Old 01-26-2014, 06:11 AM   #1
ShiningShadow
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The Realm of the Tzi'Geir

As alluded to within another thread, what follows is a collection of posts of indeterminate number and length intended to be used for the description of not only the foundational structure/s of a 'secondary world' (to quote Professor Tolkien's terminology) that will contain the settings of assorted future stories, but of the decidedly 'primal' ideas that are to be an inherent aspect thereof, which in turn will hopefully give the material a degree of sophistication rarely seen in this aspect of literature.

Anyone who wishes to comment/question/etc. may do so, but be aware both that 1) any hostility to given notions and/or assumptions stated within the text will be running headlong into their having already been weighed/considered in depth for now well over three years, and that 2) any desire to develop characters for activity within will necessarily be subject to this continuing development of the conditions under which any such characters will exist.

Alternatively, if no interest for interactive conversation concerning it exists at all, then thanks in advance to any and all who deign to read it. And yes, in case it might become an issue: it is intentionally written in an extremely intellectual style, quite lacking in sexual overtones: within these early stages. Later on, it should become obvious why this site would be chosen for its...demonstration.


----

To the extreme west of the lands of the known, 'civilized' world lay a long, comparatively 'thin' continent: considerably vaster in its dimensions north to south than in east to west, and more than half-covered by wilderness of various varieties. Hot desert sands, cold mountainous forest, windswept plains, tundra and glacier and yet still more besides: all existed in this Far West, each in their place.

While villages, towns and even a few cities of varying degrees did exist all along the eastern, and sometimes northern and southern shores of the continent, any attempts by the civilized to expand further inland or around to the opposite western shores were met not only with hostility and low-level warfare by the peoples already deeper within, but by the sheer reality of life within the wilderness, or perhaps 'wildernesses' plural, being harder, harsher and simply more brutal than anything to which they had ever previously been accustomed. Coupled with the fact that they themselves had been able to survive, and to mild degrees even thrive, upon coastal mercantile trade, with seafood harvests as the core diet for given dinner tables, there was little incentive to once more try their hand, whether singularly or in concert, at a march into wretched interior conditions that practically taunted with the likelihoods of violent harm or worse.

Within that interior were assorted tribal cultures as disparate as they were numerous. Invariably nomadic when in groupings of any notable size, they ranged far and wide, though more pronounced to the western side of an already historically-considered far western land. Without specific pattern to their wanderings save where climate, necessity or happenstance might take them, some would occasionally set down deeper 'roots', via rudimentary, prototypical village systems…only to eventually abandon them in favor of former ways after an all but inevitable withering away of the means to maintain population in such places by sedentary means.

The conflicts between the separate tribes were incessant: of looser, sparser occurrence if sufficiently far apart, but of much more vicious regularity if not. If and when resources were even more scarce than the norm, the temporary victors in one area would inescapably drive the defeated towards territories occupied by still other tribes, thereby simply replacing conflicts with conflicts: old with new, or new with old. And even on the rare occasion when a tribe might be tempted to depart such cycle of violence and theoretically change its ways, to take up even a few of the aspects of the 'civilized' easterners…or ceitenkin ("sigh-ten-keen"), as they and all like them were called, the 'city-dwelling-peoples'…the resulting frictions, or still worse hatreds, arising from the perceived dishonor of adopting the foreign, 'outsider' behavior were in many ways even worse, inviting an even stronger variation of the response that the ceitenkin themselves received whenever attempting inland expansion.

Thus, the pattern asserting itself down through the years, stretching as far back as anyone, whether 'civilized' or 'barbaric', author of literate record or purveyor of oral tradition, could remember, was one of violence all but without purpose, of storm of struggle without end; world, without hope for change.

That is...until he came.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:48 AM   #2
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I will attempt to clarify something once, before moving on.

The above post contains, throughout, but a single passage that could readily be called a germ of story. Other than the passage, everything else within is little but a description of a setting, as even the alluded politics do not contain context of who or what is actually acting out and/or carrying through the events in question. That it is written in narrative format is a conditioning device to theoretically, hopefully, ease the ability of any given reader to imagine what is being described, as it has elsewhere begun being conclusively demonstrated that the human mind thinks the majority of its thoughts in such manner.

Thus, to conclude: these ARE Story Ideas, i.e. the forum/location they were originally placed in. If the presentation of such is unorthodox, then so be it.


