Azurite Worldbuilding Info

Abandon ignorance, all ye who enter here. Ask and ye shall receive unmarked spoilers.

Azurite Worldbuilding Info

Postby pedromvilar » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:18 pm

Based on Lapis, the newest Salmon-Carmine world where Throne and I are gonna start threading soon!

Spoilers for Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Seasons 8+
The Seed of Wonder
In canon sunnyverse, there exists a thing called The Seed of Wonder. It is basically the soul of the universe and the source of all magic. Buffy's dimension was created from the Seed, as a spillover from another realm, and it serves as a "cork," keeping magic working in this universe and preventing it from leaking back to where it came from. Without the Seed, all magic's gone, people can't access other dimensions, newly sired vampires' demons never get access to their new hosts so they become zombie-vampires instead, the Key (canonically Dawn, in Effulgence Soph) disappears, witches stop having magic, new Slayers stop appearing, stuff like that. It's also tied to hope and happiness, when it's destroyed people are less creative, suicide rates spike up, etc. When the Seed was restored, magic was a blank slate, and started to react to people's expectations and shape itself around them, with completely new and revamped rules (which are written on the Vampyr book and anyone who possessed it could write on it to alter the laws, according to the Seed's whimsical interpretation).

The Seed of Magic
Azurite has a Seed of Magic that has existed for as long as the universe has. However, it was inactive, dormant since the start. Until it was not. One might ask, why would it awaken now? To which one answers, why not? It doesn't experience time the same way we do, and now is as good a time as any. It dispenses magic very slowly, deciding on new rules for how things should work, testing around. It has a strange sense of aesthetics, but not a whole lot of creativity, and it borrows human knowledge to shape and experiment and find what it likes. Anyone with control over the Seed will be able to reshape magic at will, but no one even knows it exists, or what it looks like, or where it is, so that shouldn't be a problem... right?

Shapeshifting
One of the first tries of the Seed was shapeshifting. The Seed doesn't quite like being obvious - it's somewhat shy, and prefers to do behind-the-scenes overlooked work. A person who can do this doesn't exactly have full control over their shape, per se; rather, their subconscious does. As the obvious example, Sadde can't actually demonstrate shifting at will: on days they're a girl, they're shaped like they'd expect girl-them to be shaped; on days they're a boy, they're shaped like they'd expect boy-them to be shaped. It's also much more responsive to emotional turmoil than metamorphmagic is, and one needs to exert a lot of control over one's own emotions in order not to accidentally become the Hulk. Luckily (?), this magic has an effect of making itself normal. Someone would attribute Sadde's wild physical differences to makeup and body language, and a lot of continuous attention would need to be drawn to the magic for it to become actually noticeable by someone else. Memories involving it tend to become fuzzy and vague, only general ideas.

