|BADLANDS UNIFICATION MOVEMENT (BUM) - Centered out of Claiborne and headed by the charismatic and incredibly chatty Joseph Falls. The name pretty much says it all; it's a group of Badlands citizens who are dedicated to the unification of the Badlands making it one country capable of standing up to Ivona and Vohemar.|
Falls was born in the Badlands and over the years grew tired of the constant bickering that kept the Badlands from uniting despite some of their commonalities. The continued encroachment into the Badlands by both countries forced him to make his move. In general, the movement is made up of Badlands citizens, a few like-minded Vohemaro and Ivonian citizens and anyone who wants to cause a ruckus and give one of the two main countries a bruised ego.
CURRENCY - Both the major countries have their own systems of currency, which can be easily exchanged to one or the other at any bank. The settled floating islands have their own types of currency as well, which might be a little harder to exchange, depending on if you're in a city.
Ivona prints their own currency, whose value fluctuates based on what's in Ivona's treasuries and what the economy does to it. One franc equals to 100 centimes, and has little value based on the materials it's made of itself.
Vohemar basically uses a glorified bartering system. They use precious gems and metals as currency, based directly on their actual worth. One dubloon is equal to 100 bits, and though Vohemar melts the metal into coins and stamps them, the coins can have different weights depending on the metal they're made of. It's a little harder to use gems for currency, and thus rarer, but it's basically the same guidelines going by worth.
Currently, one franc is roughly equal to one dubloon.
DEMIHUMANS - As you travel throughout the land, you're bound to run into someone that doesn't seem quite human. Whether they have pointed ears, strange, non-magical abilities, or even barely look normal at all, you've just met a demihuman.
Most demihumans do have human blood in them. This is simply a catch-all term to describe anyone who doesn't have normal attributes. Their origins are many and varied, which can often cause friction within their own communities. Demihumans have been known to be the result of anything from magical backlash to experimentation to (sometimes rapid) evolution.
Due to being such a small group, and also because of how strange they are, there can be a lot of discrimination against demihumans depending on what area you're in. The word 'dreck' is slightly insulting slang used to refer to them. Sometimes, even normal people who have had disfiguring injuries are lumped in with demihumans - and the definition of demihumans also includes non-intelligent creatures that have a human-like form, such as harpies.
DENOUEMENT - A shadowy organization whose far-reaching influences have begun to show in many places. Hints have pointed to their involvement in many acts of terrorism recently, including the assassination of Ivonian and Vohemaro diplomats, last year's Lunasa Delivery Bombings, and the bombing of the Ivonian Senate.
Please note that ICly, only a small amount of people suspect that Denouement is behind the recent tragedies, and only the characters in the game have any proof that Denouement exists at all. Players are welcome to apply for the game as Denouement agents, with more information on the organization available here.
ELECTRONIC JOURNALS - Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you too can have your very own Lorisbot Industrial or Ceissana Corporation brand portable difference engine, with the nearly mystical ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere, that has their own journal!
At least, that's what it's billed as. The journals in this game are similar to laptops in basic design, but unlike real computers are only set up for journal-style communication. This is achieved thanks to the combination of a specifically-made difference engine, the radio waves it transmits, and the special battery it contains. A speaker is built-in for making voice posts, and it contains a radio tuner for picking up local stations. It can be used to transmit images made in the very simple drawing program it comes with, though these drawings can only be in grayscale. Userpictures are NOT viewable ICly at all; the only identification method is a person's username.
Due to the limitations of privacy on radio frequencies, private and f-locked posts are actually scrambled with a certain code beyond the original journal transfer method. It can be very easy to pick up the frequencies that journals operate on, but unscrambling even the basic information takes a specialist.
The journals have a number of limitations. First of all, one must be in range of a radio tower to be able to communicate with anyone at all. Malfunctioning towers can be enough to put an entire area into a blackout. Also, the batteries they contain run dry after roughly six months of casual use, faster if the owner uses their journal quite often. These batteries are only produced by the same companies that make the journals, though you may be able to find generic ones illegally...
For more information on how the journal system itself works, check out our hacking guidelines.
FLORA AND FAUNA - There are many strange creatures that can be found throughout Reial. Feel free to assume that most common animals exist, within limits; there's certainly horses and cats and chickens, but without an ocean some species of fish and animals such as squid or dolphins won't be known to the general populace.
That said, there's also a host of other, stranger animals as well. Some of these are even hostile and can pose a threat to even well-seasoned travelers and adventurers. Some general examples include oversized versions of common animals, more fantastic beasts such as harpies and wyverns, mechanical creations given limited intelligence, and even creatures that are part-mechanics or part-clockwork.
