Weyr Oh Weyr - A Nicer Pern (Planning/OOC)

Discussion in 'It's Galley's Turn' started by Raire, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    He really would. I first read about him about a week after I first read Dragonquest and I remember thinking "He's Fandarel, just smaller and with a loathing for Edison," and that's how I remembered who he was for like, five years. Then I remembered him as the guy who invented lightning cannons and remote controlled toys.
     
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  2. VJ Wocky

    VJ Wocky 34 Somnolent Void Seeks Perfection in Dissonance

    YAAAS

    YAAAAAAS

    YAAAAAAAAAS

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAS

    #i need it all #gimmie
     
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  3. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    *applauds from corner*
    (I'll be back and posting ideas and things when I finish big work translation work TuT)
     
  4. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    I seem to have hit on something we didn't know we needed! :D

    Ok, spoilering for me employing my vast history of wikipedia-crawls (like dungeon crawls, but the loot is cool facts and the enemies are perpetuated myths):

    Pre-emptive strike on the topic of "iff we add ALL of that, it won't be Pern, it'll be too modern!": These are all inventions that were made in a fifty-year time span, in a period of relative (sort of, and really only for the specific areas and times the inventors lived in) international peace, with no near-daily threat of death or overwhelming disaster to those inventing. We can cut off the expansion of tech simply by saying "and then Thread started falling again and we were all too busy doing repairs and filling orders from the quintupled dragonrider population to do any inventing for a while, or at least too busy to mass produce anything we didn't already have perfected, so we only have the one of those things, and the guy that made it only has the chance to tinker with it like, once a month, tops." Bam, tech level goes stagnant for fifty years, resume when death by space is no longer a daily threat.

    ANYHOO

    We went from "messing about with static electricity" to the Voltaic Pile (continuous, stable power) in about 50 years. From the Voltaic Pile to the Daniel Cell (the one Fandarel created) took another thirty years. For proper Tesla Tech, we need one of the next two major steps: the Lead-Acid, or the Zinc-Carbon. The benefit of the Lead-Acid is that it's rechargable, and is basically a car-battery. Downside is the early ones were portable, but not super portable. They'd be good for use on ground-based equipment, not hand-held. The Zinc-Carbon are dry cell batteries, so they were SUPER portable, pretty light, and about as strong as a double-A. In other words, perfect for using aboard a dragon.

    yes, this means lightning guns on a dragon, a whole wing of dragons descending from the heavens wreathed in lightning like valkyries, accompanied by Holders with thunder cannons able to take out more Thread in the air in a single shot than any paltry agenothree thrower could dream of.

    Now, as for non-portable shenaniganry! Things that would be thought of today as functional generators were invented about ten years after the Daniel Cell, but it fought tooth and nail to keep up with steam and coal gas as Top Power Source for fifty years, but won out in the very early 1900s, around the invention of powered flight, the refridgerator, and the publicly-available car. But that all smacks of AIVAS-tech stuff to me, so I'm putting in a vote for ~1850's tech levels.

    As for guns, frankly the only reason they didn't get re-invented in the 2,000-odd turns since landing is because Anne wanted her medieval story, dang it. Someone messes about with gunpowder, finds out it booms rather than burns in a confined space, finds out the boom makes things go like spit-wads on ecstacy, but also makes the tube blow up, tries it with a metal tube, bam! gun. Get the Thundersmith hall on that, and you've gone from bangsticks to revolvers in a decade.

    Also, trains! trains trains trains! Ten full-mark pieces say the Thundersmith Hall would have invented trains in a flipping heartbeat. The first working telegraph was invented in 1816, and the first working locomotive in 1804 (rumored to be on a bet), but the locomotive wasn't considered to be good enough to be useful comercially until about 1825. However! All of the inventions mentioned in the previous paragraphs were invented over the course of fourty five years by single people, working either alone or with a few hired hands and comissioned parts. If the entire Thundersmith hall got together each evening for drunken nerdfests (why yes I desperately want to rp that), that could very likely be compressed greatly, especially considering that the prerequisite tech for each and every one of them already existed for decades before the first one was built. The only reason it took so long was that there was no one great center of learning, there was no cooperation between masterminds, and geeking out was not seen as a useful occupation and you should really join the Navy, Napoleon is practically knocking at our door, Jonathan.

