What follows is a list of questions that have actually been asked about Torei. These questions come from the comments section of the Toreans DA group, comments on individual deviations, and private queries to Gospodin.
The answers come from the Torean deviations themselves, or occasionally from the musings of Gospodin or another contributor.
What is Torei?
Torei is a science fiction setting for BDSM literature and art.
How do I join in?
All you need to do is create art or literature set on Torei.
Isn't there a lot I need to read and learn first?
No, you don't have to read anything.
That is, if you like, go right ahead. But no one should feel constrained by what has come before. The goal is for us to inspire each other, not to fuss about details!
But I do want to read up first!
If you insist, here's a short reading list:
- Your First Trip to Torei 2,000 words
A short introduction to the planet Torei, told in a second-person narrative. It contains no explicit sex, and was meant to be a good first start for new readers.
- The Lead 4,000 words
This is the story that started it all. This is a short tale inspired by a high-tech bondage drawing on DeviantArt. A lot of the setting elements were invented to help this tale flow along, and it started some of the common themes in Gospodin's own Torean fiction.
- A Blagger's History of Torei 6,000 words
A longer explanation of Torei's history, covering over a hundred thousand years in very broad strokes. It also contains no explicit sex, and was written as a reference for authors and artists who wanted more context for their work.
- Letter of Mark (PDF version) 10,000 words
An epistolary tale written by SatanKlaus, perhaps set in an earlier era of Torei's history than the previous three. A smuggler writes home to his lover about culture shock on Torei, and his dealings with the local women.
Do you have anything shorter?
There's a bit of a Cole's Notes rundown of the setting in the journal entry Advice for writing Torei tales. Scroll down to the heading marked "What do I need to know about this setting?" to find the bullet point version.
Why did Gospodin create Torei?
Originally to write BDSM fiction in a gritty sci-fi world. When he began to flesh it out, it became clear that more minds could help make it a community setting.
So is this how you want the future to be, without human rights?
This is a hard question to hear sometimes, but it's important to be honest.
The simplest answer is that one can enjoy watching Star Wars without wanting to live in a future of war and evil empires. Seasick people can enjoy pirate stories, vegetarians can enjoy cowboy movies, and lovers of freedom and human rights can enjoy Torean art and fiction.
Is My Kink OK?
Of course it is! The setting has a few constraints that make it easier to tell some kinds of tales, but there is always room for your imagination.
You may have trouble imagining the kind of kinky situation you want to depict, because it doesn't seem to fit with the "ringdoms" as you've experienced them. There's plenty of room out in the badlands! The un-cultivated rocky surface of most of Torei is a perfect place for outlaws to hide out in. Your community could be living in a system of caves, or have made a greenhouse garden out of a crater, or who knows what else!
Are there women on Torei who aren't slaves?
Indeed there are! In most of the early stories, off-world or strong-willed women are described as "freewombs". This appears to mean that they have no master or mistress, and possibly no indentured service contract. You can find mention of freewombs in A Blagger's History of Torei, and even the very first line of The Lead makes reference to an off-world woman's freewomb status.
Are there Mistresses on Torei?
Certainly! In chapter 1 of Stella of the Bailey we see that one free woman bought a slavegirl for another free woman, to serve as a maid. In A Blagger's History of Torei we are told that the number of people in your command is a measure of your own status, and women who own many slaves may have an equivalent status to a man.
Are men ever dominated or enslaved on Torei?
Men are rare on Torei. In Your First Trip to Torei, A Blagger's History of Torei and Letter of Mark we are told that the AIs who grew the first humans to populate the planet engineered only 10% of sperm to carry the Y chromosome. Thus women outnumber men 9:1.
That said, the earlier point about status is important. A powerful man may exercise his power over other men in the same way that he would over his own slaves. Likewise a particularly powerful Mistress may be expected to do the same to a lower man.
Finally, it's important not to forget the harsh mechanical realm of AI ziggurats at the poles. We see in Your First Trip to Torei and A Blagger's History of Torei that the AIs control the human inhabitants via something not unlike the "banesuits" from Evil Dolly's story Eudeamon. These arcologies seem like places where no human freedom is valued particularly much, and just about any combination of sexes and genders could find themselves enslaved!
So where would a kickass freedom-fighter fit in?
In A Blagger's History of Torei we see a description of rocky "badlands" between the verdant equatorial band and the industrial atmosphere-generating complexes at the poles. This would be the ideal place for gritty Mad Max or Aeon Flux characters to hide out. Convoys must travel between the equators and the poles fairly regularly to keep trade going between the humans and the AIs: perfect plunder for a land pirate!
Or if you want something more urban, perhaps a vigilante evading the authorities in one ringdom's capital city.
Is there room for furries on Torei?
There's no reason why not. In Advice for writing Torei tales it is briefly mentioned that Torean biotechnology has possibilities for "cosmetic enhancements of all kinds". This was intended to allow or explain the enhanced sex appeal of women on Torei, but the technology could allow for all kinds of tailored "anthro" bodies.
If this is your approach, then it's likely that furries are off-world tourists come to take advantage of a body modification opportunity that exists noplace else in the universe.
A Blagger's History of Torei
DW's Guide on Art Commissions
interior design for broken homes
The reason? They see the negative effects on the terraforming and such, and also have ZERO desire to see the unique gem that is their homeworld become:
"...just another plastic-wrapped, homogenized, bland, corporatocratic trash-world like the rest."
That's all just 'backdrop' to base the character of the House/Tower and it's bloodline on though.
Anyway, I love this and I do hope I get a chance to see it some time!