Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Inspiration can come from many sources.  While I don't really care for the pseudo-animism and pseudo-anime feel to Dust, it did also have some great ideas.  Notably, I really like the concept of the hydras; small, microscopic even, animals that eat poison and can clear the body of "toxins."

I wonder if I don't have a place for a similar concept in DARK•HERITAGE Mk. V.  Small, symbiotic creatures that earth-people needed to take to make them immune to local diseases—and which the natives finally discovered after having their own populations decimated by diseases brought from earth.

Maybe I need to set my "Crusader states" a little further out.  Not two generations, but closer to ten, from their arrival on the New World.  This gives them time to spread and grow, as well as for the natives to have gotten at least a little used to them having been here.  The native societies may well have been decimated by plagues—bubonic plague, typhus, smallpox, yellow fever, etc.—just the same as we believe plagues ran through the historical New World in advance of white settlement, leaving behind devastated, post-apocalyptic remains of the civilizations that once dwelt there.

Dust from Ember Lab on Vimeo.

Another curious detail is religion.  Much of modern fantasy tends to kind of ignore religion; either make it some kind of hippy-dippy version of actual pagan mythology, or just try to pretend like it isn't really part of the social fabric at all.

This clearly wouldn't be the case for Medieval northern Europeans, whether on an alt.Mongo or in alt.Europe or anywhere else.  However, given the fact that we're deliberately cut off from the Vatican, I don't think we'd have anything like what we saw in actual historical Europe either.

Assume, for the sake of argument, that the only clergy to have set up shop in the New World were a few equivalents to Friar Tuck, and then cut them off from the world for ten generations—what do you have left?  I think something not too terribly different than the small congregation, decentralized Christianity of the American Old West, actually.  Maybe instead of Protestant reverends, we'd have friars, and there'd be little shrines to the Virgin Mary and various saints, because this is, after all, a Catholic faith that is drifting away from the mainstream due to simply being cut off for so long.  Vetus Latina Bibles and maybe even some folks have copies of Venerable Bede's or Aldhelm's Biblical translations or the Lindisfarne or Wessex Gospels.

There is, however, no strongly centralized or heavily staffed Church on the New World.  There aren't any monastic orders, although maybe a few start-ups that are similar in some respects to the Templars are trying to stay manned by locals.  Lacking structure, or even much in the way of text, the church is (unknowingly) going to mimic some of the aspects of the Reformation in the New World for the simple reason that honest men of good faith but without the support of the Catholic church heirarchy are going to independently come across similar ideas about how the Church should operate, and without anyone to tell them otherwise, that's what they'll end up implementing.

No comments: