And it’s also June World-Building! So I’m shifting over to Inspector Caracal’s questions, but as I already had a few (a week) written on the first set, there’s some overlap, and I skipped ahead to closer to the actual day on Cal’s list.
8. How is your world run? Who’s in power?
Above: All of the sky islands are technically one government. They are run by a central elected set of leaders - five of them - who are supported by a set of representatives chosen by each of the four territories of islands.
The leaders are elected in the same way the representatives are, and that varies by area. In the oceanward islands, they draw lots. (This offends a couple of the other groups). In the Central Islands, a council of Wide/Landed people (who choose their new members themselves) pick the representative and vote on the leaders. The academics debate for hours, generally with votes, until they can come to a two-thirds majority agreement on their votes. One must have at least one degree to vote in this territory.
And in the mountainward islands, everyone votes in an instant-run-off-style election.
These votes take place every seven years, which, considering how long they can take, is probably a reasonable length of time.
Below: The Candlemar are run at a family-tribe level, holding occasional all-things/gatherings/conclaves to discuss matters that affect all tribes. Within the family-tribe, there are generally three who are in charge; balance is sought between hunters, crafters, and farmers, and between the old, the middle-aged, and the young, between the married and the not, between those with children and those without, between men and women. An allthing is attended by all, but only the three people in charge speak for each family-tribe.
Nobody knows how the Aulerons run things. There is some debate if they know.
The Hechniger are ruled by a trade-based oligarchy who control a monarch, almost always a king. Twenty-seven guilds control their five-city central territory, and in those cities, the guild heads are the absolute rulers. They control everything within the nation; the only powers that the monarch actually has are the power to levy tarrifs on trade and the power to make war. The monarch also gets a yearly festival and to preside over certain ceremonial events, and is protected very well in case of war - actually better than the guild leaders, as there are deep superstitions tied to the monarch’s bloodline.
Day 17 Inspector Caracal’s June World Building
What are the primary economic resources of the society? Are they from the environment, manufacturing, or the population?
The sky islands have limited natural resources. They can - and do - farm, but they have no room for expansion, and thus they have to be very clever with what space they have.
The only things they get from outside the island are rain from above and birds which fly from island to island and sometimes land on the ground. Those birds are very carefully hunted, and the ones that nest on the sides of the islands are very prized for their eggs.
(like such https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_cliff )
Goods are mainly hand-crafted by very skilled guilds. Even a home is a hand-crafted work of art, whether it is free-standing or built atop someone else’s home or simply a room in a complex of rooms.
Art and academics are thriving businesses in the islands, along with the handcrafting. They have no export, no import, and thus they often end up simply repeating the same patterns, ideas, and truisms between themselves. A new idea is treated with excitement, even if it is a horrible idea, because it is new.
New ways of cooking food, new ways of turning a phrase, new ways of carving stone - all of these are very highly valued, as are ways of using extant things over and over again in clever and shiny new manners.
The tribes each have their specialties and trade in them both within the tribe and outside of it.
The Candlemar, for instance, are amazing hunters, great with preserving meat and hides, and very skilled in wood-craft and carving.
The Aulerons are planters and farmers, weavers and spinners, and they trade also in whispers of the old times and long-lost technology.
The Hechinger deal in modern technology and the things they can get out of it: They make weapons, they make tools, and they make carts and wagons. Of the three tribes in this area, the Hechinger are the most likely to deal with magic, too, although nobody calls it that (you wouldn’t want to get the attention of either the people over the river or the Aulerons, after all…)