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Lugh and The Box
Forum: Confederacy of Edofasia | Cónaidhm na Éidobhasia
Last Post: Edofasia
06-15-2022, 10:42 AM
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Smoker...
Forum: Worldbuilding
Last Post: Union of Akarea
05-10-2022, 03:06 PM
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Taitou Feed™
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Memoirs of a Hashiriya
Forum: Worldbuilding
Last Post: Satoyama
04-27-2022, 08:08 AM
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The Little Butcher [VIEWE...
Forum: Worldbuilding
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Gesichtbuch™
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what if? tdk edition
Forum: AUs and other non-canon fluff
Last Post: Alpenraum
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Draft Feedback and Planni...
Forum: AUs and other non-canon fluff
Last Post: Kingdom of Candanadium
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New Karelograd: Rewritten
Forum: AUs and other non-canon fluff
Last Post: Alpenraum
04-13-2022, 07:13 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 368

 
  Lugh and The Box
Posted by: Edofasia - 06-15-2022, 10:42 AM - Forum: Confederacy of Edofasia | Cónaidhm na Éidobhasia - No Replies

Nicholas had enjoyed an adventurous youth, but had grown to be a very wise, very old Edofasian who spent his life searching for the truth and dispelling superstitions. He invented much and created many theorems and logic structures that bore his name. But much of the world still puzzled him, and nothing was a greater enigma to him that the nature of the Admin and Other. Over the course of his research, he came to the conclusion that many of the Gods were entirely fabricated by man.
Nothing, however, was a greater question to Nicholas than the limits of divine power. Were the Greater Beings the masters of the entire world, or did the humbler creatures have the strength to forge their own destinies? As Nicholas found himself nearing the end of his life, he felt he must understand this last basic truth.
Among the sage's acquaintances was a holy Cenaesian priest named Antony. When the priest was visiting Scarlao, Nicholas told him what he intended to do to find the nature of divine power. Antony was terrified and pleaded with his friend not to break this great mystery, but Nicholas was resolute. Finally, the priest agreed to assist out of love for his friend, though he feared the results of this blasphemy.
Antony summoned Lugh. After the usual rituals by which the priest declared his faith in his powers and Lugh agreed to do no harm to him, Nicholas and a dozen of his students entered the summoning chamber, carrying with them a large box.
“As we see you in our land, Lygh, you are the God of Bronze and Trickery and all the mysteries therein,” said Nicholas, trying to appear as kindly and obsequious as he could be. “It is said that your knowledge is absolute.”
“So it is,” smiled the Golden God.
“You would know, for example, what is in this wooden box,” said Nicholas.
Lugh turned to Antony, his brow furrowed. The priest was quick to explain, “Lord, this Edofasian is a very wise and respected man. Believe me, please, the intention is not to mock your greatness, but to demonstrate it to this scientist and to the rest of his skeptical race. I have tried to explain your power to him, but his philosophy is such that he must see it demonstrated.”
“If I am to demonstrate my might in a way to bring the Edofasian race to understanding, it might have been a more impressive feat you would have me do,” growled Lugh, and turned to look Nicholas in the eyes. “There is a red-petalled flower in the box.”
Nicholas did not smile or frown. He simply opened the box and revealed to all that it was empty.
When the students turned to look to Lugh, He was gone. Only Antiny had seen the God's expression before he vanished, and he could not speak, he was trembling so. A curse had fallen, he knew that truly, but even crueler was the knowledge of divine power that had been demonstrated. Nicholas also looked pale, uncertain on his feet, but his face shone with not fear, but bliss. The smile of a Edofasian finding evidence for a truth only suspected.
Two of his students supported him, and two more supported the priest as they left the chamber.
“I have studied very much over the years, performed countless experiments, taught myself a thousand languages, and yet the skill that has taught me the finally truth is the one that I learned when I was but a poor, young man, trying only to have enough gold to eat,” whispered the sage.
As he was escorted up the stairs to his bed, a red flower petal fell from the sleeve of his voluminous robe. Nicholas died that night, a portrait of peace that comes from contented knowledge.

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Story Smoker...
Posted by: Union of Akarea - 05-10-2022, 03:04 PM - Forum: Worldbuilding - Replies (1)

SMOKER...
...THE CIRCLE OF LIFE IS A FLAMING CIRCUS HOOP


There was nothing but darkness. It was impossible to gauge the size of the environment she found herself in because there were no reference points by which she could determine scale or distance, which was in turn because there was absolutely nothing at all present whatsoever. She was alone in her own mind.

The darkness gradually became more defined, in a funny sort of way, although the realisation that this increasing “definition” (for lack of a better word) had cast her into a sort of hallway or corridor-esque space came quite suddenly. The very fabric of the darkness itself seemed to gain edges and corners, and the surfaces they drew seemed like a polished obsidian black, mirror-surfaced reflecting into itself recursively forever. Instinctively she began to move forward, proceeding into the endless depths although she wasn’t too sure how she was managing to go anywhere at all; rather it seemed that she was, in her mind, issuing the instruction to move and it was simply happening as if by magic.

Then, suddenly, everything went white. The shiny black walls became impossibly bright, reflecting some great light from beyond the end of the path. Then came the heat, and it was horrifically strong and utterly unbearable. She collapsed onto the floor, her perception of this bizarre world that had conjured itself into existence around her slowly fading.

Everything became tinted darker, blurrier and harder to see. The very darkness itself hung in the air, foreboding, thick and stale. That was when she remembered she had lungs: they worked with great effort to haul great loads of this thick toxic darkness out from her chest, which heaved and convulsed with every motion. She coughed and spluttered as this horrid cloud wrapped around her ever tighter. With every breath she could taste it; it was bitter and vile.

She understood that there would be no safety for her if she did not escape it, and fast: that was when she remembered she had arms and legs. She slowly began to haul herself along the floor of the terrible place, which had since developed several offshoots and branching pathways, morphing into some awful maze. She couldn’t comprehend which turns to take to leave, although it didn’t matter much since she couldn’t move much anyway. It was as if there was something more physical than this cruel gas pinning her down. If only she could tell what it was!

That’s when she remembered she had eyes. She opened them and saw fire. Everything was on fire.

She threw the blanket off from her sweltering body but as she tried to move from her bed, she was immediately over-encumbered by the indescribable heat and pulled to the floor. The tiny room was engulfed with flames spewing from what looked and felt like everything and everywhere, and a dense layer of smoke hung from the ceiling. She could just about crawl along the bottom of the room and avoid breathing it in, but it was difficult to crawl so low with any real urgency.

At some point while struggling along, getting hotter and fainter and feeling like she was getting no further than the foot of her bed, she remembered she had ears. She was deafened by the roaring of the burning building, and the wailing of her smoke alarms as they desperately tried to rouse attention, although it had quite clearly been fruitless. She was hurt, although the pain wasn’t localised to any one point. It probably meant that it wasn't important. She had to keep moving.

She made it to the door from the bedroom into the hallway before realising it was closed. The door handle was way above her, in the smoke. Survival instincts kicked in; she drew a lungful of clean(ish) air, held it with puffed cheeks, and rose into the smoke. It stung her eyes and the smut hanging in the air prickled like hot needles. With tremendous effort she managed to get the door off of its latch and opened ajar before dropping back down to the floor and catching her breath. With every moment she spent trying to recover, the smoke went lower and lower. She had to keep moving.

She pushed the door to open it, but instead it fell flat forwards, crashing into the floor with a colossal smash. Out here the fire was far worse; she could see the outsides of the door hinges had melted in the heat, while the wallpaper warped and disintegrated, trickling down in a sad spectacle. Flames licked her skin and singed her hair. The survival instincts she had relied on just a moment ago kicked in again, this time taking full control. She rose to her feet once more, clumsily stumbling through the hallway. Every footstep took extreme labour, and although everything she could feel was in so much pain she kept moving because it was the only way she would ever see the light of day again.

