Some Snippets from The World

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Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Wed 25 Mar 2015, 21:27

INDEXICON

I. IJ. IIJ. IIIJ. V. VI. VIJ. VIIJ. VIIIJ. X. XI. XIJ. XVIIJ. XVIIIJ. XV. Topics Found Elsewhere at CBB Worlds that inhabit some dark corner of the Cosmos: External Sources
Frath Wiki DeviantArt CWBB: gladly now wandefunct! A Bit of a Trawl Through the Gumbo that is the Conlang-L Archive Mythic Scribes
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by Micamo » Thu 26 Mar 2015, 03:28

Who lived in the City before the Men? (And would this City have a name?)

Is the knee an erotic zone in this culture or something?
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by thaen » Thu 26 Mar 2015, 04:20

Micamo wrote:Who lived in the City before the Men? (And would this City have a name?)

Is the knee an erotic zone in this culture or something?
Maybe she thought he'd try to advance to the Crack of Doom, and she wasn't on board with it. [:S]
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Spoiler:
ı θ ð ʃ ɲ ŋ ʔ ɛ ə ø ʑ ɕ ʷ ʲ ⁿ
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Thu 26 Mar 2015, 04:41

[tick]

Let us enter the greatest City in the Eastlands of the World this fine spring morning and see what we might see...

I was out early this morning. Closed up my elder sister’s social and decided to take the morning air, after a night of playing companion for my sister’s clients. Frankly, I find it disgusting, a bunch of raunchy drunk men, and not a few women, gossiping about this and that, and even though it’s against the rules, trying to get me into a bed somewhere, for all they’re sitting MPs! I swear to you, if that Lord Bundwerth tries to grab my knee one more time, I’ll slice his fingers off with his own soup spoon, for all he’s the Chancellor of the Exchequer! I’m just thankful us companion girls only have to spend an hour or so with any chamber of clients, then another poor girl has to come in and entertain for a while. I’m just glad none of them know my secrets!

It’s not all bad, working in a social. My sister keeps me around because I’m cute and can play the lute okay. I can’t sing a note, but after a few rounds, most of her clients don’t much care. Men say I'm more beautiful than Helen of Millawanta, whoever she was, but I guess whatever it takes to get them talking! And that's why I'm really there: because I’m so good at listening, and that’s one of my secrets. Good at encouraging Men to help me listen to things they really want to say, but know they oughtn’t. There are some of our kin who are very keen on knowing what it is I have to listen to, and the higher up Crouppe’s Peerage, or the higher up the Magisterial pyramid my interlocutor is, the better! And last night got me quite the haul. Twas the eve ere the New Year, after all, and that is always a good night for me to come in and hear what folks have to say. I even managed to get the full text of the Emperor’s new year speech right from the First Magister’s coat pocket! What a rummage that was, and now I feel so awfully dirty. I’m off home now to bathe before tidying myself up to visit certain people who are interested in hearing what I have to say.

It’s always the same in this City. When the Elders still lived along these warths, I’m told this was a grand city indeed! Tranquil and beautiful. The lords and ladies of the High Kindred going about their business with such grace. A music filled the very air from all sides, a gentle air, now melancholy, now mirthful, the joy of being mingled with the sorrow of parting. Now it is a city of Men, mostly, and it is all abustle! There is still music in the air, but it is now finsh mongers chanting their wares, dirty children piping away on tiny whistles, the wail of dogs and clangs and gongs of every kind of waggon, cart, trolley and caravan carriage you can imagine!

But this morning, all is peaceful! I can hear birds trilling in the early spring dawn; I can hear the waters of the fountain down the block, its cold freshness piped down from the mountains, plashing over the ancient stone, carved by loving hands long before the coming of Men. I know it’s so quiet now only because of the hard partying of last night. Any excuse to get drunk and carouse about, and Men will take it! Doesn’t matter if they’re high magisters, scholars or ordinary freemen. And the New Year is the worst of them all.

You’d think twas the end of the world, they way they carried on last night, but no. No, the End won’t be for some time yet. Heh. I paused to look up from my walk along the rough cobbles of the High Street just then and saw that I’d reached the Sign of the Seventh Squirrel – how ironic that my thoughts should fly to Regenreck and the End of All Things, right here under the sign depicting the Seven Squirrels gnawing away at the World Tree! Ow! I looked down quick. Stubbed my toe on a drunkard collapsed outside the door to the tavern. Someone had stuffed a crudely painted broadsheet into his drink benumbed hand – ah! Come Hear, at the Sign of Chanticleer’s Amazement, Our Dear Emperor’s New Year Speech, Broad Cast This Year For the First Time In History By Means of the Wonder of The Age, the Quadrimorphic Fabonigraph (courtesy of Magr. W. Marcomanni). Hmm. It says it’s the device that allows one to hear the voices that fly among the winds. Well, sir Marcomanni, I read the Emperor’s speech already, and don’t think I need to listen to the old man gab on into the winds! Anyway, every Daine who needs to know will have heard it well in advance of its scheduled noon time broadcast. I tucked the broadsheet into my wallet, just in case certain folks wanted to nip in down to Chanticleer’s to hear the speech in person.

Maybe twas better than the end of the world, last night’s party. After all, does not this coming noon mark the passing of the old year? Is today not Tiersday the tenth day of Newyear by fortnight reckoning, it being now the Year of the Brass Waterpot? And is it not a wonder, for today marks also the very dawning of the age of Aperias, the water bearer, in the Pwerncas Hipparchian Age in the Ninth Age of Stars, that is called Calior! And now that I think on it, perhaps I ought not chide Men for their celebrations last night, for don’t we Daine still fondly recall the stories of the grandmothers of our greatgrandmothers? Didn’t one of my ancestors tread these very cobbles one morning, four thousand two hundred years ago when the Torras zodiacal era, the Nimbullas Hipparchian Age and the Xora Age of Stars passed away into the mists of History? Tis no different now, the Ages turn one after another, and this time tis my turn to witness the turning.

I turned off the High Street without even thinking. Ah, the smooth flags of Chuntwaith Mews tell me I’m almost home! And here indeed is our outer gate – my sister assured me it’s blue, even though I’m almost certain it’s grey. But no matter, I’d recognise the deep carved ivy twined round the seven pillars even in the dark! I press my hand to the polished bronze hand set in the middle of the gate, whisper to the doors dro an thuiy!, and enter the courtyard beyond, its green gardens and cool fountains, stone work of old mingled with finely carved woods and terra cotta, inviting me home, and it’s here I’ll pause to wish you all le san vres an wodyo! – a joy filled new year to you all!
Micamo wrote:Who lived in the City before the Men? (And would this City have a name?)

