Your points are all well and good. A triangular city is very illogical. All I can say on why Triastu is a triangle is that Adonis was an archaeologist, not a civil engineer.
Now, for your growth concerns: Triastu is not planning on growing. If they did, they'd either have to build on the Green (which they find useful for circuses, merchant vendors, public announcements, etc.) or expand past their wall (which they find to be more beautiful without a bunch of buildings in front of it). To avoid growth, they do three things: export people, employ people, and educate people/
First, they either exile petty criminals or execute serious criminals. Or just jail them for life. But most of the time they exile them. It's also not just criminals who leave, though: being the Holy City of Trianarianism, they also train and send priests all over Atheus to tend their flocks. Some lucky ones get sent to cities, some unlucky ones to villages.
Second, they employ people. Around the belt of forest that surrounds Triastu are farms and villages. Typically, the city will provide the homeless with a small farm by one of these villages (which also has the added benefit of improving Triastu's appearance). They do the same with the poor, who specifically ask and provide a good reason for it. There are also mines and logging industries that require workers but don't set up shop inside the city. People are sent to make a living their.
Third, they employ lots of population controls, and educate their citizens about them. They also impose heavier taxes on families with three children, with more and more taxes the higher amounts of children there are. They also have lots of healthcare, which keeps the birthrates and the death-rates roughly even. Of course, in times of plague, the taxing-children thing would be dropped. Go to Comment
This really got me thinking, specifically about the holy trinity of christianity. No matter how fanatic they have been in the past and present, they've never once (to my knowledge) built a triangular city. And it doesn't take much thought to understand why, I'm no math-wiz but I calculate that approximately 50% of the space is lost in a triangular walled city as opposed to a square one. Not to mention, that if you were to expand the walls as the city grows, you would have a much harder time doing so in a triangular city.
Don't get me wrong, I like the novelty of the idea, but it's not very logical and speaks volumes about the level of fanaticism and stupidity needed for anyone to build it.
This was a hard one to vote on, while the sheer length of it deserves recognition, the content feels a bit bland. I'm missing some really outlandish locations to go with the novelty of the city.
Since you don't seem to appreciate when I correct typos, I will refrain from doing so. But since you misspelled alleys as allies twice, I felt inclined to at least point it out. Go to Comment
Well you wouldn't necessarily run into the same issues with a castle as with a city. Sometimes castles are built on very narrow hills and what not, in order to make them better defended, so not all castles have the room to expand, or for that matter, the room to build in a more traditional shape in the first place. Go to Comment
Even in a world of magic or hyper advanced technology, a triangle is still a triangle. That's not outside logic, that is an essential truth.
There's nothing wrong with the idea, it would just suggest that the followers of Trianarism are fanatical beyond anything we've seen on Earth (which isn't saying a little). But I would argue that secular interests (expansion being one) normally comes first, usually to the benefit of the religion, after all, a bigger city means more pilgrims, more wealth, more impressive statues and what have you.
And there are ways to work around this fanaticism, as I would presume not everyone living there are so deeply religious, but more practical at heart. For instance the city could expand beyond the initial city walls, or even build secondary city walls. All this without having to suspend belief. That's just my preference, I enjoy logic, it makes things so much easier. Go to Comment
This is brilliant, it combines many well tread tropes but it also very original to my jaded eyes. I agree with Moon that the mistake section seems a little jumbled and tedious. Why the description of the egg hatching?
At any rate fantastic, as a narrative its great in that I was really interested to find out what the raven would be doing, then when it blew up corpses...well I didn't see that coming.
I really like the journal asides. We learn so much more about your world and your vision from these types of posts as opposed to "gaming" posts that just list facts. Go to Comment
I was a bit torn over whether to give it a 3.5 or 4 when I first read this but I slept on it for a day and now I've decided to vote for the higher one.
Overall, I do think the piece is well-written. I really liked the intro. The idea itself- ravens that can blow up corpses, I'm sort of so-so. At one pt, it did cross my mind that it's not clear why the Raven v.10s want to blow up corpses, a pt that Dossta already mentioned. But then I came up with a reason for it myself that this is a way that makes their feeding on carrion meat easier (i.e. for a normal raven, they need to peck at the corpse but if they can blow the corpse up, their food will already be in a size that's easily consumable) so I didn't deduct any pts from this. What really lost me was the Mistake section with its description of the fight b/w the two opposing sides. What I mean is I get the gist of it but all these refs to the Merthians, Ostarians etc. sort of just got over my head a bit (could be b/c I'm down with a cold at the moment) and this made me want to stop reading this sub. But then the "no one noticed" bits did save the day b/c I found that they have some sort of poetry flair that adds to the flavour of this piece. And also, what definitely sealed in my higher vote was the the idea that the mating b/w a normal crow and a Raven v.10 gave rise to the Raventens. Personally speaking, I just really like the idea that what occurs in natures sometimes is and could be way more terrifying than what humans could construct thru science. Go to Comment
Reads more like a short story than a game piece, but that's definitely not a bad thing! I found myself becoming absorbed in the development of this unique species. The intro was a little long, but not boring.
As for the bird itself, the descriptions are evocative and the effect unique, but I'm not entirely sure it's plausible. How much force would a corpse have to explode with to kill nearby enemies in armor? Where is that energy coming from (It seems like the raven is "putting" energy into the corpse, not "pulling" it). Does the raven subsist on this same font of energy, or does it need actual flesh and blood? If so, how can it possibly get anything to eat if its food source inevitably blows up?
Its intelligence also seems a little high. Why would it be concerned with things like "bigger returns" from exploding an arm mid-air? Does the bird have an intense desire to kill?
