main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Saga - PT Notes from the Field [exploring non-Human cultures for the 2021 Fanfiction Summer Olympics]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Seldes_Katne, Jul 2, 2021.

  1. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Welcome to Notes from the Field, featuring OC Vestri Dain and her (merry) band of fellow Sentientologists and Scientists, as well as Zeta the Hover-Cam Droid, as they encounter some of the non-Human cultures of the GFFA. Now that Vestri has finished her university coursework, she will be doing original research for her Doctoral degree, and of course that means fieldwork....

    Thank you to @devilinthedetails for once again hosting this summer's competition. I enjoyed last year's event (for which I wrote a pentathlon), but had no plans to participate this year. Then I suddenly had a bunch of OCs giving me The Expression, aaand... here we are. o_O

    Thank you also to @gizkaspice for posting the Xenobiology Mini Challenge back in March. I used several of the species assigned to various authors (and I hope the authors who got those species have posted or will post stories using them). So, if this entry in the 2021 Fanfic Olympics goes well, some of the credit belongs to gizkaspice. If not, the blame rests entirely with me.

    [Edit: Kit' has completed a Xenobiology Mini Challenge story featuring the Fosh: "Intruders." And Thumper09 has started a story featuring the Revwien: "Going Within, Going Without." Be sure to check them out!]

    Vestri's earlier exploits are collected in The Mythologist thread, which currently features stories about her time as an anthropology student at Coruscant University, prior to the events of AotC. I don't know as you need to have read any of those to understand the stories here. Notes from the Field takes place mostly in the Clone Wars era, although a couple are set during the rise of the Empire.

    While positive comments are always welcome, I am also open to constructive criticism, so please feel free to PM me if there's something inaccurate in any of these stories.

    Main Characters:
    • Vestri Dain. Human, Sentientologist. Specializing in water-based civilizations. Collections folktales, fairytales, and tall tales from non-Human cultures as a related hobby.
    • Aondra Sirabi. Twi-lek, Physician/Medic. Capable with both surgical and throwing knives.
    • Daggeri Hekoth. Togruta, Sentientologist. Specializing in military cultures. Weaponry enthusiast.
    • Neshu Larkyl. Togruta, Historian. Daggari Hekoth's mated spouse.
    • Querth Enon. Ithorian, Botanist. Interested in various uses of plants, from folk medicine to gene splicing.
    • Z-8A, “Zeta”. Holocam E model recording droid. Also serves as a translator when needed. Programmed with feminine voice.

    Index

    "New Friends" (Single Sentence Shot Put: A story told in a single sentence about your character, family, friendship or couple.)
    "Snippets" (4x100 Relay: 100 words each on the four types of love (affection, intimacy, friendship, and charity) as experienced by your character, family, friendship or couple in one post)
    "Living with Mystery" (Fantastical Fencing: A story of at least 100 words involving your character, family, friendship or couple in which something fantastical happens.)
    "
    Relegated to the Children's Table" (110 Word Hurdle: 110 words in which the name or names of your character, couple, family or friendship aren’t mentioned.)
    "Young at Heart" (200 Freestyle: A 200 word story about your character, family, friendship or couple with a free choice of any theme.)
    "Library Rescue" (1500 Word Dash: A 1500 word story about your character, family, friendship or couple with any theme.)
    "Misunderstood" (400 Word Cross Country: 400 words about your character or couple with any theme.)
    "Called to the Dance" (Prime Time Coverage: 500+ words of action, adventure, or excitement with your chosen character, friendship, family or couple as the star.)
    "What We Do for Our Friends" (100 Word Sprint: A 100 word drabble about your character, family, friendship or couple using any theme.)
    "Balance" (Water Polo Poetry. A piece of poetry written in any style about your character, couple, family, friendship, etc.)
    "Cross-Training" (AU Archery: A story of at least 100 words set in an alternate universe with your character, family, friendship, or couple.)
    "Follow-Up Studies" (Post-Game commentary on various story events)
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  2. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    "New Friends"
    Single Sentence Shot Put: A story told in a single sentence about your character, family, friendship or couple.

    The e-series HoverCam droid, designation Z8-A, had been a “Congratulations on Completing Your Coursework” gift from Dexter Jettster and the diner staff; Vestri had promptly dubbed it “Zeta” and mentally granted it personhood.
     
