Friday, May 19, 2017

Patreon Post: The Rebellion of Grist

Junk World by Mark Molnar
For today's Patreon post, I've finished off my series on Insurgents by letting you, my dear Patreons, design the Rebellion of Grist, via a series of polls, including who leads the rebellion, what their great assets are, their great weaknesses, and what sort of rebellion they are.  These polls are available to all Companions ($5+).  If you're a patron, go check it out!  If you're not, I'd love to have you.

For the rest of you, I've included a cultural discussion of Grist below, which is a copy of Grist's culture from Iteration 5, which may have slipped past people unnoticed.

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Local Color: The People of Grist

Grist is a "junkworld," once a dumping ground for ancient civilizations and also the site of several major battles. Now, the denizens of the polluted world dig through the discarded remains of bygone eras in search of treasure or artifacts.
Grist is populated primarily by humans and a race of mutants that are well adapted to the more toxic parts of the world. It's not a truly distinct culture, but differs in a few small ways from the galactic standard culture. Namely, it tends to celebrate innovative solutions and clever discoveries (Cunning) and rugged survival on a harsh world (Independence).


The people of Grist have a unique accent, "Gristy." It is non-rhotic, in that they tend to skip the final R sound of a word. They often add diminuitives or vowel sounds on the ends of their words anyway, especially nouns, as in "Hand me that wrenchie over theya, will ya, hey?" They often "pronounce" questions with "hey?" at the end, especially if it's a rhetorical question or one where you want to emphasize that you already know the answer ("You can loan me some credits, hey?"). Finally, they have two words unique to Grist: "Dugga," which is a term of respect for fellow scavengers, and "Gef" or "Geffy" which means "Off-worlder" or "Client," though it has negative connotations, and some Gristians prefer to shift to the more polite galactic standard of "Sir" or "Mister" which are inevitably pronounced "Sirah" or "Mistah". Gristy is a low-prestige accent, the accent of the uneducated working-louts of Grist. Those who leave the world (like Dun Beltain) do their best to shake the accent, but some of them keep it, so they can use it when they get back home.
Gristy might sound something like this "Hey dugga! I got a crazy geffy that's askin' fo a spaya hypa-drive. You got one, hey?"


Grist is sufficiently industrialized that it has food paste regularly served from spigots or in packets. Most scavengers bring in their daily find and either exchange it for credits, or exchange it directly for food. Food paste is cheap and plentiful. Interesting flavors aren't. Thus, smart entrepreneurs make a living out of finding local food they can serve up.
Street vendors often carry smoked "scuttle-rat," a ubiquitous, chitinous vermin about the size of a small dog. When properly smoked and pried free of its shell, it has a soft. lobster-like texture and a smokey, ham-like taste. Most vendors will leave it in the shell when selling it (to keep it better preserved), and carry it on strings or chains danging from a coat. Their smell and the thump of bouncing scuttle-rats on their bodies tend to announce their presence, as well as their opening of their coats to show their haul and saying "Kido, you want a scuttle-rat, hey?"
The water on Grist is absolutely not safe to drink. Gristians will either purify it (or better, get it off world), and the purified water is sometimes referred to as "Geffy water." Given its expensve, Gristians who want to flaunt their status often make a point of drinking crystal clear water, and might even spend a great deal of money tracking down pristine water imported from interesting worlds. The rest tend to get their liquid from "sludge-wine," an alcoholic slurry made from rarified food paste and until it looks a thick black (or more rarely, brown or green; one community is very pleased with their luminescent green sludge-wine). It contains plenty of liquid and nutrients and has been through a distillery enough to ensure that any toxins have been removed and has sufficient alcoholic content to kill any bugs in it.


The people of Grist love adventure and a chance to show off how scavenging skills. They do this with yearly Scavenger Runs. A community will design an obstacle course and place some high value parts therein, and the object is to find such a part and return with it. Generally, the part is at the far end of the obstacle course, but the observant or the clever might notice a way to short-circuit the race by getting the part early. Otherwise, the participants need to make it past all obstacles, get the item, and return with it before anyone else. This is generally a test of Observation, Scrounging and general parkour skills or, for really big courses, vehicular skills. Violence is frowned upon, but characters with decent levels of Games (Scavenger Run) can know how much they can get away with, and under what circumstances it's alright to accidently bump another contestant off into the sludge.
Most communities will maintain their own course, and particularly adept sportsmen will go from community to community (which often stagger their yearly scavenger runs to allow for the most interesting participants to make it). The sport is definitely filmed and broadcast into nearby homes.

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