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Old 02-13-2015, 11:34 AM   #531
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Euneican Grand Spring Festival, Part 3

The local minor human race is know for their good looks, longevity, martial arts skills, and their love of art, especially music and dance. At least that's what they are know for to most of the galaxy. To the inner circles of Imperial intellegence, that uses this world for a research base, the local Minor Human race is known as a terrifing anomoly, a race of humans successfully genetically engineered to enhance their psionic abilities by a group of mad men obcessed with the works of J.R.R.Tolkien!

The Quendi fit the generall description of Tolkien's elves and seem to have been designed to fit the stories. Luckily, Tolkien is known but obscure and the backgrounds of his stories are only known to a few specialist scholars. This wouldn't be important except that the Quendi are the longest lived human race known to the Imperial secret sevice. Because the Quendi are standoffish and don't have many close contacts with non-Quendi, this isn't widely known, although it is commonly known the Quendi are long lived.

Every Quendi has measurable psionic potential. But Psionic use is controlled by religious experience. Wizardry (secular use of Psionics) is very rare and required to be subtle. This means that the Imperial Secret Services can keep the Quendi under wraps and work with the Quendi "Wizards" to study psionics (in order to improve defenses against the Zhodani.

The Quendi seem to have some psi skills unknown elsewhere, mainly the ability to create illusions. These are limited in scope, a distant cry, the feeling of something clawing on your skin, a distrubing shadow seen out of the corner of the eye, a faint but noticable scent of burning, the taste of what you think is poison in your drink, and other small scale sensory tricks. The Imperial Secret service sees multiple uses for such little tricks.
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:53 AM   #532
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Development of two concepts thought of earlier:

The Otherside Route

This is a frontier zone to GSouth of the Zhodani consulate. It receives it's name from it's dependency on a trade route with a mysterious civilization on the "otherside" of the Zho. There are numerous theories of the nature of this civilization. The most mundane of these is just that it is the Coreward Zhodani but many of the goods that come down the Route are not of Zho make at all. Others say it is an undiscovered race of Humaniti, or the Droyne homeworld, or many another speculation of varying degrees of plausibility. There is a plentiful supply of trade going down the route from a relay system that resembles the contacts between the Zho and the Vilani or the pre-Imperial Syleans and the Vilani in the last stages of the Long Night. To support this there are scattered high TL civilizations, both human and alien some of which are, extremely curious. This is one of the few areas of virgin territory known in the Imperium and is of immense interest to Scouts and adventurous traders. Population is low except in well protected and isolated settlements because of the continual Vargr raids but it is generally held that a determined effort may correct this. To enable this, Archduke Norris and several other rulers have given Ihaiti vassalships and provided transit rights, subsidies, equipment and other such necessities to would be Aslan colonizers in the hope not only of developing the Otherside Route but continuing Norris' secret policy of establishing an Aslan tripwire(see below) between the Imperium and the Vargr.
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:08 AM   #533
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Aslan Tripwire:

Rumored policy of Archduke Norris of allowing transit rights to Ihaiti in return for forming a chain of Aslan vassal states between the Imperium and the Vargr. This policy is neither confirmed nor denied most likely because of desire to avoid upsetting Humaniti-nativists more then need be.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:36 AM   #534
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Street Sagas:

This is a generic name for stories based on the manipulations of Nevite Clan Elders, and Clan Secret Services played out within the various cities they set up shop in. They deal with things like politics, vendetta, and struggle for wealth, power, security, and honor. They also deal with crime and corruption. They come in a spectrum between the "light" and the "dark" end. The light end is recognizably similar to an Ancient Terran Cozy or similar Vilani fashions. It can also resemble a sports story if, as is commonly the case, it focuses on the continual battle of wits between factions on a normal and respectable level, rather then a crime or other disruption. At the "dark" end it is more violent and can figure vendetta or similar breakdown. This type has been compared to a Terran gangster epic. As technology can play an important part, it can resemble a cyberpunk at both ends. This genre is a favorite of female writers and readers as the city unlike the trade routes is considered a predominately female jurisdiction, and as Intelligencers(who naturally play a strong role in these) are as likely to be female as male unlike cruder professions such as Armsmen, or regular military.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:40 PM   #535
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The Ballad Deck

Just as we have the Tarot Cards, the 3I has The Ballad Deck. Scholars have shown that the Ballad Deck started as a New-Agey commercial product based on Child's Popular English and Scottish Ballads. The title of each card and the image on the card is drawn from a ballad, folksong, or other source.