  3. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    "Snippets"
    4x100 Relay: 100 words each on the four types of love (affection, intimacy, friendship, and charity) as experienced by your character, family, friendship or couple in one post.

    Note: the “Charity” and “Intimacy” entries are related, as are the “Friendship” and “Affection” entries.

    Charity:

    Zeta slowly lifted off the bench and cruised around Nadil Terz’s workshop. “Hee, hee!” the Anzellan cried. He spoke into a translator. “Good as new!”

    “And I love the paint job!” Vestri assured him. Zeta was now blue-grey, with symbols depicting wind. (“For added lift,” Terz had joked.) “What do I owe you?”

    Terz waved a hand. “Nothing for this,” the translator replied. “This is an older model, beautifully built. It was a pleasure to work on it. Not like that new Imperial technology. Junk, the lot of it. Someday, when they need it most, it’s going to fail them.”


    Intimacy:

    While waiting, Vestri met a pair of avian Gozzo with an ore scanner to repair. The couple perched on a bench, their plump, white-feathered bodies nestled together, the female’s hand on the male’s arm. “We’ve mined bronzium for 30 years,” the female said. “We arrived as newlyweds and started our own flock of 15.”

    “It hasn’t always been easy,” the male continued. “People sometimes ask if we’ve considered divorce. We’d say, ‘Divorce? Never. Homicide? Once a month’.”

    “But we’ve always chosen to stick together,” the female added. “Mainly because we’re afraid of the children.”

    Vestri interpreted their cheeping as laughter.



    ~*~*~*~*~​

    Friendship:

    The gift tag read, “Congratulations on your degree!” Tearing off the wrapping paper, Daggeri Hekoth gasped in delight. “A Zygerrian energy bow! Thank you!” Then – “Wait. You didn’t take this off that kid on Ord Mantell, did you?”

    Vestri bristled. “Certainly not! I don’t steal, especially from children.”

    “Well, you were raised by savages.”

    “Says the Togruta who grew up on Coruscant instead of a functioning planet.”

    “I will not take that ‘back to nature’ nonsense from you!”

    Oh, come on! You people don’t even have real weather!”

    “Barbarian!”

    “Hedonist!”

    Despite the tone of the shouting, both women were grinning.


    Affection:

    Querth Enon, the Ithorian botanist, remarked, “Will they start whacking each other with sticks shortly?”

    “Probably,” his Twi’lek colleague Aonda Sirabi replied. “That’s usually the next step.”

    “I don’t understand them.”

    “That’s because you’re a pacifist, Querth.” Vestri patted his shoulder.

    “But we love you anyway,” added Daggeri, patting the other shoulder.

    “To battle for honor!” shouted Vestri.

    “Mess with the Togruta and you get the horns!” responded Daggeri. Both were waving their fighting sticks and laughing.

    “Ever feel like as though you joined a pirate crew instead of a science team?” asked Querth.

    “Yes. Frequently.” But Aonda was smiling.



    Notes:

    “Charity”: Anzellans were first introduced in Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker, where we met Babu Frik.

    “Intimacy”: The Gozzo were designed for the Star Wars: Resistance series. They were represented by Flix, co-owner of the local parts and scavenger shop. The sole Flix-centric episode, “From Beneath,” is the only episode I’ve watched more than once.

    The fighting sticks mentioned in “Affection” were lifted right out of the Stargate: Atlantis television series. Teyla Emogan, a native of the Pegasus galaxy, uses them to great effect in hand-to-hand combat with the resident baddies, the Wraith. It’s an elegant fighting style, and one I wouldn’t mind learning myself. I'm sure there's an Earth-based martial art that inspired it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
    Kahara, Chyntuck, AzureAngel2 and 5 others like this.
  4. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Great entries! I like how Vestri immediately considers Zeta to be a person. Droid culture is a valid culture as well!

    I really liked the "Intimacy" entry-- it took several completely unexpected but enjoyable turns on me, but that's part of the beauty of it-- it helped show that the pair of Gozzo are not human and it's perfectly in line for their words or thought processes to surprise a human (reader or character). Just that little bit of dialogue intrigued me and made me really want to get to know those two better, LOL.

    I also enjoy the idea of Coruscant not being a "functioning planet," heh. I never thought about it like that before, but it makes perfect sense. [face_thinking]

    I'm looking forward to seeing all the exotic viewpoints in your decathlon! =D=

    (BTW, you're an SGA fan? :D I love that show. I think Sheppard's got the bruises to prove Teyla's skill with the fighting sticks!)
     
