Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since my vacation, and I’ve finally gotten caught back up enough to take a weekend off.
In my scant free time I’ve been working on lore and systems for the RP setting in SL… Which is just the dark-future of Roanoak, the place I wrote about previously…
It’s gotten hugely popular, so much so we had to acquire a second region just to have some place to build the various event scenes.
The setting is something akin to the fanific “Fallout: Equestria”, which is the horribly written bastard offspring of the Fallout game franchise, and ponies… It sounds weird, and it is, but the juxtaposition of bombed out irradiated world and Gen4 ponies actually works.
The incongruity is the selling point I think.
Anyway, the character I am using as the narrator is fun; I essentially turned my ignorance of the fanfic the setting is based upon and my technical education into a character. So I have this cloned pony who knows nothing about the world, but has this wealth of pre-apocalypse technical knowledge.
What makes the character really intriguing is that I basically created Gen4 genetics for this; actually sitting down and figuring out how the various allele groups would express the various phenotypes for the three tribes…
It's okay, I get that blank look a lot…
Anyway, the Gen4 show dropped a bomb on everyone by literally building an episode around the fact that Earth Pony parents can give birth to Unicorn and Pegasus foals. So “pony” genetics contain the allele groups to express each variant kind of pony.
So Iridae, my character, is (was) a perfectly blank slate – a frozen zygote created for an advanced plan to try and preserve the race beyond the war.
See, to lock up a bunch of anything for 250 years to try and outlast a nuclear winter, and get around the inbreeding problem, you need like 6000 breeding pairs at the outset… That’s a lot of mouths to feed and environment to reprocess. But if you freeze most of the breeding population as zygotes you can start off with like 50, and only thaw out what you need as you need it.
The problem in Iridae’s case is that plan didn’t exactly work out… And long story short, everyone died and all but five of the zygotes were tainted by radiation. So some 200 years later the radiation in the facility had gotten low enough that the computer does what it was told, and brought the last five to term via an accelerated growth protocol… Making Iridae about 15 at the beginning of her story and with an advanced education based on pre-war sciences and technology.
Another complication is because they contain the alleles for all three tribes, and that phenotype expression comes about based on vagaries of magic from the parents – and Iridae’s ‘parents’ were technically a computer – she started out life as an oddly spindly pure white Earth Pony (the genetic baseline).
Then she found the necklace that Aurora used to wear all the time – or it found her – one or the other…
The necklace is an artifact a bit older than Aurora, and is a key entrusted to her that opens one of the prisons that contain various elemental evils that once roamed the world. But it’s also the vessel she used to contain a shred of her essence the day the bombs fell.
Given this bit of arcane trickery to try and circumvent her death, the necklace has become something of a phylactery that houses at least some of Aurora’s spirit. And once in the possession of Iridae it has supplied the required magics to cause Iridae to begin expressing tribal phenotype – specifically a Unicorn.
There is this big story about how the facility that was created to save the race actually tries to kill her for her gradual genetic deviation and how she escapes with the aid of Aurora’s ‘spirit’. This spirit cannot directly communicate with Iridae, but it can cause hallucinations and such where Aurora can pantomime what she wants to get across.
Anyway, what started with simply gaining a short, stubby horn has progressed over the last two years of Iridae’s life. And today she looks considerably different from her four siblings back in the government continuation facility.
This is not what the average Unicorn looks like in modern times, but is instead a serious throwback to what they looked like thousands of years ago. Why this is, she has no idea…
She is also struggling to learn magic. Being as she cannot internalize magic the same as the average Unicorn and must instead draw it from the world around her, she must go it alone and has to figure everything out for herself.
These days Iridae lives with a bunch of other … beings … in a place called Diablo Canyon; a ramshackle collection of shipping containers turned houses in the middle of what used to be a reservoir, but is now more of a junkyard.
Iridae is still changing though, and unbeknownst to her she is genetically progressing to match the phenotype of the first ‘pony’ she encountered – namely the Empress. The Alicorns, like the Empress, are a strange fourth tribe of incredibly long lived and rarely seen pony – a bit like the Noldor Elves of Tolkein myth, and being as I killed them all off in the war, Iridae will be the first of their kind in this brave new world.
But, it doesn’t end there – Iridae has four siblings, and once it is discovered what they can become the race will be on to capture them and turn them to whatever goals the group has, or in some cases kill them before this can happen.
We truly live in exciting times. 😉