>It is the twilight of the Dark Continent. >For as long as the People could remember, there had always been two sides to the world. Civilization, and the Bush. Civilization was community, order, reason, reality. The Bush was savagery, selfishness, the unreal, and madness. It did not just exist, it hated. And this hate would coalesce into monsters and witches which plagued the People and brought chaos to civilization. But the worst of these monsters were the Swallowers. The Swallowers are great and terrible beasts with insatiable appetites that could devour entire villages with ease if they were not placated by regular sacrifice or some other dark bargain. Sometimes a God Child would arise among the People, and endowed with mystical powers and a cunning mind by the Ancestors, it would slay the beast and end the suffering of the People. So did life go for uncounted time. But it did not last. The Bush's hate only grew, and the Swallowers would appear with greater and greater frequency, always bigger than the last. And always hungrier. The Bush realized its mistake, but too late. All things not of civilization were devoured wholesale and made part of the Swallowers, who roamed the empty lands to sate their hunger on the only things left. The People's villages, and other Swallowers. Eventually, a bargain was struck by some. The People would move their villages atop the Swallowers and assist them in devouring their kindred, and the Swallowers would refrain from eating the People they guarded. And so began the Unending Hunt. The Tribes of the Swallowers steer their master/steed towards their enemies, and use the trickery and cunning gifted to them by the Ancestors not to stave off the Bush, but to prey on their fellow man so that their own tribe may yet live.
>>73702746>This is a time of darkness, where the unity of the People is broken and reason fails as the People turn to worship the very beasts that enslave them rather than the Ancestor spirits. But if things are not changed, eventually there will be nothing left but the last Swallower and the last of the People. The Swallower will devour the tribe upon it, and then itself. And the world will die.>>The Swallowers are titanic beings that are capable of engulfing entire villages and devouring all within. Some are unique and incredibly powerful creatures that dominate vast regions, with a veritable kingdom's worth of People on their backs. Others are species consisting of multiple individuals. All Swallowers share traits of supernatural strength and power, and their ability to devour all that they see. But that which a Swallower devours is not slain. It is trapped within the creature, its body melded to the beast's insides and used to increase its size and nourish the People that live upon it. It is said to look into the throat of a Swallower is to look into hell itself. Swallowers can also be intelligent, with some capable of communication but all possessed of higher reasoning far greater than any animal but less so than one of the People. A member of the People could, in theory, try to trick a Swallower they live on, but doing so carries great risk, as the tribe will be severely punished if their trickery is discovered. If relations sour, one may kill the other, but a tribeless Swallower can always eat a smaller Swallower and take their tribe, but a tribe without a Swallower is nothing but food (though rumors exist of cunning tribes climbing up sleeping Swallowers and killing the original tribe. The Swallower tends not to care which humans live atop it, so long as they fulfill their end of the bargain).
>>73702752>The relationship between the People and their Swallower is one of mutual need and distrust. The Swallower is possessed of low cunning but lacks the trickery and intelligence of the People, and the People alone lack the power to fight other Swallowers without the help of the children blessed by the Ancestors (which were rare in the past, but downright legendary now. The Ancestors barely speak to the People these days. Perhaps they believe the current People have already succumbed to the Bush). Thus, the People tend to focus on sighting other Swallowers and devising the best techniques to defeat or avoid them, while the Swallower focuses on the battle itself. It can be likened to captaining a ship, except the one ultimately steering the ship is the ship itself, which will devour you if you do a poor job of it. When two Swallowers fight, the tribes will attempt to board the opposing beast and slaughter the natives before attacking the monster they stand on. If they did this alone the Swallower could easily dispose of them, but their presence atop it combined with a foe of equal stature gives the Swallower whose tribe won the battle a significant advantage over the other. However, unlike in the past where the death of a Swallower meant its victims could be freed from their prison inside of it, the slain Swallower is devoured by the victor, and the victor's increased size allows the tribe attached to it to grow in turn. In the end, however, the one holding the reins is invariably the Swallower they live upon, which could devour them at any moment should they prove treacherous. But so long as the tribe continues to prove itself as a worthy asset, it will refrain from doing so.
