cold weather, the rebounding tropical forest was again a little different - on the mainland, velvet worms, arachnids and flowering plants had an even greater share, as well as a new clade of large, ferocious toad-like creatures that were cousins of the kangaroo-lizards seen in drier parts of the continent.

    Fragmentation of the forest had also led to more varied species of climbing squid appearing - some larger, slower, herbivorous types, as well as more social and outgoing omnivorous types; the latter tended to be more intelligent and aggressive, and began using tools more frequently, and also began expanding beyond the jungles into more mountainous terrain, where they encountered the intelligent pterosaurs - sometimes fighting and raiding their nests, sometimes co-existing with them. While lacking the deep intelligence of other cephalopod cousins, and lacking the same high intelligence now shown by some of the pterosaurs, these species were rather more social and communicative than the stoic mammoth squid, who also sometimes ventured into the same habitats.

    Aside from tropical forest, large areas of temperate forest also came into existence between Moddier and the warmer climate of Otope, as well as across the centre of Imperia, as there were changes of climate and rainfall. Flowering plants in the form of deciduous, leaf-shedding trees - adapted to survive long, cold, dark icy winters - flourished in these areas. Mammals - especially rodents and racoon-like species - along with birds were the main year-round residents, while pterosaurs tended to migrate here in large seasonal flocks. Mammoth squid were also found here, but they tended to be smaller than their giant cousins out in the Nessan. A few species of climbing squid and a few types of non-avian dinosaurs were also to be found in these autumnal forests.

    As this era came to an end, the supercontinent was beginning to unzip itself along several fault lines, as powerful forces of convection within the planet’s mantle tugged the giant landmass in different directions. In the south, large new freshwater lakes opened up between Imperia, Panzerna and Nessan, providing habitat for many new species and opening up a safer east-west migratory route.

    The continent’s rotational movement has now ceased, leaving Moddier stuck at the north pole for now. Meanwhile Semmaria, only loosely held together as a unit, is drifting slowly eastwards. Though the climate is gradually warming, a large portion of the supercontinent remains buried under thick ice.


    Spoiler World Map :


     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  6. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    Separate Panzernia from the super continent
     
  7. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Excellent update!

    do we do blind orders?
     
    Danwar likes this.
  8. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Thank you!

    I'm giving you the option to do so, if you wish. I won't make it compulsory.
     
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  9. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    1) A species of mammals develop a symbiosis with various bio luminescent bacteria, developing bio luminescent patches. They evolve into a family of (MOSTLY) flying mammals, that use the rhythmic luminescent pulsing to lure flying insects in.

    2) The bio-luminescent flowers continue to evolve, a sort of cold war with each other creating ever flashier and brighter and complex patterns of lights. pollinating animals (Insect, mammals, squids, etc) develop, in reaction to that, much more sophisticated eyes, allowing them to see their preferred patterns. Some species of bio-luminescent flowers, on the other hand, develop some degree of carnivorous nutrient acquisition, replicating patterns of tastier flowers to lure in pollinators and dissolve them in soporific pools of enzymes.
     
  10. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    - Subspecies of mammoth squid get BIGGER

    - Subspecies of whale squid get BIGGER
     
  11. Danwar

    Danwar Warlord

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    Just as with biological evolution, survival of the fittest applies to the spread of technology as well. The secret of fire soon begins to spread across the various groups of pterosaurs, and some of the more adventurous Semmarian pterosaurs even manage to export it back to the mainland to a limited extent. Even primitive mysticism has begun to develop as certain clans begin to think of fire as something... more than just fire. This revolutionary technology is a game changer on the world stage, and the Secret of Fire shall guide the Pterosaur genus for millenia to come! (1 point into developing and spreading fire throughout the Pterosaur species)

    With the ever-present threat of arachnid parasites, the anti-parasite toxins have become ever-changing, becoming more and more unpredictable and preventing the parasites from developing immunities to it. This shall maintain the dominance of the Pterosaurs... for now. (1 point into toxin unpredictability and constant adaptation)

    Nice update btw
     
  12. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    And then they collapse upon their own weight. SAD!
     
  13. TheGryphonPrince

    TheGryphonPrince King

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    1) Continue heating the planet: We must not let the Pterosaurs go extinct before they can truly flourish!

    2) Semmarian Pterosaurs continue to make more complex tools using more resistant materials, making them less vulnerable to the constant attacks by predators and expanding their numbers by feeding on these predators.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  14. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama See ya! It has been a fun decade!

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    Ice, Ice Baby
     
  15. Ailedhoo

    Ailedhoo wonderer

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    1) the volcanoes of Moddier once again erupt.

    2) CO2 continues to attempt to warm this world.
     
  16. filli_noctus

    filli_noctus Hmmn

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    The seals of Moddier start to grow keratinous 'shells' to defend themselves from waterborne predators.

    The arachnomites diversify to infest more species wherever their pterousaur hosts land.
     
  17. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    theyre grown for awesome, not fir powergaming. i dont expect them to survive long :)
     
  18. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    Thanks again guys...

    A couple of changes I'm thinking of making -

    I've been getting stuck sometimes thinking how to handle specific evolution orders, rather than thinking about the bigger picture, and I think that's why the pace of evolvution has slowed somewhat. It was never my original intention to have players getting that specific, and I'm thinking of going back to a more generalist approach.

    In the new system you'd be able to 'suggest' more specific changes but no guarantees I'd implement them exactly. Your main choices per player point would be something like:

    * diversification - species group tires to branch out to as many new niches as possible, without any radical changes
    * survivalism - species group focuses on survival, this may involve getting simpler and dumber but also tougher and hardier
    * power ability - new weapons, senses, etc
    * breakthrough adaptation - lungs, legs, wings, or flippers, opening up whole new environments to live in. Big changes like live birth, opposable thumbs / tactile appendages, bipedalism, and long life spans can also go here.
    * complex behaviour - social/eusocial, pack hunting, mutualism with other species, also tool use, etc - not necessarily involving big brains, as the behavior could be coded genetically as in insects.
    * gigantism - getting bigger and stronger! though, they will obviously need more food, and some types of animals will have a 'hard limit' due to having exoskeletons

    I will welcome any thoughts on this ^^

    @Alguerath to answer your question, yes there is #longgame on the IOT discord.

    I'm glad we have some really big animals on land as dinosaurs never really took off in this world :)
     
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  19. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

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    OK please disregard the above for the time being.

    There is however an ANNOUNCEMENT: could everyone please have their orders in by the end of today (~12 hours from now) as there is a possibility of a 'bonus round' this turn...
     
  20. tobiisagoodboy

    tobiisagoodboy Prince

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    1. The newly resurgent frogs develope new weapons (power ability), their skin developing poison sweat.

    2. The different Lizardroos species begin to specialize, each under species becoming more specialzed on their habitats.
     

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