See also: Moonshine Ethnographical Questionnaire.
Moonshine is a language spoken mostly in cold climates north of Poswob territory. Throughout its history, it has been a very rapidly changing language, in both grammar and phonology, such that speakers at one time could not understand texts written 200 years earlier. For example, Diʕìlas tĭniku "doll" becomes Poswa tinik, Pabappa timpi, Sakhi tiniu, and Moonshine č. Another example is Diʕìləs luməs "sunshine" becomes Poswa rumus, Sakhi lump, and Moonshine lut, though not all preserve the meaning. (This word disappeared in Pabappa.)
- 1 Culture
- 2 Geography and climate
- 3 Early History
- 4 Government and politics
- 5 States
- 6 Animals
- 7 Notes
The first thing outsiders notice about the Moonshine people is that their women are consistently taller than their men. This is a biological trait, not due to high heels or any other type of clothing the speakers wear. In fact, despite most of their people living in very cold climates, they don't tend to wear thick boots that would give them extra height. Although Moonshines are a blend of various peoples from around the world, the tall-female trait is impressively consistent throughout the empire and has even bled out into the neighboring Poswob Empire (Pusapom) which largely encircles the southern rim of the Moonshine Empire. The Moonshines know that being tall-femaled is unusual on this planet, but their societies are almost perfectly homogeneous and they do not think about it very often, because to anyone in any part of the Moonshine Empire, women being taller than men is unquestionably normal. And because this trait has pushed its way well beyond their borders, Moonshines are not in contact with tall-male populations even at the edges of their Empire.
The tall-female trait was present amongst the aboriginal humans that inhabited most of the northern part of Rilola when the Moonshines first came together as a trivbe. They moved in with those people, and absorbed that trait. Presently there are no true nations left over from those tribes, but there areas of "Pswobs" and Moonshines who are primarily descned from them, primarily in highlands with poor natural resources.
Thus Moonshine is a strongly feminist society, and this is a stable trait, not reliant on police or weapons any other artificial structure to keep women in power. They tend to have a high birthrate, even though their large wombs are no more likely to conceive multiple births, because the female-led culture sees a large family as the primary measure of power, rather than accumulating wealth or weapons. This same ideal of high-birthrate feminism has led the tall-female parts of the Poswob Empire to outgrow the tall-male ones and essentially turn Pusapom into another feminist empire led from its North.
Men in Moonshine society are much more loyal to their wives than men in tall-male societies for the simple reason that they generally can't get out. On the other hand, women are also more loyal to their husbands than women in tall-male societies because even though women have all of the power in their society, they are still culture bound to believe that marriage is a gift and nobody should ever violate the promise they made when they got married. Note that polygamy is allowed, but adultery is frowned upon.
They are also very pacifistic, although they were pacifist even before they developed the trait of tall women, and there are other societies on this planet that are far, far more pacifistic than Moonshines, to the point of dying by the hundreds whenever a wild animal such as a pig or wolf gets into a town. Moonshines live in very cold climates, such that life for any other human culture except for some of the Poswobs would be essentially impossible, and therefore they rely almost entirely on eating animals for food. Although the Moonshines are settled thinly enough that they could likely survive entirely on animals such as penguins who vastly outnumber humans and die frequently of natural causes, Moonshine society relies on a stable food supply and that means making hunting animals a regular part of daily life.
Because women are taller than men, they are generally stronger than men even though they have less muscle. This leads to the fact that men attacking women is considered "fair", even though it is discouraged the way all violence is disourcaged. Basically they dont have a "fairer sex" because men and women are weak in different ways. They are like young children, or like video game people where all women are magical and can entrap men with Womb Magic, etc, even though they are weak to physical attacks that men are not weak to.
Geography and climate
The Moonshine people live in cold humid climates from 37°N northward, usually near bodies of water. All Moonshine states border or are located within the Moonshine Sea, a large but shallow body of cold water that divides the continent of Rilola in two large pieces. Most of the southern shore of the Moonshine Sea is within the Poswob Empire rather than Moonshine, but Moonshine settlements are always close by and Moonshine fishing boats are found within all Poswob waters.
The majority of the Moonshine Empire has a tundra-marine climate, with cold weather throughout the entire year, seas and rivers often frozen, and heavy snowfall often persisting throughout summer, but generally no extremely cold temperatures in winter due to a lack of large landmasses. Natural breaks in the ice allow fishing even during the coldest winter months, and settlements in the coldest parts of the Empire are very similar to settlements in the warmest areas.