The floorboards were splintering in the massive heat. The frayed and split wood dug into the bottoms of her feet, drawing blood which burned in the embers settling from the fire all around, casting a deeply unpleasant smell and an extreme pain. Behind her, a roofing beam weakened by the blaze collapsed under its own weight, crashing through the ceiling behind her. The whole place was beginning to fall apart... She had to keep moving.

She knew this corridor well. Why did it suddenly seem so long? She wondered if she was back in the strange place from before. With every trembling and awful step, she drew ever closer to the end of the corridor before she eventually reached the stairs down to the shop. She took a step downwards, but the stairs collapsed under her weight, and she went down with them landing in a pile of hot rubble. She couldn't even bring herself to yelp or even so much as grunt. She was so tired.

Around her was years of work, the fruits of her endless toils turning to ash. Everything she cast her eyes on recalled a thousand memories spanning her entire career and the entire lifetime of her enterprise. She was burnt, and badly, but at that time she was far more emotionally tormented than physically. She felt like she was crying but couldn't feel any tears for they evaporated from her face before she could even sense them.

It was at this point she realised she couldn't move. The fall must have taken more of a toll on her than she had thought. All her progress and hard work to remember and regain use of her arms, legs and eyes was lost. She felt helpless.

Through the windows at the front of the shop she could see flashing red and blue from emergency vehicles, and the silhouettes of people. She tried to shout for their attention, but her lungs were full of smoke, and she could only cough, choking up great huffs of noxious fog.
This was the end. She had always secretly hoped that her demise would be a bit more interesting, perhaps surrounded by loved ones or dying in some terrible but public accident with spectators to cry. There was no shame to dying in a fire, but she was alone. So terribly alone.

As she laid down, accepting fate with an open mind and heavy heart, she could hear the smashing of glass, heavy stamping sounds almost like the boots of some ferocious deity, and muffled speech that she was surprised to be unable to discern despite it all being in her own head. Just as she had been thrust into it, she began to lose her grasp of reality. Is it worse to die confused or alone?

As she sailed away from the land of the living, she felt the curious physical sensation of being lifted up by some unseen force. She never imagined that departing from life would involve a sensation of physical motion but wasn’t surprised by it either. She wasn't surprised by anything anymore because she didn't have the energy to be. She just wanted to rest.

She drew her last breath and fell asleep. There was nothing but darkness.

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  Memoirs of a Hashiriya
Posted by: Satoyama - 04-27-2022, 08:08 AM - Forum: Worldbuilding - No Replies

[PROLOGUE]

Most people will tell you it's a big, bustling city full of opportunities. There's always something new for you to discover and explore. And they may be right. But most of the time, they'll mean getting new jobs, and whatnot. On the surface, it's a big, shiny city, chock-filled with high-rises owned by billion-dollar businesses. Businessmen run around, making calls, or taking a short break in their nearest noodle bar. Children go to school - they learn, laugh, and play.

But this is just the surface. Come nightfall, it feels as if the entire city turns itself on its head. It goes from glitzy to gritty. From being a utopia, to being an underbelly. As the commuters slowly disappear, the runners take their place. The minivans and the sedans are replaced with cars of all shapes, sizes and colors. Domestic tuners, import tuners, exotic cars, and even a muscle car or two. Every street, every bridge, every backroad, every alleyway turns into a race circuit. The scent of burnt rubber and race fuel fills the air. The streets become alive with a cacophony of sounds; the screams of V12s and V10s, the rumbles of V8s, the roars of V6s and inline-fours, the whines of superchargers, the flutters of turbos, the screeching of tires, and the cheering of crowds.

Some just crave the feelings of speed. Others race for a reputation. Some may even have scores to settle with others. Many racers come together to form teams, while others prefer to race alone. But there's something they all share in common; they tweak and tune, searching for that sweet spot of perfection in their machines. And when the time comes to race, they never, ever hold back. They'll do everything it takes to win, for that sweet taste of victory, even if it means putting everything that matters on the line.

Welcome to the streets of Satoyama.

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Warning The Little Butcher [VIEWER DISCRETION WARNING]
Posted by: Satoyama - 04-25-2022, 01:54 PM - Forum: Worldbuilding - No Replies

Quote:⚠️ A NOTICE FROM THE ROLEPLAY ADMIN ⚠️

The following arc deals with topics such as murder, mutilation, cannibalism, and mental illness, which may prove to be distressing or disturbing. The Roleplay Admin is in constant communication with the author and will review and approve each chapter before it is posted to ensure that these topics are being handled in a largely mature and responsible manner. Reader discretion is advised.

Kingdom of Candanadium WAD TDKC
WA Delegate and Roleplay Admin


Itsuro Saikawa was a very small man, standing at 4'8. Viewed from a distance, you'd be forgiven for thinking he was a 10-year old child. But upon closer inspection, with his wrinkled, weathered face and a bodily scent that reminded one vaguely of death, he was, in fact, a full-grown man in his 30s. He was a man of very little words. He was courteous and polite, bowing to everyone he made an exchange with.

Judging by the well-ironed polo shirt and khaki trousers he donned, one could infer he was from a well-off family. And you'd be right; he was born prematurely on a rainy evening in July 1944, small enough to fit into the palm of his father's hand. His father was no ordinary businessman, for he was the head of Saikawa Shipping Industries. And therefore, with a sizeable medical bill paid to the exhausted doctors, Itsuro lived to see the light of day. 

Growing up, he was no ordinary child. Whereas his classmates were playing badminton and skating their way around school, he cooped himself up in a corner in the library. He read, read and read. And when there wasn't any more to read, he simply took a book from the bottom of the pile of literature he had next to him, and read through it again. Word for word. Again, and again, and again. Literature was ingrained in his mind. There were few things he loved more than literature. Freud, Goethe, Twain, all of them. He could recite entire books, which he did on the way home. Loudly and clearly. Many gave him looks of confusion, as well as the occasional look of admiration.

He was frequently the only person at home. His mother was in the Iwabuchi district doing god knows what; when he asked, she promptly replied, "I'm making business deals with some uncles that you don't know about." And his father, being the successful businessman that he was, did lines in a faraway bar with his partners. But this wasn't to say he spent his childhood alone. He had a companion; Momo, a cat. Momo was the only other sign of life in his huge, empty mansion. He would hug Momo and pet her, only letting her go when she began to screech and squirm, trying to free herself from his clutches. She took naps in his room as he violently pleasured himself to his own thoughts. One day, it felt as if he lost control of his entire body, creeping up on Momo from behind. He felt a strong attraction to her, as if she were a magnet, dragging him closer and closer. And once he was done, Momo was on the ground, twitching, bleeding, taking her last breaths, as Itsuro stared down at the fragile creature. He felt that he needed to do more; he needed to preserve Momo in him somehow.

His cuts were precise and calculated. He took care not to damage the meat. Putting it in the pot, he let it boil for a few hours, lifting the lid to serve himself some broth. It tasted mostly of pork, with slight laces of seafood undertones. Once he swallowed, it had a peculiar, sour aftertaste. The meal was good, but he still felt hungry somehow. As if a part of him were missing. When he went to school the following day, he felt as if he was almost seeing things differently. As he walked past the older students playing badminton in the court, he found himself gazing at their bulging biceps and calves as they ran and bounced around, full of energy, full of life. Saliva collected at the bottom of his mouth. Thoughts of munching on a tasty steak appeared in his mind. "Tis but a trick my mind plays on me.", he murmured to himself, as he shook his head and kept walking to class.

