Geopoetical Meanderings

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elemtilas
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Geopoetical Meanderings

Post by elemtilas »

I thought it might be best to move this discussion from the thread it got embedded in to its own.

Meanderings Thus Far:

Khemehekis wrote: 13 Aug 2020 12:38
elemtilas wrote: 13 Aug 2020 01:35 Well, gruesome certainly from our perspective (I hope!) not so much the cultures Denê sometimes find themselves labouring under. If you're good, perhaps even a gruesome recipe.
Recipe? Daine brain pâté for Mannish folk and Hotai?
Brains!? No, brains are too valuable for that.
elemtilas wrote:I do have some notes on the number of digits of various races. And other things. An overview might be nice. Am also going to try my hand again at anatomical drawing.
Cool. All my handed sapients have somewhere between three and six fingers per hand -- except the icosadactyls, who have ten fingers per hand (like the ninth picture from the top left here).
That's a lot of fingers! When you say "between three and six fingers", does that include a thumb of some kind, or proper fingers only? Speaking Teonahtly, the Teonim have, if I remember correctly, five fingers and a thumb.

I think most peoples in Yeola-Camay have four fingers and a thumb. Some Fairy kindreds and three fingers. Quite a few Elves have three fingers and two thumbs.
elemtilas wrote:This kind of realism is something that has long drawn me away from the perfection of Star Trek's spic 'n' span Federation and towards Star Wars's grungier and darker Republic & later Empire. (Oh, yeah, the Republic can't have been all that saintly! Just a veneer of "democracy".)
What I said -- and what you just said -- reminds me of this quote from the thread What turns you onto a conworld?:
Veris wrote:3. Ugly, dirty, unsavory things. I think a lot of beginning conworlders especially, but we're all prone to it, tend to make their conworlds implausibly clean, neat and pretty. I see things like magical sanitation and too-convenient methods of personal grooming. This is especially glaring since a huge chunk of conworlds are medieval-esque. It's as if they don't realize how filthy dirty and disgusting the medieval era was. (People in cities used chamber pots, yes? What do you think they did with the contents? They threw them out the window and into the streets! Yes that's really what they did.) A conworld which doesn't hide the nitty-gritty is gonna grab my attention.
Coo. That was before my time here.

I'm quite on board with the first five, even though they may or may not be on my own list.

I'd only disagree with point 6. If Veris (or anyone) could write me a single, short paragraph -- 150 to 200 words -- that would give me an overall impression of Earth, then I'd buy point 6.

In other words, while I understand the frustration behind the point, I don't think it's something that can be solved. Perhaps when an invented world is in its tenderest infancy, and you've only got fifty words to describe it so far, then a short selling paragraph would be feasible. As the work matures, I think it becomes much more difficult to give someone the gist of it in very few words.
See also my dream about the Aeronians and the Chthonians in the Weird Dream Thread.
Interesting. There was a post in another forum that had similar vibes of labour division by caste.

Q: what distinguishes C from A apart from the name and functions performed? In other words, are people born or sorted into a caste? Can they move from one to another in any way? What would other Aeronians think if a particularly eccentric fellow decided to take up gardening?
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Re: Geopoetical Meanderings

Post by Khemehekis »

elemtilas wrote: 13 Aug 2020 19:27
Khemehekis wrote: 13 Aug 2020 12:38 Recipe? Daine brain pâté for Mannish folk and Hotai?
Brains!? No, brains are too valuable for that.
Oh, good, good.
elemtilas wrote:I do have some notes on the number of digits of various races. And other things. An overview might be nice. Am also going to try my hand again at anatomical drawing.
Cool. All my handed sapients have somewhere between three and six fingers per hand -- except the icosadactyls, who have ten fingers per hand (like the ninth picture from the top left here).
That's a lot of fingers! When you say "between three and six fingers", does that include a thumb of some kind, or proper fingers only? Speaking Teonahtly, the Teonim have, if I remember correctly, five fingers and a thumb.
That includes a thumb. So the tetradactylous Reds, for instance, have a thumb plus three other fingers. Icosadactyls don't really have thumbs, though.
I think most peoples in Yeola-Camay have four fingers and a thumb. Some Fairy kindreds and three fingers. Quite a few Elves have three fingers and two thumbs.
Can't trust those two-thumbed Elves! I guess the fairies look like Disney characters or people on The Simpsons.

