EGGWARE.XYZ: Worldbuilding June 2019 – Economy

The almost universal unit of currency is known as the Coin. Coins are made from a special material named ‘plastik’ that has unique properties: it is virtually indestructible, can be magically melted and reforged an almost unlimited number of times, and is astonishingly pure with potential impurities being easily removed from the raw product. The value of a Coin is directly tied to how much plastik was used to forge the Coin. A coin with the value of ‘1’ is weighed at about five grams, is around the size of a human thumbprint, and forms the basis of the Xarcadian weights and measures system. A ‘100’ coin is made up of the same amount of plastik as one hundred ‘1’ coins.

Xarcadia has no banking system, and anybody is free to mint their own money. Recent advancements in magic have lead towards the development of ‘wallets’ that seemingly condense plastik into nothingness that can then be extracted later: it’s effectively a hammerspace solely for money.

As the Coin mostly functions as a useful way to quantify the amount of plastik used in a barter, a Coin can take any shape beyond the standard oblong disk that most Coins are minted into. Since plastik does not chip, break, or bend, it is very useful for the production of building material. Though it cannot be sharpened after forging, a sword forged from a solid piece of plastik is both a convenient way to carry a large amount of Coin and a very reliable weapon of self-defense

Some Coins minted by particularly skilled or famous Coin-smiths can be worth more than their “face” value. Especially popular are Dragon Coins, dinner plate sized Coins etched with an incredibly intricate facade of a dragon’s head. There is no limit to the shapes a Coin can be crafted into either; as anything made from plastik is worth its own weight, a Coin that has been pressed into a sculpture is as valid a trade medium as a regular Coin.

Coins are used mostly in Cosmopolis, with diminishing worth in the more rural parts of Xarcadia. The usage of a standard trade medium is seen as a Cosmopolian folly, and most zones use a simple gift economy system. Between rural zones, a barter system is used for interesting items that are unique to each zone. Coins are only truly necessary for people who expect to go to a luxury district of Cosmopolis; otherwise, a Xarcadian is more than secure carrying no money at all.

EGGWARE.XYZ: Worldbuilding June 2019 – Identity

Gender and sexuality is a topic that at the same time is much simpler and much more complicated than it is on Earth. Gender as humans know it does not exist in Xarcadia. There is no “male” or “female” that is assigned from birth, but a wide-spanning and complicated palette of personal identity choices that form a spectrum of identity. Most people form their identity out of their methods of presentation. For example, a person who would want to be perceived as ‘gentle and caring, but strong-willed’ would form an identity based around that, and things they feel relate to it. Some aspects of a person’s gender are frequently drawn from things and concepts – many people on Xarcadia would consider themself things we might call “stargender”, “voidgender”, “stonegender”, and so forth. Presentation is a highly personal affair.

Transgender people, as a group to be singled out for oppression, are not a concept on Xarcadia and the idea would be viewed with as much bewilderment as shaming someone for changing their job or home. As there is no “system” on Xarcadia, systematic oppression does not exist either. People are free to experiment with their identities and preferences as much as it pleases them, with zero institutional repercussion. It is a widely held social more that people who alter their identities are to be respected and left alone. Even the common Xarcadian language is gender-neutral, and makes no distinguishment between different genders – if it were to, it would require possibly thousands of different pronouns!

Sexual preference is viewed in similar terms. Earth sexualities would be viewed as a limited and very frightening way of seeing other people in a world where every person has an individual gender! As such, sexual preference is based primarily around individual presentation. People do not view their preferences in terms of “this gender” or “that gender”, but as individual aspects of presentation and identity that can be spread across numerous different genders. A person may be attracted to tough but sensitive people, and that is a definition of identity that can be spread across dozens of different genders.

Attraction to sexual characteristics is viewed as strange and rather invasive at best, analogous to a sexual fetish at worst. Very few Xarcadians care about what their potential romantic partners are packing; the presence of magic makes reproductive ‘compatibility’ irrelevant. While preferences to certain body types are acceptable, overtly caring about a partner’s genitals is seen as a intrusive and potentially dangerous attitude that reduces people to their bodies.