  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    YAY, VESTRI DAIN DECATHLON! [face_dancing] So stoked to see you taking part in the Olympics again—I loved your Tarpals series last year and have been enjoying your "Mythologist" stories, so I really perked up when I saw you starting this decathlon! The introduction of Zeta was a great way to kick things off; I'm totally not surprised to see Vestri regarding Zeta as a "person" immediately, and I shouldn't wonder if this droid might eventually end up offering some anthro-ethno-sententological tidbits of its own to Vestri's project. Love the four "Snippets" vignettes and how you managed to fit such a diverse variety of alien life in there, from the generous and diminutive Anzellan mechanic to the old married Gozzo couple (they had me holding my sides!) to Vestri's friends—they look like they make a really fun, quirky, banterful ensemble, and I would love to see more of them. (And that bit about Coruscant not being a "functioning planet" and not having "real weather" is truly on point!) Keep these coming—I'm looking forward to seeing more of Vestri's adventures, and more of your wonderful aliens! =D=
     
  6. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Yes, and there seems to be a variety of droid cultures, just as there is a variety of organic cultures, as I found while doing research for the "Differences in Doctrine" story on the Mythologist thread. Something to continue exploring.

    Apparently Coruscant actually has a weather schedule. On the one hand, I can appreciate the convenience. On the other, I really like interacting with actual nature, so... I'm mostly with Vestri on this one.

    Thank you. I have eight of the "events" finished, and the last two are vying for either the Prime Time Event or the 1500 Word Dash. Half these things just wrote themselves.

    Oh, yeah, I'm a fan. I have all five seasons on DVD and have read most of the novels. Teyla's one of the coolest characters in science fiction, and I just love her fighting abilities. Nice to meet a fellow fan!

    One of my favorite parts of the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy is a scene in which a group of characters is discussing R2-D2 and C-3PO, who've gone off on an adventure with Lando and Lobot; one character grumbles that the droids shouldn't be allowed to do that because they are of historic value to the Rebellion and should be in a museum somewhere. "Like their owner, Luke Skywalker, no doubt," comments another character dryly. There's also a discussion between Lobot and 3PO about whether or not droids have souls. I'd like to see further elaboration on that idea.

    I've actually heard that exchange in real life....

    Thank you. One or more will appear in all but two of the 10 events (and of those two, one takes place with a young Vestri on Naboo, and the other with Dex and the staff at the diner, so plenty of familiar faces.

    Thank you for your comments! I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the decathlon. I expect to post a new event each weekend, so this should last almost until the end of summer.
     
    Kahara, AzureAngel2 and Findswoman like this.
  7. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    I definitely want a Zeta for myself. LOL. I enjoyed the "Affection" entry. Love the bond between them. Looking forward to seeing more from you with these splendid characters.
     
    Kahara, AzureAngel2 and Findswoman like this.
  8. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    love your entries with the bonds showing
     
  9. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
  10. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    "Living with Mystery"
    Fantastical Fencing: A story of at least 100 words involving your character, family, friendship or couple in which something fantastical happens.

    The Gungans had all descended into the Sacred Place, leaving one Human girl behind. Vestri Dain picked up a fallen stick and smacked a nearby tree with it. It wasn’t fair. Why wasn’t she allowed in the Sacred Place? The Gungans were willing to teach her about their weapons, their food, even some of their stories, but she had been told in no uncertain terms that she was not to enter the Sacred Place. The local Shrine Keeper had made her promise to remain outside, and then the rest of them had left, walking down the winding path and quickly out of sight.

    No matter how much she had craned her neck or walked along the trail for a better angle, she couldn’t see down into the swampy area where the Gungans had gone. She couldn’t leave the area without an escort – the local wildlife included some of the most fearsome predators on Naboo, and she had no weapons. So she was stuck staying in sight of the two militia-gungs guarding the riding animals a little ways up the trail.

    Vestri sighed and pulled her datapad out of her pack. She could at least work on identifying edible plants – that was something the Gungans had been happy to show her.

    Deliberately turning her back on the entrance to the Sacred Place, Vestri walked up and down the trail, then climbed several paces into the woods, looking at leaves and stems. Eyes on her datapad, she almost walked into the Ankuran Gungan. “Oh, sorry! I didn’t think anyone else was out here.”

