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Author Topic: Just another CP project... (Looking for collaborators)  (Read 6182 times)

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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Just another CP project... (Looking for collaborators)
« on: February 17, 2007, 07:51:00 PM »
I've been re-reading China Mieville's Bas-Lag novels, and you know that means trouble. I've come to two conclusions- A., I am in love with China Mieville and want to marry him and take him away to Bas-Lag, and B., I want to create a new setting.

My ideas for this new setting are very vague, and I'm seeking any brave, hardy individual who would like to collaborate with me on it. I feel that the synthesis of ideas would be wonderful, and I also feel that it would probably keep me more focused on the setting for a longer time.

My broad ideas:

- Guns! A world with gunpowder, flintlocks (pistols and rifles), cannons... Where guns have joined (though not at all surpassed) crossbows and melee weapons in importance. I'm thinking dirty adventurers holding swords and matchlock pistols, king's guardsmen with longshot flintlock rifles, that sort of thing.

-You know me, I just love my city-states, and I love my empires, and I'd like this setting to have both, though leaning more towards the city-state end of the deal. I also love despots, tyrants, and secret police, and want to have that sort of atmosphere of urban oppression in the setting, possibly with a dash of commercial imperialism (trade-wars galore!)

-I'm not sure if I want trains and airships and all that good stuff... I might want it to be a bit less advanced than that. I like steampunk, but I want to avoid a lot of the very overt steampunk tropes (such as steam-powered robots and all of that), because I don't want this setting to be pigeonholed as "steampunk".

-Of course, I'm going to try and throw in my weird names. You know you can't escape it. Whoever collaborates with me is just going to have to deal with it... Or maybe we'll hash it over and decide just how weird we want them.

Anyway, I know I don't have much, and it isn't exactly new ground to tread on, but if you want to collab with me, I am looking for partners.
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

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Offline Murometz

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Re: Just another CP project... (Looking for collaborators)
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2007, 08:02:30 PM »
Having recently conquered and fallen in love with China Mieville's work, I'm in!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2007, 09:48:19 PM by Murometz »
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Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Offline CaptainPenguin

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Re: Just another CP project... (Looking for collaborators)
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2007, 08:42:39 PM »
Then let the madness begin!
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

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Offline CaptainPenguin

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In fair Kadessa, where we set our scene...
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2007, 09:15:06 PM »
(Note to Muro: Feel free to post whatever additions, cities, races, whatever, you like, whenever.... Don't be afraid to retcon things, or change names if you feel like it...)

As it is often convenient to take a certain place as a focus in creating a setting, and because this particular locale is one of the most notable and prominent places in our world, it's time to talk about...

The Great City-State of Kadessa

South of the Sighing Mountains, on the coastal plain known as the Trodanis, the vast, ancient, and glorious city-state of Kadessa sprawls across the land where the River Troda flows into the Gulf of Arms, a monstrous nation-city of brick, marble, wood, iron, and glass, with a population of millions. A mighty commercial power, Kadessa's fleets sail to trade with far-away nations across the oceans and up and down the coasts and rake in wealth from numerous colonies and tributary city-states. Under the rule of the glorious power of the Empress, the wisdom of the Senate, and the protection of the Kadessan militia, the people of Kadessa take for their symbol the Three-Headed Eagle, each head respectively representing the Senate, The People, and The Imperial Throne.

But all is not well in Kadessa. Beneath the glittering veneer of imperial power and wealth, the City of the Three-Headed Eagle seethes with corruption. An immensely-crowded, roiling polity, the city's huge, poor underclass is ruthlessly and indiscriminately oppressed. Crime levels are astounding; an extreme level of casual violence is a striking characteristic of the world of the common Kadessan. An anarchic and shockingly-violent underworld of criminal mobs and brawling street gangs parses out the districts and neighborhoods of the city, battling amongst themselves and with the state militia. Demagougic guilds and worker's unions arouse great riots, and even greater spontaneous riots are a near weekly occurance.
The Senate is nothing more than a meaningless, powerless old boy's network in which back-slapping aristocrats and scheming compradors play at leading the state and claim the "mandate of the Kadessan people". The Empress, though effectively ruling by decree and unrestrained by the Senate's noble pretentions, lives a decadent and gaudy life of illusion, carrying out nothing more than the hoary traditional rituals of the state autarch and drowning herself in excess. The state militia is forced to rely upon more and more brutal methods of control and suppression to control the riotous and violent populace, and enlarge their own power. The true power in the city is a secret council of hidden individuals and representatives of powerful factions.

And yet, this roiling stewpot of intrigue, violence, power, glory, oppression, and resistance remains a mighty power, with great influence, which maintains a large flock of colonies and tributary states and territories from which it draws it's wealth, in addition to the trade that swells the city's veins like lifesblood.