All in all, views on gender and sexuality are quite positive on Xarcadia, if maybe even more complicated than in our world.

EGGWARE.XYZ: Worldbuilding June 2019 – Civilization

Xarcadian civilization is wildly varied, with each zone having its own culture, aesthetics, and virtues. Cosmopolis is the largest civilization, both in terms of population and landmass. Even it is not consistent in its appearance and ideals, with every district functioning as its own personal zone.

Most buildings on Xarcadia are designed for functionality, depending on the climate and the primary industry of the surrounding zone. Viridian Valley’s primary industry is agriculture, and as such most of the buildings there are farm houses and barns. Basaltic Summits, in contrast, is a mining-based zone and requires much heavy machinery to process its ores.

The aesthetic and industry of a zone is reinforced by its residents, and most specifically by those who chose to move there. Unlike on Earth, changing your residence on Xarcadia is a trivial act: just move to another zone and take up residence there. Those who wish to live in Glacier Glades are those who are attracted to its aesthetic and societal beliefs, and as such reinforce its paradigm with their presence. In contrast, the same person leaving their original zone helps to reinforce the mindset of that zone with the departure of people who would otherwise dislike the zone’s culture.

Cosmopolis is the only zone that a Xarcadian may move to for convenience instead of simple enjoyment. One may wish to live closer to their Cosmopolian friends, live closer to a place of work, or simply have greater access to the portal system to visit other zones. Even then the choice of district that a person chooses to live in contributes to the formation of tightly-knight subcultures.

Cosmopolian buildings are overwhelmingly gigantic. The more central parts of Cosmopolis are crowded with gargantuan skyscrapers, some of which literally touch the edge of space. Magic is used to keep these enormous buildings upright; without it they would crumble to the ground. Magic also allows for the construction of particularly surreal building design: buildings that curve into themselves, that twist like corkscrews, that arc across the skyline like a rainbow… the only limit to an architect’s ability on Xarcadia is their imagination.

EGGWARE.XYZ: Worldbuilding June 2019 – History

History, as a subject, is not well understood on Xarcadia. The earliest known histories of Xarcadia mostly trace back to the founding of Cosmopolis, but even then they are contradictory and disparate in what they tell. Each zone has kept its own record of history ever since Cosmopolis was first created, and no two histories seem to match up exactly with each other. On top of this, hundreds of languages no longer understood were used to write the oldest documents, requiring hours of difficult translation to understand even a single scrap.

The contradictory history of the zones is only further compounded by the fact that the individual zonal societies had little to no interaction before the earliest days of the portal system. Even the archaeology of individual zones suggests the evolution of radically different wildlife.  Ancient Xarcadian tribes lived without contact for thousands of years before the seemingly spontaneous creation of the portal system.

These first portals all connected to the same area, which would later become the founding site of Cosmopolis. Almost overnight, Xarcadia evolved from unconnected clans to a cosmopolitan world society.  At least, that’s the story Cosmopolians like to share – some Cosmopolis-critical Xarcadians believe that Cosmopolis was founded after years of squabble and strife to control the portal system.

Even the gods seem perplexed by Xarcadian history and have little answers as to why the world is the way that it is. As far as it can be told by anyone, there is a point where history simply seemed to begin as if pre-written by a higher authority. No one can agree on when significant ancient events happened, where they happened, or even if some of them happened at all. The founding of Cosmopolis is the only historical event that can be agreed upon that it DID happen, and the contradictions present in every retelling of it paint a broad and frighteningly vague picture about how modern Xarcadia came to be.

EGGWARE.XYZ: Worldbuilding June 2019 – Xarcadians

Xarcadians are as varied as the stars in the sky. There is no true “average” Xarcadian – though there are a few predominant groups of people distributed through Xarcadia, none are so prevalent as to represent a pure majority.

Xarcadian elfs are the most prevalent species in Xarcadia and the only species that can be found in almost every zone. Elfs are not unlike humans, but with fae-like distinctions: they are often brightly colored, with long hair and tails – and, on occasion, horns. Culturally, they are a cosmopolitan people who enjoy fashion, music, and the arts to the point of excess. Elfish creative works are highly prized across Xarcadia for their flamboyance and extravagance.

