The Miccail...

The Miccail Pronoun:

The fact that the Miccail race consisted of three distinct sexes creates an immediate shortage of pronouns when writing in English. To use "he" or "she" would be utterly wrong, both from the strict biological view, and also because those pronouns contain their own cultural biases and prejudices which would inevitably color the perception of the midmale. The Miccail midmale is not "he", and is equally not "she." In fact, the term "midmale" itself gives us the same problem, but the term had already come into common usage before it was realized just how the Miccail conducted their sexual liasons, and is now too entrenched to alter.

However, since so little is known of the Miccail language, we have no way of ascertaining how the Miccail themselves made the distinction. To create a radically new set of impersonal pronouns for the sex would result in text very difficult to read. To maintain readability and yet make clear distinctions between the sexes, the following compromise was used:

MALE

MIDMALE

FEMALE

He is a male

Ke is a midmale

She is a female

A male is a man

A midmale is an eman

A female is a woman

You smile at him

You smile at ker

You smile at her

That is his

That is kers

That is hers

The Miccail Suffix:

The secondary syllable in proper Miccail names (indicated by an intermediary capital letter) gave information regarding the sex and status of the Miccail. The "Sa" suffix was used exclusively for the midmales. Since the midmales were essentially a mendicant religious order, the head midmale was designated by the twinned suffixes (SaTu) much as the god they served (VeiSaTi) was designated.

Other suffixes in common use were:

Ti - Used strictly to designate gods and other deities, regardless of sex

Te - The dominant male of a Miccail tribe (the OldFather)

Ta - The dominant female of a Miccal tribe (the OldMother)

Tu - The head of the Community of Sa

Xe - A male of free status

Xa - A male of free status

Je - A male in servitude

Ja - A female in servitude

Ne - A male child

Na - A female child

Nu - A Sa child

In normal speech among those of equal rank, the suffix was dropped and only the first or common name was used. For purposes of rank, a Sa was the equal of the Te or Ta of the settlement in which they were currently residing.

Written Language

The Miccail's use of glyphs and pictograms is reminiscent of Mayan or Egyptian writing. Even though Gabriela Rusack maintained in her journals that the pictograms carved on their stelae represented a rich and deep language, we have no Rosetta Stone to allow for accurate translation. Added to that is the fact that the Miccail were alien, with all that word implies: they share no common genetic, linguistic, or temporal background with us. Therefore, any translations are subject to justifiable criticism.

The Miccail writing system is composed primarily of lopographs, word signs representing whole words--that is unlike carvings in the Yucatecan and Cholan languages, where there were also syllabary signs that allowed the Mayans to 'spell out' words. Also, where the Mayans used various graphic forms of one word--plain forms; human forms; zoomorphic forms; or intricate, complicated and sprawling full-figured forms--the Miccail lopographs were relatively standard from one stele to the next, and changed only slowly over the centuries. For the Mayans, the complexity of their writing would have been confusing, but then most of the population was illiterate--as long as the scribes understood what was being written, variant forms weren't an issue. From all appearances, most of the Miccail were literate and could read the stelae, thus creating a need for standardization of glyphic forms.

Religion

Far less is known about the Miccail religion(s). Any thoughts that we have regarding their society, mores, and beliefs can never be totally verified, and the nearly irresistable temptation to anthropomorphize further colors our vision. We have no idea of how their spoken language might have sounded, and so any names we give their gods must be of our own invention, not theirs.

With that (long) caveat, the fact remains that nearly all of Miccailian religious beliefs remain speculative, based on fragmentary and elusive 'translation' of their stelae and data from Matriarch Rusack's amateur archeological digs.

The Miccail (as far as we can determine) worshipped several gods. One--a god associated with the hermaphoditic sex--seems to have become dominant during the height of the Miccailian culture, in the centuries before the Miccail mysteriously vanished. Rusack called this pictogram God-Who-Creates-Life because of its association with "birth announcements" on the stelae. According to Rusack, this god was believed to makes ker home in the sea, and may have originally been a minor sea-deity who gradually took on importance in later Miccailian society. If there was a chief god in the Miccail pantheon, this appears to be the one. From inscriptions on the stelae, it seems that one method of worship of this god was sacrifices of various kinds, though it remains unknown whether the Miccail offered to the god blood sacrifices of their own kind.

Rusack contended that other gods were worshipped by the Miccail along with the sea-god. Much like the kami of the Njian religion, the Miccail associated various events, holy places, etc. with minor deities, all of whom presumably had their own rites and customs.

The Miccail Lands

The Miccail populated the western shore of the northern continent. The evidence indicates that they were fishermen and sailors, and many of the settlements subsisted on the fare provided by the ocean. The total population of Miccail was most likely in the range of 25-50,000 at any one time. While small, it should be remembered that the living Neandertal population on Earth was probably never more than half that, and may well have stayed below 10,000 for much of their existence.

At the height of their civilization, the population was concentrated most heavily near The Rock, with traces of settlements well east, and ranging far north and south of the bay. The stelae give indications of the territorial divisions, and these center on the midmale's island in the bay. The Miccail built roads within each of their territories, following old paths and game trails; traces of these still remain. But their greatest accomplishment was the system of highroads that arrowed east from the island with four branches north and south. These stone-paved roads, laid down in as nearly a straight line as was possible, was a feat of engineering comparable to the terrestial Roman roadways. Arching bridges spanned gorges and rivers, and tunnels were cut through the tallest of the hills. Here and there switchbacks were used to lessen the grade of the highest peaks, and wayhouses were established at intervals approximating a day's walk. In their prime, the highroads moved foot and (from the evidence of rutted stones) wheeled traffic from territory to territory, serving as the main arteries for travel and communication.


 

 

 

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