Setting: Envision

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Setting: Envision

Postby ErinFlight » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:20 pm

In this setting, people have the ability to create magical companions called Vys.
You create a Vys by imagining it existing in and interacting with the world around you. When you believe it is real, it becomes real.
Creating a Vys is an ordeal. It requires several days of unbroken concentration (though there are exceptions especially with young children).

One who creates a Vys is a Prelude.
Vys are divided into four categories:

Fade
Fade are temporary companions who are never truly alive. They can be created by forcing your will onto the world. They have no practical use except perhaps as a way to show off and disappear the second you stop focusing on them.

Chaal
The most common type of Vys. They live but cannot think. They are usually created by accident when someone is attempting to create a more powerful Vys. Most people have one by the time they're an adult. As they are not fully independent, they permanently hold on to a portion of their prelude's mental energy, making it impossible for their prelude to create another Vys.

It is possible to get rid of them, but difficult.


Vele
They are sentient, but not truly autonomous. They tend to remain loyal to their prelude and stick close to them.
They shape their own form and powers to an extent, but remain close to their prelude's original goals.
They have magic that is often limited to a small range or that is limited to themselves and their prelude. For instance, Vele may have magic that enables them to fly despite the lack of aerodynamics in their wings, but are unlikely to be able to grant others the gift of flight unless they are carrying them.

Most preludes aim to create a Vele.

Vitaal
The most powerful type of Vys. They are truly autonomous. They can be arbitrarily powerful, though their form and abilities rarely matches the intent of their prelude.
Vitaal are seen as incredibly dangerous and few preludes intentionally create one.

Magic:

The magic of the Vys has only one rule, the laws of physics reassert themselves without the Vys's active intervention.
In other words, Vys can not create self sustaining magic.

Vys can more accurately be described as magical beings than beings that do magic.
Though a Vys can have almost any power, a singe Vys can not have all powers.
Many Vys have prelude specific powers or abilities that are separate from or more powerful than the rest of their magic.

Vys exist as long as their creators exist. The only way to kill a Vys is to kill their creator.

Preludes can have more that one Vys, but jealous Vys can interfere in the creation of others and if a Prelude accidentally creates a Chaal they must kill the Chaal to create another companion.
Vys can be erased, but sentient Vys will resist this and are usually successful. Erasing requires equal effort and time to creation, but stopping erasing does not. Vys can tell the moment their prelude tries to erase them.

Setting:
There are large stretches of wilderness in this world. It isn’t quite a planet, but a space that extends outward in repeating, slightly altered patterns. People are growing outward from the starting point, but have only reached so far. The world goes on potentially forever. The color of the sun changes depending on where you are, as does the position, but the sun seems to rise and set like normal.

Some people theorize that the entire world is a companion, but others think this is ridiculous.


What do you think? Any questions?
I have more information about the culture and history of the setting but I didn't want this to get too long.
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Re: Setting: Envision

Postby DanielH » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:28 pm

Why do chaals block the creation of other vys, but the rest do not? Can you have a chaal and something else if you create the chaal last?
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Re: Setting: Envision

Postby ErinFlight » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:33 pm

When you create a Vys, it requires a certain amount of concentration. Once you create a Vele or Vitaal they can stand on their own and that mental energy returns to you. But a Chaal can't exist independently, so it permanently holds onto the mental energy/concentration you would need to make another Vys.

You can have another Vys and a Chaal if you make the Chaal last.
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Re: Setting: Envision

Postby Moriwen » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:45 pm

Ooh! Setting!

Various questions:

You say "the only way to kill a Vys is to kill their creator" but also "if a Prelude accidentally creates a Chaal they must kill the Chaal to create another companion" (and "Chaal: the most common type of Vys.") Is killing Vys different for their creators than for other people? Or are Chaal different from other Vys?

"though there are exceptions especially with young children" -- is it easier for children to create Vys than adults, then? (Do children accidentally/ill-advisedly create Vitaal?)

In what ways can Vys interfere with their Prelude creating other Vys?

