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Sunday, October 11, 2020

Writing 'Colonies' Part XVII: SITREP - and a chapter from Sagittaron

 Here's the graphic:


Halfway through Book Five: Sagittaron.  The first half dealt with the arrival of the imperial forces of Virgo and Leo on the planet.  The second half picks up a few centuries later once the oppression has been codified and the people are becoming set in their ways (ways that persist all the way until Battlestar Galactica).

Throughout these books, I'm using the Messengers of The One True God as connective tissue, interviewing people from my books and the TV shows to set up, recap, ask questions, etc.  I try to use characters attached to the colony in question, of course.  There are two known characters related to Sagittaron: Anastasia Dualla and Tom Zarek.  I've used them both.  In fact, you can read Zarek's chapter after the JUMP.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Writing 'Colonies' Part XVI: Mapping Leonis, Virgon, Sagittaron

 I've been making maps but I somehow forgot to share them with everyone.

Let's go back to Book Three: Leonis:

Click to embiggen

Book Three contains two time periods.  The first part is set about 620 years after the exodus from Kobol.  The initial settlers of Leonis regressed into an agrarian society and their language became something akin to Gaulish.  (Many of the smaller towns on the map come from an ancient map I found of Gaul.)  The second half of the book is set 150 years later and the language has evolved into "Old French" (aka Anglo-Norman).  

As for the structure of the world, the book Beyond Caprica states that Leonis has only two continents: one above the equator and the other below.  It also mentions that there are several large north-south rivers and that the capital (at the time of the fall of the Colonies) is Luminere, which is obviously the name of the city Lomere several centuries later.

On to Book Four: Virgon:

Click to embiggen

Book Four is focused on only one time period.  A time of transition for the Virgan Empire and a time of civil war.  Thus, the "red cities."  In the ensuing centuries, "Buskirk" became "Boskirk"; "Bloustaff" became "Bloustad"; and so on.  The time period means the language is based on Old English.  (In case you're wondering, "Cent" is pronounced with a "k" sound.)

The general look of the map came from the QMX map.  I enlarged the planet for Virgo from it and traced the outline.  It suited my purposes well.  (I couldn't do the same for Leonis; the QMX map's planet for Leonis differed too much from other descriptions of the planet.)

On to Book Five: Sagittaron:
Click to embiggen

That's a lot of mountains.

As described by multiple sources, Sagittaron is a very mountainous planet with fertile valleys.  Of course, from the show, we know that this particular world was exploited for centuries by the other colonies.  This evokes comparisons to our own planet, including the colonial period of the 18th and 19th centuries in Africa.

There are any number of languages in Africa that I might have used for this part of the series.  I ended up settling on Hausa, a language native to western Africa (in and around Nigeria).  They have (naturally) a very rich history and mythology which made for a great contrast against the Pantheonic "colonizers."  

Why did I choose Hausa, though, out of all the languages present in Africa?  The name of the capital city has been established as Tawa, so I searched to discover its origin.  As it turns out, there are several occasions of "Tawa" in various languages.  The one that intrigued me most, however, was Hausa.  In that tongue, "Tawa" means "mine," as in the possessive pronoun.  My initial confusion at seeing the word "mine" inspired this scene between the Virgan expedition leader and the chief of a village:

Cenric said, "There is no need to change what has worked well before.  Makau, introduce us."

The translator sighed and stepped toward the older man who wore brightly colored skins and a metallic necklace.  "This is the Duke of Sagittarius, Lord Cenric.  He has come to claim your lands in the name of the ruler of Virgo, Queen Beverley."

The chief raised up and angry chattering rustled through the crowd.  "He cannot do this," he said in their language.

The duke ignored him and said to Makau, "Ask him what this place is."

The young man asked, "What is this place?"

Defiant, the chief squared his shoulders and raised his jaw.  "Tawa."

"'Tawa?'" the lord asked.  "Does that have a meaning?"

Makau translated, "'Mine.'"

"Oh, a mine," Cenric said.  He looked around and smiled.  "Very attractive.  I believe we shall establish ourselves here.  Permanently."

Of course the colonizers would want to be near a mine, even though the chief was being defensive and saying his village is "mine."

Most of the green village names on the map feature only in the first half (which I have nearly finished).  The "resettlement cities" don't come into play until the second half, which is set a few centuries later.  

Book Five is a tragedy and, in these volumes, it serves to explain how the Sagittarons became the people we saw in BSG and also as an illustration as to how little mankind has changed.

Thanks for reading.