The Lonely Galaxy Megathread (comments encouraged)

Discussions about constructed worlds, cultures and any topics related to constructed societies.
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Re: The Lonely Galaxy Megathread (comments encouraged)

Post by lurker »

Visions1 wrote: 29 Jan 2024 20:22 Truthfully, I really like both methods. Maybe I should draw something again.
I certainly wouldn't mind. I liked the first couple you did. I didn't think of the yinrih as being able to brachiate, but your first sketch made me think it was a good idea.

After doing a ton of research into different kinds of monkeys, I've settled on various types of new world monkey as the basis for how their body looks, especially woolly monkeys (although yinrih fur isn't woolly). Woolly monkeys' forelegs and back legs are the same length, which seems to be rare in arboreal primates (Orangutans and gibbons have long arms and short legs, and lemurs have short forelegs and longer back legs). I still want the yinrih to appear canine when walking on all fours, and having more proportional limbs helps.
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Re: The Lonely Galaxy Megathread (comments encouraged)

Post by Visions1 »

I'm glad you liked them so!

Also, I like the idea of these Misotavists looking and being silly like this, though maybe not the spiky hair. Like they're a cultural movement that has symbols and public event and ideology, but it doesn't take itself so seriously.
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The City of Eternal Noon

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The City of Eternal Noon, located at the substellar point of Hearthside, is the center of religious government of The Bright Way. However, it didn't start out that way. It is famous for its hospitality, offering free lodging and food for a week (12 days) to any traveler. Their not luxury accommodations, just a small area to store ones impedimenta and a quiet place to pass ones torpor period, but the facilities are clean and well cared-for. The story behind this legendary hospitality is an interesting one.

There once lived a simple man renown for his sanctity, a holy fool, one could say. He touched the lives of many with his straightforward faith. Word began to spread that miracles were wrought in his presence, and his fame grew all the more. He was supported vigorously by the local overseer (a clerical office roughly equivalent to a bishop), and pilgrims flocked from all over Hearthside, and even from the homeworld, to see this living saint. Over time, the nearly baron desert that was the substellar point of Hearthside became a thriving holy city.

However, upon the overseer's retirement, the miracles that had accompanied the fool mysteriously stopped. The new overseer had always been skeptical of the miraculous phenomena that followed in the man's wake, although she did not believe the man himself was to blame. He was lacking in understanding, and never used the signs to draw attention to himself. The same could not be said for the old overseer. She had spent a great deal of effort promoting the fool as a wonder worker, and the new overseer thought it rather convenient that her predecessor had also profited immensely by buying this worthless track of land, and then raking in the profits as the city grew.

Upon the old overseer's death, the new overseer uncovered evidence that her predecessor had forged the miracles attributed to the fool. Shocked at her predecessor's actions, the new overseer had the old overseer's bones removed from display and buried in the desert, already a harsh condemnation, but there is even a legend that she personally crushed her skull before burying it, which is just about the worst thing you can do to a yinrih's remains.

But what of the fool? What about this new thriving city? Was it all built on a lie? Well, the miracles may have been fake, but the man was genuinely holy, in an innocent childlike way. A great many men and women, holy in their own right, claimed this man as their inspiration. While many were scandalized by the revelation, the new overseer didn't want to see the man punished for the sins of his patroness, and she didn't want to let this outpouring of faith go to waste. She also didn't want to be seen profiting from these wicked deeds, so she established the rule that any traveler, pilgrim or not, would have a place to stay in the city without cost. Over time, limits had to be established, as free room and board for anyone for as long as they want is a pretty unsustainable proposition, but the spirit of the rule remains.

The city remained a strong religious center throughout the Time of Decadence, and was the stronghold of the pious dissolutionists, those who wished to rid the Bright Way of its corporate monopolies and return it to its original mission of seeking other sophonts. After the War of Dissolution, when the Bright Way was expelled from its former seat of power on Yih, Hearthside, and specifically The City of Eternal Noon, became the de facto new center of religious government.
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More lego: The retribution field generator

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Image

Here's another take on the retribution field generator. Did I mention I love neon translucent plastic?
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The Star Hearth in Lego

