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Worldbuilding June

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
Another dump!

16. What magic exists in your world?

Magic is undergoing a time of renewal in this world. It springs from the earth, and is wild, untamed, to the point that while there is a god that governs magic (more on him later since when I did the religion update he was kind of just a very loose concept) there is no known deity that has full control of it or is the source of it.


Magic requires careful discipline and rituals to harness and use and misusing it can backfire horribly. However it's extremely useful, and sometimes even replaces technologies from the Old World.


17. What’s medicine and healthcare like in your world?


Mostly healing magic, since actual medical technology is not at the level of being particularly useful. Hospitals tend to care for multiple species, so doctors knowing the biological quirks of each is necessary.



18. What are the fashion norms in your world?


tldr everyone is goth


More seriously, dark/monotone colors are popular, especially among the Kovuze. Brighter colors are not unknown but less popular. Piercings, tattoos, elaborate makeup, etc. are common. Mages tend to wear magic-infused robes/cloaks/etc, warriors wear armor, and civilians wear whatever's cool or comfortable. Notably civilian Merfolk, Pelticida, Drekes, and Zuyfza rarely wear clothes.
 

Negrek

Head Over Heels
Staff
@Chibi Pika - Are there mundane bird species in your world as well as dromans? If so, how do dromans view them?

@Umbramatic - Can all the races in your world use the same magic, or use it in the same way? Or does the kind of magic they use vary?

An unholy mix of pokémon regions and analogues of real-world locations. This really doesn't come up in the main story at all, since it takes place in Kanto and Orre and the broader world isn't mentioned much, but it's out there. Pokémon regions lie more or less where the real-world locations they're based on do on the map, and in some cases more or less replace them (Alola *is* Hawaii in this world, whereas Unova is in what we would call the northeastern part of the United States, but there *is* a "United States" analogue nearby). Sometimes place-analogues are called the same thing as they are in our world, like Guyana, perhaps by some kind of odd historical coevolution; others are recognizable by geographical location and cultural traits but generally not much related.

In general countries are smaller and more "region"-sized. The human population of the pokémon world is substantially lower than ours, and humans have colonized a much smaller portion of the world. There are large portions of unincorporated territory that no human nation lays claim to. Typically these uncolonized areas are home to various pokémon political territories, but although serious world maps will attempt to represent the boundaries of these as definitively as they do the boundaries of human nations, in practice humans rarely have a clear idea of what pokémon nations look like beyond those that border the human regions or otherwise directly interact with them. Relations between humans and pokémon have been improving, in a global sense, in the past couple hundred years, but it remains dangerous for humans to travel much outside their territories, and what goes on in the more far-flung pokémon nations, well outside human borders, is known through little more than rumor and hearsay. While satellites have allowed the world's surface to be mapped out in considerable detail at this point, there remain many places where no human explorer has yet set foot--or at least not done so and lived to tell about it.

Fashion norms are pretty similar to the ones we're familiar with in our world. A traveling trainer's clothes indicate quite a lot about them--they might be a "casual" trainer, probably day-tripping from the nearest town in shorts and a T-shirt wanting to fight you with their rattata; they might be a serious traveller with legit camping equipment, sturdy boots, and probably not much patience for frivolous challenges; or they might be a prestige trainer with designer athletic gear, most likely looking to break into the professional circuit or simply with enough money to pretend as much.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
@Negrek I actually managed to squeeze an answer to that in today's update!

19. How are wars fought in your world?


War is relatively uncommon as far as fantasy settings go but when it does happen it's always fought with a mix of magic and traditional weapons. Both tend to be adjusted to fit the species fighting - weapons and armor and magewear moreso (more on that next update), but even magic has slight quirks between species that lend to certain spells having an advantage.


It is said if they had been around to use it humans would have been the ultimate magic users but there is only one known bit of real evidence to that - more on that later.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partner
pikachu-chibi
Are there mundane bird species in your world as well as dromans? If so, how do dromans view them?
Given that birds evolved 100 million years before the K-T extinction event, you better believe we got birds! But it gets better than that. A common misconception in our world is that the extinction "killed all the dinosaurs except the birds" which is... true, but misleading. Birds weren't magically immune, they were decimated. The bird diversity we have in our world are actually the descendants of one tiny little weird outlier group of birds. They were actually rare compared to all the other families of birds that got nuked. Families that are still thriving in the droman world. Long story short, we got Enantiornitheans baby. 😎

As for how the dromans view birds... go ahead and click on #9 below!

From a realistic perspective, there really ought to be hundreds of nations, both for humans and dromans alike (seriously, look at ancient maps, its nuts). But for the sake of my own sanity, I’m focusing only on a couple of the big players.

- A powerful, heavily militarized, heavily isolationist power in the northwest reaches of the continent. There are rumors that they plan to expand across the land bridge and into the continent to the west.

- The southern continent has a great many small tribes and kingdoms allied with one another as a result of their well-developed communications network.

- The northeast has a rocky history. Up until very recently, it was controlled by a very ancient and powerful royal family who were said to be chosen by the gods (recognizable by their snow-white plumage that they kept unpainted.) A combination of war and civil unrest led to the nobility being overthrown and a lengthy period of political turmoil. In recent times, the region has stabilized, and has even come to be viewed as one of the most progressive centers of trade and innovation across the entire continent. But there’s a lot of inequality lurking beneath that glimmering surface.

- On the human side of the world, there’s a naval power in northern Africa that controls most of the trade in the Mediterranean and also places heavy restrictions on ships sailing into the northern seas.

- Then there’s the land of both dromans and humans. Refugees from the aforementioned northeast conflicts wound up taking residence on an island in the northern seas at around the same time as outcasts from various human conflicts. Given that neither side was very well-established in the area, and both populations were quite vulnerable, they wound up banding together for survival. It started out as a sort of “wild west” region, with scattered villages, plenty of bandits, and not a whole lot of structure. But in recent times, they’ve been making huge progress on getting an actual democratic government set up. Getting recognized as a legitimate nation by the other major world powers? That’s the hard part. Especially considering that the aforementioned human nations are having none of it.

(I’ve made side mentions of this world possibly spawning a story about “dinosaur viking pirates” and this is why, lol.)
It is very, very hard to ignore the fact that dromans, and all the other surviving paravians for that matter, look incredibly similar to birds. As one might expect, this factors into their mythology a lot.

A common thread shared by many droman religions is the idea that avians are the emissaries of the gods, the perfect beings, the “true” beings. What varies is where dromans themselves play into things. Some view dromans as fallen avians who were punished and stripped of their flight, cursed to walk the earth forever. Others view dromans as a chosen people, destined to follow path set by the avians and ascend to the heavens. And some even flip the script and portray dromans as flawed saurians, with the tyrants as the perfect beings that must be revered.

Naturally, the invention of the wingsuit was somewhat controversial among some peoples who viewed it treading on the domain of the gods. Nowadays, however, you’d be pretty hard-pressed to find a droman who still follows that particular view. Flying has just become too ubiquitous.

As a side note, humans in this world have plenty of avian gods as well, but they tend to vary on where they think dromans came from. Human myths have pegged dromans as everything from angels to demons to trickster spirits. As one would expect, this has changed a lot in modern times as dromans have gone from “mysterious clever birds from across the sea” to “my neighbor who sells spiced meats.” ...At least, on the island where both humans and dromans live side-by-side! It’s an entirely different story in the all-human nations.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
Whoops, I had a busy weekend. To compensate have three updates plus a bonus!

21. What do people do for fun in your world?


People create their own games frequently, often using salvaged bits of culture from the Old World. Different cultures have different sports as well, though sports involving balls are strangely uncommon. What is common is sports involving magic, which due to the unstable nature of magic can get highly unpredictable.


22. What do people do for work in your world?


Jobs are highly varied, and aside from chores, people prefer to pursue careers they want. The main exceptions tend to be military, which some are still forced into in more domineering states.



23. What’s the sky like in your world?


The sky is, for whatever reason, only occasionally blue during the day. Usually it's a dreary gray; other times it's red, purple, or even green. This does not affect the amount of sunlight and plants still grow fine. No one knows exactly why this is, but most blame the chaotic state of magic.


Bonus Update: More About The Valfrizen


The Valfrizen are actually divided into multiple subspecies; the most common are ice based, and powerful with ice-based magic, but there are also water and fire subspecies as well. Each subspecies has a glow to their skin, the ends of their hair, and their eyes matching their affiliation - light blue for ice, dark blue for water, and orange for fire. This does not actually affect their body temperature to the touch.


Breeding between the three subspecies is odd genetically - if a fire and ice Valfrizen hook up their child will be a water Valfrizen, but if a water Valfrizen hooks up with a ice or fire Valfrizen the child will be ice or fire respectively.


Valfrizen societies are one of the societies that employ military drafting as mentioned in Day 22, however only of women as they are considered top warriors.

