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When the real world doesn't have enough for our stories, we invent a new one. Let's share cultures and ideas and create together :)
The World, an Introduction
Posted Over 8 Years ago by elemtilas
[unparsed][quote:728cf58d3b="chiarizio"]It seems to be set in a "medieval"-ish -- or maybe "renaissance"-ish -- milieu. Is it? Or is it, even, from their equivalent of the Napoleonic Era?
The reader wants to know about the culture.
I'd say, based on what animals there are and what people wear, it's set in a place something like NorthWestern Europe; perhaps even like Great Britain or Ireland or the British Isles.
But maybe it's just in some equivalent of Eurasia in general.
You say it's "from the Eastlands of the World". Naturally in RealWorld geography "East" is a relative term. If "the World" is their equivalent of "the Old World", then the "Eastlands" is going to be Asia; more specifically Eastern Asia, and, perhaps, Central Asia. Is their World's East-West cultural and axis reversed from *ours*? (Maybe *their* "Japan" is *our* "Britain" and *their* "Britain" is *our* "Japan"?) [/quote:728cf58d3b]
Following up on the story of the Two Ravens, I think maybe an introduction to the World itself might be in order. First and formost, the World is a faerie -- a secondary creation and a place distinct from the primary world (*here*). It is a place of wonder and beauty and ugliness and terror in their proper measures, a place marvelous to visit, yet perilous for the unwary. It is easy to lose one's way and find it difficult to get out again!
Physically, the World consists of a planetary system: a number of planets orbiting a star. Mainstream astrology rests firm in positing nine planets, while some theorise the existence of many more. Herotellos d' Alixavandria, an avante garde Auntimoanian astrologer has used thaumological means to posit the existence of thirty three planets orbiting the Sun. He has met with some considerable resistance only when he posited that of these, six are "haloed like an icon of a saint" and further that "three belts or stone paved roads" also surround the Sun at various distances. His ideas on comets being the kamikaze missiles of Frost Giants who live on the outermost planets has met with mixed criticism. Primarily from the Maligned Peoples Antidefamation Leauge.
But Herotellos is closer to right than wrong. There are several more than nine planets, and the Frost Giants are, MPAL notwithstanding, every bit as horrid as the Old Stories say. Of these planets, Estarea, Gea and Ares -- planets three, four and five from the Sun -- are inhabited by people. Setilanus and Mercurios are dead, rocky worlds too close to the Sun for anyone other than fire djinns to live there. Ceres may have been alive once, but was shattered in the not too distant past. Beyond Ceres are Mardouc and Nenurta, two huge gas giants (though that particular term would be met with glassy stares by even the most avante astrologer); and beyond them, and indeed beyond even the best made telespeculon, are the other, unknown and unnamed worlds posited by Herotellos.
Gea itself, or perhaps more properly [i:728cf58d3b]her[/i:728cf58d3b]self, is both a place and a person. Generally speaking, Gea is the fourth planet from the local Sun, a smallish yellow star called by some [i:728cf58d3b]Sawel[/i:728cf58d3b] and by others [i:728cf58d3b]Sharro[/i:728cf58d3b], who herself is an ordinary star inhabiting the quiet outer reaches of a relatively nondescript spiral galaxy, and in any event is one of several inhabited worlds in this particular corner of the galaxy.
But a planet isn't just a rock in space lazily dancing about its parent star. It is not well known, apart from [b:728cf58d3b]the Wise[/b:728cf58d3b] at any rate, who keep track of these sorts of things, that Gea is the abode and physical body of one of the Star People, Yeola, the daughter of Varen, who along with her siblings settled this region of What Exists and made for themselves tidy little homes out of the chaotic bits of matter floating about the place.
But for all practical purposes, the peoples of these worlds don't know this and Gea is just a many-layered sphere of earth and water and air that revolves around the sun.
