King John's Realm

by Uncle Jim

Tags: Science Fiction,

Desc: Science Fiction Story: This is the introduction to the Slave Girl Series. It contains a brief history of the planet Brighid, on which the stories take place. It describes how conditions there developed, and things peculiar to the planet that affect the stories taking place there.

King John's Realm is located on the planet Brighid. Brighid was the Irish/Celtic goddess of fire, flame, and hearth. She was also said to be responsible for inspiration, smith craft, and healing. She was the goddess of all arts and crafts. She is some times said to have two sisters also named Brighid who helped divide the work load.

Brighid is the fourth planet of a G-0 type star far out in an arm of the Milky Way. It was founded some 500 years after interstellar flight was perfected on Earth. Two hundred years after its founding, the collapse of the Earth Federation began.

Because of their distance from Earth, and the time it took to receive the newer technologies or other advanced equipment, Brighid had depended on older technologies that were easier to produce locally. Theirs was a mostly agrarian economy with only light industry.

When the planetary leaders received word of the Federation Collapse, they realized that it would be impossible to maintain the advanced level of civilization that the planet had enjoyed. The unavailability of new equipment and replacement parts meant that advanced technological equipment would fail for want of repair or replacement.

They soon adjusted their limited existing production facilities to produce products from earlier levels of civilization. Especially important was the production of tools to make tools. Manual lathes and milling machines and other manufacturing equipment.

Some of the items produced were: foot powered sewing machines; blacksmiths anvils and other blacksmithing tools; tools for potters, wagon makers, farmers, and printing presses. These were only a few of the old technologies that were revived before the modern production facilities went extinct.

Instructors and teachers were found in hobbyist and those interested in arcane subjects.

Brighid was a larger planet than Earth. It had a slightly less dense core, but its greater diameter gave it a mass within a few percentage points of that of Earth. Its gravity was almost the same. It had smaller seas and greater land areas. Its two moons were smaller than Luna by a substantial margin. They had, consequently, less tidal action on the smaller oceans.

Brighid also had a slower rotation rate. This coupled with a larger diameter led to a longer day. There were still twenty-four hours in a day — but a quarter hour was now sixteen minutes and an hour sixty-four minutes. This made the day ninety-six minutes longer than an Earth day. The extra time led to some what longer sun rises and sun sets.

The planet had a slightly greater tilt to its axis than Earth. This led to harsher winters for their longer year of 372 local days, which was equivalent to 396 1/3 Earth days. Each of the twelve months had thirty-one days.

Because of their greater land mass, the planetary government, before collapse loomed, had broken the world down into a large number of independent states that could be managed with more primitive means of travel that were to come in time. These were established, as much as possible using natural boundaries that were easily distinguished. This was to eliminate squabbles over jurisdiction.

The reign of King John takes place 300 years after the failure of the advanced technology. Civilization had slipped back to a level equal to that of the mid-eighteenth century on Earth. One of the main differences being the retention of the Guild system in the training of people for the various trades. These were mostly, but not entirely, located in the towns and cities.

Slavery had returned, especially for girls and women. Most male slaves were prisoners convicted of serious crimes and sentenced to the work gangs and the quarries or mines.

Brighid was still a largely agrarian planet, and the population was well spread out with only a sprinkling of large cities. There were however a huge number of small towns and villages spread through out the farmlands. There were large ranches and huge tracts of native timber. Many towns and villages were built of stone quarried locally. Barns and many temporary buildings were of wood.

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