empire globes

anonymonster  asked:

For the headcanon/worldbuilding meme: tell us about your headcanons wrt language and culture and how much difference or how it's distributed across Alternia, and the fleet post-Ascension especially?

To explain my presuppositions, first (with the note that I’m not bothering with dialect differentiations in the language names, pff):

  • A not insignificant portion of the canon trolls have names that’re made up of multiple language! Key examples are:
    • Vriska Sekret (Sanskrit + Egyptian), Aradia Megido (Italian + Hebrew), Nepeta Leijon (Latin + Swedish), Kanaya Maryam (Sanskrit + Arabic), Terezi Pyrope (Albanian/Turkish + Greek), Equius Zahhak (Latin + Persian), Gamzee Makara (Turkish + Arabic/Sanskrit)
    • And interestingly enough, it’s canon that Tavros uses Spanish, with an implication that he speaks it - his handle is adiosToreador.
    • One solution to this would be to argue that the names are irrelevant! I am not a fan of this, given that it feels like it relies heavily on the assumption of WASPS as the default setting, even in light of canon evidence that this is maybe not the case. x)
  • Given the prevalence of names from multiple languages, I tend to assume that linguistic creoles are way more common than straight languages. So, Vriska / Kanaya / Equius / Gamzee might all be from an area that, at one point, had a heavy population of Middle Eastern and North African trolls - whi~ich gradually, by the point of canon, would’ve resulted in the mixed naming schemes, and would be represented in a creole language that might be a mash-up of Sanskrit + Turkish + Arabic + English + whatever.
    • Fun fact: you can see modern examples of this process in Singlish, Kriol, Patois, Hawaiian Pidgin English, and a bunch of other languages!
  • And the reasoning behind this, for me, is that: the Tyrian Empire is pretty fucking old, but presumably, there were empires and dynasties and other countries before everything was consolidated! One of the traditional, easiest ways of breaking down cultural boundaries and forcing them to assimilate - say, under a new regime led by a globe-spanning empire - was through removing children from their parents, placing them with others, and arranging marriages.
    • Trolls do not reproduce in a manner that would allow for that, and children pass on culture from adults to each other. BUT cultural blending would’ve still been needed, because there’s no point in having an empire if, functionally speaking, it’s still divided up by tribal associations and nationalism.
    • So: the initial waves of cultural blending and erasure of the old ways could’ve occurred through the Tyrian Empire deliberately selecting certain trolls, and just moving them wholesale. Have individuals from several different former countries lead a colonisation effort in a different region. Force quadrants between former national rivals. Cultures will be forced to blend, languages will merge, and the next generations to come out of the brooding cavern won’t be able to claim their former national identities - by the second or third cohort of eggs after the initial effort, the language that they were learning from schoolfeeds and the older children would’ve changed enough to ensure any adult population that was trying to stick to their initial roots would’ve seen them as other, and their culture would’ve been similarly changed.

In general, though:

  • I generally figure that English is the primary language of Alternia, courtesy of the Condesce’s speech pattern: their specific flavour of slang (however you want to codify it) is probably what passes as the ~*ideal speech pattern*~ of the world. Potentially reflected in the way that Gamzee, and presumably other Mirthful, would speak!
    • In this figuring: Eridan and Meenah’s speech patterns are more representative of how the average seadweller speaks, and Equius is the ideal blueblood. 
  • I’ve mentioned before, but following with the idea that English is the Condesce’s first language: I figure English is the lingua franca of the Empire! All the official documentation is in English, the schoolfeeds are in English, everyone except for feral trolls is going to know how to speak English, even if it’s heavily accented, or they only use it once in a blue moon.
    • The closer a language is to English, the more prestige is has socially! So Spanish is fairly common for people to learn to speak. I usually head-canon French as one of the de facto languages for seadwellers - all of my characters speak it, save for Sipara! (And not just because I can write French, shhhh.)
    • Planet-side, I tend to say that each region / capitol has different languages! Temasek’s official language is English and Singlish, but it drifts more and more towards Egyptian Arabic as you head down south (and more towards Hokkien, then Kyowa-go, then Japanese as you drift out towards the east).
  • Up in the Fleet, though, I figure there’s two priorities for setting up ships. The first is to ensure that trolls stay with their quadrants and clademates, when possible, for greater social cohesion. The second, keeping the first in mind, is to make sure you don’t end up with any too large a population of kids from the same area on the same ship! Part of the benefit of Ascension was separating trolls further from any identity save ‘Imperial citizen’.
    • Isolating parts of your population onto ships, where their day-to-day life largely consists of interacting with each other, and giving them a separate identity on top of that of an exclusive, shared language and cultural background, is not really keen for that goal.
    • Subsequently: ships are largely, purposefully kept as a mixed bag!
    • The only general exception to this are indigo and violet ships, where the populations tend to be small enough that it can’t entirely be avoided, and which has proven to sometimes be beneficial in a different way - if everyone on this specific ship is in the same small range of castes, they all speak the same language, and they share roughly the same cultural background, then that isolates them from others of their caste in the Fleet. When it’s one tyrian Empress versus the thousands of violets and indigoes who could very easily stage an up-rising, any sort of way to separate and divide them up so they won’t group together is pretty useful!

lightdragon837  asked:

What is the history of England ?

In the beginning, there were the British Isles. These were the home of the Celtic people, who liked to draw fancy knots and build large stone circles. They were immediately killed off by the Romans for these dangerous and blasphemous acts. The Romans then built a giant wall to keep the most brutal survivors from invading their settlements. These dangerous and bizarre northerners would in time become known as the Scottish.

