The Many Worlds of Loneclaw

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Loneclaw
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The Many Worlds of Loneclaw

Post by Loneclaw » Tue May 29, 2018 8:52 pm

Ever since my early teens I've been obsessed with worldbuilding, you might even call it an addiction. Unfortunately, I'm an utter failure when it comes to writing stories or running games, so I've never had a good outlet to actually show off my work. Additionally, I'm incapable of focusing on one project until it's done, thus I have a number of unfinished settings.

Rather than letting them rot on my hard drive, I thought I'd share them here. I can't promise that these are good or that well-developed, but if anyone finds them interesting or useful for their own games, then at least I have accomplished something.

Some of these settings are completely standalone, while others branch off into different timelines. I'll try to organize the index below accordingly.

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Roma Immortalis
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Roma Immortalis

Post by Loneclaw » Tue May 29, 2018 8:53 pm

"Romulus shall uprear
and on his Romans his own name bestow.
To these I give no bounded times or power,
but empire without end."

- Jupiter, Vergil's Aeneid 1:276-279

Roma Immortalis
It is the year 1000 after the founding of the city of Rome, or 247 AD according to our calendar. The Imperatrix and Senate of Rome rule a vast empire, stretching from India to the Caribbean, and inhabited by countless peoples and species. Rome owes this greatness to the advanced knowledge gained when they conquered Atlantis, and to a race of shark women created in the image of an Atlantean goddess, the Sagatlae, whose rise to power served as a vital counterweight to the ambition of Rome’s leaders.

Roma Immortalis is an alternate history biopunk setting that combines three of my favorite subjects: ancient history, science fiction, and furries. While I will attempt to detail this setting to the best of my ability, I strongly recommend GURPS Imperial Rome as a companion book for anyone who wish to run a Roma Immortalis game, as it provides extensive information on Rome aimed specifically at gamers.

Table of Contents
Terminology
The Roman Calendar
History
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Terminology

Post by Loneclaw » Tue May 29, 2018 9:56 pm

Chimaera
Etymology: From the greek monster ‘Chimaera.’
Meaning: noun. A hybrid creature, such as a human-animal hybrid.
Singular: Chimaera
Plural: Chimaerae

Creatus
Meaning: noun. Someone who has been created, refers to chimaerae and mutati, but sometimes also to clones. Literally means ‘created one’.
Singular Male: Creatus
Singular Female: Creata
Plural: Creati

Genoia
Etymology: Derived from the verb ‘genoio.’
Meaning: noun. Genetic engineering.
Singular: Genoia
Plural: Genoiae

Genoio
Etymology: Borrowed from Atlantean ‘Genoiai.’
Meaning: verb. Genetically engineer, to fashion a living creature.

Genoitor
Etymology: Derived from ‘genoi(o)’ + ‘-tor’ (agent noun suffix).
Meaning: noun. A genetic engineer.
Singular Male: Genoitor
Plural Male: Genoitores
Singular Female: Genoitrix
Plural Female: Genoitrices

Genotega
Etymology: Borrowed from the Atlantean word ‘genotegai.’
Meaning: noun. A chromosome, genetic material.
Singular: Genotega
Plural: Genotegae

Immutatus
Meaning: noun. A genetically unaltered human. Literally means ‘unchanged.’
Singular Male: Immutatus
Singular Female: Immutata
Plural: Immutati

Mutatus
Meaning: noun. A genetically altered human. Literally means ‘altered one.’
Singular Male: Mutatus
Singular Female: Mutata
Plural: Mutati

Sagatla
Etymology: Borrowed from Atlantean ‘Sagatla.’
Meaning: noun. A shark woman made in the image of the Atlantean goddess Sagara.
Singular: Sagatla
Plural: Sagatlae

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The Roman Calendar

Post by Loneclaw » Tue May 29, 2018 9:59 pm

AUC is an acronym for Ab Urbe Condita, which translates to “after the founding of the city” and refers to the number of years that have passed since the mythical founding of Rome. To convert a year from our calendar to its Roman equivalent, add 753 to the year (so 247 AD becomes 1000 AUC). For dates before the beginning of our calendar (i.e. before the birth of Christ), subtract the year from 754 (366 BC becomes 388 AUC).

The Romans divide the year into twelve months: Ianuarius, Februarius, Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Iunius, Iulius, Augustus, September, October, November, December. The years are divided into 365 days, with a 366-day leap year every four years.

