The world in that game

[I am reposting this from a thread on the ZBB: it is chronologically older than the previous repost]

I’ve left the gods unnamed for now until I can bother with making up a conlangette for this, here goes.

[quote]In the beginning, there was the Sea before the World, and the Sky before the world, and the Demiurge was riding a blue elk upon the water (if you know Finnic mythology, you’ll probably see where this is going). But an enemy of His shot Him down from the elk, and He fell into the water, wounded.
He lay in the water for nine hundred and twenty seven years, until He saw a bird of the sky flying and seeking a nest. He raised His knee from the water, and the bird lay its nest on it. But the eggs were too hot, and the Demiurge moved his leg, and they fell into the water, and the pieces of the eggs became various bits of creation. (Maybe I’ll have a bird of the water, who dredges up stuff from the bottom of the Sea, too…)
The Demiurge formed the Earth from the stuff that was in the eggs, and rose onto land to continue working, and there he met the Sky Smith. The Demiurge tasked the Sky Smith with making a Dome of the Sky for the new world, and the Sky Smith started on it immediately. He forged the World Pillar that lies at the center of the world, and put up the dark night sky on top of it.
The Trickster was fascinated by his work, and came to the Sky Smith to ask if he could help him with it, and the Sky Smith tasked the Trickster to put up stars in the sky. The Trickster started putting stars in the sky with great enthusiasm, though little skill, but then his interest started to vane, and he didn’t put many stars on one side of the Dome of the Sky.
Because of this, the Dome was off balance, and started to wobble on the World Pillar, and the sky started to tip over; when the Trickster saw this, he became panicked and fearful, and he quickly asked help from the spirits of the Above, but no one could help him; then he asked help from the spirits of Below, but they could not help him either, for they did not know how. Then he heard a voice at the bottom of the barrel where the stars had been. It was the voice of a star that told him to take it and hang it in the sky in the place where the Trickster had lost its interest. The Trickster threw the star in that place, and the star grew in size until it became the greatest of all stars in the sky, and the Dome stopped tipping over, and disaster was averted.
When the Sky Smith came and saw what had happened, he was angered, because now he would have to create a haphazard imprompty mechanism to keep the Dome from topping over in the future. He took the Moon, that he had planned to put in the sky to light the nights when the Sun would not be there, and set it rotating around the sky so that the Dome would not wobble, and he took the rest of the stars in the barrel (six all in all), and put them likewise in motion upon the Dome, but in more complex patterns to compensate for the smallest wobble that the Moon could not fix. The Sky Smith also had to adjust the Sun’s orbit in the sky so that it reached North in one part of the year and South in the second. Finally, he attached the Dome fast to the World Pillar with the Pinion Star that was second in brightness only to the moving stars and the Counterweight Star.
Then the Sky Smith kicked the Trickster in the arse.
And to this day, the Dome of the Sky is tipped to one side, even as it rotates around the Pinion Star, as the World Mill at the bottom of the Pillar turns; one side of the Dome is under the water level of the Cosmic Ocean, and one side is above it, and from this gap there comes light from the outside chaos that lits up the rim of the world, and creates the the months of day and night at the farthest Northern and Southern reaches.[/quote]


The Ship of the Sun moves over the world from the East to the West each day, rising from the sea and descending into it (which creates clouds). From the ship, the Sun God casts out light that falls down to the Earth like rainfall, but it is easier to throw further in alignment with the keel, so the light doesn’t reach as far at the sides. In the Northern Summer, the Ship travels above the North, and in the Northern Winter it is South. Coupled with the gap in the horizon, this means that the farthest north and south (the “poles”) have a day(summer) and night(winter) months long. The sun rises and sets in 12 hours, but the light of the gap remains. Conversely, in the winter, the sun is so far away that the falling light doesn’t reach, and it resembles a bright, moving star.

In the East, the Sun rises, so the mornings are always warmer than the evenings. In the Eastern summer, in the farthest east (the “East pole”), there is no night, and the mornings are hot and the evenings are warm. In the West (at the West Pole), the sun sets, so the converse is true: it is the evening that is hot, and the morning that is cool. Likewise, in the summer, there is no night; and, as with the East Pole, the “Winter” is cooler, but the day/night cycle is 12 hours/12 hours. At the East and West Pole, in the Autumn the time of no-sun (12 hours) will get darker and darker, until there is true deep night for a few months in the winter. In the spring, the dark of the night will start to become lighter, until you can’t tell the difference between day and night.

