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

From:Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
Date:Friday, November 7, 2003, 22:40
--- Isidora Zamora <isidora@...> wrote:

> >Same in the human cities around Westmarche, > and > >certainly in old Hoopelle. It is certainly > every > >Man's right to bear weapons, but if you try to > >use them while commiting a crime or in an > attack > >on the City Guard, you can expect some deadly > >force comming your way. > > I think that a Trehelish citizen would be a > fool to stand up against a > soldier. Most citizens carry only a dagger, > and soldiers wear long > swords. Those swords reach a lot further than > a dagger, unless you know > how to throw the dagger, and that is a > specialized skill which the > overwhelming majority of Trehels have never > learned.
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.
> 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.
> You are also betting on your > ability to disappear completely and permanently > after winning the battle, > because it's not going to go well with you in > court if you've killed a soldier.
This was less of a problem for Daine. No Daine would rat out a fellow Daine to the Court if he knew someone who'd killed a City Guard.
> 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. 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. If that punishment meant hauling you up before the Bench so you could be punished in a publicly educational manner, so much the better.
> That would be > consonant with just about everything else I > know about Trehelish society: > the general level of violence and brutality, > the very low regard that they > have for thieves, and the general tendendency > to attempt to solve problems > by unsophisticated application of force. (I > guess I don't hold such a high > view of them, huh?) On the other hand, > soldiers are certainly not allowed > to shoot into a crowd, since they could easily > kill an innocent > civilian. 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!
> > Guards wear leather > >armour with fancy bronze plates riveted on; > > I think it would be an oversight on my part if > I did not have the soldiers > patroling the streets wearing armour. > Sovchilen can be rather > dangerous. Leather armour would be stout > enough to turn a knife blade and > lighter weight than metal. The regular > uniform is a yellow shirt and a > green vest with brown trousers (green and gold > are the national colors, the > brown is optional, but complements the others > nicely.) For use on the > streets, the vest could probably be replaced or > covered with a > leather...what is that piece of armor, a > cuirass?
Jerkin, I think.
> >leather boots (bronze studs and bronze upper > >plates, for kicking); > > They wear leather boots, but I had never though > of adding metal to > them.
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
> 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? ;)
> For all their > brutality, the Trehelish do have a > sense of...well, something or other. (I had > the word, then I lost it.)
> The Trehelish try to think of themselves > as less brutal than they > really are by not fully admitting to a lot of > the things that they do. I > think that "propriety" was the word that I was > looking for earlier. > > > leather and bronze maniples > >and leggings; > > I'll have to think about how much armor a > soldier needs on the streets of > Sovchilen. Just protecting the trunk might not > be enough - or it might.
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.
> > a short sword (bronze); a dagger > >(bronze or iron); > > Trehelish soldiers wear a long sword and a > dagger made of steel. They > sometimes carry a bow. In Sovchilen, at least, > some of them are on horseback.
Horse mounted Guards are generally found up in the more important parts of town and in the open market squares and bazaars.
> >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.
> >and a set of manacles. > > They don't use manacles except in prisons. Out > on the street, they have a > pouch of leather thongs, which are disposable > and are simply cut to release > the prisoner's hands.
I suspect they probably carry those as well.
> It's more compact, and > you don't have to worry about > losing the keys.
Ah, keys. ;)
> > There > >were special Guards in the Bank and in Court > that > >walked up around a catwalk and had crossbows > or > >short bows. > > I decided quite recently that crossbows were > something that the Trehelish > had never invented. They would be convienient, > though, because you can > keep one loaded and ready, rather like the very > old muzzle-loading > single-shot pistols.
The Guard decided not to employ pistols, on account of the drain on the widows' fund.
> 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/.
> >Hoopelle had a high crime rate as well, > largely > >because of the restrictions placed on the > Daine. > >If they didn't nick things, they'd have > nothing, > >as they weren't allowed any kind of industry, > >etc. > > Yeah. I'm familiar with another variation on > the same dilemma. The > Trehelish don't seem to realise that they are, > to a great extent, causing > their own problems with thievery. A man who > has once been punished for > theft may well find himself unemployable > afterwards. As I said, Trehelish > people have no respect for thieves, and most > employers will will not hire > one. The whip that is used on thieves is > tipped with metal and is designed > to leave scars, and an additional scar is made > (with a knife) on the > collarbone, marking him as a thief (and is used > to convienently keep track > of the number of convictions).
Same idea as whacking off bits of fingers and toes. A quick scan of a Daine's hands and feet can tell you, approximately, how many times he's been through the System.
> A quick physical examination will determine > if a potential employee has ever stolen (or at > least if he's been caught at > it.) If there are scars on his back, most > employers won't hire him. Now > what is he supposed to do? He could try > begging. Trehelish people will > give money or food to beggars, but they are > unlikely to take pity on > someone obviously ablebodied who ought to be > working instead of begging.
Begging is not an option for Daine. They are proud and clannish. They watch out for one another and will give even strangers of what little they had. Anyway, Men wouldn't be likely to give anything to a Daine beggar other than a swift kick. Padraic. ===== fas peryn omen c' yng ach h-yst yn caleor peryn ndia; enffoge yn omen ach h-yst yn caleor per la gouitha. [T. Pratchett] -- Ill Bethisad -- <> Come visit The World! -- <> .


Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>