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Outros Sistemas Transhumanist Fantasy - from elves to synthetic deities

Tópico em 'RPG' iniciado por Armitage, 27 Jan 2008.

  1. Armitage

    Armitage Usuário

    ( galera, vejam isso, é uma das coisas mais criativamente doidas que já vi. O autor, S/Lash do fórum RPGnet, tem uma imaginação e tanto. )

    Once upon a time there was a man who said "hey, elves are universally depicted as being pretty hot. I wonder why?" He concluded that, perhaps, elves had been created for the purpose of being, well, hot. And then he made the mistake of telling me.

    "That makes sense," I said. "I suppose if you're going to cement an alliance between kingdoms, an eternally young bride of unsurpassed beauty would seem like an asset. Maybe that's where the first elves came from, long ago." And then we started thinking, and because two heads are infinitely crazier than one, we realized the following:

    The bog-standard D&D fantasy can be perfectly described as a post-apocalyptic result of a fantasy transhumanism event. Perfectly.

    - - - - -

    Long ago the world looked much like medieval Europe, except there were wizards. That's all. Just some humans, some knights, some feisty kings, and some wizards. There might have been a few gods deep in the wild places of the world, but that's only going to be important later. Point is, everything is now in place.

    Someone decides to create the aforementioned 'perfect diplomatic bride' or maybe build a harem of forever-young wives. This is done at great cost with powerful magic. For some reason the idea proves popular, and as magical theory advances and grows more powerful, so too does the ability to create these morally-dubious servitors, until things have advanced well beyond the medieval period and you're looking at a magic-enriched society with analogues to our own (but only analogues).

    In this pseudomodern world, there is enough demand to justify the formation of an entire company devoted to creating these brides (and in the interests of gender equivalence, grooms as well; the demand can be assumed to be equal). In the past, each one was an individual artwork. Now they're being produced in quantities by the same company, they can at last be called a race: the first elves.

    (Side note: does the logo Engineered Life Form sound familiar?)

    At about this time, the first competitors are engineered. Nobody is silly enough to try to rival ElfCorp; they've got the market cornered. But in this pseudomodern age, industry requires raw materials, and that requires miners. The first dwarves are born, short and sturdy for optimal underground activity. There is some rivalry between (human) administrators in ElfCorp and DwarfCorp. They both, however, glower with hatred whenever somebody mentions the quick-growth soldier kits known as goblins, or the upgraded hobgoblins and orcs, sent to fight and die in the increasingly-vicious wars of the era.

    Note that the corporations were unable to control the breeding of their creations. In an effort to maintain profitability, all engineered humanoids were made sterile. This was a huge flaw, one bound to cost them down the line. But these were days of great ambition, and they came up with a solution.

    Synthetic deities.

    The first syndei were probably military projects consuming the output of entire nations. The entities so created could distribute magical power upon request, making wizards more flexible and eventually creating an entire specialized role that dealt exclusively with the syndei: the first clerics. The syndei were even endowed with limited self-guidance so they could perform in the absence of user input. But the techniques became established, and a handful of civilian syndei were created, first as national utilities (a god of travel? a god of music?), then as corporate tools.

    ElfCorp were the frontrunners. They created the Elf God as a control mechanism: it was in background communication with all elves, could channel magic for various utilities like the other syndei, and was generally a good central command. But the most important aspect was the soul reserve. All elves required an elf soul to operate. ElfCorp made a finite number and tasked the Elf God with their retrieval upon death, so new elves could be made.

    This was eagerly copied by the other corps, resulting in a Dwarf God and an Orc God and probably some others by now. But ElfCorp was moving ahead, into territory covered by its rival DwarfCorp. They created a new product line devoted to underground operations: the Dark Elf. Sacrificing none of the aesthetic flair of our other lines, the Dark Elf is capable of extended underground operations. Tougher than previous models, and now available in a sleek black finish, buy yours today! As part of the new product rollout, they created a whole new syndeus called Llolth (it's possible they had an Internet).

    This sets the tone for the rest of the Ancient Age. New races and deities were created when they were useful. More obscure and specialized creatures were created, and in the background, the wars grew larger and larger, demanding new engines of destruction.

    Pocket dimensions were created, then full-fledged alternate planes with soul-retrieval mechanisms. These sacrosanct planar fortresses served as bases for the great political powers to wage war upon one another, increasingly using the original 'prime' plane as a battlefield. They enhanced themselves with new powers and physical features. One faction grew wings and focused on healing techniques. Another layered themselves with fiery scales and developed an entire culture of blood and chaos. Some of the greatest warriors of the age altered themselves so heavily it took centuries to grow to their full size; these mercenaries became great armored lizards with deadly breath and unnatural cunning, fully the equal of any outsider.

    Angels, demons, and dragons had been born.

    And in the ensuing battles, the baseline humans that remained on the prime plane forgot all this. Their cities were blasted, overrun with monsters and shattered by spellfire. The humanoids, now luxuries discarded by factions that played with the universe itself, also clustered into the distant places of the world.

    And time passed.

    And the treasure-filled ruins were overgrown.

    And the fact that there was anything to forget, was forgotten.

    And war raged beyond this reality.

    And old systems broke down, unmaintained.

    And eventually, civilization restored itself to the world. Humans once more built mighty cities and temples, but now they worshiped real gods, things that communicated and gave power to their followers. They didn't even ask too many questions of their followers, seemingly content to just have followers that asked for spells.

    In the wilds, the humanoids likewise proliferated, but their populations were sharply capped. The elves don't have fertility issues; they simply do not have enough souls to have any more children.

    And some broken things returned to the light of day.

    Llolth had a bug. Or something. Whatever went wrong warped her command protocols, and now the dark elves are twisted beyond all recognition. But that's nothing compared to the orcs. Their syndeus was a battlefront unit, with enhanced self-determination protocols and the ability to look after its own best interests. It decided it wanted more orcs/goblins/hobs, but it didn't have the ability to make new souls.

    So it decided to take them.

    The prefab souls of the elves, dwarves, halflings etc. were easiest to convert, although human souls worked well too. All that the syndeus needed was for the target to be eaten alive by one of its followers. And so a bad thing started.

    But this only happened because the syndeus went so long without orders or maintenance. And you know what that implies? Yep: Somewhere, there is a control room for each and every one of the syndei. And those chambers are the most precious relics in the world... or they would be, if anyone knew they even existed.