ÆTHERCOIL Worldbuilding Blog #2

“It began with the Cubs winning the World Series, and it went downhill from there. The world we knew collapsed under its own weight in the manner of years, vanishing into memory, and then not even that. A dark time befell this world, with warlords and tyrants ruling over the people, until a bright light appeared in the East, heralded by the Princesses driven them all away.

It is 300 years since the old world fell, and the world stands upon the beginning of a new renaissance. A coalition of bright kingdoms now explore the world around them, searching lost civilizations and rediscovering inventions to progress civilization. But evil and chaos are still present, and they lie in wait for an opportunity to reclaim their power. Heroes are called, and adventurers present themselves, as they begin the Age of Rediscovery.”

I managed to get some feedback from my first post of my ÆTHERCOIL blog.  I’ll respond to the feedback, then move on to newer content.

But first, I think a bit of calendar work is in order.

From this point on, I’ll use the “After the fall of the real world” scenario as origins go.  Makes things easier for me, as well as provide a talking point or two. I’ll also be when the need comes up splitting the Mind Map into Submaps when the need comes forth, displaying them when they’re reference and listing them all at the bottom of each post.

The Main Worldbuilding Map
Current Main Mind Map

I’ll use the Wrigley Reckoning for the calendar.  In ÆTHERCOIL, the moment of the Cubs winning the World Series, which signaled all the shit to hit the fan, is so prevalent that they changed the calendar.  They even moved the New Year Day to October 23, the day everyone remembers as the day they did it.  Zodiac signs denote months of 30 days, split into three tenday ‘weeks’, with 5 days falling between the months, six if you count Leap Year.

 

Georgian Calender(Not Counting Leap Days) Calendar of Wrigley
Oct 23 Wrigley
Oct 24 – Nov 22 Scorpio 1-30
Nov 23 – Dec 22 Sagittarius 1-30
Dec 23 Yule
Dec 24 – Jan 22 Capricorn 1-30
Jan 23 – Feb 21 Aquarius 1-30
Feb (22) Regalia Day (Leap Year)
Feb 22 – Mar 23 Pisces 1-30
Mar 24 Belthane
Mar 25 – Apr 23 Aries 1-30
Apr 24 – May 23 Taurus 1-30
May 24 Summertide
May 25 – Jun 23 Gemini 1-30
Jun 24 – Jul 23 Cancer 1-30
Jul 24 – Aug 22 Leo 1-30
Aug 23 High Harvest
Aug 24 – Sep 22 Virgo 1-30
Sep 23 – Oct 22 Libra 1-30

(Note to self: Find a way to add more Baseball into this world, maybe as a sacred game that kingdoms use to resolve disputes. Instead of a war, they stage a best of seven series in a neutral baseball field. Some armies also train in the game.)

Races Mind Map
Submap of the Races available in Æthercoil

 

Another point to quickly discuss is how the other races came about. As the world ‘regresses’ to a Middle Earth like environment, which is what this real world becomes by 300 WR, you will have Dwarves, Elves, Halflings, various furry-based races, other more traditional Fantasy World races, and so on. I have decided that, instead of reducing the planet to an inhospitable husk, the combination of a Middle Eastern nuclear war interacted with global climate change and—at first, countered each other out—but then also ripped through the fabric of space and time, resulting in the revelation of this world’s Feywild and Shadowfell. This produced the majority of the environmental change, requisite monsters, and additional races in the world.

(By now you should know that, when I talk about ‘race,’ I talk about race in the Tabletop RPG races, not in any current real-world sense. To me, all Humans are lumped together in a single race, with it’s subsets regarded as ‘Cultures’ rather than ‘Races.’ Some of you might need to know this. I also default with cisgendered male pronouns. Fucking cope.)

There are two ways a race can appear: One, which is more possible for furry races, an existing animal species gain sentience, stand upright, and basically have an Ascent of Man in a manner of years, or maybe weeks, although not much more of a century. Such is the case of, say Pandaren, which is now called Pandafolk. (See below) The Chinese there are awestruck when they see their prized mascot creatures turn into native-like beings that taught them a lot more about their country than they thought. Pandafolk even helped guide the Chinese Government away from its current socialistic style and adapt to the AEthercoil world. Hard to rattle any sabers when you are represented as a talking bear that’s meditating, drinking brew, and being Fluffy.