I'm quite on board with the first five, even though they may or may not be on my own list.
As for the first, I have some planets with black plants, and Shaleya has a number of plants.

I'm considering giving Keitel, home of the chais, blue plants! After reading this post of Salmoneus', I asked this question about red and brown plants and this question on blue plants. Now I don't know what to believe! No one seems to agree on how plant colors work.

As for the second, the Lehola Galaxy is in the same universe as Earth, so nothing with totally different physics is possible.

The third -- I've already discussed that.

As for the fourth point -- just look at the people of Kebsabhaz!

For the fifth point -- some conpeoples seem suggestive of Terran cultures (my own Hitans remind me of Japan and Korea and my Shaleyans of the Scandinavian countries), but I also have some peoples who just seem like aliens -- or like familiar animal species of the Earth (the parrotpeople of Psittacotia live a lot like parrots).
I'd only disagree with point 6. If Veris (or anyone) could write me a single, short paragraph -- 150 to 200 words -- that would give me an overall impression of Earth, then I'd buy point 6.

In other words, while I understand the frustration behind the point, I don't think it's something that can be solved. Perhaps when an invented world is in its tenderest infancy, and you've only got fifty words to describe it so far, then a short selling paragraph would be feasible. As the work matures, I think it becomes much more difficult to give someone the gist of it in very few words.
I agree with you there. I once commented on this board that I avoid Twitter because life and philosophy are too complex to be summed up in 140 characters.

Let's see if I can sum up the Lehola Galaxy in a single paragraph:

Lehola, a galaxy 325,000 light-years from the Milky Way, has an Interplanetary Council of its many inhabited planets that discusses when to make official contact with Earth. Although its Law of Secrecy now requires advanced Leholan sapients forgo official contact with planets until the people there are "ready", some Leholans, the crackcreepers, will reach contactees in a low-profile way, so when the contact with the planet's government becomes official, it will be less of a shock. Lehola has FTL travel, but its biggest difference from current Terran scientific understanding is the Iteli, a form of guided evolution that allows the same syndromes of species ("bioswaths") to evolve independently on multiple planets. The planets range from Kankonia, a quasi-anarchistic human planet, to Tziel, a planet ruled by fundamentalist Greys that genetically engineered a colony of humans who can do no evil on a colony on Shaleya, to Hapoi, occupied by the Reds, with a Heraclitean view on what the meaning of "is" is, to Pluos, inhabited by the telepathic homa who often live in ufopoleis (flying-saucer-borne cities), to Doyatl, inhabited by time-traveling glomas, to Natwri, whose sapients the pynas have one culture obsessed with powers of two, to Mensinghi, whose underwater monarchy is under one queen, to Rathar, home of Lizard People who often invade and menace other planets, to Bodus, home of super-evolved Domeheads, to Saros, whose lef have a culture-war division between rebellious evangelicals and orderly, civic seculars, to Keitel, home of the hyper-intelligent chais, to Danton, a dictatorship under the heshra, to Chedam, whose militaristic nation of Kebsabhaz summarizes everything that's wrong with America.

266 words!
See also my dream about the Aeronians and the Chthonians in the Weird Dream Thread.
Interesting. There was a post in another forum that had similar vibes of labour division by caste.

Q: what distinguishes C from A apart from the name and functions performed? In other words, are people born or sorted into a caste? Can they move from one to another in any way? What would other Aeronians think if a particularly eccentric fellow decided to take up gardening?
I like to think of Chthonians and Aeronians as evolutionarily separate paths, like the Morlocks and Eloi. As for your gardening Aeronian-born dude, I did not work out what he would do in my dream.
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Re: Geopoetical Meanderings

Post by elemtilas »

Khemehekis wrote: 24 Aug 2020 03:43
elemtilas wrote: 13 Aug 2020 19:27
Khemehekis wrote: 13 Aug 2020 12:38 Recipe? Daine brain pâté for Mannish folk and Hotai?
Brains!? No, brains are too valuable for that.
Oh, good, good.
Specialty tanning workshops have been known to use them. And of course the inevitable quacksalver.

