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Author Topic: Crude Oil Brownies/Darklings/Piscinites/Cavern Brownies...  (Read 9110 times)
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Tharoc Wargrider
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« Reply #15 on: 04 October 2008, 03:48:34 »

Actually, come to think of it, have you seen the HellBoy films? There's a fish-man in that as well.
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« Reply #16 on: 04 October 2008, 06:37:30 »

The caves dont have a name as of yet, just the dwarves themselves (Trumarim, in case you missed it) The caves need a dwarven name, a human name, and a brownie name..
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« Reply #17 on: 04 October 2008, 18:37:20 »

Black-Water Brownies?
When I think of oil, I think of black water. Blah. That's such a lame suggestion! buck

Perhaps I should just stick to butterflies... *Scurries back to the greenhouses.*

EDIT:  Hehehehe.. Now that I think about it, "Black-Water Brownies" sounds like pirates. An entire fleet of tiiiny pirate people! The ocean must be that much more grand to them than it is to everyone else... Mmm, what it would be like if we were all a fourth of the size we currently are...
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« Reply #18 on: 04 October 2008, 19:23:15 »

Well at least it'd take a lot longer to overpopulate the world ;)
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« Reply #19 on: 04 October 2008, 19:35:55 »

Wait for Tharoc's pirate entry Val, methinks there are going to be tiny pirates in there.  Tee hee hee.  I honestly can't wait.
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« Reply #20 on: 04 October 2008, 21:01:40 »

Tsk tsk, Rookie. Giving away all my secrets!
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« Reply #21 on: 04 October 2008, 21:14:23 »

Oops :P.  Was that still a secret?  I was just advertising your brilliance, honestly.
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« Reply #22 on: 05 October 2008, 02:15:50 »

HA! Gotcha.

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« Reply #23 on: 29 October 2008, 20:32:19 »

*pokes Mira*

Do you have any more in depth comments oh Herbarium Lord?  :P
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« Reply #24 on: 30 October 2008, 23:15:31 »

Trying to avoid my current projects and homework projects with a will...I couldn't help but being inspired by the work done here so far.  *rolls eyes* My Muse has  a very odd sense of humor...and is far harder to catch than any butterfly.  Come to think about it...my muse reminds of a sprite sometime empty-headed, mischief filled, and adapted at staring and pointing out anything shiny.

*clears throat* Anywho...here's my thoughts on this subject.  *cheerily* Feel free to ignore, take, change or smear me with an ice cream cake.  *looks hopefully at Tharoc with an arronry grin*


Rookie Brownbark:
Quote
Well, these are the thoughts I've had so far on this little project you suggested to me.  Please add your ideas and comments guys.  I'm not entirely sure what the place is like, so if I've made any huge assumptions which won't work, let me know .

A. What have these Brownies got going for them?

1) Crude oil.  Lots and lots of crude oil.

What can you do with crude oil?
Used for – fire – heat, light, warmth – all things which could be used to attract fish and encourage plant growth.  I quite fancy having a huge cavern filled with plants and produce deep down under the ground where nobody ever sees it.  It’d make a wonderfully eerie description.

Doesn't sound eerie to me...its sounds quite wonderful.  Unlike some people who picture a gullum like brownie, I cannot seem to get the picture of gnomes and brownies (the chocolate kind *stops at stares* What!  A girl needs her chocolate...and I cannot help it) out of my head.   Personally, with the mention of dwarves, I cannot help the images of a tiny community whose trading center is located in several mountain laurals (or a Santharia version of the poisioned-wood mountain-side twisted tree) on or in the borders of a dwarven community.  Then down through a secret brownie sized passage, way down, way way way down (you get the point) a secret community of brownies with a floating city built  onto or into either a cyrpress (or santharian version of said tree), with a curious floating rock (volanic rocks exbihit said trait), a curious breed of glowing water lillies that thrive on oil and very little sunlight, or a combination of all three.  I see the lack in a cavern with only a single tiny crack somewhere near the cieling in the side of giant mountian that lets in the sunlight, but yet have the carvern cleverly lit through the use of mirrors and the various types of lamps these brownies have evented.  I see the city floating in, to all apperances, a black lack filled with somesort of glowing floweres (water-lillies) that provide light and serve as pathways for the brownies.  The sheer cliffs walll dotted with path ways, the homes of the more conservative Darklings, and also the night growing plants that the brownies keep alive with their 'dark' or non-light or blue-lit warmth laterns. The light, because afterall we're in a cave, should be dim perhaps a curious color such as blue, green, or red.

