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Author Topic: The Clockwork Jungle  (Read 17717 times)
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« on: April 18, 2010, 02:15:12 AM »

The Clockwork Jungle
What is the Clockwork Jungle?
 
Imagine a vast jungle, replete with a vast chorus of living things. The land is a verdant sea, blooming and lush.  Some creatures may live for centuries and never see the sky, obscured as it is by canopies of leaves and vines that rise higher than any fortress wall. The sky is roiling and chaotic; lavender skies are replaced in minutes by ear-shattering rainstorms that turn a footprint into a swamp. There are valleys and mountains alike in this world, but there are few places to escape the ever-present jungle - only the largest of the seas, formidable white-capped ranges, and the Obsidian Plain, where barren mountains disgorge lava and sulfurous fumes into an ocean of broken blackness. Even these massive features are islands in a sea of life.

The Legacy

One might even lose a city in here - and in fact, long ago, a forgotten people lost a whole civilization. There are lonely statues, overgrown outposts, and entire empty metropolises shrouded in vines and ferns, with no builders to admire their works and no families to live in long abandoned houses. These places are ancient indeed; some have been forgotten so long that they are unrecognizable underneath untold ages of growth. It is an Empire of Neglect.

The Artificers, as these forgotten builders are now known, did leave some semblance of life behind - the Cogs.  There are nearly as many kinds of Cogs as there are types of animals. The Cogs are constructs, made of wood, metal, stone, and even glass, and animated by fine clockwork and some magic spark within them. There are Cogs that appear like animals: Cog monkeys that look down curiously on denizens of the forest floor with empty glass eyes; Cog songbirds that flit about with clicking wings, singing beautiful and haunting melodies; even Cog speckled cats that will stalk and kill prey, only to leave its corpse for the scavengers, for Cogs have no use for food. There are other Cogs too: Cog haulers, who look like tremendous lumbering tripods, and Cog soldiers, gaunt sentinels watching over weed-strangled posts. They are at best semi-intelligent, machines that have lost their masters and continue their ancient instructions eternally.

The Inheritors

When the Four Races first made their mark upon the world, the Artificers were already consigned to a distant age.  To them, the clockwork creatures are as natural and ordinary as their fleshy counterparts.  Few give much thought to the glories of the past when new glories await.  From their primitive and humble origins, the four peoples that venture to call themselves 'civilized' have spread across the known world.  They have forged metals, built cities, brought fierce beasts to heel, and even learned to fly; even more importantly, they have cultivated the mind and the soul.  They have made art and music, philosophy and poetry, and delved into the nature of the world and the powers that rule it.

For all their accomplishments, however, the Four Races are not this world's masters.  Their settlements and camps are but motes of civilization in a wild land.  As the generations pass, however, isolated settlements have begun reaching out to each other across the great green divide.  Since the disastrous years of the Recentering two centuries ago, the Four Races have experienced a new renaissance, and a tenuous web of trade and communication has brought new ideas, new goods, and new people to corners of the world they have never been before.  The stars of civilization scattered in the vast, dark night of the Forest are shining brightly again, seeking prosperity, glory, and power.

Yet where there is change, there is conflict.  In the prosperous cities of the Black Circle, merchants vie with each other for wealth and influence, and the potentates of these 'Jewels of the Obsidian Crown' seek any means to gain the upper hand against foreigners and aliens.  The wounds of war are still fresh in the isles of the Sea of Indigo, where a league of city-states has overthrown a legacy of tyranny and struggled against all comers to maintain their diverse and fragile confederation.  On the other side of the world, the ancient power of the Artificers has been unleashed in the present by the cruel and despotic World-Queen, who seeks the secret of immortality that she might bring about an eternal reign of one ruler over one race, and one race over the world entire.  And while all these powers bicker, the Saffron Moss - known simply as the Peril - festers and multiplies in forgotten vales around the world, corrupting the Forest itself and making the dead walk again to carry out its unitary and apocalyptic will.

In these places and everywhere in between, eclectic groups of merchants, explorers, adventurers, chroniclers, mercenaries, and treasure-hunters seek to profit - in wealth, knowledge, or power - from a land still shrouded in mystery and societies swept up in the riotous turmoil of a new age.

Welcome to the Clockwork Jungle.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 05:47:06 PM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 02:15:31 AM »

Setting Guide

The Wiki

Most CJ material is on the CBG Wiki.  I make an effort to keep setting information up to date, but if there are conflicts let me know and I'll sort them out.  You can keep track of newly posted articles on my talk page.

