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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Science-Fantasy Setting

    Hello out there in GitPland.

    For some years now I have been working on a science fantasy setting put many millions of years in the future, with the remains of humanity living on a changed earth. The setting has it's roots in the dying earth genre, specifically The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe, but other influences include Frank Herbert, the great Fading Suns RPG, and yeah, Warhammer 40k.

    That's right, it's pretty much your standard clause medievalist techno-fantasy, down to that there are noble lords, a mixed level tech society, and an immortal god-emperor (or rather a succession of them). But I have looked carefully at those elements, and have sought to create an original and detailed world that is hopefully innovative and fun.

    The Oecumene of Terra is over three million years old, the last successor to the many millions of years of human culture and development throughout the galaxy. Most of the galaxy is devoid of life, and the age of interstellar culture had been long since brought down by The Titans, essentially multidimensional alien gods who's function is to destroy the universe.

    Founded to preserve the spirit of humanity until the end of time, the Oecumene of Terra is a confederation and quasi-political union (not an empire, and most especially not an evil empire) united under the god-emperor and various cadres of posthuman intelligences. Humanity still runs the show though, split off into about twenty major subspecies still considered human and existing in a complex patchwork of political, social and economic groups in a very competitive but relatively harmonious and advanced society.

    Earth itself it very different, too wild now to ever be tamed, and many other culture make it and the greater solar system their home. Along with this their are various gods, robots, aliens, Warlock-Kings of Abraxas, and other crazy stuff. The flavor of the setting is overall influenced by the Ancient world and Greco-Roman culture, but it is very much just me trying to shoehorn everything in to one world.

    I've toyed with the idea of calling this swords and sorcery transhumanism, hard/soft realistic science fantasy, and other implausible titles. Anyhow, the campaign is about seventy percent complete on paper, needs to be organized and put out there. I was hoping to use this forum to give out some basic info on the setting; races, timelines, locations and nations, freaky monsters and cool titled for things. Also to generate interest, get help, and all that.

    If anyone is seeing a huge (way too big to post) political and geographical map of earth 36 million years hence, that's my main cool thing I have to show right now.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Science-Fantasy Setting

    Well, seems like no one is trying to scare me off with the eponymous stick; here's some more about my setting.

    The Oecumene is currently pulling itself out of a 10000 year funk caused by the reign of the insane God-Emperor Typhon. After widespread cataclysmic destruction, and civil war, Typhon's successor Leto sent a good deal of humanity 'back to the farm' so to speak, slowing down the rate of progress and giving time to rebuild the almost-shattered Oecumene. The arch-conservative God-Emperor Creon continued this tradition, and even after 2500 years under the rule of the more progressive Ganymede and then Peleus life still retains that quasi-medieval feel we all know so well.

    Not to say that the Oecument is low-tech. It's a supertech civilization, but one that values simplicity and elegance over reliance on unreliable and potentially socially upsetting technology.

    The God-Emperor is an immortal posthuman considered to be the apotheosis of humanity. Generally they are unconcerned with day to day events, and take a long view of things. Also, after Typhon they endeavour not to get too too involved in the running of things. Eventually they will give up their reign (at their own time) and make way for a new God-Emperor with a new course, usually after a few thousand years. Understanding the nature of the God-Emperor is difficult, he (or she, or it) is usually the main plank of the Oecumene government.

    There are other gods too, more on them later.

    The Curia is the God-Emperor's deliberative, comprised of both posthumans and humans, and is totally incomprehensible and ineffective politically, but also encloses the Temple of the God-Emperor, musters the most adavanced military groups, and deals independently with posthumans in the Oecumene.

    The Senate and the Imperial Magistrate organizes everything for everyone else with mixed results, and is the gameboard for various power stuggles. Most of the Oecumene is divided in to various power blocs, here are a few.

    the Dispater Ruler of the great city of Dis and the dominant politcal force in the post-Typhonic age. Given a great deal of mandate by Creon, the Dispater is a powerful, somewhat autocratic office with a huge share of military, bureaucratic, industrial and economic clout. Having lost power and gained enemies in recent millenia, the succession of Dispater's have become more controlling and authoritarian, preceeding what many see as the collapse of this positition. Kind of like Mordor meets the Protestant work-ethic.

    The Aureal Nobility The old, old classical nobility with an egyptian flavor an good villain potential. A distinct race, their population is dwindling and they are becoming more marginalized despite their vast wealth. Their interests include slavery, inbreeding, and dark gods, among other things.

    The Argentine Commonwealth Long considered second-rate nobility, the Argentine race has developed in to a largely democratic economic powerhouse. Still recoiling from the destruction of House Aquilia, which would have created an Argentine-Elysian alliance with a dominant position in the Oecumene. Instead they are generally isolated, and usually too independent minded to present a dominant culture.

    More if you want it.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Science-Fantasy Setting

    Anyone let me know if I'm posting too much or breaking any rules, otherwise on with the synopsi! More nations.

    The Cybelline Union is where all the plant people are. The Cybellines are humans with plant like features, effectively immortal and more like elves than vegetables. Their Union was formed when they migrated to the Ariadne region after the Great Cataclysm, and decided to become more in tune with Oecumene culture. Politically and culturally they are actually quite conservative, closer to the mainstream ideal than many other nations during this period, and perhaps a little behind the times. Also they are relatively cosmopolitan. Of course they are also extremely insular and live according to feeling and senses other cannot understand. The Cybelline Union is the main biotechnology producer in the Oecumene, and has a habit of 'innocently' upsetting power balances with their technological aid. They are big on stewardship of the land. To an outsider it seems as if they have no government at all, but some view the Union as a utopia.

    The Republic Of Elysium One of the superpowers of the Oecumene, the Elysian Republic has gained a great deal of power despite it's wild an woolly ways. This a modern, robust and technologically advanced society with an ad-hoc government (secretly managed by posthumans), an open market and lots of free discourse, starry-eyed dreamers and backbiting do-nothingness. Information and media-oriented, tries to be a liberal utopia but often fails. Increasingly militaristic with unbalanced influence coming from rel;igious organziations (the Ashrams). Imagine if San Francisco ruled India.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Science-Fantasy Setting

    The Arcadian Congress formed to rival the Aurial nobility, this has become the dominant center of noble culture, and specifically represents the Arcadian people. A more 'progressive' nobility interested in keeping lordship from going stagnant and actually concerned with the plight of the common people. Still a maze of archaic laws and traditions with each of the Houses playing for their own gain, and not very unified internally. Not quite feudal, but a system of patronage and vassalage nonetheless. Administrative duties fall to House Caper and dominated by House Leonis, a power unto itself.

    The Sacred Union Also known as the Ecclesia or alternately the Temple System. Counters the magistrate as a system of governance, based around the idea that it should be the priests that administer the Oecumene in lieu of bureaucrats. The Oecumene is a polytheistic society, and it can be difficult to run a theocracy without any dominant dogma. Still, this is a successful government despite it's conflicts, but highly decentralized and to many more an idea on paper than an actual nation. Controls most of the Western continent of Hesparia, but internationally minded and often unable to manage its holdings.

    The Judges Faction 3 millions years of law can create for a confusing judicial system, and one that takes a highly trained personnel to manage (including lots of posthumans). The Judges Faction split off from other groups to maintain neutrality, and with the support pf the god-emperor has formed it's own nation, one with power to administer law all over the Oecumene. Relies mostly on clout to maintain influence, but it's power as a nation is not trivial. Tough but fair, just like you'd expect.

    The Oceanid Empire a remnant of a long ago time, totally out of touch and protected by the Elysians, odd and impotent but able to maintain something of a trading empire in the out of reaches part of Oecumene. Watching an episode of Stargate: Atlantis on high-strength hallucinogens will give some indication of what this civilization is like.

    Next I'll want to lay down some notes on the Nobility, which is not the same as the nations. They're amusing too, with funny Latin animal names.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Homo Oecumenica

    In lieu of noble houses, here are the races of the Oecumene.

    The people of the Oecumene believe that they are 'human' and all other races around them are 'inhuman'. There is obviously a special chauvinism about this, but the actual humanness of these people is questionable (everyone was actually created by the God-Emperor Cadmus three mil ago, oops). Other offshoots of humanity exist, but the races in the Oecumene are those groups closely associated with the God-Emperors of Terra and life on Terra itself.

    Adama Sort of a cyborg race, or at least a biomechanical race with a variety of cyborg features. They are considered different from robots in that they are technically born, not manufactured, and have full personalities. They are not tools as robots are considered, but this is a fuzzy line. Adama have an innate ability to speak to technology, to craft and create gadgets, and to constantly upgrade themselves. Because of this they can live anywhere, survive indefinitely. They are rare and mysterious, effectively immortal and extremely wise, they have had a long history in the Oecumene. Adama have extremely over-developed personalities, a number of neuroses and are really actually more similar to the Cybellines than robots. Physically they are extremely varied, all humanoid but with a cybernetic look to them.

    AegaeoniiA race of mutated giants. The Aegaeonii are considered a slave race according to older cultures, monsters by simpler people, and an oppressed people by more egalitarian cultures. They are rarely well off and almost never independent in society. Mostly they are slaves, thralls, servants, and labourers bred for work and war, given little respect or education, and as that is the case they are stupid and inxepressive and either docile or violent. Aegaeonii raised well and given good accomidations in to society can be successful, but have difficultly with their emotions, which can be childlike. The main problem is that Aegaeonii genes are unstable, and they mutate constantly from generation to generation. They are huge, usually over eight feet tall and very wide. They can have as few as two arms or as many as five, and short, wide legs. They have no necks to speak of, just head bulging straight out of their necks. Horns, tails, two heads, weird color patterns and who knows what else is common.

    ArcadiansThe Arcadians consider themselves a noble race, born to rule like the Aureals or Argentines. Those two races consider Arcadians 'people who live in forests'. Arcadians are a conservative, clannish, emotional, and enjoyment-loving people. They love nature, are wary of technology, and are good long-term planners, learn well (and spend lots of time doing it). Culture is either aristocratic, meritocratic, or family oriented. They are chivalrous, moral, and often extremely traditional (but not rigid in thought). Arcadian body type varies, generally tall, some are thin while others are physical giants, and even normal sized ones can tend to fatness. They are an attractive people, with thick luxurious hair, large eyes and expressive faces. Arcadian women are legendary for their beauty. Most have horns on their head, varied in type, usually small but not always. Arcadians live a long time, but not as long as some others, 200 years is a common outside life span. Of course some Arcadians, mostly female, can lvie much longer.

    Argentines The Argentines have toiled endlessly to put aside their reputation as the also-rans of the Oecumene, having ruled nations and people for long eras, but always subservient to the Aureals. Finally they have crafted their own longstanding alliance on Terra and might be able to overpower their competitors. Part of the problem for Argentines is that they are a people with no homeland, having occupied disparate urban settings for a long time. Argentines are extremely intelligent with good minds for science, math and philosophy and they are crafty, crafty, crafty! Otherwise they are a stoic and reserved people. What is also regarded as an Argentine trait is extreme individualism and a need for deliberation and 'hashing things out'. They as tall as Aureals, but extremely thin.
    Argentines have a number of skin colors; usually they have either a blue tint or a silver sheen to their complexion. They have a number of unusual features like no finger nails, slight noses, and translucent second eyelids. Their hair is usually black and eyes are blue, but no variation is unheard of. They regularly live two to three hundred years.

    Aureals The primary aristocratic race, the ultimate descendants of the God-Emperor Phaeton, with lineages that stretch back over two million years in some cases. Greatly, greatly diminished and out of touch on the whole, they still retain a great arrogance and depraved sense of entitlement to match their dwindling power. Most Aureals are between six and a half and seven and a half feet tall, lean, attractive, and extremely strong. Their skin is some tone of bronze, with distinct scale-like patterns. Their eyes are always gold, but have a variety of iris and pupil shapes. They are ferociously intelligent but tend to be insane, commonly sociopaths or schizophrenics. Lifespan varies, some Aureals live only a century, but have an incredible vigor, while other can live over a thousand years (some even over two thousand years). Furthermore they are wracked by all kinds of bizarre deformities that can develop over time. This has led to the convention among Aureals to wear masks in most occasions (the desertification of Harmakhis, their ancestral home, has also contributed to this).