    Think that tumblr post pointing out that you could have a Victorian con artist, a Ronin, an aged French pirate captain, and a Wild West gunslinger all in the same room in the late mid-1800s, then do that with dragons. All we gotta do is figure out just how Wild West we want our dragons to get.

    Sidenote- this also opens up the doors for the Pernese Bone Wars! Subplots of holders and crafters getting waaaay too into paleontology, thereby giving US the chance to get waaaaay too into paleontology! I wanna puzzle about life on Pern pre-Red Star! WE KNOW IT'S A NEWCOMER I WANNA SEE BEFORE-STUFF wait.

    Wait a tick.

    What if one of the holders who has a fire lizard gets in the Bone Wars. What if their fire lizard sees the bones and Remembers. WHAT IF THE FIRE LIZARD COLLECTIVE MEMORY REMEMBERS PERNESE DINOSAURS

     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
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  5. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    *Fandarel and Tesla get drunk together regularly. They work together on everything, combining skills, combining obsessions, showboating left right and center. One day they kiss because they had the same idea for the same invention at the same time. Gayness ensues. They boink bits in an invention. No one is surprised. Most people that know them a little are happy for them. Most people that know them well are quietly relieved and horrified, because Tesla's obsession with keeping clean will balance out Fandarel's messiness, but that will just mean they live together now and this much Sparkiness in one bedroom is going to get someone killed if they can't get someone to get them out of the madness-place*

    why yes I ship it.
     
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  6. VJ Wocky

    VJ Wocky 34 Somnolent Void Seeks Perfection in Dissonance

    8O

    OOO! TRANSPORTATION THAT CAN RESIST THREADFALL! ALLOWING IT TO CONTINUE REGARDLESS OF DEADLY SPACE MOLD WEATHER! FUCK YEAH!

    i did not know i needed wild west dragons until now

    *has a fangasm seizure*

    COSMOFEX, TAKE ME NOW *swoon*
     
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  7. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    *swoons with you because no one's ever swooned for me before*

    I have had IDEAS about Pern since I read Dragon's Dawn and All the Wheyrs of Pern sixteen years ago and found out Pern actually was sci-fi and not fantasy just pretending, and now that I am on the internet with like-minded folks I refuse to be stopped!!!

    Shitty, shitty romance and sexytimes shenaniganry? Eh, that's Anne's kink. Not gonna fuss too hard. *still fusses pretty hard, just not out loud*

    But I cannot abide shitty worldbuilding! By which I mean that I can and will, but so help me I am going to work out how tech would ACTUALLY progress.

    I think that what likely happened is that in the Second or Third Interval, not long after the very last pre-made tech irreparably broke, there was a plague. Some Pernese bacterium figured out how to work the human body, and it was like nature gave the poor humans space smallpox blankets. Total annihilation of the power structure, and most of everybody else too. There was probably one, maybe two Weyr's worth of humans left, just enough to repopulate, but certainly not enough that any pre-plague higher learning remained. Literally everything was left behind, and the humans huddled for warmth. Time passed, populations grew, and Pern was re-settled. However, it took so long that no one remembered how to work any of the machines, and the machines were too busted from neglect anyways. They were scrapped for raw materials, and forgotten. Humanity started, not at the Early/High Middle Ages we first saw them at in Dragonsflight, but at the Iron Age, Trojan War era. They slowly rebuilt, aided by the long stretches of peace afforded to them by Long Intervals, hindered by each Pass as advancement had to be put on hold for fifty years as crafters churned out as much agenothree, firestone, and harness parts as they could.

