Some of the following have already been revealed in fleshing out the rules of the game. They’re reiterated here to provide context.
So, to begin…
The ground is made of the highest quality gingerbread. One would have to dig for well over a year into this ground in order to eventually hit bedrock-candy.
It is a physical quality of this gingerbread that, a year or so after some of it has been extracted, it replenishes itself. Extracted gingerbread, however, becomes inert, losing its regenerative capabilities. That said, all things made of gingerbread will last forever unless they are deliberately destroyed.
Compressed gingerbread generates heat at a constant rate for an indefinite period of time. It is, therefore, often used as a virtually perpetual fuel source. Gingerbread can be adapted for use in portable fuel cells, providing Gingerbread Land with “batteries”.
All things in Gingerbread Land are made from extracted gingerbread, including the gingerbread men and women. Gingerbread mining is an important and widespread occupation in Gingerbread Land, as all creative enterprises depend upon it.
Some objects, especially complex machines, also include candy parts.
Candy is grown like crops in the gingerbread ground by candy farmers. Almost every conceivable candy has been grown by candy farmers thanks to candy hybridization. New candies are invented every day by candy farmers.
Chocolate candy is a major crop in Gingerbread Land.
Gingerbread Land refineries use gingerbread from miners and candy crops from farmers to create materials called “refinery byproducts”.
Confectioners in Gingerbread Land create some composite candies from grown candies and/or refinery byproducts. These new candies can subsequently be planted and grown by candy farmers.
Gingerbread object manufacturers use gingerbread from miners and candy from farmers and confectioners to build houses, cars, cell phones, etc. for Gingerbread people.
Gingerbread Land bakeries take byproducts from the refineries and candy from farmers and confectioners to create cakes, pastries, pies, cookies, and every other baked dessert known.
The springs, streams, rivers, pools, ponds, and lakes of Gingerbread Land contain clear, unflavored seltzer. Seltzer houses use byproducts from refineries and/or candy from farmers and confectioners to create flavored seltzers, or “soda pops”. Every known flavor is available from them.
Seltzer houses in high-altitude climes used refinery byproducts, farm and confectionery candies, locally-sourced seltzer, and the mountaintop cold to produce ice cream and ice cream floats. Later, they developed methods to ship ice cream to other locations and to produce ice cream in seltzer houses that are not located in naturally cold areas. Thus, eventually, Gingerbread folk began making all manner and flavor of frozen treats.
Gingerbread people love to make things. It is their favorite kind of play. Most gingerbread people have specific preferences as to what kind of “making” they spend most of their time engaged in, be it in mining, farming, refining, baking, candy-making, seltzer-making, frozen-treat-making, or manufacturing. Gingerbread people also enjoy telling and hearing stories through various forms of art. Most engage in various artistic pursuits in what passes as their “leisure time”. A few do arts “full time”.
Gingerbread people do not eat, drink, or sleep, and, like other objects made of gingerbread, they will last forever unless some force, by chance or by deliberate act, destroys them. A Gingerbread person’s energy is boundless, owing to the physical properties of inert gingerbread – it doesn’t regenerate like un-mined gingerbread, but it also doesn’t degrade without some force to degrade it.
Gingerbread folk have rather fragile bodies, so they don’t tend to engage in physically rough activities, although they feel no pain if damage comes to their bodies and repair of Gingerbread bodies is relatively simple work. They do, however, feel emotional pain and mental anguish if the occasion calls for it.
Any single Gingerbread person, man or woman, can create, by hand, other Gingerbread people. Gingerbread people are full-functional, capable adults immediately upon creation. A given Gingerbread person regards her/his creator as a parent, but not in any way as a master or “god”. Gingerbread people create new Gingerbread people very rarely.
Gingerbread people have empathy and warm feelings towards other sentient beings. But, also like other sentient beings, they can behave selfishly sometimes.
Along with new Gingerbread people, Gingerbread folk make gingerbread “effigies”, gingerbread creations that look like Gingerbread people, only they’re not alive. Of all of the objects manufactured out of raw gingerbread, gingerbread effigies are the most popular.
The difference between a gingerbread effigy and a living Gingerbread person is that the Gingerbread person possesses a candy heart.
There are many kinds of candy hearts: cinnamon, sweet, sour, sweet-and-sour, chocolate… the list goes on. The kind of heart a Gingerbread person receives can have some bearing upon what kind of personality she/he exhibits, but it may not, depending upon how the Gingerbread person chooses to live her/his life.