A few areas of the Empire have slightly different climates. In the extreme southwest, in the state of "Enapded" near the border with Rasparia, winters are more rainy than snowy, and summer days can be sunny and very warm. But even here, most food is taken from the sea rather than land-based agriculture. The other major exception is the island of Xema, which ranges from 45°N to 62°N, large enough to generate cold air masses which bring winter temperatures in some inhabited locations down to —94°F in the north and —72°F in the south. However, the bulk of Xema is politically independent; the Moonshine Empire controls only the westernmost areas, where winters are cold, with temperatures sometimes falling below —50°F, but not out of range of temperatures experienced in mountainous areas much further south.
Moonshine has some states near the center of the Poswob Empire which are ethnically Moonshine and are connected to the Moonshine home territory by a 900-mile stretch of river and a series of waterways north of the Poswob city of Blop. These are centered at about 30°N but have a cold wet climate because they are within high mountains.
The Moonshine Empire consists mostly of territories that were never claimed by other peoples. Although they have been unified as a single empire for thousands of years and wielded immense military power, very rarely have they started wars to take over new lands to add to the Empire. However they have absorbed aboriginal peoples through slow-paced conflicts where the Moonshines overwhelmed the aboriginals by birth power rather than weapons. Even then, however, the remaining aboriginals blended into the Moonshine society rather than being killed. This is why even today there are very few ethnic minorities anywhere within the Moonshine Empire. There are a few isolated areas, mostly deep inland towards the southern limits of the empire, where "aboriginal" body types persist more strongly than elsewhere, but even these people do not consider themselves to be a separate ethnicity. Instead the Moonshine people consider themselves in their entirety to be a continuation of the aboriginals.
All of the constituent states within the Empire are defined by water boundaries: either they are islands, groups of islands, coastal land areas, or in one case a state separated by a powerful river from another state.
Most Moonshine territory is very cold, with an average temperature below freezing, and in many areas it is well below freezing. They do have some warmer lands, with the warmest parts of the territory consisting of inland semiarid valleys with average temperatures of around 51°F ... similar to Vancouver or Toronto. Thus Moonshine territory could be compared to Russia or to Canada plus Greenland in terms of climate. However, unlike these countries, the warm areas of the Moonshine Empire which would be good for farming are still as sparsely settled as the frigid icecapped areas because Moonshines can actually survive quite well with just the animal food sources.
Relations with Nama
At hte time of the birth of the Moonshine nation, Nama was the world's oldest empire. Nama had existed without interruption in its then-current location for more than 14000 years. However, during the most recent 2000 years, it had undergone a dramatic decline.
Nama had existed for more than 12000 years as a peaceful union of small kingdoms, each of which was granted complete political autonomy, including the right to a private military. However, these militaries were meant primarily to function as bodyguards for government officials and to aid the police in preventing crime; real military power rested with the much larger Naman Imperial Army, which was loyal not to the hundreds of tiny kingdoms within Nama but to Nama as a whole. Nevertheless, internal wars between the kingdoms were extremely rare and the Naman army could easily crush any aggressor. The only real threat of war that Nama faced for most of its history were invasions from the non-Naman people (mostly Sukuna) to their south. However, the Sukuna people were divided by tribe and spent more time fighting against each other than against Nama. Thus, Nama's military safety went largely unchallenged for 12,000 years.
Things began to change around the year 2200. Beginning around the year 0, new settlers from the islands of Laba had begun settling in the Sukuna lands to the south of Nama, with a smaller number settling in Nama itself. Nama welcomed the settlers, because even though Nama knew that these settlers were also divided by tribe, they saw that for the most part the settlers were allying with Nama against the Sukuna and therefore would be unlikely to become enemies of Nama.
However, over the next 2000 years the lands that had formerly been occupied by Sukuna peoples began to fill up. The climate was also warming, and cultures of the south who had previously been uninterested in settling the interior began to plan great northward expansions. Increasingly, nations along the south coast began punching northward into Nama's territory, generally finding that Nama's weak, pacifistic Imperial Army was poorly equipped to fight back. Even though these invasions were coming from different nations, which often fought against each other, the Naman military was unable to deal with many simultaneous invasions in widely spaced areas of its territory, and often sought to form alliances with one set of invading troops against another.
This system worked for a few hundred years, but the invading tribes of parasites came to realize that Nama was so weak that any of the parasites could ignore their peace treaty with Nama and enslave and abuse the Namans at will. Thus Nama was forced to give up even pretending that there were alliances, and whenever a parasitic colony decided to expand and take over a new kingdom, the other kingdoms sent their people out to build new roads around the conquered kingdom so that, for the time being, the two kingdoms that had not been invaded could still communicate with each other.
By the year 3500, Nama no longer fought wars on its borders; enemies simply rode deep into Naman territory until they picked out the land they wanted to take over, and fought the helpless villagers in their homes. The Naman military was often tied down fighting so many other invasions that they were unable to respond until the invasion was complete.