"most people" have a Chaal -- how common is it to have something else/nothing at all/multiple Vys?

What's the legal and social status of Vele and Vitaal? Can you kill yours without consequence? What's the consequence for killing someone else's? Can you marry your own/someone else's? If you're having a private conversation with someone, do you send your Vele out of the room? Do you bring your Vele with you to your college dorm room? What if they don't get along with your roommate? Can a Vele or Vitaal own property? Register for college? Sign a contract? Do people form friendships with Vele independently of their Preludes -- maybe you get along with someone's Vele, but not with them particularly? Would you let your/someone else's Vele babysit for you? Can a Vitaal move in next door, or would they get chased out with pitchforks/have people fleeing the town in terror?

(I am having a hard time convincing my brain that all of these nouns are irregular plurals. XD)

Is there magic inclining Vele to stick close to their Preludes, or is that just a side effect of sharing their goals? (If you create a Vele because you want them to go out on adventures and send you back treasure, are they going to be happy adventuring through the world without you, or miserable about the separation?)

Can Vys have children?

Are most Vys humanoid? Or on the other hand, would it be "weird" to make a Vys who looked too human? Are there other conventions about/limitations on how they look?

Can you change aspects of your Vys after you've created them? Can you erase one only partway?

I am curious about the culture/tech level!
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Re: Setting: Envision

Postby ErinFlight » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:10 pm

Moriwen wrote:You say "the only way to kill a Vys is to kill their creator" but also "if a Prelude accidentally creates a Chaal they must kill the Chaal to create another companion" (and "Chaal: the most common type of Vys.") Is killing Vys different for their creators than for other people? Or are Chaal different from other Vys?

So Prelude's are an exception to this rule because they are essentially uncreating the Vys. What this means is that Vys can't be destroyed by attacking their physical body. Vys can only be destroyed through their Prelude (which can include their prelude erasing them).

Moriwen wrote:"though there are exceptions especially with young children" -- is it easier for children to create Vys than adults, then? (Do children accidentally/ill-advisedly create Vitaal?)

It is significantly easier for children to create Vys than adults, but it's usually not intentional. Many children in dangerous situations or who are especially lonely or who have vivid imaginations will end up with a Vele or Vitaal, though Chaal are very rare in children. This is is likely because children create Vys in sudden, extremely strong bursts instead of the long periods of intense concentration required by adults.
Children also make Fades extremely often and with less effort than is required for adults. If you go to an elementary school, you will be surrounded by dozens of half-solid disappearing and reappearing creatures.

Moriwen wrote:In what ways can Vys interfere with their Prelude creating other Vys?

Two ways. The first is to physically distract their Prelude's concentration and the second is to use their connection to their Prelude to disrupt the forming connection to the new Vys.

Moriwen wrote:"most people" have a Chaal -- how common is it to have something else/nothing at all/multiple Vys?


I don't have exact numbers, but I would say 5% to 10% of the population have a Vele. About 20% of those have two Vele and maybe 1% has more than two.
Vitaal are very very rare, but because of a Vitaal's power their Preludes tend to live a long time. So perhaps, 0.1% of the population creates a Vitaal, but the majority of Preludes who created Vitaal in the past are still alive.

The percentage of the population with nothing at all varies over time. So in college, maybe 80% have nothing and 30s-40s, 40% have nothing. Perhaps about 15% of people die without ever having created a Vys.
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Re: Setting: Envision

Postby ErinFlight » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:45 pm

ErinFlight wrote:What's the legal and social status of Vele and Vitaal?


Vys rights are an odd thing. Only a small percentage of Vys are humanoid and most don’t have normal needs. Many speak only to their creators. Companions who are capable of doing something like working a job, buying a house are allowed to, but they don’t typically integrate into society.

Vele are treated as extensions of their Prelude. Because of a Vele's lack of physical needs it is fairly rare of them to join the work force independently of their Prelude, but if they did their earnings would belong to their creator the same way a child's technically belong to their parents.

