View Full Version : [Civilization] The Shattered Council

2014-05-01, 11:23 PM
I've seen these 'Civilization' style games on several other boards, but not on Giantitp until this one (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?340620-Civilization-thread-gaelic-slimes-edition). That makes me really excited because they tend to be great fun all around. I'd like to try my hand at doing one, but a little bit differently than DeZako is doing his. So, here goes.

Background and Premise

The world is a few millennia old, shaped by primordial deities and strewn with all manner of geography and life. In the beginning, there were a multitude of sapient races, each with their own unique pantheon of gods. But, as time went on, most were destroyed, some by the misfortune of plague or disaster, others were eradicated by more war-like neighbors, still others merely found themselves ill-suited to survival in the habitats they arose in (or were pushed to by the expansion of larger civilizations), and dwindled to nothing over time. Their gods died with them, torn apart in the aether as they clawed madly for one more moment of light and thought.

But it would seem that divinity is a tad more durable than that. Tattered remnants of each god found their way, over thousands of years, to one another, and clung together out of familiarity. Eventually, enough shards gathered together that they became self-aware, with a chaotic mixture of memories and personalities from many varied beings. Together, they hunted for more shards, conglomerating themselves into a single gestalt body. Their adventures fell beneath the gaze of the other pantheons and, in time, they accrued enough power to equal a fledgling pantheon of their own.

Enter you. One piece of the Shattered Council, amalgam-god reborn into a world that you have forgotten and that has forgotten you. With every ounce of your divine might, you and the other shards have created a Primal Spark. This spark, once it has absorbed enough matter, can be unleashed into the world to create a new race of creature. This race will belong to you, and you to it, and through its advancement, so too will you grow. You, and the others, will be its zeitgeist, subtly influencing its development and manner of thinking and, perhaps in time, you will be its direct patron and power-source.

As a member of the Shattered Council, you share authority. After a turn has passed, you will cast a vote as to the action to take on the following turn. The first action to be voted on three times will typically be the one chosen. However, if I'm away for long enough that many votes pile up, I'll choose whichever action has the most votes. In some cases, if multiple actions are popular, I may just put multiple turns in a single post. As a courtesy to me, bold a word in your vote, and do not bold banter and discussion between council members.

The Creation Phase

Voting will work slightly differently in this phase. The Shattered Council owns a Primal Spark. To fertilize it, they must feed it items for it to absorb traits from. Once it has absorbed around ten items, it will be ready, and we will progress to the Placement Phase (and a world-map will be provided). Just about anything can be tossed into the spark. Water, jackals, an ember from the sun, an epic poem, the eyes of a hawk, grave dirt, smoke, a hammer, a martyr's dying scream - y'know, whatever.

Each poster can vote on up to three different things to toss into the Spark. Things with multiple votes will get priority, followed by whatever was posted earliest.

Targ Collective
2014-05-02, 09:13 AM
I'm in.

Let's add White Light, Violet Light and the Essence of Breath.

Fion MacCumhail
2014-05-02, 09:53 AM
i suggest the blueprint of a complex machine, a multilingual dictionary and a hilarious song.

2014-05-02, 03:43 PM
I would gladly join, but I'm really bad at starting things from nowhere so... Computer, Rock music, banshee's wail

2014-05-03, 03:28 PM
Nobleman's Saber, a Sharks Tooth, and a Madman's Smile.

2014-05-03, 04:19 PM

Since I'm already late for the party and probably can't provide new stuff, I vote for the Rock music and Nobleman's saber, and Blueprint of a complex machine.

2014-05-04, 02:46 PM
The Shattered Council gazes into the Spark that they have created. Inside, visions of tall, lanky, dark-skinned humanoids, their upper bodies wreathed in brilliant mantles of avian feathers, swirl in scintillating patterns before you. While it is impossible to determine all the qualities such a species will have before it is born, you suspect that they will be physically weak and highly frail, but impressively social and cunning creatures.

The name 'Nasku' comes to mind, though you may vote for another name, or vote to purge the spark and begin anew.

While you ponder that, however, the issue of where to deploy your civilization looms before you. The world is no longer young, and while there are still Minor Civilizations that lurk, godless and weak, in the crevices between empires, seven Great Civilizations with fully-formed and powerful pantheons have already laid claim to much of the world. To make a proper selection, you must first recall what fragmented knowledge you can about the world and its people.

