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Old 09-27-2022, 09:42 PM   #721
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Library Sticks

These are old artifacts, not truly ancient, they would have been made during the early days of the Long Night or towards the end of the Ramshackle Empire. Basically these are databases with the equivalent of a 21st century University Library encoded into them.

Although most of the contents are well known in the 3I books long thought lost have been found. In one Library Stick the literature of an entire Asian culture was recovered. So these are sought out.

On the other claw, these items are found mainly in the Solomani Rim. Many reactionary nobles have a paranoid view of these things and fear ancient evils may be returned to the world. They point to the recovery of the writings of Ben Franklin and Tom Paine from Library Sticks. They'll kill to prevent further discoveries.
That's not bad
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Old 10-06-2022, 02:07 PM   #722
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Wikibook:

This is a form of literature made possible by new informational technology. There are several examples of them, some of which reach the level of national symbols. What they all share in common is being a nested story with one central theme sprouting outward into branches in a format similar to what one thousand and one nights achieves on paper. With the technique of linking narrative elements together it can reach an unbelievable degree of elaboration and in most cases no one person has read all of it. They are usually the product of such organizations as entertainment guilds rather than individuals and in many cases are continually added to as said guild judges the worthiness of a story.
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Old 10-07-2022, 12:56 PM   #723
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Arklord: A gradation of master merchant found in many merchant's guilds. The curious word is borrowed from the term "shiplord" (used in ancient Bruges for owner) and "ark" (a anachronistic word for box and hence container). Arklord is used in preference to Shiplord in reference to the fact that many planetary merchants and DFD specialists use aerial or overland media as well as or even in preference to space or even water transport. The grade above is often Taipan.

Taipan is an extremely high status in merchant's guilds and on some planets is considered in precedence equal to nobility or even royalty. On other worlds high nobles will have honor rank as Taipans. This of course depends on the esteem in which the professsion of merchanter is held. On at least one planet venturers (import exporters and transporters) take precedence over local retailers and a Taipan who is not filling an honorary position must have considerable investment in those facets. The term Taipan is derived from an ancient Asian address through the convoluted path of a noted novel, and a primitive electronic game that pioneered the Terran computer industry.
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Old 10-07-2022, 01:57 PM   #724
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Ship's Poet:

This is a position occasionally found on some ships. It is essentially a type of advertisement. In some cultures consumers especially of specialty products enjoy a colorful story attached to their purchase, even if it is mostly fiction. This tendency is marked among Aslan, with their love of fine crafts and traders dealing with them quite often employ a ship's poet in some places. A secondary role is to provide entertainment for passengers and for dockside visitors to a Kintledge (General cargo used to round off the hold) bazaar. Entertaining the crew is a regular tertiary duty. Generally except on large passenger lines as such personal will be on call for other duties; many are comms officers or assistant comms officers which is a duty that leaves leisure in jump space. It is generally held that the profession was in fact invented by Aslan and several of it's traditions are Aslani in origin.
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Old 10-10-2022, 01:13 PM   #725
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Trade Stamp. This is a practice dating back to before the Imperium but modified several times the latest being in the Interstellar Standardization Treaties sponsored by Empress Arbellatra which negotiated practices for crossborder transport. It is a slab on every average sized and above shipping container used in intersteller commerce for placing tracking information. It contains a copy of the log and manifest of each shipper as well as a signature by the deliverer, recipient, and customs official respectively. It is not as some say an effective antismuggling tool (smugglers usually rendezvous with an interplanetary vessel in the less explored parts of a system anyway). It is however good for tracking lost and stolen items, as well as providing intelligence. The data from these is stored at starports and available on request to the public unless information declared secret by the government or by private request; and often used as material for such things as almanacs and rutters.

Intendants: Known by various names, these are personal "corporate samurai" of officials and nobles. They can be of various kinds such as a political fixer, an intelligence specialist or crime investigator, a cyberoperative, a solicitor or barrister. They serve under similar terms to Huscarls, indeed some actually are considered Huscarls, as many nobles prefer some sort of secret seryice or detective type force to well-trained bouncers, and it is not unknown for intendents to need martial arts skills.

