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Admin · 283 Posts
Posted on: Jul 2 2017, 01:59 PM
Frequently Asked Questions
Submit your questions to the FAQ here!
Note: This is not required reading, but if you have a question, it's recommended you skim this to see if it's already been answered. This is more an extensive fleshing-out of the world to sate members' curiosity, as well as a database of frequent questions.
Questions are split up into several categories: General World & Technology, Plot, Drakonrhedi, Dragons & Magic, Dawn, and the Drassil Villages. More categories may be added as more questions are asked.
General World & TechnologyQ: How frequently do people die to behemoths? How hardcore/high level are they?
A: Very frequently, and behemoths are shit-your-pants-terrifying. Think more Attack on Titan than your typical video game. More about Drakonrhedi and how they match up versus behemoths in the Drakonrhedi section.
Q: What's the economy of the world? What's the currency system?
A: The economy of the world is primarily barter-based. The Drassil villages and lower-class areas of Dawn operate entirely off of barter. However, there is a credit system in place for the middle and upper classes of Dawn, where bank accounts can be accessed via holopads. Some people from the Drassil villages may have access to a holopad and credit account if they have enough money.
This is, of course, used as a class boundary and marker of status, with snooty or higher quality places only accepting credit and shops that need the business of the traders coming in from the Drassil villages accepting barter and credit.
Q: How much technology exists?
A: Technology is actually of a higher level than what we have today. Humanity was able to create ships capable of interstellar travel, and they have access to things like holopads (a more sci-fi version of today's tablets), blasters, and fully functional mechanical body parts. However, these pieces of technology are in shorter supply and therefore much more expensive than they might be today (with the exception of holopads, which are as ubiquitous as smartphones in today's society). Members of the Drakonrhedi have access to some Dreamer technology, as well, which is advanced far beyond humanity's. Most pieces of Drakonrhedi Dreamer tech are kept under lock and key and can only be used with special permission from higher-ups in the organization.
Q: What are the practices around body disposal?
A: They vary, much like in the world today. In Dawn, it's customary to use the ship's old crematoriums. In the Drassil villages, burials depend on what's nearby, if that makes sense. If there's a stream, it might be water sendoffs, or if there's a spot safe for fire than they might burn the body. Otherwise, burials are used, although trips to the forest floor are dangerous and must be completed quickly.
Q: How does food production and farming work?
A: Farming is difficult. There are farms basically coating the Guardian Pass and the nearby safe mountain valleys that feed and support Dawn. However, a lot of these farms only produce staple foods (albeit genetically modified staple foods which give more nutrients), as there's not much space for meat. Additionally, Dawn is the only place with some of humanity's packaged food for the trip left, as well as gene banks of Earth crops.
Additionally, fresh Altayran fruit, meat, and fish is often brought in from gatherers in the Drassil villages to Dawn and traded in the marketplace. Some Drassil villages also support farms, frequently on broader branches or crooks between forks in the trees.
The Ocular has an entire level filled with Dreamer food technology that allows the Drakonrhedi to both grow food indoors and has a machine that synthesizes packets of protein and nutrients into little gross-tasting cubes.
Q: Has someone tried to domesticate less human-eat-y Altayr fauna? How's that going?
A: There are several Drassil villages that have semi-domesticated murin. Additionally, some of the braver folks have started to tame carvarai, although these projects are dangerous and have little yield as of yet.
Q: Besides airships, what sort of vehicles are available? How do they run?
A: There are speeders of varying designs and sizes, much like in Star Wars. They run either on gasoline (low supply) or electricity (higher supply, because solar panels exist). Tanks are also available but practically useless against behemoths.
Q: How does travel work?
A: Airships are rare, but if a group has access to them they're by far the safest transportation. Typically, traders from the villages use larger speeders capable of bearing cargo to transport stuff across the plains between the Drassil and the Guardian Pass. Within Dawn, smaller speeders serve the function of mopeds. Travel by foot is possible, but very dangerous, and typically only refugees resort to it.
Q: What's the education system like?
A: Someone actually managed to recover Earth's old standardized school system from the databases, and now it's disseminated so that anyone with a holopad can study it and learn through high school reading, writing, science, and mathematics. In the Drassil villages, there's frequently one holopad that a teacher uses to teach from, and everyone learns in a single classroom. Books are few and far between.
To learn a profession, people basically apprentice under someone who's a master craftsman, much like in pre-industrial times.
Q: Where do babies come from?
PlotQ: Who's the serial killer?
A: I ain't spoilin' the surprise.
Q: Wait, there's a serial killer?
A: Yeah, it's mentioned here, in a miniscule 2 sentences in the plot post.
DrakonrhediQ: What if someone with a dragon doesn't want to join the Drakonrhedi?
