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Worldbuilding June

qva

pretty good
Location
dc

hey guys! some of us have been talking about this in the discord, so here's an official thread for worldbuilding june. worldbuilding june is a month of daily worldbuilding, mostly based on the prompts provided in this post. a few discord members have been participating, myself included, and it's never too late to get started! except, uh, once june ends, i guess. feel free to share your own worldbuilding june content below!

it's a bit over a week into the month at the time of this posting, so in the interest of saving some space, please keep all the content you already have constrained to a single initial post, after which you're free to post as you go, even double-posting as it suits your needs. let's try and keep each post in a spoiler in that initial thread, too, to further conserve space. :D commenting on and asking questions about other people's work is encouraged; please don't hesitate to join us!
 

qva

pretty good
Location
dc
all right, howdy folks. post dump coming through :D here we go. enormous amount of text incoming.


so. my world is tentatively called Kralle, which is a pretty bad name but i haven’t really thought of anything better yet, lol. there are people, but the premise is that Everything Is Birds (or theropods). the story follows the re-emergence of a special type of bond that allows humans and birds to bond with one another physically, and then transform back and forth between their human and bird forms. there’s a bit more too it than that, but i guess we’ll get into that throughout the month, huh?
tl;dr: everything is birds, and also dinosaurs, and also humans and some magic i guess.
image
image
this is a shitty, outdated pair of maps for kralle. between the two i think you can get an okayish idea of the shape and topography of the setting. most of the story takes place in the subcontinent of daehrius, which is a situated just between the continents of frith and sefia. these frisian and saefic continental plates are pushing against each other, which results in the mountainous conditions of daehrius— an ancient volcano eruption around the center of daehrius has formed a massive caldera, wherein the kingdom of deren is situated. overall the area is temperate and swampy.

sefia, the larger continent to the north, is quite old and as a result mostly flat. the southern regions of the continent are mediterranean and scrubby, turning to a vast desert in the central regions and to the north, and eventually giving way to tundra.

frith to the south is mostly tropical and covered in old, weathered mountains at the north. the western arm of the continent is heavily forested, even rainforest in some places— the sagewood stands there. the eastern arm is hilly and lightly wooded.

finally, the typsyl islands to the northeast are (probably 😏) uninhabited. overall they’re pretty damn cold and borderline inhabitable, analogous to greenland.

and that’s it! these regions don’t cover the entire planet of kralle, but the other portion of the world isn’t visited at any point by the plot. i guess you could say these bits represent the “old world” of kralle. the rest of the word is off doing their own stuff with their own drama. i’ve only thought about those guys a little bit, haha.
tl;dr: there are four main continents: desert/mediterranean sefia to the north, temperate/alpine daehrius at the center, forested/hilly frith to the south, and the uninhabited, tundra typsyl islands to the northeast.



above are some doodles i’ve done of kralle’s denizens. very, very broadly speaking, kralle’s sentient life is separated into two categories: birds and people. it’s a bit more complicated than that, but i’m going to split it into those two categories for the purposes of organization here

people
humans colonized kralle accidentally via interplanetary portals, and they did so several times, in waves. the oldest of kralle’s people are the lowlander giants, who unsurprisingly settled in the hospitable frisian lowlands. they made their way to kralle extremely early in the evolutionary timeline of humanity, and as a result have splintered off into a different subspecies of human, notable specifically for their immense size. the third photo above depicts one. the lowlanders organize under a complex, clan-based social structures centered around a dominant male and his harem of females and subservient males. social mobility is relatively straightforward— a successful challenger to the clan leader usurps him. conflict between clans is relatively infrequent as most clans keep to their own territory.
next to colonize were the sifa people. once they arrived in kralle, they gravitated northward to sefia (the land after which they take their name). continuously fleeing the qahn (a massive, repetitive sandstorm that sweeps the desert predictably and cyclically), they transitioned into a nomadic, desert-wandering people. evidence suggests that the qahn’s path was once irregular, but since the institution of the sifa’s mysterious religion, it became constant. though some sifa eventually settled down at the desert’s fringes, those who maintained the nomadic caravan lifestyle became the walkers, ritualistic practitioners of arigation and keepers of the qahn’s cycle. a lone walker and her mount are pictured in the first image above.

the final two groups occurred in rapid succession, only a few millennia separating their arrivals in kralle. the first of these were the marshlander people, a small population of olive-skinned people who took up a simple, pastoral life on the eastern coast and marshy areas of daehrius. a fairly peaceable people, they’ve historically enjoyed trade with the sifa, and are proficient boatmakers, craftsman, and fishers. a marshlander is depicted in the second image above.

lastly, the derrish are a fair-skinned, militant, and strictly feudal people who have come to inhabit the mountainous reigions of daehrius. shortly after their arrival they established a strict racial hierarchy and subjugated the marshlanders to their east. they view the sifa to the north as inferior and have taken some as slaves, and the giants to the south as barbaric but too brutal to dominate. their noble houses swear fealty to the ageing king, whose derrish capital stands where a major marshlander city once did.

birds
kralle has a lot of the same birds as we do, but there are some major outliers worth noting. the first of these is the wisebirds, a species of colossal flying parrot endemic to the sagewood. their intelligence rivals that of humans, though their intelligence manifests in different ways— they are not exceedingly social, at least by human standards, for instance. they do have a loose social structure, however, and a vague understanding of morality and law. because the sagewood is so seldom explored, they have something of a legendary status among humans.
the bravebirds are really a category of technically unrelated but superficially similar birds, similar to the label “bird of prey.” they’re essentially extremely large versions of ordinary, familiar birds, with some supernatural properties. though the term “bravebird” can technically apply to any extraordinarily large and supernatural bird, in execution it’s often only used for birds of prey that meet these standards. bravebirds can still fly even when they grow to exceedingly large size due to the impossibly strong yet light substance their bones and feathers are made of. they are biologically immortal (though they can be killed) and eventually lose the power of flight as they grow to heavy, usually centuries into their lives. they often survive beyond this point, however, by extorting food from birds lower on the pecking order, which is dictated by size and nesting altitude. extremely old bravebirds more closely resemble dragons than birds— the traditional god figure of the marshlanders is an infinitely old bravebird.

lastly, the term “drake” is an umbrella term for the non-avian theropods of kralle (i.e. dinosaurs). these vary wildly from the spinosaur-esque swamp drakes to the microraptor-esque mountain drakes to the utahraptor-esque pack drakes, and so on forever.
tl;dr: birds and people. this includes birds of all shapes and sizes, some of them impossibly large, and some of them more accurately described in our world as dinosaurs, called "drakes" in kralle. the people are disparate and colonized the world in waves. there is another human species inhabiting the world that's unusually large and covered in hair.
[link]

cosmologically, kralle is pretty unimportant. prior to the Cataclysm, it was a barren world called keral, made into a minor sanctuary by a numeni noblewoman named typsvyr. she cultivated the planet carefully as a botanical garden and aviary, and used it as a vacation getaway. following the Cataclysm, lady typsvyr took refuge deep beneath the planet’s surface, in a subterranean palace under the aptly-named typsyl islands. from there, she subtly influenced the planet’s history from the shadows for millennia to come.

at some point in the world’s ancient history, some resident birds were imbued with old magic by typsvyr, so as to serve as guardians to the world in her absence. of these, the wispfather and dust demon of the qahn are notable features of krallic folklore. it was also at this time that the pecking order of the brave birds was established, wisebird society began to emerge, and the mysterious warlock orders of the mountain drakes began to form.

as described in yesterday’s post, humans colonized kralle in several waves, each colonizing group developing in time into a unique culture group. because of the relatively low human volume in kralle, warfare was relatively infrequent, reserved to a few short-lived skirmishes at worst. after all, the sifa people of the north had the desert to themselves and were resistant to settling down anyway— likewise, the marshlanders settled uncontested, and no one dared challenge the great lowland giants for their territory.

it wasn’t until the arrival of the derrish people that conflict began to tarnish the annals of krallic history. the derrish were already an advanced people when they arrived on kralle, and it didn’t take them long to establish a social order and begin castle construction on the stone-rich mountaintops of the Ring. an immediate incursion to the west saw the subjugation of the marshlanders, allowed to maintain their pastoral lifestyles but extorted for tribute and treated like second-class citizens or slaves where they intersected with the derrish. following this the derrish pushed southeast onto the doorstep of the lowland giants— however, a successful guerilla campaign from the giants pushed the derrish invaders out of their land, though derrish disdain for the “barbaric” lowlanders remained.

though the derrish have only called kralle home for a handful of centuries, they have made an indelible mark. however, the reign of the most recent and current king has seen a decline in the aggressive expansionism of deren. his laissez-faire attitude toward his vassals and unusual sympathy for the sifa have resulted in a long period of relative peace, with the noble houses of deren consolidating their own power at the cost of royal authority. as king albrecht advances in age with only an heiress to place on the throne, however, the quiet period of peace on kralle seems to be drawing to an end…

recent history has also seen the decline of the traditional walker religion of the sifa people. the religion, which focuses on the ritual maintenance of blood temples to appease the dust demon of the qahn, demands a life of unending migration around the northern desert. once the dominant culture of the sifa, the rise of city states along the southern sefic coast have over time sapped away the religion’s practitioners. now the ones prolific caravans have been reduced to a few dozen at most, a fraction of the size they once were, sometimes as small as a single traveling pair. the decline of the religion has resulted in some lapses in the age-old tradition of arigation, to which the superstitious might attribute the growing strength and unpredictability of the qahn…
tl;dr: kralle was originally a sanctuary world for birds, maintained by an ancient alien race that was eventually destroyed. one such alien, a survivor, endowed powerful magic into some of the bird and then fled underground to manipulate events subtly. people eventually colonized the world and did as people do. things are beginning to fall apart at the seams as quiet peace approaches its end and ancient traditions peter out into obscurity.

whether lowlander society can accurately be described as “civilization” is somewhat contentious. giants self-assemble into hierarchical groups called clans under a single (usually) male leader, called the chief. the chiefdom of a clan passes hands somewhat regularly, as the sitting chief can be disposed of in fair combat. that is to say, any giant who defeats their chief in combat replaces them. this means lowlander society holds physical capability in the highest esteem, and typically chiefs are not able to hold their office into old age or frailty.

the chief has his pick of the clan’s females, and usually maintains a harem of about half a dozen. subservient males may pledge their allegiance to a more powerful leader in order to guarantee their safety. sometimes children reared within a clan will leave home to found their own clans upon adulthood— in particular, physically powerful giants who are nonetheless not powerful enough to surpass the sitting chief are likely to form their own fringe clans.

contrary to derrish stereotypes about lowlander barbarism, the giants are actually relatively accomplished functional architects and builders. their houses, characterized by stone or adobe bodies and large, sloping thatched roofs, are well-constructed and sturdy, as well as impressively large to accommodate the giants’ large size. older and more developed lowlander villages demonstrate advanced knowledge of the arch and dome, and some villages have even been shown to construct advanced mechanisms such as aqueducts and elevators.


deren civilization is perhaps the most organized by conventional criteria. once upon a time, the kingdom was highly centralized and classically feudal, with its lords serving more as extensions of the powerful royal authority than nobility in their own right. however, the lax reign of king albrecht has weakened the power of the crown, and enabled the lords of deren to consolidate their power and grow into formidable patricians in their own right. the lords administer a realm filled with both highborn and lowborn derrish citizens, with marshlanders at the bottom of the social ladder, usually filling menial or servile roles. there are technically no marshland slaves in deren, though some marshlanders come close in execution.

derrish architecture is straight, sturdy, stony, and stark, old and germanic in character. white stone quarried from the mountains rise as round towers and tall spires. often, the keeps and castles of the lords are separated from the rest of the town on naturally treacherous and impassable peaks, as pictured above. of course ordinary houses as one might find in a village are less ornate, typically taking the form of small, squad homes supported by visible wooden beams with gradual sloping roofs. it is not uncommon for a municipality to be surrounded entirely by a wall, though this trend is falling out of use as the fortifications are rarely necessary.


marshlander society is broadly peaceful, due in no small part to the vast tracts of land available to the relatively small population. they live mostly pastoral lives centered around fishing, rudimentary agriculture and harvesting, and craftsmanship. in fact, marshlander wicker is renowned throughout kralle. generally marshlander villages are headed by an informal hereditary chief who holds little actual power— the title of chief actually switches hands somewhat frequently as needed despite being technically hereditary. there is not a well-defined concept of economy or class in marshlander society, though derrish impositions have begun changing marshlander norms and culture in recent years. conflict is not unheard of in the marshlands, however. village borders are poorly defined and skirmishes may take place over coveted fishing spots. theft and civil issues are not uncommon. the marshlanders are a superstitious people, and magical practitioners as well as shamans are present in most communities.

marshlander architecture is lightweight and built mostly from flexible wood from swamp trees. a village’s residential area is typically walled so as to provide at least a small level of defense against the large predators of the marshes, particularly the spinosaurian swamp drakes.

sifa
image

walker caravans are headed by religious leaders, who are instructed through childhood by their predecessors in the ways of the old religion. a traditional caravan typically includes half a dozen to a dozen family units, though these numbers are dwindling in recent times due to the religion’s attrition. maidens are often married off into other caravans in order to maintain genetic diversity; infrequently, promising young men may be trained in the ways of the religion and allowed to break off and form a new caravan, usually when the existing caravan is growing impractically large. caravans do not fight amongst one another, generally speaking. criminals are judged by three different caravan leaders before being punished, though punishment can be quite harsh— exposure to the qahn is the most extreme punishment, though not exceedingly uncommon, and is reserved for crimes such as rape and murder.

sifa cities along the southern fringes of the continent are generally atheistic if not a bit superstitious, and place great value on ingenuity and entrepreneurship. centuries of stunted technological advancement have effectively charged the sifa cities up for a breakthrough in scientific understanding, and they are rapidly becoming the most technologically advanced civilization in kralle, surpassing even the derrish. interestingly, sifa cities are significantly more prejudiced than the nomadic walkers, probably because on the caravan all hands are needed equally, whereas in the mercantile cities women can afford to stay at home and remain subservient.

walker architecture is necessarily temporary and transportable, so it mostly takes the form of simple tents. sifa cities are colorful and ornate as pictured above, with buildings mostly made of carved and dyed sandstone or brick. their seaside location, bright colorations, and intricately carved facades give the cities an exotic and jubilant feeling.
tl;dr: lowlanders live in huts with thatched roofs, though their architecture is impressive sheerly by its size, and they've been known to construct unusually advanced infrastructure as well. they live in tribes led by a dominant male and comprised of the chief's harem and subservient males. the derrish construct relatively generic european castles and whatnot, and operate under a feudal society with an ailing crown and powerful houses. the marshlanders lived in walled communities relatively distant from one another, and rarely fight. these villages are governed by a council of elders, and sometimes by a local shaman. the sifa are split into two main cultures: the wandering walkers, who exist under a nomadic theocracy; and the sedentary sifa, who live in merchant cities along the coast. the walkers build impermanent structures such as tents, whereas the sifa build more permanent, colorful houses.
tw: rape mention, pederasty, genital mutilation mention
[link]
sifa
for the most part, the sifa view marriage and child-rearing as separate institutions. marriage is generally for love, whereas child-rearing is for duty, and may be politically motivated. as a result, sexuality in sifa society is ill-defined and fluid— there are no words in the sifa language for “homosexual” or “heterosexual”— and sometimes, even in straight marriages, women may bear and raise children from fathers other than their husbands. this is viewed as normal and natural. in walker culture, children are almost always born to parents from different caravans. in fact, it’s exceptionally rare for members of the same caravan to reproduce, as such an act carries a stigma similar to incest. as a result, the intersection of two caravans on the road is frequently marked by a brief stopping party and quite a lot of sex. it’s not uncommon for these ostensibly arbitrary pairings to end in marriage, and in these cases, the woman will become a member of her new husband’s caravan.

gender is fairly rigid among the sifa, with well-defined gender roles deeply ingrained into the culture’s tradition, especially among the walkers. however, the sifa do recognize a third gender. the clerics are an androgynous gender comprised of both amab and afab individuals. the amabs are required to be castrated before formally being recognized as a cleric, and the afabs are sworn to celibacy. only clerics may carry out official religious rites and ceremonies. in the sifa language, the clerics are referred to using a unique gender reserved for themselves, plants, and the divinities. in contemporary and sedentary, non-walker sifa societies, this third gender exists less formally, more for purposes of expression than social position, and does not demand celibacy or castration.

marshlands
marshlanders recognize four genders— masculine men, feminine men, masculine women, and feminine women. as one might expect, these genders are determined by an individual’s biological sex as well as their expression, and may rarely change throughout one’s lifetime. feminine men have more in common with feminine women than with masculine men, and so on. relationships between a feminine individual and masculine individual are accepted and typical, regardless of biological sex. however, relationships between two masculine or two feminine individuals are viewed as sinful and unnatural. for example, a marriage between a feminine man and a masculine man is fine, but a marriage between a masculine man and a masculine woman would be viewed as taboo.

deren
homosexuality is condemned and viewed as a perversity in deren, though of course gay affairs still occur behind closed doors. still, all men are expected to marry and bear children with a woman, and vice versa. gender is firmly binary, gender, and gender roles are rigid and strictly assigned to biological sex. eunuchs are still viewed as men (if not effeminate), but may be treated favorably by lords due to their relative inability to reproduce, which makes them effectively houseless and thus unusually loyal.

all children, regardless of biological sex, are treated as girls in derrish society, though their true sex is acknowledged and has some bearing on their upbringing. boys wear dresses and are trained in cooking, cleaning, and other stereotypically feminine duties. upon reaching adolescence, the young man may choose either to carry on with these duties and become a squire or attendant, or cast them away and either assume noble duties or apprentice for a real trade. most choose the latter, and all noblemen are forced to eventually, though they may squire for a time in their teen years before growing into proper lordlings in their own right.

derrish lords sometimes engage in pederasty. this is viewed in somewhat poor taste, like visiting a prostitute might today, but was not punishable or by any means taboo. the younger party— called a swain— is typically, though not always, a foreigner, often a marshlander, who consensually adopts the role in return for elevated status and a higher quality of living provided by his master. in cases where the arrangement is nonconsensual, it is qualified and punishable as rape, though it’s rare that it’s ever punished in execution.

lowlands
the lowland giants are not monogamous. any given individual can have anywhere from three to a dozen different partners at the same time. additionally, gestation in giants is fairly short. as a result, reproduction is not really an issue, and thus the sex of one’s partner is not important. in fact, a dominant male may mount a subservient male just to assert his dominance.

at any rate, gender is hard to get around in the lowlands. overall, in basically all lowlander affairs (including sexuality as well as social hierarchy), physical size and strength are the only factors that matter. because physical size and strength are necessarily intertwined with biological sex to an unignorable degree in giants, it is virtually always large males that dominate socially and sexually.
tl;dr: the sifa recognize a third gender, comprised of eunuchs and celibates. to them, child rearing and marriage are not necessarily intertwined institutions, though in execution they often are. anyone may marry whomever they wish, but it is still the duty of every woman to bear a child. the derrish only recognize two genders and decry homosexuality, though it's not uncommon or frowned upon to practice pederasty. the marshlanders recognize four genders: masculine men, feminine men, masculine women, and feminine women. a masculine person and a feminine person may acceptably marry regardless of their biological sex. the lowlanders acknowledge only two genders, and they are forcibly related to biological sex, due to the significant sexual dimorphism in the species. they are polygamous and bisexual by nature, though individual preferences of course exist.
i just discovered that the super long post i wrote for day seven did not actually post. very infuriating. i'll have to see about rewriting it later, but it's not a priority...
[link]

deren
deren is unambiguously a feudal monarchy. traditionally, the kingdom consists of a number of major lords who have sworn their fealty to a single king seated in urheim. the realm was initially comprised of a multitude of petty kingdoms, but was united centuries ago by king uwe ernst the conqueror. his dynasty rules into the present, and is currently headed by king albrecht ernst iii, the seventh sitting member of his dynasty. the realm has remained relatively stable since its union, originally due to the intimidating presence of the capital’s mighty military. however, the past few decades have shown a decline in royal authority, as albrecht iii is a relatively lax ruler, and his vassal lords have grown in power, a few of them exceeding that of even the king himself.

notably, albrecht has failed to produce a male heir and is approaching the end of his life. his daughter and heiress to the throne is unmarried— this power vacuum has resulted in some contention between lords in recent years, mounting as the king’s health declines. in theory, it’s possible for a lord or lord’s heir to marry the queen and demand crown matrimonial. more realistically, however, even having the queen bear a son fathered by a lord would result in a king sympathetic to that house, even if he doesn’t carry its name.

sifa
there is no central sifa authority. the walker religion has no religious head, and the nomadic and spiritual nature of the caravans precludes any real power structure. sometimes caravan leaders are established, but these posts are ultimately meaningless and temporary. the inability of the walkers to hold land means that family legacies are relatively slim. overall, walker society is largely anarchistic, with clerics serving as moral authorities and arbiters of justice without exercising any ruling power.

settled sifa cities have formal mayors, but in effect they are virtually powerless. for the most part, these cities are governed by a parliamentary council of merchants. these merchants push law to protect the merchant class and prevent excessive centralization. as a result, taxes are low, the market prevails, and authority/economic oversight are weak if present at all.

lowlands
as described previously, lowlander giants assemble in small groups called tribes that are headed by a dominant male. any number of females and subservient males may join these tribes, and the chief may be indisposed at any time by a successful challenger in combat. a young male born to a tribe who is not strong enough to defeat the chief but wishes to rule anyway may choose to depart and form his own tribe with a small number of subservient males and females, if his chief allows it, which he often does.

tribal territory varies in size depending on the size of the clan and the physical ability of the chief to fight off would-be challengers to his claims. a tribe leader will sometimes defeat a rivaling chief in combat in order to absorb his tribe, though tribes rarely grow too large as several disgruntled males may gang up on their leader if the need arises.

marshlands
the power structure in the marshlands is loose, and generally villages are self-governed. village affairs are typically overseen by a council of elders, although a younger emissary may by chosen to represent the village before other villages or foreign governments. powerful shamans may also be consulted for advice, though the traditional religion of the marshlanders heavily persecuted by the derrish, so this practice is becoming less common.
tl;dr: the derrish operate under a feudal monarchy, though the king has little power in recent times. the walkers do not recognize a formal head, although the law is maintained by the priest class. sifa cities are governed by a powerless mayor controlled by merchant guilds. marshland villages are overseen by a council of elders, sometimes including a local shaman.
[link]

sifa
the traditional sifa religion, kept closely by the walkers, centers on the legendary figures of the wispfather and the dust demon of the qahn, also called the qahnmaker. according to their doctrine, the wispfather is the ancient dragon who breathed a vaporous earth into existence with his magic smokey breath, and shaped it to his liking. the wispfather then constructed two lands— a paradise for the birds to the north, and a paradise for men to the south. as time drew on, all the world’s beings ate well and grew to be large and strong. the largest bird of all became king of the birds, and the largest man became king of all men. while their subjects remained pleased with their luxurious lives in paradise, the kings had been given a taste of something higher, and became dissatisfied, desiring more.

the kings thus conspired together to overthrow the wispfather and rule the world together, but the wispfather uncovered their plot and grew outraged. to punish the king of birds, he turned his paradise of the north into an arid desert, and stripped the king and all other birds of their power to fly, twisting their faces into ugly and toothy snarls. then he cursed the king to wander the desert forever, chasing his brothers for all time so they would learn to hate and fear him. the sifa hold that the qahn is a storm of pure evil that follows the demon at its center, once king of the birds, and that all drakes are the innocent yet cursed progeny of the fallen king’s subjects.

to punish the king of men, the wispfather breathed a massive ball of smouldering flame onto the paradise of the south, causing a magnificent explosion that killed all but the king and his wife. he then cursed the king and his wife by transforming them from beautiful humans into hideous beasts, with deformed faces and thick hair covering their whole bodies. he banished them to live where the soil was dead and forced them to eat bland grass for all their days. these supposed accursed men are analogous to the lowlander giants, whom the sifa view as mythological creatures worthy of disdain.

finally, the wispfather created a new batch of humans and birds, allowing them to live in the ruins of their predecessors’ paradises. the sifa believe themselves to be this new generation of humanity. the wispfather then built a home for himself deep beneath the mountains and fell into a deep, unending slumber. it’s held that he builds men and birds from the smoke on his breath as he sleeps. supposedly, the dust demon of the qahn will one day break out of his stormy prison and eat the world in his rage. the walkers practice the ancient art of arigation in order to keep this eventual day of reckoning at bay.

