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Skiffs of Kalazar
« on: February 28, 2004, 04:05:59 AM »
I don't know what it is.  I can't get the idea of a sand sea out of my mind.  Saliors of the DryLands...


By the way, Kalazar in one of the most cosmopolitan city states in The Dry Lands (Insert name later).  

The Sun in unmerciful in its heat and relentless shining.

This could be a geologically ancient and stable world, where the mountains are mostly worn down, the land is flat, and the seas are shallow.

You might have a couple of moons, and when they both full together, the tides are extra high and come rushing across the flats. The hurricanes in this place could be truly awesome, and they'd bring storm surge with them, which covers the shore with (plant-killing) sea water (if we go with the salt options).

The Drylands recieve preciously little rain every year.  The sparse populations (when compared to other water rich environments) huddle around water sources.  

Cities and Villages are built into Hills and Great Mesas, where the deep rock can keep things cool.  

Between the cities is the vast wastes of the Dryland.  There are two ways I see them.
1) As a vast uneven salt surface.  Some of it will be pancake salt, in other places it will be more granual salt. Sometimes it will be a shallow supersaturated salty sea. Skiffs would have both wheels and skis/ with a boat like feel to make this work.  It would make skiffing tougher and more challanging.

2) Sand, with black bits.  These black sands have magnetic properties.  Between the Wind and Lightning Storms, the sand dunes would shift and roll, yet not blow up as much as real sand.  Skiffs would have energized ski's with their sails to skim in and over the sand.  

There could be an odd alien ecology on the surface and beneith the surface of the Drylands.  The undersurface would be a vaguely marine analog.  Allowing us for monsters of the deep.  The surface monsters would be a cross between swamp and desert creatures.  Dark Sand allows us for more interesting monster life and more metals here.  

I forsee magic as a ritual affair requiring a magical laboratory/ sanctum.  Many magic users will hide their laboratories, so people will not know they are mages.  Most spells will be of the scrying and weather effects sort. However, summoning demons might be a secret past time.  (The Black Sand could be used in spell casting, allowing for sand form/ phantasmal forms.).  

Alchemy is probably the prefered form of magic here.  Magic using Adventurers are probably unheard of, as they need all their stuff to do magic.  

I see combat as a ritual thing as well, with lots of whirling and martial arts moves.  Jumping and Leaping would be important here, as it will let you get out of the way of "breaching" Drylands life.  Perhaps the social rank determines how long a reach your weapon can have.  Those with spears are nobles, those with knives are commoners...

Thoughts....
--human and animal life will tend toward the nocturnal or subterranean. Both to get out of the sun, and to conserve water (cooler night air doesn't absorb moisture as fast). Human architecture will be massive (insulating the heat out) and include lots of covered walkways, porches, etc. for shade.

--life is all about water in this place. Animals can smell it for miles. Plants (such as they are) will defend it, with toxic sap, spines, , deep storage roots, tough bark, etc.

--if some rain comes on a regular cycle, you'll get lots of adaptations to respond to this. Wildflowers that germinate, bloom and go to seed in days. Animals that stay dormant for months, maybe years, then come rushing out when the rains fall. If the rains don't come regularly, then the life will be highly mobile, always wandering in search of where the rains fell. Probably lots of flying animals, and floating seeds.

--Compared to what we're used to, this could be a very lonely, empty place. Small populations huddled here and there, surrounded by vast open, lifeless flats. What does this mean for the culture? Also, water is really really precious. You might have "Dune"-esque water recycling (a man's body fluids are worth keeping)

--This ecology probably wouldn't support much in the way of your traditional big monster type things (unless you want it too. Then maybe add a bunch of inedible sea life). They can eat you, you can't eat them...).

--What do these people do for organic materials: rope, fabric, paper, oil? Import it from far away? Grow it in precious, carefully cultivated gardens? That would make it really valuable. Maybe you need the inedible sea life for skin and oils? Or maybe there are a few places where the rains do come regularly, if only for short time, and there are elaborate systems of catchments and cisterns for storage. This would change warfare too: water might be so precious that only the most desperate or depraved will smash structures. No wall-smashing, dam-bursting, well-poisoning. Much more emphasis on lighter, faster actions and raids (for that matter no heavy armor: too hot).

