Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:48 pm

In the transhuman Grandeur of Auriga, the inherent value of craft as an expression of human potential ranks alongside more traditional honor-based virtues that you would expect from its quasi-feudal hierarchy. As such, in lieu of medals or entry into prestigious orders of knighthood, individuals of service to the Dual Monarchy may be honored with compositions commissioned from its courtful of superhuman laureates. However, the Grandeur being a society of byzantine etiquette, the playing of such compositions may be limited to certain formal occasions, subject to their own formalities.

Which is to say, any particular accomplished Aurigan may have unique entrance music.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:33 am

If their patron lineage is somehow ended, would they commit ritual suicide to join their benefactors? Or just live in the estate, continuing their works even as the lands grow decrepit and they themselves wither?
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:45 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:33 am
If their patron lineage is somehow ended, would they commit ritual suicide to join their benefactors? Or just live in the estate, continuing their works even as the lands grow decrepit and they themselves wither?
For familiars and other such sub-sapient servitors to said line? I can see it. For retainers to commit less than literal suicide but like symbolic gestures to demonstrate their loyalty, or even some slightly more literal personality break to remove their loyalty to their possibly hyper-charismatic lieges? Maybe. But the Grandeur is a strongly humanist society and values human life strongly, even those of baseline commoners. I don't see human courtiers being forced to die being an accepted attitude among polite society, though the noble Houses can legally get away with a lot in their own estates. Even if the musicians are monomaniacal savants who can't take care of themselves without dedicated patronage, they'd still represent enough of an investment in resources and talent that they'd have their own agents, guilds and networks - or maybe even the Avestavra itself - to look out for them.

In fact, the court musicians I envision are at a minimum transhuman talents themselves, maybe lesser nobility who would be treated as respected professionals rather than abject servants, and maybe even full-fledged House members themselves. In the Grandeur, there are impetuses for Houses to both incorporate/acquire talent and to outsource it, depending on circumstance. It may well be that a court musician is not a social inferior at all, is obligated to serve only as far as the terms of his secondment-oath goes, and can always go back to his own House. Even if they're more securely bound, a failing House is more likely going to have its lineages picked over by other Houses who, like multinational megacorps, are always looking to expand their assets and competencies. It's a transhuman eat transhuman world at that level.

The question actually got me to think about the circumstances where something like the above would happen to a House without other Houses being able to intervene. There would be material differences between astrographically diversified Metropolitan Houses and more distant Outremer Houses; the former with their holdings at the Grandeur's richer, more core worlds where there's enough wealth/power going around, and the mediating Imperial apparatus powerful enough, that one House can't monopolize everything, and the various Houses exist in close enough proximity to make mutual interaction reliable and convenient. In contrast, other Houses may have thoroughly occupied their little corner of the extended sphere of Aurigan influence, hampered by distance or lack of Gateway connections, or just preferring the obvious advantages to exclusivity and privacy. The downside would be that nobody is going to bail you out when you do get in trouble.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:42 pm

Invictus wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:48 pm
Which is to say, any particular accomplished Aurigan may have unique entrance music.
It could work the other way around as well; if Salieri isn't present the King of Hungary cannot have his entrance music, because no-one except the maestro can perform it with his exacting transhuman precision, and anything less is unacceptable (and no-one would steep so low as to enter to a recording, good grief). This could be a major potential problem: what if someone were to kidnap the virtuoso? That could cripple a noble's social options and thereby his house. So these artists need to be kept safe. Perhaps they require bodyguards of their own, and indeed highly succesful dillettantes would have expansive retinues and posses. They might be the Byrons of their time, their services sought by many houses who pay insane amounts of money for their skills, to the point where they eventually eclipse their erstwhile patrons and become houses in their own right, not based on planets controlled or trade monopolies established so much as their sheer intergalactic hyperstar status, like one-man Hollywood supernovae. They can burn out fast when the hype runs out. But sometimes, they become the King of Greece.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:25 am

Ye gads. Some of these virtuosos - probably from Houses that blew their money on said virtuosos but can't pay for enough guards - must learn to defend themselves. Pulling out beamsabers from their cellos or something!
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:34 am

The court's prima donna's efficiency as a living aural weapon is in direct proportion to her efficiency as a sinfoniettic haute-contre.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:23 pm

RIGHT! I did intend for some Magi to use psi-axes to shred notes that'd wreck Minister shit. The same might go for Aurigan court musicians! Heck, if a noble decides to dabble in such arts themselves and acts as a conductor for a whole concert...