    This still doesn't excuse the Ninth Pass not having a pistol duel between F'lar and Fax! Or Lessa not just popping Fax with a repeating rifle at sixty yards first time he shows up at Ruatha after he takes over! or not having the Renaissance! or alchemy! they had the prerequisite tech in the form of the agenothree throwers! is Anne seriously telling us that the Smithcraft Hall has only had one Fandarel-esque inventor in two thousand years?! because it don't work that way when you get a lot of nerds that like to tinker gathered into one place! one day someone gets curious and makes greek fire! the next day it's on a wagon the size of a dragon! the day after that the wagon is metal plated because the first one caught fire! the day after that it's upside down and has handles for dragons to hold so the queens can kick ass! AND IT JUST KEEPS GOING!!! FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Honestly, the whole "gather everyone specializing in *thing* together in one wonderful center of learning, knowledge, and creation" NOT causing explosive tech advancement EVER was the most unbelievable part of the whole setting. I can, did, and still do think that multicolored, flying, teleporting, telepathic, telekinetic, firebreathing dragons that psychically bond with their riders are more believable than two thousand years of no invention whatsoever. At the very, very least, rubber ABSOLUTELY got re-invented. Get a plant that produces latex in usable quantities, get the latex, solidify it, melt it, solidify it again, TADA! rubber! Maybe a plant like dandelions! Aside from rubber being INSANELY USEFUL and the colonists putting latex-production as a Very Important Thing and choosing a herb that takes two months to make useful quantities rather than five years like the rubber tree, don't you dare try to tell me some little girl among the colonists didn't take some dandelion seeds with her because they're her favorite flower, and she planted them in a nice little flower pot, and took her flower friend with her when they moved north!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  8. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    Looking at the map of Pern, I think a good spot for our new Weyr, without delving into the wild blue yonder that is the southern continent, would be somewhere along the Nerat arm. That's the area furthest from any other Weyr, and it's mentioned more than once in canon that the forests there are vital to the economy of Pern, and given that most of the rest of the north seems to be mountains, dead rock and desert, and plains, that makes sense. A pre-industrial society (which it would be either way the tech ran) would by necessity use a lot of wood in their construction and manufacture, so if it's rare planet-wide, any deep forests become as hot a comodity as a good firestone or iron mine. Pernese trees reproduce quick to make up for Thread damage, but as the Red Star was only captured a few million years ago, they haven't had a chance to evolve reproduction as fast as the humans would need them to have if the forests got Threaded.

    So a Weyr population boom happens as the Pass begins, and all the pre-existing Weyrs send the people they can't afford to feed or house to the new Weyr, which takes over coverage of the Nerat arm (including Half Circle Sea-hold, so if we time this right we can give Menolly the life she FUCKING DESERVED, FUCK YOU YANUS), and probably the southern end of Keroon. Smithcraft Hall splits to give birth to the Thundercraft Hall up at Telgar, where the metal resources are cheaper, but soon branches out and has a base at every major Hold and Weyr, with outposts at the minor ones and at junctions in the telegraph lines and railways. If we do make use of Half-Circle, that'd also be a good way to bring in the dolphins if we want to, as well as reintroduce fire-lizards if humans aren't already aware of them.

    There we go, potential new Weyr, new Crafthall, and severely and WELL DESERVEDLY upset Hold dynamics.

    (if it isn't clear, Menolly is my favorite character, in any of the books. Sorka and Fandarel are right up there, but Menolly strikes chords in my soul)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  9. VJ Wocky

    VJ Wocky 34 Somnolent Void Seeks Perfection in Dissonance

    okay but if they lost everything then where did the agenothree come from? i can see them loosing MOST things but i hightly doubt they'd loose something so valuable as agenothree, even to plague.

    as for what kind of plague: maybe just transpose when Moreta's Ride events happened? apparently that plague was from the cats from the southern contenent and those cats were genetically modified earth cheetahs, so they're at least from the same planet's set of pathogens.

    ooo! or, because they went from all spread out to all shoved in makeshift shelter for decades at a time it could have been something like the common cold turning deadly! that would wipe people out SUPER quick (and explain why we dont' seem to see anyone ill in canon except for the above book). that and i hightly doubt even spacefaring humans would have figured out how to completely kill the common cold.