Is the knee an erotic zone in this culture or something?
The City is called Pycleas, and is the capital of Auntimoany, one of the great realms of the Eastlands of the World. The Daine have certainly lived in the land for a very long time, and constitute a pretty fair minority within the empire; but the land itself was settled by the Teyor, who are also called the Elders. They called the place Ônutumun, and when they at last departed, that left the Daine and a whole lot of empty land behind. Twas about that time (maybe the fourth century or so of the present age) that Men from the Uttermost West began arriving during the Great Migration. Some of these were Thiets, the ancestors of the modern Avantimen, and they it was who moved into the recently emptied country and took possession.

As to why the Teyor left in the first place, none know the answer to that. Some people say they took ship and went over the Ocean; others say they went up into the stars; still others believe they disappeared back into the earth. The Daine do not understand this mystery, and know only that the Teyor, over the course of time, will be Called. And when they are at last Called, they go.

For the Daine, no, the knees are not particularly erotic in nature. I just have the sneaking suspicion that creepy Lord Bundwerth was trying to get a bit of a feel up her skirt. in a social, which is a kind of upscale tavern, almost always owned and operated by Daine, there is always the temptation to try and bed the companion girls (at the worst) or get a good squeeze (at least). These girls are most definitely nòt in that line of work! Socials cater to wealthier clientele (perhaps minor nobility or wealthy businessmen, and in the case of this particular, high government officials) and hire smart pretty girls to act as "companions" for the establishment's customers. They certainly get and pour drinks, keep the water pipes lit, provide appropriately cozy lighting, cushions and so forth in their customers' booth or private room. They also provide attractive company, intelligent conversation, some flirting and perhaps a song or play upon a musical instrument. These girls are not prostitutes (there are òther establishments that cater to that kind of customer) and it is considered bad form to try and get one in bed. This doesn't stop men like Lord Bundwerth, so the girls really do have to be on their guard -- I mean, you just can't toss the Chancellor of the Exchequer out of the place on his backside! The girls have to keep their wits about them and manage their more special customers appropriately!

Our girl is what might, in some quarters, be known as a spy. Or perhaps in others, an intelligence officer... There are, after all, powers and personalities entirely unknown to Palas and Parliament alike (i.e., the Government), moving in the background, setting things in motion and arranging pieces on the great go board that is Aumtimoany. What these powers require is information. Information that the Magistracy will not happily part with. Information that the Palas and the emperor's Cupboard Ministers will jealously guard as state secrets. Information that a crafty and pretty girl can very easily obtain from a slightly bonked high Chancellor of the emperor's government during an exclusive party, and, well, perhaps a bit of a knee grab is a small price to pay for it! Especially when it's your grandmother's sister at the heart of these intrigues. What are you going to do? Say no thank you, auntie?
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by Micamo » Thu 26 Mar 2015, 06:15

I'm sorry but... Auntie Moany?

Also from the way the protagonist talks about the Daine (whom I'm guessing are humans?) as if she weren't one of them. Is she a Teyor or am I just being crazy?
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by gestaltist » Thu 26 Mar 2015, 07:10

Micamo wrote:I'm sorry but... Auntie Moany?

Also from the way the protagonist talks about the Daine (whom I'm guessing are humans?) as if she weren't one of them. Is she a Teyor or am I just being crazy?
Daine are another species. They have wings.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Thu 26 Mar 2015, 16:42

Micamo wrote:I'm sorry but... Auntie Moany?

Also from the way the protagonist talks about the Daine (whom I'm guessing are humans?) as if she weren't one of them. Is she a Teyor or am I just being crazy?
Not crazy! I probably didn't clarify well enough. Our protagonist is a Daine, carping about the (mis)behaviour of Men.

I've always pronounced it as something like [ɔn'tɪmʌni]. A little easier than the native name, avantimannirêhhs
gestaltist wrote:Daine are another species. They have wings.
Yes indeed!

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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by gestaltist » Thu 26 Mar 2015, 21:53

Thanks for clarifying the pronunciation. I also had the association with a moaning aunt ;) I wasn’t sure whether it’s coincidental or an inside joke.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Thu 26 Mar 2015, 23:20

gestaltist wrote:Thanks for clarifying the pronunciation. I also had the association with a moaning aunt ;) I wasn’t sure whether it’s coincidental or an inside joke.
[:)] Could be! The usual associations I always made, and perhaps it's not entirely foundationless, was with the element antimony and with the curiously applicable word, antinomy (opposing the law -- and weren't the Men of old Auntimoany a load of pirates!).

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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by gestaltist » Sun 29 Mar 2015, 14:59

Are you going to post anything else? I enjoy reading about your conworld.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Sun 29 Mar 2015, 15:37

[tick]
gestaltist wrote:Are you going to post anything else? I enjoy reading about your conworld.
Thank you very kindly! You didn't get your fill over on the 'debate' thread??

Let's see, I already told the story of Red Robin Hood (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4434&p=174686&hilit ... in#p174686), so I'll tell you another story:
Spoiler:
On fornes waron thês thrêy blinden mês, ande market huw they dydetun omhemrene thês thrêy blinden mês! Nuw therh thon layne then under thon wayne ande on thon cutischen te bote! Ande twas thaar they sêhen en merveyelle thês thrêy blinden mês. For yn that cutiscen botwef Cgeolien cutiscete ande thaar ho wascqete ande duwemcraftihh was her cutiscend ande duwemcraftihh was her wascqend of botwef Cgeolien.

Nuw botwef Cgeolien was wifez te husbowend Sôlhaz se Mylwarthaz ande they buwetun om Yppsihdale. Ande nuw cwemand thôs thrêy blinden mês onhemrennend on thon cutiscen beouten they hemselfe stoppetun en wiscund brouwdeth beforon te this cat that hehôte Galgumel his scarpe clêyô! Nuw this Galgumel was en cyuwte, moscraftihh cats beouten with happe wase he under slepand; swo underhembehydetun thôz thrêy blinden mês yn thon pondarien under summe Rumeliardisce canaste. Ande twas fram that plâze they sêhen merveylles, they thrêy blinden mês.

For thas times yn cwâme botwef Cgeolien ombeberend thon tuwlgowecanife ande ombeberend thon hlavandmund yn her armes. For hwilam hit herselfe lîqete te hwessellen hwiles that ho west werkend; ande swo ho hwessellete this murih-morih tônde, thrêy swôyen hwat murnen of wenten ande douwthe. Ras-peh-bah — ras-peh-bah ho hwessellete ande — hwaq! — thonqete her canefez swo ho scrapete thon tuwlgowe. Ras-peh-bah — ras-peh-bah — hwaq! Ande hit mahhtylihh feyrete thêm mês, beouten senhhe Galgumel, he swefnete om delyciouso mês!