My suggestion would be to somewhat tone down the birds' power. Perhaps a corpse only has a one-in-three chance of exploding, or the raven has to intentionally trigger an explosion once it has stored up enough energy from eating other corpses. Maybe they can only explode every third or so corpse this way. Something like that.
This is so well-written that it's still getting high-marks from me, "fuzzy magic" aside. Glad you finally released it. Go to Comment
Update: I seem to be slightly lost physically, mentally, and emotionally on where I was going on this one. I've been updating it every so often in the segments as shown above. I kind of wanted to make the Raveten more... creepy. Strange. Terrifying. Something more for something that blows up corpses. So, yeah, here it is. The oh-most-beautiful Raveten. Don't give it a corpse. Go to Comment
The Ravetens eyes are black in adulthood. As an infant, their bloodshot. And as for the other phyical changes you suggested, well, I wanted to make it look like a Raven, with a few "tells." Like the silent thing. Go to Comment
As I said, I'm lost on this one physically, mentally, and emotionally. I guess I just don't know what I want with the Raveten. It's just that when I imagine it, I see a regular raven, but twisted slightly. Something... Off about it.
On a side note, what about exploding corpses is not strange or terrifying? Is it normal for the corpse on display on a funeral to suddenly send bone fragments and brain chunks flying at those attending? Is the sight of your buddy's corpse suddenly covering your face, and as you look down at where his corpse used to be you see a regular raven *not* terrifying? Go to Comment
The description of the egg hatching was for two reasons. The first was to show how the Sciremagi had warped the Raven, not only in the whole corpse explosion thing- normal Raven eggs are of a different coloring. And it showed a bit of the early, childhood stage of the Raveten- assumptions can be made that, since their adult eyes are black and childhood eyes are red, that their eyes change color during Bird Puberty.
And as for the jumbling in the Mistake- though I may have phrased a couple of things badly, I think what actually happens was clear (at least, clear to me, since I wrote the sub). I'll explain it. The Merthians had seen the Raveten, realized the war potential of avian-death-bringing, and tried a different, better way to use birds in killing things. Instead of ravens, however, they used crows. Before they could finish production, but after they had done some crow enchanting, some Obstarian soldiers captured the castle and the city, and were in the looting/plundering phase of conquering. They came into the lab, saw the crows, and saw the killing of the Sciremagus. The Merthians didn't want the invaders to discover incomplete data and facts about their Crows. And then came the fight scene, the escape of the crowd and the Ravens, and the mating of the two magic-mangled species.
All this scene was heavily influenced by real world history. WWII. The Germans were researching quantum mechanics (because the atom bomb was based on Einstein's theories, and Einstein was a Jew. Also, quantum mechanics was based on German-aka superior- research) to get a super weapon, as the Americans did with the Manhattan Project. When Germany lost, they killed all their scientists and destroyed the data before the Allies (Russia, America, England, France) could grab it. A last laugh, so to speak. Which is what the Merthian's did- before the cursed invaders could take their crow data, they stabbed the researcher who knew everything, and (though it wasn't actually mentioned) destroyed the data.
Hmmm... Now I have two questions for you, axelrowes: was this helpful, and could you have possibly gotten any of this in the sub? Minus the stuff about Nazi Germany, quantum mechanics, and dead scientists. Go to Comment
Yeah, the references to Merthians and Obstarians would be confusing to the uninitiated. If you follow the link in the sub to Atheus, then you can see a map, as well as a link to Atheus's history. Those two subs might make things clearer. Long story short: Taurians and Obstarians vs. Merthians and Kathians (I believe I mentioned Kathia at some point in this, and too lazy right now to go check). An in depth explanation to the fight is below in my reply to Axelrowes.
As for the Raveten getting food, I'll explain that in my reply to Dossta.
And, by the by, get well soon. If you're feeling the effects, that means the cold's almost over. Go to Comment
Now a biology lesson: the Raveten pulls magic energy from pecked corpses to provide it energy. The Raveten doesn't actually get blood on its beak from eating food. The act of pulling energy acts something like a magic implosion: the lack of magic energy equates to a quasi-vacuum, implosion, and thus explosion. That is a helpful (at least, I hope it's helpful) tidbit that conjure up a good mental picture while at the same time being completely wrong. The actual magic meta is at this point in Atheus construction complicated, fuzzy, and with a couple of holes in it discretely covered with a bit of cloth and grass.
And actual Ravens are pretty smart. YouTube them. When I was writing this, I found a video if them problem solving to get food. Too lazy to find the link now. The magic amplifies that.
And the bigger returns thing- arm exploded here means less dead bodies, or no dead bodies. That means no more food. Arm exploded there means lots of dead bodies, or lots of food. More food=good.
And your power-lowering suggestion- the Ravetens are only really dangerous when there's a corpse lying around. Do PCs typically wander around with a corpse? Not unless they failed in their rescue mission for Princess Alice and are bringing her corpse back to her father, King Zod, so he can grieve and bury her (and maybe still pay them something). Or when they get in a fight with some dragon. Yes, PCs do tend to accumulate corpses, but they don't stick around them. And if they're smart, they'll run when they see that strange Raven in the tree after they participated in a little "dragon-slaying."
The force of the explosion is 2/3 (roughly) that of a grenade. I believe I compared it to a m16 grenade? Whichever one it was, it was the standard frag grenade of the US army. Go to Comment
How bout giving it pitch black eyes not reflecting any light (blood red is so cliché), a serrated beak that divides itself into three parts when opening, a long barbed frog like tongue, and several black bumpy tentacles with black talons at the end instead of a body. Make it drag itself slowly across the floor only to spring into the air and fly into the faces of victims at the last minute. Go to Comment