Tag Archive | archeologist

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Originally posted August 21, 2011 and, would you believe it, the only thing to show up in a Google search for “harvest” of my Dreamwidth blog.


The Aramob had not been expecting resistance when they went against the Village. Town people were soft, and folded easily. That was the wisdom of the elders, that was what the young warriors preached. Especially water-towns, where their food came easy and they could waste their time in games.

Read On

This is Viddie (Viðrou, but his mother didn’t want to call him Vitthie.), the son of Cynara and Leofric from, among other things, Addergoole: a Ghost Story.


In theory, it should have been easy.

Viddie knew pumpkins.  He’d grown up eating pumpkin pie from scratch, and he knew all of the ins and outs of what made a pumpkin a pumpkin.

Read On!

This turned out a little strange…


Sub-bureaucrat Azenia had her hands full and her lamp was burning far past closing time.

She knew, of course, that the over-bureaucrats liked it that way.

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The Study of Emerging Cultures

Continuing flash series! I’m going to write one flash for every Icon I have, over 4 LJ accounts, 1 DW, and a whole bunch of not-currently-in-use, until I get bored or run out of icons.

Today’s icon:

My Anthropologist, from The Planners ‘Verse

Icon & Art by [personal profile] meeks

Before This story.

Late Autumn, 315 Post-Conflict

For the entirety of my decade as a scholar in the Tower, I studied Ancient Cultures. The Ancients division of the Library is one of the largest, and it is an intensive field of study.

However, the problem with Ancient Cultures is that, almost to a one, they are Ancient and thus gone, lost in the Conflict or long before that. One can read about them endlessly, theorize, study, hypothesize, but one can not actually visit these cultures. In many cases, one cannot even visit their ruins.

However, in the branching study of Emerging Cultures, one has quite a bit more room for exploration and study. The isolated nature of the population pockets after the Conflict means that, in the past three centuries, many different cultures have evolved.

Some, such as the Wild Tribes, are not currently open for embedded exploration, the way the Tower’s Scholars prefer to study. The Tower has attempted such. Every single attempt has ended poorly, indeed, fatally.

(I must admit I was still tempted. A one hundred percent chance of death is no deterrent to knowledge!)

Instead, I have acquired myself a position in one of the canal towns, a port from pre-Conflict made over into the shape of the new world. It is a benign and placid place, no more foreign than my mother’s farm.

But I have learned, to my eternal joy, that several grouped family units of the so-called Wild Tribes visit this town regularly to trade. I hear I will meet the Kybelii next week!

Finally, I shall begin to learn the truth of Emerging Cultures!

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/345118.html. You can comment here or there.

Taken Prisoner, to @Inventrix’s prompt, Planners’ verse

To [personal profile] inventrix‘s commissioned prompt in my Call for Prompts: Rescue of a prisoner with severe Stockholm syndrome!

Planners-‘verse, in the same loose era as the Anthropologist stuff.

The Aramob had not been expecting resistance when they went against the Village. Town people were soft, and folded easily. That was the wisdom of the elders, that was what the young warriors preached. Especially water-towns, where their food came easy and they could waste their time in games.

They had gone in soft, snuck in through the side streets, slide over the wall, ready to take what they needed and leave again. They didn’t plan on leaving any bodies behind if they didn’t have to. They were not the nasty tribes, who slaughtered when they could leave alive. The Aramob knew that if they left the villagers alive, there would be more to harvest next year.

In a moment of contemplation, Inosati thought that was what had saved their lives. The villagers had been waiting for them, the people of Johnsonport, waiting with spears and guns and, most humiliating of all, nets. Many Aramob had limped off, injured. Two had died – one on the spear of another Aramob, the other from an accidental headshot.

Seven had been taken captive, among them Inosati. The villagers, their elders had told them, did not do the civilized thing and trade captives. They could not be expected to trade prisoners, or to sell their prisoners to another tribe, from which they might later be redeemed. The captured warriors had spent the first three days of their imprisonment waiting to be roasted and eaten, for they could think of no other option, if they weren’t going to be traded. They had refused all food an water, fearing poison, and had prayed and meditated quietly on their fate.

When the sun set on the third day, the weakest of their number collapsed, and the villagers took him away. By noon on the fourth, three more had been taken. Wondering what her fate was to be, Inosati had stared at the slat wall of her prison, and recited the history litanies with a cracked and parched throat.

They had taken the other two before they took her. Jalar collapsed, and Huna gave in and drank the water, and both of them were taken. Inosati was left, delirious and awake-dreaming of wintertime.

It had been dark when Revan had come for her. She hadn’t known him, or his language, but he had lifted her up and carried her into his home, spooned broth down her unresisting throat, and tied her to the bed, the softest thing she’d ever slept on, with soft ropes.

They had nothing in common but a few gestures and even fewer words, but they were both clever, and they learned each other’s languages. Inosati had little else to do with her time, chained as she was in the back room of Revan’s parents’ house. She sipped his broth, and ate the food he provided, and he and his little brothers taught her their language.

When she learned enough words, they had told her of her fellow warriors. All but one, they said, had been traded to other tribes for the release of villagers captures. When she told them, indignant, that house-people didn’t do such things, they laughed at her. “House people aren’t prepared when the wild tribes come, either,” they reminded her.