deren
the derrish religion is not closely followed anymore, but retains its cultural significance. it tells of an ancient race of warlike gods that once lived alongside men, until they waged war against Death and won, ascending to immortality in heaven thereafter. the religion promises that these ascended gods will share their realm and eternal life with any man who lives virtuously in keeping with the religion’s moral demands. the gods produced offspring with men when they still walked the earth with them— these fae, sometimes referred to more verbosely as “bastards of the gods,” are mischievous and impish creatures that live in the shadows of reality, causing both minor inconveniences, major disasters, and everything in between. the derrish believe that one day in the future, a war will erupt between men and fae, and should humanity reign victorious, they will live their lives free of misfortune forever, just as the gods live free of Death after thrwarting her.

marshlands
the marshlanders follow an inconsistent animistic religion that particularly focuses on birds, fish, and the trees. shamans harness these spirits to perform magic and peek into the otherworld, a mystical realm where various legendary birds perch on the world tree. outside of these commonalities, the particular form this religion takes can vary slightly from village to village, and can vary immensely from one side of marshlander territory to the other. some variations have been influenced by traditional derrish or sifa religion, sometimes both at once— for example, one form of the religion sees the wispfather as a great dragon who tends to the world tree, and the fae as spiritless abominations who lurk in the perpendicularities between the otherworld and the mortal realm.
tl;dr: the sifa believe that the qahn and the lowlander giants are both demons cursed for their avarice by their god figure, a massive subterranean dragon called the wispfather. the derrish are not devout but traditionally tell of a race of warrior gods who transcended death and promise a place at their side for the virtuous. they also believe in a race of invisible fae who cause misfortune and are slated to eventually battle the derrish people monumentally. the marshlanders are animists focusing on plants, fish, and trees. shamans peer into the otherworld, where divine birds perch on a world tree.

aaaaand that's it! she says, after posting a novel of useless lore. stay tuned for more hopelessly verbose blathering.
 
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Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Many thanks to qva for making this thread! I've just done two so far, but I'll have more tomorrow! I'll also be sure to offer comments on the others as well (initial reaction: bird world!!!)

You can follow along with me here! Posts will be queued so I don't take over my followers' dashboards, lol.

For those not in the know, a couple years back, I was lamenting the fact that I’ve never been too fond of most takes on the classic “nonavian dinosaurs survived the extinction” trope. They’re almost always of the “secret island” or “hidden paradise” variety, and while those are okay, I want a world of dinosaurs, dammit! And why are they always the same species as their ancestors? They’ve been evolving all this time! They should be different!

So my take on this concept is as follows: the extinction event still happened, but it was not as severe as in our world. Many families of dinosaurs and other dominant reptiles fell–just enough to allow mammals to take hold and start diversifying alongside the survivors.

Intelligent dinosaurs and humans inhabiting the same world. A world very different from both the past and our version of the present. Troodontids achieved sapience and also invented self-powered flight. They meet up with humans. Shit happens.
Well, this is a bit of a cop-out. My world is literally an alternate timeline of Earth. So it’s pretty much the same as ours, right?

Well... not quite. That’d be a bit boring, for starters. So I decided to take advantage of it being an alternate timeline and make a few tweaks. The geography looks closer to our world’s Miocene period. You’ll notice that Europe is rather flooded. That will be important later. The other change is that the climate is still at the tail end of an ice age. That will also be important later.
 
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qva

pretty good
Location
dc
howdy folks. now i'm back, back again. want to start out by saying that i'm super in love with your world, chibi, and will definitely be leaving some comments on it tomorrow! :D human-dinosaur coexistence is a major theme in my world, too, and definitely something i love seeing explored in other settings, so your world is really intriguing to me. also, it introduced me to your blog, which is fantastic. without further ado, here is my write-up for the day!
[link]
finally caught back up. i’m skipping #10 in order to get back up to date, as i don’t really have anything interesting to say about the prompt. i also noticed that prompt #7 didn’t successfully post… i’d written quite a lot for it so that’s a bit frustrating. i’ll see about getting it back together later, if i can, but it’s not really a priority…

anyway, day 11! conlangs are cool and all, but for the purposes of kralle, i’ve decided to assign a real-world language to each analogous in-universe language. i’ll get into exactly what i mean by “analogous” in a moment.

the languages i’ve selected are:
  • persian/farsi for the sifa
  • german for the derrish, including varieties of low german for those living in the country
  • albanian for the marshlanders, with a significant amount of linguistic variety between villages (although most villages are mutually intelligible with one another)
  • malay for the lowlanders
now for a bit of explanation. to boot, i decided to assign indo-european languages to the sifa, derrish, and marshlanders in order to underscore the chronological closeness of their arrivals on kralle— or, perhaps more accurately, their mutual distance from the arrival of the lowlanders. i wanted to give the lowlanders an african language, initially— the giants are the first humans on kralle, and i wanted to reflect that by choosing a language from the “homeland” of humanity in our own world. however, i think there are some issues with assigning an african language to a stereotypically tribal and explicitly inhuman civilization, especially considering the racism which the lowlanders experience in-universe, so i decided not to go that route. i also considered a semitic language; amharic, for example, is spoken in ethiopia, where some of the oldest human remains have been discovered. but i thought that, geographically, semitic languages are situated a bit too close to persian ones, and i had already reserved persian for the sifa. so, after a bit of browsing, i selected malay, which i tentatively accepted… later i discovered that this language has its roots in borneo, which is one of the few remaining habitats for the orangutan… which is one of the inspirations for the lowlander giant’s design as a species! so i stuck with it.

the sifa were always going to speak a middle-eastern language, as they’re based heavily on middle-eastern culture. the initial choice for this was arabic, but as i chose to select indo-european languages for the remaining cultures, i decided to choose persian instead. i think persian spreads across an appropriately wide geographic range to match the sifa’s, while still corresponding culturally.

the derrish were originally far more culturally germanic than they are now, but there’s still no mistaking the influence. they were inspired largely by my own experiences in germany— the ring itself is based on a similarly shaped area in the swabian jura surrounding the liechtenstein castle. the decision to reflect this by making them into german speakers was an easy one.

finally, the marshlanders. i originally considered having them speak basque, but again, not indo-european. albanian came to mind as suitably ancient, which is the feeling i wanted to establish with the marshlanders. furthermore, albanian is a language isolate; technically related, yet distant and unfamiliar to the languages of the people surrounding it. additionally, albanian is a language with an unexpectedly large range, and quite a few dialects, both of which are true of the marshlander language. in-universe, the marshlander language takes some influence (depending on the dialect) from both derrish and sifa languages, so imagine an odd bastardization of albanian with german and persian influences. the marshlanders also take some influence from the pre-slavic balkans, so there’s an added geographical bonus, too. :p

i’m by no means a linguist, so i’m not really sure how appropriate these pairings i’ve made are. these decisions were made more or less superficially, using the limited knowledge i already had in addition to maybe half an hour of light research. at the same time, i don’t really think it matters that much, so whatever.
tl;dr: the civilizations in my world speak unique languages in-universe, but for the purpose of writing them, they're assigned analogous real-world languages. the sifa language is represented by persian, the derrish language is represented by german, the marshlander language is represented by albanian, and the lowlander language is represented by malay.
 
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Keleri

I Like Cats
This sounds like an excellent way for me to dodge responsibilities. I have a couple of original settings that I would like to actually flesh out someday but for now I'm gonna do these relative to the Soulsverse AU of the pokemon world that is the setting for my Gods and Demons series. I'm gonna frontload the first question with a lot of stuff about how it differs from the games and anime and how pokemon work, and then the following questions might get into some trivia/backstory stuff that I've perhaps hinted at in the story but that isn't front and center.

The Soulsverse takes pokemon and moves it a few notches to the right on the Pokemon Are Animals vs. Pokemon Are Yokai spectrum. The big difference is that pokemon are energy spirits--"souls"--that can shift between energy and matter at will and exchange spiritual energy with a human trainer (i.e. link with a human's "soul"). Soulsverse. You get it.

This AU was born out of my desire to square sapient pokemon with a functioning natural ecology as well as to make pokemon training merely problematic instead of WILDLY UNETHICAL. Early experiments had wild pokemon as sentient with sapience coming about from contact with humans, but the whole capture ball thing was still a problem.

Soulsverse pokemon approach humans to battle them and be captured, and if they find the arrangement isn't a good fit they can escape from their pokeballs easily.

In the Soulsverse, pokemon get a major benefit from pokemon training, which is a link to a human being's spiritual energy, a huge energy source compared to the scraps that they fight over and defend in the wild. Pokemon need energy to grow and evolve-- final evolutionary forms, or sometimes the second form, are generally the "adult" form-- to move up the social hierarchy, and a huge amount of energy has to be set aside by the major parent ("mother") in order to breed.

In the wild, pokemon have to defend and absorb energy from natural wellsprings of elemental power, and they have limited capability to battle because of the lack of healing machines. Generally wild pokemon will fight each other for a couple of blows and then run, and they will do the same with traveling trainers. With trusted peers or herdmates, they can practice longer, but serious injury can lead to death either through energy exhaustion or attack by another pokemon.

Pokemon don't eat each other... usually. It's an incredible taboo, but if you consume another pokemon's entire matrix of stored energy, that is a huge boost in power, easily enough to catapult a young pokemon to evolution. However... it's very, very easy to do wrong. And bad things happen.

Trained pokemon also get the benefit of a human coach and observer in battle: pokemon in the wild generally only learn a limited suite of techniques, and may practice showy bluff moves instead of techniques of true strategic viability. Gyms and dojos allow different species of pokemon to meet without conflict and some pokemon are adept at teaching others new techniques through tutoring. Pokemon are sapient, but their intelligence is different from that of humans: they live more in the moment, with less ability to plan, reflect, and strategize, and a human trainer can keep them on track.

That said, some pokemon are even smarter than the average human, or even a quite intelligent human, and can function just fine on their own-- but they can't serve as an energy source for a pokemon team. This has led to certain pokemon-led tournament or ranger teams keeping a human or humans around for that link, which some trainers think is humiliating, but the bond wouldn't work if the team's token human wasn't enthusiastic and friendly with their team. :o)

Some trainers can take this bond even further and actually fuse with their pokemon, a process called "ensoulment", whereby a human soul can share the pokemon's body or vice-versa. People who are capable of this are called "adepts". Generally adepts find that they have an elemental affinity and are most comfortable bonding with a certain pokemon type. Ensoulment was an old way of transporting pokemon before pokeballs. It has benefits, especially for things as simple as transporting large or bulky pokemon in a human-sized world, but its principal double-edge is that it can power up the bonded pokemon--at the risk of spiritual and mental injury to the human being, the pokemon, or both.

The majority of regular people can bond with a pokemon just fine, which transmits less energy to the pokemon but is far safer, so even people with adept ability strongly encourage others to just avoid using it if at all possible. The pokemon-trainer bond with canonical powerups like Z-moves or even mega evolution is more than enough to do well competitively. It's thought that everyone is able to bond with some pokemon, even in a limited way, but some humans just can't bond with or don't care for pokemon, and some can only bond with a certain type of pokemon.

Most people don't end up chasing the limits of competitive pokemon training. Most people become a caretaker for a single, maybe a couple of partner pokemon that they use to aid in the everyday tasks that actually really weigh our RL society down, like power generation, resource processing, aiding in agriculture and forestry, transportation, altering the weather(!), etc. and other tasks to help society and help others like aiding seniors and the disabled, etc.

Competitive trainers are actually kind of a byproduct of the entire pokemon training system. :o) Each region has a gym system with eight tiers. Kids who are ten years old can get a junior trainer license, and if you get all eight badges from one region, you can get upgraded to a senior trainer. S-tier trainers have a lot more freedom and opportunities opened up to them, and generally you need to be an S-tier trainer to enter tournaments, apply to fight Elites, and enter Deepwild areas ("deepwilds" are shamelessly stolen from Negrek). In the main regions you can generally challenge any gym at any tier if they have the staff and/or an appropriately-leveled pokemon team, while others only have the one tier and S-tier, where you fight the gym leader's personal team of OG pokemon instead of the career gym pokemon who are happy to hover at a particular level range.

Gaiien, the region where Gods and Demons takes place, is a little strange: you can't actually start earning badges until you're eighteen and get an adult trainer license. This is because Gaiien is bigger, wilder, and less developed than the usual regions; you have to go far into the mountains in Kanto to approach the same level of wild pokemon and isolation that Gaiienese can encounter just by stepping outside the city limits.

