|Conventional short name:|
|Others:||Kerno, English, Arvorec|
|Other:||Acouesolles, Pednsang, Ho li Meir!|
|High King of the Dumnonians and Emir of Carnaw:||Gerontios ix ill Lupo|
|Rheitheir:||Caratheck fitz Mynnig|
|Independence:||from Roman Empire|
|Declared:||de facto; Roman Empire foundered|
|Recognized:||c. 500 AD|
|Currency:||escu=120 soel=1440 denars|
Dûnein is Kemr's largest province, comprising approximately the southern third of the country, and also its poorest province.
Until 838, it was an independent kingdom, and seat of the Cornubian Empire, which consisted of southwestern Britain, Armorica and Brigantia in northwestern Iberia. It was one of several that evolved after Roman authority left Britain to its own devices. After the union with Kemr, Dûnein retained its ancient laws and customs, but came under the political auspices of the Princes of Kemr.
Dûnein is governed by an elected king, the endarckès or uckelreys, whose authority also includes those powers usually alloted to provincial governors, or rheitheir, in conjunction with the Senats y Stanneor, which is the Senate. As of 2002, Caratheck fitz Mynnig has served as endarckès under the regnal name of Gerontios ix ill Lupo.
Dûnein has a long tradition of representative government. While there was a sort of senate as early as 250AD, the present legislative body, the Tinners Senate, was established in 1307. Due to its constitutional status as an independent country that later united with Kemr, its rheitheir, or governor, also holds the title Basiles et Endarckès lor Dunor et Amiral 'l Carnaw which translates as "High King of the Dumnonians and Emir of Carnaw". Like any other province, Dûnein sends a number of MPs to Parliament at Castreleon.
Dûnein is divided into four legislative districts called tutas. The tutas roughly correspond to the ancient pre-Roman tribal territories. Each tuta elects three "under-kings" and twentyfive senators to the provincial government at Esca. Each tuta is further subdivided into camoulles, or centreves, which are local government districts.
Here is a list of Dumnonian High Kings.
Two complimentary systems of justice serve the legal needs of the provincials. The normal system of judges and barristers (provided by national law) presides over the more serious of criminal cases. The native system of druids and common laws has survived and has become a system of arbitrational tribunals that deal with more petty crimes, civil cases, domestic issues and traffic cases. The former system is much more formal in nature: the participants all speak lots of Latin, wear powdered wigs and brightly coloured togas; the judges are very critical and intimidating. The latter is a boon for the common man, as it's just plaintiff, defendant and a panel of one or three judges.
Justiciars of the higher courts come in threes and sevens and wear black robes and black hats while sitting on the high bench and wear curly grey wigs, undoubtedly of 17th century style. They may engage the speaking counsellor. They sit upon a high dais and all are in fear of the pounding of the chief judge's mallet. The most fearsome of the justiciars was undoubtedly contes Hercoulès Cornovio Romanos (1743-1766) -- it was said that his mallet was fiery red and shot sparks and smelled of brimstone whenever he pronounced his customarily harsh sentences. Court is held in spacious rooms within court buildings, usually in the vicinity of the local gaol and government offices. It is not allowed for anyone but an accepted lawyer to speak before the bench (though the rule is sometimes bent in unusual circumstances).
Druids may decide cases alone or in threes. They may wear white robes, and don't have to wear wigs. They carry staves of office and are allowed to sit upon low benches. A lawyer may represent a litigant though it is not necessary. If the litigant's opponent doesn't have a lawyer, the litigant must provide one. Tribunals were historically often held at fairs (a rare happening anymore) and public squares. They are usually held in small tribunal halls now.
Unlike in some countries, the Courts are not in the business of marrying people, though the occasional druid will perform such ceremonies.
The Church has its own court system and canon of laws. In the modern period, there are few ways a lay person could possibly get into canonical trouble.
Also having its own court is the Island of Lundy, whose Master's Men constitute a druidic tribunal of three appointed judges.
Dumnonian culture is marked especially by the survival of Kerno, the traditional language of the region and the wearing of garments not at all unlike the toga of old, or the kilt familiar to all Scots. It also shares a considerable cultural basis with Kemr, including adherence to the Cambrian Rite of the Catholic Church. Many artistic traditions are also shared, such as prets, traditional Kemrese bardic poetry and playing the crouts or bardic harp. Musical traditions such as arewbodnió (brass bands), the yaithes or bagpipes and the cornopibó or hornpipe are also common to all of Kemr.
All Comro are culturally hospitable people. "Well-come" and "well-found" are tpyical greetings and responses for when someone enters the place of another. Especially in the country, one is more likely to encounter an extended greeting, such as "bednweneth de ce casille", which means "welcome (to you) from this humble hut". The traditional answer is "bendicien fory bhues, fory flanttes, e le ndomme!" which are blessings showered upon the cattle, the children and the house. A pretentious (or kingly) householder might welcome a visitor in this wise: "dosforet condeco le mbednweneth li rigi! dosforont la pociu e la wechtiala achy dhon maboun achyn mbednweneth math!", meaning Let there be on thee a welcome fit for a king! Let there be to thee drink and food and excellent gifts and a warm welcome!
Curious Mathom of Words!
All languages and cultures have their share of unusual, ancient and rich words. Kerno is no exception. Here's a quick look at some of them.
Kerno itself is one such word. It is actually a fairly new word, in its current meaning. The ancient (and currently official) name of the language is "Bretadnecca", and is cognate to Brithenig, Breathanach and Brehonecq. The ideals of the xix century, with all its Nation Within a Nation idealism and equality of the minority cultures within the greater metropole all led to the idea of "Kerno" (the language) and "Kernow" (the speakers thereof), as a distinct and particular group.
Urus was once a kind of ferocious wild bovine that roamed the land. In the West, it has been extinct for centuries (there are reports of wild aurochs still roaming in eastern Europe), and has thus been relegated to legend and myth. At present, it means "cattle of the Otherworld".
Kenams means an old dry bone, sucked clean of its marrow. Some strange quirk of folkloristic fate has given it another, rather more curious meaning: Christmas Feast.
Combrow and Chermen: the Kernow, like most peoples in the world, are firm believers in Us v. Them. "Us" in this case is y Chermen, derived from germanus, and is used specifically to refer to Kerno speakers. "Them" in this case is is ils Ystran, literally strangers, or Bloody Foreigners. That's neat and simple, you might think; but the Kernow are schizophrenic in one very important way. That is, there's another kind of "Us", y Chombrow, which refers to ones fellow contrymen. Fellow countrymen includes Brithenig speakers (who are, strictly speaking, Foreigners, though not really Bloody) and the Brehon people (who, though technically Foreign, on account of being French, are actually "Us", truly Chermen at heart); but the term still manages to exclude Bloody Foreigners. Which kind of "Us" any given Kernowman is at the moment largely depends upon prevalent economic and political conditions, who's winning the rugby tourney and the direction the conversation is headed.
Festa v. festals: both words are derived from the same Latin word, but with radically different meanings. Festa is a religious feast, in particular a holy day of obligation (a day upon which Catholics go to mass; they also tend to be provincial holidays). Festals is a kind of all-you-can-eat feast, not actually held in connection with a fair or folk festival of some kind. Kind of like Oktoberfest in the HRE, a town and its guild halls and local royalty come together to put on a gaily decorated feast, complete with music, dancing and general entertainments.
Dûnein is largely Brithenig speaking, though the dialect is rather different from that heard in Castreleon. The old native tongue, Kerno, can now only be heard in the western third of the province, in the Little Britain region of France and in many Kemrese colonies where Cornishmen may have settled, such as the NAL and Australasia (Asty iu a Mounta, a vap? 'N ast gouiu san 'st iu a Mounta!).
In the east of the Province, in Kingdom Belgeow, the dying end of the continuum is met. The native language and culture of this part of the Province are nearly dead. As of 1999, only a few thousand elderly speakers of Belgeu are left in a couple of out-of-the-way corners of the kingdom. A particularly vigorous variety of Brithenig (Paesan) has been spreading into Dunein starting in the 12th century or so and became the language of the kingdom by the 16th century. The native culture is also extinct, including peculiar musical instruments, local lore, ceremonial dress and foodways. The Paesan (Brithenig) cultural forms are now considered normal in this region. There has never been a centralised nor strong cultural revival organisation: within 20 years or so, Belgeow will have more in common with the rest of Kemr than it has historically had with Dunein. Most inhabitants think assimilation is a Good Thing, as it means orienting themselves with Kemr and the FK and the Future. More than half don't even know that there is a native language or culture pertaining to the kingdom.
The West exhibits precisely the opposite attitude. The average westerner is either resentful or extremely mistrustful of external "control". They fear that Cas Gwent (the National Govt.) will march south and take all their goodies away. They are quite proud that their little corner of the Roman Empire is kept neat and proper, the lingo is kept alive (Legal Latin for example), are resistant to modernisation (and especially Vulgarisation) of the Church. (Granted that church membership has dwindled over the last century...) On the one hand, they are 100% behind Britain (and have been ever since the 5th century) and have fought with vigour and distinction wherever the Kemrese High King has sent the Armed Forces; they have been at the van of Kemrese explorations and etc. On the other hand, they have a sense of perfect entitlement to settle their own affairs without the assistance of some "For'n Bugger from Up North", and precious few attempts of any class of reform instigated at Cas Gwent have met with success (One I know of were the three separate times that Royal Academy have tried to get Dumnonia to go base 10 in counting. All attempts have been ignored.)
Linguistically, Kerno has been in a kind of limbo since the 11th century or so: the language of Cross and Crown was Latin, while the language of commerce and the wider world and even native literature was Brithenig. Up until the xix century, Kerno was regarded as a "poorly devised Brithenig dialect, undoubtedly the product of a poor and backward race." The culture was never in great danger of collapse, but was in grave peril of synthesis with the dominant culture. A cultural revolution of sorts, happily instigated by a philologist, overturned 850 some years of looming dominance from the north, swept away the old ideas of "Kerno dialect", and pushed back the Northern Hegemony. The result is an odd combination of relentless patriotism, etc. with an equally ardent attitude of "Keep off the Grass". The overwhelming majority of inhabitants of Kernow, Dunnow and Dewrow see assimilation as a Dreadfully Bad Thing; though they have reluctantly resigned themselves to the Act of Federation. Near unanimity was traditionally found with respect to participation in the local languages, though a rough period during the first half of the xx century largely did in the native languages of the Province. Culturally, even the many immigrant peoples (Gypsies, Spaniards & French, especially) have melded nicely with Dumnonian culture. They tend to sadly shake their heads and cluck their collective tongues with respect to Belgeow and the sad state that things are in there; and are bloddy determined not to let it happen here. But alas, the relentless march of Brithenig has placed the border very near the Tafar and therefore the home territory of Kerno itself.
