Homestuck adventure notes ========================= Mozai, 2011-08-22 20:15, Just so's I don't lose track of this stuff. The Idea -------- - A civilzation emphasing castes/estates/strata of society. Castes are for life, and determine career. - Children don't have parents but sponsors, just as citizens of Rome had their 'pater' sponsors; this is where we got the English word 'patron', and the concept of a child's "godfather." - Strife between the players are symbolically strife between castes. Kids eventually learn not to judge each other based on their heritage / caste, but on individual merit and accomplishments. - The number three over and over again... with a mid-story reveal that what they thought was three is actually four. The magic number for this session is "324". Guardians --------- Humans have **'guardians'**, the full-grown humans who raise, teach and care for the players (usually the young human's progenitors, or other family ie: Dad, Mom, Bro, Grandpa). Trolls have **'lususes'** ('lusus' singular), the monsters that care for them as infants and are in turn cared for. Lususes are not themselves trolls (ie: crabdad, Tinkerbull, spidermom, Byol'gbub, Becquerel) Trolls have no attachment to their offspring, and due to their reproduction methods may never see any of their many offspring, but many trolls revere their predescessors and wear a sigil to show their lineage, tinted to show their blood colour and thus social status. Prenu have **'patroni'** (singular 'patronus' or 'patron'), an adult prenu that invests, sponsors and grooms young prenu to assist and eventually take over their affairs. These young prenu are called 'children', but a more appropriate human translation might be 'apprentice.' Adults do not care for their offspring, seeing infants as offspring of the community as a whole (hatching from exocorpus eggs?). Individual parentage is irrelevant -- what an infant will become is more valued than where an infant came from. Infants are cared for in the hopes they are fit to be sponsored by a high-status patronus. When an infant is adopted by a high-status patronus, it elevates the reputation of the community that infant was raised by, and when the child becomes an adult they are likely to return to their "home" and bring the high-status skills and resources they have inherited from their patronus. Castes ------ Most humans don't have a birth-caste system; those that do, the children inherit their parent's caste, though you can leave your caste by moving to a new community so long as you're willing to start in the "foreigner" caste. It is possible in many human communities to elevate caste by earning respect and providing worth to the community at large. Trolls have a blood-caste system; your elevation in society is determined by the nature and colour of your blood, from rust maroon (lowest) to tyrian purple (highest). Furthermore, the highest castes are visibly amphibian, spending most of their time at sea and displaying fins (gills?) on their head. Lower castes are expected to defer to higher castes; higher castes don't seem to have any corresponding responsibility to lower castes. Lower castes have a higher incidence of physical or mental mutation, but the higher castes are on average much more resilient in physical or psychic conflict (ie. a mid-caste blueblood may have a mutation to instanly hypnotise a person and make suggestions, whereas an orangeblood could charm entire herds of beasts, and a purpleblood could do neither but can resist any attempts by either to sway her mind, and physically overpower both). Prenu are casteless when born (or belong to the 'infant' caste). When they are self-sufficient, potential patroni come and adopt the infant into their caste; then they are no longer infants but 'children' (or, as humans would say, 'apprentices'). There are three(*) castes: **Clergy**, those who teach, craft and ajudicate; **Knights**, those who lead, fight and adminstrate; and **Labourers**, those who build, transport and cultivate. Child-rearing is shared among all castes equally, as infants must be taught, disciplined and provided for, though some communities will have a majority of caretakers of one caste. Prenu merchants are the Labourer caste, as they are "providing" goods by transporting them and seeking fair exchange. Prenu artisans were almost entirely Clergy caste until recently; experiments with industrialzation and mass production are giving more of this power to the Labourer caste. Blah blah, generations of looking down on Labourer caste, civil unrest, Clergy develops industrialization and mass production techniques to share responsibility for crafting with Labourer caste, though the Clergy still keep the specialist and expert jobs to themselves. (*) there is a fourth caste, not counting infants, but the players/protagonists only know of three because they are still children. This is the 'exile', 'untouchable' or 'criminal' caste; their duty to improve the community is to stay out of the community. The carapace refugees from Prospit and Derse will be viewed as members of this caste, to be shunned. A lesson that the game will teach the players is to stop viewing castes as better or worse than each other, even the 'exile' caste. People should be judged on their own merits; a Clergy patronus is not automatically better than a Labourer patronus, what matters is the quality of the children each patronus raises to adulthood. (I have half a dozen examples of the useful work the 'exile' caste would do for the prenu: sin-eaters, funerals, paramilitary, disaster recovery, the goyim that orthodox Jews hire to do work for them on the Sabbath, all stuff that "polite society doesn't talk about.") Prenu Biology ------------- Warm-blooded reptiles? Egg-laying, so parent's aren't invested in gestation and thus attatched emotionally to particular offspring. Use hair-like headfringe for heat venting instead of sweatglands? Important to be able to adapt to many climates, can't be like cold-blooded lizards with metabolism tied to ambient temperature. Hormone cues at puberty -- slight physiological changes according to the caste of the majority of adults. Thus, Knight children who stay near their patronus and other Knight adults will gain Knight-like adaptations. Possible to see at a glance which caste prenu have taken by their appearnace, and also discourages switching castes. What does this mean for chilren who enter the game and lose their patroni? How will they gain their caste's adaptations without exposure? Could be a crisis in Act 2 of the story. (answer: godtier prenu gain 'adult' adaptations, just as godtier trolls gain 'adult' wings) Players ------- There will be six players, two from each caste, 3 to a side. Possible boy names for the Prenu players: `Abe, Ben, Jim, Jon, Ken, Rob.