Eventually, there were so many holes in Nama's territory that Nama was forced to cede areas of its land that had become totally encircled by enemy colonies to the enemy colonies themselves, and Nama's territory began to shrink rapidly. Some settlers, such as the Crystals and the Lantern people, had deliberately built colonies in the least desirable parts of Nama's territory, facing no resistance at all, because they knew that in the far future, the descendants of the founders of that colony would be in the prime position to absorb and enslave Namans fleeing from other invaders who had chosen to settle more desirable land. Thus, Namans had no safe place to flee to.
By the time of the origin of the Moonshine nation, Nama had been so completely eviscerated that only scholars of history knew that Nama had once been the world's foremost military power. The Moonshines identified themselves as feministic pacifists, and took pity on the Namans who had been invaded by hundreds of enemies and been powerless even to fight back. But they knew that if they were to succeed as an empire, despite their strong commitment to pacifism, they could not allow their fate to be tied to that of Nama, and they knew that Nama would soon die. Thus the Moonshines were forced to become a parasitic colony themselves, invading Naman territory and working their way northward in the hopes of finding some land that was as yet still unoccupied by an enemy power with a potent military.
Government and politics
Moonshine coexisted with Nama in its early years. Nama considered the Moonshines to be a kingdom within Nama, and Moonshine accepted this but did not seek to cooperate with surrounding kingdoms because they realized that Nama was dead as a military power and could no longer enforce peace within its borders.
Like some other invaders, the Moonshines adopted the strategy of deliberately settling the least desirable land: the icecapped north, and the glaciated mountains of the interior. They thus strongly came to identify with cold climates, and despite their commitment to pacifism soon adopted a diet consisting almost entirely of meat.
Form of government
Council of 8 ă 4 in front, 4 in back: treasury, environment,bldg , food/animals In fromt,and defense, trade, ??, ?? In back.
The Moonshines adopted a form of government that resembled that of the three great empires that had most influenced them: the Crystals, the Swamp Kids, and Nama. They declared themselves to be an empire, like Nama had been, and allowed the existence of kingdoms within its territory that had full legal independence but no independent military. (The term in their native language was gender-neutral, but in fact, they permitted only females to rule.)
However, unlike Nama, Moonshine was not a multiparty democracy. Despite their nominal independence, all rulers of the constituent states had to be members of the Moonshine political party, which was the only legal political party in the Empire. The Moonshines declared the entire population to be members of this party unless otherwise exposed, but whenever someone sought leadership, they were tested on their beliefs and actions and could be deposed if the Moonshines in other areas of the Empire thought they had failed.
Relations with Asala and Nama
Moonshine arose at a time when Nama was in great decay. Formerly the world's unchallenged primary military power, Nama had become so weak that it no longer fought wars on its borders; enemies simply marched into any area of Nama they wished and fought the civilians while the desperately underpowered military tried to figure out where the latest massacres were taking place.
Moonshine sympathized with Nama, but knew that they could not save Nama. They also knew that they could not afford to take in refugees from Nama. They said that they would allow Namans to join the Moonshines as refugees, but only if they were also Moonshines, and they imposed very difficult criteria for judging if a potential applicant was fit. Therefore Nama realized Moonshine was not going to rescue them.
In the year 4221, Naman diplomats traveled to the embassy of Asala, one of their great abusers, pleading for Asala to invade Nama and take complete conmtrol of Nama. They realized that of all of Nama's many parasitic invaders, Asala was the one that shared the most enemies in common with Nama, meaning that Asala refused to ally with most of the other invaders. They thus hoped that Asala would have the most reason to protect Naman civilians if they were given the ability to take control of the government. Asala agreed, and banished the few Namans who objected to the takeover into the wilderness.
To the surprise of the watching world, Asala declared that it was a continuation of Nama's 14000 year old government, and that they had not taken over Nama, but submitted to Nama. Nevertheless, Nama's orientation towards the outside world changed rapidly as soon as the Asalan leaders had taken power.
Asala had always been a tiny but remarkably virulent military power. They were in fact not a nation, but a political party that had originated in the Swamp Kids' nation of Anzan. Because of their origin, they were often depicted as children (almost always male), and the takeover of Nama was depicted as though a boy had singlehandedly defeated an army of giants. The implication was that Asala's rule over Nama would be so strict that the parasitic invaders that had been cutting their way through Naman territory for over 1500 years would now somehow be stopped and peace would return to Nama. Most Naman civilians realized this overly optimistic scenario was likely impossible, but took comfort in the fact that their situation had at least improved from the earlier time when they did not know who their rulers were.
Asala again surprised the wider world by immedaitely declaring war on the entire world, including all of the invaders inside Naman territory. They hoped that the invaders who heard this message would be baited into coming south to fight Asala, expecting an easy victory, where they would fall into a trap set by Asala and be defeated. Asala knew that even enemies smart enough to evade these traps would be weakened by the journey and would still be defeated.
