The Floq

Combative Democracy

Like a wrapping of gauze around a seeping wound, The Floq has been the solution for the consistent bickering between the varied collection of independent Rogbo tribes. Called into action when an internal issue grows beyond the scope of a single clan, The Floq seeks resolution with as little bloodshed as possible.  

Rogbo

Among the earliest sophonts to inhabit The After, Rogbo are bird-like creatures whose wings more closely resemble that of a cloak. Vibrantly colored, when viewing these spirits at a distance it's easy to mistake them for flickering flames.
 

 
all voices heard
all intentions tested
— Mantra of The Floq


  Combative by nature, discussion and resolution of an issue is like suffering through a disharmonious symphony of chittering avians, where the loudest voice is often the one to be heard. Unlike a traditional democracy, the will to push an agenda is considered more important than the number of individuals interested in doing so.
  When a matter escapes resolution by words alone, voices of The Floq will harmonize to call for a Trial by Flume. The act of combative democracy, where the intentions of those involved in debate transcend words and become action. Lines are drawn, sides are chosen, and judgement commences. In a literal trial by fire, the barbed tongue is traded for a blazing explosion, erupting into a gladiatorial contest where the last one standing is declared the victor.    

History - The First Floq

Long before your manifestation, the tribes of old nearly wiped themselves out and almost took all of existence with them.
  The fighting was so intense, it has irreparably damaged the landscape.
  Not that I would expect anyone outside of the tribes to know such fables.
— Carvling Elder
Life within The After can occasionally be chaotic, but nothing compares to the destructive violence which arose during the appearance of the Sophonts, the first spirits capable of intelligent organization.   Embattled tribes of Rogbo would frequently skirmish to secure territory and the vitally necessary essence of æther. In a period when both became increasingly scarce, tempers erupted into a calamitous event simply remembered as The Shattering.  
 

The Shattering

In the wake of world splintering carnage, the tattered remains of the tribes really only had two diverging courses of action; to put out the fires, or finish what they started. On brink of true finality, a Rogbo named Chroma brokered a cease in the violence. Weaving together the frayed remnants of the tribes, Chroma bound the last of the Rogbo into one unified collective, the First Floq.    


 
I no longer exist.
It shall be us,
or it shall be nothing.
— Chroma the 1st Vy'Frayer
   

Structure - A Council of Wills

Unlike a traditional democracy, where the initiatives with the most support are what wins, the strength of passion will often warrant greater merit. Overseen by a tribeless judge known as the Vy'Frayer, this honored spirit serves as the impartial voice in defense of the interest for all Rogbo-kind.  

Answering the Call

Acting as the quasi embodiment for the will of the entire Floq, the Vy'Frayer is connected to the Bræd of all tribe members. Due to this connection, those within the network can instinctually find their way to the place of judgment. A valuable trait, as most meetings seldom occur in the same place more than once.  

Locus

Powerful spirits capable of manipulating the Bræd to fantastical effects. Using æther as a catalyst, Rogbo will ignite this latent energy to shower their adversaries in flame.
 
Revered as an incredibly strong Locus, the Vy'Frayer is capable of destructive action beyond the means of a single Rogbo. Having access to the æther stored within the entire networked Bræd of the tribes, the Vy'Frayer enforces the sanctity of the trials and ensures the judgments are carried out accordingly.
 

zloy left.png
 

Among Pillars of Zloy

The Floq will meet high above the plains of the surrounding landscape, nesting with those of the same tribe of similar ideology. As tribes arrive to the nexus of council they'll often collect into separate camps upon large crags and pillars of stone, trademark attributes of the Zloylands.  

Then the shouting begins

  Valuing personal liberties, Rogbo don't often agree about the correct course of action. It's not uncommon for tribes to splinter due to disagreements in leadership. This mentality tends to carry into the debates themselves as discussion quickly escalate into displays of who can yell the loudest, before exploding into eager calls for a Trial by Flume.
 
zloy-right.jpg

Trial by Flume

When words fail a trial will be called to settle disputes between two or more opposing Rogbo tribes; locus from their respective clans take to the field to compete in heated debate, in quite the literal sense.   To those outside the culture of the Floq, the trial appears as a duel of flames. Gusts of fire trading from pillar to pillar, a horrific display of raw power. To the initiated, it's a contest of conviction. A debate given physical form. Harsh, vile, and empty words traded for pure action and raw conviction.   Believing the strongest will is directly correlated with the most justified course of action, as little as a single individual may attempt to make their case in defiance of an entire host of tribes. Utterly eclipsed by opposition, solo success during a Trial by Flume will be difficult, but not impossible. Should this single Rogbo prove victorious, their intentions shall be deemed the best course of action and shall steer the fates of the collective Floq.