See Kerno for a more recent discussion.
Esca, the capital of Dûnein, holds the curious distinction of most religiously pluralistic region in Britain (outside metro London). Apart from the Cambrian Rite Catholics, Dûnein is also home to many Cravethyck (Pagans), Zoroastrians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus and Buddhists. Esca is home to the oldest mosque in northern Europe (752) and two of the three oldest synagugues in Britain (Sordunon, 1699 and Esca, 1763), the oldest established at London in 1698.
Probably the first question is: What is Dûnein? Dûnein is the large southern province, lying south of the Severn River. The province has been likened both to a "lazy hound dog, lounging at Britannia's feet" and also "a rowdy and barefoot tom-boy" especially when compared to her more cultured and proper sister. Cartoonists have used both popular images and many more to great effect in the magazines and newspapers of the last couple centuries.
Here are some interesting factoids: Dûnein is, on the whole and apart from the Capital region, the most cosmopolitan, multiethnic, multifaith, polyglot and tolerant region in the kingdom. Its Rheitheir is a Pagan (Cravytheck, indigenous to the Arvorec Isles); Dûnein has the oldest mosque in Kemr; Dûnein has several old synagogues; Dûnein bosts population groups from as diverse places as Europe, North America (Natives), India, Africa and East Asia; the average Dumnonian is trilingual (Kerno, Brithenig, Francien) and can make himself understood in a further three languages (English, Spanish, Cantonese, Bangali, Scots (Doric), Scandinavian, German and Arabic are examples) and he also has a smattering of Latin and Greek to boot; Dûnein has the best medical colleges and best research hospitals in the kingdom and the Commonwealth as a whole (at levels equal to or surpassing Johns Hopkins and Mayo in the US); Kemrese doctors, many of which are trained at Esca, are in demand in all quarters of the world as collaborators in biotechnological research (notably in Dalmato-Francophone countries, which are ready to burst into space exploration); Dûnein contains the seat of the Patriarchal Abbot of the Cambrian Rite Church (whose abbey is at Glastein); Dûnein sports several military installations (notably RAF and Naval stations); Dûnein is, without help from Castreleon by in large, trying to overcome the economic slump it has long been wallowing in (since the collapse of the mining industry in the mid-19th century), and sports a burgeoning high-tech manufactroy (in partnership with Irish technological firms) and is the world class leader in the ecotourism industry, both at home and abroad; an up and comming industry in Dûnein is the film industry [several Spanish and French film studios have set up shop in Dûnein, citing it as an ideal location for films set in rural or medieval locales. The recent Josephine Award winning Conte du Chevalier was filmed almost entirely in western Dûnein. Dûnein is currently in the midst of a cultural revolution and self revalutation.
Dûnein is most distinct in matters of provincial governance. The province started life as an independent kingdom with its own overseas territories, which in 838 formally entered a union with Kemr. As such, it has retained many ancient customs, such as electing a High King (who is the same person as the Rheitheir, or Governor), issuing its own currency, keeping its own local laws and customs. The Council is made up of the twelve kings of the lesser kingdoms within Dumnonia, the Bishop of Esca and a number of Commoners elected from around the Province. The High King and his Council make up the provincial Executive.
Dunein is governed in its internal affairs by the Senat y Stannoer, or Tinners Senate. Originally a consortium of tin mining interests, it has evolved into a governing body with considerable power over which national laws apply to the Province. They have traditionally taken little action against the High Senate at Castreleon, though, and this has for centuries been a cause of trouble and riots. The Senate constitutes the legislative portion of provincial governance. In recent years, they have become more active; but they remain fairly conservative in modifying national Law for the Province and only rarely overturn a new Law entirely.
On matters of religion, most of the people of Dûnein are Catholics of the Cambriese Rite, and the Patriarchal Abbot (of this Rite) has his Throne in the cathedral abbey at Glastein in the Province. There are a number of Isidorian Rite Catholics living in the Province as well, mostly of Spanish descent; as well as Moslems, Protestant Christians, Roman Catholics and Others, most notably Armorican Pagans. The Cambriese Rite has been described (somewhat mistakenly) as "Western Orthodoxy", largely due to the traditional Easter dating (still found in a few isolated locales, though the Cambriese accepted the Roman calculation in 768) and the ties maintained with Constantinople. Glastein has maintained a strong link with the Eastern Church and has maintained a number of native practices, notably the ear to ear tonsure practiced since ancient prechristian times, even though it makes its allegience with the Western Patriarch at Rome. It should also be noted that the Kernow call any priest, whether Christian or Pagan, by the title "il druids". "Il prevdeors" is a later borrowing from Brithenig. Recent data give the following breakdown: of all people who claim to belong to religions other than "Rugby", "Football", "Jedi*" or "None"; 65% are Cambriese Rite Catholics; 8% are Crevithyck (Armorican Pagans); 7% are Roman Catholic; 7% are Jewish; 7% are Moslem; 6% are Other (Native American, African and Asian; Greek Orthodox; Buddhist, etc). [*Ever since its introduction to moving picture fans in the early 1980s, the Jedi spirituality depicted in American film maker George Lucas's Star Wars has gained in popularity, if not official sanction.]
In the early 1930s, unemployment in Kemr is about 20%, and in Dunein as high as 40%. Ripe conditions for CN to go on the march and air its shopping list of grievances against the Government.
As far as separatism is concerned, the downfall of the Ottoman Empire and the eventual retaking of Constantinople by Greek forces, while toasted by many of a nostalgic bent for certain historical reasons, certainly fanned the flames of the old full independence movement. As has always been the case, most Dumnonians are all talk and no action in this regard. Even the Black Year wasn't enough to push the Province headlong into separation.
The various separatist movements that did appear (Dunein Nustr, and Libertas were particularly strenuous in their activities) were hyped up by the mid thirties, but sentiment in their favour never reached more than about 20% in the general population, and they were swept away by the more patriotic war movement as the barbaric Huns prepared to invade Britain once again.
They did manage to convince Constantinos, the underking of Durow (1924-1940) to push for separation in the Executive. He was compelled to step down when war finally came to Britain, and a new underking was elected.
The High King of Dumnonia / Rheitheir of Dûnein:
It was stated that the Kings of the Arvorec Isles continue to hold claims on both the thrones of Kemr and Dumnonia (through familial ties). This is so, but the High Kings of Dumnonia continue to be elected, while the post in Kemr has long been passed on from father to son. Any king of the Arvorec Isles is more than welcome to stand for election!
So, are the High Kings elected for life? I've always wondered about that.
Yes. Mind you, that isn't always long. Assassination has been a legitimate and historical way to remove the incumbent; and a few have even met with Jack Ketch. Briefly, of necessity; though once met, the acquaintance is life long. Life in Kemr has also imposed some "foreign" influences: the Tinners Senate can call for the removal of an incumbent, and can also call for a sort of no confidence vote. Basically, the incumbent could thereafter retain the title of High King; but a new Rheitheir would be duly elected to take over actual governance. The law provides that in this instance, the rheitheirs shall have terms of six years, and upon the death or removal of the High King, a new election will be called by the Senate. This latter circumstance has never happened, however.
This leads to What is the difference between the High King and the Rheitheir?
Basically, the High King is the local expression of governance over the region called Dumnonia. He (or she, as there have been women to hold the post) is the most recent in a long line of incumbents to hold the post since antiquity. His office is accompanied by all the ancient baggage from the time when Dumnonia was an independent country. Thus, the High King has a Senate and his own Council. The Rheitheir is the national expression of governance over the Kemrese province called Dûnein. His office comes with all the more modern baggage associated with any provincial government in the Kingdom: bureau of Public Works, Education, Finance, etc. Historical circumstance in Dumnonia has led to the curious combination of the two offices in one person. It is this curious combination that has kept the freedom loving Dumnonians satisfied that their local government is a local affair; but also mollified Castreleon, in that the incumbent is answerable to the national Government.
Should a Kemrese monarch ever stand for election and win in Dumnonia, a possibility that has not happened, Dumnonia would simply cease to exist for the duration, because the Kemrese monarch is Ill Terruin and can not be anything else. Once he dies or abdicates, a new High King can be duly elected and the country will once again come into existence. A strange state of affairs would that be!
Certainly the Kemrese and possibly the Jervaine systems are more akin to the old Celtic situation. As I understand it, the old Celtic high king was simply a king who had temporary 'control' over other territories and their warriors (like Vercingetorix in Gaul).
After civilisation came to Britain, the old notions got tangled with the idea of an emperor over a Roman nation. Arthur must have been a sort of half-way figure: partly Celtic high king, partly Roman emperor. The story of the union between Dumnonia and Cambria in 838 reads a lot like an alliance between two Celtic chieftains, and that may well be a vague recollection of the alliance between Mark and Arthur four centuries before. In the case of both, the Dumnonian king cedes external authority to the British king in return for defense; Dumnonia offers its military to the overall defense of Britain and its allies. The union in 838 simply made the Mark-Arthur situation legal and forever binding: the first thing a newly crowned king of Dumnonia must do is travel to Castreleon, or wherever the monarch is residing currently, and renew to Ill Terruin the Vows of King Mark. Except that the first thing the present High King did was travel to France and stir up a political hornet's nest by being crowned a second time at Dol (Cornouaille).
Each Kemrese monarch, therefore, holds temporary authority over Dumnonia; and this must be renewed by each High King. As a matter of arcane constitutional law, for the period of time between the crowning of a High King and the renewal of his Vows before Ill Terruin, Dumnonia is in fact considered an independent country. Gee, that's a pretty strange state of affairs, too! And a good thing the Tinners Senate goes into recess when a High King dies. You never know what trouble they could stir up otherwise!!