Anthropomorphic animals are almost as common as elfs, but their vast variety in species discounts them from being a majority. Furries tend to live in zones that correspond to their real-world counterparts: a lion-person would almost never be found in Glacier Glades unless they moved there by choice. There is a staggeringly huge variety of furry species – common mammals are the most prevalent, but in certain zones there are insect, fish, and even anthropomorphic fungus that fall under the name of furry.

Other species inhabiting Xarcadia include elementals, beings of pure energy that manipulate matter to take physical form; constructs, intangible beings confined in a singular object to use as a body; ghosts, who simply do not possess a body; and fae, mysterious creatures of pure magic. Inorganic beings are rare compared to furries and elfs, and they tend not to form permanent settlements of their own.

The taxonomy of Xarcadia, as bizarre as it already is, still has room for individual species with no relation to any other. Sentient beings who defy definition are known as ‘monsters’, and few of them live within the constraints of society. Though there are a few enclaves of monster culture, typically among a single variety of monster, most monster people live isolated lives far away from cities or towns to better pursue their own prerogatives.

Xarcadian gods are not considered a “people”, as they are too disparate from one another to form a coherent community. Their offspring with mortals, however, have come together to create a loosely-knit society of those born of divine blood. Demigods are perhaps the least common Xarcadians of all, but their influence on Xarcadia cannot be denied. Being some of the most magically powerful mortals in the world has given them the influence to become mighty sorcerers, social leaders, and sometimes hated pariahs.

EGGWARE.XYZ: Worldbuilding June 2019 – Geography

The system of “zones” is one of the many things that makes Xarcadia such a unique world. The planet of Earth is divided up into regions based upon human settlements, significant landmarks, or commonly traveled areas; in contrast, Xarcadia is split up into “zones” based upon its macrobiomes. These zones can be enormous in scale, as they are composed solely of a singular climate area.

Xarcadia inhabits the Goldilocks zone of its nearest star, and possesses a rich diversity of ecosystems. There are steaming rainforests and sweltering deserts, icy mountains and treacherous volcanoes. Some areas, like the beaches of Seafoam Shore, are gentle and pleasant; others, like the frozen tundras of Glacier Glades, are inhospitable to anyone but the hardiest of Xarcadians.

Cosmopolis is a special case: it is both the largest singular zone on the planet as well as the only one that is totally artificial. It is a gargantuan city that covers a huge quantity of the world’s landmass – it is also the only zone that is so large as to have sub-zones, known as “districts”. These districts can be very different from one another depending on the culture of its inhabitants and the climates they border. There are enormous districts dedicated entirely to entertainment, gambling, and leisure. Some districts are situated on the world so as to be in permanent night, simply for the perpetual pleasure of stargazing.

Transportation is normally done by portals for convenience. As the zones are so massive, it is hard to travel between them without some form of vehicle; interzonal railways are the most accessible method of transport for those who cannot use portals. Airships and buses are a common sight in the more populated districts of Cosmopolis, but see little use outside of the city.

Xarcadia’s ecology is highly unusual for a variety of reasons, the most pressing being that unlike the Earth, the central planet and its orbiting bodies experience no seasons. Weather is consistent across the world; hot regions are always hot, and cold regions are always cold. The northern pole is in perpetual daylight, and the south is always deprived of sunlight.

EGGWARE.XYZ: Worldbuilding June 2019 – Intro

Kapo (pictured above) is just one of many examples of your average Xarcadian.

Xarcadia is an expansive world populated by a massively diverse population of creatures. It is divided into disparate “zones”, each one with its own thematic: an ice zone, a city zone, an underground zone, etc. This world is a place imbued with magic and mythology, where living gods walk the earth and hang out with people on a one-to-one basis. Magic is an everyday utility, and is used primarily for the welfare of Xarcadia’s populace. This allows for a highly varied technology system that may seem a little arbitrary to an outsider – a rocket-powered horse carriage might be carrying a cargo of very valuable datachips to a distant icy mountain, which is home to hacker yetis.

