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TNESV: The Luminous Mysteries

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Thlayli, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    TNESV - The Luminous Mysteries

    We all were sea-swallow'd, though some cast again,
    And by that destiny to perform an act
    Whereof what's past is prologue, what to come
    In yours and my discharge.​

    -William Shakespeare, The Tempest



    The Luminous Mysteries is a story of the world. It is the story of a planet girded by a silver ring, and of the civilizations upon that planet which rise and fall. It will be a story of emotion, ambition, love, and hate. It will be a story of science and song, of gods and demons. Most importantly, it will be your story.

    It will be up to you how to tell it. ​
     
  2. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Phase 1 - The Foundations of the Earth

    Phase 1 of TNESV endeavors to gradually expand the frontiers of human civilization from the dawn of the city to the flowering of an age of enlightenment, trade, ideology and conquest: The world’s first golden age, which future peoples might look on as a formative, "classical" time. Part 1 will be separated into 3 individual updates, in which players will gradually be phased in, starting with Core players who have been accepted in the pre-thread, and then gradually expanding outward into the Fringe and Isolated players, accepting players with new ideas along the way.

    Update 1 - The Dawn - 1500 years
    -The introduction of Ekkadey, Tiatus, Qae, and Xassa.
    [Update late August, 2016]

    Update 2 - The Day - 1000 years
    -The introduction of Cham, Shurazh, Yeokapae, and Boh’ha.
    -Joining of new players as sub-cultures and variants of Update 1 cultures.
    [Update late September, 2016]

    Update 3 - The Dusk - 750 years
    -The introduction of Suné.
    -Joining of new players as sub-cultures and variants of Update 1 and 2 cultures.
    -Joining of new players as entirely new cultures.
    [Update late October, 2016]

    Phase 2 - The Architecture of Empire

    Following the successful completion of Phase 1, we will enter a traditional IT or inflection point, with short turns, most likely between 5 and 25 years. This will continue indefinitely until a natural ending point, climax, or chthonic stasis is reached. It more closely resembles a traditional NES than Phase 1.

    Orders for Update 1 - The Dawn

    You have incredibly free rein when it comes to your orders. In fact, think of this as more of a history-planning workgroup than a traditional, competitive NES. The goal here is not to "win" (save that for Phase 2), but to create a shared historical space filled with pre-planned events. I am giving you something close to total freedom to create the narrative for the beginning of history however you want. I also encourage you all to work together. Things I need to see:

    -Names and locations of major cities, countries (if multiple countries), and names for local geography
    -Names of important leaders and figures, mythological and historical
    -If any hybrid cultures/states, working with other players to make those

    Outside of this, you can do literally anything you want. You have 1500 years to accomplish incredible things, build the world’s first empires, build great wonders, found religions, and so on. You can even generally define the borders of your states, although no guarantees they will stay there. This phase is generally collaborative, so disputes and wars can be collectively planned. I'm here to step in in the event of conflict, but warring conquering each other (where it works) in the service of the narrative is encouraged! You’ve all been chosen because I believe you can all write incredibly comprehensive orders without me telling you exactly what to do. So build a deep and satisfying narrative with a lot of detail for me to work with. I will most likely include multiple maps for Update 1, as it covers a long period.

    The deadline for all Update 1 order materials is 11:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday, August 17th.

    Basic Impressions:

    Ekkadey - thomas.berubeg
    Phase: Imperial Expansion, Nascence of Decay
    Military Power: Overwhelming, offensive, organized
    Cultural Power: Susceptible to influence, strong influencer, exportable
    Economic Power: High tax base, high manpower, high basic resources, luxury-poor

    Tiatus - Dreadnought
    Phase: Rebellious Client State [Ekkadey], Rising Monarchy
    Military Power: Strong, defensive, organized
    Cultural Power: Derivative, resistant to influence, non-assimilative
    Economic Power: Medium tax base, high manpower, some basic resources, luxury-poor