Examples: The Death of Queen Jane is based on Child #170 the image is a woman laying on a bed, and a man in royal robes kneeling by it. Interpretive meaning:Reality crushing Illusion, Lies scattered by truth, Birth and Death, Private Sorrow and Public Joy. Reversed: Truth rejected for Illusion. Festering misery.

Get up and Bar the Door is based on Child #275 the image is of a man and woman refusing to look at each other while thieves rob them. Interpretive Meaning Petty Quarrels, Disunion leading to being exploited by others. Reversed Peace, Unity in the face of Foes.

The present day decks across the 3I vary widely in which ballads are represented. Many ballads and stories not represented in Child's nor even part of Solimani folk tradition are represented in the cards in different areas of the 3I. In spite of the widespread knowledge of the origins of the cards, they are widely seen as effective. Superstitions based on the cards both for fortunetelling and magic are commonplace. Urban legend holds that the Zhodani may have created the deck to corrupt the Imperium.

The cards are seen as illicit in some areas, inspired in others, and good silly fun in still other places.

The popularity of the Cards makes references to the Ballads commonly represented in the Cards current.

Agents of the Zhodani and Ine Givar are known to use fortune tellers as covers. Also, many ancient scams and frauds are still carried on under the cover of the mantic arts.

It should be noted that the Ballad Cards allow the use of musical themes and background music to be integrated into play. This can be used to heighten suspence and provide several different types of atmosphere.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:57 PM   #536
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Has anyone thought about widely celebrated holidays?

Did Christmas and Valentine's Day catch on? Is Slug Frying Day a major greeting card holiday?

Please, give us details.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:13 PM   #537
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Has anyone thought about widely celebrated holidays?

Did Christmas and Valentine's Day catch on? Is Slug Frying Day a major greeting card holiday?

Please, give us details.
I have Departure and Homecoming for when the merchant fleet traditionally departs and arrives(a hangover from the on-planet trading season which depends on the whether as the off-world one does not). Both involve partying of all sorts though the later also involves a day of fasting in memorial to the year's casualties and gifts to the poor by the various Merchants' guilds. Mead is traditionally served on both occasions; that is a trader's drink(because bees are an animal that lives by "trading", goes on long voyages, lives in cities and defends it's cities to the death when attacked). These are not Imperial Holidays per se, but customs being contagious are often celebrated in the Imperial Enclave.

Christmas and Valentine's Day still remain. Traditionally Christmas Eve is a fast day and Christmas Day a feast day. Church takes place Christmas Eve, family presents are given Christmas Morn, and the evening of Christmas is for clan feastings.

Weekends are considered party time, and a little bit of tolerable wildness in youngweds is looked on indulgently. Hangouts, clubs, bazaars, etc of various kinds are expected to be full especially at nighttime. Jews of course party on Friday or Sunday rather then Saturday. Goyim, usually Christians but also Parsees, Sikhs, and Maar Zon(the last of whom arrived with the Imperium) party on Friday evening and Saturday. Christians rest and worship on Sundays as Jews do on Saturday though less stringently. Not everyone goes out on the town on the weekend and those who do don't on every weekend, it is just the city is more lively on weekends.

Each clan and each guild has their own feast and fast schedule as well as the ones known to everyone as does each religious sect. There are also days celebrating events of civic importance such as a city founding. Or an Antitriumph(described elsewhere). As well there are irregular, or semi-regular holidays like rites of passage, marriages, the ascension of a chief or what not that celebrate a single event rather then a specific date. One irregular holiday of note is the renaming of a prize taken in a successful privateering voyage(a ship isn't completely captured until it has a new name). While the characters culture are not a conquering culture in the sense of being Bonapartist, they are a warlike one by the need of living in a hard neighborhood and there is usually someone to take out a letter of marque on if only Vargr corsairs. And a successful war voyage is a source of celebration. So it is a fair guess that everyday someone is partying for some reason or none.