As with all sentient beings, in a Gingerbread person’s life, the group to which she/he belongs is every bit as vital and important as the person’s unique perspective. In Gingerbread culture, no conflict is perceived between “individual” and “group”, “self” and “other”.
There is “male” and “female” in Gingerbread Land and the pronouns “he/him/his” and “she/her/hers”, but they don’t mean the same things to Gingerbread folk that they mean to most humans in the “real world”. Gingerbread folk can come in any shape or size they like, but they mostly come in shapes we can call “pants” and “dress”, with the “pants” folk usually using the male pronouns and the “dress” folk usually using the female pronouns. Gingerbread folk feel no bodily pleasure or pain and they don’t form sexual relationships or procreate biologically. To them, the difference between “pants” and “dress” is as trivial as the difference between “gumdrop buttons” and “jelly bean buttons”. Most Gingerbread folk are one or the other, and it’s a 50-50 split between “pants” and “dress”, but, to Gingerbread folk, it’s really the least interesting fact about their people.
Gingerbread folk can enter into romantic relationships, but they involve intellectual and/or emotional intimacy and not physical intimacy at all. Gender bears no relevance whatsoever for any Gingerbread person as to whom they form romantic relationships with.
In Gingerbread myth, in the beginning of Gingerbread Land there was a group of thirteen Gingerbread people standing upon the naked gingerbread ground. Creation does not begin with a solitary Gingerbread person. The male-female makeup of the original group is not known and not deemed important to know. The myth doesn’t speculate as to where the first group of Gingerbread people came from or where the gingerbread ground came from… all of it simply was. And then the group set to making, as Gingerbread folk are wont to do, and Gingerbread Land as all know it today eventually came to be.
Outside of myth, among the philosophers and scientists of Gingerbread Land, there is some speculation as to where the inherent energy in gingerbread comes from – the energy that makes it regenerate in the ground and not degrade after extraction and produce usable energy when compressed. But many regard this an impossible question to answer, just as is the questions regarding where the primordial gingerbread and the First Thirteen came from in the first place. This is similar to how things go in “real life” – most scientists are more interested in how subatomic particles work rather than in where subatomic particles ultimately came from.
Gingerbread folk don’t think of the gingerbread in their world as magical. It simply has specific measurable and predictable properties around which they can build their culture’s science, art, and technology. Gingerbread people know that magic exists elsewhere, but they don’t think of their own land as containing magic of any kind.
Gingerbread folk are, by-and-large, a skeptical lot. They’ll take some things as “given” if they must, but if a claim is subject to test or other form of proof, they’ll insist upon seeing evidence before fully believing. Meaning, they might not dismiss a claim outright – they might even retain a grain of faith in the validity of an untested hypothesis – but they won’t allow their plans to be unduly influenced by testable claims that have yet to be proven.
Gingerbread Land is part of a larger continent called Fabulorigo. Along with Gingerbread Land, the continent contains Toy Land, Wonder Land, and Story Land. In the middle of the landmass is a high, craggy caldera and a black-glass castle towering up from the center of the volcanic crater’s depths. The Obsidian Keep, as it’s called, is as formidable as it is beautiful, rich jet with stunning, enormous snow-opals accenting the gothic architecture here and there. Giants are reputed to live among the serrated peaks. Gnomes, it’s said, occupy the lower levels of the keep and the mines beneath. The upper levels of the keep are occupied by fay-folk, or so the elder Gingerbread folk profess.
As regal as the Obsidian Keep is, no orders ever issue from it, no guards or soldiers sally forth from its gates. No denizen of Fabulorigo thinks of themselves as subject to the powers that dwell within the fortress. There is a vague notion of a Duchess and Duke – Marie and Elias – whose lands are supposed to encompass Toy Land and Gingerbread Land. The royal couple is even rumored to visit Toy Land and Gingerbread Land from time to time. It’s said that if Toy Land or Gingerbread Land ever come under serious threat – one greater than can be handled by the numerous and competent generals of Toy Land – then the Duchess and Duke will emerge from the Obsidian Keep and offer their assistance, as tales purport that they have done once the forgotten past. Most folk of Fabulorigo, though, know nothing about Marie and Elias.
Legend has it that the four lands used to be just one land, a place that, if we could visit it today, might resemble a combination of Toy Land, Wonder Land, and Story Land… though probably more Wonder Land than anything else. At some point, though, this one land divided into three, and then, sometime after that, Gingerbread Land came to be.