Also, the largest bio-gems of the Ring System are to be found in the vicinity of the hypophyseal complex.

I think most peoples in Yeola-Camay have four fingers and a thumb. Some Fairy kindreds and three fingers. Quite a few Elves have three fingers and two thumbs.
Can't trust those two-thumbed Elves! I guess the fairies look like Disney characters or people on The Simpsons.
Hell, can't trust any Elf! Nasssty.

Fairies are extremely morphically divergent. Some are quite lovely, like those documented by Dame Cothingleigh while others are quite grotesque and still others rather comical and silly in appearance, such as those pressed by Lady Cottondowning.

I'm quite on board with the first five, even though they may or may not be on my own list.
As for the first, I have some planets with black plants, and Shaleya has a number of plants.

I'm considering giving Keitel, home of the chais, blue plants! After reading this post of Salmoneus', I asked this question about red and brown plants and this question on blue plants. Now I don't know what to believe! No one seems to agree on how plant colors work.
Yeola-Camay together appear largely green, but there is a strong red minority: dark red especially, redblack, greenblack. I shouldn't worry too much about what to believe. Just go with what ìs!
As for the second, the Lehola Galaxy is in the same universe as Earth, so nothing with totally different physics is possible.
I'm not certain if Yeola-Camay inhabit the same precise universe or not. It's certainly very similar in that is Orderly (as opposed to the Chaos without), but it's perhaps not as tidy and not orderly in the exact same orientation.
The third -- I've already discussed that.
I don't think I've ever come up with a world that's implausibly neat, clean, and pretty.
As for the fourth point -- just look at the people of Kebsabhaz!
Heh!

You've mentioned them a couple time! Do tell more.

I've little interest or patience with kooky leftist policies (or kooky rightist policies for that matter), but I think Veris said something interesting that is worth investigating. Why would characters, people, or cultures behaving badly, for no good reason, or no reason at all, be more interesting than goody two shoes are good for similarly bad or nonexistent reasons?
For the fifth point -- some conpeoples seem suggestive of Terran cultures (my own Hitans remind me of Japan and Korea and my Shaleyans of the Scandinavian countries), but I also have some peoples who just seem like aliens -- or like familiar animal species of the Earth (the parrotpeople of Psittacotia live a lot like parrots).
Tell more! So, the Parrotfolk parrot parrots?

I think so long as inspirational sources don't become photoshopped into one's invented culture wholesale, one should be safe. I know Auntimoany looks a lot like Victorian London, and with good reason, but not too many layers down it's good Old Time Religion and let's get all Aztec on our enemies!

It's probably the culture undergoing the most difficult of transitions, orchestrated of course by the Denê; but has now been bloodlessly overthrown by the young and beautiful (and terribly popular) Empress and she is Most Amused, and preparing to reawaken old demons in the hearts of Men. Situation is alarming enough that the queens of all the Denê lands around and the Hidden Queen herself have taken note and are paying close attention to the actions taken by The Palas.
I'd only disagree with point 6. If Veris (or anyone) could write me a single, short paragraph -- 150 to 200 words -- that would give me an overall impression of Earth, then I'd buy point 6.

In other words, while I understand the frustration behind the point, I don't think it's something that can be solved. Perhaps when an invented world is in its tenderest infancy, and you've only got fifty words to describe it so far, then a short selling paragraph would be feasible. As the work matures, I think it becomes much more difficult to give someone the gist of it in very few words.
I agree with you there. I once commented on this board that I avoid Twitter because life and philosophy are too complex to be summed up in 140 characters.

