Chimud: An Introduction

Discussions about constructed worlds, cultures and any topics related to constructed societies.
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Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Gerk » Fri 13 Apr 2018, 05:01

Ahoy people who build worlds. I’ve got a project of my own that I’ve been cogitating on for a while and would like some feedback on. Details below, any thoughts are welcome. Thanks for your time.

Introduction: The world of Chimud.

In my story the technology is intentionally hidden from the inhabitants of the world.
The entire world was created as a sort of sanctuary for the people who live in it, and the creators chose to simulate magic as a means of answering the needs of the people and preventing them from developing technology. There’s actually active systems of AI that work to prevent the progression of scientific knowledge that might lead to the people developing technology.

At the point of the story it is a few hundred generations after the system was put in place, and all visible links to technology have been buried or erased.

There are periods of time when the society tries to advance scientific thought but the systems in place pervert their research and leads them to think that the universe follows magical principles instead of scientific ones. Since the magic is controlled by the AI, it can limit the success of such investigations whenever it needs to. The ultimate conclusion of most wise wizards is that the laws of the universe are magical and unknowable.

This is the world of Chimud.

I have a a lot of random details jotted down in a highly disorganized notebook. They mostly cover various details of how this world functions, some of the various forms of ‘magic’ in the world, and a kingdom within this world where my first story takes place.

I can share more of that stuff later if there is interest, but I figured first I’d ask what people thought of the larger picture, of the world as a setting. My hope would be that I don’t ever really expose the readers to the reality of the world, but by knowing it I could create complicated and mysterious back stories, that have an internal consistency that makes them feel less arbitrary since they will all serve that hidden reality.

A quick diagram to show the worlds structure.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/f7mxkwq5yp8vb ... m.jpg?dl=0

Image

Some details of the diagram.

The suns name is Ilis, and the small red dot represents the size it is at night and the larger orange is the size it is during the day. It pulsates between the two extremes in a cycle that lasts about 20 hours.

The sun is orbited by eight satellites that the people of the world see as moons, though their moons orbit the sun not the planet...

In reality they are part of the mechanism that regulates the Dyson Sphere.

The largest is CAI which casts a large shadow which sweeps across the world slowly, within that shadow the temperatures fall and winter is felt. The cycles of summer and winter are regular, but not balanced, summer lasts far longer than winter.

I labeled the outer ring as Earth just as a reference, though the worth earth would exist in this world, the planet is not referred to as Earth. I'll update that to a lower case e next revision.

The void outside of the sphere is space.
Last edited by Gerk on Fri 13 Apr 2018, 20:12, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Axiem » Fri 13 Apr 2018, 18:03

By the way, that image doesn't work; you might have the permissions set up right to share it publicly.

Why was Chimud built to prevent technological advancement? What's the purpose of the restriction?
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Gerk » Fri 13 Apr 2018, 19:09

Strange, that link worked for me but I was still logged into my gmail account at the time. I'm not sure how to make it work from my google drive without a full link. They don't seem to easily allow direct img linking.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dgrDmv ... sp=sharing

Anyway, to the questions.

The original builders of the world were escaping an existential threat form a far more powerful intergalactic race they were at war with. They built the sphere as a hiding place. It is designed to prevent any outward sign of the life/activity within it. The thought was better to live in these conditions than to be destroyed utterly.

The technology restriction is to prevent their descendants from ever returning to the stars, and re encountering the threat of animation.
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Gerk » Fri 13 Apr 2018, 19:21

Put the image in drop box, I think it's working now.
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Dormouse559 » Fri 13 Apr 2018, 19:39

Unfortunately, Dropbox stopped supporting image embeds last year.

EDIT: To give a Dropbox link that we can follow, hover over the file's entry in your file list and click the "Share" button to the right. In the window that comes up, click the "Create a link" option. Once it finishes, you can click "Copy link" to add it to your clipboard. The image still won't be embeddable, but we'll be able to click the link and see the image.
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by alynnidalar » Fri 13 Apr 2018, 21:05

I was able to click through the link.

