Since we have a thread about characters we've made up, but I can't tell you much about the characters I have; I can tell you quite a bit about the universe they inhabit. I suppose that this might be folded into the writing thread, but the writing thread is for a lot of other things as well. Spoiler Political overview: General: Humanity spread out on several dozen planets, most with populations of about a few billion, each planet at maybe a 2.something on the Kardashev-Sagan scale. Clinical immortality and prenatal genetic modification are available. Several existent subraces of modified humans, including mages. Faster-than-light travel and communication possible via gate system; limited and unwieldy for popular use, so people tend to stay on and communicate on a single planet. Mostly unlimited energy and the ability to fabricate anything for basically free leaves mostly a service-based economy in places that still use capitalism. Three main political units: Carraelia, Outer Worlds, Inner Worlds Carraelia: Beneath the surface, almost all of it, was a gigantic weapons laboratory; the surface was reserved for administration and dependents. Carraelia used the weapons and its position as the hub of the gate network to dominate the rest of the worlds under the rationale that if they didn't the Inner and Outer Worlds would go to war. Had a figurehead royal family for reasons they didn't disclose. Referred to the security personnel as "knights" and projected an image of loyalty to the Crown and the Peace. Would demand periodic tithes of people from the subject worlds (Eha-idurise), again for reasons they didn't disclose. Said people would never been seen again by the subject worlds. A few years before the story begins the royal fmaily was killed and the entire surface of the planet was turned to molten rock by a sneak attack from the Inner Worlds, probably in conspiracy with traitors amongst the knights. The surviving population mostly fled to Carraelia's moons. Inner Worlds: Originally populated by those rejecting prenatal, cosmetic genetic modification of humans. Main world of interest: Enra: The rejection of genetic modification has manifested as children being created entirely under government oversight. Genetics are dictated by templates and policy, with some randomness to prevent plagues, and the physical production of little humans is done via people-jars; children are raised and educated by specialized workers; the entire process takes place in facilities called Temples. Due to the availability of clinical immortality, children are rare and considered esoterica; people interested in children are considered weird. The government claims to be a direct democracy, with most citizens simply letting predictive models of their opinions do their voting most of the time. This process, and almost all interpersonal communication, is handled via the planetary Stack, a network that connects every citizen. The connections themselves have computational power and connections to each other, and upwards for several thousand layers. Some amalgams of high-level connections appear to be sentient, independent of the people that comprise them. Heavy emphasis on education; education is expected to continue even after a person leaves the Temple. Outer Worlds: Embraced genetic modification. More heavily populated due to reproduction not being a government-run process and also being able to modify people instead of having to terraform so heavily. Main world of interest: Reionai: Most governed at the sub-planetary level. Fast communication and transport mean that most governmental domains are physically disconnected, joined by culture rather than geography. Citizenship is a source of contention and competition between the governments. The lack of cohesion makes Reionai open to planet-scale crime rings, mostly protection rackets, industrial espionage/sabotage, money laundering and the like. But it does protect against memetic plagues, which the Inner Worlds and their Stacks have to worry about, and drives social innovation. Theoretically separate from all of the governments is the Reio Spire, a tower housing several families of mages; almost all purebloods descended from the first successful mage strains, the Reio are able to defend the Spire against both governments and crime rings, mostly by blowing up anything that gets too close and blocking out everything else. They would act as mediators between the various political bodies but the aforementioned defense policy doesn't encourage that. At some point I'd like to talk about the races, in particular the mages and the Silvers. Anyway, yeah. Worldbuilding, geographies, history, races, cultures, economics, things that you make up for stories that aren't individual people.