And 8 years later, he pursues a doctorate in classical literature at Suzuki Arts School. But his hunger remains. Many women turned his requests for love down, over and over again. But that didn't cure him of this hunger.

And on one night, as he was taking a stroll at his local park, he noticed a woman...

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  Draft Feedback and Planning Thread
Posted by: Kingdom of Candanadium - 04-17-2022, 01:56 PM - Forum: AUs and other non-canon fluff - No Replies

This is a thread that all Democratikans may use to post their drafts or planned pieces of writing in order to get feedback from the community at large.

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  New Karelograd: Rewritten
Posted by: Alpenraum - 04-13-2022, 07:11 PM - Forum: AUs and other non-canon fluff - Replies (1)

so basically im gonna rewrite some old nk posts

arent gonna be that good cuz im gonna focus more on actual rp but i thought this would be fun(and literally anything is better then the original rp posts for New Karelograd)

enjoy

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  The Second Meltorian Civil War
Posted by: Meltor - 03-29-2022, 03:16 PM - Forum: Conflicts - Replies (4)

Written by Candanadium

Perisu Airport

There was a shape on the horizon.

Cestu watched as the little plane looped around the airport control tower, dipping its wings to accommodate for the turn before readjusting its position and preparing to land. The heat blurred his vision as the plane’s tires screeched against the grey tarmac, a wisp of white smoke trailing after the plane as its flaps deployed, slowing it down considerably. Beside him, a half-naked brown-skinned slave fanned at his perfumed and powdered master, who was sweating copiously beneath his dark blue uniform and feathered cap. Cestu himself stood as straight as the ceremonial spear he carried, his face obscured by the golden silk veil that befitted his office as Captain of the Imperial Household Guard, and despite his natural resistance to the heat (growing up in the south of the country did that to a man), a bead of sweat ran down the side of his cheek.

It was, invariably, hot. It was yet another forty-degree day in Perisu. While the northern hemisphere enjoyed their mild spring, Meltor was experiencing the hottest days of the year before the autumn rains relieved them of the oppressive bone-dry heat of the long summer. And now, some had said that, like the autumn rains, the Empress was coming home to liberate her people from the oppression of the summer lords. It did not appear, however, to Cestu that this was how a liberator returned to her people. She would not have come alone. She would’ve brought the armies of Kaltachia with her, and she would’ve freed Meltor with fire and sword as her ancestors did in antiquity. It would not be like this. Indeed, even as the diminutive imperial plane bumped along the tarmac to the terminal building that Cestu and the welcome party were standing outside, he could not shake the feeling that something was about to go seriously wrong.

---

“Read it back to me again, please.” The Empress dictated, examining the Perisu skyline outside the plane’s porthole-like windows.

“A proclamation from the imperial throne on the future of Our Domain of Meltor. Edelgard XV von Numenor, et cetera, et cetera, Empress Melotey, to all those to whom these presents come - a greeting. We hereby ordain that the cruel and barbarous practice of indentured servitude shall henceforth be outlawed in all Our domain with no exception nor derogation. We command Our good and loyal subjects to-” Herish read in a clear, high voice from the paper that Sieion had been working on.

“I still don’t like the sound of ‘we’.” The Empress interrupted her handmaid, turning back towards Sieion in the seat opposite. “It’s too anachronistic.” Sieion frowned.

“It’s what is expected of us, if you’ll forgive the expression. You are Empress Melotey, and you rule by Sothis’s grace. You speak with her voice.” Sieion turned towards the handmaid. “Keep it. Go on.”

“We command Our good and loyal subjects to give no quarter to those who would oppose Our decree and to deliver unto Us those who have been responsible for the proliferation of this act-” The handmaid cleared her throat.

“This atrocity. Not act. We need to call it what it is.” The Empress interrupted her again with a wave of her hand.

“Agreed. Make the change, please, Herish.” Sieion handed her a pen, and the handmaid quickly crossed out the word and wrote in the replacement. She continued.

“-so that they may be brought to justice under Our laws. We attaint and strip all titles from those who are named in the appendix attached as violators of Our peace and enemies of Our loyal subjects.”

“Gacrein, his relatives, the House of Helio, the House of Moria, the House of Victor, the Neya Mara, the Fire Sands and Concrete people, Silver Glass, and Iron Wings. Are you sure you don’t want Vexi on this list?” Sieion butted in once more.

“I’m sure. You know these families better than me, I trust it’s complete. Go on again, Herish.”

“We request all those who are friends of the Imperial House to come to its aid in its most perilous hour and to eradicate the scourge of slavery from our domain. Given under Our Hand in Our City of Perisu, this-” Herish paused. “There’s no date.”

“We’ll issue this when the time is ripe.” The Empress reassured her. “Thank you, Herish. You’ve been most helpful.” The little handmaid thrust the sheet of paper back at Sieion, who took it in a kindly manner, and darted off after a quick bow to the Empress. “And look, we’re just about to land.”

“Yes.” Sieion exhaled. “Shall we go over the plan once more?”

“Once the doors open, I will attempt to stall them as long as possible for you, Herish, and the rest of the handmaids and servants to get away. You will hold on to the proclamations, and you will seek shelter in the city anonymously. Once I return to the Tower, I will contact my Captain of the Guard, and we shall proceed from there.” The Empress recalled with minimal effort. They had spent long hours discussing the course of action for their return to Meltor, now that the cat was well and truly out of the bag.

“And if the Captain shall have betrayed us?” Sieion asked. The concern was perfectly valid, and the Empress knew that as well as he. Still, though, she dreaded the inevitable question from Sieion.

“He will not. The guard and the army are sworn to me.” The Empress’s tried to make herself sound more certain than she was.

“Oaths can be broken.” Evidently, her efforts were not enough.

“You do not know them, Sieion von Actu.” The Empress emphasized the noble particle in Sieion’s name. “I have grown up with them. Captain Hetar’s father swore his oath to my grandfather, who took his grandfather in his service when my great-grandfather died, and so on, back to the time of the first Emperor Siegion, your partial namesake. And through all that time, Actu conspired with Garic and Sectaria and sold men as chattel. Your own grandfather rose up against the crown when it suited him. These are families of freedmen who have served the imperial household for generations, and their loyalty have never been called into question. You, on the other hand, are a younger son of a minor kingdom that serves purely at my pleasure, serving in a position borne purely of courtesy and tradition and not of practicality or loyalty. If anything, it is your oath to me that I should be worried about.” Sieion dropped to one knee.

“You will have no reason to doubt my loyalty.” He bowed his head.

“I trust that you will not give me reason to. Rise, Sieion. We have a show to put on.”

---

“Your Sublime Majesty.” The fat slaver beside Cestu tipped his head forward a couple of degrees in what must have been the faintest bow of courtesy anyone has ever performed. His fan-slave paused his repetitive movement momentarily, seeing an opportunity to take a brief rest as his master was distracted by another matter.

“Lord Garum. Von Garic, is it? You do bear quite the resemblance to your father when he was young.” The Empress took off a leather glove and offered her hand for the slaver lord to kiss, and he obliged, giving the imperial signet ring the smallest peck and lifting his head once more, his beady little eyes darting up and down as if to examine the Empress. He dabbed at his moist forehead with a cloth as his partially sunburned face turned a deeper shade of red.

“Really? Do you mean it?” Cestu thought he saw the faintest glimmer of hope in those insect-like eyes of the fat man.

“I see those years in Cenaesia have not sharpened your wits any. Well, my lord of Garic, what shall it be?” The Empress’s tone had an air of mild bemusement as Garum von Garic began stumbling over his words in embarrassment and turned an even deeper shade of red. Behind them, the slaver’s companions and attendants snickered.