Dumnonian succession has always been a purely democratic affair. Traditionally, a High King was chosen by acclaim of the Senate. Mostly they came from amongst the various noble families; but occasionally an outsider would squeak by. Usurpation and assassination were common in the Olde Dayes. The most famous case of usurpation by assassination was perpetrated by Felix iiij in 1796. This cheesed off the sleepy Senate who immediately elected Julius Sendos, a captain of the Royal Navy, who thereafter had to challenge the usurper for the position. Anymore, elections are done by more conventional electoral processes (though the Senate still ceremoniously acclaims the newly elected King); and usurpation comes largely in the form of ballot box stuffing and boughten votes. There were now confirmed allegations of elections fraud in the 2002 election: The recent "elections" of Governor for the Dunein province (and High King of Dumnonia) were shown to be a sham when it was revealed that royal-elect Mr Jocko Cintamurio Romanos of Exeter was party to a little ballot box stuffing and "raising the dead" before elections on Octobre 15. It is estimated that upwards of 15% of the "eligible" voters in Exeter and surrounding hundreds were, in fact, dead. Some of them long dead. (CAMBRIA IN REVIEW, November 20, 2002)
Piracy in the 1898 War: Who the actual pirates were is not entirely clear; though I suspect that Dumnonia's history of gunrunning, smuggling and other perfectly normal international activities MIGHT cause a slight shade of suspicion to be cast on the blameless Kemrese.
Iberian pirates hijacking Muevasefaradi ships and 'impressing' the sailors - with the express permission (as "everyone knows") of the monarchs and the 'maldicha inkizisyon' - that incited the war. The Muevasefaradies of course wouldn't put up with such treatment, and then when the pirates started confusing ships from other parts of the SLC with ships from MS, the rest of the League just *had* to get involved!
A VISION OF DUNEIN
What are their cities like?
Keep your eyes open so you can read; but pretend you've got your eyes closed, so you can open the eyes within...
The downtown parts are like Toledo, or rural Cuba: narrow cobbled streets - places like Esca might have some Roman pavements in evidence. The houses tend to be of stone and brick, stuccoed and whitewashed. Iron gates lead into the houses; arched openings lead to shops, which have wooden signs and medieval symbology painted above the door, often alongside jaunty neon signs. The juice comes in along wires that are stapled to the sides of the buildings, there being no room for light poles. Street lighting is attached directly to the sides of the buildings.
Larger streets actually have walkways along the sides, and broad avenues may have parks in the medians. Streets usually open up onto spacious squares; which are surrounded by arcades and there's always a fountain at the middle. These are big public fountains, fed by the aqueduct or a local spring. Plazas are lined by pubs, restaurants, shops and bazaars. Most people get their water from small taps around the neighbourhood. Ah, the bazaars: you can't beat the deals, Sal! Second hand clothes, books, antiques, slaves, contraband, drugs. You name it, the bazaars of Esca probably sell it - though not all in the same place! You have to get up into Lost Saxons to find the slave market: and it's probably not what you think. Privateers bring their captured human cargoes here to Lost Saxons where designated Government officials can "compensate" them for the troubles invloved in capturing such a cargo that can't really be sold in the open market, on account of it being illegal.
Mm. You won't find many motorcars, but trollies, busses and taxis are everywhere. Including these funny rickishavi things that are showing up all over town. A bit bockety, but they do well on the narrow streets. Shops are crammed with every kind of goody - a good bar of Dutch chocolate can be had for sixpence, a newspaper for two. The well to do live down by the posh part of the waterfront (i.e., not the docks where the unscrubbed: poor Kemrese and Cantonese and the Spaniards and the Bretons and the Cubans and the Scandinavians and only the Gods know who else mix it up!) This is where the yachts of the wealthy and civic dignitaries are tied up, where the Quality "iont ar phromenade" on a gentle evening and sip Ceylonian teas or nibble Galician kippers. The waterfront is done up nice with flower boxes and fancy pavements. The buildings are fancy and have plumbing fit for pickiest of monied Foreigners. Alas, not my part of town!
We'll nip on up Ystrad lor Cesares and pass through Chinatown. Now here, you can get a proper nosh: seafood so fresh it doesn't know it's been yanked out of the briny deep, or dog if that's your fancy! Anyway, the buildings here are dark red brick and gray stone, no stucco; the streets narrow, the alleys positively warrenlike. Indoor plumbing is not the norm: all but the poorest barrios have a communal tap and fountain in the courtyard for the use of the neighbourhood. The toilets are also communal and are generally found in the alley out back. Nevertheless, you won't find a chip of paint missing or a boarded up window or a torn curtain or a naked child in the place. Everything, the toilets included, are kept clean and tidy. People may be worn out and born world-weary; but by all the Gods, they and their houses are neat and evince a stubborn, if tatty, pride.
They say there's a pub on every corner, and one in between when the thirst is on you. And within every pub is a rotation of pub musicians. While there's always a tele in a pub, most everyone comes down to hear the music and sing along. Usually, the music consists of what passes for the "Celtic combo" in this part of Kemr: a couple fiddles, a harp, a drum, a whistle and a chalmeau (a kind of simple clarinet). Over in the exciting parts of town, you can add raitas, bouzoukis, gongs and lord only knows what else. Pubs and other businesses gather together to sponsor brass bands, which compete in the plazas, entertaining residents and tourists alike.
I want to know what towns are like in Dunein.
A country town consists most usually of the church, its yard, a small block of local shops and some houses around, all lining the main street through the town. Outside of that, you'll find villas, less affluent farm cottages and various agricultural outbuildings. Most of the houses in town are attached, or else are flats. The streets of most are cobbled, and each locality sports its own patterns of cobbling. Once you leave town, the road becomes dirt or gravel.
Is laundry hung out to dry?
Where else would it be hung!? Well, ladies tend to hang their dainties close in, usually in the porch; but the sheets and other clothes are hung up in the alley behind the house. Flat dwellers usually hang their lines in the common courtyard, or across the alley. Washing is usually done in a laundry room that has an electric washer / wringer contraption. Posh locales may sport electric dryers - but why waste tuppence when the the wind is free!?
What kind of dogs do they favor?
Well, that depends on how much you're after eating... oh, yes, I see! As pets and such. Yes. Well, the Dumnonian hunting dog is a fave of the Quality; it's a big lumbering thing better suited to racing the white stag on the high moor with the horns of the wild huntsman braying in its ears than to coursing the alleys of Esca attached to a spring-loaded lead. Nevertheless...
Do they race horses?
Does the fish fly though the silvery wave or the worm grind through garden soil? Ah, the Hippodrome of Esca: the best, most lovingly preserved of civic buildings in the whole city! What did they rebuild first after the depraved Saxon were pushed back? The forum? The church? Nay! The hippodrome!! In continuous use since the days of the Divine Claudius, the Hippodrome of Esca has made and broken the fortunes of rich and poor alike for centuries.
The spectacle of Eponalia is not to be missed: the first of May, the High King himself rides a white horse round the track, and all the priests follow around, chanting and blessing the land, the livestock and the king himself; they bless the white horse and the track with sprinkled water. Of course, it used to be Romano-Celtic Pagan priests, then Celtic Church priests and for long time, Kemrese Rite priests that did this. Anymore, you get rabbis and imams, Cravytheck druids, Hindu priests, Buddhist and Christian monks and all sorts of stranger holymen making the annual rounds. Then the gaily decked girls of the town come out and follow him, casting flowers around and all the bands strike up a suitable music. And at last...what everyone has been waiting for, the single posthorn that blarts out the Call to the Post; and with a wave of a banner and a turning of the gate, the first race of the day is off with a roar from the crowds!
Racing horses is surely the national passion, and everyone enjoys the beauty of horses from all over competing for the laurel. Typically, jockeys ride on saddled horses, like they do *here*; but every now and again a barebacker will appear on the track. Or even better, an actual chariot race will occur (usually amongst drunk university students whose Visionary Celticity outwighs their Sensible Romanitas, and someone ends up in hospital).
The other big civic building, of course, is the Arena, where they play footy and rugby. And that's where my interest in the sports of Dûnein end, cos I think they're terminably boring. No gladiators anymore, though, and no bull fighting. Well, not in the big Arena - rumour has it that down in Docktown there are plazas set up for the occasional corrida.
The other traditional sports, wrestling and hurling, are done out in open fields.
The main train station (Ystació Sang Perren) is a grand affair, all open and airy cast iron work with a glass roof arching over all. Of course, the railways are all electric now, but decades of steam power has left the station blackened. The main level opens out into Constantine Square, and has shops and little drinks places, tapeir (snack shops) and restaurants. The Public Facilities are not to be missed, and are to serve as the benchmark for all future Public Facilities in the Province. Trains leave for east, west and north, speeding across the moors and fields, connecting with graceful ironwork piers of electric wires and steel rail towns and cities that otherwise are accessible only by horse or boat. Dr. Tramethyck did a fine job of sorting out the basics of the Kemrese railway system; and his engineers built stone bridges that rival the finest of anceint Roman craft. Just look at the famous Severn Bridge! Graceful arches of hewn stone and iron superstructure - a wonder of the age, and a wonder of Dumnonian craft and skill. The train stations of Castreleon and Sordunon are no less wonderful - and even the smallest halt was built with care and attention to detail; even the bridge over the smallest, most remote crick was built to please the eye of any who see it for a thousand years.
Esca has no fewer than four large hospitals, and these are some of the finest in Europe. For such a poor country, Dûnein has some surprises in store, and the production of fine physicians is one of them. Three medical colleges send their students and junior doctors to the four principal hospitals in the city, as well as to clinics and pharmacies around town. You might be surprised to know that, while horses draw carts of produce to market and rickshaws bear people from place to place, in the hospital the highest standards of medical care are ensured. The most up to date research and the latest gadgets from internetworked computers to remote video assisted surgery, imaging equipement and lasers all combine with the best trained physicians and nurses in the world.