    (but this only applies IF we go this route for things)

    good point
     
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  10. VJ Wocky

    VJ Wocky 34 Somnolent Void Seeks Perfection in Dissonance

    it never did make sense to me why they didn't have better protection for that area

    but yeah, i am hella liking all your ideas on the locations of things
     
  11. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    I think the agenothree tech would be remembered simply because it's so ubiquitous. Every crafter, every holder, every Weyrperson has futzed around with an agenothree thrower at some point in their lives, and agenothree itself was so widely used that making it wasn't viewed as a job for a crafthall, just another Hold chore, like cooking. The few smiths left absolutely made the throwers before. It'd be the first mechanical thing they learned how to make parts for, just because the parts would need replacing so much.

    What I think they would have lost is everything that wasn't so ubiquitous. Yeah, everyone uses paper, but there's no need for everybody in the entire world to know how to use a printing press or a paper mill. So when the ~mysterious plague of the distant past~ destroys the population, the only stuff kept afterwards is the stuff that everybody knew about, or could be re-invented super easily, like weaving or tanning.

    But mostly I don't feel like ~mystery plague~ needs to be touched on in our story (unless we go to that time), I just feel like it's the only good explanation for going from "Space Mormons who are only Mormons by their time's standard" to the mentioned discussion in Dragonsflight that amounted to "Paper is a cool new invention, but it'll never take off" with a healthy, hearty dose of feudalism. Honestly, we could do the whole dang story with the only hint at the ~mystery plague~ having ever happened is some guy at the new Thundercraft Hall wondering why on earth this tech explosion didn't happen sooner. "I mean, c'mon, Robinton! The teaching songs say we came from the flipping stars! The STARS! How did no one think to make these things MILLENIA ago! And if someone did, how on earth did we FORGET them!"
     
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  12. VJ Wocky

    VJ Wocky 34 Somnolent Void Seeks Perfection in Dissonance

    ah good points
     
  13. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    OK BUT LIKE

    I just saw a post on tumblr about dragons that treat their hordes and lands like bower birds treat their bowers, y'know, the heftier the horde and more well-kept the lands, including any animals or peoples that live there, and the more complex-yet-still-functional the system, the sexier the bower. And the dragons tempt people to stay in their lands by providing magics that quickly become necessities, and they just keep making everything more and more elaborate, hoping to tempt the females to come in by proving that they can protect and maintain this sprawling society, so a few eggs will be nothing hard!

    And I thought, what if that's how the pernese dragons functioned, when they don't have human influence? They collect a few sentient beings, some livestock for the sentients to take care of, and a nice cave, and then live off of that. The Queen or Green comes along like "lookit me, I'm Hot Shit! None of yuns can catch me!" and the dudes are all "Hell yeah we can catch you, we caught all these peeps and sheeps, and fed them and groomed them and shit!" and she's all "PROVE IT SUCKAS" and then one of them does and she's all "A-ha! THIS one can protect and feed and catch miscreants! I will lay my eggs in HIS cave, and he will do those for me and the eggers!" and so he does, until one day she's ready to go again and it all starts from the top.

    Weyrs are just humans saying "But if we do it all in one place, it'll be better!" and the dragons saying "That sounds fake, but ok."
     
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  14. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    OK SO RECAP

    I read through both threads, and compiled all the things people have expressed interest in doing, so we have it all in one spot. Here is literally everything mentioned, in the order I ran across them. There are 49 topic I've noticed, but a lot of them can be resolved with simple mentions or tweaks to how the setting is described.

