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  1. Imperial Analysis Ebs Telrunya, Elven Scholar Introduction The Holy Orenian Empire has come to dominate social, economic and political life among the Descendants. The Empire was born out of the wreckage of the old order so decisively repudiated by the Phoenix Rebellion. Godfrey I’s ascension as Holy Oren Emperor was not especially controversial to mali observers at its time, though the Silver State of Haelun’or was more sensitive to political headwinds in the Kingdom of Renatus due to their long standing alliance. Over and over, the Empire and its Emperors have redrawn national boundaries, reformed government and social institutions and waged war. It is necessary to admit that the Empire has seen a blossoming of scholarship, literature, philosophy and culture unrivaled amidst the other Descendant races. The elves, dwarves and orcs as well as their respective government have struggled to respond to the changing tides. There have been numerous wars between the Empire and its peers as well as not shortage of armed struggles within the Empire, over the succession or otherwise. The Empire at its peak fields massive armies that the rest of the Descendants struggle to meet, even when uniting off of their forces. Yet, there has been very little serious attempt by those on the outside to understand the Empire. Those among the longer lived races tend to treat the antics of humanity with less seriousness than they deserve. This failure to take the Empire seriously has led to no end of trouble. The analysis contained herein is an initial attempt to observe the Empire on its own terms and understand it better. It was conducted as background on a larger work still in progress, yet it is hoped that the analysis will stand on its own merits. Design In order to render the following analysis as comprehensible as possible to laymen, the simplest design has been employed. Two datasets were created, one containing the Emperors of the Holy Orenian Empire and the other, slightly more abstract, containing all of the Imperial Successions. For each observation (either Emperor or Succession) data was collected for a number of variables, which will be expanded on below. Of note, when the term average is employed, it is taken to mean the median, as in, that half of all observations are less than the figure stated and half above. For the first dataset, Year α (First Year of Reign), Year ω (Final Year of Reign), Length of Reign (taken by subtracting Year α from Year ω), Year of Death, Age at Death, each Emperor’s Dynasty, the number of Legitimate Children, and each Emperor’s Ethnicity. For each Emperor’s Dynasty, the four possible entries were Horen, Carrion, Chivay, and Novellan. This may be a controversial move, but it was decided that those Emperors of the cadet branches of House Horen such as House Helene or Cascadia would be considered as being Horen Emperors. Novellan, though, is being treated as a separate dynasty, as though its Emperors and Empress trace their lineage to House Horen, they are also equally tied to House Carrion, creating something entirely new for the Empire. Ethnicity was a little harder to parse. The vast majority of Emperors have been Heartlanders, though some of those were the products of unions with Highlanders. For lack of a more obvious solution, ethnicity has been passed through the male line, which results in all of the Horen and Chivay emperors being considered Heartlanders with the Carrions being Highlanders. This leads to the current Emperor, John VIII, being coded as a Highlander from his father. Finally, in those cases where the year of death is not known for a given Emperor, that Emperor will be excluded from any analysis. Turning to the second dataset on successions, all are binary variables, meaning that each variable has either a positive or a negative response. The variables are whether a succession is the result of a Death, the result of an Abdication, whether the crown passed within the same dynasty, whether it passed to either a son/grandson/daughter of the previous Emperor, whether the succession was caused by or was during a dissolution of the Empire and finally whether the succession was preceded by, concurrent with, or followed by a political crisis. The last of these is the trickiest to explain, as what qualifies as a political crisis is highly subjective. Roughly, what it meant by a political crisis for the purposes of this study is that a succession was brought about by political pressure by factors internal or external to the empire, that the succession kicked off a contested or even uncontested passing of the crown, or that the succession lead to the dissolution of the empire or the fall of the current dynasty. This is a broad definition and is certainly an area that could use further refinement in follow up research. Findings There have been 27 Emperors of the Holy Orenian Empire (including the 3 of the Empire of Man). Of those, 18 (two thirds) have been of House Horen or its cadet branches, 4 of House Carrion, 3 of House Novellan and 2 of House Chivay. Only 6 (two ninths) have been Highlanders with the balance of 21 being Heartlanders. The Emperors of the Holy Orenian Empire have had on average 3 legitimate children. John I was the most fertile, fathering 7 legitimate children. 7 Emperors have died without issue, though 3 of those were unwed at the times of their premature deaths. 26 of 27 have been men, with the one woman being the mother of the current Emperor, Anne I, who coruled with her husband, Joseph II. The median length of time spent on the throne was 7 years. In total, Emperors have spent 307 years in office, the largest share of which was Peter III, who reigned 47 years (~15%). Of the 20 Emperors who age upon death is known, the average lifespan was 57 years. The oldest recorded Emperor was Aurelius I at an impressive 107 years, and the youngest was the boy Emperor John IV. The average number of years lived following their ascension was 17, with the longest lasting Emperor being John II. Three Emperors were driven from office the year of the ascension: Boris I, John IV and Robert II, the latter two of which were in the Year of the Four Emperors. Turning to Imperial Successions, there have been 32 instances of Imperial succession, though not all of those resulted in a new Emperor taking the throne. The “ideal” succession is that where the Emperor dies and his next closest male issue, either son or grandson, succeeds to the throne. That has occurred only 12 times, ~38% of the time. A further 5 times a succession has been within the same dynasty, for a total of just over half. The remaining half resulted in a change of dynasty, were the result of the formation or reformation of the Empire (6 times) or resulted in the dissolution of the dynasty (5 times). A succession has been caused by the death (14 times) or the abdication (11 times) of the current Emperor. Finally turning to the before described Political Crises, 20 of the 32 Imperial Successions were preceded by, occurred during, or were followed by a climate of political crisis within the Empire, nearly two thirds of the time. As could be gathered from the prior description, the year 1585, the Year of the Four Emperors, had 3 succession crises, the most. 1467 comes in second, with two successions and three Emperors. Conclusions The most striking finding of the study is the paucity of “ideal” successions. Instead, the succession of the Holy Orenian Emperor is more often characterized by discord, political crisis. While there has been a recent run of mostly peaceful transfers of power, this has been the exception, not the rule. The succession of the Imperial Throne appears to be incredibly unstable, and there is a ~15% chance of a succession resulting in the dissolution of the Empire, and that increases to just under 20% when excluding those successions classified as ascensions to the Imperial throne due to the constitution or reconstitution of the Empire. However, excluding those same cases would produce a rate of 27% for the passage of the crown from father to son or grandson, better though still not spectacular. The average reign of the Emperors, seven years, seems to be incredibly short, though there is no data for other political systems to relate it to. This provides an interesting opportunity for follow up research, though records for all others exempting the Grand Kingdom of Urguan might prove impossibly fragmentary. Comparison to the Grand Kingdom of Urguan might be particularly instructive, as Oren and Urguan have alternated as the most powerful polities among the Descendants. Another route for future study is a deeper analysis of the political crises surrounding the factitious Imperial Successions, as there might be some way to form a qualitative schema that could bear revelations. Perhaps a keener or more informed researcher could find proscriptions for a successful Imperial reign or orderly succession, either by the avenues suggested above or a more detailed examination of each Emperor. There is hope that this analysis will produce enlightening discussion and further research on the Holy Orenian Empire, both by those without the Empire and those within it. If any reader would like a copy of the data utilized in this study or has some relevant commentary, please do not hesitate to contact the author. Attached to this report is an appendix containing some particularly revealing figures created for the edification of the reader. Appendix I Average Age at Death Average Length of Reign
  2. [!] A fresh pamphlet is pinned to the Bramblebury notice board! The Rise and Fall of the Halfling Republic A History of the Halflings from 1786-1818 By Chapter V: Great Again? 1805-1814 The closing days of Iris Peregrin’s term as Mayor of Bramblebury marked the midpoint of a unique period in halfling history; it was a time when the Peregrins were approaching the height of their influence on the village, which for some meant an era of festivities and good feelings, and for others an age of austerity and nonacceptance. Though the constitution had guaranteed all the same rights to improper halflings as proper halflings, the social stigma associated with breaking tradition was enough to keep most impropers “in the closet.” Nobody was ever arrested for being improper, but almost nobody was willing to admit that they were either. I still owned a sword and continued to carry it with me whenever I left the village, it was kept hidden in the burrow at any other time, and if asked I would have said I had gotten rid of it. In the few cases in which some halflings were unfortunate enough to do something improper out in the open, the punishments they faced were not too harsh; nothing much worse than harassment and social discrimination. However, though this manner of repression was quite tame compared to the sort of violence that happens to nonconformists in Oren or Haelun’or, it was still a far cry from the free society I had envisioned. The Peregrins would not soon give up the cultural crusade they had started in Bloomerville. Besides, considering how much good Iris had done for the village, most halflings, myself included, were willing to go along with all this, even if only to keep the peace. Hiding one’s improperness has always been fashionable, so for the majority of halflings, those who had not been openly improper prior to the Peregrins’ arrival anyway, nothing had changed at all. ~A Bonfire in Bramblebury; 1804~ Before going any deeper into this chapter, however, it is important to remember that the Peregrins truly believed that enforcing properness like this was good for the village. Halfling conservatism as the Peregrins practiced it was very much focused on maintaining a uniquely halfling cultural identity. Anything improper or biggun-like was considered