The Mysteries of the Southern Continent

Ante scriptum – this week’s lore post is about the various mysteries that Charles will encounter (and hopefully solve) in the southern continent of the Animal Kingdom while searching for the origins of the Ark Fantastic (this being the second act of the game). Since we don’t have many art assets for the southern continent yet, this blogpost will be filled with pictures of the step-by-step artwork process for our first artwork ever – the three protagonists exploring the southern jungles. This artwork was done way back in 2018 when we still had many different ideas on what exactly we want out of the game, and served as one of only a few mock-up pieces we sent to our Creative Europe application in 2019. In a way, the pictures tell their own, separate narrative from the text, and hopefully, both are equally interesting.

The Mysteries of the Southern Continent

Traversing the southern jungles – sketches

For as long as collective memory serves, the Kingdom has been a large landmass, surrounded by sea on all sides. This is the continent we now call Kingdom Proper. However, a new southern continent was found during the recent times of King Michaël.

Traversing the southern jungles – final sketches

This caused major ontological and cosmological troubles for the scholars of the Kingdom – how to fit this new continent into the world we thought was just a single landmass surrounded by sea and nothing else? Many hermeneutical ideas about the Ark myth had to be done away with, and many more had to be re-framed to fit newfound truths – such as the existence of monkeys, crocodiles and various birds found on the southern continent, all of which bear no mention in the Ark myth. At least not in its modern form.

Traversing the southern jungles – background line-art

The Sentient Water?

While technically a part of the Kingdom in its entirety, the Colonial Continent is very different from the Kingdom Proper. The flora and fauna are very different, and even the land behaves strangely – whenever Vincent’s expeditions tried to set a foothold deeper in the continent, rivers would dry out, like they had a mind of their own, and new ones would spring from dry beds… There have been many old-wives tales and folklore pertaining to ghosts and river spirits, all scorned by serious scholars of course, but unfortunately no scientific explanation has yet to be found for this erratic and the seemingly “intelligent” and maybe even “mischievous” behaviour of the southern waters.

Traversing the southern jungles – character line-art

The Valley of Gilliam

While the river mystery has puzzled the scholars for centuries, but it is not the most interesting one, by far. No, the most alluring mystery of the colony is the myth of the “Valley of Gilliam”.

The Gilliam mountains in the deeper reaches of the continent are where many monkeys dwell in huts and villages, but there has often been talk of a secret valley hidden in the mountains, that holds the City of Gold, a city built by monkeys and hidden from the colony. Explorers have devoted their entire lives to the scouring of the mountains in an attempt to find anything of the sort, to much derisive laughter of the local monkeys, but to no avail.

Traversing the southern jungles – color compositions

Where the Money Trees Grow

The biggest mystery in relation to the Ark myth and the history of the Kingdom is the Money Forest in the newfound continent. While the Money Trees (the trees that grow the leaves used for commerce in the Kingdom) are grown only in the royal capital, and the secret to their cultivation and growth is heavily guarded, it appears that in the colony there is a forest where these trees grow completely naturally without any need for cultivation. Indeed, it would seem the colony is their domicile, and they were imported in the Kingdom Proper across the sea many years ago.

Traversing the southern jungles – background render

This strange discovery has changed the idea about the Kingdom – the dominant school of thought is that after the flood, the Kingdom ruled over both continents across the sea – the north as well as the south? And, as the theory goes, at some point, there was a dark age and the southern continent was cut off from the Kingdom, and all knowledge of the south was forgotten. When did this happen, and how, is still a hotly debated topic in arkology.

Traversing the southern jungles – final render.

Solutions? Soon…

In any case, these mysteries, and many more, are what awaits Charles as he ventures to the colony in search for the elusive Ark.

Traversing the southern jungles – alternative take.

While you wait for the game to be finished so you yourself can find out the answers to many of these mysteries, if you’d care to know more about the world of the Animal Kingdom, be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter or even talk to us developers via our official Discord.

A Charming Conversation With Charles on the Topic of Charity!