Let's see if I can sum up the Lehola Galaxy in a single paragraph:

Lehola, a galaxy 325,000 light-years from the Milky Way, has an Interplanetary Council of its many inhabited planets that discusses when to make official contact with Earth. Although its Law of Secrecy now requires advanced Leholan sapients forgo official contact with planets until the people there are "ready", some Leholans, the crackcreepers, will reach contactees in a low-profile way, so when the contact with the planet's government becomes official, it will be less of a shock. Lehola has FTL travel, but its biggest difference from current Terran scientific understanding is the Iteli, a form of guided evolution that allows the same syndromes of species ("bioswaths") to evolve independently on multiple planets. The planets range from Kankonia, a quasi-anarchistic human planet, to Tziel, a planet ruled by fundamentalist Greys that genetically engineered a colony of humans who can do no evil on a colony on Shaleya, to Hapoi, occupied by the Reds, with a Heraclitean view on what the meaning of "is" is, to Pluos, inhabited by the telepathic homa who often live in ufopoleis (flying-saucer-borne cities), to Doyatl, inhabited by time-traveling glomas, to Natwri, whose sapients the pynas have one culture obsessed with powers of two, to Mensinghi, whose underwater monarchy is under one queen, to Rathar, home of Lizard People who often invade and menace other planets, to Bodus, home of super-evolved Domeheads, to Saros, whose lef have a culture-war division between rebellious evangelicals and orderly, civic seculars, to Keitel, home of the hyper-intelligent chais, to Danton, a dictatorship under the heshra, to Chedam, whose militaristic nation of Kebsabhaz summarizes everything that's wrong with America.

266 words!
Phoenix II Galaxy?

A valiant attempt my friend! I certainly learned a couple interesting factoids about a few resident cultures of Lehola along with its approximate distance from Milky Way. Sadly, I didn't learn what kind of peoples these are; what makes them tick; of what nature is the galaxy itself (though I know somewhat from elsewhere!); what makes the IPC function; what ideals IPC citizenry share; what vision they have for Contact; nor how any of these few things have changed across time.

In all fairness, you actually did a fine job of giving me small snapshots of the current broad perspective of a number of peoples. Kind of like a collage of numerous tiny medium resolution 2x2 images pasted onto a 100 x 1000 foot low res mural and all that viewed from 325,000 ly away! [}:D]

I've tried to describe Yeola-Camay before, but I've yet to come up with anything even remotely satisfactory. At least as far as short blurbs of this sort go!
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Re: Geopoetical Meanderings

Post by Khemehekis »

elemtilas wrote: 29 Aug 2020 02:28 Fairies are extremely morphically divergent. Some are quite lovely, like those documented by Dame Cothingleigh while others are quite grotesque and still others rather comical and silly in appearance, such as those pressed by Lady Cottondowning.
Cothingleigh and Cottondowning? Were these names used as tributes to the Cottingley Fairies? I love it!
The third -- I've already discussed that.
I don't think I've ever come up with a world that's implausibly neat, clean, and pretty.
I don't think I have either. Even the Txabao (a part of the larger Damta collabworld) have poisonous scorpions and smelly acidpear liquid.
As for the fourth point -- just look at the people of Kebsabhaz!
Heh!

You've mentioned them a couple time! Do tell more.
Kebsabhaz is a nation on Chedam. It is the planet's dominant nation. Kebsabhazians are intent on believing that theirs is the best country on Chedam.

Kebsabhaz ranges from temperate forest to tundra. It has 225 million residents.

Kebsabhaz has the most powerful military on Chedam -- its army, navy and air force are all powerful enough to defeat any other nation. It drafts males age 34-48 for its wars every now and then.

6% of the population is incarcerated (20% of males 24-37 being in jail), but people in jail can still be drafted. They are expected to fight for the same nation that locked them up, and are sent back to prison to finish their term as soon as the war is over. 17% of the population over 24 and under 200 cannot find a job because they have been arrested.

The monetary unit is the bhalit. One bhalit is equal to 100 vanyaqs.

Kebsabhazians traditionally followed the religion of Evanibh, a religion with Lord and Lady figures (with whom you would spend the afterlife) that taught charity, humility, honesty, nonjudgmentality and thinking of the less fortunate. Over the last 300 years, however, this has been taken over by cultural relativism and belief in social conventions. Yet 17% of the population are still Evanibh.

