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Old 01-02-2024, 01:14 PM   #791
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Alabaster Tales:

A series of tales purported to have been told in the "Alabaster Palace" during the Long Night. While some of the details of it were revealed the planet of origin is not. It is said that the palace was once owned by a forgotten monarch and while part was abandoned one wing was converted to the use of passing captains as a hotel. The operating wing is described in detail as are the drinks and food there. Little is said about the rest of the palace except that it is labyrinthine and possibly haunted and little is said about the mysterious planet except that it is inhabited by barbarians and covered with impassible wilderness. The Alabaster Palace was purportedly on a stopping point of trade fleets and it's prestige was so much that the starport it sits on was named after it.

The collection includes Old Spacer's Tales, poetry, jokes, recipes and number of stories set in the Palace itself, usually of the mystery or fantastic sort all told by the familiar vehicle of putting them into the mouths of characters. Different readers naturally have different favorites and some became folkheroes. The drink and food details are realistic enough and they have been copied in many a fashionable establishment. The Palace itself has had theme establishments made on many worlds but though local copyright may apply it is in public domain in Imperial law.
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Old 01-02-2024, 01:23 PM   #792
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Infinite Cycle: a collection of tales by an unknown group of authors about transdimensional travel and intrigue between rival groups. The original writer wrote as a memoirs under what he claims to be a false identity under what he claims to have been an attempt to avoid being forcibly silenced. Other writers add to that. As with many such collections some claim them to be real and others Old Spacers Tales.


Anthony Venier: A famous philosopher, poet, author, and merchant. Born in a free trading family he grew up and spent his whole life in the free trading lifestyle. In dull moments aboard he spent his time writing on a multitude of subjects and became well-known.
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Old 01-03-2024, 11:53 AM   #793
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MOOD HAIR

Basically a cross between mood rings and Animae Hair. Highly fashionable in certain strata of Society. Many an ultra chic social gathering is simply closed to those without MOOD HAIR. Just have the PCs stuck with having MOOD HAIR. It could be part of their Livery for serving a high noble. It could be part of a disguise for passing in High Society. It could also be a simple necessity for negotiating contracts with certain nobles.

MOOD HAIR gives the wearer the EASY TO READ disadvantage. Anyone interacting with someone with MOOD HAIR has substantial bonuses to skills like Detect Lies.
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Old 01-03-2024, 03:09 PM   #794
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
MOOD HAIR

Basically a cross between mood rings and Animae Hair. Highly fashionable in certain strata of Society. Many an ultra chic social gathering is simply closed to those without MOOD HAIR. Just have the PCs stuck with having MOOD HAIR. It could be part of their Livery for serving a high noble. It could be part of a disguise for passing in High Society. It could also be a simple necessity for negotiating contracts with certain nobles.

MOOD HAIR gives the wearer the EASY TO READ disadvantage. Anyone interacting with someone with MOOD HAIR has substantial bonuses to skills like Detect Lies.
Love this.
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Old 01-07-2024, 09:19 PM   #795
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Equestrian Guild of Stephenshold:

The most prestigious guild for the interests of animal sports and pastimes in the Confederation of Acer. As the name indicates it specializes in racing and any other entertainment involving horses. In the Confederation a guild is not a political institution per se though it has the right to sponsor a political campaign or to lobby as does any individual or corporate body. Rather it is a mutual interest group providing such needs as education, advertising, insurance, benefits for dependants and such perks as ceremony and members only clubs and gift shops.

The Equestrian Guild's prestige is reflected by the fact that Stephenshold having been largely terraformed with an eye to inviting Aslan as military colonists contains much plains-type country fit for the breeding of hooved animals. Horses are regarded by both Humaniti and Aslan citizens as noble animals. Chiefs and Aristocrats of Stephenshold and as well as those of Yeoman and Freefolk status pay contributions for membership for themselves or their kin and an apprenticeship is highly sought after. Given Stephenshold's reason for being, Veterans and their dependents are naturally given discounts. However many of the Guild's horsemen have their career interrupted by service needs. To compensate many Stephensholders have grown up all their lives with beasts and are skillful riders before said interruption. A career in horsemanship is often sought by both Aslan and Humans for the benefit of spare children if land is not available, and sometimes even if it is. The ranking system starts as apprentice, and several ranks of journeymen up to the Council of Archons (in Aceri usage, Archon is a senior guild officer rather than a clan head as in Imperial usage; the later position is Capo Albergho formaly and semiformally whatever culture memory a clan desired to invoke). Naturally enough the Rajah of Stephenshold is Archon Basileus or honorary guildmaster. Specialties occupations are recorded after the rank, for instance Apprentice or Journeyman exercise rider and Journeyman jockey.

The Equestrian Guild is dedicated to the welfare of animals, workers, and owners. It is also dedicated to the welfare of spectators including the maintaining of fair play for handicappers. To that end copious databases are maintained and a periodical published.

