This page contains "framework" information. Numbers is broken up into many small universes, with their own sets of rules or remixes, but they generally all follow the basic ideas placed here - money is always "equans", for example. Think of this page as a general "this is our basic rulebook" and the universes as a sort of homebrew on top.
Table of Contents
The "equan" is the standard unit of currency, equivalent to one USD. There are no fractional denominations of it. It is generally made of paper, like US dollars, but may be virtual in more advanced universes. Older universes may use one-equan worth coins, typically made out of platinum. The symbol for an equan is a rounded capital E with a line vertically through it.
Counterfeit currency is obstructed by elaborate and twisting runes enchanted into the paper by the banks that print legitimate currency, and also generally mages are not interested in things as simple as material wealth. The idea of fake currency is rare enough most businesses would not check for it.
Though any goods can be teleported some distance, it is often easier and safer to ship them by boat or pull them by train to their destination, and requires less stressing of mages for something that can be done with mundane infrastructure. Mages are generally better used for tasks that actually require their talent in magic, such as constructing wards.
Higher beings, due to not needing food, water, money, or housing, generally operate on bartering for interesting artifacts or knowledge. Rare enchanted curios, especially of elaborate rune or difficult make, are worthwhile to them.
The level of technology in any given Universe will vary greatly, but here are some general concepts:
Cellies are stand-ins for smartphones, but are not lifted to the ear to call - instead, they stream live video to each other through a concept called "magink". They can text and access the internet (if there is one), but do not have 'apps' or games on them.
Magink is a type of printing that can be used to literally imprint on Magninium an image (or a series of images, as in a video) and then transfer it to paper. Moving magink is oft developed later than paper magink - the latter of which is commonly used for photographs.
Most transport is publically-owned; trains, trams, and busses are common. Cars themselves are uncommon if existant at all. Teleport pads are the preferred travel, especially for long-distance, as long as one has access and clearance to the public teleport pads located in cities. There is little to no aviation technology - anything that would be handled through plane, balloon, etc., is handled by the flying races.
Cores are small, dense balls of solidified Magninium that resonate with certain concepts and can be used as sources of power or generation. For example, many cities' waterworks is operated by cores that resonate with freshwater, and therefore infinitely spawn freshwater from themselves. A forge may have lava cores that ensure the flames are always stoked. So on and so forth.
Healing magic has negated the need for most doctors and nurses. Severe injuries are more exhausting for healer mages to repair, and so many work in short 3-5 hour shifts a day, expending their magic to seal wounds perfectly and then taking a break to have a big meal. Hospitals are generally small and don't require much staff, nor is healing mage a particularly lucrative career.
Due to the rate of healing, things like splints or broken bones are not injuries that would bed individuals for longer than a day at most. Also due to this and how small hospitals are, healthcare is not public but is very cheap.
There are a number of ailments that affect the magic, which are more serious than most simple diseases or injuries. They often require extensive bedrest and the consumption of magic-rich materials.
Prosthetics can be either regrown limbs through magic, new limbs grown through magic and then grafted on with magic, or metal/wood "false" limbs that can be removed freely and are controlled through a magical tether. The latter is the only option for limbs severed by a poison-metal wound, but it also means the limb stops working if the magical flow is interrupted (like... being stabbed with poison-metal).
This doesn't go anywhere else, but... all the races are capable of purring like a cat, and do so when pleased.
There are a series of metals called the poison-metals: gold, silver, and copper. Unlike all other materials in the world, they can consume magic and generate more of themselves from it. When used against anything living, these metals disrupt the ability to use magic and permanently maim the victim. No amount of healing magic nor standard healthcare will ever heal a wound of poison-metal, no matter the effort expended.
These metals are banned in most universes, and are highly regulated by governments. Mines that are found to contain poison-metals are caved in deliberately and abandoned. Use of a poison-metal weapon is considered a fundamental rights violation.
Common Knowledge is a gift that comes to all sentients as they go through puberty. It bestows very basic arithmetic, literacy, worldliness, and a unifying language called Common. Universes may have additional languages, but all people learn Common as part of CK.
CK varies slightly between universes; it may have more information added to it, like the names of continents or nations, but never less than the standard above. "Worldliness" refers to understanding, for example, the names and vague appearances of the sentient races. CK is not very specific or detailed.
Further studying in math and reading is required to become proficient at them. An illiterate person by Numbers standards can read the sentence "I adore the fragrance of roses" and understand it to be enjoying the smell of flowers, but could not specifically define the words "adore", "fragrance", or "roses" unless they already knew the definitions. Basically - the writer's ambient magic on the page is quietly communicating to the reader its vague intention, but no more.
