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Author Topic: Artificial Brownie Wings (Lleeterrs)  (Read 7637 times)
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Rookie Brownbark
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« on: 05 November 2007, 23:45:29 »

Overview
These artificial wings, or "Lleeterrs" as the are often called among Browniefolk (see Myth and Lore for detals on the origin of this strange-sounding name), are basically a springy wooden frame covered in some sort of material.  They will allow a Brownie to glide a short distance, providing an easier route to neighbouring tree houses or down to the forest floor.  Lleeterrs are usually decorated in pretty much anything the Brownie can lay their hands on and youngster’s sets often look so heavily laden its a wonder they can get off the ground.  Although the design has undergone a drastic change in recent years, the idea has been familiar to the Llaoihrr Brownies for as long as anyone can remember, and Lleeterrs are firmly routed in Brownie folk tales and way of life.   They are used mainly in the Vale where they were developed, but are not unheard of among the Milken Brownies either.

Description
Apart from the springy wooden frame, each pair of Brownie wings varies immensely from the other.  Owners, especially younger ones, enjoy decorating the wings themselves with any type of feathers, beads, leaves or even pretty shards of stone that they can find, normally gluing these straight to the fabric with a paste made from boiled up mouse bones. Although you would expect the pieces of rock to be too heavy, there is a particular type which the Brownies call LLeiLLrr (lit: "waterfall rock") which can be split quite easily into very thin, light layers.  Large shards of this are often used for windows (hence it is often called "Fayglass" by the humans), as it can be quite transparent, and the chips left over from cutting it to size create a pretty sparkling addition to any wing set.  Children stick uncut fragments straight to the Lleeterr's fabric but adults are more likely to have it inlaid into the wooden frame by a specialist of the Brightler clan. Another potential decoration is the shiny, irridesant inside of a tryster's shell which has to be traded for, making it more expensive but also more sort after.

The fabric stretched between the struts can be anything from light-weight cow or deer stomach (normally traded for from neighbouring human villages and therefore mainly for the more serious flyers) to de-furred rabbit leather.  Tightly-woven fabric is also highly prized as it doesn’t stiffen after it gets wet like the leather, and this has led to tentative trading with the people of Bardavos for the beautiful Shendar Silk, and other larger cities for the bright works of Caltharian dyers.

The wooden frame itself may also have decorations burnt into its surface.  Some of the more decorative (and less practical) designs are even carved with symmetrical patterns or Brownie runes, often telling a story of the event they were made to celebrate.  Fashion plays a large part in the decoration, and whilst one generation favours beads, the next will prefer feathers, the next plain fabrics in bright glaring colours, and so on. 

The span of the wings nowadays is around a third bigger than the Brownie’s own arm span, and sets are made for both children and adults.  Larger wings give the user more lift but don’t let them turn as sharply.  This problem can be solved with a more springy frame, as this allows the rider to move their bodyweight more easily, but this in turn makes the Lleeterr harder to use and more fragile.  Also the wood tends to become more rigid and brittle as it gets older and dries out, so the steering gets worse as the wings age.

Construction
The craftsbrownie, normally a member of the woodworking Hamm'rer Clan, must first find a selection of twigs or branches that are approximately three times as thick as they will be on the finished product.  One of these should be around the length of the rider’s arm span (when measured across their back), one about a third bigger again (depending on the style being crafted) and the rest about half the arm span.  The bark is stripped from all the twigs and discarded.  They are then left to dry for at least a week, often tied around a tree so they will take on some of its curved shape.  Next the outside is sanded using rough stones to remove any imperfections in the wood like knots or buds.  This also takes away a quite a lot of wood and sometimes the craftsbrownie needs to leave the branches for longer to allow the wood to dry a little more.  The optimum state is when the wood has just turned from green to brown, as this is when the wood is still springy without being too soft and prone to splintering.  Any carving or decoration of the wooden frame itself is done before assembly.  Carved designs require a harder, more finely grained wood to allow for the fine level of detail which the Brownies inevitably produce.  The actual carving is normally done by a Brightler clan member who specialises in it, rather than the Lleeterr-maker himself.

