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Great Haven Lore and Discussion (and Q&A??)
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Justice Watch
 Great Haven Lore and Discussion (and Q&A??)
#1
I was once an earthexe

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Link to Great Haven proper

Perhaps this hasn't been completely evident in the Great Haven thread itself, but my story takes place in a universe that I call Simoialand, along with AskRhodians (which I haven't updated in forever, whoops.) I try to encourage readers to ask questions about the lore in the thread, but it doesn't really seem to take there - and yet, very often I'll get DMs about how interested one person is about this particular aspect of my world, what kind of locations are there, how does magic work, why did I choose to design this race this way, etc.

So I think it would be worthwhile to make a Q&A type thread here in this new subforum. Over the years I've put a lot of work into detailing how this world works, but I haven't really written a lot of it down, outside of the stories themselves and the occasional discussion with a friend over DMs.

So, yeah. This is Great Haven's discussion thread. Questions to me are encouraged, and I'll do my best to answer them without getting too full of myself. Have fun with it :0

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(This post was last modified: 05-31-2017, 01:31 AM by Justice Watch.)
04-19-2017, 04:56 PM
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a52
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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What exactly are Sparsens?
04-19-2017, 09:50 PM
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Justice Watch
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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(04-19-2017, 09:50 PM)a52 Wrote: What exactly are Sparsens?

This is actually a really good question, and I suppose the most direct answer is that I don't really know.

They are, first and foremost, something I doodled once on a group art board, and then never really seemed to stop. I just really like the simple, cylindrical, spiky-headed design.

[Image: SXbUDSO.png]

When it came time to decide what my races were going to be, I knew I wanted something unique (as one does when creating an IP) and one of the immediate ideas was, I could toss this design that I really like in there. But then I had to figure out how a body shaped like a cone was going to work in the space that wasn't just a piece of paper. Is it going to be alive? Is it going to be sentient? Celestial in some way? Does it have skin? Does it reproduce? Does it have emotions? I still can't answer any of those questions with complete confidence. Sparsens are highly enigmatic, and that's part of their appeal to me, I think.

So, we can start with one thing that makes a little bit of sense. Sparsens are not organic life forms. A sparsen is something that can stand, think, speak, and employ logic, so in a lot of ways, they're a lot like humans - but the defining thing about them is that they're inorganic. That makes them completely incomparable to humans. When I think about organic life, I think about the chemical reactions that need to happen so that life may sustain itself. That means DNA, respiration, consuming food - having a BRAIN, stomach, lungs, cells, building blocks for all these things. But a life form that isn't considered "organic" throws all these assumptions out the window, and it leaves you in a tough spot. How do you get something that can think without having a brain?

Sparsens, and their existence, are intimately intertwined with the forces of magic in Simoialand. One can trace their origins back to one of the nine fountains of youth that dot the surface of the planet, which are highly concentrated centers of magic that produce two things: magical energy, and sparsenore. Sparsens are a byproduct of an accident. Normally, air that is thick with magic will start to congeal into an oil and pool up, giving the appearance of a fountain bubbling up from under the surface of the earth. Magic doesn't like to stay in one form, so it starts to mess with physics, and try to convert its energies into something else. With enough energy in a closed system, you could create a self sustaining cycle of energy conversions, cycling through light, force, heat, magic, aaallll in just the right order to start over and loop back in on itself. So one day, before any life had ever existed on the planet, all the right forces and all the right energies fell into place at just the right time to create something that could exist indefinitely with enough fuel. And, to top it off, this entity could push things around and make copies of itself. And that was all it did. The chances of this happening in the universe are astronomically low, and yet here we are.

Soon enough, you have enough of these weird, self-contained entities rolling around the fountains, and just as mistakes are made in DNA transcription, errors are made in the design of this self-replicating machine. It evolves, in a sense. And it gets smarter - through trial and error, it "learns" what makes a better machine. It finds a way to not lose so much of its own energy to radiation, how to keep physical objects from obstructing its internal workings, how to use sparsenore to fuel itself as it begins to "live" for longer and longer, just to keep making more of these quirky, energy based automatons. And then, after just three minutes after the birth of magical life, these senseless robots flailing about in the oil of youth learn how to make decisions.

That process goes on and on from there. It's highly unstable, and more than once, it's almost completely wiped out in the relentless march of chaos and entropy. But eventually some automaton leaves the fountain it was born in, and marches off in one direction and manages to survive away from the nurturing aura of its home long enough to find a different fountain. It rejuvenates itself, and builds another copy. And now, the planet is covered with these things.