    “While it is a lovely day for a walk, you should not be out here alone,” the Gungan said in a masculine voice. Unlike the thin and lithe Otolla race, the Ankurans were stocky and solid, with wide faces and retracted eyestalks. Vestri had only seen a handful of them in her life.

    “I’m not.” Vestri pointed in the direction of the guards and their riding animals. “There are two militia-gungs there, and the rest of my companions just went down into the Sacred Place.”

    The Ankuran cocked his frog-like head. “And left you behind?”

    “I’m not allowed in there,” Vestri grumbled.

    “Don’t you want to go in?”

    “Of course. But I promised I wouldn’t. And everyone would be angry when they found out.”

    “What if you went in just a little ways? I don’t see any barriers.”

    Vestri sighed. “I promised I wouldn’t.”

    “How would they know if you entered? No one is watching.”

    Vestri turned to look at the entrance, just within view. Then she looked at her datapad. “I’d know. I promised.”

    The Ankuran nodded. “Very well, Human child. If you won’t walk that trail, then perhaps you could walk with me for a while.” He led her across the hill through the brush, until they reached a clearing with a great boulder jutting out of the ground. Below them lay open space, showing much of the valley and swampland below. “If you climb up here,” the Gungan said, stepping out onto the stone, “you can get a better view.”

    Vestri edged out onto the stone, scanning the area below. “There,” the Gungan said, standing beside her. “Now you can see into the Sacred Place without being in the Sacred Place. You are fortunate – the fog has lifted for the moment and the viewing is good. Most days this area is hidden by the mists. Tell me, Human child, what do you see?”

    “Green everywhere,” Vestri replied, gazing over the landscape. “All kinds of plants and trees and grasses. And –“ she leaned forward, squinting a little, “—I see a huge stone. It looks like – like a face is carved into it, lying on its side.” She turned to look up at him. “Is it a face? Is that one of the gods?”

    “A god, yes, but not one of the Gungans’ gods,” her companion replied. “What do you know of this planet’s history, before your ancestors came to settle here?”

    Vestri shook her head. “Almost nothing, other than the fact that the Gungans are native to this world. There’ve been a few archaeological digs, but those were of what seemed to be temporary settlements. Anything more permanent would have been in what is still Gungan territory, and no one there will tell us anything or let us study the area.”

    Her companion remarked, “If someone wanted to dig a huge hole in your backyard, would you let them?”

    Vestri considered. “I guess it would depend on what the hole was for.”

    The Gungan laughed. “Fair enough. Listen well, Human child, and I will tell you a little of Gungan history.

    “Many, many generations ago, our world was invaded by another group of would-be colonists. They were a reptilian race who called themselves the Elders. We called them Hishgrosp, The Greedy, because they wanted the entire planet for themselves.

    “The Naaboo, Humans, keep mostly to the hills and high meadows and mountains, lands the Gungan do not need. The Hishgrosp wanted all that and the swamps and oceans as well.

    “When the invaders first came, the Gungans still fought tribal skirmishes amongst themselves. But all those ended when the Hishgrosp arrived. The Hishgrosp had the advantages of flight and superior weaponry; after several battles, the war turned against the Gungans, who retreated to their underwater homes. There they worked to build new kinds of weapons, using the plazma energy from the planet’s core, and sent emissaries to other tribes, pledging assistance and cooperation.

    “The Gungans now had more powerful weapons, and allies in their former tribal enemies, but was it enough? They decided they needed one more element to win their victory.

    "So the Gungans assembled their first Grand Army on the shores of their lakes; but before setting out to engage the Hishgrosp, they prayed to their gods, begging for their help. Then the Grand Army marched into battle.

    “And the gods answered. They manifested and walked the battlefield, fighting beside their worshipers: U’Daray, the Huntress; F’Nohn, the Planter; the Stone Mason B’Krolla; the gods of the sky, the winds, the waters and even O’Mas the Creator God, herself.

    “Together, the Gungans and their gods battled the invaders, and as the fighting raged, O’Mas, the Creator God, first among equals of the pantheon, smote the god statues of the Hishgrosp, shattering them and throwing them to the ground.

