Author Topic: Camberland: The Journal of Paul  (Read 2452 times)

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Offline MerchantDeryni

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Camberland: The Journal of Paul
« on: June 03, 2012, 09:59:35 pm »
From the Journal of Paul of Camberland

Date unreadable: handwritten journal on vellum, written in Latin

   Greetings to history! I've written this journal to record my thoughts on the history of what we in the Camberian community have come to call our Awkward Empire. What started of as a desperate attempt to simply get away! Has grown into a large, ocean spanning community linked by Deryni magic and human ingenuity and strength to form the surprising world of Camberland.

   Generally the knowledge we learned in our lifetime is passed down to a younger member of our community, to preserve the knowledge of the older generations. This was begun in the first year of founding Camberland to preserve all the Deryni knowledge that we had. A single death could well have  lost knowledge of an arcane ritual or power permanently from our midst, so few were our numbers. I find though that I wish to write these thoughts on paper, rather than imprint them into a younger mind. I have done so many things to young minds over the years that I wish the reader to learn my story one badly written line at a time, rather than as a rush of memory not one's own.

   The decision to use all the powers at their disposal was borne of necessity and not choice or malice. Despite the outbreak of disease that took the lives of all the natives on the home island, and a large percentage of life from all the islands closest to us, the humans and their Deryni compatriots were still hugely outnumbered.

   First Contact

   Language was understood by scanning the minds of Natives and learning their language. A few adepts were thus able to rapport with each other to develop a solid understanding of the language of our new neighbours. This knowledge was then shared mind to mind, Deryni to Deryni and Deryni to human.
   It took a few days to learn the language, and our reputation of fearsome wizards was already growing. The sickness among the natives began almost immediately. It spread to other islands as the natives paddled to the closest islands to tell of the newcomers to the islands.

   The Harvesting of Souls

   Was the name given by the natives to the plagues that swept the island. Despite the best efforts of the few healers the newcomers had the sickness spread from island to island and burned through the populations like a flame. The elderly and the young were hardest hit, but being healthy and in the prime of life was no guarantee. The Healer Hammond suspected it was the introduction of new diseases into an environment where they had never been before. We got sick, and a fever killed many of us, but nothing like the natives.


   A meeting was held and it was announced that there was little chance we would ever be able to go back home. A new nation of Camberland was thus founded, and a pledge of cooperation between Deryni and Human was promised in the initial charter of the Nation. People were a little shocked that we were essentially marooned on the island, but given the beauty of the surroundings the thought of 'better here than anywhere back in the old Kingdoms' was shared by many.

   The Camberian Monks

   A few Camberian monks and practitioners of magic had fled the persecution of Gwynned. They brought with them what lore they had been able to save. A few of the Deryni Lords had also brought items of their arcane heritage. A meeting of the Deryni was held and it was determined that the Camberian monks would work to preserve the knowledge, and that the Deryni would share in their common heritage. Hammond announced he would teach Healing to any and all that showed potential, the other healers followed suit and a healing schola was created, with no students, but a framework for open education.

   Memory sharing of Deryni techniques was mandated, despite vocal protestations. It was pointed out that any monks holding 'sacred' knowledge had a community of perhaps two or three. If any of them died before passing on the knowledge it would be lost forever. Thus the long history of mind scanning and imprinting was begun. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

   The Native culture was one of raids on other villages to prove your manhood. We faced sucha  raid early on. This was expected, the clan had always been vocal in its distrust of us, and they demanded payment for the death of all the natives, blaming us for the diseases. We denied all knowledge of this, and pointed out that several of us had died as well, both on the island and on the voyage here. Hammond said nothing.

The Lords of Air and Fire

   Was the name we were given by our native friends and enemies. During the sickness Hammond was boated from island to island, but once there he had his assistants build a Portal to bring in food and water and more help for the sick. Seeing Camberlanders flicker into existence gave us the designation of sorcerers. They called us the Lords of the Air, thinking that we were flying through the air so fast we just seemed to appear and disappear. Our use of handfire and the ability to call real flame was discovered early on. On one diplomatic mission an annoyed Deryni called fire into the roof of the hut and the Lords of Air and Fire was our name from then on. The mystique of that name, and the abilities we used so freely allowed us to prosper.

   I have lived a long life, the entire history of our nation. What I saw then, what I learned, what I did. These are the memories, and the conscience of Camberland.

Sometimes I dare hope that the Blessed Camber would forgive us what we did in his name. We did what we had to. I did, many times, it was just at the cost of my soul, perhaps all our souls. Do not judge us too harshly from the safe vantage of history. We did what we had to. I believe that. Most of the time.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 04:43:37 am by DesertRose »

Offline Jerusha

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Re: The Journal of Paul
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 01:28:48 pm »
It would appear the founding principle of Camberland is "the end justifies the means."  Not what one would hope, but desperation is a hard master.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline MerchantDeryni

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Re: The Journal of Paul
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2012, 10:58:33 am »
Well given that I am guessing at a 200 person population (1 packed boat), possibly a second boat if I let the second boat find them. 25 percent Deryni (50 Deryni and 150 of their supporters and hirelings. They are outnumbered and surrounded by humans. Given the powers at their disposal the question is qhat do they have to do in order to survive, and can they maintain a sense of identity while doing that.

