Federated Worlds – Worldbuilding for Border Banner

Written in February 2020, posted at https://ping.the-planet.space/notes/846zh97210 (and other posts), but I cannot find it posted here, so here it is!

Malina’s Border Banners World – Worldbuilding.


Greetings, I’m Lyn, and I thought up #FediWorlds. 

And that being said, I’m not even sure how to answer this question. 

I did a poll as to what world I’d work on, and “Story for B” won.  This story, appropriately begun on this account, involves a princess of a very long name becoming lost in the desert. 

I think Rick and Evie from The Mummy (1990s) – early in the movie when they spend a lot of the time arguing – fit my feel for this story so far. 

This may be influenced by the fact that they are wandering through the desert, of course, or that the cat, one of the main characters, is obstinate and difficult. 


Leisure activities in Malina’s kingdom lean towards the group sort – sports requiring at least 6 people; group book readings with each person taking turns reading a part; drinking while wandering from pub to pub, and so on. While there are things one can do by oneself, the culture leans heavily towards groups, especially for those who are not yet in a marriage but are of age. 

Parties, of course, are also part of the leisure activity set, either smaller, more intimate (<10 people) sorts or large things including multiple hundreds of people and sometimes lasting days. 

Needless to say, it’s not really a nation for an introvert. 


In Malina’s kingdom, children are reared by a single nurturer, usually for a small group of children. 

For the rich, this is often a professional and trained nanny; for the poorer, this is often one parent out of a group – a block, an area, a village – of 10-12 parents. 

This nurturer is generally the go-to cheerleader for their charges, long after they have moved on to tutors and then to professional mentors/masters. 


Do people form groups with people that are their same age or not?””


Absolutely! These groups begin with those raised by the same nanny or parent-figure and often will end up being groupings from the children of two or three groups, generally over a four or a five year age group. These people will share tutors or other education & sometimes even go on to the same mentors or masters, dovetailing into similar careers which work well together. 


In the language of the Last Treaty

thedorallare – from ‘edo, to join, and allare, meaning something like a-thing-done, itself from ‘arun, to do. 

(th- conjugates a verb to “they”)

an equal is Dore (doe-reh); to make one an equal would be ‘edore


dererth – this is known as one of the First Words – one of the words written on the First Treaty which is legible to those who wrote the Last Treaty an unknown amount of, well, time, later. 

Sounds I have so Far

Th d r ll

e (eh)  o (oh) a (ae) u (uh)

conjugating regularly – th-


In Malina’s kingdom, nets of extended families have become more and more formalized as people moved out of small villages & into bigger cities. 

As Industrialization rose and the Last Treaty faded into memories, people forgot some of the meanings behind certain rituals, but the rituals gained new meanings – namings, for instance, where a child’s names would connect them to distant relatives as another knot in the net. 


When dealing with intimates – family, nanny & nanny-mates, tutor & tutor-mates – thanks are informal, sincere, & generally expressed with hugs or back-pats and sometimes mock-formal expression.

When dealing with extended family, the concept is similar but the actions are more formalized and there is less hugging involved – and sometimes less sincerity.

And when dealing with people not involved in one’s family-net, sincerity takes a complete back seat to proper formality.613


How do people treat outcasts in your world?  What makes one an outcast in the first place?

I know this for Bear Empire…

In Malina’s kingdom, one becomes an outcast in one of three ways: by causing grievous harm to a child; by breaking one’s sworn word; by mis-rearing (teaching a child, student, or apprentice something Wrong or Evil).

These are treated in much the same way: branding (a letter indicating wrongness on the offending part, normally hand or forehead) and, after the branding, being treated as Not There: no student will come to you, no person will buy from you, no vendor will sell to you. No home will be rented, and even some animals know to shy away from that mark. 

In a much more “mild” manner, people who are strongly introverted or who choose not to involve themselves in the interconnected web of families (esp: nanny, teacher, mentor; caretaker, food-maker, nest-featherer, companion, spouse, assistant) are considered “odd” and generally shunned.


Oooh yes. 

People generally have at least five names:

  • Child-Name (“she blows raspberries, call her raspberry”)
  • Formal— or Gods-name (“we dedicate her to the moon she was born under and the fire of This Goddess with the name Fire.”)
  • Mother’s Family Name. (Generally the Mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s name, and so on)
  • Father’s Family name (like mother, but fathers)
  • A Web name (“Her mother is a Martine and her father is a Gonzalez but they are all part of the Alexandre web.”)

Formal and Child-Names are often given a nod to their ancestors; a child may have up to three formal names for that reason. 

In ADDITION, when someone reaches a mastery in a craft (rulership of the country counts) they may be given another name. (“We’re not going to call me Queen Raspberry Fire. Call me Queen Strong Foundation of the Raspberry Fire”)


There are at least the following:

A hierarchy of rulers from the King & Queen down to the town Reeve; King/Queen and Governor-equivalent are hereditary-appointed and others are appointed by someone one or two steps above. 