Hoid
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Re: The Many Worlds of Loneclaw

Post by Hoid » Wed May 30, 2018 2:22 am

I will be following this thread with great interest.

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Re: The Many Worlds of Loneclaw

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 12:40 pm

Hoid wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:22 am
I will be following this thread with great interest.
Thanks, I'll try not to disappoint! :D

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History

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:07 pm

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The Wonders of Atlantis

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:08 pm

When his ship blew off course and sunk in 251 AUC (503 BC), the last thing Zephon of Carthage expected was to be rescued by fish people. It wasn’t until after they had nursed him and his men back to health that he learned the name of their island home. They called it Antleioi; the Greeks and Romans would come to call it Atlantis.

Once they had fully recovered, their rescuers built them a small ship and sent them back home, and the observant Zephon returned with tales that captured the imagination of the Mediterranean.

He told of a people who worshiped a pantheon of strange sea monsters; whose fertile lands always provided bountiful harvests; who had mastered medicine to the point where disease no longer ailed them; who could mold their children as easily as a potter shapes clay, and had done so to become more like their gods.

The Atlanteans came to regret their act of altruism when more ships sailed for their island, and they were all turned away with threats of violence well before reaching its ports.

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Rome’s Conquest

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:12 pm

It wasn’t until 727 AUC (27 BC) that a small number of Atlanteans arrived at a port in Hispania. Led by Prince Etlaiaga Namaga ia Eiatalgo, they had fled the island after the nobility had overthrown his father. He had come to request the aid of mighty Rome to reclaim the throne, promising to open up relations and trade in return. However, the Prince had severely underestimated the brilliance and ambition of Rome’s ruler, Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus.

Transports were constructed and subsequently carried two legions to Atlantis. They never would have made landfall had Prince Namaga’s aquatic troops not held off its defenders. Once on land, though, the overwhelming numbers, superior tactics, and combat experience of Rome’s legions managed to take the island successfully. Then, when Prince Namaga and his men came ashore, they were betrayed and captured by their supposed allies; and were later paraded through the streets of Rome as part of Augustus’ triumph celebrating his conquest.

Augustus knew that anyone who controlled the incredible wealth and knowledge of Atlantis would be a threat to him, so he decided to grant its governorship to the man he trusted most - Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.

Agrippa spent his time in Atlantis establishing Roman rule, putting down rebellions, studying its culture and architecture, as well as funding several scholars to learn and record its knowledge.

He took an interest in the Atlantean warrior caste, who possessed the appearance, strength, and ferocity of beasts, and the posture and intellect of men. The royal guard, the Sagatlai (or Sagatlae, as the Romans called them), especially drew Agrippa’s attention - a race of extremely capable and fiercely loyal shark women. While they were all quite formidable when it came to natural ability, he surmised that they had failed to stop the Roman conquest due to their inferior numbers and tactics. Nonetheless, Agrippa saw the value in recruiting them as auxiliaries in the future.

Additionally, once he learned of cloning, Agrippa also ordered that daughters were to be made of the Sagatlae, who would be raised to serve as his personal bodyguards.

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Rome’s Medical and Agricultural Revolution

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:17 pm

Although Augustus secretly desired to have his nephew Marcus Claudius Marcellus follow in his footsteps, he knew that it would be far too dangerous to alienate Agrippa, who was now his most powerful supporter. When Augustus became seriously ill in 729 AUC (25 BC), Agrippa sent him his best and most loyal physicians as a sign of friendship, and to gain favor. Thanks to Atlantean medicine, Augustus quickly recuperated. It was likely because of this that he came to promote Atlantean medicine throughout the empire.

To strengthen what was now a vital political alliance, Augustus married his daughter Julia to Agrippa in 731 AUC. Agrippa used the genoitors in his employ to create perfect children for him and his wife - Gaius Caesar, Lucius Caesar, and Julia the Younger; all three of whom were healthier, stronger, and more beautiful than their peers.

Shortly after Lucius was born, emperor Augustus adopted him and Gaius from their father, and named both of them as his heirs. Their adoptive father initiated them into administrative life when they were still young, and sent them to the provinces as consul elects. Augustus taught Gaius and Lucius how to read, swim, and the other elements of education, taking special pains to train them to imitate his own handwriting, mostly by himself. Shortly after their adoption in the summer, Augustus held the fifth ever Ludi Saeculares (or Secular Games). The adoption of the boys coupled with the games served to introduce a new era of peace - the Pax Augusta.