Forming a close relationship with someone else's Vele is considered a bad idea, unless you already have a relationship with the Prelude, but is not taboo. Sexual relationships with Vele are considered odd, especially when the Vele is non humanoid, but is not considered immoral between a Vele and their Prelude. Having a sexual relationship with someone else’s Vele is definitely a taboo, but it is not illegal. As Vele aren't considered individual members of society, you can't legally marry one.

Chaal are treated like pets and often resemble animals. Sexual relationships with Chaal are considered disgusting and are illegal in many places.
Humanoid Chaal tend to make people very uncomfortable. They hit the uncanny valley. Usually, to avoid this, they are created with some clear non-human feature like wings or reptilian skin.

Vele and Vitaal are often humanoid, though few look entirely human.

Creating a Vys of any type that looks identical to the Prelude is a very strong taboo and can make it difficult to get a job in the way a facial tattoo would in our society.

Vitaal rarely stay in normal society, but if they do they face the same social norms and customs as Vele with an additional undercurrent of fear.

Outside of mainstream society, there are communities that are only sentient Vys and Preludes. These are geographically divorced form the rest of human civilization and the laws and norms are very different. Vitaal often live in these communities and sometimes their Preludes are kept in them by force.

In general, if a Prelude kills their Vele it is assumed they wanted to die and there are no laws against it. If this is obviously not the case, the Prelude may be in danger from individual angry Vele or Vitaal.

There are no known cases of Prelude successfully erasing a Vitaal.
There is a code among Vitaal not to kill each others Preludes. It’s not magically enforced, it can be broken, but doing so will likely result in your own Prelude getting killed.

Moriwen wrote:Is there magic inclining Vele to stick close to their Preludes, or is that just a side effect of sharing their goals? (If you create a Vele because you want them to go out on adventures and send you back treasure, are they going to be happy adventuring through the world without you, or miserable about the separation?)


It's a side effect of sharing their Prelude's goals and having their Prelude be their primary reason for existing. A Vele can be happy going on adventures for their Prelude, but would be unhappy if their Prelude simply didn't want them around anymore.

Moriwen wrote:Can you change aspects of your Vys after you've created them?

No, but a Vys can change themselves.

Moriwen wrote:I am curious about the culture/tech level!

They are a decently high tech civilization. They have electricity, fridges and televisions. They haven’t gotten as far with computers and most computers still fill an entire room.
Trains and ships are the primary means of transportation. Planes exist, but are small and aren't good at carrying large amounts of cargo or passengers.

In terms of social equality, they are fairly liberal. The genders always had equal rights as power was determined not by physical strength but ability to create a powerful Vys.
Human ethnic groups have clashed, but Vys prevented any one group from completely dominating another and infinite space to expand removed one major reason for conflict. People are still prejudiced against people who are different from them, but there is no one group that gained the upper hand and as humans spread farther from their original point the divisions between different societies became less clear.

The ability for anyone to be powerful removed a lot of room for prejudice. Any individual from an oppressed group of people could create a powerful Vys and being in an oppressed group gives them more incentive to do so.

In history, most governments were ruled or aided by people with strong Vys. Coups happened when the next in line failed to create a strong Vys or someone with a stronger Vys appeared.
Nowdays, people with Vele are usually the major candidates for office.
People are campaigning to get people without strong Vele into office. It has started to happen at the lower levels, but up top most people still have Vys.

Many parents put their children through Vys creation training. This may be somewhat helpful, but people who created powerful Vys use widely varying strategies. There is a certain amount of natural talent or creativity or motivation involved.

There is a group of Preludes who have been alive for a long time. A handful are dictators of smaller countries. They are usually but not always rich. Many have withdrawn from society. A few with very useful powers have become depended on by their society.

Thanks for all the questions!
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Re: Setting: Envision

Postby Moriwen » Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:24 pm

I (as always) have more questions -- if you get tired of them, feel free to put off/not have answers. :)

Do people end up taking advantage of children's Vys-producing ability? (Armies of small children with their Vele?)