Let's not forget about the plants. As with the animals, common types exist alongside extremely uncommon ones. Huge venus fly traps that prey on mammals, flowers whose pollen causes hallucinations or unconsciousness, and vines that move to ensnare the unwary are all good examples of what can be found out in the wild.
LIGHTNING - The use of pure lightning for electricity isn't a new idea. Mages have been using lightning for the same purpose for centuries, but had problems with controlling it. Now, in this modern era, a method has been developed that makes it possible to 'harvest' lightning from the sky.
This method involves sending airships out to areas with storms, the more severe the better, and using lightning rods and other similar items to channel the lightning into large batteries. This is the main reason lightning hasn't caught on as replacement for steam - it's incredibly dangerous just to get your hands on it in the first place, which keeps prices for it high. However, lightning has a lot of potency, and once charged a single lightning-battery can power a mid-sized airship for up to eight months.
As it stands now, only the most wealthy tend to use lightning power instead of steam power in their homes. Lightning power has found a handful of other profitable uses as well, most notably in the batteries used to power the electronic journals.
MAGIC - Magic has existed alongside humanity for centuries. Technology might fluctuate, but magic itself remains tried and true, most spells having existed in the same form for thousands of years. While those belonging to different schools of magic often have their disputes, the fact remains that there is no one religion or system that's required to use it, which makes it appealing to many different people.
However you look at it, magic is essentially based on using your force of will to shape the universe. Magical skill can be inherited, but in this modern age, most practitioners learn it through complicated rotes and spells. This is especially true in cities, where the practice of magic has become less spiritual and more ritualistic.
It's also possible to have zero magic skill whatsoever, or to create magical effects without properly learning how to channel it. It may have been around for centuries, but that doesn't mean magic has become any easier to understand.
|MAGITECH - The merging of science and magic is a very recent development, having only appeared successfully in the last fifty years. The practice has grown since then, but is still fairly rare. This term is somewhat general; in some cases simply applying the scientific method to the use of magic is called magitech. In other cases, magic has been successfully molded into or alongside machinery. The applications for magitech are still being eagerly explored by interested scientists and mages.|
MANA CRYSTALS - For the magic-user that wants a boost in power, or wants to make a magically-charged item, there's mana crystals. These crystals are about as rare as diamond, and are just as valuable - not for their looks, but for the power they contain. They act as a sort of magical battery, able to extend a mage's power for a time until they lose their energy. There's rumors that the largest mana crystals never run out of power, but no one can agree exactly what size the 'largest' ones are.
Mana crystals can often be found deep in the earth, and have been known to appear around shrines and other sites of power. The floating island of Nahk is the largest source of mana crystals found anywhere, though veins of mana crystals have been known to appear deep in the Badlands Mountains.
The advantages might seem too good to be true, and to a certain extent, they are. Areas with mana crystals have been known to cause very strange magical effects in the surrounding areas. There's been stories animals and inanimate objects being blessed with intelligence, of day being turned to night and vice-versa, and some people even claim that mana crystals can make the dead walk again.
TECHNOLOGY - The technology level of this game is best classified as steampunk. Just think of it as taking the late Victorian era and throwing in a bunch of crazy improvements. If you're in doubt about anything going on, feel free to ask a mod, but chances are we won't say no if you want to throw in a new twist on some aspect of technology!
The common folk have less technology available to them than the rich do, and Ivona as a rule has more widespread technology than Vohemar, who often scavenges or simply steals tech from the other country. However, some things are everywhere - radio communications stretch across the continent, and you'd have to live far from civilization to not have access to steam-powered electricity.
If you get confused, here's a quick and dirty guide on what's available in-game:
Cameras exist, but can only take pictures in black and white. They are also quite bulky, and it takes a good five to ten minutes to actually take the picture.
Computers do exist. They're called 'difference engines', and basically work as very advanced calculators. They don't feature games, they're for research. The only difference engines that have been built for anything close to entertainment are the ones put into the electronic journals.
Cars are steam-powered and only owned by the rich and eccentric. They remain unsafe.
Electricity exists, though gas lights are still a lot cheaper. Electricity in general is powered by huge steam generators for most people. The richest folks use electricity powered by caught lightning.
Movies have slowly been growing as a viable form of entertainment, but have no sound and are typically only a few minutes long.
Plastics do exist, but are restricted mostly to specialty fields, such as in film for cameras.
Radio exists, and is typically used for both entertainment and communications between airships.
Television does not exist, though simple CRT monitors have been put to use for some complex difference engines.
Telephones exist, but typically only the rich have them in their homes. Cell phones do not exist.