Vampirism
One day, the Seed stumbles upon the idea of vampires and likes it. So it decides to make someone into a vampire. That person becomes the first vampire.
  • Turning: to turn, one has to die with some vampire blood in their system. When that happens, their human blood starts being consumed to heal them completely. When either they have been healed or all of their mortal blood has been consumed (whichever happens first), they awaken as a vampire. Powers, abilities, and drawbacks scale up over the 24 hours (ish) after they wake up, slightly disorienting, not perfectly noticed but definitely noticeable.
  • Blood high: when consuming blood, the vampire... gets high. Think marijuana meets alcohol: giggly, bubbly, trippy, uninhibited, somewhat disconnected from reality. The more blood they consume, the higher they get. Which means, of course, that a neophyte who didn't consume all of their mortal blood to heal will be trrrriiiiippy.
  • Blood thirst: vampires do, in fact, need to drink blood to continue functioning. The less they have of it, the more they lose their minds and powers. A neophyte who did in fact consume all their mortal blood to heal (particularly gruesome deaths) will wake up practically mindless and needing to consume more blood. After two weeks without blood the vampire is basically a desiccated corpse who cannot move.
  • Bloodlust: the two above combine, and there's a disconnect between one's thoughts and actions. Feeding from someone doesn't feel like hurting them and draining their blood, it feels as natural as having a heartbeat, completely slipping past the conscious mind. One can learn to pay attention to this and to stop oneself from killing people, but it never becomes easier; slipping into doing it without thinking is as easy as being fooled by an optical illusion. It really doesn't help that since the more blood you drink the higher you get, you start actually losing the necessary faculties to understand your actions and stop yourself from slipping into this mindset.
  • Blood sources: vampires can drink blood from animals, but they need higher quantities of it, more often, and it makes them more susceptible to Bloodlust and to Sway (explained below).
  • Healing properties: vampire blood has healing and regenerating properties. It uses its target's DNA as blueprint to fix things, though, and giving it to someone with cancer will make them die of it. Turning a person with cancer creates a big, growing ball of cancer. Regeneration from drinking vampire blood is faster than a vampire's own regen.
  • Vampires are unable to enter residences owned by humans without an invitation. This invitation cannot be rescinded. If they're turned in someone's house, they get a temporary invitation which is rescinded as soon as they leave. The notion of who "owns" a residence is not the legal one, but rather a more-or-less common-sensical one about who actually lives there and has a reasonable say on what's there, etc.
  • Sunlight: light at UV frequencies and up has various deleterious effects on vampires. It doesn’t burn them to shreds, but they get a really painful sunburn feeling (not necessarily visible) and their powers are weakened (see Senses). Also makes them have less desire to power through things, makes them more easily Swayed, and lets them more easily fall prey to Bloodlust. It accumulates based on how long you're in the sun for, and does have a limit, but you need to get out of the sun to recover.
  • Eyes turn azurite-colored. The area around their eyes goes slightly weird when they’re hunting, with blood vessels going darker and creating lines in the skin, and their eyes go bloodshot.
  • Biting people can be erotic à la sunnyverse.
  • Regeneration: is slow and painful (due to regrowth, not due to some magical pain, is not anesthetizable; also you get phantom body if a body part is missing). It increases bloodthirst and also requires blood to function. If a vampire is reduced to atoms, the 'blood' required to function is provided by simply immersing it in blood, and with cells and larger body parts it's typically done by injecting blood. It takes a ridiculously long time if you're reduced to atoms and doesn't recreate the data that was stored in your brain, instead just creating a body based on the DNA template (which may have been destroyed, but it uses the DNA template it had before). If this would have effects such as issues with an adult learning languages, this is bypassed somewhat by the vampire cognitive upgrades, and also neuroplasticity is increased in the newly developed areas such that your brain can in fact recover (eventually, though your personality is likely destroyed; e.g. cut out a memory section, all information from there is gone, cut out a language center, regenerates to a language center but you need to re-learn the concept of speech and stuff). The bit you regenerate from, if you happen to be reduced to small pieces, is the largest (by volume) intact part of your brain. The regeneration itself works on a "nearest neighbor" principle, growing a protective thing (like a fragile skin) around the damaged parts, and then works up through bone, nerves, tendons, muscles and blood vessels, then finally proper skin. The speed of regen is proportional to a log of how much blood you have and also how much volume of your body is attached together, so it gets expensive to speed it up by blood. At a standard (not precisely defined) blood intake, the time it takes to regenerate from x% of your body mass to fully healed is 5,976,000 * ln(100/x) seconds.
  • Regeneration in a vampire goes more towards their subconscious ideal; fixes you to be at a more ideal (to you) weight, and if you happen to be MtF or FtM trans, it will (slowly) transition you, make your skin tone closer to your ideal (if you happen to wish you weren't so pale or something), things like that. Healing is prioritized over this, but when undamaged, a vampire's body slowly shifts towards this subconscious ideal.
  • Memories: post-turning memories are sharper and have more detail and better recall, and degrade less over time (maybe by a couple of orders of magnitude).
  • Senses: are much improved, but can drop to about half human acuity at lowest when in sunlight; takes about 60 minutes to drop this low in direct sunlight.
    • Hearing is about 3 miles in really good conditions in daylight with shouting. In a city, approximately six blocks (1 block ≈ 500 feet) with all the background noise and in sunlight. In a town, approximately eight blocks in sunlight.
    • Sight: better color vision, better able to tell the difference between colors and shades, better night vision, harder to damage it with a flare or something.
    • Balance and sense of acceleration are upscaled to deal with superspeed.
    • More able to sense temperature changes and textures of materials; not ridiculously but definitely higher.
    • Chronoception: standard upgrade from humans; not automatically perfect but definitely better than it was before for most people.
  • They do not need to breathe. They have a reflex, and it still feels just as painful/uncomfortable, but they can do it with focus, and also they have a higher pain threshold, and it's not actually dangerous.
  • Superspeed (like 100 km/h), superstrength (between lifting car and bus, closer to car), improved agility (jumping & etc).
  • Reduced need for sleep. However, the longer a vampire goes without sleep the more blood-per-second they consume and the thirstier/more susceptible to Bloodlust/Sway they are.
  • Food does not taste disgusting, although it tastes bland (not like dirt). Has to be expelled somehow.
  • They feel emotions more strongly.