a threat; a slippery slope that could lead to the halflings losing sight of who we are. Considering what Iris found upon her arrival in Fort Hope in 1792, to some degree I can understand why the conservatives thought maintaining properness was so important, however she and her family had not been present back in Brandybrook, where the idea that proper and openly improper halflings can coexist peacefully was taken for granted; at least after Sheriff Alfie Greenholm resigned. Sean Puddlefoot, Benedict Hassenfort, and Anne Applebrook were all famously relaxed in their adherence to halfling tradition, but from what I’ve heard they were all well respected people in Brandybrook. Their presence did not make Brandybrook’s proper halflings any less proper, nor did it cause any doubt in anyone’s mind that we were all still halflings. As much as I disagreed with the Peregrin stance on properness, however, the main aspect of their political agenda that worried me was the notion that a Peregrin needed to be in power at all times. The Mayorship was not a royal title to be handed from one member of a family to the another, but given Iris’ endorsement of her cousin Onelia that seemed to be exactly what was meant to happen. The fact that another Peregrin would be running combined with the strict degree to which properness had been enforced and lingering memory of the vitriolic response to the constitution dissuaded me from running in the Mayoral Election of 1805. I was rather surprised when my wife Kerraline, who had never been involved in politics before, announced that she would be running for Mayor; but I gave her all the encouragement she needed. Kerra did not have very strong or detailed political beliefs, but that didn’t matter; she was kind, capable, and most importantly trustworthy. ~A Poster Promoting Kerraline Goodbarrel; 1805~ That being said, I did not have a lot of confidence that Kerra would beat Onelia. She was not particularly active in village life, in fact for most part the only thing known about Kerra was that she was my wife, which, considering my reputation at the time, was not something that particularly helped her campaign. In fact, the only thing Kerra really did have to her name prior to the debates was the fact that she was not Onelia Peregrin. Though they may have been a minority, there were at least some people in the village who either thought the Peregrins were too strict about properness or simply didn’t get along with Onelia the way they got along with Iris. Unfortunately, the so-called “anti-Peregrin” vote I had predicted was immediately split by the entries of Rolladango Applefoot, a grandson of the old Thain Rollo Applefoot; and Burt Hassenfort, son of Benedict, into the race. ~A Poster Promoting Onelia Peregrin; 1805~ Though I knew these new candidates would probably take votes away from Kerra, it was also quite probable that they would take votes away from Onelia as well. Ignoring the Peregrins’ belief that the concept of Thainship was out of keeping with halfling tradition, Rollo was a famously proper halfling who purportedly “saved the race”, and thus a good name for Rolladango to tie to himself to if he were to seek the propers’ vote. Though Burt had his name tied to Benedict, he was, as far as I know, a proper halfling who had gone along with the Peregrins’ cultural crusade. It seemed that the Election of 1805 was going to be quite close, and it was something that, despite my informal retirement from politics, I wanted to be as involved in as possible, so I volunteered to monitor the debates. ~A Poster Promoting Rolladango Applefoot; 1805~ I wasn't terribly disappointed when Rolladango very suddenly announced that he would be dropping out of the election on account of not being able to make it to our scheduled debate on the 1st of the First Seed, 1805. If anything, I was relieved. As silent as they had been over the past few years I knew there was still a sizeable population of Bernardists in Bramblebury who would eagerly support an Applefoot. The confiscation of the so-called “Thain’s shovel” from Isalie by “Lord Knox” back in 1798 was still fresh in my mind, and I worried that should Rolladango win he might attempt to overthrow her. For all the safety-nets I had written into the constitution I knew that ultimately so few of the people cared about it that an untrustworthy candidate such as Rolladango could get away with practically anything. Besides, the only interaction I ever had with the man occurred when he was still a tween, prone to rage and violence; it was not the image of someone who should be trusted with the reigns of government. ~A Poster Promoting Burt Hassenfort; 1805~ The debate itself did not reveal much, except perhaps the fact that the Peregrins’ influence on the village had become so great that to even suggest that one may be alright with improperness was tantamount to political suicide. In fact, the window of what was considered “acceptable politics” in the Peregrin Era had become so small that there was hardly any debate between Burt, Onelia, and Kerra at all! My wife even admitted to me later on that she had modified her answers to the questions based on what the other two had said. Whether planned in advance or not, what happened as a result of all three candidates giving very similar answers was quite astonishing. Throughout the debate, the audience had been very chatty, throwing in a comment at every pause and treating the whole thing like much more of a spectacle than it actually was. As the debate began to wind down, however, the ill-timed humor turned into serious discussion about how all three of the candidates were wonderful. Then, quite suddenly, Monkey Peregrin and Perry Overhill suggested that we elect all three candidates as Elders. The audience immediately burst into discussion over the idea, much to the fright and confusion of Thain Isalie Gardner. Even as I tried to explain to the crowd that it was unconstitutional to just go ahead and create an Elder Council, and that we had no framework for how such a thing would work, they seemed dead set on it getting approved right then and right there. ~The Debate; 1805~ I recall feeling absolutely awful for Isalie as she moved on to the stage to address this crowd, which was perhaps better described as a mob; certainly not a violent mob, mind you, but an unruly gathering nonetheless. Once again, the accusations of Isalie trying to enforce her will, and by extension mine, on the village were thrown at her. Once again, the notion that our constitution was a sacred document which needed to be preserved and followed was labeled “biggun-talk”. And once again, Isalie only had me to turn to for advice. Though I did a better job of hiding it, I was just as worried and confused as Isalie was that day. It seemed the entire village wanted this Elder system to be put into effect, who were I and Isalie to try and stop it? Pulling her aside and speaking in whispers, I told her as much, and said also that it would be advisable for her to follow the mob’s wishes and postpone the election until after the constitution had been amended. Having written the constitution, I knew full well that this was illegal, but I feared what might happen if Isalie and I angered the mob further. A change in government seemed inevitable; if it was what the people wanted then I thought the only way to ensure that this transition of power occurred in an orderly manner was to work with the mob. Isalie, unfortunately, took my unwise words for wisdom, and announced that the election would be postponed until after a meeting was held to determine the future of village government. Though I recall walking away from that debate feeling as if the situation was under my control, looking back I would say the 1st of the First Seed, 1805, was the day democracy in Bramblebury began to make way for mob rule; I was simply too naive to know the difference. ~The Thain Watches the Debate; 1805~ I must admit that my main motivation for working with the proponents of the Elder system was to keep the future of our republic under my control. It was not because I wanted power within this new government but rather that I feared, should the conservatives be allowed to design a new constitution however they like, it would either be immensely flawed or entirely nonexistent. This was a chance to write a constitution that the village actually agreed with; a chance to redeem myself in the eyes of the public, and to create a more perfect system that I thought could serve our people for generations. I had come to the rather flawed conclusion that, in a democracy, the majority is always right . I suppose I did not understand at the time that a mob is no less of a mob for being on your side. The most hated aspect of the 1797 constitution was the inclusion of a system of checks and balances that ensured that neither the Thain nor the Mayor nor the Sheriff had too much power. This had been functioning just fine, but it was much too “biggun-like” for the conservatives. Having three Elders instead of just one Mayor would only complicate things further. It did not take long for me to realize that a three Elder system and a Thainship were mutually exclusive. Though she never said anything about quitting, ever since the days of Bloomerville, Isalie had occasionally expressed to me how tiring her job was. She always felt that people hated her, and sometimes questioned if perhaps someone else would do better in her position. I thought she had served us wonderfully, and she was my closest friend besides Kerra, but the proverbial wind was not blowing in her direction. When given the choice between Isalie and a peaceful and orderly village, I felt compelled to choose the latter, and in the next issue of the Bramblebury Gazette I published a plan for a simpler constitution that provided for a government with three Elders of equal power and a Sheriff with only law enforcement authorities; this was met with much praise from the conservatives. ~A Busy Day in Bramblebury; 1806~ When I walked into the village meeting Isalie had called in order to discuss revising the constitution on the 21st of the Deep Cold, 1805, I believed that everyone, Isalie included, had read the latest edition of the Bramblebury Gazette and were prepared to discuss the proposal I had included in it. That was not a wise assumption to make, however. I was somewhat confused as Isalie addressed the audience about bringing back Elders and creating a sort of militia called the Bounders to assist the Sheriff in their duties. After a bit of back and forth about Bounders, I recall beginning to wonder if anyone there was going to address the elephant in the room. But nobody brought it up; I had to do it myself. The fact Isalie had apparently not read my government proposal meant that she was totally unprepared to hear that the village was thinking about having her step down. I knew this, and I knew also that she would probably take it personally, and she did. I recall seeing this awful look of betrayal on her face as she asked me if I really thought her leadership was that horrible. Apart from a little bit of chatter from Filibert Applefoot and some kind words from my wife Kerra, the crowd gathered was mostly silent as I tried to explain to Isalie in the kindest terms possible that it was time for her to step down. Isalie simply burst into tears, saying something along the lines of it all being my hands now. As I looked back into the crowd, which was devoid of any emotion, I had a very strange and uneasy feeling, as if the eyes of history itself were staring down at me. It had been the desire of the Peregrins and the other conservatives to restore the Elder system and end the Thainship for quite some time, but when it actually happened they had hardly lifted a finger or said a word. That was left to me. And I did