Following its conquest, Atlantis had come to equal Egypt in importance in providing Rome with food. However, this had less to do with Atlantis being a fertile island and more to do with their agricultural practices and crops. Atlantean farmers had a six-field rotation system and grew six crops in sequence, including fodder crops, without ever letting the farmland lie fallow. Furthermore, their plants were incredibly high-yielding thanks to Atlantean genetic engineering. Rome’s traditional crops were similarly enhanced and over time, Atlantean farming techniques were adopted throughout the Empire.

As Atlantean medicine became more commonplace throughout the empire, its people began to live healthier and longer lives. Furthermore, the wealthy came to hire genoitors to create genetically tailored children, slaves, or pets for them.

New animal breeds were created that benefited the Empire immensely, such as the equi miri - a fast, resilient, and incredibly clever kind of horse; the elephanti mansueti - a faster-growing elephant that served as an excellent beast of burden, construction assistant, and warbeast; and the rhinocerotes bellorum - a breed of rhinoceros created to serve as warbeasts and heavy cavalry, but also as effective beasts of burden in peacetime.

Under the long, prosperous reign of Augustus, Rome and her people were transformed. The wealthy strata became physiologically distinct from their lessers, and both slaves and animals were specialized to serve specific purposes. This was most apparent in the arena games, were the gladiators and animals had been created specifically to excite and entertain.

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Atlantean Auxiliaries

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:19 pm

When Augustus received several Sagatlae meant to serve as part of his personal guard as a gift from Agrippa, he was skeptical of their utility, and only kept them around as a curiosity.

The formidable Roman army became even more so with the growing number of Atlantean auxiliaries, genetically tailored soldiers, and monster. Because of this, Augustus’ adopted son and heir presumptive, Gaius, who had grown into an accomplished and ambitious General, pushed for war with Rome’s rival, the Parthian Empire, following the deposition of Vonones I, who had been sympathetic towards Rome.

In 765 AUC (12 AD), Gaius took his legions and auxiliaries and marched on Parthia. By 770 AUC (17 AD), he had completely crushed the Parthian forces and taken all of its major holdings.

Following this overwhelming victory, Gaius was awarded a joint triumph with Augustus. Gaius detested his adoptive father for claiming his accomplishments for himself, but Augustus’ motives were purely political - their conflicting opinions had driven them apart and he had to make a show of unity for the people of Rome, as well as prevent his adoptive son from receiving all of the glory.

The former Parthian Empire became part of Rome, and the client states that had previously separated the two rival empires were later absorbed as well.

While Rome’s longtime rival had now been defeated once and for all, Augustus realized that the Empire had grown dangerously large, even for his previous reforms. In the hopes of preventing Rome from fragmenting, he granted the provincial governors more local power and autonomy, while also established a unified Roman legal code for all the provinces to help keep them in check.

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Gaius’ Grab For Power

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:23 pm

As Augustus grew older, tension between him and his adopted son Gaius grew stronger. Gaius wished to press further east and conquer the lands of India while Rome still had a technological and medical advantage, arguing that these would soon spread to potential enemies. Augustus rejected this idea on the grounds that this would fracture the Empire, especially since Parthian resistance had yet to be fully subdued.

When Augustus was in his late 80s, Gaius began to plot against him. He was the obvious successor, especially since his brother Lucius had grown lazy and decadent with a life of leisure, but he feared that his adoptive father was going to name someone else as his heir. Gaius attempted a power grab and used the wealth he had gained during the conquest of Parthia, as well as promises of power, to bribe the two prefects of the Praetorian Guard into killing Augustus.

The assassination attempt, however, was foiled when the Sagatlae Agrippa had gifted to Augustus all those years ago noticed that the guards were behaving strangely and warned their master. The Praetorian Guard struck before Augustus had a chance to escape, but the ferocity and discipline of the Sagatlae counterattack, and their utter disregard for their own safety, caught them so completely off guard that he was able to slip away. Augustus then called upon the Cohortes urbanae and had them execute everyone involved with the plot, including Gaius. Unsure of Lucius’ involvement, Agustus decided to have him placed under house arrest just to be sure.

To honor the Sagatlae who had given their lives to protect him, Augustus had them cloned and a statue made to commemorate their sacrifice in the Forum of his namesake. Additionally, Augustus sent for more Sagatlae from Atlantis and gave them leadership positions within the Praetorian Guard, but he planned to eventually have the Guard consist of Sagatlae only.

Now without a suitable heir, Augustus decided to adopt his granddaughter’s son, Lucius the Younger, and spent the twilight years of his life seeing to his education. Augustus ruled Rome right until the end, and died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 98.