At any rate, this sounds quite interesting! An explicitly artificial world explains away a lot of "unrealistic" aspects (or at least removes them far enough away that they're easy to ignore).

One question I have, what exactly is defined as "technology"? You mentioned that the reason this world was created was to disguise its existence from the outside, so are these systems of AI working to prevent people from understanding they're in an artificial world? From building spacecraft? From having too high of a population? How do the AI systems decide what developments are "dangerous", and how do they prevent them?

And perhaps most interesting to me, how does "magic" really work??
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Gerk » Fri 13 Apr 2018, 21:44

The AI systems keep technology halted at roughly what is considered traditional middle ages development. If a particularly clever inventor or industrious society starts to move beyond that it will take steps to halt them. First by trying to confuse the issue so that they give up, or if they prove too stubborn, by inciting measures to have them killed and the records of their work erased.

An example: Joey the crazy inventor discovers how to make gun powder, and blow shit up. The AI systems will take not but not likely do anything to stop him. Then he figures out how to use gunpowder to make a canon. At this point he is marked as a threat to the balance, and they will take action. First they will do things like interfere with his gunpowder mix to make it fizzle and fail, warp the metal in his canons slightly so they don't fire, etc... If he persists, and there is real risk of him introducing canons to the world, he might find that the noise of his explosive experiments wake a beast from the depths below his workshop, who is more than happy to eat him and destroy his work.

The population of the world often refer to their world as the world shell, built by the gods... so in a way they understand that it is artificial, but to them there is nothing about that that is unusual to them, they know nothing else. They think of it more in a religious mythical way than a scientific way.

The AI system is composed of multiple systems and sub systems, many of which are indistinguishable from being fully sentient. Most decisions such as how to deal with poor Joey would be handled by a regional sub system who's responsibility is to monitor and contain the population in a limited region. If somehow a situation got out of hand and impacted other neighboring regions then a manager AI would step in and coordinate between the local systems to handle things.

At the top of the system is the CAI which takes up the bulk of the largest 'moon' in the system. this AI's primary responsibility is juggling decisions about balance across the entire planet.
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Gerk » Fri 13 Apr 2018, 21:52

Magic in this world is the product of advanced technology. The creators of the world were masters of technology that could do things like manipulate genetics and create customized organisms, control swarms of nano particles to generate force fields.

But in order to keep humanity getting to wise to how things work they will periodically change the rules on them. For many generations local witches and wizards might rely on the power of potions made from crushed sprites, only to find that in recent years those potions are not longer effective. Yet in a nearby village a child was born with the ability to heal by touching the afflicted... magic has shifted.
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by elemtilas » Fri 13 Apr 2018, 22:13

Gerk wrote:
Fri 13 Apr 2018, 05:01
I can share more of that stuff later if there is interest, but I figured first I’d ask what people thought of the larger picture, of the world as a setting. My hope would be that I don’t ever really expose the readers to the reality of the world, but by knowing it I could create complicated and mysterious back stories, that have an internal consistency that makes them feel less arbitrary since they will all serve that hidden reality.
Well, we're definitely interested, so please keep sharing!

Preliminary question: I gather that Chimud itself is a dyson sphere and the Ilis must be a (constructed?) star or star-like-object. But what about Cai? If Cai is a relatively small sphere orbiting Ilis, then it's shadow I don't think would really be enough to cause much of a "winter". I'm not sure quite how these things work, but wouldn't its shadow have to be much bigger for a vast territory to be in winter conditions?
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Gerk » Sat 14 Apr 2018, 03:35

When the creators of Chimud started building the world they chose a small star that had a natural fluctuation between a bright and dim state. Even though it was already a relatively small star, the process of building the sphere siphoned much of it’s mass to convert to heavier elements to help form the shell of the sphere. Several planets also were sacrificed. Along with the great ships of the creators that carried them from the many planets they had lived in before they fled to Chimud to hide from the great threat.