    “The Hishgrosp fled before the combined might of Gungans and gods. As they boarded their ships to leave the planet, they found the corpses of their slain already aboard, for O’Mas had decreed that no trace of their bodies would remain on this world. Only the broken statues would give mute testimony to the Hishgrosp from that time forward.

    “That is what the Sacred Places are, Vestri Dain – the places where the Grand Army fought and defeated the invaders. They are the lands in which the Gungan people saw their gods walk the soil and wield their weapons. These places belong to the Gungans; the Naaboo had no part in this war, and therefore cannot earn the right to walk there.”

    Vestri gazed over the swamplands. “That must have been amazing. And terrifying.”

    “I’m told that it was both,” the Ankuran said. Then he added, “You wish to study the ways of other beings, do you not?”

    “H-how did you know that?” When he didn’t answer, Vestri said, “Yes. I want to become an anthropologist. I want to learn about and understand other peoples and cultures.”

    “Then I will give you this advice,” her companion said. “The ways of others, their stories and practices, belong to them. They will share what they choose, and no more. Those things, like the Sacred Places, do not belong to you. You aren’t entitled to them, no matter how much you might wish otherwise. The story I have just told you is not yours to share; it belongs to the Gungans, to tell or not as they choose.

    “Treat other beings’ belief and boundaries with respect, and you will learn much, understand much. But you must also learn to live with mystery, for that will always be part of universe.” They stood together in silence for a while. Then he asked, “Will you accept a blessing?”

    “All right.” Assuming he was a Shrine Keeper, one of the Gungan faith leaders, Vestri agreed.

    He placed a hand on Vestri’s head. “May you walk safely among the worlds and peoples of the galaxy. May you remember to listen more than you speak. And may you find wisdom as well as knowledge wherever you go.” When Vestri lifted her head, he handed her a stone. “Carry this with you when you travel. You and your people are now a part of this land and world. You have entered into an alliance with the Gungan people, and your histories are intertwined. And now, it is time to return. The worshippers will be coming back to their riding animals, and you should be there when they arrive.”

    They returned to the trail; the militia-gungs seemed oblivious to Vestri’s brief absence. As she stepped onto the trail, Vesti examined the stone in her hand. A sigil seemed to be carved into the surface. “Wait. I have a question,” Vestri said, turning back to her companion. “Who are you – “

    The Gungan was gone. He had left behind no footprints or other sign of his presence.

    “ – and how did you know my name?”

    When the rest of the Gungans returned up the swamp path a few minutes later, they found Vestri peering up into the forest, searching for any sign of her former companion. On the way back to the village, Vestri showed the stone to her friend Adrick. He stared at the carving on the stone. “Iss writing,” he said. “Mebbe yousa should show diss to someone.”

    He escorted her to the local Shrine Keeper, another Ankuran, who introduced herself as Treece Vitay. Treece looked at the stone, then at Vestri. Then she told Adrick to go help stable the riding animals and drew Vestri out of earshot.

    “Tell mesa what happened, pleece,” the Shrine Keeper requested, and Vestri described the encounter. “What story did diss person tell yousa?”

    “I don’t think I’m supposed to repeat it,” Vestri replied. “He said it wasn’t my story to tell.”

    “My’m thinking my already knowin’ the story, child,” the Shrine Keeper assured her. “Mesa wantin’ to know if youa know it.”

    Vestri haltingly repeated the story her companion had told her. The Gungan’s eyes widened as Vestri continued. Then she stared again at the symbol on the stone. “Did himsa tell yous his’n name?”

    “No. When I finally thought to ask, he was gone. But he knew my name, and I don’t think I ever told him.” Vestri’s voice dropped to a whisper. “Is – is there something wrong?”

    Treece stared at the symbol for a moment, then shook her head and handed the stone back to Vestri. “What my am going to tell yousa iss only for your ears. No one else’s. Ev-ah. Do yousa understand?”

    Vestri nodded, silent.

    “Diss’n the symbol of A’Pensik, the god of Luck and Chance, the Trickster God. It, and his’n true name, are known only to full-fledged Shrine Keepers.” She tapped the stone. “Kipp diss, for now. My must spekk with the other Shrine Keepers.”

    A few days later, as Vestri and the rest of the Naboo were ready to return home, Treece paid them a visit. She asked to speak with Vestri alone, then handed her a roll of leather. “Diss’n for yousa,” she said.