(more to come... details and all of that)
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline Murometz

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Kadessa
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2007, 09:36:42 PM »
Factions, Consortiums, and Guilds (I'll start filling them out tomorrow, we can just update/rework/delete this post as we go)

1. Workers Movement (Reds)
2. Orange Collar Mob
3. Versologists
4. Empress' Raptors
5. Mothers of Whores
6. Blue Union
7. Civil Sorcerers
8. Prestidigitaters
9. I forgot a few...
« Last Edit: February 20, 2007, 09:41:36 PM by Murometz »
Authentic Strolenite™©®

Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Offline CaptainPenguin

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Re: Just another CP project... (Looking for collaborators)
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2007, 04:45:01 PM »
Geographically, Kadessa...

Is on the western coast of the land
Is on the shore of the sea called the Gulf of Arms
Is located where the River Troda pours into the Gulf
Is on the coastal plain known as the Trodanis
Is east of the dry, tough hill-country called Thayt-Boris (teeming with bandits, beasts, and unfriendly clans)
Is south of the craggy, haunted range known as the Sighing Mountains
Is north of the plains (people by clannish herd-folk) called the Flatfoot Scrub
Is northwest of the foul, primordial swamps of the Dank Spiral and the teeming estuaries and salt-marshes of the Porleep Delta
Is west across the Gulf from Mron Hly, Island of the Insect Kings (kingdom of the mysterious Mronur), as well as numerous closer island-states and colonies
 
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline CaptainPenguin

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Re: Just another CP project... (Looking for collaborators)
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2007, 07:47:50 PM »
Note Storage

Stuff I wrote down on a napkin-

Kadessa's nemesis city, Corheen.
-Where Kadessa is superheterogenous and diverse, Corheen is more dominated by a single culture.
-Ruled by His Highness, Menuahl II, By Grace Of God, Tsar Of The Immortal Corhee State. Menuahl, while an amazingly popular and charismatic monarch, has a mostly ceremonial position as head of state and focal point of the people's reverence.
Most decisions are made by the State Assembly, a parliamentary body composed of the quchee, the ancient warrior nobility of Corheen
(far back in time, the quchee were the knights of the city of Corheen. They were rewarded by the Czars with grants of land which gradually transformed them into a landholding nobility. Most of the Corheen populace works on the vast Manors which supply the city with it's basic food needs).
The official leader of the quchee is currently Prince Dotokan, the eldest son of the Emperor
(this has raised concerns among the quchee of a resumption of imperial control, but Menuahl prefers to use the support of the people to pressure the Assembly and push his bidding; in addition, while his father the Tsar is a mild reformist, Dotokan's politics are often disturbingly reactionary).

Kadessa's commercial enemies... They have engaged in open warfare in the past, but since the Treaty of Mlayvu, they have been engaged in a semi-secret cold/hidden war of economic sabotage, assassination, privateering, and so on
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline CaptainPenguin

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Kadessa Continued
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2007, 09:47:12 PM »
Ethnically and culturally, Kadessa is best described as being extremely heterogenous. While there is certainly a major ethnocultural influence in the form of the traditional Kadessan culture (derived from the mixed Trodanite and Tartessian people of earlier ages, the later groups refugees from the collapse of the legendary empire-city of Tartessos), Kadessa is mostly an amalgam of multitudinous cultures, which is reflected in values, language, art, architecture, and so on. The land in which Kadessa is located is often remarked upon by scholars for its diversity of culture and ethnicity, and this shows in the various populations of these groups which are present in the city- not just Kadessans, but also a massive population of former clanfolk from the hilly country of Thayt-Boris (OOC: these can possibly be considered analogous to the Irish who flooded the United States in the 19th century), refugees from the violence, poverty, and rugged wildness of their land; stolid Stemmishfolk from the Stemmish Shires under the eaves of the Sighing Mountains; people derived from the clans and tribes of herdsfolk on the Trodanis and the surrounding plains, as well as more far-off groups of plainsfolk native to the Flatfoot Scrub; Tharls, Modhi, Spran, and other swampfolk from the Dank Spiral and Porls from the Porleep Delta; islandfolk of Bricktop, Ulzar, Korstangz, Sea Cat, and other such isles of the Gulf of Arms, as well as the Mron-men, the strange folk of Mron Hly; pious Kulsarrs from Faith-Of-Kulsa; Chaivar fisherfolk from Chaiv Bek, and more. There are small communities of Corhee, nervous settlers from the rival city of Corheen.
There can even be seen (though invariably they are a spectacle) the rare member of the strange unhuman races which dwell in the less populous places in the world.