CAI is the largest of the control system bodies inside of the sphere. The size and proportions shown in the diagram is way off for certain. Eventually I’ll do the research to figure out the size and distance ratios that would be needed to create the effect of winter. For now I’m satisfied with the idea that blocking a significant portion of the direct light would both dim the days, and extend the lengths of night since it means that for a large portion of the suns cycle it would be completely hidden. To create winter there does not need to be a complete shadow, just a significant cut in the amount of light.

CAI orbits relatively slowly around Ilis so its shadow moves slowly across the land.

Another point about the orbiting bodies within the shell. There are eight of them large enough to be seen from the surface of the planet, and they orbit around Ilis in different orbits, each specifically picked by the creators of the sphere to help with the distribution of the power from the sun to the shell.

To the people of Chimud they are the subject of many myths and legends. CAI is thought to be the first home of the gods. That is where they believe Aeranar the city of the gods was in ancient times.

They believe that there used to be only two moons, with a second one that was a twin to CAI named Corenar, but it was shattered in a war with the gods and the earliest ancient men who rivaled the gods in power. This war is blamed for why magic is so hard to tame in modern times. It is believed that when mankind grew too powerful and rebelled the gods decided that mortals would never be allowed to have the power of the gods again.

There is an ancient order of sages that watch the moons, and their configurations. They refer to the position of the moons as ‘the constellation’ ( singular in this world since they can see no other heavenly arrangements.) Each year at the dawn of spring they analyze the pattern and name the new year after it. If they think it looks like a dragon, it would be the year of the dragon for example.

Since the movement of the moons is highly complicated and irregular there has never been a repeat of the constellation in recorded history.
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Axiem » Sat 14 Apr 2018, 18:03

Ah, so Chimud is a Dyson sphere, and the people live on the inside of that sphere?

(I'm a little confused about the setting, still; it's not clear whether people live on a sphere orbiting the sun also or something else?)

Regarding the Dyson sphere: given what we know of thermodynamics, how does the sphere not light up as a beacon of "something is here!" to the outside cosmos?
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Gerk » Sat 14 Apr 2018, 18:40

The people liv eon the inner surface of the sphere.

To them the sun is perpetually in the same position in the sky, but due to its fluctuation in brightness they still experience a day night cycle.

As to the idea of the sphere lighting up, I am working under the idea that anyone advanced enough to build such a structure would have the capability of making it trap all the light of the small sun within it. At least to the level that it is extremely dim and hard to see from across the galaxy where they are escaping from.
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Axiem » Sat 14 Apr 2018, 19:17

Well, the problem isn't much with "trapping light" so much as "everything produces heat in space, and it's relatively easy to see that heat". The page here spends some time discussing it (look for "There ain't no stealth in space")

It's possible if they're far enough away, their heat signature at a distance might look otherwise indistinguishable from other stars. That's probably reasonable.


Does the inside of the Dyson sphere have oceans/land? Are there some sort of plate tectonics going on? What does that look like?

How big is the sphere, actually? Are we talking Earth's-orbit large? (If so, that's a lot of land area!)
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Gerk » Sat 14 Apr 2018, 20:36

The way I understand it, the problem is just energy. As long as the system contains the energy it could be made to be about as shiny and obvious as a very VERY large inert rock.

The exterior would be just slightly about the ambient temperature it would have been if it didn't contain a star. Certainly containing the energy so that it doesn't heat up the exterior would be a technological challenge, but people who can literally build worlds are surely significantly ahead of us in their abilities to mange such feats.

The size of the world shell is the size of a very small orbit, less than that of mercury, but even so it means a land mass many orders of magnitude larger than earth's surface.
The inner surface is covered in simulated oceans and land masses that constitute thousands of continents.

The people who built it previously populated a thousand planets, so they had a lot of descendants to find homes for.