Traelight Forbund: This is a Sword Worlder sorority based on the techniques of hearthtending. It maintains a magazine, both online and paper, publishes several books on the subject and organizes interstellar tournaments. While only women are admitted as full members, only the most secret of meetings are barred to males and men who take an interest in the subject or have loved ones who do often read the publications or appear at meetings by invite. Though mostly Sword Worlds there is no political barrier and members are allowed from other worlds even ones which the Sword Worlds are often at war with (Sword Worlder's consider it honorable to appreciate a worthy opponent). Traelight discusses such factors as wood types, soil, and climate, scent, and appearance. Interestingly a separate periodical is maintained for flame sculptures. While the Forbund is willing to amicably admit Darrian's despite their "strangeness" it is generally held that any technology above the chemical match takes away from the art. Indeed some insist on only using flint and steel in a fire made for artistic purpose, though using conveniences like an electric furnace for heating and cooking is acceptable. In any case the Forbund compromises by considering flame sculptures a separate discipline to Sword World, fireart albeit deserving publications specific to it in the same society.
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Old 10-10-2022, 08:45 PM   #726
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Household Vote: a method of voting in some Sword World states where you vote by household rather than individuals. Each individual with the franchise in the electorate counts as a "household" and gets one vote. Heads of families vote the votes of all members including spouses and children up to two generations. Note the fact of a family head gaining an extra vote for membership in the family does not nullify that individuals vote. For instance a couple with three adult children will have one vote for each child, the wife (assuming female franchise which is not always the case in the Sword Worlds) and the husband and the family head will cast five votes.

As the family head is usually the father or grandfather the effect is to reinforce patriarchal rule. That is only a secondary effect. The real purpose is to reinforce gerontocratic rule. As Sword Worlders set great store by tradition, organizing the electoral system to reinforce that is often considered an advantage in Sword World states that account themselves as republics.
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Old 10-12-2022, 08:19 AM   #727
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Caledonian Travellers: Nomadic, Semi-nomadic, and Diasporan peoples are found throughout Known Space. Modern technology makes a nomadic life compatible with civilized amenities such as access to recorded information and entertainment. This combined with the freedom of movement, and tribalistic kinship, as well as the lack of easily-preyed-upon, fixed location property such as farmland make the nomadic life appealing. Almost always space nomads are traders and artisans like the Roma on Terra, rather then the better remembered pastoralists and hunter-gatherers (although carrying livestock in suspension is common, as is restocking provisions by stopping at an unsettled planet to forage). Sometimes the borderline between a trader going on a long voyage and true nomadism is gray for there are often family or similar ties aboard free traders.

The Caledonian variety are termed Travellers. They spend much of their time wandering, subsisting on such things as trade, salvage, prospecting and all sorts of odd jobs. In keeping with the typical romanticism of British especially Scottish history, the term is given for the similarity to the wandering artisans of yore. They are an ancient people; legend says they were fleet followers in the Interstellar Wars, and adopted an informal alliance with the Blackwatch Marine Division. In any case throughout Caledonian history including the Long Night, Caledonian Travellers kept commerce going, often by "relay routes" which transferred goods from as far away as the other side of what is now the Imperium, sometimes in partnership with similar groups to themselves from far away. They were some of the first Caledonians in many sectors.

Typically they voyage in Komar class Free Traders or similar vessels. Richer clans tend to have a Taorl class Aslan designed ship as clan flagship or even as the only ship in a clanfleet; they generally call this the Hermes Variant although arguably there are not really enough unique modifications to justify terming it a true Variant. In either case they have a modified clan structure based on their needs. Each crew of a ship is usually accounted a sept (though members of a sept are often loaned to each other) and the captain is alternately termed chieftain. A clan flagship contains the actual clan chief who may have as many as twenty or more septs under him as they often band together for protection. They do not travel continuously. Often a clan will spend years parked in orbit while members not needed to tend to the ships will rent facilities downside. At these times they will build and buy new ships, repair old ones, decide policy, and conduct community necessities such as matchmaking or recruitment of new members. As well they forage or cultivate crops or livestock seasonally to resupply provisions and trade goods. They will also sell labor to dirtsiders for they are invariably skillful in such tasks that are associated with ship operation some of which like Engineer and Electronics Operation are in demand everywhere. Nomenclature tends to be related to their way of life: ship or class names (McKomar) , names of famous voyagers (I.E. McBrendan), Astronomical points, space phenomena, or ports of call.

Travellers tend to pay fealty to the Prince of Caledonia. In return for intelligence on activities far away the Prince offers such necessities as a source of advanced equipment (including self defense weaponry) and more important, military protection, political representation, and legal assistance from Caledonian Embassies and Consulates. This will sometimes drive policy: for instance a treaty with a faraway power might include provisions for support of the clans in the area. Every clan in a sector elects a "Laird-speaker of the Travellers" who has an automatic seat in the House of Lords, should he be on-planet in the Principality, and the precedence of a noble graded according to the trade volume in his area, and the personal respect he enjoys. The Laird-speaker's duties were first intended to be a diplomat or lobbyist and he represented the Traveller's both to the Crown and to foreign governments. Later his position evolved to something like a Cossack Ataman, for during times of war (in which time dependents and their caretakers are put off on a friendly world and the ships serve in raiding and assymetric warfare) his authority becomes absolute and he personally leads on campaign.