Your Thoughts...
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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2004, 04:37:15 AM »
Rain...when it comes it would most likely be flash floods all over the place. The sand/salt probably wouldn't be able to absorb it rapidly enough to protect from flooding.

The culture then, while living in mostly desert, would have to come up with something to either survive the flood like building off the ground on cliffs or stilts or come up with water diversion/storage.

Like the idea of moons bringing in the sea...the sea being shallow is an interesting concept too. Perhaps there are paths across the sea that people can actually walk across. Imagine going from the vast wasteland of the desert to the vast wasteland of the sea. Both are almost unliveable without preperation. Shallow sea would also dictate shallow draft boats as well, probably more online with kind of boats used on the sand.

Magnetic sands....when blown freely the tend to line up north to south? Directions in a vast wasteland in nothingness perhaps?

Sand + lightning = pockets of natural glass?

Egyptian Nile river flooding type thing for some seasonal farming aside from the flash floods?

Organic materials. Perhaps parts of the desert have chemical make ups that when you put flesh/fur/skin out in the sun and sand, over time they turn it into a very durable leather type material that can be turned into any number of things.

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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2004, 07:49:04 PM »
I love it!
Of course, travelling between places would be horrendously difficult...

Dune-esque ideas....
The dead are recycled into water
Special suits for water conservation
Et cetera...
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Hmmmm.
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2004, 06:20:41 AM »
Dune.  That would an interesting application to the world.  Still-suits require technology to create.  A primitive version might still be possible, if there is some animal that has a polyphrene like skin.  

Still suits would make wet salt oceans more palitable, as they would function as a wet suit.  So they would conserve water and allow you to survive contact with the hyper saline sea.  

I am still split between magnetic sands or hypersaline salt oceans (which might be 5 feet deep at best....).  I am learning towards the magnetic sands.

The magnetic sands allows us a more fantasy feel (while still having the versimilitude building psuedoscience explanation for floating boats/ skiffs).  magnetics could also be used as a function of magic... (thus there would be spells based on attracting and repelling metals).  

Magnetic sands also allow for more of a desert feel.  Also there could be a water table so oasis and deep wells would be possible.  Considering mining is a important thing here (to get metal), digging in the rocky soil under the rocks OR magnetic sand.  

The water provides odd issues...
If water exists, but is hyper saline, all it would take is a still like arrangement to purify water.  Thus there could be enough water for everyone, given sun and effort.  

Maybe I could have a few "oceans" of hypersaline water, no more than five feet deep in most places.  The rest of the world is filled with magnetic sands and rocky outcroppings.  There might be soil areas as well.  

Thoughts...
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Offline Luke Lavin

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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2004, 05:37:39 PM »
Maybe ley line magic, the sand could be unstable enough in certain areas people could only live in the rocky crags till mages figured out for to use ley lines that run across the world.  You could have huge floating cities no maybe more than a couple of feet off the ground but epic in size.  The ley lines could be a certain grid like system running across the planet.  Very difficult to find places and ley line mages and pilots could become like an elite class.

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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2004, 08:46:25 PM »
I would say the combination of sea and sand. It would be neat. But weird.
Would this be a low-magic or high-magic world? Or somewhere in between?
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Magic
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2004, 12:24:26 AM »
I see this as a moderate magic world.

I originally saw this as a world that "has no magic", publically anyways.  Publically everyone scoffs at the idea that magic exists. The exceptions are those who people would deem strange.  Secretly or among friends, just about everyone  might admit to beliving in it, much the same way that a person might admit to having seen or believe in UFOs, Sasquatch/ Bigfoot, Black Helicopters, Psychics, HARP, Vampires, Magic, or some such things.

I see the religion as one of faith, rather than obligation.  In short, you don't get obvious or systematic results with clerical power- like a D20 cleric. Gods don't get personally involved or get pissed if you don't worship them.  You don't worship a diety because of fear or obligation to a being of immense power.  You worship because you believe that it is the only way into the afterlife and an easier mortal life, hence a religion of faith.  I see this religion being anti-magic, as magic is a thing of the adversary dieties. (After all if magic was good, wouldn't the clerics have it?)