The Kebsabhazians are monogamous, with 3.1 kids per family. Wives assume homemaker roles, although both parents legally own their children under 30.

Names follow the pattern of first name, middle name, last name. The middle name is the surname of an honored relative. Last names come from the father and a woman drops her maiden name all together in favor of her new husband's surname when she marries.

Kebsabhaz has education from age 10 to 32, mandatory until age 29. Schools require student ID cards under national law. In addition to teaching math, the Nyelizaph language, history, government, biology, chemistry, astronomy, physics and physical education, curricula include home economics classes for girls and military training for boys. The national mission statement for education is to raise strong workers and soldiers steeped in strong tradition.

Men wear the yabhas (a long-sleeved top with a W shape in front and a W shape in back for the collar, with buttons at the back), a coat, and drawstring pants. Women wear a cloche, a knee-length dress with a neckline shaped like an inverted heart, a coat, and tights. Children wear coveralls. Soldiers in Kebsabhaz dress in all blue and wear blue helmets. The garaqs common across Chedam (shoes with open space on top and holes for claws) are considered too informal for professional situations, and instead people dressing up must wear pukhaches (shoes with thimble-like projections that cover the toes).

Diet is much more carnocentric than the diet on Chedam as a whole. It consists mainly of the meat of the chabal, a fat grazing animal with long ears and a bead nose, and the pazan, a graceful jumper with missile-shaped horns. The nanyas, with its bear-like face, spots and omnivorous diet is also eaten, as is the dashag, a flying bowl of lard with a nose like a puffin's beak. Seafood is less central to the diet than in other countries. Most species of quont are hard to find in the market due to disinterest in eating vwobizes. Vegetarians are looked at suspiciously.

Kebsabhaz is a representative democracy with a two-party system. It features the Nunyash Party (a conservative party that wants the status quo) and the Qutar Party (a reactionary party). The president is elected every 6 years. In the same year a president is elected, people elect a congress of 225 men, one from each district, of whom the will of 80% can override the president.

The government provides social security and healthcare, and argues that citizens should be grateful to and obedient to their government because of these things. It is characterized by corporatist capitalism with some socialist elements. The tax rate is 50%.

The country outlaws flag-burning, public nudity, gay and lesbian sex, euthanasia of pachams (but euthanasia of incurably injured pets is required by law), "public expression of anger" (including all protests), all drugs except tobacco and popana, necrophilia, zoöphilia, use of profanity in public places (14 words in all are banned) and sex changes.

Kebsabhaz has a number of age-related laws. Kebsabhazians are allowed to be at the mall without a parent at 20, work at 24, buy a bicycle at 24, write a check at 25, buy a computer at 26, fish at 26, have sex at 27, marry at 27, obtain birth control at 27, smoke tobacco at 28, rent a hotel room at 28, sign a contract at 28, buy a house at 28, buy a gun at 28, drop out of school at 29, disobey their parents at 30, leave the nation at 30, donate blood at 30, get an abortion at 30 (28 with both parents' consent), buy tobacco at 30, hunt at 30, join the military at 32 (but not drive a tank until 34), watch adult movies at 32, drive at 34, view porn at 34, play the stock market at 34, vote at 36, be polled at 36, buy a car at 36, serve on a jury at 36 and use popana at 38. A man can be elected president or elected to Congress at 50. They have mandatory retirement at 200. In addition to this, 73% of Kebsabhazian towns have age-discriminatory curfews. If you ask the Kebsabhazians why you cannot buy a bicycle until 24, they will answer that it is a major decision, one that 23-year-olds are not mature enough to make.

Intellectual property violators have been hunted down since 17545. 300,000 people are arrested every year for trading music files or book texts over their computers.

The government has a long code of rules about how houses and gardens may be built. People are disallowed to build houses to their own liking or on non-approved areas even in remote regions of the country.

