Russian Sime~Gen FAQ Version 1.0
Russian Sime~Gen FAQ Version 1.0
Ann Marie Olson
What's what in Moskva circa 9th century AF
Ascention: Making someone junct by opening the junct pathways fully.
Bracelets: Bangle style bracelets worn only by Sharm Lords. Anywhere from a single bracelet to a couple dozen, depending on length of time since ascention and number of partners. A Sharm Lord never, ever buys one of these. They acquire them from transfer partners, lovers or as forfeits on bets. They are primarily used to emphasise a command or draw the attention of a Sime to a potential threat. "To talk a Sharm Lord out of their bracelets" is a euphamism for having a truly strong gift of persuasion, as many Sharm Lords never, in their lives, take all of them off once they have earned the right to wear them. "Counting a Sharm Lord's bracelets" is to grope them in a rather vulgar manner, if in public and will get someone slapped, hard if it is not desired. Fondling or otherwise messing with them is about the same as handling someone's genitals ... not done in public or without the intent to follow through.
Demense: The basic political unit in Moskva. There are five of them at this time. There had been almost twenty at the height of the civilization. (somewhere around three to four hundred years ago)
Kirov is the oldest, very wealthy and most powerful. His color is red and his primary residence is what we now call the Kremlin. The coat of arms for Kirov is the imperial Russian, double headed eagle, gold, on a red field. The primary endowment shown by Kirov is pyrokinetics.
Fatima is the second most powerful and the most cash rich. The coat of arms for Fatima is a silver sword on a black field. Her children are the traders of Russia and her primary residence is near the confluence of the five rivers which meet to the northwest of Moskva and the docks. Fatima is an enigma in many ways to the other Demense. She holds mostly to herself aside from her status as the portal for foreign goods and immigrants. Her primary endowment is weather control and no one who does not have the ability may take control of the Demense.
Azov is third in line, often rich in selyn but poor in cash. His people are the farmers and clothmen. The coat of arms for Azov is crossed wheat sheaves and shears, proper, on a green field. Often neglected for the more flamboyant Fatima and Kirov, without Azov the people of Moskva would starve. The name is quite ironic and was given with such an intent. The Sea of Azov to the south and slightly east of Moskva is (now) one of the greatest ecological disasters in the world. The Rus never want to forget their ancestor's destruction of the land before the mutation, and so the name Azov is a symbol maintained to remind people of the horrors of their past. The original primary endowment of Azov is the ability to mind control and speak with animals. The current primary endowment is telekinesis.
Sergei is the Demense of the healers and also a refuge for the hopelessly insane or crippled but still productive. His coat of arms is the Firebird, proper, on a white field. Traditionally, Segei is held by a Sharm Lord of great emotional and psychological insight. Sergei is held in the highest esteem by all the Rus for taking on a difficult and often thankless job in caring for the sick and injured. The primary endowment, seen only in full strength in Sharm Lords, is healing. The top Sergei Sharm Lords can heal both the mind and the body, including reconstruction of damaged organs, modifications to the endocrinal system and limited abilities to modify the human mind, excluding degenerative insanity and gross congenital defects.
Maryam is the Demense of religion and the founder of the Way of the Rus, her color is blue and there is an eternal feud lasting from the fourth century with Fatima. I haven't written a whole lot yet with Maryam, and may never do so. Her primary endowment is demogoguery, or the ability to control mobs and other mass human mentalities. She is rather odd and not well liked by the other Demense for her arrogance.