Cuwyckes ho liqete thon canefe ande omherwewôrthe te thon hlavandmund. For hwilam hit herselfe lîqete te hwessellen hwiles that ho west werkend; ande swo ho hwessellete this murih-morih tônde, thrêy swôyen hwat murnen of wenten ande douwthe. Ras-tam-car — ras-tam-car ho hwessellete ande — hwap! — ho clangete do se maytagges dorôn. Hit yngane te tansce ande senge — scuggabuubbascuggabuubba — ande theys mêsô wiscundum dydetun ouwtstande fram theys lêqes, ande they sêhen summe duwemmerglouwend! Ande hit mahhtylihh feyrete thêm mês, beouten senhhe Galgumel, he swefnete om bouwles of swete meluqe!

Ande la! se forne brâmaz yngane te tansce, suwôpend thêm thrêy blinde mês uwt fram thon pondarien ande thaar thêy sêhen merveyelles! For sange scuggabuubbascuggabuubba that maytagge, ande tanscete en braunwle that brâmaz ande adounfluhen allez thôz plattes thêz spênes yaan yâht wascqcalethes summe fethuwor miscgmaken stôqes te cgeoyne thon drauwgme with en forn trouwlez on touwe. Then spunwen they qerfund canifes te tansce yn thona êrem ofer thon murih drauwgme, hwessellend on rôndel theys murih-morih tônde, summe swôyen hwat murnen of wenten ande douwthe. Ras-peh-bah — ras-tam-car — ras-peh-bah — ras-tam-car.

And la! hwan that yerme Galgumel cunnete ande underhimbehyde under thon mense, se fornen brâmaz him suwatte te hys fundamund, ande he himselfe rane griend te therh thon yarden, ande besâhhtun yerme Galgumel they scarpe, morthenfulle qerfund canifes; ande befluhen they thrêy blinden mês uwt fram that cutiscen swo cwiqe swo mahtun . . .

Beouten la! he uwtgegange se tuwlgowecaniftez, hwa flêsce havet taxet, ande scêssete thôz yermen blinden mês, ande market nuw huw they doend omhemrene thês thrêy blinden mês! For he sengat this murih-morih tônde, summe swôyen hwat murnen on rôndel of wenten ande douwthe. Ras-peh-bah — ras-tam-car — ras-peh-bah — ras-tam-car.

Thrêy blinden mês, thrêy blinden mês Botwef Cgeolien, botwef Cgeolien
Mylwarth’ zande his murih wif’z
Scrap’te thon tuwlgowe; liq’te thon ‘nîf
Botwef Cgeolien, botwef Cgeolien
Thrêy blinden mês, thrêy blinden mês!
(A clearer version...)

In ancientry were these three blind mice, and see how they did run, those three blind mice! Now, through the lane then under the wain and into the kitchen to boot! And twas there they saw wonders, those three blind mice. For in that kitchen goodwife Julienne cooked and there she washed and magic was in the cooking and magic was in the washing of goodwife Julienne.

Now goodwife Julienne was wife to husband Sulcus the Miller and they lived in Yppsiy Dale and Lord Michel was gravio there, lord of town and all the lands around. And now there came those three blind mice running about into the kitchen but they stopped themselves a whisker breadth before dashing headlong into to goodwife Julienne’s cat that hight Gargamel and his sharp claws! Now this Gargamel was a cute, wisecrafty cat but luck and fortune were with the three blind mice, scurrying about the kitchen as they were, and was he sleeping near the hearth. So quite carefully those three blind mice hid them in the pantry within a Rumelian basket they found there. And twas from that place they saw wonders, those three blind mice.

For at that time in came goodwife Julienne carrying the suetbowl and the washing in her arms. For at times it pleased her to whistle while she was working; and so she whistled this merry-mort tune, three soughing notes only that recalled the melancholy of winter and mourned of death. UT-SI-LA — UT-SI-LA she whistled and — whack! — thunked her knife as she scraped and chopped the suet. UT-SI-LA — UT-SI-LA — WHACK! And that knife greatly disturbed those mice, hiding in the basket, but old Gargamel, he dreamed of delicious mice and took no notice of the knife!

Shortly she licked the suet knife and turned herself to the washing. For at times it her pleased to whistle while she was working; and so she whistled this merry-mort tune, three soughing notes that recalled the melancholy of winter and mourned of death. UT-RE-MI — UT-RE-MI she whistled and — whap! — she clanged shut the washer's door. The great bronze washer began to dance and sing — chuggabuubbachuggabuubba — and the mice's whiskers did stand out from their bodies, and they could see this dwimmer-gleam coming from the great bronze washer! And it greatly disturbed the mice, but old Gargamel, he dreamed of bowls of sweet milk and took no notice of the washer or its magical glow!

And lo! as goodwife Julienne left the kitchen, the old broom in the pantry began to dance, sweeping those three blind mice out from the basket where they had been hiding and there they saw marvels! For chuggabuubbachuggabuubba sang the great bronze washer, and a brawl danced the broom and down flew all the plates and spoons, eight old linen washcloths and some four mismatched stockings all joining the merry music with an old trowel in tow. Then the carving knives spun into the lively dance in the airs over the merry music, whistling in round their merry-mort tune, some soughing notes that recalled the melancholy of winter and mourned of death. UT-SI-LA — UT-RE-MI — UT-SI-LA — UT-RE-MI.

And lo! when poor Gargamel opened his eyes he took fright of the dancing knives and tried to hide him under the table, but the old broom him swatted his bum, and he him ran howling through the door and out into the garden, the only thing standing in his way being the three blind mice! Seeing the terrorized cat running pell-mell towards the door, they too turned and made their best run for the garden. Cat and mice did into the garden run and close behind poor Gargamel came flying those sharp, murdersome carving knives; and everybeast got out of that kitchen as quick as they could!

But lo! there came out the old suet-knife, who has tasted flesh, and chased those poor blind mice, and mark now how they do run about, those three blind mice! For he sings this merry-mort tune, some soughing notes that in roundelay recalled the melancholy of winter and mourned of death. UT-SI-LA — UT-RE-MI — UT-SI-LA — UT-RE-MI.

Three blind mice, three blind mice
Goodwife Julienne, goodwife Julienne
Miller and his merry wife
Scraped the fat and licked the knife
Goodwife Julienne, goodwife Julienne
Three blind mice, three blind mice!
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by gestaltist » Tue 31 Mar 2015, 08:54

I am not sure how I feel about this story. It is... something else. It reads like a fable but is oddly unsettling.

What is the context for this story in the World? Is it something like a Grimms brothers’ story?
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Tue 31 Mar 2015, 11:24

[tick]
gestaltist wrote:I am not sure how I feel about this story. It is... something else. It reads like a fable but is oddly unsettling.