 

Trials by Fire

Normally initiated between two collections of tribes, opposing contenders will take position upon parallel towers within the regions of the Zloylands. When every member of the perspective tribes have taken their positions or cast their lot, the trial begins.   Accessing the energy stored within their tribe's Bræd, the locii participating will draw æther to them. Like oversized candles, this excess of power becomes immediately apparent as the towers upon which they perch ignite in flames. Within seconds, quick bursts of this heat are traded from pillar to pillar. The stillness of the air broken with the shattering of rock and the warcries of Rogbo.   The objective is simple, remove your opponent from their pillar. Managing to blast the opposing side from their perch, forcing them to flee, or incapacitating them entirely will net a victory for the last tribe member standing. By the act of winning their trial, any matters at hand will cede to the victorious party.  



Role of a Locus

Impromptu leaders of an adopted tribe, a Locus serves as the embodiment for those they represent. Capable of channeling their tribe's æther through a communal Bræd, Locus manifest this raw energy into gusts of flame during periods of a trial or under necessity of self defense.

 

Three Objectives of Trial

  1. Remove your opponent from their pillar - A weak footing shows a weak foundation of character
  2. Force your opponent to flee - One so quickly to abandon their ideals is not to be trusted
  3. Incapcitate your opponent - Those of strongest convictions will be willing to live and die by their creed

all voices heard
all intentions tested

Type
Political, Federation
Power Structure
Confederation

Common Tribes

While a large number of various tribes exist, the most frequently represented tribes in trials tend to hail from one of the following clans:
Chroma Veil FLAG
Chroma’s Veiled - The oldest of the Rogbo tribes, the children of the veil are attributed as the original founders of The Floq. The self-proclaimed cultural protectors of Rogbo-kind, the veiled often make every attempt to avoid and prevent the infringment of outside influences.
Conservative | Stewardly | Isolationist
 
Flame Eater FLAG
Flame Eaters - Among the scrappiest members of The Floq, while well meaning they'll never turn away from a fight. Which is unfortunate as they're often getting themselves wrapped in confrontations with their direct approach to the truth.
Scrappy | Honorable | Wild
 
Carvling FLAG
Carvlings - Often considered the meekest of the Rogbo tribes, Carvlings are most interested in the preservation of information and the collection of trinkets. The locus of their tribe have learned to hone their flames into refined points. Using it as a cutting tool, they’ll carve runic text upon walls and tomes.
Clever | Diplomatic | Snobby

WorldAnvil Challenge


Challenge Page: The Alliance Challenge
Date: September, 2020
zLOY2.png

Interactive Trial

The shouting echoes through the canyon of stone pillars, tempers are flaring up between members of the Flame Eaters and Chroma's Veil.
  At the protest of Chroma's Veiled, groups of Flame Eaters have been openly operating as mercenary detachments engaged in raiding.   The Vy'Frayer has stepped forward and motioned to call for a flume, locii have already begun collecting together.   Should you connect to the Bræd of either tribe, your support may be just enough to effect the final result.
candle black.png
   
candle black.png
  CLICK HERE
TO BEGIN THE TRIAL
wick rites.png

Support the
Chroma's Veiled

"Actions have reactions"   "Your heedless pursuit of combat looks poorly on the rest of us, you're going to get other tribes blamed for your brash operations!"   "If this continues we'll all be dragged into the fires of war!"   "Have some sense young ones, no good can come from the meddling in the business of the low-sophonts" SUPPORT THE
CHROMA'S VEILED
LEFT SIDE WIN.png

Chroma's Veiled
is Victorious

Skillfully redirecting the bursts of fire back into the base of the pillar, the foundation cracks and sends the entire tribe of Flame-Eaters tumbling. The Veiled are victorious.   Messengers have already been dispatched with notices of mercenary contractual termination.   While unhappy with the results of the trial, the Flame-Eaters have agreed to travel and train alongside the Veil. Clearly there is still much to learn from these old birds.
veil black.png

Support the
Flame-Eaters

"To fight is to live!"   "We can't sit idle while the world continues to flow. Your fear of battle is what will make you ill-prepared the day it falls into your nest"   "This is none of your business, do you not value our individualistic intentions?"   "We only wish to become strong to protect the other tribes should war come!" SUPPORT THE
FLAME EATERS
RIGHT SIDE WIN.png

Flame-Eaters
are Victorious

The cries of the Flame-Eaters echo through the valley as their last opponent is expelled from their pillar with a final massive blast.   Any outstanding contracts will continue, and the Flame Eaters will not be blocked from any new contracts for a least another three cycles.   Clearly the Veiled have underestimated the value of this experience and have agreed to support the Flame-Eaters with stores of æther while also dealing with any clerical work.
Jaw Black.png
 
 
 

Confused?