Though each race has its own names for it, the world itself is often referred to be some derivation of 'The Drifting Stone'. It is a flat, oval-shaped mass wandering in a dark, mysterious sea known as The Vast. Many explorers have been to the edge of the Stone, and some Elven settlements are built directly on its cliffs. It is a black, foreboding thing, which no craft yet made can sail, that swallows all who touch it, save the sun and moon, which plunge into its shadowy depths on the western horizon, and raise at their respective times on the eastern horizon each day, roaring out from the gloom under their own power. Even the gods consider the movement of the celestial bodies a mystery. The Stone has no great seas or oceans, but a multitude of small fresh-water lakes and rivers dot its surface, making nearly all of its surface habitable to one degree or another. The exceptions are its northmost and southmost edges, which are beset by a lifeless frost.

The seven Great Civilizations that inhabit the Stone are thus.

Humans are a strong, willful, stubborn people with moderate excellence in all fields. Their special trait is Tenacity. The worse the situation is for a Human, the more competent they become. The saying goes that fifty Human soldier and fifty Orcish soldiers are an even match. And that ten Human soldiers and fifty Orcish soldiers are an even match. With this ability, and a moderate understanding of Fire and Earth magic, the Humans lead a campaign of conquest that carved out the largest empire there has ever been, along with their Elven and Halfling allies. Unfortunately for them, in the current day, they are left unchallenged. With a lack of duress, their Tenacity wanes, and they have become fat and complacent.

Elves are an intensely magically focused race. Weak, aloof, few in number, superstitious, but prodigies in magic nearly to a one. Their specialty is Water magic, which makes them incredibly deadly in their home environment. They can command the rivers, plants, and weather to do their bidding, and rumor has it that the greatest Elven magisters can use their hydromancy to shapeshift, manipulating their own living forms into whatever they wish. They were cunning enough to lay aside their pride and ally with the Human and Halfling empires when war engulfed the Stone, acting as support for the Human military, and thereby avoiding becoming a target for them altogether.

Halflings are powerhouses of production, masters of tedium and monotony, worthless at anything involving strength, bravery, or cunning. Their empire is mostly composed of a network of farming and fishing villages, as well as mining and lumber towns, which supply their allied nations, the Humans and Elves, with all the resources they'll ever need. It is the filling of this niche, of enjoying the work no one else wants to do, that earned them a spot in the triumvirate that conquered most of the known world. Surely, either of their neighbors could easily squash them at any time, but why would they want to?

Orcs are savage warmongers with back-ass-wards notions towards technology and magic. However, though their civilization has only barely made steps beyond a basic tribal state, they have an intensely complex culture based around a multitude of rites, rituals, and taboos, aimed at honoring their gods and ancestors. So developed and glorified are their heavens that they can temporarily breach the mortal veil, and call forth slain warriors in the form of fiery demonic titans, as well as more mundane feats, such as consulting the voices of the dead for advice. In general, wars with the Orcish tribal states are too costly for any empire to muster the motivation to do so; it's easier to just put up with the occasional raids.

Corven are short, squat, sinister little crow-people; beaks, feathers, everything. They are, by a wide margin, the least populous race on the Stone, barely more numerous than any given Minor Civ, because of their horrendously paranoid and anti-social behavior that makes the creation of family units, reproduction, and the raising of children very difficult. Yet, they still cling to the title of 'world power', because of their complete mastery of Death magic. Their lands are mostly occupied by the mindless undead husks of other races which, albeit incompetently, perform all the labor that their Corven masters require to live. Conquering them would mean conquering a largely barren land full of blighted graveyards, cursed crypts, and fields full of the ravenous dead. Its a tough sell.

Dwarves are the Stone's foremost leaders in architecture, engineering, science and, uh, fermentation. They haven't a single spark of magic in any of them, but they make up for it with pulleys and cannons. In the not-too-distant past, they lost much of their non-mountainous lands to Human and Orcish invasions, and therefore have strong grudges against both. Fortunately, their mastery of fortification, siege weaponry, and their ever-eager-to-help Myconid allies have made assault on their subterranean holdings largely impossible.