Earrings: Range from simple copper, silver, gold or platinum earrings much like we commonly see today to extremely elaborite pieces which require multiple holes and can encompass the entire outer curve of the ear and even involve the tragus. The more elaborite pieces are only worn by Lords and are a symbol of their status. Again, people do not buy these for themselves, but rather are given to them by their lovers or transfer partners. Someone who is very popular as a lover or transfer partner with have many, many earrings. (figured the healing ablities of channels should be good for something aesthetic as well as practical)
Hair (length): Simes and Gens are required to cut their hair when they recieve a complete indirect transfer. "To be tangled in one's own hair" is a euphamism equivalent to an embarassment of riches combined with outsmarting oneself. Most sharm lords and lords keep their hair relatively short, about shoulder length or a bit below. RenSimes and renGens must keep their hair shorter than their collar, but usually it is in a military short crop. Many Sharm Lords never cut their hair once they are ascended and it often ends up on the floor and beyond. Most Lords will give up on it about the length where it can be a problem with sitting on it. Typically, those with long hair keep it braided up and out of the way except for transfer, when they let it down as a way of showing this is a special occasion.
Hair (symbolism): Allowing someone to brush one's hair is seen as a sign of intent for transfer. Giving someone the gift of a hairbrush is an equivalent to a marriage proposal. Often the relationship stays at this point, intended but never formally, publicly bonded. Offering to help someone with their hair is a less direct, more subtle way of showing intent, and far less likely to get the proposer slapped than touching a Sharm Lord's bracelets or a sharm lord's wrists.
Hyperconcious/Duoconcious/Hypoconcious: Not used. (except in cases where the author missed ripping it out of earlier stories) Things are either in the real world or not.
Inducted (The): Gens who were deliberately inducted to provide extra selyn and as a safety buffer for unpartnered lords. Often mentally unstable and of nasty disposition. They are legally barred from holding positions of any real responsibility as they are seen as unnatural.
Kador: Derived from Chador, the concealing garment all Gens wear at almost all times outside the sharm. The fabrics these are woven from contain a great deal of metal and so provide nageric shielding. They vary from completely concealing for the rare occasions when a renGen (or simply Gen, the terms are interchangable) is transported from one sharm to another, to rather revealing and decorative for Sharm Lords. One major point of difference is that sharm lords must always be veiled and hooded, Sharm Lords almost never.
lord: What would be called a channel in the west. Typically 2nd or 3rd order. Non-junct, but as they do not have anti-kill, to a sensitive westerner most of them would zlin junct. These people, along with the sharm lords, are those who actually do most of the channeling work. Once in a long while, a renSime will get their tentacles on a renGen and form a partnership, they are also nominally titled lords, although they do not get sharm priveleges. Typically reach legal maturity at eighteen or two to four years after changeover. (the variance is male/female,
females reach legal maturity younger)
Lord: A junct, non-killing (typically) channel. Almost always 1st order, often endowed. Same age of maturity as a lord, however if a lord goes legally junct, (they make a legal kill) from that time forward they are an adult no matter their natal years. Other than by a kill, lords are not ascended, typically, until they reach legal maturity. Circumstances may alter this course of events.
Moskva (Moskow): The singular city now occupied by the Rus. (Russians) Today this city houses over 10 million people in only a shade more than 1000 square kilometers. At the time of the stories, the city is far, far smaller, holding approximately 100 thousand people in about 1/3 the area. At her height, after the mutation, she reached half a million people. She, Moskva, is at the intersection of five navagable rivers, and is at the crossroads for the main northern trade route between the east and west. This is why this city has been so strong ever since its founding, referent to our time, 852 years ago. Her coat of arms, even still, is St. George slaying the dragon.
Names: Everyone takes their last name from the Demense they are associated with. This may change over time as someone moves from one Demense to another. Patronymics/matronymics are modified from the appropriate parent's first name, unless the child is directly of the Demense, in which case they get the Demense name. The rulers of a Demense are referred to as Lord/Sharm Lord Demense. Others who have been ascended are simply referred to as Lord/Sharm Lord first name. The patronymic/matronymic Ivanovich/Ivanova is reserved for a bastard.
Nobility: General term for anyone not renSime/renGen. Probably close to ten percent of the population by this time.
Null Infant: A child who fails to make its final selyn draw from its mother in the birth process. Lethal if uncorrected and the Rus do not correct for this problem.
