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Old 08-18-2012, 10:44 AM   #381
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

"Challenge"

A common local sport with variable rules. The essence is that an object, trophy, or totem of some kind is announced to be challenged, that is wagered for someone who can capture. One of the most important rules is that someone accepting must be making a reasonably equal challenge themselves, naturally a source of controversy.

This typically takes two forms. The form in solid space is rather like capture-the-flag/paint-ball, or a coup counting rite done with non-lethal weapons(both the guards and the attackers will use tranq darts, or wear scoresuits or something similar). Another variation is done in cyberspace where different clans, fraternities, what not will wager various secrets to each other in a hacking contest.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:11 AM   #382
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Eruditionumismitism:

Or "Erdnuming" among many colloquial definitions. Collecting of data-chips. A popular hobby among those who can afford it. As the name indicates it is often compared to coin-collecting but is a hobby of it's own that existed during the Zura Sirka. Several Erdnumist societies exist in and around the Imperium. It is rumored to be a favorite hobby of Hivers and to have many topical clubs around it. Some have wondered what the Hivers mean by all that.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #383
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

It occurs to me, that there are a subset of Imperial Subjects within the Imperium that actually qualify as "Imperial Citizens".

All of those "fiefs" of the nobility of the Imperium need people to work the lands, work the factories, etc. Might not any lands that are deemed to be Imperial Fiefdoms be treated as actual Imperial Territory akin to those lands deeded over for use with Starports?

If so, then there might be various "classes" of people within those fiefs...

Bondsmen: akin to Serfs - permanent obligations to the holder of the Imperial fief.

Freemen: these are imperial subjects who are living on fief territory, yet are not native to the world the fief is situated at.

Just thoughts...
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:19 PM   #384
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Proxenos: Normal term for a free-lance diplomat specializing in representing a given powers on a contract basis. Proxenos' have a lower prestige then full ambassadors or Imperial Legates but have an important role to play both within and without the Imperium. They are often sent to worlds where a given power is unwilling to maintain a full embassy. A typical reason might be that the world is a sector or more away, far outside the political sphere of the Proxenos' employer but visited by trading vessels often enough to require some diplomatic contact. Another world that has many Proxenos is Capitol. Many worlds cannot afford to maintain an embassy there but having a Proxenos allows them to if nothing else, test the winds of Court Gossip.

Some contracts are one mission only, but others are as resident envoy to a given world for several years and are in effect less well funded ambassadors. The later type will often be of interest to a bounty hunter seeking to forcibly extradite a given fugitive. He will be a valueable contact.

The duty has been compared in many ways to a Vargr Emissary and indeed many Proxonos' in the Imperium are Vargr. However the customs regarding the profession inside the Imperium are far more regulated, certainly more regulated then in Vargr space as should be obvious to most readers.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:48 PM   #385
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Mathom: Object of significance(orgin Sagamaal).

Word used in many places through the marches to refer to objects of notability. Battle trophies, starships, weapons and tools especially those with an interesting history. Seldom applied to expendable devices like money(except when of numismatic interest), fasteners(screws, nails, microfoil, etc), or ammunition. The word originated in the Sword Worlds where it is claimed to have been borrowed from the works of an ancient Terran author known for his fondness for constructed language.

Customs for what qualifies as a mathom and what not vary from culture to culture naturally.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:42 PM   #386
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Wise-Otters:

A rare but unquestionably sophant creature found in the area of the Spinward Marches. In physical and psychological nature it does indeed have resemblances to the Terran otter, but it's size is close to that of a rabbit making it one of the few sophant races which has been a mid-level rather then top-level predator within living memory.