So I think there may well be a office of special projects that works to control things in their favour. I like the Operative's line from Serenity. He is arguing with Mal about building a perfect world and says there is no place for himself in that world, he is a monster. So do some people do the dirty work to let others live in happiness?

So I have visions of a Deryni Cabal of puppetmasters working to hide their efforts from the Natives and the rest of the Camberlanders.

Many of the Camberlanders are happy to live and trade and work to build good relationships with everyone around them. But inr eading about the culture of the area the raiding aspect and vendetta wars would result in a war of attrition that Camberland could only lose. SO I have to come up with a way to prevent that. Other ideas for stories I have include being the helpful neighbour and the trader with really good prices. Again using the Portals and healing aspects of their magical heritage to offer them a competitive edge. The question I put to myself is how does a village surrounded by other people without a technological edge survive and prosper? In our own history the European settlers had guns, and iron weapons. Slow as the guns were they were a big advantage. Camberlanders do not have that. They have iron weapons, but no guns. Their bows may be better, but they are still outnumbered thousands to one.

Their only advantages are their technology in terms of iron weapons, and farming techniques. I threw in the growth of animal pens totake advantage of the maggot filled gren, because I am a geek and that is what I am interested in. :) The other advantage is their Deryni magic. Mind coltrol to control village leaders to not attack Camberland is an overt use of power.

Healing offers a faster return to duty for wounded soldiers in a miltary operation. Rapport and mind speech and mental imprinting of knowledge offers faster training and a way to preserve knowledge. Mind speech at a distance offers a communication network that medieval military and economic minds would have loved. Last but not least is the Portals. I freely admit to liking the teleportation trope.  It is one of my favourite fantasy and sci-fi elements. It offers low cost, rapid transit of goods and information. If you start to build a network and can shuttle goods, people and information around you can build a community faster than people trying to carve out a life without support.

I'll write a story later about settling an island with a Portal. It might go something like this:
Group arrives by boat on island and picks a spot for initial village. The group has 6 people, all trained Deryni and human followers to provide power for the Portal construction.
A portal is made. The Deryni then teleport back to main island and returns with passengers.
More trips are made each day to bring in tools and supplies. A boat could be used if the island is close enough, but a Portal would be much faster.
The village is built and the resources of the island are developed.

If there is a problem the Deryni can call for help telepathically if the island is close enough. (within several days ride, distance is open to interpretation on that, from Deryni Magic page 48). Or a Deryni can transfer via portal to get help from off island.

In this way Camberland can divert resources in a planned, efficient manner to a given problem. Portals still offer limitations in rate of transfer, but as I showed in the one story, pairing human and Deryni allows for rapid deployment of troops, far faster than trying to get boats together and sail to an island. Besides, in a new land suck as Camberland, they do not even have enough boats to transport troops in that manner, aside from the one sailing ship. So portals would be the main method of island travel. (In my opinion at least).

This would also present themselves as extremely powerful to the Natives. Every culture has superstitions, but here are people who actually do appear out of thin air, no superstition, they actually travel instantly from island to island. They can also conjure fire from their hands and call light into being with a simple gesture. Hence the name "Lords of Air and Fire."

It's geeky and wacky amd not at all set in the world that KK has described so vividly in her books, but I like taking ideas and planting them in an entirely new situation and seeing what would happen. 

Offline Evie

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Re: The Journal of Paul
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2012, 01:05:33 pm »
Hm.  I wonder what would happen if a hurricane destroyed their one (or two) sailing ships, thus leaving them in complete isolation?   :D

There's also the possibility that Deryni intermarrying with the native culture would result eventually in a new generation of Deryni that is even further removed culturally-speaking from their Gwyneddan ancestors, but which would eventually lead to Deryni descendants who carry full powers yet who develop their talents in a very different sort of culture, perhaps with its own distinct rituals and discoveries of new uses for such powers.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline MerchantDeryni

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Re: The Journal of Paul
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2012, 01:19:03 pm »

Well they don't go back to the 11 kingdoms anytime soon, so they are in isolation. Intermarrying happens, and I am looking into plural marriage as a plot point, but have not done research on it yet.

Deryni children, full or half, are wanted to provide the magical edge to Camberland. The ability to use portals to drive the engine of trade and information is vital to the success of Camberland. The most important thing in my mind.

I want to try and develop their own rituals and not look too deeply at the cultures near them. From what I have read life was cheap in Central America and I don;t want to get into the culture of Deryni using humans as cheap disposable batteries. It may happen that people die from rituals, but that is where the soul destroying choices come into effect.

Although captives and criminals might be used to create or power something, refresh Deryni troops so they can keep transporting men and materiel. And my first story had the young slave dying to transport spices enough for a year's income. Slippery slope time. Hence the people in Special Projects who are outside of the common (and perhaps the acceptable).

But that is where the drama for the writing can come in, the grappling with choices and the conseqiences of those choices.


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