As some of you have already noticed, over the last days a collaborative storytelling effort has been started here on WorldBuildingSE.

This question is meant as a means to keep everything surrounding the story organized. Community answers will provide different kinds of information & data on the whole effort and are intended to help people wanting to join the effort to orientate themselves.


There's 6 rules, intended to keep the writing effort going and preventing a single person from dominating the fun:

  1. Limit entries to the length of the chat input, or a paragraph. You can post once every 6 hours.
  2. Try to avoid jarring changes. *"And suddenly the planet exploded, the end." doesn't help anyone.
  3. Don't get too stressed out by grammar. That's what the editing phase is for.
  4. Keep non-story discussions out of this room. If you want to talk though issues use The Chat
  5. Before you post your paragraph, just make a post in the main chat so that others will know that you are doing it and not post at the same time as you.
  6. When posting the next paragraph, hit the reply button to keep it all in a chain.

And 1 rule for this meta-question:

  1. Any information in here is intended to depict the current state of the story, if it's not in the story yet it goes into the Theory section.

The dedicated room where you can join the writing is found here: The Story-Go-Round Room

The story can also be found in form of a google docs document that is updated at the reader's discretion, in case the chat proves uncomfortable for reading up: The Story-Go-Round Google Document


Below you find links to the different community answers:


Below is a list of every person that has participated in the story so far:

  • $\begingroup$ Should we remove details that no longer apply? For example Nairhadul's burns have healed. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Bellerophon it's a tough call. On one side the data should represent what currently is, so to give people an easier time when writing an update. On the other hand would it be nice to have historical details in the post as it is really inconvenient to go through the history to find past data... $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 14:22

7 Answers 7



Ideas of why things are the way they are, without having to explicitly say it in the story.
These are not official canon, but more ideas to give the world some background.
If something in the story contradicts a theory, feel free to remove the theory.

  • The 5 Challenges are possibly a throw back to astronaut training, where you might have to survive in the wilderness until help arrived if you happened to come down off course.

  • Family suffixes The final syllable of a characters name is used to show their family in a similar way to a surname. For example, Hemdul and Niarhadul, who are brother and sister, share names in the style ____dul. This may mean there are no surnames in this world.

  • Different cultures It's possible that the people running the void ships are a different culture than people living on planets, with different technology levels. One way to get off of the planet and get access to that level of living is to enlist as crew, and passing the challenges is the only way to do that. Depending on how well they do in the challenges, enlistees will be offered higher jobs and achieve full citizenship faster than those that do poorly.

  • The Watchers are Voiders It is highly likely, but not yet confirmed, that the mysterious Watchers are people from the Voidships

  • At least one of the missing phylacteries survived due to the observations of the mysterious other challengers, it seems likely that Niarhdul's phylactery, Brokhem's phylactery, or both, survived the explosion.

  • Phylacteries are shadow-self suppressors When a person's phylactery is near them and intact, it suppresses their Jungian Shadow. However, when the phylactery is destroyed, the suppression ends and a person has access to all the behaviors and ideas contained in their shadow. The effect takes hold very quickly, say a day or so. The phylacteries are a mystical block on the shadow to keep someone "free of the taint of the shadow".

  • Psychology of these people A person in this world is composed of three components, their physical body, their light and their shadow. The light and the shadow are roughly equivalent to our conscious and sub-conscious states. However, in this world the shadow is a real mystical thing that can affect the real world as opposed to human shadows that are just behaviors and information. Ideally, a person will integrate their shadow into their normal life but someone may have a shadow that completely dominates their light. In that case, their skin would go somewhere between gray to black.



Here you find info on the locations of our story.

World (no designation as of now)

  • several moons, not all of them visible at once
  • lavender horizon at early morning


People live in vast underground arcologies that protect them from the harsh sun

The Plains

Section of fallow land between the Arcologies and the Spirewood


Forest of kilometer high spire-trees, location of The Challenges(?)

The Radiation Pit

  • Location of *The First Challenge**
  • Phylactery is charged here

Jungle Continent (WIP name)

  • home of the Hell Bird
  • dangerous jungles where neither men (nor women) dare tread


  • turquoise stripes
  • great spot engulfing northern hemisphere

Sun (no designation as of now)

  • white-ish
  • doesn't give much heat but burns the skin when outside too long

Old Earth / Home of Humanity

  • rumoured origin of The Five Challenges
  • fabled cradle of mankind

Things & Items & Animals

Here you find info on things and items specific to our world & story.


