Here’s the final section of me breaking down RAM’s document. If you missed this earlier, RAM’s initial document can be found here. And my first part of this is here, and the second is here.
As with last time RAM’s stuff is standard weight, mine notes are bolded.
Let’s get back to it...
PLANET THREE: THERRA
The comfortable middle. The syndicates see THERRA as the comfortable middle. The medium of their operation, their farm, the substrate within which their profits may grow. But due to the presence of potentially democratic forces and numerous interests and the politics that entails, the Syndicates, while exerting their influence have largely viewed THERRA as consecrated ground. That is to say they largely like to keep THERRA happy without ever truly allowing the exertions of their power to affect anything significantly.
Vast majority of the Syndicate organizations come from THERRA – but the truly powerful players elsewhere tend to keep to the shadows here. Unrest on THERRA, in general is bad for business. But, since THERRA is a relatively quiet staging ground the vast majority of intra and inter Syndicate back-stabbing, espionage, sabotage happens at this level.
This is the place where the upstart corporation might make their first moves if their ambition was to become something more.
I think the middle is a good way to describe it. The arena might be better. If THERRA is where we start, then the planet works best as the place where the five other spheres exert their influence.
Therefore, it’s also probably best not to overthink (or overcomplicate) THERRA. It’s the medium to which you add seasoning to make things taste interesting, it’s blank slate on which you write or paint, etc. etc.
I could write a bunch to make this seems like more than it is, but it is what it is.
THERRA is Earth. Where adventures start.
MOON TWO: ORDO
THE LAB is on ORDO. A research hub set up as an independent body that services industry but is largely staffed by academics, engineers, researchers provided with endless reserves of money simply to advance science.
THE LAB does not concern itself with the politics and power games of the corporations or the syndicates. Their purpose is purely intellectual. Their end-goal is inquiry in itself without concern for profit or for ramifications. While THE LAB has generally been viewed as a positive force within modern society there are of course dangerous edges to research being performed without oversight.
I love the idea of the LAB. The question here is its relationship to the INSTITUTE. Are they the same? (I don’t think so) Do they have a relationship? (They kind of have to, don’t they?)
So, if they do have a relationship how does that work?
I think the LAB is the forward-facing research arm that sits under the umbrella of the Institute. Almost like its an incubator for Institute-level ideas.
A farm team sounds too strong, but an economic-free creative zone does work.
And THE LAB also becomes a prime target for the Syndicate’s games being played in clandestine corners – sabotaging and stealing and burying research from competitors. Largely, things have been balanced at THE LAB – the syndicates and corporations keeping each other in check.
That the external forces think that the LAB is a target-rich environment makes it even better.
Could we do seeded disasters here? Intentional breakthroughs that aren’t that at all. Theranos poison pills? Maybe.
With the advent of magic, if THE LAB’s true purpose is inquiry itself, the ramifications of early research into exploiting magic for industry could have significant consequences.
This is where the story gold is here, I think.
When things start to shift, there are suddenly too many successes to maintain the status quo. Cracks form. Control slips.
MOON THREE: KAOSO
There is no industry on KAOSO. But there are dreamers, wanderers, and mercurial frontiersmen chasing gold (‘magic’) in the hills. Most of them are fools. Some of them are not.
It’s hard not to just look at KAOSO and see it as just disruptive force on ALL of our economic systems. The new, completely tearing down the old.
And I think, from a surface level, that’s somewhat correct. But the interesting thing that we’ve done is made one thing: KHOR, the prime element -- the source of all things -- for both the age of science and the age of magic.
So, the thing that props up the science-based economy is also the thing that will prop up a magic-based whatever.
Which brings us back to the BANK on HEIR. Maybe being the chief conduit of KHOR -- and outside of the direct conflict of the Academy and the Institute -- means that the BANK isn’t a BANK of money, but of KNOWLEDGE. So the BANK is not a bank, but a library...which makes the idea of it trafficking in lies even more insidious. And kinda awesome.
(Also, I will say that as we keep drilling down on this stuff -- and mining our own continuity -- that I believe we’re going to discover a connective beat between the ‘great lie’ of the Bank [that it has discovered a way to preserve the KHOR], and the decaying/spoil state of the KHOR itself. It feels like there’s something else there.
We’ll keep looking.)
MAKE IT A STORY
All right, so that was that.
I think there’s quite a bit of meat on the bone. RAM offered up some goodies and we need to put that to proper use. Which, of course, means making this stuff into comics.
So, looking all this over, there are a lot of potential story ideas, but if I had to go with what I’d really like to see immediately realized, it would be one of two things.
I really want to do something on AKVA with the pirate mining operation. How that works, what that looks like. Getting to put our eyes on the KHOR.
It’s hard not to want to see the terrible royals on HEIR and their system of codified assassinations called DUELS.
Hard to choose which one I want to see more. Almost impossible really. So, screw it. Let’s do both.
Okay, so thanks so much to RAM for the bones he provided here. Next up we’ll have designs for the stories by Mike and Mike and then the actual comics. We might do Designs > Comics > Designs > Comics but we’ll see.
Also, I’ll be sending out a Children of Men post for subscribers. Saturday at 5pm EST is what I’m thinking.
I, too, will take both, please. I love the idea of duels of royal succession. Makes me think of Baz Lurhman's take on Romeo and Juliet - another great work of world-building, in my opinion.
I'm immediately curious about what kind of elaborate weapons they use, and how dense the pageantry and rules of it are.
Great, watched Children of Men last night and got a lot out of it from a world building lense over plot.
Need to chew over what Bank of knowledge means