An Arvorec Family Vacations in Dunein
"The family apDubenn disembark in Esca and are immediatly harangued for their evil Pagan ways (1) by a slightly odd itenerant preacher. After leaving the Bed and Breakfast they go in search of sustenance and eng up having fish and chips on the quay. The next day they go and buy souveniers, including a traditional Dumnonian cap made of felt for Cynwen, their eight-year old daughter. That evening they go to a classy restaurant and eat veal and are serenaded by traditional bagpipes. The apDubenns are not impressed (2). The next day they go sightseeing in the countryside and get lost. Asking a cider-befuddled peasant for directions proves fruitless as the rustic starts ranting about their pet cat. That evening their 16 year old son Daveth sneaks off to the pub and is asked for proof of age (3), when he attacks the landlord the police are called and Daveth is thrown in gaol. Mr and Mrs apDubenn have to take money from their checking account to pay his bail and the holiday is thence curtailed prematurely."
(1) The apDubenns are devotees of Cravethyck, Celtic Pagainism; and Pedr "Welcome to Christendom, Damned Heathen!" fitz Morryce has wandered the docks of Esca for more than 20 years to welcome foreigners of all faiths to the shores of Britain.
(2) The Arvorec, for some strange reason, are different from all other Western Europeans and Celts in particular in that they have no native tradition of bagpipe playing, preferring in stead a kind of bladderpipe. Fortunately, they do have harps, and are also fond of fiddles and lyres, so they are not entirely without culture!
(3)The legal age for buying alcohol in the Isles is 16, along with the rest of the continent. I presume that the legal age in the FK is either 18 as the UK *here* or 21 as the US *here*. This causes much confusion to 16 and 17 year old tourists in the FK, who are normally dying for a drink after a couple of hours in the country... [The legal age in Kemr is 18, though in Dûnein, the law is not enforced down to about 15 or 16. Likely Daveth was tossed in gaol for not showing an ID in the forst place. Note that starting a tiff isn't enough to get locked up; but showing a lack of respect could do it!]
Some Notes on the History of Dumnonia, Brittany and Cantabria.
See Cornumbian Empire.
MUSIC IN BRITAIN
Music is an integral part of Cambrian culture. Even the smallest towns in Britain sport some sort of town band; larger places may support several brass bands, even orchestras and operatic societies. Traditional music centers around the harp and the pipes; throw in a fiddle, a concertina and a drum for good measure. Many locales also sport traditional groups of this sort. The sweet sounding pipes typical of the southwest of Cambria have two chanters, each played by a hand, and no dedicated dronepipe. Skilled players can play tune and counterpoint or tune and drone by careful manipulation of the tone holes. The pipes common in the northern parts of Kemr are a more mechanised instrument, having extra keys, variable drones and regulators. The English greatpipes have a single large chanter and a bass drone somewhat similar to that of a Galician gaida drone, but with more of a bell flair.
Mind you, it's not all traditional music! There are plenty of Zidicó and Fuzió groups around, not to mention Jass, Contrey and Estompieir. _Then_ there are the foreign influenced musics (particularly Turkish and Dalmatian influences) and "proper art" music (Vivaldi, Heinekin, Bach, et r.).
Zidicó originated in the Zydeco tradition of la Louisianne, and hearkens back to traditional French musics. It combined with the music brought up from the Caribbean by slaves (itself a combination of Moorish influenced Spanish music, Anglo-Kemrese music and West African forms) to from Jass. Fuzió (fusion) is a typically British form and is the admixture of principally Jass and Zidicó with native folk traditions (think Celtic Rock *here*). Contrey is the music typical of northern Louisianne and western America: it is not at all dissimilar to country *here*, and retains a strong tie to its ancestral Anglo-Scottish roots. Estompieir is a kind of modern dance music that evolved out of the Jass movement. It has no direct or obvious equivalent to any form *here*, but might bear some similarities to swing. Its name derives from a word that means "stomp" or "stamp"; and is somewhat evocative of its rhythmic and energetic steps.
Foreign musical groups are also quite popular in Kemr. Two Arvorec groups that have many fans around Britain are "Taely" [similar to Clannad] and "Prwyster Gweresydaed an Caemyn" [er, Mad Priests of the Road].
JUST WHAT IS A "BRITON", ANYWAY?
In Ill Bethisad, there is no "Great Britain", so it's not really appropriate to speak of "British" people the way we do *here* when we mean the Enlgish, Scots, Welsh, Irish and Cornish together. According to John Cowan: "As JRRT [Tolkien] says, at the Act of Union (*here*), "[i]n the quite unnecessary desire for a common name, the English were officially deprived of their Englishry, and the Welsh of their claim to be the primary inheritors of the title 'British'." In IB that did not happen.
Domestically, the FC [sic: Federated Kingdom] as an organization isn't that important: it has no real constitutional existence anyway, being essentially an exchange of Privy Councillors at the pleasure of the monarchs involved plus a set of committees in each House for correspondence with the other five Houses. In foreign affairs it is very important, of course, because the three kingdoms *do* act in concert in that context. [It is also important as a consortium of national banks, as foreign exchanges around the world are generally in FK pounds, rather than English or Kemrese. Nevertheless, any actual money that is received from such an exchange could be Scottish, English, Dumnonian, Kemrese, Australasian, or any other currency note that is in union with the FK standard.]
Consequently, people see themselves as English or Scots or Kemrese first of all, and citizens of the FC [FK] very much afterwards. And so "British" can be applied geographically to Britain/lla Ysl Prydain, but not normally to the non-Cambrian people thereof.
(Bizarrely, "Prydain" does not appear in Andrew Fferreir's dictionary, but surely this is an oversight; I hardly see what else the word could be.)
As to the four words for Cambrians, "Cambrian" is scholarly, "Kemrese" refers to citizens of Kemr whether technically Cambrian or not, "Welsh" is the ordinary English name of the ethnos (and also a verb signifying "to refuse to pay one's just debts", a consequence of English misunderstanding of Kemrese law), and "British" is historical or antiquarian."
Nevertheless, the term "British" is extremely convenient for those of us *here* to refer to the peoples of Prydain, the British Isle, *there*. Also, it is a term of convenience used by foreigners *there*, especially in the press where an economy of terms is deemed appropriate. In other words, rather than saying "the Governments of England, Scotland and Kemr" a news story might read "the British Governments". Also, it is a convenient adjective that fills the space caused by the lack of an adjective based on "FK" or "Federated Kingdom".
FAMILIAR LITERATURE IN ILL BETHISAD
Both William Shakespeare and J.R.R. Tolkien have left their marks on the literary and cultural histories of IB. While Tolkien was English *there* as he was *here*, Shakespeare was Kemrese by birth, though travelled much between both lands and wrote prolifically in English and Brithenig. "The Tempest", "Gereint V", "Taming the Arvorec Mistress", "Hamlet" - all are as familliar to devoted Shakespeare readers and theater goers *there* as they are *here*. Tolkien's famous works - "The Silmarilion", "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" - have had a similar effect on popular literature *there* as they have had *here*. A cinematographic masterpiece, out now in three four hour segments, is called "Lord of the Rings", and presents the best (and certainly flashiest) vision of Tolkien's works thus far.
Other authors known *there* as well as *here* are Bryant apYagof, who wrote a series of fantasy novels concerning the mouse warrior "Maerthyn"; and Terry Pratchett, yet another famous English author of fantasy, who writes about a place called Discworld.
For some merry reading, try Wil Kemp's "Nine Dayes VVonder - Performed in a daunce from London to Norvvich" in which Wm. Shakespeare's friend and collaborator William Kemp dances a continuous morris dance between those two cities. Also look into his reprise, "A Merrie Morrise from Norvvich toe Yoruuiche" in which Kemp dances his way into the north.
Some Questions and Answers
Q. Were the Kemr nobility foreign (like the Normans *here*) or home-grown?
A. From the Kernow perspective, only the National nobility (i.e., the Royal Family, etc) is foreign.
Q. Why was the government so keen to assist English immigration when the electorate were clearly against it. Sounds like political suicide in a demorcacy?
A. They were, I think, increasingly sensitive to the rights of citizens; and after 1805, all became citizens of the Federated Kingdom, as well as citizens of their respective countries. It became a necessity for Kemr to look after Scots and English (and England and Scotland had to look after Kemruis folk as well) with the Act of Federation. Now it's as much a matter of human rights and dignity as anything else.
Federation in and of itself was as much political suicide as anything could possibly be. If it wasn't bad enough having Bloody Saxons to dislike when they were Foreign; _now_ they were - [shudder] - countrymen.
Secession over the issue of Federation in Dunein was avoided only by the powerful oratory of the High King (by no means a pro-Federation figure), who had gone to Castreleon on two occasions to blast the Senad for coddling to those as ought to be shoved back into the British Sea at sword point (dead or alive). After the vote, however, and when much of the country was in crisis and so near civil war, he set about to ease the transition into the new reality. (Quite the patriotic chap, you see.) When the Provincial government had elected secession (they knew where _their_ political eggs were laid!) they were met with words of reconciliation and patriotism so forcefully spoken and with such passion, that they were eventually convinced to stay one Country, even if it meant letting in a bunch of ragged barbarians.
Q. Why should the English want to live in Kemr where they all speak foreign?
A. Good food. There are also other reasons: job opportunities, education, simply a different place to be.
Q. Do they assimilate and learn the language. Are they required to. What is the status of the English language your side of the fence?
A. I think they must to a certain degree learn Brithenig, or else live in English speaking barrios. There are known to be Irish Towns and communities of Greeks, Turks (hopefully not in too close a proximity) and French and Hispanics (though these latter tend to assimilate quite well).
There aren't any language laws anymore, so no one _has_ to learn anything other than English. But once you land yourself in court, or need to do something in a legal sense (buying property, getting married, etc) or going to hospital; you quickly learn that English won't get you far in a non-English speaking land.
I think English would have about the same status as any language that is not the Kings Brithenig: tollerated, but second classish.
Q. Are there Komro settlelments in England, like the London Welsh *here*?
A. Yes. Cos Nustr based pulp fiction often relies on the London Kemruis when it comes to operations in enemy territory.
Q. What's the National Anthem, if any?
A. I don't know. I'm sure there is one. The closest thing Dûnein has to a national anthem is the old brass band favourite "Three Score Pubs of Constantine Square".
