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He sees no stars who does not see them first
of living silver made that sudden burst
to flame like flowers beneath the ancient song,
whose very echo after-music long
has since pursued. There is no firmament,
only a void, unless a jewelled tent
myth-woven and elf-patterned; and no earth,
unless the mother's womb whence all have birth.
J.R.R. Tolkien, “Mythopoeia”

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Hey, just wanted to give a small update—been busy this week but I’m still working on a forthcoming post and it should hopefully be up before long! I’ve had to rework a little bit given the recent post on heading to Lynn, but the post will be up. I did want to ask: should we not linger in Lynn narrative-wise, focusing mainly on the journey ahead? Would you rather keep things situated purely in the boat after leaving Lynn? That would definitely help with writing! Thanks in advance.
<Snipped quote by Andreyich>

That’s an interesting point, and I definitely don’t doubt it. However I also have a couple Latinx friends who do use “Spanglish” in their daily life, so I wonder if there’s some variation across people from different cultures? Living in the southwestern region of America, we have a lot of people from Mexico in my county, and it seems to vary even person to person whether they weave Spanish into their speech or not.

Code-switching is a real phenomenon that occurs both for bilingual people and for people speaking different varieties of the same language (as the AAVE example in the Wikipedia link points out). Spanglish is an example of that, though it could also be classed as a creole or pidgin language depending on the linguist you ask and the particular people you're talking about.

Code-switching doesn't happen, as I think @Andreyich was pointing out, just for 'flavor,' just to let you know that this character's Russian or French or Japanese or what have you. Real code-switching relies on how both speaker and audience perceive each other and how marked the language/language variety being switched to (aka the 'code' in 'code-switching') is. It generally happens when both speakers are familiar with both codes—somebody fluent in Japanese and English might speak a mixture of the two with their parents who know both or with peers who know both; it's unlikely to happen with strangers who don't know both, i.e. friends who don't know both languages. Intimacy is another influence to a degree; code-switching can be a marker of friendship or solidarity in certain cases, and in environments where code-switching is frowned upon or even just abnormal (and thus likely to create alienation), it's less likely to occur as well. There's a lot more to it, but generally I'd say that in the context of RP, it's important to consider two things: the first being if the audience of the character who is code-switching knows both languages being switched to, the second being how intimate these two speakers are (or are trying to present themselves as being). If those two conditions aren't being met, then generally—there are exceptions, of course—I would avoid it.

Thanks for the reply! That makes sense and I can definitely understand playing it that way. However, after mulling things over for a little bit, I’ve decided to nevertheless withdraw my interest. I wish you the best of luck with the RP going forward!
Considering the fact that you have the Civil War going past 1865 as in old Deadlands lore, I wanted to ask: Do you also stick to the also original lore of a Confederacy that has reason to exist after manumission of its slaves—and a Confederacy that would ever see fit to release its slaves at all? Though I appreciate the inclusivity which that choice allows, I’m unhappy with the Lost Cause–like implication that the CSA can be separated from the institution of slavery, and the answer to that question is something I want to be aware of before starting anything in Deadlands’ setting. No fault to you if that’s the setting you want to stick to, but I would personally dislike playing in such a setting and would have to retract my interest in that case.
This sounds really cool! I'd be interested in joining for sure. I did want to ask, though—will you be leaning on any of the mechanics from Deadlands or will this be purely based on the setting alone?
Segrim the Black

Segrim awoke to the sound of voices raised in alarm, his head pounding in pain and his eyes blinded by even the slim sliver of sunlight that shone between the flaps in his tent. He had drunk himself into a stupor during the night before, filling his belly with roast pig and all manner of alcohol that he could find until at last he fell asleep still wearing his shoes—and now he was left to savor the bitter aftertaste of his excesses.

