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Culture Focus: Hive Acatl

 
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FrankTrollman
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27233

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 10:44 am    Post subject: Culture Focus: Hive Acatl Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

This is the fourth in the Cultural Focus series. It focuses on the Acatl Hive, an Ormigan hive of fatalists.

Hive Acatl: For Everyone a Purpose

Lay of the Land:
The cliff delta of the river Chepec is crowded to the banks with prickle fruit orchards. The sky is blackened with coal smoke from forges that burn night and day. The cliffs are honeycombed with mines. The bleaching of the prickle fruit sends a sizzling sound that can be heard for kilometers. Apartment mounds loom out of the mists at the junctions of these endeavors. And the constant hum of industry serves a greater purpose. It is a testament to a unity of purpose that is beyond human understanding. It is the mark of Hive Acatl.

Hive Acatl is a continuously tessellated series of production areas interspersed evenly with housing that stretches across a hundred kilometers of rivers and mountains. Trees other than the quick-growing prickle fruit tree have been all but eliminated from the region. The swamps have been drained down to nothing. Truly, there is nothing that looks uncultivated in the lands of Acatl. Even the flowers grow in rows.

Major Cities:
While Hive Acatl is nominally one Hive and one “city”, for all purposes it is indeed a set of 8 distinct hives connected by causeways which are in some cases up to thirty kilometers long. Each of the polyps has its own Queens, its own government, and its own self sufficient economic identity. The districts are Mopan, Quekl, Tlto, Mabil Kha, Tlac Lum, Buhl, Jalacte, and of course, Acatl itself – the center of the hub. The entire Hive has a total population of 4.3 million, of which about five and a half thousand are Queens.

The city itself is made almost entirely of concrete, formed into stepped domes. Every workplace has an associated living complex which is a single building. No Worker need ever stray more than 500 meters from their own bed if they so desired.

Economics:
Every new member of Hive Acatl is defined a purpose in society at birth in a special Ceremony of Destiny that will determine the grub's transformation into a Worker, Warrior, Drone, or Queen – as well as the industry the child will ultimately participate in. A new child will be given a destiny of agriculture, a destiny of service, a destiny of craft, a destiny of earth, a destiny of seeking, a destiny of danger, or a destiny of destinies. These destinies are not acquired in even proportions. Every child who is granted the destiny of destinies will be made into a Drone (if male) or a Queen (if female). Every child with the destiny of danger is made into a Warrior. All other children are made into Workers.

A child's potential career in life is fixed to one area of endeavor at birth, but not necessarily into a specific position in that field. A Worker with the destiny of agriculture might well end up as a prickle fruit picker or work in despining, bleaching, or any of a number of the other menial tasks that are so essential to the production of food stuffs, but could just as easily aspire to becoming a foreman or scribe of the agricultural industry. However, that destiny could not allow that person to become a miner. The ormigan who tallies the prickle fruit harvest has a different destiny from the ormigan who tallies the ore production – and at no time would either ormigan ever consider doing the work of the other.

The backbone of Hive Acatl is the prickle fruit. It is a highly labor-intensive foodstuff as it is hard like a branch of copperwood, it is covered with barbed spines like a razor bat, it is poisonous like a wall beetle. And yet, once it has been despined, once it has been long boiled into an edible consistency, once it has been bleached of its baleful tannins, it's extremely nutritious. And it has a yield that exceeds any staple crop in the world except the Blood Vine. And unlike the Blood Vine, it can be grown in virtually limitless amounts. Despite, or perhaps because of the prickle fruit's tremendous investment requirements, Hive Acatl is more than self sufficient in food.

Hive Workers who follow their destinies well are granted rations of basic needs, as well as apportioned tiny copper beads that can be exchanged for additional goods and services. These copper beads are essentially the currency of Hive Acatl, and foreigners are allowed to acquire and spend them as citizens can.

Law and Order:
Order is kept by those of the danger destiny. The laws are made by the Queen's Council. The legal code is extremely byzantine, but is also fairly direct. Corporal punishment and capitol punishment are unheard of for members of the Hive. The only punishments that are ever used are derationing (a fate not unlike a fine), extra duties (a fate not unlike forced labor), and imprisonment.(which is essentially imprisonment like any other). Each district has its own Council, and laws can differ noticeably from one district to another. Every time a the last Queen who remembers the previous great convocation dies, a new convocation is held in which the eight Councils unify the laws.

Magical Traditions:
Members of Hive Acatl are just luckier than other people. Despite the cramped conditions, members of any destiny of Hive Acatl rarely get sick. Almost all Acatlans are good at finding things. The region enjoys shockingly good weather. The fates smile down upon Acatl and its people.

Beyond that, each destiny is reared on the magic of one of the elements:
  • Agriculture - Life
  • Earth - Earth
  • Craft - Fire
  • Service - Water
  • Seeking - Air
  • Danger - Ghost
  • Destinies - Void
    The magic of each destiny is geared towards success in that destiny.

    Government:
    Every grub is born without knowing which of the Queens is its literal mother. Every member of the society is to obey the Will of Fate without question. The Queens are granted with the Will of Fate as evidenced by the fact that they have been chosen to have the Destiny of Destinies.

    -Frank

    Last edited by FrankTrollman on Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    rapanui
    Knight


    Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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    PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:54 am    Post subject: Re: Culture Focus: Hive Acatl Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    So, I have a question... what the hell do these things look like?
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    RandomCasualty
    Prince


    Joined: 07 Mar 2008
    Posts: 3511

    PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:31 am    Post subject: Re: Culture Focus: Hive Acatl Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    rapanui wrote:
    So, I have a question... what the hell do these things look like?


    Yeah I was wondering the same thing.

    I kinda pictured them looking like the formians, but that's probably just because of the whole hive flavor from the description.
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    FrankTrollman
    Serious Badass


    Joined: 07 Mar 2008
    Posts: 27233

    PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:37 am    Post subject: Re: Culture Focus: Hive Acatl Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List




    We decided to go with the arachnoid set-up. Multiple eyes (non-compounded), 4 arms, 3 fingers per hand, no thumbs.

    So when they manipulate objects, they do so by opposing their entire arms - and having four of them this means that they sort of have six fingers and two hands when they need it.

    The warriors have enlarged spines coming out of the back of the upper hands. They are also taller and thinner.

    -Frank
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