Some Snippets from The World

Discussions about constructed worlds, cultures and any topics related to constructed societies.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by eldin raigmore » Tue 06 Jun 2017, 17:36

I find most of this thread, particularly including elemtilas's most recent post, quite interesting.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Tue 13 Jun 2017, 00:32

spanick wrote:
elemtilas wrote:Government Structure in Auntimoanye
Etc...
I need to go back and read this whole thread but since you linked to this post, I just thought I'd say I think this looks great. It's really fascinating. Although
however did such a complicated system come to be?
Thanks!

As for how it came to be? That's a long story. Best guess is something like lots of tinkering over a long period of time without any clear destination and no
underlying philosophy to guide. Well, no underlying philosophy as Men would understand it, anyway!

Modern Auntimoanye started life, sometime after the 350s or so of the present age as something of a string of petty kingdoms & territories of commercial
pirates. As the interior kingdoms began to coalesce and secure their power, the coastal & riparian freestates decided that they too would need to secure their
own liberties. Whereas the interior realms were more associations of noble feudal territories, the approach of the rest was much more democratic. (Well, the
democracy of a group of powerful trading house oligarchs & mercantile gangs & guild thugocrats, each with their own small army or navy.)

Eventually, perhaps by the 1000s or 1100s, all the pieces of the pie were in place: the power had shifted from the high castles of the princes to the palaces of
the urban nobility. Those same nobles already met in council (I guess a quasi House of Lords) with the monarchs; the other thugs and plutocrats formed their
own councils and grabbed the monarch's other ear. Not to be outdone, the Kristian & Jehudian Churches made it clear that they too would have their voices
heard and the Pagans weren't too far behind in joining that band waggon. By the 1200s or so the middle class merchants and craftsmen, the doctors and
philosophers, the academics and guildhouses got themselves together, trying to pull the monarch's attention their way.

As you can see, we're already pretty close to the modern situation. But the 1300s would see the social and political order trounced by outside forces in the
name of the Empire of Hoopelle, the big inland country to the west. The Hoopolitans and Avantimen are cousins by ethnicity and language, but that didn't stop
them being rivals. The latter enjoyed all the treasure flowing into the coffers from the sea trade, while the former really didn't care too much at all for
lavishing so much money on their cousins and decided that they're really just prefer to cut out the middle man. This was largely accomplished by an invasion &
several happy years of war, followed by occupation. This was still the era of the Episcopate in old Hoopelle, being as the empire was ruled from the espiscopal
cathedra.

From the Hoopolitan perspective, all was hunky-dory. They obtained several spanking port cities and were able to engage in trade by overlaying their imperial
bureaucracy over top of the native systems already in place. The kings became mere figureheads, and then eventually disappeared altogether. By the mid
1300s, Auntimoanye had become the stepping off point for a grand scheme of overseas conquests engineered by the mad bishops of Hoopelle. The Daine of
that country (much maligned, much repressed and much desirous of their own liberty) tried their hands at regime change by engaging the services of the Red
Brotherhood. (These were a group of terribly keen social engineers cum assassins who thought it great fun to dress up as Kristian style demons (largely by
stripping entirely naked, painting themselves red with garish black and yellow stripes and grotesque blue and black face paint with fierce eyes) and slicing the
throats of court officials, high bureaucrats, judges, nobles and military officers (.i., those same people who took great pleasure in repressing, torturing,
enslaving and otherwise tormenting the Daine of the region) while they were comfortably at home. They engendered much consternation among the higher
classes of the Empire, who lived now in perpetual fear of red & black demons lurking in their closets.

They considered it a great feather in their caps (mind you, they didn't wear caps, but did frizz their hair all up) when a small contingent of bold lads of the Red
Brotherhood descended, howling demonically, from the high ceilings or else erupted up through the crawl spaces under the crypt. There in the middle of the
liturgy, they marked a definitive end of the episcopate by garroting the dread hierophant himself.

Before anyone could cry the archbishop's dead! long live..., other forces already on the move in the political landscape seized the opportunity thus
afforded by the Daine patriots. In this instance, the ancient Oswald clan (who had directly or indirectly ruled several petty kingdoms in the region in centuries
past), sent their acclaimed heir to seize the Mace and, presuming he was able to heft it from its resting place(*), seize the right to rule the Empire. This was
accomplished, and closer to home, life settled down much as it had been under the firm fist of the archbishops, only now Hoopelle had a proper emperor,
young and dashing and terribly romantic. Young ladies everywhere swooned, and it wasn't long before they were queuing in front of the palace for tickets to
attend to the imperial balls that had been much lacking in the prelates of the episcopate.

Many overseas territories, and among them Auntimoanye, chafed at the failure to seize the opportunity to break free of the imperium. Though young and
dashing, the new emperor knew which side of the bread was buttered (both) and also that it took money to keep that bread dripping in buttery goodness. So,
he summoned all the native governors, rulers, kings, wazirs, viziers, poobahs and nobles of his vast realms to a pleasant tete-a-tete. The basic gist was a
friendly reminder to either tow the line and keep the tribute ships sailing, or else hang yourself on that same line and we'll install someone more capable of the
task.