it not because I wanted to get rid of Isalie but because I was afraid of letting a mob rewrite the constitution. And yet, that is exactly what I let them do. The new constitution wasn’t inspired by my own wisdom but by the passions of the people, and I walked home thinking I had done the right thing; any shame I had was because my best friend felt I had betrayed her, not because I had betrayed my own revolution. It would take a long time for me to realize just how damaging the so-called “Revolution” of 1806 really was. ~The Old Thain Reflects; 1807~ Though the 1797 Constitution required a 2/3rds majority of the voters to approve amendments to the constitution, no such vote was held. As was evident by my ill-conceived advice to Isalie, I had totally given up on preserving the sanctity of our constitution, and I didn't want to bother Isalie any further. All that legitimized the new constitution I wrote in 1806 were signatures from Isalie, Iris, Meemaw, and a few other halflings in the village. Technically speaking, that means every election and decree that was issued under the Elder system was illegitimate, but nobody cared. Law can be a tricky thing to understand at times, and my fellow halflings had no patience for it. Though I did not seek my wife’s position as a candidate in the 1806 Elder Election, seeing as it was illegal for people married to each other to serve on the Council of Elders at the same time; I was quick to notice that I was, for the first time in my entire career, becoming popular, and decided to cement it further by revising the Goodbarrelian Manifesto to make it look like I had wholehearted support for the Elder-system and properness. Even though I would not run for Elder for another 8 years, I finally had the Peregrins’ confidence, and in an election that was all that mattered. Being a large family with many friends, the abolishing of the office of Thain meant that the Peregrins had practically uncontested control of the republic. Nobody could be elected Elder without their support. “King” Cyris Collingwood tried to run for Elder at the last minute too, but he received not a single vote, even though each voter was allowed to cast three. The results were exactly as projected; Onelia, Kerra, and Burt became the first Elders of Bramblebury. ~The 1806 Bramblebury Elder Election~ With how dramatically and negatively I have described the transition to an Elder system, one might question why exactly returning to that old form of government was so bad. Peregrin control over elections aside, the problems of an Elder system were not immediately obvious. Few outside the Gardner family were upset by Isalie’s fall from power. Her popularity had been damaged not only by past events during Brandybrook, Bloomerville, and the Knoxist Crisis but also by more recent things such as her marriage to a biggun (the Warden), and her proposals for the construction of biggun living quarters in the village. ~The Wedding of the Thain and the Warden; 1805~ Following the “Revolution” of 1806, the village seemed to go back to how it was when Iris was Mayor, if not better; with all manner of festivals, weddings, cooking contests, bakery openings, and birthday parties. Tavern nights continued to be held, the library received a great number of donations, Filibert started up a new newspaper, and a whole new district was constructed in the village known as Bloomerville Square, which harkened back to what the Peregrins considered one the best time in our recent history. For anyone who was proper or at least pretending to be, it was a fine time to live in Bramblebury. For those who were not included in that “proper” halfling majority, however, the Bramblebury of the Peregrin-Goodbarrel-Hassenfort years was not quite so pleasant. In one instance, a late biggun friend of mine and her Sorvian were essentially robbed by a couple of “proper” halflings for no reason other than the fact that she was a biggun. In another instance, one that I am, admittedly, guilty of being involved in, a biggun was told he could only stay in the village if he cast off his shoes and worked the fields for us. Perry even wrote an open letter criticizing an organization promoting racial justice. “Biggun Realism”, as he called it, was in full force, and seeing as the constitution protected only the rights of halflings, there was nothing that could be done about it. Even though improper halflings were legally protected under the constitution, that did not protect them from being disowned by their families or otherwise turned into outcasts. Known improper halflings only continued to have it worse as the village started to become a somewhat unpleasant place for anyone who didn’t seem to be a proper halfling to live; one improper halfling even finding herself fighting a duel against a Peregrin! The wholesome presence of Iris was often missing as she began to spend more time pursuing her studies with the Druidic Order rather than lounging about the village. As for Isalie, she became far less reserved in her words and actions after retiring, often getting into fights with Onelia, Filibert, and other people she had not gotten along with. Sheriff Meemaw Applebottom, her health not being the best at her age, was hardly ever seen, and was certainly not patrolling often enough to keep things calm. In the early 1810s there would even be a series of horrific “murders.” Though all the presumed victims later turned up alive, these unsolved cases certainly cast a poor light on Meemaw’s tenure as Sheriff, and helped encourage her eventual resignation due to health reasons. ~Aftermath of a Murder; 1811~ The rancidity of this “perfect society” we had created was not limited only to the experience of “improper” halflings and bigguns; in fact, I’d argue much of it stemmed from the immense flaws within the new Elder-system. As it turned out, the absence of the separation of powers and checks and balances that had made the old constitution so reviled were the very thing that made the new constitution so ineffective. In my quest to “simplify” it for the public, I had removed any semblance of instruction on how Elders were supposed to interact with each other, with the only specifications being that they were all supposed to be of equal power and that only some decisions required unanimous approval. I cannot blame Onelia for misinterpreting the constitution considering there was practically nothing there to interpret, but that does not really excuse the fact that she often acted as if she were the sole leader of the village, though I don’t recall writing that not speaking with your fellow Elders on a daily basis allows you to assume the powers of a Thain anywhere in the constitution. At first, Onelia’s approach to the office of Elder was not a terribly large problem; though it did allow her to create the Bramblebury Fire Department; which would cause a fiasco and half several years later. No, Onelia’s approach to Eldership became a problem when she began conducting “diplomacy” on behalf of her other Elders; which is to say that she went behind their backs to trod upon our alliance with Elvenesse to the point of its near destruction. The Halfling-Elvensse Crisis began when a diplomat from Haelun’or arrived in the village to arrange an audience between the high elven Silver Council and the halfling Council of Elders. Though the purpose of this meeting was not explicitly stated in my presence, it did not take a lot of sleuth work to figure out that the high elves were seeking to establish good relations with the halflings as they prepared for war against our protectors in Elvenesse. I recall feeling very frustrated at my inability to get involved; but thankfully this initial meeting was handled by Kerra quite well. She made it clear that Bramblebury had no intention of betraying Elvenesse or otherwise getting involved in an unnecessary biggun war. ~Halfling Negotiations; 1810~ Unfortunately, that was not how Elvenesse perceived that meeting as rumors spread among their leadership that the halflings of Bramblbeury may be seeking independence from Elvenesse, or worse, that we were conspiring to aid the Silver State against them. It was not only these rumors of conspiracy that worried Elvenesse, however. Allegedly, Onelia marched down to Elvenesse' capital Amathea one day, badmouthed their council, and slapped their High Princess in the face. What followed was a diplomatic scandal; though I would not have known of it had my wife not told me. Within months Bramblebury was flooded with all manner of dignitaries from Haense and the like practically begging for us to join them. Apparently a rumor was spreading like wildfire among the biggun leaders of the world that the halflings were seeking separation from Elvenesse, when in reality only one of our three elected Elders had done anything to indicate that. ~Breakfast at the Bakery; 1812~ The situation was only made worse by the fact that Burt had fallen ill in Malin’s Welcome 1811, forcing him to resign from the office of Elder. It was during some of the most crucial moments of this crisis that the only check on Onelia’s power was Kerra, who Onelia, for some odd reason, thought had disappeared and never even bothered to send a bird to. Though the constitution required that an emergency election be held in the event of a vacancy in the Council of Elders, Isalie was given the position without a vote on account of being the only person who signed up; though she viewed it more as a favor for the village than coming out of retirement. All the same, with Isalie and Kerra on the council together an opportunity arose to oust Onelia, but between the likelihood that the people would not vote in favor of her removal of office, Iris’ unwillingness to take Onelia’s position due in part to her devotion to the Druids, and the fact that the Election of 1814 was just around the corner; nothing came of the plan. It was only at this point in 1813 that Kerra actually told me everything that was going on, positing that perhaps I could write a special edition of the Bramblebury Gazette critiquing Onelia’s conduct and perhaps dissuading the people from voting for her in the next election. That, however, was quickly rendered unnecessary when Onelia announced that she would not be seeking reelection and instead would be endorsing her cousin James Peregrin, one of the adopted sons of Iris. Isalie was quite sick of what the village had turned into and, despite the fact that our friendship had been repaired, was likely still upset about the “Revolution” of 1806, so she resigned her office and left the village with the Warden before her term as temporary Elder was even finished. In her place, her adopted daughter Winter, also a good friend of mine, ran for Elder. After a brief discussion my wife also decided not to seek reelection, and so, in 1814, I finally came out of my “retirement” to officially lead the village once again. ~A Poster Promoting Greta Goodbarrel; 1814~ Though Kerra had told me quite a bit about Onelia’s misconduct as Elder, and though I had heard some unpleasant stories about the village from other friends of mine, I still believed at the time that our republic was functioning just fine, and had just happened to elect the wrong person. I had become so accustomed to being on the Peregrins’ good side that I had forgotten how unpleasant it was to go against them. I thought the problems of the village were things that I could solve just by becoming an Elder. I had yet to uncover the unfortunate truth that the “perfect” Elder system I had created did not, as Onelia promised, “make the halflings great again.” It had only made the already existing divisions among our people much worse. It would take being right in the fray of this dysfunctional government for me to realize that our republic, if not already in ruins, was on its deathbed.