Among the sports sponsored by the Guild are classic speed racing, endurance-and-orienteering, and harness racing. There is no official distinction between Human and Aslan participants but naturally the later tend to lean toward heavy mounts or harness racing, while humans by necessity have a monopoly on the lighter classes. The favorite horse breed in the light to medium classes is the Golden Appaloosa descended from a cross between Ancient North American Appoloosas and Asian steepe horses. All events are viewed by drone camera and recorded but the most notable are not publically released before a certain date to allow them to be sold at auction to concessions with a gaming license. These same events do not allow viewers to make recordings with private equipment until release date but the lack of obvious rectitude in this department is a rather fossilized joke on Stephenshold.

Stephenshold's equestrian displays have drawn tourists from far abroad. Stephenshold has also sent both horses and jockeys offworld to compete several subsectors away.
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Old 01-20-2024, 08:32 PM   #796
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Istoioiaih:

This is a generic term for a meeting or moot. In some contexts it means merely a philosopher's club. But it has political implications. It often refers to the board of a corporation or the elders of a clan. In the later case it is seldom a body equal to the chief executive or head of state as in the human usage because of their inclination toward hierarchy and patriarchy. When an istoiiyarl has such power it is often from living close to human allies. Rather it is better described as a wittanagemot or a privy council.

One variant of this that is more decentralized is an Istoioiaihko. This is a meeting of the chiefs on a single world or in a multi-world polity or their plenipotentaries. This can be for various purposes such as settling disputes (including administering prearranged fights) or setting general policy. When Aslan share a polity with other sophants they often refer to the legislature or royal council or similar body as an "Istoioiah". For instance Caledonian Aslan refore to the House of Lords as the Istoioiahko, and the Deputies and Senate as Isotoiah Fiy and Istoiah Hahea respectively. It is to be noted that educated Aslan know both the names of such bodies in human languages and their political significance. They simply customarily translate them among themselves.

The Istoiaih of highest prestige among all Aslan is of course the Tlauku.
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Old 02-21-2024, 01:51 PM   #797
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Imperial Gendarme Corps:

These are paramilitary police raised by the Colonial office but seconded at need to the Imperial Army or to planetary forces. They are trained specially in counterinsurgency and peacekeeping duties, disaster relief, the training of provincial forces and the like. They are chiefly meant to be used on newly acquired worlds but also conduct interventions at request of planetary governments, sometimes simply to train local emergency services. Their size has waxed and waned but they are still in demand for the grey line where war, law enforcement and natural disaster cannot be distinguished from one another. Naturally given the nature of their mission they can be highly controversal but they are looked on with high respect by other services. Not always love for they are sometimes used to discipline the military service itself in stressful situations such as urban warfare in which Gendarme troops have not only been used for mopping up but for such chores as guarding captured property and prisoners, and preventing atrocities by less well-trained friendly planetary troops. There is also quite naturally a rivalry between Gendarmes and the organic military police of the Imperial Army and Navy. Gendarmes however differ from MPs in that they are intended to police an entire Area of Operations while MP's police primarily their own services. The Gendarme Corps therefore has a more elaborate organization.

The Gendarmes are organized in Divisions, Seafleets, and Airfleets. They also have cadre units for training and leading friendly colonials. For heavy weapons they are expected to depend on the army, navy, and marines for the most part (a Gendarme's job after all is largely to keep big guns from being fired off in the first place). However they do have light artillery and have been known to rig the construction equipment they do have as ad-hoc artillery platforms.

The template of a Gendarme will be closest to that of a Military Policeman with modifications. Engineer's are also suited as are medics; much of their job is just cleaning the mess in places where people have taken it into their heads to shoot at each other. A Gendarme on duty will potentially have high Legal Enforcement Powers-there will be times to detain first and ask questions later.

The job is intended to be flexible. One can play them as Mounty-like frontier cops, or vicious enforcers. Or somewhere in between.
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Old 03-10-2024, 08:31 PM   #798
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Goldtower:

A nation-world in the Ventral Salient Sector, and Farventral subsector (note that is NOT in the canon map: it is to GSouth of it) of the Spinward Marches.

Goldtower gets it's name from the pyramid which is the ceremonial capital of the state. It is built of limestone painted to give the illusion of being built of gold.

The society is a mix of Solomani, Vilani, and an offshoot minority of the Luriani nomadic caste. Much of it's structure has a loose resemblance to the classic Vilani model with some alterations.