We'd get Scott Pilgrim MUSIC BATTLE shenanigans!
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:40 pm

It's funny that you mention Lord Byron because there's definitely a romantic ideal in Auriga where, as a noble armed with nothing but sincere devotion to an altruistic cause, you forge out among the crappier states of the Fracture, raise your own army with charisma and feats of arms, achieve some heroic accomplishment, then return home (presenting your private army) to poetry and accolades. Especially now that the increasingly secure Aurigans are looking beyond Imperial service, and there are starting to be more transhuman aristocrats than the oligarchy has places for.

And yeah, one of the transhuman talents that the founding conquerors of House Auriga had was straight-up the Voice from Dune, which combined the universal translator powers of House Avancore was what the authority of the Dual Monarchy was built on. Other Houses have equivalent talents, and most of them aren't even psionic in nature, just sufficiently advanced neurolinguistic hacking invented by dudes who achieved a thorough mastery of parahuman physiology thousands of years ago.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:59 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:23 pm
Heck, if a noble decides to dabble in such arts themselves and acts as a conductor for a whole concert...
You might like to read Mary Gentle's The Black Opera ;-) .
Invictus wrote:It's funny that you mention Lord Byron because there's definitely a romantic ideal in Auriga where, as a noble armed with nothing but sincere devotion to an altruistic cause, you forge out among the crappier states of the Fracture, raise your own army with charisma and feats of arms, achieve some heroic accomplishment, then return home (presenting your private army) to poetry and accolades.
It strikes me that the Lord Byrons of Auriga are perfect foils for Myrran conquistadores, whose hands-off management style works perfectly well for human worlds within their hierarchy, until some musical asshole drops in from orbit and starts inciting rebellion for little more than strange romantic ideals.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:19 am

Siege wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:59 pm

Invictus wrote:It's funny that you mention Lord Byron because there's definitely a romantic ideal in Auriga where, as a noble armed with nothing but sincere devotion to an altruistic cause, you forge out among the crappier states of the Fracture, raise your own army with charisma and feats of arms, achieve some heroic accomplishment, then return home (presenting your private army) to poetry and accolades.
It strikes me that the Lord Byrons of Auriga are perfect foils for Myrran conquistadores, whose hands-off management style works perfectly well for human worlds within their hierarchy, until some musical asshole drops in from orbit and starts inciting rebellion for little more than strange romantic ideals.
Holy shit right. Some of them might totally think they're these benevolent heroes and go challenging Myrrani nobility in duels even though their families own Aurigan plantations where oppressed xenos harvest space potatoes or Fremen are forced to squeeze sandworm juice or something.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Siege wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:59 pm
It strikes me that the Lord Byrons of Auriga are perfect foils for Myrran conquistadores, whose hands-off management style works perfectly well for human worlds within their hierarchy, until some musical asshole drops in from orbit and starts inciting rebellion for little more than strange romantic ideals.
I do like the two-word characterization of Auriagns as "musical assholes" now.

Sometimes, the Aurigan expat is even a Magi, working their way through some even more personal/spiritual course for salvation...or redemption? And then you get a meddling musical asshole who is a psychic, divinely blessed musical asshole who is far more likely to be possessed of a genuine universal sense of compassion, and the kind of reputation back home which attracts *other* Aurigan expats to seek her out because they remember her fondly as the strict nun from space boarding school.

And then you get a psychic musical asshole who doesn't look a day over seventeen but who has somehow mothered her way into having a whole quirky team of transhumans (and Desecrated, and war orphans, and tsundere Mandragoran rivals) that you would have to be really unlucky to be on the wrong side of.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:14 am

And there are also enigmatic amoral yet exquisitely well-dressed, face-scarred and masked-wearing noble and musically-inclined Aurigan espers who have been seduced by the Ministry of Fate and are now pursuing their own nefarious agendas! Muwahahaha!
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Lelouch vi Britannia » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:26 pm

They may not necessarily be facially-scarred and mask-wearing, and they may not even be particularly well-dressed either. In any case, they still hold a hypnotic sway over their subject populations, and it is rumored that hearing even a few notes of their songs can drive their devoted followers to kill and be killed in their name.

