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Re: OT: Corpses, etc. (was: Re: Gender in conlangs (was: Re: Umlauts (was Re: Elves and Ill Bethisad)))

From:Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Date:Saturday, November 8, 2003, 0:56
>Well, one mitigating factor is that the alleys >are narrow, so long weapons are often more of a >hinderance. An extremely important factor is that >the vast majority of weapons are bronze. Bronze >weapons have to be thicker in order to maintain >strength, and they generally can't be too long.
Thank you for reminding me that alleys are indeed narrow. I keep thinking about the more public portions of Sovchilen, which is a beautiful city with a lot of open space. It also has slum areas. The streets are a lot narrower there, and, you are correct, that a sword might not be especially useful in an alley.
> > A Trehelish soldier > > would almost never need to get into a knife > > fight with a civilian, because > > he carries a sword, and perhaps a bow. Even if > > you are wearing a sword and > > know how to use it, you would still be betting > > your own swordsmanship > > against the soldier's, and the soldier (at > > least in Sovchilen) has been > > extensively trained in the use of weapons. > >Sure. They're pros.
Hey, they don't let them onto the streets until they're confident that they know what they're doing. They don't want dead soldiers.
> > I don't know to what degree the military will > > use deadly force against > > someone caught committing a crime. For > > instance, I don't know whether, if > > a thief is caught in the act and runs from the > > military, and the soldier > > has a bow, if he is allowed to simply shoot him > > down. > >I guess it depends on how important the trial >process is. In Hoopelle, it wasn't terribly >important, even for most Men.
Trehelan is a representative democracy. I expect that this means that process matters somewhat more than it might otherwise. And, as I said, the Trehelish have a sense of good order. They try to maintain at least the appearance of that.
> And anyway, the >Guard has broad powers of executing Justice. If a >Guard saw you do something, you done it, and he >could punish you for it.
The Trehelish soldier doesn't have the power to punish you, at least not until after you've been sentenced by a judge. (It is a soldier who will do the whipping or the hanging.) But I expect that the word of a soldier in a court of law is going to carry a good deal more wieght than your own. If he says he saw you do it, and you say that you didn't do it, which one of you is the judge going to believe?
> If that punishment meant >hauling you up before the Bench so you could be >punished in a publicly educational manner, so >much the better.
"Punished in a publicly educational manner." Now that is a phrase to remember. Yes, that is the basic principle upon which all Trehelish criminal justice is founded.
> > I think that the goal is generally > > to subdue the criminal > > without killing him. Most of them will > > surrender at swordpoint; they're > > not suicidal. > >Well, yeah. They'd be buried or something without >cremation!
Actually, depending on what the laws are, perhaps some of the them might get suicidal. Anyone who is executed will be buried. If the law allows criminals who are accidentally killed by the military (while the soldiers were attempting to capture them) to be cremated instead of buried, then you might get situations where criminals become suicidal. Someone who has already been whipped for theft three times and has now been caught in the act again and is being pursued knows in no uncertain terms that he is going to be buried if they capture him. If he really wants a chance at cremation, he might not surrender at swordpoint; he might be willing to throw himself *on* the swordpoint. In which case, I really would not want to be a soldier who had to deal with a situation like that.
>Metal toes are very handy. They provide >protection to the toes and feet (i.e., from >dropped or thrown objects like stones) and also >provide for some extra weight behind a kick when >knackerin some poor sod what ye'd just dropped >with a cestus to the throat. Yeah. :D
Ouch. My father used to have a pair of steel-toed boots. Among other things, he used to use them for mowing the lawn. They did protect him from the mower blade on one occasion, to judge from the bald spot on the toe of one of them.
> > Really, though, they are not supposed to > > be getting into those sorts > > of fights with civilians. > >Well, don't they, for example, have to enter >Publick Houses and introduce the bastards to the >concept of Justice? ;)
That's more common in the smaller towns where everyone knows each other. I suppose that it's also necessary in some districts of Sovchilen. To a great degree, I think that they believe that that is the problem of the tavern owner (in Sovchilen, at least.) If a fight breaks out in such an establishment, then the men who fought, as well as all the witnesses, can appear in court the next day and explain to the judge what happened, especially if there was damage to the tavern or the men, but they're not going to station soldiers inside every drinking establishment in a large city in order to keep things quiet. If they know that a particular tavern is a problem, or if the owner has requested assistance, then they would stop in at intervals, and things might be quieter, when patrons know that they're being checked on.
> > For all their > > brutality, the Trehelish do have a > > sense of...well, something or other. (I had > > the word, then I lost it.) > >Order?
Order's a good word for it.
>Keep in mind that all these items also serve >offensive purposes, too. A maniple or cestus to >the face is very painful (a cestus being brass >knuckles). Bronze greaves to the nuts will >definitely but a dent in your fighting spirit and >will to resist.
I expect that the soldiers are taught how to fight dirty, since such a fighting style can be quite effective - and since the criminals are not going to restrict themselves to nice fighting.
> > >a truncheon (stone tipped or > > >bronze plated wood) > > > > I know that soldiers working in jails or > > prisons carry a wooden rod (and no > > dagger so that the dagger can't be > > pickpocketed), but I haven't decided > > whether the rod is used outside of prisons. At > > this point, it isn't, but I > > could change my mind if I decide that it would > > be useful on the streets. > >Well, a dead prisoner is not particularly useful, >if you can get im alive.
That's the idea. They're also careful how they wield those rods, since they know that they can break bones with them. They also try to be careful about using them on the head, since that can be an effective way to accidentally kill a prisoner.
> > It's more compact, and > > you don't have to worry about > > losing the keys. > >Ah, keys. ;)
Yes, keys. And also not keys...anyone have any idea how to go about picking an old fashioned lock, the kind that takes a "skeleton" key with wards, etc.? I'm convinced that it must be possible. What sort of equipment does it take? I am more or less familiar with the necessary tools and technique for picking a modern cylinder lock, but I know that none of that applies to the sort of lock that I am thinking of.
> > I probably should have warned you long before > > now that that <h> in the > > middle of Trehel is actually a glottal stop in > > standard dialects. Trehel > > is pronounced ["t4e.?El]. > >Ah, OK. I'd been reading it /trEhEl/.
Cwendaso has got the trill, and Trehelish uses a flap. But if you pronounce it [t4EhEl], you're just pronouncing it in some dialect or another. As I said, there are "h-dialects," although the standard pronunciation is a glottal stop. Also, when the vowels come in harmonized pairs with an <h> between them (no matter how the <h> is pronounced), both of the vowels tend to go lax. Otherwise, the vowels are realized tense in stressed syllables and lax in unstressed. Default stress is penultimate, unless the word contains a heavy syllable. Unfortunately, the definition of what is and isn't heavy gets slightly complicated. Heavy syllables are ones with a diphthong or a coda. Therefore, you have to be able to recognize legal syllable onsets, and you have to know that any orthographic Cw sequence is a digraph representing a labialized consonant. If the final syllable is heavy, which it often is, it is still never stressed. Isidora


Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>