The only sophants they have lived close to besides one another are humans. Their relationship with humaniti is mixed. Some have persecuted them as competitors for food but a few states, including the Imperium regard them as protected species and a few cultures regard them as valued allies and neighbors. They seldom become citizens on the same basis as humans even with those they regard as friends. This is less because of prejudice and more because of a preference for organizing their own "politics"-such as it is. Among themselves there are no groups larger then a band led by what Xenologists who have worked with them call the Elder Fisher, chosen primarily by presumed effectiveness in ensuring the bands survival. Relations between bands are limited to negotiations over fishing rights and mating and occasional duels and, more rarely, feuds(this of course describes a lot of human politics as well but the complexity is far less among Wise-otters and politics is a small feature in their lifes).
Wise-otters however can comprehend human organizational structure enough to understand the usefulness of working with them, usually by having the bands choose an emissary to the human authorities in their area.
The benefits provided by humans that appeal most to them is as fishing partners naturally. But they also appreciate human technology. They are known for their self-control in danger which is often appreciated. Even more their electromagnetic sense(a quality which Terran otters do not have, but several other species do) makes them handy working with machinery. A few Wise-Otters have achieved heroic status working with ordinance disposal for human police and military services and at least one has served with distinction in the IISS.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:44 PM   #387
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Ride of the Valkyries:

Traditionally used for General Quarters aboard Sword World ships. Assumed to be because of it's appeal to the Germanic spirit. There is however a mischeivious rumor that it was derived from an ancient terran epic about a female admiral psionically linked to a sophant cat.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:19 PM   #388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Ride of the Valkyries:

Traditionally used for General Quarters aboard Sword World ships. Assumed to be because of it's appeal to the Germanic spirit. There is however a mischeivious rumor that it was derived from an ancient terran epic about a female admiral psionically linked to a sophant cat.
Not that I can't figure out who you are referring to[*], but I was unaware that there had been any narrative versions of her story with a musical component.
[*] Unless there is another heroine that fits the description of whom I am unaware.
(Also, of course, in any universe where a single encyclopedia from anywhere on Earth, original or copy, survives people would be able to debunk that rumor. Though I admit that that doesn't mean the rumor wouldn't exist. As Stella Maynyard says in Anne of the Islands, "facts are stubborn things, but not half as stubborn as fallacies".)


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Old 10-24-2012, 08:38 PM   #389
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Rancke-Madsen View Post
Not that I can't figure out who you are referring to[*], but I was unaware that there had been any narrative versions of her story with a musical component.
[*] Unless there is another heroine that fits the description of whom I am unaware.
(Also, of course, in any universe where a single encyclopedia from anywhere on Earth, original or copy, survives people would be able to debunk that rumor. Though I admit that that doesn't mean the rumor wouldn't exist. As Stella Maynyard says in Anne of the Islands, "facts are stubborn things, but not half as stubborn as fallacies".)


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Well the rumor is ambiguous. That great heroine did have an opponent in one notable battle who is recorded as using that in his general quarters. But he lost and Swordies might find that idea unlucky. And in any case the tune is so obviously fitting for the theme of Romanticized Germanic Barbarism that there is no reason that Swordies might not pick it up independently even without knowing about such an obscure piece of ancient literature.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:45 PM   #390
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
It occurs to me, that there are a subset of Imperial Subjects within the Imperium that actually qualify as "Imperial Citizens".

All of those "fiefs" of the nobility of the Imperium need people to work the lands, work the factories, etc. Might not any lands that are deemed to be Imperial Fiefdoms be treated as actual Imperial Territory akin to those lands deeded over for use with Starports?

If so, then there might be various "classes" of people within those fiefs...

Bondsmen: akin to Serfs - permanent obligations to the holder of the Imperial fief.

Freemen: these are imperial subjects who are living on fief territory, yet are not native to the world the fief is situated at.

Just thoughts...
I would think the Imperium would be more subtle then that. There are ways of arrangeing for serfdom and still legally prohibiting it, or at least officially disapproving of it. It is clear from the nature of the setting that the Imperium does not claim the responsibility of being everywhere and someone important enough CAN get away with doing dreadful things as long as he keeps a reasonably low profile.
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