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

Resource The Fanon Thread | Announcing the GAMIEL GAMES Bonus Round! (noncompetitive; Dec. 7, p. 60, #1490)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by FanonSock, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    (This is a section from the Excerpts from the Guide to Kuat, and is posted separately here due to reasons of length--while I was writing it, I consulted the relevant entry on wookieepedia, and this is easily three times longer. Make of that what you will.)


    *


    “I am Telbun. I understand.”

    When an aristocratic young woman reaches a significant milestone in her life—when she enters into a political marriage as part of an alliance between two of the houses, or when she reaches her twenty-fifth birthday, or when she takes on a leadership role in the house, politics, or the family yards, or simply because is time—her parents present her with the man who is to be her telbun: a breeder-slave, chosen for his intelligence and good looks, and raised up to be docile and obedient, who will father her children, and serve as her personal servant. Occasionally, and more often than off-worlders, or even the lower classes onworld, would even know to guess, it is a young man who receives his female telbun.

    The telbun system is probably the best known aspect of Kuati culture throughout the galaxy, viewed by those offworld with both gleeful shock and moral disapproval. Of course, Kuat is far from the only world in the galaxy to have a tradition of using breeders or sex slaves--though, given its Core World status, it is one of the best known. But most of the actual details of the system remain mysterious, and not only to offworlders. Even most Kuati know very little about how it works.

    While the use of breeders by the aristocratic houses dates back to the earliest history on Kuat, there are very few records on how it came about. It is commonly accepted that it originated on the planet, since there are no similar recorded traditions on ancient Coruscant, but the exact details are lost, possibly on purpose, to history. Even the origins of the world “telbun” itself are in dispute. But most likely the correct answer is the simple and obvious one—the telbun arrangement was created in response to the fallout, political and otherwise, of too much intermarriage between the early houses.

    The telbuns bring genetic diversity to the houses in a way that does not disrupt the social structure. And when a house political marriage, or other alliance, fails, no one doubts which house the children involved will remain with. This is the reasoning for why telbuns have been used for thousands upon thousands of years; and why it continues--with only whispered, and therefore easily ignored, criticism from the underground resistance group Pallas--to this day.

    Telbuns are always chosen from the middle class—this way, they come from a respectable, and educated, background, while still being clear social inferiors. Traditionally, they are taken from their families in infancy, usually soon after birth, and are sent to one of the training houses. The reasons for this are obvious—the telbun cannot have any ties or loyalty to their birth family that would interfere with those with their future aristocratic house. But in truth, most telbuns are chosen for their lives before they are even born, by a scout from one of the training houses.

    The training houses are each associated with (and perhaps obviously, supported financially by) one of the ten aristocratic houses. If asked, the house representatives would say they are only the servants of the aristocrats--and like all servants, they do the work they wouldn't want to bothered with. The scouts, who have a low profile even within the culture of the training houses, are responsible for choosing, from amongst the families in their assigned district, each infant who will enter into training with their house. They have access to all to the databases and records they need to do this, and their purpose is maintain genetic diversity in their students--and therefore, later, in the aristocratic houses.

    They are expected to go about this work as objectively, and even coldly, as possible, and it is true enough that they do not share some of the bias of the aristocratic class which would get in the way; for example, while more than a few aristocrats will look down upon someone with an offworld parent, even going so far as to call such a person a “half-breed,”[1] a scout will see this heritage as a benefit.

    And telbuns are always chosen: since their families receive a considerable compensation when they are officially assigned into service, more than a few middle class families have tried to turn their sons (and for various reasons, it is only the sons) over to the training houses. But while the houses do sometimes accept these infants, usually they do not suit the houses’ current, and very specific, needs.

    The training houses are a closed society. But it is reasonably well known that the future telbuns there are not just trained to please their future owners--unlike most other known breeder classes, they receive the equivalent of a university education. They are also trained to excel in athletics and social manners as well as academics, and know all they need to be an actually good companion. Instead--while, since aristocrats are not a monolith any more than other groups, there are exceptions who treat their telbuns fairly well--they seem to use these skills only to parent their mistress/master's children, and to otherwise obey every whim that crosses their minds.

    Once they are assigned into service, they become (if only outwardly) ciphers. They have no names of their own--only the title that links them to the aristocrat they serve. In public, they are hidden in the traditional heavy blood-red gown and tall hat—as the ancient author of an essay that survives only in fragments wrote, the aristocratic lady guards her telbun’s beauty away from the world for herself.

