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The World Seed

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Disclaimer:

  1. This is a pre-alpha version of a attempt to emulate the 'Underworld' Virtual Reality world into a viable role-playing environment. This world can be found in Reki Kawahara's 4th Arc of the original Sword Art Series (Light Novel Volumes 9-18, as of the creation date of this thread).
  2.  While it will be heavily based on the source material, discrepancies between the author's original 'world' and this one may be present.
  3. This section will contain a large amount of spoilers regarding to the Underworld's world creation and mechanics.
  4. For testing purposes, there will only be permitted the creation of Artificial Fluctlight characters and little to no information about the 'Real World' would be revealed. (details TBA at later date)
  5. For system beta testing, only the Human Empire will be developed. The Dark Territories (information and game mechanics associated to them), complete background and full game/roleplay mechanics, to be added on a later date; after the beta test ends.
  6. As this is still a pre-alpha build, the page format and information contained in this thread and in the forum section overall, will undergo volatile changes until a stable version will be reached; and hopefully a beta test will be launched shortly after. Make sure to frequently check for updates/changes.

Welcome to the Underworld!

This thread covers all the IC (in-character) details the players that choose to roleplay on this forum section (Alicization Arc), NEED to know and abide by.

Table of content:

  1. Mythology:  The Underworld's main deities and how the world's genesis, according to popular belief (folklore).
  2. History: Basic knowledge of history that all citizens of the Underworld Human Empire should know. 
  3. Society: The ruling system present in the Underworld Human Empire and its intricacies;

    o   Geography: Description of how the Underworld Human Empire is divided (and associated laws) and its settlements (and their associated laws).

    o   Feudal System: The social hierarchy present in the Human Empire. 

    o   <Taboo Index>: The absolute law in the Human Empire.

    o   <Integrity Knights>: Main law enforcing organization

    o   <Sacred Task>: 'Job' or 'Class' assigned to every citizen in the Human Empire.  

    o   <Four Empires Unity Tournament> and each individual Empire Swordsmanship Tournament.

    o   Miscellaneous: Language, Calendar, Naming etc.

  4. etc

     

 

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Mythology

World Genesis

The story told by the Axiom Church, that got adopted as the 'truth' by the Human Empire residents is the following:
There are five Main Deities in the world's pantheon, they don't bare any kind of family relationship one with another but some worked together to make this world and all that is within it. Some even continue to do so as they supervise their creation while others seek to rule it.

All the lands and the life within them were created by the three main goddesses, Stacia, Solus and Terraria, but was then split into the Human Empire, overseen by Stacia, and the Dark Territory, ruled by Vector, after Solus drove away Vector to the land of darkness with its holy spiritual light during the world's creation. Ever since that time, the light of Solus has never shone on the lands of the Dark Territory.

In one legend, it is said that once every one thousand years, when the light of Solus weakens, the forces of darkness led by the dark knights would cross the mountain range and invade the Human Empire from the North Cave, West Gorge, South Corridor and East Gate. In that great war, the guards in the villages, the sentinels, all people with military related <Sacred Tasks> and the imperial army would form the Human Empire Army that would be led by the Integrity Knights to fight against the hordes of monsters, while nobles would support the Integrity Knights by having commanding positions in that army. Until then, the nobles and those possessing any type of combat related Sacred Task, are to polish their swordsmanship in preparation for the battle.

The five governing deities are:

  • The Goddess of Creation Stacia: The main goddess in the Human Empire, she represents life and creation.  According to the legends, she governs the existence of all animate and inanimate objects in the form of Life, displayed in the <Stacia Window>, and summons those whose <Life> expires to her side. Marriages in the Human Empire are pledged to Stacia, who blesses the couple and allows them to have children.
  • The Sun God Solus: The god of Underworld's star, Solus (equivalent for Sun), that provides blessings to the world in the form of sunrays that increase the surrounding <Sacred Power>. His blessings diminish during the night when the Solus sets. Solus is in the same time, the name of the deity as well as the 'sun'. They are believed to be the one and the same.

  • The Land Goddess Terraria: The goddess of the earth that provides blessings to plants and protects metalworkers and craftsmen. Provides <Sacred Power> through the earth, though this source of power is very limited in cities and above the ground.

