Trope-a-Day: Here There Be Dragons

Here There Be Dragons: Seen on star charts which include the Resplendent Exponential Vector system, and in particular, that moon given over to the biogenesis project working on creating the mythologae the way they really ought to have been.

(They haven’t managed to actually create any dragons yet, but no-one wants to be caught by surprise when they do.)

Trope-a-Day: Great Big Library of Everything

Great Big Library of Everything: The Empire’s Repository of All Knowledge, which is exactly what it says on the tin. Apart from containing copies of every work in every medium published anywhere in the Empire and many of the unpublished ones too, it routinely sends out collections agents to make sure it has a copy of any work it can get its hands on anywhere else within its light-cone, too. (Such agents can be quite persistent. The Black Chamber does not like to take no for an answer.)

Trope-a-Day: God Test

God Test: Have gone rather out of fashion since most examples of a miracle became something people could purchase at their local hardware store, leaving things people could ask to be done as proof of divine bona fides too academic (“Violate conservation of energy!”), too insane (“So make a rock too heavy for you to lift, then lift it anyway!”), or impractically large (“Go ahead then, CREATE A UNIVERSE.”).

Trope-a-Day: A Glitch in the Matrix

A Glitch in the Matrix: Avoiding this sort of thing, when it comes to virtual reality, is one of the few legitimate uses for the Out-of-Mind visual textures. (Others mostly including hiding gifts and playing really terrible practical jokes.)

A more commonly seen variant are “weavespiders”, small metallic fractal spiders (which everyone knows to ignore) used in virtual realms to collect trash, reassemble broken scenery, and otherwise do maintenance. While, obviously enough, this can simply be done programmatically without requiring any visual metaphor, reifying them like this is a simple way of avoiding the uncanny valley effect of changes “just happening” with no apparent in-world cause.

Trope-a-Day: Giving Radio to the Romans

Giving Radio to the Romans: Tends to happen quite a bit, given the lack of any Prime Directive-equivalent and the large number of free traders around who are more than happy to sell anything to anyone who can pay – and that’s not even counting the “fell off the back of a starship, guv, ten bob to you for cash” crowd – and the desires of most people on most worlds for shiny toys.

Some of the real life consequences mentioned are prevented by the Empire’s also having a bunch of private organizations of various kinds, including professional civilization-uplift consultants, who go around helping people not to be total screwups under these sorts of circumstances… but not all of them. But, y’know, free will and all, and it’s not as if they made you invest in technologies granting you the capacity to be total dicks and then use it in that exact manner, belike. That’s on you.

Trope-a-Day: Geometric Magic

Geometric Magic: Well, not magic, no. But a lot of the Flamic rites and rituals make use of sacred geometry, as reflecting the perfect order of the conceptual universe. Elmiríën, in particular, as eikone of order, structure, stability, perfection, and proper functioning is very fond of these, to the point of self-representing as a perfect orrery of Platonic solids.

Also, there’s a lot of geometric engineering.