Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Scalenex, May 17, 2019.
So Maylar is the great horned rat?
Rat spores... ( eewwwwwww!)
Does Mera have the appearance of a Mermaid? Dagon had a fishy tail:
Unless this ^ isn’t Dagon at all. ^ But anyways, fishy tail?
Maybe her constellation! can be “The Mermaid” ?
I hadn't thought about this, but I accidentally backed you up. In most D&D books, nearly every demihuman race has some kind of awesome night vision. When I was reformatting the races for my new system I opted to not give dwarves and gnomes and elves and orcs amazing night vision. I did this mainly for simplicity, but I suppose great night vision woudl be a huge advantage.
The dragon comment is spot on to. Because I am toning down the power scale, I originally decided to half the maximum size of dragons from a typical D&D setting, but now I'm thinking I might half them again, or even smaller. Elephant sized is probably plenty big.
Maylar is the "Pretty Good Antlered Rodentia." That is legally distinct from "Great Horned Rat" so Games Workshop cannot sue me.
The rat spores also remind me of how medieval "science" believed that worms could spontaneously come to life from cheese. I can have all sorts of things spore now!
Could work. I figure the Nine would not have static forms, but they would probably have favored forms they like to take and I was leaning towards making Merfolk Mera's favored people, at least under the sea.
1-Year of Maylar
2-Year of Mera
3-Year of Korus
4-Year of Nami
5-Year of Greymoria
6-Year of Khemra
7-Year of Zarthus
8-Year of Hallisan
9-Year of Phidas
0-Unknown Date of Birth
That ^ could be ^ the random generation chart for NPCs whose Zodiac sign needs determining.
But I think you should rework the Zodiac pie chart to put Mera opposite Mylar. Incidentally, a nine sided polygon is called a Nonagon:
“Nonagon” sounds like a nifty name for the public space in a city or ancient town to have had all Nine temples facing onto it.
Pendrake Attempts Fictional Astrology
So based on your prior comments: Mera at bottom Center; Maylar and Greymordia at the top two spots where the 140° arc is. Nami goes next to Mylar and Korus next to Greymoria I guess... ...don’t know the rest well enough.
After a closer look; Edit1: You have 2 LG powers but no Lawful Neutral. Interesting.
Edit 2, Possible Constellations:
The Nine ..................... Constellation(s)
Maylar......The Hunters Bow
Phidas.....The Great Mask
Are there other planets to be seen in the night skies? Maybe there’s a planet associated with Maylar and it has a Moon associated with Nami. Mera’s planet could be a Blue-Green object.
That's a pretty cool name. I like "The Nonagon" more than "Temple Plaza" at least.
Khemra is Lawful Neutral and Hallisan is Lawful Good. Perhaps you got confused, because Neshik, a player character that worships Khemra happens to be Lawful Good but Khemra is Lawful Neutral.
I also have a lot of love triangles built into this where every deity is romantically interested in every other deity that is a mere one step away from them on the alignment chart.
Zarthus and Hallisan compete for Mera's affections and by proxy they fight for the ability to define Goodness.
Maylar and Phidas compete for Greymoria affections and by proxy they fight for the ability to define Evil.
Maylar and Zarthus compete for Nami's affections and by proxy fight to steer Chaos.
Phidas and Hallisan compete for Khemra's affections and b proxy fight for the soul of the Law.
All the goddesses are at least mildly interested in Korus, but Korus just doesn't like them them that way.
The goddesses are not passive wilting wall flowers. They compete fiercely for their love interests as well.
I think I would just reroll tens. There are a quite a few people that don't know the exact date they were born but it's rare to not know the year you were born. I suppose they could be born during the sign of Turoch but that's a month thing, not a year thing.
Currently I'm leaning towards nine forty day months that correspond to the yearly zodiac. That's 360 days but the year is still 365 days. The last five days of the year mark the anniversary of the five days in which the Nine battled Turoch. A lot of real world mythologies have their own legends over these "extra" five days. My favorite is in Ancient Egypt. Nut they Sky goddess and Geb the Earth god were forbidden to have children but they loved each other. The other gods forbid Nut from giving birth on any day of the year. Nut was awkwardly pregneant a very long time, until they created five "new" days to give birth to their five children.