So those people who practice spell magic do so in secret. (Very few people could live with the backlash of being a public practioner.)  Magic of a predictive/ probabiliy/ illusion/ telepathic nature would be the most common.  Most spells would be cast via rituals, but they could be "rigged" into items, needing only a trigger phrase or action to set them off.  Magic users would have a HUGE advantage over their mundane counterparts.  The nobles might have an advisor or an accountant on staff that would be their scryer/ magic users. The Church probably has Wizard Hunters, who are probably magic users as well.  There is probably a great deal of non flashy magic going on, behind the scenes.  

I could also see Things of the Changing Breeds, Vampires, and Ghosts, and other supernaturals hiding themselves among the normal people.  Again, nobody would admit to it publically, but...  The Church would call these things folktales or tools of the adversaries.

Religious propaganda would have everyone think that magic users are all Evil, pawns of the adversary dieties. Even if the spell caster is not immediately evil, trafficking with magics is obviously a road to having your sould stolen by the adversaries.  So there are probably good/ nice magic users,  self serving/ evil magic users, and a few that fall somewhere inbetween.  

Magic is probably taught by book, self study.  Apprenticeships would be possible as well.  Magic could also be taught by spirits, if you summon an adversaries's minion.  

The only public "magic" would be Alchemy.  They would never call it magic... it is just a science.  The alchemist probably gets an original stamp of approval by a license from the Church.  Most of these potions/ pills/ lotions, would be small "adders", pluses to stats or givers of emotional states, or bonuses to figured abilities, as well as cleaning and restoratives things.  Some alchemists might be wizards/ spell casters as well.

Oh. If there are "sand nomads" or sand gypsies out there, they will obviously be more magical.  This is because it is practical for them to be spell casters, since they have fewer resources to draw upon, AND it gives the established nobles and their churge an official reason to hate and persecute these people (so they can "lawfully" take their things.)

Does this seem like the way to go?
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Offline Agar

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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2004, 01:29:40 AM »
I like the magnetic sand idea the best. It gives off a whole technomage feel to the whole thing. I don't like Dune being a primary influence here though, it would be a massive crutch to your plans if you had to think "What would Hubbard do?" Having alchemists sell potions that turn waste water into potable, however foul-tasting, drinking water would ensure thier livelyhood and value to the church.

Wells driven by windmills and other solar and wind powered technologies would be put to good use here. Speaking of winds and huricanes, what about good ole' dust storms and tornadoes? And Gustnadoes? Huh, you say, what is a Gustnadoe?

Wind Storms: Images

I was in Missouri when some staight line winds did more damage to our amusement park than any tornadoe ever did.

How does sand become soil anyway? This sounds like another job for the alchemists, to provide earth to grow food on. Even with dirt, I'd bet everyone is writing on sheep skins, or camel hide, or just weaving papyrus.
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Reject Lucas Syndrome: Get some Geology
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2004, 04:42:23 AM »
Every land should have some geologic diversity. Every world must have it.
Tthere will be huge tracts of black sand, dotted with huge boulders and islands of soil. There will be a few hypersalinated water flats, (oceans only five feet deep) And lots of well worn mountains and hills.  

There may be mountains tall enough for snow, and thus springs.  However, given the wide open nature of this planet, and thermals, getting to them past the nesting super huge flying beasts may be tough.  

This land will have a magnetic sand level and a sea level.  The black sands slightly float, making them a type of fluid. Thus there shall be some tides on this planet, as there are several moons.  

The magnetic field of this planet must be huge.  Energy is constantly being drawn into the sands.  The night sky should often have Auroras.    

Underneith all this sand, there is a solid planet with soil of softs.  That allows us to have an aquifer and wells.  We can also have giant fungi act as the aquifers.  


For those of you that don't know it. Lucas Syndrome... ever notice that in every Star Wars movie, each planet has one terrain...Hoth Ice, Dagaba is all swamp. Corien is all city. Planets with Lucas Syndrome only have one terrain type.  
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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2004, 08:20:44 AM »
Coruscant is all city because it was "conquered" by civilization so to speak. But that's off-topic.

It would make sense for the Church (Whatever god or gods) to be very important. After all, in such a harsh environment, what can all but the very priveliged have, save faith?
The Church, I think, would probably extend it's power into actual state government, as the Papacy did in the Medieval Ages, perhaps giving rise to intolerance.
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Religion and Sailors
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2004, 06:09:04 AM »
Religion
The religion could go the other direction (either by choice (as with Islam) or by political manuvering (Shinto)). Thus you have a check and balance system between those with popular support and the force of tradition(priests) and political power / wealth(nobles). Neither one can go too far without being reigned in by the other. If the system never gets skewed by some external force, it could go on indefinitely that way.

