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Doorrdana is a cross-dimensional nation of shadow folk. They have, by the use of science and the inspiration of a number of geniuses in their history, discovered a technological means to shift shadow, and manipulate shadows. This also allows them, by means of beamed power, to keep their technologies (and themselves!) functioning in shadows with physical laws radically different to their home world.
They are intended as a contrast to the low numbers of individually powerful Amberites and Chaosites, instead being a society with large numbers of not very powerful individuals, who succeed by co-operation and technology. They have a great power, and that Power is Science.
Their history began with primitive tribes-people on a single world not unlike the Earth in a single shadow. Over time these people developed and grew into empires and nations. In time these nations rose and fell, but technology gradually advanced until they had an industrial revolution. Nuclear weapons were developed, and there was a nuclear war, leading to the fall of their civilisation. Reconstruction did not heal the old wounds, and another nuclear war occurred, worse than the first. They reconstructed again, with a world badly damaged by the wars it had suffered.
This time a world government had risen out of the ashes, an equitable, meritocratic, scientific regime, with quite a lot of freedom, but also a great deal of surveillance of public spaces, and very limited privacy. Under it the world was slowly rebuilt. During this time, a genius developed a theory of multiple dimensions and was eventually able to open a gate into an adjacent world, which became known as Dimension 2; this was more than a thousand years ago, local time.
The laws of nature in Dimension 2 were essentially the same as those of Doorrdana, and although it was a world where humanity had killed itself off entirely in war, it still had space, and resources. In time, a second new world, Dimension 3, was breached, then more and more. Eventually worlds with people were reached. Some of these meetings led to war, which led to defences being built around the world of Doorrdana, and the ways to it through the dimensions.
Each of the breaches into a new dimension led to an expansion of the original theory as each world had different properties and laws of nature. This included the incorporation of magic as part of the laws of nature of a given dimension as dimensions where such powers worked were discovered.
After a great many worlds had been breached, another genius, building on the work of many others, was able to see how the laws of nature and the properties of the infinite dimensions were governed by an overall theory, the Dimensional Theorem; this was developed more then three hundred years ago. Use of this theory allowed Doorrdana to expand across shadow more reliably and effectively. [The two geniuses here could be shadows of Dworkin or Brand, but I'd rather they weren't...]
Although their expansion is controlled, exploration parties now spread out from Doorrdana into the dimensions around it, seeking new life, new civilisations, and so on...
Doorrdana was originally an earth-like planet. With technology and war its environment was devastated, but has, over time, been rebuilt to something like its original state. Doorrdana is slightly larger than the Earth, and slightly denser, and so has a slightly higher surface gravity, though the atmosphere is somewhat less dense (and so has a lower surface pressure) than that of Earth. Unlike the Earth it has a very large axial tilt of some forty-eight degrees and a day some eighteen hours long. The average temperature is similar to that of the Earth, but the high axial tilt of Doorrdana means that the seasons there are much more extreme than on Earth (more than fifty degrees Celsius on the equator in summer; less than minus ninety degrees Celsius at the poles in winter; it never goes above freezing at the poles in summer, and can drop to freezing at the equator in winter). With no moon tides on Doorrdana are much less extreme than they are on Earth.
Doorrdana has seventy percent of its surface covered in oceans, seven tectonic plates, one major continent, one minor continent, seven major islands and seven archipelagos. The world did have rich mineral resources, though these have now largely been exhausted by centuries of industrial exploitation. Thirty percent of Doorrdana's surface is covered with ice.
The total population of Doorrdana is roughly ninety billion people. These are divided into one hundred and forty-four cities with populations in the hundreds of millions, ninety-six with populations in the tens of millions, and thousands of cities with populations in the millions and hundreds of thousands. All of these cities are self-contained arcologies, where the population can live without disrupting the natural environment outside too much. Most of Doorrdana's arcologies are on offshore islands, with the majority of the continents of Doorrdana being given over to huge nature reserves; Doorrdanan technology is sufficiently advanced that they do not really rely on nature for anything any more. The few cities on the major landmasses are in largely desolate areas, where the impact of their presence is minimised.
There is a heavy presence in space around Doorrdana, with ten major spaceports on the surface of the planet, and various orbital cities.
The dimensions close to Doorrdana are similar war-ravaged worlds; some of these have been rebuilt like Doorrdana, and again are inhabited by, at least, billions of people. Some of these worlds, too damaged to be rebuilt, are used as mining facilities or waste dumping grounds. Living worlds further from Doorrdana tend to be less heavily inhabited, with populations of a billion or less. Worlds with native populations are either invited to join with Doorrdana, subject to certain entry criteria, or simply left to their own devices (if too hostile, or they refuse Doorrdana's offer). The total population of Doorrdana, across all of its dimensions, is in the hundreds of billions.
Doorrdana itself is a high-technology, no-magic shadow where time runs roughly twice as fast as in Amber.
Doorrdana is a world orbiting a yellow star much like the Sun, in an orbit similar to that of the Earth. Doorrdana is the fourth world out from its sun.
