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The "Daily" Worldbuilding Prompt. Chapter 3

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Ban, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    Question 125: How did your legal systems come about? ( Established by judges over time case by case? Established as one consistent code? Derived from religion? Derived from established customs? Mandated by the lich next door?)
     
  2. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Inkling

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    Tautai is the name given to the race of humanoids who hail from the islands of the Great Western Sea. They are unique in that they have gills as well as lungs so they can breathe underwater as well as on land. Their gills are located on their back but are usually covered when they're on land.

    Homes:
    Tautai live in simple wooden structures with steep sloped roofs but only a couple of load bearing walls in the interior of the houses. There are no exterior walls as the sloped roof provides the shelter from the elements. Sometimes, for reasons of privacy or in the event of a storm or cyclone, large wooden shutters can be erected to wall off parts or all off the house. People sleep on small raised beds made out of bamboo or wood. Bedding is simply a feather or woollen blanket.

    Food:
    Food is cooked in an umu, which is basically a pit with heated stones where food (such as pork, fish and root vegetables) wrapped in banana tree leaves is placed then buried for several hours until steam cooked. Tautai only cook once a day but some cooked food will be left over for the following day. People rarely eat at tables. Instead they on mats where the lowest ranked member of the household is served.

    Religion:
    As with the rest of the world they worship the same fourteen Gods but they don't normally worship them in temples but, rather, they worship them in open air meetings held at a communal shrine. Transition to adulthood ceremonies are not normally held. Instead when a person reaches sixteen they simply "go bush" - that is, they head into the jungle or forest in the nude with nothing but a blanket and a knife. A lightning strike will generally indicate if a person has been blessed with the Spark (the ability to do magic).

    Politics:
    Taraken Imperial Electoral Commission figures show that Tautai tend to vote for economically liberal and socially conservative political parties such as the Tarakan Centrist Party in the federal and regional elections but when it comes to voting for their local chiefs they tend to vote for the same chief for many terms unless the chief does something really bad or people feel the time has come for change and the incumbent chief has outlived their usefulness.

    Wardrobe:
    A grass skirt made from dried long grasses or flax and a top or shirt made from woven flax or from the fibres of flax is worn as the traditional costume but with the arrival of cotton a cotton dress is worn by the females and a cotton shirt and trousers are worn by the men. Tautai prefer patterns that display their local environment and wildlife. In the more developed parts of the Tarakan Empire is is possible to tell what island a person is from (or what island their ancestors came from) by their choice of patterns as each island has their own unique patterns. Oranges, reds, yellows, greens and blues are the most common colours. Certain colours like maroon and purple are reserved for the chief and their families. Black or white is only worn for mourning or weddings.

    Marriage:
    Although the people of my WIP are overwhelmingly bisexual marriage is strictly for opposite sex couples. This is because marriage is strictly for procreation and the sole function of a marriage is to ensure that children are brought up in a stable household. Other relationships that are marriage-like (e.g same sex couples or multiple partner relationships) are recognised by law but they are not allowed to be called marriages. .
     
  3. The Red Caps, having been the benefactors who established the land (nearly 1000 years earlier) and relocated all of it's inhabitants from other lands decimated by a cataclysm, have always made the broader rules (curfews, trade quotas, land divisions etc).

    But each village, each type of folk, has their own council for local/clan matters and the eldest member in each village is given the title of Doyenne and is the final judge on those local matters, consulting with the council for input and guidance.

    Local punishments may be handed out differently in each village. In one village, gossip may be considered a vile thing and ones lips may be sewn shut while in another it is handled as a minor offense and perhaps requires only a mouth rinse with a foul concoction. Something more serious, like theft, might provoke a public shaming or, in repeat cases, the loss of a thumb. Branding and banding are both punishments that are considered for marking major offenses. The marks/tattoos, left on fingers, wrists or faces, are an effective deterrent to others.

    There is relatively little crime since the villages are watched over by a clan of folk who do not speak, but who write down and detail life in the villages and on the roads each and every day without fail. Since any outstanding action, deed, or anything that might draw attention ends up in these books, no one wants to be on the bad side of the Red Caps for unwelcome behavior.

    Continued troublemaking may be reported to the Red Caps who, in turn, may send the offender to serve a certain amount of time working on the floating ship docks, which are separate from the mainland itself. Beyond that, a complete banishment into the unknown lands, or the out-worlds can be ordered, from which there is no return.
     
