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Clare's doing this thing and I was like hey cool that looks like fun, I'm gonna try.

So. The goal is to write one story using a bingo on each card.

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I'm stealing [personal profile] aldersprig's idea! If you want to see how your name would be written in ~my~ as yet unnamed conlang, post below!

Here's the alphabet
and
here's an example of the writing

***edit***
Figured I should add some pronunciation notes since they're not all English-equivalent. 8D

th is voiceless, as in think
ch is the sound in the Scottish word 'loch'
kh is... er... well... it's mostly how it looks?
pf as in German
r as in Spanish
a, e, y, o, u are similar to the Japanese a, e, i, o, u
i as in pit
inventrix: (tea)
I figured it looked like fun and I haven't done any worldbuilding posts for a while, so I went through those SFWA world-building questions by Wrede that Lyn posted as well.

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inventrix: (pinkie pie)
(I have no idea what the adjective is supposed to be anymore. Lyn keeps changing it on me. ;P )

This is all for [personal profile] aldersprig's setting.

First, established details. It likely has seven layers (because of the Seven Mountains). Each Emperoress would probably have more of the color of the deity they are most associated to. And it is sort of like if you took Chinese Imperial robes and made them more flowy.

Now, IDEAS.

I was thinking that the outermost layer probably has all three deity colors (maybe with jewels/embroidery on a color fabric that is reserved for the Emperoress?) and is handed down between reigns. It probably has a special name, and is intrinsically linked to the status of Emperoress in a similar (but maybe not as clearly symbolic) manner to crowns and kings. Or like the Pope's hat. Or something.

Since the gender is socially and politically relevant, one of the layers underneath (I was thinking the next one down) would have some characteristic dictated by whether it's an Emperor or Empress. I was thinking the style of decoration, possibly. Other ideas could be the texture of the fabric or the cut of the edging, but I like the decoration style best. (Like angular versus swirly or something.)

One of the other five layers (not the undermost layer) I think should be connected to the previous Emperoress. Some ideas: primarily using the color of the preceding ruler's deity, using some relevant motif in the decoration.

The undermost layer, I think allows the most personal influence in style.

I don't know about the last three~
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Hey-oh, worldbuilding time!

So I was pondering a bit on how my elf people would go about developing time-keeping methods - or, more accurately, what sort of temporal measures they would develop.

The first and most important thing to keep in mind is the lack of a "day" in the sense that we have one. The world is a moon orbiting a gas giant, and as such is tidally locked. The planet itself is similar in orbit to the Earth (I use 400 "days") and the moon orbits the planet around once every 4 "days". This means that from sunset to sunset on the moon is approximately one hundred hours. Clearly this is not going to define the sleep/wake cycle of pretty much anything - especially once you take into account the typical ambient light levels. But let's not tangent.

Anyway, I shall be foregoing specifying that the numbers are approximate in order to make writing less obnoxious.

The 100-hour cycle would be neatly divided into quarters by four distinct events:

  • sunrise

  • solar eclipse

  • sunset

  • fully reflecting planet



Those would probably each get their own name, like how we have morning and afternoon. I imagine they'd be roughly equivalent to before-eclipse, after-eclipse, waxing, and waning.

That gives them four "days" in a single cycle; similar to our week, I suppose. Closer conceptually/temporally to the Chinese week of five days.

The question of what would then be the "hour" is much more difficult. Early on, at least, one can divide up the day further with divisions such as "a hand above the horizon" and whatnot. The night would be more difficult, requiring references to the shape of the lit planet in the sky above.

I'm thinking at some point they just divide it up into arbitrary numbers. Since they love the number 4 so much, I'm guessing it would be divisions of 16. Their "hour" would therefore be about one and a half of ours. Then... each hour would be divided into... hmmm. Quarters. And each quarter-hour would be 16 "minutes".

I have no idea how you'd say this, though. day-quarter:hour:hour-quarter:minute. So it'd be like, instead of "Monday, 13:26", you'd get... after-eclipse, 2:2:15 or something. Hmm, spoken we'd say "around half past one on Monday", so the equivalent would be like "around three-quarter past two, after-eclipse". Or more likely "around a quarter to three, after-eclipse".

That actually works! HUZZAH!
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Lyn's been working on fashion for her peoples, which has gotten me thinking about mine. Well, not fashion so much as just... clothing.

See, in such a highly flammable environment, you aren't going to get nice fluffy plant material for spinning. No cotton, no linen. There might be something along the lines of silk - and considering the size to which insects are capable of reaching on this planet, it could possibly be easier to harvest sizable amounts than it is for our actual silk.

This leaves the primary clothing materials as being skins and furs. Possibly leaves? I still need to think about the leaves. Anyway! So the question of fur, wool, etc. came up as a possible source of fibers for fabric. I was hoping to make the fibers naturally flame-retardant, but I'm not so sure that would happen. Most animals will not need to be flame-resistant, as they will just, you know... run away from the fire.

Which means that fabrics will be exclusively in the colder regions, where you would quite possibly just want to use the whole fur anyway. Unless I go with the silk-like thing, but why would you develop spinning and weaving just to make something wearable out of insect cocoons if there is no other use for said spinning and weaving? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
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So I've pretty much decided that this is going to be a moon of a gas giant at this point. Which of course gives me a whole other set of things to decide!

First, of course, is the obliquity of the planet's rotation. The reason this is important is that it determines the relative inclination of the moon's revolution about the planet, and thus directly affects a) the seasons, and b) the eclipses. (The obliquity is the angle of the axis, relative to the orbital plane.)

There are a lot of eclipses.

