Is there any information or campaign lore (official or otherwise) on why it is that the world isn’t frozen solid, what with having no Sun?
I like electroplasm = light = energy for plants = life survives (sure, perhaps there’s handwaving here about the necessary scale of things), but what about just warmth (in the air, and keeping water from turning into ice)?
From the Shattered Isles (page 308):
"This was once a storybook fantasy world of magic and wonders, which was destroyed and an industrial civilization was built on top of the ruins.
Don’t expect scientific realism here."
No indeed. Nonetheless, if there’s a “scientific” reason given for everyone getting food to eat, perhaps there is something semi-plausible explaining livable air temperatures as well.
I had to research that to be sure but it seems that our Earth has really been completely frozen in the past (on the surface that is). If the sun’s absent for centuries, I supposed there wouldn’t be any oceans for people in Doskvol to sail.
Stating the obvious: This setting doesn’t and shouldn’t (in my view) care much for scientific realism. But I understand if someone wants an explanation anyway. That got me thinking. Plasm is compressed life-essence (see p242). Leviathans inhabit the oceans; they are demons from hell. I suppose once Hell has taken over Earth it would ensure that creatures from Hell could suvive on Earth. If Leviathans require water to live, Hell has surely found a way to keep the water surface warm enough for that. Perhaps it’s the plasm - an source for life and heat and the Leviathans’ blood - that makes it possible.
In my opinion it’s better not to overthink it - otherwise you are getting to a rather dangerous area of asking yourself “wouldn’t wooden furniture be extremely rare and expensive?”, “how to break into a building when most of them don’t need/have windows?” etc.
I prefer to skim over such problems unless that can provide fun during play. For example one of scores we’ve done was blowing up warehouse full of ice brought from Tycheros on ships. All this done to let the gang’s associate make a dent in Tycheros monopoly and start selling his own ice made from enraged ghosts. Which then led to buildings blowing up around the city, when he started selling bottles with “spent” (iron hot) enraged ghosts to underground fighting pits
It really is a fantasy world masquerading as steampunk, so only worry about that sort of stuff when it makes it more interesting
(but really the true answer is polar volcanoes evaporating huge amounts of water, distributing heat in the form of (relatively) warm rain)
I do like polar volcanoes! And the leviathans might make the Void Sea warm through their very presence, yes. Thanks all for coming up with neat ideas. (And yeah, I did worry about wooden furniture; perhaps there’s a mushroom-derived wood substitute in use. As for windows, I guess the light at sunset and sunrise would still be nice, and being able to look out on the plasm-lit outside might also be seen as worthwhile.)
Finally, I guess you could imagine that the Sun was shattered and lost its light, but that the fragments still radiate warmth. Thanks again for the interesting ideas!
That’s my take on it. From the book; “Its remnant shards burn weakly in the sky at dawn and twilight, yielding only a dull glow, like the last embers in a dying fire.” I play that the sun is greatly weakened, not gone entirely.
I remember first reading the description of the world in the book and thinking, “Oh, so the gates of death were broken… and this portion of the world (a few shattered islands) was pulled through into the fantasy world’s purgatory/land of the dead…?” (Ghosts have nowhere else to go, the sun is a pale simulacrum, the seas are a terrifying void…)
So, it’s a mythical realm, with some semblance of the living world kept semi-protected by the emperor’s rituals? Who knows.
Yeah, that’s my take too.
The talk about ghost keys and pieces of the city from the past flashing in and out of existence makes me feel like those are chunks of the “real world” ruins shining through more than some kind of time-traveling anomaly.
It’s kind like what would happened if we all got pulled into the “Upside Down” realm from Stranger Things, got stuck there, and then colonized it for a 1000 years?..
Yes! I like the idea that the “real world” might still be there. This whole society of sad fools is going around thinking that they survived the apocalypse, but in reality they’ve just been living in purgatory for centuries while the rest of the world goes on without them.
Greenhouse gasses to trap in heat, high levels of volcanic activity to generate more heat, and one could make a case for the shattered remnants of the planet’s star to be emitting mostly in the infrared, so there could still be a fair bit of solar energy hitting the planet.
But all of that is just throwing science at it when the author clearly doesn’t care, and that is probably totally OK :).
I think the need for easy ventilation control and vantage points makes windows useful even in a mostly dark world. Furthermore, don’t forget the weight of culture - people usually get rid of things that endanger them and would like to keep some remenants of their once sane world.