Archives

Nineteen: “Disputes” in the Bear Empire

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Lies and Murder in the Bear Empire

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They didn’t sleep well, but they drowsed for several hours, until the sun began to sneak over the horizon and Deline, at least, was tired of pretending she could rest.

The storm, which had come back twice during their restless sleep, seemed to have passed by the time they made it downstairs and into the small town.  Deline wasted a few minutes wishing over the carriage system, but even if it was safe for them to risk, the carriages wouldn’t travel if there was risk to the horses.

Their provisioning was quick, since there were only two stores in town.  It was at the second one, while Carrone was making faces at Deline’s purchases, that the shopkeeper aimed a sharp look up and down both of them. Continue reading

Eighteen: Lies and Murder in the Bear Empire

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

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Carrone was eyeing Deline oddly.  “You don’t like killing. The Deklegion paper-pusher told us you were a mass-murderer.  Then you put a blade to me and offered to leave me in the cabin.”

“I have killed a grand total of… three people and seven animals in Dekleg, not this trip, in my life, and two of those people were actively trying to kill me at the time.  I don’t like killing people.”

“But you would have slit my throat.”

“Sometimes…”  She sat down on the edge of their makeshift bed cross-legged, “the mission is more important than what I want.  And if I don’t make it home, the mission fails.” Continue reading

Captive in the Bear Empire

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

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“So that’s how you did that knot.”

“What?  Oh, yes.”  Deline tightened up the last of the spell-rope knots around their would-be murderer with a yank.

“Do they teach that in spy training in the Empire?”  Carrone shifted the blade he was holding so that it was in a slightly less threatening position against the assassin’s throat.

“That’s at least three assumptions.”  She sat back and looked at the woman, who glared balefully at her over the thick gag of rag and socks.  Dirty socks; Deline was not in a charitable mood.

“Hunh?  I guess it is.  Are you going to give her the—”

“Hsst.”  She looked down at the woman.  “You have three choices.” Continue reading

Thimbleful Thursday: Parts and Points

“You, uh, really take trying out your product seriously, don’t you?”

The man was nervous. Sheen’s workshop did that, got people thinking about all the pieces coming to life, or about all the meat parts they still had.

That was, however, no excuse for rudeness.

“Mmm?” Sheen made like he didn’t know what the guy was talking about.  

“Your, uh, your arm?”

He’d actually said it.  Sheen marked a point in his favor.  

“This?” Sheen sent a thought through the wiring and detached his metal arm — mostly composites and ceramic, but “metal arm, meat arm” sounded cooler.  “Does this—” he waved the stump “—  look like something I did to myself?” Continue reading

Teamwork in the Bear Empire

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: An Inn in the Bear Empire

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A movement somewhere outside her window woke her in the middle of the night.

It’s the storm, she told herself, but Carrone had woken, too.  The noise from the storm had settled down to a quiet rainfall. There was very little wind at all, no sounds of sleet – but something had scratched across their wall.

The walls were more secure than they had been, but it wouldn’t stop someone from –

She rolled to one side of the bed and off as Carrone did the same on the other side.  The wrong side, too close to the wall. Just as they rolled, a dart went flying over the bed – it would have hit Carrone in the neck, if he hadn’t moved. Continue reading

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!

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

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!