A Charming Conversation With Charles on the Topic of Charity!

This will be a short entry to read, but might provide you with a lot of replay value!

We already talked about our dialogue system, more than once, and for this weeks lore blog, we decided to give you a glimpse of how the conversation works with actual in-game dialogue. It’s from almost the very beginning of the game, so don’t worry about spoilers.

As you might know, we’re using ink, the open source format for writing non-linear stories. So far we’ve written tens of thousands of words of dialogue, not to mention many times that amount in lore discussions and so on… Just the blog-posts alone count over a hundred thousand words already. We’re prolific that way, but is there quality behind the quantity? We’ll let you decide for yourself today!

We’ve compiled a short conversation excerpt from the Burrows (the mining city where Charles also has his lab), and it’s really all a tangential discussion on the role of charity in society. It gets triggered when you ask the miners (Inigo, Crabbe, and Rowan) to answer some questions about the outbreak of a strange new disease, but they would much rather you didn’t investigate out of the goodness of your heart.

A Charming Conversation With Charles on the Topic of Charity!

The dialogue should give you insight in the problems ailing the Kingdom and the solutions that are slowly arising. The main characters:

A Charming Conversation With Charles on the Topic of Charity!

Rowan – a young miner, a revolutionary at heart, spreading dissent and enticing his fellow miners to strike. He’s using the outbreak to try and stir up a strike and change the working conditions in the Burrows for the better.

A Charming Conversation With Charles on the Topic of Charity!

Inigo – an older miner who’s gotten over the disease and whose insight you really need to help the doc solve the outbreak. He’s bitter over what happened to his friend Paul (a miner who also got the disease but didn’t quite make it), and is helping Rowan strike against the management of the mining company to get them to do something about the outbreak.

A Charming Conversation With Charles on the Topic of Charity!

Crabbe – a tough cookie, a bit slow but well-meaning at heart, and although he doesn’t get most of the stuff Rowan says, he believes Rowans union is in his best interest, and that of the other workers too (incidentally, some of us think so too)

A Charming Conversation With Charles on the Topic of Charity!

And finally – Charles – our protagonist – a hedgehog scholar summoned by the King for an unknown but urgent reason, now sadly stuck in the Burrows due to the mine-shaft elevator being broken down and the main engineer being in a coma induced by an outbreak of an unknown disease.

Find out why the rabbit miners don’t want you to help out for free, and see how you can convince them to share their insights anyway in this short exchange. Feel free to replay as many times as you like for various conversations, by using Quill, the online ink compiler:

Once you’re done, we’d be happy to catch your thoughts and get feedback on any of our standard channels – Discord, Facebook, Twitter or even right below this very article.

Duke Nicolas and the Reformists

Duke Nicolas and the Reformists

The main opposition to the Animal Kingdom lies in the reformist movement of the tiger duke Nicolas. Nicolas started as a general in the Lav rebellion, but has since amassed a large following among the influential scholars and the gentry.

In a way, he forms the third of the three political powers in the Kingdom – the first being King Lav, the enlightened monarch whose lenient rule brought about piece and prosperity to the Kingdom, and the second being the revolutionary eagle Coriolanus, the revolutionary who currently resides in the heavily guarded colony prison facility.

Nice picture of the Duke. Would be a shame if someone explained how we made it step-by-step.

Similar to King Lav, Nicolas is a strong believer in the hierarchy of animals and division of labour within the castes as defined not only by the Ark myth but also by (dubious) science. However, unlike the royalists, Nicolas believes that the lesser castes have the innate ability to perceive the true leadership of individuals.

Thus, leadership of the Kingdom should not be birth-given, but attained by the will of the animals by a democratic procedure. The leader should then be selected as a Chancellor, and his power stemming from not only his innate abilities to rule but also from the animals perceiving and acknowledging these abilities. This, Nicolas believes, will make rulers more accountable and less prone to tyranny, as has been known to happen.
The sketch of the entrance to the “Tiger villa” – a place of the fanciest of balls and tea-parties in the Kingdom. We’ve drawn Charles in for scale.