This didn't sit well, as you might imagine, and a general revolt was organised. This would be the great War of 1672, the Alarian Invasion. A veritable armada of
warriors from the outlands across the seas landed at Auntimoanye and, seeing both the potential gain of siding with the rebels and the potential loss of siding
with the imperium, welcomed the invaders with open arms. A new king was chosen and while it was largely his job to tow the new party's line, he was able to
help the invaders see the sense in allowing for a stable local government to form. Largely with himself at its head. It was at this time that the Kingmakers
came into being --- they're the ones who decide who the next king is to be. They're also the ones who decide if the present king has been on the job too long
and needs to accept their generous retirement package. Certain political forces at work in the underworld of Auntimoanye, long awakened but warily observant
of current events, had by now begun to make certain moves to solidify their own position and also to shape what Auntimoanye would become over the next
five centuries into the present day.

Few among Men were even aware that certain folk, more or less hiding in plain sight, were to take an active role in shaping the government. They largely
worked through agents of the occupying government, which was mostly busy destroying the imperium and conquering its lands. Again the Daine of old Hoopelle
rose up and rather than just pinpoint regime change, had been angered to the point of boiling over. One thing you don't want to see is an army of enraged
Daine. They get the blood lust and the red rage, and they'll just fight and kill their enemy until there's simply no one, no man, no woman, no child, no weak
gammer or gaffer left to kill. They turned the long invasion into a rout and effectively cleared the lands around of all Men. The invaders weren't too keen on
pressing forth with their plans to seize and plunder the fabulously wealthy capital of the Empire. The many Daine warriors who had come along for the
excursion would have nothing to do with fighting against their own kindred, and in their (wise) perspective, the war was done. The Empire had been brought to
its knees and its head had been whacked. Let's all celebrate and head home now!

The Men who had been behind the invasion didn't quite share the Daine's clear understanding of the situation, however. Some tried to continue on, others
decided that Auntimoanye itself might be a nice place to settle, and since they were already there... But several events took place simultaneously to quash that
plan. By this time, the kings of Auntimoanye had ruled well and justly for the entirely period of the invasion (nearly 30 years) and folks were quite used to the
new government and rather liked it. So the king was pretty much ready to tell the invaders to sod off already; but word came soon enough of domestic trouble
back over the broad ocean. Most of the invaders left in such a hurry, thinking that they left a keen ally behind in the person of the King, that the vast majority
of the treasure they had plundered was left in the warehouses they had obtained at lease.

The new government was pretty quick to stabilise itself, though power rocked back and forth between the Throne and the Parliament; the general progression
of the next centuries were a gradual union of the two. Parliament absorbed more and more power to itself while the Kings devolved more and more authority
to the Magistracy (the Auntimoanian civil service bureaucracy) for safe keeping. Eventually, the two came to be seen as pretty much inseparable. It came to be
said that government functioned as "King in Parliament". The Parliament couldn't legislate without its King's approval; the King couldn't rule without Parliament's
activity and legislation.

As time went on more and more people began to think that what Auntimoanye needed was a Constitution. They already had a Constitutional Monarch, after all,
by now called an "emperor", but there was no Constitution for him to be an emperor by. This was solved very cleverly by a fellow called Baggshotte, who was
a philosopher, and wrote volumes on how governments are constituted and function and most especially on how the Auntimoanian government functions. It was
his clever idea to suggest that some comprehensive work by a loyal and deep thinking philosopher could serve as a Constitution. And, oh! what a coincidence!
It just so happened that Baggshotte himself was a loyal and deep thinking philosopher and, well, it turns out had already amassed quite the productive
collection of political philosophy and commentary at law. Well, the government fell for it and adopted Baggshotte's Constitutions, which allowed the good
philosopher to jack up his book prices and sell hundreds of copies of all his works to the greater and lesser libraries and government houses across the empire.
He spent the rest of his rather brilliant and certainly lucrative career writing and refining his Constitutions.

It was Baggshotte that wrote, for example, on various ancient ideals such as the Commission of Heaven and why proper kings don't have a Divine Right to Rule
and how a parliamentary monarchy is supposed to work, anyhow.

And lastly, mention must be made of that behind-the-scenes underground Power that exerts so much invisible influence in Auntimoanye, even at the present
day. The Government is entirely unaware of the existence and power of this particular organisation, but I'll just say that they have vastly misunderestimated
the Daine of the realm. They live their own lives according to their own customs and generally seem to have little enough to do with the affairs of Men. But,
oh! How wrong are those Men who think so! It's not well known at all, but I'd say that a very large majority of the modern trading houses are wholly or largely
owned by a small handful of shadowy holding companies of the City. A large portion of the bearer bonds and credit notes issued by the Empire are held by
unknown hands. A lot of real estate is also controlled by shadowy companies and guilds that seem to be controlled as if puppets on strings. No one seems to
know who's calling the shots, but some call it the Underqueen or the Unseen Monarch. Less friendly detractors name her the Old Spider. Those who know better
might think of her as the Unthroned One. Those who know best know she has a throne indeed and sometimes even sits on it in majesty; but not even many of
them know how far her power extends or to what extent her domains are.