    1. give menolly a better life
    2. work out less skeevy but still dubcon dubcon gay orgies
    3. more love for the watch weyrs
    4. more dragon colors and patterns
    5. more love for humans with psychic powers
    6. lessa remains Untamed
    7. less of the brekke/f'nor awfulness being awful
    8. dragons have a function in Interval society and between Falls
    • dragons do disaster relief
    • helecopter-style herding
    • deep-sea diving and retrieval
    • construction work
    • excavation
    • shipping of light- and mid-weight cargo
    • message running
    • weather alerts and evacuation
    1. weyrs are more self-sufficient
    2. all crafts advance more in Intervals
    3. "NOW I WILL WRITE A TREATISE ON PERNESE EMBROIDERY MOTIFS"
    4. one vote each for Menolly/Lessa and Menolly/Sharra
    5. five votes for Menolly/Mirrim
    6. Ace Jaxom
    7. sex & gender having little/no bearing on dragon impression (I suggest basing it on psychic prowess, it's mentioned that Kitti whatever-name did that, and the humans who can talk to all dragons always seem to get queens)
    8. fade-to-black for NSFW, with another thread for the sexy/skeevy funtimes
    9. Lessa's friend the Watch-Weyr gets a better life
    10. less leaning on timing it as a solution
    11. LUBE
    12. more awareness of your own dragon's sex cycle
    13. more attention to details like rank indicators on uniforms
    14. FUCKIN BIRTH CONTROL
    15. homosexual dragons
    16. indecipherably mysterious dragon romance
    17. morality not reflected by Impression
    18. equality among dragon colors
    19. better method of choosing leadership
    20. higher minimum age for Impression candidacy
    21. more love for Holders
    22. more love for Crafters
    23. hash out the fostering system
    24. eliminate the aftertaste of Todd
    25. Draconic Hivemind
    26. Fire Lizard Hivemind
    27. explore just how much Impression will let you forgive, and what the knowledge of forgiving what you never would otherwise will do to you
    28. explore what happens to Thread that burrows
    29. explore how the hell the economy works
    30. trans characters! (I've head-canoned Menolly as trans for ages, but that may just be me projecting myself on my favorite character.)
    31. better weyr education
    32. start off partially un-fucked, explore further unfuckening
    33. queens can flame, and act as mission control for the Fall
    34. setting is significantly post-Landing, in a pass (i vote beginning so we get all 50 years to work with), and pre-AIVAS (if we want 9th pass characters, we can just bump back his discovery however far we feel like, along with the discovery of the Southern Continent)
    35. thundersmith hall
    36. Nikola Tesla
    37. trains as thread-proof transport
    38. wild west dragons
    39. bone wars
    40. pernese natural history
    41. new weyr in the Nerat area
     
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  15. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    .......... wow looking at the list again the next night it's a lot more stuff than i remembered.............
     
  16. Boots

    Boots Cats. Boots. Cats. bootsandcatsandbootsand...

    So, I haven't read anything Pern in a zillion years, but I do know a little about natural abortificants/emmenagouges.
    • As a general rule, you want to take them either right before or right when you're supposed to get your period. (Of course, if you have irregular periods, this is hella difficult, but for women whose cycles are very regular, this is easy enough to keep track of)
    • You don't want to take them after the 6th week of pregnancy (8 weeks after the week you were supposed to get your period), because they're not as effective and are more likely to cause an incomplete abortion
    • Most of what I've read suggests consuming the herbs every few hours, even during the night, and you basically take them until you start bleeding.
    • they can be consumed as a tea, or you could dry them, grind them into dust, and turn them into pills. (but that would require some kind of inert binding agent, and I have no idea what that would do to the effectiveness.)
    Black cohosh: Has estrogen-like effect. Can also be used to alleviatete menopause symptoms
    Blue cohosh: Causes uterine contractions
    Parsley: Emmenagouge. Pretty gentle and safe. Can be used as a vaginal suppository to soften the cervix.
    Vitamin C: Emmenagouge. Also relatively safe, since your body will excrete excess C in urine. Evidence for effectiveness seems mostly anecdotal
    Pennyroyal and Tansy: Both are kind of toxic and can have bad side effects, but they've been used for hundreds of years.

