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Canon Facts about our World

All the talk recently about the accuracy of the maps and what our world looks like has gotten me thinking about another thing. I love that the history of New Babbage is clearly defined through peoples blog posts and through the Wiki. What I love about our world even more is that people have expanded their stories beyond the borders of New Babbage into the world at large. Characters have spent time in Africa, other steamland nations, and, if I recall, there is a character serving in a militia in Texas? I myself have spent some time in the northeastern part of the United States for my character’s storyline. My question is this. Is there a Wiki for the world beyond our borders? And if not, is there any desire to create one?

I am not suggesting that we need to lay out rules about what is allowed or isn’t allowed in developing our characters. I am only asking, for myself and newer members coming into the community who wish to immerse themselves in the RP side of New Babbage, for information that other people may have already established through their storylines.

For example, one thing I see on the aetherwebs frequently in other steampunk discussion areas or rp sites is the outcome of the US Civil War. Many times I see other steampunk/alternate history rp sites create a scenario where the Confederacy was victorious over the North, which opens up various RP scenarios. What is the case for the America that we, as New Babbagers, may visit. It would not make sense for me to RP a scenario requiring the South to have won the war and remain a separate nation if it has long been established by other players that the North won.This is just one example, I’m sure there are many.

Again, I do not want to seem as if I am trying to dictate rules about what can and can’t be role played. I really enjoy the fact that, although the majority of our RP revolves around things in New Babbage (as it should), players have broadened the span of the world by including things outside our borders. Having a Wiki or something similar to show what has already happened would help unify any external RP that characters may create, as well as developing a broader understanding of this wonderful world that we have chosen to build and RP in. Does anyone else agree?

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  1. Doc Miggins Doc Miggins June 1, 2011

    A very interesting question.

    Doc Miggins was a doctor during the civil war, but it’s never occurred to me whether the outcome was different than how it happened in reality… I do know that people in town have gone to places like Texas, Louisiana and Florida, and have referred to those states as the USA… but it’s still a question very much worth exploring.  I would like to know how it turned out, at the very least, and I know at least one other character in town was involved with the war as a Confederate bushwhacker.  I’m sure he would like to know as well.

    Further, it is interesting to think of how places like London and Paris and New York City are different, I know people hail from these sorts of places… Jed Dagger is from England and spent time all over the world, Mrs Underby is from somewhere in New England, and Star Macbain is from England or Scotland… all very interesting to consider.



  2. Holocluck Henly Holocluck Henly June 1, 2011

    It would be nice if the Steamlands collaborated on a map showing their lands in relation to eachother. 

    • Mr Underby Mr Underby June 1, 2011

      That is a can of spiders probably best left closed.  

      First, we would have to agree on where the landmass New Babbage sits on is situated in the world.  That alone would probably start a war or two… I cannot see a way we would ever be able to please everyone.

      • Holocluck Henly Holocluck Henly June 1, 2011

        I suppose for the two or three who write about traveling between those worlds, they can keep the specifics ambiguous ;P

        I have RL locales in my back history, but it doesn’t shake things up.

        So… New Babbage isn’t part of Great Britain in any way? Even as a commonwealth?

        • Mr Underby Mr Underby June 1, 2011

          No, completely independent.



          • Holocluck Henly Holocluck Henly June 2, 2011

            So why are there portraits of Queen Victoria hung up in shops?

            • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger June 2, 2011

              Which shops?  I can name several that don’t…

            • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse June 2, 2011

              Edward was born in Scotland (yeah yeah I know I don’t sound Scottish but I washn’t going to try typing in a Sean Connery acshent)

              I also have a portrait of George V in the Seraph Club in Seraph City. I wonder if anyone has actually noticed it. :-)

              • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger June 2, 2011

                I actually did Edward.  I had a picture of Ceejay up at the garage, but it isn’t quite the same thing…

        • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger June 1, 2011

          One thing you may not be aware of being a relative newcomer to New Babbage is that we are typically an independent lot.  If anything, I would make an argument for being a long seceded colony of Caledon, given the former state of unrest and tension between us and them.

          • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse June 1, 2011

            That’s funny given the backstory for Caledon is it was formerly tied to Britain. Which is why Kamilah is Vicereine in Her Majesty’s name.

              • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse June 2, 2011

                It did. Though I with most of the oldbies having left very few there would remember. It even has a future story. If you look very carefully in the Wastelands sims you’ll find the tattered remains of a Caledon flag.

                • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger June 2, 2011

                  I saw it, just figured it was another expat trying to make a point.

  3. Jonathon Spires Jonathon Spires June 1, 2011

    “If you’re wondering how he eats and breathes, and other science facts (la la la)”

  4. Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska June 1, 2011

    Consider the various Chrononauts about, opening various space and time portals to all kinds of places and eras, and we have a perfectly confused & paradoxical universe in which our city floats on its island or continent. I hear tell of a teenager named Albert living in Germany who may some day take a crack at explaining all this…

  5. Stargirl Macbain Stargirl Macbain June 1, 2011

    Steelhead is, so far as I know, the only steamland that has a specific geographic location (hmm, but also perhaps New Toulouse?).  The rest of them seem to float mysteriously out in the ether. 

    I’m not sure that I want to nail-down where we are in the world, exactly. The other day a new person in town came across Kaylee and I in one of the pubs (where else would we be, really?) and asked how one could get to London from New Babbage. The conversation went something like this:

    Well you can’t go by train, because London is on an island and we aren’t in england. Oh, but Sprocket used to say that we were part of the British isles, but nobody thinks that anymore. You could probably get to paris by train, we might be on the northern coast of europe. Except that I personally have always imagined Babbage, given it’s strange insular qualities, as existing somewhere on the coast of Iceland. In which case you couldn’t get anywhere by train, you’d have to go by airship or ship. We are deffenately not in america, given that we are a city state. 

    If we can’t nail-down our geographic location, it’ll be difficult to agree on world events. I think everyone here assumes that the American Civil War ended in our time as it did in the real world, certainly there has never been any discussion of the slave trade et. al. except that such things are expressly forbidden in New Babbage. There are a number of Babbage-specific historical facts (to be found on the wiki).  The rest we seem to just agree on on the fly and on an as-needed basis. The London which I imagine Star came from might be quite different form the London which someone else has come from. But then, that’s quite the same as in the real world. 

    Since so many of our characters came to New Babbage seeking to escape their pasts, the vagueness with which we treat the outside world seems to suit us. 

    • Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin June 1, 2011

      Continental Drift, i read bout it in the Library, seems all the bits of land sort of drift all over the place, crashing inter each other an making mountains, so who knows were yer gonna wake up next?

    • Grendel Footman Grendel Footman June 1, 2011

      I’m all for Iceland, hot springs would be an interesting source of steam.



      I always just pictured it as on it’s own little landmass (little by comparison to africa or the americas, probably larger than england )  somewhere’s in the Atlantic, northern hemisphere, maybe between europe and what we know as the US.


      Otherwise, for Babbage’s history (remnant of a large technologically advanced empire that fell) it makes sense that there’d still be alot of the world unknown, with some vaugeness about locations, and inaccuracies on maps.

    • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse June 1, 2011

      Once the Channel Bridge is finished you’ll at least be able to get to London by train. :-)

  6. Arconus Arkright Arconus Arkright June 1, 2011

    Creating new histories for real world locations outside of Babbage sounds confusing and controversial. I’m not aware of anyone changing the past of a place they visit beyond NB. It’s one thing to say Franco-Prussian War soldiers piloted steam-powered mechs and fought with electric pistols, it’s another to alter the outcomes, politics and the impact on society. Starting with 19th century history as it transpired — adding robots, alchemy, voting rights for women, and sky kraken, of course — gives everyone common ground and requires minimal explanation. Creating all new fictional countries and parallel worlds are probably better choices for alt-history style RP, and if people are sufficiently intrigued, those new places might find their way onto the Babbage Wiki and into other RP stories.

    • Grendel Footman Grendel Footman June 1, 2011

      I changed the past of Antarctica for my background, there’s now a colony of mostly automotons there.


      so I changed it from not having much of a past I guess

  7. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk June 1, 2011

    vague is good. if it’s all nailed down, where are the spaces to fill in?

    • Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska June 1, 2011

      Point well taken, Clockwinder. Looking at stuff I have written but not posted I need to include more vague.

      I have also noticed a wide range of probablities in the American Civil War, not only the South winning, but the war still ongoing after a decade or so (hard to imagine, as the south was sucking wind as it was after just four years). Seems dates and such require a great deal of handwaving.

      Valeska (first day of flumbrick, in the year eighteen and snuffling pinturgy)

    • Orpheus Angkarn Orpheus Angkarn June 2, 2011

      I am all for some vagueness, as I enjoy reading the stories about new places being discovered. I was merely suggesting compiling the facts that have already been established. That way, stories aren’t written with conflicting details.

  8. Holocluck Henly Holocluck Henly June 1, 2011

    With all the floating and flying machines, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say it’s another island off the coast. We don’t necessarily have to say which coast or where in relation to Jersey or something.

    After all, getting lost is half the fun.

    • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse June 1, 2011

      Jersey is south of England, just off the coast of France. Everyone knows that.

      • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger June 2, 2011

        Jersey is south of Manhattan and is full of Italian guys with bad fake tans, ya silly.

        • Edward Pearse Edward Pearse June 2, 2011

          Snooky hunting.

          Let me get my elephant gun.

  9. Verlia Bilavio Verlia Bilavio June 1, 2011

    I do remember a ning thread about the relation of NB to bump, ravila, falun and other places that we know we can get to by train. I always thought of it as being a bigger land mass than, say, Sardinia. Some smaller continent that exists somewhere in the atlantic, possibly connected, possibly not, definitely not to any of the British Isles. This theory always gave me a lot of room to think about the Old Empire (after all, it probably did have a grand city somewhere).

    • Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin June 2, 2011

      Yes, you can get to Bump by train, but……….

  10. Grendel Footman Grendel Footman June 1, 2011

    Babbage is what happened to Atlantis, why do you think there’s a whole area of undersea tubes?

    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk June 1, 2011

      failed mining operation. there are rails under those floorboards, you know.

      • Holocluck Henly Holocluck Henly June 2, 2011

        That and the fact that most cities DO have a network of underground tubes.

  11. Leia Rossini Leia Rossini June 2, 2011

    As one of the other neophytes to this land I would say I’m not bothered by the where we are–simply that we exist and are freely/vaguely able to reference the existence of a world outside of Babbage, such as London, or Africa, or wherever one fancies. The new immigrant notecard–which I just recently discovered–does help a smidge with context setting.  

    I haven’t fully explored all of the nooks and crannies of Babbage…or the wiki, and probably won’t, in truth, as I find the stories and characters more revealing than needing to know the specifics of X and Y.


    • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs June 2, 2011

      Well, the wiki actually has quite a few chronicles of stories and characters, so if you’re looking for that, don’t dismiss it.

      is a running account of the events of the city, as posted here in the forums and personal blogs.

      This page has biographies of citizens past and present.

      And here is a beginning compilation of past stories and events in the city.  There is some definite entertainment to be found there!

      • Leia Rossini Leia Rossini June 2, 2011

        Oh I hadn’t meant to come across as dismissive of a wiki, Miss Hienrichs.  My own personal view is that many wiki’s are unengaging to read…like reading a dictionary.  However, that link to the tales section is right up my alley and an unexplored section, so thank you for that link. 

        • Osric Worbridge Osric Worbridge June 3, 2011

          *Looks up from reading the dictionary in horror*

    • Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska June 2, 2011

      I undertook to explore New Babbage when I first arrived and found it extremely complicated, with all kinds of nooks and cranies, dead end passages, secret doors; and at the time large sections were undeveloped! What’s more it is in a constant state of fluxxion!

