Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Howlina - Day 28: What Did We Leave Out?

I did some major editing to make this make sense and to be an exercise rather than a discussion, as it is in 30 Days of Worldbuilding.  I also added the numbered bullets.  This got quite long and would be very difficult to read if I put the questions all in one place and the answers in another, so I will try to put the answers right after the questions.  I will give them each a different color.
    Typical women's fashion
  1. Clothing: What passes for fashion in your world?  Light and airy.  Women wear toga type things and men wear tunics, for casual wear.  They don't fuss too much about clothing and there is no real taboo against nudity, so clothing is mostly functional for the job.  It is always neat, clean and well tailored though.  Everyday clothing is often made of cloth made from kanabee (like hemp clothing).  Smooth wool is for more fancy dress.  Rough wool is used in combination with either kanabee cloth or smooth wool for winter clothing.  A common winter over-clothing is a long wool sweater similar to an Icelandic one or an Irish fisherman's sweater, but all one color (tan or gray) and with a hood.
  2. Food and Kitchens:
    1. Is food substantially different? Howlers generally enjoy spicy foods.  It is a cross between South East Asian food (Thai etc.), Mediterranean (like Greek) and Polish, with Veleeya oil instead of olive oil, and veleeya leaves for oragano, they use a lot of seafood and the native peppers.  They also have a wide variety of sausages with a seafood sausage being the most uniqueVeleeya tea is the most popular drink replacing both tea and coffee.
    2. What about food prep and kitchen areas?  Kitchens are always designed with the idea that two people will be working together in them.  Electric stoves and ovens are almost universal.
  3. Sanitation and hygiene:
    1. How clean is your world? Howlers are a very clean people with the home tidiness of the old world and the easy body clecleanliness of the tropics.
    2. What do large concentrations of people do with their waste? Howler made careful study of the most advanced sewer and waste systems and always strive to stay on the cutting edge of technology.  They were very early adopters of flush toilets and then never lost the sanitation skills that were the halmark of Rome at her height.
    3. Hygiene and bathing? Howlers swim and bathe very often, but the generally use either no soap or mild soap because they wash so often.  Bidets are nearly universal.
  4. Disease and Treatment, Medicines:
    1. Similarly, how does medicine work in your world?  It is our world so medicine works the same.
    2. What do people do for pain? Howlers are less reliant on medication than Americans, but they do use the same otc drugs.  Howlers often grow patatas and saveti for pain relief.  They dry and powder the patata leaves as an asprin powder and use the saveti leaves for an aloe type salve.  They also eat the products of these plants.
    3. What do they do about disease? Modern medicine
    4. How do people heal? Normally
    5. Are there hospitals, healers, infirmaries, medics?  Hospitals and medical care is first world.  There is universal healthcare as a bare minimum, but there are also private doctors who can charge more.
  5. Treatment of the Elderly:
    1. A related issue: do your elderly drift away on icebergs?  As long as both spouses are alive then they operate as any other couple.  When one is widowed, they are not expected to remarry.  They are expected to support one or more of their children and those children are expected to welcome them back into their homes.  In the case of several married children they may travel back and forth.
    2. Do they get put into an old folks' home? The elderly with no children do live in a communal home.  It is similar to the apartment buildings that people yet to marry may live in if they are living away from their parents.  There is no stigma to these homes and they are often tapped for resources like baby sitting and tutoring.
    3. Do they shift to hyper-productive imaginative lives in a VR world? Not yet
    4. Are they revered? Reviled?  The elderly are revered, but if they are no longer married they lose the status as a full citizen.  If widows have rejoined a family then they participate in politics etc as a member of that family.
  6. Law Enforcement and Incarceration:
    1. What happens to criminals in your world? Every effort is made to deal with criminals on a local level.  The different local governments are more uniform than in the US, and therefore local treatment is generally the same everywhere.  Criminals are usually trained at a skill and put to work.  They are never allowed idle time.  Criminals re expected to earn enough to pay for their incarceration and any reparations due the victims.
    2. Fines? Feuds? Eye-for-an-eye mutilation? Microchipping?
    3. Do you have prisons?  Prisons are always a combination of tech school and factory.
  7. Pets:
    1. Do the people of your world keep pets, and if so, what kinds?  Dogs and papagalos are the two most popular pets by far, followed by domesticated rats.
  8. Where are the tectonically active zones?  Howlina was formed by the midocean ridge and it still experiences stretching and quaking.  The homes and buildings are build low and strong for this reason and hurricane protection.
  9. Architecture:
    1. does it reflect pure utilitarianism or are there fossil features? The only fossil features are those that work well, but are done with modern materials.  Howlers eschewed the development of air conditioners and still disdain them now, because they are such a bit drain on precious power.  They have taken the native passive cooling methods and modernized them.
