Shadowknight12

[Research Assistance] Ask The Forumers

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I saw something similar in another forum and I thought this'd be a good way to celebrate coming back to AFF. Sometimes we are struck with questions when we're writing and we don't know who to ask, so I figured this might be a great way for the forum to pour our expertise together.

This is how it works: you ask questions and someone who knows about the subject comes in and answers them! I'm a biochem major, so I know about science-y and medical stuff, but we have all sorts of people on the forums with their own areas of expertise, so we can all help each other out when a niggling doubt eats away at us or when we need something explained to us.

Without further adieu, let's get this research party started!

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Wow, this is an excellent topic. I will check back regularly to see if there is anything I can help out with, and perhaps ask a few questions of my own. Thanks ShaddowKnigt!

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Thanks! It also helps me, personally, to keep stuff fresh for when I have to make use of them, so I welcome all sorts of questions!

And don't be afraid to jump in! Some of the more interesting topics in this forum were those with different contributions by forumers, after all.

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I'm always willing to offer what little I know in terms of my own background and interests. I've worked in finance, and at some rather odd jobs as well such as in a cemetery. I read extensively and love history. I'm working on my skills as a rogue... ::looks at shortbow in closet and lockpicks on desk::

Oh, and I'm very good at snark. :D

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Hmmmm. You know, wench, I might ask you some day to give me at least a basic rundown on lockpicking, since I have a few characters who are supposed to be good at that sort of thing. However, since I know you've been busy lately (and those characters are in the back burner, after all), it's going to be entirely up to you. One day in the distant future where you have some free time and a glass of wine! :2tubs:

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I am of very little use most of the times with my "future profession". I'm a macroeconomics guy, not expert (have to graduate first). I'm also a grammar guru, so I can be fairly helpful for random sentences that just drive you bonkers.

On a side note, if anyone knows law: What's the time that an underage minor would serve for involuntary manslaughter? Adult time would be fine as well, only takes a couple of months difference in time line. Generally, years that can be covered, maximum to minimum. I honestly have no clue and my uncle who was a lawyer died about a year ago... No sources for this anymore.

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For you, my favorite paladin, I always have time! :D

Awww. :blush: Well, feel free to type away whenever you want to!

I am of very little use most of the times with my "future profession". I'm a macroeconomics guy, not expert (have to graduate first). I'm also a grammar guru, so I can be fairly helpful for random sentences that just drive you bonkers.

On a side note, if anyone knows law: What's the time that an underage minor would serve for involuntary manslaughter? Adult time would be fine as well, only takes a couple of months difference in time line. Generally, years that can be covered, maximum to minimum. I honestly have no clue and my uncle who was a lawyer died about a year ago... No sources for this anymore.

Don't sell yourself short! That's very helpful.

As for the latter, it depends on whether it gets judged as an adult or not. If it's easier for your story (and the crime is particularly gruesome), have the kid tried as an adult and go with that.

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I am of very little use most of the times with my "future profession". I'm a macroeconomics guy, not expert (have to graduate first). I'm also a grammar guru, so I can be fairly helpful for random sentences that just drive you bonkers.

On a side note, if anyone knows law: What's the time that an underage minor would serve for involuntary manslaughter? Adult time would be fine as well, only takes a couple of months difference in time line. Generally, years that can be covered, maximum to minimum. I honestly have no clue and my uncle who was a lawyer died about a year ago... No sources for this anymore.

Right out of Answers.com:

It depends on the state. Federal guidelines stipulates that the sentence is not to exceed six years. The only jurisdictions that federal guidelines apply though are in some federal jurisdictions, ships, or aircraft. In New York it can be up to 15 years, but in California it's a max of 4 years.

For a juvenile it is usually around 36 to 136 months.

Interestingly, I had come across that recently when looking into the exact definition of criminally negligent manslaughter.

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Hmm... 6 years may not be enough for what I had in mind... Well, I'll see what I can't do. Thanks, Bw

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I guess... But the idea was to use jail as a change... Though, now thinking about my story (and having watched Les Miserables recently), I realize this idea isn't as novel as I had thought... (Then again, Hugo wrote the story in the 1700's, right?)

