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Author Topic: Gloria - Even Utopia Needs Maintenance (New Thread)  (Read 13891 times)
Gelatinous Cube

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« on: January 15, 2012, 09:50:01 PM »

The old thread (, became a bit too scattered... and information started to get lost. Apparently when a single post takes over 20 pages in word, data is appended. I lost some information because of that, so here is a new thread that contains information in a more logical flow. Over the next months I will attempt to reformulate information to accommodate new information from the old thread.

What Is Gloria
Gloria is Utopia.
But even Utopia needs maintenance.
And people always find a reason to gripe.


Why Adventure?
- Help discover new sources of Shimmer (The Magic-Oil) and prevent the dire predictions of Peak Shimmer from arising.
- Keep the demons from seeping across the Glimmerwall by maintaining the power of Faith.
- ...Deal with the mentally insane, the weak, the criminal classes... in an equitable, but resource-conservatory fashion.
- Solve the problem of the Underclass.
- Help create the Ubermensch.
- Expand the reach of the Empyrean (Celestial) Exchange; open and discover new markets.
- Carry the Burden of Progress and its torch to the lesser, inferior people of the Socialist Nations.

- Libertarianism v. Moral Conservativism
- Market Regulation v. Social Darwinism
- The Market v. Socialism/Communism
- Faith v. Reason
- Conservation v. Progress
- Law v. Freedom
- Monopoly v. Small Businesses


Voice 1 "Part III: The Glory of Gloria; Chapter 12: The Love of Business"

Voice 2 "...Looking out the stained glass window; seeing stained-glass buildings rise on top of concrete-shimmer-hardened structures I cannot help but reflect on the past seven years- years of plenty, plenty of things going on and you never know what's going to turn up when you turn on the semaphore and listen to the newest geegadgets and grimshaw that the shimmer-engineers are churning out at downtown design shops, and they've certainly got my respect for their ten-hour a'day industrous laboring, I only work nine hours myself-the rest is spent in travel between the spires to the underground through the color-districts and the shimmer-factories, I can't count that for work because it's all downtime even though I have a runner to drag me 'round the places and I do my best to listen to the semaphore while we're moving and read the press that matters, and even some that doesn't, but it's hard to concentrate even encased in the runner's rickshaw run-a-ma-jig- there's simply too much to absorb that is going on in the streets, there is too much a'change, and inspiration and ideas that I could use to make something great, to twist and turn into profit- watching the waifs ripping copper from the sewer-grates gave me a great idea the other day, what if you use rubber to mask the sewer grates, and then no one would want to rip out the necessary sewer grating and try to turn it into something reusable and recyclable so that other people can use it and that the engine of growth and progress and prosperity can continue to wind-it's terrible to waste and to keep something locked up like that type of copper when it is worth so much-why shouldn't the city just use something that no one really cares about which is more economically viable and if the city did that then the city could make tons not having to replace the metal that the industrious little waifs steal- by the way, if they'd just reinstitute the hand-cutting laws and resell the little miscreant's greedy little hands as oddities and display-pieces or maybe graft pieces for some of the shimmer-doctors who are trying to stitch the injured rich back together, I doubt that anyone would make money by crime any more, but with the decadance that has gotten into the City these days, the inertia of the management is probably going to supersede and supplant anything else- oh bother and rot and all- I forget myself for I have talked far too long assembling this oral propaganda travelogue for the unfortuantes up North, we will have to continue later with the sessions because a caller will be coming along in a minute or two, and regrettably her money is much better than yours- although I have been known to accept bonuses and to keep people waiting from time to time when the project is an honorable one as yours certainly happens to be."

Seek JUSTICE In the World

Go out and ensure that contracts are honored, that the businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and engineers of Gloria are righteously rewarded for their hard work.

Seek out corruption and waste of resources and dash it from the surface of Gloria. There is no room in Gloria for waste. Waste is chaos; all must be reprocessed and resold.


Those who have success, will have more. The wealthy will be rewarded by interest. Serve the great and powerful in the land and you will soon join their sides. Perpetuation of dynasties is something to proud of. Although the nouveau riche may be Industrious, far too many of them are flim-flam fradulents. The "Old Money" wealthy are the ones whose lines made Gloria the glorious place it is. Today, they maintain their wealth through prudent investments, management of land, and sponsorship of adventures and patents. Help protect their rights, evict squatters and trespassers on their lands. Ensure that their investments are not beset by greedy and corrupt middlemen looking to skim a little extra grain off the side as an off-the-market bonus.

Some of you might even find yourself helping odd, "progressive-minded" Old Money Successful Lines establish libraries and charities for the worthy who can prove their Industriousness.


The steam is rising from the hot springs and the entrepreneur is smiling. He found a way to tame the heat through a system of valvues and temperature-management devices called "themostats". Through use of these majestic inventions, the entrepreneur keeps the environment's heat to manageable levels of 28 degrees celsius; a temperature that is nice and cozy for bathing humans.

His Industry should be rewarded, but all too often there are problems when things go wrong. There could be sabotauge by human rivals, greedy, nasty ratlike men who slink around and alter temperatures, slash gauges, and do worse. Or there could be sabotage by Nature. MAN is always at war with nature; shaping it, and changing it to bend to his will. Can you master the elements and conquer the steam vents underneath the earth? And what about the tectonic shift of his property? What if his land overlaps onto the rightfully purchased property of his neighbor? How will they settle the land dispute? With words and contract, or with swords and destruction? The method is up to you, for you are the entrepreneur's honored contracted employees (all injuries, therefore, suffered during your contract will not be covered under his liability. Unless you purchase your own indemnification clause or contract for healing and supplies, he will be regretfully unable to reward you for your extraordinary efforts.)

Be careful when dealing with one of the Industrious- they drive hard bargains!

Healthy, CHASTE, and Wise

Those who deny themselves are to be honored. They represent discipline and inner strength; but often they are tempted and may acquire other vices. Chaste Hijra often develop bloated, prodigious midriffs, and Chaste castratti likewise have a taste for sweets.

But being Chaste helps people avoid temptation of the flesh; espionage into foreign countries is easy when there is no incentive to blow one's cover, when double-agents give one no pleasure and get none from their targets. The chaste are often chosen to explore and discover the most remote locales in the deepest deserts. Bringing back wonders of bygone ages, they ensure that this age of Gloria becomes greater still, and it learns from the mistakes of the past so that the dreams, the work, and the success of the future is greater than ever before!

- Atlas Shrugged... Ayn Rand
- Bioshock
- Utopia... St. Thomas More
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Benjamin Franklin
- Alexander Hamilton

- Friedrich Nietzsche
- Kurt Vonnegut ("Harrison Bergeron"; for the Socialist Lands)
- ...Al Gore sad

- Lewis Carroll (Wonderland, Looking Glass)
- CS Lewis (Screwtape Letters, That Hideous Strength)
- L. Frank Baum (Oz Series)
- China Mieville (Bas-Lag Series)
- The Phantom Tollbooth
- Vernor Vinge

- Fascism (The Mussolini Type)
- Fiscal Conservativism
- Libertarianism
- Social Darwinism
- Phrenology
- Religious Fundamentalism
----Creationism/Intelligent Design

- The Roaring 1920s
- The Jazz Age

- 1850s-1890s Exploration Societies
- 1880s-1900s Race for Africa

- The Wall Street Journal and the Economist

- Art Deco
- Suprematist Art Movement
- Bauhaus
- Suprematism
- Constructivism

- Kazimir Malevich
- Piet Mondrian and De Stilj

- Eberron

- Uniqueness
- Because it's about time we had a detailed, positive, conservative-valued world (that is only slightly tongue-in-cheek!) smile
- A suitable response to China Mieville's excellent "New Weird" (maybe) ;)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 11:42:58 PM by Light Dragon » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 09:50:20 PM »

The Twelve Virtues/Ideals
- When adventurers fulfill one of these Virtues, they gain a Virtue point, which can be invested or used.
- Invested Virtue points count toward an Adventurer's Character/Mien and define who the Adventurer is while also providing them protection against demonic subversion.
- Used Virtue points can be used to change and affect situations.
- Wise people Invest their virtues, Imprudent lads and lasses use their virtues, or lose their virtues through practicing Vices.
- Emblematic Focii are possessed by adventurers (typically each adventurer chooses a focii along with their appropriate class. The Focii grant permanent or temporary powers. If it is a class Focii, the power is permanent; if the focii is purchased with virtue points, then it is only temporary.)

Taxonomic Emblematic- The Hijra "The Endless"
Human Emblematics- The Castratii, Sexless Humans, the unmarried and self-denying "The Holy"


- Will be respectful to all others and will not flirt unless its already been initiated. Incorrigible by temptation of the one-night-stand sort. Can sometimes be taken to extremes.

Emblematic Focii (Powers)
* Self-Denial (Will not be tempted by base demands of the carnal nature. May go without food or sleep for months, without water for weeks, without external stimulii such as sunlight or human interaction for decades. You are forever in a state of strong, meditative bliss.)
Temporary Focii- May resist temptation or go without for longer than normal.
- Opposite: Sexpot.

Hijra "The Endless"

The Human Emblematics
The Clique - High-pitched voices and twittering sounds travel in the sound-tunnels of the Clique. These monks of harmony travel together, bound within a tunnel of sound. Everywhere they go, they project their music and remain protected from the defiling views of the world. They walk surrounded by a plaster and paper-mache model; and tirelessly heft the structure around them wherever they go.

- Several traveling Clique Harmony troupes often perform at the Faith's functions. Others have been known to perform at high society events.

- Several noble-women have made a game of it to try to flirt with one of the Clique and draw one away from his Harmony. Cliques who stray are often abandoned and ostracized by all Harmonies for having lost their purity. Some have become constant lovers, others are quickly discarded by their coquettish temptresses and then wander the world alone, their eyes burdened by the harsh sun.

- The abandoned Clique members are not completely lost to society however; Hijra have been known to take some into their society since they look so interestingly alike. Others have tried to survive by making personal performances. These performances are not as good as a full Clique performance, but the lower middle classes and upwardly mobile lower classes enjoy hearing the individual Clique tunes; patronizing the lone former Clique-member allows the proletariat to have a feeling of wealth.



- The opposite of prideful. Will give credit when it is due. Will not be boisterous or loud or rude.
- Opposite: Pride.

- "Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions. " - Benjamin Franklin


- Always have something to do and is good at getting things done.
- Opposite: Procrastinator. Someone who takes twice as long to do something. Someone who produces worthless crafts.

The Pica
The Pica are in a constant state of flux; they are always moving because movement keeps their hearts beating. Once they are wound by their parents, they must twist and fly by their own locomotion. Hundreds of baby pica die with each spawning, but enough are able to twist and float to ensure the continuation of the species.

Contrary to popular myth, Pica do sleep, but while they sleep, their muscles auto-generate to help helicopter wings beat and twist and turn.  When the wings beat up and down and round and round, the Pica's disc-shaped hearts keep spinning and circulating energy.

Pica are tiny birds, about the size of a pear, and they subsist on sap. They constantly tap and tunnel into trees, breaking the wood until they can extract the sweet sap. Their drumming and drilling has lead many a human to go mad, and the expression "as dotty as a Pica" has entered the general lexicon.

Pica reproduce in the same way as humans; except as soon as the intercourse is finished, out will tumble tiny little preformed Pica. Only Pica whose precious little hearts are wound and jolted into action by the exhausted parents will be viable. The rest of the spawn will drop to the ground and perish into ineffectual little sappy messes.

Out of Character

Color-Work Creatures   (Colour-Work Creatures)
-Shimmer-Based in creation; these living paint line creatures (see the Kandinsky painting at the beginning of the Gloria post for an artist's rendition) produce jazzlike music when they travel: "oozing" due to sympathetic vibrations. When they communicate or have orders placed for them, the orders must be punched on a music line-bar chart, then fed into the Color-Work creature.

Color-Based creatures have a good deal of autonomy in fulfilling their tasks. They are similar to an automated Roomba Vacuum cleaner in that aspect; but far more advanced.

Walking in metropolitan areas, one can sometimes see the Color-Work creatures slinking along to and fro in the financial districts, carrying out tasks.

Color-Work creatures may be stepped on or pushed aside- they are very thin and difficult to harm or destroy.  Rain does not damage them due to their protective lacquer. But if exposed to flame or oppressive heat, they quickly melt- their colors running together in a dreadful bleed.

The origin of Jazz music is in the Color-Work creatures' unique sounds, as is a common expression used to demonstrate inspiration; "I'm seeing colors!". To "Think in Music" means to be inventive, but to have your creative expression controlled by another person (This is a mildly positive thing in Gloria. Entrepreneurship is best, but to "Think in Music" is not bad; there need to be some worker-bees.)

- "Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty." - Benjamin Franklin


- Has a strong moral compass and will go out of one's way to right a wrong.
- Opposite: Actively promotes injustice or acts in an unfair fashion. Does not care about any cosmic balance.

L U C K / S U C C E S S


- You have an unnatural knack about having things work out in your favor.

The Glick


M O D E R A T I O N / T E M P E R A N C E
- "Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve."  - Benjamin Franklin

O R D E R / P R A C T I C A L I T Y

"The emotion of beauty is always obscured by the appearance of the object. Therefore the object must be eliminated from the picture."
- Piet Mondrian


-Has all one's thoughts in order. Can easily access notes and ideas.


The Floaters
The Floaters are a sentient race of literally string-thin creatures. Every inch of the Floaters is used for some genetic purpose or another. They stand about three feet tall and unless weighted or tied down, float off into the air. The floaters fear high winds which can tear apart their fragile bodies. They evolved in underground reservoirs from annelids, but retained neither the annelids' mass nor their stickiness. When the occasional gust of air traveled down to the caverns, Floaters were transported out through cracks in cavern ceilings, then across the world until they crawled to other caverns where they founded new communities.

Floaters have a long thin string for the center of their body and from that string there sprout thousands of tiny digits which can manipulate objects. The Floaters have two eyes that are connected to the string by long, movable antennae. The eyeballs can twist to allow Floaters to perceive objects behind them. The eyeballs are very vulnerable, though, and are often kept concealed, tucked, and wrapped behind the Floaters' digits. As a secondary sensory mechanism, the Floaters are highly attuned to tremors and the feel of different variations in dirt quality.

The Floaters subsist on nutrients often found in the soil. They have evolved a highly sophisticated shape language which is also written. When communicating, they twist themselves into pictographs. When writing, they sketch diagrams of their ideas. Throughout caverns, the geometrical diagrams of the floaters can be found. The diagrams often discuss soil quality, dangerous underground denizens, magma vents, and most importantly, shimmer boreholes. Shimmer is poisonous to Floaters so they strive to avoid it.

Many a Shimmer wildcatter has used the Floaters' diagrams to extrapolate the best places to drill.

Floaters' main form of art is that of performance. By manipulating the airflow in enclosed rooms, the Floaters find ways to shape themselves into myriad aesthetic forms.


The Demons
Creatures most foul, the demons bring chaos. They reap where they do not sow, they take where they do not give, they destroy and then do not rebuild. Demons are creatures of Flame, but of its negative aspect. While proper flame clears land, which allows new life to grow and new opportunities to grow as the weak and the unlucky are weeded out; the improper flame sullies the land and pollutes it, making it impossible to develop or create.

The demons constantly shift their form, and where they tread, the earth is wounded for long periods of time as it becomes dessicated and polluted.

