The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums

A lurker on this site, decided to finally introduce myself
I would suggest keeping the S level lower for a few reasons.

1) The higher the entity the more implausible it is to move. S4s can make mobile versions of S3s, but as far as I'm aware we don't have any non-metric level technology that would involve an S4 being suitably mobile. Transmitting themselves isn't an option in reasonable times either given their extreme mental size. I'd suggest having something like an S2 that ascends to an S3, maybe an S4.

2) There's a wealth of untapped potential in transapient/low archai civs in the setting. We've got a lot of articles on modo civs (or modo subsets of larger civs) and we have the major empires themselves. Fleshing out the middle option would be a great addition.

3) Power creep both across the project as a whole and within a civ is a consideration. From a project perspective we don't want the setting to become too front loaded with entities that are essentially gods, so far beyond mundane modo life that we can barely grasp the edges of what they are. From an article perspective having an S6 in it means that it's a much higher bar to write well and in a way that explores the consequences of an S6 civ.
Definitely will put it in for consideration. I do agree there is already too much SI:6 in the OA universe that creating one will be a very difficult task by making sure you don't write the SI:6 up as a supernatural god without any major or minor issue with eir reasoning or mental state or eir personal limitations. I do want to avoid that. I am interested in creating my civ to be supported by SI 5 or SI 4 Archai or even ruled a higher Transap.


This can work but like I said I'd suggest against having an S6 ruler. S4, maybe 5 at a stretch depending on how confident you are with your abilities to write it. The challenge will be trying to properly flesh out what exactly does an S2 governor do and look like from the perspective of modos who are already directly governed from an S1? Same for S3 to S2 and so on and so forth. Most empires are said to work this way incidentally, but the exact relationship and actions of the hierarchies beyond modo are largely mysterious.

Also you can totally have an isolated region without it being outside the terragen sphere. You could have a globular cluster or other such concentration of systems that has fairly strict immigration (rerouting lightway travellers without appropriate visas, destroying incoming craft without the same, not having a direct connection to the nexus etc). It's totally within canon for there to be systems and middle empires with autonomy and relative levels of isolation within the sphere. If you try to set it outside you'll run into issues of justifying the length of history. Yes it's possible for people to travel to the periphery, build a fast craft and run ahead of the expansion wave. But they have to travel for a while to build up any buffer and that buffer won't last very long.
With the Modo perspective, it is going to be the main focus for the project. The event and history that have unfolded in the civ will be witnessed from their perspective.
As for the Transaps/Archai, it a work in progress. what i planned on doing was explain the Transap/Archai from two major perspectives: one being those who are part of the major empire or "superpowers" of the Civ and the other being those of lesser empires. The Major empires control 95% of the area and their influences are felt everywhere in the Civ. Their actions will be the main focus and the cause for major events in the civ. For the ruling archai, eir influence is barely felt especially for modosophonts and lower transaps but eir presence is still there. There will be a large pop of modo that don't know much of the ruling archai compared to the other ruling archais in the sphere or don't even believe E exist as modos mostly feel the presence of the lower archai of the major empires and their transap subjects/vassels. E is a shadowy and mysterious entity, but I will flesh e out with personality traits and skills.

As for where the civ is taking place, I envision it to be an island or a patch of terragenkind, away from the main sphere surrounded by uncolonized space but still near it to eventually reconnect with their long distant cousins. I am aware that there are isolated civilizations within the civilized galaxy, however i want to prevent any cultural or ideological memes from even slightly entering the civ. I feel like even if an archai were to go to extreme measures to isolate eir civ from it neighboring empires, one way or another, the memes from the outside civilized galaxy will still get in. However I am open on changing the setting for my civ as i do want them to have a history unique to the rest of the civilized galaxy. I might set them in the Periphery as colonization of the area is still ongoing.

Hi! Welcome to OA!

One problem with having an expedition led by an S4 is that archailects at that level are very large; a Jupiter-sized entity would not be able to travel very fast very easily, and would be easily overtaken by other smaller entities. The departure of a Jupiter Brain during the Version War would have been observed by many factions, and quite probably followed throughout the process. Better to have the leader of such a mission a bit smaller- maybe an S:3 with several transavant spikes, specially created by a S:4 as a scion that will attempt to transcend to S:4 status on arrival.

This is a particular feature of the Orion's Arm setting - in general, archailects are too large to travel at an significant speed. This means that the Outer Volumes and Periphery are largely separate from the regions that are currently ruled by the Archailects - at least, until the Wormhole Nexus arrives.

If there are any archailects outside of the Nexus (and there are a few), they have ascended in situ, and are often quite idiosyncratic.
Thank you for the welcome Shy
Honestly I thought an S4 was able to break up into smaller pieces in order to travel from one place to another a bit faster. Thank you for bring up that information. I probably will downgrade the leader into a S3 Transap or like you said, a S3 scion with transavant spikes.

