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Discussion in 'NPCs and Creatures' started by Beatrice, May 23, 2014.
Relieving news. I feared that the modders may have disappeared!
Also, another entry:
Lyon, the homeplanet of the Leeven
by Dr. Beatrice Memmo, Archaeologist, in the name of the Republic of San Leone.
Lyon is the fifth planet in the Leeon-System. The sun after which this system is named holds the name of the mythical Winged Lion; this star has reached the phase of a subgiant. Leeon is much more luminous than the sun in the Sol-system, that’s the motive why life was possible on Lyon, even if the distance to its star is bigger than that between Earth and Sun. As Leeon is older than Sol, the light has become reddish.
At approximately 3.500 km in diameter, Lyon is a relatively small planet (Earth: 12.700), and has roughly the size of Io (3.643) or Earth’s Moon (3.476), but is still bigger than Europa, Triton or the common dwarf planets (sorry Pluto). Two satellites orbit the homeworld of the Leeven, known as Niza and Shambri, resembling Enceladus and Miranda in size (ca. 500 km in diameter).
A year on Lyon is considerably long. It takes 1.001 days to circle around Leeon.
On the first look, some may say that Lyon is an Ocean planet, but that is only partly right; a more fitting name would be “archipelago” planet, as it is not completely covered by water. 2.000 years ago, Lyon had a Pangea-like continent that covered most of the so called “ground”. Due to unknown motives, this continent vanished in a disaster called “the Great flood” which reshaped Lyon dramatically and is responsible for the current state. Plateaus, former mountains and hills formed the scarce landmasses, which today are known as the biggest islands.
The climate zones are responsible for the different type of islands. In the northern hemisphere we can discover islands with a mild climate, lagoons, swamps and sandy regions under the pressure of high and low tide. Advancing towards the equator, we encounter Mediterranean-like atolls, some of them rocky and resembling the Aegean islands or the coast of Dalmatia; even farther, on the equator-line, desert islands like Malta or Djerba are possible. On my journey to Porthos I’ve even seen some huge cliffs, which came out of the water like sharp sticks.
The Southern hemisphere instead is dominated by tropical paradises with white sand, palms and exotic fruits. The Antilles and Pacific Islands like Hawaii or Tahiti come to mind. Farther South, we encountered once again a mild zone.
It’s a shame that many of these paradises are destroyed, as the growth of population has led to severe problems. But as a Censor said to me, Lyon has as many islands as a Mane has pretexts and excuses. There are also some private islands which are still under the control of a single pride, which jealously denies any access to outsiders. Until today, there are still prides out there who aren’t part of any republic on Lyon and consider themselves autonomous states, reigning over their own island as Consuls/Manes.
I think it’s noteworthy that the biggest islands are commanded by the most influential republics and are mostly part of the northern hemisphere, in the so-called mild zone. The most important republic Nyuven has its capital in that location. Beside the fact that many coasts can be rough, there are also huge mountains and even lakes in the inland. Forests and trees have become rare in that zone, because the wood was used in the last centuries for shipbuilding. However, the Leeven are magnificent foresters and are capable to secure the last woods.
I have to add that the Leeven are also highly experienced when it comes to the art of dam building. It’s highly impressive that this species is lion-like; I could bet that they are better beavers than the ones we had on Earth. Some prides wrested a huge amount of land from the sea, like the noble citizens of Datsha. They claim that a third of their land was once part of the ocean, and that they were able to dry the land in the work of three centuries.
Dr. Beatrice Memmo, magnificent scientist and explorer
PS: I attached this wonderful view of Lyon, made by myself.
Dr. Beatrice Memmo, magnificent scientist, explorer and cartographer
Flora and Cuisine (for the High Aedile)
As mentioned in my prior message, Lyon has different climate zones; and the difference of these zones is responsible for the different fruits and crops. There are some of them which are remarkable, because they are similar to those we know from Earth: wheat, tomatoes and grapes. Besides fish, a pasta-like dish with tomatoes can be called a standard of the leeven cuisine. The specialty of the mild sphere, and especially the Republic of Nyuven, is a pasta-dish with tomato-sauce, meat-ragou and cheese, called “La-Zanja”. It’s exactly what you think what it is. I've heard that the pasta recipes have even reached the society of the Desulti, imported by "lone Leevens".