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Image
This one's unlit. Still working on making my builds more interesting. I'm learning the names of different types of pieces and their standard dimensions. Plates are 1/3 the height of a brick, and measurements are given in studs (the little pegs on the tops of the bricks). I'm glad I can render things in this CAD program rather than having to buy the physical bricks. Sure the physicality of building in real life would be more satisfying, but the stress of having to find a particular piece in a particular color would make it less fun.
Last edited by lurker on 02 Feb 2024 13:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Lonely Galaxy Megathread (comments encouraged)

Post by thethief3 »

For the leader of the Bright Way how do you like the name Light's Vessel?
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Re: The Lonely Galaxy Megathread (comments encouraged)

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thethief3 wrote: 02 Feb 2024 07:34 For the leader of the Bright Way how do you like the name Light's Vessel?
I was thinking something more mundane like "high hearthkeeper".
Edit: The role of a physical vessel for The Light is already filled by the machine form The Artificer's Litter. Both versions of the legend involve a group of yinrih trying to call/force The Light into the machine. The version of the legend detailed in the story has them trying to build a mechanical messiah of sorts, and the other legend has them trying to force The Light into a physical form so it can be killed.
Visions1 wrote: 31 Jan 2024 05:13 Also, I like the idea of these Misotavists looking and being silly like this, though maybe not the spiky hair. Like they're a cultural movement that has symbols and public event and ideology, but it doesn't take itself so seriously.
Maybe the atheist faction is the older of the two. They start this deicide thing to rile people up, but over time some people forget it's a joke and adopt it as a serious tenant, forming the misotheist faction.
Last edited by lurker on 03 Feb 2024 00:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Working on the yinrih minifigure

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Image

First I had to learn Blender. If you google "blender beginner tutorial" you'll run into BlenderGuru's Donut videos. Problem with those is that all the steps build on one another, and the videos don't always give you the solution to any particular mistake. You can mess something up and not find out till hours later when it's hard to undo it.

When learning to solder, I first tried the usual cheap "my first soldering project" kits off Amazon. I would mess up, get frustrated, and throw away the build because I couldn't finish the project. So instead I bought a bunch of perf board and bulk bags of resistors and just practiced soldering the resistors to the perf board. No project, no goal, just soldering one leg at a time. If I mess up one resistor or bridge a couple joints, no problem because there's no goal to inevitably sabotage. I got good enough to finish one of the kits I didn't throw away, and even soldered a pin header onto a Raspberry Pi Zero, and it worked.

Anyway, I've decided to adopt a similar strategy when learning Blender--just poke around until I learn enough to edit the models exported from the Lego CAD program. I still have a ways to go, but I'm happy with what I've got so far.
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Wayfarer's Prayer Ring

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Here's a Wayfarer's prayer ring. It consists of two parts: a freely rotating gear nested in an outer ring. Just using a single piece would be uncomfortable because the dorsal portion of a yinrih's digits is covered in fur. The gear has twelve teeth, with one of them slightly protruding, acting as a starting point.

The ring is worn on one of the digits, typically the writing claw, with the outer thumb turning the gear as one counts out the prayers. Many different prayers use a prayer ring, most notably the traditional torpor meditation.

Yinrih generally don't wear rings (prayer or otherwise) as jewelry since their paws have to pull double duty as hands and feet. Prayer rings do make great fidget spinners though. Pups are often given a prayer ring to play with by pious parents.
I made this in Blender. I got distracted from my attempt to make the yinrih minifig and actually started using Blender on its own. That's ADHD for ya.
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3D Steadtree Fruit

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Here's a low-poly steadtree fruit. I'm probably going to keep improving on this one since it's already so close to how it looks in my head. I'm particularly surprised I was able to get the violet sheen on the skin.
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Re: The Lonely Galaxy Megathread (comments encouraged)

Post by Glenn »

More interesting material as usual, especially the images!
lurker wrote:the local overseer (a clerical office roughly equivalent to a bishop)
Is this choice of words deliberate, given that the word “bishop” comes from the Koine Greek ἐπίσκοπος epískopos, which can be literally translated as “overseer”?
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Re: The Lonely Galaxy Megathread (comments encouraged)

Post by lurker »

Glenn wrote: 05 Feb 2024 03:17 More interesting material as usual, especially the images!
lurker wrote:the local overseer (a clerical office roughly equivalent to a bishop)
Is this choice of words deliberate, given that the word “bishop” comes from the Koine Greek ἐπίσκοπος epískopos, which can be literally translated as “overseer”?
Very deliberate indeed. I've been trying to stick to an Anglish translation convention when possible, hence using "leasemind" instead of "artificial intelligence", etc.