You see, Men like to think they're in control. They've had a stable, workable, relatively democratic yet firmly traditional monarchical government since the late
17th century. Pretty much unheard of in any country where Men rule their own affairs unaided. But in a land where wiser heads, even if those wise heads are
hidden from view, Men may flourish if they are given good models to follow and a strong arm to lean on when they tumble.

So, I guess the short answer is because the Daine saw to it got that way. In all the long history of contact, woe and weal between them, I think
Auntimoanye is probably the best example of where the Daine got it right.
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Sun 08 Oct 2017, 03:36

Some Notes on Direction

It is not known, by any of the Wise, nor even the Eldest of All, from which direction the Powers first came into Gea, nor, of those that withdrew from the world, which way they went. (Of course, those that stayed are, well, still here!) In Narutanea, it is the North that is negative: the Nameless North, the Desolation of the North, the Dark North. Lots of bad joss up that way. Yet there's always one or two hardy Daine (foolish boys, usually) that wander the trafficless roads up along the shores of the Ocean of Congealed Waters. Even the Yarrows don't like going up there. It is the land of the North Witch and somewhere up there is the now sunken lands of the ancient Enemy. There are only three inhabited lands that far north: Mearby-on-Sea (a domed city far out in the Wastes of Weem); Pendar, a quiet land away in the east of the Desolation; the Island of Wark. The islanders have only one weather word in their whole language, chthekhchthack, which seems to roughly translate as tis bloody awful as usual, why do you ask?; there are three colour terms: bgog, which means grey, legeb, which means greyer and dmugdmug, which means bleak as you please. Warkians have two gods and thus two traditional religions, against whom the entire population of the island are staunch and iconoclastic protestants. Warkians heat their cave homes by burning the gnarly smelling blotchy walrus dung and they eat nothing but the reasty and rank meat and the naturally pickled and foul smelling eggs of the Wark Island penguins. By all accounts, the sandy crab meat, if one can manage to withstand the rotten muskrat smell and the embedded bits of sand, is quite palatable in comparison. No one (sane anyway) ever wants to visit Wark Island. Even the Warkians don't want to visit Wark Island! (Pop. c.78 humans; Motto: Wark Island! A Place so Horrid to Live, Who Would Want to Visit!?)

The East is the direction of orientation, and is seen in a positive light: the Bright East, the Dazzling Sunhome. The South and West are also seen as positive: the Lands of the Lady Sun, Sunlands, the Broad Lands, the Land of the Great Empire; the West is known as the Sunset Lands, the Wild Lands, the Greenlands (on account of the Great Northern Forest, which, from the perspective of easterners, and rather contrariwise, lies mostly in the West), the Lands of Marvel, the Lands Beyond All Mountains, the Empire of the Great West.

That perspective rather conflates many many leuyves (miles, more or less) of territory. But you must understand that, for most people of, say, Auntimoany, once you get to the Holy Hills and the borders of the Farther West, geography becomes rather blurry... And, when you get down to it, it's not a whole lot clearer even once you get to the borders of their own home grafdom!

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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Sun 08 Oct 2017, 03:40

A Myth of Pendar

Pendar is a little country way up in the chilly Northlands where they tell this myth of the returning sun
goddess, Tammana. Towards the time of the winter solstice, folks will be preparing their midwinter festivals.
There is much dancing around the fir trees, feasts, story telling and the long wait for the sun to return...



Before the gods came into the world was Tammana, she who sowed the seeds of life and was herself the
self-sown seed of life. Her gardens were the whole world and with her a race of seven beautiful girls
walked the paths of the world garden, tending, watering, pruning and reaping. Each one was a radiant
beauty, the sheen of sweat on their bodies reflecting the sun as they labored. One day, seven stars fell
from the sky, and from them came seven strange beings to the outer reaches of the garden. Like unto
the seven girls were they, but where the girls wore only the hair on their heads, the strangers wore
curious fibers wrapped around their waists and heads. They spoke, but none of the seven girls could
understand their harsh speech. The strangers became impatient, and began to grab the girls and lead
them away. All but one, the youngest. She saw what was happening and ran away, through the depths
of the garden and back to where Tammana was laboring. The seventh stranger pursued the girl who
cried out to Tammana for her aid. Even so, the stranger caught her and led her back to the place where
the stars fell; but not before Tammana heard the cries and came following. She came too late to the
edge of the garden, where she saw only where her girls had left their spades and pruning hooks.


