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-   -   'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista) (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=83884)

David Johnston2 07-15-2012 11:39 AM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
I think I'd add a fairly popular religion that worships the Ancients, believing that they exist as Beings of Pure Mind. now.

Astromancer 07-15-2012 03:45 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Star Songs and Lullabies

This highly sophisticated blend of poetry, music, and computer instruction, is the basic musical educational program of the 3I. Supported and promoted by Duke Albert (See The Jewel Books) it is brilliant means of teaching children musical notation, poetics, singing, and musical performance, is the source of the musical culture of the 3I.

The content of the program is the 3I's equivalent to Mother Goose.

Because of this program being a major part of every arts curriculum in the Empire the vast majority of well educated people in the Empire can figure out the metric patterns of most poems very quickly. Following hints and ideas in SSaL there are standard lists of tunes for every metrical pattern of poetry. Thus every poem written in any of the many standard conventional meters of Poetry used in the main Imperial languages is also several types of song, including but not limited to, folk songs, pop songs, rock songs, art songs, and lullabies.

Because of this poetry is far more politically important in the 3I than in the 21st century West. Any emotive poem could become a top fourty hit. Political poetry can and does move the masses of the 3I. Thus poets are recognized as both major pop artists the same as rock stars or movie stars and major political influences.

This makes Poets a viable and risky PC type. After all, an injudicious metaphor could get a poet killed.

Astromancer 07-17-2012 02:05 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Another side effect of the highly uniform Musical education of the 3I is that musical codes are quiet common. Mainly because common ideas about what a given note means or could mean are common across such a large space.

This can range from simple to complex, but it's a useful covert means of communication.

Often the tune of a common song everybody learns in grade school can invoke the words and give useful clues as to the value or reliablity of information.

jason taylor 07-21-2012 11:57 AM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Local rather then Imperial custom:

"Twice named"

In the country where my heroes come from people will often wear databases containing a complete dossier of themselves and their kin. However in formal address the names usually contain:

Birth Name
Patronymic For males, matronymic for females
Hall name(extended family, sometimes hyphenated after marriage or adoption to retain the original).
Clan Name
Given Name(official nickname recorded in clan records; can be changed several times to mark an individuals life. each change will be recorded but formal address will be by the last name)

As the chiefs hall name is usually the same as the clans(this doesn't imply hereditary rule; heirs are usually chosen by election and ceremonially adopted) and he is usually the head of his extended family, the effect is that someone with the same hall name and clan name is marked as close kin of a chief; twice named. This is not the same as aristocracy; they have no official hereditary powers as such, and only such advantages as connections and wealth can obtain. The real ruling class are the patricians and matrons who have actually been trained to be rulers. What twice-born do have is the prestige that goes with their name.

A typical twice-named might be likely to seek a vocation that is permitted by an independent income. Some artists, philosophers, athletes or patrons of same are twice-named. Alternatively a twice-named who shows no talent will be dropped in a comfortable occupation where they can do little harm. Others do in fact seek a demanding career, often as Patricians and Matrons but not always. These are theoretically to be treated by clan and guild as no different then any other applicant. While such people do have advantages especially when applying for membership they are not simply given their careers and if they prove unworthy it will reflect back on kin*.

The ritual address to such a person is :

A
Bson or Bdaughter
Twice C(unless clan name and/or hall name are hyphenated)
Called D

Other modifications exist. One of the more common ones is to put the city name after the clan name. The guild is often written after the city name. And spouse and children are often displayed after the patronymic(Ason Bsworn Cfather, or Bdaughter, Asworn and Cmother. Variations are to taste. Local heraldry has a large number of conventions and traditions, but they are flexible enough to allow for expression of individual quirks. Modern technology of course allows the entire geneology to be displayed via hyperlinks worn on the person(as one's relations are also one's allies there is practical as we as aesthetic reason for this). Conventions also exist for displaying religious, philosophical or political preferences, as well as simple tastes and quirks.

jason taylor 07-26-2012 08:47 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Astromancer (Post 1362731)
Hey! What are the popular comics and pulp magazines of the imperium? Which Genres of popular fiction dominate the news stands?

I developed a lot of thought on the literary traditions of the people I set my story along.

One I developed was what is called a Totemic Saga. It is a biography of an object(not necessarily called Totemic because it is of ritual significance as such-but simply because "McGuffinite" sounds awful). It can be any object as long as it is reasonably "cool". Sometimes will follow this object from the hands of one hero to another and so on. But the most unique style is following it from it's actual production, then it's journey along long routes from trader to trader until it reaches a given destination. In the course of that journey many adventures will come, some mundane rigors of trading and sometimes fantastic adventures according to the authors taste.

Often a Totemic saga will be a spinoff from another format. In a romance, for instance, if the hero buys a bottle of expensive wine for the heroine a link will be placed allowing you to follow the bottle from a vinyard dozens of parsecs away. In a heroic epic, a heroes weapons will be followed the same way. Similar practices are common in various genres but this custom is most common among professionally produced pieces meant for the rich and powerful, or for public entertainment before a large audience; amateurs handle this sort of thing too.

As well as the spinoff style Totemic Saga, some are one-offs.

This tradition originated outside the Imperium but is becoming known among some fashionable Imperial circles.

Astromancer 07-27-2012 10:48 AM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jason taylor (Post 1414149)
I developed a lot of thought on the literary traditions of the people I set my story along.