The ordinary folk of the World come in a variety of kindreds or races. Most numerous are the Daine: mostly tall and slender, they are best known as the winged people, generally disdainful of clothing, they love ornaments of silver and paint their bodies. They love music and story best of all the arts. Next by number are humans: most are numbered among the Fallen, and these are Men; a few are numbered among the Unfallen, and those are Teor. Noble and cruel in turns, Men love violence and activity, yet soon come to repent of the results. They are, apart from the demons, the most fallen from grace, and yet are the Creator's most dearly beloved. Other races include the Dwarrows, Hotai, Etuns, Pigmen, Trolls, Cresa, Kyklopes and a few others. These are the Speaking Races, on account of their use of spoken language. The Nonspeaking Races are the Merfolk and the Polupodes. The World is also inhabited by a number of othernatural folk -- angels of various sorts -- as well as Homunculi, Zombies, Shadowfolk and the unfathomable Beings of the Allerdeep Places.
For the most part, I've concentrated on Men and Daine in my exploration of the World. The stories are typically told from one or the other perspective.
Historically, I wouldn't say it's medieval-ish or renaissance-ish. Obviously, from the p.o.v. of the inhabitants, *Now* is every bit as modern and de mode for them as Now is for us *here* on Earth. Their history is, of course, quite different and there are different forces at work.
So, some aspects of their world will seem more medieval to us than modern. Broadly speaking, the World exists in a kind of perpetual and medieval bronze age: there's a share of kings and knights and warrior maidens; most folks live on semi-feudal estates; cities (outside of Auntimoany) tend to be crowded, smelly, dirty places -- and those are the ones [b:728cf58d3b]with[/b:728cf58d3b] good sewers! -- and justice is often something that happens to someone else. Wars are fought by footmen bearing short swords of bronze or else pikes or meteor hammers of bronze. Buildings are mostly timber framed and wattle walled. Education for many is pretty basic; religion (be they Kristian, Buddhic, Pagan, Jew or devotees of the Way) is central; entertainment is simple and homemade (music, story telling, barn dances, morris-equivalents and that funny thing they do round the maypole...). On the other hand, the food is all organic and guaranteed free range! -- your choice of a range of bacteria included!
Other aspects will seem quite modern. In many places, you can pull on a handle and get hot or cold running water; you can turn a knob and bask in the warm glow of [i:728cf58d3b]djuus-lights[/i:728cf58d3b]; you can ride from city to city in the posh comfort of a caravan train; you can knock on a box on your desk and holler into the horn the name of someone you want to talk to and their voice, faithfully reproduced, will be heard from that same horn; you might even be able to go for a ride in one of those palatial airships that the Daine are fond of flying around in! In Auntimoany and Westmarche (two countries of the Eastlands, the latter being a realm of Daine), your Emperor and Great Queen respectively are elected -- or at least chosen by means slightly more democratic than merely having yanked a fork out of a thousand year old scone; you have a representative form of Government and you can be reasonably sure that it extorts its tax revenues in a fair and equitable fashion; you don't have to live in fear of theocratic excesses, or even indeed of the excesses of secular rulers. (The [i:728cf58d3b]Commission of Heaven[/i:728cf58d3b] is a foundational principle that ensures emperors and kings keep on the straight and narrow, lest they end up emperors no more!)
All this history takes place, for the most part, in Eosphora -- the Eastlands. From the perspective of the philosophers of Auntimoany, the Ocean of Sunrise lies ahead and to the left are the bitter Northlands and to the right are the Sunlands, or the Southlands. Behind are the varying degrees of the west: the Near West begins in the Holy Hills, just beyond Westmarche and progresses through the lands of ancient Ziviria: the Farther West and then beyond the Spine of the World lies Hespera, the Uttermost West.
Beyond the Oceans of Sunrise (and Sunset) lie other lands more or less wreathed in mythtery, and are the homes of headless peoples and seven foot tall chickens and man-eating jumping rats. Oh, and dragons of course!