Seeing seven strange stars rise into the sky — a sight never before seen in all the youth of the world! —
she left her beautiful garden and went in search of her seven girls. For many seasons she went forth,
even seeking for them in the heavens where are the stars; and in all those seasons, no one tended the
gardens, and in all the dark World, the plants and flowers began to fade and perish. Tammana searched
from star to star, coming at last to the place of seven stars together. There, she discovered her seven
girls being held captive as wives for the seven strangers, gods of the brilliant and cold stars far above
the warm earth of Gea! She pled with the lord of gods for the release of her seven girls, and he went to
the World upon a falling star to see the place whence they had come. Indeed, a desert place it was!
Cold and uninviting, and the beasts and people living there were perishing from hunger! Thus the lord
of gods decreed that the seven girls should be allowed to return to Gea and tend its gardens, and he set
a feast before Tammana and the seven girls. So grateful were they that they accepted wholeheartedly
and reclined with the lord of gods at table and four courses were spread and Tammana began to eat his
food, tasting the fourth course.


Alas that she took even one bite of this heavenly provender, had she but known the price of it! Yet,
before the seven girls could take even a single bite of the food, a great goose, grey as the stormcloud,
flew into the banquet hall, having come all the way from Gea! He turned about in the airs above the
table, and just as the seven girls reached out to the food, he loosened his bowels and sent down great
gobs of green birdslime, which ruined the food. The lord of gods roared, could do nothing against the
high flying bird, as he wheeled back and left the banquet hall, winging his way back to Gea.


The feast ruined, the fates of the gods entered the hall and spoke in thus wise: “Go, seven daughters of
Gea, who have neither tasted the food of the lord of gods, nor have touched it.” And they were led out
of the hall and taken back to Gea upon seven falling stars; and there they found themselves where they
had left their spades and pruning hooks, and seeing what a dreadful state of affairs the garden was in,
they immediately set to work tending it as of old. But of Tammana the fates of the gods said: “You have
eaten one course of the food of the lord of gods, and must even bide in the heavens with the lord of
gods as his wife for one season out of the four. You may return to Gea upon the New Year, but upon the
New Year less three turnings of the greater moon, you must even come up into the heavens and bide
here with your chosen lord.”


“Bitter indeed are the tears Tammana sheds for leaving her beloved gardens and her seven young girls,
the daughters of Gea! For I can see that while I am here in the heavens, the earth will put forth no
green leaf nor tender shoot nor flower nor fruit — all except for the pine and the fir, which shall be the
promise of green life to the people of Gea, who will dance about the fir tree in the depths of this dead
season. And they will know that Tammana returns anon and the grass shall green and the first flowers
bloom again.”


And ever since, the seven girls have labored in Tammanas gardens throughout the seasons of life; and
bidding farewell to their Lady when the leaves do fall down, they go to their rest and the peoples of the
world know that, for a time, Life itself goes away from the World yet comes again in its own time.

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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Sun 08 Oct 2017, 03:44

Palisander's Paradox

Palisander's Paradox was a famous mid 15th century philosophical experiment in temporal awareness
involving the shooting of arrows at random people, and then asking them when, precisely, they noticed.
Never one to follow the well trodden paths of enquiry when a wackier one was available, Archibald Palisander
often found himself at odds with the chancery of the university. Things came to a boil after the experimentation
during the 1470-1471 academic year came to the attention of the Arch Chancellor.


The experiment itself had originally been academically sound. However, further study was discontinued by the
Regents of the University of Hoopelle when it was discovered that upwards of 85% of Dr. Palisander's subjects
had in fact been killed by the research assistants and Palisander himself was presently dismissed. It probably
did not help matters that he had used Zombat's Surefire Zombificator on the decedants without consent
of the families in order to obtain his data.


The use of the Zombificator upon a fresh decedent results is a kind of animated being that can understand and
carry out simple instructions, often of the "kill all that lot of knights" or "stand there smartly like a good chappy
and keep the hors d'oeuvres coming" sorts, and all without complaint, respite or calling in sick. Warlords rely
heavily on hordes of Zombie warriors, on account of them being so economical to procure, house and train,
though they rarely care if their marauding zombie hordes are all that fresh. In fact, a detachment of zombie
warriors with missing eyes or broken jaws or ripped open bellies or missing a wing or having ragged bones sticking
out at odd angles impart a kind of rakish joie de morir that even ragamuffin hired mercenaries can not quite
match. Palisander's position was found untenable by the chancery court when it was discovered that, rather than
undoing the spells of binding after the data was retrieved, he was shifting all the Zombies into the grey market and
reaping quite a profit on sales.


The Paradox, according to surviving records, largely seems to have involved the stretch of time between the victim's
first awareness of the approaching arrow and the impending doom it spelled and their ultimate reactions to it. Most,
of course, only conceived some evasive action after having actually died. By which time it was already too late. Though
the records are incomplete, it appears that, at least when one sees an arrow flying towards oneself, time does in fact
stand still. None of the surviving subjects were able to pinpoint by how much; however, all the Zombie respondents
were able to offer a more precise enumeration of between 7 and 14 seconds, or and eighth and a quarter of a minute.
Just enough time, apparently, to witness one's life flashing before one's eyes and utter "oh sh...!", or some other
appropriate last invective before promptly expiring.