Good articles to get started with:

This Thread

This thread is primarily for discussion, criticism, questions, and my own ruminations on world-building process and the direction of CJ development.  Unlike the old thread, I won't be making big content posts here.  Instead, when I have a big content update, I'll post it in the 3rd post of the thread (the post after this one).  This will prevent content posts from breaking up the rest of the thread, and when a 'current feature' is no longer current I can archive it (it will probably be put in the wiki in some form, and I might put it in a spoiler block here if there's info in it that isn't going to the wiki).

The Old Thread

The old thread was unfortunately far too out of date - if you read the first and second pages, some of it sounds like it's from an entirely different setting.  That was back when I presumed this was going to be a D&D variant world.  That's not the case any more, and I didn't feel like keeping the old thread active was helpful.

If you are interested in reading the old thread, however, you can find it here.  Just don't expect it to agree with the setting in its present form!

Badges

We don't seem to be doing campaign badges like we used to, but I've got one for you just in case.  If you've contributed to the Clockwork Jungle in any way, whether it's posting your comments here or chatting with me about campaign stuff over IRC, please feel free to take a campaign badge:

It links directly to this page.  Just quote this post to see the code.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 01:35:45 AM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2010, 02:15:46 AM »

Current Feature - January 11th

The Golden Principality

On Leadership

The one who leads always has its enemies at its back.

- Ajen proverb

No people have benefited more from the inception of the Black Circle trade than the Ajen-Umbril.  Always the least numerous branch of their race, the Ajen have never before been a great power in the region.  Their folk have always had a certain wanderlust, unusual in Umbril, that has made them common travelers from the Wash to the Netai for thousands of years.  They have played their parts as merchants, explorers, and adventurers in foreign lands and gained recognition among aliens far in excess of their numbers or power, but in the end there was only ever one land they called home.

As long as history has been written, the inner side of the Greater Cogsteeth has always been the great fastness of the Ajen.  They are safe from their enemies here, though not from each other, for the Ajen have a long history of conflict within their race.  In Antiquity, each sept, a non-familial clan composed of many colonies and metils, considered itself independent and warred unceasingly with other septs for territory and the reconciliation of grievances.  In the days before the Golden Principality, the Ajen homeland was a place of constant turmoil, ephemeral victories, and precarious life.

The Ajen take their name from the individual who changed all this.  They once called themselves the Juleth, “(those) from above,” but now they bear the name of the unifier, the Savior, the great conqueror Ajen (lit. “flame”) who brought the septs to heel.  The Savior-Prince may well be a myth; no historical record exists of such a “conqueror” outside the hagiographies of the Ajen people, though any great deeds performed in this remote land would likely have escaped the notice of alien chroniclers at the time.

The achievements of the Savior-Prince – assuming it was real – are probably overrated.  Any visitor will note that the Ajen are united only in the loosest sense, and the septs and metil alliances that once warred openly with one another have only moved their conflicts into somewhat more covert and less devastating venues.  Still, the great wars of the Cogsteeth are now the exception rather than the norm, an achievement worth at least some recognition.

The Ajen, like their state, are filled with contradictions.  The septs still retain a fierce independent streak, yet the Ajen are the only branch of the overarching Umbril race that recognize one ruler over all.  They are known on the Circle as friendly and cosmopolitan traders, yet the majority of their race lives in isolated mountain colonies that seldom see any alien visitors.  They have a sense of communal honor and support that is foreign to most other Umbril, yet betrayals and schemes seem no less common among them than other Umbril societies.  In one way, the Ajen are like all races of the Forest – they differ from one another, and sometimes they differ quite strenuously.  There are some generalizations that may tentatively be made about Ajen society, however, and they are perhaps best expressed in the form of the ruler that names itself Prince of the Ajen and the state that binds this diverse people together – the Golden Principality.

From the Founding to the Recentering

Ajen was the first ruler of the Principality, though the use of “Ajen” to refer to the people – and thus the title “Prince of the Ajen” – developed only in later generations.  Ajen would likely have been titled simply as “Ul-Ivet” (Grand Prince – literally, “greater/superior foundation”), a title that is still used along with Prince of the Ajen to refer to the people’s leader.  What scant written records remain of the Greater Cogsteeth in Antiquity imply that the Ivet’s authority was never total, subverting the myth that all was peace and unity once Ajen conquered the septs.  Indeed, the early Ul-Ivets are regularly referred to in ancient literature as being “of” one sept or another, and septs doubtlessly came to blows over whose candidate would triumph.