Thousands of years ago, the Demons traversed the world, and kept most sentient creatures oppressively tied to animalistic urges, bound as slaves to the Id and their irrational, brutal desires. Then, the inspirational spark of the Divine Clockmaker, the creator of the Universe, alighted on the mind of the human Danae. Through a process of year-long self-denial and fulfillment of all 15 virutes, Danae purged her body of negative thoughts, emotions, and urges. Then she confronted the demons. At first they laughed and threw perverse things at her. On touching her skin, however, all evil things disappeared. She strode forward and the demons fled. After she cleared all Demons from her portion of the world; she established a church where she taught others the ethical secrets of Faith.

Many years later, Danae's School of Faith had expanded far across the world and taught many to oppose the demons. To protect the many in society who fell short of Danae's ethical ideals, the Faithful decided to exert a significant sacrifice. Together, thousands of Faithful joined hands and marched against the demons, driving them toward the Peninsula. Many demons fled into the sea, but many others were trapped, as the wall of Faithful closed into a circle that held the demons within.

(The demons who fled into the sea have for the most part lurked beyond the ken of human beings, deathly afraid that the remaining Faithful will hunt down their numbers and focus orderly waves of light onto them, trapping the demons' chaotic souls.)

Holding hands, the Faithful meditated and prayed, and gradually, their bodies turned into something brilliant- they shone with glimmering light, and their souls transmigrated to Heaven. The demons, however, were mostly trapped within the Glimmerwall of Faith. And within that wall, the Demons have remained.

But recently, the wall has been losing much of its brilliance, and some fear that the Demons may one day escape. Something needs to be done to ensure that the wall will not be breached. In a world where Faith and adherence to the 15 virtues is widespread, but is increasingly challenged by Reason, Adventurers and Champions of the People are needed to keep the world safe.



- Gets back up again and keeps trying again and again.
- Tenacity
- Game effect: Recover any other virtue that has been 'burned'.
- Lack of Pluck: Game Effect- When any two virtues cancel out in a challenge, will give up rather than requiring a separate challenge to be made.

The Mystical Etterati
- The Etterati "stand" about three feet tall. Their Etterati's heads, legs, and bat-like velveteen wings protrude from grey birthing-eggshells which remain attached to the creatures for their entire lives, shielding them from the elements and from predators.

- The Etterati feast on nectar, blood, sweat, and bile. They can only ingest liquids.

- When threatened, the Etterati retract their head, legs, and wings into their egg, which may then roll.

- The Etterati can fly, albeit clumsily and lopsided due to the weight and shape of their relatively heavy eggshells.

- The Etterati tap to communicate, from whence their name originated. The tapping sounds like (ett-ett-ett). Their writing is a form of "Etterati-Scratch", a collection of scrawls and scribbles that has meaning in its intricacy. The Etterati's beaks are extremely strong, able to scratch and embed into stone tablets. (In ancient Gloria, humans would sometimes kill Etterati to use their beaks as hunting tools. The Etterati have not forgotten this insult.)

- The Etterati are on average two to three feet tall (in SI measurements)

- Etterati live between 15-30 years, on average. The oldest Etterati was 46. A fully formed, reproductive Etterati can be as young as 4.

Why are the Etterati Mystical?, Why are they asserted with Pluck?

- The Etterati are Gloria's most persistent denizens. They can be found in most any biome, seeking food, companionship, and wisdom.

- Etterati are known for their scrawled rock carvings, their obsession with numerology and predestination, and their collections of knowledge of astrology.

- The Etterati believe that the world's climate can be foretold from variations in the position of the sun and the moon and the stars and that the world's seasons and history is cyclical, like an egg. The Etterati were also the first to propose that the world was round, also like an egg.

- Long ago, during the time of the Demons, the Etterati were one of the few races unshackled by the Demonic Chaos. The Etterati hid within their shells and secreted themselves in the highest mountains and lowest caverns. The Etterati as a species observed the Demons, noted their movements, and made numerical calenders and predictions. They gathered data from the Floaters, from the Humans, and from others who would communicate with them, then generated a "Probability Web" which mapped out likely places Demons would be and actions that Demons would take. The Etterati discovered the method to the madness and chaos of the Demons, inventing the study of Chaos Theory.

- The Etterati scoff at human claims to have exorcised the Demons. Although the humans dealt the demons their death-blow, the only reason the Faithful humans were able to even strike at all was because of numerological predictions made by Etterati sages and related to the human survivors who had escaped the Demonic influences.

- Etterati are rightly proud of their accomplishments during the Order War. and they are forever vigilant, should the Demons come again. Sadly, the astrological signs indicate that the second coming of Chaos is nigh, and the Etterati are currently very concerned about this coming. They have begun to make preparations to deal with the demons, contacting their non-human allies. They will not make the mistake of notifying the greedy humans of their discoveries this time and often become quite reticient when discussing ideas with humanity. Far too many times they have been taken advantage of.

- Their plan for dealing with the demons, when they escape, is complicated. The Etterati believe that by teaching the other races (sans humans) the secrets of numerology and Chaos Theory, they can avoid the demons and render the chaos irrelevant. Few take the Etterati seriously, for most believe the Demons nearly eradicated, and if the Demons are not eradicated, then they would rather just kill the Demons outright. The Etterati know better- the Demons can never be truly slain, only avoided.

-And so the Etterati preach and study and think, mostly alone, but not in vain.

R E S O L U T I O N / S E L F - I M P R O V E M E N T / C L E A N L I N E S S


- Improves oneself and holds strong views that are well supported.
- Opposite: Does not hold strong views, will not self-improve. Lethargic and wishy-washy.



- Is very sincere. Says what one means and is known for being forthright.
- Opposite: Actively misleads.



-Is tolerant to others who have different beliefs or who are different from them.
- Opposite: Oppresses or excoriates others

T R A N Q U I L I T Y / A D A P T A B I L I T Y


- Is adaptable to new situations without being worried.
- The Opposite: Is generally annoyed and will be quick to anger when one does not get what one wants.

Taxonomic Emblematic- The Slake

The Slake
Retractable fingers extend and stretch skin like long strands of bubblegum. Yet, the skin remains tensile and manipulable. The Slake spend their days sitting in tranquility, their hands wandering far into the ocean in search of food. Sometimes the Slake spear a tasty morsel, othertimes they entangle one in the weave of their skin.

For most of the day, the Slake sit and meditate, gathering sun and energy that travels to their skin and keeps it stretchable.

The Slake generally reside near bodies of water. They would be numerous, if it were not for the shortening of days in the winter months and the darkness, which prohibits many Slake from gathering the energy necessary to extend their skin and to capture prey.

They have a weird system of communication, based in the vibration of their digits in the water. Their sensitive hands feel the vibrations from far distant, then tap out responses- directed toward their compatriots.

Humans inspired by the Slake invented the Zither and the Shimmerthizer (a synthesizer) to mimic the Slakes' sounds.

Adventurer's Log

1 - Analysis Esther Buonova, an exceedingly rich heiress requested the aid of experts for an anthropological study of the Slake. Her Conceptual Analysts believe that the Slake's physiology and method of communicating might be able to be adapted into a marketable underwater musical instrument. Bringing such a novelty to the world will segue nicely with Buonova's main business- selling portable swimming lakes. She might be able to scale the lakes up to stadium-size if the instrument's development and amplification of its sounds succeeds.

The Eternal Paradox[/u]
R E A L I S M -=-=-=- a n d -=-=-=- F A I T H
"To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual."
- Piet Mondrian (Ben Franklin) and the fellow with the rags to the riches tales.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 12:58:01 AM by Light Dragon » Logged

Gelatinous Cube

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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2012, 09:50:50 PM »


Gelatinous Cube

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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2012, 09:50:59 PM »

(73%) Humans (Playable)
(12%) Etterati (Playable)
(8%) The Floaters
(3%) The Demons
(2%) The Hijra "The Endless" (Playable?)
(1%) The Slake

Colour-Work Creatures (Golem Things) (Arguably Unsentient)

The Glick (Fey-Elemental Things) (Barely Sentient)
The Pica (Hummingbird Things) (Animals)


Statistics and Game System

Main Skills
-D8 Points maximum in each (although items or magic can improve a statistic beyond 8; however it is very rare that anything is higher than 8; perhaps only the most fortunate ever reach 10 in a given statistic.).
-There are no skills other than these. No special "climb" or "lift". All successes in those attributes are determined by adding the strength roll, or whatever would apply from the list of rolls below.
-1 is the lowest starting score in each skill. (Although play may cause the score to fall below 1).

STR (Lift, Climb, Push, Punch)
DEX (Run, Jump, Bend, Dodge)
CON (Take Damage, Resist Illness)
INT (Knowledge, Wisdom, Ranged Attack)
WILL (Willpower, Psychic Strength, Luck)
STAT (Status/Social Prowess, Purchasing Power)

Resolution of problems:
2d10+SKILL+Knowledge (+2 for a knowledge) versus an opposed DC
-normal human difficulty is a 9.

Hit Points - Derived from CON. CON+16.
Zero hit points is unconscious unless succeed on roll over a 10 on a 1d6+WILL.
-10 hit points is dead.

(A) Roll 1d6+STR to hit with a punch.
(B) Roll 1d6+DEX to dodge.
(A) A Rolls 1d6+STR or INT for damage (A's choice).
(B) Damage is deducted from HP which is derived from CON. If unconscious, roll over a 10 on 1d6+WILL and can still function until hit again.

-Gloria, however, does have virtues.
-The twelve virtues are listed on the first post of this page.
-Players do not gain experience, but they do gain virtue points which they can invest or spend as they wish.
-Gloria rewards role-playing more than most pen and paper games. It is designed to reward achievements in the virtues that make Gloria great, so the DM needs to be somewhat creative in the challenges which are provided to the characters.


Chastity (WILL)
Gain Virtue Points - The character is sorely tempted by a beautiful woman/man who is married to a jealous but powerful spouse. If the character deigns to sleep with him/her, the character will gain influence, or wealth, and if the character refuses, the character may be humiliated or ironically, accused of adultery. Yet, the character refuses, at some cost to the player.
Use Virtue Points Virtue points may be used in rolls. The character may use virtue points in Chastity to resist willpower rolls of opposing people. For example, someone trying to seduce the character will roll a willpower if the player is not willing. If the character has Chastity points banked, then they can add extra bonuses to resist the seducer's wiles.
Burning Virtue Points Virtue points can be "burned" or used up when the player wants to do something extremely special with the virtue point.

Examples include:
Chastity * = Can subsist without nourishment of the body or the soul (companionship, talk, enduring criticism) for several days.
Chastity ** = Numb oneself to the world's outer stimulii- walk into a burning building without feeling pain (but not unscathed).
Chastity *** = Your body has become your temple; nothing can impregnate you, nothing can give you diseases; you are at one with nature and the world and all its petty cares wash over you without any harm.

Note self: combine Chastity and Cleanliness.


Cleanliness (STAT)
Gain Virtue Points - The character goes out of her way to clean things, both literally and figuratively. She cleans a dirty street, she cleans up corruption, she keeps herself looking immaculate even when a duststorm or oilstorm is brewing around.
Use Virtue Points Virtue points may be used in rolls. The character may use virtue points in Cleanliness to resist status rolls of opposing people. For example, someone trying to assert their power in a social situation will roll against the player. If the player has Cleanliness points banked, then they can add extra bonuses to resist their opponent.
Burning Virtue Points Virtue points can be "burned" or used up when the player wants to do something extremely special with the virtue point.

Examples include:
Cleanliness * = Knows the secrets to seeming preternaturally clean and smells amazingly good regardless the situation. (Bonus for Social situations and for getting discounts).
Cleanliness ** = Cause others to be cowed by your appearance; whether they are social opponents or muggers. (Negatives to their rolls) and others may come to assist you in times of need. You always receive the best prices.
Cleanliness *** = The area around you seems to have its dust quiet, its particles hover around you, and wounds close when you treat them with your virtue. (Heal, etc.)


Humility (SOC/WILL)
Gain Virtue Points - The character fails to take full credit for an accomplishment. The character builds-up others. The character helps others. The character donates to the less fortunate.
Use Virtue Points Virtue points may be used in rolls. The character may use virtue points in Humility to resist status rolls of opposing people. For example, someone trying to assert their power in a social or willpower situation will roll against the player. If the player has Humility points banked, then they can add extra bonuses to resist their opponent.
Burning Virtue Points Virtue points can be "burned" or used up when the player wants to do something extremely special with the virtue point.

Examples include:
Humility * = No one notices you as you infiltrate a social gathering. You are able to take insults from others without social damage.
Humility ** = Those around you feel stronger due to your encouragement (allies receive bonuses).
Humility *** = Others feel humiliated by your humility and they at last give you the recognition that you deserve [Mother Teresa Syndrome]. (Bonus in social situations).

The Struggle

-A character may move on this axis, which can affect how the character interacts with others and especially how they interact with the Demons.
-A character who has a lot of faith will have trouble interacting with the denizens of Gloria, but they will be able to combat the Demons quite well.
-Conversely, a character with a great deal of reason may be able to move effortlessly in Gloria society, but they will have a great deal of difficulty confronting demons that re-emerge.
-Extremely rational characters also have a harder time working the Shimmer Magic.

NEW: Base equipment is purchased based on the status value of the character
1- You are a pauper. (Character has nothing). Character often goes hungry.
2- You may have a few items of limited use (a ball of string, a dull knife). Character sometimes goes hungry.
3- You may own some okay clothing but your work and your income is not guaranteed. You Character may go hungry.
4- You may own a small apartment. You won't go hungry, but you live a bit on the edge. If a debilitating sickness or a great debt hit, you could easily fall below the hunger-line.
5- You may own a small house. You are lower-middle class... respectable, if not always respected. You are likely a blue-collar or pink-collar worker.
6- You may own a medium house. You are middle class and are generally respected. You are likely white-collar.
7- You may own a large house. You are probably well-educated, and are a professional.
8- You are high society. You are probably a manager.
9- You are extremely rich. You probably don't work.
10- You are one of the very few ultra-rich.

The only magic is the Shimmer-Magic of the trigrams. Theoretically anyone could be a mage, but it takes learning to understand the right portions of liquid to pour into the trigrams. And it takes materials at hand to carry the correct trigrams into which to affect the changes.

Gloria does not, per se, have any classes. It is a classless system. But it does have "concepts". Players can choose certain concepts (detailed on page one) and play as those concepts for the duration of the game. The concepts can help guide the characters and define roles for them in the game, but are not meant to limit ideas. instead, the concepts are intended to facilitate ideas.

Taking Damage
There are no Hitpoints per se, but damage "soaks".
Damage is subtracted first against ARMOR, and then against CONSTITUTION. The higher the constitution, the more hte damage soaks.

After constitution is reduced to zero- the damage transfers to STR or DEX damage, reducing them (player's choice). When one reaches zero, the character is disabled; when both are reduced to zero the character is unconscious, then will is subtracted when the character is hit (plus -1 will each round until the player stabilizes)- if Will reaches zero, then the character dies.

Recovering After Damage
-After being damaged, rest can help restore Constitution, STR and DEX, as can healing. Until fully healed, the damaged statistic will be used for all saving rolls.