Pokemon in the Soulsverse are ranked by "level", a measure of things like a pokemon's energy input/output, aura density, size, etc. averaged against a huge database of all the examples of their species ever measured and recorded by a pokedex. "Level" increases quickly toward about "30", then levels off between 40 and 50, and finally crawls to 60 and then 70. The highest level competitive battlers who spend all their time training can maintain 70. The level curve approaches 100 asymptotically; theoretically, a pokemon receiving a high-density energy feed could reach 99, but these "extra" levels would burn off as soon as the feed was withdrawn. Why doesn't the scale just have 70 as 100, then? Blame scientists and inertia, and confusion during the first days of measuring pokemon level.

Inactive pokemon experience level decay, and level decay, energy scarcity, and a lack of similar opponents cap wild pokemon level at about 50, and not many in the hierarchy get to reach that level. This is another impetus for pokemon to leave their natal group and/or join human trainers. Pokemon also need to give up energy, and therefore levels, to breed-- more for the major parent ("mother") and less for the minor parent or parents ("father"). In the wild, only a socially high-ranking pokemon can give up raw power to do this without losing their place in the hierarchy or worse. Trained pokemon can breed far more easily with far less danger, and have their pick of powerful minor parents, and best of all, humans will eagerly care for their offspring. Win-win-win.

Pokemon above about level 45-50 are considered "high level". Low-level pokemon are a lot like puppies, needing a lot of care, activity, and attention, but their activity levels go down as they gain levels, because their bodies begin to need more and more energy to keep up the same level of function. Trained pokemon get plenty of energy through battling, but wild pokemon will slow as they get older and more powerful until they are the sleeping dragons of their flocks or herds.

Pokemon's elemental attacks don't hurt humans at low level. They hurt each other because of how pokemon are part of the energy ecology rather than that of matter. (A pokemon's purely physical claws, beaks, etc. and weight can hurt a human being just fine!) However, once pokemon make the transition to "high level", they have joined the matter world, and their attacks carry much more of the quality of their literal elements. That said, attacks are still mostly energy-- a fire-type can swim just fine or get hit by a wave at the beach (they won't like it), but trying to withstand a strong Surf will rapidly deplete their energy. Baby pokemon can't set fire to the forest willy-nilly, but their parents definitely can.

One of the biggest hazards in the Soulsverse are Giant Pokemon (aka Ancient Pokemon, Daikaiju, Kaiju, Titans, Giants, etc.). Giant pokemon were commonly seen in the first season of the anime AND NOW GEN EIGHT WHAT NOW Y'ALL as chaotic and/or mysterious threats that were completely forgotten about (well, until now) after that initial early installment weirdness.

No one is sure where giant pokemon come from, but their appearance will be preceded by disruptions in the usual energy ecology, turbulence, and finally their emergence as if from nowhere. Thousands of humans and pokemon are employed in a worldwide system to track this natural energy and to react when a giant pokemon appears. Giant pokemon are hundreds of times larger than the usual specimens of their species and incredibly powerful, but utterly mindless. They can beeline for a population center or turn in circles in the middle of the ocean. When the former happens, fleets of Pokemon Rangers and soldiers of the Pan-Regional Elemental Defense (PRED) are mobilized to fight the giant and evacuate people in its path.

Giants appear fairly infrequently-- one per year would be more than usual-- but are common enough that towns do regular drills for evacuation, and recruiting for the Rangers and PRED and their supporting staff is a little like US Army recruitment in terms of numbers and reach but without the whole "trick poor people to die in wars waged to enrich a small elite" angle.

This is another huge reason why there's so much time and energy in propping up pokemon training and the gym system when only a tiny minority of trainers are good enough to be competitive-- average pokemon trainers can serve as skilled rangers or soldiers by acting as a part of a larger team. Giant pokemon will decay on their own, but attacks by fleets of regular pokemon will slowly wear them down and distract them to prevent them blundering toward population centers.

When they're not trying to poke Rodan in the eye with a stick, pokemon rangers' regular duties involve patrolling major routes and helping traveling trainers, as well as helping wild pokemon and improving rural infrastructure.

The gods don't appear in this one. More or less. They were going to before I rebooted the story. :o) The demons DO appear, though, and how.

So up top I outlined how energy consumption and sharing usually works between pokemon and the environment, pokemon and pokemon, and pokemon and humans. To get at that fountain of human energy, you have to make friends with a human, forming the basis for all pokemon-human interaction and training. But demons upend the status quo: Demon Pokemon are pokemon that can just take human energy.

Some ghost-types can do this too, but it's either incredibly subtle (is it a Haunter or black mold?) or the ghost has to full-on possess a person (similar to ensoulment, but hella with the mental/spiritual damage). Demons can steal human energy far better/faster/more efficiently than ghosts. Demons can take energy from other pokemon, but they have so little compared to humans, and are much more able to tell when something is wrong.

So demon pokemon are an existential threat to humans, but they're rare and less thought-of and planned-for compared to the kaiju pokemon. For now.

g) So what even is your fanfic about then?

It's a trainer fanfic in my made-up region, Gaiien, which has a pokedex of about 150 fakemon. :o) The main character, Moriko Sato, leaves home and has to deal with the challenges of being a trainer, including managing team dynamics, hostile wild pokemon, strategies to beat gym leaders, dealing with jerks in her travel group, and also The Devil showing up. It's a ride. There's a giant pokemon near the end, too.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Here we go, time to get into the good stuff~
Once upon a time, a strange group of apes began walking bipedally. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a group of paravians were pushing themselves towards increasingly elaborate social displays of skill and creativity, and wound up self-selecting for intelligence as a side effect.

Enter the Droman:

Ouranodromeus artifex
Height: 1m
Weight: 20kg
Classification: Maniraptora, Paraves, Troodontidae, Neotroodontidae, Dexteropterygidae, Sapiornithoides

The Droman (Ouranodromeus artifex) is a mid-sized, advanced troodontid that is noteworthy for possessing intelligence on par with humans. Having evolved from a volant ancestry, young dromans retain a limited flying ability that is lost when they mature as the arms shrink relative to the body and the primaries recede from the distal end of digit II.

The wide array of aerial adaptations that dromans posses, despite a recent evolution towards increased size and hand dexterity, have allowed them to invent self-powered flight augmentations. This was the most groundbreaking turning point in their culture. This allowed them to open trade and communication throughout all their peoples and it’s the reason why there really is no such thing as “remote” in their half of the world.

Dromans are hypersocial and nearly all aspects of their society revolves around one single ideal: showing off. They paint and decorate themselves obsessively, and reinvent their appearances constantly. Their society is obsessed with the arts, to the point that most other fields of study are considered boring (much to the chagrin of dromans in those fields). There’s a social expectation that your appearance should reflect on your personality, interests, and skills, and failure to do so is generally treated with disdain. In short, dromans are incredibly vain an flighty, and their attention easily caught by whatever is new and interesting. They tend to pick up new hobbies and interests constantly, and drop them just as quickly--it’s rare to meet a droman who would devote their entire life to one pursuit, and they tend to find it rather strange that humans are so prone to doing so!

I have a lot, lot more information on them (they’re basically the only part of this world I’ve put any thought into), but I’ll save the details for each specific day.
Dromans originated in what would be known in our world as Canada, but their civilizations have spread across all of the western hemisphere (contrasting humankind’s origin in Africa and subsequent spread throughout the eastern hemisphere.)

Droman civilization was transformed by the invention of the wingsuit, a self-powered mechanism that allows them to fly. Although the northwestern empire would have you believe that they alone are responsible for this wondrous device, the truth is that the wingsuit was invented independently no less that four times across all of droman history, and the first instance of it was actually in the “backwater” regions to the south (flying above the rainforest canopy is just much faster than traveling below it, after all.) Even to this day, the southern nations have a much more well-established communications network than the northern ones (again, despite what the northwestern empire would say).

While small conflicts between humans and dromans have cropped up from time to time across history–usually from wandering explorers straying into the other’s territory and being perceived as a threat–the largest conflict has ironically come about as a result of a colony formed by outcasts of both species, leading to the first shared language and shared nation on an island north of Europe. Their push to claim the previously unsettled marshlands of southern Europe put them at odds with several human empires in northern Africa, which had been looking to expand into that area.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Aaaa fine you guys tempted me too much, so I'll try to answer some of these as much as I can. I'm going to start off with Kilo, the world of Hands of Creation and maybe I'll talk about my original work afterward? No promises. I guess I'm more interested in doing something actually relevant to what I'm known for here. I feel like my original stuff is less interesting because I haven't actually published any of it.

Okay okay okay okay okay time for Kilo. I'll get a few questions out of the way. I'll try to be concise.

The world of Kilo takes the base of every Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game: It's a world without humans, populated entirely by Pokemon. They live alongside one another in relative harmony, similar to the source material that they draw from, but the world of Kilo is not based on any specific game or region. In Kilo, the concept of humans and humanity has faded so much that it has become essentially a myth, much like the Legendary/Mythical Pokemon themselves. It's come to the point where some people theorize that humans can do outlandish things (in our eyes, at least) like eat metal, or have diamond claws, or were once immortal--things like that.

It looks like there are more in-depth questions about the world later, so I think I'll stop it here for now. The basics is it's a world of Pokemon that use their Pokemon powers to live in a civilization similar, but divergent, from what you'd expect of humans.

Kilo is a semi-Pangea world. In other words, aside from a few small islands here and there, it's a single landmass on an otherwise watery marble. "Kilo" refers to both the world, the main landmass, and the capital city, inappropriately named Kilo Village (It used to be a village, but then grew, but the name stuck.)

The north is cold, and the south is a bit more temperate, and it's a sliding scale in the middle depending on the region. The center of the country is a large mountain with crater in the middle--that's where Kilo Village is located. Surrounding it is a rocky field, and then tall grass, and from there it can more or less transition into anything, though it's mostly forests or fields, which in turn leads to a heavy slant toward organic-like Pokemon living in most of Kilo. Inorganic or otherwise strange and technological Pokemon such as Porygon, Bronzong, and so on are much rarer, though they're around in small numbers.

Pokemon!

...Okay, yes, but there's a bit more nuance to it. There are two classes of Pokemon, ferals and civilized. The distinction is generally discernible with obvious visual cues like body posture, whether they have a bag or some sort of scarf or other article on them, or any set-in dirtiness that you wouldn't see from most civilized Pokemon. There are also some physical traits that are sometimes easier to spot among civilized Pokemon that are less prominent in ferals, such as expressiveness of the eyes and face, though there's a strong gray area there. Ferals, while still a bit animalisticin nature, are quite intelligent, and some have the capacity for higher thoughts. Most don't, though.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
I'm just gonna dump everything I have about the Midnightverse so far in a spoiler tag:
1. Tell us about your world, what’s it about?


Oh, uh, wow, it's June already. Huh. Um.


Well, over the past few months I have been developing a setting I've called the Midnightverse, and figured this June was a good time to do a blowout. As for what it is, it's both a post-post apocalyptic dark-ish fantasy and... a shounen isekai plot subverted to hell and back and with the icky bits stripped away.


A magical catastrophe (we need more of those) alters life on Earth completely and wipes out humanity as we know it. The myriad races descended from the now-extinct humans have pretty much moved on and are living their own lives... until an enby with strange powers from a world like our own crashes onto a warlock and her dog's doorstep.


I look forward to showing you all what this mishmash entails.


2. What’s the Geography of your world?


Well, it's a post-post-apocalyptic Earth, so you'd think it'd look familiar... but the truth is the continents got all rearranged when the magical cataclysm happened. Now it looks... it looks like the old arrangement if you squint enough, and the only good way to tell which place was which is by looking at ruins and artifacts. (In-universe archaeologists, geologists, and paleontologists have a field day with this.)


For reference, this is a very rough, to-be-adjusted approximation of the map:





Of note is that Antarctica has been pushed upward while Japan's landmass has increased. Also Central America is now a bunch of islands, and North America is covered in thick forests and swamps that let little to no light into their lower levels.


3. Who lives in your world?


Oh boy, this part is always fun!


