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Old 07-11-2022, 12:08 PM   #711
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Folklore and Legend:

Sophants have not given up their need for myth. Some myths are connected explicitly to a religion or ideology, some to a famous epic and some are acknowledged to be fictional.

Different cultures have traditions based on their ancestral background and sometimes on a widely revered author. Caledonians for instance have a liking for Celtic tales. Similarly Swordies have not only bloodthirsty tales similar to the work of Scops and Skalds but local imitations of old traditional fairy tales. Water and forest spirits, monks and hermits or druids (for those who wish to evoke prechristian traditions) with mysterious abilities and so on are beloved by Caledonians, while Swordies predictably have tales of dragons, trolls, Alvar, and Dwarves. Aslan as is well known have tales of their ancestors as well as of mysterious creatures which some have compared with fey.

Some tales are held among starports, and common among crews and service personal. The "Allyfolk" are a type of fey that enjoys labyrinthine things and fears what is broad and straight. They are also according to most legends afraid of the light and avoid sunlight, as well as artificial lighting. Gremlins are known to anthropologists to have been invented just before starflight. Now it is a catch all for creatures that inhabit software. These are of various types from the benevolent to the harmless trickster to the malicious.

Loyal machines of various types are popular with the advent of computers. Some inhabit one given user's computer system and some are as big as the guardian spirit of a starship. Many cultures have esoteric rituals for the naming of ships, or in some cases other types of objects (both Aslan and Swordies name practically everything).

Some type of ancestor veneration is popular among many peoples even among Caledonians whose official religion is either Reconciliationist or Neopresbytyrian in imitation of ancient Scotland. Modern computers make that easier: a journal by a past military or political hero, spiritual leader, or simply a respected entertainer is often made into an icon and future generations can know their appearance and modes of speech.

The uses for those ideas can range from mere decoration to a full on space-fantasy. Another idea is to stop in the middle of an adventure and tell stories (this is really better done in a book perhaps but might be a way to have an intermission to a campaign).
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Old 07-18-2022, 10:44 AM   #712
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Privy land vs common land: Among Aslan especially those in contact with humans it is common to effectively incorporate parts of the land to make room for massive projects (stereotypically a ranch). Furthermore, if they are Ihatei, they often make covenants of vassalage with the occupants of the world that involve service-and no one can individually do enough service to merit enough land to handle a Clan's investments while it is often considered vulgar to demand land earned by others for private usage. The result is to divide unassigned land into commons and privy land. In fact this is a misnomer: usually the Ko at least has the legal fiction of owning the commons and indeed the land of the various vassals. But the privy land is actually treated as personal property of the Ko while the commons are the property of the clan in actuality, that is they are treated as corporate property.

Gift Chests: While Aslan males often have a sentimental romance for heroic gift economies of the supposed past, they know perfectly well that money is more efficient for most needs. Male Aslan are in the difficulty of not being able to admit to knowing how to handle money and need face savers. The favorite one is to use a female relation as an agent. Another is to use ornate gift chests. These are boxes that are works of art in themselves, decorated with caligraphy, painting, and other such means, sometimes including gilding. Inside are carried the type of geegaws considered to be honorable. Among these gifts, will often be given a check. Supposedly the check is a by-the-way. But in reality the check is often the main good exchanged and the gifts are a face saver.

Regifting: As among Humaniti precious and unique artifacts are a common lubricant to commerce and politics. Gifts given by this method are often unfortunately rather like "white elephants": it is impossible to liquidate them without insulting the giver. Giving them again however is perfectly honorable as long as done carefully. Indeed as with similar customs among Humaniti the artifact will often gain in value as it's "ancestry" is lengthened and sagas will be told of their history.
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Old 08-04-2022, 02:56 PM   #713
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Roger's Grenadiers:

This is a well known mercenary unit active in the Spinward Marches. It specialized in boarding actions and urban (including underground) warfare. This is an unusual specialty for mercenaries who generally do not like such high-casualty tickets, but it is in high demand for most states are unwilling to field large regular forces for such a specialized mission.