  12. Grendel Footman Grendel Footman June 2, 2011

    it’s kind of like Springfield, noone knows exactly where it is, and anytime they mention what state it is, Homer interrupts


  13. Aeolus Cleanslate Aeolus Cleanslate June 2, 2011

    The interesting thing I’ve found about the Steamlands in general, and Babbage in particular, is that details about the outside World seem to become vaguer and vaguer the more time you spend here. The same is true for History in general, I’ve found, and Time. And most interesting of all, I’ve noticed that the longer one stays here, the less concerned or even curious about such things we all become. When such topics are brought up, usually by those who are fairly new, the oldsters tend to nod benignly and say things like “Indeed!” and “that’s nice, dear,” and return to their building or drinking or personal narratives, with little regret. Such details make good stories, but like stories tend to evaporate and become less consequential after the telling. Over time this condition seems to absorb everyone who stays, as if it were something in the air. (Lord knows it’s full of *something*.)

    I have often found it difficult to recall how long I’ve been in Babbage, or even what year it is; in fact the questions seem to slip from my mind when I try to consider them, the answers less and less relevant. The rhythm of New Babbage goes on in pleasant, ever-repeating cycles – Oiling Festival to Relay to Zombie Season to Fleet Week to Frozen Canals to Airship Regatta … monthly Balls at Piermont and weekly gatherings at the Bucket. Like Clockwork.

    It’s almost as if our City is trying to teach us that dwelling in the wider world may be a bit … overrated. And that perhaps one might be quite happy with an existence centered simply on an eternal Now.

    • Kaylee Frye Kaylee Frye June 2, 2011

      Oh man.  I love that maybe the city itself is somehow making people not care about the outside world.  And making people not care that they don’t care.

      • Jedburgh30 Dagger Jedburgh30 Dagger June 2, 2011

        Amen sister, amen.

        The amusing thing is when I first came to Babbage, I was worried about my backstory before I got here.  After nearly 3 years here, Babbage is my backstory.

      • Sky Melnik Sky Melnik June 2, 2011

        Very well put, AE! Yes, that “something” gets under our skin, seeps into our thoughts and ultimately teaches us and shapes us into what we are.

        Many come to the city with pasts, but there’s a thick layer of soot that limits that visibility. We can only see what surrounds us.

  14. Enoch Harris Enoch Harris June 2, 2011

    For me, The British Isles has to exist in this reality, because it was the birth place of the industrial revolution. It also had a huge Empire — industry and Empire are strong themes in SteamPunk.

    I also include India and Africa in my backstory because they can be filled with an infinite number of fictional provinces and principalities.

    There are many parts of the world where over the last 200 years, borders have changed drastically, countries come and go. You COULD if you wanted to, quite easily slip New Babbage into a piece of coastline on the Adriatic for example, but I think it best if we keep it very vague.


    My own character was ‘inspired’ by Gordon Gordon of Khartoum, and the book/film, The Man who would be King. By saying I was in India and made my fortune… I don’t have to write long boring back-stories that nobody wants to read. Most of us will have read enough of that sort of thing to get the gist. I think you need these historiacal and geographical points of reference to anchor to, but once in the steampunk reality, there is no need to keep going back to them, or dragging them into the storyline. So I have no need to know where they are in relation to NB.

    As for New Babbage’s position in relation to the other SteamPunk sims, I’m quite happy for them to be separated by dangerous and hard-to-navigate seas. Our Navy might want to get a little more specific than that… but I don’t have any great need to know where we are.

  15. Edward Pearse Edward Pearse June 2, 2011

    I tend to think of New Babbage as akin to Ruritania: it’s European, somewhere, but never exactly defined. Or the Duchy of Grand Fenwick (we’re probably about the size of that too).

    • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk June 2, 2011

      that is a very very good way to deal with it.

  16. Grendel Footman Grendel Footman June 2, 2011

    lots of places for me have to exist, IC and OOC I travel, and since I’m almost always IC then far as I go, they exist in the steamlands, it’s just I mostly go to steampunk sims anyway.

  17. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox June 2, 2011

    I was born in de bayou where I lived wid Ramoo (my great-grandmother) until her died.  Den I went to live at de mill in Steelhead.  I got to Babbage by followin’ Tepic.  I don’t know how we got here.  Jes’ all of a sudden we was outside de wall in Palasaide.

    I don’t know anythin’ about my parents, where dey are, or what happened to me.  All Ramoo ever tell me was dat her was my grandmamma’s mamma, an’ dat was all I ever needed to know.

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