weirdlet: (Default)
In Shaan's neck of the woods, men (regardless of sex) do the fighting and defending, but women own the animals.  There's crossover, of course- the tools women use for weaving, cooking, making the household liveable are theirs, just as men have their horses- but what's hard and handmade (coin and weapons and bridles) is the domain of the fighters, and what's live and living the domain of the peace-weavers.  There are stories of how if a man pisses off his lady, she'll send her sheep-herding dogs on his horses- or if he does worse to her, how vicious hounds of lightning will harry him to the end of his days, keeping him far from his home and kin if they do not catch and eat him outright.

A woman's dowry, and a bit of her standing, is based on how many animals she brings with her to a marriage.  That's part of why there's trouble when Aksinya gets hustled off to her new in-laws, having been cut off from the family magic in order to prevent her power from falling into the wrong hands and her from being forced into the role of dark messiah at the helm of a conquering army.  (The white witch who rides on tides of blood and feeds her enemies to Grandfather Kraken is- kind of a recurring thing in their history.)  She doesn't bring any of the traditional worthwhile things, and is thus a poor bride for their prince.
weirdlet: (Default)
Something where Aksinya is feeling the terrible, sudden, desperate urge to get to the sea.  She and Shaan make it to a stream, then a river- and in absolute desperation, Aksinya stumbles into the river, which swells up to greet her and swallows her up  to take her down to the sea.

Shaan is left riding hell-bent for leather after her, following the course of the river, until at last she comes to the beach where she's terrified that she's going to find Aksinya gone into the waters to commune with the sea gods and gone forever.  But she's there, waiting for her- restraining herself from the need to go and waiting for Shaan.

Shaan is pleading with her not to go, she'll be swallowed up by the gods and it will kill her, and Aksinya asks her why this is so important to her.  In the hesitation, she asks- "Not because you are bound to me, not because our parents promised us to each other, not because failing me stains your honor- not even because you think you might love me.  Are you first my friend?  Will you be hurt if I am gone?"

"-yes."

"Then I will be back."

And then she slips off into the black waves, down to the dark to speak with those who dwell beneath.
weirdlet: (Default)
The reason that Shaan's people have female princes- an anointed king's children are all sons (by mutual agreement of all the accepted kings) so that they don't have to pay out dowries and thus maintain greater wealth, and so that inheritance can't be sidestepped by having someone marry a king's daughter.  He hasn't got any daughters by the laws of his own people, therefore the property stays in his direct line rather than be swallowed up by someone else who might get ambitious about offing Papa-In-Law. 

These sorts of things have gotten rather vicious in the past, so they squashed it in order to move past the really chaotic barbarian tribe stage (now they just steal sheep instead of daughters).
weirdlet: (Default)
More on Princess Aksinya and her adventures with 'Prince' Shaan.

So, I need to figure out what these two actually get up to.  What are the stakes in their adventures?  And more importantly, why the hell is Aksinya's family willing/all fired up to get her out of the palace?

It's got something to do with the spirits, I think.  The fact that she's actually really pretty good at what she does with the family magics, to the point where she could perhaps make bargains of her own with some of the older, deeper, creepier ancestral monsters- how do you prevent your sub-chiefs from clamoring for war you don't want, if your daughter could actually raise up a kraken?  How do you excuse not using a member of the royal family to the fullest extent of their potential abilities?

Marry her off to a foreign barbarian and ritually/magically cut ties with her from the family magic, of course.  She'll still be able to scry a bit, sure- make water-drops dance along her fingers like a pickpocket with a coin.  But she won't be able to summon the sea-wolf, or the thunder-cliff horses, nor guide great fleets through ice or traverse the deep-sea waters and ask questions of the ancient things there.

There will be no blood-dark water-priestess at the head of a relentless army, bringing the sea and its creatures to salt the earth wherever she goes.

Huh- so that makes Aksinya our resident Prophesized Evil McGuffin, it would seem.  And her fiance may think this is a nasty trick that got played on her people, to fob off an assassin-baiting, god-troubling mage-hobbled witch on them- but she also likes Aksinya, a lot.  Certainly Shaan doesn't want to take the expedient route and kill her or hand her over- not only would that be an idiot's move for someone who doesn't want a conquering army devouring her folk, but it would be absolutely dishonorable not to protect her friend and partner.  There were words spoken.  She made a promise

So it's the open road for them.
weirdlet: (Default)
Odd thought.  Story starts with some tournament or other for the princess's hand, only one of the big contenders is also a princess- in her lands, her title is Prince Prima.  Her younger twin brother's title is Prince Secundus, and he will make her stand with her wife when it comes time for children.  There is much headbutting and huffy princessness and tournamenty goodness, and of course the Prince Prima wins the tournament and there is much consternation.

Adventures proceed from here.

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Weirdlet

January 2015

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