>>73702758>While the People do live under the rule of the Swallower they live on, it should be noted that their tyranny can be escaped using the gift of true cleverness only the People possess. Secrets can be hidden, plans can be made. It is even said that the greatest of the Swallowers, despite their immense power, are weakest in this regard, for their massive, island-sized bodies can hide many places where the People can secretly plan for a future where they are not the slaves of the Bush's children. Perhaps the Ancestors can be convinced that the People, despite all the horrors and depravities they submit one another to in this era, can be redeemed, and God Children will once again be born amongst them to slaughter their captors. But such a task would be a great undertaking, and few if any know what is to be done to recontact the Ancestors. Perhaps, if one scorns the Ancestors, they can simply guide their Swallower to final victory against all others, hoping that your tribe will be of such size it can kill its master rather than its master kill it. But they would be facing off against the greatest apex predator to ever exist, and their chances of survival would be quite low. But while their are innumerable Swallowers active today, they do not produce offspring, being monstrous weapons of the Bush rather than true natural creatures. No matter how many there are now or how vast the Dark Continent is, the number will slowly dwindle, be it something that takes decades or millennia, and the end will come. There is only so much time to plan, and in the end there can be only one victor.
>>73702766Other notes about the Dark Continent:>Many larger Swallowers host those who continue to practice the witching arts, producing talismans and curses and selling them to the highest bidder. Witches are known for being amoral creatures of the Bush which have forsaken civilization and will do anything for the right price, caring only for themselves. In an ironic twist of fate, the greatest of the old witches likely now scream from inside a Swallower's flesh, for they had nowhere to run when the Swallowers devoured all of nature. As such, much of the art has been lost, but at the same time without ancient witches killing upstarts and potential rivals there are many more low to mid-grade witches than there were in the past. Witches primarily look out for themselves, but being forced to live in such close proximity to civilization has resulted in some individuals or groups ending up somewhat integrated with the rest of the community, though the trust between laymen and the witches is about as much as that between the People and the Swallowers.>The largest Swallowers are entire ecosystems, carrying the remnants of the Bush on their backs. It is here that the witches are strongest and may actively interfere with the nations that live alongside them rather than work with them by necessity (though some witches are chained and bound to serve the kingdom). It is also here that lesser monsters and animal spirits of the Bush remain, grown even more hateful from having their domain usurped by their gluttonous children. The jungles are even more hateful than before, if that can be believed. >The world below the Swallowers is barren in terms of life, but is teeming with dispossessed nature spirits. Unlike the Ancestors, the animal spirits care nothing for man, but are absolutely infuriated that their domains were devoured. Certain places are so thick with spirits that they are called "ghost oceans" and to fall into them spells almost certain death.
>>73702776>Societies atop Swallowers can be divided between the groups which worship their Swallower as a god and the ones that worship the Ancestor spirits. The former are almost always hedonistic and decadent or barbaric and savage, having disregarded the teachings of the Ancestors and reveled in violence and cruelty. However, they tend to receive better treatment by their Swallower, as the beasts have massive egos and are not immune to generations of praise and sacrifice. Societies that worship the Ancestors tend to more closely resemble communities from before the Unending Hunt, but their refusal to entirely submit to their master often deepens the already great rift of distrust between the tribe and the Swallower, which can result in the Swallower ignoring sound advice by the tribe and the tribe being unwilling to sacrifice too many villagers to secure victory. There have even been stories of attempts by some tribes to give birth to a God Child, which ended with the Swallower finding out and devouring most or all of the offending tribe. After all, if the ritual could succeed, then the reign of the Swallowers could face a true challenge for the first time since the end of the Bush.
>>73702787>While many tribes and their Swallowers have no contact with other beings except to kill them, some of the more intelligent creatures and many of the unique apex predators can form loose, temporary alliances. Things like "I will stay south of this mountain and you will stay north" or "we will work together to kill this one creature that threatens us both." The more participants in these impromptu gatherings the more likely it goes wrong, with half a dozen Swallowers existing peacefully together being a rarity, and even more unlikely the greater in size the participants are. And of course, should one party grow notably larger than the other(s), the agreement is as good as broken already as the Swallower will inevitably try to get the jump on its erstwhile equal. But these temporary periods of peace allow Swallowers to hear news of the Great Hunt, who has eaten who and what has grown to what size, allowing them to strategize on who would make the best prey (and analyze the one they speak with, determining how best to defeat them in the future). Humans can also use this information to plot an optimal course through potential victims, and trade knowledge and resources between tribes. Sabotage, intrigue, and assassination are also rife in these meetings. After all, eventually they will have to hunt each other. Taking out an esteemed warrior or two before then would only be advantageous.