But you get dragons closer to home too, both fiery and cold, and of course oliphants and hairy nashorn beasts and a whole assortment of toothy and wantoothy birds, wolves (dire and not quite so dire), bears of several classes, wild cats, half-wild cats and as well your average short-hair-domestic; butterflies the size of saucers and dragonflies as big as birds. Well, as big as rather small birds, anyway. And fishes in abundance and whales, whales both majestic and terrible to behold! The fully aquatic as well as the terrifying amphibious sorts. Nasty things, amphibious whales! Put your average orca to shame. Horrible and intelligent, they're the smartest of all the cetaceans; but their intelligence is a cruel one. They'd attack a hapless fisherman or beach-goer and drag him down just to watch him drown trying to swim back up again.
Dwimmery is a natural force, just like gravity, time and the dreaded Vortex of Lohs Sox. Dwimmery is kind of like magic, but also kind of like electricity: it is a force of nature and can be, to an extent, controlled in order to create some effect on something else. Dwimmery can be as mundane as a kids game where they try to keep a leather bladder suspended in air -- or it can be the deep dwimmery of a Bartleigh Box (a kind of wardrobe in which the Adept has ensorcelled a whole inner world) or a homunculus motivator or the astoundingly complex thaumo-biological creatures that are lovingly grown into living airships.
On the surface of Gea, dwimmery is pretty tame. Men have much difficulty with it and require the use of wands and rings of power and mumbo-jumbo spells and so forth. Daine work it about as easy as you please; but it still requires much effort and practice to really do anything purely magical or even thamological. Once you get deep down into the heart of Gea, dwimmery becomes literally palpable. Way down in the Uttermost Deeps, well below the Pillars of the World, only the Creator knows with any certainty what wonders lie down there. Down there, beyond the sludgy mires of the deep mantle lies the Worldsea -- a vast ocean of nickel-iron and there are indeed creatures that inhabit those metallic waters. Life at the bottom of the Worldsea is harsh indeed! Crushing pressures no surface animal could withstand; unimaginably violent hurricanes whip across the surface of their world unchecked; powerful currents flow twisted by the convection uplift from the unfathomable depths and solid metal precipitation rains back down from above -- these mark the habitat of these unknown and unknowable beings of the Uttermost Deeps.
If these creatures had eyes, they'd be blinded by the dazzling brilliance of white-hot metal, glowing red and yellow and white in the furnace of the world's core. But light isn't what they see by -- they're attuned to magnetic and thaumic field fluxes, and they can not only sense the presence of others, but they can "see" them every bit as clearly we see each other, for their bodies interfere with and bend the lines of force all around them. Magnetic forces swirl around and thaumic fields crackle and whip outward from the deep core in terrifying winds no Wizard of the surface world could withstand and only the most powerful of factitioners could control. They live in an electric world -- a five thousand mile wide dynamo generating massive amounts of electrical, magnetic and thaumic energies. These creatures use these waves to communicate as easily as wolves howl or whales sing. Their forms are varied and many are curiously angular. All of them are cloaked in superrefractory alloys or compounds utterly unknown on the surface, and their bodies, protected by thick armour, are latticeworks of metal, animated by the magic around them. More than one kind of them is cloaked in thaumium, pure, solidifed magic. Any wizard of the upper world would give his right eye for an ounce of the stuff. Most of them swim in the upper Ocean, where the temperatures are cooler, and only the hardiest of them dive into the deep Ocean or better yet, creep and scuttle along the deep vales and traverse the plains of the solid core itself.
Some are three miles long with glittering silvery carapaces of highly resistant metals; others with shells of thaumium more heat resistent yet grow to perhaps ten miles long and dive into the unimaginable depths more hellish than any mere demon could withstand, all the way down to the Hot Valleys where at last solid ground is reached and temperatures soar to eleven thousand degrees or more. Here, mile long trilobites with adamantine carapaces and carborundium shelled crabs vie for choice tidbits, basking in the intense thaumic winds blasting up from the core below, scrabbling along the ever melting, ever reforming surface of their alien world that is more like a sun yet is at the very heart of our own little planet.