Side-note: The one thing I love about splunking (cave exploring...often involving a very long rope and some very tight fits) is the cave formations...the warm colors, beautifully twisted formations, the subtle smell of chemicals, the subtle glow of some formations whenever you turned of the light and turned on a ultra-violet lamp.  I think it would be lovely if the city was something like those beautiful caves I love so much.

But of course...we could always go for dark, dank, gloomy, and creepy...

Quote

2) Natural Gas?  Can we collect this? 

If so…some sort of weapon to scare fish?  Or a flare to attract the attention of other Brownies.

I'm not sure if we can, but since this fantasy afterall  grin, I think we can get a way with a few barely believable inventions to harness this resorce.  How about using pig-blatters?  In the old days, I knew they used to blow up pig-blatters as balls to play with.  Why not fill these blatters with gas?  These blatters were/are rubber like and would certainly create a Bang when pop, thus releasing the gas, either for use or for scaring scary cave creatures. *chuckles as she realizes what she actually just suggested*

Or how about some sort of turkey-baster and bottle mechanism to suck up the gas?  *cocks head*  Glass orbs placed overtop of gas vates with pipes leading to storage and city for use?


Quote
3) Water? (They’ve gotta have some somewhere.  Mutating them can do so much, but if I make them able to drink Crude Oil I can’t see why they would even be the same shape any more, or recognisable as Brownies in any way.) Where do they get it from?

Idea No. One – there are sources underneath the crude oil (does crude oil float on water?) and they delve deep for it. 

But!

How did they then begin to live in the caves then before they had found it?

Idea No. Two – some kind of plant which secretes water.  Possibly developed (or helped to develop) by the Brownies themselves using life magic?  Or else it works with another organism which needs water which it then eats the poo of, some sort of beetle or grub would be ideal.

I like the plant idea.

What about a waterfall?  Very obvious, I know, but it would have provided a way for the brownies to first settle there before they develped or adapted several plants for their purposes.  If you wanted the brownies to only really on this plant yet to be created, you can the waterfall either drying to a very slow trickle slowly overtime or have the waterfall be noturiously unreliable (freezing during the winter, flooding during the spring, drying up in the summer, and trickling in the fall).  A waterfall or somesort of spring would also guarentee that enough water was provided that the oil was always at an reacheable hieght to be used by the brownies.

Or what about developing a boat or a watermill.  A watermill that stays stationary in a thinner spot of oil or a boat using the waterwills of the old steamboats of the mississippi would be able to tread the water, breaking up the oil in the thinnest spots, and allowing the brownies access to water.

Or aquadeats, developed by the Romans in our world, aquadeats would be the ideal provider of water to underground city.

Of course, the plant could still be careful breed and used...just in case.

Quote
4) Rock.  Can’t really think how that would be useful for anything in particular on its own, but I’ll get back to it.

What about a particular kind of Rock that would be extermly useful to the Brownies and valuable for trade?  Some suggestions: An Oil Rock made out of solidified oil useful sustibute for coal, Marble, Limestone, Quartz, or Soapstone (though it would be nice if this stone was actually made of a sort of soap that you could use to clean yourself) all valuable in the outside world and all potential building materials, or a somesort of Volanic Rock (Volanic Rock is good for: making mirrors, healing properties [suppodesly], and it floats!).

Quote
5)  Fish – Lots of weird crude-oil-living fish.  Possibly with lots of teeth and ugly faces.  Possibly used by the Brownies for more than food – can you train them?  Probably, if you can train a goose or an owl.  If you try hard enough.  Especially if you yourself are slightly..fishy….and with the next thing coming up that may well be possible.  You could also use any conveniently-shaped exoskeletons as boats or weapons.

6) Knowledge from Birni Era (specifically life magic, but other developments could be attributed to this too) - they came straight from the break up of it to Nybelmar so haven’t been through the harsh years like all the others. They have to travel a long way, but a large group of them make it there together (too much to believe that several groups make it to the same place in Nybelmar )

But!

Not too much life magic knowledge because that level of control available in the Birni Era should stay firmly in the past (IMHO).  Would be good to still have some when they first start to settle the tunnels though.  They could make themselves like the fish living there (a little, not fully) in order to survive.  I’m thinking larger-than-normal goggly eyes, slim bodies with webbed hands and feet, an ability to hold their breath for a long time (they could learn this, doesn’t have to be life magic-based) and (most importantly) the ability to sense hot and cold in water, as well as to sense movement in it.  Then they would be able to navigate under the surface of the crude oil.  They’d have to be able to close their nostrils to it too, but I suppose some type of covering made from some plant would work too.  I wouldn’t have them quite as mutated as the Rat Brownies though, who are a different shape altogether in some cases, more….enhanced?  Still recognisable as a Brownie, but with the large eyes and webbed hands.  I have a great image in my head. 