    Cuprials 'Native Concordians' as they like to call themselves, the Cuprials are the workhorse race of the Oecumene, with a history as long as any other races. Long a servitor race of the Aureals, the have found themselves free to migrate and settle as they will, and are now everywhere in huge numbers. Hard working, spirited, and crafty on par with the Argentines. Also, they have an unmatched hardiness that gives them resistance to disease, injury, starvation, thirst and extreme conditions. And they keep together, keep organized. and support one another with an impressive loyalty. They are not terribly upwardly mobile in society, generally they are a proletarian people (and to an extent like it that way), but some have become minor nobility, and many are middle class. Cuprials are short and stocky, with wide faces and little hair. Their skin is reddish-black. They can live around 200 years if they do now work themselves out by 100 (which most do), and as stated before they are gnarly tough.

    Cybellines Plant people. Story goes that the Cybellines used to be trees, but took human form after Typhon destroyed their home on Pandora, or something like that. Cybellines are adapted to have plant ecosystems within their bodies and to be integrated within the larger ecosystem around them. They are constantly adapting, changing, and growing within themselves, and are able to control and direct it. They possess all kinds of inscrutable sense but are saavy and practical. It has been often noted that Cybellines are outsiders in Oecumene culture, but they seem to distinctly 'like' the Oecueme, with a morphic culture that mixed traditionalism, cosmopolitanism, and far-out tree-hugging. They are by turn philosophical, jovial, stern, serious and emotional, but rarely in any order or context that makes sense. Physically they are varied, though they almost always will have a normal body type (two arms, two legs, one head) Most have either brown, slightly bark-like skin or green skin. Sometimes they have leaves growing out of them. Otherwise they are attractive. If one really wanted to, a Cybelline could change their apperance or gender, grow back missing limbs, live without food or water, or hibernate indefinitely. Cybellines live as long as they want. They do not age, do not degenerate, and do not slow as they get older. Some Cybellines could potentially be over ten thousand years old.

    Whew! More races soon.
    Last edited by NemoJBatkastle; 2008-04-01 at 02:16 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Home Oecumenica (Cont.)

    Elysians The Elysians are a venerable race, but they have had many difficult periods over their history. Currently they are enjoying a long term period of wealth and influence as a culture. All Elysians are by right members of the Republic of Elysium. You are considered an Elysian if your mother was an Elysian. Elysians are mystical, savoir-faire, and curious by nature, but often unreliable, nonsensical and hedonistic. They have an astute insight in to personality, and great creativity and innovation. Physically they are tall and thin, equal in height to the Arcadians but slightly thinner. They are extremely graceful, agile and fast with fluid movement. The average Elysian has coffee-colored skin, dark gold hair, opalescent eyes, and is incredibly, unbelievably attractive. Of course, an average Elysian is considered mildly disadvantaged with such boring features. Many Elysians have a variety of possible features, including various strange 'tints' to their skin, many different hair colors, strange eyes, or in a large number of cases feathers instead of hair. To have feathers is considered 'upper-class' in Elysian society, which is not necessarily good. Elysians live three hundred years most of the time, some live longer and some just never die. Elysians claim they have the secret to immortality, and can all live as long as they choose.

    Hesparians Native to the Western continents, regarded as a 'younger' and less venerable race, but with a burgeoning population and increasing success in the Oecumene. The Sacred Union, which is sort of consensus theocracy, emerged from the native Hesparian traditions. They are highly religious, but tend towards wooly dogma and enjoy celebration perhaps too much. Hesparians love business and industry, love to plan and organize and most of all love to make money. Some call them greedy but few would call them dishonest, and they are usually involved heavily in their communities. Hesparians form insular networks and get much done with back room deals. Liveliness and humor are respected qualities. Physically they are short, rarely over six feet and often half a foot shorter. They can be lean or fat but are hardy survivors and tough to put down in a fight in either case. They have gills and webbed hands and feet, but these are mostly vestigial. They have black skin with natural patterns, often in different colors and sometimes in esoteric patterns. Hesparians live between 100 and 200 years.

    Kobolds An underclass race, one that is discriminated against greatly and forced to live in the cracks of society, often depending on the whims of sinister patrons and by their skills. It is said they were a pet race of the Aureals that grew out of control; it is true that they have some association with the Aureals but they do not seem culturally linked. They are roguish by nature, distrustful and disdainful of the traditions, but good travelers, adaptable and loyal to those who aid them. Many that are successful are talented craftsmen and artisans. They are small, crouched and thin with elongated limbs, strange elongated noses, large mobile ears, and a tail . They are very fast and quiet. They are nocturnal and have a dislike of light. Kobolds have the shortest lifespan of any race in the Oecumene. Even if not for their miserable lives, their fast metabolisms would burn them out before they are sixty or seventy years old.

    Myrmidons A race long ago bred to be 'perfect warriors', they are
    for that a race under the domination of others. Perhaps they are comfortable with that, because they seem to possess no individual culture. The are stoic to blankness, but they are good at reading a situation and have an unsettling insight. They do have opinions on matters and individual personalities, but this is not always readily available since they consider personality nothing more than an acceptable quirk, seeing it does not stand in the way of an objective. Naturally they take well to orders and have good lateral thinking skills, as well as a unique gestalt ability that works best among their own kind but generally makes them more capable working in formations and groups. Also they have an ability to read body language that benefits them while fighting. They are very, very fast. Physically they are strange, insectile in many. They are always a little over six feet, stand tall but have slight humps on their backs housing their brains. Their heads are a little narrower than what is normal, and have five eyes and various antennae. They have mouths that are mostly human and a range of recognizable expressions, but are still disturbing to talk to. Their skin is a chitinous material that is hard and tough, and has a dull sheen to it. Their skin can be a wide range of colors. They live a hundred years and then simply stop working. They are all asexual and are birthed in clone creches.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Homo Oecumenica (Cont.)

    Novans Novans, or New Concordians, are a populous and successful race with lonstanding ties to the Concordians lands and a strong position as a middle class people throughout the Oecumene. They are strong and energetic with ordered minds and they excel at war, governance and labor while being seem by some as overly practical, boring, humorless and stiff. Novans have a strong history of centralization and dislike nobility, preferring strong leaders who have risen through their own will and the will of the people. In their own way they are also very devious, but usually straightforward. Novans would seem very normal to us, being tall and extremely muscular (though rarely fat) and good looking. They have a wide color variety of hair and eyes, older and more respected Novan bloodlines are hairless but hairy Novans become more common as time passes. Their skin color is usually some light shade of beige. One quirk is that they have six fingers and toes.

    Nulliads Nulliads (or Nulls) are a unique species among the people of the Oecumene. They are adapted for life in the vacuum of space, and life in regions far distant from Terra. They are individualistic and solitary with a deep connection to space and a desire to explore the void that surrounds them. Generally deeply spiritual, they are capable of great wisdom. They have a natural colonial instinct and live spread out thinly over great distances. Nulliads have thin bodies with long limbs and large heads with strange horned skulls, they have advanced brains with many unique senses to benefit them in their environment. They have large moth-like wings to allow them movement in space, these can be folded. Their skin is deep black with luminous dots on it, a natural camouflage against space and quite striking otherwise. Nullias have difficulty in Terran gravity, but have adapted Sidereal exosuits to allow them to live long periods on Terra Firma.

    Pelasgians Long ago the Pelasgians were a common race, never dominant but present in Oecumene society. Now they are still populous, but are displaced and disenfranchised. Part of this is due to their appearance. They have scary skin that can grow alternately in to feathers on parts of or all over their bodies, grow in to thorny scales or become a subtle pattern over matte black skin. They have large blunt horns on their head, actually a natural sense organ, and tails something like a lizard. Pelasgians with full feathers are considered attractive exotics, other Pelasgians are considered ugly. Another example of a race once in Aureal servitude, they now either crowd cities, live far from civilization or continue to be servants and slave. Pelasgians do not like the Aureals on the whole, but they have a unique culture entirely borrowed from the race of their former masters, and based on an old, now lost culture. Many Pelasgians are beginning to turn to dark and secret ways and beliefs. Pelasgians can live over two hundred years given the right conditions (which are rare) but they seem to have a genetic instability and are prone to develop strange sicknesses and fatal mutations.

    Piscae Piscae is more a catch-all term for the various aquatic races that exist on Terra, but they are biologically and culturally linked to each other and the Oecumene. Piscae are linked to House Delphinus, but really their culture is an anarchic tribal, family-oriented culture. Many see them as simplistic but Piscae are in fact some of the greatest historians and would consider themselves very advanced socially as opposed to everyone else. They have an unexpectedly fierce warrior culture, and even entire navies would fear a few Piscae warriors. They are lean but very muscular, highly adapted and developed swimmers. They have large hands with webbed finger and toes, and have gill slits on their back with extremely competent gills for breathing under water. Otherwise Piscae come in a loud variety of colors, skin tones, designs and patterns, with even families having completely different but equally ostentatious skin patterns. Some have hair some don't.
    Piscae lifespane is generally put at 500 year (!) normally, some don't age and could be very old.

    Selenians Selenians were in ancient times the dominant population of Oecumene humans off of Terra, since then they have lost their population and influence to a number of factors, but still are an important people who actually are making headway to become influential on the homeworld. A trait of Selenians biology makes it so that women are more commonly birthed then men, furthermore females are born with an adaptation that gives them the ability to adapt muscle-mass and bone density over a period of time, giving them the ability to live under a range of gravities. Also this can make Selenians become hugely muscular and tough easily, creating a tradition of strong warriors. Selenians are generally peaceful until threatened, in which cases they become bellicose and deadly. They are easygoing by nature, with a close similarity in culture to the Elysians. Many seek to address gender inequality in Selenian society, but it and always will be a woman-dominated culture. Selenians are usually thin and delicate, woman can grow to become very strong but this process takes time. They resemble Elysians but have white, silver, or black hair, gold, silver or green eyes, and very pale skin that gives off a faint bioluminescense. Men and women are both very attractive. They are by nature very nocturnal. Selenians live close to two hundred years normally, usually their deaths are tied to problems developed from their unusually biologies and the range of conditions they live under. Like other races they have some among their population who just never die.

    Sidereals Sidereals are another catch-all race, but one that does not necessarily adhere in culture or biology to one another. Essentially Sidereal is the term for all Oecumenical humans adapted to live in space excepting the Nulliads. Sidereals do not always match up with one another, weird varieties exist with more laxity as to what is considered 'human'. They are usually light and delicate with long finger and elongated opposable toes. Their adaptations to space give them difficulty with gravity, on Terra and other planets they wear characteristic exosuits that are usually very advanced. Sidereals vary in culture and priorities, but they all share extremely careful minds able to see consequences well in advance, a dislike for waste and excess, and amazing talents for science and engineering.
    Last edited by NemoJBatkastle; 2008-04-02 at 07:25 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Homo Oecumenica (Cont.)

    And the last of them.

    Sphinx If the Sphinx were once a second class race they have since escaped that stigmata. An energetic warrior race once the slave of the Aureals, they are now respected and competitive in many regions. Sphinx are cat people; there, I said it! Sphinx are competitive, athletic, occasionally prone to emotional outbursts but learn early to suppress their violent instincts. They are tall and strong, usually over six feet five inches and can grow even taller, muscular but fast. They have fine hair over their bodies, large manes, mobile ears and distinctly leonine faces (but not entirely similar to a big cat). Sphinx (singular and plural) have strong colonial instincts and do better in the lonely places, they do not like having too many others around, rarely preferring communities of over a hundred people. They do form social networks to trade, communicate and protect one another and children are raised communally. 'The Tribe' does not usually mean much to individual Sphinx, but they tend to pay in to it anyways. Lifespan is not terribly long by any standards, some Sphinx live over a century but most older Sphinx lose a great deal of their wisdom and none of their desire for athletic prowess, and die in stupid accidents.

    Sylvanii Sylvanii are genetically and culturally similar to the Arcadians, for whatever reason they are considering a 'less noble' race. They are a people with a love for nature and wildernesses, most notably the great forests of their Arcadian homeland but also other wild places. Because of this they live on the margins of society, in smaller self-sustaining communities. Many have become urbanized, a significant proletarian underclass in society but even in these cases they are hardly ever city-dwellers, more often populating larger towns and medium-sized industrial centers. They are closely clan oriented, with large extended families. Their culture deeply traditional and they have better minds for crafts and art than anything either too technical or too theoretical. They understand a number of applications for technology, but hate anything too advanced or invasive, preferring to live as close to nature and as simply as possible. They have a deep love for nature but are otherwise non-spiritual, rarely involved in temples and cynical about philosophy, and this has been a major breaking point between them and the spiritual and intellectually vigorous Arcadians. Sylvanii are broken up in to several sub-races but are commonly small of build, covered for the most part in a layer of fur and with large mobile ears. Lifespan is often over a hundred years, but rarely over two hundred.

