Author Topic: Incarnate - A Fantasy World  (Read 631 times)

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Offline brilligtove

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Incarnate - A Fantasy World
« on: October 03, 2016, 11:15:01 PM »
About thirty years ago a friend and I created a fantasy world. At the time we called it 'Powers of Darkness'. We put a lot of effort into it (using AD&D 2E as a foundation for the world building). We completely reinvented elves, dragons, elementals, dwarves, gnomes, humans, demi-humans, and the rules of magic.

I've stewed on the concepts ever since. They have some power: I've run games in this universe, and they have been very good. I've tried to tell stories in it, but never really found the voice for the Very Big Epic Tale that would take place in this world.

Recently I started writing some short bits based in the Incarnate world. They're not really stories - there's no full arc or anything. I'll drop a few of them here as I continue to explore that universe.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Incarnate - A Fantasy World
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 11:22:41 PM »
FYI: If you can hear accents in your mind's ear, the mother's is West Indian - mostly Trinidadian - and the father's is lowland Scottish.


One moment Kīl'Lēn wanted to run in fear. The next she was almost dancing with excitement. Either way, sitting still at the dinner table was torturous. It was set with appetizing food and her stomach growled, but she couldn’t bring herself to eat. Tomorrow she would begin her Journey.

Over a year ago she had passed her Journeyman Challenge, demonstrating her skills with all the machines of her father’s tool and die works. After, she had complained bitterly, pleading to be allowed to join a Caravan at eleven, to study with the travelling Masters. For weeks she was consumed with anger. It took the shock of losing the Little Blessings of Vral’Lor for Kī to realize how she was behaving. Atonement had not been pleasant but she was glad she had regained a place in the designs of Vral’Lor, the Maker.

Kīl’Lēn realized her parents had fallen silent while she picked at her dinner. She looked up to see them watching her and ignoring their meal. Her father’s pale freckled face was as inscrutable as ever under his mop of red curls. Her mother’s black eyebrows arched high on her dark brown face. Bright red lips were pursed, holding in that brilliant grin.

"I'd tell you to relax into the Cycle," her mother said, "but you're too much your father's child."

Kī loved her mother’s lyrical accent. Tonight it set her on edge and she failed to smile reassuringly, judging by the way her mother’s expression shifted from suppressed glee to open concern.

In his deep, smooth voice her father said, "I have something that might help." He muttered a quick prayer to keep his dinner fresh and stood. Using the hand-signs of the forge and the mine – for times when spoken words were too quiet or too distant – he said, ••Follow me.••

"To the ’shop then?" her mother asked. She could read, but not speak, the hand signs.

Kī looked for a hint in her father’s expression but he was as unreadable as ever. Dryly, he said, “Vral'Lor grants calm in forging ahead.” Invoking his God’s name made his eyes spark. Kī had seen this before, but her eyes widened as she felt the heat of the forge on her face. Her father’s hair glowed like coals under bellows. For a moment she felt the lust for life that he contained and concentrated as in a forge.
“Nav grants calm in the Cycle,” her mother replied with a small smile, invoking her own Goddess. Her skin rippled like the disturbed surface of a glassy pool, with flickering flashes of light shimmering around her for a moment. When they passed, her expression was calm and focused.

Kīl'Lēn knew her parents had shared several lifetimes but this was the first time she felt the depth of their connection. Her father kiss on her mother’s upturned cheek was perfunctory to the natural eye. In her godsight Kī saw an act of passion that deeply embarrassed and confused her adolescent sensibilities.

Her father was headed to the door. Kīl'Lēn hastily preserved her meal with a prayer of her own, enjoying the little blessing as it flowed through her fingers and into the food. For a moment she wondered what her parents saw when she called a little blessing, but the continuing glare of her mother’s passion drove her to move. Following her father’s lead, Kī pecked her mother's cheek and hurried out into the frigid mountain air. She welcomed the chill of the cold, still air.

The night was bright with stars that seemed to spill down from the sky to become the lights of the town, on the mountainside a few kilometres away. The bracing cold settled on her with comfortable familiarity on the short walk to the workshop. The intense, dry heat that greeted her at the door of the strong stone building was just as welcome.

The interior was dark, with the forge fires banked and the glass furnaces sealed. Automatically, Kī prayed for mine-sight. Her eyes tickled with a little rush of magic and the darkness faded away.

Her father was on the other side of The Workbench – a massive slab of granite two meters across and six metres long. She had spent years under that table, and something was wrong. "Where are your legs?"

"You need to come over here to find out," her father said. Kī was shocked to see a huge grin split her father's face. His friend-name was "Straight" as much for the lack of expression on his face as for the quality of his machines and tools. He cracked people up. He didn't crack a smile.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Incarnate - A Fantasy World
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2016, 10:36:02 PM »
Sen slowed his breathing to hide from the tentative deer as it approached the spring. He was splayed out on his back on a huge branch, about six metres above the pond. His right hand held the soft strings of his sling, trailed down the broad curve of the branch on his right. The sling was loaded with a precious huntstone – a small ball of granite with carefully arranged dimples all around it’s surface. His mother’s Spiritkin had given it to him as a gift the year before, when he met them on his Journey.