Constantine Square is in Esca; and it is well known for its variety and more importantly its quantity of publick houses.
The chorous of the song is "Goueniom' ar vever a Jhocko mi lad; a jounde Thavvo mi dad; oooooooooooh! aaaaaaaaaay! trauwgaint y viont y phub en allá; allá allá ny magan plazá!" [Come let's have a drink Jocko me lad; but where shall we repair, Tommy me dad; ooo aaa! sixty are the pubs over there; over there in the great square!]
An exchange about an interesting character during the 2003 War between Hunan & Canton:
C: In one of our intelligence services, we have the fortune/misfortune of knowing one irrepressibly criminal genius who code-named himself "Jac von Ripper" who hails from FK (says that FK authorities exiled him after leading his 46th prison riot and break-out and that most of civilized Europa would not miss him too much if he ceased to exist. Please confirm or deny this person's identity and brief us if you confirm).
P: Ah, him. I suspect the sharks spat him out of the ocean! "Jac von Ripper", aka Will Haxby; born 1956 in an alley in London. Associated himself with London underworld until 1970 when he left in disgust, describing it in his own words as "bein a load o daft bloody fairies". His family used to make pianos; but they fell on hard times and never recovered.
C: AH! A "right, bloody bastard" as your people are so fond of saying.
P: He flirted with Cos Nustr (CN) for a while, and was personally responsible for _both_ South End Lynchings (1971 and 1973), where a total 34 Englishmen were tortured, mutilated and hanged in 1971 and a further 28 in 1973. In that period, he landed in the Cambrian prison system and promptly engineered a series of deadly riots and escapes. CN wouldn't have him back (his methods were too disgusting even for them, and he apparently severely damaged their reputation -- they have not fully recovered even now) and he drifted into Esca by 1978. There he came in contact with Eastern forms of criminal behaviour and gang structures. By 1981 he was practically in control of Chinatown, but was broken by rivals from Hong Kong sent over special.
C: Ah! Chief of those "rivals" was our Chang Hsueh-Liang, ex-Citizen-President. He was at the time a "cultural attache" with the London Canton Embassy.
P: The next decade was spent in and out of maximum security prisons, engineering riots, gang warfare and daring escapes. He was exiled in 1995. Oh for the cleanliness of the drop! He could have met his just desserts with Jack Ketch's compliments in 1969, had they not retired the old Service a few years previous.
C: Hmm. Too bad GwongDung banned Water Torture and the Death of a Thousand Cuts during the Push for Modernization in 1939... Might have to revive these methods temporarily...
P: Europe of any stripe wouldn't miss him a jot if he snuffed it. Politely or otherwise!
C: He leads a rather sinisterly roguish band of Cantonese, Hakka, Nung, Jews, Cossacks, Mongols, Maori, Malays, Dyaks, Masai, and other fierce "tribals" in secret-police-like counter-espionage actions.
P: Sounds right up his alley. Secret-police, eh? Who gave him the fancy toys? He's bad enough with a length of stout rope!
C: His Cantonese-Manchu equivalent ex-Citizen-President Chang Hsueh-Liang gave him carte blanche. One of many reasons he has been gently convinced of the need to re-discover his personal connexions to the Tao in solitude in the Shaolin Mountain hermitage.
C: At this time, we have no "polite" (non-lethal) way of controlling Jac's band's more outrageous brigandish and murderous ways.
P: Ah. Oh, yes? Better thou than us, yes? Maybe it loses a little in translation?
C: AiYah! It makes very rude truthful sense even in bad translation ;) Luckily for us Cantonese, we let him loose amongst the Zhuang tribe who have certain dubious, suspect connexions with the peoples of Fujian, Taiwan, Hainan, and Meizhou. The Zhuang are suspected of harboring militant Hunanese sympathies (which makes no logical sense at all as the Hunanese treated their tribal people to genocide and extinction with unabashed, shameless conquerors' sadism and pleasure).
A questionnaire on Education:
What's their literacy rate? -- I can't find the literacy stats I had for Dûnein, but it's been traditionally pretty low. Wobbly economic circumstances coupled with no governmental leadership and a competing linguistic situation resulted in a people that couldn't really communicate in the official language of the region. The language boards that were responsible for formulating and propagating a standard language failed miserably. I suspect that about 30 to 50 % of the populace was "literate", in that they could read literature and official publications, which were written in the official form of Kerno.
This state of affairs came to a violent end in 2001 when several groups of rioters attacked the Ministry of Education at Esca in June. The High King demaned that the Senate take action. The Senate abolished the Language Boards, fired the Minister, and ordered that the MoE get its act together. While the Senate stipulated that the Kerno traditionally spoken around Esca be the official language of the Province, the MoE turned out to be a little more prescient, ordering that the chief dialect spoken in the Province be the language of education. They have, at last, developped a series of readers written in Kernou Brou, which is basically a regional form of Brithenig widely spoken in the Province (about 75% of the populace).
And, either way, how are the young educated? -- In schools! A school, in towns af any great size, are stout brick and stone affairs with two or three levels and have long corridors with rectangular classrooms on each side. Large windows allow ample light; steam radiators and ceiling fans control the temperature; walls are notable for blackboards and pinups of the children's artwork, essays, test papers, etc.
You get fancy rooms like auditoriums, science labs, computer rooms and gyms in secondary schools and colleges.
Does everyone use a religious document to learn to read? -- Yes. The bible was at last translated into Kerno in the early 20th century and is probably read from. It was the first piece of Kerno literature to be crafted in a language the common people could understand, so for decades it has been the only piece of easily understood Kerno. A few renegade and unorthodox teachers illicitly taught from the Bible during the 30s through the 50s, when the MoE caught on and put a stop to the practice. At the time, the Minister said "If you're going to teach from the Bible, teach the Word of God as transmitted to St. Teliam, not a second rate translation!" [The Book of St. Teliam is the Latin gospel book kept at Glastein.]
Or a McGuffy's Reader type of thing? -- The new series of readers is constructed along those lines, and is basically a quickie translation of the Brithenig readers used in the rest of the country.
Who teaches? -- Teachers! Respectable, decent ladies (especially in the younger grades); respectable, honorable men, usually masters and doctors (espy. in higher grades).
Is it the family's job to teach their children, or are there schools? -- Not officially. A large segment of the population lives in rural communities, however. Small "home schools" are common.
If there schools, what kind? If the family teaches the children, who's responsible for that? Mom, Dad, Grandparents? -- Generally one or two mothers will come together and teach the MoE's curriculum when no regular school is close by.
And, of course, how does all that effect this culture? -- Education just wasn't considered all that important until the 1950s or so. Children often left school early to work on the farm or find some job in town. National pressure put an end to that practice; but normal school was taught in a language foreign to the student body so they were no better off, and they (boys especially) often ended up truant and wandering the alleys of town or out in the countryside. It's not that the schools were bad - the education available was superior, just poorly conceived and inaccessible. Those that remained in school, though, are superior scholars all round.
All this in allerstarkest contrast to the fact that Dûnein has fine colleges and the best medical schools you can find anywhere. It sports a couple top notch law schools, military colleges, several abbeys & monestaries and is rapidly moving into the high tech realm.
At last, in the first years of the 21st century, it looks like the primary education system is catching up. School, for the last two years, has been taught in an understandable language and the truancy rate (amongst the youngest students) is almost nil. Older students tend to be so far behind, that they feel somewhat hopeless about going to back to school.
The question arose about the Kerno speaking population: should they be subject to education in a foreign tongue at the last? MoE's official opinion is that Kernou Brou is the wave of the future, and the West had better catch on. Educational materials will be provided for in Kerno, while the population exists to support it and be benefitted by it.
H1. The legal calendar traditionally used in the Province, and to a lesser extent in Kemr in general, is based on the ancient Celtic and Roman calendars. It is essentially a listing of the Proper and Improper days upon which legal actions can take place.
H2. Why doesn’t, or hasn’t, Dunein seriously sought independence from Kemr, even though many citizens talk of eventual independence? Essentially, Provincials know where their bread is buttered. Close alliance and long unification with greater Cambria has created a country where the Romans have been able to survive and even thrive in the face of the Saxon Advance.
H3. Civil war has been averted on a number of occasions, most notably during “il An Duv”, the Black Year (1805). That year saw, apart from continuing economic troubles, the Act of Federation between Kemr, Scotland and England, thus forming the Federated Kingdom. It’s thought that upwards of 80% of the Province rose up ready to march on Castreleon. This action was thwarted entirely by the actions of the then High King of Dunein, Costentin xiv; whose forceful speeches and impassioned pleas given in all quarters of the Province soothed the spirits of his countrymen and helpped pave the way to accecptance of the Act.
H4. Two influential, though somewhat secretive political organisations active in the Province are Y Vap le Marcon Uxelroye (Sons of King Mark) and y Vriten Yowenck (Young Britons). The former especially is quite secretive; though if its influence were more generally known, the public would undoubtedly be shocked. The latter is mostly active amongst college students, and is therefore often ignored by society. Most people are unaware that the vast majority of current VMU members were VY members at university. Both groups are also quite active in Britu Beck (Brittany).
Early Kings of Dumnonia
Esudamos Camulos Senos, Dagos, 240-280 also known as Old King Coel
Conan Camulos Meriatacos, 280-310 Helena, daughter of Coel, mother of Flav. Val.
Constantinus Mag., Emperor of Rome
Sabrina Magalatuta, Daga, 430-445
Vortigernos Turccos, 445-470 brother of Sabrina
Tutivalos Senos, 470-500
Marcos Cunomoros, 500-535
married Adsilita, daughter of King Sulis of Britanny, younger son Drustanus fell in love with her, causing certain problems.