Yet another surprise came when Asala's army, still claiming to be Nama, aggresively pushed westward out of Naman territory towards the distant empire of Baeba Swamp, which was thousands of miles away and separated from Nama by several unrelated and mutually hostile empires. Nama had not started a war for roughly 1900 years; they had always been the victim rather than the aggressor, and had generally fought very poorly.
The reason for the new war was that Baeba at the time was govenrment by an old enemy of Asala's from when they were p[art of Anzan; thus t his was a conthnuation of an old regional struggle.
They preferred the color white - the color of milk and snow. They unified this as ice cream, which had been invented c 1500 yrs earlier.
They liked the color pink, and pastels generally, but otherwise preferred cold colors, and avoided yellow.
Some Moonshines believe that in the distant future, a great war called Ǯinapi will engulf the entire planet's human population, with no neutral side. The fundamental division in human society, they believe, is whether women are taller than men or not, and they believe that all of the tall-female societies will unite as one when the tall-male societies to the south and west become aggravated as they begin to run out of land. They predict that this war will split societies as such the Poswobs, who are internally diverse, and will naturally end up on both sides of the war, thus defeating themselves from within. They believe that Poswobs will be strongly tempted to assimilate with the leaders of each side of the war, but the people who predict this war generally do not want to have Poswobs assimilate with them both because they do not want the Moonshine nation to have racial minorities and because they do not want the war to be an "all against one" situation.
Thus even though Poswobs are welcomed in Moonshine society, and Moonshines generally realize that they themselves are largely descended from Poswobs, they still believe diversity is a bad thing and do not want more Poswobs, or any other people, moving in regardless of whether they are culturally assimilated or not. Mostly this is because they do not want a divided society rather than because they believe they are superior in any way. However there are many people who really do believe that Moonshines as a people are indelibly superior to all others.
Those who believe in Ǯinapi tend to realize that if the Moonshines win the war, the Poswobs will have first pick of all the tropical areas because they are living to the south of Moonshines alreadt. They tell themselvbes cold weather is better, and that its OK if Poswobs take over the tropics, because they are much cleanewr than the peoples there arlready and woulkd not likely rebe agaiunt Moonshine. Still, they could see a Moonshine vs Poswobn war as a good thing because even if the Poswobs win at least it is a "clean " nation that is winning the war.
Sàfiz is the most powerful and most populated state in the Empire. It is also in the unusual situation of being a subject state of two different empires: the Moonshine Empire and the Ogili Empire. Officially, Ogili speakers pay taxes to the Ogili capital and Moonshine speakers pay taxes to the Moonshine imperial capital (which is also the capital of Safiz), honoring a treaty that is over 2000 years old. In practice, though, taxation is paid at the municipal level, and each city either goes 100% Moonshine or 100% Ogili, with most going Moonshine. This is a recent phenomenon. Historically, although the Moonshines reached Safiz first, they were conquered and demographically overwhelmed by invading Ogili speakers, and the Ogili capital was in central Safiz. However, as the center of economic power moved south, Ogili speakers began to leave Safiz, and those who stayed had a much lower birthrate than the rural Moonshine aboriginals.
Mixed marriages tended to side with Moonshine as well, though these were rare because of the tall female/tall male mismatch along with geographical and economic separation. (Although Moonshine men were shorter than the women of both nations, Ogili women could choose between tall Ogili men and short Moonshine men. Thus Ogili women nearly always chose Ogili men. Meanwhile, Moonshine women did sometimes pair with tall Ogili men, but such mixed marriages tended to also identify as Moonshine if they remained poor, and to leave the state if they became rich.) Today Safiz is over 95% Moonshine and the Ogili imperial capital is on the warm west coast. Note that most mixed marriages in Safiz happened either during the early or the late periods of cohabitation, not during the middle when there were few Moonshines left in the area. However, one exception to the pattern is that mixed marriages where the sons tended to be taller than the daughters would often switch sides even if they had previously identified as Moonshine, due to the Moonshine culture's inability to accept tall men as natives. Even so, these families would not have the high birth rates of the other Moonshines and tended to slowly die off if they did not assimilate into Ogili culture.
Thus Safiz is a de facto Moonshine territory, though it still swears loyalty to the Ogili Empire and has fought in Ogili's wars where the rest of the Moonshines have not. In fact, both sides realize that Safiz's army could probably conquer all of Ogili if it wanted to, but has chosen not to do so because Ogili is an ally that supplies Safiz and the rest of the Moonshine Empire with wealth and tropical foods that could not easily otherwise reach them. In turn, Ogili wants Safiz to stay because of their military power and the fact that the rest of the Moonshine Empire tends to follow along with them. Thus both sides prefer geographical and political unity.