    2. What is it made of, and does this vary by status?  The most sought after materials are brick and volcanic stone (because the porous nature provides insulation).  It is quite common (more common than brick houses in the US) mainly because they know that timber is a fairly precious commodity and they husband it.  The trees they use for building are dreeso trees which are very slow growing, but extremely sturdy.  Often they cut branches rather than felling a whole tree.  They don't build with wood just to put up more houses (so called balloon houses).
    3. If it's multi-storey, how do you get between stories? Ladders or stairs or ramps? Almost all buildings are one story above ground.  When they have multistory buildings they build down.  Stairways are wide and open to try to ward off the claustrophobic feeling of being in a basement.
    4. Does architecture channel fashion? Does this vary by status? No.
    5. What fills the windows? Casements of bullseye glass? Sashes with oiled parchment in the frames? Shutters?  They are fond of stained glass and there the many types of natural volcanic glass on the island are the most popular.  Windows do tend to be smaller and are open a good deal of the time so they have developed some sophisticated screening systems.  They also universally use shutters because of the possibilities of hurricane damage.  Although there is little risk higher in the mountains they still add them.
  10.  City planning:
    1. walls or no city fortifications?  Howlina was empty of people when the Howlers arrived and only once was it ever invaded (by England in the 1700s) so there were no preparations or considerations for war in any of their city planning.
    2. Did it just grow outward from a ruler's house or a ceremonial site?  Towns grow up as clusters of villages, which are clusters of homes.
    3. Is it forced on a grid  No.  The clusters are all linked by main roads, but everything has a name and numbers are fairly rare in the addresses.  There is absolutely no grid system, but the clusters do tend to be circular because they try to make everything in the cluster the same distance and clusters tend to group around a park, green space, fountain and/or communal vegetable garden.
    4. is there a messy zone somewhere, older primitive form or bad terrain?  Where towns meet water or mountains the circular clusters get stretched, flattened or deformed.  In some towns they are barely linked.
  11.  Where's the water?
    1. Do you have to go to the well/stream outside the village/town gates to get it? There are no walls and no considerations for that sort of thing so towns are built to take the best advantage of water sources, both supply and waste.
    2. Is there a stream through town, getting progressively filthier as the gutters and sewage dump into it? They have always been careful to keep water supply clean and sewer separate.
    3. Do the high folk live at the upstream end? Why not, if they've got the money and power? NA
    4. Are there natural fountains spotted here and there? Yes, and clusters tend to group around them when possible.
    5. Piped in fountains in every neighborhood? Where natural springs are not available then piped in fountains are universally applied.  They even use an aqueduct system  to provide water without use of power.
    6. Running water from cisterns on the roof?  Roof cisterns are very common.  Green roofs are common too so between them there is almost no runoff from buildings.
  12.  Heating the place: or cooling it.
    1. [How heated, floors, chimneys, stoves?]  Heating was traditionally done with kanabee.  They press and sun-dry the woody stems of the grass into pellets used in all fuel applications where wood would normally be used.  They are south of the tropics so heating is needed in the winter months, however heavier clothing was always the preferred method of staying warm.  Currently electric heating systems are most common, and one of the most important things to be computerized in homes of the 21st century.
    2. In hot weather, [fans, manual or mechanical (water, air, or electrical?]  Buildings are designed to take advantage of passive cooling.  Additionally there is a popular old method of using external windmills similar to those in the US prairies to drive interior ceiling fans.
    3. or is it all passive cooling, like Hawai'ian houses? Note...Traditional hot-zone buildings have small windows, or ones up high under the shade of the eaves.  Yes
  13.  FIRE!
    1. How do people handle outbreaks of fire? Fire fighting is a government responsibility
    2. How frequent or dangerous are they? Fairly rare.  Buildings tend to be stone/brick with muddy green roofs, also burning wood is not that common and kanabee fuel pellets are a bit easier to control.
    3. Is it something simply ganged up on by the neighbors? No
    4. Are there private fire companies? No
    5. Without hook and ladder trucks or horse-drawn pumpers[?] NA
  14.  Passage:
    1. is it legal to wander around at will? Yes, but it is fairly rare for people to travel alone.  Traveling is usually done in pairs because they like pairs and because traditionally it was safer in case you ran into dangerous animals or weather.
    2. Are borders between places guarded or permeable? Borders tend to be seen as opportunities to tout your community, so they are decorated and welcoming.
    3. Do they really care if people come and go as long as they [pay] entry taxes? No entry or movement taxes, but there are many visitor centers and they do ask for donations.  It is customary to donate generously.
    4. How is this policed? Great Wall? Hadrian's Wall? Guard patrols? Wait until the people have to buy food somewhere?  Decorative fences, hedges and other borders that are inviting but make it clear that you are entering a new place.
  15.  [M]orals in general and sexual mores in particular.
    1. what partnerships are permitted, which are slightly scandalous, and which are considered taboo? Premarital sex is not only encouraged, it is practically required before a couple can get married.  The Veebeelo describes the ways to test each other to best determine if you are sexually compatible (seen as one of the most crucial of the marriage links).  This is done at the end of a long and regimented courtship.  Homes often have a guest bedroom just for this activity.  After marriage extramarital sex is absolutely forbidden and divorce is not legal.  If it is determined by a court that a couple is incompatible then they can be legally unbound, but no one wants this at all.  It includes a lengthy and deeply probing investigation and therapy.