Organic life didn't show up until late in the Spasren race's evolution cycle, and so it was simple to adjust to the changes in the environment. When the first plants started to show up, A sparsen simply avoided the grass, for it felt uncomfortable to walk across compared to the rocks and sand they were used to. When the first magma-spitting dragon came along, the solution was even more simple - they could build walls around their fountains and their homes - all they really needed was solitude and sparsenore, the crystaline substance that acted as their food. They created special Sparsens to protect themselves, gigantic sages that look over and protect their fountains from outside forces, and Sparsens that could move and survive under the water as they searched for more fountains. And they learned how to communicate with that strange, unfamiliar organic life, and learned to take things that they would normally be useless to them (Food, tools, and even air) and trade them for added protection and insulation from the terrifying organic world.

Organic society came quickly with the influence of magic and sparsen trading, and it became a lot easier to come out into the open and stop being so shy. With infrastructure coming along, it became easier to explore the world again, and to trade, and to integrate themselves as vital parts of the organic world.

tl;dr they're weird robots that eat magic and i don't fuckin have a clue but i still love them

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04-20-2017, 12:02 AM
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a52
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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i will fourier transform anything i can get my hands on

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That's awesome.
04-20-2017, 02:12 AM
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Justice Watch
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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I didn't expect to write a book about that whoops lol

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04-20-2017, 02:25 AM
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a52
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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i will fourier transform anything i can get my hands on

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I'm glad you did, it's great. Self-replicating patterns produced by entropy is something that really fascinates me, and is why I find things like cellular automata so interesting.
04-20-2017, 03:31 AM
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Zephyr Nepres
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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I thought up a bunch of questions. Feel free to ignore if spoilers or just too much.

What are Maya's kid's names?
Have you created certain scenarios that were avoided by commenters?
How long since you thought up Great Haven?
Is spice the only currency? Or does it vary depending on region?
Are there many races/plants we haven't seen yet?
Physically, Hiir look like mice/rats, Hawkren look like bird people and Maya looks like a turtle. Do they share any other similar characteristics?
How is Raoul so damn cute (and did any major design changes happen while creating him?)
What have you been most excited to introduce?
Would you be okay if someone used the settings/races for a DnD campaign?
What sources have you taken inspiration from?
What has been the toughest part of Great Haven for you so far?
Will Raoul ever go to god rat heaven?
Favourite suggestion so far?
How long have you been drawing/writing?
Will you ever reveal Raoul's old name?
How long does it usually take per update (barring massive updates like the shop one recently)?
Favourite character?
Favourite environment/character to draw?
Will Maya ever run out of spacebending thread?
Is Maya vegan?
How does the level up system work? (do the increased stats only work on certain foes?)
Does Maya have an ulterior motive besides being super nice and great all the time?
How combat focused will Great Haven be in the future?
Was there a point where Raoul became an outcast? He mentions playing with snow with his cousins at one point.
So does Time Magic only effect time in one spot (i'm guessing it's the former), or does it effect the rest of the world?
What are wards?

Sorry for the text wall, I just really enjoy Great Haven. Keep up the good work Justice Watch!

Does really cute mice people, vibrant characters/backgrounds and the most adorable art style you've ever seen interest you? Read Great Haven.

Have you ever wanted to save a bunch of kids from dying horribly in a nightmare dreamscape? Read Lucidstuck
04-20-2017, 08:22 PM
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Justice Watch
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
#8
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(04-20-2017, 08:22 PM)Zephyr Nepres Wrote: Have you created certain scenarios that were avoided by commenters?

That hasn't really happened yet, to be fair. I'll say that I have been keeping to a pretty rigid sequence of events, which I regret for a story in this suggest, post, suggest, post format. But perhaps something unplanned will happen very soon as I attempt to move into a segment that's more open to suggestions.

Quote:How long since you thought up Great Haven?

In September 2014, I was a freshman in college and writing a paper for my English class. At the time, the only way I was expressing myself artistically was drawing and posting a random doodle every day. My professor was doing some "who are you" series of lectures, and it made me realize that i wanted to write and draw adventures again, since I sorta disappeared from MSPA all those years ago. So I started planing, and posted the thread here later in October.

Simoialand has existed in my head as a setting for a potential video game since like 2012 or 2011 at least.

Quote:Is spice the only currency? Or does it vary depending on region?

I wanted to have a system where there was one "currency," but different currency items would be worth different amounts in different regions (triangles worth five squares one place, vice versa in another) but that quickly got messy.