In Scarterras (and in many real world mythologies), these five days are considered unlucky (and they are the five coldest days of the year to boot). Most Scarterrans just hunker down and cease their normal work day. They perform a bunch of worship rituals which often include retelling or reenacting the Rebellion against Turoch.
I'm pretty set on the last five days of the year, but I don't have to make the months based on the Nine, especially because if I reflexively say "it'll take a month" I'm thinking "30 days" but a Scarterran would think "40 days."
Though I might use this one or a derviative of it.
So repeated with derivations/explanations.
Yule (winter solstice - not part of any month)
This an old term for midwinter festival, probably meaning something like festivities, and related to "jolly"
Easy, month after Yule.
Referring to the antlers shed by the deer around this period in the year (late winter).
The stirring of life in the transition of winter to spring.
Eostrun (spring equinox - not part of any month)
4-Easter, referring to the (goddess of) dawn or the coming of the sun.
Comes from the Bree version of the Shire Calendar of the works of Tolkien. It probably derives from ciðing "germinating".
Month of three milkings (since the pastures are quite good, so the cows give more milk).
Month before Lithe.
Lithe (summer solstice - not part of any month)
From Old English liþa, referring to the months of June and July and probably related to liþe, meaning "mild".
Month after Lithe.
Combination of hay and weed in the more general sense of plant.
Gathering (fall equinox - not part of any month)
Referring to the English name of Mabon, the Feast of Ingathering.
The fading of light and life.
The month of slaughter (alternative names for November in Dutch are Slachtmaand - Slaughter Month or Bloedmaand - Blood Month). This is the period in the year where the livestock is thinned to avoid unnecessary food expenses during the winterseason while at the same time provisioning food for that same winter season.
The month before Yule.
Yipes. 12 Months? but Nine signs of the Zodiac!? That makes the night skies complicated.
The Quasi Saxon calendar sounds nice but if it can reduce to nine months that is simpler!
A forty day month is five 7 day weeks and five spare days. Hmmm.
I was going by the cliff notes on page one.
Marhlect! This almost never happens (@Paradoxical Pacifism), but I made a serious typo!
1 in 10 might be a bit high for that. However, orphaned children, kids taken young and held as captives, ex-slaves and such might not know. I have a Great-great-great-grandmother who was adopted and her birthday and exact age were unknown.
But I was thinking of astrology Western style rather than Chinese style.
In the Western style a persons Sign is determined by the Day/Month (birthday) they are born Aries / Scorpio etc.
I was thinking of using both. People tend to have traits from both their zodiac month and their zodiac year. Most people would have two differing zodiac influences but if someone is born during the Month of Phidas during the Year of Phidas he or she would get a double dose of Phidas traits.
In any event, I read a lot of place mats, so I have a better grasp of Eastern astrology than Western astrology. I also find it fascinating that even in the 21st century, China has a stastitical significant baby boom during certain years. I believe the year of the Rat is viewed as especially desireable.
Also, a book on Chinese mythology covered zodiac animals a lot. My favorite story is how Ox and Rat were competing for the first spot. To settle it, they were going to walk around a village and see who got more attention. Rat said "Since you are so many times mightier and impressive than me, could you allow me the small privilege of increasing my size by two." They did, and whereever they went people said "Look at the giant rat!"
That is indirectly where I got the idea of Maylar basically stealing the top zodiac spot.
Having a double zodiac sign is a fun idea. I would go with it.
What did you think of the proposed constellations?
Somebody could be Year of Phidas, Sign of the Fish.
What if you had a Calendar with 9 months with 35 Days each (exactly five weeks per month) but in-between each month there were ‘spacers’ of 5 Days ...spans that were not part of any week or month? That totals exactly 360 days for a year.
This makes 365 Days:
2x35 (two five week months)
7x42 (seven 6 week months)
1 New Year’s Day
but you wanted a five day winter break...
This makes 365 Days:
4x35 (four 5 week months)
5x42 (five 6 week months)
5 Grim New Year Days
5 Days For Spring Break
5 Days For End of Summer Holiday
And every month is an even number of weeks.
Remember that the length of the month should be linked* to the orbital period of your one moon.
35 to 42 days given calendar schemes contemplated so far.
I think your attempt to World-build a Cylinder planet may be unique:
An interesting discussion about the possibility of a cubical planet.
Note: they all assume gravity still works the same for everything else. (Toward the center of gravity of the object.) In this thread we have been assuming that gravity is always perpendicular to the axis of the cylinder.