  3. [!] A fresh pamphlet is pinned to the Bramblebury notice board! The Rise and Fall of the Halfling Republic A History of the Halflings from 1786-1818 By Chapter IV: Of Politics, Propers, and Pumpkin Lords 1796-1805 As was the case with most other nations, the halflings’ voyage to Almaris and our early months there were largely uneventful. The new village, named Bramblebury by a public poll, was constructed in a location that shared both both striking similarities and drastic differences with Brandybrook. Like Brandybrook, Bramblebury was built on a wooded peninsula in the south of the continent, not far at all from the gates of Elvenesse’s capital city. Unlike Brandybrook, however, the area Bramblebury occupied was vast and expansive, and despite the landscape sounding similar, the towering trees of Almaris were indeed very alien to any who were used to the relatively modest forests of Arcas. Burrows were built larger and much farther apart, and there was ample room for sugar farms, wheat fields, orchards, and vineyards. Despite all the troubles that would occur within, Bramblebury can at least attest to being the prettiest-looking village I’ve lived in. ~Morning in Bramblebury; late 18th century~ I recall being mildly annoyed with Thain Isalie Gardner as she seemed to keep putting off reading and signing the constitution. It was only after we arrived in Bramblebury and she worked to quickly hand out burrows in an organized fashion that I understood why she had waited; it was a job that needed to be done before anybody could start worrying about elections; something I hadn’t even thought of. As would often happen during these years, my efforts to create a more perfect village blinded me to the more mundane things that needed doing. I could talk all I want about the government existing only to protect the natural rights of halflings, but someone needs to hand out burrows too, I suppose. Regardless, as soon as the housing in Bramblebury was taken care of, Isalie wasted little more time reading over the constitution and signing it. I remember practically squealing with joy as I skipped back to my burrow to make a copy to publish. While I nailed the constitution to the noticeboard in the village square, I had my wife Kerraline set off a few fireworks in celebration. I thought for sure the 16th of the Amber Cold, 1796 would become a day celebrated for generations to come. The “battle” I had spent the past decade was won; after nearly a century of Bernardist dictatorship under a single all-powerful Thain, democracy had been restored to the halflings. I had no idea just how complicated and messy revolution actually is. ~Bramblebury; late 18th century~ Establishing a republic was one thing, maintaining it was something entirely different. Even then, at its creation, I had concerns about what could happen to this new government should I step away from it. However, I thought such an event would only occur in the very far future. I had long intended to run for Mayor, believing that I could set a good example for how future Mayors should behave and I also thought that my pursuit of this office would be entirely unopposed; who could possibly be more qualified to run a government than the lady who created it? In all my idealism I had forgotten about one of democracy’s greatest flaws: the power of popularity. Though it would be an exaggeration to call any of the Peregrins demagogues as I have in some of my more scathing writings, they appealed to the common halfling far better than I or Isalie ever did. I knew that Iris Peregrin might try to pursue a government office at some point in future, but I was nevertheless quite shocked when Iris announced her candidacy for the Mayoral Election of 1797. From what I’ve gathered, several people asked her to run, and all the while she had been hesitant because she did not want to get in my way. However, as had happened before and would happen again, Iris put her family above her own good judgement, and right under my nose had begun campaigning for Mayor even before the constitution was approved. Between the shock of this development, and the fact that people who previously implied that they would be voting for me suddenly pledged support for Iris, I was rather angry. It was not that Iris’ mayorship would be unjust; the people had the right to choose whichever leaders wanted; no, I was upset because it seemed the people were ungrateful for what I had done. I thought I had earned the office of Mayor, but it seemed most of the village disagreed. ~The Founding Mother; 1796~ Though I found it doubtful that I’d be able to beat Iris in an election, I did not drop out at first. I wasn’t afraid of losing, that was a part of the system after all. If I was going to go out, I thought I should at least go out with my head held high. Most of the people who had changed their vote did so apologetically, and I could at least count on votes from my wife and Isalie. Even “Lord Knox” was willing to give me some credit, calling me the “Founding Mother” on a poster advertising the debate I was to have with Iris on the 21st of The Deep Cold, 1796. In the days leading up to that debate, however, it quickly became apparent to me that the village was not only ungrateful for or apathetic about the new constitution; some halflings hated it. The language I had used and the concepts I had introduced were all considered very biggun-like and thus improper; apparently it is a fundamental offense against the halfling race to suggest that a government should have separation of powers. People were also angry that I had been allowed to do all this without any vote being taken on the matter, despite the fact that I had been accepting feedback on the constitution for years between the meeting in 1794 and the constitution's signing by Isalie in 1796. I should note that most of this criticism came from Iris’ family and supporters, many of whom had not even attended the meeting or bothered to talk to me about what they did and didn’t like about the constitution I was writing. For all I knew the village had been in full agreement. And yet, here I was, faced with the fact that my constitution had been something that was legitimized of only by the approval Isalie and my co-Elder Andon Cloudberry, the latter of whom departed the village a few weeks before the elections. Even Malfoy Proudfoot, the former Sheriff long thought missing, turned up and tried to organize a protest against my “biggun politics.” ~Breakfast in the Peregrin Burrow; 1798~ As my debate with Iris drew nearer and nearer, I began to feel the need to make a major decision. The writing on the wall had been clear since Iris entered the race: I was not going to become Mayor; Iris was too popular and my campaigning methods simply did not appeal to my fellow halflings. I made promises of "Liberty, Equality, and Happiness" for the halflings, while Iris promised them "Food, Fun, and Family", and unlike my promises these were things that could actually be delivered to them. The thought of losing an election had not been enough to dissuade me from running, though I did briefly consider running for Sheriff instead; it was not something I ever seriously pursued, however, seeing as it was a position I was uninterested in, unqualified for, and quite frankly one I thought was beneath me. It was only after I realized just how unwelcome my influence on the village was that I decided to preemptively concede the election to Iris. The reasoning I gave in my letter to the village when I conceded was quite straightforward: if the people were so displeased with what I had done and so dead set on electing a new leader to fix it all, who was I to try and stand in the way of that? As would be the case in many future disputes between myself and the conservatives, I had neither the heart nor the mind to try and argue with them, and instead chose to allow the village to decide for themselves what was best for it. What I did not understand then that I do now is that good democracies are built not on majority rule but on compromise. Though I had always been an advocate of compromise, the village’s rejection of what I saw as a great compromise between Bernardism and democracy must have communicated to me that I did something terribly wrong. I had never once considered that those who disagreed with me might simply have been unwilling to change their mind. ~Halflings on a Swing; 1797~ One person who was never intransigent, however, was Iris. After giving a speech to Bramblebury laying out her plans for her term as Mayor, Iris pulled me aside and asked me if I could provide her counsel during her term whenever she needed it. She acknowledged that at least some of my ideas were good ones, and that many of her supporters expected her to simply “sweep it all under the rug”, something that she also promised to me that day she wouldn’t do. Despite the good relationship we established then, Iris and I never become close confidants in the manner that Isalie and I were. Though I was consulted once or twice on a few laws and documents, Iris never came to me during the real crises of her Mayorship. She also mentioned that I would be a good middlewoman between herself and Isalie ,but I was never given any opportunity to mediate between them either, though I do believe that would have made some of the situations that were thrown at Iris and Isalie much less stressful. Unfortunately, the awkward caution they approached each other with on the day of Iris’ speech never went away; something that no doubt made this new government appear more dysfunctional than it actually was; the Mayor and Thain were meant to work closely together, but Iris and Isalie never really did. I had designed the position of Mayor with myself in mind, and that was proving to be something of a mistake. ~The 1797 Bramblebury Mayoral Election~ With my effective retirement, Iris ran unopposed for Mayor, and as such that election proved to be quite uneventful. The same cannot be said for the Sheriff race, in which former Halfling Liberty Association member Theodore Mowood ran against former Sheriff of Brandybrook Alfie Greenholm, who, much like Malfoy, had reappeared in Bloomerville after being missing for years; and Meemaw Applebottom, the grandmother of High Pumplar Jeannette Applebottom. In many ways, it was the Sheriff Election of 1797 that set the precedent for what elections in Bramblebury would look like; a debate was held in which all three candidates lined up on a stage and were asked questions about their beliefs and plans for the village. Once that was over with, Isalie opened up the polls and all the adults in the village were provided the opportunity to cast their votes. The polls would be open for two months, after which Isalie would fulfill her duty as Thain by counting the votes and breaking a tie if necessary; it was a process I had designed myself with some inspiration from Haelun’or’s voting system, and I was very happy to see it in action. ~The Sheriff Debates; 1797~ None of the three candidates for Sheriff in 1797 were particularly political. Their aims were, as they should be, to protect the village. The only thing there really was to debate on was whether or not it was the duty of the Sheriff to enforce properness. Though Alfie had been infamous for going to extreme lengths to do so during his term as Sheriff of Brandybrook in the 1770s, in this election he presented himself as much more of a moderate. Theodore Mowood was a known improper halfling, which combined with his lack of experience and tendency towards anger, likely cost him the election. As for Meemaw, she was able to secure a good number of votes simply by being both proper and eccentric at the same time; halflings love a good character, I suppose. ~The 1797 Bramblebury Sheriff Election~ When the results of the Sheriff Election came to Isalie, it turned out that all three candidates had tied. Isalie, having lived in the village during Alfie’s controversial term as Sheriff in the 1770s and been badgered by Theo constantly for the position of Sheriff, decided to break the tie in favor of Meemaw, something that greatly upset Alfie, who insisted more than once that a second election should have been held once Theo was voted out of the race. That was not something prescribed by the constitution, however, so his demands went ignored. That is