It’s World-Building June! So I’m building Worlds! Aerax/Expectant Woods over on Patreon, and Bear Empire and a new thing here!
It’s also June WorldBuilding – so we’re getting two sets of prompts. After I exhaust the answers I’ve written, I might just default to Inspector Caracal’s questions.
Well, I’m still posting. Sometimes.
8. How is your world run? Who’s in power?
The Bear Empire is, as it sounds, an Empire. It is not the largest Empire. It’s not even the largest Empire I’ve written.
It is ruled by a Emperor or Empress, a role which is chosen from a small pool of available candidates – these include governors of areas or of subject matter (the governor of trade, of foreign relations with Dekleg, with Halor, etc), the children, spouses, and family of the last emperor, especially those who have been given a position of authority or responsibility along with their title-of-relation, and generally three people picked from the population as potential candidates, usually by those listed earlier in the list.
The pool is chosen by the pool in a voting process which can last months. In one situation, the pool is known to have lasted five years, during which a woman not part of the pool (the down-spouse of the former Empress’ equals-spouse) ruled the country. A governor from the Lynx territory is credited with finally nominating her into the pool, at which point she became the first laundress to become Empress (as known, at least) and the first unanimous vote of the Imperial Conclave.
Ruling the empire is a group affair. The Emperor has a privy council, a voting council, and a speaking council.
18- What kind of transportation and communication do people have access to? What is its range and speed?
The Bear Empire is still primarily on foot- and horse-based travel. While riding on horseback is common during the summer month, during the winter time, carriages, stagecoaches, and other such enclosed conveyances are more common.
The Empire has two competing empire-wide stagecoach companies which will take you just about anywhere in the Empire; in addition, there are several smaller companies that focus on a single area. There are also two lines that only handle border crossings, taking either the one bridge or the most-established ferry across the wide river between Dekleg and the Empire.
When your feet/hooves are tired, river and coastal boats are common for both freight and passengers, with boats travelling the three long lakes (“the Scars”), the major and minor rivers within the nation, and the coast from the glacial wall to the northern edge of Dekleg.
The Lynx Mountains also have a series of carts, something akin to a ski lift, which lift people up a large mountain and then back down into the middle of the mountains, generally on rails and run by steam and magic.
Questions? Thoughts? Tell me!
“Ctirad. Ctirad, my darling.” A click; the screen went blank. Another moment; there was a hand over his eyes, another hand on the back of his neck. “Ctirad. Hear me.”
He swallowed. He could breathe. “I. I hear you, sir. I hear you. Master.”
“No, my darling. Not that. Your sir, I will take that. But Master is a title I haven’t earned, not from you.”
That was strange enough to shake a bit of the fog away. “Sir?”
“Ah, well.” Timaios’ tone was… rueful? “I did say I’d accept that. Ctirad. I’m going to move my hands. Can you tell me what happened?” Continue reading
Deline counted down on her fingers. Three, two-
“Oy, you in the old Pattane house! Come out with your hands up. I know you’re trespassing there, and I’ve every right to shoot you, but if you move slowly and ain’t try nothing, I shan’t but warn you on.”
“That….” Deline whispered quietly, “is not a Deklegion bounty hunter, or if she is, she is very good at mid-Fox-lands dialect.”
“Ain’t try nothing?” Carrone muttered. “Want to shoot him anyway?”
Deline stood up, to a chorus of swearing from Carrone. “No harm meant,” she called. “The storm lit on us something fierce,” oh, it had been a long time since she’d tried this dialect. “an’ nothing but our little tent to keep us from the cold. We ‘bout to take ourselves on to somewhere else, we were, when your arrow said hello.” Continue reading
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Assignments and Plans
“Ah, Mélanie.” It was as if Jasper had read her mind. “It will all make sense to you eventually, I hope. Either that or you will start throwing dishes at me and demanding that you go somewhere else, which is also a possibility.” He shifted like he was going to stand up and then sat back down. “Please, at your leisure, finish your meal.”
She looked at her food and, slowly, began eating. It did taste good, certainly better than anything she’d been eating before she came here. Of course, she’d made it, but she’d made it with fresh ingredients and the help of a cooperative kitchen. Very fresh ingredients… “Do you steal food as well?”
Now, why had she asked that?
“Well, I have chickens, and I might have had to go out and steal some, but they came with the house, so I didn’t have to. The rest, generally, I trade stolen goods for. I try to be more like Robin Hood and less like some evil taxman; for one thing, if I steal from the poor, the house gets very cranky with me. For another, I get really cranky with myself.” Continue reading
Aran was staring at her. Nikol wished she had a real answer for him, but she didn’t think he’d like knowing that she’d spared his life on a whim.