The current model is, there is one worldwide currency (spice). The global government will mint 1, 10, 50, and 100 spice coins, but as the economy inflated, major city-states started to mint their own larger denominations, each with designs unique to their region, but recognized everywhere. Raoul was shown holding one of Rhodia's coins here, but as he's illiterate, he was holding it upside-down.

Quote:Are there many races/plants we haven't seen yet?
Physically, Hiir look like mice/rats, Hawkren look like bird people and Maya looks like a turtle. Do they share any other similar characteristics?

There are six races, Sparsens, Hawrens, Torills, Rozo, Humans, and Hiiri (singular "Hiir"). Most places don't recognize Hiiri as a race of sentient people, and they're often treated as pests. I didn't want humans to be boring, so they're excellent conduits for magical energy, and in fact the most powerful of the six when it comes to that. Rozo are incredibly social, and metabolically dependent on alcohol - much of their homelands are devoted relaxation and hedonism. Torills are quite physically strong, and stand in second place when it comes to magical ability.. but generally, are also quite docile. Hawrens have a lot of options when it comes to unarmed combat, but in recent years, they have directed their efforts to research of the natural world. You can see my dissertation on the Sparsen race earlier in the thread.



I'm gonna try to get through the rest later.

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(This post was last modified: 04-22-2017, 05:13 AM by Justice Watch.)
04-22-2017, 05:12 AM
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Zephyr Nepres
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
#9
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Thank you! Don't feel like you have to answer, I was just spitballing some questions. I don't want to be a bother.

Does really cute mice people, vibrant characters/backgrounds and the most adorable art style you've ever seen interest you? Read Great Haven.

Have you ever wanted to save a bunch of kids from dying horribly in a nightmare dreamscape? Read Lucidstuck
04-22-2017, 06:46 AM
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Justice Watch
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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Nah, you're fine! This is the kind of shit I live for

(04-20-2017, 08:22 PM)Zephyr Nepres Wrote: Are there many races/plants we haven't seen yet?

Well, I went through the stuff we have seen, but there is quite a bit of plant and animal life that I've designed, and I'm sure a whole lot more I have yet to design. Here's this mammoth like thing that I drew a long time ago, that may be showing up sometime soon in the story.

[Image: q8pyqVZ.png]

Quote:How is Raoul so damn cute (and did any major design changes happen while creating him?)

Heehehe! I suppose I've just gotten really good at drawing him over and over again. I drew one picture of him before I started, and added a bunch of spots, and I'm very particular about keeping that pattern consistent. I know there's one panel early on where I forgot to give him the large splotch on his nose, and I've also been getting much more specific about the shapes of the splotches - but for the most part, nothing much has changed.

Quote:What have you been most excited to introduce?

Most of the story that hasn't happened yet.

Quote:Would you be okay if someone used the settings/races for a DnD campaign?

This is a fantastic idea that I've had before. I've wanted to DM a tabletop game featuring these things, but I've always figured that I would want to create the system from the ground up - i've never gotten around to it.

Quote:What sources have you taken inspiration from?

One of my major inspirations is The Elder Scrolls, and to some extent, another adventure called Prequel. TES has some very rigid and scientific explanations for how its lore and mythology work beyond the legends that are told from person to person in the universe. And I've had a lot of people say I remind them of Kazerad. All I have to say to that is that it's very interesting.

Quote:What has been the toughest part of Great Haven for you so far?

Keeping my updates regular!!

Quote:Favourite suggestion so far?

Any time anyone tells Raoul to hug someone, it's the best

Quote:How long have you been drawing/writing?

There was a time I spent a lot of my free time on the MSPA forums, before Homestuck came around. In fact, a lot of the people here on ET are from that time. I can't really nail down the year, but that community back then is probably the one reason why I'm so into my artistic pursuits now.

Quote:How long does it usually take per update (barring massive updates like the shop one recently)?

I think most, if not all of the updates I've done so far, I think I'm capable of churning one out in a day if I start around 2 PM and continue until maybe 8 or 10 PM. That's my goal, but that almost never happens, haha. Generally, I will try to work on the weekends, and leave the rest of the week for schoolwork, but often I will procrastinate too much and overshoot my self-imposed Sunday deadline. Then I'll be spending most of my time after school trying to finish up whatever drawings I need for the update. I usually write first, then draw, then proofread.

Quote:Favourite character?

Maya. A lot of my friends like Mort, which surprises me.

Quote:Favourite environment/character to draw?