Other Things to Keep Track of
1. Wealth - Always important in Gloria is the wealth that is carried, the wealth that is worn (the richer one looks may determine other characters' reactions), and the wealth that is accessible in a bank. A character sheet will note all three things.
2. Influence - Often it is not how much you are worth, but who you know that determines your success in life. Influence measures the friends, allies, contacts that you have made in the world.

- There are strange things afoot in the land of Gloria. The Demons have begun gathering in greater and greater numbers...some argue this is because Faith has fallen, year by year, to the relentless push of Reason and Atheism. The Fifteen Virtues are frequently forgotten by fools trying to turn a quick profit. But the true paragons of Gloria, the true women and men who shaped the world and created the successful society still realize that the Virtues are where true Glory can be found.

As Adventurers, you are special people who fulfill these Virtues and who have gained great insights into the working of the natural world.

- Unless Stated otherwise, each Adventurer may only choose one Emblematic Focii from the menu provided.

The Advocate
- A wise orator. The rhetoric rolls off the advocate's tongue, convincing all to follow her attractive ideas.
- Of Faith or Reason
Typical Emblematic Focii: Justice, Luck, Pluck , Sincerity
Similar to: Charismatic Character

The Designers
- The designers create. They design architecture, engineer objects, paint art, or construct any of a number of myriad things. They are very industrious, full of pluck, a thirst for self-improvement and success.
- Creatures of Reason
Typical Emblematic Focii: Industrious , Pluck , Self-Improvement, Success
Similar to: _____

The Faithful
- Seeks the glory and power of all of the 15 Virtues.
- Power through Faith.
Typical Emblematic Focii: Any.
Similar to: Druid

Adventure Example
Hired by the Logician of Nonagon, the Adventurers are supposed to clean up the dock-side and eliminate the smut, gangs, and violence by the most efficient means possible.
- The most straightforward way to solve the problem could be through Force and Destruction; however, the dock-side is a complicated place, and often Force begets more force and misery as the gangs' may have stronger contacts. And even if gangleaders are eliminated, new ones might emerge.
- The true Gloria Hero will practice the 15 Virtues to remove the smut and muck and grime. They might Alter the mindset of the smugglers and gangs by talking with them and discovering their grievances, then present them with different Opportunities and show them how each of the opportunities can lead to greater fulfillment.
- Not everyone will agree with the heroes' solutions, however, and they will need to be mindful of double-agents, backstabbing former-allies, and worse.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 10:26:50 PM by Light Dragon » Logged

Gelatinous Cube

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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2012, 09:51:13 PM »

Shimmer Magic

Shimmer existed for millions of years underfoot, unnoticed and uncared for except when it contaminated water sources and caused people to hallucinate. Used for hundreds of years as a mild hallucinogen, Shimmer was first put to practical use when the botanist Ivan Pavlovich decided to experiment on cultivation and breeding of Shimmer which had heretofore been impossible.

Ivan Pavlovich's Grand Discovery
The first strange results happened when Pavlovich placed the shimmer in a plant growing mould that was shaped like the first trigram "˜°". He filled each section 2/3rds with pure shimmer and 1/3rd with water, then left it outside in the sun to grow. The water quickly evaporated as water is wont to do when exposed to raw shimmer. Notably, however, when placing the shimmer in its mold, Pavlovich had sliced a finger quite dreadfully, and he bled within all three of the mold sections.

Pavlovich crawled back to his home and treated his wound. The next day, when he saw the illusion from his kitchen window, he momentarily thought he must have ingested or snorted some of the shimmer or perhaps the wound had made him weak. So he went back to sleep. But even after sleeping off the effects and waking the next morning, he saw the illusion remained. When he moved the box of shimmer, the illusion also moved.

Eventually, after several neighbors and friends had seen the illusion, it was speculated that perhaps shimmer could set off airborne spores that caused mild hallucinations.

The Dawn of Shimmer
People began to experiment and realized that the shimmer actually was altering the quantum foam of reality itself, rather than just the minds of those affected by its presence.

Experimentation began, and the other 4 trigrams were discovered. Oddly, no other shapes of shimmer moulds had any effects save those of the five trigrams.

The Age of Shimmer
Today is the Age of Shimmer; industrious workers mass-manufacture the moulds, entrepreneurs sell, and craftspeople design and test new arrangements.

Shimmer is extracted from the ground by the use of massive pumps, then is transported to refining centers that remove impurities. Once refined, shimmer can be shipped to the craftspeople who design and test and mix new arrangements.

Molding/ Implementation
-Shimmer only exhibits magical properties when it is impressed and stamped in one of the Holy Trigram forms.

To create a proper shimmer mold, one pours liquid shimmer into a cast-iron mold. The shimmer will cool and form into magic.

Shimmer molds may be of various sizes and lengths. The longer the mold-the greater the power that will come from it, but with trigrams that have breaks, e.g.: - -, the spaces and the lines need to be proportional or else the mold will be a dud or its effects backfire.

LENGTH: The molds' need to be precisely cast. The lengths control the power, whereas the heft or width of trigrams control what type of magic may be effected.

WIDTH: The trigrams widths do not need to be straight lines- etched widths can vary along the trigrams' length- the etched and twisting variations lead to different magical effects--it is dangerous to not make the lines straight or proportional because twisted forms tend to backfire more often than not.

DEPTH: Shimmer may be stamped in near-2D forms, side by side and assembled to create specific magical rituals; or it may be formed in 3D forms to maximize Shimmer power. There is a great deal of research being done into all possible geometric combinations of Shimmer.

COMBINATIONS: -Cutting edge research also combines Shimmer with nontraditional elements of Argon, Krypton, and the other noble gases as these gases are isolated and injected into Shimmer-Presses. The combination of the gases allows for a wider variety of uses for Shimmer.

˜° Soul Sanguinate- Shimmer and Blood, Heated by the Beating Sun (The Soul) (The Eternal/Faith)

˜° Soul Sanguinate (sky, heaven)

Illusions, Divination
- This type of Shimmer Magic is used often by the predictors on the Empyrean Stock Exchange and by some on the Commodity Exchanges.
- The magic that someone like Xue Leavenstaking would use ranges from small near-2D shimmer trigrams that are shaped into a myriad amount of shapes. Each shape is tied to a certain Industry or Commodity. Xue has about 30 different Industries and Commodities.
- The great cost of his outlays lie first in the design, commissioning, and forging of a proper trigram for each industry. The development of a new Shimmer trigram is a laborious process of trial and error that consumes massive quantities of Shimmer in 'dud' experiments before the proper trigram is etched.
- Xue has developed many Shimmer powers himself. He may be considering selling redprints for his designs, but for the moment being he is enjoying the mystique and profits of being the only one able to make proper predictions for certain types of businesses.

˜² Flame - Shimmer and Flame (Fluid) (Creative)

˜² Flame

Alteration (Enchantment), Formation (Building Towers)
- This is probably the most common type of Shimmer.

The International Tower Was constructed from the side of the International Mountain by prodigious use of Flame Shimmer. Moulds were heated, then sunk into the side of the mountain. The process took months as engineers first arranged  moulds in an optimal formation, then waited while each mould activated through sequentially timed dynamite explosions. Maintenance requirements and leasing complications after an abnormally cold winter extinguished the smoldering flames and almost caused the tower's initial funding consortium to go bankrupt. 

However, angel investors swept in to rescue the project. They extracted the sunken molds, recast their shapes, then repositioned and resank the Shimmer. After several years, the project had reshaped a good deal of the mountain. Eleven years after the project was began, the International Tower opened- one of the largest structures in the world, and by far the sturdiest.

The most prestigious law firms, banking offices, and export trading corporations make their home in the International Tower. Rent is high and there is a waiting list for successful businesses to rent space within the Tower.

The Tower's most famous residents include the rich plutocrat, Eduward Lassik- the speculative investor whose team of engineers patented the process behind Temporary (Temporal) Conjuration from the Earth trigram. 

Note: The International Tower


˜µ Cryogen (Water)- Shimmer and Frozen Water, Cooled below 0 degrees celsius (Fluid) (Destructive)

˜µ Cryogen (Water)

Evocation (Destruction)

˜³ Diamond (Mountain) - Shimmer and Diamond (Permanent/Hard to Break) (Steady)

˜³ Diamond (Mountain)

Protective Spells

- These spells need to be extremely long to be useful. They were recently discovered by the scientists and some of the wealthier patrons have begun to place these mold trigrams on their buildings and on their clothing.

˜· Sod (Earth)- Shimmer and Wood/Carbon (Decomposes/Breaks) (Inconstant)

˜· Sod (Earth)

Conjuration (Temporary/Spontaneous Generation), Necromancy

˜´ Hu (Lake) - Currently does not produce anything
˜¶ Xue (Thunder) - Currently does not produce anything
˜± Feng (Wind) - Currently does not produce anything

- Shimmer Trigrams can be recognized by all people, but the science behind the trigrams is beyond most people's mien. The mathematics involved ranges on the level of higher level Calculus and geometrical engineering.
- People can use a Shimmer trigram if they don't know how to craft one; they can just pour the Shimmer into the molds.

Gelatinous Cube

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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2012, 09:51:27 PM »

Concepts in Gloria



- The Pound is the common unit of commerce. It represents a pound of blood, sweat, and happiness. The Libertarian counterpart is the Util. The Socialist Counterpart is the Favor, a paper fiat currency. A Pound itself has about a tenpenny of value if redeemed for the metals inside it.

- A solid Pound is a pound that actually is made out of a pound of value. It is worth about ten times that of a pound.

- Tenpenny is worth about 10 pennies. 5 Tenpennies equal one Pound.

- The Penny is the smallest official unit of currency and it is 1/50th of a pound. But, people have been known to create "Shaved Pennys" and "Half a Pennys" by splitting a penny in half.

- A Slug is a counterfeit Pound. A Penny Slug is a counterfeit Penny.



In bookkeeping, Blue represents a loss. Red represents a profit.

To be "In the Red" is to be profiting greatly.
To be "Blue" is to be losing money. "Feeling Blue" is also a euphemism for being sad. The Blues are a type of music that laments the loss of money and success.



I'd like to think that there are clothing styles that go in and out of vogue. There are upwardly mobile types of clothing styles. Generally, the more expensive and rare the clothing, the more likely that the rich will be wearing it.

Gender-Specific Clothing
1. Egalitarianism among the genders...because anyone can get rich. Although feminine garb tends to be more baroque, but hoop skirts, corsets, and other dresses that inhibit the ability to do work are in disfavor. Those complicated types of clothing are been inventive, but they promote too much laziness, so no one wears them.

2. If someone went to a job interview with a tattoo taking up half their face they would probably not get the job. A tattoo can be distracting. In some jobs that can be seen as a good thing, but usually it isn't. Some people will like the tattoo, but other customers may be turned off by it- so an employer is taking a risk by hiring someone with a huge tattoo on his face. I would say that they are more accepting of tattoos and spiked hair or rastafarians than would be Canada or the US in the 1950s, but they're still conservative for business reasons. The more glamorous and inventive jobs like  Consumer Artists will see people with tattoos or spiked hair.

Dress Norms
3. Dress norm is wildly variegated by the type of job that people are doing and the type of job that they are aspiring to work at. There is a lot of mimicry of the well-to-do's styles and in cheap knockoff versions of wealthy people's styles.

4. Dress is very class-conscious. People dress up. Think 1920s when everyone wore suits to work.

Where the Best Dressed People Go


Arterial Nerve Center - The heart of the city and the place where people come to talk, come to buy, and come to gawk. The Arterial Nerve Center has a dizzying array of the newest styles, the shrewdest inventions, and the most boisterous bowyers of merchandise. Constantly rotating, the Center boasts tiered stages where people construct elaborate displays and attempt to move merchandise. Scanty clothing, amorous aromas, and vibrant colors attract customers.

Souvenir Clothing


That wizard barely descends the tower, for fear of being swarmed by mobs of people who rip off his clothing to sell or trade to their loved ones (or other passers'-by). Once, the wizard, while shopping, was stripped completely naked. And then someone tried to shave off part of his skin while another lopped off some of the wizard's hair. Since that experience, the wizard has taken to hiring bodyguards.

Special Clothing Types
1. "DoppleSuit" "Twin Skin" "Flayed Skin" "Ripper Suits"
One type of opulent clothing is that of a human-skin suit, or a "DoppleSuit". Socially acceptable DoppleSuits are owned by the rich in society and are constructed from synthetically grown skin cells that can be worn as a mask or grafted onto one's skin--technology made possible by the use of Shimmer trigrams-- (although most who would graft choose facial reconstructive surgery instead). The DoppleSuits are worn as masks and as costumes. Instead of putting on a tuxedo, one might put on a dopple suit that is made through biological engineering.

The less opulent version and the more socially questionable version is that of the "Flayed Skin" or "Ripper Suits." Some of the tackiest Shimmer-prospectors and socially-upward mobile people have invested in these creations. These creations are cheaper when compared to the DoppleSuits and people on inspection cannot always tell the difference between a Ripper Suit and a "DoppleSuit." The Ripper Suits are actually ripped from the flesh of willing or unwilling donors.

There is only one source of the technology behind DoppleSuits although other corporations have attempted to imitate the style and the process through reverse-engineering. Dr. Esmerelda Lellaine of the L Corporation possesses the secret of the cell growth and no one knows if she has dared allow any written copies of the process survive.

a. Cheap Versions and Knock-Offs (Ripper Suits/ Flayed Skin)
The cheap skins are sometimes looted from graves, sometimes purchased from unscrupulous doctors who then 'lose' a dead body, or sometimes purchased from very poor people who want to give the money for their families to have a better life. People look with suspicion on any skin suit that has notable scars because it was likely unwillingly given and it certainly is not a synthetically created Dopple Suit.  Many have entered trials to determine if their skin is a Dopple Suit or a Ripper Suit. If a court finds that something is a Ripper Suit, then the trial shifts to whether it was freely given and if the donor was compensated.

Willing donors of Ripper suits are often compensated well after the donation (or their next of kin are). Almost all die, but some survive, sitting in mineral vats and in anti-germ areas while their skin slowly regrows and while they feast on painkillers for the pain. These "flayed humans" are looked on with awe for their grit in surviving the donation process.


Marigold. The only twice-skinned person. Her suits are well sought after and they fetch high bidding, even though the second is nowhere near as beautiful as the first. She lives in opulence as her first suit fetched a good price, but her second suit fetched the highest price ever paid for a Ripper Suit--a price as high as that of some of the better Dopple Suits.

b. Expensive Versions (Dopple Suit/ TwinSkin)
These biologically constructed suits are created through synthetic growing of skin in vats. Shimmer magic and oils are used to give them vibrancy and they can be worn. They are extremely expensive and are sometimes worn at masquerade balls. The rich often talk about "putting on a new skin" when they seek romantic partners and many have intercourse whilst wearing the skins, essentially buying a new body.


Was that too disturbing?  yum Support Mario's Tanooki Suit!  wub

c. Problems with Ripper Skin Donation
The legally tricky standard is when a Ripper skin donor demands recompense either wholly before or in part before and part after. Enforcement of the donation is difficult and needs to be done by bodyguards, so only the ultra-rich will allow a donor to receive benefits before the donation process in the event that a donor decides to flee. Donors who feast and survive on boons before donation are closely watched. A donor who changes his/her mind will be shunned by society for their duplicity, but custom dictates that the donor should be freed.

d. Social Acceptability
- Flayed skin that has scars is looked on highly negatively as people assume that the subject was tortured or killed for the skin. This creates a huge demand for professional Flayers who can do the job without scarring or stretching the body.