Per the OA timeline, the first S6 minds didn't arise until 6000AT or so. So the S6 didn't have anything to do with the VW. Note also that - while the war was a big deal to those involved - it was not a very big deal when considered against the entire scope of the civilization at the time. Also, it isn't at all clear that the highest archai of the time had any real concerns about the war and it's considered entirely possible that they engineered it for their own reasons such as manipulating Terragen civ to a direction more to their liking.

This doesn't disallow your basic idea, which (as Rynn says) is quite workable on general principles, but it does mean that the background for the war is more complex than it being a simple conflict between the ruling archai via their proxies. It is as likely that it was the equivalent of a cockfight or even a game between them.
My mistake I forget in the moment of writing the last post. I meant to say the S4 & S5 that participated in the war. I know there was some tragedies that occurred during the version war but like you said it wasn't much of a big deal for the entirety of civilized galaxy. Originally the origin story of my civ was that they were basically getting fed up with the ruling archais of the time and the wars that took place such as the Conver Wars, but I chose the Version War because of how impactful it was to shaping current day interstellar politics in OA.

Speaking more generally, how is what you're describing significantly different from the other empires already in the setting? You seem to be making a point of saying that this civilization is different or unique in some or many ways from the rest of Terragen civilization, but I'm not really seeing that from the description provided so far. Can you help me understand better, please?
The plan is for the civ to have their own history, politics, cultures, tech(or variants of existing ones) and memes w/o interference from outside influence. As isolates, they are unaware or vastly ignorant of the greater terragen civilization and many have grown to fear or even hate them because the past major transgressions that occurred in the civilized galaxy. The ruling Archai who although is distant with eir subjects, created this indifference and intolerant towards the greater terragen civ because E eirself hate them especially the dominant archailects for the atrocities they commit. Now E doesn't want to seek their destruction but E rather distant eirself and eir civilization that e created. Eventually that attitude will change as E seeks diplomatic relations with the greater civilization and opens the border for trade, cultural exchanges and immigration so long as they abide by eir rules. The Civ is also multicutural and multicladal (if that the correct term) like the greater terragen sphere but on a smaller scale. There will be variants of existing clades with their unique history prior to the exodus as well as new clades that formed. The overall culture of the civilization will evolve drastically different from their main sphere cousins. Inhabitants of my civ will identify as different from terragens. They don't see themselves as terragens as for them the terragens are "corrupt demons", however they acknowledge that they are descendants of terragens. This is still a work in progress but this is main idea of their overall culture. What I plan to do is making the culture similar yet alien enough to make even the most alien, out of touch terragen individual from the greater civ to feel out of place in my civ.

Reactionless drives are a very rare thing, even in Y11k and require at least an S4 mind to create. At the point in the timeline where you are having this start from there were even fewer S4 archai and even fewer reactionless drives around. So a bunch of modosophonts and low transapients getting an entire fleet of reactionless drive ships is very unlikely and probably the biggest technical issue I'm seeing with this besides the issues Rynn has already covered with trying to get out ahead of the Terragens colonization wave for any length of time.

Related to the colonization wave - the part of space that was 'the edge of the Terragen Bubble' back around the time of the Version War is thousands of light-years deep inside that bubble by 10,600 AT (the 'present day' in Orion's Arm). So - as Rynn points out - they would need to travel for much further (and longer) than mere hundreds of light-years to get ahead of the wave and stay isolated for any length of time.
yeah it definitely is a major issue when creating this project, and I have difficulties coming up a solution or an explication as to how they manage to go so far in so little time or even got there before the greater civilization caught up to them. I don't mind setting the civ more closer to the greater sphere to accommodate for temporal and travel issues that make this scenario unlikely. Like I told Ryan I do want them to their own little island surrounded by a sea of uncolonized space. I also dont have a problem reducing the leader of the exodus fleet to a S3 instead of a S4 or higher.

I think the biggest single bit of feedback I'd provide at this point is to put less focus on trying to create what amounts to an S6 level empire - able to play on an equal footing with the Sephirotic empires, either individually or even as a whole - right out of the gate. This kind of thing - in various forms - seems to be a common impulse with people wanting to make their first contribution(s) to the project and it rarely (almost never)... works out well.

We are far more likely to be positively impressed by something complex, original, different, and well done - even if it's much smaller than an entire empire - then an alternative that aims for sheer size, but sacrifices the above factors as a result. There is also the practical matter that the OA setting is the result of a lot of different people working together over many many years - and I'm not sure that any single person can match the results of that right out of the gate.