A: Typically, it doesn't go over very well for them. The dragon will desperately want to go to the Ocular and join with other dragons in a sort of herd instinct, which is understandable as more dragons = more protection against large angry alien dinosaurs. When the dragons can't obey this instinct, they become depressed and anxious, which transfers over their bond to their rider.
Q: How long can a dragon-rider pair stay outside the Ocular? What's the progression of symptoms?
A: More experienced riders with a stronger bond can leave the Ocular for more extended periods of time, and by the time Drakonrhedi are Wing Captains they typically have a strong enough bond that they can wander around the world without too many issues for a couple years.
People who have just bonded to their dragons could last for a couple months before they'd do anything to get to the Ocular and would have to be chained up to keep them put.
Q: Is there a black market for dragon parts?
A: Yes, there is. Many dragon and behemoth body parts are used in "natural" remedies both by soothsayers in the Dark Levels of Dawn and by spiritual leaders in the villages. That means that behemoth parts are actually quite valuable, which provides a rather underhanded income for the Drakonrhedi.
Q: How many behemoths can my Drakonrhedi kill single-handedly in a rage-fueled killing spree?
A: Probably very few, if any.
Remember that the task for Apprentices to graduate to Vanguards is that, after usually six years with their dragons, they are assigned to kill a single behemoth with three other people. And typically this behemoth is a small one, like a kanpol or a pyropan. (Almost always, a Drakonrhedi's first behemoth is a kanpol, but especially high-achieving Slayer, Stalker, and Warden flights may be set against an isolated pyropan.)
By the time your character's a Wing Captain after several years with a full-grown dragon, they probably can take out a fair number of smaller behemoths on their own, like maybe a handful, but at significant chance of harm to themselves. This is why the Drakonrhedi work in squadrons--they can watch each others' backs and take out more behemoths.
The Drakonrhedi are not superheroes here to mass murder behemoths. Killing behemoths is not easy for them--but it is easier. And makes all the difference.
Q: Are there non-Drakonrhedi present at the Ocular for jobs like cleaning?
A: Yes, there are. A lot of these, however, are automated and brainless robots, but there is a small cadre of human staff for cleaning, maintenance, and cooking. Misbehaving novices and apprentices are frequently assigned to assist them, and some Vanguards who aren't as busy are given rotations helping with the upkeep. Most Drakonrhedi greatly appreciate the upkeep department, and the upkeep department greatly appreciates living somewhere comfortable and entirely lacking in behemoths.
Magic, Dragons, & Dragon-Human BondsQ: What is the extent of the bond between human and rider? Does pain transfer over? Can the bond be suppressed?
A: This depends on the strength of a person's bond, which is based directly on experience with magic and indirectly on time spent bonded to your dragon. Pain and emotion transfers over through the bond. The bond can be suppressed, but suppressing the bond also suppresses the rider's ability to use magic, and the stronger the bond the more difficult it is to suppress.
New riders typically can sense where their dragon is hurting, and as their bond strengthens they'll start to feel a tingling sensation. Typically after only a year bonded to their dragon, they'll start to feel pain when their dragons experience it.
By the time most riders are in their apprenticeship, their bond is strong enough that they will feel the pain practically fully (85%-100% of what their dragon feels). If the wound is bad enough, they may go into shock along with their dragon.
When riders get injured, their dragons can feel it too. However, they're less likely to go into shock along with their rider if their rider is injured. Dragon brains seem able to filter out what stimulus is present on their body versus what stimulus is present on their rider's body, allowing them to stay functional if their rider is crippled. Human brains are not built for this.
Q: What are the levels of magic based on experience?
A: How good you are at magic is directly based on how much time you've spent practicing with it. Here are some generalizations, but be advised that if a character is devoted to exploring magic, they may be ahead of their class.
Novices: Can alter things that they have control over which are already present, but usually only in the natural progression. For example, an iron rider can move heat around that's already present, or manipulate fire that already exists in the environment. However, they cannot move heat from a cold area to a hot area without lots of concentration. Copper riders can alter electric currents that are already flowing, but they can't reverse the flow or make the electricity jump unnaturally. Silver riders can move biomolecules which are already present in the environment or body, but have to do so with the gradient of concentration (diffusing them further, not concentrating them), and can destroy some larger or more unstable biomolecules. Gold riders can augment forces (if they punch someone, they can amplify that force) but usually struggle with telekinesis. Bismuth riders can bend and alter light that's already present, but they can only pull energy from it and make it lower frequency, not imbue it with energy and make it higher frequency. Additionally, anything higher frequency than ultraviolet is pretty much inaccessible to them.
Apprentices: Much the same as Novices, except now they CAN go against the natural flow of things, but only a little bit.
Vanguards: Around the time riders hit vanguards is when they start being able to create the things they have power over. An iron rider could spontaneously start a fire. A copper rider could create a current in an uncharged environment. A silver rider could construct more complex biomolecules from fragmented pieces. Gold riders can do basic telekinesis and create "phantom forces" with no physical component. Bismuth riders can create light, although this light is typically at most x-rays.