Constantinus Cornovios, 535-565 married daughter of Voteporix, King of Demetia
Gerontios Heros, 590-625 fought the Angles victoriously at Votadinea
Marccos Arthursos, 625-660
Gerontios Orgosaxo, 705-735 fought the Saxons victoriously at Longport in Somerset
Early Kings of Britain
Constantinus III, Emp. of Brit. and Gaul, 400-411
Constans Comes Britaniarum, 411-418
The British Republic, 418-425
Vortigernos Britus Vortimeros, 447-455
Vortigernos Vitalinus, 455-459
Ambrosius Aurelianus Vlatos, 460-480 ousted the Vortigerns, invited the Votadini to immigrate to Weneta under Cunodagos (Cunedda)
Enniaun Girt Uther Pendragon, 480-488
Owain Ddantgwyn Arthursus Pendragon, 488-520
Conan Gorgovinnos, 580-598
Paganism to Catholicism
Dumnonian Paganism. A holdover of ancient Roman Paganism (referred to as Religio Romana) is the modern priesthood of the Divine Epona. Epona is the goddess of horses and horse racing; and considering how passionate the Dumnonians are over horses, it is not entirely surprising that this vestige of Paganism has survived. While for many centuries the Rites were performed by Pagan priests, the functions were passed on to the Bishop of Esca in 1124 (Festalis Eponae), though the duties have actually been carried out by the pastor of St. Martin (of Tours) in the Fields since 1386. The Rites as they now exist are entirely Catholic in nature, but their Pagan origins are clear enough in several parts. Mostly they involve parades with brass bands and ceremonial laps showing off the horses and all their finery. The presiding priest asks blessings on the land, the horses and the king (note the order!); and all are sprinkled with holy water. Another Rite is that of “ar provonir”, the Going Forth, held in July. The king leads his best horse down into the plot of land next to the old temple of Epona (now a chapel), and amidst much pomp and ceremony grooms the horse and lets it loose to graze for the afternoon.
The legal system is largely based on traditional British law (Law Code of Soel Dack) and Roman law.
The language in which legal documents are written is Legal Latin, a somewhat bookish language but much affected by changes in the archaic spoken language. Usual court wear consists of togas. Judges wear black, defense wears blue, prosecutor wears red, jurors wear white. Wigs are worn by the lawyers and the judges who sit upon a long bench in threes or sevens.
I would suspect that education is compulsory in Kemr, so reading and writing would be taught through conventional, British means in Kernow. It probably involves a lot of alphabet singing and sounding out of words. Kernow children struggle with a similar tangled web of spelling as do English speaking children; on account of the language having a similarly sadistic spelling system.
The Province has the lowest literacy rate in the country, though. Nationwide, Functional literacy is at about 60% (or 80%, depending on whose numbers you look at). Certainly this varies by region; Kernow is probably at or just below the 60% mark, while Gwent and Termorgan are probably above 80%. As many as 5 to 10% of Kemrese in general are illiterate; probably more like 15 to 20% in Kernow proper. [Functional literacy here means "having the basic reading skills and mathematic competencies necessary to function at a very basic level in society."]
It's common to blame the education system; but the real problem is more likely poor school attendance. The rural nature of much of the population, and the inaccessability of many locations places much strain on school education. While most children are expected to go to school for a few years, they often drop out to work the farm or learn a trade. Of the children who regularly attend and complete primary school, most go on to secondary. Not many go on to university, though a fair number attend tertiary vocational schools. The majority of urban children do attend and complete through secondary school at least.
A Famous Bard
One quite famous bard of the 12th or 13th century was a fellow called Samorigos. He is most famous for "la canta dell Magan Lav", the Utterly Romantic tale of a Dumnonian warrior, Artomoros, who "came into" the kingship of a wee patch in Brittany and was married to, besides his wife Daccobena, his new realm. He spends many stanzas reminiscing the good old days and mourning the separation of himself from his beloved Dumnonia, saying things like "Truly am I miserable, in my lorldy castle, yet torn from my beloved native land!" Near the end of the piece Samorigos makes a dramatic entrance and Artomoros retains him. The King asks him if he knows even one Dumnonian song; to which the Bard replies that he knows not one, but indeed he knows at least 15, and as many as 21. Needless to say, this makes Artomoros very happy, and Samorigos very famous.
Religious Matters (1998)
The Church in Kemr is based on reading that I have been doing for a long time now in the field of so-called Celtic Spirituality or Celtic Christianity. Celtic Christianity always identified itself with the universal (catholic) church, but where the universal church inovated in practices the Celtic church, out of communication with the rest of the church, did not. The tensions this caused was resolved by the Roman practices rendering the Celtic practices by sheer dominance. The Synod of Whitby played an important role in this by giving Roman practices royal patronage in northern England. Slide over into Kemrese history during this period and you will find a Kemrese/Mercian coalition dominant in northern England up until the eve of the Viking raids. The question of when to celebrate Easter never occured because everyone observed Celtic practice. But in a more communicable age both Rome and Glastonbury sought to restore/create the unity of Christendom. The model they chose was based on the Council of Florence, an attempt to avoid schism between Rome and Constantinople, the Kemrese acknowledged the Patriarchy of Rome, but continued in their own practices, including their own spiritual government at Glastonbury. They avoided some of the excesses of the Catholic church, but not all, this is the history of the Kemrese, not the history of best of all worlds.
The Kemrese have been in contact with the Eastern Orthodox for a very long time. The princes of Kemr always acknowledged the Emperor in Constantinople their overlord after the end of the western empire. Most social fringe groups do not take any hopes of the restoration of the imperial throne of the east seriously any more. Orthodox historians see Celtic Christianity as an example of 'Western Orthodoxy' in its pre-Whitby form. Some modern Celtic Christian groups indentify themselves as Orthodox. I don't know what the Orthodox would think of the Cambriese Rite. Most likely the Orthodox church was too remote to consider serious union with it, and Catholicism too immediate.
I suspect the Reformation had a weaker impact on the British in Kemrese history. If Kemr and England remained seperate the Plantagenet dynasty may have remained in power and not broken with Rome. Nonconformity/Lollardism would exist but not the Anglican Communion. The Wars of Religion on the continent may have been acted out in Britain also.
Odds and Ends (1998)
The current king of Dumnonia (ill rech Dunnor) sponsors a powerhouse rugby team from Esca, and several Youth Leagues around the province, while his two sons are quite happy with careers in the Navy. It's said that he also plays the horses a wee bit too much for his own good. The king of Cornovia (il rix Cornor), in semi-retirement now for several decades, owns a pub in Trurow not far from the University. It's said he brews a wicked cyder; you should drop by for a pint or three if your in town. When not tending the pub he can usually be found at the railway station greeting visitors or chatting and playing chess with the local _sendo_, or old men. (Perhaps not too unlike our own Emperor Norton used to do in San Francisco.) Every now and then he takes the train to Bodmin (the capital of Kernow) to harangue the Town Council or perhaps to taste the local brew. His daughter lives in Paris with little likelihood of returning.
Under these kings are dukes (s. dux, pl. duques), which anciently were military leaders responsible for mustering the armies. Cornovia has three, Dumnonia has four. Their function now is to lead the Procession of the Knights of the Realm during the openings and closings of various fairs and appearances at other official functions, such as coronations, elections, important meetings, etc.
Anciently the Duke of Bodmin was the most important of the three Cornovian dukes, as his responsibility was readying the army for fighting the continuing struggles against Dumnonia. If the king's daughter doesn't return and produce an heir, the Duke of Bodmin shall become king.
Finally, the lesser kings (y rhoys camulor), though not of the aristocracy per se, are accorded some honor; but have to work for it. These positions descend from ancient kingships of small tribes and regions, and are now usually mayorships of towns or wardenships of more empty areas. Several towns have shifted to elected kings, but many still hold onto the hereditary system.
If by the election of the _cabient_ you mean election of a tribal king, two of the five recognised tribes have such positions available. Shortly after New Year, but before Mar. 15, the Dumnonii and the Iceni (the one being the "natives" the other having moved in during the Saxon invasions) elect a king and a queen for a term of one year. Their function is to preside over fairs and to judge cattle thereat. The main criteria to attain such august status within the tribe are: be able to dance well, be good looking (and single), get along with your consort and know something about cattle. Anciently, of course, the tribal king was really a king; and this is really little more than a vague memory of those times. How the mighty have fallen indeed.
Some places in Dunein: in addition to Glastein, the three principle cities are Esca Dunnor, or simply Esca, famous for Roman ruins, temples and churches; Bodmin; and Trurow, famous for the utterly remarkable St. Perran's University (est. 1653), the altar of which contains the "millstone" the good Saint sailed upon from Ireland. The railway (Eysornmearch Kernu) will take you from the vicinity of Land's End all the way to Caerleon, and really is the only way to see the country, as the paved road from Glastein ends at Esca, and everything west of there is scarcely maintained stone paved roads based on Roman models and dirt roads.
The two remaining kingdoms that make up Dunein are Lundy and Scilly. I don't know anything about them apart from the fact that they're small and even more out-of-the-way than the rest of the province.
Note that the rather liberal use of the term "king" doesn't and never has necessarily implied much in the way of "power", except anciently for the two national kingships. _Rech_ has always been little more than a generic term for a person in some sort of official position; much the way "president" is used here (president of the company, board, US, club, etc.)
The Name Kerno
First, the old Latin formulas LICITER CORNO VERBO and NULLO CORNO VERBO refer to where the ancient nonlatin Cornish language could be used (in court, etc.). After it died out, the usage was expanded to indicate the Roman vernaculars, collectively known as Cornish; and now refer to foreign tongues like Brithenig, English, French, etc.
On the other hand, the official name of Kerno (as found in early church documents and continuing in government and popular usage) was Bretadnecca, or "British". This latter name continued in everyday use until the 19th century. The parade of separatism, cultural and linguistic rennaisance and a renewed sense of provincial political power was the ultimate impetus for the resurrection of "Corno".
Religious Matters (2002)
Actually, not much has been worked out about Kemrese religion. It is known generally as the Kemrese Rite, and like the Byzantine and Mozarabic Rites is a separate rite in allegience with Rome. Quoted from the Brithenig site: "On issues of religion the Kemrese monarchy rejected the Synod of Whitby. The Christian church in Kemr remained autonomous from the [Roman] Catholic tradition introduced from Europe. The organisation of the established church was monastic and tended to be otherworldly. While it profited from the patronage of the monarchy the church maintained the right to criticise the abuses of the status quo when its leaders possessed the strength of will to do so. During the twelfth century the Catholic church successfully sought to bring the independent Kemrese church under the doctrinal authority of Rome. The spiritual head of the Cambriese Rite is the patriarchal Abbot of Glastonbury. The Protestant Reformation created a significant disestablished minority in the British Isles, enough that religious wars were fought there, but not enough to disturb the pre-eminence of Catholicism."