Comparing traditional Christian holy orders to clerics in the Bright Way, a hearthkeeper fills the role of both deacon and priest, as she's responsible for maintaining the star hearth and seeing that the faithful receive adequate power to their homes, and she leads liturgies and grants absolution. Overseers are (at least nominally) also hearthkeepers, and oversee all the lighthouses in a geographical area, usually a city, but sometimes an entire state if it's small enough. Very small independent territories like Wayfarers' Haven have a single lighthouse with a single hearthkeeper that technically qualifies as an overseer since an overseer's jurisdiction doesn't cross political boundaries.

Hearthkeepers were the first clerical rank to be established, being the descendants of the old shamans, with the rank of overseer evolving later as yinrih society matured and more complex governing structures were needed. The high hearthkeeper is the top rank, leading the whole hierarchy. How she gets her position is yet to be determined.
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The Hard Problem of Unconsciousness

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The yinrih are incapable of fully losing consciousness, even during torpor or when in suspension. It is impossible to break a yinrih's stream of consciousness without causing brain death. Fortunately, it's REALLY hard to do this, thanks in part to the yinrih's heavily redundant neurology.

Naturally, this has a huge effect on the yinrih's theory of mind. While it's entirely possible some animals on yih experience unconsciousness as Earth animals do, the yinrih can't possibly know this due to the subjective nature of personal experience.

When they meet humans, who, as you know, lose consciousness for 8 hours every night, a huge debate erupts around the implications. Is the person who wakes up in the morning the same person that went to sleep last night?

This only adds to the yinrih's perception that humans got the short end of the stick, adding the fact that we spend a third of our lives unconscious to the facts that we live so much shorter lives, and we had to invent writing rather than having it built in from the start.
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Re: The Hard Problem of Unconsciousness

Post by Arayaz »

lurker wrote: 07 Feb 2024 21:45 When they meet humans, who, as you know, lose consciousness for 8 hours every night, a huge debate erupts around the implications. Is the person who wakes up in the morning the same person that went to sleep last night?
Awesome.
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Star Lanterns

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Image
Star lanterns are like miniature star hearths. As such, they're also micro fusion reactors. they obtain hydrogen to fuse by taking in ambient water vapor and electrolytically separating the hydrogen and oxygen. They're small enough to fit in the hand, but output enough energy to power an average human household.

Missionaries bring star lanterns as gifts to newly discovered sapients.
I fixed the glass issue, a little bit. It still looks a little weird. It takes 3+ minutes for this to render, so making adjustments is time-consuming.
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The Yinrih Can into Space

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One might find it odd, given the yinrih's longer lifespan, that they were able to achieve spaceflight a mere five thousand Earth years after achieving sapience. This would be like paleolithic humans going from hunting and gathering with sharpened sticks and hand axes to manned orbital flight in a mere five hundred years.

One obvious contributor is that the yinrih had been able to write from the word go. Being able to preserve thoughts over time and space, allowing their collective body of knowledge to start building up over generations. The second reason they progressed up the tech tree so fast is that most scientific progress was done under the auspices of the Bright Way, which had (and to an extent still has) a strong martyrdom culture. Giving one's life while furthering the goal of finding other sophonts among the stars is the highest honor a Wayfarer can hope to achieve.

Combining religious zeal and scientific curiosity makes for a rather high casualty rate among yinrih scientists, engineers, and explorers, willing as they were to take greater risks in the name of fulfilling the Great Commandment. In particular, the yinrih didn't so much dip their paws into the starry firmament as hurl themselves headlong into it. It was less NASA and more Kerbal Space Program. Less than a score of humans have died while attempting spaceflight, but the yinrih have a litany of canonized martyrs (and cannonized martyrs, given their earliest attempts may or may not have involved shooting people out of a cannon in a vaguely upward direction), all of whom made the ultimate sacrifice while pursuing greater knowledge.
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The Mechanists

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The Mechanists were a group of Neoshamanists who formed the first group of colonists on Newhome. At this particular time in yinrih history, the Bright Way was still on the rise. It wasn't yet a cyberpunk-esque megacorp, but it was very much an "established" religion on Yih. Minority faiths were not actively persecuted, but pride of place was given to the Bright Way in public life. Its holy days were national holidays, the deaths or accessions of political figures were accompanied by Bright Way ceremonies, and many countries' education systems explicitly or implicitly taught from a Claravian* perspective. There were some who chafed under this system, and saw an opportunity to found their own polities as planetary colonization became technically and economically feasible.