` Possible girl names for the Prenu players: `Ada, Amy, Ela, Eve, Jan, Kim.` Prospit players will use additive colours: Cyan/Turqoise, Magenta/Spinel, Yellow/Citrine (pyrite?). Derse players will use subtractive colours: Blue/Lapis, Red/Ruby, Green/Malachite. The players aren't 'server and client,' they are 'patronus and child,' which will irritate some, and scandalize some, until they figure out that each player is patronus to one and child to another in a loop, so it's all balanced out. They're all children/apprentices, so legally they cannot be someone else's patronus, but this is just a game of pretend (just as human children playing 'King of the Hill' aren't really royalty). Prenu Relationships There are three(*) types of committed relationships -- "commitments" for short -- that the prenu may have with each other. Prenu may have the same type of committment to more than one other prenu, but may not have multiple types commitments to the same prenu. Each has an sigil, which coincidentally look like the icons of human playing cards, and troll quadrants. <3 - **eros** - animal - creation - the desire of two equals to create something together. Sometimes this is a new business venture, a novel innovation, or joining to create a new infants. Infants are appreciated by the community since they replenish each caste, and they are opportunities for the community to indirectly inherit resources from another community. It is considered taboo for an adult prenu to be patronus to an infant in their own community; the equivalent human idea would be 'inbreeding'; trolls have no such taboo. It is not unheard of for a former patronus / apprentice pair to have an eros commitment. This will freak out a troll or human when they discover this could be starting a new business venture together, or making an infant together. Two prenu in a patros committment would never have an eros committment; it's not taboo, it just never happens since eros commitments can only be between equals. It is infrequent that people of different castes will have an eros committment, though they necessarily must be of equal relative status in their respective castes. The castes of the parents do not determine the caste of the infant. N.B.: !!! The prenu who are playing a new game are not engaging in an eros ("erotic") committment; the game was already created before they found it. <> - **fratros** - mineral - protection - the promise between equals to protect and support each other in common interest. This could be allies in warfare, or a business contract between partners. Committments of fratros do not depend on caste, and may be made between more than two prenu. c3< - **patros** - plant - cultivation - the voluntary burden of a superiour to train and improve an inferior, and the inferior's promise to obey the superior. This is the relationship between patronus and child. It is possible -- and some think it is ideal -- for the patronus and child to become equals and change the relationship to <> fratros, but some patroni prefer to always have this relationship, and only surrender their affairs to their child upon death. Committments of patros are necessarily in the same caste, and a patronus may have many children, but each child may only have one patronus. (*: there is a fourth relationship, which is only revealed in Act III or Act IV, when the prenu players discover that their society always had a hidden fourth section... and some players were already tempted or have succumbed) <3< - **mortos** - absence - destruction - the relationship between one who kills/destroys/ends, and the entity that is ended. For some, this commitment means taking on the duties of the prenu that was killed, for some it means taking only the wealth owned by the dead prenu (or salvaging the remains of the destroyed object), and for some it means the commitment to destroy the rest of the dead prenu's affairs (ie. killing all the children studying under that patronus, burning the remains of the destroyed object, censoring any mention of the destroyed idea). A prenu may have a mortos committment to many things, but each committment does not end until the target of their intent is murdered/destroyed/eliminated. Having too many ongoing mortos committments can weigh heavily on someone, sending them into depression, or neurosis. (eg: Older prenu would see right away that the troll Eridan Ampora had a mortos committment to landdwellers, and would point out that making a mortos commitment to the majority of his own species would make him very unwell and eventually drive him insane or suicidal.) The Midnight Prenu ------------------ Their names and natures also correspond to these prenu commitments. - HB <3 is the venturer, with goals and ideals, and always first to enter the fray. - DD <> is the businessman, looking out for the group and tidying loose ends. - CD c3< is the apprentice, learning and being cultivated, prompting the Crew to think about what they're doing instead of running on automatic. - SS <3< is the murderer, eliminating every obstacle and more besides. Unlike the prenu, SS seems capable of endless mortos committments without any ill effect himself. The truth is he only has one such commitment: to the entire world. Thankfully he will never have the power to live up to this omnicidal mortos commitment (in this session anyways)(we hope).