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Uh... what? What part of what I'm saying precludes the use of jail as a change? I'm actually suggesting you how to extend the sentence if 6 years is too little.

As for the originality thing... you will never have an original idea. None of us will. Everything has already been done before, whether by someone famous or by someone who fell into obscurity, and seeking originality is a madman's goal. It's better to just let go and embrace that fact. What makes a story enjoyable is not the originality of the plot, but the way it's told.

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Hi hi folks!

I like this idea of having a research help thread! I'm fairly good with Japanese culture and mythology, as well as East-Coast Canada and Quebec history; who knows, it might get useful to someone. I also have general gaming knowledge, developping companies, marketing, MMORPGs, and video game QA (I'm currently working for a localization team for a third-party QA company). If you need French language-related questions, French is my main language (hence my localization job, in French). I'm a Final Fantasy geek too XD.

As for what I need help with... let's start with the basics. *clears throat*

I write slash/yaoi mostly; that, I'm fine on its own XD. I'm heavily inspired by videogame storytelling; I like sword fights, I like action/adventure, I like epic storylines. Combined with my newly-discovered love for what I could call Viking metal, I've taken a liking to the Norse mythology, which has led me to create a plot about a rag-tag team of various people going on a journey, each with their own goal and stuff. Typical action/adventure story with a healthy dose of slash. (I like my gay warriors, seriously, we need more of those in the videogame world. Skyrim is made of win for that.)

My problem is that I have little knowledge of Norse CULTURE. Mythology, I have access to. Culture... it's getting harder to find information. Especially when it comes to daily life, rituals, social/cultural taboos, food and so on. My story will most likely be a mix of the Viking Age idealized epics and the more accurate Norse culture.

So, even if I'm not sticking to either/or parts, I need inspiration to make it a little more believable than the romanced version of the Vikings, but epic enough to make it less boring.

Even if it's just basic culture-related links, I'd greatly appreciate help for this.

Thank you for your help! ^^

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I have personally no idea how accurate it is, but I read a lot of this once (before it bored me) and it showcased a lot of Norse culture, but since it's written by Japanese people and then translated to English, there's a chance it's terribly inaccurate as far as culture goes (it had a lot of Japanese tropes too), but for a cinematic, video-gamey story it sounds like you could do worse than borrowing a lot from that, even if it's not terribly historically accurate.

And HELL YES we need more gay warriors! :lol:

I'll get you more links as I find them!

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Whoa, thanks guys!

My interest in manga as faded, but I'm still interested in reading some bits of it, maybe it'll give me inspiration for locations! And as I'm running short on locations... I'll have to check that out. ^_^

As for the article on homosexuality in Viking society, I had read something along the lines once, and I forgot where, but this one was much more in-depth. Very useful - even gave me nickname/byname ideas.

Thanks!

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Urgh. Please tell me you're going to subvert the hell out of that stupid stereotype about how being a bottom makes you unmanly. I swear, I have never written a single bottom who wasn't loaded with manliness and testosterone precisely because of that ridiculous stereotype. Urgh. Can't stand it.

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Urgh. Please tell me you're going to subvert the hell out of that stupid stereotype about how being a bottom makes you unmanly. I swear, I have never written a single bottom who wasn't loaded with manliness and testosterone precisely because of that ridiculous stereotype. Urgh. Can't stand it.

XD Definitely. My current bottom is not one of those. He's about as manly-looking and -acting as his top, if not a little more generally aggressive because he feels he always has something to prove, even when it may or may not be the case. It's something that I intended to play on his personality a lot right from the beginning. (To quote that website RogueMudBlood refered me to, "Them's fighting words!" would be something I expect him to say eventually).

I don't like the "pretty gay boy that's unable to fight and eventually dies" character archetype, so even my pretty boys tend to be hardened warriors who very well know how to fight.

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Oh, that's definitely a relief to hear. It's important that authors learn about the stereotypes they're writing about and how their widespread use can be harmful or just outright annoying. Would that everyone wrote like that, Chibi!

