Making a Plane

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Hi kids. Kinda new at this, but I was wondering if I could get input or ideas from any/all of you who are more familiar than I.

I'd like to build a set, and a plane. I'm not looking for card ideas here, I'll be doing that over at YMtC, but I'd like to do a little brainstorming to see if any of you have input.

My Plane is without sentient life. None. Oxes, foxes, fish, and fowl. Goats and Crocodiles. But no Humans, no Vampires, no Goblins, no Merfolk. None of it. Maybe there was some once, and perhaps they left behind some artifacts that hint at what caused their demise.

So, my questions:

1) Is this possible and/or a "good" idea?

2) What kind of storyline would you recommend? I'm thinking something along the lines of non-animal nature vs. animal nature. Drought/Ice/(Insert any number of Natural Disasters here) vs. the various animals of this land - not to mention the interplay between predators and prey.

3) How do I write stories from an animals perspective without sounding like a jack-a**? I started a story from the point of view of an Ox, and it was just "grass this, grass that" - not my finest work. Any advice on that?

Thanks a whole bunch. Any feedback is appreciated, even if it isn't a specific answer to one of the above questions.

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.

1) It's certainly possible. Whether it's a good idea depends on how well you pull it off.


2) The first thing that popped to mind was planeswalkers using the plane for duels or something, or as a hunting ground. 


3) Yeah, that's the problem with this idea. Unless you give the animals human characteristics, they're not going to be all that interesting characters. 

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1) I must agree with Yxoque with this

2) Ask yourself why this plane is devoid of sapient life. 
*Is it a primordial world that has yet to develop intelligent races, or in which the typically intelligent races have yet to rise above their bestial origins?  In that case you could include creatures with typically sentient racial types, but no class types, indicating their "feral" nature.  Perhaps, even, the Dawn of Thought is the threat to the plane. 
*Is it a world where sapient life and civilization destroyed itself, and the typical races of the multiverse are extinct?  In that case, recall that the evil that men do may live on after them -- animals and plants may be dominant, but there may also be masterless war machines or biomantically enhanced species to cause trouble
*Is it a world where Sapient life cannot exist, where Intelligent thought is either extinguished (As on the Beastlands in D&D's Great Wheel cosmology) or deliberatley eradicated (As in Alpha Centauri)?  In this case, Planeswalkers who find their way to this plane are Locked in a Freezer, forced to resolve what problems keep them there and escape before the plane kills them or robs them of their minds.  Note, this could go alongside the second bullet point or on its own.

3) Writing nonsapients is basically impossible to sustain without applying sentient thought to things that should not have humanlike intelligence.  Watership Down probably does this best

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

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My advice would be to drop the "story" stuff and just nerd out over the ecology (or else realize that the premise is not actually very interesting to you.) You can of course show the ecology changing as the block progresses, but that's not really a "story" in at least some of the traditional senses, and you shouldn't attempt to force it to be one.

Think carefully also about how to display each color's philosophy and outlook in the absence of intelligent life. 
Thanks y'all. Tevish, those are some good ideas. I'm kinda leaning towards a combination. I want artifacts, though not many, so I'm thinking there was once society in this world, but alas, it has fallen. The descendants of those creatures have lost their ability to manipulate the world around them. Now Dwarves and Orcs scamper through the underbrush neked eating berries and scratching their butts on trees just like the rest of the animals. Second Set (of block), they begin to develop. A spark ignites within the minds of these creatures. Third Set, they begin to dominate nature, and form societies, and (hopefully) an ominous tone is set. Will the future of these people mirror their past? (Answer: Yes) Of course, the chances of me actually doing an entire block are pretty slim. I have a tendency to start something emphatically, and slowly lose focus and drive, until I completely forget about it.

Ah, if only I had the literary talent of Mr. Adams. Since childhood, that novel has always been one of my favorites, and I'm glad you mentioned it. Perhaps I can make a Legendary Rabbit named El-ahrairah.

mUrielw - I think you may have a point there, with the ecology thing. The premise is interesting to me. I think stories told through image or pure description can be some of the most gratifying. Your last sentence haunts me. That will be a challenge.

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.
Writing nonsapients is basically impossible to sustain without applying sentient thought to things that should not have humanlike intelligence.  Watership Down probably does this best



Magicpablo666, I believe prehaps writing from a "Dumb" animal point of veiw is the right way to go. As previeous posts have said you would have to give your animals some human characteristics but their goals would never really rise past where to eat next.