The primary cultural influence in Kadessa, shaping the culture of it's original ancient core polity, as well as it's politics (in the form of the Imperial-Senate system), is that of the Trodano-Tartessians. It is from these ancient peoples that the rituals and most ancient political symbols and metaphors of Kadessan society devolve.
The Trodanites were the original tribes of the Trodanis, who settled through the coastal plain as far west as the fork of the River Troda, where the River Chopis breaks off and flows south (coincidentally, this range is also about the limit of the modern Kadessan military order-keeping patrols). Very little remains of the original Trodanic culture. This is due to the influx of the Tartessian people. Refugees from the collapse of the mighty nation of Tartessos (the ruins of which lie to the far southwest of Kadessa), the arrival of these settlers destroyed the delicate balance of Trodanite intertribal politics, as each Trodanite clan attempted to secure the aid and friendship of this Tartessian warlord or that Tartessian community. After a several generations of war, turmoil, and change, a new and vibrant culture, that of the Trodano-Tartessians (also called the Neo-Trodanites, the Trodanic Tartessians, Tartesso-Trodanites, and a variety of other unwieldy titles).
This Trodanite-influenced Tartessian culture has become the basis and bedrock of the culture of Kadessa.

(more to come...)
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline CaptainPenguin

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Outer Kadessa
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2007, 06:28:17 PM »
Kadessa is a city-state, and thus, in theory, has no territory beyond the edges of the city (usually defined as the neighborhoods of Underwall and Gravepit). In practice, however, Kadessa's military power and security interests have led it traditionally towards control of a wide region beyond the city proper, encompassing roughly the old homeland of the Trodanite tribes.

This controlled region, a flat, marshy plain dotted with tiny townships and thorps, is not governed, per se. It is taxed by city officials, but only laxly and with little fervor; the same goes for law officers who are sent out occasionally to adjudicate on small-town disputes. This region is known as Outer Kadessa, and though the townships within its borders only loosely identify with the Big City (as they call it), they are for the most part regarded as a portion of the Kadessan polity.
The main fact of Kadessan power within Outer Kadessa are the military patrols which roam the region, protecting travelers and keeping the area free of bandits and monsters.

The Outer Kadessa district stretches down the coastal plain of the Trodanis, from Cape Mohans-The-First (named for Emperor Mohans I, who defeated the great Kulsarr Armada off this very point in the War of 1449) down to the Chopismouth Bay, where the Kadessan-administrated sea-town of Chopisach sits amidst the Trodan Hills.
The border of military patrols (and thus of Outer Kadessa) stretches in a rough arc around the outside of these Trodan Hills, north to where the Rivers Troda and Chopis branch off from each other, and further north along the foothills of the eastern flange of Thayt-Boris. At the split of the Troda and Chopis, Fort Habran sits, a fortress-town or minor city where the militia's squads operate from. Habran is also the main point of entry for thousands of immigrants out of Thayt-Boris, drifting down out of the dusty hills looking for work and protection.
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Mronur (a snapshot)
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2007, 10:13:32 PM »
Mronur: These insectile beings are the strange and reclusive rulers of the island kingdom of Mron Hly. The Insect Kings, as they are called, are numbered among the surviving races of the Old People, ancient and bizarre races of which man knows but little (this also makes them the cousins of the malign and nightmarish Sranc, the implacable enemies of mankind). They dwell hidden away from the world, content to rule over their sea-trapped nation and keep their eldritch lore, old beyond reckoning, and enforce their bizarre laws over the human subjects of Mron Hly (who are quite-nearly as strange and unfathomable as their armored masters).
Mronur have an anthropoid upper body centered between four long legs; on this body, they have two sets of arms- a useful pair armed with spidery, six-fingered hands, and a shrunken atavistic pair of arms which remain curled against the chest, rubbing their gnarled hands together. Their heads are long and pointed, like that of a hideous armored mosquito, with nightmarish mouthparts of constantly moving tendrils and pincers. They have clusters of variously-sized jewel-like eyes. The entirety of a Mronur's body is armored, not in chitin, but in a very hard material like leather or bone. They do not speak with their mouths (and indeed, find it strange that humans speak with their "sustenance canals"); instead, they both speak and hear from organs which have been called "musical membranes", vibrating organs which are protected by shields of hard plating (which were probably once wing-casings).

(this is just a snapshot; there will be more on them to come, as well as on the Hha Sor, Kibberu, and other races)
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

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Offline Maggot

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Re: Just another CP project... (Looking for collaborators)
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2007, 03:43:34 AM »
Would it be possible  for me to make a small, modest contribution to this scroll?  I think its an excellent thing that you've opened up the possibility of open collaborations, and so there was this idea that germinated in my mind.  I'm thinking of shaping a semi-human race of nomads that wander the desserts in many small tribes that are united  by common cultural practices, and the teachings of a monolithic central faith that revolves around a belligerent god whose dogma advocates ferocious violence against pagans. A deity with the moon as the symbol of his authority, the tribesmen who worship him are ruled by a hierarchy of tribal preachers that often raid caravans and even remote villages as a way of sustaining their improvised people with looted riches and captives whom are ''converted''. 

Do you think it would be possible for such a culture to exist in your world?
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