“Your… My… I mean, Empress… What do you mean? What do you suggest, I mean?” He managed to splutter.

“I mean that you should make up your mind about what you mean to do with me and my companions. As you can imagine, we are worn out from travel and would appreciate a timely return to the Tower to resume our work.” The Empress maintained a cool steadiness in her voice that Cestu had never heard from her before. It was as though she had returned from Candanadium a changed woman.

“What I… mean to do? With you? And your companions? But… My Empress, you are alone?” Garum von Garic seemed to still be at a loss for words.

“Am I? Well, in that case, you best see to my safe conduct back to my Tower. I can see you’ve brought the vehicles and the security.” There was a small smile on the Empress’s lips, almost mocking Garum.

“Back to the Tower… Yes. We will go back to the Tower.” The fat lord moved towards the limousine that was waiting behind him, almost moving to climb in. Cestu caught up behind him in a couple of long strides and seized him by the shoulder.

“You await the Empress’s pleasure.” He said stoically. Then the man exploded in a fit of rage.

“Who are you to dare to command and touch the heir to Garic? Lay your brown paws off of me, slave, and I may not have them chopped off you.” His voice was sharp and shrill, ringing out and echoing across the square before the airport terminal.

“Captain Hetar speaks with my voice as the commander of my Household Guard. You will address him with the respect he’s due, my lord, and you will obey his instruction.” The Empress appeared next to Cestu. “We shall proceed to my Tower. All is well, Captain.” Cestu released the squirming and squealing lord, who was at least half a foot shorter than him.

“As you command, my Empress.” He opened the door for her.

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Legislation Akarea in Questions
Posted by: Union of Akarea - 03-21-2022, 03:01 PM - Forum: Akarean Union | 福国联邦 | 후궈연합 | ᠹᠦ ᠢᠶᠤᠶᠢ ᠨᠢᠭᠡᠳᠦᠯ | ฟูกูโอะสหภาพยุ - Replies (19)

This is a response to this particularly excellent worldbuilding-oriented questionnaire from Akarean perspectives. Each section is posted as a sub-response.

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  Candanadium Explained Through Questions [WIP]
Posted by: Kingdom of Candanadium - 03-21-2022, 12:46 PM - Forum: Kingdom of Candanadium | Königreich Kandanadium - No Replies

This is a response to this excellently thought-provoking questionnaire on worldbuilding. I will be answering this questionnaire from a Candanadian perspective. Certain questions or sections may be omitted as appropriate.

Questions of Place
Describe the geography of where your society calls home.
Candanadium, owing to its immense size, varies immensely in geography. Much of central Candanadium consists of grassy plains, with ice-capped mountain ranges in the far north of Oseania, the Northern Cape, and Eisenstaat. The lands around Maple Bay are fertile and watered and experience a temperate climate, with the Westland having the most temperate climate in the country. The Jupper Valley or Juppertal separates Oseania and Fischerstaat, and the north of Oseania consists of rugged highlands, with rolling hills. The southern part of Caskhomir not watered by the River Cask is a desert, and Belkhomir is at the foot of the Mirskai range. The island of Hautsing is mostly tropical, Mount Hautsing being its highest point, rising from the centre of the island and surrounded by ancient rainforest. 


Describe the climate your society deals with. How severe are their seasons?
Southern mainland Candanadium is overall quite temperate - the summers are dry and cool, with temperatures rarely rising above 25 degrees celsius. The winters are not exceptionally harsh, with temperatures remaining at around -10 degrees and snowfall being a common occurence. As one proceeds further north, the winter temperatures drop more severely, and the northernmost regions of Candanadium experience an arctic climate. The island of Hautsing remains temperate all year long, with highs of about 40 degrees and a monsoon season in the fall.


What kinds of natural disasters has this society gotten used to?
The Westland is prone to aftershocks from particularly powerful earthquakes in Kreyermark or Trefjall. Hurricanes sometimes form in Maple Bay or out in the western ocean and strike the west and southern coasts respectively. In Hautsing, monsoons, cyclones, and other tropical rainstorms are a common occurence.


What importance (spiritual or cultural) do people ascribe to geography?
The River Osean is traditionally viewed as sacred in the Oseanian Faith, with its water serving as holy water in ceremonies of the Oseanian Faith. The Mirskai mountains are a point of national pride for Belkhomir, and Candanadium's vast forests are home to a variety of wildlife both rare and common, the latter of which is often hunted.


How do people feel about local landscapes being altered or used for a purpose other than what is traditional?
There are ongoing efforts to preserve the River Osean for reasons mentioned previously, and the development of large ski resorts in the Mirskai have led to calls from locals for less tourism in the area. Overall, though, urbanization is rarely met with criticism when it does not negatively affect the livelihoods of local residents.


What are the most commonly-grown foods?
Wheat, potatoes, carrots, barley, and corn are grown throughout central and western Candanadium. Fruits like apples, pears, and berries are produced domestically as well. Rice, although a staple, is only grown in Hautsing, with large quantities being imported from Akarea and Hykko. Tropical fruits are also grown in Hautsing.


What are the most commonly-eaten meats?
Mutton, beef, pork, and chicken are all regularly consumed, with mutton and beef being seen as more prestigious and generally more expensive than pork or chicken. Venison, rabbit, waterfowl, and wild poultry is regularly hunted and consumed in mainland Candanadium. Fish, though abundant, is mainly for export due to a lack of interest domestically. Shellfish and crabs are also popular, especially in Hautsing.


What foods are considered exotic or expensive?
Tropical fruits like mangoes, pineapples, and durian are comparatively more expensive than mainland-produced fruits. In Hautsing, the reverse is true to some extent, as well as game meat. Conventionally expensive foods like beluga caviar and veal are also viewed as being prestigious. Any non-standard meat such as bear, elk, or insects are viewed as exotic. Animal viscera eaten in whole is viewed as exotic.


What forms of alcohol are common? Rare?
Beer is exceptionally popular throughout Candanadium, with each region producing its own special variety, varying in strength, colour, and flavour. Wine is produced in the Westland and Hautsing, both white and red. Kvass, a slightly alcoholic fermented rye bread drink, also enjoys a decent level of popularity. Ice wine is produced in mainland Candanadium. Popular spirits include whiskey, schnapps, gin, port, and rum in Hautsing. Spirits like vodka, rice liquor, absinthe, and sake are relatively rarer. The consumption of beer and wine is legal at the age of 16, owing to a strong social drinking culture that simultaneously strongly discourages excess drinking.


Is there usually enough food and water for the population?
Food and water scarcity has been largely eliminated as a problem in Candanadium, except in remote northern communities which lack road or rail transport to the rest of the country. In these places, food is more expensive and scarce, and the potability of running water is not always consistent.


What is this place's most abundant resource?
Candanadium is renowned for its pine and maple forests, as well as its vast agricultural output. In addition, rare-earth minerals and other metals are found in abundance, as well as fish.


What resource is it most lacking?
Candanadium does not truly lack for any particular resource, but the high price of labour in the country means that production is often outsourced, which leads to a reliance on imported manufactured goods.


How do people travel from one place to another?
There is a national passenger high-speed rail network that runs between most major cities, as well as a system of Federal Highways. Most cities have a dedicated airport. Public transportation in the form of subways, buses, commuter rail, and streetcars, is relatively developed in major cities, but more lacking in smaller cities, where car ownership is almost necessary. 


Are the borders secure? In what way?
Candanadium has largely eliminated the need for strong border security due to the fact that it's surrounded by friendly developed countries, adopting instead a relatively loose border policy. However, the Caskhomirian border is especially porous to the extent that human and drug trafficking has become a problem, given its proximity to Stateless Territory. Mainland Candanadium's maritime borders are also largely secure due to a large coast guard and navy, but Hautsing has suffered problems relating to maritime smuggling in the past due to the volume of trade that passes through its ports.