Note: Banner of the Principality


The most well-known Ul-Ivet of the early period was Elam-Ilsal, who is remembered chiefly in the histories of White Lotus.  According to the founding legend of that city, it was an attack by Elam-Ilsal that forced the Ussik rulers of White Lotus to recognize the equal status of their Nevir-Umbril serfs, creating the Lake Compact that serves as the foundation of White Lotus society even today.  Though scarcely remembered by the Ajen, Elam-Ilsal enjoys a good reputation among the Nevir of the Greenwash, who tend to see its ultimately futile attack as an act of “Umbril liberation” that forced the Ussik to see the value in their alien neighbors.

Elam-Ilsal’s strategy was one shared by several Ul-Ivets of its age – if the Ajen can be prodded into fighting aliens, they won’t bother to fight each other.  The Ul-Ivets of Antiquity tended to style themselves primarily as warlords and launched raids into the Greenwash (and possibly the Maw) with less of an interest in plunder than political aggrandizement and domestic consolidation.  The Ajen culture developed a healthy respect for the warrior’s art during this time, and it is possible that the improved social status of soldiering (compared to the contemptuous attitude the Nevir and Evne tend to display towards it) derives from this period of their history.

The Age of Prophets brought unprecedented peace to the civilized races, and the Ajen were no exception.  The Oracle Tree, having been first discovered in the neighboring Maw, arrived very quickly in the Greater Cogsteeth.  After a period of initial unrest, the situation stabilized with Fruit-eating “seers” exercising real control over the septs and the principality; to avoid the tyranny of one ruler over all, the holder of the title of Ul-Ivet was prohibited from partaking of the fruit.  The political wars with neighbors ceased and sept conflicts generally ebbed away.

Over the course of the age, the position of the Prince of the Ajen became progressively weaker and more irrelevant, yet paradoxically it was the prohibition against the Ul-Ivet tasting the fruit of prophecy that ultimately saved the institution of the Golden Principality.  When the Dominion Tree bloomed, madness and destruction came to the seers and all they touched – and the Ul-Ivet remained pure.  The Ajen were left with a leader that, though stripped of power over many generations, could still claim nominal leadership over the people.  The first real test of that leadership would not be long in coming.

The Prophetslayers and their great avenging Horde, after retreating from the impenetrable walls of the City of Orpiment, struck the land of the Ajen with all their might.  The lowland colonies were annihilated.  The Prince of the Ajen at that time, Sul-Thal, saw the futility of rallying its shattered nation to take up arms against such a superior force, but substituted cleverness and determination for might.  Sul-Thal arranged for the evacuation of the colonies in the Horde’s path and made sure they were provided for by their highland cousins.  It organized raids against the Horde’s scouts and supplies to harass them and weaken their resolve.  Though Sul-Thal is said to never have personally taken up a weapon like the warlord-Ivets of old, its policy eventually convinced the Horde to move on into the Vinetrough.

Sul-Thal is remembered as a great shepherd of its people, and is the only Ivet held to the same level of honor as Ajen itself – Ajen founded the Principality, and Sul-Thal ensured its survival against terrible foes.  Sul-Thal regained all the prestige its predecessors had lost under the stagnation of prophetic rule and set the path forward to a resurgent Principality.

The Cities’ War

The Cities’ War marked the entrance of the Principality into post-Recentering politics.  Initially, the Ul-Ivet was little more than an eager servant of the Orpimine Overseer, sending large numbers of Ajen warriors into the service of the City of Orpiment to fight its war against the Solar Order of Greythorn.  In the Orange Season of 140, however, the stability of the realm was smashed by an “iron rockslide” that had grown from a simple dispute over the spoils from a Greythorn caravan.  A mercenary veteran had been murdered, and it happened to belong to the same metil as a powerful councilor of the Enfel Sept.  The sept responded with a campaign of retaliations against half a dozen colonies which had connections with the murderers, and recalled many of its mercenaries in Orpimine service to the homeland.  Unnerved by this, the Ul-Ivet overreacted and decided to massacre the Enfel leadership in one bold stroke, but the plan was leaked and passed to the sept’s spies.  Shortly afterward, the Ul-Ivet turned up dead, and the assembly to select a new one broke up in partisan bickering.  When the Enfel sept and its allies attempted to convene a second assembly without the representation of their rivals, an impromptu alliance of fifteen colonies and various other sympathetic metils laid siege to the Hearth of Sagacity.

