Jul 06, 2022 10:13 PM
Auder reacts to interdimensional fiction
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Sure, here is some Fairyland art!

The main character's ethnic group specifically has just the projectiles thing - they're superhumanly accurate with thrown or shot objects. The point of the setting is less magic-worldbuilding and more cultural-worldbuilding as different cultures have different occasional opportunities and pressures crop up in the form of their ethnic magic.

The point is that she found a hallway that disappointed her qua magic, and then she turned it into something that, when discovered, will not disappoint the discoverer qua magic.


There's a new Grapeverse book going around, Shattering Cascade, about a world with ubiquitous mind control and a diplomat from the anti-mind-control faction rescuing an outcast from the pro-mind-control faction and struggling to connect with them in a way that is both feasible and ethical while helping them to recover from catastrophic psychological damage.


[NOT REAL MAGIC], tragically. But you can have this collection of fictional works selected by each nation to show off its culture! Among other things, it includes:

One of the earliest stories of the nations of (what is now) the Global Alliance, written down before contact with their extraterrestrial benefactors. It is an epic poem in three parts. Part one follows a capricious river-goddess as she alternately provides for and torments the people of the villages along her banks. In one of her rages, she pulls a town metalworker down beneath the water and he nearly drowns; in the next, she is depicted as pregnant; in her next calm period, she gives the baby to the metalworker she had nearly drowned.

(Without cultural context, readers may or may not put together that “pulling the metalworker under the water” was tasteful concealment of a rape scene.)

The second piece of the epic jumps ahead to when the metalworker’s baby has grown into a young girl. He has just passed away from smallpox and she is crying over his dead body. Desperate for any way to bring her father back, she consults with the town elders, who eventually reveal to her a route to the land of the dead. They warn her that the journey will be dangerous, but she presses on. The girl kills monsters on her journey to the underworld; annotations mention that different versions of the epic include different fantasy creatures here, and it is traditional for new adaptations to add their own. At the climax of the second part, she has to pick her real father out from two imposters, charismatic shapeshifting monsters who had escaped her on her journey. She figures out which one is her real father by asking trivia questions about metalworking; the monsters are stumped but her father answers correctly. She returns to the village in triumph.

The third part again skips ahead in time; the girl has grown into an adult woman, developed divine powers like her mother’s, started a family of her own, and made journeys up and down the river uniting the villages in an alliance. The alliance is building canals to control the floods and protect themselves from the river-goddess’s rage. Finding herself constrained, the river-goddess tries to assassinate her daughter; all three generations of the family–the metalworker, his daughter, and her children–make their stand against her together. The girl and the goddess have a battle of wills with hydrokinesis, her family backs her up with ordinary weapons, and ultimately they prevail in the fight over the goddess. The defeated goddess repents of her actions and signs a contract with the alliance, promising protection from other gods and monsters in exchange for the alliance’s correct ritual practice and sacrifice. An epilogue of sorts describes the growth of the alliance over the next few generations, with them accumulating wealth, building cities, and educating their children, all thanks to the actions of their heroes, who saved them from the whims of capricious nature.

A classic novel controversial in its day. It is set in a period when humanity’s alien benefactors had pulled back a little, out of fear of humanity wiping itself out with their technology. The protagonist is an aspiring politician, in a country whose government is considered too repressive to get to trade with the aliens directly, though of course a rising tide lifts all boats. He hopes to rise through the ranks, reform his government to fit the aliens’ standards, and bring new prosperity to his country. The novel flips between detailing his progress on the campaign trail and a relationship he is conducting with a woman through correspondence, falling in love with her without ever seeing her face. He finally meets his girlfriend and finds out that she is an infamous anti-government terrorist–one of the youngest of a group that carried out several brutal attacks during a failed rebellion a decade ago, and the only one to successfully escape execution and go into hiding.

He is horrified, but she cries and begs him to give her another chance; she deeply regrets what she did in the war and just wants to stay out of politics now, as reforming the government isn’t worth any more bloodshed. The protagonist grapples with divided loyalties as his campaign advances. He has to choose between his dream of a political career and his girlfriend. In the end, he wins the race, but he never gives his acceptance speech–he has fled the country with his girlfriend to build a new life in a new place. An epilogue, a decade later, shows the protagonist and his wife reading news of their old country, which has reformed enough to resume trade with the aliens; they are hopeful that someday they will be able to return and show their children their old home.

(Cultural context notes at the end explain that execution is no longer practiced in the modern day, though euthanasia is offered if wanted to those whose crimes were so heinous they must be exiled to an island or imprisoned; while the aliens have relaxed their standards enough to trade with humans who do it, humans’ own moral standards have advanced to the point where any politician who proposed bringing back the death penalty would be voted out.)

rape, transphobia, forced marriage

Porn! It’s a dystopian sci-fi series about a colony on a far-future terraformed Red Planet which has cut off contact with the Global Alliance and its alien benefactors to experiment with more authoritarian forms of government; the cover has prominent “content notes” for “rape, transphobia, and forced marriage”, formatted and positioned as if they might be an advertisement as well as a warning. The framing device is “diaries from a period when the colony had lost certain technologies (or perhaps, it is implied, suppressed them to justify its atrocities)”; the focus is on the loss of genetic testing and assisted reproduction, and its use as a pretext for the government to run its eugenics program by arranging marriages (rather than subsidizing embryo selection) and disincentivize adultery by public flogging* (rather than universal paternity testing).