A certain, almost wishful, connection with Constantinople has always been maintained; but I hardly think the Kemrese Rite can be called "Orthodox". It might best be called "Celtic", as it seems to be a direct descendant of the old Celtic Church.
The veneration of the most holy Virgin Mary and Holy St. David is cultivated throughout the country; while the veneration of Holy Saints Perran, Stannus and Joseph of Arimathea is strongest in the south. The vernacular is used in Upper Kemr at Mass; in the south, Latin is still the norm. The Celtic tonsure is preferred (ear to ear, rather than a circle at the top). In the south, religious vocabulary is strongly influenced by Celtic: il nemez (church), il druez (priest), il croumbs (altar), ce nouefs (saint), nerth (holy); and Greek: agiós (holy), agios/-a (saint), ekon (icon). If you can find the Stowe Missal online, I think _that_ would give you a good idea of what the ritual looks like.
There are sizeable communities of Hindus and Muslims (mostly from India), as well as some Zoroastrians, Cravithyow and Jews; not to mention Romans and Protestants, so there isn't much room for religious intolerance. By the late 20th century, rugby seems to be supplying the religious needs of the masses; and there is a fairly widespread movement of people seeking alternative spiritualities.
The Evangelical Church of Kemr, the independent protestant church in Cambria dates back to 1578, ten years before the first translation of the Bible into Brithenig. It has consistently used Brithenig for its mission and worship.
Life in Dunein Mostly Rural
Most Kernowmen live on farms or in small towns, farming and mining towns especially. There are a handfull of sizeable cities, though these are small in comparison to cities in the North. As the “Reindustrialisation” of the Province progresses, mostly in the eastern third, it is excpected that the population in that region will increase. While most urban inhabitants live in a style comparable to urban dwellers in the North, there are poorer sections of Dumnonian cities that often lack piped water and sweage. While there may be a lack of such modern infrastructure, it’s a very rare house that appears run down in any way; and not even the poorest neighbourhood would put up with squalor. Blocks of apartment flats are rare in the Province, though some are to be found in Sorbado. Most dwellings are attached housing (row houses) or small detached cottages. In town, it is common to find flats above the shops. Outside of town, one finds mostly small cottages and large wealthy estates.
Paved roads are not terribly commonly found in Dunein, and in any case end at Esca. Where they are paved, they are narrow country lanes about wide enough for two ox carts, or two small lorries, to pass by one another. Intercity travel is accomplished via the railways. The main roads all follow the ancient Roman roads or other ancient trackways; and most are in fact stone paved. The New Road out of Esca, which passes to the eastwards towards Sorbado, is macadamised and is two lanes wide on each side, thus owning the status of "carriageway" and gets national grants for signage and lane marking -- quite the bizarre concept on most provincial roads! The other principal road is the old Fosse Way and is also macadamised and is four lanes wide. Motorcars are quite rare in the Province, though lorries are seen with some frequency. Most people live, work and socialise quite close to home, and it's just a short walk down to the shops or the pub. Goods generally come in via train or lorry. Busses are being seen with increased frequency, especially where the rail lines don't reach.
Proper dress for the lawcourts is a toga worn over a nice shirt and breeks or a dress. The judge wears a black toga along with a tall black hat and horsehair wig. The prosecutor wears a red toga, while the defense wears a blue toga; both wear wigs as well. Jurors wear white togas. The toga is also worn in formal sessions of the Senate; but is considered pretentious for church. It is not a garment worn on the streets - except by students at university!
Ordinary men wear a kind of knee-length trousers with stockings and leather shoes; above that, a highly embrodered long shirt, much like an ancient tunic is belted at the waist. Waistcoats, frock coats and hats of various sorts are not uncommon. The "Cornish Kilt" is also seen with increasing frequency, especially among the young men who are riding the cultural renaissance. Women typically wear brightly patterned or embroidered dresses or skirts. "Liberated" college girls sometimes sport a toga or "Cornish kilt".
Esca, 270.000 - 300.000; Sorbado, 280.000 - 300.000; Glastein, 50.000 - 65.000.
The High King's Interest in Religion
I should note that the new Dumnonian High King seems to be (currently) a follower of Crevethyck. He seems to have been born Catholic, raised nonaligned, turned to Santeria, studied everything from Buddhism to Taoism, later turned to Crevethyck and is in general a terror to every preacher and prosletyser he meets on account of his being able to discuss their positions very intelligently, with instructive examples taken from several versions of scripture in the original languages. While king in Dewrow, he always sat in the front pew at St. Mary's; and now does the same at St. Martin's in Ysca. I understand the druids at St. Mary's are quite relieved.
There is a large and ancient mosque in Esca, and several other ancient structures in the West which are Moorish in design and date to the 9th century. There are a couple Crevethyck and a Taoist monestary in the countryside. Esca, Sordunon and Pednsang sport Buddhist and Hindu temples; the south and east especially sport Cravitheck shrines, or nemetons. These latter are mostly new edifices. The Crevithack monestary dates to the mid 19th century; the Taoist monestary to the early 19th century.
Little Boy Blue
il becko Jowans backalars
sew ncorne tan llar'ment ys wentast;
yen dia s' ouws desfussiont
co lê corn sew dda li cabast.
It is a vague recollection of a semilegendary event in the early life of Jowan Castregalli, who would become John II, High King of Dumnonia (1483-1507). The year was 1422, the second year of the Rising of the Free Tradesmen. Since the 1410s, both the High Senate and the Tinners Senate had introduced legislation that put the pinch on the pocketbooks of certain businessmen, the Free Tradesmen, who were a group of powerful merchants in the Province not affiliated (hence "Free") with the Guilds. The steady loss of money ticked them off and in 1420 they hired an army of disaffected Bretons to march on Esca, then Castreleon.
In 1422, the hired army finally got underway and (incorrectly) landed in Wight (hey, at least it wasn't Thannet!), and after some discussion, at last ended up landing close to Chichester. Once they realised they were, in fact, still in England, they headed for the Ffens. At the border, they were stopped by the local constabulary; but were apparently passed on by the officers who had trouble believeing their story, but were amused by the notion never the less. Once in the Province, they managed to sack Durnoers, and were swiftly marching west towards Esca in high spirit. A local farmer, Constantine Castregalli, had heard of their doings and was dead set against uprisings, rebellions and other Foreign ideas in general. He was definitely a Kings Man; and the rebellion wasn't popular in the neighbourhood anyway.
Once he spotted the army on the highway, he called to his son Jowan to take a horse and warn the folk around about the rebel army; for perhaps they could waylay it, if not defeat it, and at least send a few of the buggers to glory into the bargain. As it turns out, Jowan was in favour of the Merchants and their gripe, so he was slow in warning the neighbours. The army was able to get away, and Mr Castragalli beat Jowan with a horn.
As far as the sheep reference is concerned, in 1423, the hired army was at last caught and forced into a proper battle with the Army. They fled the field before a shot was fired, and were burlesqued in song as being "sheep in wolves clothing". The merchants had lost their little war and could no longer carry on the fight. By 1426, all the Free Traders had been absorbed by the Guilds. The rhyme came about on the part of Free Tradesmen supporters, who were pleased that the "sheep" got away.
A Look at the Kernowmen
Hm. The usual dress for women is a sort of skirt or dress with a complementary top. Sometimes the whole thing is one piece, but usually not. Brightly coloured and patterened materials seem to be favoured, but simple single colour garments have their place too. The top is generally white, with buttons, and usually has a slightly banded collar, and it and the front of the shirt have fancifully stitched patterns. Only Arvorec Ladies wear anything approaching the length of a miniskirt, as the street corner is not the place for a decent girl to bare her goodies (the beach, OK, sports, OK; just not on the street corner!). Inclement weather brings out various capes, scarves, kercheives and other womanly things that I have no cognizance of. ;) They are partial to jewellery (18kt Italian, for example) and many have similar predilections for South African diamonds as most other fashionable women in the world.
Traditionally, men wear a kind of long shirt (descended from the ancient tunic) and britches. Like the woman's shirt, his tunic has a banded collar and is often decorated with stitchery. Unlike hers, the tunic is usually pull over, though modern ones are partly button down. The kilt has long been a popular import from Scotland, and is available in any number of colours and patterns except plaid [you can always tell a Scot, cos he's the one wearing plaid!]. Wet weather will bring out macs or the occasional cape. A formal occasion might require a dress jacket over nice tunic and trews.
In recent decades, things have changed a little. While men seem to be clinging to their tunics, more often they're being worn with jeans, and tend to be shorter than older tunics. Kilts and short trousers are also increasingly popular. Women are increasingly seen in jeans and tunics as well.
As you know, the toga is considered formal wear for court and the opening and closing of the Senate. It's too much for temple or church, but has become the rage amongst teenagers. [Imagine a lanky youth with pink spiky hair, safety pins through every orifice wearing a denim kilt and a neon yellow toga. It's enough to make the old men shake their fists (but secretly wish they too could handle a skateboard half as well!!).] Young girls (and more frequently, younger women) wear jeans and boys' tunics. Much to consternation and clucking of their elders! Shoes for all tend towards simply leather affairs, much like brogues, that lace up.
For most organised sports, a kind of short trouser and loose short shirt is worn. The exception being wrestling, where you wear either a kilt or else short trousers and a kind of very loose canvas jacket (sort of like a fencing jacket, only _very_ loose), and no shoes at all (except in the east and north of Kemr, where wrestlers wear boots and are allowed to kick each other). (Abu y Ghorenneir!) For hurling, any bloody thing goes!
For the most part, Dumnonians tend to be fair skinned and light haired (except those that aren't!), of average height and all the rest. Typical NW European stock, admixed with not a little Indian, Spanish and Moorish. Oh yes, and those bloody Islanders, who seem to sneak in everywhere! They're quite open with strangers, always willing to aid a lost wanderer (though the "shortcut" through the moor might take you several miles and three pubs out of your way), and have a strong sense of justice and fair play (and are not unwilling to see justice done at the end of a fist or cudgel if need be, especially in said pubs).