    The Ur All these so-called humans are weird! What happened to normal humans! Well, they exist but despite the fact that they are not significantly disadvantaged they can never keep up with the other races in the Oecumene. It is a miracle (or at least a posthuman agenda) that humans no different from you or I exist in the Oecumene, but they are a disorganized race without the adaptations and natural mechanisms of the other races. Some are wild men living out in empty lands, others live perfectly normal lives in cities and settled areas. Many try to marry in to a significant racial culture, hoping their descendants with be not like them.

    There are three races significant in the Oecumene that are not really human at all. They are still 'members' of humanity in the eyes of most.

    The Nagas A complex race with a long history tied closely to humanity. Hopefully I will be able to deal with this species later in more detail. They are the sister travelers of mankind, and despite being very different biologically and in their society they are still used to humans and humans are used to them, so they have adapted to each other rather well at this point. Nagas in the Oecumene are humanoid, a variety of sizes but with thin, rubbery reptilian bodies, large horned skulls with seven eyes (their skulls are actually symbiotic entities housing specialized brains), four arms, legs that branch off at the knees in to a set of lower legs and hoof-like feet and long tails. Naga culture is unique and alien, but the Nagas that live in the Oecumene are generally respected.

    Cynocephalii Primarily referring to the variety of species evolved from modern-day canines, who make up the majority of this race, but they term also encompasses any type of animal evolved enough to have a human conscious and an essentially humanoid body typer. These can be dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, alien species and just about anything else. Many are sterile, others have interbred to form unlikely species combinations. Most but not all have opposable digits and the ability to speak and reason as well as anyone else, but they have strange and sometimes unstable personalities and cannot control their animal urges. Inside the Oecumene they are among the most discriminated against of peoples, only seen as truly human in the most enlightened of polities and sometime seen as lowly animals or abominations. Outside the Oecumene they have their own societies.

    Logotheres Like they Cynocephalii the Logotheres are the evolved descendants of the animal races of Terra, unlike the Cynocephlii Logotheres are not humanoid in body or even thought; they think and reason but not always by human terms. They do not have hands or digits always, or have developed other means of manipulation, or are not tool-using at all. Most are wondrous creatures totally unlike animals today. But they can usually communicate and are regarded as wise sentients. Most Logotheres want to be left alone few really want anything to do with humans and are simply considered members of the Oecumene for the fact that that is where they live, and no one is asking them too leave.
    Last edited by NemoJBatkastle; 2008-04-01 at 06:23 PM.

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    Default Maps Of The Oecumene of Terra

    This is going to become my area for writing up the locations in my setting. Right now they are just going to have the regional maps; I'll be adding in content over time. This post will house the regions within the Oecumene.

    Geographical without Region Names
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    A basic political map, regions in blue are the Oecumene, regions in red are different nations and empires.
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    Arcadia
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    Arcadia has long been a center for feudalism and vassalage, pushing back the draconian Aureal governments that once ruled and resisting the centralization of the Concordians. Instead it is a land of 'enlightened' feudalism, where the lords ruled with the consent of the people and of tradition, and where respect means more than law. The land is primarily rural and only houses a few major cities but has a large spread out population with advanced industry. The north is a series of once fertile plains still ruled by mad Aureal kings and troubled by war, the south is a much more pleasant land given over to large forests and jungles, grand mountains and temperate plains.


    Ariadne
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    Ariadne is home to the mysterious Cybelline culture and is celebrated as a land of splendid gardens and great forests. The western portion of Ariadne is given over to farms and cities, all of them integrated in to nature in meticulous ways. The land is carefully sculpted and designed, wondrous and yet accommodating to man. Many of the urban regions are familiar city areas with cosmopolitan populations; these cities are immaculately clean and many feel in these places they are living under observation. The east of the region is trackless wilderness with many surprises. The eastern coast of Ariadne houses a large population of Nagas.


    Concordia
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    At the dawn of the Oecumene, Concordia was the land settled first for humanity, and all progress radiated out from there. Since then it has always been a center of Oecumene culture, and today it still is so. In the past the entire land of Concordia was fertile, now the outer third of it's land is harsh wastes and twisted lands, once settled and developed land and another part is only slowly regaining its previous fecundity. But the central land, the plains of Concordia are still fertile and rich lands. The plains are home to huge and ancient cities, now home to the Novans but built by older peoples. In the east lies the River Eridanus and the Land of the Serpent. Concordia is the most densely populated center of humanity, referred to as The Preserved Empire because is it home to the legitimate authorities created by the God-Emperor Creon to centralize the Oecumene. The Dispater rules these lands with an increasingly heavy hand, and it is splintering. The dominant feature of this territory is settled lands out to the wastes, with strange ruins interspersed with busy centers and huge farms. The Novan culture dominates Concordia but the region is highly cosmopolitan and is home to a variety of curious cultures.

    Dis
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    Dis and the Nessus Riverlands are vast urban areas built by Typhon ten thousand years ago and the center of the Dispater's power. The city of Dis is the largest city in the Oecumene, a huge industrial, cultural and political center built among the cyclopean ruins of the mad God-Emperor. The city was settled during and after Typhon's reign as a refugee city, and it continues to be so to this day. Dis houses the bureaucracy of the Imperial Senate and the Magistrate that organizes humanity in the God-Emperor's stead. The Dispater rules this city as his first duty, but is able to extend this to a leading share of control in The Preserved Empire and lead the Oecumene. Dis is the center of this power, and becomes more militaristic and authoritarian as the Dispater's grasp weakens. Many groups that oppose the Dispater have been able to establish footholds in this city. Some worry the result of this might be the fragmentation of the Oecumene and possibly the Senate. All this plays out in the streets of Dis, under the huge leering gargoyles that dominate the skyline of Dis like skyscrapers. North of Dis urbanization spreads up to Mezentium, the power center of the Dispater. Mezentium is a massive citadel that houses a large portion of the Oecumene's Army. It is also important an important city to the Temple of Aidon-Hephastos.


    Thessaly and Byblos
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    Thessaly is a land of rising plains reaching up to weathered hills between the great Mountains of Iapetos and the Throne of Terra. This land is ruled by the Lords of Byblos, a great Aureal family with a close relationship with the Heliopolitan post-humans. Byblos is a ancient city built at the top of a high hill, surrounded by a literal maze of ruins, a clever labyrinth designed to defend the city. Inside the city is a unique culture true to it's name; it is the great library of the Oecumene and an important and immortal center for learning.


    Mountains of Iapetos
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    The Mountains of Iapetos are a high and jagged range, nearly impassible and across them is the perpetual storm of Cocytus. The mountains have a haunted reputation, but are rich sources of metals for the Dispater. The region facing Dis has been eaten down over the millenia, the exterior regions are still unexplored. Many settlements are built upon the extensive ruins from past eras.



    Elysium and Valoel
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    The island of Elysium is the homeland of its namesake people and and the center of a great empire within the Oecumene. It is among the most wealthy, populous and technologically advanced regions of human population on Terra. The land is well ordered with a care for wildernesses but widely populated with an advanced infrastructure spanning the entire island. The dominant feature of the island is the Jordan river, this is a major center of settlement. The woods and mountains all have their own settlements. A strange ecosystem exists here, manipulated over the centuries by the Elysian people. This land is considered holy by many, every inch of it, and has a strange sense to things that is not found elsewhere.


    Harmakhis
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    The home of the Aureal race and a center of culture since the reign of the God-Emperor Phaeton. The Aureals have amassed vast wealth and power, but have lost much stability and influence since the desertification of this region. A number of petty Aureal states crowd the desert regions, home to unimaginable wealth and ancient ways but mired in conflict and brought down by the failing land. Many old centers of civilization are now buried under the sands, others are divided between rival factions. The Judges and a few posthuman ruled nations also exist here, more successful than the Aureals but unable to break their dominance. This is still the traditional center of Aureal civilization and an important link to the Oecumenes past, most try to ignore the importance of Harmakhis but few truly can. The northern regions are desert and ruined lands, through the middle run the huge and extensive canals of Typhon, most of the canals are dry of stagnant and the ones that still bring irrigation to the land are hotly contested/ The southeast is the only fertile region, but cloyingly hot with too much growth and the southwest is a unique and dangerous jungle region.


    Hesparia
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    Hesparia is a heavily populated and important region, but bound by many conflicting religious dogmas and relegated to urban center. Hot, wet and verdant best describes the ecosystem, despite extensive colonization Hesparia still is home to one of the great untamed wilderness of Terra: a huge jungle with unexplored and totally unknown ecosystems. The cultures herte vary greatly, mostly they are ruled by the Ecclesia but from city to city a great deal of variety. The Hesparian race is naturally at its most populous here, they control much at local levels but are often under represented by the internationally-minded Temples.


    Olympia
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    The high plateaus, towering mountains and fertile valleys of Olympia are much beloved by the Argentine people, who are only its most recent rulers and who despite extensive colonization must contend with large unexplored wilderness. The Throne of Terra dominates the west, an unimaginably large mountain that is home to the God-Emperor and his cadre of posthumans, Olympia is considered on the 'backside' of this great mountain and has a lonstanding reputation as a frontier and a bit of a backwater. Other see it as a paradise of capitalism and freedom, since the Argentines are a laissez-faire people. Others sees the vast agriculture and industry in the region as a sign that Olympia will soon emerge as a new world center subservient to no one. House culture and religious culture have less power here than in other places. There are still many unique traditional groups here, thanks to the now extinct House Aquila and it's failed Argentine-Elysian creole culture.


    Othrys
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    Othrys is an old land in the history of the Oecumene, but one that is sparsely settled and culturally unique since the loss of Oceanid power over the island continent. Many groups are trying to assert control over Othrys but have difficulty claiming land from the powers that are entrenched here. The dominant feature of Othrys is the huge and ill-regarded mountain of the same name, to the north are low mountains and strange poison jungles, only the northwest is good accessable land to settle upon. Othrys is notorious for poverty, corruption and bad government despite that many of the nations here are in fact very old and were once powerful and rich.


    Phlegethon
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    Phlegethon is gradually being made in to a livable place again. It had always been desert but Typhon had attempted to set up large populations to get it it's resources, now moderns attempt to do the same. The land is divided between steppes, deserts and strange fiery and tectonically active regions. All these region are littered with ruins and all of them support small settlements.

    Tartarus
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    A city supporting the most significant robot and Artilect population in the Oecumene and a major production center for the Dispater. Curiously it is also a prison, both for the intelligent machine that are here and humans who are sent to this city for their crimes.



    Proserpine
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    Proserpine began to fill in only 2000 years ago after the collapse of the Oceanid Empire, it is mostly desert but the vast resources and free determination have drawn many. The war with the Geryon brought armies to marshal here, and now the whole region is crawling with armies and soldiers of fortune seeking to make their name. Despite wealthy regions on Proserpine tis remains for the most part a poorly administered, hardscrabble region where locals and colonials must either pay dues to the nations controlling it or expect little support against the unforgiving land. Some theorize that long ago Proserpine was a test farm for posthumans and it hold many secrets to uncover.


    Thule
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    Thule was colonized primarily by Arcadians, although is has become culturally distinct in that is is a much more communitarian culture with less dependence on the nobles than Arcadia. Outside of a few large and industrially developed cities the land is wild and unsettled, settlements are extremely well designed and self reliant though. The land is cold and inhospitable but very beautiful, with vast forests and icy plains, and huge regions given over to the native fauna. Entire regions are abandoned and considered haunted or evil, many are threatened by the incursions of the wild people of the Beast Totems and the technologically advanced Hyperboreans from across the northern ice. The undisputed rulers of this land are House Ursus, but they are only undisputed because they protect others settled here while not demanding too much from them by way of loyalty or tribute.
    Last edited by NemoJBatkastle; 2008-04-05 at 11:07 PM.

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    Default Other Regions of Terra

    These are the regions of Terra outside Oecumene control.