Hmm, about having a bit of Life magic but not too much – they could simply have not had any particularly great life mages with them.  This would make sense as the Birni were split up into factions according to skin colouring, and the best life mages were Redbarks.  They could have had a couple of non-redbark magi, who could do some things, but didn’t have as much power.  And eventually they found they didn’t need life magic really (all the potential predators are going to be in the crude oil I would think, so if they built their home in a cavern above the surface, they should be safe from most things and not need the protection).  So life magic fades out, but they keep the effects.

What about larger then normal longs?  So large fish-like eyes, small bodies, webbed hands, feet, broad-chest but shorter then normal, and still possesing normal brownie coloring?  As for some sort of way to cover their noses or mouths, what about the water secreting plant...perhaps the water is held in clear-but greenish bubble like sacks that when popped for water make an excellent covering for Brownie heads as it is thick and slightly see through.

Quote
B. What still doesn’t make sense?

1) Why did they go underground in the first place?

Idea No. One - Something religious? –  Ok.  You’re a Brownie.  You’ve had to flee your home where the system has completely broken down – the system which prevented you from being eaten by any small predator which happened to come along.  It would be realistic to believe that the nature spirits who you’ve always worshiped have forsaken you (for whatever reason) and have now turned against you.  So you go somewhere as far away from them as you can think – you hide from them underground in a big black cave which seems about as far away from them as you can get.  There you forge the means to survive from the meagre resources around you, even changing your own body to adapt.  You prove you can live without gods, without help from anyone. 

Hmm, could this be the first tribe who don’t worship gods/spirits?  They know they exist, they just don’t want anything to do with them?

Idea No. Two.  – They are forced underground by the creatures living outside.  They hide in the tunnels to escape and find the water-plants down there as well as hunt some fish which leads them to decide they must be able to survive.  They gradually penetrate further and see the fish who manage to survive so well down there.  They use the fish as a model to make themselves better adapted.

Hmm, a combination of the ideas could be good.

How about fleeing from sort of dreadful war?  It would equate to the same result basically,but it could provide for some explanation of why the brownies don't 'surface' often as they believe that the war and the disasters that happened to their first home is still happening on the outside world.  Naturally they would think that anyone who told them that the war ended outside long ago is still raging outside, and view all outsiders with distrust.  Well..more distrust then usual for brownies.

Also, what about an old legend from the brownies telling of a Life-magic brownie or religious leader who either (a) had a vision of this cave filled with good resources and convinced the brownies that the cave was a gift of the nature spirits and they should go there or (b) a legend telling of brownie who 'accidently' stumbled into the cave and made it out succesifully, but the tale of his survival and journey home accurate enough that when trouble came the brownies remembered the cave and fled there?


Quote

2)  How did they get so far from home anyway?

They could have wandered there, but this seems a bit convenient to me – weren’t there any other caves before then?

How about some kind of weird primitive hot air balloon, which they tried to get away from the Birni chaos in (they were desperate).  They crash landed not too far from the caves and then retreated underground for those reasons above?

Refer to last comments in paragraph above.  And I'm afriad that's all I got before my muse ran of to chase a piece of dandelion puff. *mutters* One of these days I'll...

« Last Edit: 30 October 2008, 23:19:18 by Gwai'ayia Quillouf » Logged

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Gwai'ayia
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« Reply #25 on: 31 October 2008, 08:53:22 »

Whew!   Awesome ideas!   Can't wait to see what Mira & Rookie think...

Personally, I'd say your muse needs a good bat round the ears and then a large spacious cage filled with all sorts of dainties to tempt her into residing on your windowsill....

I think the floating rock and glowing plants are my favorite ideas.  Wonder if I could illustrate something like that?
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« Reply #26 on: 05 November 2008, 20:36:40 »

I agree - truly amazing ideas!

