xinoehp512

worldbuilding
Other Side Worldbuilding

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It's been more than four months since the Other Side of the World thread was posted, and people (thank you @Arky-boi and @I think I am here.) have done some great worldbuilding around the concept. Here's a thread to consolidate what we have so far. If you have any comments, questions, or additions, post below!

Spoiler

The Other Side of the World

The wars and intrigues of the Alleycity are, arguably, the most interesting thing that happens on this unstable planet. It is certainly true that the Other Side (everything outside Alleycity influence) has not had much of interest happen at all for much of the history of the Alleyplanet, despite the fact that (in some places), time passes almost a thousand times as fast. This we can attribute to the deficit of readily available Investiture, a deficit that was remedied by the summoning of the Alleystorm and the creation of the Alleycanes. This influx of investiture has allowed for a variety of interesting and unusual societies to develop in various places, and the extreme chronological compression has allowed time for these societies to grow and flourish, even in the harsh conditions often found on the Other side.

Only time will tell if the conflicts of the Other side will have the same far-reaching impacts that the conflicts of the Alleycity do. The future, however, is certainly looking up.

 

The Floating Islands of the North Sea

 

 

Far in the north – in fact, as far north as there is –- lies a sea, aptly named the North Sea. Contained within that sea are majestic floating islands, mutated by the alleycanes that pass over the area. They feed on stormlight to grow to enormous sizes, and fill both the air and sea.

 

 

Anatomy

 

Each island is supported by a layer of rock on the bottom. On top of that rests dirt, which supports the many plants that grow on the surface. In the center of the island is the island’s gemheart, which holds the spren that lets it float. The gemheart is fiercely guarded, as its destruction would almost certainly result in the death of the island.

 

Flora and Fauna

 

The mix of plants and animals on each island is specific and unique. They live in connection with each other and the island. The sapience of the island depends, in a large part, on these organisms. It, in turn, can influence or control them, depending on their level of sapience.

 

Life cycle

 

The creation of a new island begins when one island shares some of the organisms that live on it with another island, providing a connection between them. Using this connection, they form a new gemheart and place it in a new form. Once this is done, they will find a spren of the right type to bond the gemheart. After this, the island is released from its parents to rise into the air. Eventually, the island will become too big to float any longer and will sink from the air into the water.

 

More information

 

 

Solid islands

 

Not all of the islands float; a few are grounded into the sea floor. Whether or not these islands are sapient is a question that, as of yet, remains unanswered. The island with the North pole is one of these.

 

Flying rocks

 

Around the North pole is a specific variety of flying island. These islands are small, rocky, and have little to no life on them and are not sapient. They do not use the same spren to float as the sapient islands, instead using mandras (colloquially known as “luckspren”).

 

Shadow birds

 

These shadow-black birds are, perhaps, the only predators of the islands. They gather in large flights, and feed on the spren of the islands*. The flights have a hive mind, centered on a single “queen” bird. It is suspected that they are Aviar mutated by the Alleystorm, but this remains unconfirmed.

 

*They also feed on the spren of alleycanes, suggesting that they are, in fact, one and the same.

 

 

Islands and intelligence

 

Each of the islands derives sapience from the connection of the creatures that reside on it. When other sapient species are included in this, things can get… strange. The effects of this have not yet been fully explored, but an increase in the number of expeditions may soon give us more information on this subject. Many islands are reluctant to accept humans due to the fact that species with higher sapience are harder to influence/control. As of yet, only one island has been discovered that harbors humans, although information gleaned from the inhabitants suggest that there are several that merely have yet to be found.

 

Island names

 

Islands names are a collection of smaller namelets (usually three), each of which is a separate syllable. Parents of an island will pass one or more of their names to their offspring. Names can also be taken from close friends, or, in rare occasions, created. During the lifetime of an island, names can be added or dropped, but usually only once or twice in a lifetime.

 

Islands and Alleycanes

 

As stated earlier, it is commonly believed that the spren that allows the islands to fly is the same spren that powers the alleycanes. This, perhaps, is the reason for the interesting dynamic between the two of them. Islands require the alleycanes for Investiture, and alleycanes are required to power them as part of their purpose. Despite this (or perhaps, because of it) the islands and the alleycanes have never been able to get along very well, although a truce has been kept, if uneasily, since the very first island was awakened. However, few named alleycanes will venture North of the mountains, and few islands South of them.