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The Reign of Lucius Julius Caesar

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:26 pm

After Augustus died in 790 AUC (37 AD), Lucius Julius Caesar (formerly Lucius the Younger) rose to the Roman Empire, and proved to be a very capable ruler.

Lucius sought to build on his predecessor’s accomplishments and strengthen the Empire’s infrastructure and bureaucracy. He did this by expanding the Sagatlae numbers until they made up the Praetorian Guard in its entirety. In addition, he turned some of them into administrators and managers meant to combat corruption within the Imperial Household, the bureaucratic machine of the Empire.

Thanks to Atlantean medicine and farming techniques, the Empire’s populace was growing exponentially, and many flocked to the city of Rome looking for opportunities, which provided it with an abundance of potential laborers, soldiers, and colonists.

While the wealthy strata under Augustus were created by their parents to physically embody the Roman ideal of beauty and virtue, under Lucius’ reign, they now began to look more exotic. These homines luxuriosi, as they were called, could be identified by their unnatural eye and hair colors, and were created, more often than not, as a result of fads rather than ideals. Moreover, Rome had a growing number of freeborn chimaerae and mutati who were the descendants of slaves.

The years 802 to 807 AUC (49-54 AD) were marked by the Parthian conspiracy. This was started by the Parthian noblemen, who endeavored to corrupt and persuade the local governors to secede from the Roman Empire. The Persian provinces were wealthy, but most of it were flowing west, and its governors commanded legions that had combined the strengths of both Rome and Parthia. In 807 AUC, its governors unanimously declared themselves independent.

Lucius sent the Imperial legions to retake the Persian provinces and remove their governors from power, but it took them three years to succeed and they came dangerously close to being defeated on several occasions.

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The Lucian Reforms

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:29 pm

Immediately following the civil war, Lucius set out to prevent something like this from ever happening again. The Lucian Reforms barred the patrician class from commanding legions in any capacity. Instead, the positions of laticlave tribune and general were to be exclusively available to Sagatlae promoted from the Praetorian Guard.

Before announcing his reforms, Lucius invited many of his generals to Rome at the same time to receive triumphal honours for their victory against the Parthian conspirators, which required them to leave their armies outside of the city’s boundary. While they were busy being at the center of a grand ceremony, which included banquets, games, and entertainment, their Sagatlae replacements were secretly sent out to assume command of their legions. By the time the ceremony came to a close, the armies had departed and Lucius let his generals know that they had been relieved of their command. He then placed them under house arrest in the countryside under the pretense that they had retired.

When Lucius formally announced his reforms, any human generals who opposed them found that their collective military strength was no longer enough for them to contend with him. One by one, they were forced to comply and hand over their legions to their Sagatlae successors.

Naturally, the Senate opposed these reforms - more than a few Senators spoke in public of how the Imperator was destroying traditional Roman values, and some even tried to assassinate him. Lucius put them all down, either through fear or with violence. Most of the Senate were brought into line after these examples had been made, but many kept plotting against him and Lucius was well aware of it.

Thanks to the Lucian Reforms, the legions become utterly loyal to no one but the Imperator. While some of them were still nominally under the control of the local provincial governors, their generals had the authority to disobey their orders if they deemed it to be in the best interest of the Empire.

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Serica Learns of Rome

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:31 pm

In 813 AUC (60 AD), a Roman chimaera made its way to Serica (China) through various slave merchants. When a nobleman presented it as a gift to Emperor Ming of Han, the Emperor was shocked and wished to know where it came from. All the nobleman knew was that the creature came from somewhere in the west. It didn’t take long before the Seresian Emperor sent a number of envoys to find out where such a creature could have originated.

Once the envoys reached the Persian provinces, they learned all they could about the Roman Empire, which they called ‘Daqin’, and brought back several chimaeras.

When they finally returned, they shared what they had learned and displayed the creatures they had acquired. The envoys explained that the people of Daqin had mastered medicine and used their knowledge to free themselves of disease, as well as create new animals and people.

For the first time in their history the Seresians were in awe of another civilization, and Emperor Ming began to send a series of trade missions and ambassadors soon thereafter. Not only did he want to be on friendly terms with such a mighty kingdom, he wanted to learn its secrets so that Serica could match it.

Over time, Seresian paper making, more efficient animal harnesses and plows, as well as the seed drill flowed west, while Roman medicine and glass making flowed east.

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