Quote
Doesn't sound eerie to me...its sounds quite wonderful.  Unlike some people who picture a gullum like brownie, I cannot seem to get the picture of gnomes and brownies (the chocolate kind *stops at stares* What!  A girl needs her chocolate...and I cannot help it) out of my head.   Personally, with the mention of dwarves, I cannot help the images of a tiny community whose trading center is located in several mountain laurals (or a Santharia version of the poisioned-wood mountain-side twisted tree) on or in the borders of a dwarven community.  Then down through a secret brownie sized passage, way down, way way way down (you get the point) a secret community of brownies with a floating city built  onto or into either a cyrpress (or santharian version of said tree), with a curious floating rock (volanic rocks exbihit said trait), a curious breed of glowing water lillies that thrive on oil and very little sunlight, or a combination of all three.  I see the lack in a cavern with only a single tiny crack somewhere near the cieling in the side of giant mountian that lets in the sunlight, but yet have the carvern cleverly lit through the use of mirrors and the various types of lamps these brownies have evented.  I see the city floating in, to all apperances, a black lack filled with somesort of glowing floweres (water-lillies) that provide light and serve as pathways for the brownies.  The sheer cliffs walll dotted with path ways, the homes of the more conservative Darklings, and also the night growing plants that the brownies keep alive with their 'dark' or non-light or blue-lit warmth laterns. The light, because afterall we're in a cave, should be dim perhaps a curious color such as blue, green, or red.

Side-note: The one thing I love about splunking (cave exploring...often involving a very long rope and some very tight fits) is the cave formations...the warm colors, beautifully twisted formations, the subtle smell of chemicals, the subtle glow of some formations whenever you turned of the light and turned on a ultra-violet lamp.  I think it would be lovely if the city was something like those beautiful caves I love so much.

But of course...we could always go for dark, dank, gloomy, and creepy...

 I particularly love the thought of having beautiful rather than the traditional dank and dark caves.  How could I have forgotton all those trips to the beautiful Cheddar Gorge caves; the long ribbons of limestone dripping down the walls and hanging from the ceiling.  You only need a very little light to brighten up the whole structure as the pale, marble-like rock reflects everything very well.  Just think of the dark, black lake with statuesque white ribbons of rock looming out of it.  They could provide some mooring for the floating city too (really like this idea as well), and be lit by little coloured lights...blue and red and green....and little floating plants bursting into flower all over like little jewels.

(some pictures of Cheddar Caves are here  and here)

Quote
I'm not sure if we can, but since this fantasy afterall  , I think we can get a way with a few barely believable inventions to harness this resorce.  How about using pig-blatters?  In the old days, I knew they used to blow up pig-blatters as balls to play with.  Why not fill these blatters with gas?  These blatters were/are rubber like and would certainly create a Bang when pop, thus releasing the gas, either for use or for scaring scary cave creatures. *chuckles as she realizes what she actually just suggested*

Or how about some sort of turkey-baster and bottle mechanism to suck up the gas?  *cocks head*  Glass orbs placed overtop of gas vates with pipes leading to storage and city for use?

I like the idea of using some sort of bladder - probably not pig due to the lack of pigs, but some other mammal maybe...presuming there are any down there.  Rats maybe?  Hmmm.  Or simply use the water-plant's sack.  Or some sort of combination of tubes and collection sacks...because I'm not sure they'd have glass, but they could have bone and other stuff - are bat's bones hollow like birds's? Something to look up maybe, because they'd make ideal (if slightly delicate) pipes/tubes if they were.  Otherwise I'm sure I could find a bird somewhere...or just make up another creature ;)

Quote
What about a waterfall?  Very obvious, I know, but it would have provided a way for the brownies to first settle there before they develped or adapted several plants for their purposes.  If you wanted the brownies to only really on this plant yet to be created, you can the waterfall either drying to a very slow trickle slowly overtime or have the waterfall be noturiously unreliable (freezing during the winter, flooding during the spring, drying up in the summer, and trickling in the fall).  A waterfall or somesort of spring would also guarentee that enough water was provided that the oil was always at an reacheable hieght to be used by the brownies.

Or what about developing a boat or a watermill.  A watermill that stays stationary in a thinner spot of oil or a boat using the waterwills of the old steamboats of the mississippi would be able to tread the water, breaking up the oil in the thinnest spots, and allowing the brownies access to water.

Or aquadeats, developed by the Romans in our world, aquadeats would be the ideal provider of water to underground city.

Of course, the plant could still be careful breed and used...just in case.

Actually, all good ideas.  Using both the water plant and getting water from elsewhere does seem more likely for a civilisation that's been there so long.  There could be an underground stream which flows above their city cavern, which is fairly pure, which they divert water from in pipes - possibly pipes carved into the very stone around them.  That could be the main water supply, but then maybe the water plant produces tastier drinking water, so most families grow it for their own purposes too?  Perhaps it doesn't even produce water exactly, but a very watery nectar which they can drink? 