Traditions include such things as outdoor storytelling by a bonfire(or indoor at a coffeehouse or drinking house), dancing, gambling and so on. As I said before the only meat served on holidays is hunted, usually from a game park; stuff from a knacker usually is a desecration to holiday season though clans vary in how strict they keep that. Jewish clans capture the meat alive and then have it slaughtered in a traditional manner, the main point being that it had a fair chance to get away one way or another. It is the right of young virgin males to provide the meat, usually hare caught with Aslan firyehs when they are young, when they are older they can use a rifle and chase deer or antelope in either case hunted in packs of six. Other sports include jousting, polo, pigsticking, "Vantha hunts"(from an light flyer or ornithopter that is-I.E as close as humans can get to hunting like an Evantha), hawking, yachting and other such gentlemanly forms of outdoor entertainment. And the Gilda Vindicta(dualing guilds) allow spectators for both sporting matches and grudge matches as well as matches settling interclan disputes. Drinks include most kinds of alcohol and caffine but coffee is the favorite, and as I said Mead has a special place. The character's city is an autonomous Enclave of a diplomatic port therefore more formal celebrations than are fashionable in many settlements of their culture take place. Waltzes and ballets for instance are popular as well as reels. Ice dancing is also popular both by professionals and amateurs.

Militia exercises are treated as sport as well as training for war and gambling is rampant. I once wrote a story where the Imperial Chief of Station placed a bet locally on the assumption that the bookie would be less cautious with information if he thought of him as a patron then he would if he thought of him as a foreign intelligencer.

But no, there is no slug frying day. Although Departure usually comes just after the Springfish run so part of the fun is catching as many fish(and as many fellow predators too) as possible. In fact the other predators that gather for the Springfish run are some of the best parts; Springfish are only for eating but Lancers, which are sort of like Marlin, are considered a worthy catch and are usually taken with a combination of hook and line and harpoon. Lancer teeth are often made into jewelry as is their bill. In any case putting Departure after the fish run is a practical way of stocking on rations as well as being fun.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:28 PM   #538
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Remembrance Club: A genteel club with a nostalgia theme of an idealized Interstellar Wars service club. Songs are usually period as is the decor. Drink includes a high quality selection both of coffees and hard drink and a number of period cocktails are said to be served no where else. It is claimed that perserved holographs of entertainers from the time are shown performing thousands of years after their death, however some vulgar people have expressed skepticism at the authenticity. On some nights there are also live performers. It is considered a genteel place, one for drinking in moderation for elegant pleasure and getting just tipsy enough to enjoy oneself. The stuff they serve there is not something to get smashed on. THAT you can find somewhere else in town.
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:00 PM   #539
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Has anyone thought about widely celebrated holidays?

Did Christmas and Valentine's Day catch on? Is Slug Frying Day a major greeting card holiday?

Please, give us details.
Most holidays are local, limited a single world or even a single region for higher population worlds. There are a few county wide holidays, and fewer subsector or sector wide ones.

Admission Day
is usually county wide or larger. Its the celebration of when a world was admitted into the Third Imperium. This was often done by region, the Emperor sending out the order such and such a region of space was now part of the 3I. The actual news of this got to various worlds at various times, but an official admission date is celebrated. Individual worlds celebrate in their own way, with their own cultural hallmarks, but are united in that they celebrate on the same date.

Landing Day is celebrated on most worlds that recognize they are part of an interstellar culture. Some don't, either because they are Minor Race home worlds, or just refuse to recognize that their ancestors were from another planet. In any case its usually a big affair, and a landing Spot (real or made up for marketing purposes) will have a fair, parades, speeches and such.

X's Birthday
celebrates X, the local Imperial noble with the most power. Such as "Count Duku's Birthday". Depending on the culture (and how much people like Count Duku) it can be a big deal or just an excuse for an air/raft sales event.

Slug Frying Day
occurs on two separate worlds. On Kolskiy/Ot Zell (Lishun 2624) it is a culinary festival, with chefs from all the city/domes meet at the capital in cook-offs preparing the delicious Kolskiy Slug, a creature that centuries ago was a pest, slimeing the domes but now considered a delicacy (offworlders have a differing opinion). On Elvire/Mohica (Neworld 1414) it celebrates the day the last of the Brain Slugs were exterminated, with flamethrowers, finally allowing widespread colonization.
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:51 PM   #540
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If they don't like Count Duku they can spend the day torturing him in effigy and party while they do that.
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