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Old 04-27-2024, 11:44 AM   #11
jason taylor
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

Duine Stuama:

Among Caledonian Travellers the "soberman" or Duine Stuama is a notable institution. Travellers have the traditional practice of going on leave in groups with one of the appointed to remain sober. In some clans this is an actual office and in others the job is alternated between spacers. In the event of trouble such as gangs, drunks, or in some cases cops (not all of whom are friendly) the soberman's duty is to get his charges back to the ship or boarding house without harm. Travellers have been notable for their ability to gather together on a word of command and overcome every rowdy in the bar by simple teamwork and a soberman to command. Despite the name sober men were not expected to be teatotals nor were they always men (though someone of intimidating build was always preferred), but

in that regard the Leabhar an Duine Sobr (book of the sober man) was written apparently while in jump space as a field manual in urban survival. It contains information on situational awareness, and all sorts of hazards of an urban environment as well as the fighting style peculiar to Travellers. One of the more interesting things about it is showing how to make improvised weapons. To that in Travellers often take their traditional fifes and hornpipes along on liberty. They are sturdy enough to make a reasonable thrusting or striking weapon and some even go so far as to sharpen the edges of the bells of hornpipes which are usually metal. Unless they are antiques they are fairly easily replaced. Best of all no lawman will bother about them.

The fighting style taught here has become known as one of the myriads of over romanticized martial arts but is based on a solid determination to keep people alive in startowns.

note: this concept was inspired both by stories about Savate which was a harbor brawling style and Robert Escobar's book about odd weapons "Deadly Ingenuity" which told of a similar use of Japanese woodwind instruments. And the sensible observation that people should really watch over each other when they drink in strange places.
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
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