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Old 10-25-2022, 06:35 PM   #731
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Transrift Security Service: This is the armed element of Transrift Corporation (AKA "Jardines"). It has a curious structure. It includes the Transrift Escort Fleet: these are small vessels about the size of a patrol cruiser that accompany convoys. It also includes the grandiosely named Transrift Light Marines. Some units of these are actually fully qualified as that others are simply warehouse security. The TLM is formidable enough to be of some use during a riot or political turmoil in which Transrift personal and passengers are threatened and both the TEF and TLM have gotten some experience during the rough trade wars in which "Jardines" became the market leader on parts of the Great Rift Route. Finally there is the Transrift Secret Service which conducts intelligence and covert operations. All these usually swear feudal fealty to the chairman of the board who conveniently is usually Prince of the Caledonians, a favored Derbsman/Derbswoman or Noble, or the Aslan Fleet Dispatcher for that sector of the route. This is a convenient means similar to that used by several megacorporations to keep hired muscle under control. Equally a deliberately constructed myth of the romance of "Jardines" is built up for similar purpose. It is a formula several times used to win the esprit de corps of personal and it works here.

Another element is the Transrift Star Fencibles. This includes any volunteers among personal and passengers at need for military and other emergency services. As the Transrift still sells transport and assistance for Ihaiti as one of it's main services that naturally means males of a would-be colonial expedition who are naturally a formidable lot and have an even more formidable legend. The TSF also includes the weapons department of large armed merchant ships which in convoy can generate fire that while not something to deter a large fleet would give pause to corsairs.

Other elements include Crown detachment. These originally included Royal Caledonian Naval and Marine personal but now also includes personal from other interested governments. These come and go and sometimes are an awkward fit being sent to provide for their own interests rather than that of Jardines. Also rather bizarrely but conveniently, condottieri hired along the way are included as "crown detatchments".
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Old 10-25-2022, 07:16 PM   #732
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Convoy Commodore:

This is a curious example of word drift. On Ancient Terra in the fleets of classical Anglic powers Commodore meant the lowest level of flag officers but sometimes had a bit of ambiguity: at one time it was used to prevent rank inflation and corresponding expense paying Admirals appropriately.

During the Long Night it became a Merchant Rank. With state protection chancy at best (and some states providing more protection than desired), merchants would form large convoys and hope to deter corsairs by numbers. When that took place a Convoy Commodore was chosen: originally the title was given to a naval officer who came out of retirement to do the job of ensuring formation discipline and he was under the Escort commander. At that time the Convoy Commodore became a legal autocrat; he ruled the convoy much as a captain ruled his ship. The Commodore could be chosen in a number of ways, typically by voting by the owners and/or captains and could only be deposed by death, impeachment or resignation. On long voyages he could command for years at a time.

This tradition is still maintained in wilder parts at the frontiers of the Imperium. Because of this many states who still use commodore in the naval form qualify it. The Royal Caledonian Navy for instance, at various times had the ranks "Commodore-brevet" (for a captain-of-the-line commanding a flotilla, especially one senior enough to merit a flag captain), and "Crown Commodore" (Junior Grade Rear Admiral) neither of which are official now. However the generic "Commodore" usually means "Convoy Commodore" and several corporations as well as Caledonian Travellers use it in it's ancient function.

The Aslan equivalent is Aikoho Siylakht. An Aslan might refer to a human commodore as this even if he knows Anglic.
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Old 10-28-2022, 01:14 PM   #733
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Commonwealth of the Peoples of Aceri:

I have earlier wrote an essay on the nation of Stephenshold now I am writing one about the nation it's liege (the Archducca of Acer) came from.

The Aceri have a similar society to Caledonians especially Travelers in the sense that they are a trading people and prefer a decentralized society of kin-groups and guilds for much the same reason as a lot of peoples. These maintain their power by providing a morale focus for laborers as well as such things as education, political representation, care for dependents and even matchmaking. They also have parallel ideological concerns to Caledonians. The two groups were once indeed in close contact have remained in contact with each other via trade though the mainstreams of the two cultures have migrated in opposite directions through the chance of history. Like many cultures they developed in part from a nostalgic impulse to resurrect a romanticized past. In this case the colony of New Venice and hence to a romanticed Italy of city states, traders, feuds, artists, and condottieri. This nostalgia was only partly fulfilled of course and there were many other cultural sourses. In any case New Venice is extinct by now but refugees have migrated further usually by the strategy of purchasing unclaimed land in return for mounting high guard against Vargr corsairs. Their descendants adopted the name Nevites plus peculiar customs such as using Italian terms for political and social arrangements.

This particular nation began the same way. It began on the world now known as Athena/Hecate for it's strange "fog" (not the same as normal fog which are simply low altitude clouds): Athena for grayness or alternately Hecate for shadowiness. A corsair fleet dropped by a previous society and "generously" requested that the local ruler choose who among his subjects would be turned over to them as slaves. As it turned out that wasn't the brightest of ideas as the ruler ingeniously gave them a cargo hold of secret service agents with orders to find out as much as they could especially about potential allies against the corsairs; and escape and return. Unfortunately only one returned. This one had escaped from his captors and been found and befriended by a Albergho of Nevites who were interested in the tale of a populous people looking for trade, technological assistance, and a military ally. When this one agent returned with an emissary of Nevites he was as a reward, adopted into the ruler's family thus starting what is now known as The House Truant (referring to the fact of being founded by an escaped slave) which reigns now under the title of Archducca.