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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Sun 08 Oct 2017, 03:53

Some Artifacts of Material Culture

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At the top is an andja, a small hand ax of the sort found in many Daine countries of Narutanea. The head is bronze and the handle is made from oiled oak. As is
common for Daine made tools, decorative jingles (in this case, a couple small silver rings) and an extra shim are included. They make a merry music when chopping
up a branch of wood!


Next is a qella, which is a kind of flat wooden or bamboo spoon. It is ideal for eating thick porridges & rice, or for stirring anything. A hole bored in the end allows
its owner to keep it conveniently located on a string or hook.


At the bottom is a wewunnio, or rabbit stick. It is a kind of non-returning boomerang and is made from a heavy wood, I believe maybe elm. The broad blade is
thinned somewhat like a wing. While a killing blow can be struck, it's main purpose is to stun or impede the quarry until a proper end can be made.

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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Sun 08 Oct 2017, 04:18

A Couple Books from The World


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The Chorography is a large compendium of in-world lore from a description of the Creation and cosmography of All That Is, to Gea's place in the universe, the peoples
and treasures to found in her, the folks and countries of many parts of the world and many stories, tales, histories and legends from other lands. Profusely illustrated
with an appendix on languages, a short atlas and an index.

[hr][/hr]

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The Classic of the Way of Words is a lexicon of Talarian ideograms and short native treatise on Talarian grammar.

[hr][/hr]

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A few smaller books. Squibbman's Cookery and Walton's Compleat Bestiary are interesting little works. The Bestiary includes pictures and descriptions of many
wonderful and, quite possibly legendary, beasts as well as a cast of nefarious characters a careless traveller is likely to meet up with out away from the relative
safety of hearth and home. On the cover of the former, note the pair of octopeds flanking Squibbman's great brick and bronze oven. Ironic, really, when you come
to think on it. After all, why would Squibbman choose the beast with the ronchiest, stankiest and fetidest smelling flesh available to World cuisine for the cover
of his book? One wonders...

NB: octoped flesh is given a good run for its money, I might note, by the equally rank and reasty pong of the vicious and territorial Wark Island penguin.
These beasties are so horrible a food source, that their eggs are laid actually pickled in their own over-fermented garum.


The other two are small journals such as a traveller might pack in his kit while wandering about the countryside. The journal on the left is open to a picture of a
Daine fellow and an Ytuunic maiden. The one on the right has a picture of a turonayan, curious kind of bird.
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One of the more curious birds of the Eastlands is the turonayan. More at home climbing and clambering among the twigs and branches of tall trees or even rooting
about near their mighty foundations than flying free in the airs above, the turonayan makes its living by eating fruits and nuts and occasionally scavenging the eggs
and younglings of squirrel and birdkind alike. Turonayan is one of the toothless birds and in shape and size and colouration does a fair job of silver-oak-leaf mimicry.
It greyish-greenish feathers in the Spring and Summer give way, in the fall, to dappled patterns of russet, yellow and brown which it keeps throughout the Winter.

Each wing has four short stubby claws that allow it to dig and burrow in the earth, or into rotten bark and wood to seek for burrowing insects and to crack open
eggs; its hooked beak allows it to dangle from branch or twig while at rest, nestled safely among the rustling leaves of the tree. Its feathers are small, and many,
especially upon its back, are almost hairlike. Its bony tail is long and supports a broad flat plate of small feathers. Although turonayan can fly short distances, it
rarely does more than hurtle itself up into the low branches of a nearby tree, or else glide and flap from one tree to its neighbour.

The turonayan is, at the most, about two and a half palms long, inclusive of its curved beak. It is interesting to note, regarding its wing-claws, that the two pairs of
claws may be manipulated independently of the other, but only in pairs: the claws may not be moved independently like our fingers because the two sets of digits
had become, in ancient times, fused into one but retaining the distinct terminal phalanges. This does not hamper turonoyan in any way, however, since it is able to
fold over its medial pairs of claws, much the way Daine or Men may fold their thumbs against their palms & fingers. This allows turonoyan to grasp small objects
like nuts or eggs or baby squirrels.

The song of the turonoyan is a kind of melancholic four note tune: Turonayan Call

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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Sun 08 Oct 2017, 04:40

Storytelling in the Eastlands


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Storytelling is one of the most commonly practiced arts anywhere in The World. Every community, from the highest of the race of Teyor to the meanest
hovels of Hotai, has someone among them who can spin an entertaining tale. But, as with all other arts and crafts, there those whose sole avocation and craft is
the knowing and telling of stories. These professional storytellers rely much on the work of the Sawyers, those scholars and philosophers who collect and study
stories from all over the world.