Is any of the content here unclear? Might I suggest reading the Bræd Primer article to give you a better idea of the context surrounding it. Think of it as a nice hub-world for all of the adventures yet to come!

 


Comments

Author's Notes

  1. Unsplash images provided by Robyne Hu, Vijay Varma, Joel Tasche, and Sumit Saharkar
  2. game-icons provided by Lorc


Please Login in order to comment!
8 Oct, 2020 18:51

You win, no judging is needed, have fun in the primer league!

Come and join my Discord or check out my world! Also, take a peek at My Alliance Article!
8 Oct, 2020 19:49

We'll see, there are sooo many other strong articles for this contest right now .


Please check out my submission for the Alliance Challenge!
8 Oct, 2020 20:06

Omggggg - The info is great, the graphics are great--The interactive trial is fantastic! I went with the Flame Eaters: Sometimes a good scrap is necessary to protect the weak and innocent.

8 Oct, 2020 20:56

I'm glad people are splitting down the middle for the most part. I didn't want the trial to be overly weighted to one side of the other.   Thank you for reading through the article! Guess we'll see how things go if we make it to the judging phase.


Please check out my submission for the Alliance Challenge!
Grandmaster Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Oct, 2020 23:49

I supported the Chroma's Veiled, because personally I'd much rather avoid a fight if at all possible! XD   This is great - really interesting information and I love the layout. I like how different each of the member clans are too, so there's plenty of potential for potential there (as evidenced by the interactive trial).   Really good work! <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Journeyman Sloqush
Sloqush the Sloqush
9 Oct, 2020 15:09

Damn, that's one awesome article, absolutely outstanding work :D   The awesome art (Chroma’s Veiled logo is a personal favorite), the whole idea of a "punching democracy", and of course, the Interactive Trail all make for a truly breathtaking article.   Speaking of said Trail, I went with Chroma's Veiled (though I also reloaded the page and check out the result of the Flame Eater ^_^), as getting dragged into a war with other factions due to mercinary actions seems like a really bad idea...and it also hands the initative of the conflict to your enemies, as by the time that you realize you are at war the other faction likely already made its move.   So it's just tacitally unsound to provoke a war you are (persumably) not yet ready for. I mean hell at least make it so that you have plasusible denaiblity of the actions of your mercinaries or better yet pin it on a third faction and take them both out once the finish fighting.   So in short "Bravery wins battles, but wisdom wins wars".

Explore Sloqush's bleakdark sandox: Cenorad
9 Oct, 2020 16:22

This is beautifully formatted and an interesting read. Do your Carvlings act as scribes and/or historians for the Floq?

13 Oct, 2020 18:21

They do! I'd like to think during and after trials, they'll often etch script upon the sides of these pillars as an account of the events that had unfolded and any resulting decisions made as a consequence of the trial. Some regions of the Zloy have been so covered in this script they're basically towering libraries of knowledge and information.


Please check out my submission for the Alliance Challenge!
12 Oct, 2020 04:22

This was a very cool article and I think you did a great job I just have one clarifying question. I assume the Rogbos like the other creatures of braed manifest themselves so the part I wanted to know was how do they individually find and join their respective tribes and how common is it for one to change which tribe they belong to.

13 Oct, 2020 18:37

Membership in any given tribe is never compulsory, you're free to leave a tribe at any time and welcome to join another as long as they are willing to accept you. Whenever a Floq is called, an individual and smaller group of Rogbo will occasionally find a larger tribe which closely align with their personal values and join with them for as long as those values hold firm.   When tribes encounter a new manifested Rogbo, they'll temporarily adopt them into their tribe, teach them about their new state of existence, and share with them the knowledge of survival. Generally following their first Floq, these damp Rogbo will transfer to a new tribe with which they better align.   Rogbo definitely exist outside The Floq, it's not uncommon to see Rogbo run solo among other cultures by either choice or otherwise via banishment. The Floq and its leadership can be fairly xenophobic of other sophonts so to see any of the others during a trial is blasphemous, and that's putting it lightly.