What is the context for this story in the World? Is it something like a Grimms brothers’ story?
Kind of a dark fable, perhaps. And yes, in a way, something like a Grimm tale. The Grimms, after all, were collectors of folk tales. This story is piece of sawyery within the genre called 'explanatory tales'. Now, a sawyer in the Eastlands is not someone who saws wood; rather, he is among the minor orders of a shadowy group of people known as The Wise. (You'll often times come across, in a fable or other story, a line like "...and truly The Wise say such-and-so" -- the sawyers are among thóse folks). Like how a lawyer studies and interprets the laws of a place, so the sawyer studies and interprets the saws of a place. The legends, the myths, the sagas -- all the Old Stories of a place. *Here* in the primary world, we might call them "folklorists" or perhaps "sociologists specializing in folklore". In this particular case, we all know the old rhyme of the Three Blind Mice and how they ran. But in these younger days, many folks aren't aware of there even being any kind of story behind the rhyme. Sometimes even a whole cycle of stories. It is one of the sawyers' many tasks to preserve and disseminate these old stories that lie behind the rhymes, the folk sayings and the other bits and ephemera of daily language.

If it's a little unsettling, I suppose that's as it ought to be. Folklore is definitely not for the innocent babe or the faint of heart! It is a land of dark, of dimly seen persons, movement in shadow and hidden motive, a land where 'happily ever after' rarely figures in to a tale. That's Holyrood flummery. Unless, perhaps, tis more truthfully stated as something like 'happily ever after -- until next time the Wolf came calling!'
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by gestaltist » Tue 31 Mar 2015, 13:18

Makes sense. I like the idea of sawyers. When I try to devise stories for my own conworld, I often find it difficult to break the rut of my cultural bias. The real folklore is often gruesome, dark and very weird, as you have noted.
elemtilas wrote:Thank you very kindly! You didn't get your fill over on the 'debate' thread??
To answer this - reading about the World (and Micamo’s world, as well) is my favorite part of being on this forum. Interacting with a conworld that has almost grown into its own thing is amazing and very inspiring.

You might think I am hungry for more stories. Not really. Or not only, rather. I am hungry for inspiration. In every snippet of the World, I find a distorted mirror image of something from the World of Two Suns. Or I discover something I haven’t even considered yet. And it becomes a part of the World of Two Suns.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Wed 01 Apr 2015, 00:31

[tick]
gestaltist wrote:Makes sense. I like the idea of sawyers. When I try to devise stories for my own conworld, I often find it difficult to break the rut of my cultural bias. The real folklore is often gruesome, dark and very weird, as you have noted.
It is indeed not easy to get away from such bias -- conlangers decry the dreaded relex, which is nothing more than a person not being able to free themselves of their own linguistic bias. Obviously it can be done!, so swim the rocky skies of geopoesy with bold-as-brassity!
Reading about the World (and Micamo’s world, as well) is my favorite part of being on this forum. Interacting with a conworld that has almost grown into its own thing is amazing and very inspiring.
I do appreciate that! I never really thought anyone would be all that interested!
You might think I am hungry for more stories. Not really. Or not only, rather. I am hungry for inspiration. In every snippet of the World, I find a distorted mirror image of something from the World of Two Suns. Or I discover something I haven’t even considered yet. And it becomes a part of the World of Two Suns.
That's alright! Well, I will keep the stories and bits and snatches coming, then! I hope at the least you'll keep asking questions of me -- I find not a little inspiration there! I will try to inspire you, and in return, you and micamo and azhoh and everyone else will inspire me! Like you, I find a faint echo of the World in all these other places I read about here, and I find inspiration there. (For example, I think the weng look a bit like some of the bizarre creatures that inhabit the bottom of the Worldsea down in the Uttermost Deeps of the World...though you probably wouldn't want to eat the flesh of beasts that drink molten iron for breakfast!)

And also, don't neglect finding inspiration everywhere else outside of CBB -- not long ago, I found a whole chapter of the story of the ancient times of the World was contained in a simple game of patience, a card game! Who would have thought it, but there it was: as the picture cards fell into their places, the picture of an interesting bit of sawyery gelled into place (this is the great war between the Four Queens of the World). I one time discovered a small but important bit of Daine cultural ephemera by simply holding a bit of a stick and an acorn in hand. (This was that memory pouch I mentioned in the Inn. I still have that ancient bit of stick, and the acorn.) One time I saw a curious kind of spectacles -- twas some kind of makeup glasses (I had nó idea girls wear special glasses when putting on makeup!!) -- and thought to myself: there's the kernel of a thaumological device from the World there! And so was born the polyspeculum.

Perhaps not everything you see or hear will find a place in your world, but almost anything còuld!
Last edited by elemtilas on Sat 31 Oct 2015, 21:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by Micamo » Wed 01 Apr 2015, 00:39

gestaltist wrote:Makes sense. I like the idea of sawyers. When I try to devise stories for my own conworld, I often find it difficult to break the rut of my cultural bias. The real folklore is often gruesome, dark and very weird, as you have noted.
One secret - I'm not going to say the secret, for there are many ways up the mountain - that I've found to be useful is the following: Make a place where you do not belong.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by gestaltist » Wed 01 Apr 2015, 09:38

elemtilas wrote: I do appreciate that! I never really thought anyone would be all that interested!
When I read this, I was like „What the heck, elemtilas? You create something like this and you don’t even see how great it is? What’s wrong with you?“ And then I realized I do the same: "my World of Two Suns isn’t really finished yet... It’s not interesting enough to post about. It lacks this and that. And I don’t know how to tell stories. And English is not my native language so I wouldn’t know how to express the finer points....“

This self-doubt is kind of ridiculous. I think I will have to man up and make a thread for the World of Two Suns....
Well, I will keep the stories and bits and snatches coming, then! I hope at the least you'll keep asking questions of me -- I find not a little inspiration there! I will try to inspire you, and in return, you and micamo and azhoh and everyone else will inspire me! Like you, I find a faint echo of the World in all these other places I read about here, and I find inspiration there.
Thank you very much. If I may ask for a story, I would like to hear one about politics and intrigue at the Emperial Court.
And also, don't neglect finding inspiration everywhere else outside of CBB -- not long ago, I found a whole chapter of the story of the ancient times of the World was contained in a simple game of patience, a card game! Who would have thought it, but there it was: as the picture cards fell into their places, the picture of an interesting bit of sawyery gelled into place (this is the great war between the Four Queens of the World). I one time discovered a small but important bit of Daine cultural ephemera by simply holding a bit of a stick and an acorn in hand. (This was that memory pouch I mentioned in the Inn. I still have that ancient bit of stick, and the acorn.) One time I saw a curious kind of spectacles -- twas some kind of makeup glasses (I had nó idea girls wear special glasses when putting on makeup!!) -- and thought to myself: there's the kernel of a thaumological device from the World there! And so was born the polyspeculum.
This is a good point. I sometimes scour the Wikipedia for inspiration and I could go to a museum instead. Or, living in Europe, visit the medieval market square of my town, or whatever.
Perhaps not everything you see or hear will find a place in your world, but almost anything còuld!
I have noticed you often use accents over some vowels when you write. What’s that about?
Micamo wrote:
gestaltist wrote:Makes sense. I like the idea of sawyers. When I try to devise stories for my own conworld, I often find it difficult to break the rut of my cultural bias. The real folklore is often gruesome, dark and very weird, as you have noted.
One secret - I'm not going to say the secret, for there are many ways up the mountain - that I've found to be useful is the following: Make a place where you do not belong.
This is an excellent piece of advice. I do try to make things „safe“ and „comfortable“ for myself in my conworld. Either by making a culture I really understand, or by working everything out scientifically, as far as I can.

