Author Topic: World Map & Setting  (Read 943 times)

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World Map & Setting
« on: July 13, 2016, 03:29:33 PM »

[click to enlarge]
Map by Gothy, with perpetual thanks.

« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 11:37:29 PM by silokk »
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Offline Forum Guardian

  • In Dire Straits.
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Re: World Map & Setting
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2016, 03:29:39 PM »


The Dire Straits


Setting & Background
The world of IDS is loosely defined, and creativity is encouraged. Set on a fictional timeline similar to the tail end of earth’s ice age, we include several fantasy elements that allow roleplay to be unique, varied, and flexible. An unstable climate causes rapid and dramatic geological shifts, allowing both shifting terrain as well as entirely invented species, but the physics and underlying science should be familiar. IDS is evolutionarily and biologically fantastical, as opposed to simply magical.

The environment known as the Straits encompasses a majority of the playable world; bordered on the east by ocean, and on the west by a nearly impassable mountain range, a vast and varied amount of biomes and creatures alike have grown and thrived within these borders. While there is evidence of human habitation - the ruins of ancient civilizations dot the landscape, and a surviving nomad may be found here or there - the Straits are largely dominated by various species of wolves and their kin. Beyond the mountains exists only an uncharted realm known as the Fringe, a mysterious and foreign world said to give birth to an impossible array of beasts and monsters.
         
Origins & Early History
Similar to our own world, the species of the Straits evolved and developed into familiar branches. Wolves, sabres, lions, and foxes all found a niche in which to reside, and dogs were domesticated and bred by man alongside them. When an environmental catastrophe threatened to destroy the lands they knew, an ice bridge was discovered - one that lead to the safety of the Straits. When the bridge melted, the animals remained, and over time this distant history was forgotten.

The Straits’ residents were there to meet them. Massive Fringe dire wolves had evolved in the deserts. The Fringe itself created hellbeasts, mutated and strange versions of already-existing species, that occasionally crossed over the mountain range separating them and mingled freely with the Strait’s inhabitants. Humans rose, then fell, and became all but extinct, leaving only pieces of their culture behind - and with no single dominant species, the creatures of the Straits have evolved high intelligence alongside them. What has followed is a struggle for survival between dangerous apex predators in a land that was never meant to support them, which has lead to several strange aspects of evolution.



Evolution & Biology
The Fury
The first migrants across the ice bridge founded the wolf pack of Inaria, and established a breeding program with the larger Fringe dire wolves in an attempt to create an elite rank of guards and warriors. It backfired: the program revealed a genetic flaw known now as the Fury, a trait that sends the affected wolf into a vicious and violent state when triggered.

When grievously injured or under great pressure or stress, the state may activate without warning or control: the wolf enters an altered mental state in which they can no longer distinguish friend from foe, instead lashing out violently at anyone and anything within reach. They may blindly fight through physical or emotional pain for its duration, but will quickly fall victim to its energy intensive requirements, and collapse where they stand.

An affected wolf may spend the majority of his or her life asymptomatic, and must carry two copies of the gene for it to be expressed. Wolves with only one copy of the gene may unknowingly pass it on to children, leading to its seemingly random reappearance in future generations.

To create a character with the Fury, they must be a significant percentage of Fringe dire wolf, and have two Fury-positive or Fury-carrier parents. No approval from the mods is necessary.
         
Paw Dexterity
Wolves and other carnivorous mammals of the Strait have also developed more flexible shoulders, forelimbs, wrists, and front "toes", allowing them to grasp, gesture, and manipulate simple objects. This leads to a system of crafting and technology that would otherwise be impossible; while delicate work may require more dextrous hands - a human or monkey could do the trick - most carnivores are more than capable of rough craftsmanship on their own.

Simple creations like baskets, pouches, jewelry, and poultices are not uncommon; crude leather armor or intricate projects are certainly possible. The knowledge of crafting is not universal - much like in our own world, some individuals are better suited to it than others - but all characters can benefit from the flexibility and dexterity that this evolutionary trait allows.

No permission is needed for a character to have dexterous paws, but questions on what your character can or cannot make can be directed to the Forum Guardians.


Beyond the Fringe
Hellbeasts & More
The creation of hellhounds and hellbeasts has been lost to time, but the vast majority seem to originate from beyond the Fringe - the inhospitable and hostile land outside the Straits, past the mountainous Wall of Teeth. Hellhounds - wolf-like beasts - seem the most common, though mutated and monstrous versions of most every species, prey and predator alike, have been seen and categorized as a hellion.

It is thought that the hellhounds were once more uniform in appearance, but after a cataclysmic natural disaster decimated their population and their homeland, inbreeding and territory changes saw a surge of more grotesque mutations and varied genetic information. As it stands, new mutations seem to crop up out of the blue and without warning, though there is some predictability along family lines. They can breed freely with their related species - hellhounds with wolves, hellhorses with horses, etc - though litters are usually small. Crossbreeding and competition is seeing to the slow decline of the hellhound population in particular.

Individuals from beyond the Fringe are often disparagingly referred to as fringeborn, a slur that can imply they are savage, feral, or uncivilized.

Hellhounds and other hellbeasts have a varied creation process. Standard mutations (known as “traits”) can be used without moderator approval, and are found here. More complicated mutations must be reviewed by a moderator prior to approval, which you can read about here.



Credits
Written by Corgwyn in partnership with Rip (history), Vana (hellhound info), & Silokk (coding).
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 11:16:58 PM by silokk »
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