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:59 pm

I'm very fine with that too.

For the well-dressed masked types there's this:

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:22 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:14 am
And there are also enigmatic amoral yet exquisitely well-dressed, face-scarred and masked-wearing noble and musically-inclined Aurigan espers who have been seduced by the Ministry of Fate and are now pursuing their own nefarious agendas! Muwahahaha!
One exiled Aurigan noble in fact made a deal to become a Hirado, literally became the Count of Monte Cristo in space, and after having completed his revenge these days just flies around the Fracture in his moon-sized golden castle playing angel investor to whatever catches his fancy.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:28 am

Bragulan science vessel

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:27 pm

Siege wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:42 pm
It could work the other way around as well; if Salieri isn't present the King of Hungary cannot have his entrance music, because no-one except the maestro can perform it with his exacting transhuman precision, and anything less is unacceptable (and no-one would steep so low as to enter to a recording, good grief). This could be a major potential problem: what if someone were to kidnap the virtuoso?
OR:

Salieri has been kidnapped by a rival; this is a publicly known fact, so none of the Aurigan nobles expect the King of Hungary to show up without his entrance music. But he does, dressed in mourning black to a recording. Little more than an echo of the erstwhile grandiosity.

At first there is perhaps stifled laughter, a kind of vicarious blushing at the public indignity. BUT THEN THE MOOD IN THE ROOM SHIFTS, as the assembled nobles suddenly realize that isn't what's on display here, that the king isn't embarassing himself, but they are instead witnessing an honest and very openly emotional display of aching and grief, a yearning, a lament for the deeply intimate art that has been lost. It's like... a grizzled veteran showing a prosthetic leg, if the leg had been an actual living person, and this was its day of mourning.

And then jaws clench, and bosoms heave, and tears fall upon glittering jewelry, and the emotional resonance of this display of royal affection is so powerful that it reverberates across Auriga, the position of the King is massively boosted, the rival becomes deeply maligned overnight, and the kidnappers by sheer noospheric sonority become suddenly deeply embarassed by the utter baseness of their own act, and see no recourse but to release the maestro and turn themselves in (possibly to be pardoned by the King because fuck it this is OPERA).
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:31 am

I wonder, in a conversation with Vic, how many peers does Sidney Hank have in both the USS and the general human-influenced zones? I think, like in Steve's fic, our Hank will have been around before Solaris' settlement, probably fleeing the Earthreign, MAYBE even knowing what humanity was like before that. I presume that the Time of Treason had Chaos Farley and Thadeus Teague being paranoid about antediluvian influences and going too far off their rocker because of that. Hank himself realizes the risk of his influence and capabilities being such temptations to tyranny, and McNamara and young Olympic and Hank agreeing to certain "terms and conditions" in which Hank would have -some- influence in Solarian matters as a consultant and senior statesman but limitations. Tweenysex could go "yeah influencing societies with your immortality and massive powers might not turn out well who knew amirite."

And then I'm sure Sinclair and others would ask Olympic and CEID to figure out countermeasures if in case Sidney Hank does turn eevil. Like realspace warping and cyberspace CI power-overwhelming shtick because they have it in their brains that Hank is capable of usurping the whole USS with a snap of his fingers.

I mean to them he's practically akin to a VTM Antediluvian vampire in capabilities.

So I wonder, did Hank have to put down a few peers who went mad during the Time of Treason? Before that? Did he flee the pre-Fracture because he narrowly survived some swordfight with another immortal who went evil and sided with (or even helped craft) the Earthreign?

Sidney Hank is immortal and has inside him blood of kings yeah. He has no rival, no man can be his eeeqqqquuuaaalll!!!
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:48 pm

For some time now I've though of Sidney as someone who was around during the Earthreign, and possibly even played a role in its establishment. It makes sense to me: he was already biologically immortal with a few centuries under his belt and an ego the size of the sun, he thought he knew what was best for humanity, tried to build his imagined perfect society but annoyingly humanity didn't cooperate. So he sought ways to make them cooperate, which spun well out of control. In the end he and maybe a handful of peers who weren't yet fully swallowed up by the psychovorous madness they'd unleashed barely managed to set the whole thing up for collapse and ran the fuck away as the train came crashing off the tracks.