    And even when they are interacting with a human shop clerk while paying for their mistress's purchases, or moving about on their own errands, the telbuns might as well be invisible. It's in part because, with their concealing outfits, even if you see them, you don't quite see them. But that is far from all of it. Most middle and lower class Kuati know from an early age, mostly from the example of those around them, not to look at telbuns--it's even considered rude to be caught out watching one. Most men, of all classes, would prefer not to see them at all.

    Most of what little the general public, especially offworld, knows about the life of a telbun comes from the controversial found-journal The Telbun’s Tale[2], which is purported to be the diary of an anonymous female telbun living in the early days of the New Republic. Naturally, though the house depicted in the diary has never yet been conclusively identified, the aristocrats have not taken this work well—several Galactic senators, and three house representatives, have claimed it is a hoax, and that worst of all, it was written by an off-worlder. A Kuati edition of the diary, which had been banned on a variety of charges, only appeared thirty years after it was first put out by the University of Theed Press—and not incidentally, after the deaths of two of its most ardent, and relentless, critics.

    But after all that sound and fury, the actual story revealed in The Telbun’s Tale is quite tame: it is written by a narrator who has completely accepted her place in life, who thinks what she is supposed to think, and wants what she is supposed to want. Most of it consists of the daily mundane details of her life in an aristocratic household—and, to the disappointment of many Core readers, she hardly even mentions her sexual duties to S-----, the man who is her master. While he still uses her in that capacity, her main role is that of guardian to the little girl she has given him as his heir. But—and perhaps this is the source of the outrage—it is clear that while, as a dutiful telbun ought, she understands S-----, she does not love or even much like him.

    Of course, the aristocrats—regardless of whether they treat their telbuns kindly, with absent-minded disdain, or outright abuse—tend to reserve their actual emotional attachments for their chosen lovers; or even, though much more rarely, their official spouses. Even other aristocrats know that if someone has a telbun, and does not enter into a marriage, or have some sort of romantic arrangement, it is because they cannot handle an actual relationship with an equal. And a woman who has two telbuns, and has no children (like several notorious aristocrats), is showing off, and doing so badly.

    While most offworlders find the concept of the telbun arrangement distasteful, there has been surprisingly little criticism—usually for reasons of “cultural sensitivity”—from Core sentient rights organizations. But there is much to criticize: telbuns are, quite literally, property. Their aristocratic owners purchased them from their families. They have no legal rights. And most importantly, they have no income, no money at all of their own beyond a small controlled allowance—and in a world that is based on business, that keeps them in their place more than their training ever could.

    But to the Kuati aristocrats, the telbun arrangements have always been, and therefore, will always continue to be. The system works. The middle class families care only for the financial compensation they receive, not the children they lost. The occasional report of an escaped former telbun seeking asylum on Alderaan (and being discreetly, for diplomatic reasons, returned to his mistress) was an obvious myth. The telbuns accept their lives. They understand.

    However, every once in a while, those stories return--as whispered, secondhand gossip without a confirmed, trapped down source. They say that Pallas has a network of rogue telbun agents, and that they are patient, and they are planning towards nothing less than the end of the telbun system—and not just for the female ones, but for all of them. That the aristocrats made their first mistake when they educated the telbuns, because they learned how to think. Because they overhear, as they hover in the background behind their owners at conferences and meetings, any number of business and political secrets--and they understand, and remember, it all.

    And remember: the telbuns serve as guardians to the children they produce, and many aristocrats have a closer relationship with their telbun, with the person who actually raised them, than they do with the people they call their parents. Perhaps the hand that rocks the cradle may just, finally and literally, rock the world.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    [1] I picked up this detail from STAR WARS: DARK EMPIRE, an abandoned alternate universe fanfiction written by ImperialSolo, and available in truncated form here in the 2009 era depths of the boards. While the New Jedi Order character Viqi Shesh doesn’t even exist in my version of Kuat, she still manages to be a gift that keeps on—giving.
    [2] Yes, this is referencing exactly what you might be thinking it does.
     
  2. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Pandora I don't know much about the canon Telbun but they way you describe them makes me think of Firefly's companions but without the social security and political power.
     