    Black cohosh (in pill form) tastes kind of like clean dirt. Parsley tastes kind of....green and spicy. Vitamin C (from rose hips) tastes sour.
    I have used the Parsley/Vitamin C megadose combination, and it did seem to work as advertised (my period started and it was confirmed that I was Not Pregnant by a pee test. That being said, I probably wasn't pregnant, but at the time I was very paranoid and also very poor so I wasn't going to take any chances.)
     
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  17. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    Alright, iffn we gonna do the thing, we gotta have a bit of a plan, not just a list of things we maybe want to happen at some point before or during the story.

    item by item, what gets changed when?
    1. Only the Fire Lizard remembers before it. No living human or dragon remembers a time when this wasn't the case. 100+ Turns ago. Old news for everyone.
    2. Distant past but still in human memory. Grandparents gripe about unappreciative kids. 50-100 Turns ago. Old news for most.
    3. Before the wind-up for the current Pass. Parents tell their kids that they are lucky. 20-50 Turns ago. Old news for about half.
    4. During the wind-up for the Pass. 5-20 Turns ago. Old news for some.
    5. Immediate past. These are the things that mark the setting. 1-5 Turns ago. Old news for no one, but still known to most.
    6. Right now. These are the things that provide go-juice for story. RIGHT NOW Turns ago. Old news for no one, known only to a few.
    7. Soon To Be. These are the things that are plot points after story gets rolling.
    8. Wrong Fic. These are the things that just don't fit. They get scrapped or saved for another AU.
    Once we have all that worked out, we have the AU setting, a decent plan for potential plot points, and a scrap bin. Specific order for each time-point comes later, and mostly just depends on how into-it we want to get.

    sorry for monopolizing the thread everyone i just get so excited when i think about worldbuilding, it's like, my THING and i just gotta. AND THIS IS PERN! PERNESE WORLDBUILDING! ITS LIKE A CANDYSHOP! DRAGONS! SCI FI! TOGETHER!!!!!!!
     
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  18. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    CNAT STOP WONT STOP

    I went through The Big List Of Unfuckening, and all of the following things are things I feel like are less Plot-wise Unfuckening and more Worldbuilding Unfuckening, aka things that became things so long ago that no one remembers when they became things, aka just making the setting a bit more palatable to play around in in general.