Safiz also has a large Poswob population, because the government of Ogili does not distinguish between Poswobs and Moonshines and the two have often blended together peacefully. In Safiz, they generally keep to their separate ethnic identities, with mixed marriage being rare despite constant intermingling. Both groups identify more streongly with the state than with their ethnic identity.
Likewise, there are also Saks living in Safiz, through the Ogili government's misidentifcation of Saklo as one of the states of Pusapom. Most other ethnic minorities, however, are rarely brought to Safiz and when they are they are considered unworthy outsiders.
Did I spell this right? Sorry, even I have trouble with it. Todrom is a state that is often mistakenly believed, even by the Moonshines themselves, to be the original Moonshine homeland, because it is very cold and Moonshine settlements often seem to have radiated outward in all directions from northern Todrom. But actually this is not so. Todrom is merely the first place where a Moonshine society won a battle with an Ogili army, and was given independence and a land to call their own. The pattern of settlement is indeed due to Moonshines leaving Todrom for warmer areas of the Empire, but on the way they encountered and absorbed older Moonshine settlements, some of which were in place before Todrom had even been discovered.
The climate of Tòdʔřóm is similar to that of Alaska, in the sense that it is very diverse, ranging from subarctic but with fairly mild snowy winters along the west coast to -50F as the average winter temperature in the highlands near the Xeman border. Most of Todrom is very windy which makes the winters and even the summers feel considerably colder than temperature would indicate.
North Todrom, despite not being the homeland, does have traits of a homeland, such as a surporisingly high population density and somewhat above average diversity. However this is also true of the cold islands, which were among the last areas to be settled bu Moonshines originallky, but wqhich look "old" because they were never xconqeured and re-conquered back by Moonshins with "new " settlements.
Many firebirds live here, and even though firebirds eat humans, humans settled Todrom largely to escape being eaten. THe paradox is that even though firebirds are stronger here than anywhere else, because of their strength they don't need to prey on land animals such as humans to survive.
Moonshines as minorities
Besides the example of Safiz up above, many Moonshines live in warm climates outside their parent empire.
In the Poswob Empire, known as Pusapom, Moonshine speakers are often aggressive. They have carved out four states of their own, and ruled out all non-Moonshines including even the Poswobs from visiting. Pusapom still provides them economic assistance even though the Moonshines do not need to pay taxes to the central government in Blop. This is all done by Moonshines employed by the government, as any Poswobs found in the empire, even with good intent, can be enslaved or killed at will. Moreover, Moonshines leaving their own territory are allowed to break some of the laws of the Poswob Empire, such as visiting other forbidden territories and hunting animals for food. Nevertheless, Moonshines do not exist solely to abuse the Poswobs; the Poswob military is famously weak and when the Empire has been invaded by other hungry foreigners the Moonshines have fought in the war even though they knew that they themselves were not the targets of the invaders. And they have given shelter to Poswobs who would otherwise be in danger.
It should be noted that the reason for the Moonshines' presence so deep inside Pusapom's borders is that they were the previous inhabitants of a much wider territory, but Poswobs filled in the spaces around them, eventually leaving them surrounded on all sides. Thus it is historically the Poswobs that are the invaders. This is also why they are not generally in danger during wars: they are among the deepest parts of the Empire and all invasions hurt mostly the people living at the edges. This territory is also the only Moonshine-speaking area that extends into a subtropical climate, and true tropical climates are very near by. However, the population density is no higher here than in the colder mountainous areas because Moonshines do not generally live on tropical fruits.
As Pusapom is also primarily a tall-femaled society, Moonshine people living in Pusapom are not treated with the same mix of disbelief and sexual curiosity that they are in other areas such as Ogili.
In Ogili, Moonshines are noticeable primarily because of their strong tendency for their women to be taller than their men. In Safiz, although their growth took more than 500 years, it was quite noticeable, and the leaders of the Ogili side of the coopereative government were afraid that Moonshines would smother them and feminize their men until their military was so helpless that both sides would soon become slaves of a foreign power. Even though Ogilians and Moonshines had been living together for over 4000 years, on the individual level, most people had little contact with the other side. Ogilians couldn't take the threat of a society led by women seriously, and many Ogili men imagined the Moonshine settlements as merely a utopia of hypersexual societies without men in which they could settle freely and take multiple wives while making slaves of the native male population. But Moonshine women largely rejected them, and this repeated itself over and over as Ogili men were to slow to learn and their own birthrate was in decline.
In the end, fears of an all-female Moonshine army feminizing the few remaining Ogili men were unfounded, and in fact Safiz became the military leader of both Empires with both sexes serving in the military at all levels. Nevertheless, this turn of events corresponded with the flight of most economic activity into warmer climates where there was less emphasis on military power. Thus Safiz remained poor, and survived mainly as a check on the power of the other richer states through the threat of civil war. Many Safiz battalions are called on to other parts of the Empire for protection, often in a position more reminiscent of police than an army. Since their battalions are gender-mixed, they can even marry and have children while serving "in the army". Pregnancy and childbirth does not excuse them from military service, but the state they are living in is obligated to pay extra money to the mother for child support, and the family can even choose to stay there after their service is over.