The term Sawyery refers to the study of the Old Stories, a set of disjointed but frequently crossculturally parallel or similar stories that tell of the most ancient
of days. Typically, they relate to times before history was understood as an entity of its own and recorded for posterity, and thus describe the philosophical Golden
Age. Typically, the Wise divide the Old Stories into various types depending upon their focus or intended character.


Granthund storyteller.pngThe philosophical study of the Old Stories is called sawyery and practitioners are called sawyers. Many are the collections of these stories
that have been gathered in the libraries of the world. Fine examples can be seen at the great libraries in Alexandria of Kemeteia-Misser, Pretorias of Rumnias and
Auntimoany as well. The sawyers' public trust is to preserve and expand collections of Old Stories; collect, collate and index the pronouncements and
interpretations of philosophers, priests, and spiritual teachers; and to make available to the people whatever they wish to study from these collections. Therefore,
anyone who can read or is accompanied by someone who can read is allowed unrestricted access to a library's collection of Old Stories. Several famous catalogues
of Old Stories have been made by sawyers in recent centuries, especially those of Arny and Thompson, sawyers of Auntimoany who devised a topical and cross-
referenced indexing system for their collection not only of stories but of the episodes and characters within them. Also well known is Franko Childer, a Husickite
sawyer, who catalogued fables and various kinds of folk songs.

While ordinary story tellers rely on the diligent scholarship of the sawyers, they don't simply repeat stories verbatim. They retell, recombine, come up with
wonderful new tales the like of which have never been heard before. Other storytellers keep closer to the old traditions conserved within the works of the sawyers.
It is these granthund, or classical story tellers, like the fellow in the picture on the right, that bring the old myths and legends to life.


These granthund have memorised a great treasure trove of old story however, during more formal recitations, such as in the court of a gravio or in the
emperor's Palas, it is usual for a large book of story to be placed upon a low stand for the granthund to refer to. By ancient tradition, story tellers
always sit upon a low, comfortable stool and this is usually located upon a nicely woven rug, and they may only be served their food and drink upon earthenware
vessels. This, they say, is a reminder to their own humility, for story should serve all folk of good will, and not serve the exaltation of the storyteller. Even so, some
famous granthund are recorded in the annals of kingdoms and countryside inns, perhaps the best known of which Uthmanda, a nineteenth century
granthund well known for his animated style and broad repertoire. It was said of him that he could hear a story of any length for the first time and ever after
could retell the story without losing one single word or nuance of meaning.


Here is a little fairy story, or rather, what we'd call a "fairy story" *here*, from the Westmarche and Auntimoany of the Eastlands. The sawyers who diligently collect, record, categorise and make public
record of all kinds of interesting lore would call this an animal tale or a grim fable. A story with a point, and generally a bloody one at that. Generally speaking, The World is not a place where fairy
stories are devised to entertain small skulls full of mush. *There*, folklore generally exists to teach a lesson. That lesson is usually something like "don't be a stupid dolt like the character in this tale..."
It is typical of tales recited by granthunds and is called


They Must Even Feed the Wolves

For in those days there was a proud grey hare and he was called Guthro and he fancied himself quite the brave swordsman and a fine hunter to boot.
And although he lived in a modest house, Guthro often rode out upon his old bay and fancied himself quite the lord of the hunt. Living not far away in his ancient
stone castle in the deeps of the dark forest known as the Old Woods was a lord indeed, Isengrim, and he was king in those lands and lord of all wolves in the
Woods. And on this fine spring day, it being the day of the new year, Isengrim rode out to hunt in the wide woods with his twelve closest friends. By chance, Guthro
also happened to be out riding to hunt in the wide woods on that fine spring day of the young new year. As luck would have it, Guthro followed a trail deeper and
deeper into the Woods until he was quite lost.

Guthro soon came across a broad clearing in the trees and in the distance, at the far edge of the clearing, he saw there a stag, standing as bold as brass. Said he
to himself: “Ho now! I shall have a fine trophy for my hall and a feast to boot!” Of course, his hall was little more than a one room farm house, but he did love to
pretend.

Little did Guthro know it, but across from his position and watching the same stag was none other than Isengrim and his twelve stout huntsmen. “The winter was
quite hard as we all know,” said Isengrim. His friends nodded agreement, well recalling the unusually deep drifts of snow among the trees. “And though this stag is
old and weak, he is the best we’ve seen in many days and we need to bring home more fresh meat.” His friends nodded again, for all knew that meals of late were
slim pickings and the larders of many were nearly bare.