Oil and logging companies contribute to the campaigns of both parties, and ensure that no environmental reforms will ever be made. Corporations host and sponsor all major political events, while politicians support the existing corporate names.

Courts use nine jurors, who are preferred for selection if they don't know anything about the law (ignorant jurors are popular). Either prosecution or defense will get paid a large sum if it wins. New technology that can interpret bodily tissue samples is not permitted if the person has already been tried. Somebody under 30 can be forbidden to testify if his/her parents don't want him/her to, even if the minor's testimony will conclusively prove someone innocent. Testimony is often dismissed as "irrelevant" if it reveals information the judge doesn't like. People under 32 are tried not by a jury of their peers but by a guilty-until-proven-innocent system with one presiding judge.

The law in Kebsabhaz is big on punishing people for the crimes of others. If a married man commits a crime, his wife is thrown into jail with him. If someone is under 24 and does something illegal, his or her parents will be punished instead of him or her.

Kebsabhaz does have an equivalent of a First Amendment, in Article 168 of its constitution. However, it does not apply in times of war, to people under 30, to non-pachams, or in any situation when the government feels it "might threaten the public order".

Athletes and soldiers are both highly valued by the culture of Kebsabhaz. The most successful athletes have their names in magazines and their statues in government halls. Both athletes and soldiers are said to represent a "play to win" ethos. Thinkers, artists and authors are not as highly valued. Although the schools' curricula include classes in mathematics and the sciences, Kebsabhaz depends on other nations to produce the best mathematicians and scientists.

Social conventions forbid homosexuality and the nation has sodomy laws. Those known to be LGBT are often discriminated against. Women are believed to best be in the kitchen. They are banned from positions in government. The disabled are viewed as losers; the blind and people with spina bifida are often discriminated against in housing and are avoided by most; those with bipolar disorder are viewed as weird nonconformists whose place is in jail. There is massive prejudice against foreigners, and non-pachams are viewed as freaks of nature.

Social conventions forbid screaming, crying, talking about sex in social conversation, spitting, burping, talking loudly, sex outside of marriage, social exchanges with non-pachams, touching animals with the right hand or food with the left hand, participating in activities "wrong" for your gender, and accusing a person much older than you of being wrong.

People in Kebsabhaz have a lot of personal space, and personal space is easily violated. They also value punctuality; it offends a Kebsabhazian if someone is late to an appointment or to class.

In the classroom and formal situations, no young person may speak until an older person in the room has started talking. All students are expected to turn left or turn right to face the teacher when he walks into the room. People are forbidden to use the restroom during a meal. In restaurants people are not to let their arms hang over the side of seats. In elevators, everyone looks down at his or her shoes. People are expected to knock on the door for social events and with family and ring the bell for business occasions. Being asked to leave is the ultimate sign that someone has broken a social convention and permanently disgraces a person. Businesses frequently use the tactic of asking people to leave for those to whom they take offense for some reason or another.

The Kebsabhazian culture has lots of rules pertaining to coats. Gentlemen are to remove their coats when a lady comes into the room. But if the coat is already off, they will rub it briefly against their shirt if a lady comes in unexpectedly. A coat is to be off for the beginning of a meal and on for later courses. Gentlemen pull briefly at the back of their coats, but don't pull them all the way off, when greeting ladies in the street. While spending a long time inside, a lady's coat will come off, and a gentleman takes it off or puts it on for her before taking off/putting on his own coat. Coats are to be buttoned up all the way to the top at business meetings.

There are complicated rules for introductions. A same-aged female is to be introduced before a male with "This is {female's name}, {male's name}". An older male is introduced to younger males with "{Older male's name}, this is {younger male's name}", and an older female is introduced to younger females with "{Older female's name}, this is {younger female's name}". A significantly older male is introduced to a younger female with "{Male's name}, this is {female's name}", and a significantly older female to a younger male with "This is {female's name}, {male's name}". When introducing a mixed group to a female, say, "These are {female group's names}, {single female's name}; this is {single female's name}, {male group's names}"; when introducing a mixed group to a male, say, "These are {female group's names}, {single male's name}; this is {single male's name}, {male group's names}" unless all males in the group are under 27 and the single male is over 27, in which case the female introductions are followed with "{Single male's name}, these are {male group's names}".