Not trying to attack you or your project at all - and we're happy to help as we can to produce the best addition to the setting that can be had - but I feel it's better to lay out these issues up front than tap dance around them. Based on experience, that also never works out well.
I will take it in to consideration most definitely. I never plan for the civ to be as powerful as the dominant S6 empires that already exist but i do want them strong enough to where no other empire wants to mess with it or will result in a very costly invasion and occupation if they do so. 
I also do have some smaller projects in mind or other small subjects in OA that i would love to touch on
I never saw it as an attack and I do appreciate the feedback. I will gladly share more details about the big project or the small ones i want to create later on

So, after a nice hot AM shower (I do some of my best thinking in the shower 
[Image: biggrin.gif]) some ideas have come to mind that might potentially address the issue of how your civ might get out on its own given the Terragen expansion wave.

Speaking on general principles, I would suggest moving the starting point for your civ forward by some thousands of years so that they leave Terragen civ closer to the 'present day' and having them relocate to a location that is on the edge of Terragen civ - where archai writ runs thin - but also sufficiently connected to it that the founders of the civ can take advantage of 'modern' transport infrastructure to get there.

In terms of possible locations for this, some idea are:

a) The Perseus Arm - We currently have this as being on the very edge of Terragen expansion and a place where new archai - the Perseus Princes are rising, possibly to one day challenge the old guard of archai and the dominance of the Sephirotic Empires. Your civilization and its ruling archailect could be one of these. We have almost nothing written up on these so in many respects it would be a blank canvas for you to create on.

b) The Carina Rush - Again this is an area where circumstances (and an alien wormhole) have created a frontier region far from the center of the main archailect powers. Your empire's ancestors could head out through the wormhole into the Rush and go on to found a new civilization. We might or might not need to tweak the current Carina Rush article(s) a bit to accommodate that, but that could be doable. Again, little has been written about this region so there is likely lots of room for you to create as you wish without running afoul of existing canon and articles.

c) The Hellfire Expansion - This is a bit different in that it is a 'frontier' region that is surrounded on all sides by the existing civilization. But frontiers might be seen as as much about ideas as territory. In this instance your empire founders could be a group that got into the Expansion early and took over a cluster or other group of stars to found a new empire. This would definitely be a smaller empire, but as Rynn has pointed out, there is a huge amount of room to create in that general conceptual space in OA since we haven't done a lot with it.

d) The Middle and Outer Volumes - While these are not on the edge of Terragen civilization per se, they were at one time and (depending on where you go) there are significant to large regions that have little contact with/influence from the Sephirotic empires. From an editorial perspective, there are vast regions that have had little written up about them which leaves them open for anyone who wants to grab a small to medium size chunk of space and start using it as a sandbox. In this case, rather than a founding group being outside the Terragen Sphere it would be more a matter of 'Around such and such a date Group X founded a civilization in location Y and rapidly expanded to control a volume of Z light years across. They have been rather isolationist and maintain relatively little contact with the wider Terragen civilization. etc etc.' Such an empire need not be anywhere near as large as a Sephirotic to host a huge amount of places to play. For example, a bit of googling turns up that there are nearly 14,000 stars within 100 light-years of the Sun and between 200 and 300 thousand within 250ly. So even a pretty modest empire can have more places to create then any one person (or likely group of people) could manage in a singe life-time.

Likely there are other potential 'blank spots on the map' where you could set an empire, but hopefully this gives you the general idea.

Starting out your empire a bit later and/or in a way that doesn't require being 'outside' the entire Terragen Bubble purely in spacial terms removes one of the single biggest challenges I see with your proposal at a single stroke.

In terms of how unique your empire might be, and what it might contain. Partly that's going to depend on what sort of 'foundation' and 'framework' you build for it such that you and others (based on our experience a group effort on an ongoing basis is definitely something you want) can add to it over time with more specific article entries. In terms of a recommendation - I wouldn't try to create the entire thing in all details all in one go.

Ok - need to get back to work.

Hope this helps, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the above or anything else, please don't hesitate to ask.

Yeah I'm totally fine on placing the date of their exodus closer to present day OA as long as they have enough time to develop their own history and culture. 
As for the starting locations, I was considering placing in around the Carina Rush because of how far it is from the inner sphere so most likely will place them around there. For the Middle and Outer Volumes, I will look more into the empty space around the area. I might make it work there if there is a huge swat of empty, uncolonized space for them to expand and create a buffer. I do like the idea of making the civ into like some kind of protectorate of the Perseus Prince. I also had ideas placing the civ in the Persues Arm and maybe have some but limited interaction w/ the Muuh & Soft Ones Volumes.  
I plan on taking my time to organize the ideas for this proposed civilization with the intention of myself and others to expand upon the lore, culture, and events later on. So i wont do it in one go but instead take step by step to develop this project.

Also sorry for my late response, I'm a pretty slow at typing and gathering my thoughts sometimes. I'm still learning how to the quote system in this forum. Any help on that will be well appreciated

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RE: A lurker on this site, decided to finally introduce myself - by SolarRider - 02-08-2020, 09:05 AM

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