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jason taylor 03-13-2013 08:58 AM

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

Originally Posted by jason taylor (Post 1537947)
Oathtaking: A Sword Worlder rite-of-passage in which an individual is accepted as an adult "citizen".

Sword Worlder's are uncomfortable with institutional loyalties and with unchosen loyalties outside the family. A replacement for this is patronage webs, real or fictive depending on the local culture. They have little civic instinct but much for the complexities of patronage. This is one reason for the political instability and for the rarity of democratic systems of government in the Sword Worlds. This also is one reason for the observed "militarism" in the Sword Worlds(aside from the historical one of being colonized by soldiers). The needs of a large civilization make institutional mechanization necessary. The most reliable format for this in Sword Worlder eyes is the military, depending as it does on oaths usually taken to a person. Because of this, mercantile and civil governmental structures often borrow the forms and rituals of a military. When there is no specific entity to swear to, rather then make contract with a fictive personage that exists only as a legal fiction, Sword Worlders will make a mythic figure to swear oath to. Examples of this will be the founder of a corporation, but also popular are Aesirist deities and heroes, Christian saints, heroes from sagas or other such. In places where there is ideological controversy there might be more then one mythic figure to act as Oathholder.

In the Oathtaking, held somewhere between 13-18, but commonly at age 16 the new Oathbound swears to the Thane, Jarl, Hertug, or in a democratic state like Tizon, or Hrunting the mythic patron. After this he or she has the rights of a "citizen" including marriage, bringing petition and suit, ownership of property, and such like as well as obligations such as military service(in men) or military-auxiliary service(in traditional women) such as medical assistance, and in some places the duty to sit in judgement in a Lawthing(jury). Rights and obligations vary from place to place.

After the Oathtaking there is a celebration. This usually includes both a public one for the thrope and a private one for the family. Customs of the celebration vary from place to place.

This was inspired a little by Barryar which seems to have interesting resemblances to the Sword Worlds, and partly by the curious combination of militarism and anarchy in the sword worlds. While the two are in fact often found together in real life, it seems an odd combination of extremes. To explain why military or paramilitary organizational systems are favored even in civilian life seemed an interesting exercise. It also was an attempt to make another difference between the Sword Worlds political instincts and the Imperial. The idea of mythical patrons just came to me, and seemed both an interesting idea and a very Swordie way to handle the difficulties of civilization.

jason taylor 04-06-2013 12:07 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
"Dragonhide" :

A line of fine leathers taken from the herdsmen and hunters of the "Wandering Dragons", a series of large reptilian species dominating the Aslan held world of Hraye (from which they get their name rather then from migratory habits).

"Wandering Dragons" are herded or hunted depending on species. Many of them are highly regarded by big game hunters who have been known to visit on occasion. Dragonhide is one of the prime exports of the planet, being tough and aesthetically pleasing when worked by a skilled artisan. It is often used for elegant purses and pouches, as well as the sheaths of stylized weapons or other tools. Sinews as well often have a high tensile strength and have been made into Fierahs for Aslan and Human sportsmen who have a fancy for that ancient Aslan weapon. Hraye is ruled by a Council of the Clans composed of all the local Kos or their deputized spokesmen. In recognition of the importance of Dragonhide to the local economy an Eakhko (lord of the hunt) always has an important place in the Council; his duties are essentially as a Minister of Conservation, to ensure that the harvesting does not harm the ecology enough to harm future harvests.

jason taylor 04-13-2013 10:20 AM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
"Keeper's Guild"

The Nevites(who are one of the major cultural groupings on my heroes planet) are a loose ethnicity descended from the inhabitants of the former starport of New Venice which once served the route around the Zira Sirka by Terran traders and suppliers into Vargr space. They live in coalitions and city-states, and clans some of which are powers in their own right. The Keepers are one of the most important institutions of Nevite heritage. They are a pan-nevite guild first started for the practical purpose of maintaining records in the case of an emergency migration of which several have taken place in their history. The keepers allow Nevites, after a period of semi-nomadism to restore technology at a new settlements. In between such dramatic occurances they maintain historical links and keep records some dating to pre-starflight Terra. Patronage of Nevite chapters is considered an honorable activity of Nevite dignitaries and having been a member of the Keepers is a mark of true scholarly activity.