The wooden sections are held together with untreated leather thongs which are then wetted and allowed to dry solid.  Glue can be added too, depending on the preference of the maker.  The longest branch forms the front of the structure and curves backwards and downwards towards the rider’s feet.  The next largest crosses the rider’s lower back (about the level of the hip bones) and curves the other way, meeting the first piece at the end of the rider’s arms.  A loop of leather is normally fitted here as well, providing a place to rest one’s hands.  The remaining twigs are placed across the first two pieces like the feathers would lie on a normal bird.  These go under the basic structure and will sit between the Brownie and the wing fabric.  The usual number is four; two on each side, with the two ends of the first longer branch making a 5th and 6th strut.  The first pair of struts sit either side of the Brownie’s body and several leather straps are suspended between these two forming the main source of support for the Brownie.  The rider is also strapped in across each upper arm, as well as the handles mentioned before. 

The feet can be supported in two ways, or left to hang loose, again depending on the design and the ability of the flyer. The first and simplest solution is another wooden bar underneath the first pair of struts (the ones on either side of the Brownie’s body), positioned to allow the Brownie to tuck their legs up and rest their feet on it.  This is a good solution for beginner flyers as it provides maximum stability for the legs, preventing them from swinging around and effecting the steering.   

The other method is a longer leather strap which acts rather like a stirrup and hangs from the same two struts.  The length of this strap varies with preference, but should be long enough to be comfortable whilst not allowing the legs to straighten fully and thus risking the feet falling out.  This design is preferred by most Brownies as it allows the legs to move and be used to steer the craft, whilst still providing some support.  It also acts as an emergency break system – by shifting all their weight onto this stirrup a rider can quickly tilt the wings, lifting the front and preventing downwards flight.  However, this feature means the design is rarely used for children’s sets, as breaking too hard or suddenly can cause a complete loss of lift and a spiralling, dizzying fall to the ground.

Of course the most experienced flyers often prefer to have their legs hanging freely, as this gives the greatest possible steerage.  However one needs both skill and strong stomach muscles to do this successfully, and thus this method is left to the serious competition flyers.

Once the basic frame is complete, the wood is sanded further with rough barks, treated with a varnish made from pine resin and then left to dry.   The next stage of construction is adding the material to the wooden frame.  The method varies only slightly depending on whether one uses the old-fashioned leather to cover it, or the new, lighter materials.  Leather is the easiest to attach, as it is the strongest fabric, less prone to ripping, although it is often treated first to give it a little water resistance.  Rubbing large quantities of rendered animal fat into the material makes it more supple and less likely to stiffen, but this process is time consuming and hard work. Therefore a choice must be made between suppleness and strength of the frame, because if the leather is allowed to stiffen, the construction will be much more durable, but not as fun to fly.

The leather can be decorated at this stage too, possibly by burning designs into the surface or dyeing markings onto it.  When ready, it is simply pierced and tied to the wooden frame, which has already been smeared with glue in every place the leather will touch.  This ensures that the stress is as equally balanced as possible, and that the material is less likely to tear.

When using lighter, woven fabrics or the delicate lining of a herbivore’s stomach, even more care must be taken to attach the fabric evenly to the frame.  Often the material is not pierced at all, as this creates weak points, and is instead wrapped around each of the outer wooden pieces  several times and glued to make sure it is strong enough.  Extra pieces of material may be looped around the struts and then glued onto the main wing material as well.

Most Lleeterrs are made to measure for the customer, and take at least two weeks from start to finish, mainly due to the need to dry the wood before use.  Some may then be further embellished by the customer, or passed on to a member of the Brightler Clan for a more professional job.  Decorations are usually stuck on rather than sewn to avoid making holes in the fabric, and can be practically anything which is light enough.  Sometimes a string is tied between the two outer struts and threaded with beads or other bits and pieces, creating a pretty “tail” as the Brownie swoops down through the foliage. 

Usage
Although much of the wings' development can be attributed to military use, this has all but died out since the invention of the Flying Militia.  Now they are used as a quick way of getting from one tree to another or down to the ground.  Many young Brownies will also race each other for fun, causing large-scale panic when they inevitably stray too close to a home or another Brownie.

Lleetrrs are also sometimes given as ceremonial gifts on special occasions such as when a Brownie enters or completes his apprenticeship with a particular clan.  These wings are often over-decorated by modern standards and made in an old-fashioned, heavier style which lasts for longer.  They are more decorative than actually practical but they will still glide short distances in a rather steep downwards direction.

However, even with the best, lightest wing sets the Brownie cannot recreate true flight, or even glide as far as a flittermouse itself due to the weight of the wings.  The longest glide ever recorded was by Drou Birchbark in 1659, who managed to achieve 24 peds, 2 fores and 5 palmspans in a fair breeze.  In reality Brownies rarely have this advantage as they use their wings among the stillness of the trees in the Vale.  The distance of the flight depends on many things; the size of the wings, weight of the Brownie, experience of flying and style of the set used.  Anything which slows the flight, including steering the craft, will cause the rider to lose height as well.

Every year, normally in the spring when the winds blow strong and steadily, the Brownie Aoooaiei (lit: "taking off") is held.  Taking place in a large clearing in order to catch the best breeze, this is a chance for all Brownies of all ages and clans to come together and show off their flying skills.  Competitions such as races, distance gliding and simple obstacle courses are very popular, with many Brownies simply joining in to show off their new wing sets.  All the flight times and distances are recorded and kept publicly, so that the winners names will be known for as long as the bark lasts.  Entry is of course free and only restricted for the higher levels, where the most successful flyers from the last rounds compete for championship.  Prizes are normally exquisitely worked cloaks or other decorated clothing, which are donated by members of the Brightler Clan.  Although they don’t receive payment, the advertisement of their particular skill more than makes up for the time spent, and indeed the struggle between different Brightlers to donate pieces is often said to be fiercer than the Aoooaiei itself.

History
It is widely believed, though no one is quite sure if it is true, that the first Brownie wings were actually harvested straight from bats which populate some quieter parts of the Vale.  There is some evidence to support this; for example the Prowler clan’s early records discuss ways to catch a bat without harming the delicate membrane which allows it to fly, suggesting that this was once an issue.  Also several traditional hunter’s dishes use bat meat despite the fact that mouse is relatively easier to catch and just as tasty.  Finally (though possibly because of the popular association rather than an actual link to the past) one popular style of youthwings still incorporates decorative details and strut placement that evoke flittermouse wing design.

Fortunately for the bat population of the Vale (as tested by several of the more practical Brownie historians) bat wings are neither comfortable to the rider, nor particularly easy to control.  Also the membrane dries and hardens when dead, becoming so delicate that it is easily damaged by the everyday falls and bashes of a leaner flyer. It is no wonder that the Brownies soon moved on to producing their own covered wooden frames.  The few early plans of the first designs which still remain show a rather more complicated structure than that used today; some even look as if they were supposed to flap like those of an actual bat.

Military use soon encouraged more solid, long-lasting styles, and most of these intended to be used to swoop down quickly on an incoming enemy, bringing the Brownie close enough for a shot or two before swooping past them and far enough away so they could escape.   The Brownies could attack all at once, creating a confusing swarm around the human or elf, and quickly subduing him/her.  Durability and reliable steering were prized at this time, and wings were normally rather heavy, short-winged and inflexible; the stiff leather covering providing extra support for the wooden structure.  This meant that even if the frame was cracked or fractured in landing, the leather would still hold it in place and allow the rider to make another few runs.  The stubby, rather ugly, shorter design not only made the wings easier to turn to avoid other Brownies, but made them less cumbersome on the ground as well whilst the Brownie made their vital get away.

After Brownies learnt to tame owls and use them as mounts, the wings were no longer of military importance and became more a traditional gift than a useful object.  The heavy, ugly design was respected but not loved.  That is until the inventor and historian RrLLee'ou Greenbark brought them back into fashion with two sets he designed for his grandchildren.  Newer, simpler and rather more beautiful than the old sets, these were the beginning of a revival for the product.  They were not made of leather but from a closely-woven human fabric, a boon from the new, slowly expanding, trading network.  Within weeks every child was clammering for a pair and soon the adults too began to see the convenience of gliding simply to your neighbour’s tree for a fruity snack and a chat.  Lleeterrs became popular as they had never been before, with new decorations, designs and improvements increasing the variety and usefulness of this old invention.

Another footnote in the history of the Brownie wings is an attempt by the Avennorian inventor Fjorek Rigvinn to adapt the design for his own use.  Having the funds to hire the services of a few craftsbrownies from Milkengrad who had made wing sets before helped him a great deal, so after only a few months of preparation the team produced something which they were confident would work.  This extract was taken from Fjorek Rigvinn’s log, where he had carefully described every stage of the process. 

“As we had to increase the size of the structure so much, the wooden frame was far thicker and stiffer than the Brownie version.  I think this may have been where we went wrong.  Our design was completely solid unlike the supple, flexible Brownie frames and it is possible that this put unbearable stress on the thongs holding the wooden structure together, as well as the glue attaching the material to it.  I believe this unavoidable flaw was the route cause of the complete collapse of the craft as young Neth was testing it.  Unfortunately we were unable to study the remains of our craft in any great detail, as Neth was flying too high at the time of the collapse, and what pieces we could find were somewhat too small and covered rather thickly in Neth himself.”

There have been no further attempts to adapt the wings for other races.

Myth/Lore
Aside from the speculations about the origins of the wings, there are many other tales which feature magical sets, as well as songs dedicated to the joy of flying.  Unfortunately most of these have yet to be translated from the original Browniin with any measure of success, but this particular ditty was written straight into Tharian by the some-time poet and traveller Tee'n Brownbark, in an effort to communicate the joy of flight to his human friend Jaro.  It describes an autumn morning in the Vale, bringing together Tee'n’s favourite time, place and activity.

Falling, rushing, swooping down,
Down towards the murky ground,
Ground is far,
But we don’t care,
Skimming briefly through the air,

Skimming round ‘n down ‘n through,
Flapping leaves of orange hue,
Orange blurs
As we swoop by,
Fleeting masters of the sky,

Ruling air ‘n wind ‘n breeze,
Circle round beloved trees,
Trees are strength,
And we feel strong
Carried by the wind along,

But Carried down, forever down
Down onto the murky ground,
Ground is damp
With mud and leaves
Damp on feet and hands and sleeves.

But up we get and climb once more,
To skim from treetops like before.

Several fairy stories also mention Lleeterrs, or flying, or even talking bats in some of the older ones.  One of the most famous examples, whose name translates to "The Magic Wings", is also one, and one of the only to be written down.  Mostly these tales are simply passed on as children's stories, and often vary greatly depending on who is telling them.

However the Lleeterrs long history within the Brownie culture is most evident when you look at the numerous phrases and expresions which have developed from flight.  A good example is “To be earning one’s wings”, which means something along the lines of being mature, or showing maturity, although it is usually applied to a very young Brownie.  It comes from the idea that a child must show responsibility and maturity before they are trusted enough to learn to fly, and can be used as praise for doing something seen as “grown up”.

Also being a  “good flyer”  (applied to both genders) often has sexual connotations as using the wings gives the Brownie a well-toned figure, as well as requiring a delicate touch for steering.  One should also be careful when describing another’s skill at “flying”, for fear of serious fits of giggling at your expense.

The name “Lleeterrs” is said to originate from the dwarfish term for the bat “flttermouse”.  The wings became known as “flitterers” as they allow one to “flitter”, but this was rather difficult to say with a Brownie accent, and so the word gradually morphed into something easier to pronounce.  Although it is unknown whether this is actually true, it does seem the only logical explanation for this relatively un-brownie-like word.
« Last Edit: 24 November 2007, 17:15:37 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 06 November 2007, 04:50:14 »

Rookie - this is delightful!   The concept, as I think I noted before, is realistic and charming at the same time (a whole flock of mouse-skin clad Brownie lads swooping airily about the forest in the spring sunshine...)  while the execution is masterfully done, with evocative phrases, clear layout, and correct grammar.    A very nice debut to Santharia, and a promising beginning on a gentle rework of the Brownie folk!   

I have a few comments/critique/suggestions, given in my usual orange.    I would've marked spelling errors in my usual yellow, too, except that I didn't find any (and you even use a British/Canadian spelling style, so I'm quite impressed!)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Overview
These artificial wings, consisting of a covered wooden frame, will allow a Brownie to glide a short distance, providing an easier route from tree house to tree house or forest floor.  They are often decorated in pretty much anything the Brownie can lay their hands on and (and what?)

Description
Apart from the springy wooden frame, each pair of Brownie wings varies immensely from the other.  Owners, especially younger ones, enjoy decorating them themselves with any type of feathers, beads, leaves or even pretty shards of stone  (not if you are going for height or length of glide - you want these to be lightweight!) that they can find, normally gluing these straight to the fabric with a paste made from boiled up mouse bones.  The fabric itself can be anything from light-weight cow or deer stomach (normally traded for from neighbouring human villages and therefore rather expensive) to de-furred rabbit leather.  Tightly-woven fabric (such as Shendarsilk or Caltharian XXX) is also highly prized as it doesn’t stiffen after it gets wet like the leather.

The wooden frame itself may also have decorations burnt into its surface.  Some of the more decorative (and less practical) designs are even carved with symmetrical patterns or Brownie runes, often telling a story of the event they were made to celebrate.  Fashion plays a large part in the decoration, and whilst one generation favours beads, the next will prefer feathers, the next plain fabrics in bright glaring colours, and so on.

The span of the wings now a days (nowadays)  is around a third bigger than the Brownie’s own arm span, and sets are made for both children and adults.  Larger wings give the user more lift but don’t let the user turn as sharply.  This problem can be solved with a more springy frame as this allows the rider to move their bodyweight more easily, but this in turn makes the contraption harder to use and more fragile.  Also the wood tends to become more rigid and brittle as it gets older and dries out, so the steering gets worse as the wings age.

Construction
The craftsbrownie (love that attention to detail!) must first find a selection of twigs or branches that are approximately three times as thick as they will be on the finished product.  One of these should be around the length of the rider’s arm span across their back, one about a third bigger again (depending on the style being crafted) and the rest about half the arm span.  The bark is stripped from all the twigs and discarded.  They are then left to dry for at least a week, often tied around a tree so they will take on some of its curved shape.  Next the outside is sanded using rough stones to remove any imperfections in the wood like knots or buds.  This also takes away a quite a lot of the wood and sometimes the craftsman needs to leave the branches for longer to allow the wood to dry a little more.

The wooden sections are held together with untreated leather thongs which are then wetted and allowed to dry solid.  Glue can be added too, depending on the preference of the maker.  The longest branch forms the front of the structure and curves backwards towards the rider’s feet.  The next largest crosses the centre of the rider’s back and curves the other way, meeting the first piece at the end of the rider’s arms.  A loop of leather is normally fitted here as well as somewhere to rest one’s hands.  The remaining twigs are placed across the first two pieces, as the feathers would (lie) on a normal bird.  These go under the basic structure and will sit between the Brownie and the wing fabric.  The usual number is four; two on each side, with the two ends of the first longer branch making a 5th and 6th “feather”. (perhaps 'strut' would be a better word here, as these serve as structural support rather than lift surfaces) One of these sits either side of the Brownie’s body and several leather straps suspended between this pair are the main source of support.  The rider is also strapped in across each upper arm, as well as the handles mentioned before.

Usage
Although much of the wing’s development can be attributed to military use, this has all but died out since the invention of the Flying Militia.  Now they are used as a quick way of getting from one tree to another or down to the ground.  They are also used for pleasure and many young Brownies will race each other for fun, causing large-scale panic when they inevitably stray too close to a home or another Brownie.

Sets are also sometimes given as ceremonial gifts on special occasions such as when a Brownie enters or completes his apprenticeship with a particular clan.  These wings are often over decorated (I'd use a hyphen) and made in an old-fashioned heavier style meaning they will last for longer.  They are more decorative than actually practical but they will still glide short distances in a downwards direction.

However, even with the best, lightest wing sets the Brownie cannot recreate true flight, or even glide as far as a flittermouse itself due to the weight of the wings.  The longest glide ever recorded was by [insert modern(?) Brownie name] in [insert date], who managed to achieve [insert realistic number] peds in a fair breeze.  In reality Brownies rarely have this advantage as they use their wings among the stillness of the trees in the Vale.   (Deft touch.  How about adding an annual - or every six months - flying competition among various clans, at which new wing styles are exhibited, various contests for speed, distance, and length of hover are run, and designs are judged for beauty and craftsbrownieship?  You could call it the Wingenmoot... :)   Since these contests would be held under the most favorable conditions, 'high scores' would most likely be set - and recorded for history - at such times. ) The distance of the flight depends on many things; the size of the wings, weight of the Brownie, experience of flying and style of the set used.  Anything which slows the flight, including steering the craft, will cause the rider to lose height as well.

History
It is widely believed, though no one is quite sure if it is true, that the first Brownie wings were actually harvested straight from bats which populate some quieter parts of the Vale.   There is some evidence to support this; for example the Prowler clan’s early records discuss ways to catch a bat without harming the delicate membrane which allows it to fly, which suggests that this was once an issue.  Also several traditional hunter’s dishes use bat meat despite the fact that mouse is relatively easier to catch and just as tasty. Finally, one popular style for youthwings still incorporates decorative details and strut placement that evokes flittermouse wing design.

Fortunately for the bat population of the Vale, and as several of the more practical Brownie historians discovered, bats wings are neither comfortable to the rider, nor particularly easy to control.  Also the membrane is so delicate that the smallest fall can rip it, (really?  How do bats manage then - do they never bump into anything?)  and it is no wonder that the Brownies soon moved on to producing their own wooden frames.  The few early plans which still remain show a rather more complicated structure than that used today, some even look as if they were supposed to flap like those of an actual bat.

Military use soon encouraged more solid, long-lasting designs, most of these intended to be used to swoop down quickly on an incoming enemy, bringing the Brownie close enough for a shot or two before swooping past them and far enough away so they could escape.   The Brownies could all attack at once, creating a confusing crowd around the human or elf, and quickly subduing him/her.  Durability and reliable steering were prized at this time, and wings were normally rather heavy, short-winged and inflexible; the leather covering providing support for the wooden structure.  This meant that even if the frame was cracked or fractured in landing, the leather would still hold it in place and allow the rider to make another few runs.  The stubby, rather ugly shorter wings not only made them easier to turn to avoid other Brownies, but made them less cumbersome on the ground as well whilst the Brownie made their vital get-away.

After Brownies learnt to tame owls and use them as mounts, the wings were no longer important and became more a traditional gift than a useful object.  The heavily, ugly design was respected but not loved.  (Ok here I start making stuff up randomly…feel free to tell me it doesn’t work!)  (Actually, you should have more confidence in your ability:  I find this a lovely and indeed critical detail that adds to the entry's feel and consistent history! ) That is until the inventor and historian [enter good Brownie-sounding name here] brought them back into fashion with two sets he designed for his grandchildren.  Newer, simpler and rather more beautiful than the old sets these were the beginning of the revival for the product.  They were not made of leather but from a closely-woven human fabric, a boon from the new, slowly expanding, trading network.  Within weeks every child was clambering for a pair and soon the adults too began to see the convenience of gliding simply to your neighbour’s tree for a fruity snack and a chat.  Wings became popular as they had never been before with new decorations, designs and improvements increasing the variety and usefulness of this old invention.


Bravo, bravo, bravo!    Feel free to add and expand on this yet - there might be songs that tell of the joy of flying, a story of an overambitious Brownie lad who 'flew too close to the sun' or something similar, some popular phrases drawn from wingspeak, and proverbs that warn about 'getting too big for your wings'... :)   Overall a wonderful first submission, Brownbark, and if you'd like a little parchment sketch of the wing design in Vinci-esque fashion, I can try my hand at it.   thumbup
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« Reply #2 on: 06 November 2007, 07:09:42 »

Thankyou so much for reading through this Judy, though I have to tell you I am not really near finishing it :P  I simply put it up here because I was writing it during work hours (having finished all the work my boss had gave me and told her so) and didn't want to save it on my work computer because all the files are open for everyone to view.  So yes, much more to come yet, but its good to get such great comments early on, just means I can work them all in more easily

About decorating the wings with shards of rock - what I had in mind was a very thin sliver, sort of like mother-of-pearl, or small shiny pieces of quartz crystal stuck on.  Very light, honest!  Although I should probably make that clearer in the text.  The same thing goes for the bat wings tearing, I was thinking that the Brownies would crash more often and more seriously than a bat as they wouldn't have the same control - I'll add in some more details in the morning.  I hope that will help.

I love the idea of a "Wingmoot"...though maybe I could find a Browniin way of saying it too.  Oh songs, also good idea, although I can't say I would be able to write one myself.  Maybe a story or too.  Proverbs...yeah!  I also have the human attempt at flying to add, plus the Construction section needs a little rearranging and finishing.

A sketch of the wings would be absolutly amazing if you wanted to do one; the description is becoming quite complicated and although it makes sense in my mind I'm not sure it will be entirely clear to the casual reader.  Thankyou also for the material ideas - extremely useful.

Also I am English, which probably accounts for the British spellings  ;)

Thankyou again!

Rookie xxx
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« Reply #3 on: 06 November 2007, 08:13:05 »

Mica!  I must remember to add it to the rock descriptions....
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« Reply #4 on: 06 November 2007, 16:02:09 »

Um....Mica?  Huh?  :P
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« Reply #5 on: 06 November 2007, 21:34:40 »

Just a real quick note that I noticed while glancing over this: The heavily, ugly design > it's either 'The heavily ugly design' or 'The heavy, ugly design'. In the first case it's the ugliness that's heavy, in the second it's the design ;)
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« Reply #6 on: 07 November 2007, 08:13:26 »

Mica is a rock which comes in extremely thin, translucent, 'sheets' or flakes.  Do a Google for pictures... :)

It can be picked apart with the fingernail and broken by hand as it's quite soft and delicate, and very light-weight.  (Crafters are beginning to integrate it into scrapbooking, for example.)  It ranges in colour from a dark metallic shimmer through silvery and golden tints to almost completely clear.  This would be a material perfect for Brownie use, not only as decorations on their wings, but as window inserts (as the small sizes it comes in renders it useless for similar human applications but would be perfect for Brownies!)

If we do wind up doing a Brownie rework, I shall be sure to insert a paragraph on the many uses of mica in their culture.... :)
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« Reply #7 on: 07 November 2007, 21:07:44 »

@Irid Cheers my grammar-checking buddy  :D

@Judith It looks perfect, exactly what I had in mind.  Consider it included!
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« Reply #8 on: 08 November 2007, 05:39:10 »

A few typos I came across:

- They are often decorated in pretty much anything the Brownie can lay their hands on and youngster’s sets ...

- ... and the chips left over from cutting it to size create a pretty sparkling addition to any wing set.

- ... leather, and this has led to tentative trading with the people of Bardavos for the beautiful Shendar Silk, and other larger cities for the bright works of Caltharian dyers.

- and whilst one generation favours beads, the next will prefer feathers

This looks indeed really good, Rookie! A fascinating idea that is realized with a lot of attention to detail, right until the "craftsbrownie"... lol Still need to read the last sections, but it seems you're already close to finishing. There's also a name still missing in the Description section of a type of Articifical Brownie Wings. Oh, BTW: Maybe there's a better name you can think of for the wings itself? Something that combine "Brownies" and "Wings" or expressed the idea in one effective word?
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« Reply #9 on: 08 November 2007, 06:05:36 »

Thankyou Art!  For both the typos and the compliments :)

There are actually quite a few names missing - I thought I would leave them until last and attack them all together.  Hmmm yes, a name for the wings, possibly a Browniin name....watch this space.

Edit: Oh I forgot to ask - Judy, what name shall I use for the Mica stuff?  To be honest I could always give it a "Brownie" name and then it could have a Tharian/Styrash name later?
« Last Edit: 08 November 2007, 19:27:53 by Rookie Brownbark » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: 08 November 2007, 23:16:32 »

Xackly!