Catholic faith went south when it began to own its own land, then had holdings that would more than rival other lords. But I digress.

If the religion promotes austerity and generosity (good values for this world), then it cuts itself out of the rulership.

I see the religion as the blanket that holds the world/ culture together. It may not run the show, but its existance colors everything done.

I am leaning towards a team approach, with God and Adversaries (Bad Gods). I think two small "teams" would be good (3 maybe 5). The Adversaries are just negative/ twisted versions of the Gods. That gives us a balanced view of the universe.

I think the gods are just expressions of the greater spirit, but that is a deep philosphical point.

Odd notes:
I am thinking the people came here from somewhere else, OR something happened and the world has slowly changed into its current, hot dry form.

I am thinking there may be big critters living in the sands. Maybe digger critters (ala Tremors), with variations that can function in the sand or short sea. These things not only make people need to congregate together, but reinforce the staying put.


Sailors
So we have Skiffs that brave and adventurous types would ride across the world. Given that the cities are going to have a great deal of social control (required for populations in tight spaces), any non conformist type would hit the sand.

What are they doing?

1) Trade: To a degree this makes sense. Not every community is going to be self sufficient, nor will resources be well distributed. Water might even be a good commodity

2) Piracy: Where there is trade, there will be crime. So we have pirates and anti-pirates.

3) "Fishing": These people are hunting the animals of the sands, salts, and slicks (water areas) for food.

4) Harvesting: Many of the animals would have other uses, so perhaps there are animals that have special and important economic purposes.

5) Magic: In addition to any of the above, a magic user would be more accepted out there, as the wind is a requirement here.


5) Protecting: Monsters in the Sand... Somebody needs to stop them or cull there numbers so they can't mount an attack...
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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2004, 04:59:52 AM »
I bring this post to the fore so CP can find it again.

While there might be Drylands in Arth, the world presented here would be different than copied environments into Arth.

Though it might not be that far off the mark, the biome's rules would just have restrictions on the types of power effects, restrict clerical flows, and seriously limit rain/ water.  The DryLands in Arth would eventually border a set of harsh sea biomes that would prevent their experimenting with seaside life and travel (gigaforms just like on NorthLand maybe).  Have just one (or a few) pylon imperial gate... and you are off and running.    

With that said, I would like to make this its own world.  A planet of little to no surface water.  A land with sand, saltflats, and magnetic sands.  The heat differential between the light and dark areas would drive the wind that our SandSailors need to scoot across the world.  

Each city would be built on a rocky place, and it might even have soil. Thus they would be islands or near islands in a sea of sand/salt/ and blacksand.

I have some other ideas stored away for this land as well, so if the time is right this thread might explode.
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a small thought
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2004, 07:42:51 PM »
There could be formed rivers of salt/fresh water in this land, depending on
wether it has been a flood lately or not. If so; these "rivers" would be huge and wery still(hardly any movement at all).
The point is that they could also be affected by the moons. In china there are rivers that can run both ways depending on the time of the year since the land there can be quite flat some places.
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Animals in the Sand
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2004, 05:23:49 AM »
Dancing Lights: Given the magnetic sands and all the energy, energy creatures seem very possible.  Spirit creatures and electromagnetic animals would probably be lumped into one category.  
    Ball Lights: Willowisps
    Ghosts
    Djinns: Though they should have a different name.


Aside: Given all the energy passing through this world, that having metal items could be dangerous. You would attack lighting, sand, and given the medium temperature metal armor (heck any armor) and massive metal items would be prohibitive.  So we are looking at fast cutting weapons instead of mass weapons.  Cutlass, Saber, etc.

In general
There should be a lot of bioluminecense (glowing) in the life here.  They will need to generate and bleed off energy.

In addition infrared senses would be very useful here.


