Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: We shall start in a moment; let me point out the tip-jar for our excellent speakers, which shall be split between the two of them at the conclusion of this talk. Bitte, do tip generously.
The Salon management would also appreciate any contributions to the maintenance of this property. You may join the AEther Salon group if you are not already a member; it is Open. There are signs around the walls to assist you with both.
As this is not the Jaeger Poetry Slam, do not show your appreciation by firing at the speakers. Throw food if you must, the urchins will appreciate the free meal.
Our speakers today are Herr Jimmy Branagh, a long-time resident of everywhere, who will be speaking on the urchin culture of New Babbage in particular. We also have Fraulein zaida Gearbox, from the American southern swamplands, who will tell us about the scamps of Steelhead City.
Jimmy Branagh: Hoy everyone, an’ welcome ta this month’s Aether Salon toitled “Kinder”, which means kid in German faw those of ya ‘oo can’t read. It doesn’t mean we’re gonna be koind an’ noice to ya an’ thet stuff. Thanks faw comin’!
I will drop the urchinspeak for the duration, rather than drive everyone mad, though it is not my first choice.
We didn’t know exactly how to approach this since the ways people approach roleplay has a fairly wide variation, so we thought we would simply give brief talks on the state of Urchindom in New Babbage and Steelhead as representative of the Steamlands, then open the floor to the usual comments, questions and general chaos that generally follows these talks.
About two years ago, we presented an Aether Salon that dealt with the lives of the children of the Victorian Age, from the real life point of view, with Miss Saffia Widdershins. The life of any of the thousands of street children of the time was a horrendous existence. Poverty, prostitution, drug use, human trafficking and forced child labor were nearly default in what was considered a civilized society, in many ways similar to situations in many parts of the world even today.
Today, we’d like to very briefly present those lives as interpreted here in the Steamlands, in role-play, and how things have changed over the years. I will attempt to describe current urchin life in New Babbage, and Zaida will follow and take on Steelhead, which has perhaps a less dangerous angle to life on the street. I had hoped to find a child of the wealthy to talk about upperclass living in say, Antiquity, but was not able to find a rich kid anywhere in the Steamlands. It seems no one wants to be a hoity-toity kid.
As we all know, things change continually within the Steamlands, more often by naturally-occurring forces than by conscious intent. The New Babbage urchins of today have changed quite a bit from those who originally walked its streets.
Those of you who were around when New Babbage was just one or two sims remember that the street kids were more true to their real-life predecessors – given to pick-pocketing, nicking stores, fighting, stealing, scratching for food and starting fires and generally causing what mayhem they could. There were knifings, shootings, kidnappings and torture … you get the idea. And of course, the ever present extra-dimensional entities who appeared now and then looking for lunch among them, as well as human sacrifice performed upon them by the followers of those monsters.
As then, the urchins of today are constantly forming ever-changing gangs amongst themselves to forward whatever RP opportunity presents itself. They have, however, also become somewhat domesticated. The residents of New Babbage treated them well even in the beginning, with donations and charitable feasts and what not, and a kind of peaceful co-existence has grown among them. The urchins of New Babbage no longer nick from residents … much anyway … and the street kids are welcome at all the parties, balls and other celebrations. Recently, the “Acting Mayor” even formed a city militia – The Babbage Urchin Militia, or BUMS, to keep order in the city during the recent curfew raised over several strange events, not the least of which was the Acting Mayor’s own behavior.
Many of the urchins are now responsible land-owners in their own right, and businesspeople, brewers, architects, shop-keepers and the like. No one is sure where all their start-up money came from, but none have been caught in anything untoward yet, and its more than obvious that the urchins of New Babbage have learned the joys of capitalism. An urchin I know is even a Consular Liason for Europa Wulfenbach!