 

Geography of the North Sea

 

The North Sea is ringed by the Wall of Sky, a circle of nearly impassable mountains. Among the few passes that exist are the Pass of Silence, which leads to the Alleycity; the Pass of Waves, which leads to the Great Eastern Ocean; and the Pass of Dreams, which is suspected to lead to the Ring of Death. The mountains are not limited to the Wall; there are several volcanic islands that were not awakened at the coming of the alleycanes, although noticeable eruptions are rare.

 

The Oceans of the North Sea

 

Visitors are often surprised at the temperature of the water, which is nearly tropical in warmth, contrasted to the generally frigid climes of other poles. For this, we can offer no explanation other than the general strangeness of the Alleyplanet. The temperature is certainly not the most noted thing about this ocean. The creatures that reside in its shallow depths are both varied and plentiful, but there are two of particular note. The Underwater Singers - While most of this race lives in the Great Eastern Ocean, many have moved here because of the Great Reef, which extends in a chain along the remnants of many islands that gave up their stationary existence to take to the skies or roam the sea. These reefs provide shelter to many a singer who looks for a simpler life than can be found in the Eastern Ocean. The asha - The asha are a species of shapeshifters that usually take the form of brightly colored fish. They, like the island, feed on the investiture of the alleycanes, but they also require coral from the Great Reef in order to survive. On occasion, the fish will use their powers of transformation on another organism, usually one that would otherwise drown. These cases are rare, and no pattern has been identified for which the asha choose to save.

 

The Origin of the Shadow-Birds

 

The shadow-birds were originally mere Aviar that had been mutated to be able to feed on Investiture. These proto-shadow-birds flew in “hives” with “queens” (similar to today’s shadow-birds), but did not attack storms or islands. There were less than twenty flocks, and none had more than a hundred birds. The birds did not gain their dark aspect until Xenarel the island succumbed to the dark forces of shadow-breaking he had attempted to harness. One flock of birds had bonded with the island and became dark like all the rest of the creatures. Unlike the others, however, the birds adapted to their new state, quickly mastering the dark forces that had destroyed Xenarel and putting them to use attacking both alleycanes and the other islands. The attack was both unexpected and devastatingly effective, and within the space of a year the size and number of the flocks exploded. Many, if not all of the original flocks were found and converted. After a year, however, the islands and alleycanes had adapted enough to this new threat to begin fighting back, and the birds were both contained to the North Sea and limited in size. But the threat did not go away; along with Xenarel, two other islands were turned to shadow and became breeding grounds for the birds.

 

The Iron Hills

 

Near the coast of the West Ocean, there is a part of the desert where the ground is a deep blood-red in color. The sand of the hills is rich in iron, which gives both the color and the name to the land. It is a dry place; no rains fall, and no rivers run through. Perhaps most remarkably, no alleycanes pass over the land, named or unnamed. This is so antithetical with the fundamental principles of these storms that we have tasked an entire team to get an understanding of what keeps these storms away, and how it influences the life-forms that reside there.

The most widely adopted current theory is that there is, in fact, an alleycane in permanent residence. This is supported by the fact that Investiture seems to be recharged in a manner similar to, but weaker than, another alleycane.

An alleycane in permanent residence might provide an explanation for how life can survive in this barren place. As far as we can tell, there is not a drop of water in the whole area; and yet, several species of plants seem to be able to eke out an existence. Studies into this area have failed to give understanding into the issue so far, but our team feels they are approaching a solution.

The most interesting part of the hills, however, is probably the only animate residents: the golems. These creatures mimic the shape of humans, and the tallest tower over seven feet high. They are created from the same red sands of the hills in a ritual which appears to combine several existing magical systems into a new form. Despite the fact that they are made of sand, their skin is stonelike and almost impossible to break. They have a crucial weakness, however: water will dissolve them, turning them back into the loose sand they were created from.

The golems have almost no necessities: all they need is the ubiquitous red sand, and that only to grow. They do not lack for space in which to live: they take up less than a hundredth of the land in which they could live. All of them are almost exactly identical. There is almost no reason that they should not all live peacefully.