    When Vestri unrolled it, she found a set of eight small figurines, each about the length of her hand, held in place by leather loops. “Wesa give dese to oursan children,” Treece explained. “While wesa fo’bidden to cah-ve actual likenesses of the gods, wesan do create symbolic figures of them.” She pointed to each figure and named it: O’Mas, U’Daray, S’Sall, F’Nohn, B’Krolla, R’Drekka, W’Ississ. At the last, she paused, smiled, and said, “This is A’Pensik, the god of Luck and Chance, the Trickster god. He tekks great joy in shaking t’ings up, but the shake-up often yields good results. Hesa ‘ppears to hev tekken an interest in yousa.”

    “So, what should I do?”

    “Did hesa give yousa h’advice?”

    “Yes. He said I should respect other beings’ beliefs and boundaries, to remember that I’m not entitled to anyone else’s culture, and that I should learn to live with mystery.”

    Treece smiled. “Living wit’ mystery is one of da greatest skills one can acquire. My’m still working on it, myself. Now go, with A’Pensik’s blessing.”


    ~*~*~*~*~​


    For many years afterwards, the stone representing A’Pensik would travel the galaxy in Vestri Dain’s metal box of beloved storybooks; Vestri set aside one notebook solely for trickster tales from various cultures. While she did not worship the Gungan’s gods, she did her best to honor them, carrying the symbol of S’Sall, god of the Waters, imprinted on the front right corner of her leather carrying bag, and the carved wooden figurine of O’Mas tucked into a small pocket of her luggage.


    End


    Note: Stepping out of the GFFA for a moment, this has been a hard lesson to learn as a White person interested in Native American culture and craftwork, but it’s true. None of their culture belongs to me, and I’m not entitled to any of it. Fortunately, there are a fair number of Native people willing to talk with Non-Natives at museums and Visitors’ Centers throughout the United States.

    As for the Gungans, during TPM we met two races: the Otolla (those who look like Jar Jar) and the Ankura (those who look like Rugor Nass). The latter seem to have become so rare as to be non-existent (the only ones we see in the Clone Wars episodes are the Otolla) but I like the Ankuran design and see no reason why the Gungans can't be racially diverse.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
    Kahara, Chyntuck, gizkaspice and 4 others like this.
  11. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Wonderful! I love Vestri's curiosity and her willingness to learn is commendable. Her encounter with A'Pensik was amazing. I think she definitely learned a valuable lesson. :D
     
  12. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    So she met Gungan Loki.... [face_laugh]
     
  13. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Well, a more benevolent version of him, anyway. Loki's still not someone I'd turn my back on. [face_mischief]

    A'Pensik and I actually go all the way back to 2001 or so, when I wrote a piece about the Trade Federation invasion from the Gungan POV. He was meddling a lot back then, too, come to think of it.

    It's amazing how many cultures have Trickster stories, and the range of behaviors they exhibit. Someone should write a paper.... [face_whistling]

    Indeed. I think she carries that lesson forward throughout her life. She is genuinely interested in people's stories, and has become a good listener. Solid skills for everyone to learn.

    Thank you for commenting!
     
  14. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    a great story about the gungan history and learning a valuable lesson
     
  15. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Note: Stepping out of the GFFA for a moment, this has been a hard lesson to learn as a White person interested in Native American culture and craftwork, but it’s true. None of their culture belongs to me, and I’m not entitled to any of it. Fortunately, there are a fair number of Native people willing to talk with Non-Natives at museums and Visitors’ Centers throughout the United States.

    I love your story writing even more now! [:D] Thanks for being such a unique person, too.
     
    Kahara, Findswoman and Seldes_Katne like this.
  16. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    So this is where it all started for Vestri! Or at least one of the places, but a very important one, and there really could be no more fitting and meaningful encounter to kick off her interest in sentientology. I like how this trickster god is calm, majestic, and serious (the way Santa Claus was calm and serious in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when he gave the children gifts), and I like how Treece helps Vestri interpret and apply the lesson he taught. I especially love how Vestri is quick to understand the lessons they both teach her (which I agree can be tough ones) and willing to think over them further, even if she started out being (understandably) impatient about not being permitted in the Sacred Place. We’ll see that same willingness to understand in her respectful approach to other sentients’ cultures later in her career, and those symbols of A’Pensik and his fellow gods will always be there to remind her. Brava on another beautiful addition to this series and your Vestriverse, and I very much look forward to more! =D=
     
    Kahara and Seldes_Katne like this.
  17. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Great work! I loved your Captain Tarpals stories, and I was happy to see another Gungan story from you. :D Superb writing, as always!

