Familiarity breeds

2 min read

Deviation Actions

bensen-daniel's avatar
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So here's a little fantasy scenario:

Let's say people can control animals. Like with psychic powers. You concentrate, and the animal does what you think at it. Skilled practitioners can do tricks like control at greater distance, autonomous programming, and using the senses of their familiar.

In other words, basically, we have robots starting from the dawn of civilization.

How do familiars change history? Certainly the ability opens the doors to the domestication of all sorts of things. Any monkey or raccoon-like creature would find use as a servant. Parrots deliver messages. Animals other than horses take us from place to place. Sea-chariots pulled by dolphins? Galleons hitched to whales? Plus you got your meat animals. Modern-style battery farms might get invented much earlier (hooray?) If it's possible for savants to send commands out to many animals, (for example, come to me, forest creatures, so I can eat you), we might get depopulation of animals before people learn farming. And continuing with the dark side, you've got your bird spies. Your attack dogs, cats, snakes, scorpions. Put a dagger in a macaque's hand and you've got a monkey assassin. Gorilla and Chimpanzee warriors?  Real domestication and fine control of elephants might give us bronze-age sky-scrapers...

And I have reverse-engineered the Flintstones.

Well that was fun.
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raygungoth's avatar
This was the backstory for my last superhero RPG character, with the only exception that they also had the ability to communicate, but not control, other humans. They had gotten to the point where they'd set up the whole ecosystem to basically operate on its own, since if you can control animals (like bees, moths, and butterflies), you can control pretty much every plant, too. You can even direct the evolution of plants and animals by creating what amounts to cultural scenarios that require behavioral and physical adaptation, and control what is or isn't producing offspring. Basically selective breeding on a grand scale coupled with modification of the environment so the ecology is set up for maximum decadent convenience.