Wing Captains: At this point, usually after several years with a fully grown dragon, riders are able to do truly fantastical things. Iron riders can create fireballs and pull heat from cold areas so much they can freeze substances. Copper riders can create lightning bolts. Silver riders can heal parts of the body by reconstructing cells. Gold riders can do complex tasks with telekinesis, and can even levitate themselves if they're really experienced. Bismuth riders can manipulate and shift light all around the spectrum, as well as control its path, with the most experienced among them able to bend light around their body so they become perfectly invisible.
Q: What are the levels of dragon-rider bond strength?
A: Dragon-rider bond strength is actually based on how much experience and understanding of magic someone has. It is not based on friendship between dragon and rider, although that is just as if not more important. Typically, people who have had their dragons for longer have stronger bonds with them, simply because they've used more magic. The more someone has used their magic, the stronger their bond is, and frequently younger riders are assigned to use magic in casual situations in order to strengthen their bond.
That doesn't necessarily mean that people with very strong magical powers/bonds are any closer to their dragon than any other rider, as most riders get along with their dragons fairly well, but it does mean they have more ability to see through their dragon's eyes and use their dragon's senses.
DawnQ: What are laws for weapons in Dawn?
A: There aren't many. While larger weapons are disallowed within the city unless you're Drakonrhedi or Dawnguard, and explosives are regulated as closely as possible, people are otherwise allowed to own guns and weapons as they please, especially farmers who have to deal with wildlife and even behemoths.
Q: Does everyone in Dawn have a holopad?
A: No. However, since they function like credit cards and smartphones in today's economy, practically everyone has at least a basic holopad. They're expensive, but not in too short supply and essential to living in Dawn.
Q: What are the social classes like in Dawn? What's the percentage of populace in each one?
A: About 15% of the population is nobility/upper class, and they typically own land which is rented out, control trade centers or resources, or doctors. There isn't much of a stock market to play or anything.
About 50% of the population is commoners/middle class, who typically work as craftspeople or Dawnguard or other positions withing Dawn's government.
About 35% of the population is lower class, who typically work as scavengers in the lower levels, farmers, or as servants for the upper class.
Additionally, the gaps between income are more akin to a medieval fantasy city than modern times.
Q: How are living conditions in Dawn?
A: Everything from abject poverty to posh living. Dawn has both functioning power and running hot/cold water, as both of those systems existed on the colony ship and have been restored.
The upper class tends to live on the upper levels of Dawn in sprawling complexes that overlook the Guardian Pass. These levels of the city always have enough power. The middle class lives in the body of the broken colony ship, much as we would today albeit with more advanced technology. The lower classes are sometimes even shunted into the dangerous and unpowered Dark Levels.
Q: What are jobs in Dawn like?
A: Much as you would expect from the singular capital of humanity. Think of a big fantasy capital city, and then update it a few thousand years until it's in sci-fi times. That's about the level that Dawn is at--there's everyone present from wealthy landowners to lawkeepers to adventurers to farmers to craftspeople.
Q: What the heck is legality in Dawn like? How are legal processes like marriage, land/business ownership, and licenses handled?
A: Marriage is typically a less legal practice than it used to be, with the exception being marriages of power in the upper classes (which still happen). This is simply because Dawn's legal system, while present, has better things to be concerned about, like the Dark Levels. However, you can still get legally married, which involves changing your records in the colony ship's database.
Land and business ownership is handled via physical or electronic copies of deeds. Electronic copies of deeds outweigh physical copies, and most reputable businesses and land owners insist on having the electronic deed transferred to them. In lower-class sectors of the city, however, paper deeds are still used.
Licenses are less closely monitored. Although there are some licenses for larger weapons, mostly people are allowed to do whatever it is they're competent at. For tradesmen, guilds exist that will endorse good craftsmanship.
Q: Do prior legal records from Earth exist, or do they need to be reestablished?
A: Most prior legal records of marriage, crime, and the like still exist. Some peoples' records have been destroyed in the crash.
Additionally, many felons, especially those considered to be dangerous, were not brought on the colony ships.
the Drassil VillagesQ: What's legality like in the villages? How does it differ from the legality of Dawn?
A: Legality in the villages differs from place to place. There's no real singular legal code, although Drakonrhedi (typically Wing Captains) sometimes are called in to resolve disputes as an unbiased source of authority. Additionally, if someone has done something like commit murder, sometimes Drakonrhedi are called in to serve as police and the Analysts function as a forensic unit. Besides that, most villages rely on people who have proven their resilience against Altayr's hectic world as their leaders.
Q: Do the Drassil villages have power?
A: Usually a little. There were actually a lot of solar panels that managed to survive the crash, and so a lot of Drassil villages function off of solar power.