- Wrinkled Dopple Suits or Ripper Skin is sometimes laughed at as a symbol of someone trying too hard to appear to be upper class. If something is obviously a ripper suit, the wearer is often shunned.

- Donors of Ripper Suits are looked on with pity that they chose to donate their skin rather than to work hard and to progress. They are also looked on with confusion because they are trying to benefit others and act with altruism rather than to serve their own impulses, but the accumulation of money for one's descendants isn't considered too strange since children are considered property until they reach legal age. Donors are also respected for the grit that donation presupposes. Donors who receive their benefits first are looked on with envy by many. Many suspect that they will try to back out before donating and reap benefits without paying the cost, so they are seen with suspicion. Surviving donors are viewed with honor and surprise by others. Most willing donors choose to die rather than to waste the majority of the largess they received.

- Skin-Purveyors are purchasers of would-be Ripper Suits. They scour the undercities for likely looking desperate people without blemishes or with interesting skin formations to sell their bodies. Skin-purveyors are looked down on and are perhaps the only business class of Gloria residents who are hated. Some will throw rocks at them due to a few unscrupulous skin-purveyors who have tricked the underaged to donate or who have convinced the weak-willed to donate when their families did not wish it to be that way. A few neighborhoods welcome them, seeing them as an option for a family to rapidly become upwardly mobile.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 01:07:44 AM by Light Dragon » Logged

Gelatinous Cube

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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2012, 09:51:53 PM »

Festivals in Gloria

Dividend Day- The First (January 1)
The first day of the year is dividend day, when everyone's hard work pays off. Businesses give bonuses, the government returns excess taxes (as few as they may be), everyone takes off from work and the streets turn into a chaotic party. On dividend day, lovers reunite, and everything is given freely. It is the one day a year when no one cares about making money, but about sharing it-- since an ancient philosophical member of the Faith once said; "The key to making money is not what you have, but what you can share with others. Money must be spent before it can be made."  

Shopping Day(s) (x 15)
The Shopping Days are held the fifteenth of each month. On those days all stores stay open for 24 hours, people pull double shifts and all staff-members go into work. Of course, they take breaks in which they travel to nearby stores to contribute to the economic wealth of the country. These breaks may last 4 to 6 hours. Often, people do not sleep on these frenetic days of shopping and working.

Recycling and Memorial Day (February 21)
Held at the height of winter, the Day of Recycling is a somber affair where the residents of Gloria remember their dead and remember how everything is important, how all parts of a body are useful and may be monetized, how nothing should ever be thrown away if profit may be made from it and how nothing should ever be forgotten because who knows what use it may bring in the future. Still, Recycling and Memorial day is a day for endings.

Day of Sharing (March 1) [Socialists Only]
On this day, those of the Socialist philosophy give what they have to others; doors are held open to all who wish to enter; gifts are made (within reason), and the less fortunate are taken care of. The day is supposed to be one of happiness, but often the guests overstay their welcome or become too greedy. Even the nicest Socialist has sometimes been pushed too far on this bittersweet day of celebration.

Serviceday (March 1)
A day to commemorate those who serve in Gloria- the soldiers, and private security guards. They are covered in rings of roses and lauded in the news. Often, there are parades and massive floats on which the soldiers sit and wave.

Day of Piracy (April 1) [Libertarians Only]
A day to celebrate piracy and the lifeblood of the Libertarian Lands' society. On this day, many ships are robbed, people are held up, and more. Most in the Libertarian lands choose to stay inside on April 1st.

Adventureday (May 20)
This is a traditional day for setting out on a voyage, for beginning a new life, for starting a new business, or for beginning a marriage. There are few celebrations per se, but everyone holds Adventureday in their minds. It is a most auspicous day for beginnings.

AntiTaxation Day (June 1) [Mostly Libertarians]
Libertarians celebrate the abolition of taxes by hanging and burning tax-men in effigy and throwing them into bodies of water. They also burn symbolic kegs filled with fake coins and paper money, and distribute small firecrackers. Children often receive small green envelopes filled with coins on this day to celebrate their freedom from the shackles of tax.

Students' Day (June 15)
Held at the end of school year on (June 15th), Gloria's students celebrate the end of finals with a raffle, book sale/exchange, and festival. Much carousing is had and the bars tend to fill up with easily inebriated students who range in age from middle school to mid-20-year old graduate students.

National Day (July 1)
In Gloria, National Day is celebrated with banners and the distribution to banks of the year's newly minted money and coins. People flock to banks to collect limited edition coins and to gather the first print-run of paper cash. Hoards at the banks' gates push to get inside, and some have been trampled. But overall, the mood is one of celebration.

Shimmerday (August 1)
Held on (August 1st), Shimmerday commemorates the discovery of the practical applications of Shimmer- the magic of Gloria. The day begins with fireworks at the stroke of midnight and throughout the morning magic displays are demonstrated in neighborhoods that have paid for the spectacles. Traveling magicians and performers also join in the celebration, offering to sell their wares, or performing in the hopes that someone will contribute.

Returnday (August 17)
Students return to classes. Parents rejoice by often receiving time off from work to freely enjoy. (They are, however, required and expected to make up 50% of missed time by working during off-shift hours within the next 3 weeks.)

Bloodletting Day (Aug 20) [Only Socialists]
Among the Socialists, everything should be shared. But they realize that sometimes people forget to act benevolently, so they organize days where donations may be made. This day is particularly notable because it involves the donation of blood. The Socialists have perfected a process of blood transfusion and bodily liquid storage.

On this day, all good Socialists are to go to the nearest blood bank and donate, for the good of society..

Demonswatch (Sept 1) [Only Etterati]
Celebrated solely by the Etterati who remember the Demon War and who fear the return of the demons, this day begins with a candle-light vigil at night. It is a day of somber reflection and morning. If possible, the Etterati do not communicate during this day.

The Day of the Unknown Entrepreneur (Sept 21)
This day commemorates the entrepreneur whose businesses failed, or the person who succeeded, but only to a limited degree-- who was unable to take a business to "the next level". Even though they failed, they should be honored for making the effort, for their work, for their labor, and for the capital they invested in the economy which flowed down to the poor laborers who built their structures. On this day, people are encouraged to patronize small "mom and pop" shops.

Slake Day (Sept 30)
This day of rest, which precedes the March of the Faithful, is less and less honored by the populace who are concerned about remaining at work every possible day in order to maximize earning potential. However, traditionally this day was founded to remind Gloria-residents the importance of rest in order to recharge and to return to earning money.

Sadly, in recent times, politicians and businesspeople have criticized the day as a celebration of sloth. See Slake

March of the Faithful (Oct 1)
The Faithful, such as they are, organize a march once a year held on the first day of traditional harvest-time, dressed in white robes, from Gloria's northern gate to the city center. They march to commemorate the 15 noble virtues and to remind the city-dwellers of their past and the virtues to which they should aspire. Often they are accompanied by members of the Clique who lend their haunting melodies to the procession.

As the numbers of the Faithful have dwindled, the amount of those marching has likewise declined. What once used to be a dazzling parade has turned into a medium-sized march that is mostly ignored by Gloria's citizenry.

Glick-Day (Oct 10)
A day of energy. People are encouraged to go out and run, do sporting activities and to improve their body as they seek to become "as quick as a Glick" and as strong as they can be.

Many sporting events and competitions are traditionally held on Glick-day, and attendance at these events is always near capacity.

Day of Invention (Nov 1)
A day to celebrate invention and innovation. Residents of Gloria eagerly await this day as the traveling Glorious Exposition is held each year in a new city across the continent. At the Exposition, the newest inventions are unveiled to great fanfare and pomp, and the most famous inventors are honored.

Day of Geometry (Nov 5) [Only Floaters]
On this day the Floaters celebrate the creation of their race and the drafting of the world's geometric plan. The God of the World is particularly honored on this day by the Floaters crafting intricate structures and chiseling detailed patterns on stone, mud, and rock walls deep beneath the surface of the earth.

Icingcube! Day (Dec 24)
Celebrating the birth and creation of the Icingcube! The Amazing Cube that Melts In Your Mouth and Fills It With Warmth In the Winter! The Icingcube faery comes every december 24th, bringing Icingcubes to all good Gloria boys and girls.

The Icingcube! company: founded 40 years ago when it first chimed the now-famous jingle; "Always Icingcube!" invented the Icingcube! and marketed it in the dead of winter when people wanted something warm to fill their throats and bellies at night. The first Icingcubes! were distributed in a guerilla marketing campaign where Icingcubes! were delivered door to door to children in every household in Gloria and other selected marketing cities. The children quickly grew enamored of the cubes and demanded more from their parents. The Icingcubes! became favorite winter snacks.

And every year, 100,000 free Icingcubes! are still delivered, based on the results of a national lottery, on Icingcube! day. Those not fortunate enough to get a free Icingcube! go to stores to stock up on the amazing (and proprietary!) product.

The Neighborhood Watch + Law and Order

3. The Neighborhood Watch and Law and Order What makes Gloria work and what keeps it mostly free of crime is the Neighborhood Watch.

Basically, all of Gloria's citizens are deputized to make citizen's arrests. And many of them do. Some Watchpeople are more seasoned, having been elected, "commissioned", Block (Sgt.), District (Lt.), or Ward Captains. The Commissioned take care of much of the paperwork and are remunerated for their work. They are replaced in scheduled bi-yearly elections or special "snap elections" (scheduled on the signature of 75% of their constituents) if their constituents feel unsafe.

Gloria's citizens believe that the policy of vigilanteeism has worked well, so they continue to support the cheap, and effective, Neighborhood Watch.

Songs are sung about the Neighborhood Watch, and people are proud when their children enter into unions with Captains.


Corruption/Embezzlement - The Watchpeople do not have jurisdiction over White Collar Crimes. Instead, the Stock Exchange, Banks, and the Commodity Exchange are expected to self-regulate and they have been known to eliminate people in front of the ConsumerRights wall to make examples of them and to ensure confidence in the system.

If a Bank is ripping off consumers (or even rumored to be doing that), the usual consequence is that the money goes elsewhere. If a Bank ended up stealing money and there is nothing to recover, citizens have been known to hire mercenaries to hunt down and eliminate Bank Presidents, or to join together to employ elaborate schemes on a contingency basis to recover secreted-away assets.

Robbery The penalty for street-robbery is a slit throat- but only if the person is caught in the act, and only if all present witnesses can agree on the situation and the punishment.

Socialism Socialists and suspected Socialists are taken to the Bulletin, where they are branded lightly on the cheek with a frowning face, to express Gloria's deep disappointment with all things Socialist. Some Socialists are imprisoned. The mark functions as a Scarlet Letter and can have grave consequences for future employment possibilities.

Why Few Gloria-Residents Slit Throats
If there are no witnesses, or there are few witnesses, then few Gloria residents will slit throats, since after judging the caught thief, they must deliver the body to a "corpsecounter" and register their actions, then account before a judge in a "Watchhearing". If the judge finds their action ill-advised or their names as being of ill-repute and their opinions as of being of little-weight, fines or worse can be levied. This has led to few actual throat-slittings in practice, as people who often slit others throats, the "Watchbleeds", are looked on with increasing suspicion with each time they are brought before a Judge.

Witness Remuneration
If witnesses do not agree on the facts of the situation, then they must appear at court, where the case is tried before a judge. The witnesses may profit from the endeavor in any way possible, and most do, since the court fees for witnesses are quite low. Witnesses often receive remuneration from both the Plaintiff and the Defendant's sides. However, all remuneration must be registered in the Court's Register, so the judge can review whether or not the witness' testimony has been corrupted by the payment of bribes. Many witnesses also sell their stories to the three-penny dailies to supplement their income; this income must also be recorded.

Penalties for non-reporting income is to have the income confiscated, their testimony stricken, their name shamed, themselves imprisoned, and their names recorded as being of little-weight (which can have strong consequences related to the weight of any evidence they present should they be brought before a court in the future to defend in their own case--When someone's name has been entered on the "light weight" list of shamed people, it is not uncommon to see a barrage of lawsuits filed against them by people looking to capitalize on the "light weight's" misfortune).

The Elected Judiciary
Judges are selected from the richest of society. The theory is that the richer the judge, the less apt s/he is toward corruption. Being selected a Judge is considered affirmation of wealth, of character, and of power. Judges are generally honest either out of their nature or out of fear, because to be de-throned is a quick way for a rich person to rapidly become a "light weight", hounded by lawsuits and creditors.

Out of Character

Sander Thomas- Captain of the Watch 53 years old. Sander Thomas rose through the ranks of the Watch after stopping an assassination attempt on the Illuminated Mayor. He was immediately promoted to District Lieutenant, where he showed a remarkable head for numbers and management and inspiration of the volunteer Watchpeople. Within but a few years, the Glorious Hero was raised to Captain.

Sander is good natured, and often partakes of snuff, tobacco, and alcohol while on the job. He is quick to offer a sip to subordinates and to arrested malfeasants. He finds that liberally passing around the intoxicants generally makes aggressors more pliant and restful. (The alcohol he carries often sports higher than 30%).

Sander often walks around in a haze, and is known to make many paperwork mistakes while under the influence. This would be a large problem, except that he realizes he can be rash or foolish while zonked out. So, he hired a Mishu- a private secretary, spending his own coin for half of the investment. The Mishu anticipates Sander's needs and double-checks all his figures and work.

Sander is married to a noblewoman, the Lady Gwendolyn Wexley, a beauteous green eyed lady who met Sander the Summer after he saved the Illuminated Mayor's life. They have one child, a daughter who is 17 years old and who currently attends University in ____.

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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2012, 09:52:22 PM »


In Gloria: The Capitalist Utopia

Gloria has no gates, for it needs none. It is open to the world and the world is welcome to enter it. There are no guards at the exits and the city flows seemlessly into the countryside, growing and encompassing pieces of it. Some wise investors purchase the land surrounding Gloria when in middle-age, then sell when they are old, and then retire comfortably in villas skirting the outside of the city.

Out of Character

Enjoy yourself in Gloria!

- See Shadowpuppet Illusion Shows! in one of the many viewing-homes scattered across all the cities. Hear the pianos play while the preset Shimmer-Magic images play again and again on the walls. Some of the most cutting-edge Illusion shows, mostly those in larger viewing-halls, have even begun experimenting with hiring choirs to sing the illusion-creatures' words.

- Go to Apothecary Stores! and buy protective skin-coating, then go and impress the proletariat in the dock-side by burying yourself in burning coals, then emerging with nothing seared.

- Hunt Down the Flesh-Puppet-Stores and the animators of dead people's legs and arms. A large minority of wealthy aristocrats have these dancing legs, arms, crawling hands, blinking eyeballs, and more exotic movable parts on display. Although the possession of the body parts is not illegal per se, the parts' users need to prove that the person being buried did not opt-out of the "reusable body" clause in their burial agreement. If the aristocrats cannot track title to their dancing performers, the parts must be confiscated.

- Bet At the YoYo Races! And see if your YoYo Bird is the fastest. At the races, cages are set up and the YoYo Birds emerge from the opened grates, then pounce toward their ever evasive, ever moving prey. The fastest YoYo Bird to catch its prey wins. (The YoYo Birds strike out much quicker than most other beasts because when they strike they can leave half of their mass behind, weighted to a spot while the Birds' fleshy head spools out, wings beating and launched from the base like a jack-in-the-box. When the birds reach the end of their spooling skin, they snap back together. There have been several accidents at the Races, but now all YoYo Birds' necks are measured before they may compete and a standardized size is agreed upon.)