Trains have only recently been developed as an alternative to air travel, and railroads are in their infancy.
|AIRMAN - This is your generic worker you'll find onboard every ship. On military vessels, they are often either of the lowest ranks or are simply hired workers with no rank at all. Regardless, these are the people who do the grunt work of manning the sails, cleaning the ship, aiding with repairs, being the bulk of raiding parties, and doing whatever other tasks the higher-ranked members of the crew require of them. Despite their mundane jobs, the sailors typically outnumber the ranked crew by a large margin.|
BOATSWAIN - Without a good boatswain, a ship might not function at all. It is the boatswain's responsibility to oversee maintenance and deck activity over the entire ship, which is why junior officers are assigned to work under the boatswain to aid in these tasks. In relation to the crew, the boatswain must both keep up morale and make sure the crew works efficiently. In relation to the ship, the boatswain must inspect the ship daily, and make sure that all repairs are performed as well as possible.
CABIN BOY - Not always underage, a cabin boy is a member of the crew who has the task of running whatever errands the crew of the ship require of him. The captain's errands take first priority, of course.
CAPTAIN - This is the big one. The captain has the most authority on the ship, and often is the ship's owner as well. The captain gives the ship direction and purpose, and holds a number of important responsibilities. The captain takes care of legal matters onboard, and has the final say on the ship's destination, trade, and targets. A captain must also be a good leader, being the ultimate person the crew looks to in decision-making. Ultimately, the captain must make sure to keep the crew both happy and functional.
COMBAT TRAINER - These are the people who teach self-defense to those with little to no fighting skill. They are also combat partners to more experienced fighters who wish to train and sharpen their skills. Combat trainers can be specialists in their a particular form of combat, or general all-round fighters. Whatever the case, their main job is to ensure everyone can fend for themselves.
COOK - Any cook on a ship will have their work cut out for them. While the fare may not at all be equal to that of a restaurant, a ship's kitchen is just as busy, as the cook must prepare large quantities of food to keep the crew fed. To a lesser extent, they're also responsible for making sure the crew is fed a wide enough variety to foods to get the nutrients they need. A ship of any size will likely require more than a single cook.
COORDINATOR - The coordinator is responsible for organizing social events on board the ship. Concerts, art displays, theatre performances, balls and the like fall under their purview.
DIPLOMATS - As direct subordinates to their respective Representatives, Diplomats function somewhere between assistant and junior partner. They have similar diplomatic powers to Representatives, just on a smaller scale, and often handle the more mundane affairs of diplomacy in their Representatives' place.
DOCTOR/HEALER - Whatever the title or methods used, this person is who the crew goes to when there are injuries or ailments onboard the ship. On larger vessels, there may be multiple doctors with equal authority or a team of nurses working under a chief doctor. Anyone choosing this position must have the knowledge and skills to be versatile, and thus be able to handle the wide range of tasks assigned to him, everything from pulling teeth to performing delicate surgery. Most captains are loathe to leave this position unfilled.
ENTERTAINER - The people you call if you're looking for a good time ;D But more seriously, their job is exactly what it says on the tin; they lift the spirits of crew and passengers alike with charming conversation, witty banter and grand performances. They're often actors, musicians or someone who has some kind of unique talent.
FIRST MATE - The first mate of a ship is the captain's right-hand man, and often takes control of the ship when the captain is unable to give orders. It's the first mate that takes care of the day-to-day problems, including paperwork, assisting in navigation, making sure the ship stays clean, and assigning the crew to tasks.
GUNNER - There's no point in having weapons on your ship if no one can use them. Gunners are typically in charge of a group of powder monkeys, whose task it is to man the artillery when needed. A gunner's main duties are both aiming and making sure all of the ship's weapons and ammunition are clean and working properly. They must also train the junior officers under them in the use of said artillery. Most good gunners will require their officers to fire practice rounds often, even when there's no danger of engaging in battle.
HEAD OF SECURITY - As the name implies, the Head of Security leads the Security team. As well as maintaining the same duties as regular Security, the Head is also responsible for screening new crew members and organizing Security's duties. The Head also has a voice in ship policy, as the Head of Security is the most knowledgeable in keeping the ship safe.
HELMSMAN - Where the navigator plots the ship's course, and the quartermaster makes sure everything is running, it's the helmsman that actually steers the ship. They must be skilled enough in navigation to both read maps and use the right equipment to keep on course. It's a job that often requires long, boring waits while staring at the wheel, but a helmsman also has plenty to do in either battle or poor weather conditions.
MECHANIC/SHIPWRIGHT - When a ship breaks down and land is nowhere in sight, a mechanic or shipwright is essential. While their areas of specialty differ, both of these positions work under the boatswain to repair and maintain the ship to ensure she stays sky-worthy. Mechanics have the additional duty of repairing fighter planes while shipwrights also take care of the internal furnishings of a ship.