I really like to draw Rozo characters in general. As far as scenery, really desolate environments appeal to me, like really cold and barren mountaintops, so high that not even snow will fall on the rocky faces.

Quote:Is Maya vegan?

Torills are all capable of eating meat, but are herbivores by nature. Maya additionally tries as much as she can to be a pacifist, so I suppose yes, she is a vegan.

Quote:How does the level up system work? (do the increased stats only work on certain foes?)

Yes, that's exactly how it works. I do feel like I need to refine the whole stat system by a lot - a lot of it is carried over from the video game idea I originally had for Simoialand.

Quote:How combat focused will Great Haven be in the future?

That's really hard for me to say at this current point in time. It would be cool to have a combat-based segment, but I would certainly have trouble trying to conduct that.

Quote:Was there a point where Raoul became an outcast? He mentions playing with snow with his cousins at one point.

He was always an "outcast," ever since he was born. Those in his own age group never really understood what the adults meant by that, and like kids, they would still play games together and so forth. It wasn't until shortly before Great Haven starts that he was told to leave and never come back.

Quote:So does Time Magic only effect time in one spot (i'm guessing it's the former), or does it effect the rest of the world?

Time magic affects a locality of space. It would take a LOT of energy to do something like, say, freeze or reverse time around the whole planet.

Quote:What are wards?

A fountain of youth, as I've described earlier in this thread, is a highly concentrated "source" of magic. When matter is highly charged with magic, it starts to exert unusual physical properties, air turning thick like oil, etc. Stone and metal will slowly turn blue and become Mithral. In that state, the stone becomes "hungry" and tries to absorb as much magical energy as it can. Over millions of years, Mithral will hoard energy and eventually become sparsenore, which has so much energy stored that it becomes disruptive to the functions of plant and animal life. (Fungi is cool though)

To be honest I've just been making up what wards do, and hoping to come up with an explanation later.



I suppose that's all of those!

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(This post was last modified: 04-23-2017, 01:45 AM by Justice Watch.)
04-23-2017, 01:43 AM
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tronn
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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Quote: A lot of my friends like Mort, which surprises me.

I think it might be because he stood out from the rest of the cast. Everybody else is nice and generally well-meaning, but this also makes them a bit same-y. Mort was conflict seeking and jerkish, which drives the action.

B.M.A.
Tale of a small lizard on the big sea!
04-23-2017, 04:13 AM
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a52
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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i will fourier transform anything i can get my hands on

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Raoul is my favorite character because he's such a beautiful coward.
04-23-2017, 05:25 AM
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Wheat
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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here's a sparsen emoji
[Image: UOp8au.png]

edited to a smaller version [Image: 78pKh2.png] Doip

look the sparsen and sen are lovers.

[Image: RjvYOd.png]
(This post was last modified: 05-01-2017, 06:19 AM by Wheat.)
05-01-2017, 05:20 AM
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Tuesday
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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^ this is the cutest thing I've ever seen
05-01-2017, 08:05 AM
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Zephyr Nepres
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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(05-01-2017, 05:20 AM)Wheat Wrote: here's a sparsen emoji
[Image: UOp8au.png]

edited to a smaller version [Image: 78pKh2.png] Doip

look the sparsen and sen are lovers.

VERY GOOD AND SMALL YES.

PLEASE DO RAOUL/HIIR

Does really cute mice people, vibrant characters/backgrounds and the most adorable art style you've ever seen interest you? Read Great Haven.

Have you ever wanted to save a bunch of kids from dying horribly in a nightmare dreamscape? Read Lucidstuck
05-01-2017, 10:22 AM
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Schazer
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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This is now a thing and I'm only a little bit sorry

A delightful creation from Simoialand that blends both magic and mineral alike
05-01-2017, 10:55 AM
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a52
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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i will fourier transform anything i can get my hands on

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(05-01-2017, 10:55 AM)Schazer Wrote: This is now a thing and I'm only a little bit sorry

A delightful creation from Simoialand that blends both magic and mineral alike

Don't be
05-01-2017, 01:38 PM
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Justice Watch
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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Hooolyyy fuuuuuuuk A delightful creation from Simoialand that blends both magic and mineral alike A delightful creation from Simoialand that blends both magic and mineral alike A delightful creation from Simoialand that blends both magic and mineral alike A delightful creation from Simoialand that blends both magic and mineral alike

Lookit him he's so smug

Thanks you guys ;;

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05-01-2017, 03:16 PM
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Zephyr Nepres
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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Do Rozo experience much racism due to their alchoholic/drug taking tendencies? How about the rest of the races (Torills don't seem to have stigmas like Sparsen and Hiir)

Does really cute mice people, vibrant characters/backgrounds and the most adorable art style you've ever seen interest you? Read Great Haven.