As for the rest of Ogili, the situation was similar, but less advanced. Moonshine is spoken well outside the formal borders of the Moonshine Empire, and tall women are a majority well beyond even that. But neither trait has protruded much into the economically advanced capital states of Goga, which is the economic powerhouse of the Empire. Feministic societies tend to thrive where economic poverty is widespread, and paradoxically tend to be the most well-defended areas militarily for several reasons:
- All of the society, both male and female, is ready to fight, whereas in the rich coastal cities everyone is unarmed and generally working in jobs that make them easy targets during a war.
- The birthrate in Moonshine societies is well above average for the Ogili Empire, and since they live primarily in low-energy cold climates, food is scarce. None of their territory could reasonably be called overpopulated, but the threat of starvation is real enough that a life devoted to the military is only slightly more dangerous.
- Although Moonshine women have largely rejected attempts by Ogilian men to mate with them, the male jealousy they see is real, and Moonshine men (and some women) are strongly racist towards any foreigners they see as a physical or sexual threat they aren't equipped to handle. This leads them to become even more militarized near their borders, even though they still officially adhere to pacifism, and to exaggerate any crimes against their people to the point of raiding Ogili towns and sometimes killing innocent people, and then threatening even harsher punishment if the Ogilians retaliated.
Nevertheless, the northernmost 2% of Amade (essentially the northern coastline) is majority-Moonshine, and the trait of tall women extends a few hundred miles south of that, but in a quickly dissolving gradient.
The state of Nokʷ does not have a significant population of Moonshines. However, it borders Goga, which does, and the Moonshine language has spread out through the Nokʷ school system, such that is has become the majority language of Nokʷ. This happened by friendly contact even though the Moonshines were officially placed right at the border in order to stop the Nokʷ people from invading Goga.
This is an example of a pure cultural diffusion with no exchange of population, and thus an exception to the rule that the tall-female phenotype pushes out further than the Moonshine language and culture. Nokʷ's people are essentially pure descendants of the Khulls settlers from 4600 years ago, meaning men are much taller than women, and lack the tough skln and high body fat proportions of the Moonshines and other cold climate peoples. Nokʷ culture is partially defined by a boundary encircling warm, snowless climates, where simple agriculture is possible (though even they do not have grains) and wild animals tend to be the types that have sharp claws and teeth rather than overwhelming humans with pure body size.
Nokʷ is the type of area that is surprisingly warm and sunny, like Oregon & Washington in the USA where people from out of state say "What do you mean 115 degrees Fahrenheit? I thought it was always cold and rainy here?"
As above, Moonshine living in Goga are primarily soldiers or descendants of soldiers, and have not integrated well into Goga society, or even learned to speak the local language. They are only about 8% of the population, but are sometimes confused with Poswobs who are about 15%. Anti-Moonshine politicians are afraid that the Moonshines will absorb the Poswobs and unite against the Goga majority, and perhaps even bring in allies such as the Nokʷ people who seem suspiciously friendly towards the Moonshines even though the Moonshines were invited in specifically to protect against Nokʷ. Most politicians are too embarrassed to admit that two feministic societies which combined only make up 23% of the population could feasibly overthrow the entire government, but the fear is well-founded based on all the other societies they've overturned.
Xema (locally called Púm) is a country with a climate and shape similar to Greenland. Even the famously cold-tolerant Moonshines do not have large settlements here, but instead move along the icebound coast perpetually looking for better fishing spots. They also eat birds, and birds also eat them. They share this territory with the similarly nomadic Andanese peoples who were expelled from their homeland 4600 years earlier and have remained essentially unchanged in the meantime. Andanese women outgrow their men by an even wider margin than Moonshines do, but both sexes are very small-framed in general.
Xema was originally settled by Andanese exiles who wanted to turn against their old homeland and be evil and destructive, unlike the wimps in the tropics who were trying to win them over with diplomacy. But Xema was no friend of either side; Xema promised never to make any allies whatsoever. Its only goal was to serve itself.
The interior of Xema is essentially uninhabited, but those Moonshines who can handle -128F temperatures will sometimes follow migrating birds who themselves are hiding out from danger in order to bring home more food. Even at the apex of summer, no food ever spoils in the high icecapped areas, so any killed animal can be left indefinitely.
Penguins and dolphins are common here, both species vastly outnumbering humans. The penguins sometimes move far inland for safety, because although Xema is very cold, its winters are not appreciably colder than the winters on the other side of the ocean due to the fact that Xema is fairly small and has more than 1000 miles of ocean to its north.