not to say the election was totally constitutional, however. One of the constitution’s qualifications for running for office was having lived in the village for four consecutive years prior to the election. Though, of course, Bloomerville also counted as “the village,” Meemaw had arrived there only a little more than two years prior. Considering this was the first election, Isalie waived this requirement, despite the fact that the constitution had given her no authority to do so. I did not protest; though I had always envisioned the constitution as a sacred immutable document, the people held such a loathing for it that whenever it was slightly challenged or contradicted, it felt wrong to defend it. I suppose I did not understand at the time that republics are made of laws, not people. The line between democracy and rule by a mob is very thin, and my commitment to letting the people rule themselves often blinded me to the fact that sometimes the people don’t have to wisdom or education to make the right decisions. ~Halflings at School; 1797~ Despite all its problems however, I would still say that the first few years in which Iris was at the head of the republic were its best. Iris took the notion that she was a servant of the people rather than their ruler to heart; always willing to listen to feedback and suggestions on how to make the village better. One of her first acts as Mayor was to revise the village Laws and Traditions, something I gladly assisted her with. Iris also helped organize a number of festivals, including a party celebrating the halfling winter holiday, Knoxmas. With Demeter Pebblebrook opening up a school to teach halflings young and old, Mondy Applefoot opening up a bakery, and my continued production of wine and occasional publication of a new newspaper called the Bramblebury Gazette; village life flourished during the Iris Peregrin years. Her kind leadership and warm demeanor had calmed the storm of anger that had followed the adoption of the constitution; Iris was holding the village together. ~King Cyris Collingwood; 1798~ Though most of the time it takes more than one person to ruin a time of happiness and prosperity, that was not the case with “King” Cyris Collingwood, a strange halfling who arrived in the village around the time of the first elections. Though he unironically presented himself using the title of a monarch, Cyris is perhaps better described as a self-proclaimed crusader. He arrived in Bramblebury claiming to have been sent to Almaris by Lord Knox himself, and preached the “word of the Pumpkin Lord” constantly. As annoying as it was, Cyris’ practice was perfectly within the boundaries of religious freedom set by the constitution, and since most halflings are Knoxists, the village agreed. That was until a missive was put out by High Pumplar Jeanette, the head of the Knoxist Church, declaring Cyris to be a false prophet according to the true “Lord Knox”, the one that had been making periodic appearances to the halflings back in Arcas. At first, I paid little attention to Cyris and Jeannette’s dispute; it had nothing to do with me or the government I created and I had no idea that it was about to develop into a serious crisis. The Knoxist Crisis began on the 19th of the Grand Harvest, 1798, at, of all places, a Knoxmas party. The whole village had come together to share a few drinks and decorate a great Knoxmas tree which had been grown in the party field. Despite the frigid weather it was a merry celebration, attended even by Queen Ancelie of Norland. “Lord Knox” too, made an appearance, purportedly to aid in the festivities. Unfortunately, Theodore Mowood, who by then had developed a bad habit of rushing to the side of people with authority, decided it would be a good idea to point out Cyris, who had been decrying this “Lord Knox” as a false god, to the Pumpkin Lord. What resulted was a brutal duel between Cyris and “Knox” that resulted in the halfling being beaten to a near pulp. It was at this unfortunate moment that Isalie arrived at the party, and she immediately denounced this “Knox”, going so far as to give away the golden shovel and cap which had become symbols of the Thainship. “Knox” took these items and disappeared into the woods, but in the eyes of Cyris, who survived this encounter, the crusade had only just begun. ~The King Faces the Pumpkin Lord; 1798~ The interactions between this “Lord Knox” and Isalie deeply troubled me, mostly because I found it aboslutely ridiculous that any old fool could claim to be a god and order our leaders around. I had worked so hard to ensure that the new village government would maintain a separation of church and state, and feared that “Knox’s” confiscation of the Thain’s cap and shovel would be used as grounds to unjustly remove her. After all, Isalie was nearly as unpopular as I was, and despite her shaky yet calm relationship with Iris she was still heavily at odds with other village conservatives such as Alfie, Filibert Applefoot, and Onelia Peregrin. My report on the Knoxmas incident in the Bramblebury Gazette stirred up much anger, as did a missive put out by Monkey Peregrin, Iris’ adopted son, which claimed that the “Knox” who beat up Cyris was actually a demon. After getting in trouble with the other Peregrins, who were all devout Knoxists, Monkey tore the message down, but the damage had been done. Cyris continued to preach against “Knox”, something that somehow managed to land him in jail despite the fact that religious freedom was one of the key features of our constitution. Though they had been opponents during the Sheriff Elections, Alfie and Theo went practically insane together, harassing and assaulting Cyris and Isalie. His reputation destroyed, Theo soon disappeared from the village and the children that were in his care; Lilabeth, Sorrel, and Bear; were adopted by the Peregrins. With Theo and Andon going off on their own and Minto Townsend marrying into the ruling family of Talon's Grotto, Filibert and I were the only members of the old Halfling Liberty Organization left, and we had found ourselves on quite opposite ends of the political spectrum; times had certainly changed. Just as it began to seem that tensions could not possibly get any worse, “Lord Knox” put out his own missive, which, in addition to laying out a doctrine for Knoxists to follow, decried Isalie as an “unfit Thain” led astray by “temptresses and deranged people” and “democratic and political pigs.” It does not take any great amount of insight to know that these terms were used in reference to me, despite the fact that “Knox” apparently did not have the stones to call me out by name. The missive also implied that the only legitimate leaders of the halflings were the High Pumplar and Thain, a notion in direct contradiction to the constitution. The fact that “Knox” and his supporters were so hell bent on tearing down the republic and that "Knox" threatened to send the “trumpets of ruin blasting into the Gardner Burrow” was enough for me to believe that this “god” had destroyed our republic just like that. Fearing for the safety of both myself and my family, I packed up and lived in Haelun’or for a year or two, leaving the village to its own fate. ~The Departure of Greta; 1798~ As all of this happened, Iris remained mostly silent, something I cannot blame her for. She knew that to choose a side in this religious dispute was not her place as the Mayor. Though I think she privately believed that neither side was right, she did not make any public statements on the matter, and instead chose to keep the village focused on more cheerful things, such as a village-wide shogging tournament. While it’s not the approach I would have taken, I do think it may have been the right one. Despite all the bark “Knox” put into his rabble-rousing letter, nothing actually happened to Isalie or any of the improper halflings in the village. After Monkey Peregrin sent out a message to every corner of the world promising that the village was safe, I decided to make my way back. I was rather surprised to find that nothing had changed, I thought for sure my absence would mean the end of the republic, but Iris and Isalie simply continued carrying out their duties as best they could despite the trying times. Both were under a great deal of stress, however, with Iris even falling into a sort of depression. Though the village was still functioning, the problem of "Lord Knox" continued to loom over it. Something had to be done. ~The Grand Shogging Tournament; 1799~ Though Isalie and I briefly discussed the possibility of bringing in soldiers from Elvenesse to get rid of “Knox”, we both knew that doing that would kill both of our careers as village leaders, and likely cause us to be hated by the village forever. Thankfully, we never did have to take the matter into our own hands, seeing as a treant called Vorrijard decided to do it himself. I was not present in the village when it happened, but apparently the treant challenged “Knox’ to duel, which the Pumpkin Lord accepted. Despite our culture’s emphasis on nonviolence and our distaste for combat, the duel quickly became a village sensation as a fighting pit was constructed on the eastern side of Bramblebury and preparations were made for a public duel between “Knox” and any who wished to challenge him. I must say that, even though I doubted that this “Knox” was a god, I did not expect him to die at the hands of treant, nor was I there on the 24th of the First Seed, 1802 to witness it. I abhor violence, especially over something as trivial as religion, so I avoided the event and simply stayed home. It was only after the duel had occurred that I was informed that “Lord Knox” was dead. Some celebrated, others mourned, but I was simply glad it was all over. Believing the “enemy” to have been vanquished, Cyris calmed down and slowly faded into irrelevance while Jeanette became the sole authority on Knoxism in Bramblebury. ~The Duel; 1802~ With the Knoxist Crisis over, Bramblebury more or less returned to what it had been during the early months of Iris’ Mayorship. The fighting pit was torn down and a theatre constructed in its place, parties and festivals resumed, Filibert began holding drinking nights like in Brandybrook, and young Lilabeth even attempted to go to the moon. With the end of her term approaching, Iris set to work on creating a system of tunnels beneath the village which we could flee to in case of danger; they were much too small for bigguns to fit into; something that might prove very important in the future, though as of my writing this the village has yet to be attacked. In any case, the fact that the village and its government survived the Knoxist Crisis gave me great hope that the system I had built would last for generations. Iris’ great contributions to our village combined with her fine leadership seemed to prove the worth of having an elected Mayor alongside the Thain and Sheriff. It was not a perfect system, but it was working. As fantastic a job as Iris did, however, being in the position she had been in during the Knoxist Crisis took quite a toll on her. As the Mayoral Election of 1805 approached, Iris announced that she would not be pursuing a second term as Mayor of Bramblebury, and instead provided an endorsement for her cousin Onelia. ~Onelia the Orator; 1799~ Though it was never openly admitted, the Peregrins seemed to have intended to establish a dynasty wherein each member of the family would serve a term or two as Mayor, ensuring that they always had control of the village. With just how popular and successful Iris had been in both Bloomerville and Bramblebury, they certainly had the votes to do it. Recalling how she had behaved in Bloomerville, I was opposed to Onelia’s ascension to office from the very beginning, and eagerly supported both Burt Hassenfort and my wife Kerraline in their campaigns for Mayor. Ultimately, however, I thought it didn’t matter who would win that election. If someone believed to be a literal god couldn’t bring down the system, then who possibly could? I had not considered that, though our republic had passed nearly every test thrown at it during the Iris Peregrin years, it had yet to be tested in one of the most important aspects of a democracy; the ability to have an orderly transfer of power. Unfortunately, that was a test it would not pass.