  • The Darkness God Vector: The ruler of the Dark Territory and the only god worshiped there. Vector is said to love pulling pranks on humans, in the form of diseases or kidnapping people, taking away their memory then leaving them in some other place of the world. Vector also provides <Sacred Power> necessary for casting Dark Arts.

  • The Goddess of the Moon Lunaria: The goddess of the moon who controls the dreams of Underworld's residents.

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History

Early History

Sometime after the world genesis, it is believed that the first humans appeared in the world by the grace of the gods. After that, the population of the Underworld increased exponentially as even now, the common marriage age is 20 years and couples have in average 5 children.

At the moment, these are just a speculation within the upper echelon of the Axiom Church, normal population are unaware of the this part of history (italic blue colored text).
Players will become aware of parts of this extra information through staff, if their ic story/position is relevant to the info.

It's believed that Vector influenced one or two of the first humans with his egoism, and desire for wealth and dominance. The children corrupted by the Dark God became the ancestors of the future nobles as they secured their place as elites in the world. By the time of the 5th generation after the human genesis, the inhabitants of the Human Empire were already ruled by several lords, who, inheriting the egoism from their ancestors, earnestly continued expanding the land they owned, thus depriving the descendants of the non-corrupted first humans of land for cultivation. The lords that came afterwards installed a feudal system in the very center of the land. This would benefit and allow them some degree of control over the less wealthy. This manifested in different ways throughout the land. Later on, most of the people were forced to work for the lords as tenant farmers, while some of them, who were not content with their social positions, set off from Centoria; the capital city of the Human Empire, birthplace of humanity. They traveled to the remote regions where they founded new towns and villages, like Zakkaria and Rulid Village, and thus acquired new land to cultivate for themselves.

Meanwhile, the lords that ruled over the capital held enmity and distrust towards each other, so there was a long period of time without any marriages between them. However, after some time of debates and arrangements, a political marriage happened between the two most prominent families of lords for the first time in ages. As a result of this marriage, a single daughter, possessing a higher level of egoism than any other lord in the world at the time, was born. 

Axiom Church

The Axiom Church was founded around 100 years after the creation of Underworld. At the time, the founder and head of the church was a young prodigy girl. Her Sacred Task was one not seen before in Underworld, one that she picked for herself at the age of 6: "Sacred Arts Research". She soon became very proficient at using Sacred Arts and had discovered many new rituals and ways that people could put them to use in every day life. At the age of thirteen, she decided she didn't want to rule over the people as a lord - she wanted to have absolute control, she wanted to become a God. To do this, she started doing "miracles" in front of people, predicting storms and healing sick and injured people in the name of the "gods". The girl told the people that a shrine to worship the gods needed to be built in order to perform even greater miracles, hence a large marble spire was erected in the center of town of Centoria; this ever expanding building would be later known as the Central Cathedral. This marked the beginning of the Axiom Church. It was around that time, that prodigy girl discarded the name she received from her parents and took up the tittle of <Administrator> of the Human Empire.

<Administrator> then created the Immortal Walls in Centoria which divided the Human Empire into four parts, having the Axiom Church's tower at the very center. This was to create a physical barrier between the people and to make sure that the Axiom Church would have complete control of the relaying of information and trades. She made it so that the people would remain reliant on the church and thus they would stay devoted to its preachings. Large physical barriers and/or obstacles were created throughout the Human Empire by <Administrator>, including: a huge, unbreakable rock; a swamp that could never be filled; a rapid, uncrossable stream; and a gigantic tree that was virtually imposible to cut down. These 'environments' were then put in the world to make sure that humanity could not expand past its current boundaries, effectively stopping all territorial expansion of the Human Empire. She also set down rules for the people, including the <Taboo Index>, and made sure every resident knew them so that no one could possibly oppose her. Walls were raised to delimit the four kingdoms that have formed inside the Empire and as they were exploring, apparently unsolvable natural obstacles were discovered by the people. While this was all happening, the tower of Axiom Church was growing ever higher and through certain research, <Administrator> created a her own 'military' force, known as the Integrity Knights.

With a particular legend in mind, the foundation of the Sword Mastery Academy was set. Studying swordsmanship at this academy is the aspiration of all town guards, people with military-oriented <Sacred Tasks> and not only. Nobles also send their children here to train here in order to gain a reputation for themselves while the common people dreamed to attend the school in order to either become nobles or join the Integrity Knights. Through the Integrity Knights, the Church was able to maintain its rule over the Human Empire for years on, and its doing so even now.