Myconids are large sentient fungi formed in a vaguely humanoid mushroom shape. They are strong, but pacifistic, with minor knowledge of Earth and Water magic. With this magic, and their innate affinity with molds, slimes, fungi, and all that is gross and squamous beneath the ground, they cultivate massive underground farms, the majority yield of which is traded across the Stone to every race that will buy, as food, medicine, poison, or luxury goods. Their Dwarven allies are reliant on them as a source of food, and accept them as talented (if quaintly primitive) medical personnel. In exchange, the Dwarves promise military aid should anyone make trouble for the gentle giants.

Here is a world map:


The starting territory of your Civilization will be so small that it will not be visible on this map. You may deploy them anywhere outside of an existing Great Civilization's territory.

Living near a Great Civilization can be lucrative, as their developed infrastructure makes them strong trade partners. At the same time, their culture is likely to strongly influence your own, and once you begin to grow larger, you may make a tempting target for conquest. Living farther away from the Great Civilization gives you more freedom, more room to grow, more opportunities to let your culture grow into its own without be adulterated by foreign powers, but you are left largely to fend for yourself against the hardships of the world and the many Minor Civilizations that lurk beyond the lights of a settled empire.

So, to recap, the current vote is:
-Vote on a name for your feathery race of socialites.
-Vote to scour the Spark and start over.

-Vote on a place in the world to detonate the Spark. (Feel free to use relative terms - i.e. "The center of that hex south east of the Orcs...", or to download the image, put a marker where you want it, and re-upload the image, or whatever you prefer.)

You can also ask questions or for clarifications/explanations, etc, if you want.

2014-05-04, 03:41 PM
About location, I think either in the intersection between Halfling, Elves and Humans, or in the hex between Halfling, Dwarves and Humans, for our socialites.

2014-05-04, 03:49 PM
I'm with Koalita on the location: between humans, dwarves and halflings. Though preferably as out of reach of the humans as possible; I don't know why, but I don't trust them.

Also... Time for culture. How about a mayan-themed civilization? ( http://www.wordgumbo.com/pe/may/erengmay.htm )

In which case... Let's see... "Friend hummingbird" translates to "amigoo ts'unu'un", which we could contract to "amitsu'un", or "amitsun". Or "ts'unugoo", but it sounds silly somehow.

Fion MacCumhail
2014-05-04, 03:59 PM
About location, I think either in the intersection between Halfling, Elves and Humans, or in the hex between Halfling, Dwarves and Humans, for our socialites.

never underestimate the human lust for conquest.
i vote for the bottom left corner of the hex between dwarves and halflings that borders the "north pole". (i'd vote for the left of that hex, but i fear the climate there might be less than optimal.)

as for (1), i don't want to scour the spark (if we've chosen poorly, we'll die soon enough^^) and i'm fine with whatever name everyone else agrees on.

edit: since the bottom left corner of the hex i suggested also happens to be the top corner of the hex Koalita suggested, i guess we can agree on that.

2014-05-12, 04:20 PM
Oh boy, am I late to this. Glad to see Civ threads are cropping up more and more. I also like the concept behind the creation, for sure!

Anyway, I say we go full arabian, where arts and science are appreciated and cultivated. I'll also go with koalita's location.

By the way, does our race have genders? Might as well get that out of the way, given that at one point or another, reproduction is going to be discussed.

2014-05-13, 02:52 PM
By the way, does our race have genders? Might as well get that out of the way, given that at one point or another, reproduction is going to be discussed.

Someone has a trauma.

2014-05-13, 04:06 PM
Someone has a trauma.

I had to write a mini essay on the reproduction of a fictional race of gooey anthropomorphic slimes, and it's not even my fetish. Yes, I have a trauma xD

2014-05-14, 02:57 AM
Hahaha that was fun :D
Btw, is the OP still around?

2014-06-08, 05:53 PM
I vote on starting on the border between the Dwarven mountains and the (mostly) empty plains. Aside from the minefield that is the Halfling-Elf-Human Alliance forest, those mountains are the only good source of high-altitude nests (I'm gonna assume Harpies and eagles have similar nesting habits), and the plains would be good for buffalo, elk or some other livestock.

Also, I think both would be good places for wind magic, if we have any.

Furthermore, the Dwarves would probably appreciate having a buffer between them and the humans. The reverse might also be true.

Lastly, I suggest Friend Falcon (Amigoo Koos) as a race name over Friend Hummingbird (Amigoo Ts'unu'un) on account of less syllables. However, while it sounds cooler in English, other races might feel threatened by self-proclaimed birds of prey more than self-proclaimed nectar-drinkers.