Other pasta dishes are made in a much lighter way; they use different types of fish, or simply cheese and Ulif (they call it “Ul-If”, which would be “(sitting) under (your) tongue” in our language). Ulif is dark, black oil, made of the Ulif plant, which grows in the Mediterranean and Desert zone I described before. The oil is pressed from black fruits, which mature on gnarled trees. These trees grow even in the hottest places of Lyon, and need a dry and sunny climate. I’ve tasted some bread and pasta combined with this delicious oil, which can have a wide range of different flavours. Even if the Hylotl and Leeven have a quite ambivalent relationship, there is an important trade of Ulif between the two races.
Like Ulif, La-Kanea was a rare luxury good before the industrialization of Lyon. Only the richest prides could afford it, and one of the most profitable trades was the La-Kanea trade. La-Kanea was esteemed like gold, and there were even some republics which used La-Kanea as currency. La-Kanea is a bamboo-like plant, which only grows in the southern tropical zone of Lyon, deep in the jungles of Kandia. Whereas the cultures on Earth collected sugar from canes or honey from bees, the Leeven has sweetened their dishes for two millenia with La-Kanea.
When I accompanied the Mane of Ye, he showed me a couple of these plants and threw his family sword in the bushes. I immediately observed a thick resin running out of the brown-golden reed. An extraordinary, sweet odour perfumed the whole scene. He gave me a branch of La-Kanea, and I have to admit, that I never licked something sweet and delicious like that before (maybe except for the Gianduia at Torino, before Earth was destroyed). In fact, La-Kanea is a kind of syrup, but I can’t define if it tastes more like liquid sugar, honey or caramel, as it has many different facets; there are various types of La-Kanea in the whole southern region, and the Leeven experimented a lot with cultivation of tastes. Also – in contrasts to our sweets – La-Kanea does not harm the teeth.
La-Kanea had a strong impact on the development of the leeven civilization, as it only grew in the south; however, the biggest fields for agriculture and supply were part of the north. Finding the route to the legendary “La-Kanea-Islands” and the competition for this profitable ware was the cause for several wars between prides or entire republics back in the “Golden Time of Pride and Prey”. Large companies and armadas of ships were built for international commerce, and corsairs infested the little islands in the Mediterranean sector, trying to raid the convoys between the hemispheres. The Mane of Ye told me, that his family played no role before the discovery of the La-Kanea-Route. However, the Ye became one of the most powerful prides of Lyon, when they engaged successfully in the sector of La-Kanea-trading. They hold this position until today.
Leeven confectioners can create an astonishingly big amount of different sweets from this plant. The most notable is Ma-Zapan, which is hardened La-Kanea with Ulif, glazed with almonds, raisins and – since transracial contact – a pinch of sugar. Besides traditional sweets like that, the Leeven also tend to caramelize meat and fish with this sweet gold.
A last point I want to add is the cheese I’ve mentioned above. As Lyon is a planet without big continents, large grasslands or vast forests, there are no big animals at land which would serve as domestic cattle like we know it. Instead, the Leeven gather their milk from an animal which has such a complicated name that I forgot it; however, it would be something like “The cow of silver salmon mousse” in our language.
I hope that I answered the question of the High Aedile in a satisfactory way; I will answer the other topics I mentioned the last time in my coming message. I’ve also read the complaints regarding the shadow on the planet of Lyon, which I attached to my last report; because of that, here is a view of Lyon without shadow.
Dr. Beatrice Memmo, magnificent scientist, explorer and cartographer
Lyon has a bit less than 1 Billion (10^9) inhabitants. This seems underwhelming, but we have to take in account the overall-size of Lyon and the morphology of the surface. In fact, Lyon has a relatively high population density.
However, the demographic history of the Leeven was like a stock exchange quotation. It seems that the Great Flood destroyed most of leeven culture and society. Originally, the Kingdom of Ven controlled the whole continent which spanned over the planet. There are some estimates regarding the victims; traditional sources claim that only one out of four Leeven survived that event. I think that this is still a very careful and conservative theory. Regarding the facts I found and the sources I’ve read, I tend to say, that at least 80% or 85% of all inhabitants were killed.
Historical data or written sources are more or less untraceable when it comes to the time before the Great Flood. Naturally, as the greatest archaeologist of our time, I tried my best to find some relics or scriptures, but even the history of the Kingdom of Ven has only survived in legends and dubious writings. I added another chapter regarding the history and calendars of Lyon to give a more detailed report.