The situation was dire enough as it stood, but the Solar Order – despite having agreed to a truce with the City of Orpiment less than two years earlier – decided to meddle in the Ajen conflict.  They had been duped by an Ajen official that led them to think it was a very likely candidate for the throne and would switch sides against the Orpimines in exchange for their help.  Their candidate was forced to flee to Greythorn within a year, but their actions caused the Overseer to renew the war.

The war in the mountains dragged on until 150; the favored Orpimine candidate had been poised to assume the mantle of Ul-Ivet in 143, but was assassinated.  Without Ajen manpower supplying their enemies, the Solar Order had managed to lay siege to the City of Orpiment itself, but could not breach the massive basalt walls.  When a new Ul-Ivet was finally proclaimed, Greythorn realized its seven-year blockade of the city could not be sustained any longer, and requested that Awetz Ishulu, the powerful ruler of White Lotus, negotiate an end to the conflict.

The subsequent treaty, known as Ishulu’s Pact, recognized the Ul-Ivet’s control over the land routes passing under the Cogsteeth.  When the volume of Circle trade exploded in the new atmosphere of peace, vast riches began flowing into the Principality.  The Ul-Ivets began taking the role of merchant-princes, setting up an officially backed trading cabal called the Golden Ring on the Circle and sending parties of explorers, traders, and colonists over the mountains in search of new goods and treasures in the Maw.  The current Ul-Ivet fancies itself an equal to even the Awetz of White Lotus in terms of riches and influence.

Culture

Ajen tend to bind themselves more readily in a metil (a voluntary Umbril “family”) than other branches of the race.  Virtually all mature Ajen are members of a metil, and these associations tend to be composed of many more members than is normal for Umbril.  By virtue of their size, however, these metils are not as inviolably close-knit as those of the Nevir or Evne.

The septs are conglomerations formed from dozens of different metils, though since the time of the Savior-Prince many metils have been formed that are not bound to a sept.  In modern times, the septs no longer exercise much authority, but the bonds between metils of the same sept are still strong.  Though the Ajen may revere the great hero who broke the power of the septs, they also wax nostalgic about the glories and accomplishments of these old alliances.  The symbols and trappings of sept authority are still trotted out for social rituals, expressions of historical pride, and – occasionally – war.

In contrast to the usual Evne (and to a lesser extent, Nevir) distaste for a military career, the Ajen consider the warrior’s vocation to be reasonably respectable.  Though hardly as militaristic as the Vars, armed conflict is much more common among them than in other Umbril societies.  A rivalry that would play itself out entirely through social maneuvering and subterfuge in a Nevir colony would stand a much better chance of escalating into an actual war among the Ajen.  These “wars” may only be between metils, but some have been known to snowball as other metils and even entire septs are drawn in by secret alliances or long-buried feuds.  The Ajen have a specific phrase for this kind of ever-growing conflict, which translates literally as “iron rockslide.”  That phrase has been adopted by aliens on the Black Circle for any situation that seems to be spiraling out of control out of proportion to whatever caused it.  The last great Iron Rockslide resulted in the War of Ajen Succession, which lasted for a decade, greatly prolonged the larger Cities’ War, and resulted in thousands of deaths.  The Ul-Ivet and its agents are constantly meddling and intriguing to quash any disputes that look like they might follow a similar path.

The explanation usually given for such compounding conflicts is that the Ajen (some would say uncommonly for Umbril) have a more communally-minded sense of prestige than other Umbril.  Any Umbril would consider an attack on its metil to be an attack on itself, but usually would act upon an indignity to another metil only if there were some gain to be made by doing so.  The Ajen are certainly pragmatic, but also mindful of saving the face of their metil.  An Ajen metil possesses prestige, and a metil’s prestige is constituted by not only the importance of its members but the importance of the metil itself as a diplomatic entity.  When other metils ally with one’s own metil, it demonstrates to others that this metil is trustworthy or at least important enough to court as an ally.  Preserving that reputation requires that alliances be more than nominal, and while action on behalf of a slighted ally does not necessarily require war, every such defense of prestige and act of retribution carries with it the possibility of escalation.

The Ajen place a similar emphasis on ambition and accomplishment as their cousins, but have grown to view accomplishment in more and more economic terms as the Circle trade prospers.  Accordingly, the prestige of a metil is no longer simply diplomatic, but economic.  Within an Ajen metil, all wealth and property is considered a shared good.  A debt incurred by one member of a metil will become the responsibility of its kinsmen if it cannot pay.   This is backed by the Ul-Ivet’s laws – it is criminal to conceal wealth or property of any real value from members of one’s own metil.  When one member is absent, the others of its metil assume responsibility for its businesses and contracts.