Most people don't have Vele -- is that because (a) they don't want them? (b) they don't have the patience to create them? (c) they can't create them? (d) they locked themselves out by accidentally creating a Chaal? (e) other?

Presumably Vys don't need to eat. Can they? Do they get hungry? Do they find eating enjoyable?

Are the rare people who have one Vitaal likely to have a second (since they've demonstrated the ability/inclination/recklessness necessary)? Similarly, if someone is able to pull off a Vele once, are they likely to be able to do it repeatedly and make a whole bunch (if they want to)?

Are Vitaal and Vele more-or-less human-brained, or do they usually function in notably alien ways?

Could you make a Vele/Vitaal of someone you know (imitating them physically? mentally?) (no I'm totally not trying to induce kappa to instantiate a vys!mark, shh)

Do governments require people to, like, register their Vys/get them birth certificates/get a license before creating one?

There's no legal protections for a Vys if, say, their Prelude decides to keep them tied up in the basement and torture them for fun? Not even something similar to animal cruelty laws? Just other Preludes/Vys coming after them? (Would the other Preludes/Vys then be in legal trouble for assault/trespassing?)

If a Vys commits a crime, is their Prelude legally responsible? Socially? Does it vary by type of Vys? (Is there a procedure to legally "emancipate" a Vys?)

How do prisons work here, when any prisoner could presumably create a Vys? Do the guards make sure to interrupt them if they start meditating? How do they handle people who already have Vys?

If a child creates the Vys, is the Vys usually childlike (in personality/emotions/intellect/general maturity)? How do you handle an unruly kid with their own Vele, especially if you don't have on yourself?
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Re: Setting: Envision

Postby ErinFlight » Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:57 pm

Moriwen wrote:Do people end up taking advantage of children's Vys-producing ability? (Armies of small children with their Vele?)


As children's Vys creation is fairly spontaneous and not well thought out, so children are significantly more likely to make a Vitaal. This is worsened if the kid is making a Vys under duress instead of say due to a vivid imagination. While Vitaal aren't bound to their Prelude and they can disagree with them or even hate them, they usually start out with at least a base level of affection/loyalty. If you are making a child army and are forcing kids to make Vys, you have a decent chance that one of the kids will make a Vitaal who will then kill you.

Moriwen wrote:Most people don't have Vele -- is that because (a) they don't want them? (b) they don't have the patience to create them? (c) they can't create them? (d) they locked themselves out by accidentally creating a Chaal? (e) other?

C and D. The majority of people with Chaal's were attempting to make a Vele, but the failure rate is high. Chaal are generally pleasant to have around and you have to kill/erase them to try again to make a Vele. Also, erasing a Chaal to get something more powerful is equivalent to someone shooting a greyhound once it can no longer race. If people know it's a permanent black mark on your name.

Moriwen wrote:Presumably Vys don't need to eat. Can they? Do they get hungry? Do they find eating enjoyable?

Yes and yes, assuming they have a form that has a mouth and a tongue.

Moriwen wrote:Are the rare people who have one Vitaal likely to have a second (since they've demonstrated the ability/inclination/recklessness necessary)? Similarly, if someone is able to pull off a Vele once, are they likely to be able to do it repeatedly and make a whole bunch (if they want to)

It depends. Many Prelude's with Vitaal didn't make a Vitaal on purpose. They are very unlikely to make another one, but decently likely to try and make a Vele.
For multiple Vele, theoretically yes, but once you have two there's a decent chance of one of them getting jealous and interfering.

Moriwen wrote:Are Vitaal and Vele more-or-less human-brained, or do they usually function in notably alien ways?

Vale tend to reflect their Prelude's morality and general outlook on life, though they sometimes think or reason through problems in ways that don't make sense to a human.
Vitaal range from the very alien to the very human. They can have goals and moralities and desires that can be extremely hard to understand and thought processes that are hard to reason with. This is one of the reasons they are considered to be so dangerous.