After the Great Flood, the population of Lyon stagnated for at least two centuries, when the Leeven struggled for survival. With the introduction of the Fima-Fami and the development of leeven culture as we know it, the population saw once again significant growth. Villages became cities and thriving trading centers; until today, the historical architecture of Lyon mostly consists of buildings from this time. Even newer construction from later centuries emulate this “classical” style, and literature, music, paintings and craftsmanship copy this typical “leeven” style which shaped the society for 1500 years. At the end of the era, Lyon had more than 100 Million Leeven, living mostly in the big trading capitals of the different merchant republics.
In an epoch, which the Leeven call the “New Age”, improvements in medicine, agriculture and technology lead to a massive growth of population; the birth rate exploded due to Leeven ethics more than we can imagine it – children are seen as an integral part of leeven “pride and prey”. Traditional land reclamation couldn’t please the Leeven’s needs anymore. Conflicts between the prides and republics became so dangerous, that a possible culmination could’ve lead to a disastrous world war. The fight for land and resources became more important than before; it’s also the only period after the publication of the Fima-Fami when its philosophy was questioned. Some philosophers even suggested that the Fima-Fami itself was responsible for the critical state of the whole planet, which saw a period of incredible technological change, but also suffered under political, social and environmental problems. In hundred years, the overall population of Lyon sextupled.
Historians of the “challenge and response”-theory would be happy to hear that the space program of the pride of Al was motivated by these problems. Famous are the words of the Mane Al-Qasar, a convinced defender of the Fima-Fami: “If there is no prey on Lyon left without losing the own pride or potential customers, we have to search for other prey.” This phrase was even introduced in a later edition of the Fima-Fami, even if his following phrase “Bye, suckers”* was left out.
The “Age of Journey” started from this day on, and continues until today. The Leeven settled on other planets, established trade posts and colonies, and the vast majority of merchants didn’t return; and even if they did, they only managed some things in the pride, brought their “prey” at home and started another merchant mission. Today, the vast majority of Leeven lives outside of their home world. The new worlds are claimed by one pride or one republic alone; there is nothing like a central colonial organization, like we had on Earth. And even these colonies are largely autonomous. I had a secret meeting with the Consul of Nyuven last week, and had a talk regarding leeven and human history. As the administration of every leeven republic is heavily decentralized, he couldn’t even give clear numbers how many citizens of his state lived in other systems, but he was sure that “only a sixth or seventh” of Nyuven’s burghers live on Lyon – and that’s only one republic of the whole planet!
Calendar and Ages of the Leeven
To understand the historical mind of the Leeven, we have to understand their philosophy. There are long periods of stable growth, and short periods of crisis. Traditionally, the Leeven divide their timeline in these “Ages”:
- The First Age. The Age of independent leeven tribes (not prides!) before the Kingdom of Ven unites all of them. Knowledge about this time is practically zero.
- The Age of Ven. The history of the empire which lasted for 1.000 years and centralized leeven culture. Until today, we find its heritage in religion and language.
- The Chaotic Age. The Great Flood destroys the ancient culture of Ven. The Leeven who are able to flee fight for survival. Also known as “The Age of Pirate Lords”, “The Age of Darkness” or “The Age without Hope”.
- The Golden Age of Pride and Prey. The classical age of Lyon with rivaling merchant republics and tribes. The Fima-Fami lays the foundation for 1.500 years of prosperity and the leeven culture we know today.
- The New Age. Another short period of change, heavily influenced by new technologies. Increasing birth rates and lesser resources bring the leeven society to the brink of a total collapse.
- The Age of the Journey. With the invention of space travel, the Leeven are able to establish new trade posts and colonies. New resources, interracial trade and expeditions open a new Age of Pride and Prey.
We see that each "Age" has a certain caesura: the unification of Ven, the Great Flood, the publication the Fima-Fami, the Industrial revolution and the first space program. We also see long, prosperous ages and short, critical ages. It’s interesting that the “New Age” was a “boom”-Age, but was seen negative by the contemporaries, as they believed that exponential growth of economy is more dangerous than a long, but steady one. The “Chaotic”-Age instead was in every regard a “crash”.
More or less nothing is known about the “First Age”. We don’t even know it’s beginning, as the first cultures on Lyon are unknown; we don’t even have any clue where and when the first tribes settled down, invented scripture or agriculture. The Kingdom of Ven, however, seems to be a rather developed state, having all these innovations from the beginning. If we gather the information we have at hand, I would say that there were several developed civilizations before Ven “unified” them – which means, that Ven conquered its predecessor-states.
