Prompt Bonus: What is the most common cause of death in your world?

Usually, these are subscriber-only, but I decided to make this one available to everyone, because it summarises the way Amnar works as a society.

This might be the easiest one to answer from this week's prompt selection. For full disclosure, I had four questions from this week's prompt card, drawn at random out of The Story Engine Deck's "Shared Hearths and Common Creeds" deck.

The prompts on the card are:

  • What is their most common cause of death?
  • At what times do they sleep and wake?
  • What happens if someone gets sick or injured?
  • What obligations do people have to their community?

Amnar is built different in terms of the way the society works. We have an alliance of seven city states, each one built to defend the rest of the world from the creatures that pour out of rips in reality known as "Gaps" or "Gates".

At the end of the Last War, the Five Empires' final attempt to defeat Isha and enslave the Hundred Thousand who had fled to her for protection was to tear open a rip in reality between their heartlands and Isha's hiding place. This led to the first Gap opening in Amin Duum.

This destabilised reality everywhere. Isha was eventually able to prevent this chain reaction from destroying the whole world, but not before six other gaps had opened. The five nations who had joined together to protect the Hundred Thousand then had to hunt down these other gaps, wherever they were in the world.

Each of the city states under Amnari territory is therefore a defensive structure preventing the horrors from the gap dimensions from coming through into the human realm. The only exception is the Gap at Nas Isca, which leads through to the Dragon Realm.

This is a very long-winded way of getting to the answer to the question. The most common form of death in Amnar, therefore, comes from fighting the creatures (generally called geidan in Amnari, but think winged dinosaurs or fell beasts) that come through the gaps.

These creatures are huge and related to dragons, but aren't actually dragons. You can imagine that a lot of fights do not end well, especially given that they regularly take place in locations with a lot of space. Most fights take place on what Amnari came to call "the Line", which stands as a defensive line between the rest of the world and the gap.

These spaces often have massive abysses beneath them, adding another level of danger.

Now, there is another major cause of death in the Amnari Alliance specifically. The energy released when the gaps, known as "kata" and "ana" (kata is atomic, and ana is subatomic), while it can heal people, it also leads to a great deal of health problems. Just as radiation can be used to cure cancer as well as cause it, there are a lot of complicated consequences to kata and ana being loose in the world.

This has meant that although living within Amnar means being able to take advantage of having that kind of healthcare, it has its downsides as well. This is partly why Amnar tends to keep itself separate from the other communities in Amaresh (the broader world) and why there were still a limited number of clinics and medical facilities outside the city states as late as the end of the 3600s. Attempting to spread the use of kata as a form of treatment may lead to further gaps to open, or for individuals to experience harmful side effects.

Incidences of cancers and autoimmune disorders, as well as other idiopathic conditions, are much higher within Amnari city states than in other parts of Amaresh.

Now, to follow up with the next question, because it seems appropriate to link the two, if somebody does get sick or injured—on or off the Line—then they would normally receive treatment immediately from a Watcher. Watchers are the equivalent of medics, doctors, consultants, and researchers in Amnar. Abilities tend to be specific and specialism is necessary.

Everyone in Amnar (even watchers themselves) have a named watcher who coordinates their care (think general practitioner, if you're based in the UK). People receive most care from their named watcher or small local clinics within cities for "minor injuries and issues".

However, if they need specific kinds of care, then they will receive treatment from an infirmary. There are several of these in each city state, and they either provide general care to an area (General Infirmaries) or specialise in a particular area (Dedicated Infirmaries). Some Dedicated Infirmaries provide or at least coordinate some general care, especially in the smaller city states like Nas Isca.

But what about sleeping and waking? Well, that depends on who you are and what your role is where you live, as it does for any our world. Anyone involved in work defending the Line usually works in shifts, although shift work does not operate the same as it does for us. Amnari shifts are usually organised according to people's own natural circadian tendencies, depending on that intensity.

Shifts are also longer, so that people tend to maintain the same kind of waking and sleeping routines for much longer periods. Because Amnari work fewer hours overall (regardless of occupation), this tends to mean that they have more stability in their routines.

This is slightly different for people who don't work on or around the Line, or any situation that doesn't require at least somebody to be around at any given moment. However, because much of Amnari life has been built around the maintenance of gap security, almost everyone operates on a three-shift pattern in some way so that people who are going to or coming off a shift are able to get food or chill out.

There definitely isn't the same sense that there are standard "business hours" or "business days" in the same way that exists here.

Finally, Amnar is a society and civilisation built on the concept of service, especially Line service. Because defence of the Gap is the most critical part of what Amnar does as a civilisation, so obligations to community are built around service, especially how others are served.

I'm focused very much on Amnar here, rather than any other major or minor civilisations, nations, or peoples on Amaresh (makes globe shape with hands). But not all people on Amaresh follow these ideas.

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