Nicolas has adopted several ideas from scholars and academics on how a transformation of the monarchy into a democracy should improve life for all animals, regardless of caste. These ideas are frowned upon in the royal circles, and as a duke himself, Nicolas has to be careful in his words and actions, since open rebellion against the King will only get him in one of the aforementioned work camps of the Kingdom.

His followers are often referred to as “reformists”. Some of them feel that the monarchy is an outdated notion, and some just want a system where they wield more local power.

The richer Commoners such as the scholars and merchants and especially the Steward caste, are attracted to Nicolas’ ideas of regional taxation – the abolition of the “King’s Tenth”, and similar centralised systems of rule – which they feel are a burden to their (and the Kingdom’s) prosperity.
Nicolas’ summer palace, where he invites the creme-de-la-creme of Kingdom society, and plots democracy.

The idea of “relaxing” the Monarchy and its hold onto the regions it commands appeals to many Nobles as well, who feel that the balance of power might be turned slightly in their own favour – as regional powers have long been controlled by the Crown without much say in their own regional matters.

When combined, this proves to be a worthy and powerful group of like-minded animals, and the King is rightly worried for the future of the Monarchy. However, it is King Lav’s belief that strengthening his grip would only remind the Kingdom of the era of Leopold. The King has therefore decided to tolerate the brewing dissent (from both the Nicolas-led reformists and the Coriolanus-led revolutionaries) and try to win the favor of the population in a different way.
Since we’re sharing the details of the Tiger Duke’s villa, here’s his wine cellar. Not relevant to the plot, but still.

This is where the game begins – with the Kings gambit that Charles, a famous hedgehog scholar, could find the ancient Ark and prove the myth to be true, and thus appeal to the sense of tradition and reason within each animal – once the products of science align themselves with the promises of intuition, all will again be right in the world.

Stay tuned for more lore blogs and development blogs. By stay tuned we mean please subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Discord, and so on.

What about the native animals?

What about the native animals?

The doctrine of the kingdom says: “All Animals were of the Ark, and all are now of the Kingdom”. So the big question is… what about the native animals (the new ones, found in the colony) and how does the Kingdom, well, treat them?

Before we go further with this one, make sure to read Impact of the Ark Myth on Society.

The existence of native animals at all is a surprise and (at least) a minor ideological crisis. When the Southern Continent was found, the Kingdom was explicitly expecting it to be empty.

Following the exploration of the Southern Continent, the Kingdom expected it to be empty. But, it wasn’t.

The statement previously was descriptive, it told of how the world is, and afterward, when it was shown that there are Animals who didn’t even know there was a Kingdom to be a part of, it had to be prescriptive.

Continue reading “What about the native animals?”

Prisons, Gulags and Work-Camps of the Animal Kingdom

Prisons, Gulags and Work-Camps of the Animal Kingdom

As all of you avid readers of Ark Lore already know, the Animal Kingdom was not always as enlightened as it is today. During times long past it used to keep its iron-fist rule by stric enforcement of lion law and opression of all those who disobey. And what kind of opressive Kingdom would it be without at least a few high-level internment facilities?

Internment Facilities of the Kingdom

There was a total of five internment facilities (you can call them prisons, or work camps, or gulags – you get the picture) in the Kingdom. Three of these are actually still in operation as work camps even in King Lav’s day, and in the game you will get to visit a few of them.

The first to be built was the so-called Blackbark Tower, designation IF-1. It was especially brutal and hosted all the worst and most hardened criminals, as well as political opponents of the Kingdom. The height of its brutality came during the reign of King Leopold, and after the Lav Rebellion, the Blackbark Tower was destroyed and the internment facility razed to the ground.

It is decomissioned and all that remains are horror stories from those who survived its walls.

Ark Fantastic on screenshots looks really beautiful, magical, and peaceful. But it wasn't always like that. Animals could end-up in prison. Or Worse.
Blackbark Tower in Blackbark, the former capital of the Kingdom.