  3. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    There doesn't seem to be much to know about the telbuns in the EU/Legends canon (though to be honest I might have missed a few things by not having read or even acknowledged most of the books in which they are referenced/appear). I've always suspected that they were invented mostly so that Corran Horn would have a disguise that was both concealing and humiliating in Wedge's Gamble. But I've consulted the wookieepedia entry, and apparently, their first appearance is in another book, Slave Ship, which I have not read. And anyhow, I have played fairly loose even with the few canon sources I have used for my fanfictional worldbuilding.

    I hadn't thought of a comparison with the Companions in the Firefly universe before. While the telbuns are educated (that's something I've taken from the Legends canon--according to the wookieepedia entry, one of the things they're expected to excel in is academics), mostly I can only see the differences. The Companions have roles, and often rather important ones, in society--while the telbuns are seldom seen, and never heard, in the background. They may as well be invisible. The Companions, to be blunt about it, get paid. Most importantly, they get to choose their clients. A telbun doesn't get to choose much of anything.

    But it did occur to me, after reading your comment, that some telbuns might have some political influence, if not actual power, in private and behind the throne, so to speak. I suspect this influence would mostly work with the children they parent, and who are in their charge--the average conversation behind an aristocrat and their "impregnator" would be one of them giving out a constant stream of demands and commands, and the other one acquiescing with them.
     
  4. FanonSock

    FanonSock Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2014
    The index has been updated, and here is a summary of all updates thus far for the month of December:

    galactic-vagabond422 added a new post on the in-universe role-playing game Mausoleums and Mythosaurs (note new section “Sports, Recreation, and Games” in the index post).

    Gamiel added a post on various in-universe RPGs

    Pandora expanded her Excerpts from the Guide to Kuat, and, as an adjunct, added a post on Kuat’s system of telbuns.

    Sith-I-5 added a new post on law enforcement agencies.

    If I have left anything or anyone out, please let me know!

    And finally, a last call for permissions for the fanon roulette, to these last few folks. If I don’t hear from you within the next couple days, I’ll consider that tacit permission to use your fanon material:

    Cushing's Admirer
    MsLanna
    stellarmagic01
    Viridian-Maiden

    Thank you all!
    Finds
     
    Gamiel and Ewok Poet like this.
  5. Viridian-Maiden

    Viridian-Maiden Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Out of the loop and I have yet to find the post about what the fanon roulette is, but yes, of course I do give permission. I assumed anything posted in the thread could be used by other authors.
     
    Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Game Winner star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks so much, Viridian-Maiden, and good to see you again. :) The post is here, and you've reminded me that what I should really do, once I get a chance to be the sock again today, is add a link to it to the very first post. Again, many thanks!

    EDITED: Done. There's now an area for announcements and news in the index post (post 2).
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014

    I was born a sock and I will die a sock. One cannot actually just...go and "be the sock". :eek:

    (OK, I need to write an actual fanon entry, but I could not resist.)
     
    jcgoble3 and Findswoman like this.
  8. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    If I have not yet said, my piddling little entry is A-OK to use for this Fanon roulette, whatever that is.
     
    Findswoman likes this.
  9. FanonSock

    FanonSock Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Thanks, I-5. This post explains what the Fanon Roulette is: it's going to be this thread's first challenge. (Psst... I linked to it just above in post #331, posting as myself, too!)
     
  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014

    It was explained a couple of posts ago.
     
  11. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    I realised that I should have added "and no right to chose their clients" to my original post sometime after I posted it but I was at work then [face_blush]

    The reason I was reminded of FF’s companions probably come from that the impression that telbuns, like companions, are trained to be the perfect partner. Knowledgeable in academics, culture, physical activity and similar to make them able to converse or join with their partner in whatever she likes on her free time.

    Conspiracy theory time: have you thought about how often the telbuns are just there, by their mistress side, in the back of the conference room, walking to or from something? Have you ever thought about how much they most know? Not just from above mentioned times but also from all the pillow talk. What if they actually reported all that information back to somebody? Do we actually know what is going on in the training houses? To who are telbuns actually loyal to? The training houses, like everybody else, will tell you that the telbuns are loyal to their chosen partner, after all the telbuns understand. But where is it the telbuns grow up and are trained? The training houses. What if the telbuns’ first loyalty are to their training house? Who know what power the training houses actually controls?