The world of Xarcadia extends well beyond a singular planet – it is a multitude of locations and settings that come together through a not-well-understood system of portals. These portals form the backbone of Xarcadian economy, culture, and society. Without these portals, Xarcadia would be highly reliant on very expensive and inefficient space travel for most daily needs. The expenses of sending a space freighter loaded with goods pales in comparison to simply sending wagons through the closest portal.

Xarcadians enjoy a great deal of personal freedom and agency. There is very little in the way of governance or inequality; most people live in close-knit personal communities and do as they please. There is no central Xarcadian government, but some areas may be loosely ruled by a confederacy of communities or be subject to the influence of a powerful merchant conglomerate. These pseudo-governments have very little actual power over the day to day lives of the populate, and when they outgrow their purpose or become corrupt, they are quickly dismantled by popular organization.

Likewise, Xarcadians are a diverse lot. Most people are elfs, with anthropomorphic animals, monsters, and robots making up the rest of the population. There is no serious form of bigotry against any specific group of people on Xarcadia. As all people are so wildly different from each other, it is pointless to single out specific groups of people to discriminate against. Xarcadians live in harmony with one another with no outside pressures forcing them to work against one another.

Each zone of Xarcadia has its own geographic features and is unique compared to its surroundings. Though there is overlap in the transitional areas where two zones meet, the zones each have a singular geographical identity: there is only one zone of icy mountains, one cluster of volcanoes, one stretch of grassy flatlands, and so on.

Much of Xarcadia is pastoral and undeveloped. The most populated city is Cosmopolis, a city so large as to cover a substantial amount of the world’s surface. People on Xarcadia typically either live within a district of Cosmopolis, or in a rural zone far away. Viridian Valley, a large grassy flatland with rolling hills, is the center of Xarcadia. Though it is not the largest and does not have the biggest populations – both of those honors go to Cosmopolis, the only zone large enough to have what could be described as sub-zones – Viridian Valley is viewed as a cornerstone part of the Xarcadian world, and the icon of what it means to live in Xarcadia.

The most powerful artifacts on all of Xarcadia are known as Keys. These are items with a singular purpose: they are the only items that can close – and more importantly, open – new portals to other worlds. With the reliance Xarcadia has on the portal network to function, any portal to a previously undiscovered location could mean a massive upheaval of society as the world knows it. Keys are frequently powerful magical items in their own right, granting their users incredible magical powers beyond what can be done with simple enchantments. The most legendary key of all is the Skeleton Key, which can unlock anything – including unlocking the secrets to magic itself.

QUIZ: Which Stupid Hogwets House Are You?

Welcome To Stupid Hogwets!

Congratulations! You’ve been enrolled in STUPID HOGWETS, the most “prestigious” “school” of “magic” and “learning” in the known multiverse! But before you can attend the classes or even legally step foot on the campus, you’ve got to be sorted! Stupid Hogwets is home to four houses: King St. Bee House, Sparkle House, We’re The Evil Ones House, and Minecraft Dirt House. Which one do you belong to? Fill out the official sorting quiz and find out!

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FOOD: Samyang 2X Spicy Noodles

I mean this with greatest sincerity: Korea has some of the best instant noodles on the market right now. Invented in Japan by Momofuku Ando for Nissin, instant noodles have become the reliable and ultra-affordable quick calorie intake option for millions of people around the globe. But look past the Maruchan and Top Ramen you’ll find sitting on megamart shelves and you’ll find a wide variety of instant noodles with things like flavors and textures beyond bland and mushy. Samyang is one of these noodle brands, and the crown jewel in its collection of flavors is the Hot Chicken Flavor line.

In 2017, Samyang released a new level in the Hot Chicken Flavor lineup: haek-buldak-bokkeum-myeon. There’s a lot of different names for it in English: Nuclear Fire Spicy Noodles, Extreme Hot Chicken Flavor, but we like to name it after the big English words on the label: 2X Spicy Noodles. These are, supposedly, the hottest noodles you can buy on the market.

Are they as hot as they say there are? Click the jump and find out.

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