I'll probably start off with something like

Fayglass:  aka   'Faerieglass','Browniepane', 'Mica', 'Mycar' in human tongues.  The dwarves call it Diigokulmeen (useless sparkle) and seem to undervalue it,  though some of the elven clans chip and drill it into dainty 'sequins' to sew on as ornaments.  The Brownies of Sarvonia, however, have given fayglass its full due, using it in windowpanes, fireplace enclosures, miniature lanthorns (lanterns), trays, mirrors, art, and more.  See Usages, below. 
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« Reply #11 on: 08 November 2007, 23:30:11 »

I like it!  :D

*toddles off to the Browniin dictionary*

Edit:  Hmm I have "LLei ihLL" (window rock) because thats technically what it is, or "LLei LLrr" (waterfall rock) for the colour and malubility.  I'll have to wait until I get home before I can see what they sound like as I can't remember off the top of my head.  But I guess they might have known about this rock before they used it for windows?  I'm not sure but it would probably effect the name...
« Last Edit: 09 November 2007, 00:07:52 by Rookie Brownbark » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: 09 November 2007, 03:36:14 »

A few further corrections I came across...

() means that something was removed here

- This also takes away () quite a lot of the wood and sometimes the craftsbrownie (now that you have introduced that term so nicely you should also use it! ;) ) needs to leave the branches for longer to allow the wood to dry a little more.

- The first pair of struts sit either side of the Brownie’s body and several leather straps suspended between these two are forming the main source of support.

- ... this creates weak points, and is instead () wrapped around each of the outer wooden pieces

- ... causing large-scale panic when they inevitably stray too close to a home or another Brownie.

- Anything which slows the flight, including steering the craft, will cause the rider to lose height as well.

- Finally () (though possibly because of the popular association rather than an actual link to the past),

- bat wings are neither comfortable to the rider, nor particularly easy to control.

That's pretty much all I could find - despite some name, date and distance omissions. The entry is very rich in detail and makes one wonder if the author hasn't indeed had contact with a Browniecraftsman and got all the necessary details explained. The information looks first hand and very accurate. Even Myth/Lore we've got, and a very nice poem here as well! - Oh, maybe you could hint somewhere to the fact that we dicsussed somewhere else that the whole thing isn't really workable for others than Brownies and that a certain human inventor desperately tried the same thing but to no awail.

A wonderful entry , Rookie, especially as a first one - I hope you have more such ideas in store to delight us :D
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« Reply #13 on: 09 November 2007, 22:38:29 »

Thankyou!  You know I should print yours and Judy's comments out, frame them and hang them on my wall to cheer me up when I'm feeling miserable.  If I get such wonderful encouragement, how can I resist writing more entries!

Unfortunately this doesn't sound quite right to me ~ "The first pair of struts sit either side of the Brownie’s body and several leather straps suspended between these two are forming the main source of support."   Would this work instead? ~ "The first pair of struts sit either side of the Brownie's body with several leather straps suspended between them. This part of the structure forms the main source of support."

I also had a thought about a name - "Lleeterrs" Bare with me, there is an explanation.  The Llaoihrr tribe have some contact with the Kor Donion dwarves I think??  The dwarvern name for bat is flittermouse, so the wings are "Flitterers" because they allow one to flitter.  But this is hard to say when you mainly use vowels so lengthen the short "i" sound to a long "ee", change the "erer" to the simpler "rr", remove the "f" because two constanents one after the other doesn't seem right and voila!  Well that was my logic anyway.  Need to deside if I like it still, but I haven't had any other ideas.

Still to add...

~ Failed attempt at adapting the wings for human use  ;) Added!
~ Fairy tale about a magical set of wings ~ Irid is writing
~ Finished poem
~ Wingmoot
~ Oh and names, dates etc...

Edit: Oh dear this just keeps getting longer..... buck
« Last Edit: 12 November 2007, 23:49:48 by Rookie Brownbark » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: 10 November 2007, 01:34:32 »

If you don't want to write the whole fairy tale, I could help? Only if you want me to of course. I need to get back into activity around here ;)
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