And yet even deeper down, well below the scorched plains of this inner hell, down in the very heart of the world itself, there is one last wonder indeed! For the Inner Core is but the Outer Wall of the home of one of the Starchildren...
[i:728cf58d3b]...And when they left their homes and went up into the black sky, there they began to sweep together dust and light in order to make their own worlds. After many ages of careful sweeping together, the first and most powerful of the factitioners, whose name was Halem, created the first and largest star in the heavens. So much dust and light and magic had gathered around Halem's body that it began to whirl all on its own and formed around him a luminous globe that later people would call a star. Soon, many more stars lit up and before long, the whole sky was lit up by stars. Each star was connected to all the others by lines of force that allowed communication and the whole web of shi bound the stars of the sky into a connected world.
The leaders of these star people, of whom Halem was the most powerful, gathered around them many myriads of followers and the whole world was awhirl with dancing stars, each arrayed around her leader in the centre of the circle.
As time passed, the children of these first star people were born, but they were less powerful. They contented themselves with sweeping up the left-over dust and magic and formed the small dark stars that dance around their parents in the same way their parents are arrayed around their leaders.
It is these small dark stars that cooled, just like embers in a dying fire, that became worlds like our own. Yet, deep in the Heart of the World lives Yeola, who swept together our own world. In turn, it is Yeola who is the first mother of all Daine, the children of the Star People, and indeed even the others as well who live upon the world of her making.
Three brothers and seventeen sisters has Yeola, Camay being her twin. Varen in turn is their mother who is one of the Star People, and many thousands and myriads are her sisters and cousins who account Manael as their leader and Halem as their first ancestor. [/i:728cf58d3b]
So, there's a quick overview of the World and Everything in It!
There are 4 Replies
From my earlier reading (btw I'm TomHChappell as well as eldin raigmore) I had the impression that "Victorian" was the nearest real-world analog to Auntimoany.
Is that no longer the case? Or perhaps it never was.
What is the political system of Auntimoany like?
I gather both Auntimoany and Westmarche are constitutional monarchies; and their constitutions have the same name and are considered the same document, 'though I bet they have different interpretations and different amendments.
Somehow I had, in the past, the idea that it was Auntimoany rather than Westmarche in which the Sovereign was always (or usually? or at least currently?) female.
I also got the idea that the monarch's successor was likelier to be her niece than her daughter.
How much of that was never true? How much is no longer true? How much intrigues you so that it's likely to become true soon? How much was just a bit off -- like, maybe, it happens in Westmarche instead of Auntimoany, or it's uncle-to-nephew (like in Montenegro IRL) instead of aunt-to-niece, or something?
And of course your post inspires so many more questions.
I'd probably better wait at least a day before asking more.
[unparsed][quote:6fcd89eb82="chiarizio"]From my earlier reading (btw I'm TomHChappell as well as eldin raigmore) I had the impression that "Victorian" was the nearest real-world analog to Auntimoany.
Is that no longer the case? Or perhaps it never was.[/quote:6fcd89eb82]
Ah, in that case, well met Tom!
Well, Victorian (or maybe Dickensian?) might be an appropriate visual. If Victorian London (with a healthy dose of venerable old Roman architecture), Verneian steampunkery and the ascendancy of the thaumocrats make for an at all sensible visual description!
[quote:6fcd89eb82="chiarizio"]What is the political system of Auntimoany like?
I gather both Auntimoany and Westmarche are constitutiional monarchies; and their constitutions have the same name and are considered the same document, 'though I bet they have different interpretations and different amendments.
Somehow I had, in the past, the idea that it was Auntimoany rather than Westmarche in which the Sovereign was always (or usually? or at least currently?) female.
I also got the idea that the monarch's successor was likelier to be her niece than her daughter.[/quote:6fcd89eb82]
Complicated is how I'd describe it.