One of the aspects of this arrangement is that with so much land mass, the world would seem nearly infinite to the people who live in it. With plenty of room for a myriad of cultures, races, and species.

Although they all originally were the same species, long before they even went to space, they expanded out to live among hundreds of solar systems, over millenia, so they experienced specialization and speciation.

Then when they built and set up Chimud, even though they all agreed to the same major restrictions, (This was not unanimous, but a large enough majority agreed to force it upon those who did not.) They had strong differences of opinion on how things should be run down in the weeds. So across the world there are vastly different cultures and what would normally seem like completely separate worlds.

The landmasses are arranged so that each of the originating planets population share a continent or mega continent depending on how many they have. Then those continents ar separated by vast oceans, larger than what we have on earth.

There are no hard walls between the continents, but there are strong deterrents. Massive storms, (caused by planet scale pluming systems,) giant sea monsters, (genetically built by the creators of the world to help control the populations), and even areas where the water just simply plummets off what seems like the edge of the world, but is in actuality a drain system so large the bottom and opposite side are not visible.

This is part of what I find fun about this world, I can create giant massive epic scaled crazy things, then I just have to figure out a plausible explanation for how it might be explained by this back story, and that gives me a foundation to tie it together. After that it's just a matter of trying to figure out how a primitive people might interpet it, and how it could be masked to seem like part of a world of magic and monsters.
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by eldin raigmore » Mon 16 Apr 2018, 00:37

elemtilas wrote:
Fri 13 Apr 2018, 22:13
Well, we're definitely interested, so please keep sharing!
@Gerk: What he said!
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Gerk » Mon 16 Apr 2018, 03:11

Ok then. :)

Since this world is so large, there are many many cultures and I’ve focused mainly on one continent and the shared mythology and interpretation fo reality that they share.

The creation myth is a good place to start.

—————

In the beginning, there was Ilis, the sun, and it gave light to the universe.  Its warmth drew forth the gods from the cold eternal nothingness, the void before time.
 
The gods gave birth to the Titans, who used the Sun as the forge and drew forth the iron of the world.  They built all the lands of the world Chimud in the light and warmth of Ilis.
The titans were huge, powerful, great workers, but they were poor companions to the gods.  So the gods gave birth to the first men, the ancients.  The ancients lived with the gods.  Together they walked all of the lands of the world.  The gods shared with them all of their knowledge and powers.
Together the gods and the ancients lived in harmony for many generations.  They shared the world and they built many great cities across the world.
The ancients were like the gods in every way, except wisdom.  They had never known the cold dark before Ilis.  And their ambitions grew.  Eventually the ancients wanted more than the world the gods had created.  They wanted to explore out, into the great void, into the eternal cold nothingness.  The gods would not allow this and a war broke out between the gods and the ancients.  The ancients retreated to live on the world shell, hoping to create an armistice.  But the gods feared that once the ancients had begun their quest for power and knowledge it would never end.
Eventually the gods defeated the ancients, and wiped their civilizations from the face of the world. The few ancients who survived gave birth to the races of man that live today.  These races are known as the races of Mantrel.  Scattered and abandoned by the gods civilization started a new.  Eventually the gods took an interest in these races and shepherded them from the hunter gathers that they were to help them build who new societies.
But they had learned their lesson and unlike the ancients, the new races were not given the knowledge or powers of the gods.  This was to ensure that they would never be able to raise up and challenge the gods.
Non of the races of Mantrel were ever allowed to set foot on Aeranar.
Where the ancients had been made in the image of the gods, all the races of man that followed were cast from the dreams of the gods.  Their form and manors varied as the colors of the rainbow.

—————


Most of that is fairly typical of a creation myth, but I hope that you can see how it wraps the reality of this world in a story that is understandable to the mind of someone who lives in a fantasy reality with magic and monsters.

This world and it’s brings are broken up into a hierarchy as follows.

The Gods

Myth = the first most powerful beings who created the world from the void
Reality = the refugees from highly advanced interstellar species who built Chimud as a refuge from an existential threat.