Please check out my submission for the Alliance Challenge!
13 Oct, 2020 08:37

This was a great entry! As always, your article is absolutely clean and well presented, that's really enjoyable. As the others said, the interactive trial was a great idea! (I need to learn how to do that for later projects)   As for the actual content, this idea of a "combative democracy" is an interesting take. I feel like it fits well in a world where sapient spirits are not strictly speaking equals. Not to mention, it must be quite the spectacle to watch!   Anyway, that was really great: you have my vote!

With love,   Pouaseuille.   Feel free to check my entry for the Alliance Challenge! Or don't, if you don't feel like it.
13 Oct, 2020 18:43

It's easier than you think to produce! At its core, I'm using heavily modified spoiler buttons and css-animations to adjust transparency and z-layers to bring forward the details following a click. I tried to get a little crazier with it, but it looks like the webpage breaks after too many nested containers.   "I feel like it fits well in a world where sapient spirits are not strictly speaking equals" -- That's a really good point. Something I'll need to be really mindful of moving forward with future articles.   "Anyway, that was really great: you have my vote!" -- Fingers crossed!


Please check out my submission for the Alliance Challenge!
17 Oct, 2020 08:17

That interactive trial is EPIC! Love this concept, fantastic execution of layout & lore.

Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
19 Oct, 2020 23:21

Thanks for looking through it TJ!   Did you get a good sense of the things at hand? Did the trial at the end help to tie together everything prior from the article?


Please check out my submission for the Alliance Challenge!
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
22 Oct, 2020 00:01

First off, I love the use of figurative language here. It gives it a poetic feel hiding between the hard information. It makes it a joy to read.   As far as the content goes, the avian themes are awesome, and each detail not only makes some kind of sense, but also adds some nice depth. The css and formatting is also well done. I could easily see this winning, easy. Well done.

Check out my work | The Web | Expedition Demeter
22 Oct, 2020 15:48

Thank for giving my article some of your precious time! I've got my fingers crossed for the challenge, we'll see how it goes.


Please check out my submission for the Alliance Challenge!
22 Oct, 2020 01:10

"Combative by nature, discussion and resolution of an issue is like suffering through a disharmonious symphony of chittering avians" - This had me hooked on the article. Just some solid writing there.   Overall your writing is fantastically poetic, and some of your terms are very familiar to me, but I think that's just because we use very similar terms in Ethnis! (We should talk about that sometime!)   Also holy guacamole, your interactive battle is an impressive piece of work. The mix of spoilers and visibility toggles with custom imaging is something to behold. I'll certainly have to take a note of your implementation.   I am curious how a Vy'Frayer is selected. Is it a naturally given role? Is there an ascension?   Well done, well written, and well executed.

22 Oct, 2020 16:04

AHHHH!! Thank you for taking the time to respond to my article Barron!   This compliment is huge, I've never considered myself a writer of quality so I really appreciate the callout. Half the time I feel like Patrcik-Star slamming a monitor on the desk, hoping the words will form together.   I'm guessing you're referring to the term 'Sophonts', I've encountered it a lot across the many worlds housed here on WorldAnvil, mostly to describe player characters in TTRPG settings. Given the proper definition, "A being with base reasoning capacity equivalent ti it greater than that of a human being" It felt right to rely upon it as well. I can't really refer to my creatures of this underworld as 'races' such a term retains the implications of life about it. Besides, I think it's a fun word and helps me to escape from using the worn-out terms of souls, shades, and spirits.   Thank you! Once you understand how to stretch and manipulate spoiler tags it's really just a combination of opacity toggles and z-layer manipulation. The only tedious bit was getting everything to line up properly and ensuring it appears properly on most screen formats. I tried to get crazier with it, but WA starts breaking down when you have too many nested containers.   I was initially going to go into more detail on such things here, but I felt it overly detracted from everything else happening in this article. I'll definitely be planning to dive into detail on the Vy'Frayer article itself. Long story short, the selection process is similar to a trial by flume, only every Rogbo participating is on their own. I hate to admit, but it's basically a battle roayle where the last remaining combatant is deemed capable of the strength of will to serve The Floq as a whole.   Anyway, anyway, again thanks for taking the time to read through my article and leave me some really nice words in the comments!


Please check out my submission for the Alliance Challenge!
23 Oct, 2020 14:08

Sorry it took me so long to read this. I haven't been on in a while. That said, I thought it was awesome! I really liked how it was different from the traditional democracy system people use for most organizations. I also like how the Rogbo's nature is a lot like that of actual birds. The biggest, strongest, or flashiest gets the mate, or in this case they win the debate. I think that was a really neat quirk.