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Cultural Elements

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Gender Roles[edit]

(On gender roles and whether or not the TSAB encourages high-ranks to start families)

"There have never been "traditional gender roles" in wider Dimensional Space like there have been on Earth. Women have never really been seen as the "weaker" sex because, simply put, there are never enough mages, and the gender split is even. And that means that you can never afford to exclude someone from combat based on the fact that they are female - when it comes to magic, women are every bit as good at fighting as men. Yes, they are valuable in a reproductive role, but in general, especially for powerful mages, that is trumped by their value in the field. In Game Theory, the Enlightenment theory is false, and it's false without regard for gender. Women can quite easily be terrifyingly powerful, and so, even far back in history, they've always occupied positions of power and influence in the same ratios as men - look at Olivie, and some of the other female Belkan Kings. You would have to search for a bit to find a woman in such a significant historical role of power on Earth, and she'd still be outnumbered by the vast number of men in similar ones around the same period - this even holds today, where our governing bodies, at least in England and America, are still primarily male. But in wider Dimensional Space, with magic as a potent and frightening equaliser, that attitude simply never formed.

As I've said, I'm not going to be writing a TSAB with the gender populations so skewed - men do exist, in Game Theory. And no, the TSAB does not, in general, encourage its most valuable assets to settle down, raise a family and promptly become unavailable. It doesn't specifically discourage it, either, but it's certainly not something they're exactly clamouring for people to do, because it takes a very good mage off the field for at least nine months, and then usually two or three years more, and then they're rusty when they get back to doing missions, which can be fatal."

- Aleph
This is pasted from an “infodump” post by one of the authors, found here


On Alhazredian Priest Queen/King/Savants[edit]

"I've used priest-queen, and priest-savant as a gender neutral term. Whatever you like, really. The Alhazredian term doesn't translate very well, and was probably gender-neutral."

- Aleph


"When they can blow you into smithereens and have hordes of loyal slaves, the plumbing under their robes matters rather less. Well, I say "robes"... they'll dress themselves in Barrier Jackets as they see fit. And have slaves seeing to every bit of their appearance, they'll be painted by masters every day as a display of how casually they can afford to have skilled people make artwork on their bodies which lasts for a day, and generally they'll be incredibly decadent because unlike real societies, when the high-ranking people have magic which avoids the need to wear real clothes whole new avenues of fashion open up.

Actually, Dimensional Space has a noted tendency towards matrilinear inheritance. Ruler-wise, it's historically been about the power, not the sex of the ruler, but magical strength is much more heavily influenced by the mother. A royal bastard sired on some woman by a king probably won't pick up his Rare Skills and the like; if the queen cheats, her children will still get her things. Hence, for example, a man marries into the woman's family, and the children belong to her family and the dowry is paid for the bride, not by her, at least when you're talking in the olden days. In more modern times with the fall of the old aristocrats, that's rather less important."

- EarthScorpion
This is pasted from an “infodump” post by one of the authors, found here


Units of Measurement[edit]

"...it does a gross disservice to the Alhazredians to assume that they would be using measurements as... well, as dumb and illogical as imperial or customary units, which actively handicap simple mathematical conversions between units. The Alhazredian measurement systems which survived were actively designed to be convenient to use with magic, and that happens to be the same basic principle as why the metric system exists, so you can easily convert between necessary variables. Actually, as a matter of fact, various larger polities in the Alhazredian era used various metricised measurements, usually based directly in some way off universal constants - for example, the base unit of length is a fixed fraction of the speed of light, and the base unit of time is related to the decay rate of the thaum. The standard in Dimensional Space at the moment is Belkan Standard System, a revision made shortly before the fall of Ancient Belka which built off an older version of the same system.

Base 10 is universal in modern Dimensional Space. This is almost certainly (in universe) due to the fact that normal humans have ten fingers, and (out of universe) because we have to actually write down numbers and we are not writing numbers in hexadecimal or whatever.

The Mid calender uses the Type-1 year as a base. It is composed of 12 months of 30 days each (in the form of six five-day weeks), and a 5 day (ie, 1 week) holiday at the end of the year, which starts on the shortest day of the year of the Northern hemisphere of a Type-1a world. Technically speaking, the Mid calendar does not account for leap years (as it is meant to be an objective measurement of time) and as a result the Mid calender is by now 16 days out of synch with the actual Type-1a year; in practice, this means that Type-1 worlds tend to complain, while other world Types ask what the fuss is because what's so odd about having a calendar not tied to actual cycles? "

- EarthScorpion


This is pasted from an “infodump” post by one of the authors, found here


Rainbows[edit]

"It's true that in Dimensional Space, rainbows are to a certain extent associated with war and aggression - not just because of the varicoloured magic of the Saint-Kings, but also because a rainbow rather resembles a lot of people blasting away freely with magic up in the sky."

- Aleph


"In fact, on multiple worlds they are a sign of bad luck, and there are various lucky rituals tradition tells you to do so you don't suffer bad luck for seeing a rainbow.

It is notable that on Caro's homeworld, you're meant to chew on a certain kind of leaf, which counteracts the bad luck. Coincidentally, the leaf contains natural compounds which, when isolated, are used in anti-mana-poisoning drugs."

- EarthScorpion
This is pasted from an “infodump” post by one of the authors, found here
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