I have... a list of fictional sapient species in this setting that I will transcribe here. They range from "human with a bit of makeup and shit" to "what the fuck is that":


Kohvuze: [dark-elf/shadar-kai-y people with glowing bioluminescent markings; live pretty much anywhere (but mostly the Night Forests of former North America) and are the equivalent of what normal humans would be in other fantasy settings]


Pelticida: [reptilian humanoids that look like the unholy hybrid of hork-bajir and deathclaws]


Zuyfza: [think a combo of the future predators from primeval and the aliens from a quiet place except less rampantly murderous]:


Gorfs: [FROG PEOPLE FROG PEOPLE]:


Buthidians: [scorpion taurs! They're scorpions! They're centaurs!]


Kemtralans: [cat taurs, they and the scorpion taurs don’t like each other]


Harpoya: [you know how howl from howl's moving castle had that one intermediate bird man form that was weirdly sexy? imagine that as a species]


Sylfaes: [floaty fairy people]


Drekes: [Dragons because of course i'm putting dragons in this but also they're weird because they can resemble any reptile or bird species that isn't the Pelticidia and have a shitton of breath weapon variety]


Valfrizen: [Ice cave dwelling icy valkyrie-ish people that isolate themselves from other civilizations]


Tanuki: [racoon dog people, shounen race A]


Kitsune: [multi-tailed fox people, shounen race 1]


Chirotans: [bat-winged, bat eared people; possibly other traits?]


Merpeople: [exactly what it says on the tin; come in multiple varieties based on different types of fish]


Demons: [only gain autonomy by possessing people, more like the Venom symbiote than anything; the most powerful are Archdemons that must use their host to feed on the bodies and souls of mortals]


Then there's the enby I mentioned at the start, who's kind of... weird. More about them later.


4. What’s its history? (How did it come to be?)


I’m just gonna do broad strokes since I haven’t figured out the fine details yet.


In the near future of a world like ours, someone, somewhere, reawakened an ancient goddess known as the Midnight Lady. And she did not like what she saw. So she altered the world to fit her image. By the time the other gods had reawakened it was too late. The world had been fundamentally changed, civilization as they knew it laid to ruin, and the people of the world changed as well.


Eventually, time passed. Instead of rebuilding the successors of humanity made their own civilizations to take the place of the old. And eventually over hundreds of years, give or take a few conflicts, everyone just kind of... moved on.


But things lurk beneath the surface, threatening to upset the balance once more... unless our protagonists have anything to say about it.


5. What sorts of civilizations and architecture fill your world?


It varies wildly by location and species, but architecture tends to be built into the environment somehow, eg. houses built into trees or hills. Accomodations for the anatomy of various species are common as well, eg. special glyphs for the blind Zuyfza. Settlements tend to be either species-specific or have a wide range of species depending on the location.


6. How does gender & sexuality work in your world?


The people of this world are larger looser and more accepting about gender and sexuality than the old world. Parents are prone to letting children decide for themselves about these subjects, and even among disparate species and cultures judging someone for their sexual or gender identity is frowned upon - seen as excessively petty and a waste of time when people tend to have more pressing concerns in this world than if someone they know is dating someone of the same gender or doesn't identify as male or female at all or what not.


Additionally, genderbending magic exists and is primarily used for transitioning.


7. How does the economy work in your world? What sorts of currencies do they use?


Economic models vary wildly but trend socialistic. What stays more consistent is the currency used: small, spherical crystals called nylites that are crafted from ores that grow around the world. Certain colors of nylites are considered more valuable than others, and they seem to be magical in origin.


8. How is your world run? Who’s in power?


It very much depends on the nation/city/whatever. Some examples:


-Aoku, a nation in the Night Forests of what was once Ohio. Mostly populated by Kovuze, democratic, heavily focused on old traditions and study of magic. Where one of the main characters is from.


-Scalewyn: A realm in the ex-ex-Antarctic forests and hills ruled by the Pelticida. Very martial, conflicts settled by ritual (though nonlethal) combat, alpha females (including trans females) rule everything.

-New Tokyo and New Osaka (pending better names), realms of the kitsune and tanuki respectively. Constitutional monarchies that don't get along.


9. What are the religions and cosmology of your world?


I'm going to use this opportunity to talk about the deities. The most prominent of which is the Midnight Lady, the one responsible for the calamity that ravaged the Old World and made it what it is today. She is fickle, petty, somewhat mischievous, but ultimately has good intentions and despises bigots and abusers. For that reason, despite her role in ending the Old World she has many worshippers, particularly among the Kovuze


There are multiple other gods, but I'm only in the process of figuring out one other so far, a cocky shapeshifter god. He needs a name, though I'm working on his design for a thing. I'll try to update with it later.


10. What holidays & traditions are observed in your world?


Again, I'm just going to use some examples


The Zuyfza live in a network of caves that runs deep beneath the surface of each continent, but every year they come out for a day known as the Harmony Night, in which they come to the surface in secluded places to perform and sing. The performances are said to be eerie to others.


The Sylfaes like to christen their children in special springs, which others refer to as Fairy Fountains. Sometimes Sylfaes cristien the children of other species too.


The Chirotans have a ceremony every full moon known as the Night Of Blood. They engage in ritual battles to first blood and offer symbolic blood offerings to their gods.



11. What’s language like in your world?


Varies wildly between species. The Kovuze have the most human-like language; the others tend to involve animalistic or sometimes even alien languages. There is no "common", so learning multiple languages is common, as are interpreters. Translation magic exists, but it is rare and hard to master.
 
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Keleri

I Like Cats
MOTHER
EFFING
MAPS

Gaiien Map

Gaiien was incorporated as an autonomous region in 96 CR and its league was established in 107 CR. It lies west of Hoenn and its main exports are raw materials, including metal ores, rare earth metals, precious metals, wood, cereal crops, fruit/vegetables, and fish.

Gym Leaders and their specialties:

1. Luciana “Tierra” Rodriguez – Ground – Dust Badge – Umber Village
2. Alex “Hawthorn” Wong – Grass – Seed Badge – Verdure Town
3. Bryony “Belladonna” Jourdain – Poison – Venom Badge – Porphyry City
4. Brent “Pyre” Carter – Fire – Pyre Badge – Russet Town
5. Galen “Lord Ironhelm” Richter – Steel – Gear Badge – Port Brac
6. Mikoto “Tsukuyomi” Arata – Ghost – Oblivion Badge – Sere Island
7. Genevieve “Nocturna” Park – Dark – Starlight Badge – Sunset Mountain
8. Matti “Polaris” Virtanen – Ice – Frost Badge – Sastruga Fjord

Gaiien’s league is famously “wild”, spread over a large area with only the main roads and parks patrolled by rangers. Trainers intending to earn badges are required to have an adult trainer license (18 years old or 8 outregion badges) in contrast to more populous regions where only a junior trainer license is required (10 years old). As a result, some junior trainers travel to other regions to begin earning badges, while others train with their pokemon in towns until they turn 18. Backcountry hiking is not recommended without a team of strong (lv. 40+) pokemon.

Due to the young age of the Gaiien League, wild pokemon are often unused to human presence and will attack aggressively to defend territory rather than to test a potential partner, complicating pokemon capture. Several pokeball manufacturers offer rebates on the pokeballs of released pokemon, although disappointments can generally be avoided by not pursuing fleeing wild pokemon.

There is a community college in Port Littoral and Pokemon Professor offices in Port Littoral, Porphyry City, and Port Brac. Many students travel to other regions for post-secondary education and there are several government stipends to assist.

Relations between second- and third-crossing settlers are cordial. There is a strong second-crossing clan presence in the northern areas.

Surrounding Regions

A map of Gaiien and its surrounding regions with their "capitals"/largest cities marked.

Gaiien - the region I'm working on now and where Gods and Demons I is set. Gaiien is mostly forest and mountains especially counting the northern areas, but the southern area of the "elbow" is drier. Gaiien's league has the usual 8 gyms/4 elites/champion setup, but the 8th gym is located so far north that it's hard to complete the league in a single summer. S-tier trainers are advised to start the league in any order, but to head to the 7th and 8th gyms as soon as travel is clear for the season. Its pokedex will have ~150 pokemon + formes when I'm done. Not based on any particular country on Earth. Its gym city names are based on colors/environmental qualities.

Tanos - a hot and dry region, it shares pokemon with Gaiien as well as having a number of its own. Sort of a mixture between the SW US and various savannah/pampas environments from around the world. Its cities and points of interests are named after minerals and gemstones.

Tanir - has a Kanto/Johto relationship to Tanos; it's pretty much the same in terms of climate and landforms but it's more rural/rustic compared to Tanos. Shares a pokedex with Tanos, with some additions/subtractions.

Sirtya - a very sparsely populated region, this region was set up for Third Crossing people from northern europe and asia to live traditional lifestyles. Shares its pokedex with northern Gaiien with a few other species. Named after a semi-legendary Palaeosiberian group. No official gym system, but a robust system of training pokemon--they are needed for protection from other pokemon and megafauna that never went extinct on Gaia.

Ralik - Marshallese for "Sunset", a small cluster of islands with endemic and oceangoing pokemon. Mostly serves as a stopover for people flying or sailing west. Climate is mild but the islands are fairly far north and can be stormy.

Nalea - the region in Gods and Demons II, this region is the original landing site for the Second Crossing and humans' only region until shipbuilding was redeveloped. It is hotter and wetter than Gaiien and heavily developed to a medieval/renaissance level of technology; only a few wild areas remain. Not based on any particular country on earth, maybe similar to Japan/southern China/SE Asia in terms of climate and crops. Nalea has a temple/shrine for each type and eight clans that focus on a grouping of related types.

Kelau - a tropical cluster of islands and atolls like Alola, it has a pokedex made of endemic and oceangoing pokemon. No official gym system, just a system of training and tutelage with elders.

Hoenn - you all know this one

Unincorporated territory - these are areas excluded from regions for various reasons; in general, humans are not allowed to settle there permanently due to a combination of factors including environmental danger, harsh climate, fragility of the ecosystem, rare or dangerous animals, and rare or dangerous pokemon. The ones visible on this map are due to the Arctic Treaty agreement; in general the areas nearest the poles have fragile ecosystems, are not fit for human habitation*, and have rare and uncontacted pokemon that react unpredictably to humans.

*On Earth/Terra obviously humans live in many harsh environments, but there are areas that simply can't support human settlements; furthermore, Gaia only has a small human population and the nice/temperate areas just aren't full yet. People wanting to live a traditional lifestyle in harsh areas can petition to have areas of the territory incorporated into a region, but in general this has already been done in the best/most survivable harsh areas, i.e. the northern coastal areas above.

Other unincorporated areas include high mountainous areas and isolated islands, as well as areas referred to by trainers as Deepwilds where powerful and dangerous pokemon can be found.

Gaiien exists alongside the other familiar regions from the pokemon games and anime. The pokemon world is a parallel universe to our own universe, and had no humans in it before humans arrived from our own universe. The pokemon world and its solar system are the same as our own but with a different array of continents**. The heavenly bodies are named after their greek equivalents, so Helios, Hermes, Aphrodite, Gaia-Selene, Ares, Zeus, Kronos, Ouranos, and Poseidon. (Yeah yeah, and Hades, the dwarf planet.)

**Technically this would result in huge changes in evolution and probably the weather on Gaia but we're going to say A Pokemon Did It.

Gaia has more or less the same or convergently-evolved species as Terra, our world, but humans never evolved there, which made it ideal for the dimensional colonization that led a number of "crossings" of humans from our world to make the journey to Gaia.

Due to timey-wimey problems, the Second and Third Crossings left from Terra within six months of each other-- and arrived about a thousand years apart. This explains some of the inconsistencies in the pokemon games: humans have lived with pokemon for centuries but seemingly only started studying them scientifically within the last few decades, and have futuristic technology to boot. In my fanfic universe, these are therefore two different groups of people who don't always see eye-to-eye. (More on this in the next couple questions.)

Funnily I came up with this idea shortly before XY came out, and the ensuing games have only made my fanon more and more plausible. Parallel universes, dimensional hopping, and extradimensional entities (ultra beasts) are all canon now, beating me to the punch. Hoo hoo hoo

In my AU the pokemon regions are countries or subdivisions of continents rather than Sinnoh being literally Hokkaido or similar. I deliberately try to avoid pinning down real numbers but Gaiien is arooooooound the size of the Australian provinces Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria taken together. As a result the heroes in Gods and Demons spend some time on foot but a number of large stretches are crossed by taking the bus, taking the train, and/or using a terrifying immortal trainer's flying pokemon.