These are not the only rules of the Kebsabhazian culture. Restrictions on everyday conduct number in the hundreds, and ad hoc social rules are common.

One ritual often performed in Kebsabhaz is the lyisatkanes (lyisatectomy). A girl of 18 or 19 has her lyisat rather crudely removed, by being cut off. The hope is that the procedure will keep her from being distracted too much by sex and from expressing sexual feelings.

Sports enjoyed by the Kebsabhazians include air racing, auto racing, boxing, vaqab (a rough sport on a field), hashil (similar to cricket) and mised bhatak (in which participants practically wrestle to get the ball). Music includes haphash ratal (old court music), military marching music, and gogad (popular music that sings about the reaffirmation of love). Kebsabhazians enjoy watching television including Market News, evening news with a corporate bias, and the sitcom Qalor, set in a conformist suburb.

The country exports oil, wood, fruit, electronics, cars, airplanes, spacecrafts, dolls and war toys.

The national language of Kebsabhaz is Nyelizaph, an SVO language.
I've little interest or patience with kooky leftist policies (or kooky rightist policies for that matter), but I think Veris said something interesting that is worth investigating. Why would characters, people, or cultures behaving badly, for no good reason, or no reason at all, be more interesting than goody two shoes [who] are good for similarly bad or nonexistent reasons?
You're right, Veris does beg a good question. Maybe people with many cultures in their conworlds just need some diversity. In other words, you shouldn't have every nation look like a Western European nation from the twenty-first century. I have a wide range of concultures in the Lehola Galaxy. Tenta is perhaps the only majorly developed connation in Lehola that is democratic AND rich AND corporate AND socially liberal AND human-cultured. (The people there look like White Terrans, too. Hmmmmmm.)
Tell more! So, the Parrotfolk parrot parrots?
Yes (what a great pun!): the parrotpeople parrot parrots.

Parrotpeople belong to the order Psittaciformes, but they're about as different from non-sapient parrots as we are from monkeys. Parrotpeople are larger than non-sapient parrots, but not so large that they can't fly. They fly and grasp things with their wingtips or their feet. They hold objects in their feet to carry them when flying with their avian wings. Their languages have plenty of verbs with meanings like "to move from the left wing to the left foot" or "to move from the left foor to the right wing".

The languages of parrotpeople consist of syringeals, some resembling sounds like /q/ or /s/, but also other sounds resembling a whistle, or a songbird slurping in a worm, or even a balloon popping. Humans would have to be excellent beatboxers to speak a Psittacotian language -- and in fact many Psittacotian musicians do beatbox instead of playing an instrument (think Pentatonix). As the Psittacotians have no lingua franca and their words are hard for people with more anthropic vocal mechanisms to pronounce, exonyms are used for the planet and its species in LIE and most other human or humanoid languages.

Psittacotia has flora and fauna quite similar to those found in planets with the human bioswath, but there are also many unique species. Like parrots, parrotpeople enjoy fruits, nuts, seeds, bark, buds, sprouts, flowers, rodents, bugs, seafood, chocolate, xocoatl, and coffee -- they are omnivorous. Fruits like figs, mangos, guavas, and jaboticabas are popular, but they also have the figplum, a stone fruit shaped something like a fig or a pear; the stripepear, a tropical fruit that resembles a pear with stripes and grows on a tree that bears bright orange/red blossoms; and the capstone nut, a roughly triangular nut that resembles a pyramid with the Annuus Cœpit "cap" on it; the meat is in the middle. Better than sunflower seeds!

In the rain-forests of Psittacotia, you find the tall, hocco-like mohawk bird, with a mohawk on its head; the parrotlyre, which has a fancy tail but belongs to the parrot order; the crestbeak, with a casuarine crest and galline wattle attached to its beak (another tall bird); the brightbill, with a thick, bright bill having a similar striping pattern to the stripepear; the bucketratite, a ratite with a pelican-like beak; the indigo warbler, an indigo songbird; the pigrat, a hystricomorph rodent with a porcine or orycteropine snout; the mohawk lizard, a lizard with a mohawk-looking crest and spots on its hindquarters; and the wave-snake, a long-nosed snake that has a wavy pattern on its scaly body and is the biggest animal threat to parrotpeople.