In Character

1. The Aeries The Aeries are a geodesic dome-like structure for part of their location; other parts are massive glass-enclosed structures that hold birds of every species from around Gloria.

Out of Character

Adventure! 1. Capture a rare flesh-eating bird that has escaped into the city ; 2. A hospital has hired you to extract the bone marrow from a bird in the Poisonous Bird Aerie ; 3. You have been transmuted into birds! How are you to ever escape the aeries? ; 4. The Conservator of the Aeries has hired you to capture several rare specemines that are scattered across the continent.)

The Stairway to Heaven What began as a side project by a ConsumerArtist blossomed into a full-fledged extravaganza. The melding of steel and the welding of discarded steel upon steel began as a design for a roost for birds in the zoological portion of the Aeries. What it evolved into was something amazing and strange. The Stairway is a series of beams and boom wires that ascends hundreds of feet into the air. Soaring high, the Stairway is encased in a wire mesh that raises as the structure soars higher. At several points, the artist built places to sit or stand.

After seven years of building, tourists to the Aerie clamoured to ascend the Stairway and more construction was ordered. An actual staircase blossomed and more steel was added. Then grass and trees and leaves were brought in to fit on the staircase and flowers bloomed and more life came to the staircase.

The staircase is still growing. And some visitors, it is said, never leave. They subsist on fruits that grow on the Aerie. The artist too always labors, always building higher and higher until one day, people say, he will reach the sky. The Staircase is Gloria's tallest structure- taller even than the Stock Exchange.

Out of Character

ConsumerArtistry - Art for profit. In Gloria, it is the only kind of art these days. It stands in contrast to the People's Art of the Socialist Lands or the Faithful Art of Ancient Gloria when the aesthetic was produced on large-scale through donations for the love of the land to commemorate the destruction of demons.

In Character

2. The Agrocology The Agrocology is a tiered structure built on a hill in the midst of the newest outgrowth of Gloria- Saintly Sandal. The Agrocology is over 250 acres large on one level and is simply gigantic. But beyond the one dimension, the agrocology also makes use of tiered wooden structures on which it grows its crops. The structures are canted to allow for the greatest amount of sun to penetrate to the ground floor. On the top layer, wheat grows, on the bottom layer, in the fertile soil, rice grows along with watermelon and raspberry vines (in the sunnier areas). The Agrocology's food feeds a good portion of Gloria's citizens and its usefulness cannot be underestimated. The Agrocology's owner, the Agronomist, is always searching for new and better ways to nurture and grow crops.

4. The Financial District

The Financial District is the heart of Gloria, and the soul. It is (literally) a cauldron of invention and speculation. From the Seaport Commodity Exchange, and the Empyrian (Celestial) Stock Exchange to the Aerial Nerve Center, information is at a premium, and knowledge flows. The Color Work Creatures push through the crowds to deliver up-to-the-minute information, all the time bleeding their jazz-like music as they snake sinewy through the masses. Far from the masses, Shimmer-Workers sequestered in metal-encased research facilities work on employing Shimmer to prognosticate about rainfall, days of sun, and other astrological events.

Enterprise Street, a wide boulevard, winds its way throughout the Financial District, touching on many of the major exchanges and enterprises from the Empyrian Stock Exchange to the Seaport Commodity Exchange and the Arterial Nerve Center.

At the Seaport Commodity Exchange, Investments may be made in crop types; farmers and their representatives come from miles around pitching their particular geography and explaining why businessmen should invest in their land. Investments also, of course, go into Shimmer technologies, and in shipping ventures. A few adventuring companies have also made names for themselves, and are publicly listed- they are funded by businesspeople and out-kitted, then they distribute profits amongst their investors.


Seaport Commodity Listings -Adventuring Companies, Commodities, Land, Shimmer technologies

Out of Character

The Floater's Rogues - Consisting of one of the few Floaters who has deigned fit to explore above-ground and to associate with humans, and four humans, the Floater's Rogues is one of the premier adventuring companies. The Floater has extensive knowledge of the crystal and shimmer formations in caverns surrounding Gloria and has done battle with the massive underground Alghoi-Khoroki and has stood strong against the Glimmerwyrms which "blink" and flit around cavern cavities.

The Floater's predictive diagrams have saved the party many a time; and its almost prescient predictions and foreknowledge of the flows of energy underneath the land have served it well in battles.

The Floater's Rogues have recovered vast amounts of wealth from the deepest depths, excavating ancient pirate stashes from bygone ages before Gloria achieved its current sophistication.

Currently, on the stock exchange, the Floater's Rogues are valued the most. They may not bring in the largest sums- The Hoarders probably hold that distinction- yet, despite numerous assassination attempts against the Floater; the people have the most faith in the Floater and his human allies' continued subterranean successes.

The Empyrian (Celestial) Stock Exchange is a  bit different from the common Commodity exchange. The Empyrian Exchange is more cerebral, more abstract, more philosophical. The Empyrian exchange trades in predictions. There are some who believe that its Seats can shape the future through use of Shimmer.

The Exchange sits on massive trigrams-- carved from stone as deep as a tall-ship mast. The stone was quarried and hauled from mountains to the city's east. At night, the molds glow with the after-light of prior filled shimmer-magic. The trigrams are moved when needed, rotating on a turntable that slowly, but reliably can be cranked around and around by a team of elephants and Color-Work creatures.

The entire structure, from the color-work creatures at its base, to the trigrams themselves, to the magic and light at their summit, glows with neon lights as the trades conduct- every night from darkfall until daybreak.

The predictions that are traded in can only be afforded by the richest of Gloria's citizens. Whether or not a storm will ruin the crops in coastal regions can be effected-- people buy and sell possibilities during set bidding periods of days, weeks, months. The winning bid will then shape the prediction of the Seats (or the traders/mystics who operate the massive trigrams and who manage the Exchange's massive stores of excess shimmer), and often-- the wish will happen; or else there will be a refund.

The large magical trigrams are the strongest in all of Gloria. The entrepreneur who ordered them quarried and placed them in the city- Titus Empyrean- is one of the world's shrewdest businesspeople and it is rumored he is the world's most powerful man. Yet, he is rarely seen. It is rumored that he has a debilitating fear of open spaces and of sickness and murder by business rivals, so he spends his days ensconced in a tiny room filled entirely with feathers. He communicates with the outside world and purchases provisions through utilizing Color-Work Creatures who deliver his desires. Some say Titus perished several years before, but a stream of prostitutes to his quarters and the stories they tell insinuates that the man yet lives.


Titus Empyrean is a man of great means and many business ventures. He controls the Empyrean Stock Exchange and the prediction markets. With his wealth, he has constructed seven towers scattered across the city of Gloria (home to four) and the continent.

The four in Gloria are-
1. Titus Tower I
2. Titus Tower III.
3. Titus Tower V
4. Titus Tower VII: Waterfall Park

These towers are home to some of the most famous in Gloria as well as some of the most famous boutique shops.

Bankers set up shop in the Financial District as well, offering rates that range wide from cut-rate interest to usurious amounts of 100% on some astounding short-term and risky loans. Default is dealt with in many ways, sometimes resulting in indentured servitude, sometimes garnishment of wages, sometimes garnishment of limbs (listed as collateral), sometimes accepted slavery (in the Jungles of Shimmer, or within the Colosseum, or on the Galleys at sea.)

The Bankers' buildings are generally tall, angular, and strong-looking. Many extend down several stories into the ground and almost all soar high overhead- the only taller buildings are those of the Commodity and Stock traders. Bankers are almost universally known for their ostentatious displays of wealth. For students, to gain an internship at a bank is one of the greatest achievements to which they can aspire.

The banks each issue their own currency, which is traded and weighed daily. Banks and newspapers have a symbiotic relationship as merchants must somehow discover the proper exchange rate for each banks' currencies. Banks' issuances are audited by stockholder committees and by a government organization that is funded by fees that the banks pay.

Glorians only trust the power of the market for their currencies; gold may be bartered as a shiny gift, but it is not an accepted currency or basis for a currency. The only basis for currency is work.

All currencies in Gloria are backed by individual banks and corporations; however, the pound and the pence is the goal toward which all currencies strive and against which all currencies are weighted. The pound is equal to a days worth of traditional fair agricultural labour and it is comprised of 100 pence; ten for each hour of the day in which an agricultural laborer works.

Penelope Cuiraiss, the Currency Crafter manages the most successful of many firms that arbitrage among the bank currencies. She bundles “packages” of currencies that she values and sells on a forward-looking futures market. She works closely with the Shimmer Psychic, Cassandra Pavlova, who owns the chain Better Predictions and who lives in Titus Tower VII: Waterfall Park.

Notable Banks

The Cooperative - A socialist experiment. The people who borrow from the cooperative enter into a way of life. They agree to lend all their possessions to everyone else in the cooperative. Each member gains a list of each other member's address and all their known possessions, from their home to their dining utensils. Everything is shared, from items, to marriage partners (if willing). The Cooperative is gaining in popularity, all of which is part of an expatriate Socialist-Lander's (Sevastus Stierpiek) nefarious plan to gradually subvert the city's selfish capitalist values.

Crazy Crow's - Crow's, a one-man operation out of a pushcart specializes in crazy investments. Crow is an eccentric wealthy old man who boasts a six-foot long beard. He sits cross legged, one foot drooping off the side of his cart and listens to petitions for loans from sunrise until noon-time every day. In the afternoon, he meets with the most promising of the recipients.

Eve's - A simple bank with simple terms. Eve's most unique loan is the "growth policy" loan where they lend money to purchase crops and then take "in kind" payment of crops for the future-- but they do not limit themselves to lending to farmers. They even lend to people creating personal gardens in their homes. As collateral, they require receivers of loans to collect their urine and household waste. Eve's then resells the waste to dealers who specialize in acid and in fertilizer.

The Good Neighbor - Loans "in-kind" and facilitates people's transactions and "trade downs"; the Good Neighbor fixes up damaged goods and resells it to other people who need those goods in turn for cash. Less a bank than a rummage market, the Good Neighbor is quite popular among Gloria's underclass and boasts some of Gloria's more skilled repairspeople.

Illych, Jaworski, & Krom - Founded by three ex-adventurers, this bank is a rough-and-tumble place made out of wood. It boasts a big bouncer by the door who also acts as a collection agent. Their slogan is "Few Questions Asked; Low Interest Loans... But We're Interested in Full Payment"

ITC (Ilimden Trading Company)- ITC also operates massive stock operations, trading in cattle futures and property. ITC owns a great deal of property around the city and is constantly trading the property to its bank members- convincing them that the investment will always increase in value since more and more people stream into Gloria each year. This ponzi scheme seems as though it will continue to bring in revenues at least for the next few years since IIC has not yet gotten greedy; a usual guaranteed "flip" to other IIC members is only a gain of 5% on investment per year. The company is uniquely well managed and has yet to have gotten greedy with its investment promises-- perhaps since its CEO, Mars Ilimden lost much of his inheritance thirty years ago during the waning days of the great "stone animal friend" pyramid scheme trading and collecting scam.

Indentured Incorporated - The preferred loan collateral is the labor of the person asking for the loan, or a pound of flesh-- which is considered quite the delicacy by some denizens of Gloria.

Shimmer - The highest end bank. Its logo is a black trigram encircled by floating crystals on a diamond band. Shimmer takes on massive amounts of risk, but has massive amounts of reserve. They are, nonetheless, picky about who they lend to. Their headquarters is one of Gloria's most strongly defended places- boasting guards, mercenaries, traps, surveillance, and more. Many a thief has been found impaled on the walls of the safe- and tens have been caught wandering the halls attempting to impersonate guards. Perhaps some day the safe will be robbed, but that day will not be any day soon- at least as long as the chief of security, Majordomo Schnell is on the job.

Arterial Nerve Center - The heart of the city and the place where people come to talk, come to buy, and come to gawk. The Arterial Nerve Center has a dizzying array of the newest styles, the shrewdest inventions, and the most boisterous bowyers of merchandise. Constantly rotating, the Center boasts tiered stages where people construct elaborate displays and attempt to move merchandise. Scanty clothing, amorous aromas, and vibrant colors attract customers.

At the other end of the nerve center is the Speaker's Corner where anyone can speak, for a price. After paying the fee, a person can speak and earn coins from passers-by who debate, or listen. Many new ideas have started in the Speaker's Corner- because the price for speaking is not cheap- so the words must be well-thought.

News also is paramount in the Arterial Nerve Center. Located underground are the massive printing presses, run by Color-Work creatures. From thin holes in the ground poke out broadsheets, which may be purchased by inserting coins into slots. The broadsheets advertise news, and products for the consumers. Some are distributed free of charge, others for a pittance. Each broadsheet, of course, attempts to be louder and attract more attention than the last. Some have included scratch and smell advertisements in an effort to appeal to more senses of the readers. Some broadsheets are experimenting with edible paper. The alchemists, however, have failed to produce such a wonder that is not toxic. Shimmer-Workers have been said to be working on the problem.

The Nerve Center is at the middle of the Financial District on the edge of Enterprise Street and each day thousands pass its streets, walking to and fro to banks, to stock exchanges, law offices, and trading floors. The Nerve Center is kept impeccably clean by scavengers who earn money for reselling every scrap of trash that falls to the ground. They may not earn much, and in fact they live a life on the edge of nourishment and existence, but they can survive by cleaning the district's streets and have organized themselves into a guild of Street Scavengers.

Near the Arterial Nerve Center is the monument to the Shimmer Molds (See Below).

The Shimmer Molds A historical museum that is half indoors and half outdoors. The Shimmer Molds which honor the first pouring of Shimmer into the holy trigrams are placed in the Plaza in front of the Arterial Nerve Center.

Each night there is a display of Shimmer-pouring and magic.  Mostly, the shows make use of Soul Sanguinate Shimmer and produce vaporous and alluring illusions of intertwining color, and rarely odor. The shows are not, however, free. The streets are roped off for the nightly shows, admitting only those who have the coin to enjoy the display. Excess revenue from the viewing-fee goes toward improvement of Gloria's public works.

The Chambers of Commerce
The Chambers of Commerce, a glorious 35-story building, and one of the taller business structures is located in the Arterial Nerve Center. On their exterior wall, they project Shimmer-fueled illusions of product advertisements, and at all hours color-work creatures can be seen ascending and descending the Chambers' exterior gear powered lifts.

Inside, the lifts are more safe- they are controlled by pulleys, levers, and color-work creatures which monitor stability and strain and pull to keep the lifts aloft. The lifts are exceptionally fast in bringing workers from the basement to the building's apex.

The building contains about 3,000 workers (and hundreds of temporary workers such as chefs, concierges, busboys, who are not counted in the total). The workers' specialties range from advertising, to networking, to expertise in beginning (incubating) small businesses. Inside, they shuffle papers, organize seminar presentations, host conferences (on floors 2-5), and assist small business people in gaining loans and determining where to locate their businesses.