I think it’s not a too farfetched idea that the Kingdom of Ven may have destroyed every scripture of other cultures to underline its own legitimacy. The Kings of Ven had at least 1.000 years to do so, and the winner writes history.
As the Leeven don’t have a united government, even the calendars vary from republic to republic or even from pride to pride. The republic of Nyuven, for example, dates after the foundation of Ven, whereas other republics take the Great Flood as reference – as such, the people in Nyuven live 1.000 years in the future in regards to other inhabitants. As all history of the Leeven is based on the history of the most influential prides, even the exact dates are unknown, because historians tended to invent mythical leaders or even whole dynasties to underline the importance of a pride. I’ll give another example: most Leeven will say that the Great Flood occurred “2.000 years ago”, but that is only an approximate estimate. Officially, I’ve read the number “2127”, but I’ve also encountered some historical scripts of other families, who claim that it occurred 2200 or 1900 years ago.
Especially in the case of the house of Al, the pride does neither prefer the “Ven”, nor the “Flood” calendar. In fact, they prefer the “Journey” calendar – for prestige reasons, like many of the “new families”, which became rich after the start of the “Journey”.
In recent years, the date of the Fima-Fami has gathered more importance than before; this book seems to be the most important thing when it comes to leeven identity, and as such, different Consuls and Manes have proposed the “Fima-Fami” calendar. This proposal is still under consideration – since 87 years.
Needless to say, that I had to re-calculate the years on Lyon (1.001 days) and the years on Earth (365 days), and I may have done some minor errors. I hate mathematics. Instead, I made this astonishing graphic, to give a rough impression:
I took the “Great Flood” calendar as base, and tried to show the spaces of the Ages and the most important events. Please keep in mind that the flood happened 2.000 or 2.100 years ago. The space for the First Age is only symbolical, as we don’t know its beginning. I also mentioned the year in which the Age begins; in that case, the Kingdom of Ven unified 1.000 years before the flood an lasted for 1.000 years; the Chaotic Age for 200; the Golden Age for 1.500; the New Age for 100; the Age of the Journey at least 250 (and lasts until today).
May your wine always fruitful and spicy,
Dr. Beatrice Memmo, magnificent scientist, explorer and cartographer
*I have to add that this is only a rather free translation done by me. The original curse was three lines long and much more offending, especially against the grandmother of the house of De. I’ve also read a version in which is stated that these words weren’t added by Al-Qasar, but by his brother Al-Bandi.
Some words on Leeven physiology
When I first met the Leeven, I didn’t notice anything which would appear as special when it comes to their senses. This was wrong, as I had to discover after some weeks on my trip in the different republics of Lyon.
Humans mostly use their eyes to gather information; the sense of sight is our primary sense. Leeven have a comparable sense of sight, with a small difference: they are more sensitive when it comes to sparkling, twinkling and shiny objects. From an evolutionary point of view, there is the common explanation that the ancestors of the Leeven had to search in the vast Savannahs of the old continent for small oasis. Seeing the reflections of sunlight on the horizon could save someone’s life.
However, today it explains the Leeven’s appreciation for metals like gold and silver or pixels.
This leads to one of the most underrated Leeven skills, which is their olfactory sense. Their nose is a complex organ and is able to scent a wide range of different smells and aromas. Personally, I would guess that this sense is four or five times better than that of a normal human.
When a Leeven merchant shortchanged me, I was able to meet him again – under surprising circumstances, which included lube, a whip and a high tree (but I’m sure your Excellency is not interest in this long and very embarrassing story for this fly-by-night Leeven). After a gentle talk with him, he explained me that one of the most common strategies in leeven business is the “use of the nose”. Leeven can scent strong emotions through our glands. The release of our evaporations can tell them in which mood we are, like dogs do. If we are confused, afraid or insecure, our body tells this to an experienced Leeven. I have to underline, that this important fact should be carefully kept in mind when our politicians have a talk with the consuls of Lyon.
I want to make another addition to the olfactory sense of the Leeven, because it’s the most important one. When they say “I smell pixels in the morning”, this is not only a metaphorical saying. I encountered situations in which Leeven only followed their nose to find some pixels. It’s also worth mentioning, that their proverb for “this promises trouble” is “this smells like trouble”. It helps them to lower risks. And even if they encounter risks, Leevens can be very fast.
