Gwendoogle: Into the Character Lounge Part XII – Scales and Teeth and Suckers

GwendoogleAnswering questions in the only socially acceptable form of schizophrenia

Flip the Otter searched: How do the Sea Clans deal with the impoverished in their society, orphans, widows, and the physically or mentally disabled?
The Sea Clans are based strongly in community cooperation and family ties.

Because of the fact that a majority of the Clansmen and -women are sailors from the age of ten to seventy, “home,” “family,” and “community” become broader concepts than among the land-dwellers. A single person of average means may have housing on one ship and two to six islands, depending on how many their ship regularly sails between. She holds an employment contract with her ship’s captain, and may hold more flexible spoken agreements for work on any island that she regularly visits. Her “home” is self-defined (perhaps the place where she was born, perhaps her ship, perhaps the island that she finds the most comfortable, etc.). Her “community” is a rotating combination of the men and women she sails with, the permanent residents of every island she lives on, and the shifting population of sailors that light on those islands. Her “family” may be any blood-related relative, any crewmate she currently sails with or has sailed with before, anyone she shares lodging with on any island, or any combination there of.

Inside the Clans, it’s shameful (from an outside perspective) and heart-breaking (from an inside perspective) to leave any member of your “family” uncared for, and because of the broad nature of the term, it’s nearly impossible to find someone without a network of people they can depend upon. As a general rule, the first family member to discover a problem – whether a child is not being adequately clothed or fed, an injured family member can no longer work, or an elder can no longer care for themselves – is responsible for providing assistance. If they are incapable, they are responsible for contacting another family member who has the resources they lack.

Orphaned children under ten years old (too young to take to a ship or a trade) are cared for by whatever adult knows them best after their parents’ passing. Widow and widowers too old to provide for themselves depend on their children or the younger folk who live with them at the time. The disabled (physically or mentally) do what work they are capable of, and live with family who support them as needed.

When there is neglect, anyone may petition the Lord or Lady of the island for help, whether it is for themselves, for a friend, or for a stranger. It’s rare, however, simply because a single person collects such a large “family” over a lifetime.

The Clanless are the only portion of the population who remain largely ignored. But they lost family ties, and the general thought is that they lost it for a very good reason.

Kate Kearney searched: What are three superstitions held by the Sea Clan?
1) Ferrets are luckier than you. Most of the time, they’re lucky for you.

2) Do not rename the boat, for heaven’s sake. It will sink. And your butt will still be on it.

3) Don’t bring bananas on board. Your ship won’t sink… but it will never be seen again.

Flip the Otter searched: Will you list three favorite sailor’s sayings for the Sea Clans?
1) None stronger, none weaker. (All strengths are virtues – mind, body, or spirit – and a person should have a portion of each.)

2) Don’t pray for the weaker storm, but for sturdier beams.

3) Heads up!

Kate Kearney searched: Is your world mostly explored, or are there areas on the map filled in with ‘Here There Be Monsters’?
The mainland stretches hundreds of miles to the north and south, and all the water along it has been well-charted. To the west of that, the Clans have claimed the copious, scattered islands, and each Clan has charted their own territory, as well as whatever territory that they could get into belonging to their neighbors. Between the nineteen of them, they have all the islands explored, as well as large stretches of the water to the south and west. Most Clan Lords and Ladies have traded with each other, so that they all have a complete set of maps in their archives.

To the north, the waters get too cold, and most sailors don’t care to go there. They don’t mark the maps with monsters so much as a dull line where they lost interest in knowing what was between the iceburgs.

To the far west, the currents get strange. The winds get unfriendly. Touching that side of the world, the Sea Clan can believe in any number of thing with scales, teeth, or suckers.

Kate Kearney searched: Are there volcanoes in your world? Hurricanes?
Yes, to both, though the southern Clans have the most experience with them. I don’t know if it correlates or not, but they also have a reputation for being either the most careful or the most carefree, with not citizens in the in between.

Kate Kearney searched: Are there any particularly dangerous waters that the Clans sail?
If you ask the Sea Clans, they’ll tell you that the ocean is as dangerous as your expectations. If you believe that it’s a tame thing under your hull, it will prove you wrong. If you fear it, it will prove you right. If you respect it, you will get along just fine.

Any land-dweller who has taken passage with them through the Straits of Alder, the Straits of Enteisan, or the Black Rannel Court will tell you flatly that the Clansmen are crazy and the ocean doesn’t care what you think of it.

Have a question for the Character Lounge? Leave it in comments below and I’ll be back around to answer it.

The regular Gwendoogle question bucket is empty. Help fill it up as well!


2 thoughts on “Gwendoogle: Into the Character Lounge Part XII – Scales and Teeth and Suckers

  1. Why don’t brains function well in the heat? Did you steal my grapes? Is there any science behind impulse buys? What is your favorite style of chocolate chip cookie? Why is it so hard to find shoes that fit? When will the stars align so that all of the people I care about are in one place for the space of a week? Should I buy more calendars? Do you have a favorite scent? Did you miss my horse of questions? What is the difference between exhausted and tired?

  2. Will you show me the progression of coping with tired through sleepy and up to unconsciousness in gif form? Who is that peeking around the stable corner? How many types of fey will you name for me? Is there a place where one can gain perspective on life? What have I got in my pockets?

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