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Chibi, in regards to your "bottom" character... as far as I can remember, homosexual relationships weren't unheard of amongst the vikings, (I mean, they could be stuck on a boat for months at a time, with no women :D ) but they weren't something that was done out in the open, and it wasn't really talked about. But it was considered less "manly" to be the bottom, and men could get teased about it.

It was considered a great insult to be called a bottom (or the receiver). It had nothing to do with how manly you looked or acted, it was just the fact that you let another man mount you. Vikings killed each other for far less up here.

So, it would not be wholly unrealistic for the bottom to turn the tables on his top and try to top, or as you said, act overly aggressive for no apparent reason, to try and compensate.

Just wanted to share that with you, and hope I can help a bit in the future.

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Chibi, in regards to your "bottom" character... as far as I can remember, homosexual relationships weren't unheard of amongst the vikings, (I mean, they could be stuck on a boat for months at a time, with no women :D ) but they weren't something that was done out in the open, and it wasn't really talked about. But it was considered less "manly" to be the bottom, and men could get teased about it.

It was considered a great insult to be called a bottom (or the receiver). It had nothing to do with how manly you looked or acted, it was just the fact that you let another man mount you. Vikings killed each other for far less up here.

So, it would not be wholly unrealistic for the bottom to turn the tables on his top and try to top, or as you said, act overly aggressive for no apparent reason, to try and compensate.

Just wanted to share that with you, and hope I can help a bit in the future.

Thanks for the insight! That's about how I expected things to be based on the article, but I so like my manly designs XD. But his attitude is indeed going to try and compensate; he'll get teased for it true, but I don't feel like constantly referring to it either. I want it to be something that motivates him, but overall I want thisbwhole story to be positive for him. That's the sort of image I like giving my gay characters, that no matter your sexual orientation, you're still a human being and function the same way as any other person. It by no means affects his abilities.

I might have diverged from my original point somewhere in there XD. But it's something that I like to discuss about.

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DOES ANYONE KNOW JAPANESE?????????

I got this review, and am now tearing my hair out trying to uncover which words I need to fix my Japanese Mini Dictionary I painstakingly put together. I bought a "Learn Japanese for Beginners" book that does not cover the different context specific use words I need to find out and get examples for from someone who knows. I genuinely wish to fix my series of completed novels. From this post, I also learned that the book misspelled a lot of the actual Japanese words I was using to denote Japanese from English conversation. Discovering from this post that Japanese use multiple words for "What" and "why" was a shocker. I am still working to get everything revised in the Japanese words category for all of my multiple completed novel tales within the Initial D series because I was lucky to get this review. Here's the wonderful review I got:

[i like the story a lot. The first time I read it was long time ago, when it was still fully presented on fanfiction net, and the second part was only somewhere in the middle of progress, I think. It fascinated me from the beginning and didn't let go, so now I decided to renew my memory and reread it (thanks to the fifth anime series finally appearing, but anyway). I was still extremely pleased. But.
Why did you use so many "japanese" words? Most of them are picking on my hearing (or reading in this case) and are usually unnecessary. You don't hear a Japanese saying "Kimi ha(wa) WHAT wo shite imasuka?" (君はWHATをしていますか) And I was really rolling on the floor every time someone cursed - it does sound funny when you see "naze/nani the hell".
If you still insist on using words in your work (your choice, really), then you should at least use them correctly. For example:
If you use "onnas" instead of "women" - then why do you still use "men", not "otoko"?
You use "ryoushin" and "aniki" - but instead of "otouto" you use "Little brother".
When you want to say "everyone", it's "minnasan" (みんなさん) - not "minasan"
With "isha" is used not "san", but "sensei", as any politic, teacher, doctor or simply very respected person. Though in your story better use the name with the suffix.
When you use "naze" - there's another word "doushite", and half of the times you use "naze" there should be "doushite" instead. Or even "douyatte". It's hard to find the examples as the story is big and I don't remember where I saw those, but here's one:
"I really don't understand naze Fujiwara san's behavior is unusual when we'r doing the same thing he is right now."
Naze means "what for", and here you have a different meaning of "why", better use "doushite". They have a few different "why", you know?
"Arigatou" (ありがとう), not "arigato".
"doumo" (どうも) - not "domo".
"doumo sumimasen" is Ok, but no "gozaimasu" - it is not used in apologies. If you want to stress an extreme apology, you'd better use "moushiwake arimasen" (もうしわけありません) - something along the line of "there is no forgiveness for me".
"Yoroshiku" is used only during the introductions or when a great help is given.
"Gomen nasai gozaimasu" - actually wrong, too. "Gomennasai onegaishimasu" (ごめんなさいおねがいします) is what you emotionally ment. Probably. Though if apology is to the person of higher ranking, then "gomennasai" is a rude mistake at all. (P.S.: besides, "gomen" and "nasai" aren't two words. "nasai" is simply the grammatical ending, so the simplified version sounds "gomen", when the word is stripped of all ending that add politeness.)
"Nani time do you get off" - well, there is a special case about it. Japanese say "Nan ji" for "what time".
"iie kidding" - extremely wrong grammatically. "Kidding ja nai", if you insist.