Moriwen wrote:Could you make a Vele/Vitaal of someone you know (imitating them physically? mentally?) (no I'm totally not trying to induce kappa to instantiate a vys!mark, shh)

Yes, but when the Vys takes over it's own existence there is a decent chance it will alter itself before settling on it's final form/personality. With a Vele you could get decently close, though more in appearance than personality. With a Vitaal you'd be lucky if they even kept a faint resemblance.
But I'd say with a Vitaal, you could definitely end up with an alt Mark or an alt of anyone. The Prelude can't design the Vitaal, but they can be anyone.

Moriwen wrote:Do governments require people to, like, register their Vys/get them birth certificates/get a license before creating one?


It varies by government. Some dictatorships hide knowledge on how to create and erase a Vys, which means most people who aren't children would end up with a Chaal they can't hide.

Most governments require you to report the existence of a new Vys, but in some many people don't and it's not a big deal. In others not doing so is a serious crime.

Moriwen wrote:There's no legal protections for a Vys if, say, their Prelude decides to keep them tied up in the basement and torture them for fun? Not even something similar to animal cruelty laws? Just other Preludes/Vys coming after them? (Would the other Preludes/Vys then be in legal trouble for assault/trespassing?)

Chaal are treated similar to pets in our world. You can get away with a lot of things that are morally despicable, but you can't torture them. However, this is hard to enforce since you can't take away a Chaal.

For Vele, most are powerful enough that torturing them isn't feasible. When absolutely unavoidable, the law treats them like property. They have almost no legal protection, though if someone else hurts your Vele, the law can intervene.
However, there are several Vitaal who personally police this and the law largely doesn't interfere with them.

Moriwen wrote:If a Vys commits a crime, is their Prelude legally responsible? Socially? Does it vary by type of Vys? (Is there a procedure to legally "emancipate" a Vys?)

For a Vele, yes, a Prelude is legally responsible for their Vele's crimes, but the sentencing will change if you can give reasonable evidence the Vele acted autonomously. So for instance, you are still responsible for that car they stole, but instead of going to jail you repay the owner and show how you're going to prevent it from happening again.
Only Vitaal try to police other Vitaal. The police may ask you to try and influence your Vitaal's behavior, but they know you can't control it. In the past the Preludes of extremely dangerous Vitaal were killed even if they were innocent. Now, the Vitaal have an accord where anyone who kills a Vitaal's Prelude will be killed themselves, so this largely doesn't happen anymore.

Moriwen wrote:How do prisons work here, when any prisoner could presumably create a Vys? Do the guards make sure to interrupt them if they start meditating? How do they handle people who already have Vys?

Vele's vary in power, so prisoners with existing Vele's go to prisons with guards whose Vele's are specialized for this type of work.
You can't generally imprison someone with a Vitaal, unless their Vitaal doesn't care in which case you treat them like a Vys-less prisoner.
Prisoners who don't have a Chaal and so could theoretically make a Vys are required to either make a Chaal or agree to being interrupted every 12 hours to do a mentally intensive exercise.

Moriwen wrote:If a child creates the Vys, is the Vys usually childlike (in personality/emotions/intellect/general maturity)? How do you handle an unruly kid with their own Vele, especially if you don't have on yourself?

The Vys might have childlike morality (no understanding of moral ambiguity, following the rules is good) or childlike goals, but will not otherwise act like a child.
Generally if a child makes a Vele and it can be shown that this isn't a response to abuse, the parents/guardian will keep someone on call who is specialized in working with child Preludes (think on-call, heavily trained babysitter).

I'm not tired of the questions! I love thinking about this.
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Re: Setting: Envision

Postby DanielH » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:09 pm

I think the thing about making a Vys somebody specific, in connection with a Mark, was a Mark creating a Miles Vys. That doesn’t sound possible to do deliberately? Although perhaps a Miles would stay a Miles; how much control does the new Vys have over how they change upon creation?
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Re: Setting: Envision

Postby ErinFlight » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:12 pm

If Mark wanted to create Miles specifically, that might not work, but Mark could create a Vitaal and end up with Miles.
I'd say the Vitaal has near complete control over who they become, so a Miles could choose to stay Miles.
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