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Empires - Empires Competitions

 
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Loredoctor
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:43 am    Post subject: Empires - Empires Competitions Reply with quote

First off, the idea of competitions is based upon Xar's game, so thanks for him for creating the idea.

Okay, I am running two Rise and Fall of Empires competitions. The first involves creating an avatar for the Galactic Daily News. Submissions must be 200 x 220 pixels in size (L x W). I'd like contributors to post their submissions in this thread and we'll vote privately for the best one. The winner will have their design displayed by the GDN. Everyone who takes part will receive 2CCs. The designer with the most votes will receive 7CCs, second most votes will receive 4CCs. And the third runner-up will receive 3CCs.

The second competition is to tell us either a story about your species, an historical entry about the empire, an encyclopedia entry on the homeworld . . . whatever you want (even pictures, as long as it's your own work), as long as it gives us some idea about your Empire. Again, everyone who contributes will receive 2CCs. Same deal as above with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

All entries - design and stories - go in this thread, and the closing date for submissions will be the 29th of this month. Voting will then follow.

Good luck, everyone!
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



I faded out a picture that a friend of my dad, a russian immigrant who went to the nearby college, painted on a broken down old concrete wall. it shows that the only stable thing in this galaxy is time, and even that is distorted sometimes by forces you can't see from the outside.

Hope you all like it!
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[As my official entry for the story section of the competition, I put forward this extract from 'Thoughts in Exile', by Maki-Ituma. Smuggled off Utara-Mikud, the codex has received limited off-planet circulation, though is considered an influential contemporary polemic by reformist societies. Exiled for his conception of an Anarchist society, headed only by the emperor, where law is unnecessary; Maki-Ituma was also considered heretical by the Surgeon-Priests for suggesting that there may be such a thing as fate, at least fate or destiny in the lives of an ordinary Erkirithi. Stylistically, Maki-Ituma employs the present tense when he talks about events which have already passed, a device which is commonplace in Erkirithi philosophy]

“Life begins and ends at the same instant. That which comes from the oblivion can only return to the oblivion” – Maki-Ituma, ‘Thoughts in Exile’.

In exile, at the frozen north of Utara-Mikud, there are few Erkirithi who would live here. None of us want to but – I believe – there is some solace in the freedom of thought one can find in desolation and discomfort. Out here, I can see the beginnings of the society I envision. Sometimes, we receive news in the Composition Displays. This gives me cause to reflect at the world I am forbidden from returning to.

The lessons of life and death can be pondered in this dismal cold. Take, for instance, the death of Atir-Thale. Was it not in his death and in his birth that he expressed the state of nature which rules us all? Thinking of him now, I grow melancholy for the clinging heat of Ariki where he was born and died. I imagine his birth, no doubt alike to my own; to everyone’s own. I shall venture to tell his story, though I have been given but the barest facts. My embellishments of his life must be forgiven for, although I do not hold complete knowledge of Atir-Thale, I present a complete vision of his life, and its truth.

… … … …

Above the nesting pools, a mask of languid steam hovers and caresses. The liquid – water, amniotic fluid, the dissolving husks of the Keti, and the undigested carcasses of Yir eels – pops and hisses, issuing the rotting stink of new life and new death. Within the pool, a new clutch of Keti has been laid. The mother, already gone into the jungle beyond, shall never again trouble her thoughts with her young’s fate. The Keti husks cling to rocks and rough surfaces, digging the teeth at the base of their husks into whatever they can find – even each other.

Yir which stray too close become the first food. Barbed tendrils dart from the mouth of the Keti husks and ensnare their prey. Sometimes the Keti barbs tear at each other. There is never enough Yir to go around.

Months pass and the husks begin to dissolve, absorbed by the growing Keti within. Their forms bulge and burgeon into new life; new life which has tiny arms to grab at the Yir, to eat the scraps of discarded husk, and to fight with each other for the best spoils. Only rarely do the weaker Keti have the chance to live more than a few months, and only very rarely do the weak survive into their childhood.