These are reasonable and logical ways to set up a calendar but because I want to create an RPG and/or novel setting that 21st century humans to easily relate to, if I radically change the definition of a month, that will annoy people.
I'm thinking of two calendars. A religious calendar based primarily on the zodiac months and the whims of the gods that is balanced in one of the ways described (40 day months or one of the things you came up with) and a secular calendar that is based on planting and harvest and greatly resembles the modern 12 month calendar.
Just like how Easter floats around each year, peasants have to double check with thier local priests um "When is the Festival of Nami this year?"
I am not 100% sure I want to have lunar months. I haven't figure out how predictable the moon is. Zarthus broke the Divine Compact in order to create the moon. He thought it was overly harsh to mortals to make the night totally dark.
His main goal was to provide light in the darkness. Just like he directs his mortal follows to shine light on evil doers who try to hide their misdeeds.
That said, I guess he could change and move the moon in predictable fashions. At some point, I need to come up with a mythological inspired story for why Zarthus changes his face and/or the moons face. I'm also not 100% sure whether Zarthus controls the moon or Zarthus is the moon (same with Khemra and the sun). At the moment I'm leaving this for mortals to argue about.
I played a lot of Civilization games so this seemed natural. You can go around the world east-to-west but north to south. I didn't contemplate a flat Earth. I don't remember where I found it but I did find a map generator that allows for cylinder maps (as well as a wide variety of other shapes).
You hit on a guiding principle for fantasy world building that I got from Eron12. Myths are used to explain why and how things change. If something is constant, you are far less likely to have myths for it.
Throughout real world history there are almost zero myths about gravity because gravity is very constant and very predictable.
Another example is rocks. You might have a mythical origin for gold or silver but rocks are often taken for granted because they are so ubitquitous. Greek mythology. When Kronos was swallowing all his kids, he was tricked into swallowing a rock instead of baby Zeus. To my knowledge, there is no Greek myth explaining the origin of that rock or rocks in general. The Cyclopes didn't craft a masterwork rock or anything like that, Rhea just picked up a rock she found.
There are lots of myths for why and how the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. There are lots of myths explaining the changing of the seasons.
So I have mythological explanations for these things that change.
Spoiler: The Weather
Nami and her minions are fickle and change the weather for fun
Maylar is a dick
Spoiler: Latitudal Climate
The closer you get to the Void, the colder it is
Spoiler: The Seasons
The barrier to the Void gets weaker near the anniversary of the Divine Rebellion
Spoiler: The Tides
The tides mirror the back and forth battle between water and earth elementals
Spoiler: Geothermal Activity
Volcanoes mark the spots where fire and earth elementals fought protracted battles and their component elments mirror this. Hot springs and geysers mark the spots where fire and water elementals fought
Spoiler: Character Advancement
Characters get experience from beating opponents because the gods themselves seized power from slaying Turoch and this was imprinted on the world.
Spoiler: Why can't you drink seawater?
Because sea water is salty. Salt is poisonous in large quantities because it is of Turoch, and Turoch wanted to destroy everything. Salt is required for life in small quantities because it is of Turoch, and Turoch is ultimately the source of all life.
I need to come up with a mythological explanation for these things
-the phases of the moon
-The sun and rising and setting.
-Plus more I'm sure.
Anyway let's talk about
The Riches of the Earth
A lot of fantasy is based off of Tolkien. Tolkien was found of vast cavernous mines and underground cities for dwarves. In this case the Rule of Cool has defeated the Rule of Realism.
I put something into my world, life stones to let dwarves and other subterranean races grow food underground but there is still a lot of realism issues remaining.
Most medieval mines were not that deep below the surface. Deep underground mine is a post-industrial thing. Another thing that sticks out to me is that in fantasy, Tolkien, D&D, Warhammer, dwarfs tend to have very old kingdoms built around very long operating mines.
Realistically, even if dwarfs could mine at the efficiency of industrial humans, they would not have ancient mines and underground strongholds. They’d mine out an area and have to move on pretty often.
But maybe not.
See in the real world, we have metal and mineral resources because of exploding stars. When a star explodes, the protons and electrons are violently bashed together creating the more complex elements. If you have a third generation star that reformed and exploded three times you are going to have a lot more of these elements. A young star system would have far less elemental variety.