In 1066, a man named Norman invaded and killed off all the remaining Romans and Celts because they did not speak French. The survivors were taught French, and began to fight each other over who was more French. These wars included the Hundred Years War, which lasted 116 years; the War of the Roses, in which no actual roses fought; and the English Civil War, in which the people literally fought about whether their government should be run by people calling themselves “The Rump.”

England during this time also had well over 30 different Kings and Queens, who all together had well under 5 different names. There was also Oliver Cromwell, who banned Christmas because it wasn’t Christian enough for him. These centuries also saw the creation of the Magna Carta, which was by far the biggest Carta.

Shakespeare happened.

England then began to colonize the world. For 300 years, the English invaded literally every single other country they could find. They only missed like five. They invaded so many that their empire sprawled across the globe and they could claim that “The Sun Never Set On The British Empire,” which was inaccurate because the sun set every night on each portion, meaning the sun was in fact always setting on the British Empire.

In time, the empire grew obsolete and England joined together with its feisty brother Ireland (or at least his shoulder), its peaceful sister Wales, and its crazy uncle Scotland that nobody liked to visit or talk about. Together they became known as the UK, which in turn joined the EU, ushering in a new era of two letter abbreviations that reigned over Europe, past England’s brutal defeat of Germany, England’s other brutal defeat of Germany, and the withdrawal of England from the EU, which was for some reason lamented by Germany.

Also Harry Potter happened.

I am a nerd who loves both world-building and historical cooking, and well…I’ve been kinda thinking about this a lot recently. Amid all of the talk of Unbreakable Oaths and Everlasting Darknesses and death and tragedy and war that is the Silmarillion there is, understandably, not much room to talk about what everyone ate. In The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit you get a pretty good idea of what Hobbit meals are like after all, with all those mentions of strawberries and fried fish and taters. Things we’re told Sam and Frodo miss on their journey to Mt. Doom, things integrally woven into a hobbits way of life and culture because of their love of simple, good things, like a wonderful meal. And well, it’s not just for hobbits that food is an important aspect of culture, I mean *everybody* eats, and I won’t stand for the idea that an elf can live on Lembas alone. So yeah, like I said, I’ve been thinking about this kind of thing a lot lately. So! Some Elvish food headcanons for your reading pleasure:

  • Among the older generations of elves, Finwë, Olwë, Ingwë, Miríel, and that lot, yeah it’d be rare to see them even touching a tomato or potato.  Okay, so basically everything that lives and grows on Middle Earth and the continents beyond (and some things that don’t) can be found on Valinor, right? And Middle Earth and Beleriand are supposed to be an alternate pre-history  (or rather, lost history?) version of England, therefore you’ve got tomato and potato plants growing in Yavanna’s gardens but nothing of the sort to be found around Cuivienen…except for deadly nightshade. And while I’m sure those first elves to walk upon Valinor’s shores received all the assurances from the Valar that “no, we are not trying to feed you poison, you won’t die from eating that thing” they could ask for, that visceral association they’ve grown up with since childhood still holds strong. In the generations that have grown up in Valinor, where the idea of death feels far off and alien to most, let alone the specifics of it like poisoning this isn’t nearly as big an issue.
  • I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about Elvish farmers and gardeners bringing seeds back with them to Beleriand, and how exactly potato plants ended up in Middle Earth and eventually in Samwise Gamgee’s stew pot
  • The Teleri eat Garum. Okay so with how much access the elves of Valinor have to basically…whatever they need, I tend to view the foodways of Valinor to be more closely related to those big globe-spanning Empires of the Ancient world and Medieval trade centers where you’re getting these things coming in from all over and…well yeah. So, basically the Teleri being a sea-dwelling folk are kinda like those old Mediterranean cultures like Greece or Ancient Rome in my mind. Annd yeah, obviously they eat a lot of other things as well (excellent wines, fantastic produce, and many other creative and delicious ways to prepare seafood being just some of the things Telerin cuisine is known for) but the fermented fish-head sauce is the one that sticks in everyone’s mind, annoying as that may be. (and Well…it does tend to be used like salt among the Teleri and just go in *everything*)
  • Noldorin feasts are *AMAZING.* Alright, so the Medieval feast was pretty much made for spectacle. It was an opportunity for a King to show off his wealth, and for a cook to show of their skill. Sugar and marzipan sculpture; peacocks and swans roasted and then resewn back into their skins – feathers and all – before being brought to the table to be served; live blackbirds baked into pies…yeah, this kind of thing was just as much about the show as the food. And you *know* the Noldor would do this. Hell, you *know* the Noldor, being the craftsmen that they are, being the kind of people who throw themselves into everything they do,  and who value artistry above all, and who have this pride and this need to just show off would turn all of this up to 11 just because they could. And they make it all taste great too. Basically, all of the best parties are at Finwë’s house. Well, the best catered ones, at any rate
  • Speaking of Noldorin craftsman, cooking is regurded as an art among the Noldor, and there is infact a  space located among Aulë’s mansions for Noldorin cooks and chefs to discuss and preserve craft knowledge as there is for all other craftsmen. As much as you can hear the clang of the hammer against steel or the chisel against stone in the smithy and the masons’ wokshops, if you go out to the bustling rooms just near Yavanna’s gardens you can smell the air thick with the scents of cinamon, nutmeg and grains of paradise, roasting meats and baking pies.
  • The Noldor basically run on coffee. Because of course they do