At the present time, only few old priests know those exact details. Common folk don't know about the existence of the <Administrator>, or the prodigy girl's background. The Integrity Knights are the public figures of the Church, the <Administrator> being now the hidden ruler behind all.

Detailed history for each empire and notable locations
To be added, on a later date.

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Society

If we were to find a equivalent era to the real world, the Underworld's timeline would belong to the medieval times in terms of technology. There is a determined feudal system that governs the Human Empire, the Axiom Church ruling on top of it all. The social class division is a simple one at first glance: nobles and commoners.

The commoner class refers to people that don't own vast amounts of land and wealth but could still make a decent living working either for themselves as a craftsman (blacksmith, fletcher, tamer, tailor, or any similar profession) or by working the lands either for themselves or for/in the service of a noble. Commoners that work their own land yet do not belong to the noble class live to the very outskirts of the Empire, in settlements such as Rulid Village; They are not recognized as nobles by the capital city of the Human Empire, Centoria; as they haven't amassed any noticeable wealth. These commoners also lack the negative emotions like egoism, that most nobles posses. Through they can gain moderately important positions within the different empires ruling systems depending on the requirements.

Nobles however have divided themselves in 2 different sub classes based on the amount of land they own/control and how far its located from the Capital City:

  1. First Class Nobles, they are nobles that posses the most amount of territories closest to the capital. They are the purest of the nobles, marrying among themselves; most likely the direct descendants of the first corrupted by the dark god. They also have punishment authority over the lower noble class as long as they obey the <Taboo Index> and the <Empire Fundamental Law>. (to be added, on a later date)
  2. Second Class Nobles, they are rest of the noble class that have married commoners into their families.

Empire specific social classes / titles / ranks
To be added, at a later date.

 

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Geography

The Human Empire is divided by the massive white marble walls, erected using the <Administrator>'s powers, into 4 separated Empires named: Norlangarth North Empire, Southacroith Empire, Eastabarieth Empire and Wesdarath Empire. Each one has its own ruling system that is independent from the other ones. There are economical treaties between the 4 empires but they are all regulated by the Axiom Church in Centoria, The Human Empire's capital city. It is only here, that each of the 4 walls has its own entrance gate, interconnecting the Human Empire.

There is no other way to cross from an empire to another except through the Centorian gates. The only known beings that are able to fly above the walls and have free passage throughout the Human Empire are the Integrity Knights that ride Dragons Spawns, as loyal companions and means of transportation. Dragon Spawns are rare creatures that can only be found in possession of the Axiom Church's higher echelon: The Integrity Knights.

Each empire has its own set of rules but overall they cover the same points, the differences are that each empire adapted and specialized in a area:

  • The South Empire specializes in Military power, almost all citizens are required to go through basic military training at the age of 13 regardless of their social status. The land's emperor has been passed down from ancient times, the task of supplying the primary army troops for the Human Empire.
 

One of the main customs that differentiates this empire from another is the emperor's line of succession. The emperor is not chosen from his bloodline descendants. Instead, once every 4 years the person that wins Empire Swordsmanship Tournament, gains the right to choose: participate in the Four Empires Unity Tournament or challenge the Emperor to a duel for his crown. If the challenge is chosen, the challenger will stake his life while the Emperor will steak his crown in a <First Strike> duel. This spartan-like military training allowed the North Empire to become the main 'brute force' power of the 4 empires.

 

  • The North Empire's area of expertise has always been agriculture and their wealth comes from the constant trades with the other empires. Here almost every citizen, from a very young age, helps their relatives or close ones in performing their Sacred Task and eventually pick up a similar one for themselves. 
 

Grains, fruits, dairy products and every other type of food product; the Northern Empire prides itself with vast fields and the perfect clima for agriculture. That's why it's the Human Empire's main food supplier and a overall wealthy region as each citizen receives ownership of a patch of land if they pick a agriculture related Sacred Task. But technology wise the empire ranks last of the four as it focused solely on agriculture thanks to the influence from the Axiom Church; they impeded the importation of new technologies from the west. Manual labor is still the main way to get things done but the people accustomed to it.

 

  • The East Empire's worth comes from its significant educational system that is somehow unique throughout the entire Human Empire. While in the other areas people can barely know how to write and count, the easterners are considered the brightest people throughout the Empires thanks to the Axiom Church's influence. 
 