How many people live here?
122,163,289 as per the 2014 census. 38,870,456 live in Oseania, 34,827,376 in Fischerstaat, 14,392,837 in Caskhomir, 8,303,477 in Hautsing, 8,112,393 in the Westland, 4,802,838 in the CCR, 1,030,309 in Belkhomir, 980,293 in the Northern Cape, and 743,310 in Eisenstaat.


Where in this place do they congregate?
The five most populous cities are New Konigstadt, Port Newcastle, Old Konigstadt, Trefshire, and Williamsburg.


What are the most common domesticated animals here? And what are they domesticated for?
Dogs of all breeds are common both as pets and working animals. Cats are kept as pets by city-dwellers and as mousers by farmers. Horses are kept as transportation by rural farmers and as racing or ceremonial animals elsewhere. 


What are the most common wild animals? How are wild animals treated?
In urban areas, squirrels, rabbits, skunks, porcupines, and cats are relatively common, as well as sparrows, ravens, doves, geese, and other smaller birds. These animals are generally left to their own devices. In more rural areas deer, elk, moose, foxes, hares, bears, and even caribou can be spotted. These are also left alone unless being actively hunted.


Which animals are likely to be pets? Which ones won't be?
Dogs and cats are commonly kept as pets, along with small animals like hamsters or ferrets. Reptiles are generally viewed as unconventional pets, but fish and turtles are also relatively popular.


What are the most common domesticated plants here? And what are they used for?
Many households will grow flowers or herbs for personal use.



Questions of Time
How far back does this society’s written history go?
Written mentions of Candanadium date back to antiquity, but accounts of Candanadium's formation date back to the 12th century. 


How far back do its people believe it goes?
Ditto.


How was this society founded? Who founded it and under what circumstances?
Modern-day Candanadium has been populated since antiquity, but in the 12th Century, the legendary conqueror Wilhelmus von Magnare landed on Candanadium's eastern shore with the Kanadiaans, who quickly displaced the Oseanians as the main ethnic group in Candanadium and set up feudal kingdoms. The Kingdom of Candanadium was founded in 1783 with the unification of most of these kingdoms after the defeat of a large existential threat.


What is the worst disaster they believe they've faced?
The years of tyranny under the True Northern Front, as well as the conflicts associated with it (the annexation of Belkhomir, the Tara Insurgencies, the Caskhomirian Border War, and the Second Edofasian Crisis) remain fresh in the national memory. 


What are the major events in this culture's past?
The landing of Wilhelmus von Magnare in Candanadium is celebrated each year as Landing Day, the founding of Candanadium is celebrated on November 11th as Federation Day, and the anniversary of Candanadium's victory over Jokullheim in the Jokullheime Raids is celebrated as the Day of the Duel.


What in their past makes them feel ashamed?
Modern-day Candanadium is still coming to terms with its colonial past, with the younger generations feeling more ashamed of it than the older generations. The systematic exclusion and forced integration of other Kaltach groups under the TNF remains a point of national shame as well.


What in their past makes them proud?
The bloodless overthrow of the TNF regime and the development of peaceful relations with the rest of Kaltachia is a point of pride for many Candanadians. Other events that are sure to evoke feelings of national pride include Candanadium's victory in the Rugby World Cup and the Five Nations. There is no collective definition of the "best thing" that has ever happened to Candanadium.

What are they afraid of happening again?
The triumph of racial supremacy and ethnic nationalism over civic nationalism and constitutional monarchy.


What are they hoping will happen? Do they think it is likely?
Each Candanadian hopes for different things. Beating Edofasia for the gold medal in hockey at the next World Games, going on holiday to Hautsing again, or simply having a drink at the pub after work.


How strongly are people attached or connected to their heritage?
This depends heavily on the region. Oseanians generally feel more pride relating to their unique heritage, as do the Westland Trefjalli and Cape Trefjalli. Other regions with strong regional heritage include Caskhomir and Belkhomir.


How has this society changed? Do its current members realize this?
Candanadium in the modern day has become more diverse than it ever has before. Though there isn't mush pushback against this, members of the older generation sometimes don't realize how this diversity manifests itself, but many younger Candanadians have never known a different kind of country.


What are the most popular stories about the past?
Stories from the Golden Age of Feudalism about the adventures of brave knights and noble kings are popular among children, as well as stories of Wilhelmus von Magnare and the Kanadiaans Conquest.


Who in the past is the greatest hero? The worst villain?
Hans the Great remains exceedingly popular in the national imagination, and consequently, his foe, Aljax Oberjall of Jokullheim remains one of the most consistently villanized historical characters.


Do people think the present is better or worse than the past?
Though there exists a temptation to view the past through a rose-tinted lens, even the most stubborn older Candanadian will admit that there has never existed such a country as the Candanadium of today, with its diverse cultural landscape and quiet strength.


Do people believe the future will be better or worse than the present or past?
There is no reason to believe that the mistakes of the past will be repeated anytime soon.

Questions of Race and Ethnicity

What are the chief races in the region?
Candanadium is overwhelmingly a Kaltach country, though there exist sizable Akarean and Terran communities.


What are the chief ethnic groups of each race in the region? How are they distributed in place?
Of the Kaltach, 46.3% of the country is Kanadiaans, 39.3% is Oseanian, 5.1% is Caskaans, and 3.2% is Trefjalli. The Kanadiaans populate Fischerstaat, northern Oseania, Belkhomir, and Eisenstaat, the Oseanians populate Oseania, nothern Caskhomir, the Westland, and eastern Fischertsaat, the Caskaans populate Caskhomir, and the Trefjalli populate the Westland and the Northern Cape. Of the Akareans, sizable immigrant communities exist in all cities in mainland Candanadium but especially Harschburg, and the island of Hautsing is majority Akarean.


How do they differ by language, appearance or ancestry?
Each Kaltach ethnic group speaks its own language. The Kanadiaans are descended from the settlers brought by Wilhelmus von Magnare, the Trefjalli and Oseanians share a common ancestry, with the Oseanians originally being a splinter group of Trefjalli. The Caskaans settled in Caskhomir out of their own volition, and the Akareans founded Leng'gangcheng (Harschburg) and settled Hautsing after the Labour Revolutions in Akarea. The Kaltach groups resemble each other to a high degree, with the Kanadiaans and Trefjalli being stereotypically blond or fair-haired. The Akareans share more or less the same skin tone as the Kaltach groups but differ in facial features, especially the eyes, and are overwhelmingly dark-haired.


What jobs do the chief ethnicities primarily occupy? Are any groups denied work because of racial or ethnic heritage?
Jobs are not allocated based on ethnicity and discrimination on grounds of ethnicity is illegal in Candanadium. Under the rule of the Kanadiaans supremacist True Northern Front, Oseanians were practically excluded from positions in government or the civil service as well as industry, but with the fall of the TNF this has been largely rectified.


What are typical attitudes of the native (or majority) ethnos to immigrants and other ethnicities?
Candanadium is a nation founded on the basis of ethnic diversity, therefore immigrants are viewed as members of the community. Ethnic discrimination is largely a thing of the past, but can be a problem in certain rural communities.


How has any variety of ethnicity in the region changed society’s culture?
Each of Candanadium's main ethnicities have influenced Candanadian culture. The Kanadiaans religion is the most dominant one, even among the Oseanians, Oseanian law and military doctrine remain relevant to this day, Trefjalli food and art are of great national importance, and Akarean food is especially beloved. The languages also experience a high degree of exposure to one another.

Questions of Family

How many spouses may a man or woman have?
One. Polyamorous relationships are not illegal, but polygamy is.