Also there's a species I forgot to mention in Day 4: The Kemtralans. They're cat taurs, with various different kinds of cat for their lower half, and they and the scorpion taurs don’t like each other.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partner
pikachu-chibi
Skipping 10 because I have writer's block. I'll try to come back to it later.
Dromans have a pretty good vocal range and are capable of making just as wide a variety of sounds as humans. Their languages tend to involve a lot of clicks, chirps and whistles. Their written scripts tend to be rather angular and straight-lined–easy for scratching into surfaces with claws. While there are hundreds of languages across the northern and southern continent, the language spoken by the northeast region has become quite widespread as the trade language of choice (this has nothing to do with that nation’s colonialist history, nope, no siree.)

As one might expect, a new language was born from the region where humans and dromans live side-by-side. It arose naturally from second- and third- generation inhabitants growing up exposed to the languages of both species, and incorporates elements from both. While at first glance, it might sound somewhat crude or simplified, its grammar is just as well-developed as any other language. Speakers of this language in human- or droman-only lands are sometimes stereotyped as uneducated, and have had to fight to get the language recognized in those lands.
 

Negrek

Head Over Heels
Staff
Umbra said:
It is said if they had been around to use it humans would have been the ultimate magic users but there is only one known bit of real evidence to that - more on that later.
Oh, intriguing. I guess I'll have to sit tight, then.

Chibi Pika said:
A common thread shared by many droman religions is the idea that avians are the emissaries of the gods, the perfect beings, the “true” beings.
Interesting that you present a dichotomy in terms of how dromans respond to this idea--they don't all just think they're inferior compared to birds. More interesting that way!

@Namohysip Ahaha, all the spoilers! I feel like this is kind of a cheap shot for anyone writing a PMD setting, but you kinda-sorta mentioned humans in your first answer, so... What exactly are the myths surrounding humans? Why did they disappear, and did they leave anything behind that's influenced the development of the pokemon society there?

@The Walrein Wow, those curse ideas are wild and a lot of fun. Living in Curseland sounds like constant chaos and a lot of fun to write about! I think I'm most interested in the Sym, though. They sound super creepy! Where did they originate, and if everything they manufacture is identical, do they all live in, like, identical cities? With identical buildings? Wearing identical clothing?

Ah, yes, the old are-pokémon-food question. In Salvage's version of the pokémon world, yes, sometimes, but it's relatively rare. Pokémon haven't been domesticated, although many are perfectly happy living with humans, and while humans have gotten the hang of raising a variety of mundane animals for food, pokémon have a bad tendency of figuring out that you intend to eat them and escaping and possibly killing you in the process. In the days before pokéball technology was available, humans were at a serious disadvantage against pokémon when it came to a straight fight, and it was hard even to build enclosures that could reliably hold them. Rather than raising pokémon to eat, then, humans mostly attempted to bond with them and then use their abilities to enhance food production in other ways, such as by using them to help herd domestic animals or improve crop yields through weather manipulation and the ability to stimulate plant growth.

This doesn't mean that pokémon foods were unheard of by any means, but they tended to be rare delicacies only available to the wealthiest and most powerful. Pokémon hunts were dangerous and more often took place more as rituals than as practical food sources--an initiation into adulthood, for example, might require bringing down a small bird or bug pokémon, or doing something like stealing a farfetch'd's leek. In addition to the danger from whichever singular pokemon was being hunted, there's also the consideration that pokemon are entirely capable of banding together and setting out to eliminate the human threat if humans keep trying to kill them. That little caterpie you bagged might have friends, and they might decide to come after you for revenge. The safest way to acquire pokemon meat was therefore through scavenging pokemon that were brought down by something else or otherwise died, which most people were happy to do if they saw the opportunity. There are no known human cultures where pokémon were more than an occasional supplement to the diet.

These days Kanto has strict laws against consuming pokémon-derived foods or other pokémon-derived products (clothes, medicines, etc.) that are harvested in unethical ways. However, there are a number of powerful traditions and religious rituals that revolve around these sorts of products, and many people are reluctant to give them up, or actively resist the movement towards protecting pokemon from being killed by humans. If you want to have a dinner of smoked magikarp or tauros steak, it's still possible, although the trade in pokémon products has been driven almost entirely underground. In Kanto, Team Rocket is a major player in the black market that's grown up around them.
 
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Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partner
charizard
What exactly are the myths surrounding humans?
Ahh, that's a fun one! Well, the thing about humans is that they're so far gone that the myths have become somewhat nebulous. Some just know that "humans" once existed, but what they looked like, what they did, or anything of the sort was completely lost to time. One myth is that humans were great machines that were capable of eating anything, even the hardest metals, like it was water. Other myths were that humans had become so powerful that they simply ascended beyond the world and into the stars, leaving behind their old world. Another myth suggests that they didn't go to the stars, but went underground, and live in Kilo's core. Another rumor held by one of my characters is, quote, “Maybe we ate them. Humans don’t sound very strong. I bet they were secretly at the bottom of the food chain, and eventually we just realized that and ate them!”

Why did they disappear
In due time, the reason for the total and complete absence of humans will be answered... but I can't say that here.

did they leave anything behind that's influenced the development of the pokemon society there?
The exact sort of influence that humans left behind is hard to determine. Pokemon of Kilo have buildings, economies, societies, and similar frameworks that humans. Grocery shops, theaters, even books and comics! Kilo is quite advanced compared to other PMD settings, even if it's more in the magitech variety for most of it. Whether that's because of humans or Pokemon just getting smarter, that's unclear... though it probably had something to do with humans.

As for what was left behind...? There doesn't seem to be any sign of them having ever existed. No skeletons, no ancient ruins, nothing. Though, there are rumors of an odd structure far to the south of Kilo's oceans... A barrier blocks anybody from getting too close.

Edit: Oh, right, I mean, since Porygon exist in Kilo, I suppose they also count as remnants left behind by humans.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
@Namohysip Just saying this mysterious post-human lore shit is my jam... Especially as I'm doing the same thing this year. :P

SPEAKING OF, another dump:

24. What places are still unexplored in your world?


Honestly most of them. Civilization is mostly just bits of populated area separated by large stretches of wilderness. Everyone tends to prepare for long journeys and danger when travelling. Spells to ward off more hazardous wildlife are frequently used. However, this doesn't stop people from wandering into unexplored areas looking for ruins and treasure.


25. What do people carry with them on a daily basis in your world?


Usually small weapons or magical focuses, money, and food. Bags of holding exist, but are expensive, so most travel light.


26. What sorts of art exist in your world?


Again, there's huge cultural variation. Some cultures prefer abstract or non-representational art. Others go for elaborate murals or statues. Painting or sculpting on the natural landscape is common. Also common are mythic, epic takes on life in the Old World - which are usually wildly exaggerated and inaccurate.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partner
pikachu-chibi
Got some fun ones today!

Time for the reason this world even exists. Dinosaurs survived the extinction and continued to evolve into new species! Which ones survived and what are they doing now?

Hadrosaurs - They were hit pretty hard, but managed to bounce back and became the primary grazers on the savannah.

Ceratopsians - Basically the goats of this world. Oh I am going to have so much fun drawing weird new horn/frill designs when I get around to these guys.

Stegosaurs - Nope. Look, don’t get mad at me, they didn’t even make it to the Cretaceous. :/

Sauropods - Nope. Being a honking massive herbivore isn’t exactly a good thing during a food shortage.

Tyrannosaurs - This is an interesting case because giant tyrannosaurs like T. rex and kin were left hella dead by the extinction, but smaller ones survived and re-evolved giant size. They look pretty different though--ultra shaggy and not nearly as much arm reduction. They tend to dominate the farthest north regions. Humans and dromans alike have killed off a lot of the large prey in the temperate zones.

Paravians - A whole lotta paravian families were small generalists and managed to pull through. They pretty much occupy most of the “ground bird” niches. Many oviraptorids have been domesticated.

Birds - Like explained previously, this world has both euornitheans and enantiornitheans! The bird line from our world has mostly stuck to being waterbirds and seed eaters, and the toothed birds fill most of the other niches.

Now for the mammal side!

The fact that I’ve got humans at all obviously implies that mammals got the opportunity to diversify as well. Contrary to popular belief, dinosaurs weren’t the prime gatekeepers to mammals doing interesting things: that honor goes to crocs. Yeah, crocs. (Crocs were doing some weird stuff back then.) That said, the course of mammal evolution is pretty different in this world. (Although pretty much every mammal that is small, nocturnal, or eats bugs is basically the same here.)

Rodents - Still thriving in exactly all the ways that you’d expect.

Primates - I mean. By definition, I need primates. (Fun fact: did you know that primates are a pretty early mammal group, all things considered?)

Ungulates - They still exist, but the “big herd grazer” niche isn’t as open, so they mostly tend toward the “small, light forest-dweller” (like deer) or the “tenacious generalist” (like pigs).