The second internment facility (IF-2) was built in the west of the Kingdom, in the region of Streaks, operated by the rule of the tiger family. It was in use for those royals and nobles who committed grave crimes but were of too high political status to be interned in the Blackbark Tower.

Ark Fantastic on screenshots looks really beautiful, magical, and peaceful. But it wasn't always like that. Animals could end-up in prison. Or Worse.
Temporary map made with Inkarnate – Blackbark was the former capital, now a ruin from a bygone age.

As you can imagine, it was a much easier experience, living out the sentence in the lenient prison on the coast, and it has even earned the nickname “The Summer Prison”. It is still in operation today, and is disproportionately filled with Lynx nobles, who, for some reason, love killing each other in petty feuds (this mystery will be solved by Charles, though, so don’t worry too much about those poor cats).

Tower of London Tickets | Buy Tour Tickets | VisitBritain
Imagine the Tower of London but with room service. Or just imagine Swedish prisons.

The third internment facility (IF-3) was built in Clowder on the north of the Kingdom. As the Blackbark Tower can only host so much prisoners, and the Kingdom saw a huge rise in its population, the so-called Winter Prison was built on a huge wasteland. It is also the first prison which was also a work-camp. The animals there have to cut trees and work the lumber mills from dusk till dawn.
Temporary map made with Inkarnate – Clowder is the “northern capital” of the Kingdom.

This work camp still persists even in King Lav’s time and is a point of some contention, as the working conditions have not improved there, and it’s size has not diminished. However, sending hardened criminals to the large wasteland prison is a very effective way of keeping the local city prisons from being overwhelmed.

Exploring the Russian North
Maybe we’ll just go “all-in” with the historical similarities and just have some former prisoner write a book called “The Clowder Archipelago”. Or would that be “too obvious”?

The fourth Internment facility (IF-4) was built near Valencia by King Valent when the need arose to have an internment facility in the newfound continent as well. All sorts of bandits were sent here from all over the Kingdom, as well as certain political opponents whose opinions were too dangerous to be left whispering in the Kingdom Proper. It was also a work-camp with a large quarry.

One of the Kingdom’s more “innovative” and “modern” torture machines were built in IF-4, including the infamous “feather-plucker”, any birds true nightmare.

However, Vincent, the Explorer King, disbanded the entire facility as Valencia grew in size, and freed all bandits that wished to join him in creating the “Explorer’s Guild”. Later, the large prison was incorporated in the growing city of Valencia and is now home to affordable living quarters (read: slums) for many commoners and vermin living in Valencia.

The IF-4 was disbanned in Vincent’s time and all that remains of it are museum pieces and the informal name of the Valencia neighbourhood that used to be the prison – Ieffour.

Trip the Ark Fantastic Press Kit - Gamechuck Home
Given the choice of rotting away in a stone quarry or exploring the great unknown, what would you choose?

However, having far away isolated prisons was a good idea, and Vincent did build another one – IF-5, in the Bay of Michael, on the east of the newly-found continent. The new facility was the most modern work-camp and was used to develop colored dye with the most modern chemical technology known to the Kingdom (for almost no cost, due to the prison population not being paid, of course). This was one of the reasons that Valencia and the entire colony became a strong economic power in the Kingdom, as the dye industry in the Kingdom Proper is still very traditional, taking pride in its old methods.

That’s a nice prison-camp you got there… Would be a shame if something… happened to it.

This facility will quickly become the center of the game, as an important uprising happens there, as one of its prisoners was Coriolanus, the revolutionary eagle. Once you reach it within the game, it will no longer be IF-5 and will go by the name Caw Macaw, or “The City of Freedom” in the bird tongue.

Thanks for reading about this bleak topic. If you wish to experience gulag conditions yourself, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Discord and so on!