It is to be noted that not all Caledonian merchants are part of Traveller Clans. It is a statement of culture as well as occupation. It is known however for Travellers to accept a franchise or subsidiary type of arrangement with large shipping cartels preferably Caledonian ones. Examples of this relationship are to be found in the Spinward Marches and along the Great Reft in which Travellers and the Transrift Corporation have regular contact with one another.
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Old 10-21-2022, 08:28 PM   #728
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Spacer "Universities":

Despite the prestarflight legend of the down and out starship manned by poverty stricken crew, spacers even of tramp vessels are at the forefront of interstellar culture. Aside from the obvious point that a real tramp is a big investment and will be cared for the ability of modern computers to process information has led to a custom of using starships to fuel the intersteller inteligentsia. Curiously this started in Ancient Terra where the last sailing vessels would recruit based on advertising an "experience" that might be useful to put on an application. Megacorporations do not usually take part in this as much because of the large number of personal to administer. Smaller vessels, who have a more intimate crew and who visit out-of-the-way ports more often take more effort in such things.

The classic version of this is to recruit supernumerary crew. These can be gotten by a notable captain at low wages for often a patron at home will pay the wages themselves. Sometimes indeed the ship can actually make a profit when dirtsiders pay for a position for relations. The real payment the newbie gets is being taught in a trade as well as anything he learns in the studying along the way. Famously the Scouts have a variation on this and many still say their program is the best given that they have access to material from all over the Imperium. Private ships often use this idea though. Extra crew can at worst serve for maintaining the ship or loading and unloading when a stevedore crew is less convenient. A rough and ready security service is also available. However as the job is generally thought of in terms of apprenticeship it is common to assign them as assistants to an officer. This can cause problems but if they have gone through training before hand it is less awkward. In the meantime there is leisure time during jump periods, enough for a spacer to educate himself, and enough access to proper material.

A variation of this comes from interaction with dirtside. There is a lively trade in information in such forms as e-books and lecture recordings. Out of the way worlds often have no other source of knowledge and will pay for this as they pay for medicine, rare technology, mail, news, and the like.

A smaller part of this is the carrying of passengers. Scholars traveling from one research facility to another usually go by passenger vessels or dedicated courier vessels. However they often buy a ticket in a smaller vessels. Correspondents, Sociologists and Artists have been known to go on small vessels to get a feel for the lifestyle.
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Old 10-21-2022, 09:52 PM   #729
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Gustav Ericson Farkost Bedref:

Gustav Ericson Shipping Enterprises in Tizon is a centuries own firm. It is predominately owned by an alliance of established families who own supervoting rights in the company articles. It is predominately a shipbuilding company rather than a carrying one and it's ships are known in and outside the Sword Worlds. Named after the Aland Islands merchant prince at the end of the sailing days on ancient Tera "Gustav's" is known for a series classes of long distance general-purpose freighters collectively nicknamed "Gustav's" like the corporation. Typical Gustav's are medium sized one or two jump vessels. They often carry an array of missiles and missile defenses large for merchants for they are meant to deter pirates by the sheer size of the salvos they can throw especially when arrayed in convoy. With this in mind Tizonians have been able to go on long voyages through uncivilized space or have sold ships to others with a mind for that. Not by coincidence this has gotten them government subsidies as when the "shipfyrd" (what the Imperium calls Ships Taken Up From Trade) is called by Tizon, Gustav ships are often pressed as transports or supply vessels.

The last class commissioned (with typical Swordie gallows humor) is the Mordor class Hazmat freighters. This is a projected series of ships built to haul radioactive material. For this purpose a number of security measures were added on including redundant and heavily reinforced compartments.
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Old 10-24-2022, 09:10 PM   #730
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Duke of Selkirk:

This title is held by the Sovereign Prince of the Caledonians and is senior to all other titles except that of the prince. While the Sovereign Prince has the rights of a nonvoting presidency in the Lords most often he or she attends under the title of Duke of Selkirk (who DOES have a vote, curiously but it is usually reserved for stalemates). Which title he will use depends on the matters under discussion at a given session.

The Fief connected to the Duchy of Selkirk is unlike other Crown Territories, reserved to the Prince. Other Crown Lands are often dispersed as life estates to kin, or favorites, or as political bribes. The Tanist for instance regularly holds at least one Duchy until he takes the crown. Several crown estates are managed by a steward rather than parceled out.
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