In the center of the world the day is always twelve and twelve hours, and there isn’t much of a change in seasons; it gets a bit hotter twice a year, when the East and West are in their Summer/Winter period, and the Sun moves to its absolute zenith on top of the center.

If you move north or south from the center, you get seasons a bit more familiar to our own experiences: between the center and the North and South poles, there is a seasonal difference due to the distance of the Sun combined with a lesser effect from the gap in the horizon, which lengthens the day a bit due to some magic I still haven’t fudged into here. Let’s say the combined effect of sun and chaos light is tremendously effective, and that as the Sun moves closer to the horizon when it rises from the depths of the Cosmic Ocean, the light from the gap also becomes stronger, which lengthens the day marginally in areas that aren’t that close to the Rim… Something like that.

EDIT: Or maybe it takes longer for the sunlight to evaporate, because there’s more of it than usual… Yes, this makes the best sense. :EDIT

Note that Sunlight and the light that comes from the outerworld is different from our light. It’s much heavier, for one, and will have a kindasorta ballistic trajectory. Can’t help it, really, and it’s all in good fun so no harm done.

Yes, I have mixed up the compass points. I noticed that I have them in the wrong order in my charts (I mean, obviously the sun rises on the LEFT, right, and north is UP, right? So obviously East is left and north is up…), and, eh, I can’t be arsed to change it. Take it as another sign of otherworldliness.

Naturally, the Moon rotates around the dome of the sky; which means only the dome of the sky, and not beneath the Earth, etc. so unlike our very own Newtonian companion. I’ll have to come up with a good myth for its phases, etc. The planets are likewise attached to the dome; maybe their “orbits” will be completely unpredictable?

This is just fantasy. It only has to make Common Sense, which is completely different from Actually Making Real Sense. Verissimilitude is the key here, not whether it makes sense in our physical framework, etc. Gravity, for example, will be completely unexplained: I do not know a single ancient myth that attempts to explain its origin. It’s one of those “so obvious in hindsight why haven’t I even thought about why it exists” things that only philosophers at level 12 and above can even think about.


further disclaimer the thing represented here is the physical truth: this is not really a globular Earth with a mythical explanation for seasons, no, this is a project for making a flatworld that makes at least some sense while resembling Earth as much as possible with only superficial differences (like, who cares about the orbits of sky objects? and some sort of seasons and stuff to create interesting geography should be enough, etc..)

Reposting this a thread on the ZBB:

You may have noticed that I’m not much of a conlanger, but sometimes I do get the hankering for something (I mean, that’s what I’m here for). But conlangs are a bit too elaborate and they take too much effort for very little gain (which is why I like neographing better: immediate results), and I don’t have the patience for it.

But I’ve been thinking for longer times that there should be more intermediate stages of conlang complexity. We start from simple language games, like Pig Latin, go through those intermediate stages (like, say caesarean codes that are readable because substitutions are made in such a way that the structure of the text remains language-like: vowels for vowels, etc.).

I’m currently planning/working on a small game project (check out my flatworld thread you guys) I’m thinking of writing in Ren’py. It’s going to be similar to one of the greatest glorantha-based clan politics simulators, King of Dragon Pass, except Finnic instead of Celtic, and with a splash of Dorf Fortress.

For the purposes of keeping everything simple, the naming-lang I’m going to use in the game will be simply a simple sound-change list applied to Old Finnic, based on modern Finnish texts.

I call it


Use as a basis Old Finnish, with some sound changes reversed: diphtongisation, consonant gradation, ti > si and e# > i#, for one. Also suppose certain lenited consonants are left, like -t/D- and many -s-es.

Merge front vowels into back vowels, who needs those!
ä > a, y > u, ö > o
In modern Finnish, -nen alternates with -se-. So crazy. I think it’s from -ńśen- or something similar, but eh.
-{nen} > ne
Finnish -lle, the whateverite case is a fun example of analogy: sna > ssa, lna > lla, sta > sta, lta > lta, so len > lle (its counterpart in the -s- cases is -Vn or sV:n, etc, which makes it slightly weird). Here, we’ll have the same analogy take place, just to keep it simple:
len > “lne”
v > w just cuz w is cooler
Voicing of plosives attached to a nasal
Single consonants between vowels are voiced
Geminates are shortened (in this order, obviously)
h > 0
The second syllable of a root is lost if the coda is not heavy or too heavy consonant clusters are formed, lots of fudging is involved.
voiced consonant + voiceless > voiced geminate
l > n / _m _p _t _k _w (this bit is shamelessly stolen from Udmurt… though I know it only because the equivalent of Ilmarinen in udmurtian mythology is Inmar)
r# > l
k#, ks, kt > ć /tS/
t# > i
m# > w > u
sn > z (this to have something else than -ssa, which is pretty distinctive… And reminds people of quenya)
n# > l
st > ś [S]
sk > śt
sp > śp
nt# > n (a good chance to reintroduce word final n, and to fix a word that contained “cunt” in it :| )
Nasal assimilation, except for !nm and some other stuff I haven’t thought of yet.