As time went by external and internal problems drew the consensus that a written constitution was needed. When negotiated it included an unusual quadricameral system. The Senate represents the clans or "Alberghi" and the nobility while the Tribunes represent the Councilum Civis (every voting citizen). The first is in charge of foreign policy while the second is in charge of domestic policy. The tribunes also have a veto over the Senate by having control over the Muster and the Arsenalotti (which oversees state infrastructure including munitions) as well as the traditional control over taxes. The Senate controls the budgeting of monies already taxed as well as the regular military, the foreign chancery, etc. The leader able to garner the most support in the various houses is humorously called the "brute" and chooses the Chancellors.

The third and fourth houses are the Council of Cities and the Council of Valdoges. The Cities have a collective veto over bills in the two main houses. The Valdoges represent the rural population but have a more important job which is to act as "guardians of guardians". They investigate and preside over cases involving matters that have a strong probability of trial manipulation, such as government corruption, organized crime, and espionage, sedition and treason (sedition is defined as levying private war against the law* and the second as aiding a foreign enemy in time of war).

In the meantime the Archducca is a constitutional monarch. He may be male or female unlike the Doges of cities who are usually female. Like lower nobility, he has no NECESSARY executive, judicial or legislative function and he certainly cannot deal high justice by his words. His main duties are to act as head of state and like other nobles to dispense largesse (for which he is given a subsidy and a regular audit as to effectiveness). The Constitution was rounded off with a list of fairly conventional guarantees, however uniquely a database is officially included with this to discuss in depth which precedents shall be used to interpret. In this it is different from the Caledonians who trust to the Common Law for such rather than to specific Constitutional guarantee.

The name of the Commonwealth of the Peoples of Aceri is curious. The word Aceri comes from the final ratification which took place on Maple Island a former landhold of the Archducca known for it's grove's of Terran Maples. It was signed and confirmed with three libations, one of maple flavored coffee (symbolizing masculine honor), one of Corvino (simulating feminine honor) and one of Maple Mead (simulating the Ship of State as it is used regularly to celebrate the launching of ships). The coffee was from the finest product of Motmos while the Corvino was genuine: both were purchased far in advance by the Archducca's Chamberlain and the Corvino was shipped all the way from it's original vinyards on Terra. The Oath of Acer is taken regularly by both new citizens (including minors reaching majority) and new Alberghi with the same libations (obviously with less expensive drink usually) though only new Alberghi need go to the original site. The use of Peoples instead of the more commonly used "People corporate" in the document is a recognition that most politicians misuse the term People (which implies they have unanimous support). Peoples plural, however, an archaic for "ethnicities" can be used for among other things, the state, the nation as a whole, any subgroup within, or even individual citizens who are for this purpose considered Corporation Soles. Commonwealth as a term is held to be litteral; the state is specifically charged with assisting in protecting the interests held in common by those who take the Oath of Acer and thus acknowlege those interests.

Aceri are very much a trading people. Their most noted native products are software and their highly valued crafted jewelry which sometimes price above those coming from a mine. Guarded by a powerful fleet their merchants travel far and wide. The Aceri still maintain their distant relations with Caledonia which desires their alliance for the protection of citizens outside the reach of their own resources.

The art products of Aceri are a source of pride in them. They are known for their great illuminated books which can be the work of years. Their proudest product is the Silvertongue Saga which is a nested story using the wikibook format to trace the dynasty of the heroic bard nicknamed Silvertongue and his wife Falmalire the sea-elven princess (in reality she was a girl of unknown parentage and the descendants of both are unknown and most of their life is fictionalized); onto this theme numerous substories, poems, and songs of various lengths are put to fill what is in effect a library. The work is an ongoing product of the Bardic Guild and the highest honor of a creator is to be "grafted" into the Silvertongue Saga. Silvertongue Saga is itself a graft; other settlements outside Athena/Hecate have their own portions of what is called the Talettree going back an indefinite period of time.

Another cultural peculiarity is obsession with the allegorical significance of material things, especially food and drink, which is so important that oaths are confirmed with toasts. An example is the significance of mead which is used for christening ships as well as Departure Feast (the beginning of the trading year) because of the fact that mead comes from a trading animal that lives in cities and defends it's home fiercely: the mead comes from real Terran bumblebees which are to be found on Athena/Hecate. Likewise Maple symbolizes hope because the most expensive product is tapped from trees decades old and is therefore something no planter will see in his lifetime.**

The emblem of Acer, used on flags, badges, and so forth, is a Navy blue field with a leafless Maple (taken from an ancient Vermont state quarter contributed by a Doge who was a great Numismatist) in the center surrounded by lighthouses for each city and stars representing each Albergho.