And so, as Isengrim and his twelve stout huntsmen readied their finely crafted and matching yew bows with their long arrows of ash, so Guthro got out his poor
home made hawthorn bow and arrows of dogwood. As Isengrim and his twelve stout huntsmen nocked their ostrich fletched arrows of holly wood, so Guthro
nocked his crow fletched arrow of humble dogwood. And as Isengrim and his twelve stout huntsmen took careful aim, so Guthro took careful aim. In that instant,
the stag’s head lifted up, ears straining for some clue as to the source of his ill ease, and he paused as if listening for the arrows’ song of death. Too late did their
song come to his ears, and too late did the stag think to spring away to the safety of the denser trees beyond the clearing, for in that same instant, as Isengrim
and his twelve stout huntsmen let fly their impeccably straight arrows, so Guthro let fly his own crooked arrow. As arrows with keen bronze points coursed through
the air from the bows of Isengrim and his twelve stout huntsemen, so did the humble glass tipped but well crafted arrow fly through the air from the bow of
Guthro.

Twelve songbirds of death flew free and twelve deadly beaks pierced the stag’s flesh. Instantly he fell into the curved arms of mother Gea, his red blood flowing
gushing from twelve wounds, pumping from severed veins, flowing across the dead and dry brown leaves of the yesteryear just past, bringing them no new life,
heralding only the stag’s own passage from this world to another.

Then such a whooping and yammering as Guthro never heard before came from the jubilant wolves. He now knew that someone else was in the vicinity, but he
knew not who. And now the mystery became revealed: twelve bold wolves, dressed in fine cloth of gold and silver the like of which Guthro in his homespun green
cloak could scarce believe, came forth into the clearing, Isengrim at their head. Twelve mighty hunters and one pretentious hare dressed in his humble green
approached the fallen stag.

Immediately a dispute broke out among the twelve stout huntsment as to whose arrow was the killing arrow. Each one claimed the kill, or else avered that if not
himself, it must be bold Isengrim himself who delivered the fatal blow. Then stepped forth a curious old chap, a jackal and a far farer and a clever shaman in his
own homeland. His name was Auwau and he wore a bizarre costume of bones and ears and claws of every kind of beast in the world. He lifted his right paw and the
wolves fell silent. He stretched forth this same paw over the still warm and steaming carcass and began to chant quietly to himself. The paw began to tremble as it
moved over the form of the stag. Auwau pulled the arrows one by one, examining each and naming its rightful owner, for as everyone knows, a good hunter always
marks his arrows with his own colors of threads. To each one in turn he said: “Twas not yours that brought him death,” or perhaps “a bold stroke, but not deadly”
or else “had he but remained still half a second longer...”

At last Auwau reached down and pulled out Isengrim’s arrow, stout and stained black as pitch. Even to Isengrim, king of all beasts of the Old Woods, Auwau said:
“twas not yours that brought him death.” The twelve stout huntsmen began their dispute anew, for if none of their arrows killed the stag, how could it be he had
fallen dead? What they could not see and what Auwau could was the homely fletchings of an unknown hunter’s arrow. In response to their questions and clamor,
Auwau turned the beast from the side where he lay and then all could see it plain: a fourteenth arrow had pierced the stag’s body and buried itself into his very
heart.

“An ugly and homely fletching I see now upon that arrow, lord Jackal,” said one of the hunter wolves. But Auwau would not reply at once. He stretched out his paw
over the fourteenth arrow and began again to chant quietly to himself. The paw began to tremble anew and when Auwau pulled that arrow from deep within the
body, the last of his blood flowed out and the jackal said: “I know not the keen hunter who sent this singer of death to its target, but I can say twas his arrow that
brought him death.”

In that moment, all the huntsmen and Isengrim as well, turned towards Guthro, who had hitherto remained silent and was standing a little to the side, in utter awe
of the mighty wolf hunters in all their finery and bearing their powerful weapons. He had heard nothing of what Auwau had said. No one had paid him any mind at
first, but now all eyes were on him.


Auwau turned and passed by his lord Isengrim, placed a paw upon his horse’s shoulder, and whispered: “All is not lost. As you say, the stag is old and weak. Yet
here stands a fat and healthy, if fearless, hare who constantly eyes the clothing and weapons of your huntsmen. He may yet be useful.”

And so it was. Guthro took service with Isengrim and went back to his ancient stone castle deep in the Old Woods. Although he dreamed of wearing such finery as
the twelve stout huntsmen had worn and shooting such fine bows as the twelve stout huntsmen had shot, Isengrim had other plans. “Nay sir hare!” he would say;
“First, before you may hunt with us, let us test your skills! For example, how well can you cook?”

And so, Guthro was set to work in the kitchens to pare carrots and potatoes and to make gravies and biscuits for Isengrim and his court. For, Isengrim had said,
there would be a fine feast on the morrow and only the choicest foods would be allowed to come out of his kitchens. Guthro was kept so busy going hither and
thither that he scarecely took notice that the stag he had killed was nowhere to be seen, neither in the smokehouse nor in the salting cellar nor in the drying house.

In fact, the next morning, Guthro was busy rushing about preparing the pastries for the feast when Isengrim himself appeared in the kitchens with two of his
closest stout huntsmen. Guthro asked him: “My lord Isengrim! I’ve prepared a sumptuous feast for all the castle, yet I have not found any meat worthy of the
table. And now I see you with two of your huntsment. Shall we go forth today and hunt together?”

