Friday, September 23, 2016

Day 23: Culture II

For today's exercise, I recommend heading over to Bryant's page and briefly reading her more expanded instructions for today's activity.  Go on, I'll wait...
After 15 minutes of revisiting your notes with these kinds of questions in mind, you will have a good idea of any gaps in your background knowledge, and where you might need to change a few details (some major, hopefully most will be minor) to make everything more consistent. Remember: it's all right to have gaps, even at the end of this month. The process of writing the story will help you fill in the gaps and make a more coherent novel.
So we're revisiting societies and culture today, going back to my previous notes and trying to nail down a few things. I really like the questions as she wrote them, I'm pretty sure I can list them off and knock them down. So let's get to it...

Do you know the major political and social groups in your world? 
  • The Union, The Clans, and The Host are the three big ones. Minor ones will include the Mining Guild, the Danal Resistance, and the unnamed "Wizard's Council"
Where do they live? 
  • The Union lives in, well...The Union; 19 planets that form the largest political body within the Garden.
  • The Drachon Clans each live on their own homeworld, and rarely leave it for extended periods of time.
  • The Host will move into the Garden and start to take over worlds at Campaign Start.
  • The Mining Guild resides mostly within the Union, but it also has arrangements with other, individual systems and corporations.
  • The Danal Resistance lives on the planet Danal, with only a few points of contact outside that system.
  • The Wizard's Council (better name forthcoming) exists across the Garden and across all borders. The main base for the Wizards Council is hidden away somewhere within the Garden.
How are they similar?
  • The Union is the largest political body within the Garden, but it's not too dissimilar from the planetary governments around the Garden's other (non-Drachon) worlds. Ultimately, there is an underlying corruption to the Union; politicians who seek wealth, power, or both. Few are those who seek what is best for the people without any selfish interest. The Drachon are similar in that they have their own political hierarchy with their own ambitious members. Within each Clan are those who seek power and control, as well as those who want what is best for the Clans. The Host are another multi-planet empire, although much larger than The Union. There are some ambitious Bathal, but for the most part the Host works in unity with the Empress and the mandates of their Dark God.
  • The Danal Resistance and the Wizard's Council both work in secret, although for different reasons. They go to great lengths to protect their resources but are fervent in their mission.
In what ways do they vary? 
  • The Union will use the legal system and politics to obtain and secure resources, and will only resort to military action if there is no other way of obtaining their objectives.
  • The Drachon Clans use combat as their first method of securing resources. The clans are also raiders, taking what they need and rarely sticking around long enough to hold any territory for longer than a week or so. They rarely negotiate.
  • The Host...the host are somewhat similar to the Clans in that they will attack first, but they are more than happy to stick around after they conquer a location.
  • The miners guild is concerned with the wealth and well being of their workers, and negotiating the best deal they can for each.
  • The Danal Resistance is somewhere between a revolutionary movement and a terrorist organization (depends on the cell leader).  They want to free their world; some are willing to do it peacefully, some only care about bloodying the Union's nose as bad as possible on their way to independence.
  • The Wizard's Council wants to keep magic use under wraps; they are waiting for something, and act only in the interests of the Council in preparation from some future event.
What values do they hold most dear? 
  • The Union values order and bureaucracy; the great political machine working to control the worlds of The Union. Individuals within the Union value power and wealth, but some also value justice, fairness, and honor (they're simply fewer of those types than the power-hungry)
  • The Drachons value strength; physical strength, tactical strength, even mental fortitude. They look down on those who are lazy, or who are mediocre. If someone is disabled or disadvantaged and they refuse to succumb to that deficiency, that will impress the average Drachon.
  • The Host values faith and belief in their Dark God, and in the will of the Empress. Spreading the influence of The Host is paramount, as is support of the Host among the member worlds and species.
  • The Miner's Guild values fair trade, a fair deal, and the safety of their members. Risk is one thing; space mining is a dangerous profession. It's needless risk and liability that they oppose.
  • The Danal Resistance values freedom and liberty; the desire to not be governed by a foreign power and have their planet's resources exploited like they are.
  • The Wizard's Council values secrecy and information. They know a great deal about a great number of subjects.
Are they also racial groups, and if so, how do they differ physically from each other? 
  • There are so many racial groups within the Union it would take a day to itemize them all.
  • There are five different Drachon clans, and you can tell which clan a Drachon belongs to by their coloration (and in some cases their stature).
  • There are many different types of Bathal; there are humanoid ones that represent your average Bathal, but higher up in the hierarchy there are more monstrous Bathal. These are the leaders, the elite, the heads of state. They possess larger, more serpentine bodies with great, armored crests. Their psychic and divine abilities match their powerful, horrific appearance.  Finally, there is a sub class of servants and warriors called the Kulathi; these lesser beings are the populous of the Host, the masses. They do the grunt work of the empire, and outnumber the true Bathal by thousands. They are subservient to the Bathal, they wish to be ruled by them.
  • The mining guild and the Wizard's Council are made up of members and species from across the Garden. Only the Danal Resistance tends to be homogeneous in their composition (human, mostly)

Who are the people in your main characters' homeland(s)? 
  • For the most part, the PCs will likely be from The Union. No matter the race, they will be working (probably) for the betterment of the Union public as a whole. While the government is tainted by corruption, the vast majority of Union citizens do want a better existence for all.
What's important to them? 
  • Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, to steal a phrase. 
What language do they speak? 
  • The trade language of the Union is "Unionesse", or simply called "Kelsh" or "human" since that's primarily the root language of the Union.
What kind of industry do they have, and what kind of food production do they have? 
  • The Union pretty much produces everything and anything, but not on every world. Some worlds are "resource worlds", where the materials of production are found. Other worlds are "maker worlds", which imports materials needed to produce items. There are "agricultural worlds", and a few, rare self-sustaining worlds that don't really import much (these are probably also "vacation worlds").
What factions exist, and where does your protagonist fit into the factions? 
  • I'm going to have to think on this one. I have to figure there are political parties, racial movements, environmentalists, interest groups, and cultural movements. Too much to think on right now, but worth noting down to flesh out later.
What is the primary unit of money called, and what can it buy? 
  • There's nothing like Union Credit for interstellar commerce. Worlds may have their own currency too, but the UC is the main currency of trade and economics within the Union.

What is a typical town, city, or settlement like? 
  • Your average settlement is going to vary widely; from mega-cities and arcologies to modern towns and suburbia to outposts resembling the Wild West but with laser pistols.
All the other questions have to do with "the protagonist" and their home town, which is somewhat pointless for my exercise.

Tomorrow we get back into the Mood of this setting, with some bonus work that might be tricky for me to do tomorrow. Got a busy day ahead of me, so I might be pulling another "double duty" on Sunday and playing catch up.

Hope to be back tomorrow...

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