Scarterra doesn’t have a Big Bang or exploding stars. I don’t know about Tolkien but in most D&D worlds, gemstone and metals come from the elemental plane of Earth. In Scarterra, the core of the world is the elemental plane with all four elements in it. So I have the current thought that the Nine (especially Hallisan) regulate the elemental core to bring up new minerals and matter into the world.
This means that mines could slowly replenish. Hallisan may be Lawful Good but that doesn’t mean he cannot be biased. Dwarves are Hallisan’s favored people, so he could give them a disproportionately high share of new mineral resources.
I haven’t actually put much thought into earthquakes. I don’t even need Scarterra to have earthquakes at all, but maybe earthquakes occur when the elemental plane spits up new minerals.
Do self-replenishing mines have major socio-economic or geological consequences that I cannot see?
A lot of real world folklore has gemstones being literally or metaphorically be the tears of the gods. I like this idea but it needs work. Rather than have the Nine create gems by crying, I figure gems could form from the tears of their spirit minions. Though I could have the Nine create gems by crying if I wanted to have legendary magical gems of great power.
But I need to figure out what makes a spirit cry. I figure different spirits would create different kinds of gems, so I probably need to figure out what gems are associated with what gods. As the sea goddess, Mera spirits could cry pearls which are tied to the sea or sapphires which are blue like the ocean.
First, here’s a Chuck Norris joke.
Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he never cries.
Along these lines, the less often a spirit cries, the rarer and more valuable their gems should be. For instance, Mera’s rivals say she is weak overly soft crybaby. Perhaps that it is why pearls are one of the more common gems.
I brought up the idea of spirits releasing gems when they die as a means to award treasure for people who defeat them and I got a the response (with a very skeptical face) “so spirits cry when they die?” Maybe I need something better or more interesting.
Would gems still be able to be dug up? Maybe. There is probably a period where tears are still liquid and resemble human tears, so they could flow into the earth and solidify as gems later.
I feel like I need a lot more material to develop this concept of gems being the tears of the gods.
It would probably not be helpful to set this as rigid rule because the story should have as many spirits as the story requires but I figure the three Lawful deities and Mera send their spirit minions to the material plane relatively rarely and the three Chaotic deities and Greymoria send their spirit minions to the material plane relatively often. Korus the embodiment of neutrality falls in between these extremes. But generally speaking, spirits perform tasks on behalf of their patrons that the Nine’s mortal followers cannot accomplish. The deities that rarely use spirit minions have very large well organized priesthoods and the deities that commonly use spirit minions have smaller more decentralized priesthoods.
Iron and Steel
A modern story with the Fair Folk in it often has cold iron (also known as wrought iron) be the secret weakness of Faerie creatures. This is the case in the underrated White Wolf RPG series Changeling: the Dreaming (CtD)and the fairly rated Leprechaun movie series. In the 20th and 21st centuries, it’s relatively hard to find wrought iron items, especially weapons. Pro-tip, if you need a cold iron weapon and aren’t friends with a Renaissance Fair blacksmith, go to the hardware store and get some wrought iron fence posts.
So I figured the Nine’s spirit minions and the Fair Folk alike would be vulnerable to cold iron. Because Iron is the essence of Turoch’s bones. Granted, steel and cast iron are 98% made of the same material as wrought iron, but (based loosely on a story from CtD) the processing of steel and cast iron magically/spiritually/alchemically beats the Turoch out of the metal, praise be to Hallisan!
My smartest friend pointed out that steel was pretty damn rare in the medieval period and the vast majority of weapons in the medieval era were cold iron by default. Steel only became the norm after the industrial revolution.
Well I could keep cold iron as a weakness, it just so happens that Fair Folk and spirits are vulnerable to something relatively common. That can work. Vampires are vulnerable to sunlight and sunlight is very common.
Or I could come up with something else to be the weakness of Fair Folk and spirits.
Or I could say steel is more common. A world with dwarves and Hallisan in it, is probably going to be centuries ahead in terms of steel production.
Related tangent. Centuries before civilization developed the technology to mine and process iron ore, across the world, weapons were forged out of meteoric iron. Some pharaohs had iron daggers forged from meteorites. The iron in a meteorite is a lot purer than most iron you dig up from the earth, so they can be processed with far cruder methods. And to the ancient Egyptians, iron would seem magical because iron can pierce bronze. Before ironworking was a thing, meteoric iron was more valuable than gold.
