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World Building June Day 13 – A Diagram?

In the post I did yesterday, I mentioned a Jackal house, a “very small building on the outskirts of town that has only the bare necessities to survive,” in the Bear Empire, reserved for those who are taking advantage of the charity/kindness of others.

If you’ve been following on my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/aldersprig/posts?tag=boom), you may have noticed that I’ve been drawing little maps and floor plans in Excel and Paint.

So when I was like “tiny building, bare necessities….”

Of course I had to draw it.

And I might have mentioned that I’ve been taking all-day Administrative Excellence classes on Wednesdays.

This leads to a lot of doodling and drawing.

So uh.  There’s a reason I draw these things in Excel usually, and below you’ll see both versions.

A “Jackal House” in the Bear Empire, as it might look.  Fire is a required necessity for survival.  Windows are not.

As the sketch shows, a stack of firewood outside the house on the windward side provides more firewood and also insulation.  The high-pitched roofline provides protection. 

 

 

World Building June Day 13 – Money and Mooches

It’so June WorldBuilding So I’m building Worlds!  Aerax/Expectant Woods over on Patreon, and Bear Empire and a new thing here!

(mostly Bear Empire now, though I’ll make sure I at least post everything I wrote on the Ezra IV Colonies)

13- What type of economic structures do they follow?

As a whole, the Bear Empire works on a mostly-capitalist structure; that is, people sell goods and services for currency to buy other goods and services.

The exceptions to this are as follows:

* There are still large portions of the Empire (mind you, not lovely portions or anything, but portions) where land is free.  As long as you have four adults or more willing to agree to live there for at least five years, the local governor will build you a house and a barn and give you up to 200 acres (although in many cases measuring those acres is complicated.  Ever measure horizontal land up the side of a mountain?).

* Taxes to the Shire, the [governor-area] and the Empire cover first and primarily infrastructure, but a portion is put aside every year for the following:

– relief for areas stricken by famine or disaster (inside the borders or, to a lesser degree, outside of them)

– Aid for the poor

– basic reading, writing, and religious education for all children from weaning to prepubescence.

This last one is new and still controversial, since it did require a raise in taxes across the board.  

* Within any town or shire, if someone has come upon hard times, there is a “10% rule.”  That is, rather than tithes to the church, people put aside 10% of their goods and harvests as they can, and will give, generally, 1/3 of that to any they encounter who have come on hard times

(on the other hand, if someone is known to abuse that charity, there is a thing called the Jackal House, a very small building on the outskirts of town that has only the bare necessities to survive. If you find yourself escorted the Jackal House, you can know that you have tried the patience of a town and stretched their 10% further than they are willing to accept.

The primary manner one gets out of the Jackal House, save from moving to another town, is by performing some act of service for every member of the town. )


 

Questions? Thoughts?  Tell me!

An Inn in the Bear Empire

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Prey in the Bear Empire

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The town was a little closer than Deline had estimated – in part because they struck a rather quick pace, not trusting the clouds hovering over the mountains, and in part because they took advantage of two wagon-rides offered to them.

The first one didn’t take a large amount of distance off of their trip, but it was almost all uphill, and they were both glad to let the big draft horses to the climbing.  The farmer, a quiet woman with a distant look in her eye, didn’t ask many questions and didn’t provide much information – but as she was pulling the wagon to a stop, she told them, “if you’re going Ghomau way, Ewdin there might be running the wagon into town.”  She peered up at the sun. “You make a good pace here to there, you might catch him. He’ll talk your ear off, but he likes the company.”

They made it to Ewdin in time to help him load straw into his wagon and ride up with him.  Deline had been a little worried about what they would tell him, what they could tell him, but it turned out to have  been a vain worry. Continue reading

World Building June Day 11-12 – Language, Creatures, Government

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. Continue reading

World Building June Day 10 & 11 – Holidays and Governments

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!

10. What holidays & traditions are observed in your world?

Major holidays in the Bear Empire include:

* A major feast near the end of autumn

* a day called the “day of sleep” after the first major frost.  

* A spring-thaw celebration

(these three above together are referred to as the Hibernation festivals) Continue reading

A New World 22: Out

First: A New World
Previous: Preparations

Kael slid herself into the bustle of people with the strange feeling that no time at all had passed. True, when she had been – when this had been her land, say that – she had needed to put a little more work into a disguise.  True, the clothing was stranger now, the faces had a wider variety of shapes, the hair colors and skin colors were more varied. True, the buildings – other than her Tower – were taller, and there seemed to be far more of them than there had been around her Tower before she went to sleep.

But the people bustled around and talked in much the same ways.  They were worried about children, and partners, and money, and food.  What to wear and where to get it, all of the things that had been common a thousand years before. Continue reading

World Building June Day 9 & 21 – Religions and Bear Necessities

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.  

Here’s two posts this week!

9. What are the religions and cosmology of your world?

Within the Bear Empire and in several of the nations surrounding it, the primary religion – and the one that is supported by/considered part of/supporting the state – is a totemic faith of sorts.  The nation of the Bear considered Mother Bear to be their guardsmen, protector, and guide; the Lynx people still consider Sister Lynx as theirs, and so on.

It is the belief or at least a tenet of this faith that the Bear is the ancestor of the Bear people, the Fox of the Fox people, and so on.  This sits in the realm of pre-history with the story that the totems came here because their prior land was too crowded.

I mention  Priests of Axes and temple of Axes in my story.  So, let’s see.

The options are: Axes is the name of the Bear in a certain aspect.

Axes was meant to be Axis, and it refers to the pole.

Axes are the weapons of choice of the Priesthood of the Bear, and so the casual name for them is the Priesthood of Axes.

I like that third one the best.


Cal Questions

SOCIETY/CULTURE

21- What do people in the society consider basic necessities? What resources do they take for granted?

Stone.  Stone is definitely taken for granted.

Granite, even.

Stone, and wood, and water – clean water – and the very thin underlying force of magic which powers things most people don’t even think about (like the Bear-stone bracelets and other Bear-stone items).  All those things are in abundance in the Empire of the Bear. As is, ah, natural refrigeration.

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Basic necessities include: Shelter-and-heat, bread-and-salt, mittens-and-boots. In some parts of the country, it is considered a grievous sin to deny anyone who asks any of these things; in others, it’s considered an equally grievous sin to ask.  In both places, if you ask and it is given, or if it is given freely without asking, a bond has been formed that neither can break.  In three seasons out of four, lack of any of them can kill you, and in the fourth, lack of the bread and salt might still kill you.

Close behind in necessity: The support of your totem.  The knowledge of your kin-group. Knowing who has your back in a fight and having at least two people who will.

This is one reason marriages are often tripartite.


 

Questions? Thoughts?  Tell me!

World Building June Day 8/18 – Running and Running Around

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.


Cal Questions

GOVERNMENT/ECONOMY

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!