Sway
In addition to all of the above, vampires have a thing called 'Sway,' which is a subtle mental thing to conform with the rest of this Seed's view of magic. Basically, vampires and people who interact with vampires have a thing with each other that's similar to fairlyand vassalisation: vampires "hold sway" over people about whom they possess information, and people "hold sway" over vampires about whom they possess information. Now, "information" is pretty broad. Like, the broadest thing possible. Memories count as information, but a picture also counts as information, as does a video, or a portrait, or a journal entry, or something a person wrote... If at least one of A and B is a vampire, everything A has that counts as information about B gives them some sway over B and vice-versa. Furthermore, the amount of sway is an increasing function of:
  • Accuracy/truth: false information is useless, noisy information is less useful, etc.
  • Up-to-dateness: the more B has changed since A got the piece of information about them, the less sway they have over B.
  • Resolution: a 1080p picture is better than a 720p one, vampire memories are better than human ones, etc.
  • Quantity and non-redundancy of content: making a copy of a piece of information does not help, two simultaneous pictures of a person from different angles are barely more than a single picture, videos are better than pictures, etc.
  • Transferability: the more transferable it is, the more sway that piece of info gives over someone. This is by far the most relevant of factors (although its maximum impact depends on the other factors), such that a cell-phone picture is way better at giving someone sway over someone else than even vampire memories (unless the vampire has really concentrated to memorise someone).
In practice, when you hold sway over someone, that someone finds you nicer, friendlier, more likeable, more charming, more attractive, more believable, finds themself paying more attention to you, wanting to please you more, excusing you more readily for your faults and misdeeds, doing things you ask questioning less, and less willing to harm you. This is all psychological, and like Bloodlust all resistible with attention, but like Bloodlust practice at resisting it doesn't help, it never stops requiring your attention to do it. If more than one person holds sway over you, trying to resist one makes you more susceptible to the other (there's only so much attention to go around). It's quantitative, the more Sway someone holds over you the more you do all those things and the harder it is to resist doing them, but if you hold Sway over someone who holds Sway over you then they're less effective. It never cancels out: two vampires who have exactly the same amount of information about each other still hold a little bit of sway over each other, but it does get more bearable, and since it's symmetric it's less exploitable. It's very easy to find yourself falling in love with someone who holds Sway over you. Since vampires all have much better senses and memories, they in general hold a reasonable bit of Sway over most people they meet, which gives them powers associated with mythological vampires, somewhat able to compel people to do things against their will.

It's not required for you to actually know that you possess a piece of information about someone, but magic has a very common-sensical approach to possessing information. People almost invariably think of their thoughts as theirs, so memories always belong to... well, their owners. If you took a picture and it's in your phone or in your bag, it's yours, but if someone drops a picture in your bag it may not be, depending on whether you'd look at it and go "hey this is weird whose is this?" or "oh cool I have a new thing." The information doesn't have to be on your person, though - if you record someone and leave the video at home, it still belongs to you and for Sway purposes is yours. If you record a video and leave it on your computer and then someone else erases it from your hard drive, the Sway it gave you goes away even if you didn't know about it (if the video is recoverable it doesn't completely go away but it's reduced proportionally to how difficult it is to recover). Many people holding Sway over you feels weird and creepy, a bit like you're being observed, because they all feel like you should pay attention to them all the time.
Last edited by pedromvilar on Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
pedromvilar
 
Posts: 1172
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:48 am
Pronouns: *shrug*

Re: Azurite Worldbuilding Info

Postby Throne3d » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:19 pm

I am excited.

That is all.
User avatar
Throne3d
 
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:11 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Pronouns: He/him/his

Re: Azurite Worldbuilding Info

Postby rockeye_stonetoe » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:40 pm

If my characters find out about Sway:

Nick sets up an extremely aggressive counter-surveillance system. Steel is good at ignoring Sway and similar things. Terry hacks and downloads a copy of security feeds from like everywhere. Gren is creeped out and starts second-guessing all her friendships and decisions.