Who decides on a marriage?
Both parties must consent in order for a marriage to be valid. In the Old Kaltach tradition, after both parties agre to marry, the man must "steal" his bride away from her family, but this is a largely ceremonial practice.


Can a marriage end in divorce? How?
The right to divorce is legally recognized on grounds of infidelity, abuse, neglect, or incompatibility. Divorce is also recognized by all major religions in Candanadium.


Who usually takes custody of children if a marriage ends for some reason?
This varies depending on the circumstances.


How are families named?
Kaltach names (except Trefjalli names) have many origins - professions, locations, physical traits, even titles of nobility. It is illegal for a family that has not been ennobled to use any kind of noble title in their names. Upon marriage, it is not obligatory for any party to change their name, but traditionally wives would add the family name of their husband onto their own family name. Precedents also exist for hyphenated names or the husband taking the wife's name. Children usually take the name of the father, except when the last name becomes hyphenated. In the Trefjalli tradition, there are no family names, only patronymics.


What happens to orphans?
Orphanages have existed in some shape or form for centuries in Candanadium. Adoption is relatively uncommon but perfectly acceptable. Traditionally, if an orphan's parents were known, the parents' relatives would adopt the orphan.

How are boy and girl children treated differently?
The Old Kaltach tradition dictates that boys and girls are treated differently only insofar as practicality is concerned, as it was important for both male and female children to be trained at arms and survival due to the nomadic and war-like lifestyles of the Old Kaltach. This has carried over to the modern-day in the sense that no honourable profession or interest is viewed as taboo for men or women, but boys and girls are raised with different approaches - girls are instructed in matters of etiquette and boys in concepts of honour. The fact that conscription exists for all men in Candanadium also means that boys are raised knowing that they must one day serve in the military, hence an increased focus in physical fitness for boys.


What, if anything, is considered a good marriage gift?
Within the Kanadiaans tradition, it is considered to be good practice to give gifts in trios, three being Eostre's holy number. Apart from that, any practical and appropriate gift is likely to be welcomed. Extravagance in gift-giving is viewed as decadent.


What inanimate or sexless things are considered male or female?
The Kanadiaans and Trefjalli languages have concepts of grammatical gender, in which every noun is male, female, or neuter. Apart from this, no objects are truly considered male or female unless their owner is known to the observer.


Does this society connect the ideas of marriage with love?
Yes. A loveless marriage is considered to be shameful and scandalous.


How big are families, typically?
Traditionally, there was a heavy emphasis on having large families, but this has declined in recent years, with most couples having only one or two children.

What constitutes a household? How many people live in one household? How many generations?
A household is typically a single family, made up of a married or cohabitating couple and any children they might have.


Are girls or boys preferred and why?
There is no societal preference, but individual couples may have their own reasons for preferring one over the other.


How common is domestic violence? Is it understood to be a problem, or a normal aspect of family life?
Domestic violence is largely uncommon in Candanadium and viewed as being highly shameful, dishonourable, and cruel, as well as being a crime.

Questions of Customs and Social Life


What colours are associated with power? With virtue? With death?
Dark blue or "royal blue" is the colour of the royal family and is used by the government. Red is the traditional colour of life in Kanadiaans culture, and black is the colour of death.


If two men get into a fight, how is this supposed to be resolved?
Traditionally, Kaltach men and women had the right to duel each other to the death to settle a dispute, and older Candanadians may view fights as being an exercise of this right. Younger Candanadians, however, may attempt to separate the two fighting parties and negotiate a settlement without physical conflict.


If two women get into a fight, how should that be resolved?
As above.


How do people demonstrate grief?
Physical expressions of grief like weeping are typical and not shunned in Candanadian society. It is customary for one's closest friends and relatives to offer their genuine condolences and support, but any attempt to do so from strangers or acquaintances is viewed as bad form, as grief is understood to be a private affair.


Who inherits property? Titles? Position?
In the event that the deceased has not left a will, the surviving spouse inherits property, and thereafter, the eldest child. Royal titles are passed down via male primogeniture, and noble titles by absolute primogeniture. Political office is not inheritable.


What are the most popular games? How important are they?
The most popular sports are rugby and ice hockey, with baseball being a popular spectator sport. However, sports do not appeal to all, and with the advent of computer technology and the internet, computer-based games are becoming more popular.


When and how does someone go from child to adult?
The age of legal majority is 18. In Old Kaltach culture, however, it was 16, and Candanadian sixteen-year-olds may obtain drivers' licences and drink beer and wine.


How much free time do people usually get?
This depends on their profession.


What do they spend this time doing?
Popular pastimes include reading, listening to music, watching television, and going on walks. Hobbies like curating collections, writing, art, playing sport, hunting, and fishing are also common. Free time is often spent alone.


Is society segregated in any way?
Not in any legal manner.


What social classes or divisions exist in this society?
Traditionally, social class has been extremely important, with there being a powerful and established nobility/upper class, a middle class of professionals and craftsmen, and a large working class. Class affects things like schooling, family size, wealth, influence, and prestige.


If so, can people move from one class to another? Are there any benefits to being of one class over another?
Class mobility from the working class to the middle class has improved in recent years, but the noble upper class remains highly exclusive. 


Is there any discrimination against minority groups (racial, ethnic, religious) in this society?
Under the TNF, non-Kanadiaans Kaltach groups were either assimilated or excluded from society. Terrans, especially Edofasians, were viewed as second-class due to the history of Candanadian colonialism, though there have been ongoing efforts to eliminate this kind of discrimination.


How independent or codependent are individuals?
Self-reliance is seen as a virtue, and individuality is emphasized within Candanadian society. There is no shame in seeking assistance from others, but overreliance on the kindness of others is viewed unfavourably.


What are the typical roles of women and men? What are the expectations of children?
Men are expected to work and actively contribute to the economy, usually leaving women in charge of children and household affairs, though this is by no means set in stone. Children are expected to learn, listen, understand why things are the way they are, explore their future options.


Does the government play a large part in people’s lives?
Most Candanadians will have to interact with their local, provincial, or federal government at some point in their lives, be it to register for public schooling, to receive welfare payments and other benefits, or to enlist in the Candanadium Defence Forces. Residents must also file income taxes once a year. The government plays almost no role in day-to-day life aside from these purposes.


Does religion play a large part in people’s lives?
This depends on the region and demographic. Typically, older Candanadians will feel more loyalty towards their ancestral faith, be it Eostrism, the Oseanian Faith, or the Lady of Caskhomir. Younger Candanadians are increasingly identifying as agnostic or only culturally religious, and seldom attend religious ceremonies.

Food
Describe how daily food is obtained.
Food is bought from supermarkets or stores, but those who farm may simply get it from their own fields. Food banks exist for those who do not have the means.


What foods are the most popular?
Bread and flatbreads is exceptionally popular, with Candanadian bread being known for its crunchy crust and soft interior. Another popular carb is brown rice, served either as a side or as part of another dish like fried or steamed rice. Meat is often roasted, braised, or grilled, and vegetables are stir-fried or steamed. Foreign cuisines, especially Akarean, are very popular. 


What are some typical dishes and specialties of the region?
Schnitzel is perhaps the most famous Candanadian dish, with its signature sides of Sauerkraut and potato salad. Each region of Candanadium has its own specialty - Steigerreis (miner's rice, steamed with garlic and beef) is popular in Eisenstaat, Spring Rice (with butter, parsley, and chicken) is an Oseanian classic, served alongside black pudding. Fischerstaat is known for its crab cakes and fish sandwiches, the Northern Cape famous for spiced lamb stew. The Westland is infamous for hrutspungar - cured sheep testicles. Hautsing is known for a variety of Akarean-Candanadian fusion dishes.