Well, for the first 200 meters, at least. Like I showed earlier, when talking about that Leeven merchant.
As the scent and the gustatory sense are related, the latter is also highly evolved. It’s obvious why the “art of cuisine” has such a high role in their culture. I heard that Big Ape had once a leeven food taster, but these are only some rumors. Ironically, the job of food tasters who protected his mane in the time of the private feuds between the prides has led to the development of some very refined dishes; assassination via poison became too difficult. There are some notable examples were manes died under suspicious circumstances, after eating such delicious pasta that their gustatory sense literally collapsed under the weight of the various aromas.
Leeven ears are highly developed. Not only do they play a major role when it comes to actions like hearing rumors or the sound of clinking pixels; a Leeven’s ear is also important when it comes to the expression of his mood and even communication. That’s a very interesting field, because Leeven don’t only talk via mouth and hand, but are also able to give signals with their ears. In the Golden Age of Pride and Prey, secret agents were able to “talk with their ears” alone, giving secret messages to their allies in this code. Due to the communicative nature of this topic, I may elaborate a bit more about the function of ears when it comes to their language.
We also have to keep in mind what a high role the “art of music” plays in the Leeven society. There are still some conservative prides who demand that male lions have to write at least one song on the Mandolin for a female to “please her ear” before entering a fusion with her.
There is a last thing I want to mention, which is highly connected with the climate on the planet of Lyon. Leeven are somewhat nancified when it comes to cold temperatures. There are no polar regions on Lyon; snow is only known in some mountainous regions and quite rare. The optimal temperature for a Leeven is around 30°C and 40°C (86°F-104°F); even in the mild zones, the temperature is rarely less than 15°C (59°F).
In fact, in the Golden Age of Pride and Prey, shadowy gardens and cool winds were praised in poems, because they were rather scarce; but the Age of the Journey was also a shock for the Leeven, when they encountered the vast snowy steppes of some lands. Thanks to clothes and technology, they are able to survive, but they normally evade cold planets. Since today, there are no Leeven colonies on planets with arctic, snow or tundra biomes. They also tend to lament a lot when it gets cold; so much, that there are some common curses, like “May you win a vacation and then get stranded on an ice planet”.
Taking these facts in account, I would suggest that we may prepare a giant fridge in the case that the political negotiations with the Leeven end in a deadlock.
Dr. Beatrice Memmo, magnificent scientist, explorer and cartographer
as it seems that the Senate is still not willing to recall me – and I’m very sure I know the reason, Excellency, and you should be sure that I’m a resentful person – I had to find something to fill my time. As the Republic of San Leone doesn’t even pay me and tried to get rid of me on different “missions” (like visiting a Floran outpost, which was in fact a Floran prison) I returned to my main profession and tried to get some archaeological excavation rights on Lyon. Wasting time is a sin, because time is money. In that case, I completely follow the philosophy of the Fima-Fami.
When talking/bargaining* on a local market in Nyuven, I had a small conversation/trade talk* with a merchant from a nearby island called Munta. He was a member of the pride of Il. This noble house owns the whole island I mentioned before and has a well-known library with historical records; rumors about a human who was interested in ancient history spread faster than I thought, and clearly, the Leeven searched profit. He offered me a ferry. Naturally, I agreed and paid the ticket.
The most interesting thing, however, was the fact that there are many stories/legends about Munta. This tiny island in the Grand Archipelago has a mysterious background, and the books I’ve read suggest that it was the tip of a mountain in the times of the Kingdom of Ven. This is nothing remarkable, because I’ve read such stories on several occasions; but in this case, the story is a bit different. The sources I’ve read claim that the founder of the pride of Il fled originally from a city at the feet of that mountain, until they reached the top. The “Fabulous and Unreachable Story of the House full of Greatness we know as the House of Il” mentioned that the refugees used a cave.
The Mane of Il – his name is Il-Lago – welcomed me and even arranged a little festivity for me, including a Mandolin concerto. When asking him about excavation rights, he refused; but after an evening full of discussions, wine and music I was able to convince/bribe* him. I lost most of my pixels to these greedy lions, but I got at least a week to inspect the place. Munta is a small island, extending only some miles from east to west, and even smaller in its extension from north to south. I was rather optimistic to find some relics in no time.