    Astraeus and Lamia
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    Both Astraeus and Lamia are regions of which little is known, most information comes second hand through the Witch Queens of Aiaia. Vast deserts cover these islands, with only small human populations and larger settlements of the aliens called Suphalatii. Lamia also houses some significant populations of Nagas, mostly independent and isolated collectives. Lamia is partially colonized by the Aiaians, who find the region profitable but troublesome. Astraeus is an island ruled from the Thousand Idols, a city ruled by a barbaric and bloodthirsty people worshiping the Titans and propped up by the Empire of Acheron.


    Acheron
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    The Continent of Acheron evokes an almost primal fear in the humans of the Oecumene. The great continent is home to twisted barren deserts and flora and fauna totally different from that of anywhere else on Terra and in most cases totally hostile. The Empire of Avernus is no less terrifying, a vast commercial empire and successor state to the Great Abraxan Empire and open worshipers of the Titans. The Oecumene actually trades with Avernus, and Acheron even houses small communities of Oecumene expatriates. Of course their stories only confirm the fear of this land in the hearts of the people. Aiaia is home to the Witch-Queens, the rulers of a matriarchal society with ties to the Oecumene but who are a mysterious and dangerous society nonetheless.


    The Dominion of Geryon
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    Argos and Erythia were both once important lands in the Oecumene, having slowly lost their connection to the central regions they became depopulated, overgrown, and only loosely organized by the Oceanids. Five centuries ago this all changed with the botched reconquest of Argos and the rise of The Geryon. Now the land the center of a dark, unknown empire and a battlefield as the armies of the Oecumene march to reclaim this land. The Geryon seems to posess advanced biotechnology that has affected the ecosystems of the region, leading to a hellish jungle region in the south of Argos. Little else is known of these island.


    The Dominion of Typhon
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    As far as anyone knows Typhon, the mad God-Emperor who brought the Oecumene close to ruin, is still present on Terra and controls the island of Echidna, part of Pandora and the Symplegades Archipelago. Little is known about this civilization, since the people of the Oecumene consider its ruler and people anathema. What is assumed is that Typhon still controls these regions and has created an advanced society for his people somewhat removed from the tyranny of the old time. Still, stories that leak out from Typhon's dominion do indicate that he has not given up all of his old habits, and even though no major scale conflict has taken place between the Oecumene and Typhon in ten thousand years the people of the Oecumene still fear and despise this southern successor state.


    Eos
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    Very little is known about this region but that it is home to 'humans' who are 'virtuous in the eyes of the God-Emperor'. Most stories of this region are mere legend, similar to the tales of Prester John in medieval Europe.


    Erebus
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    The continent of Erebus is buried under several massive glaciers, but that doesn't stop it from being home to all sorts of strange creatures and sinister aliens; mostly buried under the ice. Longstanding rumors of the Adamantine colonies seem to be true. Few come to Erebus, considering it haunted. Gilgamesh, a massive volcano, is said to be home to an unknown intelligence as old as the Oecumene. Pisces Australis is the capital of the Oceanid Empire and a well developed and populous city, as well as an important tarding center and home to many old and respected posthumans. Of course, many many thousands of years of cultural drift has left the natives inscrutable and is consider a highly bizarre, if relatively ordered place.


    Rhea
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    Rhea is home to the Great Rivers Civilization and the Dragon Khans, two nations more influenced by the Nagas than humans witgh large populations of Naga-human hybrids distrusted by Oecumene humans. The region is vast with little known about it, the ecology pf the region is entirely different from that of human settled regions and has been relatively closed off to long term study and survey. The Great Rivers Civilization is a great civilization with a friendship with the Oecumene, but the alien nature of this empire is lost on no one.
    Last edited by NemoJBatkastle; 2008-04-05 at 10:08 PM.

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    Default Pre Oecumen Timeline

    BC denotes “Before Cadmus”, Cadmus being the first God-Emperor and the founder of the Oecumene.

    33 Million Yr BC The Dawn Ages The rise and development of human civilization on Terra; generally a vague time period from the first human civilization to the colonization of space. No real understanding of this time period exists to the historians of the Oecumene and it is left to be rationalized through myth, legend and parable.

    33 to 32.8 Million Yr BC The Diaspora Humankind develops sufficiently to spread out among the stars, if slowly. A multitude of daughter species of humanity develop while contacting numerous now forgotten alien species. Several galactic civilizations reach zenith, but they inevitably collapse and cause much chaos. Artificial intelligence become the de facto rulers among the scattered worlds of humanity.

    32.5 to 27 Million Yr BC The Diamond Oecumene A long period of stability as Artificial intelligences (or Artilects) shepard and administrate humanity, seeking only to improve and better their lives. The end result of this was an entirely stagnant society overly dependent on the Artilects. Many of the Artilects in the later ages of the Diamond Oecumene grew uninterested in humanity and eventually this led to a violent and prolonged separation between humans and Artilects.

    27 to 24 Million Yr BC The Silence It is believed that during this period humanity overthrew the Artilects and were reduced to barbarism, but this is only speculation. It is also only speculation that this was the time period in which humanity developed it's psychic potential in to a viable range of ability and also began to come in contact with the Gods.

    24 to 19 Million Yr BC The Empire of the Nagas This period is where humanity begins to show up in the records again; now as vassals of the alien Naga species. Humans were able to spread out among the stars again, but were unable to dominate civilization and in fact were drastically reduced in periods of hostility with the Nagas. Eventually peaceful time came of it and what evolved was a human-Naga hybrid species.

    19 to 19.7 Million Yr BC The Titanomachy The Titans, godlike aliens existing only to consume the universe and gradually destroy it, appear and begin to decimate interstellar civilization. The Naga and Naga-human populations are significantly reduced, with larger populations and more surviving infrastructure humans are left in a dominant position.

    19.4 to 7 Million Yr BC The Orichalc Oecumene The almost eternal paradise that emerged from a long period of instability following the Titanomachy. As the scattered remnants of humanity, the Nagas, and other aliens coalesced they created a number of tightly intertwined cultures interested in the long term survival of humanity, with Artilects, gods, godlike aliens, posthumans and other intelligences guiding a humanity evolved and changed, but still not essentially different from humanity now. Populations were small compared to previous ages, but kept relatively stable. Diversity of form and thought, advanced technology and clever resource management were all hallmarks of this period. During the end of this age a new wave of colonization brought humanity again in contact with the Titans.

    7 to 6 Million Yr BC The Titanium Oecumene The Titans nearly completely destroy humanity and the Nagas, but leave their world fallow. When human and Naga culture regained a semblance of it's former sentience, the Titans begin to rule humanity. Of course this is a little understood period, but it is known that humanity, the Nagas, and all their confederate being are able to unify and push back the Titans.

    6 to 0 Million Yr BC The Adamantine Oecumene The Adamantine Oecumene still exists today, and is grudgingly respected as the mother culture of the Oecumene of Terra. The Adamantines built a united civilization able to last forever and withstand the Titans themselves. The problem was this left an unchanging, hidebound culture obsessed with rules and protocols dominating every aspect of existence and often sacrificing the free volition vital to sentience. Still they did have a variety of distinct subcultures with them, the most important of them being the one associated with Cadmus and the recolonization of Terra.

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    Default Early Oecumene timeline

    History in the Oecumene is a very vast subject. A great deal is actually put down as recorded fact, and historians have developed many techniques to understand and verify history. Inevitably though, many facts are lost in the strata of history. Note that many different dating systems are used for periods of history, the most common being to restart the calender with every new God-Emperor. Past eras are divided up very generally, and the exact transition dates are rarely known. Only the length of each era will be given.


    800k yrs The Cadmian Era The Oecumene of Terra was founded by the God-Emperor Cadmus, who was the first God-Emperor and in fact the literal creator of the people of Terra. Little is known about Cadmus, speculation is that he was one of the posthuman rulers of the Adamantine Oecumene who came to prominence and was able to form a splinter faction interested in forming a civilization on Terra devoted to perpetual existence, a society based around true humans rather than the unchanging superintelligences of the Adamantine Oecumene. Terra was in fact terraformed and the people of the Oecumene were created from older human species, generally the ones from before the Naga Empire but also with many curious touches. The Cadmian Era took a great deal of time to bootstrap humanity and its new civilization, caused a full scale civil war among the Adamantine, and took time off to fight the Titans also. When it was all said and done a new humanity had developed under the Cadmian posthuman, controlling the solar system and with great resources. It is unknown what became of Cadmus, it is said he underwent a sort of transcendence taking his consciousness beyond the concerns of the universe towards the greater hyperuniversal reality or whatever polytheistic crap you want to believe. Whatever happened Cadmus' disappearance left a void that was not immediately filled, the humans of the Oecumene had learned to live mostly dependent on themselves, but with access to great potential. The posthumans struggled as they sought to understand how best to further the will of Cadmus and humanity.

    600k yrs The Heliocentric Era The rulership of the Oecumene fell to the artilects who had come to follow Cadmus and settled in the region close around the sun. These artilects were careful to follow the edicts of Cadmus and engendered an ordered society with plentiful resources and an ability for growth and change. What came of all this was the most diverse period in Oecumene history, with a wide range of sentient daughter species of humanity and the Nagas prospering greatly, only limited by the need to stay with the greater Solar System and the desire not to upset the long-term survivability of the civilization. The Adamantine Oecumene collapsed near the end of this period (to recover much later) and the result of this were several mass migration to the outer planets of the solar system. These groups were more oriented towards the Adamantine style of culture, and several groups developed to counter the increasingly mutable and obtuse artilects.

    4k yrs The First Solar War Three distinct factions had developed by the end of the Heliocentric Era: those who were loyal to the artilects and their stewardship of humanity, the outer settlement aligned with the remains of the Adamantine Oecumene, and a group based on Terra who were ruled by various human and posthuman cadres seeking a new God-Emperor and a technological theocracy based around that figure. The three factions engaged in a long cold war with several intermittent periods of extreme destruction and chaos. In the end the faction based on Terra emerged as the victors, even though in some ways they had experienced greater losses than the two other groups they had asserted dominance.

    500k yrs The Phaetonic Era Considered one of the peak ages of the Oecumene on the whole. The Phaetonic Era developed after a long period of recovery following the First Solar War. A charismatic posthuman named Phaeton had declared himself God-Emperor and set the Oecumene to reconquer the entire solar system and even some of the star systems surrounding it. Phaeton created a long lasting, successful civilization that was essentially nothing more than a posthuman absolutism surrounding Phaeton and his various followers. In some ways this was this model for future Oecumene
    civilizations , a large human population living simple and low impact lifestyles tended to by the posthumans. Phaeton held this together with a great watchfulness and force of will. Notable to this time period was that the Gods began to choose forms more similar to their current ones; probably more alien intelligences than numinous being, the Gods were still beings of great profundity and power and they were protectors and leaders of both human and posthuman alike. This was a great period for religion and epiphany as well as for culture and commerce. Eventually Phaeton became unstable and underwent a fragmentation, creating 'splinters' of himself in beings, creating genealogies of transcendent beings but leaving the throne of the God-Emperor empty again.
    Last edited by NemoJBatkastle; 2008-04-06 at 01:49 PM.

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    Default Middle Ages of the Oecumene

    100k yrs The Era of Separate Empires Phaeton gifted his intelligence and abilities to a wide variety of posthumans across the Solar System, and those posthumans became the new rulers of the Oecumene. At this point the Oecumene was only loosely organized in to small but stable entities with little to do with each other and no God-Emperor to unite them. The mainline culture on Terra grew slowly stagnant, ruled by a posthuman nobility that concerned itself with maintaining perpetual power over humanity. Off of Terra the posthumans descendants were more active and experimental, creating a wide variety of societies and competing cultures. The outer planets came under the control of Adamantine and Naga cultures, and many of the descendants of Phaeton began to come together to create a new culture around the planet of Radha (which was once long ago called Jupiter). An active, technological culture developed with the intention of igniting the planet in to a minor star (something that had been attempted many times before, but never reached fruition). The project took many thousand of years but eventually succeeded, and a second sun was created. This was the foundation of the Radhan culture, which for a long time was a nominal member of the Oecumene but eventually became a rival culture to the Terrans and the increasingly impotent Oecumene..