This is something to meditate on. Where do I not belong? And how can I find my way to that place? And how can I make that place a part of my world?
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by Prinsessa » Wed 01 Apr 2015, 09:41

Micamo wrote:
gestaltist wrote:Makes sense. I like the idea of sawyers. When I try to devise stories for my own conworld, I often find it difficult to break the rut of my cultural bias. The real folklore is often gruesome, dark and very weird, as you have noted.
One secret - I'm not going to say the secret, for there are many ways up the mountain - that I've found to be useful is the following: Make a place where you do not belong.
I might as well just copy Earth then.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Wed 01 Apr 2015, 16:32

gestaltist wrote:
elemtilas wrote: I do appreciate that! I never really thought anyone would be all that interested!
When I read this, I was like „What the heck, elemtilas? You create something like this and you don’t even see how great it is? What’s wrong with you?“ And then I realized I do the same: "my World of Two Suns isn’t really finished yet... It’s not interesting enough to post about. It lacks this and that. And I don’t know how to tell stories. And English is not my native language so I wouldn’t know how to express the finer points....“

This self-doubt is kind of ridiculous. I think I will have to man up and make a thread for the World of Two Suns....
Perhaps. But is it any worse than to come swaggering in full of oneself and the stories and the otherworld really are nòt good at all? But yes, please do shed some light on the World of Two Suns!

Also, you really could have fooled me about your English! I haven't noticed a trace of an accent or a common misuse of the language that I would associate with an L2 user. If I may ask, what ìs your native language, if not English?

As far as not knowing how to tell stories: one of the best ways to learn that is to copy other stories. For example, if you're wracking your brains for a creation story for some culture in Two Suns, just browse through a book of creation myths until you find one you like. Copy it out and change the names, so that all the names of gods and persons are Two Suns. Then consider other obvious changes you'd have to make, like there being only one Sun *here* in the primary world, whereas there are two in Two Suns. Consider other cultural or historical things that would need altering. For example, if you have a people that have three natural genders, then "...and he made them male and female..." won't quite work! Keep hammering away at it until the story changes from its prototype to something native to Two Suns!
I sometimes scour the Wikipedia for inspiration and I could go to a museum instead. Or, living in Europe, visit the medieval market square of my town, or whatever.
Excellent sources. Another great source of inspiration is Youtube. Sure you can find all kinds of crap music videos -- but you can also find some really interesting snatches of everyday life somewhere else. Just for example, search on YT for philippine railways -- you will see a whole different way of living! Then try India or Vietnam. Then Japan! Take a look at different religious activities: watch a Coptic liturgy, then a Russian and a Latin one; then slip on over and hear some vedic priests chanting the Agni suktam -- see how many Sanskrit words you pick out! Then watch some jai alai; then a bull fight and some bull leaping. Listen to some sacred harp singing then catch some zydeco. Listen to people speaking odd languages. Watch some Trobrian cricket; then watch some Cornish wrestling! You will find echoes of Two Suns everywhere!
I have noticed you often use accents over some vowels when you write. What’s that about?
Dutch emphatics. I learned this from a Dutch conlanger years and years ago. (I guess I'm going to reveal my age here), but back in those days we didn't have all these smilies and formatted text and different print styles, so people took to _underscoring_ or *starring* or SCREAMING in order to show emphasis. I saw that this fellow would use accent marks to do this, and thought to myself, that's pretty nifty! We don't use accent marks in English (except for a very few French loans that, like five thousand years after we borrowed the word, still have their accent marks), and this seemed a good way to use them for a useful purpose. I use accute accents for the "strong" or "long" vowels and diphthongs and grave for the "weak" or "short" vowels. Hence nòt vs. nóte. It became a common enough practice on Conlang.
This is an excellent piece of advice. I do try to make things „safe“ and „comfortable“ for myself in my conworld. Either by making a culture I really understand, or by working everything out scientifically, as far as I can.

This is something to meditate on. Where do I not belong? And how can I find my way to that place? And how can I make that place a part of my world?
Try crossing the metaphorical tracks ... humans being what they are, there will always be those who will hate you for some crazy reason. Could be the colour of your hair or skin, your religion, your favorite sports team, your level of income, the language you speak. Next time you're wandering the streets of a city in your world, get an idea of who you are *there*, and then try to remember who it is doesn't like who you are *there*. Seek them out and let things happen as they will. Or, to put it another way, try and remember who it is yóu don't like in the otherworld, and explore those feelings of disgust or hatred. Either way, you can find a place you don't belong and perhaps find a story or two to boot!

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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Wed 01 Apr 2015, 18:50

[tick]
gestaltist wrote:If I may ask for a story, I would like to hear one about politics and intrigue at the Emperial Court.
Politics? Well, I can tell a little bit about how politics gets done. Leastways under certain circumstances...

You see, in Auntimoany, the imperial dignity is inherited via election (and a process of education, interviews and an apprenticeship). The Commission of Heaven is granted and conferred initially by the Ministry of Kingmaking, but is confirmed and periodically assessed by Parliament. The Kingmakers determine which of the several imperial candidates will be best suited for the job and ultimately decide who the one will be. Parliament's confirmation, at this point, is pro forma, but there have been instances where Emperors have had their Commission yanked out from under the feet of their thrones, often with humorous consequences.

For example, there was the time of Waldalf Weakchin (r.1834-1842). A promising youth by all accounts and did well on his civil service exams and performed quite adequately during his apprenticeship to old Grimwald "Iron Fist" the Merrymaker (r. 1799-1834). Having tried, rather unsuccessfully, to suppress Parliament -- indeed a hard thing to do in modern Auntimoany! -- in order to satisfy his own crapulence and megalomania, Waldalf did the next best thing. Which was to get a war going. Warmongering is ever the happy domain of the weak ruler, and in Auntimoany during war time, the usually somewhat figure-headish office of Emperor girds its loins and straps on its ancient sword and obtains all kinds of emergency powers. These powers Waldalf immediately used to circumvent Parliament entirely and he set himself up as quite the dictator: he had enough high ministers of government in his coat pocket (several of them Cupboard Ministers to boot, including the key position of First Magister) that he felt very secure in his games.