Carnivorans - The specialization into felines and canines didn’t happen, so most carnivorans are kinda smallish, civet-looking things. They’ve got doggish faces but they climb a lot.

Marine mammals - There are actually more families doing the aquatic thing, if you can believe it. Dinosaurs just aren’t really into the whole aquatic thing. They’ll go semiaquatic just fine (and many of them have) but full-on aquatic requires live birth and archosaurs just kinda suck at that (fun fact: live birth is not a “mammal thing.” Dozens of reptile families have done it.)
Unnnfortunately, I’m not much of a palaeobotanist, so I’m pretty much just gonna say that plant evolution took a similar path in this world as it did on ours. Where this gets interesting, however, is considering the impact that would have on the animals.

An under-appreciated fact about the mesozoic is the fact that flowering plants were not around for most of the dinosaur era. Rolling grasslands, flowering bushes, fruit-laden trees… all these things are pretty anachronistic with most dinosaurs. (Sorry lads, Stegosaurus never saw grass.) But with modern dinosaurs, I get to take advantage of the fact that they’ve gotten a lot of extra time to evolve alongside these food sources.
Dromans are extreme generalists and will eat pretty much anything. They lean a bit more toward carnivory than humans and require a higher percentage of protein (and can’t digest plant fibers), but will happily eat nuts, seeds, grains, and starchy vegetables. They don’t have quite as big a sweet tooth as humans, but still enjoy the occasional fruit. They have no aversion to eating insects, and fried bugs are a common street vendor food. They keep a variety of flightless birds as livestock and eggs are a huge part of their diet

They never had any reason to evolve lactose tolerance and think mammals are friggin’ weird for the whole milk thing. They’ll enjoy the occasional piece of hard cheese though. Butter has also become popular in modern pastries. (Basically high-fat-content dairy.)

Like humans, they’ve evolved a tolerance to a lot of things that would be toxic to other animals, but their tolerance tends to be less than ours, mostly due to their lower mass. Most noteworthy is alcohol. Well-traveled humans know that droman alcohol is weak stuff, mostly just used to make water safe to drink.

Side note: since dromans live in the western hemisphere, they have access to new world crops, most notably peppers. Dromans, like other non-mammals, can’t taste capsaicin! But they absolutely saturate their food with it because they learned it keeps the furry critters away. This has the side effect of making their food nearly unpalatable to most humans. Or perhaps... more desirable to some? ;)
 
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Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partner
pikachu-chibi
Three more! Skipped 17 because it needed more research for me to feel confident in giving an answer.
The fun thing about this world is that I could theoretically write stories in pretty much any time period I want, once I’ve established a baseline. For the first story I write in this world, however, I’ve been imagining it as being 100 years after humans and dromans first began to live together. This time period will be one that is pre-industrial, but with a great deal of advancement in a short period of time, such that an industrial revolution could be on the horizon within the next century.

As I obviously touched on in previous entries, dromans invented self-powered flight augmentations, and flight has given them a huge boost with regards to travel, exploration, trade, communication, etc. Early wingsuits were general-purpose, but advancements made during wartime led to a staggering array of wing shapes for every conceivable purpose, for tightly controlled flight within cities to oversized long-distance soaring wings. (Naturally, only rich dromans can afford such highly specialized suits, however.)

They’ve also got decent shipbuilding (flying nonstop across the sea isn’t rally feasible, even with the highest aspect-ratio wings around), well-irrigated cities with canals, and lots of water- and windmills. There are even rumors that a strange engineer from the northeast is attempting to design a flying machine. No one’s quite sure why, when perfectly good wingsuits exist, but the idea is certainly interesting...
Time to be boring and say none because this is just an alternate timeline of earth. :V

...Is what I’d like to say, however, the problem is that I seem to be utterly incapable of coming up with any kind of plot that doesn’t involve someone pissing off the gods at some point (I watched too much Princess Mononoke as a kid.)

So like, I can say that I’m keeping this a realistic spec-evo world, but we all know I’m gonna veer into science fantasy and make the gods real at some point.
Dromans don’t necessarily wear clothing quite the same way humans do (being covered in feathers and having no external ‘equipment’, there isn’t really anything to be modest about...)

That said, if you’ve read my other entries, you won’t be surprised at all that they’re obsessed with accessorizing. The most common articles are brightly colored scarves, shawls, and other loosely draped items. Since the lower legs are featherless, patterned leg coverings are trendy. Foot coverings are occasionally worn, though they’re always open-toed because droman feet are basically a second set of hands. They don’t go for piercings like humans do (the only exposed skin they have is tough and scaly and not really suited to it.) but jewelry is hugely popular. Gold teeth are also trendy (if only temporary, given that droman teeth grow back).

Also, it’s typical in their culture to advertise one’s skills/profession as their personal identity (remember, there are even different honorifics for that!) so carrying a few smallish tools around even when you don’t need them is a common status symbol. For obvious reasons, this culture is more favorable towards those with admirable skills, but showing off a less cool skill is still far better than having people look at you and not be able to tell what you can do. (Also, there is exactly as much unfortunate potential for prejudice baked into this as you would expect.)
 

Negrek

Head Over Heels
Staff
@qva I love how much thought and detail you've put into this, dang. If Kralle was originally a sanctuary, what was it a sanctuary... from? Were these birds originally brought from Earth or an Earth-analogue, or are these birds that independently evolved somewhere else? I saw you mentioned a Cataclysm but may have missed where you described it in more detail...

@Keleri It seems kind of suspicious that humans came from another world entirely, and yet happen to have tons of this energy that's relatively rare in the Pokemon world. Is that just a coincidence, or is there something more going on there?

Namohysip said:
Edit: Oh, right, I mean, since Porygon exist in Kilo, I suppose they also count as remnants left behind by humans.
Hmm, I wonder what Porygon think their origin is at the moment. Same as all other pokemon, or do they know they're artificial?

Who’s important in your world?

It's the POKEMON, of course! Pokemon have had a huge impact on the developmet of human civilization in the Pokemon world, and connections to capable pokemon do confer some measure of power in society. It's not as simple as "whoever can beat up the champion's team gets to rule their entire region," but traditionally people who were able to cultivate strong pokemon were a community's primary line of defense from both wild pokemon and from warlords who'd be commanding their own pokemon, and underlings with pokemon. The role of gym leader has grown out of a past where people who could command pokemon were vital to the growth of a human settlement, and even today, powerful trainers are often called on to resolve disputes with wild pokemon or assist in the defense of their local community. When a legendary pokemon gets cranky and threatens a settlement, for example, who are you going to call but members of the Elite? And of course popular trainers have enormous cultural cachet and, typically, wealth, usually derived more from licensing deals, appearance fees, and so on, more so than battle winnings.

As a result of the correlation between pokemon and power, human societies in the pokemon world have tended to be more egalitarian than our own. Rich or well-connected people certainly have an advantage when it comes to education on how to handle and bond with pokemon, resources for attracting and keeping them, and access to pokemon themselves. This was especially true in the days when pokemon husbandry was mostly nonexistent and pokemon raised from the egg were therefore extremely rare. However, there was nothing to stop a common farmer from befriending some of the pokemon who would come to visit their fields and, over time, cultivating a team that could topple the local government, or at least bring them to a more comfortable social station. As dramatically demonstrated by the twins in Unova who awoke Zekrom and Reshiram, people who have been able to cultivate connections with pokemon of godlike strength have had an immense impact on human history, and they often started with nothing. As a result, repressive regimes have traditionally tried to limit people's access to or interaction with pokemon, and this is part of why N's call for people to release their pokemon and for the two species to be kept separate played so poorly.

For all that pokemon have had a profound impact on humans, it's telling to note that most of their heroic myths center on the humans or the trainer and not on the pokemon themselves. Pokemon in stories tend to appear more as forces of nature or, if friendly and cooperating with people, as sidekicks, rather than as the real stars. Pokemon-human relations have improved a lot over the course of centuries, but there's still a long way to go before they're really considered equal to humans.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
Aaaaand the last of them.

27. How do people get around in your world?


Pack animals of various sorts are the big one. Sometimes literally - creatures the size of elephants get used on occasion. Teleporting magic is a thing, but hard to learn and limited to places you've already been. Walking places on foot is not unknown but takes a while and is awfully risky.


28. What’s the weather like in your world?


(Swapped this with #30 because this would have been a reeeeally boring final prompt)


It's about the same as it's always been. Some weather is... abnormal compared to what you'd think it'd be for its place on the map, but it's nothing too drastic. Both tropical and colder areas are a bit more extensive - it's temperate areas that take up a slightly narrower chunk of the map.


29. How do people communicate with each other in your world?


Letters are the big one, usually delivered by flying animals or couriers who know teleporting magic. Magical means of communication are common as well, usually in the form of mutual scrying through reflective surfaces - in essence, fantasy video calls.