On the first floor is a massive map powered with shimmer-magic that dynamically changes to demonstrate the traffic flow of pedestrians in the Arterial Nerve Center- which has been ringed with Shimmer-Sensors to determine foot-traffic. Once the information comes into the Chamber of Commerce- 5 workers analyze the pressure on the ground to determine if the pressure is from foot-traffic or from vehicles, or color-work creatures. The workers, then input the data into a "braille" machine that stamps the information into dots that are then read by the map. Eventually, the Chamber hopes to dynamically construct a traffic-flow pattern for every street in the city, but their current plan is quite expensive and so they are limited in what they can accomplish.

The map (The Commerce Map) also demonstrates the location of all businesses in the city. It displays important information such as revenue (given in a range- the exact data is proprietary information), customers/day (another range), and time of day most active. Businesses also have small flags sticking out from them to indicate if there are several businesses in the same place. All businesses are color coded. The map can become quite overwhelming to the beginning entrepreneur, and the Chamber boasts several guides who explain the functions and who can help a beginning entrepreneur make decisions about where they wish to locate their store. The guides are called the Commercialists- they know a virtual library of information about who lives where, who demands what, which areas of the city need what, and more. The Commercialists are in high demand once they leave the Chamber's employ... but the chamber pays well and requires all Commercialists to sign a 12 year minimum contract. Still, most Commercialists leave for private practice after their stint at the Chamber.

The Chamber is a semi-private organization that operates based on donations given by companies and individuals which make use of its services and expertise. Thousands of Gloria-Residents travel to its outposts which are scattered throughout the city to seek advice and help in starting their businesses and in learning the tricks of advertising and in seeing its help in gaining connections and mentors in the business community.

Although others have tried to set up their own advertising-lesson classes, the Chamber's are seen as the most prestigious and the certificate for attending a class is highly prized among small business people and their customers. A certified certificate for the area of business done by the businessman is often posted on the store or restaurant window.

Some Classes

Some Classes
Restauranteering 101, Maximizing Space Potential, Attracting Customers, A Better Aesthetic, Managing Employees, Disciplining Employees, Making Your First 10,000, Buying Your Next Store, Freeloaders and Your Store, Shoplifiting?, Dealing With Disasters, Franchising?, Dealing With Rude Customers, Maximizing Yearly Returns, Long Term Planning, Short Term Planning, Estate Planning, The Family Business, Investing In Properties, Advertising For Beginners, Using Shimmer To Maximize Your Potential, Outsourcing?.

Tracks Include: Accounting, Advertising, After Retirement, The Family Business, Franchising, Investment, Overhead, Personnel, Restaurants, Scaling, Selling Out, Shimmer and the Store, Shops, Sourcing, Transport.  

Adventurers' Quarters

Many retired adventurers make their homes on what was once the outskirts of Gloria- surrounded by farmland. However, the area has since become a mess of merchants, roadies, and Gloria-residents who seek to bask in the Adventurers' reflected Glory.

Outside one Wizard's tower, for example, is a plethora of ramshackle tent-shops that sell artifacts from the Wizard's defeat of a Bone Dragon (they have sold ten bone dragons' worth of knucklebones alone.); shops that sell what they claim are "Jenuine Lissenssed Wizzzards' Aphrodesiaccck"; a "museum" of the Wizards' life history ; shops that sell licensed and unlicensed and "uncut" and annotated versions of the Wizard's life ; shops that sell tiny little statues of the Wizard doing unspeakable things to a Bone Dragon, and more.

That wizard barely descends the tower, for fear of being swarmed by mobs of people who rip off his clothing to sell or trade to their loved ones (or other passers'-by). Once, the wizard, while shopping, was stripped completely naked. And then someone tried to shave off part of his skin while another lopped off some of the wizard's hair. Since that experience, the wizard has taken to hiring bodyguards.

The wizard then began leaving his tower through use of a fly spell. This however, only avoids the lion's share of admirers-  but not every single one. In the sky outside his tower a troupe performs and recreates the wizard's showdown with the bone dragon daily (if a certain amount of coin is collected from spectators). And the troupe is only too glad to have the wizard join them when they are practicing.

Restaurants in Gloria

Gloria is a gourmand's paradise. Boasting flavors and colours from all ends of the world, exotic dishes such as Socialist's Shared Pot Pie, to Libertarian Lentils, Gloria's chefs can cook up almost anything-- and make it taste delicious.

Arbogast's - ***** Boasting a glass wall of Shimmer-oil that flows like water; this decadent glass four-story ziggurat rises near the Chambers of Commerce. The biggest business deals, the most important people, and the richest glitterati all make a visit to Arbogast's at least once in their lives. ($$$$$$$$$$)

Floater's Paradise - *** "They Make Mud Appetizing" is what the commonfolk have to say about the "Paradise" and that is basically true. The Floater's Paradise, located about 25 feet underground, serves common Floater recipes, like dirt turnip, battered worms, and over 300 varieties of dirt (when combined with 200 varieties of spices, this amounts to millions of permutations.) The food is top-quality, but far too strange to a human's taste to merit more than three stars. Trendy youths and floaters can be found in the "Paradise." ($$$$$)

H - **** Brewing the finest sweet beverages in Gloria, H caters to the Hijra and smothers all of their food (mainly vegetables) in sweet gelatinous liquids. The food becomes inundated with the sweetness and titillates the taste buds. Some humans have left H and nearly lost their sense of taste- but almost all agreed that the experience was well worth the sensory torture. ($$$$$$)

City Parks in Gloria

City Parks City parks are funded by user fees. The fees are relatively low, but everyone pays them to enjoy the open spaces. The parks are generally kept-up very well and there are no poor people sleeping on benches (they cannot afford the price.)

A family can often enjoy a happy day lounging at the park- tossing frisbees, throwing balls, or exercising their family pets.

There are only three "Public" parks where people do not have to pay to enter them in Gloria. These parks include the Northern District Park, which is slightly dilapidated since no one pays for upkeep. The brick sidewalks are filled with overgrown weeds and no one has ever cut the grass.

The Open Park, in the South is in better shape, since its community bought the park about seventy years ago and opened it to the public. The community continues to maintain the park and assess a yearly fee against all residents for use. Periodically there are votes to close off the park- but no one wants to pay for a fence-- which would likely cost 3 years of fee wages-- when the trespass of people into the park has yet to become a problem.

The New City Park is a vast park at the edge of the city which bleeds into farmland. The New City park is free to enter but inside it, the facilities cost money to use. From the volleyball fields, to the bathrooms, to the numerous shops-- the Park is littered with opportunities to spend money. Also, the owners collect all trash from its guests and resell and reprocess the waste.

Public Works in Gloria

Taxes. Why would Gloria have taxes to support roads and sewage. Would not taxes harm the entrepreneurial spirit? Indeed, they would. But all benefit from public services like roads and sewage and police and fire protection (albeit in Gloria the police protection is managed publically without imposing costs on any, see the Neighborhood Watch above.

Private Security and Fire Others may hire private security forces; fire is managed by volunteerism as well- although there have been calls to establish a professional fire-fighting force, those calls have often been shouted down.) In Gloria, the roads and sewage are first assessed against the use of the building. Then, excess fees gathered from city museums, musical shows, the Shimmer Mold shows, City Parks, and other public events, all go towards payment for the roads and for salaries for the city's leaders. The lack of excess money in the improvement game goes a long way towards reducing opportunities for cronyism or overt corruption in the government.

Contractors Still, the government must choose contractors to repair or construct roads. How do they choose these contractors? The government allows the block that is having the construction being done on review the applicants at a meeting of the local chamber of commerce. At that meeting, the bids are made and the people decide who should fix the roads; then the repairs are made.

Corruption?This democratization of government that is run by the capitalists who both pay for the correction and who benefit from it has proved highly efficient and has lead to Gloria being one of the most famous, corruption-free governments (the Chambers of Commerce, however, can at times be favoritist and game the system toward business allies by tinkering with their advice.)

Adventures in Gloria City

1. Defend/Rob the Shimmer Bank Seemingly impenetrable. Can you break the bank, or prevent the crime of the century.
2. Hunt Corruption You have been hired to hunt down corrupt officials. Follow their trails, expose them, and bring them to justice. (Hunt corruption at the Chamber of Commerce and follow a seedy trail into the underworld of dark alleys, shady bars, abandoned office-buildings, and construction yards.)
3. Open a Business in Gloria It is an adventure, it is a struggle. Go it alone and confront business traffic and customer interest dilemmas. Advertise, compete against copy-cat competitors, and more! Get help from the Chambers of Commerce. Attend business classes and level-up your skills. (Bribe?) (Fight?) or follow the more traditional paths of out-working and out-thinking your competitors. Open franchises and expand your empire. Invent new and amazing products!
4. Foment A Socialist Rebellion Read the writings of Tybald Glissifur at Tientan University and get inside the mind of a socialist. Then meet a real expatriate from the socialist lands! Sevastus Stierpiek of The Cooperative Bank. Work with him to overthrow the settled interests and establish a socialist paradise. (Strongly Not Recommended.)
5. Crush A Socialist Rebellion Dark forces are working in the underbelly of Gloria-- seeking to take away the wealth that has been created by the productive classes. Infiltrate their organization, discover their leaders, their governing structure, then crush them with extreme prejudicial force.

  -The Gloria Underground
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 01:19:44 AM by Light Dragon » Logged

Gelatinous Cube

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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2012, 09:52:42 PM »

Tientan: Tourism, Philosophy, Economy, and Trols


This mountain citadel is the gate to heaven, or so the locals say.

Tientan is a hub of tourists, coming to see the hometown of ancient philosophers, and purchase the latest in philosophical writings. Throughout Gloria, economic philosophy is much in demand. People display pages and cuttings from economic philosophical texts on the walls of their homes in the same way that other people display art. And much of these economic texts are works of art in themselves. The economic models, statistical analyses, expected-valuation charts and revenue curves are of great interest. People collect the proven economic models of successful businesses, and prints are often sold.

Tientan, through the use of shimmer magic, is also Gloria's largest producer of "correction ink" which can be used to 'write over' a previously written-to document. The "correction" can be removed by wiping it off, which will reveal the information below, but will destroy the information above.

Tientan is home to Tientan University, one of Gloria's most famous. It was the home of Ilsildur the Elder, and Orrerey the Econometrician. Current lecturers include Wendy Qwaven, an expert in large-crowd psychology, and the eccentric Tybald Glissifur, who specializes in expanding markets and who studies the sociology of the Socialist lands. He often goes on trips to the North, and some slanderous accusations state that he has gone-native and is not trying to indoctrinate his students into vile Socialist learning.

The Trol of Tientan is an interesting place. The Trol is a fey unsleeping being who appears to be trapped within the bounds of Tientan University. the Trol is three meters tall (nine feet) and is a very dour creature. The Trol continually walks from one end of the University to another, trolling and searching for an escape from the University's bounds. Every time the Trol hesitates, it begins to harden into stone, which hurts it with excruciating pain. The Trol appeared in Tientan some time ago during the descent of the Demons. Some argue that the Trol itself is a demon, but that remains to be proved. The Trol claims it is a transdimensionary creature that exists on several planes of existence and is currently imprisoned on one so it astrally projected itself to this world. That theory has become the most accepted one, but it is unprovable. A small group of people suggest that the Trol really is a minor demon that has managed to cloak itself in a more benign form. The Trol often executes "miracles", crafting stone or other minerals from claps of its hand. But each day the Trol may only create a minor amount of miracles. With each miracle, the Trol hardens and gasps in pain.

The Trol has not, to anyone's knowledge, ever consumed any food, nor has it ever threatened anyone. No one knows exactly WHY the Trol is or what it really is doing within the bounds of Tientan. For a brief time, Professor Gillickuy of the Radicality Department taught a seminar class on Trolism, but when Gillickuy and the Dean (who came from the Rationality Department) had a falling-out over teaching styles, Gillickuy transfered to a third-tier university in Gloria.

Gelatinous Cube

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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2012, 09:53:10 PM »



The Shimmering Mountain

 Located on the opposite side of a massive gorge from Cantileval, Magicantal looks down on the Magicant valley below where splendid springs, multicoloured paint pots and glorious black shimmer wells to the surface, erupting at regular intervals at one of four designated "national scenic and historic" locations. At the other shimmer spouts, massive rigs loom, harnessing and pumping the all-important magical essence.

Magicantal was formerly renowned for its feather gatherers, its glacial explorers, its salt mines (in the valley), and for being a place of relaxing retreat for when people came down with Tuberculosis and summered in Magicantal's fine sanatariums. The city however, lost much of its bedroom community flair when Shimmer was discovered to be magical. The discovery sparked a land-rush to Magicantal, one whose effects are still felt to this day.

All across Magicantal's once pristine cliffs sit the decaying remains of foolishly sited shimmer wells. The shimmer is mostly located at the foot of the valley, near the salt domes, but during the rush people erected drilling rigs everywhere. Land prices soared during the rush, with a five meter square location fetching over 5,500% of its original price less than a year after discovery. Within but four years, several of the most famous gushers, the Spirit and Opportunity, both of which yielded over 3,500,000 barrels/year at their peak, were played out. And with the discovery of Shimmer in many other locations around Gloria, the price of Shimmer itself went down and with it, the price of land.

Cartelization of Shimmer Markets
Magicantal still does well for itself, however, as landowners quickly realized the importance of cartelization for both keeping prices high, and for ensuring that Shimmer is not wasted. During the Rush, millions of barrels were stored in rotting kegs because the market supply was greater than the demand of engineers who could work with the Shimmer. The stored shimmer however turned "potted" after over two years in storage and became wild and nearly unseable.

The Shimmer producers of Magicantal then decided to make an agreement pooling their territory voluntarily and allocating maximum "allowables" that each landowner could withdraw from the land.

The system worked well when everyone was willing to voluntarily pool, however, not all pooled voluntarily- some argued that contrary to the landowners' claims that Shimmer flowed equally under all landowners tracts that Shimmer was present in reservoirs under certain places and that the landowners directly over the reservoirs should have larger allowables or else they would suffer drainage from neighboring owners.

Those who did not voluntarily pool, however, found themselves in a bit of difficulty when time came to get their Shimmer to market. First, few in Magicantal were willing to transport the Shimmer-- many were "bought off" by the pooling cartelized landowners. So the "Refusers" who did not pool offered a higher buy out price. Then, once the Shimmer was in transit, those who pooled offered to purchase the excess Shimmer. Some Refusers gave in, and sold out at current market price; others, being greedy went to market and the first to market realized gains, the slower ones however sold at lower market prices and regretted not selling out to their neighboring pooled landowners.

Still, this presented a problem for the Pooled ones, they were out money for purchasing the excess Shimmer and they could only store the excess Shimmer for so long, so they needed a new solution. They found this solution by attempting to pump the Shimmer back into tapped out salt dome formations of Shimmer- where the shimmer rests under a former salt mine. Once sealed, the salt prevented the Shimmer from leaking back and the Shimmer could later be extracted-- this prevented waste and allowed for Shimmer storage.

Still, the re-injection of Shimmer into salt domes imposed costs upon the Poolers and many grumbled and decided they wished to join the Refusers in order to escape overhead. Then the Poolers crafted perhaps their greatest threat. Because property rights had traditionally ended at the surface, they argued that they were within their rights to do something heretofore unheard of-- horizontally drill into their neighbors' reservoirs! Since they argued that Shimmer flows and is not stationary in reservoirs, by drilling upstream, they were not significantly "taking" Shimmer from their neighbors. This "Horizontal Forced Pooling" option frightened and annoyed upstream Refusers. Then the Refusers started realizing that the upstream drilling took much of their Shimmer and caused their wells to play out faster.