Every Keeper will have Claim to Hospitality, high social status, and reputation (knowledgeable).

jason taylor 04-19-2013 05:34 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Canned Sermons:

Among Nevites few ships actually take a certified religious leader as such along unless they can double in other roles. In his absence taped homilies are often sent along. Other religious ceremonies such as shipboard weddings, and Communion among ships belonging to Christian clans, are carried out by the medic who is deputized as having the profession with the most sanctity. Unlike other groups, such duties are never conducted by the Captain who is among his duties, the warleader if the ship is called into naval service and therefore unfit for such duties.

Hunting Parks:
As I have mentioned before, butchers meat is considered inferior for it's perceived lack of sportsmanship among my heroes country (a custom derived from the Oldsters or the ones there when the Nevites arrived). Therefore meat is to a large degree provided by hunting parks maintained publicly or privately. Local rules vary, but a common rule, especially in areas deep within the city with the risk of collateral damage, small game is traditionally hunted with darts thrown from an Aslan style fierah or an electroadhesive baton adapted as a throwing stick, rather then firearms. It is common for boys and youths to hunt in packs through the parks to provide meat on feast days and these ritual hunts are considered an important part of teaching hardyhood as part of necessary education.

jason taylor 05-06-2013 10:24 AM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
IMoC Archives:

Despite it's musty sound the Ministry of Commerce archives are one of the most important institutions in the Imperium. They provide assistance in the task of assuring that commercial law is enforced over thousands of worlds.

The system by which they are organized is simple. Each contract or similar document is filed with an Imperial Courier Stamp purchased for a minimal price. Documents containing trade secrets can be filed as confedential level secrets and cannot be legally opened without a warrant except by the parties to the contract, Imperial law enforcement and judiciary officials and high nobles or their warranted agents and civilian's with an appropriate . In some subsectors law enforcement requires a search warrant to open it. Civilians given search warrants can include private investigators, bounty hunters, attorneys, and journalists(who often have an investigators licence anyway), but are usually only issued such if they can convince Imperial authorities of the necessity. Such documents are referred to as "sealed". Unsealed documents, tend to comprise the majority as only most paranoid of merchant princes thinks that his rivals care where he is shipping dried groats(though there are urban legends about merchants with a colorful reputation teasing rivals in this manner).

The document is deposited in the MoC archives, dated, and stored in electronic form. MoC archives are given a high priority in the Courier and X-boat services. Copies of the storehouse are deposited at each port of call and dated, so that any merchant arriving can trace a given contract.

All Imperial Starports contain electronic space for the MoC archives but frontier ports which are not regularly served either by X-boats or couriers may have faulty databases. An adventure might be made with PCs as Law Enforcers tracing a given contract from port to port.

jason taylor 05-17-2013 08:41 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
"Four-phase doctrine"

Strategic doctrine developed by the Terran Confederation War College. First formulated during the Protracted Conflict and put to use in the Nth intersteller wars.


Phase One: Penetration.

Penetration at a fleet level(as opposed to normal privateering and raiding which hopefully was going on before) is made into a newly opened theater of operations. This will cause tremendous material damage but the main purpose is to induce a psychological shock that will cause a cascading failure in mercantile and naval shipping. Giving battle is an option to the commander but is rarely exercised as having a mobile fleet-in-being deep inside Vilani territory will have an satisfactory effect. Repeated penetrations are made spreading doubt about the ability of the Zira Sirka to provide protection as wells as induceing force diversion that protects theaters in phase two, three, and four. After enough penetrations have established the fact of the Terran presence, an announcement will be made that immunity will be offered Vilani ships who are willing to reflag. Some of these will no doubt change allegiances again. This does not matter as the very fact of reflagging is a threat to the authority of the bureaux.

Phase Two: Landing

Naval forces concentrate on establishing theater space dominance and securing planetheads for the marines. At this phase accepting battle is considered imperative by the navy even in the unlikely event that the Vilani can muster superior odds.

Phase Three: Consolidation

Massive army reinforcements are rushed into the area to conduct ground campaigns on key worlds. At the conclusion Vilani formed units should be destroyed or isolated.

