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V - Bajio Kabisu

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…the Marid is characterized by a low level of education in comparison to the ashidi’tat, with no centralized organization or standards for curriculum, and no universal literacy. Most of the common people are engaged in the production of goods for daily life (textiles, clothing, tools, foodstuffs), with emphasis centered on fishing and farming. These trades carry on through the generations of families. Some families, however, are dedicated to particularly skilled artistic expression, especially in the production of porcelains which — as expected — have broken through the traditional barriers to trade between the aishihai’mar and the aishidi’tat, being held in extremely high regard for quality, beauty, and artistry by collectors to the north. Now that this barrier has been broken, however, the Scholar’s Guild and other Guilds of the aishidi’tat are opening offices in the Marid, and I only expect a broader benefit to its people, though I expect that the actual form and flavor of education will be something different, something more traditional — something more closely aligned with the East.

Most most trade and craft families remain within a relatively close proximity to their homes for their entire lives. The exception to this is, of course, the sailors, who range out to sea, and the Sesani clan, which by comparison to the sedentary clans of the rest of the Marid, lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle on the broad plains of the northwestern Tanja district and into Sarini district. While most inhabitants of the Marid are accomplished sea-farers, the Sesani and the Caratho, inland clans, maintain mechieti. The Sesani, in fact, are in many ways similar to the Taibeni — perhaps there is an opportunity for mutual understanding there? — although their lands are more grass and less forest.

In times past, the Assassins and Transport Guilds have operated largely independently of their mother guilds in the aishidi’tat, with a strong emphasis on keeping members local and maintaining man’chi not only to Guild, but to clan. Lord Machigi has embraced the model of the East — breaking the man’chi to clan, but retaining local personnel for their specific knowledge of their home regions — which, with the recent acceptance of that mode by the Guild in Shedijan, has opened up the Marid to closer association with headquarters. As for Transport, the aishihai’mar Guild was entirely focused on shipping, given that the continental rail loop only touched the region in its northeast corner. But with the extension of the rail from Kopurna to Tanaja, this, too, is bringing change — and broader association with Transport’s home Guild in the North.

On shipping: the sea to the south of the Marid is subject to terrible storms, given that the ocean is largely uninterrupted around the full extent of the planet between the mainland and the great island to the south, home of the lost Southern Island culture. The sailors of the Marid, however, are skilled enough to make the crossing, and sadly, it cannot be said that they are not actively engaged in the illegal looting and sale of artifacts from the ancient sites on the island. I can only hope that now, as Lord Geigi’s personnel aboard the station are providing quality weather predictions to the legitimate Marid fleet, Lord Machigi will begin to suppress that trade and make the island a place of historical and scientific study. I must write to Tabini-aiji to broker a proposal to Machigi for a joint effort to preserve those sites...

— Bren Cameron, Translator. Personal notebook.