As more and more Refusers joined the Poolers, the system of draining, then storage by re-injection took off, and the Refusers gradually dwindled in power, profit, and influence.

For an analogous situation, check out Daniel Yergin's book "The Prize"

Feather Hunting

Feather Hunting in Magicantal
People love feathers in their caps. Traditionally, one is presented with a feather for one's cap when one achieves a particularly noteworthy accomplishment.

* One's 15th Birthday is marked by the presentation of a Noble BlueBird black spotted feather if one is a male, and if one is a female, one receives a piece of the Pink Rose Flowery Reticulated Sparrow's plumage.
* Marriage is celebrated by the ringing of one's head in a wreath of Rainbow Bird plumes.
* Birth is celebrated by the Orange Wraithbeast's fiery and optimistic adornment.
* Embarking on Entrepreneurship is celebrated by a medallion encircled by green Economy Bird foot plumes.
* Opening of a Second Store is celebrated by a bouquet of green Economy Bird foot plumes surrounding a red flower, symbolizing the green shoots of success and the red symbolizes new challenges.

These feathers sometimes are gathered from the ground, but most often they are produced from hunted birds in Magicantal. In some cities, the birds are raised in captivity as a renewable resource, but those birds' feathers do not shine as bright, nor do they "keep" as long, so wild feathers are particularly sought after.

Bird populations have experienced some decay as a result of the hunting near Magicantal. It is believed that several species, such as the Red-Feathered Warbler, and the Sallow-Faced Grouse have become extinct due to the predations of zealous feather hunters.

Note Also Some distasteful hunters have also been known to scrape the tightly woven penny-wide purple and black feathers from living Mystical Etteratis' leathery wings. The Etterati consider this to be a grave insult, and when Etterati see someone with one of their compatriots' plumes, they will often demand the plumes' return and will sometimes fight the possessor to the death. (This is one of the few actions that will drive the usual cowardly Etterati to violence).


Mobius: Libertarianism and the Freemarket Rampant
Tikal : Home of the Privateers, the Mobius-Men; the Scavengers; the Bloodmen, and the Arcanix


Everything is for sale

This city of hustlers exists in a constant state of creative destruction. Oddly though, other than incremental designs, it boasts few inventors. The lack of intellectual property protection means that Tikal is a city of theft; of ideas, of goods, and of human beings.

Shisters, scammers, medicine-men, traveling freak shows, itinerant magicians, mystical etterati, and more make their homes in Tikal.

The etterati make their homes in the mountains just north of the city, feasting on the nectar therein. Some entrepreneurs have attempted to claim the nectar and the plants and sell those to the etterati. Most of those entrepreneurs have ended up pecked to death. Other entrepreneurs returned with weapons. The etterati's shells, however, were too tough to penetrate. And, rolling in their shells, they were difficult to capture. At night, the etterati would steal the entrepreneurs' provisions and weapons. Generally the whole proposition became too expensive to conclude and the etterati were allowed their nectars.

Several fast-running citizens, however, stole nectar-plants' seeds and sow them in the ground closer to the city. Managing the plots of land, they were able to coax some of the sweet nectar-plants. From the nectar, they distilled potions and teas that helped cure disease and colds. The tea-nectars are in high demand. The brand name for most is "Mystical Tea."

Personality of Tikal: Gren Haciendarez ; "The Trickster of Tikal" ; "Oh, That Bastard"
"I made this flame dance from fingers. No shimmer. No cost. No nothing. Just let me teach you this. One upfront payment. It help you well."

Haciendariz is often running scams, and they often work quite well. He usually works alone, but has been known to hire a fall-guy from time to time, just in case things go wrong.

Haceindariz is of average height, and is a master of disguise. He can appear to have no legs, one leg, one eye, no eyes, scars, no scars, brown hair, black hair, blond, or white. He can be everything and anything. He can sing sweet, he can dance, his manners are impeccable, and his cursing, colourful.

The Trickster of Tikal knows a little about everything, and can talk forever about nothing. He stutters, he slurs, he stammers, he equivocates, he speaks fast, he drolls. He is kind, he is jovial, he is sour, and he is mean. He is a thousand things to a thousand people.

Haciendariz may not even be a real person, his name has become synonymous with being tricked out of one's money. For some, it is a badge of honor to become "Haciendized", or taken for a ride. 

The Trickster's career started about twelve years ago, so at the youngest he could be 21, but he can seem any age from a very tall ten to a very ancient one hundred and seven.

Tikal produced Haciendariz, that much is certain. He is a product of its boiling inventiveness and parasitic creationism. He takes and he takes and he takes, but he does it inventively. He even authored a book, some say. Although the book is less of a book than a collection of pamphlets. After every con, Haciendariz writes a short piece of advice; on paper, on vellum, on bark, on stone, on flesh... with chalk, with pen, with needle, with etch, even once in sand with urine.

Haciendariz' works were collected by inspired followers, two of whom were subsequently arrested and interrogated by one of Tikal's roving groups of thugs whose protection-target had been ripped off by Haciendariz, causing them to lose their contract. Within two days, however, the followers were freed by a strange man of medium build, but portly gain. The man claimed to be a slaver of the Continent, interested in houseservants. His documentation checked out and his coin was good... Except that the thugs had not believed his tale, and after one coin turned out to be made of chocolate; each had bit a coin to test for reality. Soon thereafter, the thugs found themselves poisoned, and lethargic. They collapsed on the floor, and then the targets were gone, and a note, sewed into the undergarments of the lead thug was discovered. It spoke of "Tasting victory is best done by the losers."

Metzca : War of the Large Conglomerations
Malebroge : Heavy-Handed Individualism


City of soot and progress.

In Malebroge the Shimmer Engineers have discovered, and patented, a proprietary way to create endless heat from Flame Shimmer to power giant printing presses that manufacture clothing pre-slotted and pre-sorted, along with books pre-printed. The quality of the materials is quite terrible, they fall apart within months, but the cost is perfect.

In Malebroge, everyone who can afford a bodyguard travels with one. To not travel with a bodyguard is to open yourself to "assessment." "Assessment" is made by groups of roving gangs who guarantee upkeep and safety of buildings and people. If you pay them, then these tattooed gangs are actually quite useful. Some serve as butlers, others repair shingles on homes, iron clothing, or hold ones seat at crowded social events whilst one travels to the loo. But if the Assessors are not paid, then they can turn nasty; assessing the costs of their time spent speaking to you, for their opportunity cost lost by trying to persuade you to accept their services. Assessors have been known to take people's money, their possessions, their clothing, their hair, their skin, their organs, and (infrequently) their lives as payment.

All "assessed" payment is compiled in neat accountants books and then submitted to the city guard who often audit the assessors. As long as the assessors can create an economic justification for their brutality, they are permitted to operate. Assessors are only licensed to operate negatively if at least 75% of their business contributes positively to the upkeep of the city and society. This 75% number is quite easily for them to reach however due to creative accounting.

Liebsraum : Shimmerduel, Swordplay, and Survival of the Fittest
Cuetzal : City of a thousand quack cures

At the Edge of the Impenetrable Jungle: Exploration and Discovery
Shimmer : Hope, Exploration, and Wild Chances


The trade-city and home of wild-catting Shimmer drillers abuts the writhing tendril-branches at the edge of the impenetrable jungle. Limitless timber, endless entrepreneurial possibilities, and prodigious amounts of Shimmer bubbling from the earth below make this fortified outpost the city of hope, exploration, and wild chances.

What to Do?
-Register for salvage rights to explore for wreckage from the hundreds of ships sunk at the Rocks just north of city. Then dive beneath the waves and explore the inky depths. Dodge Kraken and Worrybeasts while trying to recover hundred year old unspoiled wine-casks and preserved ivory.

-Enforce law on the outskirts of the city after the local enforcement's power was compromised at the insistence of a group of tough, tattooed Mobius-Men.

-Help enforce the building code and keep the streets straight. Evict unlicensed street vendors, make sure everyone's food is up to inspection-par. Register people in homes of ill repute, and generally ensure that the law is being followed.

-Join the Local Explorer's Society and help map the inner-lands, discover strange beasts, excavate odd and ancient fossils, achieve unique and strange feats of wonder (Think: Guinness Book of World Records), Meet strange and exotic people.

-Take an exploration party into the impenetrable jungle. But make certain to draft and have a notary cosign your will before you go. It is also recommended to draft a living will in the event that you return, but your mind is shattered. In Shimmer there is a brisk business for lawyers and notaries public.

-Sink exploratory pits, then drill wells for shimmer; Participate in wild-west style shootouts protecting investments from shady parasitic competitors all the while dealing with the jungle's horrifying animals and while staving off disease.

-Hunt wild beasts like the Lykenswing, and the Ivory-Tusked Brobdignagannelids, then return with trophies and equipment to fashion ivory-keyed pianos.

-Assess taxation in Shimmer for the Privateers of Mobius. Count all windows, not just those that face the street. This will likely involve much wall-climbing and perhaps even the peeling back of hastily applied plaster, or the overcoming of magical spells that conceal windows from prying eyes. (No one likes to pay taxes, the rich who can afford magic to evade  wish to avoid the impositions most of all.)

Feature of Interest: Tendril Branches
-The tendril branches are only incidentally dangerous. The tendril trees' roots delve deeper than any building in Gloria grows high, and when a tree is burned or cut, the branches will shoot up out of the ground and try to re-establish. There are literally millions of tendrils trying to sprout at any one time and they wreak havoc on homes' foundations. For every single one that is cut, five more reform. These hydra-trees are the biggest pests and are cursed more in Shimmer than anything else besides the Shimmerbugsand the Mobius-Men.

-It has been an endless struggle to eliminate the Tendril Branches from the outskirts or even the city center. And the tendril-branches suck much of the freshwater dry. If something could be done to eliminate the Tendril Branches, then the city of Shimmer could grow exponentially.

Point of Interest: Giant Hole
-In the center of the city, there is a giant hole that goes down thousands of feet. The first hundred feet are criscrossed by guy-wires, and planks. Around a hundred and fifty feet down the city has built a floor that is more or less secured by bracing. There is a trap-door and a rope that leads further down. No one has ever explored successfully much farther than four hundred feet. To determine the ultimate depth of the hole, people have tossed stones, but no sound was heard. People have also dropped rope, but no rope could be dropped deep enough, not even a six-hundred foot Diamond-Shimmer stiffened coil. No one is quite certain what is at the hole's bottom, but it should be interesting to find out.

-The city charges all visitors to the Giant Hole a charge of 2 pence for the right to visit observation deck C, 5 pence to visit observation deck B, and a whole pound to see observation deck A (the lowest) and to peer through the trap door. Viewing-Goggles are available for rent at the entrance to the Giant Hole. Mimes, Jugglers, Fortune-Tellers, and Magicians put on shows near the Giant Hole and the general atmosphere is one of carnival. There is also a fun-house, the "Wondrous and Mysterious Giant Holey Place" nearby. It has several stomach-churning and gravity-defying rides along with an infininte hall and maze of mirrors.

Point of Interest: The Honor Statue
-Each year wealthy businessmen participate in a great auction for the right to place a statue of their choosing in the center of the city. Only two statues are allowed per year, one at the port greeting the incoming ships, and one in the ciy center. Often these statues are staid, honor-giving facades of their purchasers. Sometimes the statues are of a lover an ancestor, or an honored teacher.
-Adventure This year however, there are a few odd bidders in the process. One, Jonas Salk, a noted prankster and medical experimenter who has grown rich from virus-vaccines has had an obscene statue cast- and he is in danger of being able to outbid the others unless something is done. Can you manage to cobble together a coalition of townspeople to outbid Salk? Will you let his obscene statue stand? Will you petition the city government to censor the statue, to relocate it, to alter the monstrosity?
-The other main bidder, Willard Baron, the mustacioed and wig-wearing Shimmer-Entrepreneur is rumored to have killed competitors in the Jungle and stolen their land-claims. He also studies Soul-Sanguinate Shimmer Magic and has been working with a succession of recently imported former criminal Shimmer engineers on a top secret project that some argue revolves around Shimmer Mind Control. Could he be intending to incorporate mind control in the statue if he wins? Will he be outbid? Will his plan be found out?

Point of Interest: The Grand Canal
-At the edge of the city a great project is underway, the Grand Canal. When completed, the canal will cut shipping costs by thousands. Regrettably, many of the workers on the project fall ill due to jungle diseases. The only creatures which seem to be immune are the Hijra, and not enough of them are willing to work on the ambitious project.
Adventure: Free the enslaved Hijra! But who will work the Canal if the Hijra are gone? Maybe something can be arranged to deal with the disease.

Evil Socialist Lands
Introduction to the Socialist lands (authored by Ivan Salesmensch, Gloria Resident)

In Character

In the far north, the hideously freezing north, the weak, the poor, the huddled masses, the eyeless, the armless, the half-witted are given the most, and the able bodied are given the least. Everyone is made equal and lifted up to have the same opportunities, except in Svain which believes with an almost religious-zeal that they have found a far more efficient way to achieve equality.

When a Socialist-lander dies, their estate is taxed at 100% and then redistributed to all, with regard to their need.

What has caused these curious people to choose to live in the fashion they make? Some argue that it is the desperateness of their land-- because the land is so harsh, all must band together in order to survive. I however, differ in my conclusion-- would not a dog scratch the parasite off from its fur if the parasite was taking too much? And yet the Socialist landers do not even seem intelligent enough to eliminate the dead-weight of their society. They coddle the old, the sick, the weak and nurse them in their infirmity. No where else in the World have I seen such curiosity.

Dretch (Equality)

Dretch (Equality)
The Yurts of Dretch stretch on for miles, surrounded by cooking tripods and drying furs. The citizens of Dretch raise domesticated Tundrabears and Mammothbeasts for their hides. The animals run in the common-fenced area surrounding the city, protecting the city from incursions of Sabre-toothed Tigers, long ivory-nosed Vicious Stalkers, Bottlenosed Extractors, and even from the sneaky little snub-nosed Frost Gremlins

In Character

Soccath (Justice)]Soccath (Justice)
Carved out of the massive Soccathian Cliffs and overhung by the solid Soccathian Glacier, Soccath is a network of tunnels both natural and hewn that stretches all the way until the Demonic Era shales. In the shales are found strange fossils of long-extinct races, the Predecessors who existed side-by-side with the Demons for thousands of years before the evolution of the current races. There are many theories on the Predecessors, but few archaeologists make their way to Soccath due to the heavy regulations placed on visitors.

Every visitor to Soccath must labor in its mines for a year before they may retrieve fossils or even before they are allowed to depart, once they have partaken of the common goods that are given to all on their arrival to Soccath. And for everything taken from the city, something of equal value must be returned. This has resulted in only the most determined of explorers (usually academics), traveling to Soccath.

Soccath's laws are overseen by every able-bodied resident, all of whom carry ice picks and hammers to hew their way through the rock and to tunnel through and ascend the glaciers to harvest Glimmersun berries that can only grow where the sun's albedo reflectiveness is at its greatest.

Adventure - Infiltrate Soccath and return with wondrous fossils of Predecessor races. The Predecessor races were mostly monstrous and frightening- demonic spawn. But some scientists believe that it is possible the current races all evolved from these frightening creatures.

Such a hypothesis is terrifying to capitalist Glorians say the least-- to believe that our ancestors came from such humble origins may be inspiring in a way, it is very disturbing to believe that our ancestors came from such a strange faery tale regarding the hideous demons.