Note: Jewelry

The Ajen are the only group of Umbril who commonly adorn themselves with jewelry.  Such adornment, however, is meant purely as a boast, with little aesthetic consideration – Lodestone, for instance, is a dull, heavy, and ugly rock, but as it is rarer than gold it is considered more desirable in Ajen jewelry.  Foreigners have joked that the Ajen word for “beauty,” when applied to jewelry, should be more accurately translated as “weight.”

The Ajen lie somewhere between the Nevir and Evne (Netai Umbril) on a continuum of their acceptance of and integration with aliens.  On the one hand, the far-traveled Ajen are no strangers to aliens and foreigners of many different cultures and traditions; on the other, their homeland is strongly homogeneous with only a handful of aliens in permanent residence at any one time.  The Ajen are self-selective in their dealings with others – more insular and xenophobic metils remain in the mountains, meaning that an alien’s experience with the Ajen of the Circle may not be a very good predictor of how he will be treated when traveling in their ancestral lands.

The Prince of the Ajen

By tradition, the Ajen – all Ajen, everywhere – are under the sovereignty of the Ul-Ivet, the “Prince of the Ajen,” the successor to the first Ajen and ruler of the Golden Principality.  From the Hearth of Sagacity, their great fortress-palace, the Ul-Ivets have ruled in both strength and weakness.  They have been puppets under the control of the reviled prophets of the past age, and towers of strength against the menace of the Orange Horde.  In the modern age, they oversee a great people, masters of the mountain passes, suzerains of the City of Orpiment, their merchant syndicates unrivalled on the Circle, but over all these things they have only the loosest of reins.  Never has Ajen’s successor been a tyrant – at least, not successfully – for the free people of the mountain septs would not have it.  For all their obstinacy, however, the title of Prince of the Ajen is still one that contains power within its ancient panoply of prerogatives and rituals, even when that power is wielded by those behind the throne.

The primary function of the Prince of the Ajen is essentially arbitrative.  The Ul-Ivet mediates conflicts and redresses grievances between metils and septs (though not individuals).  Any metil may seek redress from the Hearth of Sagacity, though the Prince of the Ajen may choose which matters it desires to hear.  The Prince is not a “neutral” arbiter per se – it does not interpret law and is not expected to be a disinterested party.  It does not attempt to create any kind of precedent or consistent policy.  It is charged with keeping the peace and benefiting the people as a whole, and thus is expected to make whatever compromises are most effective and expedient towards that end, even if that occasionally necessitates hypocrisy, injustice, or bad faith.  The Ul-Ivet is, quite simply, a diplomat-in-chief.

The Golden Principality lacks a formal enforcement capacity – it has no standing army or police force to compel individuals to comply with the Ul-Ivet’s decisions.  The Prince forces compliance informally, using prestige, negotiations, favors, and bribes to rally other metils and septs against the offenders.

The Prince of the Ajen is chosen by way of a closed meeting between representative parties from the septs, as well as individual representatives from various metils of importance.  The size of the meeting has grown over the years as various Princes have granted representation rights to metils as part of political bargaining, to the point where the present election sessions can include nearly two hundred representatives.

The Prince and the Overseer

The City of Orpiment occupies a special place in the history of the Ajen.  During the Age of Prophets, it was founded by the Seers of Tiran Vainon, an Ajen stronghold, as a lodestone waystation.  After the Recentering, the city emerged both independent and more powerful than the fractious Principality; when they fought together against Greythorn in the Cities’ War, the Orpimine Overseer was clearly the senior partner in the alliance and attempted several times to place a puppet in the Hearth of Sagacity during the War of Ajen Succession.

The relationship changed suddenly during the so-called Gauntlet War, a period of violent unrest in the city caused by the actions of the Flowering Gauntlet, an extremist Indigo Chapter to whom the Overseer had given sanctuary.  To end the devastation, the Overseer requested the Prince’s aid, and order was restored by an Ajen force sent by the Prince.  Since that point, the Overseer has publicly acknowledged its fealty (and that of the city) to the Golden Principality, though this seems to mean little in practice – the Prince’s soldiers have since left and the Overseer doesn’t appear any less independent than before.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 04:45:05 PM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010, 03:53:14 AM »


New feature.  First feature, actually.  It turned out longer than I thought it would...