30. Who’s important in your world?


(As mentioned earlier, swapped with #28 for a better final prompt.)


TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE CHARACTERS. Some of these have been alluded to in previous updates, some of them not, but I'm gonna talk about everyone major I've figured out so far.


Eris





(by scarletify! )


Eris is a warlock that serves the Midnight Lady and is one of the protagonists of our little tale. Born and raised in the Night Forests of what was once Ohio, she set out to learn more about the world and through a series of incidents encountered the Midnight Lady herself. Things happened and Eris set out on a journey at the Midnight Lady's request, helping people in need and thwarting evildoers.


Then she found Riley and everything was thrown off the rails.


Eris' Dog


Black standard poodle. Good boy. Helps Eris in her adventures. May have magical powers in his own right.


Riley





(by daydreart ! )


Riley was just an ordinary enby in an ordinary world like ours... Until one day they got hit by a truck (yes, now this is an isekai it needs Truck-kun) and woke up in the Midnightverse with strange shapeshifting powers, much to the confusion of both Eris and themselves. Riley has three, Digimon-esqe forms - one default form that resembles their former human self but with red eyes and teal hair, ears and tail, a more monstrous form that they take when their power is maxed out, and a small "mascot" form they take when their power is recharging. Riley is snarky and abrasive to cover up how much this world and their situation kind of scares them, but they also are a huge nerd and love telling stories of their world's fiction to the natives whenever they can.


Lawrence


A fire Valfrizen mage. Somehow good with every element but fire, which he finds embarrassing. He once fought the monster kitsune Raiden only to unwittingly wind up dating him. Stern and takes himself and everything around him seriously... Most of the time.


Raiden/Credence/Creda


Kitsune and amnesiac former evil overlord that's currently dating one of his former enemies. Has great skill with lightning magic. Was once cruel and nasty but post-amnesia has grown kinder and more playful. He and Lawrence still don't know the truth.


Torque


Mischevious tanuki dude. Laid back, relaxed. Good with shapeshifting magic even beyond what his species is normally capable of. Likes to mess with the protagonists.


Tressa





(by linedthegap ! )


Peppy mermaid girl who wanders the oceans looking for ADVENTURE. Is good friends with Lophos.


Lophos





(By belphekit !)


Edgy deep-sea mermaid who is secretly a huge softie. Is good friends with Tressa.


Jun Koumori


Edgy chirotan man who thinks he's a Donte/Shadow The Hedgehog/Kirito-esqe protagonist. Unsurprisingly actually a huge dweeb. Crosses paths with the protagonists often, usually embarrassingly.


Linde





(By ShadowArcher97 !)


Linde is a kemtralan traveller with a snow leopard lower body. She searches for valuables from both the current world and the Old World to add to her collection. Perky, but prefers to get the job done.


The Midnight Lady





(by solarespeon !)


One of the central figures of the setting, the Midnight Lady is one of the most powerful, respected, and feared members of the pantheon, being the goddess of darkness and justice. She ended the Old World due to all the injustice she saw in it, preferring to start fresh. She is fickle, petty, and can hold a grudge, but is ultimately well-meaning and can be exceptionally kind when she wants to be. She is the patron deity of the kohvuze and the harpoya. Eris and the Midnight Lady have a strong relationship, and Eris is the go-to when the Midnight Lady wants a job done but can't do it herself.


Brelzred





(by me!)


(this is the guy I mentioned days 9 and 16)


A rival of sorts to the Midnight Lady, Brelzred is the god of light and magic, and the patron deity of the drekes and tanuki. He alternates between genuine friendliness and more malicious and mischevious behavior depending on his mood, but ironically for a light deity isn't too bright. He's a consummate shapeshifter who uses the ability to get into all sorts of shenanigans - his true forms are a tailed pointy-eared human, a gold racoon dog with a reptilian feather-tipped tail, and a gold dragon with purple feathers.


Vaespar


The current BBEG of the Midnightverse is a dude named Vaespar. Who is... an evil sorcerer and seems like the sort of dude that'd fit the part, but one notable quirk is the fact most of his magical power comes from being possessed by an archdemon that has a bad habit of eating people to fuel both their power. Vaespar's origins are shrouded in mystery, (read: they're spoilers) but he's considered bad news by the majority of the setting that doesn't worship him (especially because, as mentioned earlier, he eats people), has been sealed away multiple times (it never sticks), and has a stated endgoal of becoming a god or at least a more powerful abomination so he can make his fellow demons go from quivering parasites to some kind of master race. But the freakiest thing about him is that he or at least his host/vessel is human. In a setting where humans are actually extinct. And exactly where the human half of his being even came from is lost to time. And humans apparently make stupidly powerful demon hosts. So the main characters are trying to figure out where the hell he came from in hopes it will give away a way to actually kill him. Vaespar himself isn't convinced that'll happen anytime soon, but likes to take precautions regardless, because he's pretty evil and prone to petty self-indulgence but he's not stupid. Personality wise he's intended to be one of those villains who's kind of comedic but still comes off as a serious and even horrifying threat.


(also you know how in the Day 19 post I mentioned it's rumored that humans would have been stupidly good at the magic thing if they were still around to use it but there's only one piece of evidence for that? Vaespar is that piece of evidence.)


But that's all for WBJ this year! I'll see you all next year - For now, time for Artfight! You'll see some of these characters there.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partner
charizard
Alright, time to die. Here they all are. Sorry for the dump, but I procrastinated hard on this due to everything else I've been juggling~

I can't believe I did them all. Sure, I'm a half hour late (my time) but I'll take it. I should probably take a look at what some of you have put here next. But here it is, word wall of trivia for Hands of Creation's world.

Oh boy, here's a fun one. So, there is a lot of magical technology going on in Kilo, even if the general materials in the world make the place seem less advanced. On the surface we have reinforced concrete, stone buildings, or other structures like that. The walls, whle not impenetrable, are reinforced with Protect shields, which allow for some protection against basic attacks, though it isn't nearly as good as an actual Protect.

But I think the cornerstone technology, at least in my opinion, falls under the Waypoint system, something that good ol' Alakazam Nevren developed. Basically, it's a means to warp something from point A to point B, one-way or two-way, depending on the type of Waypoint. One-way Waypoints are generally many-to-one in nature, such as the one that heads to Kilo Village's center. Other Waypoints scattered around Kilo point to that central Waypoint, but you can't go back through it for that reason. There are typically similar Waypoints for other, medium-sized towns, like a sort of network.

The two-way ones are one-to-one in relation, and look similar to Warp Tiles from the games, and similarly, take you from one spot to the next, and you can go back in the same way. This is very good for going on rescues, obviously, but it also connects the world in the same way the Internet does--by making the world seem smaller. This also means that Anam's influence is worldwide by the time Kilo starts, because the Waypoint system is directly tied to the Hearts' influence.

Anyway, back to tech. There are also a lot of advances in aura and body analysis technology used in hospitals, because the aura is often an indicator of the body's health. Rhys helped with developing that sort of technology along with other aura experts to continue the field; there are pretty snazzy-looking screens and meters in Kilo Village's hospital. For some reason they have errors when reading Anam's aura, though.
Aside from standard Pokemon fare, we have blessings from Anam, which is what resulted in all of the seeds, scarves, and enhanced berries known today (after all, why else would Orans heal 100 instead of 10 HP? Not that the figure is ever given in-story, but that's part of it.)

This is explored later in the story, but isn't much of a spoiler: All "magic" is tied to the fact that Pokemon are naturally capable of defying the world's physics. This is done through the power of their spirits, filtered through their aura, which allows for certain defying traits to come through. Anam is apparently able to do more than that, and extend this rule-defying trait not only to powers beyond a typical Goodra, but also to enchant items with some of his wishes and desires. He has done the same to Dungeons -- every known Dungeon in Kilo has been blessed by Anam, which similarly creates these objects that Anam had enchanted.

It all goes back to the spirit and their innate ability to defy the laws of nature.
I alluded to this in the last one, but quite good! Pokemon get hurt pretty often, and as a result, can get quite reckless. They're naturally fast healers, and it takes quite a bit to put them out of commission for good or otherwise give a permanent injury, but nowadays, most healing can be patched up with an Oran Berry, a Heal Pulse, or, if you need a bit of life insurance, a Reviver Seed.

There are actually two types of Reviver Seeds. One is the common, easy to produce one, which I'd equate to a Tiny Reviver from the games. It restored the body of injury, but not their energy. If you're exhausted and collapse, the Reviver will heal your body, but you still won't be able to fight. These are often used in professional sparring matches or intense training and, if you can afford them, are carried around by the paranoid civilian or two. Day to day, most non-Heart Pokemon won't know what it feels like for a Reviver to revitalize you.