The Faithful however, hold fast to the evolutionary hypotheses and are very interested in

Gelatinous Cube

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Gelatinous Cube

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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2012, 09:53:36 PM »

In Gloria Cities
Even in Paradise, there will be those who are lost, who are hampered in some fashion. The poor will always be with us, because some people are just not as accomplished as others, or fate placed them at a more difficult starting point, or they suffered punishment for crime and now must begin anew.

The Disabled
Blind People in Gloria often find employment as masseuses. But competition means that those who offer services in addition to massage can often earn a better living as masseuses, so the blind have been partially crowded out of that particular market.

Many blind have begun to be employed in Shimmer Discos- places where the Shimmer-Impressed sounds of bands and musical artists are replayed. One famous blind woman- Siriana Loquatious- first invented the style of "Shimmer scratching" or placing hands on a record and feeling the grooves, then "twitching" them to achieve a more harmonious quivering sound.

Many blind people who have a heightened sense of hearing have found employment in the Discos as "Scratch Shimmerers", or "Shims".

But not all blind can find gainful employment. Those who do not are forbidden from begging- which is seen as draining the society and is only permitted societally by the crippled and diseased. The blind who do not find gainful employment would like to rely on the kindness of relatives or strangers, but often they do not receive this. Some have been sold into a sort of symbiotic indentured servitude where they are trained to sing or perform a repetitive motion, such as stitching silken spools on a production line, for which they receive a fair, but small wage.

Those who do not work are encouraged to commit suicide rather than to drain society's resources. Many civic-minded blind who are too ill to work choose this route, and some have been known to donate their bodies to become Ripper Suits, but since most blind are able to find employment in some fashion, the route is rarely taken.

The Disambulatory - Those who cannot walk or who have lost the function of their limbs are permitted to beg in the streets and some have made a good living on that begging. Generally, the beggars adopt one of several tactics- they perform a trick, such as standing on one leg, they demonstrate their piety by practicing the 14 Virtues, they attempt to look quite pitiful, or they sing or play an instrument.

They are often seen as a drain on society and many argue that they should be euthanised. However, society has generally permitted them to exist, considering that only a mere mishap at a construction site might separate the ambulatory from the disambulatory.

Those who have lost the ability to walk are also renowned for their upper body strength as rowers who help ferry people across rivers in Gloria. By constantly working their upper-bodies in a single-minded pursuit, they can outperform the fully capable. Many Gloria residents realize this, and they may even choose a less-able disambulatory rower over a full-bodied one due to rumors of the disamblatories' strength.

The best educated of the disabled may be found in banking desk jobs, or stock trading, or insurance underwriting. They are carried to work by porters if they are affluent enough; or they roll to work in their wheeling carts. (Often they live quite close to work).

Workers' Compensation and Insurance

There is no state welfare or disability pension- though if you are smart, you will write that into your business contracts when you sign on the dotted line. Citizens who work for better companies generally have some disability protection.

Others who run their family businesses who have relatives who invest may decide to spread "casualty insurance" between the relatives who will agree to pay medical fees, and run the business during time of disability up to a certain expense.

People may also purchase private insurance that can account for disability- and such purchases are highly recommended, because if you do not look out for yourself, then there is no one who will stand up to take care of you. Gloria is a very self-responsibility-centered society.

Private Workers' Compenation is given by some companies but there is no public Comp. except for the few public workers who might manage to negotiate future compensation deals by accepting current lower pay.

Compensation is seen as part of pay- Gloria residents who fear that they may spend all the money they could earn sometimes ask for insurance benefits to be separated from their general income. But most Gloria residents trust that in the market they can find a better insurer through their own efforts.

Handicapped Access

Handicapped Access is far from mandatory in Gloria. However, a fair percentage of shops are accessible with ramps, for the simple reason that the merchants realized that to maximize patronage potential, in certain cases it is cheaper to make the businesses accessible. Indeed, at times they will need to cart in large boxes or furniture and a ramp would be most useful.

However, this means that the majority of "handicapped" access to buildings is in the back of the places and is often obscured by boxes and crates that need to be moved when patrons seek to enter a building.

Many Gloria businesses have a "Disabled Access" sign posted in their front window, often with instructions on how to get around the back.

Still, not all businesses can profitably operate a disabled access, so buildings that are more than two stories are often inaccessible unless they have a gear-powered "Lift", like the ultra-modern Chambers of Commerce.

The Unemployed

To be unemployed is perhaps one of the worst sins in Gloria. It is a great shame to have no job. Gloria's residents will not speak of being unemployed- they may talk of "searching for work", but even talk of "transitioning" is looked on with derision, fear, and pity. Friends, relatives, and anyone who is met on the street will try to help the unemployed not by giving them handouts but by handing them leads on jobs, names of contacts and anything that can help their acquaintance return to productivity.

Typically, when a business lays off workers, they may provide a list of places where the worker can find occupational counseling or a list of nearby hiring employers.

In an ideal case, an employee who is laid off will within a week find a new job into which to transition. That ideal is accomplished well over half the time, but the other forty percent of the time, the Gloria resident undergoes a significantly stressful period of soul searching.

The Underemployed

In Gloria there are some who barely earn enough to support themselves. Since Gloria is a country of two-person earning households, it can be difficult for a single parent to support a child or two. However, since Gloria knows little about welfare or government handouts, inflation has been kept low and the arms-race of minimum wage against welfare against price increases and value added tariffs is a war that is not waged within Gloria's borders. Generally, no one who works can starve in Gloria unless they are severely unemployed and only work for part of the day.

Gloria residents strive for full employment. But the old, for example, may find it hard to work a full day's period. To help facilitate full employment, the Chamber of Commerce tries to link businesses that seek low cost workers with these low productive workers. Restaurants that need an extra server, typing houses that need an extra typist, and janitorial services that could use another hand on the job will often hire these people for several hours a week at minimal pay and with minimal training.

It might make more sense to fire minimally productive elderly workers, but Gloria runs close to full employment. When a society approaches full employment, even if the marginal returns from an additional worker are low- the worker can if managed correctly (and if they only work a few hours each day) take off some of the load from other workers' responsibilities and can perhaps increase company morale.

Gloria's insurance industry certainly merits a discussion. It generally eliminates the need for government support. If everyone purchases insurance, then it is not as necessary for the government to step in and manipulate the system.

In Gloria, there is no set retirement age. People are generally expected to work until they die. Work is seen as a virtue- idleness is a vice. When one is no longer contributing to society, they are but a parasite and are considered far less worthwhile than the young.

This is not to say, however, that retirement is universally frowned upon. If a couple has savings, they are lauded for their hard work during their life- they really have earned whatever rest they have saved. If people could not save for retirement, then they might not be incentivized to work as hard when young, the society figures, so even though early retirement may not be ideal- it is understood as a reward.

Adventurers who retire very young are looked on with more suspicion by Gloria's residents than an elderly couple who retire. People will constantly ask the adventurers if they are looking for work, and many will give the adventurers ideas and leads on new jobs that they could do. The suggestions may, to some, become unbearable. In fact, most retired adventurers either live in private quarters that are walled off from the rest of the city, or they reside in the Adventurer Quarters on the outskirts of the city where it is more difficult for well-meaning neighbors to harass them.

Gloria does have a small problem with "Old Money" folk who inherit the bulk of their wealth from earlier generations. These people have become generally drains on society- contributing little because they do not have to. Many of course take over the family businesses and finances and create something bigger and better than their forefathers. But far too many merely become millet-stones around society, slowly spending and never creating new things or giving.

The squandering of inheritance is a very terrible thing to do in Gloria-- but although others may be jealous of the foolish ones' squandering, the others do realize that as the wealth is spent-- the economy is stimulated. However, the stimulation is nowhere as much as when a person works.

There are some in Gloria who have proposed not an estate tax to solve the problem, but a retirement tax-- for every year a person is not at work, they suggest-- 5% of their wealth should be redistributed to society for public road improvements. The rationale is that since the inheritors are not contributing their talents to society-- they should contribute their money in a rather outsized way. The suggestions of forced "taxation" on the retired has met significant resistance.

Gloria: System of Governance


Law in Gloria

Gloria's laws are fairly simple and easy to understand. Most business people can prepare their own taxes, because taxation is almost non-existent. Criminal laws generally are based around the ancient principle of "Interfere Not With Another's Personal Space". Punishment can range from tit-for-tat to hard labor and fines (for the most egregious offenses). The death penalty is controversial, because it eliminates a potential producer to society, and the appeals process is quite lengthy and expensive-- it can sometimes make keeping the perpetrator in jail for twenty years more cost-effective. However, for crimes such as murder and for people who are arguably criminally insane and dangerous to society; death is the preferred penalty.

There are no public defenders in Gloria. The accused needs to defend themselves unless they can afford representation. However, if they seem to perhaps have a good case- a young attorney looking to make a name for herself may jump in and offer to take their case pro bono (for free). If she wins, then she might be able to finagle a good position in a top law firm. Thus, most of the criminals who have even passable cases often find willing free representation.

Bail Bonds - Are given except in the most egregious of cases.

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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2012, 09:53:51 PM »


The Sand Merchants - The Floaters' most respected trading organization. The Sand Merchants brave the Overland to collect new and intriguing flavors of sand which they bring back to the Extractors' for eventual processing into edible (and TASTY!) sand.

The Extractors - The Extractors are the Floaters' scientists and chefs. They extract nutrients from the sand and combine them with spices to please the Floaters' pallets. They are also renowned for their work with geometric designs, predictive science, and alchemy.

To join the Extractors, a Floater must prove exceeding aptitude for "feeling" the world. The Extractors must keep their body preserved perpetually in health. To have even one injured limb might end an Extractor's career because their sensory organs might be damaged.

To discourage damage, the Extractors hire bodyguards and have had special casts made for their bodies. To other Floaters' the Extractors look like giant floating mummies due to the gauze-like white protective wrappings they wear when they are not experimenting or combining sand, dirt, and muds.


Brazen Images Specializing in recreating ancient artifacts and statues and selling them to the nouveau rich and those who hope to impress the upper crust, Brazen Images is a network of somewhat shady entrepreneurs who may chip off a chunk of an ancient frieze, or who may abscond with the arm of a statue which will then be placed in a plaster mold and through use of Shimmer Magic and the proper trigrams, reform the plaster into rock or paint of the same carbon-quality. With Brazen Images' process for dating their artwork, the counterfeits are nearly impossible to tell from the real creations.

The Clique (See Above)

The Faithful (See Above)

The Magnificent A group of Gloria's "Old Money" elite, The Magnificent have invested in the finest of places for their clubhouses and their diversions. Hundreds of years ago, they gathered their income, invested some and spent others to reserve places for their descendants to enjoy in comfort. Many of the most famous clubs, bars, restaurants, and museums have a special "Magnificent" wing or room to which entrance is restricted.

It is quite difficult to join the Magnificent; traditionally membership has only been open to someone who could prove wealth dating back three generations. Some apply when they are in their thirties, only to be able to join after maintaining wealth for fifty years. The obstensible reason for the "fifty years of wealth" requirement is to ensure that the holder of the wealth will remain prudent and invest the money rather than squandering it.

Grounds for removal from the club include a person's individual net worth falling too far- although exceptions can be made and friends of the lacklustre fellow may prop the unfortunate one up for a time.


 - The Counting Machine
Located deep underneath Gloria's Arterial Nerve Center; this counting machine is the greatest in the world. It is a gigantic abacus, that stores information like a vaccum-vac computer on large discs that have performations. Pistons flare and the abacus rises and falls while it performs ten thousands calculations a second. The abacus stretches for nearly a mile in length.

Applications for use of the Counting Machine range in the tens of thousands. It is said to be powerful enough to be able to predict the weather for up to a week at a time.

 - Carbon-Rod Towers
Casting bright illumination for nearly a half mile in every direction, the carbon rod towers burn extremely flammable gases that sputter and spark. However, the flammable gases are contained in thick powerful containers and are managed every night by the Tower-Minders.

 - Steam-Combustion Generators

 - Gatling Gun
 - Opti-Glass

Out of Character

Note on Mathematics In Gloria, Math is conducted by use of abacii and slide rules. There are no electronic calculators here.
Patent Office
Burned (1812 DC)



Currency in Gloria is backed by the Glorious Silver, although there have been arguments to replace Silver with Shimmer-- since Shimmer is far more useful to society than the sparkling silver metal.

The actual currency which people use however, is the Glorious Tin- an octagonal shaped bit that rings when hit. The unique ringing sound is what makes the Glorious Tin difficult to replicate. When the Glorious Tins are created, they are imbued with pockets of air into which the Tinmaker inserts several ball bearings. Thus, when the Tins are struck against metal, the ball bearings jump and make the ringing sound.

The process is quite difficult to replicate and since all Glorious Tins are produced at three mints- one in Gloria, one in Tientan, and one in XXX, they all have the same unique sound placement each time when struck, due to the magnetic alignment of the ball bearings at the place where they are manufactured. To one with a good ear, fakes from different locations are easy to tell. However, fakes from the same cities are more easy to tell. The Neighborhood Watch generally keeps their ears open for news about Glorious Tin-knockoff manufacturers in the cities, however, and many counterfeiters have been shut down.

Important Figures

History of Gloria
Migrations. Leadership. Etc.
Reveal insight into the society.

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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2012, 09:55:27 PM »

Incorporate this:

Thanks for asking. It was also probably a good idea to check things out. I've been changing things here and there since the last post here in October 2009.

After some reflection, the answer to that question is : No. The Socialists managed to recruit some people who were displaced as a result of Shimmer, but ultimately the people of Gloria are willing to re-invent themselves; and the net economic effect of Shimmer has been an economic boom.

As for its effects on the alignment system:

Some Compassionate Conservatives gave more to Charity,

the Market Oversighters cautioned about market concentration, monopolies, and conglomeration,

Socialists agitated for equality for workers,

the Moral Perscriptionists worry about the Shimmer and the rise in Faith, because a large amount of them are like the real-world Theosophical society and they worry about ghosts and demons leaking into the world due to the Shimmer's destruction of the rational reality. They believe very much in righteous faith and the virtues- but they fear that too much faith will lead to a hippie-like existence where no one follows the laws of society, or the laws of nature.

The Moral Absolutists generally stood by the entrepreneurs and developers, although some opposed the Shimmer magic as not scientifically-enough based and too tied to Faith--they worried that this might cause a return to the great conflict of Faith and Reason. Many of them, however, have tried to claim Shimmer for Reason, since they recognize its high value.

All the mainstream points on the alignment chart (the lime green labeled alignment sections) generally agree with the situation, even if they did not profit from it. Many returned to University or tried to stake their own claims.

In Gloria, people generally see things like the Puritans did. If they fail, it's because of their fault- not because of Society's. So if they fail, they tend to work harder rather than become discouraged.

I'm not sure if I should go back in the character creation thread and set an alignment for each character- what do you think? I'm thinking of ignoring the formal alignments as being too restrictive for a one-shot. But anyone who plays is welcome to choose an alignment. The ones in lime green are the mainstream. Everything else is fairly rare and I can only think of one character on the listed choices who might possibly qualify for Socialist; and even then there are probably more appropriate choices for that character.

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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2012, 09:55:40 PM »

Cross-Posted Response from IRC Thread regarding Gloria Literature


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