    200k yrs The Era of the Sun-Kings The Sun-Kings of Radha possessed a semi-legitimate claim to Terra, and came in to rule it after the posthuman government of the 'official' Oecumene collapsed. The Sun-Kings were a highly decentralized group but ruled responsibly. They were able to absorb a number of nations in to a new Oecumene, giving rise to the first Aditya and cementing the position of Radha as an important force. The Terrans maintained independence and cultural autonomy, but resented that the heterodox Radhan had overpowered traditional Terra culture. Instability and cultural drift became pronounced during the later part of this era, and the Sun-King empire eventually fractured, leaving the Oecumene society practically non-existent.

    70k yrs The Dark Ages The age of the Sun-kings ended with a series of protracted wars that left each planet isolated and and unstable. It was in fact the posthumans that were the problem in this case, as many of them had lost the mandate of humanity. Many of the older posthumans began to vanish, presumably transcending the concerns of reality, and less posthumans were appearing too fill the vacuum. Those that remained conspired to create a peaceful, quiet era and to some extent manipulated humanity to make them less dependent on greater intelligences. In many ways this era preceeded the next million years, and despite the extreme changes that were yet to occur the dark ages represented a significant 'plateau' that would continue to modern day, in that no dramatic evolutionary or technological leaps would be made, and that the people of this period would be recognizable (in thought if not always body) to modern Oecumenical humans.. This was not a dark age in the sense that it was a barbaric period, but rather that the Oecumene was weak and made little advancement. No God-Emperor existed and without his guidance many splinter societies formed with no real connection to Terra. A monastic offshoot of the Oecumene called the Children of Eden formed, and began to terraform the second planet from the sun, and a number of important outer planet nation formed. The most significant nation to form during this period though was the Empire of Abraxas, a sinister government that came to rule the forth planet in the Solar System and seems to have a connection to the Titans who still lurked on the edges of space.

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    Default Re: Science-Fantasy Setting

    Okay, a few questions:

    1) If the Oecumene is most emphatically not an empire, why is it ruled by a god-emperor?

    2) What's a "posthuman"?

    3) You make a lot of references to interplanetary colonization, as well as two races that are explicitly adapted to survive in space. Why just the one planet?
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.

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    Default Re: Science-Fantasy Setting

    Fantastic questions all, and good feeders in to points I've missed out on explaining.

    1.) I would say that the various nations of the Oecumene are in personal union with the God-Emperor (referred to in modern times as the Heliopolitan God-Emperor because of the city he lives in), in the fashion of the medieval unions such as those of Aragon or the Holy Roman Empire. That is, nations with no administrative overlap honoring the same ruler over them. Nations all try their best to follow the will of the God-Emperor and his cadre, who usually have no strong central agenda. Likewise the nations in the Oecumene disagree in many ways, and face no centralized body to censure them, rather the collective will of humanity.

    The God-Emperor is a traditional figure, and he is in all cases a god, a human, and a posthuman. There are eight other major gods in Oecumene society by they way: Aeon, Aidon-Hephastos, Gaea, Hecate, Nemesis, Phoebus, Styx, and Thanatos, and they are all very real beings interested in humanity. The God-Emperor is the ninth major god of the Oecumene, of intelligence and ability beyond that of any artilect or posthuman, a profound intelligence with transcendent understanding and a perfect memory of all history, plus many other cool powers. He takes an active interest in humanity through his (or her by the way) relations with the Curia, with the various temple honoring him, by addressing humanity directly in mass gathering, and in many other fashions. The God-Emperor does not rule directly, he proselytizes and teaches, he guides and occasionally he makes back-room deals for everyone's sake.

    The degree to which the God-Emperor is hands on or hands off varies, usually it is best that they keep at a distance from the internecine struggles that divide humanity. Also, too much dependence on a super-intelligence can retard human potential. After Typhon's reign distinct limits were put in place to further the God-Emperor's role in affairs, this does not affect the popularity of the God-Emperor as a religious leader but makes many cynical as to his real power over the nations of humanity.

    And one last thing. God-Emperors go in succession. It has proven effective for the God-Emperor to preside over the Oecumene for thousands of years but eventually stagnation, chaos or entropy cause their mandate to be lost. Since posthumans and gods both have extraordinary powers, it is possible for ascending God-Emperors to absorb the knowledge of their predecessors. Despite this they always have distinct personalities, disregarding a transcendental wisdom and patience that always annoy practitioners of realpolitik. The current God-Emperor is Peleus by the way, I'll talk about him at the end of my timeline.

    2.) If you want to wikipedia posthumans you'll find a good definition of what posthumans might be. I've come to the words through various science fiction books and article. My definition is influenced by traditional notions of posthumanity, but slightly different.

    And that reminds me: they're not posthumans. They're Supernals. Supernals are the end result of the millions of years of human evolution. After the post-technological society of the Orichalc Oecumene the descendants of the humans and Nagas were more angel than man; they could see past and future perfectly, control technology and nature, live forever, did not need physical bodies and they possessed intelligences far beyond that of humans. But the arrangement did not work, and they lapsed in to Solipsism. After the Titans and the Adamantines Cadmus saw a need for humans that were still humans. This provided a new pool for Supernals and aided in the coordination of a vibrant, evolving society. Humans can become Supernals, and this is part of the reason Oecumene society can stand around so long; technology, spiritual development and social engineering all lead to new Supernals but no longer upset society. Virtually any path of evolution and development will lead to evolution in to a Supernal. Existent Supernals manage newcomers in many ways, some say this the entire point of the Oecumene is to create more Supernals.

    Supernals are broken up in to five categories in the Oecumene. These five 'choirs' are all active in Oecumene society and generally friends and protectors of humanity, but have different agendas and approaches individually. Many theorize that the God-Emperor keeps a much closer watch on the Supernals than he does on humans, but they are less political and partisan than humans.

    Here they are, with spoilers!

    Seraphim/Hyperachii
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    Of all the Supernals of the Oecumene, the Seraph are the most potent and most removed. Many consult directly with the gods or the God-Emperor, these conversations are beyond human reasoning. Some have affairs nowhere near humanity, and who can say what actions they take. Those Seraph that contact humanity have great trouble communicating with them, and can often cause inadvertent disaster by speaking to humans (after all, a little too much knowledge can be a dangerous thing!). The Seraph know more than anyone and have a very close connection to the true nature of reality. They are something like mathematical constructs in hyperreality interacting with lower universes than anything else, quite novel beings! Humans cannot become Seraph, but the Seraph somehow require humans to transcend to that form.


    Cherubim/Zoa
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    Cherubim are a powerful type of Supernal noted for a habit of always having bodies, usually immense, ancient bodies with advanced mixture of robotic, biological and psychic organs. Cherubim are extremely involved with humans, being great builders of infrastructure, superintelligent engineers and occasionally wise council to rulers. They are deeply apolitical by nature, rather seeking to give humans the tools of civilization and technology and see what they do with it. They are strangely docile and think on geological time lines; There is a certain 'quirkiness' to the Zoa, they behave and build in ways that humans rarely expect but are usually the best way anyhow. Humans are said to become Cherubim in rare cases.


    Ophanim/Thrones/Infernals
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    The most spontaneous and erratic of the Supernals and also the ones most apparent to humanity. Infernals have the ability to calculate an almost infinite variety of factors as fact as any sentient intelligence, observe different gradations of reality and they possess the ability to communicate all this to lesser intelligences (not just humans but animals, machine, aliens, artilects and other Supernals). This makes them important as emissaries, prophets and even leaders (though usually to further an end). Infernals burn out quickly and then fade away, they are rarely immortal or even significantly long-lived. They can be wrong, and it is not unknown for Infernals to pit themselves against other Supernals, groups within the Oecumene, or even the God-Emperor. Humans become Infernals more than any other type of Supernal.


    Malakim/Virtues
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    Virtues are essentially Supernal warriors, specifically tasked to combat the Titans and other strange beings they also occasionally war against humans by the will of the God-Emperor and sometime their own. They excel at strategy, planning, and defense and they are unstoppable weapons of war on all battlefields. They are guarded and silent beings, mixing a distinct indifference with a singularity of purpose. They show a curious range of human emotions, they are able to show affection, devotion and humor in greater qualities than other Supernals. They are mostly guided by other Supernals, older Virtues are regarded as almost godlike beings with charismatic followings; other Supernals watch these Virtues closely. Humans can and do become Virtues, but no without a great deal of oversight.


    Dominions/Paragons
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    the most human of the Supernals, Paragons are the demigods and cultural heroes of the Oecumene. Essentially they are humans who have evolved extended mortality, superintelligence and a moderate portfolio of Supernal abilities. They are often the direct rulers of human nations, wise instructors and followers of the gods. Distinctly inferior to other Supernals they are still far superior to humans in every way, and are capable of doing the extraordinary and seemingly impossible. Unlike other Supernals Paragons keep they body they wore as humans and even though they live a very long time they still die. Naturally Paragons are a common type of Supernal for humans to become.


    There are also three types of Supernals not associated with the Oecumene or the God-Emperor. They are Asuras, Devas, and Demiurges. Asuras are simply rogue Supernals, spontaneously ascended or evolving outside the Oecumene framework they exist in great variety and are frequently powerful, unstable and dangerous. Devas are evolved natural intelligences, lake spirits, dryads and the like with a more 'technological' and 'psychic' than magical origin, pretty simple. Demiurges are feared being with an ability to seemingly control reality, change and occasionally break physical laws, influence thought and they have many other unknown powers. They are crazed Supernals who have broken contact with reality and try to impose their own laws on the world.

    3.)And as for other planets? There are indeed other planets. This is the solar system, baby! All the planets are colonized, and all are changed dramatically over millions of years of colonization. Certain factors prevent colonization outside the solar system (the Titans, the Adamantines, and just that it's hard to do). A number of stars surrounding the sun are claimed by Terra and mined for their resources, little is known about any of that. Space travel in the Oecumene is good but not great, well developed for getting from planet to planet but still slow and expensive. I'll talk about that later perhaps.

    I was gonna do this later, but here are rough notes on the planets, with
    spoilers!

    Hyperion
    Spoiler
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    Called Helios and a number of other names in the past (including Sol), Hyperion is now the popular name for the sun. Part of this is because of the Ring of Hyperion, which is an advanced superstructure surrounding the sun that houses the Artilect Confluence. Hyperion is the dominant artilect here, an artilect on par with the gods (but more bound by physical law) and the main voice of these beings. The Artilects are ancient being descended from the Heliocentic Artilects of the early Oecumene, now they have little to do with anyone else and are content to bask in the energy output of the sun. They are officially members of the Oecumene and produce many important resources for Terra out of the sun's infinite energy.


    Eden
    Spoiler
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    Eden is a semi-livable planet that was nearly terraformed many times but in the end developed it's own unique ecology. Sentient jungles, poison seas, but also many garden lands and temperate climes. Three major powers exist here: the Empire of Eden, which is an Oecumene member with an austere culture overrun by Terra colonials, the Republic of Canaan, which is a harsh religious culture outside the Oecumene and finally the Dominion of Amestratus, an advanced matriarchal culture with ties to Aiaia.


    Terra, our once and future home...

    Abraxas
    Spoiler
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    The fourth planet, long ago made livable and is the second major population center for the Oecumene in the Solar System. Abraxas was made livable long ago and has a distinct ecology involving red plains, black jungles and glyphic landmarks left over from past civilization. The planet has a haunted reputation as a result of the long-ago Empire of Abraxas. The Warlock-Kings are mad Supernals continuing to worship the Titans and ruling as successors to this elder nation. The Oecumene has vast colonies on Terra but has to always keep a close watch on them to prevent rebellion and corruption. Other nations on Abraxas include the Peaceful Lands, a nation of gardens ruled by strange Supernals watching over semi-primitive humans, The Cytherean Union, an ecotech nation secretly allied with the Cybellines, various theocracies worshiping the Titans, the independent merchant states of Prismatic Coast, a few civilizations of the sand dwelling Suphalatii aliens, an Adamantine heterodoxy and a few other groups.


    The Ferrous Sea
    Spoiler
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    The Asteroid Belt, long since divided up between factions of the Oecumene, indepedant Sidereal groups, the Radhans ands several other small states. Large societies comprised entirely of robots also populate this region, they act as a buffer between the Oecumene and the Radhans and are left alone by both.


    Radha
    Spoiler
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    My India trope. A vast advanced civilization centered around the star of Radha, governed by the Aditya, a decentralized Supernal government quite different from that of the Oecumene. Essentially an alliance of statelets ruled by the Sun-Kings, charismatic Supernals who position themselved as gods and who share portions of their intelligence with the populace. Closely surrounding Radha is the Ring of Agni, an important industrial center. Several planetoid and satellites orbit Agni, many engineered garden worlds like the urbanized Parvati, the watery Ushas, the wild Ganga, or the mysterious Akasha.