They've produced many fine explorers, scientists, engineers (several noteworthy ones in the 19th c.) and physicians. Their medical schools especially are world class; and their poets and musicians can't be beat! They form the backbone of every Kemrese and many English colonial enterprise from Hong Kong to Australasia; from India to America.
Of course, all is not so rosy. The Province is poor (the cause for much emmigration), and facing difficulties in extricating itself from that poverty. [Some unkind persons have taken to calling Dûnein "The Third World in the First World!] While the vast majority describes itself as "Dumnonian" or "Kernow", a strange apathy has set in. Fewer people use the native language on a regular basis; and more foreign cultural elements are mixed with the native as time passes. Kids spend more time listening to that blasted _zidicó_ and reading _y vanges_ than they do attending to more local arts. Cravytheck is the fastest growing religion in the region, especially amongst the younger generations.
So, how to describe a Kerno speaker? An anatopism in his own country? A foreigner in the land of his ancestors? Someone who shouts "gwiw Gerno!" in passable Brithenig at a footy match, dresses like a Scotchman, worships Celtic Gods in a grove and drinks warm Saxon beer?
The Throne of Brittany
Thats especialy true for the bretton delegation who are represented by the the legitimist faction of the duchy pretender to the throne
The throne of France? There being no "throne of Britany"; and the notion of a ducal seat is a foreign concept acceptable to very few Bretons.
(the descendant of the 3rd cousin of the nephew > by alliance of the brother of the last Duke.).
Presumably the last "noble" Duke, whoever he was; as opposed to the Person of the French First Consul, Emperor or later President. Weird. Well, that's NF Bretons for you!!! They were probably from the Marches, and therefore more susceptible to Francophilism. Anymore in Britany, most people would as soon forget the whole notion of the illegitimate succession of French dukes entirely. The whole thing stinks of Parisian centralisation, represents the humiliation of a free nation at the hands of greater powers (one of which was bound by honour and long tradition to defend and protect Britany!!!), and is seen as a foreign institution that is at odds with the native tradition of elected kingship.
They feel that finaly they have an outlet > to vent their frustration at the treatement of > their subject by the Francien government.
At least in this all Bretons can agree!
Rumors Abound for Old Celtic Survival in the Province
Celtic - or Cornobritannic as it's known - was thought to have died out by the 8th century in favour of the rising Kerno language. Even now, there is some speculation that Cornobritannic may not be entirely dead. There have long been reports of Severn Valley fishmongers counting fish using "strange words" or old men making fun of travellers, speaking to one another in some form of cant.
The Kerno Language: two Registers Divided by the Centuries
A while back you made a comment or two on the Conlang list to the effect that colloquial Kerno is somewhat different from the language described in the grammar.
Yes. The language described in the grammar is the literary register, which for several centuries was the form one found texts written in (when anything at all was written in Kerno) and it differs from the common register, which is the language of daily speech.
Up to about the late 13th century, Kerno was a refined literary language in its own right, easily able to hold its own alongside Provencal and Brithenig. After the 14th century, Brithenig became preeminent and was enshrined in national Law as the official language of the Kingdom. Very little was written in Kerno between the 14th and 19th centuries. When literature again became written in Kerno, the language was identical to that of the older texts; though no one who hadn't studied it could easily understand it. It would be like us speaking as we usually do, but writing in a language more akin to Chaucerian era English.
As the cultural renaissance took root in Dûnein in the late 19th and into the 20th centuries, two things were keenly felt by the intelligentsia. One, there was an oceanic gulf between the language of the ordinary Kerno speaker and the language of his literary antecedants; and two, there was no standardised Kerno language for anyone to speak, let alone read or write. It was decided that the schools could easily handle teaching Good Kerno and that language boards could be instituted that would be charged with devising a Common Kerno language for the whole province to speak.
The schools were actually quite successful in their mission. While attendance was not high (probably 40% of children were enrolled in schools); at least the education was in Kerno, rather than the Brithenig that had to be learnt in previous centuries. And they were able to produce a population of people who were quite competent in the old language.
The language boards were an abject failure. All they managed to do was enrich surgeons, who had to patch up all the gentlmen scholars that Disagreed with one another over how to spell Kerno words, which dialect should be preeminent, how best to create a "good" standard for writing and speaking in gentle society, etc.
Their disagreements often included gentlemanly things like sheleilies, knives and iron tipped boots. If you said to a group of Dumnonian scholars, a century ago, "The English really aren't that bad a people", chances are good they'd grunt and look at you like you'd had two heads. On the other hand, if you said "The second declension (-o stems) really should retain the -o in all cases and numbers in the new standard language", chances are quite good you'd have an uproar of contention and cantankerous disagreement within about 4 nanoseconds; position papers and historical grammatical monographs would be viciously waved about; voices would rise; and then one scholar would get in the face of another, he'd get pushed, and he'd push back, then someone would whack his stick on a desk and another would pull a knife and soon they'd all commence to start a really good row. And that's not a hyperbole, either. It was a fairly common occurence in the meetings of various language boards in the Province. The Minutes of the various Boards attest to the frequency of such instances.
The end result is that a hundred years later, there is still no official standard, no standard spelling and no preeminent dialect. The language boards were utterly abolished a couple years back. That said, and as you can see in Ill Bethisad news stories from a couple years ago, Kerno is in its last Summer. The dialect boundary between Kerno and Brithenig is now west of Glastein and is rapidly moving to the West. Most of Esca now speaks Brithenig quite easily and as frequently as they do Kerno (immigrants and traders who have more competency with Brithenig than Kerno have a lot to do with that). It is estimated that by 2020 or so, Kerno will only be spoken in Little Britain, a few counties in Ter Mair (in the North American League) and some regions of Australasia. Blame generally falls to the language boards, who failed in their task of stemming the incomming tide of Brithenig that has swept across the province.
I was wondering if you would be able to provide any concrete details or examples. I would love to find out more about that. Well, Kerno is really almost two different languages that share the same lexicon.
As you recall from the Grammar, the literary Kerno is SOV, has a fairly complex and developped case system, a Latinate declension scheme, relies almost exclusively on simple verb forms in a Latinate conjugation scheme, has a strong initial mutation system and has a number of odd features left over from Latin. The spoken Kerno is VSO, has an entirely unrelated declension scheme, a very weakened case system, verbal conjugation that is about 50% simple verb forms 40% noun-phrase-verbs and 10% compound verbs, a conjugation scheme that is moving away from the quadripartite Latinate scheme, has a very weakened mutation system and has dropped many of the overt Latinisms. Specifically, the old Latin noun stems (-a, -o, -i, -e, -u and consonant) divided into five declensions have been replaced by a new series of noun stems that really are descended from the old noun roots, and was enabled by a large scale reanalysis of root to stem. For example, old words in -ano (like annum, cubano, etc.) have long ago lost the stem vowel and have been reanalysed as -n stems.
So, "Cuban" and "hound" end up in the -n declension with old -n stems like "nation" and "virgin": s. pl. s. pl. NOM coubá chouván nació nacièn OBL goubán chouván nacièn nacièn
Other old -o stems have remained -o stems, like "cat" and "language": s. pl. s. pl. NOM cats chat cants chant OBL gatte chattes gante chanttes
As you can see, the case system is largely reduced to variation between -s and the "variable e". By in large, all forms of "cat" are pronounced /kat/, taking into account the different mutated consonants. The -e can be pronounced in poetry or song, or for reasons of phrasal harmony (i.e., to prevent two consonants from smashing together). Verbal conjugation is actually quite conservative. The endings I think are pretty much the same as in the literary register:
ieo cantam nus cantámos tu cantas vus cantaz ys cantas ys chantont sa gantas
The spoken variety has added several conjugations, namely the -eir, -oir and -air conjugations. Mostly these are from borrowed words (almost all French and Brithenig verbs have become -eir, for example). These are the so called "mixt conjugations" as they take forms from the -ir and -ar conjugations to make their verb forms. A couple of _extremely_ important irregular verbs simply don't exist in the literary register. Namely, feaire (do, make), puhoier (can, be able) and the long forms of esser (be). The first two were borrowed from Anglo-Norman and are very strange, even for Kerno irregular verbs (even I don't know the full conjugation of them yet!); the long forms of esser are based on the roots bi- and for-, and were derived from an old verb that in fact meant "be", but became amalgamated with esser.
Thus, in speech you'd hear "viont sa y 'c zoaneas n-Armór" (they're just a bunch of hussies), while you'd have written it as "sa ystes sont yn ngreck lor muyieronnes". Note also the different register in vocabulary: the proper word for prostitute is muyieró (sort of "popular girl") while the common term is daonea n-Armór (Armorican lady). The noun-phrase-verbs are very frequent in spoken Kerno. The present tense especially is replaced with a verbal noun preceded by a preposition, usually ar (on, about) and poz (along side of). Thus, poz me cantant = cantam ieo (I'm singing). Some things will be familliar, though. The spoken language has adopted the (ultimately Greek) middle participle with relish (ar me chantament = I'm singing to myself); a bare noun in the nominative in sentence initial position is most likely an instrumental (brocks me attackasot = he attacked me with a badger).
Some Kerno Prayers
Per l’ Ammland
il Pazeor ar vrent me,
il Mapos al laz me,
l’ Yspiritus ymbdenter me,
y Threw am chez me.
Precurs lor nGal
Yn precurs bas, yn precurs arz, metham me tramper yspas;
amponeso.els tu methissem, a rheys la graceas!
Per y h-Ytenuroers
Otheso; Teneso; Ymmrazaso;
Zeuws l’ othend; Zeuws le tenend; Zeuws l’ ymmrazand;
Ar soer y gouenz, otheso.me; N’ isoel cultu, careso.me; Yn noche l’ oscur, ymmrazaso.me.
La Pas amb y gouecinnes; La Pas am la clanyplanta; La Pas amb y xarent;
yn l’ amur le Reye la gwitha.
La Pas am l’ omme et l’ omme; La Pas am la gouenna et le varren; La Pas am la gouenna et-z y vannon;
la Pas le Kriste ar soer y chascyn pas.