In addition to Doorrdana there are five gas giant worlds in its solar system, and one planetoid belt. The planets of the Doorrdana solar system are as follows:
The people of Doorrdana are basically normal shadow humans, with Human-ranked statistics, and life-spans averaging eighty years. In appearance, the people of Doorrdana have dark grey skins (although the actual shade varies from fairly light grey to almost black) and African-type features, with eye colour varying from pale gold, through gold to orange, red, brick-red and maroon depending on the individual.
Doorrdanan society is not a democracy, but is egalitarian. Everyone is educated and trained as far as they wish to go, and the particularly skilled will tend to rise through the system, either in their field or into the Doorrdanan government. The Council rules Doorrdana, with a large number of advisory councils to assist them; most of these councils are filled with people who got there on merit, but some councils are made up of democratically elected members. There are also lots of checks and balances to ensure that there is not a slide from meritocracy into totalitarianism, including independent legislative and judicial organisations and so on. Computers are used heavily, but there are no AIs or such things. There is a lot of surveillance of public spaces, and not a huge amount of privacy, but people have quite a lot of personal freedom, and Doorrdana is usually safe and crime-free.
The government of Doorrdana is effectively a Civil Service Bureaucracy, divided into Several Councils, known as Offices. The Dimension Exploration Office (DEO) handles the exploration and surveying of the dimensions. The Office of the Interior handles matters within Doorrdana. The Office of the Exterior handles relations with other nations, and negotiations with new nations found in other dimensions. The Office of Defence handles military matters. Other Offices handles other things. Local Offices handle local matters in all of the Doorrdanan worlds.
The law of Doorrdana applies equally to all citizens, as well as to visitors to Doorrdana from elsewhere, although diplomatic protocols may apply in this case.
In terms of society, the Doorrdanans get on well with each other; society is harmonious, though there are some disagreements, and people tend to be friendly with one another, even strangers. Although they compete against one another in meritocratic contests of skill, people do not take this personally, and take it badly that they have lost out to another. This tends to apply in war, too, where fighting does not take place simply for revenge. Partly because of their previous wars, the Doorrdanans are technologically quite conservative; things have to be thoroughly proven to be an improvement before they are adopted. However, when thing are proven, then they are adopted without problems; as such their technology continues to march on.
There are a number of customs in Doorrdanan society:
Technology in Doorrdana has reached its upper limit, and is at a cyberpunk level. There is space travel, but it is rather neglected as there are the more-easily-accessed dimensions to travel to instead.
Weather Control is practised on all of Doorrdana's heavily-populated worlds.
Using the Dimensional Theorem, the scientists of Doorrdana have been able to develop a number of devices:
In addition to 'conventional' power sources such as nuclear fission and fusion, there are a number of Dimensionally-based power sources in use by the Doorrdanans. These include:
There is a dimension somewhere in their realm where something went horribly wrong. An experiment with a Twist Generator power source went wrong and the worlds were twisted together and broken, forming a shadow storm, destroying that dimension and some near it. Other experiments to solve the problem also caused smaller storms, until a means was found to stabilise the storms, though not to eliminate them altogether.
Because of this, the Doorrdanans know how to create shadow storms, perhaps as an ultimate weapon. Likewise, all of their home worlds are protected by stabilisers that stop shadow storms from affecting them. [It is also possible that this accident and the shadow storm it creates are detectable and attracts the attention of one or more Amberites...]
Doorrdanan dimension-exploration vessels are flying saucers, which are fast, manoeuvrable, and can operate in all fluid environments. Some are manned, but there are also unmanned remote probes too. They are well armed and armoured, with physical defences, and also active things such as 'electrical armour'.
Crews wear Rule Suits when doing extra-vehicular activity. These are physical law resisting/maintaining suit, like quite bulky spacesuits with fishbowl helmets. They are armoured, and powered for a strength boost.
There are a couple of problems which Doorrdanan science still has not cracked.
The Doorrdanan symbol is a coloured fractal flower on an ash-grey background, representing growth, rebirth and science.
Doorrdanans met in shadow are likely to be explorers. They will have high-tech equipment, but some of this will also be adapted to work in low-technology environments (for example, guns which can act as crossbows and so on); these explorers are trained in low and no-tech skills as well as high-tech ones.
Doorrdanan biology does not work in all shadows, and is sustained by the Dimension Shifter. As such, if this stops working they will tend to die.
Doorrdana is unaware of Amber, and vice versa. Doorrdana would be quite happy to be allies with Amber, but will not surrender sovereignty to them under any circumstances. Their knowledge of dimensional physics and their high-tech weapons systems which will work essentially everywhere will stand them in good stead against Amberite powers.
It is possible that Doorrdana could be found by some Amberite noticing their power beams in shadow, and tracing them back to their world. They could also be found by someone with API searching for shadows with the set of laws which match those their Dimension Shifter devices generate; this latter would require the capture and examination of one of their vehicles.
Copyright © Tony Jones, 2007.
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