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.
Still going on the catch-up!
11. What’s language like in your world?
The language of the Empire of the Bear is technically three related languages that have many similarities but are not always mutually comprehensible. (And three others which are used in very small sections, one of which nobody can understand)
The language family as a whole of the five larger languages is a liquid tongue with a lot of vowels and active tongue use, a popping plosive, and tonal mood shifts and sometimes meaning shifts. The Lynx language tends to drop initial and final consonant sounds and sometimes repeat vowels; the Fox language involves repetition and a lot more popping sounds, as well as some trills. The Cat people have a lot more trills in their language as well as a whistle-sound. And the Elk people, only one word in twenty is recognizable between their dialect and the others. Theirs tends towards complicated vowel combinations and often seems to require hand gestures.
12. What creatures inhabit your world?
Well, let’s see: Bears, fox, lynx, and mountain Lion – and elk.
In addition, there are horses, cattle (aurochs? Bison!), and clearly some birds as well.
The Bear Empire itself is a northern area, and most of the animals are evolved for such an area.
Their horses are barrel-chested and shaggy. Their bison, too, are evolved to survive in deep snow.
They have hunted some species nearly to extinction – There was a heavy ungulate type that was not very domesticated but was very tasty; they now exist only deep in the mountains. While Fox and Mountain Lions are sacred, the Wolf tribe no longer exists in any reasonable numbers and thus wolves are also… not exactly friends of the people.
There is a roc-like bird that is big enough to prey on small humans or bison calves; that nests in the mountains and doesn’t come into the flatlands often. Most creepy is something which sometimes walks on two legs, but usually on four, a wintery mammal with a long furry coat that is often called a Yeti.
12- What powers does government have over society?
I have no idea! *excited*
Okay, so let’s take this apart.
There are the laws that exist.
The punishments for breaking said laws.
The methods for enforcement.
The ways the laws are broken/avoided.
Okay, so. The Bear Empire is more totalitarian on paper than it is in practice. The Emperor/ress is not technically an autocrat, but when you come down to it, their word is, in practice, usually law. If the Council back them and the totem is on their side, nobody is going to go against them.
(when a totem no longer supports a ruler, it is most often the case that someone just, ah, moves the ruler on to the starry lands pretty quickly).
In practice, the further one is from a city, the less laws are enforced, and the more something that is often called The Old Law takes precedence. While The Old Law is more or less at the core of the Empire’s legal system and the basis on which its laws were written, that is the Bear Old Law in most cases.
That means that in the areas that are ethnically Lynx, Fox, Elk, and so on, the Old Law is often not quite in alignment with the Imperial law. And, while a reeve (or whatever I’m calling a local law-enforcement official here) might enforce the Imperial Law for the most part in a town, the people of that area will enforce the Old Law. And if the Imperial Law clashes with the Old Law, a Reeve-whatever is most wise to look the other way or get out of town quickly.
Back for a moment to our reeve-whatever.
Each area has a governor; it is their responsibility to collect the taxes for their area and, in return, to speak for that area to the Emperor/ess.
Each area is divided into smaller areas, and the more I look at Reeve, the better word it is. The Reeve if responsible for that area up to the Governor the way the governor is to the Emperor/ess.
And down from there, each Reeve generally has 2-10 (depending on the population and size of the area) shire-reeves/ gendarmes who help them to enforce the law and collect taxes.
Questions? Thoughts? Tell me!