The PoetsI'm going to be out of pocket almost all day today, but I read Tarn's development blog for Dwarf Fortress this morning and thought you would enjoy it.
Dwarf Fortress is so detailed now that it truly belongs in a class by itself. Tarn and Zach will take minute aspects and drill until they reach a level of harmony with everything else in the world. In this case, it's the creative arts:
While toying around with the art book code and poem/etc. composition, I thought I'd see what happens to an entire form created by an artist mid-world-generation when the only way the form can be passed around is between teachers, students and troupe members. Most of these non-civ forms tend to stay within a single troupe, but sometimes they break out. For instance, in a 200 year small world, we had a human from a hamlet named Usmen decide to run away from home and study goblin poetry. I guess he was troubled by their society, because it wasn't too many years before he introduced a new form of poetry in the year 106: a poetic narrative intended to teach a moral lesson. He and his master Zom Frothhate joined up with a few more goblins and founded the Tan Flies, and Usmen taught the whole group the new poetic form. A hundred years later, forty years after Usmen died of old age, the eight current members of the Tan Flies are still teaching moral lessons to their goblin buddies.
They aren't the only ones though -- back in 113, not long after moral poetry was introduced, one of the founding Tan Flies named Stasost Tongsdemons left the group to go study elven poetry under Narena Packedman, a renowned poet who had over twenty-five students and several major works over a century of activity. After a brief apprenticeship, Stasost went on to have five students of her own before becoming a noble ruling over some goblin pits in 131. Two of these students, Aslot Hatedtangle and Stasost Profaneace, were taught the moral lesson poetic form around the year 120. Stasost Profaneace is still alive, now traveling with the venerable Blockaded Horns troupe (founded in 35), though she has not yet successfully passed on the moral lesson form (her only apprentice to date was murdered).
The other student of Tongsdemons, Aslot, was a one-armed murderous goblin farmer in the pits before becoming a poet at age one hundred eleven, studying under the future Lady for twelve years until she assumed rulership. Aslot was murdered in 162, but he had many students of his own and one of them, a human named Atek Housetactics was deemed worthy of the moral lesson form. Atek was born in 130, 24 years after the invention of moral lesson poetry, and learned the form in the year 150. After losing several apprentices to the perils of goblin living, Atek managed to keep the goblin Osta Wererock alive long enough to pass along the knowledge. They founded a troupe together called the Holy Points and are still performing. Several new members have joined up, so there's hope that moral lesson poetry will continue to spread.