Hello, everyone and welcome to another edition of A Ninth World Journal primer. In this one, we’re going to take a little bit of a deeper dive into what the Ninth World is about what Januae lives with in his daily life, and kind of pick up from where we left off on the original Ninth World primer.
As was mentioned in that first primer, it’s called the Ninth World because it is preceded by eight great prior civilizations that have come and gone in the billion years that have passed. The people of the Ninth World really don’t know much about those eight prior civilizations, a lot of that information is lost to the ages. However, they can speculate and extrapolate some of the aspects of that civilization based on what they’re left with in the Ninth World. They know that all those civilizations had at least one of the following aspects.
They were the center of a spacefaring Galactic Empire, or even multi Galactic Empire.
They have the power and ability to terraforming planets change planets themselves and even stars to a degree.
They were able to manipulate the laws of thermodynamics the laws of nature and the laws of reality as we know it.
They were able to fill the world with these tiny nannies or nanomachines that are able to construct and deconstruct matter and energy at a molecular level.
They were able to travel not only other stars but other dimensions, parallel dimensions, and alternate realities.
And at least one of these civilizations if not more, was not human.
The power that they had to manipulate the planet as we know it resulted in great changes to the world compared to what it is in modern day today. Instead of the seven continents that we have today, there is one large diamond- shaped like a baseball diamond- supercontinent. All the landmasses had been combined into one single landmass surrounded by one large ocean.
Now the geography of the planet has a lot of the same aspects. There are still rivers and oceans and lakes and streams, valleys, mountains, forests, deserts, etc. But there are different geographical aspects to the world. There are giant prior world machines that span for kilometers upon kilometers that are the sizes of cities or counties or even nations like European nations. There are giant underground machines that stretch for who knows how far. Some of them lay dormant. Some of them still function. And some of those functions affect what happens above ground, they may alter reality or they may alter gravity or they may alter just the molecular structure of the creatures living above causing mutations and such.
There are mountains that are made of glass and synth, other than granite and stone as we know it. There are giant monoliths, and obelisks, and colossuses that are hundreds of meters tall that are in myriads of shapes; some of them resemble animals, some of them are columnar in nature. Some of them resemble the faces or bodies of people or creatures or other worldly beings. Some of them have shapes that are indistinguishable but you can’t even describe in nature while others change shape constantly. And others of these monuments are mobile and move across the land or the ocean. There are structures, cities, monuments and machines that float half a kilometer in the sky, and just rest there and can affect the weather and affect the gravity around it in interesting ways.
And on the topic of weather, weather is a really strange thing in the Ninth World because the prior civilizations did a lot of manipulation of the weather to make it more palatable for them, to make it more temperate for them. There are some generalities that are still the same, such as the polar regions are colder than most of the rest of the planet and the equator is hotter. And there are some other regular temperate regions where you have your standard season changes. I say standard because there’s similar to what we have today with the four seasons but instead due to all the changes in the weather and the manipulations in whether they have six seasons in the Ninth World. In addition to the four seasons that are similar to the seasons we have today, there are two additional seasons known as sable and tempest. Sable is a season where there’s not much light, there is very little sunlight or starlight or moonlight, and the the days are very, very short, and everything is very, very still and things do not change much in the temperature of the weather.
On the opposite end of that you have Tempest. Tempest is a time of huge crazy storms where the weather changes rather unpredictably in a moment’s notice. They have your standard storms that we have here; tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and such. But they also have other strange ones like an oily black rain that rains down from the sky. They have needle storms, where there are glass like shards that can penetrate the skin. But one of the scariest and most disturbing and frightening storms that exists in the Ninth World is called the iron wind. The iron wind is a storm comprised completely of these nanobots, nano machines. As the iron wind travels across the land anything that it encounters, anything and its path is completely altered, changed and deformed beyond recognition. The basic molecular elements are changed to something completely other than what it was originally, often into shapes that are macabre, beyond imagination, and beyond the worst nightmares of anyone who would bear witness to the result of the iron wind. Any living creature caught in the iron wind is very highly likely to perish. And if it doesn’t, it will wish it had.
Another thing left by the prior world civilizations is known as the datasphere. The datasphere is a network of information similar to what we know today as the internet, but on a much more vast and wide scale. And it connects every single automaton, which are the equivalent of androids in the Ninth World, these AI intelligent machines, to machines that just kind of operate on their own that rely on information, as well as a compendium of information and knowledge that is far vaster than even our own genetic blueprint. The problem with this information is as vast as it is and as valuable as it is it is highly inaccessible to the people of the Ninth World. They do not have the technology to access the information within. However, every now and then bits and pieces of this information manage to reach the people of the Ninth World, in the form of what are called glimmers. A glimmer might be a fraction of information about some aspect of the Ninth World or some aspect of a prior world. And a lot of times the information really is cryptic and useless and completely makes no sense. In other cases, those bits of information can come in handy. But usually it’s not really enough to do anything grandiose with, but it’s enough to gain or launch an idea, maybe a blueprint for a new device or an artifact, or knowledge about a specific area that it’s been unexplored or is kind of unknown.
Now a little bit about the culture of the Ninth World
The Ninth World is primarily made up of human beings as the overriding sentient species on the planet. There are other sentient species, but their numbers are very, very minor and few compared to those of humans. Humans really haven’t been around that long in the Ninth World. And I say been around because as mentioned, in prior world civilizations humans did not exist. They were here, and then they were gone. And then they were here again, and nobody really knows why or how they disappeared or even came to return.
What is known is the history written and oral of human beings in the Ninth World only goes back about 900 years at best. Before that, human beings were more of a barbarian type of species at that level. However, at this point they’re a bit more evolved. Now they’re kind of more at an agrarian level of civilization. Most of the inhabited places in the Ninth World by human beings are small villages, and tiny, tiny places called aldeias, and small towns. Most of the people in the Ninth World live off the land. They are farmers or hunters or collectors of items, or of food. Day to day living is paramount for these people.