    • less skeevy orgies (maybe it functions not as full-on compulsion, but as an autopilot? if you're aware it's coming and put up some resistance, you can choose not to autopilot, at the expense of not mind-melding with your dragon. Probably viewed like drunkenness. You're impaired, but responsible for your actions. If you can't resist, you're removed, and if you can't be removed and don't have previous consent, that's rape.)
    • more love for watchweyrs (they're totally great big dogs in the shape of dragons, so they probably hold the same place in society as dogs did, plus some extra stuff. Guards, warhounds, friends, hunters, pest controlers, herders, and laborers, with the addition of diggers, Impression for communication, and psychic distress flare to call for help from dragonriders)
    • weyrs are more self-sufficient
    • all crafts advance more in Intervals
    • "NOW I WILL WRITE A TEATISE ON PERNESE EMBROIDERY MOTIFS" (sub-subthread for previous point, and alluded to and referenced in the story)
    • sub-subthread for NSFW stuff
    • less of the timing (easy: make it a point of pride. someone who has to time it is lazy and irresponsible. Find a way to do it without timing, or own up. Going between to solve scheduling conflicts is like cheating at cards, timing it is like cheating at cards badly. The first is kind of expected but frowned upon, the second is likely to get you shunned by half the town. Most of the modern dragonriders didn't talk to Lessa for months after the events at the end of Dragonsflight.)
    • LUBE
    • BIRTH CONTROL
    • awareness of draconic sex cycles
    • more attention to details (subset of the Treatise on Pernese Embroidery thread)
    • homosexual dragons
    • indecipherably mysterious dragon romance
    • Draconic Hivemind
    • Fire Lizard Hivemind
    • Queens can flame (goes here, or is true here but only discovered at another time of choice)
    • Begin slightly unfucked, explore further unfuckening (that's this!)
    • eliminate the aftertastes of Todd (i blanked out all of the explicitly-Todd books from my mind, so the only things that strike me as being his work is the telekinesis, and some truly awful weird-ass crystal woo from the watch-weyr books, shout out if there's more i'm forgetting)
    I left out a bunch of the other stuff that COULD go here, mostly because exploring their unfuckening is kinda the point of this, but if there's stuff you guys feel like go here, shout out!
    i keep thinking "hold up, let someone else post!" and i just think "but! pern!!! pern but nice and fun and pleasant to live in!!!!!!!! i gotta!!!!!!!!!!!!! so, yell at me if i'm too enthused plz or it will never stop. the sin bin will overflow forever.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
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  19. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    Alright, Pernese History FTW! Cementing old history topics into a cohesive timeline of changes.

    Several million years of Thread did cause plant evolution, favoring fast over bounty. The Pernese were always going to have a hard time in the long run on Pern, simply because even if you get three times as many harvests a year, if each harvest only provides a quarter of the net food value as a similar harvest on Earth, you're going to have trouble. The speedy regrowth was a boon for the linen, lumber, and herdbeast (who could get much more out of it than humans) industries, but population can't expand without enough bread, potatoes, rice, or beans to sustain it. The settlers had the use of high grade fertilizer and modern farming tools and methods to bump up the gain to reasonable levels, but in the Post-Landing collapse (sadly still a mystery. The Pernese won't know what happened until they start getting into forensic anthropology in another hundred and eighty years or so.), they lost it all. Less bread, population can't expand. Population can't expand, industry growth can't expand. A lot of scientific and technological advancement over the centuries has been due to a few geniuses, inventors, and crackpots having one or more great ideas combined with enough time and money to implement them, and a bunch of averagely smart people expanding and refining it over a few following years or decades or centuries. As our population grew, so did the chance for those geniuses to be born to a position that let them work. Tech got invented and refined, and the limits on our population loosened, allowing a few more chances. The effects stacked up, and before you know it two hundred years pass and we've gone from wooden ships and muskets to aircraft carriers and atom bombs, with most of the advancement in the last fifty years of it.

    That couldn't happen on Pern, not yet. There's no room for population growth, so the chance of a breakthrough idea getting spread stay at the same low level for two thousand years. Not much happens, because harvest size is determined by how much land the dragons can protect, and that doesn't change significantly for a long, long time. Dragons in Ramoth's time can probably cover maybe a third as much land again on top of what dragons in Faranth's time could, which just isn't enough to support a human population boom. Draconic populations on the other hand grew drastically, since herdbeasts don't suffer the same limitations on food as badly as humans due to Kitti Ping's altercations. Three times as much grazing means three times as many cows and sheep and goats and pigs, which means plenty of food for dragons.

    In more recent history, a few simple changes made during the Interval before last have finally brought the population boundary upwards. Fertilizer in the form of dragon and watchweyr dung, terra preta treatment of Thread-barren land, and crop rotation have made slow but overall drastic improvements in the quality and quantity of food, allowing for a slow but steady rise in human population in the past hundred and fifty years. In the past hundred or so, several Holds and Halls have expanded their complexes, and a few have even split and sent one group to start a whole new Hold or Hall. In a terran equivalent, it's 1830-ish, and the world is suddenly starting to feel just a bit cramped.

