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World

Pala


The eastern supercontinent.  Here man has risen and fallen again, resulting in a current re-rising… on behalf of the unhumans, a gigantic servant species created and then of course hubristically oppressed/hilariously allowed to rebel by humans in the distant past.  The unhumans were driven into the great jungles and stayed there until about a hundred years ago, when a visionary, Lenin-esque leader named Gazaarou led a brutal second war against the humans and succeeded in rendering the federated Unhuman Kingdoms the only real power on Pala.

Now the unhumans have recovered or parallel discovered most science up through the Enlightenment and have a huge store of archaetech (pre-this Age) weaponry and are set to fuck shit up elsewhere, having of course immediately forgotten Gazaarou’s whole ethical/live and let live/free the oppressed point.  Here, the species would be humans, gmothi (the ancient tiny humans, violently against all psionics/world government/space travel type stuff), greens (who are only now leaving the Chasm), unhumans, the squamids (varanids and scincids), and of course possible interlopers from elsewhere, particularly landlusting quans or ammon.  The people of Pala are not, with perhaps a very few exceptions, skilled in hell science [psionic].

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Latura


The western supercontinent.  A desert, capped by a vast plain of salt—a very dead sea—hemmed in by mountains.  To the east, unreachable, lies Pala.  To the west, a sea of algae so dense that the air above it is unbreathably rich in oxygen, and the life beneath that sea, utterly alien to us.  In the center of Latura, there is luckily a massive inland saltwater sea called Marr, or simply the sea, around which a few miles of land sustain cereals and other crops.  Here is the second cradle of man’s life.  In the Second Age of Man, the great culture of Pala, the Tephnian Empire, was in contact with Latura and demanded tribute from its peoples.  Now the two supercontinents are incommunicado, though this is surely soon to change.  Latura is mostly one Roman-esque empire, with a large but impoverished enemy in the land of Nur, where a sort of necromantic death-cult rules over the semi-arid farms and stone towns.  Here only men and gmothi dwell.  The Laturans, especially the people of Nur, can excel at what they call the “bad science” or, more commonly, the “hell science.”

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The Five Mesas


The really, reeeally shitty southern desert of Latura.  Man ekes by here atop six great mesas, one of which was obliterated more or less in an ancient war, hence the name.  Invincible aliens live quietly in a city of black glass to the south.  This is where the psionics shit is off the chains.  The hell sciences are technically banned, since they, you know, can lead to blown up mega-cities and shit, but they are secretly practiced all over the five remaining cities, where they have been codified into the nine Mysteries (which parallel the nine Deaths of Nur).  The hell sciences have resulted in the creation, centuries ago, of the Hannahs and Horseheaded Men, who are now citizens of the regions’ so-called humanos polity (non-monster, non-alien).  Also, the aliens (called xanjin, which just means “the strangers”) sometimes free their servants, who wander north and are allowed to live with the humans, gmothi, and others.  These servants are the freemasks, who never reveal (or do not know) their lives before their freedoms.  A very strange, austere, image-driven setting.

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The West

The slim western part of the supercontinent that is mostly Latura proper consists of the “Eggs,” or the empires of the mantids, as well as THE Empire of the formori, or antmen.  These species are both far younger, in terms of civilization, than humanity.  Mantids are currently all of a species, though some in the far west (The Changing Egg) have regained the secret of genetic engineering (gengineering); formori come in many species, sizes, and shapes, but all are basically larger versions of the familiar ant.  Their Empire spans below a desert the size of Brasil.  After a brutal war in which the Eggs discarded their differences to keep out the Empire from the north of the West, the two types of insectid are at peace, and both are developing means of traveling through the Sea of Waste (the algae sea) and the Endless Ocean (which is simply too far to cross, at present, by flight atop giant beetle or otherwise).  Gmothi also dwell in some parts of the West, though the formori usually enslave and eat them.  Insectids cannot develop the hell science.

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The Ocean

Finally, there’s the ocean and the solitary laboratories of the ammon, who evolved sentience long ago but only very recently went through an enlightenment and realized they could genetically keep themselves alive much longer than their natural 2-3 years.  Now each ammon lives effectively forever, as long as he can grow the right kelp and whatnot.  Going on land for some reason puts them at a huge risk, but they’re curious egotists, always seeking means of living forever.  The quans, on the other hand, are the least civilized of the sentient species and mostly dwell in the two great cities where they were first introduced to the sea, millions of years ago.  After so many years of decay, their culture consists of an underwater Stone Age understanding of hunting, gathering, and building some basic shelter, during strange currents.  They do not typically get along with the ammon.  It is conceivable, given that they do have drygill tech (in some areas) they would go on land to seek their fortunes.

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