Phase Four: Integration

At this point pacification campaigns are conducted with the effort of eliminating the last pockets of resistance. Service and developmental assets are brought in. This phase may take ten or twenty years by which time it is hoped that the inhabitants will be accustomed to thinking of the TC as the government.

jason taylor 06-24-2013 06:10 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Topkapi Hotel

Sponsored by the famed Orient Express Lines operating out of Arden and specializing in diplomatic passengers, Topkapi Hotel is a tourist site capitalizing on Ardens fame as the Byzantium of the Marches. It is in the well known Silverharbor Resort catering to tourists with it's theme based on Balkan history.

Topkapi Hotel has five wings based on great powers that ruled at the time, as well as a hub dedicated to minor powers. Each serves an ethnic cuisine appropriate to it's theme and displays a decor appropriately.

The Ottoman wing has the feel of a romanticised Moslem empire with splendid trappings, oral poets, and the like. The Attaturk wing has similar decorations but also focuses on the chaos of the two Great Terran Wars of the twentieth century Gregorian calendar. One of the major themes of the Attaturk wing is espionage and in the gift shop a cheap downloadable copy of the rare classic history, Istanbul Intrigues is sold.

The other wings are the Byzantine Wing, the Hapsburg Wing, and the Romanov wing, each decorated according to a romanticised aristocratic style appropriate to their respective empires.

The center has a number of smaller spaces dedicated to the various smaller Balkan kingdoms. It is, predictably, nicknamed "Dracula's lair" after the most famous Balkan prince and is a favorite meeting spot for horror and gothic style fantasy fans.

Despite being connected to Orient Express Lines, Topkapi Hotel caters to a different income of customers being mostly geared for moderately wealthy tourists. It has on one occasion hosted a major diplomatic party and on other occasions when a peace conference or major treaty was being negotiated, journalists, diplomat's servants, and other such "camp followers" of interstellar politics have had their own feasts here. Then too there have been the usual rumors of arms-dealers, spies, and even assassins billeting here; rumors which the hotel does nothing to discourage as that adds to the image which they are attempting to convey.

jason taylor 09-19-2013 01:03 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
Parsis In Space:

During the Terran Expansion Parsis of India became dominant in a number of shipping lines. As a result Zoroastrianism became identified in some subsectors as a "Free Traders religion". During the Third Imperium some began to specialize in animal transport, inspired to appeal to their equestrian heritage, according to rumor, by the Authenticist Movement. Several branched out into stockbreeding and animal racing.

One notable clan known as the Rustamites is known for breeding and transporting horses. Upon it's heraldric emblem is a picture of a mounted warrior with a bull headed mace in one hand and a bow in the other trampling over a chameleon with the motto in Farsi, Gujariti(both of which are ritual languages by this time), and Ganglic "To ride, to shoot, and to despise all lies." By tradition neighboring Jewish clans nearby every Rosh Hashonah give a bottle of imported kosher wine to the Rustamites marked "Isaiah 44: 28" and "Nehamiah 1:11" in thanks for the first return from exile. This wine is drunk every Navroz(Parsi New Year) by the Rustamites.

jason taylor 09-19-2013 01:41 PM

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

Originally Posted by jason taylor (Post 1647832)
Parsis In Space:

During the Terran Expansion Parsis of India became dominant in a number of shipping lines. As a result Zoroastrianism became identified in some subsectors as a "Free Traders religion". During the Third Imperium some began to specialize in animal transport, inspired to appeal to their equestrian heritage, according to rumor, by the Authenticist Movement. Several branched out into stockbreeding and animal racing.

One notable clan known as the Rustamites is known for breeding and transporting horses. Upon it's heraldric emblem is a picture of a mounted warrior with a bull headed mace in one hand and a bow in the other trampling over a chameleon with the motto in Farsi, Gujariti(both of which are ritual languages by this time), and Ganglic "To ride, to shoot, and to despise all lies." By tradition neighboring Jewish clans nearby every Rosh Hashonah give a bottle of imported kosher wine to the Rustamites marked "Isaiah 44: 28" and "Nehamiah 1:11" in thanks for the first return from exile. This wine is drunk every Navroz(Parsi New Year) by the Rustamites.

Oops, that's a goof; the Jewish Bible would use a different reference system.

jason taylor 11-12-2013 12:40 PM

Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)
 
The Doomsmen. A legendary Vigilante Secret Society in the Sword Worlds. According to myths dating from pre-christian Germany.
Note: This was inspired by the Vehmic Courts in Scot's Anne of Gierstein.


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