Whether this change in the urchins from somewhat malevolent to somewhat benevolent is good or bad in the case of role-play is in the mind of the beholder. Some prefer the grimy presentation of urchins in the 1948 version of Oliver Twist, and some prefer mostly happy-go-lucky kids in the musical OLIVER! I suggest there is room for both. And now, Miss zaida Gearbox!
zaida Gearbox: Hello! My name is zaida Gearbox! Like Mr. Baron said I was born in Barataria Louisiana. I don’t have no memories of my real mamma. Only my great-grandmamma who I called Ramoo. Before Ramoo died she told my big sister to take me to Steelhead. That we would both be safe there.
So, when Ramoo died, River took me on a airship to Chicago. But, it was winter time, so we couldn’t get a airship across the Rockies. By the time we left Chicago a very bad man had gone all soft on River, so we had to run away to Steelhead. When we arrived in Steelhead Mr. Lunar seemed like he was expecting us. He told us that we were both under his protection now and that we were both safe.
Steelhead is very different from Babbage starting with that you can’t see the air. There are lots of green spaces and trees for climbing and mines for exploring. Also, Scamps are not allowed in the Saloons except for the Geoduck (pronounced Gooeyduck) Inn which doesn’t serve alcohol. They only serve nice refreshing Zaidapop and tea.
Also, in Steelhead the scamps are required to attend school at least one time every week. They thought if we had to go more than that we might blow up the school. But, Mr. Lunar, Dr. Kristos, an’ some other guest teachers make going to school fun, so we go with only a minimal amount of complaining.
Also, most of the Scamps in Steelhead have places where they stay and or grownups who look after them. Scamps without guardians usually stay at the mill in St. Helens that is owned by a faery lady named Mara Ravenswood. When we first arrived in Steelhead, my sister, River thought Miz Mara was going to steal me, but she hasn’t yet. An’ we have Miz Tensai who is a mad scientist who puts mad scientists in Babbage to shame. She really likes to blow things up, an’ I want to be jes’ like her when I grow up. The end
Jimmy Branagh: AN’ now it’s th’ q & A toime
JulesPorter Darkwatch holds up his hand
‘Cip’ thumps her hind legs in applause
Jimmy Branagh: Yes, first question
JulesPorter Darkwatch: How did you manage to get zaida all scrubbed up and in a dress?
Jimmy Branagh: Oy dint!
Jimmy Branagh: hehe
Gloriana Maertens facepalms
JulesPorter Darkwatch grins at zaida
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach clears his throat
Arnold: They get her to go to school
Garnet Psaltery: I have a question, if I may?
Arnold: Obviously she’s very domesticated now.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: She is paying respect to her Ramoo’s memory, the Management of Steelhead and this Salon by dressing thusly.
Stereo Nacht: Hmm… Well, Miss Thought-Werk isn’t here, so I will ask her question for her: is there some requirement to be a scamp? Can she be one?
Jimmy Branagh: Miss Garnet!
zaida Gearbox: who you callin’ domesticated?
‘Cip’: Appearnces can be deceiving Arnold
Garnet Psaltery: After you, Miss Nacht
JulesPorter Darkwatch speaks his clipped British tone. “You zaida.”
Stereo Nacht: Sorry for not raising my hand first!
Arnold chuckle purrs
Jimmy Branagh: ((Umm might be better to address the question to one of us, otherwise could be chaos. No that there’s anything wrong with that … ))
Bugka Glippa: Ho, I miszt the part abut ze clothez. Vere to buy, plz?
zaida Gearbox sticks her nose up in the air, “i hafta go to school an’ learn my maths an’ stuff if i want to be a mad scientist when i grow up.”
Loki Eliot shouts: I have a question 🙂
zaida Gearbox: okay loki!
Gloriana Maertens nods. “Math is very important for understanding chemistry.”
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach smiles at her
JJ Drinkwater raises his hand
Garnet Psaltery: Jimmy, how does a newly-arrived urchin find their way to others so they may be helped to settle?