They have included in their law system a mandatory church attendance schedule that starts from a young age, which educates the young minds about the taboo index and the different law systems alongside teaching them proper reading, writing and counting. At the age of 13, one can pick the Sacred Task that one desires out of the available positions. But this freedom doesn't come cheap, the eastern empire is dependent on the North and Eastern Empires for supplies, as their own land lacks resources to craft tools or the necessary amount of farming lands to self sustain itself.

 

  • The West empire is said to be the most technologically advanced one of the four empires. As the East Empire uses farming techniques that can be found in the Medieval age, the same applies to crafting.  - economy/crafting
 

Home of the technological revolution, the western empire's might comes from producing the finest metals and metalworks. While not having the same influence in the daily life as the Axiom Church's sacred arts, the people of this empire managed to successfully reproduce to a certain degree raw contraptions that deliver a similar result to that of a sacred art. (For example in this empire, water powered mills produce wheat for the citizens, while people from less technologically evolved areas trade grains for wheat at the church or manually try to crush the grains into powder) 
The latest iron making technique would be iron casting by the use of the simple bloomery for the lower income. Its more expensive variation called a furnace, uses a primitive manually operated bellow.


Specific locations within the Human Empire
To be added on a later date.

The Dark Territory
To be added after the beta test.

 

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Feudal System

Since its creation, throughout the years, the Human Empire developed a feudal system that was based on the social status ladder. At the very peak there was the <Administrator> with the Axiom Church and the Integrity Knights elite force. But since the Empire is comprised of such a vast territory it was divided in 4 regions, each being assigned an 'emperor' to rule over it. 

different ranks require less word count. and get access to better gear?

south, basic military hierarchy based on personal achievements

 

<Reserve> - All citizens that went through the basic military training at the age of 13 are considered part of the empire's reserve troops.
<Guard> - The military <Secret Task> predominant in the south empire, over 85% of the citizens choose to join the army thus gaining the guard title.
*<Elite> - Hierarchy wise an Elite is on the same 'step' as an Guard. They receive this title from a captain or above and with it, several special perks as: private quarters, seconds in the mess hall, less work requirements and better equipment.
<Lieutenant> - The officer is charged with assisting the captain with command of the company, in his absence. When the lieutenant was not assisting the captain, the lieutenant commanded a handpicked team of 1-3 guards and/or elites as a specialized platoon.
<Captain> - A person in charge of a band of soldiers assigned into a company. Captains have final judiciary and executive powers over a region assigned to them. A captain appoints his lieutenant to help him manage the troops and can pick up to 3 elites within his company.
<Marshal> - As the General's second in command, the Marshal will be in charge of managing its own company formed by all the Captains in the kingdom. The Marshal can temporarily take the authority of the General in its absence.
<General> - The person with ultimate military power in the kingdom, dubbed by the other kingdoms and the Axiom Church as "Emperor of the Southacroith Empire". Due to the internal hierarchy of the southern empire people within prefer the term 'General' over 'emperor' to show their allegiance. In case of death, a new General is chosen via the 'Empire Swordsmanship Tournament' that is held every 4 years. The winner becomes the new General in case the position is vacant; in case there already is a General, the winner can chose between challenging the current General in a duel for his position or becoming a part of the Integrity Knights 

 

 

north, descendance noble ladder based on owned land size

 

<Commoner> - Pleb! The lowest social status that a citizen can achieve. Someone without any material property, that is either living on the streets or working the land for a noble. Commoners represent 75% of the Northern Empire's population.

 

east, 

 

a mafia sort of government would probably be the one most likely to lead to more cunning citizens but that's gonna need to be re-framed to fit into a medieval setting

like a government consisting of a bunch of different loosely-related families/organizations that control their own little areas or cultural niches

maybe some sort of council with a representative from each of those factions, shifting alliances and schemes to influence council decisions

think game of thrones meets the godfather but medieval

a federal system but the 'governor' for each territory would be a family/organization, the 'president' would be a someone in a godfather-like position

the council would be ruled by the 'godfather' and its members would be the different heads of the families?

basically i imagine you might be able to play up the political favors angle along with things like alliances, bribery, blackmail, etc.

just people gaming the system in general

 

west, the emperor is the head of a trading council formed of the different guild leaders (blacksmiths, tanners, fletchers, tailors, alchemists etc.)

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