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Re: Con-other

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Friday, May 30, 2008, 2:29
Mark J. Reed wrote:
> The subject of con-currencies came up on the other thread, and made me > wonder what other concultural artifacts people have created? > Orthographies (that might not yet have an associated language), > calendars, currencies, games (board and sport); vehicles, weapons; > religions....
Calendars, yes. I had an Olaetian calendar with some 400 days divided into ... how many months? I don't remember. That was a long time ago. I used to draw lots of maps. I did a drawing of a board and pieces for a strange chess-like board game; I don't have any idea if it would work or the rules would actually make sense. Musical instruments. I drew a whole bunch of musical instruments, along with the range of each one. There were the usual woodwinds, brass, stringed instruments, percussion and so on, with a couple of unusual ones (a bowed-string keyboard instrument). These days I do a lot of con-music, complete with con-music-theory involving microtonal scales and the particular arrangement of keys on reed organs. Then there are the people and the animals. I started with humans, then added elves (likely from the influence of Tolkien and/or D&D). Later I added my own kinds of non-humans; the Thrinnyng (now two distantly related groups, the Nithra and Hralta, which I originally considered as the same species) were probably the first, followed by their relatives the Zoray, Zireen, and Sangari, and the unrelated Nikta and Neyasai. I started looking at books on drawing animals for ideas to make them look less human, although they don't represent any specific kind of animal. Then came the Mizarian rat-people, which started a brief trend of people based on actual animals. The Oninko porcupines (fond of opera music) and the raccoon-like Janarr (who speak Jarda and write in a braille-like script) are from that period. More recently I've focused more on the Zireen and even more newly-discovered kinds of people like the Verrilin (human-sized furry people with longish ears and a rabbit- or deer-like tail). Religions.... Olaetians are polytheistic. I had a list of some of their gods. The "elves" have more of an animistic approach to religion: everything has a spirit. According to their view (at least in the stories of Elvish wizards) you could get water to freeze if only you knew how to communicate with all the tiny spirits of the water droplets and tell them where to stand. Sangari are more philosophical in their approach. Zireen are more interested in the next great monster movie, a day at the amusement park, or quiet appreciation of nature -- religious ideas seldom occur to them, and when they do, they're not given much relevance.