But the Reignfall wasn't just a breakdown of empire, it was a collapse in the psyche. You couldn't run away from it, anymore than you can run away from your own PTSD. Even though Hank has... memories, of pre-Fracture times, they are splintered and uncertain. He knows that elements of his recollections can't be right, because they just don't fit what little historical evidence there is left. There are bits and pieces, crumbs of truth, but even his current CI incarnation cannot be wholly sure which - if any - of his memories are fully accurate (or alternatively, maybe he *could* know, if he really tried, but doesn't want to).

He spent a couple centuries just walking the galaxy, like Kwai Chang Caine in space. Doing things, allowing himself to make only tiny improvements, then waiting to see the full extent of their consequences. Getting a firm grasp on cause-and-effect, because when you intend to live forever it turns out it's fairly important not to fuck things up so massively your future self can't correct them.

Eventually he got some grasp of what experiencing deep time does to a person, settled on Solaris, got swept up in its commotion, and the rest is history. I think he himself has long realized he's not very suited for control of humanity's future, so he doesn't want that kind of dominion anymore. The galaxy needs to develop on its own merits and initiative. But he's still enough of an arrogant bastard to believe firmly that he's just the guy to set the framework within which that development occurs, so he can adjust the trajectory when he feels it's not going quite right.

So now he's content to play the charade of a benevolent elder Solarian statesman while steadily expanding the scope of his own immortality and the reach of his technology. Which in itself is already cause for grave concern; people who learn just how old he really is and all the heinous crap he's historically been responsible for may indeed well go off into the deep end. The venerable Sidney Hank. Killer of ten billion minds. The arch-anomalist. Clade-planner and Overlord of the Sheol of Thought. The only human the Apexai respect. Shit.

And sure, there may be a handful of his peers out there. Old Earthreign magisters, brains in jars, early thinking machines, collecting trinkets and pulling long strings. Maybe better than him. Maybe even worse. They come to blows, every few centuries, but it turns out anyone that's survived as long as they have, and has had as much time as they did to formulate backup plans, is very hard to definitively kill indeed...
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:07 pm

Siege wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:48 pm
For some time now I've though of Sidney as someone who was around during the Earthreign, and possibly even played a role in its establishment. It makes sense to me: he was already biologically immortal with a few centuries under his belt and an ego the size of the sun, he thought he knew what was best for humanity, tried to build his imagined perfect society but annoyingly humanity didn't cooperate. So he sought ways to make them cooperate, which spun well out of control. In the end he and maybe a handful of peers who weren't yet fully swallowed up by the psychovorous madness they'd unleashed barely managed to set the whole thing up for collapse and ran the fuck away as the train came crashing off the tracks.

[...]

So now he's content to play the charade of a benevolent elder Solarian statesman while steadily expanding the scope of his own immortality and the reach of his technology. Which in itself is already cause for grave concern; people who learn just how old he really is and all the heinous crap he's historically been responsible for may indeed well go off into the deep end. The venerable Sidney Hank. Killer of ten billion minds. The arch-anomalist. Clade-planner and Overlord of the Sheol of Thought. The only human the Apexai respect. Shit.
Now it definitely sounds like the Parting of the Veil, where a tiny fragment of humanity fled the late Earthreign, got past the formidable cosmo-psionic guardians laid down by the ancient Apexai and managed to settle in the equivalent of their backyard (i.e. becoming the first humans in what is now known as the K-Zone), long before humanity even managed to have a foothold in the much closer Cascade, was actually something Sidney Hank personally helped with.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:23 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:31 am
I wonder, in a conversation with Vic, how many peers does Sidney Hank have in both the USS and the general human-influenced zones?
My initial comparison was actually between him (and the other first-hand architects of the First Bragulan War and the founding of the USS) and the Liefs, the founder-figureheads of the League of Laurentian Terranates who stormed the boardrooms of the oppressive colonial syndicates, defected from and repelled the fleets of the Cascadian homeworlds, drafted the Laurentian equivalent of the Declaration of Independence and did all that dramatic stuff.