In the Sand
Psuedosea life will slip through the black sand. Slight charges to repulse some of the sand, and you can swim in the stuff.   There are ecologicial nitches to be filled.
    DarkJaws: Sand Sharks
    SandSails: Dolphins (of sorts)
    Draga: Octopi, who would be more trapping creatures than free floating swimmers.  Smaller ones are free floaters, they get larger.. then solitary and territorial. They shoot arms up out of the sand and grab people and things...
    Sna: Sand Fish, general category.
    SnaSnakes: Snakes/Eels


Over the Sand:
Given the huge thermal nature, large gliding animals would be possible. Terradons, Great Eagles, and so on.  They may utilize electromagnetics to assist in their flying. There would be many raptors here, as there isn't enough plant matter to support as many herbivore birds.
    Flashbirds: Eagles that can generate electrical bolts.
    Living clouds: Huge gliders
    Brightbugs: flying insects that glow
    Lots of insects here.


On the ground
Firesnakes: Called such for their burning poison
Lots of Snakes

Most of the domestic animals came with the people here, so they are like their conventional versions, just thinner and furrier.

Lights of Death: Luminous scorpions. At night, known as the Lights of death, they glow. They travel in small packs, so in the distance at night, people may see in the darkness, baubles of light swimming, and they head to it. The Scorpions, upset of invasion of territory or something, sting them with deadly poison!  The Scorpions make good lamps though, so they are often domesticated.


The most important animals here would be the massive fungi that form the aquifer here.  There are fungi in the earth that grow to the size of states.  Here they grow to massive sizes, even larger than they do on Earth. Wells would drill down and tap them for liquid.
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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2004, 12:19:42 PM »
"Eew... There's something sticky in my water."
"Oh, don't worry, that's just a part of the massive, water-trapping fungus which is constantly expanding beneath us like a puffy mass of wet bread."
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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2004, 03:36:46 PM »
Lets get all science-y and stuff!

A powerful magnetosphere around a planet is generated by a very dynamic core. The field is generated by the rotation of the liquid mantle rotating around the semi-solid to solid core. Also take into account that such activity is driven by heat, and lots of it. This heat, BTW is supplied by radioactive decay.

Thus, a planet with a powerful magnetosphere is going to have tectonic, or geothermal activity as heat vents. There are going to be volcanoes, and thermal geysers, perhaps temporarily incinerating the uber-fungus for several square miles. If the planet lacks surface plates, there will be no earthquakes, but if it has them, there will be quakes.

Black sand is real, it is called magnetite and is a byproduct of gold mining. It is also very dense, resisting the flow of water and air. A magnetic field will have to be very strong to affect them for more than a short distance. Perhaps the runners of the skiffs could be negatively magnetized to repel this black sand and create a sort of levitating effect.

Other notes:

Frank Herbert wrote Dune, not L. Ron Hubbard as Agar mentioned. The movie sucks, read the book.

Deserts inspire messanic religions, where the life of hardship is rewarded with an eternity of bliss. Note that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all originated in the desert. Shinto, Hinduism, and Pagan faiths originate is much more enviromentally friendly locals. This is actually one of the themes to Dune.

Any critter in the sand resembling a worm will immediatly be associated with either Tremors  (and it's four sequels :shudder:) or the sand worms of Dune.

The fact that there are hypersaline oceans reduces the value of water. It would not be difficult for the humans, with their massive architecture, to errect desalinazation facilities, ranging from potentially sophisticated Moisture Vaporators, to distillation with fire and a cool animal hide.


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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2004, 04:14:26 PM »
Quote
Deserts inspire messanic religions, where the life of hardship is rewarded with an eternity of bliss. Note that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all originated in the desert. Shinto, Hinduism, and Pagan faiths originate is much more enviromentally friendly locals. This is actually one of the themes to Dune.


HAH! I win! The Church would be important! Or maybe not. It is Moon's world, after all.

Dune is a fantastic book, and I love it, but I don't think that Moon should borrow too heavily. I must say that almost every desert setting I've ever seen (including my own,  :oops: ) have borrowed liberally from Dune, and there must be other places to look for inspiration.

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The fact that there are hypersaline oceans reduces the value of water. It would not be difficult for the humans, with their massive architecture, to errect desalinazation facilities, ranging from potentially sophisticated Moisture Vaporators, to distillation with fire and a cool animal hide.