Dialogues, Letters, Papers – conversations in the Animal Kingdom

On the 6th of May in 1840, the (real) world’s first postage stamp was produced. Well, in the Kingdom, postage stamps are still not a thing. Letters are sealed, inked, and hand-stamped in the old fashioned way. And don’t forget it’s not the internet era yet either (D’UH!), so unless you’re royalty with your own carrier service, you need to get your letter all the way to the nearest post office to have it delivered!

The printing press, post office and the Royal Newspapers editorial staff all work in the same location!

The entire game starts with a letter. As Charles receives one from the royal messenger, he is summoned to the capital.

On today (6th of May) in 1840, the (real) world's first postage stamp was produced, while our entire game starts with a letter.
Charles: Is this an order or a request?
Messenger: The words of a Sovereign do not allow for such distinctions.

Letter sending happens quite often in the game and is one of the game mechanics we’re opting for, as most of the game will see Charles off in the colony across the sea, so his only way to retain contacts with the Crown and other important Kingdom characters will be through dialogues which are “offset” by time. What does this mean? Let’s explain.

Of course we have the usual dialogue trees you have with characters (like in other games) where you ask something, and get a reply, and then ask something else, etc, like this GIF here:

Also a very interesting read, check out that article as well if you’ve missed it!

Apart from those, we’ll also have the dialogues which you write as letters to others.

However, the letters will just have a series of questions and things you can write, and then when you finish your letter to a person in your list of contacts, you can send it and expect a reply in some time. This can sometimes lead to additional clues or just a reputation boost (if you solved a mining problem in the colony, perhaps the Burrows mine would love to hear about it as well).

This is similar to how the original Broken Sword had that envelope with all the contacts and you could choose when to call who and catch up for clues or just fun dialogue fluff:

Best phone pickup line in adventure game history: “Hi. My name is George Stobbart. You don’t know me.”

It might be a bit more difficult to pull off as every time you write a letter you have to go on with the rest of the game and the reply comes back in a week or more (not actual game time but still), until which time you might have forgotten what you were talking about (however there should be a “letter history” available, to make this easier).

A similar system of “delayed conversation” in the game is writing your own scholarly reports and publishing them to the Kingdom’s newspapers. This is similar to a dialogue tree as conclusions you make bring forth new possible branches of conclusions, et cetera, but unlike in dialogues, here there is only one person doing the talking (writing) – you:

On today (6th of May) in 1840, the (real) world's first postage stamp was produced, while our entire game starts with a letter.
A very early draft of the reporting UI

These reports will be published in the Kingdom’s newspapers and will have some “reviews” by your peers (other scholars, intellectuals, Kingdom elites, et cetera) depending on the topic at hand, which you can then reply to with other reports as well, thus having a “conversation” of sorts as well.

What do you think about these ideas? Are there games with similar mechanics? Do you think it would be cumbersome for you to use these mechanics, or would you just forget about them and never use them, or abuse them completely and send so many mails until the game has nothing more to give?

Feedback is welcome! Thanks!

And, as always, don’t forget to follow us on our TwitterFacebookDiscord, and while you’re at it sign up to our newsletter!

Do our animals eat each other? No. And here’s an essay.

What do animals of the Kingdom eat? In the real world, carnivores and omnivores all eat other animals. It’s a bit of a “tough sell” when writing sentient animals. Not to imply that it can’t be pulled off – it’s been done a lot in fiction, but it’s just not what we wanted.

For example, Watership Down was filled with creepy scenes such as this one:

Can you pay rent? I think not. I. Think. Not.

However, in Watership Down it’s obvious that the cat and the rabbits are antagonistic, sworn enemies. This can easily be extrapolated to whole civilisations fighting against each other in a war for dominance, similar to the cat and mouse game Root:

Continue reading “Do our animals eat each other? No. And here’s an essay.”

Everything you wanted to know about Charles (but were afraid to ask)

Today we’re talking about Charles the hedgehog. As our main protagonist, we decided it’s important to flesh out his life and history as early as possible. So here it is: the portrait of a scholar!

So cute!!! But don’t cuddle him – he is a prickly scholar!