D&D books and other fantasy have star metal which is based off of earlier myths about meteoric iron. Starmetal is a magic item. Weapons and items with starfire in them are MAGNITUDES more powerful than normal weapons. It varies from author to author what starfire can do, but it’s always cool.
I could something like this. Pieces of Turoch that were launched into the sky during the battle and occasionally fall down. I could easily have starfire in my world.
Metals with magical properties
Gold is often associated with magic and it’s considered to be valuable for a number of reasons.
-It’s pretty and catches light.
-It ties in with fire and the sun
-It’s soft and malleable.
-It doesn’t tarnish or rust.
Huzzah, I don’t need to give gold any other properties beyond what it already has to allow gold to be a baseline for currencies.
The fantasy setting of Exalted had Orchiculum as a sort of super gold (it’s extra shiny, easy to enchant, and stronger than steel) but real world orichulum is widely considered to be a gold/copper alloy or some other form of lesser gold.
Silver is a little trickier. It’s widely considered to have magical or holy properties. Google was not able to satisfy me for why Christianity, Islam, Eastern religions, and many ancient pagan mythologies across the world ascribe high value to silver.
It’s shiny and pretty but it does tarnish. It’s a great conductor of electricity. A Wiccan site I said that makes it a conductor of magical energy. That nice and all, but Ancient real world humans didn’t know that. So I’m not sure why disparate people across the entire world across history all thought silver was magical or holy.
Anyway, Scarterra has an answer. The Nine created silver out of their own essence to be an anti-Turoch metal. Silver shores up the Barrier that keeps the Void at bay and silver is especially harmful to Void Demons and undead creatures that draw power from the Void. Silver is also especially harmful to lycanthropes which were originally created in a Demon Lord’s laboratory.
The real world has two special variants of silver. Mercury was often known as quicksilver. It looks like silver and it flows. Platinum was often known as true silver. It looks like silver but it doesn’t tarnish. This is probably where Tolkien came up with the concept of mithral, which elves called mithral “true silver.” Mithral is at least as strong as steel but is much lighter. And like platinum, it doesn’t tarnish.
The fantasy setting of Exalted has moonsilver which is kind of like a combination of mithral and mercury. It’s strong and light but also flexibility. A shapeshifter with a moonsilver weapon can have her moonsilver weapon changed when she changes.
I could include some kind of super silver (or a super gold, or a super steel or a super anything really). The mostly likely source of super metal would be metal that was forged in the realm of one of the Nine, but other origins are possible.
Lead has a mythological history. One reason why alchemists wanted to turn lead into gold was because gold was considered the highest metal and lead was considered the basest or lowest metal. That is sort of negative magic to lead.
Lead was called plumbium in Latin because Latin was used in pipes to make plumbing back before people realized that lead poisoning was a thing. Lead poisoning is probably one of the contributors to fall of Rome. On to magic.
Am I missing any important metals? Anything to add onto gold, silver, or lead?
Scarterra doesn't have plate tectonic, geological layers or the scope of history to allow for fossil fuels to form the same way.
My world can exist without coal or oil. You can feed a forge with wood, but maybe I want coal and oil.
I had a crazy idea that everyone I told to thought it was bad but for the sake of completeness I will share it here.
Dragons fecale waste turns to coal. Coal deposits are the remains of dragon latrines from the First Age.
Thoughts on dragon poop or any other mineral resource? The dragon poop thing just proves that no idea is too crazy.
Month very nearly literally means: orbital period of the Moon. Moon = Month It has pretty much meant that for thousands of years before anyone invented the phrase “orbital period”.
To a bog-standard 21st century human it also means 1/12th of a year.
I think having two Fictional Calendars to keep track of is a big headache.
12x30 with 5 holidays*
12x28 with 29 holidays and festivals**
*I would reduce the mid-winter unlucky days to three. Freeing up two days for other things, equinoxes or solstices perhaps.
**29 might seem like a lot (a whole month!) but two solstices, two equinoxes, the mid-winter event and a pantheon of nine could use that up pretty fast.
But what I would do:
Given the chance to build a world from scratch I would make a nice tidy 360 day calendar, with 360 degrees in circles, and 360 degrees on the Zodiac, and 12 months x 30 Days.
