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Worldbuilding Woes and Continuity Conundrums

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This is my thread for trying to puzzle out worldbuilding and continuity details and plot holes that are driving me nuts. 

So tracker beasts are partially corrupted creatures, and they're used uncommonly, but not rarely, to track magic signatures by people with a lot of money in the South. Darling has seen them maybe a handful of times. But how the fuck do people not know they're corrupted? Or do they know, they're just useful enough to risk taming and using anyway? I don't think so, if corruption is so feared and hunted down that tieflings are ostracized because there's some superstition that they're partially corrupted people, they probably wouldn't risk keeping a partially corrupted animal around, especially because /unlike/ tieflings, tracker beasts, if allowed to consume enough magic, get big and become a full on corrupted monster. Which is what happened to the creature in the caverns that's hunting Eliza. 

I guess that begs the question of how does corruption manifest (and what is it really), and over what sort of time period. Is it a slow process or is there a metamorphosis that occurs. I think it has to be the former, cause a sudden transformation would make it too obvious that a tracker beast is an early stage of the magic eater. People are not that fucking stupid. I wish they were cause then it would make this easier =/

So what is corruption: when the gods defeated the Calamity about a thousand years before, they weren't destroyed, just dispersed and they're consciousness (such as it was) went into something like hibernation or a deep sleep. But in the places where the Calamity had completely taken hold of, such as the Southern Downs, they're conscious mind may not be active, but they aren't gone. It's not quite accurate, but a good way to describe it is the subconscious of the Calamity still permeates the land and lashes out, corrupting what it comes into contact with because the rage and pain and grief that created and drove the Calamity was never resolved or put to rest. There's no active will driving them, they're just reacting to stimulus as they sleep and dream.  

Corruption manifests as mutation, the natural form of things being twisted into something eldritch. A tracker beast is a canine, sometimes a dog but most often a wolf in the early stages of mutation. They have increased in size, are losing their eyes and ears, their head becoming something shaped like a closed flower:


With an organ at the tip that serves as both a mouth and a nose. 

So how the fuck do people look at this and go, hmm seems safe, and somehow don't associate it with corruption even though it's actively mutating. Though maybe they don't change much in captivity, since their exposure to magic is probably very limited. They're axolotls lol. Kept in a perpetual neotenic state. Corruption for the most part does not extend a creatures lifespan, so perhaps they tend to die in the same state or are killed if they get the increased aggression that comes with further corruption? Maybe they tend to starve to death because they're access to magic is so limited in captivity. 


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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/5/2018 at 4:39 PM, Katherine said:

I like the idea that they are potentially useful. There's something about a creature in its corrupted state that is worth lassoing, even though it's hella dangerous. 

I just don't know if the incredibly religious/superstitious South would go for it, no matter how useful they are. @Kasper you have any thoughts? 

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@Rosie It could be something like the Demon/Spirit divide that exists in Dragon Age? The South have convinced themselves that whatever the tracker beasts are it isn't real proper corruption but something else. That something else might make them more susceptible to corruption but it's totally not the same thing because *train noises*

I'm just thinking about the Chantry in DA teaching that Spirits are their own separate category from demons while the elves and others talk about them as just being the same thing just with different intentions. 

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5 hours ago, Kasper said:

I'm just thinking about the Chantry in DA teaching that Spirits are their own separate category from demons while the elves and others talk about them as just being the same thing just with different intentions. 

That's not a bad thought. I'm always here for that sort of hypocrisy/self-delusion xP 

Trying to justify after the fact why they use something useful (a creature that can track a specific magical signature is going to be incredibly useful in a region where power and wealth is constantly changing hands and getting lost due to violent upheaval) by saying "but it's not the same as corruption!" how do you know? "We would never use something corrupted!" 

Because that's totally how logic works. /s

Also will be interesting because Darling almost certainly hasn't ever questioned the assumption that this is Totally Not Corruption, Yo. And it's always fun to show that your protag, especially if they're narrating or it's a very limited third person, doesn't know everything and sometimes makes incorrect assumptions. Esp important to establish for Darling, because otherwise people might believe she's as cool as she pretends to be.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest Tina

I'm new to your "world" and left DA long ago - so take my comments with a shaker-full of salt.

The very mixture of good and evil is the human dilemma. What if a corrupt person became the powerful president? What if anything true can be distorted by social media. So in your story, a creature who is not reliably good is interesting. Does everyone know that the head shape indicates the mutation of the corruption? Do some know and some not? Is Darling able to "read" the head shape enough to know who to trust?

Your writing is wonderfully engaging, thank you.

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