However, there are a few things, and one of these is technology. Having few physical needs, golems tend to seek fulfillment in creation. This is.usually in the form of invention through application of the previously mentioned magic system. The usefulness of this magic is meager, however, compared to that of a different kind available to them.

Also residing in the desert is a small group of seons mutated in an unusual way: they have the power to “actualize” their aons, producing a small burst of the aon’s effect. These seons lived a solitary existence for many years, hidden away in the depths of the Iron Hills.

But all that changed when the golems stumbled upon the valley system where they resided. Due to the inherent illustrative properties of the seons, it did not take long for the golems to wonder if their power could be harnessed. It didn’t take much longer for one of them to figure out how to do it. The seons were captured and kept caged while the golems took them one by one to be used in various seon-technologies.

Before long, the seons struck back at the golems and escaped their confinement, fleeing through the network of twisty and narrow valleys faster than the golems could chase them. Without a supply of seons, the golems began to fight over the seontech that had been created, a fight that became all the more vicious soon after, when the golems figured out how to weaponize the Eno seons that had been captured when the others escaped.

The war still rages today. New seons trickle in every now and then, captured on lucky scouting trips, but nowhere near enough to fulfil the demand. And even if demand could ever be filled, the division between these beings will not go away for a long time. Maybe even forever.

 

The Spren of the Alleycanes

 

The spren of the Alleycanes are among the most interesting of the phenomena created by the Alleystorm. They come in two types; named (sapient) and unnamed (nonsapient). They are a creation of the Alleyfather, meant to spread the influence of the Alleystorm across the planet. The spren itself contains only a little power, but can focus that power enough to pierce the realms and create a perpendicularity. It can then draw power directly from the Spiritual Realm that both powers the Alleycane and sustains the perpedicularity.

This trick is performed naturally by these spren, but holding it open for the amounts of time needed to travel across the planet and back requires a mastery that takes time to achieve. Because of this, new spren are often stranded far from home, and must find their way across the landscape until they can receive more Investiture from another storm. These wandering spren will – on occasion – bond to a human, allowing them to master the powers of the storm. The reasons for this are not entirely certain, even to us.

A potential reason is safety. The spren of Alleycanes can be destroyed in such a way as to produce an incredible discharge of Investiture. Those who know how to produce and utilize such a reaction seek highly to get their hands on these spren. Luckily for the Alleycanes, these beings (and not all of them are human) are few and far between.

 

The Rifts

 

Hidden beneath the surface of the Alleyplanet is a system of water-filled rifts and tunnels that form pathways between certain locations that connect places on the exterior of the planet (mostly underwater). Some believe them to be a world-specific offshoot of the alleys, although this hypothesis is based merely on their structural similarities and not on any rigorous observational or experimental evidence.

Travel through the rifts can be dangerous if you are unprepared; many dark dangers wander the subterranean tunnels, and incomplete knowledge of their migration patterns can lead to a deadly encounter. Because of this, travel throughout the rifts is limited; that sort of knowledge is not widely available at this time, and there are those who would rather it would remain that way. However, efforts from others in our organization to discover and catalog the dangers of the rifts give rise to the hope that someday, that might change.

 

Stormbound

 

When an alleycane bonds to a human, it fuses itself to their soul. Those whom the storms choose to bond to (called “Stormbound) gain access to the abilities that an Alleycane has at its disposal. At its simplest, this involves the compression of investiture to summon a perpedicularity from which power can then be drawn. This investiture can then be used to manipulate the atmosphere around them in such a way as to create a variety of effects.

A bondee may, when chosen, refuse to accept the alleyspren. If the power is accepted, however, and the person is of the right type (which many are) they gain admittance to our secret organization of Stormbound, centered at the West Pole, whose leadership extends all the way to the Alleyfather himself. Here, they will find other Stormbound with whom they can work with, increasing their power together as a group.

Our organization exists not to interfere and control, but to protect and discover. There are forces abroad in the multiverse (and some even in on the planet itself) who would seek to exploit the vast variety of beings that exist thanks to the Alleystorm. In our quest to guard against these forces, we study and learn all that we can about everything that we can.

 

The Kraken

 

One of the more noticeable residents of the rifts are the kraken, giant squid the size of a city or bigger. In addition to their normal tentacles they have hundreds of smaller feelers that they use when they want to pick up smaller things. These tentacles have an unusual power; they can “speak” to the water in a manner similar to soulcasting, convincing it to move in unnatural currents. It is through this power that they maintain passage through many of the rifts that would otherwise be unusable for those who travel by ship.

The kraken appear to be mostly benevolent. They have even (on occasion) given travelers a nudge so as to avoid other, less friendly dangers of the deep. They are (as far as we can tell) highly intelligent, but speaking to them has so far proven difficult.

 

The Alleyfather

 

There are hundreds of Alleycanes on the Alleyplanet, but the Alleyfather rules them all. Despite the fact that he is leader of our order, we know almost nothing about him (which, admittedly, is more than everyone else knows). A few things have trickled down through the ranks, however.

We know that he is a spren-like being who came into being with the Alleystorm. We know that he was the one that created the Alleycanes. And we know that he is incredibly powerful (second in might on the Alleyplanet only to the mysterious figures beyond the Ring of Death), although he only ever uses it when there is no other option. All else is a mystery to us; only time will tell if more will ever be revealed.

 

The South Pole has a large archipelago of volcanic formed islands. It all surrounds a massive, deep crater, home of Guruthos and Wyr Serpents. In the very middle of that crater is an extremely large island, home to the world’s third largest mountain, Mount Phoenix, surpassed by Utgard Mountain and the Mountain of the Gods. This island is actually a massive animal, supported by at least four gemhearts resembling those of the islands of the South Pole. It is in hibernation and has been for the last four hundred years according to native Anu societies. The only human building in the entire region is the GUESS headquarters. There is five types of society, the Arkoid Koloss tribes, the Yeti, the Oceanic Singers, the Anu, and the Deep Parshendi.

 

 

 

 

From the Ancient Anu Library:

 

 

 

 

 

Arkoid Koloss:

 

Appearance: They appear the same as the Koloss of Scadrial, but with glowing purple eyes and massive rams horns, along with pulsing red crystalline veins on their arms and chest.

Abilities: Those of the regular Koloss, along with resistance to electricity, and mildly poisonous teeth. The crystal is highly conductive.

Origin: They were an ancient group of Koloss who came to the North Sea, and now live in tribes. They have repelled all visitors, and are highly dangerous. Scholars are still unsure how they became like this, and they stop all attempts to get a subject, whether alive or dead.

Intelligence: Equal to average Deep Parshendi.

***

 

Yeti:

 

Appearance:(Average about 25 feet tall)

Abilities: Feruchemic brass, frost breath (Like Guruthos but miniature). Claws have slow acting poison that causes rashes and swelling at first, within a day will make the flesh melt off of a human's bones, and fur secretes toxin that causes paralyzation.

Origin: They live in the Goldhaven Mountains and the colder places on the other side of the world, very rare, they live in tribes, territorial and very much against leaving territories except to strike at others, maybe forty tribes in the world. They don't speak english, but have a language. Savage, will kill humans on sight.

Intelligence: Same as the average Scadrian Koloss

***

 

Oceanic Singers:

 

Appearance: Similar to regular Singer’s in base form, they have a different set of forms, those we know of are Lobsterform, Currentform, and Bubbleform. Lobsterform is reminiscent of Warform. They have strong shells covering their body, the gills are on their sides, claws adorn their feet and one hand, one is a massive, sharp pincher. Their coloring tends to be a bright red on their pincher and shells, though any regular skin stays the same as normal. Currentform has gills on the neck, a smoother upper body and face, amplifies the bust on females, making it easier to tell the difference between genders, and has a fishlike tail, though with hard plates covering portions. They have the normal seafoam green base, with spirals of aqua blue. Bubbleform has four limbs, all regular, but two skin flaps on the back that can be filled with air quickly, and used to reach the surface. Gills are on their back, by the flaps, and this is the only form to have minimal use of lungs, though after an hour it would likely result in death. They also have the default coloring, but with pink tinting on their arms and back.

Abilities: Lobsterform is very strong, has armor, and can crush rocks and bend metal with the big claw, along with blast water from a small hole in the claw. Currentform swims incredibly quickly, and has the most normal mind. Bubbleform has the bubbles, can breath air, and are the only known form capable of mating.

Origin: They’ve been around at least as long as the Old Anu, so we have no knowledge. They have a massive civilization.