The Titans

Myth = the great giants the gods created to help them build the world.
Reality = close to the myth, but they were largely non sentient machinery and robots. Of course modern people have no concept of this, so their image of them is more fanciful, including giants and golem like creatures.

The Ancients

Myth = the first races of mankind created to be companions to the gods
Reality = the first few generations of descendants of the creators that were born on Chimud while it was still being built, before it was ready for the transition to remove technology. There were indeed many disputes and near civil war during that transition. This period where some resisted the plan became immortalized in the legends of the war between the ancients and the gods.

Mantrel

The descendants of the ancients, the races that constitute mankind, and the races for which magic works.
There are thousands of races of Mantrel, so far in order to support my current story I have started detailing only a handful. But considering the scale of the planet, there’s many more.


Pintrel

The races of Demi humans. These are descendants of genetic experimentation during the period when the creators were architecting the ecosystem mm of the world shell. Sentient animals, half breads etc…

Exatrel

The races of antihumanity. These are the extremely rare races that due to twisted logic and misunderstanding that cropped up current he violent and chaotic transition of the ancients, were established in a secret effort to subvert the grand plan by some of the ancients who did not believe that depriving mankind of technology was wise. In the end the war tipped in the favor of those that believed in the plan, and even the Exatrel were stripped of any knowledge of science. But they have myths and legends of the war that are less flattering to the gods. And they their deep religious convictions demand that they destroy the races of Mantrel, and reclaim the power of the gods. Exatrel are also capable of using magic.

Over the generations Mantrel and Pintrel have come to co inhabit many parts of the world, and often form collective societies.

The Spirits

Myth = After the war with the ancients the gods found that they were no longer interested in handling the various tasks that the ancients had taken care of for so long, so they created the spirits to serve them. But unlike the ancients, the spirits were never given freewill. They were slaves. Now days the gods rarely venture to the surface of the world shell, but they constantly send the spirits to communicate and interact with the Mantrel.
Reality = The spirits are the embodiment of the various AI systems that manage the world of Chimud. They range from CAI that handles the entire Dyson sphere, to whisps, that monitor individual humans who have for whatever reason triggered their interest. There are hundreds of varieties of spirits, and they all have different levels of autonomy.

—————

Magic in the world of Chimud
Magic is always changing in this world. Though the spirits are programed to create magical effects, they also have a duty to maintain a stable world. And the longer the rules of magic are in place, the more the races of Mantrel and Exatrel learn to use and abuse those rules. So periodically when there are signs of this level of mastery appearing in an individual or a collection of people, the spirits start to chance the rules.

Typically that is done by slowly making the existing system less potent, and introducing new systems. But occasionally it is done through dramatic breaks where they unleash a cleansing cataclysm on a region of the world and wipe out the dangerous groups entirely. When they do this is is generally due to an assessment that the risk of the magic abuse reaching across continents is significant.

Magical knowledge to the more educated people of Chimud is broken into a few categories.

Empirical = this is tested and understood magic. Magic a wizard can rely on. (for now anyway)

Elemental = basic wild magic that witches or madmen use, unpredictably and undocumented. (often a label put on new magic that the spirits are still introducing)

Intrinsic = basic common magic understandings that never seem to change. Less specific, but extremely reliable rules of thumb, things like, the moon CAI is magical, and the light of a moonbeam can grant wishes, or bestow curses… so be careful of the light of the moon! Names have power, so be careful of who you allow to know your full true name, etc...

Anachronistic = old outdated magic that is fading, the magic of a dying empire

Apocryphal = ancient completely non working types of magic. Often the kinds of magic describe din legend that only a fool would consider trying. These are mostly thought of as the magic the gods took back.

Due to a quirk in the programming of the AI, they are only obligated to create magical effects for the direct descendants of the creators, so that means that only the races of Mantrel and Exatrel can be magic users, but if it furthers their other goals of population control, or knowledge suppression, they can occasionally do so for the PIntrel.