Neoshamanists subscribe to the belief known as Panpsychism: the idea that consciousness is a latent property of matter itself, or of the very fabric of the universe. This is in contrast to the doctrine of the Bright Way, which professes mind-body dualism. The Mechanists in particular believed that consciousness can manifest in any system of sufficient complexity. In their new home, which they dubbed, uh, Newhome, the usual fonts of consciousness were missing--no living matter, no complex meteorological phenomena, no geological activity. The only complex systems besides the colonists themselves were the machines they brought with them.

Frontier life is hard on both yinrih and machine, and the colonists' equipment frequently broke down. Combine the flakey machinery with the colonists' particular flavor of animism, and it's not hard to see how this little cult got going.

The following are some highlights of their beliefs and practices.

Fabricators were believed to possess particularly temperamental spirits, and it was customary to hold a screwdriver in the right front paw when submitting a print job to the fabricator's leasemind, as a warning to the spirit that consequences would follow should it misbehave.

Small figurines were placed in engine rooms to keep the generators company when engineering personnel weren't on duty.

A brief canticle would be chanted when booting a computer to appease the spirit within, often while a particular key was held down. The key did nothing apparent, but it was believed to make the machine spirit more biddable, or even make it run faster.

Particularly powerful shamans were said to be able to resolve mechanical issues by their mere presence. Lesser techs would toil away at a particular problem, only for the problem to resolve spontaneously when the shaman entered the room.

Red cabling was believed to be spiritually efficacious, probably because the material needed to manufacture the red polymer used in the cable jackets was hard to come by, so only the most important network links were made with red cable. The claimed benefits included less jitter, fewer dropped packets, lower latency, and even increased throughput.

The most sacred of this sect's rites was the sacrament of Percussive Maintenance. It was reserved for those occasions when even the wisest of shamans was unable to get a misbehaving spirit to cooperate. It involved repeated whacks of the errant machine with a ceremonial wrench. These wrenches would often be lavishly decorated, and are prized cultural artifacts today.

As the Mechanists got the terraforming ball rolling, more and more colonists began making their way to Newhome. At first these were people from other minority sects and fringe political ideologies, but eventually, the normies showed up, gradually diluting these odd practices by simple cultural inertia.

The first wave of "mainstream" yinrih to arrive on Newhome largely consisted of military personnel representing governments from the homeworld seeking to establish claims on swaths of virgin territory. Since the Mechanists were still somewhat active at this point, some of their quirky rituals were passed on to the grunts stationed there.
* Of or relating to the Bright Way. From Latin clara via a calque of Commonthroat sGKqg qCb /yip, long rising strengthening growl, huff, short low weak growl. huff late low weakening whine/
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Re: The Lonely Galaxy Megathread (comments encouraged)

Post by conlang-creature »

So... let me get this straight...

It's a cult of IT personnel and/or tech junkies. Beautiful.

Sidenote: All of these appear to be references to tech jokes, aside from the figurines. Is this an exception, or was there some inspiration I don't know of?
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Re: The Lonely Galaxy Megathread (comments encouraged)

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conlang-creature wrote: 10 Feb 2024 05:54 It's a cult of IT personnel and/or tech junkies. Beautiful.
That's the long and short of it. It started out as a carbon copy of the Adeptus Mechanicus from Warhammer 40K, but I've tried to differentiate it a bit.
conlang-creature wrote: 10 Feb 2024 05:54 Sidenote: All of these appear to be references to tech jokes, aside from the figurines. Is this an exception, or was there some inspiration I don't know of?
I read somewhere (I think it was Reddit) about a tradition in the US navy of leaving plastic army men to "guard" equipment. I can't remember the context, or how widespread it was.
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Re: The Lonely Galaxy Megathread (comments encouraged)

Post by eldin raigmore »

lurker wrote: 10 Feb 2024 13:32 ….
I read somewhere (I think it was Reddit) about a tradition in the US navy of leaving plastic army men to "guard" equipment. I can't remember the context, or how widespread it was.
Surely, plastic Marines, instead of plastic Army men?
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