    Ptah
    Spoiler
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    Saturn if anyone missed it. An important center for a number of civilizations, but also a haunted place owning to Titanic incursions here. The Crusader States are an important association located around this planet to protect resources and trade routes for the Oecumene. The moon of Cacus houses the Spider Archonates and their growing nation of Sidereals. Many non-aligned Supernals live near Ptah, as do the Cult of the Inevitable (a cloned theocracy evolved from the Adamantines) and the Khepri; a culture of evolved humans who live unprotected in the atmosphere of Ptah.


    Ophion
    Spoiler
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    Ophion houses a significant population owing loyalty to the Adamantine Oecumene, a handful of outer colonies of the Oecumene and a number of ancient Naga cultures


    Tiamat
    Spoiler
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    The gods of the Nagas lived out on Tiamat, surrounded by mysterious but large and venerable Naga cultures. Otherwise a number of frontier cultures live in habitats of forgotten design. Significant to the Oecumene is Echo, a colony past Ophion that can contact extraterrestrial life, and coordinate trade across the stars (not that there is too much trade, or too many to trade with). If you can make it out this far, congratulations! Few do, and you have no idea what you might find!
    Last edited by NemoJBatkastle; 2008-04-09 at 05:17 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Default Late Oecumene History

    So I appreciated Mewtarthio's question and sure am glad some people are at least trying to understand this nonsense I'm detailing. Anyone else have any questions I can answer in way too much detail? C'mon, it's fun!

    More Oecumene History, and there's still more after this! Well, a bit more...

    2k yrs The Second Solar War The people of Abraxas developed in to a sizable power during the later part of the dark ages. The Empire of Abraxas was a militaristic theocracy, technologically advanced society who worshiped the Titans and sought the destruction of the Oecumene. Somehow they were able to assert control over the outer planets and set up a major proxy state on Terra itself. Eventually th long dormant Oecumene rose up to challenge the Abraxans, and were able to enlist the aid of the Radhans, Nagas, and even the Adamantine factions in the system. A war on a huge scale followed, one that caused widespread death and destruction to all nations and settlements. The Abraxans were eventually defeated and almost entirely wiped out; only leaving a few successor states that were weak but resilient (including the precursor to the Empire of Archeron and the dominions of the Warlock-Kings on Abraxas itself. In the end the undisputed victor was the Oecumene of Terra, which was reinvigorated by their success. After the war a prominent Posthuman, a general named Perseus, was able to gain the popular support to declare himself God-Emperor of the Oecumene, the first true God-Emperor to emerge since Phaeton.

    340k yrs The Persean Dynasty Perseus' rule led to an extremely active and vigorous expansion period. Instead of seeking to conquer the Solar System, Perseus used his goodwill with the other solar nation to cement important holdings and create a new interplanetary society based around the Oecumene. Perseus ruled his people closely, and was able to fine tune the workings of his empire. One of his most significant acts was to formalize the noble houses, rewarding specific groups and extended families special powers in exchange for the defense of Terra during the Solar War. The period under direct Persean rule lasted several tens of thousands of years before it began to degenerate and stagnate. Perseus realized that he could not rule the Oecumene forever, if he did a weak, unchanging society would result. Perseus devised a way to bestow a part of his consciousness on to a successor, extending and multiplying his power and knowledge to the point of true godhood. This was the beginning of the dynastic tradition of God-Emperors, and engendered a closer relationship between the God-Emperor and humanity. Perseus' successor, Pandion, ruled almost as long as he did, and was notable for founding the Temple of the God-Emperor. The rest of the successors of Perseus coordinated a semi-feudal network of civilizations slowly continuing to move away from Supernal rule, but also ones that advanced technologically too quickly at times. At the end of the Persean Dynasty the Oecumene suffered many enemies on and off of Terra, loss of population and territory and a number of ecological cataclysms. For unclear reasons the gods had become more active as the Oecumene frayed, and large religious populations began to clash with those who primarily worshiped the God-Emperor. After a number of minor civil wars a Supernal known as Palaemon claimed the throne of the God-Emperor from Mykons and took the knowledge of the Persean God-Emperors but reformed the Oecumene with a different vision.

    300k The Palaemonic Dynasty The Palaemonic Dynasty period was also refered to as the Jade Oecumene for the range of jade-like materials they used as well as for more esoteric reasons. Palaemon and his successors were mystical God-Emperors who ruled through the mechanism of his temple and colluded closely with the other temples to carefully guide humanity. Humanity was left to rule itself more under the Palaemonics, with many democratic nations and groups developing. Conversely general knowledge of technology was reduced greatly, this was a gently push from the Supernals to keeps humans from developing too fast but also to develop their social skills and find new potentialities in their psychic and mystical abilities. For the most part it worked, since even though the technological level of the Oecumene has become higher in most places the general attitude towards tech (which echoes the attitude of the Oecumen towards tech in past eras as well) has not changed. The guild developed out of the Temple of the God-Emperor to handle specific technologies, and for some periods had a great deal of power before periods of insularity and secrecy led to their downfall. Other events notable during this era were the reduction of lands of Terra combined with an expansion of off-world holdings, the acceptance of the Cybellines in to the Oecumene, and the granting of special privileges to the Elysians that would further on lead to the founding of Republic of Elysium. Besides constant conflict between the Aureals and various groups led by the Elysians the Jade Oecumene represented a peaceful, diverse and stable period with great cities and a great appreciation for art and beauty. The end of the era was a quite difficult period though. As society ossified the Palaemonics grew more controlling and censured technology more. The last Palaemonic God-Emperor, Enosichthon, ruled as an enlightened tyrant for over ten thousand years, creating a society where much of the advancement of the past was lost or horded by the Supernals. A palace revolution of sorts occurred as a new group of Supernals wrested power from Enosichthon, leading to a minor but serious civil war. Enosichthon was driven from power but the loyal Palaemonics chose a new candidate for God-Emperor, Proteus, that was rejected in favor of Bellerophon. The Proteans became a minority group still intent on continuing Palaemonic culture, and formed a distinct and relatively separate culture that maintained membership in the Oecumene. The Oceanid Empire is the remnants of this group.

    55k The Bellerophonic Dynasty Bellerophon was a popular God-Emperor, but one that had to inherit a divided Oecumene. For most of his reign he had encouraged nationalism but had secretly worked for centralization among the Supernals. His later successors pulled the threads of the Oecumene together and a strong period of about ten thousand years existed within this era (called by some the Pax Oecumenica). It was an age of united humanity tied together by trade, worship and common tradition, with advanced technology, a strong, cosmopolitan and vibrant culture with a philosophical, scientific and materialist bent, and the strength to lead the solar system. Later Bellerophonic God-Emperors oversaw failed conquests, periodic dark ages, rivalries between Aureal, Argentine, and Elysian aristocracies, and increasing plagues and ecological cataclysms. The last few of the Bellerophonics were said to be insane, with the process of expansion the God-Emperors underwent said to have driven a number of them crazy. The advanced civilization of the Pax Oecumenica has become a crumbling tyranny under delusional and solipsistic gods. Or so it is said. The later periods of the Bellerophonic Dynasty are not well understood, since Typhon, who would appear soon after the last of the Bellerophonic God-Emperors, would wide clean many of the records of the past in his mad rule.

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default The Typhonic Era

    1000 yrs The Reign of Typhon The period leading up to Typhon's ascendancy is poorly understood, and it is difficult to separate actual facts from propaganda and allegations. Many factions date back to the Reign of Typhon, and some beings have even lived long enough to remember it, but this only means that people often 'remember' their enemies to have ancient ties to Typhon. The later Bellerophonic God-Emperors were generally insane, but despite a weak and desultory culture the Oecumene was in no danger of falling apart.

    Typhon likely arose either as one of the Bellerophonic supernals or as part of a rival faction. Typhon became God-Emperor and inherited the minds of all the previous God-Emperors, including his crazed precursors. He claimed to have 'purified' the madness of the Bellerophonics and styled himself a God-Emperor on par with Cadmus, Perseus, or (his favorite) Phaeton. Typhon was an aggressive ruler, but one that enjoyed widespread popularity at first, uniting many factions behind the idea of a new era. He won back several lost territories on and off of Terra, enacted widespread reforms that broke entrenched power structures and greatly consolidated Oecumene culture.

    A distinct change in his personality was observed after a military campaign on Abraxas when he was given a mystical vision. The vision told him of the Agnosticos Theoi, totally unknown and incomprehensible gods different from both the gods of mankind and the known alien races as well as the Titans. Typhon called together his Supernal cadre and told them of his new gods; many politely declined while others threw their lot in and became evangelists for Typhon and the Unknown Gods.

    This was approximately 500 years in to Typhon's reign, following and intense period of industrialization and centralization. Typhon tried at first to gently lead the Oecumene towards his strange new vision, but after a great deal of rebellion and interference from outsider factions, he seized near total control of all of the Oecumene. Not since the reign of Phaeton had the Supernals had so much say over the lives of humans, and as intelligent as they were the Supernals could not always govern humanity as well as they wanted to. Typhon utilized his absolutist theocracy to build an even greater technological base for the Oecumene, with the expressed plan of reconquering the Solar System and expanding out again to the stars. Immense building projects were began, including huge cities being built, ecological engineering in Pandora, extensive canals in Harmkahis and much much. Humanity suffered this because they were used to mercurial Supernals and because for all the chaos and loss of freedom and actual increase in quality of life was noted.

    Then, a series of massive ecological disasters took place, culminating in the ancient Plains of Harmonia turned in to desert and twisted wasteland over the course of a few decades. One of the results of this disaster was a widespread displacement of people, leading many of the dispossessed to settle in the newly built city of Dis (that sentence took ten minutes to write, and is only funny to me!). Many disjointed factions began to revolt against Typhon, but were also pitted against each other. With very little buildup and in the wake of a large scale disaster that had weakened all parties involved, the greatest internecine conflict (perhaps) in the history of the Oecumene had began.

    480 yrs The Civil War Historians usually have it that the various forces of humanity unified against Typhon's tyranny, but the Civil War was actually a free for all. Five major factions were in open hostility to carve up the Oecumene: Typhon's faction still controlling the core of the Oecumene, rebellious Supernals and Archon-kings tied to the Aureal aristocracies, another united behind the cultural legacy of the Palaemonics, an off-world faction seeking to win Terra for the Sun-kings of Radha, and finally a small religious faction carefully managing ties to the Adamantines.

    By this point Typhon seems to have slipped in to a religious madness, he was unable to manage the Supernals who ruled in his stead but continued to dominate through tricks only known to God-Emperors, creating war and havoc and playing more of a trickster than a tyrant. Extreme cruelty was one of Typhons hallmarks though. He laid waste to entire regions, flattened cities and killed off entire populations. Many of the events of this war are unknown, but the telltale signs of it are marked on the landscape.

    Because of the inability of the rival factions to adhere, Typhon was able to hold on to control and at the same time act with unchecked aggression. The greatest of Typhon's wrath was reserved for the Aureals, who were once his supporters, and the Aureal power structure was damaged like never before. Also the Palaemonic faction absorbed a great deal of damage. The religious factions were able to manage a number of victories, and rallying the other factions in to a sort of unity they eventually drove Typhon to the southern island-continent of Echidna.

    Close to four hundred years after the start of aggressions, the final huge battle of the civil war was fought on the islands of Echidna and Pandora. The battle made large parts of Pandora unlivable, including the homeland of the Cybelline people. Many died and the battle became a memory of ancestral horror on par with the destruction of the Orichalc Oecumene or the Second Solar War. Typhon was subdued though, and sued for peace. He retired to his city of Pandemonium and left his unsure rivals the majority of the Oecumene.