  4. [!] A fresh pamphlet is pinned to the Bramblebury notice board! The Rise and Fall of the Halfling Republic A History of the Halflings from 1786-1818 By Chapter III: Rise of the Peregrins 1791-1796 Given the great adversity experienced by the halflings between 1789 and 1791 and the general feeling of despair that loomed over the ironically named Fort Hope during those years, one can easily imagine that few halflings expected 1792 to be any different; I certainly did not. Apart from another apparition of “Lord Knox”, who provided some rather cryptic information about the assassins that were targeting the village leadership, the opening days of 1792 were hardly any different than any part of 1791 had been. Unbeknownst to me or Thain Isalie Gardner however, something had been set into motion that would change not only the experience of the halflings living in fort Fort Hope but the course of halfling history itself. Amid the chaos and confusion of 1791, a new halfling arrived at Fort Hope. Though few took much notice of her at first, she would prove to be one of the key figures in this history; her name was Iris Peregrin. ~Iris Tends To Her Chickens; 1793~ The Peregrins are an ancient family. Iris was not the first of their line, which could be traced back to Andwise Peregrin, the leader of Willow Hollow, a halfling village in Vailor. Though my knowledge on Willow Hillow’s history is lacking, Iris’ account of it, which presumably was handed down to her as a family story, seemed to imply that the “glory days'' of Willow Hollow were a time when the Peregrin family held significant influence over their fellow halflings, acting as paragons of properness. At some point, however, Andwise lost his title and supposedly the village turned improper and biggun-like. Vailor was inhabited long before my parents were even twinkles in my grandparents’ eyes, but I do think that the notion that Andwise’ fall from power corrupted Willow Hollow should be taken with a grain of salt, seeing as similar terms have been used to describe the rise good leaders like Isalie. In any case, the children of Andwise were upset with the direction the village had taken. Mirabelle, whom Iris is directly descended from, fled into the wild to get away from the “impropers'' while Milly followed the rest of the group to Axios, where she helped manage a proper village known as Reedsborough before eventually joining Mirabelle in the wild. The Peregrins were not again seen in Axios or Atlas, entirely missing the events of Dunshire and Brandybrook, but for all that time their family stuck together, isolated and romanticizing the days of Willow Hollow. According to Iris herself, it was these tales of a great people that drove her to seek out the halflings of Brandybrook in hopes of reliving the glory days of the Peregrins. ~The Village of Reedsborough; c. 1600~ It should come as no surprise then, that Iris was utterly disappointed with what had become of our people. Admittedly, even I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to say that the halflings of Fort Hope were completely unrecognizable as the descendants of the halflings of Willow Hollow. Iris had been raised on tales of a cheery, traditional race who were always smiling and never dared to use weapons or minas. She was also upset that the halflings were ruled by a single all-powerful Thain; Willow Hollow’s leaders had been numerous and elected. While I cannot say for certain when such a thought came upon Iris, it seems that, at some point in the following years, she decided to take it upon herself to restore properness to the halflings and make her people great again. After milling about the Fort for a few months, Iris’ chance came when she was approached by Filibert Applefoot, who had returned from the self-imposed exile alluded to in the previous chapter and wanted help building burrows. Though his original plans had been denied by the fortkeepers, he and a few others had grown so tired of sleeping in the biggun barracks Isalie had arranged for us that they were willing to accept having walls around it, which they would later be allowed to turn into hedges. Believing the restoration of village life to be first step in a rebirth of properness, Iris and Filibert along with a few others set to work immediately on constructing burrows within the Fort, all right under Isalie’s nose and without her permission. I even claimed one of these burrows for myself, finding the prospect of sleeping in a normal bed and being able to grow grapes irresistible. ~The Village Under Construction; 1792~ When Isalie did discover this illegal village she was quite upset. It was yet another instance within recent memory of people blatantly disobeying her; she had insisted time and again that Fort Hope was a temporary home, and had even negotiated accommodations for our people in Urguan, seeing as the dwarves had pledged to protect us from the assassins. Filibert reacted as he usually did, responding in an impish and rude manner, and Iris later mentioned feeling afraid of Isalie. Though neither of them ever intended it, this first clash between Iris and Isalie proved to be the beginning of a political rivalry that would turn our entire nation upside down. Indeed, it can be argued that my willingness to give Iris a chance combined with the trust Isalie had placed in me as an advisor was the only reason the peace was kept in the early days of this new village, which soon became known as Bloomerville. Not wanting to add physical divisions to the social ones that were already developing among our people, I convinced Isalie not to move us all to Urguan, and Bloomerville became the home of the halflings for the next four years. ~Bloomerville at Night; 1793~ Unfortunately, no amount of mediating, compromise-seeking, and pamphleteering on my part could change the fact that Isalie and Iris didn’t trust each other. Isalie had always been rather conscious of her image as a leader, feeling that she was widely disliked. While Isalie certainly did not give herself enough credit for her own virtues, her tendency towards anger and bluntness were admittedly off-putting to many. Iris, on the other hand, was immensely charismatic. Whether she intended to or not, her appearance was that of the nicest person imaginable; a young little lady wanting to do nothing but good for the world. The entire community was absolutely enamored by her and orphans such as Taurin “Monkey” Rutledge and James Ashfoot practically lined up to be adopted by her. I suppose Isalie felt just as threatened by Iris’s popularity as Iris felt threatened by Isalie’s authority. At first I mistrusted Iris as well. Ever since my breakup with Filibert I had been very wary of people obsessed with properness. Though I would soon find that Iris shared many of my views on the workings of a democracy, I felt very uneasy with the fact that Iris had immense support for everything she did while Isalie and I had close to none. Furthermore, Iris and I disagreed heavily on what the basic purpose of a government was; in her rather conservative view, the purpose of a halfling government was to defend tradition and keep the people happy. By comparison, my belief that governments exist only to protect the natural rights of the people must have been seen as improper and radical. Furthermore, while I was more than willing to keep the Thain involved with the government as an unelected official of limited power, Iris believed that the office should be removed entirely. ~A Storm in Bloomerville; 1794~ Despite these disagreements, Iris was far too good natured to cause any real trouble. That would be left to her sons and cousins. Autumn of 1792 saw the arrival of Onelia Peregrin, a direct descendant of the aforementioned Milly Peregrin; and Perry Overhill, a distant cousin of hers. Though Iris had already been working hard to breathe new life into the halfling race, it was only after Onelia and Perry arrived that the "Proper Renaissance" for which Bloomerville is known for truly began. Despite all the positive connotations of the phrase, however, a good portion of this “Renaissance” is perhaps better described as a harassment campaign. Whatever the intentions of these new Peregrins may have been, their views on properness were extreme perhaps even by Applefoot standards, and their methods were quite frankly heavy-handed. Onelia had no patience for impropers or bigguns, and her demeanor was cantankerous, stubborn, and pedantic. A Peregrin in all but name, Perry was equally as extreme, harboring an immense and senseless loathing for bigguns which he would later attempt to justify with “science.” Not long at all after the arrival of Onelia and Perry, the promise of Peregrin properness already began to show a less flattering side. Elder Andon Cloudberry was harassed and called a disgrace for having a dagger to protect himself with. Rufus Knowise faced similar, repeated harassment for “general improperness” and my wine shop, which accepted minas from bigguns in exchange for wine, which was provided to halflings for free, was vandalized with pumpkins and posters complaining about improperness. ~The Peregrin Family; 1792~ While I would like to believe that a family leader as kind-hearted as Iris did not condone any of this, it must be noted that Peregrins had a very coordinated and close-knit household, holding clandestine meetings in their burrow on a regular basis, sometimes inviting family friends. Looking back, I do wonder how much of what ended up happening in Bramblebury was planned in advance, and how much say Iris had in any of it. Given what I know of their personalities however, I find it more likely that the greatest influence on the group was actually Onelia, and that for the most part Iris’ sometimes unfortunate place in our history resulted not from any ill intentions on her part but from her loyalty to her family. The same can likely be said for others within the Peregrins’ inner circle, and perhaps to a lesser degree within the village as a whole. Though loyalty and kinship certainly played a role in the Peregrins’ popularity, it must be understood that for anybody who wasn’t improper or otherwise at odds with their agenda, their arrival seemed to signal the beginning of a new golden age for the halflings. Under the informal guidance of the Peregrins, Bloomerville expanded further to include farms, bee hives, and two drinking establishments. Perry produced all manner of intoxicating and invigorating substances for the village’s enjoyment, and Iris continued to be as lovely a person as ever, hosting parties and attending festivals, which became common once Bloomerville was built. Recognizing that most halflings who carried swords did so because they did not know how to make good use of a shovel in combat, the Peregrins also provided training in shovel combat, a program that was admittedly quite successful. With just how much the Peregrins and their friends were doing for the village, it was begining to seem like Isalie had lost her relevance, becoming the ruler of the halflings only in name. This was something I was not particularly comfortable with considering my entire plan for the halfling village in Almaris had come to rest on Isalie’s shoulders. ~A Sunny Day in Bloomerville; 1793~ It was around the same time Perry and Onelia arrived that allied bigguns won their final victory against the demons in Korvassa. The celebration of this victory was rather short-lived, however, as it was soon revealed to them that the doom of Arcas was imminent. Though we had known for a while that the halflings would soon be departing Arcas along with the rest of the world, the question of where the halflings would dwell within Almaris; the new world, had yet to be answered. It was only after dignitaries on behalf of the Sea Prince Feanor met with me and Isalie that it was decided the halflings would renew our long-standing arrangement for protection from Elvenesse, something that was protested only in passing by Onelia. Wishing to inform the people of what had been decided at our meeting with the elves, Isalie called a village meeting for the 22nd of Snow’s Maiden, 1794. In her missive, she promised also that leadership and government would be discussed at the meeting as well. Despite having been mostly dormant in my writing and politicking for the past few years, I spent the months leading up to it hard at work revising the proposed constitution I had written back in 1786 to be more “halflling-like”, as it were. I studied the old systems of Dunshire, Willow Hollow, and other previous villages and quickly came to the conclusion that an Elder system would not do us much good. I also took note of the fact that all these previous attempts at a halfling republic had been flimsy, having no written constitution and very vague frameworks. That was not a mistake I intended on repeating, and so I created an entirely new form of government of my own design; one where the powers would be separated between three figures of government: a Thain, a Mayor, and a Sheriff; of which the latter two would be elected. ~Goodbarrel Presents the Constitution; 1794~ The thirty or so minutes I spent standing up at the meeting presenting this plan were and remain the proudest moments of my life. There I was, proposing my own form of government, one that I thought would last generations and immortalize me as a hero among the halflings. Though this experiment would not turn out at all like I had hoped, I can at least take pride in the effort, and if nothing else it makes for a valuable story. Though the crowd gathered at the meeting was very small by the end, their applause filled me with great confidence, as did Isalie’s praise of my