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Author Topic: The Clockwork Jungle [Old Thread]  (Read 24245 times)
« Reply #180 on: March 05, 2010, 04:49:33 PM »

You've mentioned that you were thinking about using creatures that act like the Caretaker more often. Have you ever considered a Cog caretaker? Some rogue Cog whose last instructions were something different than the other Cogs, in a way similar to Ot, the Philosopher.

Perhaps there is one town/city that has it's very own Soldier Cog. The soldier Cog's last instructions were to protect a specific person, and while that person is long dead, this hasn't stopped this Cog from trying to obey these last orders (I'm certain you recognize the reference). This has resulted in the community forming a very unique form of government '“ one in which the ruler is chosen by the Cog guardian. This Cog bodyguard protects 'the chosen one' from physical harm, only becoming deadly when it believes the 'chosen' is in danger. There is no known way to stop the Cog from it's duty, perhaps other than the 'chosen' to place himself / herself between the Cog and the perceived threat. While the ruler is assumed to be immune to physical threats, this ruler would still be susceptible to death via poison. Poison isn't under the Cog's list of 'things to protect the ruler against.'
When the ruler dies, the Cog guardian searches the town for someone else to protect. Whoever it chooses the community accepts to be the new ruler. Some people probably devise ways to look like the old ruler, in an attempt to gain the favor of the Cog guardian. To add more to the mystery, perhaps the Cog has accepted radically different looking people to guard. For instance, if the previous ruler was an Umbril, why is the new ruler an Iskite? This could lead to a theory that the Ancients / Artificers looked nothing like the modern races, so the Cogs have a hard time identifying them. While this particular Cog may have trouble finding a suitable 'heir' when the previous ruler dies, once the Cog decides the new ruler it has no trouble telling apart the 'chosen one' and someone disguised as the 'chosen one.'

Why doesn't the community destroy the Cog for resources? Well perhaps it is an extremely powerful Cog that has resisted all attacks against it. When people stopped fighting it, it stopped as well. Over time, people got used to it's presence and eventually accepted the idea of exploiting it in the form of the best Palace Guard there could ever be. Maybe there was a point in time when the town was under attack by a raiding party, only to find the Cog guardian defending the town along with the town's militia. I would recommend to make this tradition of Cog-chosen-ruler become established after the Recentering, just so you don't have to deal with the Orange Horde attacking the Cog guardian.

If you use this idea (or rather expand on your original idea), there has to be a nickname for this Cog. While the Cog itself cannot speak, I'm sure generations of upholding this form of government has lead to people bestowing a name upon it.


Another random idea: What if the ancients build a portable fortress? Some sort of gargantuan Cog Hauler that is basically a small stone ruin atop giant mechanical legs. While it isn't very big (perhaps an acre or two in diameter?), it is big enough for a small settlement to live on. All the Cog does is move about the jungle, stopping only at dusk for the inhabitants to gather resources before moving on at the first sight of dawn. While floating cities are a common theme in fantasy, a walking city could make for an interesting feature of the Clockwork Jungle.

I hope this helps.
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« Reply #181 on: March 06, 2010, 06:54:11 PM »

SamuraiChicken

Cogs
felt[/i] in terms of the Breath - every living being exists in the Breath slightly differently, creating different currents and eddies in the Breath through their daily existence.  Cogs, being attracted by and highly sensitive to the Breath, might recognize some commonality between the one they were supposed to guard and the current object of their attention.  That would be another possible explanation as to why a completely different-looking ruler could arise; a creature's currents in the Breath have nothing to do with their species.

As for the Orange Horde, they don't really pose a problem here - the Horde didn't go everywhere.  There were entire regions they never touched.  Most of the communities that they destroyed were actually victims of small splinter groups of like-minded zealots, opportunistic bandits, or deserters from the Horde itself that sought to capitalize on the Horde's success and society's general state of chaos.  While the Horde itself wouldn't have been dissuaded by a single Soldier, any of these smaller groups would probably take a detour and attack another less well-defended target instead.  Opportunists tend to follow the path of least resistance.

I actually have made a "big Cog," I just haven't posted it.  Such is the fate of most of my ideas - I write something, it's interesting, but ultimately it either doesn't fit in some way, isn't yet polished enough, or I just decide that now isn't the time.  I did write up a "Cog Colossus," basically a big, armored Hauler, but I never really settled on what its orders should be.

The Cog-city idea reminds me of Planescape (the Crawling City in Gehenna, to be precise).  I'm not sure it fits here, however, and in any case I've imposed a self-moratorium on cities - in CJ, urban areas are supposed to be the rare exception, not the rule, and I want to concentrate more on places and people in smaller communities (which make up most of the civilized world anyway) before I even consider expanding the number of CJ cities.  It is something I'll remember, though.

By the way - I don't know to what extent the CBG community is still doing this "campaign badge" thing, but you really should take one.  Your input is fantastic, and I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
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« Reply #182 on: March 11, 2010, 04:30:57 PM »

Polycarp

The Cog-city idea reminds me of Planescape (the Crawling City in Gehenna, to be precise).  I'm not sure it fits here, however, and in any case I've imposed a self-moratorium on cities - in CJ, urban areas are supposed to be the rare exception, not the rule, and I want to concentrate more on places and people in smaller communities (which make up most of the civilized world anyway) before I even consider expanding the number of CJ cities.  It is something I'll remember, though.
By the way - I don't know to what extend the CBG community is still doing this "campaign badge" thing, but you really should take one.  Your input is fantastic, and I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
[/quote]

I am honored to accept your badge, and I thank you for the accolade. If I think of anything else, I will let you know. (also, I now have something to put in my signature! Thanks again!  laugh )
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« Reply #183 on: March 12, 2010, 01:28:40 AM »

>>A good example of Tahro culture would be High School. All the students go to the same school, yet students are all divided into different classes. You get to know everyone in your class far better than anyone outside your class, and sometimes students transfer to different classes. Each class, however, has it's own personality, it's own qualities, it's own mindset: some get along well, some divide themselves into sub-groups. Some are rowdy, while others get along with each other extremely well. The classes all follow the same basic agenda and rules, but the students themselves cause a class to have it's own unique experience. No two classes will ever be the same, despite their similarities.

Interesting way of looking at things, SC. And, by the way, welcome to the site. smile
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« Reply #184 on: March 14, 2010, 06:15:55 PM »

Have you ever had the occasion to read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimsy_Were_The_Borogoves ? Having at last caught up on Th eClockwork Jugnle, I think you might find it to be of interest.
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« Reply #185 on: April 19, 2010, 09:10:39 AM »

Closed, per Polycarp's Request
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