The equator lies below the map cut-off in the expanded map. Going east, Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn are at a similar latitude to South Gaiien and have similar climates (cool winter, muggy/swamp-ass summer). Sinnoh is at a more northern latitude, as is Unova. Galar and Kalos are actually even higher latitude but a warm ocean current moderates their climates (sounds familiar?). Finally, Alola is an isolated island chain far to the east relative to Gaiien.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Only one today. I really wanna give number #6 the attention it deserves. (Droman gender is FUN.)

Droman architecture is, in one word, vertical.

Their cities tower above the landscape, as when faced with the question of which direction to build, the answer is always “up.” This was the case even before the invention of the wingsuit, but it only became more drastic afterward, as high takeoff points became even more desirable.

Due to their small, lightweight builds and low grip strength compared to humans, dromans don’t do a whole lot of stoneworking. Their homes are primarily wooden, usually starting as treehouses--dromans inevitably end up settling in areas with plenty of large trees to work with. But this isn’t always the case--cliffsides are another prime location for droman settlements.

Humans can have a hard time navigating droman cities because dromans don’t really do stairs. At best, there might be a line of wooden pegs spanning the walls, meant for climbing. At worst, a series of ropes and pulleys used to facilitate quick access between floors and buildings.

This does mean that Droman cities tend to be an accessibility nightmare for those that can’t fly or otherwise have mobility issues. (In fact, dromans in general tend to be even worse at accommodations than humans, though there have been major pushes to correct this in recent times, particularly in some newer cities in the northeast.)
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
Okay here's the flora and fauna posts:

12. What creatures inhabit your world?


The change that turned humans into new races of beings also affected wildlife. Strange new beings sprung from the creatures of old, and even stranger creatures sprung from the ether as time went by.


(I haven't figured out too many specifics yet but I do know the general aesthetic is closer to the weirder wilder D&D monsters than anything.)


Among beings not changed by the warping of the world are domestic dogs and cats; they are considered sacred to the Midnight Lady and under her protection. They are popular pets and helpers, and no one dares try to harm them.


...Well, at the very least no one who dares try to harm them survives to tell about it.


13. What plants cover your world?


Plants, like animals, were heavily affected by the calamity. The most notable plant life is the Night Forests of what was once North America, which don't let any light into their lower levels. Bioluminescent mushrooms are among the only things that let people and animals see down there.


(The night forests exist in another WIP of mine, but they were a cool enough concept to reuse.)
 

Keleri

I Like Cats
Humans and pokémon.

Humans are split into two groups based on their "arrival" on Gaia—as mentioned the "Second Crossing" and "Third Crossing" left Terra about six months apart, and arrived about a thousand years apart. Those who didn't immediately return to Terra after giant pokémon were first encountered came to partner with pokémon to fight them off and rebuild their society. Unfortunately a lot of technology was slowly lost so the survivors eventually came to a medieval/renaissance level of technology.

When the Third Crossing arrived, they were ready for a fight, but came to learn a great deal from the Second Crossing and began to partner with pokémon as well. They rapidly outstripped the Second Crossing nations in terms of technology and innovation, and there is now tension between the two groups for a variety of reasons (more on that in the next few questions).

Pokémon are of course the elemental beings discussed earlier. They don't replace animals on Gaia, but instead form a complementary energy ecology that exists alongside the matter one. Pokémon vary in their power and appearance, with some pokémon being relatively unimpressive and unintelligent, almost equivalent to smart animals, while others are said to have power over the very fabric of the universe.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
Two more updates!

14. What do people eat in your world?


It varies wildly depending on species. All are omivores, but some species are more carnivorous and herbivorous than others, and their cuisine and recipes reflect that.


Incidents of sapient beings eating each other are rare with two exceptions:


-The Pelticida perform ritual cannibalism on fallen warriors, so that their strength may be passed on to future warriors and generations even after death.


-Archdemons can manipulate their amorphous bodies from within their host to devour the bodies and souls of other beings, and must do so to survive and grow more powerful. For this reason if an archdemon is discovered finding and eliminating them becomes a top priority.


15. What technology is used in your world?


The calamity set back technological progress a lot, and recovery has been slow. At this point in time it's about... the level you'd expect for a medieval fantasy setting, with some anachronisms here and there from the Old World.


Magic helps make life easier in this regard, but that's for the next update.
 
First, I'd like to join Chiba Pika in giving thanks to qva for starting this thread. A lively and active forum really depends on users stepping up to create good threads.

Second, for my world...

Once upon a time, the city of Halfmark was in the middle of a great empire, thriving off the trade on the Thousand League Road connecting the eastern and western halves of the continent. But then the sea monsters came, the empire collapsed, and the trade dried up. Now, Halfmark is a small, largely forgotten town in the middle of nowhere. And strange things can happen in the middle of nowhere...

Okay, so, funny story... I haven't actually decided on a name for this world yet! My current working name is going to be 'Nothtera' (a barely concealed anagram of 'Not Earth'). The reason for this is that this project actually originated as the setting of a fantasy tabletop RPG I was planning on running once upon a time, which would have been called 'The Halfmark Chronicles' and would focus on the characters dealing with the various weird happenings threatening the town of Halfmark. (As you may have guessed by a particular line, this whole concept draws heavy inspiration from the 'Courage the Cowardly Dog' cartoon). So I was a lot more concerned about what Halfmark and its immediate environs were like and didn't really give much thought to the larger world (although I did come up with a semi-elaborate creation story which I probably never would've had a good opportunity to introduce naturally in gameplay). You can assume that most of the information I give here is filtered through the lens of how the average resident of Halfmark sees the world.

In this world, whether or not you can use magic, and how powerful it is, is determined as much by where you were born as to whom you were born to. Some places are inherent wellsprings of magic, and all sapient species born there will grow up to be powerful spellcasters. The distant ancestors of the people of Halfmark were said to have once lived in such a place, a mystical archipelago known as the Home Islands, before their fabled exile. The land they were banished to is an example of somewhere on the opposite end of the spectrum, a continent with negative magic strong enough to cause everyone born there to be saddled with a potent lifelong curse, on top of not being able to use any normal magic at all. This land thus came to be called 'Curseland' by those exiles, a name that's stuck until the present day.

Because of this phenomenon, only the coasts of Curseland were extensively settled, and the cultures that developed there have a custom of giving birth in houses built on piers extending out into the ocean, which is neutral magic-wise. Children born above the ocean in this way can't use any magic, but have no curse to deal with, unlike most residents of Halfmark, who, living near the exact center of the massive continent, often find it infeasible to journey the great distance to the coastline while pregnant, especially given the increasingly dangerous nature of travel in Curseland.

No two people get exactly the same curse, although some are very similar. Curses can vary wildly in their levels of inconvenience and danger, and some can often be helpful. Here are a few examples, in the spoiler:

Far-hearedness: The subject is incapable of hearing any sounds originating within about 30 feet of them, but can hear anything outside that range normally (they still find sounds more difficult to make out the farther away they are, so they have no advantage when listening to events happening in the distance).

Gulliteracy: The subject is capable of reading any language, although they cannot automatically understand cryptographic or encoded messages. They also believe anything they read, and will assume that any evidence of their own senses to the contrary is a bizarre and persistent hallucination. (e.g. If they read that the sky was green with orange polka dots, they wouldn't actually see it that way, but would earnestly believe that to be the case and perhaps theorize that there's some conspiracy of everyone to make them hallucinate and maintain a falsehood about the true color of the sky.)

Konigsburg Syndrome: Any bridge the subject crosses over will collapse as soon as they get to the other side, whether it's a natural bridge, an artificial bridge or a magical rainbow bridge to another dimension.

Life Cycle: The subject continuously ages as the day goes on, becoming about four years older for each hour that passes. This is reflected in both their appearance and their physical capabilities. When they sleep, they de-age back to their 'baseline' age.

Marathon Fever: The subject is compelled to continuously sprint as fast as they can all the time. They never grow tired of running, can eat and drink while running without risk of choking, have a miraculous ability to avoid running-related injuries, and can 'sleep-run' without much risk. But if they're ever forced to stop running, they start to asphyxiate, the severity of this being related to how slow they're forced to go. At total stand-still they'll die in less than a minute, at a walking pace they can last several minutes, and a jogging speed they can last for up to an hour, experiencing increasingly severe hypoxia.

MAXIMUM VOLUME: Similar to the previous curse, whenever the subject speaks, they are compelled to scream whatever they say at the top of their lungs. Their voice never grows hoarse because of this. When they use sign language, they make extremely exaggerated, flailing gestures which may be difficult to understand. When they write, they write in an incredibly large font.

Memory Hole Stomach: Shortly after the subject eats something, they forget everything about whatever it is they just ate. If they ate an apple, they wouldn't recognize another one if they saw it, and would forget the name of it, what it tastes like, what apple trees are, etc. They'd still see it as a type of fruit, but wouldn't recall if it was edible or poisonous. Although if the subject ate too many different types of fruit at once, they might forget the concept of 'fruit' entirely. Likewise eating pork would cause them to forget everything they knew about pigs, and would slightly erode their knowledge of mammals in general.

Anvil of Damocles: A large metal anvil continuously hovers far (several hundred yards) above the subject's head. If the subject walks into a cave within a mountain it will fly up as high as necessary to hover over the subject's spot within the mountain. The anvil will also fly up to avoid attempts to grab it and pull it down. Who knows when it'll drop?

Semiotic Confusion (Auditory):
The subject hears all sounds as a description of that sound, rather than the sound itself. Branches moving in the wind sounds to the subject like a voice saying “Branches rustling, branches rustling”. Their footsteps sound like a soft voice repeating "footsteps, footsteps". People talking to the subject sound a voice repeating “Person talking, person talking” unless the subject focuses hard, in which case it sounds like 'Person saying "[whatever it is they're actually saying]"'. The descriptive voice is always monotone.

Gotta Throw Fast: The subject has an uncontrollable compulsion to immediately fling away any object they pick up with their hands as forcefully as possible. They can still eat or drink by mashing their face against food or water.

Teleportitis: The subject teleports short distances (within a mile) at random times. They can't control where they teleport to, but it's never somewhere that would immediately lead to their death or injury (over a cliff, into a pool of lava). (Yes, I know that the name means 'inflammation of the teleport'. Well in this case the subject actually does grow a teleport gland, so there!)

Alien Limb Roulette: The curse possesses one of the subject's limbs (arms or legs), controlling its every action. Whenever the subject falls asleep or otherwise loses consciousness, it switches to controlling a different limb at random when they wake up (it can’t do anything else when they’re unconscious). The curse has access to all the same sensory information the subject does, but cannot read the subject's thoughts or detect their emotions directly. It can simulate normal operation of the limb until it’s ready to strike. Although the curse is not murderously deranged, it likes to use its control of the limb to play pranks and has a cruel sense of humor.

Heart in Glass: The subject is born with their heart outside their body, encased in a glass cube. This glass cube is no more or less fragile than an ordinary cube of glass. The further the subject gets from their heart, the worse their cardiac function becomes, until they die at a range of about half a mile or so. Their heart visibly changes colors according to the subject's emotions, turning green when they feel envious, white when they're afraid, deep blue when they're in love, neon-orange with purple stripes and crimson polka dots when the subject is greatly confused or hallucinating, etc.

Disillusioned: The subject can’t see any illusions, magical or otherwise. Therefore the subject is effectively blind, as they can see the blind spots in their eyes, can see blood vessels in their retina, their vision constantly shakes due to saccades, and they experience all the other visual artifacts the brain usually edits out.

The Monster Inside Me: The subject's chest has a row of buttons sewn into their skin. When unbuttoned, a monster can come out of the subject's chest cavity. The subject cannot eat or drink normally, but doesn't need to as long as the monster is kept well fed and hydrated. It is far larger than what could actually fit inside the subject's chest, and needs a lot of food. If the monster stays outside the subject's body for more than two days or so, it dies (which would be followed by the subject dying of thirst), so it must return to the chest cavity regularly. When it gets too hungry, the monster focuses solely on finding food, but when kept satiated it generally does what the subject wants. However, it will act according to a greatly exaggerated version of the subject's desires – if told to open a door, it’ll destroy the door and most of the doorway too. If the subject doesn't like someone, it’ll try to rip them to pieces.
 
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qva

pretty good
Location
dc
hi guys! some more stuff to catch up.