But there are areas in the Ninth World that are a bit more populated, especially in places like the Steadfast where you have cities which are areas with 10,000 or more people living within them, and they have more of an evolved structure as it were. They have more formal education and industry in commerce and trade in those type of places. They have structured class systems; you have the aristocrats and the rulers at the top, a lot of times they are royalty. Below that you have the middle class which are the merchant classes and those who kind of run industries. Below that you have the lower classes, which are your working classes. Then you have your peasant classes, the absolute abject poor, and even lowest are slaves. Slavery does exist in several places in the world.
Most of the people in the Ninth World are illiterate, probably about half the people in Ninth World are illiterate, maybe more so educated in the larger cities, but not completely as it were.
The belief systems of the people in the Ninth World vary quite a bit. The predominant one in the Steadfast is the Oder of Truth. The Order of Truth- they call themselves a religion but really, they’re more based on science. Their belief is empirical evidence, their belief is proof of things, and knowledge. So it’s kind of a strange thing to call it a religion but they present it as a religion because the people of the Ninth World tend to see them as a religious entity, being able to work with the numenera and such and having knowledge of this strange, crazy, prior world technology.
They’re not the only religion in the world. However, there are many, many other religions, far more than can be counted. Some examples are the Sarracenians who worship plants and work with plants. You have the Gaians that are in the Spiritlands, and they’re known as that because they believe that there is spirits in everything that they encounter. There’s the Nacrescenti in the Frozen South and there are 1000 gods in their religion and there are places in the world where great numenera effects are worshipped as gods, and as they look in the night sky, the ever so frequent supernovas that are seen in the sky are considered deities in and of themselves.
Just as varied as religions in the Ninth World, our languages, the main language in the Steadfast is the language of Truth, which is the language developed and presented by the Order of Truth. Most everyone in the major cities speaks Truth, a little less in the smaller cities, about 50/50 in some of the towns but the further out you get from the Steadfast and the Beyond the language is become more and more unique to the area. There are places in the Ninth World where Truth is not spoken at all or understood.
As I said, the predominant sentient species in the Ninth World is the human beings. However, there are many other creatures in the Ninth World that are sentient. One of the creatures worth noting are abhumans, which share a lot of similarities to human beings. However, they’ve been mutated over time and there are a lot of animal characteristics to them. And they’ve abandoned their humanity a long time ago, in favor of living in their animal nature. Most abhumans have come to despise humans, and some of them have come to enjoy them as a delicacy.
There are also mutants, human beings that actually still consider themselves human despite having mutated from the standard human form. There are many contributing factors to mutations. Some are from resulting genetic manipulation of ancestors and those mutations have been passed down. Or there may be environments that have caused mutations due to some of the strange luminary effects, or just plain evolution of the species to create, in some cases, certain powers within people that they can either manipulate things from a distance, or they have great eyesight, or they have psychic abilities. Or theirs are physical in nature, with tentacles in place of limbs, or maybe dorsal fins on their back. Their skin may be a different color, like green or orange or blue, or they may have hubs in place of feet. I mean, the imagination is limitless, they may have spikes that grew out of their skin. But these mutations are considered by most human beings, either something revered if they have special abilities that makes them superhuman, or reviled, if they have mutations that makes them off putting or even revolting to the sight of other people.
Other sentient beings that share the Ninth World with human beings are known as visitants because they originated from someplace other than Earth, at least their ancestors did. Visitors generally do not know of their origin any more than human beings know of theirs. They share the world with human beings but they don’t generally share living areas with human beings, with a few exceptions. They tend to keep the to themselves and live in their own communities and human beings don’t really understand or trust visitants all that well with some exceptions.
Some of them look like human beings and live among human beings because they pass as human beings even though they’re somehow off putting for some reason. Many of them look nothing like human beings and are very bizarre to look at.
One of the visitants that i like that I actually mentioned in upcoming episodes of season two is the varjellen. I want to tell you a little bit about the varjellen so you kind of know, so you have an understanding of one of the visitants that live in the Ninth World.
Varjellen are humanoid in nature, there may be a little taller than human beings. They have two arms, two legs, but they have these yellow, bulbous eyes that are on either side of their head. And their skin is kind of a crimson red color. And they have a crest that stands up on the top of their head. They’re vegetarians, and they like spicy food. And one of the most unique aspects of them is called the crucible. The crucible is a cavity in the middle of their chest that’s covered by kind of these, these kind of interlocking, think of them kind of like a rib cage in a way but they’re able to open the crucible and access it so that they can rearrange their internal organs. The result of this is so that they can focus their energy on certain aspects of themselves to improve those aspects. If they want to make themselves more intelligent for a time or stronger or faster, they can do so by spending about an hour and manipulating the inside of their organs to change themselves on a cellular level. In doing so, the areas that are not focused on end up getting compromised and they become less proficient in those areas. But javelins are very intelligent. They like to work with the numenera. They love numenera. And they are very honor bound. They have a sense of honor and justice that they adhere to pretty strongly. But humans don’t necessarily always understand what the parameters of their honor system is. They do enjoy technology but they do not understand or care for history or stories or prose or poetry or any of that kind of stuff.
So that is a bit of a deep dive of the Ninth World where it gives you kind of an inside peek as to the world that Januae lives in so you can have a better understanding of some of the things that are encountered in the second season. So I hope you enjoyed this deep dive. I hope you found it informative, and I’ll be coming to you in the near future with a second bonus episode for the summer.
Thanks for listening and you’ll be hearing from me soon.