Out of the way, beneath the cloud of steam, nestled amongst rocks too slime encrusted to climb, a thin and sickly Keti struggles to survive. A tiny nest of Yir eggs laid too close to its husk sustains it, feeds it, makes it grow. A few months more, and the Keti will take its too thin frame from the pool and mewl its first utterance.

The Keti grows to be a child. No longer a Keti, it is given a name, and assigned to a local crèche. One of thirty new Erkirithi-Sha, it is called Atir-Thale – Atir means ‘sick’ or ‘of little use’, and Thale is one of the names which the crèche has the right to distribute. This is our Atir, sickly and anonymous for much of his lifespan. Atir is by far the weakest of the crèche. He has little strength in his arms, is much too thin, and his head rests absurdly upon his tiny frame. He is largely ignored. Nothing is expected to come of him. Already, before he is seven years of age, Atir is made to understand he will never be fortunate enough to mate with a female of the species. No female would want his deficient seed.


Yet, Atir has a keen intelligence. He listens and learns very quickly. His mind is clearly not as brilliant as others, though he is determined and clever. Keeping to himself, he still craves to be part of the larger crèche. He has no companions; nor does he have any enemies. Those who are loners, not by choice but by circumstance of their physical misfortune, crave more than most the company of others. By the time he has reached the age of fourteen, he has matured and is selected to attend an institution of a higher order. His real education commences.

Many years from his birth, the tumult of survival in the birthing pool still clings to him. Though, like any other Erkirithi, he cannot remember it, the terror of scrounging for prey, and of fighting off competitors haunts his psyche. His natural weakness makes him wary of dangers, and it also makes him keen to struggles, and sensitive to the greater needs of the community.

Having finished his entire education, Atir-Thale rises to humble heights. He becomes a mere crèche instructor. He secretly must feel that his keen intelligence entitled him to more. Without complaint, he sets about his tasks.

I have little doubt that above the podium of Atir-Thale rests the official Imperial Education Rescript. Every morning, he invites his students to chant the opening line: “There is no god; The Emperor is god alone”. Lessons in the sciences are followed by the histories. Physical exercise follows mathematics, and the day ends with philosophy. He does not stray from the official curriculum.

The young in his crèche are the young left in the birthing pools near the Thalid District, a notoriously poor slum. Starvation is not unknown, and competition for resources is extreme. Little sunlight makes its way into the tightly packed streets, barely filtered by an immense network of overhead pathways, shunting industry and produce back and forth. Life in Thalid is very much akin to life for the Keti, everywhere wresting for survival in the numerous birthing pools across Utara-Mikud – from the state controlled Growth Centres, to the fetid swamps in the jungle.

Atir-Thale teaches solidarity in the face of adversity; he teaches comradeship, and faith in the Assisted-Will of the Emperor, despite the fact that he too must have killed when he was a Keti – killed to stay alive, to fulfil a future purpose. Is this enough? Can we kill only to survive, only when our lives are threatened, or must we embrace violent reform at every obstacle?

For the Erkirithi of the decrepit Thalid District hardships multiply, despair prospers, life evaporates. While the government of Chairman Kalaid preaches the rapid and vast expansion of the new empire’s trade and economy, Thalid chokes. The stars now carry the flags of the Empire of the Erkirithi-Sha but, from the rubbish strewn streets of the district, hardly a star can ever be seen gleaming in the night’s sky.

Thalid is the home of numerous factories. The boom in trade goods, and the demand for refined materials for colonial expansion has meant a vast increase in industrial activity in the area. The people of the Thalid district work longer and longer hours, while Khel-Suhtir – master of three fifths of the factories – grows richer and richer. When a scandal erupts over his appropriation of housing materials intended for the district, the Erkirithi of Thalid respond with violence. Troops from the new army are sent in to quell the riot before it becomes out of hand, and the people are forced back to work.

Atir-Thale passes the factories of Khel-Suhtir every night, before he returns home. After the riots, Atir begins to stray far to the Eru District, where Khel-Suhtir has his home. Every night, Atir stands to watch the lights of the factory master’s home, glowing far above the street like the stars of the empire in the depths of untouchable space. Though his weak frame can hardly support him with ease, Atir climbs gantries and old cut off paths to get closer and closer every night to seeing this lord of industry.