Stereo Nacht: Well, perhaps Miss Gearbox can answer first, then if you want to add, Mr. Branagh? And
Super Suz: hmmm, good question
Bugka Glippa nods. “Danke”
Stereo Nacht: (But I can wait until those more behaved than me get answered! X-D )
zaida Gearbox: umm, well, when i was new i met jimmy an’ myrtil an’ they showed me de ropes
Jimmy Branagh: Usually just foind one of us who’s been around awhile, and we can run ya through the gauntlet … er, show ya where ta go an’ get food and stuff.
Garnet Psaltery smiles
Loki Eliot: There is quite a difference between Steamlands on how Urchins are, partly i guess to their different atmospheres, but i think most Urchins think of oliver twist first when it comes to RP’ing a child in a steamland… how much are you influenced by the dickes classic and how much of it do you feel is actually important to Urching?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: ‘Urching’? Heh.
Jimmy Branagh: Ummm
Loki Eliot: hehe
JulesPorter Darkwatch seems amused by the term ‘urchining’ and chuckles
zaida Gearbox: i jes’ wanted to be little an’ cute when i became a urchin. besides you can get away with sayin’ an’ doin’ de darndest things when you’re a kid
Jimmy Branagh: I am healily influenced by it, of course, but also by the films and even the musical. I type like Dodger talks, basically
Stormy: That’s what I’ll cal lit from now on!
Jimmy Branagh: I like aspects of both approaches
Bugka Glippa is confuzzled hagain by Inklish and the verb ‘To urch.’
Mosseveno Tenk: i like urching. sounds like you should be picking pockets and getting rounded up for experiments and human sacrifice.
Jimmy Branagh: Nasty grungy hard life Urchery, and the more whimsical end
Garnet Psaltery: I think they made it up, Miss Bugka
Loki Eliot: what i mean is there are important themes in Oliver Twist that discribe childhood in Victirian times,
Arnold: Also sounds like Henching
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach snickers at the Clockwinder
Rhianon Jameson: Urching is a great word.
Stormy: Urchining Urchins one urchin at a time!
Garnet Psaltery: Clockwinder, I told them the Baron doesn’t eat children
Jimmy Branagh: I agree Loki, and I think we’ve gotten away from that a bit.
Gloriana Maertens: ..both as a descriptor and as a verb. “…urching around…”
Mosseveno Tenk eyes Dr. Foehammer
Bugka Glippa: Hy urch prizzoners to talk. Confuzuing.
Jamie Marie Ryan-Askham gently raises her hand
Mosseveno Tenk: maybe someone will bring back the old ways.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach grins at Bugka
Mosseveno Tenk nods firmly
Stormy: Justa Urchin’ round!
JJ Drinkwater raises his hand, a bit more obviously this time
zaida Gearbox: yes mr. jj?
Jimmy Branagh: Whaddaya think, people? Should the Urchins get rough again?
Loki Eliot: But is that a bad thing? maybe some of Oliver Twist is but a cliche, what other influences are there that bring a fresh perspective on urching?
Mosseveno Tenk: Yes.
JJ Drinkwater: Thank you, Miss Zaida. Do any of the urchins age? Celebrate birthdays? Mature from year to year? Or do all of them live in an unchanging present?
Starchaser Snowpaw: Speaking of new urchins and oliver twist. I think I’d be a prime example of that
JulesPorter Darkwatch taunts. “Can’t be a proper urchin in a girly-girl dress…”
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach looks directly at Herr Darkwatch.
Jimmy Branagh: We are trapped in a freeze-frame, Mr. JJ
Mosseveno Tenk snickers
Kafkagome Bekkers: I think a lot of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” would be relevant…not exactly the right time period, but very similar conditions.
zaida Gearbox: max grew up but got bored and became a kid again
Lilith: would be interesting to get more to the gritty part of urchin life was not always easy
‘Cip’ rises to her hind legs. “As St Augustine is quoted, ‘Beware the man of only one book’. Or urchins. Are there any other references useful for a life of Urchery?”
Bugka Glippa: Hyus, urchings.. urchinz are hongry, too. Bad timez.
zaida Gearbox: but most of us are freeze framed. i’ve been 7 for three years now
Jimmy Branagh: Oy ‘aven’t grown an inch since coming to New Babbage
Mosseveno Tenk: It’s a rare one that lets himself age. the teenagers are more likely to age themselves.
zaida Gearbox thinks growing up is a horrible fate
‘Cip’: Or they end up ‘in lavender’, if you know what I mean.
Garnet Psaltery: Welcome, Mr. Mannonen
Rhianon Jameson: Indeed, Miss Gearbox. I completely agree.
Wildstar Beaumont: across the channel “Sans Familie” might be a good book to take into account
Bookworm Hienrichs: I believe Mrs. Ryan-Askham has a question…
Jimmy Branagh: Yes ma’am?
Loki Eliot: I think part of why the urchins babbage became soft, was they were pampered to much by the adults :-p
Mosseveno Tenk: hear hear
Jamie Marie Ryan-Askham: Yes. Do you feel that RPing as an urchin provides a more robust RP oportunity than that of a grouwn up?
Jimmy Branagh: Loike feedin’ zoo animals. They get fat an’ lazy
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Anyone with questions, do be loud and persistent… like everyone else.
Garnet Psaltery: Hmm I don’t regret putting out an urchin shelter in the depths of wintet
Mosseveno Tenk imagines tubby in a zoo…
zaida Gearbox: sometimes. but i have river for when i don’t feel like being little and cute.
zaida Gearbox: i like tubby!
Jimmy Branagh: For me, yes. I see no reason to come to this fantasy land and … basically play who I am in real life.
JulesPorter Darkwatch: I got another question… Did Mr Lunar make you wear that dress zaida?
Jimmy Branagh: I can do that there.
Garnet Psaltery: Who else has a serious question?
zaida Gearbox: no. river did. *gives jules a dirty look*
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach clears his throat at Herr Darkwatch.
Garnet Psaltery: Jules, behave yourself
Jamie Marie Ryan-Askham: point taken, Jimmy ^_^
Bookworm Hienrichs: I think someone asked earlier about what is taught in the Steelhead school.
Jimmy Branagh: Oh, th’ gifty thing!
Zaros Xue: To either or: Do you think that owning land IC has affected urchins for better or worse?
Loki Eliot: It might simply be the fact , no one wants to horrible, but historically people were real horrible to urchins, And thats not a bad thing that just shows what a better world we live in, becasue you all want to help those in need.
Garnet Psaltery: Except for Mr. Underby
Rhianon Jameson: Heh.
Bookworm Hienrichs chuckles.
Arnold: I think there’s a long list of people who are still horrible.
JulesPorter Darkwatch scowels a bit and falls silent for a moment
Loki Eliot: i find mr Underby adorable
Mosseveno Tenk: Another problem with treating urchins poorly in charactdr is many roleplayers are not able to maintain distance from what is happening and take it personally.
Garnet Psaltery: Actually I quite like him but wouldn’t tell him
Jimmy Branagh: Oy’ll let ‘om know, Loki!
Jimmy Branagh laughs
Loki Eliot: hehe
Jimmy Branagh: Okay, Oy forgot all about makin’ a gift related ta Kinder, so ya get a desk elephant. 🙂 It’s The Elephant of the Bastille. Thet’s in France.
zaida Gearbox: actually i’ve only ever had the problem in babbage which means you mugs are either really good role players or actually really mean
Mosseveno Tenk stares at Loki… what is wrong with you??
Sidonie Ancelin: I have had that happen before, Mr. Tenk. Many people don’t differentiate between IC and OOC.
Bugka Glippa: Urchinz hat no protektion… other than kind pipple
Gloriana Maertens murmurs, “Playing a ‘bad guy’ is one of the hardest, and certainly the most under-appreciated, jobs in RP.”
Jimmy Branagh: Yes it is Miss Garnet
zaida Gearbox nods in agreement. mr. underby was a real champ about all the abuse that was heaped on him during the recent rp
Arnold: Just what I needed.