*Thus taking a letter of Marque or a mercenary ticket, pursuing a "hot trod" (a criminal within a week or so of flight outside the purview of conventional law enforcement) or attacking a wolves head are legal, engaging in vendetta against a fellow Aceri Albergho or levying armed rebelion against the Commonwealth are not.

**Technology by this time has allowed for earlier taping but the custom is to have a reserve meant for heirs and a younger trees for maintaining the first stages of an orchard.
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Old 10-28-2022, 02:07 PM   #734
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Imperial Persim:

Every Emperor who sat on the Imperial throne had a PerSim made of him to be used for public relations purposes. Naturally this image was carefully sanitized but not to far from reality. The favorite and most widely used Persims are those of Cleon I and Arbatralla the Great, both of whom are dead long enough to attract admiration by the ahistorical.

A similar idea is used in several states. Tizon for instance, though now a republic, gives official approval of the Persim of Swein the Great as being a convenient symbol without the baggage from a live monarch.
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Old 10-29-2022, 10:03 AM   #735
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Alvarian: Sword Worlders have defictionalized many of the elements of a skald from ancient Terra who is held in reverence by them. This particular Skald was fond of the study of language and his most famous was the language of his heroic elves*.

The Sword Worlders developed this further until they have the language Alvarian. It is actually a language family as there are several modes all drawn from the works of this Terran Skald. This is mainly an artistic language used to write poetry in and stands alongside Anglo-saxon and Old Icelandic as a poetic language in prestige. It is to be distinguished from Sagamaal with the lesser use of hard consonants except in the case of Khazad which language was invented almost wholly by Sword Worlders as the original author said little about it.

Alvarian is used by several people's in the Marches as well as the Sword Worlder's. It is especially noted as a source of children's names.

*Alvar in Sword World legend refers either to heroic awe inspiring beings of this model or tricksters and nature spirits haunting several cultures.
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Old 10-29-2022, 04:54 PM   #736
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I wonder how the Sword worlders would see Farmer Giles of Ham or The Roverandom?
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Old 10-30-2022, 12:18 AM   #737
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
I wonder how the Sword worlders would see Farmer Giles of Ham or The Roverandom?
They love the idea of a sensible farmer outwitting a dragon and becoming a Hertug.
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Old 10-30-2022, 01:36 PM   #738
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
They love the idea of a sensible farmer outwitting a dragon and becoming a Hertug.
They should. ;-)
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Old 11-03-2022, 08:27 PM   #739
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Model Railway Convention of Vland:

One of the favorite Terran recreations adopted by Vilani was Model Railways. Despite having never had similar technologies in their history-by the time they were in fact capable of it they had branched into other paths-the hobby appealed to their philosophy of order. It first became popular in the conquest of Nusku and spread outwards. In fact model railroading has had more of an impact on the Imperium than actual railroading which was largely rendered obsolete by grav transport, although to be sure there are a number of systems which still avail themselves of railroads either because of their low technical capacity or as a tourist attraction.

Any sophant with an interest in the hobby who has proven their skill with layouts may enter though a disproportionate number of Bwaps have taken an interest. Most layouts are in fact team projects. Winning layouts are videotaped and the dataholders sold at auction in hobby clubs throughout known space while the layouts themselves are stored at the Imperial Museum of Vland. Dataholders and original layouts are protected by Imperial Copyright and it is illegal to make a duplicate without permission. Claiming a duplicate as an original is liable to a charge of fraud as with any artwork.

Despite that it is possible to legally get duplicates as hobby clubs often provide funds by selling the right to copy a dataholder of a layout found at the Museum. Copies of winning layouts are often used as gifts or bribes by High Nobles while lower ranking ones, though still expensive are might be found in the hands of a reasonably rich citizen.
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Old 11-12-2022, 04:01 PM   #740
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Clan McSheila:

Sheila McEdwards: Was a daughter of a lady-in-waiting in the Princely Court of Caledonia (it is customary for retainers to use either the surname of the employer, in this case the royal family or the surname of the family they are born into and there are rules about which is used where). At a young age she showed ambitions toward naval service and enlisted on a Midshipwoman's commission. She distinguished herself and received a knighthood. Then she transferred to the merchant service, for several years ending up as a ship's captain.

When the Prince offered a boon for services she asked for land on McBrendon which was, by treaty, the new extraterritorial colony on Stephenshold as well as permission to found a clan. She set out, founded a clan and after several years of service to gain landholding rights, distributed holdings among "lacklanders" from Caledonia under the liegeship of Earl McBrendon. She remained active in shipping and her clan boasts several merchant ships convertible into privateers as well as productive agricultural territories.

McSheila is a mixed Human/Aslan clan and the Ko of the Aslan portion is accounted a septchief and holds the chief as liege (in Caledonian usage "sept" can mean either a client clan or a subdivision of a clan that is equal in status with other septs). It's present holdings are mainly along the coastlands and toward the edge of the taiga with a grassland region reserved to the Aslan sept. The present chief is Gordon McSheila but he is often gone on campaign as a professional military officer. His wife Erin McSheila handles most of the economic and political affairs directly or indirectly, as well as matters of family concern such as matchmaking. The McSheilas form a battalion of the 3rd Stephenshold Highland Infantry.
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