She shrugged instead and took a big bite of her own food. “Yeah. I’d had enough. Me, alone, I’m not enough to take them down, but I might not have been the only one to run, either…. what?”
He was staring at her. “You want to… take down… the Mountain?”
“Don’t you?” She took another big bit of her food. “Not like, today or anything. But yes. I would like to destroy the Mountain eventually.”
“Is that why you-” His gesture was unclear, but she had a pretty good idea what he was talking about.
“No.” She shook her head and finished her bite of food. “No. I took you because it was that or kill you, and I was sick of killing.” Continue reading
It didn’t end up being Millie Dioli that they went to meet with first.
Actually, it didn’t end up being them going to meet with someone at all, the first time.
A senior, a kid they didn’t recognize at all, came up to them after fencing club. He was awkward and lanky, someone who looked like, Diane thought, he might grow into his body and his face in a few years.
He hadn’t taken part in the club, but he’d watched with a hungry look on his face.
Now he was aiming the same hungry look at Diane and Barbara.
“You’re… You’re Diane, right? And, uh, Barbara.” Continue reading
Book 2, Chapters 7-11: Kagnyaa
This takes place after Book 2
“You have to leave your room for something other than classes at some point.” Kagnyaa’s teammates were standing outside her door, Govezze calling in through the slightly-opened door. They were taking their lives in their hands, risking irritating martial house.
But they weren’t moving.
“I don’t see any reason to do that.”
Kagnyaa was not having a good time of it. Staying in her room seemed like the most reasonable way to handle things.
“Oh, by the Three and their books and all the things they turn their heads at,” complained her surviving roommate, Kelmoolkie. “Let them in so I can study, would you? You’ve been ridiculous ever since Her Highness-”
“Don’t call her that!”
“I will call her whatever I want, and you can fight me over it or learn to accept it,” Kelkie countered. “Come on in, you two. She’s being ridiculous.”
“You said that already” Kagnyaa complained.
“So, ah.” Taabletaab cleared his throat. “I, ah. I tailored a couple uniforms for you and did some Martial embroidery on the linens…” He was carrying an armload of navy, orange-red, and red. “I noticed you, uh, you’d gone back to the base uniform.”
“I hate it all.” She slouched further on her bed. “I hate all of it. The fancy clothes, the fancy hair. I despise it.”
“So.” Govezze sat down on the edge of Kagnyaa’s bed. She was carrying some ribbons in various shades of red and a comb. “I did some reading on ancient warriors and their braiding patterns. I know you don’t want to do the whole thing with the royal patterns anymore, but you’re of House . You’re a warrior. So I thought that something like this….” She reached out. Taabletaab handed her a book and she flipped it open to a diagram. “Something like this?” This time, it was a question.
Kagnyaa wanted to just turn away. They were trying to get her out of the room, and it was useless. “I was an idiot,” she complained. “I was worshiping someone who was useless. Worse than useless! She was a liar and a cheat and she was – I was an idiot,” she repeated.
“A little,” Govezze agreed. “But you’re our idiot. So. This is a warrior from the very early times. Her name was Govezgovvie – I think I was named after her” she admitted shyly. “But I’m not the warrior. That’s you. So what do you think?”
Kagnyaa made herself look at the pattern, really look at it. It looked start and simple, until you noticed the number of strands in the three braids. “Do you think you could…?”
“Of course I can. And for you, of course I would. But first, into that uniform. Taabletaab did a lot of work. And it’ll look more you than the frou-frou and a lot more you than wandering around in an ill-fitting sack. All right?”
Her friends had gone to a lot of effort. They had done research for her.
“All right.” She hesitated. “I mean. Thank you.”
So Solace went and gave me two Books of all the characters, and thus is getting all the Edally ficlets ever.
This one takes place sometime around the time Riensin is talking to Instructor Dainanan about aether in textile codes.
Kael let Mr. Vibius show her where “her quarters” was after the meal. He gave her a key that she wouldn’t (she hoped) need, told her a bit about the area, and then left to close down the museum.
She looked around “her quarters.” Someone had taken some effort to do what she presumed was modernizing on the rooms, including a bed that looked wider than she remembered and thus a little tight for the space, but it was – or it had been – Joaon’s sleeping quarters.
They had not been his first. She had built the room for a woman named Glerine, but she had, after five years of serving Kael, run off with a fur-trader who presumably had a more interesting life than a woman cloistered high in a potions tower. Continue reading