    A disturbing thing had happened. The Oecumene, which had preserved itself for millions of years, was almost wiped out in less than half a millennium. The sanctity of the God-Emperor had been compromised, as had faith in the Supernals. Technology and infrastructure has been damaged beyond repair, knowledge, culture, and life itself had been lost like never before, and everywhere people were without guidance. Mysterious Supernals from the Adamantine Oecumene revealed themselves to be behind the success of the religious factions in the civil war. Calling themselves the Children of Ananke they were in fact great supporters of the Oecumene and hoped to rebuild it according somewhat to Adamantine ways. To many this was unacceptable as the friendly guidance of the Children involved programs of extreme austerity and a far-reaching proscription of knowledge and technology. The matter of Typhon was left somewhat unresolved, as the various factions could lock him away but not really kill him or take his power. Some even began to support him once again, arguing that he was at least the legitimate God-Emperor while the Children represented the Adamantines finally conquering Terra. An uncertain period of fifty years passed with nothing but negotiations, plans for carving up regions, and still continuing hostilities between rivals. During this time it was believed that the Oecumene had finally fallen apart for good.
    Last edited by NemoJBatkastle; 2008-04-15 at 09:07 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Default Re: Science-Fantasy Setting

    Wasn't Typhon a mythical greek monster?
    Mate of the monster Echidna, wasn't it?
    Multiheaded, lava spewing leviathein, wasn't it?

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    Default Re: Science-Fantasy Setting

    Well met and mad props. Typhon in Greek mythology was one of the premier legendary monsters, the last son of Gaea and a crazed force of nature intent on upsetting the gods. He has been associated with both storms and volcanoes and thats in all likelihood where we get typhoon from. He was a huge serpent monster larger and more powerful than any of nature's previous beasties, Zeus kicked the pudding out of his anyways (which is why albino Spartans wouldn't stand a chance). It's fascinating because it sort of has a primordial man vs. nature resonance, if the Olympian gods reflect mankind then Typhon must represent the combined horror of hurricanes and dinosaurs (toy with that, monster homebrewers!). Typhon was also in Book of the New Sun as a scary two headed overlord. I, um, kind of borrowed a lot of this setting from that book.

    And yes, Echidna is Typhon's mate in Greek mythology. In the Oecumene Echidna became then name of the region Typhon settled after the fact, during the Palaemonic period it was a colony of Oceanid Nagas that worshiped the goddess blah blah durpa hey blah yada. One of the reasons I put together this setting was to bask in my love of ancient mythology, and to find an excuse to play with it and use it to make a world. Even though the associations are somewhat messed up almost all the names of places, people and things have some precedent in mythology.

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    Default Naga

    The final part of the timeline gets pretty in detail about things. In the meantime here are the Nagas.

    The Nagas have for a long time been a sister race to humanity. This is because of a similar mindset and a history of interaction that has familiarized the two races. The two races even cross fertilize, but this does not happen in the Oecumene. The Nagas are even more specially adapted than humans, with an extreme plasticity in form and complex intertwining biological and cultural systems. The history of the Nagas goes back even father than that of humanity. According to the Nagas their race came to sentience at the beginning of the universe, and could live on stars and in the vacuum of space. It was later that they evolved physical bodies, but were gifted with natural biotechnology and could adapted themselves within their lifetimes. The Nagas have existed on earth since the founding of the Oecumene, like humanity a dwindling race caught between the Titans and the Oecumene. Many thriving Nagas cultures have existed since then, either based around the outer planets or living on Terra as part of the Oecumene or the Great Rivers Civilization.

    Nagas have a few general traits but exist in a complex variety of forms and varieties . They have serpentine bodies extending from a tail up a flexible vertebrae to a thick, bulb-like upper body. This upper holds most vital internal organs, the shoulder joints for the Naga's four limbs, as well as the lower brain, several sense organs (no eyes) and hood, a flap over the Naga's mouth, reproductive organs and the unique coupling organ that the higher brain attaches to. Each of the four arms branches in to two parts at the elbow, each of these arms branch further in to hands with two fingers and a thumb. Some Nagas do not have legs and move with their long snakelike bodies, but in the Oecumene Naga usually have legs, usually two that branch in to two more at the knee and become thick toes that they stand on.

    A higher brain is acquired after a certain point in a Nagas life, it represents both a Naga's passing in to adulthood and full sentience. Essentially these higher brains are a special separate sub-entity produced by one of the Naga's many varieties of female, they give each Naga special adaptations and an increased intelligence. These higher brains are encased in special skulls that can range from attractive and semi-human to draconic to totally alien. Besides holding the higher brain these skulls have seven eyes and special communication organs, as well as a variety of other possible adaptations. The combination of the two entities is essential to the completion of the Naga personality and an important ritual. After the higher brain is attached the Naga can adapt in a number of ways beyond that of gender, and they gain a great deal of the racial memory of their clans and people.

    They have a large number of specially adapted genders and states of metamorphosis. In a juvenile state they are called nymphs, which are given to birth live by the Dominant Females, which can spawn them sexually or asexually. Nymphs are sentient but of low intelligence, but they possess unusual psychic connections to most Nagas as well as other entities and are useful as labor. Many stay in the nymph state in lieu of connecting with their higher brains, this produces a special caste of warriors, unique idiot-savant Nagas as well as the type of female needed to produce the higher brains. The higher brains are laid in eggs, and are vast repositories of genetically encoded information. After this the Naga develops in to nay number of forms; the most common one is the Oecumene is bipedal and acceptably strange, this is not always the case!

    Dominant Females are the gregarious leaders of the Nagas, warriors and travelers who gather information and genetic material and spawn nymphs that aid them. Parasitic Males are able to hold vast amounts of information and are scientists and priests, eventually they attach themselves to the nymph females (who grow quite huge). Many males and females exists that are neither dominant or parasitic and a neuter race exists too, these genders share a mild gestalt and over see the nymphs as well as coordinate Naga culture and philosophize. Naga Supernals exist and some can become godlike (or even gods). As opposed to the human methods to reach transcendence, which is at least partially technological, Nagas can subsume themselves in to larger entities to reach new levels of intelligence and understanding. Naga biology is somewhat different from humans but has been adapted to survive in the same conditions, breath the air, and eat the same food to whatever extent possible for the two widely adapted races.

    Nagas possess a great degree of natural biotechnology but enjoy utilizing human technology, somehow their adaptations make them less likely to invent novel technology. Their society is made up of a complicated variety of rules that they understand, despite a cultural context many of these rules are more akin to the chemical dances of bees than social laws and mores. They carefully maintain the 'Genelines', which are the leaderless tribes they form based on shared adaptations and familial ties. No one Naga can control the Geneline but shared ideas and evolutionary goals are hardwired in to the Naga.

    Despite this complicated system Nagas are philosophically and emotionally similar to humans. They are fond of storytelling and poetry, which forms a large part of their culture, enjoy nature are create gardens as a form of art, and in many ways enjoy human comforts. Friendship is an important factor to the Nagas, shared memories and genetic gestalts creates a sibling mentality among a geneline but can stymie communication with other species, the Nagas have adapted with an elaborate culture of friendship that determines who to trust and distrust. Those trusted by the Nagas see a face that is friendly, helpful and perfectly human, in a sense, those distrusted see strange and deadly aliens.

    Notable Naga Genelines within the Oecumene includes the Mt Ophiuchus Nagas, who are an ancient and widely adapted geneline ruled by the Naga Supernals who emphatically worship the God-Emperor and are the most human of the Nagas, the Withered Tree, a geneline that lost its god long ago and now finds its home in Dis, worships the goddess Styx, and is regarded as great warriors, the Blessed of the River of the Sun, who have longstanding ties to the Aureals, and the Verdant Circle, Hesparian Nagas with a philosophical and artistic bent living in Hesparia.

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: Science-Fantasy Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by NemoJBatkastle View Post
    and thats in all likelihood where we get typhoon from.
    I think we actually get that from the orient.
    I know for a fact the Japanese word is Taifuu, pronounced like Typhoon.

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    Default Re: Science-Fantasy Setting

    Guh! I was having cold sweats after I made the statement 'in all likelihood'. Oh well, I'm not sure how things get they are even in my own worlds, to say nothing of the real one. How about this: In some varying degree of likelihood, Typhon is where the name of typhoid comes from. Also Typhon was associated with Apophis of the Egyptians, which is in my opinion was one of the more Lovecraftianish of the mythological monsters.

    Heres a picture of Typhon

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    And here's a picture of an Echidna

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    Default More Aliens

    And here are the other aliens occupying the solar system. Of course these are not all the aliens among humanity, but are the ones primarily known to the Oecumene.

    Abgallu

    The Abgallu are a race with an ancestral link to the Nagas, the exact nature of this link is unknown but may go back as far as their early evolution. It is evident that the Nagas and the Abgallu have colluded extensively in the past, though Nagas have become a much more populous and dominant race. Part of this is because the Abgallu are much more specially adapted, and prefer to live in a number of conditions even the most extremely adapted humans or Nagas could not stand. Specifically they enjoy the bottom of the sea where they can feed off of hydrothermal vents like giant tube worms. Abgallu are usually six to ten feet long but can get much, much bigger. The have long bodies that roughly resemble
    serpents or worms. Front or back is hard to distinguish, on one end the Abgallu have long feathery plumes that they use to filter out materials for sustenance, on the other end is a rounded bulb that glows like a light and houses several unique sensory organs. Running down their bodies are many arms with seemingly human hands except for odd eyes in the palms. Many varieties of Abgallu exists, but they usually follow a somewhat familiar pattern and although widely adapted they prefer inhospitable places. Abgallu are singletons by nature, meditative and highly in tune with their surroundings. They are mostly benevolent and are interested in human and Naga civilization from a distance. Some can reach levels of intelligence close to that of the Supernals, and despites their aliens natures they are wise counselors. A poorly understood sub-race of the Abgallu exists to keeps affairs of the race in order, the Deepfriends. Whether the Deepfriends are just living puppets of the Abgallu or their own race of sentience is a subject of much debate. The Deepfriends resemble nothing so much as fish with human limbs, they are extremely hardy and can live both at the bottom of the ocean and on land itself. The Deepfriends are the Abgallu's emissaries and are rather charming by nature, they are responsible for building networks among humanity and are somewhat entrenched in Oecumene culture.

    Arcturians

    Arcturians are a race that once competed with humans and Nagas for space and power, but they have vanished in large numbers and are now a remnant of their former population unable to relate to the other sentient species. They are weird by anyone's standards and seem to have a relationship with time that is rather different from other species. Arcturians view time in novel ways, and can travel to unconnected moments of time through strange doorways in reality. Their can move freely in a single frozen moment of time, apport in to one moment and disappear as fast and do many other strange things. They are apparently hive intelligences, much like insects. Individual Arcturians have intelligence and sentience but lose context if not tied to a larger whole, either becoming insane, animal like or simply drifting through time listlessly. Psychics and other sensitives see that Arcturians are tied to strange multicolored geometrical networks that connect them to their hive intelligence. Most of these connections are 'broken' from what can be gleaned from the Arcturians, and a number of that species seems concerned with rebuilding said networks (though what that means is anyone's guess). Arcturians are aware of and communicate with other races, but in their own weird way. Arcturians come in a number of forms: the most common are tall transparent humanoids with rubbery grey skin and large human eyes over their bodies who show up in populated areas to watch human, animal-like green skinned creatures with large eyes on the sides of their heads and sideways mouths who appear in packs and dissipate with no reasoning, beings with two legs and bodies shaped like large hands with each of the fingers becoming hands themselves, and finally rubbery humanoids with an upside down orientation, so that they seem to walk on their hands with blank featureless heads hanging down. These last ones are considered highly malevolent.

    Augoeides

    Augoeides are physically similar to manta rays in their natural forms, with wide finned bodies that change colors and project images. They are lazy creatures seen sunning themselves in out of the way places, seemingly blank and animalistic. They are able to fly and can live anywhere, including in space their main source of sustenance seems to be sunlight. Augoeides are shapeshifters and can take just about any form they care to, including humans. Once in a form they are impossible to detect as anything but what they seem, able to change their internal organs and even their thought patterns t simulates what they want to be. Augoeides are mind-readers and empaths, and are highly influenced by the thoughts of surrounding sentients. They are benevolent for the most part, but fickle with extreme reactions to the minds around them, older Augoeides can control this and become very wise and perceptive while younger ones can be unpredictable and dangerous.