Mute races, like Tentacula, will generally speak with telepathy to others.
Races that are capable of flight (marked as "flying" races) can interact with clouds, walk on them, and build permanent structures on/with them. To make these structures sturdier, the use of a material called skyquartz is applied as foundations - filled with buoyant magic, it hovers in the atmosphere and allows for more elaborate or unenchanted structures to be built on top. Skyquartz is found on the seafloor, often partially buried. Through the use of flying races' natural abilities and skyquartz, "cloud cities" can be formed.
Flying races often help manage the local area's weather. They can bunch together certain types of clouds to provide more rainfall, or push away others to prevent severe storms. With sufficiently advanced magitech, they may be able to produce certain clouds or weather and more closely control the climate of the local area. This is often an imperfect art, but still highly used - ensuring that an important outdoors event is never cancelled due to rain, or that blizzards never truly form.
Education varies heavily between universes, but generally most children are free to do as they please until they reach puberty, at which point they attend some sort of structured schooling, known as General Education. This supplements and explains their attainment of CK, working in tandem to help them grow.
It is generally expected for parents to teach their children empathy and emotional regulation during childhood, and they will learn proper logic, history, math, etc., during General Education.
After General Education, students are encouraged to attend the next step of school, University. University is run by local businesses and the government, and is essentially apprenticeships that help students down a career path. It's not mandatory to take a degree and then continue that path, but it's seen as a little strange to not follow through. Adults do not attend University.
If a student refuses to attend University or drops out, they may struggle to find employment or housing. Sponsorship is a way around this - wherein an individual may choose to sponsor a dropout, providing for them monetarily and regarded as responsible for them. In turn, they may dictate most of the aspects around the sponsee's life, and generally "own" them in a legal sense. Not all would-be-sponsees go into sponsorship, but it does tempt a few.
This system is not present in all universes, especially more rural or underdeveloped ones.
Sex & Sexuality
There are four sexes in Numbers: male, female, anbinary, and sexless. Terms such as "mother" and "father" are ungendered due to this, and refer to the birther of a child and impregnator of a mother, respectively. Anbinary individuals contain both gametes and can reproduce with one another, be impregnated by males, or impregnate females equally.
Physical appearance has no bearing on gender or sex; all individuals introduce themselves with pronouns and do not consider clothing, hairstyles, demeanor, etc., of being indicative of pronouns. In fact, most people don't even have a concept of 'gender' at all - things like blue being a boys' color, or what exactly a 'boy' entails, are vague and not thought about. There are no words for genders, even.
Transitioning in a traditional sense is uncommon - as there are no genders, there is no "gender dysphoria". Some people may choose to alter their sex in various ways out of interest, enjoyment, or curiosity. This can be permanent through magical alteration of the body, or temporarily through things like potions that wear off.
Polyamory is accepted and very common. Some races, like Okapi, are more strictly monogamous, but most individuals would be alright with an open relationship, triad, angle, etc.
Most people do not have sexual preferences and would be considered bisexual, if they have a preference at all. Some people may lean more strictly into homosexuality or heterosexuality, but don't have the language (i.e. those words) to describe it and would just subconsciously flirt with their preferred sexes.
Sex is seen as a normal aspect of life and acceptable, but isn't generally something to talk about in polite or formal settings (like work).
Death & Necromancy
Natural death occurs when one's Magninium bursts out of their chest and exists into the second layer of reality, the metaphysical. This is called a myriad of names, but when discussing death, it's typically called the Dead Zone (or Death Zone). During unnatural deaths, like sickness or injuries, magic instead slowly seeps out of the individual's body instead of leaving all at once.
After natural death, there is a small hole in the chest, near the heart, where the magic exited. It's visible to the naked eye but easy to miss.
Higher beings must be drained of their magic first (through use of poison-metals) before their bodies can be killed. Otherwise, their magic will instantaneously repair damage done to them. Harvested magic can be consumed to ascend the self or empower the self.
The Dead Zone
The Dead Zone is a transparent layer on top of reality. It is where ambient magic can be visibly seen, and concepts become soldified. It is heavily influenced by the living, as their memories and recollection change what displays in the Dead Zone.
For example - individuals may live on in the Dead Zone as a collection of their magic, in the shape of their body, for as long as the living remember them. The more they are remembered by many people, the stronger their ghost becomes. The strongest ghosts can appear to the living, speak to them, and interact with objects in the living's world.
