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Jandal is hanging in there. Even given his obvious robust health, he’s in his sixties in a society where living three score years is probably an exceptional feat mainly confined to the upper classes. Who knows if he’ll even be alive in five years.

It seems strongly implied, but not stated straight-out, that Rayana’s mother died giving birth to her.

I find it very interesting that al’Rashad is egalitarian enough that Rayana can inherit and rule in her own right. In which case, if there is a diplomatic marriage to be made between Gundring and al’Rashad, it is very, very unlikely that it will involve Alric; that would… complicate the successions of both countries.

Wulf, on the other hand, can give Rayana heirs without unduly entangling the successions of both nations.

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Jandal is hanging in there. Even given his obvious robust health, he’s in his sixties in a society where living three score years is probably an exceptional feat mainly confined to the upper classes. Who knows if he’ll even be alive in five years.

This really isn’t accurate and illustrates a trope that isn’t true. Historically speaking, life expectancy rates were lower in pre-industrial times because of greatly increased infant and child mortality. However, if you made it to your teens, you stood an almost-equivalent-to-today chance of making it to your sixties or even seventies or older – and this likelihood was increased if you were in the upper classes.

I find it very interesting that al’Rashad is egalitarian enough that Rayana can inherit and rule in her own right.

Remember that we are talking about a caliphate here. The premise of a caliphate is that the head of state is both its secular and religious leader. A woman being named Califa is not common for the same reason England has only been ruled by Queens twice – where it is possible to put a man in charge they generally will.

However, you will note that Rayana was a relatively late birth given the ages of her parents and that she has no brothers, so the only other option for a Caliph is for Rayana to “recognize the worthiness” of a male consort and surrender the title to him temporarily until a male heir is born. If this is not possible, one gets a Califa instead.

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Mitchell Hundred said on February 27th, 2013 at 8:53 am

I think that England has actually been ruled by three Queens: the two Elizabeths and Queen Anne.

Or are you considering Elizabeth II to be a joint monarch, like William and Mary?

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Actually I just forgot about Queen Anne.

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Mitchell Hundred said on February 27th, 2013 at 10:46 am

Oh, and Victoria (obviously). Your point holds up, though.

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This really isn’t accurate and illustrates a trope that isn’t true. Historically speaking, life expectancy rates were lower in pre-industrial times because of greatly increased infant and child mortality. However, if you made it to your teens, you stood an almost-equivalent-to-today chance of making it to your sixties or even seventies or older – and this likelihood was increased if you were in the upper classes.

Well, let’s do some back of the envelope math, shall we?

Going all the way back to Alfred the Great, the average age at death of English/British/UK monarchs is 48 or so. Lest I be accused of skewing the numbers on account of there were a number of child kings who died at the age of 14 or so, the median age at death is only slightly higher; 50 or so.

I haven’t done the math on any of the Caliphates, but I would be shocked if, say, the Abbasid Caliphs had much longer lifespans.

I therefore feel comfortable continuing to assert that, if the world of al’Rashad is anything like ours, Jandal is regarded as having lived to a ripe old age. Not a record-setting one, but people would definitely regard him as having beaten the odds.

He’s also had an extremely long tenure on the throne; none of the real-world Abbasid Caliphs made it to the half-century mark, I believe.

you will note that Rayana was a relatively late birth given the ages of her parents and that she has no brothers, so the only other option for a Caliph is for Rayana to “recognize the worthiness” of a male consort and surrender the title to him temporarily until a male heir is born.

One imagines that there are plenty of Rashadi very, very eager to FORCE Rayana to recognize the worthiness of a male consort.

One or more of them may be in the room right now!

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Oh, and also… man, the Rashadi Caliphate is OLD. Either that or there’s a lot of turnover.

Jandal is the 91st Caliph. There are very, very hereditary institutions in the real world that have had anywhere near that number of rulers. There have been 125 Emperors of Japan… in 2500 years. The Brits have only made it to 58 in 1100 years.

The Caliphate has been around for awhile. A long, long while.

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Going all the way back to Alfred the Great, the average age at death of English/British/UK monarchs is 48 or so. Lest I be accused of skewing the numbers on account of there were a number of child kings who died at the age of 14 or so, the median age at death is only slightly higher; 50 or so.

I haven’t done the math on any of the Caliphates, but I would be shocked if, say, the Abbasid Caliphs had much longer lifespans.

Except you’re comparing apples and “all fruit” in this analogy. A better one would be to start with the English monarchy circa the Tudors and go forward to about halfway through the Hanovers – where most monarchs died in between 55 and 75 when they weren’t killed early.