>>73702800Example Swallowers (based on actual African myths):>The Nunda: A species of muscular cat-like Swallowers. It can understand the language of the people but does not speak it. It is difficult to control and has a vicious temper, but is a hunter by nature and one of the best at fighting other Swallowers, barely needing assistance from its tribe. That said, its low intelligence means it can be outmaneuvered or tricked by its prey, and so it relies on its tribe to do much of the tactical portion of a battle. Failures are punished harshly.>The Dodo: A species of ape-like Swallower capable of speech and one of the more intelligent Swallowers. It has one of the best senses of smell among all the Swallowers and will relentlessly track down anything it has decided to hunt. It is somewhat weaker than other Swallowers, but makes up for this with its ability to breed with the females of its tribe (a feat best left to the imagination) and produce monstrous half-Dodo children that stand 12 feet tall and possess incredible strength, making up for the Dodo's own weakness in combat.>The Devouring Gourd: A species of massive gourds that either rests in place luring prey to it or drags itself along the ground with its vines. The gourd is capable of speech but is easily taunted and provoked, being one of the less intelligent among the Swallowers capable of communication. It can grow Sala fruit from its vines, man-sized fruits with arms and legs that function as expendable warriors, swarming foes with sheer number. The tribes the Gourds host mostly focus on keeping it from making foolish decisions directing the Sala fruit hordes.
>>73702812>The Liqimsa: The Liqimsa are a pair of unique intelligent elephant-like Swallowers that claim to be brothers, and always hunt as a pair, using sheer strength to destroy foes. They are known for being spiteful and tracking down any Swallower that they feel has offended them in some way, devouring them and the tribe. They have a tendency to bicker with one another, though it has never split them apart (yet). If this rift could be exploited the brothers would be far more vulnerable. One of the brothers hosts a village of ancestor-worshippers, but the other is fully devoted to its Swallower.>Chipfalamfula: This unique catfish-like Swallower is one of the most powerful to exist in the water, hosting an entire nation not on top of, but inside its body, its stomach capable of holding fields, livestock, and a kingdom's worth of people. It is said to be capable of "selective digestion" where it only properly assimilates tissue it wishes to, allowing it to keep its population inside of it indefinitely, a notable advantage for an aquatic Swallower. It is also one of the more intelligent, and maintains one of the largest trade and rumor networks of the Unending Hunt. Its people worship it as a living god and its theocracy brutally suppresses any talk of life within Chipfalamfula as something other than utopian.
>>73702824>Usilosimapundu: This unique creature is without a doubt the largest Swallower to currently exist, and has yet to be unseated. It resembles less an animal and more a living continent, carrying multiple cultures worth of People and something approaching a decent quality of life. The People living atop it are divided in many ways but are most confident that they will end up winning in the end, and even the just among them are slowly succumbing to decadence, the sheer bulk of their steed preventing them from remembering the true horrific state of the world. Usilosimapundu can cause earthquakes by stomping the ground, allowing him to throw enemies off-balance. It is intelligent but not particularly so, though it is very patient. Its current rival is a female being much like itself, Ugungqu-kubantwana, which occupies the second-greatest size. Her less populous but more unified kingdom is enough to worry him.So, that is the basics of the setting I am proposing, feel free to run with it. I seriously need to sleep but will come back to answer questions should there be any when I wake up. Have fun /tg/.
As a faggot which actually studied African myths and cultures, it's nice to see that this has some resemblance to it.Btw, I believe the great number of cannibal monsters in African myth may be related to actual instances of famine-induced cannibalism and the taboo-breaking terror it causes.Have you considered any races OP?
>>73707159I had only thought of humans so far, along with creatures produced by particular Swallowers. Maybe were-hyena blacksmiths.
>>73702746>escape the unending hunger of the bush by moving to the sea>the sea is full of sea swallowers
>OP writes a complex and well-thought out setting prompt>thread is already deadnot surprising for nu-/tg/
>>73709839I'm helping out a Brazilian setting based out of African. One of the races are the boudas, pic related.
>>73712651Yeah, if it's not a story shitting thread or local lord in full harness no one cares. This is in spite of a significant portion of /tg/ posts complaining about the lack of quality. Yet when quality threads are abound, anons are absent
>>73712752I think in my setting they'd do better as individuals, since the original folklore has were-hyena-ism as a power that some people have rather than a species separate from humans as far as I can tell. Maybe if a tribe retains the capacity to smelt metal, probably from being on top of a mountain-sized swallower where metals could exist in its shell (or by convincing a Swallower to let the tribe disembark to scavenge and melt some scrap metal or mine a surface deposit), there could be hereditary clans of were-hyenas acting as both smiths and elite troops.>>73712651I didn't expect much out of this to be honest so its fine, I'm surprised I got as many replies as I did.