One I developed was what is called a Totemic Saga. It is a biography of an object(not necessarily called Totemic because it is of ritual significance as such-but simply because "McGuffinite" sounds awful). It can be any object as long as it is reasonably "cool". Sometimes will follow this object from the hands of one hero to another and so on. But the most unique style is following it from it's actual production, then it's journey along long routes from trader to trader until it reaches a given destination. In the course of that journey many adventures will come, some mundane rigors of trading and sometimes fantastic adventures according to the authors taste.

Often a Totemic saga will be a spinoff from another format. In a romance, for instance, if the hero buys a bottle of expensive wine for the heroine a link will be placed allowing you to follow the bottle from a vinyard dozens of parsecs away. In a heroic epic, a heroes weapons will be followed the same way. Similar practices are common in various genres but this custom is most common among professionally produced pieces meant for the rich and powerful, or for public entertainment before a large audience; amateurs handle this sort of thing too.

As well as the spinoff style Totemic Saga, some are one-offs.

This tradition originated outside the Imperium but is becoming known among some fashionable Imperial circles.

You might want to know that in 18th century Europe there was a genre just like this. Many of the best ones were about the biography of a piece of money.

jason taylor 07-27-2012 01:11 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Astromancer (Post 1414387)
You might want to know that in 18th century Europe there was a genre just like this. Many of the best ones were about the biography of a piece of money.

I don't know whether to be pleased that someone else thought it workable or annoyed that someone else thought of it first.

Hans Rancke-Madsen 07-29-2012 09:31 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Heard in a starport bar.
"No [alimentary waste products], there I was, standing stripped to my skivvies next to the low berth, when this fat slob that I wouldn't hire to clean my barf bag, clad in the filthiest coveralls you've ever seen, stumbles into the compartment and tells me that he's the ship's medic. He's drunk as a skunk or I miss my guess, but what can I do? The ship's already left the starport and I gather it's get into that berth or have a fatal accident. But just before he starts to put me under, he hands me a small dirty piece of paper with the number '3' on it. I ask him what it is and he tells me it's my lottery ticket for the "Low Lottery". Seems that they have this tradition that the captain contributes Cr10 out of each low passage for a sweepstake. Each low passenger draws a number between one and the number of low passengers, and the one with the number of passengers who survive the trip wins the money. So I ask what happens if the winner is one of the deaders, and he say in that case the captain keeps the money. And that's the last thing I hear before I pass out. Well, as you can guess, I woke up again. So I ask the medic who won the lottery and he tells me that everybody survived, so the captain decided that he deserved to keep the money in this case too."
Hans

jason taylor 07-30-2012 11:37 AM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Note: inspired partly by discussions in Freelance Traveler and Citizens of the Imperium. This particular interpretation is my own.

Scout Knife

Also known as Ascension Model IISS Multitool

This ingenious device was invented in pre-star flight Terra. The most famous versions of this were produced for the militia of the Helvitian republic, and for a well-known youth outdoor club. The adaptability of this made it considered indispensable to Terran spacers and frontiersmen and even the hidebound Vilani acknowledged it's usefulness quickly. But the Scout Knife has a mystique all it's own; it is the IISS counterpart to the Marine cutlass.

This tradition began pre-imperial, and had been a strong part of SFSS internal culture. When Cleon took power, as a sign of his favor to the SFSS(now called the IISS) he ordered issued a commemoritive Scout Knife produced. Traditionally a new knife is made at the ascension of each Emperor or Empress and hung in the Museum of the IISS. Interestingly these include the Emperors that sat during the Imperial civil wars despite their ambiguous legal status and the official neutrality of the scouts at the time. The commemoritive(or "ascension") knife are the model for the knifes regularly issued to each scout after graduating from training; though of course more plainly made. These knifes are treasured by scouts but they are also functional and regularly used in the field.

The model used has seldom changed sense Cleon's ascension. Moreover earlier knives are still produced even after an adaptation. "Cleon knives" and "Arbellatra Knives" are still valued for the historical significance of their Patron and still regularly produced. There are two main subclasses, the A Class and the B Class. A Classes are actually made for scouts whereas B's are made to be sold on the open market. The chief difference is that A's have an Imperial trademark on them. The production of Scout Knifes, whether A's or B's are contracted by the scouts to well regarded makers of survival equipment. Due to the application of the latest technology to what is after all an invention conceived more then two centuries pre-starflight and theoretically possible centuries before, even an average Scout Knife would qualify as Very Fine by earlier standards, however normal in Strephon's reign and some knives have remained functional for hundreds of years.

Traditions regarding scout knifes differ from place to place. In some places a veteran scout bestowing his knife upon a person is a sign of regard and in others exchange of knifes is a sign of friendship. Another well known tradition is to use a knife as a reward for valor; these are usually plain(by comparison) knifes rather then fine interestingly enough, and they are traditionally worn by a necklace at social events. The mystique of Scout Knifes has made them attractive to several cultures. Both Aslan and Sword Worlders have been known to carry one; Aslan prefer highly decorated and personalized versions as is their wont.

The recent popularity of Totemic Sagas(see above) has naturally included Scout Knives. Several writers have written the tale of the life of a Scout Knife.

Astromancer 07-30-2012 12:55 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jason taylor (Post 1414451)
I don't know whether to be pleased that someone else thought it workable or annoyed that someone else thought of it first.

Be pleased that you have a creative mind and a good wit.


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