I found that it's rather difficult to make a religion based on a messiah returning to usher in an age of paradise without sounding like I'm "borrowing" from several real-world religions.  It's probably unavoidable.
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2010, 05:21:44 PM »

Well, at long last I've actually added something new!  For a variety of personal reasons, I haven't been very active lately, much to my regret.  Since the CJ no-stats theater game, however, I've been thinking about how adventurers of the four races would work together as a party, and today's feature is the result of that cogitation.  It's a different kind of thing than my usual features, more like the "race and prejudice" post in the old thread, but I hope it's as enjoyable.

(See post 2 in this thread, above, for the current feature.)
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2010, 06:19:54 PM »

Man, the Umbril really are wonderfully horrible at times.  I picture them almost like old British imperialists, or something: supremely arrogant and entitled, and simultaneously incredibly civilized and nonchalantly brutal.

A very useful post... I get a good feel for how an adventuring party might play out.
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2010, 11:47:01 PM »

By the way, Steerpike - seeing as this is the CJ discussion thread - I heartily enjoyed reading about the Cult of Insectile Mimetism.  It's definitely the kind of Aras Tay worship that I imagine to be scattered across the world.  But for the acrobatics, I'd say it would attract the Umbril even more than the Gheen - an ever-changing, ever-adapting being that confounds and eludes those who try to grasp it gives the Umbril a great deal to admire.  As it stands, I would see them primarily in the position of patrons.  There are probably few Umbril who wouldn't enjoy the role of the masked benefactor, standing apart from the central action but influencing it regardless.

I'm not keen to try and adopt it whole cloth, mostly because the Shuulei themselves clash with my design a bit - they're a bit too much like the existing Aras Tay (the Axolt, later renamed to Azal for my own internally consistent linguistic purposes) thematically.  That doesn't mean I like it any less - in fact, I'd never thought of Cogs being part of a swarm before (specifically, in an Azal's gullet) and I am seriously considering adapting the Sacred Spectacles as a ritual to Poruai, who has a similar strange shape-changing ability.
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2010, 11:50:32 PM »

Glad I could contribute some ideas!  Rereading the Azal, I agree they`re very similar.
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2010, 03:40:33 PM »

Another update, this time of a more concrete nature - a school of channeling.

Right now I'd like to focus on filling out wiki links that already exist, specifically factions, cities, and regions that haven't been detailed.  I really want to finish up with the Jewels of the Obsidian Crown, which means laying down Greythorn and Koldon's Well once and for all.  I have a pretty good idea of what I want out of Greythorn, but the character of Koldon's Well is still eluding me at this point.  I do feel like I have a much better grasp on the Tahro than I did a few months ago, though, so hopefully something will strike me that will differentiate it both from Kengal (the other "super Red Camp") and the other Black Circle cities.
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2010, 08:28:10 PM »

If you are filling out red links, please consider working on the Prophetslayer article: http://www.thecbg.org/wiki/index.php?title=Enti-Ven_Famar

I find it fascinating! (Their story and the betrayal are sufficiently epic.)
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2010, 03:16:09 AM »

*This post lost in forum transition*
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2010, 05:45:54 PM »

Thank you for updating those. I had been wondering about Vul-Fan. Nice to see that you explain his ongoing influence on Umbril drama (!)

I'd suggest linking "fruit eater" to the expressions page.

Also a link to the Oracle Tree from that page might be a good idea.
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 08:40:41 PM »

Just posted a new feature on Greythorn - five Black Circle cities down, one to go.
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2010, 02:14:01 PM »

A very well written feature. The society seems believable, although I find the bit about everyone partaking in farming a minor stretch.

How do they handle the exchange of goods between the city and the foreigners? It seems that the agricultural produce would be state property, to be sold in a centralized manner, although there would have to be many foreign parties buying small shares of it rather than a single buyer. Do the bureaucrats organize seasonal auctions, or do they engage in private negotiations with foreign merchants? What decides who gets a deal and for what price?

How does a foreign immigrant become a citizen?
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2010, 03:59:06 PM »

Ghostman

How does a foreign immigrant become a citizen?
Conversion.  You take vows, just like a monk would take vows entering a monastery.  Children born in Greythorn (or children of converts) are provisional citizens until their adulthood, at which point they either take the vows or are "deported" to the Foreigners' Quarter.  Usually, conversion is preceded by an extended stay in the city; a foreigner can't enter the city without an invitation from a resident, but this isn't usually very hard to get, and there's no limit on how long an invitation can last.  The priests encourage potential converts to become long-term guests with a local family before they consider making the permanent vows themselves.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 05:21:20 AM by Polycarp » Logged

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"The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." - Marcus Aurelius

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