The Mierese Society

All right! Let us get back on track to discuss the Mierese social structures.

As we discussed, the Mierese are not fond of order, protocols, and governance. They work in small groups and villages, and the local leadership deals strictly with the common affairs of the population, never going into their individual sphere unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Before the Convergence War, the Mierese didn’t even have a central government. Nevertheless, due to pressure from the rest of the ONI Consortium to help in the upcoming war effort, the Mierese reunited their Lore Keepers. They then elected a group of notables to govern and organize their efforts as a cohesive front.

This group of notables elected a speaker which represents and governs their species as a quasi prime minister. Still, his governing functions are limited, and they directly avoid establishing general rules and laws for their brethren unless absolutely necessary.

Even with these limited functions, the government is always viewed with suspicion. If the Mierese god allowed everyone to live however they wish, why should anyone dictate how they behave or act? The only thing keeping the government viable in the Mierese society is the support from the Lore Keepers, and it’s time we start talking about them.

The Lore Keepers could be called the foundation of the Mierese society. They are a special class of individuals trained from their childhood to offer religious support for their people and to act as guardians of the collective memory of their civilization.

Potential candidates are chosen by an elder keeper and start living with them from a young age, learning the Grand Tale and all the tricks of memorizing great quantities of information, including the many minor stories in the Mierese culture.

A small detour here is necessary. As you might have guessed, yes, the long tail of the Mierese head is what makes their prestigious memorization skills possible, and lore keepers tend to have even longer ones than the usual Mierese.

Going back to the Lore Keepers, they exercise many functions in the Mierese society, including tending to the Grand Tale, which includes selecting what should be incorporated into it.

There is a learning curve, of course, and a young Lore Keeper won’t be the one voting for the next installment of the Grand Tale unless he proves himself to be extraordinary. Usually, at the beginning of their journey, they will provide religious instruction to small communities and help organize their city story while documenting the relevant facts of that region.

Here an important point needs to be addressed. We already know that the Grand Tale is the most important story for the Mierese. Every Neuno year, the elder Lore Keepers reunite in an unknown location to share the stories they’ve collected and vote on which should be incorporated into the Grand Tale. This way, should any one of them die, the information will be safe with the others.

If you think about it, their logic is pretty much the same as we use in the Council of Peace Star Atlas chain, but instead of nodes, they use the keeper's prestigious memory.

Nevertheless, aside from the Grand Tale, which is deemed as the main story, the Mierese society is formed of thousands of parallel stories, and each individual, family, city, and institution has its own.

Mierese measure success by the number of stories that an individual appears in. Usually, an individual will be part of their family story, and perhaps their city story, or their craft story, should they prove to be worthy. The regional lore keeper is the one responsible for safeguarding those records and selecting who is worthy of joining the bigger stories.

In every sense, they act as representatives of Onato, judging the Mierese stories in the physical realm.

A Mierese who is not part of any other stories during adult life is perceived as useless and slothful by their brethren, usually suffering prejudice and exclusion in social circles. The biggest penalty in the Mierese society is not death but being erased from your family and community stories.

From the outside, one might think this is not a big deal. But a Mierese is expected to recite the stories they are a part of when formally introducing themselves to other Mierese. If one is excluded from those tales, they are seen as non-existent beings.

In the early days of the Mierese culture, the non-existing were classified as not having rights, and you could even kill someone in this condition as they were already deemed worse than dead by all relevant Mierese parameters.

Nevertheless, the Council of Peace stepped in to protect the lives of the “non-existent,” and although they usually aren’t killed anymore, they are viewed with utmost disrespect and prejudice.

This is even reflected in the religious aspect of their society, as the non-existent supposedly never get to meet Onato, and instead simply vanish after dying.

Speaking of religion, it’s time we move on to this final pillar of the Mierese race.

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