"Hyper"saline oceans. They would probably have to sift through hundreds of pounds of salt to get to the water. Moisture Vaporators would have to be de-clogged and de-salted four times a day, and even then, the water output would be small at best. Or maybe, I'm totally wrong. Who knows?
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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2004, 10:46:11 AM »
I have to agree with the Cap'n, if there is a desert there is always some cribbing from Dune. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that Dune is an integral part of our Sci-Fi literary heritage. If you haven't read the book, then you've probably seen the movie(s) The other factor could be that Dune was inspired by Herbert studying the movement of sand dunes, and interacted with the locals.

There is one thing that really irks me about the movies. The book revolved around the superman principle. The more powerful you are, the more devastating your mistakes become. Paul becomes supremely powerful, and through the series of the Dune books almost eradicates humanity in his misconceptions. Enough about Dune.

Another point the captain is right about is the difficulty of distilling fresh water from seawater. It is a difficult process that requires the collection surfaces be cleared of salt regularly. On the other hand, there is a limit to how much salt can be dissolved in a body of water before it starts accumulating at the bottom, rather than dissolving. It is similar to adding sugar to unsweetened tea. Most of the crystals sink to the bottom, instead of dissolving in the tea. Hot liquids can hold more, but it will precipitate out of the water as it cools.

I can see most desalinization facilities being located in the polar regions, where the saline content of the water would be less than at the hotter equatorial regions. This also creates a use for the skiffs, the distribution of water from the poles out to the places where humanity survives.

The subterranean fungus could also be an abundant provider for the inhabitants. Many structures are likely to be partially, or completely underground, and have contact with the stuff. The outer layer would likely be a tough, non-porous membrane to keep the fungus from being dehydrated should a fierce storm uncover part of it. The humans could harvest this membrane, and treat it like animal hide. Instant neoprene. Non-porous, resistant to abrasion and piercing, and it could perhaps even be eaten during lean times.

There could be an entire ecosystem based around the fungus, with it at the top, and bottom of the food chain. The fungus is nearly omnipresent underground. It would provide food to a variety of small krill-like creatures that in turn preyed upon by larger rat like hunters. Most of this biology is likely to be cold-blooded, and perhaps reptilian, by the way.

This could continue up to perhaps a small dog sized predator, something nasty enough to take down a human in packs. Humans could hunt them for meat, and their bones for tools. Everything eventually dies, 'cept the fungus, which in turn will eventually feed on the excretement, and mortal remains of all the life it supports.

Humans could eat the krill, except that they are tiny, the size of flies. Maybe they cant because they are poisonous to everything except the sand-rats that eat them. I guess the main point is that life here is going to be conservative, with water being the key commodity.

There, a desert scenario without sandworms. I hope you like  8)


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Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2004, 05:22:57 AM »
magnetite
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placer_deposit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_sand

The skiffs are magnetic in black sand regions.  

Perhaps now we know what people were doing when they first came here... gems.

I really would like to avoid Dune and Dune references, that is like doing Tolkein and Tolkein references in generic fantasy.  It has all been done to death.  I was thinking an Arabian feel, perhaps with a little Pirates of Dark Water thrown in.  

Religion will be somewhat harsh, but I think we will have the teams of three good gods and three bad gods.  At stake, your eternal soul which will either be dammed and enslaved or blessed to remain in paradise forever.

If we concentrate more on the magnetic sands, we have the whole exotic ecology bit.  The world is filled with Islands, it is just the oceans are black sand and salt flats. SuperSalt flats have to be around somewhere.  Some of the Islands are pretty good sized, Iceland/ Greenland sized. That way we can have regular cultures rather than just island cultures.  

If the world is volcanically active, then I should have areas of lava flats.  Maybe most of the "islands" are giant globs of lava flung from a super explosion.  My problem is that Lava breaks down into soil fairly quickly.

We could through science out the window with the wave of a magic hand, but ....   We will see where this goes.
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Re: Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2008, 03:06:30 PM »
Fascinating read, this thread. I bump.
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Re: Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2009, 08:08:37 PM »
I need to break both my legs some day, unable to walk and go to work.. and live in front of the computer for a few weeks banging out some fo these ideas.  Sigh. 

I had forgotten about this one.  I do like it.  My to do list has like 200 things on it.   

sigh
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Re: Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2010, 09:09:24 PM »
Okay.  I once again had this thought.  I think I need to think about it some more and try again. 
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Re: Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2011, 06:36:46 PM »
You know, this is one of the few good setting that I don't have a setting file for on my computer. 