    Qae - Luckymoose
    Phase: Municipal Anarchies
    Military Power: Anarchic, disorganized
    Cultural Power: Extremely resistant to influence, highly iconic, exportable, diverse
    Economic Power: Low tax base, medium manpower, high basic resources, luxury-rich

    Xassa - North King
    Phase: Municipal Gallimaufry
    Military Power: Littorally strong, weak elsewhere
    Cultural Power: Assimilative, susceptible to influence, diverse
    Economic Power: High tax base, low manpower, some basic resources, luxury-rich

    Note: Yeokapae, Kolseng, Shurazh, Boh'ha and Suné are pre-civilizational. I am not yet putting them on the map. However, players for these states are welcome to write legends or provide anthropological or archaological findings for their proto-cultures as they wait to emerge from the mists of time.
     
  3. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    The First Cradle of Civilization:

    Map:



    Climate Map: TBA.

    Climate Description:

    The area surrounds a warm, generally placid sea, sheltered from the currents of the vast ocean to the north. Hurricanes typically evolve from the west traveling southeast, and they smash over the outer islands with regularity, although they trouble the southern part of the region less often. The lowlands of the north, its islands and coastal regions, are covered by dense jungle, with tropical rainforest the predominant vegetation type. The island chain and the vast inland mountain range it transitions into are highly volcanic, with a number of active volcanoes periodically erupting. Although only one mountain in the island chain is large enough to have a permanent snowpack, the vegetation transitions to light forest cover and finally to alpine tableland on some of the higher peaks.

    The equator passes directly over the aforementioned glaciated volcano just south of the largest island in the chain. For the most part, the older islands have a number of sheltered bays both shallow and deep, and the elevation ascends fairly modestly. Between the numerous lagoons, wetlands, and dense forest cover, arable land for traditional agriculture is at a premium, promoting primarily tree-based agriculture among the natives. The region is also metal poor, but rich in outcroppings of granite and obsidian.

    The mountainous region the island chain meets is notable for sheer, sharp cliffs, black sand beaches and the intense steepness of the land, which rapidly ascends, in some places, thousands of feet in a few miles, giving the jarring impression of palm trees clinging to life on the shore with perennially snow-capped mountains visible in the background. At least five torrential rivers, fed by a thousand alpine streams, pound down the mountain valleys, creating a series of immensely spectacular waterfalls. Obviously these rivers are only navigable on their lower reaches. An intermediate region of temperate land suitable for terrace farming exists above the sweltering, perpetually humid lowland jungles, but the elevation makes organized labor extremely difficult to marshal on a large scale. Settled people are prone to crowding into the lowland river valleys, with communication between many of them only possible by sea, promoting linguistic diversity and political division. The region is rich in metal deposits.

    In the southern reaches of this region, the mountain chains begin to break apart, transitioning to a country of broad plains, rolling hills and dry savannas, broken by the occasional, reddish-brown mountain, standing stark and alone over the hills, and immensely eroded monoliths of piled boulders tossed carelessly about everywhere else. (These mountains are the ancient remnants of a much older chain than their northern neighbors.) This countryside surrounds the great jagged bay carved by the floods that broke through after the end of the last ice age, the land around its southern extremities becoming increasingly desertified.

    Along the coastline to the west, a thin stretch of mangrove forest clings to the southern edge of the great salt sea, becoming thickest in the delta islands of the great slow river that empties into the ocean, before giving way to plains as soon as the ocean is out of sight. These open plains and alluvial riverlands are much better suited to traditional field-based agriculture, and the wild grains growing in this region were among the first plants to be domesticated by ancient humans several thousand years ago. The area has a rainy season and a dry season, around which agriculture and social cycles are built. It has reasonably good access to metals and minerals, but is poor in high quality timber. The lack of major terrain barriers makes this region a good candidate for establishing large, unified powers with major population centers.