Auntimoany is indeed what we would have no other choice but to call a constitutional monarchy. There is no written Constitution, though there are various (and often someone has in fact written them down) charters, imperial edicts, traditions and covenants that sort of govern the nature of the monarchy and its role in Government. For the most part, the emperors have seen how sensible it really is to not only devolve a great part of the burden of actual governance onto the Parliament, but also to keep the better part of the imperial prerogatives. It's one of those "why didn't we think of this a thousand years ago!?" sort of things.
The Government of Auntimoany is divided roughly into two equal parts: the "dignified" part and the "efficient" part. According to political philosopher, Wil Bagshote: "Our monarch thus embodies the dignified part of Government, rather than the efficient part." The emperor's roles are therefore the more ceremonial, honourladen acts of Government; while the Parliament gets on with the nitty gritty.
Auntimoanian imperial dignity is never inherited; rather it is an elective kingship and one in which the successful candidate has undergone an apprenticeship. Can't just have any old heir sitting his bum on the throne; in stead the heir has to work for the privilege. The Ministry of Kingmaking is responsible for sorting out all the potential candidates and for confering upon their chosen one the Commission of Heaven, which is then duly confirmed by the Parliament. It is also, by the way, one function of the MOK to determine the, ah, "date of termination", shall we say, of emperors that aren't quite up to snuff.
The primary duties of the emperor are to summon his Ministers and form what is called a "Cupboard" -- kind of like a Cabinet, only with fancier harware -- correspond with foreign heads of state and diplomats, accede to or veto legislation, regulate the Civil Service, negotiate treaties and lead the armies in war; the emperor is also the Fount of All Honour and he bestows various knighthoods, peerages, honours, awards and so forth; the emperor is also the Fount of All Justice and as such, although he doesn't generally mank about with the Courts, but he is the Court of Last Appeal and has the power to overturn the decisions of other courts. In such cases, he can grant the Imperial Mercy, thus freeing a prisoner; or, he might choose to apply the Imerpial Ire, thus sending a real son of a gun who's just thumbing his nose at the justice system down for a life of oh so enjoyable hard labor in the dust mines, or some equally dreadful place.
The Cupboard is a part of the Government called the Magistracy -- this is the Civil Service and is comprised of several Bureaux. Back in the 19th century, the then Magister for Civil Service remarked that [i:6fcd89eb82]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[/i:6fcd89eb82]. The Cupboard is therefore a sort of "government within the government". The Magisters of the Realm are: First Magister (kind of like a PM); Lord of the Treasury (terribly important); Magister of the Home Services; Magister of the Overseas Services; Chancellor of the Exchequer (also very important); Lord Admiral of the Navies and Marines; Lord Field Marshal of the Armies and Militias; Magister of the Civil Service; Chancellor of the Emperor's Justice; Lord Speaker for the House of Nobles; Lord Speaker for the House of Divines; Lord Speaker for the House of the Freemens Moot; Lord Speaker for the House of Folksdage; Lord Gravio of Angera (Angera was once an independent country, and their archons have sort of evolved into this Magistracy office. Presumably to keep said archons out of trouble.); Lord Gravio of Rumnias (same); Chancellor of the Posts and Highways; Lord Keeper of the Seals and Signs; Lord Great Chamberlain; Lord High Constable; Magister for Policies and Writs; Magister for Civil Ministries; Lord Bishop of Pylycundas (Kristian); Lord High Priest of Our Lady of the Seas (Pagan); Lord High Justice for Angera; as well as various Magisters without Portfolio.
These Magisters and their bureaux are the guys that actually Get Things Done. Coming for example under the Chancellery of Posts and Highways, there is a whole bureau devoted to sorting out the issues of timekeeping. An Act of the Parliament (1666: [i:6fcd89eb82]On the Establishment and Ordering of Municipal Horologs and Dials[/i:6fcd89eb82]) has determined that if you are a traveling trader without privilege of guild, you may not begin trading in a local summer market until the horolog strikes, for example, the third hour; while local traders have been busy since about the second hour or so of the sun. A considerable advantage to the local men!