What type of food is the locality or region famous for?
Sausages, bread, flatbreads, pickled vegetables, stews, roasts, pies, and puddings. Candanadian cooking focuses on flavour over form and is known to be exceptionally hearty.


What cutlery, if any, do people use for cooking and eating?
Historically, knives and short daggers were used to both cut up meat and eat. Nowadays, one relies on a knife and fork for meat dishes that require cutting and a spoon and fork for general purposes.


How is the table arranged?
Tables are generally rectangular, with places set for individual people. Bread baskets, condiments, and other accoutrements are placed in the centre of the table. An ornamental centrepiece like a small sculpture or a vase of flowers is also common.


How do people sit when eating? Is there any arrangement by age or dignity of diners?
The master of the house sits at one of the short sides of the table, with someone of near-equal rank on the other. Other diners simply choose their own seats. In Hautsing, where tables tend to be circular, the Akarean custom of the elder most person being seated facing the door is practiced.


How many and when are the main mealtimes?
Traditionally, breakfast was a relatively light and cold meal in most of Candanadium, with muesli, cold cuts, cheese, and bread, and lunch was the main hot meal of the day. Dinner tended to be more cold, light dishes. This was never the case in Oseania, where breakfasts were served large and lunches more meagre by comparison, and dinner being the main meal of the day. This custom has now spread to most of urban Candanadium.


Are there restaurants, street vendors or other places where food may be bought in public?
Restaurants can be found in all cities and towns. Street vendors usually take the form of food trucks or drive-through fast food restaurants. Additionally, many restaurants will have an outdoor seating section that is used in the summer.


Is there a significant risk of food poisoning? How many cases lead to death? Is there understood to be a link between food and poisoning or illness?
Food poisoning is rare to the extent that when an incident happens, it usually makes national news.


How much does a typical meal cost, if bought and not grown at home?
A cheap meal from a diner or a fast-food restaurant costs below ten thalers. A sit-down meal at a regular restaurant can cost anywhere between 10 and 30 thalers. Paying more than 50 or 60 thalers for a single meal is considered extravagant.


Clothing and Fashion
What kind of clothes do people wear? How does this vary by season, ethnicity, age, profession, etc?
How do the genders dress: what differences are there between men's and women's clothing and accessories?
How is clothing made, in small shops or larger factories?
How much does typical clothing cost?
How important is fashion to people? How does this vary from individual to individual?
What kinds of jewelry do people wear? And when?

Entertainment
Does the culture have outlets for dramatic arts (theatre, puppetry, cinematography)?
What other major forms of entertainment are there?
Is the populace literate and numerate?
Do people read for pleasure? If so, what do they read?
How much do books, magazines, broadsheets and the like cost?
Is there a public library system? Who uses it?
Who are popular authors and poets?
Who are some of the more famous characters from literature?
How has this changed over time?

Questions of Manners

Who speaks first at a formal gathering?
What kinds of gifts are considered appropriate or in extremely bad taste?
How do younger adults address their elders?
When is it rude to laugh at something funny?
What kinds of questions cannot be asked in public? In private? At all?
What parts of the body are routinely covered?
How private are bodily functions like bathing or defecating?

Questions of Faith

Is the culture religious or nonreligious?
What are the major religious groups in the region?
What are some of their core doctrines, dogmas, beliefs and practices?
What is the overall cosmology and eschatology in religious terms?
Is religion a cause of dissatisfaction, dissent, or hostility in the region?
Are religious traditions and any scriptures oral or written in nature or a combination?
Is there a set canon of what constitutes officially sanctioned scripture?
How are scriptural/traditional exegesis accomplished and by what hermeneutics?
What is the role of myth within religion?
Is there a formal creed or set of credal statements that define the faith?
What are typical symbols used in the religion and their meanings?
What ritual objects are used in the religion (relics, talismans, medals, charms, etc)?
What religious officials are there? Is there a formal clergy? How are they organized?
Are there monks, saints, faqirs, nuns, prophets, apostles, disciples, preachers, friars, shamans, martyrs, mystics, seers, vates, sages, ascetics, religious heroes, saviours, redeemers, etc?
What do people believe happens to them after death? How, if at all, can they influence this?
What happens to those who disagree with the majority on questions of religion?
Are there any particular places considered special or holy? What are they like?
Is there a set religious calendar? What are the most popular rituals or festivals?
Are there liturgical, meditative, and contemplative aspects to the religion?
What is the basic structure of the religion (unitary, dualistic, etc)?
What is the basic theology of the religion (i.e., monotheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic etc)?
What do people have to offer to their Deity or deities?
What do people want from their Deity or deities? How do they try and get it?
Are there differing denominations or sects of the religion?
How do their religious practices differ from their neighbours?
Are issues such as orthodoxy, heterodoxy, heresy and apostasy keys in the religious life?
What gender, ethnic, national or racial issues exist within the religion?
Is ecumenism engaged in, or are other traditions treated as adversaries or enemies?
What is the most commonly broken religious rule?
What is the least-violated religious rule?
How are such infractions punished? Is it possible to expel a community member?
How can an outsider join the religious community?
Does the religion send out missionaries? What role(s) do they play?
What factions exist within the dominant religious institutions? How do they compete?
Are the differing groups a result of schisms or mutual and cooperative separation?
Are there monastic groups? What do they do and how are they organized? How do you join one?
Are there cult groups within the religious community?
How are those who follow different faiths treated?
What relationship do religious and political leaders have?
What superstitions are common? What kinds of supernatural events or beings do people fear?
What kinds of supernatural or other-natural beings exist in this religion (angels, demons, devi, asuras, spirits, ghosts, sprites, etc)?
How are dreams and visions encompassed by religion?
How is religious action expressed (spontaneous or ritual liturgy, song, dance, music, ritual action, sex, miracle plays, etc)?

Questions of Labour

Describe any kind of division of labour, such as into physical versus mental versus spiritual.
Is there any especial prestige attached to some category of labour or a particular job?
What jobs are considered mucky or are particularly depreciated?
What professions or activities are considered masculine?
What professions or activities are viewed as feminine?
What are the usual working hours? Are there days of rest or holidays?
How does this differ between different jobs?
What jobs have few workers and why?
What are typical wages for various jobs?
How does work affect lifestyle and health?
What sorts of jobs are preferred by which people? Are some jobs denied to certain groups?
What are the ethical oaths or codes that govern various jobs? Is there a difference in ethics between manual and mental or spiritual work?

Questions of Art
What are some favourite art forms?
What are some of the least favourite?
How respected are artists?
Do artists require official or unofficial protection or patronage?
What kinds of trouble are artists in particular likely to find themselves in?
How might a very successful artist live?
What forms of theatre does your society have?
How naturalistic or stylized is your society's art?
What shapes are most common in your society's arts, like embroidery or architecture?
Which artforms get the most and least respect?
What form does censorship take?
Who may not be an artist?
What qualities equal "beauty" in this society?
What makes a man or woman especially beautiful?
How do people react to tattoos? Piercings? Facial hair? Cosmetics?

Entertainment
Do people enjoy looking at art? Does this vary among communities?
Do people enjoy doing art? Does this vary?
Is there any calligraphy? Who does it?
Does your culture have a distinct (or not so) musical style? What is it like?
How do people listen to music (in a theatre, at home, on the street, mechanical)?
Does music influence people's behaviour?
Does this culture have a typical dance form? What is it like?
Who goes to see such entertainment?

Questions of Marriage


How is marriage defined? How is a marriage contracted?
What are the terms of a marriage contract?
What gifts are considered appropriate or inappropriate for a wedding?
How are marriages celebrated?
What is considered too great a difference in age for a couple?
Do relationships allow multiple partners?
In what ways is marriage considered broken?
How can a marriage be terminated?