>>73712651It's more a matter of not having much to add. Most of us are woefully underread and creatively bankrupt.
>>73713204OP here, my idea was that /tg/ anons could use this as a sort of Your Dudes situation. You make your tribe, you make the Swallower they live on, what they want, ect. Get some creative juice flowing. As for actual gameplay, this might sound insane but I would consider using the mechanics of Rifts but with custom-made equipment/monsters/ect so as to avoid the insane power scaling of vanilla Rifts. Mostly because I could give the Swallowers mega-damage and the humans normal damage to properly accentuate the difference in power between the tribe and the Swallower. Fights between Swallowers are GM-controlled, with the players controlling warriors in the tribe boarding the enemy Swallower Shadow Of The Colossus-style. They can give their own Swallower an advantage by targeting key points of the enemy beast while fighting off defenders, or stay on their own Swallower to repel enemies trying to do the same. Individual humans could get access to mega-damage if they become witches (which would have a lot of issues and penalties associated) or become/make a new character that is a God Child, though if the game gets to that point it would probably change the gameplay dynamic from serving your Swallower to killing it and hunting down the others to free the souls trapped inside, so that'd be some endgame shit.
>>73713204>Most of us are woefully underread and creatively bankrupt.the sad truth of /tg/ is that very few people are actually as creative as they think they are
So is there any hope for the Bush to be vanquished at all?
It's a really interesting setting but it seems more fitting for a wargame than an RPG.You could focus on the biggest Swallower and develop that into an RPG setting, but the world as a whole seems inhospitable to cross-Swallower adventuring.Also I'm not really clear on the relationship between the Bush and the Swallowers.
>>73716240Well, that's like asking if there's a way to kill nature itself. That said, there are three ways I think this can end.>Good End: The players go through a long and arduous journey to regain the trust of the Ancestors and be blessed with the power to father/become a God Child, which will give them a chance to kill all the Swallowers and recreate the world/restore the world to the way it was.>Evil End: The players forsake the Ancestors and work with their Swallower to ruthlessly slaughter all the rival tribes until only they are left. They then use all the power and witchy magics they accumulated through their journey to fight their own Swallower and emerge victorious, using its power to forge a new, dark world order as immortal sorcerer-kings.>Bad End: The party is slain and eventually the Swallowers all devour each other, with the last devouring its own tribe and finally itself, leaving a barren world devoid of life.
>>73716304>It's a really interesting setting but it seems more fitting for a wargame than an RPG.>You could focus on the biggest Swallower and develop that into an RPG setting, but the world as a whole seems inhospitable to cross-Swallower adventuring.That's why I added that some of the more intelligent Swallowers would form short-lasting agreements of non-aggression for the sake of concentrating their power elsewhere and gaining information. Moments like these would allow for a greater exposure to the wider world for the players and an opportunity to sabotage or assassinate a tribe they will inevitably have to face in battle. A clever GM could also flesh out the PC's tribe so that it continually provides interesting content. >Also I'm not really clear on the relationship between the Bush and the Swallowers.The Bush is like the malignant personification of all nature, which in African mythology is depicted as indifferent towards civilization at best and outfight hateful towards it at worst. Animal spirits don't give a shit about you, if you want blessings you pray to your ancestors. It and humanity do not get along. Swallowers are massive monsters that, being supernatural organisms opposed to human values, originate from the same metaphysical area as the Bush. They tend to appear when mundane creatures are tainted by evil energy, for example if a monster is slain and the blood soaks the soil, a devouring gourd may be born. The first Nunda on the other hand was just a normal cat that slowly grew bigger and hungrier than was naturally possible until it was a monster, and no explanation for why was given. But basically The Bush= the supernatural, the wild, the things that are not humanity and civilization, the antithesis of intelligence and reason. In this particular setting, Swallowers were just the most powerful monsters the malevolence of the Bush could create, but they became so strong they managed to devour the very thing that created them.
>>73716403>That's why I added that some of the more intelligent Swallowers would form short-lasting agreements of non-aggression for the sake of concentrating their power elsewhere and gaining information.Yeah, but since these are temporary and rarely involve more than a half-dozen swallowers they don't really allow for much in the way of adventuring. You can't have major hub cities or anything of the like.You'd have to develop a system that's focused entirely on tribal management, and the occasional big battle, and at that point why not just make a wargame? Hell, you could probably make a really cool King of Dragon Pass-style computer game out of it.>But basically The Bush= the supernatural, the wild, the things that are not humanity and civilization, the antithesis of intelligence and reason. In this particular setting, Swallowers were just the most powerful monsters the malevolence of the Bush could create, but they became so strong they managed to devour the very thing that created them.This is the part I find confusing. The Bush is intelligent, and the Swallowers are part of the Bush, so why is the Bush upset about the Swallowers winning? My first thought is that Chaos is turning on itself as a sort of cosmic balancing act but it seems like the witches and animal spirits are utterly helpless, so the Bush is going to win regardless.