 

Yeti Tribal Culture:

Yeti tribal culture is predominantly based on strength and ability. Hunting prowess and magical ability often are more valued than other skills. It is not uncommon for Yetis to fight each other to show off strengths.

Ranks:

Yetis are not very smart, but they still have a rudimentary caste system regardless, which consists of five ranks. But instead of wealth or affluence determining rank, fights do. To progress to a higher rank, Yetis must consecutively beat two Yetis from that rank. To descend, Yetis must consecutively lose to two Yetis from the lower rank.

Ranks roughly translate, from lowest to highest, as Frail-ones, Weak-ones, Fight-ones, Big-ones, and The Roar.

Frail-ones: The lowest in the ranks, they are indentified by their scent, as they smear themselves with the blood of arctic rabbits. They are commonly used as punching bags for higher ranks, are only barely fed what has been hunted, and are not allowed to hunt. If bait is needed to attract animals, they are it. Are regarded as basically animals by other Yetis to slaughter at their will.

Weak-ones: Slightly better conditions than Frail-ones, they are not allowed to hunt, but are allowed to scout out protential areas for food. Are fed minimally but better than Frail-ones, and do things like build huts, and raise children. All children start out as Weak-ones. Are regarded as cowards by other Yetis, and are spat on. They are recognised by their scent, which is the blood of mountain goats, which they smear over themselves.

Fight-ones: Named because they are most likely to get into fights for strength, they are allowed to hunt and do so regularly. They do things like hunt, eat, and fight each other. They are by all means a middle class. Most Yetis are either Fight-ones or Frail-ones. Are regarded as average. They smear the blood of arctic foxes on them, are recognized by their scent.

Big-ones: The strongest of Yetis are this rank. They have extra privileges, as Yetis with smaller ranks will make way for them. They often hunt alone, as opposed to Fight-ones hunting in groups, and get more rations in general. They like to show off by killing smaller Yetis to assert strength. Are recognised by the scent of polar bear blood smeared on them.

The Roar: The leader. Anything they say goes. Every Big-one wants to fight them. They have to win against the current Roar twice in a row to become one themselves. If a current Roar is replaced, they become a Big-one, but are commonly executed anyway by the new Roar so they don’t prove a threat. The Roar is smeared with the blood of other Yetis, and is recognized by that.

What happens if The Roar loses twice to two different Big ones? Nothing.

Fights:

Fights can happen at anytime between two Yetis. If they are of the same rank, nothing happens to the winner or loser except for humiliation of the loser. If they are of different ranks, and the lower-ranked one loses, they are killed. If the higher ranked one loses, they are spared, but if they lose again, they are demoted.

Any Yeti can indiscriminately kill any Yeti in a rank under them.

 

Deep Parshendi:

Appearance: Two known forms, very elusive. Form one is similar to the Currentform of Oceanic Singers, but with spikes and black, with a couple of bioluminescent red swirls. Form two is black with gray swirls, and has black armor like plating, and large spikes coming out of their arms. Scholars are unsure whether or not they have eyes.

Abilities: They can withstand incredible amounts of pressure and breath underwater, and can swim quicker then should be possible. They navigate the Alleycurrents with ease.

Origin: Unknown how long they lived in the Crater, but their first sighting was around 100 years ago, when three of form two attacked an Anu boat, killing all but one. This has since founded a religion that has flourished, the Black Shells. Since they have been seen only six times, four of which were form one, and distant sightings.

 

This one isn’t from the Anu library, this is just a basic guide:

 

Anu:

Appearance: Large black eyes, twice human size. Pale blue tattoos in face, marking rank. Skin is a pale purple, with darker spots that get to violet. Males and females primarily wear black wraps around the torso, though the richer may have deep purple with gold thread. In physical strength and height, females tend to be more than males, usually ranging from five to six feet, sometimes up to seven. Males are smaller, maybe four to five feet, though some reach five and a half, and have a lesser amount of strength. Their heads have an expanse of feelers that they usually have slicked back, ranging from deep velvet to pink. They have four arms, each with blue fingernails and six fingers, their feet have three toes.

Abilities: Anu have a heritage of Oculatory powers, and their islands have sands. They also occasionaly manifest Zmel, the ability to secrete deadly poison from their hands.

 

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As I said, I think you need to bring up the Alleyfather.

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As of Era 4, this worldbuilding is now defunct.

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