Example sentence, with before and after:

[b]The Universal Declaration of Lorem Ipsum[/b]
[i]Kaikki ihmiset syntyvät vapaina ja tasavertaisina arvoltaan ja oikeuksiltaan. Heille on annettu järki ja omatunto, ja heidän on toimittava toisiaan kohtaan veljeyden hengessä.[/i]
Caić inminei sundwai wabaina ya taswertainina arwontāl ya oigeućintāl. Einne ol andetu yarc ya ondund, ya eidal on tointawa toināl cotāl weleudel engeza.

[b]First and second stanza from the first rune of the Kalevala[/b]
[i]Mieleni minun tekevi, aivoni ajattelevi lähteäni laulamahan, saa’ani sanelemahan, sukuvirttä suoltamahan, lajivirttä laulamahan. Sanat suussani sulavat, puhe’et putoelevat, kielelleni kerkiävät, hampahilleni hajoovat.[/i]
Mienni minul tegwi laddani launmāl, sanni sanmāl, sugwirdda sōntmāl, laiwirdda launmāl, sant sūz’ni sumwai, puēt pudelwai, cēlnneni cercawai, ambasinneni aiwai.
Veli kulta, veikkoseni, kaunis kasvinkumppalini!
Lähe nyt kanssa laulamahan, saa kera sanelemahan
yhtehen yhyttyämme, kahta’alta käytyämme!
Harvoin yhtehen yhymme, saamme toinen toisihimme
näillä raukoilla rajoilla, poloisilla Pohjan mailla.[/i]
Welcun, weicneni, caunis caswincumplini!
La nui canza launmāl, sal cel sallemāl
ućel ućtuamme, caćyanta caudamme!
Arwoil ućeu ućumme, sāmme toine toinimme
nainna raucinna rainna, polininna Poyal mainna.

[b]A bit from the fi.wikipedia article on Väinämöinen, the Eternal Sage and the dirty old man of Finnic mythology (plus the Demiurge and creator of the world)[/b]
[i]Monissa kansanrunoissa Väinämöinen on olemassa jo ennen maailmaa. Hän auttaa maailman luomisessa. Väinämöisen syntymästä kerrotaan joko, että hän syntyi yksin, tai että hänet synnytti Iro-neito. Eräässä yleisessä kansanrunossa Väinämöinen syntyy yöllä, tekee päivällä pajan, takoo rautaisen hevosen, ja ratsastaa sillä veden päällä. Katkera lappalainen (sama kuin Kalevalan Joukahainen) ampuu Väinämöisen hevosen selästä alkumereen. Monissa myyttisissä kertomuksissa toistuva pohjoisessa olevan pahan maan (Lapin tai Pohjolan) ja “omien” tai “hyvien” vastakkainasettelu on siis olemassa jo ennen maailmaa.[/i]
Moniza canzanrunoiza Wainmaine ol onmaza jo endel māinmada. Al audda māinmal lōmneza. Wainmainel sundmaś cerddāl yog, eta al sundi ućn, tai eta alt sunddi Ir-neī. Ersaza ulineza canzanrunoza Wainmaine sundu uonna, tege paiwanna pajau, tago raudineu ebneu, ya ratsastā sinna wedl pānna. Catcra lapplaine (sau cuil Calwalal Youcaineu) ambu Wainmaineu ebneu sencäś ancmerel. Moniza mūtniza certmućiza toiśuwa pojineza olwal pāl māl (Lapil tai Poilal) ja “omiel” tai “uwiel” waśacainastelu ol sīs onmaza yo endel māinmada.

The purpose of this whole exercise is to create a simple conlangette or codelang. It should be so simple that if someone is foolish enough, they could learn how to translate from Finnish into this quite easily. Yet, at the same time it was a different look to it, and it isn’t immediately obvious to an untrained foreign eye that this is Finnish.