Born in 1849, he was a child of Herbert, a distinguished scholar himself and a member of the new King’s council. As he grew up, he saw Pride shift from a quiet summer palace to the capital of the entire Animal Kingdom – things were never quite as peaceful in Pride as in those early years.

He enrolled in the Royal Academy in Pride in 1862, under the tutelage of Quorni, a turtle botanist in charge of the royal arboretum.
A turtle sketch. Is it Quorni? Doesn’t matter, all turtles look the same!

He graduated “summa cum laude” and continued his work in the royal arboretum where he wrote his first few “scholarly reports”.

His academic life from that point onward can be summed up into three distinct periods:

  1. The Quorni period
The roof of the Royal arboretum – Charles’ workplace for many years in Pride

From 1865 to 1874, Charles worked in the arboretum as an apprentice for Quorni, coauthoring many seminal works in botany, including forming the famous Quill-Quorni hypothesis.

For his outstanding work, Charles was awarded the Master Scholar’s Seal in Botany, becoming one of the rare botanists with the privilege of having their works published directly in the Royal Newspaper.

One of the royal arboretum’s roof on the inside – holding a rare tree called Ijustmadeupa Namea
  1. The Burrows period

When Quorni died in 1874, the emptied post of Head Botanist was thought to be taken over by Charles, but being such a young age, he believed he was not yet fit for such a high prestige position and it went to Gregury Cherni instead, a great botanist from a noble leopard family.

Charles himself settled in the Burrows, a quiet mining town not far away from Pride, where he set up his lab and started expanded his work to include geology (researching the Burrows cliffs), microscopy, and other things needed to build and maintain his own botanical lab.

This is Charles’ lab in the Burrows, and where you start the whole game.

Due to the unexpected use of his work on reflective surfaces (for a new series of microscopes), he was awarded the Master Scholar’s Seal in 1878. He was now privy of publishing any scholarly report, regardless of subject, straight to the Royal Newspapers, a rare accomplishment for such a young scholar, especially from someone in the commoner caste.

His seminal work was, however, came in 1883 – an encyclopedic endeavor to list all the Kingdoms fruit, vegetables and plant-life. A feat that required skill, perseverance, knowledge and no small amount of nerves to compile.

  1. The Ark period

After five years as a Master Scholar and with many botanical masterpieces written so far, he was now called back to Pride by King Lav.

After botany, geology and engineering, he is about to be pushed in yet another field – history and arkology.

This time, the research will not be done in the safety of his home, but across the far reaches of the Kingdom, and beyond.

Will he live up to his reputation? Wait for the game and see. Until then – like, subscribe, follow, and join our Discord!



This week in ark lore, we discuss estateology. What is estateology? It’s a branch of “science” in the Animal Kingdom that tries to explain why certain Animals belong to certain castes.

It is a form of pseudo-science, even though it is not considered that by the Animals in the Kingdom. We take a cue from real-life existing pseudo-scientific ideas such as Biblical literalist chronology or the descriptive parts of eugenic theories, as well as phrenology, etc.

As our game deals with science and its relation to mythology, this pseudo-science which tries to bridge the two is an important motif that the player will encounter and investigate several times through the course of the game, and will have to form an opinion towards it.

French revolution
From the French “estates”, or classes, which are one of the inspirations for the Kingdom’s caste system.

It was invented when the first new animals were found in the Southern Continent, and an approach on how to fit them into the castes was needed. As the Ark mythos states: “All Animals were of the Ark, and all are now of the Kingdom”. The statement was previously descriptive – it told of how the world is, and afterwards, when it was shown that there are Animals who didn’t even know there was a Kingdom to be a part of, it had to be prescriptive.

Rejecting the doctrine would have been fatal for the Kingdom, as it discouraged dissenters from leaving or forming new communities by framing the Kingdom as civilisation itself, or even civility itself. ‘Where would you even go?’ they ask, ‘There is nobody and nothing outside the Kingdom.’ The important aspect of the doctrine was that there was no alternative to the Kingdom, even in theory, there simply didn’t exist any successful societies outside of the Kingdom, only dens of bandits and lunatics doomed to failure within a generation.