Does Sway only occur between vampires and humans and vampires and vampires?
User avatar
rockeye_stonetoe
 
Posts: 381
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:57 pm
Pronouns: He

Re: Azurite Worldbuilding Info

Postby Throne3d » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:15 pm

Doesn't happen between humans and humans, if that's what you're asking? Between humans and other non-Azurite-local species, also probably doesn't occur (Pedro, feel free to contradict me here), but between vampires and non-Azurite-local species, it does occur, I think.

So if an Azurite vampire got dropped on some elves or dwarves (or maybe even some kobolds), let's say, I'm pretty sure it would occur.
User avatar
Throne3d
 
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:11 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Pronouns: He/him/his

Re: Azurite Worldbuilding Info

Postby Adelene » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:39 pm

Lurker herself would be - not immune to sway exactly, but especially good at working around it. (Speakers in general would be better than usual and she's also got a 'just because I like this person doesn't mean I can trust them' skill she's really good at.) She's utterly horrified at what it'd do to her tribe, though.
Utility Admin
User avatar
Adelene
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:18 pm
Pronouns: they

Re: Azurite Worldbuilding Info

Postby Throne3d » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:12 pm

Adelene wrote:Lurker herself would be - not immune to sway exactly, but especially good at working around it. (Speakers in general would be better than usual and she's also got a 'just because I like this person doesn't mean I can trust them' skill she's really good at.) She's utterly horrified at what it'd do to her tribe, though.

I don't know if this affects it, since Lurker might be good at getting around it anyway, but it's not so much just liking someone, it's also just instinctively trusting them more than you probably "should" and not noticing that – automatically, if you don't think about it properly and recognize that it's occurring, and still occurring even if you do.
User avatar
Throne3d
 
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:11 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Pronouns: He/him/his

Re: Azurite Worldbuilding Info

Postby pedromvilar » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:18 pm

The whole thing, instinctive trust, liking more, not questioning, etc, is just the... outward symptoms of it, in a way? Sway is a magical subconscious tug that the person's presence exerts over you, which by design tries to subvert any skills you've acquired relating to this and stuff. I think the best metaphor is "adding a backdoor" to people's brains, a person who has Sway over you becomes an automatic exception to all the rules that apply to how relationships work.

Which is not to say Lurker might not be especially good at dealing with it but I think her skills would probably not automatically translate to her being able to work around it easily. I can totally see her noticing Sway's in effect pretty quickly, though, and figuring out how to deal with it. But in general, the "backdoor" metaphor is what we're looking at, one which you can constantly watch and whose inputs and outputs you can examine, but one you cannot actually meaningfully close.
User avatar
pedromvilar
 
Posts: 1172
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:48 am
Pronouns: *shrug*

Re: Azurite Worldbuilding Info

Postby Kappa » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:33 pm

a poll of my characters finds them nearly unanimous in wanting to burn Sway to the ground
User avatar
Kappa
 
Posts: 3554
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:47 pm
Location: under a pile of Jokers
Pronouns: 'He' or 'she', interchangeably

Re: Azurite Worldbuilding Info

Postby pedromvilar » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:38 pm

<3 mission accomplished
User avatar
pedromvilar
 
Posts: 1172
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:48 am
Pronouns: *shrug*

Re: Azurite Worldbuilding Info

Postby Adelene » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:16 pm

pedromvilar wrote:The whole thing, instinctive trust, liking more, not questioning, etc, is just the... outward symptoms of it, in a way? Sway is a magical subconscious tug that the person's presence exerts over you, which by design tries to subvert any skills you've acquired relating to this and stuff. I think the best metaphor is "adding a backdoor" to people's brains, a person who has Sway over you becomes an automatic exception to all the rules that apply to how relationships work.

Which is not to say Lurker might not be especially good at dealing with it but I think her skills would probably not automatically translate to her being able to work around it easily. I can totally see her noticing Sway's in effect pretty quickly, though, and figuring out how to deal with it. But in general, the "backdoor" metaphor is what we're looking at, one which you can constantly watch and whose inputs and outputs you can examine, but one you cannot actually meaningfully close.


*nodnod* 'especially good at working around it' could definitely fail to translate to 'not having an problems related to it', yeah.
Utility Admin
User avatar
Adelene
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:18 pm
Pronouns: they

Next

Return to Spoilerland!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron