What follows is an example of Rien’s Rebellion as published, specifically to illustrate the evolution of the constructed language of Galantier. This is purely because I have access to my own drafts and the decisions that drove the evolution of Rebellion from Disney Princess Plays Virginity Porn with Robin Hood into … what it is.
As the tweeted article points out, the constructed language is bold and textual world building is (individual words in) italic. (Thoughts are also in italic. Sorry.)
26 Festivis, 1137, seven days after Midwinter — Laarens
“Find them!” I roared. “Get the Ingeniae Corps on it. Observers better be pulling puissance within four minutes!” I pointed at two runners in the hall outside my office. “You, Outriders. They’ll have their directions at the stable. You, summon a security detachment.”
My uncle Vohan, Razin of Galantier, was late returning to Northwest Border One, my garrison. Only an hour. That’s half too much. The Monarch of Galantier travels with outriders and three carriages. If one breaks, it’s left behind. If the Razin becomes incapacitated, an outrider on a fast horse proceeds to the destination for assistance.
This progress had run like a well-oiled One-Armed Archer, despite Uncle’s best efforts. He shouldn’t be here at all. My cousin and I wasted a half-year planning this trip as her long-delayed first visit. Then he came instead. Which we should have expected. He’d spent the seventh, eighth and ninth days of this progress at Western Two. This morning’s heliograph report stated he left on time to return north. His security detachment of twenty heavy cavalry and two dozen guards, on fast horses, knew this territory like their own lovers. His ingeniae are their own weapons. In four annual visits, he had never once been more than a few minutes late.
Most times, people say, oi, he’s an Ingenia, and you think, he knows where to dig a new well, or maybe he’s one of those special lawyers who read minds. Perhaps a weatherwitch who can sometimes build a ward or see what’s beyond a hill without taking a walk. That describes me, not Uncle. Seven hundred years ago, the House of Galene about-faced on Ingeniae in the bloodlines. The witchy, scandalous poor bastards who spent their lives locked in the attic suddenly sold high on the marriage market. Not that blood has much to do with it; prosaic parents produce Ingeniae all the time, and all the best breeding sometimes produces almost incompetent Ingeniae. Like me. My family’s bred for brains and Talent for thirty generations, and Uncle’s the pinnacle. He reads minds like print, which makes him one of the strongest Perceptives in Galantier. He’s an Evocator. He can project his mental voice to another over fifteen milliae. He has a touch of Impathia to read the emotional weather around him. And, like me, he has a hint of Providias.
Precognition. Neither of us are true Prognosticators, but we both have enough to know when a situation is about to slip sideways into dark water. Mine ruffled the hair on the back of my neck.
The man still sitting across my worktable sighed with exasperation. “Laarens, relax. His Majesty can be distractible.”
Too true. Any other time, I’d agree, but not with this feeling. I turned away from the Northwestern District’s Justiciar Advocate General. Paval and I were discussing the cases on his bench; when we’d needed to light lamps, I’d realized His Majesty had not arrived. “Justiciar quan Bruckides, this exceeds your ambit. Please remove yourself before you become aware of sensitive information.”
“Laarens,” he said, his lovely, pointed face growing astonished. “He’s my Razin, too — and you —”
“Fine.” My lover stood and packed his document case with the wounded dignity of a wet cat. He could think I was irrational, but I couldn’t care. The Razin vanished on my watch. “Bleeding ancestors, Uncle, you better be intrigued by some two inch tall plant nobody’s ever seen,” I muttered to myself.
Security protocol states that when something unexpected happens around the Monarch, the Ascendara is immediately notified. The sun had set. “Lynel,” I shouted to my equerry, “have Communications ready white phosphor and a post rider.” Paval snorted.
My heart thumped as I checked the map.
Uncle left Western Two at dawn. That garrison lay almost sixty milliae due south, but his route would follow the Western Highway along the Paxular border instead of driving straight through the Army’s border zone. He should have covered about eighty milliae today in relative safety, given the entire western border is at war at least half the year. The Western Highway route lay almost eighty milliae from the edge of the disputed zone. Which didn’t mean Uncle hadn’t had a fit of independence and changed plans. It also didn’t mean Spagnian raiders hadn’t gotten through. We can’t watch every inch of our border. Maybe few Spagnian scouts broke the forward line. Uncle had above forty well armed, well trained warriors with him. A raiding party couldn’t harm him.
I’m being stupid. Given Uncle’s recent restlessness, and with a force at hand, if raiders attacked, he’d give chase. Delay explained. Uncle wouldn’t send an outrider ahead when he’d want all hands.
Except the outriders are mine. They knew the Razin’s security trumped everything, including his commands. Only Uncle, my cousin and I knew this plan in full. I gave his outriders their orders, and they obey me. They knew that if they deviated from plan, an outrider must ride for the next rendezvous. Uncle can be impetuous, but my outriders must live with me.
“General Revinsel?” An Ingeniae Corpsman skidded in, the badge on his shoulder bisected; a book and an eye, so a Perceptive and Observer. He looked too young to shave, so fresh from the conversatory and still shocked by thirteen tendays of unit training. “Sir, we have a possible.”
“About thirty milliae south, off the highway.”
Exactly halfway between here and Western Two. If they’d been ambushed, it had been midday. And outside of Uncle’s Evocative range for either garrison. Western Two would send a detachment if I flashed them a phosphor message. But Darensar’s new to the post and he doesn’t know Uncle. His background is engineering, not intelligence or law. Sun’s down, so a phosphor message will be visible out to the disputed zone. Spagna probably doesn’t have these codes, but more text just helps them code-break faster. My detachment rides in a quarter hour; it will take twice that to flash the message through two relay towers, then time to find Darensar and for him to figure out exactly where. Better if it’s us.
If something had happened, that might be a crime scene and we’d need solid information. An engineer wouldn’t help. I’m not the lawyer my cousin is, but I’ve got the basics.
“Lynel,” I shouted, “I’m headed south. Wake sune Vandahl, tell him I’ll be back around dawn.” My second would take the night shift in a couple hours, but out here, we never break the chain of command. That’s when the seventy-seven Hells open.
I better inform Cazerien. I coded a message, pocketed my codebook and dropped the message on my way to the stable. The Communications officer frowned at the column of numbers, much harder to transmit than words, but impossible to break without the book, and started climbing to the mirror platform to send it himself.
The stabler who brought out my Bravura had a fresh bruise on the back of his hand, so the damned nag had bitten again. I checked my escort. Twenty cavalry, half swordsmen, half archers. Three Ingeniae Corps, including one of a pair of powerful Evocators who can speak to each other over about fifty milliae. The other would remain here at the helio-tower as a relay. And Paval. His steady gaze told me he would happily waste time arguing about his presence, because he knew I knew I’d need him. I rolled my eyes at him, frowned and nodded once. Then we rode.
And again, contextual clues should be easy for a fluent English reader, but with the expectation of setting the world in its proper order. Ingeniae here is a technology used by an army that has a corps, like Corps of Engineers. At that moment, you need to know it’s an order issued by someone with the authority to issue orders, not the definition. Not yet.
But you get it two paragraphs later. Laarens describes multiple types of ingeniae, and that people have been terrified of it in the not too distant past.
You also get Razin of Galantier, which is clearly a title of a place. When Galantier gets mentioned in the next sentence, using Monarch instead, that clears up both definitions.
Heliograph is an actual invention, in this world, and it literally is using sunlight to convey messages. It was a Napoleonic Wars invention that didn’t survive all that long because electrical code was invented soon after, and the Morse telegraph wasn’t limited by line of sight or weather. But within context, it’s clearly a signaling system.
Ingenia, ingeniae talks about the context of the technology of psychic ability that Galantier uses. And how it’s variable and messy, and not as reliable as they want.
House of Galene builds on the idea of a place and nobility, and it’s pretty clearly related to Galantier.
Then we get specific Ingeniae, with their definitions right beside them.
This is how I build my worlds. It’s A way. All writing is A way, not THE way.