The visual is still there... sailors sailing on skiffs over vast black sparkling deserts. 

An Arab looking culture, centered on the few oasis rocks and travelling betweeen "islands". 

There are probably water oceans (shallow and hypersalinated) that have regular sailors (with ships of much the same design as skiffs).  The ocean is probably filled with really dangerous critters that will take on ships. 

The world will center around the few dark deserts (land masses) and the people living there..   The Dark Sand cities have metal and harvested beetle creatures (which have living metal carpaces producing an alloy with great properties).

Martial arts and swords masters.... Sharp minded heroes... beautiful princesses... priests and wise ones... and that guy who is a little odd.   

Magic is going to have to deal with energy and magnetic energy... mentally moving power.  Summoning creatures.   It is a hidden thing.  Most people refuse to publicaly believe.  Magic at the lower levels is nothing but tiny pluses for a lot of work.  Get a  better, and things happen.

The tall towers of ivory stone to reflect the heat will help things go. 

Farming done on chulpas (like the Aztecs did around their cities) will work. 

WE have noble houses and their retainers who are in conflict. We have freetbooting sailors who are one of the keys to wealth for the nobles.  We have loose people who are looking for their nitch. 

Okay. The world got this way through left over terramining (planetary scale rape of resources and terraforming to make it easier to deal with).  It explains a lot about the world and how strange it is. 

The world is barely habitable and really shouldn't be inhabited.  These are the people left behind for some reason who don't have higher culture techs.  They could be crashlanders, people who missed the boat, or just people who opted to be left behind.  They could of cloned a culture and decided to be Sultans... and this is what is left. (or any combination of the above). 

I need to do more with this..... 
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Re: Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2011, 12:50:26 PM »
I really, REALLY want to contribute something to this setting, I think it's quite strong and unique. Alas, nothing comes to mind right now, but as soon as it does, I'm going to get to whatever computer is nearest and say it.
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Re: Skiffs of Kalazar
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2011, 02:00:16 AM »
I just created the setting document for me.  It is six pages of documentation. (I also made it a google doc).  If I was making this a game setting, This is the basic ToC.  Each introduction section would be 1-3 paragraphs.  Character Creation would have the basics for the G2 game system, kinds, archetypes (Milieu), gifts/flaws.  Alternate for persona aspects as well.  Setting material would be 1-3 pages (average) per section. Sailing would be a dozen pages on ships and how they run.  The Martial Arts rules for G2 are 4 pages (with 1 page of schools).  Alchemy is mostly the "drug" rules (standard in core rules) with what drugs are "off the shelf".  Alchemy isn't so much magic as it is good chemistry.  Magic rules would use G2 basics, but would need a few power lists worth a few pages, plus a few pages of "about magic".  Tradegoods is your equipment list.  And there you go. Right now I would estimate this would be about 48 pages. 


Introduction
*Movie intro about swashbuckling skiff sailors, swordmasters, martial artists, beautiful princess, nobles, etc.
*Harsh Planet – bit about the setting
*Harsh Society – a bit about the dominant culture
*Skiffs- Sailors
*Welcome to G2

Mixed in the introduction are some story bits:
*Pirates coming about on some poor merchants.
*Romantic slide across the sands at night…
*Two BodyMasters going at it

Character Creation
Sidebar: Character Seeds –

Kinds:  Humans, Just Humans. However, we have ethnicity subsets.
Archetypes
*Sailors  Adventurer
**   Captains
**   First Mate
**   Rigger
**   Railer
**   Hooker – ship based soldier.
*Swordmasters Weapon’s specialists
*Fistmasters – martial art specialists

*Wiseman – Scholars
*Noble - Leaders
*Princess -
*Crafter
*Alchemist

Gifts/ Flaws

Setting Material
Geography and initial Geology
*Culture  Overview  How they adapt, Religion Part I

The Big City States and how they relate to Kalazar
*Culture Overview II  How they live, Religion part II

Geology details (A bit more about the planet) plus Animals
*Culture Overview III – How animals are used

Sailing -  *Ship board life
*Ship Parts
*Ship Write ups
*Trading, Transporting, Harvesting, etc.

Fighting -   Martial Arts Rules to augment normal combat rules
Alchemy – Potions for small augments
Magic – How it works, ritual, times

Tradegoods (Equipment and actual trade goods)
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