A hierarchy of skills in any skilled trade — apprentice, journeyman, Skilled One, Master., Chief Master. 

A hierarchy within each family web dependant on one’s contributions to the web, both in enriching the web and in tightening the connections extant.  

Certain Honored Professions which bring status simply by doing the profession and more by excelling at it (generally those things that make the world go around). 


Nicknames of the shortened-name or pet-name sort are reserved for people one is very close with – your parents, perhaps, or siblings, maybe your nanny or nanny-mates, and maybe a few friends. 

Names that are closer to  deed-names, however, are common: Yalen Jumped-the-River (often just called Jumps), Loren who made the beautiful Sunflower Stained Glass –> Loren Sunflowers, and so on. Those are used either in conjunction with your family names and/or web name or, if you are really impressive (“Seven at One Blow”!”) that name takes over for all over names. 

Thimbleful – have a Heart

The Kaerdenia Lily was the symbol of love in Alecha this century, after Dominika O Kaerdenia had, in a feat of crossbreeding, produced the blood-red blossoms with their pure white centers which symbolized both the body and the spirit. 

It said something about the strength of the symbol that, while Dominika had also managed to produce a drought- and pest-tolerant strain of amaranth which still made delicious breads, she was known as Dominika Lily and not Dominika Amaranth (maybe it was just prettier sounding; sometimes that had something to do with it). 

Eduardo the carver (often called Eduardo Fern-Frond) was doing his best to make a gift on commission, but while he could carve a fern-frond so realistic and so fine that, if painted the right color, people tried to pick it up, the lily had already ruined three pieces of imported wood and was threatening to ruin a fourth and fifth. 

He kept going. The mayor of the city had a specific piece in mind, and it must have the Kaerdenia Lily on the top, and it must  be made of heartwood (of course) and not just any heartwood, but that of the Kaerdenia Cherry (A different Kaerdenia ; they were very good at plant-breeding), which could only be found in a very few areas. 

These mistakes, if he could not turn them into smaller pieces, if he could not sell those smaller pieces, would cost him more than the mayor’s commission was worth.

Eduardo frowned at the piece, frowned at the lilies in front of him, picked up his pencil, and began working again. 

If he took the lily down to its parts, one lobe here, one lobe there, the place there where the white would be made from ivory, then he took each lobe down to its parts, the curl here, the vein there, then he could work at it as if it were a series of very small frond pieces.  And if he did that, if he did that, he could make up a whole Love-Lily from  a thousand tiny parts. 

If he did that, the mayor would have her love box, would have her love, would have everything she wanted. 

The frown gone, Eduardo got back to work.

Day 16

What constitutes a family structure?

In Malina’s world, a family is generally considered a “Net” – these people will usually have the same final surname and be related by a series of blood relations, marriage relations, and “adoption into” – you can be adopted into the Net of your nanny (or that of someone that one nannies), your tutor, or, most likely, the one who taught you a trade. In marriage, which is usually two people but can include up to seven, if spouses are originally of different Nets, one net is chosen. As a note, with the Net as the broader family structure and the neighborhood/nanny system of child rearing, a marriage is generally undertaken to either unite two Nets or as a creation of, effectively, a sub-net within a larger Net; romance if sometimes but not often a motivating feature in such things. 

Day 17


Aside from one’s Net, one has two major sets of connections in Malina’s world – one’s Trade & one’s Friends. 

(This world is not really all that kind to introverts.)

One’s friends are made in any number of ways from a very young age – nannies take their charges to local parks or Play Places (a sort of educational indoor facility out of the heat of the sun or the attacks of the rain) to meet and play with other students; tutors will arrange gatherings for groupings of students of other tutors. Family reunions are chances to meet distant Net-Cousins and renew the Net by making a friend connection – and some Net Reunions are places where you bring your nanny-mates or tutor-mates to meet those of your net-cousins, and so on, further intertangling the Net. 

On a personal level, one’s friends and one’s Nanny are one’s greatest support elements. They’re often the ones you’ll have children with, as well. 

Day 18

how common is marriage? What forms does it take?


A marriage, as mentioned on day 16, is a union which is generally more than 3/4 political. Romance is a union between friends; child-bearing is the same, or a Net union. Child-rearing is handled within the neighborhood. Thus marriage is a political and legal bonding meant to combine one’s name, one’s assets, or one’s influence (usually all three). Up to 7 people can join in a marriage; common unions are 2 and 5.  The 7-member marriage is generally not engaged in among royalty, because it involves too many complicated interchanges, and is most often the beginning of a new Net within a large and possibly-stagnating older Net.

Thanks to Melanie Rawn for the basic idea of the family Webs which I am running with in a different direction, by the way.

Day 19

How long do children stay with their parents?

A child generally lives with their nanny from the time they are weaned – sometimes earlier – until they are ready to be taken on by a tutor. This is generally around puberty, say about age 13. The stepping out of one’s nannie’s care is a rite of passage


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