  4. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

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    The First Law? Maybe. Not even the gods know. Though both the Seelee and UnSeelee Courts will take up the position that they are the Law and can enforce it in whatever ways they see fit and they passed on laws (the first one in particular, which is also their goddess, and no one seems to remember what it was, exactly) to the other peoples of the world. This has been disputed (ironically more on the battlefield then the court room) over the millennia, as both Courts are a created people and therefore there was more then likely a legal establishment of some sort about. The courts themselves also deal with justice and other concepts in various ways and have also done more on a battlefield then in a courtroom. Which, honestly, should give you pretty good idea of how most of the world looks at it.

    Otherwise the legal systems vary. From incredibly complicated to the village councils or mayors making them to the enforcement of them. And some legal systems aren't really legal systems so much as the barest bones of a possible one and it is mostly run by the rules of whoever makes them, enforces them and kills people to keep it going. Some run with religious laws, some with secular, many with a mix and some of the places just follow whatever laws and legal codes work best for them at the time. Eventually more standard laws and a better legal system will come about, but it's still about a century or more away.

    And if by chance you end up in need of a lawyer, get a bridge troll. They know laws, rules, heresy, unwritten laws and generally a fair bit about commerce to boot. Kind of have to when you're charging a delver dwarf three goats to cross the bridge.
     
  5. Aldarion

    Aldarion Sage

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    Legal system is kinda circular. Formally, the Emperor makes a law and then the law is used. In practice, it is quite different. It is based on tradition, in large part, but what matters most is current practice, which serves as a basis for any new law. Yet current practice is informed by current laws. So practice creates laws, and laws shape practice.
     
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    When it comes to the little details I haven't decided yet, whether it's all by statute or more of a legal tradition, and I won't until the second book. But the big picture of the legal system came about through treaties, each of which required the king to take more power away from the local lords in order to carry out the terms. The local lords used to set their own laws, and keep their own soldiers, and appoint their own judges, until the king needed to gradually take those powers away to keep the peace with their neighbors.
     
  7. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    Question 126: Okay sign, fist pump, middlefinger. What are some unique handsigns used in your worlds?
     
  8. Vaporo

    Vaporo Inkling

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    Well... I'd intended to answer every day, but it seems that this thread has gotten away from me. I'll have to go back and answer the old ones.

    Question 125: How did your legal systems come about?

    In the time of the Untian Empire, the legal systems was kind of an unstructured ad hoc collection of local tribunals where guilt and sentencing was usually determined by popular opinion. More advanced legal systems existed, but were usually confined to individual cities. However, after the Empire's collapse and subsequent anarchy Untia was chaotically ruled by disconnected self-serving local lords. The city of Talive, which would become the capital of Antisa, was governed by its mafia after the collapse and who actually ended up being more concerned for the well-being of their citizens than the previous government. To exert power over the surrounding lands, they drew up a constitution which guaranteed certain protections and rights to its citizens in exchange for oaths of loyalty to Talive. Among those was a guarantee to a fair and orderly trial and a requirement that reasonable and convincing evidence be brought against the accused. However, what constitutes "reasonable and convincing evidence" has varied over the years.

    In law enforcement there has for a very long time been a disconnect between the city guards, who are technically a branch of the military and view themselves purely as a brute peacekeeping force, and the criminal justice system. The guards don't "investigate" crimes, per se. They simply work to keep order and hand off suspected criminals to the justice system without always collecting adequate evidence as to their wrongdoing. However, as technology has advanced and criminals have gotten smarter the old way of doing things haven't quite been able to keep up. This will be a plot point when I actually get around to writing the story, since one of the main characters is hired as the first dedicated investigator in the city guard.

    Question 126: Okay sign, fist pump, middlefinger. What are some unique handsigns used in your worlds?

    In regions governed by the Amul it is common, especially among priests, to greet people by raising the index and middle finger to form a v-shape, almost identical to the real world peace sign. The v-shape resembles the symbol of the Amul: the double-tipped hron leaf. Amul also pray by making the sign with both hands and touching their fingertips together.
     
  9. Vaporo

    Vaporo Inkling

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    Question 102: Skål, Proost, Cheers and Salut. What words do your folk utter when toasting?

    Really, the idea of "toasting," raising a glass in honor of someone or something, just isn't all that widespread. When Antisans drink, it is common when starting a round of drinks to call out something along the lines of "Bartender! Better start filling me/us new glasses!" The implication being that they're going to down their drink so fast that by the time the new drink is ready they will have finished the first. This is an empty traditional boast which the bartender summarily ignores until the patron actually orders another drink.

    Question 103: Can you tell me about a minority culture in your world, whom are largey unknown by most of your world's residence?