Lavish living, fast women (and faster horses), and all the heady power of an absolute monarch came to him and went right to his head. Eventually, as the war wound down, and there simply being no excuse to continue with it, he simply refused to relinquish his temporary war powers and continued his game of dictator for life. He came to enjoy money and all things money could, at the time, buy and to that end imposed taxes and onerous regulation on the people, and when they couldn't cough up any more, he began embezzling from the treasury and simply took to stealing whatever he wanted. It became apparent that young Waldalf was a Very Bad King Indeed and that something ought to be done.

Parliament tried to enact legislation to curb his abuses -- but without the Emperor's seal, such bills are meaningless. And anyway, when they became bothersome enough he simply dissolved Parliament and called upon his First Magister to form a new government, preferably something of a rubber-stamp parliament. This, of course, was never done, leaving Waldalf in complete and total control of the empire. Parliamentarians tried to meet anyway, and were barred by his soldiers from entering the Statehouse, so they did the next best thing and simply went off and met in a pub. (Which, if truth be told, is really not a whole different than meeting in the Statehouse. It's not like they don't nice conference rooms with drinks cabinets, game rooms, shooting galleries and the like!) It became a hobby of his to mess with the courts and to take personal command of the Armies. These he stationed around various parts of the country, as if daring the opposition to stand against him. Things came to a head when ordinary folks, crippled and bankrupted by his taxation, marched on Auntimoany to express their opinions of his behavior and they were met and mown down by his armies and all their townships and their lords' properties confiscated.

This was all clearly too much and the remaining Parliamentarians decided, over a pint or three, that Waldalf had clearly lost not only his mind, but also his Commission. So, in the case of Waldalf Weakchin, the loss of the Commission of Heaven came very late one night in the form of seven black clad and hooded figures, who had managed to gain entrance to the Palas and stood ranged round his bed. When he awoke, startled by the sudden shuffling of feet so close to his bed, the last thing Waldalf heard was the Kingmakers' Men explaining what happens when an Emperor loses the Commission of Heaven. They then proceeded to make good on their explanations by bludgeoning the nasty sod to death with bronze monkey fists. His bloodied & broken body they threw from the window at dawn, and another gang of Kingmakers' Men promptly hacked off his head and lifted it up on a stake, bowing before an appreciative crowd of local bystanders, who immediately began to cheer the death of a tyrant. By mid-morning, the Ministry of Kingmaking had chosen the successor and by lunchtime news began to spread that Blaowe Hamund had received the Commission of Heaven, taking the regnal name Blaowulf Seawanderer.

And that's politics in a nutshell! And all's well that ends well.

I guess by way of explanation, I should describe the government of the Empire a bit. It has been described, and somewhat truthfully, as a parliamentary monarchy -- so, something like the Dutch or the British systems. But in actuality, it is, at all levels, more of a scholarly bureaucracy, and thus perhaps more similar to the late imperial Chinese system. The office of emperor has simply evolved over the centuries from sword wielding tyrant-king to chief bureaucrat; and in the process has lost most of his actual powers. In the US, government powers are divided into executive, legislative and judicial. In Auntimoany, the divide is between law-making and law-enforcement, so the executive and legislative are placed opposite the judicial, and neither really has any actual control over the other, which I guess is a sort of anti-checks-and-balances.

The emperor reigns over the empire as a whole, and certainly has a number of terribly important duties. The great political philosopher, Wil Bagshote, once destilled the role of the monarchy in modern Auntimoany down to the following: "Our monarch thus embodies the dignified part of Government, rather than the efficient part." By the "efficient" part, he meant the actual machinery of government, which of course is the bureaucracy itself. This is composed chiefly of the Magistracy. These are at least twenty four and possibly as many as thirty six ministers who hold very high offices like the Lord Admiral of the Navies and Marines, the Lord Keeper of the Seals and Signs, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chancellor of the Emperor's Justice.

Of all these high and mighty magisters, the top seven of them form a subset of the Magistracy known as the Cupboard. A curious term indeed, it stems from the early 19th century when the then Magister for Civil Service remarked that of all the various magisters, chancellors and lords of this or that, the seven First Ministers to the Emperor form a sort of "government in a cupboard", a miniature council fully capable of performing all the most essential acts of Government. The Cupboard is therefore a sort of "government within the government". The Cupboard Ministers are thus the most powerful offices in all the country: they hold the purse strings, run the Parliament, govern the military and oversee the activities of government at home and abroad (i.e., in the overseas territories). Some of the lower ranking magisters, like the Lord Bishop of Pylycundas, are really something more like space-fillers.

Each of these chief Magisterial Offices heads an arm of the government that comprises a vast network of lower ranking offices at the provincial and local levels. At these lower levels, this is where the great laws and ordinances of the empire get locally interpreted and enforced. If you want to set yourself up as a doctor of physic in a nice seaside town, you need to pay a visit to the local House of Imperial Officials, where you'll meet the most dreaded figure in any place within All That Is -- worse than an army of demons from beyond the Voids! -- the minor bureaucrat! This is the person that can make your life on easy street, or else make your life so miserable you might actually contemplate murder. This is the one you'll present your credentials to, pay your fees to and is the one who will pass you along the chain to the appropriate Office. She can help you navigate the byzantine corridors of power, or, if she feels like it, can leave you midway to sink into the depths... But once there, you'll obtain your license, all properly embossed, stamped, signed and sealed by no fewer than seven witnesses to the fact, and then -- on to the blissful freedom of charging poor folks a daler for the priviledge of being told they will feel better after drinking a dose of your patented goo! And of course, that freedom is all illusionary, because now they know where you live and what you're up to, and soon enough that other dreaded functionary, the Taxman, will come making a friendly social call to your premises...

On the other side of government is the Law Courts. Although the Emperor is viewed as the fount of all justice, it is uncommon for the Emperor to intervene in any particular legal case. By in large, the exacting of justice is accomplished by the Courts of the Emperor's Justice, various bodies that act as interpreters of law, arbitrators of disputes and executors of the law in particular instance. There are four basic levels of law courts: the Constabulary Courts, the Quarter Courts of the Emperor's Justice, the Court of Lesser Sessions and the Court of Greater Sessions.

The lowest court is really a very rough-and-tumble affair. It involves petty cases of a local nature, be they for minor theft, tying one's horse to someone else's private house, public intoxication or cheating at cards or dominoes. Such cases are both heard and punished in the offices of the local constabulary. The theory of justice in these petty courts is essentially that the constable (or his deputy) saw you do it or has sworn statements of reliable persons who say you did it, therefore you did it, and it falls to the same constable to punish. Most punishments for such petty cases involve fines -- a monetary amount paid in restitution to the aggrieved party (and a small fee going into the local treasury). Constabulary justice is carried out when is where is.