Then there is the Parliament itself, which is the [i:6fcd89eb82]Reihesthingô[/i:6fcd89eb82], and is a heptacameral deliberative body that somehow or other actually discusses issues and creates laws. Certain of the Houses are hereditary -- the House of Nobles and the House of Divines; others are elected -- the Freemens Moot and the Folksdage; still others have memberships that are appointed in some way. The Hall of Worthies is a group of abbots, renown scholars and philosophers appointed jointly by the Emperor and the hierarchies of the churches; the Deanery of Arbitrators is composed of heads of the premier universities, guilds, philosophical and magical societies. There are various Rules and Guidelines that determine who can propose a Bill, how it gets voted on and so forth. There is a complicated and interconnected system of oversight, revision, discussion and hammering out of details before a finalized and accepted Bill is ever actually brought before the emperor for approval or rejection.
The seventh House is the most interesting. The sole responsibility for the Guild of Excisioners is to meet once every twelve years for the sole purpose of examining all the laws that have been passed over the last twelve years and determine which of them ought to be extinguished from the books. Their powers are indeed far reaching: they almost never excise laws pertaining to how the Government is run; they usually confine themselves to matters of taxation and spending, the justice system and that sort of thing. All such Laws as they choose to excise are immediately stricken from the books, any taxes they impose are lifted any offices created are nullified. There is no imperial veto, no appeal and no redress. Theoretically, Parliament could choose to simply enact a dead law anew, but such Bills rarely find enough support to pass a second time, and most that do will simply be vetoed by the emperor.
The final, third wheel, of Government is Justice. It's not really a branch of the government per se, like it is in the US. Clearly, laws need to be interpreted and crimes need to be punished, and it is the basic function of Government to make sure that happens. But [i:6fcd89eb82]how[/i:6fcd89eb82] all that actually gets done is something Parliament and monarch alike tend to wash their hands of. Most justice happens at the constabulary level -- a local sheriff or constable either sees you being naughty or hears credible account that you've been naughty and into the stocks with you, or more likely, a turning out of your pockets to see how much of a fine you'll be paying!
More serious crimes are dealt with by the actual legal system, comprised of Quarter Courts, Assizes and the various High Courts (religious / ecclesiastical, moral and magical crimes may be tried in special courts outside the usual system).
There is no Supreme Court analogue, on account of their being no Constitution for them to decide the constitutionality of any law. A law is simply valid because of the emperor's sign and seal, so "constitutionality" is a moot point. Courts of final appeals are generally handled by a very high religious dignitary like a bishop or else the emperor himself.
Above all this complicated machinery of Government is the glue that binds it all together: the Commission of Heaven and the Three Covenants.
In the Eastlands, the Commission of Heaven is a constitution on the "conditional legitimacy" of the government of a state. So long as the ruler maintains proper balance of the Three Covenants, his reign is legitimate; when he breaks one or more of the Covenants, his reign ceases to be legitimate. The Three Covenants of a legitimate government are: that the Emperor reigns only with the consent of his people; that the Emperor reigns in covenant with the Heavenly Father & the Law of Heaven and that the Emperor reigns in covenant with the constitutions of the realm. With these Three Covenants in balance, the Empire flourishes and the Emperor himself truly beams with a divine aura and is able to work the particular dwimmery proper to a legitimate king at the head of a legitimate government of a prosperous nation.