Four days passed without any sign of ancient relics. On the fifth day, a merchant wanted to sell me some ceramics, which were obviously imitations, but were quite handy to break them on his furry neck. On the sixth day, I found some chicken bones, which were my greatest archaeological advances so far on Lyon.
On the last day I became desperate had a walk at the beach and encountered a troublesome crayfish. When illegible thinking about important philosophical questions and archaeological problems, I tipped against an old, engraved stone in the sand. After hours of shoveling dead prawns and shells, my expedition began. An old portal from ancient times, long forgotten, was buried under the masses of beach-sand. With the help of plasma grenades cunning use of my matter manipulator, I was able to open the old door.
Well, someone should have written a warning sign or something at the front of the door – these old stairs have some huge and deep steps! Only my old bull-whip saved my live. Swinging in the dark, above an unknown hole, I saw in the face of a giant monster, made of silver and obsidian. I needed my lamp to realize that this creature was made of stone, an ancient relic of the Kingdom of Ven.
Leeon himself, the judge and guardian of the Leeven, greeted me.
*The Leeven language amazes me when it comes to certain synonyms.
When travelling through the galaxy, it's not uncommon to find Avians, Glitch or Florans to live in small houses. Lonesome Leeven, those who have left their pride to find prey on their Journey, are no exception. Leeven are specialized to live an autarkic profitable life, even when not connected to their community.
The typical house of a lonesome Leeven consists of a shop/working area on the ground-floor and a private are upstairs. The first one is normally a business office or shop, connected to a storeroom. Here, a Leeven may gather the goods he wants to ship later to another place and sell them on a near market; others are also shopkeepers and sell their goods in the local area they live in. Sometimes, they have the most expensive luxury goods in their range items - but sometimes also the weirdest ones.
The part upstairs is an apartment with a central room, called the "Room of Prey", where a Leeven exposes his Book of Pride&Prey in a collection of goods from all the places he visited on his Journey. Maps with different planets or stellar systems in which they trade or did trade are also part of this exhibition. Mosaics underline the prestige of the dynasty or the philosophy of Pride&Prey (this is the case in a mix of blue and yellow colors, which represents the harmonious combination of the two main concepts).
As the Leeven are aware of their roots and prefer fish as main dish, Leeven houses always own a pond nearby where they raise fishes for private use. A terrace for food - mostly wine or La-Kanea - is quite common. The Leeven are no Hylotl, but they keep their standard. A pride without wine or at least standard living conditions loses reputation.
(As you may guess, that's how a Leeven mini-dungeon would look like, when you find a single house on a planet).
I put all the Memmo-reports and the additional in the first post to collect all informations at one spot. I also want to try some things more about topics concerning leeven architecture/buildings/monuments in the future.
With the addition of ocean planets coming with the new stable, I'm sure the architecture will be fleshed out some more.
It will. IT WILL.
I still have to write additionall fragments about the things I showed in the scrrenshot section, but I didn't have time yet.
A Leeven house with different ornaments on every floor.
One of the first things a traveler may notice when entering a Leeven house are ornaments and decorations on the walls which are typical for this race. These ornaments are not only a sign of aesthetics, but have a greater meaning. All in all, there are two types of ornaments:
1. The wall decoration, which refer to the pride, the owner or generic topics. The house of Sha may have different wall decorations in respect to the house of Ibn, and both may identify the house due to the ornaments used in a house. Like medieval shields and coat of arms in human society, a Leeven will recognize the owner or pride of a house when identifying the ornaments.
On the other side, ornaments can stand for a vast variety of different topics, mostly associated with the system of Pride&Prey. One symbol may stand for stability, another for expansion. These ornaments show what the owner prefers on his Journey to get more Prey or expand his Pride. They shouldn’t be misinterpreted as “blessings” or “wishes”, but be seen as personal note of the owner or pride.
A symbolical use of stilized palms or vines refer to the symbol for "fruit"; fruits in the sense of "fruits of your work".
These ornaments refer to the concept of "concord", especially peace in the pride itself.
The symbol for "expansion".
"Stability" is one of the most used ornaments in Leeven architecture.