The stronger Reviver is much harder to make or find in a Dungeon, and Anam only generates a few of them due to how hard they are to produce. They restore both your body and aura, thus allowing you to be completely revitalized and ready to fight as if you'd just entered the ring. Due to their rarity, they are only reserved for extremely dangerous missions.

There are also specialists for surgeries, illnesses, and other ailments that a good berry or Heal Seed won't quite fix.
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
Currently, there are no active wars in Kilo, but in the past, before the world had been united by Anam, wars were fought a bit differently than they are here. It wasn't exactly easy to just barge into a world of magical creatures with yourselves as magical creatures because the friendly fire would be astronomical, for one. Most weaponized technology you could think of or develop would be easily dwarfed by what a single particularly strong Pokemon would be capable of. For this reason, most wars were more a matter of endurance and strategy from individual Pokemon than commanding a mass of them to attack.

As a result, most wars are determined by taking down key figures, rather than an endless exchange of blows.

I will admit, though, precisely how wars are fought isn't something that I've yet to fully hash out, simply due to the complexity of fighting with magical creatures that have a lot of innate firepower. Sometimes I wonder if Pokemon could be naturally war-averse on an evolutionary level simply because of mutually assured destruction.

In all honesty, wars in Kilo aren't really known. The word "war" exists, so it surely happened, but something of a grand scale isn't something remembered. Great conflicts had been settled between the superpowers of the respective lands, largely because that was usually what determined the outcome of any grand fight. A single, extremely powerful Pokemon could potentially raze an entire civilization of weaklings. It was in the interests of both parties to only have the absolute strongest face off with one another... I suppose you could call it a Pokemon battle.

It seems that Anam was the one who was the strongest of them all.
Ignoring natural armor and weapons, not much. Standard Dungeon equipment such as Blast Seeds (basically bombs or flame cannons depending on how you rupture them) the Dungeon Orbs, and scarves as defense are what you'd usually see, though due to the power behind Pokemon, most typical armor is... useless or worse than useless. Pokemon are weapons unto themselves.
Oh, lots of things! Most of it is fairly low-tech, simple games and perhaps even sparring, though the civilized Pokemon are not very keen on getting hurt themselves. They're actually quite battle-averse, aside from professional fighters. The Hearts sometimes put on a show of displaying their sparring matches as training -- the funding can help for some Heart programs, too -- for the public to see. Gives a good morale boost, too, seeing how powerful Hearts are.

Many Ghost Pokemon are also known as "aura nibblers" -- they feed off of the flare of others as a supplementary diet, much like Grass Pokemon and the sun, or Fire Pokemon and intense heat. What's a way to get good flares to eat? Strong emotions! Turns out, Ghost Pokemon are really good at making plays, particularly horror plays. That, along with other genres, are a popular staple of Kiloan life. Cuisine is another, making new dishes with old ingredients, or even new ones, depending on what's found and considered exotic.

Another would be sports, similar to games like soccer and football as we know them, albeit with a supernatural twist. There are some restrictions depending on the game and standards used, such as no phasing through walls for Ghosts, or no long-range telekinesis for Psychics, but it's more or less just Mario Strikers but with Pokemon and probably even crazier. It's a shame I don't know anything about sports beyond basics.
Despite how magical things are, for the most part life in Kilo is pretty... normal. You've got accountants, construction, foragers, medics, shopkeepers, farmers, hunters, rangers, and so on. Compared to humans, Pokemon can do quite a lot more with just themselves and not much equipment. The main job featured in Hands of Creation is, of course, being a Heart. There are a thousand of these positions in total, though there are many periphery jobs that assist in what they do, like the aforementioned administrative work and so on.

Hearts themselves are, ironically, the hands of Kilo's government, handling law enforcement, rescue work, and in general the major things that typical jobs can't deal with due to the danger. You're supposed to be strong, intelligent, and have a good heart in order to become a Heart. The first two are judged by examinations and practicals; the last one is judged by Anam. Some are wary of this, but even more suspicious is that Anam's arbitrary system of selection seems to work...
Nothing to see here; blue, cloudy, sometimes stormy.
Due to how small Kilo is, there isn't a whole lot that hasn't been unexplored. The vast ocean is still being charted, however, with little pockets of watery civilizations for aquatic Pokemon, though it isn't nearly as advanced as what's on the surface.

Some Dungeons have also gone unexplored due to past attempts at going through it, including a twisted archipelago down south, dubbed Zero Isle Spiral. Entering it causes extreme hallucinations and extreme weakness. Nobody has been able to get far into the Dungeon before waking up at the entrance again, and Anam refuses to go there. It has thus been dubbed a restricted zone.

There is also Dark Mist Swamp, a forest to the northeast that is shrouded in a purple fog and, deeper within, a swamp of purple gunk. Due to its ominous nature, Pokemon often go there to explore, but find nothing, and do not want to get too close to the poisonous mist. Those who can handle it--like actual Poison Types, or a team with Pecha Scarves--often report that they can hear singing when they get very deep. But before they know it, they're at the entrance again, having no idea how they got there.

There are also rumors that some who go in are lost forever. As such, it was dubbed a restricted zone.
The easiest way to tell a civil Pokemon from a feral is that most civil Pokemon carry a small pouch or bag with them. They're all the rage! So convenient! You can hold all your coins and trinkets as you need, for one. Beyond that, they don't carry very much. Identification is aura-based, so it's somewhere between hard and impossible to mimic that.
Paintings, sculptures, writing, performance, and music are the most prominent forms of art in Kilo. Most drawn high-art is either religious in nature, portraits of individuals, or scenery. Sculptures are similar. Writing is very diverse, but also bleeds into comics and newspapers and short stories, or even long-form writing. And of course, performance, mentioned above, with plays depicting either fictional or historical events, and lastly, music. While it might be difficult to tailor an instrument for your body type, and some Pokemon have an easier time than others, instruments exist in Kilo, and we've got some pretty sick beats if you know where to look. You'll mostly see acoustic music or something heavy on drums, but don't be surprised if you see a bit of techno, too. Between Nevren's advancements and the quirkiness of the Porygon species, there are some nifty little bops in the air.
For short trips, by foot or by wing. There's no stigma for riding another Pokemon if they have an easier time with travel. (Just be nice about it.)

For long trips, see the technology question for Waypoints.
I mentioned him a thousand times at this point, but Heart of the Hearts, Goodra Anam is arguably the most important and powerful Pokemon known to the world at large, both in terms of literal power and political sway. He is where everything stops, and is the ultimate authority in making exceptions to established rules, who joins the Hearts, and so on.

That being said, anybody who knows Anam personally, or even sees how he behaves in public, knows that it's not just him making the decisions. Decidueye James, the Pokemon always seen by Anam's side, is undoubtedly one of the individuals that helps to keep Anam informed about public matters, and gives a more rational side to any emotionally-charged decisions that Anam may want to make. James is also the main leader for military and other large-Heart operations, such as mass rescue missions, expeditions, or other crises.

Alakazam Nevren, the local inventor, is another very important person. He seems to be the only person capable of making Waypoints with the combination of Anam's and his own work, and is also second to James when it comes to administrative tasks within the Hearts. Alongside Nevren is Lucario Rhys, aura expert and lead on-field commander. Where James and Nevren command, Rhys relays and participates, and is known to be one of the strongest Hearts, perhaps second only to Anam.
Surprisingly, all civilized Pokemon speak the same language! Despite all the mouth shapes and anatomies that so many Pokemon have, it seems that civilized Pokemon speak and understand to an extent, the language of the Unown runes. The running theory is that it was an old blessing of Mew or Arceus to allow the world to unify, since it shouldn't be possible normally for such sounds to be made. Must be aura influence, like all the other strange things Pokemon are capable of.
Northern kilo is pretty cold, especially the northwest, and as you go southeast, it gets warmer. The south of Kilo is along the equator, making it very tropical, while the north of Kilo is quite far from it, resulting in the colder weather. Sometimes there can be some crazy storms, though they've recently died down -- the worst storms are only found in historical records, the sort you'd only expect to see from the likes of Lugia! Though nobody remembers seeing one in a long time. Maybe it was all a myth.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partner
pikachu-chibi
I know June is over but I still wanna finish this. :/

As you might imagine, the invention of flight completely transformed the way that wars are fought. The idea of two armies marching toward one another is pretty useless when the other side could, at any time, fly over and set fire to your camp from above. Amassing a huge territory is also pretty difficult when you can’t just park a huge army at the border to keep everyone else out.

This also means that wartime fortifications are less about having walls and more about having solid anti-air defenses. The closest thing dromans have to fortresses are built into the side of canyon walls, forcing would-be attackers to approach from a very specific and more easily-defended angle.