You create your world with it's inhabbitence warring against each other, make up the factions, the Reason, the overall story, and most importently how they were all wiped out. 
After which you have animals or spirits narrating the overview with very naive or kid like wonder marveling at the littlest thing and completely missing the over tone of some horrible tragedy that has ruined the world they live on.

I honestly thought you were going to go that direction in your own post:
"Grass this, grass that - not my finest work.
 I was able to chew the pasture near those humming stone much faster."
-Old Ox
Depciting said Ox eating near some sort of ruins or forgotten Mana-Battery.
Ooh, okay. Maybe an Ox is the wrong way to go. But an animal with more curiosity, like a squirrel or an ape might work. Thanks BloodDragon, that's actually a good idea.

How is this as Rough Draft:


*Sniff* *sniff* "What is that? I smell something. . . it isn't food - but it is. . . intriguing. If I can climb this branch and - yes - leap from that one. It is getting closer."

The small brown creature flitted through the highest branches of the arboreal masterpiece that made up what used to be called Uplondi's Thicket. Deftly scaling the thin limbs, he soon found himself at the source of this mysterious odor. A clearing spread out beneath him, and in the center of the clearing a monument sat - silent as stone.

"Ahhh, an structure of the old ones," he thought to himself. He'd seen things like this before. Hopping down and riding a weak draft under his small webbings, allowed the creature to make a soft landing on the mossy knoll. Upon closer inspection the Stone was one solid slab. It was inlaid with the strange characters so often found on things of old. Ipex had heard the stories many times. More than most, because he was the best at remembering them - and when the old storyteller, Jericus, ran out of nuts (and believe me it wouldn't be long), then Ipex would take up his mantle and become the teller.

Ipex curiously explored the stone. "The stone isn't the source of the smell. It smells cold and like the wind on a cloudy day. It is cold." Ipex climbed to the top. "It gets smaller here. Like a branch that slowly gets thinner and thinner until it ends. And - what's this?" Ipex lifted the pouch off of the very top of the altar. "It is soft, like the little ones in the tribe. And this is were the smell comes from. It smells of smoke and fire - but I know it is not on fire. There is no need to run. Should I run? Oh!" Ipex frantically scampered halfway down the stone, before he realized he'd sent himself into a panic over nothing. The pouch was not on fire. It smelled of very old fire. There was nothing to be afraid of.

He climbed back up, embarrassed. "I'd better take this back to the tribe. Perhaps there are nuts inside of it." Putting the pouch between his teeth, he began the trip back. It was slightly slower - he kept having to readjust the pouch, it was larger than most things Ipex was used to carrying. But, he made it back to the tree where his tribe lived. It took a few tries, but he was able to get the attention of most of his people with a few yells of "Honey Nuts!" Honey Nuts are not to be scoffed at - and when they found out he had no Honey Nuts, and only a pouch, his tribe was not pleased.

"What is the meaning of this, Ipex? What could be so important as to gather the whole tribe? Lying about Honey Nuts and such." The Chief was fat with prosperity. He nibbled no leaves, and never ate the biting ants - but lived solely on the delicious Chestnuts and lesser nuts that thrived in the valley.

"Well, sir. I found this Old pouch."

"Are there nuts inside?" The Chief leaned forward intently.

"Um, I've yet to open the thing."

"Well, son. What are you waiting for. Perhaps they are rare Old nuts - perhaps nuts that are beyond our understanding."

"Okay, sir", Ipex muttered as he began to pry open the pouch. After a moment the old clothe gave, and out poured several shiny marbles. In the center of each, there swirled a cosmos of tiny red sparks.

"Nuts!", the Chief whimpered. Struggling forward he picked one up and put it between his huge teeth.

The fire lasted for almost a week, until the entire forest was burned. If you go there now, all you'll find are a bunch of blackened stumps and animal skeletons. Ashes cover the ground, but out of the wreckage of nature, one stone stands. And if you are as curious as Ipex, then perhaps you'll be inclined to read the words on the stone:

"Here lies Uplondi
2415 - 2442
Beloved Son of Kasm
He served his Nation well
Over Fourteen of the Cities of Gliver
Fell to his Fire
A Pyromancer of the People"

139359831 wrote:
That is a lovely painting of Richard Garfield. It really brings out his feminine side.