    In the northern part of the continent of Eastland (Better name is WIP) there are the Uelents. They are the descendants of the citizens of a small ancient Amulkonian city called Uel that was built on a hilly region surround by a hundred miles of swamps on all sides. The city is in ruins now, since it really only existed as a glorified hub for the mining and exploration of the region and offered little other practical reason for its location. Uelents spend most of their lives on shallow-draft barges, fishing and hunting alligators. Often, boats that meet will lash themselves together for a time, so that their residents can barter, swap stories, and share food. Sometimes, many barges will be lashed together and form a temporary town.

    During the winter, families will usually beach or suspend their boats above the water so that the ice doesn't damage the hull. Since the alligators migrate south, they rely on whatever meat they salted and dried during the summer and what they can get by ice fishing. Winter is also the time to build new boats, since the swamp is iced over and it's easier to collect wood.

    Eastland is on the side of Dor never illuminated by Gen, so light at night is entirely provided by fire and the limited bioluminescense from the surrounding swamp. Large fires aren't really practical, since they're on wooden boats, but like many other cultures on the dark side keeping a fire going at all times is an important, almost sacred duty. So, a small fire is kept going in a clay brazier on legs at all times.

    Every autumn, boats congregate on the ruins of Uel to trade and stock up before winter. Uel, while ruined, is still populated and is the only permanent town in the region. It has practically the only arable land for miles and staple grains like wheat are considered a luxury. Uel is also the almost the only part of the region that can support dedicated boat builders, and Uel-built barges are considered second to none among Uelents.

    Tulvians are mostly isolated on the continent of Tule and largely unknown by the world at large. However, I'd hardly call them a "minority," just very isolated.
     
  10. Vaporo

    Vaporo Inkling

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    Question 104: Do the elderly retire? If so, what would be the stereotypical way someone would spend their old age?

    Sometimes. Maybe. If they want. Typically, a person will keep working in their chosen profession until they are too infirm to do so, at which point they pass on their business to their children, who care for them in their old age. So, in that way, yes. They do retire.

    Question 105: Butterflies, swans and peacocks. Can you tell me about a creature considered beautiful in your world?

    Hummingbirds are the only natural pollinator of Hron trees and exist in great numbers in Antisa, where they are frequently considered to be a sacred bird. They are seen as bringers of good fortune and are considered emblematic of Antisa. Many Antisan spirits are depicted as hummingbirds, and they are the symbol of the Antisan monarchy. The motion of hummingbird has inspired certain forms of fighting in Antisa, and generals sometimes stylize the names of their platoons to be parts of the hummingbird (The Wings, the Heart, The Beak, etc).

    Question 106: Hangovers. How hard does the alcohol hit your fantasy races, and what cures have they concocted for it?

    Fel and Smet are immaterial beings and do not need food or drink. If a Fel tries to drink, the alcohol will just sit in their stomach until they change their form and it just sort of... leaks out onto the floor.

    Grat are affected by alcohol more or less like we are. They get hangovers just the same as humanity, but usually don't start to feel the effects until they've had quite a bit more than us proportional to their body size. Of course, some of the larger Grat are capable of consuming an entire city's supply of alcohol without feeling the effects by virtue of sheer body mass, so nobody's every actually managed to test whether they are affected normally.

    Magic users in my world are completely immune to the mental, but not physical, effects of alcohol and other drugs. A magic user will become red-faced like normal, but in reality will be completely sober. This is because their magic holds their minds very slightly outside of normal reality, which circumvents the obstructions alcohol creates in their physical brain. Unfortunately, a hangover counts as a physical effect, so in spite of being totally incapable of getting drunk they will still get hangovers.

    Cures? In typical Antisan fashion, the most commonly practiced cure for a hangover is "MORE ALCOHOL!" Whether or not it actually works is up for interpretation...
     
  11. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Inkling

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    When the (then) Tarakan Republic declared its independence in 3234 [the 234th year of the Third Millennium) the rules of the Maritime Guild served as the Constitution for the first twenty years. When the constitution was established in 3254 the Grand Mariner was replaced by an elected non-hereditary monarch who would be elected by the nobles. The Seafarers Council was replaced by a Parliament elected by all adults aged 25 years and older who owned either a home or a ship. The Penal Code was that which applied on board all Maritime Guild ships at the time and is still in force. Crews hired by Captains employed by the Maritime Guild were entitled to a trial by their peers before an independent Arbitrator if they were accused of a crime. This basic right was extended to all Imperial subjects. Just as a ship's captain was free to do as they deemed fit for the safety of cargo, crew and passengers on their ship this principle was extended to all regions that were under the control of the Empire at the time it was created and all subsequent regions. As circumstances changed over the centuries so did the laws of the Empire. By 7445 (the year the story is set) the Tarakan Empire has a secret police, an inquisition-like organisation called Branch IX and democratic elections in which all adults aged 21 or older can vote in.
     