I hope it doesn't look like bullying, cause I didn't intend it to. The first time I read this I don't remember such words in the text, and now the whole effect of some angered speech is completely ruined because of "nani" every five words.
And if you wonder "what the hell is she blabbering about" or "what gives her the right to say so" - I'm finishing my 3rd year in University right now, Japanese major. Good luck with your muse - I definitely like the stuff she's smoking. ]

Now that I know there are problems, I am desperately seeking a Japanese savvy second language user to get my mini dictionary corrected so I can fine tooth comb, and repair every misused word in my series of stories. I honestly wish to fix my micro Japanese Dictionary for Dialog use to denote the differences in English and Japanese conversations. My story series ends in USA where the main speaking language has to shift to English. My Bilingual characters are going to be swapping out languages a lot by playing interpreters for their teammates at that point. I am trying to get the verbiage for the Japanese right and have run into a dozen brick walls to date. I have been revising the dictionary of terms as much as possible as I get feedback for the trouble spots, but I really need to work with someone who knows the language uses for the many ways Japanese people use the various What/Why and as sundry words in conversation. Will someone please help me correct this mini dictionary to reflect the multiple words used in their correct context? I have placed the current mini dictionary here so that people can see what I have managed to cobble together so far.

(This is my currently inaccurate) JAPANESE Vocab: I have given accented words in Japanese a second phonetic spelling because the Japanese elongate their vowels in a different way than the bar over the vowel is normally used in English. It is not meant to be a long vowel sound such as we learn in English classes. It is only made longer as it is said.

otosān =father (elongated a) is pronounced oh-toh-sahhhn / chichi - means dad. Used by very small children the most. oyaji = old man meaning dad slang/ okāsan=Mother (elongated a) oh- kahhh-sahn / ‘kāsan =Mother(less formal (elongated a) kahhh-sahn/ haha = Small children call their mom this. / ryōshin= parent(s) ryohhh-sheen (elongated o)/ ojīsan (elongated i) oh-jeee-sahn = grandfather/ obāsan (Elongated a) oh-bahhh-sahn= Grandmother/ kodomo = child/children / musuko = son / musume = daughter / onīsan (Elongated i) oh-neee-sahn= older brother (Also a frequent used honorific for a non related younger aged men) nī -(Elongated i)- neee- bro / Aniki =big brother/ Onīchan- (Elongated i)- oh-neee-chan; - Brother familiar term also a nickname parents give oldest son / onēsan (elongated e) oh-nehh-sahn = older sister (frequent used female honorific for non related young women) imootosan=little sister/ Otouto= little brother / mago- grandchild(ren)/ shonen=boy(s) / minasan= everyone/ onegai = I beg of you/please / yoroshiku = Literal translation is please take good care of this/it. Follows any favor request./ kudasai (koo-dah- sigh)= please ( implies to give) / Domo= (literal meaning is very much) implies thank you /sumimasen gozaimasu= very much sorry & excuse me (formal) /sumimasen = sorry or excuse me (less formal)/ gomen nasai gozaimasu (formal) most used form of sorry / Gomen na = (less formal friend & family oriented) apology /Arigato= (less formal) thanks /domo arigato gozaimasu= (formal or highest gratitude)/ baka=fool-idiot-dummy (interchangeable by context)/ Nani=what/Naze=why /hai =yes/ furoba = bathroom/ iie=no/ isha san= doctor Example; Takahashi-isha san is Ryosuke’s title after he graduates/ senumon-i = medical specialist/ machiaishitsu=waiting room/ kēisatsusho: kay-sah-tsoo-shoh = police station (Elongated e)/ kēsatsu- kehh-sah-tsoo = police (elongated e) / kēsatsukan = policeman or woman (Elongated e) / Ja or Ja na= goodbye / moshi moshi =hello = used in phone conversations / /Hachi go =8-5 (Itsuke’s car)/ Hachi Roku= 8-6 (Takumi’s car)