I ask because the Liefs have also stuck around since then like immortal cyborg versions of George Washington or Simon Bolivar, some as retired but unquestioned elder statesmen, some of whom still tool around with personal battlefleets to occasionally correct the course of the republics they're the father of, all of them casting huge shadows on the League as a whole.

Of course, it's pretty clear now that they're a bunch of whippersnappers compared to the likes of Hank or Teague.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:14 pm

The Liefs are the civil leaders and form the Liefield or the Field of Liefs which is a sort of ceremonial "House of Lords" that's influential for while it doesn't have de jure legislative or executive power, the members are so damn ancient and influential that the Terranate systems' governments must listen. And over time the Liefs are pretty damn good at arbitrating or setting the stage for the Terranate governments' interlocutions and such.

Imagine if a national chamber of commerce composing of wealthy magnates had recognized sway in the government. Like the Gates Foundation and the Koch Brothers were actually given titles.

The firstmost of Liefs are industrialists and world-owners who had gripes with the Cascadian Freeworld government. The Liefs are the founding fathers, so to speak, and helped draft constitutions and such.

But they might not have been the one doing most of the fighting. The actual military commanders and heroes who chose to be literally immortalized still serve prominent roles in the modern Terranates and they are called... the Dukems.

Yes.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:20 pm

If the bones of the Laurentian industrial economy is what the original colonial syndicates built, the moon-gouging mines and sprawling finishing factories and farms and vast Lagrangian docks to service gigantic hyperfreighters and freeze-arks alike, all bound up in company towns and boutique economies designed to keep restive colonists dependent, then the Liefs are the ones for whom these assets form the basis of their power.

There's no shortage of Liefs who simply usurped the syndicate's place at the top of the pyramid and turned it into a patronage machine for their followers, and blocked all subsequent economic diversification in their chunk of the Terranates in order to maintain their power. But then there are plenty of Liefs who sincerely redistributed corp property to workers' collectives and built their legend on the goodwill accrued.

Given the connotations, there's a place called Lief's Field on almost every Terranate world. It's a prestigious address to have!

The Dukems are the Teagues to the Lief's Hanks, in that they are disproportionately made of defectors from the Cascadian military sent to pacify the colonial rebellions, and probably spent decades in brushfire wars against Isopterids and Pyrrhons on the colonists' behalf before that. They could have sympathized with the colonists for perfectly idealistic reasons - or accurately perceived where the resources to maintain their battlefleets would actually flow from once the sides split - or saw the chance to shape and dominate the newborn colonial confederation. For the last one...they kind of did, actually. Shades of the Time of Treason here.

And yes, some particularly illustrious founders qualify as both Liefs and Dukems.

The actual representative body of the Laurentian league is the Rightful Congress, consisted of delegates and deputies from the formal government of each Terranate. The name 'Rightful Congress' probably comes from the ironic reclaiming of some contemporary jibe about revolutionaries associating under ban. While having de jure legitimacy on their side, the Congress is this brawling pit of politicians from disparate revolutionary republics, outright kleptocracies, psycho-juntas whose Dukem founder still rules as Eternal First Chairman, and every stripe of political experiment propelled by the unshackled energies of the Laurentian revolution. Fights probably break out on the parliamentary floor every day. It is no great wonder that so much of the sausage-making happens among the Field of Liefs instead, in the shady arbors of quiet villas and barbeque parties and long space horse rides.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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Invictus
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:31 pm

The Parable of the Middle Brother
Across the Cascade, there's a set of broad cultural archetypes reflecting three of its major species, distinguishing them by their response to the external threats they all face (mostly the Pyrrhons, but also the Earthreign in the bad old days). There are different names for each brother, as each culture holds a different version of the narrative, but the commonality is remarkable. The [Older/Earthly/Bottom] Brother represents the Firmagen Isopterids, who choose to live on fertile and desirable gaian worlds, regardless of the need to stubbornly defend them from the wolves at the door, and patiently builds up their wealth without counting*. The [Younger/Heavenly/Dark] Brother represents the Vaosich Kalaquel, who choose to build their own artificial habitats in space and around hazardous gas giants, trading the security of having any sort of natural safety margin for security, or at least insurance, from rapacious neighbors. Which approach is the better one depends on who is doing the telling.