JulesPorter Darkwatch shuffles his feet and sticks his tongue out at zaida again
Mosseveno Tenk: i’ve talked more than one villian down from walking away during some of the longer story arcs. its rough.
Garnet Psaltery: Miss Zaida, does Babbage make you nervous?
Rhianon Jameson: Thank you, Jimmy. I’ll be sure to open that package somewhere with sound walls.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: We have about five minutes left, for those wishing to express appreciation to our speakers and ask any questions.
Jimmy Branagh: hehe
zaida Gearbox: no, but i am mostly just interested in running around with the other kids
Jimmy Branagh: It’s small. Only 4 LI
Loki Eliot shouts: I LOVE YOU JIMMY!
zaida Gearbox: i try to leave the grow’d up stuff to de grow’d ups
Jimmy Branagh: I LOVE YOU TOO LOIKI!
zaida Gearbox makes a face at jules
Loki Eliot: ok i said it, now hand over the monies
Loki Eliot: you promised!
Mosseveno Tenk: oh, i’d like to see that wager book
Arnold: If you promised Jimmy…
Jimmy Branagh: Any more questions? Comments? Launched missiles?
JulesPorter Darkwatch smiles at zaida and twists a finger on each of his cheeks, making a bit of a curtsy like gesture at her
Gloriana Maertens: Speaking out of character, if I may, what can we do to help you in RP? Is there anything in particular that sticks out as ‘helpful” ?
Mosseveno Tenk: yes. loki. are we getting a story this year?
Loki Eliot: should do yes
JulesPorter Darkwatch: Zaida, you look too girly… I bet you can’t throw like the rest of us no more.
Loki Eliot: actually what i have in mind is exactly about this issue of soft urching
zaida Gearbox: oh yea? but i can still whip your sorry tail!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Herr Darkwatch, I shall set the Damen on you if you persist.
JulesPorter Darkwatch: I don’t think so!
Jimmy Branagh cracks up
JulesPorter Darkwatch looks up at the Baron
zaida Gearbox jumps off the stage and punches jules in the head
Stereo Nacht remembers giving fencing lessons to Miss Gearbox… Perhaps she could practice on some fellow urchins? 😉
Garnet Psaltery: Jules, I can slap pretty hard
Sidonie Ancelin raises her eyebrows
Garnet Psaltery: Miss Zaida, step away
Jimmy Branagh: Now you’ve done it Jukes
JulesPorter Darkwatch takes the hit as he had been looking at the Baron. “Ow!”
Jimmy Branagh: Jules
Rhianon Jameson: A good whipping is always in order.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach spreads his hands
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: See?
Dakoda: Actually I might have a question or concern. Speaking as a new urchin OOCly and all..
zaida Gearbox bites jules
‘Cip’: Oh dear
Garnet Psaltery: Dakoda?
JulesPorter Darkwatch lets out another yelp and calls a portal. “Ow ow ow.”
Jimmy Branagh: So Oy guess we’re ended. Don;t fawget ta grab a gifty.
zaida Gearbox: chicken!
zaida Gearbox: a gift? we get gifts?
Loki Eliot: urchins are never out of character
Dakoda: Having a well established urchin show you around the urchin places is all well and good. But what things are there for an urchin to do in town?
Jimmy Branagh: AN’ thanks everyone faw comin!
zaida Gearbox: what’s de elephant of de bastille?
Lilith: theres plenty of things for urchins ta do
Loki Eliot: you can sneak in to brunels cellar and steal some drink
Arnold: A large one is in front of City hall
Arnold: Or nearby
Jimmy Branagh: It’s a thing Napoleaon started but it fell apart
Loki Eliot: there are tunnels to explore
Dakoda: like what. other than school in some other town.. I usually end up wandering around
Loki Eliot: evil monster by the woe tree to squish
Lilith: and places to chill and socialze
Stereo Nacht: Thank you Mr. Branagh, Ms. Gearbox!
Jimmy Branagh: Thenks Herr Baron, and thenk you awl!
zaida Gearbox keeps her fists balled up as if daring any of the other urchins to call her girlie