Next up the ladder are the Quarter Courts. These are movable courts, whose judges follow a circuit from place to place during the year where they will hear initial pleas. If the case warrants trial, then these judges will hear cases when they convene during the Quarter Feasts (i.e., four times a year) in one of the chief seats of government in a locality. More serious cases are heard by the Quarter Courts which consist of a bench of three justices of the peace sitting with a small jury of six. This Court sits during a space of time around the Quarter Feasts and hears any and all cases of a criminal or civil nature that does not involve the penalties of deportation, death, hard labor or life imprisonment.

The Quarter Courts meet in any convenient hall in the seat of local government. If such a location has a permanent court house, then the Quarter Court will convene there. The theory of justice in these cases is more complex, involving as it does the acceptance and evaluation of evidence, properly sworn testimonies and the intervention of lawyers.

The higher courts, the Courts of Lesser and Greater Sessions simply hear cases of greater prominence, greater magnitude and almost always are capital or corporal in nature -- they hear murder cases, treason cases, grand embezzlement cases, anything very serious. Greater Sessions deals mostly with capital cases, while Lesser Sessions deals with lesser cases where punishment is labor or imprisonment. It is at these lofty levels where you really get a sense of the grandeur of Justice. Down in the Quarter Courts, it's three people tired after a long fortnight of travel, having sat on their robes and wigs, trying to make the stage coach seat a little more comfortable, and by now are quite irritable, sitting upon a raised dais made from old fruit and veg boxes borrowed from the local grocer. But up here in Greater Sessions, you get actual permanent court rooms, officers of the court, proper lawyers, and a grand jury!

What are the high courts like? Well, perhaps we could hear a word about the courts -- after all, you don't get the priviledge of being judicially walled up or swing from a bronze chain unless first you come before the Emperor's justice! Generally speaking, the court is a place both terrifying and full of splendour. Captial cases are always public affairs and are always heard in the grandest of the city's court rooms. In modern Auntimoany, the court room looks something like a church inside: lots of wood panelling and wood benches for the audience to sit on. There's usually a gallery or two some twenty feet above the main floor, kind of like what you see in the House of Opera -- and indeed, the two also share this in common: drama! Allegories of Justice and Mercy figure prominently in the room's decor, even if actual Justice and Mercy only rarely make an appearance in the room. Towards the centre of the space is a railing that separates the audience from the place where the action happens. In a slightly lower level is a curved dais where the panels of Prosecutors and Advocates argue the case. Another level below them is a round cage-like structure where the condemned is stationed. Along a raised dais beyond this area sit the King's Learned Men, the Grand Jury, comprised of usually 12 doctors and philosophers who argue the merits of the case as laid out by the Advocate and the Prosecutor, and who "read" the attitude and expressions of the condemned and comment on his guilt or innocence based on his actions, his appearance, his dress, his race, species or gender. High above this tableau and behind an ornate wooden desk sit the panel of three or seven judges. Somber of face and saying nothing during the trial, the chief, who sits in the middle, only strikes an ancient stone martell upon the thick wood of the desk. This signals the start of the trial, and later will signal the end. The space itself is generally quite dark: the prisoner can be seen quite clearly, as light pipes throw a harsh illumination upon his cage; the lawyers are also pretty well lit, though not so brightly. The King's Men sit in semidarkness and the judges can not be discerned at all, unless one of them leans forward and some part of his face catches the light.

During the trial, the bailiff will enter the chamber and bang his cudgel on the floor thrice and call the place into order. The panel of judges, all wearing scarlet red robes and pointed hats, process in from the back, and enter a small doorway near the front where they go up to the bench. Then come the King's Men, all wearing the various colours and robes that denote their speciality or school of philosophy. Then the Advocate and the Prosecutor, wearing black robes and tall horsehair wigs and long white collars. Usually, a single side drum taps a constant beat while all these folks enter. Once all the court are arrayed and settled, a pair of kettle drums strikes up a dirgeful tattoo. Then the condemned arrives to the jeers and hard crust throwing of the crowd. Led by two bailiffs, he is taken down into the cage and secured there. The first bailiff bangs his cudgel on the floor again and the clark reads out the charges and name of the condemned: "Hear all Men and Daine present! Stands accused in these Halls of Justice of capital murther, the heinous and brutal slaying of Widdow Middlewhite, formerly of Stonecutters Row and now awaiting justice in the City Morgue, her killer Wandulf the Butcherman, a blaowman of the same Stonecutters Row. Harken now and know that Justice shall fall upon the rightly accused!"

The usual order of business, once the martell is struck, is for the Prosecutor and Advocate to state their cases, and each gets the right to pose Questions of the condemned criminal. Since Justice is a priviledge that many can not quite afford, the Advocate usually doesn't know a whole lot about the case and will try to sway the judges with flowery rhetoric and Questions that try to put the condemned person in as a good light as he may. The crowd, always looking for a good time at the expence of the man in the cage, rarely falls for it and continues by heckling the poor Advocate. They often cheer when the Prosecutor asks some cutting Question like "Soe, sir crippleshanks, what proof can thee offer their Honoures that you wasn't the one what done in poor Widdow Middlewhite?" The crowd all laugh, because they know the poor bastard in the cage has no more hope than a light frost in Hell's garden of being able to offer any kind of proof that the judges would accept in his defence. They also like the running commentary and cutting wit provided by the King's Men who also have no actual knowledge of the case, but feel quite free to comment on the condemned man's obvious mental, moral, physical or attitudinal deficits. If he is a Daine, it goes all the worse for them -- their innate honesty and fundamental ignorance of human injustice always get the crowd howling.

Needless to say, if you haven't hired a good lawyer and if you haven't brought in your proof and thus can't prove your innocence, you have little hope of winning the trial. The only hope is throw yourself on the mercy of the Court, and as you can imagine, there is precious little of that to be meted out. If you're a member of a certain number of social classes, it's guilty unless proven innocent. Even if you're wealthy, there's no guarantee, but there is a greater likelihood that the trial will be fairer and such often result in a lighter punishment, such as exile, or if circumstances warrant, complete exoneration. Tis usually the gibbet or the medical college for the loser of a capital case. Or both, in their proper order, depending on whether there is a vivisection on the schedule or a plain lich dissection.