Parrotpeople have a wide deal of racial diversity in the coloring of their heads, ceres, throats, wings, wingtips, tails, backs, and down. They form many didferent cultures and ethnic groups recognizable by their natural colorings, and many Psittacotians have negative stereotypes about the various ethnicities. They also have an elaborate system of dyeing feathers that varies from culture to culture and region to region, and in extreme cases, even dyeing and piercing of ceres and beaks! Neck rings like those worn by the Padaung are also used in some cultures -- sometimes they'll break the neck rings of an unfaithful wife, thereby snapping her neck and killing her; other times the neck rings are just for social conformity, or for cultural emulation ("I want to look Kpatlusian!"), or even for the purposes of infiltration of another culture/region by spies. Institutional discrimination is commonplace; for instance, many parrotpeople with white heads will always convict a defendant with a red head in a court of law because they're just that prejudiced. Even in many places that have laws against racial discrimination, a lot of corporate office jobs will refuse to hire applicants from orange-wingtipped ethnicities unless they dye their wingtips green to conform to the green-wingtipped norm of the dominant ethnicity. Of course, baristas, ethnic food vendors and restaurateurs, buskers, and street vendors are free to look how they want without negative employment consequences.
I think so long as inspirational sources don't become photoshopped into one's invented culture wholesale, one should be safe. I know Auntimoany looks a lot like Victorian London, and with good reason, but not too many layers down it's good Old Time Religion and let's get all Aztec on our enemies!
Victorian London? Really? Now, I always thought it looked like Renaissance Italy! Especially with those fancy anatomy lessons.
It's probably the culture undergoing the most difficult of transitions, orchestrated of course by the Denê; but has now been bloodlessly overthrown by the young and beautiful (and terribly popular) Empress and she is Most Amused, and preparing to reawaken old demons in the hearts of Men. Situation is alarming enough that the queens of all the Denê lands around and the Hidden Queen herself have taken note and are paying close attention to the actions taken by The Palas.
I don't believe I know the word "Palas". Is that just the Avantimannish cognate of "palace", referring to the Daine queen's residence?
Phoenix II Galaxy?
I couldn't find out what the Phoenix II Galaxy was. I'm guessing it's a real galaxy that's 325,000 light-years from the Milky Way?
A valiant attempt my friend! I certainly learned a couple interesting factoids about a few resident cultures of Lehola along with its approximate distance from Milky Way. Sadly, I didn't learn what kind of peoples these are; what makes them tick; of what nature is the galaxy itself (though I know somewhat from elsewhere!); what makes the IPC function; what ideals IPC citizenry share; what vision they have for Contact; nor how any of these few things have changed across time.
Thank you! And I shall think about what exactly makes the IPC function. As to what vision they have for Contact, this is in my lehola.htm document:
People in Lehola hope to turn Earth into a spiritually enlightened planet, but cannot yet agree on which direction it should go (to anarchy, to new-age religion, to extreme urbanization, to dictatorship as a territory under the heshra of Danton). Many planets in Lehola's Interplanetary Council often disapprove of the intolerance and stupidity of people on Earth.
In all fairness, you actually did a fine job of giving me small snapshots of the current broad perspective of a number of peoples. Kind of like a collage of numerous tiny medium resolution 2x2 images pasted onto a 100 x 1000 foot low res mural and all that viewed from 325,000 ly away! [}:D]
Yeah! That's a great way of putting it!
I've tried to describe Yeola-Camay before, but I've yet to come up with anything even remotely satisfactory. At least as far as short blurbs of this sort go!
Yeola is the equivalent of Earth . . . what's Camay? Mars, perhaps?
♂♥♂♀

Squirrels chase koi . . . chase squirrels

My Kankonian-English dictionary: 66,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
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