The High Council which heads the government comprise the "three corners": the millers, the traders and the guardians, which correspond ROUGHLY to the Vilani Bureaux and the "Capstone" (the head of state and ceremonial Grand Judiciar), hence the pyramid metaphor. The senior corner at a national level are the Guardians but that is not the same for the provinces. The social organization is based on "Lees" (a corruption of the Vilani "Li") which are usually lodges of a few hundred with an elected headman and several aides). Each Lee is an economic, social, and political body with an emphasis on the economic aspect and has a primary vassalship to the corner which reflects it's main product. The larger Lees are those who need to have a cohesive organization of a larger number of personal, such as large factories or mines, and regiments in the army, or crews of large merchant or naval vessels. As in ancient Vland Lees are interconnected by arranged apprenticeships though there is a closer connection between the birth family and the family raising the child: in many ways it resembles the Terran institution of godfather.

Tangential to the corners and capstone are the nobility. Nobility are ranked in gentry, nobles, and high nobles. High nobles are the patrons of a coalition of Lees which form an approximation of a business or political enterprise. They inherit by the third child of a lawful primary spouse (polygamy is practiced among much of the nobility but secondary consorts and unacknowledged partners do not count toward this without special dispensation) in Vilani fashion assuming the heir is not disqualified by incompetence or corruption. Each noble family maintains a family fief (which is seldom alienated) as well as it's business enterprise (which can be alienated simply by not reproducing three children). Nobles are from great families waiting in the wings and a noble family can rise to High Noble status several times. Gentry are roughly the same as Imperial Knights and Baronets, holders of rewards for achievement which can be hereditary. Each head of a High noble family is vassal to the corner most reflective of the primary business of his coalition and liege to a collection of Lees on a similar basis though Corners often loan Lees appropriate to need: for instance it is common for a miller or trader coalition to have Guardian Lees as security guards, a miller coalition to have trader Lees to carry goods to market, and so on. At the provincial level there is a repeat of the pyramid imagery but the senior corner reflects the nature of the provinces economy, historic traditions, etc.

Solomani and Luriani minorities though they use the structure of Lees, nobles and pyramids politically, in other aspects tend to apply their own cultural traditions. Solomani tend to culturally dominate the Naval and to some degree the intersteller merchant shipping business (in fealty to the Guardians and Traders respectively) and Luriani the luxury trade (in fealty to the Millers).

Goldtower is noted for it's connection with the Otherside route, a shipping route leading by relays to an unknown source outside of known space. Through this they import high technology goods to sell to the Imperium and the Consulate. Locally they are known for their production of perfume and fine wines as well as textiles.

Their army uses a regimental structure similar to the Imperium with each regiment of several field battalions and a depot battalion. Divisions are administrative structures and composed of four brigades in a nod to Vilani tradition. Each brigade is of nine battalions to allow flexibility. Traditionally they are grouped in tribattalions but in practice battalions are transferred at the commander's will. The most notable part of the army are the gendarme divisions which are trained in small operations, counterinsurgency and disaster relief similar to the missions assigned Imperial Gendarmes and employed where needed in client states in the subsector. The navy consists of Battle Fleet (Capital Ships) and Light Fleet (small ships), each divided into combat fleets and subunits of such. The most colorful part of the defense establishment however is the Legion which apes the aesthetics of the ancient Vilani Legion of the Frontier. However it is not a penal unit and more in the nature of a "foreign legion." It includes, Human, Aslan, and Vargr mercenaries and has considerable distinction in combat.
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Old 03-23-2024, 07:23 PM   #799
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Escrow Bonds:

With the development of space travel and complicated contracts held many jumps distance the custom of escrow has increased in elaboration many times over. There are similar customs from primitive times in most of the major races and many minor ones but it they never became as fully developed as in modern ones.

In such cases a bond is traditionally left with a third party to a promised amount, sometimes in electronic currency, sometimes in solid curency, rarely in specie. A fee is paid to the third party. The possibilities are endless about when when a forfeiture can be claimed. For instance some bonds gather interest if a ship is overdue leaving an obvious option to simply leave it in the bank and claim it when it would most profit-or would most please the debtholder's malice as the case may be.

Aristocrats in many societies actually pledge hostages for escrow in treaties. This practice is discouraged in the Imperium but not precisely forbidden; however hostages must give oath that they submit of their own free will. The practice is very common among both Aslan and Vargr outside the Imperium however.

Another feature of some bonds is the ability to sell to a party uninvolved in the original contract. When this is done it works in a manner analogous to an Option.

By the way I got this idea rereading the first volume of Vattas War where Ky Vatta bought a rival firm's defaulted contract.
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Old 03-24-2024, 09:31 AM   #800
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The Table of Ranks

This is a simple computer program (simple by the standards of the 3I) that sorts out the relative standing of Nobles in the 3I. Example: Some Dukes that are Dukes on their world but not Imperial Dukes would be seen as minor figures from the boondocks whose standing is somewhere below a knight but above a commoner. However, certain worlds have either more clout or simply greater prestige in the 3I. A non-imperial Duke from a world like that might be the equal of an Imperial Baronet or even a Baron.

The Table of Ranks is an essential tool for merchants and diplomats.
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