Droman battles tend to be very quick, violent affairs, more about tearing through the opponent’s aerial forces than capturing and holding territory. The instant wingsuits became advanced enough to allow for powerful, maneuverable flight, it immediately spiraled out of control and led to a brief period of time with opposing sides setting fire to the others’ cities, villages, and fields with reckless abandon, and both sides generally coming out of the fight much worse than when they started. Basically no one was happy with this, and recent wars have been more “cold” affairs--revolving around the threat of both sides burning each other to the ground.
You might think that, with an array of sharp claws on every limb, including the signature raptorial sickle claw, that dromans don’t need to craft weapons like humans do. This assumption would be false–their claws are built for climbing trees or grasping small prey, but useless for slashing or quickly dispatching enemies. While it would certainly hurt to take a swipe from a cornered droman, it’s hardly going to kill you. Therefore, dromans craft weaponry just like any sensible human.

Dromans use lots of fast, light weaponry like knives and short swords. They are good with bows, and can even utilize them with their feet! And speaking of feet, dromans often arm themselves with foot blades, especially when flying.

For obvious reasons, aerial units can’t wear a lot of metal. Light, flexible armors such as leather are preferred, and reinforced with a small covering of metal in the places where it counts (for example, covering the stomach when flying over the enemy.)
As you might expect from a bunch of showoffs, dromans absolutely love sports. Many of their games involve leaping and climbing, and were traditionally played in trees, but are now played on massive wooden structures built specifically for that purpose. Some modern sports even have flying components! Dromans also enjoy racing (both on land and in the air, or riding animals), dancing, music, art, theater--they’re not too different from humans in this regard.
Pretty much any job you can think of that pre-industrial humans did, dromans had those jobs as well. Everything from ranching to carpentry to crafting to smithing to mail delivery, and everything in between. Some of those jobs would be much the same between humans and dromans, and others might be totally different (you’re almost always going to want a droman for mail delivery or town watch!)

An interesting thing to note is that smithing is a highly desirable skill that also has some negative connotations associated with it, due to droman smiths needing to remove their primaries in order to more safely work with hot metals. Sure, they can still fly (using a wingsuit hardly requires one’s own remiges to be in working order) but it still does a number on one’s appearance.

Oh, and it goes without saying, but skilled wingsuit makers are the most admired profession of them all, and one of the rare instanced where a droman might reasonably dedicate their life to a single craft.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partner
pikachu-chibi
So... close... *pant*

Humans and dromans have spread to almost every corner of the globe, and even the lands that are largely unknown to a particular region or culture most likely still have residents. (As an example, the average continental droman has no clue what lies out in the great western sea, even though the ocean is home to many different islanders, both human and droman alike).

Also, due to the fact that, throughout most of history, dromans lived in the western hemisphere and humans lived in the east (small nomadic tribes notwithstanding) there have been quite a lot of cases with one species “discovering” lands where the other already lives.

As for areas where neither live? Europe has scattered settlements, but no fully established nations. Northeast Russia is cold, inhospitable, and roaming with tyrants. And the south pole is still pretty much terrible.
Dromans don’t go anywhere without their wingsuit, if they’ve got one. Everyone knows that the worst thing is finding yourself in a situation you wish you could fly out of, and not being able to.

Other than that? The usual: money, makeup, preening kit (no self-respecting modern droman uses their teeth to preen), a knife, food, and any tools relevant to their craft.
Dromans. Friggin. Love. Art. Anything and everything in their world is painted all the most ridiculous garish color schemes you can imagine. Homes, cities, personal belongings, everything. It is a sin to leave something undecorated. Not to mention they have better color vision than mammals, and can see ultraviolet, so a lot of the patterns wouldn’t even be visible to humans!

Their art tends to be mostly abstract and pattern-based, although representational art does exist. Aside from painting, woodcarving is another popular art form. As of course there’s always the performance arts--music and dancing are big ones (in fact, it could be said that dancing pre-dates dromanity, as it was something their dromanid ancestors engaged in as well).
As if I haven’t mentioned it a thousand times, dromans’ primary means of travel is flight. That said, it’s far from the only means of travel. Because most droman tribes have had contact with each other for hundreds of years, they have a well-established system of trails and outposts spanning the continents. And flight isn’t always practical when you got large groups, groups with children, heavy good to transport, etc. In those cases, the preferred means of travel are riding on the backs of domesticated oviraptorids or carts pulled by ceratopsians.
 

Negrek

Head Over Heels
Staff
Congrats to everyone who finished (or will finish) this challenge! It was awesome to learn about your worlds, some of which I'm familiar with and some of which I'd never heard about before! For my part, I'm not going to finish anywhere near all of the chapter, but I did at least want to pick one more prompt to kind of go out on:

POKEMAGIC TIIIIIME!! I love how mysterious so many elements of the Pokeworld are. A lot of it frankly doesn't make sense (those Pokedex entries, ouch), but there's so much wiggle room there for how you want to handle the way pokemon work, from straight-up trying your hand at a hard sci-fi kind of interpretation to going full-on magic and myth. In the world of Salvage scientists are only just beginning to understand Infinity Energy, which is pretty much what sets pokemon apart from almost everything else in the world. (There are some plants, e.g. apricorns, that show some limited ability to interact with infinity energy, and rumors of humans with some capacity for using it, but it's mostly just pokemon!) This means that views of pokemon vary widely, from people who think pokemon are like any other creature and science will be able to explain all about them eventually to those who worship them as otherworldly or divine beings.

Although pokemon are capable of feats far beyond what humans can manage, it's important to remember that for people in their world, this is just the normal way of things! Someone from our world would probably scoff at the idea of mice shooting lightning out of their faces, but in the pokeworld it's like, oh, yeah, that totally happens, actually just last week we had a pikachu get into the wiring at work and it was a huge hassle to deal with. As a result, a lot of the frankly incredible things that pokemon are capable of don't seem magical at all. It's generally when you get up to the level of being able to drastically alter the world around them, level mountains or (at least appear to) control the seasons that Pokeworld people really start thinking about magic.

Pokeworld scientists are pretty convinced that all that nonsense is just throwing increasing amounts of infinity energy at a problem, but they continue to have trouble with things like, where does infinity energy come from, anyway? Why do some pokemon have so much more of it than others? Exactly how do pokeballs work, anyhow? (Ostensibly these are all trade secrets that the pokeball manufacturers keep quiet, but in truth nobody is entirely sure why the tech actually works; it's an artificial implementation of the apricorns' natural biology, and nobody is quiet sure what makes it tick.) But there must be some consistent laws governing how all these things work, right? By this point in time the mainstream line of thought is, yes, pokemon make sense and eventually science will catch up with them. But on a personal level, many people aren't really sure--it seems like the more we learn about pokemon, the stranger they become; as soon as we think we've seen it all, there turns out to be some other weird thing that they can do that seems like it should be impossible.

So, can gothitelle really see the future? When you die, is Yveltal actually going to appear and drag your soul to the underworld? Well, those are just old superstitions, of course. But perhaps you want to burn some incense and say a prayer or two to Xerneas. Just in case.

Anyhow, if you'd like to wrap up some prompts that you missed--or if you didn't participate in this in June but feel like you'd like to respond to some of the prompts anyway--feel free to keep posting here. And if you're itching to share more about your world, I do have one more prompt that you can respond to if you like: What is one question you wish someone would ask about your world, but never has? Answer it!
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partner
pikachu-chibi
Finally done yeaaaaahhhh. And I got an excuse to gush about one of my favorite topics in evolutionary biology (seriously runaway sexual selection is weird as hell and I wish more made-up species utilized it instead of making every single trait be ~useful for survival.~ Sometimes it really is all about showing off!)

Alright, so given that I don’t really have a story figured out for this place, these are just a random assortment of character concepts I’ve come up with.

None of them have names yet because I’m terrible at names.

- A droman engineer who grew up in the northeast and moved to the shared human/droman lands. Studied the language there, ended up learning the art of clockwork from a human craftsman, became obsessed with machines and is now trying to build a flying machine. Has never been able to fly due to disability; wants to make flying more accessible.

- A pair of droman siblings that grew up in a town that fell on hard times due to oppressive trade restrictions. Grew up to become pirates terrorizing human ships in the northern seas. They have snow-white plumage due to being the descendants of the former emperor of the northeast droman nations.

- A human child rescued from bandits and raised by the aforementioned pirates. Years later he discovers that he might actually be the long-lost heir to the throne of a powerful human nation. Tries to reunite with his family but the government doesn’t want him around because his kidnapping was used as a handy excuse to start a war. Probably has to deal with assassins and crap now. Also he’s like 11. :V
Unsurprisingly, the droman postal system is really fast for an era without cars or planes! Even towns that have a majority human population will want to have dromans delivering the mail.

Also, given that dromans have keen eyesight and often need to communicate from ground-to-air, visual communication with flags and the like is common, especially from ships and outposts.
The original #30 was boring! (It’s Earth. It has Earth weather. Next.) So I made my own special finale!

Why did dromans evolve sapience?