Questions of Health


What is the average life expectancy? How does this differ between different regions, races or ethnicities?
What access do people have to clean drinking water (at home or in public)?
What access do people have to proper sanitation (at home or in public)?
Do houses or public buildings have plumbing? Cold and warm water?
Describe any public or private bathing or latrine facilities.
How is healthcare delivered in this society; what are its foundations?
Are there hospitals or sanitaria where many forms of health care are concentrated; or are practitioners more diffuse within the community?
Do people have access to any form of medical aid for emergencies or for less urgent problems?
What kinds of ailments or injuries are treatable in the locality using available supplies and expertise?
What does typical healthcare cost?
How do this society's doctors try to treat wounds and sickness?
Which medical assumptions of this society are wrong?
Do people seek care on an as-needed or emergency basis; or is health care seen as a preventative endeavour.
How often do people see their doctor, dentist or other healthcare providers?
Is a distinction made between physical and nonphysical ailments?
What happens to those suffering from extreme mental illness? Spiritual illness? Other?
How do people react to physical deformity (both congenital and acquired)?

Questions of Sexuality


How does your society define incest? Rape? How do people react to these?
What secret vice is believed to be widely practiced?
What secret vice actually is practiced?
What sexual habits are widely believed common among foreigners?
How do people react to homosexuality? Is it frowned on? Encouraged?
Are premarital sexual relations allowed? Extramarital?
How is adultery defined? What (if any) is the punishment? Who decides?
Is prostitution legal? How are prostitutes viewed? Is this accurate?
What is the greatest sexual taboo?
What does this society mean by the word "virgin" and how important is it?
Is sex confined to marriage? Or, is it supposed to be?
What constitutes aberrant sexual behaviour?
Are there any cultural or religious strictures, norms or taboos that specifically address sexual conduct?
Are there secular laws that control or restrict sexual behaviour?
At what age is it considered normal to engage in sex? Are there taboos against sex with children?
Should sex be a one-to-one experience? Or are groups allowed?

Questions of Education


Describe the education of the society’s people: formal schooling, apprenticeship, etc.
If education is mainly by apprenticeship, how is this accomplished?
Is education compulsory / offered to everyone? What is the cost of education?
Between which ages does education happen?
How are year groups and academic years arranged?
How are curricula arranged? What courses are typically offered?
What degrees or diplomas are offered by schools?
What do schools/colleges/universities look like?
What are the classrooms like? What is a typical class size
Who is in charge of education in the country, and in each individual school?
Does this society have its own language? Its own writing system?
How common is literacy? How is literacy viewed?
What form and value are books?
Who teaches others? How do they teach?
Who decides who learns to read or write?
Who teaches professions, like carpenter or scribe?
Are foreigners ever brought in to teach new skills? Who does that?

Questions of Technology
Are philosophy and science unified, or do they exist as separate and independent disciplines?
What devices and technologies are available for people?
Are such devices taken for granted? If not, how many are appreciated?
How do people envision a difficult or impossible task that could be made easier by using some kind of device or futuristic technology?
How is knowledge distributed? Is it kept unknown to the common people, or is available for all?

Architecture
What major architectural styles are present? What do they look like?
How does this vary over time and between places in the region?
What major elements are present? How are they pieced together?
What are houses like inside and out?
What are palaces and castles like?
How tall is the tallest building? How big is the biggest building?
What materials are used in typical construction? Do any materials have to be imported?
How are buildings constructed? Are there machines or is work done by hand?
What are some famous landmarks in the region? Why are they famous? Are they famous internationally?



Questions of Transportation and Communication

How do people get from place to place? Does this vary at all in different places?
Do people make long journeys? If so, what are they like?
Is there a public transport system? Who uses it? How much does it cost?
What are the roads like? How do they vary from place to place?
Do individuals or families own and use their own vehicles?
How safe and clean is the typical transport system?
What major fuels are used?
Apart from face-to-face, how do people communicate with each other?
Is there a postal service? How fast is it? How much does it cost to use? What restrictions are there on packet delivery? Does the post operate internationally? How likely is it that an article sent in the post will reach its intended destination?
What technical or mechanical means of communications exist?


Questions of Economics

What is the local economy based on?
How does one engage in commerce?
If levied, how are taxes collected? What are such revenues used for? How does taxation affect the people?
What do people expect from their government in return for the taxes paid?

Money
What is the local currency like? How is it subdivided? What is it based on (metal, labour, fiat)?
Is currency issued by a central authority or by some decentralized means?
How does it compare to other neighbouring currencies?
How has the value of the currency changed or fluctuated recently?
How are coins and notes produced? How common are forgeries?
How is wealth distributed?
Is there a public banking system?
Who uses it? What benefits does it bring? At what cost?
Is there a large gap between the wealth of the rich and the poor? What expectations do each group have from the other?
What constitutes "poverty" in this society?

Questions of Death and Burial

What is their understanding of death and dying?
What does this society do with their corpses?
Do they cremate their dead? Or, how are dead bodies disposed of?
Is the family responsible for the body?
What part do the priests play?
Are there cemeteries at all?
Or, does everyone have a crypt in the back with all the relatives in it?
Do people visit the dead? If so, how often and why?

Suicide
What do people in this culture think about suicide?
Is it the greatest sin one can commit? Or is it a sin at all?
Is it the great and last comfort of a tormented soul?
Is it worse than murder?


Questions of Government

What is the form of government? How is it structured?
What are some of the most fundamental policies of the government?
What is the political status of minority communities?
How is government chosen?
What is the country’s general foreign policy?
Who decides whether someone has broken a law? How?
What kinds of punishments are meted out? By whom? Why?
How are new laws created or old ones changed?
Is there some form of clemency or pardon? What is involved?
Who has the right to give orders, and why?
What titles do various officials have?
How are the rules different for officials as opposed to the common person?
How do government officials dress?
Is the law written down? Who interprets it?
Once accused, what recourse does someone have?
Is torture allowed? What kinds? Is capital punishment allowed?
How are criminals executed?
Who cannot rise to positions of leadership?
Is bribery allowed? Under what circumstances?
What makes someone a bad ruler in this society? What can be done about it?
What are the most common or dangerous forms of criminal?

City Watch & Sheriffs
Is there a civilian police force, or is law enforcement the province of the military?
Is the police force a nationalized one, or are there multiple regional forces?
How militant or vigilante are they? Are they usually or ever armed?
What is the extent of their authority? Can they shoot you? Can they use magic? Can they torture or otherwise force a confession? Can they use telepathy?
Are there individuals or groups who are above the law?
Is there a secret police?
What is the role of police informants, if any?

Questions of Warfare

Does the country have an armed force? What type? What size?
How do the armed forces compare with others in the region or world?
Who declares war?
Who has the power to declare conditions of peace?
How are treaties negotiated?
What happens to prisoners taken in battle?
What weapons are favoured by the various armed forces?
What form of warfare does this society use?
How do battles in the airs or waters or underworlds differ from surface warfare?
Who are the Elite warriors? What distinguishes them?
How does someone get command of troops?
Where do the loyalties of military units lie?
Are there professional soldiers? Do they make up the bulk of the military?
What is campaign or camp life like?
What ethical or moral codes do warriors adhere to?
How are battle injuries treated?
How long do wars typically last?
Has this society ever attacked another? What was the nature of that war? What would make this society go to war?
Has there ever been a civil war or a revolution?
What do soldiers do when there's no war?
Are there any current tensions/wars/conflicts etc with any other nations?
Who are the country’s enemies? Who is winning the war?
What defences are available to cities?

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  International Updates Regarding the WC/ICJ
Posted by: Luxlein - 03-16-2022, 04:27 PM - Forum: Politics - No Replies

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