The only question they did not answer was “what will you do with me?”

In time, and with Revan’s gentle and constant attention, the answer to that became clear anyway. Winter came, and the warmth of a body next to her was welcome, even if he was a weak town-person, a lazy wall-farmer (town-people didn’t capture warriors. Wall-farmers didn’t sell those warriors back to their kin). He was warm, and his hand on her were strong, almost as strong as her own.

He kept her in chains. That part bothered Inosati long after everything else had faded, after his warmth in bed was a comfortable presence and not a strangeness, after she learned to farm inside walls like the town-people, how to break the dirt and make it submit. He kept her hobbled, and her hands chained, with their wall-farmer metals, never letting her forget that she was a prisoner.

She asked him about it, as the spring bled into summer. “Why?” Words still came hard to her, but ‘why’ was easy enough.

“The chains?” He stroked her wrists, where the shackles had left callouses. “You’re a wild thing, love. It helps you to remember to stay.”

“I see.” She did not ask him, because she wasn’t certain of the answer within herself, if he thought he’d stay without them, or run.

Her people spent the summers in the area near this town; in the hottest nights, she could hear their singing, taste their sweet smokes on the air. She sat up in bed, wishing for the moonlight, wishing for Revan to understand the song with her, to dance with her to the drums of her sisters.

The Aramob had learned their lessons, it seemed; this year, none of the town-people heard them coming. No one was there to raise the alarm when the warriors slunk in, and none to warn Revan when they tackled him to the floor.

“We are here,” hissed Inosati’s youngest sister. “Will you slit his throat?”

She looked down at the man who had been her captor for so long, who stared wide-eyed back at her. She could not kill him, not the one who had nursed her back to health and held her in her sleep.

“Take him with us,” she said instead, adding, as an afterthought, “He has brothers.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/115055.html. You can comment here or there.

The Anthropologist’s Journal

From [community profile] dailyprompt

Planners’-verse, further in the future.

Beginning of Spring, probably year 317 Post-Conflict

I have been living among the Kaveh for a little over five seasons now. Such was not my original plan, of course; we do not embed anthropologists in the wild tribes any more. Early attempts had a 0% survival rate, and even we – the Tower, that is – are not that mad.

I was not, at the time, even studying the Kaveh, or any of the wild tribes. I was visiting a village along the canal, discussing education plans and a method of marrying-out to nearby settlements that would prevent the excessive inbreeding such places are prone to. Considering what the tribes did to that place, I doubt that is a problem anymore.

Not the Kaveh, however; that was the Kybelii. They raided in numbers and with ferocity that exceeded any report or tale I have ever heard, tearing through the village. They killed the men, and took the women and children prisoner, including, of course, me.

I will not write of my days with the Kybelii. They were a violent and smelly people, and I don’t mourn their demise, except in the loss of their genetic diversity.

Their demise, and my unwilling and accidental embedding among the Kavah, came two and one-half moons after the slaughter of Johnsport, when the Kavah and two other of the wild tribes attacked and killed all of the Kybelii warriors and about half of their domestic population. They split the remainders and the slaves – myself, again – among the three tribes. I, of course, went to the Kavah.

At first, I believed that this would simply be the same unpleasant, odorous captivity with a new set of captors. Our information on the wild tribes didn’t indicate any major variation in behavior: they pillaged, stole, and raped, and as far as we could tell, they did so indiscriminately. Their slaves were treated as chattel, as cattle, bought and sold, bred until they died, often in childbirth.

And perhaps that would have continued to be my fate. The tribe sold many of the slaves they acquired from the Kybelii, and two more died on the long trip from summer pastures to winter camp. I could have been among either group, easily enough.

But a young female warrior-in-training who I believed to be the chief’s daughter, and her brother, slightly older, took a liking to me, and I was moved into the yurt they shared with their mother for the duration of the winter.

By the time that the long, miserable, snow was over and it was time to move back to summer pastures, I was swollen with an unwanted pregnancy from the Kybelli, and had learned to speak the dialect the Kavah used and taught my owners quite a bit of the Scholar’s English I had grown up speaking. I had also befriended my owners’ mother, as well as the two teenagers themselves, and, through them, the chieftain, as well as the man, their lore-speaker, who I had originally thought was the chief.

(Their lore-speaker is the father to my young mistress, the chieftain the husband-to-be of both mistress and master. More on that later).

And it seems that their lore-speaker is intrigued by the way that The City People (that would be yours truly, neveryoumind that I am, in fact a Tower Person) handle their disputes. His children were very miffed to find him taking more and more of my time, but he is, after all, an important person. And he is open to new ideas, even if, between you and I, journal, they are in actuality very old ideas.

We have been working on the idea of justice, recently, he and I. The Kavah, as with, I gather, many of the other wild tribes, have a concept of “revenge” and one of “survival,” but justice has until now been missing from their vocabulary.

During the summer, there is little time for talking, so I talk quite a bit during the long idle periods of winter, and now, as the snow begins to melt, I find myself talking quickly. They will raid again, soon. Perhaps I can bend them, slowly, towards fairness and justice. Perhaps this year there will be less slaughter.

I hope that I can. Their summer pasture, this year, is awfully close to the Tower.

Prompt: “bending towards justice”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/67085.html. You can comment here or there.