    Some question/comments on your original Kuat post:
    * When you write “there is not one single natural predator on the entire planet” do you mean no predators period or just no larger predators? Because if it is the former then there will be a need to keep all the animals in check. But maybe that is the idea so kuati can go hunting without having to care about the chance of predators taking their prey.

    * I like how culturally inbreed Kuat feels, they really need something that shakes up their world.

    * regarding the great houses, do you imagine there being any notable differences and/or stereotypes between the different houses? Do they focus on designing/building different kind of spaceships and/or work with different partners?
     
  12. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    If the telbuns are invisible, I am curious how invisible they can be.

    Who stands outside the school gates to pick the kids up?
     
  13. FanonSock

    FanonSock Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2014
    All right, everyone! ’Tis time for the Fanon Thread’s very first challenge...
    ...the FANON ROULETTE!

    Here’s how it works:
    1. Pick one number from List 1 below and one number from List 2 below. Each number corresponds to a fanon post or element that is somewhere in the Fanon Thread.
    2. I (the FanonSock) shall PM you with two fanon elements to use in the story, including links to the appropriate fanon posts.
    3. You’ll write a story featuring them. Any length, era, or characters, as long as your two fanon elements figure visibly in the story.
    4. The deadline for stories will be Friday, April 18 (edit as of 4/11/2016) Sunday, May 1, at which point you may vote on your favorite stories. The winner(s) will get to choose the theme of the next Fanon Challenge!

    A few rules and stipulations:
    1. If one of the numbers you choose turns out to correspond to one of your own fanon elements or creations, I shall ask you to please choose another number. (You can still include your own fanon elements in your story—you just also have to write about two others by other people. That’s what makes it a challenge!)
    2. If both numbers you choose turn out to correspond to fanon elements by the same author, I shall ask you to please re-choose one of your numbers.
    3. Please give proper credit and links for the fanon elements you use. (But you know that already, because that’s spelled out in this thread’s OP!)
    4. And, as always, feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

    Have fun! :D
    Finds


    List 1
    (the one that will double as the index for this challenge)
    1. Sith-I-5
    2. Chyntuck: chapters VI and VII of Datacracy
    3. leiamoody: The Bitter Girl
    4.
    5.
    6. Gamiel: Searching for Lost Irellion
    7. Ewok Poet: Wait in the Fire...
    8.
    9. divapilot: The Shadow Caster
    10.
    11. Admiral Volshe
    12.
    13. Gahmah Raan: Odd Partnerships
    14.
    15.
    16. Lazy K: Circle of Fans
    17.
    18. Findswoman: Two Girls and a Man in Red
    19.

    List 2
    1.
    2.
    3.
    4. Findswoman: Two Girls and a Man in Red
    5.
    6. Gamiel: Searching for Lost Irellion
    7. Sith-I-5
    8.
    9.
    10.
    11. divapilot: The Shadow Caster
    12. Ewok Poet: Wait in the Fire...
    13.
    14. Gahmah Raan: Odd Partnerships
    15.
    16. Lazy K: Circle of Fans
    17. Admiral Volshe
    18. Chyntuck
    19. leiamoody: The Bitter Girl
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  14. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Okay...from List #1, I'll pick 3. From List #2, I'll pick 19.
     
    Gamiel, Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  15. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    7 and 12, please.
     
    Findswoman likes this.
  16. Gahmah Raan

    Gahmah Raan Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2015
    13 and 14, respectively.
     
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  17. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    I choose 9 and 11 please
     
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  18. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Force Ghost star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    #11 and #17! Please! :D
     
    Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.
  19. Findswoman

    Findswoman Game Winner star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    May I ask someone to choose for me, please?

    EDIT: Thanks for picking, Ewok Poet. This will be... interesting! :D
     
  20. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014

    18 and 4
     
    Admiral Volshe and Findswoman like this.
  21. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    7 and 7, please.
     
    Findswoman likes this.
  22. FanonSock

    FanonSock Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2014
    #7 in list 1 is taken already—could you please re-choose for that list? Thanks.
     
  23. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    *Grumbles*

    Okay-dokey, 14 and 7, please. I'm fond of that number, and to a lesser extent, its multiples.
     
    Findswoman likes this.
  24. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I am, too. I immediately take it whenever I see it, so next time, arrive before me, all the sevens are belong to me. :p
     
  25. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    In response to a PM

    Alrighty then, List 2.....#1?
     
    Findswoman likes this.