I'd definatly like to write the waterfall into the story of why they settled there - it would give them something to follow into the caves....perhaps they even saw bats coming up from the hole the waterfall made and knew there would be something to eat down there.

Quote
What about a particular kind of Rock that would be extermly useful to the Brownies and valuable for trade?  Some suggestions: An Oil Rock made out of solidified oil useful sustibute for coal, Marble, Limestone, Quartz, or Soapstone (though it would be nice if this stone was actually made of a sort of soap that you could use to clean yourself) all valuable in the outside world and all potential building materials, or a somesort of Volanic Rock (Volanic Rock is good for: making mirrors, healing properties [suppodesly], and it floats.

Floating rock....mmmm sounds good.  Although would they have to be careful how much they built into it?  As I recall it floats because of the pockets of air trapped in it.  But then I suppose they're not putting anything too heavy on top - they wouldn't even really need roofs underground...except to keep the heat of fires in.  Making mirrors to reflect what little light there is would be great - these would have a practical use at first, and then be good for trade later on when they do actually start trading.
Quote
What about larger then normal longs?  So large fish-like eyes, small bodies, webbed hands, feet, broad-chest but shorter then normal, and still possesing normal brownie coloring?  As for some sort of way to cover their noses or mouths, what about the water secreting plant...perhaps the water is held in clear-but greenish bubble like sacks that when popped for water make an excellent covering for Brownie heads as it is thick and slightly see through

"Clear but greenish"?  You seem to have a great image in your head :).  Good idea!  Yes, if they had larger lungs but smaller bodies, they could certainly survive longer without breathing.  And of course they would have been practising all their lives which really helps - I used to do synchronised swimming and anyone can teach themselves to stay under for far longer than would normally be possible with a lot of practice.

Quote
How about fleeing from sort of dreadful war?  It would equate to the same result basically,but it could provide for some explanation of why the brownies don't 'surface' often as they believe that the war and the disasters that happened to their first home is still happening on the outside world.  Naturally they would think that anyone who told them that the war ended outside long ago is still raging outside, and view all outsiders with distrust.  Well..more distrust then usual for brownies.

Also, what about an old legend from the brownies telling of a Life-magic brownie or religious leader who either (a) had a vision of this cave filled with good resources and convinced the brownies that the cave was a gift of the nature spirits and they should go there or (b) a legend telling of brownie who 'accidently' stumbled into the cave and made it out succesifully, but the tale of his survival and journey home accurate enough that when trouble came the brownies remembered the cave and fled there?

Well the break up of the society is already in the history books, although it's unclear what exactly happened and entirely possible that different tribes have different versions of the time - there are almost no written records from then so everything would be preserved in legends.  They could have seen it as a war.  My problem is mainly why they travelled so far to get away and didn't just stop somewhere else!  Which is why I thought that a reason for going underground might work...hmmm.  I think I should check how long they've got to travel the distance once more with Mira, my history of that era is fairly poor.  As is my history of anything that happened outside the Llaoihrr Brownie Vale lol.

I think I'll use the waterfall as the thing which draws them into the cave - they follow it or something.  Life Magic doesn't give visions as far as I know, although it might be possible that a life mage sensed the life force of other living beings down below and that's what let them know.  Something to think about certainly.

*tries to catch and return Gwai's muse*

Thankyou so much Gwai, comments like this are what makes the team work of this site such a bonus.  I feel really inspired once again, and have a much better idea of how I'd like the caves to look too. 
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« Reply #27 on: 05 November 2008, 22:26:12 »

Such a vivid picture, I had to scribble a quick Paint vision of one of these Darkling Divers....
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« Reply #28 on: 05 November 2008, 22:29:57 »

Perhaps too cute?  Too Gollumesque?  Too punk?

 I did try to follow the specifics given :) (Note, also, the weight belts which someone of his size and specific density would require to sink in water - unless Brownies, like dwarves, have far heavier/thicker bones than proportionately to humans...)  Of course the pose is boring and needs something far more dramatic, were I to actually do an illustration for this.

I think what would be ideal is to get someone anatomically-gifted like Val to do the initial sketch, with the muscles, tendons, bones, etc. and let me colourize and add in background again.... fun?
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« Reply #29 on: 05 November 2008, 22:51:30 »

Some fun poses might be:

"hitchhiking" a ride with a fish or swimming lizard (hanging tightly to the tail as it leaps into the air or zips along below the surface

trying to catch minnows with a harpoon

playing leap frog (with a cave toad)

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