Obligatory picutre of the ark caste system mural in the Pride library…

To make sure that the idea of no alternative to the Kingdom alive and well, the Kingdom had to take a certain stance towards the natives: The Kingdom had to pretend that these natives never had a society, that they are simply backward savages who never figured out a form of social organisation beyond small villages. The Kingdom cannot abide by the idea that they have another ‘country’ as an enemy. Or any outside enemies at all. There is no one outside, so who could be an ‘outside enemy’?

Specifically, this means that the Kingdom denies that there is a Monkey society, let alone a Monkey Country or Kingdom. There is a Monkey culture, that’s not problematic, after all there is such a thing as a Squirrel Culture.

However, if these natives were once part of the Ark, which caste did they belong to? And in answering that, the scholars wish to answer – which caste should they belong to now? This is the field of “estateology”.

Within estateology, there are many possible approaches or schools of thought. However, all sides agree on the basic premise: the Castes reflect a certain inherrent moral aptitude, ie. the Cats are somehow better than the lower caste. Where this quality comes from is a matter of debate, and that’s how the schools are distinguished. The main two schools of thought are these:

  1. Historical Realism – The historical realists believe belonging to a caste is question of historical merit: the animals belong to a caste based on the merit of their behavior on the Ark (and by extension, Civilisation). The placement in the castes is like a criminal sentence/meritocracy and reflects a presendent for the behaviour of a certain species.

Thus, the historical realists consider the newfound animals in the colony (the natives) as part of the vermin caste (unless perhaps there is extensive mythological evidence to the contrary–an ancient mural for instance). The logic is simple: only Vermin would abandon the great cause of the Lion Kingdom, and since the native animals are not part of the kingdom, they must have abandoned it long ago, therefore they are Vermin.

This approach puts the newfound natives neatly in a caste, but doesn’t solve the more minute problems of the Kingdom – such as the “Mongrel Lord”: a Lion/Tiger hybrid who ruled an important noble family a few hundred years ago.

Liger Facts | Big Cat Rescue
You’ve never heard of a liger before?
  1. Biological Descriptivism: Animals in each Caste have certain biological features in common, if you could only determine which features are salient for each Caste you could sort any conceivable animal into its appropriate caste. For instance: Commoners are small, Vermin have scales, Stewards are large and have imposing teeth or horns, etc.
Neuroscientists put the dubious theory of 'phrenology' through ...
Kind of like phrenology.

By using biological descriptivism, the Natives species would have to be allocated to the appropriate castes based on their physical attributes, not merit. So, for example, monkeys, as small animals, would be put in the commoner caste. A bigger issue arises with animals such as crocodiles – who have features both of vermin (scales) and of burghers (large bodies).

One of the prime estateologists of the Kingdom – Germaine, Keeper of the Ark Hall, is a biological descriptivist, but both of the schools have equal footing in the Kingdom currently.

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The tale of Coriolanus

The tale of Coriolanus the eagle

Despite being an eagle lord from the Aviary, Coriolanus has lived an ascetic life. When he came of age, he was sent to Blackbark for schooling in the academy, where he focused on a field called bureauology. It is the study of the efficient organization of the Kingdom. It was a dull field concerned with trying to reorganize offices and procedures to add more efficiency. This appealed to Coriolanus as he has a very militaristic and machinistic mind.

Before finishing his years in Blackbark, he received news of the attack on the Aviary . As Lav’s Rebellion just started, the eagle lord was rumored to side with Lav, and was attacked to prevent this. Leopold didn’t think that Coriolanus, being a very conservative and militaristic hierarchic mind, would side with Lav. But, being proud and driven by revenge for his father’s death, he did.

He took the remaining birds from the ashen remains of the Aviary and flew to wage furious war on Leopold. His war victories were already folklore during the war and his machismo charisma sometimes won battles without fighting them – the population just switching over due to his legendary status.

Continue reading “The tale of Coriolanus”