Jandal is the 91st Caliph. There are very, very hereditary institutions in the real world that have had anywhere near that number of rulers. There have been 125 Emperors of Japan… in 2500 years. The Brits have only made it to 58 in 1100 years.

The Caliphate is about 1500 years old, give or take.

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Heather Ann said on February 28th, 2013 at 8:46 am

“Street urchin of no consequence.”

Nice. :)

Have been enjoying Joro’s commitment to snacks in these dialogue-heavy days.

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DistantFred said on February 28th, 2013 at 8:54 am

Is the fact that the Caliphate is some 700 years older than the current popular calendar significant? How important is it that Bokan calendar is the dating format you are giving us?

Al’Rashad and Gundring have previously been stated to be splinters, or at least connected by splinters of a previous imperial power- Is this Bokan? Is Bokan a successor? The impetus for the collapse of that empire, now ascendant after several centuries of decline/consolidation?

Is Alric’s predoliction for axes and pistols informed by his service in the Jorrin Marines, where the chopping power of axes would be greatly beneficial? The Gundring sword Halfdar used didn’t seem to be optimised for that kind of use in the manner of a cutlass or a machete.

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I haven’t done the math on any of the Caliphates, but I would be shocked if, say, the Abbasid Caliphs had much longer lifespans.

The Islamic Golden Age life expectancy is estimated to be above 35+ years, with the lives of several scholars guessed at 60+ to 75+ years. It would be surprising, in the real world, for Jandal to live more that another decade or so, but not impossible. And that leaves out the fact he lives in a world where ships are powered by magic runes and what-all.

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I do adore how Dalakhra’s father died of snake bite.

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Is the fact that the Caliphate is some 700 years older than the current popular calendar significant? How important is it that Bokan calendar is the dating format you are giving us?

Al’Rashad and Gundring have previously been stated to be splinters, or at least connected by splinters of a previous imperial power- Is this Bokan? Is Bokan a successor? The impetus for the collapse of that empire, now ascendant after several centuries of decline/consolidation?

1.) The country is “Boka.” “Bokan” is the adjective.

2.) There’s a reason all of these dates are in the “New Bokan Calendar.”

3.) But yes, it is fair to say that Boka (which is something along the lines, in concept, of “what if the Malinese Empire had been as successful as the Romans”) is the major imperial power in at least half of the world, and certainly the half where Gundring and the Caliphate are.

Is Alric’s predoliction for axes and pistols informed by his service in the Jorrin Marines, where the chopping power of axes would be greatly beneficial?

Jorrins train with axes because they’re marines and that means you need some sort of hand weapon that can damage ships, but Alric is also a bit of a romantic and thinks axes – a traditional Gundring weapon as well as practical for marines – are the best, which is why he never bothered to learn how to use a sword (which is far more efficient for killin’ dudes).

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yes, it is fair to say that Boka (which is something along the lines, in concept, of “what if the Malinese Empire had been as successful as the Romans”) is the major imperial power in at least half of the world, and certainly the half where Gundring and the Caliphate are.

Hmm. So, to piece together a general sense of what happened from this and previously stated setting information…

Boka used to rule a huge slice of the world, including what now comprises al’Rashad and Gundring. (This is why they share a common language.) At some point something happened to cause that empire to contract, a la the Romans abandoning the western half of their empire, but not to completely disintegrate.

Only now the Bokans have got their shit together and have decided to expand again.

Alric is also a bit of a romantic and thinks axes – a traditional Gundring weapon as well as practical for marines – are the best, which is why he never bothered to learn how to use a sword (which is far more efficient for killin’ dudes).

To be fair to Alric, if the upthread discussion about analogous real-world historical eras is any indication, he probably lives in an era where it is becoming increasingly uncommon and, in fact, regarded as sort of idiotic for the sovereign to lead from the front. Therefore he could probably AFFORD to be a romantic and only train with axes, because his job was unlikely to involve personally killing a lot of dudes.

Sidebar: May I point out again just how incredibly fucking stupid Alric was to travel to al’Rashad in a single ship? I don’t care how badass you think you are; any seafaring culture is going to have a healthy, well-developed fear of and respect for the way many, many hazards of sea travel. Any one of a number of things can go wrong, and that’s if you DON’T get attacked.

Alric is a sovereign. He should have been escorted by a squadron, at the very least, just to cover the eventuality of something maybe happening to the flagship.

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