    The far south of the world is covered in a vast, unending dune sea broken by the occasional high, wind-carved mesa island, with the exception of the southwest, where the eroded and scattered mountains and rolling golden plains are believed to continue on, perhaps forever, along the shores of the great freshwater sea.

    With the exception of several species of large, mostly-flightless birds with garish plumage and hooked foreclaws, who often hunt in packs and range from an exotic pet to a trivial nuisance to a feared predator (based on size) in some of the deeper jungles, fauna in this region are analogous to what one might normally expect for our planet, with horses, pigs, cows, chickens, goats/goat-like antelopes, and guinea pigs all available as domesticates, although some of these sicken and die in the northern jungle.

    The Second Cradle of Civilization:

    To be revealed with Update 2: The Day.
     
  4. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Reserved.
     
  5. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Location:
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    Conserved.
     
  6. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Preserved.
     
  7. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Go ahead and post! If you're interested in creating a new culture for a later phase of the NES, please use the separate applications thread.
     
  8. ork75

    ork75 Chieftain

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    Awesome job, Thlayli. This is going to be great!
     
  9. North King

    North King blech

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    Looking forward to it. I'll get started with orders soon. :)
     
  10. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    A few notes:

    -Climate map is coming soon, although there's pretty much four general terrain types: Rainforest, alpine highland, seasonally dry monsoonal plain (like southern India), and sahel/savanna sloooowly transitioning to true desert, and the climate description is pretty reliable about where those all are.

    -I would really enjoy shared collaborative histories for major conflicts. Ekkadey and Tiatus and Qae and Xassa in particular, based on your histories, seem likely to get into some fracases at some point.
     
  11. Dreadnought

    Dreadnought Chieftain

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    Exciting stuff!
     
  12. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Thanks for all the encouragement, guys. NK has already put out some beautiful worldbuilding including a labeled geography map, which I hope he posts an updated version of sometime soon.

    I'd strongly encourage you guys to put out similar maps!

    I'm also going to work on a planetary post detailing the rings, moon, and solar system after I've finished the climate map.
     
  13. tuxedohamm

    tuxedohamm Disguised as crow.

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    Thread tools not opening for my phone. So posting to subscribe. Looking forward to it!
     
  14. Dreadnought

    Dreadnought Chieftain

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    I am looking forward to seeing NK's map, including the scale he chooses to use. It could be very nice inspiration.
     
  15. North King

    North King blech

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    Whelp, time to make a blown up one. :p
     
  16. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    I'm also way into iconography, including animals real and mythical, symbols of power, architectural aesthetics and all that jazz, which I think is really great flavor to include for the update, so don't forget those sorts of things for orders!
     
  17. North King

    North King blech

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    Thlayli, how rugged is the isthmus?

    Working on the aesthetic stuff.
     
  18. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Oh, the isthmus is quite steep, it's just that it isn't wide enough for me to fit the traditional EoE mountains on them.

    ---

    There are four wandering lights in the sky that are not like the other stars. The period of one is about sixty days, the second slightly less than a year, the third slightly more than a year, and the fourth takes almost a decade to orbit.

    The second wandering star has a faint blue-violet tinge visible to the naked eye, while the others appear white. The moon of this world looks about 125% larger in the sky than our own. It is more volumetric, but only slightly more massive, than our own moon, being less dense. The tidal force is consequently slightly stronger than on Earth. Appearance wise the moon normally looks about the same as ours, with a whitish tinge that occasionally looks blue or orange.
     
  19. North King

    North King blech

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    Took a while, cause I felt self-conscious about my last effort. :p A couple notes: Simaltam is the word for "mainland", and the Xassal term for the continent. Amisul Dima't is the name for the island chain the Xassal call home (and the apostrophe is a contraction, not a glottal). Other terms are explained here.

    Base expanded map here.
     
  20. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Looks great! I encourage thomas, Lucky and Dread to make use of NK's great work and make their own map versions. Obviously you don't need to name everything; like NK's map, you might just densely name geographic features near your homeland then have vague words for large regions very far away.
     

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