Sure of a conflict, the man took a deep breath to steel himself before gingerly rising from sleep and preparing to make his way out into the open. He closed his eyes to shield them from the light and groped blindly for his helm of iron and the cap he wore underneath it. Clumsily placing both upon his head, he did not bother to waste more time tying the chinstrap of his helm. For a moment he considered putting on his looted byrnie too, but he did not think he had it in himself to work the shirt of rings over his head. Besides, he did not want to make a target if it were Saxons that had stirred the camp to commotion today. Such fine shirts were not common among the warriors save for Åse’s wealthiest followers and the lady herself, and even the dead Saxon he had looted the byrnie from had been a warrior of status—there had been a fine sword with the warrior too, but he had given that to the man who helped him kill the Saxon warrior. Still working blindly, he curled his fingers around the handle of his shield, silently praying to any who might hear him that he would not die in such an ignoble state this day.

Something is amiss, he thought as he pushed open the flaps of his tent and winced in the red light of dawn. The spectacle helm he wore did little to blot out the sun’s light, and for the battle-prowess that Segrim possessed, he was dubious of his ability to fight this hour. The air was thick with the smell of woodsmoke and all around him the sounds of battle rang in his ears, the clattering of shields and the marching of feet and the crying of men fated to die.

Saxons, he thought. Saxons for certain. He drew his seax and brandished it, stepping out of his tent despite his dulled senses and the ache in his head, ready to struggle against any who might dare attack him. Thetford smelled like death, the battle already begun while Segrim was caught unawares. Again he thought of his shirt of rings, but he did not wish to waste any more time if the Saxons were preparing to burn the ships.

Segrim was never one to run from fighting, but he was no fool; he knew when the fighting was lost and already he had seen even the bright and decorated helmets of Åse’s housecarls approaching the ships. In the distance, one of the ships was already smoking from the Saxons’ efforts, a black plume rising into the sky above it. He ran for the strand, cutting down what enemies he could in the chaotic conflict, shoving through the returning Saxon army and leaping over both the bodies of the slain and dark puddles of blood.

One Saxon had nearly struck Segrim in the side, but an ally had knocked the spear away and Segrim replied with a thrust to the Saxon’s throat—but then another Saxon came with a bloody axe, killing him who had saved Segrim’s life and biting deep into Segrim’s shield. Fearful of fighting in his half-blind state, Segrim had dropped the shield behind him and cursed himself broke from the fighting. Again he ran from the Saxons, once stumbling over the corpse of one of the first men to enter Thetford’s church but soon scrambling for the shore again.

Segrim grew desperate as more of the Danish ships burned, wading and then swimming through the water at the end though he feared for his seax’s blade in the salt-sea. At last he climbed over the edge of a longship, panting heavily as he slipped his iron helm from his head and set it down, looking out among his companions as he made a grim count of the survivors he knew. He could hear the Saxons crying out for their victory on the shore, but he focused on those still alive around him and their escape from the slaughter.

The Saxons had arrived well-armed and powerful and it was only through desperate struggle that the Danes had managed to escape, much less Segrim. Perhaps White Christ’s power sent them here, Segrim mused, but he did not linger long on the thought for it only reminded him of the jaws of hell and the crimes he had committed back home. Besides, if what Kjartan had promised was still true, they would soon be far from that home; far from the demesnes of Christ and of the Norse gods both as they ventured into the unknown. Whatever gods ruled the West, he prayed that they would not look unkindly upon him and that under their protection, even the mighty hand of White Christ could not reach him.

But theirs would be a long journey, and even now Segrim feared that things would not be as he hoped, that the Saxon attack was but the first of a long line of punishments set out for him by whichever god ruled his fate now. As good of a warrior as Segrim may have been, he was no match for their mighty powers and he dreaded the cursed life of an exile that Semund had told him of; he recalled the exile of the nithing Cain and the unending punishment the mighty Measurer had cursed him with. Segrim grew sick at the thought, stumbling away from his fellow sailors and taking a deep breath to steel himself, but it was to no avail—his nausea quickly overcame him and he thrust his head over the gunwale, hurling a mixture of beer and putrid bile into the waters of the river Thet.
I'm working on a post too at the moment; mine will be up likely by Sunday if things go well!
At the end of the day, they're all human and that's the most important thing to remember, but I've learned that there's something beautiful in at least acknowledging some of the cultural differences between my white, black, Latinx, Asian, Native, etc characters who were brought up by more traditional families. Which is where some advice from people with life experience could be helpful if anyone reading the thread has anything they want to share in that department! :)