The moon is tidally locked to the gas giant, meaning each day/night cycle is a single revolution about the planet. Probably somewhere in the vicinity of one of our weeks. Now, what this means is that every single day, the planet will eclipse the sun. The only case in which it wouldn't is if the planet has a pretty large obliquity, in which case it would only eclipse a few times a year or something.

Now, this doesn't have to be a complete eclipse every day. It could just be a partial eclipse. It depends on your location on the moon's surface and on the planet's obliquity/inclination of the moon's orbital plane. (Picture, if you will, the vast curve of the planet overhead, part of it eternally dipping below the horizon. Every day, the sun rises in the east, soaring across the sky. At the apex of its daily arc, it slowly dips behind the great planet, sending the world into a noontime darkness. And this is a perfectly normal and regular occurrence!)

Another interesting part of being a large moon orbiting a gas giant is that you can see your moon's shadow on the surface of the planet in the sky.

An interesting biological/evolutionary aspect of this is that there is no real concept of nocturnal or diurnal, because the length of the night or day is entirely too long to sleep through most of either of them. Animals will need to be functional in both times of day.

On the flip side of that, the planet itself will reflect quite a lot of light down during the night, so it never gets very dark. Except at noon! The darkest time of the day/night cycle.
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One of my favorite ideas that I came up with has to do with completely separate evolutionary tracks on the northern and southern continents. To summarize and over-simplify: the northern will be twos, and the southern will be threes.

The northern continent is where my civilized humanoid biped species is going to develop (the one that speaks that language). They, along with pretty much all of the animals who evolved on that continent, will have either two, four, or eight limbs/digits per limb if relevant, bilateral symmetry, etc. So my elf people (they have pointy ears, it is easy to just call them elves), they have two arms, two legs, four fingers/toes per hand/foot, two eyes, a nose with two nostrils, a mouth, two ears.

There will be quadripeds too, of course, of various kinds, and large insects of various kinds which I have not really thought too hard about yet (and when I say large I do mean large). Lots of antlers, which I shall cover at a later date.

One major impact that this will have on the culture is that their numerical system will octal, not decimal. This could, likely will/would, have a strong impact on their technological advancements in the realms of computing.

And then there is the southern continent, where instead of twos, there are threes. Animals will either have bilateral or tri... trilateral? symmetry. Limbs and digits and sensory organs will come in threes. Three, six, or nine limbs/digits being the most common, along with three eyes, etc. (This means, by the by, that it could evolve dragons! Whee!)

The primary significance of this is that occasionally, some of these trinary creatures will make their way over to the binary continent, fueling the mythologies and legends of the elves. Three will be a significant number, but associated with monsters and the unnatural. Two and four, on the other hand, will have positive significance.
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One of the interesting aspects of a high-oxygen atmosphere is the tendency for things to burn. Lots. Earth actually went through this before, a couple of times, but that's besides the point.

The point is that easily-flammable plants are extremely unfavored due to the BURN BURN BURN BURN BURN AHAHAHAHA nature of the environment. So the majority of plants will develop resistance to fire - a thick woody bark, for example, possibly reinforced with metals and/or minerals like a shell or animal armor. In order for a less flame-resistant plant to survive, it would need to have developed a flame-resistant reproductive system - nuts, for example.

An interesting note on that point is that the majority of plants that produce nuts on Earth are in fact woody plants with coarser bark.

In contrast to the flammability of above-ground elements, however, one has plants which are based on a root system - something like grasses. The flames could completely raze an entire grassland, but the grasses could have developed storage node things so they have the energy to re-sprout. They would need to be very fast growing, as the fires would be a fairly frequent occasion in this scenario.

Additionally, the higher flammability levels from the oxygen-rich air means that lower elevation locations - such as valleys - are at greater risk of destructive conflagrations than higher elevations - such as mountain sides or plateaus. I'd imagine that the vegetation of such lower-altitude areas would thusly be very tough and woody, in contrast to the lush valleys we envision on earth. I imagine they would grow primarily upwards (as opposed to branching), reaching for a) the sunlight, and b) less flammable environments for the relatively tender and unprotected leaves (a.k.a. photosynthesizing elements).
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It all started with a language. To make a long story short: I began making a language a long time ago, and in my efforts to be thorough and plausible, but I am also now making an entire fictional planet for this language to develop on. SO! I am going to start blathering on about my ideas for this world on here, because it seems a suitable location.

Today, I shall be discussing the global characteristics of the planet itself, beginning with decisions that I am currently settled on.

It's going to be a fairly small planet - Mars or Mercury sized - and dry relative to Earth, with two major continents on a north-south division. Essentially, there will be primarily land with an equatorial ocean that reaches all the way around the circumference. The overall climate will be fairly cold - cold enough for parts to have ice and snow. However, since the water is collected primarily around the equator, with land at the poles, the planet is ideally (and serendipitously!) designed with the best buffer configuration against snowballing. So it shall not turn into an ice planet! Joy!

The atmosphere is relatively high oxygen content to modern-day earth. Greenhouse gases are apparently fairly low, resulting in the relative coldness of the climate. And aiding in the prevention of runaway fires. The high oxygen atmosphere means fires burn very hot and very fast - which plays a major part in the evolution of flora. More on that in a future post.

Due to the small size of the planet, it has a high potential of being, rather than a proper planet, the moon of a gas giant. This would cause very, very interesting relative astronomical phenomena, which would most likely highly impact the developments of cultures. Such as the giant looming object in the sky, and regular eclipses of the sun, and lengthy days due to tidal locking. I haven't yet decided if I want to go with that idea, interesting as it would be. I'm definitely leaning towards it, however.

Another interesting side-effect of being a moon instead of a planet is that it would not have any moons of its own. Instead, it would have the far more complex relative motions of the gas giant's other moons. Which means even more fascinating potential cultural influence from astronomical phenomena.
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