NAVIGATOR - As their title suggests, a navigator's duties are to direct the vessel. A navigator must know where the vessel's position is at all times, and be able to chart a timely course while avoiding any dangers that might lie on the way. A navigator also makes sure the navigation instruments are in working order. A good navigator is essential if you want a ship to go anywhere.
PILOT - Unlike the helmsman, pilots on a vessel are assigned to both fly and man the weaponry of the smaller planes a ship may hold, whether their purpose be for battle or simply carrying passengers back and fourth. There are sometimes two pilots assigned to a single plane, depending on the model and size. A pilot is also expected to take care of basic maintenance for the plane, ensuring that it runs smoothly.
POWDER MONKEY - This is one of the jobs on a ship that can be done unskilled, but it's even more dangerous than that of the typical airman. Under the supervision of a gunner, it's the powder monkeys that work in groups to arm and fire the artillery. Depending on the ship, they may be treated better than their ancient counterparts, but that doesn't diminish the fact that they're often in the line of fire from enemy vessels.
"PUBLIC RELATIONS" - The name is a bit of a euphemism: every criminal enterprise needs muscle. When you need an informant to squeal, some kneecaps broken, or someone with a very large gun, these are the people you turn to.
QUARTERMASTER - The quartermaster is more akin to those in the land armies of old. They hold far more authority, being required to gather supplies, dole out those supplies to the crew, and for the less savoury ships, decide what plunder to take after a battle. They are also the disciplinary arm of the ship, maintaining order and giving out punishments for minor infractions. As this type of quartermaster holds so much power, they are often elected by the crew, and acts as a first mate on a ship without one.
While quartermasters have different duties on military ships, this will no longer apply in TST.
RADIO OPS - Nearly all modern airships are equipped with a radio to communicate both with other ships and any docks they might be planning to land at. Anyone taking this position would stand well to have a clear voice, and keep up to date on the ship's current position and if there's any certain rules or regulations for their current airspace. As you can imagine, they need to keep in close contact with both the navigator and the helmsman. For those ships that have a shipwide radio system to communicate with the crew, the radio ops would also generally be in charge of this.
RECORDS KEEPER - Paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork. A records keeper is the ship's equivalent of a secretary, and must be highly organized to keep up with the practical matters of detailing much of what happens onboard. Other than the more mundane task of handling paperwork, a records keeper may also be asked to keep a more diary-like record of the ship's happenings.
REPRESENTATIVES - Representatives are the face of their home nation while aboard a ship. They hold the highest possible diplomatic rank, giving them the power to speak for - or order about - their people, as well as being directly responsible for their nation's interests and actions on foreign soil. There can only be one representative from each nation (Ivona, Vohemar, Kropmork, Erealia) on the ship. Because of the high level of in-game responsibility, players who apply for this position must seek mod consent and must have passed at least one activity check beforehand.
"RESPECTABLE FOLK" - Not technically part of the ship's crew at all, these are passengers in a mutually beneficial relationship with the ship's crew. Their well-dressed and well-mannered presence adds a certain respectability to the ship that distracts others from her less savory aspects, and their skills or connections help the ship when needed. In exchange, the ship's crew repays them for their efforts, with either cheaper fare or doing favors for them. Basically, if you scratch their back, they'll scratch yours.
SECURITY - On non-combat ships, especially those with V.I.P.s, Security covers most combat and protection roles. Usually former military or mercenaries, Security officers prepare the ship and crew for possible attacks, take care of surveillance, and over all make sure no outside enemies threaten the ship. Often times they also work with the Quartermasters when it comes to disciplinary actions.
STRATEGIST - It's inevitable that a ship run into dangers out there in the sky, and not all of them are as simple-minded as the flying beasts are. Anyone filling the position of strategist must be skilled in the art of tactics and logistics, especially in regards to aerial battle. There's the fair conduct of battle to consider as well, but you'll find the more untrustworthy ships won't care much for their strategist following that.
TECHNICIAN - For ships with more technical equipment than your average airship, a technician becomes necessary for looking after them. Robot repair, radio repair and other such mechanical tuning that aren't related to ship engines fall under the technician's duties.
TECHNOLOGY MASTER - Technology masters are researchers into both ancient technology as well as new, developing technology, and all have technological expertise. When ships have technology masters, they take over the command of mechanics from boatswains and manage both the mechanics and technicians.
WEAPONS MASTER - In charge of the ship's weaponry for the crew, weapons masters also work with strategists in ground combat, often acting as leaders of fighter teams.
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