Three Important Questions
Does the Sun appear to be a disk?
Is it round? Is it a sphere?
Does the Moon appear to be a disk?
Is it round? Is it a sphere?
What orbits what? Does the sun orbit Sarterrra? Presumably the Moon does?
OK, that was nine questions which are all ways of asking one question: does gravity operate as it does in our universe everywhere else but your planet?
I read your whole post but I must break up replies into shorter posts. I will have other posts on other topics. It is unwieldy to do longer ones on my usual device.
In my head I keep thinking SovereignSilver.
You have already settled on a Silvery super metal. It has three important functions:
It is the fundamental material for the barriers at each end of the world
Something defies normal gravity and instead causes it to operate such that down is 90° to the spin axis. This is inextricably part of what holds the world to a cylinder shape.
The world needs a spine, a literal axis or axel, to maintain its shape against gravity which would otherwise force it into a sphere.
I think you should add a fourth function (it forms the substance of the physical form of Silver Dragons) as I previously outlined:
Revising and extending...
Adding to the myth ^ Common Silver can be the remains of ancient Silver Dragons. If one ever died (and they did finally age out) they collapsed into a heap of silver scales, which degenerated to common silver. These hoards were the inspiration of all coinage. (When alive their scales are not triangular like most Dragons but instead they are round.) Coin hoards are Nature-magic!
SovereignSilver is imbued. It has the combined properties of Titanium and Platinum as well as other magical qualities as needed. Left too long though it can devolve, usually does devolve into Common Silver.
This Dragon Idea is worthy of abandoning. I recommend jettison immediately.
Just let coal exist. Make it a ubiquitous rock. Don’t explain with a legend.
In that Age of Dragons you had, there were herd beasts. These existed in a variety of colors (much like D&D chromatic and metallic dragons) and they were Scaly creatures. They covered the landscape. They grazed on rock and dragons in turn grazed on them. Whatever these (now extinct) critters were they turned raw rock into earth and clay by digesting/excreting it. But their output was, at times, laced with hardened crystals. E.g., gemstones. The color of the stone corresponded to the color of the beastie. Red beastie = rubies, and so forth.
Miniature figures are made of Tin! Also without Tin there is no bronze. No bronze. No Bronze Age.
And Copper. But you’ve been passing out copper pieces already [?] so that’s sorted.
(Bronze = 9 parts Copper + 1 part Tin)
If anything, sovereign silver should be the remains of Silver Dragons and regular silver be all the other silver.
EDIT: I really like the name of "Sovereign Silver"
So you don't like the idea of dragon poop being fuel but you are okay with dragon's food's poop being treasure?
I respectfully disagree.
I don't give a tinker's cuss about tin! (Tinker's refer to metalsmiths who focus on tin and similar metals, I don't know why thier cusses are used as a form of measurement)
I don't see why Scarterra wouldn't have bronze. I just think that once you have the capacity to work iron, even wrough iron, bronze is pretty much outmoded.
Bronze is good for decorative items, but in terms of weapons, armor, and tools, iron is better in most cases.
The dragons and/or elves might have had a Bronze Age but I think humanity would probably skip the bronze age because dwarves predate the first humans and they could share iron working secrets. Maybe the southern continents which are largely dwarf free would have a bronze age of sorts, but they would probably assimilate ironworking from northern humans relatively quickly. The southern continents used to be elf dominated for a short time so if the Third Age elves had iron working, the southern humans would pick it up from them.
That works for me also, kinda like it better.
I didn’t posit the idea of Draconic poop later becoming anything. Read closer? I posited the idea of some sort of lower life form, but a scaled one, let’s call them Rock-Wyrms, billions of them. They were food, the original food for Dragons.
They ate rocks. They produced loam, clay, and other soils. Also the occasional Emerald.
They were much smaller than Dragons. A snack really.
One theory about how fossil fuels are/were really made is that entire landscapes were buried or flooded and buried. The organic matter in all that plant life was acted on by gut bacteria from ancient species of fauna. They perished along with their landscape but the symbiotic bacteria in the gut tracts survived, evolved, and the waste product of their activity becomes various hydrocarbons under sufficient pressure. The original bacteria is probably long gone, evolved away from its original form if it existed at all.
That is an ^ unproven theory. AFAIK nobody knows the process by which a swampland dinosaurs called home became the Permian Basin oil deposits.