    I really liked how natural this felt as a spiritual legend. The couple times I've tried to come up with something similar for a fic, it didn't work at all. Your story felt real and organic, exactly like I'd expect it to sound in real life.

    Another thing I liked was that this gave a bit of insight into how one species' gods may (or may not) interact with other species in the GFFA. For instance, do some GFFA religions only permit a certain species to practice it? How common is it for someone to worship a god who's a different species than themself? Would a particular god be willing to interact with someone from another species or have a follower from another species? Etc. I never really gave that much thought before. [face_thinking]

    The god of Luck and Chance at work, perhaps? :)

    Treece and I have something in common. :)

    Great job! =D= Looking forward to more!
     
    Kahara and Seldes_Katne like this.
  18. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    I read A LOT of legends, mostly Native American, and have been studying various NA cultures for going on 40 years now. Perhaps one of the reasons this felt organic is that Vestri is out of her natural element and in the middle of the Gungans'. So it's more likely something like this could actually happen.

    That's an excellent point. In addition to Star Wars, I'm also a Star Trek fan, and there are several non-human species in ST who will not discuss anything other than the very basics of their beliefs, because "our religion is not for outsiders." In those cases, the practitioners have no interest in converting anyone or in justifying their beliefs to anyone, because only members of their own race and religious affiliation matter in this instance.

    I know a lot of people have the experience with various sects/denominations of Christianity where not only will the members tell you everything about their faith, they will expect you to sit and listen to them for hours (and then immediately convert, apparently.... o_O) So the idea that no, you don't need to tell everyone everything about your religion is a foreign concept to some folks. And honestly, the Human experience and the Gungan experience of the world is so different in so many ways that I'm not certain how well Humans would understand the Gungans' god or religious practices, even if the Human did want to take them up.

    Convenient, wasn't it? ;)

    Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for commenting!


    Thank you. I just had to work one Gungan story into this anthology. Glad you liked it!


    Have you ever seen the movie Zootopia? There are a couple of scenes where Judy Hopps interacts with Fru Fru (the shrew), and each time Judy pays Fru Fru a compliment, Fru Fru replies, "Awww, thank you!" in her little voice. So, awww, thank you! That's very kind of you. [face_love]


    Thank you! Everyone's story has to start somewhere. I think Vestri really looks for connections, but hasn't had a lot of good Human connections, so she finds it with non-Human sentients. And what better way to connect than through stories! (Says the librarian. :D) Trickster tales exist across most cultures, apparently, and their behavior varies greatly. After all, A'Pensik is the god of Luck and Chance, not Chaos. Although chaos does sometimes follow in his wake, mostly inadvertently.

    "Vestriverse," eh? I hadn't thought of that, but okay. I'll take it. :cool:
     
  19. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    I just love these entries--I really wish we actually HAD something like this officially in SW! The Gozzo part was great fun.

    Once again, you really enriched the Gungan culture and their gods and I love the connections to Aboriginal/Native American cultures. I like reading about their legends myself (and really any mythological stories from other cultures which is great inspiration for alien cultures IMO). Looking forward to more stories!
     
  20. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Thank you. I so want both an "Alien Species" anthology series and a Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom-style documentary show about SW creatures. Those are two of my favorite elements of Star Wars. (Along with the music. The music is awesome.)

    I would love to have the Gozzo show up in another SW episode or movie; they're just such an interesting design. As are the Zygerrians, although at this point they are painfully stereotyped....

    Mythology is fascinating, and in many ways I'm glad author Rick Riordan published the Percy Jackson books and got kids and teens interested in exploring that particular topic. I've always favored Native American myths and legends because much of centers around the natural world, which speaks to me.

    Anyway, thank you for commenting. Next post is up tomorrow!
     
  21. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    "Relegated to the Children’s Table"
    110 Word Hurdle: 110 words in which the name or names of your character, couple, family or friendship aren’t mentioned.

    The Iryan elder angled all eight eyes at the Human woman. “How dare you speak to your betters! You don’t even have a fifth limb! Be off!” He waved two tentacles at another Iryan. “Escort this impudent four-limbed larvae to the children’s pool!”