The Grenadiers are a the size of an independent brigade. They usually serve in smaller task forces and many of their tickets are to provide a battalion or so on call. They provide a collection of highly trained infantry and combat engineers as well as specialists like electronic warfare, recon, and other such things and are regularly trained in the difficulties of operating in a 3d artificial environment. They also have the attraction of having an efficient counterintelligence and courier system which allows them to be assembled without detection: this last capability has caused the Imperium several times to hire them for anticorsair missions. Their equipment while effective is not up to the level of Imperial level warfare: for instance while they have basic body army and hazardous environment suits they do not have battlesuits. Their basic weapon is the gauss rifle with disintegrating rounds and grenades of various types, purpose built for close in work. They also have a line of engineering tools designed to overcome obstacles.

They have a highly professional attitude about the tickets they take, refusing all tickets against a polity which has agreed to billet them (such polities also are allowed discounts when they wish to hire as are long time customers). They have also of late, in between major contracts taken duties as Swat for municipal police. For this work they have begun hiring professional hostage negotiators which in fact proved useful in military duty on more than one anti-corsair mission.

Personal are primary mixed humaniti-aslan. There are no rules about this other than obeying articles. The group is officially an LIC but Grenadiers can buy shares at a discount increasing with rank, seniority, and other distinctions. Officers can receive a commission on completing the Regina Free Lance Officer Candidate School, which takes subcontracts from various mercenary bands to train officers. The Brigadier and Council of Colonels however are either ceremonial leaders or business administrators rather than professional officers. Actual operations are in the hands of the Senior Lieutenant Colonel and his staff.
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Old 08-10-2022, 07:43 PM   #714
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The Prince of Caledonia's Own College of Heralds:

This judiciary body is appointed for two purposes. One is to oversee the registration of trademarks, patents, copyrights, coats of arms, and similar legal issues having to do with the rightful possession of heraldric symbols. The other and related is to judge the awarding of honors.

In Caledonia, honor is a serious business and no mere politician is to be allowed to pollute it for reasons of their own calling. The College of Heralds is composed of representatives from each guild (including the military and constabulary and other emergency services) plus a portion elected publicly plus another portion chosen by the Prince: the Prince's popularity is greatly effected by his wisdom in the matter of choosing heralds.

Each guild member is required to have a minimum status in their respective vocation to even be selected as a candidate. Candidates are selected by popular vote of all guild members or almost all: whether or not apprentice equivalents vote varies. Each guild chooses recommendations for honors as well as for knighthood or more rarely ennoblement. Final selection is at the discretion of the Prince.

The College of Heralds is carefully organized to distribute rewards in a way that respects their sanctity and of all the institutions of Caledonian government is one of the most respected.
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Old 08-10-2022, 08:45 PM   #715
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The Prince's Ancient and Honorable Shanachie Academy.

This is a college patronized by the Prince of Caledonia to train chanters and singers, harpers and pipers to perform in the Prince's Court. The establishment picks entertainers to tell poetic tales in High Gheldaght and Ganglic to the accompaniment of the Clarsach and Great Pipes.

Skilled entertainers are chosen for the school from all over the worlds of Caledonia and occasionally from outside. The most successful graduates are picked as permanent members of the Court Orchestra but just passing the course is enough to guarantee performing once before the Prince as well as pretty much assuring a career in Noble's courts' or before public media. Some graduates have become chieftains and/or nobles for their achievement.

Favorite subjects for performance are renditions of the pre-starflight works of Scot, Stevenson, and Burns as well as more ancient works including early medieval poetry. Also included are the songs of the Canadian bard Loreena McKeenitt. Other songs include heroic epics about the history of the Black Watch from it's formation in Ancient Britain to the colonizing of Caledonia, and heroic traditional tales from all through Caledonia's past to the present. It is customary for a Caledonian subject receiving honors to have a verse composed in his name. Aslan as well as humaniti often become members and sagas from clan histories are often rendered in Aslan fashion.

One of the most notable occasions for performance by members of the Academy was upon a diplomatic envoy to Capital to negotiate with the Emperor. Sheila Prince's Daughter of Michael III* was sent as leader both to lend aristocratic prestige and to give her experience for future political occasions. On this event the Emperor gave a feast prepared by some of the greatest chefs in the Imperium while the Academies bards played a series of heroic epics.

*In Caledonian usage only the Sovereign Prince is "Prince". The heir is "Tanist", the Consort is either Crown Prince (ess) or"Consort" and the other children are Prince's Sons or Daughters. Siblings and Cousins are referred to as Derbsman or Derbswoman.
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