Born within the remote, subarctic southwest of the continent, in the chill, rutted mountain valley region known as the Rendsakar, the youth that would become a world-changer came to be called, by the tribe that absorbed him, “Szhedao” [“Szh”: technically a minute “s” sound followed by a soft-“j”-as-in-French-de jure; if confusing or difficult to pronounce, then simply substitute a “sh”, and the name being “sheh-DAH-oh”]. From where and whom the name specifically came long remained a mystery, as did its full meaning. In time, it simply became assumption that it had been chosen by one of the elders, or possibly by someone from an outer tribe that had finally been felled save for this lone remaining. Ultimately, in the wider scope of at least the next three decades, it would not be of great consequence: among their kind, those lacking known parents were not “orphans” in the ceitenkin manner. If “of” nothing known but their tribe, then a youth's guardians were indeed the tribe itself. And so it was for Szhedao, of Tribe Qar.

In time, he became marked as a “swift student,” by any stretch: regularly demonstrating fighting prowess, and cunning still more besides, years beyond what his age would suggest, finally to the point...a point...of induction into the tribe's fighting forces at the age of eleven, a full two years before most began to be able to correctly swing a broadsword. No ceremony accompanied the inclusion, for no precedent existed, nor was thought of. The earliest male rites of passage, for their or any other known tribe, began two years hence by tradition. With any violations of such being seen as steps much too far, and his own physical abilities unmistakably being nowhere close to cresting, his place was initially set, with view toward the long-term, as a secondary scout: to accompany, and absorb the wisdom of, others his senior, while also acquiring the self-control and patience vital for such role, for no matter how good or how quick to learn a child might be, nothing but time could change that that is what he still remained.

He moved beyond his assigned studies quickly. Proceeding from an initially age-dependent automatically inferior strength, as the months and years began to accumulate, he began to seek to hone his skill in the use of “exotic” weapons and equipment that, when acquired, the too often berserker, melee-oriented tribe didn't always remember to make the best use of: longbow, crossbow; cleaning knives ostensibly used for hunting; herbs and plants themselves, medicinal or poisonous. Soon enough not content with that, he even took up such things as needlework and sewing, for uses that only became understandable to others the longer at it he worked: 'battlefield repair' and/or augmentation of clothing; chord-spun wire traps; strangulation weapons. In short, things once seen as the almost exclusive domain of the women now began to be seen…ever so slowly…as something strangely deadly, in the hands of the cunning.

And cunning...measuring, predatorial...was how more than a few around began viewing Szhedao's behavior; for better, and for worse.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:12 AM   #3
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Two entire continents to the east of that which held lands as harsh as the Rendsakar, there existed 'civility' to degrees that the inhabitants of the west's eastern shores could only dream about, let alone aspire to. A royal, generally unified state divided up according to chosen political alliances, fiefdoms, private estates, personal associations and more, it had achieved a level of both stability and a tranquility that brought its authorities the kind of leisure that nearly all civilized societies yearn for. While matters such as poverty and social class were not truly done away with, the responses to them seemed not quite as...conflicted...as they were elsewhere, due to the state's behavior based on its historical structuring: nothing less than 'woman's touch, codified'.

Going back longer than mere generations, the Matriarchy...which indeed was what it was called, by both its inhabitants and neighbors...was self-avowedly built upon the proclaimed triumphs of reason, negotiation and diplomacy over 'baser, more primitive' instincts. Whereas in the distant Far West, nomadic tribes large and small might slash and tear at each other, over but scraps of bread and water in an endless succession seemingly the more befitting of savage animals, the Matriarchy's long-since settled lands produced comparatively abundant trade in not only foodstuffs but specialized labor as well. Jewelry, clothing, furniture, various works of art...comfort was not only a focus, in comparison to other lands, it was a regularity, almost an order unto itself. And calm order was definitively what held the nation's political ties together.

Defended by a traditionalist knighthood trained to see its highest task as the protection and continued promulgation of the station of its royal authorities, those authorities, or 'Peerage' as they were officially termed, were, as the state's name made obvious, feminine. With a High Queen over an assembly of 'landed' queens, duchesses, marchionesses, countesses, baronesses...royal stations of almost 'impressive' multiplicity...the Peerage had come to be structured, if not indeed outright designed, to 'weed out' whatever 'uncouth' elements might occasionally threaten from within. For those deemed the least uncouth, a disciplining, or short 'penalty' period of service, called for. For the more so, longer penalties, and regularly public in their nature. And for the most disturbingly so: exile: to outer lands, beyond the Matriarchal continent and its remit, if it came to it. Very long had it been since still harsher measures than these last had been deemed necessary for the higher good.