The source of the extraordinary gingerbread that is the basis for all life and society in Gingerbread Land is a giantess elder who is known to her kin only as “Granny”. Granny loves gingerbread, which she knows as zinger cake, and cannot seem to stop herself from making copious amounts of it. However, her kin aren’t as keen on the treat as she is, so she ends up throwing most of it out into what she believes is a bottomless crevice located in the caldera near where she and her tribe live. She pays no heed to the goings-on in Gingerbread Land and has no direct interaction with Gingerbread folk. She and her kin often enjoy treats from Gingerbread Land, but it’s her kin, and never she, who collects deliveries from Gingerbread Land, and her kin always reject gingerbread treats. So, Granny never has reason to realize that her zinger cakes have created Gingerbread Land, and the Gingerbread folk never have a reason to suspect that a giantess is responsible for creating their world.
Fay-folk laid the bedrock-candy foundation of Gingerbread Land and a gnome leader called “Auntie Gnome” provided the arcane technology that powers candy hearts. Very few in Fabulorigo know this, however, and the information has never been shared with Gingerbread-folk.
The products made by Gingerbread Land – gingerbread, gingerbread objects decorated with candy, raw and composite candies, bakery goods, seltzers, frozen treats, various other products of Gingerbread “art” – are exported to other lands for free. The only object in Gingerbread Land not made of gingerbread is a toy train (and the train tracks) that passes through to convey Gingerbread Land goods and people to other places. Gingerbread people do also enjoy traveling, so they often make use of the train for that purpose, but there are never so many Gingerbread people away from Gingerbread Land to create a dip in its production of sweets.
The train connects Gingerbread Land with Toy Land, Wonder Land, and the border of Story Land (certain technologies are magically blocked from entering Story Land). Gingerbread Land is often visited by peoples of these other lands.
The majority of Gingerbread folk live in the open areas and mine or farm. All the mine and farm operations are small, involving five-to-ten closely associated Gingerbread people.
About a quarter of the Gingerbread population lives in cities where all of the factories, refineries, bakeries, confectioneries, and seltzer houses are located. All of these operations are also small, employing five-to-ten closely associated Gingerbread people, so the cities are not full of high-rise buildings or sprawling industrial zones. Rather, they look like typical early-industry cities, with mostly two-and-three story buildings and an occasional small industrial building or warehouse here and there. There is no waste produced by the cities and no pollution. Heat is used in industrial processes, but the fuel that generates it is pressurized raw gingerbread, which converts to ambient heat with 100% efficiency, zero ash or soot. The only product released through towering exhaust stacks is water vapor.
There are no laws, so there are no lawyers, police, judges, or politicians. There is no money, so there are no bankers, accountants, insurance underwriters, or other types of financial professionals. There are also no weapons (except for work tools – made of candy -- that might be used as such) and no soldiers.
There is no way for fires to spark, much less get out of control, so there are no fire fighters.
There are no hospitals or doctors. Gingerbread folk cannot become sick. They can become injured, but an expert in building gingerbread effigies can repair a living Gingerbread person to like-new condition without any difficulty.
The only thing fatal to a Gingerbread person is a wound that breaks their candy heart. If such a wound is inflicted, nothing can bring the Gingerbread person back.
If a Gingerbread person’s body is destroyed except for their candy heart, their heart can simply be put into a new Gingerbread body and that Gingerbread person is restored. If a Gingerbread person wants a different body than the one they started with, they may just build the body they want and have a friend transplant their candy heart into the new body. If they want to be in a body only temporarily – say, they want to operate a gingerbread motorcycle by becoming the motorcycle – they may have their candy heart placed in the other body until their purpose is achieved, then have it returned to their original body. A friend must assist a Gingerbread person in doing any of these things, because once a candy heart is removed from a gingerbread body, the Gingerbread person to whom that heart belongs ceases being conscious and forming memories. In a manner of speaking, the Gingerbread person ceases to exist until the heart is put back in gingerbread. Thusly, however long the Gingerbread person’s heart is not in gingerbread, that time is lost to them.
Multiple hearts can be placed in a single body. In a situation like this, the Gingerbread folk experience it much the same as humans experience two or more people in a vehicle where everyone’s participating in navigating the vehicle. There’s negotiation regarding what should be done, determination of who specifically should do a particular thing, a single “driver” might be designated or perhaps they’ll switch off… it might all sound odd to humans, but to Gingerbread folk it’s not a terribly big deal. That said, many Gingerbread folk have strong ideas and feelings regarding which Gingerbread people they would and would not be keen to share a body with.