    2. What happens to people who ignore the societal rules?  Adultery is a crime and is punishable by law.
    3. Also, what are their views on killing? Killing is not justified and is frowned upon outside of war.  Euthanasia is legal if a spouse performs or is involved in the performance of it.  Because it involves not only the emotional separation, but loss of legal and political status it is rare.  The repercussions on the surviving spouse are great enough that it is always done responsibly.
    4. Lying? Lying between couples are worse than swearing and only slightly better than physical attacks or cheating.  Lying by a family to outsiders is not as severe.  It is only this way that "little white lies" are tolerated.
    5. What words or concepts are obscene?  Things that indicate cheating or that a couple is not well paired or doesn't work together.
    6. And how do their views affect their language, whether slang or idiom or basic speech? Couples and families are singular and superior entities.  Speech and everything else in their culture reflects this.
I also have a couple of items I have grabbed from some alien building instructions:
  1. What is their Driving Principle?  Two is one, one is none.  Everything and everyone needs a complimentary mate.
  2. What is a unique / interesting / notable social feature?  Much is made of the requirement for premaritial sex, but the Veebeelo is more comprehensive than that in describing how a couple should be paired and once paired what is the correct way to maintain the bonds.  The culture of the Veebeelo is pervasive and obvious to outsiders.  It is even on their flag and has always been no matter what else the flag contains.
  3. What is there technological level?  They are first world and leaders in some fields, notably alternative energies, breeding and genetic engineering.  They are also at the forefront of responsible use of the ocean.  Their shipping and aviation are top flight as well.
  4. How is there military structured?  What little military they have is Navy and Air Force.  The Navy is essentially a Coast Guard with no ability to project power.  The Air Force is actually a modern and formidable one.  There is no Army at all.  The closest thing would be the Federal Police, but they are strictly and by all definitions a police force and not military at all.
  5. What is their government?  Originally they had modeled their government as a theocracy based on the Roman Catholic Church.  About the time of the enlightment they removed the requirement for the leaders to be clergy, but maintained the same structure.  The leader is the Pope who is advised by the College of Cardinals.  The Cardinals are taken from Archbishops.  Archbishops are taken from Bishops and Bishops are taken from Pastors.  When they achieved independance they revamped the system so that general elections are held to determine who holds any position.  It is illegal for someone in office to run for office so there are term limits in effect.  Every home gets one vote (a home being defined as a married couple and any unmarried children and widowed parents).  It think I will have to explain and expand this later.
  6. What do they as a society fear?  Losing their independance and culture.
  7. Marriage?  There is a week long celebration with specific activities on each day, then there is a week long after-marriage that is similar to but distinct from a honeymoon.  There is no honeymoon like we think of it in the West.
  8. The view on sports in general, and what sports in particular are popular?  Sports are not seen as important.  Games and exercise is seen as important, but organized competitive sports are very rare, and professional sports do not exist.  Mainly team, couple and cooperative games are played.  Tennis, raquet ball, ping pong, badmitton, volleyball, croquet, water polo and a few unique cooperative games (where there are challenging physical activities, but no winner or loser) are the most popular.
  9. What are the most common (i.e. popular) hobbies?  Gardening, breeding, hiking, swimming, stargazing, sailing, wood carving, cooking, and animal training are most popular.  Activities like state fairs and/or market festivals are very common and popular.
  10. What is art like and how is it valued?  Music is the most common and considered the highest form of art.  Visual art like stained glass is a distant second, with dance, sculpure and architechture not really seen as art at all.  Everyone always carries some form of musical instrument.  The most common ones are ocarinas and harmonicas.  Drums, ukuleles, penny whistles, pan pipes, and melodicas are common too.  Even the musically helpless carry a kazoo or mouth harp at least.
  11. What do they use for vehicles?  Traditionally goat carts and goat sledges were most common overland.  The larger and longer cargo trips and even passenger trips were always done by boat (making controled borders even more useless).  Railroads were adopted early, but cars are still quite rare.  It wasn't really until electric cars became more viable that they were more widely adopted.  Trains were powered by many things including coal, wind, alchohol burning engines, goats, gravity (paired trains on steep roads were chained together in a counterweight system) and solar; but the first and most common fuel before widespread electricity was kanabee fuel pellets.  Still, they were always aware of the folly of turning the whole island over to kanabee production just so they could have enough fuel, and instead made do with less rail transport.
Psychological Profile
(The importance, emphasis or willingness in the following areas.)

  1. Social - Very gregarious internally
  2. Xenophobia - Mostly distrust outsiders
  3. Aggression - They are not aggressive offensively, but very steadfast in the defense
  4. Exploration - They highly regard exploration, but feel that every inch of their own island and ssurrounding seas is enough for them.  They support space eexploration by others.

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