The first volume of the series follows a trans girl and her high school boyfriend as they come of age and are married off to other partners–the trans girl to several opposite-reproductive-role spouses as her genes are considered beneficial, the boyfriend to a same-reproductive-role spouse as his genes are considered deleterious. The trans girl is denied hormones to preserve her fertility, but granted other transition procedures she requests–electrolysis, breast augmentation, and facial feminization surgery. Sex scenes include “the trans girl is raped by each of her spouses (an older femme couple who were already married to each other, and a butch closer to her age on their first marriage) and taunted about how she’s betraying her beloved boyfriend by coming”, “the boy, who had only ever been dominant in relationships, learning to enjoy submitting to his husband (a man older, stronger, and more masculine than him)”, and “the trans girl and her boyfriend meeting up to fuck in secret, fearful of the consequences if they’re caught but unwilling to let the government split them up”.

*This is treated as dystopian only in that adultery is considered a criminal matter; of course corporal punishment is okay, without it we would have to go back to the bad old days of debt-slavery for petty-criminals who can’t pay their fines and imprisonment or island exile as first options for heinous-criminals!


All right, Sindin Lung is very interested in this "1% of GDP" reward offer, so, here's the results of their project to get it:

First off, here's the elementary instructional text by which virtually all Imperial Kobolds are trained in the basics of how magic works and how to detect magic auras and identify magical objects.

Second, here's the introductory text by which the most adept students, identified by their mastery of the above, learn wizardry, a form of magic which emphasizes intelligence, careful study from books, and precisely-defined metaphysical spell scaffolds.

Third, here's the introductory text for wizardry from two decades ago, after the Greater Metaphysical Disaster and before the Great Metaphysical Reset, when wizardry worked rather differently than it does now.

Fourth, here's the introductory text for wizardry from more than a century ago, after the Lesser Metaphysical Disaster and before the Greater Metaphysical Disaster, when wizardry worked rather more like it does now, but with important differences.

Fifth, here's the introductory text for wizardry from a couple decades before that, in the era before the Lesser Metaphysical Disaster, when wizardry worked subtly differently than it did after the LMD.

Sixth, here's the speculative text, written from the perspective of the period just after the Lesser Metaphysical Disaster, about how wizardry worked subtly differently back before the semi-legendary Ancient Metaphysical Disaster, and how it could then achieve much greater power (which is believed to have led to the AMD).

Now, if pursuing all that doesn't let you figure out if or how wizard magic works in your universe, don't despair, we still have lots of options, though our project director Xelzram, as a wizard, is less personally familiar with them.

Sorcery is a less structured relative of wizardry, more reliant on force of personality than intellectual understanding. Here's the book of standard advice on unlocking your potential for it, if any.

This work is the elementary text on religion in Sindin Lung, with careful explanations of the natures of the Nine Worthy Ministers and their most prominent sub-ministers, who administer the universe for T----t the Fivefold Dragon, Benevolent Creator of the Universe, during the temporary absence of her viceroy Kurtulmak due to the treachery of the Renegade Gods. It includes methods of praying to them, and the basics of how to notice if one of the Ministers or sub-ministers has chosen you to be a magic-wielding cleric on their behalf. There's a brief section on paladin oaths and knowing if you're called to be a paladin as well.

Here's a book on nature spirits and their overseeing sub-ministers, along with what signs indicate you have been chosen by them to wield druid or ranger magic.

This treatise explains the nature of ki, and meditative and exercise techniques to unlock it. A history-of-ki paper is also provided, outlining changes in ki techniques caused by the Lesser Metaphysical Disaster, the Greater Metaphysical Disaster, and the Great Metaphysical Reset.

Bardic magic went through several major transformations with the Lesser Metaphysical Disaster, the Greater Metaphysical Disaster, and the Great Metaphysical Reset. Here's one guide to unlocking it post-GMR, and one to unlocking it pre-GMR. Prior to the GMD, it was apparently closely related to then-extant sorcery or wizardry, while pre-LMD it was a lot like druidic magic. (It would be nice if the Renegade Gods would just stop causing metaphysical disasters in their futile efforts to overthrow T----t, but, "Renegade".)

Psionics, which was always a rather obscure type of magic associated with the brain-eating squid-headed monsters which live in tunnels far beneath Sindin Lung's tunnels, has similarly been yanked around by the changes to metaphysics. Anyway, here are the various techniques to unlocking it over the many eras, which seem to largely parallel those used for sorcery and/or ki.

And because Sindin Lung really wants that 1%, here's the domestically-highly-restricted work on pact magic, what known entities are known to pact with mortals, how such pacts are formed, and the consequences of such pacts.

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