Evolution is not a road towards increasing complexity or quality of an organism. Intelligence is an incredibly costly trait. While generally useful for survival, it is not always worth the high investment, and plenty of animals get along just fine without it.

So why did dromans evolve sapience anyway? No other species in our world can measure up to humans (even though people vastly undercredit how clever animals can be). Their lineage was pretty adaptable and resourceful and didn’t really need more intelligence to buff their already pretty good survival rate.

The answer lies in their social interactions.

Dromans are hypersocial. Most intelligent animals are, actually (octopi being the weird outlier.) It takes a lot of brainpower to keep track of a large number of different and unique relationships. And a lot of birds are capable of great feats of artistic skill, from songs to dancing to nest building. But consider what would happen if a species wound up fixating not just on displays, but rather on displaying in as many new, unique, and different ways as possible.

Suddenly, it’s not the behavior behind a specific display getting reinforced into instinct. It’s the idea behind it. The ability to come up with new, interesting, exciting things to catch as many eyes as possible because the fact that it’s new and different is exactly what makes it appealing. Imagine if all of that got linked to reproductive success? What does that look like? That’s right:

A feedback loop of runaway sexual selection.

Early dromanids started balancing large numbers of unique interactions with flock mates. Their communications became more complex to communicate more complicated ideas. At some point, more and more elaborate displays of creativity and skill became a sign of social status, and being able to successfully maintain large numbers of unique interactions with other dromanids itself became something to look for in a mate. (Having lots of friends was sexy! :V) Not to mention having the time to devote to all this frivolous nonsense, which shows that an individual is already doing just fine at the whole getting food thing. And having a huge support network also showcases the fact that any potential offspring will be well cared-for. A win-win!

It’s only going to keep compounding itself from there. More curiosity to invent new ways to show off. More language to communicate complex ideas. More brainpower to keep track of all this. All of these things are going to get selected for in the population, and they’re only going to intensify as the generations go by. Until finally you’re left with a species whose sole instincts are curiosity and creativity. Investigating, exploring, learning. And then you get over the massive evolutionary hill that is investing all that energy towards brainpower, and get to reap the massive survival rewards that are being able to use cleverness to react to whatever nature throws at you (which of course overlaps with humans).
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Oh boy here we go. Questions 1-6 today.

The main break between the world of Broken Things (BT) and the original timeline (OT) is obviously the existence of pokemon. In spite of that massive change, the world evolved in much the same way with two big changes:
1) Traditional empires are less common. When military power is largely based on the whims of gods and powerful pokemon, its hard to maintain a hold on a place that doesn't want to be held. Loose cultural federations and powerful city states that have an economic hold on the surrounding area are more common than in the OT.
2) Colonialism wasn't nearly as impactful. The Norse arrived in the new world far earlier than in the OT and built a permanent settlement in Unova. They weren't very interested in expanding beyond the coasts, however. This meant that smallpox crashed through the Western hemisphere well before the Iberians showed up. Some areas were conquered, others were not. Without the sheer wealth that a full grip on the Americas provided Europe (and without the triangular slave trade weakening Africa because, y'know, less need for manual labor), the colonization of Asia and Africa was very limited.

Most of these entries will focus on Anahuac, the successor state of the Aztec Empire/Triple Alliance, and Alola.
The physical map of the BT world is almost identical to that of the OT. There are more varied microclimates because of individual gods and pokemon (i.e. the ninetales keep Lanakila a lot colder than Mauna Kea is). Parts of Hoenn were reshaped during a battle between two ancient beings. Otherwise it's pretty much the same.
Humans occupy almost all of the BT world. There are also some conventional animals, albeit mostly fairly small ones. Strangely enough, dolphins have hung on and even bully some large pokemon despite having no real superpowers of their own. Main break from the OT is that the world is full of beings with strange elemental powers. Sometimes these have biological roots, other times they really don't. These beings are collectively referred to as pokemon. Different species possess vastly different intelligence levels and no one but humans has really established a civilization in the sense the OT understands the word in.
Long rant incoming.

The humans took a long time to form cities, much less civilizations. When they did they tended to be small, based on the favor of one local god or a general who managed to bond with a powerful pokemon. The carefully crafted knowledge that cultures had on their local species made invasions hard, as every place was full of strange and terrifying new beasts for the would-be conqueror. The few true empires that did form tended to be short-lived. In time different merchant families and skilled diplomats managed to win over others through the power of their commissioned art, manipulation of religious organizations, strategic alliances against outside threats (humans and pokemon), insurance programs against localized disaster, and just flat-out bribery of local leaders led to trading kingdoms along major rivers, ports, and trade routes.

Some cultures were generally more warlike and did not adopt merchant routes. Most of these civilizations held on through the power of the pokemon, legendaries, technology, and strategies they wielded. The powers of Western Europe eventually found the new world, although their conquest was far more limited than in the OT (see the "describe the world" entry). As for the regions that matter to the story specifically...

Anahuac

The Aztec Triple Alliance had already pissed off a lot of local civs in the OT through so-called flower wars. Essentially, there were three very powerful cities and a bunch of smaller ones that were periodically attacked to keep them paying tribute and too weak to rise up. In this world, the seeming wrath of the gods upon the land during the smallpox epidemic encouraged more cooperation between powers. The invading European briefly established a hold on the Zapotec lands, at which point the Triple Alliance bailed them out. The horrors of European occupation now in full view (and exaggerated even further by state propaganda) the old Triple Alliance became a federation of peoples more or less voluntarily aligned, but all fairly sovereign. In time a constant war machine against the European colonizers across the continent led to a real national identity and a unified kingdom of Anahuac.

Thirty years prior to the story's start, the country suffered a massive defeat in a war with the United States. The surrender terms included massive payments to the U.S. government and a limit on the country's military size. The defeat shattered morale and left much of the country destitute as austerity measures were implemented and taxes were raised to pay off the debt owed to the U.S. The long-simmering grievances of non-Nahua peoples, rural populations, immigrants, communists, and democrats led to a dozen small rebellions popping up right when the government had neither the troops nor the money to put them down. While Tenochtitlan held, many of the surrounding areas were no longer ruled by the central government. Relaxation of the surrender terms, decades of campaigning, and fatigue and attrition among the rebels, have led to the kingdom of Anahuac reestablishing its hold over almost all of the country. Now the long road to reconstruction has begun.

Alola

Much of Alolan history matches that of OT Hawai'i. The main differences are that colonization occurred several centuries earlier and that unification happened off and on throughout that history, rather than just at the tail end. The islands could be ruled by anyone who could defeat all four kahunas at once in battle. Sometimes one kahuna would try to rule all of the islands, but they never succeeded. Kings did not pass down their status, so unifications tended to be short lived The arrival of European sailors with powerful gunships prompted one ambitious young warrior to devote his life to establishing a unified kingdom, and succeeding. Primogeniture was established with the approval of all four kahunas, although the monarch could also be deposed by any native Alolan (Kānaka Maoli) who defeated all four kahunas in one day and then defeated the current monarch in battle.

This exception came back to bite the kingdom hard when a Galaran ariados silk farmer with a grievance against the kingdom's taxes decided to fund a challenger. Armed with the strongest pokemon money could buy, the farmer's proxy defeated the kahunas and queen and ceded the kingdom to the United States in exchange for ten million dollars. The military firepower of the far larger country put down the insurrections over the next few decades.
Many of the same general cultures exist in the BT world as in the OT.

Europe is perhaps the most unchanged and is one of the relatively few places where nation-states are the common model. Elsewhere merchant republics or multiethnic empires tend to rule. The former include three large merchant republics in Africa and their ever-shifting network of vassal states. A Bantu coalition is governed from Great Zimbabwe, a Swahili city-state league dominates the eastern coast, and a Niger Valley kingdom controls most of the Sahel. A city state in the Congo delta was briefly conquered by Europeans, but eventually regained independence with the help of the three major sub-Saharan powers. That city-state now controls most of the trade in the Congo rainforest.

The Americas are divided between a handful of indigenous powers and colonial ones. Some unconquered areas include Anahuac, The Incan Republic, and The Amazonian Federation. The latter, actually, was claimed by Portugal via the colony of Brazil for some time before eventually winning independence at the same time as Brazil itself did. No reason to fight Kalos and an indigenous uprising if you can avoid it. The remaining colonist kingdoms tend to have only tenuous control over their land and rely at least as much on appeasing the native populations and corrupting their tribal governments as they do on actual military force. The badlands and upper Rockies might as well not be under U.S. control at all, but the mostly self-governing populations don't see a need to start a war over their formal status on a map. Much of the Southeast was ceded outright to the Cherokee in exchange for their help in a war against Anahuac and Galar. Canada and Argentina exist, both heavily propped up by the U.S. government as part of a proxy war with Anahuac.