>>73716515>You'd have to develop a system that's focused entirely on tribal management, and the occasional big battle, and at that point why not just make a wargame? Hell, you could probably make a really cool King of Dragon Pass-style computer game out of it.I suppose you've got a point there.>This is the part I find confusing. The Bush is intelligent, and the Swallowers are part of the Bush, so why is the Bush upset about the Swallowers winning? My first thought is that Chaos is turning on itself as a sort of cosmic balancing act but it seems like the witches and animal spirits are utterly helpless, so the Bush is going to win regardless.I may have mislead you with my anthropomorphization of the Bush. Pic related is a better explanation. Basically, that anon does a good job of explaining how a "normal" African fantasy world would be like. In this setting, everything is fucked by one particular aspect of it spiraling out of control. The Bush still wants to exist in as much as the collective malevolent energy making up the non-human spirit world desires things, but if the Swallowers devour all life and then themselves even that becomes impossible.
>>73716614Interesting.So the Bush is less an anthropomorphized entity and more a particular manifestation of Chaos as a concept.
>>73716813Yeah, I just leaned into the anthropomorphization because I was trying for a legendy-sounding feel for my original setting posts and it seemed appropriate. But more technically yeah its like the guy said.
>>73713411>using Riftsabsolute madman
There is always Spears of the Dawn
>>73702746Idea seems cool, but you can only do so much with normal people fighting these swallowers and trying to survive
>>73702746>The Bush was savagery, selfishness, the unreal, and madnessthis is why cute and funny is justice
>AfricanDo you have the beginning of an idea of how big Africa is and how many different cultures are there? Like I get that "European" fantasy is a thing, but seriously, it's something that you should keep in mind if you intend to build a setting like this.
>>73719913If all of Europe's unique culture can be blended into a palatable mash of the coolest bits of each then you can do the same for any other continent.
>>73719913European fantasy is mainly just a simplified idea of the middle ages, with knights and castles and wizards and shit. Nothing strange about simplifying things if you want to do fantasy for other continents
>>73719970>>73719943>Nothing strange about simplifying things if you want to do fantasy for other continentsThere's nothing wrong with it, but there's nothing GOOD with it, either. It's the lazy man's worldbuilding. Plus there's the fact that Africa has been fucking ransacked for generations by colonialist assholes who did in fact lump them all together into one big "savages in need of exploit- I mean guidance" formless blob. I wouldn't show a setting like this to my black friend, is what I'm saying.
>>73720201So you wouldn't show a generic medieval world to your white friend? Every culture has the right to be homogenized into a morass of easy to understand tropes and marketable content. Why show one more respect than another? Chop ideas up and mix and match as you wish so long as it matches the aesthetic.
>>73720201There is literally nothing in OP's setting that disrespects the African cultures though.
> Nyarhologa: A giant hagfish that leaves a trail of slime in its wake filled with mummified skeletons. Behind it marches a procession of muscular ghouls that have been sacrificed to Nyarhologa. The people who live within the ridges of its wrinkles are savage cannibals who practice limited agriculture, for between the ridges are a series of valleys small enough to be writhing gullies filled with a thin layer of soil.
>>73720298>Every culture has the right to be homogenized into a morass of easy to understand tropes and marketable content.That might be the case. I just sort of don't like it.Maybe I'm biased because I don't see a lot of my own culture (Italian) in traditional fantasy settings.
>>73702746Very least interesting, OP, especially the part about God Children. I'm currently brainstorming a campaign I want to run in Godbound, and you're giving me ideas.>>73721284È una bella frociata da dire.
>>73722842>È una bella frociata da dire.Perchè scusa tu dove l'hai vista?
>>73723426Intendevo il post prima. Avrei detto fossi americano. Fa schifo anche a me l'omogeneizzato culturale, ma aver da ridire sull'OP, che oltre ad essere neutro di tono, è anche discretamente inventivo, mi pare solo modaiolo.>t. anarchista, prima che tu mi dia del fascio.
>>73712651I don't care about Africa. If my regular group proposed that I play in this, I would bow out of those sessions, because it's something I don't give a fuck about.