Professional occupations that do exist in Gingerbread Land include engineers, mechanics, other types of technicians, quality control specialists, logistics specialists, efficiency experts, fine artists, performance artists, journalists, philosophers, scientists, professors, clergy, and hospitality/tourism experts. These Gingerbread folk offer their services as “consultants” – they aren’t attached to single operations or institutions – and they work out of offices in the cities where it’s easiest for them to manage multiple clients.
There are also athletes in Gingerbread Land. They self-organize and play on behalf of their closest friends and neighbors. Since Gingerbread folk are all equal in terms of strength, speed, and endurance, they prefer contests that mostly measure mastery of one’s body movements rather than the raw power of one’s body. While Gingerbread Land has been around for centuries, the relatively new sport of American-style baseball has become a favorite athletic pastime.
If ever Gingerbread Land were to come under outside threat, Toy Land, Wonder Land, and Story Land all have soldiers who would rush to their aid with no expectation of compensation. After all, the other lands could never in a thousand years repay Gingerbread Land for all of the amazing treats that it constantly sends out to them without ever asking for anything in return.
Gingerbread folk tend to be rather pacifist, owing somewhat to the fragility of their bodies, but also to the general sense amongst them that they’d rather allow themselves to be harmed than have to live with the guilt of causing harm to others. Even Gingerbread folk who are disagreeable or downright mean are reluctant to allow their dislike for others to cross over into outright criminality or sadism. If a Gingerbread person finds that they dislike the company of their fellow-folk so much that they’re tempted to harm them, they’re free to leave Gingerbread Land to live elsewhere, and, indeed, a very few Gingerbread people have done so rather than acting upon the temptation to harm others. After all, the fragility of the body makes a potential perpetrator fairly easy to stop, and the lack of bodily pain makes acts of courage against a potential perpetrator practically guaranteed.
Gingerbread folk also craft animals. To be made alive, the animals must be given candy hearts. As such, all Gingerbread animals in Gingerbread Land talk and are treated with the same respect as Gingerbread people. The work a Gingerbread animal does, though, will typically be determined by the type of animal it is. A Gingerbread elephant, for example, will eagerly and happily do heavy lifting and hauling all day if any other Gingerbread beings are in need of such service. A Gingerbread horse will eagerly and happily provide transportation for a Gingerbread person, or pull a Gingerbread farmer’s plow, or provide the power for a gingerbread machine. A Gingerbread dog will provide companionship or herd Gingerbread sheep. Gingerbread wolves will stalk the gingerbread woods and howl at the moon sometimes, as well as carry on interesting conversations about science and religion.
Gingerbread Land features a giant bay with a huge island in the middle of it called Big Rock Candy Mountain. The Big Rock Candy Mountain of Gingerbread Land isn’t quite like the one in the famous hobo song. It’s a mountain of rock candy with other candies growing all over it like plants and trees. Seltzer springs are everywhere, too, but most of them run with flavors like ginger ale and sarsaparilla. The peaks of the mountain are topped with naturally-occurring frozen confections. Big Rock Candy Mountain is a very popular tourist attraction in Fabulorigo.
Gingerbread Land’s largest city, Adarok, sits on the shore of the bay with an excellent view of Big Rock Candy Mountain. Even though Gingerbread Land has no large-scale political and financial structures, Adarok is considered a capital city, as nearly all shipping of goods out and accepting of tourists in flows through the port of Adarok.
Long ago, a certain misanthropic Gingerbread person, who realized that harming the neighbors who annoyed him was not a viable option in coping with his hatred of them, fled to Toy Land to get away from it all. Once there, the natural energy packed into his gingerbread chest somehow burned his candy heart to a black crisp. Neither he nor anyone else even recalls what candy it started out as! But once this happened, he began calling himself Blackstrap the Coal-hearted, and he salvaged the body of a broken tin soldier to make himself some armor, so that now he looks like a tin soldier himself, except in the distinctive shape of a Gingerbread man. Blackstrap the Coal-hearted is the sworn enemy of Gingerbread Land. His frequent efforts to invade and take over Gingerbread Land have been thwarted by Toy Land toy soldiers over and over again, often with the help of soldiers from Wonder Land and Story Land. Many believe, though, that it’s only a matter of time before Blackstrap makes it all the way to Gingerbread Land with his army, and many fear what will happen to the good people of Gingerbread Land then.