  12. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Inkling

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    Hand gestures in the Tarakan Empire (note this is a general rule):

    th.jpg

    1. No. 2. Signifies the number 2 3. I'm married with children (used in places like pubs to tell horny drunks and pick-up artists to get lost). The two raised fingers refer to the husband and wife and the two fingers folded down refer to children. The thumb holding the fingers down refer to the marriage contract. 4. Yes or OK. 5. Pay me please (used by stall holders when agreement for a sale has been reached). 6. Stop! 7. Unmarried but in relationship. 8. Maybe (fingers crossed). 9. Signifies the person has a question to ask. Used mostly by journalists and children in class. 10. Hitch-hiking gesture or used when hailing a taxi, bus or tram. 11. Gesture of religious virtue. 12. "This is mine!" 13. Walk or proceed with caution. 14. Slow down or calm down. 15. If the gesture is above the head it's a gesture of celebration but if it is below the head it signifies a plea for mercy or understanding. 16. If palm is showing "Peace!" but if palm isn't showing it means "F**k off!" 17. "Hello!" 18. A gesture of solidarity used by workers, sailors and peasants.

    woman-hand-gestures-stock-picture-2112228.jpg

    The position of the hands when greeting someone is vital to avoid causing offence. When the tips of the fingers are above the head it signifies the person being greeted holds an official position of authority such as a judge, a police officer, a higher ranked member of the military or a noble or other aristocrat. If the tip of the fingers are below the head but above the nose it indicates a person in an unofficial position of authority such as an employer, teacher, parent or elder. If the tip of the fingers is below the nose but above the chin it indicates a person of equal rank or status. If the tip of the fingers is below the chin it indicates the person is of a lower rank or social status or a child.

    In situations where a person's rank is unknown or where it would be dangerous to indicate their rank the tip of the fingers is placed at the bridge of the nose.
     
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  13. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    Good to have you back. I lost track on my own questions all the way back in chapter 1, so you're already far ahead of me ;)
     
  14. blondie.k

    blondie.k Minstrel

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    Well, I know that there are the salutes within the military... Oh! I got it. This is one that is unique to the underground (or criminal) community. When training, there is the universal two fingers touching the wrist to call a halt to a dual. Kinda like a truce or signal that neither person is tricking the other to take advantage of their guard down.
    IMG_20191004_150603.jpg
     
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  15. There is a gesture used as a way of saying, "Thanks", though it's called giving graces. An unspoken sign of grace involves both hands open and held at chest height with palms facing the chest of the person offering thanks and crossed with thumbs touching, sort of as if you were trying to make a shadow puppet bird, though the fingers stay together. If one hand is occupied, it is acceptable to just make half the gesture and this is also accepted as a less formal way of doing so.
     
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  16. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Your timing is impeccable. Somehow answering this question has been on the top of my list for like a week because I need a gesture for my guardsman to suggest to the MC that he's been assigned to follow her orders. Right now I have it listed as tapping his insignia rank and then pointing at her, which feels awkward and on the nose, and not at all salute-ish. It's a paragraph I need to rework but I haven't come up with anything.

    As an aside, there's a thieve's guild hand gesture in the old Quest for Glory series. With your right hand you touch your thumb to your nose, spread out and wiggle your fingers. With your other hand you tap your stomach. Geesh that game was fun.
     
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  17. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    Sometimes I know what I'm doing. Alternatively, I've rigged your computer through a virus spread by the chat and now know what you are typing at all times. Considering my severe lack of tech-savvy, I'm putting money on the former.


    Question 127: What are some of the most prestigious awards people might earn in your world?
     
  18. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    No awards at all? Back to food then. Every worldbuilder loves to think about food.

    Question 128: What food/drink do people in your world offer to guests?
     
  19. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Inkling

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    The greatest award that can be bestowed in the Tarakan Empire is the Hero of the Empire Award which a person is awarded if they have performed an action of outstanding heroism. This award can only be awarded upon the recommendation of at least five people in senior positions of authority.

    The Imperial Citizen of the Year Award is given to people who are nominated by the people rather than someone in a position of authority.

    The Imperial Scribes Award is given to those who have excelled in any writing field whether fiction or non-fiction.
     
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  20. Aldarion

    Aldarion Sage

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    Same as regularly eaten in household. Which means cooked vegetables, fresh or dried fruit, cooked meat.
     
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