[link]
birds! and birds, and birds, and birds. and birds. and birds some more.

kralle’s whole shtick is that, except for people, almost everything is some kind of bird. there’s already an unreal amount of variation in the bird family in our own world— in kralle this is only intensified. i couldn’t possibly go through it all, but i’ll outline some of the more developed species here.

mountain drakes
image

(Image by Zhao Chuang; courtesy of Peking Natural Science Organization)

mountain drakes are based heavily on microraptors. they’re quadruple-winged, with both their fore- and their hindlimbs serving as wings. their feathers are black with a bluish sheen and they have short, toothy snouts for catching insects. unlike microraptors, they are zygodactyls, i.e. they have H-shaped feet, like a macaw or a chameleon. their feet and palms are outfitted with primitive setae, which facilitate their climbing abilities and enable them to (with some difficulty) scale virtually sheer cliffs.

true to their name, the mountain drakes inhabit mountains and cliffs in the northern derrish mountain range, up through southern sefia. they feed on bugs and make their nests in the crags. their small size, keen intellect, and evasive nature gives them the place of the trickster in traditional mythology, and they’re thought to have lifespans exceeding several centuries or even millennia. their true lifespans are not known. mountain drakes are most definitely the cleverest of the drakes— they’ve been shown to exhibit basic tool use, have passed the mirror test, can mimic human speech, and are even rumored to be able to perform basic mathematical calculations.

sandfowl
sandfowl are very large members of the order galliformes. they somewhat resemble the wild turkey, though they’re a dull brown in coloration and notably larger, sometimes up to six feet long. they’re ground-dwellers endemic to the deserts of sefia, with extremely thick, padded feet and pointed beaks to aid in breaking apart their main food source, the cactus. like most animals that call the desert home, they’re a nomadic species, constantly fleeing the qahn. like the turkey they resemble, their large size makes them ideal targets for domestication, and the walkers have a long history of such with them. in fact, the sandfowl is instrumental to the walker religion— their blood is typically used to refill the blood shrines around the desert, thus making them a central part of the religious tradition.

wisebirds
image

the wisebirds are very large, very colorful, and very intelligent parrots endemic to the sagewood. their social structure has selected for increasingly extravagant colorations throughout the years, leading to the radiant wisebirds seen today. however, they still correspond to a naming scheme which describes the relatively simple colorations of their ancestors— for example, a valid wisebird name might be “tenec of the family of the red smattering of the verdant clan of the ancient order of the wise.” in general, the wisebirds are known for being very verbose, descriptive, and somewhat whimsical.

standing about five and a half feet tall, they resemble very large macaws, and retain the power of flight. they are capable of speech as well, not just through repetition but through the conscious construction of meaningful language— however, wisebirds speak their own language in addition to the languages of men, and their mother tongue sounds to the untrained listener like unremarkable squawking.

wisebird society is fairly loose, and broken into small, self-governing families. in civil matters, a council of venerable and wise elders is deferred to, but for the most part the wisebirds live very simple, very long lives. because they keep to themselves, they’ve achieved something of a legendary, pseudo-mythical status among men. according to legend, in fact, they are more intelligent than even the wisest people in human history.
tl;dr: birds. a lot of different kinds of birds. this includes dinosaurs. described above is the microraptor-inspired mountain drake, a giant desert turkey called the sandfowl, and a species of sentient parrots called wisebirds.
skipping #13 because i don’t have anything particularly interesting to say about it.

the people of kralle eat about what you’d expect: poultry and plants. the sandfowl described in the previous post is a popular choice for meat, as it’s widespread in the north and considered exotic in the south. chickens are also common, growing to relatively great size in deren (about four feet at the shoulder). really, all manners of bird are consumed on deren, with only a handful of taboos; for example, brave birds are never eaten in deren, and some intelligent birds are shunned because their consumption is viewed as cruel.

the marshlanders sustain themselves largely on fish. the fish of kralle aren’t so different from our own— the marshlander diet might consist of cod, salmon, tilapia, or whatever other large fish are native to the immediately adjacent area. marshlanders are also quite skilled at aquaculture, and use their mastery of basketweaving to construct fish cages that work in the water.

the crops of kralle are somewhat generic. wheat, barley, berries and apples are staples of deren; olives, spices, sugar and nuts are more common to the sefia in the north. the marshlanders grow mixed, wild gardens of potatoes, corn, and whatever other fruits and vegetables are native nearby.
tl;dr: lots of birds, as you'd expect, as well as some generic crops, and fish.
much of the technology in kralle is based around birds, just as lots of medieval technology was built around beasts of burden in our own world... but not all. the lowlander giants are famously the inventors of the crane, and the free sifa cities are renowned shipbuilders and have developed basic clockwork. derrish armor is constructed from the mysteriously impenetrable feathers of the brave bird, and weapons are crafted from steel. the derrish have also developed many agricultural implants such as plows for their large birds of burden, and the sifa to the north have constructed their own caravan rigs for their drakes. additionally, buildings like windmills and watermills are commonplace. broadly speaking, the level of technology is vaguely medieval but with many devices made specifically to suit the avian ecology of the world; technology to the north may lean slightly closer to the enlightenment era, whereas technology among the marshlanders and lowlanders may lean closer to the iron or bronze ages, depending.
tl;dr: nothing super special at this point. the technology at this point in time is basically generic medieval stuff, with some variability depending on the stage of advancement of the people at hand.
 
I edited some extra information about curses into my first post. Moving on:

The continent of Curseland is located in the southern hemisphere, and is about 3,000 miles long east to west and 5,000 miles north to south. Both the east and west coasts are fertile and have many natural harbors. The southern coast is rocky and cold. No one knows what the north coast is like anymore, but supposedly it was a fair place to live until the Sym came and conquered the region. The interior of the continent is largely semi-arid scrubland and prairie, broken up by a few mountain ranges here and there.

Running through the center of the continent from east to west is the great Thousand League Road, which is wide and stone-paved in most parts, with narrower stretches threading through mountain passes. The town of Halfmark is located at a natural oasis roughly halfway along the road, and is surrounded by small, irrigated farms using water from Lake Salvation. Points of interest close by Halfmark include a massive, three-mile-high mesa known as The Maker's Anvil, a small lake called Clay Lake due to the rich clay that can be found on its shores, and a series of narrow canyons and ravines named Labyrinth Gorge.

There are other continents in the world beyond Curseland, of course, but long-distance ocean travel has all but stopped due to the rise of the sea monsters, and thus other lands are mostly unknown to the people of Halfmark. Legend states that the people who settled Curseland came from an archipelago located deep within the Great Western Ocean, known as the Home Islands. Before the sea monsters came, several expeditions were launched to try to find the Home Islands, but alas, it turns out that finding a large continent when setting forth from a small island is much easier than the reverse process.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Whoops I fell behind. Time to play some catchup...

So, this question is quite possibly one of the biggest ones to be veiled in a blanket of spoilers, but I can at least go over one aspect of it: How Kilo Village came about.

A long time ago, the world of Kilo was fragmented and scattered in the form of isolated villages and collections tribes and travelers, and very few full-blown societies, if any. There seemed to be no sign of humans, and at this point in time, it seemed that they had already faded into myth. Dungeons were already formed across the continent, and were largely dangerous places to go. If there was a Dungeon, you just didn't go in. To go in almost certainly meant you'd get lost forever unless you were strong enough to pass through, or someone else came in to take you through the rest.

Then, one day, Goodra Anam and his band of Hundred Hearts started to expand their territory and influence, offering blessings and potent items (what is now known today as Oran Berries, scarves, seeds, and so on) in exchange for allegiance to the Hearts. For the most part, assimilation into the Kilo Village's network was peaceful--eager, even. The temptation of Anam's power and protection was too great, and perhaps, in the back of their minds, the threat of what it meant to be his enemy, despite his kind front.

Over time, the entire world became annexed into Anam's now-Thousand Hearts. With the help of Waypoints to warp from an established location in an instant, maintaining ties across great distances became trivial. By the time Hands of Creation begins, the world and all of its scattered societies are united under the Thousand Hearts.

For the most part, we have a "magical technology" vibe going on for Kilo. The center of the world, Kilo Village, contains the most advanced technology, such as buildings infused with Protect shields within the walls, and other Pokemon-resistant material. After all, when a single Pokemon with a bad mood can cause a lot of damage, you generally want your buildings to be sturdy!

Still, it seems that Anam and Pokemon of Kilo in general have an affinity for natural environments. Plants, dirt roads, stone buildings, and generally "down to earth" architecture is the main look and feel. However, under the surface, magical enhancements are at play, many of them thanks to the help of top inventors of Kilo hard at work to improve the quality of life of everyone under the Thousand Hearts' protection--which, at this point, is everyone.

This is a world where species of all shapes and sizes have learned to coexist peacefully, from the flowers to the infernos. There is still a bit of stereotyping going around, but some of that is grounded in reality. You can't expect a Charmander to be a very good swimmer, for example. But coming with that coexisting nature is the fact that, as it is with the canon, Pokemon across different species are still genetically compatible enough, with the resultant offspring (usually) based on the mother.

While it's best not to think too deeply on the logistics of how some pairs can conceive, it is at least possible for the mother to bear the resulting child. There is very little discrimination toward what we would deem as "odd pairs." And to extend to this, if cross-species is something that is barely frowned upon, same-sex pairs are also similarly in indifferent territory. Pokemon that have no defined sex, such as Porygon and other inorganic Pokemon, often default to the "neutral he" pronoun, or perhaps she, if they prefer for one reason or another to be feminine.

Legendary and Mythical Pokemon, despite their (mostly) canon lack of gender, seem to have one in the world of Kilo. Most prominently, the Mew of Kilo is female.

Kilo's economy works similarly to our world, but the cost of living is generally smaller due to how easy it is for Pokemon to do what humans often need much more labor-intensive hours to perform. Construction in particular is much less costly. Kilo relies on Poke, which is named after the canon PMD currency, but it is not just gold coins (as that would be very cumbersome to carry around.) Instead, Poke comes in denominations. Bronze coins, tiny little wafers, are 1. Silvers are 10. Golds are 100. Shimmering silver (i.e. platinum) are 1000. Obsidian/black ones are 10k. And lastly, iridescent coins (like a Milotic's scales / prismatic in the light) are 100k. The value of Poke is equivalent to an American cent or a Japanese yen.

As an aside, a digital / credit system is also at play, though since most of my characters are a bit old fashioned, they don't use them very much. The identifier relies on the user's aura as their ID, and it keeps track of their digital deposits and withdrawals. Turning that digital currency into physical money and back is usually only done in Kilo's central bank, much like how our banks work, though unlike our world, it is managed by the Thousand Hearts rather than by private companies.

It's pretty obvious by now that the Thousand Hearts are the law of the land, and the Head, Goodra Anam, is the one above them all. However, his actual role in practice is more one of a figurehead to keep the morale of the population high, and his actual actions are often reduced to approving new Hearts for rescue, hosting ceremonies, and having administrative final say if he sees something going wrong in a department. While he is the ultimate authority, he must also defer to experts in other fields.

For example, Alakazam Nevren is the lead of technological research and development, and generally those in that sector of Kilo refer to Nevren and no higher. Additionally, Decidueye James is the leader of the Thousand Hearts' military, which is the appropriately-named "Thousand Hearts" themselves -- the 1000 strongest and most good-spirited Pokemon in the world, at least by Anam's judgement. There are also unnamed leaders of the medical field, the commercial field, and even the entertainment fields. These leaders provide guidance, policies, and regulations so Kilo can continue to grow while still keeping balance to the economy. Overall, it works well... though in practice, some people fall through the cracks.

There are two major cosmologies in Kilo, and they can be followed in any combination or amount. The Book of Mew is a sacred text that often talks about taking care of yourself, following what you want to do, and in general knowing what it means to be a good person and to be good to others. The Book of Arceus is a similar text, but is more focused on being dutiful, putting yourself to your best use for what you're capable of, and in general knowing what it means to do what's best for society. While they are different approaches to how to live life, they are not necessarily at complete odds with one another.

Kilo itself in the current day and age is largely secular. Civilians think that the talk of "blessed" dungeons and items by Anam is an old term that he follows for the sake of appearances, despite acknowledging the clear effects that he has on them. Most civilians do not believe Anam is truly "holy," and many are skeptical of the more outlandish sayings in the two Books. Nobody has ever seen Mew or Arceus in person, and indeed it is a question on whether they ever existed in the first place, or if they were just a manifestation of the will of Pokemon to create a society under a set of rules that no person would be above. The most they have ever seen is the canid form of Zygarde as rare sightings near Dungeons and other locations in Kilo, as well as tall tales of a supremely giant Lugia at sea.