Florida, Central America, and the northern coast of South America were largely brought into the trading orbit of Mali and experienced heavy immigration from West Africa. The immigrant merchants and colonists, with the backing of Mali, eventually formed their own new republic. It very quickly fractured under opposition from both Galar/the U.S. and Anahuac, leaving a dozen small states. Some were annexed by Anahuac, Kalos, Brazil, or the Amazon Federations. Others are still independent.

China and India are blends of nation-states and merchant republics. Sometimes they collapse, but they usually eventually reform under at least a loose government within a century or two. At present both are unified. Southeast Asia, Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia are all now governed by loose merchant republics. In BT Indonesia is usually seen as having cultural, economic, and scientific power on par with India, China, and Japan. The archipelago unified far sooner in this universe than the OT.

The Middle East never really unified under a Caliphate as religion in general tends to be rather localized in this world since many, many gods demonstrably exist and tend to look after their local places and peoples. At present it is very fractured, although merchant kingdoms in OT Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco are all regional powers. The Middle East is currently experiencing tensions between the traditional merchant powers and the newly oil-rich kingdoms and merchant republics on the Arabian peninsula and in Libya. In general the cultures of the region are heavily influenced by pre-Islamic OT Persia and Central Asia in Southwest and Central Asia and a fusion of Southern European, Egyptian, and sub-Saharan cultures in Northern Africa.

New Zealand was never conquered and the Māori culture (albeit one that has gone through several centuries of organic change) remains strong there. Australia, most of the "minor" islands, and Tasmania were not so lucky and remain in much the same position they hold in the OT.

Modern Alola is culturally a mix of Galar-American, Japanese, Indonesian, Cherokee, and traditional Alolan cultures. This is not an even mix, nor is it always an easy one. Tensions between different groups remain below the surface and not all culture's practices are accepted by all people in the archipelago.

There is a religious cult that claims Antarctica. Their society and beliefs are strange to say the least, making them the butt of jokes worldwide. No country has bothered to kick them out.

Architecture in general is even less uniform than it is in the OT. Every culture has their own distinct style. In general, nature is more incorporated into urban design. Tenochtitlan is famous for being a city of twelve million people built on a complex of natural and artificial islands in Lake Texcoco and the irrigated canal system expanding from the lake throughout the valley. Buildings are also built to be very durable given the existence of pokemon. Giant structures were more common in pre-modern history than in the OT because of much better available animals to domesticate.

Alola itself contains several notable structures including the Altar of the Moone, the Tapu Temples, the new and old palaces, Malie Garden, the Tidesong Hotel and Grand Hano Resort, the Hokulani Observatory, and Aether Paradise (recently rechristened to Foster Island to reflect a change in ownership). Those buildings can be roughly grouped into three styles: Old Alolan (buildings of a very impressive size made entirely of uncolored stone - the awe came from the size and the often lavishly decorated interiors), Asian (red and gold colors, arches, incorporation of gardens and topiaries), and Galaran (a clinical, inorganic aesthetic of metal and glass for "functional" buildings, a mix of marble and limestone with large courtyards and fountains in a neo-Classical style for residential or tourist-focused buildings).
Anahuac

Women and men occupy separate spaces in Anahuac culture. Men are traditionally merchants, farmers, and warriors, while women are priests and homemakers. Both are usually well educated with mandatory secondary education and a high rate of post-secondary education among men. A steady decline in birth rates and the rise of educated men who seek intellectually fulfilling marriages has led to parents investing in more education for their daughters. The invention of several appliances has made women's traditional work easier in Anahuac as it has elsewhere, leading to cultural anxieties as women begin to enter the fields men used to control.

Even traditionally, women had more rights than they held in other parts of the world. They could own property, sign contracts, and enter the priesthood as an alternative to marriage. Almost all powerful religious figures were female, and their role as priests meant that women played key roles in pacifying local pokemon and legendaries. When Anahuac itself was invaded, it was often the women who rallied the nearby pokemon and put up the most serious resistance. After the invention of the pokeball many of Anahuac's most powerful trainers have been women. There is even serious discussion of allowing women to serve in the military, traditionally the highest rank in Anahuac society aside from the royals.

In poorer rural areas where appliances (and electricity) are less common women are still usually homemakers who spend most of their days cooking, cleaning, and sewing. Men are usually stuck in the fields of agriculture or battle.

Even in the most progressive of cities, boys and girls are usually educated in separate primary and secondary schools. Post-secondary education is generally integrated.

In general the country's hostility towards Europe has led to it becoming even more accepting of differing sexual orientations and genders to frame Galar (and later the United States) as out of touch with nature and full of soulless, artificial binaries. While these sexualities and gender identities do not match perfectly with Western conceptions of LGBT people, the similarities are there. In general LGBT people have been viewed as having spiritual or cultural significance and same-sex relationships are allowed and accepted, but not exactly encouraged. Strangely, while non-cis gender identities are accepted and social transition is relatively common, medical transition was rare until very recent years.

Of course, this varies across the country. The coasts generally have slightly more European influence on them than the interior, leading to more stigma towards LGBT people. Pre-contact the inverse was true. Rural areas are generally more accepting than cities, where pro-European sentiment persists in mercantile, academic, and counter-culture spaces. This is being complicated as Western society rapidly becomes more accepting of LGBT people. There are even some rumblings among the priesthood that Anahuac could try to pull an about face and denounce the debauchery of American society for its embrace of LGBT people.

Anahuac in general is more tolerant of sex and sexuality in media than Europe and the United States. It is seen as a part of life that need not be covered up in shame. However, "excessive" displays of sexuality are socially and sometimes legally punished. This is part of the general Anahuac philosophy of engaging in worldly pleasures, but not to the point of losing control. Women are disproportionately punished for "excessive" displays of sexuality and there is a political and social movement to relax the laws and norms on the subject.

Alola

Traditionally, the sexes had separate roles in everyday life. Women still had social and political power nearly equal to men and about half of all kahunas were women. The kingdom's crown passed to the eldest child of the monarch without regard for sex. This was restricted somewhat under United States rule, but women have reclaimed most of their lost status. Curiously, workplace discrimination has led to many becoming pokemon trainers, where success or failure depends entirely on their own abilities.

Pre-kingdom Alolan society was very tolerant of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations. As part of the kingdom's "modernization" push many of these relationships and identities were outlawed. Now many Kānaka Maoli youth are attempting to reclaim those identities. Same sex marriage and relatively easy medical and legal transitions are allowed. Teenagers can even transition without parental approval, in large part because the pokemon world is far more respectful of adolescents autonomy than the OT. There is still some resistance, especially among Galaran and Japanese populations, but it is unlikely that queer identities are recriminalized in the near future.

Re:Sexuality and Sex. Uh. I am going to opt out of this one because from my reading I know enough about Kānaka Maoli sexuality pre-conquest to know that I don't know enough to make an informed comment here.
 

qva

Pokémon Trainer
Location
florida
Pronouns
her/hers
sorry to bump a fairly dead thread but i was waiting to answer this until i got around to catching up and, uh, it's mid-august, so i'm just going to answer the damn question.
@qva I love how much thought and detail you've put into this, dang. If Kralle was originally a sanctuary, what was it a sanctuary... from? Were these birds originally brought from Earth or an Earth-analogue, or are these birds that independently evolved somewhere else? I saw you mentioned a Cataclysm but may have missed where you described it in more detail...
thanks! i actually meant to answer this question in the post about divinity/cosmology, but i... forgot. kralle is one planet in a relatively nebulous and poorly-thought out shared universe that i kind of lump all my stuff together in. the stories generally take place thousands or million years after the fall of an advanced space-faring civilization. this civilization is (tentatively) called the numeni, and their empire was destroyed after a bit of dodgy science tore a hole in space and leaked cosmic eldritch demons into their universe. these demons were banished, mostly, but not before the numeni empire had utterly collapsed. the story of kralle and the planets surrounding it take place in the ruins of this fallen galactic civilization, millions of years later, as a new intelligent species emerges from the numeni homeworld— humanity!— and accidentally warps across the galaxy via old numeni portals, stumbling into abandoned frontier worlds and getting tangled up in the magic an long-dead people once called technology.

so, to answer your question, kralle was a vacation home/wildlife preserve hybrid of sorts for a wealthy numeni noblewoman with a penchant for birds. following the fall of the numeni, nature took its course for several million years, leading to the diversified ecosystem i've described. most of this lore isn't going to be relevant in the scope i plan on writing this story in, but i like to make this stuff up anyway because it's fun. thanks for asking this question! it was a good one, and something i meant to expand upon.

extremely late, but thanks everyone for sharing your worlds with us in this thread! i had some more specific feedback to give like a month and a half ago but i can't remember almost any of it anymore unfortunately, so suffice to say that i had a lot of fun reading all of your ideas and all of the stuff you guys came up with is pretty inspiring! let's do this again next year :D
 
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