The second part is more transformative. A progenies of a certain race, a deity if you will, spirits away some humans into their world and transforms them into the deity’s nature. This world’s Corellon, for example, will have done this for Elves. He spirited away some lost person—usually an orphaned child or lovelorn adult—into their world and either transformed personally or bred with to produce the first elves that return to the world with their own language and culture, taking over whole swaths of uncivilized lands. Dwarves have done the same thing, although their lands have been discovered in the Siberian regions (Hence Dwarves in AEthercoil tend to speak with a Russian accent instead of a Scottish one.) A Kitsune deity known as “The Lady” did the same when she created the Kitsune race, although details might not be G-Rated. For brevity’s sake with this log, I’ll save the other details for later.

I want to go on with the feedback I got at this time, and they came from several different sources.

The first one was already mentioned: David Black from Google+ mentioned Pandaren, which I’ve renamed Pandafolk.

Some ideas I find from other IPs are just too good to pass up, and Pandaren is one of them. In order to make them fit in AEthercoil, I have to do some serious tweaking to said particular piece. Of course, this consist of what fanfict writers call “Filing off the Serial Numbers,” that is removing all words that connect the piece form the IP (similar to D&D using the word ‘Halfling’ to call what Lord of the Rings fans see as a ‘Hobbit’) but after that, I wanted to tweak the piece so that it fits better in this new world I’m making.

Changing ‘Pandaren’ to ‘Pandafolk’ was a no-brainer. The real trick is to transition the race from Azeroth to the ‘pseudo-real world’ setting of AEthercoil. Fortunately, I can easily plug in the current regional flavor in place. In AEthercoil, Pandafolk have their homelands in the Sichuan province, surrounded by a traversable mist wall that serves as their land’s geopolitical boundary as acknowledge by the Chinese Government. There they live out a live similar to Pandaria, but with motifs that are Chinese, including language (their chosen language is Mandarin) and architecture. They are practicing Buddhists as well as Kung Fu practitioners, which causes some to become Shaolin Monks. Not to mention masters in Drunken Fist, which is a quintessential Panda style. Pandafolk population is slowly, yet gradually improving, as Pandafolk that was previously pandas in zoos were returned to their homeland. Fortunately, some Pandafolk love to travel and see new things, especially the more famous Stormstout clan. (It’s the only part from Blizzard I’ll be keeping.)

Oh yeah, nobody has ever lived until they drunk Panda Brew. It’s this world’s answer to Anheuser-Busch.

Gowkaizer96 from my Play by Post games wanted to know that, “if you are smashing Eberron into Forgotten Realms, clearly you need to include the plains nomad Halflings riding Dinosaurs.  More civilized ones were also a thing (Had a character who worked for the Halfling house of professional healers).  But, you know, Halflings on Dinosaurs.”

He also had some weapons ideas which I stored in One Note for later. But I want to get to the Halfling part. In AEthercoil the Halflings, or Hin for the official race title, will go into two forms: Stronghearts and Lightfoots. They’re much like what 5th Edition describe them. Stronghearts are the kinds of Hin you’ll find in the Hobbit-Lord of the Rings, they have their shire-like settlements and prefer the comforts of hearth and home, eating, drinking, and smoking the pipe weed.

Oh, do I have to say that Hemp is a completely legal crop? Including as a smoke?

Lightfoots are the ones afflicted with wanderlust, always wishing to wander off somewhere and go on a grand adventure after another. These are the Hin that players will find as part of their party. A subset of Lightfoot Hin eventually, over the course of the 150 years they were present, formed the Visanti, which is the world’s Gypsy society. Visanti Hin are the ones that would be riding the Dinosaurs.

Inventions in the Æthercoil world

The last in the feedback comes from Brett Turner over at Skype, and he talked with me about the marquee feature of AEthercoil, inventions. “God, if that doesn’t run the gamut, then you’d have to incorporate a ton of electronic advancement. Any ideas on that one? making magic more esoteric than commonplace and scientific development a way to work in symbiosis?”

As I said in the previous post, the world is built on top of the current real world, with all of its inventions waiting to be rediscovered (Hence the subtitle, “Age of Rediscovery”). Some of the inventions, once studied and understood, become used by the current society, a series of city-state points of light run by a coalition of ruling ‘Princesses.’ At this time, most of the inventions are early and at their infancy, while some are steam powered. Æthercoil is going to have a strong Steampunk vibe in some cities. Other inventions are still being dabbled around by special mages known as artificers who wish to use the æther, which is the setting’s way of calling the Weave in Forgotten Realms, to enhance current inventions, such as using magic to give an airship lift and power engines to move the propellers. And then there are some inventions that exist only in the dreams and visions of the inventors themselves, which are the natural progression of the current inventions they have now.

I’ve made a sub-map to show a very incomplete list of the inventions in play thus far. I’ll be writing about them further in future posts.

Mind Map Listing:  All Mind Maps accounted for here.

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