This is actually not something that I have put much thought into, but I'd like to think that there are a lot of small holidays and a few big ones celebrated across Kilo, perhaps from when it used to be more religious. Celebrations for each prominent Legendary Pokemon spoken of in the Book of Arceus, for example, and for each Type spoken of in the Book of Mew. But despite that, the biggest one that I think would think is actually celebrated would be the day that marks the New Year, which in Kilo would be on the first New Moon of spring. It is a celebration of rebirth and renewed vigor for the year to come, celebrated with colored Blast Seeds in the sky, dancing, music, and so much food.

Civilized Pokemon all speak the same language, though it seems that there are a few dialects, manners of speech, and accents depending on the region they are from or their upbringing. It is theorized that feral Pokemon are also capable of speaking to one another in their own, simplistic language, too, but not much research has been put into this phenomena. It is also demonstrably possible for feral Pokemon to learn how to speak like a civilized Pokemon with varying amounts of success, though it's largely on the low end with current research.

Pokemon, both of the feral and civilized variety. There seems to be a bias toward organic Pokemon in terms of the number of them.

Aside from the Pokemon that are actually plants, we also have the general flora that you'd expect from a tropical region, in addition to more arid or cold-adjusted regions the further north you go. The south of Kilo is closer to the planet's equator, while the north is therefore colder. You can expect evergreens there, while more colorful plant life is down south, at least for certain regions. There is an ominous, huge patch of land in the south that doesn't seem to have much living plant life at all; it's all gray and damp, more the place for mold and fungi.

There is a heavy bias toward vegetarian options for Pokemon that are capable of being omnivorous. There are many recipes that utilize meat-like substitutes or other savory dishes to satisfy the tastes of those Pokemon that may have a craving for more meat in their diets. However, there are also farms and hunting efforts for feral Pokemon in order to satisfy the Pokemon who simply cannot live off of a pure-vegetarian diet.

The technology and agriculture departments of Kilo have focused a lot of effort into artificial meat or similar substitutes due to high public interest, but current efforts are more expensive than traditionally cultivated meat products.

Generally, meat is never served in such a way that where it came from is recognizable. Out of sight, out of mind; however, disclaimers are always posted for what species it was, and lacking such disclaimers (i.e. "mystery meat") is basically a way to guarantee your product won't be bought except by the most desperate or frugal customers, and such items are prohibited within Kilo Village itself.
 
There are a few sapient species who live in Curseland. Others may exist in the world, but these are the ones well-known of in Halfmark:

Humans: This species forms the majority of the sapient residents in most parts of the continent.

The Stork-Brought: Occasionally, a stork will fly down from the heavens and drop off a baby by a human residence. These babies grow up to become the Stork-Brought. They look like and have the same physical characteristics as regular humans, but their behavior is quite different. Almost without exception, Stork-Brought are highly altruistic and have a strong desire to help those around them, although they have a tendency towards a childish, black-and-white morality which can hinder them in this goal. Additionally, each Stork-Brought has a Dominant Trait, an exaggerated personality quirk or physical trait, such as perpetual optimism, intense shyness, tremendous size, incredibly fast reflexes, etc.

Sym: The Sym look the same as humans externally, with the exception of being always perfectly symmetrical in appearance, with every mole or hair on one side of their body being exactly mirrored on the other side. Internally, they area also perfectly symmetrical, possessing four smaller hearts and two livers. Their digestive system splits in two after their stomach (located along the midline of their body) and reconverges at the ends of the colons. They have far greater reflexes and coordination than that of a human. They speak their own language which no human has ever been able to decipher, and show no signs of wanting to learn other languages or to teach their tongue to anyone else. When approaching humans, which they almost always do in large groups, they always address the humans in their own langauge, and will continue talking to them throughout the duration of the encounter, yet they apparently don't seem to expect humans to understand them or care if they do.

Contacts with the Sym occur when they send large groups down south on horseback. Sym-horses are always symmetrical like the Sym themselves, and unlike normal horses are totally machine-like in behavior, having apparently no sense of fear and always doing exactly as bidden by their riders. These groups either act as raiding parties, which abduct humans and carry them back to the Sym-lands in the north of Curseland for unknown purposes, or as trading parties. Both look the same so it can be difficult to discern their intent. The trading parties will attempt to exchange seemingly randomly-selected goods with the humans they meet, which can be metal or wooden tools, pottery, textiles, or random trinkets such as oddly-shaped twigs or stones carved into geometrical shapes. All manufactured goods the Sym make are of extremely high quality, and are almost always completely flawless, as if Sym craftsmen never make mistakes. Curiously, all Sym-made objects of the same type appear completely indentical - all Sym swords have exactly the same length of blade and hilt, and each use the exact-same type of steel and wood.

Dragons: An incredibly variable race. The most common form dragons occur in are large snake-like creatures with short legs occurring at regular intervals along their body, which live underground. Dragons have no gender, and each of them are capable of laying magical eggs. These eggs hatch into a different type of dragon depending on the location they hatched in; if hatched on a mountainside, the resulting dragon has wings and can fly; if hatched in the ocean, the dragon has fins and gills. However, the only way an egg can hatch into another "true" dragon is if the egg is laid inside a nest containing a sufficient quantity of "treasure", consisting of gemstones, precious metals, or magical artifacts. Otherwise, it'll hatch into a less impressive creature called a 'drake', which are typically non-sapient. Drakes still possess adaptations based on their hatching environment, and can lay eggs too, but those eggs don't hatch into drakes or dragons, instead hatching to reveal objects or various other things inside the shell.

The Egg-born: When a human continually sits on top of a dragon egg for several months at a time, the egg will hatch into a type of drake humans simply call the 'Egg-born'. Egg-borns look like humans with reptilian features, and unlike most drakes are sapient and just as intelligent as normal humans. They inherit characteristics of both the dragon who laid their egg and the human who sat on top of it. Perhaps unsurprisingly considering the sort of person who'd want to sit on an egg for months at a time, they tend to have strange personalities. Egg-born are typically at least 95% faithful, and have a strong tendency to mean what they say and say what they mean.

Egg-born can lay eggs at will, which can hatch into several different things depending on the circumstances. Buried in soil, the egg will hatch into a rock. If placed into a fire, the egg will 'hatch' into an explosion. If placed in water, it'll hatch into a sponge. Inside a pile of money, it'll hatch into counterfeit money. The uses are endless!

Attempts to reverse the process of creating an Egg-born and have a dragon sit on top of a pregnant woman for several months have thus far not been met with success.
 

Negrek

Spindrift
Staff
All right, this looks like too much fun not to get in on! I hope to be able to dive a little bit more into everyone else's worlds and hopefully ask some more questions about them, but for now, the answer to "what world am I going to be talking about, anyway?" and today's (err, yesterday's prompt):

Tell us about your world, what’s it about?

It's, uh, it's the pokémon world! And it's about what it says on the tin. For the most part I take the mainline game canon, steal a few bits and pieces that I enjoy from the anime, and glue it all together with whatever seemed like a good idea at the time. The story itself doesn't engage with the worldbuilding much at all, and Kanto somehow looks and operates suspiciously like the north-ish east of the United States (oops), but it's fun to go on about it now and again.

I tend to use different interpretations of the pokémon world for different stories, according to need and evolving preferences, so all this worldbuilding mostly applies only to Salvage and the associated stories (like Little God).

Ah yes, that utopian vision of free universal healthcare, what a fantasy. =/

In any case, pokémon centers are usually where a young trainer is going to interact with the healthcare system most of the time. In addition to being the one-stop shop for all things pokéhealth, pokémon centers also supply basic medical care for humans: they can take care of your basic stitches, sprains, infections, and so on. A pokémon center can also provide basic counseling services, although the primary recommendation for a travelling trainer experiencing mental health problems is to stop journeying while they seek care with a dedicated mental health provider. For anything broken-bone upwards a trainer would be sent to a clinic or hospital specializing in human medical care.

Pokémon's physical bodies can be almost entirely reconstituted from the data in their pokéballs with the energy supplied by a healing machine, so even gross injuries can usually be handled with ease. The real danger manifests in pokémon that aren't recalled to their pokéball quickly enough (or at all) and whose condition deteriorates as a result, or pokémon who take "identifiable only by dental records"-level damage, which is virtually unheard of in battle but might occur if they managed to, say, piss off the lord of volcanoes or whatever. However, while physical injuries are usually trivially dealt with, pokémon can develop all kinds of weird illnesses related to their energy metabolism and which are usually trickier to deal with. Pokémon centers diagnose and treat these as well--they serve not only battling pokémon but any in the community, including pets or wild pokémon that either come in themselves for treatment or are brought in by a human. Pokémon centers are also the most common or even only place where many pokémon interact with human society proper, and as a result they offer services to assist pokémon with understanding human laws and customs, what their rights are in human society, and to assist them with reporting crimes committed against them by humans. Pokémon centers are also typically going to be the first to recognize signs of trainer abuse or neglect in a pokémon, and in addition to identifying pokémon at risk and attempting to get them out of dangerous situations, pokémon centers will offer counseling and legal advice to pokémon who wish to pursue formal charges against an abusive trainer.

I'm talking here about well-provisioned pokémon centers, typically in urban areas with a lot of trainer traffic; the services available vary widely between centers and at a middle-of-nowhere kind of place you're probably looking at very basic medical treatment for humans, a healing machine for pokémon, and maybe one or two nurses able to handle more broad pokémon health issues. However, even very out-of-the-way centers will usually have at least a couple of rooms for trainers and will be able to provide meals if desired--if anything, pokémon centers in quieter areas tend to be more like inns that happen to have infirmaries than like medical facilities that will also put you up for the night.

In general, health care for humans is not substantially more advanced in the pokéworld than it is in ours. Pokémon's healing abilities don't work on them directly, and healing machines and other infinity energy-based devices likewise have no effect. However, there are some areas where pokéworld medicine is more advanced than our own, typically as a result of utilizing some pokémon-derived compound (like gloom saliva or swalot gastric fluid) or therapy or by research into pokémon biology. Life expectancy in the pokéworld is substantially higher than in ours, and it isn't at all rare for people to hit 100 years of age, but medical care probably explains less of this than general lifestyle and environmental factors.

(They can totally regrow limbs, but you're going to be laid up for several months waiting for the thing to properly flesh out, and it's just a *pain*.)
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Fell out of it for a few days, gonna try to catch up!

This is a fun one.

So, as I’ve stated before, dromans place a ridiculous importance on variety of self-expression, with a particular emphasis on reinventing and rediscovering oneself constantly, and using fashion to advertise one’s skills and personality. As you might expect from that, the human concept of gender roles is almost entirely foreign to them.

For starters, there’s the fact that dromans aren’t very sexually dimorphic (females tend to be slightly larger and have slightly different proportions than males, but that’s about it). Knowing another droman’s sex is basically only relevant when finding out if someone is a candidate for having eggs with. Now, the concepts of masculinity or femininity do exist, but those are treated more like ideals that one can flavor their current style with, rather than a static identity. It could honestly be said that subculture/profession basically occupy the same identity niche as gender does for humans. (Some droman languages even have differing honorifics for someone depending on their profession.)

So since gender isn’t really a thing for them, naturally dating based on gender doesn’t really exist either. You could basically think of them as mostly pansexual, but they wouldn’t really think of it like that because it’s not anything out of the norm for them.

It should also be noted that while dromans are just as much into romance and pair bonding as humans are, having children is a considerably more casual thing that doesn’t really have to wait until finding a life partner. More on that later when I get to relationships and family structures.
As one might expect from the descriptions I’ve given so far, dromans are very much an “OOH SHINY” kind of people. As a result, they are obsessed with all manner of stones, gems, and other minerals. They tend to gravitate more towards stones over coins for their currency, although this is changing somewhat in modern times. Humans have more advanced metalworking than dromans do, and their metals are particularly sought after.

One interesting thing that is occasionally used as currency in some of the northernmost regions is tyrant teeth. Obtaining tyrant teeth is, as expected, very difficult and dangerous, and the teeth are especially prized as a result (note: this will get you dirty looks at best and outright shunned at worst in the northwest kingdoms, who view tyrants as sacred.)

One other interesting tidbit was that there was a period of time where the flight feathers of the the largest flying bird in the world were so valuable that they could be used as currency. This, of course, is no longer possible given that the species was overhunted to extinction.
 
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