  • kilometers high
  • thick trunks
  • delicious scent

Fire Root

  • when boiled makes a broth that can soothe burns and fight infection
  • strong, spicy smell (when boiled)


  • something that is charged through radiation
  • Charged up over The Radiation Pit in The First Challenge, and used in The Third Challenge
  • Brohkem and Nairahdul lost their Phylacteries at The Radiation Pit

Hell Bird

  • strange red-feathered bird from The Jungle Continent

The Arrow

  • An arrow found under a bush near The Radiation Pit by Bremdag, fletched with Hell Bird feathers. Bremdag has taken it as a warning from some unknown party, and has not yet told anyone else of his discovery.
    One of the arrows fired at Nairahdul while she was attempting the first challenge, which led her to be burned.


Here you find info on different concepts of our world & story.


  • vessels full of advanced technology
  • in order to serve on these vessels one must pass The Five Challenges

The Arrival

  • ?

The Great Scattering

  • event back on Old Earth
  • ?

The meteor incident

  • Bremdag and Hemdul and possibly others were on a 'mission' to collect parts from a meteor. Bremdag stopped to take care of some people who were wounded, causing them to fail.

The Watchers

  • a group of beings that watches over The Five Challenges
  • first mention at the end of Chapter Two


Here you can find info on various aspects and concepts relating to the society our characters live in/left.

The Rite / The Five Challenges

  • A collection of 5 challenges that need be passed in order to be allowed to crew a voidship.
  • Aspirants have to master these challenges without the help of advanced technology, using nothing but their wits & strength.
  • exists since The Arrival

The Challenge of Stone

  • the first challenge
  • requires agility and stealth
  • involves recharging a Phylactery with the radiation from a fallen space rock

The Challenge of Flame

  • the second challenge
  • it moves, and it is reportedly more difficult to find than to actually complete.
  • involves collecting some of the fire slugs flaming slime and putting it in an airtight container.

The Challenge of Light

  • the third challenge
  • the charged Phylactery is used in some manner to pass

The Challenge of Herbs

  • the fifth challenge


  • those that failed the challenges or given up
  • non-accomplishers
  • those who came back
  • they are seen by society as people that didn't know their own limitations

Prime Challengers

  • The person or group who completes the challenges fastest and/or most effectively.
  • The Prime Challengers in a cycle are respected and the competition is quite fierce.

The Proving

  • ceremony where people get their Phylactery
  • happens during the 13th cycle of a person


Here you find info on the characters of our story.

Bremdag (He)

Age: 27 cycles
Carries: bag(food for several days), water skin, bow, quiver, long knife, Staff, charged Phylactery, , jar of fire slug slime Wears: Cloak

Hemdul (He)

Age: ?
Carries: charged Phylactery
Wears: thick travelling coat, belt
Descriptors: stocky
Family: Nairahdul's step brother (not really friendly) Character: egoist

Brohkem (He)

Age: ?
Carries: Small saucepan, larger saucepan, tea, jar of fire slug slime
Wears: ?

Jarilo (She)

Age: ?
Carries: charged Phylactery, jar of fire slug slime Wears: ?

Nairahdul (She)

Age: ?
Carries: Knife, jar of fire slug slime
Wears: lots of wet clothing (dry by chapter 2), plenty of burns Family: Hemdul's step sister

  • $\begingroup$ Just curious, where is Nairahdul said to have wet clothing? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Bellerophon the steaming clothes when she was carried back from the stonepitthing. I originally insinuated them having picked her up in the searing/burning plains and having poured cold water over her to cool her down - thus steaming. Didn't get what Green was about with that pit, so I just assumed they'd still keep pouring water over her or something. Pack her in layers of wet cold clothing. So i put it in here :D $\endgroup$
    – dot_Sp0T
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 22:50


To help keep track of where different groups are at different times. Above the line is used for Bremdag and whoever is with him. Below the line is for other people/groups.

I will try and keep this up to date but if you notice something is missing just tell me either in the comments or in the chat.

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