2. The mosaics, which mostly refer to the concept of Pride&Prey, but MAY also refer to the own pride in some cases.
When the combination of blue and golden ornaments is used, it’s a direct reference to the philosophy of the Fima-Fami. Gold stands for the profit, for money, for wealth and such for “Prey”; the reference to gold and any other shiny metal is obvious. Blue instead is the concept of the family; the Leeven associate it with the “big water”, which is formed by tiny drops. As such, the ocean is the “Pride”, and the drops its members. There are further philosophical books which see further connections and metaphors: Blue stands for the home planet of the Leeven, Lyon; Gold stands for Leeon, the Sun. Blue stands for the Ocean, and as such, for the pride living on the Ground; Gold instead refers to those who crossed the water and live in the eternal pride. Blue is female, because they bring children to live and such, expand the Pride; Gold is male, as they tend to risk more for Prey. And so on, and so on, and so on…
Different mosaics showing the harmony of Pride&Prey.
However, there’s also the possibility that we see mosaics which are not composed by the famous blue-golden combination. In this case, the mosaic is the sign of a pride itself, like a national flag. Sometimes, letters from the Leeven alphabet are used.
The sign of a lesser pride, only consisting of one syllable.
A letter by Beatrice Memmo to the Republic of San Leone.
well, I think the ignorance of the Senate knows no ends. In fact, this is my twentieth letter, and even when I declared plenty of times that I wish to return home, no such letter has arrived on Lyon. Because of that, I rented a Leeven house in the southern hemisphere. After weeks, I have adopted Leeven clothing and even my kitchen is filled with La-Kanea and La-Zazagna. I don't know how much time more it takes until I begin to cheat on you to take all your money. Please, I beg for my return!
A letter by Beatrice Memmo to the Republic of San Leone.
Having moved into my new house, it didn’t last long until I met the neighbor: a cheerful Leeven called Sha-Riar from the dynasty of Sha. He invited me to his house and wanted to introduce me to his family. As we had a place at the table, and everyone wanted to taste the excellent meal, I heard some words about the “Sha-Cal”. First, I thought it could be another family member, but I learned that this assumption was only partially right. Leevensi can be such a complicated language…
It didn’t take long until I saw an animal in front of the table, stealing a piece La-Zagna from the plate of the nineteenth son of this family; it escaped quickly and hid behind a shelf. If I had to describe the dog-like creature, I would say that it has much more in common with a little wolf than a dog. However, its legs are shorter, the muzzle more narrow and pointed. In contrast to the massive body of a wolf, the Shâ-Cal is much smaller – less than a meter – but also lighter. This makes him a good sprinter. The dusty color of its fur reminds me that Lyon was once a Savannah-like planet.
All in all, it has an astonishing similarity with a Golden Jackal.
Sha-Riar told me that the Shâ-Cal is the common pet in the Leeven society. Back in the Golden Age of Pride&Prey, the Shâ-Cal accompanied the merchants on their dangerous adventures: they protected the lonesome travelers, caravans, warehouses and anchoring ships. Even today, in the days of the “Journey”, lonesome Leeven continue this tradition and take a Shâ-Cal with them. Even if they seem small, Shâ-Cals have good teeth and are rather skeptical animals – they don’t trust strangers.
It seems that there are different types of Shâ-Cals on Lyon. Most Shâ-Cals have a dusty-golden or sandy tones; however, the typical Shâ-Cal of Nyuven has a black strip on his back, whereas the one from Datcha is black and white. The type from the polar zone is icy-white. A rare example of the Shâ-Cal is the foxy-red one with a black tail, which was once the favorite pet of some important manes and consuls.
[As CF introduced pets in the latest patch, I was asked which animal would fit for the Leeven race]
The Monkey and the Lioness I
by Atticus Do (once Baneyard), Ex-Lieutenant of the Apex
The Resistance faced a crushing defeat, and like many others, I had to escape. Choosing the exile seemed to be better than anything else. The Miniknog took my father and my sisters away; my friends all died; there was nobody left who I could care for. No one would be in danger because of my involvement. And nothing would be left from my existence. I wasn’t free to live – but maybe I had the chance to die in freedom.
This day would come sooner than I thought before. The guards couldn’t catch me, but damaged my ship. It was a hard landing, and only the smooth ground saved my life. I stranded on a desert world. My enemies knew that I was lost; even if I had survived the crash, my death was certain. Their ships left the atmosphere, and I felt the burning sun on my dirty, sandy hair, which announced the upcoming days of hell.
