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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 Ko's 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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Caledonian College of Heralds:

This is a committee constructed by the Caledonian House of Lords based on powers granted it under the Second Constitution. It deals with matters involving coats of arms, trademarks, patents, corporate names, etc. It also deals with the naming of warships and the giving of military 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. To grant peer representation, the College of Heralds is composed of spokespeople from each legally registered guild (the military counts as a guild for this purpose) as well as a chief-at-arms chosen by the House of Lords. The Chief-at-arms always has a noble title: if a commoner before he is given a (usually non-heritable) title. At the present time it is common for the Chief at arms to be an adopted Derbsman/Derbswoman of the Prince which gives rise to the colloquialism "Prince of Caladonia's Own College of Heralds (never used officially lest monarchial usurpation be implied). In practice the Lords leave much of the matter of administration to the chief-at-arms but the real business is conducted effectively by peer review and candidates for honors are intended have to face the opinion of fellows of their profession.

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 House of Lords (as per the Second Constitution) and ceremonially bestowed by the Chief-at-arms or his deputy.

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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Last edited by jason taylor; Yesterday at 08:48 PM. Reason: To attune it to the article on the Second Constitution.
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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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Old 08-20-2022, 03:37 PM   #716
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Arthur:

Despite ruling over a larger realm than any pre-starflight empire the Prince of Caledonia is not called a king. Acording to Caledonian legend the rightful High King of All Britons and by extension all Caledonians is Arthur The Once and Future King, who still awaits his return. According to legend the illegitimate son, or nephew or daughter (depending on the story) of Arthur deposited the regalia of Camelot at Avalon which is now known as the Isle of Iona. Most of this was lost but according to tales the Stone of Scone was the very one from which Excalibur was taken. This by the way provided a minor diplomatic kerfuffle between the Prince and the Pariochial King of Britain on Terra over the rightful possession.

Because this the title "King" is a title held in high esteem. No mere man will hold it (though lower case "king" is allowed for a chief as he is "head of kin": it is considered uncommonly pretentious though). The monarch of the Principality of Caledonia reigns under the title "Prince". Similarly there is no "MacArthur" Clan in the Registry of Nobles and Gentry and never has been for many a generation, even though the Prince might logically claim that surname if the legend is followed through (in fact the MacArthur dynasty did just that in the past). The present Monarchs rule as MacEdward in memory of the victor in the last succession crises. Implications of a claim to Arthur's throne are not illegal. They are just regarded as to hubristic for a gentleman.

Arthurian legend is encouraged and several versions of the epic are played in poetry, song and opera. It is of course regularly performed by the Shanachie Academy. The whole idea is an appeal to Caledonian tradition which takes an aesthetic delight in heroic lineage and does not care much if some of it is fictional as long as the proper distinction between history and legend is maintained. When cynics point out that this is a propaganda gambit Caledonians shrug their shoulders because they know perfectly well that it is. A living head of state only serves his purpose incompletely because his flaws are obvious. A legendary one is simply an extension of the custom of making clan founders out of legendary heroes some of which have nothing to do with the clan who took their name. In fact there was competition to be granted such titles as Chief MacBruce. But no one bears the name MacArthur, even the Prince.

It must be acknowledged for historical accuracy that Arthurian enthusiasm has not been around for all of the history of the Principality to such a degree. However it has long been part and parcel of the fondness for ancient British folklore.
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Old 08-23-2022, 11:51 AM   #717
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Interspecies Relations of Humaniti with Aslan Vassals:

Despite the stereotype among racists of the "hairy peril" and the real life aggressive tendencies of Aslan, not all are immigrants are unwelcome. They are often very useful for security needs and for such things as settling sparse lands particularly those amenable to food production. Relations between Humaniti and Aslan can be tricky however and have many subtleties.

One of the needs of relations is cultural. While it is hardly unknown for Aslan to fully go native among humans it is more common for them to retain elements of their traditions, often strong elements. This is not wholly to the bad, humans being after all not completely unsympathetic to a philosophy that involves such strong emphasis on headcracking. Nonetheless arrangements have to be made. Stephenshold has one of the best arrangements: Aslan usually choose someone known for skill at arms and political talent and as every Ko is a member of the Electors they can depend on choosing a Rajah to their liking. The feudal system of the Imperium is also to their liking especially if their interface between the Emperor and themselves is a warlike noble. A similar dynamic features in the Principality of Caledonia. Despite their fame for employing Aslan, the Darrians have some troubles in that department having a philosophy centered around intellect rather than warfare and land. Nevertheless there are ways to relate such as choosing nobles who are sympathetic to Aslan ways. There is also a point of contact in the fact that Darrians have a believe in conserving natural resources which many Aslan with their pastoral heritage, are not unsympathetic toward.

Despite the stereotype, piety as humans know it is not unknown among Aslan. Usually they tend to regard religion as an extension of feudalism/tribalism. The religion their lord adheres to is the liege of their liege and they tend to give the same regard to it as they would to an Aslan paramount Ko. They also naturally prefer religions compatible to traditional Aslan philosophies if they adopt human religion. Sikhism is a popular choice but in Caledonia most Aslan are Reconciliationists as not by chance are most Princes. The array of Saints pleases them because they associate that with ancestor veneration, while the bloodthirsty tales of religious wars on old Terra pleases them no end.

Other adaptations between Humans and Aslan are many. On Stephenshold, it is for instance the duty of the local Count (head of a military district appointed by the Rajah) to arrange for the supervision of duels either by personally serving as referee or appointing a deputy. The Rajah keeps a wide series of rewards for achievement, like jewelry, decorated weapons and survival equipment, invitations to a feast or athletic display or so forth. Land is however seldom directly granted at an individual level by the Rajah lest the authority of the Kos be threatened. The reciting of epics is quite common in many courts with Aslan visitors; both Humans and Aslan have similar tastes in that department. One odd problem is the distinction between omnivorous humans, and carnivorous Aslan. Many Aslan for instance do not get a taste for human alcohol which is usually plant based.

Adaptations for games are obvious. A PC might find himself for whatever reason lord of an estate with a number of Aslan, commander of a unit with Aslan personal, etc. There are all sorts of possibilities for "Lawrence of Arabia" like social challenges.
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Old 09-19-2022, 03:10 PM   #718
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In the novel Dune they have a syncretic holy book The Orange Catholic Bible . It's an amalgam of the major religious texts from the Abrahamic faiths, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and some other faiths.

An attempt to create a universal scripture for all Humanti would fit some versions of the Imperium's past.
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Old 09-19-2022, 06:39 PM   #719
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Soda Flavors

Carbonated water with a flavored syrup added has been a popular treat for millennia.

At this time in the history of the 3I roast beef, roast pork, and grilled salmon, are by far the most popular flavors of soda pop. Older sweet soda with flavors based on fruit or spices are seen as vulgar by the high aristocracy. Many local cultures see meat flavor soda pop as weird. They keep this opinion to themselves as they don't want to be laughed at.
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Old 09-23-2022, 02:34 AM   #720
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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.
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