There are multiple species of penguins, just as there are multiple species of primates (humans, gorillas, and several types of monkeys), but the emperor penguin is in control. In Khulls penguins are called pitŏri but locally they just go by ê, meaning literally "swimmer". The penguins learned Khulls early on and preserve it for communication with humans. Most have not adapted to Moonshine or any other newer languages. This includes preserving old placenames, thus the penguins adopted the human name Pʷīpʷema (essentially "Pwipe Xema") for their homeland, not its modern reflex Púm. A few humans live with these penguins 100% of the time, and generally do not consider themselves to be Moonshines. By contrast, Moonshines do also live in the same areas as the penguins, but in separate settlements.
Although Moonshine has a proud military, they do not actually control all of Xema, as it is so large that it would be unfruitful to try. Thus, although Moonshine considers Xema to be a part of the empire, anyone living in Xema can simply scoot a little bit higher up the ice dome and escape the control of the Moonshine military.
Xema is the only place where Moonshines mixed with Andanese. They did not melt togther much even here, but it began early, and thus the effects are profound. Their languages atr total opposites, but nevetheless the early sound changes in which Moonshine changed from a language with 40 consonants into a language with nearly 90 consonants (considering palatalized consonants as separate) are due to Andnaese influence, because Andfanese had a tiny phonology with 9 consonants but was spoken so quicvkly that ahole syyyllables seemed to just be single conosnsntas. e.g. Late Andanese kapugi "claw" was read as kpʷŋĭ (Andanses always accented the fginaly syllable).
Moonshines have a few settlemets in very distant lands, mostly tropical islands, but even with the best seafaring technology of the day, anyone living this far out is effectively lost to the Moonshines and may as well consider themselves a foreigner. The tropical settlements are part of an experiment for Moonshines to see if they can build stable settlements there, in case they for some reason ever have to leave their snowbound homeland. The islands are never visited by ordinary Moonshines and most of their inhabitants have never left even the one individual island they live on.
Moonshine culture has spread also to animals living in Moonshine territory, particularly to penguins, dolphins, and firebirds.
Penguins live in a fairly restricted area of the land. However, this happens to be exactly the same areas that humans live in, so the species are in common contact. Penguins and humans communicate primarily through hand signals, with one sign for each letter. This is part of the reason why an extremely space-efficient, yet ambiguous language such as Moonshine has survived for such a long time with many words consisting of just one letter.
Some penguins speak Moonshine, but these tend to be just the ones that work with humans habitually. Penguins previously learned Khulls as an auxiliary language, and even though 4000 years have passed, they preserve Khulls as a national language among those that have not learned Moonshine. This has led to humans also learning Khulls, essentially turning back the clock as if the language had never changed. Penguins have their own pronoun series, although it does not distinguish gender. The word ê, literally "swimmer", has been co-opted to mean penguin, replacing the earlier less convenient human term pitŏri. This works because humans rarely attempt to swim in the icebound waters of northern Pʷīpʷema.
Penguins also have their own series of languages, which is even more diverse than the human series, and appears nothing like any of them. They generally have both signed and spoken forms. In the signed forms, the penguins use their flippers and the humans use their hands. In the spoken forms, there are only a few consonants, so vowels and tones are more important. Few humans have learned these languages, but in grammar they are surprisingly similar to those of humans, so "immersion" is possible. Of course since humans have lips and penguins have beaks the himans' attempt to speak is very different in sound, but again, still possible, because the penguins' phonologies tend to have only a few consonants. Common consonant invernoties are /p ḅ m s l/ or /p b m s w/. Consonants are mosdtly bilabials because that is what humans are most comfortable with and it makes it easier for te penguins to see. Nontheless, even though pegnuins have good hearing, sometimes it is better to have just 1 consojnant at each POa, hence the subtle differences in POA in setups like /p ḅ m s l/ (even here, /p/ and /m/ share a spot, thoiugh).
Penguins range in size from 0.2 humans to 13 humans, with the largest ones in control. They have a much more meat-heavy diet than humans, but due to gegorpahy, many humans in Moonshine also have a diet consisting almost entirely of meat. (They get vitamin K, D, etc from eating animals that eat plants.) This puts the two species in competition, but violent incidents are rare because both species are sparse enough that there is generally enough food for everybody. Humans have even introduced the penguins to cooked meat, and penguins often prefer this to fresh kills. And opewgnuins are good at sharing dfood that they have caught, thus penguin + humans is the most lovable combination of spices. THe dxolhpins are second but dont get as much contact with humans because they dont ever actuallt share the same spot. Other naimals such aws bears, etc, are not as compartible with other species t all
Penguins, like hgumans, live primarily in cities. Theu have cities along the coast of Xema just like the uhmans do, and there are some cities that have both species. Inland, there are very few prnghuins, since they need to go to the coast for food, but nevertheless there do exist settlements of penguins that ar4e many days' journey away from the sea.
