The Mierese Culture

In my field of research, I often observe that a founding myth is used as a way of conveying the fundamental values of a given society in an understandable manner, allowing members of that community to be able to share the same underlying principles and infer rules of social engagement.

The Mierese story is a full-course meal in this regard. Many lessons which represent the essence of what a Mierese is can be derived from the Grand Tale, ranging from cultural values to status before the society. We can learn a great deal about them if we look into what the Grand Tale teaches the Mierese, and that’s where we will take our investigation now.

For instance, the first thing every Mierese learns is the danger of pride and the value of freedom. As the story of the first chapter tells us, Onato is currently imprisoned by his pride, and every member of his race sees it as a deadly trap. It’s common for a Mierese to remind fellow companions of Onato’s prison when one starts to boast about any of their feats.

Being humble will keep you free from your ego, and it’s a tradition in their culture to observe this commandment.

Another interesting point of their founding myth is the great value that stories and overall lore play in the Mierese society, and how this pushed them away from the written language.

“Don’t rely on possessions or notes. When your day comes and you stand before Onato, you will be alone. Only your memory and intelligence will help sway our God’s favor.” I heard one elder of the Mierese tribe share this lesson with a young lad on Neuno, and I never forgot that raw demonstration of the Mierese society.

This is why the Mierese place so much value on self-expression, secrets, adventures, skills, and intelligence; and why things like possessions, details, protocols or dogmas~~, or precision~~ are irrelevant. A Mierese will focus on substance, experience, and subjectivity. Their god's secret lies in a good story, and no good story was ever lived by doing mundane chores or taking notes about trivial things.

As one can imagine, this creates problems for the Mierese explorer, looking to live an epic adventure but forgetting things like making sure their ship got refueled.

Nevertheless, it is this conjunction of factors that sets the stage for one of the most interesting institutions in Mierese society, the role of the stories and their influence on every aspect of Mierese life.

While most children of Onato have no written language, a few have learned the common written language in order to interact with other factions. The Mierese feel this form of communication is severely lacking, to the point of being almost useless.

If you ask a Mierese to explain why, he would probably feel it’s too much of a hassle to explain such an obvious fact, and if you can’t see for yourself, you might be beyond salvation. But, should you insist, and this particular Mierese is feeling generous, he will tell you that written words are a very poor medium to convey the most important part of stories, emotions, and sensations.

Few things compare to a Mierese Lore Keeper narrating a part of the Grand Tale.

Suddenly, the whole room around him goes silent. If he starts a tale in summer, he will tell you of the warmth of the day, and you will feel embraced by the sun even if you are sitting on a cold night in the mines of Gerio. Should he describe a character, his voice will invoke the peaceful semblance of the maiden or the wrathful gaze of the villain. He will move and dance, cry and laugh, and as time passes, you will see yourself inside the tale, as if you are part of the play and the facts narrated are happening before your very eyes.

Only those who have lived through this experience will understand what I’m currently writing about. In fact, on this point, the Mierese are absolutely right, and written words in any of the 34 different languages that I managed to master are not enough to do justice to a Mierese performance.

At this point, you might be wondering, if the Mierese don’t have written language, how are they supposed to keep track of all the different stories and the overall progress of their species?

That’s where a very important figure in the Mierese society appears: the Lore Keepers. We are going to explore this in the next chapter about the Mierese society.

As a last note before we move on, it’s important to note that although the Mierese are born into extreme conditions and bound to a pact from the day they are born, this hasn’t stopped them from becoming a very cheerful population.

In fact, walking so close to danger has enabled the Mierese to have a lighter approach to life and problems. You will always hear a Mierese making jokes before others would even consider it, or saying things like “Ok, this is how we die” just to alleviate the tension in the room.

Of course, members of other species often mistake these comments for mental illness or a lack of intelligence.

Personally, I feel this is a great mechanism to cope with all the stress, cheers to good jokes and stories!

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