Some names I’ve made up, I mean, this *is* a naming lang:
Väinätär (female version of a Väinä-based named… A version of Väinämöinen would literally be Väinämätär, I guess, but nah.) > Waindal
Ilmari or Ilmar (root in Ilmarinen) > Inmal.. Maybe I’ll have an Inmadal or Indal Lemb, Lembingaine?

Procrastination gets the creative juices going

Hi, still unemployed. I have trouble getting anything done. Some small stuff on the script, but not much.
I’ve got some inspiration for a game, though. A relatively simple one, with lots of writing but little coding, using Ren’py as the engine.
“King of Dwagon Fortress” is the working title.
It’s a King of Dragon Pass clone, with a Dwarf Fortress-lite-like theme. Not straight-up rip-offs of either, but, y’know. Steal from the best and the popular. King of Dragon Pass is one of my favourite games of all time, and I’ve been thinking for a while that someone should attempt to make a modern clone of it. Dwarf Fortress, similar to King of Dragon Pass in its theme, is popular memetically, and the combination just has that delicious smell, doesn’t it? The roleplaying and gaming aspects of King of Dragon Pass with the sociopathic comedy of Dwarf Fortress…
Writing a KoDP game with Ren’py should be relatively simple. The game itself is a very close cousin to the VN genre, and certainly you can create quite complex simulations in Ren’py, if you add a lot of Python code inbetween the easy bits. KoDP is a game that runs through five seasons of the year, each year strewn with random events and other stuff happening, and everything happens on static screens sans animation: just background images, music, text and your excellent clan ring advisors. The most difficult bit to emulate would be the clan ring: seven people in the lower part of the screen that give you pertinent (and not-so-pertinent) advice, information and story; each advisor is chosen from a pool of “PC” nobles, with their own stats, main-gods and personality. Try KoDP, it is great; it was published in 1999, but the original publishers at A#Sharp are still selling copies ($20) when someone can bother to run the cd-burner. In any case, the game won’t be a completely clone; probably rather simplified, but still. Something very much like it.
Dwarf Fortress is inspiration for the setting, but in other ways, it won’t be very influential. The fact that the people in DF are dwarves (or is it dwarfs in DF?) isn’t really important, so the people in KoDF will be just humans. Bits I’ll steal: mining, underground, overground, comedic sociopathy, sieges, crafting and that there won’t be as much diplomacy as in KoDP: in KoDP, the game is centered on the fact that you’re in the eponymous valley with a bunch of other clans, while in DF, you’re a lone colony in the wilderness. Something between these two would probably be good.
I’ve been thinking about the setting further, and I’m thinking of simply hiding a lot of Finnish and Finnic fluff in a fantasy skin. Why reinvent sliced bread? So this game won’t have very much of my heartblood in it (like would be in the case if I ever make Three and One Hearts), but if it smells like Dwarf Fortress, booze and Finnishness, it should prove at least marginally popular: this is important if I ever want to finish the game, because I’m certainly not going to be able to do it alone.
The mythology of the setting will be Finnic, with a lot of animism. I mentioned crafting: in DF, dwarves sometimes get a feverish urge to create a masterpiece craftwork of some kind, which is a very neat bit of fluff to steal. One idea to incorporate this into KoDF would be that craftsmen get possessed by a spirit of an object (one that has died or maybe a new one that is yet uncreated), and then they create a treasure (with bonuses and uses as magical items as in KoDP). Magic would be shamanistic and sympathetic, good old “hard fantasy” style religious magic, not modern autistic Vancian engineer magic. In Finnic mythology, spells are cast by saying secret runes; in modern fantasy literature, you have the concept of “true name”, which is a bit taken from some real-world mythologies, but in Finnic mythology names aren’t the important bit, but the Origin Stories of things. Thus, if you know the Origin of Fire, you can control it, etc. This is very similar to the mythology in KoDP (Heroquests in particular; the whole thing is probably pretty common in world mythologies), but it’s a nice way to distance this game from other magic systems. Other spells are done by controlling spirits, etc. In KoDP, there were shamanistic Heroquests that were segments of roleplay, where a PC would attempt to re-enact old myths to gain the favour of the gods (or rather, to become one with them); there’s a lot of shamanistic Finnic stuff too, though it’s more commonly just travelling in the underworld or in the land of the dead for information or help. I’m still not sure whether to have something similar to heroquesting in KoDF, though.
In any case, if I ever write the basic code, the PC engine, and some basic events and stories and stuff in Ren’py, the next step is to go around to beg for someone to replace whatever placeholding graphics I’m using at the time. But that’s still long off.
I’m just writing this down to remind my future self of what a fool he used to be.