Dolphins range in size from 6 to 84 humans, and surround the entirety of Moonshine territory and a lot more. They have independent nations of their own, with distinct boundaries, and so they dont just simply roam throughout the entire ocean. The fact that a few dolpinh nations have žž in their name led them to be called "the ŽŽ zone". For the most part, the Dolphins standy by an agreement made with the Moonshines about 1350 years ago promising that each would defend the other. But since doilphins have nations of their own, they have wars of their own too, and humans cannot just tell the difference between a pro-Moonshine dolphin and a pro-Vatala intruder trying to destroy all the other nations. Dolphins communiate primarily through interpreters, but can learn human languages, so the interpreter just needs to repeat the sounds, not actually translate the language.
The world population od dolphins is about 3.6 million, just slightly lower than the human population. However, due to the low population density in Moonshine, dolphins vastly outnumber humans here and since Moonshine includes a lot of ocean territory, and dolphins can swim upriver, it coulds be said that dolphins are the dominant species even on land. Dolphins do not have a set of pronouns, they simply say "this dolpthin", "those dolpgins", etc. using normal words. However the word for dolphin is just ǯʕ (from Khulls sṁ) so it doesnt cause a great incvenience.
Like penguins, dolphgins prefer to live near the seashore but do have some settlements in the open ocean. Unlike other species, thre is no furniture etc that defines a settlement, so it is hard to a draw a map with boundaries between the different dlkphin nations and the settlements within them. However the ones defined by coastal indetnations, etc, do not genreally move much. The opoen-ocean dolphin nations also do not move much because they are generally very large. It is the settlements within those nations that ar ard to pin down.
Although some dolphins do live on land, that generally doesnt happen here because of the fact that all rivers freeze at least during winter, and sometimes only thaw out late in the summer. It could be said that some places dont even have rivers, they just have brackish swamps that thaw out in bits and pieces while ice clogs up other parts of them.
Unlike penguins, dolphins cannot communicate with humans using spoken words because they live underwater. Thus there is little actual communication. Penguins can serve as a go-between, but there are not many situations in which this would be pracical. Instead dolpins communiate with humans using written words generally in Moonshine. Some dolphgins still know Khulls, but generally only from reading old human writings.
The only spcies that is predominantly hostile, firebirds see humans as prey and only occasionally will cooperate with umans when their interestes coincide. On the island of Lan, for example, humasn are still 100% captive and have not yet been rescued from the firebirds' rock nests by other humans. But Lan is outside the territory of Moonshine. Within Moonshine, the two species mostly manage to coexist despite being at war, since neither exposes itself to harm often enough to make the kill worth the risk. i.e. a firebird could capture a human and then swoop away to safety, but this would rsult in a reventge attack of some sort, whereas they could choose instead to eat a fish, which has a lot more meat and muscle, and there will be no revenge attack from a colony of fish.
Like penguins and humans, firebirds are mostly found right near the water, but they prefer a warmer climate than the other two species because they have very little body fat. This is part of the reason why the temperate climates to the west of Nokʷ are almost entirely free of humans: this is the firebirds' main habitat. Firebirds range in size from 2 to 8 humans. THye usually die around 70F so Poswobs have to dwealth with them less than Moonshines do. Note that there are tropical firebirds which are smaller but just as deadly.
The only animal species that is unique to the Moonshine Empire is the hedgehogs. THere are actually two species, but the blue one vastly outnumbers the red. Like rabbits, hedgehogs are dangerous to humans in only an indireect way: they dont eat humans, but they eat the food that humans eat and therefore are commonly in competition. Unlike rabbits, hedgehogs are far larger than any humans, and it takes a whole city of humans to fight off just one hedgehoh. However, as above, there is generally plenty of food, so confl;icts are small-scale rather than large organized wars. The hedgehogs even share the same capital city with the humans. They consider themselves speakers of Ogili rather than Moonshine when they speak human languages.
Hedgehog spines are sharp and very rigid, such that a human will go to a dead hedgehog and prick out the spines to use as weapons in killing fish. The hedgehogs themselves are gernally immune to the spines because they have very thick, firm skin. Therefore humans cannot directly harm hedgehogs even if they manage to outsmart them.
- Although this gene has been around for many thousands of years, the Moonshines began as a small split-off from a tall-maled population near the southern coast and only later absorbed the northern peoples whose descendants today make up the vast majority of the Moonshine population.
- They used gender neutral terminology, even though the Moonshine rulers were always female.
- If there was one. How likely are flags to be reinvented on another planet?
- I diesnged with logo long ago, not taking from FMF.
- Name used for familiarity, as they are the largest and plumpest penguin species, and they live in superbly cold climates.