Okay, I await someone's generosity in helping me to untangle this micro dictionary's mess of inaccuracies. My deepest and sincerest gratitude up front for anyone who is willing to explain the mistakes and help me to get this repaired so it reflects real Japanese.

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Hi hi folks!

I like this idea of having a research help thread! I'm fairly good with Japanese culture and mythology, as well as East-Coast Canada and Quebec history; who knows, it might get useful to someone. I also have general gaming knowledge, developping companies, marketing, MMORPGs, and video game QA (I'm currently working for a localization team for a third-party QA company). If you need French language-related questions, French is my main language (hence my localization job, in French). I'm a Final Fantasy geek too XD.

As for what I need help with... let's start with the basics. *clears throat*

I write slash/yaoi mostly; that, I'm fine on its own XD. I'm heavily inspired by videogame storytelling; I like sword fights, I like action/adventure, I like epic storylines. Combined with my newly-discovered love for what I could call Viking metal, I've taken a liking to the Norse mythology, which has led me to create a plot about a rag-tag team of various people going on a journey, each with their own goal and stuff. Typical action/adventure story with a healthy dose of slash. (I like my gay warriors, seriously, we need more of those in the videogame world. Skyrim is made of win for that.)

My problem is that I have little knowledge of Norse CULTURE. Mythology, I have access to. Culture... it's getting harder to find information. Especially when it comes to daily life, rituals, social/cultural taboos, food and so on. My story will most likely be a mix of the Viking Age idealized epics and the more accurate Norse culture.

So, even if I'm not sticking to either/or parts, I need inspiration to make it a little more believable than the romanced version of the Vikings, but epic enough to make it less boring.

Even if it's just basic culture-related links, I'd greatly appreciate help for this.

Thank you for your help! ^^

Sorry that this input is arriving very late in the game, and yet since I do know about being raised somewhat Viking, I thought I would share a few pointers, Shiva. The romanticized version of Vikings is a bunch of bull so I won't sugar coat the information I will give you about how rough and tough growing up in an actual olde school/Faith believing gang of Vikings who mixed with other compatible religiously persecuted groups to form my unusual and very non Christian family tree.

I was born to a hardcore "old school" Viking father as a second chance child. He was stomping 60 when I was born and my mom was 20, so you can imagine right away how strong and lively a man he was when he was alive. I was raised with a fair amount of the Norse/Scandinavian Viking culture from the turn of the century. I have a very unusual perspective to give you as someone raised by a a real "Rune Master" from the perspective of seeing it every day in action.

None of the watered down kinder and gentle versions of modern society got taught to me by my dad. Mine was a hard childhood because of the strong Viking beliefs that were instilled into my personality despite the rest of the family's multiple attempts to "coddle me" as dad so contemptuously put it. My mother did insure I got more of her family values whenever possible, but had to fight every step of the way beside my Native American Medicine woman grandmother. If not for my biological dad having such a fear of Meemah Clouded Moon's "Holy Healer Powers" I probably would be a die hard Viking to the marrow of my own bones. Instead, his harshness was tempered considerably by my Amerindian and Irish families efforts.