If a ghost is totally forgotten by the living world, in all capacities, they fade away into nothingness. Once faded, their Magninium is released into the greater cycle, and even if they are remembered again later, they cannot be brought back.
The Dead Zone may be filled with buildings, animals, landmarks, and landscapes that are remembered and revered by the populace. These may appear superimposed or clipping through living structures, making some areas a hazard to traverse.
Mediums are individuals, considered blessed by the Death Harmonic or Decay Chaotic, who can see and interact with the Dead Zone in addition to the living world. They cannot turn this power off or stop it in any way.
It is important in many cultures to live an influential life and then enjoy immortality in the Dead Zone with no need of worldly burdens such as eating or sleeping (unless a ghost wants to). There are many festivals revolving around remembering the dead and their deeds, and many cultures place high import on doing important, widespread things to encourage many individuals to remember them or place their works in history books.
Necromancers raise the dead by finding a body (preferably mildly injured, if at all) and channelling their magic through it. This attempts to connect the body's ghost back to their physical form and link them again, using the necromancer's magic in place of their blood and original magic. If successful, the ghost awakes again in the living world, in their old body, and is called a zombie.
Zombies do not need to eat or drink, but cannot use magic and cannot be healed from the injuries related to their death, decaying of their corpse, or new injuries they attain as a zombie. They still require some amount of sleep.
As the necromancer's magic is powering the zombie's body, the intentions and commands of the necromancer will always supersede that of the body's. If a necromancer tells their zombie that they cannot run away, they physically cannot run away from their necromancer - but they could walk, or jog, or dance, etc., away. Commands exist infinitely unless the necromancer retracts them, i.e., by saying "you are allowed to run away from me" (but in this context, "you are allowed to run away" alone would not free the zombie of the command to not run away from the necromancer).
A ghost must be present in the Dead Zone for a necromancer to raise a zombie. If the ghost has died, the body will not resurrect. One cannot place the wrong ghost into a body, either.
Necromancy is highly draining for mortals to do for long periods of time. Typically, necromancy is only used to allow the recently-dead to settle their last affairs and goodbyes, especially if they died mysteriously or quickly. Many zombies testify in court regarding their own murders.
Appearances & Textiles
As coats, hair, and eyes can be of any color (and even multiple!) it is impossible to account for all combinations when producing clothing. Instead, clothes are made out of white (or black) fabrics, and then dyed at magical stations to match whatever colors the client requests. It is seen as good form to wear clothes that match your colors and look complimentary.
Uniforms are more likely to be based on the cut of cloth and specific accessories rather than color because of this.
Makeup and tattoos are actually powder or paints that have been enchanted to stick to fur, and are usually applied permanently. There are creams that can be applied to remove either, but they won't wash off with simple water or soap. Both can be further enchanted for protection.
Eyes are quite literally the window to the soul - filled with Magninium, they are the color of that individual's magic. Multicolored eyes means multiple colors of magic, which is not common but isn't unheard of.
Shaped pupils are similarly rare, but don't mean anything special about an individual - they're an aesthetic mutation.
Blood is red except for Ants, whose blood shows their caste, and Beauts, who bleed bright saturated pink. "Beaut Checks" can be done by nicking a finger or palm to check blood color.
Agriculture is wholly unlike modern farming. It is a quick, simple, and repetitive task - little land is required to feed large cities, though it is heavily dependent on the use of flora-aligned races to ensure the cycle is upkept. In essence, laborers prepare a parcel of land: hoeing the field and planting the seeds. Then, flora-aligned races will arrive to channel magic into the plants, often via heavy drink and revelling. A single night of this accelerates the plants' growth to as short as a week, which is then harvested by laborers, who then plant the next wave of crops. So on and so forth.
Flora-aligned races are those that have an affinity for plants and/or homesteading. Notably, this includes: base ponies, alicorns, iron ponies, temperate dragons, forest dragons, grassland dragons, rainforest dragons, taiga dragons, bees, wasps, and ants. Of these races, base ponies are the most efficient - but any will do in a pinch. They are, in a multitude of ways, considered the backbone of society.
In many cultures, it is considered a civic duty for a flora-aligned individual to attend to the local agriculture about twice a month. Many who go think of it mostly as a party, as food and drink are provided by the government and they simply need to "tap into" their natural magics by enjoying themselves to work the land.
Ranching and animal care does not utilize these methods, as flora-aligned races do not appear to have an effect on animals' growth or production (though they do seem to comfort animals they're around).