Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Spacers and Worlders

Spacers: Aliens. Raiders. Bloodsucking merchies. Arrogant imperials. Interfering scouts. Vagabonds. Bloody tourists. Haolis.

Worlders: Groundlings. Dirt-eaters. Blue-skyers. Ignorant peasants. Stubborn mudscraping primitives. Provincial Simpletons.

It won't be like this across the board. But it'll be out there.

Everything should be viewed in the light of the relatively recent explosion out of the Long Night, and the long period of the night itself.

Worlds which survived the isolation of the night are the ones that were self sufficient. Those that were not, died off.

As I draw up finished copy for my subsectors, I should make this call for each of the worlds: Were they self-sufficient survivors of the Old Empire?
If so, did they retain identification with the Old Empire? I suspect that most worlds that are currently major players fall within this category: they maintained their traditions and identity as well as their populations.
OR, were they forced to change significantly in order to survive? And how?

All of these historically isolated places will have a tendency towards "Worldism" of one stripe or another.

Worlds *not* currently self-sufficient can mostly be assumed to be newly-settled in the few hundred years after The Night. These will be Spacer worlds, to a large degree, but there may be some strains of localism as well.

Worlders won't necessarily be hostile to spacers, and vice versa. But there'll be different motivations for doing things, and different sticks and carrots in play.

Those worlds with no particular trade classification - not industrial or rich, perhaps poor but not lacking in finished goods or food - stand a good chance of being Old Empire holdouts. Long in tradition, and short on ambition. Inward and backward-looking at best; distrustful of the new powers in play.

Rich worlds, Agricultural worlds and industrial worlds will usually be Old Empire survivals that are booming, and have surplus - in goods, food, or lucre - to send elsewhere. So they'll be friendly to outsiders, or at least, those in possession of the means of producing these surpluses will be. If there's people exploited by the situation, they'll stand to be very hostile.

Those worlds unable to produce enough food will almost always be new settlements. Non industrial worlds survivable at a low tech can be old worlds, but if they require sophisticated tech to survive, they'll be new.


Blogger Omer Golan said...

Now that you bring up the subject of the Old Empire again, as well as the subject of its traditions, you should probably decide on what the Old Empire's tradition was - and, thus, how did the various non-holdout worlds deviate from it.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Festeria said...

Fair enough! That'll definitely take some mulling, but I have some of it already.

The current structure of nobility IMTU is in large part a holdover from the Old Empire. For instance, totally independent pocket empires are often named Duchies, because their leading families inherited the titles before the fall. (Among the OE circles, Fester I's assumption of the title "Emperor" was at best a gross faux pas... but they haven't had the whack to make the Festers recant.)

Most OE worlds - Fester among them - consider that the OE was basically the same sort of society as theirs, only bigger and broader, with fewer problems - a golden age, in which wars between humans became rare because the whole universe beckoned, and human pioneers claimed world after world meeting only occasional, light, and decorative autochthonal resistance.

There is no universal academic agreement on the cause of the fall into the long night. There is considerable popular agreement that the empire was poisoned from within by psionicist elements, but this might be a holdover of rhetoric from the recent Witch-Wars.

1:32 PM  

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