    The Human bowed. “I would be honored to learn with the younglings,” she said, and followed her escort toward the door. She gave her Twi’lek companion a surreptitious wink and thumbs-up.

    Iryan Sentientologist Tem Eliss said, “I’m sorry she’s being sent away.”

    The Twi’lek smiled. “Don’t be. The children learn your customs, myths and legends, yes?”

    “Of course.”

    “Then she is right where she wants to be.”




    "Young at Heart"
    200 Freestyle: A 200 word story about your character, family, friendship or couple with a free choice of any theme.

    Sett Borm and Dils Immit called the larvae in to begin preparing for sleep. The young Iyrans came giggling up into the entrance pond, towing a Human behind.

    “May I join the evening story?” Vestri asked. “I’ve never heard a tale from F’tral.”

    “But these stories are for children,” Borm protested. “Aren’t you an adult?”

    “Chronologically, yes,” Vestri replied. “However, Iyran children have only four tentacles, and I –“ she waved both arms and legs in the water, “ – also have four extremities. Your culture would place me in the children’s caste.”

    Two of Borm’s four eyes swiveled to gaze at Immit, who turned two eyes toward her partner, keeping one on the children and one on Vestri.

    “Also, I’m learning about your people and culture,” Vestri added. “So in terms of experience, that would also put me on a child’s level.”

    The two Iyran adults considered. Finally, Immit shrugged, rippling each of her four tentacles one after the other.

    Borm turned all four eyes toward Vestri. “Very well,” he said.

    “It was a dark and stormy night,” Immit began in a whisper.

    Each child latched onto Vestri’s arm or leg, except one that wrapped its tentacles in her hair.




    Note: This pair of posts was inspired by @gizkaspice’s Xenobiology Challenge; the species I received was the Iyra. Intelligent, self-aware octopuses. Their social hierarchy really is ordered by the number of tentacles one has. Humans, therefore, will always be seen as belonging to the lowest caste; someone like Aonda, who is a Twi’lek, might be ranked higher, since she seems to have six appendages. A lot of older Iyra, who have a higher number of tentacles, really do seem to be arrogant and intolerant of “lower caste” beings.

    Tem Eliss, mentioned in the 110 Word Hurdle, is an exception to the “intolerance rule.” He’s an established character in the GFFA, and while he won’t be appearing in any more of my Fanfic Olympics events, he may yet reappear in future stories of the Mythologist.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
  22. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2002
    I think being relegated to the children's table worked out quite well for Vestri. :D

    Loved this! Kind of reminded me of the little Ewoks that wrapped themselves around Han when 3PO was telling the villagers the story of the Empire and the rebellion. =D=
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
  23. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Since I am a kindergarten teacher working at the crèche since a couple of years, I know this is one of the best places for learning. Even as an adult.

    As for "Zootopia", yepp, loved that movie.

    Oh and I should mention, that I loved to read the novels of Cathleen O'Neil Gear & W. Michael Gear. I read all between "People of the Wolf" (1990) until "People of the Masks" (1998). Then I unfortunately stopped. I don't know even why exactly. Oh, yes, "Abitur", graduating from grammar school and going to Ireland as an Au Pair girl for 1 year. Somehow, I never picked up that fantastic book series about the history & legends of indigenous people in America.
     
  24. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    The kids' table is generally more fun anyway. :p I'm glad Vestri was a good sport about it, and it seems like it worked out just fine for her. :)

    The number of limbs as an indicator of age and therefore social status is interesting. I wonder if it's a hard pill to swallow for the older, more arrogant Iyra when so much of the galaxy is ruled by various four-appendaged species, or if it just reinforces their belief. I hadn't known anything about the Iyra before.

    Great entries! Looking forward to more! =D=
     
  25. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    OMG Iyra!

    (btw you really got them down to a tee and I love Tem Eliss being included because OF COURSE he must be included and him being a well-known sentientologist and professor will definitely inspire stories of him and Vestri having some nerdy academic conversations about alien life in the Galaxy in some random on-campus coffee shop at the University of Sanbra or maybe after attending a lecture, right!? [face_batting])

    I also love how Vestri is literally being insulted by a freakin' arrogant-as hell cephalopod-alien and she's all happy about it because now she can spend time with the kiddos and hear all the fun stories [face_laugh] Brilliant.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021