    Gog

    The Gog and Magog are two races of aliens clearly related, but who have developed in to two separate races. Both are rather large land dwelling invertebrates lacking much by way of culture or civilization. The Gog are the larger of the two races, seemingly more intelligent but to humans they are slow thinkers with prodigious memories but not much else going for them. They do not acclimate well to society and are often seen as beasts or worse as demonic beings. Gog are rather huge, fifteen to twenty feet long with wide mouths on a head positioned in the middle of a large humped bodies extending down to a long tail. They can grow any number of limbs to support their bulk, often eight or more and these limbs branch off in to smaller tentacle like digits that act as manipulators. Gog are herbivorous and spend most of their time eating or sleeping, this is interspersed with brief spurts of violence against other life and strange mystical trance states where they can view the future, make profound scientific discoveries and access more knowledge then they seem capable of. The Gog do not understand these states and do not care.

    Magog

    The smaller of the two races and ones much more capable of dealing with humans. The Magog are somewhat simplistic in their thinking and seem to totally lack creativity or innovation but can reason strongly and be very clever. They enjoy jokes, but mainly their jokes involve threats of violence. The Magog are utilized by other races for their strength and seem to find a great deal of pleasure in building and heavy labor. They do not make good warriors, finding violence entertaining but lacking in discipline on the battlefield. They are quite ugly. Magog are ten to twelve feet tall with thick bodies postured somewhat like a gorilla (except that their limbs are more like branching tentacles, with fingers that resemble the flattened feelers on a squid). They wide mouth on the tops of their chests and balloon like organs where their heads should be that seem to inflate and deflate as they breath. Parts of their bodies are covered in a chitinous exoskeleton that supports their bodies, this exoskeleton is usually covered in mottles, boils, spines, and even hairs.

    Sagittarii

    Some debate exists as to the history of the Sagittarii, if they are in fact true aliens or simply something cobbled together during the more technologically advanced eras of the Oecemene or some earlier period. They have always been a race with a small population, and have rarely developed any advanced civilization. This suits them just fine, as they are a race of hunters and wild wanderers. Despite a few quirks the Sagittarii get along with humans (they are somewhat more distrustful of Nagas). Sagittarii have six limbs, a pair of arms, a second pair of limbs further down that can functions as arms or legs, and a pair of shorter legs at the end of their long bodies. They are strong, swift and agile. Their heads are large and bony, diamond shaped with large horn-like ridges and further down their back they have large feathery sails used for communication. They have no eyes, but instead light-sensitive patches of skin that work quite well on the top of their skulls and often other places as well. They are mammals, but the fur that covers them more resembles feathers. Sagittarii are quite athletic and enjoy physical activity. They like jokes, communicate incessantly, and are quite friendly. They live in loose tribes that tend to be very ecumenical; by the Sagittarii way of thinking they are all brothers and sisters. This attitude occasionally extends to others races, but not always.

    Sibyls

    Sibyls are a race with a small population and only a marginal culture, besides some traditions and rules regarding groups of Sibyls they tend to avoid one another and are more comfortable among humans. Which is not to say humans are comfortable among them! Sibyls are an insectoid species. Imagine a cross between a praying mantis and a butterfly, standing somewhat upright, with large colorful wings, large, scythe-like arms, and a long squirmy tongue useful for manipulation. They are smaller than humans, rarely over five feet, but can fly awkwardly, move amazingly fast, and have a carapace that is extremely light and almost unbreakable (studies find it similar to some of the more advanced materials used in the Oecumene). Sibyls have three notable personality traits: they can see in to the future with an alarming accuracy (hence the name), they communicate almost exclusively through elaborate and obtuse poetry, and they are extremely casual about killing. All these are traits they try to control in order to live among humans, while also being exploited extensively for these same traits.

    Suphalatii

    The Suphalatii are a race of intelligent trees who claim to have a history longer than that of any other race. Slow and sessile they think in geological terms and are very intellectual by nature and among the alien races they are
    regarded as being very wise. Of course they don't go for the mysticism most other beings fall in to, being materialistic, objective aliens. To the Suphalatii the greatest joy is that of inventions and creation, and excel in engineering.
    Suphalatii have specific need for where to live; they need deserts with lots of sun and frequent sandstorms that kick up vital minerals, also underground water deposits are necessary (no matter how deep) for their roots to reach. They are competitive and do not like other plants or animals in their territory.
    The Suphalatii resemble large, exotic trees with a metallic sheen and a variety of novel devices (some natural, some quasi-cybernetic). Since they cannot move they require servitors of a sort, they naturally create these servitors within themselves, assembling insect/plant creatures of endless variety. Basically these beings are non-thinking robots controlled via aural, chemical, and more unique methods. These servitors are often studied by humans for their cleverness. Suphalatii have no interest in the cultures of any other races (or usually other Suphalatii for that matter), but are curious scientific types who enjoy engineering problems.

    Thalassans

    The Thalassans are not a race of aliens in the pure sense, rather they are an intelligent species that evolved from aquatic mammals on Terra and took to the stars with humanity, only to return with the founding of the Oecumene. That's right; Thalassans are evolved descendants of our flippery whale and dolphin friends. It is unclear how many Thalassans exist in the solar system, some estimates indicate small numbers while others point to a population in the billions. They have a wide variety of sub-species, most still vaguely resembling their ancestors, but with a wide range of attributes 'borrowed' from other species or evolved in strange new conditions. Cyborgized Thalassans are known, as are amphibious ones and even sub-species adapted for the deep of space. Most still opt for a basic aquatic form though. They are a transitory race with a preference for low-tech, natural lifestyles. Most of their lives are caught up in swimming, singing, and sex with meals of tasty fish or plankton when there's time. This leads to many viewing the Thalassans as primitives, which is quite untrue. Viewing themselves as just as human as anyone else, they are usually quite political and form a vocal minority in the Oecumene. Technologically they are quite advanced, having developed biotechnology useful for underwater and designed along different lines than anything human or Nagas have come up with. The Thalassans mainly utilize such technology for aquaculture and medicine, but can be used for just about anything, including manufacturing, information, communication and weaponry.
    They are quite clannish and secretive by nature, they like humans and have adjusted to the Nagas but have a rather mean superiority streak to them. Many humans view Thalassans as a wise, mystical race, this plays right to the natural and widespread Thalassan tendency to lie constantly and communicate in highly imaginative and vague terms.

    Umbreals

    The Umbreals are mysterious biomechanical beings who prefer the dark of space as their natural habitat. Little is known about them, they exist beyond the realm of the solar system and have little contact with either the Titans or the Adamantines. The Oecumene tries to cultivate good relations with the Umbreals and engages in a basic exchange of information from the colony of Echo orbiting Tiamat. In the past the Umbreals have been invited to establish colonies in the solar system, the Umbreals respond that they already have. Whether this is related to reports of squid like entities sleeping in the dark void between planets is unknown.
    Last edited by NemoJBatkastle; 2008-04-18 at 10:08 PM.

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    Default The Reign of Leto and the Helopolitan Era

    It should be noted here that history in the Oecumene confounds people to no end, and rare is the being of sub-Supernal intelligence who understands even a fraction of the history of humanity with some confidence. The Post-Typhonic Era encompasses a period of of nine-thousand, nine-hundred and eighty years up to today, with everyone making big plans for ten thousand. History is studied to different degrees by different cultures, but generally the current interest in history in mainline Oecumene society only dates back six hundred years, riding off the wave of a more intensive study of history eight hundred years before that. That was during the Reign of Ganymeade, and before that history was much less well understood. To this day understanding of the Oecumene's history even back a few decades is horrible, and myth or gossip stands in the place of true history in most places. But can you blaim poor Oecumenicus Buffoonicus? Millions of years of confusing, impossible history filled with gods and monsters every morning, noon, and night? Who understands history? The Supernals, probably; The God-Emperor, with all certainty; the Gods know everything but have leading agendas; the Aureals have it hardwired in to their brain but have continently forgotten huge chunks; and the Judges who would lock away it's secrets to protect archaic laws and lack all skill at interpretation. Most groups have bits and pieces, thats all. And one last important note. Never believe an Elysian's interpretation of history, it's just silly.

    2000 yrs The Reign of Leto Like any good God-Emperor, Leto is a bit mysterious and a bit out of the ordinary. For one, she was a God-Empress. Not that there aren't other ones, but for whatever sociosexual reason they number in the minority. Leto is not universally loved, but it is without doubt that she was the one responsible for finally driving back Typhon, saving the Oecumene and possibly humanity, and preserving the institution of the God-Emperor. Leto emerged as one of the Children of Ananke, but her attitude was at odds with her colleagues in that she did not want to totally freeze the Oecumene in place or make it a client state of the Adamantine. Despite her credentials she was very much an advocate of humanity, and there is reasonable evidence to surmise she was a Terran and at one time an average person caught up in the trials of Typhon. Leto carefully organized communication between the numerous groups in the Solar System and beyond, and finally called a meeting of all concerned regarding the Oecumene of Terra. She then put herself forth as a sort of compromise candidate between The Children of Ananke, the traditionalist Oecumenicals, but also the Sun-Kings and Typhon himself. This is among the more interesting meetings of this period, seeing as Typhon still possessed the minds and memories of previous God-Emperors he was still the legitimate leader of humanity. Leto was able to convince Typhon to pass her his mind and consciousness, Typhon was quite willing to do so in exchange for concessions made to him. The island of Echidna would become his silent empire, totally cut off from the rest of the Oecumene but still active and ruled by Typhon to present day. Leto herself did not god mad upon becoming God-Empress, and promptly rolled up her sleeves and got to work. The program of austerity was modified but not abandoned, technology became rare and guarded as the Supernals floated above humanity like magic beings. Leto removed herself from human affairs and began to occupy the city of Heliopolis, located high on the twenty-five mile high mountain, The Throne of Terra. All further God-Emperors would reside in Heliopolis, and thus the period hence would be known as the Heliopolitan Era (it might get confused with the Heliocentric Era, but it sure beat Post-Typhon yadda yadda). Two nations emerged out of the vacuum left by the lack of advanced technology and the non-involvement of the Supernals. The Preserved Empire, as it came to be called was a collection of the traditions, offices, and government bodies from before the rule of Typhon (though elements of Typhon's rule have always been a part of the Preserved Empire also). The Preserved Empire was even now much more centralized and populous than the Southern Empire, but was forced to grapple with it's emerging role after the disaster of Typhon's rule.
    During this period it was simply a rough coalition struggling to maintain authority. The nobles disliked Leto and even moreso did not like the Preserved Empire, and they banded together with various outsider groups included the once-again ousted Palaemonic faction to form what would later be called the Southern Empire. Leto allowed this, and the Southern Empire became a counterweight to the Preserved Empire. This was never an empire, instead only a loose alliance of noble courts. The weakened Elysian nation allied itself with the Southern Empire and suffered for another four thousand years because of it. The homeless Cybellines were granted the subcontinent of Ariadne for their new hone by Leto, and for that became advocates of the Preserved Empire. The two nations coexisted still honoring the idea of the Oecumene, and the borders were porous and and relations were generally good. Many problems existed for humanity though, not among the least being that the earth was still undergoing cataclysms and ecological disasters (though material resources like minerals and metals were found to be better than expected). Like became simple, slow, mostly agrarian, the reason being that a fallow period was needed. Technology was available but rare, with biotechnology of a crude sort being the most common. For this reason the Reign of Leto is sometimes called the Bone Oecumene, or the Hide Oecumene. This is sometimes though of as a dark age and it is true progress was slowed by this period. But the Oecumene survived through it peacefully and to many that was the main intent. Furthermore the web of interests that define the Oecumene began to tie together at this time. Still, the fragmentation that came out of the split between the Preserved Empire and the Southern Empire would continue to the current day.
    Last edited by NemoJBatkastle; 2008-04-19 at 04:33 AM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default obligatory cry for approval

    Well, after a long needed vacation and a number of other factors I'm starting to lose interest in this colossus. Not like forever, but hey, what's another three years to get it all worked out. That is where you come in o giants. I know it's all fluff, badly disorganized and not ever that d20ish. Being said, is anyone interested in seeing this continue? Does anyone want to know about old crazy Creon, Ganymeade's failed space program and the cult of the Blue Aeon, and the reasons why Peleus might be a wolf in sheep's clothing? That's the next 7000 years. The groovy houses with funny names? Tech levels? Yadda? Durpa? Warlock-kings?

    OR I might start working on a different setting, still sci-fi, more interstellar but also with rules I'll be jiggering from Alternity and d20 future, and actual gaming potential. Naturally there will be reappropriated concepts but not too too many.

    Won't do both right now. Might not do either. The sci-fi setting will be cool too, but the Oecumene has a special place in my heart. It's a funny, funny word.

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