Having been raised in a 'traditional' family, I can speak to this somewhat. I think that though what @POOHEAD189 said about us all being human certainly rings true, it can also be a disservice to disregard culture and to treat it as merely window-dressing. We are all human and we share common experiences as human beings, but that which we find to be innate and/or natural can very often be socially conditioned. That isn't to say that people's futures are determined by their cultures, of course (and people of color are not always in so 'traditional' families nor do they have the same experiences within them) but the way people are brought up and socialized has a huge part to play in how so many people live their lives, and the concept of the individual unbounded by culture or family structure or other hierarchical ties is generally a modern one that still isn't true for many people today. I think that writers (especially writers situated in the Global North) can have a specific view of the human condition or human nature which is conditioned by the legacy of the Enlightenment, resulting in mores that are ultimately Eurocentric even if we might think of them as universal. I think in writing someone different to you, it's also good to ask: what makes you different from them? What do you do in your daily life that goes unnoticed because it's just quotidian to you? As the anthropologist Ruth Benedict said, "No man ever looks at the world with pristine eyes. He sees it edited by a definite set of customs and institutions and ways of thinking."

To speak about things that are more actionable for roleplayers, I'll say that it's good to consider culture's often immense impact on people, but also to remember that that non-white people aren't creatures of the past; tradition is a malleable thing and these familles are neither homogeneous nor unchanging; to treat them as such is a huge disservice to them. I would think not "What culture is this character from?" but rather "What were this character's parents/family like—and how did their culture influence their familial relationships?" It's a minor change, but it's a line of thinking that I think both highlights culture's importance but also centers on the specific individuals in question instead of treating a culture as an unchanging and singular monolith.

In regards to writing people of color specifically, one thing I'll add is that roleplayers can sometimes have the tendency to fixate on things like eye and hair color in their RP—which isn't necessarily bad, of course, but they can additionally imply a certain level of importance to that color variation, variation which most people on Earth simply don't have. I haven't seen it especially much here, but having a section in, say, a personal description for hair color and eye color is pretty Eurocentric when the majority of people in the world will have dark hair and dark eyes as a rule. I know that culturally in the West we put a lot of significance into those things (feisty redheads or pure blue eyes or what have you) but they're also tropes reflective of a white-dominated culture that don't really apply to other people. There's also a tendency to ignore that, i.e. have a character who's Asian except for their blue eyes (which really just makes me think of Toni Morrison and The Bluest Eye) in a way that's uncomfortable because it can be read to say that PoC characters aren't interesting enough unless they have colored eyes. The one exception I'd make would be anime settings because of mukokuseki, because then everyone has colored eyes, but that's a trope of the genre rather than a player choice per se. Outside of that one exception, however, I think that these sorts of characters can tend to make it hard to feel seen and appreciated as who you are—instead they can make you feel that people like you aren't 'interesting' or 'beautiful' enough to be worth exploring as a character.
My vote goes to “Haiku for the Ox.” It’s short but has a motion to it and the implicit image of turning over soil works well for the piece.

As for the others, I enjoy the strong language in “The Pride of the Ox,” especially the energetic line, “Jugular spilt a spew.” I do think, however, that the line is perhaps a little short in a way that can hurt comprehension and not leave enough room for the words to really breathe as much as they deserve to. In regards to “Dew,” I like the whimsy but I think that it would have been improved by seeing a little more of the grass growing wild before being eaten.
I find myself drawn to characters who think about religion and/or about their place in society as those I’ve RPed with can surely attest to. I think religion and spirituality is a really interesting means of thinking about characters especially in settings where it can feature strongly but be oft unexplored (especially in fantasy). Likewise, I think a really interesting way to explore worldbuilding is to write characters ill-at-ease with the norms of the ‘typical’ members of their society, characters who don’t necessarily stand out per se, but who definitely transgress social norms in particular ways or feel limited by them.
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