work. It would be a very long time indeed before I realized that there were people in the village who were not quite so enthusiastic about the system of government I was working to establish. ~The Bloomerville Shogging Grounds; 1793~ That being said, I do think it was around this time that informal partisan politics began to take shape within the village. Though I had warned against forming political parties, and though nobody had any intention of doing so, from the late 1790s onward they existed in all but name. For the most part, opinions within the village fell into four political-leanings; Bernardism, Halfling Conservatism, Goodbarrelian Democracy, and Centrism: The Bernardists were a largely silent group during the 1790s, and were likely the smallest as well. They believed in a traditional, proper halfling village under the rule of a single all powerful Thain in the fashion of Rollo Applefoot. They rejected democracy as a source of dysfunction and an example of biggun influence, and had they been larger in number they probably would have tried to stop Isalie from allowing my system of government from being put into effect. The Halfling Conservatives were almost totally synonymous with the Peregrin family and their friends. Though they supported the concept of multiple elected leaders, they rejected the idea of a Thain and instead wished to return to the Elder system that had preceded Rollo. More than anything else, however, the Conservatives considered enforcing properness to be the most important function of halfling government and society, and some of them were willing to go quite far to do that. The Goodbarrelian Democrats were, as one might imagine, people who aligned with my vision for a harmonious halfling village where propers and impropers could coexist peacefully and equally and where the government was by, for, and of the people and existed only for their protection and benefit. The concept of Thainship was largely irrelevant to this ideology, but apart from a decade of attempted compromise between 1805 and 1815, my position has generally been that having a Thain is good for the village. Finally, Centrists refer to the group of halflings who either held a mixture of these views or simply did not care at all. For the most part, I would argue that Centrists have made up the largest slice of our population and likely always will, seeing as halflings tend to avoid politics whenever possible. ~Fort Hope to Bloomerville; 1795~ The emergence of these ideologies was reflected in several books that were written in 1794. The first of these was a hateful volume known as Biggun Science by Perry Overhill, which posited that bigguns are genetically inferior to halflings due to being less intelligent. This “science”, which would become known as “Biggun Realism” would spread through the village like poison. Though most halflings maintained our reputation for good hospitality in the following years, there were a few too many incidents of bigguns being harrassed, degraded, or extorted. Also written in 1794 was a very brief history of Bloomerville by Iris Peregrin. While I would recommend the book as a good introduction to Bloomerville history for those less interested in this more analytical text, I will note that it very much glorified the Peregrins and their actions. 1794 also saw the publication of the first edition of the Goodbarrelian Manifesto, which, if you can hunt it down, I’d like to note is far closer to my actual views than the 1806 edition, which was edited to appease the political climate of the time. The closing days of Bloomerville were largely calm and somehow optimistic. Another apparition from “Lord Knox” in Grand Harvest of 1795 saw the young Jeannette Applebottom be elevated to the title of High Pumplar, the head of the Knoxist religion. I recall paying little attention to this at all, mostly because the constitution I had written separated church and state and I was not, and never really have been, a Knoxist having given up the crackpot concept of religion in general around the time I divorced Filibert. However, though Jeanette and her office were not intended to have any power in the new government whatsoever, in later years her influence would be quite significant. To her credit, Jeannette has always been wise beyond her years, even if the only qualifications she has received are a “blessing” from a strange man with a pumpkin on his head. ~High Pumplar Jeanette Leads the Halflings; 1795~ Regardless, Jeanette became High Pumplar at a troubling time. Biggun cities such as Helena and Lareh’thilln were being destroyed as all manner of supernatural calamities and seemingly natural disasters brought ruin to the lands of Arcas. Hoping to raise the spirits of not only the halflings of Bloomerville but also the biggun refugees we would visit, Jeanette led the final Pumpkin Raid of Arcas, one that was quite successful as we even got a few of my old high elf friends to join us on our way back to the village. ~The Last Pumpkin Raid; 1795~ However, not even a week following that pumpkin raid, Bloomerville was destroyed in a terrible quake, and we were once again all evacuated to the Spicy Shrimp. Unlike last time, however, we knew where we were going and what we would be doing once we got there. I recall quite a strong sense of optimism as we sailed away from the wastes of Arcas into the unknown. With the constitution safely in my pocket and all the preparations made for the construction of a new village, I was sure that all that was needed to create the perfect village I had dreamed of for so long was for Isalie to get around to reading and signing the constitution. Though I knew Iris was widely adored and her family influential, it truly had not occurred to me just how dramatically different our nation had become after taking them in. I went to Almaris thinking that the next decades would be remembered as a “Goodbarrelian Era”, but in truth, the next 21 years would belong to the Peregrins.
  5. [!] A pamphlet is pinned to the Bramblebury notice board! The Rise and Fall of the Halfling Republic A History of the Halflings from 1786-1818 By Introduction On the fourteenth of the Grand Harvest, 1818, Elder Jordan Applebottom of Bramblebury defied the duties he accepted as Elder of Bramblebury and proclaimed Rolladango Applefoot the Thain of Bramblebury. In doing so, he brought to a swift end an entire era of halfling history. The toils and squabbles of the thirty-two years that preceded that moment were rendered pointless. Though the drama and chaos of the three-Elder system was eliminated, the recognition of our natural rights and the separation of Knoxism from the halfling government died with it. It would be wholly unfair, however, to blame Jordan Applebottom for the destruction of our republic. It must be understood that, just as Jordan insisted in his final declaration, the republic had already killed itself from within. The manner in which this occurred is complicated and the reasons for it numerous, but it is imperative that all of it is understood so that future generations may avoid repeating our mistakes. It is also a fascinating story, one that will hopefully resonate not only with the halflings of the present and future but with all learned peoples of the world. ~Night in the Village; early 19th century~ History often suffers from the fact that it is taught by those who did not personally witness it. Facts get muddled with myths, and the recounting of events suffer from the fact that those who tell these stories where not in the room where they happened. That is not to be the fate of this tale. As many, I am sure, are aware; this whole affair started as little more than an idea in my head. I knew it was an experiment, I knew it could fail; but nevertheless I hoped it would not. It has, and the only way to justify it now is to analyze it, and draw what conclusions we can to rid ourselves of confusion and to create a narrative for our posterity to understand and learn from. This thirty-two-year-long tale is, of course, a cumbersome story that cannot be done justice in a short volume. For that reason, it shall be published as a six-part series spanning from the creation of the Halfling Liberty Organization in 1786 to the final hours of the Elder government in 1818. Events and conversations never before heard of shall be revealed, a fuller picture of the past thirty-two years shall be painted here than has ever been painted before; and perhaps most importantly, the thoughts and intentions of the lady behind it all shall be plain to see. This is our story.
  6. [!] A pamphlet is nailed to the Bramblebury Notice Board! The Goodbarrelian Manifesto The Ideals of Contemporary Halfling Democracy (Revised for the 1806 Reformations) By Greta Goodbarrel What is Goodbarrelian Democracy? In the years prior to the publishing of this updated manifesto; the term “Goodbarrelian Democracy” has in many ways become a loaded phrase. A number of halflings have come to heavily associate it with the flawed and immensely unpopular Constitution of Bramblebury that I wrote in 1797. While it is true that I wrote the constitution with my principles in mind, it must be understood that Goodbarrelian Democracy is a concept that predates Bramblebury’s Republic, and refers less to any specific design or form of government and more to the ideals that should be pursued by any good halfling leader. Simply put; Goodbarrelian Democracy refers to the set of values and principles I introduced to halfling politics in the late 18th century, and more broadly, to the overall shift away from Bernardist inspired authoritarian Thainship to the more traditional and democratic governments of old. What do Goodbarrelian Democrats believe? If you describe yourself as a Goodbarrelian Democrat, you reject both the greed, barbarity, and selfishness of biggun governments as well as the overbearing, overly zealous, and undemocratic notions of Bernardism. You believe that a proper halfling government belongs to none other than the people and that those who are a part of it are not rulers but humble and obedient servants of the village. You hold dear most or all of the following principles, and vote for policies and Elders that promote them: Democracy: History has made it clear that the best form of government for any civilization is one that is by, of, and for the people. No single halfling should ever wield unchecked authority over all others; the only true basis of government in any society is a mandate from the masses. It is for this reason that a halfling republic is superior to any biggun monarchy; our leaders are in power by the will of the community, not by some abstract divine right such as in Oren, nor by manipulating money such as in Sutica. Those societies are, ultimately, doomed to fail because they reject the natural processes by which leaders emerge and substitute them with made-up gods or material goods such as gold and silver that are only as valuable as a corrupt merchant says they are. Republicanism: The halfling government is a public matter, and as such its members should always be elected by the people. Elders exist to serve, represent, and guide; not to rule. The government must answer to the people just as much as the people answer to it, for a government can only exist given the consent of those who are being governed. Some who read this manifesto may consider anarchy to be a better path for society than a democratic republic because a total lack of government eliminates any possibility of tyranny. While anarchy is undoubtedly preferable to tyranny, one must understand that in anarchy, it is impossible to guarantee that everybody’s natural rights are protected. A village devoid of laws is a village without the traditions, customs, and safety that we have come to take for granted. Without a government, there is no way to ensure that halflings are peaceful and proper; that is our nature, but it cannot be assured in chaos. For those halflings who dislike the general concept of government and politics, it is wise to think of it as a sort of agreement between the people and the leaders; the Elders are allowed to make some rules and decisions as long as they protect our natural rights and serve our needs and interests. That is the essence of a republic; a government composed not of funny-dressed men appointed by invisible gods like in Oren but of virtuous leaders chosen by the people. Community: The achievement of a fair and free society requires the contribution of all citizens, and to this, the halfling nation is no exception. Though some aspects of the Bernardist collectivist sentiment trample on individualism, there is great wisdom in recognizing that what is good for the village as a whole is also good for the individual halfling. Though no halfling should ever be forced to vote in elections or produce food and goods for the village; doing so improves not only the life of a single halfling but the lives of all halflings. For this reason, it is best that only small trinkets are considered the property of any single halfling and that more important things such as land, food, and services are collectively owned by the entire village. In doing this, the greed that drives so many biggun societies into injustice, tyranny, and eventually ruin is avoided, as would-be corrupt bankers and merchants are left powerless by the more virtuous halfling systems of bartering and collective ownership. Liberty: Just as Knox instructs his followers to “live unbound”, so too should the Elders protect the right of all halflings to do as they please. The great downfall of Bernardism, aside from its enabling of tyranny, is that it focuses too much on the collective and not enough on the beautiful individuality of each halfling. We are unique in our appearance, thoughts, and ideas, and should be free to express them and enact them in any way we see fit, so long as it does not tread upon the rights of other halflings. Naturally, discussing liberty among halflings leads to the great question of properness. Properness is more than a mere set of traditions; it is the natural state of any halfling, and as such, it is to be expected that every halfling will, at some point in his or her life, embrace it fully. While it is within the authority of the Elders to promote properness by banning shoes or biggun weapons, no individual should ever be directly punished for being improper. Education is a far greater remedy for ignorance than punishment; hate improperness, but love impropers. Only in biggun societies do mistakes go unforgiven, and punished in the most savage and deplorable ways such as beheadings in Oren or acid pitting in Haelun’or. Equality: All halflings are born free and equal, and are to be treated as such under the law. The greatest faults of biggun societies lie in inequality, for they are societies made up of classes: a toiling poor; a robbing, barrel-scraping merchant class; and often an elite made up of ‘nobles’ and so-called ‘men of god.’ Halflings are free of such distinctions. No halfling is inherently better than any other, and our rejection of mina ensures that we are a society of generosity, not greed; of virtue, not vice. Those who gain any power do so by their own merit, and by the will of those around them; might does not make right. Aristocracy, mercantilism, and capitalism are marks of elitism, and that is what we halflings uniquely avoid. Agrarianism: In biggun societies, the most virtuous citizens tend to be the common farmers; the ‘poor’ folk of the countryside who graciously produce food both for themselves and for those who have been unjustly placed above them. With that in mind, halfling society is undoubtedly the most virtuous; for it is well known that in the soul of any proper halfling is a deep love for things that grow: we plant seeds in the ground, we raise livestock, we brew, we cook, we create. We are free of the merchants, bankers, and manufacturers that dominate and destroy biggun societies, robbing others blind just to feel the empty satisfaction of having little bits of metal in their pocket. Freedom of Thought: “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it.” That is the maxim of a free society; diversity of opinions. Though we all like to think our ideas are the best, more often than not compromise is the most useful method of solving any problem. Even if a compromise is not the solution, there is never harm in hearing all sides of an argument. Debate is the lifeblood of a democracy, and the right to disagree is fundamental. Even if one’s ideas contradict everything I have written in this pamphlet, I remain willing to defend their right to speak, and any halfling leader must assume a similar attitude. Dissenting religions, ideologies, and opinions need not be accepted but they must never be shunned or silenced. All speech should be protected so long as it is not harmful to the wellbeing of the community. Pacifism: We halflings have a long history and tradition of nonviolence. We reject biggun weapons because we mean never to harm others. Any combat a halfling engages in is defensive, and the same principle must be applied to the village as a whole. Under no condition should a halfling go to war in foreign lands; we must reject any form of a military, and rely on the bare minimum for defense, lest we turn into a military state like Oren or Haelun’or. Self-Sufficiency: Though there are sometimes benefits to trading with bigguns, on a larger scale it is best that the halflings remain divorced from the world economy. We farm primarily for subsistence and the benefit of other halflings. Our goods are not meant to be sold for mina and should be distributed first to other halflings and then only sparingly to bigguns. Biggun merchants are not to be trusted, for they seek more to exploit than to exchange. Neutrality: Being a plain and quiet folk, we halflings would benefit little from getting entangled in the overly hostile web of intrigue that is biggun politics. The halflings should only engage in diplomacy as is necessary to maintain our own security (such as our arrangement with Elvenesse), and should never take sides in violent conflicts between biggun nations, lest we risk the destruction of our village as we know it As is the case with biggun merchants, biggun leaders often to seek to exploit, and cannot be trusted too readily beyond providing simple protection. Any diplomatic agreement made between the Elders and foreign leaders must be more beneficial to us than to the foreigners
  7. ON THE METHOD OF SCIENTIFIC THINKERS By: April Vallei’onn 3rd of The First Seed, 5 SA "The First step towards being a scientist is thinking like one," - An unknown scholar towards his apprentice. Many yearn to be able to create meaningful progress within their lifetimes. To the unskilled eye, science is only found where those who study it reside- within the laboratories and classrooms. This assumption however, is completely wrong as science is quite literally all around us- in cooking, in the lanterns used to light our abodes, even in the very fabric that we wear. One of inquisitive thought might ask how this all came to be as they notice the practices of the past and progression of the present into the future. The answer is through trial and error, but how does one create progress and significant thought? Among the great engineers, scientists and scholars lies a striking similarity in thought, despite the various differences in practices. If one was to look into the mind of a scholarly being, they would find a mind filled with logic and reason. Order within experimentation. I find that there are many intricate steps and obstructions for discovery that could be perhaps avoided with the correct documentation and thinking. At that, I, April Vallei’onn am proud to share my personal method used in my own investigations and personal queries. THE INTELLECTUAL PROCESS This intellectual process can be loosely defined as an outline to creation. It refers to the thinking and reasoning skills of those with intellectual minds in terms of scientific discovery. In short, the method and process incorporates a variety of thinking skills such as: reasoning , deduction, logicsism , research and estimation and inference. One must be attentive and possess a desire- perhaps even a craving to answer the question that has formed. Basic steps, more elaborated below flow as such: STEP NO.1 - Come up with the initial occurrence to be answered. → Make sure it is logical, and come up with variations. Make sure you are truly interested and willing to pull through. Your occurrence should be something yet to be proved. STEP NO. 2 - Background research. → Go into lengthy research about how to go about your topic. In addition to having a general education about your question, research any possible solutions, past experiments, necessary tools , ect. It is crucial to research every part of your clause, lest you wish to not understand when something goes wrong. STEP NO. 3 - Come up with a hypothesis/theory. → After in depth research, be sure to come up with a logical hypothesis on how to solve your problem, or a clause of a discovery. STEP NO. 4 - Come up with a procedure and experiment. → With your hypothesis in mind, create a logical and measurable experiment to prove your theory. This should go without saying, but write down every single thing from your research, even seemingly meaningless things such as date, time, weather, ect. STEP NO. 5 - Draw your Conclusion. → Did your procedure go how you thought would? What did your hypothesis state? The steps to create a logical and factually correct answer somewhat varies based on the context of the question needed to be answered. For example, something of astronomy and cosmetology might be necessarily harder to factualize than something of mathematics or engineering, as we do not yet have the tools to shoot ourselves up into the Celestial plane. One must be able to think about exactly what they are studying- not just the facts needed to solve it. Facts are achieved through a tradeoff: Tools and knowledge. An easy way to think about this basic setup is to put it into something seemingly mundane. Fancy yourself a humble baker in your hometown or city, be it elCihi’thilln, Karosgrad, Providence, Elvenesse ect. A mediocre baker at best. You’ve all the ingredients and tools necessary and perhaps extra to create an amazing pastry- something nothing created before. Despite possessing the physical tools, the baker lacks the knowledge of basic pastry making- of how high of temperature to place the oven on and how long. This, in turn could turn into something unwanted, or perhaps disaster. Likewise, it hypothetically could turn up into something tasty. STEP ONE: FORMING THAT IDEA “A mali’thill coming up with his hypothesis” - Unknown Art The first step towards a discovery of any sort is to obviously come up with that of the original query. The Question- the basis of all discovery, to wonder to go on to therein prove. One step from where most stop: wondering. Here at the very first step, one must consider the following: → Has my question already been answered? → Can whatever I wish to prove be reasonably measured? With this in mind, you have your question. Write it down. This perhaps, is the most easiest of the steps. Some would even write multiple versions of the question down, if experimentation later on leads onto such. STEP TWO: BACKGROUND RESEARCH Though some scholars would argue that the method of creating a hypothesis before research is best, I beg to differ. Through initial research, one could discover something imperative that they might otherwise not find: one example being that their clause is either solved or entirely false. I would always start out my research by the following: → Past Experiments done → General History on your topic → Structure of the tools you wish to use in your procedure → Safety measures, always have a plan B incase something goes wrong → Possible hypothesis → Information that is logical and factual This should go without saying, but record everything, including the faults of the past lest you wish to repeat them. STEP THREE: CREATING A HYPOTHESIS To those ignorant, a hypothesis can be defined as a solution to an unidentified occurrence, not yet backed up by scientific fact. The road to create a logical hypothesis should be based within reason- based on factually correct notions. When creating your theory, you must be able to word it correctly. Never word it as a question as you are trying to prove it true-but neither word it as an infallible fact , as it must be proven through experimentation first. You are simply making an educated guess before proving it. A rough outline of this would be like the following: → If ______, Then _______ because __________. → We will know this is true when ____________ happens because _______. This sort of thing should only be used for single experiments, if your hypothesis is proved true by your experimentation later one, I would strongly recommend to start back at step ⅔ for your next steps- lest you are all done. One must always keep in mind the following whilst creating a reasonable theory: → Can this be measured? → Is my hypothesis based on some sort of proved factuality? → Make your hypothesis clear. STEP FOUR: CARRYING OUT YOUR PROCEDURE Once you have come up with a plausible theory, you must find a way to prove it: Through experimentation, the first step being designing your procedure of course. Your way of experimentation will of course vary from topic to topic, person to person. Although I can not offer insight in every experiment to be designed and carried out, I can offer the following steps: → Designing your experiment. → This is quite self explanatory as well. Be sure to have prior knowledge of the experiments of the past and their faults and correctness. Know your variable and Constant, and how you plan to measure your findings. → Carrying out your experiment → Always have a backup plan when doing lengthy , risky experiments, lest something goes very wrong. → Writing down your steps. → Once more, this is quite self explanatory. Write down EVERYTHING. STEP FIVE: DRAWING YOUR CONCLUSION You’ve completed your experiment. Was it successful? Was it a failure? Why? If Successful: → Congratulations, you have either proven or created fact. At this point, you can either A) conclude and perhaps even publish your findings or B) go back to step no.3 and create another hypothesis , perhaps to prove something even greater than what you have already proved. Science, overall is an everlasting cycle of progression If a failure: → Why was it a failure? What step did you go wrong at? Write all of this down. Go back to step no.3 or perhaps even no. 2. Your hypothesis was proven wrong so if you wish to continue with your findings, you must create another hypothesis based on logical fact. What did you learn from this? Even if you learned what not to do. GLOSSARY → Hypothesis: A claim created based on factual evidence to further prove an unexplained occurrence. → Factual: Based on fact- already proven. → Logical: Characterized by the rules of logic- that being something that explains what something else is. → Constant: A part that does not change during an experiment or procedure. → Variant: A part that does change during an experiment or procedure.
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