The 'Great Civilizers', these women...and all of them women, within the Peerage, per law...were informally known as, to numerous lands surrounding. When allied directly to the Matriarchy, they could expect bountiful reward, both economic and otherwise...if making sure to adhere to the rules of society that the latter stood for. Something equivalent to the feminine Peerage was not necessarily required, but things such as fully unified control of their lands under law and order, and a complete respect for the 'fairer sex', were. If a prospective nation found flaw with such ideals, messengers (male 'knight-protectors', with female ambassadresses, most often) would be sent out, to openly debate matters, and seek to explain or expound upon the philosophies wherever necessary. If, however, little progress was made over the course of, say, a year's time, then potentially harsher measures could be employed, including economic embargo, and requirement of all other Matriarchal-allied nations to treat them with similar ostracism until compliance began.

Thus, there was not equality in the balance of the Matriarchy's alliances, but to be fair enough, they never truly pretended to offer it. From the beginning, 'the game' existed for one ultimate end: to bring their brand of order over as many locales and lands as possible, and push back the perceived forces of not only social decay, but 'crude', 'lewd' and/or 'heinous' behaviors. For times blessedly long past whispered, still, of some of the consequences of not dealing with such weeds in proverbial gardens.
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:27 AM   #4
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The saga that played out first in the Far West did not occur over the course of mere weeks, months, or even a year's time. Such would've trivialized it, made it much less than it was, and certainly much less than it ultimately became. In a place such as that...from the quieter, more 'contemplative' high mountains of the north to the wild rawness of both the scalding and frigid extremes of the remote southwest...a mere year's worth of events could have been effaced within but half that time thereafter, 'before anything even began'. In a place where even the simplest of villages did not long last due to fundamental movement for survival and sustenance, what was one place or another, one battle or another, in long and seemingly unending cycles? Great battles were a rarity, as everyone had so much more to lose when they did take place. When large numbers fell, who would replace them, save generations only too long in the siring and raising?

Thus, for all the repetitiveness of their struggles, the tribes throughout the Far West...called simply the G'regh ("bloody"/"outsiders"...barbarians) by some of the eastern coastal ceitenkin, and Ge'ir ("whole", as in of an entirety of people or race) in the dialects of the nomads themselves...long engaged in 'wars' less devastating than they otherwise might have been, with hit and fade methods remaining employed by practically all as they sought to soldier on. When they hit or were hit, and triumphed, a tribe's opponents would retreat and 'fade'. When hitting or hit, and being defeated, they themselves became the fading. It was an old game, and far different than what most in the civilizations to the east imagined.

...Which is what made him so...'eerie', perhaps, to ever more amongst his tribe. As he grew past three years standing amongst the Qar warriors, he had become stronger indeed, in everything from swordsmanship to his archery to even so trivial a thing as 'dark drink games'. ...How much harsh drink could he stand? The most, and harshest, of all: he ensured it. Alcohol? Soon not enough for him, as he stepped even into others' “mad” challenges of drinking firesnake blood, 'just to see' how much could be handled...and ever to prove himself, in the company of those who might, for whatever reasons, still look down upon him as a youth. Soon, though, it was he who was giving offer of such challenges, and the fewer and fewer that took them up...even eventually amongst their strongest warriors...the more extreme, even by their standards, he came to seem.

His overall attitudes, or, further, developing worldviews, matched the aforementioned aggression. The older he grew, the wider became the designs and aspirations that he was willing to speak of, until eventually calling, within 'outer circle' councils, for the complete 'running to ground' of a given opposing tribe, with view toward imposing upon it a new ultimatum, one heretofore practically unseen amongst the nomadic peoples as a whole: join themselves fully...sublimate...into the Qar tribe...or be exterminated to the last.

To a man...if for admittedly separate reasons...the 'inner circle' elders opposed. While some fully understood the desire to increase the power and scope of the tribe by forceful means of extreme length, not one felt at ease with the implications that were easy enough to foresee, should such a path be taken: a 'ratcheting' up, of the nature and occurrences of what had previously gone on, almost mundanely; a new, almost 'novel' ferocity, putting at risk, in one way or another, the lives of whole populaces and communities (whether their own or of rivals), to reach for swift and conclusive decisions, rather than 'just letting them roll across' proverbial plains pushed by endless winds.