Two bananas and a bottle of milk. That was everything I got. When the sun set, I felt joy because it became colder; but hours later, I cursed the coldness and the unknown creatures, living in the sand, yelling behind the unknown lakes and hills of dust and bones. When the worst night of my life ended, the sun began to grill the ground under my feet. Would the torture back home be crueller than this? Was this the price for freedom?
Minutes before I lost my consciousness, I saw a shadow on the horizon. A flying cape and long clothes in the style of wandering Bedouins. A dog-like being barked and ran in my direction, leading the strange person to my body – lying between cacti and the yellow ocean, which I had accepted as my grave. My mind rebelled against my collapsing body, and my last thought was the following: a jackal. The unknown person must be a Leeven.
In that moment, I was more uncertain than ever, if this was a good or a bad sign.
The Monkey and the Lioness II
I have to confess: I never liked this lion species. Everyone warned me, even before I encountered the first Leeven in my life. ‘You can’t trust them’, that was the phrase I heard most when it came to this topic. ‘They are thieves’, said my father. ‘Cunning, amoral creatures, only looking for profit’ added my friends from the Resistance – and told me that the Leeven tried to please Big Ape. For a long time, their merchants wanted to enter the Apex market, opposing the protectionist measures ensured by the government. Officially, these were instituted because there were rumours that the Leeven wanted to steal Apex technologies.
And here she was. A young, beautiful Lioness in the mid of the desert, with a jackal who protected her and the goods a Derrick was carrying. She had rather mild eyes, and a noble figure. And it was clear that she smelled the pixels I carried with me. All prejudices seemed true, when she sold me a bottle of water in exchange for everything I owned: my pixels, my clothes, even the metal junk which once was my spaceship!
She didn’t show any mercy. The Lioness travelled further, after she gave me that bottle, which would continue my agony another day. But my thirst triumphed over my brain. I had to drink; my tongue was dry and felt like the asphalt on the Apex streets. Only seconds later, no water was left, and my misery began… once again. I lost all hope and my will to live.
When I woke up, it was night. But something had changed. A warming fire crackled under the stars. A colourful quilt covered my body, with signs and symbols I didn’t know before. My eyes must have looked embarrassing big, when I saw the Leeven sitting in front of me. Did I dream?
The Lioness introduced herself as Remy, from the house of Do. I was confused. ‘I didn’t know that a Leeven would do anything gratis’, I said. ‘Why did you rescue me?’
The Lioness smiled, but she didn’t look in my face.
‘Well’, she began. ‘It’s always bad to lose potential customers, isn’t it?’
Until today, I’m not sure if she was only citing one of the obscure merchant rules from the Leeven Book of Pride and Prey… or if she was different from other Leeven.
The Monkey and the Lioness III
Do-Remy was only 21 years old. The Journey began for her recently. She was one of the thousands of young, so-called Lonesome Leeven, who travelled the universe to gain a fortune. Many of them wouldn’t return to Lyon. Some, because they were killed; others, because they weren’t able to accumulated enough wealth to impress their pride. The most successful merchants had the possibility to become the heir of the Mane, the current head of the pride.
Remy didn’t like that topic.
‘I’m the youngest child of my father, the Mane of Do’, she explained. ‘I have twenty-six brothers and twelve sisters. All of them started their Journey long ago. My father will die soon, and my oldest brother has already bought his own moon. No place for me.’
A moment of silence followed. Only the wind of the desert whispered. I began to understand. There was no return for her. She would never see her family again, but move to the farthest points of the galaxy. As the daughter of a Mane, the pressure was enormous. If she was the daughter of a sailor or a normal merchant, it would have been easier. But this wasn’t the case. She had to be tougher than the toughest, and smarter than the smartest to win. And she had to prey me and take everything I possessed, because she didn’t have another choice.
But still, she returned. And it became clearer to me, why she did it, when she added: ‘You’re from the Apex Resistance, eh?’ It was rather obvious. An Apex outside the Miniknog had to be a rebel or a spy. And as I didn’t look as the latter would be in any way possible, I nodded. We didn’t say anything. Because we knew why we sat there. We both were in exile. We both were alone.
‘You Apex are good with numbers’, Do-Remy remarked. ‘What do you mean?’ ‘I still need a secretary. A bookkeeper. You know, I have to expand.’ To be honest, at first I couldn’t react. But after a thought I accepted. Did I have any other chance to survive? She had everything, and I had nothing. ‘Good’, I said. ‘And now?’
‘From now on’, Do-Remy grinned, ‘you are part of my pride.’