One night, he spies Khel-Suhtir along a path, returning late, in a litter to his place of privilege. Khel-Suhtir returns thus every night. A pattern has been established.

I do not venture to hold all the facts but – in spite of the facts, I present the truth. Does it matter if Atir-Thale worked alone? Did he plot with one of the cliques of reformists, sadly growing less and less in number now that the empire is prospering? Was he simply revenging the weak and sickly by doing what he did? I do not suggest that it matters. In life and in death there is only oblivion and chaos. A thousand drops of rain may fall about you – is it truly a question of which lands where, what hits what? Is it not enough to know that rain fell upon you?

Whatever the truth - an idea fixes in Atir’s mind as, so many years ago, the teeth of his Keti husk fixed into a rough and pitted rock. To survive is to kill. One cannot live without the death of some other.

Khel-Suhtir, bloated as he is, is alike Atir-Thale in that both are physical anomalies. Obesity, almost unheard of amongst the Erkirithi, is viewed with distaste and resentment. But Khel-Suhtir has not become the bloated fiend he is through indolence; rather, he has become fat and slovenly by his excess of success, from feeding off other’s misfortune. Thus, our state feeds from the dignity of the Emperor, and from the efforts of the Erkirithi-Sha. Only an emperor is needed, not the state. Laws are irrelevant when there is the guidance of the Assisted-Divine, though the state would not have us know this.

I meander. I must return to Atir-Thale.

The night is humid. Khel’s tendrils flop lazily, dispersing his body heat with little effect. He cannot smell the faraway reek of Thalid’s decay – he is intoxicated by the smell of his own corruption. As his litter nears the end of its journey, a lone figure steps from a fold of nearby shadows. There is something in his hand. The hand trembles, making it hard for Khel to make the object out. The Erkirithi is thin – scrawny – his large head lolls awkwardly on a bony and slight frame. There is a flash in the dark, and a booming which pierces the quiet. The litter crashes down, and rapid gunfire from Khel’s guards punctuates the boom.

Silence descends. Atir-Thale slumps lifelessly from the path, falling soundlessly to the untrodden ground far below. Khel-Suhtir, still unsure of what has happened, picks his own bulk from the litter and stares at the little gun one of his guards is holding up.

It misfired, of course, this the Composition Displays have made well known. These details I should barely need to explain – these facts. For what are facts, but that which we all know . . . though this is not truth. Truth is the unseen; the invisible strands upon which we dangle facts and tales. I am concerned, here in exile, only with truth.

Was Atir-Thale? He failed in his attempt at violent reform. Is that the sum of his story? If so, his value is neither higher nor lower than that of any other. Life is transient. We begin in violence, and we must seek to end in violence. There is no real transition in life from the manner of our birth to the manner of our death.

I would like to imagine that Atir-Thale understood this in the instant before he died. So the Composition Display reported, Atir-Thale’s lifeless corpse had come to rest a mere two towers away from a state sponsored Growth Centre for new Keti. Just as his fully developed mind had fixed upon death before his own, his instinct at birth had fixed upon life. Understand that there is no difference, and you may grasp at what I mean when I talk of truth.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll extend the deadline until the end of next week.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the best design goes to the Ross 154 Alliance. Best written entry goes to Montressor.

I am kind of dissapointed with the level of interest, folks.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loremaster wrote:
Well, the best design goes to the Ross 154 Alliance. Best written entry goes to Montressor.

I am kind of dissapointed with the level of interest, folks.


I am also dissappointed in the lack of entries. I would have liked some competition. I was much too busy to make an entry for the avatar, though I had a solid idea of what I wanted. I was pretty pleased with mine, nonetheless, and I really liked the Ross 154 entry. My thanks for the prize (when I get it).
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I just didn't have any ideas. (And I don't do graphical stuff.) I only enter the contests when I can come up with something interesting.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldve but im shit with graphics and could not think of anything original as I have explained my race fairly well through my posts already.

Im sorry lack of inspiration
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry man, I had other things on my mind I'm afraid.
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