When one or more of the Covenants are broken, the government ceases to be legitimate and the ruler risks losing the Commission of Heaven and subjects the country to the (usually quite dire) consequences of such a situation. The blessings heaped upon the ruler and the earthly worship of his people come about because the ruler acts with justice and love at all times. And these blessings can be taken away if the underlying nature of the Commission is not followed; and this taking away of the Commission is almost always done in an especially entertaining fashion. Well, not so entertaining, perhaps, for the king who finds his Commission being yanked out from under him, but almost certainly entertaining from a particular perspective. For example, an historian sitting in a nice easy chair in a comfortable library a thousand miles and a hundred years distant from those rather distasteful events of history! This, again, is where the Ministry of Kingmaking can come into play: if an emperor becomes too big for his sarong or if he continually abuses his authority, they are within rights to remove him from office. In a bag if need be. In bits, if it comes right down to it.
Westmarche is also what we'd call a constitutional monarchy, or rather a constitutional oligarchy. The Daine, too, understand and revere the Commission of Heaven and their rulers abide by its principles. Daine are generally much more honorable and honest than Men, and rarely do their queens get into shady political business. It could be that a queen might compromise her relationship with her people by falling in love with the brother of a rival / enemy queen. This could spell disaster if the situation is allowed to play out. Daine queens will generally step down of their own accord once they realize they've lost the Commission.
Queenship is not hereditary in Westmarche, and the functions of their queens are really more like those of a chairwoman than a ruler. Daine like to govern by the consensus of councils of advisors; and this is why you rarely find any Daine kings. Because these various advisory boards and councils consist of girls sitting around and gabbing about various problems and hashing out solutions.
The Greatqueen is thus a sort of super-chairwoman, leading all her various boards of advisors and also seeking the input from her regional and local councils. Lots and lots of gabbing! :lol: Like the emperors of Auntimoany, the Greatqueen does have her Ministers of what amounts to the civil service. These, interestingly enough, are staffed almost entirely by boys -- they're better at, once a consensus be reached, actually getting the job done.
Daine queens don't have as many Ministers as the Auntimoanian emperor; but the chief ones are similar in scope of duty. Some, like the Minister of Woodlands in Summer or the Minister of Tranquil Pools and Ancient Groves have no direct equivalency. They don't have a money-based economy, so there are no ministries of finance or banking as they've got in Auntimoany. Other ministries handle a wide variety of responsibilities: for example, the Minister of Flocks and Herds, who is generally responsible for ensuring that herdbeasts are well cared for (among other agricultural duties) is also responsible for organizing a cadre of sheriffs and sheriffs men whose duty it is to make sure the Men who work on, travel along or live near the caravan-way (the Railroad) don't get into any trouble and don't wander too far from where they're allowed to be. I guess herding Men and herding Sheep are a lot alike in many ways!
There are judges who are wise in the Way of Heaven (what we might call "moral and ethical principles") who will listen to all sides of an argument and decide who is in the right, arbitrating between the two parties. They don't have lawyers or a layered legal system. The local queen, however, can serve as an arbitrator of last instance.
[quote:6fcd89eb82="chiarizio"]How much of that was never true? How much is no longer true? How much intrigues you so that it's likely to become true soon? How much was just a bit off -- like, maybe, it happens in Westmarche instead of Auntimoany, or it's uncle-to-nephew (like in Montenegro IRL) instead of aunt-to-niece, or something?[/quote:6fcd89eb82]
I very much like the idea of heirdom of the niece (rather than daughter). It is common in Daine society for a woman to impart her particular skills, crafts or wisdom to a sister's daughter. I'd like to think that any positions (like a queenship) that are hereditary are passed that way, so thanks indeed for the inspiration there!
[quote:6fcd89eb82="chiarizio"]And of course your post inspires [u:6fcd89eb82][i:6fcd89eb82]so many[/i:6fcd89eb82][/u:6fcd89eb82] more questions. I'd probably better wait at least a day before asking more.[/quote:6fcd89eb82]
Sure, ask away!
Do any of the peoples in The World, or in any of your conworlds, now have, or have once had, a tradition that some kind of headship should pass from a woman to her brother’s daughter?
So the head is almost always a woman, and her successor is almost always her brother’s daughter?
(Whether usually her oldest brother’s oldest daughter, or usually her youngest brother’s youngest daughter, or something less formulaic.)