And then there is the Middle Brother - humans. They are (perhaps unfairly stereotyped as) inhabiting the ruined and resource-exhausted worlds of the Cascade, yearning of moving to better places but never dedicating their technology and society to adapt to more suitably austere modes of living. The result is that both Isopterid and Kalaquel tellings of the parable portray parahumanity as the waffly ones, never able to fully commit to either viable approach regardless of their merits. Before the Laurentian expansion and the Cascadian renaissance, you can imagine that it's a frequent point for making fun of humans on. But now, one can see much more confident humans reclaiming the narrative, embracing the 'Middle Brother' identity as the patient, foresighted one who, ultimately, succeeds in building a house for all the brothers to dwell in.

*I envisioned the Cascadian Isopterid guilds as not having much in the way of liquid assets - their wealth is tied up in the fluctuating, somewhat sacred value of their worlds and their own skilled and biologically-intensive bodies**, with communal resource-sharing and periodical jubilees to clear up ephemeral accounts between worlds. What threatened the Isopterids wasn't the numbers of the human colonists or the hard technology they wielded, but the dynamics of the colonial economy behind them.

**A lot of the human-Isopterid animus can be summed up thus: when the latter took payment for ceded territory and terraforming services in colonists who will be taken away to become Isopterid hosts, the colonists were like "wtf our precious bodily fluids no way" but the colonial syndicates that they were indentured to were like "sure deal" and the colonists giving the other two nasty looks.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:08 pm

Cosmoxenia and the character of Cascadia
What forces drew the Cascadian Freeworlds together? From a long tradition of military coordination arising from maintaining effective defenses and offensives against the Pyrrhons, one can argue. From the joint economic ventures and logistical integration necessary to launch the grand Laurentian colonization initiative, and for distributing the spoils that followed, too. Also from the radical reform movement that irresistibly swept the homeworlds* in the wake of the despair when the resource-rich Laurentian worlds, seemingly the last hope for reinvigorating Cascadian parahumanity, slipped from their grasp. But there is an even more fundamental factor in the demographics.

Persisting for so long in the darker times of the Cascade, where practically no human world can boast to have been untouched by genocidal (but unimaginatively predictable) Pyrrhon invasions, Kalaquel resource raids, roving Earthreign exterminatiors, or simply resource-famine, people moved from planet to planet a lot. And it became enshrined tradition for cosmoxenia - cosmic hospitality - for planets to accommodate refugees as much as they are able, for reciprocity and survival. This meant that the old Cascadian homeworlds all came to be multicultural patchworks where each ethnic group can trace their origin to a homeworld, and at the same time, such groups with shared origins can trace networks of kinship across interstellar space. This not only forced individual Freeworlds to establish pluralistic governance back when they couldn't expect much help from other worlds, but also allowed clades from different worlds to establish connections easily when things got stabler and interstellar travel grew easier.

A formalized version of this reality - the Three Concerts - is built into the cultural framework of the modern Freeworlds, defining the overlapping but non-superseding coexistences between interstellar clan and clan, between localized world and world, and between the freely pursued vocations of individual citizens; all encompassed by the overarching meta-ideology of the Freeworlds themselves.

Conversely, the colonists who formed the nucleus of Laurentian colonies are then, quite possibly, more cohesive ethnic or religious groups dissident from the homeworlds, or even deliberately displaced and transplanted due to prejudice. Any grudge fueling the Laurentians against the Cascadians these days may well be age-old blood feuds, even beyond the irreconcilable political differences and the sheer distance driving identities apart.

This tradition was also what obligated the Cascadian homeworlds to take in vast numbers of refugees fleeing back from the Laurentian front, many of them Isopteric converts who essentially became unwanted by both sides of the conflict. Of course, those still were overcrowded District 9-style internment camps that raised all the rancor that you can imagine, but this act, which prepared the ground for the later acts of redemption that made the Freeworlds possible, actually came from a place of entrenched tradition.

*The Great Redemption - the wholesale uprooting of Cascadian society and the physical deconstruction of their actual homes and cities into a more sustainable and cosmopolitan model - I imagine was carried out less as a sober symposium and more as a wave of quasi-religious fervor. Ironically, it was probably built from the same belief in the apocalyptic renewal of humanity as the radical Terranism that drove the Laurentians into their yearning for xenophobic Jeffersonian yeomanry.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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