The specific forms of magic in the world vary dramatically, but the story I am working on focuses on a few types.

In the kingdom of Kortal they practice many forms, but they are chiefly known and feared for their mastery of blood magic. Their war wizards perform rituals that pull the power from the blood of sacrifices. They can create potent potions as well as summon destructive forces that they can cast at their enemies like magical bombs.

Their war wizards are known to go into battle on the back of giant war beasts, with a chain of slaves in tow, those slaves as ammunition to be consumed by their spell work.

The second major type of magic in the story is moon magic. The tribes have been at war with the kingdom of Kortal for many generations. They live outside of the kingdom and live as nomadic barbarians. They are moon worshipers and most of their magic is based on the moon in some way. They collect moon stones that have been touched by moonbeams, and use them in forging of magical weapons. Or other enchanted items.

Moonbeans are much more significant in Chimud than they would typically be thought of. There are periodic bursts of communication between the CAI system and the surface of the world shell. When those transmission are beamed across they charge the air and can create a very visible atmospheric disturbance. People have seen these and created myths about them, and the spirits have capitalized on this and worked to encourage these beliefs.

They have a prophecy that one day the moonking, conceived and born in the light of a moon beam will be born with unimaginable power, and he will lead them in the destruction of the evil empire of Kortal.


—————
Hum, that’s a bit of the main high points. And probably more than is digestible in one post.
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Axiem » Mon 16 Apr 2018, 05:20

Are people able to look up and see the other continents, the storms, and that sort of thing? Or is there something in the atmosphere inside the sphere that reduces visibility? Does this sort of thing have any effect on espionage or military tactics?
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Gerk » Mon 16 Apr 2018, 14:49

Seeing across the sphere would require looking through the dense atmosphere twice, as well as a vast physical distance. So no.

The sky is generally hazy enough that some of the smaller 'moon's are even hard to see. and remember you would be looking directly past the sun. which lights up the sky.

There are some places where people can get high enough to see the horizon curve up and into the sky before fading out, but most people do not live hear such places.

From the surface of CAI or one of the other moons it would be possible to look down and see the surface if the weather happens to be clear at the time, but since the establishment of the current system with the population on the surface of the worldshell, this is not allowed, and no living beings are present on these locations. Although they have many legends of times when the ancients lived among the moons. Most entirely fabricated flights of fancy.
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Axiem » Mon 16 Apr 2018, 17:44

I mean, distance doesn't really matter that much to light; on Earth we easily see things that are thousands of light years away. It's only if there's substance blocking it that it matters—which if there're enough clouds and such in the atmosphere, it would do that. But you also don't need to look up at the sun; you could look up the side, assuming you could see through the atmospheres. And, that side would reflect the sun's light back at you, so it'd be pretty bright—think how we can see the Moon or Venus during the day on Earth.

But, extremely cloudy skies make it a little moot, but I'd imagine there'd be times when people could look up on a clear day and see a clear day somewhere else on the visible part of the sphere.


It sounds like you're planning on writing stories set here. Do you plan on addressing the ethical quandary of the environment, inasmuch as the current residents had this prison-like regime thrust upon them with no consent of their own (a la Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind)?
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Re: Chimud: An Introduction

Post by Gerk » Mon 16 Apr 2018, 18:05

The distance becomes a factor since it means that to see the opposite side you would need a telescope more powerful than a pre industrial age would have access to. Things would be so small they would blend together. Add to that looking through two sets of atmosphere, and it becomes a blur of color more than anything else.

For the first story at least I fully intend to avoid even exposing the reader to the truth behind the curtain. I am building it as a framework to help me add consistency to the otherwise chaotic appearing nature of magic and the world.

Perhaps I'll decide to write specifically about the reality of the word at some point, and if I do the ethical decisions that went into making this world will most definitely be a large part of that. The moral foundation of the decisions made in establishing this world are clearly suspect.
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