Numbers, Various: As the Russians never created an order and proficiency rating sort of system, (they could care less) the nobility are occasionally described numerically. For example, Diomid would be described as twenty eight, which is relative to the longest cycle in Sergei at the time. ("Age of the Heart" and "What Price Immortality?") If he were of Fatima, at this time, he would be described as twenty four, compared to Arkay/Nashen. It is a very loose, rule of thumb sort of system. Basically it is a way to get a handle on who might be a good match for whom since various shunt transfers and other fiddling is common to match people up.
Public/Private field: Exact equivalent to secondary/primary field.
renGen: An ordinary Gen who is unable to give direct transfer because they do not produce enough selyn to satisfy a lord. Often simply called a Gen, extremely insulting to someone who isn't. Typically reach legal maturity at 16 or a year after establishment. (same for renSimes)
Sharm: Derived from Harem, where the renGens live. It is very similar to the sequestration of women in some forms of Islam. Guarded blast doors separate the Gen quarters from everyone else. RenSimes are never allowed in the sharm proper. It is often referred to as 'below' since all the sharms are underground. All children of renSimes and renGens are creche raised here, so they can be indoctrinated into the Way of the Rus. Occasionally, children of the nobility are also raised by the sharm. To tell 'sharm tales' is to tell fairy tales or otherwise fib or exaggerate.
sharm lord: The equivalent of a Companion. (sort of) They are non-junct or can't sense fields directly. (as compared to sensing them with their own body) They may live above or below, as they chose. Actually sharm lords have the greatest freedom to chose what they want to do of all the nobility. Usually they pair up with a partner for anywhere from a few months to their lifetimes. The higher their potential, the more likely they are to be given extra training and taught to fight, so they can eventally be ascended safely. Any sharm lord may legally kill any Sime, if provoked. The age of legal maturity for a sharm lord is actually higher than for an Ancient, twenty to twenty two for females, twenty two to twenty four for males.
Sharm Lord: A junct Gen. Scary critters these, from a Sime perspective. They may legally kill anyone at whim. All of them can fight, both physically and nagerically. Often endowed, they also have a number of other abilities, such as controling any Sime's body with their field, being able to sense fields directly, and being able to control fields much the same way a Western channel can. Legal maturity can be as high as twenty five or twenty six for a male Sharm Lord.
Southerner's Syndrome: A condition primarily found in descendants of people from what we call the Middle East. Characterized by early changeover, excessive sensitivity, allergies, and death in the first year after changeover due to mishap or transfer disfunction. Classified as a larity linked lethal as the only survivors take the veil, which is the equivalent of death. (In the West this is the Farris mutation)
Veiled (The): People who have retreated from the world, much like monestaries and nunneries in pre-modern times. Their base is beneath the Cathedral of the Ascention, otherwise now known as St. Basil's Cathedral. They are the kingmakers, record keepers, and the power behind the throne. They also run the breeding program. The Russians have been actively breeding for traits among the nobility since the founding, using abortion, infanticide and banishment to the veil as means of culling. Any Sime who joins the veiled must have their handling tentacles removed, as the veiled are sworn to never kill. Often deformed children who somehow manage to reach maturity become one of the veiled. (otherwise they are euthanized)
Way of the Rus: The religion created by Maryam to control the minds of the renSimes and renGens. It is a standard worship the nobility as the embodiment of the gods on earth. It is full of devils and angels fighting for the souls of human beings, with of course the nobility protecting the people from the temptation of the devils and one short step away from being angels themselves.
Throne (the): often referred to in the abstract as they did not ressurect the institution of the Tzar. The holder of the throne is the most powerful (read most dangerous) person in the Demense, usually a Sharm Lord. Typically the person who holds the throne only sits in it in rare cases where a tie breaker is required among the Demense.
A few stray Russian words which have worked their way into the stories ...
Krasna: red, very similar to beautiful
Mat': mother, used as an affectionate form.
Otyet: father, used as an affectionate form.
Both of these are also used in the case where there is no blood relation, but the person wants to say they hold someone in that particular regard.
Zherebets: Literally 'stallion', used as we would use the term 'stud' for a man who has a tendency to bed anyone who is willing, and will at least attempt to woo those who are not currently willing.