But to what end? Theirs were not the stationary ways of the soft ceitenkin. The larger a population, the more pressure upon the land to yield its strength to support those living on it. Without moving on in due time, there would soon enough not be enough; and with moving on, the stresses involved with merely keeping in order what the ceitenkin would call “logistics” promised to tax nearly everyone long used to smaller demands to, and likely beyond, their utmost limit. While acknowledging the young man's ambition as something far the opposite of weakness...and at sixteen years of age, yet more behavior, and further than ever, beyond what his years would suggest...the consensus was all too clear: what he desired was not just beyond attainment, but unhealthy to reach for.

The decision did not sit well, to say the least.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:32 AM   #5
DarkPleasures
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:47 AM   #6
ShiningShadow
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Greetings, DarkPleasures.

What aspects are you specifically uncertain about? ...Because all this so far has been to establish extensive backstory and setting, to describe the major 'sides' involved. The side most often being described is that of the Tzi'Geir (not yet named as such, within the material), but the third post began to describe the female-led Matriarchy. Within the coming three decades of the setting's history, these two 'macro-groups' will steadily be introduced to each other, and begin to simultaneously experience increasing conflict, ranging from low-level up to eventual overt war. Who wins that war comes down both to the philosophies of the opposing sides, and eventually to the cold realities of biology and neuroscience.

But if you're wondering what all that has to do with the kinds of stories generally seen on Literotica, and how this tale eventually does fit in well enough (as briefly alluded in the first post), the answer would be in the beliefs of the Tzi'Geir (Szhedao's nation), and most prominently on their views of males and females; or, perhaps as it should be written, 'Males' and 'females'.

Should I skip ahead massively, and start talking about such?...or stay the course and continue with the style thus far. Any actual 'first story' of the 'Realm of the Tzi'Geir' will almost certainly begin with them, as a nation, already as a unified whole, and invading some neighboring ceitenkin territory outside of the Matriarchy.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShiningShadow View Post
Greetings, DarkPleasures.

What aspects are you specifically uncertain about?
I am uncertain of why you are putting a story on the bulletin board one post at a time since we're not supposed to. (Save for the SRP or ORP boards.)
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPleasures View Post
I am uncertain of why you are putting a story on the bulletin board one post at a time since we're not supposed to. (Save for the SRP or ORP boards.)
Perhaps because it was moved here from the Story Ideas forum, where it was originally put up, after the first post sought to explain that it involved ideas that were literally being developed on the fly, rather than already finished, but is not yet really a full setting for roleplaying, in and of itself?

I have little desire to break forum rules, but after already asking before the thread was created where something like it should go, and following the advice that was effectively immediately shown to be inaccurate...it seemed that it was the moderators' wish for it to be this way.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:36 AM   #9
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Even if your first post wasn't "a full story" yet, it really doesn't look like a story idea either. I'm sure that's why it was moved. Save for the SRP and ORP boards, the BB is not a place "to test your stories for opinions" prior to submission.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:33 PM   #10
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This forum has hosted discussions on stories, or even portions thereof, that were not posted, and would not necessarily ever be posted. The main issue I see with this thread is that it's not clear, at least not to me, what the primary purpose is.
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:20 PM   #11
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I see potential for the story. Your writing style is rather upper-crust, but I think you intended it to be.

One of the biggest problem I see with stories like this, though, is the odd names and pronunciations. LotR kept it rather simply and easy to understand for a reason. Oriental-styling makes the pronunciation incredibly foreign to most readers and drops interest.

I will probably read the story when you get it finished, but I guarantee that I'll change every one of the names to make the story easier to read. It's far easier to relate to Betty than it is to Shi-zuo'ka. It's also far easier to remember the gender of the character when you have names we can relate to. I've read many stories where I couldn't remember the gender associated with the oddball names and always had to look for contextual clues. Aside from slowing you down, it pulls you out of the universe.

This part: "but by the sheer reality of life within the wilderness, or perhaps 'wildernesses' plural, being harder, harsher and simply more brutal than anything to which they had ever previously been accustomed."

That's not going to happen in even a semi-real world. There will be people living on the border areas that are far hardier than those living out at the coast. As a part of the natural human migration trait, people living on the edge will have no problems moving deeper because it's not nearly as scary to them. Furthermore, the nomads living in the bordering wilderness areas will have wanted to set up trade with the settled areas because they can't make iron products, etc. This has happened throughout our history.

Also, it's a bit confusing with the descriptions. If the Southwest is subarctic, so is the southeast, and the northern regions must be really cold. This doesn't jive well with the idea of "wilderness" or nomadic bands. Or, are we talking about an area that's different from the island first described?

The story is extremely wordy even without all of the parentheticals and pronunciation guides that further muddy the waters. Very hard to follow even in short bursts.
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