All that remains, really, once the arguments are concluded is for the panel of judges to retire and deliberate on the Penitent's fate. This he will know even before the chief judge speaks -- when the judges return from chambers, all wearing bronze masks now to symbolise impartiality, and the chief puts on his red cap, a low cylindrical affair with a slightly poufy octagonal bit on top, the poor man in the cage just knows what will happen next, and judging by the muted gasps and murmurs of satisfaction from the audience, they all know too. The stone martel will again bang hollowly on the ancient wood of the rostrum and the chief judge will speak the only words the Penitent shall have heard from the bench during the whole trial: "Wandalf the Butcherman of Stonecutters Row! Know now that Justice is being done upon your body for the crime of murther, for the Law mandates it, Justice requires it and our dread Sovereign accedes to it. Hear now o Man and cower before your fate, for the Law commands me hand down to you the Dread Sentence: that you be henceforth braced and banded, be transported from this place to that place where your life shall be made forfeit. It is the sentence of his majesty's Justice that you be taken ..." (Here, the poor sod down in the cage, and most of the folks in the audience too, are probably imagining a good old fashioned hanging! But then those words most awful to hear are pronounced! "... to the Halls of Amouraz ..." (Now for certain escape a few gasps of horror and surprise from the audience at the hearing of the name of that dreadful place, and as often as not, the knees of even the hardest criminal will buckle just a bit!) "... in the walls of which shall you be immured, where you shall hear naught but your own pitiful moan and where you shall see naught but the darkness engulfing you and where you shall wait until the Lord of Hunger consume your body and at last your mouldering litch shall fall to the floor and your rotting bones shall lie in the dust of it til the end of all worlds." Three bangs of the stone martel signify the end of sentencing, the judges all depart the bench, accompanied by the stunned silence of the audience, who now can not even muster their accustomed glee by throwing their remaining crusts at the condemned, and the bailiffs whisk away the Penitent to await his fate. However, those three terrible bangs of the martel don't signify the end of proceedings -- but rather a simple change of scene, for the theater that is Law and drama that is Justice is just setting the scene for Act II ...

The term immurement can refer to either a form of punishment, a form of voluntary encellment or even the practice of burying the dead in niches. Built in 1299 at Auntimoany and expanded in 1484, the Halls of Amouraz are a place of punishment where "penitents" are immured in small cells. Some cells are sealed entirely, and serve the double purpose of tomb. Others admit some amount of light and breeze. A fountain of running water is provided and little else. Food is specifically not provided by the prison, though some shrines and churches take it upon themselves to bring bread or cheer to the condemned, thus inadvertently prolonging the torture of the punishment which largely consists of wasting away until death by hunger takes the prisoner.

It is generally thought that the Halls were named for an early king of Auntimoany, but in reality, the word is derived from the Rumnian term immourezar or walling a person up into an inescapable cell.

Most cells are cramped, allowing for no more than enough room to lie down. Some prisoners, generally those of noble birth or wealth, are afforded slightly more commodious accommodations. Their cells might be eight foot by four and contain a chair and small table and perhaps a cot with blankets.

Having been sentenced, our Wandalf the Butcherman will be removed from the harsh splendour of the court room by the bailiffs and brought down into the gaol to his holding cell. It there he will wait some time until his final arrangement are seen to by the constables. Here, he'll get only two simple meals a day and will live only with the fading hope that his last plea to the Emperor's Mercy will be heard with favour. The Emperor, of course, is the fount of all justice and also the court of final appeal. He can overturn the higher court's verdict, mitigate punishment or even exonerate. Wanhope indeed! For few criminals warrant mitigation or exoneration, and quite a few probably merit a harsher punishment yet (which the Emperor also has the right to inflict).

Wandalf will know whether the Emperor has granted him clemency one morning when the gruel and bread trolley comes trundling along and passes his cell by. No food means it will soon be Amouraz for him, and no more hope of mercy! Three days he will have only water during the day and two pints of cider in the evening. If he wishes, a monk or a priest will come to help ease him along the way -- just as they would before a hanging or any other kind of judicial slaying. On the third day, Wandalf will visit a barber who will shear off his hair and shave his face; he'll be taken up to the dock where a waggon will transport him to the Hall. It is red with black wheels and is drawn by an ox painted red. His clothes are taken from him and his leg irons are pinned to the floor of the waggon. Everyone he passes by will know what terrible fate awaits him! Some, out of force of habit, will throw something nasty, or perhaps hard at him. Some may hurl insults. Most, interestingly, only look on in pity, wondering what foul and terrible crime this man could have committed to be riding the Red Waggon! All along the way, a single kettledrum sings out its dirgeful tattoo and soon enough the Red Waggon and its trail of curious onlookers arrive at a beautiful park.

They don't enter the park by the main gate -- that's where folks might go for an afternoon picnic or to go for a stroll among the arbors and formal gardens. Here at this little back gate, approached through a narrow alley behind the University, a secluded trail winds through denser stands of an ancient wood, and opens out into a courtyard of a huge brick and stone edifice. From a distance, it looks quite lovely, with ornate brickwork and tall gabled rooves -- but but once you look closely, you will notice that the windows are all bricked over! There's not an opening anywhere in any exterior wall, apart from a huge iron door set into the stonework within the courtyard. Here, Wandalf may turn to take a last look through the Gate of Death at the trees beyond and weep! For now, the drum stops its constant beat, the constables unpin the Penitent from his seat and drag him through the iron door beyond, into gloom and darkness and muffled moaning. Once beyond the offices of the Constable of Amouraz, the hallways are dimly lit by torches. Every few feet Wandalf will see what looks like a bricked up doorway. Soon, he will come up to a gang of practical masons -- no fancy aprons and handshakes here! It's all trowels and stout bricks and the sad scraping sound of mortar being mixed. His manacles removed, Wandalf is shoved into the cell; his wrists will now be bound by a rope that is drawn through two curious in the wall a little way from the door. Here he must stand, tightly bound to the wall, until the masons finish with their work.

They talk about this and that -- one's off for a week holiday up in Angera, he'll be travelling by the caravan train! -- another couple make plans to take their luncheon over at Aunti Lam's, and don't they do a real fine seventy two hour oliphant barbecue over at Auntie Lam's! I'll just bet the poor beastie was hankering to get turned into a seventy two hour barbecue by Auntie Lam! -- but no one talks to Wandalf at all! A half an hour of this passes and, all too soon, their voices are cut off and the last wan light of the torch fades as the last brick slides into place at the top of the arched doorway. The last thing Wandalf hears from the outside world is the mason tapping the brick into place with the handle of his trowel -- tap! tap!

By now, the cement used to hold the bricks is pretty well hard, especially lower down. The constables will place a temporary wooden brace over the fresh brickwork, though, just in case Wandalf tries to break through. Once that's done, the constable that had been holding that strange rope real tight will now let it go -- this will free Wandalf's hands. The rope will snake its way out of the wall and the masons will plug up the two holes, cutting Wandalf's little world off from the outside forever...
Last edited by elemtilas on Sat 31 Oct 2015, 21:08, edited 1 time in total.
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If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
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