Have you ever wanted to save a bunch of kids from dying horribly in a nightmare dreamscape? Read Lucidstuck
05-15-2017, 11:01 AM
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Justice Watch
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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(05-15-2017, 11:01 AM)Zephyr Nepres Wrote: Do Rozo experience much racism due to their alchoholic/drug taking tendencies? How about the rest of the races (Torills don't seem to have stigmas like Sparsen and Hiir)

Rozo do certainly experience discrimination from their biological alcohol dependence, but that's part of the larger discriminatory attitude against their hedonic culture. Torills also do experience their "fair" share of discrimination, but we really haven't seen much of it yet.

I have a lot of neat stuff planned surrounding this topic, and I don't want to say too much, but frankly the things coming up make the story so far look pretty bland. But that's what revisions are for, right?

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05-15-2017, 05:24 PM
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Zephyr Nepres
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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Are there many musicians in Great Haven (and do certain races like music more than others)?
Have there been any notable figures in the world's past that we can know about?
How is magic viewed by the ordinary citizen?
If you had a self insert, what would they be like?
Have you thought about having other main characters to control or is Raoul it?
Has somebody made a way for Hiir to be as tall as others (eg. stilts)?
What weaponry is commonplace?
Do we still have that pile of yuck from way back?
In terms of technology, how advanced is most of the world?

Does really cute mice people, vibrant characters/backgrounds and the most adorable art style you've ever seen interest you? Read Great Haven.

Have you ever wanted to save a bunch of kids from dying horribly in a nightmare dreamscape? Read Lucidstuck
05-16-2017, 02:39 AM
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Justice Watch
 RE: Great Haven Lore and Discussion
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(05-16-2017, 02:39 AM)Zephyr Nepres Wrote: Are there many musicians in Great Haven (and do certain races like music more than others)?
Have there been any notable figures in the world's past that we can know about?

I haven't really thought about this; that's a very good question. If there are any famous musicians, they're probably Rozo. Other than that, the number of historic figures that are otherwise regular people.. I could probably count on one hand so far.

Quote:How is magic viewed by the ordinary citizen?

...Pretty... normally. It's a fact of life, unless you can't use it. Certain races are more capable than others at using it, the top choices being humans and torills, but it's still so widely used that NOT being able to use magic is almost a disability. People will build machines to accommodate for one's inability to levitate much like one would use a wheelchair.

But since this is a time in history where magic isn't really well understood, there are a lot of misconceptions as to how it works. And that affects things like the technologies that are widely available... or the prejudices one might have against someone else being more or less magically gifted.

Quote:If you had a self insert, what would they be like?
Raoul :U

I actively try to avoid self-inserts, but I guess it can't be helped when there's already a character i can easily identify with.

Quote:Have you thought about having other main characters to control or is Raoul it?

Raoul was originally going to be it, but I'm considering some changes.

(05-16-2017, 02:39 AM)Zephyr Nepres Wrote: Has somebody made a way for Hiir to be as tall as others (eg. stilts)?

[Image: jJ2U0Mc.png]

Quote:What weaponry is commonplace?

If you aren't using magic, you're probably using a blade or a spear of some kind; long range melee weapons are really common. Firearms are relatively unused, but they've been around for a long time, so you'll often find some very old models. Modern firearms for Great Haven's time are way, way expensive and difficult to make, so only the richest of the rich have effective, reliable firearms.

The thing that's weirdly uncommon is armor. Why would you wear a cumbersome hunk of metal if over half of the combatants you face are just going to throw lightning?

Quote:Do we still have that pile of yuck from way back?

That got thrown in Mort's face.

Quote:In terms of technology, how advanced is most of the world?

Right now, there is a sort of energy revolution sweeping the world. Most places don't really have any need for lots of energy, and make do just fine on regular blacksmithing and agriculture, but certain cities have figured out ways to turn magic into a source of energy to do... just... neat little useful things, like heating the ground, or having dimmable lights, or making some funny wheels turn. Very few people think of these sorts of things as practical beyond just the immediate effects of, "Look, I don't need to walk on the snow any more!" As far as production, everything is still mostly done and made by hand; mass production and factories are a long way off.

Magicians have gotten really good at making temporary bullets and walls appear out of thin air, though.

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(This post was last modified: 05-31-2017, 01:21 AM by Justice Watch.)
05-31-2017, 01:21 AM
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