First of all, most people do not realize how the harsh, inhospitable conditions of the Viking landscape molded the people for so many centuries. Lacking in fertile lands to raise crops, and harsh weather conditions that also made growing food nearly impossible created a very aggressive personality and a tenacious need to survive. The big thing to keep i mind is how such conditions shaped the people. To outsiders, the Viking lifestyle is very cold, harsh, and violence prone. Hardy and rowdy are important aspects to keep in mind if you are writing about Viking people. They lived hard, and died even harder if they upheld the Olde Ways. My own Viking branch of the family is considered completely insane by the rest due to these specific traits. However, I must say in my Viking heritage family's defense, survival of the fittest as a way of life that spans countless centuries which insured that I survived things that would break the majority of modern people who are ill equipped to stand strong in the face of adversity. Strength, both in the mental, and physical levels, are instilled young. The strength taught can be the best defense of all I discovered during my teenaged years. It has helped me to overcome the impossible time and again. I no longer resent the harsh lessons I learned as a child now that I have used those taught traits in my personal life.

Genuine Vikings are Raiders, and hate to stay in one place for long. The core values include an obsession with personal strength and unflagging honor that will seem twisted to outsiders who do not understand the underpinnings of genuine Viking strength codes. Blood is sacred, and spilling blood gets you closer to the Viking concept of heaven. Battle is another day at the office type of activity and in my family, reunions always seemed to disintegrate into verbal and physical battles and contests involving strength and sportsmanship.

Fear and failure are the biggest taboos I know of from getting raised to despise them with an unholy passion. Excuses will get you beaten half to death by a real Viking faith follower. Excuses are not allowed, and if you fail, you are expected to pick yourself up and fight despite the odds you are faced with in any given situation. Anyone in the family that proves unacceptably weak gets ostracized, including those with serious medical problems. Outcasts can not return to the family fold as a rule. They are too big of an embarrassment. This aversion goes way back into the far distant past when very weak people could bring unilateral death sentences to the whole clan and village. When push comes to shove, survival of the majority still holds great emotional power over the unconscious values of hard core Vikings that adhere to the olde faith.

Another feature of the old school Viking heritage and psyche is the unease men have with the Woman's Menstrual cycles which is regarded as having a supernatural element of mystique. Women are treated poorly in genuine, classic Viking culture, unless they are very strong and capable individuals. Only female warriors are treated with the respect given to equals. The rest are relegated to Thrall (slave) status. You will not find any Knights in Shining Armor in the old school Viking lifestyle. Only contempt exists for weak individuals. Another feature is whether male or female, either carry your weight or leave is another underpinning of the mind set I was raised with personally.

This specific mind set does cross over into the homosexuality angle. The act of homosexuality was both a binding force to increase the desire to protect your battle partner's survival chances, and to define who ruled over whom in many cases. However, when one male preferred to be the bottom, he automatically gave up a lot of his personal pride and strength in the eyes of other warriors. Most of what I know is the shared shift between who dominated at any given time within a shield mate scenario from the things I overheard the uncles discussing with my dad as a kid. Such men were acting like women and so deserved less respect because they were weaker in other parts of their lives. The holy people or Rune masters who practiced the more effeminate magics were also treated with extra suspicion by the warrior cast.

Children are given a break until they reach the age of 6 when they begin training to be strong and competent people in their own right. In my family, the six year old kids were rounded up at the yearly family reunion and tested to see where their strengths lie. Those strong points were brought out over the next few years, with extra focus on fixing the weaknesses so that the kids could meet the expectations of the Hall Elders. Boys and girls both had to pass their rites of passage or they would never achieve adulthood status. Not sure about other families, but mine also kept the olde "rites of passage" alive through the early 80's before pressure from authorities forced them to stop. A lot of the children were taken away, including myself to end the rites of passage in that branch of my family tree. My Viking branch of the family is still dominated by a male leader who has absolute authority to shred anyone within the family that fails to meet the expectations of honor and duty to the hall or family clan also.

Anyway, I hope this helps you with future revisions if nothing else. It is coming a year late, but that could not be helped since I only found this thread today. Good luck with writing a non romanticized bunk story involving Vikings. I would like to read it some day.

Edited by Kurahieiritr

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