    No, Kitti Ping didn't fuck a watchweyr.

    When the dragons were first being engineered, Kitti Ping did not understand their DNA analogue nearly as well as she would like everyone else to think she did. She had just a very few short years to start trying to work out how it worked, and the vast majority was absolutely spent just trying to figure out how the hell everything pieced together, where specific codes were generally to be found in the great long chain, and working out the genes for much, much simpler organisms, working her way up. Once the need for dragons became pressing, she had maaaybe a few weeks to work with fire lizards specifically, before turning them into dragons. So, rather than stick to her ideas of social norms, she rushed it. Make them big, make them strong, make them smart, make the bond telepathic rather than empathetic, and make their memories of pain short and their memories of hate long. Most of that is mind stuff, which she specialized in. Big and strong is just flipping some switches that exist in every species. Sexuality? Romance? Color? Those were irrelevant to the task. Therefore, though they weren't in the first clutch, there were non-straight dragons, and dragons of basically every color. Queens could flame, and the reason it was thought she had made it so they couldn't was that the bigger an animal, the longer it takes to mature, and dragons even then were huge. They waited a year to try everyone out, and if they had waited another month or two the queens would have been successful.

    Timing was discovered pretty early, probably before Faranth first flew to mate. Rather than keep it hushed up, it was spread about as a tool to let exhausted dragons rest, then come back to finish the Fall. Someone, probably one of the blues or greens, started showing off that they didn't need that tool to last through, and before long everyone else was endurance training to match them. The extra endurance training was forgotten, but the scorn for timing remained. Timing was seen as an insult to your own dragon, as though he wasn't good enough already.

    Sex education in the Weyrs started up the morning after Faranth's first flight. All dragonriders unanimously decreed that if whoever ended up in charge of the next batch of riders didn't teach them the ins and outs of everything to do with sex both human and dragon, that person would be stripped naked and sent to deliver mail on their dragon without a saddle. Unlike in McCaffrey's Pern, the rule stuck, and was enforced with vigor. New riders were taught how to recognize when their dragon was about to rise to mate, how long between matings to the day, how to fight the autopilot imposed by being a mating flight, how to fight the wild lust of being near a mating flight, what lube was and why you really really REALLY want it, the many methods of birth control for both before and after, male and female.

    The self-sufficiency of Weyrs and the Interval utility of dragons both began a few weeks after the end of the first Pass, when dragonriders began to become desperately, desperately bored. Riders started settling into hobbies, and without Thread to fight they had time to get to at least Journeyman level in whatever they had interest in. Hall goods were still worth more for trade, but the goods the Weyrs made weren't used for trade, even when they had a surplus. They were instead saved and stored, for when Thread or blight or flood or fire ruined an area. At that time, the stored goods were brought out and given freely. Whatever the weyrs lost this way was made up for with Tithing when the Pass began, and the holds never tithed more than what the Weyr had given them over the past two hundred years.

    The utility of watchweyrs were discovered around the same time that Fort and Ruatha Holds diverged, and were better than dogs at just about anything they were put to other than being small enough to be a pet for a small child. Dogs became sort of training animals for people planning to Impress a watchweyr or dragon, teaching them to care for an animal larger than a cat, one which required near constant affection and love. Dogs were still used by adults to chase game through forests and thickets that would catch on a watchweyrs wings, but they still fell to the background as anything but pets.

    ok so like, i ran my writing through this text analyzer that looks at tone and word choice and such and stuff, and like. when i'm talking history and science stuff its all "male, 60% chance" which. all the history and science stuff is written by guys. ALL of it. I have to spend 20 minutes looking to find One source by a girl. so it kinda sorta makes sense that that's how i'd type it. But when i'm just talking, or im nerding out an idea, its "female, 60% chance". what do you guys think?
     
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  20. peripheral

    peripheral Kinky Digamma

    -camps out again-
     
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