He asked Nav for guidance in a swift and painless kill, and was gratified to feel the rush of warmth that a glance from his Goddess brought. His vision sharpened and his hands became still as the little blessing flowed through him. When he heard the deer begin to drink Sen rolled off the branch with practiced grace. The sling flew up and over and the huntstone flew true, smashing through the deer’s skull in an instant.

Sen finished his roll, falling off the limb to land on another, and then another. In a few moments he was on the ground beside his kill. “Nav brings peace through the Cycle,” he said, pulling the deer from the water. He sang the dressing-song while stringing up the animal. It took several hours to drain, skin, and butcher her, but he hardly noticed the passing time.

When he was done he realized there was too much for one slight boy to bring home to the town on his own. He asked Nav to preserve and protect the animal until he could return to the site. He luxuriated in the feeling of his God’s little blessing flowing through him, and then out to the animal. Whe his prayer was done the beast was wrapped in a subtle small warp in Dīm, providing concealment from predators and rot alike. He could return in the morning with family, confident that the meat and bones would still be there and fresh.

The light of the sun shifted rapidly to red. Sen did not like spending the night in the jungle, though he had made his bed there many times in his short life. Two hours travel did not seem wise in the loud darkness, so he pulled out a lightstone and prayed a bright red gleam into it. He scampered up into the thick forest canopy and hung it where it would provide enough light to guide him in making a nest.
In short order, Sen had bent branches into a simple bowl, large enough to keep him from falling in the night. Lined with thick, bouncy mosses, it was significantly more comfortable as his bed in the town, hugged around him in a welcoming embrace. As he drifted off to sleep, Sen thanked Nav for shielding him from dangers large and small. He felt his God’s love flow through him, pushing the senses of night hunters and insects away from him. Moments later he was asleep.
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Offline brilligtove

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Encyclopedia Incarnate
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 10:03:37 PM »
The physics, chemistry, biology, culture, and magic of Rth is as complex as our universe. This encyclopedia captures elements of this world at the time of the Ascension (year 0 in the Empire calendar, year 1,000,000 (4096DEC) in the Union Calendar).

Because of this timing, the information in this document contains serious spoilers.

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Offline brilligtove

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Wurd
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2016, 10:40:15 PM »
Wurd is the language of the KaBa. The basic structures of Wurd are simple, but lead to deeply complex thoughts.

There are two kinds of words in wurd. Normal words are single syllables that contain a complete concept. These are similar to phonemes in human languages, but more tightly constrained. Each word must:
  • be a single syllable
  • begin with a consonant
  • contain a single vowel bridge (diphthongs may be possible)
  • end with a consonant.

A sound like ‘dog’ is a viable word in Wurd, but ‘puppy’ is not.

The second kind of word are numbers and related ideas. Quantifiers are single syllables, but they begin with b, d, g, p, t, or k sounds, and end in an open vowel sound (a, e, o). This selection of sounds is based on the position of the tongue,  shape of the mouth and the voicing used to produce the sound.
(See Numbers.)

Grammar
Human languages have two primary components: nouns and verbs. There is a vast and complex set of rules defining how language works, but at the most basic level these are all that is required for a complete thought. "I am" is an example.

In Wurd three components are required for a complete thought: a noun, verb and mōt. Mōt is used to express the motivation associated with any noun-verb pair.

Any word can be spoken as a noun, verb, mōt or modifier. Punctuation and word order determine what type of word the sound represents.

Nouns always start a phrase. These words are spoken and written without punctuation.
Verbs follow nouns. These are written with an apostrophe preceding them, as in  ‘dog. When spoken the verb form of the word is preceded with the verbal equivalent: a slight pause.
Mōt follow verbs. These are written with two apostrophes preceding them, as in ‘’dog. When spoken the mōt form of the word is preceded with the verbal equivalent: a longer pause.
This grammar makes it possible for a complete sentence of

Dog’dog’’dog.

which means, the dog is acting like a dog because it has the purpose to be a dog.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 08:02:10 PM by brilligtove »
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Incarnate - A Fantasy World
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2016, 10:24:32 PM »
While rewriting and reconsolidating some of the materials I have produced on this world I made a discovery. (I know that it is an act of imagination and creativity, but it feels like these things were there all along, and I was lucky enough to discover them.

This connects the ubstructure of the Incarnate universe to the core physics of the world, integrates religion, reincarnation, faith, magic, gods and demons into one aspect of that physics, and gives the Big Bad a whole new motivation that is much more compelling than the motivations I'd come up with before.

This world is really compelling to me. I might have to write actual stories in it.
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

 

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