Isengrim grinned a wolfish grin and the huntsmen sniggered quietly. “Indeed friend Guthro! Today I think is the day we shall slaughter the meat worthy of the
obviously fine spread you’ve so ably concocted for me and my court! Come now, friend! Let us go now and find this delicious meat!” All the while, Isengrim’s hard
eyes never left Guthro, and for a brief moment, the grey hare felt a chill shiver down his spine. But it passed as his excitement rose over being invited to go on the
hunt.

Guthro was delighted and turned towards the kitchen door as if to go outside. But Isengrim stayed him, saying: “Nay, good friend Guthro! Let us not go by that
door. Rather, let us go by this way here.” He indicated another door, one which Guthro had not yet had the time to explore. “It will be quicker this way.” The other
wolves glanced at one another and grinned slyly.

Guthro didn’t think twice, saying: “Very well then! Let us be off!” So saying, he took up his humble bow and arrows and headed for the door Isengrim had pointed
to.

Isengrim grinned again and winked to his companions. Just as Guthro opened the door, a sight of such horror met his eyes that he could scarcely credit his own
eyes and what they were seeing. For the door led to a spacious larder and it was indeed well stocked with all sorts of carcasses: a few deer and boar and indeed the
stag that he himself had slain but a short time past; but it seemed that Isengrim’s favorite meats were rabbit and hare, for the larder had no fewer than twenty
hare carcasses hanging by their hind legs from the rafters. He also saw there the butcher’s table and the clean, glinting bronze meat saws, cleavers and knives that
would be surely be put to use carving the meats for the king’s table.

And oh, was Guthro stunned by the sight! And he turned to leave, desperately seeking for any way to get clear of Isengrim and his larder! But he found the
doorway blocked by Isengrim and his friends. He could scarcely get out one word of protest before the three wolves, red eyed, ravenous, lunged towards him and
backed him into the butcher block. Guthro let out a shrill scream and they threw him to the floor. They snatched him up again in their claws and flung him, still
screaming, upon the butcher block and there began to ply their cleavers and saws and knives upon his still living body.

Guthro moaned his last, knowing that his own end was near, seeing his own bright red blood spurting from every wound, a river of red flowing along the channels in
the butcher block, dripping to the cold stone floor, each a drop of life ebbing away. “At last I know,” Guthro said to himself, for he had no strength left to speak or
even struggle against his tormentors; “whence shall come the meat for the grand feast! And it is me! Ah, but woe is me. For indeed they must even feed the wolves
who would bide among them!” And that was an end for proud Guthro the Grey.

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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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eldin raigmore
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by eldin raigmore » Sun 08 Oct 2017, 22:24

It's been so long since I said anything.
I just love all of this!
Clearly, you enjoyed creating it!
[:D] [:)] [:O] [O.O] [<3]
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elemtilas
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Re: Some Snippets from The World

Post by elemtilas » Thu 19 Oct 2017, 04:15

Spurtlekins

Spurtlekins are a kindred of wee folk, thought to be distantly related to domestic fairies of the great House Elf kindred. Rarely exceeding six inches in height, the Spurtlekins, unlike most other fairy folk, are rather stout of build and solid and quite strong for their size.

The kit of a Spurtlekin warrior consists of a kind of hide kirtle or kilt, either scraped and painted or else with the fur left on, a pair of leather booties, leather gauntlets, a prick which they use in the manner of a rapier and the namesake spurtle. Spurtles are made in two varieties: one is a nicely turned wooden club-like weapon with a narrow pointed end and a bulbous head; the other is a flat, narrow spatula-like tool, made from bronze, that they hone and skilfully use like a harpe or poleaxe.

Spurtlekin warriors love to hunt and fight against smaller rodents and large invasive insects. Like roaches. The fact that a warrior's prick is wood and that she's wielding an ordinary spoon means, well, she's obviously in training as she hasn't earned a proper spurtle yet. But once she does, she'll be wicked fierce with a sharpened and needle pointed weapons!

During the summer half of the year you most often find Spurtlekin clans dispersed in the woodlands just beyond a farm or village, though some will remain in a favored house year round. But come the winter half of the year, and they like to get in close. Attics, garrets, garages, cellars, workshops. Right handy chappies to have around too, and no mistake! Some have taken up the tinkers' trade, and will often mend or replace small broken bits of this and that around the house. Like that teacup you swore had a broken handle last week, but now it's just like new? Spurtlekin tinker, at your service! These warriors will take out any vermin they can find. They're fearless and will even face the greatest terrors one can imagine: feral cats, rabid coons or fox, even New York City sewer rats!

Just leave em in peace and you'll have friends for life. Unlike many wee folk, Spurtlekins won't demand bowls of milk or other payment. They just want to live free and hunt the wee beasties that stalk the night.
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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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